Bad Beat Post

To supplement yesterday’s So Tilting moment, another sort of “bad beat” that irks me is when you make a good play that’s going to work against your primary target and then it turns out someone who will generally be a non-factor in the hand caught some unlikely hand and jacks up your plans. Example from a $5/$10 game playing very deep:

I limp TT UTG+1. CO limps behind, SB makes it $75, BB calls, I call, CO calls. Flop 7s 5d 4d. SB checks, BB checks, I bet $200 into $300, everyone calls. I’m pretty confident at this point that SB has an overpair, which more likely than not at this point is better than mine, and the other two are either drawing or have a made hand no stronger than one pair (or both, of course).

Turn Kh. SB bets $500 into $1100, BB folds, I make it $1800 with about $4000 behind, CO instantly shoves his whole stack in which is about $1500, the other two fold. He was so confident getting it in that I thought maybe my read was off and he’d slowplayed a set or straight but nope he flipped over K7. If CO isn’t randomly improved by a turn card that the vast majority of the time does nothing for anyone, then I’m pretty sure I get SB off of the winner right then and there. This is sort of the cash game equivalent of finding a great cold 4-bet spot in a tournament just to have the BB wake up with AA.

21 thoughts on “Bad Beat Post

  1. Hi Andrew,

    I’m interested in knowing the reasoning behind limping with TT. For me, the cut off is 99 (limp early, might raise in late position if no one has opened the action), but i always open raise with TT. thoughts?

    • Reasonable questions. I don’t want to get into too many of the specifics, but I’ll say that if you prefer limping with 99 and raising with JJ, then the difference between limping vs raising with TT can’t be very big. And if you think about the reasons why you prefer limping with 99, you might imagine how under certain game conditions you might prefer limping TT as well.

  2. tl;dr
    Early pos pf limp with entire range is often fine in this type of game.
    – full ring live
    – often (mass) multi way
    – infrequent 3betting
    – villain play sub-optimal speculative ranges pf
    – villain make spewy plays post and are generally unbalanced
    If these conditions aren’t met changing back to standard open range EP.

    We limp because preflop edge is very thin multiway, we realize a bigger edge playing a solid range that flops hard dominating villain with poor pf range.
    I think we should balance and limp our entire range (AA-) avoiding an easily exploitable combination split in our preflop range (raise/*limp*/fold). Also if 95% of the action is SRP’s then limping AA and KK gives us a superior chance of playing 3bet+ pot as opposed to RFI

    Leading the flop is fine, we should be leading a lot of strong stuff on the flop.
    From a cold equity perspective (we have pair and not combo draw) this is near the bottom of our range. We are 4 handed and very easily squashed so be very comfortable folding to action
    IMO most of our eV comes from the flop folds and checkdowns. We can make some thin value bets n stuff HU on 5th etc.
    Our leading range is protected the times we have sets and big equity.
    I guess the bottom of our range is suited Ax with a pair.

    The turn seems a huge spew, we are near the bottom of our range and the pot is deep.
    The K is not bad for our range.
    Our sets are robust and we have KQs, KJs which lead OTF

    Given it’s 4way and we lead into the pfr OTF, our range is strong. It seems highly unlikely villain is trying to take it away and merge-bluff you off. Although some of these live villain are capable of it, he closed action on the flop, we expect villain to be x-raising 2p+ some percentage of the time, so continuing should be better than folding here.
    We need to be cautious, there will be many villain this turn is a snap fold.
    This line is often a value town at the high levels, as it mimics fishy merges.

    Floating turn, probably folding river.
    Go in to the tank for 10 years and stare him down.

  3. if i could edit that, i would change
    The turn seems a huge spew, we are near the bottom of our range and the STACKS are deep.

      • I guess I’m confused as to you trying to bluff in this exact spot. What do you think his donk range is and how much of that is going to fold to your effective jam? Sure, you don’t expect him to show up with many hands with a King in it but I’m kind of at a loss as to what one pair or worse hands villain would lead with.

        Show me the light, Andrew!

        • This is in the OP: “I’m pretty confident at this point that SB has an overpair, which more likely than not at this point is better than mine.”

          I think the confusion is related to your referring to my “effective jam”. When I make it 1800 here, I still have 4000 behind and the SB covers me. I think it’s awfully tough for him to continue with AA. I don’t really care what the other two do because I am ahead of both of their ranges anyway, just sucked that one of them found a way to turn two-pair.

