Tough river spot in deepstacked $.50/$1 (Mavens)

Senzrock

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It is often interesting and educational to run the same hand again from the other point of view. Villains and Heroes sometimes have very different perspectives. Even third party points of view can be divergent from the main actors.
Agreed! Like I said earlier, I was somewhat surprised to see @Legend5555 and others coming down so hard on this play when in other posts, it seems like they are much more "willing" to lay down top pair/over pair to villains aggressive betting into them. Just a casual observation, I don't have the data to back that up, but I think the participant/observer angle really changes ones perspective.
 

DrStrange

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This situation is highly villain dependent. Hero notes that the villain in question is an average to weak player. Hero doesn't offer up a villain read in the original post. But that seems like critical information to process when we are discussing a "fancy play" sort of hand.

TAG / LAG / LAP / TAP? Post flop style?

Is he/she weak tight?

Sticky to a fault?

Does Villain even look at a board and modify their play accordingly?

What about Hero's table image? For that matter, does villain even care about Hero's table image?

There are people we shouldn't try to bluff, value town only. Others are fit/fold and easy pickings for aggression.

So many blank spaces - it is hard to know how to discuss the hand. Could be hero is exploiting the hell out of Villain's weak spots. Could be Hero is spewing money into a black hole.

More likely something in between, but I can't tell what it is -=- DrStrange

PS I post hands to have a lively discussion and hopefully to gain some insight.
 

Senzrock

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CONCLUSION:

Game: NL Hold'em (80 - 200) - Blinds 0.50/1
Site: Mavens
Table: Mixed 0.50/1.00 6-Max (NL + PLO)

Seat 3, UTG: Hero ($532.75) holding [:qh::td:]
Button: Villain ($797.25)

Action:
Hero raises to 3

Folds to button
Villain raises to $10.50
Folds back to hero, I call $10.50.


Context: This is a fairly loose/fun Superbowl home game, sitting 6-handed, no rake. Players are overall average to slightly below average NL players. I consider myself quite a bit better than every player at the table, and deep-stacked I am looking for excuses to play hands in many situations. Preflop, it's a loose call, especially out of position. Generally a pretty -EV call but again, due to stack depths and skill advantage, I don't mind playing a few speculative hands here, leaning on my experience to get away cheap or win a big hand. For those pointing out that this is an easy fold - I generally agree with you, but again understanding the dynamics, I think this is an OK call.

** Flop ** [:9c::qc::jh:]

I decide to check-raise the flop feeling like this solidly smacks my range, and that I can probably get AK to fold here and take it down. Additionally, if villain has a hand like AA/KK, he is kind of handcuffed here and will have to play future streets more passively. My plan if villain smooth calls, since it pretty much caps his range, was to barrel him off of AA/KK (figuring that we were in fact deep stacked enough for this to be a viable strategy). While players understand me as an aggressive player, they rarely see me check-raise, bomb, bomb without at least two pair here so I would be counting on fold equity.

Hero checks
Villain bets $15 into $22 pot.
Hero raises to $41.25
Villain calls

** Turn ** [:4h:] (Pot is $105)

Hero bets $62

Villain thinks for 15 seconds, then calls.

Given my thought process, I decide to bet a healthy amount on the turn, looking to set up a potential river shove/over bet that will be too painful for villain to call off with any single pair. I felt like $62 achieved this purpose. It looks very strong, and could/should be perceived as a value bet given the blank turn. While the turn did bring in a second flush draw, it was about as much of a brick as it could have been. In game, I felt like my opponent was definitely considering folding here. While he did end up calling, I was feeling good about following it up with a potential river bomb. Think about if you are in villains shoes here with AA - are you calling 100%, 75%, 50% or are you leaning towards a fold at this point in the hand knowing a big bet may well be coming on the river? Is this just too ambitious?

