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How can I extract maximum value?

How can I extract maximum value? - Sat Oct 08, 2011, 10:56 AM
hamburglarid's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 131

On the flop I check called because there were no draws and I wanted the big blind to call behind. He went above and beyond expectations and raised. Having called a raise preflop and then check-raised I put him on a big ace or two pair. I put in a raise and he folded which left me confused and disappointed. I'm wondering if I got maximum value or if I could have played it differently to get more. With all the information I now think he had a pocket pair, maybe eights or nines.
Sat Oct 08, 2011, 12:21 PM
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,836
I'd have just called their raise and gotten to the turn.... hoping their ace hits two pair. By raising there, especially if you've been playing tighter, they'll probably put you on the hand you have or AK and muck an ace or a bluff. I'd most likely think they had an ace with a mediocre kicker, why they mucked.... as they thought you had an ace with a bigger kicker, or a set.
Sat Oct 08, 2011, 03:25 PM
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
You "woke him up" to the fact you had a set.

First, You gotta consider the "levels of aggressive acts" in poker...

Level 1 is the bet or open raise.
Obviously, a lot of time this is a decent hand, but sometimes it is "just a C-Bet" or just a bluff bet.

Level 2 is the re-raise, or raise over limper(s).
This also can be a decent valued hand, but sometimes it may be done to iso on a weaker ranged opponent with a medium strength hand, sometimes it is a blind steal attempt, or sometimes it might be done just to "punish limpers" who limp/fold too often.

Level 3 is the Check/Raise.
We are now getting to the point where the chance of a hand making this aggressive move has much LESS of a chance of being on a bluff. It is un-common for players well below the high stakes to have the ability to spot a good C/R bluff or semi bluff spot, so the chance of this being "a move" is much lower. The question still remains though regarding what the villain THINKS a strong hand is...

Level 4 is the C/R followed by a bet or raise (either on the same or later streets).
This is almost NEVER a pure air ball bluff, and at the worst is usually a strong semi-bluff.

Level 4 is what you did...

The villain in the BB here used level 3 aggression in the pot to 'attack" what might be a normal C-Bet by the initial raiser. I do not think you are far wrong in your read really: 88/99 maybe even TT are all hands that fit the bill for the BB to act as he did throughout, as is AJ/AT and MAYBE AQ at a 6 max table. (note: TT or AQ are kinda those "boarderline 3bet pre" hands, some might 3Bet pre with 'em, some might flat).

When you check/call the C-Bet, the BB's C/R represents an "attack" on your RANGE, which should be quite similar to HIS (in my opinion based upon the hands and question you are posting), since you strike me as an aware and opportunistic player, with a good handle on stack management ideas.

You may know this already, but the C/R by the BB villain attacks you (and the C-bettor) using the GAP CONCEPT in poker.
(see this: http://www.pokertips.org/glossary/w/GAP+CONCEPT )

He (the BB Villain) is applying pressure on the other 2 players in the hand with his C/R raise, thus "forcing" you BOTH into a tighter call range.

When you RAISE him, the fact he made a level 3 aggressive move (as opposed to a level 1 or 2, which would be a donk lead bet) means he has "defined" the likely relative strength of his holding, by saying "I got a hand I really think is better than yours since you check/called, and yours because you are probably just C-Betting".

By C/R'ing HIS C/R, you've made the statement (with your level 4 aggression) that is in effect: "I have such a MONSTER that I was willing to slow play my hand, but now that YOU have acted aggressively I think you too have a decent hand...but I think MY hand is better! It's up to you skippy, whatcha gunna do!"

Had he held BETTER than your bottom set, he is almost certainly STAYING, but less than a set (even top 2 pair for players who are aware enough to be looking hard at YOUR tendencies becomes a strong candidate for "2nd best" hand here) and he is gone...gone...gone...and relatively cheaply too.

This means I would have leaned STRONGLY towards flatting his C/R, except against only the most TERRIBLE of players who simply cannot lay down top pair after putting chips in the pot (especially with a C/R)...and even against those, the un-coordinated board leaves little chance for a suck out to happen, so I'm probably flatting most of those weak players too.


I don't know if you've seen some of my other posts recently, where I talk about the "cost" of a deceptive play in terms of DELAYED PROFIT over the more "straight forward" action when playing BAD opponents. This situation however represents an intersection of the "best" straight forward play AND a deceptive one...they are the same, and even facing a "bad" player does not really give you a whole lot of benefit to immediately rushing value into the pot with a hand like bottom set. Consider...

If we recognize that the C/R by the villain will almost certainly carry SOME "strength"...
If we recognize that our hand as the 3rd nut ALSO carries strong value...
If we recognize that a "solid" opponent will tend to call/raise any raise by us with BETTER, and fold WORSE...AND a weak one will pay us about the same value on later streets if we flat now (provided we up our bet sizing)...

We really have no "need" to raise the C/R NOW; that action does not "add value" to the pot for us per the Fundemental Theorem of Poker, since it is un-likely to elicit a "mistake" by the opponent.
(see this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundame...eorem_of_poker ) that they would not otherwise make, AND could lead them more toward a "correct action".

The "deceptive" action of flat calling (rather than raising) with a hand we think MIGHT be the best becomes the best "straight forward" action as well, because that MIGHT result in him trying a turn RAISE (if we lead) or a turn CALL with something like a 2 pair hand (because we only flat called the C/R). That means the deceptive play adds value where the straight forward play would not...see?

So next time, I'd lean strongly toward flatting a C/R in this type of hand, not matter who you are facing.

Hope it helps.
Sat Oct 08, 2011, 05:32 PM
hamburglarid's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 131
This should help a lot. My biggest problem right now is that I act quickly without putting this type of deep thought into what I`m doing. If I can get to the point where I think each move through before acting I think I can double my winnings.

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