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What’s Your Plan? Flopped Straight, Board Pairs on Turn Results

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: Feb 08, '13

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Thanks for all the comments on What’s Your Plan? Flopped Straight, Board Pairs on Turn.

The Action So Far

Despite having somewhat better reads on my opponents and their timing than I sometimes do in these posts, I didn’t believe I could eliminate too many of the relevant hands from either player’s range based on the flop action. Here’s what I make of each player’s flop action:

Villain 1 Flop Bet: He needs something to bet into so many people. That could be a strong draw or two-pair, sets, and straights. I’m less sure he would bet overpairs or K4-type hands, but it’s not impossible.

Hero Flop Raise: Villains probably put me on a similar range for raising. One-pair hands are even less likely for me, but I don’t know that my opponents would rule them out.

Villain 2 Snap-Call: This one confused me the most, because I don’t think there’s any hand that should actually be such an easy decision for him. As Caius says, “Two pair, sets and straights would all warrant thinking about a raise.” The stronger the hand, the more inclined I’d expect him to be to protect it given how large the pot is relative to his stack. I agree with Chris that, “a very quick call more often than not means a very good draw,” but even there I have some doubt given that Villain is cold calling a raise and not closing the action.

Villain 1 Call: This is probably the most telling piece of information so far. Villain 1 does not have the nuts, probably does not have a straight at all, and even with sets there’s a good chance he’d 3-bet the flop given that draws are an appreciable chunk of both my and Villain 2′s ranges. Two-pairs and draws are most likely for Villain 1, with one-pair hands even less likely than they were when he first led the flop.

Villain 1 Turn Check: I don’t think we can read much into this at all. He certainly wouldn’t be eager to bet a draw, underfulls are particularly good slowplaying candidates here, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he checked his entire range.

The Case For Checking

Despite being able to put both opponents on a relatively narrow range, we still don’t know much about where we stand. It just goes to show you that a range doesn’t have to be wide to be balanced and tough to play against.

This spot resembles a Slightly Ahead/Way Behind situation, one of several that I discuss in a recent Two Plus Two Magazine article:

You must accept that you will often fold the best hand or let worse hands draw for free. The risk of putting in money drawing dead is simply too high to attempt anything else.

In short: Check and give up.

That said, two things separate this from the situations I had in mind in that article. First, though our equity against draws isn’t as good as our equity against boats is bad, we are more than “slightly” ahead. Folding the best hand would be an expensive mistake here, especially on the river.

Secondly, this is live poker, and if our opponents do bet now or on the river, their mannerisms and timing may give us some additional information about where we stand. So my plan was to check and evaluate. I try hard to avoid betting for information when there are alternatives.

The Case for Betting

Several commenters make a good case for betting, and the less confident you feel in your ability to read your opponents if they bet, the most inclined you should be to bet yourself. Mostly we’re betting to charge draws, which with a pair on the board shouldn’t be inclined to call too large of a bet anyway. I wouldn’t bet more than $100.

If Villain 2 shoved, I wouldn’t feel great about it, but I’d probably feel priced in. Hands like 54 or a slowplayed 65 are possible for him, and he might well choose to slowplay a full house considering how little he has remaining. The fact that this such a marginal spot is a big part of what I don’t like about betting.

If Villain 1 raised, I’d consider it an easy fold. Contrary to what some commenters suggested, this is not at all an easy or obvious spot for him to check-raise a draw, even against a small bet. As Michael says, “Even though this card is a scare card for what you perceive their ranges to be, it is also a scare card in their mind for your perceived range.” A straight is the bottom of our value betting range here, so folding it to a raise when there’s a lot of money behind should be very standard.

Results

I checked. Villain 2 quickly shoved, and Villain 1 folded with a hint of annoyance, which strongly suggests he was on diamonds. Although that makes it less likely for Villain 2 to have diamonds, I also didn’t think it made sense for Villain 2 to snap-shove a full house. I thought about it for a bit, but I called and ended up chopping with Villain 2′s 65.

Thanks again to everyone who commented!

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Andrew Brokos is a professional poker player, writer, and teacher. He is also an avid hiker and traveler and a passionate advocate for urban public education. You can find dozens of his poker strategy articles at www.thinkingpoker.net/articles and more information about group seminars and one-on-one coaching at www.thinkingpoker.net/coaching.

 
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