Saturday, March 8, 2014

Huge laydown against a friend ... but was it the right decision?

Here's an interesting hand from a $1/3 NLHE session I played at The Meadows this past Friday. Jason, a good friend of mine who I play with from time to time, raised it up to $15 from early position. I called with J-10. One more player sitting behind me called. Flop came A-J-4. All three of us checked. Turn came the 10♠ -- giving me two pair -- and things got interesting. Jason led out for $20. I min-raised to $40. Third guy in the hand folded. Back to my buddy, who thought for a moment and then shoved all-in for ~$130 over top. (I had him covered.)

What to do? What to do?

I think this would be a fairly interesting hand to discuss no matter who the villain in the story was, but the fact that it was my friend adds an extra layer of intrigue to it. It's not that we play all that differently against each other. We're both pretty competitive and not shy about taking the other's stack if the opportunity arises. If anything, you could likely surmise that neither of us were flat-out bluffing, as we're much less likely to run some kind of long con or aggressive power play against one another (especially once the third player in the hand dropped out). We don't play soft against each other, but we might play a tad more straight-forward.

So, with that information, do you call or fold?

These were my thoughts: No way he was doing this with a bare A-K or A-Q because (a) he almost certainly would have continuation-bet the flop with those hands and (b) he'd have to put me on a hand stronger than that (even though I only min-raised). What made sense to me was either he flopped a monster (A-A, J-J or A-J) and checked the flop wanting to see if either I or the third player wanted to get frisky, or that the turn drastically improved his hand either by making it (K-Q, 10-10) or by giving him a huge combo draw he was willing to shove with (Q-J perhaps). The latter was the best-case scenario for me, although I wasn't sure it was likely and he would still have a nice range of outs on the river.

I folded my hand face up. "Look at how much respect I give you," I said.

The rest of the table immediately started harrassing me. "How can you fold that?! You had him! He was on a draw at best!"

I waited until we were both leaving the casino for the night and then demanded he fess up. He had K-Q and turned a Broadway straight. I was surprised he didn't C-bet the royal-flush draw on the flop, but not surprised I folded the worse hand. As someone who thinks of individual poker hands as puzzles to be solved, making a tough but correct laydown always feels great, no matter whether you're folding to a stranger or a friend.


matt tag said...

I don't think it's that tough a fold. There are way more combos of hands that crush you than the few combo draws he can have. Nicely done, though

Bob Taylor said...

Yeah, I think you're right, Matt, largely because the more I think about the hand the easier a fold seems. Maybe the table giving me a hard time over it made it feel like it was a bigger laydown than it was. Or maybe it's just that you and I have both seen so many bad players make calls like this without a second thought.

CER said...

Fairly standard fold. If the Ace was not a club it is a bit tougher as he could be shoving with TP and a gutshot/flush draw with AKcc or AQcc. Basically the only thing you could beat with middle 2 pair in that spot would be a spazzy shove with a pair and a gutshot, which has some equity against us - and that is our best case scenario.

With that said, not a big fan of the call pre with effective stacks of 60bb or so. J10o plays much better when deeper and you have some room to play postflop and have better implied odds.

Also not a big fan of your minraise as a rule, although here at least it kept you from pricing yourself into a bad spot. The pot was $45-ish going to the turn. When he bets $20 and you minraise to $40, you are letting him call $20 into a $105 pot to stay in the hand. If he does have some kind of ace here or a flush draw, you are actually giving him a decent price to continue in the hand. With top two the raise would be a little better as that hand is less vulnerable to other top pair hands, but with middle 2 it is a bit of a leak.

Bob Taylor said...

The min-raise just came out of knowing the player. He could have had something like 9-9 or Qh-Jh here and decided to bet the turn hoping to take the pot down because I had yet to show much of an interest in the hand. If that were the case, he would have folded to my min-raise guaranteed. And if that wasn't the case, it saves me money.

You're right that it prices in a flush draw, but I didn't have him on clubs because I thought for sure he'd bet the flop with them. Your point still applies, though, if he had spades. (And, of course, I turned out to be wrong and he actually DID have clubs.)

So, you know ... yeah, fair argument! :)

Bob Taylor said...

BTW, there likely won't be any new posts for another month or two. I decided to take my winnings from my last few sessions and buy an iPad. Will be back at the tables this summer though.

Agen Poker Uang Asli said...

I don't think it's that tough a fold.
Nicely done by the way.

Agen Poker Uang Asli said...

Yeah, I think you're right, Matt, largely because the more I think about the hand the easier a fold seems.