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Ace Speaks Practice Hand # 3

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Ace Speaks Practice Hand # 3 - Fri Oct 04, 2002, 11:08 AM
(#1)
Rolf's Avatar
Since: May 2010
Posts: 862
WhiteStar
The situation has changed somewhat. The game you are in has become a bit shorthanded. You have asked for a rake break, and are now paying a max. $2 rake (no flop no drop). The game is five-handed. You are first to act, holding A5 of spades. There's a new player in the big blind, an average player who seems to be rather loose and a bit tricky. On a scale from 1 to 10, rate the following options:
a) fold
b) call
c) raise
In this case, let's say you decide to stick out your neck and raise. The rock, still sitting on your left, calls, as does the big blind. The flop comes Ks 8h 3s, and the big blind bets into you. What do you do?
a) fold
b) call
c) raise
Let's say you decide to raise, fot the following reasons: 1) to blast out the rock to your left (giving you two extra outs in case he holds a bigger ace, assuming the big blinds has one pair now, for example a king), 2) to assure last position, 3) to get control over the hand and 4) to play heads up against the big blind, who doesn't need to have a good hand here- in fact, he doesn't even need to have a better hand than you right now. However, your plan backfires. Both the rock and the big blind call your raise. The turn comes 3d, pairing the board. Once again, the blind bets into you. What do you do?
a) fold
b) call
c) raise
Let's say you decide to keep an aggressive posture. You think the blind might be making a book-play (betting again into a possible free card play), possibly with a eight or a king / bad kicker. By raising again, you represent ace-king, and he will have a hard time calling you with any of these hands. If he held a three, he would almost invariably have gone for the check-raise. What's more, by raising now you put extra pressure on the rock, who might hold a hand like KT, KJ or KQ, and he might release one of these hands- if he respects your play, that is. But, once again, your raise doesn't get the desired result. Both the rock and the blind call your raise. Now the river comes 2s, giving you the nut-flush, however there is also a pair on the board. As on the previous streets, the blind comes out betting. What do you do?
a) fold
b) call
c) raise

Please rate all these options on a scale from 1 (horribble) to 10 (superb). I will give my own views in a couple of days, and discuss the most interesting responses. Take care, and good luck,
Rolf.
 
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Fri Oct 04, 2002, 12:12 PM
(#2)
Deleted user
One problem I have with exercises of this sort is that it's hard to get into analyz(s)ing a situation I would be unlikely to find myself in. A5s UTG isn't my cup of tea, even five-handed but of course in the "right" situation I might play it. If I felt that I had gotten a lot of "that's the first hand he's played in an hour" takes I would ONLY come in raising (I'm assuming this is a limit game - if PL/NL I wouldn't play it with a gun at my head except in a tournament when I was almost out of chips).

So for the purposes of this exercise I would say:
fold = 10
call = 0
raise = 6

If the BB (who just called my opening raise) comes out betting into a flop with 2 spades in it I have to judge him as having a very mediocre hand else he would try for a check-raise. So:
fold = 0
call = 2 (in case I want to threaten a check-raise!)
raise = 10

Now the BB bets again and unless I see him flash a 3 in his hand I find it hard to believe he's been helped. He's a maniac because I have the As and he can't have a set because he would have check-raised earlier with that holding. I am not so sure about the trailers so I might shut down here but...
fold = 0 (pot's pretty big)
call = 8
raise = 2 (not all that interested in "gaining information")

Now he bets into my nut flush and there's a pair on the board. I simply have an almost ironclad rule not to go crazy in this situation + a raise might drop the overcaller (who could think I was trying to pick off a bluff from BB) and the bettor (if he was bluffing). So on balance:
fold = 0
call = 10
raise = 1 (If I have some imagined "read" of the others).
 
