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Why You Shouldn't Continuation Bet So Much

Dominik Nitsche
  • @DominikNitsche analyzes a hand he played versus the red-hot Catalin Pop at 888Live Barcelona.

  • Continuation betting can be profitable, but remember you don't *have* to c-bet every time you can.

The continuation bet or "c-bet" is perhaps the first postflop "move" new no-limit hold'em players become accustomed to employing.

Having raised before the flop, a player will bet again on the flop and "continue" to keep the betting initiative. In many cases if a player raises preflop and has an opportunity to bet again after the flop, the player is almost expected to do so. And truth be told, c-betting is often a profitable play since more often than not the flop will not improve the hand of the player who called.

That said, if you always c-bet every time you've been the preflop raiser, you are c-betting too much and setting yourself up to be exploited by attentive opponents.

This weekend 888 Ambassador Dominik Nitsche addressed this very situation for us in a hand analysis he provided during the ongoing 888Live Barcelona series.

Nitsche played the hand versus Catalin Pop in the 888Live Barcelona €2,200 High Roller that just completed a few days ago. Pop went on to win that event, following up his victory in the 888Live Rozvadov Main Event in February.

As those results suggest, Pop is a talented player and Nitsche points out at the start of this hand analysis that Pop is on the aggressive side. It wasn't a surprise, then, when a hand arose during the 4,000/8,000/1,000 level that saw Pop open-raise to 18,000 from the button.

Why You Shouldn't Continuation Bet So Much 101
Catalin Pop

Nitsche was the in big blind with a stack of about 240,000, and after being dealt {K-Spades}{3-Spades} he defended with a call.

The board came {6-}{6-}{4-}, and Nitsche talks about how that board more likely hits the range of his BB-calling hand than that of Pop's button-raising hand. He also mentions how he anticipated Pop would make a continuation bet.

"I expect him to be c-betting way too many hands here," says Nitsche. "He seems to be the kind of guy that maybe just bets every single time on this board."

Nitsche notes how Pop might check behind with ace-high hands (that beat his king-trey), but if he bets and Nitsche check-raises, "there's not going to be many hands he can continue with."

Nitsche checked and Pop did indeed bet. Take a look and hear what happens in the hand, and listen as well to Nitsche's explanation of the action and how the hand illustrates the dangers of c-betting too often.

Stay with PokerNews for continuing coverage from the 888Live Poker Festival Barcelona, including live updates, chip counts, photos and more from the Main Event.

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