I can't figure this out. Opinions please.

Four Dogs

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There may be a logical answer to this question and I would appreciate some brain storming from all experience levels.

Midway through a MTT
Blinds are $50/$100
1st two to act fold.
You limp in from middle position with 5,5. and a slightly above average stack of $3000 (please refrain from comments on whether or not you should do this).
The Cut-Off and Button fold as does the Small Blind.
The Big Blind ($2000) raises to $600 making it $500 to you.
This is a huge bet for such a small pot.

You know your pair is an underdog only to a higher pair.
What does or should this bet mean? Or, if it's a steal attempt, what is being represented? Under what conditions would this bet be appropriate. This is no isolation bet as you are the only possible caller.

Based on your answer, how do you proceed?
 
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tenbob

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Yes you pair only an underdog to an over-pair, but the question remains do you want to take a race at this stage of the tourney, if you do, push he may be making a move with QJ K10 etc.......... otherwise fold.

Id say fold this and live to fight another hand, good question :)
 
twizzybop

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Fold to fight another hand.. you've lost 1 bet.. I little heartache compared to a very big heartache by calling. Also you are doing better than avg stack so why take a chance on that very big heartache when you don't have to.
 
Four Dogs

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I'm really trying to determine what types of hands justify this bet. If its 2 overcards I may take a chance. If its a low pair I definately will.
So, to determine what I'm facing, I've got to pur myself in Big Blinds shoes.
He's out of position facing one opponent who limped in from middle position.
Heads-up with a real hand you should want some action.
AA,KK,QQ should all be sand bagged, at least a little. A 6xBB bet is sure to drive away anything but a very strong hand. But you don't want to show too much stregth 2-3xBB
would probably still get called.
How about middle high pairs 88-TT? What does he put me on? With an equal hand I should have raised, but I limped. Those hands are probably good so he should still want some action. A 3-4xBB bet is about right.
How about 2 high cards. Possible but unusual.
Low pairs. I like this bet here. Your not unhappy if he folds and still a gamer if he calls with 2 high cards.
Stone Bluff. the 6xBB bet screams fold. This is my most likely guess for Big Blinds hand.

So back to me and my nickles. I'm guessing low pair or bluff. Well, I'm probably ahead. So what next. Given my healthy chipstack and better opportunities to come, I let it go.
 
F

Freakakanus

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experience of your opponent would also determine the bet only in the fact that some newbies see AA KK QQ JJ and figure that's what you are supposed to do. That's the thing about online poker, you can't see the face behind the avatar. Good fold, to many hands that can beat 5's.
 
ChuckTs

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Like freakakanus noted, i'd have to use my judgement on how he's played previous hands to determine what he'd have

Quote: How about 2 high cards
. Possible but unusual.
Low pairs. I like this bet here. Your not unhappy if he folds and still a gamer if he calls with 2 high cards.
Stone Bluff. the 6xBB bet screams fold. This is my most likely guess for Big Blinds hand.

-neither can i see a raise that big with just high cards
-i think i agree with your reasoning that it might be a small pp
though i like checking the bb with 'em better, just to see if you can hit a set or something else nice, also because you might come over the top of him
-and i would have to judge his bet by his playing style to know if he was bluffing or not

so for me i think it comes down to my read on him and his playing style.
 
Jesus Lederer

Jesus Lederer

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FD, i don´t agree with how did you put him on low pair or bluff. When you try to put your opponent into a range of hands, you don´t have to committe the mistake of thinking that your opponent would play the same way you would do it. You eliminated AA,KK,QQ from the range of hands because according to YOU it´s wrong to raise 6xBB with those hands. You said that you don´t want to show too much strength with those those hands, but what if he thinks different? I think it´s a mistake to believe that it exists a general betting pattern that applies for all opponents. A 6xBB may mean something different to player A and to player B.

A 6xBB raise like that could mean something like JJ. In fact generally a big raise means a pocket pair like 10s or Js, because the player wants to take the pot right there and don´t want to see higher face cards at the board. But putting my opponent into those hands would still be a mistake, because every player have different betting patterns, there isn´t any collective betting pattern that applies to every player, althought there are some common sense patterns.
Those common sense patterns tell me that he doesn´t want to see the flop, so he could be holding a pocket pair (JJ or lower). I also would add two face cards.

