What were you thinking? Or.. a hand you played (win/lose) and why you played it the way you did

I thought this could be a topic that leads to some interesting discussions.

I played this hand recently and was complimented on my ‘guts’ for going all in. I didn’t think it was gutsy but a calculated risk.

I’m holding Ah and 3d. On the flop is 3h, 10h, 7h. My opponent goes all in.

I’m sure he knows he’s got the flush. But I have the Ace and there one more card to play. The other players have folded eight cards and some might be hearts? I know for sure two cards in play are not hearts. So seven or less Hearts to 28. No pairs, so no chance of a full house or four of kind.

I’m figuring I have a 1/4 or 1/5 chance that the next card will be a heart. If it is, I know because of my Ah it’s mine, a risk sure it’s called gambling for a reason, so I went for it.



I wonder if RichardFZ was upset :relaxed:
Considering your stack was so low at the time I most likely would have risked it too…I say WP


You had slightly less than a 20% chance of catching a heart. Sometimes you just have to gamble. Your opponent played it right flopping the flush with K high, so he had a 80% chance. I agree, considering your stack it was worth the gamble. Nice win.


tough 1 to say since you were playing the lowest stakes here (1/2).
if you were really expecting teh flush here it would be a bad call since you would lose about 80% of the time. but if you count the “fish factor” in it it might have been ok, if he had a lousy draw you might even be ahead with your pair of 3’s. and if he shoved to protect a pair, the 3 and the ace will become outs as well.
long story short: it might have been a good call, but only if you would put him on a wide (semi) bluff range.
edit: i gave my post a reread, and just in case my story was not really clear, i mean to say that in almost all cases i would just have folded this one, as his (semi) bluff range needs to be insanely wide to make it profitable, which probably is rare even for those stakes.

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If you had only a 20% chance to win, I say you made a stupid call. I did not see the stack amount or the amount in the pot, both of which are relevant. That is, if you have only $100 in your stack and the pot has $1000, then, sure, you should call. But, if you have $100 and the pot has only $300 or so, you should fold.

The bet was purely pocket change compared to my bank. I could afford it the same as I give a buck to the homeless guy on the corner, so there’s that. Sometimes it’s fun to chance it. Would I have made the same call with everything on the line? No. But little wins do add up, don’t they?

This game was interesting. I’ve got QQ and Thomas has AA. He bets strong, as he should and I call which is reasonable too, everyone else folds. The flop shows K99 and he raises and raises again with the 10 while I stay with him. Because he started so strong I assume he’s got a high pair, if it’s KK I’m screwed. But the river comes and I’m given a FH so I go all in. I think Thomas was right to call me on it even though he lost.


such play from you is possible only when playing chips are in question. in real money game, you would folded before river, that’s what i think.

With regard to the second part of your reply (that is, should Thomas have called your all-in shove on the river when you caught the Queen for a full house): Again, the size of the bet and the amount in the pot are relevant. I would argue that he probably should have FOLDED. Note that the board now shows K99TQ, making a straight possible (if you had a Jack). Also, you could have had AK, KQ, KT, even KX, all of which make Thomas’ two pair (Aces and nines) a very poor second best. Thomas must learn when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em.


@DaffodilFine, regarding your first hand, I’m not a huge fan of how it was played.

Let’s start preflop. Nearly 200 blinds deep, I would’ve liked to see a roughly pot-sized (~25 chips) 3-bet, with a fold to a substantial (75+ chip) 4-bet. A3 offsuit doesn’t play too well postflop, particularly 6 ways. What I mean by that is that if an ace falls, you’re behind almost any other player with an ace; it’s rare you’ll have a flush draw (three-heart flops are very rare, and when they do fall, you may have to worry about straight flush draws which would invalidate your ace-high flush draw); and if you do flop a straight draw, it will likely be a gutshot with just four outs, and/or a draw to the low end of a straight where you’ll have to worry about a higher straight. With a 3-bet of that size, you’ll knock out a bunch of weak hands that might randomly connect with a flop, and make it easier to bluff on future streets. It might also win you the pot preflop - and picking up 10BB isn’t a bad thing at all!

