I’m really impressed with the comments on What’s Your Play? TPTK Facing Strange Line. More than a few of you have gotten to the heart of a tricky situation in a more succinct way than I’m about to do.
In my eyes, the flop check-raise polarizes Villain’s range to the point where AK becomes a bluff-catcher. I didn’t expect to see worse Kx or pocket pairs raising. Villain won’t be ahead with these hands when called (he can beat some hands but is behind my range; Kx may be ahead if I fold and UTG3 calls, but it won’t be a huge favorite and that’s a somewhat rare outcome), and he’d be better served by using hands with less showdown value for his bluffs, as he has plenty of them.
The turn and river don’t do much to change this dynamic. Both players have busted flush draws in their ranges, some of which will contain the 9s, and neither is likely to have 99. Villain has more 9s combos, but this is because he also has more busted flush draw combos. Chris Clough explains this nicely:
Brian Rast may not have the knack for self-promotion that some of the biggest names in the industry do, but he’s been quietly winning at the highest stakes, in a variety of formats, for years. In this interview, he talks about discovering Macau, the social dynamic of nosebleed live games, and how he balances his work and family life. Oh and that call against Phil Laak.
This one comes from a $10-$25 game against a very tough and creative opponent. We’ve played together a few times in Maryland, Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh, and if I recall correctly he once told me that he learned a lot from my Poker Savvy Plus videos, though he’s now a crusher in his own right. I believe he’s an occasional podcast listener and blog reader as well. He’s got a well-deserved reputation for being fearless and he loves putting people to the test and running “sick” bluffs, though he’s also smart enough to use that image to get paid on big hands. I recently and wisely seat-changed from his immediate right to his immediate left.
I start the hand with about $4000, Villain bought in for like $30K and covers the table by a lot.
I raise to $50 UTG with As Kh (been experimenting with min-raising my whole range pre-flop), a good player UTG3 calls, a weaker player in the CO calls, and Villain calls from the BB.
Flop ($225) Ks 4s 4d. Villain checks, I bet $100, UTG3 calls, CO folds, and Villain check-raises to $400. I think a bit and call, UTG3 folds.
Turn ($1025) 9c. Villain checks, I check.
River ($1025) 9d. Villain checks, Hero?
Hello dear readers! I’m writing today to ask for thoughts and advice. I want to go abroad next month to play the WCOOP, and I’m thinking of going somewhere other than Canada. Nico and his flatmate Soeren have actually invited me to stay with them in London, and as much as that sounds fun (and free), I don’t think WCOOP is the best time to do it. I have little confidence in my ability to shift on to a nocturnal schedule, and the tournaments simply start too late in the day for me in any European time zone. Not to mention that the temptation to hang out with them might lead to my not playing my best. When I go for a series like this, I really aim just to immerse myself in poker and have very little in the way of distraction or temptation around.
In past years I’ve traveled to Montreal and really enjoyed that, but this year I’ll be flying to San Francisco after the series is over, so I’m tempted to take advantage of the opportunity to go somewhere new, possibly in Mexico or South America. I’d be very appreciative for any suggestions for specific places I should consider. Things I’m looking for:
1. Extremely reliable internet connection. Having 24-hour internet cafe(s) available as a back-up is nice as well (this came up once in Montreal).
Tony “Bond18″ Dunst, host of the World Poker Tour’s Raw Deal, joins the Thinking Poker Podcast to talk about wearing suits, interacting with fans, and treating poker like a job.
You all are really getting the hang of this! I’m impressed by how many of you began your analysis of What’s Your Plan? Good Draw, Lots of Interest with a consideration of what you would do with a set here. Speaking of which, a few people questioned whether I’d limp 77 here, and the answer is yes, though I don’t really want to get into why just now.
It’s also worth thinking about why you would or wouldn’t raise a set in this spot. If you believe that raising and then bombing turn and river to get stacks in would drive everyone out way too often, then that might be a reason to slowplay a set, but it’s also a reason to take that line as a bluff. You’ve identified an exploitable tendency, so throw balance to the wind and exploit it!
Likewise, if you’d raise a set because you think, like Stuart, that “dude seems pretty oi with us” (ie “over it”, and presumably willing to stack off much too loosely), then raise the sets but not the really nutty draws (raising a weaker draw could still be correct though).
The Balanced Play
Edit: Sorry, typo in the original post. The SB completed pre-flop, he did not fold, which is how he was able to bet the flop.
This is from a $5/$10 NLHE live game. Opponents are some combination of intimidated by and annoyed with Hero, who has won a lot of good-sized pots recently without showdown. Effective stacks are around $1500.
SB and BB are both recreational players, mostly just trying to make big hands and then make sure they win the pot.
MP identifies as a pro but seems a little spazzy/tilty. Still, he’s got a clue and doesn’t like playing big pots without big hands. I’ve seen him limp stuff like offsuit broadway hands that a lot of people would raise. There was recently a pot where he raised in MP, I called with K9s on the BN and raised him on a T86 flop. A 7 on the turn went check check, I called a bet on the river and she showed 97s for a flopped straight and was pretty annoyed when I claimed half the pot with my three-outer.
UTG1 limps, MP limps, HJ limps, I limp 65o in the CO, the SB
folds, completes, and the BB checks. FWIW I was pretty sure the BN wouldn’t get involved as much as he should and would limp a lot more than he would raise, but I’m still not at all certain that limping this is a good idea.