Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sometimes you can just smell 'em... like napalm in the morning. A tutorial on check raising.

I am working on my check / raise from out of position. I think it is a very valuable tool to have in my arsenal in order to combat the overly tight, post-flop aggressive players. More times than not, it shuts them right down.

In this example, the villain is a tight player, but donkish regarding importance of position, hence his UTG+1 raise. Moreover, his aggression factor is extremely high, saying that he's going to cbet most flops. Finally, preflop, I know that if I hit, I'm going to get paid by one of these two clowns. Therefore I make the call:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (8 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

Button ($3.65)
SB ($23.27)
Hero (BB) ($21.61)
UTG ($27.75)
UTG+1 ($36.62)
MP1 ($29.24)
MP2 ($5)
CO ($10.70)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 5s, As
Hero calls $0.25, 1 fold, UTG+1 bets $1, MP1 calls $1, 4 folds, Hero calls $0.75
More likely than not, he's raising here with less than premium pocket pairs, AK, sometimes AQ.

Flop: ($3.25) Kh, 7d, 6h (3 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 bets $2, 1 fold, Hero raises to $4.25, 1 fold
His $2 bet is kinda awkward. I sensed that he definitely did not have the King; perhaps he had 88 - TT. If he hit a set, he's not c-betting $2 into $3.25; he's probably making it more affordable for me to call; more like $1.75 or $1.50. His bet screams "I want to bet enough that my opponent would have to commit with a call or re-raise." Essentially, he prices himself out of a call here, because my raise is too much for him to continue with the hand with any under pair. He knows, based on my image, that I'm capable of playing AK, KQ, and all pocket 7's and 6's. Additionally, check raising is a very strong line against someone who isn't sure about their hand. Therefore, I go for the check / raise which he can't call because he bet too much on the lead. BTW, it's worth noting that if the MP1 flat calls or raises, the hand is over for me; I fold without further loss.

Total pot: $7.25 | Rake: $0.36

Hero didn't show 5s, As (nothing).
Outcome: Hero won $6.89

Here too; villain is loose, but his aggression factor is way out of whack. Again, that indicates to me that he is c-betting a huge percentage of time.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (8 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

Hero (UTG+1) ($15.58)
MP1 ($10)
MP2 ($27.53)
CO ($4.82)
Button ($10)
SB ($1.90)
BB ($10.39)
UTG ($10.91)

Preflop: Hero is UTG+1 with 7h, 8h
1 fold, Hero calls $0.10, 3 folds, Button bets $0.40, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.30
Good cards against any number of people to see a flop... Button *MAY* be utilizing position to his advantage.

Flop: ($0.95) Ac, 9s, 4s (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $0.60, Hero raises to $1.50, 1 fold
He knows that I can limp / call a good Ace in this spot, and clearly, he does not have an Ace based on the fold. Therefore I turn my cards into a bluff and take the $2.15 pot.

Total pot: $2.15 | Rake: $0.14

Hero didn't show 7h, 8h (nothing).
Outcome: Hero won $2.01

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