Fold the boat?

Apologies for the posts using promo games as examples. They require you invent a strategy, and usually involves a lot of back to back games. Normal poker thinking doesn’t always gain your adjective. I have been able to help out my bank account, using them, tho.
This is from a 9 seat SnG, and pertains more to normal SnG strategy. I’ve pretty much included overfolding into my early gameplay, so i probably fold to bluffs a lot. Also, I have gained a lot of confidence in my ability to play a short stack, so I’m not afraid to bail. Still, I’d like to hear how you would approach the following senario.
I’d like to give info on the playing habits of my opponents, but have none. It was fairly early, and i don’t think i’ve played with anyone at the table.

The deal:

UTG folds
UTG+1 calls
folds to Bn-2 who calls
Bn-1 folds
Bn calls
SB calls
BB checks

The flop:

SB bets 60 (2BB)
BB folds
UTG+1 calls
Bn-2 calls
Bn folds
My thinking was to get a few chips in the middle, for my upcoming 2nd nut flush.

The turn:

SB bets 165 (5.5 BB)
UTG+1 calls
Bn-2 calls
Shove here? Find out if he has a 4 or 5?

The River:

SB bets 412 (13.7 BB)
UTG+1 raises to 824 (27.5 BB)
SB to act…

As most of you, I’ve won SnGs with a lot less than 26 BB, but that’s soon to be 20 BB, then 13 BB, not counting blinds i can’t defend. When i hit a spot where i’m capable of playing a street a certain way, I assume my opponet might as well. I’m beginning to think that’s a mistake. I come across many more hands where they have it, than i bust a bluff.
Granted, a 4, 5, or pocket pair sinks me, but from his betting, he could have been chasing my flush, a diamond flush, or a straight, and turned it into a bluff. Or, he could have been setting a trap for my stack.
Oh…results…I folded. Never saw his hand.

It’s not easy to fold a boat, but with a low pair and three of a kind on the board, it’s not so hard. Still, the pot odds to call here are pretty good. You have to win 1 out of 5 times for it to be profitable. If you can’t call there, then maybe don’t bet the river, either.

I think that was a good fold. Your opponent’s most likely hand is either A-4 of spades or a medium pair like jacks or tens. The worst problem is even if you split the pot (with an opponent holding a 3), all you’d get back is what you’ve bet minus the rakes. So, you can lose chips even if you 'win" the hand. So, while opponent could be bluffing, it’s more likely he’s holding a pair. And, as you noticed, almost any pair is better than 3-3,

This is 2nd hand of a Regular SnG. ( Buyin was 2500 ) Those playing for the Astral League will be concious of every place and will play accordingly. Those who aren’t, they might just do anything, but at this buyin level who knows what you might be facing. On average, SnGs have no rebuy, pay 1:3, and w/o a promo attached… most players should be playing to cash, and usually won’t wanna lose a huge chunk right off the bat.

Alan is right, moreover she is the highest ranked player on the table @ 2500 ish. She flatcalled you the whole way till the river, when your bigger bet got minraised. What might she have on (hand 2) that she might be calling with… a bluff, any 5x, a higher pocket pair, the 4x, or even A2.

More importantly, what is V call’n with here… 60(2bb), 165(5.5bb - 1/2 pot), then on the river you get minraised @ (412 - 1/2 pot) to 824 ( your 13.5bb+13.5bb ).

Again, this is 2nd hand of a reg SnG with a limp’d flop, so anyone can have anything. You played smallball here allowing anyone drawing to stay certainly to see turn ( 2bb xtra ). The flatcall on the turn is the red flag.

You can draw the flush that does beat a str8, but can’t beat any boat or the nut flush draw. So getting called on the turn (165 , 5.5bb) leaves you UTG on the river when the xtra 4 hits, and you still have no good read other than you got flatcalled twice. Your 412 ( 13.5 bb , 1/2 pot ) bet on the river tells me you might be c-betting the 3rd barrel, but usually this early you have a 3x, 5x, pp, or a busted draw… maybe the case 4.

