Dec 8 2009

3 Betting Pre Flop and Over Betting the River Against a Loose Player

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

3 betting pre flop is a fundamental Texas Hold’em skill, playing a loose player heads up is a reward from the poker gods. Every now and then you will be fortunate enough to get tangled up with one of the loosest of calling stations, and let me assure you that there are few greater feelings in poker than when you lock up a moron in a battle.

Some players will waste this opportunity with timid play, or they will play against a loose calling station just as they would against a standard tight player. This is one of the biggest sins a poker player can make.

After all, Mike McDermott said it best when he quoted a gambling legend, “It is immoral to let a sucker keep his money.” When you are blessed with the gift of free money you should be taking full advantage of it. Stick to basic value betting concepts and then do what you have to in order to get max value on the river.

No-Limit Hold’em, $.50 BB (6 handed)

Hero (Button) ($143.43)

SB ($45)

BB ($69.25)

UTG ($16.97)

MP ($42.95)

CO ($102.34)

Preflop: Hero is Button with Ad, Kh

2 folds, CO bets $1.75, Hero raises to $6, 2 folds, CO calls $4.25

Pre flop we are dealt one of the strongest starting hands in all of Hold’em, AK. The cutoff opens with a standard pot sized raise and we are left with three options, call, raise, or fold. Obviously we aren’t going to fold such a strong hand and it would be stupid to simply call, so we go ahead and make the 3 bet. The cutoff calls and we will see the flop in position.

Flop: ($12.75) 4d, Qs, Kd (2 players)

CO checks, Hero bets $8, CO calls $8

The flop hits us as we now have top pair. The cutoff checks to us and it is our chance to start extracting some value from our hand. $8 into an almost $13 pot is a bit on the small side, but is an effective value bet nonetheless. The cutoff calls and we go to the turn.

Turn: ($28.75) 6d (2 players)

CO checks, Hero bets $14, CO calls $14

The turn is a blank and we are almost certainly still ahead. A bet of $22 or so would be optimal, but we decide to go with a half pot sized bet. We are currently holding top pair with the nut flush draw. The cutoff again calls our bet and we will now see the river.

River: ($56.75) 9d (2 players)

CO checks, Hero bets $74.50, CO calls $74.34 (All-In)

The river is the magical 9d and we now have the absolute nuts. The pot is smaller than the cutoff’s entire remaining stack (this is why we should have bet more on the flop and turn), but we are fairly sure that he will call off the remainder of his stack with a strong diamond simply because of his loose nature. We bomb the river with an over bet and are called by the second nuts, the jack of diamonds. Even though the cutoff had the second nuts it should have been a pretty easy fold considering the board. We found a loose player, we hit the nuts against a loose player, and we stacked a loose player. This is the perfect outcome to a heads up post flop battle against a calling station.

Total pot: $205.43 | Rake: $3.50


Hero had Ad, Kh (flush, Ace high).

CO didn’t show

Outcome: Hero won $403.86

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