The Best Line When You Smash The Flop

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Robert sent in a hand and he needed some help playing a hand that was possibly “too strong” – top set on a very safe turn. I break down this hand and explain what to look for, how to use the HUD stats attached with this hand, and how to craft an ideal line when you smash super hard.

There is a limp on a gun by Ginger, folds around, Hero decides to attack. I like that we’re attacking, I’d just be a little nit-picky and say go 5X here, go up to 25 cents versus 20. It’s a little nit-picky, but I’d just expect it to be more valuable. We end up getting called by Ginger and Robert says “over 25 hands, he is 29/8 and he has a call c-bet of 100%, call turn c-bet of 100%, and the only thing you conclude from these stats was that villain was quite passive preflop”. I’d say that is 100% what we want to glean from this. We can’t glean anything postflop really, or sample sizes of 1 back there, but 29/8 over 25 hands is definitely shaping up to be someone who has a huge gap in the PFR, denotes a ton of passivity and an open limp from under the gun is a very, very passive action, the fact that he just limp called, again, another passive action. So yes, this is someone who pays way too many hands, is going to play them passively, at least preflop, and we’ll just go from there.

LPPJ-Chart

So we end up flopping top set, which is always a little bit awkward because we kind of choke out a lot of the ways for him to continue and pay us off with second-best hands, but we’re always going to do our best to still try to make sure we maximize value, even though understanding in situations like this, we won’t always get action, it just is what it is, it’s built into the equation.

So he had a check, Hero decides to bet. I love that we’re betting, my only gripe is going to be with the size. Now, someone like this, with a big gap in the V pip PFR, I oftentimes think is also going to be a little bit more passive, calling station postflop. Because of that, I just assume that if he’s going to continue, he’s going to do so relatively inelastically, meaning that he’s going to continue kind of regardless of what the size is. Now, obviously if we shove, I think at that point there’s some elasticity, but I think that if we go 20 cents versus say 30 or 35 cents, the continuance is going to be pretty similar regardless of what size we choose.

Because of that, I’d really like to see like a 35 cent bet here. I think that if he has the case ace he’s going to continue, if he has a king, I expect more inelasticity, at least on this street. If he has a gut shot, I think he’s going to continue for 20 cents and 35 cents at roughly the same frequency.

Because of that, let’s just generate more value. Is he going to continue every time? Of course not. If he has a pocket fours, he’ll probably fold a lot of the time and that sucks, but he’s probably going to fold if we bet 20 cents or 35 cents. So again, we’re back to bet larger, generate more value, go from there.

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Okay. So after we bet we end up getting called by Ginger, go to the turn, which is a brick five, he checks, Hero decides to bet and again, very happy that we’re continuing to bet here, but my gripe again is going to be with the size. Again, if he’s going to continue for 50 with a draw, with king X, with a case ace, why wouldn’t he continue for 65 cents or 70 cents or something like that?

Again, I think the bigger we go here, if he really is shaping up to be a passive, more calling station type player, we should just use larger sizing totally, totally for value. Just for the record, there are some people where I’d even just pot it here. Again, I’m not going to get action 100% of the time, but when I do, I generate so much more value, so at least consider that.

This all really heavily relates to something called pot geometry. If you’re not really sure what the heck that is, I did a quick place video on it and I’ll link that in the description box, but pot geometry is essentially what every bet put in or not put into the middle does to the final pot size. Essentially even the slight changes in earlier betting rounds, like preflop and on the flop and on the turn can drastically change the final pot size and how much we can even make on a river bet.

how-much-largerBecause of that, I’d really like to see this be a little bit larger, totally for value, assuming the second-best hands will still continue, even for a slightly larger size. If he’s going to fold a gut shot for 50 cents, he’s definitely going to fold it for 70 cents, but we make a lot more value, the times he has the case ace or a cry call king or he decides to over pay for a draw.

Again, larger is better here and I’m getting called. Board pair on the river, which is the greatest thing ever, really easy and we’re still on value-bet mode and Hero decides to bet again. Still happy that we’re betting, size-wise can probably go a little bit larger here, probably like a 1.40, 1.50. I’m just assuming that obviously all busted draws are going to check fold, it is what it is. I don’t really think he’s going to like check shove a busted draw regardless of our size. He really hasn’t shown any propensity so far to be aggressive, so I don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s really just how much can I bet to get max value from the case ace or cry call king?

I think we can go a little bit larger for those kind of things, so I’d like to see this be like 1.50. Again, if we made those slightly smaller changes earlier, again, that extra 5 cents preflop, the extra 10 cents on the flop, the extra 15-20 cents on the turn, those things will change the final pot size and all of a sudden there’s like an extra dollar or so in the middle and now all of a sudden we can get an even bigger river bet. Just keep these kind of things in mind as you’re playing hands. Bet sizing is really, really crucial and it’s not like the first thing I tell a newer player to focus on because there’s a lot of art to bet sizing well, but it’s one of those things where if you worked on a lot of the fundamental parts of your game, getting good at bet sizing is a really, really, really important part of the puzzle that can help you generate a tremendous amount of extra edge.

I’d just like to see this be a little bit larger as well. End up getting a call and have the best hand and a win and that’s all well and good. Again, the major important thing is bet sizing in this hand. Bigger sizing all the way around works with the pot geometry and generates us a lot more value.

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SplitSuit

My name is James "SplitSuit" Sweeney and I'm a poker player, coach, and author. I've released 300+ videos, coached 500+ players, and co-founded the training site Red Chip Poker. Contact me if you need any help improving your poker game!

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