Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Hand in JasonLand

I did have one hand in Canada that totally illustrated the principles of JasonLand. I was playing at a table on Sunday. This was a 180 degree change from the prior tables I played in, this one was uber tight. These were the kind of players that would read Dan Harrington's books and say Dan is a loose cannon. The type to limp with pocket 9's from mid position and fold to one overcard.

Of course, I pick up yet another AA from UTG. What to do? I can raise, which will likely induce a fold from everyone. I can limp, as seat 6 seems to raise about 1 out of 5 hands, then I can reraise and isolate. I guess folding is not an option. I am way ahead for the session and decide to gamble with a limp. Playing one of the aggressive tables last night I may raise to $15 and would likely get 1-3 callers. But not here. Plus if I limp, maybe there is a good story for the TNP crowd. So I limp.

Seat 6 limps as do 3 other players, the small and big blind complete and we see the flop 6 handed. OK now I have to be prepared to fold if the flop does not cooperate and there is a ton of action post flop. These guys won't raise without 2 pair or a set, so I brace myself for the flop.

The flop comes out A,2,2 with 2 spades. Man, I am running good. The two blinds check as do I. I know you guys crushed Austin for not raising with a flopped full house. If Austin knew everyone's hole cards a raise was probably the proper move. Austin did not know everyone's hole cards so I can't fault him for his smooth call. Given the range of hands Marsh Uri and I believe Martin were on a smooth call was not a bad play. He is at worse given a free card to folks with 2 outers.

Back to my hand, I am obviously in fantastic shape here, a small bet may give someone with 2 spades a reason to chase, but this table probably won't chase a paired board. I check, as does everyone else.

The next card is another 2. Well someone could have a 2 but these guys won't play a 2 unless it is A2 suited. Three of the Aces are accounted for so I have no worries. I check again. Please will someone bet. Check, check, then the guy on the button bets $10. Hooray. The blinds fold, I call everyone else folds. The final card is a K. I bet $20 hoping he has something, a pocket pair or the case A. He calls and says do you have a 2? I flip over AA which crushes his KJ. He actually was not bluffing on the turn thinking his king high was good and the river gives him another K.

The table complements me on my play and says there was no way I could have built the pot unless I limped. I realize I have some ROT here because both the flop and turn cooperated. But I was happy with my play and happy that Jasonland thinking worked out.


Sushi Cowboy said...

First of all, there's nothing wrong with limping with any pair QQ or lower from any position because those are set mining hands!

Also, your hand and Austin's are completely different. You not only have a "high rank" full of "low rank" full house, you have the highest rank possible. Austin had "lower rank" full of "higher rank" full house and was vulnerable to being outdrawn. In your case you WANT someone else to catch a full house because yours would trump theirs so there is not as much to lose by slow playing, especially at that table.

I also was not suggesting that I had a problem with Austin smooth calling. I was suggesting that he lead out to build the pot. If no one has a Ten, an eight, a straight draw, or a flush draw (or even over cards) then he's not getting much action anyway so there is nothing really to lose. About the only thing he doesn't want to do is chase off a lower pocket pair that might boat up but by checking he is also inviting pocket Nines to come in and empty his stack, especially because a board of 8TT 9 giving action looks like it might be a gutter that hit.

Congratulations on squeezing blood from a turnip. Sounds like you got the absolute maximum you could out of that hand on that table with the cards players had.

Marshall said...

I don't know jase, how can you really be happy seeing a flop 6 way with AA? I'm not a huge fan of the limp-reraise attempt with AA. With such a tight table l think your best chance of a big pot is getting lucky enough to run into another big hand. Limp raising implies super strength to a tight table, you are better off with a normal raise and hoping to get re-raised.

Sushi Cowboy said...

I wouldn't advocate a limp/re-raise either in this situation. You say the table is too tight and the good ol' limp/re-raise is a standard AA or KK maneuver so what kind of action do you think you're going to get from that at that table? None. What do you want? To take down the pre-flop chips or to flatten a Canuck's stack?

