Thursday, August 28, 2008

5-150 Hand Analysis

I spent a couple of hours at a juicy 5-150 spread limit table at Casino Arizona today. I managed to win $172 and I had a couple of interesting hands that I felt I should explore.

The first one was pretty early in the session. I picked up AK suited in early position. I raise to $20. The player on my immediate left re-raised to $60 and everyone folded back to me.

My opponent seemed a little loose and passive so I was pretty sure he had a big hand to reraise me. He had approximately $160 left in his stack after the raise. I had him covered. I thought about re-raising all in so I could see all 5 cards, but I also did not feel like flipping a coin for $220. I decided to call and see the flop.

$125 in the pot and the flop was K-Q-Q rainbow. So I hit my King, but I still don't like the flop that much. If he has the normal tight player range for re-raises of AA, KK, QQ, or AK then I am behind every one of those hands. He could also have JJ or AQ, but that may be wishful thinking on the jacks. I check and my opponent starts to count out his chips. He thinks for about a minute and then checks. I am still not feeling good about my hand, but his passiveness has polarized his hand even more. In other words he either loves or hates his hand.

The turn was a brick. I bet $80 hoping that's enough to take it down. He calls pretty quickly and I am done with this hand now.

The river is another low card. I check and he checks behind again and rolls over AA. My read was correct in that he was really worried about his hand. AQ or even KQ was in my range according to his analysis after the hand. However, I do not think I could have made him lay it down. I wonder if a bet of $50-$60 would have been just as good as $80 to find out where I was?

I pull out another $100 and a little while later I pick up two black Kings in late position. A loose calling station type player raises in early position. It's folded to me and I raise to $60. Everyone else is out and the initial raiser calls. $125 in the pot.

The flop is Ts-8s-4d. He checks to me and I bet $100. He calls fairly quickly. It feels like he has a flush draw or maybe a pocket pair like JJ or QQ. The turn is another Ten. He checks again and I bet the full $150. He only had around $120 left and he calls. He does not turn over his cards. The river is not a spade and I win the hand. He does not show, but he mentions that he had a draw. So soon after my loss I am back on the winning side of the ledger.

The last hand I wanted to write about was a lost opportunity. I had Jd-8s in the small blind. Four players limp in for $5, I complete the blind and the big blind checks. 6 players to the flop for a pot of $27 (after the rake).

The flop is Ad-Kd-7d. I check my flush draw and everyone checks to the cutoff who bets $20. The button folds and I call. Everyone else gives up and it's heads up to the turn for $67.

This player was loose passive preflop, but tended to bet his top pair, weak kicker hands. He had won a couple of pots after limping preflop and then showing an Ace after his opponent would fold to his flop or turn bets with an Ace on the board. I never saw his kickers, but I assumed they weren't that great. Although there was one hand where he only completed in the small blind with AK instead of raising a couple of limpers in the pot.

The turn was a 6s so the board read Ad-Kd-7d-6s. I checked again and this time he bet $40 into the $67 pot. I felt like he was betting an Ace and trying to protect his hand. I looked at the rest of his stack which was approximately $100 and calculated my pot odds. I just did not feel like I would get paid off on the river if I called and hit the diamond. So I folded. Ho hum no big deal right?

While driving home and replaying some of the key hands in my mind, a lightning bolt struck. If I check raise that turn, I think he would fold that hand over 50% of the time. That line just screams of a slow played flush. Especially with me in the small blind where I could have any 2 diamonds. Even if he calls with something as strong as a set of 7's, I still have outs. In fact, my odds might be even better than 9 out of 46 since the other limpers threw away their hands on the flop and I doubt they would have thrown away a diamond. So my odds could have been as good as 9 good cards to 31 bad ones.

So the mistake was not stopping to think, "Does my opponent have a hand that I can raise him off of?" I must remember to consider this in the future.

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