Monday, February 25, 2013

What Would You Do #242? - Turned flush

Here's an interesting hand that came up last week at my weekly Charles Town session:

I look down to find 8d4d in the BB after 6 players limp and I check my option.

Flop comes 5d6dTh
I'm pretty happy with this flop; I have a gutter to the weak-ish straight + a flush draw.  I want to juice this pot, as I figure I'm drawing pretty good to any made hands at this point.

Therefore, I lead out for $10 and get called in 1 spot, UTG+1 who is a tight, by-the-book player.  Rarely raised at the table, limps too many hands, but I've never seen him get out of line, thus far.

Turn is Ad
I hit my flush and check through to the caller.  He fast-checks the turn. A note as to why I check the turn here: He's the type of player who will be scared off a bad turn card such as this. Not only is this turn an overcard to the board, but it completes a lot of two pair combos and the flush. Not wanting to scare him off his hand, I opt to check the turn and value the river.

River is Kh
I bet $25 into the $32 pot.  He insta-raises me to $100 to go.  It should be noted that this was a fairly easy table up until that time.  I was able to raise at will and sweep away limps with regular frequency.  In fact, after my 3rd or 4th PF value raise, this same guy turned to me and said, "One of these times, I'm going to run you down / catch you," believing that my raises were disingenuous (some were for value, some were of the "air" variety).  So this weighs into my decision. 


Click to see results

After quite a bit of time, piecing the hand together, I came up with a few possibilities for his hand.  I doubt he's ever calling QJ and backing into the straight...  I simply can't see him doing that.  However, I can see him limping Ax (AT, A5, A6), or some such hand.  I can't see him calling a flop bet of $10 with a flopped 2 pair 56 combo, nor can I see him calling a flop bet with an overpair to the board or flopped sets.  I see him raising all of those hands.  However, there are a TON of diamond combo cards that he could limp and overcall the flop bet.  As a matter of fact, there are only 3 [unlikely] combos that I can beat here: 23dd, 72dd and 73dd.  All other diamond combos have me crushed, of which there are a whole bunch.  Remember, he loves to limp / fold to a raise, but he'll definitely try to get in there cheaply.

Back to the hand, though, I told the dealer I wasn't making a decision, but wanted to flip my cards over to get a reaction.  He definitely looked, but I could not discern a reaction.  I kept coming back to the question: was this a guy to make a "big" raise on a 3flush board, where I could have easily gotten there...  Was this a guy to turn his hand into a bluff on the river?  Was this a guy to never put me on a flush against his turned or rivered 2 pair?  I kinda concluded at this point that he's never bluffing the river.  He's always value betting the river.  In effect, the trouble for me was whether he believed his hand (because he had a 2 pair combo) was the best or whether his hand actually was the best (he had turned the better flush).

After much deliberation, I mucked my hand (face up at this point), and got a ton of snickering / laughs from a few guys down at my end of the table...  I'm not one to be deterred by popular belief / opinion... certainly not from a few donkeys who believe that they would NEVER lay down a 3flush - probably under any circumstances - but that caused a bit of conversation with the guy who won the pot.  A healthy debate led to asking him what he had; he had no problem answer our question - he was leaving in 3 hands anyway.  He said he had Qd7d.  The disbelievers were still disbelieving, though I'm fairly certain he told the truth: he has no reason to lie, Q7 is too precise of a hand to make up, and he was somewhat impressed with the laydown.

During the whole session, I had run terribly - I found myself down 3 buy ins within the first hour (JJ < Kc6c -> KKx board, AJ < AT -> QT9Q board, AQ < J5 -> 235 board, and how can I forget about the JT < 89 -> 389Q 9 etc.).  It's interesting how, when you can make a "big" laydown (don't know if I quite consider this "big"), it's karmic.  I immediately proceeded to stack and stack again, eventually breaking even on what was the makings of a terrible losing session.  In my book, a 3 buy in swing: that's a win.


  1. I call. You underrepped your hand with the turn check, and this could very easily be a 2 pair type hand. I was in a similar spot the other day when raised on the river and the guy had a turned two pair (where I folded a set!). Don't make the mistake I made.

    Next time bet the turn though.

  2. I bet this turn all day...especially at these stakes. I hate to see another d fall..were you c/c or c/r as obv the latter looks a lot worse.

    I call this river and don't really think twice about it. You are seriously under-repped and there are a lot of 2pr hands in his range (KT, AT, AK)as well as flushes. Not calling on turn or river raises at this level is massively +EV without nutted hands but I think a player like this can valuetown himself here a lot. Also your image should further push this to a call. Hell given your image I have seen fish like this "trap" you with flop sets, etc. Just call as we only need 32% equity to call here against his range. With a range of 40% 2 pr, 50% flushes and 10% flopped sets we are still 55%

  3. I call, even though he sounds tight passive, and a raise from those guys typically means trouble. But maybe he's reacting to your loose aggressive play. Quincy, of course, would shove.

  4. Hi PM,

    Since you published the results it is easy to say I would have done the same.

