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The Asian Equation

Yesterday morning I got a call on my work phone from one of my buddies, Eric "The Asian Equation" Ng. He is a former co-worker and someone I have played poker with for years. He was calling to let me know he played the Borgata WPT Event #8 and had made it to the final 18.

Play started on Tuesday and went into Wednesday morning, until they were down to 18. He said, after a long day of poker, he finally passed out around 4am and was already awake at 8:30am when he called me. Play was set to start back at 2pm on Wednesday and he was going to call me and let me know how things went. At around 4pm I got a call and I was expecting to be owed $1 after his bad beat story on how he missed out on the final table.

Instead, he was calling to let me know he made it to the final table and they were on a 10 minute break. Unfortunately, he was next to last in chips and would have to make a move pretty early when play started back. Around 5pm I got the final call to let me know he went out 8th out of 650+ players. He made a stand with A 9 in the BB and was called by the chip leader who had K J. The flop looked promising, but the turn was a King to send him packing.

The buy-in was $500 and he pocketed a little under 10k. Not bad. Not bad at all. He mentioned he was up 20k for the week (he's a blackjack whore) and was going to try and satellite into the main event, which starts on Friday. Hopefully I'll get another phone call about his making it into the main event.

I've been waiting for Cardplayer to update their results, so some of the numbers above will be incorrect or just an estimate until I can confirm exact details. I'll come back and update this post with the links once it is updated.

This has nothing to do with the above tourney or a tourney I've been in. It is just a type of hand I've been thinking about and wanted to get thoughts from my readers. You are in a tournament with a hefty guaranteed prize pool. You've made it into the money, but the candy doesn't really taste sweet until the final table. There are 27 players remaining and you are 5th in chips with about 300k. The top 5 in chips are as follows.

1st - 550k
2nd - 350k
3rd - 325k
4th - 310k
5th - 300k

After you, the chip stacks drop pretty dramatically to the low 200k and below. Strangely enough, of the 27 remaining, you are seated with the chip leader (Mr. 1st) and the player 3rd in chips (Mr. 3rd). Blinds are 3000/6000 with a 300 ante. It folds to you on the button and you make a standard 3 x the BB raise to 18,000 with A 7 spades. Mr. 3rd, in the SB, makes the call, as does Mr. 1st who is in the BB.

The flop comes 5s 6s 7c giving you top pair, top kicker, as well as the nut flush draw. It goes check, check to you and you make a close to pot size bet of 55,000. Surprisingly, Mr. 3rd announces all-in and Mr. 1st only takes a few seconds before announcing call.

If you call and win, you will be a monster chip leader with over 900k in chips, with the next closest at 350k. If you fold, you will still be in the top 5 in chips, and still above 200k. Blinds will be changing to 4000/8000 with 400 ante within 15 minutes of your decision.

What is your move and why?

posted by TripJax @ 1:22 PM,


At 11:38 AM, Blogger DuggleBogey said...

This looks a lot like the hand from Poker After Dark where Matusow flopped top pair, ace kicker. Ivey flopped bottom set, and Sammy Farha (in position) flopped a straight and a flush draw.

Matusow bet out, Ivey raised and Farha pushed.

The Mouth insta-folded. (Ivey called and got running queens for a boat.)

At 12:29 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Fold. You have TPTK for crying out loud. Even an OESD of K8 is in great shape against you, and a flush draw is even more likely. I wouldn't risk my tournament life here, because even if you are ahead, it is not by much.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger JL514 said...

You are both missing the main point. He doesn't ONLY have top pair. He has top pair, top kicker, with the nut flush draw.

Tough move, I might make a stand and push there. Probably more often than not - but you're pretty f'in sure you're behind right now.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

The key in this hand - for me - is the nut flush draw with top pair. I'd say it it obvious you're behind, but it is interesting to see how people think this one out.

I think those who are tyring to stay alive and creep their way up the pay scale fold. I think a chip accumulator looking to pwn the tournament might call.

