How bad was my play here - Do I ship it?

Ataxia13Ataxia13 Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
Hi All,

$1-3 table. Hero has about $550, the villain is a $5-5 regular who just sat down and won a couple of hands so he has me covered.

I am in the hijack position with :Jd:9d , with the intention of making it $15 and maybe re-raising if someone loose comes in. The Villain is a TAG, who is also capable of making moves from time-to-time. Everyone folded to the villain, who is two to my right, and the Villain makes it $15, I consider a raise but elect to just call.

The BB makes it $50 and is very capable of making a squeeze play. The Villian makes the call and, again I think about raising, which would be shove, but I make the call. Thoughts on this and the previous call?

Comments

  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,396 ✭✭✭✭
    Fold to the open*.
    Fold to the squeeze. Raising will be a terrible play.

    Stop playing meh hands in meh situation, esp. against better Villain than you, and your winrate will thank you.

    * Alternatively you could 3bet too sometimes too.
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 530 ✭✭✭
    I agree with Red. Fold this hand pre. J9s is one of the worst hands I would even consider calling with here. You can get away with it if you expect to have position a ton of the time AND you don’t expect to get 3 bet from anyone yet to act.

    I wouldn’t 3 bet this hand too often pre as it’s blocker potential is less appealing than some other hands you could use as 3 bet bluffs against a V you’ve described as tight.

    However I disagree with Red as played. Take a flop with decent pot odds and position and seemingly decent effective stacks (you didn’t mention BBs). But fold would be my preferred option preflop to the initial raise.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,396 ✭✭✭✭
    However I disagree with Red as played. Take a flop with decent pot odds and position and seemingly decent effective stacks (you didn’t mention BBs). But fold would be my preferred option preflop to the initial raise.
    But what is your plan postflop with a faced-up marginal hand ?
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 530 ✭✭✭
    I disagree that our hand is face up. We are certainly capped but we still have enough playable hands in our range given that we knew we were closing action after 3 bet and would have position and thus could call with a wider range.

    Our hand is going to flop a decent draw ~18% of the time and with position and with deeper stacks, we're going to be able to peel a little more liberally than if we were OOP. And if stacks are deep with both players, we have a ton of money to potentially win.

    Plus, given how wide our range could be here given the price, we could choose to play a straight draw very aggressively as when we flop a gutter or OESD, we'll also have sets in our range that BB likely does not have (unless TT and 88 are common squeezes for this V but typically I think they would not be. And granted the other player will have these hands too.)

    And there's also some potential value in a pair if BB is squeezing with a wider range, we don't have to abandon our Jx to a single bet, especially when the EP player gets out of the way which I think he'll do at a decent frequency. We don't have a hand that wants to take multiple barrels without some type of draw to go with it but if we are dealing with a LAG in BB, our pairs will become more valuable. Lot of unknowns obv, but I don't think this is unplayable. Granted, I would still say fold pre to the initial raise!

    So if BBs stack is sufficiently deep, I think we have some playability post given the price we were being laid pre. 35 to call for a pot that is now 116. Pretty decent price with position. And we have a hand that will likely need to see all 5 cards, but if stacks are deep w/ both players, I say we take a decent price preflop and take a flop IP.
  • Ataxia13Ataxia13 Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited February 3
    Thanks for the comments. To recap I called $15 from the initial preflop raiser and I had position on him. The button squeezed for $50, the initial raiser only called. At that point I did not put the initial raiser on AA or KK and probably not QQ. Those hands should have 4-bet but some players like to get 'tricky'. I called the extra $35. The pot, pre-rake, was $151

    So on to the flop:

    The flop was :2d:7d:8s I hold :Jd:9d for a flush draw with a gutshot. The BB Squeezer checks, the initial $15 raiser bet $100, I have about $450 behind and the initial raiser has me covered. the BB has about $300.

    Fold, call, or shove?
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 530 ✭✭✭
    edited February 3
    Folding is out of the question as played. The time to fold was preflop to the initial raise. If we are going to play this hand, we now cannot be folding now. I suspect you did not really consider folding here :)

    Shoving doesn't seem sound to me for a couple reasons:

    1. We don't want BB to fold. He's never going to fold a better flush draw here whether we raise or not IMO so there's no real risk to letting him get the best price possible to continue. Essentially, we want as much money behind in case we hit on the turn.

