Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good Read + Ballsy Move With Pocket 4's, 2/11/09 Live Game

Near the end of the night at the Lunch Money Game, we were down to 6 handed, as Bob, Omaha, and Orange left early. I was sitting on about $80 (pretty much even for the night), and Pinata had a larger stack, probably at least $150. We played a pot for all my money, and even if I had lost, I think it was the best hand I've ever played. I put my opponent on a hand, was absolutely right, and I won a massive pot.

Preflop: It is folded around to Pinata on the button, who raises to $3. This is a little larger than button raises that he usually makes. That raises my radar, thinking that he has a relatively big hand, and he's hoping to get involved in a bigger pot. I put him on the hand range of pocket 7's-J's, plus AK, AQ, AJ, possibly KQ. I am in the small blind for 25 cents. I look down and pick up pocket 4's. I hope to call, hit a set, and crack him good. NJM folds, and we're heads up to the flop.

Flop: The 8-3-2 rainbow flop is very good for my pocket 4's. I'm pretty sure I have the best hand right now, but I also want to get some value out of it. I know that Pinata is a loose-aggressive (LAG) player. This image helps him win some big pots with his big hands. I decide to check to him, planning a check-raise to take down a larger pot, plus I can find out exactly where I'm at. I check, he bets $5. I get what I'm looking for, and the pot is now $11.50. I opt to reraise to $14 total. It is only $9 more to him, but I've shown that I don't believe him. It is almost a pot-sized reraise to him.

Pinata now goes into the tank, probably trying to put me on a hand range. I could have any pair, a set, AK, AQ, AJ, A-10, or A-8, or I could have absolutely nothing. He puts me on a hand and reraises to $40 total. Now I'm a little concerned. I replay the hand (especially the size of the preflop raise). I have him on a hand like 99 or AK/AQ. I am literally in the tank for about 2 minutes trying to figure it out. Was he reraising for information or was he reraising for value? Finally, I decide he has AK. I push all in for about $37 more.

Now Pinata is in the tank. He does not instacall. The fact that I wasn't snap-called makes me confident that I have the best hand. My biggest fear that this point would be Pocket 5's, 6's, and 7's, but I'm pretty confident that I made the right move here. Pinata puts me on 4's, 5's, or 6's (he told me after). The pot is worth about $123, and he has to call $37 or so for a chance to win the pot, so his pot odds are almost 4:1, and he has 6 outs twice to win (25% or about 3:1). In this case, he's getting the odds to call based on mathematics, plus the pot is $123 ($160 if he calls). That's assuming he puts me on a pocket pair and not a set. If I have a set, he's drawing dead. Pinata decides I have a pair and not a set based on the action. He makes a mathematical call.

Result: The turn and river are blanks, and I scoop a $160 pot.

Analysis: In terms of overall play, I think this hand was played well by both players. Both of us played at the second level, and we made proper plays based on the information. After a night of really playing badly, I salvaged a profit by playing very well for about 5 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. IMO, this is a standard Pinata blowup.

    3betting on the flop is pointless. He got the check raise on the flop which should tell him what he needs to know. If he thinks he is only slightly behind, since this is the sort of flop people will often bluff, he should just call instead of trying to force a lay down. Many people will continue their bluff on the turn, which he can keep calling down profitably.

    But 3 betting in that spot is absolutely terrible because it's a double whammy of having no worse hands ever calling and having very few slightly better hands folding. It may work on 'Bob' who can make a big lay down, but it will generally not work - he either wins $15 pot or loses $160 pot.

    That said, I don't like the CR with 44 either. If you put him on big unpaired cards, you can get to showdown cheaper by letting him fire 2 or 3 streets - and comfortably folding in the unlikely event that an Ace hits (~12%). Usually - unless you're playing the Pinata or another supper aggro - you will be beat here by better pocket pairs; 55-AA.