# 1/2 NL: Do I fold pocket kings to a a big bet on the river?

Red Chipper Posts: 12 ✭✭
1/2 live game. Friday night. Still adjusting to live poker also learning how to play no limit.

Hero is young guy, who just sat down. Hero has on btn. (\$275)

Villain 1 (CO) is older guy who just plays recreationally on the weekend. Don't have a history with him, but he uses terminology which shows me he knows about the power of position in poker. (\$450)

Villain 2 (BB) is younger, muscly good looking black guy. He's sipping on some beer (\$131)

Opening action, UTG limps, UTG +2 limps, V1 (CO) limps, Hero (BTN) raises to 15. V2 (BB) calls, UTG folds, UTG +2 folds, V1 (CO) calls.

Three players to the flop. (Pot: 50)
Flop:
Hero (btn) gets checked to and I bet 30.
V2 (BB) calls, V1 (CO) calls.

Turn: (POT: 140)

V2 (BB) checks, V1 (CO) donks for 66.

Hero (btn) calls. And V2 shoves his remaining stack in for \$86, just \$20 more to call.

V1 (CO) calls, Hero (btn) calls.

River: (\$398)

V1 (CO) bets \$105

Hero (btn) ????

I think if he had a heart draw, i probably should've folded to his turn bet. I did have a king of hearts in my hand so i continued. Do i have to call this river? I think the relatively big bet hit my pain threshold and i chickened out.

105/(105+398)= 21%

Am i good here 1 in 5 times?

• Posts: 2,716 -
It's a pretty gross spot, mostly because rather than being a "relatively big bet" as you state, it's actually a small one as your calculation illustrates. I'd suggest playing around with some ranges to see if that answers the question of if you're good 21% of the time.
Moderation In Moderation
• Red Chipper Posts: 513 ✭✭✭
Without knowing V, it's always going to be hard to say. However, as Kat points out, this is not a big bet in relation to the pot.

However, I think something interesting to note here is that V chooses to bet ~1/4 pot on the river to the tune of \$100 when you've only \$144 left in your stack at that point. That is very curious to me. If V has a made flush here, I see no reason to bet \$105 as there opposed to getting all of it in. It's not like he is ever folding to a jam here.

I personally suspect you're gonna be good here 21% of the time but I also suspect not a huge chunk more. Plug in some ranges for what CO would limp/call with and see what you come up with.
• Red Chipper Posts: 2,160 ✭✭✭✭
edited August 3
Usually bad / low stakes Villains tend to underbluff - if they bluff at all. So what does V1 donk with that you beat ? Does he suddenly donk with QX ? With AhXx ?

I think calling turn is the worst action possible.

Folding?

Yes it's looks nitty and we don't know V so can't say much about his tendencies... but if V doesn't bluff, we are in terrible shape - if not drawing dead (against nut FD).
Does he look bluff heavy: he play low stakes, limp/call and is on the old side; often this profile fits the player who want to see a flop, call with marginal hands and take the lead once they hit. Rather the basic honest Villain.
If Villain's bet is value heavy, note that it will be mostly 2P (6X) and flush - rarely a straight (most obvious one, 65, didn't get there). Against 2P we have ok-ish equity, but flush... not really.
Bet sizing (66 into 144, less than half pot) could also give info - very often a small size is a probe - but so far we have no info on V so can't say much about this.

I hate folding, but ... hmmm... at low stakes, I think I can find an exploitative fold. "Don't pay them off" is the first command to learn at low stakes.

(Note: at higher stakes this is a way more difficult spot, and I think folding will clearly be a mistake.)

Shoving ?

We could shove. Issue is: if V is honest as stated above, he has a hand he is ready to play. Will he fold? I'd put too much emphasis on our FE, except if he is on the bottom of his betting range (like or ).
Yet we still have some equity when called (but marginal equity, eh). And also block many great turned flush which will never fold like .
Good thing is we clearly establish our profile. Because when we fold on such board, we kinda open the possibility that V could bet profitability against HU with ATC, which we really don't want.
But we will loose fairly often.

Calling?

Problem with calling is that we don't realize anything. Calling is turning KK into a bluff catcher - which requires V to be able to bluff catch. As stated, it's not so sure...
Also he is on a draw or a marginal strong made hand (like bottom 2P), he set the price for the river and maybe allows to go check-check on river, which is even better to realize his equity.

Also if V1 is bluffing and H calls turn, V1 won't pay any \$ on river. If V1 is value-betting turn and then river, we will "have to" call and pay him off. Lose-lose situation?

Last issue: the donkbet of V1 leverage our stack for a river bet we will "have to" call.
This is even "worst" because of V2: We also have to note that V2 could shove over the top after our call, forcing us to complete over his shove. And he could do it rather loosely. Which means it gives us even better odds to call down, despite the little equity we have.

