Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

Mishandling a flopped set on a draw heavy board…?

Just sat down in another sit-n-go, and I’m on the felt after the first hand, I think this is the fist time every I’ve been felted on the first hand in one of these, and it feels shit.

The very first hand, I find 44 and call the BB. I was tempted to fold here, has I feel I’m often too willing to try and flop a set with small pairs early on in the sit-n-go’s, but being on the button I decide to call.

The flop is the worst I could ask for, giving me a set, whilst offering a flush draw and 3 cards to a straight. Its more likely my opponents are drawing here, then they have a made hand, and even if one of them did flop a straight I still have outs to beat them, so I make a pot sized raise hoping to take the pot down here. Instead I get two callers. The turn doesn’t bring any relief and piles on more pressure, I elect to lead out with a large bet, and get one call and one fold.

The river is a nightmare and completes four cards to a flush, to make things worse my opponent pushes all-in. I don’t rush to the decision, and eventual call to find he made a flush on the river.

Here’s what went from my mind at the time. If he’s got the flush I’m out of the tournament, obviously, and with four to a flush there was a reasonable chance he back doored a flush here, this was looking like a fold. However, I had put almost half my stack on the line here, and with a precedent in folding in these spots in that past, I would expect to not make the money without picking up a hand sooner then I would usually need with only $870 left if I fold. I was beginning to steel feel like folding was the best play, because if I did it a hand before the blinds reached 25/50, I’ll still have a shot at the money.

What changed my mind though was the action of the hand, I begun to feel like he was trying to pick up a got shot, and missed, and a push on the end was a defiant steel attempt. I’ve seen this pattern enough, and felt sure enough in my read that a call here was correct.

In hindsight, I could have handled this better :

Firstly, I had a strong hand, but on this board it was very vulnerable. In this instance I took a protective line and tried to make draws pay. At this limit though, and maybe higher too, I feel now this was a mistake on this board. If someone had flopped a straight and intended to slow play it I was drawing thin so should have kept the pot cheap. Also if someone was on a straight draw or especially a flush draw, very few of my opponents would fold, even if I pushed all my chips in. So playing it cheap allows me to avoid committing half of my stack into a situation where I could be beat on the turn, if the turn was blank I could then raise out any draws.

Here’s a link to the Home Porker Tourney thread I created on the play of the hand :

Mishandling a flopped set

January 31, 2008 - Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , ,


  1. Hi Lucky,

    Hope all is well with you. My cash game parameters are very simple. I play the 6 man ring games. I play only about 200 hands per session. Sometimes I play 2 tables but mostly I play single table that way I can really concentrate on who I’m playing against.

    I play fairly disciplined. Only the top 20% hands or so. I occasionally limp or call a small raise with suited connectors if the action is light and I’m in position.

    It’s all about picking the game. I usually watch a game for awhile and check out the action and see if the game is good or not. If people are playing tightish, then I know I can steal a lot of small pots. If the the game is loosey goosey then I play tighter than usual. I always sit to the left of the most aggressive player in the game, that way I have position against him/her.

    At the micro levels, I try and not to do anything fancy, just play solid ABC poker. There’s no need to try that because everybody else at these levels are playing mostly bad. I value bet when I think I have the best of it. If a guy checks to me on the flop and the turn I’ll bet out to steal the pot. I usually respect another player’s raises and stuff, at these levels I doubt they’re bluffing much unless it’s a huge pot and I know I’m ahead then I’ll push. You’d be surprised at how many calls you get when you have a monster hand.

    All in all, I play pretty Tight and Aggressive and I don’t make many moves if at all. Just play the hand straight forward like.

    My flop stats are usually in the 20%-30% range and that includes when I’m in the BB and SB. Outside of the BB and SB I usually play about 20% range as I’m playing the top 15%-20% hands only when I’m not in the SB and BB.

    If you play just solid poker you’ll see that your showdown win rate will be somewhere in the 70% at least and that’s when I know I’m playing optimally. At these levels players are playing almost any type of cards so you just have to watch it.

    You have to watch the limp ins though. Certain players will limp in with AA or KK almost all the time trying to trap. If you keep good notes you’ll know who they are.

    If the table is passive, you’ll know off the bat if they bet they usually have something.

    I also try and stay away from gambling too much as there are a lot of guys coming into the game with $5 looking to double up and stuff. I try and stay out there way unless I have a monster hand.

    It’s really simple actually, just play the good hands and don’t go over board. Only play big pots when you’re ahead, don’t chase too much and you’ll wind up winning about $4 – $5 per 200 hand session.

    I’m not sure if this helps but that’s just the style I’ve developed for these levels. That’s why I wrote my post. If you play these levels you can grind profits but you’re getting that much better at poker because the players are so bad (either super loose or super passive).

    I can help anyway I can but I’m sure there are other players that are probably way better than me at these levels who are just killing it.

    Speak to you soon Lucky!


    Comment by brooklyn bum | January 31, 2008 | Reply

  2. I’m keen to get stuck into my NL Hold’em Cash Game text, and get some regular sessions in, but it feels like my eye infection as bit me in the bum and infected my other eye, just when I felt I was over it again… the bitch lol, I’m hoping I can avoid any time away from the tables, but until I feel a bit better staying away from the cash games, as I can’t afford a lapse of concentration in a big hand / big pot scenario.

    I’m going to try to put a schedule of what I should be doing up to keep me on track, as I don’t have one at the moment and I’m sure it can help.

    Thanks a lot for all your advise, I’ll keep you posted on how I’m getting on.

    Comment by luckystraights | January 31, 2008 | Reply

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