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$5/10, pocket tens on the button

shmed Posts: 321Subscriber
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
Would love thoughts on a mangled hand. $5/10, $1000 deep, $20 straddle UTG. CO $500 deep raises to $50, I had two black Ts on the button, I was relatively new to the table and probably had a neutral-ish image. CO was relatively fit/fold and I thought that I could isolate him by reraising with a better hand, rather than call and invite the blinds in. So I reraise to 150. SB calls $500 deep, he's a straight-forward player that usually short-stacks and generally has it if he's involved by the river. Straddle calls, he has me covered, he's the unpredictable guy I described from a previous post that plays ATC, defends blinds liberally and check raises quite a bit with a wide range of bluffs and value hands post flop (same session but this was much earlier so I knew less about him). CO calls. Pot $610.

Flop comes As9s6s. All check around to me. I cbet $250 (I now have $600 behind). SB surprisingly just calls, leaving him with $100. Straddle/ATC guy min-raises to $500. CO folds.

Would love to hear your thoughts on three points:
1) Thoughts on 3-betting tens on the button? I would usually actually call in this spot given I'll have position post flop. My thinking was to iso the fit/fold guy and also if it goes 5-handed I'm really just set-mining since there will often be an overcard on the flop, and harder multi-way.
2) Cbetting the monotone flop with a FD esp with these stack sizes? My thinking at the time is most of the time I could take the pot down on the scary board, and if not, I had a redraw if I happened to be against an A. Bet sizing?
3) Flop action after being flatted/min-raised? Bear in mind even though early in the session, I had already seen straddle call PF, raise/check-raise with garbage and unexpected made hands -- my read at the time is that he could really have a wide range here. SB likely has a hand but we're pretty much committed to him now.

Comments

  • whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    Very interesting hand, shmed!

    1) I am a bit torn between 3betting and flatcalling as well. I think both are generally fine and it's a close decision. Just some minor thoughts:
    - How tight is CO? Does he call the 3bet with worse hands, or do you solely rely on fold equity postflop if he misses?
    - The fact that CO only has 500 eff. makes me prefer flatcalling. Especially after the straddle, there's not much room to maneuver postflop.
    - If you decide to 3bet to isolate, I would size the 3bet smaller. I assume you expect him to call often (since you refered to his fit-or-fold tendency), but 4bet only with premiums. If that's the case, a 3bet to 130 should serve the same purpose as a larger bet. By doing this, you have a slightly larger SPR postflop, which is good since you have position on him
    - Are you surprised that the straddler cold-called your 3bet, or does he cold-call from OOP very liberally? I don't want to be results oriented. But in case you are hardly surprised, then I would tend to rather flatcall pre. If you expect to end up in a 3way pot at least some of the time, it really becomes a difficult spot with TT and the stack sizes as they are.

    2) I don't like cbetting in this spot all that much.
    - since SB seems to have a hand here, I wouldn't expect him to fold that often. He either has an Ace or he has a high pair like KK-JJ, which has a high spade with it around 50% of the time. To get him to fold those hands, you either have to bomb the flop or barrel flop AND turn. This means, you have to decide on the flop to eitehr go with the hand, no matter what, or to give up.
    - the fact that SB is loose makes we want to check behind the flop. There are a lot of hands that have some equity on this flop, which he probably won't fold for a small cbet. But the SPR doesn't allow you to fire larger and barrel multiple streets to get him of those hands.
    - If you decide to cbet, I like your sizing. It actually should look very strong to thinking opponents, and you can easily get your stack in on the turn.
    - The general problem is that, out of 3 opponents, at least one guy will have an ace most of the time, and he won't fold it for 250.

