How much do I love top pair vs. the wrong villain?

MattPMattP Red Chipper Posts: 98 ✭✭
edited August 2017 in General Concepts
Playing in a $1/$3 NLHE home game.

Villain 1 a LAG regular who is often drunk, unpredictable, and prone to huge swings in the game. I've seen him drop 3k in a night, or build a 2k stack quickly, or both in the same night. Will play almost any two cards; loves to gamble, bluff. But that said, often has a knack for reading his opponents for weakness or strength.

Villain 2 is new to me, has been pretty quiet and seems to be a solid, tight player.

I've been pretty card dead, but won a few big pots in recent orbits... so I imagine my table image is relatively TAG. I'm up on the night at the moment...

Starting the hand, I have about $350. Villains both have me covered.

I have :As :Qh in middle position. I call a $10 straddle by Villain 1. Villain 2 calls. Villain 1 raises his straddle $30, making it $40 total. I call. Villain 2 also calls, which makes me feel a lot worse about my AQ — I called out of my belief that Villain 1 might play a huge range of hands like this, but the other guy calling seems like bad news.

Pot is $120. Flop: :Qc :6c :3s. Villain 1 bets $35. I raise to $100. Villain 2 calls. Uh oh. Villain 1 folds. I expected the opposite: a grudging fold by Villain 2 and a call by super-LAG villain 1. So my bet backfired and instead of isolating the loose, wild guy, I'm in a big pot against a seemingly solid, thoughtful player.

Pot is now $355. Turn: :5h . I have about $210 left.

Now what?


  • MattPMattP Red Chipper Posts: 98 ✭✭
    Whoops — just realized I posted this in the wrong forum. Meant to put this in "Live Poker Hands"

    [Not sure if there's a Mod who can move it?]
  • NinjahNinjah Red Chipper Posts: 1,107 ✭✭✭✭
    Raise the straddle preflop. You have a premium hand. Calling gives greater odds to people behind you to call as well. You should want to isolate the loose straddle in position. As played, I'd jam turn. Villain 2 would likely jam a set on the flop since you didn't show strength pre (meaning you don't have QQ here) which means his most likely hands are draws and top pairs, causing the turn to be a blank.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 1,828 ✭✭✭✭
    @MattP : @Ninjah said a lot of good things.

    I only can add:
    - Flatting AQ pre is horrible. You want to raise here both for isolation (avoiding a MW where you miss very often and/or not sure what you hit it good enough) and value (making worst hand pay).

    - I don't understand why you would raise here? a) For isolation? But then why didn't you raise preflop? b) For value? But then aren't you afraid that they will get off the hook (think about range v. range on this flop: how do all ranges connect here) ?
    Then you've to see the impact of your bet sizing here. Your bet sizing opens a shove on the turn; do we want that ? What happen if a :CLUB: , a 6, a 3 or a K comes, do we shove ourselves or check-call a shove? Or what if it's a Q (yes, got top trips, but except if V has a Q we won't get paid anymore).
    You've to plan your turn actions BEFORE and think about their implication on your flop play and bet sizing
  • MattPMattP Red Chipper Posts: 98 ✭✭
    Thanks guys... Definitely a hand I felt I played poorly, so I appreciate the feedback.

    Agreed that in retrospect a preflop raise may have been better.

    @Red As to your question about why I raised the flop. To be honest, I was overlooking Villain 2 because he hadn't been in many pots and focused a bit too much on Villain 1. My thinking on the raise was that it would get him out and let me focus on LAG Villain 1. My experience with him is that he'll chase almost any draw and hates to fold. I thought he'd call the raise and build the pot. He routinely makes bad odds decisions. His range is so wide that I felt way ahead of it, but a good chance he would call anyway, at least on the flop. Obviously I was wrong this time and got the opposite result.

    I'm confused why calling would be a better move here — wouldn't that give V2 great odds to call and give V1 a cheap look at the turn? Doesn't that make my top pair at even greater risk?
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 1,828 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017
    The main problem for me is not the action per se but what you represent by raising. And the story you're telling by limp pre and raise flop.
    What are you limping preflop but then you smash the board that you want to raise? 33, 66, and that's it I guess (only bad V limp AQ :) ).

    Now I understand the problem of the underbet, which is ugly because it allow draws to see a card for cheap which we don't like with TPTK - even if we are greatly ahead here.

    But the problem is the story we are telling is a narrow value range (wouldn't you just call with 54s, Ac4c or QTo ? ) as very few hands limp pre and raise flop.

    For that, maybe I prefer to just call: when Villain call a raise, their wide limp-open flop range turn really narrow and be strongly ahead of us (weird 2P, sets), slightly behind (5c4c, AcXc, 54) or, for very few combos, crushed (KQ, QJ, other QX).
    Also by raising we are going to play for stacks - see @Austin reply - as there will be less that a pot left to play on Turn. (A situation I really dislike in limped pot as there is always too much uncertainty.)

    MattP wrote: »
    I'm confused why calling would be a better move here — wouldn't that give V2 great odds to call and give V1 a cheap look at the turn? Doesn't that make my top pair at even greater risk?

    In general, I would raise. If someone opens pre, we call IP, and he under C-bet, I will usually raise (often it means a medium-ish hands, sometimes a monster; just have to pay attention to Villain betting pattern).

    But here it's a limped pot. I think I'd prefer to "pot control": only call to avoid playing for stacks.

    Yeah, it's a waste of a great hand, but that the price for butchering your preflop play imho :)
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 1,828 ✭✭✭✭
    My 2nd biggest pot won ever - 1,2K in a 1/3$ - started in a limped pot where I was BB with Q2o. Flop was QQT.
    Villain (UTG+2) lost all his 600 stack with QJo because I hit my boat on turn. He lost all his stack because he didn't open pre

    You don't want to be cooled like this Villain just because you didn't open preflop :)

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