On the flop with a 24-chip pot, facing a min-bet from the small blind, you should be raising. You have a very strong draw to the nut flush, but could also already have the nut flush, or a set. I’d advocate a size close to the size of the pot, placing other flush draws and top/overpairs in a tough spot. Again, it’s not a bad thing if the rest of the field folds to you and you scoop 12ish big blinds. If one or two players call, it’ll make it easier to bluff on later streets if your flush doesn’t come in, since you’ll only need to knock one or two players off their hands instead of five. If your flush does come in, then you’ll have a hefty pot to add to your stack.

Once the offsuit, low turn bricks off, and Richard puts you all-in, you should have folded. Calling 380 chips (190 big blinds!) in order to win an additional 375 chips after rake is taken out would have required you to have >50% equity to be profitable in the long term. With bottom pair and top flush draw, you only have 16% equity against his exact hand. Just about any hand in his value range - any made flush, top pair with an ace kicker, overpairs, sets - have far more equity than your hand. Also, some of his made flushes could invalidate your flush draw. If he held 8h9h, a 7 or Jack of hearts on the river would have made your flush, but his straight flush would have won. Similarly, Jh9h and Jh7h would have removed 8h from your outs, &c. Pretty much your best hope is that other players would call the all-in in order to boost the number of chips you stand to win, but facing a SB jam and a BB call, the only hand I would have even considered calling in a later position would be a pair of pocket tens, hoping to pair the board.

You got lucky this time around. It’s better to be lucky than good, as the saying goes. That said, similar to the discussion we had on another thread, I think there’s still some room for you to improve your play and long-term win rate through targeted aggression.


I’d like to discuss my actions in this hand. I think I played it rather poorly on a couple of streets, and would like to get the community’s thoughts.

For starters, I’m pretty short-stacked in the big blind, with about 11BB very late in a tournament (6 remaining out of 94 original entrants, fairly deep in the money). The action folds to the small blind - who’s also the large stack with around 25BB - and he merely flats. With medium suited connectors, I think jamming is too loose. An open to ~2.5BB probably needs to fold to an all-in jam, and if SB calls, it would build the pot to a point where maneuvering on later streets is difficult. Checking a hand as strong as 87 suited (I have 7h8h) also keeps my check range very wide, which may make me harder to play against. For all those reasons, I’m comfortable with a check, though I’m open to alternative feedback.

The flop is fairly wet, with AhQcTh. It gives me a flush draw and a (low) backdoor straight draw. SB bets the pot, 2.6BB. In the big blind with my hand and 10BB behind, folding is probably too nitty. I probably should have gone all-in on this street. SB could have K9 or J9 or hearts as a bluff, or be going for thin value with Tx or Qx, and probably doesn’t have an ace or he would have opened preflop. Even against a naked ace with no hearts (e.g. Ad5s) I still have about 40% equity with my draws. If I get called, I’m not thrilled, but don’t hate my situation.

The turn comes a seven of spades, giving me bottom pair. SB checks. I’ve improved, but I don’t think I beat much of his value range, and I’m not loving that I have one less street to land my flush. I think I still probably should have jammed here with basically a pot-sized bet. He’s showing a lot of weakness and would probably fold Tx, possibly some weak queens, and most of the draws that he would bet on the flop. Also, if he’s holding two hearts like I am, he doesn’t have the equity to call. This is my second-biggest criticism of the hand.

Finally, the river bricks off a six of diamonds. The only draws I could have had that improved are 8h9h, or maybe 8c9c - nobody should be calling a pot-sized flop bet with 89 offsuit, or suited without at least a backdoor flush draw. Facing a min-bet from SB, I should have gone all-in. I’m holding one of my best bluff candidates, don’t block either kings or jacks, and could easily be slow-playing an ace. However, to be perfectly honest, I got scared, and simply called. Definitely my worst-played street.

