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Top pair on double-paired board short handed against LAG

shmedshmed Posts: 321Subscriber
$5/10, Villain is a younger guy who is very loose PF (high PFR, high defense against raises in the blind) and very LAGGY post-flop with frequent check-raises which may/may not mean he has it. Ran up his stack but I had recently won a few largish pots from him -- one when he called my value bets OOP with a set (he even identified my hand and then called anyway), another when I somewhat hero called him in KK position when he C/R a 3 handed river on a draw heavy board with a lower pair. He has called big raises OOP PF with hands like J2o and 24s (and won those hands) -- lots of variance but now he's on a downswing, it's now 4 handed and he has about $1000, I have him covered. My image started losing, down a buy-in, but I had won a number of pots against him recently and I think he views me as a solid TAG.

I raise UTG/CO to $30 with QT suited. Button folds, he calls, BB folds, $70 in the pot.
Flop comes T54 rainbow. I c-bet $60 and he calls, put $190
Turn pairs the 5 rainbow. He checks, I bet $120. This is where it gets interesting. He moves to raise (but doesn't verbalize), but fumbles his chips and ends up flailing a random mess in the middle. After dealer counts, turns out he bets $220, which is below a min-raise. I have the right now to either allow him to up to $240 or require him to take back the raise since it's not a legal raise. I elect to make him take it back and call the $120, pot $430.

One question here: given his style, would you have checked back the turn? Even if I'm getting value from worse, I don't really have a hand that can stand much heat and perhaps I'm opening my stack up given his track-record of reraising. At the time I was trying to get value from worse and also balancing the times I'm 2 barrelling -- but perhaps this is one of the times when checking back makes sense with a likely value hand since he's not one that you can bet/fold and be confident you are making the right decision.

The river pairs the 4 for a final board of T5454. He leads out for $300 pretty quickly. Thoughts on what you would do?

Comments

  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    You bet fold on turn. I might check back if I turned a draw of some sort so I dont get blown off it. but if you checked back the turn he can bet his entire range on river for big money and now you are guessing. when pot sizes get big and so do the bets even maniacs will play more straightforward

    wendy
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    wendy weissman said

    You bet fold on turn. I might check back if I turned a draw of some sort so I dont get blown off it. but if you checked back the turn he can bet his entire range on river for big money and now you are guessing. when pot sizes get big and so do the bets even maniacs will play more straightforward

    wendy
    I am not sure if I agree with that. At least, I don't think it's such a clear cut decision on the turn. Checking back definitely has some merit. The board is very dry, there are hardly any draws. With TPGK on such a dry board, I doubt we will get three streets of value from many worse hands. Do you agree with this?
    So, if we go for two streets, I think checking back the turn might actually be a very good play (not every time, but the second 5 is a really good card to check back, since it's the classic WA/WB situation now).
    wendy weissman said
    if you checked back the turn he can bet his entire range on river for big money
    wendy
    This is actually a great thing, because you can snap off all his bluffs then!
    Why would you want to bet into him on the turn for value (i.e. you are saying there are plenty of weaker hands that will call), but at the same time are afraid of the exact same range now instead betting into you on the river? IF your statement is true, it actually MUST be a better play to check behind, because he will fold some hands with no equity the turn, which he would bluff with on the river. Right?
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    shmed said
    He moves to raise (but doesn't verbalize), but fumbles his chips and ends up flailing a random mess in the middle. After dealer counts, turns out he bets $220, which is below a min-raise. I have the right now to either allow him to up to $240 or require him to take back the raise since it's not a legal raise. I elect to make him take it back and call the $120, pot $430.
    If he is a thinking player, it would actually be an awesome move to request his raise to stay in there.
    DUCY?
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    whatsyourplay? said
    wendy weissman said

    You bet fold on turn. I might check back if I turned a draw of some sort so I dont get blown off it. but if you checked back the turn he can bet his entire range on river for big money and now you are guessing. when pot sizes get big and so do the bets even maniacs will play more straightforward

    wendy
    I am not sure if I agree with that. At least, I don't think it's such a clear cut decision on the turn. Checking back definitely has some merit. The board is very dry, there are hardly any draws. With TPGK on such a dry board, I doubt we will get three streets of value from many worse hands. Do you agree with this?
    So, if we go for two streets, I think checking back the turn might actually be a very good play (not every time, but the second 5 is a really good card to check back, since it's the classic WA/WB situation now).
    wendy weissman said
    if you checked back the turn he can bet his entire range on river for big money
    wendy
    This is actually a great thing, because you can snap off all his bluffs then!
    Why would you want to bet into him on the turn for value (i.e. you are saying there are plenty of weaker hands that will call), but at the same time are afraid of the exact same range now instead betting into you on the river? IF your statement is true, it actually MUST be a better play to check behind, because he will fold some hands with no equity the turn, which he would bluff with on the river. Right?
    Well it depends..lol.. say I check the turn and the pot has 150 bucks.. On river maniac bets 500.. or I bet 100 and maniac raises to 500.. If you put him on a range how often are you going to be good there? Thats where things get dicey.. I prefer not to induce so I dont have to put myself in tough situations.. I dont like making big calls on the river quite honestly because most times you are beat.. but with this type of player why play their game?

