Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Panning for Gold

It’s nice to be reminded that there is money out there for the taking providing you know where to look. Sitting down with the right players should always be at the forefront of any serious player’s mind, but seeking out the live one should not be the only objective in achieving this. Knowing the betting style of a player can be just as profitable as taking down a player who cannot fold TPTK or an overpair, and sometimes even more so as these live ones wait until they have a premium hand before they go too far with it, while LAGs can go too far and commit a lot of chips with mediocre or drawing hands.
An example of this arose the other night when I was sat at a fairly loose 2-4 SH table. There was a LAG player (whom I will not name here) I know to be very loose in calling requirements sat on my left, and I know he bets rivers and turns when checked to with busted draws just as often as he does with with strong hands. He also tends to raise if he actually has a strong hand or draw, so you can usually tell where you stand. He had amassed 3k on this table and I had been sat next to him for several orbits, where he had ritually stolen my completed small blind.
This hand I have 8d9h in the SB, and it folds round to me. I take it to $12, hoping to just steal this player’s blind for once. He calls however, and we see a flop with $24 in the pot.
The flop comes 4h 8c Th. Flopping mid-pair seems enough to be confident I am ahead here, so I bet $21, hoping for a fold but not minding a call either, as it’s unlikely he has hit here or has 2 hearts in the BB. He calls, and the pot is now $65.
The turn card is 3h. That’s a possible flush that I’m losing to, but I don’t have him on that, so I bet out again, though I want to bet a little less than I would normally to indicate I am afraid of the board, and to control the pot size in case my read is off and I’m losing. I bet $30, and he calls again, taking the pot to $125.
The river is 5d. This is definitely a safe card in my eyes, and here is where I let his aggression take the lead. I check, and he bets $95. At this point I have him on a very weak hand, maybe A4 or 65 as he has shown no strength or willingness to build a big pot as he would with TP or better. I don’t have any trouble calling, and he flips Q9 for a busted gutshot. Sub-Zero… Wins.
It’s not often that you take a $220 pot with 98off in a blind war, but by knowing my opponent and playing to his style I was able to extract maximum value when I had a mediocre hand.
I hope this demonstrates that playing with opponents you know and can predict, even if they are very capable, can be every bit as lucrative as stacking a fish when you hit 2 pair to his TPTK. This said, it’s still good to keep an eye out for any ‘erratic’ play, and take advantage of position to extract the maximum from weak players. This was a hand I felt I played very well, though my read of QQ or AKs showed I still gave this player far too much credit! Enjoy…

Hand #37041229-58212 at Indian Trail (No Limit Hold'em)
Started at 20/Feb/07 13:43:25

Sub__Zero is at seat 0 with $437.80.
toddbg is at seat 1 with $408.
Craigerson is at seat 2 with $564.60.
XXPSAXX is at seat 3 with $692.10.
OLDDOG06 is at seat 4 with $403.60.
mrtenkei is at seat 5 with $419.80.
The button is at seat 0.

toddbg posts the small blind of $2.
Craigerson posts the big blind of $4.

Sub__Zero: 9s 9h
toddbg: -- --
Craigerson: -- --
XXPSAXX: -- --
OLDDOG06: -- --


XXPSAXX calls. OLDDOG06 raises to $18. Sub__Zero
calls. toddbg folds. Craigerson folds. XXPSAXX

Flop (board: 7d 8d Js):

XXPSAXX checks. OLDDOG06 bets $40. Sub__Zero calls.
XXPSAXX folds.

Turn (board: 7d 8d Js 6c):

OLDDOG06 checks. Sub__Zero bets $90. OLDDOG06

River (board: 7d 8d Js 6c 9c):

OLDDOG06 checks. Sub__Zero bets $150. OLDDOG06 goes
all-in for $255.60. Sub__Zero calls.


OLDDOG06 shows Ad 9d.
OLDDOG06 has Ad 9d 8d Js 9c: a pair of nines.
Sub__Zero shows 9s 9h.
Sub__Zero has 9s 9h 8d Js 9c: three nines.

Hand #37041229-58212 Summary:
$2 is raked from a pot of $831.20.
Sub__Zero wins $829.20 with three nines.

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