Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Calm Down, Calm Down

I really lost my rag yesterday over the bad etiquette bollocks.

When Rob Sherwood accused me of "shooting an angle" on the Blondepoker forum I really flew off the handle. If their had been a cat in my house I would really have feared for its safety.

But, I've calmed down considerably now and acknowledge I went about the whole thing incorrectly. If I had tabled my hand in the first place none of this would have happened. I was marginally wrong not to, but by announcing my hand I was virtually conceeding the pot as I was 99% sure I had lost. Sit at any table and you will see players announce their hand rather than table it all the time.

But, where I really went wrong was in criticising Rob on his blog. I should have taken him to the bar at the break, bought him a beer and pointed out how wrong it is to ask to see my hand and why it is so wrong.

And to call him "delusional" and to call his play "dreadful" was immature of me in the extreme and I apologise for doing it. The things we do in anger eh?

But, if you forget all the bollocks that has happened since, it was a very interesting hand and for once I would like to analyse the hand in question. As always, comments and thoughts are welcome...

I will look at it from Rob's point of view, because he had the big decisions in the hand. What are his correct plays? (I make my analysis in brackets after each of his plays)

Blinds are 150-300 and Rob has about 12000 chips.

I have about 8000 in chips and limp in earlyish position.

Rob makes it 800 to go with AKo in mid/late position. (I prefer a slightly bigger raise, just to define my hand and deter too many callers. I guess the limper is going to play but I certainly don't want a 3 or 4 way pot with AK. But I suppose 800 is ok)

Everyone passes back to me and I call. (Now, this in itself means nothing. I call all the fucking time. But, perhaps Rob could put me on a broad range of hands at this point. A small pair, Ace-x suited or suited connectors seem favourite. But, pretty much anything within reason is possible).

The flop comes Qs 4d 2d. I check and Rob bets 1000. (Fair enough, it's very likely Rob has the best hand here and a continuation bet of 1000 is a good way of finding this out for sure.). I call. (Now, what have I got? If I am calling I pretty much certainly have some of this flop. But what exactly? AQ is unlikely because I probably would have raised preflop. Possibly the same with KQ. A flush draw is certainly possible. It could even be as bad as Qx of diamonds although I probably would have reraised with this. A set of 2's or 4's is also something to think about. As is a pair between 4's and Queens and I am waiting to see what the turn brings in case Rob has AK or similar. Basically from Rob's point of view I could have a huge range of hands and he's either losing to them now, or I have a draw which means I could lose on the turn or river).

Turn is 3d! Now this could hardly be a worse card for Rob - even though he's got the King of diamonds. Now I bet 2200. (Hmmm. Whatever I have got Rob must be 99% sure he is losing here. If I flopped a set I have to bet here to protect it.. I am laying Rob a little less than 3-1 with my bet. If I turned a flush I similarly have to bet to avoid giving Rob a free shot at hitting a bigger flush. If I have a set Rob has 11 outs {8 non pairing diamonds and 3 non diamond 5's} If I have a small flush he has 7 outs. If I have just a queen {Rob's best hope by far} he has many as 17 outs. I think it is so difficult to put me on a hand it is a clear pass for Rob, after all he has got only ace high and in worse case scenario is drawing dead}. Rob calls.

Comments anyone?


Blogger SimonG. said...

You acknowledge that tabling your hand is the thing to do although calling your hand is widely accepted. If you had called your hand as "queens up" or "small flush" that's more helpful than "1 pair" which could be a wide variety of holdings. For calling your hand to be an acceptable alternative to tabling it, you should have said "pair of 4's"
It's hardly letting the cat out of the bag when you turn over 4/5 It won't ruin an ultra-tight image because you don't have one!
Although this was checkity-check on the end, if Rob had called a bet on the end, part of that price of that call may have been to see what you were up to on the hand - in which case he should insist on you mucking or exposing first - regardless of whether he has a marginal or relatively strong holding.
Once he has tabled the anticipated winner, I think you are justified in tossing your hand away and I would never expect anyone to retrieve it - if the info contained within is that important then the oppo should wait for you to show first.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angle-shooting is way too strong, we all do it, I just think it's a subconscious attempt to claw back something back out of the hand.

Simon made the point very well that seeing your hand is for many part of the price of calling - it has value. Got to say it is a weakness of mine and many others to do this - especially in limit. I've often wondered how much of my call was based on EV and how much 'interest-value' made up for the rest. Still I've improved upon in somewhat, though not nearly enough.

As for the playing of the hand, I don't think it's that bad but then again I don't really play the game anymore.