To put him on a hand you must use your read on that player (preflop patterns are crucial). Everybody thinks different, so i repeat: to put him on a range of hands the best thing you can do is to use the previous information you got about him.
Now this is a MTT, and for some circumstances you may not have gotten yet the information you need (or you forgot taking the respective notes), so you must be very careful at the moment of making a decision. Without that information the range of hands becomes wider, so as a consecuence you must be ready to face a difficult decision here and a more difficult decision at the flop (if you decide to call).

Now having a range of hands that takes from pocket pairs up to JJ and two overcards, you must do a decision.
Fold, call or push? In my opinion calling is the worst play. With the range of hands we put him if you call he´s first to act at the flop and he would probably push in the flop regardless what it comes (either with a monster or representing something big with a continuation bet). You´re hoping just for a 5 or you´re going to be in trouble. If low cards comes, he may have an overpair, and if high cards comes, he may have an overpair. Definitely don´t call.

Now push or fold? You have 3000 with 50/100 blinds: a decent stack. If you push, you´re willing to make him fold or at least be against two overcards (if he calls it´s almost 100% sure that you´re going to be either a small favourite or a huge underdog). Given the circumstances you don´t need to take a race at this point (with those blinds i imagine it´s still early in the tourney). And remember that you´re hoping at best that he has just two overcards.
I fold. At this stage of a tournament i prefer making big decisions (like the push) with more information. If i have to put him on a wide range of hands like that, i prefer laying down and waiting for a better situation.

ps: FD, for the same reason you put him on a bluff i can put him on a medium pocket pair.
 
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Count DeMoney

Count DeMoney

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Posters have rightly pointed out that you have to consider your opponent. True. But you also need to consider how your opponent perceives you (if he's even paying attention).

If you've come across as a tight player his raise means something more than if you've played loose or have been limping in a lot. Don't forget to take your own table image into account!
 
robwhufc

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Jesus Lederer said:
You eliminated AA,KK,QQ from the range of hands because according to YOU it´s wrong to raise 6xBB with those hands. You said that you don´t want to show too much strength with those those hands, but what if he thinks different? I think it´s a mistake to believe that it exists a general betting pattern that applies for all opponents. A 6xBB may mean something different to player A and to player B.
And a crafty player wanting to disguise a monster hand may use the "Four Dogs looks a decent player - if I overbet here, he's astute enough to presume i'm trying to steal, and go over the top of me" train of thought to try and misdirect you.
 
gjshand

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Hard one to call, I'd fold to be on the safe side. In my mind he has at least an Ace - Big or possibly a mid range pair himself. Unless you really know the player makes a move to steal in this type of situation then fold.
 
Four Dogs

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To me the bet is saying "back off. I have a good hand, but not the nuts, and i don't want to play out of position against you".
An experienced player wouldn't want to push too hard with a hand with any real earning potential. Which means I'm probably ahead, but if I call its a coin toss.
A bad player, as Freak pointed out, may think that's the way you play a high
pair.
My scenario assumes that neither player has a good read on the other. As I said before, I'm not inclined to call this huge bet without some more information. Not at this stage in the game.

As J.Led pointed out, different hands have different values to different players and that its a mistake to believe that there's anything like a "General" betting pattern. This is true, but there are some betting patterns which most experienced players generally agree are good and some that are not. In fact, the only way a bluff can succeed is if there is some consensus on how certain hands should be played. If there weren't, nobody would recognize your bluff for what you are representing. There MUST be some truth to your bluff. Where is the truth in a 6xBB bet against 1 opponent?
Under what real conditions should an experienced player make this bet.

The answer that makes the most sense to me, so far, is Robs. Assuming that the BB has a good read on his opponent and believes this obnoxious raise will reak of a steal, the overbet with a Monster makes perfect sense. But really, considering the limp from middle position you should have no good reason to believe that your bet will be called even if it is seen as a pot grab. If the original better had raised preflop, then there would be more reason to assume your bet will be called.

The more I think about it the fishier it seems. It just doesn't match any quality betting patterns.
 
bubbasbestbabe

bubbasbestbabe

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Actually I would have folded. But for the reason that at this stage of the MTT table jockeying is over and now you're playing for the final table. A look see on the limp is fine but to risk my chips when I don't have the nuts at this stage is not worth it.
 
