The gutshot draw:

Here is an extraordinary hand on many levels. This is a pot odds problem for the most part, and involves the 'gutshot' draw specifically. The two players are Sternchen77 dealt AQ and SDBoxerster dealt 5,6 suited.

With blinds at 25/50, SDBoxster, with a moderate stack of 1400, calls BB with 56 suited from early position. Sternchen77, also with a moderate stack of 1300, and with AQ, raises 5x BB preflop from the cutoff position, one off the button. When the betting returns to SDBoxtster, he then calls the big raise, which is a horrible call because AQ has just bet almost a quarter of his stack and is looking to play a big pot post-flop.

The flop hits Sternchen with a Q, giving him top pair/top kicker. The flop also hits SDBoxtster with a gutshot draw. The pot on the flop is about 700.

SDBoxtser is first to act and checks his gutshot draw, which is a 12/1 draw to see one card, with just 4 outs. Sternchen bets 300, making the pot 1000, giving pot odds of about 3/1 (1000/300) to SDBoxster should he decide to call. When the betting returns to SDBoxster he has three choices. Call, fold or raise. He can't call this bet because he's only getting 3/1 on a 12/1 shot. He can fold. He can't raise, even all-in on a semi-bluff because when Sternchen bet 300 on the flop, this makes him pot committed, since by then he'd already thrown in about 600 into the pot and that's roughly half his original stack. Sternchen, with a 300 chip bet on the flop, has signaled that he is playing this pot for his whole stack.

Amazingly, of all the possible plays available, SDBoxster makes not only the worst one, but makes the worst one in the worst possible way, by making a mini-checkraise, which is the smallest checkraise available to him. This gives Sternchen, w/top pair, the opportunity to do what he wanted from the outset on the flop, to bet his whole stack, which he does, by reraising all-in.

SDBoxster almost can't fold under these circumstances because he's put himself into a position of having to call the all-in on a 5/1 shot (a gutshot with two cards to come) and is getting 5/1 pot odds. This is a break even call.

He does call the all-in and has willfully played this hand for his whole stack on a gutshot draw, and hits his 4-outer on the river.

There are three things to take away from this hand. Never mind that SDBoxster played the hand as bad as he possibly could - and still won - that will happen. It won't happen enough though, and anyone playing gutshot draws like this is going to lose a lot of money. That's number one. The second part is when playing speculative hands, such as suited connectors, hands that won't win on their high-card value, players need to jump ahead in the hand prior to the hand being played out just to figure out whether they'll have a chance to draw at their hand should they even hit a draw on the flop. When the blinds are big, or the raises preflop are big, players often won't have enough chips in a SNG to play their draw. This hand is entering the endgame for both players, due to the blinds and their positions (stack-wise), and it's at this moment where connectors (suited or not) go down in value) and high cards go way up. The third part is that SDBoxster pushed his hand to the point where he had a marginal call for almost his whole stack when Sternchen reraised the checkraise by going all-in and SDBoxster had a call based on pot odds, while still being only a break even call. This is a big mistake players make all the time but shouldn't. In order to avoid making this mistake it's a good idea to get into the habit of playing the hand forwards prior to the actual hand being played out. This involves taking all the possible routes and detours a hand can take down to the end, but prior to the hand actually being played out. It can be done in a matter of seconds. By doing this you will know what you're going to do based on all the actions he can possibly take even before he knows what he's going to do.

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Table '88290191 1' 10-max Seat #9 is the button
Seat 1: carcass666 (1810 in chips)
Seat 2: SDBoxster (1410 in chips)
Seat 3: gonzo16 (1350 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 5: C tothe P (1985 in chips)
Seat 6: Breaker78 (3510 in chips)
Seat 7: mig_rogers (1360 in chips)
Seat 8: Sternchen77 (1395 in chips)
Seat 9: JADball170 (1440 in chips)
Seat 10: nvbummin (740 in chips)
nvbummin: posts small blind 25
carcass666: posts big blind 50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mig_rogers [6c 5d]
SDBoxster: calls 50
gonzo16: folds
C tothe P: calls 50
Breaker78: folds
mig_rogers: folds
Sternchen77: raises 250 to 300
JADball170: folds
nvbummin: folds
carcass666: folds
SDBoxster: calls 250
C tothe P: folds
*** FLOP *** [7d Qc 3d]
SDBoxster: checks
Sternchen77: bets 300
SDBoxster: raises 300 to 600
Sternchen77: raises 495 to 1095 and is all-in
SDBoxster: calls 495
*** TURN *** [7d Qc 3d] [Th]
*** RIVER *** [7d Qc 3d Th] [4s]
gonzo16 has returned
*** SHOW DOWN ***
SDBoxster: shows [5h 6h] (a straight, Three to Seven)
Sternchen77: shows [Qs Ad] (a pair of Queens)
SDBoxster collected 2915 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2915 | Rake 0
Board [7d Qc 3d Th 4s]
Seat 1: carcass666 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 2: SDBoxster showed [5h 6h] and won (2915) with a straight, Three to Seven
Seat 3: gonzo16 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: C tothe P folded before Flop
Seat 6: Breaker78 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: mig_rogers folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: Sternchen77 showed [Qs Ad] and lost with a pair of Queens
Seat 9: JADball170 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 10: nvbummin (small blind) folded before Flop