Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Hate Flying Blind

Flying Blind is extremely dangerous as a pilot. (DUH) You can't see what you are dealing with so your choices and direction become either extremely risk averse or essentially flying into the storm and hoping for the best. The same can be true in No Limit Holdem some times. I am back in Los Angeles from my WSOP stint in Vegas, which I may blog about in the future if I find something of interest to say about the trip. So I make my first trek back to Commerce Casino, in which they have instituted a new game. Alongside the the typical $400 buyin game there is now a $500-1500 buyin $5-$10 blind game. So I sit down at a table that looks ok and I get shuffled around for a few minutes as sit changes occur and I view a few hands, nothing much of interest. By the time, the button passes me, I post and get the Kd 5h. A person limps ahead of me, I check, the button limps, the small blind completes and the big blind checks. $50 flop comes down Ks 5s 8c. I flop top and bottom pairs which is pretty strong. Sb, BB, and first limper all check to me, I bet $50 and the only caller is the Small Blind. Although I am a very regular Commerce player, I have never seen this player before. I have been told the 5-15 buyin game has been attracting alot of new faces, some good, some not so the fact that he is an unknown to me is not all that surprising.

Anyway, he is the only caller on the flop. Of course, I know nothing about him and can't really deduce much about him because he is asian, probably thai or phlipino. Before you label me as some sort of ethnic stereotyper, it must be known how asian rich the commerce is. Some are tight players, some are crazy gamblers, some are good players, and some are just outright stupid. So I did not form any opinion of this guy because of all the possibilities. So right now I know nothing of his possible range. Turn comes the 3c putting a board of Ks 8c 5s 3c. He checks and I bet $110 into the $150 pot. He now check raises me to $500 total. I had bought into the game for $1000 and he had $2000+ in front of him. Yay, right back to flying blind. I know nothing of how this guy plays, I have no ranges on him. He could have anything from KK to As4s and everything in between. So I start canceling out all the extreme possibilities. I cancel out KK, AcXc, a dry AsXs, and 33. I think if I include these in my range calculation it will skew them too much in one direction. So now he could have K8, K5, K3, 55 (less likely), 88, 85, 83, 53, Ak, 8s3s, As8s, As3s, some sort of spade/straight draw or club straight draw like 6c7c or 6s7s (clubs would make a bit more sense on the turn check raise but spades are still a tricky possibility) or KcXc. There is also a possibility he could just be trying to bully the new guy at the table with K9 or some random K hand or worse. I also was canceling out total air as a possibility but not an overplayed weak hand like the KJ or something like that. As you can probably tell my hand is a big favorite against this range but the problem remains I have no idea if this is his complete range or if he is the type of player that would only do this with K3+ in which case, my range and equity drop to very small. These situations happen more often than I would like to admit in No limit, where I have to make a disgusting play what ever the result. I figured that I cannot call as that if i call the turn I have to call almost any river given that the pot will be $1150 and if he bets my remaining $450 I would be getting odds of $450 to win $1600 or slight better than 3.5:1.
This boiled down my decision to re-push all in or fold. Folding made me feel sick but in hindsight, it seems it is the more strategically sound play. I chose to push back all in for a few reasons. First off, the mere mathematics of the situations dictate that I most likely have the best hand. Now that usually is not the only determining factor in my calculations but its really all I have right now because as the title of this blog will tell you....Im flying fucking blind. Secondly, I did not want to convey the image of someone who will put a decent amount of money into the pot and then fold to someone playing back at you. I think all players at the table recognize this at least unconsciously and it makes them play a little more comfortably against you, which is a bad thing. I wanted players to feel that if they played against me (assuming I survived the hand) that there was to be no fucking around. Thirdly, and this is probably my undoing, I gave a little too much credence to the possibility that he was just trying to bully the new guy out of the hand. While it is common to find that in deeper bigger games with good players, I had no evidence or reason to believe this guy subscribed to this philosophy.

Long story short, he called and the Ad came on the river and he had K8 and I lost $1000 in 1 hand in 5 minutes and went home.

5 comments:

Rick said...

Wow. That is a tough, tough decision there on the turn. You have K5 and are facing a check-raise from the SB on a board of K853, after he check-called the flop, and there are now two possible flush draws on board. Damn. That really is right on the fence. It really looks like he either hit the 3, or flopped a hand that he felt was big enough to play this incredibly slowly til now, even with all those draws out there, so to me it looks like 88, 55, K3, 83, or 53. Probably not K3 since then he probably would've bet out on the flop (because, as Craig says, "that's just what people do"), and probably not 55 since that's just unlikely with a 5 in your hand and another on the board. So it really looks like 88, 83, and 53 are your most likely possibilities there. To me it would have seemed unlikely that he would consider two pairs a big enough hand to just check/call the flop and then check the turn. And, I think the semi-bluff is also unlikely given the bet size, since then he'd be putting himself in a really sticky situation if you go all-in. On the other hand, he did make the big raise on the turn, so obviously in some sense he is happy to take the hand down on the turn and not face a river card. Weird. In any case, I wouldn't have folded either. Therefore, by the law of everything-Rick-does-is-always-wrong, you made the incorrect choice.
By the way, is it necessarily right to go all-in versus just call there? I'm not saying you're wrong, just wondering: what's the reasoning there?

Danyul said...

Well my reasoning there was that based on my complete range (again no idea what his was) there were alot of made hands I could beat and a ton of draws. So if i called the turn and for instance a spade or club came on the river and he went all in. I didn't want to have to try and 2nd guess myself and fold when he actually had K3 or some other made hand. On the converse, I would hate to make a "good" call on the river and have him show me that he indeed had the clubs or spades. Basically, I'm not folding any river except maybe an 8 which counterfits me (in which case I am only beating a draw, 53, and chopping then with K3) so I dont want to get a scare card that would either make it really gut wretching hard for me to call OR may get him to slow down. For instance, if he indeed had the K3 and a spade came on the river then he may not be of the same mindset as me and may fold . If i had 1400 or so behind then my decision may be different because I wouldn't be getting the same autocall odds on the river.

Reza said...

From my own experience, turn check-raise is a very strong move and usually means at least top two pairs 80% of the time. I'm definitely going broke had he check-raised the flop. However, given your bet sizes and his turn check-raise, I think we have to let this one go. Needless to say, we would have to adjust our table image afterward since people would be more likely to try bluffing us once we fold this hand.

Craig Berger said...

If I got back all the money I ever lost when I flopped two pair I'm pretty sure I could retire.

goooooood girl said...

Feel good......