What’s Your Play? Flush With Redraw

Edit: Fixed pot size on turn.

Playing $5/$10 No-Limit at Maryland Live, a game that does not participate in the Bad Beat Jackpot and other promotions. I don’t have a lot of experience with either Villain, but there’s a good chance they know who I am (a lot of people at MDL, many of whom I’ve never spoken to, have turned out to be familiar with the podcast, blog, or Twitter account). At the very least, I expect they perceive me as a smart player who won’t take anything off of the table in terms of bluffs, hero calls, thin value, etc.

UTG1 is a pro who plays mostly 5/10, don’t think I’ve ever seen him at 10/25. MP is a recreational player about whom I don’t know much.

I’m going to skip straight to the major decision in the hand, because I don’t think the others are terribly interesting, but feel free to ask in the comments if other actions surprise you.

Hero ($2000) opens to $35 UTG with 9d 8d. UTG1 ($3500) calls. Two players fold, and then MP ($1800) calls. Everyone else folds.

Flop ($120 in pot) 7d 6d 3d. Hero bets $80, both call.

Turn ($360 in pot) 3c. Hero bets $220, UTG1 folds, MP raises to $625, Hero?

Post your thoughts here. I’ll do my best to respond throughout the week, and will post my own thoughts as well as results on Friday.

26 thoughts on “What’s Your Play? Flush With Redraw

  1. MP could have easily called preflop with 6s or 7s. Call on the flop with a set makes sense, hoping to pair the board. A stronger player raises the flop with a set and a flush on the board, a weaker player just calls. If he has a boat, I’m not sure why he raises the turn. Excitement over the big hand? What is his range? 33, 66,77, AdXd, AdQx-Ad10x, over pairs 8s-10s, 4x5x, Eww, just saw 4d5d. Hard to put him on two of the remaining 8 diamonds, but not out of the realm of possibility. Is he betting the scare card? A call makes the pot +1700 and he’ll have 1k behind. I don’t think I want to play a 4k pot with a small flush on a paired board vs aggression. Fold.

  2. I am the first to admit that I do not play at this level. But, looking at ‘first principles’, I’d say the following.

    – If Hero calls, then Villain will have less than a pot-size bet left (as Shanno mentions, Villain’s remaining stack is around 60% of the pot).
    – For Hero to call, its $425.00 into a pot of around $1,300.00., or around 3 to 1.
    – Its a truism, but IMO a call is only justified if (1) We consider we’re ahead now or (2) We can take away the hand on the river.
    – To raise all-in now means Villain has to call $1,000.00 approx into a pot of about $1,700.00, or odds of 1.7 to 1.
    – Only two river cards improve our hand, while many may improve Villain’s hand.
    – As Shanno says, there is a risk of playing a large pot ON THE TURN with minimal prospect of improvement against a hand that is either ahead already, or may overtake us on the river (holding Ad or 3x).
    – I think Hero has to find a fold. If there was a more detailed read of Villain’s temperament, an all-in raise may have some merit, but I don’t think it succeeds often enough to be justified, when the cost is considered.

    • Thanks, smurf. I’m not clear on what you mean by “a call is only justified if… We can take away the hand on the river.”

      • I didn’t phrase that well. What I meant is that a call is only justified if (1) We are ahead now or, if we consider we are behind, (2) We can get villain to fold on the river (since the chance of us improving on the river is so comparatively small).

        • That’s true, although it’s not an either/or. It might be that there are certain river cards where we could profitably turn our hand into a bluff, and that this could help to offset the risk that we don’t have the best hand (or won’t on some rivers).

          I also think it’s a purely academic point, in this case. I can’t envision any scenario where it would make sense to call turn and then bluff river with this hand.

  3. Thoughts on MP’s range: has most-to-all of the 13 combinations of boats/quads (77,66,33) here. I would think that this deep, you’d see a lot calling on the flop with sets, because raising seems like a slight overplay with two opponents (though UTG1 is pretty unlikely to have a flush on the flop, I’d think). The straight flush is also possible for MP; even tho I think it’d be a good raise on the flop, I’d think a lot of recreational players would slow-play the nuts in position. I think MP is unlikely to raise a paired board with the bare ace of diamonds, especially because that hand was an even better bluff on the flop. He would have to be pretty terrible to show up here with an over-pair (and would have three-bet some of them pre-flop: certainly QQ+, maybe JJ depending on the player). There are no flushes you’re beating that I’d expect to see from him. This is also not the top of hero’s range: hero has the boats/quads in his range too, I’d think (maybe not 33? not sure how you play that pre-flop), as well as some nut flushes (at least AK and AQd), and after betting the flop, getting called in two spots on this board, and then betting the turn, I wouldn’t figure hero for many overpairs here either. Don’t think I would be opening any combos of 45 either, so that’s irrelevant. All told, I would think against a recreational player this is definitely a fold: it’s a sizable raise in a big pot on a scary board and you’re not at the top of your range, your 1-2 outs are not much of a discount on the call (5%, say), and you’re likely to face a shove on the river. Against a real tough opponent, maybe there are more bluffs here, but the 3 really militates against him bluffing with the Ad for me. If you had a guarantee not to face any further bets, I think this would be a call against a tough opponent and perhaps against a rec too, but the last $1000 is going in very often on the river.

