Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pattern Recognition

This post is on behalf of Jason:

Pattern Recognition

I played last night and doubled up my stack, but mainly due to having great hands with big second best hands out there. This is not necessarily great play, just lucky given the deck. I think my best play last night was a pattern recognition play, not a big pot, but a pot nonetheless.

The hand went as follows:

Microstack with less than 20 big blinds limps from UTG, I have the button and see K6 suited in hearts. I know this is really a junk hand, and Ryan will school me because I am just barely mathematically ahead of an average hand. However, if I am playing LAG poker (Loose Aggressive) online and raising with 25% or more of my hands from the button, and less than 15% of my hands from early position, then I am raising with K6 suited from position. I hit pot, one of the blinds calls and so does microstack. The flop is Q,J, 7 rainbow. OK, I missed. Blind checks, microstack makes a min bet, which is less than 10% of the pot.

What should I do? I hit nothing on the flop so I can continuation bet over the min bet. An acceptable play but I don’t know if the blind will check raise so I call. The blind amazing folds, leaving me and microstack. The turn is a 5. Now I have 2 possible 4 card straights and microstack min bets again. Can I imply the 5 helped me? I decide not so I call.

The river is a 4, completing my 4 card straight. Microstack min bets again. What does microstack have. I conclude it is a very weak hand. Almost no player is going to throw out 3 probe bets trying to trap me. Maybe 1 or 2 but 3?? So I rule out the monster. I had seen microstack do this before and he was raised and then microstack folded.

My king high could be good here but I doubt it. Plus I would rather not disclose to the table the trash I am raising with from the button. So I raise to about 60% of the pot. Microstack folds and I win a small pot, about 14 blinds.

When multi-tabling, I find pattern recognition plays are almost impossible, but it can be done if you try one table at a time. Anyone else trying trying pattern recognition online?


Marshall said...

I guess I do. I guess I probably would make the same play as you did in that spot, but I think of it in more general terms. Like why would anyone do that with a strong hand?

I always watch for the guys that cbet and how many shells they will fire when I am on 1 or 2 tables only. When I am 3-4 tabling, I think I get a feel for the guys that are way out of line (all ins preflop with a full stack) and for the ones that are on my immediate right and left.

Are you playing 6 or 10 handed? This is easier for me because I am playing exclusively 6 handed therefore have significantly less players to keep an eye on also.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Recognition works differently in limit S8. By and large you can tell exactly what someone has or at least is representing by their up cards and when they speed up. Plus with limit, bluffing is less effective though semi-bluffs/betting on the come is done part of the time.

It is possible for people to disguise their hands by delaying speeding up. For instance, someone has two Diamonds underneath and make their flush by 5th street but just check call. Then maybe a third low card visible falls on 6th and they start betting so you might think they just made their low. It's rare but I see this every so often. Usually it is just costing yourself bets though.

Ryan said...

I'm fine with the raise preflop, BTW. I get brutally mathematic about postflop play in all-in situations and in chasing situations, but preflop I could care less whether or not the junker you are raising from the button with is above or below the "50% against random hands" line.

I think I would have raised on the flop, although those damn OOP min bets on flops that missed you can definitely be traps.

I generally single-table it while multitasking, not only with my copious hand notes, but surfing and TV, whatever. Still, with my one-table norm, I definitely look for patterns in the play of my opponents, and keep notes on them.

In the case of this hand, I would probably make a note, "did the min-bet thing on F, T, & R, then folded to raise."

That's important because the min-bet thing tends to either be a trap, or a "probe for check/fold buttons." Good to note what this guy meant with it.

But it's not enough to make a broad statement yet, which is why you want to keep it specific.

jason said...

Thanks guys for the comments. BTW, I play exclusively 6 handed cash games, though I will play full tables in tournaments. As an action junkie, the full tables are torture for me.