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Old 07-04-2018, 09:25 AM   #1
Sandwich
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Low Pocket Pair OOP

15-30 LHE in Pennsylvania, we're down to six handed at this point. CO's opening range is wide and probably sees me as bluffable.

CO raises, button calls, SB calls, I call in the BB with two black 3s.

Flop is QT5

I check, CO bets, button and SB fold.... I raise, CO re-raises.

What should I be thinking/considering here? Fold now? Check-call to showdown?

If I call the flop reraise and an offsuit 5 comes... Should I see this as an opportunity to take another stab at this pot with a checkraise?

Thanks.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:46 AM   #2
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

i think you could make a light peel on the flop. c/r is massive spew. any further ideas of betting/raising are also really bad.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

I think either check call the flop or check fold the flop are the two best options; seems close vs a 4 way flop bet so I'd make my decision based on how often I thought I'd get free showdowns; the more I expect to be forced to fold the turn or river the more I would fold the flop; the more free showdowns I expect to get the more I would call the flop.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

He bet into 3 opponents on a board thats not only good for his range but also pretty good for ccers ranges, imo. You may be ahead but have very little chance of improving when behind. Folding immediately is going to be right against a lot of players.

But even when you should continue, calling is likely better than raising. When you raised, did you think it was for value or a bluff? Keep in mind that your own range shouldn't have strong pf holdings because you didn't raise mw. If you think he sees you as foldy, don't let on that you like your hand and let him keep betting with the worst parts of his range.

As played, I think folding is best without better reads on CO. If you do see the turn I think calling is better than raising but folding is again likely best.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:57 AM   #5
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

On the flop, CO is betting into a crowd. That's an indicator of strength. Unless they have KJ or AK and have 9 or 10 outs to improve to top pair or better, they have some sort of made hand.

Maybe we want to check/call the flop and hope for a cheap showdown, but I am not thrilled about this.

The checkraise is spew, and once they 3-bet us, we are drawing to two outs, and should fold.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:24 AM   #6
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

Yep, just check fold this flop into these preflop smooth calling fishies. You're really trying to hit a set, a low flop / 6 out wheel draw or a dry paired board to be aggressive on the flop. You'll be ahead here rarely but it's going to cost you a lot of money in the long run to find out every time. Plus your opponents will typically have at least 10 outs when you are ahead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0MK7qz13bU

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Old 07-04-2018, 11:31 AM   #7
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

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Originally Posted by AlanBostick View Post
The checkraise is spew, and once they 3-bet us, we are drawing to two outs, and should fold.
i honestly don't think flop matters all that much as long as it's not a raise. maybe folding is better, but it's probably not worth debating.
as played, once he 3bets, i suddenly feel a lot better about my hand and expect the turn to check thru like 80% of the time
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:22 PM   #8
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

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i honestly don't think flop matters all that much as long as it's not a raise. maybe folding is better, but it's probably not worth debating.
as played, once he 3bets, i suddenly feel a lot better about my hand and expect the turn to check thru like 80% of the time
I agree.

I hate the flop CR for all the reasons already stated. Also, notice how weak this makes op's peeling range if he is CR all of his pairs here.

Now that the CO has 3 bet I too feel better about my hand. Flop 3 bets IP in my games are super polarized and usually lean toward the bs side of things. I would call. The problem is we have now helped to bloat this pot which now makes any folding mistakes we make that much worse. As Bob stated above, our decision to continue on the flop should be dependent on how often the villain is going to continue betting. Do we expect the villain to check the turn? Or bet the turn and check river UIP? If he is the type to bet again on the turn we need to call again since the pot is now big. The problem is he could have up to 16 outs against us.

This is why the flop CR is so bad.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:08 PM   #9
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

Just thinking about the way this hand affects our river check calling range if we check call the flop and then the turn checks through. More breakeven river calls seems bad superficially since we’re going to have so many busted draws on lots of rivers.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:36 PM   #10
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

IMO Fold ~ Call >>>>>>> Raise.

We could be folding the winner against an AK/AJ/KJ/J9s cbet a lot, which could give us 20% equity (or more), but OTOH he's very likely to barrel again, meaning we may have to call again on a board pair or a card 7 or lower. So really I'd say it depends on the player; the more they auto fire, the more I call. The more selective they are, the more I fold.

