Making Big Calls!

1 August

Coaching poker Making Calls

Poker Stars No-Limit Hold'em Tournament, 10/20 Blinds (9 handed) - Poker Stars Converter Tool from

MP3 (t1,461)
CO (t1,354)
Button (t1,741)
SB (t1,474)
Hero (BB) (t1,494)
UTG (t1,494)
UTG+1 (t1,494)
MP1 (t1,494)
MP2 (t1,494)

Hero's M: 49.80

Preflop: Hero is BB with 6c, Jh
1 fold, UTG+1 calls t20, 6 folds, Hero checks

Flop: (t50) Js, Ad, 9c (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 checks

Turn: (t50) 2h (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 bets t40, Hero calls t40

River: (t130) 9h (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 bets t80, Hero calls t80

Total pot: t290

No reads in this hand. This was just the first hand of a $22 MTT. I would suggest that the open limp pre most likley means villain is a fish, there is of course a slight chance this limp is a slowplay(this is definetely not the most likely reason for limping, usually its a sign of a passive player limping a marginal hand).

I dont think we gain too much value from leading on the flop and dont want to face a raise should villain be aggressive postflop. Once villain checks behind his range is AA(slowplay pre and on the flop),A9(flop slowplay),J9(flop slowplay)- recognise JJ,99,AJ would all most likely raise preflop. Most other Aces would bet so that leaves some marginal hands in his range for checking as well-Some Jx,9x and Pocket pairs. The last part of his range for checking the flop is anything that missed and is giving up flop. As a side note a lot of passive players will check draws behind on flop.

Turn is a blank card. We could conceivably bet for value here and i think its quite close since potentially he could call with some draws like - QT,KT,T8s,T7s, but the problem is most the non draw hands that could call - 9x,2x,Pocket Pairs can only call once anyhows. Now if we add in that at least some of the time villain would bet some of the draws on the flop we can see its a close spot. So the trade off becomes whats more profitable? Should we check again to induce any bluffs that have seen 2 checks or should we bet and get the value from draws why we can? Remembering that if we check maybe some of those draws we said could call could potentially bet, i think overall checking again is slightly more profitable. We could of course still be losing to a better Jx or a slowplay.

So we check and villain bets 80% pot. Now something can be taken from this sizing. Its not gonna hold true 100% of the time but most players wouldn't bet this big with a hand like JTo for example or any other pair smaller than ours. Most likely a smaller sizing would be chose. If we are losing here he is likely to have a monster or a very strong Jx like KJ. Anyhows based upon the plan we have formulated we can see there is only 1 play and that is to call.

Now the river pairs the 9. Well this shouldn't have changed too much as we believed that he wouldnt bet a marginal hand(9x) that big on the turn. On top of that does he just bet QJ here again now, especially when he has the chance to check back? Although its close i dont think he has too many Jx here(we will see some KJ,QJ from time to time). So he doesn't have 9x, doesn't have many Jx and doesn't have very many Ax.

So his range for value here is AA(3 combos, but he cant always limp here so im gonna half the chance he has AA so 1.5 combos),A9(6 combos),J9(6 combos),22(3 combos) and some KJ(8 combos but due to turn sizing this needs to be at least halved so 4 combos) so lets add up these hands we lose to:

1.5+6+6+3+4=20.5 combos

On the river the pot size is 130+80= 210

We have to call 80 to win 210 = 210/80 = 2.625/1 or 27.586%

So do we beat 20.5/3.625= 5.655 combos

Well we said he could have - QT,KT,T8s,T7s which is 40 combos and lets add in some randomness which is usally around 10% or so so 44 combos.

So of those 44 combos he could bet on the turn does he then bet river as well 1 in 8 times? I would suggest yes he does. Hence we should call here.

Results below:
Hero had 6c, Jh (two pair, Jacks and nines).
UTG+1 had 7d, 7c (two pair, nines and sevens).

Now this was a strange spot where the villian turned his hand into a bluff. This isnt the norm for recreational players. Hence the reason i added in 10% for randomness shown in the calculation above.

Next time your in a spot like this take your time and try to reason out what he can and cant have. Try and come to a logical conclusion. These make good study spots as well away from the table. These spots also help you to develop your hand reading to a higher level.


Good luck at the tables ladies and gents.

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