So I’m back to what Alan said, she has 3x, 4x, 5x, or higher pp than 5s.
3 of those 4 choices beat you so re-raising won’t work usually, and if you are repp’n the 4 or higher pp … you prolly bet more than 1/2 pot. Its a trap, you better just fold now. In other situations , a call here gives you info on what she has, but it cripples your stack on hand #2 should you lose.

Your biggest mistake was the turn bet. You need’d info after being flatcalled on your flop bet. 165 (5.5bb) was only 1/2 pot, I wouldda like to have seen a 500-700++ bet here, so if you still get flatcalled, you can shut it down on the river and check … or you take it down right then/there. While its true higher ranked players use 1/2 pot/pot more, you are not that… compared to the table, neither is anyone else @ table really.

I watched the hand like 8 times. You got played. She had 4x or a higher PP, and was waiting to pounce and did so, when your bet didn’t rep the 4. Remember when you bet 1/2 the pot, even HU, your opponent is getting 3:1 on a call. You are pricing IN players to make a call.

Lets look @ your bets… Limp (1bb), 2bb, 1/2 pot, 1/2 pot.
If I don’t know u/ur play, that screams PP 10++ or like AK/Q, A2/3, 2 paint suited.

Since the board paired on flop, the 2bb bet to me was a “feeler” bet with something, trying to gain information on what everyone had, and 2 people called you … both of which were price’d in to continue. When the turn filled the baby str8, didn’t fill a flush or boat then its easy for 2pr to not challange the str8 if they can see the river cheap enuff, yet again you priced in a call, unless they decide to rep the boat right there.

You priced in a call on every street, and took (4) then 2 ppl with you… When the 3rd 4 hits, you’re so so SOL. You decide to 1/2 pot it again, when in reality you only have the bottom bottom boat… 4’s over 3s. This means any 5 or PP is a better boat, god forbid the case 4 for Quads, which is possible. Even Trips might not challange the baby str8 on the turn, waiting to see the river cheap. Your only redraw is still a K for a better under boat, cause a 3 doesn’t help u any.

You were betting into 2 ppl, on the river, that as I saw gave you no information really other than they were willing to call your bets. 2 Flatcallers and you still bet 4s/3s ??? No way were both of them bluffing !! No Way !! Not on the 2nd hand. It cost them 255 ( 8bb ) total, almost 20% of starting stack to see the river, but were price’d in.

Make a better Turn Bet, next time, and that might not happen.
Problem always was, any 4 was play’n you the whole way.

1 Like

Can you let me know what positions are these. I’ve never seen Bn, Bn-2 or Bn-1 used anywhere else before.

Just raise or fold pre flop.

No raise or fold pre flop, 1st couple hands in the game with 1st blind level just see the flop for cheap while u can afford to but not a raise pre with K3 in 1st level. this is a sit n go early on so dont crush your stack with that board. at best u woulda chopped so was a great fold but i woulda check/folded the river and saved the chips u bet for a better opportunity to double up later with 3 levels of low blinds left. he had u or u got bluffed but i doubt it… doesnt matter cause u need some stack left to get back in the game with 9 players just starting the game and that deff wasnt the hand to double up on but woulda been the the hand that knocked u out in 9th place if u shoved or it woulda crippled u even more if u called. if your at end of month top leader board spot now depending on where your estimated finish will be than that can deff change how u play hands too but not this hand so early on in the game…downside hand with no upside potential gain without risking a 1st out finish.

@floridajetski ,
It was determined it was a Santa’s Stunning SnG,
a promo game and doesn’t count twords Monthlies.
Wadius also said games were plentifull, so there was
another one right around the corner to play, should
he go down in flames on the 2nd hand. (Plus the metrics
of the promotion are KOs and marathon games T-pts.)

