This follow-up post is a long-delayed one, but I hope it generates some good discussion. I have a couple of pure theory posts upcoming, but I thought a workbook-style post was in order first.
I am going to walk through a live cash game hand I played earlier this week in detail.
The primary issue it raises for consideration is one of balancing expected value at a key decision point when you are dealing with two opponents with wildly varying stack sizes.
A private full ring cash game (no rake, yay!)
Hero (300+ BBs; has consistently been showing down the goods; only bought in for 70 BBs to begin the session. Table image: solid, aggressive postflop.)
Villain #1 (Very, very loose aggressive opponent to Hero's immediate left; stack size of ~ 90 BBs. Table image: wild.)
Villain #2 (Predictable TAG two to Hero's left; stack size of 200 BBs. Table image: a rock.)
Hero is in the big blind with 6c6h.
Villain #1 open-raises from under the gun to 3 BBs (this could literally be any two cards).
Villain #2 re-raises to 8 BBs (this is a straightforward play and narrows the range of hands to big pocket pairs or big aces).
Two intervening players call; Hero calls; Villain #1 calls.
Pot size: 40 BBs.
Okay, we have middle set on a draw-heavy board.
Hero, in first position to act, checks in hopes someone else will drive the betting. I don't want to scare away customers!
Sure enough, Villain #1 bets right out for 7 BBs. Villain #2 raises to 18 BBs. Hero calls. Villain #1 calls.
Pot size: 100 BBs
Hero checks (and grimaces inwardly as the flush gets there and the inside straight fills in). Villain #1 shoves for 65 BBs. Vilain #2 tanks for three minutes and reluctantly calls. [NB. At this point I am nearly 100% certain in my read that I have Villain #2 crushed and drawing to 2 outs for a higher set]
Main pot: 295 BBs.
Hero checks, Villain #2 checks. Hero wins main pot with a full house, sixes over fours; Villain #1 had a flush and straight draw that didn't get there); Villain #2 had an overpair.
Now as you can see this hand features several key decision points on multiple streets ... and there are many different options you can take here to try to maximize value. To my mind, the crucial decision is on the turn when the opportunity exists to potentially build a side pot with a check-raise of Villain #2 once Villain #1 has shoved.
Item 1: If Villain #1 has made his draw I have ten outs for a redraw.
Item 2: Even if I need a redraw to win the main pot, I want to build a side pot to try and generate some value. But is a check-raise on 4th street the best way to go about this? Can I get a crying call here, or will all one-pair hands dump, even though I am laying better than 4:1 (villain would have to put his last 110 BBs in to win over 400 BBs)? Will they bluff on the river unimproved? Will they call an obvious value bet on the river unimproved?
Comments are welcome.