    2. The EP player just is not bluffing here very often so I think our raise is going to generate minimal fold equity. If BB was to fold, we would have a PSB left for the turn, which seems like a better spot to shove if our opponent checks.
  • Ataxia13Ataxia13 Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited February 4
    Jordan, I agree with 1 & 2 above. I decided to call, the BB folds.

    I had already decided that if he checked the turn I would shove. The Turn was a :4c so I hold :Jd:9d on a board of :2d:7d:8s:4c
    He tanks for 10-12 seconds and shoves. I am getting roughly 2:1 to call and he has me covered.
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 530 ✭✭✭
    Just a math exercise now.
  • Ataxia13Ataxia13 Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
    Yep, the pot odds, if I need to hit a straight or a flush, is a fold. The equity calculator against his range is a call. I folded...
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 530 ✭✭✭
    What range did you give him? For you to be getting the proper price to call I think you’re probably assigning him far too many bluffs (almost all of which are ahead of you anyway!)
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭
    He's beating 65 and 109, some low diamonds, and his J or 9 can be live.

    Folding this mess now is like trying to take half a shit.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,396 ✭✭✭✭
    Ataxia13 wrote: »
    Jordan, I agree with 1 & 2 above. I decided to call, the BB folds.

    I had already decided that if he checked the turn I would shove. The Turn was a :4c so I hold :Jd:9d on a board of :2d:7d:8s:4c
    He tanks for 10-12 seconds and shoves. I am getting roughly 2:1 to call and he has me covered.

    That's exactly to avoid this crappy situation that your preflop play should be addressed.
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 530 ✭✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    He's beating 65 and 109, some low diamonds, and his J or 9 can be live.

    Folding this mess now is like trying to take half a shit.

    That’s extremely optimistic in a 3 bet pot that V has any of these hands in his range. Maybe T9. Just because a mistake was made in a preflop call doesn’t mean we have to compound it now by calling off when we’re almost always behind.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,838 -
    persuadeo wrote: »
    He's beating 65 and 109, some low diamonds, and his J or 9 can be live.

    Folding this mess now is like trying to take half a shit.

    Do you prefer shoving the turn? Cos being stuck on the loo with a puzzled look was fairly predictable with the call.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 5
    It's just such a misunderstanding of poker to think you can put in dead money on every early street and then say, "oh well you're serious? now i fold my neutral pot share and return to my winning strategy of flatting large bets then giving up until i hit."

    Obviously I'm being a little facetious - but not really. If you think you can save the mayonnaise on the turn you shouldn't be giving anyone advice. Jamming? Probably a little better than calling off, given IP should check this card sometimes so you shouldn't always have to take an action. The jam by IP is suspect and should incline him to polarization, meaning the equity of J9 here is likely higher than you think it is.

    Anyway, what really matters is that this hand revolves around fundamental understanding of prices, right at the beginning... but instead we're hearing about TAGs and moves and worst case scenarios. If you understand why that call preflop was so bad that you should probably call off now, you're ready to go somewhere in poker. If not, well, keep trying.
  • Ataxia13Ataxia13 Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
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    Jordan, These are the ranges that I put him on.

    persuadeo & Red- I realize that I screwed up this hand and that is why I am here.
    I can only assume by your comments that you feel I should fold a $15 bet in a $1-3 game with Jd9d and position on everyone. Noted.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, I don't comment much anymore but these really pivotal hands on a player's win rate catch my attention. All poker profit comes from reciprocity, aka the margin of error between players, mitigated by rake (which is relevant here since you create a postflop spot). When you call a 5x open raise - 5x! - with action behind your range has to shrink significantly, because you have created the incentive to 3b squeeze behind you. The capture of potentially dead money - starting with the blinds - is the origin of the action, and now you are pouring fire on the flame.

