Friday, February 24, 2017

Simply confused... a huge pot with top two

Dateline: Thursday.  Just a normal night for poker.  I had a meeting around my house mid-day, so I decided to take the rest of the day off of work.  GolfPro invited me for a quick lunch / dinner at Maryland Live!, so I took him up on it.  I arrived at around 2, enjoyed the free lunch (thanks again, GolfPro), and grinded the remainder of the high hand promotions Live! had running (essentially, the top 4 high hands for the given hour receive $525 each).  I played for about an hour, cashing out to the positive.  Mental note: I really dislike playing 1/2.  Live! isn't so bad anymore; the games were less "grindy" and more "touristy;" though perhaps that's just the table I was playing.  The place is still dimly lit, and more of a grinder room than a nice poker room.  They're running a promotion for February where you play 50 hours during specific times and you'll get $500 for that week.  Not a bad deal.

No real hands of note at Live!, but I did see a particularly bad player get minimum value on what should have been a cooler.  Doesn't matter how it got to this point, but by the river, there's a lead from a tighter player for $20 on a K K 2 2 8 board.  The bad player raises to [just] $40 to go.  The tighter player [just] calls and is shown K 8 for the top boat.  The tight player shows KT and mucks.  Now, the bad player has around $160 effective.  He spikes a 3 outter and gets $20 additional for his effort?  LOL.

Anyway, after the aforementioned high hand promotion ends, I decide to cash out and check in on my old buddies at the Horseshoe.  I am happy to report that the games are super good there.  I think they're better than Live!, and definitely better than MGM, though MGM pulls far more players.  When I arrived, there were 2 2/5 and 5-6 1/3 games going.  I got immediate seating on a 1/3 table and proceeded to chip up.  As the table I sat at got worse (i.e. there were 4 players all-ins pre-flop on my final hand, and the winner scooped ~$500 and hit-and-ran), I switched tables to bum hunt one of my favorite ATMs, of whom I've written in the past (see the link).  She's always happy, and after a bit of banter, I'm chatting it up with her and her boyfriend.

I did manage to mix it up with her boyfriend for a $200 pot with top pair, good kicker against his flopped set, but outside of that hand, there was really nothing of note.  That hand left me from having a good session to basically break-even.  The following hands, though, I was right back around where I was prior to that misstep when the following hand of note happened:

I look tilty at this point, but half the table knows me to be a solid, aggressive player.  I look down at KQo in the cutoff.  I raise 2 limpers to $17 and get 3 callers: the BB, a seemingly more passive player, tighter, thinking player, the early position caller (bad player) and probably the aforementioned ATM, but I can't recall for sure.  Anyway, $~70 in the pot, and the flop comes down Kc Tc 8.  The BB leads out for $20 and gets a call from the EP.  It folds to me with TPGK on a draw heavy board.  All aboard the value train!  I think for a bit, debating a raise to $100 or $80 and decide to pump it to $85.  I get calls in both spots (weird).

Turn is a T, pairing the board.  It checks to me, and I think for a moment: I don't think either of these guys are showing up having called the flop raise with second pair, nor just called top two, and I can mostly rule out a set of 8's.  Therefore, I have got to be good here.  There's a huge pot and I'm interested in getting value on this street, since there's a ton of money already in the middle.  I lead for $175, little more than half pot.  The BB again calls, but the EP fades away.

River is where it gets interesting, but I guess not really.  The BB has shown himself to be on a draw - probably a massive draw - QJcc if I had to guess.  Possibly AQcc, AJcc, but more than likely QJ IMO.  Well, the river shows a Q, making the final board read K T 8 T Q.  BB checks once again to me and I think.  I have $247 behind (he has me covered), and just rivered top two.  I could be mistaken; he could have a terribly played AK, a KJ, or Kx hand as well.  I'm ahead of all of his Kx holdings at this point, save for KT.  If he has AQ, QJ, he may get real sticky on the river since the pot is so large already ($675).  On the other hand, he could show up with J9cc, but less likely since he's tight-ish.  There's so much I'm ahead of here, and to this point, so much that he's calling down.  He's seen me blow off the $200 in the prior hands, I have a tilty image, and he's also seen me not go to showdown in the ensuing hands.  All of this leads up to my decision to shove the remaining $247.  He goes into the tank.  I was surprised that he was tanking so hard.  It felt like 2 minutes and he's thinking.  Looking at the board.  Looking at me.  I'm really not sure where he's at; I'm 90% sure I want a call here, but if he calls the $175 turn with a made hand, he's got to snap off the river, right?  He has to think that the board hasn't drastically changed with the Q.  I guess from his perspective, maybe he's afraid of AJ?  Well, after what seems like hours, he counts out the chips and grudgingly makes the call.  I show KQ and scoop a huge pot.

I have to say, I felt a little reckless on this hand.  I thought my image played into the whole dynamics, but I'm not one to put in ~2 buy-ins without the nuts or something close.  I got max value for the hand, granted, but was it optimal or dangerous?  Should I be checking that river?  I think I overvalued my hand, which is not something I ordinarily do, but was it "felt" correct at that moment.  My opponent was a passive player, and that plays into my thinking as well -- perhaps with his passivity, he does not 3bet AK.  Perhaps he just calls bottom set, fearing a set over set.  It definitely had me questioning myself.  Thoughts?

One other thought: how would the hand have played out if I had AA instead of KQ?


  1. what did he call $247 with????

    1. Good question. I'm wondering the same. I think there's only a few hands that could call there: AQcc, QJ, AK, KJ (or Kx). He did talk about how the Q was the killer, or something to that effect. However, I interpret that to mean he either called in disbelief because of the Q, or he had AK. An argument for either interpretation can be made...

  2. Nice hand. Way to not nit check the river and get maximum value. Good analysis and conclusion that you are almost never behind on the river.

  3. u do know the ethnicity of the residents of downtown baltimore are WHY those games are softer than MD live? Hint. its not due to $1-3 vs $1-2

    1. Maybe there is a correlation between education level & quality of play. I don't think it's about ethnicity, though. For that matter, I'd imagine the same ethnicity frequents Live! as does the Horseshoe. Again, education, not color of the skin or country of origin.

  4. I would think the other hand must have been AK, with the TT causing him to make the $200+ call

    1. It makes sense in some ways, but not others. Mainly:
      1. How does he not 3bet PF?
      2. How does he weak lead $20 on the flop and just call a raise?
      3. How does he call $175 on the turn and not shove over?
      4. How does he call the turn but tank the river for "just" $247?

      Keep in mind, the river bet, though in absolute terms, is large. In relative terms, he's calling $247 to win $922 - he has to be right roughly 1 in 4 times. Am I bluffing rivers on a busted flush draw? Lesser pairs (i.e. JJ, rivered Qcx)? That's why I think he can call Qx hands as well as Kx hands.


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