Since my last letter, I’ve got in some good online grinding (highlights were a deep run in Super Tuesday on Stars, a couple of high roller final tables and winning a Barcelona EMOP package on Irish Eyes) and a trip to Spain for Estrellas San Sebastian.
I had a pretty good day one, increasing from 15K starting to just over 27k at the end of the day. After a good start to day 2 (I was up to 37k after the first hand), it all went south fairly fast. After losing over half my stack with KQs versus J9o all in pre, my exit was one of the more bizarre I’ve ever had. It involved everyone folding to me in the small blind after the big blind had failed to protect his cards and had them mucked by the dealer, me shoving from the small blind, and him then being allowed to retrieve two cards from the muck and make the call with kings. I asked the dealer for the floor but there seemed to be a language issue and she didn’t seem to understand. I spoke to the tournament director after the event but with the action having already moved on and other hands having been dealt, there was obviously nothing else that could be done at this point.
After that debacle I was in no real humour to play any side events so I just chilled for the rest of the trip. There was a good travelling Irish contingent that included David Lappin, Gary Clarke, Feargal Nealon and Annette Carroll. Feargal was chipleader for a while on day one and continued his recent run of good form with another cash. Feargal is looking very focussed at the table these days and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his recent run of form has coincided with his getting into great physical shape (he recently won a bike race in Sligo!).
This week’s strategy section continues my exit hand from the WSOP main event. After my opponent threebet big, my next decision was whether to flat call or raise, and if I did raise, how to size it. In these spots I would prefer to flat if I thought there was any danger my opponent would fold, but based on the way he was playing and his three bet sizing, I didn’t feel this was likely. So I elected to raise. When sizing the raise, the main considerations were to size it so that it was (a) not too big that he might fold (if I shove all in for example or bet enough to make it clear I’m pot committed he might get the message) (b) not too small that he can profitably set mine.
Set mining is where you figure that you have a smaller pair and call with the intention of giving up if you don’t hit a set because you feel that you’ll win a big pot when you do hit a set to make it profitable. You flop a set 14% of the time so it needs to cost less than 14% of what you’ll win to call preflop for it to be profitable (actually a bit less, since you can’t be certain you’ll get fully paid when you do, and occasionally you’ll be set over setted or lose some other way even when you do hit your set). With a stack of 40k I therefore wanted to raise a bit more than 5600 to make set mining unprofitable, so I elected to raise just over 6k to 12925. This bet size is less than a third of my stack so my opponent might reasonably think I’m not committed (which is what happened).
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