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What Was Doyle Brunson Thinking?


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#1 SlackerInc

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:52 AM

I really enjoy this show, as it seems to be filmed in real time, showing all the hands without editing. Plus there's very little commentating, so you can hear the players talk (and when you've got players like these gathered, you want to hear what they have to say). But I found myself increasingly puzzled by the way Brunson played as the blinds got bigger. With an effective M in the red zone for some time, he continued to make and call small raises rather than getting into push/fold mode. But while those were all at least somewhat marginal, it was his play on one hand in particular that really stunned me. I mean, the guy's a legend, yadda yadda yadda, but this just seems like weak play regardless. Still, he IS a legend, so I am second-guessing my analysis a little bit and thought I'd ask you guys.4 players. BB is t1200. No antes.Moneymaker: t43000Chan: t36000Ferguson: t34000Brunson: t6000(these are approximations, listed on screen as "43k" etc.; it appears that Brunson actually had t5950 before paying the big blind)Moneymaker is UTG and folds.Chan is on the button and raises to t3000.Ferguson is SB and folds.Brunson is BB, with [4c 6c] and calls t1800.I can get to the rest of the hand later; but isn't this a weird play? I mean, on the one hand he was getting 2.7 to 1 odds; but in this situation, with these cards, don't you need to just conserve your stack to have some first-in vig for an upcoming hand? Reraising all-in isn't going to cut it, as he'd be laying 3.2 to 1 odds for Chan, and Chan can then call with ATC.He's in a tough spot regardless, but I just don't see how calling this raise makes sense here.

#2 Yahkin

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:37 AM

Well Chan is raising there with any two. This is actually a decent hand to showdown in this situation. My only guess is he's limping to give a chance to get away from the hand. If he misses the flop, he has 3k left and can survive the SB and see a few more hands. We all know it only takes one hand and he may move up a spot.Another angle is that he might be representing a very strong hand by only calling. Most would expect a push here as a standard move with a playable hand.I agree though. Strangely played.
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#3 Flushgarden

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

Maybe he knows Chan knows this and would think that the only hand he would just call with in the BB is a monster, and he was planning to stop and go and push any flop. This, plus the fact that he was getting good pot odds. Thats all I can think of.But I didnt see the hand so I dont know what actually happened after the flop.
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#4 pokerfan1080

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:48 AM

Really weak raise from Chan. Still though, not sure I'd want to just call in that position. We are in deep do-do in relation to the blinds. I'd probably push here knowing Chan could be raising with any two in position.
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#5 SlackerInc

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:09 PM

View Postpokerfan1080, on Friday, January 19th, 2007, 1:48 PM, said:

Really weak raise from Chan.
Didn't we have a discussion recently where people were advocating raising to 2.5xBB?Oh, also in this tourney there was a case where someone (I think it was Chris Ferguson) min-raised with J-10os and got the blinds to fold! Then there were quite a few times where hands got folded to the BB, which is a no-no according to HoH2. Yet these are some great players (and btw, I actually came away with much more respect for Moneymaker than I ever had before: he played quite well, made some great laydowns, some great reads as to when he was being bluffed and so reraised...etc.).It was, btw, a stop-and-go, essentially: the flop came K-6-2 (no clubs, or maybe one), and then Doyle went all-in. I'll hold off a bit before finishing the results of the hand...

#6 Mercury69

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:09 PM

One word = SOOTED!
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#7 SlackerInc

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:13 PM

View PostYahkin, on Friday, January 19th, 2007, 1:37 PM, said:

My only guess is he's limping to give a chance to get away from the hand. If he misses the flop, he has 3k left and can survive the SB and see a few more hands. We all know it only takes one hand and he may move up a spot.
It did strike me that ultimately this is what he was thinking--see the flop and then decide whether to get away. But doesn't that go against modern poker theory as advanced by HoH2? Is there a significant school of thought out there that disagrees with Harrington about how to play the endgame?Oh, and one item that is significant that you reminded me of--I should have mentioned this earlier. They were playing for a $120,000 top prize (they started with six players), presumably provided gratis by NBC. As I understood it, though, there is no proze for second place or lower. So moving up a spot wouldn't make sense in this one.

