Monday, October 10, 2005

Donk'd: The Rehab Report, Week 1

If I were to write about this weekend at the tables, I'd have to write about bad beats. Yet, I don't feel like re-living them as my ass is still bruised where it was kicked again and again and again by the deck, and I know none of you really want to hear the gory details. All I'll say is that 7 of my 20 SNGs ended in bona fide, 90% to win or better, money in with the best of it, bona fide suckouts. Four were of the runner-runner straight or flush variety and that was really too much to handle in one day. So many of the tables I landed at on Party were just fucking weird. For instance, I don't think I've ever sat an $11 single-table there where 8 players were left at the $75-150 level. Now, I can say I've done it twice. For some reason, Stars and Full Tilt's donkeys at the $22 and $33 levels were far more beatable for me this weekend, especially in those late-night hours when I'm so glad I'm on west coast time because the east coast college kids are all playing silly at 5 AM. Here are the sad stats:

$11 NLHE SNGs: 17 played. 5 cashed. -$60
$22 NLHE SNGs: 2 played, 1 cashed. +$28
$33 NLHE SNGs: 1 played, 1 cashed +$48

Total SNG profit for the week: +$16

The worst of it is that of the 20, I didn't win one. Tres pathetique. But I will not judge myself harshly. Say that again. I will not judge myself harshly. There are 80 SNGs to go.

Micro Limit O8: -2.37 (59.25 BB). Still a donkey, but not hemorraghing cash at it.

Various LHE/NLHE cash games: -79. This number would be positive were it not for one hand. My rockets were sucked out in a 4-way capped pot on every street when the fish next to me rivered two pair after calling the whole way with QT. That was a $95 pot. But my $$ was in with the best of it the whooooole way.

Tournaments: + $27.22 I played one $11 one where I went out in the middle after picking up very few hands, though later in the day, I cashed in the $24+2 $6K Guaranteed on Full Tilt, which I entered via a token won in a $4.40 SNG. Finished 25th of 296 and picked up $42.62. Pretty happy with my play in that one, especially that I stayed aggressive near the bubble.

Overall Week 1: -$38.16. I think Showcase made more in $5 SNGs last night than I did all week!

And now, the first installment of...


The Setup:

Here's an interesting situation I ran across last night. I'm in an $11 SNG on Full Tilt. It's the second level with 20-40 blinds. Everyone is still in with similar-sized stacks. I am dealt the Jh Jd in the cutoff seat. A loose player on my direct right raises to 120, or 3x the big blind. I re-raise him to 360. The button folds, and the small blind, whom I don't have a great read on yet, cold-calls the 360. The original raiser also calls 240 more. There is 1120 in the pot going to the flop.

The flop is Q 3 6, all spades and the small blind immediately pushes all-in for 1380. He has me covered. The first raiser folds. It's the rest of my chips (1080) to call here with 2500 total in the pot now. What's the right decision?

The Thought Process:

My first instinct in this situation is that my opponent made an all-in bet as a defensive move to protect his or her hand. There's no way he would have pushed in with a made flush-- it makes no sense. The all-in here is a bet that discourages action rather than encourages action, unless he's pulling some tricky move, but that also makes no sense at this stage and at these stakes. No way I'm giving him credit for being that creative/fancy. So I think he has some sort of a hand here, but it's very vulnerable. Likely an Ace-high or King-high spade draw with AK. He could also have a medium to high pocket pair, like TT, JJ, or QQ but I'm doubtful of AA or KK. Why not AA or KK? I think he would have moved in over the top of my raise before the flop. This guy wanted a flop with this hand. I also feel like TPTK with the AQ is also unlikely, given the out of position flat-call of my re-raise pre-flop. AQ is a pretty easy muck preflop in that situation.

The Math:

1. What price is the pot offering me? It's 1080 to call to win the 2500 out there. So I'm being laid about 2.3-1. I need to be sure that I have at least a 43% chance of winning here in order to call.

2. What do I have left if I fold? I'll have 1080 and be the table short stack, though it's certainly enough to work with at this early stage of the tournament.

