I feel there is a significant gap between my overall confidence and competence as hands progress from preflop to the river. I feel pretty confident preflop and on the flop, but I seem to get in way too many spots on turns and especially rivers where I am having to guess as to what to do. So here are a few spots that come up a lot during sessions where I find myself "guessing" a lot (and quite often guessing incorrectly).
1) Here is a common situation that occurs when I am OOP specifically. I raise pre and get one caller IP, flop a draw, cbet and get called. Turn is a brick, I bet again, get called again. River is a brick. There are a lot of boards I could use as an example, but here is one. I have 79hh on AQ4hh. Turn is a K, river is a 3, neither of which is a heart. I understand that you need to be bluffing enough on the river so you aren't only betting with a range that is 100% value. So in this example, I think I should be bluffing the river quite a lot. I have also read, and seen it mentioned in videos, that hands that are the bottom of your range are good candidates to bluff with on the river. Conversely, I've also read/heard/been told that hands that don't block an opponent's value range are usually bad candidate hands to bluff with. So this is where I get confused. Do I bluff because I'm at the bottom of my range, or give up because I don't block value (or more specifically, I don't block continuing ranges)? What tends to happen in practice is that I give up nearly 100% of the time on rivers with the bottom of my range. For me there is often an emotional component to these decisions. My thought process will be something like: "Well, my opponent has called bets on the flop and turn, and the river didn't change anything, so I guess I'll give up now". So then I end up having a river range that is something like 90% value when I bet. I assume I shouldn't be bluffing 100% of the time on the river when I have the bottom of my range, but it also shouldn't be 0% either. So how do you adjust your frequencies correctly here? Is it something that you just learn naturally from playing and using solvers?
2) This is is when I am IP. The most common spot is when I am in the BB and the SB opens. I don't usually play much of a calling range in other positions. It can also be when I am on the BTN and the BB has called my open. So when I am IP, I get into a lot of spots when I'm not sure if I should be calling river bets because I block value hands, or just exploitatively folding worse than the top of my range because the pool isn't bluffing a lot when they bet river. Here is where the guessing and trying to soulread opponents comes in. I will be thinking to myself: If I fold this hand, then I'm folding anything that isn't the nuts, but if opponents are often only 3-barreling, or betting the river after a turn goes check/check when they have value, do I just give up even with good bluffcatchers? I feel that my overall river game is so bad that it's been making me not want to play very much. I just know I am going to be getting into spots where I am going to be guessing a lot and making mistakes. Obviously mistakes are bad on any street, but river mistakes tend to be the most costly as the pot size is, on average, bigger on the river than on earlier streets.