Post Hands to Review

Thank you for your reply! After looking it over again, there may not have been any holes in the play like I originally thought while thinking about it right after it happened. Even in that little ring game it was a bit of a heart thumper trying to think so quickly (due to my relatively limited playing experience) of how to extract as much value as possible from such a monster. Yes, I definitely wanted him to perceive some weakness with the turn bet. I agree I should have bet a little smaller on the river check-raise. I think a check-raise was appropriate…I was trying to get him to think that I was trying to see where I stood and that it was boat vs. boat. The check-raise size was a little tough for me to determine. I wanted him to think I was overvaluing a hand he could beat…that was my reasoning…but a smaller bet still would have done the trick. I would have won his stack regardless. I wish a higher stack limped with QQ, but they know better! :wink:

Ok Joe,
Impart your wisdom… Promo 5k MTT,
with bounties, blinds 100/200+20, 64 of 133 left, after folding almost 2 orbits after
rebalance I came in on this hand… I figure I made a bunch of mistakes we can all learn from.

From the play of the hand, I’m assuming you held something like Axo. (What DID you have, anyway?) As smallest stack, you felt compelled to call the un-raised BB. The flop “looked like” it could be a straight, and you thought “Aha! Maybe I can steal this pot!” and bet half your chips. It almost worked, but like most other “almosts,” it bit you. Your intended victim knew you couldn’t kill him (he had more chips than you did), and you made the mistake I often make in that situation: instead of checking the turn to see what the opponent does, and perhaps fold with a few hundred chips left, you fired the second barrel immediately–and he called. With no improvement, you had no alternative to folding.
Better if you had never called the BB; almost as good if you hadn’t tried to steal from that position (you still would’ve had 1500 or so chips to try again later if someone else had bet), and then you over-committed yourself by continuing the wishful thinking on the turn. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and wore it out. Patience is difficult. It’s taken me more than 60 years and I still forget sometimes.

Preflop: You only need to complete half a blind and are getting great odds. Your postflop play is simple: Go allin with top pair or better and fold everything else.

Flop: Not the best flop to bluffing on. The flop has 3 medium cards, which are somewhat connected. It is easy for one of them to hit either a draw or a top pair. Generally, you should be folding or check raising here since it is easy for them to have a draw and bluff it. Also, you can’t bet the flop without an awkward sizing.

Turn: if you have a draw, its not unreasonable to shove, other you should fold since the small bet will never generate folds.

Your play preflop was good. AQs is a good enough hand to raise with, and it was a big enough raise to make people pay. Having missed the flop, I think either checking or c-betting can be good. The flop is good for your opponent’s range because they are likely to have suited hands, particularly 98s, T9s, JTs, QTs or pocket pairs like 88/99. People limp all kinds of hands, so they can more easily have the nuts on this board than you do, and AQ has enough showdown value that you can check (and maybe call one half pot bet if you think your opponent is ever bluffing). C-betting is a fine option also, particularly because the board is paired. But you should definitely use a small size because such a big size makes their decision fairly easy (this was one of the worst hands they should be calling with), a smaller size gives you a better price with your bluffs and when you do have value it allows worse hands to continue. With your sizing you should get folds from all pairs 77 or lower, but 8x and bigger pairs can continue. After they call the flop, you should just give up. Your hand is great preflop, but you have missed and it appears that they have something that they will not give up. It could be a flush draw or straight draw, but you gave them a bad price to call the flop and the board is paired. If they have those, they may still check back and give you a chance to win at showdown with ace-high.

I want to mostly focus on your play, but their call preflop does make some sense. T8s is not a great hand, but suited connectors and gappers are decent hands for outdrawing big hands (like AA), and they probably expect that once they call others will also call and give them a really good price to see a flop. On the flop, they can’t really fold a pair on a paired board to one bet. The turn is pretty dicey, but betting half pot after making that huge bet on the flop makes you look less confident and they are getting a great price to continue. Many players will take this line with a big pair, so I don’t think your bluff is that obvious. But, I also don’t think this a good line to take with a big pair.

So, in general I think the key is to recognize on the flop that the board hits their range a lot harder than it hits yours (they can have many 9x, 8x, and straight and flush draws while you can only have overpairs), so there is no reason to bet so much when your hand has some showdown value and your big bet makes their decision really easy (call when they have something and fold when they don’t). I like your idea of raising AQs and playing it aggressively; so many people here just limp big hands like that. You will win a lot more in the long run, as long as you don’t overplay them when you miss. Sometimes it’s ok to just give up.

