Apr 24 2007

Drowning on the turn, but I can’t let go…

Published by at 11:23 pm under Poker

I’m going under, I’m suffocating
Drowning but I’m holding on
What keeps me breathing? Don’t have an answer
I’m drowning but I won’t let go
–Stone Temple Pilots

Ok, so I said I would post a hand that has been gnawing at my brain, so here it is. The villain in this hand is an aggressive player and will typically continuation bet aggressively. He is aggressive post flop but goes to showdown very little.

FullTiltPoker Game #2113604476: Table Maui (6 max) – $0.25/$0.50 – No Limit Hold’em – 2:27:22 ET – 2007/04/01
Seat 2: NewTeaBag ($54.35)
Seat 4: passa ($69.35)
Seat 5: xfileem17 ($17.70)
Seat 6: MacAnthony ($84.90)
NewTeaBag posts the small blind of $0.25
passa posts the big blind of $0.50
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to MacAnthony [4♣ 5♣]
xfileem17 folds
MacAnthony raises to $2
NewTeaBag folds
passa raises to $6
MacAnthony calls $4
*** FLOP *** [8♣ 3♣ T♠]
passa bets $10
MacAnthony calls $10
*** TURN *** [8♣ 3♣ T♠] [5♠]
passa checks
MacAnthony bets $18
passa raises to $53.35, and is all in

Now I’m stuck knowing I likely don’t have the best hand with a pair of 5s but I have the flush draw to go along with it. The one and only reason I bet there is that this player had taken this line with me before and typically was a missed couple of broadway cards and my bet on the turn took it down after a call on the flop. My bet on the turn was strictly to try and take it down due to that history we had. When he shoved over the top, I was then at a decision since I still had a lot of potential with my hand. His hand could be anything from an overpair, pocket tens (less likely since I think he just continues to bet with this), a ten with the flush draw (which has me in serious trouble, but again I think he just bets this out), or overs with the flush draw. I don’t think this is a bare bluff since he hasn’t really done much to tell me he is that type of gambling player. He is aggressive, but he doesn’t seem to be the push players off their hand type. Most likely I feel are an over pair or over cards with the flush draw.

If he has the over pair, then I’m about 30% to win. If he has overs and the flush draw, then I’m a 70% favorite. I think this is a less likely holding for him again cause he didn’t strike me as the typical gambling type. He was more the type to take pots down on the flop with large, aggressive bets. This was the exact reason why I played this hand with him. If I hit against a player like that, I can generally take a stack. Problem was I hit, but I didn’t hit well enough. A raise on the flop was an option for me, but then I go back to past experience with him where he would continuation bet, and check/fold the turn. I tried taking that route but it didn’t work and now I’m in an odd predicament. I would likely have made this same move if I didn’t hit on the turn but the fact that I did, is what makes this decision a little harder for me.

Let’s run the numbers. Pot size is around $68 with around $35 for me to call. Almost exactly 2:1 pot odds on the call. So if I think there is even a chance I am against AK of clubs, I think I have to take this shot given the next likely option is he has an over pair where I’m a 30% dog to win. Even right there, I am getting almost perfect odds to call. The one hand I fear is A♣ T♣ but I don’t really see him 3 betting that preflop, but I couldn’t put it past him. If he has that, I have a lousy 11% shot to hit my 2 pair or trips. The off chance he has the set of tens, I am a little better with an 18% shot.

After mulling over it for a bit, I figure this is likely one of those ev neutral plays that you see so much in PLO and don’t think twice about them and I put my money in figuring to be likely behind, but hoping to suckout. I just can’t let go of the situation I put myself in. So did I make the right move? Wrong move? Have my head up my ass? Or is this just like I figure and one of those ev neutral things so likely doesn’t matter what decision I make?

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Drowning on the turn, but I can’t let go…”

  1. Zerbeton 25 Apr 2007 at 8:54 am

    Commonly Held Beliefs:

    Turn Bets Usually Tell The Truth…
    Check Raises Aren’t Usually Bluffs…
    Out Of Character Moves Late In The Hand Are A “Disaster Area” Sign…

    Notwithstanding any of that, if I was going to lose my stack in this hand, it would’ve been with a push on the flop, not from calling a check-raise on the turn holding a baby pair and a weak flush draw.

    Best you can do with a failed tactic is limit the carnage and learn; I’d grit my teeth and fold it, but I’m a notorious doofus, so there is that.

  2. Anthonyon 25 Apr 2007 at 10:23 am

    I did mention, I thought him flat out bluffing was the least likely of the hands he would have. He’s an aggressive player so I thought if he had a big hand, he would just continue betting. The check raise allin I think shows vulnerability which makes the two possible hands as an overpair or (less likely as I said) overs with the flush draw.

    I still support that calling is justified from pot odds alone. This isn’t a tourney so I’m not really worried about stacking off if it’s close enough. If this was a tourney, yes, I would curse under my breath and find the fold button. Although if this was a tourney, I would have been more likely to take my free card and tried hit my outs.

    I didn’t really even consider pushing that flop since it would have been an overbet and would look just as out of place as his check raise turn bet.

    I also don’t truly consider this a failed tactic since I have a lot of outs if I put him on what I really think he has. If he has overpairs and doesn’t have a club, I have 14 outs. That isn’t bad when you are in a spot hoping to get lucky. Me pairing that board is really a lot better for me than it sounds giving me another 5 outs. Without me pairing, I would have lost a lot of equity in this pot and would have totally changed the dynamic of this hand.

  3. Stevi3pon 30 Apr 2007 at 8:46 am

    Perhaps you should have checked the turn to avoid having to make this decision. If he’s completely missed his hand you’re up anyway and he’ll have 6 outs at most on the river (probably fewer with your flush draw). Then, unless you hit at least 2-pair on the river, you can fold to virtully any bet (presumably he’ll often just check something like AK).

  4. Anthonyon 01 May 2007 at 9:55 am

    I completely agree that that would be a very valid line to take. I even contemplated doing it, as is in my post. Against a lot of players I would but since he had taken that line with me with the continuation bet on the flop and then check on the turn, I had gotten him to fold in that past and tried to take it down there. I will typically do that if I think I can get paid on the river if I hit, though, and this player seemed to be smart enough that I think he could put me on a draw if I played it that way and could be losing equity when I make my hand against him. I even tried to make it look as much like a value bet as I could, which obviously didn’t work. Once he shoved though, I figured his most likely holding was a vulnerable hand. The other reason for the size of the bet was if he had just called, I could make a reasonable bet on the river to get his stack, but that reasoning was the very thing that actually got me priced into the hand.

    To be honest, I have lots of hands like this with this very situation. Typically, it’s with half stack players where I just get into pot odds situations. I do anticipate I am mulling over a situation that doesn’t really matter much (a neutral ev situation), but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth thinking about.

    It’s good to hear from you Stevie. You will have to tell Henry and Zog to run some more listener tourneys again. I really enjoyed those.

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