Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pocket Rockets

We pick-up where we left off during the last session.  My stack was getting down to about $100 but I managed to win a few hands and get back up to $175.

Sitting in seat 5, I look down and am pleasantly surprised to see A♣, A♠.  It folds to me in mid position and I bet $10.  Seat 7 immediately calls and it folds to SB in seat 10.  SB is a young Asian guy who has been chatting it up with seat 9 about hands.  He seems competent.  Earlier he was involved in a three-way hand where he had to fold to a shove from seat 9 after the flop.  Apparently seat 9 was trying to isolate and seat 10 folded two pair.  Seat 9 had an ace high flush draw that he hit on the turn.  They spent over ten minutes discussing that shove.

SB makes it $35.  I want seat 7 in the hand because I know he will call the $35.  He called my ten pretty quickly and had his hand on his chips after seat 10 raised.  If I made it $100, I was pretty sure he was going to fold.  So, I just called the $35 and seat 7 did too.

Flop comes down 2♣,K,2and SB leads out for $40.  I make it $100 and seat 7 folds.  SB has me covered and announces all-in.  I put in the $40 I have left.  The turn and the river were blanks.

What do you think he had?  Would you have played it differently? Leave a comment.

Then you can click the button below to see his hand.


  1. Right or wrong, yes I'm playing it differently. I'm looking to isolate the SB and get most of my money in while I'm good. If they fold - so be it. The action as raise to $10 - call - raise to $35 ($55 in the pot + BB). By calling, I give odds to Seat 7 to call with ATC. The SB seems confident in his hand, and I want to see a flop heads up, so I raise to $80-90 despite wanting to get seat 7 to call. $55 is a respectable pot to take down right there, and I'm auto shoving the remaining $120 if anyone calls my 4bet.

    Despite my answer about how I play it, I think your play is creative, you had the right instincts, and just unfortunately got unlucky. However, I prefer to take the lesser variance line: bet it while you have it. Less creative, yes, but also allowing players to make bad plays against me.

    Based on the description of the hand, I can't really tell what SB had - you didn't really give an accurate portrayal of the SB - is he active and in every hand? Is he 3betting frequently? Does he squeeze often? All I have to go on is he's competent, so I give him a range of KK,QQ,JJ,TT, AK-AJ? Also throw in random bluffs for the occasional squeeze with hands like 56 & 97...

  2. I think the call preflop is perfectly fine. You are going to have close to a Stack to Pot Ratio of 1, which is a easy shove on the flop. K 2 2 actually worries me a bit, because KK is a big part of the range for a competent villain 3 betting out of the SB. If I 4 bet, I am leaning towards shoving, or 4 bet to something like $75.

    The $40 bet is on the small side, often indicative of a monster from someone whom 3 bet preflop.

    The bigger question though, why did villain 3 bet with this hand? Is he out to get you for some reason, or does he think he could push you around? If he is doing this regularly, then for sure I would 4 bet just to make him pay for his aggressiveness.

    1. @Pokerdogg - not to nitpick, but SPR is pretty bad here - $90 in the pot with $140 behind - more than 1.5 to 1. I don't think I have a problem shoving this flop as played post flop. If he has KK, so be it, but as xdex said [and I agree], this is about as safe a flop as any not including an Ace. The King hits some of his 3bet range - mainly AK, and I don't think you can tell much from his shove over when you raise to $100 (for $40 more, he can still very much have AK here), but my question to xdex is:

      Why are you raising on the flop? Let's define his 3bet range a bit and suppose he actually has a "legit" PF hand like AK, AQ, [sometimes] AJ, KK, KQ, QQ, JJ, [sometimes] TT rather than putting him on a squeeze with ATC. I'm going with the information provided. He bets $40. Are you raising for value? If you are, you likely fold out all his bluffs / thin value hands. You're almost always getting AK to call, absolutely KK, but not much else. So why raise there?
      1. He can't hit 2 pair to beat you since the board is already paired. At best, he's drawing to 3 outs (with Kx) and at worst, 2 outs (TT+).
      2. You have position on him so you can decide what to do if he checks the turn.
      3. If you're behind on the flop, you're way behind, and if you're ahead, you're way ahead on the flop.

      I guess my question to you is: why not let him hang himself for the rest of the hand? Don't fold out his bluffs!

  3. Rightly or wrongly, I don't think I've ever just called with Aces. Maybe in a tournament in a certain spot, but not a cash game. If I can get all the money in when I know I'm ahead (or, at the very least, an unlikely tie), I'm doing it every time.