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Too weak against calling station?


This hand I played at a 1-3 NLH Cash Game at the Foxwoods. It's driving me nuts. I would love to know thoughts about playing the hand better

Player 1 - Under the Gun opens to $11 (Bought in for $100, tight, passive, frustrated)
Folds to me In cutoff with KcQh, I call (I had been playing loose aggressive in position and tight aggressive otherwise)
Player 3 on the Button Calls (typical calling station has bought in twice in an hour)
Blinds fold

Flop Comes: Jd 10s Ad

Player 1 checks
I bet $15
Player 3 calls
Player 1 goes all in for $75
I call
Player 3 calls

I am not surprised by player 3's call. I figure he has a straight/flush draws maybe top pair with a bad kicker. Player 1 I figure has top pair top kicker, maybe some 2 pair hands. I thought about going all in, but with the calling station behind me I wanted to get more value.

Turn: Kh

I bet $25 in a dry side pot. I was thinking, if he was still drawing to a flush I would get some value, if he has a Queen, we chop and he could still have some 2 pair hands. In retrospect, I should have bet way more. Even though the side pot is $0 at this point, there is still $261 in the main.

River: 4d

Flush got there and now I am worried. I check.
Player 3 bets $75.
I haven't seen player 3 bet anything and only raise once when he had the nuts.
I fold

Player 3 shows AK
Player 1 shows A10

I steam.

I definitely, should have bet the Turn more. I am interested in how you would play it and all feedback. Also, any advice on playing with calling stations in general. These guys are always a pain in my side. I value the bet the snot out of them and they always seem to "get there"!


  • 1warlock
    edited June 2018

    Before I get into this one, what were the stacks of you and player 3 when the hand started? This is important to the analysis of the hand. Was this full-ring or short handed?

    A guy buys in for 33BB? I didn't even know this was possible. Changes the dynamics of the table completely by changing the hands everyone else can profitably play. I'd be a little ticked off at the start from this alone.

    ADDED: Calling stations are both a pain and a blessing to play against. After I hear back from you regarding stack sizes, I'll try to help out with bet sizing and the timing of those bets. You can extract tons of value on the river and pot-control from preflop to turn to limit your exposure. These people are going to call you light regardless so you can work your sizes and still get stacks in on the river. Overcharge all the way but within reason for the times they do get there. Then make some overbets on the river to extract maximum value and also allow yourself to steal pots more frequently.

  • hairlessfish

    It was a full ring table
    I had $275.
    The buttons had about $350

  • highfive

    Lots of errors here. Excuse my straightforward nature.
    Villain 1: ATo is not an open from ep1 if it was ATo. He has 30 blinds and ep1 opens, Hero might consider folding KQo in this scenario.
    Having said that I like the call hoping villain 2, mr calling station, will come along. Rather than loathing calling stations, you want to play hands with them.
    Mindset error. Eliminate loathing. See $$ signs in their eyes instead.
    Error: villain 2 did not 3bet AK. Correct possibly at a table full of nits but hey this is low limit, ep1 open is not necessarily strong. 3bet all day for me.
    Hand analysis:
    Hero's play pre is good.
    When villain 1 checks, hero bets too small 1/2 pot after rake. Bet should be 2/3 to 3/4 pot. Mr calling station is calling anyway so bet big. He doesn't know you are nutted. He's likely just thinking about his hand.
    After villain 1 ships, hero calls properly since he's nutted. Meaning call rather than raise so as not to push villain2 out. Surprise! Mr calling station....calls. Ha
    Turn has a huge error by hero.
    1. Micro bet. Yes it 's a side pot but main pot is still in play. Bet was 1/10 pot. Hero has much less than pot left. Just ship it!
    Overly worried about the flush.
    The pot is too big. Your hand is too good. Go 4 it! Never fold here. Mr calling station can have many hands weaker than flushes as we saw in your hand summary. If he rarely has the flush, oh well. They have to win sometimes otherwise poker wouldn't exist. It would only be an expert's game. Reload and play on.
    Other option: check call it off.
    Never Fold Here
    Sorry @hairlessfish. You gave this pot away.
    Shake it off, train and get better.
    Playing calling stations in general: your play should be value oriented. Raise with good holdings. Take the initiative and bet often and bet big. Reduce but do not eliminate bluffing. Alarm bells should sound off in your head if they raise you, pre or post. They are likely strong if not nutted.
    HTH HighFive

  • 1warlock
    edited July 2018

    Thanks for the added info @hairlessfish - I have to agree with most of what @highfive already said. Now you know Player 1's ranges and you identified him as tight. With effective stacks of 33BB, KQo is a hand I'd strongly consider releasing preflop to a normal tight UTG opening range. You are just dominated by a big chunk of that range and speculative hands aren't great at these depths. Still, you had the station behind you with a deep enough stack so I guess I can see splashing around with it. You are playing for his stack, not necessarily Player 1's here. Had player 3 not come along for the ride, it wouldn't have been worth it though so you were lucky in that sense.

    On the turn I think you needed to fire at least 50-66% of pot. He flat called the shove on the flop so presumably he has some sort of hand. With that turn most people have a pretty inelastic calling range - they either have a minimum of 2-pair or the flush draw. 1 pair hands without the draw are gone to any size so why not size it up? Either way, there is no fold for me on that river. I would have led out or even shoved here. I'd prefer the shove to handcuff my opponent and maybe even force him to fold a Q to the completed flush draw. As played, even if he shoved I'm sigh-calling and if he has it, he has it. You are at the very top of your range and just cannot fold that much without exposing yourself to being massively exploited.

    With calling stations its all about value. If you normally fire 50% pot with TPTK, fire 66-75% vs a station. Still play draw-heavy boards cautiously but overcharge these players every step of the way and you are printing EV in the long run. Work on your bet sizings and the math will work out for you eventually. Yes, you will go through long stretches where they always seem to suck out but when the worm turns, you are raking in chips and laughing.

    Sorry you folded that hand - I imagine you were really steaming after that one. I hope you collected yourself and had a good session anyway.

  • dhirigoyd

    Mistake on the flop. You got the nuts with no possible improvement to your hand. Just shove. The calling station will probably call anyway.

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