Hand Reading Helps Guide Our Decisions

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Jan just wants a line check on this hand, so let’s check it out.

Okay, so this hand is from 10NL 6Max on PokerStars. There’s a raise. Hero decides to 3Bet with KQ, and I can totally be on board with this. There are a couple of situations where I’ll more heavily consider flatting. I may flat here if there’s a fish in the blinds and I thought that by flatting I would induce them to continue as well, so that way I can get that fish in there. Or, I may flat here if I think my post-flop edge against loveterry is super, super sick, and if I were to 3Bet, they’d just fold a ton of the time. So it would be more advantageous to make them go post-flop with me, beat them there, and win a lot more money, rather than just picking up their 3BB pre-flop.

Those are some situations where I would consider just flatting, but typically I’m going to be playing this very aggressively, and I’m okay definitely 3Betting here, for sure. I’m going heads up with them, go here. He decides to donk bet for $0.90, and Hero just decides to call.

Whenever this kind of situation comes up, one of the big questions I like to ask myself is: How many hands currently beat me?

In a situation like this at 6Max, I’m assuming that he probably doesn’t have AK a ton of the time. I’m assuming that probably 4Bets pre-flop, which means that I probably have the best K or chopping K. He could have KQ, but he can most likely have maybe a KJs, maybe a KTs, those kind of things. He can definitely have some second-best pairs, like JJ and TT and that kind of stuff. He could have some sets which do beat me, but there aren’t a ton of combos, though. There are three combos of 33, three combos of 66, not super worried about that. I don’t think AA are going to be in here all that often. So, there aren’t a ton of combos that beat me. I don’t think that many combos will beat me by the turn, either.

This is the kind of situation where I may consider raising, but I’m probably just going to flat here. If I flat, I can represent that I have something like QQ or AQ or maybe a JJ or TT type hand, and maybe I can get him to try to blow me off again on the turn.

I can’t give him enough credit for only having hands that beat me, so folding here is out of the question. It’s just, am I going to raise here? Am I going to call here? In this situation I think calling can definitely be valid, it depends on your reads. I wish I would’ve gotten some information, like HUD stats for these player types when I got the hand history, but unfortunately I didn’t. So, I’m just doing the absolute best I can to try to talk about everything we want to consider in these spots.

We end up going to a 4 on the turn, face another bet, and Hero just decides to call again.

When he bets again on the turn, it’s another situation where I don’t really think I’m going to be behind. The 4 doesn’t really change all that much. Does he really show up here with 75? Meh, whatever. Does he really show up here with 43? Meh, probably not.

I’m not really worried about hands like that, and the 4, in my opinion, just doesn’t change much. What it does change is that it starts to put a 4-straight for me on the board. So the river could be a 2, 5, 7 and put a 4-straight up, which is definitely something to consider. In this situation, again, I’m still not folding. So, it’s just a situation of, am I going to raise or am I going to call?

I will heavily consider raising this, if I think that he’s going to over-value flush draws that he had on the flop, back door flush draws that he picked up on the turn, any sort of Kx that he has, and maybe he levels himself and gets too active with something like TT. If I think that that’s the case, then I definitely just want to raise here and go for straight, straight value.

If I think this is a situation where I really just think he’s messing around with like AQ, AJ, JT, or whatever random nonsense, then I’m totally on board calling, letting him barrel off rivers, and obviously giving him action on all rivers.

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That would be the major thought process I’d be having here. Again, sometimes I’m going to raise, sometimes I’m going to call. If I call, then I’m definitely going to be getting sticky on pretty much every single river, that of course being a river that I’m also going to get sticky on, so when he bets for $3.50, definitely going to be calling him off. Unfortunately in this exact situation, he ends up waking up with top two, which is kind of weird and awkward.

So the fact that Hero lost this hand does not mean that he misplayed it, in my opinion. I think that getting sticky here with KQ is totally fine and valid. Again, there’s certainly some validity for considering a turn-raise or even a flop-raise, but as played, I’m definitely not going to fault Hero here.

What I am definitely going to do though, is take a note on loveterry. I’m going to take a note that he called my 3Bet OOP with K8, that he decided to triple bet into me with TP. The river, meh, whatever, not super worried about that. The fact that he can show up with K8, also leads me to believe that he’s going to show up with things like K9, KT, KJ, KQ. Again, we’re feeling super, super comfortable there and definitely not going to be relinquishing our TP. He just happened to get there this time, not going to happen every single time in the future.

Overall, I think what we did here was okay. Again, I think there’s some validity for considering a raise somewhere along the line, but if you’re going to take the call/flop, call/turn, definitely going to be calling the river as played.

Jan, thanks for the great hand.

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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