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Best of ... Sample Hands - Part II (Short handed/6max)

    • Stefan1000
      Joined: 24.01.2006 Posts: 1,649
      ******* Hand 1 ********

      Party Poker
      Limit Holdem Ring game
      Limit: $0.5/$ 1
      4 players

      Pre-flop: (4 players) Hero is BB with T 4
      UTG calls, Button folds, SB calls, Hero checks.

      Flop: 4 K 4 (3SB, 3 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets, UTG raises, SB calls, Hero calls.

      Turn: 5 (4.5BB, 3 players)
      SB checks, Hero checks, UTG bets, SB folds, Hero raises, UTG calls.

      River: 4 (8.5BB, 2 players)
      Hero bets, UTG raises, Hero 3-bets, UTG calls.

      Final pot: 14.5BB

      Hero is in the BB with T4. After UTG limps and SB completes, we check with our weak hand and happily hit trips in 4's on the flop. SB checks to us and we bet the flop. Why do we bet on this board and not check to induce bluff bets from UTG?

        - Unless the opposition has a K, they have little chance for improvement since the K is the 2nd highest card.
        - Many opponents will call marginal made ahdns on the flop that they would have fold against a turn bet.
        - On unconnected and rainbow boards, the flopbet, as opposed to a c/r, will often be interpreted as a bluff and we will underrepresent our hand, thereby giving away as little as possible and getting more action from worse hands on later streets.

      So we bet the flop and are raised by UTG.

      We now have 2 options:

      a) 3bet Flop, bet Turn
      b) call Flop, c/r Turn

      Against unknown opponents, line b) is the better of the two.

      There are opponents against which line a) is better, but I will go into that later.

      Normally, we would play 3 bet oop and bet turn, but why is it better to call the flop raise and then raise the turn for this particular hand?

        - The board is unconnected and rainbow so the probability is very high that the opposition has a made hand and will bet the turn again.

        - A bluff or pocket will fold immediately to the 3 bet. But the chances are greater with a call that they will bet the turn again and we'll get one extra BB.

        - Should UTG have a K, then his limp probably indicates a weak kicker, so he will go immediately to a calldown when faced with a 3 bet. This would lose us one SB in comparison to raising the turn, getting 2BB instead of 1 from the K.

        - We don't have to protect since draws are not possible and freecards (should he play cb on the turn) can hardly hurt us since the opposition has at most 2 outs if we are ahead.

      The reasons are simply that we can scarcely be overtaken and a freecard won't hurt us. Since he raised on this board, the opposition will almost always have a made hand from which we can extract more value when we defer the initiative with our flop call than if we play 3 bet flop, bet turn.

      Now I would like to return to the exceptions mentioned above, where 3 bet flop/bet turn is the better line.

      Against opponents with a high WTS and aggression (LAGs/maniacs), we will hit their weak spots better if we 3 bet the flop and then lead on the turn.

      - The opposition will often bluff raise on the flop with ace high and will often calldown with ace high after a 3 bet on the flop, whereas he would have folded to a turn raise. +1BB

      - The opposition fundamentally overplayed his hand and we should therefore seize the initiative on the turn with a 3 bet on the flop, since the opposition will often raise again and we can 3 bet. This is often the case with maniacs who will also cap their ace high through; against such opponents we will get the most value with 3 bet flop, bet flop, bet river.

      - According to his high WTS, the opposition will call down many more marginal made hands (pockets, for example) against 3 bet flop, bet turn, bet river where he would have folded to a c/r on the turn.

      ******* Hand 2&3 ********

      Recorded and converted with Texas Grab'em.

      Preflop: Hero is BU with K:spade: , Q:spade:
      MP2 folds, MP3 calls, CO calls, Hero raises, SB folds, BB calls, MP3 calls, CO calls.

      Flop: (8,50 SB) A:heart: , 9:spade: , 7:spade: (4 players)
      BB bets, MP3 calls, CO calls, Hero ....

      BB = a very aggressive LAG with a tendency toward mania
      MP3 & CO = Calling stations with somewhat high WTS (38-40)

      BB is a very aggressive LAG and we have a read on him; he often donks strong made hands on the flop in such situations.

      We raise KQs after 2 limpers from the button. BB calls and the 2 limpers follow to see the flop. On the flop we hit the second nut flush draw in a 4 handed pot. BB bets once on the flop, MP3 calls as does CO. We now have the choice between:

      a) call Flop
      b) raise Flop

      If we base our decision purely on equity, we must conlcude that with ~35% equity we should cap the flop for value and take a freecard on the turn, if it is to be had.

