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Is it ever correct to make a bad call?

PhulHouze Posts: 200Member
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
2/5 game playing on the looser side. Villain is mid 20s Asian who sat down an orbit or two ago. I limp w JJ UTG, and V raises it to 20 from mp. Huge donk lady calls otb and I raise to 70. Villain shoves for 200 on top of my 70, btn folds. I tanked for a long time, chatted the guy up a bit and determined he didn't seem nervous at all. So I'm thinking he almost never does this with a hand worse than my jacks, and I'm pretty sure he has aces. I think I need 4:1 to call if he has aces and I'm only getting like 1.85:1. However, I figure if I call and I'm right about his hand, it's a small mistake, whereas if I fold incorrectly its a huge mistake. So I called, he had aces, and I turned a jack, just to make my donkish play utterly complete.

Can anyone comment on whether there is any logic here or just wishful thinking? Am I correct to try to average my equity the percentage of times I'm correct about his range with my equity the percentage of times I'm wrong, or is that just creating a double range to convince myself to make a bad call?

Comments

  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,085Subscriber
    This is why you dont limp utg with a value hand.. You level yourself into thinking someone is making a move when they basically never do.

    So think of this another way. From villains point of view. when you limp reraise what does your hand look like? AK at worst and most likely KK and AA.. so what would villain reraise AA? CUZ HE HAS AA YOU BOZO! wink

    So next time raise your value hands regardless of how early position you are in and you will do a much better job of defining villains range when he three bets an utg raise. then you can safely fold your JJ knowing very well you are way behind. Or even better Villain may raise small enough that not only does he define his range as basically QQ+ PLUS he is giving you odds to try and flop your set. Thats when you stack someone with AA..

    The way you played it your range was defined not his and you didnt give yourself any price to hit your set. see the difference?

    Try the limp reraise against a reg opener and a fish overcaller with Ax suited and basically nothing else..

    ww
  • AesahAesah Posts: 1,048Pro
    every time you fold incorrectly vs two overs (such as AK), you cost yourself $70 in EV, every time you call vs a higher pair you cost yourself $120 in EV, so I'm not sure where the "fold = huge mistake" and "call = small mistake" comes from because incorrectly calling is almost twice as expensive against a specific hand

    the best way to approach these situations though is just to put a reasonable weighted range in for villain in an equity calculator and see if you have odds to call.
  • PokerIsFrustrating Posts: 657Member
    First of all limp/rr jj specifically is pretty bad because you get all worse hands to fold and if you're called you're either flipping or a huge dog.

    The way to evaluate whether you have equity to call is to range your hand vs his entire range. If he has qq+ he is 80% and ak he is 45%. So if he has ak 50% of the time and aa 50% of the time your equity would need to be around the high 30%s vs his range. Just going off of my head bc I don't have stove right now.

    I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of equities. You need to first decide roughly how much of the time he has which hand and then weight the equities. You're not trying to guess which specific hand in his range he might have.

    If you're not getting the correct odds to call vs his range you fold, even being aware that there might be hands in his range that you would have equity to call against (or that you may even be ahead of).
  • PhulHouze Posts: 200Member
    Makes sense...so it seems everyone agrees this is a fold.

    Curious as to TheHammahs response about never limp rring w a value hand. In the game I play, a raise from utg is pretty undesirable, as moderate raise sizes get many callers, and jacks are very difficult to play oop against 6 players. I I raise to something like 40, I'm probably never getting called unless I'm beat or flipping. How do you deal w post flop in such a scenario?

    Earlier in the same session, I limped qq utg+2. Sb raised to 30 and utg l/rred to 60. I folded and utg ended up having AA. So in a game where every hand is being raised, I can often get some info about villains' holdings by limping in ep and seeing what Happens behind. Of course the information is incomplete, but still perhaps better than just firing into darkness.
  • AesahAesah Posts: 1,048Pro
    I could be mistaken but I get the impression you're treating preflop like a completely different game than... poker.

