ButterNjam's avatar


21 points

Checking doesn't just rep bluffs, but also critically a turned weak ace that now wants to showdown. OOP should have more one pair aces in range than caller who should have more Qx. Because of this IP may be incentivized to turn his weaker Qx and other flop floats into bluffs some amount.

March 17, 2015 | 1 p.m.

In the hand replayer in the upper right had corner click on the gear icon. The option is something like "show known cards",

May 30, 2013 | 1:59 p.m.

Betting flop seems ok as a protection play but not great. I don't expect him to X/F very often since this seems like a good spot to cB his air absent any dynamic between you two. As far as his marginal holdings are concerned I think most villains cB all low pocket pairs to protect, so I wouldn't be too worried about value cutting yourself against those, and you might even gain small amount of value from passively played Ax. That said I think a many players often exploitatively check high pocket pairs and Qx here to let you catch up or value cut yourself. I would therefore not be trying to barrel multiple streets without improving.

When you hit the ace I think I like going for two streets, but it seems like an easy fold to the river raise. I could easily be too optimistic here, particularly if villain is more standard and decides to cB most of his Ax suited and AJ on the flop. Also, I think I would size river more like 1/3 pot to try to get crying calls from Ax since you are repping a queen when you bet the river. I could also see betting turn smaller to try to get him to spaz raise turn for value the times he does have a Q if he fears you will often check behind the river. This lets you get away cheaper if my assumptions about villains flop range are correct since he can't really be raising the turn with air once his flop X/C eliminates most air hands.

May 30, 2013 | 3:09 a.m.

This bring up something I haven't figured out. My HM2 hud only lists EP/MP/CO/HJ/BN/SB/BB stats at 9/10 person tournament tables. Does anyone know how it lumps together the positions to achieve the numbers it gives me? Is there a way to force it to give full stats for every seat at a 10max table?

May 30, 2013 | 2:49 a.m.

Not only are there too many elite MTT videos, but the quality of the elite MTT videos is much poorer on average than the cash game video content. I have watched at least one MTT video from each of the elite pros, and the vast majority offered nothing but a narration of events and very flimsy, intuition/feel-based analysis (which is fine for an individual if it works, but cannot be considered an appropriate basis for teaching expertise if the instructor cannot break and communicate the reasons underpinning the intuition, or at least offer basic quantitative analysis to back up there position).

I'd like to provide a counterpoint to the above and praise the rare few examples of good analysis and video-making in the elite MTT section (they do exist), but I don't want to obscure the essential point that currently there is a deluge of low-quality videos plaguing those of us with elite memberships.

If you are an elite instructor reading this, please consider this a challenge to improve the quality of your videos. Do some range simulations, ICM calculations, and 3B/4B/rejam quantitative analysis. Try to focus your thoughts by doing some preparation before you start talking over footage. If you are struggling to authoritatively justify a decision or the correct play in a spot (which should be your job as an instructor), pause do some work, and come back to present your results. I know most of you are intelligent and can do better than you are doing.

If you are Phil or another partial owner OF RIO please consider trimming the number of MTT pros. To compensate for the reduced content you can either add cash videos, or reduce the price of elite membership. But the status quo is not living up to your goal of providing high-quality content in all areas.

If you are an elite member who agrees please reply or like in support to show that this is a real problem and not the minority ravings of a disgruntled member.

May 30, 2013 | 2:32 a.m.

Comment | ButterNjam commented on suggested feature
Great news! This is the useability upgrade I would most like to see added to the site. The next most useful feature upgrade would be adding more search filter options for the videos (variables such as stake played, video type (hand review, live session, concept video), and instructor subscription level would be nice).

May 28, 2013 | 8:59 p.m.

I don't believe I said our opponent would always stop barreling, just that very few opponents would continue. It seems we agree on the central point though that 3Bing the flop can induce more bluff bets against many (most?) opponents.

May 28, 2013 | 1:26 p.m.

Comment | ButterNjam commented on Bubble spot
W/O reads in a soft field I usually mR+F to SB and C BB. I could be convinced that jamming is better.

I suppose with solid argumentation I could also be convinced I am a tourney fish and a mystery third option dominates everything I just said.