      However from a strategic perspective, might it not be better just to call the flop even if we could raise for value against 3 people?

      Of course, we cannot look at our equity on the flop in a vacuum, so we must consider the strategic perspective and think through different scenarios in our head to get us to the river.

      The goal is not to get the most value on the flop but rather to get the most value overall up to the river.

      The basic questions we must ask ourselves in this situation are:

      a) Is it possible that I can win the hand without a showdown by playing my draw aggressively?

      b) How great is the risk that I will isolate myself against a made hand by raising and running into a 3 bet from BB?

      The threat of isolation is mostly dependent on the following factors:

        i) Aggression of the flop better
        ii) WTS and basic game behavior of MP3 and CO
        iii) Probability that MP3 and CO coldcall 2SB after a 3 bet from BB. See ii)
        iiii) Board structure (connected?/suited? Highcards on the board => potential outs for the opposition)

        c) How great is the probability that BB will bet again on the turn?

        d) How great is the probability that MP3 and VO call a turn bet/cold call 2SB on the flop?

        e) Do I need to protect my outs on a pair since I could be reverse dominated?

        f) How are my implied odds for a call on the flop? For raise flop?

      We will now justify answers for the questions and draw a conlcusion

      a) The chance to win the hand without a showdown is minimal. There is an ace on the board and the flop bet from BB alone signals that BB will usually want to go to the showdown, with 2 additional callers to boot. Surely one of them has a made hand, giving us almost no fold equity for winning the hand UI without a showdown.

      b) The danger of isolation is very high here, since the donk could easily be a value play. Furthermore, BB overplays a lot of hands and will 3 bet with one pair, ace, and sometimes even with draws.

      c) The probability of a new bet on the turn is very high because of BB's aggressive nature.

      d) It is difficult to estimate this probability, but when both opponents call an ace board with few opportunities for improvement unless one has a draw or an ace, it is relatively likely that at least one of the two (MP3 and CO), will stick around for the turn. Of course, somebody might also be calling with a pair on his 5 outs and the other has a gutshot, leading both of them to fold on the turn.

      Since both opponents are not too set on a showdown and many such opponents will take a look at the turn for 1SB with marginal made hands/draws but fold to a 3bet on the flop, it is probable that at least one of MP3 or CO will fold and that not both of them will call the 2 SB cold.

      e) We don't have to protect our outs on K and Q since if anybody has an A, K or Q will not make our hand a winner.

      f) Our implied odds are larger if we call the flop. Since BB will probably bet the turn again and we will definitely be a foursome on th turn, we can raise 3 people in the best case or even 3 bet if somebody has improved to 2 pair or straight on the turn. We can use our advantage of position to the utmost and the weakness signalled by our call will increase the aggression of the opposition on the turn.

      Essential reasons:

      - Advantage of position
      - Underrepresenting our hand
      - Isolation not possible

      If we now base our considerations on the answers to these questions, we will conclude that for this particular hand with this opposition, it is better to call the flop and raise the turn should we improve or call again.

      Summary of arguments for the call and against the flop raise

      - We will seldom win UI without a showdown
      - The danger of isolation is great
      - We don't need to protect our outs on K and Q
      - Our implied odds are better
      - On the basis of their WTS and game behavior, the opposition is not so bad that we can be sure they will call 2SB cold against a 3 bet from BB

      The call on the flop is really only for this special case. If you don't have any reads on your opposition, raise flop is better.

      If the board had a different structure, a raise flop would also have been better. Let us consider another board structure and note the differences that lead to a raise instead of a call on the flop:

      Preflop: Hero is BU with K , Q
      MP2 folds, MP3 calls, CO calls, Hero raises, SB folds, BB calls, MP3 calls, CO calls.

      Flop: (8,50 SB) 8 , 9 , 7 (4 players)
      BB bets, MP3 calls, CO calls, Hero ....

      From this board and action the raise is clear directly on the flop.

      The differences between the previous hand:

      We have 15 outs (less discounted), making us almost even money so that an isolation would not hurt us. BB will box outs for us for free in the case of a 3 bet, should MP3 or CO fold hands like Q7/Q8/K7/K8. The danger of isolation is also smaller, since the board structure yields more potential outs for the opposition (overcards/straight draws), making the opposition much more prepared to call 2SB cold after a 3 bet from BB. Another reason is that we can bring a better hand to folding by playing cap flop and bet if BB isolates us with a 3 bet, thus winning the pot UI.

      And now I'm finally finished and eagerly await your responses.
  • 2 replies