    It's not a question of how I feel, it's the fundamental math of the game. When you turn up with a wider range than the opener has without absolute position or at minimum being last to act, you are saying in effect, "I can make this hand work no matter what equity or EV expectation dictates because the difference between me and my opponents is massive." You are saying you can overcome the incentive to squeeze, the lower spr the open creates, and the positional disadvantage, and probably other things I am forgetting.

    That's a lot to swallow. So when an experienced player like Red doesn't like it, you should notice, because he's saying HE can't even overcome this disadvantage.

    The counter argument is obvious - that you really do have this edge. But i find this to be a consistent logical fallacy in forum posts- if you can overcome this spot, what questions do you have about it?

    Sorry to be upsetting.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,003 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 5
    I disagree that our hand is face up. We are certainly capped

    It doesn't even necessarily need to be capped, especially if tight players are raising and folding to 3-bets.

    But I like the previous sentiment, which is basically that you can't go around calling big raises with dubious hands just because you have a vaguely confident feeling you can outplay the guy. So the basic advice for the hand goes something like: unless you're intentionally getting into difficult situations just to test yourself and discover problems, then don't do it unless you already know all about it. What persuadeo is saying is that this is equivalent to a trial lawyer asking a witness a question that he doesn't already know the answer to. Everyone knows that's very risky because it could open a can of worms you might not be able to close. In your original post there's some "I considered this but elected to do that" so it makes it look like you're just making it up as you go along. Better players than us have called with worse hands than this, but they've put more thought into it than we have, away from the table.
  • Ataxia13Ataxia13 Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited February 5
    persuadeo wrote: »
    When you call a 5x open raise - 5x! - with action behind your range has to shrink significantly, because you have created the incentive to 3b squeeze behind you.

    Persuadeo, thanks. This was the kind of advice that I was looking for. An explanation of why calling was bad. I play in Albuquerque and $15 is the standard opening raise size for $1-2 and $1-3 games, and the rake plus the bad beat jackpot take can be up to $5.

    When Red said not to call $15 with a marginal hand my first thought was, "If I don't call then I will never see flops, and my range would be narrowed down to big PP, AK, AQ, and KQs." Probably not the right thought processes but that is what hit me first.

    Besides becoming a NIT, and I have done that as an experiment, how do I overcome a 5x BB standard open. I am a weekend player, and while this is a hobby I do take it very seriously and study every day (usually during boring conference calls).

    Your last comment was especially helpful. Thanks again.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,003 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 5
    Ataxia13 wrote: »
    I play in Albuquerque and $15 is the opening raise size for $1-2 and $1-3 games

    That's a good point, and this is a whole 'nother topic, in fact it could be a video or something (or maybe it already exists, hint @TheGameKat ). This is really common for the smaller stakes games, and this is "red chip" poker after all.

    Jonathan Little writes a fair amount about this in Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Cash Games. He is definitely not a fan of raising to $15, for reasons best explained in his book, but for a brief couple, he says you have more postflop advantage against weak players than preflop advantage, and also you encourage some of the players at the table to play correctly (if you raise AQ to $9 they might call with A9, but fold it to $15.)

    Also a common theme on this forum and others is not just how to play a hand, but how to evolve as a player and move up. As Little says, "What they are actually doing is playing in a blatantly straightforward manner that makes them easy to play against. This strategy may work against their worst opponents, but when they face competent competition, they get demolished." (Little, Jonathan. Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Cash Games (p. 40). Jonathan Little. Kindle Edition.)

    So the ideas can go on and on and you can make arguments both ways (is it better to get 2 callers at $9, or 1 awful player at $15? etc. etc.) But one that is undeniable and unavoidable is that it changes the math of the game. If people are making raises to 5BB normally (actually I see raises in the 7-12BB range at $1/2 games all the time!), with the same ranges and frequencies as they would normally make to 3BB in higher stakes games, then there is no getting around the fact that you are playing a much shorter stacked version of the game, and everything associated with that needs to change as well.

    In addition to lower stakes games often having shorter stacked players to begin with compared to higher stakes games, the higher raise sizes really magnify the problem. A lot of players don't top off either. It's really common at a $1/2 table with $100-300 buy in limits to see players sitting with $180 or $120 for long periods (often even less obviously). Now raise to $15 for a standard hand, and all of a sudden all the pots are 5 SPR or less. This is basically now simply short stack poker.

