Structured poker hand analysis

by ~ July 2nd, 2008. Filed under: General poker strategy, Micro level poker, Super turbos.

* Modified June 15th, 2010 *

I haven’t done this kind of analysis very often and the last time I did so would have been quite a long time ago. This hand comes from a super turbo Sit and Go, but the situation comes up often enough in freerolls or any low level tournament or cash game.

The situation is a limped pot, I’m in the small blind and choose to complete with a low gapped connector. Flop comes with a flush draw, plus I have bottom pair. I’m out of position, but what more was I hoping for?

Full Tilt Poker, NL Hold’em Tournament, 20/40 Blinds, 7 Players Hand History Converter

CO: 585
BTN: 255
Hero (SB): 270
BB: 240
UTG: 345
UTG+1: 375
MP: 630

Pre-Flop: (60) 3c 6c dealt to Hero (SB)
2 folds, MP calls 40, CO calls 40, BTN folds, Hero calls 20, BB checks

Flop: (160) Kc 9c 6d (4 Players)
Hero checks, BB checks, MP checks, CO bets 100

It’s early in the SnG (blinds only at the second level of 40/20, though two players are gone) so there’s not a lot in the way of reads on the competition yet. CO and MP are obviously the ones who took the chips from the two eliminated players.

I’m out of position and opt to check, hoping to see a cheap turn card to improve my hand. CO, who has chips and position, bets at the flop.


From a quick analysis, I have 9 flush outs that are possibly not good; if the CO has 2 club cards they’ve got to be higher than mine. If he’s paired the King or has paired hole cards other than 66 or 99, I’ve also got 2 sixes and 3 threes to beat him. A maximum of 14 outs, but I don’t know how many are good.  CO’s 100 chip bet into the 160 pot gives me 260-100 odds, or 2.6-1 or 28%. In a standard tournament this is a good sized bet to charge a flush draw from calling, but this isn’t a standard tournament structure.

PokerStove says that against a random hand in the BB and assuming limps with the top 40% of hands (44+,A2s+,K2s+,Q4s+,J7s+,T7s+,97s+,87s,A3o+,K7o+,Q8o+,J8o+,T8o+) from the two other players, I’m a 45% favorite. Interestingly, if I increase that to 30% (55+,A2s+,K5s+,Q7s+,J8s+,T8s+,98s,A7o+,A5o,K9o+,Q9o+,J9o+,T9o) my chances change almost not at all, but the random player’s chances go down slightly as the two limpers go up slightly. Had I known this, I probably would have shoved the flop.


After the CO bets, he becomes the principle concern.

  1. Pokerstove says if he has K2s+ except clubs, K6o+ I’m a 47/53 dog. These hands represent 8.8% of the total possible hands that exist.
  2. If he has 66,99 or any 96 I’m a 32/68 dog, and these are 2.1% of the total hands.
  3. Against a hand with a 9, 95s non-club and up, and 97o and up, except for K9s/96/99 as above, its 49/51, 7.3% of hands.
  4. Against any 2 clubs except the worst, which I’m assuming he would fold, I’m 56/44, 4.4%
  5. If he’s bluffing, and since he has position and chips the likelihood is good, any of the top 40% of hands less the hands already considered above it looks like I’m a 90% favorite. I’ve calculated this based on PokerStove telling me that I’m 66% against the top 40% of hands (his preflop limp range that I’ve assigned) and subtracting the specific hands I’ve looked at earlier. Because of his stack size, his position and the fact that no one has shown interest, I don’t think that I need to adjust his total range yet.

In 1) I think he makes a bet like this 50% of the time, and the rest of the time probably goes all in because of the structure and the flush draw. In 2) I think he does this maybe 75% of the time. He’s well ahead, there is a flush draw, but no one has shown interest. 3) seems most likely; he has something, wants the pot now, but doesn’t want to risk too much. In 4), the flush draw, I guesstimate he makes this bet with the top half, so 50% of the time. In 5), the bluff, because of his position, chip stack and no one else has shown interest, I guesstimate he makes this play at least 25% of the time.

So what this is telling me is that my chances of winning are around 30%.

In this situation, I’m not calling his bet, I’m shoving. He can’t fold if I shove (I don’t think) since he just bet 100 into 160 and if I shove the pot is 490 and he only has to call 130. In that case, the cost for me to win the pot after my shove and his presumed call is a pot of 620 to my remaining chips of 230 is 2.7 to 1 or 37%, or maybe a 10% positive net. So, this should be a shove, but I didn’t. I was afraid it was too close to even and I don’t like small edges early in these because I believe that even with the short time frame I think I can find better opportunities to stack up.


As I said, I haven’t done an analysis like this for some time so it’s quite possible that I’ve made calculation errors. I’ll probably do more. This is not something to do with every hand, but something to do with occasional curious hands where you’d like to have a better understanding for the next time it occurs.

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