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You Decide #15

In homage to plagiarism (but moreso to inspiration), I am going to use DoubleAs’ recent posting as the framework for this installment of You Decide. DoubleAs asked his readers what they think about this hand:

$10/25 NLHE, at a 10-person table (you can already tell that this hand didn’t involve me). EP raises to $85. MP calls. You call in the cutoff (what is the cutoff?), with QsJs. The button calls. Blinds fold.

The flop is Tc9c8h.

EP and MP check. What do you do?

Me, I’d raise all in OR three times the pot if I have more than 6x the pot in my stack. My reasoning is that by overbetting you could induce the right kinds of calls (for you, not them).

Follow me for a moment. You DO NOT want to give a free card, because you are inviting a flush to take your pot. So, it’s a given that you are betting. You want to bet an amount that will either win it right out, or induce the right kind of calls (those that are advantageous to you). I figure that there are only a few groups of people who would call any significant bet here.

Let’s start from the bottom, and work our way up. If your opponent holds an overpair (AA, or KK, most likely), then they may take your ridiculous raise as a semi-bluff steal, a full-blown steal, or a scared top pair pushing out the competition. In any case, this may look like a good time for them to call your ass and/or raise. Either way, you have the current nuts, so you want them to call/raise. The other possibility is that they fold, which is a shame, but at least you’ve won $340 ($85 times 4).

The same is true for players holding two-pair or three of a kind. These players may see your move as a desperate steal, and call or raise. If they do, they have outs, but they are paying the wrong pot odds to call. As we all know from reading Sklansky, you are winning even if you lose to their full house, because they are making the wrong decision. It might not feel that way at the time, but variance will catch up with him, and hopefully you’ll be in the hand when it does.

Now, you REALLY don’t want a call from someone with a flush draw. I say this because, at this point, they are a little less than 50% to

posted by Jordan @ 9:23 PM,


At 10:50 AM, Blogger GaryC said...

Around 50% to hit their flush draw sounds a little high to me, but I'm in agreement on no free cards. They definitely need to pay to draw against your hand in this instance.

What do you do if they smooth call and another club hits the board on the turn? That's what you have to be thinking about before you bet after the flop.

I'm likely to check raise this flop or see the turn for free if they check also. Then, if the club hits, you can still get away from the hand. If the club doesn't hit, then, with only one card remaining, you make them pay-big time.

Just my thoughts.


At 12:12 PM, Blogger the new said...

I believe you're about 40% to hit a flush draw by the river, but if both of them were holding two clubs apiece, those odds obviously lessen.

I'd probably bet 1.5X the pot here, meaning I'd bet $150 into a $100 pot, and so on.

If one or more opponents smooth call and the turn neither pairs the board nor brings a club, I'm all-in.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Assuming the worst case scenario (one player with 2 clubs, and no other players with any clubs), the player with the flush draw has 9 outs out of roughly 40 cards. He has two chances, which increases his odds to 18/40, or nearly 50%. That was my loose math (emphasis on loose). The reality is closed to 45% or 40%. Even so, in that circumstance, I'd rather take the pot right away.

The way I see it, if you play it like GCox, you won't make a lot of money if no flush card comes, and you won't win any money if any flush card comes. I think this is too conservative, and you are giving away money.

As for the New's choice, I'd suggest that a 1.5x bet isn't bad, but the problem comes on the turn. As you said, if the flush card doesn't come and the board doesn't pair, you are all-in. But who is going to call that and pay you off? Likely no one, but a lower straight or maybe three of a kind. If the flush card comes, then what? Do you continuation bet? Probably not. You probably slow down, and then Joe Schmo with two pair pushes and you fold.

Just my opinion of course. No offense to either suggestion.

At 1:17 PM, Blogger the new said...

No offense taken, Jordan. What you said regarding my suggestion makes sense and demonstrates something I fail to do often -- think about future betting.

Thinking about this a second time, on a deeper level, pushing on the flop might be the way to go. It certainly eliminates any chance of you being outplayed on future betting rounds if a club comes or the board pairs.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Mourn said...

If someone has a flush draw on this board, let's say AcKc, they a little less than 38% chance to make a winning hand (draws that would include runner-runner QJ, making them a better straight).

In the worst case, where one of them has two clubs and the other has none, their odds on the turn to make their flush are 9/43.

I think you actually do want a call from any sort of draw, you just want them to make a mathematically incorrect draw. As long as you're not offering them 4-1 odds, you're good. With $255 in the pot, I'd bet about $300, offering them less than 2-1 and making any call with a draw incorrect. If the club hits on the turn, you're in a tough spot, but this is the sort of hand you live for to punish idiots, you can't just blast everyone out of the pot on the flop in my opinion.

If you get called, I'd make a monster bet on the turn assuming you still have the nuts.

Incidentally, the worst hand you could be facing is KcQc, drawing to a flush and a gutshot to a better straight. That hand is still a 58/42 underdog to your nut straight on the flop.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Thanks Mourn. You make some good points. I'm still sticking with the quick win, but there is some validity to tempting the flush draw with bad pot odds, to make a larger pot.


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