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:

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Major adjustment for a major fish

md261 on 24th July 2010

PokerStars Game $23+$2 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20)

Seat 1: Player1 (780 in chips)
Seat 2: Villain (2420 in chips)
Seat 3: Player3(1350 in chips)
Seat 4: Hero (1470 in chips)
Seat 5: Player5(1560 in chips)
Seat 6: Player6(1420 in chips)
Player1: posts small blind 10
Villain: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to md261 [As Kh]
Player3: raises 40 to 60
Hero: raises 130 to 190
Player5: folds
Player6: folds
Player1: folds
Villain: calls 170
Player3: folds
*** FLOP *** [3h Jd Jh]
Villain: bets 220
Hero: calls 220
*** TURN *** [3h Jd Jh] [6h]
Villain: bets 460
Hero: raises 600 to 1060 and is all-in
Villain: calls 600
*** RIVER *** [3h Jd Jh 6h] [5h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain: shows [Qh Kc] (a flush, Queen high)
Hero: shows [As Kh] (a flush, King high)
Hero collected 3010 from pot

The Villain in this hand is an enormous fish, it is hard to convey quite how horrendous he is, his VPIP was 80% and his Pre-flop raise was 65%. When he calls on the flop I know this will be a tough hand to play post-flop, but at least I have position.

The flop is about as good as it can be when you don’t hit with AK. The Villain bets out nice and strong, I have already decided that on this flop, against this opponent I am going nowhere, but in that case, why not try and extract as much value as possible. Since I’m not going to fold, I might as well try and get him to commit as many chips as possible to maximise the number of chips I win when I am ahead. With this in mind I just call the flop bet, there is no need to raise all in here as many of the hands he may 2-barrel bluff with could fold if I stack it all in on the flop. My plan is to call his turn all in, or raise him all in if he bets. If he checks, I will probably shove it all in, unless an A comes out (in which case I will check or put in a small bet), or another J or 3, in which case i will also check.

The decision on how to play the turn on this hand was made before calling the flop bet, I knew this was how I was going to play it at that moment. This looks like very unusual play, but the Villain is such a huge fish, that the Hero is correct to make the huge adjustment.

md261 on 24th July 2010

Sunday, 11 July 2010

When the fish defines his hand

md261 on 8th July 2010

PokerStars Game $55+$5 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level V (75/150)
Seat 2: Hero (4470 in chips)
Seat 3: Player3 (1568 in chips)
Seat 4: Villain (1057 in chips)
Seat 6: Player6 (1905 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind 75
Player3: posts big blind 150
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to md261 [9d Qs]
Villain: calls 150
Player6: folds
Hero: calls 75
Player3: checks
*** FLOP *** [Jc 9s 7c]
Hero: bets 225
Player3: folds
Villain: calls 225
*** TURN *** [Jc 9s 7c] [As]
Hero: checks
Villain: checks
*** RIVER *** [Jc 9s 7c As] [5d]
Hero: checks
Villain: bets 682 and is all-in
Hero: calls 682
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain: shows [Td Qh] (high card Ace)
Hero: shows [9d Qs] (a pair of Nines)
Hero collected 2264 from pot

The Villain in this hand is a flat out fish, the kind who will check and call with the draws, bet with the good hands, and make tiny bets with his great hands; reminds me of the good 'ol days when the tables were full of players like this.Player 3 in the Big Blind is a solid winning regular.
The Villain limps with a stack of 7BB, normally suspicious, but in this case, just fishy. On the flop I would not expect him to bet unless he had me beaten, therefore checkraising with my medium pair is an unattractive option, because if he bets, there is a large chance I am beaten, and he will often just check when he has missed, giving himself a free card.
I bet the flop, normally this would pot commit me against the Villain, but this Villain is a special case. His call tells me he has some form of draw or maybe a weak pair like JT or A9(he could also have a monster like AA or trips, but that is unlikely so I will just ignore that possibility).
By checking the turn, it is clear he does not have an A or he would have pushed as the board is dangerous, so I am fairly assured in my previous read.
When he pushes all in on the river, it is worth considering what hands fit the actions. The 5 cannot have helped him as the only hand with a 5 in it he would limp would be A5, and he would have bet that on the turn, if he had a weak J or a strong 9, if he didn't bet it earlier, he certainly wouldn't push it now. He either must have slowplayed a monster like AA or J9, which is unlikely compared to the alternative, that he has a missed straight and/or flush draw and now is pushing in a desperate attempt to win the pot. If he had put in a tiny bet, I would have been more likely to fold.
This hand went to plan; bet the flop to get an idea of his hand strength, check the turn to see if he had an Ace, then check the river when the draws all missed to induce the bluff.
If only more players followed this ABC poker...(sigh)