Thursday, February 5, 2009

$400+ pot with Spainr, correct play?

This hand took place last night at hollywood, at the time I liked my play but Marsh and I are now on the fence, comments appreciated. The game is 2-40 spread with $1/$2 blinds.

So I'm in middle position, I limp with J8 of diamonds. The game has been fairly limpy at this point, so I'd been getting away with weak moves like this to some success. 2 seats to my left, it is raised to $6 and the waterfall follows. It's a family pot when it comes around to me if the guy on the left of me doesn't pop it, so I'm in, he calls and we go to the flop:

4d 7h 10d

Good flop for me, inside straight draw, 4th nut flush draw. It checks around to me, I check, original raiser pops in another $6. It folds to the small blind, who now pops it up to $14. The action folds around to the player to my right, who jams for $40 more (maximum raise), bringing the bet to call up to $54. I had witnessed this player limp with big pairs earlier and was pretty sure he held an overpair to the board, which I'm about even money to.

Now, here is the play in question. The player to my right who has reraised has about 50 dollars and change behind, enough to cover one more inevitable big bet and a little extra. Initially I ponder just calling, but, deciding that since I would call another $40 on the turn if I miss everything anyways, and knowing that if I repop and isolate I'll only have to commit another $15 or so to the pot against the near all in for the rest of the hand, I decide to hit the gas. I pop $40 on top of that, bringing the bet to $94 total. (This is the move I generally want the most feedback on, the rest of the hand, as you'll see is fairly self-explanatory)

Folds around to the kid under the gun, who takes a long think, and finally shoved in the additional $80. (Side note: This kid is stacked, having me well covered) Now I'm not sure I want my diamond. The turn brings my absolute gin card: the 9 of spades. The kid under the gun checks, the short stack plops in his last $15. Now I have the under the gun villian squarely on a diamond draw, so I decide to make him pay for it just in case it is better than mine, and drop $40 on top, which he immediately calls.

The river brings the Queen of spades. Beautiful card, all my worries melt away as I am sitting with the mortal nuts. The kid under the gun checks, I bet 40, and in an EXTREMELY questionable move, thinks for a minute or so and then open folds 9d 7d, busted flush draw come 2 pair. Sick read, but overall an unprofitable fold in my opinion. The all in flips over a rivered set of Queens and I feel pretty bad for him when I flip over the nuts, sick river for him to see.

Anyways, what do you think of my attempt to isolate against the short stack so that I don't have to commit a ton more money to the pot if I miss? Good, no good?




Marshall said...

I haven't been able to fully get my head around this spot yet, but my impression is that when you are drawing to the nut straight and a pretty good flush, you would probably rather have as much action as possible in there and not try to isolate.

That is just my initial feel but I will think it through more when I can and re-post.

Ulfendar said...

I would now like to ask Marsh's question: "what hands fold to you" in that situation?

In particular, what hand folds to you that doesn't fold to the 40 dollar bet and your call? I think the only three hands that MIGHT fold to 80 but not 40 are Q and K high diamond draws with no pair and no straight draw, or a open ended straight draw with no flush possibility. You might also drive out tighter/shorter stack players who don't want to gamble big on a draw or medium hand, but I'm not sure those guys are calling 40 there anyway.

Given that, I don't think that your play has a high chance of producing any additional isolation. However, your play did get extra money out of the 9d 7d hand, that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

If you just call, I would bet that you don't get any additional callers beyond the small blind (who called anyway). When your gin card comes you bet 40, get two calls. River you bet 40, small blind might call, but given his play might just as well have folded, and you get the last 15 bucks from the pocket queens. So you made more money as a result of the play. The only thing you save yourself by not raising is 40 bucks if someone has a bigger flush.

I think the question is, is it more likely that you will get the result you got (weaker draw called) rather than the bad result (stronger draw calls). I think the bad result is more likely, and that I would try and save the 40 bucks as a result. However, that may just be me being overly conservative, I haven't done the math to figure out if it's the right move.

Ulfendar said...

This is Drew, by the by.

Sushi Cowboy said...

OK, not to nit pick here or anything but Jd8d is not the nuts, JxKx is. Granted, a very unlikely holding given that Woody has Jd. But still.

As for the play, it's been a long time since I played spread limit but my first take on this is that you are drawing and you want more money from more players to give you more correct odds. If you did isolate with QQ then that will limit how much you can win. It is also no guarantee that you will isolate.

I get confused in your hand history here. So the guy who made it $14 called you and the guy with QQ flat calls? You'd figure he'd put in the third raise if he popped it $40 in the first place, no?

Woodrow said...

No, the guy under the gun made it 14, and the guy with queens check-reraises to $54, and i check re-reraised to $94, capping the action.

Sushi Cowboy said...

This whole spread limit thing is hurting my brain. So is it a limit of one bet and three raises, regardless of the amount? Or is it a max of $160 per street regardless of the amount of raises?

Woodrow said...

It caps at 4 bets, regardless of the amount. So it could go bet 4, raise to 6, raise to 8, cap at 48. No one raise can be over 40 bucks at any time, and you get 4 of them.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Yeah, it's coming back to me now about spread limit. Wow. Blocking bets can be so strategic if you are in EP. Is the betting cap removed when heads up?

I do think that the raise to $94 changed the dynamic of the hand. If you had flat called it would be very interesting to see what UTG does since he can assume that you are on a draw and feel like his 9 high FD is possibly no good. I think the raise threw off UTG but his hesitant call now complicates the matter for you.

Sushi Cowboy said...'s "SpainR". Please watch your capitalization.

Ryan said...

I don't see any need to isolate; I mean, you don't have a hand yet (although it was obv. the nuts preflop). Isolation is used to minimize the number of players sticking around to crack your best-but-vulnerable made hand, yes?