    Now if he has some kind of tell and you know he is bluffing then be my guest.. do whatever you have to to get him to spew.. One guy a couple of years ago did have a live tell and when he stared at you after a bet you knew he was bluffing.. but those were the good ol days and I prefer to hand read than depend on tells.

    Wendy
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    I am not sure if I understand the argument you are making. If he is a maniac who frequently bets and raises huge with bluffs and value hands, how is betting the turn superior to checking? ESPECIALLY with a medium-strength hand?
    You can only choose between betting turn (i.e. risking to get check-raised and blown off your hand) or getting bet into on the river (i.e. either paying off a better hand or folding the winner). It's not like betting the turn would allow you to avoid a mistake. You can only choose between two difficult decisions, and the question is which one is more EV.

    Since the turn is a textbook example of a WA/WB situation, I don't see how betting is superior to checking. What are you trying to accomplish with the bet? Which worse hands do you expect to get a call from? Which better hands will fold?

    Is it possible that you would like to make the hands easier to play by bet/folding? I do think the hand will actually be easier then, but I really doubt it is the more EV play.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    In my experience players like this want to make big bets into good size pots to get you to either call light when they have it or fold when they dont. If the pot is relatively small then its hard for them since they are taking a much bigger risk for the size of the pot.. So with this line they would want to float the turn as well to make a big move when there is more money in the pot and the line looks nuttier..

    I wouldnt do this all the time it is very read dependent and the post just has too many variables to go through all of them..

    Wendy
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    Maybe It's nit my day, but I still don't understand why you think betting the turn is the better play.
    wendy weissman said
    In my experience players like this want to make big bets into good size pots to get you to either call light when they have it or fold when they dont. If the pot is relatively small then its hard for them since they are taking a much bigger risk for the size of the pot.
    Wendy
    Wouldn't that actually be an argument for checking to keep the pot small?
    wendy weissman said
    So with this line they would want to float the turn as well to make a big move when there is more money in the pot and the line looks nuttier.
    Wendy
    Are you saying you expect villain to float the turn in order to make a move on the river? So, what are you going to do if he leads the river? What's different then from checking behind the turn, other than the bigger pot?
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    This is so player dependent I think the number of different plays are too many to post in a forum. But in general I think I would still bet fold..thats me..Confused

    Wendy
  • WackabrewWackabrew Posts: 400Subscriber
    whatsyourplay? said
    shmed said
    He moves to raise (but doesn't verbalize), but fumbles his chips and ends up flailing a random mess in the middle. After dealer counts, turns out he bets $220, which is below a min-raise. I have the right now to either allow him to up to $240 or require him to take back the raise since it's not a legal raise. I elect to make him take it back and call the $120, pot $430.
    If he is a thinking player, it would actually be an awesome move to request his raise to stay in there.
    DUCY?
    I was just thinking this.
  • shmedshmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    Thanks all. I think Wendy and Whats discussion is a good one on the turn play. My two cents is that Wendy's suggestion is good against a normal villain (where you know you are no good when you are raised), but against this particular guy, I like What's arguments. Another example that happened (occurred later, so I didn't know this at the time): I raised on the button with A6s and he called in the BB. On the flop reraised me on a 652 board when I led the flop IP with A6 suited (I had no FD). He checked turn 7, I and called my large bet (another questionable turn bet spot -- my bet/fold line was because I thought the 7 didn't really help him much unless he specifically had a 4 or say 77, and his range was much wider). We went check/check on a river 9. He mucked saying he had also had a 6 with a draw. Anyway for this particular villain this later hand confirms he's someone specifically you can't confidently bet/fold top pair. I see Wendy's point for more standard players, and indeed took a more standard bet/fold line here, but am thinking it wasn't right in this specific situation.

    On the What/Wack comment to request that it stays in, I like your thinking (that it shows a lot of strength and I should be able to bet him off on later streets or he's unlikely to show aggression). However this is where the weird chip fumbling spazzy bet comes into my thinking.

    If he was bluffing or weak, wouldn't he want to bet more in a normal way in order to maximize fold equity? This was the only time he had done this -- other times he bet normally. I thought that this seemed like an act designed to look spazzy and thus elicit a call. That coupled with the fact that he was playing ATC, this made me feel that a 5 was much more likely in his range then normal. To me, this looked super strong.

