Monday, February 15, 2010

checking the turn - pot control

Still getting used to playing a full 100BB stack, and I think I have found a weapon that helps me in this effort - checking the turn with good-but-not-great hands.

Example: I have pocket jacks in middle position. I raise to 3x the big blind. A blind calls, so I'm in position.

The board comes queen high and unconnected, say Q85 rainbow. The blind checks, I cbet, and he calls. There's no draw for him to chase, so I would put his holdings into one of the following categories:

a flopped set (sets always lurking)
a queen (AQ/KQ/QJ)
middle pair (called with 78s/89s, for example).
small pocket pair floating me.
random hands that missed but are floating me (AK, maybe JT hoping for a gutshot or just a pure float).

I'm beating most of these hands. Furthermore, most of them have very few outs against me. However, I don't have a big enough hand to play a big pot. If he checks again on the turn, my latest play is to check most turn cards, with the intention of calling most river bets. The turn check seems to burn into the villain's mind that I have nothing - I cbet the flop that I missed, and now I'm giving up. This causes them to fire the river on all their middle pair holdings.

The drawback is allowing them to catch up with an AK type hand, or hit two pair on their middle pair. But we're talking giving free cards with 5 or 6 outs available - this won't happen very often (they'll hit between 10 and 12%). And even if they do hit, or if they had a queen all along (KQ/QJ) the pot is too small for them to stack me.

If they decide to shove the river (either as a bluff or b/c they had their set all along or hit their unlikely outs), then I fold and give up the small 7x pot. Possibly exploitable, but I don't see many players bluff-shoving the river with middle pair or top pair/crappy kicker very often.

Just another benefit of being in position - pot control.

1 comment:

Forrest Gump said...
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