Did I play this correctly?

halfbreed

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Had a hand last night that I thought I played correctly but am wondering if I'm just patting myself on the back too much.

The Players:
Villain - Used to be a super loose player but was getting exploited by a few of us and has gotten rather tight pre-flop over the past few months.
Hero - Our table is quite loose in general, so I play somewhere between a nit and a TAG. I feel like this matches my rep, maybe leaning slightly towards more nitty.

The Game:
.25/.50 NLHE with 7 players

The Hand:
I'm the button with about $70 behind me, Villian is UTG+1 with about $45.

Preflop:
I get dealt A8o
Villain and CO call
I raise to $1.50
SB and Villain call
CO folds

Postflop (pot $5.50):
Flop is 8AK rainbow. I have As and 8s
Checks around to me, I raise $2, Both SB and Villain call

Turn (pot 11.50):
Turn is a 6 of the last suit, so no flush possibilities
Checks around to me, I raise $3.50, SB folds, Villain calls

River (pot 18.50)
River is a 4
Villain bets $10.25

What would you think is going on here?

Results/thoughts in the spoiler:
I call, he turns over AK for the win. I was genuinely surprised as I was pretty sure I was ahead, and definitely didn't put him on AK of all things.

So here was my thought process:
Preflop:
I get dealt A8o
Villain and CO call
I raise to $1.50
SB and Villain call
CO folds
I usually try to raise less based on my cards and more on what I think it will take to get only 1 to 2 callers. This can be hard at our table. I get what I want on this hand though.

Postflop (pot $5.50):
Flop is 8AK rainbow. I have As and 8s
Checks around to me, I raise $2, Both SB and Villain call
My thinking was that if either of the other players had AA, KK, or AK, they would have raised pre-flop, especially for the Villain because he only called before my preflop raise. I also assume 88 is unlikely because I have one of the 8s. With two pair, I'm pretty sure I'm good and raise $2 to build the pot. I assume any callers caught a part of the flop, most likely A or K + a low to mid card.

Turn (pot 11.50):
Turn is a 6 of the last suit, so no flush possibilities
Checks around to me, I raise $3.50, SB folds, Villain calls
The 6 doesn't change much except for an open ender if the Villain had 57s, but I can't imagine he would have called the postflop bet on a runner runner chance at a straight or a flush. Anyway, I assume I am still good and try to build the pot some more.

River (pot 18.50)
River is a 4
Villain bets $10.25
The 4 would complete a straight, but as I mentioned before I didn't think he would have hung around with 57s. I still think he has As + a mid or at best As and 8s like I do for a chop. I don't raise in the event he actually did have 88 and just call, only to lose to the AK I didn't see coming. I'm lucky it wasn't a huge pot, but given the way it was played, should I acutally have been betting more even though I would have ultimately lost?

So thoughts on my play? I felt like I played it pretty well, but always open to feedback.
 
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Colquhoun

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Without looking at spoiler, my guess after the villain’s post flop call is a warning sign of a possible set. The call on the turn is more confirmation. I think the flop bet of half the pot is a good “info getting” bet. I’m not. Sure I would have had my foot on the gas as much on the turn though...but I’m not as aggressive as I’d like to be.
 

naked_eskimo

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My inclination would be to put him on a set or a big ace. But if he had a set, why would he not raise the turn for value? If it's a big ace, there is only one that you are worried about, AK. Would be a hard fold for aces up, but with what you described transposed over my player base in my game, I'm almost always beat when an weird river bet comes out of the blue like that.
 

DrStrange

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You will get better advice and discussion if you let each decision point stand on its own. There is normally a fair amount of "meat on the bone" at each street. Ten times this when offering the results prior to the discussion.

Stack sizes are important. Many decisions hinge on how much money is at risk.

Villain reads are also important. Is this villain the sort to limp kings preflop? How about AK - is this nothing but a drawing hand? Loose - passive is one kind of villain, LAGtard is another.

Preflop: A8o is often going to be trouble. Did someone limp/call with a better ace? What does hero do if he pairs the eight? Top pair/ weak kicker is no sure thing. But Hero does have the button. And the table is seven handed. So sure, raise away. Makes me doubt the nit / TAG label for Hero. A8o is often a fold for a nit. Me? I am a nit and folding, A8o is often trouble. More so at a passive table - - though we don't know that.