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Fri Oct 04, 2002, 04:29 PM
(#3)
Deleted user
Knowing nothing about short-handed LHE, I'll venture a reply :wink:

A:s:5:s: looks like a hand that needs volume to be playable - like in late position with some limpers. Maybe 5-handed, UTG, that changes a lot. I don't know, but:
fold: 10
call: 0
raise: 5

On the flop, I want to see more cards as cheap as possible. Go for the free-card play.
fold: 2
call: 0
raise: 10

On the turn, I'm losing to a K somewhere and I lose my nerve somewhat, but maybe this isn't a problem. I'm not facing a boat as I'm sure I would have been re-raised on the flop if anyone had a set. I have odds to see a :s: or even an A on the river. I don't mind if the LPP calls, tho I fear a raise from them.
fold:0
call:10
raise:4

Making the flush on the river I'm pretty sure I'm winning. Question is whether to call and hope the LPP raises. Doubt it, so -
fold:0
call:2
raise:10

regards

Glenn
 
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Sat Oct 05, 2002, 01:37 AM
(#4)
Deleted user
Preflop As5s is a powerful hand five-handed. I raise 99% of the time to move the rock. A fold would be ridiculous. A call is horrible, unless youplan to go for the limp raise to get heads up. I do not like getting called by the rock on my left, but at least I can put him on a reasonable hand now.

Raise- 9
Fold- 1
call-2

Flop comes Ks3s8x. Big Blind bets out. Why? Does he have a weak K? He can have anything at this point, so I would raise. When called by both players, I have to put rock on a king or a big PP, or maybe a flush draw with a pair (8s9s? Not a real "rock" hand, but this is short handed). Big Blind I'm still wondering.

Raise- 10
Fold- 1
Call- 1

Turn pairs the 3 so board is Ks3s8x3. I hate this card. What are they in there with? You have to represent AK or the boat here and raise or fold. When big blind bets it is very possible he has filled or at least has a 3. If he is really tricky maybe he is bluffing with a flush draw and representing the thre. When rock cold-calls the raise, I am very, very worried that I am drawing dead on the river, or at the very least need a spade.

Raise- 7
Fold- 5
Call- 1

River is a 2 making the board Ks3s8x3h2s. Big blind bets again. Well hell, I still have rock behind me who might be slow playing a monster fulll or quads in the hopes that one of us catches the flush. You can't fold, but I think a raise can only cost you money. Rock may call one bet with a King or 3 but will fold for 2 bets on the river with a flush out there, and will make it 3 bets if he has you beat. Plus, tricky may reraise. The raise gets you 1 extra bet at most from tricky, but may cost you 2 bets. The call possibly gets you 1 extra bet from rock, and saves you a bet when rock has you beat. No way I raise here, not even 5 handed (but without your read on the players a raise would be warranted).

Raise- 2
Call- 10
Fold- Get a new hobby
 
Old
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Sat Oct 05, 2002, 01:39 AM
(#5)
Deleted user
Rolf,

First off, I love shorthanded holdem. Actaully, any shorthanded game. So, if I pick up A:s:5:s:, I am definitely coming in for a raise. I'll raise with a lot less in these situations and it's important to note that you must not only try to steal from the cut off or button position shorthanded. Mixing up one's play is essential to racking chips, IMO.

Fold-0
Call-0
Raise-10

You label the player to my left as a 'rock'. This doesn't necessarily mean his hand is better than mine, seeing that he just calls. If he is a solid player, he realizes that the BB will most certainly call your bet from the description you have given. He'll be making calls shorthanded with holdings that would be in the muck if it were a full table. I would think that if he held anything above an AJ, he would invest one more small bet to get the hand heads up. Same for any pocket pair over sevens. On the flop, it comes K:s:8:h:3:s: and the BB comes firing out. You mention him as tricky, which means he could be betting on a spade draw himself here or an 8. I think if he had a king, he'd go for a check raise or if he's holding a king with a weak kicker, he'd like to see how the 'rock' reacts to your auto-bet on the flop. I wouldn't give him much credit for much here. Calling is an option to try to induce the rock to call, or if he raises here, I'm making it 3 bets or capping it when the action gets back to me no doubt. He won't know if I'm on nut spades, AK, or a set, which is very viable here as I'd raise UTG shorthanded with KK, 88, or 33.

