Thoughts on my flop play...

johnnyesper

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Hi All,
This is a hand from a recent PFC tournament. I am curious of my betting line and sizing. I ran the numbers on estimated equity it was about equal for all the players so the math checks out Im not sure about the line. Let me know what you think.

So this was very early in the tournament so I think the stack sizes are not too relevant here. I will list them anyway

UTG 19.7K limps 50
UTG +1 19.6 limps 50
folds to SB 23.3k who completes
BB (hero) :ks: :9s: I raise it to 250

So my first thought here is to raise it up to atk the limpers maybe folding out weaker hands and getting closer to HU out of position.
If there was an open raise at any point I would have just called defending my blind with a reasonable suited King.
To my surprise I'm called by all three villains.

My first question is should I have made it bigger to fold out any small suited Ace or over cards? Im not skure if it would have mattered but I wondering what the optimal line would be.

The flop looked pretty favorable to me I thought.
:th: :jh: :8d:

this is where my real question is. What is the play here with 2 more to act behind me, bet or check? If bet how much?

I will talk about the line I took after some comments. Thanks for the input.
 

Eriks

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I check this pre. Utg and utg+1 limping tells me they have something they wanna play; Axs/pp/suited connectors or broadways. No need to bloat this pre imo.

Not a great spot on the flop either with a one card open ender oop on a fd board vs 3 limpcallers. Granted, no one should have AK so an offsuit Q would be the effective nuts but I don’t know, check/fold sucks and check/call, bet/fold, bet/call all seem kinda meh.
 

trigs

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BTW, who limps UTG in a tournament? Just seems like a terrible play.

You are all more or less 400BBs deep early in a tournament. I would not be surprised at all to get three callers on your raise. I'd be surprised if any of them folded. Therefore, I don't really like the preflop raise here as you are just bloating a pot out of position with not the greatest hand. Any ace hits and you probably have to shut down. You hit a king and someone can easily have you out kicked. There are not a lot of flops here that make me confident in my hand.

I don't think the flop is favorable to you. Very easy for anyone to have a jack or a ten with a straight draw as well. You do have a 9 blocker though.

As played, I would probably check/call one raise depending on action coming back to me. If SB bets out I think just a call is tough to make with 2 players behind to act still. It definitely seems you put yourself in a tough spot here.
 

boltonguy

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I think I would have just checked pre, depends on what you know about the players; but as to your raise sizing I don't play tournaments so if I was going to raise to ISO it depends on expected fold equity:
- Cash online I would open 3BB or 4BB depending on how loose/tight the table is playing +1BB per limper = 6BB to 7BB = 300 to 350. Seem to have more FE online.
- Cash live I would open 5BB or 6BB + 1BB per limper = 8BB to 9BB = 400 to 450. Have way less FE live so larger sizing.
The outcome probably tells you that you should have raised larger to ISO as you got 3 callers so your sizing was too small to ISO.
I would have checked as I don't think your hand is strong enough to ISO. Pete Clarke's ISO Triangle factors frequent strength, fold equity and position to decide to ISO. You have some hand strength but not a lot and do not have FE or position. So no ISO.

Checked to you multi-way: my thinking is you flopped pretty well with an OESD but there is a front-door FD out there.
Will a bet get better hands to fold or weaker hands to call, or should you bet for value to start building the pot?

Will better hands fold to a bet: not likely. sets, PP, Jx, Tx, 8x will likely call a bet, even a sizeable one.
Will weaker hands call: not likely with the connectedness of the board if I havent hit it I'm folding to a bet
Bet for value: no, you need to be much stronger than the calling range to bet for value and you are not very strong
I would check/call and evaluate turn.
 

johnnyesper

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Before I reveal what I did I knew my hand was not great but to @trigs point limping from under the gun is sub optimal so I thought I could get a weak Ace or off suit Broadway to fold like KJ or QJ to fold. This crowd didn't follow that advice. ;)

AS with my hand, I knew it was not great but again, the limpers made me think they were not strong. My thoughts were correct as I will talk about on the flop play and turn in the next messages.
 

