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

Setting a fish free

 
Old
Default
Setting a fish free - Sat Jul 02, 2011, 09:15 AM
(#1)
Deltan's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 5


Now here's what my thought processes are:
Pre-Flop:
It's the first hand in the tournament and I've never seen any of these players before so I don't have any reads on anyone. I have AQo on the button so I call the middle position 2*BB raise. I only call because AQo is not that strong but it could turn into a monster. Both the blinds call making a pot of $160.

The Flop:
An ace and 2 small spades land on the flop.and everyone checks around to me. I bet $100 into the pot figuring my ace is good. Both blinds fold and the pre-flop raiser flat calls.

The Turn:
When the jack falls and the action is checked to me I bet $200 into the pot. Once again the pre-flop raiser flat-calls.

The River:
A 9 falls on the river and once again the action is checked around to me so I bet $400 into the pot - slowing down a tiny bit because of the previous calls - only to face an all-in raise. I run through the following thought process:
The other guy hasn't shown any strength at all through the hand though it's unlikely they have nothing. I noted the 3 hearts on the board but couldn't figure them for holding 2 hearts all the way through. My best guess was that this was a bet that didn't want to be called. I wondered about 2 pair but thought that 2 pair would have been more agressive earlier in the hand, so I thought about the 9 making the 2nd pair or a set. I just couldn't picture any likely holding involving the 9, even A9 seemed unlikely. J9 seemed the likeliest, but with an ace on the flop I couldn't see many people hanging onto that particular holding. I reverted back to thinking that this was a bluff bet and called to see 62s making the heart flush. I was stunned.

I think I played this hand correctly and the result is irrelevant, though I'm very open to suggestions as to how I can improve my betting as I am getting very tired of fish making hands like this against me. Even with implied odds, I'm not offering good pot odds for them in this situation. If I bet harder, in my experience I still get called (although this can lead me to slow down more) and going all in on the flop or the turn doesn't give me the best payoff for my made hands imo. My goal is to extract the best value out of my made hands while setting fish free so I'm only facing decent cards (though hopefully inferior to mine). Any ideas?
 
Old
Default
Sat Jul 02, 2011, 10:30 AM
(#2)
PlsDntBlffMe's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 42
Post Deleted

Last edited by PlsDntBlffMe; Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 01:42 PM..
 
Old
Default
Sat Jul 02, 2011, 12:38 PM
(#3)
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,809
(Super-Moderator)
BronzeStar
Here's another situation where JD's phrase definitely fits.... Don't go broke in a pot you won't raise with preflop.

I would have raised preflop, hoping that some of them drop, becuase AQo against 3 other hands will win less than 40% of the time.

Your flop and turn bets are fine... BUT... with them calling both of them, there are alot of card combinations that have you beat on the river. They could easily have a set, AK, or the flush. Betting on the river is ok but their all-in check/raise is a HUGE red flag. They checked hoping to get more value on the river than betting, because they hoped that you'd fire a 3rd bullet at the pot, which you did. You need to be mucking to an all-in raise like that, especially early in a tourney.. unless you have the absolute nuts (which you do not have). The risk to reward ratio for calling it is hugely against you.

FYI - them raising with 2 suited rags preflop, then calling the flop with mid pair and no kicker is an absolutely horrible play. The only bet that they even had a remotely good call with was the turn bet. If it were me, I'd be making a note on that player that they will play any 2 suited cards and use that info in the future.
 
Old
Default
Sat Jul 02, 2011, 04:45 PM
(#4)
oriholic's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 751
BronzeStar
Preflop with AQ you're in an annoying spot. AQ works best heads-up in small pots or with high blinds. Because of this I usually like to call with AQ in late position or in the blinds. The problem is that his minraise followed by your call prices both blinds into calling. If I'm the BB I'm playing literally any two cards at this point. 7 to 1 pot odds with deep stacks for implied odds make anything playable even out of position. In this case I think 3-betting AQ is a must, even though it will bloat the pot preflop. At least you have position so you can try to keep the pot under control postflop.

Obviously with four people in the hand, all checking to you, you have to bet to get value out of your top pair great kicker. You can get value from flush draws, weaker aces, middle pairs 77-KK , and maybe even 6x. There is always a possibility that you're behind, but with the in your hands at least you're not against any of those Axs super draws, AND you have the key card there so you can represent that draw if you find you need to bluff in this hand.

