“What’s Your Play?” WSOP 2012 Flop Results
by Andrew Brokos | Published: Jul 16, '12
Gareth gets a lot right in his comment, but we disagree that, “this is a spot where one could in fact go for three streets of value.” I’ve caused myself a lot of problems by overestimating how wide I can value bet in tournaments, where everyone tends to play more cautiously than in comparable cash games, and nowhere is that caution higher than in the WSOP main event. I just don’t see Hero getting three streets of value with top pair, top kicker even if the board never gets any scarier.
Consequently, I believe little is lost by checking when we’re ahead. Having the highest possible pair and the nut redraw makes me quite unafraid of anything that could come on the turn and river. Checking may induce bluffs, but I’m actually hoping that it checks through because at that point I expect to get called a lot lighter on the turn and river. We need that because as Scott says, “our villains have a TON of hands that are just snap folding on this flop.”
Once I check, I’m definitely just calling if someone bets. Even moreso than betting out, check-raising is going to narrow people’s ranges down to the hands we least want to be up against. Just because we have OK equity against those hands doesn’t mean we’re eager to play the biggest pot we can. There are other ways to realize your equity besides getting all-in on the flop. That’s particularly true when you’ve got good showdown value and a draw to the nuts.
What do I mean by that? Let’s look at this comment from Kevko_2000:
Even if we aren’t ahead here percentages suggest we very likely could be ahead by the end of the hand. I think we are too strong here to be very far behind so I say build that pot so we can take down a nice one!!
What he’s suggesting here, essentially, is building a pot to win with a flush we don’t yet have. With TPTK, which is the hand we have now, we want to play a medium pot, but not a big one. With a flush we want to play a big pot, but since we’ll make that flush only about 1/3 of the time by the river, we’d like to avoid building that pot until we make the hand.
It’s often correct to bet flopped flush draws not to build a pot but to take one without showdown. Here that’s not important – in fact it’s undesirable – because we have a hand good enough to beat anything that would fold to a bet anyway. So there’s no sense in semi-bluffing, and no sense in setting up to play a huge pot that we won’t end up wanting on the majority of rivers.
I checked, and both Villains checked behind without any noteworthy delay. Next decision point coming in the next post.