    3) As said above, I understand the flop decision as a "go with the hand" or "give up" decision. Therefore, I made up my decision to go with the hand when I decided for/against the cbet. However, SB's minraise changes things quite a bit.
    - The pot is pretty big now, and you only have 600 behind. I don't think you have any fold equity anymore.
    - Are you sure the SB would make a move with trash also against 3 opponents? I understand he generally is aggro and often light, but in this spot he would have to be completely ignorant of who's involved in a hand and how the preflop action went. He just would need to be really bad to bluff in this spot.
    - The Ts gives you some equity, but my feeling is that it's not enough to go for it. With the Qs, it could be different.
    - A minraise very often means a pretty strong hand. Wouldn't he shove / raise bigger if he is light?
    - I just think you have to fold here. Even if you hit your fourth spade, you won't win the hand 100%.
  • CrazyCBettor Posts: 46Member
    I think this hand was completely misplayed

    1) I do not like this 3-bet. You say the CO is a straightforward player who has just 500 infront of him, would you be comfortable putting in 500 if he goes all in? or were you planning to fold getting almost 2:1? As ridiculous as it sounds I don't think it is profitable to get in 50BB with TT in live poker against a tight guy. I understand your reasoning about discouraging callers behind but the CO is just too short to do this. If he was a 1000 deep I do not mind this play.
    2) I would never bet this flop against 3 opponents specially in a 3-bet pot. I don't think the short stacks are folding an Ace here specially if they have a spade to go with it. You have to be extremely lucky for this bet to get through 3 opponents. Also as WYP said the SB's range is pretty tight.
    3) Come on you are just overthinking at this point. The SB has already called, how can the straddle bluff at this point (and if he is good luck to him). Its an easy fold.
  • chilidog Posts: 2,427Subscriber
    3betting pre with TT is fine. Just make sure your sizing allows your villian to call with worse, which I think the $150 does allow. I might make it $140 if I 3bet this hand.

    I am confused by the rest of your hand. You posted that if you got multiple calls pre, that you would be set mining. But then you cbet an ace high flop! How often do you really think NONE of 4 players who saw this flop in a 3bet pot either: have a strong ace, have a big pair like QxQs/JxJs that they continue with, have some other hand like a set that they are not folding? ie, how often do you think your cbet wins the pot on the flop? I would estimate very rarely do you win now, and many times you get raised and put into an awkward spot (see OP). People tend to play pretty ABC poker in 3bet pots, especially multi-way. This is not a hand to get out of line with post flop -- cbetting is too optimistic for me.
  • shmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    Yup, I knew I played this hand all-wrong and wasn't going to post it as perhaps obvious, but thought I would to see if people had some ideas on better lines in the situation, or articulate some other ways of thinking about it. I also think this hand expresses a few things I need to work on in my game so interested in feedback.

    On the CO, I remember I thought he would probably fold to a 3-bet, and fold post-flop. Honestly, it had been a while since this hand and he didn't turn out to be the focus, so I don't remember how much money he had; so in full disclosure I made up an amount. But I appreciate the discussion on stack size considerations on iso-ing here. I agree this may have been a mistake with his stack, unless I am remembering his stack wrong which is totally possible. I am looking generally for spots to 3-bet more in position, but this hand specifically may not have been it given stack sizes and sort of the middle equity value of the hand (I was thinking my range was ahead of a CO open, but you all have pointed out other important factors to consider).

    Actually, I think I generally tend to 3-bet less when very deep, logic being that PF hand-strength matters less and deception matters more the deeper you get (which is why suited connectors become more valuable with deeper stacks), and 3-bet more when stacks are shorter since it's more possible to actually end the hand PF or on the flop when your PF equity is more likely to matter. E.g. I'm more likely to flat QQs when very deep vs. 3-bet when stacks are shorter. Let me know what you guys think, if I'm thinking about this wrong or you look at it another way.

    On cbet - yes I agree with all of that too, a big mistake, for reasons described. You are right -- given my 3-bet didn't narrow the field much I needed to think about the dynamics more similarly to if I hadn't 3-bet albeit with shorter stacks.

