Friday, July 26, 2013

Shortstack Play at the Microstakes

I've been going over hand histories as part of my study plan, and this one caught my attention because of the bet-sizing mistakes from the shortstack. Here is the hand, and the shortstack is holding 65s.

Some thoughts:

Preflop: If a hand is good enough to call 1\3 of your stack in order to see the flop, then it should be good enough to shove for fold equity. 65s can play well multi-way, and with a larger stack, but this seems like a bad call heads-up.

Flop: He's out of position and tossing in a probe bet to see where he's at. The problem is he has now bet half of his stack where he has bottom pair\bad kicker, with only a backdoor flush opportunity. If you're going to play at all, why not shove and hope for two pair or trips later? The probe bet is not enough to scare away the big stack here, but a shove would have likely captured some fold equity.

Turn: I guess now he realizes he's in trouble, so he checks. Strange that the pre-flop raiser checks behind with a diamond draw on the board.

River: Hoping that the pfr doesn't have the ace, he flicks in 1\6 of the pot as a value bet, which gives the pfr odds to call. Betting half the pot, or shoving here to represent a third Q would have made more sense, and given him the best chance to win the hand.

Summary: Bet-sizing mistakes cost him 2\3 of his stack with a hand he had no business playing here, except aggressively. It's microstakes so he probably thinks "whatever", but leaks are leaks and this can be a big one if repeated.

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