Monday, August 20, 2007

BIG Missed river raises

I'm continuing to play a substantial amount of live midstakes LHE.

Within the last few days, there is one particular mistake I've made that really sticks in my mind:
"Calling on the river in a big multiway pot with a hand that is very likely to be better than or equal
to the bettor's but possibly not better than one or more of the opponents behind me (for whom which calling 2 bets would be a tough decision)."

I have 2 examples of this: (granted some of my earlier street decisions in these hands are poor or at least debatable; I will comment on those as well)
hand #1
live $20/$40 LHE, 8 handed; Hero is posting $20 in the CO; SP1 is a solid and smart player, Button is unknown player, SB semi-solid player, BB is a very solid player, LWP1 and LWP2 are both loose and intermittently wild players. LWP1 tends to be more wild preflop and on the flop; LWP2 can be wild on any street, and also has a very frequent tendency to bluff (or bet, depending on your point of view) very weak hands on the river
preflop: muck, SP1 open raises, LWP1 and LWP2 both cold call, Hero calls $20 more with 8h8c (I would have 3 bet with no cold callers even with SP1 range given few loose players behind me), button mucks, SB calls, BB calls (6 players, pot size 12 small bets)
flop: 2h3d5h, checked to SP1, SP1 bets, LWP1 and LWP2 call, Hero raises, SB mucks, BB immediately 3 bets, SP1 immediately caps it, LWP1 and LWP2 call 3 more, Hero tanks and calls (I don't like this call getting only 15:1 vs BB and SP1's ranges on this board with this hand; one modest consolation is that Hero holds 8h, I definitely muck here without the 8h) (5 players, 32 small bets)
turn: 2h3d5h6h, checked around (5 players, 16 big bets)
river: 2h3d5h6h4c, checked to LWP2, LWP2 bets, Hero calls, everyone else calls. Pot is chopped 5 ways; (BB tables 64o, SP1 tables QcQs; amusingly Hero holds the ~only~ heart)

The river situation should be an easy raise for Hero (and calling a 3 bet from LWP2 is mandatory, while folding to any other 3 bet). During the actual hand, I was too busy cursing myself for calling on the flop and reflecting how far behind I was in the hand to be mentally preparing myself for a situation where I could steal the pot (some or all of it). This type of situation is a frequent one - namely that in order to be successful in poker, you can't dwell on the past; you must focus on the present and the future.

hand #2
live $20/$40 LHE, 9 handed; Hero is posting $20 in the CO; SP1 is a semi-solid and smart player, Hijack is an action player (and is well known for how much action he brings to the table), Button is a tight player, SB is unknown, BB is semi-loose passive. For the players that Hero has history with, Hero has a tight table image.
preflop: muck, SP1 open raises, mucked to Hijack, Hijack 3 bets, Hero calls 2 more with 9h7h (semi-loose call getting somewhere between 5-6:1 without closing the action), button mucks, blinds and SP1 call (5 players, pot size 15 small bets)
flop: TcTs8d, checked to Hero, Hero bets, all call (5 players, 20 small bets)
turn: TcTs8dTd, checked around (5 players, 10 big bets)
river: TcTs8dTd6h, checked to Hijack, Hijack bets, Hero calls, SB calls. Hijack tables A high, SB wins with 4's full.

I'm going to be paying particularly close attention for these types of situations/opportunities in the future...

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