Saturday, July 12, 2014

Poker For A Change

Good afternoon everyone.  I had told my friend Rob a while back that he had written a blog post that had started some wheels turning in my head, and that I would address that fact in a blog entry of my own.  Well, wouldn't you know it, I let the time get away from me (it's rumored that I'm going to be moving soon), and now Rob has posted a second entry with poker content (I should try that sometime) that is responsible for what will be an actual poker post of my own today (so blame him).  Rob's blog can be found here July 10, 2014 - the specific post that I'm responding to is titled 'To Slow Play Or Not To Slow Play.....'

First I'm going to do a little bit of friendly needling concerning the hand that Rob discusses first in his post, and then we'll get to the hand that Rob sought input/had several questions about.  Deuce-four is a hand that has gained some popularity among the poker blogging community (the blogs that I read).  Rob has even mentioned specific instances where he has raised this hand before in cash games (maybe tournaments too?).  In his 'To Slow Play Or Not To Slow Play" entry,  Rob begins by writing about his disbelief in a hand which started with him looking down at pocket kings (which BY FAR is NOT his favorite hand, and one that he has addressed several times in his writing).  After raising to $12 preflop (in a 1/2 NL game I presume), Rob saw a flop of Q 3 2 with a pair of other players, and after leading out for $20 and seeing a fold, he was re-raised to $40.  A blank came on the turn, and the raiser bet another $40 after Rob checked, and when a third club hit the river, both players checked.  Rob was pretty surprised when his opponent flipped over 3 2 (suited) after the hand was finished.  All that I have to say is that if you're going to be raising 4 2 pre, don't be too shocked when other players flip over 3 2...  :P  And in all honesty, as far as I'm concerned, if other players are willing to put their chips in the pot, they can play any hand they want, whether it's raising 4 2 preflop, or calling a raise with 3 2, whatever.  I know for a fact that certain players choose to play hands of this type SPECIFICALLY to stack others if their own hands hit the flop hard.

Okay, now we'll get to the main part of Rob's entry, and the several questions that he posed, which will be followed by my answers (opinions), and then some hedging (wishy-washiness) on my part. Rob writes this up much better then I do, but basically, he played K 9 and saw a rainbow flop of 9 9 K.  Another played led out with a $2 bet into a 10-12 dollar pot, after both the flop and the turn. Rob called the bet on the flop, but after he raised to $10 on the turn, a pair of other players and the 2-buck bettor folded.  This sparked some serious soul-searching for Rob, as he wondered out loud for about half a blog post (which is a LONG TIME if you haven't read his blog before) whether it's better to slow play these hands or to play them fast.  Much like Rob did, I will play these hands slow, hoping that someone will catch up (catch a flush, etc...).  Rob asks specifically about flopping quads, which I DEFINITELY play slow.  My response at a table once when seeing someone flop quads sums up my line of thinking here perfectly - - - the player flopped quads, bet, everyone folded, and then he turned his hand over in disgust, bemoaning the fact that he didn't get any action.  I was like, "Well what do you expect?  You have all the aces..."  (Or it could have been 10's, or 3's, or whatever - that part really doesn't matter too much).  It's really hard for another player to have too much of the board if you've flopped quads.

There are exceptions of course, and this is where I get a little wishy-washy maybe, although I'm being honest with you in my opinion (and this is the crux of where my "wheels getting turned" after Rob's older blog entry comes into play also).  I see so many of my poker blogging friends (and this happens often face-to-face also, with my other poker playing friends) asking about hands, and what to do in certain situations.  I think that it's great (vital actually) to work on your game, and to try to make improvements, but there aren't many situations in poker where the correct answers are set in stone.  One of the exceptions to my opinion of slow playing the quads flop (for example) might be if you flopped quad queens and an ace and a flush draw (which also brings a possible straight draw) also came on the flop.  Like I said though, all of this is situational, and it depends on how yourself and the other players at the table have been playing.  If you're a loose aggressive player, you'll likely get action betting most flops.  If you're a rock, and you even start reaching for your chips on the quads flop, you probably won't win an extra chip.  What I'm getting at is that you have to do your best to decipher all of the information that you have at the time (and PAY ATTENTION at the poker table, even when (especially when) you're not involved in hands).  As much as we'd like to, it's almost impossible to convey everything that was happening and everything that we were thinking at the table when we try to relay hands to our readers for advice.

OKAY..., with all of that being said, I will almost always slow play quads and monsters Rob, so don't beat yourself up.  In addition to giving others a chance to hit SOMETHING, you also give them a chance to bluff (your checking makes you look weak, and like you're possibly drawing yourself)...  You can certainly bet and try to get money in the pot, but I think that your only hopes of being called are if you've been splashing chips around all along, or if they caught a big draw. Sometimes you might be able to lure in the preflop raiser holding aces or kings (who just doesn't want to believe you hit 'trips'), but yeah, I'll "usually" (lots of help, I know) slow play my big hands... ;)

Okay, that's enough poker for one day (and you'll be seeing PLENTY of it from me soon)...  :D  I still need to make myself do something productive (along the lines of moving), so have a great day and I'll see you soon!


  1. Thanks for the loooooong comment Coach!

    Regarding the lady with the 3-2...first of all, as you know, deuce-four is the most powerful hand in poker. So of course you raise with it. :)

    But even if it was a garbage hand, it would be much better to raise with it than to call a raise with it, right? You can always win the hand with a c-bet on the flop even if you miss.

    Thanks for the feedback on the slow playing. Of course it is all dependent on table conditions, and also getting lucky that someone else has something. Sometimes nothing beats dumbass luck, right?

    As for quads.....I did ask, but I don't think I'm leading out on too many flops where I flop quads going forward. Not that it happens very often! Especially with my tight image. I think tho whenever the flop comes three of a kind, I'm gonna lead out on no matter what I have, because everyone will assume I have a monster. Except for the guy has the case card of that rank.

    Enjoy the World Cup final tomorrow. Tell me, is that even possible? :)

  2. Yeah, I glossed right over the flopped sets question. Again, depends on many factors, including number of players, stack sizes, position, and how threatening the board is (Ex. Set of 8's on a Q 8 2 rainbow flop versus set of 10's on a Q J 10 flop with 2 of the same suit, etc)... That's not a "made monster," so I bet the sets more often, for sure.

    I won my $1.00 soccer bet today (won $2.20, picking the Netherlands to win in regulation). Can't believe they were that big an underdog, considering Neymar was still out, and that Brazil hadn't really dominated throughout the tourney. I still have the 11/2 prop bet w/Germany (win $5.50 if they win tomorrow), so I'll probably hedge that a little. You know, I'm still baby betting til Vegas, and I care much more about football anyway... ;) Be seeing ya soon Rob... :D

    1. Oh, and as far as calling with the 3 2, I think that it's one of those plays that I referred to (hope to flop big, for relatively cheap, and then stack someone). If she hits A 4 5, or a flush, or trips, or the 2-pair that she ended up spiking, etc..., then she has a chance to ambush the premium starting hands. Kinda reminds me of how you play the suited aces that you write about Rob (investing 12 for the implied odds)...

  3. "Deuce-four is a hand that has gained some popularity among the poker blogging community "

    Hey, don't give away all our secrets. Many poker players aren't aware of its power.

    1. I don't understand the game, I just write about it MOJO... ;)