Last week in this space, I posted the first half of a discussion I had with British poker pro Adam Owen in which Owen reviewed some 2-7 triple draw hands I played during my final table run in the $340 8-game event at PokerStars Festival New Jersey.
Now, it's time for part two.
When we left off, our hero had just overcome the legendary Barry Greenstein in a critical pot by possibly misplaying what turned out to be a nine-eight in the big blind against a button raise. Despite the blunder, the hand worked out in my favor. Meanwhile Greenstein had been reduced to just a few bets and was in the big blind, with the remaining chips divided between Chris Reslock and myself.
That's exactly where we pick up the action in the discussion with Owen.
PokerNews: The next hand was right after that, and Barry was big blind with only a couple of bets. Chris raised on the button, and I had in the small blind. I usually fold this in the small blind, but since Barry was short, I called. I thought I would be able to play pretty straight-up once Barry got all in and wouldn't have to worry about getting blown off my hand.
Adam Owen: I'd three-bet to get it heads up because we're drawing one. It's not a great hand, obviously. We're pitching the six to try to catch the best card. The button raised and he doesn't have to have a deuce, and we're blocking ourselves from making a straight. So, it's fine to three-bet. Calling is fine as well.
When you're drawing rough, with nines and eight-sevens, or a gutshot like we have, I think those are good hands to choose to snow with if we miss right away. If you three-bet with that and catch a pair of sevens or a pair of fives, that would be a good candidate to snow.
But, Barry called?
Yep. We caught the deuce right away — that's just how I ran this tournament. So, if there weren't a short stack in the big blind, is it still okay to call there?
I think it's okay. I prefer three-betting. When we flat, we're in the worst of the three positions. There's a chance we're going to get bet off of it. And if it goes bet-raise [on a later street], we have to fold. For balance reasons and to get heads up, I like to three-bet all one-card draws. Maybe not if under-the-gun raises and you're the big blind, but in general.
In a tournament though, sometimes there are spots where it may be better to call. I can get behind it a little more in a tournament.
Because it's more important to save bets since you can't reload?
And to keep pots smaller. That way, you're laying them a worse price to continue on later streets.
Now, I want to talk about snowing. This other big pot I played was much earlier in the tournament. I believe it was five-handed. There were two limpers and I completed in the small blind with four horrible cards I don't remember and a deuce. Is that standard?
Yeah, that's fine.
Big blind checked, I took four, and I ended up with . I obviously drew well. Everyone else threw away at least two and I came out betting. Is that OK when you make a nice draw against that big of a field with everyone taking two or three cards?
That seems fine. It's really hard for someone to be able to call you all the way down when you start seeing deuces. It's a very strong move betting out in that spot. If you improve to , I think it's fine to just play that straight and check, trying to make a hand. But an eight-seven drawing, it's fine [to bet out]. People will call you, though.
I bet and got two callers. One drew two and one drew one. I drew one and caught a third deuce. I bet into them again and only one player called. I stood pat and he drew. That's a good spot to snow, right?
I think it's fine to bet here. You think about how you'd play your whole range in this spot. You've seen three deuces. When you lead in that spot, you're repping a seven-deuce draw. When bet, pat, and bet the river, people are going to assume you have seven or a small eight.
I don't have much experience snowing, but I just figured even against multiple players it was okay having seen three deuces.
When you have the three deuces, it's the best spot to do it into multiple people. In general, [when] snowing you should really be turning your bad draws into pats against one player. I think you should have spots where you do it against multiple players, and you should do it when you have three deuces.
At that point, the break clock had nearly run out and Owen had to scamper off to make sure he was seated for the first hand after break. Thanks to him for giving up almost all of his break to walk us through his thought processes regarding these triple draw hands.
If you're here for the thrilling conclusion of the tournament, well, we obviously made it to heads-up play after Hand #2 in this series. I had a chip lead over Reslock, but we were pretty shallow. I figured I was probably an underdog in most of the limit games, so I chose to amp up the aggression in the big-bet games where I felt I had an edge.
As you probably gathered from the way the hands in these pieces went, it was just my tournament to run well. I battled with Reslock for about half an hour before getting the last of his chips to win the tournament for $4,032, my second victory in a live tournament.
It was nice to win a few bucks, but it was even sweeter to bag a PokerStars spade trophy and the memory of beating a couple of poker legends in a three-handed mixed game.
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