PAWHM - Short Handed Poker Session

upNdown

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He sounds how I usually sound :). I just think in this case the value is so slim it's worth passing on to avoid the risk of a check raise.
So what do we think the other two were calling the turn with? Middling diamonds? Maybe. Two pair or a set of 5s, hoping for a boat? I'd say that's maybe more likely. An A? Certainly. So yes, there's some risk. I agree that you shouldn't get called by many crappier hands here, but that doesn't mean you won't. Home game 4-handed. And you can't get a call if you don't bet. And what is the risk? I'll say again, it would have been a pretty weak move not to bet the river with an A. And the flop too, for that matter. Hell, the BB probably should have raised pre with an A.
All I can say is that there's only one card in the deck that beats us, and the way this hand has played, it shouldn't be in somebody's hand.
 

Legend5555

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So what do we think the other two were calling the turn with? Middling diamonds? Maybe. Two pair or a set of 5s, hoping for a boat? I'd say that's maybe more likely. An A? Certainly. So yes, there's some risk. I agree that you shouldn't get called by many crappier hands here, but that doesn't mean you won't. Home game 4-handed. And you can't get a call if you don't bet. And what is the risk? I'll say again, it would have been a pretty weak move not to bet the river with an A. And the flop too, for that matter. Hell, the BB probably should have raised pre with an A.
All I can say is that there's only one card in the deck that beats us, and the way this hand has played, it shouldn't be in somebody's hand.
This is why I hedged in my post. If we think opponents are quite bad, I can get behind a bet.
 

shorticus

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This is a hand from a home game that I was playing this past week, and I’m just curious about how you all would play the hand. Let’s have some fun.

Blinds .25/.25

Player reads (for this hand) Hero - 2008ish style. Plays wide ranges and always plays 2 face cards suited or unsuited.

Button - Relatively new to NLHE but has played poker her entire life (5-card draw, stud, etc). Understands the fundamentals, but still grasping other parts of the game.

SB - New Booty - Plays any two cards based on his “feeling” that his hand will hit.

BB - Average player - Puts effort into the game. Very passive about his skill set. In conversation, you can see that he knows a little bit more about the game than he .

Hero ($27-108BB) - UTG with :kd::jh:
SB ($20 - 100BB)
BB ($90 - 360BB)
Button ($20 - 80BB)

Action to hero…


Hero decides to limp from EP. Button folds and SB and BB check.

The Flop
:5d::td::jd:

SB - check
BB - check
Action to hero…

Hero decides to bet here. The bet is $1.25.
SB - calls
BB - calls

Turn Card is :4d:
SB - checks
BB - checks
Action to hero…

Hero bets again here. His bet sizing is now $3
SB - calls
BB - calls

River is :qs:
SB - checks
BB - checks
Action to hero…

Hero bets $3 again.
SB - calls
BB - thinks for a second and raises to $25 (effectively putting both players all-in).

Action to hero…
(I’ll conclude this in the AM)
 

LeLe

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Thinking from BB POV he should have CR at the turn most of the time if he have a flush that is Q or below

I will say from that jam into 2 person he going to have A flush

I will most likely fold to his jam if he making a play good jam by him and take note for future hand
 
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LotsOfChips

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I will say from that jam into 2 person he going to either have A flush or the Straight flush
Umm, only 2 connected suited cards on board (twice, but separated). No SF possible here. Ace high flush is the only possible thing that beats hero...
 
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Legend5555

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If there is a world where this isn't the Ad, I'd be shocked! We bet small, got a call, and THEN a raise. I'd say it's a trivial fold. If they are bad/good enough to bluff/value raise worse here, then so be it. Note it down and move on.
 

JustinInMN

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He is bluffing or has the nuts. Nothing in between makes sense. What would he call on the turn and then decided to turn into a check raise bluff on the river?

The call on the turn just really doesn't lead me to think this is a bluff.
 

shorticus

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Last second bump. Conclusion to this epic hand coming soon! :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
 

Moxie Mike

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Sure seems like it. I’m spite calling.
So as I've calculated it, after the BB's c/r jam HERO is faced with calling off his last $19 to win the $38.50 in the pot?

Pretty straightforward equation EV-wise. If you think he's bluffing 1/3 of the time or more, call. If not, fold.

For me, Villain made what was essentially a pot sized raise - pretty reasonable raise with the nuts against two opponents. Hard to imagine him making this play without the :ad: in his hand, since logically one would assume he would fear one of his two opponents might have it if he doesn't.

Kind of a risky line for the BB to take on the river... having opponents check back when they have showdown value is an EV disaster.

