PAHWM: QQ in the SB, 1/2NL

Jimulacrum

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Do you plan on betting this large with hands like AK or AQ in this spot assuming you 3bet those pre? If not, then a large bet is easily exploitable. The point of a small bet is that it protects your whole range. It also in this spot allows you to get calls from weakish hands like AK, AJ, 88, and maybe 66 that might fold to a larger bet. If you are up against a big hand, the bet size won't matter much as the money will likely get it anyway.

It's not about charging the maximum, it's about getting maximum value from the opponents range. In this case, the larger stack. It's trivial hero is willing to get it in vs. the short stack. So the short stack isn't much of a consideration other than hero bet sizing to not allow a premature closure of the action due to an incomplete raise from the short stack.
IMO, tiny bet sizing (~1/3 of the pot or smaller) on pre-river rounds is almost universally a bad play. I think it's even worse here than usual.

Protecting your hand matters, and it matters more the bigger the pot is. The pot in this hand is $100 going into the flop, with only $70 behind on one opponent and $270 effective between Hero and BB. That's a stack-to-pot ratio of 2.7:1 with the more relevant opponent, which is pretty awkward* but low enough that you'd better have a damn good reason to fold a 9-high flop with QQ in this spot.

I feel like betting $35 here is Fancy Play Syndrome. You shouldn't be giving BB (who is in position, let's not forget) such a cheap opportunity to continue. No one has given any meaningful indication of having a strong hand, but betting so small may well entice BB to make a move with both his strong hands and some of his weak hands, because you look weak betting so small and it's cheap to call relative to the pot size.

Yes, LP may shove over your $35, reopening the action so you can shove too, but in that case all you're hoping for is to make BB fold for the loose $35 call. If you shove and he calls, you're probably doomed. And this all relies on LP shoving, which he may or may not even do. If he doesn't, you've just let your deeper-stacked opponent see the turn for $35 and deprived yourself of an opportunity to gain more accurate information (and equity protection) that you could have gotten from a $75 bet.

And that awkward SPR is because of, again, too-small bet sizing. Against loose preflop players, it would have made much more sense to exploit their loose preflop tendencies to the max and set yourself up for either a preflop shove or an easy flop shove with an SPR closer to 1. Letting them see a cheap flop was a big mistake, especially out of position.
 

Legend5555

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IMO, tiny bet sizing (~1/3 of the pot or smaller) on pre-river rounds is almost universally a bad play. I think it's even worse here than usual.

Protecting your hand matters, and it matters more the bigger the pot is. The pot in this hand is $100 going into the flop, with only $70 behind on one opponent and $270 effective between Hero and BB. That's a stack-to-pot ratio of 2.7:1 with the more relevant opponent, which is pretty awkward* but low enough that you'd better have a damn good reason to fold a 9-high flop with QQ in this spot.

I feel like betting $35 here is Fancy Play Syndrome. You shouldn't be giving BB (who is in position, let's not forget) such a cheap opportunity to continue. No one has given any meaningful indication of having a strong hand, but betting so small may well entice BB to make a move with both his strong hands and some of his weak hands, because you look weak betting so small and it's cheap to call relative to the pot size.

Yes, LP may shove over your $35, reopening the action so you can shove too, but in that case all you're hoping for is to make BB fold for the loose $35 call. If you shove and he calls, you're probably doomed. And this all relies on LP shoving, which he may or may not even do. If he doesn't, you've just let your deeper-stacked opponent see the turn for $35 and deprived yourself of an opportunity to gain more accurate information (and equity protection) that you could have gotten from a $75 bet.

And that awkward SPR is because of, again, too-small bet sizing. Against loose preflop players, it would have made much more sense to exploit their loose preflop tendencies to the max and set yourself up for either a preflop shove or an easy flop shove with an SPR closer to 1. Letting them see a cheap flop was a big mistake, especially out of position.
What exactly are we worried about here that we need to bet so large? There aren't a lot of relevant draws here. We want worse hands to call, and betting so large gives an easy out to some worse hands we'd like to have call.