DrStrange

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The preflop raise seems dubious. Hero is going to have the worst position with a relatively weak hand. Let's say Hero hits top pair - his kicker is not good. He might win with a c-bet, but hero could easily have kicker problems. Also, Hero has no reads yet on the limpers. Will they fold to a bet? Will Hero find their limping range is stronger than his raising range? I think a check is best.

The flop is wet on a four way flop. This is no place to be c-betting hoping for folds. What is Hero's plan if someone raises his c-bet? Is Hero thinking the c-bet is for value? Here we see how bad position punishes players. Hero doesn't have a clue what to do - he has represented a "bigger" hand. But the flop favors the limp/call ranges much better than Hero's range. < of course, hero's actual range is rather wide and his nine becomes the strong part of the hand >

I think this flop is a check. Perhaps hero can call a small bet, but I'd be biased to fold facing much action. Hero doesn't have any clean outs.

Tldr: check preflop, check / lean fold on the flop.

DrStrange
 

Frogzilla

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Pre squeeze is very standard. Maybe a bit light on the bet sizing OOP.

Flop is about as good as it gets for a limp/call range so should tighten our range in general. All of the players have lots of straights, sets, 2p, and strong combo draws. Our K9 no backdoor flush draw with nonnutted straight draw is pretty weak. Never cbetting here and may even consider folding to significant flop action.
 

tabletalker7

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1. I would not have bothered raising pre-flop. The blinds in comparison to stack size here - you would have to raise so much to get limping small aces or suited connectors to fold that you would be way over betting the value of your hand. Sorry but a suited K-9 isn't that good.
2. That flop might look nice for you but it isn't. That flop looks nice to people with separate straight and flush draws (A-9 hearts perhaps) and with your raise not getting any folds, the flush draw is very much a possibility here and the flush draw has more outs than you do right now. Check the flop, and seriously considering folding to action at this point. Again, your starting hand just isn't that good.

Lesson of the day here, K-9 suited isn't that good.
 

johnnyesper

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The preflop raise seems dubious. Hero is going to have the worst position with a relatively weak hand. Let's say Hero hits top pair - his kicker is not good. He might win with a c-bet, but hero could easily have kicker problems. Also, Hero has no reads yet on the limpers. Will they fold to a bet? Will Hero find their limping range is stronger than his raising range? I think a check is best.

I completely agree with what you said. My main reason for the raise was to get the limpers to fold. I didn't think my hand was going to play multiway. So I thought I could take advantage with a suited hand from the big blind. That may not have been the best plan especially as I didn't get any fold equity I thought I was going to get.


The flop is wet on a four way flop. This is no place to be c-betting hoping for folds. What is Hero's plan if someone raises his c-bet? Is Hero thinking the c-bet is for value? Here we see how bad position punishes players. Hero doesn't have a clue what to do - he has represented a "bigger" hand. But the flop favors the limp/call ranges much better than Hero's range. < of course, hero's actual range is rather wide and his nine becomes the strong part of the hand >

I think this flop is a check. Perhaps hero can call a small bet, but I'd be biased to fold facing much action. Hero doesn't have any clean outs.

Tldr: check preflop, check / lean fold on the flop.

DrStrange

Since they all called this was my thought as well. I thought maybe the limp range of UTG, UTG+1, and SB was strong pairs, 99 to JJ, Ajo, AQo (maybe) and AJs. I would think that QQ+, AQs, or AKo would have 3-bet my raise. So I thought I was somewhat safe from this kind of board. each of these positions are vulnerable. The SB was first to act so he would need to have a strong hand to stay. The others are calling with weaker perceived ranges. I may be over valuing thier range but all these factors lead me to believe on the flop I was better then I thought I would be but not great. I wonder if my thinking is correct here. Critiques are welcome.
 

boltonguy

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You are correct in saying that their calls preflop represent capped ranges which isn't surprising given that they all limped.
What hands do you think are in a limp/call range against a small bet?
Medium offsuit broadway, medium suited connectors and PP below TT.
This flop smashes that range. I don't think you are safe from this board as Jx, Tx, 8x, JQ, Qx, suited connectors and one gappers like T9, 98, 99, 88 are out there.
 

johnnyesper

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Here is what I did next.

So the flop gave me an OESD:

:th: :jh: :8d:

fearing a not great hand on a multi-way flop,the SB checks, I check, then it check around.