Four Dogs

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Ok babe, I think you're pretty much in line with conventional thinking. But would you feel the same way if you took one of F.Paulsons magic pills and saw that the big blind had say, AK or AQ? What are we all afraid he's holding?
 
bubbasbestbabe

bubbasbestbabe

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Actually yes. Its still to early in the game to take a whack at the pinata.
 
Four Dogs

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bubbasbestbabe said:
Actually yes. Its still to early in the game to take a whack at the pinata.
:) I like that. Can I use it some time and try to pass it off as my own?
 
Bill_Hollorian

Bill_Hollorian

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There are very complicated reasons for my answer, but he should have AA- QQ, or a hand that has no equity at all in the pot like J,2 offsuit or 9, 3 offsuit.

Ironically it doesnt matter because the appropriate thing to do is fold either way. If he has AA-QQ you are dead, and if he has a hand with no pot equity, you will be getting no impied odds to call, because you will not get a dime on or after the flop.
His bet indicates that for you to make an equitable call, presuming he is astute and believes you are also, then his bet was actually a work of art. Higher pockets and you would push, so if you just call he knows you have low pockets, which means he can out play the flop.
The reason for why he could be playing garbage there is to balance strategy for when he does get a big hand in the big blind. It wouldnt be his first time making a raise from the BB, and likely to receive action.

See raising from the blind generally doesnt get any action, so if you do it once or twice, you can player larger hands stealthily from those positions later. By balancing in this way, folks will put you on the above. garbage or AA-QQ.

This is very advanced level poker, and I dont give most credit for this level of meta game play. Therefor he probably had AA-QQ. Regardless fold.

I like his play and hope you folded. I probably add him to a beware list, and see if his play warrants more scrutiny.

Did this all make sense?

Bill
 
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paradocks

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Some great points by Bill here, though personally I think your comment of "back off. I have a good hand, but not the nuts, and i don't want to play out of position against you" is likely to be spot on, He's shortish on chips and there's no way I need to give him credit for AA KK QQ here, the 6x raise is a little excessive but it's something I would probably be likely to do here with AK AQ AJ if I think I can push them out, he doesn't want to play out of position here and lose the (very small) pot, at the same time any mid pocket pair that beats you and he may very well likely not want to play out of position either. Possibly he made it 6x because of something he previously saw in you and thought you had a tendency to call 3x/4x raises and hes thinking 'hell if this guys going to call my raises ill make him pay extra for it'. So so many possibilties here but the rather obvious move is just to muck your hand I think.
 
Four Dogs

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Bill. That was just the type of well thought out answer I was looking for. Whether of not the BB was that insightful is not the point. Played this way, the 6xBB raise seems brilliant. You are absolutely right about the call. QQ-AA would probably reraise, if they don't then representing a high pair on the flop should take the hand.

Now, the identity of our brilliant over better is .....Twizzybop!

I changed the stack sizes just a tad so it wouldn't be so obvious.
 
Bill_Hollorian

Bill_Hollorian

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Twizzy did this?
Well, pretty good then. I would love to here what Twizzy's response is. Also, what happened.

The bet was probing for information, concealing his hand, and putting you to a big decision, at the same time.

2 questions: Did he go in the tank in other words how quickly did he act?
Di Twizzy put you on a small pair if so how?
 
Four Dogs

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I wasn't even there. He posted a bad beat the other day where pocket 5's called his bet. He had AQ and flopped top 2 against the callers set. While I probably would not have called, I wasn't sure that it was the Donk move Tiwzzy made it out to be. His bet seemed to lack a plan.
 
zinzir

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I would treat the 500 raise as an all-in, because that's what your opponent will most likely do on the flop, regardless of what cards are coming. With a small to medium pair, if you consider yourself more skilled than your average opponent you're better off folding, and if you consider yourself less skilled than average, you're better off re-raising yourself all-in before flop.
 
CullinanPoker

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Depends on the stack size of opponent betting for me... if hes way up I may view this as a bully attempt as well as how many hands this person is playing
 
TheDude6622

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This seems like an over-pair that is trying to protect their hand. Something very common to see, especially early in a tournament. If the opponent just 3x raises, it's inviting more people to call with a greater chance to lose.
 
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