Monday, October 09, 2006

Hands To Consider

Frank Dixon: Sometimes you land a small fish. You unhook him very carefully. You place him back in the water. You set him free so that somebody else can have the pleasure of catching him.
"The Terminal"

Over the past weekend, for the first time in a while I had no live games to go to, so instead I emerged myself in online poker playing many hours worth. It started out as an exercise in futility as I went on a folding and loosing stretch of over 100 hands at one table at one stage. My plights in any size SNG were pretty much the same, just getting bad cards, bad flops and eventually pushing it all in with a weak ace up against a strong one. By the end of Sunday, I had put together back to back wins in multi table SNG's as well as back to back wins in some cash games to be slightly up from where I started.

I want to have a look though at a couple of hands and open them for discussion, to see what others think. I will include the results at the end thought they should not matter for the play. Both hands here are 25c/50c NL games at Full Tilt.

First hand: Late position, dealt AKd. Early position comes in for a raise of $2.50, I am the only caller. Flop comes Td6d3s. Original raiser bets $5.50 (pot), and I re-raised to $20.

Thoughts? I figure he has a pair or Ace/Face. If he has aces, then I have a few outs for my flush draw, some goes if he has hit a set. If he has ace/face I might be free rolling here or have him dominated. Even if he has ATo, I have a tonne of outs. But even JJ or QQ would be feeling nervous with a big raise like this one. Is this a good play? Is my thinking off for putting nearly half my stack in the middle with a flush draw? If he does come back over the top of me, I think I have to call anyway given my outs against the majority of hands. I am really only worried about TT, less so than AA.

Second Hand: Different day, different players but same level. In late position I have 55 and call a raise ($2) from middle position in the hope of hitting a set. BB also calls and we see the flop come 4h9hTs. Check – check and I thought the flop looks harmless enough, I will bet out to see where I am. I bet $4 and got called twice. The turn is my 5c, and both players check again. What would you do?

My thinking way the bet post-flop was to see where I was standing. The original raiser did not follow up and I had half a thought that I might take it down there. Instead, I got called twice. I figure I could be up against a flush draw, but for some reason I get a feeling someone is slow playing a set already thanks to the check-smooth call on the flop. Now my card has come, am I ahead or is this just setting me up for a fall? What would you do here? I have about both players covered with $68, they are around $40ish.

Please make your thoughts known before reading the results of the hands below.

First Hand: The other player used up their time, and then folded claiming Jacks. Don't know if he had Jacks or not, so I lied as well and said I had 66 to make him feel better about the fold, and keep my tight image.

Second hand: I checked. The pot was $18 by this stage, so I would need about that much or more to scare off the flush draws. But more importantly, I just had a real feeling that someone had already hit their set. The river was a Jc, and the first player bet out $18. I was considering a call here in case he was on a flush draw that missed, but feeling under pressure that my first instinct was correct that someone had hit a set. When the pre-flop raiser in middle position called the $18, I figured I couldn't beat one of them and folded. First player showed KhQh for a missed flush that hit the nut straight, and middle player had Jh3h for top pair on the river (and a pre-flop raise!). So I was wrong with my read and both players were on the draw – but I wonder if I pushed on the set of fives if KhQh would have folded with two over cards, a flush draw and a gut shot straight since they would not put me on a set of fives surely

While I may have played this hand incorrectly on the turn, it was an easier fold on the river I think and as such I looked at it as getting away from a hand that could has cost me a lot more than it did. I'd love to know what others thought about both hands.

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