- Jan 25, 2020
- Reaction score
- New York City
Interesting hand for sure. I don't love the call on the river because it feels pretty value heavy for this small amount, same reason I don't love a turn call. I think I still stand by my initial analysis that (1) Flop is always a call, (2) Turn is a great spot for a check-raise, but otherwise probably give up. River he does give you a good price, which would make me more suspicious, but your hand reading is very strong here, ruling out several of the hands that villain should be checking back (various pairs of his - really anything but Tx + sets that have made a boat). Well done.(convo seems to have slowed, so gonna wrap this one up).
A small weird thing: villain doesn’t verbally announce his bet this time as he has on the previous streets. He doesn’t even really seem to calculate the pot size, he just kind of quickly and a little shakily (though we all know shaky hands can cut both ways) pushes a $100 stack towards the middle. Kind of a spring-loaded bet, where the others had been a little more controlled. That’s a deviation, and I flag it, before trying to think through the hand.
River is good and bad? Cuts TT down to one combo, eliminates AdTd and KdTd from range, though as I’m thinking through the spot on the river I wonder if there’s some ATo or other Tx that I was discounting wrongly. As far as eliminating sets goes, we’d obviously rather see a 6 or a 4, since some of villain’s Tx that took this line and likely intended to check-back the river now upgrades to trips. QQ and JJ seem like mandatory checkbacks, and underpairs, middle pairs, and whatever-weird-two-pairs-could-show-up-here have an interesting decision w/r/t checking back with showdown value or turning themselves into bluffs to target overpairs.
Is villain the kind of guy that bets $100 because it seems like a big amount of money without thinking about things like pot size? (I think @Senzrock makes a good implied point on that issue: villain could be thinking about the money in terms of money rather than in terms of big blinds and/or pot size. I.e. villain thinks of the $25 open as $25 rather than effectively 4 big blinds since there’s a straddle on.) Shouldn’t his whole range be going at least a little bigger? Is he repping a rivered trips and trying to get called by an overpair? Is he astute enough to turn some pairs or counterfeited two pairs into bluffs here to fold out overpairs, rather than just frustratedly check back (with the winning hand, but still)? Are there other bluffing with the best hand combos or hands where villain has no idea whether he’s bluffing or value betting (like a random 99 or something)? Without much hand history, the wife’s comment about him “being the poker player in the family” is giving me conflicting information—he should be capable of bluffing given that info, but also smarter about sizing, right?
I take about 15-20 seconds and call, given the price and the way villain conducts himself on the river. The deviation from verbal betting, the shaky motions, and the just pushing a $100 stack into the middle without seeming to think about the pot size were live tells tipped me towards calling. That’s probably giving myself too much credit and extrapolating too much from live reads (and there’s the obvious caveat that I still lose to any pair that’s bluffing). Obviously, plenty of the time I’m going to be shown a rivered quads (half-expecting TT that was just betting small the whole way because it was terrified that I would fold lol), 66 or 44 for a rivered boat, or Tx that can confidently value bet this river.
I honestly think this is a pretty trivial call in theory with the ~40% pot price, our showdown value, and there being enough theoretical unpaired bluffs in his betting range to give us the right price. But I think we’ll lose more often than the theory would suggest, particularly because most people (myself included) just don’t triple barrel as much as we should, and, as @grebe and others note, we lose to any pair turning itself into a bluff.
Villain shows 8c7c (pair of TT, 8-kicker).
Hero shows AcKh (pair of TT, A-kicker).
Hero wins $435 pot.
Villain flopped a double gutter, turned a combo draw, missed, and knew he needed to bluff to win. We scoop (yay), but this is the kind of spot where I can easily conflate “winning the pot” with “playing it well.” Many of the comments in this thread are nailing the distinction between the two and helping me realize the various spots where I likely went wrong in this hand. In particular, it can be tough for me to toggle out of “here’s what I think the theoretical play is here” (which I’m probably wrong as to what the correct answer is there, anyway) or give villains hands that might be “in range” but they seldom have at $1/$3. And I’m prone to trying to rely on live tells to confirm those suspicions. The “live tell” was maybe right here, but that could’ve just been a quirky one-off thing that confirmed bad habits for me moving forward.
His exact combo makes me curious if his only river bluffs are specifically open-enders and double gutters that turned BDFDs. If so, he’s reduced to two surefire bluffing combos instead of eight. (Not to mention the reasonable doubt in this thread from some people that villain even has 75 suited). In that world, a smaller bet size also makes sense because he has almost zero bluffs, though I think this bet size is still too small. Villains in this game aren’t used to getting looked up with A-high on a relatively dry runout (with good reason), so I think villain would think his $100 bet would fold out those hands.
Going back in the hand: I thought a flop check or 1/3 bet was standard here on this sort of board, but there’s clearly disagreement on that point so I likely need to re-evaluate. The flop x/r is such a good price, but I wonder if on this board I should only be calling (and small frequency 3betting) flop with my suited AK that have BDFDs and other suited broadways that can turn combo draws. Even if villain has enough air to make this flop call profitable, it might be a good time to just exploit fold and wait for a better spot, as others suggested.
Even if this hand/spot itself isn’t very interesting or has a clear answer that I disregarded, I’m trying to navigate bluffcatching in these games where people might not really have super defined ranges or be thinking through pot odds and bet sizing. In that vein, I’m also thinking through what a complete calling range would be here. Giving villain XX and keeping the same linework, I’ve got 24 combos of overpairs, some amount of Tx (in this formation, likely only suited tens, so two combos each of AT – T9). Definitely river x/r TT, 66, and 44 for value (getting shown the bad news here when I have 44). Maybe x/r AT suited for thin value, though I can easily be punished for going too thin. So, are we just calling overpairs and Tx? Or for this price do we need to bring a few more hands into our calling range? 99 – 77 and 55 are obviously stronger, but I don’t like that they block villain’s bluffs. And there’s the permanent problem that people at low stakes just don’t bluff enough, meaning some hands that could theoretically be added in should probably just need to see themselves back out again.
***Thank y’all so much for the feedback. Lots to work on!