Saturday, January 13, 2007

A hand from Lou Krieger

Lou reports on an ESCARGOT tournament hand where he dumps pocket Aces once the turn card and action suggests he's beat and drawing dead.

I don't really have anything to say about the hand, I think his post does a good job of explaining the relevant observations and thoughts, and I think he and his opponent both played the hand about as well as they could have.

But I do have a comment.

After a headsup preflop capping, Lou with AA, he sees

The flop was J-T-9 of mixed suits, which didn’t exactly thrill me.

Then's Lou's thinking starts drifting away from mine just slightly.

I was not a happy camper, so I bet to get additional information about how my hand stacked up against his. He raised, and I called, although I considered junking my hand at that point.

I also wondered what he thought I was holding. Because I made it four bets to go before the flop, I was essentially playing my hand face up. His raise on the flop told me that he believed he could beat any hand I had, including A-A or K-K, which is what he would assume I was holding given my betting pattern before the flop.

I'm not so sure the guy's going to assume Lou is holding AA or KK. I'm sure the guy thinks it's very likely Lou has AA or KK, probably AA. But the guy can't discount the possibility of AK in Lou's hand. In fact, if I was the guy (someone Lou says he didn't know) I'd put Lou on more of a range of AA or AKs and maybe AKo or KK.

Then we get to the sentence that gave me a pause and caused me to comment on the post.

If he had a pocket pair of queens, he raised as a semi-bluff, or thought I had A-K, A-Q or A-J and believed that he was ahead.

A semi-bluff? I don't really think so. What is a semi-bluff? A bet that hopes to profit from some combination of the chances of getting a free card or possibly being best or possibly getting a better hand to fold or if all that fails maybe getting lucky on later streets..

I donh't see that here. Maybe the guy does think he's semi-bluffing. But if he really thinks he's not best he's not really going to think Lou's laying it down at this stage. I can't see any value to a semibluff here.

I think it's pretty clear the guy thinks he's betting for value.

In the sense that it's not going to change Lou's call, it's probably not important to call the raise a raise for value rather than a semi-bluff.

But part of the game is being able to put the opponent on the range of hands he's putting you on. I think Lou is thinking the guy is putting Lou on either AA or KK. I don't think that's the range of hands the guy is putting Lou on. I think he's putting lou on AA or KK or Ak. And that range puts his bet as a value bet.

From Lou's POV, knowing he's got AA, the guy raising with QQ (what it turns out he has, and a likely holding given the action) is not a value bet. The guy is behind 3-to-2.

But from the opponents point of view, Lou doesn't have AA. From his POV, Lou has a hand picked from a range of AA, KK, AK and the queens with the straight draw are a 3-to-2 favorite.

This is important not for this hand, but for future hands. His raise on the flop suggests value bet to me, which means he's willing to put Lou on having 4-bet an AK preflop. Knowing that might effect how you should play with him on future hands.

Now, if the prefloop round hadn't gone to 4-bets I wouldn't be so sure the flop bet was a value bet. In that case I'd include thinks like QJ in his range of hands.

Anyway, other than that one little nit Lou's post is a quick and interesting read.


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