02-25-06 [poker] - 2

02-25-06 [poker]

Two interesting non-standard hands :

Hand 1 :

$100 NL, $1 BB
Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is Button with K K 
2 folds, Hero raises to $4, SB calls $3.5, BB folds.

Flop: T T A ($9, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero ????

The normal line here is just to c-bet as if I had the ace. That's what you should do 90% of the time. But if you are against the kind of loose villain who will pay you off later with any pair, you should check. Why? If you bet here he will fold any hand you beat, and only call with better hands. However, if you check and the turn comes an 8 and he holds Q8, now he'll call a bet with a worse hand, and might even lead with it. If he had an ace all along you're losing your bet anyway, so why not wait for him to make a hand that you beat in some cases? Also there are no draws on this flop except a gutshot (and you hold a lot of the outs for it) so it's not too risky to give a free card - eg. almost any card that comes makes villain a hand that's still worse than yours. The interesting thing here is that it's a good spot to slow play (but only against this particular kind of donkey opponent), even though in the scheme of things my hand sucks, I can't beat a T or A, but I'm just ignoring those hands since I'm losing to them no matter what I do, I just want to maximize against all the other hands he might have.

Hand 2 :

Stack sizes:
Hero: $100
CO: $59.95

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG with 9 9 
Hero calls $1, UTG+1 raises to $2, CO raises to $7, 3 folds, Hero calls $6, UTG+1 folds.

Flop: 3 A 6 ($17.5, 2 players)
Hero checks, CO bets $13, Hero ???

The normal line here is for Hero to just fold. I called preflop trying to hit my set and missed. But wait - look how short CO's stack is, and look at the action preflop - he put in a solid *reraise*. Against most people this means he has AA-QQ. When an A hits on the flop, there are only 3 ways he can have AA and 12 ways he can have KK or QQ, which means it's 80% (12/15) likely that he has KK or QQ, and is now scared of the ace. The best move here is to push all in! Of course you can only do this if he can fold a QQ or KK here, but most people can fold to a check-raise push. Another line is just to lead at this flop and then push the turn. You have to be pretty sure that CO is only reraising QQ+ preflop, if he would also reraise AK then that hand is very likely and problematic. You have to have a pretty solid read for this move to work, villain needs to be pretty tight/weak, predictable enough to only have QQ+ preflop, and weak/smart enough to be able to fold his QQ on the flop. In that case preflop you're not only drawing to a set, you're also drawing to an Ace! This is sort of like when you draw to a straight with a flush draw on the board, you have some outs to make your hand and extra outs to a good bluff card.

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