Home / Community / Forum / Poker Education / Poker Education & Beginners Questions / Old Hand Analysis Section /

Attempt to Semi bluff

Attempt to Semi bluff - Tue May 31, 2011, 11:48 PM
OMGCBF's Avatar
Since: Mar 2011
Posts: 48
Hi all,

Here's a hand from yesterday in a 0.1/0.25 NLHE full ring.

Would like comments and opinions on the thought process rather than the play in general

Situation is I have been playing relatively loose but not crazy, SB is a player who is happy to defend with a reasonable range, perhaps 20% ish of hands including suited connectors and has observed me stealing a few times from various positions. All my opens have been exactly the same 2.5x whether air marginal or AA

Its folded to me on the button and I open my standard 2.5x, SB 3 bets to about 3x my raise. Mostly with air here I'm folding (though occasionally I'll 4 bet), with a premium hand I'll raise or sometimes call. In this case I like the position with my marginal hand so decide to call considering his range is fairly wide.

On the flop SB leads out about 60% of the pot and I figure this for a standard continuation bet. I figure most likely he's paired the board or has a pocket pair, I don't figure him for a set because I think he checks that. I have an up and down straight draw and an over card and decide its worth seeing the next card so call.

On the turn with the 3 he checks, at this point I'm feeling he wouldn't have the Q or he'd likely fire again, sets have already been discounted so I figure he has something like AJ, KJ, JT, A4, TT, 99 or 88.

I figure any 9 A or K wins me the pot giving me 11 outs, I decide to semi bluff, and bet about 2/3 of the pot.

Villain comes over the top, and I'm pretty much pot committed with only about $5 or so left behind so I have to call.

You will see the result, but my key questions are, what do you think of the logic and reasoning? Secondly if you agree with the semi bluff as a tactic do you think it was too small?

Thanks in advance

Last edited by OMGCBF; Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 01:23 AM..
Wed Jun 01, 2011, 01:25 AM
Deleted user
When you say loose what percentage would that be?I find some of us have different ideas of loose,so its good to just clarify that.

Your at the lvl where people are 2betting light a lot more than the lower limits,so if he has done that before I am not respecting it at all.Depending on how often he donk leads if ever on the flop,I would call or raise.Wouldnt be folding on this board to a standard 60% of pot bet.
Thing that worries me a little is he did 3x your bet preflop which shows he has a idea of how to play poker.So a donk lead means he has something but its not the nuts and it could be a draw.
Since you are on the only draw possible besides 9T I wouldnt be to worried.
I see this type of player using a scare card like a ace on the turn to semi bluff with.
The way he checked/shoved the turn is really interesting since I would be taking that line with the nuts more than 2nd pair weak kicker.
He must see you as some one that is going to float and attack when you smell weakness,or he wouldnt be pulling this move.Im guessing you have been caught floating in the past orbits.
Now the problem with his play is your not folding here most of the time unless you are on a straight bluff,so his thinking is wacked a little.

Now for your thinking.
2.5xbb is a good way to alert the table you have a bit of knowledge and potentially play a pretty abc game.62 cents seems to rigid for my liking.I hit 2.3-2.7xbb and then raise it or lower it even out depending on what I am trying to do at the table.You open 2.5xbb on my blind more than once and I will be 2betting you light to see how you play.I find throwing in some 3xbb when you first sit at a table can help throw people off later on.I find people will see you one way and not adapt when you change things up.I like your reasoning over preflop all and agree the position is important here.

So he has a piece of this board its just a question of how much!
I like your reasoning as long as you are already thinking about future stealing spots as well,which I think you are.

Turn is interesting since I would not put you on any thing strong at this point.
What are you selling him on?The way you have played smells like underpair or missed over cards.
People tend to check 2nd pairs on the turn and bet the river.So a shove on his part is bold,but he doesnt notice you have put to much in to fold.
So you cant fold here and I kind of think that it should have been a shove on your part or a check.
I would have leaned towards the check personally.If you where deeper than your play would have worked better.

I tired to think it out through both of your heads and think you both had a idea but both didnt take into factoring that the stacks sizes made these plays not work.
Wed Jun 01, 2011, 01:49 AM
OMGCBF's Avatar
Since: Mar 2011
Posts: 48
Thanks Cookies

I see if I check behind on the turn its the safer play, since if I hit the river I can call or re-raise should he lead out, and if I miss I can simply lay it down to a bet. I have been specifically trying to play more agressive and loose as my standard game was too tight and passive and I've been stuck at a level for a couple of weeks.

Thanks for the input
Wed Jun 01, 2011, 02:04 AM
Deleted user
That conversion from tag to lag is so hard,I know what you mean.
Ive dedicated myself to Headsup for the rest of the year for that main reason.
Im hoping it improves my hand reading and my aggression.
Wed Jun 01, 2011, 06:04 AM
OMGCBF's Avatar
Since: Mar 2011
Posts: 48
Just to answer your question about how loose.

In the last 2 sessions I was playing pretty much like this:

Open any pair or suited connectors from any position, call in position behind with same to any standard raise. In late position I would also add some garbage such as any 2 offsuit with more than 3 gaps between to steal, these are almost always folded if played back against.

If 3 bet I would re-evaluate the position and strength of the medium holding e.g. are there enough implied odds to set mine and be disciplined to fold if I don't hit on the flop, if the 3 bettor is a short stack I simply mostly fold the small pair.

Premium cards I would sometimes 4 bet but often I'll flat behind a 3 bet.

I'm often getting to the flop with the initiative with this strategy and therefore often continuation betting. I was trying to heavily slant the game to me being in position so more likely to fold the OOP marginals if played back against.

A few curious things I noted, the early positions actually seem quite easy to steal from and I opened the range up more than I normally would, simply because people seem to read you for being a lot stronger than you actually are. I noticed its easier to represent a good holding from there than late position. They're more likely to cry BS and play back at you when opening for a raise in late position.

One last point, I was NEVER limping with any hand if It was folded to me, only if calling behind.

I found I was able to pick up a lot of blind steals from pretty much anywhere on the table and when in position I was able to take the pot down on the flop with a single 2/3 bet . Once the pot got large though I would have to re-evaluate my strength and the opponents, i.e. if my flop bet is called its time to really put the thinking cap on.

Oh and defending the blinds, I don't do it a lot I let the first 2 or 3 go, but once they start to take advantage I like to play back about 1 in 3 almost regardless of holding, in fact its something I like to do with a very polarised range. With a weak holding I can 3 bet back and if he 4 bets I just let it go, with a good-premium holding I might often just call him and take it from there. They seem to get the message for a while after that.

The results were interesting I was clearly doing a lot better than previously and ended yesterdays session on 2 tables up about 40% from the buy in, though most of that largely due to that hand posted above. The rest of the time I would go down a little then win a decent pot back and was mostly sitting about 10% above the starting point for the session.

Any suggestions on that style and whether or not its viable or will work at other limits? Probably needs adjustment or perhaps not even possible to get away with it?

Last edited by OMGCBF; Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 06:06 AM..

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) PokerSchoolOnline.com. All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on support@pokerschoolonline.com