Monday, March 5, 2012

Dunno, or Not Dunno. That is the Question.

Here's a hand I played yesterday in which, afterward, I was convinced I made a fundamental mistake. But then later I thought, no, I played it right. But then even later I started doubting myself again.  My mind kept going back and asking if I did anything wrong. The only two definitive things I could come up with is: 1) dunno; and, 2) I'm probably over-thinking things. :-)

Anyway, here's the hand. It seems like such a simple thing, right?

Merge, $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

SB: $100 (100 bb)
BB: $71.96 (72 bb)
UTG: $39.07 (39.1 bb)
MP: $161.10 (161.1 bb)
Hero (CO): $140.97 (141 bb)
BTN: $116.31 (116.3 bb)

Preflop: Hero is CO with K of diamonds A of hearts
2 folds, Hero raises to $3, 2 folds, BB calls $2

Flop: ($6.50) T of spades 2 of spades K of clubs (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $4.87, BB calls $4.87

Turn: ($16.24) K of spades (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $10.82, BB folds

Results: $16.24 pot ($1.31 rake)
Final Board: T of spades 2 of spades K of clubs K of spades
BB mucked and lost (-$7.87 net)
Hero mucked K of diamonds A of hearts and won $14.93 ($7.06 net)

See the issue?

I think my preflop raise was fine, as was my flop bet. But what am I doing on the turn? Why am I betting here? Should I be betting here? If not, why not? If so, how much? And why? Good questions.

As I've said herein this blog more than a few times before, there are two primary reasons for betting: value or bluff. A value bet is intended to get a worse hand to call, and a bluff bet is intended to get a better hand to fold. So, with that in mind, is my turn bet going to achieve either thing? Dunno. It feels like the villain is going to fold out most of his worse hands, and call only with the better ones if I bet. But...

I confess I played this hand on semi-autopilot, so with Monday-morning quarterbacking available, let's go back and apply REDi (like I should have done in the first place... sigh) and see what we can see:

Reads: The big blind seems like a weak player. His stack size of 72bb is pretty lame, and usually indicative of a fish. I have 100 hands on the villain, and he was 30/11 over that sample size. Combined, these things definitely point toward the p-fish side of things, which often means calling station and/or chaser. There are lots of small pairs, weak suited connectors and gappers, and random two broadway hands in his range. But remember, he called OOP preflop, and then cold-called a wettish flop, and in these days even the fish are aware of board texture...

Estimate: At first glance, I think I'm either way ahead or way behind in this hand by the time the turn hits. He could have hit his flush... or more likely have a single spade in his hand, a gutterball, a Ten, or maybe the case King. He also might have peeled one on the flop with an underpair, hoping to get lucky and hit a set. Remember, he's a p-fish. I think things are weighted toward him not having a made hand on the turn, or if he does, it's likely not super strong. Call it middle-ish pairs. Said another way, I think I have tons of equity. Per 'stove against this assumed range, I've got probably 75% or greater equity on this turn.

Decide: With this much equity, I'm definitely on a Value line.

Implement: Here's where I'm (over)thinking I made the mistake. I'm on a Value line, so I want to build the pot, right? But am I not going to chase away a lot of his weaker hands with a bet here? I.e., on a Value line, I want a worse hand to call. Will he? Dunno. If I bet into this scary-looking turn King, it seems like he's probably folding out most of his weaker holdings, and I don't want this to happen.

But if I bet small (or not at all), I'm giving him a cheap (or free) look at a river card. And this is definitely bad news.  If he is on a draw, I have to bet to protect my equity, right?


Anyway, the hand stuck in my craw badly enough that I went and posted the hand on 2+2 to see what the experts said. The consensus is that I done good. Bet for value. If the guy folds, he folds. Move on to the next hand...

Ah, but.... dunno.

All-in for now...

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