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:

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ignoring The Clear And Present Danger

md261 on 24th February 2011

Seat 2: Player 2 (3935 in chips)
Seat 3: Player 3 (1720 in chips)
Seat 4: hero (1415 in chips)
Seat 5: Villain (630 in chips)
Seat 6: Player 6 (1300 in chips)
Villain: posts small blind 25
Player 6: posts big blind 50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hero [Qc Ks]
Player 2: folds
Player 3: folds
hero: raises 70 to 120
Villain: calls 95
Player 6: folds
*** FLOP *** [Kc As Jd]
Villain: checks
hero: checks
*** TURN *** [Kc As Jd] [6d]
Villain: bets 150
hero: calls 150
*** RIVER *** [Kc As Jd 6d] [Qh]
Villain: bets 200
hero: raises 945 to 1145 and is all-in
Villain: calls 160 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (785) returned to hero
*** SHOW DOWN ***
hero: shows [Qc Ks] (two pair, Kings and Queens)
Villain: shows [Ah 2h] (a pair of Aces)
hero collected 1310 from pot

The villain is a standard 1st Level Loose Fish, the kind of player who often tries to be clever by *slowplaying* his good hands and hitting you with a *surprise* checkraise. Chances are with him strong means weak and weak means strong.

The Big Blind is an enormous Fishbowl, the hero doesn't mind getting into a pot with him deepstacked with a hand like KQ which plays well post flop, so he make a standard (but on the smaller side) preflop raise. It is no great shock to see the loose Villain in the Small Blind call . Being a loose 1st Level fish his range of hands here is fairly wide, including the premium hands like AA as well as the Fish hands like JToffsuit.

The flop is a mixed bag, the Villain is very very rarely ever going to bet out, he is unlikely to bluff at this spot, and he will likely check his stronger hands as he likes to appear weak by checkraising! Consequently the handsome and humble hero checks behind, since the prospect of facing an all-in check-raise with semi-decent pot odds does not look like a good situation to get into here, and the Villain is unlikely to have many outs if he is behind on the flop.

The Villain bets out on the turn, still no information is really gained, he is likely to bet stronger hands if his check-raising masterplan has been foiled, he is also likely to think that the mysterious hero's check is a sign of weakness and may have decided to bet with an underpair or pair of kings or Jacks. The annonymous Hero calls, reasoning there are still not many cards to worry about if he is ahead, and to re-evaulte when he sees if the Villain bets the River.

The river card is both good and bad for our secret hero, but mainly good because of the stack size situation. If the the Villain had pushed the river if it was a blank serious consideration would have been given to folding, no such thoughts linger now he holds 2 pair. The Villain bets most of his remaining stack, but not all in. First instinct would be to call, but that woud be an appaling waste of potential Equity. It is worth considering what hands the Villain is likely holding.

The Premium pairs which are now sets are possible. AK-AT would likely have repushed preflop, as would many of the medium Pocket Pairs. Ace rag and KJ are likely and his bet would be a blocking bet. A ten is unlikely though, he would surely have pushed if he had the straight, as it is tought to put him on and he is very short stacked so would likely be called often, furthermore, there not many tens in his preflop calling range, unlike weak Aces. For all these reasons it is +EV for the Hero to push over the top. The very fact that the Villain has few chips behind is important, the punishment for being beaten is small, so there is not much risk. If the effective stacks were deeper, the punishment for raising the river would be greater, since the Villain would likely fold many weaker hands like a rag Ace, and would likely repush himself if he had the straight, putting the hero to a tough decision.

The hero repushes, the Villain calls and shows Ace rag, a poor preflop call, but not played too badly post flop. The hero knew there was a chance he was behind on the river, but reasoned that the Villains calling range of the river repush would hold more Hnds which were beaten, than which were ahead, and thus maximised his EV.


Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A Big Fold On The River

PezRez on 22nd February 2011

PokerStars Game $36+$3 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level II (15/30)
Seat 1: Player 1 (1470 in chips)
Seat 2: Player 2 (840 in chips)
Seat 3: Hero (1605 in chips)
Seat 4: Villain (1890 in chips)
Seat 5: Player 5 (1695 in chips)
Seat 6: Player 6 (1500 in chips)
Player 5: posts small blind 15
Player 6: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Ah Qc]
Player 1: folds
Player 2: raises 30 to 60
Hero: calls 60
Villain: calls 60
Player 5: calls 45
Player 6: folds
*** FLOP *** [Jh 6h 9h]
Player 5: checks
Player 2: checks
Hero: bets 150
Villain: calls 150
Player 5: calls 150
Player 2: folds
*** TURN *** [Jh 6h 9h] [Td]
Player 5: checks
Hero: checks
Villain: bets 390
Player 5: calls 390
Hero: calls 390
*** RIVER *** [Jh 6h 9h Td] [Th]
Player 5: checks
Hero: bets 510
Villain: raises 780 to 1290 and is all-in
Player 5: folds
Hero: folds
Uncalled bet (780) returned to Villain
Villain collected 2910 from pot
Villain: shows [8h Qh] (a straight flush, Eight to Queen)

With AQo, facing a raise from UTG +1, I don’t think I need to reraise here. His range is probably strong and my hand isn’t brilliant. With position, the best move is probably to flat-call and see what develops on the flop, so thats what I do. Two callers behind me: a tough player on the button, and a hyperbowl from the small blind.

