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Is this just bad luck ?


  • pokershaman
    edited February 2020

    "Is this just bad luck?" Yes and no.

    You flopped bottom set. You raised the villain's lead. The villain three-bet.

    Three-betting on the flop is a very strong move. I have a hard time seeing what hand might be doing it as a bluff here except possibly Ah2h (which they cannot have because hero holds the 2h) and 8h7h. So we are looking at some sort of value hand. This line is an overplay for A9, so villain should likely have two pair or better.

    There are seven suited two-pair combos (two each of 92s and 62s and three of 96s) and there are six possible bigger flopped sets (three each of 66 and 99). And maybe this villain is smart enough to not be playing the combos with deuces in the small blind. We have two pair crushed, but we are crushed in turn by larger sets.

    We are in a situation known as "Way ahead, way behind," or WA/WB. If we are ahead, there is a risk of our raising causing the villain to fold, but if we are behind, any more money we put in the pot goes in really bad. In general, in WA/WB spots we should put on the brakes. We don't want to fold, but we don't want to put more money into the pot than we have to.

    When you plug the range {99, 66, 96s, 62s, 92s} into Equilab (if you are serious about poker study, you should download and learn to use Equilab) and run it against 2h2d on a 9h6h2s flop, you will find that the villain's range is a 56:44 favorite against our hand. They have more ways to improve when they are behind than we do when we are, basically.

    (On the other hand, the villain's stack is such that once they put the third bet in, the stack-to-pot ratio is close to 1/2. The rest of the money is going into the pot sometime. We may as well get it in now, before a heart, ten, or five falls and potentially costs us the pot.)

    There is a larger issue, though. This situation only happened because you played 22 under the gun in a full ring.

    Don't you hate it in the forums when you post a hand and ask for advice and some jerk posts the one-line "Fold pre"?

    Seriously, fold preflop.

    The lesson of the databases of online players is that small pocket pairs lose money when played up front. Don't do it. Don't limp with them. Don't raise first in with them. Don't flat-call opens with them. Don't three-bet opens with them. Just don't play them in early position. This is an easy leak to plug, and I strongly recommend that you plug it.

  • hunty

    I would have folded the 22 under the gun. This is a great example why limping sucks. Literally every player saw a flop, so the odds that someone hits hard are very high. Great lesson on why to fold 22 under the gun.

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