** River** [:2h:] (Pot is $230)

The runout more or less bricks out, with backdoor hearts coming in. AKhh or AThh are options for villain here as played, but less likely that the aforementioned overpairs. I hold the Q of hearts so AQhh or KQhh are not in villains holdings. Do we need to be worried about the backdoor? Are we even more confident with our Qh to keep bluffing the river to try and get AA/KK/KQ to fold?

River Action/Thoughts:
At this point, I have a bit of a change of heart. Maybe it's the fact that it feels like it will take $150+ to get villain off top pair here, maybe it's because I am holding out hope that AK or clubs could just check behind here, maybe it's that I didn't like the backdoor hearts, but I decide to check this river.

Pot: $230
Hero Checks
Villain bets $155


Now I'm very confused. I was not expecting a river bet from villain here! Did he back into hearts? Was he slow playing a set and getting value here? Set doesn't seem like it makes much sense. The turn made this the wettest board of all time, feels like he would have just put in the raise there. Did he end up making an ambitious call with AK on the flop/turn and is now turning his hand into a bluff or did he miss clubs? The bet feels odd because it seems like he would check behind AA/KK/KQ at this point. He might even go so far as to check behind a hand like 99/JJ. How many value hands does he have when he absolutely bombs this river after having played the other streets relatively passively? Can I call here? Fold? Check-Raise like a fuckin boss??

Conclusion:
I try and think about the bluffs that villain ends up here with and I can only come up with a few busted club draws, maybe a AKcc, AJcc, A5cc but it's a very narrow range. I don't think for example that this villain is 3betting the A5cc very often, even on the button. While the bet is confusing, it could definitely be a bad player betting AA/KK because they just don't know what else to do, not being sure if they are doing it for value or turning it into a bluff. I tank for a long time and finally fold. The villain does not show his hand but tells me on the chat that he had AhKx for a busted gutshot + 2 overs the bluffed the river big when the heart came in! I was pretty impressed with his play actually, although I don't like his call on the turn unless his plan was to bluff on any heart. In hindsight, knowing that AK was still in range, I think I am still OK with my play, opponent just made a strong/gutsy river bluff and I just have to give him credit for outplaying me in that spot. I think on a dry river I end up winning at show down (either because I barrel or because he checks behind) and I end up winning a decent pot.

Thought it was an interesting hand - appreciate everyone playing along!
 

Senzrock

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This situation is highly villain dependent. Hero notes that the villain in question is an average to weak player. Hero doesn't offer up a villain read in the original post. But that seems like critical information to process when we are discussing a "fancy play" sort of hand.

TAG / LAG / LAP / TAP? Post flop style?

Is he/she weak tight?

Sticky to a fault?

Does Villain even look at a board and modify their play accordingly?

What about Hero's table image? For that matter, does villain even care about Hero's table image?

There are people we shouldn't try to bluff, value town only. Others are fit/fold and easy pickings for aggression.

So many blank spaces - it is hard to know how to discuss the hand. Could be hero is exploiting the hell out of Villain's weak spots. Could be Hero is spewing money into a black hole.

More likely something in between, but I can't tell what it is -=- DrStrange

PS I post hands to have a lively discussion and hopefully to gain some insight.
These are all good/important questions, and I think I should have written a bit more about my read on villain but the truth is that I don't have a ton of information aside from the following: He is, I would say an average or slightly below average player whom I would describe as LAG but not a psycho who goes out of his way to play "fancy". I mean this in the sense that he is not breaking down his range or opponents range or thinking critically about specific spots. One important note is that he doesn't mind playing big pots and he is generally a loser in our cash games. He is the type of player who definitely COULD show up with AK on the river, if that makes sense (and certainly it was something I had in my mind when I check-tanked the river). I didn't give him credit for making the naked A bluff, but clearly we see he has that capacity as well. Table's image is TAG / doesn't get way out of line in big spots. When I am in a big hand, I generally show them the nuts, and I just assume that I get some level of credit when I am making the bets I am making in this hand.
 