I’ll also assume Bn, -1, -2 … is Button, -1, -2. ( for Dayman )

How would this change if any your play when compared
to reg SnGs that do count for Monthlies ? Can you compare
and contrast general hands where play is different depending
on which set of metrics is being used ?

Well as far as that particular hand what u just said doesnt change how i said i would play the hand( leader board or not ) as i mentioned, but in that particular hand…i said certain other hands ( depending on many variables ) i might play differently depending on any close finishes or spots on leader board on any last few games of the month as far as super close finishes in any top spots depending on certain points needed by myself or points needed by opponents behind me that are close. ( 1st,2nd,3rd) on the board. Yes i could compare and contrast where my play on hands would be different in those situations in that particular point strategy system specifically designed for sit n go leader board close finishes ( but i wont lol…( u are basically asking for my sit n go leader board strategy recipe) and as far as the hand he posted, he specifically mentioned that his hand applies to normal sit n go strategies so im not factoring in any views of promos or how many games he can play right after that one.

This hand is an example of why you should avoid leading out on most flops when you’re out of position. This goes double when you took a passive line preflop (checking/limping), and quadruple when you’re multi-way.

Another thing to consider whenever you bet is what worse hands you expect to call, what better hands you expect to fold, and how you’ll react in the face of a raise. If the answer to the first two questions is “none” and you’d end up folding yourself to even a min-raise, then don’t bet! Just try to reach showdown. Asking yourself these questions would have saved you at least your 13.5BB river bet in this hand, and may have prevented you from getting blown off the hand if @cassycas was bluffing.

And of course, you’ll rarely go wrong if you follow @dayman’s advice:


IMO, if you want to lead the flop, overbet it and see what happens (~250 chips). If you get calls and/or raises, fold and move on. The lead of 60 is meaningless as it prices in just about everything and you will be out of position on the next 2 streets if the hand doesn’t end here. Make a strong move or none at all.


ok i agree to a certain extent on that mainly in rings…in tourneys which is apples to oranges as far as diff strategies i would also agree on that more so in the latter stages of the tourney if u are fairly high stacked… that would be the favored play over the alternative but sit n gos are even more fragile as far as your decisions u make for chip preservation with non premium hands or bluffs early on in the game because u just dont have the time or chip leverage to make 1 mistake the whole game so losing half your stack playing a hand that way will cripple u too early on in the game while blinds are very low and you can see more flops for that chance to double up in a better position early on. The last thing u wanna do in a sit n go is be short stacked early on in a game thats a much more shortened version of a MTT. Throw in the leader board ( if thats what your playing for ) and that scenario is even far more critical, especially if you know in advance of that particular monthly game will be competing for the top monthly spots. The diff in 1st or 2nd place compared to 6-9th place in any given game for the month ( 60 on high ) can be the diff between finishing 1st,2nd,or 3rd place for the month.You just dont have the time in 1 game or any game for that matter to take the same risks that u would on other games in that same scenario. ( once again only if the tops of the monthly leader board is of importance to you ). Patience in every game is more key to any of the other games as its" best of "monthly games and not a specified limit of games and average of all combined if u play over that amount in sit n gos. meaning less room for error as opposed to MTT boards.

Yes, preferably the latter on this board in to 4 players oop, I don’t think we should have a lead range at all in the sb, I could make a couple of exceptions for the bb, though on this board I think I’d prefer a x/r from bb.

ty ty @WannabeCoder you’re too kind sir

Thanks for the feedback. Lot of things to think about.

Typically, i’m more concerned with a value bet than an overbet. I’m not sure why V didn’t go for my stack on the min-raise. Was it because she thought I’d be more likely to call, knowing i still had chips? The way i laid things out doesn’t show that the river bet was a snap call/raise. Maybe she just went for the convenience of hitting the min-raise button. I gotta think she thought i thought i had something, and would have shoved, especially with quads.