Folding-0
Calling-3
Raising-8

Well, on the turn when the 3:d: hits, it really depends on how the action went on the flop. Obviously, if it was just his bet and my raise, then I raise again for the reasons you mentioned. It is doubtful that the rock will call with any king other than ace-king here for two bets. KQ has to hit the muck in the face of two bets on the turn. It's very plausible that you raised with A3, raised on flop trying to get a free card, and hit it. Folding is out of the question at this point, because it is very unlikely anyone is holding a trey in this spot. If the action somehow got capped on the flop, I'd probably just go for a call, as I think it will be more likely to cause a fold from the 'rock' than a raise would. He would be suspicious of your call, sensing a boat or perhaps trip 3s and though he might call with KQ in this spot, it's also likely he'll call two bets, because of the 6 small bets he has already invested in this hand by this point. But, going with your hypothetical, easy raise again.

(If just two bets on flop)
Fold-0
Call-2
Raise-9

(If capped on flop)
Fold-0
Call-7
Raise-4

The river deuce! So, the 2:s: falls and gives you your nut flush. Easy, easy decision here. Call all the way. There is no possible way the 'rock' calls two bets here unless he has your hand creamed. And, though, it is plausible that the BB will call your raise, it's also possible that he may re-raise with a boat. I think it is very unlikely that the BB would re-raise with a smaller flush in this situation. Folding and raising in this spot are equally poor plays. Calling is the ONLY option.

Folding-0
Calling-10
Raising-0

Thanks again, Rolf...let's get into some omaha hands!
 
Old
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Sat Oct 05, 2002, 10:24 AM
(#6)
Deleted user
Quote:
Originally Posted by apryllshowers
Preflop As5s is a powerful hand five-handed.
Yet more evidence that I'm dead right to avoid cash LHE, especially short-handed. :roll:
What's the strength here, the Ace-ness? The s00tedness a small bonus? Would you prefer (say) A9o to A5s?
To a simple soul it looks as though the flushes you make in short-handed play won't get the necessary return to make the s00tedness a primary issue.

regards

Glenn
 
Old
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Sat Oct 05, 2002, 12:38 PM
(#7)
Deleted user
Quote:
What's the strength here
Suited A5 is about 10% better than unsuited when 5-handed. In either case it's very roughly a 6/5 favorite. Once the spades flop it becomes much more of a favorite when thus suited, but is also a bit more chancy because the "aceness" you were mostly depending on (~90% of the hand's value) didn't arrive.

The second 3 would be a minus for the value of the aceness if you were against random hands, but 3s aren't all that likely here so you're down to a MUST situation to prevail.

Since you went in with a real dog (lose 2 out of every three played) your essential aggression underlines why you better have a big BR and expect wild variance when playing this game. Even getting a miracle flush still left you vulnerable! This is why short term results can be so misleading and why so many "famous" players are often found seeking backers on the rail.
 
Old
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Sat Oct 05, 2002, 09:23 PM
(#8)
Deleted user
i agree with all the posts so far except for the parts on the turn, i would much rather call on the turn than riase.
call: 8
raise:3
fold: 1
the reason being, right now i am still drawing, i have nothing yet, and only one card to come. the big blind is not going to lay his hand down, and i would put the rock on a king with a good kicker, or even AK, as i know of many rocks that will not 3 bet preflop with AK. if i do raise, and the rock has me beat, he will either cal or 3 bet it, and the big blind could always 3 bet it, i would not want to put that extra money in yet.

now on the river, when my flush hits, i think it is good, because no one 3 bet any round prior, and being 3 handed at that point, i would not put anyone else on a full house, i think that would be giving them just too much credit. so i would raise and if i was reraised, i would just call and see their hand, if they slowplayed a fullhouse that well, then more power to them, becasue they sure fooled me. so on the river:
call: 3
raise: 9
fold: 0

to go back to the beginning, i would always raise with A5 suited in a 5 handed game, as i also think this is a great hand for short table play.

jmuzzey
 
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Practice Hand # 3: My view - Mon Oct 07, 2002, 01:28 PM
(#9)
Rolf's Avatar
Since: May 2010
Posts: 862
WhiteStar
Guys,

I decided to put my response here, rather than in a separate thread. Once again, I like most of the posters' reasoning. I especially like Dreams 32097's response, especially because he takes into account the right circumstantial factors that lead to making the optimum decision. Another good post was from Apryllshowers, however his analysis and his ratings are a bit too explicit, IMO- in poker, things are hardly ever black or white, it's more different shades of grey (at least, as I see things).

