A little help needed :)

    • JonKirk
      JonKirk
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.12.2006 Posts: 19
      I have played ~3500 raked hands and my bankroll have grown to 150$ so I moved up to NL $25. I made the move just now.
      I'm not completely comfortable with the amount of money I'm playing for, but I guess that's part of moving up a step. It's getting better though.
      Anyway, I sat down at a table and won a hand, so my stack had grown to 13.25$, which is part of the reason I'm a bit uncomfortable. I don't like the risk of having to put my entire stack in if i get a big hand, so I tend to play rather tight.
      The next hand I got was this:

      Party Poker
      No Limit Holdem Ring game
      Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
      9 players
      Converter

      Stack sizes:
      UTG: $4.35
      UTG+1: $16.90
      MP1: $9.62
      MP2: $19.15
      MP3: $4.90
      CO: $26.90
      Button: $20.25
      Hero: $13.15
      BB: $7.53

      Pre-flop: (9 players) Hero is SB with 2 4
      UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, MP1 calls, 4 folds, Hero calls, BB checks.

      Flop: A A 9 ($1, 4 players)
      Hero checks, BB checks, UTG+1 checks, MP1 checks.

      Turn: 6 ($1, 4 players)
      Hero checks, BB checks, UTG+1 checks, MP1 bets $0.25, Hero calls, 2 folds.

      River: Q ($1.5, 2 players)
      Hero bets $2, MP1 calls.

      Results:
      Final pot: $5.5
      Hero shows 2c 4c
      MP1 doesn't show 7h 9h

      I had no idea if my opponents were tight or loose or whatever, so the way they played this hand didnt really give me any help.

      First of all I don't know if i played it right. I think I probably should have folded when MP1 betted on the turn, but the bet was so small that it seemed reasonable to call it.
      When the turn came and completed my flush i still wasnt sure if i should bet or just check to see what MP1 would do, but I came to the conclusion that my flush was good enough to beat him.
      I have a hard time assessing my hands strenght, in particular when I got a flush with low kickers like this one.

      Any pointers on this hand?
  • 4 replies
    • howard182
      howard182
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.10.2006 Posts: 416
      (I'm responding mainly as an exercise for myself, do pay more attention to what the real experts say.)

      I'm having trouble reconciling your statement that you play tight after a win inflates your stack (and are presumably only sticking around to get a full orbit for your blinds) with playing 42s from the SB with two limpers. You're getting about 5.5:1 immediate odds which is not nearly enough for a frequently dominated suited one gap hand (furthermore, out of position) and your implied odds aren't spectacular either. The difficulty you found in playing this hand should tell you that it was only going to be trouble, and the right time to fold was preflop.

      After it's been checked around on the flop and turn, I think at this limit you can usually say that nobody hit the flop in any big way or that you're drawing dead. The minbet doesn't change this without knowing the villain in question. It can mean that the turn helped him, that he wants a cheap shot at the pot, or that he's got trips or better and is desperate for a little action but doesn't want to scare people. Calling is marginal and you should be worried about a higher flush or a full house if there's a call behind you. Unless you tend to throw money away with busted draws and when you hit but are obviously beaten, this isn't a leak you need to worry about.

      I don't like leading the river without a strong read, a worse hand doesn't call you often and being raised would be an unpleasant conclusion to the hand. I check and call anything up to a slight overbet, you're ahead often enough for this to be +EV I think.

      With reads the hand changes but it's still a fold preflop.
    • JonKirk
      JonKirk
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.12.2006 Posts: 19
      "The difficulty you found in playing this hand should tell you that it was only going to be trouble, and the right time to fold was preflop."

      That's pretty much the conclusion I came to, and it's pretty much the conclusion I come to everytime I play weak hands like that, it doesnt happen that often though.
      The .15$ call to see the flop seemed like a fair price, and I actually tend to do that when I'm in the SB, if I have a half-decent hand. If I limp in from the SB and I hit nothing on the flop I usually don't have a hard time folding my crap hands, but when I get to the turn for free and realize that I get to see the river very cheap, and that the river might actually improve my hand, I have a hard time folding to a bet like that. Had he bet .5$ or more I'm pretty sure I would have folded the hand instantly.
      My thoughts on his hands were that he hit a low pair on the turn or a hearts flush draw, so it really seemed reasonable to call the .25$ bet he made. My bet on the river seemed right since i had to put him on a low pair or a busted hearts flush draw, which I would have beaten in either case when the river completed my flush. The size of my bet was mainly due to the fact that I wasn't looking for a call, so if I made a rather sizeable bet, I figured he would fold.

      My final conclusion would be that I caught myself playing a weak hand at a limit which I wasn't comfortable with yet. and that can't possibly be good.

      Anyway, I played on for an hour or so and ended up with a profit of ~15 dollars, and realised that people aren't playing much different from the way NL $10 is played. I just couldn't believe that people still throw away their money when the pots are 4-5 times bigger than a normal NL $10 pot.

      Besides putting myself in an uncomfortable position in this hand it was a pretty good experience to play at that limit.

      "I'm having trouble reconciling your statement that you play tight after a win inflates your stack (and are presumably only sticking around to get a full orbit for your blinds) with playing 42s from the SB with two limpers."

