Part Time Nit

As mentioned in this week’s Planner, I appeared on the Part Time Poker podcast with game designer and poker writer Alex Weldon and 2015 WSOP $10K HORSE champion Andrew Barber. The topic of discussion was originally about setting a betting line on the age of the 2016 WSOP Main Event winner, but it grew to encompass the Poker Central/Amazon Coins poker vs. Hearthstone match earlier this week, as well as tournament ROI(a subject near and dear to my heart as everyone knows) and strategy.

The ROI discussion grew into a spirited debate, with Andrew questioning my data selection (more on that at a later time), and there’s the possibility that we may have some sort of upcoming wager on whether the Main Event champ this year will be over 40.

On the strategy segment, this was the situation. 20K starting stacks. Blinds are 150/300. The Hero in the hand has 22K, and HJ has 25K. UTG has about 10K and is described as “a short-stack maniac.” UTG opens for 1K in the hand. HJ–an older, tighter player–flat-calls the 1K. On the button, Hero calls with AxTx. They are the only three players to the flop, which is KQJ. Hero has Broadway, but no clubs. UTG leads for 3K and gets called by HJ. The question is, what does Hero do at this point? My advice was to fold, which led to Alex remarking “Steve is no longer the biggest nit we’ve had on the podcast.” I think people who’ve played with me know that I’m not exactly a nit, but here was my reasoning on this hand.

The game discussed is an $80 tournament. Alex mentioned that his chosen game level was in the $200-$300 range (with Andrew’s far above that), so they may be a little out of practice with lower-stakes play. My read was that the UTG maniac has put in 4K of a 10K stack, with the intention of pounding the rest in on the turn, with a pot of 9K (or 12K if  Hero calls the flop). HJ–a guy described as “tight”–can see that as well. When UTG shoves on the turn, HJ is either going to call or shove. It’s reasonably likely that one or the other of them has a club. And if it’s HJ, and he hits, then you’re risking either half your stack (if HJ just calls the UTG shove) or your tournament life (if HJ shoves).

If it’s just UTG, I’m calling every day.

Onward to Las Vegas.