Kamis, 16 Oktober 2014

Two weird hands

Benjamin Zamani
Sometimes bizarre things happen at the poker table and only the smartest will prevail, says Jeff Kimber.
Online poker players never tire of telling live pros that they’ve played far more hands than they ever will and therefore, despite their age, they are the more experienced poker players. It’s widely accepted that an online pro, who can play 16 or more tables, each averaging around a hand a minute, can play a thousand hands an hour. In a casino, the live pro will be lucky to see 30 an hour. Tom Dwan reckons he had played more hands than Doyle Brunson in less than two years in the game, despite Texas Dolly having been playing for more than 50 years.
But there are some things that happen in a live game that no number of online hands can prepare you for, and how you react to those situations can be the difference between winning a major title or busting out early and wondering where it all went wrong.

I was at the table in this year’s GUKPT Champion of Champions event when one such hand occurred, and ironically, with the hand being between an online pro and a live pro, the online player adapted perfectly to the way the hand played out and made sure he made the most out of a bizarre set of circumstances.
The hand occurred between two GUKPT champions, Jamie “Boz” O’Connor, winner of the GUKPT Luton, and Simon Deadman, who triumphed in Blackpool. As ever, both had big stacks and both were in every hand, Jamie having position on Simon, sitting two to his left. I had the nut worst seat in the whole room, sitting in between them.
The hand started normally enough with Simon, in seat nine, making his standard min-raise after two players had folded and I made my standard toss of cards into the muck from seat one. Jamie, next to speak, three-bet. So far, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary from any of us, but as the dealer stretched across me to count Jamie’s raise, he caught the cards in the muck and flipped all six face up.
The poor guy hadn’t made one mistake all afternoon, and didn’t afterward, but he looked mortified. A ruling was called and it was deemed that all six cards would stay face up as it wasn’t fair to try to make the players remember the exact cards throughout the hand.
As the action was folded back to Simon, the contents of the exposed muck was creating much discussion — two aces, a king, a 10, a three and a deuce. I knew I’d folded A-3o so I guessed the other two guys had folded A-2 and K-T, but I claimed to have folded 2-3 just to give them some stick.
However, the makeup of those mucked cards was crucial to the hand, and both players had to think on their feet and adapt to a situation I’m pretty sure neither had seen before. Remember, Jamie had three-bet without this extra info, Simon had now peeled the three-bet with the knowledge that A-A-K-T-3-2 were all dead.
Just to add to the confusion the flop came A-T-5. As the table settled down, and with nine cards now face up, six dead and the three making up the flop, Simon checked and Jamie fired out a c-bet. Simon quickly called.
It looked like we were playing one of those bizarre double-flop variants, or they’d agreed to run it twice even though this is a tournament, but on we went with another card, the turn, which was a seven. Simon check-called again.
The river fell another blank and Simon checked a third time. Jamie thought for a while and fired out a big bet. Simon now went into the tank, looked like he was considering all three options, and eventually made a pained call. Jamie flipped over two kings and Simon mucked.
Analyzing the hand is fascinating. How many times do you hear the poor sap with pocket kings moaning an ace always comes when he has cowboys, yet Jamie had managed to get three streets of value from his opponent despite the dreaded bullet.
With two aces and a 10 known to be mucked, what would normally be a horrible flop for two kings in this spot — A-T-5 — was really safe. Why? Because Simon had peeled having seen this information, so he really couldn’t have any ace or pocket 10s, as he would have to muck these pre-flop, so now Jamie was only losing to one hand, pocket fives. Simon really didn’t have any extra information, as Jamie had three-bet before the muck was exposed, therefore Jamie could have any hand, and while an ace was pretty unlikely, it was possible, as was pocket 10s. If he held these hands, he’d hit a lucky flop, but they couldn’t be discounted in the way Jamie could take them out of Simon’s range.
At the break, we all chatted over the hand in the bar. Jamie told Simon he must have had jacks or queens, as they were the only hands that he could play that way, and eventually Simon relented and admitted to pocket jacks, which he wished he’d folded on the river.
From Simon’s point of view, he probably would normally fold jacks to four shows of aggression from Boz (a three-bet pre and three barrels) but the mucked cards meant the most likely hand to be beating him normally (an ace) was really, really unlikely. When you’re no longer that scared of the scare card, the board looks quite safe for two jacks when a young online player takes off against you.
Jamie is a super-aggro player, so can be firing three streets with nothing here, and the run out and dead cards made it look even more like it was another standard Boz triple barrel, so Simon ended up paying him off.
While these situations are rare, they’re not unheard of, and how you adapt is crucial. At the recent LA Poker Classic, deep into Day 5 , another bizarre hand played out which, again, had one player in particular trying not to level himself with the knowledge that the other guy had added info on him.
Bruce Kramer raised to 50,000 and action folded to Benjamin Zamani in the big blind. Before Zamani had acted, however, Kramer tabled pocket jacks, having thought he’d won the blinds, keen to tell the table “don’t worry, lads, I wasn’t stealing.”
Kramer was allowed to take his hand back and action continued. Zamani decided to three-bet from the big blind to 130,000 and after a bit of a think, Kramer called. The flop fell Q-7-3 with two diamonds.
Rather surprisingly, both players check and a black queen came on the turn. Zamani, who — don’t forget — knows his own hand and also his opponent’s, and therefore knows if he is winning or not, didn’t want to bet the queen-high flop, but bets 150,000 when the queen pairs.
Kramer tanked for so long that, to add to the drama, a third player called the clock. As the countdown from 10 seconds was being made, Kramer called to see a black six on the river. Zamani set Kramer all in and he went into the tank again, prompting the third party to call the clock again. This time the countdown reached zero and Kramer’s two jacks were pulled into the muck.
After a bit of cajoling from the table, and a payment of $200 cash, Zamani agreed to show his hand, tabling two red aces, much to Kramer’s relief.
In reality, Zamani could have won that hand with any two cards, and there was much shock that he actually had it. Kramer’s mistake probably cost Zamani the final 260K of his stack, as without flipping them up, it was pretty likely Kramer would have gotten his full stack in the middle, either preflop or on the river.
The greatest thing about poker is no two situations are ever the same, and it’s a game that continually surprises. Just be aware that if ever one of these situations arises, the player who generally profits is the one who thinks quickest on his feet and adapts better to the unusual circumstances.

source : bluff