Turning A Missed Flush Draw Into A Bluff

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I was asked to review a hand played in a home game and in this hand we examine how to trust our off table study skills. Push play to watch the video and/or read the entire transcription down below.

In this spot we have ace/deuce suited, there is a limp from MP1. Hero decides to limp behind and just for the record, I know that these stack sizes for seat 9, 1 and 2 all say $40, but in all actuality those are just placeholder numbers, so in this situation I can be okay with limping. Just make sure you check behind you and see if there’s any people that are likely to attack your limp and if there are, especially people that are going to attack for a large size, this may not necessarily be the best spot to limp behind. But if you can take a quick, easy, cheap flop, this can totally be okay, it’s always something I at least consider limping behind with things like suited aces. ( Learn all about Value Betting and Aggression in this premium video pack)

In this spot we end up going very multi-way to it, flop goes KT9, check, check, and Hero checks too.

In this situation you could certainly consider firing a shell. I would say though, if you’re going to bet here, you typically want to have some sort of idea and if you’re going to be firing two or three shells or if you have a check raise in the turn in you, just consider that and think ahead before you just blindly fire here. Otherwise, I can totally be on board with Hero’s check as played in this situation.

End up facing a bet from the cutoff, Hero decides to just call, totally on board with that as well. hi-jack calls, too, queen on the turn, check, face a bet for 12, and Hero just decides to call. Given the price, I’m totally on board with it, and also given the line that the hi-jack took here, I can totally be on board with just check calling. If hi-jack has a jack, I don’t think he’s going anywhere. I also don’t think he’s going to do this a tremendous amount of the time with things like two pair either. I think in this situation you’re pretty safely against a jack, there’s probably certainly some implied odds, so I would definitely just call the turn and typically plan on donk betting when the spade does improve.

In this situation, unfortunately that doesn’t happen, but on back door clubs, Hero decides to fire it for 40.

range-strengthy

What Are Capped Ranges?

There was a note attached with this hand and the note says, “Today I used Equilab to review this hand. I built a hand range which he hits two pair on the turn with things like king/ten, queen/ten, king/nine, queen/nine, and suited combos, and some jacks, like jack/nine, jack/ten, and other suited combos, making a total of 67 combos. 43 of them give him 2 pair and the remaining 23 make a straight with the jack. I used the EV equation and the bluff looked to be plus-EV for about $20, but I’m still not sure that this move is correct.”

First and foremost, it is awesome that you’re doing this kind of exploration. This is exactly what off-table stuff is for. Congratulations for doing that, seriously.

The only thing I’m going to say here is that I think your assumptions are slightly off. The big assumption I’m going to say is you are assuming that there is a good chunk of combos in his range that are things like two pair and I’m going to heavily disagree with that.

I don’t think villain has many two pair combos here

So think about the hi-jack’s line so far, he limped behind preflop, he check-called on the flop—and that’s the big one—and then he leads in the turn into the aggressor. That, to me, doesn’t look like two pair. If he had something like king/ten, why would he ever take that line? Same thing with like ten/nine. Maybe they could have something like queen/ten, that certainly makes sense for the check-call, but would they really lead the turn with it into the flop aggressor? I don’t think that’s very true or at least not true for full combos.

When I get to the river here, I’m assuming that this range is going to have a lot of things like jack X in it, so all of that stuff makes a tremendous amount of sense, jack/tens, ten/nines, that kind of stuff all makes sense.

You notice then at that point, a ton of that is going to be straights, like pretty much all of it. Given the fact that we’re leading here for about pot, means that we have a break even percentage of about half. We need folds at least half the time and I don’t think we’re getting that anywhere near close enough.

If he really has a wide range where he has a lot of things like two pair and stuff, well, okay, now all of a sudden this starts to look a little bit better because now all of a sudden the straights are diminishing, slowly but surely, but I’m not 100% sure that that’s really going to be the case in this situation. I think that assumption is off.

Click here to enjoy Ep. 014 of The RedChip Poker Podcast!

Podcast showdown mechanicsThat being said, there is one more consideration here, and that is over-betting on the river. I don’t think you’re going to get a straight to fold if you bet 40, but the question is, what if you bet 80? What if you bet 100? What if you bet 120? Then could this person possibly find the fold button with a jack? If yes, that’s a very, very attractive option. If no, well, obviously you’re just kind of firing into the abyss at that point, but at least consider the over-bet.

I don’t think you’re going to get enough folds here to make this bluff plus-EV. I’m really not shocked that we end up getting looked up by obviously jack X, but at least consider this kind of stuff going forward. The over-bet especially, but also really making sure that that hand reading assumption is spot on.

 

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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