Soliciting Poker Opinions...

I just sent this out via email and on facebook to a number of Texas Hold em poker
players I have a lot of respect fore with very different styles and levels of aggressiveness. If I didn’t send it to you it’s not because I don’t respect you, it’s only because you didn’t spring to mind at the moment. It started small and evolved to something bigger. I’m afraid for some of the folks I sent it to, I missed some specifics that I later added in like the suits of my holdings which are below.

If any of you didn’t get the email but would like to respond please do so in the comments section. Really, like to hear you thoughts on this fairly standard spot, but one that might open the window to different mindsets.


I'm writing a couple of players I respect to get some opinions on a hand. I picked a "pretty standard" spot, because I'm more curious how you would approach the hand and the thought process involved in your decisions, then maybe the action itself. I will probably post parts of the responses up on my blog in the next week or so. Depending on the responses I might also use it for an article in GCP Magazine down the line. If you respond, let me know if I can use your name or if should just quote you as anonymous or not quote you at all.

In advance, I appreciate your insight. And please feel free to correct any action in the hypothetical...

NL Holdem Live poker tournament
, nine handed, blinds are 150-300 antes 25. Unopened pot. Pocket fours on the button (4s4d). Stack of 10k. Small blind has 5k stack, and big blind has you covered. What do you do (please include bet size)?

Let's assume you bet, the two blinds come with you. Flop is Qd10d4c. Small blind leads out the size of your preflop bet. Big Blind calls. What do you do?

On the assumption you raised, only the big blind called. Ace (non-diamond) on the turn. Check to you. What do you do?

If you bet, but didn't shove, assume he does, and action to you...

Does it change your actions if you know the small blind is liable/likely to open post-flop with air but big-blind is a tight older gentleman who is almost, but not quite, a nuts only kind of guy?

Thank you very much for your responses.

Regards and continued good luck,

***By the way, we are really excited about the GCP yearbook/magazine we'll be releasing in the spring before the World Series. It'll be much thicker and a lot higher page count, with the entire year in review and focusing on a lot local profiles. Also, any suggestions or criticisms of the site or magazine are much appreciated.

As I mentioned I’m thinking about using the results for an article for our next issue of Gulf Coast Magazine or the Yearbook that I teased at the tail end of this email. Gene, John, and I are very excited about things we got going forward with the magazine.

As for the website, we got some criticism, probably warranted, for not getting as in depth in our coverage as we should have been of the Bayou Poker Classic. I find that when both of us, in our little two man operation, are playing so much as we both did this week, and working our day jobs, and looking after our new young children with the holidays approaching, the volume of content suffers. Most importantly, the less we play the more you get. Though for me this go-around would have been a lot more profitable to play less and cover more.

Our apologies. Hopefully, we can turn the corner on the site and make it into a day job on its own and devote the attention these tournaments merit. By the way, anybody looking to advertise let me know. I’m thinking about adding one of those paypal badges on there for donations to help support the site, but it feels a little bit like begging so I don’t know.


Anonymous said…

If I am on the button and it has folded around, and I look down at pocket 4s, I'd likely raise 2.5x which is obviously 750. If both blinds come along, there is now 2,475 in the pot including antes of course. I could raise slightly more here but given the SB has half my stack and the BB is super tight, often a small raise of 2.25x or 2.5x will take the pot down which is really what I would prefer. Instead of taking it down they both called. Ok, with the flop being Qd10d4c....I should certainly have the best hand here. I would not put either guy on QQ or 1010, as I think they would re-raise preflop with those hands due to either putting me on a button raise, and possibly only wanting to see a flop vs one player. I don't put either of them on AK or AQ as I also believe they would re-raise preflop. (although it would be great if they had AK or AQ) So I'm confident my hand is good, but concerned about the potential flush draw, and possible straight draw if they have KJ or J9. Ok, back to the action. There is 2,475 in the pot and the SB bet 750 on the flop (the size of my pre flop raise) and the BB called. There is now 3,975 in the pot. At this point I would likely shove because it is a decent pot and I'm pretty sure I would be putting my money in good, which is obviously what we like to do. They would likely fold or if they decide to chase their draws, and hit, well I did get my money in good. I don't want them drawing to a winning hand for cheap. But let's say I did not shove here. I would at least raise to 2,750 if not more. Remember the SB bet 750 and the BB called so I want to raise a decent amount as to not give them both automatic pot odds to call. I would like to take the pot down right here or at least see the turn vs one player. If I raise his 750 bet to 2,750, the pot is now at 6,725. The SB folds and the BB, getting over 3 to 1, calls 2,000 more. I guess I just gave him pretty good pot odds so maybe a bigger raise is better here. Anyway, pot now at 8,725. The turn is a non diamond A and it is checked to me, I am a little woriied about him having KJ for a made straight. However, he may have Q10 for a flopped two pair or A10 for a turned two pair. Of course I can beat those hands....just can't beat the KJ. Now in your scenario, you bet here and he shoves. With him being a nuts only type player, my instinct would put him on the KJ for the nut straight. I could see him calling my preflop raise with KJ, and he flopped an open ended straight draw so I can see him calling my post flop raise. He makes his hand on the turn and check, shoves on me. If I made a small bet on the turn and still have almost half my starting stack, then I can fold. If my post turn bet was big, leaving me with only a few chips, and obvious pot odds, I would likely call. Although you may say, why call if you really feel you are beat. If he is not a nuts only type player I think his check, shove range here widens to two pair such as having Q10 or A10. So yes, his image certainly plays a part in how I play the hand. But given the stack and bet sizes, I would not have gotten to the turn as I would have shoved on the flop. It would have been a nice pot to take down and the nuts only guy would fold and not chase his straight there. So to answer your question, I may fold the flopped set there if a nuts only guy check shoves the turn. I just don't think that tight a player would call the raise on the flop with one pair and check shove the turn with two pair because so many hands can beat him. So what could he have with that move? I think KJ and maybe KdJd. If his image is different, my play does change. But I see no reason to let those guys get to possible flushes or straights when I flop a set of 4s. Shove on the flop and know you just got your money in good.
Anonymous said…
Bet three times the Big Blind. Make it half your stack to go, show that you are deadly serious on the flop. Call or shove the river. Read of the players isn't important this hand is standard and plays itself out.

