Thursday, May 17, 2007

Implied odds at the Crackhouse

Haven't written a blog entry in a while...

I played in a 2 person tourney Monday night at the Crackhouse in Brooklyn. Though I did well early on, a couple of suckouts from other people cut into my chip stack enough so that I had no ammunition left by the time I reached the final table. When I finally did my patented all-in UTG move with Kd8d, I was called by the big blind with AA. I’m sure he wasn’t happy that I killed his action either, but so it goes. I busted out 8th in the tourney, outlasting some very fine players in the process.

During the game, in the second blind level, I made a nice pot against Ron, Karol’s brother by hitting my open ended straight draw on the river. He was mightily pissed about it too and I started to wonder if I played it correctly or it I had just gotten lucky. After doing some analysis on the hand, I think I *did* play it correctly though it might not have seemed so to Ron. Here’s what went down:

Blinds are 50/100 and starting stacks at the table are 3000. I have about 3500 in front of me. Ron raises UTG to 300 and I call in 5th position with J9o. I normally wouldn’t call this in middle/early position, but I read Ron as having two high cards and I thought I could crack him nicely. It’s risky though, because I would optimally want 1-2 other people to call to give me pot odds here and if they re-raise Ron, I have to fold. The table is semi-weak, though, and only one other player calls. The pot now contains 1050.

The flop is T82, rainbow. I flop an OESD with an overcard (my Jack). Ron leads out with 300. I am now certain he has AK or AQ. He’s scared the board didn’t connect with him, and two players are behind him, but he’s willing to make a continuation bet anyway. I consider a re-raise semi-bluff, but wimp out and call instead. The 3rd players folds. There is not 1650 in the pot. Here’s where things get interesting.

The turn is a K. Ron immediately bets 600. This confirms in my mind that his AK has now paired up. He’s confident he has the best hand. I now have to call 600 into a pot of 2250 to see the river. I have a 16% chance (approx.) to make my straight which is about 6-1, but the pot is only offering slightly less than 4-1. This would normally be a clear fold EXCEPT for implied odds. If I hit my straight, it would make me the nuts, or second nuts, and if I can get him to call another bet, I’ll have the money needed to make the initial call. How much more would he have to bet? 2-1 more on my 600 = 1200. I call, hoping his machismo will drive him to call my river bet, if I hit.

The river is a Q, making me the second nuts (nuts is AJ). He checks to me, further proof in my eyes he has AK. I bet out the 1200 and he hesitates but calls, showing down AK (yay, reading skills). I flip over the J9 and he steams.

I did play pot odds the whole way, though it was risky. A lot of things could have gone wrong, especially if he didn’t call the 1200 river bet. But tourneys are like that sometimes. You have to take risks to accumulate chips. That’s how it is at the Crackhouse!

In other interesting sightings…7c4c at my table called a preflop raise to go heads up! Furthermore, she flopped a flush draw and called huge bets to see her cards and suck out a flush on the turn against AA.

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