View Full Version : To learn out of mistakes

03-20-2005, 12:55 AM
As we all want to improve our game, let me share this experience with you:

Tournament on the internet, early phase, starting chips 1,500, my stack appr. 3,500, I was sitting on the big blind (40) with 9c - 2c, no raise - so I check. The flop:

3h - 9d - Ts

Everybody checks. I make an aggressive move and bet 200. One caller UTG, the rest folds.


I bet again 200 - and he calls. What could he have? T with a good kicker? Overpair? A, K, or A, Q?


That looked good, of course! Non of his expected cards might have improved. Therefore I had to make it look like a bluff and bet 500.

He goes all-in (with a higher stack than mine)!

What would you do? I make it short and tell you what I did: I called! (I hope, you wouldn't have done the same)

His cards: K, 9!

I don't believe that my call was the big mistake. It was my bet of 500! With unimproved A, K, Q, J he couldn't have called anyway. Of course, to think that he holds the only 9 left in his hand appeared to be against all probabilities; but - as we see - it was possible. Therefore I should have respected this threat and checked. Most probably he would have made a rather low bet (not knowing the I hold a 9 he would have tried to keep me in the pot), and I could have called without putting my entire stack at risk.

Tell me, what do you think about the situation?

03-20-2005, 02:52 AM
Tough break, but you kinda brought it on yourself. In your situation, I would have just taken a free card on the flop. Second par with no kicker isn't a hand you want to be messing around with, especially when in a hand with another big stack. Without improving on the turn, I'm folding to any bet. In a feild like this, I gotta put someone on at least a pair of 10s which means I'm drawing slim. You bet 5 times the big blind on both the flop and the turn and got called. What really made things sticky was making trips on the river. By that point after two failed bluffs, you should have put your caller on a big pair or better. Since he just called though, you really don't have a lot of information on his hand. He could just as easily have been slow playing a set of 10s which is what I would probably put him on since he didn't raise the turn. When you get smooth called twice and then raised all in on the river, it is usually not a bluff. I gotta think he has the nuts and just have to kiss the 900 chips you already bet away. Of course, had you not been agressive, you wouldn't have had to lose anything.

Your opponents play is a little odd. The only thing I can figure is he thought you were bluffing. In his shoes, I wouldn't be calling a big bet on the flop and river with just middle pair, not even top kicker. Its hard to put him on the case 9 when the river comes. You have to give him credit for a really strong hand though if he can afford to just smooth call on the flop and the turn. Even w/ pocket aces, I'd be reraising the turn because I dont want to give you the chance to draw out and make two pair or trips.

I don't think your call on the river was a terrible play. Trips is a very difficult hand to release. The thing to take away from it though, is looking at how you could have avoided trouble in the first place. If a 9 or a 2 hadn't come on the river, what was your strategy? (check and fold, check and call, bet, other?)

03-20-2005, 03:47 PM
Thanks for your analyses. Without improvement on the river I would have cecked and folded - believing in a pair of Ts or an overpair. You are absolutely right that the most confusing point was his call with the second pair.
It's a general problem of engaging oneself in a bluff at the wrong time. The same at limited tables. Once you start doing it you should go to the end. Too often it does happen that your bluff is called after the flop but not anymore after the turn.
In this specific tournament I should have avoided such a cilly risk - having a nice stack, not far behind the chip leader. Probably I was overcome by greed or a lack of patience.

Thanks again for discussing it.

Good luck in your games.