What if someone else has KK? Well then they are going to be raising you anyway so you don't need to worry about getting action from other big pairs.

If you limp, I say flat call a raise to isolate. Sounds like no one wants to stick their nose in a pot with a raise anyway so a raise from someone else should isolate enough anyway plus a limp/call would help hide your hand strength.

Ryan said...

Where to begin?

First, your assessment of Austin's hand is terrible. Austin flopped a vulnerable boat (he had 88 on a 8TT board), where anyone with a ten had a 20% - 25% chance of drawing out on him, not a "two outer." Additionally, and I can't stress this enough, if anyone else has any kind of hand in that spot: a T, the case 8, a flush draw, a straight draw, two overs, or any pocket pair, they are going to call a sane bet from Austin. A glorious ten is going to raise.

I mean, you imply that a bet is going to chase real hands away. The only hands it might chase away that could make something worth calling with on the turn are AXs hands with no flush draw hitting a turn ace. And if it's Martin, he's calling with AXs and no flush draw anyway. The recommendation to bet has nothing to do with "knowing the other player's hole cards," and to suggest it does is to (effectively) accuse me and others of dishing out ROTy advice. Pistols at dawn, Jason. Pistols. At. Dawn.

On to your hand. You say this table is "tight?" You get three other limpers and the blinds. Six players to an unraised flop is not tight, that's loose/passive. limping UTG against a loose/passive table hoping that the one guy that raises every six hands picks this one is silly. And then, even if he does, you are pulling the move that screams strength more than any other in poker, the UTG limp/reraise.

By the time you hit the flop that you in no way deserve, I don't mind the check because 1) your hand is not vulnerable like Austin's was, you can only lose to quads or better, 2) it continues to tell the same story you decided to tell preflop, and 3) there are six people in this hand. If nobody bets the flop for you, I think you have to start building the pot on the turn if it’s a blank, but I don't mind a flop check in the context of your awful preflop play.

The table compliments you on your play at the end? The table is full of donkeys. “There was no way I could have built the pot unless I limped.” WTF? Built the pot? BUILT THE POT?! How in the fuck do you call that building a pot? You got six fucking players limping, for a total of 6 BBs, and it checked through on the flop. Where is this amazing pot-building that your approach produced? If you had made it 3 BB to go, you only needed one non-blind caller to get 7.5 BB in the pot. Let’s see…6BB and five opponents instead of 7.5 and one opponent. That’s some fucking incredible pot-building, there, Jason.

And if the fucking table is truly going to fold to a 3x raise (especially the button with KJ), then Christ, don’t worry about not maximizing aces, just start raising every hand and happily taking blinds away from these fucking nits. But a cavalcade of limpers doesn’t scream “nits,” it screams, “loose/passive,” so put in a motherfucking raise and actually build the pot, don’t fucking limp and fail to build the pot while simultaneously inviting five players with undefined hands to a flop out of position against your god-damn, cock-sucking, pocket fucking rockets!

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! There’s blood on my keyboard from pounding the keys too hard. I think you make these hands up, Jason, just to make me mad. I beg you: post this hand and your thoughts on it to that poker site you like. Let’s see what your LAGgy associates think of the Jasonland approach to aces.

Your table compliments you. Fucking awesome.

Marshall said...

LOL@ Ryans steam post.

But the fact is that he is dead on. 100% correct on all accounts in my book. I do see your thought process and how you got to your decision. But after playing poker for as long as we have you learn that these are pitfalls. The UTG limp re-raise attempt is a classic beginner move. Yet you aren't a beginner. It's very interesting, because you hold your own with no problems at WNP etc, yet with plays like this I wonder how you pull it off. You have your own style that is for sure. When you dissect a hand afterwards, you tend to leave out critical things, and you tend to not think ahead in the hand I think.