Given that, I don't know why we want to isolate here. You raise with drawing hands to semi-bluff, not isolate, but it's only a semi if there's a reasonable chance that the rest of the players will fold, giving you the ol' Two Ways To Win, and that's just not the case here, you aren't going to buy this hand.

The other reason to raise would be because you *expect* many callers, and you want to get the pot so big that when you do hit (and you will hit when drawing with the Spainr), people will keep putting money in because of the odds.

To echo Drewlfendar/Marsh, though, what hands are folding to you, and why would you want them to? The only hands you want out of here are Ax, Kx, and Qx of diamonds, and are they really going to fold to your raise? Based on this action, I'd say not.

My sense, therefore, is that the hand comes down to whether or not you want to build a big pot before you hit so that it is the biggest monster possible when you do, or whether you want to minimize potential losses if you miss and just play to draw as cheaply as possible from here.

If you do want to build a big pot, the next question is whether that is best accomplished by a call or a raise, and I can't figure that out without doing math I don't feel like doing and having a sense of the players still in the hand...

Ryan said...

Apparently I don't know how to type my own hand...but then again, Marsh is the one who defined the spelling, and I haven't had to type it in a long time.

SpainR doesn't feel right either, Martin.


Woodrow said...

In retrospect I believe I was raising for the wrong reasons, but I think I would still make the same raise. It certainly disguised the shit out of my hand, and I felt it was just as likely that UTG guy was going to repop if I didn't. I'd much rather make the raise than call it. If nothing else, if he did end up having the bare nut flush draw, and assuming he calls the all in and repop on the turn, i could at the very least secure a $55 side pot by blasting the river, forcing him to fold ace high, which would be best if we both missed. Seems like peanuts, but better than check calling all the way down and folding to the 40 bet myself, no?

Woodrow said...

Another thing to note: There is a phenomenon in 2-40 spread, at least the game up in Shoreline, where if you can get a drawing hand to call a max bet reraise on the flop, they will automatically, and often without thinking, shove in another $40 on the turn almost as fast as you will. They will beat you into the pot with that shit. Once you pass that $80 call mark, stacks mean nothing. So if I felt like my hand was the best draw, and I wanted to assure I could max value bet whatever hit on the turn, that was the way to do it. Not my initial intention obviously, but if I were to play this hand over I would consider this.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Somebody call for the floor? And I quote: "Some other rules: If you put spainR in a post, it had better be a capital R. Also, it's J8, suited or not, final answer Regis."

Ryan said...

Re: "Also, it's J8, suited or not, final answer Regis."

And that's the question Marsh busted out of Millionaire on.

I beat Marsh into submission on this issue in later posts. It is now understood that J8o is a garbage hand that has nothing to do with the spainR.

jtrey333 said...

I will echo what Marsh and Drew and Ryan have said in my own words - when you flop a combo draw (inside straight + flush draw), you want to get as much money in there as possible, however you can do it. The trickiest part is assessing the how. If you have multiple opponents, chances are the best way to jam the pot is by getting multiple callers.

And you can take the opposite approach as well - drawing as cheaply as possible. However, I don't think isolation factors into any of the above scenarios. Isolation only factors in if you want to jam the pot and have a strong assessment that you can get a raise/re-raise situation out of it, and the other player has a stack deep enough to make it worth it.

Sushi Cowboy said...


Re: Re: "Also, it's J8, suited or not, final answer Regis."

Are we not talking about Woody's hand being Jd8d (alias J8 sooooooted)?

Ryan said...

Yes, but in response to my call for a floor ruling on spainR capitalization, you cited a Marsh quote in which he authoritatively defines the spainR as being "J8, suited or not," which is incorrect.

When someone cites something as blasphemous as claims of J8o qualifying for spainR status, I have to nip that shit in the bud. There are impressionable new guys reading that!

Marshall said...

SpainR 2.0 upgrades: What was formally referred to as SpainR will now be referred to strictly as Spainr. Additional guidelines as follows: Spainr has 2 modes of existence.

1. J8 of spades. This is known as a True Spainr.

2. J8 of diamonds, clubs or hearts. This is known as a Spainr.

Any hand other than the above listed will not be referred to as a Spainr for any reason.

Thank you.

jsola said...

First of all, it's great to see new people on the site, posting hands and discussing stuff. Awesome.

The limit on raises makes this a pretty cool spot to check four-bet (lol) as you get to cap the action, but I don't know if it's generally the right thing to do. Like Jeh and others said you want as much money in the pot, and I'd expect a move that strong to get some folds. However, that assumes that your opponents are smart enough to recognize how goddamn strong your raise is there. I don't know what the average player at hollywood is like, but since you got two callers of your raise I'm gonna guess they're generally loose and passive and kinda stationy.

If that's the case, raising here is golden because you can count on tons of shitty hands calling, you cap the action, you take the lead, and you might even have some fold equity in a sidepot.

Semi-bluff raising here is suicidal. The dude you're trying to isolate is short stacked, already in for >$50, and is never ever ever folding. If other people were capable of folding, they would, which you really don't want. But in this specific situation, with loose calling stations behind, raising is pretty awesome.

Brant said...

I don't like the raise to isolate, I prefer the "punch each opponent in hand until their spines can be used as swizzle stick method",it's the only way to be sure since it's impossible to touch your chips if someone is mixing their preferred drink with your primary nerve mechanism.

as for the hand, I have no comment except nice work Woody!

Brant said...

edit to last post:

I meant to say "punch each opponent that you want out of the hand in the back until..."

I did not mean to try punching them in the hand until their spine falls out, which is a very advanced isolation technique rarely used in the west.....