Flop: Hero is in a must bet situation. $2 into $5.50 seems rather puny. I think $4 is better.

Turn: Same song as on the flop. $3.50 into $11.50 also seems puny. I think $8 is better.

River: Well Hero can't fold now. He has under represented his hand on the flop & turn with weak bet sizes. There are rare villains I could fold to, but I think the choice is raise vs call. Villain's line seems strong - check/call flop + check/call turn + half pot value bet on the river. He expects Hero to call.

Without villain reads it is hard to say if he is looking for value or trying a blocking bet to set a price for showdown. Could villain have KK or AK and been milking Hero? Did he back into two pair with A4 or K4? Is he over valuing AQ or AJ? Is it a ballsy bluff trying to get hero to fold JJ/QQ? That board is pretty dry - villain wasn't drawing.

I guess I will call. With more data about the villain, Hero could be more aggressive.

DrStrange

PS and now I see the results, I think Hero got off light. Two pair vs two pair can lead to big pots. Be sure to take note of how villain played this hand. He missed an opportunity to score a fat pot.
 

kmccormick100

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What @DrStrange said is pretty similar to what I'd say. You should've lost more money on every street here, a more aggressive player may be getting stacked with short stacks. And yes stack sizes are very relevant.
 

JustinInMN

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Here are my thoughts.

Pre: The raise here is marginal at best and only remotely defend-able because you read one of the limpers as loose. Even against average players, this is an easy fold unless suited.
Flop: They check to you, green light to bet for sure.
Turn: They check to you again, green light to bet for sure.
River: Huh strange bet from nowhere, no draws seem to have come in. You can beat some hands that this card "improves", but you lose to most anything "slow-played" except for K8. This river bet to me means his hand is so good he doesn't want to risk you checking, or he has decided to spontaneously bluff on a brick after taking no aggressive action. Now that said, you can beat some "slow-played" hands here at the river, K8, or 86 even, so that may be justification to raise, it's certainly a justification to at least call. But you will be showed slowplayed monsters or turn or river sets when this happens too.

I really only question the preflop play, and like Dr S, I would prefer larger sizing here (half-pot+, unless smaller sizing is part of a larger strategy here), but I think betting the flop and turn is justified, you collect from so many inferior hands and you are in the lead way more than not.

If the villian were more aggressive, you should have lost a lot more.
 

halfbreed

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I guess I should add some more info about the Villain and the game in general. Since the house games shut down our group has been playing around 5 times a week, up from the old 1-2x. I got a bit burned out at the pace and actually stopped playing for two months and just came back a week ago. This was my 4th game back. After coming back I have noticed a change in the group's general play to one of a lot more limping preflop with premium hands. This never used to happen, especially with the Villain. One of his standard preflop raises used to be $6.25 in home games. Still, looking back It looks like I haven't adjusted enough to this new group style of play, although my reads post-flop have been generally pretty good in the small sample size since I came back. I had quite a few hands where I only won the blinds when I raised 4-5x the BB when in the past I would pretty much always get at least one caller and sometimes almost the whole table (Grrrr.)

Without looking at spoiler, my guess after the villain’s post flop call is a warning sign of a possible set. The call on the turn is more confirmation. I think the flop bet of half the pot is a good “info getting” bet. I’m not. Sure I would have had my foot on the gas as much on the turn though...but I’m not as aggressive as I’d like to be.
No analysis here, but In my experience, when somebody check calls the flop and turn and leads out big on the River, he’s been ahead the whole way.
My inclination would be to put him on a set or a big ace. But if he had a set, why would he not raise the turn for value? If it's a big ace, there is only one that you are worried about, AK. Would be a hard fold for aces up, but with what you described transposed over my player base in my game, I'm almost always beat when an weird river bet comes out of the blue like that.
I talk about why I didn't think he had a set in the spoiler. The Villain used to chase a lot so sometimes I would have to raise more than once to find out if he had a hand. Still, as I mentioned before the groups style of play (and especially the Villain) seems to have changed a bit and I need to adjust.

You will get better advice and discussion if you let each decision point stand on its own. There is normally a fair amount of "meat on the bone" at each street. Ten times this when offering the results prior to the discussion.
Gotcha. I'll keep that in mind in the future.

Stack sizes are important. Many decisions hinge on how much money is at risk.
Noted. Starting stacks were about $70 for me and $45 for the Villain.