Pretty clear fold for the HERO IMO.
 
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shorticus

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Conclusion:
Our hero is counting out chips the minute Big Blind cuts out his stack And instacalls the bet that puts him all in. Small blind gives consideration to a call but ultimately decides that its not worth it. He folds and shows :7d::7h:

Big Blind casually reveals the :ad::4s: and takes down the pot busting out our hero (who ultimately rebuys and later loses an All in to SB later in the evening when his A7 flops AAK only for the SB to be holding AK). At the conclusion of the hand, our hero attempts to justify his play stating that he would never fold a K in this spot and begins counting cards stating that there’s only one card remaining in the deck that beats him. Then proceeds to say that no one is ever folding there. Big Blind gives a casual grin while collecting chips and prepares to proceed to the next hand.

Short’s Theory
In this hand, I think our hero makes two critical mistakes that lead to him having to pay off a larger bet than he would have in the end. First mistake is pre-flop. KJ short-handed is a hand worthy of a raise. Failure to raise in this spot gives you no idea where everyone is in the hand. Ultimately, big blind can have any two cards going to the flop and so can small blind with the exception of the monster hands that would correctly raise from the small or big blind. For me, I‘m leaning toward raise/fold, but raise/call and reevaluate the flop is an option as well.

Hero’s second mistake is very costly. Turn card brings the 4th diamond and everyone who plays poker should know that the only hands calling this flop that we are concerned with are Adx hands. When both players check to hero, I think that the correct play here is a check back. I believe this to be the correct play because we should be 1000% certain that there’s a diamond flush out there so both players checking means there are weak diamonds looking to get to a cheap showdown, potentially a set drawing to a FH, or an A attempting to trap. The check from our hero on this turn prevents the A from trapping and the Ad has no choice but to bet the river as checking the nuts on the river after everyone checks the turn would be an extremely poor play. The odds of the board pairing the river are less than 30% so checking isn’t as bad play against as set either. We are still a ~70% favorite to pull this one out against a set. If we check the river, and it gets checked to us again, we can comfortably value bet the river with our target being Qd Jd and with anything less.

I thought hero could have played this hand much better and saved himself from going busto in this scenario. I’m very curious to hear others opinions on how this hand played out. Let’s hear it.
 

upNdown

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I guess, considering that you'd bet the flop and turn, it was likely that you'd bet the river? But, as I and others have said, BB took a pretty big risk, checking the river. Does he play with you enough that we can credit him with a savvy play - like good on him, because he KNEW that YOU were betting that river? Or did he just get lucky with a very questionable decision.

Also, what do we think about him going all in, overbetting the pot? Considering everybody here, (except hero and spiteful me) was folding, is there an amount that he could have raised, that more people would have called, resulting in better long term ev?
 

shorticus

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I guess, considering that you'd bet the flop and turn, it was likely that you'd bet the river? But, as I and others have said, BB took a pretty big risk, checking the river. Does he play with you enough that we can credit him with a savvy play - like good on him, because he KNEW that YOU were betting that river? Or did he just get lucky with a very questionable decision.

Also, what do we think about him going all in, overbetting the pot? Considering everybody here, (except hero and spiteful me) was folding, is there an amount that he could have raised, that more people would have called, resulting in better long term ev?
So let’s give a little clarity here. In this scenario, I’m BB. I’ve played with UTG player for going on 13 years now. On the turn, Im 95% certain that his stack is mine. I know he thinks he has the best hand and will never fold to any bet. I also know on the turn that Im check raising all in on the river. If he makes a miracle check on the river I live with that and adjust my play moving forward, but that’s almost never happening. My hope in this case is that he bets enough on the turn and river to make calling the reraise trivial to SB. In reality, SB is the only stack I’m concerned with getting at this point. Unfortunately his bet sizing doesn’t accomplish that for me in this scenario.

This play was 1000% circumstantial and I’m very unlikely to make this play against players who I’m not certain I have a read on.
 

JustinInMN

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In this hand, I think our hero makes two critical mistakes that lead to him having to pay off a larger bet than he would have in the end. First mistake is pre-flop. KJ short-handed is a hand worthy of a raise. Failure to raise in this spot gives you no idea where everyone is in the hand.
I think the decision is actually close preflop. The problem with raising KJo is that you tend to get called by better and fold out worse. So unless the villains are going to get really stick with bad k-hi and q-hi holdings, I think flatting is fine.