    While you and your opponent in this hand were relatively deep (close to 200) to start, it got shallow quick. There are always other potential stacks in the hand though, and the BB was about 100.

    So, give some thought to how these numbers play out and how and when you want the money to go in based on the strengths and weaknesses of the other players at your table. As a very rough guideline, bigger cards play better, and things like suited connectors start to play worse. Unless you were thinking flops like :QD::TD::8S: or :9S::9C::9H: happen a lot. I mean flush draw, 2 overs and a gutterball is not exactly a bad flop for your hand, so not sure what you're hoping for in a 3 SPR pot. :9S::5C::2H: ain't exactly a rock crusher either. But I think you're starting to see the problem.



  • Ataxia13Ataxia13 Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited February 5
    On average we usually have 3-4 players seeing the flop after a $15 bet. In the last session, there was a button straddle and I made it $25 in the cutoff AcKc and 5 of us saw the flop. Maybe I should have raised more.

    This is typical at a regular game in ABQ, and of course, the table changes as players come and go.

    I do like the information that Jonathan Little produces, and Ed Miller has changed how I play poker.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,396 ✭✭✭✭
    Ataxia13 wrote: »
    When Red said not to call $15 with a marginal hand my first thought was, "If I don't call then I will never see flops, and my range would be narrowed down to big PP, AK, AQ, and KQs." Probably not the right thought processes but that is what hit me first.
    Don't take me wrong, my point wasn't much about the sizing, 15$ at 1/2 is rather usual. (Yet it will / should impact your range because how it impacts the SPR tho. Or the weakness/strength of the hand. Or the risk of squeeze. Or the skills.

    It's everything together ! This situation as whole isn't great. It's not terrible, but it's not great. I see here when thinking about calling:
    - We face a better Villain, you don't have a skill edge. (I'd probably would, but not you🤓.)
    - He is opening MP and our hand is meh. You don't have a card edge. (A little balanced with the 183bb eff. stack; yet this implies you're able to take this more money when winning too.)
    - We aren't BU, so maybe we don't have position postflop. Our position edge is mitigated.
    - We don't close the action, so by calling we create incentives for others to 3bet (squeeze). Even if it's relatively rare at 1/2$-1/3$ in the USA (expect it "sometimes" at 2/5 and "regularly" at 5/10), it's not never; and since we have to fold to any raise, this uncertainty isn't great.
    - Villain tends to be aggro, so we aren't going to realize our equity cheaply. And our bluff will usually be more expensive.
    - If we call and BU and/or SB and/or BB call as well, our equity share will decrease. Plus we take the risk of being dominated more often esp. against better JX and better FD. And MW is way harder to win by bluffing.
    Ataxia13 wrote: »
    On average we usually have 3-4 players seeing the flop after a $15 bet. In the last session, there was a button straddle and I made it $25 in the cutoff AcKc and 5 of us saw the flop. Maybe I should have raised more.
    More your raise, stronger should be your range (because it lowers the SPR)

    Always plan ahead for ALL your streets before your first preflop action.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ataxia13 wrote: »
    On average we usually have 3-4 players seeing the flop after a $15 bet. In the last session, there was a button straddle and I made it $25 in the cutoff AcKc and 5 of us saw the flop. Maybe I should have raised more.

    This is typical at a regular game in ABQ, and of course, the table changes as players come and go.

    I do like the information that Jonathan Little produces, and Ed Miller has changed how I play poker.

    Right so these deviations in sizing (and thus range) are a moving target, and will lose their efficacy if not employed strategically. If the average raise size in your game is 5x, it is likely not a good idea for the simple reason everyone is doing it, but a great idea if you have a tighter range and the same people blindly call at the same frequency. You can go higher and higher if they are willing to pay the same price for a gallon of water that they pay for a gallon of milk, but if not, a more optimal sizing which works with the blinds and the spr is going to become your friend.

