What’s Your Play? Street-by-Street in the SCOOP Final Results
by Andrew Brokos | Published: Jun 08, '12
Thanks as always to the commenters. Got fewer than usual, so I’ll take as a sign that people are getting sick of this particular hand
Youngifted1 puts it simply and succintly: “a set of queens is too strong here not to bet”. Although our opponent knows we’re capable of trapping and of pot-controlling seemingly strong hands, we’ve still shown nothing but a desire to get to showdown since he first showed aggression by check-raising the flop. We called the raise and checked back the turn. This means both that at least some combinations of AA and T9 are discounted as hands that would have bet the turn, and that Villain probably bets many of his nutted hands on the river for fear that we will check behind. Trentbridge rightly asks, “Holding aces, would villain give hero a second chance to check behind?” That all adds up to QQ being a strong hand.
The catch is that, because of the line we’ve taken and the dearth of whiffed draws, a bet can’t look very bluffy. Villain will be hard-pressed to call with bluff-catchers. Our best option, then, is to bet small and hope that Villain simply can’t resist good pot odds and will call despite the fear that he is beat.
Many commenters cited the risk of a check-raise bluff as a reason to check behind. I want to address this, because it’s a common error in thinking that I see often. River check-raise bluffs simply don’t happen that often. If you are the sort of player who routinely checks behind for fear of a bluff-raise, then you are leaving a lot of money on the table, because many of your opponents probably aren’t capable of this play at all.
In this case we actually are dealing with a player who’s perfectly capable of making such a move if the situation warrants it. Here, however, it does not. The nuts is at least as much in Hero’s range as in Villain’s (I would argue that 3-betting T9s in position pre-flop is more likely than calling a 3-bet out of position with it), so even if Villain could make Hero fold QQ with a bluff, he’d still run into the nuts often enough that he wouldn’t be exploiting us with a bluff. QQ is among the worst hands I’d bet for value here, so there’s no shame in folding it if raised; game theoretically speaking, bet-folding is exactly what you’re supposed to do with the bottom of your value range.
Here’s the whole hand as it actually played out:
PokerStars – $2000+$100|30/60 NL – Holdem – 9 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com
Hero (UTG+2): 10,517.00
SB posts SB 30.00, BB posts BB 60.00
Pre Flop: (pot: 90.00) Hero has Qh Qs
UTG raises to 120.00, fold, Hero raises to 360.00, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, UTG calls 240.00
Flop: (810.00, 2 players) 8h Qc 7s
UTG checks, Hero bets 555.00, UTG raises to 1,560.00, Hero calls 1,005.00
Turn: (3930.00, 2 players) Ad
UTG checks, Hero checks
River: (3930.00, 2 players) 6c
UTG checks, Hero bets 1,111.00, UTG raises to 3,060.00, Hero calls 1,949.00
UTG shows 8c 8d (Three of a Kind, Eights) (Pre 20%, Flop 4%, Turn 2%)
Hero shows Qh Qs (Three of a Kind, Queens) (Pre 80%, Flop 96%, Turn 98%)
Hero wins 10,050.00
I was planning one more post about facing the check-raise, but I don’t think it’s necessary. It seemed like pretty much everyone was between betting or checking behind here, so I doubt anyone would advocate for shoving over the raise. It’s a crying call, but given the odds I don’t think there’s any question of folding (which I would consider and probably do if he check-raised big).
Thanks to everyone who participated!