Hand at the Venetian

lasvegaspokerchick

lasvegaspokerchick

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I am curious to get everyone's input on a hand that I played a few nights ago at the Venetian. I will give you the situation up until the river and then want to know what you would have done on the river. Here it is:

The game was 2-5 No Limit and average chip stack is around $1K to $2K. I had a much tighter table image then I normally do because I wasn't getting anything to play.

I was dealt A 5 off in the big blind and we had two limpers come in. The button raised to $20. Usually, I don't like playing Ace rag in a raised pot, especially out of position, but this guy was very loose, raising a lot of hands pre-flop and the table had been playing very agressively, so I thought that there was a pretty good chance that any of the two limpers would have raised an ace coming into the pot. I made the decision to call the extra $15 and the rest of the limpers followed suit.

The flop came down 5 - 5- 4 rainbow. I was first to act and I checked. The table checked around. The turn came an 8 of clubs putting two clubs on the board. I checked again, but this time, with the intention of check raising. This table was far too agressive for it to be checked around again. Villian bet out from middle position for $30. The button folded. I felt I needed to raise here for two reasons. First, to get the person out between myself and Villian in case he had a flush or straight draw. And second, to get a little more information as to what Villian could be holding. I raised and made it $80 to go. The player in between us folded, Villian called, and we saw the river heads up.

The river came a 3 of hearts. I was first to act. Would you at this point: bet (and if so, how much and what would you do if you were raised?), or check (and then what would you do if he bet?)
 
C

Craized

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I'd check-call hoping he didn't make the straight or a FH. If he had a FH he would probably make his move when you raised the turn, but it's still a possibility. I don't want to put too many chips at risk when I can't be sure
 
Tammy

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Now, I'm no pro mind you, but I think I would bet out about 1/2-2/3 of the pot to try and get him to call. Judging from your reads on this guy, I don't think he has hit the board with much. I don't think the straight is a worry. Of course you could check in hopes that he bets, in which case, depending on how much he bets, you can reevaluate if you want to re-raise or calls.

I would be really interested to know what types of hands this guy is raising with pre-flop. That of course would give me more info on what to do. :)
 
lasvegaspokerchick

lasvegaspokerchick

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I would be really interested to know what types of hands this guy is raising with pre-flop. That of course would give me more info on what to do. :)

Sorry for the confusion...the fellow who is still in the pot with me is not the initial raiser. The pre-flop raiser was the button and he folded to this guy's bet. This guy is a strong player, I had played with him before and he was the type of player who would call a raise pre-flop with a large variety of hands, so it was very difficult to put him on much of anything using that information. He was also capable of some pretty sophisticated play and is general speaking aggressive but not maniacal. If he thinks he has an advantage, he will definitely push it, but he's not crazy.
 
Tammy

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Ok, well then, do we think he would have continued in this pot with the kind of hand that would have sucked out the straight on the river? Probably not. Your only real worry here is small pocket (4's, 3's) or pocket 8's.

Judging from your reads on this guy, I'm guessing he probably has an over-pair to the board. So I would definitely lead out as I mentioned above. Now the question is what to do is he pushes back at you? I'm still thinking on that.

Oh, and sorry, you did explain it just fine in the OP, now that I re-read it. I just didn't pay close enough attention the first time around. :eek:
 
Lana_Faith

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Given that you've said you had a pretty tight table image so far, my line of reasoning goes like this: (mind you i'm no pro either!)

If villain believes you have been playing a tight game, sees you raise preflop, check the flop, and check the turn as well, I would suspect he has placed you on a pocket pair, possibly in the 7-9 range. If he believes this and bets the turn, my read on his cards is that he is holding a high pocket pair, one which he feels certain is larger than the pocket pair he believes you to have. Probably Jacks or higher.

Supposing that much is correctly determined, a bet from you on the river would suggest that you had completed your hand, suggesting you were holding pocket 3's and have now completed a FH. He would then fold his cards to your FH, and you would gain a smallish pot.

I would check-raise the river card. Your check will suggest to villain that you have pocket 6's or 7's or maybe 9's. If he is the sophisticated player that you assume he is, the check-raise on the river will either suggest to him an attempt to steal, in which case he will call, or more likely he'll recognize that he has misread you entirely, and fold. I would say a check-raise on the river has a good chance of stealing the pot without a showdown.
 
bubbasbestbabe

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Don't go playing a check on the river. You stand the chance of losing value on the pot. You figure he has an over pair. Then bet into the pot. I would bet a 3/4 pot bet. If your read is correct then he called PF with some type of PP or an A8. Get his money in there and win it.
 
