Did I win the maximum? Should I have been in the hand?

GlynGlyn Red Chipper Posts: 17 ✭✭
This is from a 9-handed $1/$2 NLHE live game. The SB is a 50-ish year old woman who plays passively and relatively face-up. The BB is a 40-ish year old man who has been playing ABC poker. I doubt either opponent is considering my table image, but I'm a man in my 50's.

The action:
3 players limp. I'm on the button with :Qs :6s - I limp (A). SB completes, and BB raises to $12. MP calls, I call (B), and SB calls. Pot is $52, BB has ~$100. SB has >$200. I cover. SB checks dark.

The flop is :6h :5s :9s . BB bets $16, MP folds, I call (C), SB calls. Pot is $100. SB checks dark.

The turn is :9d . BB bets $45. I start to think, and notice that SB is preparing to call (chips in hand). I call (D), SB calls. Pot is $235, BB has ~$40 behind.

The river is :2s . SB checks, BB checks, I bet $100 (E). Both opponents fold.

My decisions:
(A) I tend to play raise-or-fold pre-flop, and this hand isn't normally a raise for me at this table with three limpers; but I don't want to give up my button that easily, so I decide to limp and try to take advantage of my position later in the hand.
(B) I'm still getting 3:1 to call (4:1 if SB calls), so I stick to my plan of exploiting position post-flop.
(C) A pair and a flush draw is great, but BB's weak bet makes me think he won't call a raise that puts him all in, and SB is still to act. I'm content getting 4:1 or better on my draw for now.
(D) I think BB thinks this is a scare card and is trying to take it down but is too timid to bet more (i.e. shove). Either player might have trips now, but all of my flush outs are clean. With the certainty of SB's call, I'm getting >4:1 on my draw.
(E) Gin. I should probably stop and think harder about what bet size my opponents might call, but I just make what I think is an appropriate value bet. If SB has trips, she might look me up. BB might call off his remaining $40 getting almost 7:1 on the call. But it is not to be. Maybe $50 would have been better?

I will appreciate everyone's feedback on any of my decisions, and I welcome any hand reading analysis. Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 704 ✭✭✭
    I don't like any part of preflop

    vs the small weak looking bet and call in front of you on the flop I would raise the flop to create some fold equity to go along with your strong draw(pot equity)

    I would just jam the river as many player can't fold trips
  • GlynGlyn Red Chipper Posts: 17 ✭✭
    edited May 17
    Thank you, @kenaces!

    How would you have played pre-flop differently and why?

    Would a raise on the flop have been more profitable/exploitative against these players/stacks? Or would I have just taken the pot down right there? (BTW, there was no call in front on the flop. MP folded to me.)

    My river bet was a jam for BB, and I don't think SB would call a big bet without the ace-high flush or better. So I can't help wondering if a smaller bet would have gotten some worse hands to call...
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 17
    If your opponents are playing ABC, fit or fold poker, and especially if the pot is going to be multiway, then your cards matter. Level 5 bluffs aren't going to work, and regardless of the inherent benefit of having the button, you basically need value at this type of table (there will be exceptions where you can win pots by aggression, but you certainly don't appear to be going in that direction in this hand, at least.) Just fold preflop. Once the BB raises, you have the additional problem of possibly being dominated. You're looking at an SPR of 2 for the BB, and so it's rare that you're going to outflop him, and definitely not enough at these stack sizes to be worth the risk.

    Getting back to the potential aggression spots that can sometimes win pots without the best hand, you seem to have identified one on the flop, and yet failed to pull the trigger. This is one of the things that makes playing these hands unprofitable to begin with. Or to put it another way, there is not enough inherent value in your hand to play it without including some EV from fold equity on certain boards. If the BB's bet looked weak, you should have put him all in right now. What's the best hand he could possibly have here? AA? You're about 50% against that, so if there's any chance at all he'll fold, even if it's tiny, then clearly shoving the flop is best. :AS: :KS: ? You're better than 50% against that. If you get called by an extra player, so much the better pot-odds-wise.

    On the turn, you're just guessing that SB will call. You said it was a "certainty" that you'd be getting >4:1. You'll be getting barely the right odds to call, but it's not a certainty, and as we can see in hindsight your implied odds turned out to be 0. But worse than that, you weren't even drawing to the nuts. If you were right about the SB and she had an easy snap call decision, then there's a chance she's on a higher flush draw. Or if she's on a lower flush draw, you have fewer outs than you think and therefore 4:1 isn't good enough. Or someone could have a full house already and you're drawing dead.

    On the river, you shouldn't be thinking about the probability that your bet will get called. You should be thinking about an EV function that combines those probabilities with payoffs. For example, betting $10 might get called 90% of the time, and shoving might get called 20% of time, but it might still be better because 90% of a small number might be smaller than 20% of a bigger number. Bet the amount that maximizes your EV (in your best guess), not the chance that you'll get called.
  • William HWilliam H Red Chipper Posts: 76 ✭✭
    (A) I tend to play raise-or-fold pre-flop, and this hand isn't normally a raise for me at this table with three limpers; but I don't want to give up my button that easily, so I decide to limp and try to take advantage of my position later in the hand.

