Sunday, April 17, 2022

CONCLUSION TO THE HAND: What Would You Do? An Actual Poker Hand From Talking Stick Resort Last Night. Put Yourself in My Shoes.

And now for the conclusion to the hand. I have already been chastised on Twitter by @Robvegaspoker for yesterday's tease. Perhaps he feels that I owe readers an apology? Well ... I believe that Andy Kaufman can best express how I feel (NSFW).

So ... 😝. Just kidding, Rob. 😁

As I am the creator and author of this blog, that also makes me the de facto "hero" of the blog. Therefore, it seems only right that this post should end up with the hero winning the hand ... and the girl? However, I am reminded of a quote from the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" : "I wish I could tell you that Andy fought the good fight , and the Sisters let him be. I wish I could tell you that - but prison is no fairy tale world." Is poker a fairy tale world?

After the flop and after all three of us had gotten our our money in, we did not immediately turn over our cards. In my mind I was whispering "Don't pair the board. No diamonds. Hold!" This is the result of the hand:

It all happened so fast. When the turn was dealt, Seat 2 immediately slammed down his cards and yelled "Quads!" I didn't realize it at the time, but at that point, I should have been rooting for the case Ace to fall on the river, as that would mean the bad beat jackpot would be hit and I would get a table share. However, that salvation was not to come. This was like a bad online poker hand. This stuff never happens in brick and mortar casinos, right?

I certainly can't can't fault either of the other players. Although I had the best hand after the flop, there should have been no way that Seat 5, with a set of Aces, would fold to my all in. Surprisingly, he was the one who actually thought about his shove before doing so. My guess is that he has had his share of run bad and had some fear of losing to a flush. As for Seat 2, when he re-raised with his set of 4's, he was likely convinced that he had the best hand. After I went all in and so did Seat 5, he might have thought that he would be the victim of a set over set, but he was pot committed.

Everyone at the table was shocked as Seat 2 began gathering his huge stacks of chips. He said "I'm still shaking." I am guessing that it took him at least a few minutes to realize that he hit the only card in the deck that could win him the hand -- a true one outer!

Well, sometimes poker sucks. This was one of those times. I had a bad feeling when I shoved as I have been running bad for some time. There was not much I could do at that point but either rebuy or leave. I had been playing for several hours and it was getting late, so I decided to call it a night. I needed to head home and lick my wounds, knowing that once they were sufficiently healed, I would be returning for more poker torture. Such is the nature of the beast.

Thanks for reading. 😀

Welcome back!

As you might recall, I flopped a straight on a very wet board of Ad-3s-4d. With my raise and two re-raises in front of me, what was I going to do? Well, the answer was really pretty easy: it was time to shove! I shoved my remaining stacks (about $430) and crossed my fingers. Seat 5 went into the tank for a bit, so I was guessing something like A-K since he had opened up the betting UTG with $20. However, he decided to call. Seat 2, who had already raised to $200, obviously wasn't going anywhere with $220 already in the pot. Suddenly, everyone at the table got pretty excited as the play had been normal for several hours. There were some interesting hands and some people lost money, but this pot was in the area of $1,700-$1,800, a pretty big pot for regular $2/$3 play at Talking Stick.

What did everyone have? The poker odds chart below shows the hands and the percentages to win:

I was surprised to see that nobody was chasing a flush and shocked to see that both players had flopped sets! I was a 71% favorite to win. Pocket Aces was 23.5% and pocket 4's was 4.5%. There was a 1% chance of a tie. Nobody had any diamonds, so either the board doesn't pair and I win this huge pot, or else the board pairs and the Aces most likely wins. Seat 2 had only one out: the case 4. If the turn and river are a 5 and a deuce, we would hit that 1% and split the pot. Things were now in the hands of the poker gods. They had been pretty cruel to me in 2021 and fickle in 2022. It was time for the dealer to burn and turn and burn and turn ...

To be continued ... 😁

Happy Easter, everyone! If you do not celebrate Easter, than Happy Sunday in April!

Last night, with my wife attending to some church obligations, I decided to head to the Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort for a little poker. Later in the evening, the table's biggest hand of the night came, and yours truly was front and center in the hand. I decided that I would have a little Easter fun and let you tell me how you would have played the hand I was dealt. I'll wait a day or so before revealing what I did, how the rest of the hand played out, and who was happy and who was sad.

