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Another of the Strangest Things I’ve Seen at the Table

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: Dec 07, '12

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This happened the same night as the first one. The $1/$3/$6 game is up and running again. There are a couple of limps, so I limp behind with 85s in the HJ. The CO limps, the BB completes, and then the $6 blind (not sure what to call that) raises to $50. Two of the limpers call, I call, and then CO moves all in for $111 total. Action back to the first raiser, who calls, and then the rest of us call.

The five of us see an A82r flop. With the CO all-in, I’m last to act. They all check to me, and I bet $150, a little over a quarter of the pot. It folds back to the player on my immediate right, who calls.

We both check a blank turn, then he bets 225 on a blank river. This guy is one of the better in the game, as best I can tell a TAG with an emphasis on the tight. He’s pretty young and seems like one of those guys who wins in a loose game just by being nitty and betting hard with good hands. I fold without too much thought.

He sheepishly turns over 53s for a busted gutshot, and the all-in player smiles and coolly turns over an unimproved 74s, quintupling his stack by showing down 7-high as the winner.

Several mistakes made by several different players enabled such a strange outcome. Which was the biggest mistake and why?

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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

swallsjr
almost 9 years ago

Let’s first start by listing the mistakes:
* CO moves all-in for $111 dollars with 7-4 and no fold equity after only calling $6.
* BB raised to $50 OOP but then flats when the action gets reopened by the CO's all-in. He should have shut everyone out with a big 4-bet and got it heads up against the CO, getting $311 on $111. If his hand was good enough to raise to $50 OOP, it's likely good enough to ship over an all-in min-raise with 3 limp/just-call-the-raise-callers(a very strong indicator that all 3 have weak holdings) behind. In fact, at almost 3:1, he should probably make this play with some of his preflop steals, as he is unlikely to be that big of a dog against CO's range. This play also eliminates his positional disadvantage for the rest of the hand.
* All of the players in between you and the BB played like weak passive calling stations.
* Player described as TAG floated out of position in a dry-side pot with virtually air. He had little/no equity for the main pot. This gave him little/no incentive to makes this play. He fires $225 on the river sensing weakness to win the dry side pot of $300 dollars. It was successful, but at the end of the day, he risked $325 to win $150 OOP against a strong player with zero chance of winning the main pot on the end.
*A passive line against this villain was a mistake. The passive line was the combination of a 1/4 pot bet on the flop, a check on the turn and auto-folding to a bet on the river.
We have to ask ourselves, what we are trying to accomplish in this spot. We have 2nd pair weak kicker. That is not a lot of showdown value against the other 3 callers imo, but it’s plenty of value against the all-in player for the main pot. I want to maximize this hand’s EV. Therefore, I want my line to give me the best chance of eliminating the remaining players to get to showdown against the all-in player. There is a good chance we can accomplish this based on the overlay from the bloated pot, our opponent’s preflop ranges, the dry board, and our position. It is even better if there are still significant stacks behind left to play. (Not mentioned in article).
I actually like the ¼ size bet. The absolute value is significant and we can also get away with smaller sized c-bets on dry boards, especially those with an ace. It also leaves us with more chips behind and the threat of future bets, and we minimize our loss if check-raised. However, we have to remember Walls’ Rule: Never underestimate the ability of an opponent to call with any two cards when you bet ¼ size pot or less on the flop. That being said, I am planning on barreling the turn if called in one spot, especially against the tight villain. Let’s look at his range. I wouldn't give him credit for a strong ace based on the preflop/postflop action. There are almost no draws in his range (except the various and unlikely gutshots LOL). That leaves a range consisting of lots of weak ace combos, some 2nd pair combos, plus two pair and sets. I am leaning towards him having the weaker parts of this range. There are two reasons for this: 1) He "bets hard with good hands" and 2) the bloated pot preflop gives him little incentive to slow play sets and 2 pair, since he is likely to get action from made hands like top pair anyway. Based on this, I am betting the turn. With a weak holding and facing the potential of an even bigger bet on the river, a tight villain will often find a fold. If our turn bet gets called, we have options. We can follow through with a huge river bluff if we are deep enough, putting villain to a very hard decision with his weakest holdings. Alternatively, we could give up on our turn bluff and check behind. If we get check-raised on the turn, we can fold without second thought knowing we are beat. Against a tight villain I think we can fold out the weak aces and 2nd pair combos with an aggressive betting line if we are both deep enough. Villain would love to get to showdown with these hands but hate to put a lot of money in with them.
It really did take all of these mistakes for this to happen. The biggest mistake though IMO was the BB not 4-betting preflop to get it heads up with villain. He gave up a very positive EV spot.

 
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RealityPeople
almost 9 years ago

"That leaves a range consisting of lots of weak ace combos, some 2nd pair combos, plus two pair and sets. I am leaning towards him having the weaker parts of this range. "

As someone who is trying to get better, wouldn't "weak ace combos" fit this flop, mainly A8? Or is that such a remote possibility that we do not give it much weight?

