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11/29/2007: deep thoughts with Jack Handy

in light of my recent late night post, i would like to discuss a topic on how the hand played, pre-flop (since that is all the action there was!) i read somewhere about this topic, so it is not my own, although i am happy i remembered it and had the wherewithal to put it to use. (i want to say i read this in Bluff and it was a column from Rizen...but i just can’t remember.)

the topic is: how bet sizing should be structured to induce an all-in. the goal, of course, is to maximize profit from your monsters. whether this is full ring or heads up, the goal is the same, although it might not work as efficiently if you are having to consider players in the middle, between you and your target.

so, the big hand - i am dealt aces.

Seat 4: RecessRampage (93,006)
Seat 5: sellthekids (176,994)
RecessRampage antes 750
sellthekids antes 750
RecessRampage posts the small blind of 3,000 sellthekids posts the big blind of 6,000 The button is in seat #4
Dealt to sellthekids [Ah As]
RecessRampage raises to 18,000
sellthekids raises to 30,000
RecessRampage raises to 92,256, and is all in sellthekids calls 62,256 RecessRampage shows [Ac 6c] sellthekids shows [Ah As]
* FLOP * [6h 2c 6d]
RecessRampage: yikes
* TURN * [6h 2c 6d] [4c]
RecessRampage: holy
* RIVER * [6h 2c 6d 4c] [4h]
RecessRampage shows a full house, Sixes full of Fours sellthekids shows two pair, Aces and Sixes RecessRampage wins the pot (186,012) with a full house, Sixes full of Fours
Total pot 186,012 | Rake 0
Board: [6h 2c 6d 4c 4h]
Seat 4: RecessRampage (small blind) showed [Ac 6c] and won (186,012) with a full house, Sixes full of Fours Seat 5: sellthekids (big blind) showed [Ah As] and lost with two pair, Aces and Sixes

i had them three times last night in 407 hands. i know once that i had them in the BB and was given a walk. nice. so even though i averaged out one extra time with aces (once in 221 hands is the statistical frequency) you can already see that it is important to maximize with your monsters, b/c you won't get them that many times in a tourney and you might not get the chance to play them. the moment i was dealt aces, the first thing that went into my head was, "how do i get it all-in here?" that should always be your thought; if you are thinking, "how do i avoid getting these cracked?", or "how do i get paid?" then you need to refine your thoughts. i don't just want to be paid, i want it all. maximize your profits! as luck would have it, i was in the BB, so Recess? would have to open, which he did with a standard 3xBB raise. it is worth noting here that neither of us was deep: i have an M of 16 and he has an M of 8. i was cognizant of our Ms; you should be too, at all times.

facing a 3xBB raise i have several options: re-raise 3x his raise, to T54K. this would leave Recess with T23K. my strength, combined with the pot amount might scare him; what are my other options? i could push, since i have Recess covered. if i push, with T75K left Recess is given good odds to fold and play another hand. What else? i could raise some other amount. i min raised here to T30K. so why min raise? remember, my goal is to get it all-in, if possible, preflop. i want the money in when i am good, and the only time i know that for sure is now.

an aside: some might argue, yeah, but what, if like happened, you get outflopped. if you aren't trying to get it all-in preflop, then you can get away from it. really? with Ms of 16 and 8 you are going to get away from AA on a flop of 6-2-6? if so, then you are a better player than me. no, with the short stacks we had, the best move is all-in. it eliminates any tough decisions post-flop, and as i like to always say, making good decisions is the most important factor in poker. if you can help yourself by not being in spots where a tough decision is called for, then so much the better. (btw - this is not an idea of my own, either, but is the way i play. i am trying to make all my decisions correctly so that i am not faced with tough moves on later streets.)

so back to the action: i min raise b/c i think this will give Recess the impetus to go all-in. he's got roughly T75K, so going to T30K is about half his remaining stack. my min raise looks weak and the common play for him would be to push, b/c it shows strength and b/c if he calls he will be pot-committed. remember, if you are going to be pot-committed, then you might as well raise - it gives you two ways to win. i know that he knows that i know that. heh - level 3. so by min raising, i am giving him that option, to play the hand in a common poker manner. as you can see from the history, we did in fact get it all-in. my job is done, not matter the outcome.

again, i don't think this is a difficult topic and i don't think i am a genius for the play; but until i had read this described out like this, i never had considered how my pre-flop push might have been the wrong play.

assorted stats from last night for those who care:
407 hands
VP$IP - 20.64%
PFR - 13.76%
Won@SD - 66.67%

i had aces 3 times
i had kings once
i had AJ 8 times! (AJs 3x, AJo 5x)

i'll have to judge my tiredness tonight and see about the Riverchasers. i hope to make it!

Replies: 1 Comment

Eight JackAces and you couldn't take it down??? Unreal.

Seriously, great run last night man. One of the most entertaining final tables I've seen in some time.

Hoyazo a.k.a Hammer Player said @ 11/29/2007 04:25 PM CST

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