Wednesday, February 16, 2005

How Quickly a No-Limit Hand can Change

For those of you that asked, I am going to talk more about Sit n Goes, tourneys, and cash games, and the differences and what I recommend doing. That will take an in depth analysis and I dont have time this afternoon. I should get to that this weekend. Today I just want to go over a hand that happened to me recently, and explain a concept.
This hand came up at the 25-50nl game on UB. I will post the hand history, then talk through my thoughts. Names of players have been changed.

Tight Aggresive Player is at seat 1 with $3288.
Green Plastic is at seat 2 with $4950.
A is at seat 3 with $9605 (sitting out).
Loose Aggressive Player is at seat 4 with $5000.
B is at seat 5 with $9593.
C is at seat 6 with $4922.
D is at seat 7 with $8300.
E is at seat 8 with $1987.
F is at seat 9 with $6597 (sitting out).
The button is at seat 1.
Green Plastic posts the small blind of $25.
Loose Aggressive Player posts the big blind of $50.Pre-flop: B folds. C calls. D calls. E folds. Tight Aggressive Player raises to $200. Green Plastic calls. Loose Aggressive Player re-raises to $900. C folds. D folds. Tight Aggressive Player calls. Green Plastic goes all-in for $4950. Loose Aggressive Player folds. Tight Aggressive Player goes all-in for $3288. Green Plastic is returned $1662 (uncalled). Flop (board: Td 7s Jd): (no action in this round) Turn (board: Td 7s Jd Ad): (no action in this round) River (board: Td 7s Jd Ad Th): (no action in this round) Showdown: Green Plastic shows Kd Kc.
Green Plastic has Kd Kc Td Ad Th: two pair, kings and tens.
T.E.P shows Qs Qd.
T.E.P has Qs Qd Td Ad Th: two pair, queens and tens.
$3 is raked from a pot of $7576.
Green Plastic wins $7573 with two pair, kings and tens.

note: I organized this the best I could, its not easy with the format they give you.

Basically, with two early position limpers, a tight aggressive player on the button making it 200 to go, and me in the SB with KK, i had two options. Raise, or Call. At this point I'm 90% sure my kings are the best hand out there, as in a cash game you can't be afraid of AA when you have KK, unless you have an amazing read on a guy. I normally raise with my Kings. But a few thoughts went through my head. First of all, I knew the Tight Aggressive Player (T.A.P, who I had coincidentally played with for a day at a WPT event and knew he wasn't messing around here) had a good hand. The odds are he had AK, or a PP between TT-QQ (again, if he had AA, so be it, i was going to lose). I knew that if I reraised with my kings, he would fold TT, JJ, possibly QQ, and probably AK. Doing this would eliminate two of hands for sure (TT, JJ) that I really wanted to play a big pot with my KK. I would get called by AA, and MAYBE QQ, and probably not by AK (which i would also want to play against). I decided to just call the 200, and hope the flop came with low cards. I was aware I took the risk of letting one of the EP limpers catch something, but I figured one or both would fold, and sometimes you have to risk someone sucking out on you in order to stay deceptive.
An interesting thing happened in the BB. This player thought and reraised to 900. Now, this guy plays extremely loose, and had alrady lost about 5-10k on the night. He was bluffing a lot and in a normal case I would be really worried about AA here (raising into 2 limpers, a reraise, and a call). The two limpers folded (if one of them pushed in I would fold my kings as they would probably be beat and I only had 200 invested). The T.A.P thought and thought, and finally just called. This pretty much made a light bulb go off in my head. I knew that this guy knew that I was a good player. At this point I would NOT call without QQ at the minimum, and he knew that. There would be little reason for him to slowplay AA at this point, as he might as well get his money in against the loose player who had been making some pretty bad calls previously (he wouldn't want to risk the loose player missing his hand totally and folding the flop...even this loose player would have a hard time bluffing if he missed, or risk the loose player catching a great flop relatively cheap). So basically, I ruled out AA for the T.A.P. I decided already that I had the L.A.P beat. At this point, I saw no reason to second guess myself and decided to push all in. The L.A.P. thought for a long time and folded, then the T.A.P thought for a long time and finally called. Turns out he had QQ (as I expected) and I took down the pot. What is interesting here is if I hadn't pushed in, this hand could have been a lot more tricky to play with T J X flop (TT, JJ being 2 of the 3 hands i thought he had...also being hands L.A.P could've had)
The moral of this story is that there are times you want to slowplay a big pair in NL cash games. You must do this sometimes in order to stay deceptive. However, things can quickly change with one raise behind you, and you shouldn't fall in love with your first decision. I would like to point out that most of these players playing were excellent players, and this is the reason I need to stay deceptive. If you are playing low stakes no limit, you should almost ALWAYS raise with KK in this spot, not slowplay at first. Players at low stakes will not fold QQ on the button, no matter what the situation is. Ok this got long, and I haven't proof read it so my apologies if I messed something up.

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