3. What will I have if I win? I'll have 3580 and be the dominant chip leader.

4. How do my red jacks stand up to my opponent's potential hands?

JhJd vs. AsKd 52%/48% (Ace high flush draw)
JhJd vs. ThTc 90%/10% (underpair, no spade)
JhJd vs. TsTc 58%/42% (underpair, with spade draw)
JhJd vs. JsJc 32%/68% (we have the same hand but he has the spade draw)
JhJd vs. QhQd 2.5%/97.5% (overpair, no spade)

Since I'm in no way a math savant (though as I write this out, I'm realizing that this situation does make for an excellent case to become one) in these sort of situations, I find that I make my decisions more on "feel" and instinct than anything really specific when it comes to the math. In this situation, my read was that there was a very strong chance, perhaps more than 50%, that he was making a semi-bluff with the Ace high flush draw. The all-in bet this early in the SNG to protect a big pot out there, the frequency of which I see this move (and my read turns out to be right), and the fact that he did not reraise me before the flop to define the hand right then and there were all factors I weighed as the clock ticked down. In the end, I concluded it was a 50/50 situation; either I was crushed or slightly ahead. Plus the pot was laying me a great price. So I called.

OK, but was my call mathematically correct? After the hand, I ran the "Harrington Math" based on my thought process. I weighted the probability of each of the hands he could have-- I thought there was at least a 50% chance that he was on a semi-bluff with the flush draw, and I assigned 10% to each other hand where I was a huge dog (an overpair with a spade, an overpair without a spade, an underpair (TT) with a spade, the other two jacks, and a bluff).

Opponent's hand my % to win x prob. he has that hand

Ace high flush draw (.52)(.50)= 26%
Bluff (.90)(.10)= 9%
Js Jc (.32)(.10)= 3.2%
underpair w/ spade (.58)(.10)= 5.8%
overpair no spade (.025)(.10)= .25%
overpair w/ spade (.043)(.10)= .43%

Total probability for my hand to win: 44.68%
With the pot offering me 2.3-1, this was just enough to call.

So what would you do in this situation? And how did this hand end?

My opponent turned over the two black jacks and won the pot when the ace of spades fell on the turn. I was knocked out in 9th place.

I welcome any and all criticism.


ephro said...

A couple of problems:

JJ vs JJ if you consider that hand, you have 0% to win the hand. Rather you weren't a dog to lose all you chips, but you were favored to tie. This drastically kills your odds. Personally putting someone on the same pocket pair is something I don't consider. It's such a longshot, it's like not calling an all in with top boat for fear of quads (only two on the board).

When you figured the hand probabilities you assigned 10% to each one, but you are missing a large portion of the 100%, which pretty much invalidates your entire equation (unless it averages out to the same for your percentile assignments as it would to make it 100%)

I'm not going to go through all the math, but the situation you were in is like if there are two clubs on the board, you have A2 diamonds and the board is KQJT. If I have Ax of clubs I'm pushing on the turn if I think I can commit you, yeah we are tied, but I like my odds of getting the whole pot.

ephro said...

Sorry missed the .50 assignment to the Ace high flush draw. I take back the middle paragraph.

change100 said...

You make an excellent point, Ephro. In the post, I forgot to consider the fact that up against the same hand I'm not even favored to tie. I'm actually about 2-1 against, right? I'm not even sure how to figure that in to the equation.

My opponent having the other JJ is a longshot, but having put him on such a narrow range of hands, it had to factor in somewhere. 10% is perhaps too generous a probability. Let's make it 5%.

If I run the probabilities again--50% that it's the flush draw, 10% bluff, 10% underpair w/ spade, 10% overpair no spade, 15% overpair with spade, 5% JsJc-- it still comes out to around 40%. It still feels like a sicko tough decision to me.

But as I said, I'm in no way an expert at the math!

Unknown said...

With the raise and flat calls couldn't you add small pairs to that mix? 33 or 66 they might have implied odds to call.

If I hit a set, I'd probably push with that flop. And I have deep into a MTT. The guy overdrew me hitting his 4 flush and no boat for me.

change100 said...

I agree-- pushing after hitting a set on a suited flop makes sense in a situation like this. However, I'm not buying 33 or 66 flat-calling a PF reraise out of position. If the flop instead had come something like Q 9 6, 99 would be a distinct possibility to factor in.

The more I think about this hand, the more I think I should have just folded. Too dicey a situation and too big a risk to call all-in despite the price.

Unknown said...

Hey, I just want to say I really love this blog, it's my favorite poker blog along with Chicks Love Poker Geeks.
I've just started my own blog and may not update it too often...
I can only afford to put in $25 every once in a while to play tournaments and after paying my wife back from my winnings, I went on a losing streak and now I have to wait until my birthday next month. Sad, huh?
My question is, does everyone hit a losing streak or do I just suck? :)
Thanks for posting often!