My plan for Sunday was to play the $1500 NLHE and, if I busted early, to register the $1500 PLO8. I ended up busting the no-limit shortly after the dinner break around 8PM, and I wasn’t in the mood to play another 8 hours or whatever of poker, so I didn’t end up entering the PLO8 at all.

I got off to a good start in the $1500 but ran into some annoying spots. At 150/300, the CO, the weakest player at the table, opened to 1000, and I had KJs on the button. Based on the size of his raise, I figured he was strong, which means calling at all here is borderline, but I was trying to get into pots with him, I had position and a reasonable hand, and we were about 80BBs deep, so I hopped in there.

Then the SB, a player who’d mostly been quite passive, suddenly got it into his head to squeeze. Maybe I was just salty, but just the way he looked at us and gathered his chips, I really didn’t think he had anything. He made it 3500, the CO happily shoved, I folded, and the SB quickly folded as well. I have no idea what prompted him to do that,

The very next hand, a tilted player in early position opened to 875, the HJ (the CO from the previous hand) called, and I called QTs on the CO. The flop came KJ6 with one of my suit, the original raiser checked, and the HJ made a big bet, like 80% pot. Obviously I wasn’t getting immediate odds to draw, but I figured my implied odds would be very good if I hit, so I called. Then the original raiser went into the tank, and it was instantly obvious he was strong and looking to check-raise. He drew the process out for over a minute, stacking and restacking chips and trying to act torn about his decision, which only made it more obvious that he was strong. He raised, the HJ instantly folded, and I eyed his stack but had no choice to fold myself, as he was going to have less than a pot-sized bet behind.

A while later, at a different table, at the 250/500 level, I opened to 1100 with K6o in the CO. Not exactly standard, but the BB seemed very amateurish. Only he called.

The flop came Q63 with two clubs, and I held the Kc. He checked, I bet 1100, and he raised to 5000. My plan, after betting so small on the flop, was to call a check-raise, but I wasn’t expecting such a large one. I think I should have just folded right there, but I called.

The turn was another Q, and he jammed for a pot-sized bet. It seemed crazy not to call him when the only hand I was worried about just got less likely, but I took my time and tried to get a read. Based on his body language, he seemed quite comfortable, and I ultimately folded.

Part of me definitely feels like if I’m not calling a shove on that turn then there’s really no point in calling the flop. Then the other part of me argues that what my flop call bought me was the opportunity to make a read-based decision on the turn, and I (hopefully) made the right one.

The very next hand, I had about 28BB, and the action folded to me in the SB with 77. I’ve been experimenting with open limping a lot from the SB, and I think this is a good spot for it. There aren’t hands I want to open jam for this amount, and there are a lot of hands I don’t really want to raise-call or raise-fold for this amount, which means there’s a lot of merit to a limping strategy. With 77 specifically, raising and getting called doesn’t even produce that great of a situation, as most flops will be difficult to play.

My plan was to shove over a raise, but the BB took that play away from me by shipping his stack. Although I wasn’t eager to race for such a large pot, I thought he would rarely jam hands that dominated me but jam some hands I dominated, including smaller pairs and Ax, which makes calling pretty profitable if high-variance. I called and lost a race to T9s.

Gonna play the $1000 Turbo NLHE today.

4 thoughts on “WSOP $1500 NLHE

  1. I wonder if you have to play super exploitative poker like this in these small buy in tournaments. Wouldn’t playing GTO let the other rec players leaks rise to the top? Seems like so often we let a read on a player overwhelm all other relevant information. Hope the cash games are working out better for you.

    • It’s not clear what you mean by “have to”. I do think that overall I can do better exploiting many people at the WSOP than just trying to play a super balanced game. That said, I don’t think much of what’s in this post, except maybe the K6 hand, is even that exploitive.

  2. FWIW if someone ran a sim on the K6 hand, I think we’d find that hero has played pretty close to GTO up to villain’s large flop ch/raise.

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