Destructive Play: Calling shoves with second best

Jake SJake S Red Chipper Posts: 6 ✭✭
edited February 2018 in General Concepts
To preface the questions that I have about this hand, I consistently find myself making destructive decisions like this in all-in situations almost every session. It kind of seems to me like I constantly level myself. After going through hands and analyzing them honestly without taking into account their exact cards that I have seen at showdown, I come to the same conclusion about 95% of the time that I made a poor call and that I was trying to rationalize that a certain player can't have a certain type of hand in this spot and that whatever play they were making was just out of line and crazy.

That all being said I will go through two hands (one in another post) that represent the hands that usually destroy my sessions.

[6-max micros online: $0.01/0.02]

Hero opens from UTG to $0.06 with :AH: :KD:
CO calls and BB calls

Flop: :Ks :7s :9h
Pot: $0.19

BB checks
Hero bets 2/3 pot for $0.12
CO folds and BB check raises to $0.33

The BB has played 25/18 over 89 hands. This isn't a huge sample but I am gathering that he is playing a fairly solid game. In the BB I expect him to be calling in the BB with all of his pocket pairs, suited connectors, and even broadways.

So after he check raises to 3x my cbet I put him on either a set or Ax of spades or MAYBE even Qx of spades like QJ or Q10 of spades. I block AK, AQ and other Ax broadway spades.

With the pot odds that I am getting here I need 25% equity to continue and against the range that I have put him on I have roughly 41% equity.

Turn: :5c
Pot: $0.85

BB lead jams for $2.15 for 2.5x pot.

This situation is so weird and I didn't know if he was capable of just bluff jamming with a combo draw to pick up a nice size pot. After thinking about it now, I can have AA, KK, 99 and also AQ/AJ/A10 (maybe) of spades in this spot and obviously AK like I have. so AK is about middle of my range in this spot. I guess I should be folding my nut flush draws needing 41% equity and calling with sets and AA. But AK? Obviously this is a very polarizing bet but I always seem to call disbelievingly and run into a better hand.

The vast majority of times I am not facing a 2.5x pot turn shove but similar situations like this where their range is going to be polarized and I have a decent hand like this TPTK on a draw heavy board and they always have the best hand.

I know what a lot of people are going to say, and it is this: This is micro stakes Jake. These players don't bluff jam ever. And a lot of times, like I said before, I think I level myself when I have a good hand PF and flop TPTK or flop an overpair (QQ) on a draw heavy board and call down when the front door flush comes in on the river with no over cards.

The gist: I call and run into a set of 77. Which in hindsight he played it pretty well. I am not folding AA or apparently AK in this situation so he got max value. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I can never seem to make the connection between my off-table analyses to my in-game thought process.

PLEASE destroy my thought process here and lend any tips that you have for this type of mental leveling.

I am hungry to get better and to fix these leaks but they seem to pop up everytime I play no matter how good I feel about my thought process going into the session. I am playing at the lowest stakes until I can turn a consistent POSITIVE winrate. I think part of the leveling is the fact that my graph keeps going down and I keep trying to claw my way back up and calling with these hands that during hands I can't believe that I am running into these sets/flushes/etc.

Comments

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,749 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    The main thing I can say (especially since this is posted in General Concepts) is you receive multiple pieces of information in a hand. Those pieces of information are sometimes consistent and sometimes contradictory, and you have to prioritize the relevance and reliability of it all. To help you prioritize, money put in the pot tends to be more reliable the later the street is. Also overpot betting tends to be more reliable than fractional pot betting. For example, shoving all-in for $100 into a $30 pot on the river carries more weight than betting half pot on the flop.

    Also, it sometimes helps to think of hand rank (macro) rather than detail within the rank (micro). For example, some people go crazy because they have top pair top kicker, but this is just a minor detail compared to the hand rank. Whether or not your pair can be beat by a subsequent card, or your kicker can be beat, is fine tuning, not first level information.

    The ranks are high card, pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush. So you have one pair, which is very low - 2nd out of 9. (I'm not insulting you, I know you know all this, I'm just hammering home some perspective.) Relative to the board, your hand rank is still not great - 2nd out of 5. Not something to be especially proud of.

    Might your opponent have a combo draw ? Sure. But the hands you're up against are either a slight dog to you or a massive favorite. I would find it extremely rare for your opponent to show up with anything other than big hand ( :8D: :6D:, :9C: :9H: ) or combo hand ( :AS: :9S: ) or huge draw ( :TS: :8S: ) So if as you say he's "capable" of jamming with a draw, your hand is still shite against the whole range. e.g. you only have 19% against a range of 99,77,K9s,97s,86s,QsJs,QsTs,As9s,Ts8s. And by the turn I think you can normally take some of those hands out like the suited queens.

    Your hand rank is pretty crappy and the information is pretty reliable.
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    First of all, it's great that you are being so self-aware here. Too often, the tendency is to simply say, "Oh, well, nothing that I could have done differently." So, real props.

