Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ed Miller plays a no-limit hold'em hand that just seems bizarre to me

Brother Ed describes the first round of betting in a 50c/$1 blind online no-limit hand as
It’s a $0.50-$1 game, and the villain has $109 (and I have him covered). Everyone folds to me in the small blind, and I make it $3.50 to go with A:diamond: 5:diamond: . The big blind calls.
He then tries to tell us something about the player in the big blind.
big blind plays in a way that I find fairly common in the 6-max $0.50-$1 games, so he’s not an atypical or bizarre player.
I have no idea what that means. He's not a bizarre player? He's not atypical? A lot of different things could all be fairly common. This doesn't tell me anything. Maybe it does to regular Ed readers. But it's pretty much just vague mumblings to me.

And there's no context. Is this an unusually tight game where blind v. blind confrontations happen a lot? Has Ed raised from the SB the last 3 rounds and the BB folded? Context matters. We don't have any. So we're just going to have to fly blind.

The flop is 986 with two hearts. I think I have the best hand here with the Ace high and the bad gutshot. But, Ed checks. I'm not sure why (there was some previous post where I guess he discusses that but I didn't look it up). The BB checks.

A 2:diamond: comes on the turn and Ed bets $5.50, The BB calls.

I'm not sure what this bet is all about. After checking the flop the BB is going to likely upgrade the prospects of his own hand, he's going to think of Ed's hand in terms of weakness. A duece isn't going to change that assessment any at all, no matter what Ed does on the turn.

Ed says that it's a good bet because in his experience it will yeild a fold most of the time in this situation.

That's very bad analysis. The fact that your hand is best and a bet will get a worse hand to fold isn't really that important in a no-limit game where you're making large bets. What matters is whether or not a better hand will fold or a worse hand will call. If the opponent will always fold a worse hand and always call a better hand then you'd still often see him fold to a bet in this situation but it wouldn't be a good thing for you at all unless checking would tend to induce a bluff on the river that you're going to fold to.

That sure was a long sentence. I hope it made sense.

In a limit game getting a worse hand to fold is often good because you gain some equity while only risking a small bet relative to the pot size. That's not the case in a no limit game, however.

The Kh comes on the river, putting the flush card on the board. But neither of these guys is going to worry that the other guy made a flush. Ed having checked the flop is a strong indication he didn't have a flush draw, the same with the BB. They might worry about the K though. Ed wasn't worried. He bet. The other guy folded.

Ed is real proud of that river bet.
My experience in the $0.50-$1 games has consistently been that a pot-sized bet against a scary river card that’s mostly missed my opponent’s range is a big favorite not to get called. It’s easily better than the 50% fold chance it needs to be to make the bluff profitable. (To make the bluff more profitable than checking, it actually has to be substantially better than 50% because checking leaves us with at least some showdown equity.) My opponent’s range is dominated by weakish one-pair hands, and my experience is that most $0.50-$1 players are folding those hands to this river card and a pot-sized bet.
I don't know what that last sentence means.

I can't see how Ed might think it likely that he doesn't have the best hand and I don't see how a bet is going to get a worse hand to call or a better hand to fold.

Back in his discussion about the turn bet one of his arguements for the turn bet was that by betting the turn he increases his chances of getting a free showdown. But then he doesn't take a free showdown.

I think maybe this is FPS.

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