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Steal Attempt Gone Wrong

 
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Steal Attempt Gone Wrong - Mon Sep 26, 2011, 12:25 PM
(#1)
ILuvPoker77's Avatar
Since: Sep 2011
Posts: 84
Here's the background: I had gotten involved in two hands so far in this 167-person Premier Qualifier tournament, and I don't think I made any mistakes in those hands. Luck just didn't go my way. Although I managed to get away from them without losing very many chips, I was still left shorter stacked than I would have liked, so I decided I needed to start trying to steal even though the blinds were still only 40/80.

So, I decided to take a shot at the blinds from the button with A2o. At this point I had only been at that table for a few hands (was recently moved there), and the SB and BB were unknowns to me. I had not played with them before, so I had virtually no HUD stats on them.

One of the blinds called my raise. The flop came down 5h 10c 4c, so it had both flush and straight possibilities, and I didn't connect. My opponent checked. Due to the texture of the flop, and thinking she had probably just been trying to defend by calling with a weak hand and probably hadn't connected with the flop either, I decided to make a C-bet of 2/3 of the pot, thinking she would probably go away. But instead, she called.

The turn was 6h, making even more draw possibilities. I had decided at this point to stop betting, because I've lost my stack on bluffs too many times to fire another barrel in this situation, her calling indicated she probably had something, either a pair or a draw, and even a pair would have beat me, since all I had was ace high. Also, it was a school tournament, so I didn't want to take the chance of busting out early.

I did know that if I stopped betting, she would probably bet into me on the river no matter what came down, and I would have to fold, so by deciding to stop betting, I was in essence giving her the pot.

Below is the hand.

My questions are:

1) Should I not have made this steal attempt in the first place? Did I risk too much to gain too little? Was my hand inadequate to try stealing from unknown people?

2) Should I not have made the C-bet without a hand, especially considering the board texture? Or should I maybe have made a smaller, feeler-type bet?

3) Should I have fired again on the turn instead of checking? I don't think she had much of a hand, because she check-called rather than check-raised the flop...she may have been on a draw and not gotten there yet...should I have put maximum pressure on her to try and force a fold, or should I have not taken that risk, and played it as I did?

It seems like I get into a lot of situations like this, so any feedback you can give me would be very helpful.

Thanks,

~Luv

Sorry, this hand was deleted by its owner

Last edited by ILuvPoker77; Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 12:34 PM..
 
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Mon Sep 26, 2011, 01:00 PM
(#2)
oriholic's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 751
BronzeStar
Preflop is okay, not great... You have a strong hand for your position. If called you have ace high and wheel possibilities. However you do have an awkward stack size for this blind level and folding might be better. Unless the blinds are pretty tight and passive folding is probably your best option. You have about 14 BBs which is a great resteal stack but a terrible opening stack. It's a little much to jam 14 BBs with A2 especially without antes, and if you make an open raise and are called you're in no-man's land. At least you have position, but you're going to be in a gross spot. If you get raised you have to fold, and raise-folding on this stack size is a big leak.

Try making a plan for the hand. If she donkbets the flop are you going to shove or fold? If she checks to you are you going to c-bet or check it back? What about the turn? What if she checks it to you again on the turn? Do you make a small C-bet or do you just play the check-down game and pray? See...awkward hand. You probably have the best hand but all options suck. Even with position. Better to just save the chips for a hand that you can raise/get it in with.

That flop is a good one for you! You have a gutshot and an overcard. If you have been playing tight it's unlikely to have hit your range though. I think I like checking behind here as you have a marginal hit, and would rather not get raised off your hand. Plus, any C-bet is going to commit you. With a deeper stack you could barrel two or three streets with your hand, but with your whole stack on the size of the pot on the flop, your options are limited. You could check back the flop and then make a delayed C-bet or you could just shove the flop hoping to fold out her small pairs and overcards and maybe flush draws. She probably has enough foldable stuff in her range to make a shove +EV on the flop. And you probably have 7 outs to improve. Gross spot though, so probably just fold pre.
 
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Mon Sep 26, 2011, 02:04 PM
(#3)
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,788
(Super-Moderator)
BronzeStar
I agree with Ori on the stack size. It makes for a real awkward hand. With more chips, I think it's probably a better play... and with less chips I'd shove.

On the flop, worst case, you should have 4 outs (and probably can stack your opp if they hit part of the board) or best case you've got 7 outs. I'd hate to check/fold the flop, so I'd probably bet it. When the opp calls, I'd also know I'm probably in deep trouble (they hit part of the board or have me outkicked). Unfortunately, I'd probably then end up check/folding the turn... which at your chip stack is something I wouldn't want to do.

Due to my stack size, I'd probably just either call preflop or muck it and wait for a hand to push with.
 
