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who'd like to talk about this hand

Discussion in 'Poker talk and strategy' started by Doc, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Doc

    Doc Member

    not much happening here lately, so thought I'd get the ball rolling. Slick has kindly added some card symbols so we can post hands easily.

    I'll get it rolling. Here is one I played about 9 months ago, beginner stakes, as I went back to cash game poker after a long break and decided to build up from the bottom and 'unlearn' bad habits where I could.

    Happy to explain my thought processes in this hand, explain the various numbers etc. Chip in with any questions or comments, whatever your level...

    PokerStars - $0.02 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 5 players
    Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

    BTN: 102 BB (VPIP: 11.28, PFR: 6.92, 3Bet Preflop: 3.21, Hands: 395)
    SB: 98.5 BB (VPIP: 27.27, PFR: 14.29, 3Bet Preflop: 9.09, Hands: 22)
    BB: 19 BB (VPIP: 29.31, PFR: 6.90, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 61)
    UTG: 115 BB (VPIP: 21.31, PFR: 19.67, 3Bet Preflop: 13.64, Hands: 61)
    Hero (CO): 227.5 BB

    SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

    Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J:spade: T:spade:

    fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, fold, SB calls 2.5 BB, fold

    Flop: (7 BB, 2 players) 3:heart: 4:club: T:heart:
    SB checks, Hero bets 6 BB, SB calls 6 BB

    Turn: (19 BB, 2 players) 3:diamond:
    SB checks, Hero bets 9.5 BB, SB raises to 31.5 BB, Hero calls 22 BB

    River: (82 BB, 2 players) 3:club:
    SB bets 58 BB and is all-in, Hero calls 58 BB

    [spoil]SB shows 8:spade: 8:club: (Full House, Threes full of Eights)
    (Pre 50%, Flop 9%, Turn 5%)
    Hero shows J:spade: T:spade: (Full House, Threes full of Tens)
    (Pre 50%, Flop 91%, Turn 95%)
    Hero wins 191 BB
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
    slick likes this.
  2. Doc

    Doc Member

    oops - formatting not quite right, hopefully slick can fix the bbcodes later.

    My cards: J:s T:s
    Flop: 3:h4:c T:h
    Turn 3:d
    River 3:c

    villain hand: 8:spade8:clubs
    Hero wins - yay!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2018
  3. Doc

    Doc Member

    Ok, lets get started.

    Should Hero have raised here?
    Yes, definitely, for many reasons:
    1) JTs is a good hand, and one that you'd like to be playing in most circumstances. In particular it has high 'playability' - meaning that many different flops connect well with. A small pair like 33 has similar strength if you played all-in, but it is much less likely to connect a flop. You get a 3, you have a monster, or else you likely have to fold. JTs will flop straight and flush draws a lot of the time, as well as making a pair (with ok, but not strong kicker) or even overcards
    2) You need to be looking for opportunities to 'steal' the blinds. Playing six handed, if you folded every hand, it would cost you 0.25BB each hand. So occasionally picking up 1.5BB is something that makes a difference. Playing 5 handed, and with a fold in front of us, we have only 3 players to get through, and 2 of them will be out of position to us
    3) The guy on the Button is key here - what do we know about him. We have 395 hand, which is enough to get a good handle on how he plays. His stats of 11/7 suggest he is very 'nitty' - 11% of hands is something like 44+, AT+, KQ. He is going to fold most of the time, and crucially his 3Bet figure of 3% is very low too (probably something like JJ+, AK and AQs) - suggesting that even when he plays he won't raise us very often.
    4) If we look at the stats of the guys in the blinds, we see they both play 25-30% of hands - maybe a little bit more than ideal for most players, but crucially there is a big gap with the second figure - they are 14% and 7% respectively. Good players would be much closer - something like 22%+ would be be what I'd expect to see. It suggests they play passively - limping into pots, or calling raises rather than 3Betting. We do see that the SB has a 3Bet figure of 9% (over only 22 hands....) which is more like a better player would have.

    Still, its definitely a raise here. In retrospect there is an argument for making it a little smaller - e.g. 2.5BB, but 3BB is ok for sure.

    So, should hero bet the flop, and how much?
    For sure - you've just hit top pair, and your opponent has checked to you. In fact, as the pre-flop raiser and your only opponent having checked to you, you should be betting most flops here. A further argument is that there are only 5 cards that improve our hand on the turn, whereas any heart, any ace, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. So betting is the right call, and 6BB into a 7BB pot is enough to make any hearts, straight draws or overcards pay for the privilege.

