Friday, January 18, 2008

Playing the KORD, an Interesting Post and a Hand

Edit: The start of the KORD is at 2100 eastern time...not 9 central.

Play the KORD tonight. All the information is on the banner above. And for everyone how doesn't like the banner...It will be changed after this tourney.

I read an interesting post over at highonpoker that got me thinking a little bit about the skills involved in Razz. One of the comments that Jordan made was that Razz isn’t really a tournament game and that the variance involved makes it difficult to be profitable. He also talked about Razz cash games being where the money should be made because solid decision making will earn you a profit over time. And finally he said that the skills needed for Razz are not as deep as the skills needed for other forms of poker.

For the most part, I agree with what he says. I think Cash games can be exploited…especially at the lower levels and I do agree that some of the skills needed for Razz pale in comparison to other games. But I do think that you can earn a profit playing Razz tourneys. The key is, and I’ve written about it before, is identifying specific players and using there flaws to get you in position for success. Yes, when you get deep, everyone is at a critical point in the tourney and one mistake leaves you out of the money. And yes, you don’t have as much control over your destiny but it is about making the right decisions. I’ve done ok in tourneys but maybe it is just variance hitting me for an extended period of time.

I guess the real point is that we should all play the games that give up the best return. Razz just seems to be one of the games that I do well in and because I am more of a tourney player then a cash game player, I have only one side of the argument that I can comment on. I have started playing more cash games and intend to continue to work on that part of my Razz game.

Now, I have an interesting hand from last nights $5 Razz tourney on Full Tilt. It involved me with a great starting hand and possibly not getting away from a hand that I should have folded.

Full Tilt Poker Game #4899955222: $5 + $0.50 Tournament (37103231), Table 3 - 150/300 Ante 25 - Limit Razz - 23:04:08 ET - 2008/01/17
Seat 1: Wrangler90 (5,009)
Seat 2: JudeSalem (2,673)
Seat 3: yancypants (2,711)
Seat 4: yank333 (4,397)
Seat 5: pokerjane2 (2,303)
Seat 6: steede302 (4,159)
Seat 7: slider800 (2,695)
Seat 8: pokerenthusiast (1,900)
Wrangler90 antes 25
JudeSalem antes 25
yancypants antes 25
yank333 antes 25
pokerjane2 antes 25
steede302 antes 25
slider800 antes 25
pokerenthusiast antes 25
*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to Wrangler90 [9c]
Dealt to JudeSalem [Kh]
Dealt to yancypants [2c]
Dealt to yank333 [Qh]
Dealt to pokerjane2 [Th]
Dealt to steede302 [Jc]
Dealt to slider800 [Qs]
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [3d 4h] [Ac]
JudeSalem is high with [Kh]
JudeSalem brings in for 50
yancypants completes it to 150
yank333 folds
pokerjane2 folds
steede302 has 15 seconds left to act
steede302 is sitting out
steede302 has timed out
steede302 folds
slider800 folds
pokerenthusiast calls 150
Wrangler90 folds
JudeSalem folds

Standard call here. This is almost a spot that I may re-raise to get some chips in the pot but I’m not at push time yet. Looking at the door cards, there are only two players who should play.

*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to yancypants [2c] [3h]
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [3d 4h Ac] [9h]
yancypants bets 150
pokerenthusiast calls 150

This isn’t great for me but I want another card. It is very possible he has bricked here and with only the two of us with playable hand it could have been a semi steal with a high card under.

*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to yancypants [2c 3h] [4d]
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [3d 4h Ac 9h] [7h]
yancypants bets 300
pokerenthusiast has 15 seconds left to act
pokerenthusiast calls 300

I really don’t like this but I have to think he has paired at least. It is also possible my draw to the 7 is better. As you can see by the time bank I gave this some thought. There was a hand earlier in the night that actually gave me the courage to call here. Yancy and I were involved in a hand where I had 34 showing on 4th and he had 45 and he folded to my bet. Now he could have folded a brick or he might have been folding with a high card behind. This was what caused me to stay in the hand.

*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to yancypants [2c 3h 4d] [Js]
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [3d 4h Ac 9h 7h] [Ts]
pokerenthusiast checks
yancypants bets 300
pokerenthusiast calls 300

You can see that I’m still worried and the passive way I played this hand show the weakness I was feeling and that I was worried he would draw out if he had paired. If I really like my hand I should have re-raised for more information. He actually did a great job of applying pressure.

