Gross Spot with an Open-ended Straight Flush Draw

With all of the holiday festivities and friends that were in town, I took a bit of a break from poker this week. I only put in about 20 hours at the tables, and 2-3 hours of studying. My studying for the week consisted mostly of the PLO stuff I mentioned in last week’s post which you can read here, as well as some NLH training videos from a variety of training/ coaching sites. I feel pretty guilty about this, but I kind of just ignored my running and meditation goals for this week. It’s beginning to get quite a bit colder, which took away some of my motivation to get outside and run, and I suppose I didn’t feel the meditation was super important this week since I wasn’t playing too much. Next week, I’ll look to hop back on the goal-grind and complete all four of my weekly goals (35 hours playing, 10 hours studying, 3 meditation sessions, 3 runs).

I found myself in a pretty gross spot in a 2-5 game on Friday night that I want to talk about:

Game: 2-5 NL, 9 handed

Hero (750) CO with Jh9h. Likely viewed as competent and aggressive in eyes of main villain, although we don’t have a ton of history together.

Main Villain (~1000) in BB. Villain is a 2-5 regular. Hero doesn’t have a great read on him, but views him as tightish preflop and passive for the most part. Hero has also heard from Jack that villain can be stationy.

Preflop: Whale limps in HJ, hero raises to 25, button (fishy rec player) calls, villain calls, whale calls.

Flop (95) 7h7d8h. Checks to hero who bets 65, button folds, villain calls, whale folds.

I don’t think there’s really any other option than to c-bet this board. We have a nice combo draw and no showdown value, so I’m happy to try to win the pot now. If that doesn’t work, we can build a bigger pot so we can get more value when we do hit one of our draws. When villain calls here, I think he has a lot of flush and straight draws, some 8x, some 99-JJ, a few 7x combos that chose to slow play, and nutted hands like 88 and 78.

Turn (225) 6h. Villain checks, hero bets 150, villain raises to 400. Hero throws up.

In game, I thought villain’s check raising range here would consist of full houses (and quads), all of his flushes, some 9T (of which he likely only has suited combos due to the PF raise), and possibly some 7x. I don’t think villain has a bluffing range in this spot, so it’s really a question of whether or not I’m beating enough of his value hands to just get it in here. I didn’t really consider flatting, as I felt the best way to get value from his hands that I’m beating was to jam here to avoid losing action if a 4th heart rolls off on the river, or some other scare card comes that causes villain to check/fold his hands would have gotten it in bad on the turn. So, we can effectively treat villain’s raise as an all-in (since we can assume villain is never folding since he’s never bluffing and will be getting way too good of a price to fold any value hand), meaning if we call (jam), we’re doing so for a price of 510 to win 885. So, we’re getting 1.74:1, and thus need 36% equity to call (jam). I looked at this spot with an equity calculator, and found that against a range of, { 88-77, T9s, 87s, KhQh, KhJh, QhJh, AhTh, KhTh, QhTh, Ah9h, Kh9h, Qh9h, Ah8h, Ah5h, Ah4h, 5h4h, Ah3h, 4h3h, Ah2h, Ah7s, Ah7c}, we only have 28% equity, making this an easy fold. I think what I failed to consider in game was the fact that villain really just doesn’t have very many lower flushes that we’re beating unless he’s playing lots of baby suited gappers, which I don’t think is the case. One thing that would drastically change this is if villain is playing all combos of 9T this way rather than just suited ones. If that’s the case, our equity jumps to 49.5%, which makes jamming the correct play. If we give him half of the combos of 9To, our equity falls to about 42%, so jamming remains profitable. It’s hard to say whether villain has all combos of 9T in his pre-flop calling range or not, but regardless, he’s probably not playing all of his 9T’s as a check-raise on this turn anyway, which makes this spot a pretty clear fold.

As it happened, I jammed, villain tank-called with A4hh, and the river bricked, which resulted in me losing the biggest pot I’ve ever lost in LLSNL. After seeing him tank-call with such a strong hand, I’m beginning to think flatting the turn may actually have been an option I could have considered, as it’s possible that he somehow gets away from his straights and lower flushes when I shove. I obviously didn’t know that at the time of the hand, so that’s really just something to consider when I find myself in similar situations vs. this villain in the future. Another reason flatting the turn could be good is that it gives me the option of check/folding the river if villain bets again (which will be very hard to do assuming the board doesn’t change with better than 4:1 odds), as well as the option to turn my hand into a bluff if villain ever checks to me. This could be profitable in scenarios where villain has the Q-high or K-high flush and a 4th heart comes on the river, as I can represent the nut flush (as well as full houses). If villain checked to me on a 7 or 8x river, that would also give me the opportunity to turn my hand into a bluff. Anyways, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading, and please make sure to leave any questions or comments below. Until next week, may peace and run-good be with us all.