Legend5555

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These are all good/important questions, and I think I should have written a bit more about my read on villain but the truth is that I don't have a ton of information aside from the following: He is, I would say an average or slightly below average player whom I would describe as LAG but not a psycho who goes out of his way to play "fancy". I mean this in the sense that he is not breaking down his range or opponents range or thinking critically about specific spots. One important note is that he doesn't mind playing big pots and he is generally a loser in our cash games. He is the type of player who definitely COULD show up with AK on the river, if that makes sense (and certainly it was something I had in my mind when I check-tanked the river). I didn't give him credit for making the naked A bluff, but clearly we see he has that capacity as well. Table's image is TAG / doesn't get way out of line in big spots. When I am in a big hand, I generally show them the nuts, and I just assume that I get some level of credit when I am making the bets I am making in this hand.
Knowing he can do what he did I think makes QTo even more of a fold pre.

And again its not that I would lay down your hand post here on flop or turn. It's that playing it for a 3bet OOP pre just doesn't seem like a good idea. You just have such an uphill battle at that point.

I don't straight up hate your flop play, though I'd much rather have the Tc to pull that play so you block any potential NFD. Once you started down the line you did, I don't hate it. Getting to the flop in the first place is my issue with the hand.
 

Chippy McChiperson

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This is why we don't play big pots out of position with marginal hands, even if we think we have an edge.

I will say (even though I know the results already) his river bet is pretty polarizing. You were contemplating a check raise, which in my opinion would be awful. Your hand has some value, but you're not getting called by anything you beat, so if you think he's bluffing you may as well call. I doubt you're getting a fold from a hand you're losing to, a river check raise in this spot makes very little sense.

As for a call, you're paying 155 to win 385, so you're getting about 2.5 to 1 odds, which means you have to be right on a call about 29% of the time to break even. I don't know how much this player bluffs, you'd know better since you play with him frequently, but like you said it's a weird board for him to try to extract value from. Tough spot indeed.
 
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Senzrock

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This is why we don't play big pots out of position with marginal hands, even if we think we have an edge.

I will say (even though I know the results already) his river bet is pretty polarizing. You were contemplating a check raise, which in my opinion would be awful. Your hand has some value, but you're not getting called by anything you beat, so if you think he's bluffing you may as well call. I doubt you're getting a fold from a hand you're losing to, a river check raise in this spot makes very little sense.

As for a call, you're paying 155 to win 385, so you're getting about 2.5 to 1 odds, which means you have to be right on a call about 22% of the time to break even. I don't know how much this player bluffs, you'd know better since you play with him frequently, but like you said it's a weird board for him to try to extract value from. Tough spot indeed.
Yeah I was never check-raising the river that was just a joke! Would make no sense. I understand why people are harping on the "fold pre" - something which I acknowledge in the outset before I say anything else. I think we all find ourselves in spots though where... we didn't make that fold pre and have to move and and play the hand as it comes at us. His river bet was very strange. Having the Qh in my hand makes it less likely he has that flush but, again, with players who don't have a strong grasp of the game, they could be making strange value bets on the river.
 

kmccormick100

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In retrospect, if you can’t get this opponent to fold AKo, he’s never folding AA or AK to a flop check raise, or possibly any pressure. I think a check-call, check-call, check-evaluate river line lets you get to showdown a lot more frequently and may not induce as many bluffs in this spot. QT has a lot of equity on this board and you want to be able to fully realize it without having to turn top pair and an open ender into a bluff.
 

mipevi

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Call flop, check/call turn, check/decide river.

In retrospect, if you can’t get this opponent to fold AKo, he’s never folding AA or AK to a flop check raise, or possibly any pressure. I think a check-call, check-call, check-evaluate river line lets you get to showdown a lot more frequently and may not induce as many bluffs in this spot. QT has a lot of equity on this board and you want to be able to fully realize it without having to turn top pair and an open ender into a bluff.

