Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Generally Correct, Specifically Wrong

As you've probably heard a million times before, poker is a game of the long term. In theory, you are to make decisions where on average those decisions will yield a profit. Positive expected value. Key word, expected.

Last night at the GucciRick game, I made a fold that I thought was entirely proper. Here's how it went down.

I was in the big blind and I held pocket Jacks. UTG+1, known in these circles as Dean, Dean the Drawing Machine, made a standard opening raise. We can give him credit for a variety of hands, a big Ace, pocket pairs 7 and above. I'm sure you know the drill.

A couple of folds later, CurrentFrank, formerly known as NewFrank, and not to be confused with FranktheTank, made a re-raise. It was a significant re-raise, almost 5x the raise amount put in by Dean. When it folded to me, I simply folded my hand. I showed my fold to one of the many dentists in the game seated to my right and his eyes grew a bit wide at my action. I whispered to him that I knew I was beat, CurrentFrank had me destroyed.

The flop came down T-high rainbow. Dean checked, and as I suspected, CurrentFrank pushed all in. I stood up, I was so confident in my fold that I pretty much made a fool of myself and declared myself King of Big Laydowns. Or some other such idiocy.

Meanwhile, Dean pondered a call.

"You have Queens? Kings?" A-ha, I thought to myself, I wasn't the only one who made such a read. "I call," Dean finally said and tabled his ATo. I was ready for CurrentFrank to flip up his monster.

Instead, he did the unthinkable. He mucked his hand. The turn brought a Queen, the river a blank and Dean raked in a huge pot.

My Jacks would have been good.

Later, I'd say I was fine with the laydown. In fact, I still am. I was up against potentially two opponents, out of position, and post-flop I could only beat AT and a bluff. It just so happened that Dean and Frank actually had those exact two hands making me perfectly incorrect for that one hand.

But correct in the long run? I still think so.


Anonymous said...

Could you have or would you have made the call on the flop anyway? I doubt it. Maybe Frank plays the hand differently if your in the pot. Maybe he doesn't make the jam and just folds to your information bet... who knows. What’s right is, you made what you believed to be the absolute right decision when you had to make the decision.

StB said...

I'd have folded it as well based on the info you had.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see you are back to your old quality blogging style. There are many "old" subjects that can be rehashed with new examples. This one is a classic results vs. EV (long term correct play).
Hope I helped to nudge you into this, oh and BTW the money you won last night doing your best interpretation as a card rack, which more than covers your airfare and hotel in LV, is your "motivation".
How can you deprive those tourists your superior folding skills ? Maybe you can impress the pros in LV with a frog gigging story or two, especially if someone tries to brag about an alligator hunt.

Anonymous said...


TheTrooper97 said...

GF sir. I don't know the players but from here I think you have to fold. I rasied to $12 preflop with JJ the other day and folded HU to a reraise to $40. Depends on the players. BTW, I saw a guy open to $20 in a 1-2 the other night with JJ. Everyone folded and the guy took the blinds and showed JJ and said "I don't want to see a flop". Think about that. He had no money in the pot, so why not just fold the JJ and never play it? He felt that since fate had dealt him the JJ, he had to play it and chose to raise a ridiculous amount for that game in order to just take the blinds. Think about the absurdity of that. You sir, had no real money in the pot, nothing at all wrong with throwing those jacks away. Just because you were dealt them doesn't mean you have to play them.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine told me about your poker blog (Bad Blood On Poker). Nice to see such an informative blog, really like this post.

bastinptc said...

Chiming in with the consensus. I've done the same in a multi-way even when I know I'm ahead at the moment. Sometimes it's just not worth the aggravation.