$1.65 NLHE MTT: Any Tips for More Optimal Play?

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sundizzel

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So the result is here pretty much what I expected, but I am wondering how I could have played the hand better starting right from the pre-flop bet, especially because I have little experience at deeper stack levels.

It's just a few hands after the start of the tournament, and I am dealt AKo (AhKc) in MP with 172 BB on a 9 player table. UTG and UTG+1 both fold, so the remaining relevant stacks are:
  • MP: 172 BB (Me)
  • LJ: 151 BB
  • HJ: 161 BB
  • CO: 382 BB
  • BTN: 181 BB
  • SB: 187 BB
  • BB: 224 BB
Since it's folded to me, I open for 2.5 BB, which I realize is small, but there is still a lot of action behind me with pretty decent chances of a re-raise the way the table has been going. Should I have opened larger here? If so, how much?

LJ folds, HJ calls, CO folds, BTN folds, SB folds, BB calls.

Flop comes 66T (6s6cTc). I check being out of position in a 3-way pot, HJ bets half-pot 4.6 BB into 9.6 BB, BB calls, and I call, feeling okay with my two overcards and the Kc as a little insurance policy and my Ah as a light blocker against the Ac (is that logic right?).

Turn comes Ks. I check out of position 3-way again expecting some more betting. However, both other players check, as well. Should I have value bet here with top pair, top kicker up against the spades and clubs backdoor draws (for which my club no longer qualifies) and the set? I figured it would be pretty hard for the HJ to have a 6, but it seemed quite feasible at the time that the BB would have plenty of 6x in their range.

River comes 2d. I check again out of position still 3-way, HJ checks, and BB bets 17.25 BB into 23 BB. Now here I was torn because 1) the last round of betting went check-check-check, 2) HJ still to act behind me, 3) flush draws and the nut straight draw (which we block a bit of) missed, and 4) I've got top pair, top kicker, which feels like it's good most of the time.

My gut was thinking that this bet reeked of a set of 6 from the BB, but, with all the missed draws and the strength of my hand, I went ahead and called. HJ folded, and the BB turned over Jd6h. Should I have just folded to that bet sizing?

Like I said, it pretty much went how I expected. Is there a more appropriate pre-flop bet sizing to be getting a hand like that to fold in the BB without folding out a lot of action that we're ahead of from the other positions? Any other thoughts or comments would be appreciated--thanks!
 
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andrestc

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So the result is here pretty much what I expected, but I am wondering how I could have played the hand better starting right from the pre-flop bet, especially because I have little experience at deeper stack levels.

It's just a few hands after the start of the tournament, and I am dealt AKo (AhKc) in MP with 172 BB on a 9 player table. UTG and UTG+1 both fold, so the remaining relevant stacks are:
  • MP: 172 BB (Me)
  • LJ: 151 BB
  • HJ: 161 BB
  • CO: 382 BB
  • BTN: 181 BB
  • SB: 187 BB
  • BB: 224 BB
Since it's folded to me, I open for 2.5 BB, which I realize is small, but there is still a lot of action behind me with pretty decent chances of a re-raise the way the table has been going. Should I have opened larger here? If so, how much?

I don't normally play this deep, I supose you could make it bigger, like 2.7/3bbs but I think 2.5bb is fine. This lets you play more especulative hands, such as 67/89s which are great at these stack depths.


Flop comes 66T (6s6cTc). I check being out of position in a 3-way pot, HJ bets half-pot 4.6 BB into 9.6 BB, BB calls, and I call, feeling okay with my two overcards and the Kc as a little insurance policy and my Ah as a light blocker against the Ac (is that logic right?).

I don't mind an small cbet to target some of their autofolds (between 1/4 and 1/3), since we have 2 overs and a backdoor FD. Checking is fine as well as we don't need to play a big pot OOP with this hand.

Turn comes Ks. I check out of position 3-way again expecting some more betting. However, both other players check, as well. Should I have value bet here with top pair, top kicker up against the spades and clubs backdoor draws (for which my club no longer qualifies) and the set? I figured it would be pretty hard for the HJ to have a 6, but it seemed quite feasible at the time that the BB would have plenty of 6x in their range.

As played, I don't think I would bet. I'm okay with checking. If we had bet on the flop, this is a great card to barrel.

River comes 2d. I check again out of position still 3-way, HJ checks, and BB bets 17.25 BB into 23 BB. Now here I was torn because 1) the last round of betting went check-check-check, 2) HJ still to act behind me, 3) flush draws and the nut straight draw (which we block a bit of) missed, and 4) I've got top pair, top kicker, which feels like it's good most of the time.

I don't think I understand the action here. Arent you in MP? How come BB is betting after you check?
Assuming BB lead to 17BB, I think we could find a fold here. One issue is that our hand looks way weaker than TPTK (we could play 99, JJ, QQ, FD like this) and BB could try to "value bet" an worse K. But I don't think they would bet it this big.
 
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sundizzel

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I don't think I understand the action here. Arent you in MP? How come BB is betting after you check?
Assuming BB lead to 17BB, I think we could find a fold here. One issue is that our hand looks way weaker than TPTK (we could play 99, JJ, QQ, FD like this) and BB could try to "value bet" an worse K. But I don't think they would bet it this big.



Sorry--they did lead. I was replaying the hand in the hand replayer, and it's so laggy, I messed up. They opened on the river with the 17 BB and had been checking the previous two streets. Can't seem to find an edit button for the post...