    On the re-raise as played, I was pretty much thinking it was an AI or fold decision and I was ready to muck it, which I think I would normally do in that spot. However, I ended up tanking and over-thinking it. I had already seen the straddle make a number of raises with weak holdings, and for some reason I convinced myself that he could be doing this with a 9, naked FD or worse -- even a SD despite the monotone board. Against a more normal player the As on board takes suited As out of his range which argues more for a fold, but he was so ATC that I started convincing myself his range was much wider than that and perhaps I had the straddle beat already with a redraw (I knew I was probably dead to SB but I was too late on that one, arguing against both the cbet and 3bet pf).

    So in the heat of the moment I shoved - SB called of course and the straddle looked super-pained and actually thought for a while and then called. SB had Qs7s and straddle had 2s4s (I wonder if there's some chance he might of actually folded this hand to the shove -- it seemed like he was close to folding at a time).

    I think this hand shows 3 things that I need to work on:
    1) Unlike other people who play more straight-forward in 3-bet PF pots, I think I become over-aggressive. I'm much less comfortable playing in 3-bet pots vs. single-raised. Perhaps this is why I don't 3-bet that often. I've been actively trying to do so in more spots, but I think I need to develop my PoF game in this setting.
    2) Cbetting in the right spots - My c-betting coupled with my tight PF image does work well often, but I tend to err on the side of over-cbetting and coupled with double-barrelling which can lead to spew. In this case, I think the presence of a player like the straddle in the hand should argue toward cbetting less, as it opens the door for him to raise me in spots where its pretty hard to distinguish bluffs vs. value in his case.
    3) I can think of two hands recently (including this one) where I would have instafolded to 99% of the player pool, but I managed to level myself into letting my history with an extremely LAGgy postflop player convince me to 3-bet instead. In this case I should have been more cognizant of the 3rd short stack in his hand, and his bet-sizing arguing for a fold in this case (the other had to do with raising vs. betting -- this guy was betting everything but raising was less common).

    Anyway thanks for reading the long ramble and for all the thoughts - I agree that this is a pretty clear horrendous play for multiple reasons (and I knew it at the time) but it was helpful to discuss and ingrain by writing down. I've been happy with my play overall, but just a few of these "blow-up" hands does hurt the win-rate and probably the most important thing for me to work on.
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    Shmed,

    Just some mental game stuff...

    After making poor plays I'd often dwell on them and feel negative about myself. However, I worked with my coach on the issue and he brought me to the point where I rejoice bad plays because recognizing mistakes and understanding why you make them helps you improve tremendously as a poker player. Also, understanding that becoming a great player requires constant work in strengthening your game is key to your development and even an edge you can have over your opponents. Poker is long term and the faster/better you recognize your weaknesses and do something/react positive about it, the quicker you'll find yourself crushing the spots you used to struggle in.

    Hope the grind is going well brother.

    -Skinnybrown
  • shmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    Thanks skinny, appreciate the good thoughts. Yes, I feel better about hands like this after analyzing them and the good news is that as time goes on there are less and less of them! I'm doing some study on 3-betting and like you said that should help strengthen.
  • whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    Skinnybrown said

    Shmed,

    Just some mental game stuff...

    After making poor plays I'd often dwell on them and feel negative about myself. However, I worked with my coach on the issue and he brought me to the point where I rejoice bad plays because recognizing mistakes and understanding why you make them helps you improve tremendously as a poker player. Also, understanding that becoming a great player requires constant work in strengthening your game is key to your development and even an edge you can have over your opponents. Poker is long term and the faster/better you recognize your weaknesses and do something/react positive about it, the quicker you'll find yourself crushing the spots you used to struggle in.

    Hope the grind is going well brother.

