Friday, November 16, 2007

Picking your spots to bluff.

On WNP (that's WeekNightPoker, let's stop with the TuNP crap), early in the session Ryan and I got into a nice big pot. The flop came all diamonds, and he had flopped a 4 high flush. I was out of position and check called the flop after he led out for 15 I think. I had QdJo. I thought, well I will take a card, I don't really have Ryan's hand narrowed down at all though at this point.

Turn is a blank, I check and he leads out for 25. This is a pretty big deciding point in the hand, but I still don't quite know what he is on, but I am starting to think small-medium flush. (for some reason 8 high was in my head). I feel like if I hit I am good, as the Kd was out and I didn't think he had an Ad. I guess I figured he would check behind with the Ad. I call and hope to hit my diamond.

River pairs the board. Scary card to a low flush. I am looking at the board, and there are a lot of things that would be pretty scary if you had a low flush. I am OOP, and I know if I check I am either losing to whatever he has (I have Q high here), or folding to a bet from him. I decide to lead out for 40, ~half pot size. I am hoping that this looks big enough for him to fold, but small enough that it looks like I want a call. Looking back, I wish I would have bet a bit more, but I was fine with taking this stab. If he can call me, then so be it, if he missed something or will lay down his flush to a scary board, then all the better. I just didn't want to leave that money on the table. He decides to raise to 100. This is really puzzling because I just didn't have him on this strong of a hand. I felt like I had repped a smooth-played big hand really well. I knew if I shipped here, it would be really hard for him to call without a really big hand. I just looked so strong there, and my read was more in the small flush range than the big flush/full house range. I then just had to have enough chips behind me that he wasn't committed regardless, and with 140 or so more, I felt it was enough, so I shipped.

Ryan hemmed and hawed and eventually laid down his hand. Interestingly after the hand he was saying that I could have played an A-high flush exactly that way, which is pretty true (and why I made the bluff at the end). It is funny how sometimes you don't decide what you have until the end. After he raised my river bet, with my push, I had decided I had either the nut flush or the weird boat. To him, I just couldn't have anything other than that or a bluff. If he put me on a bluff and made the hero call then more power to him. But next time I will have the nuts..

Also interesting were Ryan's comments about how I am too good of a player that I would make that move. I find that pretty funny. It's like a pre-attack, in case I tell that I was in fact bluffing, that I made some bad play or something. I don't feel it was bad in any way. I was perfectly willing to lose the 40 on the river if you had a hand that could call me. But it was far from a desperate shove when you decided to open the door with your river raise. I am always going to look for spots to exploit just like that one. I knew exactly how strong it looked when I shipped there, and the story was told to perfection. I leave it up to you to make a hero call or not open the door in the first place, but I think it's pretty ridiculous to think that I made some terrible play there.


Ryan said...

I think it’s a -EV play to run on that river (the bet and then the raise) because it required terrible play from me (twice) to work. Most of the time I’ll have my wits about me and happily call your 40 in that spot, and I’m never folding to it. Leading for 40 was far, far worse than your push; I’m just not going away to that bet, I'm rarely opening the door, and you aren’t beating anything.

But, I oblige and open the door here: easily the worst of the four bad plays we made between us on that street. It’s incredibly dangerous for you to reraise there, because if I’m not being a complete moron, I’m only raising with a hand I’ll ride to the felt. I broke that basic rule of thumb, and the flipside is that you had to count on the fact that I was making a big mistake with the raise for your reraise to be a good play.

I almost called as it was, because it didn’t smell right; the story was not told to perfection. While AXd was possible, it would have been a bit odd for you to play the nut flush that way on the flop, and there’s literally nothing else beating me you would have played that way.

So, in sum, I think it’s a terrible spot for both the lead out and the reraise, because you are counting on terrible play from me for either move to work.

If your idea of “spots to exploit” includes “spots where Ryan has to play like a fucking donkey for this to work,” then you can imagine how heartily I encourage your continued “exploitation” of such spots...

Ryan said...

Also, Marsh is a total douche.

Marshall said...

I don't see how the story wasn't perfect. That is the whole reason I shipped, because it completed a story that made perfect sense.

I flop the nuts with AdXd. I might lead out, but I don't want to scare anyone off, and you are good for a cbet a lot of the time too. I check call with the nuts hoping you have A) a smaller flush or B) a big diamond. Turn comes a blank and I give you the lead again, you oblige, and sometimes I will raise you here and sometimes I won't with the nuts. River comes a fairly harmless card for my nut flush, but I figure I had better get some value in case you have a small flush, so I value bet it. You raise, but I can't put you on a house, so I ship. How is that not telling an extremely believable story?