The situation: $2/$3 NL at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. The Arena Poker Room is just to the side of the casino area that houses slot machines and several gaming tables. The are some bars and restaurants in the area, which are part of a nice vacation place featuring great rooms and a sweet outdoor pool. It is Saturday night and the place, as usual, is hopping on the weekend.

The first villain is in seat 2. I am in seat 4. The second villain is in seat 5. We are eight handed. I have about $500 in my stack and the other players each have about $600. Seat 5 has been at the table for hours. He seems to be a pretty solid player. He is not jumping into every hand and, more often than not, seems to win when he is in a hand. Seat 2 is newer. I've seen him make some good plays, but have also seen him spew a bit. However, he has my respect.

I am the Big Blind.. After the cards are dealt, Seat 5 raises UTG to $20, Common initial raises at the table had been anywhere from $10 to $21. One player calls. Then another. Then another. It looks like it is going to be pretty much a $20 family pot. Surprisingly, the Small Bling is about the only player who hasn't called. I looked down to see 5h2h. With over $100 already in the pot, I decided to call. The flop: Ad, 3s, 4d. I flopped a wheel! What to do ... what to do ...

I decided to throw out two green chips to see who might be chasing a flush. One thing about Talking Stick: almost everyone at $2/$3 NL chases flushes. Surprisingly, Seat 5 raises to $100. A-K maybe, raising against a flush draw? Even more surprisingly, Seat 2 raises to $200! Here I am with a flopped straight with two other players both re-raising. The play now comes back to me and leads to the question I asked in the blog post title: What Would You Do?

So, let's have a little fun. In the blog comments (please don't put your comments in the Twitter tweet since nobody will understand what you are talking about), please analyze the situation as presented and answer some questions:

What did you think of my initial call and subsequent raise after the flop? What would you do?

What did I do with two raises in front of me and me while holding the temporary nuts? What would you do?

What did Seat 5, next to act, do after I acted?

What did Seat 2 do?

What did Seat 5 and Seat 2 have?

How did things turn out?😀

Several questions here, but my experience over the years has been that people like to kibitz hands and see how things turned out. So, as Blue Bloods Chief Frank Regan would say, Have at it!


Blogger Tony Bigcharles said...

only thing to do as big as the pot already is, is immediately go allin, and pray no one hangs around for a flush or boat

2:24 PM  
Blogger Cokeboy99 said...

I shove. I am a more loose and aggressive player tho. But that's about the best you can ask for and if someone has a flush draw or set and catches up, so be it. Your hand is not likely to be expected based on your playing style. Hopefully you called and tripled up.

3:22 PM  
Blogger SCM said...

Get it all in.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Pokerluckbox said...

I agree the original raiser has AK, not sure about the other. My first thought was to go all in. But remember I suck at poker.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Tony is right, that's an obvious shove. In a perfect world, they both call and both miss whatever they were chasing. Or, if they have good draws and you scare them both off and they fold, that's a pretty good result.

But the low end of a straight is a hand you must protect, so shove

3:33 PM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

Agree with all above; get it in. You're likely coolering one or two players - up against [hopefully at worst] two flopped sets. The worst hand you can be up against is 52dd where you're getting freerolled. However, if you're up against one or two sets (or TP + FD), you're in great shape. Again, ship it all in with the nuts.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

I'm a nit so I likely would have folded preflip. However, as the hand played, I would shove. Seat 5 probably has AK suited. Seat 2 might have 2 pair of middle set. I think you shoved. Seat 5 probably tanked and folded. Seat 2 probably called. You win a massive pot. What do I win? 😉

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Mark Jilson said...

Shove as it's only a psb. Yeah you don't block any FDs and your shove makes it easy for 5d6d or really any FD to call. Sets/2P have a tougher call. This flop is why you choose to play five-duece.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Lighting, it's David from Las Vegas.

Let's start preflop. I would have initially said fold because your hand is so weak and potentially crushed by bigger hearts multiway. But, getting 6 to 1 immediate odds and about 30 to 1 on the $17 call, its probably okay to call.

On the flop, I hate your donk lead and if you are going to donk bet, you need to go a lot bigger. I hate the lead because you have a raise from UTG and a bunch of calls on a flop that has both an ace and a flush draw. People love playing both Ax and suited cards, so there is a very high likelihood that someone is going to bet, which sets up a perfect check-raise spot for you.

