My Title is Up for Grabs

I won’t be a back-to-back champion in the $2000 2-day FTOPS. I actually had quite good luck with my table draws, recognizing no one at my starting table and only two players over the course of the three and a half hours I played: Eric Froehlich and Tmay. The two big pots I lost were with AA and KK:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold’em Tournament, 30/60 Blinds 7 Ante (6 handed) – Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

SB (t1851)
BB (t2250)
UTG (t8364)
MP (t15220)
CO (t6557)
Hero (Button) (t5577)

Hero’s M: 42.25

Preflop: Hero is Button with A, A
UTG bets t150, 2 folds, Hero raises to t444, 2 folds, UTG raises to t1095, Hero calls t651

Flop: (t2322) 4, 9, 8 (2 players)
UTG checks, Hero bets t777, UTG calls t777

Turn: (t3876) K (2 players)
UTG checks, Hero checks

River: (t3876) A (2 players)
UTG bets t3876, Hero folds

Total pot: t3876

UTG didn’t show
Outcome: UTG won t3876

I flat the 4-bet because I think the hands that call a 5-bet shove are stacking off on most flops anyway, especially since an A isn’t too likely to flop nor is AK likely to be his hand given that I hold two A’s. This was not exactly the flop I was hoping for, though.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold’em Tournament, 50/100 Blinds 10 Ante (6 handed) – Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

SB (t8310)
BB (t7190)
UTG (t5301)
MP (t20101)
CO (t7202)
Hero (Button) (t5988)

Hero’s M: 28.51

Preflop: Hero is Button with K, K
2 folds, CO bets t250, Hero raises to t666, 2 folds, CO raises to t1555, Hero raises to t5978 (All-In), CO calls t4423

Flop: (t12166) 7, 3, 8 (2 players, 1 all-in

Turn: (t12166) 4 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t12166) 3 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: t12166

Hero had K, K (two pair, Kings and threes).
CO had A, A (two pair, Aces and threes).
Outcome: CO won t12166

Not that I’m getting away from K’s 55 BB’s deep BTN vs CO, but TMay isn’t at the top of my list of guys whose 4-betting range I’m crushing. Oh well, guess he “pwned” me here.

Before you start feeling too sorry for me, I did have a bit of good luck too:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold’em Tournament, 40/80 Blinds 10 Ante (6 handed) – Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

Button (t13616)
SB (t1691)
BB (t9993)
UTG (t19006)
MP (t6844)
Hero (CO) (t2942)

Hero’s M: 16.34

Preflop: Hero is CO with 10, K
2 folds, Hero bets t187, Button calls t187, 1 fold, BB calls t107

Flop: (t661) 8, Q, 4 (3 players)
BB checks, Hero bets t444, Button calls t444, 1 fold

Turn: (t1549) 9 (2 players)
Hero bets t1111, Button raises to t3440, Hero calls t1190 (All-In)

River: (t6151) J (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: t6151

Button had J, 10 (straight, Queen high).
Hero had 10, K (straight, King high).
Outcome: Hero won t6151

I know it looks bad, but this guy was calling like 40% of hands pre-flop and 80% of flops, so even with a draw as weak as mine I think I like double-barreling. As you can say he did in fact call me pretty light but happened to get there. Not that that stopped him from berating me when I got there on the river.

14 thoughts on “My Title is Up for Grabs

    • That was a dumb question that doesn’t warrant a response? I’m just curious did you call hoping you had 7 outs, or 10 outs.

      • Sorry, Johnny, just missed it- nothing personal and certainly not a dumb question. To be honest, I didn’t even think about folding. At first I was thinking of just shoving, and then I thought that betting less than all in would look stronger, but since I was thinking of it as an alternative to shoving it never even occurred to me to bet-fold. Honestly even getting big odds I guess it’s pretty close.

  1. The first hand – is the only hand you’re afraid of QQc? Since the Ac and Kc are already on the board, that eliminates a ton of his range with a club right?

    • I think AQc is a possibility as well, maybe even KQc depending on how light he’s 4-betting (not light, I think). You make a good point, though. I really didn’t even consider anything but folding, but perhaps I should have. I don’t think I ever have a good club here, unless I have two of them, like QcJc or something.

