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Guy to my immediate right has a few hundred dollars in front of him and he's a pretty loose aggressive player preflop. He raises to $20. i look down at my hand, and i have 9s9h. I call, there are two other callers.

Flop comes 6d7h8h. Initial raiser bets out $40. I call. Person to my left goes all-in for $52. Button calls, initial raiser calls, i call.

Turn comes a 10d. Initial raiser checks. i'm not sure what people are sitting on, but i put the button on a flush draw. he's the only guy i'm really worried about. I decide to bet $175. Button thinks for a long time, then calls. Initial raiser folds. I have $201 behind, button has me covered.

River comes out a black 5. I now have the second nuts, and i'm first to act. I think for a while - at first i was going to check because i was very vaguely scared of the 9J, but i just can't put him on that hand based on the way that he played it. It's possible that he has a 9 and is scared of *my* 9J, so the only way that i can avoid a chop and take the pot down is to shove and hope that he makes the incorrect play and folds his 9 if he has one. So i shove. He thinks for a very long time, trying to get a read on me, all of that. Based on how much he was thinking of it, i rethought his hand - if he had a missed flush draw, he wouldn't have been thinking about it so hard - now i think he has a set or a 9, and after he was thinking about it for longer, i don't put him on a 9 anymore. after a long time of thinking, he decides to call, and says, "if you have a 9, you're good."

so i took down a huge pot. The question is, should i have shoved instead on the turn?

a part of me is thinking 'yes' because let's suppose a H or D comes on the river. That's a scare card in two ways: it's scary for me if i put him on the flush draw and thinks he now made it, but it's also a scary card for *him* if he has a made hand already and that river now convinces him he should fold, so now i don't get the rest of his money into the pot. Granted, that would be fine if he also has a 9 and he folds what would have been a chop, but other scenarios don't play out like that.

i feel like in that hypothetical instance, checking with the intention of calling is the incorrect thing to do - i need to make the decision right then whether or not i'm going to commit my chips or not despite the scare card, and if i do, i'm going to shove. if not, i'm going to check fold. it's stupid to 'wait to see what he does' because it takes away my initiative.

i think i got lucky that the scare card didn't come on the river, and that's what makes me think that pushing on the turn would have been better overall. At the time i bet out $175 on the turn, there was $300ish in the pot. if instead i pushed for my $376, if he has a draw, he correctly folds (which is fine) or incorrectly calls (which is also fine). if he has a made hand, it puts more pressure on him to decide if his made hand is good (which could even include a 9).


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Jan. 19th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
... never am I ever playing cards with you. That's pretty much my thought.

Jan. 19th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
I don't mind your play on the turn. You're committed to call on the river if the flush completes, but if he's calling 175 to draw at a flush, he'll probably be calling a shove too.

I don't like the calling on the flop, though. Four players seeing the turn and your hand is very vulnerable (any heart, J, Q, K, or A is bad). I'd probably raise after the initial bet and take a smaller pot down there 70% of the time.

Though when you hit gin on the turn, I think you played it fine.

Nice hand.
Jan. 19th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
Also, re: flush card scaring him out of further action on the river, with the pot at 650 and with just 200 to call, I think he's relatively committed. He could make a nitty fold, but I don't see it.
Jan. 19th, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
i think i just called the flop because i didn't want to commit myself to the hand yet. if i bumped it to $100, say, and then the button reraises to $200, i don't know what i'd do there because then i'm out of position no matter what card comes on the turn. Even if there's no reraise, it wasn't a stretch to think that i'd still get all of those callers because the initial bettor was fairly loose and the button was going in on the hand anyway. So by raising on the flop, i feel like i could be committing myself to the pot no matter what comes on the turn or river. On the other hand, by just calling, i give myself room to fold to a substantial raise, or maybe even a call if the raise is just min.

buuut maybe that's just passive thinking, and subliminal history thinking since the previous night i had a much stronger draw (flopped top pair and opened straight flush draw) and ended up losing my money by committing my chips and running into the nut flush by the big stack. I feel good about the play i made, but that was a $700 deficit evening, so this situation may have been me feeling more timid.

but maybe not, though - i tend to bet out on my draws if i open, but i don't have a habit of reraising those draws if someone else opens. there's no question that i was going to bet if the initial raiser checked, so maybe i need to start adding the raise-draw to my vocabulary more often.
Jan. 19th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
I'd probably raise to 150-160, since a raise to 100 just prices everyone in and inflates the pot. From there, if the button raises/shoves, you're getting 2.5-3 to 1 on a call, so you have to call. Against a flush draw, you've got the odds that they won't improve. Against a set, you're priced in to suck out (you're like 35% there). The only hands you're in bad shape against are 45, 59, and 9T. But those are such a small part of his shoving range (especially with 9s, due to card-removal).