May 28, 2013 | 1:20 p.m.

Comment | ButterNjam commented on Bubble spot

Your post is giving me flashbacks! Sadly I bubbled the FT after chip leading with 14 left. 

So in non-knockout bubble spots the main consideration is that doubling up is not nearly as valuable as it is earlier in a tournament, since holding onto your stack while 5 ppl bust is worth 2 BIs, while doubling up might only be worth a just little more equity if many people make the money and the payouts don't escalate very quickly (as if the case in this tournament).

Therefore taking spots where your range is flipping vs theirs is very bad, but taking AI high +CeV spots is still going to be good.

So in this scenario I would definitely be min raising. We have a easy call against the button, since he can't bust us and we are likely doing fine against almost anyone's 9bb BB reshove range.

If the SB jams you have a more interesting spot. This is where it is important to realize what kind of opponent you are up against, and what your table image is. There are quite a few lag tournament regulars who will try to crush the bubble by re-shoving light in such spots, knowing the threat of busting makes it wrong for you to call them very wide. There are equally many, if not more regulars who will play much tighter with their value jamming range here, allowing you to fold to a rejam. You can use hand histories, your hud, your notes, and a quick scan of their activity in the last few orbits to try to make a quick read on the villain you are up against when the SB jams.

May 27, 2013 | 9:51 p.m.

I don't think you can be confident that flatting the x/r takes air out
of our range, especially if "air" includes very weak bluff-catchers like
QQ. If the dynamic of aggressively attacking paired (and other
lockdown) boards exists between two players, then it's plausible that a
call of the x/r can be a float or a call with a bluff-catcher. Thus, I
don't think flatting the flop x/r automatically makes it impossible to shove the river for value.

I agree that was can have many weak bluff-catchers when we call the flop, but the way I use "air" does not include such hands. When we call the flop raise as a float usually our range is reduced bluff-catcher or "air" that plans to bluff. Since we are going to see another card, it makes sense to have our floating air be some kind of draw (here gutshots, backdoor flush draws) in case we improve and decide our best course of action is to see a showdown when villain gives up aggression at some point. This is not really a concern when we 3B the flop since we are going to be seeing turns less often, and we are investing in our bluff now. Obviously in a live game with small samples we are probably just going to choose the most exploitative play profitable, but in general I think this is the correct way to split up our bluffs here.

I am not quite sure what you mean in the last sentence from the quote above. In the actual hand hero 3B the flop instead of flatting the X/R. It is unlikely we would get to the river with a similar line had we just flatted the flop raise.

May 25, 2013 | 9:54 p.m.

Can you expand a bit more on the A23 combos from preflop? Does he only have double suited combos, or are there some single suited combos here as well. If single suited do they need to have the Ax? Can the last card be any dangler? Is Jeans calling all Ax[2,3]x hands? Even stuff like As 2s 3s (6-K)?

Having never played Jeans or any game this high my intuition on preflop ranges seems to be much tighter (along the lines of what Albin posted) so any clarification you can give on Jean's expected cold calling ranges here will help me (and I assume others) think about this spot correctly.

May 25, 2013 | 9:40 a.m.


May 23, 2013 | 6:46 a.m.

Comment | ButterNjam commented on 2100 SKnockout

Sweet hand, would like to hear some of the resident hs tourney pros weigh in as I don't play many tourneys over $1050.

I think I lean call here based on the information given, but could change my mind based on how you answer two questions:

1) Is villain2 (mp1) the kind of player who will never fold any draw flop/turn, but can fold rivers when he misses?

2) Is it possible villain1's flop bet is a mis-click?

I don't know many solid players who min donk bet. Unless you haven't told us something about mp1 raising weak leads I find it hard to believe villain1 is only min-donking a flush on the flop when he knows he can get much more value from mp1 on this board if he has any of the many gutshots/OESDs/ or any high diamond or pair.

I don't think villain has many worse value hands, since I think most sets/two pair bet bigger on flop.

One worse value hand I do think he can have it KdQ.

You point out KQo is hard to have since you block two kings, but the last king is the king of diamonds which makes a ton of sense here. KdQ is probably the only KQ that feels safe min leading on the flop, since it does not need to protect against flush draws.

