Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hand Reading Question

This week I thought it would be fun to look at a few hands I played in over the weekend in mtt's where I was faced with some interesting hand read situations, and maybe you can try your own hand at figuring out what my opponent is on, and how best to respond to that read.

First there is the 40k guaranteed tournament at 7pm ET on full tilt, which is a $75 buyin that runs nightly and which IMO is one of the best values on full tilt in terms of prize pool, buyin and the usual size of the field. This hand was very early in that tournament, during the 15-30 blind round, and I was dealt KK in the cutoff. The action folded to me preflop, and I put in my standard 3x raise to 90. Both the small blind and the big blind called.

The flop came down Q92 with two spades (I had the King of spades). The small blind checked, and the big blind bet out 90 into a 270-chip pot. I called the 90, hoping to get in a raise on a later, bigger street with my overpair and really only fearing the three non-spade Aces on the turn, and the small blind called as well, putting 540 chips into the pot:

With 540 chips in the pot, the turn brought the 9 of spades, now putting a 3-flush on the board in addition to a pair of 9s, the small blind once again checked, and the big blind once again led out, time for 240 chips into the 540-chip pot. I once again just smooth called, hoping to draw in the small blind when I held an overpair in addition to the King-high flush draw with just one card to come, but unfortunately the small blind folded:

Now the river brought a raggy 6 of diamonds, and, with 1260 chips in the pot, my opponent led out for 420 chips:

What hand do you put this guy on, and why? And would you call, raise or fold based on that read in this spot?

Leave your answers in the comments, and I'll be back tomorrow with the results.

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Blogger PokerFool said...

I would first go to officialpokerratings.com, type in villains name and see if they are a winning player or not. More than likely not, because only donks donk bet 1/3 pot.

If player is a donk, I raise that flop and I'd be happy getting it in. If they are a good player, I'd still probably raise flop, but may play it weak (errr, safe) like you.

As played, call river, because their range is fairly wide and can include Queens and busted draws that you beat.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

Agreed, SB is a likely donk. However, the likely donk who likely called out of position with A9o (possibly with A spades), turned his mis-sized feeler bet into a likelier value bet on the turn, and a value bet on the river.

If you think SB can fold a turned set, then raise, but if not, you should call for the reasons PokerFool said. Still, by the river, I'm thinking he's likely on A9 to have made the pf call.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I put him on Q-J or Q-10, but I don't raise there. Too many things on the board beat you. I don't think I want to reopen the betting with just a pair. If you want to raise in that hand, do it on the turn.

1:01 AM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...


1:02 AM  
Blogger Mike Heffner said...

You haven't shown any real strength in the hand by calling the flop and turn - your hand looks more like some kind of draw or underpair-type hand than KK.

Villain can easily have a Q or a draw of his own donking all three streets with such small feeler bets. He's got to show me a 9 or flush in this spot - even though the small river bet feels like you are getting taken to the Valuetown Grand Tour.

This early in a tourney, I don't see where a raise has that much value, especially on the turn. I don't think you can bank on villain being bad enough to call a turn raise with just Queens up. Pot control has its advantages against randoms with no reads. At least you get to see what kind of line he's taking for future reference without having to spend a lot of chips

1:16 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

I bet 1/3 the pot there with full house cause it looks weak as hell and will probably get raised by a flush. I heart the guy who says "only a donk bets 1/3 the pot". Heaven forbid people get creative... Who knows, maybe the guy has air and is attempting to make it look like the worst value bet ever to make you fold a Q? That bet was so good it inspired a post even, what a donk.......

1:24 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

I think 1st bet was a feeler bet to see if Middle pair was good or a blocking bet on flush draw.

I call out of "Intellectual curiosity" but expect to lose.

2:28 AM  
Blogger spritpot said...

folding not an option.
raising a bit too thin IMO.

he actually could have a 9 here which has you pwnd...sometimes donks like to throw feeler bets out there on the flop.

you beat almost any Q (other than Q9), JT, and some random pocket pair he's playing like a retard.

2:38 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

So hard to narrow his range since you played it so slow. There's not a lot of chance that he'd have you on AA or KK.

He called 60 in a pot that had 210 in it already. So what flat calls getting 3.5:1? A whole lot of hands.

He could have any small to medium pair, including 99 (though a re-raise would probably be likely there). Sixes aren't impossible given the fact that you never took the lead in betting after the flop.

He could have any Queen crap hand, though Q6 would seem unlikely.

He could have any sort of medium connector, many of which have a nine in them.

He could have A9.

My goodness! All those hands beat you!


4:10 AM  
Blogger columbo (at eifco dot org) said...

this looks like he took a flop with some connector. He leads out with some connection, which only works in the early levels. Maybe 89.
The turn give him trips, but he is worried about your call.
His river bet is a blocking bet with a 9. If you shove, he MAY lay down the trips, but I doubt it. He may hate it, but he wont be able to fold. Its fold or shove, but I make no crying call here.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

He hates whatever he has but that includes a lot of hands that beat you like weak flushes and A9, K9 etc. Although both seem unlikely. Smells like KQ, QJ to me.

I'd probably raise hoping to get him to fold better and hero call with worse.

10:43 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

I'm reading Q-J or K-Q. He's scared of the board throughout the hand.

Seeing as how there are many hands that could beat you, you haven't been at the table long enough to get a good read on the player, and it is still early in the tournament, I'd call.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Jordan said...

I'm with the Goat. Your slow play has created a situation where you have little information. I'd consider myself lucky that he did not raise larger on the river, and then I'd call. The call is marginal, but since you have enough chips to remain competitive (in case you lose), and your hand can beat a decent amount of your opponent's range, I think a call is the best you can do.

11:43 PM  
Blogger OES said...

You don't have a monster hand, why would you want to make this pot 3-handed going into the river? I usually like the way you play hands, but not a fan of this. I say you make the call, and the guy has a scraggly Q like Q10. hope to gaad you have him beat.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

There are two things to think about here. What does he think you have and with that in mind, what are the range of hands that he would call with in the blind and bet out with. You raised in late position and then just called his raises, which suggests that you either were calling with a draw, or second pair, or maybe a queen with a bad kicker. So lets think about what he would call a raise with and then bet out. He might call a raise with two broadway cards that include a queen, jacks or tens. There are 6 ways he can have jacks and 6 ways he can have tens. He also can have a hand with a queen in it lots of ways. Ace queen twelve ways, queen king 6 ways, queen jack, twelve ways and queen ten twelve ways. Thats 54 ways that he has a hand that you can beat. Now, if he is a good player, he probably is going to fold most hands with a nine in them preflop except maybe King and Ace nine suited and nine ten suited. So there are only 6 ways he can hold a nine ( again, assuming he is not a total donk). He also may have called with a wide range of suited cards, but it seems unlikely that he would lead out with these.

So I would raise 420 and fold if he moved in ( you did not tell us the chip count, but I am assuming since it was early in the tournament you each had about 10k). He is going to call with queens jacks or tens ( thinking that you may be bluffing with a busted flush draw). With trip nines he will just call because he is afraid of the flush and with a flush, he will be cncerrned that you have a boat or better flush. With a boat he will reraise you and you should fold against anybody but the trickiest of players.

10:29 PM  

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