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The game is 1-3 NL. Hero has ~$220 and SB. Our villain has ~$350 and in the cutoff. Villain seems to be playing nice variety of hands, plenty of TAG behavior but is showing hands with less than TPTK now and then.

Pre-Flop: Hero has AQ (neither is diamonds). Raises to $12. Gets six callers.

Flop: Our flop is Q-7-3 with two diamonds. Our hero bets $25. Folds around to CO who thinks for a moment and then pushes all-in. Button folds to me.

Question: Do you call the all-in?

What happened:

Our hero spent a minute thinking through what our villain has. Obviously QQ is great for the villain but unlikely. KK and AA are possible although seem unlikely as I'd re-raise preflop to avoid a multiway pot. JJ is possible although villain didn't seem like he'd risk most of his stack over it and there's the obvious over-card. AKd occurred although again, why risk most of your stack on a draw. In the end, hero decided he was only in for $37 so wasn't worth it and folded. Afterwards, villain made some remark about not slow-playing big hands anymore so perhaps he had KK or AA after all?

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    Your description of the action is leaving out lots of pre-flop info. I assume you left out a bunch of limpers before you raised? – Chris Farmer Jul 18 '16 at 17:07
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Why did you only bet 1/3 the pot on that flop. You are just inviting flush draws to stay in and you are out of position. You need to bet at least 1/2 the pot to find out where you are and chase off flush draws.

Preflop villain just limped and then call a raise. He was getting pot odds to call about anything. AA or KK should have raised.

Since 5 folded they do not have diamonds so more like the villain does.

But on diamond draw villain should have just called.

That overbet is odd

  • On a flush draw should call
  • AA or KK should have raised pre flop
  • 77 or 33 protecting from a flush makes the most sense
    But could just bet the pot - what if you had QQ?
  • Or it was an outright bluff
    At $25 you did not show much strength

You would need to figure 40% of the time it is a bluff to call. Unless you have seen a lot of bluffs from villain it is an easy lay down.

  • I agree that the flop bet was too small. Also, I assume the pre-flop raise was partly intended to thin the field, and given the description of the action, the pre-flop raise was too small too. – Chris Farmer Jul 19 '16 at 0:53
  • @Paparazzi - 77 seems the most reasonable. Player may have assumed I wouldn't bet with top set. – Craig Jul 19 '16 at 1:39
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Just some comments/questions to maybe make you ask yourself some questions about your play. Also it's good to add to the discussion.

Was the 12$ raise working throughout the night? I assume your goal was to thin the field to heads-up? It just seems odd that you get 6 calls. To me that says one of two things. Firstly that raise size doesn't work for the table to thin the field, or it was one of those weird situations where 2 people call with reasonable hands any everyone comes along.

My first point about the raise size not being enough is something that you'll have to tailor your open size to what you want to achieve and to how the table reacts to that size of raise. I've been at 1-3 tables where the standard open could even be 30$ to get it heads-up. Likewise I've sat at 1-3 tables where 6$ or 7$ works. My point is your bet should always be thinning the field preflop. If 12$ was working every other time this is kind of a moot point, but it just seems odd to get that many callers.

Now my second point about it being an unusual situation where people come along because one or two people called. This actually tells you a lot about the players you're playing against. Good poker is aggressive poker, good poker is smart poker. Thinking, good poker players would never want to be in a situation against 6 other players. What does this potentially tell you about the other players at the table? To me I can assume that firstly, they're mostly playing weak hands and they're passive players. If a hand is good enough to call, it's good enough to raise and in this situation it's crazy to want to see a flop against 6 players, even with rags. Against these type of players I would be abusing the fact that they appear to be loose passive.

Of course one hand it's impossible to say for certain but they're certainly giving you information on how they play for the future.

