Gretzky Gone Wrong
Here's another hand that I posted on pokerpoker as an example of some less than formidable play on my part.

2/4 NL Holdem Cash Game (6 Handed)

LearsFool Raises $12.00 to $16.00 with 9♣ 9♠,
Villain Raises $12.00 to $28.00

Flop: 4♦ 5♦ 8♣
LearsFool Bets $35.00,
Villain raises $33.50 to $68.50 and is all in,
LearsFool call $28.75 and is all-in.

I called the all in figuring I was slightly behind A♦ K♦
He showed me A♠ A♣.
He wins, I lose.

I think the fact that I called and he showed Aces is far less relevant or interesting than the actual play of the hand. You see, regardless of the outcome I feel I played this hand very badly on the flop.

Preflop there is one of two possibilities; either I'm ahead or I'm behind. If I believe that I am behind, then I am drawing to 2 outs on the flop which I will hit roughly 12% of the time. So, in order for me to call the re-raise from behind I have to have implied odds of at least 8.4:1 which, in this case, I do. So, calling from behind here pre-flop is not terrible. If I miss I can check-fold. If I hit I can lead into the raiser for 1/2 to 2/3 the pot and I should stack him when he comes over top of me all-in (if I had pocket 8s here instead of 9s I would have taken all his money).

If I believe I am ahead, then there are two further possibilities; I'm either way ahead or slightly ahead. For me to be way ahead, he would have to have a smaller pair and even though he is a LAG player I do not see him re-raising with 88 or lower. For me to be slightly ahead he would have to be holding 2 overs, the most likely of which are Ace King. This is what I put him on, I believed he had AK.

Given that I put him on AK, leading the flop here is terrible. I make no money if I am ahead, and I am forced to jeapordize my entire stack if I'm behind (since I am basically pot committed) . It is much better to check-raise all-in here. It's the only line that makes maximum value for me. Being a LAG there is no way he checks from behind, and once he has committed chips on the flop he becomes low stacked enough to justify any call.

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