    You wouldn't check KQo on a Q97ss flop to "get some info about villains' holdings by [checking] and seeing what Happens behind", would you?

    Instead you would usually just bet and be "firing into darkness". In general we bet or raise whenever we have a value hand. If there's a maniac behind us who will always bet, then we can check/raise KQ on Q97 or limp/raise JJ preflop for value. However when we get 3-bet or 4-bet then it's probably a fold in either case.
  • NicholasK Posts: 237Member
    PhulHouze said
    ... In the game I play, a raise from utg is pretty undesirable, as moderate raise sizes get many callers, and jacks are very difficult to play oop against 6 players. I I raise to something like 40, I'm probably never getting called unless I'm beat or flipping. How do you deal w post flop in such a scenario? ...
    Your decision to play JJ pre passively is essentially a decision to setmine with them instead of isolating and trying to get max value in a HU pot. Postflop becomes easier to play (even OOP) when you realizing you're treating them the same as you would 88.

    FWIW the hand that you limped UTG+2 with QQ pre was pretty terrible, you invited every K10 and A9 to join the party and the value of your queens diminished.
  • fishcake Posts: 935Subscriber
    I feel that people get too scared of playing a big pair from EP OOP in a multiway pot sometimes. It's going to happen sometimes, it's poker. Limping is so much worse than raising, IMO. Being the aggressor is such a huge advantage in live poker, especially. Just open raise your hands from up front, you're still getting value preflop and should be able to figure out where you are at post flop with any sort of hand reading skills.
  • Medic2038 Posts: 27Subscriber
    PhulHouze said

    Curious as to TheHammahs response about never limp rring w a value hand. In the game I play, a raise from utg is pretty undesirable, as moderate raise sizes get many callers, and jacks are very difficult to play oop against 6 players. I I raise to something like 40, I'm probably never getting called unless I'm beat or flipping. How do you deal w post flop in such a scenario?

    Earlier in the same session, I limped qq utg+2. Sb raised to 30 and utg l/rred to 60. I folded and utg ended up having AA. So in a game where every hand is being raised, I can often get some info about villains' holdings by limping in ep and seeing what Happens behind. Of course the information is incomplete, but still perhaps better than just firing into darkness.
    Sometimes you'll have that. My typical open from UTG is 5xBB whereas in later position I do 4x+1.
    I basically had almost that exact same scenario play out last week. I raised UTG with QQ and the flop came AKx with 5 other people in the hand. I didn't even cbet here because of the number of players (all to act behind me).

    Basically ask yourself "why am I raising here?"
    A limp 3bet is almost always some kind of big pair, you might as well turn your hand face up. Like she was saying though with QQ you're almost never ever getting called by worse. You're pushing out most of the hands that you'd get value from.

    Any type of info you think you can get from a limp/3bet you can definitely get from opening. Most live players are absolutely horrible with 3betting and are only going to be doing it with AK (maybe), and QQ+. It almost seems like you're kind of afraid to play post flop OOP.
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    Take your hand and put it against his range. If his range it QQ+ and AK then it doesnt matter what hand he has this 1 time you should still fold given the price you are getting. Results from 1 individual hand doesnt matter.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,085Subscriber
    PhulHouze said

    Makes sense...so it seems everyone agrees this is a fold.

    Curious as to TheHammahs response about never limp rring w a value hand. In the game I play, a raise from utg is pretty undesirable, as moderate raise sizes get many callers, and jacks are very difficult to play oop against 6 players. I I raise to something like 40, I'm probably never getting called unless I'm beat or flipping. How do you deal w post flop in such a scenario?

    Earlier in the same session, I limped qq utg+2. Sb raised to 30 and utg l/rred to 60. I folded and utg ended up having AA. So in a game where every hand is being raised, I can often get some info about villains' holdings by limping in ep and seeing what Happens behind. Of course the information is incomplete, but still perhaps better than just firing into darkness.
    As others have said already. Its tempting to "thin the field" when you have a bigger pair upfront. Dont get trapped by this thinking. Your mantra should always be "value value value" what that means is one hand doesnt matter so stop trying to win every hand. When you try to win every hand you pay a toll each hand you play to do this.That toll or loss of players that are dominated or a player sees your limp reraise and folds AT or TT or 99 and you lose value.

