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Flush Draw In MTT Middle Phase - Priced In?

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  • Flush Draw In MTT Middle Phase - Priced In?

    So, I was just entering the middle phase of an MTT. It was just after the first break, and late reg. had just closed. I had limped in position to play a dozen or two hands, but I'd been dealt almost nothing raiseable in the whole hour, and I had only won one big pot. If I had an image, it was probably tight/very passive. Also, my stack size had just dropped below the average stack size a few minutes prior.

    The table had been a little crazy, with a pretty fair share of people jamming the pot with nothing. Only a handful of people at the table seemed to be playing decent poker, and I was getting a little impatient and was looking for ways to chip up.

    In this hand, I called into the pot and saw a flush draw. I was going to fold this (after my first raise), until I saw that everybody was getting into it. I assumed that nobody had a better flush draw than me, since I thought most of those would have raised preflop. I decided that I was priced into a call for all of my chips (risk = my tournament life, reward = 5-to-1 on my money), even though I felt like I was behind more than one player. I was fairly confident that any diamond was an out for me, though.

    Was this a good play in an MTT? Let me know what you think.

    PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, 1.1 Tournament, 50/100 Blinds 10 Ante (9 handed) - PokerStars Converter Tool from

    MP1 (t13330)
    Panicky (MP2) (t4500)
    MP3 (t6698)
    CO (t2450)
    Button (t3245)
    SB (t20010)
    BB (t5610)
    UTG (t7855)
    UTG+1 (t4200)

    Panicky's M: 18.75

    Preflop: Panicky is MP2 with J, 10
    UTG bets t300, 2 folds, Panicky calls t300, 1 fold, CO calls t300, 1 fold, SB calls t250, BB calls t200

    Flop: (t1590) 4, 2, 9 (5 players)
    SB checks, BB checks, UTG bets t300, Panicky raises to t1000, CO raises to t2140 (All-In), 1 fold, BB raises to t5300 (All-In), UTG calls t5000, Panicky calls t3190 (All-In)

    Total pot: t18520

  • #2
    This is why you shouldn't make this move with 45BB's. Once the pre-flop call was made. You feel you have to see it through. Once you are in, I too would have gotten it all in. However, I would have shoved instead of raising. Hopefully, you knocked down the pot. But, with this many players in, you could be drawing dead.



    • #3
      I don't see why 45BB is such a bad thing. That's usually considered a pretty decent-sized stack to do some play with, especially since the pre-flop call was only for 3BB. I see your point, though. On the flop, I didn't consider what would happen after I reraised. I had committed a small enough amount of my stack to raise/fold, but the amount I had committed combined with the nice price I was getting made that a hard choice to make. And no matter what, I was less than a 50% favourite to win. I did have a bit of a feeling when I made the call.


      • #4 kinda mis-played this one big time.


        #1: You've seen enough to know that entering any pot on a speculative drawing hand is going to be precarious at best. You enter out of position on a JTs anyway...

        #2: You've seen enough to know that bets and raises get little "respect" at this table. You elect to raise a significant portion of your remaining chips on a draw anyway.

        Let's look at mistake #1: your PRE-FLOP decisions:

        Your hand is a proto-typical DRAWING hand.

        The "rules" for those are that you want to play them from position, in mutli-way pots, and for CHEAP.

        Are you "in position"?

        5 of the 9 players at your table can act behind you (MP3, CO, BTN, SB/BB).

        Are you in a multi-way pot when you enter?

        There is one raiser when you call, so it COULD have gone to the flop heads up. Sure, your "read" of the table dynamic says it is probably going to go to the flop with others in, but you do not KNOW this is the case when you enter.

        Are you going to get to play "cheap"?

        By your own admission, the table dynamic is one of big chip moves, both pre-flop and post-flop. Big chip movers, especially when you are out of position, can make 8 and 9 out draws VERY un-profitable for you; afterall, what do you do if someone RE-RAISES behind you?

        On to mistake #2, your post-flop decisions:

        On to the Flop...

        The flop gives you a decent 9 out draw, with 2 MINOR board over cards. The only "realisticly playable" draw besides another flush draw is a 53. Your draw is better than that one though, so overall, this is a "decent" board for you, with no "huge" threat of solid pairs there (meaning any pair it on this board gives you overs), but it does open up potential OVER PAIR threats being present.

        The initial raiser leads out for a "post-oak" min bet of about 20% of the pot. This may be a weak C-Bet, or it may be a HUGE flop didn't provide info to tell us. It is likely a cheese-y weak C-Bet though.

        You RAISE an amount just under 25% of your remiaing chips, thus moving yourself to a pretty precarious "committment threshold" holding "only" a draw.

        What happens next is something that you may well have "seen" as a possibility, based upon your "read" of the table dynamic: there is a re-raise shove, a re-shove, then a CALL of the re-shove!


        Now what?

        Your decision to raise the initial min bet on the flop has now put a total of 1300 of your 4500 start stack in (just under 33%), and your choices are to OVERCALL 2 x shovers (both of whom have you covered) on just a draw, or muck away 33% of your stack! YUCK!

        You first "failed" in this hand by not leveraging your knowledge of the likely dynamic to realize that a call of the pre-flop 300 chip raise is not likely to result in you getting any kind of decent price to play your draw (if you have one) post-flop. When entering on a hand that will "only" be continuable (for most of its value) because it is DRAWING on the flop, you REALLY want a solid chance of NOT seeing big chip moves to get the "cheap" price you want to hit that draw. Playing for draws is not really "smart" in a hyper-aggressive table dynamic. You should be playing for pairs and kickers, since a LOT of your stack is probably getting in.

        You next failed in the hand by not recognizing that the opponents have little regard for their stacks (based upon their hyper-aggressive ways). You have no real expectation that your raise to 1000 will be "believed", and you put yourself at that critical 30%+ range of your stack in the pot while hoding a hand with small likelihood of being "the best" when you did it. That raise to 1000 is something YOU did to "artifically" put yourself in a tough spot; if you WANTED to get all-in on your draw, why not SHOVE, and end your decision right there?


        The fact you are now getting a big "price" to call off the rest of your stack is pretty moot, it is your failure to leverage your KNOWLEDGE of this table dynamic that led you to play a hand not likely to be profitable, and your betting decision that "commits" you here.

        So your biggest "mistake" was to take a very "workable" 45 BB stack, and artifically "force" yourself into playing a draw for that entire amount. Next time, try configuring your play decisions around the chance you will reach a "committment" point, and you will not see as many of these "tough" spots.

        You had PLENTY of chips here to find a better spot when you started on a 45 BB stack.
        Last edited by fadmin; Sat Feb 05, 2011, 07:16 AM.


        • #5
          Let me see if I can piece together how I can improve from this one.

          My decision to enter with the JTs was probably my impatience kicking in, and I've noticed that I've been very unfocused today, so that likely explains that bad decision. Mistake #1 was not paying attention to the conditions under which I should be playing my hands, and just entering whenever I have a good-looking holding.

          I interpreted the min-raise as a weak probe bet. When I raised, I didn't consider at all who was behind me to act (mistake #2). I also didn't consider the possibility that the initial bettor might not fold (mistake #3). Not having a commitment plan, and raise/calling with a beatable draw was mistake #4.

          Making mistakes is fun. You get to learn so much from them. Thanks for your comments everyone.



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