Dec 24 2009

Value Continuation Betting, Tournament Setting

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

Continuation betting is generally understood as a concept that applies to betting the flop with a hand that missed. The reality is, however, that continuation betting is just as important when you have a strong hand as when you miss. Tournaments make continuation betting more of a challenge with a strong hand because you have to convince your opponent that they should be risking a piece of their life line. While you don’t want to bet so little that you fail to extract a lot of value from your hand, you can’t bet so much that you are blowing other players out of the pot. There is a fine line between a continuation bet and an excessive bet.

The optimal bet will fall somewhere in between when you are going for value. If you have a weak hand and are continuation betting it goes without saying that a small bet will be effective, but you should be making larger bets with stronger hands for the same reason. Continuation betting should always take a handful of variables into consideration, be it your opponents or your position. When you are considering the dynamics of a hand you will be better positioned to make solid continuation bets.

Hold’em, $40.00 BB (9 handed) @ PokerStars

Button ($3818)

Hero (SB) ($2955)

BB ($2752)

UTG ($3415)

UTG+1 ($2895)

MP1 ($2538)

MP2 ($2535)

MP3 ($3772)

CO ($2320)

Preflop: Hero is SB with Qs, Qh

1 fold, UTG+1 calls $40, 4 folds, Button calls $40, Hero bets $160, BB calls $120, UTG+1 calls $120, 1 fold

Pre flop we are dealt the third best hand possible, pocket queens. This is a hand that is even more valuable in the latter stages of a tournament than if ever would be in a cash game. The first step is to raise. A few players limp in ahead of us so we will have to bump it up to 4x the big blind. 5x or 6x the big blind would have been solid raises as well, but a 4x the big blind will work. Both players call and we will see the flop out of position, this would be one reason that a larger raise would have been optimal.

Flop: ($520) 8h, 6c, 9s (3 players)

Hero bets $300, BB raises to $960, 1 fold, Hero raises to $2795 (All-In), BB calls $1632 (All-In)

The flop is perfect for our hand, the only real threat is a flopped set, but there is nothing you can do if that happens to be the case. Anywhere from 300 to 400 would be a solid continuation bet in this spot. Too much more than that might scare out hands that we would otherwise be able to stack. The goal of this bet is to entice the other player(s) to raise us so that we could build a large pot. The big blind does re raise us and we are able to take down a huge pot thanks to an effective continuation bet.

Turn: ($5704) Jd (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: ($5704) Kh (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $5704


Hero had Qs, Qh (one pair, Queens).

BB had 7d, 7s (one pair, sevens).

Outcome: Hero won $11408

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