    I'll summarize my thoughts to this: you need to explore flop textures to see how they hit your range and V's range. And then, as @jeffnc mentioned, use the clues that you are given throughout the hand to help you.

    As a hint: are you positive that that cbetting was the proper play here? If so, then I would be interested to hear your reasoning why.
  • Jake SJake S Red Chipper Posts: 6 ✭✭
    @jeffnc thanks for the tips. I will tuck those away and try to use them when analyzing hands on and off the table. It makes a lot of sense.

    @moishetreats I appreciate it. I know that I am making these mistakes and that I have serious leaks. I just continue to make those mistakes and it is almost more frustrating that way when you know the things you need to work on but it takes a long time to actually implement the fixes and the correct thought process in-game.

    The thing with that type of off table exploration is that I don't know where to start. Do I just need to come up with different flop textures with a mix of hands and go from there? I don't have flopzilla but honestly I think it would be worth the investment and purchasing it instead of going to the casino and trying to play $1/2 and losing a buy-in.

    In response to your question if I am positive that cbetting was the right play...I am not positive. My reasoning for cbetting may be pretty beginner level but flush draw on board. I think that any Ax flush draws will continue and I don't want them to realize their equity for free. From the range that I constructed, the hands that are going to continue are heavily weighted towards spades among the other hands like sets. Please share an alternative reasoning to checking back in this situation.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I may check back AsKx and bet fold AxKx without a spade.

    One thing ill point out is you mentioned hes 25\18 which is his preflop. How about post flop stats? How often does he fold to cbet or check raise. If he folding 70% to a cbet then his range is very strong. Live games this is mostly sets and 2 pairs. I think people over estimate people actually raising draws. In my experience its 80% value when they raise.
  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 517 ✭✭✭
    I have had this problem (and still run into it from time to time) online, too.

    What has helped me in these situations, like river shoves, is to force myself to use my entire time bank. If I don't, I often find myself first convincing myself that they just can't have it and must be bluffing and then I don't even consider that they can actually have it. I would think "oh they can be bluffing with Ace high here" and call. Even though my assessment might be correct, I don't take extra time to think of what value hands they can have.

    If I then take the 30 seconds of timebank to think of all the value hands I get a much better picture of what I'm up against and can make a better decision. Forcing myself to use the timebank is a great way to go about it and can be translated to live poker too. It is somewhat equivalent to saying "sorry I'm gonna need some time for this".
  • Nathan SNathan S Red Chipper Posts: 275 ✭✭
    edited February 2018
    I'm fine with bet calling flop but you should easily fold on the turn.

    Based on his HUD stats he's not blasting off here, and you're UTG so you should have exactly what you have.

    His jam is bad. I think it allows you to play perfectly against him, you can exploitably fold.

    Multitabling has helped me plug this leak because it doesn't leave my time to convince myself to make these hero calls. It's just another hand in the thousands I'm going to see in that session.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,749 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    It's good to ask why you c-bet, rather than just do it automatically. But.... you can't do the same thing all the time. You can c-bet here, or you can check, but you can't do either 100% of the time with AK. (Unless you have opponents who simply don't pay any attention.)

    It's easy to say his shove is bad, either as a value bet or as a bluff, and I agree in theory. But he got a call in this particular hand, so maybe he knows something we don't. Sometimes I envy the "bad" plays I see getting paid off.
  • The MuleThe Mule Red Chipper Posts: 787 ✭✭✭
    In my experience, most low stakes players don't bluff well - they either rarely bluff (and when they do it is usually a weak bet in an obvious spot with no follow through) or they bluff way too often. It is usually pretty easy to work out who is who by just watching the game, particularly showdowns. If you have no reason to believe your opponent is bluffing too much, "they always have it" and "don't pay them off" are usually good advice.
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    Jake S wrote: »
    In response to your question if I am positive that cbetting was the right play...I am not positive. My reasoning for cbetting may be pretty beginner level but flush draw on board. I think that any Ax flush draws will continue and I don't want them to realize their equity for free. From the range that I constructed, the hands that are going to continue are heavily weighted towards spades among the other hands like sets. Please share an alternative reasoning to checking back in this situation.

    First, re-read the last big paragraph in @jeffnc's initial post. Then, you'll realize that your hand is not a great hand given V's range. In other words, you are putting yourself in a position, when you cbet, by either getting tons of folds from crap hands OR in a position where V can check-raise you quite often. And, when V check-raises you, then you're in some hot water, as @jeffnc explained.

    Yes, there are times when V will have Ax (no spade) and will call a couple of streets hoping that you're on the flush draw. But, how often do those happen? And do those make up for the times that you're check-raised and lose a big portion -- if not all! -- of your stack? Hardly.