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Mon Sep 26, 2011, 02:21 PM
(#4)
oriholic's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 751
BronzeStar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWK24 View Post
I'd hate to check/fold the flop, so I'd probably bet it.
You're on the button. This is impossible
 
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Mon Sep 26, 2011, 02:24 PM
(#5)
TheLangolier's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,479
(Head Trainer)
Without antes I think I'm just passing this pre. On 14 bb's I'm looking for good 3B resteal targets or spots, and am only opening first in with value hands that I plan to stack off. A2 doesn't really qualify so I'd need a compelling reason to open as a steal, and without reads on the blinds I don't have it, so I just pass.
 
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Mon Sep 26, 2011, 05:00 PM
(#6)
ILuvPoker77's Avatar
Since: Sep 2011
Posts: 84
Thanks, all. Yes, my stack size was quite awkward, and I need to get used to being more patient at that particular point in the game.

At the levels I've been playing, it's somewhat unusual for blinds to defend, or if they defend by calling, they'll almost always fold to a c-bet if they check the flop, and if they bet the flop and I haven't hit anything, I just fold. So I wasn't mentally prepared for this situation (although it has happened before sometimes), and didn't have a plan.

At this point I need to face the fact, though, that in the Premier Qualifier tournaments, and if I move up levels in MTTs/SNG, or if I qualify for the Premier League, I can expect to encounter various blind defenses fairly often. And if and when I do attempt steals (with the appropriate stack size), I should always have a plan.

Plan the hand...what a great idea...

I swear I really was listening in your commitment decisions class, Dave, I really was... :P
 
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Mon Sep 26, 2011, 08:07 PM
(#7)
TheLangolier's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,479
(Head Trainer)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILuvPoker77 View Post
Plan the hand...what a great idea...

I swear I really was listening in your commitment decisions class, Dave, I really was... :P
LOL, I can see that.

Here's another one coming up that fits this hand:

http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/edu...sion/?id=22563
 
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Mon Sep 26, 2011, 08:40 PM
(#8)
ILuvPoker77's Avatar
Since: Sep 2011
Posts: 84
Sounds excellent -- I'm free at that time and have marked it on my calendar.
 
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Mon Sep 26, 2011, 10:43 PM
(#9)
ahar010's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 614
Understanding the arkward stack size. I think a steal attempt pre flop is ok. Personally i think the cbet is ok as well. If you are willing to make the steal attempt I think you should be willing to CBet. but this comes back to the akward stack size.

Whether you Steal/C-Bet might then depend on your read at the table. As you're new at the table and don't have a image for yourself or a read on the player. We can probably still put them in the generic categories of folding if they miss calling if they hit. And calling a cbet to float on a flop like that and see a turn card and if you fire again.

In both of those cases I think a smaller CBet does the same job. Probably just under half the pot to save yourself a few chips. Maybe they are a player that might attack a weak CBet but you can't tell that at this point. I think you win preflop or with the cbet enough times to still be profitable. And your remaining stack-size while short can still be nursed for minimal negative points for the league.

Definately shut down after the call on the flop though.
 
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Tue Sep 27, 2011, 03:49 PM
(#10)
TheLangolier's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,479
(Head Trainer)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahar010 View Post
Understanding the arkward stack size. I think a steal attempt pre flop is ok. Personally i think the cbet is ok as well. If you are willing to make the steal attempt I think you should be willing to CBet. but this comes back to the akward stack size.

Whether you Steal/C-Bet might then depend on your read at the table. As you're new at the table and don't have a image for yourself or a read on the player. We can probably still put them in the generic categories of folding if they miss calling if they hit. And calling a cbet to float on a flop like that and see a turn card and if you fire again.

In both of those cases I think a smaller CBet does the same job. Probably just under half the pot to save yourself a few chips. Maybe they are a player that might attack a weak CBet but you can't tell that at this point. I think you win preflop or with the cbet enough times to still be profitable. And your remaining stack-size while short can still be nursed for minimal negative points for the league.

Definately shut down after the call on the flop though.
I agree with Andy if we ARE going to steal we should be following up with a flop c-bet the majority of the time here. I also agree that if we still fail to take it down and haven't improved, we need to shut down once the c-bet is called.

The thing I don't really like so much is that on this stack size, doing so will drop our stack down to a point were we no longer have good resteal fold equity. 3B fold equity is too big a weapon to give up. Now sometimes we'll improve and win, and sometimes we'll win a showdown with ace high, but for me the risk is too high unless there's a bunch of times we'll also take it down pre or on the flop cbet. Since we have no reads, we're kind of shooting in the dark guessing at all these factors. If we had a couple non-defenders in the blinds, a couple nits, or even better some loose preflop callers who play fit or fold, then I think the steal attempt is well worth it. But I'm not prepared to sacrifice resteal fold equity trying to make a move on a couple unknowns.
 

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