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10NL 6-Max Zoom: Re Raising for Information

10NL 6-Max Zoom: Re Raising for Information - Fri May 17, 2013, 05:40 PM
Roland GTX's Avatar
Since: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,905
Dave posted an interesting blog earlier - good stuff!. This is a topic I struggled with when I first switched to cash games. Sometimes I still struggle with it, particularily in spots like this one. No matter how good my read/range on the villain is, I can't narrow which suits he/she may be holding unless I bet in order to gain that information.

I typically lead with a 70% pot bet in spots like this. I have a set but have no idea how the flop helped the villain. He might have flopped a flush. He might be drawing to to a flush or he might not have a heart at all.

My bet is partially for value, partially to protect my hand and partially to get some information.

If they fold to my flop bet, then I know they didn't like the flop. Could I have gotten any value by check-calling rather than raising? I don't care for giving a free card in this spot. I tend to ask myself. Am I going to call a bet here? If yes, then I usually prefer to be the aggressor and bet myself.

I often get called here, both by players chasing a flush and by players that already have a flush. I'm happy when the chasers continue. And, if the board pairs, I often end up stacking the opponent if they do have a flush. If it doesn't pair, play on the turn and river can get very tricky though (ie expensive).

Yet, if my bet gets raised, I am in a very tough spot. I don't really know what the raise means. Are they raising for value with the nut flush? Or do they have a flush draw and a pair, or something else entirely?

All in all I prefer leading with a bet for the reasons above.

How would you suggest approaching these spots?

Roland GTX
Fri May 17, 2013, 08:21 PM
ArtySmokesPS's Avatar
Since: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,359
Dave mentioned he was going to write a blog on that topic during last night's training. He's totally nailed in, imo.
Information is a side effect of betting; an added bonus that comes with your value-bet. It's not the primary purpose.

Betting out is definitely the right play here. For a villain to continue, he has to have connected with the board in some way (usually with top pair, or a decent flush draw). You're getting value with likely the best hand, and should generally keep betting until villan raises. His raise will give you the information that maybe you're not ahead after all. How you use that information depends on how good you are at hand-reading and estimating equity.
Input a "raising range" for villain into Pokerstove and see how your hand does against that range. There aren't many flopped flushes in any villain's range (flopped flushes are rare!), and even fewer when the flop has the ace. There are only a handful of combos that can have the nut flush draw (KhQx, KhJx maybe). In other words, it's almost as hard to flop the flush or NFD on this board as it is to flop a set. Just knowing things like that (and using any stats on a villain) is all the information you need. I'd keep on betting for value, because a draw or top pair is more likely than a flopped flush. And besides, as you pointed out, you've always got outs if you're currently behind.

EDIT: I haven't marked this as "evaluated", because others may like to chime in.

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Last edited by ArtySmokesPS; Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:23 PM..
Fri May 17, 2013, 08:25 PM
TheLangolier's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,512
(Head Trainer)
Hi Greg,

Glad you liked the blog!

This type of flop spot is a clear bet to me. It is a solid value bet as many worse hands can call. The primary hands that will give us action here are:

Hearts, 77 (ahead of us)
Ax (behind us, and A7/A6 will probably raise)
67 (rare given our holding but not impossible)
Singleton hearts on a flush draw (may raise, especially with an ace like AcJh)

I don't like checking because we are losing value from aces that check behind, and from singleton hearts. Plus, by value betting, an opponent may elect to fold a hand like 3s3h for fear he's drawing dead. If we check, most opponents will believe we do not hold a heart (because most players who play aggressive in general would c-bet a big heart draw), and if the 4th one comes on the turn they tend to get stubborn with that little flush now.

If our bet gets raised, the spot really isn't as tough as it seems. What range of hands will raise our c-bet? I've listed most of it above, and as you can see we are still ahead of a fair bit of it (2 pair, heart draws, Ax with a heart draw, and anything worse they decide to raise with, the occasional ace with no heart, or even making a move) and have a fair bit of equity when behind vs. made flushes. We can profitably continue in the hand. Depending on the opponent type I might call or re-raise, which ever line I think will maximize my value.

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Sat May 18, 2013, 12:03 PM
Roland GTX's Avatar
Since: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,905
Thanks to you both!

@Dave, I like that your blog posts often focus on one single concept. I do read them carefully. Whether the topic be new to me or old, the posts get me thinking. They bring the topic to the forefront in my sessions following reading about it.

Then I can check how well I'm moving from theory to practice regarding the topic.
1. Am I recognizing spots where it is relevant?
2. Am I incorporating the knowledge into my decision making?
3. Am I choosing optimal lines as a result?

Your posts make improving easy


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