Villain reads are also important. Is this villain the sort to limp kings preflop? How about AK - is this nothing but a drawing hand? Loose - passive is one kind of villain, LAGtard is another.
As I mentioned before he used to be a solid LAGtard, but now that you mention he did change his game to more of a loose-passive style in the prior months before COVID and it seems even more so now since we went to online.

Preflop: A8o is often going to be trouble. Did someone limp/call with a better ace? What does hero do if he pairs the eight? Top pair/ weak kicker is no sure thing. But Hero does have the button. And the table is seven handed. So sure, raise away. Makes me doubt the nit / TAG label for Hero. A8o is often a fold for a nit. Me? I am a nit and folding, A8o is often trouble. More so at a passive table - - though we don't know that.
Yes, I was playing the button. Going off of old house games, someone with a premium Ace usually would have raised preflop, not limped. But the game seems to have changed and I need to take that into account. Side note, if I hit only an 8, I probably would have raised same amount postflop but not bet the turn, ready to fold on a raise.

Flop: Hero is in a must bet situation. $2 into $5.50 seems rather puny. I think $4 is better.

Turn: Same song as on the flop. $3.50 into $11.50 also seems puny. I think $8 is better.
Yeah, I was wondering in the spoiler if I should have bet more postflop/turn. A call of $4 would have been more of a tell of a strong Ace or set.

River: Well Hero can't fold now. He has under represented his hand on the flop & turn with weak bet sizes. There are rare villains I could fold to, but I think the choice is raise vs call. Villain's line seems strong - check/call flop + check/call turn + half pot value bet on the river. He expects Hero to call.

Without villain reads it is hard to say if he is looking for value or trying a blocking bet to set a price for showdown. Could villain have KK or AK and been milking Hero? Did he back into two pair with A4 or K4? Is he over valuing AQ or AJ? Is it a ballsy bluff trying to get hero to fold JJ/QQ? That board is pretty dry - villain wasn't drawing.

I guess I will call. With more data about the villain, Hero could be more aggressive.
Pretty much my thinking especially given his past play. I thought I was good, and even if I wasn't ~10 was a good value bet on his part.

PS and now I see the results, I think Hero got off light. Two pair vs two pair can lead to big pots. Be sure to take note of how villain played this hand. He missed an opportunity to score a fat pot.
I most definitely got off light by not betting more when he had me dead to rights.

Anyway thanks for the feedback. I think the main takeaway is I need to adjust my expectations for what someone has based on preflop betting since our game seems to have changed a bit since we moved to online play.
 

halfbreed

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Pre: The raise here is marginal at best and only remotely defend-able because you read one of the limpers as loose. Even against average players, this is an easy fold unless suited.

I really only question the preflop play, and like Dr S, I would prefer larger sizing here (half-pot+, unless smaller sizing is part of a larger strategy here), but I think betting the flop and turn is justified, you collect from so many inferior hands and you are in the lead way more than not.
I was mostly playing the button. I only do it once in a while, and if a flop comes with high cards that gets checked around to me, I'll often make a smallish bet at it (similar to the $2 I bet) trying to rep that I had good hole cards and hit. I get a lot of postflop folds that way. For our game specifically, it seems to be a net positive play for me as long as I don't go nuts with the raises and bow out quickly if I get called/raised.

If the villian were more aggressive, you should have lost a lot more.
No doubt.
 

Legend5555

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I may chime in with a longer response tomorrow. But my quick analysis...

Fold pre.

An isolation raise would need to be like $2.50 minimum here. And even then, if you get called you are now playing a bloated pot with a hand that can't take any pressure. There are much more playable hands you can play in this spot. And you didn't include stack sizes, which is important to know.
 

tabletalker7

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I think if you raise there, you gotta go bigger and try to get it down to one player. A8 doesn’t really play well.
If he rasies any more preflop he will wind up heads up against the AK (and lose even more money). In all reality this is a limp pot and he has A8 off. I fold preflop. Hand isn't worth much, can't stand up to much pressure, there is very little in it, and none of it was mine in the first place. Never should have played it in the first place.
 
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The thing with A8, is it is easy to throw away. On the button, take your shot with the raise. Maybe you take it down, or isolate.

It is also an easy fold preflop. I’m just saying if you’re gonna raise, that’s the route I’d take, and fold to a 4bet.
 

