Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So you flopped a boat - redux

http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifA while ago I posted about Austin flopping a boat and how to play it. So there was this hand last night, I'm pretty sure it was sweetened up to seven or so and there were many callers. I am on the button looking down at AhTh and decide that I will allow myself to play it even though it is not on the list. Actually I figure that I'm likely to have the best hand pre-flop anyway.

Flop is AsTsTc. Not bad. SB checks, BB checks, entire table checks to me on the button. I am trying to figure out a decent bet size. I figure that there is about 30 chips in the pot so I think 20 is the right sized number. Ryan is for some reason pleading with me to let him see a free turn.

Reasons to bet:
* Build the pot. Anyone with a draw that they are going to go broke with will call a measly 20 here and I want to flatten someone.
* Open the door for someone who is slow-playing a Ten.
* I am NOT going to give someone with two Spade face cards a free pull at a one outer.
* To disguise the strength of my hand. Some of the table may be able to put me on a boat there but that bet can easily be interpreted as an Ace, a Ten, or possibly a position steal attempt. Anyone chasing a KsXs flush draw will be more inclined to think that their flush is good than if I checked that flop and then got in a big raising war.

Reasons not to bet:
* This is a different boat than Austin's and I am not nearly as vulnerable. The most reasonable threat that I see would be a gutshot Royal. The only other thing that could take this pot from me is a bigger boat would require someone to have come in with AA in which case I'm drawing to the case Ten, or if someone it playing KK, QQ, or JJ all weird. I want everyone else (KsXs flush or pairs 99-22) to catch their card.

I would really prefer to stack someone rather than just pick up a few extra chips from someone stabbing on the river. In all likelihood my Ace alone would probably have won the pot by itself and this is just one of those hands where there is no second best hand to pay me off. Maybe it's worth giving a free card so someone could make a flush or a lower boat but I don't think any WNP'er is going to get too invested in a flush on a paired board and the chances of someone having an underpair and catching are thin. Maybe I'm over correcting for the time Las Vegas when I flopped 8s full of Aces and JJ caught up on the river when a J came after I gave a free turn. Any thoughts?

12 comments:

Bob Loblaw said...

Since I wasn't there last night I have a little bit of a different take on this -- I don't have any idea what happened after you put in your bet of 20 on the flop.

20 might not be large enough of a bet. A KsXs is going to call you, and so is somebody else holding another ace or the case 10, and nobody else. But I also think that all of those possibilities are going to call more than that. Bet pot.

OR

20 might be too much. Bet 10 and it might feel too much like a value bet. But if you bet 1/2 pot, only 15, that might be seen as a steal, or possible a weak Ace. Anybody with a strong hand, like the ones listed above, is going to raise you. Then you can reluctantly call and let them catch something on the turn. Or, depending on their raise, reraise them back and put them to the test.

So what really happened?

Sushi Cowboy said...

Ah yes, once again forgetting to include the punch line for those not in attendance. Everyone folds and I take down a small pot.

I realize that I could be chasing away my best customers (pocket 8 or lower boating up) but the main thing I wanted to do was open the door for anyone slow playing the case T before another Spade shows up. I also am stuck if someone check-raises me and I make too small a bet because a re-pop AND a flat call both look powerful there. So if I bet too small and get three bet there's not enough money getting in.

Bob Loblaw said...

Yeah, a flat call will look powerful, but you’re doing that in the hopes of having them catch a card, that gives them something lower than your hand. And, with you on the button, you’ll know if they caught something or not pretty quickly.

jsola said...

All signs point to betting it.
* You want a bigger pot
* There's a flush draw, and many people were in auto-chase mode that night
* You're on the button, and like you said, it looks like you're trying to steal
* Some of the folks who checked ahead of you were habitual slowplayers, if they've got a ten, you're getting checkraised with the semi-nuts

I think the biggest argument against betting it was your image. Up to that point in the night you hadn't entered or fought for many pots, so an attentive player would know right away that you had something there. But, I still think there's a good enough chance that you'll get called to outweigh another street of slowplaying.

I like a bet of 20, when in doubt you really can't go wrong with 2/3 the pot. 15 might have been more enticing to any flush draws that are out there, but there's rarely a huge loss in equity from bumping up your bet amounts a little bit.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Yeah, I was aware of my image. I'm pretty sure that the last thing that most people put me on was a steal but I think that certainly could have been an AJ for me testing the waters. And being on the button I was stuck being the one who had to open the door to any check raisers.

Would have been a lot easier if someone would have just open shoved like they do at the play money tables!

