Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday: Different game, same result

Instead of playing the usual online tournaments yesterday I was playing the $10K PLO tournament at the WSOP. I was pretty excited for this one being a big buy-in in a game I feel confident I am picking up very quickly. There's an awful lot of gamble in PLO though and I ended up on the wrong side of one I probably would have done better to avoid. I had built my stack up to around 29K mostly by winning a big pot with double suited aces against a wrap hand when this hand came up:

A weak player opened to 1500 UTG at 250/500. He had just won a huge pot off of Toto Leonidas when he made a really terrible flop call, and Toto was now pretty short. Next to act, Toto re-potted to 5250 with very little behind, maybe somewhere in the 4-7K range I'm not really sure. The way he/everyone was playing this is almost certainly AAxx, though having just lost a big pot he could be steaming a little and possibly doing this with worse, though I certinaly feel it's some kind of big hand. A T6 Poker pro who seemed good cold called quickly in the cutoff with a big stack and I found 8765ddss in the SB. Generally when a pot is going to be multiway like this one will be if I call this is exactly the type of hand you want. However, in this case there are two important factors which I think lean the hand towards a fold:

1. This is a tournament not a cash game. I'm getting into an extremely high variance situation where my edge isn't that big and I'm going to have to commit my entire stack on a lot of flops not knowing how much equity I really have. There are lots of weak players and I can surely wait and find better spots to get my money in. Usually this is the excuse of the weak-tight player as he makes a bad fold, but I feel like this is exactly the type of situation where it applies.

2. The CO, being a competent player, will often also have a hand similar to mine, and if his wrap is slightly higher than mine he will have me in really bad shape. Flops that it looks like I hit really hard he will have hit even harder. I think this is the more important reason. Without this consideration folding preflop would be passing up way too much EV, but when you factor this in you realize I'm not in nearly as profitable a situation as it may appear at first glance.

Still, calling is hardly ever going to be much of a mistake with such a strong hand, and that's what I did without much thought. The raiser decided to come along for the flop as well of course. The flop came As8s7c. Seemingly a monster flop for my hand, but there are lots of obvious possible problems:

1. My spades may no be live.
2. Toto probably has top set so my two pair doesn't do me much good.
3. I could be up against a better straight draw. Only a 4 gives me the nuts.

However, with so much money in the pot my hand clearly has way too much going for it to fold. Toto doesn't have too many chips left so if I end up all-in my two pair may hold up in a side pot against another draw that also calls. I quickly lead out for pot hoping to clean up my spade outs and get value from other draws. The original raiser ends up folding the nut flush draw luckily, but Toto and the CO both quickly call. Toto shows AAQJ for top set, and the CO shows 9865 for a wrap. This is a great spot for me however. My spades are live to scoop the whole pot. I have 6 additional straight outs to chop the entire pot, and even if I miss my 2 pair is a big favourite to scoop the large sidepot against the CO's 9865. Unfortunately a 6 hit on the river giving the CO a 9-hi straight and busting me from the tournament.

There are only 3 WSOP events left. Today is the final 1500 NL event which I will be playing. Tomorrow is a 1500 limit holdem shootout which should be good value too, and then the main event. I will be playing Day 1B on Friday. However the Bellagio Cup is also getting started soon so there's still lots more poker to be played. One final table finish could still easily salvage the entire Series for me.


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