Legend5555

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I'm ready to talk about the rest of the action, but I need to know stack sizes to to do so.
 

grebe

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Not reading anyone else's comments or spoilers, here is my interpretation of the hand:
-your preflop sizing should be larger with 2 limpers. 5x to 8x would be better. Or limp, because aint nobody folding for 3x, so your raise doesnt do much.
-your flop bet is way small. 75% of pot minimum with 2 other players. That's a pretty darn good flop against 2 random hands. If I am villain though, I am calling with any piece of that flop for your bet though.
-Again, your bet is small. Size up or check.
-You have dug yourself in quite a hole here, as it is tough to put him on a hand. His bet on the end seems like a value bet. If I was playing this live, my guess is he also has 2 pair, but not AK. Since you are posting here, I am guessing he rivered a straight on you with 57. I am calling him. Proper bet sizing could have netted you most likely a small win by preventing him from drawing at a good price. I think a lot of the time, he is showing you a hand like A4 or A6. Some times, he will have 44 or 57, but you just have to call here.
 

trever

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You definitely don't want to see a 5 handed flop with A8o, and I personally think that it is too strong to fold, so a raise is in order.

1.50 is too small though, I'd go 3 instead as I really want folds here.

Once you hit 2 pair on the flop, it's time to bet for value. Bet 2/3 or more and make those fools who played weak offsuit aces pay!

Turn is ideal, bet it hard.

River is an oops moment, but villain has a bunch of worse 2 pair hands in his range too. So unless you know more than you told us about him, it is a call.
 
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Eriks

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I think pre-flop is a pretty clear fold, especially since effective stacks are pretty shallow. A8 offsuit is gonna lead to trouble and flop a lot of marginal hands such as middle pair or top pair w bad kicker. I’d much rather choose something like A2-A5 suited that can potentially flop the nut flush draw and/or a wheel draw and can put a lot of pressure on opponents. I would also raise bigger. 3x after two limpers isn’t enough, you’re just sweetening the pot and giving them great odds. I would make it $2.5-3.

Bet bigger on both flop and turn, worse aces will certainly call. As played, I call as well. Not really liking it and expecting to be beat a fair amount but you’ll probably see just Ax/some random enough to justify a call.
 

grebe

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Not reading anyone else's comments or spoilers, here is my interpretation of the hand:
-your preflop sizing should be larger with 2 limpers. 5x to 8x would be better. Or limp, because aint nobody folding for 3x, so your raise doesnt do much.
-your flop bet is way small. 75% of pot minimum with 2 other players. That's a pretty darn good flop against 2 random hands. If I am villain though, I am calling with any piece of that flop for your bet though.
-Again, your bet is small. Size up or check.
-You have dug yourself in quite a hole here, as it is tough to put him on a hand. His bet on the end seems like a value bet. If I was playing this live, my guess is he also has 2 pair, but not AK. Since you are posting here, I am guessing he rivered a straight on you with 57. I am calling him. Proper bet sizing could have netted you most likely a small win by preventing him from drawing at a good price. I think a lot of the time, he is showing you a hand like A4 or A6. Some times, he will have 44 or 57, but you just have to call here.

Ugh, that's rough. I would have eliminated that holding since he limped pre. I would surely have doubled him up, because I binked that flop so good. People do some strange shit sometimes. Playing this passive is bad news long term for the villain....which is good news for you.
 

clacks456

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Hindsight is a wonderful thing............it's obvious the player has a half decent hand to bet only $10 into $18 in a NL game, they want you to bite without getting stung themselves.
You could play the hand another way of course and still lose more money but you could always win it............that's the game.
I wouldn't over analyse it tbh.
 

JustinInMN

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The thing with A8, is it is easy to throw away. On the button, take your shot with the raise. Maybe you take it down, or isolate.

It is also an easy fold preflop. I’m just saying if you’re gonna raise, that’s the route I’d take, and fold to a 4bet.

It's not so easy to throw away if hero flops an ace, but it's hard to get value from lesser aces or smaller pairs if hero flops an ace. It's a win-a-little-lose-big type of hand unless players are loose enough to call with weak holdings pre and post flop. I think it's okay to raise the button if you have these specific opponents. I don't think there is value in limping this unlike it's suited counterpart, but in general strategy AT off is the weakest offsuit ace that I would raise the button with absent other factors.
 