      A bad choice of words from my part, so please disregard that. When my stack has grown and it's time to leave I stick around for a while and play a few more hands than usual. If I get to see a flop and I hit a made hand, I tend to underplay it until im totally confident that I have the biggest hand, if I'm not sure that I have the absolute best hand I'd rather check/fold it. Of course it doesn't pay off in the same way it would have if I raised after the flop, and went all in on the turn, but it prevents me from losing my entire stack. Furthermore it gives the other players the impression that I'm not always betting my very strong hands, which would make it harder to read me. That's my personal thoughts on that, and I'm sure some of the real experts would disagree, and I'm more than happy to listen to their input.

      I'm still very much a poker newbie, so my playing style is probably far from coherent, which is why I'm asking for some input.
      ---

      On a side note, and not really something to do with this hand:

      The SSS have been working out great for me, but if I play at the same table for a period of a 100 hands or so, it's getting very hard to get anyone to call me, since they have seen that during the 100 hands, I have been involved in maybe 5 pots and in all of the 5 pots I have had very strong cards, like AA, KK AK, AQ or similar. Not according to the SSS I experimented with playing a few more hands, limping in with AXs, just to give them the impression that I don't play very strong hands exclusively. Overall it seemed to have payed off, since its much easier fo them to call me when my opponents think I play all sorts of hands
    • Alaton
      Alaton
      Black
      Joined: 21.02.2006 Posts: 1,472
      Hi =)

      First of all, I'm glad to hear things work good and your bankroll is growing.
      I know the Problem of scared money as you move up in limits, but I got used to it, just give yourself more time!
      It helps to use BigBlinds and not Dollars when looking at your bankroll!

      To the hand:
      First of all: You played it pretty well postflop!
      Preflop of course if you are not familiar with the limit etc you should definitely fold 24s.
      (When you get more experienced, and feel comfortable at the limit you play, 24s is a playable hand.)
      Flop check around is easy.

      On the turn he bets, making it only 0,25$ to call for you to play for a 1,25$ pot.
      You get (0,25$/1,25$) 1:5 on your money, thats pretty exactly the odds you need for a flushdraw. (not counting in any money you could win on the river).
      So the call is good here!
      (Against a bet of 0,50$ you get (0,5$/1,5$) 1:3 on your money, you could call here if you feel getting more then 1$ out of your opponent on the river!)

      On the River you are pretty sure you are ahead, you got a flush and nobody has shown much strength on previous streets.
      As you pointed out, you put him on a low pair which is a good assumption, since any Ace would have given more Action at least on the Turn, since he would have to protect against 2 possible flushdraws!
      A check would pretty sure lead to a check behind of your opponent in this case. A flush is definitely too strong to let the river go check-check.
      As a conlusion, betting out is fine.
      Your betsize is interesting, you overbet the pot here.
      This makes your bet look like a bluff, and a lowpair has to call only very few times to make the overbet profitable. In your case he did, which was a very good result!
      A disadvantage of this overbet however is: You lose more money against a possible fullhouse or higher flush, as you should definitely fold against a reraise here!
      Alltogether I like how you played the hand!


      One more Comment to the SSS:
      You overrate much of your opponents on the low limits when you give them credit of noticing your tight-play after 100 hands.
      Many of them play their game, ignoring the other players.
      As a result I would strongly recommend not to vary too much with the SSS, if you want to play other hands you should give the BSS a try (on NL5$ with 5$ of course, which is a shortstack on NL25$).

      I hope I could help you and don't hesitate to ask if anything is unclear!

      Good luck at the tables!
    • DevilishShe
      DevilishShe
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.11.2008 Posts: 66
      [quote][i]
      On a side note, and not really something to do with this hand:

      The SSS have been working out great for me, but if I play at the same table for a period of a 100 hands or so, it's getting very hard to get anyone to call me, since they have seen that during the 100 hands, I have been involved in maybe 5 pots and in all of the 5 pots I have had very strong cards, like AA, KK AK, AQ or similar. Not according to the SSS I experimented with playing a few more hands, limping in with AXs, just to give them the impression that I don't play very strong hands exclusively. Overall it seemed to have payed off, since its much easier fo them to call me when my opponents think I play all sorts of hands[/quote]Hi! (I know you are semi-pro by now, but I decided to reply for other newbies with the same problem)
      I am a newby myself and experience quite similar situations when i double-up. There are some pointers in the strategy that I decided to follow: if I double up I wait the end of the round before I leave, but I pllay only QQ+, the position is gettin more and more unpleasant and I am afraid to lose the stack, so the lack of agresivnes on any lower pair would be noticed and costly. (would not limp that hand u showed though, but good play on your part)

      another thing: I know everybody is saying that players on lower limits do not notice that we (SSS) are so tight... I agree with you that it is hard to get some action sometimes. SO I RECOMEND: that u include some stealing into your SHC, I think limping will not help as much as RAISING some more hands (if u limp, that does not extend your raising range, so they will not enter in the game when you raise, but if you raise some semi-good hands from the button, you can get the blinds and some more action on your next good hand, do not overdo it though) also try to find a looser table (bigger average pot)!

      I hope my experience helps!
      good luck