December 08, 2009

Making Laydowns?

One of the things I don't think I have been that good at over my time playing poker, and where I still need some help, is knowing when to fold. I had a couple of hands recently where a little voice was screaming at me to fold, whilst my gamble side was saying call call call. Still not sure if I made good decisions so would be good to get some input.

villian is 19/18/4%3bet over 128 hands

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Poker Tools by Stoxpoker - Hand Details

UTG: $107.90 (107.9 bb)
MP: $101.50 (101.5 bb)
CO: $112.15 (112.2 bb)
BTN: $98.50 (98.5 bb)
SB: $110.55 (110.6 bb)
Hero (BB): $207.95 (208 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is BB with Q of spades Q of hearts
UTG raises to $3.50, MP folds, CO folds, BTN calls $3.50, SB folds, Hero raises to $14.50, UTG raises to $38, BTN folds, Hero folds

Results: $33 pot
Final Board:
UTG mucked and won $33 ($18.50 net)
Here I squeeze, due to the loose passive who had called from the button, to avoid a 3way pot with Queens, and for value as I think I have the best hand. UTG thinks for a while, presses time, and then re-pops. My experience here is almost always a monster, yet I have seen many of the coaches say that, at 6max, always get it in with qq, as you are up against AK so many times. My thinking here, against a tightish, non spewy utg player, is more likely to be AA-KK, and a shove from AK but would be happy for comment. For example, if you factor in JJ it is correct to shove here.

villain is 32/25/8%3bet and one of the worst, most spewy aggrodonks at this limit, and who is a big loser over a decent hand sample.

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Poker Tools by Stoxpoker - Hand Details
CO: $207.90 (207.9 bb)
BTN: $129.65 (129.7 bb)
SB: $110.30 (110.3 bb)
Hero (BB): $100 (100 bb)
UTG: $446.15 (446.2 bb)
MP: $138.45 (138.5 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is BB with 9 of spades 9 of clubs
UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, BTN raises to $3, SB folds, Hero calls $2

Flop: ($6.50) 6 of hearts K of clubs J of diamonds (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN checks

Turn: ($6.50) 9 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets $5, BTN calls $5
So now I am a bit suspicious. This guy cbets 90% of the time, yet he checked the K high flop.

River: ($16.50) 5 of clubs (2 players)
Hero bets $12.50, BTN raises to $121.65 and is all-in, Hero folds
I can't see anything here beyond QT, KK and JJ. It's a common thing amongst losing players to slowplay monsters, especially ones like this guy, who just plays the notion of being able to bet people of hands, without considering what they may have. It's also a common thing for same losing players to shove all-in-overbet at some point, but usually the river, because they think it looks like a bluff and they will get called, when they have the mortal nuts.

It turns into a pretty easy fold for me, because I do not think he is nearly good enough to know how to elicit a call from me, and the action just reeks of a monster. But, please tell me otherwise, grateful for any comment.

Results: $41.50 pot ($2.05 rake)
Final Board: 6 of hearts K of clubs J of diamonds 9 of diamonds 5 of clubs
BTN mucked and won $39.45 ($18.95 net)


  1. you know me and my game so here goes: -

    Hand 1 - think fold was correct. His 4bet wants to play for stacks. Not many hands but smells of AA/KK.

    Hand 2 - Timing tells? Understand your thinking but you are in BB and you didn't 3bet pre. Does he think your range is strong? I doubt he has put you on a set. Has he seen you being aggressive and making plays? I would probably close my eyes and call it off. The fact that he is a little deep might concern me (lol...) How often does he steal? His range has to be pretty wide AJs? KJ, K6, K9, (unlikely) J6s, 66? despite the way he played it I don't think you can easily put a guy like that on KK, JJ. But as I don't play 100 so probably not a relevant comment.

  2. I haven't looked at the HHs yet, but, ffs, your gambling side should be saying raise!!

    OK, but these HHs, not so much.... 2nd hand, good fold, imo.

