Flopped top boat

I’m at a 1k/2k ring table, with about 400k to start, and win a couple of small pots quickly, and get my stack up to 421k.

UTG limps, I wake up in UTG+1 with pocket 77s, and decide to open it. I go with a little bit bigger open than I normally would, because I don’t much want to get re-raised here, and it’s also my hope that it will get a few players to fold, and I can hopefully be heads-up for the flop.

The CO folds, Button calls, SB, BB and UTG all call. Pot is 44.5k for the flop, a nice big family pot.

Flop is about as good as I could ask for: 667, for top boat for me. I consider my options.

I could check-raise, but so much of the time when I get the perfect hand to check-raise with on a big multi-way pot, everyone checks around and I don’t get to the raise part of the play.

I definitely want to get chips in on every street of this hand, to get as big a pot as possible, so considering my options, I decide rather than check, I’ll make a weak-looking bet, and hope that it gets raised.

The size of the pot makes this very easy. I put in 6k, which is less than I opened preflop, not even 25% pot, and I feel looks appropriately weak.

Sure enough, the button raises me, going for an overbet to 63k. The only hand I’m worried about here is pocket 66, although potentially pocket over-pairs could end up outdrawing me. The raise is large enough that I wonder if my opponent could possibly have 67, in which case it’s going to be a bad day for one of us – hopefully him, as long as the 4th 6 stays off the board.

SB, BB, UTG all fold to the big raise. I re-raise, to 234k, about 2.3x the pot, and enough to put the Button all-in to call. I really expect a fold here with pretty much anything but a 6, but the size of the bet is large enough that I’m putting him on that hand, and hoping it’s not 66. Against a 6X hand, I like this sizing, against anything else it’s probably too much.

Here, though, it works out great. Button calls, and reveals pocket 33s. I think raise-folding would have been the correct play to make here for the Button in response to my small open, but guess I must have looked like I was bluffing?

Anyway, the board runs out brick-brick, and I get his stack. His only out cards would have been the other two threes, or the other two sixes for a chop, so he’s drawing dead on the Turn.

+493k slides over to me.

I can’t really remember the last time I flopped so well and didn’t have a disaster run-out ruin my hand, so this is one for the Saved Hands collection.

1 Like

I forgot to put a link to the hand:
Hand #703674139 · Replay Poker

I think it is standard to check this kind of flop heads up, and maybe even 3 way, the classic argument being that your opponents don’t have many cards that can call a bet. Really it is just anyone with a 6, or over pairs to the board.

Here, with this many callers, betting makes more sense, just because there is a better chance someone has a hand that might call. I might not have gone quite that small… maybe 8k to 12k? But I’m not really sure.

After you get the raise, I might have been strongly inclined to just call, but I think that might be a bad habit of mine. But it probably gets down to the type of player you think your opponent is. Most players that are bluffing here will fold to your re-raise. 33 seems like a bluff to me, but I suspect villain just decided you were bluffing with AK or some other kind of high card hand, and made the hero call on that basis. A pure bluff would have had to fold, I think, as they wouldn’t even have been ahead of your hypothetical high cards.

So the question then becomes, what will someone with a 6 do in the face of your re-raise, or someone with an over pair. Those cards will certainly have felt like they were making a value bet with their initial raise, and will certainly feel a lot of pressure in the face of your re-raise, and I think your raise will get some of those hands, for some players, to fold. Calling tries to generate value by catching future bluffs, but potentially loses an important chance to get money into the pot against the value part of the opponent’s range. And if you call here, you are probably checking on the turn, and then if they check back, you only have the river to bet. If you are going to make the same bet anyway, I think you get slightly more calls betting earlier, as people have the hope of what future cards might bring, and in general seem more prone to being able to fold if they have more time to think about it.

I may be wrong, but I think most players at this level are not making many bluffs on this board. 54, 85 and 98 are about the only cards you might expect a bluff from, and even at this level I don’t think you get many calls from 85 off suit to the pre-flop raise, cutting down on combinations that are likely to bluff some of the time. So I think the combos of cards with a 6, and over pairs significantly outnumber the hands that are probably bluffing. If you think your opponent likes their hand, betting immediately seems more likely to get a call rather than waiting for a turn that might be a scare card for them (imagine they have 99 or TT).

So I think you took a line better than what I would have done out of habit a lot of the time.