However, the situation gets complicated if button raises and you get one or two other callers. Then you have to go with your gut and make a soul-read. :)
Jan. 19th, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
and thanks. :)
Jan. 19th, 2010 05:19 am (UTC)
How much of this dialog is after-thought analysis, and how much is in the moment thinking? I don't think I get that deep into my analysis in the moment in poker, and honestly wish I did.
Jan. 19th, 2010 05:31 am (UTC)
Re: Thoughts
the thoughts before i asked the question "should i have shoved on the turn" were what was running through my head at the time. The $175 bet was a "i think this guy has a flush draw, i want him out of the pot, i don't think the guy to my right will call because he's a loose cannon buy shies away when the pressure hits him." When the $175 guy called, i still put him on a monster draw. when the blank came out, i definitely thought out the reasons why i shoved - i felt l ike i had him beat, but he could have had a 9, and it made no sense for me to check if i wanted a chance of not chopping the pot, and it was after that thought that i decided to push.

the "should i have shoved on the turn?" was an afterthought, a post-analysis. i didn't think about that until the next day.
Jan. 19th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
nah I don't like a shove on the turn. pot is 290 and you have 375 left, a set is never going to call with 4 to a straight on the board. But a set will just about always call your 175. Also I might consider insta-checking the river when the flush doesn't come. It is hard to get more value from a set or worse hand given the board and betting for the hand if you shove (which is what happened). but you can still get some value from hands that missed and decide to bluff shove. It's kinda thin, but can still give you some value occasionally. Although now your image has changed if he checks and people see how you played the made straight on the river.
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:10 am (UTC)
Your turn and river plays were fine. Preflop and flop are where you might have made mistakes.

If the initial raiser is LAGgy preflop, you might want to try and isolate with 99. I also agree with Andrew that a raise on the flop could be good, although if anyone comes over the top you might get blown off your hand (depending on stack sizes).
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:11 am (UTC)
Forgot to ask. $1/$2?
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC)
yeah, 1/2.

and raising to isolate would have maybe been an option if i wasn't the one to immediately act after him and if he wasn't the first to act in the first place.

i'm still thinking about the raise on the flop part. it feels like doing that puts me in a committed spot, and on the one hand i like that idea because it makes it easier, on the other hand, esp. with the others still left to act, i want to be able to get away from the hand.
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:28 am (UTC)
Don't be too scared of getting committed on the flop.

Consider the types of hands you might be up against:

Overpair (JJ+)
Your equity: ~36%

Set (66 77 88)
Your equity: ~32%

Your equity: ~31%

Flush draw
Your equity: ~63%

Flush draw w/ live overcards (AhKh)
Your equity: ~50%

You're in very decent shape against all of those MONSTER hands. There's only one hand that has you wrecked (9T, particularly of hearts). No sense fearing that IMO.

Embrace the variance! STACK IT OFF!! :D
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:31 am (UTC)
Okay TxTh also has you in pretty bad shape. (23%.) Still not horrible, especially if you think anyone left in the hand will stack off with weird stuff, like 56, 89, K8, heart draw etc.
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
don't try to dazzle me with your maths, foul wizard!
Jan. 19th, 2010 07:50 am (UTC)
burn the witch!
Jan. 19th, 2010 01:23 pm (UTC)
First of all, you should post it on 2+2. Here are my thoughts:


What position are you in? You said there were two callers after you called, and I gather from your post that you are not on the BTN.

So, let's say UTG is the raiser, you are MP, the "guy to your left" is MP2 and the BTN is also in the hand.

UTG raises PF to $20. You say he is a LAG but you have no stats on him so I more or less discount that. $20 is a substantial raise. At the standard $1/$2 table I put him on this range: 55+,A2s+,K4s+,Q6s+,J7s+,T7s+,98s,A5o+,K8o+,Q9o+,J9o+,T9o

Your equity with 9s9h against that range is 60%, and you are in position. If you re-raise PF and he calls, we can cut his range in half to: 66+,A5s+,K9s+,Q9s+,JTs,ATo+,KTo+,QJo. Your equity against that range is 53%.

I think you should re-raise PF. You want to be in position, and just calling so early in the rotation means you might not be. Raising PF doesn't polarize his range because you still lead even if he calls. It forces people behind you out. Particularly with a short stack to your left, I raise PF here.

But you called and two others called. We can put the two others on a standard PF calling range: 33+,A2s+,K2s+,Q2s+,J4s+,T6s+,96s+,86s+,76s,65s,A2o+,K5o+,Q7o+,J7o+,T8o+,98o.

Your equity in the 4-way pot is now 33%.


Great flop, you now have the over-pair and the outside straight draw. Your equity just jumped to 45%.

UTG bets, which narrows their range. UTG wouldn't bet if they had completely missed the flop, so we can take their initial range and assume they have a straight draw, a flush draw or third pair or better. The new range for UTG is: 66+,AhKh,AhQh,AhJh,AhTh,A9s-A4s,Ah3h,Ah2h,KhQh,KhJh,KTs-K4s,QhJh,QTs-Q6s,J7s+,T7s+,98s,ATo-A4o,KTo-K8o,QTo-Q9o,J9o+,T9o. You still lead with 43% equity.