At this point I have no idea where I am at. But I think that if it checks around that the ranges for the villains are over cards like off suit Broadways or suited aces.

The turn is :6d:

The backdoor flush gets some help. the SB checks. Im curious about what people think about the turn.

I had the sense, see my response to @DrStrange, that since it checked around I would try to see if I could semi buff my hand. If I would have gotten callers I would have given up as I know I was very far behind. I thought maybe an little aggression on the turn may help me as I was the pre-flop aggressor.

The SB checks and I try to regain the lead by betting and try to get drawing hands to fold. I bet 750 into 1000. UTG and UTG+1 folds. SB goes into the tank and uses almost all of their timer.

SB then calls
 

boltonguy

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IMHO your equity didn't improve so check. Just because noone bet doesn't mean they haven't hit the board given that it is wet.
Personally I wouldn't start running a bluff right now. Lots of hands that beat you will call a bet.
 

johnnyesper

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You are correct in saying that their calls preflop represent capped ranges which isn't surprising given that they all limped.
What hands do you think are in a limp/call range against a small bet?
Medium offsuit broadway, medium suited connectors and PP below TT.
This flop smashes that range. I don't think you are safe from this board as Jx, Tx, 8x, JQ, Qx, suited connectors and one gappers like T9, 98, 99, 88 are out there.

This is true which is why I thought they would have folded out those ranges to a semi strong 3-bet... or at least I would have thought they would. The interesting part to me is that its possible that the villians heavily value their flop and post flop play. Based on playing with them only a few times I didn't get the sense that was the case. Im sure Im wildly incorrect here. Im not a pro by any means its more of the analysis I had come up with at the time. Honestly, it could have been that we were so deep that the extra 4 bb was not enough to get fold equity. At that point we were about 400 bb stacks. /shrug.
 

boltonguy

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I don't think there was a 3bet? Limpers and a raise preflop. A 3 bet would have been a reraise of your raise
Blinds are the first (forced) bet, your bet was the second bet.
 

johnnyesper

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I don't think there was a 3bet? Limpers and a raise preflop. A 3 bet would have been a reraise of your raise
Blinds are the first (forced) bet, your bet was the second bet.


Yes, that is correct. My post should say "semi strong raise"
 

johnnyesper

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Not trying to be rude but 5bb out of position over 3 limpers is not strong

Totally get it. Since we were so deep I think my initial raise was not as strong as I thought. I went 3 bb + 1 for each limper and it was not nearly enough.
 

boltonguy

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Thanks for the comments btw... Its been really helpful for my poker study.
You're welcome. This is a pretty friendly place. Someone said it up thread but a lot of players really want to see flops especially with good implied odds hands like medium and small pp and suited connectors and will definitely call your bet size to do so especially when stacks are deep imho
 
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This definitely isn’t a raise preflop for me. Definitely checking. Always suspicious of the UTG limp. Then another limp at UTG+1? Definitely just checking preflop.
 

johnnyesper

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The turn...

So the fact that UTG and UTG+1 folded to my confirmed my read on their hands.

I would like to discuss my aggressive line. Many of the comments were to be more passive or even fold to the limpers because I didn't have a good hand and I was out of position. That is fo sure up for debate. I wonder what a solver would say.

So then came the river. My thought was that since the SB tank called the turn I knew he was a on a draw. The river was...

:Ad:

I knew once it hit I was dead to rights. No matter what draw he was chasing he hit and if he was thinking I was bluffing the Ace was not good for me. It was bad around. I was hoping villain was going to check it down but I was going to fold to any bet and thats what I did. it was painful run out for a bad hand.
 

tabletalker7

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I would like to discuss my aggressive line. Many of the comments were to be more passive or even fold to the limpers because I didn't have a good hand and I was out of position. That is fo sure up for debate. I wonder what a solver would say.
Your aggressive line in this hand makes no sense to me. For starters, stack sizes in terms of number of BB makes an aggressive line of thought become UBER aggressive, but your bet pre-flop didn't show that. Your pre-flop raise was only 1.3% of the smallest opponent stack, and a bet like that tells me that you don't want to see a flop 4 handed, but in reality your cards aren't that good and you didn't know what to do. Without knowing what your hand was, I would say a check would be better. When the flop came out and you checked it, any thought of taking an aggressive line should have went out the window right then and there (A good bluff is about telling a good story and getting people to believe the story you are telling them is the truth). Your turn bet, while looking aggressive compared to the pot, is still only 3.9% of the smallest stack still in the hand, and still doesn't meet any aggressive standard. On top of that the turn card opened up a lot more draws, which unfortunately you did not have. An aggressive line in your situation here makes no sense.

