Jun 152010

I’ve really been trying to work on my hand reading skills lately and in general it’s been going well. It takes a fair bit of concentration though and it is possible to become so preoccupied with your opponents holding that you miss something, well, obvious:

6Max NLHE, 100BB relative stack sizes, on the button I’m dealt:

: :

It’s folded to me and I’m pretty much always raising this here as a steal attempt. Happy to play it in position when I’m called and can get away from it pretty easily if I’m raised.

The small blind player who is fairly loose/passive over a small sample of hands calls and the big blind folds. We see a flop:

: : :

The SB donk bets the flop for around 1/4 pot which can mean almost anything, I see this bet a lot as a bluff in this situation but some players also make this kind of smallish bet with big hands also.

I decide to raise his bet another 3X and he nearly instantly min 4 bets me. Obviously he likes his hand, I like mine too but not enough to get stacks in here. At the micro stakes this 4 bet represents a lot of strength. Most of the time he’s got at least 2 pair here or a set, sometimes he’ll be overplaying top pair but when I 3 bet he should be putting me on at least that. Not surprisingly if we plug his strong range into Poker Stove, we’re crushed:

If we’re generous and assume he might also be overplaying a lone ace we can add AT, AQ and AK which makes it roughly 50/50. Only when we add a small percentage for him bluffing or playing an even weaker ace or J7 do we get any meaningful lead. Either way I’m not risking my stack with a 5 bet here, I also can’t bring myself to fold for the minimum though after crunching the numbers here in this post hand analysis I see that it’s definitely not a bad play. I decide to call and re-evaluate on the turn:


He now checks, possibly trying to get me to bet, possibly scared that the king improved me. Either way I don’t think I’m getting value from any hand worse than mine here so I check behind with the intention of getting to showdown as cheaply as possible. The river comes:


He checks and I check, happy to see a showdown. Being in early position he’s forced to show first:

: :

And I’m happy to have made a decent enough read.

Then for some reason the software flips up my hand and I get shipped the pot.

What? Huh? Ah… crap!

You saw it already right? Yup I made runner, runner flush (the nuts no less!) and was so blinded by my opponents range I wasn’t even watching for it.

Kind of embarrassing checking that one down!

Ah well, it happens to the best of us:

At least online you get shipped the pot.