Legend5555

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Sorry, I posted stack sizes in a reply but I should have edited the original post.
Never saw that.

So 90bb effective, more than enough for what transpires.

I have not looked at the spoiler.

Flop heavily favors your range over limpers range and it's multiway. So a small bet around 25-30% of the pot is sufficient. So even $2 is a bit large for the situation. But not horribly so. And if the players basically never fold any pair or gutshot here, then betting even larger would be more than fine.

On turn, it's a little concerning both called. But it's hard for anyone to have you beat here as they shouldn't have AK, AA, or KK. And it's hard for them to have the last 88 combo. And no draws came in. Pot is still multiway. Need to get value now since it's obvious at least one of them has something. So 50-75% seems decent here. So missed value here IMO.

River. Fairly easy call. Opponent could be value owning themselves with a worse 2 pair. The only things that beat you are all unlikely things like AA, KK, AK, 88, 66, or 44. You bet so small on earlier streets that I reckon a badish player could have a busted Broadway, or betting worse 2 pair. Sometimes you are going to lose to one of the unlikely hands, but oh well. Raising is out of the question as I'm not sure you every get called by a worse hand. And folding is waaaaaaaay too tight given the action.
 

Steve Birrer

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I think the hand was misplayed in several ways.
1. Fold preflop is better than raising. A raise is ok given position but A8o doesn't play that well post flop.
2. Now you got a decent flop so I'd bet more. Try and take it down now or if you get called then alarm bells should start ringing.
3. Post turn. I think there are three choices here and I'll put them in my order. Check, Bet big, Bet small. Your smallish bet is encouraging guys to draw.
4. River - hard to walk away now. But man I'd tempted to fold. Lots of holdings Villains could have and play this way. And I don't think you beat any of those holdings when he leads out on the river unless he is bluffing.
 

Caveatemptor

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I guess I should add some more info about the Villain and the game in general. Since the house games shut down our group has been playing around 5 times a week, up from the old 1-2x. I got a bit burned out at the pace and actually stopped playing for two months and just came back a week ago. This was my 4th game back. After coming back I have noticed a change in the group's general play to one of a lot more limping preflop with premium hands. This never used to happen, especially with the Villain. One of his standard preflop raises used to be $6.25 in home games. Still, looking back It looks like I haven't adjusted enough to this new group style of play, although my reads post-flop have been generally pretty good in the small sample size since I came back. I had quite a few hands where I only won the blinds when I raised 4-5x the BB when in the past I would pretty much always get at least one caller and sometimes almost the whole table (Grrrr.)




I talk about why I didn't think he had a set in the spoiler. The Villain used to chase a lot so sometimes I would have to raise more than once to find out if he had a hand. Still, as I mentioned before the groups style of play (and especially the Villain) seems to have changed a bit and I need to adjust.


Gotcha. I'll keep that in mind in the future.


Noted. Starting stacks were about $70 for me and $45 for the Villain.


As I mentioned before he used to be a solid LAGtard, but now that you mention he did change his game to more of a loose-passive style in the prior months before COVID and it seems even more so now since we went to online.


Yes, I was playing the button. Going off of old house games, someone with a premium Ace usually would have raised preflop, not limped. But the game seems to have changed and I need to take that into account. Side note, if I hit only an 8, I probably would have raised same amount postflop but not bet the turn, ready to fold on a raise.


Yeah, I was wondering in the spoiler if I should have bet more postflop/turn. A call of $4 would have been more of a tell of a strong Ace or set.


Pretty much my thinking especially given his past play. I thought I was good, and even if I wasn't ~10 was a good value bet on his part.


I most definitely got off light by not betting more when he had me dead to rights.

Anyway thanks for the feedback. I think the main takeaway is I need to adjust my expectations for what someone has based on preflop betting since our game seems to have changed a bit since we moved to online play.
Regarding limpers, there are several at one game I play at...who consistently limp in with pocket As Ks Qs along with AK AQ AJ, making it hard to put them on a hand, plus there's 2 calling stations,
Isn't Poker the best though!
 

T206

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I think you played it alright. My flop/turn bet would have been a little higher though.
 

TwoSevenOff

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Mini cooler hand IMO. Not much you can do about it against a loose villain (although you did mention that he tightened up a lot recently, so maybe big red flag on the river bet).
 
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