It wasn't a big bet and you are a tricky player, it's not impossible for him to be infront, epsecially if he senses you are likely to make a play against him. For my money it comes down to how likely you are to follow through on the river. If it's highly likely then it cuts down the value of some of his outs, since there must be a good chance that he will pass to some (or all) of them, and would thus make it a pass on the flop.

Later, I'm off to fratton.


9:57 AM  
Blogger Big Dave D said...

Play of the hand....havent a clue. My NL tourney game is dire.

Etiquette thing again. You are absolutely right. The fact that lower standards of behaviour are now commonplace is a function of the boom...when the boom busts, see how long you can keep people playing when u take their money and their pride. But as long as the Internet thing and tourney chimp thing goes on, people will act like cunts. (ALthough I acknowledge Rob S isnt and wasnt...we've covered off M.A.D on my blog and this falls under a similar theme.)



12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post about the Camel on blondepoker.

"Not only is he a top player but a long time supporter of P4C!"

Presumably they don't know keith that it was you slagging of newt on the gutshot forum, the bit you for some reason failed to mentiopn.

3:43 PM  
Blogger The Camel said...

Not Guilty M'Lord.

I was "Forum Watch" on the Gutshot forum but I was not "Charity Watch".

I am going to the NECS on Saturday. Take that any way you like.

I itended this blog to stimulate discussion on poker strategy on what was, in my opinion, a fascinating hand.

Not sure why I bothered...

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I itended this blog to stimulate discussion on poker strategy on what was, in my opinion, a fascinating hand."

Strange..I though it was to slag people off that you didn't like..And there are quite a few mr Happy camel isn't there?

Get a bit of your own medicine and you hate it, go off like a smacked 9 year old girl..."Not sure why I bothered... "

Me neither. What a hypocrite

12:43 AM  
Blogger redsimon said...

Re: what simong said: Not sure if it was wrong to just say "a pair" on the checked down river. As soon as you (Keith) said this Rob must have known he'd won 'cos he had "a pair", Top Pair Top kicker :-)

I posted on Blonde that I thought all hands had to be shown, they are for sure in Notts. If that isn't the rule in Luton then I see no problem with the loser mucking...the rest, etiquette etc has been gone over a millon times.

1:10 AM  
Blogger The Camel said...


I am no expert on computer lingo, but I was under the impression that each individual article on here was called a "blog".

I spent about an hour writing analysis about what I thought was a very interesting hand of poker, which I thought might stimulate discussion.

Apart from a paragraph from chaos, it has led to zero debate.

I am a hypocrite, you are right. But, not on this particular occasion. I don't know why I bothered to write this particular blog as it seems noone is interested in actually discussing poker strategy.

Do you comprehend, or would you like me to draw little pictures to make it easier for you to understand?

4:48 AM  
Blogger SimonG. said...

To redsimon, probably not consistent with the hand in question, but I've seen people say 1 pair and turn over aces!

To Keith, I welcome the opportunity to get involved in a decent hand debate although don't feel particularly qualified to comment on hands played in larger tournys than I usually play in. There are lots of hands that follow a similar pattern - the most common is when the BB decides to call against 1 raiser with that sort of hand. You of course had to be different and limp with that from up front, but as you are subsequently then first to speak on each betting round the hand plays out much the same.
Personally I would have been done with the AK as soon as you check-called the flop as I am almost certainly 3/1 against - and may even get skinned if I hit a king and have to decide if that made you 2pair. You suggested a range of hands that Rob might put you on, but how did you decide that he didn't have a medium pair himself and was keeping it small fading the chance you didn't have diamonds or a filthy queen? His action wouldn't be unreasonable for someone with a pair of tens? (apart from I think it's not enough of a pre-flop raise too)

6:05 AM  
Blogger Rob Sherwood said...

Hi Keith,

Well I for one found your post very interesting and for what it's worth here are some of my thoughts on the hand.

I don't like my preflop raise amount either. There is only one reason I raised to 800 - I hadn't noticed you had limped! If I had seen the limper I would've made it 1100. Serves me right for not paying enough attention.

So obviously you call. Now at this stage you could have, as you said during Level 1 of the tournie 'literally anything'!. A suited ace, suited connectors or a small pair are all possible as you say.

Now on the flop you check, and I bet 1,000 into a 2,050 pot. I don't like this bet amount. I should either check to give myself a free card, or bet perhaps 1,500-2,000 in which case I assume you would fold a small pocket pair that didn't flop a set.

When you call the 1,000 I still don't believe I have too much information on your hand. Why? Because you could have called with no hand, sensing weakness in my bet, planning to take the pot away from me on the turn if a scare card comes. Equally you could be slowplaying a set, or indeed be on the flush draw.

