Sunday, December 4, 2011

Poker Quiz Question #40

Q#40: You're in a $5/$10 NL cash game. Everyone has $1000 stacks. It is currently 6-handed. You're on the button with 6c-6d. It is folded to you. You raise to $40. The big blind calls. The flop is: 2c-3d-Qs. The big blind checks. Is this flop good or bad for you?
  1. Good
  2. Bad
  3. Neutral

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A#40: This is a classic question about board texture and c-betting. I.e., is this a good board to continue on with my hand or not?

A beginning player might think that the obvious answer to this question is "no," the board didn't improve our small/middle pair, and there is an overcard. If our opponent has a Queen, we're crushed; therefore this is not a good flop for us. If checked to, we want to check back and try to see a cheap showdown.

Ah, but this is barely thinking above Level-1. We're at at $5/$10 NL game, so we have to be operating on at least L2 (and preferably L3) to keep ahead of the average villain at these stakes. This means we want to deduce what range of cards our opponent probably has, how our hand stacks up against that range on this board, and determine if this is a good board to cbet on or not. In other words, we don't really care if this board hits our hand; we care if it's hit our opponent's range. Of course this all in turn means turning to REDi.

Reads: We will assume our opponent is an average ABC TAg player. We raised preflop from the button, so our perceived opening (read: stealing) range is pretty wide, and the villain certainly knows this fact. He also knows he's going to be OOP throughout the hand, so generally speaking he's going to be somewhat cautious about playing back, and consequently will not do so lightly. He didn't reraise PF, so we can probably rule out biggish aces and big pairs. This leaves small and middle pairs, medium suited connectors, smaller broadway cards, and perhaps some small and medium and small aces.

Estimate: Quickly running pokerstove on this board against the opp's range shows that we're better than a 60:40 favorite*.

{*This correlates with the general rule that two out of three times people miss the flop.}

Decide: We're far ahead of the opp's range, and unless he has a Queen in his hand (or possibly two pair) he can't continue if we c-bet. We can fire here and take down the pot enough to make this an immediately profitable play. If he X/Rs us, we can fold. If he cold-calls, we can reevaluate on the turn.

Implement: C-bet.

Answer: Good Flop For Us

All-in for now...
-Bug

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