    Had he not done this, I like your thought to allow the raise and show strength -- call his min-raise and called his river bet (I had already won a big pot calling down his thin bets/bluffs on an increasingly scary board). But his specific manner of betting was sort of an alarm bell and I thought he wouldn't bluff this way. Any thoughts or experience with a similar situation?
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    If I knew that villain is not making a big bet on the river then I might even call the raise , depending on how deep we are.. Knowing that villain will essentially give up on the river is hugely important in deciding what play to make. Against a player like Harry who can and will go all in on the river with the nuts or nothing then I do like if possible to keep the pot small. What you cant do with Harry is check or he will use that and overbet on the next street. With a player like Harry you have to keep betting to prevent him from bluffing. Its weird I know. but even Harry wont raise bluff as often as he could.. but he will bet bluff if checked to ..that was the point I was making..

    Now with your villain , knowing that I likely would get a check on the river if he isnt strong I am more likely to call. Bart talks about this alot in his podcasts making big calls on turn bets or calling flop and turn bets because he is likely to get to showdown.. If I knew my price for showdown was pretty much capped I am going to call more often than not. Also if the flop is wet and I get min raises I am more likely to call since so many players have just tp there..

    Great discussion.. really shows how these little nuances make all the difference in range analysis..

    Wendy
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    shmed said
    My two cents is that Wendy's suggestion is good against a normal villain (where you know you are no good when you are raised), but against this particular guy, I like What's arguments.
    Besides villain's agressiveness, the board texture is another factor which makes a turn check preferable in my opinion. If the board was something like T85 two-tone, I see that villain can either call with worse or check-raise as a semibluff. But on T545 total rainbow, both is pretty difficult/unlikely.
    shmed said
    On the What/Wack comment to request that it stays in, I like your thinking (that it shows a lot of strength and I should be able to bet him off on later streets or he's unlikely to show aggression). However this is where the weird chip fumbling spazzy bet comes into my thinking.

    If he was bluffing or weak, wouldn't he want to bet more in a normal way in order to maximize fold equity? This was the only time he had done this -- other times he bet normally. I thought that this seemed like an act designed to look spazzy and thus elicit a call. That coupled with the fact that he was playing ATC, this made me feel that a 5 was much more likely in his range then normal. To me, this looked super strong.

    Had he not done this, I like your thought to allow the raise and show strength -- call his min-raise and called his river bet (I had already won a big pot calling down his thin bets/bluffs on an increasingly scary board). But his specific manner of betting was sort of an alarm bell and I thought he wouldn't bluff this way. Any thoughts or experience with a similar situation?
    If you have this read and are pretty confident about it, it of course becomes a fold. His chip fumbling could either mean he is nervous (i.e. very strong) or just some random strange behaviour he made for no reason. But in general, strange behaviour very often means strength (just read that in the new book "Reading Poker Tells Cool).

    Without this read, I would consider requesting the raise to be binding (in order to signal that I am not afraid of his bet), and fold to a river bet (if he is a thinking player and still bets the river, he clearly expects a call). The advantage you have is that the turn raise is just a minraise, so you get plenty of information about his hand strength cheaply, instead of facing a big river bet with no information at all ( the fact that you request him to take back the raise might even encourage him to bluff more often, since you appear to be weak.
  • shmedshmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    Wendy (or anyone else), as an aside, how often do you see someone who plays like Harry in your games? To be honest, I am actually glad that he isn't in CLP much anymore because he seemed to be in every hand analyzed for a while, and his style seemed so atypical/self-specific that I wondered if there's much value in learning from hands with him in it (or at least seeing so many hands focusing on him). Do any of you see Harry as a common LAG player-type?

    What's -- thanks -- very helpful analysis of the turn play. I don't know if my read was right, and I like your thinking without the read.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    bad maniacs are more common. spewtards that really dont understand what they are repping. Harry types are much much rarer. he does hand read and can put you on a range and therefore he is very very tough to play against. he doesnt care about the money so he can put immense pressure on you. i have only played with a couple of players like this in la. they are more common in some vegas games and never have I run into this type of player anywhere else.

    wendy
  • You get the option of making him raise or just have him calling? Thats interesting cause in socal that would be a forced min raise.

    Checking back the turn accomplishes two things. Firstly it allows you to get to showdown without playing a large pot vs an opponent that is capable of bluff raising the turn AND it induces bluffs on the river from people who are capable of bluffing. I've checked back spots like this in the past against this type of villain you just have to realize that you really must call any river.
  • Bart said You get the option of making him raise or just have him calling? Thats interesting cause in socal that would be a forced min raise.
    That's the way the rule should be. The way OP describes the rule in his venue, it would be easy to take advantage of this rule to angle shoot by fumbling out a partial bet on the turn to see if your opponent wants it in there or not.
  • shmedshmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    I definitely could have been angle-shot there. I'm not sure if I made the right move by folding the river and I'm convinced I should have checked back the turn.

    Does anyone call the river when he leads for $300 as played? I probably would have against this particular person except for the odd fumble move on the turn.
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