Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Royal overestimates the Royal draw

I meant to post this earlier, but time is a tough beast to pin down.

I thought I had the “perfect situation” hand on Friday night. My hand: {Q-Clubs}{10-Clubs}. I’m not sure who raises to 6 pre-flop, but 5 other people besides myself (UTG) call the bet to see the flop. Flop comes {J-Clubs}{K-Clubs}{A-Spades}. Ivan checks, and thinking to myself “holy crap, how can I lose?” I check to see where the rest of the table stands. It checks around. Bah. Turn comes {5-Spades}. Now, besides the club-flush draw, there’s a spade-flush draw. But, still, I’ve been clearly duped by the flop and when Ivan checks I check behind. But this time it checks all the way to MB, on the button, who bets 4. Then Ivan raises to 8. Good, this is what I was wanting. I call Ivan’s 8 bet, knowing that MB is probably going to bump it even higher, and even if she doesn’t, I’m still going to be good on the river, right? The table folds to MB, who bumps it to 20. Excellent! Ivan folds, and I bump it to 40, knowing this is an obvious bet to most of the table, showing that I’m much stronger than I’m letting on, but hoping that MB won’t pick up on it and will re-raise me. She merely calls.

To recap, how did I get here? I was so floored by the made-Broadway with the open-ended straight-flush/Royal-flush flop that I am throwing all kinds of possibilities out the door: there’s a possible higher club flush draw out there, and a possible higher spade flush draw out there. There’s the full-house draw (which Martin schooled me on later, as recounted here). I’m not accounting for any of these things, obviously, because if I had I would have bet differently.

River brings {K-Spades}. Ugh. What have I gotten myself into? Suddenly it all comes clear. Oh, look: there’s a spade flush possibility! Oh, look: there’s a full house possibility! Somebody at the table says “That’s a great river card. Would have been better if you’d brought the Ace of clubs.” I check to MB, fearing the worst. MB makes a good value bet of 40. She would have gotten a lot more out of me if she’d bet higher, but I call, and she flips up {A-Diamonds}{K-hearts}. I say “I would have preferred the Ace of clubs” and show my crushed straight.

So, I know what I did wrong, but is there anything you would have done differently? I think the only thing that’s going to get MB off of her two pair is an all-in bet on the flop. I had less than a full buy-in in front of me, and I think MB was probably about the same. In my mind at the time I wanted to see all streets because I wanted to turn my great hand into an amazing hand. Most of us are guilty of this when straight-flushes are possible, giving even a gut-shot straight-flush draw way too much credit. So I guess I’m not looking for a critique of my hand. I know I shouldn’t have given my straight nearly as much credit as I did, and I should have taken it down early. But I was clearly not going to make an all-in bet on the flop, based on what I knew. Anything I would have bet would have been called by MB, so with that logic I made out better than I should have.

Knowing right now what to do better next time is clearly different than being in the moment of a Royal draw. Right?


Marshall said...

Well since you requested to not have the hand critiqued, I will refrain from that part.

But I do have a few point to add:

1. SFD's are always either 1 or 2 outers(to the straight flush) I don't get too excited about those, I know some people do. I personally could care less, and they are such longshots, you usually just have a flush draw with a couple of extra outs.

2. You are very much leaning on ROT (Result Oriented Thinking) during this post it seems. You missed bets on the flop and turn when you were significantly ahead, but since you would have lost anyhow, you feel ok about it. Bad boy, don't do that.

Bob Loblaw said...

True and true. What's ROT? Oh, and I flopped a full house last night 7-4o, so I'm going to play that hand strongly every time I get it.

jsola said...

The tricky thing about a flop like that is it hits everyone. You have the current nuts and a badass draw, and the temptation to slowplay is sooo strong, but you really have to bet it out. Everyone who hit that flop in any significant way has a redraw, and you cannot let them get there. If someone else hit a hand here, they'll let you know real quick, and then you can either reraise or call and get it in on the turn.