#8 Guru1069

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:50 PM

It wasn't the best position he was in by any mean. Chan had just sucked out runner runner. Doyle had also been talking about making trips, checking emails.I agree suited and it's a hand he talked about in his latest book. Small gapped suited connectors. When he paired his 6 he talks about getting your money in as a dog. At that point he didn't have much of a choice with the blinds. I think the runner runner took the wind out of his sails given the fact it would have taken forever to regain any position on a $120,000 game. I'll say that was a lucky draw on Chan's part I don't know if I would have done that on Dolyle with KQos and only a Q on the flop against an ace. Although Johnny didn't want a call when he went all in I don't think. It worked out I think he read ace.That's Poker Baby!!!

#9 Yahkin

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 01:23 PM

View PostSlackerInc, on Friday, January 19th, 2007, 2:13 PM, said:

It did strike me that ultimately this is what he was thinking--see the flop and then decide whether to get away. But doesn't that go against modern poker theory as advanced by HoH2? Is there a significant school of thought out there that disagrees with Harrington about how to play the endgame?Oh, and one item that is significant that you reminded me of--I should have mentioned this earlier. They were playing for a $120,000 top prize (they started with six players), presumably provided gratis by NBC. As I understood it, though, there is no proze for second place or lower. So moving up a spot wouldn't make sense in this one.
Yeah, if only first pays, then this would make no sense. Indeed it does go against pretty much any poker theory. The big stacks aren't likely to mess with each other till he blinds out or pushes, so it doesn't do you much good.All that leaves is representing a strong hand by only calling. But I can't imagine Chan folding to any bet on the flop. The implied odds are just too great.What I find more interesting is Chan's bet. He seems to almost be goading Brunson to come over the top. I'm putting the BB all-in PF with just about any cards in that situation. Chan's weak bet tells me he might be sitting on a monster too.
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#10 SlackerInc

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 04:40 PM

View PostGuru1069, on Friday, January 19th, 2007, 2:50 PM, said:

It wasn't the best position he was in by any mean. Chan had just sucked out runner runner...I'll say that was a lucky draw on Chan's part I don't know if I would have done that on Dolyle with KQos and only a Q on the flop against an ace. Although Johnny didn't want a call when he went all in I don't think. It worked out I think he read ace.That's Poker Baby!!!
He's talking about a previous hand, the one that put Doyle in the position he was in. Yeah, on that hand I thought it was a foolish play by Chan. When your opponent raises, or calls a raise (can't remember which it was), and you've got KQ (actually what Chan had in both hands--he had it several times it seemed), and the flop comes with an A and a Q...and then didn't Doyle actually bet first there? It was silly of Chan to think pairing his queen was good enough, when an ace is the most common thing for someone to raise/call a raise with. Maybe he thought Doyle had a weak ace and would be afraid of domination? Anyway...he sucked out with a runner runner straight (though by the river he only needed any "picture card" as Doyle put it, giving him about nine outs I think).Getting back to the hand I posted about, where Brunson was super short stacked: Chan had KQ again as I said, which this time was TPSK, so of course he called Brunson's stop-and-go push without hesitation, and it held up (Chan actually made two pair on the turn IIRC). I guess bottom line is that Doyle was hoping at that point that Chan had AJ, AK, A10, something without a queen. And there could have been a chance of that. But let's say he hadn't hit anything on the flop. He was just going to check-fold? Either way, it still looks like a shaky move preflop to me. I would have folded that hand, then kiss my SB goodbye as well unless I got dealt some good cards, and then the hand after that, if Ferguson folded UTG and I had something not completely wretched, I'd push that. Otherwise, I'd push the hand after that, when I'm UTG and I'm guaranteed first-in vig.