The flop is a decent one for me; although there are three players, I have two overcards and the nut flush draw, making me a favourite over a hand like KJ or JT. When it’s checked to me, I put out 150 into the 250 out there. I may win the pot right now; if not I might buy the button so I can give myself a free river. As I may be a favourite, my equity on the bet is decent. I get called by the two players behind me, and the original raiser folds.

The turn gives me a straight draw to boot, but I’m not too confident my straight outs will be live here. I could bet again, but I’d be in a tough spot if someone shoved, since I’d probably have to call. I don’t want to commit myself with this hand right now, so I decide to check, content that at least I’ll have the odds to draw if the player on the button puts in a standard bet. The hyperbowl calling just sweetens the deal, and I call the 390.

Bingo! Nut flush on the river. I’m a little concerned about the board pair, but what can you do? It’s checked to me, and I have to bet here. The button isn’t likely to bet as a bluff in a three-way pot, so if I check there’s a great likelihood it’ll get checked round. The pot is big, but an all-in makes my hand so transparent. Then again, a lead-out does too, but the bowl might not be able to resist those odds with a hand like AJ. I lead out for 510, leaving myself with 495 in chips. Obviously, I’m pot-committed.

But wait! When the button pushes, I resist my urge to snap-call and think about what he could have. With my lead-out I was trying to sucker in the fish; I accepted that my hand would be obvious. So why is the good player pushing? He has no fold equity, and can’t be bluffing with the hyperbowl sitting behind him. But he must know I have the nut flush. I figure he’s probably got JT, and has backed into a full house. It’s consistent with all his previous bets. I probably didn’t play this hand brilliantly, but no sense throwing good chips after bad, even with almost 6-1. I fold with an unhappy frown, which lightens considerably when the button decides he’s so proud of his rivered straight flush, he just has to show everyone.


Monday, 7 February 2011

Leave Room For A Move

PezRez on 7th February 2011

PokerStars Game $36+$3 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level VI (100/200)
Seat 5: Villain (4780 in chips)
Seat 6: Hero (4220 in chips)
Villain: posts small blind 100
Hero: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Ad Ah]
Villain: raises 200 to 400
Hero: calls 200
*** FLOP *** [6s 7c Kc]
Hero: bets 400
Villain: calls 400
*** TURN *** [6s 7c Kc] [7s]
Hero: bets 800
Villain: calls 800
*** RIVER *** [6s 7c Kc 7s] [4s]
Hero: bets 1000
Villain: raises 2180 to 3180 and is all-in
Hero: calls 1620 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (560) returned to Villain
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain: shows [9d Jc] (a pair of Sevens)
Hero: shows [Ad Ah] (two pair, Aces and Sevens)
Hero collected 8440 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 8440 | Rake 0
Board [6s 7c Kc 7s 4s]
Seat 5: Villain (button) (small blind) showed [9d Jc] and lost with a pair of Sevens
Seat 6: Hero (big blind) showed [Ad Ah] and won (8440) with two pair, Aces and Sevens

I’m heads-up with an aggressive regular and we’ve been at it for a while now. He has been frequently minraising from the button, which I have been countering by calling and three-betting. However the stacks have mostly been too big to repush, so I have been sparing with my three-bets and have mostly been taking advantage of my good pot odds and his wide range to call. With Aces, I decide not to reraise and to just call, as I have been doing frequently. I may be missing out on some value if he has a hand he will call with preflop but probably not postflop (for example 66), but as I have not been three-betting very often I feel he will fold a lot if I do so.

I have been betting out a lot in this heads-up, which is something I have to do with both my good and my bad hands fairly regularly if I call a lot out of position. Since he has seen me do it a couple of times with bluffs and hands like middle pair, I figure I may induce a move, and certainly my hand is going to be well disguised. So I lead out for 400, like I have been.

His call means he might have a made hand, or he may be floating. I could consider checking the turn to let him go through with his float, but once I raise in that spot he’ll know I have a big hand and will fold most of his hands. If I follow through, he may still make a move, and will probably call with any pair and some Ace-high hands too, so that’s my move. He calls again.

At this stage, he probably does have a hand. However, he will probably fold his Ace-high hands, pairs of sixes and a lot of pocket pairs if I move in, although he’ll likely call if I make a smaller bet. Most importantly though, I want to leave him room to make a move. My bet looks consistent with a last desperate stab, possibly with a hand like 89, so if he’s feeling optimistic he may make his own last desperate move with his own missed draw, or very persistent float hand. Consequently I lead out for a weak-looking 1000, and he ships. I snap it, and he shows me J9! No draw, no hand; he just really didn’t believe me and decided to gamble his tournament on that fact. Just shows sometimes it pays to leave them room for a move.