    You need to expect to get sucked out on .. But bet folding is the way to go. When you bet fold you get the EXACT information you need to narrow villains range. And since you bet this information is more accurate than if you check. Its much much more difficult to raise a better with crap than to bet a checker. So when someone raises you after you bet they are so much more likely strong and you can then read the board and narrow their range. CAPISH?

    A way to get used to betting more often and on boards that seem scary is every so often go play a limit holdem game. There you have to bet one pair hands on board with overcards.. bet tp into boards that have flushes and you just have to bet to get value.. then when you get raised you just fold. this is a great way to keep practicing bet folding and thin value betting..

    JJ should not be considered "the nuts" cuz its just a middle pair.. not a small pair cuz many times if there are no cards over a jack its going to be the best hand ..BUT.. 50% of the time overcards come on the board and you just have to learn to play these hands oop to really be a big winning player.

    keep up the work my man and keep posting hands so we can discuss them and hopefully you learn and get better! I did!

    ww
  • PokerIsFrustrating Posts: 657Member
    I don't like to limp reraise but it isn't a completely useless play. Vs the right opponents in the right game it can be very profitable.

    Jj is a terrible hand to do it with though, because unless you think they are calling or shoving tens or worse, or ace jack or worse you are usually getting them to fold all the hands you want them to call with and only getting called by hands you rare to be either 50/50 or a huge dog.

    With aa, if you can get calls obviously you're ahead. With some junk hand like a3s you can get better to fold sometimes. Jj doesn't really make sense.

    I think the key here ks a fundamental misunderstanding of how ranges work (and gbucks etc). You can be ahead of a portion of villains range and still be crushed by his overall range. You don't call hoping to get lucky and get the small portion of hands that you beat. That is a fundamental mistake along the lines of calling with a big underdog, sucking out and thinking that you made the right play because you won.
  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    I think there have been a lot of good response about this hand but you go back to the original question.

    Is it ever correct to make a bad call? I think the answer is a big YES.

    Regardless of the -EV there are rare situation when making a poor play is OK. Mostly it has to do with giving good customers action. I strongly believe in giving good customers actions in certain situations.

    What is a good customer? Most people call them Fish. I personally hate that term.

    If you play with a Good Customer often, you know a lot about his game and you expect him to continue playing.... then it is OK IMO to gamble with them. To accept -EV spots from time to time. Try not to pick too bad of spots. But it is OK to get it in bad against them.

    But if it is a Bad Customer... Good Regs, Pros, Nits.... then it is always a mistake to take -EV lines against them. They will not return the favor. They will hoard your cash and use your -EV line against you. Don't gamble with Bad Customers.

    Gamble with Fish is my motto. I try not to take the worst of it but sometimes I get my money in Very Bad. But if I think they are sticking around I find they often just return the favor. And I get them for more money is spots where they are Very Bad against me.

    In the end, the best situation you can reach is a point in your life where the Good Customers seek you out! They ask to be moved to your table. They look for you at the table. If you can achieve this though being nice to them or being a jerk to them doesn't make a difference. I think regardless of how to treat them, they seek action. Give them action and they will return the favor.


    I have a perfect example from the other night. I sat down with my customer and he c/R me +300 AI. I thought there was a small chance he was on a FD and my Ace High was good. I called because he seem like a good customer (I hadn't played with him too much but still seem good to me). He had JJ and I got my 300 in bad. About 40 minutes later I got AA. The flop was Q high and by the turn we had gotten 700 AI. I won the hand. Now perhaps he would have stacked off 700 with TP to anyone... but I am not always sure. These days even the Good Customers are getting better. But I find it much easier to get it all in when less than an hour before he knows I paid him off with Ace High.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,085Subscriber
    JCW brings up a good point.. but one thing I would put an * next to is if you are trying to set up some kind of meta game with a bad player and you decide to make a -EV play to get a big +EV situation later.. do it in a small pot.. NOT in an all in pot.. players never look at how much you win or lose in a hand but that you won or lost a hand with say some kind of junk..

