Friday, August 8, 2008

A Poker Quiz

Instead of writing about poker as I have in the past--a strict narrative recounting--I'm going to try something new.   I'm going to give you the information I had at the time of making relatively big decisions and let you all tell me what you would do.  In a week or so, I'll post again, tell you what I did in each situation, and how it worked it out.  Both of these hands occurred in Las Vegas in the last few months; in both instances I later found out what hand my opponent held.

Hand One: The Wynn Casino, 2/5 NL

I have been sitting at the table for about an hour.  I have played tight aggressive and have built up my 400$ buy-in to about 550$.  I haven't shown down a hand yet.

My opponent raises under the gun to 30$.  He gets one caller in middle position.  On the button, I look down to see KK.  I raise to 90$.  Both players call.  They each have about 500$ in front of them.

The flop comes 10s Jc Qd.  Both players check to me.  I check.

The turn: 9s.  The UTG player leads out for 200$.  The middle position player dithers out loud for a long time, and more or less tells the table he's behind but he wants to gamble.  He calls the 200$.  

Action is to me.  What should I do?

Before you answer, here's what I know about the UTG player (the middle position player is irrelevant).  He's late-30s, early 40s.  Slightly balding beneath a canvas-type baseball cap.  I believe I've heard him say to someone that he owns a car dealership out of state.  He's not played many hands.  

Hand Two: The Bellagio.  5/10 NL.

This was one of my first forays into 5/10 NL.  I have about 800$ in front of me, and the rest of the players at the table have the same.  I have dropped about 200$ over the course of about three hands in 1.5 hours.  

In  early position, I look down at AA.   A massive massive donk in front of me limps for 10$.  He has played nearly every hand at this point.  I raise to 60$ (the standard opening at the table).  A player on the button calls.  The donk calls.  

The flop comes: 4 10 2, rainbow.  The donk checks.  I lead out for 120$.   The button player makes it 350$.   The donk folds.

Action is to me.  What do I do?

The button player, the raiser, is a heavyset late 20s guy.  Friendly, and clearly from out of state.  He has sat down about 30 minutes ago.  He did not post until the big blind came around to him, waiting for about 15 minutes at the table.  He has played one hand so far, calling a preflop bet and then folding the flop.

All right, let's go: feedback!


JMW said...

This is fun. And it also gives me an opportunity to reveal how bad a poker player I am.

The first situation seems trickier. The guy's not playing many hands, but if he's got King-Ace, then his check on after the flop is pretty weird/stupid. I'd put him on King-Something, though, so you might be likely to split the pot. Actually, the more I think about what he's doing, the more my head feels like it's going to explode. I mean, did he initially call with a pair of 9's??? The fact that he hasn't played much might scare me into folding, but I'd be awfully curious to see what he has. Not sure I'd be curious enough to invest (at least) 40% of my chips.

On the Bellagio hand, that's crazy. This is why I couldn't play poker like you do. He's betting a ton of money on a terrible flop where all you can do is guess (from a scant 15 minutes of observing him) whether he's got 3 of something (4's and 2's seem highly unlikely - but maybe the 10) or if he's got a lower pair than you do -- JJ, QQ, etc. -- in which you case you swallow hard and call. Or go all in... I'm going to bet you went all in.... I'm probably worng.

Dezmond said...

Hand One: All in
Hand Two: Fold

Walter Evans said...

OK, hand one, I think the guy has an eight, and he's so excited that he hit a straight that he's not thinking clearly. However, unlike Dez suggests, I would not go All-In, because that would only call attention to your King. I would probably continue to call the guy and let him lead the betting.

Hand Two, I think the guy has three tens, and I would fold.

Tim J. said...

Hand one: Just call. AK is not an unlikely holding for the UTG player. But you have the 2nd best straight, and you're getting, what, 3.5 to 1 on your money? Middle guy may have the low end or a flush draw. Wait for the river action. Having position here is a great advantage, and makes calling a lot easier.

Hand two: All in. He could make the same play with JJ, QQ, KK, and possibly A-10 or K-10 (remember: he called from the button). If he has a set, he has a set, and you're beat. But you must go all-in here.

Mark Andrews said...

Hand one: With a $200 bet, he doesn't want you to call. Call.

Hand two: Don't like the looks of it. I guess he's holding trips or hit two pair with his garbage. Fold.

But what do I know.