Saturday, April 04, 2009

Strangest Squeeze Play Ever

Once in a while, someone attempts a play that leaves you scratching your head and thinking that it must have seemed like a good idea at the time.

I was playing in an $11 re-buy on Merge, and had been fortunate to chip up from 2,000 to about 24,000 thanks to some bizarre (and by this point, departed) players. Blinds were 100/200 or 150/300 or something at this point, and I was in middle position when an EP player made what I euphemistically refer to as a donk-push from EP, for a little over 5,000. Quite a few players will do this, but a lot of players do this to protect marginal hands, such as middle pairs.

I had J-J and I had notes suggesting this player was likely to do these marginal pushes. I had the table covered at this point, so I just smooth-called. Lo and behold, the button pushes for about 8,000 more. I go, "Wait, what..." but given the amount already in the pot, it's a pretty easy call. I'm as much as a 30:70 dog against his range but the pot is offering more than 3:1, and even if I drop it I still have a playable stack.

So I call. The EP player shows 8-8; about what I expected. And the button shows... wait for it... 4-2 off.

Yes, I won the hand and went out to a nice overall lead, though I finished sixth. The question is, is there any possible rational explanation for trying to squeeze me out with 4-2?

I can't think of one. Even if I fold, which is unlikely, his 4-2 would still be racing against the EP player. The button would be getting slightly better than 2:1 odds on what's in there, but the problem is that 4-2 is almost certainly worse than a 1:2 dog against the EP's already-all-in range. And then there's me. I'm more likely to smooth with a monster and reraise with a solid-but-perhaps-not-awesome hand, though I did go against the grain here, mixing up my play. The button, though, could just as easily be three-betting into my K-K or A-A. The button simply got it in his head that he was going to make a move and disregarded all the available information.

What this player did, in effect, was take a very playable 13,000-chip stack and toss it out the window.

The lesson: While good players make their profits from bad players' plays, sometimes the depth of those bad plays is nigh on incomprehensible. Such was the case here.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

On the Mend

Precious little poker content in this one, since between sleep and work, there hasn't been time for anything else.

So there I was weekend before last, becoming violently ill. High fever, profuse sweats, outbreak of something chicken pox-like all over my body. As Caldwell would say, "Bad times." I was too sick to get myself to the doctor for a couple of days at the outset (if that makes sense), and weak as a kitten. I ended up with two doctor's visits inside of 48 hours as they tried to figure it out. It was either one too many "healthful" exotic vegetables -- to which I'll now have a nasty allergy toward if that's the case -- or some nasty virus.

The doc can't rule out that I'm one of the rare people who actually contracted chicken pox for a second time (it does happen, and I'm not quite to the age of shingles) or managed to catch the rare alternate strain of the stuff that does exist. It's sort of moot at this point. There wasn't much for me except lots of bedrest, fluids, and some meds to slow down whatever breakout was occurring.

Poker? Went a week without playing a single hand, which fouled up yet another attempt to make it at least to Silver Star on Stars. I'm hoping to play a few SCOOP events at the bottom two tiers in the next couple of weeks so maybe I can make a dent in it for April. I also need to spend a few days with family in Wisconsin before heading west for the expected summer fun.