    So if the bad player has a small stack and you get it in with say a weak ace and have to show.. no biggie.. but dont do it with JJ vs AA in a 100bbs pot that is just lighting money on fire..

    ww
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    I think there are better ways to get a gambly image than to take the worst of it. lie about your hand when you call river and lose. say something like lol i just had A high i thought you were bluffing or something like that. Vs a bad villian calling with lighter draws is going to still be +ev as you can expect to get paid off more when you hit.
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    1. It's ok to make bad calls early in a session to see your opponent hand and get better understanding of his ranges.
    2. If you want to limp/reraise to get more FE do it with Ax. You have a blocker to AA and you have more equity vs KK,QQ. Save JJ to limp/calling for setmining. This way you make limping range of Ax and JJ more profitable.
    3. If you limp/reraise shortstack you need to know what you do if he ships before you reraise.
  • Medic2038 Posts: 27Subscriber
    PokerIsFrustrating said

    I don't like to limp reraise but it isn't a completely useless play. Vs the right opponents in the right game it can be very profitable.

    I absolutely agree there's some unique circumstances that can make it a very profitable play. I sometimes use it on straddlers that are bumping it a lot. It's also kind of risky for the few occasions the straddler doesn't put in a massive raise.
  • ThatOtherJeremy Posts: 314Member
    JCW said

    I think there have been a lot of good response about this hand but you go back to the original question.

    Is it ever correct to make a bad call? I think the answer is a big YES.

    Regardless of the -EV there are rare situation when making a poor play is OK. Mostly it has to do with giving good customers action. I strongly believe in giving good customers actions in certain situations.

    What is a good customer? Most people call them Fish. I personally hate that term.

    If you play with a Good Customer often, you know a lot about his game and you expect him to continue playing.... then it is OK IMO to gamble with them. To accept -EV spots from time to time. Try not to pick too bad of spots. But it is OK to get it in bad against them.

    But if it is a Bad Customer... Good Regs, Pros, Nits.... then it is always a mistake to take -EV lines against them. They will not return the favor. They will hoard your cash and use your -EV line against you. Don't gamble with Bad Customers.

    Gamble with Fish is my motto. I try not to take the worst of it but sometimes I get my money in Very Bad. But if I think they are sticking around I find they often just return the favor. And I get them for more money is spots where they are Very Bad against me.

    In the end, the best situation you can reach is a point in your life where the Good Customers seek you out! They ask to be moved to your table. They look for you at the table. If you can achieve this though being nice to them or being a jerk to them doesn't make a difference. I think regardless of how to treat them, they seek action. Give them action and they will return the favor.


    I have a perfect example from the other night. I sat down with my customer and he c/R me +300 AI. I thought there was a small chance he was on a FD and my Ace High was good. I called because he seem like a good customer (I hadn't played with him too much but still seem good to me). He had JJ and I got my 300 in bad. About 40 minutes later I got AA. The flop was Q high and by the turn we had gotten 700 AI. I won the hand. Now perhaps he would have stacked off 700 with TP to anyone... but I am not always sure. These days even the Good Customers are getting better. But I find it much easier to get it all in when less than an hour before he knows I paid him off with Ace High.
    "Bad" is a pretty ambiguous term in poker. If we are speaking purely in terms of EV, I cant see much of a case for making "bad" calls. The thing about fish is, they rarely have the bowl to themselves. That said, there are arguments for making higher variance plays, but those (IMO) are LARGELY win-rate dependent. Your own win-rate at whatever stakes you play over a larger sampling of hands should determine the frequency of making plays that are EV-neutral to slightly -EV.