      • What do you assume villains x/c, l/f range to be?

        avoiding long winded eV calc…
        betting 1800 to win 3400 villain needs to fold ~53% of the time (ignoring our bink eV when he calls or is actually behind and calls)

        I don’t see many villain folding that frequently.

        • I think his range is 88 – AA, weighted towards the bigger pairs. I’d be surprised if he’s ready to stack off with anything but KK. We’re talking about committing another 530 BBs to the pot, and I really don’t see how he could have anything stronger than one pair except for exactly KK.

            • I doubt he raises pre-flop with any hand that makes a set or 2p on this board, and if he does I doubt even more seriously that he’d play them this way on the flop.

            • Oh also doubtful he stacks off with 54 on the turn, though that’s really beside the point.

  4. A definition of a bad beat is one in which you played correctly but lost to an inferior hand that sucked out. You limping TT in EP smells of bad play to me; you let crap hands like the CO’s to see a cheap flop. Same with the spewy turn raise. I.e., this ain’t a bad beat, it’s just bad play. At least in my humble opinion.

    I’d love to hear Nate review this hand on the podcast.

    • I’m deliberately using the term in an unconventional way. As you say, a “bad beat” would ordinarily refer to a hand where you have a chance of winning once the money goes in (which doesn’t necessarily mean you played correctly) but you lose to an unlucky card. In this case I made a bluff that I believe had a high chance of succeeding but I ran into an unlikely hand.

      I don’t think you can say that the pre-flop play is bad without knowing my reasons for it. In any event, the difference in Expected Value between limping and raising is going to be a matter of a few pennies. PokerSnowie says $.26 for limping and $.31 for a pot-sized raise to $35.

      Why do you think the turn is a spew?

    • The OP did have “bad beat” in quotes, and gave the unconventional definition. The hand as played certainly fit the definition provided by AB in the post.

  5. The only practical problem I see is that bad beat tilts(irks) you.
    Whenever tilt arises the experiencer of the incident and the actual incident have not separate individuality.
    If tilt and experiencer are made of the same sh.t – you do not have chance to recognize ,de-label or transmute energy associated with bad beat.
    You can only self reflect after the fact.

    • Agreed. I didn’t lose my mind over this or anything, but I certainly wish to become more indifferent to this sort of low-probability outcome.

      • Wow this might go down as your most misunderstood/misread post ever Andrew (FWIW, I misread the SB as over-shoving the first time as well). To be honest seeing your last two posts about tilting makes me feel a little better about myself. You guys talk so much about the Angelo Zen approach and not letting things get under your skin. I try to do this when playing too, but lets just say that as of now I haven’t mastered it (although I’m getting better). But hearing that things do sometimes get on your nerves makes you seem a bit more human and makes me feel less bad about sometimes tilting.

  6. Let’s assume that the SB is bet-folding the turn here (trying to set the price for a draw or pot-controlling a medium-strength made hand, planning to fold to a raise). That makes your bluff-raise profitable HULTA, but not with the CO behind you. Your raise bloats the pot to ~$2,900 and the CO has ~$1,500 behind (0.52 SPR). Even though you and the SB were very deep to begin the hand, you may have been so focused on your primary target that you failed to properly evaluate the CO. The CO is not “generally a non-factor in the hand”; in this case, I would say that he is the most important factor. Did you look left before you bluff-raised the turn? Was his shove a total surprise? Yes, it’s annoying that he “caught some unlikely hand”, but your raise helped him play correctly. I disagree with your analogy about finding a great cold 4-bet tournament spot and having the BB wake up with AA: that’s just variance. Here, I think we have an ill-considered bluff from MP into a protected multi-way pot.

    • Thanks for the post, Rux. I’m not sure I know what you mean when you say “your raise helped him play correctly.” I think he would have put his money in whether I raised or not when he has this hand.

      What range do you put CO on for calling the flop? With what range do you think he would call the turn? Without having actually written out the ranges myself, I’d expect him to have a hand better than mine about 5% of the time on the turn (which, by the way, is approximately the odds of someone picking up a cold 5-betting hand preflop). If he calls the turn raise more often than that, I think it’s with hands like 76 that perhaps are not making a mistake to call but against which I am also not making a mistake to raise.

      Was his shove a total surprise? No, I’d say it was a 95% surprise. 😉

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