Your hand's good, and it's easy to overlook this when you have a open-ended-straight-flush-redraw, but it's nowhere near immortal. A ton of turn cards are going to screw you or counterfeit you. You can't even feel good about low clubs since now A♣X♣ has you drawing to one out.

Your flop check-raise should have worked, honestly. That board obviously hit most preflop raisers, so it's hard to imagine it would check through. MB's check behind with top two was really bad, she should have been hammering it and trying to get it all in on the flop as well.

When it's checked through on the flop, you have to bet the turn. Either you'll take it down because no one had anything, or you'll get into a nice little raising war and be way ahead.

Overall your turn play reeks of Fancy Play Syndrome. You said you expected MB to re-raise your smoothcall, but against inexperienced players this is always a gamble. Min-raising is also a bit too iffy since MB seems like the player who's going to slow down after being raised twice on a single street. She's shown all the signs of slowplaying a monster, so put out a good sized raise and expect her to call just about any amount.

Basically as soon as you see the flop you should be thinking of ways to get all of your chips in the middle as quickly as possible. Not only because you have the current nuts, but because there are a bajillion ways a straight can be busted and you don't want to be facing a bet on the river when a scare card comes.

jsola said...

Also, you have no idea how much I want to see you, Royal, hit a Royal flush.

I'll be talking about that for years :)

jtrey333 said...

I will not be critical here, as that request has been made. But, I think the important thing is to learn from these plays, and I think Royal did, so that's that. I still enjoyed the post, as it's a good reminder not to play things too tricky.

That being said, you lost the minimum on the hand. But that's Results Oriented Thinking.

Ryan said...

What Joe said.

In particular, I agree that once the flop slowplay has failed to produce a bet on the flop, you have to bet out on the turn. If you had, and then proceeded with more than min-bet aggression, you would probably have gotten MB all in, which is the optimal result for the turn.

I also echo Marshall's #2 comment. Yes, you probably couldn't have gotten MB off her hand with any reasonable betting, and thus you were destined to lose to her.

If played optimally, you would have lost a lot more on this hand than you did playing it suboptimally. But you would still know you'd played it right. You want to be able to look back at a hand and say, "I got all my money in with the nuts and got someone in really bad shape to call me." That's a hand to look back on with satisfaction.

Let's say instead of MB hitting a four-outer, the river is a blank, you make a value bet, and MB calls. If that had happened, you'd be looking back at this hand wondering what you could have done to get more out of it, and that's the correct, constructively-critical approach to take.

Ultimately, you got blinded by the OESFD, which probably won't happen to you again, at least. You had the ultimate draw, so you played the hand like you weren't vulnerable to draws.

As for, "Is there anything you would have done differently?" If you have the nuts on an action flop, it's not a good time to slowplay, because someone probably caught enough of it to play back at you (thus the "action flop" nickname). If you bet out nominally and everyone folds, then slowplaying wasn't going to get you anything but a bad beat anyway.

Ryan said...

Oh, and I don't understand asking, "I know what I did wrong, but is there anything you would have done differently?" followed by making the statement, "I guess I’m not looking for a critique of my hand."

"Here's a hand I've been thinking about. How would you have played it differently? But don't critique it."

I don't know how to tell you how I would have played it differently without it being a critique. If you post a hand, you are looking to create a discussion about it, which is going to mean critiques...

Sushi Cowboy said...

I'm going to comment. Not sure if it is a critique or not or whatever but here it goes.

Where do we start? QT? There's a reason that I call that my "trouble hand" I mean, what do you expect to hit with that, that nut straight or something?

Yes, we all know that it should not have been slowplayed on the flop. Let me give some more specific reasons. Someone calls with some junky Q or T. They get a free card and the turn delivers them Broadway. Yes, you have a flush redraw on them but you are now likely splitting a pot that should have been yours. It seems ironic that you have to "protect" the nuts but any unpaired board can be a card away from a boat or quads. You at LEAST have to price out potential two pair boat draws which isn't hard to do.

