Thursday, March 26, 2015

Poker Strategy Tips: Pocket 88's Tournament Hand Analysis

This is a hand I played during a 1K Gtd Turbo $1.10 Rebuy (82015859).

Blinds 75/150 Ante 15

My Position : UTG +2

Hand 104 is a hand I played before the re-buy period ended and the add on period began.

Two players on my right fold. I have a stack size of 3399. I open for a min raise of 300 with Snowman Pocket 88's.

 Everyone folds to the SB with 3012 chips who calls with A10o.
With only 23 hands of HUD stats, the player appears to be loose and passive, and he could be calling with a fairly wide range with 26/9 stats for VPIP and PFR.

The nitty player with a stack of 2257 after posting the BB blind folds. I think this maybe a mistake because he was obviously priced in to call with any two cards. The key here is to play well with any two after the flop because you don't want to get trapped with the second best hand, so you have to know when you are beat and be able to get away from hands as strong as two pair. If you feel you don't play well out of position post flop, then it is better to fold these hands in this spot.

We are heads up and the pot is 885 and the flop comes 10c Ks 9c.

 This is a bad flop for pocket 8's. The SB with a stack of 2787 checks to me. Here is where I take a few moments to analyze what hands he may have flat called and checked to me with.

Loose passive players will call a small bet with a small pair to see a flop, maybe a King with a decent kicker, and also probably any Ace. The King on this flop is a big indicator he may have checked a King to me and I am certainly out flopped.

Passively, Villain checks the flop, and I elect to c bet 450, about half the pot.
Villain flat calls.

The turn is a harmless 4h. To no surprise, Villain checks again, and I check behind on the turn. With Villain's flat call on the flop and then check on the turn, I know I am beat. And with the player being passive, I'm not surprised he is checking the best hand to me since I have position and I was the pre flop aggressor.

The river bricks a 6s. And again, naturally Villain checks to me. And I check behind. I'm not thinking about running a daring bluff to try to get the Villain to fold a better hand in this spot because I am not in the tournament dynamic I am looking for to run big bluffs. In other words, I just don't need to do this right now.

The Villain tables A10o, and rakes the 1785 pot.

More of my analysis for this hand:

After the flop I feel I played the hand fairly well against an out of position passive player. If I would have just checked behind on the flop I may have saved myself 450 in chips as long as I stick to my read and fold if he bets.

Often, when I c bet with position, I will take down pots I would have probably lost if I would have elected to play passively and just check.

Also, I think my mistake in this hand may have been opening the hand for a minimum bet. I don't know for sure if the Villain would have still played this hand, but considering his proclivities, I believe he still would have played this hand this way, and overall, I played the hand well.

What do you think? Feel free to leave your questions and comments below. See you at the tables.

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