Jinx, you owe me a Coke! Called it in post #4 :D
 

Senzrock

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In retrospect, if you can’t get this opponent to fold AKo, he’s never folding AA or AK to a flop check raise, or possibly any pressure. I think a check-call, check-call, check-evaluate river line lets you get to showdown a lot more frequently and may not induce as many bluffs in this spot. QT has a lot of equity on this board and you want to be able to fully realize it without having to turn top pair and an open ender into a bluff.
I think in the end this line is my default and makes a lot of sense. While in this case he didn’t fold AK, I have seen him make folds in the past. He was close on the turn. Interesting of course, because we ended up being ahead so I didn’t *need* a fold in this spot. Just more heart to either fire or check/call the river lol. Thanks for the feedback.
 

Senzrock

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I think in the end this line is my default and makes a lot of sense. While in this case he didn’t fold AK, I have seen him make folds in the past. He was close on the turn. Interesting of course, because we ended up being ahead so I didn’t *need* a fold in this spot. Just more heart to either fire or check/call the river lol. Thanks for the feedback.
The concern is that if I go into check/call mode, he may well blow me off of my hand by the river in an annoying spot. Here is where position of course is so important because if I raise flop, I can see a potential free street (if that is what I choose to do).
 

Taghkanic

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Fold Pre. QTo should be an UTG fold, even in 6 max and even more importantly when you are this deep. Flop should be a C/C.

Agreed. And when the button reraises pre, that was another chance to fold. QTo is dominated in so many ways and sucks to play out of position against a 3bet.

That said... The flop is about as good as one could hope for without flopping 2 pair or better.

I’d reraise him on the flop. He may fold, or if just called it may check through on the turn. If he 4bets, fold. If you don’t reraise the flop, you’ll probably be sigh-calling two streets. Have to take some control of the hand on the flop. Still lots of danger ahead.
 

Taghkanic

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River combinatorics... Not my strong suit but I’ll give it a whirl...

Likely hands that beat you: AA JJ QQ AQ KQ QJs, AhXh (+ maybe J9s? J8s? Q9s?)... Something like 45-60 combos, depending on how loose he is pre calling in position.

Semi-bluffs you beat: KTs, AT, JTs, T9s, AJ. Maybe 30 combos?

Bluffs you beat: AK, some non-heart suited As (+ some non-heart suited Ks?)... Maybe 24-30 combos

I’d guesstimate that you’re good 45-50% of the time here. So you’re getting an OK price to call (155/385 = ~40%). Not hugely profitable but unless the villain is nitty, I probably feel I have to grit my teeth and call having gotten this far.
 

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(And obviously, all that is hard to consciously calculate live, though with practice it can be kind of intuited. Not that I’ve got there)
 

Mojo1312

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River combinatorics... Not my strong suit but I’ll give it a whirl...

Likely hands that beat you: AA JJ QQ AQ KQ QJs, AhXh (+ maybe J9s? J8s? Q9s?)... Something like 45-60 combos, depending on how loose he is pre calling in position.

Semi-bluffs you beat: KTs, AT, JTs, T9s, AJ. Maybe 30 combos?

Bluffs you beat: AK, some non-heart suited As (+ some non-heart suited Ks?)... Maybe 24-30 combos

I’d guesstimate that you’re good 45-50% of the time here. So you’re getting an OK price to call (155/385 = ~40%). Not hugely profitable but unless the villain is nitty, I probably feel I have to grit my teeth and call having gotten this far.

K,T gives Villain the straight.
 

Senzrock

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River combinatorics... Not my strong suit but I’ll give it a whirl...

Likely hands that beat you: AA JJ QQ AQ KQ QJs, AhXh (+ maybe J9s? J8s? Q9s?)... Something like 45-60 combos, depending on how loose he is pre calling in position.

Semi-bluffs you beat: KTs, AT, JTs, T9s, AJ. Maybe 30 combos?

Bluffs you beat: AK, some non-heart suited As (+ some non-heart suited Ks?)... Maybe 24-30 combos

I’d guesstimate that you’re good 45-50% of the time here. So you’re getting an OK price to call (155/385 = ~40%). Not hugely profitable but unless the villain is nitty, I probably feel I have to grit my teeth and call having gotten this far.
I think there's a good case for a check-call on the river, agreed!
 
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