Thursday, August 11, 2005


You'd think I'd be happy to find myself caught in a Phil Gordon sandwich. I know my sister bloggers would certainly swoon at the thought.

Last night I played a $100 two-table SNG with Phil and David Singer on Full Tilt. I don't usually play SNGs higher than the $50s, but I've found that whenever pros are at the table, the field is noticeably softer, and the play more weak-tight than usual. This was no exception, as three guys went out very early and I was able to chop out some small pots and chip up to about $2200. After I raised with AQ in late position and was flat-called by the button, the flop came down a Q high rainbow with two babies. I checked, he raised all in for his last 700 or so and I called in a shot, figuring him for TT, JJ or another AQ. He had JJ and I'm suddenly the chip leader with about $3K. Niiiiice.

A few hands later, David Singer raises in the cutoff to 250, or 2.5XBB. I find 88 on the button. I think of reraising for like a second and a half, but instead elect to smooth-call. Singer has been stealing blinds with that 250 bet for a couple of orbits now, and if the flop's not too scary I can pop it then. If I flop a set, I'll likely bust him. Phil, however, is sitting in the BB and pushes all-in for 1300 or so. Singer folds, and it's up to me. What to do?

OK, so there's 650 in the pot already, plus let's say 1350 from Phil's all-in, so 2000 total. It's 1100 more for me to call and I'd be committing about 40% of my stack if I call this bet. It's a classic sandwich play. I'd even read about it in his freakin' ESPN article. I start trying to recall what hands he'd move in with here. Certainly AK or AQ. Certainly any pair higher than sevens. Possibly any high suited connectors like 9T, JT, etc. So I figure I'm a coinflip at best, and a 4.5-1 dog at worst. I can fold here and still be in great shape with over 2700 in chips. Or I can call off almost half my stack. I'm doing some Harrington-inspired math when instinct just tells me to fold. Phil takes down the pot and makes a fish sandwich of me. The table "learns from the pros." Phil switches on the smiley face on his avatar. My pride wilts a little.

I went pretty card dead after that, eventually pushing in with A6 with about 7 BB left. The button woke up with JJ and I'm out in 7th. Once I busted, I asked Phil what he had when he sandwiched me-- AQ suited. A coinflip after all. I then asked what he would have done with the eights and he admitted it was a tough call there. Shortly thereafter, Phil busted in 6th after pushing his last 5BB in UTG with 49 of spades.

In retrospect, I think I should have called Phil. Had I won the race I would have been a dominant chip leader AND busted Phil. Had I lost, I would have been back down to where I started. Calling that all in may have been my best shot to win the thing, or at least cash. Of course, how was I to know then that I'd go totally card dead for the rest of the match, but hey, it's just one SNG.

I just ordered Phil's DVD about an hour ago. Maybe I'll learn something for next time.

I'm still getting kicked in the face at LHE but that's a whine for another post...

Time for a $15 salad.

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