Aug 21 2008

#5b: Video with (sardonic) commentary for a typical crap shoot

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This video shows how amazing it can get on the very first hand of any given ULBPC event. This hand plays out just like example #4 (above). The event begins, everyone has 1,500 chips, and the blinds are 10/20.

  1. bugda is under the gun with Ah9c {Sklansky group #8, EV -0.07, 16% to win against six opponents}. He’s staring at an ace, which is a very powerful card no matter what position you’re in. So he limps.
  2. mtmt92 is next with an unknown hand. He folds.
  3. docdispatch is in middle position with QhJd {Sklansky group #5, EV +0.03, 19% to win against six opponents}. He’s staring at two paint cards and the guy right before him has folded. So he raises 5xBB.
  4. dvd23456 is next with 7h7d {Sklansky group #5, EV +0.13, 17% to win against six opponents}. He’s staring at a middle pocket pair and the guy right before him has raised aggressively. So he doubles the raise to 9xBB.
  5. Hanolan is next with Jh9h {Sklansky group #4, EV +0.03, 19% to win against six opponents}. He’s staring at a gap-suited hand plus he’s got position on the two raisers. So he calls.
  6. cristo966 is next with an unknown hand. He folds.
  7. mayuying is on the cutoff with an unknown hand. He folds.
  8. slymmshaddi is on the button with an unknown hand. He’s got position over the other six players who are still in the hand. That alone merits a call with any two cards for any reasonable price. And nine times the blind is a very reasonable price. So he calls.
  9. Iceman2122 is in the small blind with an unknown hand. He’s first to act from this point forward, but he doesn’t want the rest of the table to think he’s weak. So he tosses 170 chips into the pot to defend 10 chips.
  10. bigdogpaul is in the big blind with Ts9s {Sklansky group #4, EV +0.01, 19% to win against six opponents}. He’s staring at a suited connector, and WPT host Mike Sexton is always saying "that’s the kind of hand you like to see flops with, Vince!” So he tosses 160 chips into the pot to defend 20 chips.
  11. bugda has to make another decision with his Ah9c. He was willing to invest as much as 1/75th of his stack to win 30 chips, but now he only has to invest a little over 1/10th of his remaining stack to win a gigantic pot worth 2/3rd of his original stack! Even an offsuit ace is worth those kind of odds. So he calls.
  12. docdispatch has to make another decision with his QhJd. He’s the original raiser, but now he’s staring at a re-raise behind him — and five players called that re-raise, including both blinds and the original limper. What kind of hands could those other five players have that could call a raise and a re-raise to 9xBB? Could one of the four kings or even one of the four aces be out there in someone’s hand? Well, anyway, the pot is giving him better than 10:1 to call. So he calls.

Flop: 10h, 2c, 8d. Seven players see the flop with 1,260 in the pot (nearly the size of a player’s stack). Online poker calculators max out at five players — in other words, this hand is still a crap shoot.

  1. Iceman2122 is first to act with an unknown hand. He checks.
  2. bigdogpaul is next to act with Ts9s {23% to win against six opponents with no other info available}. He’s got top pair with an okay kicker. If anyone else has a ten in his hand, there are only six kickers that can beat him. Probably no one has pocket queens, kings, or aces, else they would have been heard from before the flop. The board is rainbow, so no one can dream of a flush at this point. But did someone get sneaky with pocket jacks? Did someone call with pocket 8s, pocket 2s, or maybe a suited J8? Or did someone get stupid and decide he really wanted to see the very first flop with an 82 offsuit? These things aren’t unheard of. Our guy needs to see where he stands. So he bets 1/12th of the pot. That should be enough to drive out any unmade hands, leaving only speculative hands like J9 suited or 97 offsuit or two overcards, and it’s just enough bait to lure out a monster hand, if there is one. Everyone else will be wise enough to fold or re-raise all in, and then our guy will know where he stands.
  3. bugda is next to act with Ah9c {7% to win against six opponents with no other info available}. He’s got ace high — probably still the best hand right now — plus he’s got a backdoor flush draw. A paltry 100-chip bet into a 1200-chip pot? If that guy wants to buy some information, then it’s information he’ll get! So he raises to 320, leaving himself exactly 1,000 chips. "Aggressive poker is winning poker," as Phil Gordon often says.
  4. docdispatch is next to act with QhJd {20% to win against six opponents with no other info available}. He’s staring at a gutshot straight draw, plus the two overcards might be good. The pot is laying him almost exactly the right odds to call this bet/raise! So he calls.
  5. dvd23456 is next to act with 7h7d {9% to win against six opponents with no other info available}. Okay, there are two overcards, and yeah, there are six other players in the hand, so someone out there might actually have one of the six cards that can beat him. And hey, what if a 7 is coming on the turn or river? That’s something to consider. The pot is already 2,000, it only costs 320 to call, and he’ll still have 1,000 chips. So he calls.
  6. Hanolan is next to act with Jh9h {30% to win against six opponents with no other info available}. Wow, he’s got an open-ended straight draw, a backdoor flush draw, plus three connectors to a straight flush! He’s getting an incredible 7:1 on pot odds, so he calls. "Sure, I could raise," he thinks, "but I really want those other three players to call behind me so I can get all of their chips."
  7. slymmshaddi is next to act with an unknown hand. The pot is giving him 8:1, but he folds.
  8. Iceman2122 has another decision with an unknown hand. He checked from the small blind, and the pot is giving him 8:1, but he folds.
  9. bigdogpaul has another decision with Ts9s. The guy next to him re-raised, which is a concern, but three other players are obviously chasing something, and they all called. The next card could spell disaster if the monster next to him strikes, or if one of the three chasers hits his magical card. But he’s still got top pair with an okay kicker, and he’s getting a whopping 12:1 on pot odds, and he’ll still have 1,000 chips left if the turn spells disaster. He clicked on the "call 220" box before the action came back around to him!

