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Old 09-16-2018, 07:59 AM   #1
Unikpkr
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Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

3/5 spread, 500 max. bet.

Hero is weekend regular, with tight and maybe a bit weak image. Villain is a regular. Have played with him for 10-15 hours over last few sessions. My impression of him prior to this session was super tight, fit or fold. But an hour prior to this hand saw him ran a 3 street bluff.


This session started as 6 handed, and by this hand we'd been playing 4 handed for about 1+ hour. Since it was short-handed, I was playing really laggy (by my standards). I was most aggressive player at the table, opening 50+% of hands preflop. I was also getting cards and hitting flop, so I was actually not really doing anything too much out of line. OTTH.

Hero SB: Ac Ad.
Villain opened $20 UTG. Stack ~900 (effective)
BTN called.
Hero raised to $75. BB folded. Villain & BTN called.

Flop ($219): Js Qs 8c
Hero bet 175.Villain called, button folded.


Turn ($569): 4c


My dilemma was normal bet sizing here would be 350-450. For that amount, with this villain, I'm never getting called by a worse hand, i.e. I'd expect him to fold if he was on a draw and I'd only get called when I'm beat (2 pairs or better). So do I bet and just take what's there now, or check and risk a free card or maybe drawing dead when behind? I'm still not sure what worse hand he'd call with on river, unless he'd think I was taking a shot on the river and call with KQ or middle pocket. If this wasn't shorthanded I think I bet for sure. But short handed is there some thoughts that he shouldn't normally be that strong and there's lower risk for giving free card?


I went ahead and bet $425 anyway. Thoughts?
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:31 AM   #2
Ragequit99
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

Short handed all of your ranges are wider and all of you can have more draws and be expecting top pair is much stronger than when 9 handed. Therefore your AA is more disguised than normal, villain can be valuing QX higher than normal AND V can have as many if not more draws in his range than full handed.

However, you bombing the flop screams strength, particularly if you're normally viewed as tight and a bit fit-fold. It's not entirely clear whether V will be thinking you've opened up your game given it is 4-handed, particularly given it has only been so for an hour.

So it's a bit of a murky situation via a vis how villain is adjusting to the conditions. I think the safest assumption to make is Villain's reaction to your biggest bet so far in the hand is likely conservative given how you normally play. If you were genuinely 3betting a wider than normal range your cbets would have to go smaller than your standard game. This incongruous evidence will tip V towards thinking you're strong as you are with your normal 3bets 9-habded I guess.

Your 3bet was marginally on the small side as a OOP squeeze so both villains can call relatively wide given the deep stacks.

The board itself is very scary for AA. Villains can conceivably have all sets, you block TPTK and he can have a bunch of draws and some of the 2-pairs. Either V can have the nut straight too.

SPR is around 4:1, awkward for an overpair/TPTK, particularly OOP.

It's not a nice spot TBH.

The board is better for villains' ranges than yours so you could argue for a check here but given it is short handed you feel like there are more QX than usual to get value from even though you block AQ. Betting large like this gives your hand away a bit too much. Betting half pot or lower is allowing them to draw too cheaply. check-raising might be over doing it with just an overpair on this board. Check-calling underreps your hand, potentially gives away a free card on a very drawy board and puts you in weird spots later on.

I like none of our options here.

On balance I think I'd bet a bit over half pot - enough to price out their draws over one street but not so much we're giving away our hand strength or tying ourselves into the hand before we know what's going on and not so much I force QX to play perfectly against us.

I'd bet flop for 125 I think. Still mulling over a check instead though.

On turn you have about 650 behind so a bit more than 1 PSB left. For the reasons you state it's hard to see how you can bet 100bb and get called by worse. You've got very little information on Villain's range, he can certainly trap flop with 2-pair+ or flat with big draws given how strong you look implies good implied odds and also means he's not fearing you're drawing too often.

Good news is the turn is a blank.

You don't like the thought of any T, 9, Q, K or spade arriving on river. You aren't going to feel great about X/R all in here. If you bet half pot it leaves a tiny stack relative to pot on river. It's another unpleasant spot.

