Tuesday, 19 April 2016

[Poker] Hand #5 - Overcomplicating Things

Hey guys, I played this hand today and I've been thinking about it for a while now. The equities in the situation run really close vs his potential ranges, and we have absolutely no reads on the player, so we have to make lots of assumptions. To show the hand, I'll be doing it in the normal style, but I've switched the PT theme to a Full Tilt theme, which I personally think looks beautiful but I'd love opinions on. I could see it being a bit heavy on the eyes after a while.

We're in the small blind vs a completely unknown player UTG, who limps. I have no reads on the player, but there are only two situations I ever really see this done at these stakes. The first being they have aces trying to play a 3bet pot, and the other being they're a weaker player. I block aces, so from the start I assume they're a weaker player. I obviously pot it from the small blind, very standard in my opinion with a hand this strong.

The flop is 869 rainbow, so we flop middle set on a straightened board. Normally I would go for a check call with this hand on this board texture, in order to keep bluffs in his range and maybe hit a boat and stack off a flopped straight, but my assumption of him being a weaker player means I don't think he's going to be bluffing at this board a lot, and will probably be calling quite light. He ends up potting it, which puts me in a weird spot. I thought this was a straight a fair bit of the time, which I have equity against, and I also thought he could be doing this with any overpair or set, especially if he's a weaker player. This is my reasoning for deciding to shove, which in hindsight I think is the worst of my three options. I definitely think flat-calling is the answer here, we keep in weaker hands, we give ourselves a chance to realise equity and stack off a straight, and we allow ourselves the chance to make another decision as oppose to just leave it upto percentage.
I actually did a lot of work using PokerJuice on this hand, and posted it around on forums, really trying to work out if I have an edge against his various ranges here depending on player type. The solution to that was that it's quite close and it really depends what his range is. If he's doing this with overpairs, I'm very ahead, if he isn't, I'm decently behind. However, I definitely think we could exercise pot control here, try and hit our card, and let them barrel with their straight or bluff.
This hand made me realise that I've been playing the style of PLO that I see when I sweat the 25/50 Zoom games that run occasionally, which involve a lot more stacking off on flops. I recently heard this referred to as "suicide poker", which I didn't really understand until now. At those stakes, it makes sense - players are bluffing often and bluffing large, and rake isn't as much of a consideration. At these stakes, I can play a bit more exploitably profitably, and the tiny equity edges I'm squeezing are run over by the rake.
I definitely think I've improved more this week than I have in a good while. The RI1 community and videos are helping my game so much, I really think its making a big difference. I've also thought of another studying method which works out well too, which I'm keen to share. I'll do a live runthrough of it as my next post most likely, or a hand where I checked back a boat on the river. One of the two.

Hopefully see you next time!

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