If you choose to lead, then you have to go much bigger. The pot is about $120, so your bet of $50 makes it $170, which means anyone calling gets about 3.5 to 1 odds, that's a great price to chase a flush. I don't want them to get a good price, I want them to pay a bad price, so if I bet out, then I'd go at least $120. If 1 player calls, that also sets up about a pot-sized shove on the turn.

As played, its a fist pump shove. You have the nuts, at WORST you are up against a set and a flush draw. Running that scenario through Equilab, you have about 37.5% equity, the flopped set has about 35.7% and the flush draw has about 26.6%. It ain't a huge edge but you have an edge in the absolute worst case scenario. If anyone is spazzing with AK, or if the set of aces has a diamond, then you are a bigger favorite.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Zourah said...

Look, I am folding preflop here but that's the dream flop so you have to shove. Of course you could get sucked out on but this can't even be a question. The guy put $200 in for you, so this is the dream of all dream scenarios.

5:28 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

I was shocked to see the flop and had to act first. I didn't want to think too long and tip my hand too much. In retrospect, I probably should have raised more, but I was prepared to have someone call me down no matter what. If there were calls and a diamond came, I could still get away from the hand. Maybe not a great plan, but it was what I quickly came up with.

5:42 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Rob would probably contest your idea of my "looseness." 😀

5:43 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

No way I fold preflop with all that money in the pot. It was like playing a slot machine. 😀

5:45 PM  
Blogger AyeCarambaPoker said...

Easy shove and cross your fingers

If you're going to lead this flop it's got to be much bigger - a set is never folding and anyone with a flush draw is getting a good price just flatting a bet. But given that the flop has an ace I'm probably favouring a check raise.

The only player that could have a set of aces is seat 5, anyone else could have middle or bottom set though and given how the betting has worked out I'm guessing it's a set over set scenario.

What did you do? I'm hoping you shoved

What did seats 5&2 do and what did they have? Well if you know what they have then it's likely they both called (unless 5 calls and 2 mucks face up)

Outcome - really hope you scooped a nice pot but if you run anything like me then the board pairs the 3 and seat 2 scoops with pocket 3s for rivered quads.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Like I said, I'm a nit. 😉

3:10 PM  
Blogger skippob said...

fold you are beat

11:53 PM  
Blogger skippob said...

still wishing you the best of luck

9:36 AM  
Blogger AyeCarambaPoker said...

Yowser - this was bizarrely accurate with the exception of middle set, rather than bottom set, winning with quads

But ouch anyway.

1:24 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Yeah - I was shocked when I read your initial take. You don't moonlight as a poker god? 😄

1:43 PM  
Blogger seattleirish said...

Enjoyable read! Thanks for posting, John.

1:54 PM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

You got the best scenario that I described above; set over set vs. your flopped nuts. With both players having sets, there's far fewer outs, given that each set reduces the other set's outs by 2 cards. It sucks that you hit significant variance from a HUGE pot - you're 70% there which is hard to make up in a live game. 70% of a roughly $1500 pot at 2/3 gives you a lot of Sklansky dollars coming your way in the future. Rest assured, you'll get it back but it can come in sneaky ways like when your hands hold up as expected...

3:05 PM  
Blogger Ace said...

Brutal. I am curious what happens if you just call the $200 and see the 4 on the turn. The turn bet will be $100+, you'd fold?

8:18 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

No way would I ever fold there with little left behind and a pot so big.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Ace said...

It would be a $700 pot and you have $280 behind. Looks scary after the board pairs.

12:30 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Frankly, I wasn't even thinking about someone having a set, I was more worried about the flush draw. But suppose I just call. There would be three of us going to the turn. That is timid poker and just asking to get your ass whipped. I had no idea that the guy to my left flopped a set of Aces. If he was on a flush draw, I was hoping to force him out. I had the nuts at that time and it was extremely unlikely that either of the other two had it. At that point, it was time to play aggressive poker and just hope that the poker gods would be kind to me. Maybe you would play it more conservatively. Not this player in that particular situation.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Ace said...

Don't get me wrong, I agree with the shove on the flop as the hand was played. Was just curious how you'd play it if (as Dave from LV said above) your $50 flop bet was $150 instead and you got two callers.

3:20 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Don't know the answer to that. I'm guessing that Seat 2 would have pushed all in with his set. But I guess if I had raised to $150 and there were two callers and the board paired, I would likely have checked. Not sure what the others would have done. If they were both all in, I imagine I would have folded, thinking one of the two had me beat. I wouldn't have guessed both of them did!

7:58 PM  

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