$1/$2 NLHE OOP with the Nuts. My River Action?

Moxie Mike

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Full table at Gun Lake Casino. Game is good, with a mix of decent players, wild LAGs, moderate TAGs, and 2 'buy-in-$100-and-promptly-lose-it-then-rebuy-for-another-$100-rinse-repeat' types that are already on their 3rd or 4th bullet.

Relevant stacks/reads:
  • Me: UTG+2 - $700ish. Read: Greatest player you've never heard of. Stay out of this guy's way :cool
  • UTG+3: $300ish - Read: Splashy preflop, likes to push the action. Talkative and friendly enough, but got visibly irritated with me on a previous hand when after he reluctantly folded to my river bet, he tabled his hand fully expecting me to reciprocate, which I did not. Pretty sticky player... part calling station part spewy LAG.
  • Button: $450ish - Read: More of a TAG than UTG+3 but definitely sticky postflop and on later streets in general. On two separate occasions I observed this player calling sizable river bets (one all in from a short stacked player) with bottom two pair on a 4-flush or 4-to-a-straight boards (one time his hand was good, the other he wasn't).
I open limp with :ac::4c:*.

UTG+3 limps, as does the button and both blinds. Pot = $10

*You can discuss my open limp here, or the decision to play the hand in this position at all if you want to, but that's not why I started this thread. I can defend my logic even if it's a little unconventional.

Flop comes :3c::6h::8c:. I lead out for $10.
UTG+3 raises to $25. Button cold calls.

I'm assuming UTG+3 flopped two pair (any combo). I can confidently rule out a set - since if he held any of the relevant pocket pairs he'd have raised pre. I'm less certain about the button, but he either has some type of 4-5 or 7-9 for a straight draw, or a smaller flush draw than I. Top pair or two pair is also a possibility.

I called the additional $15 to close the action.

The turn: :ad:.

I've improved but I'm still behind. I quickly count my outs (14) and check to the aggressor. UTG+3 bets $50, leaving himself with about $225 left. Button cold calls.

I briefly consider the merits of a raise, but then I flat call.

The river is a lovely :qc:.

I have 3 options: check, donk-bet a little, or donk-bet a lot.

Really, the decision comes down to either trying to extract a little value out of one or both of them by betting $100, or going for the higher risk play by betting more (or checking with the intention of raising) and risking them folding to my bet (or checking behind).

Thoughts?
 

Anthony Martino

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I'm going to go for the donk bet a lot. Both players you've listed as somewhat sticky, it's entirely possible one of them may also have a flush (or be unable/unwilling to fold a set or two pair here) and I'd hate to check and have it checked through.

My 2nd option would be to donk-bet a little, but checking given the information provided is not an option for me.
 

timinater

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Comes down to the read I think. If you think bet is the play I'm thinking comically small for value/perhaps to induce shenanigans from a smaller flush.

Did you think you had implied odds to call the turn bet? If so check and stick with that read and let your villains fire away.
 

Gobbs

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Bet about $125. Since your read is they are sticky players, you may get a call out of UTG+3 with a weaker hand and then pray the button is playing suited clubs. You may get a call or even a re-raise. At that point, the hand plays itself.

EDIT: I didn't include all of my logic the first time here because I got interrupted.

I didn't particularly like the flop bet or the turn check the first time I read them, but I think they paid off. Depending on how you played up to this point and how your opponents perceive you, your ace-high flush may be kind of disguised. You limped into the pot, bet the turn, and checked when the ace came up. Most likely, they may put you on the flush, but they may not put you on the ace-high flush since you checked the turn. This might entice more calls, a bluff on the river, or a king-high flush to believe he had the best hand. It could have even lead somebody to believe the ace scared you but you hit something on the river and are taking a shot.
 
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kirchhausen

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Pot is about $235 minus the rake? & These guys are sticky, (they are calling 4-flushes with botttom pair)

I'd bet $250. Make it look lie you are trying to steal. Your read is likely button either loves that river (gets there with flush) and calls or whiffed on some sort of straigh draw (, 4-5,5-7, 7-9) and isnt calling anything small anyway and there is a decent chance.

As far as utg3 goes, if he has 2 pair and he is a calling station maybe he calls off as well.
 

DrStrange

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Preflop - Hero has a speculative hand in poor position. If the table is limping, then open limping is fine. If the pot is often raised, Hero can raise small (blocking) or limp/call a small raise or fold to the expected $20 raise. Which line is best depends on the table. My default line is limp / call (small bets)

Flop. I like the full pot lead. Hero could be in line to win a huge pot, but only if the betting starts before the flush hits. There is some deception value to leading out with the draw.

The raise is not a bad thing. A $15 raise into a $40 pot is chum in the water. Flat and see what develops.