Don't get me wrong - I know how being aggressive and forcing people to make a decision can be a good thing in poker, when executed correctly. When blind are at 25 and 50, and average stacks at 20,000 (wow) either forget the aggressive line, or draw that line more in tune with stack size than pot size. A pre-flop raise to 1000 there, while looking out of place with a pot only holding 200 in it, would have been 5% of stack size, and showed you mean business. Then that allows progressively bigger bets each betting round, telling people that missing their draw will hurt BADLY, and helps convince them that the story you are telling them is true.

And please, don't think I am yelling at you (I am not). We have all been there before, and hell if you put a few beers and a shot of Wild Turkey in me and I will be there again. I just hope you learn the lesson here a lot quicker than I did.
 

johnnyesper

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And please, don't think I am yelling at you (I am not). We have all been there before, and hell if you put a few beers and a shot of Wild Turkey in me and I will be there again. I just hope you learn the lesson here a lot quicker than I did.

No, thank you for the honesty and response. I do not I think you're yelling at me. This is the exact reason why I posted this. My game needs help, as you can see, so I appreciate the analysis. I have to rely on forums like this to get poker advise. If I want to get better, I need to talk with people who are better.

Your aggressive line in this hand makes no sense to me. For starters, stack sizes in terms of number of BB makes an aggressive line of thought become UBER aggressive, but your bet pre-flop didn't show that. Your pre-flop raise was only 1.3% of the smallest opponent stack, and a bet like that tells me that you don't want to see a flop 4 handed, but in reality your cards aren't that good and you didn't know what to do. Without knowing what your hand was, I would say a check would be better. When the flop came out and you checked it, any thought of taking an aggressive line should have went out the window right then and there (A good bluff is about telling a good story and getting people to believe the story you are telling them is the truth). Your turn bet, while looking aggressive compared to the pot, is still only 3.9% of the smallest stack still in the hand, and still doesn't meet any aggressive standard. On top of that the turn card opened up a lot more draws, which unfortunately you did not have. An aggressive line in your situation here makes no sense.

Don't get me wrong - I know how being aggressive and forcing people to make a decision can be a good thing in poker, when executed correctly. When blind are at 25 and 50, and average stacks at 20,000 (wow) either forget the aggressive line, or draw that line more in tune with stack size than pot size. A pre-flop raise to 1000 there, while looking out of place with a pot only holding 200 in it, would have been 5% of stack size, and showed you mean business. Then that allows progressively bigger bets each betting round, telling people that missing their draw will hurt BADLY, and helps convince them that the story you are telling them is true.

This is so true. Im trying to think about and understand relative stack sizes especially in tournaments. I haven't gotten a good handle on what players are willing to call or bet at deep stacks. There have been times when a small bet will get the table to fold and other times a decent sized bet brings 3 callers. Your math here is helpful to understand that better. This is something to think about.
 

tabletalker7

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This is so true. Im trying to think about and understand relative stack sizes especially in tournaments. I haven't gotten a good handle on what players are willing to call or bet at deep stacks. There have been times when a small bet will get the table to fold and other times a decent sized bet brings 3 callers. Your math here is helpful to understand that better. This is something to think about.
Just think, if the 1000 bet pre-flop makes everyone fold, you win the 200 pot. Wouldn't that have been a better result than what you got? Always keep stack size in mind, not just in tournaments but in cash games as well. It also works both ways - when you got the nuts, it doesn't matter if you only bet a certain percentage of the pot if that number is too big for their stack size.
 

Steve Birrer

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You are looking to get 3 folds post turn. Terrible spot to bluff IMO. Somebody is going to have something and they aren't folding. And you aren't beating any callers at this point.
 
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