    A big bet in 1/2 on the river is usually a better hand. Especially with players that are playing straight forward. He was still loosing to a KXd, but, when you took time to call, he must have been pretty sure that you didn't have the nuts.

    A nice laydown. I like hands with combo draws, but, sometimes the remaining players might be playing the same draws.



  5. Can you guys see the results? I talked with him briefly after the hand. Click on the "See results" link & you'll be shown the post hand summary.

    The only plausible hand given the two pair theory is KT. Here's my thought: He fast checks through the turn, but decides to pump up the river? Wouldn't he bet the turn if he had two pair there, or if he's confident in his hand? By the river, he has to have something really good in order to raise so "large." Logically, I agree with the arguments - all of which went through my head while trying to piece together the hand. Believe me: it's not every day where I'm laying down a 3 flush. However, things simply did not add up for this player. He believes he has the best hand - I think we can all agree on his raise as a value raise WAAAAAYYY more than a bluff raise. If he calls the flop bet, he doesn't have a strong hand. He's almost always raising a flop bet with a strong made hand there. He checks through the turn - either scared of the flush (which makes him later flat the river instead of raise), or he's trying to make me feel comfortable with my hand. I can't see him checking the turn and raising the river with a non-flush.

    I understand your thoughts about his ranges, but I think you underestimate the flushes from 50% to around 60-75%.

    Betting the turn, as you guys suggest, has led to a lot of folds in these kinds of spots. A lot of players figure if I'm willing to take two shots at a limp pot (one progressively more expensive than the next), I have to have a strong hand. I'm going for value, not for bluff here, so I want villain to feel comfortable with his hand. Therefore, I check the turn - and check most made hand turns. I bet most missed drawing turns with the reverse intent.

  6. My God!!! But you had a flush!!! A flush is like the third best hand in poker, behind a full house and quads! You don't fold flushes!!! How much do you suck at poker!?!?!?!

    I love people's reactions to laying down a stong (but yet, relatively weak) hand. People at this level really don't go through the thought process of "what am I beating here?" They just play their hands.

    Anyway, nice laydown . . .

  7. It was fun watching the reactions. Even with random kid's statement, I'm still not 100% sure I made the correct laydown...

  8. First, I liked your turn check at first (your logic seemed sound), until I considered the fact that you could have been facing a player with one high Diamond and you gave him a free card to hit his flush. If the river is another diamond, you are in a sticky situation. Second, how could it be that he gave no reaction when you showed your cards. Were you looking at him? Was he already in a relaxed state and nothing changed? Did he look nervous and nothing changed? I only ask because I cannot envision how he reacted such that you got no read at all. Sure, its possible that he gave off no tells, but he does not seem particularly skilled. I have a hunch that even in giving off no tells, you could sense that you were behind, likely because he was calm before and after you showed your cards.

    Interesting hand. I wonder if you bet the turn how things would have been different. I'm guessing he check-raises on the turn and then you have a tough decision with one card to come.

  9. As several others have stated, I would have bet the turn. One of my biggest leaks has been beng too clever in a hand. The other players at $1/2 are not nearly as clever (or play as such) as I give them credit for. Tough call on the raise. All the information you gave basically tells us that the guy was looking to trap you -- which he did. It didn't sound like a two pair raise. It seemed like the best move was to fold, but I don't know that I could have in that situation.

  10. @Jordan - His reaction was more of a "meh..." kinda reaction. He actually started to muck his cards when I flipped mine up, believing the hand was over & I was folding my hand. Since he was in the 1 seat & I was in the 10, it was hard to discern a reaction. However, you nailed it - I sensed that I was behind regardless of the physical tell; after thinking for awhile, I wanted to do something to try to further confirm my senses. Talking / flipping my cards up / doing something unexpected I figured would get him moving around, which is why I flipped my cards.

  11. Are you content with the information you have on your opponent after the flop or do you want more info? Betting $10, seems that you want more info. 2. Are you content with the information you have on your opponent after the turn card or do you want more info? Checking the turn, seems that you are content. 3. How differently would you play your hand if you were in seat 1 and he was in seat 10?

    1. @xdex7 - wow... Okay. It's a limped pot, so I pot there - $10. I am fairly certain a 7 or diamond will give me the best hand. I'm not sure what you mean about want more info. By him flatting, it seems like he's either unsure about the strength of his hand or is drawing to a straight or flush. 2. I would have liked him to lead the turn, which would give me a bunch more information. By his check, I take it that he's scared of the flush - it was an insta-check through. I'm fairly confident of my hand and feel I can get another $25 / pot of value out of the hand. 3. If the seating were reversed, I'd raise his expected lead from $25 to around $60-65. If he comes over the top, I likely fold. It ends up costing me more money when the seating is reversed.

    2. I would give him credit for the flush just like you. I think the only way you get him out of the pot is by a large raise after the flop, I can't say I could raise $50 with a drawing hand there. Once the ace hits, I really don't see how you come out ahead with or without position. Once you were one vs one, your goal was to build the pot and take on some risk by giving him a free card; by the end of the hand, you goal was to preserve as many chips as possible, I think you succeeded. If you check the river, it might cost you less to go to showdown. I enjoy your blog sir.


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