Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Limit Hold 'Em -- Flopped Trips

Setting aside the fact that most (all) of you stay away from Limit Hold 'Em, I still play it often (~ once a week) and would like your input on a hand.

A little background that may/may not be relevant. I play $8-$16 (sometimes, $4-$8) at Diamond Lils. From 2005-2008, $8-$16 @ Lils was a great game. The biggest game in the house was $12-$24 (meaning, the better local limit players went to the Muck), and $8-$16 was more the game that $4-$8 players went to "stick their toes in," rather than the waiting spot for $12-$24 players. As such, it was a very easy game. I could sit on my hands playing Adam ABC poker and rake it in (relatively speaking). More recently, it's become a much tougher game to beat (or, I've gotten considerably worse), as Lils is now dominated by $20-$40 players (Lils introduced that game about 2 years ago), and there are fewer "lower limit" Limit players left, at least at Lils. Accordingly, the $8-$16 game is often populated by a fair number of $20-$40 players waiting their turn.

Ok, so here's the hand. I had just sat down. Approx 8 hands into the session, I'm in the SB with 5-7d. Two limpers, I call $4 more and BB checks. ($32 in pot)

Flop is 5-5-6, two hearts (no diamonds). I bet out, hoping to induce "raise for a free card" or some other raise..... Somewhat hard to put me on a 5 (only two 5's left, and why would I bet out?). Don't want to check and let draws get there for free and want to build pot. BB calls as does cut off. Other guy folds. BTW, I know very little about my opponents. I don't know the BB at all, and I recognize the cut-off as a $20-$40 player; I think he's solid, but am mostly guessing. ($56 in pot)

Turn is an off suit Q. I bet out again and my two villians call. ($104 in pot)

River is an off suit 9. Being me, I assume at least one of these yahoos might've hit his draw. Or, that one of these two has been slow playing a bigger 5. The latter seems less likely, but I don't want to get raised. So, I check....intending to check call ($16) when one of these two bets. The BB instantly bets and the cutoff raises! How can I be good? If the BB wasn't left to act behind me, I would've for sure called the $32. But I figured one of these two had to have me beat, and with the BB behind, it might cost me three or four $16 bets to find out. Fold.

Um, bad fold (at least in a results-oriented sense). BB, who called the raise, proudly turns over 8-9o for the win! He had overs and a gutshot on the flop and "got there" on the river to make measly two pair. The cutoff had 8-8, which he showed after the BB showed his superior cards first (despite having called the cutoff's river raise). (Pot ended up $168.)

Agree with my play, regardless of result? Let me have it.


Marshall said...

This is one of those spots that is super player dependent imo.

It's interesting, because if the guy that raised the river is either a perceived good player or a perceived bad player, it seems like it's more likely that you are ahead.

If he is a "normal" mid level player who tends to play more straight up, it's probably a clear fold.

The real issue though is the guy who now led at the pot on the river. Having him behind you makes it pretty annoying.

I think that one thing that you are not taking into account though is that you underrepped your hand significantly.

You led at the flop, which to most players means you probably don't have a 5. You tried again on the first big-bet street, but then you jumped ship after getting called twice.

If I were at the table I wouldn't have you on much here at this point. But you figured at the time that since they are betting they got there (which makes some sense as 78 tells a perfect story here).

I think it's probably a fold still.

chuck said...

1) Don't post results, just the river action up until your decision. Results can skew what people think about the hand.

2) I don't know a damn thing about limit so I probably don't know what I'm talking about in the rest of this comment.

Thoughts on the (interesting, btw) hand:
-Fold pre. This might just be because I don't ever play limit, but being oop really, really sucks and I don't want to play suited one-gappers from the SB, even for a discount.

-I think you played the hand fine. You put your money in when you were probably ahead (unless the case 5 or 66 is out there but in that case, whatever nh), and it's really hard for trips no kicker to be good when facing a bet and a raise when the obvious open-ender gets there. I was thinking about maybe bet/folding the river but I talked to Marsh and he convinced me that that's much more of a NL play and is pretty spewy here. I like the check/call plan, but the raise obv throws that off and I think folding is correct.

Marshall said...

Ya what chuck said about the results. You can post them after if you want just for funzies, but for evaluating the hand they are useless.

Aclowery said...

Yeah that's a super tough spot. I think it's a fold as well for the same reason you did, there's action behind. If you're BB and SB is in there and the action is check - you call - raise, call, then you can maybe consider over calling. Yes, the obvious open ender got there, but as Marsh points out you've under repped your hand.

As it is, the chances that things go badly and you end up having to either fold to a re-raise or call off even more money are, in my opinion, way too high to justify calling two river bets here. I'm not a limit player, but I think this is one of those situations where, despite under repping your hand, you need to fold in your position. The bet & raise are just too strong w/ the super obvious draw getting there.

royalbacon said...

I’m saying this only because I know Jason is probably typing this out right now and I want to beat him to the punch:

Obvious call, all the way. You woulda won the hand!

jason said...

Funny comment Royal as I was just about to type call!

Adam, remember these guys don't know you from Adam and don't know you are a solid ABC poker player. All they see is that you bet out at a board that likely missed everyone and then bet the turn and gave up on the river.

So if I am the big blind I am betting the river for value. He hit which in this game likely means he could be good and will be called by a 6 pocket 7's or pocket 8's and maybe a loose call from AK.

The piece of relevant information that you shared that no one commented on is the raiser is a $20/$40 player. What a great spot for him to bluff raise! He is playing at low stakes for him, has position and sees that you likely gave up and this guy in the BB may be taking a stab with a missed draw. BB does have a missed draw that "hit."

If you call here and then get raised to 3 bets or even worse 4 bets feel free to dump the hand. But I think a call here is warranted unless the guy in position raising is really MB in disguise.

Tough spot as I know the 9 sucks but in limit you really need to make tougher calls with the pot odds the way they are.

jason said...

One other comment your read was that an open ender or a strong draw would likely raise hoping for a free card. Since they both did not raise your initial bet, which I think an open ender would likely do to define their hand, possibly take down the pot, I think the open ender just calling your initial bet is less likely.

Hindsight is 20/20 but I am still leaning towards a call.

chuck m said...

I disagree with people who think our hand is that under-repped, or that villain(s) can easily read us for a steal. I mean, are we really trying to steal a limped pot from first position with 3 people behind us on a 556 flop? Really? I don't see how a player in the SB would play a 5 other than how we have, except maybe trying to c/r the flop, but I hate that line here.

Marshall said...

@Chuck - Why not?

chuck m said...

@Marshall - Because we arent going to get 34, 78, 5x, 6x, or any pocket pair to fold, and there are lots of combos of those possible in a 4-way limped pot. And even if we iso, we're still OOP for the rest of the hand and can just get owned by a lot of cards that can come.

I'm not saying our range here is only 5x, I'm just saying the standard line for 5x in this spot is probably exactly the one Adam took, so I don't see how it under-reps our hand.

Marshall said...

The standard line for live donks is to check the flop. Most standard live people (especially in limit) when they flop a monster will snap check the flop, call. Then go for a check-raise on the turn.

The *best* line to take is the one that Adam did on the flop and turn, but I don't think it's standard.

Not to be rotty, but look at the action on the river. Adam checks, and 88 bets for value probably on that river. 89 figures he is good vs Adam and maybe against the other guy too and raises for value.

Obviously at the table they perceived his hand as far underrepped as well. This doesn't prove anything but it is a good example of what I am saying.