Thursday, August 18, 2005

Paying off on the river

Table image matters in a live mid stakes game. There seems to be a fine line between calling on the river too much when a scare card comes, and calling often enough to discourage observant players to bluff when a scare card hits. In regards to this dimension, I don't know where I stand with this hand.

I certainly played this hand incorrectly on the river.

hand #1
Live 9 seated $20/$40 limit hold'em game. UTG+1 is an unknown middle age man.
- preflop: fold, UTG+1 raises, folded to hero in the BB with AcQs. BB calls. (2 players, 4.5 small bets)
- flop: QcJs6c, hero checks, UTG+1 bets, hero check raises, UTG+1 calls (2 players, 8.5 small bets)
- turn: QcJs6cQh, hero bets, UTG+1 calls (2 players, 6 big bets)
- river: QcJs6cQhTc, hero checks, UTG+1 bets, hero calls. UTG+1 shows ThTd and wins a 8 big bet pot.

My river play was truly awful. I don't mind check folding the river. However, if I was going to call on the river, I should have bet instead and folded to a raise. The gentleman did not strike me as one who would raise on the river without a hand that had me crushed. However, I do believe he would have paid me off on the river with any pocket pair (although the only pocket pair he could reasonably have on the river that I could beat is 99, maybe 88. There are a small number of players who might have played the flop the same way w KK or AA, but not many). This range of hands is too small for me to value bet.
The way the hand played, I actually thought he had hit a gutshot with big slick, so in retrospect I made the call merely for advertising value to discourage others from bluffing me on the river. It's like taking $40 and lighting it on fire..... With the Ac in my hand, I'd at least know that he wasn't bluffing with a four flush with the Ac in his hand.
I'm actually really lucky I did not have AcJc because I would have a really hard time believing he had JJ,QQ or QJ since he didn't raise the turn, and an equally hard time believing he called all the way with TT. I think I would have at least called a 4 bet on the river with an A high flush here. Geez, I play bad.

1 comment:

Chris Fargis said...

IMHO check-folding and betting and folding to a raise are both disastrous ways to play the river. Check-calling is fine but there's no way you should be folding this river for one bet.