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What’s Your Play? Street-by-Street in the SCOOP: Flop

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: May 18, '12

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PokerStars – $2000+$100|30/60 NL – Holdem – 9 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com

BB: 9,290.00
UTG: 9,903.00
UTG+1: 11,228.00
Hero (UTG+2): 10,517.00
MP: 7,131.00
MP+1: 11,411.00
CO: 14,790.00
BTN: 6,490.00
SB: 9,240.00

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?

Pretty good flop :-) . Now what’s your play and why? If you want to bet, be sure to specify your bet size and what you hope that bet will accomplish. In other words, what are you trying to represent? What hands are you hoping will call or raise?

Post your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in the Comments section, and I’ll be back with my own thoughts as well as the next decision point on Tuesday.

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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.

 
Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of CardPlayer.com.
 

Comments

Virginia Bob
over 9 years ago

Now I have some information about his hand. He could be on Ak or a pair of 10, Jacks. I do not put him on queens as we have 2 and one is on the board ( sorry just pointing out the obvious) I also do not put him on kings or aces since I think he would have re-raise with those hands. Buit if he does and is slow playing them so much for the good. I’m hoping he has a pair of 7 or 8 but not likely as he was an utg raiser. I want to bet a 2/3 pot size bet. If he has AK he folds or tries to bluff me. . if he has ace queen he might not be able to get away from his hand, but you said he was a good player so not likely. If he has a lower set you will be re-raised and most likely win a big pot. If he has jacks he might re-raise thinking you are just on a C bet and missed with ace King. Either way this is a great flop and you want to extract as much as possible with this hand. I would never check here so a decent size bet is in order around $600

 
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rjf826
over 9 years ago

I would bet about 450, which would look like a standard c-bet. Early in this tourney, I think our opponent's range is not as wide as it would be late, so I would discount the possibility of getting calls from hands like 9T or 56 on a straight draw. Since you think this is a solid opponent, he is also probably unlikely to raise even with AQ or KQ. He would likely check/call with these types of hands to minimize damage against your value range that beats him and continue getting action from JJ/TT/99, all of which are still possible in his eyes. If we are lucky enough for him to have 77 or 88, he is probably not check raising with them, in fear of scaring away the 99-jj, AQ/KQ portion of your range, and your air, mostly AK. In the event that he check raises, I am in favor or reraising. Against a lot of bad players, I would call behind, expecting them to blindly continue betting either as a bluff or for value, but if this is a solid player, he would probably be looking to shut down. I expect a check raise from him to be a somewhat weaker hand, just hoping that you missed. By reraising in a spot that is rare for a strong hand, we encourage him to continue bluffing. Since there is no flush draw or legitimate straight draw to protect against, hopefully he will misread our hand strength and try to represent the hand we have.

 
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konoki_808
over 9 years ago

I would be delighted that the 3-bet resulted in a head up situation given the cold call sort of gives you some information of the hand range. Since the SPR is large, ~ 10:1, I think that a check behind is ill-advised even though you can afford to let villain see the turn for free given the rainbow flop with a gutter-ball texture and you hit top set. If you did check behind for deception, my reasoning is that it could induce a turn bluff from AA or KK, a smaller pocket pair, a smaller set or two pair, or a complete bluff/semi-bluff, which would build the pot for you, should a blank hit the turn. Since I think it would be better to build the pot but not fold out lesser holdings, the read would have to be that the villain will call a c-bet. So, if your determination is that the villain will at the very least call the c-bet, how much should you bet? I would bet ~ $300 into the $810. Why? Because the only bad turn cards for your hand are a J, 10, or 9, which would complete a possible gutter straight, or an A or K, which would give the villain top set, if villain is holding AA or KK that cold called your 3-bet on the flop. The ~ $300 c-bet gives villain ~ 30% pot odds, which I think entices him to check/call/float with ~ 28-30% hand equity (~ 13 outs)should villain hit the jackpot on the turn card. If the villain calls the ~ $300 c-bet, and the turn does not hit villain's perceived range, and villain checks to you again, you have at the very least gained a bet because it is pretty obvious by now that the villain is not going to put more $$ into the pot. If one of the ~ 13 outs hits the turn, what the villain does at this point will determine your next move.

Disclaimer: This is my first hand analysis posting here, and if this analysis is too simplistic or incorrect, I would appreciate some positive feedback. To 'Foucault', I really appreciate all your efforts to help other players think more analytically about these poker situations!

 
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L2K4FC
over 9 years ago

I'm not going to be checking here ever. My line is bet 500 representing a range of Q-10 through Q-A. If he has two pair, a lower set, or KK then hopefully we could see some additional action. I think we can rule out AA or we can confirm he played AA preflop really bad lol.... Usually though I'm expecting a call here as there are plenty of bluff, semi-bluff outs to come on the next two streets. If he hits a bluff card on the turn and leads out then I'm smooth calling. If not, with 1800 in the pot I'm betting 1250 when checked to. If he leads out on turn and we brick the river and he leads out again then its a judgement call that I'd have to be there to make. If he makes a river bluff after check calling our turn bet then i'm usually calling unless it is all in.

