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Interesting tournament hand

What do you guys think of of this bluff on the river? I felt that the villain had a medium strength hand like a middle pair because of the check calling and it was unlikely he would call on the river. The one problem was that this was a second chance tournament which on the one hand made my decision to bluff much easier, but also made my river strategy a bit less likely to work.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $100+$9 Tournament, 20/40 Blinds (8 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

UTG (t6825)
UTG+1 (t8530)
Hero (MP1) (t3285)
MP2 (t2730)
CO (t2480)
Button (t3025)
SB (t3060)
BB (t3065)

Hero's M: 54.75

Preflop: Hero is MP1 with Jc, Ah
1 fold, UTG+1 calls t40, Hero raises to t160, 3 folds, SB calls t140, 1 fold, UTG+1 calls t120

Flop: (t520) 4d, 8s, 8h (3 players)
SB bets t320, 1 fold, Hero calls t320

Turn: (t1160) 6d (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets t800, SB calls t800

River: (t2760) 7h (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets t2005 (All-In), 1 fold

Total pot: t2760

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I watched the rest of the 5/10 Green Plastic session. In fairness to him, he did repeatedly state that he felt the check on the turn was a big mistake. He couldn't seem to get it out of his mind.

Nothing too eventful happened in that video so I decided to try one of his $10/20 videos. Here's a nice play which won him a good chunk of change.

The table is down to 4 handed and GP is in the BB with 6 4 . The CO raises to 60, the button calls and GP calls.

The flop is 3 3 7

GP bets 140 into the 188 pot. Both players call quickly. the turn is a 8 . GP now has the flush draw and the gut shot. He likes the card, and thinks of betting, but decids to check with the desire to check-raise most bets. The CO bets 220 into the 608 pot and the button calls. GP raises to 760. The CO folds, but the button calls very quickly. GP notes this and feels that because of the quick call he probably doesn't have a really strong hand. I'm guessing his logic is if he had a full house or even just a 3, he would be taking a bit more time to think about a possible raise.

GP missed on the river with the J . The pot is now $2,348. GP has $1,000 left and the button has $870 left. GP decids to put the button all in and the button folds.

It looks to me that the guy had the 7 or a club flush draw. Perhaps he might have had a hand like AQ and GP would have been in trouble if he hit his draw.

In this case his bluff on the river worked well for me and was consistent with his previous bets. Contrast this to the AK hand from my previous post where I think his turn check compromised his river bet.

First experience with Cardrunners.com and Green Plastic

I tried out cardrunners.com today. A buddy of mine uses it all the time and thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread so I thought I would give it a try. It’s basically a poker learning site. They have a bunch of pro poker players who record their online sessions and do audio commentary explaining what they are doing. Pretty cool idea so far.

The first video I downloaded was by a guy named Green Plastic. This is the name he uses on ultimatebet.com. The video I watched was a $5/10 game that he recorded on 10/28. Green Plastic plays a very aggressive style. He says that he usually plays $25/50 and $50/100 so $5/10 is way below his normal stakes. To keep himself from getting bored he plays a very aggressive style and he says that it works great and that he’s been killing the game. Cool, I was looking forward to seeing him at work.

He buys in for $1k and is at a short-handed table. There are 4-5 players throughout the session I watched. There was one guy called hm_general who had $3k and everyone else also had around $1k or a bit less.

Let me start out by saying that Green Plastic does seem like a very articulate and thoughtful player. I do commend him for making these videos and I assume he is as good as he claims to be. However, the first major hand I watched was very interesting and I really think he completely botched the hand. Let me share it with you:

Our hero is on the button and has AK and still has about $1k. There are two limpers to him and he raises $50. Only the SB calls.

The flop comes 398. It’s checked to our hero and he makes a pot sized bet of $120. The SB calls.

The turn brings a second 9 so the board now reads:


It’s checked again to Green Plastic and he checks. I HATE this check. He made a strong bet preflop and a strong bet on the flop. He likely has outs and perhaps is ahead right now. Assuming he bets the pot or pushes, what would call him? Definitely a 9, which is an unlikely holding but possible, definitely a made full house and probably AA, and maybe any overpair to the board but not likely. Nothing else would likely call. Right? My point is that with a strong drawing hand like AK I just don’t like the check given that so many hands that have him beat will fold, AND he likely has outs on the river even if he does get called. Now he is basically forcing himself to hit his outs because a good opponent will bet the river with a missed draw or a weak pair and maybe an overpair to the board.

