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Nitty fold at 5NL?

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  • Nitty fold at 5NL?

    Hi all,

    I'm new to the community, just signed up for Premium and am working through the Cash learning path this week.

    I played this hand today and am curious as to your thoughts on my thoughts. I didn't take the time to think things through during the hand.

    I had only sat down an orbit or so prior to this hand, villain hadn't done anything notable in the short time so far.

    PokerStars - $0.05 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
    Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

    Hero (CO): 110 BB
    BTN: 110.6 BB
    SB: 61 BB
    BB: 108 BB
    UTG: 115.2 BB
    MP: 103.2 BB

    SB posts SB 0.4 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

    Pre Flop: (pot: 1.4 BB) Hero has Q:spade: J:spade:

    fold, fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, BTN raises to 9 BB, fold, fold, Hero calls 6 BB

    Flop: (19.4 BB, 2 players) 5:diamond: T:spade: Q:club:
    Hero checks, BTN checks

    Turn: (19.4 BB, 2 players) K:spade:
    Hero bets 10 BB, BTN calls 10 BB

    River: (39.4 BB, 2 players) 2:spade:
    Hero checks, BTN bets 91.6 BB and is all-in, fold

    BTN wins 37.8 BB

    I raised QJss from the cutoff. I called the 3-bet from villain here as I feel his 3-bet range is going to be widest from the BTN and my hand can be played well post flop I think.

    On the flop, with top pair marginal kicker and a back door straight and back door flush coming in to the 3rd nut flush, I elected to check to the pre-flop 3-bet aggressor in position. Question here: Who is the pre-flop aggressor here, I made the initial raise and he 3-bet from position.

    Is this a better spot to bet here? Check/call or check/raise if he bets?

    Villain checks behind.

    With the Ks coming on the turn things are looking good for the draws I have, I still have 2nd pair made, and I opted to bet for value. Villain calls. How is my sizing here of 10 into 29? I don't want a fold and with him likely having that likely strong 3-betting range pre, he's probably got a piece too. Like the flop, I am not sure how I would have responded to a raise in this spot. I think I would fold to a large raise.

    River is 2s so the flush completed. We have the 2nd nut flush and while the As is a likely part of his range, I was hesitant to bet out of position. He jammed 90+bb into 40bb and I folded.

    Thinking the hand through post-mortem, and trying to narrow his range down, I block his AQss and AJss, A10ss and A2ss are blocked by the board. That's leaving AsXs for 6 combinations that would complete the nut flush.

    Before I started studying this week I would snap-call, but that's the type of impulse reaction that led to a -20bb/100 rate over the last couple of months.

    What's missing from my thought process and analysis?

    Thanks for reading.


  • #2
    Welcome. Villain is the aggressor as he he put in the last raise preflop, so checking to him on the flop is standard. I'm assuming you don't have HUD stats on villain or you would have included those. The button should have the widest three bet range especially against cutoff open. They are also the most polarized. They're incentivized by being in position and can bluff some more hands to try and get you to fold. Typical bluff hands include low suited aces (bad for you) and some 76 type suited connectors (good for you). If villain had the Ax of spades he turned both the nut flush draw and a gutter. Textbook play would be to raise that, although not everyone plays that way. A5, A4 and A3 are the reasonable combos and not everyone that level knows how to three bet those preflop. I don't fold when there are only three logical combos that beat me unless I really know my opponent. I definitely lead the river for about 2/3 pot and at that point I'm priced in to call a shove. Good opponents could also have the naked ace of spades and bluff you knowing you can't have the nut flush.


    • #3
      Preflop - I like the call and it's what I would do most of the time. I suspect if you fold QsJs out of position to a 3bet, you don't lose that much value. And if villain's 3bet range is more value heavy, they will be dominating you a ton... AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AQ, AJ, KQ,KJ are all strong hands that should 3bet. Against opponents who are aggressive with a wide 3bet range, I would be calling this hand. Against very tight 3bet ranges, I would be more likely to call in position than out of position.