PREFLOP
fold 5
call 5
raise 7
Despite the rake break, the rake is still rather high, and in borderline situatiuons I would still lean towards folding because of this rake. That said, A5s is simply too good to fold in a short-handed game. Most players consider this a raise-or-fold situation, but there's nothing wrong with calling occasionally (for example, to give the other players a break, and to give the game a more "friendly", and thus more profitable, atmosphere). That said, you hold a clear raising hand here.

FLOP
fold 3
call 6
raise 7
I would raise here. The blind doesn't need to have a king; he might simply be testing the waters with a small pair, or he might even be flat-out bluffing. The rock behind you might have a king (in fact, this is quite likely, as he called your preflop raise, and he might very well hold two picture cards including a king), but even if he has one you are not dead. In fact, you might have as much as 12 outs here (9 spades, 3 aces) to outdraw him. What's more, he might hold a bigger ace than you (AT, for example), a hand he will certainly fold against a raise. If you are able to raise his big ace out, you may have given yourself two more outs to beat the blind's hand- IF in fact he holds a better hand than you right now (which is far from sure).

TURN
fold 4
call 6
raise 7
I would opt for raising again, for the reasons I gave in my original post. Even though calling is not that bad (assuming the blind has you beat, you DO get the right odds to call and try to outdraw him), in this case there is no reason to assume the blind has a big hand. In short-handed poker, you should often play aggressively, not only to give yourself the maximum chance to win the pot (as you would by raising), but also because it is simply less likely any of your opponents had a decent, let alone good, hand that can stand the heat.

RIVER
fold 2
call 7
raise 6
I would probably ponder a bit, and then simply call. If I raise, the rock will certainly fold a king, which is a likely card for him to have. However, if I call somewhat reluctantly, then I might get an overcall out of him. In fact, if the river has made him a flush (with the QJ of spades, for example), he might even RAISE. If the blind then calls his raise, I might decide to three-bet and get a third bet out of the rock (the blind will then probably fold). Calling here will only be bad for you if the rock HAS made the flush but decides NOT to raise- in which case you lose at least one extra bet (once again, the blind will probably fold against a raise by you and a call by the rock- unless he can BEAT a flush, of course). Keeping in mind that by calling you are almost sure to get an overcall, and that you will protect yourself against getting reraised in the outside chance the blind is full- PLUS that when you raise both opponents might fold (earning you nothing- this will happen if the rock holds a king and the blind is bluffing), keeping all this in mind, I think calling is best. However, it is a fairly close decision- closer than it might seem at first glance.
 
Old
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Mon Oct 07, 2002, 11:07 PM
(#10)
Deleted user
Quote:
What's the strength here
The aggression and the ace in that order. The "suited" factor is irrelevant pre-flop. Having played over 2000 hours, most of it short-handed, at the toughest mid-limit game on the earth (Paradise's highest limit), and more hours than I care to remember playing short-handed live cash games, a truer statement has never been made than this gem by ROLF:

Quote:
In short-handed poker, you should often play aggressively, not only to give yourself the maximum chance to win the pot (as you would by raising), but also because it is simply less likely any of your opponents had a decent, let alone good, hand that can stand the heat.
As for the aggression not being so black and white, with the As5s, I respectfully disagree (FYI, before online poker I would have agreed that you should mix up your play with A5). Based on the thousands of hands of online poker I have experienced (equal to a lifetime, as my buddy Geezer would say) with some truly remarkable short-handed players, I am convinced this is a clear raise or fold hand preflop. Although I might get cute and mix up my play with AK, KK, AA, AQ, and even QQ for example, A5 is simply too vulnerable at showdown, even if an ace hits, to just call.
WHEN YOU ARE DEVISING SHORT-HANDED PREFLOP STRATEGY, YOUR FIRST THOUGHT SHOULD BE "IF I PLAY THIS HAND CAN IT WIN A SHOWDOWN!"

