[50NL 6max] JJ out of position.

F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Reads not included because I'm looking for discussion, not answers.

Dealt JJ in SB. Two limpers, I raise to $2.50. Big blind re-raises to $6. Limpers fold, and I decide to see an aceless flop before putting more money in, so I call.

Flop comes T-9-5, rainbow.

What do we do now, and why? The hands we're looking to get value from are AT (unlikely unless opponent is wild), AK/AQ (maybe, but how much value is there to get?) and maybe smaller pocket pairs. We might also squeeze a few bucks out of pure bluffs.

My initial thoughts: If I lead, and he raises, I should muck. His range is too strong, and I'm likely either barely ahead or way behind.

If I check, and he bets (I presume he will almost always c-bet here), I could checkraise. But there's not a lot of value to be had here, because there aren't that many hands he can call with that I beat.

If I check, and he bets, I could call, and check again to him on the turn, hoping to keep the pot small and/or keep him bluffing his chips away. But then I fail to protect a fairly vulnerable hand that's very strong on this flop, and I risk being bluffed out if an ace or a king falls.

In short, I'm lost.
 
ChuckTs

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It's essentially wa/wb except we're a little more vulnerable to overcards.

Check-raising gets called/shoved on by better hands and folds out worse ones.

Leading basically loses all value for us unless he's bad enough to call with overs. It also induces floats and semibluff raises from more aggressive players which sucks for us.

Check-calling is pretty much the only viable option here.

The problem playing this readless is that we don't know how often he'll double barrel overcards, or how tight his 3-betting range is pf, or how often he'll float/raise us with overcards, etc etc etc. Being OOP sucks because we can't maintain pot control and he can basically get all the leverage in the world by raising the flop or by floating and betting the turn if we check. Makes it really hard to get to showdown which is our goal here.
 
tosborn

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I bet here for a couple of reasons.

1) I'd love to just take the hand down here. We don't want to see any of the overcards fall on the turn. We might even be folding the winning hand if a Q, K, or A falls.

2) Big Blind could be protecting, although doubtful, there range is a tad bit wider than it would be if these were different table positions. I think that we are ahead of villains range in this situation.

I won't say that we are betting for information, but, that is in effect what this does for us.

If we bet and villain calls, I will probably lead the turn again unless an Ace falls. I am looking out for the Ace specifically because ATs, AJs, even A9s suited make up part of villains range more than KXs. People tend to protect more with these type of semi-hands. The turn bet will probably lean more towards 1/2 pot rather than 2/3 to control pot size. If villain calls the turn bet, I'll shut down action and check the river. If villains bets out smallish on the river we still might call this as top pair will make these type of plays on a dry board such as this.

If we bet and villain reraises we give them credit for QQ+ and fold.

If we check and villain bets, where do we stand? I don't like this line at all because it is essentially giving villain the go ahead to take the pot down with a continuation bet. I guess you could possibly argue to play pot control and play the hand passively, but, we would have to give up if the K or A falls.

So my line is 2/3 pot bet flop. Fold to reraise.
1/2 bet turn. Fold to reraise.
Check river. Call smallish bets.
 
c9h13no3

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This is a WA/WB situation, except, like Chuck said, we're vulnerable to overcards.

Thus, since we're taking a risk seeing the turn & river (since an A, K, or Q could come) we need to be compensated for that risk. So we'd like money to be put in the pot on each street.

My standard line here would be check/call the flop, and bet the turn. If I check the turn, and he checks behind he's got 2.25:1 pot odds on his 3:1 draw. Combine that with the times we'll get bluffed off the pot when an overcard comes that he doesn't hit, and any bets we may call on the river when he catches up, and I'm not sure that's enough compensation for risking my hand.

Thus, I'd bet/fold the turn, and then try to see a cheap showdown on the river.
 
OzExorcist

OzExorcist

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Readless, I'm a bit lost on this one too.

I think I like the check-raise best: we'd likely be risking the same amount as (or less than) we would if we check-called to the river. If we're crushed we probably find out right away and we can get away from the hand. Things get messy if we just get called... but they were messy to start with I guess.

We probably lose some value against hands (AK/AQ, maybe QJ) that would've bluffed or semi-bluffed us to the river. But then we probably save a bit against QQ or a set that would've value bet us all the way to the river too.

I think what I'm trying to say is that in a marginal situation with very little information, like this one, I'm more concerned with either taking down the pot on the flop or getting out than I am with extracting every last cent of value.

There's a perfect play in there somewhere, but I won't pretend I'm anywhere even close to being good enough to find it.
 
F Paulsson

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Often, when I'm lost, it makes sense to try to retrace my steps to see where I went wrong. I think this is the case here. Somewhere, I must have screwed up preflop, because I shouldn't be in such a pickle on a T-high flop.

Is there a way to change my preflop play so that the flop play becomes easy?
 
OzExorcist

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I think Phil Gordon said something to the effect of "Hell is having to play pocket jacks out of position every day for the rest of your life", and it's hands like this that prove he may have had a point.

Pre-flop, you've only really got two choices - call the raise, or go back over the top. Your initial bet is absolutely standard but the big blind could figure we're trying to steal and re-raise us light, so I don't think there's anything wrong with putting another raise over the top of them.

