Saturday, April 29, 2006

Donkeys don't fold

I played some $0.01/0.02 NL last night. I was very card dead for the whole time I played, which wasn't very long, about an hour. Shortly before I quit for the night, I made a foolish play that cost me most of my stack. I think it makes a good example of a play that requires some thinking through to know the right way to play it.

I was in the BB and got 54o. There were several limpers ahead of me, and I checked. The flop was 4-8-4.

Wow, I thought, I flopped trips. I should play this fairly strong. I bet 3-4XBB. The guy two seats ahead of me pushes all in for almost $3. Everyone else folds.

I only hesitated for a few seconds before calling. The thought that he had 88 occured to me, but I thought trips was too good a hand to fold. If I had been smarter, I would have stopped to figure out what hands the villain would have bet so hard with. Some possibilities:

88 - the most obvious, since he limped in which would have made sense with a middle pair like that. Making a big bet with a full house would be logical, although maybe not as big as he did, since he should have wanted more people in the pot.

The case 4 - not as likely since three of them were out, but if he had it, he would have been betting on trips too, and likely have me outkicked. If he had 84, he had a boat, but that seemed very remote.

An overpair - quite possible; limping with 99 to JJ would fit, although anything higher probably would have been raised preflop. But it wouldn't have given him a made hand; the overbet would seem like a move to discourage a call.

So of the above possibilities, I am ahead against two pair but behind against the others. This would have been a prime spot to practice my folding skills, since there was a good chance I was beat by 88.

The turn and river did not help me, and the villain turned up A4o. A questionable hand to limp in with, but I should have considered the possibility that the 4 was out there, especially when the big bet came out on the flop.

This hopefully will serve as a reminder to me that I need to put more effort into putting my opponents on hands and not getting attached to my hands that look good but stand a decent chance of being second best.

1 comment:

Matt Silverthorn said...

That's a good analysis, but you have to keep your competition in mind. Unless I had observed this guy playing really solid poker, I would have called this without blinking.

The thing is, at the $.01/$.02 NL games, you need to give your opponent a MUCH wider range of hands. Not just 88 but 8x. Not just 99-JJ, but 22-77 (minus the 4s, of course). I wouldn't have been surprised to see someone push with a gutshot at those limits either. Of course, if you'd seen this guy playing consistently solid poker, then this goes out the window. However, since he limped UTG with A4o, my guess is this was not the case.

If you were at $.50/$1 or $1/$2, I would seriously think about folding that hand, but not in this situation.