If it can't win a showdown unimproved, you better raise or fold. In addition, if you are not comfortable going to showdown unimproved, you better raise or fold. I can call a bet on the river and showdown A5 unimproved--if you can't, you better raise better hands out of this pot and win without a showdown because you will be bluffed out of the pot on the river by a good player with 3rd pair or worse who figures if he's going to call you down (and a good player will) he might as well bet out on the river and see if you can stand the heat. A really good player may check-raise you on the river with 2nd pair. What do you do with your unimproved A5 then? If you would fold, don't play shorthanded.

Of course, when you flop the nut flush-draw things change, but the pre-flop decision is easy--raise or fold.

At a high limit (online or cash game) short-handed table, you will get called down by any mid-sized ace if the players are any good. If you do not take an aggressive stance with this A5, you are liable to get called down by AT and lose a big pot, whereas, as ROLF so correctly states in his analysis, it is a great coup when you get the better ace to fold (not only giving yourself more outs, but giving you a chance to win at showdown if another drawing hand is out there and you both miss).

Well, I was going to quit posting, but if we have more poker-related discussions like this (thanks Rolf, Dreams, Geezer, Jmuzzey, rosita, and NOODLES, who even though he didn't post on this, is a bright light on this forum) and less self-serving drivel from mediocre players who feel the need to convince themselves and everyone else that they are great, I may stick around.
 
Old
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Mon Oct 07, 2002, 11:40 PM
(#11)
Deleted user
Quote:
Originally Posted by apryllshowers

I can call a bet on the river and showdown A5 unimproved--if you can't, you better raise better hands out of this pot and win without a showdown because you will be bluffed out of the pot on the river by a good player with 3rd pair or worse who figures if he's going to call you down (and a good player will) he might as well bet out on the river and see if you can stand the heat. A really good player may check-raise you on the river with 2nd pair. What do you do with your unimproved A5 then? If you would fold, don't play shorthanded.
That is right on the money. One of the keys to winning in mid limit holdem and shorthanded holdem is the ability to reraise bluff somebody out of a pot. If somebody checks raise you on the river and you fold with A-high, like Apryll said, don't get in the game. You must be willing to spend that one extra bet to apply the pressure to your opponent and make them fold their hand. Though it will not work everytime, more often than not, you'll take the pot down, because in shorthanded play, it's all about moves and not necessarily the cards, as very seldom will players get a big piece of the flop and/or board.

Later...
 
Old
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Tue Oct 08, 2002, 01:34 AM
(#12)
Deleted user
Dreams said:


Quote:
If somebody checks raise you on the river and you fold with A-high, like Apryll said, don't get in the game. You must be willing to spend that one extra bet to apply the pressure to your opponent and make them fold their hand.
So, are you saying I should re-raise on the river with my A high, or call?

Rate the river options when you are checkraised with the unimproved A5:

Raise
Call
Fold
 
Old
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Tue Oct 08, 2002, 01:47 AM
(#13)
Deleted user
Need a better hypothetical, Apryll. Game type, opponent, the actual hand or board. I'm agreeing with you that more times than not, folding with A-high in a shorthanded game is one of the worst options...Obviously, if the board has a 4 straight and 4 flush out there; in all likelihood, I will muck my A-high. It all depends though...
 
Old
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Tue Oct 08, 2002, 08:22 PM
(#14)
Deleted user
The above hypo, except it is just you and the BB, you raised preflop BB called , you raise flop, you raise turn and the river is a red two rather than a spade. BB checks, you bet river, BB raises, what do you do?
 
