Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Is live poker rigged?

Two hands to share - both interesting in their own way.  I'm back to playing at the Horseshoe, at least for the time being, so all hands are from the $1/$3 table:

  1. I'm on the BTN, facing a $6 open from an UTG tighter player while looking down at K4o.  I think the opener's range is very limited, but $6 is just too tempting of a price to open fold after 6 callers are already in, coupled with position.  Therefore, I make the call as do the SB & BB.

    We see an ~8 way flop of A K 4 dd.  Checks to the original raiser who leads for $20 into $50; there are 2 callers and it folds to me.  I think for a while, fully considering the possibility that I may be up against AK.  I think a raise is in order with the SB & BB getting an excellent price to draw, as well as the two callers who may or may not be drawing.  I want to raise to see how my opponents react -- I'm going to call this a semi-bluff, since I'm not sure what my bottom two are worth and I'm over $500 deep.  I don't want to get to the river having just called down 3 streets; I'd rather define the hand right up front.  I think for a bit and raise to $80.  The SB shoves her $125 stack and UTG fairly quickly re-shoves $325.  One of the players folds, but the other re-re-shoves $650.  Action's on me to close out the hand - what do I do?

    I think this is a fairly trivial fold; UTG has to at least have AK, if not AA or KK.  I have no idea about the big stack nor the short stack, but I'm pretty certain the big stack isn't drawing since he's smart enough to know he wants players in the pot for additional money rather than forcing them to fold out of the hand.  I conclude that as a minimum, UTG or the big stack have me beat and I fold.  I'm shown J6dd by the short stack, AK by the original raiser and 44 by the big stack.  Of course, since poker is rigged, J6 wins with a diamond on the turn and the big stack picks up a few extra dollars.

    AK v K4 v 44 v dd on an AK4dd board?  Poker is rigged!
  2. Different session, same place.  I've been at my table for a few hours and there's a guy on my left just dumping money onto the table.  Every chance he gets, he bluffs.  Every chance he gets, he's in the hand - I think his VPIP was something like 100%.  He's losing a lot of money -- at this point, he's down close to $1500!  I can't get any piece of him since I'm utterly card dead.  On my literal other hand (my right side), there's a guy who can't miss.  He's the recipient of most of the money the guy on my left has dumped.  He's sitting on around $1300.  He's a character in and of himself; he'll open to $40 with any and all pairs, but open to $11 with marginal 2nd and 3rd tier type hands like suited Aces and broadways.

    Anyway, my right side opens to $11.  I look down at A2dd and flat, as does my left side.  I think we get one caller in between, but take a flop of A Kd 7.  The guy on my right leads for $25, which is called by both me and the guy to my left.  I'm pretty happy with the flop, I'm not loving that my right is leading.  I want to give my left a chance to bluff a few chips and stab away at the pot.

    I eventually do get my chance to let my left side hand himself when the turn is a K.  My right side checks, I check and my left leads for $35 or so.  The right calls, and I think for a bit, worried that I'm beat by my right side, but eventually make the call.  Adding to my confidence on the right side player is the fact that whenever he believes he has the nuts (and he's flopped 4 or 5 sets on the night), he's shoving his stack independent of the pot size.  This kind of aggression has single-handedly killed the guy on my left, a large part of the reason he's down so much money.  Anyway, my right side has gone from being aggressive to shy, so I'm more comfortable with my play.

    The river is a Ten and we both check to my donkish left sided friend.  Without fail, he bets $75, a large-ish bet.  The guy on my right folds and I snap it off.  I'm shown Q6dd for a total bluff and take down a decent pot.  Guy on my right claims he had AT but thought the bluffer had a King and "had to fold."  I still don't understand his action, especially given that he'd been taking the guy's money all night.  Whatever; nice pot for me!

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