Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Not Noticing Flush Draws

I had an interesting session on Party Poker last night. I only played about half an hour, but in that span I saw AKo three times, and KK once and only won one of those hands. Despite my 25% success rate with uber premium hands, I still ended up 15BB. Like I said it was interesting.

The big hand of the night came on the final orbit, and while it was quite profitable for me, it did cause me some concern. I was kind of stunned at how the hand went down, and I actually had to review the hand history for a few minutes trying to figure out what my opponents could possibly have been thinking. I know, determining what people are thinking on Party is often futile, but there had to be an explanation for their play. Hindsight being what it is, once I finally decided what I think they had, it seemed obvious. The problem is I didn’t recognize it at the time, and if they actually hit their hand I wouldn’t have known until they had taken a fair share of my chips.

I think I’ve written before, when I make a pretty good hand, I have a tendency to overlook what hands my opponents could realistically have that can beat me. Usually this comes in the form of a turn or river card completing my straight while it also gives someone else a flush. I tend to get overly excited with what I hold, that I don’t give any one else credit for a better hand. This was hand was similar. I was afraid someone might beat me with a better version of my hand, while ignoring a completely different way to lose.

So, here’s the hand in question, along with what I was thinking at the time.

Party Poker 0.5/1 Hold'em (9 handed) converter

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with [Tc, Ks].

I went back and looked at PokerTracker and was surprised to see that I only play this hand about 2/3 of the time. It seems like one of those potential problem hands that good players would avoid, especially out of position, but one that I would tend to play all the time. Actually, counting this monster pot that I’m about to win, I’m up .62BB (total, not average) on with KTo, which probably means that I play it too often. Maybe I should reconsider playing it. Now where was I?

3 folds, Hero calls, 1 fold, CO raises, Button calls, SB calls, BB calls, Hero calls.

Things had been going well at this table so while folding the KTo crossed my mind, I figured, I’d try to see a cheap flop and see what happened. I wasn’t pleased with the raise behind me, but oh well.

Flop: (10 SB) Th, Ts, 5h (5 players)

Jackpot! I just hope no one had 55 or T5.

SB bets, BB folds, Hero calls, CO raises, Button calls, SB calls, Hero calls.

I figure that I’m going to win this hand, so I don’t want to scare people off this pot just yet. When CO raises, I think he might also have a ten, and I start to worry that he might hit a full house on the turn or river.

Turn: (9 BB) 8c (4 players)

Ok, so far so good. A full house still scares me, but I’m pretty sure I still have the best hand.

SB checks, Hero bets, CO raises, Button calls, SB folds, Hero 3-bets, CO caps, Button calls, Hero calls.

I’m not a fan of the CO raising and re-raising me, but I still can’t believe he has the boat. Maybe he has AT, or a ten with a weaker kicker, just please not a 5 or an 8.

River: (21 BB) Qd (3 players)

Great. QT and QQ are certainly possibilities for at least one of the two remaining players. If someone just rivered a full house to beat me I’m going to throw my laptop across the room. I decided to bet. I don’t want to look weak here, and in the event that they don’t have a full house I don’t want to let them check behind me.

Hero bets, CO folds, Button folds.

Final Pot: 22 BB

WTF? What could both of them possibly have had on the turn that was worth calling/raising to four bets, that they wouldn’t call a single bet on the river? I thought either they were both complete morons, or they had hit the wrong button. I don’t think there’s any way that either of them could have folded trips on the river to a single bet. Was the queen that scary? Did one of them have JJ and thought I stuck around with a Queen?

So I went back and looked at the hand, and I realized that there were two hearts on the flop. One of them had to be on the nut flush draw. What could the other possibly have had? I don’t know. King high flush draw? That’s a lot of chips to throw into the pot on a speculative hand, that even when it hits might not win. Either way, if the river card is Qh instead of Qd, I think I lose four more BB in addition to whatever I already put in there.

What would I have done differently if I realized that someone was probably on a flush draw? No much I don’t think. I probably would have reraised on the flop, but other than that I think I played the hand ok. The concern is that I would have completely missed the flush if it had hit, and plays like that have cost me a lot in the past, and I’m still not recognizing them often enough. So yeah. Note to self: Check for a possible flush before you get too excited about your trips/straight.



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