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The Deeper The Better!

The Deeper The Better! Our plane to Dublin was 4 ½ hours late due to ice on runway preventing refuelling trucks from servicing the planes that had landed at Dublin airport from taking off so no new planes could land and we arrived at the venue about 2 hours after the start of the Green Joker Poker European Deep-stack tournament. (1500 euro entry 50000 starting chips and 1 hour clock)

The game started quite well for me in that I managed to take down a decent pot check-raising with an inside straight draw against a player that, when I had enquired on sitting down, Mick McCool had informed me had been extremely active.

He got some back off me later when after he limped in early position I limped with QhKh another player limped after me and the flop came Qc8d2s and he bets I call and the player behind also calls.

At the point of calling I was not thinking about the player behind me though obviously I was after he called behind me on a board with no apparent draw.

I did not want to re-raise and make the aggressive player relinquish the lead in the hand as he was likely to continue to try to win the pot regardless of his hand and the board cards. Also if he had the best hand I did not wish to make the pot too big with an inferior hand that I would be reluctant to fold against an aggressive active player.

The turn card was a very safe looking 5h the aggressive player checked and now I decided to test the other player and I bet out just over half the pot. After some thought he folded and then the aggressive player called, which surprised me as it was obvious that I thought I had the best hand and so it would not be a good spot to get to creative with a bluff, even more so as the turn card was a long way from being a “scare card”.

The river was an off suit 6 and now my opponent makes a large almost pot sized bet.

I could not imagine what hand he might have to have played this way but, it seemed probable that he believed he had the best hand, particularly as the river was also not really a scare card given the flop call and he should reasonably expect me to think I still had the best hand. I decided I could not be winning and folded my hand face up and he showed me a very creative 34 off suit for a runner runner straight.

There were a lot of French players there and in one hand I was called a fish by a French player. Now in times gone by if you performed so bad that a French player called you a fish then you knew you had dropped a right large clanger but these young French players are generally very very good and I think he was a little annoyed that after I had raised in the cut off with 89 and he had re-raised me with 77 I moved all-in on him when he was likely to call. Hitting both an 8 and 9 probably did not help his frame of mind. It was a poor bet by me to be honest but I had been card dead for a long time and had been bashed up by the young French players and was looking for a spot to show some flair and hopefully cause some pain, a good job well done I thought.

I think some aggressive players try to bluff or make value bets simply because they appreciate that such actions are required to maximise your opportunities in any tournament. When bluffing they often they do take the necessary care to ensure that their betting pattern or the “story” they are trying to tell makes sense and when value betting do not ensure that the bet itself makes sense and may not fully know whether the bet is a bluff a value bet or anything else, they just do it. (Which is arguably better than doing nothing, but that does not make it optimal)

In one hand an aggressive player (that had not been doing very well in hands played against me) raised and I called from the small blind with JcQc. The flop was KcQdTs I checked and he checked behind me. At this point I am pretty sure I am winning unless he has AQ and when the turn came an off suit 4 I checked hoping he would take a stab at the pot but he again checked behind. The river was a 9 giving me the straight and I bet 1500 really half expecting him to fold so I could avoid showing him my hand and how I had played it against him. Surprisingly he re-raised to 5000 which would really only make a bluff fold. I though he must have AQ and had outplayed me or at worst somehow had a Ten to give him the same straight.

I called and he showed a set of nines. I though this was a poor bet with little thought as it was very unlikely that he would either make a better hand fold or a worse hand call.

I saw another good example of an ill thought out bet which caused some extreme pain for the victim and unjustified reward for the perpetrator.

With blinds at 800/1600 a player limps in the cut-ff and the big blind raises to 4000 holding 93 hearts. Now to me this is a very poor bet as it is highly unlikely to make the limper fold and so you are likely to find yourself out of position against at least 1 and maybe 2 opponents holding the hardly awe inspiring 93 suited. One could argue that given that most hands miss the flop to raise and continuation bet with any hand in any position can be mathematically justified but I leave that kind of logic to the baboons and other equally sore bottomed individuals.

There is nothing wrong with raising from the big blind with 93 (or any hand) to try and exploit a late position limper who you believe probably has a weak hand but, surely you must raise enough to give them a good reason to fold particularly if your hand is as strong as 93.

Anyway back to the hand and the flop came 8h6s4h which is pretty good given the circumstances and our creative raiser bets and is re-raised. He then moves all-in and is instantly called. His opponent was not really concerned what the pre-flop raiser had as he himself had pocket Eights for a flopped top set. Had he been concerned I doubt he would have put his opponent on 93 hearts. He was concerned when the 3rd none pairing heart hit the board and equally concerned not to knock chairs over as he left the table.

I ended up on a table with 2 Irish players and 5 French and for some reason the dealer felt obliged to switch languages based on the nationality of the player he was talking to. This was OK but, despite me carrying on various chats in as close to English as my Black Country accent will allow, with the Irish bloke next to me (who was sat literally next to Mr Multi-Lingual) the dealer kept talking to me in French. I should have advised him that I am from Wolverhampton where the men do not wear silk scarves and we wear our jumpers on our backs rather than on our shoulders but being the diplomatic type I let him carry on.

I was eventually knocked out all-in with AK versus 88 which was almost a sexually gratifying experience compared to what happened to Stuart Rutter who, holding AQ, raised from late position and had an old Irish gent move all-in against him for an amount that could not make him fold (zero fold equity against his range I believe people call it if they are either very cool or wish to sound like they know what they are talking about) and hit a Three (to go with the 34 off suit he had in his hand) to win the pot and very shortly afterwards make the same move against Stuart (again holding AQ) this time with the much more promising and equally victorious K8 off suit.

Tue, 15th March 2011

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