 
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Foucault82
over 9 years ago

I don't think flatting AA would be so bad. We were talking about flatting QQ because it's hard to balance a range for 3-betting an UTG raiser from early position. It's even harder to balance a range for 4-betting a guy who 3-bet your UTG raise when you're 200 BB deep. What I'm saying is I think it would be perfectly reasonable to never 4-bet in his shoes. That's not necessarily how he plays, but I don't think it would be bad to play that way.

 
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trentbridge
over 9 years ago

I'd bet 800. Why didn't villain c-bet? It's a pretty dry board. Vilain checked because he believes his hand is still ahead and is setting up a check-raise. This is perfect if he has AA or KK. If villain had JJ or AK - wouldn't he have c-bet the flop? Given his check, a pot-sized bet by hero could be seen as a bluff.

 
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Foucault82
over 9 years ago

Hero put in the last raise pre-flop, so it's on us to c-bet or not c-bet.. All he's done is check to the (re-)raiser.

 
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fastmonkey
over 9 years ago

You should start posting seven times a day. Maybe eight even.....

 
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notCIA
over 9 years ago

You could check behind, showing weakness, if you thought it was likely the villain had nothing and would fold to a bet. This would allow him to catch something on the turn or entice a turn bluff. However, villain raised UTG pre-flop, albeit a min-raise, and called your 3 bet, so there's a good chance he has something with which to call a c-bet. Pocket 9s, Tens and Jacks could easily call, AA, KK, 88, and 77 could all fire back, and frankly, I suspect villain has AA with the pre-flop min-raise UTG. A c-bet by the hero of around half the pot is going to look natural in this spot, so I like a bet in the 400 - 500 range and I'm calling any reraise. I just can't see checking in this spot as I don't fear a raise and villain could easily have some hands that can call or raise.

 
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WPS22
over 9 years ago

I don't think making a standard c-bet here makes you look particularly strong, the problem is what can he continue with? He most likely doesn't have AA or KK and didn't hit the flop. 99-JJ may give you one more bet, but its not like you are getting 3 streets from those hands anyway.

Checking does eliminate the possibility of a check/raise from villain. However, his C/R value range right there is mostly just lower sets and you are probably getting big money in vs them on any turn anyway.

I remember something you wrote about trying to get value w/ a nut (or close to it) hand. You said not to time and size your bets to target hands barely weaker, those hands are so strong they will bet for themselves anyway. You want to bet to try to get calls from much more marginal hands.

I think in this case that would lead us to check. If he's got a lower set the money will get in. You should be targeting the 99-JJ types of hands.

 
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crsseyed
over 9 years ago

I bet out weakly, say ~400. Prob our "normal" cbet size that we would bet if we had AK/JJ and missed. We have to think about what cards could come on the turn and help give villain a stronger 2nd best hand (answer: hardly any). Any A or K on turn will prob be more of a scare card to villain (helping us) than a helping card to villain (doubt villain will continue with weaker Ax on turn than AK here, which he prob would've 4 bet preflop). So we need to cbet and hope villain has a hand to continue with (lower PP or rare draw).

 
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popskull
over 9 years ago

I think we have to go with our cash game info here again. You said he folds to 3-bets 70% and 4-bets 20%, if I remember correctly. That means he only flat-calls 10% of the time, which makes it very much the odd man out in his arsenal, which common wisdom usually dictates indicates the best of the best hands, probably AA and KK, maybe QQ and maybe AK, but we can eliminate QQ, so a large portion of his range is probably looking to trap here, and if he's got AK in this unique part of his range I think it would be because he's willing to run a bluff with it when it misses. So he's going to have what he thinks is a strong hand or try to represent it a really good percentage of the time here IMO.

So a bet is in order but the size is more difficult. We have info on him, so he probably has it on us as well. What range does that dictate he puts us on? 3-bet range is probably wide enough so that he's not too threatened by that flop and you probably c-bet with nearly 100% of that range here, hit or miss. So whatever your standard 3-bet size is would be the right size. I think the pot is ~800, so for me that's in the 550-600 range.

 
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answer20
over 9 years ago

I think checking here on such a dry board is not a weak act to an experience opponent. But do you want to play the 'he knows that i know he knows' game? Maybe, but I don't think many players check here anymore as we all want some value on each street. Strange that doing nothing looks stronger than doing something ...

We are not behind any hand here and aren't really afraid of too many draws. If he folds to a bet, then move on. What is our history with C-bets and their size? I would think smaller is better here to keep the hand going in order to encourage looking at the next card or get the excellent check-raise we want to see with a semi-bluff or what he might think is a made hand.

I bet the same 360 ... call, great, hope for no A or K (really K only as I don't think we are against AA here) ... raise, call after some thought (but not too much) and hope for no A or K or draw filling card that might keep AA, KK or set from donk betting the Turn (a la Jonny Chan).

 
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