This hand really worked out well, so great job getting max value. I don’t think there are any real mistakes, but there are a couple of things that may be beneficial in the long run.

I think limping J7s is fine because the game seems to be so passive that you are getting a great price to see a flop. J7s is going to miss most flops, so I would like to see more aggression and trying to punish the players who are limping from early position (and who are posting their blinds behind you) with a big raise. But I also don’t blame you at all for just wanting to just see a flop because you are likely to get many callers if you raise.

I’d like to see you bet the flop and then check the turn. On the flop you almost certainly have the best hand, and you should be betting for value to build the pot against Jx (and apparently against overpairs that limped preflop). On the turn, the 3rd 7 should kill action, so it seems unlikely that anyone will call your bet. Against skilled opposition I think you should check the turn and hope that they bluff or try to bet Jx for value, but at this level I think it’s good to bet there for value. Your opponent seems to think that their overpair is good here, but considering that you bet into a multiway pot, it seems like you have a 7 every time.

I agree that check-raising the river was the best play. Because there are no hands that beat you, it just doesn’t seem like there is much value to be had by showing that much strength. Against this particular opponent, it seems like they thought they had the best hand, so I believe they would have called the all-in, but in general there should be so few hands that can call you that it is better to show weakness and give them a chance to bluff over overvalue their hand.

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Thanks for posting a hand. This one is tough to analyze because I cannot see your cards or theirs. To start with, you only have ~7 big blinds to begin with, so you should be going all in preflop or folding. There is not enough stack depth to try to see a flop. If your opponents fold, you pick up 35% of your stack uncontested, and if they call and you win, you double up.

On the flop, you should either be betting about half pot, so you give your opponent room to fold or make a mistake by calling with a marginal hand, or you should be going all in to force them to make a difficult decision. Again, the stacks are so short that there is little room to maneuver. On the turn it seems like you still like your hand, so you should definitely be moving all-in. There is no reason to save those 10 chip because 1/20th of a big blind won’t really enable you to survive. If you have nothing on the turn then you should just check-fold and try to stay alive because you don’t have enough chips to bluff effectively. On the river you pretty much have to call just because it is the end of your tournament if you don’t. You have to pay 10 chips to win 3400, so you almost never have to be correct for calling to be the right decision. You deny them the bounty by surviving the hand, but you give yourself 0 chance to win.

I personally think this is a really good analysis and good advice for this hand. It seems to me you covered some interesting angles well and it makes sense to me when I think about the angles you mention. I really don’t know why I orignally thought I didn’t extract a lot of value on this hand, because at this table it now seems like I got about as much as I could in the situation. Perhaps if played differently, I would have gotten more from some others, but probably not too much - hard to say.

Yes, I limped in this spot wanting to see a flop for a good price. You’re right - even with a hefty raise I think I would have received enough callers to make my J7s even worse.

I agree - betting the flop could actually be a great idea. It actually wasn’t a long shot at the table that someone could be limping in with an overpair on that flop, and betting for value against Jx is bound to be great, as it is very unlikely someone had JJ.

The turn card was an action killer that made my hand unbeatable, so checking the turn could indeed be a good spot to imply weekness, with the hope of someone betting out as a bluff or for value with Jx or overcards - just like you mentioned. I tried to size the turn bet in a way that showed a bit of weakness, and it worked here, but I agree it would have been better to check the turn if I were playing against players with a higher skill level…because I agree that betting into a multiway pot does make me having a 7 seem like a good probability.

I agree with everything you said in the last paragraph. Thanks for the reply!

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4 of these players I see all the time, and they often make deep runs. I though at least 1 of the others were paying attention. If you’re going to bluff, the worse the position, the better. This would have been a little better from UTG, but you can’t have everything. Since my goal is to show the hand at some point, 72o is the best possible hand.

3BB is a little light, but it will do what I want it to do at the lowest cost. If everyone folds, which could happen, I pick up a meaningless pot, but get to show the 72, So one calls, one folds. This is a good result.

I don’t like the flop. That ace means this could get too expensive for me to continue. A little over half pot should fold out quite a few hands though, so take the shot. He calls, rut ro. Would have been nice to win and show, but it goes how it goes.

He’s gotta have a goofy ace, some 9x something or 10 10,JJ or whatever. He’s not going anywhere. I can’t rep an ace if he has one, and I’m not willing to spend enough to find out. I hate checking here, but I hate going broke too, so I check. I was done at this point. Betting 72 is fine, calling with it is just too goofy here. But he checks.