Finally, you are extremely under-repped. You pretty much can't have a flush here since you would raise all non-nut flushes on the flop to protect, but mostly to get value from mp1. If villain led flop with AdJ, AdT or similar I think he will often be 3 barreling on the K turn if villain 1 isn't the type to call down with any pair, or even any queen.

May 23, 2013 | 6:20 a.m.

Good comedy/parody post. I will admit I laughed out loud. The narrative comments were pretty good, but writing "don't look at the results" after the results was pure genius.

May 23, 2013 | 5:50 a.m.

Taken together these statements imply villain is stacking off with pretty much everything he calls the flop with. This seems unwise, as either he is peeling flop somewhat wide and getting value owned by our 1st-3rd nut flush hands, or he is peeling the flop much too tight and our single flop bet is insanely profitable even if we never double/triple barrel without nut diamonds (because we are never being floated and X/F ing the turn incorrectly).

I would guess there are at least some hands that peel turn fold river (sets/top two pair, some % of medium flushes).

May 22, 2013 | 2:58 a.m.

Overbet56: Yes to the second statement. I don't think you can get away with 3 barreling this spot very frequently, and so to maximize the success of your bluffs I think you should mainly choose to bluff in this spot with a high heart. Since you have no blockers to flushes, and in fact block several of the non-flush made hands that villain could otherwise have (set of queens, two pair with queens, king blocker to straights), this is one of the worst hands you can have to 3 barrel with here. If you 2 barrel hands that dont block flushes and make it less likely he has made non-flush made hands you seem to be 2 barreling 100% of your 3B range here.

Notes to site developers: Implement the ability to click "reply" to a "reply" instead of having to keep replying to the initial comment. Also, include a feature that tells you when someone has "replied" to one of your posts.

May 21, 2013 | 12:57 p.m.


Unless you 3B very wide, your flop range should be much stronger than his on monotone/high card boards, so you can probably get away with betting near your entire range here.


I think turn has to be a C/F. We block no flushes and even if you are being floated most people will choose to float flop with hands that have equity to improve vs dry AA like KJ, J9, or pair and gutshot (often with a big heart) all of which have just improved to at least two pair and could call again if they have observed you barreling wide in the past. Keep in mind it is likely more appealing in villain's shoes to call a turn barrel with KhJ or KJh, a set, or two pair and a high diamond blocker than with baby flushes, since these hands either can improve to beat the hand you rep, or block the hands you rep. Therefore a turn barrel seems most likely to fold out small flushes, and bluffing when the weakest hands you can push our are made flushes is generally not a good idea with a big heart yourself, since you won't be able to fire the third barrel often enough in this spot without being massively unbalanced in favor of bluffs.

May 20, 2013 | 12:14 p.m.

"Never" is the answer to the question "How often should we call this bet". However this answer is not the GTO standpoint answer, just the correct answer from the point of normal Game Theory based on what we know about our opponent (he doesn't bluff enough).

Game Theory approach to this river spot:
This is a question about finding the best response to a known strategy. It therefore falls under the heading of exploitative play. As you said yourself we need to win 33% of the time to breakeven, and in your scenario we only win 20% of the time when called, so the answer is we exploit our opponent by folding 100% of our range (which is entirely bluff catchers) here.

Game Theory Optimal considerations for this river spot (I'm no expert, but this shouldn't be too far off):
A GTO strategy is designed without considering whatever specific
strategies our opponent is trying to use. Our play on the river would therefore depend on previous actions in
the hand. A GTO strategy would be unlikely to get to many rivers with a range that is 100% bluff-catchers, since that implies our strategy is open to exploitation in those spots. Nevertheless, it is likely part of the GTO strategy in this spot to be calling the top of our bluff catching range (top meaning mostly the strongest hands but also strong hands containing blockers to him having the nuts), and folding the majority of the weakest hands in our range. It is irrelevant for GTO play that our opponent is not bluffing enough.