  4. Andrew:
    As others have stated villain’s range on the turn – includes boats, flopped straight, 1 combo each of straight flush and quads
    Your hand looks a lot like an overpair, so a straight could raise here too. Its hard to flop a flush, so i can see him raising a straight.

    Equity – Against 6 combos of boats 4%, Against 3 combos of 45s you are 100% , 1 combo of 4d5d you are 2%, 1 combo of 33 you are 2%. I would also throw in 1 combo of 45o that he overcalls with pre, against which you are 100%. So you are pretty much dead against 8 combos (boats, sf, quads) and 100% against 4 combos (straights). So, 2/3s of time you are dead and 1/3rd 100% – so you have about 33% equity overall and may be a bit more if you throw in more combos of 45o and finetune the math.. so lets just say 33% – 35%

    You are definitely getting immediate pot odds (2.77:1, or just need 26.5%) to CALL. Now, there is certainly the question of what happens on the river.

    Given its a rec, My reco is call the turn and c/f river when you miss . The times he has a straight, i expect rec villains to checkback river most of the time.

    • On further thought, V could have 3x4d. Those hands could justify a call on flop and raise on turn (45s is more likely to raise flop)
      There are only 2 combos of those and you are 77% against those. Against remaining 8 combos you are like say 3% approx. so overall equity is 15% .. so fold

  5. My main thought is that because villain was closing the action on the flop, if he had a hand that he thought was ahead but was afraid of a 4th flush card (which depending on the villain might mean a set, a straight, a king-high flush, pocket 10s, etc.), he would have likely raised it then. Given that he didn’t raise the flop and did raise the turn makes me feel like he either improved or decided to bluff. If he improved, he has at least a full house, and it’s unlikely we could get him off of it even with a shove, so I see no purpose in raising. To me, the decision is between folding now, calling now and check-calling the river, or calling now and folding the river. My instinct says fold now, but I’m happy to be convinced of either of the other choices.

    • Mark – What hands do you think “improve” on the turn? If these are only sets that you are thinking of, then why wouldn’t villain raise the flop for fear of the 4th flush card – especially against two opponents where either of them could have a high-diamond on their hand very easily?

      • Not saying I would or would not expect Villain to raise sets on flop, but the answer to your question is “for fear of raising into a flush.”

  6. Interesting spot. The potsize on the turn seem slightly off. If you bet 80 into 120 on the flop and get two callers there should be $360 in the pot not $280. In any case, this deep on a monotone flop I don’t think I’m betting overpairs on the turn much for value into two players. So value range on the turn is flushes, fullhouses and balancing in bluffs with some AdX Kdx type hands.

    It’s definitely a very strong line from the villain but I just can’t bring myself to fold turn here I don’t think. He’s going to be peeling the flop with a lot of overpairs, high cards with a big diamond etc. I admit that you don’t see people bluffing in this spot a ton, but our hand is strong enough and he gets to the turn with enough hands that could plausibly bluff that I’m inclined to call. I’d plan on calling the turn with all of my flushes and full houses and folding all of the bluffs.

    On the river I think he needs his jam to work like 45% of the time to be profitable so in a vacuum we need to be defending a little over half of our hands to a shove. I don’t think we need to be perfectly balanced here against a rec player who probably isn’t likely to be balanced themselves but seems at least worth keeping in mind and would be good to have some hands that could call turn but fold river. I don’t feel super great about my options but I feel like calling on the river with sevens full, sixes full, quad threes (although I personally would fold 33 UTG) and my nut flushes and folding the rest of my flushes like KQdd, QJdd, J10dd, and the hand we have. So I guess my sort of reluctant answer is call turn raise and fold to river jam. Obviously if we make the straight flush or he bets much smaller on the river than I’m calling.

    • Thanks for the comment, and for catching the pot size error. I’m fixing it now. I like my bet size a lot more when it’s roughly half pot than when it’s closer to full pot!

  7. If he is raising boats and all flushes, this is an easy fold. We have many better flushes and enough full houses to defend with. And also AA with a redraw, kk with a redraw. AA with a redraw is much beteer than 78dd since we have the same number of outs to improve again his boats and a lot more outs to improve against his k high flush.

    If he is only raising nut flushes and boats..then we should defend with boats and flushes with a redraw and better full house draws. Advantage of better full house draws is we boat up on a card that is not a 4th diamond thereby guaranteeing a double up against his nut flushes. So KK with a diamond is probably better than 78dd.