    Since the games in my region collapsed I've had to play a lot of 1/3 again, and opening to 10 has worked just fine for me. This size is higher than the optimal sizing of about 2.5 but works because of the tensions that create pricing, including absurdly high rake, deep stacks and endless bad calls. If I were to go to 12-15 (or even higher) the amount of dead money i put in with hands i want to open like 75, 76s, 86s, and suited aces will reduce my win rate and reduce the 3bs i want to induce.

    This last point is key for those trying to understand NL and gets lost in the effort to achieve isolation, which is a strategic goal but misunderstood. If the price an actor lays only induces the strongest 3 bets, his four bets become even stronger, and hence at bottom stake games we mainly see top 2% hands in this category. So the large opens, under the guise of achieving "isolation" end up paradoxically discouraging true isolation and provide the choke of multiway pots live poker is known for. In other words, yes there is a cultural aspect of MW pots and too much calling, but the player investing 6x in his opens is unwittingly contributing to it while at the same time complaining about it.
  • Ataxia13Ataxia13 Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited February 5
    Persuadeo, Red, Jordan, and jeffnc,

    Thank you all. Each of you has given me a lot to chew on. I am going to see what happens when I lower my opening bet size. Do 3-4 players typically see the flop or is the door regularly opened to 5-6? I think probably the latter.
    Red wrote: »

    Always plan ahead for ALL your streets before your first preflop action.

    I'm trying to plan for all streets, and so far it's kicking my butt. I have a hard time keeping up with all of the potential variables, but I'll keep trying.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,003 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 6
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Since the games in my region collapsed I've had to play a lot of 1/3 again, and opening to 10 has worked just fine for me. This size is higher than the optimal sizing of about 2.5

    Note to the room: a size such as this (2.5 or whatever) is based on poker theory and math. We are sizing in terms of big blinds, but the blinds together provide the "meat" that we're playing for - it primes the pump. Without it, there is no game.

    That's in theory. In practice, in all the 1/2 or 1/3 games I play in, you could just eliminate the blinds and it basically wouldn't change the game at all. Even if it folded around to the "blinds" (whatever that means), they would still "chop" (whatever that means.) This is nonsensical from a game theory perspective, but there you have it. It's not about game theory or patience, it's about fun, and waiting for aces with no blinds to play for isn't very fun, especially when you get no action except when someone else has aces, and then win the hand by making a 4 card flush. Without blinds they would still be raising to the same $15, and hoping to get action so that "there's a little something out there to play for now".

    Games would probably play better if everyone played $2/5 instead of $1/2 even given the same stack sizes, and still raised to the same $12-15.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,838 -
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Ataxia13 wrote: »
    I play in Albuquerque and $15 is the opening raise size for $1-2 and $1-3 games

    That's a good point, and this is a whole 'nother topic, in fact it could be a video or something (or maybe it already exists, hint @TheGameKat ). This is really common for the smaller stakes games, and this is "red chip" poker after all.


    There are 20 live cash hands in CORE L3 with detailed strategy breakdowns that discuss many of the issues brought up in this thread.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • SpaztasticSpaztastic Red Chipper Posts: 3 ✭✭
    As played preflop I like shipping on this flop. You’ll get all his Ace high/non paired holdings to fold, giving you some fold equity. That plus your equity against his calling range makes a shove the best option.
    If you’re not planning to play your strong flopped draws aggressively with a hand like J9s, you should not be playing it at all.
  • AceBalaAceBala Red Chipper Posts: 40 ✭✭
    @Ataxia13 What a great Post! I am in the same boat where $15 raises or norm and i try to isolate AQ+ and good player understands my capped range and play accordingly. It took me an hour to understand all the concepts said here.I will try to raise less and a little wider and see what happens.

    With all the Jargons here, I think I will have to read these posts one more time to understand!
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,838 -
    When decoding poker jargon, one resource that may help is the Red Chip poker glossary.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • Ataxia13Ataxia13 Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
    @AceBala the Jargon can a bit overwhelming, but you are in good hands using Red Chip Poker. I played last night and didn't notice where I had significantly more callers with a $10 vs. $12-15 opening range. Although I did reraise with AK to $35 and still had 3 callers, so I still need to figure that part out.

    @TheGameKat Thanks for the link to the glossary.

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