Sunday, December 10, 2006

Draw by numbers

I begin with the warning that this is not a strategy post. It's more of a cautionary tale: Do not try this at home or without a doctor's prescription.

While I'm not one of those people who runs out to the store to buy the hot product just because all the cool kids have it, I did have an interest in trying 2-7 Triple Draw when Stars added it to the mix. I think I played a little bit of micro-stakes TD over at UB at one point, but I was likely in the midst of a crack binge at the time.

A check of the Stars TD lineup, though, showed that the game is selling worse than Obstetric Barbie Gynecological Exam Kit this Christmas season. There were few tables open and the limit games were always full when I checked.

Finally, in a what-the-hell moment, I joined a .25/.50 NL table with a wimpy $30. I more than doubled my buy-in pretty quickly thanks to some good hands, including the nuts. I played two more sessions yesterday and essentially broke even, a ridiculous feat given that I played 15 hands heads-up with a guy who kept min-raising and then drawing 4 cards.

I jumped into a game this morning, which prompted the following hand history. I'll try to recount in the best Fuel55 fashion that I can, keeping it short and simple.

(Side note: Fuel's frequently posted hand histories have added greatly to my limited NL cash-game skills. For example, the idea of "floating" was only a vague, poorly employed notion before finding his blog. Thank you, sir.)

PokerStars Game #7382256246: Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - Table 'Memnon II' 6-max

I bought in for a wimpy $30 and won a $20 and a $15 pot in the first four hands. This is the 11th hand of the session.

Button: MK_Sniper ($60.55 in chips)
Seat 4: brenngeorge ($16.25 in chips)
Seat 5: hacker59 ($45.15 in chips)
Seat 6: Katertot08 ($7.75 in chips)
brenngeorge: posts small blind $0.25
hacker59: posts big blind $0.50
Dealt to hacker59 [2c 9h 3h 4s 8d]

This is a decent starting hand in TD, I guess. I knew I'd toss the 9, but wasn't sure about the 8.

Katertot08: folds
MK_Sniper: raises $1.50 to $2
brenngeorge: calls $1.75
hacker59: calls $1.50

It's $1.50 to call into a pot of $4.50. Easy call given my holdings.

*** FIRST DRAW ***
brenngeorge: discards 1 card
hacker59: discards 2 cards [9h 8d]

I guess brenn has pretty good starters as well. Good-bye 8.

Dealt to hacker59 [2c 3h 4s] [3d 2d]
MK_Sniper: discards 1 card
brenngeorge: checks
hacker59: checks
MK_Sniper: bets $3.50
brenngeorge: folds
hacker59: calls $3.50

Ugly draw. I admit to having no real business making this call. If he stands pat, I fold.

hacker59: discards 2 cards [3d 2d]
Dealt to hacker59 [2c 3h 4s] [6s 7c]
MK_Sniper: discards 1 card
hacker59: checks
MK_Sniper: bets $5
hacker59: calls $5

I actually loaded up for a check-raise, planning to pop him another $10 but stopped myself and decided to go for a slowplay. I probably should have followed through on my first instinct.

*** THIRD DRAW ***
hacker59: stands pat on [2c 3h 4s 6s 7c]
MK_Sniper: stands pat

Ugh. No check-raise now. I toss out a blocker.

hacker59: bets $7.50
MK_Sniper: raises $42.55 to $50.05 and is all-in

Sheeit. Does my man have the nuts? I can't fold here. If the second nuts ain't good enough, so be it.

hacker59: calls $27.15 and is all-in

*** SHOW DOWN ***
MK_Sniper: shows [7h 5s 6d 2h 3s] (Lo: 7,6,5,3,2)
hacker59: shows [2c 6s 3h 4s 7c] (Lo: 7,6,4,3,2)
hacker59 collected $90.30 from pot

Let's be clear. I only have the vaguest of notions about how to play TD. But it's a nice break from hold 'em stasis that seems to have set in. And I love the strategy implications. When do you break/not break/stand pat?

Having read some of Chris Fargis' posts about TD, I know there are ways to "float" in this game. But I'm guessing that mostly applies to higher limits. At the stakes I'm playing, an ABC approach -- whatever that is -- is more in order. Folding does not appear to be an option for many of these players.

And If I'm actually going to learn TD, I need to do it a limit where the inevitable mistakes are less pricey. There is some forum action over at 2+2 that should be worth exploring.


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