Dec 18 2009

Extracting Value and Making Folds

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: 1

When you are dealt a few suited cards it is natural to envision the possibilities. Many times the suited cards won’t live up to their potential as flushes, but other times they will connect. If your hand does happen to improve it is important that you capitalize by extracting the most value possible from it. Don’t be timid if you have a strong hand. There will certainly be times where the other players will fold to your aggression, but there will also be times where they call all of your bets. Apprehensiveness is rarely rewarded in poker.

Bet sizing is one part of poker that players tend to struggle with. Some players will make their bluffs too large while other players won’t make their value bets large enough. There is no guideline to proper bet sizing as it is always dependent on a number of factors, but it is not as difficult as some players make it. If you have a strong hand your aim will be to win the most possible; this will be done through properly calculated bets and raises. A common mistake that players make when trying to win the most possible is to make small bets and raises. They fear that larger bets will cost them money if they scare the opposition away. The fact is, however, if a smaller bet is going to keep them in the hand there is a good chance that a larger one would have done the same thing.

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

Hero (Button) ($100.40)

SB ($114.70)

BB ($75.65)

UTG ($60.40)

Preflop: Hero is Button with Qh, Jh

1 fold, Hero bets $3, SB calls $2.50, 1 fold

Pre flop we are dealt a solid suited connector. An open raise in this spot is standard. The small blind calls and we head to the flop in position.

Flop: ($7) Ah, 2h, 8h (2 players)

SB checks, Hero bets $3.50, SB raises to $10.25, Hero raises to $20, SB calls $9.75

The flop is absolutely perfect for us and we know have the second nut flush on an unpaired board. The only hand that could possibly beat us is a suited king in hearts. The small blind checks to us and we make a half sized pot bet. A better bet in this spot would have been $5 or $6 as it is closer to the size of the pot. The small blind then re raises us. Now we should flat call or make a big raise, instead we make a minraise. This is a poor play and is certainly not optimal.

Turn: ($47) 7c (2 players)

SB checks, Hero bets $21, SB calls $21

The turn is fine as it does not pair the board and leaves us in great position. Once it is checked to us we should make a bet closer to $40. We elect for a small bet of $21, less than half the size of the pot. This is bad because it lets the small blind see a cheap river if they are on a flush draw.

River: ($89) 3h (2 players)

SB bets $35, Hero calls $35

The river is a terrible card for our hand as now the Kh beats us. The small blind now leads out for the first time in the hand. We have to fold now as it is rather obvious the small blind is holding the Kh. We call anyway and lose the pot. This is a situation where it was obvious that we were beat and should have laid down our hand.

Total pot: $159 | Rake: $2.50


Hero mucked Qh, Jh (flush, Ace high).

SB had Qd, Kh (flush, Ace high).

Outcome: SB won $313

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