My real issue is the river action. The river brings the J. This time the SB bets $360 which is a pot sized bet. Green Plastic doesn’t think the SB has a 9 so he pushes. It’s now another $480 for the SB to win about $1500 so he’s getting 3-1 on is call. Now if he has absolutely nothing I can see him folding, but what are the odds that he called a $50 preflop bet from out of position with nothing? What are the odds that he called the pot sized flop bet out of position with nothing? His check on the turn makes sense with a medium pair, an overpair, a fullhouse… basically any hand given that he believes that Green Plastic will continue to bet on the turn. There’s the problem with the turn check. Our hero now knows NOTHING about his opponent’s river bet. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

It turns out that the SB called with QT, so he did have very little preflop, had only a gut shot on the flop and made his hand on the river. While I don’t agree with the check on the turn, I HATE the river push. Our hero had virtually no information on the strength of his opponent’s hand given the check on the turn, yet he still pushed on the river. Now perhaps we can justify this crazy play if we had a tight image. However, he had been raising most pots and betting and check raising hand after hand. He had a hyper-aggressive imagine so his opponent was not likely to give him credit for a really strong hand so with 3-1 odds might have even called him down with any pair at all, and as I stated, there were all kinds of strong hands he should be expected to have had.

After the hand Green Plastic tried to justify his move by stating that he just didn’t see his opponent having a 9 given the fact that he didn’t raise on the flop and he was representing a 9 or better hand. However, I believe that there were all kinds of hands that the SB could have that would call the river push, and Green Plastic was not really representing a 9 at all. If he had a 9 it would have been foolish to check the turn after having bet and called both preflop and on the flop. In fact, Green Plastic’s most likely hand was a missed flush draw given his aggressive image and his check on the turn. Don’t you think?

Please don’t take this to mean that I think he’s a bad player. To the contrary, he seems like a strong player who didn’t have enough time to really think this through and he made a bad play. We all make bad plays. I look forward to continuing to watch these videos and I’ll report what else I find. This particular session is only 1/3 through so I’ll let you know how he does for the rest of the session in a later blog.

A little $5/10 No Limit

Visited Vegas last weekend with some old friends. Unfortunately they are not poker players but we hadn't seen each other for a few years and had a great time. On Saturday night after a few hours of partying we made our way to the Bellagio and left the gang at the craps tables and headed over to the poker room. I just love the Bellagio. Haven't played here much, but it is so classy and I have always done well here. Yes, I know the players are usually pretty good, but I find that late at night you get some fishy players, especially at the $5/10 NL tables. I think some of these guys are out with their girlfriends and are trying to impress. They probably don't have the skill level for $5/10, but are letting the beer tell them that they can score big.

Anyway, nothing happens for the first hour and then this hand comes up. I get dealt K 3 in the BB, and a really loose player in EP makes it $40 to go. He's done this about 5 out of the last 8 hands and only showed down his hand once. It was A5o. Two players call so i do the same.

The flop comes:

3 3 a

Not too bad. I decide to check to Mr. Loose. He hesitates for quite a while and pretends that he is going to throw away his hand then makes a 'what the heck' type look at us and throws in $150. He has about $1,000 behind. One guy insta calls who has $1,500ish behind and I call too also with about $1,500. I'm a bit worked about A3 or even AA, but not too worried just yet.

The turn is the beautiful case 3! I check again and Mr. Loose again goes into the act, saying how he knows that one of us has AA, but that he just can't get away from his hand so he pushes. Wow! The other guy calls too. Of course I beat the guy into the pot. The first guy had the nut flush draw (KQ ) and the other guy really got screwed with AA.

Nice hand.

The rest of the session was fairly boring. Fold, fold, fold, raise and everyone folds, etc., etc. I played for about 2 hours and was up $3k until my friends came and got me. Can't wait for my next Vegas trip.

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