Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hand History for Sunday's Game, August 22, 2010


  1. Congrats with the win Benko! You picked up a lot of playable hands making for a straight forward gaming without any funny business. Nice flop on the last hand of the game vs MrE.

    The hand in which you knocked me out was interesting. I caught a piece of the flop and bet. Your call gave me a pretty good idea that you had an A. I was ready to check fold on the turn, but another spade popped up giving me the flush draw and about 14 outs. I wanted to see the river and thought a smallish defensive bet was the way to go. The river gave me the flush and I put you on Ax with 2 pair or perhaps a set. I didn't consider you having a flush at all. Nice hand!

    Looking through the hand history, I also noticed that your pf raising range looks normal. However, every time you had Axs in the sb and it folded to you, you simply completed rather than raise. And, as in the hand above, when limped or completed to you in the bb, you simply checked with Axs rather than raising the limper.

    I would take this line at a full table with several limpers where you hope to flop a monster or fold, but at a short table it seems like you are giving away free cards with raisable hands.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this :)

  2. I missed the action by about 40 minutes driving back from the south coast. Finally railbirded after you guys had played for a little over an hour and saw Roland was ultra shortstacked. Anyway, congrats to MrE for taking over the lead and welcome back to the "winning ways" for Benko. Looking forward to the next private game, who decides btw?

  3. You are in charge of September MrSmith. I'll get the updated leaderboard posted tomorrow.

  4. Nice pattern recognition, Roland, you make some excellent points. My thinking (which may be wrong-headed) is that the blinds basically aren't worth stealing at the first two levels. I'll still open raise with a fairly wide range from the button because I don't mind playing a heads up raised pot with position. But from the SB, I don't want to build a big pot out of position, so I'll almost always open limp with weakish hands where I'd like to see a flop (Axs, Axo, 86o, J5s, etc.). If the BB checks behind (and at our level, I find that BBs are rarely aggressive about attacking SB open limps), then I'm getting 3:1 pot odds on my SB limp. I'm only about a 2:1 dog to flop a pair or better (when I'll mostly assume I'm ahead), so I can check-fold when I miss, while betting when I hit a pair or a draw, and come out ahead. Playing passively from the SB at the low blind levels also (hopefully) buys me some credibility at the higher blind levels when I really do want to steal the blinds. Looking over Sunday's hand history, I did open limp three times from the SB with medium aces against MrEMC (eventually winning two of the pots) but they were all at level one and two. At level three (blinds 25/50) when MrE was very short stacked I open raised to 200 with A8s and he folded. Ditto with an unsuited medium ace at level five (blinds 75/150) when I open raised to 450 from the SB and he folded.

    Play from the BB, of course, is very different. A lot depends on stack sizes, how aggressive or tricky the SB is, etc. but again I'm more apt to check behind with a weak ace at levels one and two. When the blinds are worth stealing, I'm more likely to raise a SB limper with Axo and check behind with Axs (as I did with you). That way they can't be sure I don't have an ace when I check behind. And I can play the suited hands where I might flop a flush draw (or even the nut flush) with position.

    It's true, as you suggest, that I may be giving up some pre-flop equity by not raising with what is probably the best hand but without having any hard data to back it up, my sense is that the gains in post-flop equity (and controlling the pot size) are worth it.

    Would be interested to hear your take as this is one area of my game which has gotten a bit predictable.

  5. Interesting line Benko! Every time I think I know what I'm doing, I see there is still plenty to learn.

    You handle the the medium Axs hands as if it were a cash table (assuming the villian isn't short stacked). Your focus seems to prioritize pot control over pre-flop value betting.

    In situations where you simply complete from the sb, the bb would typically raise/reraise if they had an A with a better kicker. Thus, you can fold and actually save some chips.

    Those time when you see the flop, the blinds are so low that you haven't invested too many chips. Thus, you can get away from uncertain situations. And once in a while flop a solid draw or monster as you did in the hand that knocked me out. Nice hand by the way.

    The only dangerous situation being how to handle pairing one of your cards on the flop with no draws. It will be impossible to put your opponent on a range. You need to have a decent read on your opponent to get away from situations where the bb has flopped a set or a random two pair. Unfortunately, getting a piece of the flop is probably the most likely outcome. I wouldn't recommend this line for anyone uncomfortable with post flop play. Otherwize, he will end up spewing his stack like I did :)

    Creating credibility for your later steals sounds smart and is perhaps the most important aspect of this line (assuming it does give you more fold equity). Clearly, you drop this line once the blinds become significant and either raise or fold these hands instead.

    Sorry for the recap, I needed to get your line straight in my head :)

    I need to think so more about this, but it clearly has some merit at the lower blind levels. I'll give it a try myself, and try to think about the best way to combat it (did someone say raise...). If I learn anything I'll post it :)

    Didn't MrE have a situation he wanted us to analyze too?

    Roland GTX

  6. Interesting indeed, I'll have to read this once more.
    But first of all, congrats to your win, Benko. Well played indeed. Interesting enough you're holding the KK monster earlier, against my A9s, with to s on the flop. You had significantly more chips than me, so simply calling your rr to 350 postflop, was most probably a bad move.
    Got even with the magical river giving me the flush against your set, but at that time I was so short that I didn't have any choice, anyway.
    Getting KK HU, I was sure that I would be able to double up. I raised min bet only, partly to make sure the KKs reputation as A magnet would not occur, lol. But of course I wanted to get as many chips as possible :-)
    I did see the str possibility, but kind of hard to predict that you actually hit it already. Anyway, at that point, I believe I had to give it try.

    Again, well played.

    PS.: I'll post the situation in a couple of minutes.