Thursday, August 23, 2007

Two club flushes

WNP, Table 1, action quickly settles down to Dave and Steve. Flop is all clubs; Dave bets, Steve flat calls. Turn is a fourth club; Dave bets, Steve just calls. River is (surprise!) a club; Dave bets, Steve pushes, Dave calls. Dave has a King high flush. Steve shows the Ace high flush.

If it were me in Dave's shoes, I have to slow down on the turn. What is Steve flat calling with on the flop that I'm ahead of on the turn? If Steve had flopped a set or, less likely, two pair I think there might be a probe bet on the flop to see if the flush was already there and that Dave isn't just betting top pair or whatever. The flat call on the flop from *Steve* (as opposed to Jason) tells me that Steve's most likely holding is at least the Ace of clubs if not another club as well. So when another club comes I am going to check/call and try to see a showdown as cheaply as possible. Another option is that by leading out on the flop then check/calling the turn it sets up a possible steal on the river if the board pairs.

Now from Steve's shoes, it's hard to be aggressive with the nuts but if you flop the nut flush, what is the best action on the flop? There is a reasonably sized bet to you and you are last to act. First of all I think we can safely exclude folding as an option. So other likely candidates are flat call, min raise, three bet, shove. I think I like the min-raise here. It could look like a probe bet to see if top/top is any good. It also opens the door for someone to re-raise. If someone is betting their set, I think it is likely they will call a min raise and go house mining. The only problem I have with a flat call is there are some action killers in the deck. Eight other clubs and nine cards that pair the board could slow down betting. Would a min-raise scare off the second nut flush? Well if a min-raise will kill the action, what do you think a fourth club or a paired board would do? If someone is so tight that they aren't going to call or bump a min-raise with the second nuts then you aren't going to get much more out of them anyway. I think I like three bet the least of all options. I'd rather push (and hope for a hand exactly like Dave's) and make it look like I'm protecting against a flush draw than to three bet here. I think three betting would most accurately convey the hand that you have, sitting on the nuts and trying to pump up the pot and get someone committed as soon as possible. So in order, I like min-raise, shove, flat call, three bet.


sstadnicki said...

An interesting question. The other one is, what is Dave leading out with here? Honestly, the odds that he's leading out with the made second nuts are pretty slim; I would've said it's more likely that he holds something like KcQd or the like where he's got (on the flop) a decent made hand plus a good-looking redraw on baby flushes that are currently ahead; in a case like that, you're suddenly a bit eager for the fourth club to hit. If I put him on a hand as good as he's got then I definitely raise the flop and try and get it all in right there before he can chicken out.

All in all, I still like cold-calling (with a little bit of an acting job) on the flop followed by jamming the turn if a club doesn't come off. When the club does come off things get fuzzier -- like I said above this should be a great card for me, but it still feels like an action-killer and at the table I really felt like I had to slow down and try to keep from scaring him away.

As far as the minraise goes, maybe I don't use them nearly often enough, but I really don't like it in a slot like this. They always feel a little suspicious to me; like you're trying to get more money in the pot but at the same time price someone in, rather than protect. If I'm going to raise I'd prefer it be to at least 2.5-3x the initial bet -- bump 20 to at least 50 or so.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Now, that you mention it, I do have to give Dave credit for betting with the flopped second nuts. That definitely disguises the strength of his hand.

But I think the critical piece of information here to me is "what does Steve have?". As soon as I see Steve flat call the flop, my range narrows dramatically. Again, I am figuring at least Ac, or maybe a set looking to fill up. Either way, I think that the flat call *from Steven* is exuding mad strength and I think Steve is much more likely to raise with a set to find out where he's at than to flat call and let someone name their price for the turn card.

The other thing I like about a raise (any raise I guess, 2.5x is fine and I think I judged 3 bet too harshly before) is that I've seen Dave (as well as others) to to the mat with pair and a flush draw flops like that. Who wouldn't love to flop top pair, great kicker, and a strong flush draw? If someone has a big club, even if they didn't pair the board, I think you are going to get action plenty of action and you don't need to let another suited card come off. If they have no club, you aren't going to get any more money than their probe bet anyway.

I know it seems like you have to slow play monster hands but it is tragic when two monsters slow play each other on the flop only to have an action killer come on the turn (like when you have a set over set and a turn puts three of a suit on the board). I think you have to at least open the door a crack to allow for the floodgates to open. Last week I pick up pocket sixes and see a flop come 6TT (two suited I think). Pretty good flop. Jason bets 4, Royal calls 4, I do the cliche min-raise to 8 hoping that someone has a flush draw or a Ten. I'm partly raising for value and partly protecting against someone who DOES have a Ten from filling up but mostly I'm shaking the tree trying to find out who has AT so I can felt them before the board gets uglier.

Marshall said...

So did they both flop their flushes? You didn't say if their sidecards were clubs or not.