J

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The only way that 3 on the river could have helped him is if he has Ac2c, 53 and 62s, but I'm not so sure he'd call your check/raise with any of those hand on a paired board, except 53, since you say he's a solid player. What complicates this hand is the fact you say he plays a wide variety of hands, so that would include a hand like 76s which made a straight on the turn. His flat call can't exclude that he might have 76 or a FH, because he has position on you so on the river you're first to act and flat calling your check/raise is a smart move also for that reason.

I'm not going to make the list of possible hands he could have that beat you because I'm sure you don't need me to. The way you describe this player, and the fact you've been tight, make his call on the turn, on this ragged paired board, very significant. I think you need to be cautious in this spot, there are many hands ahead of yours. With trips usually the first thought is to bet for value, but the situation here, against a solid player, makes me think that the better value is gained by check/calling. This because:

1) this type of player will likely fold with a hand worse than yours

2) if he has a hand better than yours, he'll raise and you're forced to call, so it will cost you more

3) your check shows weakness, so you might induce a bluff/bet from worse hands

4) if he has you beat and he's smart, he'll be taking you to valuetown, which makes the check/call less expensive than bet/call raise

Of course all the above won't work every time, because hands like A8 etc will check behind, where instead they might call a 1/2 pot bet so you're losing value. But the way you describe him, if he did call your check/raise with something like that, I doubt he'd call the river vs a tight player like you've been so far.

I don't know if all this makes sense to you. I sure hope you didn't check and he shoved rather than making a value type bet, because that would be a very hard decision and it sucks.
 
ChuckTs

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Looks like a pretty standard value bet to me. Your line doesn't spell great strength, and villian could be holding on to a lot that you have beat. 8x, 77, 66, 5x are all possibilities and the only hand that really scares me here is 44, 45 or 67.
 
J

joeeagles

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Your line doesn't spell great strength

She check/raised the turn. I'm guessing you misread the HH.

I understand your POV in getting value. Some of the hands he may have will likely check behind us, but you can't be really sure they would call a bet either. I think the key is her image up to this point, which is tight. A bet here after check/raising the turn won't get called by many hands that we beat like 77, 66, 8x. It would get called by 5x of course, but chances are 5x will bet if checked into. Because of her image, I think overpairs to the board might fold also.

The downside to checking is that she's been forced by bad cards to play tight, so it won't be easy to get many of those hands worse than ours to bet if we check. But also, I'm always worried vs players that are known to play a wide range of hands, and the fact he called the check/raise makes me a bit uneasy. The pot is $240 so if we bet even 1/2 of it and get reraised or even worse shoved on, what next? I'd have to think we are somehow beat, but the problem is that bet/fold is very hard to do when the pot gets that big.

When you go through the hand step by step, it's consistent all the way with villain having 44 or 88. He limped, then called raise PF after another 2 were in. His flop check is normal on that board with PF raiser to act after him. Flat calling the check/raise on the turn, which came from a player OOP, rather than reraising, is a great move if you do have a FH.

Obviously you can't pinpoint him on 88 or 44, but you have to ask yourself what he could have to call the check/raise. It could be even 76s for a straight, which again is consistent with his play on every street so far, and you have to think he won't fold it to a pot size bet, even with our tightish image.

I always agree on doing what you can to maximize value, but still I think check/calling is the better move here, unless you're capable of bet/folding to a raise (I'm usually not :) ).
 
lasvegaspokerchick

lasvegaspokerchick

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Conclusion to the Hand

Wow! Thanks for some really insightful stuff everyone. I am loving this forum, it is so cool to get input from a variety of perspectives. Alright, here's the conclusion (which had any of you "accidentally" looked on my blog, you would already know by now):

On the river, the list of hands that Villian could have held was quite varied. He could have a five with a weaker kicker, an eight with some kind of re-draw, a busted flush draw, a straight, or a full house. The one thing that I did not put him on was an overpair since I believe this player would have raised coming into the pot with 9s or better. I decided that this player was strong enough that if I checked he would bet out with any of the above, either for value or to steal the pot. If he did so, he would most likely bet the size of the pot, (as he often had on the river) which as it stood, was $240. I decided to make a "blocker bet" in order to pay less for the same information, so on the river I bet $100. I felt that he would not be able to raise me if he had anything less than a full house. If he did have a full house and raised, I would muck. He flat called the $100 and then said, "Do you have the full house?" I immediately knew that he must have turned the straight. He won the pot, but I was happy with how I played it. I felt that I lost the minimum with the carsd I held. Villian questioned my play after showdown. At first, he didn't understand that I wasn't betting $100 on the river because I was convinced I had the best hand, I was betting it because I was worried that I didn't have the best hand.

My point in posting this hand is that occasionally betting is actually a more conservative move than checking. Had I checked the river, I would have almost assuredly (in my opinion) faced a larger bet to call then I did by betting out. Of course, this assumes that I would be willing to lay the hand down to a raise.

