Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Deer in the headlights

This is a hand that I recently messed up on. I think the root cause of my problem is that I didn't take enough time to think through my plan on the turn when I am raised.

The end result of the hand is probably the same given my opponent's actual hand, however the decision making process is what is important here.

In retrospect, the river decision should be very easy. I will not be making this type of mistake any time soon.
The flop play might be debatable, but this is a trade-off situation between maximizing the number of bets that get put in the pot and maximizing the chance of winning an already big pot.

This is the hand as played:

hand #1
9 handed live $40/$80 LHE
pf raiser is a fairly solid player
button is loose passive, somewhat inexperienced player

preflop: UTG limps, mucked to hijack who raises , button cold calls, Hero calls in SB w 9c8c, BB calls, UTG calls (5 players, 10 small bets)
flop: Jc8h8s check, check, check, pfr bets, button calls, Hero raises, muck, muck, pfr calls, button calls (3 players, 16 small bets)
turn: Jc8h8s7c Hero bets, pfr mucks, button raises, Hero calls (2 players, 12 big bets)
river: Jc8h8s7cQc Hero bets, button raises, Hero calls

During the actual hand, I bet with the intention of calling an insta-raise and mucking if button tanked and then raised. (The reason behind this is that button's hand reading and board reading skills were suspect, and he could easily miss the flush possibility if he held a str)

The playing lines for the river scenario can be generically characterized as:
- the bet/call line wins 1 bet when Hero is ahead and loses 2 bets when behind
- the check raise line wins 2 bets when Hero is ahead and loses 2-3 bets when behind

Calling vs mucking to a river 3 bet is very opponent-dependent. In this particular hand, I think the Hero could safely avoid losing the 3th river bet by tanking before check raising to make it easier to fold to a 3 bet. I would never intentionally do that against a more experienced player . Against this type of newbie player (he was inexperienced, but not a moron), I believe that tanking and then raising would give him pause to think and prevent him from 3 betting me with a worse hand (but still always paying off with a worse hand).

Result: button shows 8d7d

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