Hero’s second mistake is very costly. Turn card brings the 4th diamond and everyone who plays poker should know that the only hands calling this flop that we are concerned with are Adx hands.
I would agree, getting called twice and the fact the only really high diamonds unaccounted for are the :ad: and :qd: getting called in two spots really raises the likelyhood one has the nuts and is slowplaying, even if that play is unwise. And again, there just isn't any reason to assume either player has two-pair-plus (aka a full house draw), the calls pretty much have to be diamonds. The only calling hands that make sense at all are flushes. Including the nuts, even if we don't understand why a villain would slowplay that.

Though now, take it from villain's view, if he is also able to perceive that there aren't a lot of two-pair or sets that his opponents should have, he knows hero has a flush, and since villain knows where the :ad: is, he knows it's an inferior flush. So by checking river, he is taking a gamble that hero will bet the river again, and it paid off.

When both players check to hero, I think that the correct play here is a check back.
Now I am pretty sure I would have bet the turn in the moment but after considering this thread, I do now agree checking makes sense just because there is so little "value" for anyone else to have. This also helps you control the pot so you should be able to decide what to do on the river if another player bets.
 

Legend5555

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Now I am pretty sure I would have bet the turn in the moment but after considering this thread, I do now agree checking makes sense just because there is so little "value" for anyone else to have. This also helps you control the pot so you should be able to decide what to do on the river if another player bets.
Checking back the turn reminds me of how something has changed in NLHE theory over time:

I remember in the "early" days of NLHE (2004-2007) that TP+FD was thought of as a monster worthy of getting it in. Now as theory has developed, its a much better hands to pot control with especially on the flop. You are blocking a lot of value hands, and anyone that gives you action likely has you out kicked or worse. A lot of the value from this type of hand comes from getting two streets against worse pairs or over flushing someone.

Basically, whenever you are blocking a lot of the value hands and/or best draws, especially in multiway pots, the more you likely want to just play pot control as any hand that can give you real action probably has you in real bad shape.
 

Moxie Mike

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In a shorthanded game, any hand worth playing should be raised pre. There should be very little limping while in position.

HERO has flopped strong and turned the second nut flush in a 4-handed game. The odds of running into the nuts here is greatly diminished vs. full ring. Advocating a check-back on this turn is being results-oriented. Going for value in these thin spots is often where the edges are gained.

BB obviously had an accurate read to justify checking the river... although I'd probably advocate making a c/r on the turn against 2 opponents, since you have a hand you're really not going to be able to get away from if the river is gross.
 

Legend5555

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Advocating a check-back on this turn is being results-oriented. Going for value in these thin spots is often where the edges are gained.
If this happened in a 3 way pot, same positions, except at a full ring table, do you still think the same. Fact is this is still a 3 way pot where you are getting action from both players on a monotone board.

And if there is value on the turn, is not much. Again your opponents would have to be really bad to be calling the turn with much less than the Qd. You certainly aren't going to get both the turn AND river as value bets. And you get the bet on the river still, and may get a bluff or a bet by worse.

Certainly isn't being results oriented. As I advocated for a check before knowing they called turn or the river action.
 

shorticus

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I am driving but plan to respond to everyone. Sorry for the delay.
 

Schmendr1ck

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A few comments in response to results:

First mistake is pre-flop. KJ short-handed is a hand worthy of a raise.
Agreed. But in this case it probably doesn't change the outcome much, just gets stacks in faster. I'd expect all Ax to call a raise four-handed (and AT+ to 3b a lot).

When both players check to hero, I think that the correct play here is a check back.
Also agreed. Hey, I think I heard this earlier in the thread. :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

It's ABC - checking back on the turn keeps villain's range wider, allowing him to bet river with weaker flushes and bluff with non-flush hands.

If we check the river, and it gets checked to us again, we can comfortably value bet the river with our target being Qd Jd and with anything less.
:qd: or :9d:, maybe even a smaller diamond, since the jack and ten are on the board.

Does he play with you enough that we can credit him with a savvy play - like good on him, because he KNEW that YOU were betting that river? Or did he just get lucky with a very questionable decision.
This was my question when reading the results initially.

Home game leveling can get pretty crazy when you've been playing with the same guys for a decade. Against some players in my home group, I'm 100% checking the nuts on the river OOP if they have the betting lead. They'll always barrel into me, but if I lead out they'll fold.

So let’s give a little clarity here. In this scenario, I’m BB.
oh-really-say-what.gif
 

Schmendr1ck

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If this happened in a 3 way pot, same positions, except at a full ring table, do you still think the same. Fact is this is still a 3 way pot where you are getting action from both players on a monotone board.
This is an important point that players often forget when playing short-handed home games.