Clearly, you should at least call. Should you re-raise? If you re-raise and UTG calls we can narrow their range still further to outside straight draws, J-high flush draws, flushes, straights, sets, two pairs and second pair or better. That improved range is: 66+,AhKh,AhQh,AhJh,AhTh,A9s-A7s,Ah6h,A5s,Ah4h,Ah3h,Ah2h,KhQh,KhJh,KhTh,K9s-K7s,Kh6h,K5s,Kh4h,QhJh,QhTh,Q9s-Q7s,Qh6h,JhTh,J9s-J7s,T7s+,98s,A9o-A7o,A5o,K9o-K8o,Q9o,J9o,T9o. Head's up, you still lead this range substantially by 63%.

So, once again, I think you should raise here. You have an over-pair with an outside straight draw and people are terrible at 1/2. I would make a standard raise, which here would be something like $125 (PSB). Ideally, you get everyone else to fold and UTG to call, and then stack him head's up.

I think calling lets him draw too easily and doesn't get all the money in when you are ahead.

Fortunately for you, the person to the left of you just went all-in! What range do they have? Well, you haven't said whether it is $52 over the $40 or just $52, let's assume the latter. Then I would say they have the same range (more or less) as if they called: flush draws, straight draws and third pair or better. That means the ranges are:

UTG: 66+,AhKh,AhQh,AhJh,AhTh,A9s-A4s,Ah3h,Ah2h,KhQh,KhJh,KTs-K4s,QhJh,QTs-Q6s,J7s+,T7s+,98s,ATo-A4o,KTo-K8o,QTo-Q9o,J9o+,T9o
Hero: 9h9s
MP2: 44+,AhKh,AhQh,AhJh,ATs-A4s,Ah3h,Ah2h,KhQh,KhJh,KTs-K4s,Kh3h,Kh2h,QTs-Q4s,Qh3h,Qh2h,J4s+,T6s+,96s+,86s+,76s,65s,ATo-A4o,KTo-K5o,QTo-Q7o,J7o+,T8o+
BTN: 33+,A2s+,K2s+,Q2s+,J4s+,T6s+,96s+,86s+,76s,65s,A2o+,K5o+,Q7o+,J7o+,T8o+

You have 42% equity here. Now, BTN calls, so I tighten his range to the same as MP2:

UTG: 66+,AhKh,AhQh,AhJh,AhTh,A9s-A4s,Ah3h,Ah2h,KhQh,KhJh,KTs-K4s,QhJh,QTs-Q6s,J7s+,T7s+,98s,ATo-A4o,KTo-K8o,QTo-Q9o,J9o+,T9o
Hero: 9h9s
MP2: 44+,AhKh,AhQh,AhJh,ATs-A4s,Ah3h,Ah2h,KhQh,KhJh,KTs-K4s,Kh3h,Kh2h,QTs-Q4s,Qh3h,Qh2h,J4s+,T6s+,96s+,86s+,76s,65s,ATo-A4o,KTo-K5o,QTo-Q7o,J7o+,T8o+
BTN: 44+,AhKh,AhQh,AhJh,ATs-A4s,Ah3h,Ah2h,KhQh,KhJh,KTs-K4s,Kh3h,Kh2h,QTs-Q4s,Qh3h,Qh2h,J4s+,T6s+,96s+,86s+,76s,65s,ATo-A4o,KTo-K5o,QTo-Q7o,J7o+,T8o+

PART 1 of 2
Jan. 19th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
You have 40% equity now. UTG calls, and if this is really just for $10 more, then the call doesn't narrow UTG's range at all. So we still have the scenario above.

There is now $3+$20+$20+$20+$20+$40+$40+$52+$52+$12=$279 in the pot. Your opponents have let you have the initiative even after you called. I think this is an easy raise once again.

The natural raise is to $280 or so, which I think is probably all-in for you. You've got some good deception if you do that, and this is a call-happy board so I might do it. I might also raise to something like $140 if I wanted both to stay. But, the BTN acts first, and his is the weaker hand, so I think I make a PSB here and raise to $280.

I'm still not sure why you are playing such a strong hand so passively. But, you call, which I think loses a lot of value.


You now have 63% equity after this card comes. UTG checks, which doesn't narrow their range at all. Because you played this hand so passively you have no deception here at all - when you bet everyone and their mom will read a 9.

Basically, I think you are now only going to get called by people who can't lay down cards against a straight. There's already $292 in the pot, and you can safely bet UTG is folding. I bet $290 here for a PSB.


Shove is right here, but you should have gotten the money in sooner.


I think you let a lot of value go on this hand. You played very passively which let the table put you on a range very easily. You also waited too long to get the money in. Against better players you would have let a lot of money get away. Obviously as it happened the results were fine, but you shouldn't be results oriented.

Read the Nit Clinic thread and bet more aggressively next time. Remember at 1/2 you should be raising and betting much more than you should be calling.
Jan. 19th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
i'll read this in more detail in a bit, but the one thing i can say off my head is that when the first person to my left went all-in for $52, yeah, i meant $52 straight, not $52 on top, so the only option at that point was to call, not raise because his all-in didn't double the initial bet.

agreed that i shouldn't be results oriented - that's why i was initially thinking about the shove on the turn maybe being the better play, but you and everyone else generally agrees that the fault wasn't at the turn but at the flop. it's something to take to heart, and i appreciate your feedback (whoever you are) as well as everyone else's.

cheers. :)
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