Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Live reads and bad betsizing

Cleveland Horseshoe on New Year's eve, 2012. A LAGGY player sitting two spots to my right is making my life difficult right now. His aggressiveness seems to come and go - I've seen him raise up junk like 74o, but also limp A9o.

This time I get a limp from him. My cards reveal 79, both hearts. I've been quiet for some time, so I go for an isolation raise, which happens to work. We go to the flop heads up.

The flop brings 458 with two spades. Not much for me except a gutshot. This gutshot has a bit more value than others, though, because a 6 puts a 4 card straight out there, meaning my opponent would also have a straight with a 7, but I would be holding the nuts. Those situations can be profitable.

My opponent leads into me for $20. These donk bets are almost always weak. A set or 67 would definitely checkraise. Maybe a pair and a gutshot with something like 78 or 56, maybe spades. Anyway, my image is a tight player who has already iso-raised preflop, and I have a bit of backup equity. I raise to $55. My opponent doesn't look comfortable, but he's sticky and makes the call.

Wonder of wonders, I hit my gutshot on the turn - a six of diamonds, which makes two river flush draws possible. My opponent checks.

My choice of bet size is critical here. I wouldn't mind stacks going in, of course, holding the nuts. I have to price out the spade draw (diamonds much less likely), but I also should bet small enough to keep the weak part of his range interested. After all, I have already read him as weak.

That last part eludes my brain in live thinking. I bomb the pot for $95, hoping he's holding a 7. He's not happy about it, but he folds, showing ace-eight. Top pair. A smaller bet might have gotten a call.

I really have to work on value betsizing. You can often just bombs away against fish and have them happily call, but much more thought is required to get value from decent players. I have to understand that a 7 is probably shoveling money into the pot anyway, and I don't have to maximize value against that part of his range. Focus on getting money from all of his holdings, not just the second nuts. This was my worse bet of the session.

I had a second, similar opportunity a bit later in the session, I hit two pair with 78 on a Q78 board. Someone lead out $5 (lol) into a $35 pot, and I raised it up right away. He called and I immediately put him on a club flush draw. The turn filled me up - I wanted to bet but not enough to scare the flush draw away. This time I settled on a much more reasonable $45, but my opponent folded again, telling me he probably had some queen with a crappy kicker that finally got convinced was no good. This was the same poor result, but I was much happier with the sizing.

Keep making good decisions and the results will follow.

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