Vacuum- vs. balanced plays

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Posted by posted in Mid Stakes

Vacuum- vs. balanced plays

I want to take my game to the next level but each time I take shots I have (besides running bad) realized that my game has been to "vacuum" oriented and I am way too dependant on table selection. So I have been trying to change the way I think; constructing ranges and balancing my plays more etc. No doubt this is the way forward. I am however in doubt how far to take it when I play. More specific on river.

In general terms my questions is:

In order to improve should I then forget about extracting value on river from this specific villain and focus on the right way of thinking, should I always treat river as a unique situation or should I do something in between; balanced but sizing slightly up/down depending on his tendencies?

I have an example but I hope this example will not blur the question since it is the general approach I am interested in, not this specific hand. On the other hand This example might illustrate my question. I 3 bet with a tight range vs. villain (unknown for now). Flop comes AK6r. I cbet and get called. Turn 2r and I c-bet and get called again. River 8. Until now I haven't cared about my hand or who I am playing, I have a balanced range for 2 barreling vs. his range on flop and turn. Question is how to think on river when sizing and/or choosing to bet: 

A) Vacuum/player specific: I try to size so I get the max value of this specific hand vs. this specific villain (bluff, vb, block bet etc.). 

B) I realize that I only have AK (probably his threshold for calling river) or better 35% here (assuming I cbet 100% flop and turn) but that I have AK or better 60% whenever I hold an ace. So I construct a range for Value betting (probably pot) and a range for checking (air and SD + an occasional XR-range).

C) Something in between?

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