Sunday, April 22, 2007

Evaluating Play Based on Actions.

I thought rather than post how I played a hand it might be more beneficial to post all the information regarding the hand without revealing what the holdings were or which player I was and simply state the stack sizes, positions, etc. Then we can discuss the thought process from each position with the cards being secondary, initially focusing on just the action and position. Later I will reveal the cards, maybe one position at a time, as well as which position I was in. I think a lot can be learned by thinking of it this way and looking at a range of hands and how that changes or doesn't change as each street is dealt and action ensues. At least I hope this is the case and I hope I can do a good job of giving all of the details.

Here we go.

This is a live weekly tournament that usually has between 20 and 35 players. There is a core group that is almost always there week to week of around 15 players. The core group has a couple of super tight, non-imaginative, straight forward rocks. A handful of weak-tight players, a handful of LAG's and 8 or so solid players that can mix up their game well changing gears and playing the player at times based on reads and prior information since they've played a lot together at this point.

We had 22 players this tournament. The starting chip stack is T5000. We are in the second blind level (25/50) and each level is 15 minutes long until the first break and 20 minutes long after that.

The two players involved in this hand have played a lot of tournaments together, both fall under the solid player category that can change up their game, and have a good percentage of cashes and wins in these tournaments (although maybe some of your opinions on one or both of their plays here will be different).

The hand:

There are two limpers and a MP player makes it T250 to go. It folds to the SB who calls. It folds back to the raiser and they will see a flop heads up. The MP raiser has T7000 and the SB has T6400. There is T675 in the pot.

Range of hands?

The flop comes: 2d 6c Qd

SB checks. MP bets T400. SB check-raises to T1200. MP player thinks for a few moments and makes the call. There is T3075 in the pot.

Hand range narrowed?

The turn comes: 8s

SB leads out T2000. MP player goes in the tank and finally calls. There is T7075 in the pot. The SB is left with T2950 and the MP player is left with T3550.

Hand range narrowed?

The river comes: Ad (putting the third diamond on the board).

The SB makes two distinct piles of chips and counts them. He counts out T1500 in one stack leaving T1450 in the other.

The SB pushes the T1500 stack forward. The MP player goes into the tank again. He asks several questions of the SB getting no response. He goes to muck and then pulls back a couple of times before counting out T1500 and seeing he'll have T2050 left. He makes the call.

What do you think? Who got the pot pushed their way? What were the hands? Was the bet on the end by the SB weakness or strength in a value bet? Do you like the way it was played by one, the other, or both depending on the range of hands?

I'm curious to see thoughts based on purely the action. I will then go the next step and begin revealing the holdings where hopefully more discussion can take place.

Thanks for taking the time and hopefully we can all learn from this approach.