Having built my stack from 10,000 to 10,900 in the early stages, it seemed like there was nothing for me to worry about. But worry I did, as I had already misplayed two premium hands by going for the fancy and complicated, yes in the end even somewhat weak-tight moves, when just straightforward betting could have made me much more money. Still, I had gotten away with my bad play – up to that point, at least.
Failed Fancy Play costs half a stack
Then I got involved with the strong Lee Nelson, co-author of the excellent “Kill Phil” book. Being in the cutoff as the first one in, with the blinds still just at 50-100, he had made it 300 to go. Holding K Q on the button, I seemed to have an automatic reraise, knowing that Lee could be opening with a very wide range of hands here. But because the money was so deep, because of my good position, and because if I made a standard reraise to around 1000, I would be opening myself up to a reraise that my hand probably couldn’t stand, I decided to just call. Both blinds folded, and the flop came Q 10 4 , giving me top pair / decent kicker. Lee bet out 850, and after some deliberation I decided to flatcall, knowing that my hand had a very good chance of being best. The turn came an awful-looking jack, and when Lee checked, I decided to simply check it back. Then, when a blank came on the river, he bet out 1500. I went into the tank. For all the world, this looked like a value-bet, where quite possibly Lee’s turn check had been a trap. On the other hand, I knew that my opponent knew that – as he had seen me do earlier – I could easily have flatcalled before the flop with an AK, on top of that a hand that would be consistent with my flop play, and to a lesser degree also my turn play. (Many players would simply check the nut straight back here. I wouldn’t – but as I had never played with Lee before, I was certain he did not know this.) Also, I knew that if he was value-betting with hands like AA, KK or AK, yes maybe even JT or so, he would almost certainly fold to a raise. So, in the end I decided to go for it, and made it 5025 total. But alas, Lee called me fairly quickly, holding 98 for a smaller straight he had made on the turn.
I had simply gotten outplayed here, having wasted 5025 on a raise that I shouldn’t have made. Heck, I lost money on a hand that I should have made money with had I done the obvious (either reraising before the flop, or raising on the turn).
My stack now being down to 4725, I knew it was time to change gears, and simply start playing better. I continued to play tight, but started using my “specialty” more (reraising a rather loose raiser on total air to make him fold the best hand there and then). So, after I had been transferred to a juicy table where I continued to win small pots uncontested, I had worked my way to over 10K again without ever being all-in. I felt good again about my prospects, seeing some flagrant errors in my opponents’ play – and this included giving away many obvious tells.
Ace fancy-plays himself to the rail
But then, I fancy-played myself to the rail – basically before the event had even started. With blinds 150-300 and a 25 ante, I had already made two massive – and successful, because uncontested – overbets, and I didn’t want to become too predictable this early in the event. So, when it got folded to the small blind who called, and I found AJ offsuit in the big blind, I did what I normally wouldn’t do: check it back. I didn’t want to make it 1000 or 1200 to go as I would be reopening the betting, and would give my opponent the chance for a “resteal” if you will, but I also didn’t fancy a bigger reraise simply because of the depth of the money and the nature of my hand. After all, with specifically AJ offsuit, I could never make my opponent any kind of mistakes with a massive raise here – he would probably call with any better hand that he could have, and fold all weaker hands. Plus, having position on my opponent, it should be fairly easy for me to outplay my opponent after the flop even if he had a hand like AK that he had been trying to trap me with. And even if he didn’t have a big hand but some random hand that for instance he would flop a small pair with, well then I should still be able to raise him off his hand probably after the flop, given the fact that I could have any hand, and had in fact disguised my actual big ace by not raising.
Anyway, the flop came 4 3 2 , and the small blind instantly bet 800 into the 850 pot. I was contemplating my best move. Holding the A myself, I knew that I had a key card in the deck. What’s more, as many players would automatically go for the steal after the flop in a blinds only / unraised pot situation, and based on the unlikelihood of the small blind having a hand that he could stand the heat with, I decided that folding would be giving a bit too much credit here. What’s more, it should have been clear that as the big blind in an unraised pot, this was exactly the type of flop that very well could have helped me.
I decided not to mess around. Thinking that if I raised big, my opponent would fold any pair with no extras, any gutshot straight draw and almost certainly also any open-ended straight draw as long as it had no pair to go with it, I decided to make a massive reraise – to about 8K or so. I was thinking that almost regardless of my opponent’s hand, even if I would get called (say by a pair or a flush draw or so) I would not be not dead by any means. As it turned out, nothing could be further from the truth. My opponent put me all-in for 3100 more, and I called because of my tremendous odds (that in fact I had created myself with my massive raise). My opponent showed 65 for the nut straight, and I was drawing dead to a runner-runner flush that I didn’t get.
When I left the table, I thought about all the fancy plays I had made today, most of whom had gone sour. The AA I had limped with when I should have raised. The QQ hand that I should have bet & raised instead of checked. TheK Q hand that I should have reraised preflop, raised on the flop, and folded on the river. And finally the AJ hand where I simply could have picked up the pot by raising before the flop, but instead chose to do otherwise.
Sometimes it is correct to play a bit creative & tricky; without these traits, one could never be a winning player. But what I had done today was let my opponents catch up on a regular basis, give them free cards when there was no need to, and then give them excessive action once they had made their hands. Having checked out my poker library and consulted my high-rolling friends, the unanimous conclusion seemed to be that indeed, this had probably not been the smartest of all strategies. Or, in other words: I had simply played some awfully stupid poker – and had flat out blown my $5K.
Dieser Artikel erschien auf PokerOlymp am 24.09.2007.