We have already 3 bet pre, which has narrowed our range significantly. This flop is generally going to be more favorable to the callers than us. But it's so dry that what hands are giving us action? We are really only worried about the sets. It's highly unlikely our opponents have AA or KK. So if we want to make money, we are basically hoping to get called by smaller non-set pairs, overpairs, and overcards. Large bet should really only get us action from overpairs and sets.

If we know the opponents could have much wider ranges, and will peel large bets with 2 and 6 out hands, then sure size up. But without knowing that, I feel you are just killing the action you want by betting large. Sometimes you have to deal with an A or K coming and slowing down the action. Oh well.

I'm not advocating betting small so we can then fold. I'm advocating betting small because it seems like a better size given our range and our opponents' perceived ranges. Plus, I'm personally only thinking about the larger stack here. As I'm never folding to the shorter stack.
 

BGinGA

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Large bet should really only get us action from overpairs and sets.
I disagree with this assessment. Pretty likely that many starting pairs (besides just over-pairs to the board) plus TPGK hands are going to continue, thinking that the pre-flop raiser has AK/AQ or one of many possible pairs.
 

Legend5555

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I disagree with this assessment. Pretty likely that many starting pairs (besides just over-pairs to the board) plus TPGK hands are going to continue, thinking that the pre-flop raiser has AK/AQ or one of many possible pairs.
I said should. If we have a read that opponents will call larger bets with 88, 66, or are capable of having A9 or K9 here, then okay. I'm just not making that assumption.
 

Jimulacrum

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How is betting $75 into a $100 pot a "so large" bet? That's more in the range of what a normal-sized NLHE bet is, relative to the pot size.

I'm concerned about the fact that a $35 bet lays the BB 135:35 = 27:7 = about 3.86:1, plus some chance she can stack you for your remaining $205, so 9.7:1 in potential winnings. That's enough to chase a naked gutshot, since she can be pretty sure you will pay it off, never mind if she has a better draw than that (one pair with a live kicker, OESD, two overcards).

LP is a lesser concern, but still not nothing. If BB calls, now LP is getting 4.86:1, plus the promise of being paid off in at least one place for his remaining $35, so at least 5.86:1 in implied odds, plus some significant chance he gets paid off in more than one place. So even if LP might otherwise fold a hand that has live outs (say, AK) if it's all-in to call, he may well peel one card for $35. Depending on the specific hand, this call may even be long-term profitable or break-even for LP.

This is the situation you set up with tiny bets. You end up laying good odds to hands that you weren't even considering could be out there. And then you get mad when a dude with a gutshot and an overcard calls $35 because it feels too small to fold, and then he gets there and stacks you, but it's really yourself you should be mad at for making a bad play. Same when you entice someone (who has position over you) to stay in a pot like this and then find yourself not sure how to proceed when the turn comes an ace or king and you still have $205 left to bet.

I disagree with this assessment. Pretty likely that many starting pairs (besides just over-pairs to the board) plus TPGK hands are going to continue, thinking that the pre-flop raiser has AK/AQ or one of many possible pairs.
Yep. That's worth noting too. Based on OP's description of BB, she could have a lot of different hands, especially since OP made a too-small 3-bet. This type of player could have all the different combos of 56, 68, and 8T for 8-out straight draws, possibly with backdoor flush draws. She could have a 9 with a wide variety of kickers. (She could even have an oddball two pair that's ahead, but there are fewer of those within reason, really just 97.)

There are so many hands BB could have that I think it's nuts to make yet another too-small bet. Based on how this has started, though, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up with OP getting stacked by a hand that might have folded on an earlier round to a larger bet.
 

Legend5555

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How is betting $75 into a $100 pot a "so large" bet? That's more in the range of what a normal-sized NLHE bet is, relative to the pot size.

I'm concerned about the fact that a $35 bet lays the BB 135:35 = 27:7 = about 3.86:1, plus some chance she can stack you for your remaining $205, so 9.7:1 in potential winnings. That's enough to chase a naked gutshot, since she can be pretty sure you will pay it off, never mind if she has a better draw than that (one pair with a live kicker, OESD, two overcards).

LP is a lesser concern, but still not nothing. If BB calls, now LP is getting 4.86:1, plus the promise of being paid off in at least one place for his remaining $35, so at least 5.86:1 in implied odds, plus some significant chance he gets paid off in more than one place. So even if LP might otherwise fold a hand that has live outs (say, AK) if it's all-in to call, he may well peel one card for $35. Depending on the specific hand, this call may even be long-term profitable or break-even for LP.

