Poker Sess.24 - Thin Value-Betting

Using the force at Bay-to-Breakers.

Return of the Pete's 881 Club. The poker addiction is Sidious. Last Friday after a night at Off the Grid, I went down -$110 in a 2/5NL cash game, a case of card-dead, but I lost the minimum, and it could have gone worse. Then on Sunday I played a deepstack tourney and dropped my -$120 buy-in, I was playing close-to-perfect but got sucked out on after someone tried a stop-and-go bluff. Tonight, I went up a +$500 buy-in in about an hour in the 2/5NL cash game. I admit I ran a little hot, but I'll take it as a reward for enduring the cold. And as usual, I always blog after a good night while ignoring the bad ones.

I walked into Pete's, an older Vietnamese regular yelled "ah, you go to school, then come here?" as I had my backpack. I had brought my laptop to work while I was waiting for a seat. The waitress also IDed me. #curryface.

Thin Value-Betting

Probably one of my weaknesses right now is value-betting thin, which is betting a marginal hand which you think is most likely good. Though I have shown some strides, I miss a lot of value on the river by betting too small or not raising.

An example of a hand where I could have gotten more value:

  • I raise JQ on the small blind against an spewy player. I flop trips (JJx). I bet the flop, he calls. Turn comes an Ace. I check, he bets huge, I call. The river comes a blank. I check, and he bets a large amount again with a bit behind. At this point, I should have shoved. I was too scared of being out-kicked or full-housed, whereas I could have gotten a lot of value from smaller kickers or an Ace.

An example of a hand that is pretty thin, but value-betting more was an option:

  • I raise AKs in UTG+1. SB calls. Flop comes AJx. He check-raises me, I call. The turn puts out a flush, he checks the turn, I check back. At this point, I could have bet/fold here if I did some hand-reading. A likely holding for him is an Ace, a Jack come crazy, or maybe the flush. However, a check here for pot control with my one pair seems good in hindsight. The river is a blank. He checks again. I deliberated whether or not to value-bet, and I ended up betting a small amount. If he had an Ace, he would probably be scared of a flush or larger Ace. A Jack probably would fold. A flush would raise. So it would be pretty thin to value-bet here, but a small value-bet to get even a Jack to call seems good.

An example of a hand where I pulled the trigger on thin value-betting:

  • I raise 3bet JJ over an UTG+1 raiser in a tourney. He calls. Flop comes 236 with a flush draw. I bet, and he calls. At this point, his range is two overs with a flush draw or an overpair. There are more combos of flush draws and overpairs that I beat than overpairs that I lose to. The turn is a blank, so I barrel another bet.


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