The turn decision is the hardest one for me. Hero could hold the best hand now. Hero does have the best draw. There is $85 in the pot. Hero is not folding to "reasonable" bets. I am torn between a bet/call line or a check/call line. Even a check/raise line could be right vs less sticky villains. Let's go with the check/call line because of the aggression and stickiness of the villains.

River - Hero holds the nuts. The pot is $235. Effective stacks - $223 vs the aggressor and $373 vs the cold calling button.. I bet $400 planning to put everyone all-in. Hero knows both villains are sticky. The aggressive guy is getting 2-1 on what Hero reads as two pair which I doubt he can fold.

The "cherry on top" is button. What type of hand can he have? The betting pattern seems like a draw or perhaps a trap? cold call two bets on the flop then calls the turn bet. It is hard to imagine button with a medium strength hand. If button holds a busted straight draw, Hero never gets a chip from him. If button holds a lesser flush, lets take all of his chips rather than just some. If button was being tricky-trappy, well let's hope he can't walk away from his trap.

My default line with the nuts is consider all-in first. I might decide to bet smaller or even check, but the first impulse is jam. It is a terrible thing to leave chips on the table holding the nut hand.

DrStrange
 

Moxie Mike

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Pot is about $235 minus the rake? & These guys are sticky, (they are calling 4-flushes with botttom pair)

I'd bet $250. Make it look lie you are trying to steal. Your read is likely button either loves that river (gets there with flush) and calls or whiffed on some sort of straigh draw (, 4-5,5-7, 7-9) and isnt calling anything small anyway and there is a decent chance.

As far as utg3 goes, if he has 2 pair and he is a calling station maybe he calls off as well.
This was my logic as well.

I hate donk-betting when my gin card hits the river... it just screams that I have it. But the thing I hate worse is having it check through. So I bet.

I considered making a 'please call me' bet of say $65... which probably would have gotten a crying call for sure in 1 and possibly both places. But I figured getting one of them to call a big bet was better than getting a small amount out of both them.

A pot sized bet would set UTG+3 in. So that seemed reasonable. But then I thought to myself, the button isn't good enough to get away from a smaller flush, but he won't raise with it either, so I shoved all in, hoping to make it look like a bluff.

and...

UTG+3, tanks for 30 seconds or so, says 'you have to have the flush', ponders a little longer and then mucks. The button then tanks for close to two minutes, eyeballing me suspiciously. I forced a swallow while he looked me over, while I eyeballed his hand moving toward his chip stack, then shifting back to stare at the board mode. He rechecks his hole cards, glances up at the board, then at me again. I tried my best to look uncomfortable. His facial expression this whole time was a combination of annoyed confusion.

Finally he meekly and reluctantly slid his cards toward the dealer from the two-seat where he was sitting. I mucked quickly as the pot was pushed to me, flinging a couple $1 gray chips her way as I forced a little smirk.

TL;DR: The count was 3-0 with a man on third and no one out... but I got greedy and swung for the fences only to wind up with an off-the-wall single.

UTG+3 was a short, graying hispanic guy with a slender build and a slight accent. "Did you have the flush"? He demanded to know with not a hint of friendliness in his tone.

"No, I did not have a flush". I replied matter of factly.

"Two pair?" He inquired again, a little more hopeful this time, clearly looking for some validation that laying down his flopped two-pair (which he confirmed - even though he didn't need to) was the correct move.

"No I did not have two pair", I told him, my tone unchanged as I continued to stack chips.

Button (a slender white hipsterish guy with a long beard, wearing a nice dress shirt and an MLB hat) overheard this exchange and became quite angry: "You didn't have the flush?"

"No sir. I held the perfect bluff card - the Ace of Clubs." I said to him in a mollifying tone as I looked in his direction with my lips pursed.

Button then tilted off a chunk of his stack over the course of few hands in the following couple of orbits, a little bit of which was to me. I never found out what he held - I racked up and left shortly after that.
 

JustinInMN

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Note, have not read the spoilers.

You can discuss my open limp here, or the decision to play the hand in this position at all if you want to, but that's not why I started this thread. I can defend my logic even if it's a little unconventional.
I don't have as big a problem with open limps if the players to your left are predictable and raising infrequently. For balance, I would also be doing this with stronger suited aces like AJ and AQ as well, and maybe pick a specific combo of AA or KK of particular suits to really mix it up. I know a lot of people just believe strongly in open limps being wrong, but I think there are spots where an open limping strategy exploits passive players.

I have 3 options: check, donk-bet a little, or donk-bet a lot.
I think we have to donk bet just because the draw is so obvious and we know it's unlikely anyone else was going for a flush. With :qc: removed only k hi and j hi flush combos really make sense anyway. It's really hard to expect anyone to bet for us. I say go for a half pot and be happy with a single payoff.

Maybe go bigger if you think one of villian's stickiness means they will still pay off weak. They have to payoff weak. There aren't that many flushes left since we hold the ace and the queen is on board.
 

Schmendr1ck

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I like the donk shove here.

