Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to play top pair post flop

* I folded my hand on this one preflop, but found this one hand interesting and wanted to share my experience playing top pair post flop.

PokerStars - $0.05 NL ZOOM - Holdem - 9 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4:

BTN: $8.09
SB: $7.21
BB: $20.17
Hero (UTG): $5.27
UTG+1: $3.36
UTG+2: $5.00
MP: $4.73
MP+1: $5.16
CO: $1.77

SB posts SB $0.02, BB posts BB $0.05

Pre Flop: (pot: $0.07) Hero has Qc Ad

fold, fold, UTG+2 calls $0.05, fold, MP+1 raises to $0.20, fold, fold, SB raises to $0.60, fold, fold, MP+1 calls $0.40

Flop: ($1.30, 2 players) Js Ts Jh
SB bets $0.95, MP+1 calls $0.95

Turn: ($3.20, 2 players) 9c
SB bets $2.15, MP+1 calls $2.15

River: ($7.50, 2 players) 5s
SB checks, MP+1 bets $1.46 and is all-in, SB calls $1.46

tl;dr MP+1 had Jack Quads.

MP+1 HUD stats showed 11/4/3... a tight player whose win rate on the showdown was 60%, WTSD is 29%.

If I had top pair on the flop and villain like this were to call my cbet, I'd check on the turn and see how he/she will act.

IME, when villain has a big hand, villain will bet at least 3/4 pot. If I were to second barrel on the turn with top pair unimproved, villain can easily call my bet... worse, raise me.

Small hand, small pot. Big hand, big pot.

I think the turn is probably the most important street. If I don't have the nuts on the turn, I'd rather check behind, or fold.

As for bluffing, I seldom bluff on the turn. It's cheaper to bluff on the flop. Turn bluffs tend to get more expensive. What if villain calls your bluff? Do you intend to still bluff on the river?

Here's one hand that I finished a while ago.

Villain is 10/6/3... tight player who used to donk on me a lot. He/She wins showdowns 56% of the time, and wtsd is 32%. Good stats if I may say so (+2k hands).

PokerStars - $0.02 NL - Holdem - 8 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4:

UTG: $0.83
UTG+1: $6.94
MP: $0.82
MP+1: $2.55
CO: $2.01
Hero (BTN): $5.00
SB: $2.12
BB: $2.96

SB posts SB $0.01, BB posts BB $0.02

Pre Flop: (pot: $0.03) Hero has 3s 3d

fold, UTG+1 calls $0.02, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to $0.05, fold, BB raises to $0.16, UTG+1 calls $0.14, Hero calls $0.11

Flop: ($0.49, 3 players) 8d Jh 3c
BB bets $0.23, UTG+1 calls $0.23, Hero raises to $4.84 and is all-in, BB calls $2.57 and is all-in, fold

Turn: ($6.32, 2 players) Qs

River: ($6.32, 2 players) Kc

BB shows Ac Ad (One Pair, Aces) (Pre 82%, Flop 9%, Turn 5%)
Hero shows 3s 3d (Three of a Kind, Threes) (Pre 18%, Flop 91%, Turn 95%)
Hero wins $6.10

What is interesting about this particular villain is that, in the last three showdowns I had with him/her, villain always showed AA vs my set--always. It was the same song and dance each time. I'd raise, villain will 3bet and I'd call. On the flop, I go all in and villain will call.

I know... I was lucky three in a row. But man, if this were to happen to me three in a row, that will put me on tilt--BIG TIME.

How I play AA (..JJ)?

Go all in preflop. Sometimes I win nothing but the blinds. A few times, villains makes a bigger hand. In the long run though, someone will call with lesser hands and my hand will win unimproved.