Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What would you do? #68 - Holding bottom set, facing flop shove

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

Hero (BTN): $141.85
SB: $41.35
BB: $49.25
UTG: $185.90
UTG+1: $50.00
UTG+2: $124.15
MP1: $32.85
MP2: $49.45
CO: $23.15

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BTN with 2c 2d
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $1.50, 1 fold, MP1 calls $1.50, 2 folds, Hero calls $1.50, 1 fold, BB calls $1

Flop: ($6.25) Ts 7c 2h (4 players)
BB checks, UTG+1 bets $4.25, MP1 calls $4.25, Hero raises to $12, BB raises to $47.75 all in, UTG+1 requests TIME, UTG+1 folds, MP1 calls $27.10 all in, Hero calls $35.75
With this amount of action, I can't find the will to fold here. Is BB really playing a set in this manner? IMO, I need to fold this type of situation to become a better poker player. I find it very hard to fold out sets to dry boards like this.

Turn: ($137.35) 5h (3 players - 2 are all in)

River: ($137.35) 4s (3 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $137.35
Hero shows 2c 2d (three of a kind, Twos)
BB shows Tc 3c (a pair of Tens) - LOL!!!!
MP1 shows 7h 7s (three of a kind, Sevens)
Hero wins $32.80 - I actually lost like $25 on this hand.
MP1 wins $101.55
(Rake: $3.00)


  1. I'd make the same thing move call it "cooler". Lemon.

  2. The problem with Rush is that there are a lot of nut peddlers; seeing so many hands per hour allows opponents to just sit & wait - and get paid when they hit. As a corollary, I am becoming much better at "predicting" set over set situations, though I have yet to actually "fold" a set over set situation.

    All of that said, given the hand posted, there are two options for the pattern BB followed: set or completely spazzing out on an overpair / TPTK situation. Looking at the results, TPNK was far from my mind, but results like this make it so much harder for me to lay down my bottom sets.

  3. Folding sets, especially with 1/4 of your effective stack in, is dangerous. For example, take BB's play -- he stacked off with TPNK, and folding to his action would be a major mistake.

    That said, I think the situation is pretty borderline -- there are cases where you'll want to fold, and cases where you'll want to call. This is where stats/comments/reads on the other players will help a lot. If BB and/or MP1 is super tight and aggressive, folding would probably be the right play. If they are both loose (or if MP1 is a calling station, since BB could play two pair strongly) calling would be better.

    Obviously, stack sizes fit in too, and if you had double the effective stacks, I think it becomes an easier fold with that action.

  4. "Obviously, stack sizes fit in too, and if you had double the effective stacks, I think it becomes an easier fold with that action."

    -- Problem with deeper stacks, at Rush lately, is that I've been finding players to totally spaz out with AA / KK in this type of situation for 200+BBs. It's a very weird situation with Rush right now. Deep stacked, it's surprising how light (naked overpairs) people getting in. If you look at some of the big pots I've won lately, most players are completely shoving 200BBs+ with a flush into a paired board, AA into a dry board, AK into K high board, etc. IMO, to commit 200BBs with a non-top-hand-ranking (i.e. set to 3 straight board, flush to paired board, etc.) seems very light. Fine to commit 100BBs most of the time, but to put 2 buyins to the test like that? Very light!

  5. My comment about bigger stacks was specifically aimed at that action.

    If both the BB and MP1 are tight, it becomes pretty likely you are up against another set, since it is a dry board and both the BB and MP1 have sets as a decent portion of their range.

    Heads-up against either, I think you just have to call and take your lumps, unless you have a ton of hands with the player and know them well (very unlikely in Rush). Like you said, it is just too easy for someone to go off the deep end and overplay an overpair or top two.

    But, with two players representing sets and deeper stacks, I'd like to think I could find a fold. Of course, I can't remember the last time I folded a set, so...

