Tuesday, December 06, 2011


Late Night Poker (Finish)

I caught up with the Late Night Poker final today - look away now if you haven't seen it!

In the event, it turned into a rather disappointing crapshoot. The combination of an 8-handed final and only 5 being paid anything at all was always going to tend to produce cagey play in the middle, which leads to blind pressure at the end if the structure isn't set very carefully, and that's what happened.

From what we saw, I think the last 3 players were probably the 3 who played best on the day, and from there it was all about the flips. Sam Holden won 2/2 FTW, fair play to him. I'm sure Luke Schwartz is the best player in the line-up with any depth of stack, but he may have failed to adjust to playing 3-handed with 20bb stacks. Qualifier Rob Okell played very well from what I saw and would have been a big favourite to win if TT > KQ, which it didn't, so gg.

If people really think that calling it "Late Night Poker" makes it more significant than any other TV tournament then good luck to both the people thinking that and the people who made them think it :). That seemed to be the impression they were trying to create.

Anyway, it wouldn't be a TV blog from me without picking someone's play apart in hindsight, so let's do that. Roberto Romanello made what I think is a mistake on his exit hand which (result oriented klaxon) cost him dearly. In truth I don't blame Roberto for what he did, I'd have done exactly the same 3 months ago. From a stack of 13-14 bb he made a small open raise with AQo. The idea is, presumably, to induce some shoves (which you call LDO) from weaker hands and provide some balance for the times you want to raise-fold off that stack.

Balance though, as I said last week, can GIFAFI [1] in a TV single table. This is something I was doing for a couple of months online, but I found that on empirical analysis of a few thousand hands, it just wasn't as profitable as jamming. Inducing shoves from a few hands against which you're maybe 60% overall isn't that big a gain, especially in an ICM heavy spot like this one. The real downside of the play is that you give the BB in particular a very cheap option to call pre and stick it in if he flops anything, which is exactly what Luke does with KJ. Luke chooses to bet out on the J22 flop, where I would have check-raised, but it comes to much the same thing.

Turning it round, this is something you can easily do in the Big Blind when someone minraises and effective stacks are small, just call and checkraise jam any pair or draw. It's even better with antes in play. That's all for now, though I will probably talk soon about a book or two I read recently.

Addendum : @Standaman60 on Twitter mentioned the hand where Simon Trumper raise-calls a 3-bet from about 20bb with AK and check-folds a Jack high flop. One thing I'll say about that hand is that if you ask Simon about it, I'm very sure you'll hear the words "I put him on a middle pair". So this line is somewhat more profitable if your "read" is correct but, as I've said before, if it's wrong you could be burning chips. There's no way this line is beneficial against another AK, and against AQ or KQ it's just horrendous.

[1] Although it probably wouldn't FI, being so balanced and everything.

Really enjoyed Sam Holden,Schwartz and Trumper. Get irritated watching Feldman and Romanello. They always seem a bit angle shootey when watched, especially romanello who would be a lot more likeable if he wasnt.
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