In this spot the exploitative play makes more (loses less) money than the GTO play, because we have allowed ourselves to adapt our play against a fallible opponent. GTO is designed with the idea that we can tell our opponent exactly what we are doing with our range (letting him play the so called best or "nemesis" strategy against us at every point of every hand) and we will lose the minimum/breakeven with our entire strategy even in this worst case scenario.

May 20, 2013 | 11:58 a.m.

Around 49 minutes when we fold TT in the BB vs a UTG (34bb) open and a 3b from MP (18bb) Jason comments that he would 4B small+F QQ in this spot if UTG jams and MP calls.

I would be interested in hearing what other people think about this line with QQ.

May 18, 2013 | 10:56 a.m.

In the last hand (QJ): were you planning at folding to the short stack at any point after you 4B? It sounds like you were from the way you presented the hand, although you didn't state your plan outright. Preflop you need 33% which it seems you easily have, and postflop if he jams you need even less.

If you weren't planning on folding on the flop, do you think there is merit to just jamming, or betting a larger amount that looks stronger than jamming but is more clear you aren't folding (like 110, 120)?

May 11, 2013 | 11:31 a.m.

Questions re: villains expected range in 77 hand (Apologies in advance-I haven't played nlhe in awhile):

1) PREFLOP: Does villain call 9s7s or Ks9s preflop? Does he play all suited aces (Id expect some people leave out As6s-As8s)? Which, if any, suited hands do you expect him to preferentially 3B (I would guess he has at least some frequency with ATs-AKs, unless he is playing a no-3B deep oop strategy from his SB)?

2) FLOP: Do you expect villain to X/R A5s, A7s, A2s? You mentioned in the video you thought he could take
the X/C flop X/R turn line with As2s, but my rusty hold-em logic would prefer to X/R A2s on the flop since it has less showdown equity than say A8s-AJs, and often feels forced to bluff river if turn checks through since it loses to every ace.

3) TURN: You mention in the video you think he X/R turn with a hand like QsTs. Presumably also KsQs, KsTs, and Ks9s (if he plays it preflop). How often will villain X/R with 9s8s, Ts9s, Ts8s compared to X/F (is it only
slightly less than his frequency with QsTs, or much less)? Is villain X/R AsJs on the turn for value (I would guess he normally plays it as a bluff catcher to protect his X/C range)? Is your turn barreling range wide enough that villain would ever consider X/C As8s+ in attempts to showdown?

May 11, 2013 | 9:39 a.m.

Mr. Rast -

The 77 hand is quite interesting, and I'd like to see you revisit it at the beginning/end of another video. Specifically I'd like to see what assumptions are necessary to make a river raise>call, and raise>fold. I suspect this is quite difficult to achieve since we are either trying to fold out a set by repping 10 value combos, or we are repping only 8 combos when he has the As. It also does not seem unreasonable that he would expect us to 3B the turn with JJ, 7x5x at least some of the time.

May 11, 2013 | 9:38 a.m.

Excellent video Mr. Oddsen! I feel like you greatly improved on your first video in terms of explaining your thought process. I really appreciated how you broke down the ways you plan to adapt your future ranges whenever you saw a hand at show down.

May 9, 2013 | 4:33 a.m.

TT-KK can find a call, as can a ton of marginal made/blocker pair hands that are now counterfeit (of course these shouldn't be calling often). We certainly rep KK-AA, but aren't going to have it often, which makes it a good spot to vbet thinly and bluff overcard air we were giving up on the turn with.

I dislike checking, as I don't think he will valuecut himself very often. I think almost all the range he gets to the river with is happy to check behind. Enough so that if you forced me to check I might even prefer a check/fold to check/call.

May 8, 2013 | 5:36 a.m.

Against a complete unknown I don't see how you can fold. I have to know my opponent is doing something non-standard here (calling with lower pairs 20bbs deep or never calling CO without a monster preflop).

Were you running a hud? Had this player been at all active, even if you had only been at the table with him for 10 hands? Any reads would be helpful here. Also if we can assume he has any reads about you from the last couple hands that might also be relevant.

I would expect most regs to rejam or fold most lower pocket pairs preflop, except for AA and maybe KK, so there aren't a ton of legit value hands I expect a reg to have here that you beat. Still, even against a random reg I think it is too likely you are being flatted preflop with random suited Broadways and the occasional Tx9x, Tx8x, Jx9x that then decide to float you and jam this turn.