    But PhulHouze, I think that you are really not completely understanding the concept of equities in NLHE. This is a game of value extraction with winning hands vs the likely holdings of your opponents. We will always be "dark" in the sense that information will always be imperfect and incomplete. But poker does not exist in a vacuum. Our actions AND inactions all influence what will happen in in the hand. You make the game less fluid (and more challenging) when you play to "protect" money that hasn't even gone in the middle. You will find by taking a stronger lead with value hands in EP, people will eventually lower their three bet frequencies. Those that don't can be easily exploited for more value.
  • PhulHouze Posts: 200Member
    I do think my biggest weakness is being overly cautious. When I was playing 1-2 I became pretty desensitized to the money to the point where I would play all kinds of junk hands, and since my opponents were basically playing face-up, I would try to move them off mediocre holdings. Problem is, at that level everyone thinks you're bluffing, so unimproved AK w go all the way down even when top pair pairs or small card one-liners to a straight come, and stuff that should be really scary to them. I also got involved in too many situations where I'd flop two pair, get it in four ways and have to dodge 47 outs, so the swings were killing me.

    Since I switched to 2-5 about a month ago, I've been playing like a bit of a nit most of the time. Occasionally when I've stepped out and started raising hands like A9o from LP over a few limpers, or when I've fired a cbet when I flop air, I've basically gotten punished for it, so it's kept me playing tight which isn't entirely a bad thing.

    When I'm uptrending I tend to be all about value, but when I'm downswinging, I just think about not losing my stack and staying in the game long enough for a big hit, because it's not hard to get it in with nuttish hands where I play. I'd say that in most of my sessions over the past month, I'l play 4-5 hands over a 3-4 hour session and make 200-400 bucks by only betting in scenarios where I'm pretty sure I have my opponents crushed.

    Two examples from my last session: Maniac one seat to my left, I overlimp KK from MP1. Maniac raises to 40 (as he has on every hand that's been limped to him). 8 callers. I shove for $450. Maniac folds, superdonk lady calls w TJo, everyone else folds. Board runs out 34567. LOL. Still not quite ready to give up on the l/rr when sooo many players will call raises pre with ATC. When I open raise w KK, and play the hand ten ways I'm basically praying for a K82r board. At this particular type of table, I just think it's crazy to try to setmine with kings, and that's the only way to make a big enough PF raise that you can thin the field and still get value. 3 players at the table told me how "lucky" I was because I got them to fold their 88, 78, etc..lol

    Hour or two later, I've moved across table from maniac and I call his $10 straddle w As7s from CO. Flop comes 773r. Maniac leads 35. I raise to $100. He calls. Turn 8 brings backdoor clubs. He leads $150, I raise all in for $300 more. He snaps it off w 72o, river 3. Somehow he doesn't realize I haven't gotten involved since KK 2 hours ago...So my nitty play didn't really help this session - I made $65 over 3 hours, but I still think it's a profitable strategy against players who just toss their stacks in with anything. I've definitely seen a lot of regs at this game who make insane hourlies by getting $1000 stacks in with QQ on a KT569 board and getting called by a 10, but they tend to have reads on particular players from playing against the same pool for a while, and they can reach in their pocket for another K without thinking twice if they have to. As I'm still acquainting myself with the player pool at this level, and because I have a limited bankroll, I'm happy to pass on some value for now in higher variance situations. Point taken, though, that JJ is probably not the best hand to be making the l/rr play - UTG at a wild table could be best to just setmine...

    P.S. - I wish I could say I was making the JJ play for metagame purposes, but it was just me being a donkey and getting lucky. I don't know where you guys play that you feel the need to trick your opponents into getting money in the pot. Most of my opponents are such gamboolers that, if anything, I go for the "hand of God" image Bart talks about...if I have a loose image, players become more willing to play back at me with medium strength holdings. When I have a tight image, they still call me down because they 'just have to see it,' but they're not check-raising K5 on a KT4 board to "see where they're at," and forcing me to a real decision about whether my KQ is good.

    Thanks everyone for all the advice. It's been a long time since I actually played anything that felt like poker (1-2 is just bingo)
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