    I think I'd prefer your usual fold choice here. Limping behind like this means you'll likely be multiway so the only chance of winning will be if you smash the board (luckily you did but more often you won't) and there are some reverse implied if someone is drawing to the K or A high flush. If you had some clear ideas on how to make money post flop then perhaps I could get behind the limp but you haven't expressed them specifically based on your opponent's weakness propensities. Not wanting to give up your button in this case doesn't seem enough to me. I might defend my BU against a late position player (CU or HJ) that's stealing wide or against an earlier position LAg. Here your reasoning to defend is for the positional advantage post flop but interestingly you never really used that advantage to the extent you could have in my opinion.
    (B) I'm still getting 3:1 to call (4:1 if SB calls), so I stick to my plan of exploiting position post-flop.

    The odds are good, I'll give u that, so calling might make some sense in terms of the big exception to the betting frequency rule but this rationale falls apart if you have a high likelihood of being squeezed from someone in the blinds. Your opponents in the blinds as described didn't look prone to that but interestingly that's what happened. Once the squeeze is called by 1 other player I agree with the call given the odds and the likely call from the SB.
    (C) A pair and a flush draw is great, but BB's weak bet makes me think he won't call a raise that puts him all in, and SB is still to act. I'm content getting 4:1 or better on my draw for now.

    Currently you have middle pair so technically you have a semi-bluff hand as the SDV of your 6 is weak at best and this dynamic board is draw heavy not only to your spades but also straights. His inability to call a raise and you taking the pot down now is not such a bad outcome. Raising him to isolate him HU is also not a bad outcome. Even the SB calling for more pot odds is not a bad outcome. All outcomes are good if you raise making it the most EV+ play. Your failure to raise his fairly weak looking CBet in my opinion fails to put into use your positional advantage you had "protected your button" for pre flop. Even if you are working under the rationale that you have a monster draw (FD+pair) and you want him to call it off (which I can't see as true as that is not how you played it on the turn) one thing is certain if you don't try your chances are zero. By this I mean you pick some value targets (SD, FD, over cards) and you figure out a raise size knowing there is a certain % he can't call and you won't earn that extra money. But if you don't raise the % you don't earn that extra money is zero, at least on this street. Note that future streets are guaranteed to no one, especially on dynamic boards like this one.
    (D) I think BB thinks this is a scare card and is trying to take it down but is too timid to bet more (i.e. shove). Either player might have trips now, but all of my flush outs are clean. With the certainty of SB's call, I'm getting >4:1 on my draw.

    I think BB has an overpair. The 9 certainly has him scared that someone has moved ahead of him with trip 9s and yet he still feels compelled to bet enough to charge the draws with what I suspect is a bet-fold. A pretty good bet-fold in my opinion, but one that can be exploited mores so now than later on the river. All your outs are not clean if SB is drawing to a higher FD, in that case all the spades are dirty and you might rather hit a 6 or Q instead. Oh, and we're drawing dead if SB is slow playing pocket 5s. But if the higher FD is not something you're worried about (i.e. you're categorizing that as being too scared of monsters under the bed) then again I would say here on the turn is where you need to take your positional advantage and raise all-in. You indicate BB is too timid to do this but your call is even more weak in that it is a passive line basically requiring you to hit your gin card to win. If you raise now and he calls even if he has trip 9s you still have good equity. If you wait till the river to hit your card it's so obvious and you likely won't get paid off even with a reasonable river value bet. Your positional advantage would've allowed you to take advantage of the additional implied odds here not to mention possibly getting some better hands to fold (you are now no longer ahead equity wise against an over pair with just 1 card to come),

    (E) Gin. I should probably stop and think harder about what bet size my opponents might call, but I just make what I think is an appropriate value bet. If SB has trips, she might look me up. BB might call off his remaining $40 getting almost 7:1 on the call. But it is not to be. Maybe $50 would have been better?

    I think your $100 river value bet into $235 is a reasonable size and I don't know that you can go much lower. You're giving them 3.35:1 odds so the first caller only needs to be right 23%. If the SB calls then the BB is getting 4.35:1 and thus needs 19%. How much lower can you go if you think about balancing it out with your bluffs. Lets say the river card wasn't a spade and they both checked to you, I wouldn't like my chances of the 6 showing up with enough SDV so would likely bluff here. Given my range has a lot of bluffs with busted flush draws (and gosh darn it that's what I'm actually holding now) I'm gonna have to bet real big repping that I slow played a 9, which is a real weird line by the way that wouldn't look so believable and any reasonably thinking villain would call down reinforcing the need to have raised turn instead of now. If you think about your river bet I probably would've rather over bet the pot if stacks were deeper as this would be both more suspicious when bluffing but difficult to pay off if your opponents were elastic enough, and in situations like this one when you do have it could increase your chances of being paid off big if they know you can be so polarized. Regardless, all these arguments are really moot as BB only had $40 left. Your bet to him was $40.

    Anyway, I do think you made near the maximum in this hand but probably more due to run-good variance as opposed to the lines you took being optimal EV+.

    Just my $0.02
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 704 ✭✭✭
    Glyn wrote: »
    Thank you, @kenaces!

    How would you have played pre-flop differently and why?
    .

    fold

    I would want to know players were REALLY bad postflop and have deeper stacks to overlimp such a weak hand even on the BUT, and this is a clear fold facing the raise.
  • GlynGlyn Red Chipper Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Thank you - @kenaces @jeffnc & @William H - I appreciate the analyses. I'm taking away that I was too loose pre-flop and should have folded. Once in, I did not effectively capitalize on my position. I should have included the possibility of bigger spades in SB's range, as she would have check called with those as well (but I think she would have bet A-high flush on the river). These were not thinking players; but I could have been more thoughtful myself. Always nice to get lucky, though!

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