Only problem I see with calling is that you normally want to be the one putting the pressure on and making the all-in with this type of hand, putting someone else to the test. If you make the all-in move, then you at least have the top pair top kicker with nut flush draw to fall back on if they decide to call. As it stands, you don't have that with this hand, but you might still see plenty of risk takers and chip accumulators calling.

I thought it was an interesting scenario to discuss...

At 2:41 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

If you think your against a set.. which is totally player read related.. then I think you fold there.. even with the flush draw.. If you think your up against somethink like 2 pair, overpair, straight, I think you make the call.. your getting GREAT odds and if you win this hand it is cruise control and bully the table to the final.. if your out, well that sucks, but you played your game..

Against a made set I think it is a much harder call since making your flush could lose you the hand, and even if you make it on the turn he has 10 outs to smack you down..

I think without a set your close to a favorite or coinflip to win where in the case of a set your more of a dog..

One last thing: when your this deep is any move really wrong? I can not say.. I always keep asking myself these questions and I can never come up with an answer.. It haunts me that I called SoxLovers all in with 99.. his KQ or QJ whatever crap he had was a coinflip.. I am not sure either folding or calling was wrong although most people think folding would be wrong..

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I would say fold. If it was only one person all in I would call, but the odds that you're ahead of both players seems slim. With two players, there's a better chance you're up against a set or (less likely) a flopped str8, or at worst someone's got an overpair. In that case, I would tend to think of it as calling two allins with just a flush draw rather than a flush draw with TPTK, as it looks like at least one of them has you beat. Would you really want to call two allins (I know it's only one, but it's basically two) with just a flush draw?

BTW, good time playing the Mook with you last night.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Wes said...

I'd get those chips in there as fast as possible. Having a huge stack is SO much more important than the slight (and when I say slight, it is almost minute) disadvantage of having a nut flush draw against two other opponents.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I'm a poor tourney player, but this seems like an obvious call to me. I mean, you're probably ahead from an equity standpoint, so why would you fold?

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous mookie99 said...

Thanks for playing in The Mookie.

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Wolverine Fan said...

I fold because it is two players going all in instead of just one. Who's to say one of those doesn't have a couple of spades that makes your drawing odds for the flush even poorer.

If you are playing good poker you have enough chips to start to come back w/ steals and good hands.

Thanks for stopping by and wishing Mrs. Wolverine well. Recovery is going slow but I think she is out of the woods now.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

I love me some draws.


At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much of this mind poisoning social "progressiveness" was initiated in California. In a couple of decades it pervaded east into the heartland AMONG THE MASSES, widespread instead of isloated:::: Gay acceptance/marriage, bi-racial acceptance, casual drug use/sex, cable TV, etc. So many things weren't present in the heartland decades ago. Because they are favored. Contrary to appearances, contrary to popular perception their favor got them extra time. In California the gods hurt the disfavored with this abuse right off the bat.
California is favored. It is the land of the gods, and when they disfavored invade, as they did during the gold rush, the gods strike back.
The gods pushed them into coming, told others, for only the disfavored are misled this way. Soon they scapegoatted these disfavored's descendants when the gods exported their wicked, sick sub-cultures to the rest of the nation. One day they will punish these descendants.
California subducts first. And those who have gone will get less time.
Expect similar reverse positioning in the Jesus issue. This is typical of the positioning of the gods. It's crucial that you begin to think correctly.
There is no such thing as a Christian god and there never was. Be god-fearing.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Carmen said...

Hard to top that last one. I think he is saying to fold.


At 1:11 AM, Blogger Raveen said...

hey man just responded to your question on my at the tables and thanks

At 10:02 AM, Blogger TripJax said...

HaHa...Carmen...agreed. Thanks everyone for your thoughts on the hand. I've thought about it more...I think I go with Drizz and....



At 10:34 PM, Blogger surflexus said...

The only hope you have of winning the hand is the flush. You are getting 3 to 1 on your money to call and the odds of winning the hand I calculate to be 28.35% assuming they are fairly intelligent players and have a made hand. With a stack of the size you have, I am not looking for a hand that I lose 2 out of 3 times. I fold.


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