    -Skinnybrown
    good point, Skinny. I actually believe that it's important to experiment and make some moves that are most probably -EV in the short term. But if you think them through afterwards, realize which conditions did make it -EV, and under which circumstances it would become a +EV spot, you can learn a lot. To be able to do this, I think you have to put yourself into spots which you won't encounter often enough if you play tight straightforward ABC poker and only realize the clearest +EV spots.
  • whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    shmed said

    I think this hand shows 3 things that I need to work on:
    1) Unlike other people who play more straight-forward in 3-bet PF pots, I think I become over-aggressive. I'm much less comfortable playing in 3-bet pots vs. single-raised. Perhaps this is why I don't 3-bet that often. I've been actively trying to do so in more spots, but I think I need to develop my PoF game in this setting.
    2) Cbetting in the right spots - My c-betting coupled with my tight PF image does work well often, but I tend to err on the side of over-cbetting and coupled with double-barrelling which can lead to spew. In this case, I think the presence of a player like the straddle in the hand should argue toward cbetting less, as it opens the door for him to raise me in spots where its pretty hard to distinguish bluffs vs. value in his case.
    3) I can think of two hands recently (including this one) where I would have instafolded to 99% of the player pool, but I managed to level myself into letting my history with an extremely LAGgy postflop player convince me to 3-bet instead. In this case I should have been more cognizant of the 3rd short stack in his hand, and his bet-sizing arguing for a fold in this case (the other had to do with raising vs. betting -- this guy was betting everything but raising was less common).
    Shmed, I think one of the key lessons learned from this hand is that your thought process between preflop and flop is contradictory/disconnected. You had a specific purpose when you 3bet pre, and depending on villain's reaction, you had a plan for the rest of the hand (it's a separate discussion if the reasons why you chose to 3bet are valid or not, but I think that's not the main issue with this hand). Once the flop came down, however, you forgot or chose to ignore your preflop thoughts, and played the hand differently from there. This disconnection between what you wanted to achieve pre and post is why you misplayed the hand in the first place, IMO.
    This mistake is something I experience myself all the time. I believe that any progress in this area will increase one's thought process and quality of decision making enormously.
  • shmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    What's yes, I agree with both your comments.
    I think my default play would have been flatted the tens, in which case I'm pretty sure not being the PF aggressor, I would have not been as focused on taking down the pot and likely would have gotten away from the hand. When I took initiative, however, I didn't properly adjust from my first goal of isolating (since it didn't work and we were multi-way anyway) and migrated to trying harder than usual / forcing things to take down the bloated pot. Although obviously not a great result, the positive was that I was experimenting and probably learned a lot more than a straight forward call PF / fold flop hand.
  • coolfish7 Posts: 29SubscriberProfessional
    I think the guys above covered this pretty well, but one more thought about your line:

    Iso'ing pre is fine if you can fold to a 4b (a restatement of Chili's point). For this reason I favor the smaller 3b, maybe even like $100, unless you know straddler is literally calling all bets.

    On the flop, besides the m/w action, this is the kind of spot Bart talks about when you have a made hand and a draw, where you generally want to check it through. Granted neither your made hand or draw is super strong, but it's possible you have the biggest spade out there if it gets checked through and you can make an informed decision on a spade turn after you see how the action plays out. This is in contrast to when you have for example, just a bare TP type of hand where your plan is to bet/fold since you have almost no equity if you are raised.
  • Arenzano Posts: 1,464Subscriber
    Shmed
    I think the analysis others have said make a lot of sense, so I don't propose to add anything too different. Personally, I think your 3bet is fine, but one thing to keep in mind is that your image / range in that spot is super wide and looks like you're simply trying to pick up the straddled pot rather than an iso attempt of the CO. The good news is you got the SB and the loose straddle to call a 3bet oop with crap. From that perspective, I think your iso play will work more often than not and you'll find yourself in the spot you wanted. As others have said though, cbetting the flop was not wise; it is just unfortunate that 2 players flopped a flush against your 10s.
  • shmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    Tx bru I think this is a good way to think about it
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