Sunday, August 20, 2006

a limit holdem flush draw

FeleciaLee made a post about a limit holdem hand she played recently. I was going to comment on it, but I apparantly am not an acceptable poster on her blog. I'm blocked from commenting. So, I'll just make the comment here.

Here's the essence of her post.
I positioned myself to the left of a southern California thinking maniac. She was the small blind, I was the big blind. I had Q4s.

The flop came with two hearts (my suit), and a straight already possible. She bet out, I called, we got four overcalls.

The turn brought my flush, she bet. I felt that my best move was to smooth call her, hoping for the overcalls. I didn't raise because of the loose/passive opponents left in the hand. I also felt that given the odd chance that I was beat, I would lose less. If I won the hand, I was hoping to get many overcalls by our passive opponents who were basically playing defense against the maniac and would call down with any piece of the flop.

On the turn, two passive players called her bet. On the river just one.

My first instinct, which was to go for the overcalls, seemed like the best at the time. There were seven big bets to start the hand. After the flop, there were ten. After the turn, fourteen. After the river, seventeen.

She showed J2s for the jack high flush.


My comments --

This is an example of why it's better to be on a maniac's right. You want them acting after you, not you acting after them.

In this situation if you'd been first and the maniac second, you could have check raised the flop and trapped the other two players in for a capped pot. Once they call that first bet by the maniac they'll keep calling (and you'd be getting 3-1 as a 2-1 dog, so you profit from the raises).

On the turn you'd have the same situation. You check, maniac bets, they call, you raise. The maniac then re-raises and you probably lose one of them at that point, but even if you lose them both you got one bet out of them.

Overcalls are nice, but if you plan ahead and try to get a better seat you can go for both overcalls and extra bets.

But, given your bad seat you did about as well as you can expect. I might have raised the river. But might not have.

Probably just as well that she has me blocked from commenting on her blog. I needed to make a post here anyway.

7 Comments:

Blogger Felicia :) said...

I don't have you blocked, you're just not registered on there (or maybe you're registered but I never clicked the "friend" button). I'm not sure which.

The great thing about Riverside in the summer is that it is about 75% southern Cal tourists, some being maniacal or very close to it. So the table was basically filled (off and on) with these types of players. I had joined and left the table three times due to conditions, playing poorly, the bigger NLHE game, and because I was trying to find the perfect seat.

I had a bad night. Some of it was my own stupidity. The more I think about this hand, the more I do not like the way I played it.

Thanks so much for the post about it.

3:49 PM  
Blogger DMW said...

I was wondering about that, if you were on the maniac's left and c/r the flop and the M 3-bets, won't the limpers usually drop out?

Most of the ones I see are afraid of being caught in a raising war.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

Sometimes they won't call his bet because of a fear of being in a raising war. But, I wouldn't anticipate that happening since I dont see where they'd have any particular concern that you'd check raise.

After you check-raise, and the maniac re-raises, they're already trapped in the raising war and the war is pretty much over. Their might be one more raise, but right now the problem is the two bets they're faced with.

Calling two bets after calling one bet isn't treated the same by most players as cold calling two bets. Once they've called that first bet they often feel committed to seeing the turn (in limit games, this isn't true in no limit games). Not always, but often enough.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous pmb said...

Would you say that you would rather sit to the right of a maniac when you have a strong hand or draw and want to trap people for more bets, but you would rather sit to the left of a maniac when you have a medium strength hand and your other opponents are the sort who will fold weak hands if you raise? Then, sitting to the left or the right of a maniac might depend at least partly on whether or not it is possible to knock out other players with a raise. At most loose and low limit tables, this would not be possible, so sitting to the right of the maniac is probably preferred, but I can envision loose tables where it might not be.

I am reminded of a gentleman I once played with, who lamented that my flop raises meant that he could not call, since he would see the turn with almost any ace that missed the flop for one bet, but not two.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

Would you say that you would rather sit to the right of a maniac when you have a strong hand or draw and want to trap people for more bets, but you would rather sit to the left of a maniac when you have a medium strength hand and your other opponents are the sort who will fold weak hands if you raise?

No. If I want them to fold I'll just bet out and the maniac will raise. That's what maniacs do.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Poker Punk said...

I'm still not sure I agree with you, Gary. The example you give is very situational. What you give up by having the maniac play after you is that you must be much more selective about your starting hands. Speculative hands like 89s lose too much value to someone who'll raise with A-rag. You also lose bluffing ability, since most of your opponents will find themselves pot stuck.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

Poker Punk said,
I'm still not sure I agree with you, Gary. The example you give is very situational. What you give up by having the maniac play after you is that you must be much more selective about your starting hands.

He's going to raise no matter where you're sitting. So how does whether he does so in front of you are behind you matter? If you can't play a hand in front of him because you're afraid he'll raise then you still won't be able to play that hand behind him becuase then he's raised first, you don't have to wonder.

Then he said,
Speculative hands like 89s lose too much value to someone who'll raise with A-rag.

I think we're not clear on what I mean by a maniac.

A maniac is more likely to raise on any two cards nine or better, any pair, any ace, any two suited, touching connectors.

Maniac doesn't mean aggresive. Maniac means predictably insane.

Aggressive is a perfectly good word to describe aggressive, we don't need to adopt the word maniac to mean the same thing.

But even against the relatively tight maniac you describe you're only a 3 to 2 dog if no one else calls.

And, other players will call. They quickly learn to simply discount or ignore maniac raises. They just don't take them into consideration.

and,

You also lose bluffing ability, since most of your opponents will find themselves pot stuck.

So what? Bluffing is overrated.

What you get is a lot more value bets on every street. And not all players will think of themselves as pot stuck. Many of them will be getting drawn out on and they'll start feeling resignation, they'll just assume they're beat. That gives you lot's of river oppurtunties for bank shots -- beating into a field and the better hand will fold while the worse hand will call.

You have to know which is which and be paying attention to all the players and how they're reacting.

You won't be heads up with the maniac.

8:44 AM  

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