Feb 12 2010

Confusing Lines

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

Sometimes you confuse your opponent, sometimes your opponent confuses you, and sometimes you are both confused about everything. This hand would be the perfect example of a situation where everyone is confused, or at least it should appear that way.

The pre flop play is rather standard, the Hero completes in the small blind after one player limped into the pot. Pocket fours would definitely be worthy of an open raise if the other player hadn’t limped, but they did so we will commit an additional small blind in hopes of seeing a flop. The big blind decides to check back and we will indeed see the flop. From the outsider’s perspective, this hand should look like a bunch of trash vs. more trash, with the cutoff potentially having the best trash of the lot. In reality, however, it is exactly the opposite. The confusing pre flop action made it exceptionally difficult to play this entire hand, especially when we find ourselves holding a monster hand on the river.

No-Limit Hold’em, $1.00 BB (6 handed) @ Bodog

Button ($67.70)

Hero (SB) ($97.50)

BB ($68.35)

UTG ($114.75)

MP ($17.50)

CO ($123.85)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 4h, 4d

2 folds, CO calls $1, 1 fold, Hero calls $0.50, BB checks

As discussed previously, we are dealt pocket fours in the small blind. This is a pretty standard spot to complete the small blind so that we can head to the flop. Our hand has showdown value, but it not quite worthy of a raise with a limper already in the pot.

Flop: ($3) 2s, Qs, 4s (3 players)

Hero checks, BB bets $1.25, 1 fold, Hero calls $1.25

The flop is about as interesting as it can get. We manage to flop a set, but the board also has three spades that will pose as a major threat to our hand. We could lead here, but a raise will put us in a very tough spot, in order to alleviate these issues we decide to check call and hope that the turn bricks. If the board pairs on the turn we will have either made quads or will be working with a full house, both of which would give us a monster edge. We will also be in good shape on the turn if any non spade falls, regardless of whether it pairs the board.

Turn: ($5.50) 10s (2 players)

Hero checks, BB bets $2.50, Hero calls $2.50

The turn card just happens to be one of the worst cards possible, a non board pairing spade. Now we are going to be behind a large portion of the time. It only makes sense to check call in this spot and pray for a river card that pairs the board. The big blind puts in a half size pot bet and it is an easy call.

River: ($10.50) Qc (2 players)

Hero checks, BB bets $5, Hero raises to $18, BB raises to $63.60 (All-In), Hero calls $45.60

The river card is perfect, another queen. We now have a strong full house and will destroy any flush that our opponent might be holding. The best play now is to check raise and try to extract as much money as possible. Why not lead? Because most random spades will flat call and even big spades will occasionally flat call us. Beyond this, it will be difficult to build a huge pot if the big blind were to raise our lead. Luckily the big blind does bet after we check and gives us the chance to make a raise. We make a raise of about 3.5x and are instantly re raised all in. Now what do we do? Well, it isn’t a snap call, as odd as that might sound. Q2 beats us and is certainly in his range. QT and Q4 are also in his range and they too will beat us. So, we either have to decide he has one of these three hands, a strong spade, or absolutely nothing. The odds are that he either has the As or a full house. The reason this is a call, and it is close, is that there will be the occasional time where the big blind has nothing and is bluffing. We both took odd lines throughout the hand, so anything is possible. We end up calling and the big blind shows trip queens and the nut flush, neither of which are enough to beat our full house.

Total pot: $137.70 | Rake: $3.50


Hero had 4h, 4d (full house, fours over Queens).

BB had Qd, As (flush, Ace high).

Outcome: Hero won $268.40

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