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Microstakes Play – Questions from Readers

Published January 30, 2009 - RSS/XML Feed RSS
I was contacted by one of the readers of my articles here at PokerHandReplays.com who asked me to go over some trouble hands he had during a decent session. I thought this was a great way for other microstakes players to get some insight into THE SHR0G’s play and how I felt these trouble spots could be handled. The SHR0G plays microstakes 10nl right now on Stars and actually has a very good history cashing in various SNGs and microstakes MTTs, and is now trying to climb the cash game ladder.
 
For each hand our hero has given me the basic Holdem Manager stats of VPIP, PFR, and AF. If you do not know what these numbers mean, then check out this link as a reference for all poker acronyms.
 
Hand 1 – Villain is a 13/8/8.5 over 210 hands with a Steal = 28% and Cbet = 80%
 
 
We see a guy in mid position make a good sized preflop raise and the early limper folds. He’s a tight player, we know that because his PFR (preflop raise) stat is only 8% so he’s really only playing premium hands. I don’t mind flatting behind here for set-mining value because a player like this will NEVER fold something like KK on an all rags board when you have the set. The flop is actually pretty good for you and he leads out with a cbet. You float his cbet, which I don’t think is horrible at all here but I think it makes you look like a club draw or the nuts. He bets out again and I think a player like this is never folding now so I don’t mind the fold. The only alternative would be to raise the cbet which would be a highly villain specific play.
 
Hand 2 – Villain is a 32/10/11 and cbets 100% of the time
 
 
This is similar to the first hand, you have a small pocket pair in later position and flat behind to set-mine. The flop isn’t bad at all for you and the villain cbets. This time you get aggressive and raise, which I like. But I think it isn’t surprising given the flop that he doesn’t fold, however I think this definitely allows you to take it down on the turn. The turn is a 6 and now there are draws all over the place and he makes a really weak turn bet. The problem here is that your hand can only improve by hitting a 5 for a boat so you’re drawing to 2 outs. It’s entirely possible that your opponent has a pocket pair 88+ so I’d be wary at this point since you’ve shown strength and he’s still coming at you. Flatting the turn is fine. The club flush fills as well as some obscure straight draws in 45 and 9T and he shoves. You’re clearly beat and I like the fold. I have a feeling he was on some two-club overcards the whole time.
 
Hand 3 – No villain stats, question to me asks is it better to check/call river then bet/call or bet/fold?
 
 
Preflop I think the check there is fine as you don’t want to be playing suited connectors from the worst position three handed. The flop is scary and your check is fine and predictably everyone checks through. You hit trips on the turn which is either fantastic or horrible, and I like the pot bet there since it wasn’t big to begin with. You get one caller and the river spikes a T giving you the smaller full house. The good news is that you’re beating all the flopped flushes, and the bad news is that if he had a ten he’s beating you with a better full house. You lead out with a half-pot bet here which isn’t bad at all if the idea is that you bet-call if he raises you since there’s an outside shot he has you beat. He raises and you flat which I think is fine because his line just reeks of having a Ten. So to answer your question, given no reads on the guy I like the half-pot bet and call at the river.
 
Hand 4 – Villain is a 58/8/0.3 over 12 hands & a ugly board
 
 
Nice job with the preflop raise with the ladies on the button. The flop is great, no horrible K or A flops. Your cbet size is fine, and he flats behind you. I don’t think he has a Jack type hand like AJ because that hand certainly would raise in this position, but this is 10nl so I suppose you never know. The turn is a Ten which is not a good card because now there are two flush draws and the straight draw of 9Q or 97 filled up but any 9 is drawing, fortunately you have two of those outs with QQ fortunately. I don’t think you really have to worry at all about the straight draws hitting (because you have QQ the Q9 is very remote) and 97 is just so unlikely for him to have in this situation. I’m really putting him on the flush draw or mid pair (something like 87). Your turn bet is pretty sizeable compared to the pot and your opponent doesn’t go anywhere. With the three of hearts filling the flush all the warning signs should be going off … he might have a set or he just hit his flush. I think the best move is to check in this situation, because worse hands here pretty much all fold (even AJ probably) and better hands raise. As played I think you did fine. Also 12 hands is nothing, so don’t make any assumptions based off of this sample size.
 
Hand 5 – Villain is 75/33/4.5 over 12 hands. Call? Fold?
 
 
You’ve got AK and you isolate your limpers with a great preflop raise. The only problem is the mentally deranged person to your left 3bet shoves on the button. You only have 12 hands, so maybe he is a maniac or maybe he’s just seeing a sick run of cards. Either way you don’t know … and historically speaking from my experience at fullring people don’t stack off with less than QQ, so you’re looking at QQ-AA or AK. Against that range you’re losing to three hands and chopping to one, so I think your fold here is just fine. Best thing to do is fold, sit back, see if he continues to maniac-shove and then get it in ligther than AK since you know his range is much wider than QQ-AA and AK for preflop shoves.


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