As mentioned before AcXc is possibly out there too. This story would be slightly different if you had AcTc and flopped the broadway and four to the flush because you don't need to worry about lower flushes. But if a third club came on the turn and you started getting action, you can account for K-T of clubs which leaves either Ax or a suited connector like 9c8c. After a re-raise you have to wonder if K high flush is good.

A five way 6 chip pot has 30 in there. I think leading for 20 would shake out any flukey hands and it builds the pot. Now if MB raises you to like 60, THEN you can slam the door shut. MB knows enough to see a potential straight on board plus she has no club redraws plus your reputation precedes you as a rational player. If you are pushing there, people will give you a wider berth than if say...Joe were to push there (I can hear Joe saying "Heyyyyyy..." Shut up and give me a stack Joe!). If MB flat calls the flop in fear of being up against a straight, once the blank comes out you can pound the turn and she most likely can't call a stiff bet.

I also agree with Joe that MB's check behind on the flop was poor. That move was just begging for someone to catch a straight on her.

And as stated already, if MB couldn't get away from top two pair (though I think she could have provided both stacks were deep enough) that is the dream, right? Nut straight with a OERF draw against a puny two pair with four outs? No, strike that. Three outs because Ac would have been the absolute gin card. Now if you get all the money in on the turn and have someone catch a three outer on you, then you've done your job and then you can write a bitch post about how you got all the money in when you were 93% and got sucked out on by a three outer (which by the way is 50% more than the two outer against me...but who's counting?)

Marshall said...

thoughts by all I think. Nice post summing it up nicely too marty.

Oh and I have decided to critique the hand:

WTF were you thinking?!?! OMFG how are you not betting out being out of position on that board with 26 people behind you?!?! I am so on life tilt for the way you played this hand.

Now hand over the breast milk dancer, you are not worthy anymore of carrying her glory.

I will also add that I agree with joe that i have a dream that one day royal will get a royal.

That is all ;)

Bob Loblaw said...

I did get a royal, once, online. Of course only the crickets heard me jumping and screaming around the house.

Also, in response to Ryan, I should have been more blatant about what I was asking for. I know what I did wrong, I know what I was up against (including the AXc). What I was trying to point out is that I (and Martin, and… who else?) give straight flush draws WAY too much credit. As Ryan correctly pointed out, that’s a two-outer.

And, yes, I’m glad I didn’t lose more than I did to MB for my bad play. I’ll be sure to lose it all next time and complain about it to high heaven.

Ryan said...

I was just confused by the comment that you "knew what you did wrong" in the context of also asking the peanut gallery what they would have done differently.

I mean, ask me what I would have done differently, and you know I'll answer. :)

As a side not on giving the OESF draw too much credit: yes, it's a two-outer to the SF, but the real question is always...if just my flush or just my straight hits, will it win the hand?

Sometimes it almost certainly will, sometimes it almost certainly won't (I have the 6c, the flop is 4c 5c 7c).

Always tough to not fall in love with the OESFD, and assess each one differently for the true number of cards that can come where you will win the hand.

Marshall said...

I think I was blessed by the poker gods to basically disregard the SFD or OESFD as a prayer from the beginning. Why can't you people just be more like me!?

Sushi Cowboy said...

Yeah, I, like most, like the good 'ol OESFD and I'll chase it a little more than I should but I'm doing so knowing what I'm getting myself into. Based on my assessment of the situation, I will proceed if I think my straight or flush would be good. For example, holding the 2s on a 3s4s5s flop does not really make me feel good about winning the hand *unless* I hit my SF and even then a super weak-tight player has to worry about catching the sucker end of a SF. But if the coast is more clear then it is a great semi-bluff hand since you have so many outs as long as you feel they are clean outs.