Hey all. Hope you are doing well.

I just finished up a weekend (and Monday night) playing the ME at Hollywood Park Casino. It was a deep stack event (20k starting chips) and a very good structure. Unfortunately I ran pretty bad and didn’t play great so the results were not was I was hoping for.

I want to go over a couple of hands from this weekend. The first one is a lesson we should all learn and never forget and the second one is about gambling to get a big stack, which I would like some feedback on.

The first hand happened in the Saturday session about 4 hours in. I started the hand with 46bb in the 100/500/1000 level. The villain in this hand was about 8-10 years older than I was and had a very tight image. He had about 65bb to start.

The villain raises UTG +1 to 2500, CO and button calls, SB folds and I have 68hh. I call. 4 way action.

Flop was 5d7dTs. I flopped open ended. I was going to check raise the villain’s C bet, so I checked but then everyone checked. The turn card was the 9s. Bingo. I led out 8k and was hoping someone caught the T or picked up a spade draw to call me.

The villain tank called and everyone else folded. At this point, I put him on a spade draw or AXss since he did not bet the flop. I took diamonds out of his range for now.

The river is the 4d completing the front door flush draw. I didn’t feel he had diamonds so I led 16k leaving myself with 20k behind. Looking back I think my river bet was a little small compared to the pot size.

Anyway our villain counts out my bet, tanks, looks at me, and then jams. Huh? Oh shit. Didn’t see that coming.

Into the tank I go and the leveling war in my head starts. What in the hell could he be jamming here with? I know the draw came in, but wouldn’t a normal pre flop raiser C bet with the nut flush draw and over cards on that board? I know it would be into 3 other players, but it made sense that he would want to build a pot with such a big draw. Also, he may just c bet and take the whole pot down.

My next thought is a set. Can’t be a set of anything on the flop because I think he would have bet with the draw out there. Then if he had 99 and he made a set on the turn, he would have raised me then and we could have gotten it in.

Wow. He really had me confused. Could he possibly have a missed spade draw? AKss, KQss, KJss, Axss were in his range I guess.

Well as I was thinking, he called a clock. If you have ever played with me, you know I don’t take a lot of time when I am thinking about hands, so again this surprised me. I had taken about a minute so far so I was a little mad he called it so fast.

I really was about to fold until he called the clock. I leveled myself one last time thinking there is no way someone calls the clock on you when he has the nuts. It doesn’t make any sense. If I had the nuts and I thought a guy might call, I will sit there for hours and not say a word and just keep yelling call call call in my mind.

The floor came over and in about 10 more seconds, I called. At the end I put him on a missed flush draw.

Of course he turned over AJdd for the nuts and I was busto. Good read. LOL.

After deep thought about this hand, I realize now what a bad call it was. Let me explain why.

We all know playing these so called fish in the lower level tournaments that we play are pretty bad. Their bet sizing is horrendous, they can’t play short stacked, and they basically just play ABC poker. They do bluff once in a while, but overall we crush these types of players and all of our deep runs are made because they give us most, if not all, of their chips when we have them crushed.

There is a key to this though. You can steal and abuse them, but when they do push back, especially on the river, they have it 99.9% of the time. This is a fact that we should NEVER forget. Not only should we not forget it, we should tattoo it on our heads.

BGJ and I talk about this all the time. When you are in a hand with these types of players, just keep betting until they raise and then fold (unless we have the nuts of course). This works so much its unbelievable. Raise pre (in position), C bet, bet turn, and  even bet river. Doesn’t matter what you have. Try to keep the bet sizing a little lower if you are bluffing and higher for value, but overall, this just works.  Starting to put his into your game will make you a better player in the lower buy in MTT’s.

In my hand, even though I know this is true, I think I finally realized that the pot was so big and I was going to take the chance that this was the one time out of ten that he might of thought he had the best hand with two pair or a set because the straight was a little hidden. Stupid of me not to just follow my #1 rule and call. Lesson learned.

In the second hand, I had built up a decent stack of 70bb about 4 hours into the event. I was still on the same starting table and we had only lost a couple of players. I was a little card dead at the time and I don’t think I had played a hand for at least a couple of orbits.

I was UTG +1 with A4dd with the blinds 25/200/400 so I made it 1100 to go. My sizing was a little high but I did think i had a little more fold equity with a little bigger sizing and with my image being so tight lately. I figured I would get the BB to call and I had position. I should had made it lower though in case I get 3 bet which obviously I would have had to fold.

Anyway, the CO, button, and both blinds call. 5 way action. Pot is 5750 pre.

Flop is 5d7d9s. I flopped the nut flush draw and an over card. Nice. Both blinds check, I lead 3300, CO folds, button calls and now to our villain in the SB.

He was a tight player. He hadn’t played too many hands and was a little over 21k. When it got to him, he tanked a little, then said raise. He put in my 3300 and counted out 9k more. The BB folded and it was back to me.

The first thing I did was have him count what he had left. I wanted to see if I had any fold equity at all if I ship. He said he had about 8500 left so that was out. Secondly, I checked out the buttons stack and he only had about 6k left. He then became a non factor in my thought process.

Second thing I did was to count the pot. Currently, there was 24,650 (figured around 25k) which was like 60bb. If I jammed and he called (forgot about the button), there was another approx 35k going in. That brings the pot to 60k which is 150bb. Wow this was a big one and would be even bigger if the button sticks his last 6k in.

So at this point, I know 100% the SB has me beat currently. He has a set, two pair, or even the straight. It really doesn’t matter what he has because I know I have zero fold equity. When he made that bet, he essentially shoved even though he didn’t actually say the words All In.

If you were in this exact spot, what would you do? Raise, call or fold? I would love some feedback on this hand and I will give you the results next week.


That’s it for this week. I will be playing Commerce starting on Wednesday so it should be a fun 3 weeks of action.

Take care and have a great week.







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