32Red Poker Ring Games
Crazy Times on 32Red Poker
I’ve been spending some times playing in the Ring Games on 32Red, which always throw up some great and testing poker. I feel that there is a real change once you hit the $10/20 games, and the psychology of bluff and counter bluff coming into play makes for some crazy games.
I won’t reveal any names, but here is one of the craziest hands that came up this week.
1) Blinds are $10/20, I am in the small blind with , and raise the action to $55. A tricky, aggressive Norwegian player calls in the big blind, and the flop comes . I am playing $2,900, and he has me covered.
This is not an awful flop at all for me, giving me two overcards and a gutshot. It is a flop that likely to produce action, but at the same time it is unlikely that either of the two of us has very much. It feels like both I and the other player will be betting without much of a hand, and so it will be important to seize the initiative, and to try to get the last move at the pot.
I decide that the way to seize control of the hand on the later streets will be to play for a check raise. It comes as no surprise that the Norwegian bets $110, the size of the pot, and so I raise to $330. The game is too aggressive and the Norwegian is too clever to be worried too much that I have trip nines. However, I am hoping to have set up a situation where a big bet from me on the turn will produce too much heat for his hand. Even though many of these players play almost without fear, there can always come a point in the hand where the stakes are so high that they decide to let go of their marginal hand.
As the Norwegian calls, I am putting him on most probably on a ten for two pair, or one of many straight draws. It is possible that he is pulling a good trap with trip nines, but I should not worry about this too much. The turn is a complete blank, the , and we have a pot standing at $770, my stack at $2,515.
Stack size is such an important thing in poker, and here it is massively in my favor, for this reason. If I now bet $750, my opponent knows that a turn call would probably commit him to calling off the rest of my stack on the river. This is a great use of the “implied threat,” as I am using investing only $750 myself, but threatening my opponent for my whole $2,515 stack.
The Norwegian once again makes the call, and the trickiness of the spot means that it is still quite difficult to put him on hand. He could well be playing a massive hand very well, and could still be at the other end of the spectrum, reading me for weakness, and playing a weak hand himself.
The river card is the most interesting card possible. The makes the board , and gives me the top two pair with my .It could well be the winning hand, but obviously the situation is dicey for me. My stack stands at $1,765, and the pot at $2,270. It is very hard to know how to bet my hand- am I valuing bet or not?
This type of hand, where you have been bluffing and have caught a lucky card on the end, is a typical example where a defensive bet can be the right play. Accordingly, I bet out for $650, leaving me $1,115 behind. I am really hoping that I do not have enough behind for the Norweigan to sniff a great opportunity.
But he does, immediately pushing all-in for the remaining $1,115. This is a sick spot, where I have been bluffing, caught a lucky card, and now possibly the bluff is being swung back onto me. This is poker at its best.
I have given myself a real problem, as I have telegraphed my hand to my opponent. My small bet on the end says almost for sure that I have a small piece of the board, but I am not sure about my hand. In fact, the classy player has enough information to read my hand almost exactly as or . It is this knowledge that is worrying me into possibly calling in a situation where a pass would usually be automatic. However, for his play of making two big calls, and then re-raising all in on the end, the Norwegian would normally be playing a massive hand. He is representing most likely a massive flopped hand, or a rivered straight.
I switch on the time bank, and eventually pass. It is possible that I have just a brilliant read and bluffed pulled on me, but more likely that I am beat. In either case, however, my analysis of the hand has to be that I got it horribly wrong, by investing so many chips in a pot where I eventually mucked. If indeed I was bluffed off the best hand in the river, then I actually played the hand in the worst possible way!
So, not a pretty hand for TrickyRock, but one that I thought was well worth describing. It combines the elements of counterbluff, the battle for the initiative on the different streets, and just possibly the skill of reading the other player’s hand precisely, and bluffing them off it. Shame that that wasn’t me!
Good luck at the tables, and, most of all, have fun!