Monday, October 19, 2009

What would you do? #11

No history with this player; this was the first hand the player had played...

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players -
The Official Hand History Converter

BB: $21.45
UTG: $10.75
UTG+1: $50.00
MP1: $40.00
MP2: $50.00
Hero (CO): $53.50
BTN: $27.10
SB: $10.00

MP1 posts a big blind ($0.50)

MP2 posts a big blind ($0.50)

Pre Flop: ($1.75) Hero is CO with Qs Td
2 folds, MP1 checks, MP2 checks, Hero raises to $2.75, 3 folds, MP1 calls $2.25, MP2 calls $2.25
Standard cutoff steal - but with 2 extra blinds posted, this is an even nicer spot. It sucks that both of the posters come along; I want to steal this outright...

Flop: ($9.00) 2d 2s 3d (3 players)
MP1 checks, MP2 checks, Hero checks

Turn: ($9.00) Qh (3 players)
MP1 checks, MP2 bets $4, Hero calls $4, MP1 folds

River: ($17.00) Js (2 players)
MP2 bets $17
Decision time. No knowledge of the player. I'm shooting in the dark with top pair weak kicker. What do you do?

Hero folds
I didn't want to compound my failed steal attempt with an even larger mistake of a $17.00 call. In my opinion, this is a coin flip situation. Are you making this call?

Final Pot: $17.00
MP2 wins $16.15
(Rake: $0.85)


  1. Why not C-bet that flop? It's low and dry, and your villains will snap fold their random connectors and broadway cards. Even if you do get a call from something like 55-99, you will be able to barrel a ton of turn cards, making it really hard for them to continue. Given the action, I would fold the river. You'd have to have more history/reads to put him on a bluff.

  2. @noldmax: I didn't cbet the flop because I felt as though it would be clear that I am cbetting with air. Based on his flat, he called a "sizable" raise on the flop, meaning that I'm definitely getting called and / or check /raised by any pair in this spot.

    I really did not expect MP1 NOR MP2 to call. I have *NO* idea where I am in the hand on the flop. In retrospect, I probably should have raised the turn with the Q. I would have found out exactly where in the hand I was. Problem is, I'm putting money into the pot (a minimum of $10 + $2.25 PF raise) to "find out where I'm at." A $4 call on the turn is fairly cheap, and I'm expecting a cheap showdown.

  3. "I felt as though it would be clear that I am cbetting with air"

    Why does a C-bet imply air? There are tons of overpairs in your range, and I would be C-betting pretty much every one of them.

    I think checking the flop makes it very likely that you DON'T have an overpair, and allowing villains to narrow your range in that manner also allows them to bluff you more often on later streets, since your range is now weighted towards weaker holdings.

    I don't like raising the turn b/c it's a pretty clear situation where you'll only fold out worse hands and get more money in bad against better hands. Maybe you fold out QJ, but even that could be a stretch here. By calling turn, you may get value from hands like 77-JJ that check/call the river (where you are value-betting).

  4. I guess I need to start including my stats at the time as well. Actually, it makes no difference - I didn't have any prior history with this particular player. Where I was going, though, is I attempt to balance my range between air / made hands. I check the flop sometimes because I don't want the PF callers to auto call expecting to c/r me off my cbets. Perhaps I'm thinking too in depth for 50nl, but if I'm on the flip side and I see a TAG (generally my stats i.e. 18/13) always cbetting when PFRed, I'm going to exploit him by C/R-ing his cbets to an amount he can't call. It's an exploitable approach that I take with many of the regs at this level.

    Regardless, are you calling the river though?

  5. I understand the concept of balancing C-bets with checks, but this balancing act should be very flop-dependent. In this case, I don't think you need to be very worried about a c/r, b/c the flop is so dry that the only strong hands that could possibly be raising are A2s and 33. On a flop like this, if I do in fact have a hand like JJ+, I'm pretty much planning to shove over any c/r, since the most likely holding will be a middle pair or FD.

    I don't think you can call the river. You only beat a bluff, and I don't think you have enough reason to put your villain on a bluff (i.e., no draws missed, no tells).


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