      Flop - I like your check. Pretty standard for you to check to the 3 bettor. My plan would be to check call.

      Turn - I would typically check the turn. You have tons of equity given the hand and the draws. So betting is fine and you can call a raise if you bet. But my assumption is BTN will bet for you. My goal is not to build a big pot right now. It's to win the hand at showdown cheaply unless my hand improves.

      River - Since you bet the turn, I would pretty much always bet the river too. The risk when you check the river is villain checks back as well because villain will be afraid of the flush. But if you bet, villain will call with hands like AK. So you need to bet the river.

      But you checked the river which changes things. You capped your range by betting turn and checking river. You are basically telling your opponent that you are afraid of the flush and you are planning to fold. You actually folded a flush... which means you would fold your straights, 2 pair, sets, one pair, etc.

      I don't know what I'd do here. My gut tells me that at $5NL I'm expecting you to be up against the nuts more than you are facing a bluff. But you've invited your opponent to bluff so it's hard to say.

      As you move up higher in stakes and you play more aggressive opponents, you don't want to fold Q high flush on that board. It's too strong a hand. I just don't know what the population tendencies are like in that game.


      • #4
        Welcome buddy.

        Preflop is fine, as is the flop play.

        You should probably not be betting on the turn though. When we have both a marginal made hand and a draw we should almost always play it as a marginal made. You mention that you are a premium member so you should catch up with the 30 day challenge. That concept will be explained on the first day better than I can

        You have to call the river in my opinion.

        If the villain has the As in his hand then you have the best possible hand that you can have. By folding you are allowing the villain to force you off you entire range whenever he has the As and that is just a disaster.

        You called the villain's 3bet instead of 4betting. Obviously that is the right thing to do with your exact hand but it does mean that you have capped your range (i.e. it's very unlikely that you have QQ+,AK in your range).

        You do bet the turn but only after the flop was checked back to you.

        You then proceed to check the river.

        These are all signs of weakness. You have the 2nd nuts, your hand is underrepresented, and you've given your opponent a chance to bluff.

        In terms of MDF you need to be defending with 30% of your range and this is very near the top. If you fold this you must realise that you are making a very exploitative decision and risk being picked apart by decent opponents.

        In terms of pot odds you need to only win the hand 42% of the time to profit. This means that even if he does have the nut flush 50% (or even 58% of the time) you still need to call.


        • #5
          Definitely a call on the river. You cannot possibly fold the way this was played.

          When you check twice, most players will take that as an invitation to bluff. It is probably the only scenario people bluff a significant percentage at the low stakes. This is your best chance to catch someone bluffing.

          Without providing the 3bet stats of the villain is hard to say more. But if he is very balanced and also 3bets lower suited connectors (besdes AX suited), you are good to call.
          If he 3bets mainly for value, it's even easier as they could easily have pocket As or sets that they overvalue in the light of your passive play.


          • LondonImp
            LondonImp commented
            Editing a comment
            Do you think villain would be making an overbet like this with lower suited connectors (spades)?

            These overbets are generally very polarised i.e. the nuts or nothing.

            I think with a small flush the villain would bet a lot smaller, trying to target trips and straights. Otherwise they would be losing to the majority of their opponent's calling range which would be bad for them.

            Could be wrong - just trying to put myself in the villain's shoes.

          • radubalaj
            radubalaj commented
            Editing a comment
            Good point, but God knows what villain think is the nuts. I definitely get check raised a lot with less than the nut flush (but still a flush), so I wouldn't be surprised they shoved with lower suited connectors. Hard to make any assumptions without the relevant HUD stats.

            Given you would much rather bet on the smaller side and get called, this looks very bluffy indeed.

          • LondonImp
            LondonImp commented
            Editing a comment
            Very bluffy indeed. Or the nuts. Gotta love poker

        • #6
          Thanks for the feedback everyone, valuable insights as I learn more every day.