  2. I’m really curious about your flop betsizing in hand 1.

    I know from a GTO perspective it’s good to bet small in 4-bet pots, b/c of the small SPR and the effectiveness it has as a bluff, esp with less than 100bbs eff.

    On this particular flop though, I really don’t see why we’d do that.

    Villains range to continue on this board is going to be an overpair, or the Ac/Kc. Since we don’t have the Ac ourselves, I’m not sure why we are betting so small. If he has red QQ/JJ, he can put us on the Ac and is likely calling 1 street, and if he has a club, he’s certainly calling 1 street, regardless of what you bet.

    Even though it’d be really imbalanced, I would bet at least 2/3 pot here. It doesn’t even matter that you’re never bluffing (how will he know that?) – his range is just too strong that he’s calling 1450+ with the same frequency he’s calling 777. I think this is a spot where, since we don’t have the Ac, his calling range isn’t going to be affected too much by your betsize.

    In my (albeit limited) experience, when the pot gets big MTT players sometimes spazz and will shove JJ-KK with a club here if you bet a pot committing amount, but get to play perfectly vs a small bet.

    • You make a lot of good points. I probably overdo it with the underbetting. For a while it was the favorite trick in my book, but I think I might be overdoing it these days.

      • In one of galfonds videos he discusses a hand btwn urindanger and i think smokey24, where urindanger 3-bets the BTN vs smokeys CO open and smokey flats.

        The flop is like K83r, and urindanger cbets like 1/3 pot vs smokeys check. Here underbetting plays well for reasons you know given smokeys range.

        In your example though, his range is just so strong (relatively speaking) that i think you just lose value from any hand that’s calling a big bet. He just doesn’t have weak hands in his range that warrant getting a light peel from – so might as well jack it up.

        I played a similar hand at 5/10 vs tim0thee, where i flatted his SQZ of a UTG open + my MP flat call from his SB with TT.

        Flop 922 and tim0thee cbet near pot. He knows my range is so heavily weighted towards pairs here, that it makes the most sense for him to bet big, as my continuing range is basically the same vs 1/2 pot and near pot for at least 1 street.

  3. I think the river on the first hand is definitely very close to being a call… He has to have exactly QQc or AQc here to be ahead. He is not 4b’ing 90 bbs effective w/JJ or TT OOP here, unless he is bad. If there are only two combos of hands he can really have I think this is a very close call. I am also leaning towards the call because he just clicked pot on the river and did not put much thought into a bet size (this may be a level, but I think it plays a part esp if it is a random). He can chk call an overpair w/no clubs on this flop, but can not re-raise. On the flop and turn AcKx is definitely in his range and I suppose he can come along w/AxKc b/c of our small bet. Turn obviously eliminates AxKc, but still leaves AcKx and river eliminates both of those. Therefore we can eliminate AK from his range completely as no AKxx is coming along on this flop. Therefore his range is narrowed to AdQc (this may not even come along on the flop, but prob will b/c small cbet), KK, QQc so now that I really get down to it there are __ combos (AdQc and QdhsQc of these that are ahead of us and __ combos (KKdhs)that we are ahead of so it seems like a FOLD. nh

    • I’m calling in Hand 1.

      What can he show up with here besides QQ with the Q of clubs that we’re scared of? I mean I guess he can 4 bet other hands like a donk. I also don’t really see QQc playing this way postflop.

      TMay plays really snug but whatever in Hand 2… not folding KK on a 55bb stack there.

      Hand 3: Don’t like it at all.

    • Solid analysis, Mac. Against a better player, I would have given more thought to a call. The truth is that soooo many people don’t bluff nearly as much as they should at these chop pots. Like, when I look people up on like 56789 boards, I feel like I get shown a T 90% of the time, even in spots where I basically never beat the board and people ought to be bluffing constantly. The fact that I only get half the pot when I catch him in a bluff makes this a less attractive proposition, but I do like your reasoning against a good player.

    • I guess you’re Manny Pacquiao now with this “title defense” dick-waving nonsense. Well done. I predict that all this misguided machismo will have you speaking with Chris Hansen soon. Remember to leave the lube in the car. Less incriminating.

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