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The Anatomy of a Hand

A work of Art

08
August
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PokerStars Game #47802233532: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50 USD) - 2010/08/06 17:58:54 ET
Table 'Hektor III' 6-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: Boston pkt 8 ($28.35 in chips)
Seat 2: 098320 ($10 in chips)
Seat 3: mikemoldovan ($44.55 in chips)
Seat 4: iiccccc ($25 in chips)
Seat 6: PortuCyprus ($27.15 in chips)
098320: posts small blind $0.25
mikemoldovan: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Boston pkt 8 [7s 5s]
iiccccc: folds
PortuCyprus: calls $0.50
Boston pkt 8: raises $1.50 to $2
098320: folds
mikemoldovan: folds
PortuCyprus: calls $1.50
*** FLOP *** [As Ts 6h]
PortuCyprus: checks
Boston pkt 8: bets $2.50
PortuCyprus: calls $2.50
*** TURN *** [As Ts 6h] [8s]
PortuCyprus: checks
Boston pkt 8: bets $7
PortuCyprus: raises $15.65 to $22.65 and is all-in
Boston pkt 8: calls $15.65
*** RIVER *** [As Ts 6h 8s] [2c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
PortuCyprus: shows [Ac 3c] (a pair of Aces)
Boston pkt 8: shows [7s 5s] (a flush, Ace high)
Boston pkt 8 collected $53.05 from pot


This hand is interesting for a couple reasons. For one, I do not have premium cards pre flop, I am holding just a 7-5 of spades. However, cards like these can be profitable with a nice flop and some money in the pot. Let me break this sucker down and tell you what I was thinking. We are five handed here, (one open seat), so I am the button. First guy folds, and the next guy, (whom I have watched play at least 50 hands), limps in. The guy has a healthy stack, (over the table maximum of 25 dollars). The reason this is important when considering a position raise is that if the guy had a very small amount of money behind him after limping in, raising for position would not be as sound a move because hands like 7-5 suited are good hands for their drawing value. Before the flop comes, all I have is 7 high, and so against a guy with a small amount of money, I am doing myself a disservice by raising and potentially being subject to re-raise all in pre flop by the short stack. This sounds complex, but this is something that only takes a millisecond of thought. If a short stack limps in, make sure to raise with a solid hand, and so if this guy was a short stack, I would have most likely folded my 7-5 suited pre flop. Also note, we can tell that although this guy who is in the hand against me has over the table maximum, he is not a regular because of his limp into the pot pre flop. No good players limp in at these stakes, NO ONE!

There is one other thing that I must be cognizant of before I make my raise pre flop, and that is the very obvious short stacker in the small blind. Short stackers (people who multi-table and bring the table minimum to a table) may initially seem like fish, but they are in fact the most annoying and difficult people to play against. I have noticed that this guy is in fact the dreaded short stacker because every time his stack goes below his initial table minimum buy in of 10 dollars, he automatically re-buys to the maximum the very next hand. There is a feature under the ?options? tab on pokerstars that all regulars have checked off, and that is ?automatically rebuy me if I fall under my initial buy in amount?. I have mine set to ?automatically rebuy me to the table maximum? because I'm a G and would never be a short stacker. Being a short stacker is like being a Communist in my book. In any event, in this particular hand I decided to raise pre flop and just hope that the short stacker folded. To my two dollar raise, the short stacker is either gonna fold or go all in, he will do nothing else. Had he gone all in, I'd of had no choice but to fold, and give the scumbag my two dollar raise. Praise be to Allah, he folded, as well as the guy in the big blind, and the guy who I wanted to isolate with position made the fateful additional 1.50 cent call.

Notice that me and the enemy are about even in money before the hand is dealt. With my 7-5 of spades and position, I am gonna bet out on the flop regardless, because I made a strong raise pre-flop. Depending on what his move is, and what the flop is, I will change my bet accordingly. IMPORTANT!- If I miss the flop badly and he bets out at me, I will probably fold because I have identified him as a fish. Fish are fish because they call when they shouldn't, and so I will fire a bullet out at him on the flop if he checks and I missed the flop, but I will shut down on the turn and river if my hand does not improve.

The flop comes and he quickly checks. The flop has given me a flush draw and I have the option of checking and taking a free card, or firing out a bet that may win me the hand right then and there if he doesn't have an ace. He could have called my raise with a hand like KQ and the flop wouldn't have been very palatable for him at all, (unless he'd want to chase a gut shot strait draw), which is never advised. If he calls my semi-bluff (a bet that is not entirely a bluff because you may be drawing to a winning hand), it is not all bad because I am building the pot and I am in control of the hand. The worst case scenario with me semi bluffing is that he could potentially check raise me and take me off the hand. This has happened to me many times before where I have a nice drawing hand and decide to bet only to be check raised a large amount and forced to throw my nice hand away. Thinking about all that can happen, I have identified this player as a fish, so I want to build the pot, because fish tend to implode when they have some of their stack invested. They cannot sacrifice a small loss to save their remaining troops. They will ride their weak hand until there are no more soldiers left on the battlefield. I throw out a smallish bet of 2.50 cents into a 5 dollar pot. By betting half the pot I am not committing myself on a draw, but I am growing it like a delicate fruit until it is ready to be harvested.

He quickly calls me, and the turn brings me sweet salvation. A glorious 8 of spades has made my flush and buried this poor fellow. He checks again, clearly lost in the hand due to my savvy betting, and I quickly fire out a healthy 7 dollar bet. I would never dream of checking my made flush here in an attempt to slow play because only the Devil slow plays, and I only have a 7 high flush. Suppose that this fellow has Ah 9s, and another spade comes on the river. That would leave a sour taste because he would beat me with a higher flush. He calls my 7 dollar raise, and at this point I am just hopping another spade doesn't fall on the river. I am hoping another spade doesn't fall for two reasons, one he could potentially outdraw me with a higher flush, and two if 4 spades are shown on the board, he will be hesitant to call my last big bet on the river. People may not think you have a flush when there are only 3 of a suit showing, but 4 of a suit raises flags all over the place.

The river is a beautiful benign duce of clubs. He checks again, bewildered and scared out of his wits, whereupon I spend a millisecond of time before I unleash a fury on him and go all in. I have sculpted this pot like Michelangelo's David, and this man is left in sheer awe. He is mesmerized by my brilliance and begrudgingly plays the part of a pawn to perfection and completes my all in bet. He turns over a poultry A3, and can only wonder what has happened to his once healthy chip stack. Little does he know that by properly betting on each street, I have spun a tale of wonder and grace. Church bells are heard in the distance, birds are chirping in the air, and all is right in the world.

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