Ryan said...

I never mind betting there, of course, but given your image and the sate of the table, I think I like a check behind best.

I honestly don't know what I had that I would be pleading to see a turn with, but if you give that table a free card and it still checks around to you, then you can bet it and it *will* look like a steal attempt from you.

Another consideration is that the pot is already pretty big by flop standards because of the pf raise and the cavalcade of callers. If you are asking yourself, "how do I get all my money in with a caller, here," there is actually enough money in that "check the flop, 3/4-pot the turn, shove the river" is a good plan for getting all your money in.

If it had been limped around and the flop had 12 chips in or whatever, I would be much more supportive of a flop bet because you have some work to do to build a pot.

Since this pot comes pre-built on the flop, you can check it *and* still play for a monster.

Marshall said...

I don't really think it was possible for you to win a big pot in this hand. Maybe 2 of the players at the table would have stacked off to you even with the K high (nut) flush. If I had a KXss, I would have called the 20, but once you wanted to get it all in, I wasn't paying you off.

The old saying is: you have to give action to get action. Jeh would have gotten paid off in a heartbeat by me with virtually any flush on that board for example. But if I hit even a nut flush on the turn, I am leading into you from OOP, and you will pretty much have to raise me. At that point I am folding that hand. You just were playing so nitty that I am not willing to give you action even with that strong of a hand.

Playing that tight has it's advantages, especially in an extremely loose game like last WNP on that given night, but you give up a lot too. You won't lose too many hands, but you won't stack too many people, especially the better players at that table.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Well I guess maybe I should have made it a bet of two chips to: open the door to get check raised, price out draws to out outer gut shot royals, build the pot a couple chips at a time, and value bet the hell out of my boat.

As nitty as I was playing, I got enough action on Tuesday. I've been hearing the cries of "where's Martin Farha?" and I would be more than happy to oblige but circumstances were not in favor of that happening. I was not getting cards, sorry but even Sammy's not playing J2os. I'm not going to out flop or outdraw Jeh when he's on his heater. I'm going to be put to the test by Marsh raising me with any pair, draw, or monster hand. The table was very loose so I nitted up. Nothing spectacular about that.

jason said...

Not a fan of a bet there Martin for all the reasons mentioned with another second on the image. I know you are very capable of switching gears but on this night it was obvious you were either nitty or card dead. Since we can't see your cards, we assume nitty.

Not knowing what other people had, the following cards are cards you would be happy to see on the turn. Any non spade King, queen or jack, the case 10 as you might get action from a mini boat. Any spade below a 10. This makes about 18 good cards for you. There are 3 potentially bad cards, but only if they hit the gutshot royal flush, they may just make a straight or a flush. There are also the 27 blank cards below a 10 that could potentially make someone a lower boat. These admittedly are unlikely as are the gutshot royal flush combinations.

If we say the gutshot royal flush cards are unlikely, which are bad combos for you, and the lower boats are unlikely which are good cards for you, this leaves us with about 18 good cards.

If there is a slowplayed 10, don't worry you will hear from then soon, even if you check behind. If they boat up on the turn, so much the better.

I completely agree that JJ,QQ,KK and AA are such remote possibilities that they should be discounted to zero or virtually zero.

Since you want to see more cards, I think the check behind is the best play, with a small micro bet the second best play. The micro bet could potentially give away the strength of your hand which is why I like the check behind.

Marshall said...

Ya Marty I didn't mean it as a criticism necessarily, just a statement. When you play that nitty, you won't get much action on your monsters. It's just a fact. It's a downside to that extreme style that you will have to live with.

The good sides of it are that in that game that night, you will almost certainly leave with some sort of profit, and that you take a relatively small amount of risk.

I think ideally you would want to play somewhere in the middle, where you take some calculated risks, but overall stay pretty conservative. This seems to be a gear that eludes you.

Marshall said...

But all things considered, I think I like the bet. Maybe someone comes along for 2 streets before they realize their A or even flush aren't good..

Like I said, you won't stack too many players at that game in that spot, but it doesn't mean you wont pick up a decent medium pot from someone with an A or a FD.

Sushi Cowboy said...

As soon as I saw the lineup I already had decided on my course of action for that night. I was more than happy to grind away and take what I could get. And I'm fine with taking down minor pots.

Good comment on finding middle ground though. I do have a second shelf of hands I'll see flops with but seriously, I just was not getting playable hands.

I was fine with just taking down the pot there. If no one had anything to fight with the so be it.

...but everyone should remember that if I'm betting a paired board then it means I have at LEAST a boat! ;)