Monday, February 8, 2010

Avoiding a split pot by playing the board

May be obvious to some, but there is extra profit potential in letting the board play. This is a hand from the Rush tables:

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+2: $25.00
MP1: $42.15
MP2: $52.25
CO: $37.00
BTN: $39.05
SB: $137.75
Hero (BB): $50.00
UTG: $57.35
UTG+1: $60.10

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BB with Ad 4d
5 folds, CO raises to $1.75, 2 folds, Hero calls $1.25
Stealing is rampant on these tables.

Flop: ($3.75) 3d Ah 5c (2 players)
Hero checks, CO bets $3, Hero calls $3
Flopped top pair plus inside straight draw. I check with the full expectation that villain will cbet. I am ahead of his hand 9 times out of 10*... especially in a steal situation on Rush.

*I made up the 9 times out of 10; I have no idea how frequently I'm ahead, but I AM AHEAD, I swear it!

Turn: ($9.75) 4h (2 players)
Hero checks, CO checks
Turned Aces up; it's entirely UNLIKELY that he holds a 2 or 6. If I want to get value out of this hand, I have to check to let him try to "get me off my hand." Unfortunately, no dice; he knows I have, at minimum, a pair, which beats him, and he checks behind. I know that he completely missed this board, probably holding a random combination.

River: ($9.75) 2d (2 players)
Hero bets $15, CO folds
Worst card in the deck! At best I'm splitting the pot here. However, he has no idea where he is in the hand, because I've played it so passively. Although it is a small part of my range, I can hold 6 7, or A 6, the two hands that win this pot outright. I have to imagine that if he held a 6 he'd bet the turn. Therefore, we're both playing the board.

I lead *STRONG* in order to discourage a call and avoid a split pot. I figured: "What is the worst that can happen; he calls and I put additional rake into the pot, but if he doesn't call, I take the whole pot."

I think against a better player, he's calling here; I lucked out with a weaker player.

Final Pot: $9.75
Hero wins $9.30
(Rake: $0.45)

Another example:

Full Tilt Poker $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em $0.10 Ante - 8 players
The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (BTN): $105.25
SB: $83.80
BB: $26.95
UTG: $119.65
UTG+1: $51.15
MP1: $43.10
MP2: $65.05
CO: $60.60

Pre Flop: ($1.55) Hero is BTN with 7s 9s
4 folds, CO raises to $1.50, Hero calls $1.50, 2 folds
CO has been stealing 100% of the time. I 3bet him once, cbetting the flop & taking it down... as well as seeing going to a showdown with his Q7o vs. my AJs (he hit a Q on the turn)...

Flop: ($4.55) Js 8c Jc (2 players)
CO bets $3, Hero calls $3
Pretty standard cbet.

Turn: ($10.55) 8h (2 players)
CO checks, Hero checks

River: ($10.55) 8d (2 players)
CO checks, Hero bets $8, CO folds
Again, is he checking a Jack or 8? I don't think so. Nor do I think, in a steal opportunity, does he have a pocket pair higher than JJ. Therefore, I bet strong and push him off the hand and the potential split.

Final Pot: $10.55
Hero wins $10.05
(Rake: $0.50)

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