PezRez and md261 are two of the poker world's most consistent 6-max SNG players. Together they run, which offers coaching and staking services. Here they dissect hands and games they've played. Also found at:

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Destroying Value Pt. 2

PezRez on 29th June 2010

As I looked at in my post ‘Destroying Value Pt. 1’, sometimes you have a hand that is likely to be best but you can play it in such a way that minimises the value you get from it. Here is a common situation, in which I have pot-committed myself preflop with a big pair and an overcard has flopped. I certainly can never be folding at any point in the hand – but do I have options besides pushing all-in at the earliest opportunity?

PokerStars Game $110+$9 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level IV (50/100)
Seat 1: Player 1 (3007 in chips)
Seat 2: Hero (2568 in chips)
Seat 5: Player 5 (1490 in chips)
Seat 6: Villain (1935 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind 50
Player 5: posts big blind 100
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Qh Qd]
Villain: raises 200 to 300
Player 1: folds
Hero: raises 500 to 800
Player 5: folds
Villain: calls 500
*** FLOP *** [3s Kd 5h]
Hero: checks
Villain: bets 1135 and is all-in
Hero: calls 1135
*** TURN *** [3s Kd 5h] [8d]
*** RIVER *** [3s Kd 5h 8d] [Qc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Hero: shows [Qh Qd] (three of a kind, Queens)
Villain: shows [Th Jd] (high card King)
Hero collected 3970 from pot

Obviously this play will not work against a thinking opponent. Against an opponent who understands pot-commitment and knows that you do too, your check will appear very suspicious. In this case, you may as well ship it in as soon as you can, as that is what he expects you to do with your entire range. However against a less-gifted opponent, particularly an aggressive one, giving him a chance to make a last, desperate move with his speculative ‘nothing’ hands is very much superior to pushing all-in and destroying the value you can get by inducing a bluff. There are few free cards to worry about. If you know you’re not folding, you may as well give him one chance to fish himself with no outs. As you can see, he’ll do it surprisingly often.


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Avoiding Ruin with a Non-Nut Flush

PezRez on 1st June 2010

A lot of players feel like when they fill a flush, they have to raise. If you strongly feel that your opponent has a flush too, it might be unwise to raise with your non-nut flush. Here’s an example of what I mean:

PokerStars Game $35+$3 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20)
Seat 1: Player 1 (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: Player 2 (1500 in chips)
Seat 3: Player 3 (1500 in chips)
Seat 4: Villain (1500 in chips)
Seat 5: Hero (1500 in chips)
Seat 6: Player 6 (1500 in chips)
Player 2: posts small blind 10
Player 3: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Jd Qd]
Villain: calls 20
Hero: calls 20
Player 6: calls 20
Player 1: calls 20
Player 2: folds
Player 3: checks
*** FLOP *** [4d Ah 2d]
Player 3: checks
Villain: checks
Hero: bets 60
Player 6: calls 60
Player 1: folds
Player 3: calls 60
Villain: calls 60
*** TURN *** [4d Ah 2d] [9c]
Player 3: checks
Villain: checks
Hero: checks
Player 6: bets 40
Player 3: folds
Villain: calls 40
Hero: calls 40
*** RIVER *** [4d Ah 2d 9c] [8d]
Villain: bets 320
Hero: calls 320
Player 6: calls 320
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain: shows [9d Kd] (a flush, King high)
Hero: shows [Jd Qd] (a flush, Queen high)
Player 6: mucks hand
Villain collected 1430 from pot

When my opponent bets 320 into 470 after check-calling twice, what else can he have but a flush? I gave some consideration to raising as my flush is a good one, but I have to remember that he limped UTG, and so is more likely to have suited high cards than suited rags as might be the case if he was in the blinds. Also, my call doesn’t close the action here. I’m pretty sure my flush will beat Player 6, so rather than shutting him out with a raise and getting heads-up with the player who may have me beaten, a better plan is to call and go for Player 6’s overcall. That way, I limit potential losses as well as maybe getting a little extra value for my hand if it is best.

As you can see, my flush was beaten, but I lived to fight another day (or play later in that Sit‘n’Go, whatever).


PS. Player 6 had A6, if you were wondering.