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How many mistakes did I make in this hand?

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  • How many mistakes did I make in this hand?

    In hindsight, results sometimes tend to skew how I think about my play. So I would be interested in hearing about all the mistakes you think I made in playing this hand, including, of course, playing it at all.

    Late in Day 1 of 2-day MSPT $1100 main event (a little less than two 40 minute levels left). I have 25 BB and am looking to chip up. I have not had many good starting hands all day and am a little impatient. I recognize my impatience and try to moderate it a little.

    Action opens with a very straightforward guy whose play I know well limping in MP. This says to me ("I have suited connectors, A-x suited, or a pair 99 or lower. I will fold to a bet if I miss the flop.") He has about 25BB.

    Action folds to button who has about 50 BB. He is an opportunistic player who I also know well, and he knows the limper. Button clearly understands exactly what the limp represents. Button raises to 3BB.

    I look down at A-6 spades in SB. I think button has about a 30% opening range, maybe more. I consider shoving but I expect he will call a significant portion of his range, because he will think I am just making a move. A-6 doesn't hold up that well against a lot of decent hands. I consider folding but I expect that the limper will call if I call and I am seduced by the chance to get some more chips. So I call.

    BB folds (as expected, he didn't really know either the button or me and he was short and was going to either shove or fold, but I didn't expect him to shove light into the button and me, as one of us could easily have a strong hand).

    Limper calls.

    Pot is now 11 BB.

    Board comes A-K-J, one spade.

    I believe that button will C-bet this flop with 100% of his range. I check, limper checks, button bets 5 BB, I call, limper folds.

    Pot is 21 BB.

    Turn is 9 of spades. Now I have a nut flush draw on a wet board to go with my top pair/weak kicker.

    I check again, planning to check/shove. Button checks back.

    River is Q clubs.

    I have 17 BB left. Pot is 21 BB. I bet 8 BB, intending to polarize my hand, and potentially get a K or a J to call, but hoping to block a shove from the button unless he has the nuts.

    Button puts me all in.

    He is fully capable of a bluff here and the board is wet for bluffing. I have to put 9 in to call and the pot is now 46 BB, so I call.

    OK, now tell me all my mistakes.

  • #2
    Don't know about mistake, but -- what if you had three bet pre-flop to about 8BB or so? You are out of position as SB so taking the pot here is not a bad result. If villian calls, you can at least C-bet the flop and see what happens. Perhaps better option than what developed, where you never knew where you stood.

    also, with 17 BB and putting in half of it on the river -- aren't you basically pot committed when you have 16 of your 25 BB in? That seems like a shove on either the turn (preferred) or the river if you're betting there maybe.

    long/short -- I would consider taking the aggressive line early, then giving up if 3-bet/C-bet did not work.
    Last edited by OPK; 04-01-2017, 02:23 PM.


    • #3
      Your choice here is to jam (and maximize your fold equity) or fold (conserve chips), with 25 bb, this scenario illustrates why calling is bad.

      Once the flop hits, again, you should have jammed and taken your chances.


      • #4
        If you think he's that wide, this is a standard shove preflop. You will either get enough fold equity to make a profit or if he doesn't fold often, A6s does pretty good against a wide call range.

        Plus having the A blocks the bigger Ax combos that have you crushed and against any hand but AA you will always have at least 30% equity even against his strongest hands.
        Last edited by jjpregler; 04-01-2017, 10:15 PM.


        • #5
          This is not a good pre flop squeeze situation. The SB is a good position to squeeze from, but there was a limper and a raise and there is not enough in the pot to make a squeeze profitable.

          A6s is a standard squeeze hand, but one of the worst. It does not block much and it does not flop well.

          You would be better shoving with 72o, you have better equity against AK.

          Your stack is not good for a squeeze. 12bb would be good, 40 bb would be good, but 25bb is in no mans land.

          If the limper does have 99 he may decide this is a good spot to get it in against your stack and shut out the button.

          The pre flop call was not so bad. You are in a bad position both relative and absolute. But you think the pot will be three way and you want to take some chances to chip up. A fold would also be OK.

          The check call on the flop was correct.

          The turn was a good card, and does not complete any straight that was not already there on the flop.

          You should shove your 17bb into the 21bb pot. The reason is that you do not want to be guessing on the river when you bric. The board is super dangerous, and there is a good chance he will check behind when you check.

          He is not bluffing on the river, he has a ten. You could easily have a ten when you lead, and you have only 9bb left, not a good spot for him to bluff. You are getting 5 to 1 but you are 20 to 1 to be good, save your last 9bb.

          On the river you should check, you have a bluff catcher. If he is capable of bluffing this river when you check, you can consider calling a bet. But I don't think he is bluffing when you check, because he almost certainly has a pair if he doesn't have a ten, and he should just check behind with his pair.
          Last edited by Patrick O; 04-01-2017, 11:37 PM.


          • #6
            Pre-flop, I think we need to jam. Our stack is roughly 5x the pot, we're blocking Ax hands and the limper's range should be weak and the button's range should be super wide so we should have tons of fold equity. By calling an opponent that you think is c-betting 100% of the time, you're creating a situation on the flop where we're going to have a pretty small SPR and not much room to maneuver.

            As played, I think we're in a weird spot on the flop. If we check/call flop, what is our plan on the turn? I'm not sure I like a c/c flop, open jam turn line. I originally liked the idea of jamming flop but we're basically turning TPWK into a bluff. I guess maybe we check/call flop and check/fold turn assuming our opponent isn't betting two streets with a worse one pair hand or gutshot.
            Last edited by jpgiro; 04-02-2017, 12:24 AM.


            • #7
              I'd fold preflop. But as played, I'd shove the turn. Unless he has at least two pair, he is folding. You set yourself up for tough river decision, and I think you lose with your call, because I just don't see he ever has anything worse than 2 pairs on river here.


              • #8
                Thanks for all the comments, which confirm that there are a lot of different thoughts about how to play, or not play, the hand with this stack size at this point in the tournament and in this position. I would have won the hand and a small pot with a preflop shove, I would have won the hand and a larger pot with a check shove on the flop, I would have won the same additional chips with an open-shove on the turn, but obviously I lost the chance to shove the turn by playing too tricky (in hindsight there was no chance of a bet from the button on the turn), and lost the hand and the tournament on the river. Of course, results do not determine what play is best.