Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Folding Top-top

Hand played on Pokerstars
Seat 2 is the button
Seat 1: Player 4 ( $1550.00 USD )
Seat 2: Hero ( $1655.00 USD )
Seat 3: Passive fish ( $1605.00 USD )
Seat 4: Tight reg ( $1365.00 USD )
Seat 5: Player 5 ( $977.00 USD )
Seat 6: Player 6 ( $1848.00 USD )
Passive fish posts small blind [$25.00 USD].
Tight reg posts big blind [$50.00 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Hero [  Qc Ad ]
Player 5 folds
Player 6 folds
Player 4 folds
Hero raises [$125.00 USD]
Passive fish calls [$100.00 USD]
Tight reg calls [$75.00 USD]
** Dealing Flop ** [ 6c, 3h, Qd ]
Passive fish checks
Tight reg checks
Hero bets [$175.00 USD]
Passive fish calls [$175.00 USD]
Tight reg calls [$175.00 USD]
** Dealing Turn ** [ Th ]
Passive fish checks
Tight reg bets [$300.00 USD]
Hero ???????


So I’m dealt A-Qo on the BTN and opt for my standard 2.5x open. The SB is a very passive player with a VPIP of 41% and raise of 6%, and the BB is a decent reg who plays a tight game early on.  Although the SB is getting a worse price pre-flop with less invested (and also because he’s not closing the action) his range is likely to be wider than the BB’s since he doesn’t fold much to steals and is more passive. Once he flats though, the BB will call with a fairly wide range getting 4 to 1, so this should include many hands such as low PPs, hands like KQ/KJ/QJ, some A-rag suited hands and a lot of 8-9/10-9 suited connected type hands, so at this point we can only really say both their ranges are fairly open.

FLOP: 6c-3h-Qd

This is an excellent flop: I’ve got top-top on a very dry board with only one threatening overcard that could come since I hold the A. With a player to my left who likes to do a lot of calling, it’s time to build the pot right now and try and get some serious value. Both players check, and I fire a bet of 175 into 375. Into 2 opponents I could really have bet a little more; however, since the board is so dry and there’s no flush draws (and very unlikely straight draws) either player could have there’s no real need and I opted on the slightly thinner side in an attempt to increase either player’s calling range, particularly the passive player. We get a flat from the SB which isn’t too concerning, however, the reg then flats which begins to arouse some suspicion. There’s no draws realistically he’ll ever show up with here, and the fact is he’s calling out of position with 2 other players in the pot already – one of them being very passive so this isn’t a good spot to float to pull off a potential move, especially at a positional disadvantage with no control in the hand.

What sort of range am I assigning the reg?

With the above in mind, I think there’s a good chance he’s holding 6s/3s; I mustn't however rule out KQ/QJ/Q10 hands which might just be taking a cautious line with two opponents perhaps with the thought process of “the reg will c-bet wide” and “the passive player will flat wide” so he may flat-call with the plan of evaluating on the turn, so I certainly can’t rule out some worse Qs in his range and I’ll need to evaluate the action on the turn myself to break down his range further.

TURN: 10h

This is where the narrowing of my opponent’s range begins. So the 10h drops which now brings a myriad of straight draws and a flush draw. The SB checks, and the regular leads for 300 into 900 and the action is on me. This really looks indicative of a very strong hand – I feel it’s likely if he was flatting with worse Qs on the flop such as KQ/QJ then for the reasons mentioned before there’s no reason for him to break his line now – he would likely check to me to see what I do then make a decision with more information once the passive player behind acts, otherwise he could have just opted for a flop check-raise. This turn card also brings a number of straight draws/gut-shots as well as a flush draw so he may see this as a good reason to lead with a set for value and protection. His bet is also on the smaller side – this appears very luring as he’s laying both of us 4 to 1 (and 5 to 1 for the SB if I flat), whilst even if only one player flatted the pot would total 1500 going to the river and he would have just 765 left so it really looks like he’s trying to chunk his stack all-in for maximum value in the remaining betting streets. With the size of the pot in relation to the number of chips he's put in at this point it also wouldn't appear he would have much fold equity going to the river and he'll be aware that even if only one player flats now they'll be getting 3 to 1 against his river shove - making it all the unlikelier he's setting this up for a bluff. Besides, who lay's their opponent really good odds on a bluff these days? Once taking all these factors into account and again the fact he's betting into 2 opponents (one of which is passive, therefore much tougher to bluff) I'm effectively narrowing his hand range down from around 20%-25% of cards pre-flop to simply pocket 6s/3s at this point.

For those wondering about the possibility he might show up with A-Q here and we’re chopping – I doubt it, I would expect a 3bet pre-flop since I’ll be opening the BTN wide enough and he’ll want to try and isolate the passive player for post-flop play (who will certainly be calling wide enough) and buy position (and force the reg out of the pot who will have position should he flat). Besides, even if this is untrue, we’re only chopping with one hand in his range and behind everything else so continuing doesn't seem like a great idea with these estimations.

All things considered, I elect to fold my hand, and was fortunate enough the passive player made a crying call and got there on the river to observe that villain was indeed holding pocket 3s.

Live long and prosper

Remaining part of hand history:
Hero folds
Passive fish calls [$300.00 USD]
** Dealing River ** [ 7c ]
Passive fish checks
Tight reg bets [$765.00 USD]
Passive fish calls [$765.00 USD]
Tight reg shows [3s, 3d ]
Passive fish shows [7s, 7h ]
Passive fish wins $3030.00 USD from main pot

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