Thursday, February 12, 2009

Semi-bluffing with no fold equity

Following situation came up at WNP. I'm foggy on the numbers but the principle is what I'm wondering about.

Multiway hand, at least four to the flop, maybe five? I think it was raised to six pre. I have 8c9c and would be capping betting with my call. So let's say there is 24 in the pot. I guess I was the BB. Flop comes out JQx with two clubbies so I have four to the flush and a gutter. It was not JcQc so I didn't have a GSSFD. SB bets 15. I call. Player to my left raises to 30(?). Player behind re-raises to 60(?). SB gets out. I am assessing the situation. The player to my left is pretty short had maybe another 40 behind. The re-raiser I think maybe had another 60 behind or so. Again, numbers aren't important. All I know is that I feel totally priced in to shove with two calls as long as I have all 12 outs that I think I have. If someone is willing to go to the mat with AcKc that would really suck for me but with the original stabber out I really feel that both of the other players in the hand are protecting their hand and that I am the only one drawing with my double draw.

So here's the question. Is raising the right move if I have no fold equity? I totally fell like both players are willing to go bust with their hands on that flop and I think they are both pot committed as well. If I flat all and there is a flat call behind me then a Club comes I figure that kills all my action but I also likely take the pot down there. If a Ten comes I think I'm still getting paid though a three straight on the board isn't as inviting as a less coordinated board for the bettors. Isn't the idea behind a semi-bluff to give yourself two ways to win, either from a fold or a draw out? So if a raise won't elicit a fold then you are just getting money in hoping only to draw out, even if you are getting the right overlay on price. I suppoe it is in general always better to be betting your chips and not calling but is it better to raise instead of call chips when you need to catch up and there is no way villain is going to fold?


jtrey333 said...

Exact numbers aren't important; but math here IS important.

Quite simply, if there is no fold equity, then what you're talking about here isn't even classified as a semi-bluff here to me, it's just straight drawing. Which is fine if you have the hand read correctly. If you are correct in that your draws are clean, then you are roughly 1/3rd to win, IF you can get both to call an all in then you are roughly 1:1 to win because you're seeing the board to the end.

If you just flat and there is a flat call behind you then you are still 1/3rd to win (getting straight odds on your money) but only if you see it thru to the river and both do as well.

If you go all in and one folds and you get one call, then numbers absolutely factor in and you'll have to see if the dead money justifies your chances of hitting your draw vs your equity in the pot.

But those are all big ifs and involve math and accurate reads. Here is the two dimes calculation if you're up against TPTK with runner runner nut flush and against a set:

which you're roughly 30% to win. This is about worst case scenario if your outs are clean. Again, if you ARE up against AcXc then you're F'ed. So you'd have to be right in your assessment on whether your outs are clean.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Yeah, I realize that what is critical mathwise is the ratio of pot to bets, etc. I guess it is really just my terminology that needs fixing. If a semi-bluff by definition has some fold equity element then shoving in that spot wouldn't be a semi-bluff.

Ryan said...

I would first agree that if there is no fold equity it's not a semi. In that case, the big question is: How might the hand play out differently if you don't shove and get two callers on the flop?

If a club comes on the turn, are your opponents going to be able to get away from it? If a club/ten doesn't come on the turn, are you going to be able to get away from it? What about the river?

Basically, if shoving here just gets it all in now, the question to ask is, what cards could come on the turn or river that would change the course of the hand, and do those potential course changes benefit you or your opponents?

If letting a club peel off gives your opponents a reason to fold, and a blank peeling off does *not* give you a reason to fold, then you should not raise.

jason said...

I like the shove. Based upon your read, which for argument sake is more often right than wrong, you are likely more than 33% likely to win the hand. If you are up against two made hands and truly have the 12 clean outs, the rule of 4 would say that you are a 48% favorite to win the hand. The rule of 4 is just an estimation, but let's err on the conservative side and say that you are a 40-50% favorite to win the hand. Still plenty of pot equity to justify the shove and you will obviously definitely be paid here if you hit.

I know in Omaha I am more than willing to shove my draws even if I believe my fold equity is zero if my draw is really good.

Really good in Hold'em is obviously different than really good in Omaha but the concept is the same. A gutter and a flush draw against 2 hands is what most every player, other than super tight passive would consider really good in Hold'em.

If I have a wrap and a flush draw, I am shoving all my chips in there in Omaha regardless of whether I think the player will fold or not. I know I will be paid if I hit, and I know I am a favorite at the time I shove in my chips.

I think it is simple as you believed you were the favorite, which you likely were, and you moved your chips in. I think this is always good poker