Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Old Guy Always Has It.... Right?

I listened to the inaugural Thinking Poker podcast on my flight the other day, and the show wasn't too bad. The two guys hosting the podcast are clearly doing this for the first time, and they need a little polish, but all-in-all it was informative and entertaining. I'll definitely download the next one.

One of the hands they discussed  on the podcast (actually, it was the only hand they discussed, and it took fully the first 30 minutes of the hour-long podcast) was the following pot played by one of the podcasters in this year's WSOP (note that I may have some of the details wrong, such as exact bet sizes, but I think I've got the important stuff right):

The tourney is the WSOP main event, and it's about midway through day one. Effective stacks are still around T20K. Blinds are T100/200.

Hero open-raises to T600 in EP with 3-3, gets two field callers. The blinds fold. Pot is T2100.

Flop is 8-3-2 rainbow, giving Hero middle set. Suh-weet.

Hero leads for T1100, gets one fold and one caller, who is an older guy on the button. Pot is now T4300.

Turn is a Q. Hero leads again for about T2000..and gets raised about to T6000. Hero calls. Pot is now T16.3K.

River is a rainbow 2, giving Hero a boat (threes full of deuces). Hero checks, and villain bets out T8K, which if called by Hero would leave him about T4K behind.

What do you do if you're the Hero?


Even though they took 30 minutes to discuss the hand, both podcasters essentially said this was a trivial fold. Do you agree? At first I was a little shocked that one would even consider folding a full house here, but the more I think about the hand, the more I'm convinced this is the correct play. The reason can be found in a combination of REDi and what I discussed in the last blog post (here) on Edge in big MTTs.

The villain is essentially saying that he's got a big hand. He's not afraid of the paired board, and he's forcing you to commit a huge fraction of your stack. He's also committing a huge fraction of his own stack early in a multi-day tourney.

I won't go through the entire REDi analysis here, but I'll leave you with this thought: What hand range is villain calling with pre-flop? Then what's he calling with on the flop? Then what's he raising with on the turn? Then what is he committing nearly the rest of his entire tournament stack/life with on the river?  Said another way: what hands is he doing this with that you can beat?

Answer: not many.

All-in for now...

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