Raise or Fold:  A Year of Risky Business

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Skeptic Is Not Easily Made A Convert

The Mighty Deuce-Four Makes  Wheel
My opponent in the cash game had open-raised 5xBB in late position, but he was always raising and we were shorthanded. I was in the big blind, it folded to me, and I thought to myself: "Self? What the hey, let's call and see what happens. We could make a lot of mobneys if we get lucky here."

(Say, isn't there a blogger out there somewhere who enjoys playing the deuce-four?)

I checked the flop. He checked behind.

I checked the turn. He checked behind. I had a warm, fuzzy feeling ~ was I about to become an acolyte at the altar of the mighty deuce-four?

The warm, fuzzy feeling bloomed into joy on the river. If my opponent was slowplaying an Ace, I was going to get paid. I led out for 2/3 of the pot. The other guy snap-called.

I showed my wheel. He mucked. Later, he said he had KK. I'll admit it, it was sort of fun going runner runner there. I think maybe the deuce-four is a tool of Satan, but I'm not sure.

For what it's worth, the same opponent had the last laugh of the night on me. We were playing shorthanded when I opened for 3xBB on the button with AA. Small blind folded, big blind called. Flop was 2 Q 2. Villain checked, I made a potsized bet. Villain called. I started to worry. Turn is a blank. Villain checks. I check behind. River another blank. Villain leads out. I think the bet is about two-thirds of the pot, and I reluctantly say "call." I know I should fold, but he could be bluffing and I just have to see the damn deuce.

Of course he has the 2. He also has the Queen, for a flopped boat.

The problem is, I misread his bet. In fact, he used two large-denomination chips, not medium-sized ones. I would never have called had I realized the actual size of the bet, but I was tired, and not paying sufficient attention. My first response was a knee-jerk: "I'm not calling THAT! I'm never calling that!!!" But of course I had said "call," so I made good. He dragged a substantial pot, and I felt like an idiot.

I barely scraped together a profit for the evening. I bubbled the tournament, and then managed to win back my tourney entry fee in the cash game, plus a little extra. (A very little.)

Still, except for that one hand with the Aces, I was very pleased with my play. My head was clear and stayed clear the whole evening. Once again, I attribute this to having worked out earlier.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand the bet on the flop. You are either way ahead, in which you are just winning the pot right there, or way behind, in which you have 2 outs to win. I would say in order to win the max or lose the min (your hand does have show down value after all), check the flop. The check may induce a bet with a weak hand or bluff on the turn in which you can just call hoping to extract more on the river. In this case however you were crushed, so alternatively you would lose the mininum. Many might consider a raise on the turn, but I would resist here since a weak Q is probably folding and a deuce is either reraising or sandbagging you for another bet.

3/1/09 11:51 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Players used to brag about winning with the hammer. It takes a large pair of, um, large nerve to win with the mighty 4-2.

Would you play 4-2 sooted, or does it have to be off?

3/1/09 3:43 PM  
Blogger Cardgrrl said...

@Anonymous: Leading out on the flop (the AA hand) with a continuation bet disguises the strength of my holding, and starts to get money into the pot when I have every reason to think that I'm way ahead. My crying call on the river was just BAD, however. I know this opponent, and his call on the flop and subsequent river bet meant he had a 2. I should have thrown my Aces away.

@Memphis MOJO: As you can the Mighty Deuce-Four was, in fact, suited in this case, which ~ I'm well-aware ~ is non-canonical. Oh well, I was always a bit of an iconoclast!

3/1/09 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respectfully disagree. Please reread what I wrote and consider the implications.

"Get money into the pot." Like I said way ahead or way behind. Do you want to get all in here with a single pair? If you were raised here how did you expect to continue playing the hand? If you really were way ahead your bet extracts no more money and if you are behind you lose a bunch.

If you had say AK I would agree with the continuation bet as you really would like to take the pot down or have a 25% of pairing by the river and you would have of course folded to the bet on the river having lost only a bit of money.

As I am only an Anonymous you may consult HOC p. 72 for a similar discussion and a similar situation. Your reasons for betting are examined as reason #3-4 and is dismissed as being flawed for this situation.

3/1/09 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the AA hand, you bet the flop and check behind on the turn. If you had checked behind on the flop, you'll have to call a bet on the turn. Either way, you get to the river in about the same spot.

IMHO, betting the flop is usually the superior play, but will depend on the stack size and how much you got into the pot preflop.


3/5/09 12:31 AM  

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