Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« August 2006 »
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Friday, 25 August 2006
A poker hand.
Topic: Poker

I'm playing the Gutshot Series of Poker today. It's the best structured mid-price tournament that there has ever been on British soil. If you have the time and £330 is in your price range, you really must play it.  Gutshot are to be commended for putting this on.

Talking of NL freezeouts, I'm reminded that I played a £100 one at the Western a couple of weeks ago. I'd heard that there was to be a £3,000 guarantee and went hoping that only 15 people would show up! Alas it was not to be. The tournament attracted 57 runners, rougly half of whom had 'qualified' at a pub called the Captain Morgan. As the guarantee was in no threat of being invoked, the Western topped up the pool by £300 to make it a round £6,000. Nice one.

A good turnout.


As the event was well structured and well run, it was annoying that I got very unlucky and was knocked out on the bubble by none other than the eventual winner, Mark Strahan, author of a 25,000-copy selling poker book, which tragically I've never found time to read. Mark has inaccurately described the hand on his website, so I thought I would put this one to you. I'm happy with how I've played it - I don't think there's much special about what I've done. Instead I'm interested in whether readers think that Mark's played this wrong.

His account: 

We were down to 10 players left, with only nine to go through to the final. Someone had vetoed the idea of a 10th prize and I was fine with that. Playing two tables of five each, I'm on the big blind with Mark on my right in the small blind (not 'late position' as he describes) when to my surprise I see two people limp in early position for 1200. Mark made up for the 600 small blind and I looked down to see AA. It's very rare to have people limping in pots at this stage of the tournament. It tends to be a 'pump or dump' moment. But there was quite a lot of play in the game thanks to the generous chip allocation of 5,000 points and a reasonable clock interval of 30 minutes. I think the average stack was about 24,000 at this stage and I had 16,500 before posting the BB.

Upon finding the aces, I raised 7,000. There was 4,800 of blinds in the middle. It's a bit more than I would normally raise to win this, but I thought it would thin the field and I might get action from one of the early position limpers regardless of the amount if they were trapping with KK or QQ.

The limpers folded and then to my surprise, Mark asked me 'How much more have you got, Dave?' I replied ''8,300' and he said 'I'm all in'. I said 'So am I'.

Mark showed JJ and won when a jack hit on the turn.  This was frustrating of course. I wouldn't have minded so much if Mark had raised and then called my re-raise. That would be a fairly common blind skirmish encounter. What I couldn't understand was how his hand was worth 600 more one minute and 17,000 the next. How had it gone up in value so much? His unsolicited answer was 'I thought you were at it'.

Hmmm. I think that answer says more about how Mark plays or thinks most others play than it says about me. That's a clue by the way to many people's thinking. They reckon that others think like them. So the way they interpret someone else's action is through the prism of how they would play the hand in the same circumstances. That's one way you can get a line of someone's play without being in a hand against them.

What interests me more is whether Mark's call before the flop made sense. Obviously his hand is not to be folded, but shouldn't it be raise? I think it's a clear raising situation. You should like JJ, but not want to play them four handed out of position if possible. But at least one well respected player has told me that he agreed with what Mark did, but added that instead of re-raising he'd have flat called the 7,000 and then led into me on the flop regardless of what fell as a stop'n'go. (See comments to find out who)

I'm dubious about this I have to say. If you don't like raising with JJ because you fear that the early position limpers might have the hand dominiated, surely my raise should be feared because I've shown that I don't fear them? Unless you think I'm just some wild reckless gambler that is.

The worthy winner!

Friday, 25 August 2006 - 6:33 PM BST

Name: "David Young"
Home Page:

The person who said he would flat call for 600 with the JJ in the small blind and then flat call again for 7,000 once the early position limpers were gone, was Carlo Citrone.


Monday, 28 August 2006 - 2:32 AM BST

Name: "James Feeny"

Changing the subject totally (maybe I shouldn't post it here) this site is interesting.

 Check out the pictures too.

Tuesday, 29 August 2006 - 12:53 PM BST

Name: "Mark Strahan"


Having now read your interpretation of the hand its easy in hindsight to wonder why my hand suddenly became worth 17k from a start point of 600.

As you're well aware its common practice for players who act late when the blinds become large to 'attempt' to steal the antes. You've already seen 3 people 'limp' in so a 'large' bet, in your position, does not seem untoward in an attempt to nick all the antes.

I was chip leader, at the time, and with JJ in hand there was no way I was going to just see a flop then have to relinquish my hand if it came unfavourably. Therefore, upon your raise, I took it as a sign that if I were to raise 'all-in', there would be a very good chance you'd fold (if you were indeed 'at-it')

Of course you weren't and I'd have played your hand, in your position, exactly the same way. Sometimes though you just can't win...nomatter what you do!

Tuesday, 29 August 2006 - 1:25 PM BST

Name: overlay_uk3
Home Page:

Mark, the play your describe - bluffing in the BB against limpers in the late stages of the comp - is one that I seldom if ever make. I'm not sure that I've ever done it, though having acknowledged this publically I'll have to introduce it into my repetoire.

Having raised 7k, there is almost no hand that I would lay down for 8k more though. So you had no fold equity with your reraise.

Wednesday, 30 August 2006 - 9:47 AM BST

Name: "Commie Boy"

"I was chip leader, at the time, and with JJ in hand there was no way I was going to just see a flop then have to relinquish my hand if it came unfavourably."


But that exactly what you tried to do. You flat called pre flop from the SB. Only David's raise enabled you to not "see a flop and relinquish your hand if it came unfavourbaly."


Ahh...Hindsight favourite. You can never make a bad move that way.





View Latest Entries