I think I'd bet 225 targeting QX and bare FDs and see what happens. If I'd gone 125 on flop and same V action pot would be 469 on turn and I'd bet 175ish

Last edited by Ragequit99; 09-16-2018 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:46 AM   #3
monikrazy
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

Raise more pre and lead less on the flop, as played bet big/call on turn is fine
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

You are getting called by plenty of worse hands. There are two flushdraws out there now so Villain is definitely calling your $425 when he has any hand that picked up equity on the turn. Pair+gutshot+flushdraw or simply pair+flushdraw are not folding. IMO you can get away with betting the max $500. Do not check or bet small and snap call him if he goes all in expecting to be up against these hands.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:36 AM   #5
Ragequit99
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

Hero blocks BDNFD so Villain's draws are mostly flopped FDs. The strength hero has shown suggests KQ+ and NFDs so I don't think V can believe his AX/KX flopped FDs have anything but their flush outs and his smaller flush draws can easily be utterly crushed here.

As played I'm never folding but I just worry, like OP, that he's isolating himself against 2-pair+ with this sizing.

You guys don't think there's much point going smaller to target QX and still be prepared to call it off to a turn raise? That way hero looks like he can fold so villain can actually raise his FDs/straight draws thinking he has more outs and more FE.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:07 AM   #6
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

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Originally Posted by Ragequit99 View Post
Hero blocks BDNFD so Villain's draws are mostly flopped FDs. The strength hero has shown suggests KQ+ and NFDs so I don't think V can believe his AX/KX flopped FDs have anything but their flush outs and his smaller flush draws can easily be utterly crushed here.

As played I'm never folding but I just worry, like OP, that he's isolating himself against 2-pair+ with this sizing.

You guys don't think there's much point going smaller to target QX and still be prepared to call it off to a turn raise? That way hero looks like he can fold so villain can actually raise his FDs/straight draws thinking he has more outs and more FE.
what two pairs is V going to have? only QJs (maybe QJo), I don't think any reasonable Villain is going to be peeling J8s or Q8s. These hands are also very likely to raise the flop given the texture of the board as well as any sets. The only hands I see V slowplaying is the nuts and maybe QQ (which might be 4bet pre). Additionally, if V isn't the type to pile in his combo-draws then I see no reason to not continue to bet on the large side. KTss, KTcc, KQcc, QTcc, JTcc, J9cc, 89ss, etc are probably not folding and if they do fold, its not a bad result.

I am a fan of betting very large on the turn.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:05 PM   #7
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

The thing is if you're coming out betting like this villain doesn't need to raise his 2-pair+ T9s QQ JJ 88 QJs J8s (21 combos). You're going to bet all the chips by the river anyway (most of them on the turn here).

At the same time the big betting line is making it as easy as possible for Villain to fold top pair AQ/KQ/QTs/Q9s (24 combos?) and bare FDs A7ss A6ss A5ss A3ss A2ss 76ss 65ss 54ss (8 combos)

But it will not fold his combo draws AKss ATss A9ss A8ss KTss K9ss T8ss 98ss 87ss KQcc QTcc JTcc J9cc (13 combos)


Against his 2-pair+ and combo draws we have 35% equity.

Against the entire range we have 59% equity.

I'm quite keen to keep the weaker half in the hand and I don't mind getting a raise shaped warning when I'm up against the stronger half.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:01 AM   #8
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

my instinct was to go for the slight overjam ott here
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:51 AM   #9
Ragequit99
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

Wow everyone really wants to go big on this turn. I can only assume you're all expecting to get called down by most of V's QX and bare FDs. That's not what's going to happen in my game though.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:47 PM   #10
mrdestiny
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

How many bare Q's is V going to have. Most of his pairs will have a draw to go along with them. We block AQ, so you are basically going for a small sizing so that you can ensure yourself a call from a limited amount of AQ and his KQ and maybe some small flushdraws? What are you going to do when the river comes T, 9, K, Q, club or spade? half the deck is going to be put you in a tricky spot on the river and a large amount of hands are going to call your pot-sized wager. I'd rather shovel in the money now when I am pretty sure I have the best hand rather than targeting a small amount of hands in V's range that might call the larger-sized wager anyways. What makes you think he will call the river shove with his bare Q's on brick rivers?