The turn puts out a second heart and another broadway card which is not great for you. Now a lot of his spade draws have a pair or straight draw as well, plus AJ is ahead. You're still probably ahead, but if you bet and get called or raised you can't feel too comfortable. Plus, betting here builds up a big pot and you will be put in a sick spot on the river if he shoves. If you check behind you allow draws to get there, but at least you keep the pot small so that you don't stack off.

He checked to you on the river, which is the best possible scenario. Now you can check behind with all that showdown value. If you bet here what worse hands will call? AT? QQ? KJ? Not a whole lot. If you bet and get raised you have nothing but a bluff catcher. Are you betting as a bluff, trying to get him to fold two pair or a set? Probably not gonna work. Maybe he bluffs a lot here, maybe he doesn't, but you can only beat a bluff. With just 760 left you can't fold here and now you have to call. He's gotta be bluffing here at least 25% of the time, right? Except that since you can't ever fold here given the pot odds, a bluff would be pretty bad, so he's almost never bluffing and you have to fold. Be happy you only lost half your stack, but your AQ is never good here. You still have 38 BBs and it's early.

About the villain's play....It was either decent or terrible depending on his thinking process. With a pair and two backdoor draws on a flop that already presents an obvious flush draw I can totally see floating here. Plus as the preflop raiser check-folding the flop isn't exactly the best thing for your image. Then on the turn he picks up his flush draw and decides to try to draw cheaply rather than semibluffing himself. There are a lot of representable draws here. Against the type of nitty player who always flails when any draw comes in, there is a spade draw, a heart draw, and a broadway straight draw he might be able to represent on the river. That's a LOT of "outs", also he can have a pair already, giving him trips and kicker outs. If he doesn't have you beat he probably has one of these real draws and can represent one of the other big ones.

Of course that he's trying to make these plays out of position loses him some credit for being a good player...unless he's THAT good. These are the sorts of plays that both fish and strong loose players make, but for different reasons.

Quote:
If it were me, I'd be making a note on that player that they will play any 2 suited cards and use that info in the future.
This is only somewhat useful. It allows you to add more suited junk to their range, but just because someone will play any two suited doesn't mean they always have two suited cards or even that they have the right suit. Think of how many times you get in a pot with a hand like only to have an type flop. It just means that there are a few more hands in their range that do beat you.
 
Old
Default
Sat Jul 02, 2011, 07:22 PM
(#5)
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
BronzeStar
IF THIS IS A PSO MTT:

You gotta slow WAY DOWN with top pair/2nd kicker as soon as an opponent calls your flop bet behind a check. Chips are just too valuable in those events to be losing a large % of your stakc with "only" a 1 pair hand.

IF THIS IS A "NORMAL" MTT:

What JWK said...

With only a single raiser in front of you, you are better off making a small 3-bet when you hold AQo, and have position. AQo is a pretty solid hand, ESPECIALLY versus someone with only enough "faith" in their holding to make a min raise. DEEP MONEY min raises are most often made by someone who likes to think of themselves as a "small ball" player. Those sorts like to get involved in a lot of pots, and have a WIDE range, so your AQo plays pretty well versus them. The big thing you want to avoid is "allowing" the blinds to come along at a discount, with pretty decent pot odds.

Your thoughts regarding conservation of chips early on because AQo is not a "monster" is admirable, but a bit mis-placed. A "standard" sized 3Bet by you would be on the order of about 90 to 120 total to go. In no case should it represent an amount which "commits" you if the open raiser 4Bets, so it will be pretty easy to re-coup a "loss" that size if he does 4Bet (which you probably should then fold).

The key thought is that you have 2 ways to win when you bet or raise, by holding the best hand at showdown OR by (possibly) making a BETTER hand (such as 33/44/55) FOLD. That is the basis of good AGGRESSIVE poker, where what you did was indicative of a more passive style...

If you DO elect a flat call, such as if the open raiser had raised to 3 x BB, and a re-pop then would be a pretty "expensive" 150 to 180 total to go (still not a HUGE part of your stack, but losing 10% without even seeing a flop can be highly damaging in some fast blind structure events), the JWK is really spot on: you GOTTA be more "careful" about barrelling your 1 pair hits.
You see...

