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Live $5/$10 NL: Dealing with ATC button stealer / light 4bettor

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Posted by posted in High Stakes

Live $5/$10 NL: Dealing with ATC button stealer / light 4bettor

So I've got a bit of a situation. I'm a young TAG grinder. He's a young LAG grinder. I don't think he's good as he spews A LOT.

Our history. We've played a good deal together. He knows and sees me as a generally tight player but still wants to mess with me in position. It's just too tempting for him.

The situation more specifically. This guy steals button with ATC. Of course I won't accept that when I'm in the blinds. So I started 3betting him with an expanded value range like AJ+, KQo+, 99+ and threw in some light 3bs now and then. The guy responded by often flatting my 3bs, hoping to either hit the flop or somehow outplay me in position. He's lost most of those confrontations postflop (and they were big pots) but still insisted on stealing ATC. At which I have expanded my value 3bet range further to about 15% against him to include hands as weak QTs, K9s and 77+.

At this point I started wondering when he'll start responding to my 3betting by 4bing rather than flatting. It took a couple hours.

Here's what happened. $1600 eff.

  1. V steals OTB and makes it $30. Loose passive fish in SB calls (as he often calls raises in the blinds). I make it $120 with JTs in BB. V makes it $440. I fold. V shows a "3".

  2. 15 mins later. V steals OTB and makes it $30. LP fish in SB of course calls. I make it $120 with 99. V makes it $440. Fish frustratingly exclaims "why am put in this position again?" as he folds. I fold. V says.. "of course I wouldn't bluff again" and shows a "4".

So V basically finally realized I'm 3betting his ATC opens quite wide and is now 4b bluffing me (and showing). And although I foresaw this as the next step in the escalation, when it happened I don't know how to respond.

Do we just start 5b shoving an extended value range? Or is that a mistake he's trying to have us make? Stacks don't allow for 5b bluffing and calling doesn't make any sense. Or do we cut back on our 15% extended 3b range and throw some of that range back into flatting? I prefer 3bing him to flatting as that dulls his positional advantage somewhat. When we flat we're don't "regain" initiative. So if he forces us to 3b less and flat more - to me that's a win for him.

This guy is a hardcore reg as am I so this is not going away. Basically the war just escalated to a new level and I need to excel at the next stage.

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