Wednesday, October 18, 2006

To Calldown or Not Call Down

First, I would like to say thanks to those that answered the poll question regarding whether or no you liked me putting in my poker session charts. I will continue to do so when it deems appropriate. Anybody that hasn't voted, please feel free to do so by scrolling down a bit.

As usual, when things start going down you take a look at where it could be better. While I'm not going to regurgitate all the things that I do as I have covered that before in my finding leaks posts (which you can find over on the right). One thing that has always plagued me is when to calldown and when not to call down. Also and similarly, when to keep betting (more on that later). Obviously, there are many BB that can be saved by just folding and waiting for a better spot; but the other side is that you can make up BB by calling down people who were bluffing or just on strong draws. The first part of this post will centered around the below hand.

FullTiltPoker Game #1111190972: Table Alpine (6 max) - $3/$6 - Limit Hold'em - 22:39:23 ET - 2006/10/16
Seat 1: AustinisTight ($219.50)
Seat 4: willwonka ($61.50)
Seat 5: mRaise ($62)
Seat 6: serch19 ($182.50)
mRaise posts the small blind of $1.50
serch19 posts the big blind of $3
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to willwonka [Kh Ks]
AustinisTight calls $3
willwonka raises to $6
mRaise raises to $9
serch19 folds
AustinisTight calls $6
willwonka raises to $12
mRaise calls $3
AustinisTight has 15 seconds left to act
AustinisTight calls $3
*** FLOP *** [As Jc Ad]
DR DOOBIUS sits down
mRaise bets $3
AustinisTight folds
willwonka raises to $6
DR DOOBIUS adds $60
mRaise raises to $9
willwonka calls $3
*** TURN *** [As Jc Ad] [Jh]
AustinisTight is sitting out
mRaise bets $6
dwyatt1012 sits down
willwonka has 15 seconds left to act
willwonka folds
Uncalled bet of $6 returned to mRaise
mRaise mucks
mRaise wins the pot ($55)
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $57 Rake $2
Board: [As Jc Ad Jh]
Seat 1: AustinisTight folded on the Flop
Seat 4: willwonka (button) folded on the Turn
Seat 5: mRaise (small blind) collected ($55), mucked
Seat 6: serch19 (big blind) folded before the Flop

Here are things that go into my thinking process.

How many people in the hand and my position on the hand. In this hand, I was on the button with 4 people in the hand. Of course this my favorite place to be. UTG limped and I'm obviously raising with KK. Now SB raises and BB folds and UTG calls. Again, no brainer as I am capping this with the 2nd Nut preflop hand and again both guys come along putting 6BB in the hand preflop. The flop comes AJA rainbow and this is where things become interesting (at least somewhat). Small blind leads out. Hmmm what to do from here? Let's look at some other things first.

Stack Sizes. Many times short stacks will just go crazy and just hope to get lucky... either by getting somebody to fold or actually hit their hand. In this case, the SB is short with only 10BB to start with. I am in a similar situation and the other two were deep. In my opinion, I don't usually see maniacal play when you have 10BB. At least maniacal as I definied above. There are maniacs everywhere which leads to my next though.

Reads. Reads can be formulated many ways and I am speaking of the online poker variety. The simplest is by direct obsevation. What hands has this guy actually shown down and how has play been. This kind of read can become a challenge when you are playing 3 or 4 tables. That is where things like Poker Tracker and Pokerace HUD come into play. Yes, they are crutch; but fairly dependable. 90% of my reads are from this method. OK, This hand. The table had been a full 6 man table for a while but was now just 4. The SB was definitely a LAG (48 VPIP, 18PFR) so his range is very wide. UTG was also loose. So my decision to Fold, Call or raise. Given my read, I raised and I did it pretty quickly. He doesn't have to have an Ace or JJ; but he might and I want to him to tell me early on. Well, he replies all right. He raised me back. Next thought.

One similar thought. puts out a poll everyday and encourage everybody to go take a look as it is good stuff. Today's question was "I use hand-tracking software when I play online poker". The options were yes and no. Any guesses on the results? With 1,672 votes, only 17% of the players said yes. I found this pretty surprising. First off, we are on Cardplayer magazine so we have poker enthusiasts. I guess the thing I didn't factor in is the level of play of people that actually going out to the site. Sounds like mostly lower limits. I find it hard to believe that just 2 out of the 6 people at the table (of which I am one of) are using something like PT. More stuff to come later. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program.