Many home game players don't widen their ranges enough or play for stacks with non-nut hands when short - especially multiway. If you're getting significant three-way action (hello OT thread), you're probably still looking at a couple of nutted/near-nut hands.
 

Moxie Mike

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If this happened in a 3 way pot, same positions, except at a full ring table, do you still think the same?
The short answer is no.

The problem is the fact that this hand played out the way it did (no PFR). It's hard to speculate how being at FR would change the dynamic because the Villain played his hand improperly. You could also make an argument that BB played the hand improperly as well... it could be argued that ace-high in the BB after a limper and the SB completes should probably be looking to take the lead by raising pre.

All in all, this hand is kind of a bad example of how a shorthanded game should expand starting hand ranges. It's kind of an anomaly that by the turn one guy had the absolute nuts, another had the second nuts and the 3rd player had a hand that could be best a decent amount of the time.
 

Legend5555

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The short answer is no.

The problem is the fact that this hand played out the way it did (no PFR). It's hard to speculate how being at FR would change the dynamic because the Villain played his hand improperly. You could also make an argument that BB played the hand improperly as well... it could be argued that ace-high in the BB after a limper and the SB completes should probably be looking to take the lead by raising pre.

All in all, this hand is kind of a bad example of how a shorthanded game should expand starting hand ranges. It's kind of an anomaly that by the turn one guy had the absolute nuts, another had the second nuts and the 3rd player had a hand that could be best a decent amount of the time.
Let's say you are at a full trying table with the same players in the CO, B, SB, and BB and it folds to the CO. Then all the same action takes place. You don't think these are identical scenarios? Because IMO opinion they are, or at least are close enough to not matter enough to change anything. Whether full ring or 4 handed, my CO opening range doesn't change, and why should it? I'm in the same relative position in both scenarios. And I'd play my hands in the same manner against the same players in both.

Of course the CO misplayed his hand. That was kind of the point of the whole thing. We can only talk about what the CO should do given the actions he did take. And in this spot, I and others think checking the turn is better than betting because it's too hard to get value on both turn and river given the likely ranges once both SB and BB call the flop.

Betting the turn just opens us up to a check raise and/or makes getting another bet on the river for value too difficult. I just can't imagine an OOP player calling both turn AND river with an inferior hand very often. But I can see them calling the the river if we check turn. Plus we don't open ourselves up to getting raised as often.
 
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DrStrange

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Bet preflop. KJ is a quality hand in a four handed game. Even so Ace-rag shouldn't fold as it too is a quality hand here. < i.e. Hero can't save himself preflop, but he could save himself a lot of damage with a river check behind. >

Bet flop. Hero has top pair plus the second nut draw. Monochrome boards are good candidates for c-bets.

Check turn. Hero can't abide a check raise. Instead bluff-catch river.

Check back river. Again, Hero can't abide a check raise. Bluff catching doesn't mean value betting if checked to.

As played the river check-raise is a PITA. It is pretty hard to fold the second nut. Very villain dependent. I lean towards bet/fold.

DrStrange
 

Moxie Mike

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Let's say you are at a full ring table with the same players in the CO, B, SB, and BB and it folds to the CO. Then all the same action takes place. You don't think these are identical scenarios?
Perhaps it's worth repeating that this exact situation is a bad example of how hand ranges change in a shorthanded game.

Think of this way: a limper went up against 2 random hands and by showdown the 3 active players had the nuts, second nuts and sixth nuts respectively. That just doesn't happen very often regardless how how many players were seated at the beginning of the hand.

The easiest way to illustrate the concept is to think of how frequently KK runs into AA preflop, a very relatable example. At FR, if you're dealt KK there's a 4.32% chance one of your opponent will have aces. Against 3 opponents, that number drops to 1.44% (source).

So in a short handed game, KK goes way up in value preflop because of the reduced likelihood of running into a stronger hand.

The same concept can be applied to all starting hands, but KJo is a great example to use since KJo is the quintessential 'top pair' type of hand. At full ring, flopping top pair while holding KJo is strong yet problematic because of the increased likelihood of a stronger hand being in the field, and as such should be played with an increased level of caution. However in a shorthanded game, top pair/decent kicker is much less vulnerable to running into a cooler and can/should be played more aggressively to extract value.

But if you insist on using this exact hand as an example, let's change the board texture.

Say the board runs out :ks::qc::2d: :qs: :3h:.

Wouldn't you advocate the CO bet all 3 streets for value while holding KJo? But at full ring, that same runout might slow down a player holding KJo because of the increased likelihood of running into a stronger hand.
 
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