An example or two: On your hand in Canada, you plant the limp-re-raise trap because the table is "tight" (actually loose passive as Ryan said), and you don't want everyone to fold to an UTG raise. Yet you have what, 9 players to act behind you? What are you hoping for? Let's explore that.

1. Someone has a marginal hand like 88-99 or AJ-AQ even. They raise. You got just what you wanted. Now its back to you, and you probably re-raise. Well you have basically announced to your weak-tight friend that he is beaten. He probably lets it go being so passive and you win a tiny pot. Not a terrible outcome at all. Ok so same situation, but now they have a premium hand like KK, AKs, or QQ. Again, you limp re-raise them. Now they are scared. If the flop comes A22 and they have QQ or KK, they are likely looking to bail to significant action. If you are up against AK, then all is well, and you are looking to win a big pot.

2. Now lets say you just put a normal raise in to start the action. One possible outcome is that they all fold. You win a tiny pot. But if someone wakes up with AQ, 88-1010, they might re-raise you, they might not. But they aren't folding. You are getting your money in quite good though against those hands and there are even some flops where you can stack them. You cbet the flop and probably take it down there, or they make a big mistake and you get paid. (I am not accounting for them flopping a set, as I give you credit for not getting stacked there if they do.) Now the real juicy stuff, if they have KK AKs or QQ, you will definitely see a re-raise. Now you have options. You can flat call to conceal your hand if you want, or you can re-pop and if they have a hand they aren't willing to fold, you get all the money in preflop with a huge edge. You have to think further down the road than just the street you are on.

Example 2: With Austin's hand, the point was that had he raised, he would have given himself the chance to win a huge pot. There is almost no case where he folds the flopped boat, so instead he has to focus on getting as much money in there as possible. It's not as much about the fact that his mistake wasn't huge because the people in the pot were drawing against him and he let them, it's just as much about the fact that he left money on the table.

Either way, I am glad that you post these hands, because it let's us see how you think and others think at the table, which I find wildly interesting. And also I am glad because it insights heated debate, which is this blogs best friend.

Ryan said...

Posting a response from Jason on his behalf...


Oh, I love your passion! No one loves to tear apart my moves more than Ryan. Without passion, life is just another version of same old, same old, one of my least favorite expressions. So I commend you on your passion and your convictions, though I can't always agree with you.

What about a check raise in Austin's hand. Let's say there is a weak 8 out there like 7,8 suited. Why would I call a bet from Austin with my weak 8 unless I put him on a pure bluff. I would probably bet my weak 8 to see if I am good here, then check fold to any callers. By not leading out, Austin gets a bet from the weak 8. What about an overpair. I would likely bet my overpair, then Austin can either smooth call or raise. If I have the overpair and don't hit my 2 outer on the turn, I would likely end up betting the turn too to see if he is on some kind of draw like J-9. From Austin's viewpoint, the overpair may bet twice.

What about 2 high cards like any two paint cards. By not betting these 2 high cards may hit. While a hit on a K or a Q may not convince you that you are good you are likely to call a bet on the turn or river. You may even bet yourself. Little chance that you will call a bet with 2 high cards if Austin bets.

What about the J-9 who gets his "free card" and then hits the straight on the turn or the river. I may not pay anything to try to hit my open ender on a paired board. But I will certainly try to figure out if I am good if I do hit. I may even try to figure out if I am good if I hit just the J or the 9.

My point is this, the only folks you don't want to catch up are those with a 10x and the overpair. The 10x is likely going to bet here anyways, at which point you can raise or smooth call. He is drawing to a 4 outer so in the unlikely event he does not bet, it is like giving a free card to someone with a gutshot, not ideal, but not terrible. The 10x player has about a 16% chance of catching up, the overpair less than 10%. Most everyone with an overpair is going to bet here as well.

