This is a discussion on $2 NLHE Heads-up: Should I bloat the pot pre-flop here? within the online poker forums, in the Cash Game Hand Analysis section; Winning Poker, Hold'em No Limit - $0.01/$0.02 - 5 players
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UTG: $2.91 (146 bb)
CO: $0.93 (47 bb)
BU: $1.27 (64 bb)
SB: $2.51 (126
Both villains are rec players and I think KJs is ahead of their limp calling ranges and on a favorable board I should be able to get decent value from them. I also think there is an extremely low chance of them folding pre-flop so by raising to 5bb I am basically making a decision to bloat the pot and go the flop multiway with two rec players. Is this a good decision if one of them has position on me, and my hand is <50% equity when we are multiway? Or should I have just checked here.
I think, its a fine isolation raise with KJs, but it would not be terrible to take a free flop either. You do have position on one of the limpers, so if CO fold, and SB calls, thats a pretty great situation for you.
You have a combination of a marginal made hand and a draw, and I dont think, betting with that kind of hand accomplish much. You are never getting a better hand to fold, and there are not to many worse hands, that can call you either. So I prefer to play this as a check and then mostly look to check-call, if CO bets. As played you are getting around 2:1, when he jam. Unless his range is purely flopped straights, you should have at least 33% equity. So this fold is a bit to tight although not a major mistake.
Pre flop is very villain specific to me. If you are going against those type of players who are playing 60% of hands and limping all of them then I think raising is the right play as you will either get folds or get calls from hands that are very wide and you can feel more confident when you hit any piece of the flop. If you are going against players who only play 25% of hands but still limp a lot I prefer to just call here and see a flop. It really comes down to how often do you think villain or villains will fold pre flop. If they will be calling a lot then I think it is better to just see the flop cheaply and then fire away when you get a favorable flop. Otherwise you will be raising here, getting called very often and then in a tough spot on the flop unless you hit it fairly well.
As played on the flop here you are in no mans land because your hand has some equity with mid pair and the draw but there is also a club draw out there that weakens your straight draw and there can be Qxs out there. I think its probably better to bet in this spot rather than check call since you will probably face another bet on the turn and be in a tough spot there as well. At least c betting after you raised pre can get you some folds and acts as a bluff blocker. I wouldnt go as large as half pot. I suppose if you had AK of clubs you would be possibly checking the flop but there arent too many very strong hands you would check the flop with on this board so if you did decide to check you would be capping yourself assuming the villains in the hand would recognize that.