Friday, January 25, 2008

Straight draw vs. flush draw semibluff fest

This hand has really stuck with me because I can't figure out whether I misplayed it.

My opponent was bluffing, but my rebluff failed. I feel like there should have been some way to get him off his hand.

I was sitting in a 6-max 10/20 NL game when I found T9o from the button. I raised to $70.

Only a LAG with 37/25 stats from the big blind called. My impression of him was that he played too many hands, but he wasn't necessarily a calling station. I believed he could take a hint when he was beaten and would bet many of my made hands for me.

The flop came down Jc 8c 3d, giving me an open-ended straight draw with a club flush draw on the board. I had no clubs.

My plan was to continuation bet my draw against this donk. If he had nothing, he would fold. If he had top pair or a draw, he would check-raise. I didn't think any other hand types were likely.

Of course he check-raised my $110 flop bet to $340.

So then I figured a draw was the most likely hand he had, and top pair would probably fold to a reraise. My action seemed clear at the time: jack it up to $1,000 in hopes of forcing him to fold. I truly felt confident that he would fold most top pair hands, and either fold or reraise his draws.

Unfortunately, he pushed all in. I made sure I had pot odds before making the call getting about 4:1 with two cards to come. It was academic. I had to call.

My opponent flipped over Qc9c for a flush draw and a gutshot draw.

How could I be so right and so wrong at the same time? Somehow I had put him on the kind of hand he actually had, but I was still behind the whole way. The final club on the river to complete his flush was irrelevant because Queen-high would have taken it down anyway.

I've reviewed this hand about a dozen times now and I'm still not sure if I played it incorrectly. I might have made the same moves even if I knew what he had because I thought I could get him to fold. I think he would have folded top pair to my reraise, although I'm uncertain how much of his range was top pair and how much was a draw.

Was I doomed from the start? What if I had called the flop check-raise and waited until the turn?

In that case, there would have been $830 in the pot, and I would have had $1,580 behind. If my opponent had followed through on the turn, he probably would have been committed even if I pushed all in. (For example, if he had bet $700 on the turn and then I had raised all in, that would have made the pot about $3,100 with him only having to call $900 more. With about 15 outs, I don't think he would/should have laid it down.)

If he had checked on the turn, he probably would have check-raised all in with his strong draw. A fold seems unlikely.

I guess I could have checked behind on the flop, but I like to continuation bet when there's a good chance I can take down the pot right then and I have decent equity.

I sure did get myself in a bad spot. I'm just worried that I won't know how to escape next time. Ideas?


kurokitty said...

I don't feel this hand is misplayed. You see this situation on the videos a lot-- you had a good read that the donk was raising a draw and *most* times you can get a fold by a re-raise. Sometimes donks love their draws.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Wow, this is a great post. I'm not sure I can add much value here. I really don't know. It seems like a situation where there's not much you can do. Did you post this on any of the forums? I'd love to hear the comments from there too.

$mokkee said...

there are probably only 2 hands i can think of where i might get all-in on the flop in a cash game without a made hand, OESTR/FL draw or OESD with two overs.

-tighty mctight

Fuel55 said...

I think you are right that he can fold TOP PAIR hands or SINGLE DRAW hands but the tricky part is double draws (like he had) or nut flush draws with two overs (AK, AQ etc). You either fold on the flop (low variance) or stack off with your draw (high variance) - neither is wrong really.

It all started with T9o - I think in the bigger games you have to get rid of these for the most part.

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Gnome said...

I don't like the way I played it. I simply don't want to go to war without a stronger drawing hand.
This one almost makes it, but I'm not sure if I have enough equity (including fold equity) against my opponent's range.
Against my opponent's specific holding, I was an 80-20 dog.
Against a broader range (about 25 percent of likely BB calling hands), I'm still about a 60-40 dog on the flop, according to PokerStove, which may be close enough to take a chance on a semibluff.
It just seems so marginal to commit my chips like this.
If I could do it over again, I would have flat called the flop check-raise and re-evaluated on the turn (folding most of the time but perhaps bluffing big on a scare card if checked to).

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

You played T9o and then pushed in a reraise for a grand with just an oesd, and people are saying you didn't misplay the hand? I don't understand.

Don't get me wrong, Gnome, I make plays like this all the time in cash games. But I recognize that I effed up when I do it. You pushed in a grand against a guy who showed strength on the flop when you had just a run of the mill oesd.

Let me put it this way: if this hand was on my blog instead of on yours, 674 people would have commented on how horrible a play this was to get so committed for so much money with not even a strong drawing hand, in a situation where even any club could fall and beat the hand I was drawing to anyways even if you made it. In a way not having a whole troop of haters can hurt though, because I think that would be the best answer to you here.

I say #1 fold T9o preflop. #2 don't bump it up to a grand on the flop (just call). #3 fold just the 8-outer on the flop for the extra $230. That #3 is probably the money move in my book. I am farrrrrr from a cash game expert, but if this was me playing the hand in your shoes, that would be my conclusion as I looked back over it. You read that he would fold the hand that he had, so you commited a bunch of money with just a draw, and your read was wrong and your 6-outer did not fill. All the stuff I've ever read about committing to pots says this is not a great spot to be pushing that much dough into the middle.

Great hand, but I am really shocked by the lack of reaction to your play. You've got people saying the hand was not misplayed, and that there isn't much you can do? Huh?

Gnome said...

Thanks for the comments.
A couple of more points:
1) I believe I can play T9o profitably for an open raise from the button. Excluding this hand, I'm a winner (+$1,200) over the last six months with T9o when played for a raise, according to my PokerTracker stats. This hand drops me down into the red (-$800) with T9o, but it's safe to say I didn't have to lose nearly that much.
2) My reraise of my opponent's check-raise would have been more appropriate if I had a stronger draw, like the nut flush draw. I would play this hand the same way if I had something like A2c, which has great equity in this situation against my opponent's range, according to Poker Stove.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Btw I agree with you on the stronger draw issue. Give me 11 or 12 outs or something and I think the big push makes a lot more sense. Still not sure it's the best play there is, but I think it makes a heck of a lot more sense than just the oesd, especially with the flush draw on board as well.

Interesting your stats with T9o. I wonder if you will get back to positive territory overall with it or stay negative. I bet a pretty cool post could be made by someone who's been using pokertracker for a long time to review marginal hands like this and the profitability of each.

SubZero said...

I like the call of flop raise. If he continues to push hard on the turn, you can fold (unless of course you hit!). Or, if you sense weakness (or a friendly scare card hits) you can then bet or raise hard, and put the pressure on him rather than vice versa.
If your read of him being on a draw is correct, you are more likely to elicit a fold on the turn when a blank hits leaving only 1 card to come. Everyone is happy to be allin with a strong draw on the flop, but even donkeys slow down on the turn when they lots of money behind, no hand and only a single card to come.

Would have liked to see a suckout but 'twas obviously not to be....

HighOnPoker said...

Gnome, I may be late to the party, but I have a few points/questions:

(1) If you thought he was on a draw, did you really think you had 8 outs? The most logical draw for him to have is the flush draw, so that ruins two of your eight outs, leaving you with six outs. I don't mind semi-bluffing, but you were semi-bluff re-raising with a very slim draw.

(2) Is your loose opponent the type of player to lay down big draws? Even assuming he has a draw, some players can't let it go, especially after committing a lot of money to the pot.

In my estimation, you got into a pissing contest without a full bladder. You were drawing extremely thin against a player who seemed ready to call down no matter what.