Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Playing the BIG stacks

Here's a hh from yesterday, from a $5/9 tourney. The first 3 hands are originally #15, #39 and #56. Hand 4 is basically #63, and from that point, we were down to 3 players, and me having a huge stack.
Player 4 was pretty short stacked, but playing extremely tight, and basically folding almost every small blind when I was in big blind, at least it felt like it.
During the 45 hands, player 8 was getting pretty annoyed by my play, claiming that I should have been doing more to take out player 4.
As it felt yesterday, I didn't have the hands to call the couple of AIs raised by the ss, even if I was holding a big stack. Looking at the hh, I wonder if I should have called the AI in #20? I'm pretty sure the villain had a 'better' hand, and folded without hesitation. Appreciate any comments on that decision.
BTW, the first hand is actually the first time ever that I pull off a showdown with equal pp due to a flush :-)
And yes, #42 was pretty dumb play as well :-( Don't need comments on that one, lol.
My only excuse, as usual, is that I was BUSY in a $5/27 at the same time, which I managed to win, but I managed only second place in the $5/9.


  1. Interesting, MrE. It's not really Player 8's place to complain about how you chose to employ your big stack -- if anything, he should be grateful you didn't push him around more whenever the short stack was out of the hand! But it looks like you had the pot odds to call with the 65s on Hand 20 (assuming your opponent had two overcards) and it was so few chips that I can understand Player 8's disgruntlement (even if he should have kept it to himself!). An argument for NOT calling in that situation would be to keep the short stack around so you can bully the medium stack if you had been so inclined.

    I haven't been playing at all lately, both under the weather and busy with other things. I'm heading to Bali tomorrow for a long weekend (it's a tough life!) so unfortunately I'm going to miss the big game -- good luck to all who are still in the running for top honors.

  2. Your cards were not too great during the 3way action. So, I can't fault your raising range. All in all things look solid. However, I did notice two or three things. Firstly, we (I) have posted a lot regarding minraising. In this case, it seemed to work ok for you. The others folded rather often. Yet, mathematically, you are giving them odds to call you preflop. The same is true when the nr 2 stack minraises you. In general, I find that minraising is just asking for trouble. Secondly, the few times you made a 3x raise, you missed the flop and checked rather than c-betting. Both the AQ hand (vs AK) and the nr 42 bluff seemed like decent c-betting spots. When you have one very short stack, the 2nd largest stack typically wont risk getting stacked in unclear situations. Thus, you can be more aggressive against them. This is my 3rd point and one of the reasons why I think c-betting would have won you the two hands mentioned above. As with benko, I would have called the short stack shove in hand 20.

  3. Thanks for your valueable input, gentleman :-)
    I've gone through the hh once again, and indeed I should have called #20 :-(
    You're mentioning the min raising Roland, and in general I do agree with you, and I'm trying not to overplay that sort of betting. Usually, I'm tring to vary the preflop betting as much as possible. However, this board was kind of special with two tight opponents. Tight players tend to fold to min raise bets, unless they have a big hand. If I've counted correctly, I min raised from button 6 times, and got no call at all. In addition, I min raised from SB 3 times, and got called once. C-betted that one, and won it too. Payoff for min raising was pretty good, which could indicate that it matched the players pretty well.
    On the other hand, I raised 3BB from sb twice, 2.5BB from SB once, and 4BB from button once. I got called on all of these, and lost them.
    So yes, min raise is pretty dangerous, but for some type of players it's fairly effective.
    But I should definitely have played more aggressive on some of the hands. Folding 10 times from the button seems a bit too tight.
    Thanks again :-)