Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Betting a Draw From EP With An Ace On The Board

I love betting draws on the flop. I am generally looking for any reason to bet the flop, and a draw qualifies bigtime. It is one of the best semi-bluffing opportunities out there. You can take the pot down right there, and if you don't you start building the pot, and disguise your draw at the same time. When you hit on the turn or river, you are way more likely to get paid if you have been betting it down the whole way, as it is very hard to put you on a draw. The one exception, is when I am in early position with an A on the board. My thinking used to go something like this. People at this level love to play any Ace, and if I bet my draw someone with an A is going to come over the top of me big, and make me release it. It would be better to check, see what happens, and call if the price is right. My thinking here is starting to change. First, if I go ahead and bet from EP with an A on the board, I am representing that I have the A, and it is probably a pretty good one. If nobody behind me has an A, or a good draw I will probably take the pot down right there. Also, I may get someone with a weak A to let it go, because the EP bet appears strong. I might even slow down a decent A, and get them to just call, with the drawing odds where I want them. If I do get called, I can be pretty sure he's got the A, and I can really make him pay if I hit my draw. The other reason is if I check it instead of betting, I am inviting a steal from LP (that I can't call) if it checks around, even if no one has the A. A couple days ago I got to see the flop for free from the BB with 74o. The flop came down A65 rainbow with three others seeing the flop. I went ahead and bet $2 into a $4 pot. I got reraised to $4 from MP and it folded to me. OK, I need to call $2 more for a $12 pot which is good pot odds for an outside straight draw. The reraise told me he had the A, but the size indicated it may not be that good. The turn came a 3, and it was time to start building the pot. I bet $5 hoping for another reraise. I just got called. River came a blank, and I fired out $10, again hoping for a reraise, but just got called. So I won a $40 plus pot by betting my draw with the A on the board. It felt right, and I am sure this guy was pissed his pair of As lost to a 74o. Last night I picked up a flush draw with a similar board (included an A), and fired out 1/2 pot bet and took it down right there. I am starting to like this move!


At 11:55 AM, Blogger smokkee said...

a little aggression can take down a lot of pots.

At 5:43 PM, Blogger ChrisXena said...

Sorry, but I disagree with SOME of your analysis in this case, as pure pot odds should only include "dead money" with potential gain, not your possible bet (afterall just getting your new bet back isn't a gain is it?).

So where $12 was considered it should have been just $10, and actual pot odds was 5:1 rather than 6:1. Your personal hand odds was 8 outs (open end straight draw) to 47 remaining cards so translates to 39:8 or slightly less that 5:1 hand odds. In any case, with little to negative room for positive expected value for calling a $2 bet you could later represent you had a better hand.

You simply lucked out with the 3 on the turn for a straight, and in the long run this "could" be a bad play with negative expectation if only based on calling bets.

However, I do agree with betting with a possible draw, if nothing else to slowdown overbets that turn further pots odds against you. One should factor in the tradeoffs of semi-bluff value into your action, so the main point of this blog and shift in strategy is valid. I add: use larger bets to protect made hands (3/4 pot or higher), and smaller ones to help protect draw hands which allow more players to stay in, and thus keep further pot odds higher than your hand odds.

As for aggression, as read elsewhere, I believe as well that a bet is worth at least 4-5 outs, so that changes "implied" pot odds, and over many hands can validate betting with marginal or weaker pot odds, as will often take down pots with nothing more than a "potential" straight or flush, in the form of semi-bluffs.

Poker Princess Warrior


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