Anonymous said… or shove the river?? There are only 2 players in the hand after the A on the turn and said villian check/shoved the turn. No option to call or shove the river. Just shove post flop after the SB leads out and the BB flats.
Anonymous said…
Shoves on the river work better than shoves on the turn.

Anonymous said…
I would like to know in how big of a tournament this was?

I would play this pot differently depending on if its is $130 buy in vs a $2000 buy in.

You are sitting a little over 30 big blinds.

1st off, I dont raise on the button there with 4-4 in either tournament. I dont like the hand that much and dont want to get in a big pot with it unless I do flop a set

In a $130 tourney, I shove over the open/call post flop as I am never getting away from a flopped set with 30 BBs. Reference the 1st person's comment here about getting your money in good.

in a $2000 tourney things change. I still limp pre. Dont like pocket 4's there. I call post for pot control. I most certainly check turn.

Once the A gets there on turn, I do not want to play a big pot unless I fill up. Guy just gave me a free card to do just that by checking turn.

If guy shoves before me on river and has me covered. I fold and lose the minimum.

But, I still in the tournament with over 20-25 bbs.

I am assuming you lost this hand, and I would also agree with 1st commenter about K-J being in his range. I do disagree that he could have 10-10 or Q-Q.

If I am in the blinds with one of those hands at this stage, (especially if I had a bunch of chips) I call a simple 2.x to 3.x raise pre from the button to bust his ass if I can flop a set.
Anonymous said…
Lots of thoughts for a standard hand but that's what makes it so interesting. Good exercise but certainly too many unknowns to truly give an accurate assessment. Would likely limp that hand on the button. Why raise? If you don't flop a set which is far more often than not, you just gave your chips away as you will fold any post flop bet with 3 overs on the board. But other issues come into play. Have you been raising your button and getting the blinds to fold? Or do they always defend? Lots of variables when deciding what spots to raise or limp. The comments on the range of 1010 and QQ yes it's possible someone in the blinds could have one of these hands. But then again, all hands are "possible" from AA to 72 off. But is it likely for them to have QQ or 1010? I think you are asking for trouble with 1010 in a 3way pot and QQ for that matter. Most people I know would def 3 bet right there with those hands hoping to get heads up. Holding 1010 in a 3 way pot is scary. Anyone holding any 2 cards with at least (1) A,K,Q or J will likely outflop you, well at least on jokerstars...hahaha. So I probably dont put them on QQ or 1010 and I just flopped a set, albeit bottom set. It's still a ginormous wildebeast but is shoving the only play? No, you want max value for your monster not min value. The automatic shove on the flop is very "internetish". What ever happened to putting in a nice raise after flopping a monster. Shove shove shove shove shove. Why people?? Of course there is a time to shove but shoving the flop when you likely have your opponents dominated will induce them both to fold. Do you want them to fold or do you want some more chips? Shoving on the flop in this situation bascially says, "I'm ahead but I want you to fold because I always get sucked out on because I really play on the internet all day and Im deathly afraid of getting sucked out on"

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