Now getting into the hand there isn't much more I can add that hasn't been said by Paparazzi. I really don't like your bet of 25$ here. Everything the players have shown you so far they will call small raises. So I ask you what was the goal or purpose of this raise? Did you want to reduce the field, or just take the pot there and then? Either way I think that size of raise will fail in both of these goals. As Paparazzi said, you won't make draws go away with that size.

It's likely the villain had a small pair that paired given that they only called pre and now are risking their entire stack. Like why would they risk 350$ to win 109$(then you need to remove the rake too)? Doesn't make much sense, especially how they played preflop. I would say it's a set and they're worried about a flush. A quick question here, did the villain lose to a flush draw a few times during the night, or if they're a regular do they often bemoan flush draws? Often 1-3 players have this unfounded belief that they always lose to certain types of hands when they are in certain situations. You'll probably find they believe they always lose when holding a set against the flush draws. Villain's comment also backs that up about not slow playing.

Interestingly enough another approach here, especially if the villain is always afraid of the flush draws, would be to check, see what villain does and call. Maybe they still would have shoved but probably the villain would have bet normally if opening. If the turn brought the flush you could easily rep this and shove. Of course this approach depends on my above point about the villain always bemoaning flush draws.

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As other have noted, you should work on your betting size. It appears you were in the small blind and there were a lot of limpers; with your $12 raise, it may have the benefit of getting some more money in the pot when it's likely you have the best or one of the better hands, but the problem is that you are at a huge handicap in having to play out the rest of the hand in the worst possible position with an inflated pot.

Likewise, the $25 flop bet is too small--it might get a little money from worse hands, but you could have A) gotten more money from worse hands and B) made it so that anybody that calls with a draw is making a mistake. As it is, somebody with a flush draw is getting a great price to continue and even somebody with a worse hand, like 78, is getting decent odds to call (with the assumption that they'll get paid off from you if they hit 2 pair or 3 of a kind).

As for the decision to call villain's all in bet, we can make a few assumptions. Since you describe him as at least somewhat TAGgish, two pair hands are unlikely since he wouldn't play Q7, Q3, or 73. There are no open-ended straight draws. He probably would have raised QQ, KK, AA preflop. That leaves a pretty small range of possible hands then: 33, 77, two diamonds (since you don't have the A of diamonds, it's possible that he does), or something like KQ, QJ, QT (and since you have a Q, this becomes a little less likely).

Now think about this from the villain's point of view. You raised before the flop into a lot of people and you also bet out on the flop into a lot of people--he's probably got some awareness that you have a decent hand. Knowing that, why would he ever raise with one of the KQ, QJ, QT hands?--it's not like you'll call with a worse hand, unless he thinks he's protecting against a flush draw, but I think most players in his shoes would do nothing more than call. If he has a flush draw, then you've given him great odds to simply call and see the next card. He could be semi-bluffing though, trying to take down an OK sized pot with some outs if he's called, but that would mean that he thinks there's a reasonable chance you'll fold (and remember, he probably knows that you're probably strong). The other scenario is that he's flopped a set, is scared of the flush draw and/or thinks that your hand may be strong enough (AQ, KK, AA) to call a huge bet. Even though his bet size is also weird, this scenario makes the most sense out of his possible range.

My inexact, quick calculation is that you need a good 40% equity to call here. The best case scenario is that he just has a weaker hand, like QJ, but I think that's also the least likely one by a long shot. Against a flush draw, you're roughly 2/3 to win, but against a set you're essentially drawing dead. So, do you think that there's a >50% chance (more like >60% chance) that villain has made this bet with a flush draw, weaker Q, or total bluff? My instincts lean toward "no"--the chance of you being up against a set here is pretty high and a fold is the right move. One other tiny factor to think about, too, is that when villain makes his raise, there is still another opponent (the button) behind him which makes his bet even stronger.

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There are 5 limpers and the pot is around 18 already and you are oop. Prefold raise to 25 at least!

As played the pot is around 80, bet 50-60 and fold to a shove. 7 hands are watching the flop, probably you lost and as played the pot is quite small, let it go!

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