August 20, 2011
Just got back from my first session back at the tables. Ran into some ugly cards, but overall I'm pretty happy with my play. As always, I picked up some interesting spots, so let's jump right into it. All these hands come from the $2/$5 NLHE games at the Hammond Horseshoe.
OK, first hand I pick up is 77 on the button. Two players limp up front, and I come along for $5 as do the blinds.
Flop- QJ6 Pot $25
Action checks around to me and I decide to bet $15 for two reasons: I can thin the field and reevaluate and it sets me up to barrel if no more diamonds hit the board. A lot of players get scared on monotone flops and are more prone to giving up the hand. SB calls as does one of the limpers up front. I expect sets and sometimes small flushes to bet or raise for protection, so I put their ranges to hands like slow-played nuts, two pair, pair/flush draws, or bare big flush draws.
Turn- QJ6A Pot $70
This is a really interesting card because there's a good chance that someone has Ax, but if that's the case I can bluff him off it if the flush draw doesn't come in as one pair just can't beat anything. It checks down to me and I'm not sure if I made the right decision here. Against 2 players, it might just be best to check it down and give up, but I felt like putting in a small bet here allows me to lose the minimum if I do get raised by a slow-played hand and it sets me up to barrel the river as a bluff. I bet $35, the SB called pretty quick, and the player up front tank called. Now my read is the SB has a two pair type hand and the BB has a big flush draw. Maybe it's the Ax or something like KJx, but he'll give up if he doesn't improve on the river.
River- QJ6A5 Pot $175
So the river pretty much bricks off and it's time for me to decide whether I want to fire another barrel or give up. I know the guy in early position will fold, so it's really a question of the SB. Can he fold his two-pair hand? Heads up- maybe. But I think having another guy to act behind him is going to discourage a call if I bet big enough. I'm representing either a flush or a set of sixes, plus KT gets there on the turn, so I think it's tough for him to call a bomb on the river when 1) there's another player yet to act behind him and 2) his hand is a bluff-catcher because I'm never value betting with worse. It checks around to me again and I bet out $140. Guy in the SB tanks, and I'm like "shit, he's gonna call and I'm gonna have to show down 77". After about two minutes of getting stared down, he sighs and folds. The guy behind folded pretty quickly, and I took the pot. After the hand, the guy in the SB said, "I had two pair. You make it $80 and I'm calling." I told him "nice fold." Generally, I think triple barrel bluffing is a bad idea in these games because so many guys are happy to pay off your value bets, but this seemed like a really good spot.
This hand was about 10 hours later at a different table. The villain in the hand was some guy with a goatee that had been walking a lot, so I hadn't seen him play a ton of hands. My read on him was that he was really aggressive, but didn't really understand board textures too well. But still, he was decent enough to lay down hands and appeared to be a winner in the game. We had played a hand together earlier where he was the pre flop raiser out of position. He c-bet flop, I raised, he called and check folded the turn.
I pick up K6 in the cutoff. It folds down to me and I bump it up to $25. The button calls and our goateed villain calls in the BB.
Flop- 963 Pot $77
Villain checks it over to me and I make it $40 with my pair/flush draw. Button folds, and villain now raises it to $100. I'm not really sure if calling or re-raising is better here. Since he's an aggressive player, I put his range to something like any set, TT-JJ, 78, maybe 45, and any over card/flush draws. My hand definitely holds up against this range, but I'm not crushing it or anything. With position, I decide to call and reevaluate the turn. I think he'll barrel almost any card, but I can make a move on something that either improves my hand (any , K, 6) or doesn't hit his range particularly well.
Turn- 9639 Pot $277
I'd say 9 is the second best card that could have come out for me besides A. Now it makes it really tough for him to have had a set on the flop. There's only 1 combo of 99, 1 combo of 66, and 3 combos of 33 that he could hold. Only 5 combos over his whole range are sets. My range of bet/calling the flop looks a lot like top pair and this is a really good spot for me to semi-bluff and possibly take it down. As expected, he continues betting and fires out $120. At this point I have about $400 behind and I decide to move all in. Since it's really hard for him to have a boat or quads here, I expect most of his range to be straight and flush draws, over pairs, or air. None of these hands can take too much heat and even if he does muster up a call, I'm doing well enough against his calling range. He tanked, gave me some shit for "always bluffing him" and eventually folded.
This is my first attempt at a strategy post, so I'm open to any and all feedback.