Turn: 4s. Five players see the turn with 2,860 in the pot (nearly the size of two players’ stacks). Enough players have folded so we can do a poker calculation.

  1. bigdogpaul is now first to act with Ts9s {71% to win based on what we know}. The four looks harmless, plus it killed anyone’s hope for a backdoor flush. But if there’s another 10 in someone’s hand, there’s a seventh kicker he can’t beat. Did an idiot get this far with pocket 4s? Did someone with an unsuited 84 or even 42 stick around and make two pair? This turn card probably didn’t improve anybody’s hand, but our guy can’t be too sure. He wants to see the river for a cheap price. So he checks.
  2. bugda is next to act with Ah9c {8% to win based on what we know}. The guy to his right checked, so that re-raise obviously taught him a lesson and he now fears our guy. Good. The four looks harmless, but if anyone was stupid enough to call all those raises & re-raises with a 4 kicker, then he might actually be beat. He’s still only got ace high and the pot is now huge. He wants to see the river for a cheap price. So he checks.
  3. docdispatch is next to act with QhJd {8% to win based on what we know}. The four looks harmless, and he’s still staring at a gutshot straight draw, plus his two overcards might be good. He wants to see the river for a cheap price. So he checks.
  4. dvd23456 is next to act with 7h7d {drawing dead based on what we know}. The four looks harmless. Better still, no one seems to be betting like they have one of the six cards that can beat him. Obviously, then, the previous raises & re-raises were bluffers who’ve probably just got an ace or maybe a small pair. But is there an idiot out there with pocket 4s or maybe even a 42 offsuit who’s just dying to make a check-raise? Hard to tell. Everyone else seems content to check this one down, and our guy doesn’t need to get greedy on the first hand. So he checks.
  5. Hanolan is next to act with Jh9h {13% to win based on what we know}. The four looks harmless, but darn it, that spade dashed his hopes for a flush. Still, he’s got an open-ended straight draw. Everyone has checked, which means they’re all just chasing something. It’s time to build up a bigger pot. He bets 280, which gives 11:1 pot odds to those few who can do math.
  6. bigdogpaul has another decision to make with Ts9s. Everyone else checked around to the last guy, who is now obviously just trying to buy a monster pot with a "phallus bet." It’s obvious a pair of tens with a 9 kicker is the best hand right now, and no one is going to take this pot away from him. Our guy straps on some gonads and pushes all in.
  7. bugda has another decision to make with Ah9c. He still only has ace-high, but it’s clear these idiots are bluffing with king-high or worse. Even if one of them has an 8 kicker, either of his hole cards will beat it if he pairs. The pot is offering him 4:1 to call, and that’s good enough when you’ve got ace-high on the turn against four opponents. He calls.
  8. docdispatch has another decision to make with QhJd. He’s still staring at that gutshot straight draw, plus his two overcards might be good. And he’s getting over 5:1 on pot odds. So he calls.
  9. dvd23456 has another decision to make with 7h7d. What’s happening here? Everyone checks, then the guy to his left bets out, and suddenly the guy who checked first is all in, and now everyone behind him has gone all in as well! Could all of these people be that eager to hope for an ace or king on the river? Even if he’s beat right now — say by pocket 4s or pocket 2s — the river could still bring a 7 that will crush everyone at the table. The pot is offering over 6:1, which is spectacular. So he calls.
  10. Hanolan will make the final decision with his Jh9h. He’s open-ended, which is fantastic, and even a jack on the river might win it for him. He only needs 6:1 to call and the pot is offering nearly 8:1 at this point! So he calls.

River: 6h. Five players show down with 7,860 in the pot (more than five players’ stacks). bigdogpaul wins it all with one pair. He’s the only person to pair the board. He beat ace high, queen high, jack high, and pocket 7s. It took only 75 seconds to wipe out four players…

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