Middle Set In A 3Bet Pot

As part of the Ask SplitSuit a Question series, a bunch of people asked hand history questions and this one actually came privately via email. Brandon just wants me to review this spot from 10NL Zoom, so let’s check it out.

Okay, in this hand we’re in the big blind with pocket queens. There’s a raise from Under the Gun, folds to us, we decide to 3-bet and love the fact that we’re 3-betting, size is totally okay, let’s rock and roll from here.

Learn why you should Stop Flatting QQ


End up getting called and because this is Zoom, we have no HUD stats or other information, so we’re just going to dig this out as we would against a default player and we end up going here and Hero decides to check.

Brandon says he can’t ask for much more than this flop. He’s noticed that on Zoom at this stake, people tend to bet a lot of their range in 3-bet stop when checked to. Totally fair.

A♠ Q♥ 2♣

He said he hated the idea of losing value by not C-betting, but he wanted to stack any ace-X and he wanted to give any under pair the chance to continue.

I totally hear that, I totally understand that, but the thing is, as you mention in there that you want to stack ace-X and I’d ask how is checking the best way to stack ace-X?Bubble1 Let’s say we check and he bets like a buck and what are we going to do, check call down? Are we going to check raise? Are we going to check call donk later? It’s kind of awkward.

I would just say this, if he has ace-X, we can stack him anyway. Bet the flop for like $1.40, bet the turn, rest in on the river, you’re good to go. It’s not too difficult to get stacks inside at only 4.5 SPR. I’m not worried about that and I love the fact that we have middle set as opposed to top set because now there are a lot of ace-X type hands available.

I don’t really love checking and I understand your point as far as trying to get value from under pairs, but here’s the truth of the matter: It’s a texture where maybe you make one bet from an under pair, like pocket sixes or something, but that’s probably about it. If he ever starts getting like slow play with like ace-X or he just would’ve gladly called a couple of straights with tens, but wouldn’t bet when checked to and we have no information to lead us one way or the other, I just can’t assume that I’m going to make that much more money by checking.

Because of that, I just bet and fire at him. I do expect to get a decent amount of continuance, whether that’s a float, whether that’s ace-X getting sticky, whether that’s pocket tens peeling off for one streak, I don’t know. I just expect to get enough value to totally make betting be the default here.

I don’t get into this tricky try-to-check stuff, just keep your chin up, just bet it out for something like $1.30 or $1.40 and just go from there.

We do end up checking, we do end up inducing a bet, but it’s only a $.51 bet and now things are a little bit weird. At this point, Brandon decides to call, he says he perceives the $.51 bet as weak and he calls with intentions of betting two-thirds on most turns.

Okay, I definitely agree. I definitely view this bet as weak as well. A quarter pot is usually going to be a pretty weak bet and this is just one of those situations where I don’t really like any line. I don’t really check raising, I don’t really love check calling, definitely never, ever going to check fold. It’s just one of those where I don’t like any response to this. I don’t mind betting two-thirds on turns, you can bet $2 on there, rest in on the river, and it works.

Again, all this really boils back to the fact that I wouldn’t have checked the flop in the first place, so I never really have to encounter this.

That being said, the $.51 bet is definitely super atypical, but I just really don’t find myself in this spot.

The king of hearts on the turn, Brandon decides to change his mind and says that he feels that because it is the king of hearts, this card is going to get bet by Villain a lot of the time.

I don’t really think that we can say that, I’m not 100% sure why we’re saying that. I mean, sure, he could bet it sometimes, but if you look at your 3-bet and then check call on the flop, I mean, you’re kind of all over this board. Definitely not thinking you have a tremendous amount of sets, though you could have a set of kings, but you’re going to have things like king/queen and maybe ace/jack type hands. You’re going to have stuff that’s on this board.

I don’t really think you’re going to induce too many bluffs here, so I kind of disagree that we’re going to get a tremendous amount of value from early position betting a super wide range here. Maybe he does, but I’m not really confident that that’s going to be the case.

In this situation, instead of facing a normal bet, we actually end up facing a shove, which is obviously a little bit weird.

Article By Matt Tagliaferri “Checking The Best Hand For Value”

In this situation, Brandon says that he’s never going to fold, he doesn’t expect that this person is going to have like aces or kings or jack/ten very often. I would agree with that. Sure, I really heavily discount like aces and kings, I don’t think that’s getting flatted pre-flop a ton of the time at this limit. Sure, there could be some jack/ten, but if it’s jack/ten, it’s probably suited, which puts four combos of it, so I don’t really care. He could definitely be overvaluing things like ace/king, king/queen, ace/queen—I think I just said that—but those kind of things.

Those are just one of those where yeah, I’m just never going to fold, I’m just going to pick this off and rock and roll and go from there and feel very comfortable about it. In this situation, he ends up having a flush draw that he picked up on the turn and shelled with and obviously we held, which is nice to happen every now and then.

Again, the main point of this hand isn’t really the result, it isn’t really even the turn that when you’re facing the shove, it’s really more thinking about the flop and do you want to be it or not. Here’s the truth of the matter: You’re going to bet the flop and a decent chunk of the time or at least a very non-zero percentage of the time, you’re going to get no action, and whatever. You’re also going to bluff that board, when you have air.

It’s one of those where like, sure you happen to have a set this time, but it’s not going to deter me from betting it because when he has something, he’s going to get super sticky. When he doesn’t, he’s going to fold, but I probably wasn’t going to make much from that anyway, so I’d rather force him to make some big calling mistakes than try to get one bluff mistake from him occasionally. That’s usually going to be much more beneficial.

So Brandon, thanks for the great hand. If you or anyone else has a poker-related hand or question, feel free to leave it on our Google+ page, I’ll leave a link for that in the description box. Please make sure to like and subscribe if you’re enjoying this type of video.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Otherwise, good luck out there and happy grinding!

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top