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25NL 6Max flop bottom set - should I get it in?

25NL 6Max flop bottom set - should I get it in? - Sun Sep 23, 2012, 12:37 PM
EdinFreeMan's Avatar
Since: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,540
This was a ZOOM session at 25NL 6-Max - GarethC and Felix were both around in the 'Hydra' pool during my sessions on Fri/Sat but not in this hand - any thoughts from them would be helpful.

I raised UTG wuth 33 and got called in 2 spots where I was out of position to both opponents.

I flopped a set of threes on a board with ace/king/three and two diamonds. I decided to check/raise the flop, and when I got reraised I put my unknown opponent on high cards so probably a big ace - maybe AK, but I did not put them on AA/KK so was pretty sure my bottom set was ahead.

The money went all in on the flop

Is a small set too weak to get stacks in on this wet flop?

PT3 showed I had over 70% equity on the flop versus opps specific hand - and looking at PokerStove later I had over 80% equity versus a tight top 10% range - but I wonder if I should be thinking more deeply about what specific hands my opp could have to be getting it in, given the preflop/postflop action sequence.

Ed from Edinburgh - EdinFreeMan

Last edited by EdinFreeMan; Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 12:43 PM..
Mon Sep 24, 2012, 11:02 PM
GarethC23's Avatar
Since: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,273
Hi Edin

First to answer the question of whether our hand is too weak to get all-in on the flop, the answer is definitely "no." As you said most opponents, especially with a raise and a call in front of them, would be squeezing KK and AA here. So we do not have much to worry about, we are very close to having the effective nuts.

So the way the action goes on the flop I would always be very happy to get all-in. Notice how much money our opponent starts the hand with -- when they are sporting less than 100bb like this I tend to give them less credit for having reasonable ranges, particularly in a spot like this. So that's further reason to never fold.

Let's go back to your decision to check though. I really dislike this option. You opened UTG and got an AK3fd flop. Both opponents expect you to continuation bet this flop. That is to say, when you continuation bet, they aren't necessarily going to regard your action as having a huge amount of strength. Yes, you opened UTG and that is a strong range, that connects well with AK3. But on the other hand, you are probably perceived to continuation bet every hand you open from QJs to 77. Secondly, with 33, we don't "block" any top pair combinations. There are a ton of AX and KX out there for our opponents to hold -- and pay us with. Its really just a beautiful flop to go for value right away.

Third, a more subtle point. Sometimes when we check a strong hand as the initial raiser, or the out of position player in general, it is because we don't fear a scenario where the current street checks through. This is the opposite of that scenario. Think of a lot of hands that want to also check through this flop. I am thinking of two types -- 44 to QQ and gutshots like QJs, QTs, JTs. Both of these hand types are getting freerolled against our monster. 44 to QQ will often fold to a flop continuation bet, which is more or less a good thing, as they are only putting in large amounts of money against us when we are drawing to 1 out, that is, when they turn an overset. It isn't going to happen terribly often but when it does its bad news, and with 2 opponents it is more likely to happen than against 1. If we continuation bet, we fold out 44-QQ and they never freeroll us, but we get calls from hands like AT that are practically drawing dead. I would rather play the turn against a calling range that is drawing dead than risk playing in the dark against a range that could turn us drawing dead some of the time. Especially when we risk not building a pot on the flop.

Basically there is no reason to be deceptive in a spot like this by checking -- no flags will be raised by you continuation betting (but they could by you check-raising). We don't actually benefit from "letting our opponent catch up" -- quite the opposite. And we risk not building a big pot early which could lead to a bigger pot late.

Hope this helps,
Mon Sep 24, 2012, 11:34 PM
TheLangolier's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,473
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+1. Great answer Gareth, very nice.

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Tue Sep 25, 2012, 08:26 AM
EdinFreeMan's Avatar
Since: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,540
Originally Posted by TheLangolier View Post
+1. Great answer Gareth, very nice.

Some very good advice - I can see now how c-betting the flop is a much better move - as we will mostly fold out the higher pairs that can hit oversets and often get called by worse Ax/Kx and straight/flush draws to build the pot early.

The check raise only really worked here because the opponent was willing to get in on a draw and did not rate my check raise as strongly as better players probably would, that would let them get away and lose me value in the long run.

So - I was lucky this opponent let me get my stack in ahead, despite my non-optimal play - and despite the outcome!

Great stuff.


Ed from Edinburgh - EdinFreeMan

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