The 2 BB raise has gotten me into trouble before, but it’s also been a successful pot building tool, in cases where i make a hand, or a flush draw, on the flop. say the BB is 100, and I bet 200, OOP, I often get 2 - 4 callers. This builds the pot by a multiple of my bet. If i hit the flush, or not, i often repeat on the turn. I now have increased the pot substantially. If i don’t flush out, i’ve haven’t lost that many chips. If i do, I’m taking a hand to the river bet which works well in multi-hand pots.

This can be altered for many reasons, and i make sure i mix things up enough that nothing is routine, but it takes a certain table presence, and the right hand history for the table, for this to become exploitable. Too early.

So far, I’ve done pretty well at getting back into games after being short stacked. That’s where patience comes in to play. Still, early on, I tend to overfold when my game life is on the line. It only takes one bad beat, or dumb misread on my part, and I’m looking for a new table.

Did V have it? Too early to guess. Most people on replay, who bluff, overbluff. I think there are a lot of players who never, or almost never bluff at all. Should have spent a little more time reading the table before letting myself get into a guessing game hand. I almost wish I’d called, just to know. That’s a free chip approach, tho, and I’m trying to avoid that attitude.

Sarah was right, Bn = Button. Is there a proper way to refer to those positions on a 9 max table? Got lots of things pointing me out as a beginner. Don’t need any more.
I’ve read a few times that table position is the most important part of the game, and was mentioned several times, here. This makes me think I have a lot to learn in that area. Doesn’t x/r,c,or f get you the same info?

OK, I’ll guess. Don’t think she had it, which is not necessarily a reason to not fold

You don’t see top Pro’s in NL, basically potbuilding… either they make a “real” raise or they fold. After the Flop is 1 thing, but far too often recently ( across the board Rings/SnGs/MTTs ) I’m see’n a plethera of min raising preflop in NL situations. Seriously, save that for PL , or the occasional … SB vs BB, where everyone else has folded and any raise by the SB can end it right there.

When I saw this thread, I cheated… I took the current hand # , and replayed it. I also look’d @ the bottom to see what kind go SnG it was. For all players who want to see a replay of another’s hand ( not in a link already ), open in a tab any of your replay’d hands, then go to the address bar and replace a different hand #, and hit enter.
( knowing this was for a promo, “reg SnG” in orig post meant, not a deepstack/super turbo/ect ect… but yes My post was alot about a basic SnG play )

Every hand review could go like this…
In rings I’d play this hand like “XXXX”, in SnG like “YYYY”, in MTT like “VVVV”. Depending on factors like … will/how this effect a LeaderBoard, do I need to cash to keep playing this level, am I just playing with friends, is the LB where the profit is, ect ect ect.

I have played in and won many “marathon” based promotions. Usually its quantity over quality. Usually the majority of your profit is in the LB bonus. Its why I’m not fond anymore of the marathon events.

If I go on the basic theory of playing my hands correctly and taking my lumps when they occur, this hand was played incorrectly certainly on the turn.
If I then take into account its a promo game, I need information on how the people playing this promotion play to some extent. Even the player that plays alot over 3-4 hrs, can be “read” from 1 SnG to the next, so information now can help me play against this player in sucessive games. Furthermore, worst case senario… I re-Jam that min-re-raise to all-in, lose my 1500, bust out, and wait 5 min for the next 1 to start, while collecting my 4k in t-pts… but I now know what that player tried to do, in that situation. Knowledge is Power

Even top Ring players buyin the max not the min, why… 1 reason is they don’t wanna play “short” and want to maximize thier profit should they hit a monster or be able to use thier stack adv against others effectively. For that very reason, in this case a marathon event (SnG), getting an early chiplead is a huge advantage vs trying to slog the whole way thru shortstacked. Add to that there’s the xtra bonus of a KO LB, so KO’s are also @ a premium. Get in, get a lead, or move on to the next 1.

Games are 1500 each, and the total LB possibility is 630k + 630k ( 1.26m ). Bad finishes are a write-off in marathon events. Yes you can’t spend 1.4m in losses to win 1.26m, but if you’re playing that badly… I doubt you’re gonna be atop the LB, unless you’re just playing 20 hrs a day.