This is the situation you set up with tiny bets. You end up laying good odds to hands that you weren't even considering could be out there. And then you get mad when a dude with a gutshot and an overcard calls $35 because it feels too small to fold, and then he gets there and stacks you, but it's really yourself you should be mad at for making a bad play. Same when you entice someone (who has position over you) to stay in a pot like this and then find yourself not sure how to proceed when the turn comes an ace or king and you still have $205 left to bet.



Yep. That's worth noting too. Based on OP's description of BB, she could have a lot of different hands, especially since OP made a too-small 3-bet. This type of player could have all the different combos of 56, 68, and 8T for 8-out straight draws, possibly with backdoor flush draws. She could have a 9 with a wide variety of kickers. (She could even have an oddball two pair that's ahead, but there are fewer of those within reason, really just 97.)

There are so many hands BB could have that I think it's nuts to make yet another too-small bet. Based on how this has started, though, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up with OP getting stacked by a hand that might have folded on an earlier round to a larger bet.
What drawing hands are you really worried about here? That's my point. What are you protecting against? Given that MP raised pre, and OP says she does limp, what hands does she have here that have a real draw? Again, if we think she will call larger bets, then i'm all for larger bets. But larger bets (2/3+ pot) make it easier for her to fold the hands we want her to call with. A larger bet works great if we know she will call wide or that her range is limited to pairs.

The other thing to keep in mind is how are we playing our whole range here? Do we ever have sets here? (I'm assuming not) Do we have AK, AQ, here? Do we want to have hands we check with given the action thus far?

I will admit this small bet will work better in position. And being in this exact spot is weird in first place because we didn't raise big enough pre. But we are here. And i'm not seeing MP having many draws we need to protect against. It more likely she has over cards with backdoors and pairs. And betting larger and setting up a turn shove makes it harder for her to call with some of the hands we want her to continue with.
 

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Sizing down on dry boards and sizing down when you increase your cbet frequency are things. They have merit. A pot size bet probably makes money with QQ against opponents at these stakes, but probably not much. And the small bet prints. The standard is 1/3rd.

And just because a play is theoretically sound doesn’t mean it isn’t also the right play against live low limit. Position, tight opening ranges, stack depth are all GTO concepts that I think we will agree have merit at all stakes. Going HAM with a range advantage but not the nut advantage is terrible even if the opponent doesn’t know about any of it.
 

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I let this discussion go a while because a) I thought this was a critical decision in the hand - especially after the too-small preflop 3-bet, and b) there was a lot of useful disagreement that I wanted to hear. Now on to the flop action...

My thought process on the flop:
- I'm expecting shove or fold from LP if I lead, and I'm always calling a shove.
- How do I size to keep BB wide and extract some additional value?

Preflop
MP opens to $10. LP calls. Hero (SB) looks down at QQ and raises to $30. BB cold calls, MP folds, and LP calls.

Flop ($100): :9c::7s::3h:
Hero leads for $35. BB snap-calls. LP shoves for $70 and change, reopening the action. Hero...?
[At this point, there is $232 in the middle post-rake, Hero has $205 behind and BB covers.]
 
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Gobbs

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Anything less than $100 is not enough. Anything less allows BB to call with a hand like AK without being punished too much (or, if bet is way too small, makes it a good call) assuming LP calls/all-in.

The issue is, even betting $100 pretty much means you’re seeing it through no matter what and BB knows that. So, if BB knows it’s going to cost him your stack to call, might as well bet it now. All-in.

EDIT: Poster before I saw preliminary flop action. I still say shove. Betting $35 told you nothing, anyway.
 

Schmendr1ck

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Betting $35 told you nothing, anyway.
As stated in my post, I wasn't betting small for info. BB had a very wide range that I crushed, and I wanted to keep most of that range in the hand and extract some additional value from him. There's already been some great discussion on the good and bad sides of this bet sizing, but I'm open to more.
 