I welcome any and all further comments on my train of reasoning.
 
J

joeeagles

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Wow! Thanks for some really insightful stuff everyone. I am loving this forum, it is so cool to get input from a variety of perspectives. Alright, here's the conclusion (which had any of you "accidentally" looked on my blog, you would already know by now):

On the river, the list of hands that Villian could have held was quite varied. He could have a five with a weaker kicker, an eight with some kind of re-draw, a busted flush draw, a straight, or a full house. The one thing that I did not put him on was an overpair since I believe this player would have raised coming into the pot with 9s or better. I decided that this player was strong enough that if I checked he would bet out with any of the above, either for value or to steal the pot. If he did so, he would most likely bet the size of the pot, (as he often had on the river) which as it stood, was $240. I decided to make a "blocker bet" in order to pay less for the same information, so on the river I bet $100. I felt that he would not be able to raise me if he had anything less than a full house. If he did have a full house and raised, I would muck. He flat called the $100 and then said, "Do you have the full house?" I immediately knew that he must have turned the straight. He won the pot, but I was happy with how I played it. I felt that I lost the minimum with the carsd I held. Villian questioned my play after showdown. At first, he didn't understand that I wasn't betting $100 on the river because I was convinced I had the best hand, I was betting it because I was worried that I didn't have the best hand.

My point in posting this hand is that occasionally betting is actually a more conservative move than checking. Had I checked the river, I would have almost assuredly (in my opinion) faced a larger bet to call then I did by betting out. Of course, this assumes that I would be willing to lay the hand down to a raise.

I welcome any and all further comments on my train of reasoning.

Lol, next time tell me to look at the blog for results!!!!!!!!

I think you played it fine and you showed a lot of discipline in not overbetting and costing yourself more. The reasoning behind your river bet and the amount of it makes sense, and his comments were flat out silly because many players with your hand would have lost more than you did.

Just one thing though. Were you really planning to bet/fold to reraise? Because this is the main (but not the only) reason why I prefered a check rather than a bet.
 
lasvegaspokerchick

lasvegaspokerchick

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Lol, next time tell me to look at the blog for results!!!!!!!!

Just one thing though. Were you really planning to bet/fold to reraise? Because this is the main (but not the only) reason why I prefered a check rather than a bet.

lol...well, I didn't want to ruin the question by letting people know that they could see the results on the blog...might have encouraged cheating. From now on, in fact, I'll probably post the interesting hands on this forum before I post them on the blog, not the other way around.

And, yes, to answer your question, I would have folded to any decent size raise on the river. When I bet $100, had he come over the top and made it $300 or more total, I would have laid it down. The only difficult decision would have been if he had made it $200 and I only had $100 more to call. Then I would have had to think about it but probably would have called. However, at that point, I would have still saved money over calling a pot sized bet. Thanks for all the thoughts.
 
Lana_Faith

Lana_Faith

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Wow! Thanks for some really insightful stuff everyone. I am loving this forum, it is so cool to get input from a variety of perspectives. Alright, here's the conclusion (which had any of you "accidentally" looked on my blog, you would already know by now):

On the river, the list of hands that Villian could have held was quite varied. He could have a five with a weaker kicker, an eight with some kind of re-draw, a busted flush draw, a straight, or a full house. The one thing that I did not put him on was an overpair since I believe this player would have raised coming into the pot with 9s or better. I decided that this player was strong enough that if I checked he would bet out with any of the above, either for value or to steal the pot. If he did so, he would most likely bet the size of the pot, (as he often had on the river) which as it stood, was $240. I decided to make a "blocker bet" in order to pay less for the same information, so on the river I bet $100. I felt that he would not be able to raise me if he had anything less than a full house. If he did have a full house and raised, I would muck. He flat called the $100 and then said, "Do you have the full house?" I immediately knew that he must have turned the straight. He won the pot, but I was happy with how I played it. I felt that I lost the minimum with the carsd I held. Villian questioned my play after showdown. At first, he didn't understand that I wasn't betting $100 on the river because I was convinced I had the best hand, I was betting it because I was worried that I didn't have the best hand.

My point in posting this hand is that occasionally betting is actually a more conservative move than checking. Had I checked the river, I would have almost assuredly (in my opinion) faced a larger bet to call then I did by betting out. Of course, this assumes that I would be willing to lay the hand down to a raise.

I welcome any and all further comments on my train of reasoning.

I think your line of reasoning was impeccable. Frankly, I'm rather ashamed at my inane post, now that I look at it. You of course made the right move by betting your hand on the river, but betting smallish to 'contain' the total amount bet. I would've lost an awful lot more than you had, that's for sure.
 
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