Unless Austin has a history of throwing out small bets for a variety of reasons, I have nothing, I have bottom pair, I am trying to build the pot on my draw, I don't like a small bet here. The small bet to me would signal strength. I am not a fan of a big bet either. Since I have not played with Austin much, I can't really say if I would be alarmed with a small bet.

A small bet from Ryan in this situation would signal I have something unusual. Ryan typically makes strong bets at the pot at all times that Ryan chooses to bet, disguising the relative strength of the hand.

So I know you all hate the slow play. Slow playing when you hit trips is often a bad idea as there are so many ways people can catch up. Slow playing a full house is a chance I am almost always willing to take.

As for my hand with AA, I am not opposed to raising preflop, I just didn't choose to play it this way as I wanted to "gamble." The gamble paid off, it could easily have failed. I don't however, like any bet on the turn. You are right the table is not tight, it is loose passive, i.e. very little preflop raising with almost no callers if someone does raise. But if I bet the turn, I don't believe I get a call from King high and may not even get a call from a small pair. The King high did bet and then I was lucky he hit on the river to catch up so I got 2 bets out of it. I don't think there was any way I could have played it better once I have the likely undesirable situation of 6 people seeing the flop.

Thanks for your passion, but I have to respectfully disagree this time.

P.S. Free vitamins are available at my house if you need to reduce the stress from reading my posts :)

Ryan said...

“Why would I call a bet from Austin with my weak 8 unless I put him on a pure bluff.”

“I?” You weren’t in this hand. Martin and Yuri were, and both of them would absolutely call a standard bet with an 8. (And frankly, I think you would, too, but that’s moot.) A case 8 is the least-likely scenario anyway.

What about an overpair.”

Austin was the original raiser. Yuri would reraise with JJ-AA for sure (she reraises with ATo), and if Martin is set-mining with JJ, he would call but not raise, so you may as well retain control rather than hading the reigns to Martin.

“What about 2 high cards like any two paint cards… Little chance that you will call a bet with 2 high cards if Austin bets.”

Again, consider your opponents. Both have a high chance of calling a bet with two overcards.

“What about the J-9 who gets his "free card" and then hits the straight on the turn or the river.” (And flush draws, don’t forget those, Jason.)

J9 and flush draws will call a bet, and maybe even semi-bluff. If you know for certain one of these players has J9 or a flush draw, then not betting is a huge mistake.

“My point is this, the only folks you don't want to catch up are those with a 10x and the overpair.”

My point is this: your opponents will pay a reasonable fee to “catch up” (this is WNP, here), there is no need to give it to them for free. Almost every “what about” hand you mention would call or raise a bet from Austin. If you are going to play tricky out of position, I think it’s way better to lead out, get a call, and then check the turn as if having given up. If you check and someone bets, you either have to spring your trap on the flop and reveal your strength with a check-raise, or check-call and then have to either tell a strange story on the turn (depending on what it is) with a lead out, or check again and give pot control to your opponents.

“The 10x player has about a 16% chance of catching up.”

Wrong, T2 is 23%, and other tens get even better.

“I don't like a small bet here…A small bet from Ryan in this situation would signal I have something unusual. Ryan typically makes strong bets at the pot at all times that Ryan chooses to bet, disguising the relative strength of the hand.”

First, it’s not me, it’s Austin. Second, we have to define “small.” I’m talking roughly half the pot, which is certainly small by WNP standards, but nothing suspiciously small. Less-than-half pot bets to open flop betting are pretty rare at WNP. The kind of bet that could be a c-bet and could be a real bet, but that any reasonable hand from these three will call or raise, and doesn’t price out a flush draws and open-enders. Not a “strangely small” bet, just a “low end of the WNP usual” bet.

Again, this is not a vacuum, this is Martin and Yuri! If you are actually thinking, “I’d better not bet my monster, Martin and Yuri might fold” then you have not been paying attention to the action.

“Slow playing a full house is a chance I am almost always willing to take.”