    Villain calls our flop bet, so we should now be thinking carefully about what kind of hand does he have - he calls out of position pre-flop, and then check calls on this board. His stats suggest he is no maniac, just a little loose passive. He may well recognise that we are in a stealing position and so don't need a strong hand. Suited aces, small and middle pairs, suited connectors, and the weaker broadway hands - e.g. QTo are likely here. Which of those check-call our big flop bet. A:hx:h will you'd think. QT, JT, T9, T8 will. 65, 76 (maybe). 55-99 will. 33 and 44 are not folding, but I'd expect a raise on the flop. But they're in his range for sure. He may be peeling a card with something like A5, A4 or A3, or with a combo draw - e.g.7:h5:h. I expect hero to be ahead the vast majority of the time.

    The turn changes nothing, unless he specifically has a 3. When he checks we should be betting again here to charge his draws and to get value from his weaker hands. Bet size is important too. There is 19 in the pot, 8 cards are accounted for - two in each of our hands and 4 on the board - leaving 44 in the deck. If he has a flush draw then 9 of those help him, and if he has a straight draw then 4 or 8 help him. In the best case (for him) ~ 20%. A half pot bet means any call by him would need to win >25% of the time to be profitable. So if he calls with a draw here, our bet size means that he needs to hit it, AND he needs us to call another bet. I'm certainly not going to bet again if he calls the turn and the river is a heart or completes a straight. In fact if he calls, I'm not going to be betting most river cards - bar maybe a non-heart ten or jack. So hero's bet is a good one.

    The check-raise by Villian is the big moment. He is clearly representing a 3 (or a slow played 44). Here was my thought process:
    - I don't think he has JJ+ as that would re-raise pre-flop
    - TT I'd have expected pre-flop raise, and is unlikely as there is only 1 possible combination
    - I'm suspicious of him having a ten with a Queen, King or Ace kicker as I think he'd probably have check-raised that flop, or led the turn, or just check-called. But it is possible
    - I'm not sure what hands with a 3 in them call pre-flop and on the flop. A3s except that the 3:h is on the board. Did he really call with something like A:c3:c? It's possible but unlikely
    - is he just representing a 3 and has a hand with some other equity like 55-99, a straight or flush draw?
    - does he have a real monster like 44? 33 is unlikely because that would be all threes in the deck, so I discount that.
    The last thing I look at is bet size. His raise puts 60 in the pot with 22 to me to call. So (if no more money went in) I need to win 25-30% of the time to justify a call. I'll have position on the river, so if I call I will check the river down against any check. Against a bet I can make a judgement call, where I'll be getting odds (assuming a shove) of 140:58 - meaning a I need to win only 30% of the time if I do call. A ten will be an out (to the nuts) against any hand except 33. A jack would let me leapfrog a hand like QT.
    If he has a hand like 33 or 44 then I'm not sure why he raises to this size here - either shove (hoping I call with a heart draw), or more likely raise smaller to build the pot and get more value from me. e.g. a bet to 22 would be 12.5 BB more to me (in a pot of 51.5 BB) and allowing a shove of 67.5 into a pot of 63

    So it looked clear to me that it was either a bluff with a hand I am way ahead of, or an unlikely but possible hand where he is well ahead. On balance, and with the odds I was getting I felt a call was justified.

    The river was a 3 - which was a great card for me. It means the only realistic hands beating me are a 44, TT (see above for why I think it less likely, if not impossible, that he'd play it this way) or the 'case' 3. Any QT, KT, AT is now tieing with me - as are the less likely JT, T9 etc
    It was an easy call on the river

    Later, I might do a critique of how he played, given we know his hand.
  4. Doc

    Doc Member

    66 views, and so far just talking to myself:help
    We'll stick with it though.....

    Lets look at the hand from the Villains perspective and see what he might do differently, if anything at all.

    So from his perspective, he is sitting in the SB holding 8:spade:8:club:
    A player opens the pot from the Cut-off position for 3BB. Button folds and action is on the SB, with the BB still to act after the SB.

    The SB here should be firstly thinking about what kind of range (i.e. what sort of hands) the CO has, and then thinking about what the best response to that range is, given his (SB) hand AND how the BB reaction to any call or raise might influence matters (obviously if SB folds, he doesn't care much what the BB does, other than for information or entertainment!)