The 2 on the river actually hurt me. Yeah I now beat 67 or 78, which were possible but not likely, but all it really did was muddy the waters. Now a bet might seem like some kind of goofy value bet and not a bluff. Still, I can’t risk checking either.

So i look at the hands he could have as one of three kinds. Stuff that has me crushed like quads, full house, any trips: I expect these will raise, I can’t call his raise, and he will probably call any big bet, so no bluffing. Folding is the worst possible result, but I will have to.

Midling stuff that can call, but won’t raise even a modest bet. This is about where I thought we were, and I don’t expect a raise. I would rather win, but I want to get something out of those chips I’m going to lose. Will I pay 120 here to be able to show my cards? Yes please!

Also, since it went check check on the turn, you would be surprised at what might still be around. Small pairs, and some that called the flop to see if they could pick up some sort of draw on the turn.There could even be some stubborn random kings and queens around. I have to give them the chance to fold with dignity as a public service.

I could have taken it on the turn, but it’s easy to see that now. It wasn’t so obvious at the time. I could have played it better, could have played it worse. Such is life.

Was it worth it?

Yes, it was. If you think I would defend my BB by raising any limpers and you know I could have any 2 cards, You don’t have to guess at it, I have shown you proof. You will limp against my BB less and fold more. You might also limp a big hand you should have raised. You do this, not because you “fall for” anything, but because the actual evidence shows that it’s the correct adjustment to make.

Yes, this time it cost me a few hundred, but so what?

When the blinds get up there, you might also let me have a pass and give me enough blinds and antes for a whole orbit. And if the 30 SB now doesn’t mean anything, you will probably fold to me more when the blinds are 300/600 or 3000/6000 and there are decent antes too.

The whole table saw this, so I will gain some benefit from all of them. I only wish there was a way to show it to many people. cough

This one didn’t go perfectly. Poker is like that sometimes. This was never about chips or cards, it was advertising, though far from the perfect ad, it should generate some small return. Maybe it will let me steal 2 or 3 pots on junk flops over the next few days, I know I’ll see these guys again soon. Maybe 6 or 8 hands will fold to my BB instead of limping. Maybe one of these will give me a pass and pay my next orbit. Either of these could be worth thousands.

Not a “big deal,” sure. I never said or thought it was, but I’ll take it. Good luck is when several advantages or opportunities come together. If I can gain enough small advantages and opportunities by actions, I can literally create my own good luck. Yes please!

It’s nice to learn more about how you are thinking. The idea that you are intentionally raising with the worst hand and want to show it to affect your table image is very creative and new to me. It also explains your choice of hand.

That being said, I do not think it is a good idea. If you raise a normal range over limpers from the big blind like say 65s+/A3s+/66+/KQ/ATo+, then you can just as easily get caught bluffing with a gutshot when you have 87s if that’s what you are going for. Losing 10% of your stack with a hand that has very little equity just does not seem worth it. Good bluffs can get folds and either exploit perceived weakness, pot equity, or have blockers to the nuts. The SB is actually the worst position to bluff from, it is much better to be in position on your opponents because you have much more information about their actions. And 72 is the worst hand to bluff with because it has no blockers or equity, but if the intent is to look bad to disguise your skill edge, there is some merit to that. Otherwise, the hand is not particularly remarkable, as you said.

No Blockers? No equity? No Information? You’re thinking in terms of like, cards, and math and stuff. All of what you said is true and none of it matters. It’s a commercial Joe, not a bloody poker hand! It’s part of a marketing campaign.

It’s a political ad. I’m not selling me, I’m selling an image. Candidate SPG pledges to play any 2 cards from any position. I promise to bluff any time, any place. I promise to attack anyone who tries to limp to my BB, even if I have less than nothing.

The “reasonable” bluffing hands and positions you mentioned will never provide enough punch, nor do they send the right message. Why would you advertise the things everyone should be doing anyway?

Think beyond the hand.


This post made me laugh :grinning:. I really thought the idea of opening a wider range than just QQ+ was this very idea, that people who play passively might think you were doing some wild and crazy stuff, even when you weren’t. And lots of people here wouldn’t open the range I described, but at the same time there is something to be said for looking like you are capable of anything or just plain bad. I open limp sometimes for the same reason. Good for you to have the skill to invest 10% of your chips into advertising and make a return on that investment.


Fantastic! We need more of that.

The only other thing I want to add Joe, is that I would expect to win maybe 80% total, with either the preflop or flop bets, small though they were. That changes the average “cost” considerably. Overall, this cost me nothing.

