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Trying to learn pot control (2NL)

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  • Trying to learn pot control (2NL)

    I've had a streak of winning small pots or losing stacks whenever I hit top pair/top kicker, but then I found Dave's video on commitment and decided to try to exercise pot control. So far, I haven't stacked off and I win bigger pots. However, the number of hands is too low to conclude anything, so it's sanity check time. Here is a hand I played in 2NL yesterday: Previously, I would have c-betted the flop every time, but which worse hands call me? I decided to slow down and see if I could get paid by a worse hand. The turn card hit my hand hard, but it also completed a lot of draws. Of course, since he checked on the flop I don't actually have a good range on him. Anyway, I got scared of the card and just called his bet. I still think I'm ahead of his range on the river and try a bet for value, planning to call a pot-sized check/raise. I'm expecting him to pay me off with a lot of one pair hands and bluff catchers.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Horrible68 View Post
    I've had a streak of winning small pots or losing stacks whenever I hit top pair/top kicker, but then I found Dave's video on commitment and decided to try to exercise pot control. So far, I haven't stacked off and I win bigger pots. However, the number of hands is too low to conclude anything, so it's sanity check time. Here is a hand I played in 2NL yesterday: Previously, I would have c-betted the flop every time, but which worse hands call me? I decided to slow down and see if I could get paid by a worse hand. The turn card hit my hand hard, but it also completed a lot of draws. Of course, since he checked on the flop I don't actually have a good range on him. Anyway, I got scared of the card and just called his bet. I still think I'm ahead of his range on the river and try a bet for value, planning to call a pot-sized check/raise. I'm expecting him to pay me off with a lot of one pair hands and bluff catchers.
    A lot of your decision to check that flop will be based on what you read the opponent's range as. If he is pretty tight, then your check is probably not too bad. He would have hit that flop harder than you, or not hit it nearly hard enough to call you. If he is pretty loose, especially in his calling standards, the fact you open raised the button means he may "dis-believe" you have ANY of this flop, thus calling you EXTREMELY "light", say on a rag Ace (a single over card draw). In that case, check to pot control is probably not best; you'd be better served by betting for value behind his check. The fact is, if the opponent checks in a heads up situation between a button raiser and the SB, there is a pretty solid chance you are ahead with 2nd pair A kicker here versus MOST opponents. If there were 2 opponents still in with you (who both checked), the chances are LESS you hold the best hand. You DO ask the "right" question though: What worse hand calls a bet by you on the flop? Answer: 2 spades (esp. Ax spades), QT, QJ/JT, pp TT??????? Obviously the "answer" to that important question lies within the reads you have on your opponent... The IDEA of a "pot control" betting line is: 1) You have a hand which has some value, but is vulnerable to a reasonable amount of "threats" of BETTER hands. 2) You do not have a good chance to "find out" you are behind before you put a decent amount of chips in the pot (either you are out of position, or you have an opponent who check/raises or slow plays frequently). 3) Pot control serves the purpose of keeping the pot smaller, which makes it less likely a bluffer will see the pot as "big enoguh" to try rash bluffs at you as well. So I'll be honest, looking at your play in this hand, since you A) had position, B) were facing jsut a single player, C) had it checked to you, I think that betting right around half pot on continuation may have been better here... But keep practicing...knowing how and when to adopt a pot control line can be very improtant for your overall profitability! ** Links Not Allowed Please Read the Rules **
    Last edited by TOO2COO; Wed Jul 06, 2011, 07:33 PM.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by JDean View Post
      If he is pretty tight, then your check is probably not too bad.
      He would have hit that flop harder than you, or not hit it nearly hard enough to call you.

      If he is pretty loose... check to pot control is probably not best; you'd be better served by betting for value behind his check.
      I didn't read the whole post, but I think that this is a pretty great answer.

      I don't like the turn call all that much, since you're behind very little besides the flush and the straight, and the villain will have a flush/straight draw here more often than a made flush or straight imo. So I'd raise a decent amount for value, then I'd fold to a reraise against most villain types.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PanickyPoker View Post
        I don't like the turn call all that much, since you're behind very little besides the flush and the straight, and the villain will have a flush/straight draw here more often than a made flush or straight imo. So I'd raise a decent amount for value, then I'd fold to a reraise against most villain types.
        ...and if he FLATS a 3bet on the turn, you'd probably want to chck BEHIND a river check...in case he is now trying to "induce" you into betting the river. You would have gotten your "value" in on the turn (if ahead), so you;d not want to re-open the betting on the river where he is either folding less, or check-raising more than your 2 pair.

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