#11 copernicus

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 12:12 AM

The play makes no sense, sorry DB. He should just push here. He has no fold equity now or on the flop, so a stop and go doesnt make any sense. If he pushes right now hes betting 4800 to win 12600 if hes called, or 2.6:1 odds. If he calls and folds later (the only thing that seems to be realistic) he has to double up twice to get to 12000 and the odds of that are a helluva lot worse than playing 64s
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#12 SlackerInc

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 01:42 AM

View Postcopernicus, on Saturday, January 20th, 2007, 2:12 AM, said:

The play makes no sense, sorry DB. He should just push here. He has no fold equity now or on the flop, so a stop and go doesnt make any sense. If he pushes right now hes betting 4800 to win 12600 if hes called, or 2.6:1 odds. If he calls and folds later (the only thing that seems to be realistic) he has to double up twice to get to 12000 and the odds of that are a helluva lot worse than playing 64s
Hey, glad to hear from you, Copernicus. So do you think the "old school" players just don't even think about M in these stark terms like we do in the endgame? I mean, you or I would be almost physically incapable of making this play, right? LOLAlso, what about my idea of just folding and waiting for either a better hand (maybe), or the chance for first in vig (which you'll definitely get when UTG if perhaps at no other point)? Or do you really think this should have been his Alamo, no two ways about it?

#13 DCJ001

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 01:41 PM

What Was Doyle Brunson Thinking?He was thinking, "Why is some putz named SlackerInc questioning the way that I play?"

#14 copernicus

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 03:18 PM

View PostSlackerInc, on Saturday, January 20th, 2007, 4:42 AM, said:

Hey, glad to hear from you, Copernicus. So do you think the "old school" players just don't even think about M in these stark terms like we do in the endgame? I mean, you or I would be almost physically incapable of making this play, right? LOLAlso, what about my idea of just folding and waiting for either a better hand (maybe), or the chance for first in vig (which you'll definitely get when UTG if perhaps at no other point)? Or do you really think this should have been his Alamo, no two ways about it?
I cant comment on the general approach of "old school" players, this particular hand may have been an anomaly, but yes, this is where I think he has to make a stand. If Chan can be on ATC, DB has 40% chance of surviving the hand. If Chan needs a top 40% hand, DB only drops to 37%. Davy Crockett isnt even needed.
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#15 SlackerInc

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:52 PM

View Postcopernicus, on Saturday, January 20th, 2007, 5:18 PM, said:

I cant comment on the general approach of "old school" players, this particular hand may have been an anomaly, but yes, this is where I think he has to make a stand. If Chan can be on ATC, DB has 40% chance of surviving the hand. If Chan needs a top 40% hand, DB only drops to 37%. Davy Crockett isnt even needed.
Why is there such a small difference between his chances there? That kinda blows my mind. Something about suited connecters (or in this case, one-gap connectors), that they do about the same against all different types of hands, that it?

#16 tskillz187

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:56 PM

View PostSlackerInc, on Saturday, January 20th, 2007, 5:52 PM, said:

Why is there such a small difference between his chances there? That kinda blows my mind. Something about suited connecters (or in this case, one-gap connectors), that they do about the same against all different types of hands, that it?
I'm not a nifty math guy like Cop, but I'll take a stab here. 24 suited is a dog heads up against every single hand besides 23. And its only a VERY VERY slight favorite there. So if we were already behind everything to start with just upping it to the top 40% of hands doesnt change too much, as there are more AKs (different two card combinations) than there are 77s (pocket pairs that have us crushed combinations), even in the top 40%.
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#17 copernicus

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 11:09 PM

View Posttskillz187, on Saturday, January 20th, 2007, 8:56 PM, said:

I'm not a nifty math guy like Cop, but I'll take a stab here. 24 suited is a dog heads up against every single hand besides 23. And its only a VERY VERY slight favorite there. So if we were already behind everything to start with just upping it to the top 40% of hands doesnt change too much, as there are more AKs (different two card combinations) than there are 77s (pocket pairs that have us crushed combinations), even in the top 40%.
64o is right around the 59% level, ie it is beter than 40% of "all hands". If the opponents range is reduced to top 40%, the hands that drop out of his range that were ahead of you (40-59%) were about a 52:48 favorite, the hands that you were ahead of that drop out of that range (60% and below) you only average about a 51:49 favorite, so they nearly balance out.The other way to look at it is that the more you restrict the villains range, the less likely it is that you are dominated, because you drop out all of the hands that dominate 64 except pairs 44+, and pairs 44+ only represent 5% of the 40%. Hands that arent dominated are rarely worse than a 60:40 dog, so 5/40* 20% plus 35/40 * 40% = 37.5%.
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#18 SlackerInc

