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Is it worth hero calling at lower stakes and when is it worth the home run swing?

dapperdave Posts: 26Member
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
I play 1-2 and 2-5 no limit. Every session I run into the situation where the villain and I wind up on the river and he bets either 1/3, 1/4 or 1/5 on the pot and I have to decide whether he is making a cheap bluff or a cheap value bet.

I find that the majority of times that it turns out to be a cheap value bet where the villain has two pair or higher. I am strongly considering just folding in these spots. What has been your experience in these spots?

Another scenario I run into in every session is what I call the home run swing. I realize I am wrong on this hand but it just so tempting to play it (and I know we all been there).
1-2 no limit. I have 100 dollars behind me.
MP3-limps in. I call on from cutoff with QJ off. Button calls, SB calls. The big blind raises to 12. MP3 calls. I call. SB & BB calls.

The flop Kd Qs Jd. The SB bets 1/2 pot. The BB makes it 60. MP3 folds.

Here is my thoughts- This is going to be possible 350-400 pot. I have two pair with the hopes of hitting a full house. I know that SB might have either a straight or flush draw. I know that the big blind has either AA or a set (if he has a set of Queens or Jacks I am screwed).

I wind up calling. Button calls, SB goes all in for 20 more, BB calls, I call and the button calls. Every one is basically all-in. The turn a 4d and the river is 2d.

SB shows 9T for a straight, the big blind shows a set of queens and the button shows AdKc for the flush and the winning hand.

Are you ever tempted to play for that "home run" hand or do you show more discipline than I did?


  • chilidog Posts: 2,427Subscriber
    Vs a bet and a raise in a multi way pot just muck. There are certainly times to go for the home run, but this is not it. Also, don't post results in the OP.
  • StopHammertimeStopHammertime Posts: 81Member
    I don't mind him posting the results, because it's merely an example of him not being able to get away from certain spots - not a question of whether he played a specific hand properly.

    The river value bets that you keep calling is a pretty easy fix, and you seem to realize that. I don't think anyone who has listened to three Bart Hanson podcasts is going to get away without hearing him preach about not hero-calling river bets at these levels.

    As for the specific hand you posted, maybe you can call the first time preflop but you can never really overcall when BB raises. This is mostly, I believe, because of your stack size. It's a $60 pot before the flop is even dealt, you've got either $90-100 behind on the flop, and then someone bets half pot and BB min-raises, and you just call? Even when you make your boat, you might not be good here. But I don't see how you can just call on the flop. It's a very awkward spot to be in, for sure, because really, this is amongst the best flops you can hope for.

    This all could have been avoided by folding a middling hand like QJ offsuit preflop. Play hands pre-flop that are appropriate to your stack size and the stack sizes of the aggressor in the hand. By "home run swing" hands, what you really mean are "implied odds" hands. And with these stack sizes, you don't have the implied odds to limp-call hands like QJo to a raise with a caller behind you pre-flop.

    Are you calling suited-connectors out of position pre-flop as well? Stuff like 98s from the blinds? That's probably eating you alive, too. Listen to Bart's Deuce Plays Premium episode 43 titled "15-25-35".

    These "home run swing" hands can make big hands when they hit, but like your example in the original post, even when they hit a big hand they can still lose. They look pretty pre-flop but you need to keep in mind that they don't hit often enough for you to play them 100% of the time you get them, even if you are on the button.

    I've been learning about PLO lately and this element is something that I think can really apply to no-limit holdem. In the Jeff Hwang PLO book, he gives you a bunch of PLO hands and asks you to think of the best possible flops for those hands. It really illustrates to you the difference between seemingly similar hands. You don't need to read the book or play PLO to adopt this, though. When you look down at a hand like QJo in this spot, imagine the good flops for you, and imagine how you can play them with the stack sizes that are present. KQJ might seem like a good flop for QJo - you can stack AK! - but with all this action and all the people that have seen this flop, and your position, and the stack sizes, it's just awful.
  • whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    +1 to everything Hammer said.

    First, pretty much nobody bets very small on the river as a bluff at these stakes (often correctly so, since nobody folds anything), so just fold every time and be happy about it.

    In hand 2, the preflop call is bad, for the reasons stated. Mainly because there are too many people in the hand, the SPR is too low, and your relative position is bad. You either flop nothing and have to fold, or you flop a little something like J93, AQ7 etc. And even on Q33 or KQJ you really are not happy if lots of money goes in. The likelyhood that you'll make a very expensive mistake (either playing for stacks with the worse hand or folding the best hand / lots of equity) is just too big!
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