Here’s an instructive hand. I wouldn’t say it was played well by either player, but it’s an interesting hand nonetheless.
UTG at a 6-seat 100/200 ring table, I open QJo to 3BB. UTG is a bad spot to open QJ, but whatever. I have a big stack, looking to splash a bit. I get called by the player behind me, who’s holding Q3s (clubs), SB and BB both call.
Qd8d4s, giving me top pair, nice kicker + backdoor flush draw, backdoor gutshot straight draw. I put in a bet for 1200 into 2280, a little over 1/2 pot and get called by the player behind me, SB, BB both fold. Four way, I was not exactly happy with the two diamonds on the board, so the two folds make me feel better about my hand having showdown value if I can get there.
Dealer turns 8s; this is a trouble card for me, possibly the worst card in the deck at this point. Now the board is super wet: There’s a pair on the board, 8s, so if V’s calling with middle pair, he’s now way ahead of me. If he’s got a set of 4s or Queens and slow-playing me, I’m dead. There’s now two diamonds and two spades, which doubles the chances that a suited hand is drawing to a flush now. I absolutely hate this card.
I should probably just check here, but if I do that, then it opens up the door for V to bang in a huge bet as a bluff, and then all I can do is fold. I opt instead to bet, using a larger sizing, and see if I can get a fold. If I get raised, I’ll still have to fold, but I reason that a reasonably sized bet is less likely to get raised than a check. Still, I don’t much like betting this spot, either, and if this were still mutli-way, I wouldn’t do it. Being out of position also makes this spot tougher for me to play well.
With the pot at 4560, I put in a bet of 3200, about 2/3 pot (actually, it’s 70%, I just calculated it). I get called again. Uh oh.
4d. If there was another worst card in the deck for me, this was it. Now, the front door diamond flush has filled; I’m only holding one diamond, so I didn’t get there, and I’m only holding the Jd, not a lot of confidence as a flush blocker. Worse, the board is paired twice now, giving me top two pair, beat by any random 8 or 4. (I guess an Ace would have also been a bad card to see, too, as it would have invalidated my better kicker and given us a chop on this board.)
Lately it seems like any marginal hands I play are ending up on drenched run-outs that would make Cardi B blush. Should I even risk a value bet here?
Proably not, but I do. I put in for 7500 into a pot of 10950, and get called. Villain shows Qc3c for a worse kicker on top two pair, and I win the hand QQ88J over QQ884, pulling in what turns out to be a surprisingly decent pot of 25950 chips.
So why am I sharing this hand? I think it’s instructive for a few reasons.
First, it shows why playing out of position is so tough. At no point did I feel like I had confidence that my hand was best, only that it had a decent chance of being best. And I only really felt that way on the flop, and even then I felt acutely vulnerable to being outdrawn.
Second, it shows a Replay axiom in action: Nobody folds on this site.
Q3s should have folded preflop to my raise. OK, if you want to call for a shot at making a semi-decent flush with Q3, 3BB isn’t unreasonable.
But how many hands are they beating that would bet the flop from the first-to-act chair? Their flush potential evaporated on the flop, and they’ve got someone betting into them, is calling three streets with a 3-kicker on top pair winning them a lot of chips? Especially on a board this drenched?
I felt like my bets were bad on this hand, but the calls I got here are even worse.