Thursday, June 10, 2010

What would you do? #120 - Facing 3 flush river shove

Have you ever been scared of poker?  I'm somewhat frightened of the cards; the turn card, the river card, the flop, etc.  I think I'm broken as a poker player. For the last month and a half, the cards have totally gotten inside of my head. It seems as though whatever I do, it's the opposite of what I should have done. As a point of reference, without my luckbox cash in the BBT5, I would have had a HUGE loss of a month last month. Going from having never had a losing month to having a 20+ buy-in losing month is pretty tough to wrap my head around

I think I'm finally coming out of this terrible rut; I *KNOW* I'm playing far better than I was a month or so ago, though I'm still not making great reads. I'm seriously questioning myself constantly, because, yet again, my opponents always seem to be at the VERY TOP of their ranges.  EVERY TIME.  I had to quit playing Rush poker because of that very fact; if I have a "monster," then they have a bigger monster.  And when I have the nuts, they fold.  I wasn't getting paid when I had it, and I was certainly paying off when they had it.

Today's WWYD is an example of a misread (perhaps).  What is my problem here?  What do you think?

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

BTN: $31.50
SB: $50.00
BB: $70.20 - 9 / 7 / 11% steal / 1.2% 3bet / 4.7 aggression factor @ 282 hands
Hero (UTG): $95.30
UTG+1: $65.90
UTG+2: $60.40
MP1: $23.45
MP2: $54.30
CO: $31.90

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is UTG with As Ad
Hero calls $0.50, 6 folds, SB calls $0.25, BB raises to $2, Hero raises to $7, 1 fold, BB calls $5
At this point, what range do you put a 9 / 7 who just called a limp / raise from UTG?

Flop: ($14.50) 3h Th 5c (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $7, BB calls $7
Probably too light here.  However, my thought is that I want to keep stringing BB along.  I don't put him on a draw at all and don't want to lose his business.  I'm kinda expecting a check / raise here and I'm happy to stack off with this flop.

Turn: ($28.50) Td (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $25, BB calls $25
He's being about as passive as a player can be.  The second Ten is a great card for me; only one combo of quads, unless he can't fold 55 or 33 pre-flop, which I doubt.  Obviously, he has QQ, KK.

River: ($78.50) 2h (2 players)
BB bets $31.20 all in, Hero ???
Is there even a question at this point?  I'm committed, right?

Hero calls $31.20

Final Pot: $140.90
BB shows Ah 8h (a flush, Ace high)
Hero mucks As Ad
BB wins $137.90
(Rake: $3.00)

So is this a top-of-the-range type hand for me, or am I terrible?  I really question myself after crap like this, because a month-and-a-half of this seems to be really getting to me.  I've been biting my tongue with posting hands like this, because I've been trying to be ignorant about it - saying to myself "standard cooler."  However, over 40K hands and 1.5 months - how many "standard coolers" can I have with it still being "standard?"  Am I doing something wrong?

It turns out, that for this session, despite this hand, I had my first "significant" win in a long time of 1.5 buy ins.  This is how poker messes with your head: I'm now considering a 1.5 buy in win as "significant."  It used to be that 1.5 buy ins was considered noise.


  1. hard to put him him on a draw, yes, but it's possible and out there. I could see AhKh as making sense with the preflop action, but the majority of what I put him on are pocket pairs with these stats, just as you did.

    Even if you DID put him on a heart draw, you bet pot on the turn, which denied him odds to get there. Even factoring implied odds doesn't let him justify a call b/c the pot is already too big.

    In conclusion, you played it right and he played it wrong, and he won. Poker's great!

  2. But is it a wrong call? I have found myself in this situation way too often in the past month and a half, where I'm paying off the river because it doesn't make sense not to. $32 into $80? It's just been killing my bankroll lately.

  3. If your wrong all the time then it;s a bad call. If you are right a good portion of the time then it is a good call. I thought you were right about him having a big pair like QQ+. Just happened that he is a mega donk calling big raises with A8h pre-flop and trying to get stacked.

    At .25/.50 I am not sure there is a huge amount of river-jam bluffing. People just do not usually have the balls to do that.. they will jam a draw on the flop in a second.. soooo... I dunno. Tough to say there. Normally at that level people have what they represent with big bets though.

  4. 1. What was the thinking behind your bet sizing on the turn given you don't think he is on a draw?

    some other considerations:
    2. The fact that you don't have Ah increases chance he is on draw.

    3. The fact you limped UTG rather than raised makes his range wider when he raises from BB.

  5. My thinking on the turn is that he doesn't believe me at all. He's got JJ-KK (more than likely KK) which he just can't get rid of, nor believe that I have AA. From the flop, I didn't realize that he has a "monster" until his flop flat. I want to set up for stacks on the turn, which I easily do with my $25 pot bet. Moreover, the most logical hand with which he's calling my limp / raise and beating me (TT), drops another Ten, which makes it FAR less likely for him to show up with quads. There are no reasonable hands which beat me at this point.

    "The fact you limped UTG rather than raised makes his range wider when he raises from BB." - I agree, which is why I limp / raised to $7 PF. I think if I lead for $12 on the flop, I'm setting up for stacks on the turn, and perhaps getting it all in far ahead to his flush draw, but does it really make a difference? Should I be calling this river no matter the card that drops?

  6. I would like to find reasons for folding only because my general feeling is at these stakes you make money by being better at folding than your opponents; people love to chase flush draws regardless of odds, and in this case the flush hit. I don’t know though.

    I still don’t understand the rest of the hand:
    “ "The fact you limped UTG rather than raised makes his range wider when he raises from BB." - I agree, which is why I limp / raised to $7 PF.”

    I don’t think your raise narrows his range all that much – given he raised he’s probably not in the mood for letting it go there.

    “I want to set up for stacks on the turn, which I easily do with my $25 pot bet.”
    Not sure what you meant here but you can bet smaller and still get his stack on the river (he has less than half pot left on the river as played)
    I’d be worried that betting so big on the turn might convince some people to fold QQ, JJ at that point. Especially as absent of any history your pre-flop limp-re-raise looks a lot like AA. Also smaller bets might induce a bluff.


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