Raising is for sure the worst option. This hand doesn't fold out better nor do we get much value from worse (that wouldn't give us value anyway in the form of barreling). Plus we give him a chance to bluff us out of a now even bigger pot.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:44 PM   #11
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

I x/f and don't spend much time worrying about whether I folded the best hand.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:46 PM   #12
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

I hate a call on the flop here almost as much as I hate the raise. Worst case scenario you're drawing dead; better chance you have two outs. Best case scenario villain has 10 or so outs. You're slightly ahead or way behind, you don't know where you stand, and will almost certainly be facing a big bet on the turn. It's not that big a pot, I give up here.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:33 PM   #13
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

I think c/f flop is the only way to play this hand unless some very, very player specific dynamic exists and even then I feel it's too ambitious.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:11 PM   #14
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

Pretty sure I was the villain in this hand. Anyway in that game you really have to showdown the best hand. Which 33 usually is not if you get 3bet on the flop. Again there are some tagfish aliens that will 3 the flop with AJ or AK but that style really that commonplace in today's games. I would xc the flop and see what develops OTT. Trying to pull some elaborate multistreet bluff is doing nothing but torching bets. The players in that game as in most small / midstakes games are going to showdown.

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Old 08-09-2018, 08:17 PM   #15
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

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Pretty sure I was the villain in this hand. Anyway in that game you really have to showdown the best hand. Which 33 usually is not if you get 3bet on the flop. Again there are some tagfish aliens that will 3 the flop with AJ or AK but that style really isn't that common in today's games. I would xc the flop and see what develops OTT. Trying to pull some elaborate multistreet bluff is doing nothing but torching bets. The players in that game as in most small / midstakes games are going to showdown.

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Old 08-11-2018, 11:14 PM   #16
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

Thanks for the replies. For those advising to xc the flop (which are a lot of you) -- can you elaborate? I'm not expecting to hit a 3 on the flop, and the turn is never going check-check in this game. My flop checkraise was for value, as I read CO's bet as a pure continuation bet -- with the other two opponents out of the way, I thought there was a decent chance I was ahead, and at game-speed I felt like by showing strength I could take control of the hand and get the villain to fold Tx or worse before more overcards came.

If I'm going to be check-folding low pocket pairs on the flop or turn shorthanded, maybe I shouldn't be playing them at all(?).

P.S. 6MaxLHE - this hand was awhile back so I'm not remembering who the villain was... It could very well have been you.
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:28 PM   #17
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

I disagree with the turn not going chk/chk. A lot of regs will chk OTT with AJ, KJ or AK.

And again the flop chk raise would be more of a bluff here. Even overcards have decent equity against us. Maybe you get a mid pp to fold but the flop chk raise should not be for value as are equity is razor thin at best.

I would advise against chk raising on this board with 33, let's get to the turn and play poker by sometimes folding and sometimes calling depending on the turn card and out opponents tendencies.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:55 AM   #18
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandwich View Post
Thanks for the replies. For those advising to xc the flop (which are a lot of you) -- can you elaborate? I'm not expecting to hit a 3 on the flop, and the turn is never going check-check in this game. My flop checkraise was for value, as I read CO's bet as a pure continuation bet -- with the other two opponents out of the way, I thought there was a decent chance I was ahead, and at game-speed I felt like by showing strength I could take control of the hand and get the villain to fold Tx or worse before more overcards came.

If I'm going to be check-folding low pocket pairs on the flop or turn shorthanded, maybe I shouldn't be playing them at all(?).

P.S. 6MaxLHE - this hand was awhile back so I'm not remembering who the villain was... It could very well have been you.
Obviously we're not going to c/f all flops - texture is important.
We can c/r a 245 flop for value. We can safely c/f an AKQ flop.

QTx is somewhere in the middle - we're ahead of some of their range, but we don't have anywhere near enough equity to raise for value. We can simply give up as we have no idea where we're at and we have little chance to improve, or we can call a bet and see what happens on the turn. I prefer folding myself - remember, you don't have to win every pot.

