Monday, November 16, 2009

Sooted Connectors Hand -- Conclusion

Last Thursday I had posted some screen shots and asked some questions about how readers like to play a standard sooted connectors hand very early in a large MTT. It was the nightly pokerstars 25k guaranteed with a $27.50 buyin at 8pm ET, just the first couple of orbits. UTG limped, a few folds, and then I limped behind with 87s in clubs. We saw a five-way flop of 962 with one club, giving me an oesd, and when the action checked around to me, I bet 90 chips into the 110-chip pot. Just one player in late position called my bet, and we saw a heads-up turn card:

So, I just made my nut straight on the turn. And I picked up a flush draw. And an open-ended straight flush draw. There's 290 chips in the pot, and both myself and my opponent each have around 10x that still behind. I've now switched from win-a-small-pot mode to full chip extraction mode, and the question I posed is how would you play the hand now to give yourself the best chance to win and win big?

In a nutshell, you bet! That was the answer that mostly every commenter suggested, and I have to agree with that approach. There's two main reasons why I think a bet is almost mandatory here. First and foremost, I do not want to lose this pot at this point. Not giving this pot away after the hand I have amassed on the turn card is more important even that extracting my opponent's stack. And giving the entire pot away could very easily happen if I give this guy a free card to draw to another club that could give him a higher flush with the lone Jack, Queen, King or Ace of clubs in his hand. So I need to bet here, and the most important point is that my bet size be enough to clearly price him out of making a call with a lone high club in his hand. That' a little more than 4 to 1 against hitting on the river, so I need to bet more than a quarter of the pot to ensure that if he calls with just the one-card flush draw, that call is by definition profitable for me over the long term.

The other reason I think to bet here is one that was alluded to by a few of the commenters, and it has to do with extracting the most chips from my opponent. If I want to have a chance to get his whole stack, an all-in bet at this point would be for ten times the current pot, would look totally ridiculous, and is not going to be called by my opponent. Even a bet of twice the pot can't possibly be called really, unless the guy is holding the Ace♣ and is a total jackmonkey. But, I'm going to have that exact same problem on the river if I check here and my opponent checks behind. There's basically no way I can make a credible, callable bet on the river for most or all of my opponent's stack, unless I bet first on the turn here and get called, which will make the odds much more in favor of a sizable river bet if that's what seems like the most profitable move for me after the river card falls.

So I've got to bet this here to both maximize my chance of winning big and to minimize my chance of losing the whole pot on the river:

210 into 290. If he's got the Ace♣ and wants to call that bet, I sincerely hope he does. Because he is paying me free chips over the long haul by making this call, and because I know I can and will lay this down to almost any real action on the river if a fourth club hits. Unless it makes me a straight flush of course, in which case I probably move it all in and hope he's got the nut flush in there.

Cue the pokerstarsy river card:

Not a good card for me. There were two diamonds on the flop, and the guy called (not raised) two (not one) roughly 2/3-the-pot bets from me on the flop and the turn. Definitely the kind of play someone would make with a flush draw on the flop that did not fill on the turn, huh? And of course there's also the fact that the turn and river now made a higher runner-runner straight than the one I have, not that I am particular concerned about that longshot play but it's pokerstars, you never know. Would you lead out here, small maybe and try the blocking bet route? Or just check and hope to see a free showdown?

For me, he just played his hand so transparently like a flush draw that I dont' want to bet here. I check, and of course my opponent bets out:

Ugh. 200 chips into 910 in the pot. If that's not a suck bet, then I don't know what is. But then, it's only another 200 chips. Who's calling here, and who's folding?

Once you've decided what you would do, you can click here to see what I did.
[Edit: Link has been fixed]

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10:14 PM  
Blogger BLAARGH! said...

calling or folding?????? I'm shoving all in baby!!!!

ok, fo realz I'm calling unless I have some history with him and know exactly what that bet means. Some fishies call call bet small with their TP, and I think you don't have to win that pot very many times to show a profit.

Your linked screenshot isn't showing up btw - no idea what you did, tho I suspect you called. If you shoved all in, you get bonus BLAARGH points.

10:31 PM  
Blogger APOSEC72 said...

probably a crying call here, because I suck and probably have no history with this guy to know otherwise.

10:42 PM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

He's offering around 5 to 1 on the money, meaning you only need to be right one in 5 times to be break even with a call. I'd guarantee you that you'll be right more than 1 in 5 to make this call in the future - therefore I call. I'm not surprised to see him show up with some donkiness like K9o, or some crap like that. But I'm not surprised to see him show up with 7d2d either.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

You have to call here, and throw up in your mouth a little.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

I'm not folding.

12:36 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

what a small raise to 625 and if he shoves you fold?

12:40 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

ps cheesehaters link doesnt work

12:40 AM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Did I miss something? You keep referencing him calling with the Ace of Clubs, but there were only two clubs out there. He can't hit the rivered flush with only one card of the suit. He needs them both. You may want to do a bit of editing.

12:59 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...


1:43 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...


You're right. But I'm too lazy to edit it right now. He would need two clubs along with one face card to flush me.

2:34 AM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

Results are fixed now - WTF for the villain? Could he have played this any worse? Just about every draw and its brother got there. He flopped a set AND HE HAS THE ABILITY TO CHECK BEHIND! He turns a flopped set into a semi bluff!??!?!?! Obviously a donk.

3:49 AM  
Blogger BLAARGH! said...

See? You should have shoved :P

3:55 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

and thus my thought to raise for value here

6:25 AM  
Blogger The Poker Meister said...

fuel da man until the villain 3bet shoves.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Villian rarely shoves without the nuts at these levels. Raising for value in these spots is the best play long term. You rarely have hands this strong and need to extract value when you can. Most sets and two pair hands pay you off here. And occasionally crappy flushes that have you beat fold.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Shrike said...

Min-raise and fold to a 3bet.


11:08 AM  

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