    Hero's stats aren't shown on the above info, so the only information we have is that Hero has 227.5 BB. In the absence of any other information I'd be assuming therefore that hero is a good player (good players are more likely to have big stacks than bad ones), and using stats for good players at that level. I'd expect a decent player here to be opening something like 20-35% of hands. Lets choose 20% of hands - on the basis that while there are flaws to being too tight (i.e. assuming the CO is opening fewer hands than he really is) or too loose, it will be a less costly mistake to assume CO is tighter than he actually is.
    What does 20% of hands look like? That'll depend on the player and which hands he chooses, but an example of 20% (that'll be workable enough for us to use) would be any pair, any ace and big Kings - e.g. KQ, KJs. Individuals (me included) picking 20% might vary that a little - e.g. dropping weaker aces (say A2o-A8o) and adding suited broadway plus some smaller suited connectors - e.g. 87s, 76s, 65s, but our assumption above will work fine.

    So now villain has a sense of the range that Hero might have, he needs to think about how to play his hand, and how the BB action could influence things.
    A general rule here is that you should be very reluctant to flat-call a raise in the SB position. This is because your position will be the worst possible one post-flop, AND the BB still has to act pre-flop. If you just call, you offer the BB a chance to 'squeeze' and you could be now facing a 3 bet (or even 4 bet). So usually it is better to either fold or to 3Bet yourself. So lets look at the big blind here - we know he has a short stack (only 19BB) and has VPIP/PFR of 29/7 and a 3Bet of 0 over 61 hands. Its a small sample, but this looks very like a semi-loose, very passive player - big gap between the VPIP and PFR and no 3Betting. This guy is very unlikely to raise in the normal run of things, and given his small stack, if he does raise he is committing. We can generally anticipate therefore that the most likely outcome if we flat-call is a call (BB is getting great odds if we just call), with a smaller chance of a raise all-in if we raise or call

    So our options:
    a) Fold - definitely not, we have 57% equity against a 20% range. We have good odds to play, and deep stacks
    b) Call - we could, and we'll probably have a 3 way pot with 9 BB in the pot and a solid hand
    c) Raise - we could. If we raise and the BB folds, then we put Hero to a decision. If we raise and BB shoves then Hero has to fold all but his monster hands, while we're happy enough to call a 19BB all-in with this hand against the BB

    So it is between call and raise. Either way we need to think about how me might play post-flop (if required). 88 is going to be tricky to play out of position. If we flop an 8, we're generally going to be happy to play for our stack. If not, then it is harder. "Most flops miss most hands" is a truism, but when we're out of position and probably facing overcards, it is hard to know whether our opponent has hit his hand or not. With hero having position on us, he can represent a bigger hand, (especially) if we show any weakness.

    My normal advice here would be to raise - for the reasons above around not giving the BB opportunities to raise, but this BB situation is unusual, and I'd actually be indifferent enough between raising and calling. Small and middle pairs also benefit from implied odds - when they do hit, they typically make a monster hand

    So, the call is a perfectly reasonable option, and we move to the flop.

    Villain could check-fold, check call (as he does), check-raise or lead the flop (so-called 'donk' bet)

    Check-folding is definitely too weak here - with Hero's range containing lots of lower pairs, high cards etc, he'll miss this flop a lot and 88 is still ahead. It is going to be worth a call (or raise) at least once
    Check-calling is certainly justified, but any card over 10 is scary and except for the 2 magic eights, no other card below 10 really likely changes the hand much - the exception being if Hero has a smaller pair than ours and hits his set. So if we check-call, we're hoping, in most situations that hero gives up and we can check the hand down. If hero 'barrels' the turn - i.e. bets again, we have an unpleasant decision
    Check-raising is probably the play I'd favour here, and I'll explain further, but first....
    Donking here is an option, but..... Donking is normally a reflection of a weak, but made hand, by weak players, especially if small. Lots of good players will raise donk bets with any two cards it is very hard for the donking player to call against what could legitimately be a very strong hand. We're unlikely to get any decent player to fold to a donk bet on this board, so we gain no information, we don't get a fold, and we're still out of position. If we're raised after donking, we're going to have to fold here unless we know something really strong about Hero and how he plays.
    Check-raising suggests we:
    - have a 3
    - have a ten, probably one we like - e.g KT, AT
    - have a decent pair (as we actually do)
    - have a flush draw

