Monday, October 25, 2004

Going to Battle With G-Rob

For those who haven't read about him before, G-Rob is a local player who works with Otis. I've played a few times with him before in a couple of tournaments and home games and have noticed that he generally has a monster stack in front of him. To classify his style as aggressive would be an understatement.

He made it to my home game (see below) and was able to use his aggressiveness to build his stack quite effectively. Let me analyze a couple of hands I was in with him to demonstrate his effect on my play.

I limp to a modest G-Rob pre-flop raise with A,9o. Missouri Josh follows along with a call and the flop is 3-handed. With about $10 in the pot, we all see 3 spades, J-high I believe. As I'm holding the A of spades, I like my hand so far. G-Rob bets out $5 and with Josh yet to act behind me, I feel a call is appropriate. Even though pot odds don't dictate it, implied odds with Josh acting behind me and the potential for the nut hand justifies it in my mind. Josh follows through and calls. The turn is a non-spade rag, and with the pot at about $25, G-Rob bets out $20. Great bet here. Not only is it sufficient to make my draw to the nut flush a bad call, but with Josh yet to act behind me, I had to fold. So I did. Josh called the bet and got to see the river spike a 4th spade to the board. No board pairs, no straight flush opportunity - I folded what would have been the winning hand. But as I suspected, G-Rob held Q,T spades for a flopped flush. Missouri Josh held the K of spades and took down a pretty monster pot. But at the time of my decision, I suspected that I had 6 or 7 outs which made a $20 call into a $25 pot an easy fold.

In another hand, I'm UTG holding A,Ko and raise the .50 BB to $3. G-Rob calls and everyone else folds. The flop is a great one for me: A,K,2. I gladly bet out $5 and am immediately raised to $10 by G-Rob. I am puzzled and taken aback, but call. Thoughts of him having a set go through my mind, but with him, it's impossible to tell for sure. The turn is a rag and I take a pause. If I check here, he's sure to go all-in. At this point in the evening, I had built my stack to back over $100 and G-Rob outchipped me. I was honestly not sure if I could call an all-in bet from him. So, to avoid a check-all-in, I bet out $15. G-Rob raises to $30. I'm intrigued now, more than anything since he'd most likely go all-in at this point with a set of 2's. But I just call. The river is another blank and I'm feeling better about my hand. Enough to bet $20. This time, G-Rob just calls and shows me his K,2. We both flopped 2-pair and he put me on just the A.

Luckily I won that hand, but not without fear of losing. I couldn't tell if G-Rob had the goods (a set of 2's perhaps) or not and literally would have had a tough time calling an all-in bet from him.

I look forward to playing more hands with G-Rob and can now TOTALLY understand Otis' reluctance to sit to his left.

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