As mentioned, I do agree with the 40 bet being too small, and a poor play. Like I said, I didn't want to give myself 0% chance to win the hand by checking. If I check, you either A) bet and I fold, B) Check and you win with almost any hand including A high or C) You bet and I raise. For C), that is not believable to me, because there is almost 0% chance that I am checking the river with the near nuts. You would sniff that out, and I would have to commit a ton of chips to make you think hard about it.

I was not counting on your terrible play when I bet the 40, I was hoping to take down a pot that was worth stabbing at on the river, and I was comfortable with losing the 40. But your terrible play of raising it opened the door for me to take advantage. I certainly wasn't planning it that way, but when the opportunity arose, I took it. Even though it is not as tangible, I have to factor in my read here too. I did not have you on such a strong hand that you could call. That was a big part of my push. And I in fact had you on exactly what you had, a baby flush.

I rule. And you can choke on a seven layer cock for all I care.

(I stole that line from another website, but it's so awesome it needs to be repeated)

Ryan said...

c-bet: it was a five- or six-handed, unraised, straddled hand. Not a spot where you would be counting on a bet from me.

Your flop check: when a viable option for a situation is to bet or raise, you usually do it. I think it makes you a great player overall, but it makes the flop a little odd. With the tendencies of the players at the table and your image in general, I think the correct play had you flopped the nut flush would have been to bet some amount. Maybe not 100%, gotta mix it up, but it is generally out-of-character for you to check when you could be betting.

Assuming for whatever reason, you choose not to be the nuts on that flop, the rest of the streets tell a fine story, I was talking flop only. It obviously told a good enough story to get me to fold, but it was not perfect, that's all I'm saying.

Good read I guess, but reads can be wrong, and it took me being a dumbass for that not to be a hand I would ultimately call your push with...and I nearly called anyway. A lot of stuff had to go right and be right for it to work, and that's not a great spot.

But you rule. Keep it up. I'm sure betting into me with air on the river when I've been betting the whole time, and then reraising me with that same air after I pop your river bet is going to work out in the long run, you butt-eating cock maggot.

Marshall said...

Hey you can view it as just mindless shipping when you are showing strength if you want, but I am paying attention to much more than that. The board, my read on you (which was Kenny Tran like), your terrible raise, and how it all fit together if I shipped are what ultimately led to me shipping and winning the pot. It takes a special set of circumstances for that to come together, so it will probably be very rare for me to have air in that spot.

And about the flop, good point that it was unraised and you couldn't cbet without a raise first. But it still tells the story perfectly. Against you I would probably bet out with the nuts, that is true. But against multiple opponents, with some of them willing to pay off huge bets with non nut holdings, I would check most likely and let someone catch up.

But wait, I didn't have the nuts, I just simply outplayed the shit out of you. My bad.

Sushi Cowboy said...

I think I had Ace high that hand. I would have won!

For the record I felt Ryan was betting weak on the flop and turn. I also didn't think Marsh's play didn't quite add up either. My guess was a set that was not being discouraged aggressively enough then ended up boating on the river but even that didn't feel quite right as the story.

I would agree that Ryan's raise on the end was ill-timed. And I can't fault Marsh for jumping on the opportunity to steal the pot once the door was opened.

Ryan said...

I don't mind having been outplayed knowing you had to make an extremely -EV bet *and* then have me make an uncharacteristic blunder just to set up the chance. I think you should try for it at every possible opportunity you poker genius, you.

Ryan said...

20 in on the flop, I bet 15.

50 in on the turn, I bet 25.

I'm not discouraging sets (or flush draws for that matter) aggressively enough? Don't make me do the math for you, cowboy.

And come on, I didn't even bring up 77 (on the KJ7 flop) because we know Marsh bets (correctly) a set of sevens on that flop. Maybe you check-call with 77 on the flop and turn, but no way Marsh does.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Yes, I would check/call with a one suited flop. Marsh could bet but with that many limpers is it unreasonable to think someone had two Diamonds?

We won't talk about implied odds.

Ryan said...

I don't have to f'ing worry about implied odds I might be giving to Marsh with a set because he doesn't check that flop with a set.

He bets because if there is someone out there with a flush, he and his set would want them to stand up and say so.

Betting for really can work!