Sunday, May 29, 2005

A Shorthanded hand: Trash wins in the Big Blind

Shorthanded: Big Blind Trash wins the hand

83o in the big blind is not a good hand, but if other people let you see the Flop for free, it can win some pots now and then. You have to be careful about not getting sucked in on later rounds.

30/60 Hold'em (4 handed)

Preflop: Yao is BB with 8d, 3h.
UTG calls, Button calls, SB completes, Yao checks.

No raises, all 4 players stay in. This is the best possible scenario for my crappy 83o hand.

Flop: (4 SB) 3c, Qd, Td (4 players)
SB checks, Yao checks, UTG bets, Button calls, SB folds, Yao calls.

I hit a bottom pair of 3s on the Flop. There were no raises, and 6 small bets when it comes to me. If I hit another 3 or 8, I’d be comfortable. But there are possible flush draws, straight draws (my 8 would complete a straight for a player with J9) and other hands that dominate mine, like A3. If I knew my two 3s and three 8s were live, I’d consider two big bets on the Turn (maybe they both call, maybe I get a check-raise in). But with the chance that I get myself in worse trouble if I hit, I consider it as worth 3 small bets, for a total Expected Pot Size (EPS) of 9 small bets. I have 5 outs. So the comparison of Good Number (EPS x Outs) vs Bad Number (Non-Outs) is 9x5 = 45 versus 47-5 = 42. Note that this is a really close decision. If I had assumed an EPS of 8 small bets, then the pot odds aren’t there. It is close, but the method shows its not a stupid call. Either it has small positive EV or small negative EV. For more on this method, read about DIPO in Chapter 5: Pot Odds in Weighing the Odds in Hold’em Poker.

Turn: (3.50 BB) 8h (3 players)
Yao checks, UTG bets, Button calls, Yao raises, UTG calls, Button calls.

I hit my two pair. I went for the check-raise. Both players call. I’m a bit worried about the River, but not right now. I am sure I have the best hand, otherwise one of them would have raised. I would rather see only one caller or both fold, because there are a ton of dangerous cards for me. Any Q, T, J, 9, are very dangerous for me. A Q or T would give someone with just a split pair of 8s a possible higher hand than mine (my second pair of 3s would get counterfeited), so I would either split the pot or lose it.

River: (9.50 BB) 6h (3 players)
Yao bets, UTG folds, Button calls.

This is a great card. No diamond, no straight. I bet, get one caller and win the pot.

Final Pot: 11.50 BB

Results below:
Yao has 8d 3h (two pair, eights and threes).
Button has 6c Jc (one pair, sixes).
Outcome: Yao wins 11.50 BB.

Let’s look at the button’s hand working backwards. On the River, he had a pair of 6s, so he called, probably hoping I was on a draw. He should have folded because I had check-raised on the Turn, which indicates not a draw, but a made hand. But it’s a shorthanded online game, they like to call. He made a mistake.

On the Turn, he had a gutshot straight draw. The EPS was 4.5 when the first player bet, and he called without good pot odds (he should expect at most 5 outs). After I raised, he should expect only 4 outs, and with a EPS of 8.5, he still didn’t have pot odds. He made a mistake.

On the Flop, he called with Jc6c into a Flop of QT3 – with only one club. This is an obvious mistake.

Pre-Flop, he called the limper with Jc6c. This is a mistake. In the hands of a player who can play better after the Flop, this is not a big mistake, and may not even be a mistake. But given how he played the hand after the Flop, its clear that this mistake has led him to make a series of horrible mistakes. So in a bad player’s hands, this call may be the worst mistake of all.

Remember, this is not a 5-10 game. This is a 30-60 game.

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