  6. ... folded a set... Even though I'm getting better at recognizing set over set situations, my logic in my brain overcomes my read of the situation and does not allow the mouse to click the fold button.

    The only times I'm folding a set, thus far, are 3- or 4- flush boards, 3- or 4- straight boards, etc. And at that, I'm trying to hold on until that river card arrives...

  7. for what it is worth, I wouldn't be folding here either. Crying call is the appropriate term here, I believe.

  8. I would never fold in this spot. If you would fold very often in this spot, then you should just fold the pocket 2s preflop. Obviously, the result sucked but, IMO, you just cannot fold a set on that board.

  9. @Lucypher - I'm hardly ever folding with sets, but I'm starting to find spots where I'm in an "obvious" set over set situation against a competent opponent (i.e someone not spazzing out with an overpair). BB's check / raise was HUGELY suspect; from $12 -> shove ($50!?!?) which is what made me call, but I need to take the time to realize what MP1 is calling a shove with... What kind of hand can flat a raise to a dry board, and call a shove on that same dry board?

    As for detecting set over set situations, I can't exactly describe what to look for; in Rush, it seems like your opponent is trying to get stacks in ASAP, with "reasonable / tricky" bets / raises; i.e. if BB had raised to $24, or some such number, I think it's a pretty good indicator. [Besides the results] What can BB possibly hold that would like this board so much, yet expect to get a call on a shove from an opponent who holds lesser holdings - all within a check / raised flop? Remember, he flatted the PF raise from UTG+1, just like me and MP1, which [generally] opens the door to speculative hands (i.e. 67s, etc.) and pocket pairs. AA, KK, QQ are certainly possible, but less likely because he's the last caller into the pot PF. I would expect to see QQ+ 3bet / squeeze in this spot, given the amount of players going into the flop. Therefore, the only hands I can "reasonably" put him on here are 22 (impossible), 77 and TT, or the spaz out play...

    Point is, if you go looking through your archives (I assume everyone who reads this blog uses PT3 / HEM / etc.) and filter on hands where you hold a set vs. another player's set - or even just look for another player's set... you'll find similar behavior patterns (with the exception of the deceptive set player). Perhaps its an "experience thing" looking for this type of behavior, but at the current moment, I'm at least at the point where I can kind of feel when a guy has a set on me. I'm just not good enough to logically lay down my set, yet.

    Not to digress, but the same action can be said for KK vs. AA. I'm coming to the conclusion that AA vs. KK is not a cooler for me anymore. A lot of the time, I'm able to avoid stacking off my KK vs. AA. I'm not good enough to fold KK PF with any regularity, but I have made inroads to it. I view AA vs. KK as very similar behavior patterns to set over set. I'll leave you with this:

    Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
    The Official Hand History Converter

    BTN: $152.60
    SB: $115.55
    Hero (BB): $244.40
    UTG: $201.95
    UTG+1: $101.15
    UTG+2: $152.00
    MP1: $223.60
    MP2: $35.50
    CO: $167.45

    Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is BB with Kd Kc
    UTG raises to $3, UTG+1 calls $3, 2 folds, MP2 calls $3, 1 fold, BTN calls $3, 1 fold, Hero raises to $18.50, UTG raises to $57, 3 folds, Hero requests TIME, Hero calls $38.50 - set mining my KK for 50BB?!?!?!?; WTF AM I DOING? I need to fold this PF!

    Flop: ($123.50) 8h 3c Js (2 players)
    Hero checks, UTG bets $61, Hero folds
    He's setting up for stacks. I have shown strength and I think he clearly knows that I have KK; either he's a masterful player who plays a missed AK like this, or he's WAAAAYYY overboard with QQ. He's got AA - no question!

    Final Pot: $123.50
    UTG wins $120.50
    (Rake: $3.00)

  10. Meister... you are getting on pretty dangerous ground here. Yes, I believe there are spots where you can lay down KK, and yes, I agree that with a 200BB stack a lay down could be warranted. But, in the hand you posted, you were getting 2:1 (for stacks) that your opponent didn't have AA (i.e. QQ, AK, even KK). He could also have misread your hand and try to be restealing...