If he then shoves, you can be pretty sure you're up against AA/KK and toss the hand.

If they just call and we saw the same flop, I'd probably just shove at it, as the fact that they didn't re-raise means the only hands we're really scared of are QQ and TT, whereas they've still gotta concede that AA and KK are part of our range.
 
F Paulsson

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That sounds like a good plan to me. If it gets 4-bet preflop and we see a flop, I'm committed on any flop that doesn't contain an ace or a king. And if it gets 5-bet (should really = him pushing) I think folding is A-Ok.

/FP
 
ChuckTs

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4-betting is generally something that should be saved for (relative) monsters or for bluffs, ie you want to be sure you're either getting it in or folding when he 5-bets/shoves.

The problem is when you 4-bet it folds out a lot/all of the hands we beat, and gets action only from better hands. It's tough to play OOP, but generally people play their hands pretty straight forward, and won't put in triple barrel bluffs or put us in other really tough decisions.
 
OzExorcist

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Four-betting in general I probably agree - but in a blind-vs-blind situation like this, I think we've gotta make an exception:

If we four-bet this one, I'm guessing the hands that are likely to flat call us are AK / AQ / QQ. Maybe JJ as well, if we miraculously happen to have the exact same hand. Since there's lots more ways to make AK / AQ than QQ, their range is skewed in that direction and that's a range we're slightly ahead of (at least, I'm pretty sure we are - haven't got PokerStove on this computer to run it).

If they five-bet shove, then readless we pretty much have to give them credit for AA / KK and fold. We've lost money that we wouldn't have if we didn't raise them, but I don't see how we avoid losing the same amount (or more) to those hands after the flop anyway, unless we plan to check-fold most of the time.

Folding out all the worse hands is, of course, the major value downside to making this move. I suspect the absolute worst case is that we'll lose the one c-bet they would've made at the flop though - unless they catch us up, which they shouldn't be allowed to do cheaply.

Am I way off on this?
 
ChuckTs

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Four-betting in general I probably agree - but in a blind-vs-blind situation like this, I think we've gotta make an exception:

If we four-bet this one, I'm guessing the hands that are likely to flat call us are AK / AQ / QQ. Maybe JJ as well, if we miraculously happen to have the exact same hand. Since there's lots more ways to make AK / AQ than QQ, their range is skewed in that direction and that's a range we're slightly ahead of (at least, I'm pretty sure we are - haven't got PokerStove on this computer to run it).

If they five-bet shove, then readless we pretty much have to give them credit for AA / KK and fold. We've lost money that we wouldn't have if we didn't raise them, but I don't see how we avoid losing the same amount (or more) to those hands after the flop anyway, unless we plan to check-fold most of the time.

Folding out all the worse hands is, of course, the major value downside to making this move. I suspect the absolute worst case is that we'll lose the one c-bet they would've made at the flop though - unless they catch us up, which they shouldn't be allowed to do cheaply.

Am I way off on this?

You bring up an interesting point in that you think that he'll call AQ+/JJ-QQ whereas my strategy kind revolves around them pushing or folding every hand in their range (which of course they won't do). I'm not sure how accurate that range is, but the general point is a good one in that bad players will actually call a good chunk of their range rather than push/fold it.

I'm still relatively lost with 4-betting (bluffing and for value) and definitely one of the toughest things about it is when someone calls you. hmm, not sure what else to say, I'd like to hear others thoughts here...
 
pedroman7

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I think with no read here you should reraise pf to find out where your at or fold unless you both have big stacks you can just call and hope to flop a set. I just dont see too many hand other than AA , KK, QQ, or AK making this play. So I say folding or set mining is the play but that is just me.
 
OzExorcist

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You bring up an interesting point in that you think that he'll call AQ+/JJ-QQ whereas my strategy kind revolves around them pushing or folding every hand in their range (which of course they won't do). I'm not sure how accurate that range is, but the general point is a good one in that bad players will actually call a good chunk of their range rather than push/fold it.

I'm still relatively lost with 4-betting (bluffing and for value) and definitely one of the toughest things about it is when someone calls you. hmm, not sure what else to say, I'd like to hear others thoughts here...

I don't actually know how accurate it is either, unfortunately. I'm mostly getting it by putting myself in the villain's shoes: in their seat, facing a four-bet, that's the range I'd need to even think about continuing. I think by the time we're four-betting that range is fairly universal too - even the biggest of LAGs is going to have a hard time continuing with less.

It's possible that we'd fold out AQ/JJ and maybe QQ by four-betting here, and occasionally we can expect AK/QQ to five-bet shove.

But I guess my point wasn't so much that AQ+/JJ-QQ will flat call every time, but that if they did flat call, that's what I'd expect them to be holding. So I'd have a pretty good idea how to proceed in any eventuality, and I think I'm giving myself the best chance to take away the pot by making that move.
 
JimmyBrizzy

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....and this is why I hate jacks.
 
skoldpadda

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Reads are key. If he 3 bets light, 4 betting is probably best (then get it in on this flop). Otherwise, you're pretty much playing for set value if he's tighter and the stacks are adequate. You have so little invested on the flop, I think you can either ck/fold, or peel one. Very tough spot, but as others mentioned, playing out of position is the problem here. Not that you should fold JJ, but just it's a tough situation regardless of your hand.
 
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