I just don't see how betting small here is good. Also what would you be doing with your bluffing range? I'm piling in the money with my flush draws which would mostly be combo-draws given this board or pair+draws (AKs, ATs, KTs, 76s, 65s, etc) trying to get a fold from V.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:10 PM   #11
Ragequit99
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

I'm not really expecting him to call the river shove all that often. I'm just trying to get what value I can from weaker hands now.

Maybe I'm feeling uncomfortable GII here because I play 1/1 and 1/2 and many of my opponents there are more looking at the absolute size of bets rather than relative to the pot?

Maybe I'm just plain wrong. I mean flop SPR is only a bit more than 4:1 so we're kind of happy GII as fast as possible here.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:12 PM   #12
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

And yes, you're right I'm going to be going big with my semibluffs for sure.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:05 PM   #13
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragequit99 View Post
Wow everyone really wants to go big on this turn. I can only assume you're all expecting to get called down by most of V's QX and bare FDs. That's not what's going to happen in my game though.
If that's the case you need to bluff more, exploit the fact that they wont call a second barrel with top pair 4 handed.

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Old 09-20-2018, 12:06 PM   #14
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

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Originally Posted by monikrazy View Post
Raise more pre and lead less on the flop, as played bet big/call on turn is fine
I agree with a larger raise pre. However, on flop this wet we can bet pretty big. I like the flop sizing.

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Old 09-20-2018, 01:09 PM   #15
Man of Means
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

I certainly wouldn't check - the pot is worth winning now, and giving a free card to any number of draws from 5-outer split pair to 15-out combo draw is out of the question. Plus you can win money from a TP hero-calldown putting you on TT or AK - villain is looking at the same low SPR you are and saying maybe TP2K+ is good enough to commit.

If you bet the turn, it's going to be hard to fold the river for the remaining nub of a stack. So you're risking your entire $650 to win $569+B, where B is what you bet on the turn. I like your $425 and might even bet the max.
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Old 09-20-2018, 01:54 PM   #16
Ragequit99
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

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If that's the case you need to bluff more, exploit the fact that they wont call a second barrel with top pair 4 handed.

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It depends whether your specific opponent is monitoring your frequencies and picking up on bet sizings. If instead they're mostly looking at their absolute hand strength and assuming that your big sizes are absolutely stronger hands and your small sizers are absolutely weaker hands - then you can exploit them both ways.

1) bet big with your no-showdown-value semibluffs to maximize fold equity.

2) bet a more callable amount with your TPTK+ to maximize value.

I'm not saying this particular hand is the best spot to do this - many experienced players are saying just bet it big on the turn and I'm happy to accept I'm wrong and they're right. So here I'm discussing the idea in general.

I'm not saying we shouldn't ever balance our ranges and avoid using different bet sizes for different hands. Against many players in my game I do have to be careful to be at least somewhat balanced. However, there are also many players who aren't thinking at that level or paying much attention and I think I can exploitatively alter my sizings without them catching on (for a while at least!)
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Old 09-21-2018, 12:07 PM   #17
Unikpkr
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Re: Short handed, take it down or risk free card?

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Originally Posted by Man of Means View Post
I certainly wouldn't check - the pot is worth winning now, and giving a free card to any number of draws from 5-outer split pair to 15-out combo draw is out of the question. Plus you can win money from a TP hero-calldown putting you on TT or AK - villain is looking at the same low SPR you are and saying maybe TP2K+ is good enough to commit.

If you bet the turn, it's going to be hard to fold the river for the remaining nub of a stack. So you're risking your entire $650 to win $569+B, where B is what you bet on the turn. I like your $425 and might even bet the max.
Appreciate the great discussions/explanations. I have much to learn about ranges, balancing my bluffing, etc.

Looking back, preflop definitely could've been a bit bigger. Was just concerned with not getting action because of my normal image, and wasting the AA especially shorthanded.

At the time, on the turn, the bolded part was what made the decision for me. I was just thinking about too many draws out there that I just couldn't give free/cheap card. But now I see there are so many more things to consider.
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