Sticky opponents will often see an overshove as bluffy, which increases their stickiness and makes it more likely that you get one stack - maybe even both, though unlikely.
 

DrStrange

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I encourage folks to focus on the prize here - $596 is sitting in the two villains' stacks. Hero swung for the fence and came up dry. No doubt he could have settled for a $75 bet that would be called by one player and might have been called by two.

Hero doesn't have to win the $600 prize very often to make more money than the sure thing $75 - $150. Getting one stack of the two is much better than the "safe" bet.

As an added bonus, when hero comes up empty, he doesn't show his hand. I don't know what that is worth - I'd guess something like $25.

Point is Hero can encounter a lot of disappointment and still be quite profitable with a shove vs a smaller suck bet -=- DrStrange
 

Moxie Mike

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Hero doesn't have to win the $600 prize very often to make more money than the sure thing $75 - $150. Getting one stack of the two is much better than the "safe" bet.
I appreciate the words of encouragement. This line of thinking is probably correct... my only slight counterpoint is that these types of situations don't seem to occur all that often (at least for me)... so failing to extract any value in this scenario is in my opinion a catastrophe. Thinking about what bet was going to show the best EV in the long-run wasn't at the forefront of my mind in the moment. Maybe it should have been...

As an added bonus, when hero comes up empty, he doesn't show his hand. I don't know what that is worth - I'd guess something like $25.
Hard to assign an EV to meta game elements - but the button definitely played less than optimally in the 30 minutes or so between this hand and when I left. I probably won about $25 from him in a couple small subsequent pots, so let's go with that :)

Thanks to everyone who chimed in.

Now that I've had a day to reflect, I can live with the fact that I made the play that I thought was best and it just didn't work out. But as I drove home from the casino last night, instead of the typical feeling of satisfaction after a well executed session that netted +$489, I could only lament the outcome of this hand.
 

Chippy McChiperson

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I think it all depends on what you think your image is. If you think they think you're a nit, checking and hoping they'd bet is the best option. If you think they think you're a maniac, a big bet is probably your best option. If you're unsure, you could always do a small bet, hoping it looks like a blocking bet and that spewey guy will turn try to turn his hand into a bluff and shove over top.
 

Moxie Mike

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I think it all depends on what you think your image is. If you think they think you're a nit, checking and hoping they'd bet is the best option. If you think they think you're a maniac, a big bet is probably your best option. If you're unsure, you could always do a small bet, hoping it looks like a blocking bet and that spewey guy will turn try to turn his hand into a bluff and shove over top.
I hadn't been at the table long enough to establish a table image, if it were even possible to do so with this group of players.
 

Moxie Mike

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This is why I straddle live, my first several opportunities to do so. Makes me look weak and splashy.
Half the table button straddles on and off - I probably do 3 out of 4 orbits and I find it to be +EV in general. But TBH my experience in these games is table image isn't a big consideration for 60-70% of the players in the room.
 

ando5k

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Coming to Gun Lake on Friday. Those hourly high hands are calling my name.

As played, the turn bet is his attempt to get you off your draw with a two paired ace. River club probably kills you getting paid. Lately I try to overbet and make it seem like I'm bluffing the draw to steal. Value bets seem to be a red flag to most people that are slightly educated these days.
 

Frogzilla

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Im going check-raise here for two reasons:

1) UTG3 has multiple bets back, this gives us opportunity to win whole stack.

2) Donk leading the nuts is a dicey play against players you read as aggressive. I like to protect my check range, otherwise it’d be pretty easy to get steamrolled
 

Moxie Mike

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Coming to Gun Lake on Friday. Those hourly high hands are calling my name.

As played, the turn bet is his attempt to get you off your draw with a two paired ace. River club probably kills you getting paid. Lately I try to overbet and make it seem like I'm bluffing the draw to steal. Value bets seem to be a red flag to most people that are slightly educated these days.
The way the button pondered a call suggests he made aces up on the turn or river, although limping AQ from the button seems rather unlikely. He probably would have paid off something in the $75-$125 range.

I might be at GLC tomorrow but probably not until mid afternoon/early evening. If you see a guy who looks like the person in my profile picture, say hello :)

Im going check-raise here for two reasons:

1) UTG3 has multiple bets back, this gives us opportunity to win whole stack.

2) Donk leading the nuts is a dicey play against players you read as aggressive. I like to protect my check range, otherwise it’d be pretty easy to get steamrolled
I think you can competently argue for every reasonable play in this spot. One of my biggest pet peeves is missing bets (especially in limit games). Betting at least prevents my opponents from getting to showdown cheaply or for free... which is a disaster when you're holding the stone cold nuts. In the end I tried something and it didn't work, but that's still far better than having it check through.
 

ssanel54

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If you are going to lie about your holding at the end, I think you gave too much info by mentioning the naked Ace Bluff. Let them think you did something stupid, not show that your competent in making that move.
 
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