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What’s Your Plan? Medium Pair in 3-Bet Pot

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: Jul 22, '13

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What's Your Play?I’ve got a tough one for you this week. This is one of the trickier spots I’ve been in of late, and I’ll tell you up front that I’m not 100% sure about my play or my plan at multiple points in the hand. So with that said, we’ll zero in on the river decision, but I’m very open to questions and criticism about earlier streets.

We’re on the last few hands of Day 1 of the Venetian $5K Main Event (which is nowhere near the money – about 50% of the field remains). Villain seems very good. He’s been appropriately active, which is to say not so aggressive as to assume he’s on any two when he opens the button but certainly opening a wide range. He seems thoughtful and capable of considering all of his options and thinking on a high level.

Hero’s image is probably similar, meaning that I’m not auto 3-betting late position opens but he’s also not going to expect me to have a hand that can call a shove every time. Neither of us has played much post-flop since I’ve been at the table, so any post-flop reads will be extrapolations from the above.

Blinds 250/500/50. Action folds to Villain on the Button, who opens to 1100 with about 2oK behind. Hero 3-bets to 3000 from the SB with 88 about 45K behind. My intention is to shove or call to a 4-bet if Villain shoves, though I won’t be too thrilled about it. I think that’s better than the alternatives, though. BB folds, Button calls.

Flop (7200) Jd 7s 3c. Hero bets 3500, Villain calls. My plan again is to call a shove or shove over a raise.

Turn (14200) 4c. Hero checks, Villain checks. Plan here is to check-raise all-in or call a shove.

River (14200) 2d.

Villain has roughly a pot-sized bet remaining. What’s your plan and why? If you bet, how much and what’s your plan if raised? If you check, what’s your plan for a bet that could be as large as the pot?

Post your thoughts, comments, questions, etc. here and I’ll do my best to answer them throughout the week. As I said, I’m happy to talk about spots other than the river as well. I’ll post results and my own thinking on Friday – hopefully by then you all will have changed my mind and I’ll have a better idea of what I should have done here!

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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

OPK
8 years ago

Ugh.

I think 88 is good here, and it seems you are itching to come over the top with it too. Still, if you bet, Villain's only play is to shove. So I probably would rather check. Win if he checks behind, if he shoves you are in the same position as if you had bet but can get a read and decide.

 
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trentbridge
8 years ago

Villain has been non-ggressive and you've been anxious to be more agggresive yourself so you're probably frustrated. Clearly, after the flop, you wanted him to make the first move and then come over the top to make him worry that you have a monster/better hand. Would you, given your reputation, plan to check-raise the river here? The answer is "no" because you can't discount the idea that he has a monster himself and has been slow-playing. Perhaps just a higher pair? If he goes all-in, what do you do? The board is no obvious help to either player and who bluffs their tournament life with air?

Decision: it's early in a tournament and you're up against a skilled player with (assumed) weaker players at the table. Check and fold to a bet because you'll have better opportunities.

(I know you didn't do this..)

 
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Foucault82
8 years ago

Thanks for the comment, trent. Just to clarify something, I'd be check-shoving the turn because I expected to be ahead of his range, not with the intent of making him fold a better hand.

 
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youngifted1
8 years ago

Sounds like pot 14k, hero 38k, villain 14k. If you shove, you may get a better hand to fold like 99, buit if illain calls you lose everytime. A check feels like giving up, tough spot to call a bet. You said you felt you were the best on the turn, and could possibly shove. I would lead and value bet the river, probably a third of the pot. If he goes over the top, I would fold, if he calls I hope he has like A7 or AQ.

 
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AceupmySlv
8 years ago

Check call. He is not folding a better hand to your bet with him only having 14K behind into that pot size at that point in the tourney. Doesn't sound like he is the type of player to leave himself short stacked by folding 99 or better here. The only hand I see him paying you off on is 7x. Any other pocket pair he probably re-raises you preflop. Is that the chance you want to take, only one real possible hand paying you off with a bet here? 3x, 45, and 46 are the only slightly possible holdings that could get you paid on a bet.

He could have AK,AQ,KQ and get him to take a shot at it on the river. Even if he checks behind, you probably make the same amount of money. It sounds to me like you are going to be playing the hand no matter what happens on the river and are just deciding how to get the best value. If that is the case, then check calling is the best possibility.

 
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AceupmySlv
8 years ago

BTW - If your intentions were to get him to commit on the turn or come over top of his bet, then I think a small 4K to 6K lead out on the turn is appropriate. That is enough compared to his stack size to protect your hand and get him to fold weak draws like a weird gut shot. That size of bet may also get him to read you as weak and make a play at you like you wanted begin with. You also may get called down with 7x.

 
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jazzypants
8 years ago

looks to me like he may have a semi made hand he wants to get to show down with. Its pretty thin value for betting the river, his range is ak, aq, kq, some weak j hands like j10, qj are possible as well as low pockets and low sets.

It feels like he wants to get this to showdown, but there isn't allot in his range he will call that you beat... Possibly ak, 66, 55 is pretty much all. I check and fold to a value raise from him, i really see the only hand he may try to bluff this with is kq as he might still think he has showdown value on everything else. An all in might be worth a call, as he should be trying to squeeze value out of anything he raises with.
I check fold if bet too, and maybe check call an all in.

I don't see betting the turn here doing anything except pricing you into an all in if re-raised.

 
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GordonGejko
8 years ago

You are willing to get a 90bb stack allin preflop with 88? You must really believe that you are playing 12 tables online not a $5k live tournament.

 
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WPS22
8 years ago

Villain started hand w/ 20k, with was 40bb's, so thats how deep hero effectively was here, his actual stack size is irrelevant.

 
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WPS22
8 years ago

Normally, given the stack sizes and relative strength of your hand,I'd say it's a bet/fold, I think it's more of a bet/call in this hand though.

I think 5k is a good size to entice a hero call, if he shoves over we are getting almost 4:1. In a lot of instances, I'd still fold for that price, but the way the action played in this hand, it'd be too tempting for him to shove air.

Your pre 3 bet could have been positional,and your c-bet on the flop obligatory. After that, you shut down on a blank turn, then got another blank river.

You could c/c, but I don't like that because it lets hands he might hero call with off the hook.

I think effectively shoving is the worst possible option. Then, you are taking away any chance of a hero call, or a shove w/ air, but he still beats you when he has it. So you are basically taking away your chance to win a big pot and keeping his intact.

I think b/f, b/c, c/c, and effectively shove covers all possible options.

 
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