So when the third diamond comes on the turn, you bet 2,200 into a 4,050 pot. Now if you remember I dwelled here. Against any other player on the table I pass. However,I read all the forums, lots of blogs, tournament reports, etc. I know you are capapble of the play I mentioned above, ie calling my flop bet and betting into me if a scare card hit the turn. So after a dwell I decide not to give you credit for the flush. Remember this was a heads-up pot preflop. I fancied you were representing a big hand when you didn't have one, having sensed weakness in me from my flop bet. Also I knew that if I called your turn bet you would give me credit for something more than ace high (albeit with the king of diamonds), as until this point I had been playing like a rock. Now even if I thought I had 14 outs, I wasn't getting good enough pot odds to call. What swayed it to a call, as I mentioned on the Bonde Poker thread, was that if I missed the river, I felt that I you had a weak hand such as a small unimproved pocket pair or something like the hand you did actually have, you would check the river to me and then fold the best hand when I set you in.

As for all the etiquette bollocks, you are right, we should have had a conversation, or email discussion in private. We both went too far with it and i guess we are all the wiser for the experience! But what's done is done and I've forgotten about it already. Water under the bridge.

Good luck with your break from poker, and I hope you continue blogging and ignore the anonymous wankers who try to spoil it.


1:09 PM  
Blogger The Camel said...


Interesting post.

I didn't sense weakness at all. I actually was pretty sure you had aces or kings. If I had sensed weakness I would have raised on the flop. I feel my call was ALOT stronger then raising. My chip stack is vital I believe. I have only got 8000. I am unlikely to be messing around at this stage.

My bet on the turn should have been bigger that's for sure. Perhaps 2800 or 3000. I have made it too cheap if you have AA or KK with the appropriate diamond. But, by calling if I have got the hand I am representing you have committed a huge proportion of your chips with ace high!

I did briefly consider moving in on the river. But, I figured if you called on the turn you were virtually dutibound to call then too.

The etiquette thing is forgotten. It should never have happened anyway because I should have tabled my hand.

As for the anonymous comments, have a brief look through some of the comments on the early blogs. They didn't stop me, so I doubt the new breed will stop me either :)

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something I missed out on in my paragraph was the point Rob made, which was to price in the possibility of bluffing you out on the river if he didn't improve.

That said, I was less than convicned this as that viable a move. It's a brave bet as bluffs go since in his mind AK could be winning, and, the chances of this move being a bluff look to be quite high, unless you are the sort of player to move all-in with the over pair in this spot, so (if you're not) you/one might expect/fear Keith to call it*, thus making the move much tougher.

I feel it's one of those moves you sometimes plan on to justify a call, but then renage on put on the spot and hope, rather meekly, your hand stands up.


* since it is unlikely you'd have played a set this way on the turn, or even played a nut flush draw on the flop like that either.

ps Simon, it doesn't stop me :)

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugh 'That said, I was less than convcned this as that viable a move'

That said, I was less than convinced this was a viable move.


4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm that paragraph looked confusing. I transposed 'you' and 'he' both to mean Rob. Basically, Rob's all-in plan on the river (if he misses), may have looked a somewhat dubious given the previous rounds of betting. I guess without that move in his locker, the call on the turn is tougher to justify.


1:55 AM  
Anonymous richard said...

what happened is that rob thought you were at it, thought he outplayed you and wanted the table to see ur garbage hand, he probably got a bit over-exited, and wanted the whole table to see it. we all know his play was wrong but "mountain out of a mole hill" springs to mind.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous JP said...

I like your play in this hand Keith. Check calling 1000 of a now 7200 stack should be a sign you have something to do with the flop. I also like the bet on the turn as you have 6200 left and you bet 2200 on the turn into a 4000 pot which is laying Rob 2.8/1 which is nowhere near enough to make the call profitable. Now in my mind you could have anything here. He is not drawing to the nuts so there is no card on the end which will give him confidence (apart from the Ad). If he makes the flush you will not call with worse than a K high flush on the end so he has no implied odds either. If he hits his pair (as he did) he will just check. He If he thinks you are bluffing I don't see why he doesn't move all in on the turn. On a further note if you do move all in on the end what does he do then?? He has just made 1 pair and probably has no idea where he is and could cost himself another 4000 chips. I think the turn call is just inviting trouble in my opinion. I don't like trying to bluff people who have commited half their chips. Especially as he has played the hand quite weakly. There are also no possible hands that i can think of that he is beating (Any no pair hands that you might have here Keith?) At this stage Rob has a good stack, I would personally swallow the 1800 and wait to trap you in a better spot AK high 2nd nut flush draw 1 card to come isn't ideal.

Nice one on being top of the league!!


8:00 AM  

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