Also, I ran this through an equity calculator and came up with 38.5% equity against a 40% preflop open range. On a 245 flop, we have 69% equity. AKQ, 18% equity. 882, 57% equity.

Also also, your opponent is never folding a 10.

Last edited by SetofJacks; 08-13-2018 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:50 AM   #19
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

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Thanks for the replies. For those advising to xc the flop (which are a lot of you) -- can you elaborate? I'm not expecting to hit a 3 on the flop, and the turn is never going check-check in this game. My flop checkraise was for value, as I read CO's bet as a pure continuation bet -- with the other two opponents out of the way, I thought there was a decent chance I was ahead, and at game-speed I felt like by showing strength I could take control of the hand and get the villain to fold Tx or worse before more overcards came.

If I'm going to be check-folding low pocket pairs on the flop or turn shorthanded, maybe I shouldn't be playing them at all(?).

P.S. 6MaxLHE - this hand was awhile back so I'm not remembering who the villain was... It could very well have been you.
Hey, so let's go over this.

1) This isn't a HU continuation bet. This is a bet into 3 people on a board that is very likely to have connected w/ someone, with a lot of connectivity around the Q and T. So his range isn't going to be full of garbage looking to get you to fold. It'll most consist of hands that have you in terrible shape (~10% equity), or hands you aren't way ahead of (best case being two overcards to your pair + gutter). It deserves more respect than a HU c-bet, unless your opponent is an idiot.

2) "Taking control of the hand" is a terrible reason to take an aggressive action. In general, there's two reasons to take aggressive actions: to get better hands to fold and to get worse hands to call. There's other, more advanced things to do, like betting one street to set up an elaborate bluff later in the hand, to deny equity from hands that will fold but are getting the correct odds to draw at you, etc. But we do not raise to "take control of the hand". That's simply code for "I don't trust myself to make a decision on a turn 7". Plus when you raise, you make sure all the clown hands in your opponent's range like A4hh fold, and leave yourself with the hands that have you crushed.

3) Getting any sort of decent player to fold Tx here is just not going to work unless you have the image of a supernit or a 75/2 ultra loose-passive fish. You need very specific runouts to get better to fold here. Like if the turn is a J and the river is a brick.

4) You aren't always check folding on the flop or the turn. If the flop, for example, is J42, you can check call comfortably as this is a board that will be cbet a ton (since most people missed). You can even show it down. But the flop changes things, including to where you are in your range. So understand that.

5) Even if you think you're folding a ton, you're still getting 7:1 with gobs of implied odds in order to hit a set here. And when you do hit a set, you're very likely to win a big pot. So yes, never even consider folding 33 to a MP raise and 2 cold calls from the BB closing the action.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:50 PM   #20
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

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Originally Posted by jdr0317 View Post
In general, there's two reasons to take aggressive actions: to get better hands to fold and to get worse hands to call.
This aphorism is, IMO, right up there with the Fundamental Theorem of Poker in terms of importance to poker play. Every low and mid-stakes player should memorize it.

Every day, at poker tables around the country, players bet with no idea why they are betting.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:55 PM   #21
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

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Every day, at poker tables around the country, players bet with no idea why they are betting.
+1 to both of you. Especially if "to take control of the hand" or "to find out where I'm at" is counted as "I really have no idea, but not having the betting lead on any street confuses me". By the by, I'm not picking on Sandwich, specifically. If you want to see abominations of poker, head over to BQ and see how new NL players decide to bet hands -- doing it for value or doing it as a bluff isn't in the top 5 for some.

Re-reading Jdr0317's post, I love all of it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:45 PM   #22
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

I think that’s a good way to sum up river play, but that flop and turn play are a bit different:

Protection with pairs, adding to the profitability of my value range by betting dominating draws, and reducing the profitability of my opponents range are all good reasons to bet or raise the flop or turn.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:59 PM   #23
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

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+1 to both of you. Especially if "to take control of the hand" or "to find out where I'm at" is counted as "I really have no idea, but not having the betting lead on any street confuses me". By the by, I'm not picking on Sandwich, specifically.
Hey, pick on me generally then. I can take it. And yes I agree and get the aphorism — and in context I said “ at game-speed I felt like by showing strength I could take control of the hand and get the villain to fold Tx or worse before more overcards came.”

