Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12/9 Hands: Missing AQ

Ok, two more hands from the other night, both AQ, both early position. I feel like this is one of my leaks, and I've posted about it a long time ago. The fact of the matter is that it is just a crappy situation, and there isn't much you can do.

1. I get AQ of hearts in early-mid position after a limper and I raise it. The old guy to my left pretty much beats me to the pot with his call; I couldn't tell if he was planning to raise, or what. My read on him at this point was that he was relatively tight, but he dusted off $100 when he sat down, rebought, and then managed to quadruple up with AA when he had $40 or so left).

Anyway, a few more callers, and there are maybe 4-5 of us to the flop. The flop is something like T 8 3 rainbow with one heart. It checks to me, I bet out (hey, I've got overs and a backdoor flush draw!). Only the old guy calls and he has position on me. Blank turn (in the 4-5ish range, not a heart) and I fire again, hoping he releases third or fourth pair. He calls, so I shut it down on the end and check when another blank comes. He bets, but now I'm in a tight spot -- essentially, I could have induced a bluff, so I decide a call is necessary. Granted, the old guy doesn't seem like a huge bluffer, but I pretty much giftwrapped the bluff for him. So I call and he has a set of threes. Oops.

So, what's the plan there? I think I should have shut it down on the turn, hope he checked behind me (since the table is pretty passive, and he wasn't excessively aggressive). I often find myself making that turn bluff because many people will call a flop bet but not a turn. But I don't think it is EV, because I feel I've been called many times in the past. And if I'm going to call the river bet, should I lead out? Probably not, since the value of checking is catching bluffs. Hmmm...

2. This was an oddball hand which I should have taken more time to think while I was in it. One guy posted in late position. I was in very early position with AQo and raised. Old guy to my left folds, and youngish hotshot to his left three-bets. This guy was clearly experienced, got bent out of shape earlier when a guy made a horrible call and hit runner runner, but was playing rather tight. Folded around to me, and I just called, although I briefly considered putting in the extra bet, since he could be isolating me in position with the poster's dead money in there. But I didn't.

Flop was all tiny cards. I checked, he checked. Turn was a blank; check-check. River was another blank; check-check. He told me ace-high was good, I flipped my AQ, and took the pot.

I feel like I had some options. Pre-flop, four betting would let me take control, but I would have lost a bunch if he had a large pair or AK and an ace flopped. On the flop, I think the check was deserved, and betting the turn might have been a good idea. But I'm beating all hands but AK, and he'd bet any hand that beat me on the flop. On the river, I suspected I had the best hand, and was prepared to call a bet, but it seemed pointless to lead out.


Thuan said...

Both these hands are examples where I think you can try bluffing more. If you haven't been called down on a bluff to this point, it's an inexpensive way to advertise esp. if people haven't been paying you off.

1) This depends on your read of the guy. If he's tight enough that you don't think he'd cold call PF w/J9, 79 (Too many players at GC do though), then you have to bet the flop and turn. You can bluff the river, more to advertise that you're aggressive. IMO, checking for bluff catching is really an advanced no-limit move here. I think if he's as tight as you hint, then he has at least AT.

2) Here, if you don't cap PF, then you have to bet(bluff) the turn after check-check. He would've bet the flop w/AK or middle pair. You might get him to lay down AK.

Sean said...

1) I'm a bit confused about the first thing "if he's tight enough that he wouldn't cold call J9 or 97 then you have to bet the flop and turn". Wait? Did you get that reversed? Seems like if he has a draw I should be betting... And if he has 66 or some crappy pair, I should bet to get him off his hand. In other words, unless I have a read that he is tight (which I realized later in the night, but not at that time) I should be betting it down either way.

That brings up showing my bluffs -- for whatever reason, I hate to show my bluffs. I guess that comes from no-limit, when I like my image to be super tight (which is probably a mistake there too). So betting on the end with the AK, folding if he raises (but showing it anyway) would get me action later.

2) You're right, I wimped out on the turn, clear and simple. I figured he knew my hand (AQ or AK) but he didn't necessarily. After I checked the turn, THEN he knew I had AQ, AJ, AK, etc.

I think he made a mistake on the flop not betting (a big one). I would have called the flop, then checked and folded the turn. On the turn, he'll either have AK or AQ, an unpaired hand I can beat (his most likely holding), maybe a small pair, or a monster like a set. Against that range, I have to bet, either for value or to bluff out AK.

Great points.

Thuan said...

Yeah... maybe i had too many double negatives in my first point. But yes, you got my point. You have to bet the flop because he's tight. But you have to give up (at least on the river) if you think his range of cold PF calls DOES NOT include j9, etc... bc he has at least a pair. You have to continue to push on the turn and river if you think he's on a draw.

The problem w/being ultra-tight at limit is that (unlike in nolimit) it is highly unlikely that you will win a big pot on a bluff, so I think it will be more profitable for you to get people pay you off on your good hands. You don't have to go overboard w/this. I would say running a bluff sometime between 30-60 minutes after sitting down is ideal. In any case, in your hand (2), you have to bet that turn every single time bc a fair percentage of the time, you have the best hand.