Old
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Wed Oct 09, 2002, 06:10 PM
(#15)
Deleted user
I'd say-

Raise-8
Call-7
Fold-0

in this particular spot...the BB was labeled as loose and a little deceptive, so he could be on a spade draw himself. I certainly would not fold A5 on a board of K8332 the way the betting has been going. His calls on my raises on the flop and turn kind of make me think he isn't all that strong. Obviously, if I think he has a pair of 8s or a pocket pair 44-77, then I would go for a reraise here and hope to have him muck. Really a gut decision on this particular hypo...I can tell you I don't think I won more than 2 legit hands playing a live game yesterday for four hours. Many of the pots I scooped were on bluffs and aggressive betting (I'll actually post two in the Advanced Poker Discussion Forum, as I found it humorous that I actually bought pots with AA and KK)

Later...
 
Old
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Mon Oct 21, 2002, 07:24 PM
(#16)
Deleted user
OK, here's my opinion. It is not intended to offend, just shoot straight.

In my experience, raising in LHE is not very effective in getting someone to lay down their hand. Too many players call with any "something".
Pre-flop in an unraised pot, raising can take it there or set up for you to take it after the flop. Once more than 2 bets are in pre-flop, a big Ace that missed the flop or any pair will call the flop bet(this guy is loose, right?). The BB betting out the flop is either bluffing or caught a piece of the flop(or "tricky" smooth-called the pre-flop raise not to tip-off their big hand in the BB). The BB is not giving up until something awfully scary hits the board, so if your flush doesn't come in on the river it will likely come down to a showdown you won't win.
The few times you drive everyone out is not worth the times you don't hit your flush to be betting so aggresively on the draw. Too many things beat you, the BB could have lots of things since he is loose. A reasonable loose BB could have Kx, A8, A3, big A, 98, 88, 33, or any pp. I've seen plenty defend BBs with much less so even 8x,3x is possible. The way the BB kept betting out, and the way the rock was calling, you'd have to hit that flush to win this hand(or possibly the Ace). Therefore, you are putting a lot of money in the pot on a 3-to-1 shot. Your opponents are just calling your raises here, but you could also encounter a re-raise from someone with as little as KT. After the call of two bets on the flop, you could easily be re-raised on the turn by "tricky"BB or Rock slow-playing. What do you do after you've put so much in and get re-raised? Call and hope for the flush. Again, without the flush you're not going to buy it with a bluff bet/raise on the river. Too much is in the pot and you'll get called. If this were PL or NL(and you had better position) you could apply a lot more pressure and win with raises on flop or turn, and win with a bluff on the river. Limit is just too limited!
Maybe without the Rock, you could get a lot of action by loose players that lay down their hands to your aggression. However, the Rocks or not-so-rocky players are going to give you a few of those small pots (mostly just their blinds) and then take a big chunk of your stacks when you charge ahead so fast with your draw. If you were in late position(maybe cuttoff, button, or even SB) you could have seen the Rocks go out, and raise to get it pre-flop or set up for the steal on the flop. Without position you're just asking for trouble.

GEEZER is my cup of tea! A5s UTG is only playable in a non-shorthanded pre-flop limpers game. You're looking to see the flop cheap with plenty of contributors to the "draw fund" to make it pay off the few times you have a draw on the flop and then actually get the flush. Your Ace is way too weak to play if an Ace flops, so you're looking for fives then(Flops A5x, 55x) or the rare 234.

------------------------
In a normal game:
Pre-flop(utg):
Fold=10
Call=0
Raise=0
------------------------
Only in an "Everyone limps often" game:
Pre-flop:
Fold=7
Call=6
Raise=0
After flop with flush draw one bet to me and likely only one bet required to see Turn:
Fold=0
Call=8
Raise=0
-------------------------

Scott "DocH"
 
Old
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Sun Dec 01, 2002, 12:12 AM
(#17)
Deleted user
I understand the aggressive play here anda i really have enjoyed this thread, I also understand the the value of Ax shorthanded.

I'm just having a hard time understanging the reraise on the end, Hell isnt anyone gonna call the majority of the time after they have put 6 minimum bets in with ace any or with any pp. i mean 1 bet if ive gone that far how can i not call one more bet.
 
Old
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Sun Jul 03, 2005, 11:18 PM
(#18)
Deleted user
A bump for the interesting discussion of LHE.
 

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