I’m interested to see what you guys think of my hand and how you played it. Do you agree with my criticisms, or think I played it right?


Here’s my humble opinion:
Please note that this is the kind of hand that knocks me out of tournaments. My mindset changes and I loosen up as the antes increase.
What does tenball tell us with his limp pre-flop? Possibly nothing on Replay because many people limp all the time. However, with an above average hand and everyone else folding, tenball should raise to put pressure on the big blind. If tenball had a monster pocket hand maybe tenball is limping pre-flop to draw you in and cash in on later streets, but monsters don’t come around often. With a below average hand, tenball would limp to try and see a flop, to maybe get lucky. So I would gamble thinking it was most likely that tenball had a weak hand. By limping yourself you are leaving things to lady luck. I would have raised pre-flop to half my stack.

The flop is very dangerous. If someone flops a set, there is a straight draw and a flush draw to watch out for. If someone flops a straight, there is still the flush draw to watch out for. Not to mention full houses and more. Normally I would stay well away from such a flop. But late in a tournament, in the big blind when everyone except the small blind has folded, and the small blind limps, I might go for it. Have to continue from the pre-flop raise with a story of strength. If I could raise at all after tenabll’s bet, I would go all-in. If tenball put me all-in, I would probably fold.

So there would be no bets on the turn or river for me in this hand.

WannabeCoder, your self-analysis and comments on other threads shows that you seem to know a fair bit more than me, so I would be interested in your feedback on what I have written here.

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have 2 say i really like your self analysis.

however i would like to add something about the flop, i think floating was the worst option indeed, and i would be hestitant between a fold or a shove, but probably sticking to a fold.

first of all i would like to know what your image was of the villain. especcialy if he was loose or tight, but also if he was a good or bad player, or in between.

i’m asking the second question because a weak player obviously calls too much so a fold would be easy, but a strong player might have called for a totally different reason. which is you auto-checked the flop. if you are shoving for value here you are repping Ax at the very least. but Ax would probably not be in your value range as it would raise or shove preflop. making Tx a decent bluffcatcher. but players in between probably fold to your shove because they understand the strength you are repping but not good enough to understand your decreased preflop range.

without any reads i would have folded as well here.

however i do agree on your shoves on the turn and river for your mentioned reasons and because you are close to being committed after floating.

long story short: i would probably have folded on the flop unles you had reads not to.

hope this helps, yiazmat.

edit:just gave your post a repeek and saw you didn’t specify which suit of 78 you had. you mentioned you have 40% equity which induces you had teh hearts, but you mentioned 8h9h later as a potential hand villain could have which means you didn’t have the hearts.

long story short: if you did had the hearts i would defenitely agree on shoving the flop as well.

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Thanks for the feedback, @waltzingmati. If I were to raise preflop, I think I’d choose a different size.

All-in would be too aggressive for my hand, since I’d realistically only get called by much better hands (strong aces, medium-to-high pocket pairs, maybe some suited broadway hands if he’s feeling frisky), and betting 10BB to win 2.6BB dead money is a very risky venture. 78 suited is valuable mostly because it will connect with many flops, creating straight/flush draws, so I’ll want to leave enough room to bet those draws on later streets.

Because of that last point, I’d need to use a preflop bet size that lets me bet one or two streets postflop. A minbet doesn’t make sense - he already called pretty close to those odds - 0.5BB to win 2.1BB dead money (19%), vs 1BB to win 3.6BB (21%) - the first time he made a decision, so I’d need to go bigger than that. On the bigger size, I don’t want to precommit myself to the pot, so I’d want to have enough chips behind for at least 75% of the pot. If I want to go just one street, I could raise 3BB to ~6K, leaving me with slightly less than a pot-sized bet behind. On the other hand, if I’m willing to go two streets for better maneuverability, a 1.5BB raise to ~4K would give me enough space to make about two half-pot bets.

