Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Raising out of turn... a lesson in how not to play

As I was watching Tim "The Trooper 97" 's vlog, I was reminded of a hand I played in the other day.  Playing in my usual Thursday night session at the 'Shoe, I'm sitting on a pretty good session.  There's a guy to my immediate left who's straddling every hand from every position (which I'm loving, because I'm almost always acting second to last).  Action [in]frequently gets to him and he'll shove his stack of almost a full buy in.  It seems to be a random occurrence.  I'm fairly certain he's not drunk, but he seems to be pushing his stack to get a rise out of everyone else at the table.  One hand, he took down a $400 pot with 85dd vs. KK when he flopped trips, but he'll take down other hands when he raises the limpers (who haven't learned) all in.  Again, it's random, so he's not doing this 100% of the time -- making limping a premium hand somewhat dangerous.

To date, I raised KQo to $26 against 1-2 limpers and he open shoved / 3bet me to $250.  Action folded to me and after a long pause, I folded, not wanting to commit stacks with KQ high.  I realize there's a lot of hands I'm ahead of - a TON of hands, in fact - but I just can't logically call in that spot with that hand.

A few orbits pass before the following comes up:

My Huckleberry straddles from the cutoff, and his neighbor calls the $6 from the BTN (he's sitting on roughly $80).  They start talking as action arrives at me.  I have AQdd and am considering a raise when the conversation between the two guys leads the guy to announce (to the table, directed at the BTN limper), "I raise you to $100," without realizing that I have yet to act.  Looking over, I think he became sort of mortified, realizing his mistake of acting out of turn.  He had the look that he did not realize I was still active in the hand (I think it folded around to me for this particular hand, besides the BTN who he intended to raise).  Mind you, I've been in this spot many many times before - wanting to raise myself but getting raised ahead prior to my action.

With no straddle, the rule at the Horseshoe is that out of turn actions are binding assuming there have been no changes prior to action (i.e. if I announced raise instead, it would void his raise and he could act anew).  However, this hand had a straddle element, so I was unsure whether that rule would apply.  Wanting clarification on the rules, I asked the dealer, who called floor and would not give me an answer on the ruling.  The floor, echoing the dealer, simply told me action was to me.  Floor would not give me an answer as to the ruling for the out of turn player.  Action was to me, and reasonably certain that the rule would play whether the hand was straddled or unstraddled, I decided to call the straddle bet and see what would unfold (pun intended?).  As soon as I called, floor announced a raise by the cutoff to $100.  BTN hesitated and called, unhappy with me still being in the hand, and kinda realizing what was going to happen when I called the straddle: I shipped all in over his $100 raise, which amounted to around $275 effective.  Cutoff called without much hesitation, which did not mean a lot to me, since he didn't seem to care about the cards he held.

I have no idea what our table maniac held (he didn't show, but I think he had 97o) but the BTN held JJ for a 42/43/15 for the main pot and a ~65/35 flip for the much larger side pot.

To me, there were 2 takeaways from the hand:
1.  The goal of poker is to get others to make mistakes that you wouldn't make.  Make sure to use those mistakes to your advantage.  Acting out of turn... especially raising out of turn... opens up a world of possibilities that would not have ordinarily been there.  When you have guaranteed action ahead of you if you just call, you have a pretty golden opportunity to get a nice check raise in, with the advantage of trapping all that dead money that isn't thinking about you check / raising.  Punish the players who make mistakes against you!
2.  Wait for good spots to get your money in.  Take those bets that put you at a greater than 50% advantage!  Who knows what would have happened in the KQ hand?  I'm a better player than the maniac who can be shoving a wide range, but includes a ton of Ax hands.  Why not wait for a spot until I'm fairly certain I'm ahead or at least a coin flip?  I do think about whether I would have been ahead with that hand, and whether that was the correct fold, but I'm far more certain about AQs than KQo!

Oh yeah!  Q in the window sealed the hand for me!


  1. Players who don't pay attention have to pay the price, no?

    1. :-). I go back & forth on the morality of the whole check / raise. Then I think about what am I supposed to do? Raise when it's my action so I let him off the hook? Fold? Just call his $100 bet? He's the one who put himself and everyone else in the situation... Should my game change because he made a mistake? I always conclude that I'm okay with this move. What do you think MOJO - is it an angle shoot?

    2. Not an angle shoot at all. Mistake not to take advantage of their mistakes, imo.

  2. It is only an angle shoot if you create the angle. Here the player who acted out of turn created the situation. You did nothing to manipulate his action.

    1. I agree - that's the conclusion I draw every time I do something like this...

      Usually, the action in these situations will include a bunch of limpers and someone raising with my action yet to conclude (sitting on Aces or something). I'll just limp and wait to check raise, trapping the money of the over-callers and raiser. To me, what's amazing is that the over-callers don't even consider that someone could line up a check / raise in that spot - they just over call...

  3. what i dont understand is all the players who indignantly say hold up its on me, then bet (letting the guy take back his bet) instead of just check raising him --and anyone in between. looks so stupid people do it.


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