    Remember that hero misses this flop most times, but will likely continuation bet (as the pre-flop raiser) most times. Only a small set of his hands can actually stand a check-raise here, and fewer still will re-raise. A good flush draw, a decent 10. Maybe 99 can call. JJ will call. QQ+ can/will probably re-raise. QQ+ is 18 hands, from a range of ~250-300 hands. Other hands that are ahead of us are at most 100 hands, and not all of those will want to call. So probably something like 200 of Hero's possible hands are c-betting that flop and probably 150 of those are folding to our check-raise.
    If we bet to something like 20BB, the pot will be 33BB and hero will be facing another 14BB to call. Those odds are ok, especially as he happens to hold top pair, but hero is now in the unpleasant situation where he can expect further pressure and potentially is very far behind.
    From villains perspective he is risking 20BB to win 33BB, so if hero folds >60% of the time then villain makes a profit. Of course on those occasions where hero just calls the check-raise, villain will end up with the winning hand some of the time also.
    If villain just flat-calls, as he does, then his routes to winning are:
    a) hit a miracle card - 4% chance of so of this both coming and holding up - e.g. hero might make a bigger full house
    b) call another c-bet and hope to catch a bluff by hero
    c) hope that hero gives up and villain sees and wins a showdown
    d) make a big aggressive move (as villain actually does) on a more expensive street.

    Villain has obviously flat called here, so lets look at his best options from then on, given that he has actually gone to the turn. The 3:diamond doesn't change anything here, bar making it less likely that hero has a set of 3s. So we're actually a little better off in that sense, albeit hero has bet again, making it more likely that he has something. 55-77, 65s are still in his range probably - although many of these might check back the turn. Flush draws are there too and might take the free card. There'll be a few combo draws, e.g. A:club: 2:club: or A:club:5:club: in his range too.
    So villain, on the turn, could:
    - check-fold - a bit weak, maybe, as hero will be reluctant to triple barrel most rivers and the hand has some value. However, hero has also bet twice, so a good chance we're behind. The perils of playing out of position!
    - check-call - we could be ahead, and if we call, we'll get to see to see the river and often a free showdown. We have the minute chance that we hit our 8 and get action against hero if he has a 3 or a big overpair. We have some value too against some of hero's range that bets both flop and turn.
    - check-raise - as he does. The problem here is we have to ask what kind of hands fold here that are beating us, or would be the river, and what hands are calling us that we are ahead of? Flush draws may fold, particularly weaker ones, 99 folds. Combo draws fold. A weaker 10 may fold (but we didn't :naughty ). No hands that we are ahead of call here IMO, bar some flush draws.

    On balance I really don't like this turn raise

    As played, villain check-raises and hero calls.

    On the river villain has a full house, but hero has shown good strength to date, suggesting he has top pair or better. About the only hand that calls the turn and folds the river is a missed flush draw. We can assume that if villain shoves the river that hero will call any hand that beats villain (as we do :naughty) So villains shove is relying entirely on fold-equity - he is risking 58 to win 140 (including his 58). Villain needs hero to fold 41% of the time to make a profit. In other words, villain needs hero to be calling that turn check-raise with weaker hands at least 41% of the time. Isn't going to happen
  5. slick

    slick Administrator

    Good stuff Doc.
    BB codes look to be working now, you happy with the spoiler code? it was already in the software.
  6. rcgills

    rcgills Moderator

    Sorry Doc, I was one of those 66 views, just looked in to see what it was about and, I'll be perfectly honest, not being a poker player, I didn't understand a bloody thing :lol

    Good luck with it anyway, not sure there are many poker players around on here these days though, are there?
  7. Doc

    Doc Member

    hehe. Feel free to ask any question anyhow rc - no matter how basic, doesn't have to be about this hand - anything to get some discussion going :thumb
  8. slick

    slick Administrator

    I'm the same as RC, not played Poker since my younger days in local pubs and don't understand any of that lol.
    Komp was the Poker man so to speak, he used to get me involved in some comps on TDP but I didn't have a bleeding clue what I was doing half the time.

    Doc are there any good 'training sites' so to speak to get upto speed on the online game?
  9. Doc

    Doc Member

    There is lots of really good online material - I haven't had a look for a while at real beginners/intro level stuff. Will maybe do that in the next few weeks
    slick likes this.

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