Any time you CALL (except with any intention to trap a single opponent with a "monster"), rather than bet or raise, you are pretty much determining you want your pot kept SMALL. By then betting a 1 pair "hit" with multiple "solid" sized bets, you are doign exactly the opposite of the "plan" you created for yourself at the start of the hand (calling, to keep the pot in control). See?

It is VERY important for your bet patterns to have a plan, to know what that plan "means" for your chip stack, and to know what that play signals to your opponent. If you cannot plan your betting, you will tend to get yourself into situations you had no clue you'd be in; THAT tends to "confuse" you, and lead to mistakes.

So if you want to work on your betting, a good place to start off is to talk to yourself out loud before you act (the beauty of on line is that you can do that!). Recite what your reasons are for deciding what you are about to do. Keep a running dialogue, and see how often you feel the initial "urge" to deviate from your self-dialogue. It may seem wierd the first couple times you do it, but it will certainly help you KNOW WHY you are making a decision, if you have to explain it to yourself out loud each time you must act.

Hope it help.
 
Old
Default
Sun Jul 03, 2011, 10:28 AM
(#6)
Deltan's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 5
Wow, thanks people, you've given me a LOT to think about.

It's kind of ironic that I feel that one of my strengths is being able to change gears mid-hand, When I think about it though, I can see how I end up "confusing" myself, and even worse, end up in these horrible situations where it's very easy to make a mistake like folding the best hand or calling with the worst hand (like this example). Not raising pre-flop and not checking the river were the 2 main mistakes I made here. Oh well, lessons learnt .

I'm concentrating on raising more at the moment so everyone's advice is timely and appropriate for me at this stage of my game. I did tend to have a call/fold mentality, in the main because I wasn't getting good returns for my big hands and it was a risk-averse strategy for my draws. I've discovered now that if I'm more agressive I still get called by marginal holdings (and my draws get paid more often even if I miss) but they then generally fold to continued aggression on the flop or turn and I'm also finding I have larger chip stacks as I approach the middle of the tournament. I guess I reverted to my previous style of play for this hand.

Well, thanks again, I really appreciate the time and effort put into answering my question, I'll be sure to post more hands for analysis.
 
Old
Default
Sun Jul 03, 2011, 04:53 PM
(#7)
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
BronzeStar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deltan View Post
Wow, thanks people, you've given me a LOT to think about.

It's kind of ironic that I feel that one of my strengths is being able to change gears mid-hand, When I think about it though, I can see how I end up "confusing" myself, and even worse, end up in these horrible situations where it's very easy to make a mistake like folding the best hand or calling with the worst hand (like this example). Not raising pre-flop and not checking the river were the 2 main mistakes I made here. Oh well, lessons learnt .

I'm concentrating on raising more at the moment so everyone's advice is timely and appropriate for me at this stage of my game. I did tend to have a call/fold mentality, in the main because I wasn't getting good returns for my big hands and it was a risk-averse strategy for my draws. I've discovered now that if I'm more agressive I still get called by marginal holdings (and my draws get paid more often even if I miss) but they then generally fold to continued aggression on the flop or turn and I'm also finding I have larger chip stacks as I approach the middle of the tournament. I guess I reverted to my previous style of play for this hand.

Well, thanks again, I really appreciate the time and effort put into answering my question, I'll be sure to post more hands for analysis.
Couple quick parting thoughts:

1) Raise more than call, fold more than raise - Al Spath, old PSO Dean.
This is a recipe TAG poker. A good solid mantra to follow.

2) Read Sklansky's "Theory of Poker" to get a better feel for WHY you will bet (or raise).
He outlines and explains 5 reasons for betting. When you understand those completely, and know the right opponents to use the proper reasoning against, your betting "plans" can become much more complex and indicative of higher levels of thought.

3) Read up on Sklansky's "Fundemental Theorem of Poker".
This explains why it takes a stronger hand to CALL, than it takes to bet or raise.

4) Read up on the "Gap Concept in Poker"
This explains the "why" of needing a stronger hand to call, than to raise.

All these thigns are fundemental to improving your betitng "plans" for various hands you might hold. Putting some time into studying these things will certainly help you out a lot.

Good luck.
 

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