After a 3 day run filled with a number of sick beats, I feel like I've heard this phrase a million times. Donkey makes a stupid call, catches a miracle card, and you get stacked. I've gone back and forth with bet sizing, as I try to decide if I really DO want them to make that call. During a downturn, I tend to bet big, just feeling burned from so many suckouts. But then I realized I was basically turning hands into bluffs because I couldn't get called by worse. For example - Raise to $25 at a 2/5 table, get 4 callers, flop TPTK and bet $100. The hand below illustrates the adjustment I've made, and I'm curious as to whether I've gone too far towards inviting villains into the pot (especially preflop).
Hero ($850) - 35 y/o white male. Regular at this casino. Used to play 1/2 for about two years, but have been playing 2/5 exclusively for the past 3 months. Tend to be the table nit, meaning I don't call raises from UTG w A6o. Many hands are going 4-6 ways, so people are playing all kinds of trash, but I'm not sure anyone is noticing that I'm not, particularly the two Vs in this hand.
Villain 1 ($1500) 50ish Indian guy - playing loose preflop, but also seems to be on a heater. After 1.5 hours at the table, he's shown down AA twice and QQ twice. Also coming through with flopped flushes, sets, etc. He's been making small preflop raises 2-3 times per orbit. Doesn't seem like that great a player - he's made some bad plays, but has been getting bailed out by the deck.
Villain 2 ($420) - 40ish asian guy. Totally gambooler. I've been playing very tight, raising 3-4 hands over the hour, rarely limping, but this guy calls every one of my raises. Also calls very wide against other players too, showing down as bad as 47o after limping and calling from MP.
V1 raises to $20 from MP1. V2 calls from HJ. Hero raises to $60 w A
. Both villains call.
Flop ($182): K
. Hero leads for $100. V1 folds, V2 calls.
Turn ($382) 4
. Hero shoves. $260 for V2 to call. He thinks for a few seconds and calls.
. I make disgusted face and look at villain. He won't show, so I flip over my AK and he shows 4
Now I know that by the turn, he has very good odds to call (assuming I have what I have). Though I probably have one pair hands most of the time, he is in bad shape if I have a set here. He's actually in pretty good shape if I have a higher flush draw though, as I only have 11 outs against his paired 4. My real question is about the streets leading up to this. I intentionally 3bet smallish pre as I knew this guys had loose ranges and didn't want to blow them off their hands. The flop bet was small again for the same reason. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but I wonder if anyone has a simple way to determine at what point does the pot get big enough relative to stack sizes that it simply becomes better to just take it down 100% of the time instead of trying to extract more value from soemthing like a dominated pair or a draw. The $100 ott looks attractive because of the large pot size, but if I know I"m not planning to give a free card on most turns, is it ok to get villain to commit himself?
In some ways, I figure I could just shove the flop (a play that's nearly +$180 in EV since villain hardly ever calls). By the turn, now that villain has picked up equity, my EV is roughly:
= 70%(440) - 30% (260)
= 308 - 87
So it seems it's better to bet small and keep villain in. Can anyone verify the math here and/or come up with an example where the scales are tipped so we prefer villain folds a worse hand than ours? Is there some simple formula we can use on the spot to help decide when to keep villain in and when to blow him off his hand?