Here is one notable hand that I played today, this is taken from the Hand History feature on UltimateBet.
I've replaced the names of the players (including myself - Flop Turn River is not my real handle!) and have masked the hand number/table name.
I've also included my thoughts throughout the hand, noted with the asterisk.
Hand #X at X (No Limit Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 29/Oct/03 14:47:54
The button is at seat 2.
Player3 posts the small blind of $.10.
Player4 posts the big blind of $.25.
Player1: -- --
Player2: -- --
Player3: -- --
Player4: -- --
Flop Turn River: Ad 6d
Player6: -- --
Player7: -- --
Player8: -- --
*I'm holding A6 suited, in early position, I limp in hoping to see the flop for cheap:
Flop Turn River calls. Player6 folds. Player7 folds.
Player8 folds. Player1 calls. Player2
calls. Player3 calls. Player4 checks.
Flop (board: Qd 5d 3c):
*So there is $1.25 in the pot and 5 Players in.
I've flopped 2 diamonds, so I've got the nut flush draw. At this point, I bet $.75.
This is called a semi-bluff bet, because my hand is not made yet, but I have many opportunities to improve the hand.
One more diamond and I hit the flush or if an Ace falls, I have a higher pair:
Player3 checks. Player4 checks. Flop Turn River bets
$.75. Player1 folds. Player2 calls. Player3
folds. Player4 folds.
*My bet folds 3 of the 4 players, which is good. Now, it's head-to-head.
Turn (board: Qd 5d 3c Ah):
*The turn card is an Ace. I now have the top pair, and I still have the nut flush draw.
It's possible that Player2 has a stronger Ace (Ace with a better kicker) or two pair, but I still have the flush possibility.
I feel may hand is strong so I bet the pot, $2.75:
Flop Turn River bets $2.75. Player2 calls.
*Player2 only calls. This is good information.
If he had the Ace with a strong kicker or two pair, I think he would have re-raised.
I'm now pretty confident that at this point, I am winning.
River (board: Qd 5d 3c Ah Ac):
*Another Ace comes out on the river.
I did not hit my flush, but I have 3 Aces, and I'm as strong as I was on the turn.
Now, I decide to bet a little more than my last bet, but not as much as the pot.
I'm still a little concerned that he could be slow-playing a monster:
Flop Turn River bets $3.25. Player2 folds.
Flop Turn River is returned $3.25 (uncalled).
*Player2 folds. I think that Player2 was chasing the flush and missed.
This is an example of a poor player, one who - over time - you can make money from.
If he was chasing the flush, he should have folded to my $2.75 bet because he was not getting proper pot odds to make his flush.
The amount of money he's risking, compared to the amount of money he would make, is totally out of whack when compared to the odds of him hitting that diamond.
It's too bad another diamond did not come out, because then I would've had the higher flush and taken his entire bankroll.
*This hand demonstrates two important points:
1) The semi-bluff bet is a very important tactic that must be used in your arsenal. It is common to win pots outright with a semi-bluff bet.
I like using this bet after the flop, because I have two opportunities to hit my hand, and I can re-assess my strategy on the turn card if I have callers.
However, you should be careful using a semi-bluff bet, because you do not want to bet into a made hand or bet on a losing draw hand.
ie - using a semi-bluff bet on a flush draw when someone has a higher flush draw or betting on a straight draw when someone could be on a flush draw.
2) Make someone else play incorrectly by the size of your bet. In this case, Player2 incorrectly called my $2.75 bet when chasing his flush draw.
My bet was large enough to make it not worthwhile to call - it forced Player2 to make a tough decision, and poor players often make the wrong decision.
If my bet was $.25, then it would be correct to call, since the odds of hitting his flush makes the incremental cost compared to total pot worthwhile.
Hand #X Summary:
$.40 is raked from a pot of $8.25.
Flop Turn River wins $7.85.