WSOP- Here I Come!

What’s up guys? Long time no blog. My apologies for that. I’ve had a rather stressful last couple weeks dealing with some illnesses in my family. I’ve also just been super tilted about that incident at the Bellagio that I blogged about a couple weeks ago (75% kidding, lol). Fortunately, all has been well from a poker perspective. While my volume has certainly been cut down a good bit, I’ve been lucky enough to be riding one the biggest heaters of my career and have been absolutely destroying the 2-5 game at the Jack. Slightly less fortunately, the game appears to be drying up now that the weather is good in Cleveland (or at least that’s my hunch as for why) and is not running nearly as frequently as it was during the winter/ early spring months. It’s all good though, as I’m flying back out to Las Vegas for my first WSOP in two days, and couldn’t be more excited.

WSOP Ready

I’ve put in a lot of work into my tournament game over the last month or two and I feel ready to crush at this year’s WSOP. I’ve watched a ton of training videos, both on tournament theory and actual game play, as well as reviewed a handful of past WSOP final tables. I think I have gained a pretty solid understanding of ICM and other tournament nuisances like adjusting to varying stack sizes and short-stacked Nash shoving/calling ranges. Additionally, since I haven’t been playing live so much, I’ve been able to get a good amount of actual tournament experience via online tournaments. I had a decent amount of success online, and while I’m not exactly sure how the fields of $20-$150 online tournaments will compare to the fields of $1500 WSOP events, I’m confident that the experience will be beneficial. If my last few weeks are any indication of how things are going to go at the WSOP, I think we’ve got a good chance to bink ;). Of course, variance in tournaments is HUGE, so anything can happen. Regardless, I’m 100% certain that I’ll have an edge on the field and will do my best to bring something home for all those who bought a piece of my WSOP package.

Strange Hand from a game at the Jack

Game: 2-5 NL, 9 handed

Villain 1: (850) 50-60 years old recreational player in the CO. Villain generally plays a tightish-passive strategy and tends to overfold. Villain doesn’t value bet thinly enough. When he does bet, he tends to bet the exact strength of his hand, i.e. he’ll bet large with the nuts and smaller with non-nut value hands. Villain also often chooses to give himself a good price with his occasional bluffs by betting small, often under ½ pot.

Villain 2: (1250) 25-30 years old, possibly semi-professional, but at least a thinking recreational player in the BB. Villain tends to play what I think is a pretty solid preflop strategy, i.e. he’s somewhat liberal with his opening and 3betting ranges. Post-flop, however, I think he tends to play a bit too straightforward. While he’s frequently capable of c-bet bluffing one street, I’ve rarely seen him show down a big, multi-barrel bluff.

Hero: (1100) in the HJ with 7c8c. Viewed as competent, aggressive professional by both villains.

Preflop: (7) Folds to hero who opens to 20, villain 1 calls, button calls, folds to villain 2 who 3bets to 115, hero calls, villain 1 calls, button folds.

This is somewhat standard for me. I prefer to defend against 3bets with middling suited connectors as I think they play well against the 3better’s range. I also think that when I flat, a sort of domino effect is often going to occur where villain 1 and the button often feel like they’re getting the correct pot-odds to come along as well. When this happens, I think we’re often printing money, as 78s is going to play super well multi-way, especially against relatively straight-forward opponents.

Flop: (360) Kh8s6c. Villain 2 bets 180, hero calls, villain 1 calls.

This spot seems a little close but I like calling. I think villain 2 is c-betting this board very frequently (possibly even too frequently), as he likely understands his range is doing significantly better than both mine and villain 1’s. When I call and villain 1 folds, I think I’ll be able to realize my equity frequently. When villain 1 overcalls, we’ll be folding turns that don’t give us a significant boost in equity. I didn’t expect villain 1 to be overcalling much here, but when he did, I thought his range was very Kx heavy (villain likes to fast-play his nutted hands). As for villain 2’s range, he likely has all AK’s, some KQ’s, possibly some KJ’s, a ton of Axs with BDFD’s, and some middling suited connectors/1 gappers that connected with this flop in form of a pair or straight draw.

Turn: (900) Tc.

Villain 2 checks, hero bets 400, villain 1 tank-calls, villain 2 folds.

We’re quite fortunate to turn one of the best cards in the deck for our exact hand. Villain 2 is sometimes checking here to give up, and sometimes checking with his Kx that aren’t strong enough to go for three streets of value. Given how much equity this card gives us, and the assumption I’ve made that villain 1 is over-folding, I think semi-bluffing here is mandatory. Betting here just puts so much pressure on villain 1’s Kx type hands since he has to worry not only about me but also about villain 2. I chose this sizing so that if villain 1 chose to shove, the betting would not be re-opened and villain 2 would be forced to either call or fold (obviously vs a shove from V 1 we have a snap call). While it doesn’t matter too much as I think I’d be forced to call off no matter what (I haven’t ran the numbers but that’s what my poker intuition is telling me), it’s nice set ourselves up (should both villain 1 choose to shove) where we’re guaranteed to be put in a spot where we’re making a massively +EV call as opposed to a marginally +EV one with higher variance.

River: (1700) Jc… Bink! Hero shoves for $150 effective, villain 1 folds?!?!?!?

Not a particularly interesting river, although obviously quite a good one. Had the river been a brick, I’d probably just check-fold even with the insane pot-odds we’d be getting had we checked and villain chose to shove. Villain just isn’t getting to this spot with a hand that doesn’t beat us ever, and if he did happen to, I think he’d just be checking back. It’s hard to imagine what hands those would be, and even harder to imagine what hands he’d be folding here on the river when we jam. I didn’t want to be that guy asking a man who just lost a big pot what he had, but I was quite curious. Maybe a hand like T9s? I’m really not sure, but my read on him has definitely been adjusted now that I watched him play this hand in this manner.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Thank you for reading! Be sure to leave any comments or questions below. Next time you all hear from me I’ll have binked… hopefully. Anyone looking to follow my action can find me on twitter under @JonMetz216. Peace, and may the run good be with us all!