  3. I like your fold on hand #1. Certainly not easy to lay down QQ pre, but I think you were right. If he had AK, I don't think he repops to $38, that's more likely a ship it or simply call your bet. Especially since he's out of position, he's not worried about getting outplayed if it goes to a flop, if he were he would likely shove.

    On hand #2, I see how you can immediately think he's got the nuts with a bet like that. But the way he played the hand, his range is just so wide. With the way you suggest he is playing, I'd say he's more likely to hold 87s than Q10/JJ/KK. If he really had one of these three hands I think he'd be raising you on the turn. But at the same time, I could just as easily put him on KJ, K6s, K5s and want to look him up here. In the end though, this hands looks more to me like 87s than any other hand, so I still think you made the correct laydown.

  4. When the money goes in, they usually have it.

    Hand #1, I think that shove or fold are both valid, as you say he can easily have JJ or TT and not want to see a flop. I'd say that the ability to fold QQ here is the most important thing here, good fold.

    Hand #2, probably a good fold, but if he is such a loser you may be reading too much into it. AK and 66 could bothe be played this way I am sure. Again, on balance I'd say "good fold".

  5. Hand 2. I think that not RRing an opener on the button with 99 from the BB in a 6 max game is a mistake against a spewy agrodonk. Equally, I think that not betting the flop showed weakness. You either have to show weakness to trap or accept that your opponent will probably try to fill the vacuum. The preflop call and the check on the flop screams "pocket pair that is frightened of a couple of overcards". You were left in a tough spot on the river where the villian could have been bluff shoving a missed diamond flush draw or Kx or even ace high given that this loser could have been opening on the button with virtually any 2. Not calling the river shove unless you have the mortal nuts is an expensive mistake. So you get coolered a time or two? Long term, calling with your set, you will be a winner against this guy because he will never give you credit for hitting your set on the turn. He thinks, from your line, that at best you paired the J or the 9. That said, I would have bet/called or plain shoved the set on the river to avoid an attempted bluff on the end, knowing that most of the time you are good because the villain has a proven capacity to float like he did. The reality is that you had a monster of your own. If I was a spewy agrodonk, 66 would probably be in my button opening range and would explain his line too. Given that villain had more than a buy in, you have to be right less than half the time to show a profit.

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  7. Hand 1. A UTG open raise from a tight player is always a concern. A 3x pot RR from you squeezes the button and will really get a tight UTG thinking if he has anything less than AA. Any further action PF from UTG then you fold knowing that you saved most of your stack. I think he hit the time button as he contemplated his RR and a puke call to your possible shove with you holding AA while he was holding KK QQ AK and maybe JJ. As with Hand 2, your PF play seems somewhat timid and thus creates problems later. As played, I can see UTG turning up with AK and AQs and maybe even JJ here. A larger PF raise virtually commits him to shoving the flop if you check and he thinks he has you beat and gives you the option of shoving or c/c if no overcards fall. Remember, your deep stack is intimidating to players at this level.

  8. i cant disagree nuch with most of the comments. i certainly think a case can be made for playing 99 a different way. 3betting is fine if you dont like playing oop, but i think i can win more money by calling pre, cos i am better than him. i am certainly not calling to set mine, whole point is to take it away from him on flop or turn. had he bet that particular flop however, i prob would have folded. LEX i dont really agree with the aggro line there, but i think you can make a case and thats fine. calling the shove prob would be ok, but before you do that you would have to think what could he have, it was the way he played it before then. 66 is going for showdown here i think, even from him. so if you think he has 66, you are puttin him on a stone cold bluff. calling a full stack on a hunch he may be bluffing is not something i am keen to do, despite the fact this donk is prob capable of it. had he fired on all 3 streets with my set, it would be a diff story
    regarding the 1st hand folding the QQ, you need to do the maths on it. even factoring in JJ you are still an underdog to his range, and of you think he folds jj then you are crushed by his range. what else could he be 4betting? another bluff? tt?

