Although I generally don't post hand strategy posts here (reserving those mostly for the VPN or AVP discussion forums), I do want to cross-post one PLG hand for comment from my readers, partially because I'm hoping there are some PLG savants who follow crAAKKer, and mostly because the hand involved the infamous Katkin.
The game plays 9-handed, $200-$500 buy-in. The blinds are $1/$2, but count as $5 total for purposes of the pot (i.e., the first "pot" raise with no limpers can be to $15 total--$5 blinds, $5 "call" + $10 pot raise). The game was pretty sane by PLG standards. Most pots were limped preflop or one raise with 1-3 callers; preflop 3-bets almost always meant suited Aces or Kings, or suited Broadway wrap type hands. Stacks were mostly in the $300-$800 range.
On this hand, I was in the BB. Katkin was UTG and limped, as did a Canadian player in LP, and another Canadian in the SB. I was in the BB and completed. My hand was AdKh9h7d; not too shabby for a blind hand.
Flop ($20): QdTd7s
SB checked to me. I bet $15. Katkin raised pot, to $65 total. Canadian LP raised all-in, for $120 total. Canadian BB insta-raises pot to $340 total.
Katkin had about $400 more behind. He had been playing solid PLG, showing down reasonable starting hands for position and preflop betting. He had picked off one bluff with two pair against an aggressive player's missed draws, but otherwise was not putting money into a pot without a good hand or good draw.
Canadian LP had been a little more loose, was playing with a hyper-aggressive buddy (they were a couple of college age kids on vacation, FWIW), but had not been nearly as wild as his friend. His stack had dwindled after paying off with a couple of non-nut draws that hit, but hit someone else harder. He liked to see flops with suited middle / low cards ("rundown" hands).
Canadian SB was a moderately aggressive guy, seemed to be a mid-30s guy on vacation. He had maybe $200 more behind. He had played a lot of hands, but when he made a big bet, he had a real hand or real draw.
Action is on me, I have about $750 more behind (covering everyone in the hand). Obviously I have nut draws, but with the multiway action with a player left to act behind, is this a raise all-in, a flat call, or a fold?
*** Note: Results are posted after the jump. ***
Katkin really made this a tough decision for me. Against the other two guys, I was pretty sure Canadian SB had a set of Qs or Tens; if he had a big draw he would likely have flatted. I had one blocker to his boat redraw, in the event I would call and hit one of my draws. There were three problems I had, in order of increasing importance:
- My draws, although to the nuts, weren't as wide as a monster wrap with flush draw. Someone with KJ98dd has better straight draws with diamond blockers.
- Canadian LP likely had either a set of Tens or Sevens, or a two-way draw of some sort. So, he likely had some of somebody's outs, but it wasn't clear whose.
- Katkin. Freakin' Katkin. He had shown the initial real aggression on the flop, and was yet to act. The hand felt like he had a big draw, but there was a possibility he held the set of Qs and Canadian SB had the monster draw. But assuming he held the monster draw, I was drawing thinner than usual in a hand where I must improve to win.
Canadian SB: QcQsXX (set of queens, no redraw; frankly, this hand is functionally equivalent to a set of Tens in terms of stealing boat outs from Canadian SB.
Canadian LP: QT98 (top two pair plus a wrap, but no diamond draw)
The turn put the 6d on the board, and the river was a blank that did not give Canadian SB his boat redraw. Freakin' Katkin raked the monsterpotten.
In hindsight, I think the correct play here was for me to push, knowing Katkin can't call with a lesser, non-nut draw. If Katkin has a set, so be it, hope to hit the draw and miss the boat. But most of the time I think this action means Canadian SB has the big set, and Katkin the draw.
What do you PLG experts think? Inquiring minds want to know!