 
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swallsjr
almost 9 years ago

Sure, A8 and even A2 are in his range. Those are the only ways he can make 2 pair on this flop as 82 is unlikely. We can discount A8 because we have an eight, along with second pair combos like J8s,T8s,98s,78s,68s.

While weak ace combos (A3,A4,A5,A6,A7,A9,ATo) do fit this flop,imo, it's difficult to call off alot of money with top pair weak kicker. If the opponent is tight, he will often find a fold with these hands by the river if there is enough behind left to bet on each street.

 
 

Foucault82
almost 9 years ago

I agree that BB's flat is the biggest mistake. No matter what cards he has, it's pretty obvious that everyone else is weak enough that a raise will get him HU with CO with probably the best hand and in any event a ton of dead money in the pot.

Interestingly this is also a very +EV situation for CO, so much so that I like his shove as long as he believes he can expect BB to isolate to their mutual benefit. Clearly in this case that didn't happen, and I doubt it's what CO was thinking, but I think with a better player in the BB the CO ought to shove here to reopen the action and set BB up to isolate.

There is still $400 - $1000 left in the effective stacks depending on which players you look at, you're right that I should have mentioned that. With my image though I didn't believe it was practical to try to barrel anyone off of top pair. He happened to have one of the few hands that would have folded but managed to take the pot away from me, but that doesn't change the fact that there's little value in barreling off for me.

 
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WPS22
almost 9 years ago

The CO limp/shove was terrible. His best case is getting HU w/ $6blind. Even then, with the dead money, he still needs 45%. There is no range $6b can have that CO is 45% against. The play is never profitable and therefore objectively bad.

$6 blind guys play seems really bad too. He bloated the pot pre, turned down a chance to shove after that, called instead, then folded to a 1/4 size bet on the flop. His line seems weighted towards PP's and KQ/KJ hands. Whatever he had, I can't really see how he played it well.

The guy on your right got himself in an unnecessarily terrible spot pre flop. Limping, then calling 10x pre, then another 10x pre w/ 53 can't be good. However, I don't really see what he did wrong after. W/ your small bet on the flop, he had about the right odds to call with his gut shot. Chk on turn isn't bad, and he pretty much has to bet the river there. He's at the stone bottom of his range and you haven't showed a ton of strength.

It's an odd bet because he's betting 225 to win 300, but you are facing a 225 bet to win 900, that disparity may make it seem like a bad bet. But he's still getting decent odds on his bluff (only needs fold 43%) and his bet looks stronger to you than a normal 225 into 900 would look.

I don't know how I feel about your play. The flop sizing is weird, but its a weird bet. You aren't betting for value, or bluffing. You are basically protecting your showdown value and charging hands that haven't hit yet to see a turn. I think you do have to bet, maybe the sizing is bad, or maybe is just seems bad in retrospect knowing you gave a guy odds to call with a gut shot and you ended up losing the pot.

 
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RealityPeople
almost 9 years ago

"W/ your small bet on the flop, he had about the right odds to call with his gut shot."

10.8-1 to make a 4 outer on Turn

5.07-1 to make on Turn + River

Doesn't villain have to assume a bet on the turn? Does he really have the right odds to call the flop 1/4 pot bet?

 
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WPS22
almost 9 years ago

I don't know where you are getting that math, but almost every true 4 outer has 20% equity on the flop. Meaning it has 10% chance to hit the turn, or 9-1.

The 1/4 pot bet means you'd have to hit the turn 1/6 times for it to be a break even call, if you have zero implied odds.

Considering that there is two streets left, there is every reason for villain to think that he will get a bet or two out of hero if his gut shot hits. It's impossible to have a more disguised hand than that.

In NL, if you don't consider implied odds, and only look at if you are getting the right price to hit or not, you are very rarely ever going to determine that its correct to call with a draw, even though it certainly can be.

 
 

Foucault82
almost 9 years ago

Where do you get 45%? Shoving cost him about $100 and, if BB had 4-bet as he should have, there would have been about $400 in the pot. BB's range would have to consist almost exclusively of overpairs to make this a -EV spot for CO.

I agree that guy on my right didn't play badly post. In truth it's extremely unlikely that I can call river after checking behind turn, and my flop stabbing range is pretty wide. I don't know how much of that directly informed his thinking, but I imagine he probably understood some of it on some level and it's why he chose to play the way he did.

I'm pretty happy with my flop bet despite the outcome of this hand. You're correct that the sizing is motivated by the fact that it's mostly a protection bet, not a value bet or bluff.

 
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Foucault82
almost 9 years ago

I think the more important consideration for Villain is his bluff equity if I check behind turn, not his implied odds if he hits. If I have a hand capable of paying him off, I'm betting the turn, so he's not getting good odds to chase. He can, however, steal the pot quite often with the line he took.

For more on this subject: http://www.thinkingpoker.net/articles/debunking-myths-implied-odds/

 
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