    thanks for all comments, very good comments

  9. Probably I didn't make my intentions with my suggested lines clear enough. Allow me to clarify.

    Hand 1. I am not actually suggesting that you were going to get to a flop let alone a showdown. What I am saying is that the size of your RR didn't put enough pressure on the villain for you to be able to clarify his holding. A 3-4 x pot 3bet in this spot would significantly reduce the chances of a villain with those stats holding less than KK if he was going to 4bet you PF and thus you would rest easier knowing that you made a good fold. Yes, you are giving up more money for better information but that dovetails with the idea, as you mentioned, that in many of these spots you will be up against AK and could well be up against a holding like QQ, JJ or AQs and thus would be making either a debatable fold or a bad fold. My read based on your account of his timing tell was that he was holding KK and with you playing strongly PF there was a chance that if he called your 3 bet PF that he could possibly be forced to fold on the flop believing that you were holding AA. I don't feel that it is correct to generalise that a villain with those stats is never folding KK especially if you have showed supreme strength and a scary (for him) board hits. Equally I don't think that you have adequately accounted for the idea that the villain may have picked up that you are possibly playing an exploitable strategy where he can be reasonably certain that you will fold QQ or less to a significant PF 4bet. QQ, as you know, is a vulnerable holding that needs to be protected against both an opponent that is trying to run you over with an inferior holding and an opponent who has you praying for a 2-outer to hit the board. A larger PF raise represents a compromise between the "stick it in PF" brigade and the line you actually took.

  10. Hand 2. I don't see that the villain holding 66 is a stone cold bluff. He would have hit a set on the flop and we all know that usually stacks are won in set over set situations. Equally, I think it is in the ambit of even a TAG to change gears and open raise 66 on the button as a blind steal play on a 6 max table. Dammit(!) if I thought the blinds were playing too tight, I could be capable of bet/fold 22 PF on the button and mucking face up for advertising value to encourage them to play back at me when I do have a premium holding in that spot. A great asset is the ability to pick your opponent and pick your spot. I think that given your well documented distaste of the hyperaggrodonks you need to either choose an avoidance strategy or be prepared to fight fire with fire in this spot. A bald statement like "cos i am better than him" unfortunately is not substantiated by the result in the hand. Flatting 99 OOP PF in this spot, against this opponent will mostly set you up, as you indicated ("who just plays the notion of being able to bet people of{sp?} hands, without considering what they may have"), to have him bet you off your hand. You see? You know what his little game is! What I think you need to do is make a decision as to whether or not you are going to avoid (i.e. fold PF in this spot) or exploit a very, very exploitable weakness in his strategy. Look, I sympathise with you, I really do. I know it is hard for a player who is a winning player at this level, by playing reasonably tight and correct, to LAG it up against a LAGgy player. But honestly, I think you need to focus on 3 very proper strategies when playing hyperaggrodonk: 1. Situational awareness (i.e. this is a good spot to give him some of his own medicine). 2. Countering a villain who is floating you (which I believe he was doing with his turn call) 3. Snapping off bluffs or not giving the opportunity for him to bluff.

    I hope that you can view my willingness to the continue debate about these hands, particularly hand 2. in the spirit in which it is meant. I will refer you to Part 5. of Holdem Poker For Advanced Players, where short handed play is discussed. Specifically, the section called "Calling or Reraising Before the Flop", advocates RR TT from the BB after an open raise from the button. I respectfully suggest that it is correct to broaden that range to include 99 against this villain.


  11. no lex, i appreciate the comments.
    hand 1)stack size makes no difference to whether he has ak, aa, kk. As i said, maybe he does have JJ, although from his stats its just so unlikely, and if so , he will give me his stack when i have him crushed, so good luck to him. i also beleive bet sizing in that spot makes no difference. i raised pot, maybe pot+2bb would have been better because i am oop. but a minor issue. anymore is spewy
    hand 2)i cant argue with your line, i think its fine. i just honestly believe 66 is at the bottom of his range there, and i dont have enough invested to take the guessing route.