*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [3d 4h Ac 9h 7h Ts] [5d]
pokerenthusiast checks
yancypants bets 300
pokerenthusiast calls 300

Now I have a 7 and am to stupid to have let the hand go before. I’m hoping he had an an unimproved 8.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
yancypants shows [Kc Jd 2c 3h 4d Js Tc] J,T,4,3,2
pokerenthusiast shows [5d 4h Ac 9h 7h Ts 3d] 7,5,4,3,A
pokerenthusiast wins the pot (2,650) with 7,5,4,3,A
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2,650 | Rake 0
Seat 1: Wrangler90 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 2: JudeSalem folded on 3rd St.
Seat 3: yancypants showed [Kc Jd 2c 3h 4d Js Tc] and lost with J,T,4,3,2
Seat 4: yank333 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 5: pokerjane2 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 6: steede302 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 7: slider800 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 8: pokerenthusiast showed [5d 4h Ac 9h 7h Ts 3d] and won (2,650) with 7,5,4,3,A

Now I got lucky that he didn’t actually have a hand behind. I think he did a good job of keeping the pressure on me. This is a donkish play most of the time and it show how vulnerable I was to my ego and reads from previous plays. I actually made the decision to suck out on yancyonce when we got to 6th street because I thought my draw to the 7 was ahead of his holdings and I hand already committed to much money to the pot on a hand that didn’t look good. Sometimes the cards just fall right.


Mark Gritter said...

I think you should be raising on 3rd here--- but not necessarily to get more money in early. It's because the 2 raising is so likely to be a steal. If he doesn't have a legitimate hand you will take the pot down right then.

If he does, you are pretty much committing yourself to see 5th but that's OK with your quality starter. (And it appears that mentally you were prepared to go to 5th and beyond anyway...)

jusdealem said...

I think it was a GREAT read on your part, PE. One of his comments after the hand was that he thought you were a good enough player to fold when he showed strength. In reality, you are a good enough player to see through BS. Tell me that's not skill, I don't care what Jordan says...

Different skills for Razz, maybe, but skills nonetheless.

GG, Jude

yancy said...

Great post, PE. It's cool to see where you were coming from in the hand. Here's my side of the debacle:

I will very seldom attempt to steal with two paint in the hole in a $5 tourney, even with just one small card left to act. The reason I played the hand is because I discovered this blog a few days ago, and read PE's post where he folded the made 8 on 5th to Miami Don's raise with a ten showing, and Jordan just smooth calling with his 8 (or 8 draw). But anyway...

Most everyone else in that tourney was calling down far too light for me to get involved on a total bluff with two paint. My thought was: if PE doesn't have a real starting hand (probable), he folds. If he calls and bricks, he folds on 4th. If we both catch good, I have another chance to take the pot away on 5th based on my very tight impression of his play based on the aforementioned blog post.

If he raises on 3rd street, I'm gone. If I brick on 4th and he doesn't, I'm gone. Both of those losses are small enough to make the steal attempt worthwhile in a tourney, in my opinion.

The only horrible case is where we both catch decent, I apply pressure all the way down, he makes a real hand, and I lose a big pot. Unfortunately for me, this is exactly what happened.

I never caught bad enough to slow down until 6th, but checking the J almost turns my bluff face up. I feel that my bet there says "the J didn't hurt me because my hand was already made, and I'm going to charge you to keep drawing." There's definitely an argument to be made for just check-folding at that point and cutting my losses.

Once I bet 6th and PE calls drawing to a 7, I feel I absolutely have to bet on 7th, because if he misses, he'll almost certainly lay down a 97. At that point the pot is laying me great odds for him to have missed. I hope that makes sense.

But he smelled the bluff, made his hand, and proved that my uber-tight read was a little too one-dimensional. Well played, sir. Don't expect to see me bluffing into you with two paint anytime soon. =)

Everyone feel free to shoot holes in this post and call bullshit where you see it. I'm here to learn, I can take it.

The Poker Enthusiast said...

I agree with you having to bet to know thats the only chance and you did show strength. It was unfortunate for you that I caught the 7 and chased with the best hand...I may fold an 8 there.

HighOnPoker said...

PE, if you raise on 3rd street, you will be able to better define his hand. In this instance, he would have likely folded or flat called, at which point, you know that he does not have amazing cards. With that info, the 234 board doesn't appear to necessarily pair him as much as if he re-re-raised you on 3rd.

So, in other words, I raise on 3rd just to get a better idea of what yancy is playing with.

The Poker Enthusiast said...

I would agree with that being part of my game that I need to improve. A small win is better then a chaing lose every day. It is a much better play to try to define his hand at that point.

One of the problems I have is trying to control pot size to much and in this case I new I was playing to 5th street regardless of what I hit on 4th so a Re-raise is only one more small bet.

yancy said...

To Jordan's point, if he raises on 3rd I'm gone like the wind. I actually like his flat call there. Personally, I will seldom reraise on 3rd unless there are other small/medium cards behind and I want to discourage a three-way pot. In this case, PE was almost certain we'd be heads up on 4th.

The reason I don't like putting an extra bet in there even if I strongly suspect I'm ahead, is just to keep the variance down in tourneys. I'll be folding more than chasing when I brick 4th, so why get extra money in early if I don't have to? Different story in a cash game where my stack size is basically irrelevant.

Calling on 3rd also conceals the strength of his three wheel cards. He can make a 5, 6, or smooth 7 and get me to pay off with a rough 7 or an 8. If he raises on 3rd, I slow down and could possibly even get away from an 8 draw if he continues to improve.

Of course I had nothing close to a real hand, so that last paragraph is moot in this particular case.