Thursday, September 13, 2007

Loose Calls, Implied Odds, and Reads

This hand from tonight has been bugging me since it happened, so I figgered I'd throw 'er up on the ole' blog and see what people think about it.

The setting is Wednesday night poker. It's 6 handed late into the night, effective stacks are around 200 BB at this point. I'm in middle position, and I have 4 3 offsuit. It's limped to me, I limp along, and a few more limpers come along as well.

The flop is 4 6 Q, rainbow. Jason leads out for 6 into the 10-ish pot. There's a fold behind me, I call the 6. Marshall calls the 6. Matt, on the button, raises to 26.

Jason calls, and here's where it gets tricky for me. I'm putting Matt on at least a Q here, but I'm definitely not ruling out two pair or trips. I'm looking at bottom pair and definitely do not feel good about it, but I have 5 outs to two pair or trips. My outs are all very clean, I don't expect someone to make a better two pair or a straight if I hit one of them. Therefore, I call the additional 20, hoping Marshall will come along as well.

He obliges. The turn is a beautiful 3, giving me bottom two pair and bringing a flush draw to the board. Jason checks to me, and I check, intending to checkraise. Marsh checks. Matt puts out a very sizable bet of 60 into the 100+ pot. Unexpectedly, Jason calls!

All the sudden I feel like I'm in a tricky spot. Do I raise? My two pair's probably good here, and given my flop assessment of my outs I should feel great about it. But what's going to call me? A better two pair is definitely possible given all the junky hands we were limping with. And Matt is betting HARD here, do I really want to push into what could be a flopped set? Top pair is going to start getting freaked and will likely fold.

I ended up just calling, and Marsh called the 60 as well.

The river was a four, giving me bottom boat. Here's where it just gets embarassing for me... Jason checks, I try to think of a pay-me-off bet, and accidentally make a checking motion with my chip handlin' hand. Oooops. It checks through and I win.

So where did I go wrong here? Should I have stuck to my read and raised it on the turn? I'm completely denying myself the implied odds I thought I had on the flop if I miss a bet here. In addition, I'm letting Marsh or Jason call profitably to draw out on my fragile two pair.

I felt like I won the pot through lucky donkey plays, and did not feel good about my play at all here. What should I have done differently?


Sushi Cowboy said...

"I'm putting Matt on at least a Q here, but I'm definitely not ruling out two pair or trips. I'm looking at bottom pair and definitely do not feel good about it, but I have 5 outs to two pair or trips. My outs are all very clean..."

I'm confused by this statement. If Matt has two pair then your threes are not clean outs. If he has a set you have zero clean outs short of runner runner Quads.

If you are going to play bottom pair and second bottom kicker then turn two pair and not think that it is any good then why play it in the first place? For those RARE instances that I am on draws, I go through the exercise of calculating clean outs. I ask myself if I catch my side card, how good do I feel about it? For instance, if I catch my second Broadway card but it makes an Ace only nut straight possible, I really don't like two pair there. In your case I think your assessment is correct that the three is going to help only you. You just need to decide if two pair is good there. If Matt is just popping the flop to clear out crappy hands (like bottom pair for instance) and draws then your two pair are good. If he is valuing a powerful hand then you're drawing super thin. You got yourself into a marginal situation once you called the bump on the flop. I think Matt's raise looked more like he was just trying to correct for Jason's underbet on the flop and "right size" the pot wrt his hand by the time it got to him.

Once you turn your second pair, I don't like the check. You just improved, and you have a vulnerable hand. Assuming you commit to the fact that your two pair is good here then I'd at least throw out a bait bet of maybe half the pot and if Matt thought he was good on the flop then I don't think he is exactly fearing a Three turn card. So a small bet should collect Marsh and whatever he is on and then Matt would presumably pop it again. Jason might call or not but assuming Matt pops again you might even get him committed. I don't know his stack but if he is floating around 200 BBs, and you can get him to pop you for over half of those then I don't see him not paying you off on the end. I think you want to isolate against Matt for safety here anyway. Who knows what everyone else came in with and if a connecting card comes out to make a four card straight or higher two pair you don't know where you stand. At least you know Matt has a Q and can play against that known quantity. I guess a check/flat call on the turn is OK IF you want to play for a huge pot and you can bring Marsh along too. But that is high risk/reward...well high reward if you don't check your boat on the river. ;)

As for the check that wasn't a check. That sucked. Sorry about the ruling but at least three at the table interpreted that as a check and action had proceeded behind you. I do think that you could have gotten a value bets out of the table. I doubt anyone could have put you on a Four or figured you for a set that boated up. If Matt likes his Q so much on the flop and turn then he's paying SOMETHING on the river. Don't know what that amount is but clearly some money was left on the table there.

Ryan said...

"Played horribly on every street, with a grand finale of accidentally checking the river after runner-runnering what was clearly the best hand of a monster pot."


Assuming you are going to get cute and see a flop with that hand, you should fold to the flop raise and then lament to the rest of the table about missing the runner-runner monster because of a good decision.

And wasn't it jack high on the flop? Matt and Jason each had top pair, as I recall

Sushi Cowboy said...

Jack...Queen...same difference.

Ryan said...

I was just trying to get credit for remembering that detail despite not being in the hand and having my nose in my DS.

jsola said...

Yeah, that statement was pretty confusing. I meant that I thought of my outs as clean, in that they wouldn't help anyone else. If someone was sitting on two pair or better then they weren't actually outs at all.

My problem with this hand is that I wasn't really thinking about odds at all. I was going on a gut, gambly feeling and, at the time, tried to justify it with implied odds.

Ryan and Martin, you guys are totally right. I should have folded to the flop raise, not because it was a huge raise, but because I was not confident enough in my draw or my reads to commit (and actually get paid off) if I hit.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Whoa whoa whoa. Did I say that you should have folded on the flop raise? I don't mind that so much as the play after you make your two pair, then I think you could have played it differently. It turned out that Matt made a decent sized turn bet and you got two other callers beside yourself so I think that basing your pot rake on that is a little ROTty. Jason calling the extra 20 with the possibility of Marsh coming along gives some extra pot/implied odds but you were clearly not in good shape and couldn't honestly expect to be ahead of anything on the flop. But calling with junk and sticking with it is trademark jsola and part of your game that gets you paid off in cases and gives you bluff equity.

I see what you are saying about the outs though. I agree the Three had BETTER not help anyone even though it may not give you a better hand if you were behind two pair or a set already.

Marshall said...

ok let's get real here. You played the hand like crap. Fold pre, then fold again on the flop raise. Martin you are terribly inconsistent with your analysis. You bring up a valid point that he doesn't know if his outs are clean or not, but then later in your analysis you act like its 100% that matt has a Q.

All that being said, I think the main point in the hand that you really botched was the turn. You improved quite a bit but didn't bet, even with 3 other people in the hand. Matt let you off the hook with a nice big bet for you to raise, but you didn't. I don't remember what they had, but I had a flush draw, a pair, and an over against you. Add to that 2 other hands full of outs and you just have to raise in that spot.

The thing is, you were gambling, we all were.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Just to clarify, I was prefacing my statement about Matt having a Q on the assumption that Joe's two pair were good. If Joe's two pair were actually good then the only realistic thing that he is up against with that action is a Q.