Friday, April 16, 2010

Play Along #1: Jacks Facing a River Bet (tournament)

I hope to make this a recurring type of post (I shamelessly stole the idea from The Poker Meister). I'll reveal results (or in the case of multi-step hands, the result of each action) in the comments.

This was in a $50 single table tournament a few weeks ago. I'm generally seen as a pretty tight and solid player, and this was early in the tournament. Overall, the table had been playing pretty loosely (4-5 players to most unraised flops, maybe half the hands raised pre-flop).

I'm CO - 1 with JJ and the blinds are 100/200. I raise to 550, CO calls, Button calls, everyone else folds. CO is somewhat loose preflop to limps, but not as loose to raises, and he usually shows up with a hand when he gets all-in. Not extremely aggressive, but he has bluffed in the past. Button is quite loose pre-flop, will call raises with a lot of hands, likes action, and is not afraid of betting. He believes I'm a strong player but is not afraid to bet into me (or bet in general).

Flop comes 6h6d3d, pot is about 2.1K, I bet 1.2K. CO calls quickly, button calls pretty quickly. At this point, I haven't put them on any specific hand, but both of their calls mean they have something. At this point, I have about 5K left and the pot is about 5.5K.

Turn is 3h. I think for a while, then check, CO checks, and button checks quickly behind. River is 2c. I think again for a while, assuming I have the best hand, but decide not to bet it. I feel that both the other players have draws or a weaker pair, and I think it is possible I'll get a free showdown. CO checks, but then the button bets 3K rather quickly.  He has me covered by 2-3K, I would have 2K left if I called and lost (we started with 5K).

What should I do?


The Poker Meister said...

First: CO+1 = BTN. What you mean (I think) is CO-1 or high jack or 2 off the button.

Having CO + BTN flat your raise really sucks. It puts you in the worst position with the bottom of premium pairs. However, the flop is as good as you can hope for with Jacks; paired board + 2 undercards. If CO/BTN flopped a boat / trips, so be it; sucks. However, I'm believing I'm still ahead; I have to believe that QQ+ is 3betting you and / or raising the flop. So you get flats from your 1.2K flop bet... IMO too small of a bet for a 2 diamond, 2 straight drawing flop. I would have been more comfortable with a 1.5 - 1.75K lead. Either way, you're drawing even against 5h4h, and have good equity against 2 hearts / 54o. With 2 flatters, you have to assume *AT LEAST* one of the villains is on a draw - if not both. With the turn being a pretty good 3, it makes it really unlikely that either of them hold a 3 or a 6. I'm not sure why you check the turn in that spot. I think you're FAR ahead here. You gave them a free peek at the river, which lets 54 get there. By my calcs, BTN bets 3K into a 5.7K pot - little less than half pot. I'm going to assume CO is not coming over the top and is planning a check / fold.

Therefore, I think I make the call. If I'm wrong, I'm still left with 10BBs, which sucks, but I think I'm correct in making this call more than 33% of the time, which is the odds you're getting to make the call. I think villain shows up with a busted flush draw / mid pairs / 33 66 A. You pretty much shut down after the flop. You rep a missed hand, which is how I'd imagine the BTN views you.

Sean said...

I was initially prepared to call a raise on the river, possibly even all-in, since I essentially induced a bluff by checking the flop and turn. The CO scared me because he usually doesn't call there without a pretty solid hand. I thought it was very likely the button would check behind (and not call a bet since I could have an ace on the end and it was likely he couldn't beat that).

His bet messed me up though, especially when I thought about what he could have called me with. The OE straight came in, although the flush draw missed. Also, 10BB was way lower than I wanted to be at that time.

I ended up folding after I realized that the obvious straight came in. Only later did I realize that he could have been bluffing a flush draw (which I thought about) OR he could be value betting a mid pair like TT. I think it was a definite call, but the real issue is that I played the hand weakly on the turn leaving an opening for a bluff.

The CO folded and admitted he had a flush draw but I never found out what the button had.