And thanks for all your input--I agree about the fold at the end but also have the same concern about how we made our hand look weak, somewhat encouraging a bluff or semi-bluff here. Although, seems unlikely they would lead (semi-) bluff, especially with that sizing, as you said.
 
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sundizzel

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Thanks, Fundiver. Excellent analysis and input as always. So between both of your responses, it sounds like a bit larger of a bet sizing pre-flop to fold out absolute trash if possible and then a C-Bet on the flop as a sort of protection bet for the AK, as well as to get a little more info on the strength of their hand.

I greatly appreciate the knowledge shared and hopefully have improved my game slightly!
 
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fundiver199

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(reposted after above reply was made)

Preflop
With deep stacks I do prefer to use a larger raise size. With a hand like AK, you simply generate more value, and you also define ranges a little bit more particularly by discouraging people from defending their blinds with trash hands like J6 offsuit. It might happen anyway, because people are just bad, and its a micro tournament, but then at least you have done, what you can.

Flop
This is a flop, which they will have missed a lot of the time, so even 3 ways I would probably lean towards C-betting this. It is ok also to check, but when you face a bet and a call, I would just let it go. If BB had folded, I might peel one off, but in a multiway pot, when there is a bet AND a call behind you, this is generally action, you need to respect and just get out of the way, unless you have a pretty good hand.

Turn
As played I definitely check again.

River
No way I am folding to this river action. He could be bluffing, because the turn got checked around, or he could be valuebetting top pair worse kicker.

Results
Turns out he was in fact slowplaying trips, and this is exactly why, I dont like check-calling on the flop. In general we want to avoid calling in spots, where we are drawing to an obvious second best hand, and having overcards on a paired board certainly fits that bill.
 
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300HPGOD

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I think the pre flop raise sizing is fine. I know in the long run we make a little more by going 3x here but I feel that we can make the pot large post flop if we want to so I usually do what you did here and just go in the 2.5BB neighborhood.

On the flop I dont hate checking but I much prefer betting here as I think I can at least make the cutoff fold which is a big deal and might be able to make both players fold. If I get called then I know there is a possibility of a 6x out there and it will help me on river decisions. Also if we get called and are not up against 6x then we are not in terrible shape, behind sometimes but even then not terrible.

The turn as played is a check and if I bet the flop and was called is a check. I would play the hand more as a bluff catcher hand from here. I dont like the board being double suited but I would live with it and the possibility of a river flush and just check.

On the river even as played my mind is thinking 6x due to it being the BB which could plausibly have a 6x in their range (especially at these depths) and also the bet sizing which is strength as I would think bluffs would bet bigger or really try to make it look like a value bet. I am not saying I would fold but no way I am fist pumping there when that bet is made. I think I would wind up calling since I could be ahead and also since this is early in the tourney and I want to see how others play hands so there is some value here in just seeing what two cards the BB has. I do think I would be making that call in game being behind. Just too much of the time I would think a 10x or smaller king would be check calling there but its still a call to me.
 
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fundiver199

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On the flop I dont hate checking but I much prefer betting here as I think I can at least make the cutoff fold which is a big deal and might be able to make both players fold.

This is an important point and something to generally consider in multiway pots, where someone has called us in position, and then someone called from the blinds as well, so that we are monkey in the middle. If we C-bet in this configuration, then the in position player is forced to play relatively straight forward, because the out of position player has just naturally checked to the preflop raiser, so he can still have anything, he would call preflop.

This mean, that the in position player cant just randomly float or bluffraise. And this is good, because even when we are ahead of him, we would much rather get him out, so we can play the rest of the hand heads-up and in position. Even if the out of position player calls us, now we can check back the turn and get to see all 5 cards for the price of just one bet. Which is really, what we want with a hand like AK high.

If we check, that allow the in position player to take a stab at the pot, and even if he gets the out of position player to fold, that puts us in a much worse situation for the rest of the hand. Sure he might be bluffing, but we have AK high, and there are still two more streets of betting to come. So quite often his bluff will work, and long as he just have the gusto to keep on firing.

Which is pretty easy for him to do, because by checking in the first place, we have usually told him, that we dont have a very good hand. Sure we can work in some very strong hands in our checking range to be balanced, but AK high is not exactly such a very strong hand, and it simply plays better, if we keep the initiative on the flop. Sure we will need to fold, if someone puts in a raise, but then we got the information, we needed, for the price of just a small C-bet.
 
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sundizzel

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This mean, that the in position player cant just randomly float or bluffraise. And this is good, because even when we are ahead of him, we would much rather get him out, so we can play the rest of the hand heads-up and in position. Even if the out of position player calls us, now we can check back the turn and get to see all 5 cards for the price of just one bet. Which is really, what we want with a hand like AK high.


Thanks to 300HPGOD for your input, and thanks to Fundiver for elaborating on this tidbit. This information was really valuable, and I feel like I learned a ton from it--mostly because I actually had to process and digest it! Like I said, I'm inexperienced deep-stacked, but I also have little-to-no idea on how to play multi-way pots, so this really was tremendous advice. Appreciated, as always!
 
7CardKillR

7CardKillR

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Pre is fine

since im 2nd to act and the flop falls away from the BB calling range and is extremely dry nad static I c bet 1/3 OTF at a high frequency dispite the mid nature of the high card Ten which I will normally be checking a fair % of the time in this situation. and am just a bit unwilling to call a raise because I have the 2nd nut club in my hand. unraised I double Bar the turn for usually 65% pot. Many wont want to double the turn with one pair with stacks this deep and that is true but the value you hand gains be driving out even 30% equity can be tremendously profitable and could very add 50% or more to your hands current value
 
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