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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

KK is only second best

I'm usually not providing too much "Hand Histories" here. It's just not the style of this blog. But I have to share this with you:

I played the $25K guaranteed at Pacific yesterday and had a great night. One of the early key hands was 22 in the blinds. Don't allow the Shadow to see a cheap flop! ;-)) Flop came 2-4-A. Even with a possible street I figured that my trips are good here. I bet half the pot and was called (by one other player). Turn was another low card - I think it was the 5. Still possible straight but I doubted it. Half pot again and called again. River was an Ace for a full house. Maybe I was up against a higher full? Two aces in the pocket? Don't think so. Most probably it was an ace with a high card. So I decided "to play some poker" and checked to him. He bet - but his bet was weak and I was sure he hit trips but not the higher full. I took him all-in, he called and showed AK before he was sent to the virtual rail. Not raising before the flop cost him the tournament here...

I had another hand that was similar were I was able to see a cheap flop with K9 - flopping 99K :-))

The tournament had almost 700 players and I never was below the average stack until we reached the bubble at 70 players. It's amazing how different you can play your hands being the big stacks. And more interesting: While being short stack my play is mainly based upon the value of the cards. As big stack I threw away some hands that could be played (but not neccesarily) against other big stacks. "You never go broke if you don't go all-in against a bigger stack" - so true!

After the bubble I didn't get much to play and folded some hands after missing the flop. Due to that and the increasing blinds my M went below 10: Stacksize about 24,000 with 1,000/2,000 blinds. As I still was around average and one of the bigger stacks at this particular table I decided to play only premium hands but just raise 4BB's instead of going all-in as I woud usually do. Overall chipleader had about 100,000 at that time.
Therefore I folded A9 on the button due to a middle-position raise. Next round I woke up with KK in the small blind. Great! Some callers. Raised it to 8,000 and big blind went all-in for 24,700. Oh hell! It was folded to me and I was left with a decision either to fold or to call his all-in knowing that he had a mere 700 chips more.

With all other hands (QQ, JJ and so on) I would have folded against an all-in here. But KK? He was short-stacked like I was. He could have pulled a move with any pocket pair 99's or better. So I called and was sent to the rail by AA at 55th position (winning $87,50 instead of possible $5,500) after 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Well, looking back at it I think I should have went all-in directly. It wouldn't have changed anything here ... but it would have been the right move.
Was it correct to call here? Hard to tell - but I would say yes. How many players in the world can lay down kings here? (O.K. - it was bullets in the Phil H. clip but you get the idea). I can't and I'm even not sure if a laydown is a +EV move in the long run. Hey but Phil H. makes more $$$ than I do. So I may be wrong here ;-))

But considering this kind of move anybody should remember: "You never go broke if you don't go all-in against a bigger stack"


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