Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The second barrel

Depending on the board and the player type, firing a second barrel on the turn can be a profitable play. Here are two examples from my Friday cash game session.

In the first, I had 2 limps to me in the big blind and I raised up 77. One player folded but the small blind called. At least I had position on him.

We got an 8 high board, (something like 852), 3 different suits. He checked. I felt like I had the best hand here most of the time, so I let out a value bet. My opponent called the bet. Now I'm not really sure if I have the best hand anymore.

The turn brought a king- my absolute favorite barreling card. Since everyone puts you on ace-king anyway, this king should give me top pair, top kicker. After my opponent checked again, I quickly and confidently bet $25 and got an instant fold.

Firing the turn barrel when a king comes works against decent players who are thinking a bit about what I might be holding. Complete fish might call with their gutshots or small pairs thinking their miracle trips are going to come anyway, so it doesn't work so well against them. In addition to kings, aces work pretty well also, but probably give people two pair more often.

In the second hand, I raised up an ace-queen suited and a pretty bad loose passive called me from the blinds. As usual, I whiffed on a king-six-four board, but this was a good board to continuation bet, so I did. My opponent thought for a second, like he wasn't sure what to do, but then called. His indecision lead me to believe he had a medium pair between the king and six, or maybe something like six-seven.

The turn paired the four, which didn't change the board at all. My opponent checked, and I knew I had to fire a second barrel here. I choice a $35 "I really mean it" bet this time, and he folded without too much further thought.

"You have a pair?" he asked.

"Ace-King", I replied, ensuring him he made a good fold.

You can't bluff every board or every player type, but against the correct players and the correct board, you can add a few more pots to your session.

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