Thursday, April 21, 2011

Faldo Did Not Get Unlucky – He Got Outplayed

One of the best self-training methods you can do is to review big hands you lose and try and determine any errors you made or any actions that might have changed the outcome. It is especially good to do this with a another player who’s opinion you respect. I talked this over with Thai Food.

As reported, Faldo was unceremoniously dumped out of the Howell Sharks Club Tuesday tournament on the 3rd hand dealt. After really thinking about it, it was actually the 4th hand. But was it ‘that’s poker’- or was it somehow Faldo’s fault? As the title indicates – my bad.

Let’s do the deep dive shall we?

Tournament opens and we all have 9800 in chips. Only the small blind (SB) posts for 100. Faldo is in seat 5 and the Dealer is seat 1, so the first SB is in seat 2. We have eight players as seat 8 is open.

First hand, seat 4 raises to 300 and we all fold.
Second hand, Faldo folds but there is 4-way action. After the flop Seat 4 bets and everyone folds.
Third hand, seat 4 (chip leader) is the SB. It is folded to seat 7 who raises to 300. It is folded to seat 4 who makes it 800 and seat 7 folds.

Faldo notes ‘possible loose – aggressive player in seat 4’. You can’t slip subtle things like that past Faldo. I have a maniac to my right and LittleRedElf in seat 6 to my left. I am not exactly in the best seat at the table.

The next hand Faldo is in the SB. It folds to seat 2 who makes it 300. Seat 3 calls as does seat 4. Faldo looks down to see two black aces! Faldo raises to 1200.

Discussion Point #1: Was this the proper play? Do I move all in and try and take the 900 chip pot and love a call? Should I have bet 1500, 2000 to 3000 with a better chance of getting either of the actions I desire?

Obviously, calling is not the right play here (sorry Tigercub8189, but it is not).

Discussion and thought leads me to the conclusion that I invited my demise almost much as much as a call would have. I recognized the maniac to my right and needed to drive everyone out EXCEPT probably him, which is the correct play. So a bet of 2000 to 3000 was the best play I now believe. I bet according to the chips called (300) and not their combined worth (900). I think a 2500 or 2700 bet is optimum. All in doesn’t suck either.

As it turned out, everyone calls which is the worst case for my hand. It’s called schooling and I am about to go from the shark to the chum with a flop. Pot at 4800 chips.

[ Jd Td 7c] Bad flop for aces, especially black ones. Every draw in the world is out there and any of my dream red aces could mean my death by a straight or flush hitting.

Faldo realizes this, but can’t just check and let everyone draw for free. Faldo bets 3000.

Discussion point #2: Is this the proper amount? Two-thirds pot is a standard play heads up, but against three callers? If I don’t think I am up against trip, moving all in appears to be the best play.

I have seat 2 on KK or QQ. I have seat 3 and 4 on draws or air. Maybe that is wishful thinking but that is why I bet two-thirds pot instead of all in. I want to see where I am at. My error pre-flop I incorrectly feel, forces me to play the hand this way. Why move in when only trip will call you?

But this is another error: I did not go with my read. I played it safe.

Seat 2 reluctantly folds and Seat 3 mucks so fast the cards should have gotten speeding tickets (score two correct Faldo reads). Seat 4 moves all in.

Now any other player, this is a rough but I think fairly easy fold. Trips are probably what I am facing. But seat 4 has played every hand.

Does he have (Ad Kd), (JJ), (TT), (77), (AJ), (JT), (KQ) or a flush draw {I never even considered (98) or (98 suited)}? My rockets (AA) are in serious hurt here. Remember this is RUSH POKER – and I have only 15 seconds to decide. I have no visual read due to the fact he is right next to me.

I throw out (JJ) and (TT) as I think he would have raised pre-flop with either of those. If he has (77) or (JT) then I got unlucky and my errors- pre-flop and post flop - may have caused it.

I put him on a draw (50%) or (AJ) (30%) or has me killed (77 or JT) (20%) as he seems to be an action player. I call and he has (9d 7d)!

What? Now my error pre-flop really is magnified. I see his hand and incorrectly think it is now a coin flip situation. But in reality Seat 4 is the favorite before the turn card (58% -41%). So when the [4d] hits the river, it was not a “bad beat”.

I was out-played and/or committed slow suicide. Seat 4 played the hand loosely pre-flop and correctly post flop and the card gods rewarded him. His all-in move was perfect and perfectly timed. He is behind only to trip Jacks but has a ton of outs. Post flop talent allows you to play loose pre-flop.

I lost this hand, and that tournament. But I learned from it and that should make me more money than the entry fee I lost. Chalk it up to poker tuition.

You get it free reading the NPP blog. Feel free to chime in folks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the analysis...very similar to how I died in what may be my last NPP tuesday night. My JJ needed to be played with an all in preflop and I just sissy raised. Would like to use this opportunity to tell you thanks for tourney directing and blog and e-mail feedback for all this time. It has been a pleasure. DD