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NL 0.01/0.02 - Trip 9's On Button, Opponent Goes All In

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  • NL 0.01/0.02 - Trip 9's On Button, Opponent Goes All In

    I land a pair of pocket 9's on button. One guy raises small with 2bb, so I raise slightly more. Blinds get out our way and initial raiser calls. I land another 9 on the flop, so I have a decent hand now, but I also see two hearts so there is a possible flush draw there but the initial raiser checks. Im now thinking ok, he doesnt have a flush draw, he bet into the pot post-flop and that doesnt appear to me like its a drawing hand, and he didnt make a continuation bet when he saw two hearts land so I put a large sized bet in. And he goes ALL IN ! Now im stuck, I dont know what to do. He must have something, he bet pre-flop and now has gone all in. Also there are two hearts on the board which although I dont think he has, its still possible. Now my timer is beeping at me to do something, and I deciede he cant have that flush draw and I call. Turns out he had J's and I win, but was this the right call ? I really struggled with the decision and I liturally winced when I saw another heart land on the turn lol.

  • #2
    Hi DV8666,

    Pre-flop, you have the button and a decent hand. Villain's minraise could be a fairly weak hand, or it could be a monster looking for action. If I had a hand like TT+ or AK, I'd usually re-raise for value, hoping to get called by worse. If I chose to 3-bet, I'd make it 3X the original raise, to make it 12c. Pocket 9s can be a little harder to play than the bigger pairs, because it's very likely that the flop will bring at least one overcard to your pair, so just calling the minraise is the best policy for a new player. So - without reads - I'd recommend you just call here, as you have a good price to see if you can flop a set, as you'll still be able to build a decent pot if villain also has something.

    On the flop, I understand your thought processes but the standard play here is actually very simple and I'll tell you why. A set on the flop is a very strong hand. With middle set, there is literally only one hand that beats you, and that's TT on this flop. Since it's hard to flop a set (it will happen about 1 in 8 times you see a flop with a pocket pair), it's quite unlikely villain has TT. He could have an overpair, top pair, a draw, or he might have completely missed. You, however, have the second nuts.

    When I flop a set, I'm basically asking to myself "What is the best way to get my stack in the middle and double up?"
    I'm absolutely committed to trying to get all my money in on the flop if possible, before scare cards come and either make my hand 2nd best, or frighten the villain into folding. (If he has AT, he'll hate a heart on the turn, so won't call if you keep betting).

    Here villain doesn't make a continuation bet, because YOU were the last raiser pre-flop. He's checking to the raiser. You can now make a continuation bet for FAT value, hoping to get called by worse hands including pairs and draws. Since this flop is wet (it has a flush draw and an open-ended straight draw with QJ) you can bet quite large, because you have a very strong hand and want to get maximum value from the hands that could draw out and beat it.
    A pot-sized bet of 15c is great here. When villain check-raises all in, I'm pumping my fist in joy! There's a very small chance he has TT and we're in terrible shape, but most of the time he has JJ+, AT, or a draw. Against that range, a set of 9s is absolutely CRUSHING. If villain has just one pair (and believe me, at 2NL, you'll often be shown one pair here), you'll win this hand 93% of the time! You've got to love getting your money in as such a huge favourite. The only hands you should fear are combo flush/straight draws, but even if villain has QhJh for the monster draw, you'll win the hand 60% of the time.

    So this is actually a really easy spot. You flopped a set, you bet it and villain shoved. Snap-call, print money. Easy game.
    Once you've flopped a few sets and been paid in full, I guarantee you won't wince the next time villain spazzes out like this. You'll be laughing all the way to the bank.
    Last edited by ArtySmokesPS; Mon Mar 18, 2013, 05:58 PM. Reason: equity % corrections
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    • #3
      Ahh awesome, glad I didnt go too wrong with this then.

      I think at the time I was not expecting a all in, and I panicked a little thinking crap what the hell does he have then, and was rushing to try and work out what he had. And at this point I was more concentrating on trying to work out what can he have to go all in with rather then oh my god I have a great hand and he bet into me.

      Thanks for the advice, this hand definitly got my heart racing for sure lol.

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      • #4
        There's a great video Dave (TheLangolier) made a while back called Commitment Decisions.
        The math involved might look a little scary at first, but it basically boils down to this:
        You're playing against a short-stack. When you bet 15c on the flop, the short stack has to make a commitment decision, because just calling will mean he'll have put a quarter of his starting stack in the middle. It's usually a mistake to put a third of your stack in the middle and then fold, so if he calls here, it's because he has a hand he is willing to stack off with. The hands a shorty will typically stack off include sets, overpairs, TPTK, and decent draws (8 outs or more). Since he thinks he has a hand worth calling off his stack with, he may as well shove it all in.
        You, however, have middle set. This is actually a strong enough hand to stack off with even if both of you have 100bb. So what you want to do is build the pot and try and get your stack in. If villain decides to shove over your c-bet, that's even better. It's the easiest call in the world. Your plan was to try and get all your chips in the middle, and now villain is doing it for you!

        If you'd only had 1 pair or a draw, you could still fold here, because you haven't put a third of your chips in. By betting big, you forced villain to commit to stacking off with the worst hand. This how we win big pots in poker: Getting villains to stack off with the worst of it.
        It's a simple rule that bears repeating: If you flop a set, you should bet and raise the flop, trying to get all in, because stacking off with a set on the flop is extremely profitable.

        Or to put it another way, in 100,000+ hands, I've flopped hundreds of sets. I've only folded a set on the flop twice. Both times it was bottom set and I had good reason to believe it was losing to a made flush or better set, because the flop was multiway and the action was crazy. (I made the right fold both times). Most of the time, you'd be making a huge mistake if you fold a set on the flop, even if a villain makes a big shove. This is especially true at 2NL, where villains will stack off very light.
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