TiltFactor. Another way of saying TiltFactor is how have things gone for the night and how would that be affecting your decisions. It was fairly late in the night and here is a quick glimpse of how the night went. In my first session (which I will define session as me getting the need 200 pts to qualify for FTP Iron Man), I flopped 2 pair 3 times, sets 2 times, Trips 1 time, straights 2 times and AA lost all of them (eerily familiar to an earlier night just few nights ago). Also relevant is that I had KK 3 times before that. One time in the BB where everybody folded. DOH!!!! hate that. The other two times Ace came on the flop. I didn't lose both hands; but I did lose one of them (the one I won was folded after my contiuation bet). So KK is not my friend tonight. Anyway, that 1st session saw me lose $150. I decided to play another session after sitting a bit because since it was past 11pM (Central Time), I could start on my next days 200 pts for FTP Iron Man. This time thing were going better and I made up $100 up to the point of this hand (approximately). So, he raised me back. He's trying to tell me that he has an ace or JJ (or is he). I rarely run up against the time clock; but I did put some thought into this. One more thought before we finish up.

Pot Odds. How many times do I need to win in a call down situation to make it worth it. I'm not a math guy at the poker tables; but given the read on the guy, it is probably reasonable to just call down from here. It would cost me 2 1/2 BBs to win 11BB. Probably worth it, I call. The Turn bring another J. Crap!!! He leads out again. Given the fact that I was doing OK in the second session and most likely was behind. I gave it up.

So my question is.... Who calls this down? Given the LAGgy nature of this guy, I would not argue with it. So I potentially save 2 BBs. I was hoping we would show; but he didn't. It kind of wears on you because you just want to know if you were beat or bluffed... which you could live with both. You just WANT to know.

Speaking of Cardplayer earlier, in addition to their daily poll questions, they also have Poker Quizzes. These are taken from Bob Caiffone and Jim Brier's book, Middle Limit Holdem Poker. They rotate these throughout the day and it is excellent stuff.

One of the quizzes today was about betting at the end. Which again could potentially be a leak. When is it good to get that value bet in and when is better just to check fold or check call. Take a look below.

TOPIC: Betting on the End
A $15-$30 game. You open with a raise from middle position with the A-Q. Two other middle players call. There is $115 in the pot and three players. The flop comes: 9-7-5, giving you a backdoor nut flush-draw and two overcards. You bet into two opponents. Only one opponent calls. There is $145 in the pot and two players. The turn is the 9. You bet again because the top card has paired, your opponent did not raise your flop bet, and you might win the pot outright. He calls. There is $205 in the pot. The river is the 3. What do you do?

What do you do? We have all been bitten by the raise on the river so let's take a look at their answer.

Check. The reason this problem is included is because the player bet the river, and later argued that if his opponent did not have a flush, he was worried that the person would have a pair, and that he could not survive a showdown. Checking and calling is much better, since you gain $30 when he is bluffing. Betting here would be bad because he will call with any pair and raise with a made hand like a flush. He might fold an ace-king, but with this hand, he might not even be in the pot at this point.

Yep, I agree. I probably agree 80%-90% with what they say which obviously means absolute nothing as they are the experts, not me. A lot of the times, I think my answers differ due to playing short handed versus full ring which I assume that these questions are based from. Anyway, good stuff and I encourage everybody to make a daily stop there.

Have a good day.


L'artiste said...

That KK hand, you’re probably beat, I would have folded on the flop after he re-raises you. He probably has quads or AJ. If this were an heads-up pot, I would call down from the flop to showdown. But a three way pre-flop cap? Yup, you’re beat.

Anonymous said...

hey will,,

I had some thoughts about your K-K hand (A-A-J board)... while I don't hate your flop raise.. I prefer a call down mode here (even in a short handed game).. for the following reasons

1) you obviously aren't folding a better hand... and by raising leave yourself open to getting 3 bet-and then outplayed on the turn by a hand like Q-Q or J-K (assuming a jack hadnt hit the turn)..and when you do call down against trip aces you lose a full big bet more than just calling down

2) when you are ahead.. your opponent usually has very few outs-since you have the best two pair possible.. so raising to protect really isnt all that important here.. and any raise by you might slow him down on that board and result in one less bet obtained by you later in the hand... or if he is on a hand like 9-9 or 10-10 you may even fold him when I would much rather have him bet into the turn and and (maybe) river when he has only 2 outs..

I guess there is something to be said for raising here and now to see if he has an ace while the "bets are cheap".. but this line will lead to us folding the best hand too often for this big of a pot IMO...

question for you- I'm assuming you would have called down if a Jack hadn't hit the turn?

WillWonka said...

Yes, I was in call down mode (due to his loose nature... that is until the Jack hit.

mookie99 said...

Thanks for making it out to The Mookie last night.

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