I don’t want to hijack your thread, thanks for your responses!

Table image/presence means alot, whether its what SPG did, or call’n a min bet just to say… I won’t just fold to any bet, or defensive betting to keep a street cheaper … and if you’re on a streak of agressive play ( like for a few days/weeks ) sometimes you play 1 or more MTTs just to show you can play passive… or contrary to what most ppl peg you as playing. Its an investment, to aid winning future pots.

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@JoeDirk ,
I don’t normally post hands, or reveal my thought process publically as it seems to bite me on the tables, but here goes.

1st off remember this is #7 of 8 MTTs for a daily leaderboard on Pts or KOs.
2nd I was tied for KOs @ top, and about 6th for points at the time.

I decided to enter using late reg, putting me @ disadvantage stack wise from hand 1. I play’d 2-3 orbits on another table, playing 1 hand… then got rebalanced to the table in the hand I posted.

After folding like 13 hands in a row ( 2+ orbits tight/passive ) I play’d the hand listed.

So we all want to know what I had, and what I was trying to do… I had A9 suited Hearts.
I decided to limp preflop just to see a cheap flop. The flop gave me the nut flush draw, and a inside str8 draw… usually a push here from a short stack seems desperate and usually gets more callers than a mid raise. With only 2 ppl in hand, I chose to mid raise… Due to stack size @ table… my raise was not outragous it was about 4x the bb. That got 1 person out… was hoping to take it down right there, but I thought I had enuff equity to continue. When the second 7 hit, that caused problems cause now I’m drawing to a flush with a possible boat already possible against me. After watching the only player left play the last 2 orbits, I knew checking now only gets a bet against me making it harder to call. I fired the 2nd barrel… my opinion is anyone betting 66% + of thier stack is pot committed, therefore keeping 10 left was still a all in bet, in 99 outta 100 situations. When 2 ppl ( HU ) have the identical hand, its ALWAYS easier for the person betting with air, than the person calling with air…So that was the philosophy, I was emploring in this hand, at this point. In the past I have come back from 1 chip, therefore it was possible ( not probable ) to comeback. I won the following hand, and stuck around for another 4 hands paying antes… then I was gone.

Since there was a KO leaderboard along with points leaderboard… I wasn’t just trying to win a hand, I went for the jugular hand, had I caught my heart…from the time I saw the flop, I was playing for, and betting for… TheNutFlush… the only hand to beat me was a rogue Boat… so those 7s worried me. I felt that Ah9h had equity, therefore I play’d it.

I posted this hand because it combines many xtra problems MTT/Leaderboard/Bounty situations add to all the variables… when I saw my hand I saw 5 basic ways to play this hand, I chose 1 of those 5… this time it didn’t work. When my opponent bet out @ the end, I knew 100% he had more than A-high, like I did and folded. Anyone who knows me, knows and has seen me play the very same hand 4-5 different ways, so anyone think’n this is mnormal play, can think again… How I play’d this hand was purely situational.

In the end this MTT mighta cost me winning KO LB since I ended up getting pass’s by 1 KO, when I was tied going into the last MTT of that day… and since I didn’t catch ZOran for the pts leaderboard… going deep here mighta helped me alot… Misplaying this MTT did cost me in the long run.

Playing this 1 hand “in a vaccuum” heck no I won’t play it that way 75% of the time.

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Sorry Sassy, I missed this hand. 7 BBs, you have to shove or fold preflop. Once you do that, the hand plays itself! I dunno what else to say.

Looking for feedback on this one

I thought your post-flop play was good.
Pre-flop, you might want to re-think playing 52s from that position. Its not a good hand.

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I agree with @Whittaker on the hand selection. Just because people are limping in with all sorts of crap doesn’t mean you have to join them. Everyone loves to spike hidden monster hands but the fact of the matter is that 90%+ of most players profits come from premiums (88+, ATs+, AQo+). Especially in soft loose games you would be better served to play fewer hands but play those hands more aggressively.

As to post-flop play, when faced with a raise and a re-raise on a paired board, straights and even flushes are rarely good in my experience. I keep myself out of these spots by being more selective in my starting hands though. No one is good enough to make hard decisions correctly every time. That’s why avoiding being put in those spots is so important. Long term profitable poker is mostly about the boring stuff, not the monster hands.

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Here’s one that made me feel a little sick.
In hindsight I should have shoved on the flop instead of trying to check raise (according to my note on this guy, he’s very loose) but let myself get burned on the river instead…oof