I just don’t think you are seeing how vulnerable you are to a random ten, or how against most ranges, you build a bigger pot in the long run by betting. Over time, against the full range of possible holdings, you are going to get way more money out of betting than checking against most opponents, because the hands that fold to a flop bet have almost no chance of improving to something they will put up a fight with on the turn.

Think of it this way: which is more likely:

1) A crappy hand that would fold to a flop bet actually catches up on the turn to the point that they are going to pay you off in some way.
2) A good-to-great hand either calls your bet on the chase, or raises your bet thinking they are good.

#2 is way more likely. Any hand that Martin and Yuri fold 100% of the time to a flop bet cannot improve to any point of confidence on the turn. Your absolute best hope is AXs that hits an ace.

Back to your hand.

“I don't however, like any bet on the turn.”

I said I like trying to build the pot on the turn if a blank comes off. A second deuce is not a blank.

For the record, I sooooo wish the BB had the random case deuce to just crush you. If the poker gods were at all interested in justice, he would have.

Marshall said...

Question: Jason, (and others can comment too) how would your post have changed had one of your opponents caught the case 2? Let's say they were slow playing a 2 and got there on the river. What would you have typed in here? Would the table have complimented you on your skilled play? Would you have just chalked it up to a bad beat and called it good right there? What about how much money you could have gotten into the pot while he was on one out?

I think it's really important to eliminate the ROT element as much as possible when looking at how you played a hand. I'm curious to see how Jason would change the post had he gotten sucked out on.

Austin said...

Oddly enough, I agree with everything that has been said here too. If you go back and read all of the comments on the old thread about my flopped boat, you'll see that I change my mind at the end and realize that betting is the much better option when in my position. Since our two positions were totally different (you had top trips possible, I had trip 8 with two 10s on the board (giving someone else a higher trip), it changes the percentage you'll lose a TON.

I don't mind the limp UTG with aces so much if you're on a table that regularly raises it up and then calling them, but the table you were at doesn't seem like the type to do that at all.

jason said...

Marsh, love your comments, it seems like my posts seem to really stir the pot. And I love the phrase steam post.

Ryan and I will virtually always disagree on how to play a hand. I have come to the conclusion that it is a style difference. Ryan patterns his game in a Phil Ivey fashion, aggression, aggression, and more aggression. Is Phil Ivey successful, absolutely and so is Ryan. My style is different. Is it successful? I believe so. I am ahead lifetime in casino cash play, casino tournament play, and WNP play. I am ahead in on line play. It is possible that I have just got great cards for the past year, but I doubt it.

But after reading all of these posts, I still have stuff to learn. There is some merit in Austin betting post flop. He was the preflop raiser, which I forgot, and a bet can be construed here as a continuation bet. There are chasers in the hand like Martin, who will chase against pot odds for implied odds. And I believe you were in the hand who correctly read the smooth call as strength.

As for the case 2 in my hand I believe I could have got away from the hand if the blinds were giving me lots of action, I would have been crippled if one of the other limpers gave me action with the case 2. It is easy for the blinds to have the case 2 but the rest of the table is not limping with anything but A2 suited and 3 of the aces are already accounted for.

Thanks for the comments, as no matter how much I play, there is still stuff to learn.

Ryan said...

Nice move, Jason! Martin’s old, “My suboptimal decisions are a style choice” defense coupled with the, “Hey, I’m up lifetime” defense! Brilliant.

I’m sorta kidding. There are definitely many +EV styles, and people should stick with the one they are most comfortable with. Even if you can prove that approach A is more +EV than approach B, if you aren’t comfortable with approach A, you won’t be able to pull it off.

That being said, I feel your play with AA was not a “style choice,” it was a “mistake” in any style because of the loose/passive preflop nature of the table. I restate my challenge you: put your original post on the cardrunner forums and report back to us on the response…

Marshall said...

I just read the last sentence of Jason's original post and it tilted me a little.