    In short, this flop texture allows V to check-raise often, putting you in the wasteland of the unknown. By cbetting, you open yourself up to that situation.
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    One more thing: As for Flopzilla, etc. -- those are all tools. They do not, however, offer reasons. If you can figure out the "why" behind things, then tools like Flopzilla help you with definitive evidence. Or, if you have a hypothesis (i.e., @jeffnc's hypothesis is that V's check-raising range is far ahead of your hand here), then something like Flopzilla can help you prove or disprove that hypothesis. But, it can't and doesn't help you understand the "why" of poker. You're doing fine by posting here and engaging in the discussion!
  • NinjahNinjah Red Chipper Posts: 1,136 ✭✭✭✭
    We have a drawing board where V will have a lot of draws and second best hands in his range and you guys want to b/f or even check this flop?

    Holy Nits, Batman.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,749 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    Austin wrote: »
    I may check back AsKx and bet fold AxKx without a spade.

    Very quick sentence there, but there's a lot for you (Jake) think about.

    Let's say instead of the actual flop, it were :KH: :9S: :7S: . How does this change things? Now on this flop, your hand is instead :AH: :KS: . What does that change? How about :AS: :KH: on the actual flop. Now what? Austin is suggesting two different lines are possible - check :AS: :KH: , but bet :AH: :KD:, even though it's obvious :AS: :KH: is the (slightly) better hand . So why? Why might holding :AS: :KH: be an even easier fold than :AH: :KD: if :AS: :KH: is the stronger hand? Why might we be more willing to risk betting into a check/raise with :AH: :KD: than with :AS: :KH: ? Or is that even true?

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,749 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    Ninjah wrote: »
    We have a drawing board where V will have a lot of draws and second best hands in his range and you guys want to b/f or even check this flop?

    Can't speak for everyone, but one thing I was saying is that in general, you don't want to bet when you have it and check when you don't 100% of the time. So you have to check sometimes when you hit, and bet sometimes when you miss. We look at forum hand examples in a vacuum, and we can't say if this particular hand should be checked or bet. According to Dan Harrington I should be looking at the second hand of my watch to randomize, and Jake didn't provide us with the time.

    Unless, as I said, your call station opponents don't pay any attention. Then by all means bet when you have it and check when you don't.

    But we don't have to categorize everyone at the table as either a pro or a fish. Maybe they pay a little attention, but not to every detail. So one way you can get some variation while still protecting your hand is to tend to bet more often when there are obvious draws, and check more often when the board is dead.

    This isn't going to fool a pro, but it's something.

  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    Ninjah wrote: »
    We have a drawing board where V will have a lot of draws and second best hands in his range and you guys want to b/f or even check this flop?

    Holy Nits, Batman.

    If a spade comes, the Hero is bluff-catching the rest of the way. If a spade misses, then Hero almost assuredly gets two streets of value at the most. I'd rather check here and get those streets later.

    Yes, yes -- if V has two spades, then Hero is missing out on a street of value at the flop. But, V would then could stack Hero were the final spade to come given the growing pot. This becomes the classic "win-the-small-pots-but-lose-the-big-ones".

    I don't consider it nitty checking back a hand vulnerable to a check-raise that, when betting, doesn't get enough streets of value added to offset the times that you lose. Checking and calling if a flush hits (if V is likely to bluff) has less downside with the same upside, and Hero can get two streets of value from hands that would peel one card but not stay in vs. a double-barrel (e.g., TT) where Hero to check the flop. I'm not giving up those benefits and increasing those risks just to get one added street of value for the times that V has a draw AND the draw misses.

    I don't consider that nitty at all.

  • NinjahNinjah Red Chipper Posts: 1,136 ✭✭✭✭
    Ninjah wrote: »
    We have a drawing board where V will have a lot of draws and second best hands in his range and you guys want to b/f or even check this flop?

    Holy Nits, Batman.

    If a spade comes, the Hero is bluff-catching the rest of the way. If a spade misses, then Hero almost assuredly gets two streets of value at the most. I'd rather check here and get those streets later.

    Yes, yes -- if V has two spades, then Hero is missing out on a street of value at the flop. But, V would then could stack Hero were the final spade to come given the growing pot. This becomes the classic "win-the-small-pots-but-lose-the-big-ones".

    I don't consider it nitty checking back a hand vulnerable to a check-raise that, when betting, doesn't get enough streets of value added to offset the times that you lose. Checking and calling if a flush hits (if V is likely to bluff) has less downside with the same upside, and Hero can get two streets of value from hands that would peel one card but not stay in vs. a double-barrel (e.g., TT) where Hero to check the flop. I'm not giving up those benefits and increasing those risks just to get one added street of value for the times that V has a draw AND the draw misses.

    I don't consider that nitty at all.

    V will not always have spades and even when he does, he's still going to miss more than he hits. V's continuing range will also consist of middle pairs and weaker Kx holdings, many of which may also shut down if a spade hits. I'd much rather get my streets of value now and not let V see free cards to improve his hand.

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