Do you need to condense your play into one street?

correct mistake

I see many players these days making mistakes with their overall NLHE play that I think underlines a serious flaw in their mind-set.

For example, the other day I saw a hand play out like this. It was folded around to the cut-off player that made it 3.5bb to go (effective stack was 100bb) and it was 3/bet by the button to 11bb. Both blinds folded and the original raiser called making the pot 23.5bb less the rake. The flop came Ks-8h-7h and the original raiser checked.

Our hero bet 15bb and was called making the pot 50bb and the effective stack only around 74bb. The turn card was the 2s and the original raiser checked and our hero bet 40bb and was check-raised all-in. With around 164bb in the pot and it only being around 34bb to call with what he had left then our hero was getting odds to hit their straight and so he called. The river card was the Js and villain took the pot holding pocket kings for a flopped top set.

Our hero on the other hand held 6d-5d for a straight draw on the flop. So what mistakes did our hero make here if any? Well for a start he 3/bet pre-flop with a hand that played better for a call……that was his first mistake because it gave him far less flexibility with only 100bb stacks. Secondly, he didn’t listen to the action very well because it was clear that his opponent wasn’t going to fold.

Villain had placed money into the pot twice pre-flop and again on the flop and only had 74bb left with two betting rounds to go. So the hand of our hero was definitely overplayed on two fronts and he placed himself into the terrible situation of having to hit his straight to win the pot as a caller. Whenever you are having to call the rest of your stack off to hit the straight as your only way to win the pot then you know that something has gone wrong somewhere.

The fact that your pre-flop 3/bet can win a lot of pots uncontested shouldn’t be the only criteria for making the play. You have to remember that a 100bb stack is not a deep stack and no pro ever considers it to be so. In fact any online NLHE pro will tell you that they do not consider stacks to be deep unless they are 200bb or more. This is worth remembering because with hands like suited connectors, if you are really looking to make a play on your opponent with them then you need as much flexibility as possible.

You can only achieve this flexibility by increasing the remaining stack to bet ratio. With 100bb stacks and 11bb going into the pot pre-flop then this only leaves around 89bb for a stack to bet ratio of around 8/1. However, if you only call the raise then this ratio increases several fold to around 30/1.

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