Setting aside whether my Tx conclusion was correct, in the games that I play, I DO think certain opponents will give up (fold better hands or decide not to draw) when I (perhaps due to my otherwise tight image) “take control of the betting” by barreling or raising. Am I thinking about that all wrong?
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:30 PM   #24
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

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Originally Posted by Sandwich View Post
in the games that I play, I DO think certain opponents will give up (fold better hands or decide not to draw) when I (perhaps due to my otherwise tight image) “take control of the betting” by barreling or raising. Am I thinking about that all wrong?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdr0317
In general, there's two reasons to take aggressive actions: to get better hands to fold and to get worse hands to call.
If your reason is the first bit, "I'm going to bet/raise to get better hands to fold", then you aren't taking control of the hand. You're just bluffing. You're allowed to bluff with future equity, semi-bluff. If you take an aggressive line to fold out better hands, that's good poker. However, most of us have seen decent players who take lines where worse hands will mostly fold and better will mostly call, these are middle strength hands. That's where we start pushing at those players for mostly wanting to take aggressive action. BigBadBabar and DosXX used to give me a hard time for trying to turn my bluff catchers into bluffs -- it is the same issue. It is hard, because my default was just to want the betting lead... even in spots where I shouldn't have.

Think about hands that you can't quite raise for value as bluffs. Your opponent has few better hands to fold. Thus, bluffing is actually unlikely to work. Now think about draws that have little showdown value as bluffs. Basically, anything your opponent folds is a huge win.


This is why jdr0317 is distilling this to having a reason to bet. Are you A, bluffing? B, value getting?
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:37 PM   #25
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Re: Low Pocket Pair OOP

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Hey, pick on me generally then. I can take it. And yes I agree and get the aphorism — and in context I said “ at game-speed I felt like by showing strength I could take control of the hand and get the villain to fold Tx or worse before more overcards came.”

Setting aside whether my Tx conclusion was correct, in the games that I play, I DO think certain opponents will give up (fold better hands or decide not to draw) when I (perhaps due to my otherwise tight image) “take control of the betting” by barreling or raising. Am I thinking about that all wrong?
Yes. Because you're doing it with poor hand selection.

The entire premise of "take control of the hand" is the assumption that your opponent is an idiot who will never bet or raise after a certain point without a better hand. That if you call 33 on the flop, you check turn and he checks and gets to draw at you, while if you raise, he will just fold and you get to win a decent sized pot w/ low investment. However, if he has KJ/J9, he might just raise you again, and now instead of being bluffed off of a 4 BB pot that you invested 1 BB into (0.5 of which was in blinds), you get raised on the turn and fold a now 9 BB pot that you invested 3 into.

Like why are you choosing to "bluff" here with a hand with low-medium showdown value and low redraw potential? Why don't you choose hands that fare worse with showdown value but better with redraw? Like a J9 or even a 76 (backdoor OESFD potential)? 33 has terrible equity when called, so it needs more fold equity than the average bluff in this spot. And since it blocks literally no hands our opponent can reasonably have that continue, it will actually generate LESS folds than average. Add in that our opponent has already declared that his hand is strong by simply betting this flop, and you have a recipe for a very spewy play.

The fact that you'd consider calling this 3 bet to potentially bluff x/r on a turn 5 is also poorly thought out. Firstly, this is a rare event (we don't see 47 cards and only 3 of them are a 5). Secondly, for what value hand is a 5 a scare card? If you hold KK and 3 bet this flop, and the turn is a 5, there's now 2 less flopped set combos (out of 3 total), and you now beat QT. Even Q5/T5, which you now have less equity against than a neutral turn card, are more rare.

It sounds like you're having a tough time w/ ranging your opponents. I'd consider doing some exercises like playing out certain preflop scenarios (common one: open MP, 2 cold callers and a BB call), dealing out flops, and figuring out what actions you'd take with certain hands. You'll see things like how you aren't all that excited about betting 99 into a field on QT5 for example. So if you aren't doing it, there's a good chance they aren't doing it.
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