Tuesday, 29 March 2016

[Poker] Hand #2 - Mistakes with Aces

The more time I spend reviewing hands, ranging opponents, looking at equities and implied odds etc etc, the more I realise one thing - bad folds are just as costly EV wise as bad calls. To a seasoned poker veteran this seems like a very obvious concept, and is one I was certainly accepting of, but until properly intense review using PokerJuice I didn't realise just quite how costly it can be. The hand I want to discuss today is a spot where I made some very -EV plays, which at the time multitabling making snap decisions seemed quite standard, but upon review it was a costly mistake. 
Note: I've decided all hand reviews I do from this point onwards will be displayed in big blinds. This is more for my own personal benefit than anything as I need to get into the habit of thinking in big blinds. 
We have double suited aces in the small blind. A player who is playing a 25/18 raises UTG. My only reads on the player so far are that he plays very aggressively when he has the betting lead, apart from that he seems to be a very standard player. I elected to 3bet here, which is about the only decision I made in this hand that I actually like - it serves well to both get as much money in with our powerful hand as possible, and also reduces the SPR, which reduces our positional disadvantage. However, it does come with the drawback of playing bloated pots out of position on scary board textures, which we will see, as he elects to call. 

The flop is interesting. We have the nut flush draw, but the board is already paired in a way that I thought hits his range very very hard. I decided to bet small here, just over 1/3 of the pot, to try and bluff massive value. This is the first decision I don't like, because in doing this I'm pricing him in to call with wraps, a ten, or a complete float looking to bluff the turn. This small bet actually achieves the opposite of what I wanted by keeping his range very wide, as a larger bet wouldn't be called by a float, and a wrap would probably give up too. I would've preferred in hindsight to go about 14 or 15 on this flop, or even check call, which probably represents more strength than a small bet. He calls the small bet and I shudder. 

The turn is a horrid card for me, as it double pairs the board. In my mind at the time, he has to have either a ten or a king here when we consider his preflop range and his flop action. I was content to check-fold this flop, which I don't think is horrible to a large pot committing bet. However, when I checked, he bet less than 1/4 of the pot. I decided this was a bet designed to make me call with my probably quite obvious aces, so I folded. This is a very bad fold for one main reason - it is very unlikely he has a boat or better here. He needs specifically KT (or quads) to have me beat, and there are only four combinations of that left in the deck, so it drastically reduces the odds he has it. Yes he has trips an awful lot of the time, but my pot odds are 5.2:1 against a range I almost certainly have good equity against with my flush draw and 2 outer for a boat. Once I posted this hands on the forums of the lovely people of PokerJuice, Nikolaj calculated, using the PJ RD module, that using a range of trips or better on the turn, he only has a boat 22.29% of the time, and his range is often much wider than that. Check-calling the turn is almost certainly a better play, as I have outs which I'm being laid good odds to hit, and there's a good chance he gives up on the river with any bluffs and I can take it down. 

Pretty small post today because I only really had one message with it - missing out on EV comes in both calling too light and folding too tight. I've been back home on an impromptu visit this week so I've hardly played at all, which was enjoyable but I'm looking forward to getting back to it. Monthly review coming soon (be prepared for a super negative post with that one). I'm also going to write a review of the softwares I've been using, namely PT and PJ (be prepared for a super positive post with that one). 

Hopefully see you next time! Seacombe

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