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:

Sunday, 8 April 2012

A Simple Hand

PezRez on the 8th April 2012

PokerStars Tournament $27.58+$2.42 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20)
Seat 1: Player 1 (1630 in chips)
Seat 2: Player 2 (1900 in chips)
Seat 3: Hero (790 in chips)
Seat 4: Villain (1740 in chips)
Seat 5: Player 5 (1630 in chips)
Seat 6: Player 6 (1310 in chips)
Player 2: posts small blind 10
Hero: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [7s 5h]
Villain: calls 20
Player 5: calls 20
Semi-Pro15: calls 20
Player 1: folds
Player 2: calls 10
Hero: checks
*** FLOP *** [4h 6c 7h]
Player 2: checks
Hero: bets 60
Villain: calls 60
Player 5: folds
Semi-Pro15: folds
Player 2: folds
*** TURN *** [4h 6c 7h] [7c]
Hero: bets 140
Villain: calls 140
*** RIVER *** [4h 6c 7h 7c] [Kc]
Hero: checks
Villain: bets 620
Hero: calls 570 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (50) returned to Villain
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain: shows [Td 9c] (a pair of Sevens)
Hero: shows [7s 5h] (three of a kind, Sevens)
Hero collected 1640 from pot

A simple hand to serve as a timely reminder that in these aggressive days, a simple check is often the best, and perhaps only, way to extract value from your opponent’s range.

Having checked the big blind in a 5-way pot, I find myself with a little baby-top-pair-no-kicker and a one card straight draw. It isn’t a monster hand, but as far as flops go it’s as best as could be hoped for with 57o. I clearly need to bet to protect this intensely vulnerable hand against the depredations of four other random-as hands on the turn. On the other hand, coming out with a pot bet or more isn’t the best way to go, because with four players out there the chances are not negligible that I don’t have the best hand. No need to dig myself a hole too deep, so I lead out for 60% of the pot, to see what’s about. One call is a great result. With my weak pair/weak draw combo, multiple players could have me destroyed, but against a single player it’s likely that I have one side of the hand working for me.

A seven on the turn is really the best card I could hope for. It is far better than filling the straight, which is non-nut, hugely obvious and possibly splitting the pot. With a mountain of draws he can still call with, and some made hands in there too, I need to bet. With 220 in the pot, I lead for 140, plenty enough to charge him the wrong price to draw with only one card to come, and small enough that he probably still will call anyway. He does call, and the stacks look perfect for a river all-in of 570 into 500.

Perfect indeed, but when the King falls on the river, it is clear that I am not the man to make that bet. Whilst pushing may get a call from a few stubborn sixes or pocket pairs that would have checked behind, a great chunk of his range on a board like this consists of failed straight draws and flush draws. A quick peek at his aggression factor (a considerable 2.2) and I have all the information I need. Those hands will not call, but an aggressive player with it’s-the-only-way-I-can-win-the-pot syndrome may be unable to resist the temptation to make that pot-sized shove.

I check, he shoves in it and after I call he shows me T9o for two over cards and a gutshot. I love it when they make it easy for you…