The only moment I could see call being a reasonable move is if V1 is a LAG/maniac, then KK is way too strong to fold. Or if stack are still extremely deep, as there will be a lot of room to maneuver on river (yet, I might prefer raising turn even more)

• Red Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭
Red wrote: »
I hate folding, but ... hmmm... at low stakes, I think I can find an exploitative fold. "Don't pay them off" is the first command to learn at low stakes.

(Note: at higher stakes this is a way more difficult spot, and I think folding will clearly be a mistake.)

@Red What is the thought behind Not paying them off in Low stakes as first command? I do this sometime in low-stakes and avoid bluff catching hands, Just that , I see people do this mostly with strong hands and very less bluffers at this spot.
• Posts: 2,716 -
Red is referring to Miller's mantra (I think it's actually the 2nd commandment) "don't pay them off." Chapter 2 from "The Course." Specifically, because low-limit players underbluff, we can exploit them by folding to their big bets.
Moderation In Moderation
• Red Chipper Posts: 2,160 ✭✭✭✭
edited August 5
@AceBala : @TheGameKat answered it. I'd add that it can also be bet against the dynamic (like donkbet, or a raise when the board favors your range the most).

I'd say: "Don't pay them off" is the most important command to stop losing at low stakes. Play ABC Poker and don't pay Villains off and you're already a winning 1/2\$ player.

Then expand your 3bet range*, start studying board texture and how ranges hit them, and learn some basic autoprofit spot and you can crush 1/2\$. Boring but easy.
All of these are subjects of different books... and Pro RCP Videos cover them all as well.

EDIT:
*for 3bet, a fun exercice, if you're ready to invest some buy-ins to practice and train, is to only play by 3betting preflop. Never call preflop, always 3bet or fold. Advise: Think then ahead on different hands and scenarii you can face: don't just start 3betting to see, be prepared before hand with some off-table range studies.
• Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,200 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 5
You need to call here with your Kings holding the Kh for several reasons.

It's all very well to heed folk wisdom which has truth in it, but with this price and all the QxXh available trying to get thin value from you, it's too tight to fold.

As covered above, you must acknowledge price. I am told that you can make thin folds like this on late streets to exploit your opponents, but that is a partial fallacy because when you fold the winner at a good price, the EV loss is far more substantial on the river than earlier in the hand when the pot is small.

You also have one of your best hands here, as you may not play sets this way. This means you are folding everything and your effort to be exploitative is trending toward the reverse of your intention. Blocking the flush is often what decides these things, but here the price is so good I'm not sure it even matters.

Then there is the hand reading. One thing is that he is not incentivized to bluff, but as stated above, you are beating his best merges - some of his value in other words. The flip side of him not being incentivized to bluff is the incentive to get thin value when he believes he is ahead of you and losing to the all in player. Now it may be the case that he is wrong overall, but it is a big assumption to state he knows how strong you are.

Now the flip side of folding to the pool is another low-stakes truism - Random Donk Factor. Players often don't know why they are betting, and folding too much now is punished rather than rewarded.

Lastly, and most important, is that if you use folk wisdom to fold your range on the river, you never really learn to play well. Sometimes you are just supposed to call, raise, whatever, even if the pool is telling you no. Now I may be wrong here in this spot, but this is so important that it overrides everything. You just don't fulfill your potential if your strategy is all player pool based.
• Red Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭
Red wrote: »
@AceBala : @TheGameKat answered it. I'd add that it can also be bet against the dynamic (like donkbet, or a raise when the board favors your range the most).

I'd say: "Don't pay them off" is the most important command to stop losing at low stakes. Play ABC Poker and don't pay Villains off and you're already a winning 1/2\$ player.

Then expand your 3bet range*, start studying board texture and how ranges hit them, and learn some basic autoprofit spot and you can crush 1/2\$. Boring but easy.
All of these are subjects of different books... and Pro RCP Videos cover them all as well.

EDIT:
*for 3bet, a fun exercice, if you're ready to invest some buy-ins to practice and train, is to only play by 3betting preflop. Never call preflop, always 3bet or fold. Advise: Think then ahead on different hands and scenarii you can face: don't just start 3betting to see, be prepared before hand with some off-table range studies.

Awesome! Thanks @TheGameKat and @Red going to check out the RCP videos
• RCP Coach Posts: 859 ✭✭✭✭
@UnoMas777 most times you are going to have to call here largely recognizing that if this Villain largely had it, he would most likely bet you for the rest of your money. His bet is actually small relative to the pot and usually is indicative of a hand that is trying to get a cheaper showdown.

You holding the Kh discounts many flushes that beat you and you still beat a lot of his Qx that could be trying to price his own bet which you beat.
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