Friday, July 27, 2007

recent big pairs in LHE

I have been playing a substantial amount of live LHE, primarily full ring $40/$80. Recently I played a KK hand that was criticized by someone who's play I respect. I don't think I agree with him, and perhaps I respect his game less so because of this. I'm not really sure, so I thought it best I post this hand so that I can re-read it later and possibly reconsider.

While on the subject of KK hands, I'll also post another one that was a little interesting and perhaps played questionably.

hand #1
9 handed, live $40/$80 LHE
preflop: Hero open raises UTG w KsKc, cold called by a slightly tilting experienced player UTG+1, loose player cold calls, mucked to maniac in SB who calls, BB calls (5 players, pot size 10 small bets)
flop: 3h4h5c, maniac bets, BB mucks, Hero immediately raises, UTG+1 immediately 3 bets, muck, muck, maniac calls, Hero caps, both call (3 players, 22 small bets)
turn: 3h4h5c9s, maniac checks, Hero bets, UTG+1 raises, maniac calls, Hero?

as played:
turn: 3h4h5c9s, maniac checks, Hero bets, UTG+1 raises, maniac calls, Hero tanks and calls (3 players, 17 big bets)
river: 3h4h5c9sKh, maniac checks, Hero?.

as played:
river: 3h4h5c9sKh, maniac checks, Hero bets, UTG+1 raises, maniac mucks, Hero tanks and calls.

UTG+1 tables the flopped nut straight.

- I was criticized for calling on the turn. I absolutely concede that my hand is not good on the turn, but getting 16:1 I think it is reasonable to call vs. what I perceive to be a hand range of {AA, KK, 2 pair, a set, a straight} for UTG+1 and {some pair, and/or str/flush draw} for maniac.
- I capped the flop and led the turn because I was very confident that UTG+1 would raise on the come for a free card and take the free card UI, and also because of the value from putting in the extra bet with the maniac in the hand. I was pretty confident that I had defined my hand well enough for UTG+1 to understand and that he was not tilting so much that he would continue to raise the turn on the come.
- I was planning to muck the river UI (and I'm sure many would disagree with mucking an overpair with this pot size, but that was my plan).

on to the next hand...

hand #2
9 handed, live $40/$80 LHE, Hero and J have a "solid" table image that the majority of the table is aware of. S is a clever and sometimes tricky player (though you could very much question that from this hand - S was stuck at least 15 big bets prior to this hand, so that may influence his behavior).
preflop: Hero open raises UTG w KsKc, muck, muck, J 3 bets, mucks, S caps it cold, button and blinds muck, Hero and J call (3 players, pot size 13 small bets)
flop: 9c8h3c, Hero donk bets, J calls, S calls (3 players, pot size 16 small bets)
turn: 9c8h3c4s, Hero checks, J checks, S bets, Hero calls, J check raises, S calls, Hero 3 bets, J looks sick and calls, S laughs and calls (3 players, pot size 17 big bets)
river: 9c8h3c4sJh, Hero (throws up in his mouth and) bets, J calls, S mucks AcQc faceup. J's AA is good.

oh yeah, another fun big pair hand. This time not KK, but QQ. I think I'm okay with the way I played the hand, but was just "unlucky"???

hand #3
9 handed, live $40/$80 LHE, Mary has a fairly solid raising range, but considerably looser calling down/chasing range. Chris is a semi-solid player whom I have played a large number of hours with.
preflop: Mary open raises UTG, Hero 3 bets UTG+1 w QhQd, Chris caps it cold UTG+2, mucked back to UTG and both call (3 players, pot size 13 small bets)
flop: Ts6s5c, Mary checks, Hero checks, Chris bets, both call (3 players, pot size 16 small bets)
turn: Ts6s5c9c, Mary checks, Hero bets after a very brief hesitation, Chris instantly raises, Mary calls, Hero tanks and mucks (2 players, pot size 13 big bets)
river: Ts6s5c9cQc, Hero pukes, Mary check calls, Chris's AA are good.

Is this a bad turn muck by hero? My intention of betting the turn was to get some kind of read from Chris with the intention of mucking if I feel I am beaten to save a bet from a scenario where I am unlikely to improve (vs the check/call check/call line).

Many players in UTG+2's will automatically raise the turn with JJ or QQ, but I really felt given my previous playing experiences with Chris that he would have stopped to think (for even a brief moment) before raising on the turn with a hand worse than KK+. Perhaps my thinking is just too biased based on my actual hand. Hard to say...

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