Good draws to chase in an MTT
For those of you new to poker or MTT's, it can be intimidating to hear how chasing draws is a top killer of MTT players. And it's very true. You see guys call/shove all in with only a flush draw or a gut shot and lose. Or they chase these hands, after having so much invested in the pot they then make a bad river bluff or call a river bet when they have almost nothing.
So what is good to chase? Most would certainly think an open end straight draw or a 4 flush, right? Well, only one problem with those two - they are often very obvious. Let's say you called a raise preflop with KK. The flop comes 5-6-7 (rainbow), giving you an overpair. Villain checks the flop, you bet out get called or check-raised/shoved on. Now, what could the guy have? A set, maybe, but a 8-9 (the nuts so far) or even a 3-4; If there are two of a suit on board, he could be drawing to a flush. Obvious, isn't it? Your overpair is no good.
Ok, now lets say you have QQ and the flop is 5-8-J rainbow. He checks, you bet, and he calls. What does he have? A Jack with a weak kicker? Seems the obvious one. But what if he had, of all things, a 7-9?
Well, a 7-9 gives him something called a "Double Belly Buster Straight". A 10 or a 6 gives him the straight. Carefull! Only the 6 will make him the nuts (5-6-7-8-9, as anyone with a 9-Q will nut him if a 10 falls (Q-J-10-9-8). If you look closely, you will notice this is far better hidden, far less obvious than a mere open-ender.
So, if we refer to our handy Super System charts, all of these are laid out nicely. However, you don't need to memorize all of the charts. Simply put, you have a Double Belly Buster anytime you have 3 to a straight with one gap on either end and the next cards after the gap come one on the board and one in your hand.
In other words, you hold 5-9. Flop comes 7-8-J. Your 3-to-a-straight is 7-8-9. The gap (cards you need to complete) is a 10 or a 6. The cards next to the gap would be the J on board and the 5 in your hand. This is pretty much how every one of them are structured by nature.
Now, if you have to chase a straight (if you are getting a good price to chase), this is the one to have. It isn't obvious, so you can get paid where as a board which clearly has a straight on it might get a fold if you bet.
If you combine a flush draw into the mix, well now you can only lose to a higher flush or straight, but you might well hit a straight flush! You have Jh-7h on a Kc-9h-10h board, you have a boatload of outs! An 8 or Q gives you a straight, a flush, or a straight flush. As before, you might not get paid if a 3rd heart hits, but if the straight hits you can probably get paid from a wide range of hands, from 2-pair or sets to maybe overpairs if the guy is loose enough.
Often, however, you get something like this; you hold J-7 in the blind, the board comes A-9-10 - not quite a double belly buster - yet! While the 8 gets you to your straight, a K on the turn moves you into Double Belly territory, improves your outs, and is far better to chase than a mere flush (9 outs) or a single gutshot (4 outs). If you can get to the turn cheap, it's worth it to chase, provided your stack can support it (I might call a small Cbet and if I do not get to the K or hit my straight, I'm gone if I cannot check the turn).
If you are short stacked, this can be a far better hand than even AA to shove with post-flop. You think the villain has AA, you have Q-8 of spades, the flop comes 6s-9s-10h - Any non-spade 7, any non-spade J gets you the straight, 7 or J spades a straight flush/flush/straight flush draw, any spade a flush. If I am short stacked, I'm shoving or calling all in every time with this many outs! The guy with AA can pretty much forget it, as he needs runner runner to beat a straight or a flush. Even if the turn is an A, he's going to need to dodge a large chunk of the deck to win.
So, if you simply must chase draws, DBB's are the way to go!