    • Nice comment, thanks! I don’t think I’d advocate playing AA or KK with a diamond this way, though. Probably want to check either flop or turn.

  8. my initial thoughts are:

    1) most “ok-to-pretty-good” poker players aren’t raising in this spot with 3x or a straight. only donkeys or total sickos are going to be raising worse for value. and the type of donkey that raises for value with worse here has generally given themselves away by their play already, so without that specific read i’m going to discount that player type a lot.

    so…

    2) can villain have a semi-bluff? if villain is reasonably tight pre then he can only have naked A :d: draws on this board (because there are no suited combos of A :d: that also have trips, a pair, or a gutter). but if villain has random non-suited aces he CAN have combo draws here. i think that’s significant, and i’m much more inclined to continue against a villain that i think has small offsuit Aces in his preflop range than one that doesn’t.

    3) i’m not overly enamored with the straight flush outs. they come in 2 out of 46 times, so they shift the outcome of the hand < 5%. that's not insignificant in a close decision, but it's also still 21% of the time to make $$$ by calling.

    4) with that said, other good things can happen if you call the turn. namely, villain can check thru hands you beat and give up on his bluffs. the breakeven on the call on the turn is ~26%. so if you get there 5% he only needs to have a worse value hand (mostly straights) or a bluff he gives up with >21% of the time to make $$$ by calling.

    i thought i was going to advocate folding to the turn raise, but i think i’ve talked myself into a call now.

  9. I think a couple things are important here:

    1) we have a 9 high flush on a board where we can see the 7 and the 6 of the flush suit, after opening UTG.

    2) 5/10+ generally plays quite deep live, so I’d venture to guess Andrew opens every combo of 77/66/33 here, and possibly every combo of Axdd.

    3) I don’t think we have enough information on Villain to say anything definitive about what he has, or what he thinks of us.

    All of this said, I think we’re actually not that high in our range. We have a lot of better flushes, and possibly every boat/quads combo. And while it’s certainly possible V could bluff, I actually think it’s somewhat difficult to find likely bluffing hands as well. The most likely candidates seem to be single diamond offsuit combos, which V will have less of than he might otherwise if he is positionally aware (although he is a recreational player with whom we have little experience, so this assumption is perhaps hard to justify).

    Ultimately I think I find a bit of an annoying fold here. We have plenty of better hands to call with and you could even argue that our own AdX barreling combos would be better hands to call with than this one (since they have more equity vs the top of his range). I also don’t think we’re betting much thinner than this for value on the turn, so I’m really not concerned about being taken advantage of by bluffs.

  10. This hand just seems to me to come down to the whether you think Villain will bet anything but full-houses/ quads on the river. If you think he will just recklessly bluff the river (is he drinking) and/or bet flushes like (KQ, J10,Ax) then I would fold. If not I would call and check/fold river. His raise size on the turn seems more bluffy then value because you will have less then a pot size bet left on river (1250 or so left with the pot like 1600 if you call turn). I’d be curious to know if he counted your chips before raising turn. Your hand looks super strong when you call turn. To me this seems like a spot that a lot of rec players will bluff thinking that you can only call with the nuts and then give up a lot on the river. If he is betting (semi bluffing) with the Ad he only makes a flush that doesn’t give you a str8 flush like 12% of the time on the river, plus if he is semi-bluffing with Ad it makes your hand look even stronger when you call. For what it is worth I would discount a lot of KQdd, J10dd, k10dd, hands because he didn’t raise flop.
    Anyways this is spot where I think I could be super wrong so I can’t wait to see the results.

    And I want to say thanks for doing these hand histories because I think there is a lot of value in posting responses (even when they are wrong) because it forces us to take a stand. It is just to easy when you read advice on the internet to say “Ya that’s what I would do” without being forced to decide before you know the answer.

    • Even if you knew Villain had Ad3x, it’s not at all obvious to me that shoving is better than calling. He’s drawing to 5 outs, so you wouldn’t need him to bluff river much to make up for the equity that you lose by letting him see river.

      • Thanks for the response Andrew! I guess that why I still play my small stakes 🙂
        Sometimes I get stuck in that mentality of making someone “pay” for their slim draw. I didn’t consider my equity when called, just the fact that I was ahead vs that hand. I dunno if the V bluffs at all after I call the raise (in the game I play) and if not calling feels to me like I let him freeroll me in position. Anyway, thanks again for a thought provoking hand!

  11. such a painful spot. i hate that this is probably a fold. results andrew? i hope you didn’t fold and i hope he had Ad3x. not sure what jsfdahoho’s problem is. keep putting out great content andrew, i really appreciate all you guys do. will donate $20 to the BADL soon.

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