two pair all-in

czingrczingr Red Chipper Posts: 9 ✭✭
Dear Red Chip Forum,

I have a hand from online microstake (5NLHE) 6-max that I would be happy to share and get some comments on.

So I am BB (100BB stack) with :Qc:Jd
UTG folds
MP (1 50BB) opens to 3BB
CO, BTN and SB folds.
I cold call making the pot 6BB and the SPR 15.

Flop comes :Jc:Tc:6h
I bet 2/3 pot (4BB) and MP calls.

Turn is :Qs
I make two pair and bet a cautious half pot (8BB), MP makes a pot-sized (37BB) raise. I reraise to 67BB, he comes over all-in (putting in his remaining stack of 105BB).
I call.

The river is the :5c
MP shows :Ad:Kh and I lose a 210BB pot to his straight.

Villain played this hand very nicely, since his flop call had very good implied odds given the stack depth. I tried thinking through this hand with Equilab, building some ranges for Villain and I see that probably the big river reraise implied a two pair or better hand (if he had been trying to bluff me he probably wouldn't have cold called my flop bet) BUT HOW ON EARTH ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO FOLD TWO PAIR?? :) I know this is a very amateur way of thinking but would still be very happy to have your thought on this.

Thanks,
Kristóf

Comments

  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,492 ✭✭✭✭✭
    czingr wrote: »
    BUT HOW ON EARTH ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO FOLD TWO PAIR?? :)
    Villain is screaming "I've the nuts !". Very surely a straight, at worst a set. In any situation, your 2P are worth nothing against what he represents. Calling his raise with 2P is a bad mistake; re-shoving is a blunder.

    "Don't pay them off" is the first principle to learn and apply to stop losing at micro / low stakes.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,382 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know this is a very amateur way of thinking but would still be very happy to have your thought on this
    So let's walk through this hand and look at it from a different perspective.
    MP (1 50BB) opens to 3BB
    CO, BTN and SB folds.
    I cold call making the pot 6BB and the SPR 15.
    First thing is to be sensitive to two very influential factors in poker games: sizing and rake. Against a 2.5x or smaller open, QJo becomes a call. At 3x, it trends toward a fold. This is because of the weakness of the hand, but also the rake, which punishes the capped range of the OOP caller. Basically, it's one thing to defend the BB, but in reality you are defending vs the opener and the game. So this hand should mostly not happen past the fold button.
    Flop comes :Jc:Tc:6h
    I bet 2/3 pot (4BB) and MP calls.
    This bet not only loses EV compared to checking on the flop, it is part of what set up this disaster. Your range is at an equity disadvantage, which is one of the primary factors that determines bets and their sizings. You can quickly deduce this because your opponent has all the overpairs, and in fact more sets than you, because you'll be three betting some of them. Even if you insisted on betting some jacks, you'd want to choose ones that dominate, and are not dominated. Further, you will suffer from being out of position very directly - when bad cards fall, you'll either have trouble value betting or be resigned to call down bluffs versus the still uncapped range of the opener.
    I make two pair and bet a cautious half pot (8BB), MP makes a pot-sized (37BB) raise. I reraise to 67BB, he comes over all-in (putting in his remaining stack of 105BB).
    Yes you make two pair, but whose range has improved on this turn? Since you rarely have AK or QQ, you have less incentive than you think to offer a price on the pot. On flop and turn, you are really doing is simply playing the absolute value of your hand - that is the amateur way of thinking you mention, one that is costing you money in all sorts of spots, I'd guess. More importantly, it isn't just that you lose to nut hands: by turning your hand into something of a bluff here, and saying "I don't care that the other player can have QQQ or AK here" you may force hands that QJ beats, like AJ or A10 to fold. Thus your strategy continues to lose EV in multiple directions. Imagine this hand played out hundreds of times, and you not only lose here, you lose value in every other scenario.
    Villain played this hand very nicely, since his flop call had very good implied odds given the stack depth.
    He really didn't do anything but let you make mistakes. In fact, he might have forced you to play the turn perfectly by generating too much fold equity on his card; perhaps not as he can use this card to bluff. Either way, this is a good lesson from him.
    BUT HOW ON EARTH ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO FOLD TWO PAIR??
    And so we come to your big question - but you see, that was never the question you needed to address to fix your game, but all these decision points we just went through. Getting to showdown with QJ was the best thing you did - you simply chose the most expensive way to do it. Sorting all these errors out of your game is the origin of a sustainable win rate.
  • czingrczingr Red Chipper Posts: 9 ✭✭
    Dear persuadeo,
    thanks for putting all this energy into commenting on my hand. I really appreciate it. It is a little disheartening to see how far off I am still of making good plays even at microstake. I mean I have spent dozens of hours with Core and Splitsuits Math workbook but my winrate hasn't really improved (yet?). Guess it is just up to deciding how important poker is, how much more energy I am willing to put into it. It's just astonishing to see the magnitude of the study necessary to become a winning player. Thanks again, czingr
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,382 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It is a little disheartening to see how far off I am still of making good plays even at microstake. I mean I have spent dozens of hours with Core and Splitsuits Math workbook but my winrate hasn't really improved (yet?).

    Cz, the silver lining here is that the basics of poker, especially equities, SPR concerns, and tracking combinations, are well covered in these lessons. As you build toward a real strategy, you will find that work will ultimately pay off. GL.
  • czingrczingr Red Chipper Posts: 9 ✭✭
    Thanks :)
    One last question: how is my flop bet loosing me EV? I thought this was a good protection bet, ie. betting with a hand that has some sd value, but profits from fold equity?
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,382 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Even if you insisted on betting some jacks, you'd want to choose ones that dominate, and are not dominated. Further, you will suffer from being out of position very directly - when bad cards fall, you'll either have trouble value betting or be resigned to call down bluffs versus the still uncapped range of the opener.

    This hints at part of why, but there are many more reasons.

    Let's start with your sizing, which is, for simplicity, large. This means you have to check many other hands, and in fact your comments indicate that you would do this, because you are concerned with getting value and potential denial of equity. This creates several problems for you.

    The first is that you now weaken your checking range. If you are betting jacks, it means when you check, you'll be calling less often, and your opponents' cbets get through now and on later streets. EV lost.

    The second is that your price is inefficient. If you want value from very weak hands, now they can't call. EV lost. Related, now stronger hands and big draws call that combine to have you crushed. More EV lost.

    The third is that you are OOP, where you are less incentivized to bet value hands that may have trouble getting to showdown. If he raises at some point and you don't call, you've invested many big blinds yet never realize your actual equity. EV lost.

    That should be enough reasons, but there is a fourth which is even more important. Much of your EV will come from being able to defend against bets, calling down as a trap or bluff catcher. Now, you simply omit that whole side of the game through a misguided desire for value now and fold equity.

    There's more but that's plenty.

    Lastly, be sure you have a clear conception of EV. Betting QJ does show a profit here, but it shows less profit than checking. That's what I will mean when I say it's "losing EV" - it's always in comparison to another action, not that it necessarily is a negative value play.
  • igorzigorz Red Chipper Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Large chunk of my losses are with two-pair type hands. What's described here sounds like it will fix my leaks, however I don't understand most of the explanations 😔 Mainly due to not having a good grasp on the range v range concepts, which I'm still working on. Going to bookmark this and come back later.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 4,951 -
    "Learning to play two pairs is worth about as much as a college education, and about as costly."

    ~ Mark Twain
    Moderation In Moderation

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