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Turning One Pair Into a Bluff, Representing a Straight

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  • Turning One Pair Into a Bluff, Representing a Straight

    I officially request an evaluation from the evaluators! I never knew that button was there.

    Link to hand:

    Here's a weird bluffing spot I encountered earlier. I'd like your opinions on it. Here's how it happened:

    PokerStars Game #60012920628: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50 USD) - 2011/03/29 11:22:00 PT [2011/03/29 14:22:00 ET]
    Table 'Scheat IX' 6-max Seat #6 is the button
    Seat 1: ViggoLuna ($50.60 in chips)
    Seat 3: NegPL ($56.05 in chips)
    Seat 4: alchemy777 ($31.85 in chips)
    Seat 5: janus4k ($51.10 in chips)
    Seat 6: PanickyPoker ($53.75 in chips)
    ViggoLuna: posts small blind $0.25
    NegPL: posts big blind $0.50

    *** HOLE CARDS ***
    Dealt to PanickyPoker [7d Ad]
    alchemy777: folds
    janus4k: raises $1 to $1.50
    PanickyPoker: calls $1.50
    ViggoLuna: folds
    NegPL: folds

    I got dealt a weak suited ace on the button, and got a bet from the cutoff. I was new to the table, so I didn't really know what range the guy had quite yet, but I was thinking most aces, pocket pairs, and a lot of broadway combos, as well as suited connectors. The guy's range was wide, so I called. Nobody else came along.

    *** FLOP *** [Tc Kh Ac]
    janus4k: bets $2.25
    PanickyPoker: calls $2.25

    Here, I flopped top pair. A lot of hands I put the villain on were beating me here, but I didn't feel like giving up my hand quite yet. janus made a c-bet, and I called it. I thought raising would not be great here because I didn't know if I was ahead or behind yet, and I wanted more info before I decided.

    *** TURN *** [Tc Kh Ac] [Qd]
    xddmaster was removed from the table for failing to post
    janus4k: bets $3.25
    PanickyPoker: calls $3.25

    I did not like this turn card. Even more hands I put the villain on were now beating me, and I was drawing to chop against any jack holding. When I saw the villain c-bet the turn, but in such a small amount, I was a little confused. This bet made me think that I was against another ace. I didn't put the villain on any weaker aces than me, so I figured this might be a probe bet with a marginal hand (I was very uncertain about that, though). I elected to call, because I still felt I needed more information (and it wasn't expensive to see another card). Raising here would have been bad, I think, simply because nothing worse than my hand was calling, and obviously a made straight wouldn't fold. A stronger ace, or even two pair might fold, but I wasn't positive that my villain was holding one of those yet.

    *** RIVER *** [Tc Kh Ac Qd] [5s]
    janus4k: bets $5.75
    PanickyPoker: raises $41 to $46.75 and is all-in

    The river was a brick. The only question now was, what did the villain have? janus made another probe bet, and I decided this time that it was pretty likely to be a sign that the guy was uncertain about, and tentatively committing to his holding. I decided that I wasn't going to win this pot without bluffing, because I really didn't think janus would have a worse hand than me, so I jammed the pot. I figured that the line I took made my bluff look believable, since I called, called, and raised all-in. I figured that a really good opponent (or a really bad one), might call with something like two pair if they read my move as a bluff, but I figured that most of the time janus would not have the jack and would lay down everything else.

    Hoping for some feedback on this. My bluffwork could use a bit of refining, but in this situation I was just confused about the probe bets. I'm not sure how I should have responded to them, because I never really know what they mean. Thanks!

  • #2
    Nice hand Panicky.

    First, I don't normally like your preflop call. A7s is a great hand to open with on the button, but it loses value after someone else has already opened the betting with a raise. Because you were 5-handed and janus raised from cutoff it was ok. If you only call on the flop and he continues betting it puts you in an bad spot.

    The next thing that stands out to me in this hand is his turn bet. It is unusually small. I like to let the chips do the talking for me and the chips here say 'I am weak'. Now, that doesn't mean he can't beat top pair, it only means he probably doesn't have a jack. On the other hand, your turn call is kind of neutral. You could be slowplaying a J or calling with a hand like KQ.

    Janus wasn't trying to maximize value on the turn, so I wouldn't expect him to be looking for value all of a sudden when the river was a brick. He probably bet the river because he was out of position with a hand like AK, or something slightly better or worse. A bit of a blocking bet to try and prevent a bluff. I feel he thought he had you beat, unless you had a J. I think your read that you would not win the pot without bluffing was correct. He could have been 3 barrel bluffing with 99, but it is unlikely. Your reraise all-in represents a J or a bluff, nothing else. Very hard to put you on a bluff though.

    I think it was a good read by you. Have to go with your gut on this one. Sometimes people will play a J wierd and get you stacked if you bluff every time. Your read was good, if your gut agrees then go for it. If your gut is giving you a wierd feeling and you suspect the guy is getting tricky, think twice before pulling the trigger.


    • #3
      Originally posted by RockerguyAA View Post
      if your gut agrees then go for it. If your gut is giving you a wierd feeling and you suspect the guy is getting tricky, think twice before pulling the trigger.
      I'm pretty sure the majority of poker players don't follow this advice enough. I've definitely lost money because I didn't listen to my gut, because I was staring hungrily at the pot. That's good advice.

