Monday, December 19, 2016

If You Three-Bet, Shouldn't You C-Bet?

ANNOUNCEMENT:  Before I get to your regularly scheduled blog post (which is actually late, so not so regularly scheduled), I want to announce that I am currently in Vegas.  Yeah, after getting clearance from my cardiologist, and surviving a test run at the Bike last Saturday (see here),  I knew I was ready to give Vegas one more chance to disappoint me!  So look for stories from my current Vegas trip soon!  In the meantime, here's this story from some time back that I wrote up while I was still in L.A......Enjoy!

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Here’s another report on a session that happened a few years back I haven’t written up until now.

It was a busy Friday night.  And I got off to good start.  When the big hand hit, the table was short-handed; a couple of walkers and an empty spot waiting for a new player.  I was down to about $185 and on the button with pocket 10’s.  It folded to me and I made it $10.  The small blind folded and the big blind made it $30.  He had been a playing tight aggressive in the brief time I was there with him.  I called and it was just the two of us.

The flop was beautiful: 10-6-3, rainbow.  Much to my surprise, he checked. I didn’t quite get that. Heads up, on that flop, what could he have that he didn’t want to c-bet with?  I mean, he had a hand good enough to three-bet from the big blind, isn’t a c-bet pretty much automatic heads up?

Anyway, I decided to check back.  I think if that same situation had happened now, I would have bet to start getting money in. But back then, I was more likely to slow-play a set.

The turn was a 9 and put all four suits on the board.  This time he bet $50.  I had $158 left.  I was done slow-playing.  I thought about shoving, and of course, I wanted to get all my money in.  He had me covered.  But I felt that psychologically, it might be easier for him to call (or re-raise) if I bet smaller.  So I made the min-raise to $100.  He thought about it for just a few seconds and then announced “all-in.”  Of course, I snap-called.

The river was a blank and he turned over pocket Queens.  I was more than happy to take the double up, but now that I saw his hand, I really couldn’t understand checking the flop. How does he not bet his overpair there?

That was like the second or third hand this particular dealer dealt.  During the rest of his down, everything was working for me.  I raised with Ace-Queen and Ace-King and missed, took both with c-bets.  Raised with Ace-8 suited, missed, made a c-bet that was called by one player.  No more betting, and when I showed my hand he mucked saying he missed his draw.  With 5-4 in the big blind, I rivered a straight and took a small pot (there was no betting until the river when I made a small bet that was called by two players). My straight was good.

As soon as the next dealer came in, my luck changed and I went card dead.  Very late in his down, however, I had Ace-Queen and raised to $10, had two callers.  It was a pretty good flop for me: King-Jack-10, rainbow.  It checked to me.  Although I was slow-playing sets back then, I don’t think I’ve ever been likely to slow-play a straight.  And with all those high cards, I figure a paired board makes a full house more likely than on drier boards. Also, I think it’s too easy to get counterfeited when a fourth card to the straight hits. So I bet $15 but didn’t get any takers.

Next hand (this dealer’s last), I raised to $8 with King-9 of hearts.  Only one caller.  The flop was King-King-10.  I bet $10, then $15, then $20.  Only the last bet wasn’t called.

This was a club night and I had the right table, wrong seat.  My back was to the parade.  But for awhile I resisted any chance to change seats since I was running so well.  Eventually though, the guy who paid me off with my set of 10’s moved immediately to my left, and then started straddling every time I was the big blind.  He also started betting much bigger than he had been.  And so, when I realized it had been over an hour since I’d won a pot, I moved to get a better view. Oh, and also to change my luck.  Yeah, that’s it.

Later, in the big blind, I had Jack-8 offsuit and there was no raise.  The flop was 8-5-2, I bet $5 and a guy made it $15.  I called. A third spade hit the turn and I had the Jack of spades. I check/called $15.  The river was a blank and I checked.  He bet $20.  Not enough to get me to fold.  He showed Ace-5.  

Later, I had pocket Jacks in the big blind, there were a bunch of limpers.  So I made it $17 and had three callers. The flop was 10-9-3.  I bet $50 and had one caller.  The turn was a 10 and we both checked.  The river was a 7 and again we both checked.  He mucked when he saw my hand. 

I was about to leave and book a nice win, when the dealer who had dealt the big hand at the start pushed back in.  I decided to see if my luck with him was still good.  Nope, the well had run dry.  I didn’t get a single hand to play.  Nada.

So I was done, and was able to book one of my most profitable 1/2 sessions in a long, long time


  1. Congrats on feeling well enough to make the trip to L.V. Really does not seem that long ago that you had the surgery. Run well.

    1. Thanks, Dale. Yeah in some ways, it feels like I just got out of the hospital. But in other ways, it seems like forever ago.

  2. Three 10s. Your pic. I see what you did there. Heheh.

  3. Interesting hand. One could argue every post-flop decision is wrong.