Friday, November 2, 2012

A Tricky Spot with Queens

It's been a while since I've done a HofTD analysis, and this one piqued my interest:

Reads: Okay, so what range do we put our opponent on? Preflop, it's pretty wide. The fact that he's playing "passively" and then cold calls our open raise PF from the button means his range is considerably wider than a more TAggish player. We can however eliminate some of the hands that he'd reraise with, passive or not, such as QQ+ and AK+. Let's call his range: JJ-22,AQo-ATo,KQo-KTo,QJo-QTo,JTo,AQs-A9s,KQs-K9s,QJs-Q9s,JTs-J9s,T9s

Next, when he flats our c-bet on the T-5-8 two tone flop, we can start eliminating some of the weaker hands from his range. This is primarily because the board is wet and heavy for our range, and unless he's the type that likes to float continuation bets IP and then take it down on the turn (we're going to assume he's an ABC player) we have to assume this board is not entirely scary to him. Let's assume he's peeling with things like TPGK+, overcards+weak draws, big draws, and sets. Let's call it: JJ-88,55,AQo,ATo,KQo,KTo,QJo-QTo,JTo,AQs,ATs,KQs,KTs,QJs-Q9s,JTs-J9s,T9s

Estimate: His range continues to hit the board pretty hard when the Jh comes on the turn. According to Flopzilla, ~24% of his hands have us beat (sets and two pair), about 30% of his hands are flush draws of one type or another, and 30% are OESDs. That said, our equity is still ~61% or so at this point in time.

Our M is 8.7, and we have 20 big blinds. We're starting to get short, but we're not yet pot committed. There's $15.7K in the pot, which represents three quarters of our stack.

Decide: There's a lot of money in the middle and we have solid equity. We can't afford to give him another card cheap on the river (yes, this looks and smells a lot like a "protection bet", which I said in a previous post (here) should not be part of your game at cash tables, but I do believe there are specific instances (like this one) in MTTs that it is in fact a valid line.) More importantly our hand is ahead of his range, so this looks and feels like a Value line to me.

Implement. Let's look at the possible multiple choice answers: He's a passive player, so we can't expect him to bet very frequently if we check, so check-raising is out. Check-calling is also weak, as again we're giving him a chance to check behind and make a draw. Check-folding is wrong, given that we're on a Value line. Ergo, this leaves just leading out, which builds Value, but also protects against his draws.

I'd go for something like $8K-9K, which gives him the wrong odds to continue with draws (3:1), and starts to look almost like a post-oak bluff bet, which might get him to fold some of his weaker two-pair type hands. It also allows us to bet-fold if he shoves over the top on us, while still allowing us another bet on a blank river card that he'd have trouble folding TP-type hands on. (A shove here also isn't terrible, but you have to recognize he's going to call with most of his better hands, and that's a big fraction of his range)

This hand illustrates why it sucks to be OOP in a hand, as it's so damn hard to narrow his range very far.

All-in for now...

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