The two players with power, to me, are “1st to act (UTG)” and “Last to act (L2a)”. Yes I know “posistion” usually means betting 1st. I’ll save that debate for another thread, but some players prefer 1 over the other.

@waidus , if my objective is to cash/win… I certainly play the Turn differently.
Given its a promo game… had I taken ur approach, I re-shove the river.
(Personally given its a Promo), I certainly play the Turn differently, but really I play the whole hand differently…

In a Promo such as this, a marathon SnG ++KOs, then EveryHand - EveryGame , during the promo is 1 long story ( to me ). Very often what happens in 1 hand now, benefits me alot more 3-4-10 games down the road, against specific players.

Lets face it here, in a promo such as this one, starting last 24 hrs :
5-10% have a real shot to Win/Top 3
20-30% are playing for the Top 15
15-20% are just trying to cash
10-20% might try and make a mad dash to cash
15-20% are just playing to play
( therefore, by last day, 30-60% either don’t care anymore or are burned out… so thier play can be suspect, as to thier true intentions for playing )

This is why I do like to try promotional events

  1. Its something different
  2. The metrics hopefully are not static ( promo to promo )
  3. They usually only effect the Promo, not any Reg LeaderBoards
  4. Per the metrics, different skills to Learn/Hone
  5. I like playing everything… Hold’em, Omaha, Royal, Ring, SnG, MTT.
  6. The clash of LB Strategy vs GameType Strategy
  7. Not a fan of marathons anymore

All in all, this is a not normally played format. 18 ppl MT-SnG. ( yes Marathon )
Omaha HiLo or Texas Hold’em… take ur pick & ur lumps. Have Fun.

1 Like

Acting later is an advantage because you know how earlier players have acted. Players who acted earlier may have “range advantage,” meaning their hands are stronger on average, but that’s because acting earlier is such a disadvantage that players in earlier positions should be folding many of the weaker hands that later-position players can still profitably play.

When poker players talk about position, “having position” or being “in position” means acting LAST, not first. Happy to debate the merits of this in another thread. That said, we should be careful when defining terms that we aren’t posting incorrect information that may confuse readers who are new to the game.

There is a situation where first to act has advantage: heads up when no one has anything on the flop, and both players are very short stacked, but it’s risky because they are bluffing blind. But if you know they won’t call a bet unless they hit the flop, and you know it’s about 66% likely that they miss, you can profitability bluff first to act.

I don’t mind leading in a limped multiway pot with hands that you’d normally have in your x/r range. That being said, we shouldn’t be seeing many limped pots and therefore should never have a situation where we are playing K3s in the SB (except blind on blind). A few years ago we did an experiment on this site about paired boards and the most effective strategy (especially on low paired situations) was to pot the flop if 1st to act or checked to. It makes no sense from a GTO standpoint but it worked over 80% of the time. At these stakes people would rather fold off their 1BB and equity than get more involved. Purely exploitative and nonsensical but it worked.

It actually amazes me that people haven’t figured out the simple exploit for dealing with players who compete for leaderboards. Its so basic and obvious that I don’t want to state it - if people can’t figure it out or won’t implement it for whatever reason, they don’t deserve to succeed.

ADDED: There was 1 player I’ve met here who got it - @-BlackWidow-

The SnG’s here were odd ducks from what I recall. Then again, so were the MTT’s. Maybe its a result of the same people playing each other over and over again and developing “interesting” habits? Maybe its a function of the passivity of the player pool? Probably some combination of many things, including the lower volume of games people play. Whatever the reasons, the games here played far more passively than the ones on online cash sites. Those things are downright brutal and you aren’t getting to see all those cheap flops you want to. Different strategies for different populations and everyone needs to find the one that they can implement best and succeed with.


I may plagiarize this one day… :wink: Well said. You are very good at articulating this stuff to get your points across concisely and in the simplest way to understand.