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Hit my barrel card vs. tricky opponent in position

MatthewTagliaferri Posts: 18Member
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
Some background, villain is a very good low stakes player that studies the game and is always working to improve. Pretty sure he listens to this podcast, also, FWIW. He definitely knows about barrellng (once I barreled an turned Ace with air and he called with pocket 8s. I didn't triple barrel and he won at showdown).

In this hand, I raise from MP with A8s and he calls on the button. Flop is 952 rainbow. I cbet, he calls. Turn is an ace and brings a backdoor flush draw.

The obvious thought is to bet this turn for value, we've already established that he knows about barreling cards and would call with much of his range. Do we worry about possibility of villain raising? My 8 kicker really can't stand a raise unless we have a very good read that he can do this as a bluff. (He knows that I know that he knows the ace is a good barrel card)....

So I don't know if it's a bet/call or a bet/fold.

But if I don't bet, check/call seems really gross.

Comments

  • reedmylipsreedmylips Posts: 1,145Subscriber
    MatthewTagliaferri said

    Some background, villain is a very good low stakes player that studies the game and is always working to improve. Pretty sure he listens to this podcast, also, FWIW. He definitely knows about barrellng (once I barreled an turned Ace with air and he called with pocket 8s. I didn't triple barrel and he won at showdown).

    In this hand, I raise from MP with A8s and he calls on the button. Flop is 952 rainbow. I cbet, he calls. Turn is an ace and brings a backdoor flush draw.

    The obvious thought is to bet this turn for value, we've already established that he knows about barreling cards and would call with much of his range. Do we worry about possibility of villain raising? My 8 kicker really can't stand a raise unless we have a very good read that he can do this as a bluff. (He knows that I know that he knows the ace is a good barrel card)....

    So I don't know if it's a bet/call or a bet/fold.

    But if I don't bet, check/call seems really gross.
    Hi Matthew,

    Welcome to the forum! Please remember to put at least the stakes and approximate relative stack sizes. Stack size being the most important! Laugh

    You say that you have history with villain where you double-barreled an A on the turn with air, and he called you light. This time, you turn an A and it makes you top pair - yay! Why not bet this turn exactly the same way you did with air on the earlier hand??? Then your range is balanced, and your hand strength is disguised. He will likely not call your flop c-bet and raise the turn with worse than TPBK. Remember last time he just called you with 88 on the turn A, so if he has a 9 or a backdoor FD, he will probably still only call (with you being WAY ahead), and if he has a set or Aces up, he will raise you with the best hand, and you can safely fold.

    GL!
  • shmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    It would help to include stack sizes and bet/pot sizes.

    In general though, I would just ask why you are betting the turn. Are you trying to get value from worse? Maybe, although I doubt he has a worse A - he may have a 9, etc, draws such as 34 or 76 are possible. Are you trying to get better to fold? I doubt a better A, 2 pair or a set folds.

    I think bet/folding is one way of playing this, but if you think there's a specific dynamic here where he would raise you with worse, then I would check. You don't seem to be getting much value from worse or better to fold, and the turn card has given you clear showdown equity and a check adds deception.

    If he bets, I probably call and re-evaluate on the river (he could easily have a higher A here so need to be careful -- however your hand is under-repped). If he checks behind, then I'm bet/folding the river for value.

    I think this hand is an example of how it's tough playing good players OOP, esp with middle-strength holdings.
  • StopHammertimeStopHammertime Posts: 81Member
    This is interesting because of the positions and because of the quality of your ace. I hate these middling aces. You've got a good player on the button, and you're likely to be pushing out people you could over-flush. When you do hit your ace and your opponent has an ace, I don't think you're getting paid off by worse very much.

    You described a dynamic where he understands c-betting, he understands good barrel cards. He could have a 9 here on the turn, he could have two overcards that backed into a flush draw, he could even have a pocket pair that he's being stubborn with. It seems you can definitely get called by worse on the turn.

    He could represent an ace as a bluff here, knowing that it's a good barrel card, and it is hard to call, especially with him having position on you. But then he should also know that raising the turn when he really does have an ace shouldn't get calls from worse very often. Raising you on the turn feels like a semi-bluffed pair+flush draw. 34 is more plausible than 76 but I still think it's a bit of a long-shot that he's got those hands on the turn. Calling your c-bet on the flop with 76 is pretty bad even if he thinks you didn't connect, so I dismiss that. If he's floating you on the flop, which it sounds like he's capable of doing, he's probably folding the turn unless he backed into a flush draw.

    This is a tricky spot but it comes with the territory when you open A8-suited when there's a good player on the button. But the turn is a bet. After all, it's played out relatively ideally for you. Read that first paragraph again; if you're going to play this hand, and c-bet the flop, and hit top pair on the turn, you should bet. This is the most common "good" scenario for you heading into the turn.

    Now, the times he DOES have an ace, you're beat most of the time. It's two pair or AT/AJ (I'm assuming he 3-bets AQ/AK). The only aces you're ahead of here are suited aces that hit one of the suits on the flop with wheel draws - A3 or A4. I don't think you're up against A6 or A7 very often, and when you are, he shouldn't be raising you on the turn given your range, because he's in even more of a way ahead/way behind spot.

    If he's as good as you claim he probably should recognize you as a competent player as well, and probably doesn't want to mix it up too much with another capable player. You guys aren't there to take money from one another. If he has AQ or AK preflop I think he's 3-betting you. I think you rarely get raised on the turn, and when you do it's skewed towards flush draws or maybe the suited aces with wheel draws. If he calls you on the turn I think you can bet/fold the river. But on the river, you're looking to get called by a 9 or a pocket pair; when you're called by an ace, you're likely value-owning yourself (which is just part of life as a value-bettor).

    You're right that getting raised on the turn is the most confusing play. But think about his optimal line if he has a better ace. It's not raising you on the turn; it's calling you on the turn and letting you value-bet the river, because that's how he gets more of your money into the pot. If you don't value bet the river, he should, and maybe he gets a check/call out of you there. If you do value-bet the river, maybe he can talk himself into value-raising you on the river if he's got a big ace (which is a truly next-level play) or, more likely, two pair like A9. So raising you on the turn really doesn't feel like an ace.

    The worst card in the deck on the river? A backdoor-flush completing card that's a 2 or a 3.
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    In general, if he is calling the flop with most/all pairs, straight draws and even some A high floats we are going to have more than enough equity to bet this turn.

    I am comfortable folding to a turn raise as drawing/paired hands that turn flush draws are going to make up a small portion of his range.
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    Betting run seems super standard. Its also a spot i think that if you get called on the turn the best play is to check/call the river. Because of the history you have with the villian and him seeing that you barreled an A turn card previously with a bluff he should know that if you now barrel the turn and bet the river as well that you have a hand than is at least the A. So betting the river would be a spot where all better call and all worse fold.

    However, If you check the river it is going to look like you are just 2 barrelling again so he will turn some of his weaker holdings into bluffs (missed draws ect) since it appears as if you cant have a hand that has value and you are just giving up on the pot. If the river completes the backdoor flush and you check the river, with the information that we assume he knows about you he should be turning all his weaker hands into bluffs on the river to get you to fold out your entire range for the odd time you have TT or something that beats his hand but cannot call a river bet.
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