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 09:53 AM

View Postcopernicus, on Sunday, January 21st, 2007, 1:09 AM, said:

The other way to look at it is that the more you restrict the villains range, the less likely it is that you are dominated, because you drop out all of the hands that dominate 64 except pairs 44+, and pairs 44+ only represent 5% of the 40%. Hands that arent dominated are rarely worse than a 60:40 dog, so 5/40* 20% plus 35/40 * 40% = 37.5%.
This is kind of what I was thinking must be the explanation, thanks. This must also be why Harrington, who as he himself says generally likes to play mainly high cards when stacks are deep, includes suited connectors as one of the hands to push with in the Red Zone--because you're generally going to have a shot even if you get called (except by the higher pairs, as you said; but some of the lower pairs that have you dominated might just fold to a push). It has certainly shocked some of the players I play with locally, though, when they have seen me fold the vast majority of my hands when the stacks are deep, and then when I do play and cards are shown down I have good aces or premium pairs--but then in the endgame all of a sudden I push, they call, and I flip over 5-6 suited! They just shake their heads like I suddenly went crazy (and wrongly think I got incredibly lucky when I win with those hands against their AQ or whatever).

#19 Yahkin

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:50 AM

I recorded a few episodes of Poker After Dark, and I watched my first one last night. It just happen to be this episode.First off, I'm not a real fan of the format of the show. They only show the big knockout hands, and they give you very little history. In one shot we see Chan taking a pile of chips from another player, and in the next hand they make the comment that Chan is the short stack. WTF...I would have to think some fairly significant hands occurred to get him to this point.As for the Doyle play, he really didn't look that into the game at the point that the strange play occurred. It wasn't like he studied his cards, took his time and decided to flat call. He just threw the complete in there like he could care less...which is basically what I think was going through his head at that point.All in all, what they showed did not seem to be much quality poker. Chan wins when Moneymaker calls an All-in re-raise by Chan. Moneymaker's monster? 87s and he's on the OESD after the flop. Chan actually tries to defend the call by Chris by giving him the benefit of assuming one of his cards was an over and added 3 outs. In the postgame interview with Chris he acknowledges it was a silly call.The whole thing seemed to play like a freeroll...which I guess is essentially what it is for them.
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#20 SlackerInc

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:35 PM

View PostYahkin, on Wednesday, January 24th, 2007, 11:50 AM, said:

I recorded a few episodes of Poker After Dark, and I watched my first one last night. It just happen to be this episode.First off, I'm not a real fan of the format of the show. They only show the big knockout hands, and they give you very little history. In one shot we see Chan taking a pile of chips from another player, and in the next hand they make the comment that Chan is the short stack. WTF...I would have to think some fairly significant hands occurred to get him to this point.As for the Doyle play, he really didn't look that into the game at the point that the strange play occurred. It wasn't like he studied his cards, took his time and decided to flat call. He just threw the complete in there like he could care less...which is basically what I think was going through his head at that point.All in all, what they showed did not seem to be much quality poker. Chan wins when Moneymaker calls an All-in re-raise by Chan. Moneymaker's monster? 87s and he's on the OESD after the flop. Chan actually tries to defend the call by Chris by giving him the benefit of assuming one of his cards was an over and added 3 outs. In the postgame interview with Chris he acknowledges it was a silly call.The whole thing seemed to play like a freeroll...which I guess is essentially what it is for them.
It's funny, I have quite a different take on the show. I don't detect nearly as much in the way of cuts as compared to most poker coverage--and you can tell because the commentator doesn't say much, and the conversations run along continuously most of the time. Plus my perception was that they show a lot of "mundane" hands, and not at all just the big knockout hands! Also, I was actually surprised (in a positive way) by Moneymaker's play for the most part. That last call was questionable, sure; but he knew Chan was moving with all kinds of hands (didn't he have K-5 or something?) and even if Chan did have a big hand 8-7 isn't likely to be dominated. Moneymaker was actually quite tight through most of the tournament; even though it was a shorthanded table he often folded hands like A-9 to a raise in front of him, and folded weak aces even in unraised pots.Also, it turns out the players have to buy in for $20k each, at least according to the announcer. But they let them advertise their sites, which I'm sure more than makes up for this.




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