Sunday, May 3, 2009

Tough Decisions

Last night, Bodie25 invited a group of us over to his place to watch the Pacquiao VS. Hatton fight on PPV. I'm really not a huge boxing fan, but the invite also mentioned poker and foosball. How could anyone say no?

While the under card was going on, Bodie25, Mrs. Bodie25, DeeBakes and few other characters sat down to the green felt to splash some chips and drink. Not sure how this got chosen, but we were playing .25/.25 NLHE. I guess we did have a few beginners at the table.

I started off the night hitting a king high flush to take down a pot of a little over $8 on the first hand I played. Not too shabby in $5 NLHE ring game, but these ill gotten gains didn't last. I spent quite a while raising and then folding on the flop. The Jack Daniel's was kicking in and then so did the crazy calls and raises. It's hard to get anything going when all-ins are called with 23c and then hit.

As Pacquiao said, "This fight was easy" and had sent Hatton into next week with a hook, I was griding my way back to even. A nice flopped set of 3's really helped get me there.

There was one hand of note for the evening. Bodie25 even asked if I could write about it so I could explain how on earth I got away.

The table had pretty well thinned out and we were short handed. We have 4 people remaining; starting on my left was Bodie25, DeeBakes and Todd. In the home games I play, these are 3 of the toughest players we have. Bodie25 and Todd are much more regular NLHE ring game players and if you've been here before NL ring games aren't my bread & butter...ok, they are a financial sink in my bankroll.

Bodie25 is dealing.  I'm first to act and squeeze, J♠T♠. Not having any information, I check. Bodie and DeeBakes check and Todd raises to .75. A pretty much standard raise. Since Todd will raise here with a pretty huge range of hands, I call and so does Bodie. This doesn't really provide any information. Todd will raise with almost anything and Bodie will call with the same.

The flop comes JT♣9. That is both gin and crap. There was $2.50 in the pot and I wanted to know where I was at besides just having top two pair. Todd checks. I raised it to $2. Bodie very confidently announces raise and makes it $7 to go. Todd pretty quickly folds and the action returns to me.

Bodie25 is a good player, but he's also agressive. This was a fairly sizeable raise. My first feeling on this was an overbet for value. But I had some doubts. Bodie has a tell that I know he knows about. When he's stressed, he swallows hard and you can hear the click. There was no click. I'm going in the tank on this hand. My thoughts are to either shove or fold.

So, what hands need I be afraid of? KQ, Q8 and 87 already of a made straight. He called the raise pre in position, so any of these are possible. 99 and TT are also definitely possible. I'm quite sure he would have open raised JJ preflop along with any over pairs to the board. If he has KQ, not only is he ahead, but I no longer have one of my outs. Friggin' straight flushes.

There is a very good possibility that he has a hand that I'm not behind. QJ is in the mix and while it's not a big hand to me, I'm not really fond of it. KJ is also in the mix. It's also entirely possible he's made two pair as well or even better for me, he's bluffing or semi-bluffing with a lotta of hope.

So. Thinking this through, I know I'm no where near the nuts. My first impressions of Bodie are that he is quite strong. He's starting to chat it up the longer I take. This is good for me. He's providing me with much more information.

"If you shove, I'll be making a pretty snap decision." - this seems totally genuine. I don't think he's lying. Impression: he's got a made hand or a bluff/semi-bluff.

"You think you have outs?" - I respond with, "I have top set." His demeanour changes. "I don't think you have top set..." - He then goes on to talk about hands he thinks I have. I'm not sure where I read it or saw it, maybe it was "Elements of Poker", but who ever said it explained how when people start talking about the hands they think their opponents have in a situation like this, they talk about all the hands they know they can beat. He talked about everything a straight could beat.

He was definitely showing signs of strength. He showed his hand to Todd. Todd's first impressions of the hand looked like he was thinking strong, but Todd is a good player. His reactions weren't as definitive as I'd hoped. Since Matt had done this, I let DeeBakes see mine. Matt again show strength and showed DeeBakes as well.

Dee's reaction pretty much sealed the deal for me. His expression changed when he saw Bodie's hand. He stared at the board after looking at it with very serious eyes. For me, this told me KQ. His long stare and serious eyes meant he knew I was beat and pinning my hopes on full house draw. I had at most 4 outs.

Using the rule of 4 and 2, I've got a 16% chance of beating a straight and a 12% chance if he's got KQ. Crap.

I went with my gut and mucked top two pair face up, letting the cards land in front of Bodie next to the community cards. He looked on in amazement and turned over KQo. I can dodge bullets baby.

I was glad I escaped. Dee couldn't let it go and got Bodie to deal out the remaining two cards. The 10♣ shows on the turn. I would have hit my full house, but I'm not upset. I need to make that lay down. What would you have done?


Shrike said...

I'd do the same thing. Good fold.


Memphis MOJO said...

Nice post, good laydown.

"when people start talking about the hands they think their opponents have in a situation like this, they talk about all the hands they know they can beat. He talked about everything a straight could beat."

I think it was Ed Miller.

OES said...

With jack daniels and u made a crazy good laydown. job well done. I would have gone into the tank for previous hands with this player for far too long and mayyyyybeee would have layed it down.

great post though and good for you to play shorthanded with good players.

bodie25 said...

When you're holding the nuts, how do you talk about a hand that you can't beat?

Still amazed at that fold...

Dee said...

I would have called :D

Memphis MOJO said...

I saw some place that OhCountess is graduating this weekend. Congrats to her (and you, too)!

jamyhawk said...

5/6/09 MOOKIE FROG DAY!!!!!