      In this pot, I didn't expect the guy to barrel more than once with an underpair to the board. I figured he might just give up without c-betting at all if all he had was an underpair. AK, AQ, AT, or KQ were the sort of hand I was hoping he had. I just figured that it came down to what he would play preflop. AJ would make sense, but it's a small part of his range compared to the other three. KJ and QJ might also be in there, but I figured that he wouldn't show up with a J often enough not to bluff. I suppose I wasn't really going with my gut (because my gut was confused), I was attempting to go with the math. I'm just not sure the math added up to +EV. For one thing, if any of the above hands would be willing to call my bluff, then the math goes down the drain.


      • #4
        I like the call preflop. I like the call on the flop. I probably would have tried to just take it away on the turn with a raise to about $9. This should be enough to take the pot down right there, with much less risk than an all-in river bet. And yeah, he probably didn't have fact you may have had him beat. Maybe even something like 98 clubs or K9 clubs trying to draw cheaply.

        Granted I play at much lower limits and tourneys mainly.
        4 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          So, the general message I'm getting is, "umbup:" Anyone disagree, or do you guys generally agree with my reasoning?


          • #6
            I like the read Panicky, the only thing is I don't think you need to ship the river to sell it. He's never calling without the J unless he gets curious, so a min raise might not work, but you can probably make it 20-25 here and fold out curiosity, while still saving 15-20 when he does have the J and ships.
            Head Live Trainer
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            4 Time Bracelet Winner


            • #7
              That's a good point. If he was scared of a jack, he shouldn't be calling much more than a minraise. Or even considering reshipping.

              Just as a last question to do with the hand, do any of you guys think his turn and river bet sizing was a tell of any kind? I noticed afterward that the bet size did increase, but almost like the guy was just picking random low numbers and stabbing at it. I don't know if that should tell me anything.

              I think he had a bet sizing button set to 60% and another set to 40%. The first bet was 60%, then the next two were 40%. I guess there's no tell in the difference of the numbers, but it looks like the guy very deliberately picked 40% both times.
              Last edited by PanickyPoker; Wed Mar 30, 2011, 05:39 AM.


              • #8
                His turn bet was a big tell. With the river being a blank you decision to ship all-in should be based more on the turn bet than the river bet. Already explained exactly what I think the tell is in my first post. The river bet is less important, but is still kind of a tell. It looks like he is trying to block a big bluff from you. This just kind of reinforces the major tell on the turn. Keep in mind that he would only try a blocking type bet when out of position. If he made th exact same bet in position after you checked, obviously it would either be for value or a bluff.
                Last edited by RockerguyAA; Wed Mar 30, 2011, 07:34 AM.


                • #9
                  No ones really talking about what villain has here which I find to be the most interesting part to figure out.

                  Will say this and I understand villains mindset because I am guilty of it at times as well,but its either
                  bad or genius and I lean towards the first choice.He thinks he needs to bet to protect his hand and at the same time get you to fold.I do this with draws and smaller pairs.Its a leak to bet 38% Turn and river and think he would blow the river up if he is a standard player.If he thinks you would overreact to weakness than his line is excellent but he has no reads on you.

                  I think he has JJ for pairs since it works as a slight blocker to any straight.
                  People will re-raise a player with flush board with only a Ace to that flush on a all suited flop knowing he has the scare card.Same deal with JJ in this spot,but he isnt doing a good job of selling it.

                  He doesnt have AQ since he would spew on the turn or check it to get tricky
                  He doesnt have KJ or AJ for obvious reasons
                  TT would make his bet bigger on the turn to rep strength and fold to a re-raise or call depending on his thinking,but he isnt throwing a bet on the turn most of the time with it.He would be looking for the board to pair for a fullhouse.
                  Same reasoning for QQ and KK.

                  I think its JJ most of the time in this spot.

                  Get into the habit of dividing the villains bet into the pot to get a percentage as the streets are played it is amazing what you can pick off.
                  Also click on the hand re-player to see how active he is in past orbit.


                  • #10
                    I should say if he has a straight in this spot he doesnt know how to extract value and is weak and should be noted.
                    I also note those players that start using clock when they are miles ahead in a hand,nits!

                    If he called river he will look to make this play time and time again.
                    I just fold to regs that playback at me or get tricky in hands,to much money at the table from other players.

                    Thanks for the hand,should get some good thoughts.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Deleted user View Post
                      Get into the habit of dividing the villains bet into the pot to get a percentage as the streets are played it is amazing what you can pick off.
                      Also click on the hand re-player to see how active he is in past orbit.
                      I'll start doing that. Both are big pieces of information that I tend to miss. I've been thinking for awhile that exact bet sizing is sometimes a big tell, because I know that I have three buttons with percentages of the pot to bet post-flop, and I typically use the same ones for the same purposes. Figuring out how much players like to bet in certain spots would probably be worth a lot of value against people who tend to bet the same every time.

                      Against this guy, I figured something was off when I saw his hand. I was actually kind of shocked when I saw that he had been playing with only one broadway card here. I was sure that he was holding two, although a weaker ace than mine was a sort of distant hope from the start of the hand. I thought about the hand for awhile, and just got confused by what the guy was thinking.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Deleted user View Post
                        I also note those players that start using clock when they are miles ahead in a hand,nits!
                        I always get a laugh when a fish takes 30 seconds to think then shoves all-in. So funny. They might as well flip their cards over. Making notes about it is a good idea. Some less fishy players are capable of using this as a false tell to bluff you out of a hand.



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