@yiazmat, I revised my post to be a bit more clear. I did have 7h8h. My comment regarding 8h9h (amended to add 8c9c, which would have had a backdoor flush draw on the flop) was to discuss potential holdings I could have had, not the villain, as a way of showing what I might be willing to jam for value on the river.

Regarding the villain’s playing style, it was tough for me to say. It’s rare that weak players make it to the final table of a 15K buy-in, 94-entrant tournament, so I had to give him some measure of credit. We’d also only recently gotten to the final table, so I hadn’t built up much of a history on him. A couple of other players had quickly busted out, and you’re supposed to loosen up with fewer people at the table, so it was tough to get a read on whether his play was fish-y or part of a balanced strategy.

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@WannabeCoder - It appears that you are putting time and effort into studying the game and the theories involved. I think this is commendable. I am a bit loathe to do hand analyses here as conversations seem to degrade from solid discussions into opinion-fests. However, I also think that players asking for help should be encouraged and directed.

Therefore, without getting into specifics, I’d suggest that you look into equity realization at varying stack depths. The hands that are profitable to play at >50BB may no longer be profitable at 30BB or less. Mid suited-connectors are hands that will under-actualize their equity at shallow depths. You seem to have realized this by laboring over bet sizing and how to maneuver on later streets. The fact is that you simply can’t and that is why these hands under-actualize. A good resource to look into this concept would be Upswing Poker, though there are others. I think you will look at situations such as this one differently once you lock in this aspect of the game.

Best and GL


Considering your small chip stack it was a good move to call all in. However, it was obvious the other player had a flush and calling was risky. If you had the larger stack you could have lost a ton of chips. But sometimes you just have to go for it. If I was you I would have called, but only because you had a small stack. Good job!

there are not more than 25 players who play by the book here…since its free chips you can throw that poker book out of the window…the true suckers are those who buy millions of chips and don’t know how to play…
tjhey rank high because they buy chips so you think they have some knowledge of the game…its a far cry from what you think…
every hand they will come in -chase flush,straight,gut shot straight and close eyes and bet if they see an Ace.
how many times have you seen players keep calling with AK or Aq overcards to the flop and turn hoping for
it to hit on river…
Warlock your time and effort even in my case is always appreciated…just check the players asking for help and require encouragement…if they are those who play the 7.5k/15k/20k tournies and simply just call any trash and so do high ranked players please don’t waste your time,…its far too valuable for players who don’t wish to learn…(I’m not speaking in context of wannabecoder) just generally since I read this post.
most times I don’t blame them as the site dealer gives you the cards on a chase …I keep saying it…
this encourages them to play in the same pattern…
the only three tournies ive seen some calculative plays are in the 100k/250k/1 million buy in tournies…
most of them in there are very good players…many with 50 to 100 million chips in their bank…but they respect a bet and their reads are good…all in all a good game of poker…
tc god bless jazzz

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I’m holding Ah and 3d. On the flop is 3h, 10h, 7h. My opponent goes all in.

I’m sure he knows he’s got the flush. But I have the Ace and there one more card to play.
One more or two cards to come ?

Very true … i was once told it is easier to bluff a good player than a bad one , which i thought was strange , but a good player can lay down a hand , most bad players will call all the way with as little as bottom pair and bad kicker because it is free .

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true to be told almost all bad players cant put down the hand but they get lucky here…
I just played the 7.5k buy in tourney and was dealt AK and raised 400 chips on a bank of 3500.my opponent called with 66…fair enough…flop was k7k…i bet 600 he called,then I bet 1200 on turn which was a 8,he called again.river was a 6…i went all in and ofcourse he called he hit a boat…
now if you consider the bets 400,600,1200 and all 4 cards beating him till the turn he still kept calling.
the river smiled on him but then I checked his rank it was 240,000.
these guys don’t go away they will just keep calling…anyone with some poker sense would evaluate that hes well beaten by the turn…not these low ranked players…they just get married to their cards…they do win once in a while but that’s enough for them to believe they playing it the right way,courtesy our dealer…