Friday, February 03, 2006

Just Hit A Flop

Dennis Hope: I didn't invent the rainy day, man. I just own the best umbrella.
”Almost Famous”

I had the most frustrating game last night, in which I was pretty sure I was playing against a 8 year old retarded kid that beat me. I’m still kicking myself and was so disappointed hours after the game.

We were playing a 6 person SNG on Full Tilt as I regularly do, and I was getting no cards. I played one hand in the first 25, and I doubled up out of it. We get down to the final 3 (top 2 pay), and something very weird happens.

I have 2200, second placed retarded 8 year old has 3000, and first place had 3800. On the first hand of this bubble, the first place times out. I get my big blind folded to me. Next hand, I have pocket tens and so I raise when the R8YO folds his hand. The first place instantly mucks – obviously they have been disconnected or have left for whatever reason. So I guess we are going to divvy up his stack to get past the bubble, and then go heads up for the win.

You’d think this would be a sort of given, and standard procedure, but it wasn’t. I decided to only raise my free hands if they were monsters. This was all going well, and if I had crap I would fold it and let R8YO take the chip leaders small blind. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

There was one spot where R8YO called from the button, and I had 53o so I decided to let him have it. The CL instantly checks of course…the flop comes King high or something, and the R8YO checks it. This wasn’t the first hand of the vacant CL mind you, it was about 15 hands into it. R8YO checked it down to the river – where he had top pair and took it down. Why? And he did this at least 3 times.

There was even once where he went all-in against me when the chip leader still had 1200 chips. Ok, he must have had the nuts but this was an unraised pot – why risk it?

At one stage we had played 167 hands, and I had won 45 of them pre-flop. The blinds were still pretty small so it was taking a while for the former CL to be blinded out.

I had two shots at knocking him out, but he survived both. On the third, I had A9 and the R8YO calls form the button. Of course I’m going to check this down to the river to make sure third is gone.

The flop comes AQ5 rainbow, and R8YO bets out. I guess he’s got an ace, so lets hope that is good enough to get rid of third. I don’t want to get into a mess here and I’d rather just take this heads up. He did have an ace, much weaker than mine but them’s the brakes. Either was good enough to finally burst the bubble and get this to heads up.

When we started three handed, I had 2200 vs his 3000, and with a vacant player holding 3800, how would you expect our stacks to be at this stage? Well, I had over 6000. Yeah, he was playing uber tight against a guy who wasn’t even there. Another reason why I thought he was a R8YO.

Heads up was were it got really stupid. By now I figured out he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, and his plays were pretty easy to read. If he missed the flop, he would fold to a minimum bet. He would never raise pre-flop. He would rarely fold the big blind, and would fold the small blind 40-50% of the time. If he hit the flop, he would call a bet. If he hit it good, he would check/call to the river and then go all-in.

So my strategy is simple – steal, steal, steal until he gets too small and take him out when I hit a flop.

And it was working. At one stage I won 11 pots in a row without seeing a turn, and rarely seeing a flop. On one I had an open ended straight draw with 56 on the flop of 47x. I made my minimum raise like I did every other hand, and he called. Ok, we’re seeing this through to the river unless I hit. The turn and river were picture cards, and we checked it down. He had 52o. Umm…ok. That was just weird.

I checked my stats, and I have won over 60 hands in this tournament – 3 at showdown.

I get up to over 7K, which has him at just under 2K, and he starts going all-in post flop when I miss. Ok, not much I can do there, all I need are some cards that hit and I’m set!

Would you believe, the I haven’t hit a flop in 50-60 hands. I’m talking about not even bottom pair. I’m still stealing most of them, just not hitting a thing.

His folding on the small blind is getting annoying actually. Whenever I have a decent hand, he folds. When I have junk, he calls (I usually take it post flop anyway, but you get the point).

Finally I hit a flop, with AJ connecting to the A. I bet out, and he goes all-in. I have to call and he has AQ. Damn, I just doubled him.

He doesn’t change his style of play though, and things continue as they were. I just want to hit a flop and I’m set.

AQo, and the flop shows AcQc5c. Shit, this could get me in trouble, but like always I bet out and he calls. Damn. Turn is 9c…I can’t put any more out there, so I check as does he. River is a blank, and we check it down. He has Th2c. And he has me outchipped.

I think he might have learned something because my steals are less frequent now. He comes back over the top every 5th one or so with an all-in. As I still haven’t hit the flop, I can’t call him. I eventually regain my chip lead, and hit second pair on a flop. I bet out, he check-raises me all-in and I decided I need to see if he is bluffing. He had to pair, no kicker. And it’s good. He now has 7K to my 2K.

I double up with 77 vs AJ, and eventually get my lead back but only just. I’ve noticed once or twice he has slowplayed a flopped 2 pair to the river (where he would go all-in and I’d fold my 7 high, and then he’d show.), so I have to be more careful now. He’s only allowing me to steal every 2nd pot now.

I get Aces, he folds his small blind. Same thing happens with Queens.

Then I make maybe my second mistake. I have TsX, and the flop is KsQsJh. I make my normal bet out, and he calls. Turn – 4s. I decided to change things up a little, and bet out again. He calls again – maybe I am getting slow played here again? I figure I still have a lot of outs though. The river is 7h, missing everything for me. However, I tried my first all-in for the night, and sadly he called with Q3o.

I double up with some random hand, and then decided to push again with 2500 with QJs, and he has A8o. Ace on the flop, and he takes the win.

I saw that he was playing another tournament at the same time, and he came second in that one so maybe there is method to his madness, but I still feel that if I managed to hit one flop it would have been all over. I made two major mistakes with the A9 when we were down to three – I should have pushed, because even if I lost I would have still had some chips and the third place would have been out more than likely. Against any normal player the fold there was fine I think, if not slightly weak. The other was obviously the TsX hand above. Blind were 250/500 at this stage so things were getting a little hairy anyways.

I have tagged this one though, we’ll see some other time if he really is a R8YO or pulling some serious game.

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