A no-limit interlude

None of the good games were running early last night, so I wandered over to play some full ring NL. I was doing quite well until I ran into this hand:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em, $4 BB (9 handed)
Button ($413.40)
SB ($404)
BB ($479)
UTG ($442)
UTG+1 ($80)
MP1 ($414.55)
MP2 ($361.25)
MP3 ($564.85)
Hero ($597.90)

Preflop: Hero is CO with :As  :Qd.
2 folds, MP1 calls $4, 1 fold, MP3 raises to $16, Hero calls $16, Button calls $16, 2 folds, MP1 calls $12.

Flop: ($70) :5s, :Qs, :6d (4 players)
MP1 checks, MP3 bets $40, Hero raises to $104, Button folds, MP1 folds, MP3 raises to $240, Hero ???

I got myself in a predicament here.  My instinct is that most of the players I’ve seen at this level would play AA/KK more slowly here.  They’d probably call the check-raise with a hope to burn me later.  So the three bet doesn’t scare me completely, but it does make me a bit concerned.  I discussed this with some of the ITHers in IRC afterwards and most people’s initial reaction was to call.  In fact, that is what I did but I’m pretty sure that was a bad idea.  The way the hand played out, I think I should have shoved or folded.  Because once I called, he shoved on the turn (a blank) and I folded.   The problem is that I didn’t learn crap.  If he had AK, he was pretty much forced to shove the turn or give up on the hand.  After some discussion (with wack, especially) I thought shoving the flop was probably the best idea.

Today, I feel that the best decision was probably to just flat call the flop.  I’m not that scared of anything, except maybe a King on the turn and I can probably get my hand to showdown for a lot less money.  The check-raise probably folds most AK hands, which might have given me more money if I just called and would probably get stacked if an Ace fell.  I won’t have displayed enough strength to get him to shove (right?) so I think I can get to showdown more often.

The other way to look at it is that he really did have AA or KK and I saved some money this way.  He would have bet $100 or so on the turn, which I call and then I probably call another hundo or so on the river.  I raised to figure out if he had me beat and he told me did.  Of course, the problem is that poker players lie.  All the time.

My general sense is that most of these NL players at this level are fairly tight and timid, with intermittent bluffy moments.  I called an overbet on the river with 22 unimproved and tilted some guy, but I was 99% certain he was bluffing.  He had shown a strong tendency to make small blocking bets on the river with his medium strength hand, so the big overbet was either a bluff or a monster and the monster just didn’t make any sense given his action, so it had to be a bluff.  No one really seemed to bluff at me again at that table.

I wound up actually dropping a small amount at the NL400 tables, but later on the 15/30 was running and I won it back and ended the night with a small profit (I’m not at my PokerTracker machine, but I think it was like $100 or $200).

I’m also slowly cleaning up my blogroll.  Many of the regulars from a couple of years ago never post anymore and there are a few new blogs in town. My man Fumseck is still at it and I stole the card image code used on these hand histories from him (although I had to tweak it slightly).

By Nsidestrate

I'm a hard-core limit ring game poker player who is becoming a degenerate sports bettor. I'm sure it will all make more sense if you read on.