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should I have folded?


Hi, New to forum, playing live 1/2 NLH in new to me room. On the button with pocket 10's. 2 limped in and I raised $10, one folded and the other called. The caller was a big stack playing tight passive in that he limped alot, but he did bet aggressively when he had a hand for the hour I had been at table. The flop was K10J. The caller went all in and had me covered. I had about $200 in my stack. I called not putting him on AQ. He had raised preflop a few times with big PP's and had never gone all in while I was there. The board paired and I won with the boat but I dont think I played correctly. Thanks for input/education.

Best Answers

  • pgearan
    edited August 2017 Answer ✓

    Quick question: what were the suits of the flop cards and what were with suits of your 10s? Mostly I am wondering about the flop because that helps interpret your opponent's somewhat strange shove into a $20 pot. Is there a possible flush draw?

    You are in a tough spot. Unless you have a set (as you do) or maybe top 2 pair, I am not sure what he thinks you'll call with, so it's hard to know why he's betting so large with the nuts (I'm assuming all the cards were not the same suit). Most of the time his opponent will fold that out which is a bad result for the nuts, but there is a theory that Harrington and others espouse that the few times you get called on an all-in that outweighs the lost value of all the folds. But of course, likely the only people who call you are those with a set, two pair, or a flush draw, so they still have equity to hit the draw, as you did.

    From your perspective, what can he have that beats you? Assuming again the flop is not all the same suit, that pretty much leave AQ and maybe JJ. Even a tight passive player reraises you preflop after he limps and you raise $10 with KK. Even JJ would be a strange limp-call, although I have seen the most tight-passive low limit players play JJ as a set mine, so possible.

    But the other side is equally limited: what is he pushing and effective $200 into a pot of $20 with that you can beat? If he does not have AQ, he'd have to worry you might have AQ. Would he do this with top two holding KJ? I guess that's a possibility, but again still an odd move because the only hands that likely call him beat him - sets and AQ. I don't think K10 and J10 call. All his other holdings with the preflop action would be underpairs and gut shot draws so it pretty much eliminates those unless he is a complete madman, and as you say he's not. Because he is tight passive, I'm taking all bluffs out of his range.

    With a tight-passive player, seems like the only hands that explain this move are AQ (most likely), JJ (next most likely), and KJ (least likely). So if you weight all those probabilities (the more likely holdings you lose), and consider that you only have $10 committed currently, I think you find a fold and look for a better spot.

    The one thing in your favor, is if it is AQ, you still have 33% equity with two cards to come which changes the math a bit, but still in his favor as you are drawing real slim to JJ and have some vulnerability to KJ as well (about 17%).

    More and more, I am embracing that I want to be the aggressor not the caller in tough situations, and willing to put my chips on the line when I initiate (and have fold equity) rather than respond. Also, I am trying to get more comfortable laying a hand down when the opponents action makes no sense to me, which is a slow lesson.

    Twice recently I made bad calls to large bets when an opponent's action did not add up. Last week a player shoved into me in a tournament when we were both deep stacked with A8 on an 888J board when I held JJ (why would he shove with the nuts and the only hand that beats me?). I called with the second nuts after tanking for 3-4 minutes into our break. Incredibly I one outed the river on that one for the better quads. And this week in another tournament, the flop was QQ3 and 5 players checked. The turn was a 6 (which I held in my hand), I made a small bet and got one caller and everyone else went away. And the river was a 6 giving me a boat. Made another small bet and guy came over the top 5x my bet. Was a young gun looking kid so I assumed he was trying to run me off my 6 with an A or 6 in his hand, as it did not look like a value bet, but was 80% to a fold anyway until I talked myself back into a call. He had a Q of course. This was early in the tournament and I had never played with him before, and as we went along it became clear, he did not know what he was doing (he was limping $400 preflop when he only had $1,600) and his play was highly erratic and idiosyncratic. Those players give me problems, definite leak for me.

  • think
    edited August 2017 Answer ✓

    I would have gotten out of the way unless you had a heck of a read on the guy. It's a cash game, right?

    In the other guy's shoes: I am surprised he wouldn't want to milk the situation a little more. I mean, turning that into all-or-nothing -- he could very well have gotten his best hand of the day and won only ~5 BB with it.

    I guess be thankful he didn't pull with a higher set, because then pairing up the board wouldn't have saved you. I am assuming there aren't two to a suit -- I could see his doing this (his all-in) with a combo draw (like QKs having a FD). Fold equity plus a 12 or 14-outer is not too bad, but you're still sacrificing EV for some kind of table image -- the "action" guy who's not afraid of variance. I wouldn't like that move either, but at least betting a big draw isn't the same as flopping the nuts just so you can blast everyone out of the pot.

    I wonder if he texted his girlfriend: "Yeah, honey, I just won a $220 pot!" (Of course, $210 was his money).

    Your chances of improving are 2 to 1 against -- K, J, or 10 are outs, and there is the small chance that the turn and river pair each other. You probably already knew this -- it's good to know for short stack situations (yours or theirs) and/or when there is dead money involved. So a $40 all-in shot at a $100 pot is a snap call (assuming you don't fear a higher set or anything). These situations come up especially when people do short buy-ins ($100 buy-in at a $1-2 table).


  • DeandroidD

    thank you both. This was helpful. The flop was rainbow, with no flush draw, but I do not remember the specific suits. A memorable learning situation for me, thanks.

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