Q#52: You're in a $5/$10 NL cash game. Everyone has $1000 stacks. It's six-handed. You raise UTG with A♠-T♠. The big blind calls. He's loose-aggressive, but has been check-folding to your flop bets during the last few rotations. The flop is 2♥-9♥-J♣. Is this a good flop for you? What should you do?
- Good Flop, Bet
- Bad Flop, Check
- Good Flop, Check
- Bad Flop, Bet
A#52: Reads: A LAg flat called your UTG raise from the big blind. Given the stakes of the game, let's assume he's a competent player. He is probably putting you on hands like AT+, A8s+, 22+, and a bunch of broadways and/or big SCs. He knows he'll be OOP in the hand, he doesn't reraise, and he's normally aggressive. WIth all this in mind, his range looks and smells like a small to medium pair to me, plus maybe some other random suited connectors. Call it 99-22,QJs,JTs,T9s,98s
Estimate: The problem didn't explicitly state this, but I assume that he checks to you on the flop of 2♥-9♥-J♣. This is a moderately wettish flop, and/but it missed you completely. Against his range on this board, you're a dog at something like 25:75. Said another way: bad flop for you.
Decide: The problem statement says that he has a propensity to check-fold to your flop cbets. The board is wettish, and has either hit him (in which case he's coming along) or it missed (in which case he's probably going to fold to a cbet). In other words, I think you can probably bluff here and get him to fold out many of his small, non-set pairs and most of his SCs that are of the wrong suit/flavor. Our line is therefore a Bluff.
Implement: Bet, but fold to a reraise and/or shut it down on the turn if the villain doesn't go away.
Answer: Bad Flop, Bet
And now what do I do now that the quiz series has run its course? It's been almost a year since I started work on analyzing and discussing all 52 Donkey Test "Quiz Questions" within this blog-- and now I'm finished. Whew.
Seriously, I really enjoyed doing this exercise, and in fact plan on continuing from time to time with my own questions, hands-of-the-day from other websites, reader-submitted hands, and interesting poker questions I see in the forums. I've received a lot of really useful and positive feedback on my analyses from various folks reading this blog, so I'd like to keep some type of regular quiz going.
When I first started out with Q#1, I admit I didn't really do a great job analyzing some of the hand situations in a formal, logical process. In fact, I think made some mistakes. That's the bad news. The good news is that knowing I was flailing away to get to an answer on each quiz helped in part to lead me to creating REDi (initially called "RED-M," and proposed on or about the time I tackled Q#16). After some evolution and tweaking, I now honestly believe REDi represents a pretty good approach to breaking down a poker hand situation and arriving at a well-reasoned and defensible answer. The more I use REDi, the stronger I think it is in analyzing both simple and complex poker questions alike.
In any case, I hope you guys and gals enjoyed reading my quiz question analyses as much as I did puzzling over them and writing down my thoughts. If you've missed any of the questions, or want to go back and reread any of the posts, I've created a separate page (found at the top of my blog home page, as well as here) that provides a hyper-linked table of contents that will get you to each of the 52 individual questions and answers. Thanks for your indulgence...
All-in for now...