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$1/$2 NL To bluff catch, or not to bluff catch. Two quick hands I played last night

ChaseChase Posts: 182Subscriber
Game is $1/$2 blind, $2-$100 spread limit hold'em (AZ state law bans 'no-limit' betting) at a local casino. The game is playing typically passive, and fairly loose.

First hand:

I start the hand with about $250. Three players limp, I complete the SB with [Qh][9d], BB checks. Five-ways to flop of [Jd][5s][3d]. I check and it checks through. Turn [Jd][5s][3d] [9s]. I bet $8, two players called. River [Jd][5s][3d] [9s] [Js]. I check, the next player checks, and the last player bets $25.

I didn't give him credit for trips, as I thought he would most likely bet the flop with a jack. His range looks like busted diamonds or a back-door flush. I folded. Didn't know much about the villain. He had about $400 and I hadn't seen him do anything silly. How often do you look someone up here who you don't have much info on?

Second hand:

Playing 7 handed. $130 effective stacks vs SB, $300 vs BB. I open TT to $8 from the HJ. Both blinds call. Pot is about $20 after the rake. Flop is [Ad][Jh][3c]. Both blinds check, I check. Turn is [Ad][Jh][3c] [4s]. Both blinds check, I check. River is [Ad][Jh][3c] [4s] [6c]. SB checks, BB bets $15, I ?

This is the same villain from the first hand. He had made a comment about me being a tight player. I think he is likely to have checked top-pair-marginal-kicker twice on this board, thinking that I would check back the flop with an ace, but I would not check back top pair again on the turn. Once I check back the turn he assumes no one else has top pair and he bets the river for value. He didn't seem aggro enough to bet a jack for value but it's possible. I'm not sure what he could be turning into a bluff here. Seems like with a pocket pair or KQ he would assume his hand is probably good and just want to get to showdown. I folded.

Thanks for your help!

Comments

  • CrazyCBettorCrazyCBettor Posts: 46Member
    Hand 1:
    People at this level do not bluff enough to make this a profitable call. Also I do not agree he can never have a jack, people do check behind weak top pairs a lot.

    Hand 2:
    This is a fold too, as you yourself said he can easily have an A or could be betting a J too. Also I would have bet the turn, we could get called by worse and we can get a J to fold too.
  • Hand 1: If you were heads up, I would probably call. But with one player left to act, I would fold. One of them likely has a J or a backdoor flush. If my numbers are correct, after the rake, you need to be good here about a third of the time. I don't think that you are against two players.

    Hand 2: I would definitely bet-fold the turn. After checking the flop, you can get called by lower pocket pairs, and by checking you're risking a K or a Q on the river. Betting the turn protects your equity against overcards that aren't going to put any money into the pot unless they hit.

    As played, I would probably call the river. I don't see villain checking an A on the flop and turn here. And after it's checked through twice, he has a lot of bluffs in his range. He also has some pocket 7s, 8s, and 9s. And you only have to be good here 30% of the time.
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    Hand 1: I agree with the other posters. There's one more player left to act, and either of those two can either have a strangely played J (they shouldn't, but they sometimes will), a backdoor flush, or also a better nine! I guess 3way it's a fold, but it would be interesting if it was heads-up.
  • ChaseChase Posts: 182Subscriber
    Jeremy K. said

    ....
    Hand 2: I would definitely bet-fold the turn. After checking the flop, you can get called by lower pocket pairs, and by checking you're risking a K or a Q on the river. Betting the turn protects your equity against overcards that aren't going to put any money into the pot unless they hit.
    I checked back the turn for the same reasons I checked back the flop: it seemed like way ahead/way behind and I couldn't really get value from worse. I didn't expect to be called by lower pocket pairs on the turn, but after reconsidering it I think we could get some value from those hands on the turn.
    Jeremy K. said

    ....
    As played, I would probably call the river.... He also has some pocket 7s, 8s, and 9s.
    I think the chance he decides to bet an underpair on the river after this action is very low, close to zero.
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    Hand 2: You give a lot of reads about how why he can have top pair here a lot, and also Jx. If you trust those reads, it should be an easy fold.
    I am just surprised that you expect him to check an Ace twice. Wouldn't he bet it on the turn? Also, I would expect him to bet a jack on the river for value all day.

    His betsize on the river is rather large. If he thinks you don't have a hand, why would he bet so big? Doesn't that rather look like a bluff, to fold out small pocket pairs? I guess I would call the first time around, and then make a mental note about it.
  • Chase said

    I think the chance he decides to bet an underpair on the river after this action is very low, close to zero.
    I think it's unlikely that he has an underpair too. But if he's betting a J for value, then he might bet 99 for value after it's checked through on the flop and turn (and by one guy on the river). He's maybe slightly more likely to try to get to showdown with a hand like 99. But he's also much more likely to have bet a J on the turn. Frankly I think both of those holdings are unlikely and he has a lot of air here -- certainly the 30% of the time you need to call.
  • ChaseChase Posts: 182Subscriber
    whatsyourplay? said

    Hand 1: I agree with the other posters. There's one more player left to act, and either of those two can either have a strangely played J (they shouldn't, but they sometimes will), a backdoor flush, or also a better nine! I guess 3way it's a fold, but it would be interesting if it was heads-up.
    The player on our left, who was second to check the river, is very unlikely to have trips or a flush. So we really only need to worry about the bettor's range, which I think is very polarized here. He is probably only betting a back door flush or trips for value, and trips is discounted because he is in LP and likely would have bet the flop with top pair. Given the flop is checked around, once he calls the turn bet he has the same number of combinations of front door and back door flush draws. I know most people don't bluff all that much in low stakes live poker, but this guy seemed fairly experienced (i.e. capable of bluffing here). In retrospect this is seeming like a call getting a little better than 2-1.
  • whatsyourplay?whatsyourplay? Posts: 752Member
    Your turn bet was called by two players. If the LP guy has a busted front door flush draw, what did the guy on your left call with? Other than QT, there's not much he can have, right? In the games I play, people check-call with A9, K9 type hands in this spot all the time, even if it's a bad play.
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