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As stated in my post, I wasn't betting small for info. BB had a very wide range that I crushed, and I wanted to keep most of that range in the hand and extract some additional value from him. There's already been some great discussion on the good and bad sides of this bet sizing, but I'm open to more.
I missed that it was BB that called and not MP. But it doesn't change at all what I thought about the play. If anything, the range of the BB should be even narrower than what the MP could have had. So, the only hands we should be worried about from the BB is 99 and MAYBE 77. Very likely they have something like 99, TT, JJ, or AK.

You have a potish sized bet left with an over pair, a player all in for not much more, and a covering player that did not show strength.

Jam. If BB has a set, oh well.
 
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shorticus

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@Legend5555 guy was playing 45h and hit the 6 on the river, I bet. LOL!

In all seriousness, I'm curious to hear and read more hand analysis from everyone.
 

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I'm late to the party. Agreed with a larger 3bet size pre for sure.

I would look to size up a bit on the flop, but not a huge amount. It's definitely a bet. Heads up I think 35-40 is probably fine since you most likely have a large equity advantage against MP bet/call range (pre) on this board. But I'd size up slightly in a multiway pot for some additional protection.

Regarding further action I'm not really too worried about LP with a shorter stack. BB is somewhat concerning given the fairly dry nature of the board and his snap call. I wouldn't be surprised to see him turn up with a set or even 97s. But he could also have all of the 88, TT, and JJ combos, plus straight draws that we are ahead of.

The nice thing about your smaller sizing on the flop is that we have a decently sized jam here. I think all in is probably the play.
 

Gobbs

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As stated in my post, I wasn't betting small for info. BB had a very wide range that I crushed, and I wanted to keep most of that range in the hand and extract some additional value from him. There's already been some great discussion on the good and bad sides of this bet sizing, but I'm open to more.
I understand that. Maybe a better way to put it would have been that the call for $35 doesn’t change anything.
 

Schmendr1ck

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So it's pretty straightforward once LP jams.

Preflop
MP opens to $10. LP calls. Hero (SB) looks down at QQ and raises to $30. BB cold calls, MP folds, and LP calls.

Flop ($100): :9c::7s::3h:
Hero leads for $35. BB snap-calls. LP shoves for $70 and change, reopening the action. Hero jams for his remaining $205. BB looks distinctly unhappy, thinks for about ten seconds, and folds.

LP tables AA, turn is another 3, and Hero spikes his two-outer on the river to win the pot.

Had it been heads up with LP, it would have been a standard boring cooler/suckout. He seemed tight, but 30 minutes watching someone mostly fold isn't usually long enough for me to consider folding QQ on that flop and with 50bb effective stacks.

To me, the inclusion of a much deeper (and seemingly looser) BB made it a little more challenging. I realized in real time that my preflop 3b was too small, and I was curious how others might play the hand from that point forward.
 

v1pe

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Your sizing ended up being nice for LP to reopen the action. I wouldn't have considered that with my flop bet sizing given the call/call preflop line. I wonder how much the forward thinking of making a flop jam a possibility should play into our initial bet sizing.

Even if you make it $50 otf it's probably playing the same way on the turn in this scenario, but it's an interesting question to ponder.
 

Schmendr1ck

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What’s the flop jam accomplish?
That's a great question.

I suppose I could say that I'm denying equity to hands like A9 and AK, but I'm also losing value from these hands and giving BB the best opportunity to play perfectly - folding out almost everything that is behind and getting called by everything that is ahead.

In the moment, my thought was that my SPR was low enough that I was committed, and I wanted to charge BB the max to continue with hands that had equity.
 

Legend5555

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What’s the flop jam accomplish?
The pot is already so big. We are also OOP, so how much difference is there between jamming here vs. waiting for the turn? Do we think we can check jam turn? Or bet something other than all in on turn?
 

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The pot is already so big. We are also OOP, so how much difference is there between jamming here vs. waiting for the turn? Do we think we can check jam turn? Or bet something other than all in on turn?
Dry side pot so I think ya there is some merit to flatting the flop raise and a sized down lead on non-ace, non pairing turns.
 

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I guess I play way too straight forward? My preflop raise would have been $40. Non ace/king board like that I’m betting 75-80% of the pot, so probably $80 and calling off the rest of my stack. If they flopped a set or had AA or KK gg me and reload.
 
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