    Without any details on your read on your opponent (i.e. no stats), I'm not sure that is a good laydown. Most players are going to bet any flop in that spot.

    I do agree that folding preflop is reasonable against a tight opponent. But once you make the flop call, you should be in for stacks. And that means pushing any flop that doesn't have an ace in it.

    * * * * *

    On another note, we've been arguing a pretty rare situation where there isn't a lot of EV. Considering the small portion of cases where you'll run into set over set, and the even smaller set of cases where you can make a good fold, that's not a lot of EV.

    Same with AA over KK -- it happens so rarely that I doubt it really changes your bottom line.

    Although, feel free to correct me on this, I haven't done the math out.

  11. LOL math... I wish I could tell you the math :-) I haven't a clue as to how to figure it out. A few things that I've been thinking about, though:

    Yes, AA vs. KK or set over set are pretty rare occurrences. However, with Rush poker, they seem to happen FAR more frequently. In fact, I ran into a set over set situation 3-4 times on Sunday (had a *HUGE* loss for that session). I've run AA into KK (or vice-versa) with a frequency of about once every 2-3 days (playing 3 tables of Rush for 1-2 hours, so probably ~1 in 4800 hands. Don't know if anyone has read Angelo's Elements of Poker, but he proposes the idea of "reciprocality," which, in short, is how you play your hand vs. how your opponent plays the hand given the exact reverse situation. You make theoretical money when you play the hand differently from your opponent and win more than your opponent would have.

    Therefore, with sets & AA vs. KK, if I can minimize my loss, I am winning the reciprocality battle. Granted, you can make the argument, "what if he has QQ vs. your KK, and he's shoving and you win... you're losing the recprocality battle," but I'm doing my best to try to not go into a situation where I'm guessing at my villain's cards, and hoping that he has AK or QQ. It may be exploitable; hell - if everyone knew this, everyone can play any two cards like they have AA, right?

    Anyway, {Copied from a google search @ hollywoodpoker (?)}
    At a 10-person table, the probability is 4.41% or roughly 23:1. So on average, once every 23 times you have KK at a 10-person table, you will be up against AA. I'd assume

  12. Interesting point. I haven't played Rush before but I've heard how fast it is and I think that might be changing things.

    In a tight game if you are playing tons of hands, then KK vs AA hands might start contributing to your bottom line. I still believe other things are more valuable, like value betting and stealing (since they happen often) but if you can pull $5 of equity out of every KK vs AA hand, that is real value.

    BTW, at 23:1 to hit KK vs AA when you have KK, and 254:1 to hold KK in any given hand, you'll run KK into AA once every 6120 hands. That's consistent with what you are saying. The odds of running set over set are likely much lower though (actually, doing the math, it looks like it is about every 6000 hands, so quite similar, but I don't totally trust my source numbers).

    I've heard the reciprocity argument before, and I agree. I suppose that in a tight game (like Rush) where you are playing a ton of hands, these 1 in 6000 situations become more important. In live poker, obviously, they matter a lot less :)

    I lot of this discussion can boil down to hand ranges. Against a single opponent four-betting you, if he has QQ and AK in his range, you should call. If he does not (or they are less likely) you should not. It all comes down to knowing your opponent.

    I wonder if it'd be possible to mine your hand histories for these situations and see how many of your opponents had aces?

  13. Agree on the whole live vs. online thing. I believe that it's of particular importance now with Rush, because you are seeing FAR more hands per hour than on the standard tables (like 4X+). If you lose a buy in every 2-3 days with AA vs KK, that's not good. It's never good to lose a buy in, but with that kind of frequency, I'd say if you can get your opponent to stack off with KK when you hold AA, and not vice-versa, then you're winning the reciprocality war.


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