Value Or Showdown Value With JJ?

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Today’s question comes from Moishe who wants to review this hand play with JJ in a home game, so let’s check it out. In this hand the blinds are 25 cent/50 cent. There’s a limp and Hero decides to attack, and I like that we are attacking but as usual, I’m going to complain about the bet size. I know I’m always complaining about that, but I really would like to go a little bit larger here.

First you see there’s a station in the small blind. Definitely a spot where you want to go larger with your big hands. Second, someone just decides to open-limp under the gun, doesn’t scream good player. We have position in the good hand and you definitely want to go larger. Something like $3, $4, maybe even $5. It depends on how the game is playing – but it is going to be significantly better than just going to $2 and probably creating a very multi-way pot.

That’s actually exactly what happens. You end up getting a bunch of colors. Go 4-way to it. Check, check, check. Hero decides to bet. Because Seat 3 is probably bad because the station is almost certainly bad, I’m totally fine just betting here. We’ll go forward from there. End up getting called. Fold, fold, and here we go to the turn. Turn is a 4. Check. Hero bets, and the station decides to check/raise.

In the write up, Moishe says this:

“The villain is a calling station who tends to bet big when he has a monster. Otherwise, he will often call down with a second best hand. I tend to be an aggressive player. Other players feel they can never put me on specific cards.”

First and foremost, thank you very much for all the extra information. That actually helps quite a bit when it comes to talking about a more specific situation. Secondly, I love the fact that you bet the turn. I think there’s plenty of second best hands that can and will call. Obviously, the station because they’re a station can call with things like 10x, 6x, back door heart, that sort of thing. Yes, they’re going to continue with Ace-x. Yes, they’re going to continue if they have made flushes and two pairs and all that kind of stuff, but it’s going to be pretty easy to sniff out when that happens.

Which brings me to point 3. You said that this person tends to call down with second best, tends to get aggressive with big hands, like when they think they have monsters, and they tend to bet big when they have those monsters. I’d say the station is telling you right this moment that you are behind. Probably very far behind. Probably to a mid flush, maybe something like two pairs. Something like that, but more often, I think you’re going to be looking at things like flushes and stuff like that.

This is the kind of situation where you have to really make a decision. Now, you’re only getting a little bit better than 2-to-1, if you look at all of your hearts as live outs, plus your jack as a live out, and if you really think he only has flushes here, then your jack is not a live out. You’re not doing well enough in order to call here. There’s not really enough back to justify going for implied odds on the river. This is a situation where if you truly believe the read that you’ve stated thus far, you kind of have to find the fold button here. Right?

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Now, the thing is you could say, “Well, this person could have a lot of baby flushes and if a heart fills up on the river, then all of a sudden I’m good a large chunk of the time.” Okay. Maybe that’s true, but are you really going to get ultra paid when there’s four hearts on board and the station is sitting there with some weak flush. Mmm, I don’t think so, so again, your implied odds are getting lower and lower by the moment.

This is a situation where I like the line so far. Other than the pre-flop bet sizing, I like the fact that we attacked. I like the fact that we bet the flop. I like the fact that we bet the turn against this specific opponent. I just think that once they tell you this, it’s time for you to really, really listen and probably find that fold button rather than call. Then, what’s your plan? There’s only, what, $40 roughly going back into the river. If it spades off, are you still going to call if he shoves? If it’s hearts, are you still going to call if he shoves? You’re in a situation now where you really have to think that step ahead and you have to be planning.

I really don’t like this call unless you have a different read. Just based upon the read that you’ve given me so far, I would say probably time to just bet/fold the turn, rather than just bet/call and then probably end up getting sticky on a lot of rivers.

The hand isn’t totally over yet. Hero decides to call. Heart on the river, and notice it’s a very interesting heart. Then the station decides to check. Hero decides to go for the jam at this point and I am very, very happy with this. I think if the station had nut hearts, they would’ve just jammed it in on the river, so I think that check implies baby hearts or possible bluff, but more often than not, maybe ace-x, maybe two pair, maybe baby hearts, but it’s really never the nuts. I like the fact that Hero identified that and said, “Okay, well, if he doesn’t have the nuts, then my hand must be the nuts.” Rock ‘n roll. Let’s go for the value shove.

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I really, really like this adjustment as played. This is a very, very specific river card. Not one that we’re going to get 100% of the time by any stretch, but I like the fact that we adjust it properly in real time. Now, as played, we end up getting called and we get called by those baby hearts. Again, I’m not shocked to see this. A station can show up with really, really garbage heart hands, right? It’s not like a good player is going to have a very small amount of them when they decide to check/raise the turn. A station can have a massive plethora of heart kind of hands just given away that they tend to call pre-flop.

Again, I’m not really in love with the turn line given the exact read. Given the way it all rolled out, I really like Hero’s line, but I’m thinking that the turn is probably a little optimistic given the read that you gave. I think the station told you that they have a flush and you probably got a little bit stickier in a spot where you probably shouldn’t have. That being said, it worked out this time, but I think in the future you want to be a little bit more cautious and hesitant when someone is telling you that they have you beat.

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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