Saturday, September 29, 2007

Perfect storms

I forget which book I read but it said that No Limit deep stack poker is about raking in huge pots. Sure you can steal blinds and make continuation bets to take down a lot of pots but they recommend putting yourself in position to take down a monster.

Last night in Area .50/1 I found myself in the middle of a perfect storm. I don't remember all the details (where is my personal video camera running film continuously through my eyes?) but I have to think it was a limped pot based on the hands. Flop comes out 568 (rainbow I'm pretty sure), I check and it gets around to Jason who leads out pretty heavy with 15 which was about pot sized so maybe it was a family pot or pre-sweetened. Mitch, his friend visiting, makes a drawish call. With no flushes in sight Mitch is basically turning his Seven face up. Winds are picking up and the ocean is starting to roll. Yes I have an open ender here but what I am really chasing is a magical gutshot. If the Nine comes off I know that a middle-filled straight is really hard to lay down and I don't give many people, particularly Mitch the credit for being able to do it. I call the 15, I'm not getting proper pot odds but implied odds are ginormous.

Cross winds pick up now as the turn card reveals the glorious Nine from heaven. Yahtzee! Bingo! Gin! Monopoly!...OK, not Monopoly but you get the idea. I am in the stupid SB position and have to decide how to make sure someone opens the door so I check it. Jason is crestfallen about the Nine. Funny how one man's best card ever is another man's worst card ever. I know he fears the open ender that got there and now whatever he had is no good. I forget if he opened betting or if he checked to Mitch but all I know is by the time it got back to me it was 25 to go and I needed to raise to a) get Jason's presumed boat outs out of the picture b) get more money into the pot so I can push in on the river and make it callable and c) throw a little camouflage into my bet since I think it will be harder for Mitch to credit me with the 7T since it would be such an easy flat call to make with the immortal nuts. 85 is that number. I have 117 behind and if Mitch calls the turn bet I don't think he can fold for 117 more. Jason is severely disappointed that he is not invited to the party and folds. I knew exactly where Jason was at and I can also give him credit to fold when he thinks he is beat and particularly when it is so obvious from the board exactly how he is beat. Jason makes the arduous but correct fold.

Now it is Mitch's turn in the wringer. He looks at the board and sizes it up. I'm quite sure it was rainbow because I think I even made a comment when Jason was mulling things over that his flush was coming on a four suited four card board. To Mitch's credit, he doesn't insta-push there. He is astute enough to know that a 7T is the absolute nuts. He's deep in the tank and I'm just itching to hear him announce "all in" so we can get this thing done. He calls! I almost jump out of my seat with an insta-call to his non-existent shove. I get a quick visit from the Weak/Tight conscience character who appears on my shoulder to whisper "you better hope the board doesn't pair or that the river is not a Ten in case he has J7." I shooosh him away because I'm going with my read about him having a Seven, a paired board may kill the action but I don't fear losing to it. The J7 scenario is interesting though. Why would Mitch only *call* the turn when I'm going to push the rest in on the river? Could he possibly be on a J7? But even still, he's got to figure he is going to chop anyway so why not just get it over on the turn? Curious decision.

The sea has swells that would swamp an ocean liner as the rive is a glorious beautiful Ace. The blank to end all blanks. I am all in for the 117 left in my stack. Mitch is in a bind and now has to decide if he wants to call off and additional 117 ($58.50USD) of his stack. It is an insidious situation. You *know* that you can only be beat by one hand. But thanks to a swollen pot from the turn bet, there is just so much in there now that it's hard and maybe even an incorrect fold. I mean seriously, you have a freaking straight! On an unpaired rainbow board! That's a good hand! Yet there is a twist in your gut making you question the wisdom of dumping stacks of chips in the pot...just to get them back! Mitch even vocalizes the hand that can beat him. I am trying not to do or say anything to scare off business. I just try to keep cool and let him jump in the trap. After a mull over time he finally calls and I show 7T to scoop that pot. I then stand up with my fists clenched and at the top of my lungs announce: "BULLLLLLLDOOOOOOOOOOZER!!!" OK, no not really. But the table consoles Mitch with what is a nearly impossible laydown. Even second nut flushes have an escape hatch because if you have the King high, you know that an Ace high beats you. With four continuous to a straight and you having the card to cap off the top, you can plausibly see a connector beating you by notching you. But with a straight having a one gap in the middle, that is just screaming "chop pot" because it is so hard to put someone on a random hand as a two gapper 7T. Why would anyone be in a pot with that?

Chips change ownership and the winds die down. The ocean again returns to the quiet place it once was...until the next perfect storm stikes.


Sushi Cowboy said...

Forgot to mention. Jason had pocket Fives for bottom set and Mitch showed down the Deuce-Seven, not sure if offsuit.

Bob Loblaw said...

Nice laydown, Jason.

Sushi Cowboy said...

I was talking to Jason after we finished and told him that if I knew the river would brick I would want him to call the turn bet...and for that matter, the river bet too! Actually, I'm not sure it would have mattered unless Jason acted after Mitch because Jason calling in front of Mitch give him more reason to suspect someone has 7T.

jason said...

Very well played Martin. I knew the 9 was a horrible card for me with 2 players in the pot and then a big bet by Martin. The bet was just big enough so that I was not getting the correct pot odds to chase a full house which I may or may not get paid for. Would have been even more interesting if Martin had raised to 50 or 60. I probably would have tried to draw to the full house. The bet to 85 was really the perfect bet. It gave me incorrect pot odds to draw unless I was feeling tilty, at which point I may draw just for the drama.

I think the higher stakes also promoted better play. I may draw incorrectly in a smaller stakes game, but not with .5/$1.

Well played.