Unless you can provide more reads it seems criminal to fold a hand this high in our range to an unknown when we are super under-repped and can't imagine a large value range that doesn't also contain a bunch of marginal garbage jamming to protect against overs.

May 7, 2013 | 5:13 a.m.

Does Adam have you covered? Have you shown down any big bluffs at this table? While I think you are far ahead of his over betting range, I don't many thinking players will ever call a check raise here with worse unless you have a very loose image, some history, or he is very short.

May 6, 2013 | 7:49 a.m.

I am not quite sure how to nest comments correctly on this forum - hope this shows up in reply to GT's response to my comment.

And also I would expect that he thinks that we think that the 6 doesn't
hit him all that frequent, while in fact he has the nuts over 60% here.

I disagree with this statement. Can you give any reason why hero's perception of villain's range should be skewed away from the ranges you gave earlier? Based on a sample of the 4 commenters in this thread 3 are leaning towards fold indicating they think villain's range is indeed heavy with T8 combos (including cYde who seems to perceive some 96 low-wrap combos in villains range when he says "the river completes two straights"). If anything I think villain likely expects a tag hero who normally stays out of his way to be overly afraid of this river card and give him too much credit for having T8 (or even 96) combos than he actually will. 

In general, players don't bluff perceived blanks often enough

I just don't think it is true that this card is a perceived blank.

I think the most important part here is that if he was bluffing all his
air hands, he should be more weighted towards potting his entire range.

If the player is a heavily GT based player this makes sense. But this is a live 5/10/25 game and I would expect a big winner to play more exploitatively than GTO. Accordingly I expect him to bet his bluffs whatever amount he thinks gives him the strongest perceived range here. Since we all agree this amount looks like value, it is also the amount I expect him to bluff.

I wouldn't expect an exploitative player to split his range into betting 6100 with nuts and pot with air, since a tag will instantly and correctly perceive a PSB to indicate a polarized range, often question why villain wouldn't try to elicit a crying call with a smaller bet against his obvious top set, and actually talk himself into a call more often vs a PSB than vs 6100. If anything when our good exploitative live player does split his nuts/air range on the river into two bet sizes I expect pot to be the nuts-heavy and a smaller sizing to be air-heavy.

Obviously much of our disagreement hinges on perception of player types. Perhaps BagOfSuck could chime in to confirm or deny some of the villain tendencies we are making assumptions about?

May 3, 2013 | 10:50 p.m.

As usual, great analysis. I am confused though.

Given the ranges you gave villain (which look like good approximations to me), our perceived image, ("solid/TAG. We haven't really played too many big pots together, I normally stay out of his way."), description of villain (big winner, hand reads well) and our face up flop/turn range I don't understand your conclusion that folding here is fine (though close).

Sure, villain has to be bluffing nearly all his air, but that seems entirely reasonable. This is the perfect bluff card against hero's face-up-set-heavy range. Even our very rare flop/turn semi-bluff range is poor in T8 combos compared to villain's range (it looks like a tighter version of his range without all the JT8 combos that will mostly just cold call his flop X/R). Our competent villain should be bluffing the 6s with all the hands he makes it to the river with in the range you described above (QJT:[K,9,8,A],TJ8:[A,K,9,7,6],QJT:ddxx,TJ8:ddxx,Ad*d:KTJ ). Hands that contain a King/block top set are the only hands he should consider not bluffing with, and given hero's line and the and the possibility that hero plays 99 combos in a similar way I think he convinces himself to bluff with these hands almost always as well.

We need to be good 29.6% here, and against villain's "reasonable tight range" that you give above we have 34.6. Given all this I don't see villain finding a check with 15% or more of the range he gets to the river with.

May 3, 2013 | 7:12 a.m.

pacmang- you say villain is a bit of an unknown, but more information on his preflop ranges would help me think about this hand. You say he called the last 3-4 3Bs in this spot, so you probably have some more preflop information you could share. Maybe even an approximation of his pfr from the HJ?

May 3, 2013 | 6:04 a.m.

It is not true that the villain will never 4B bluff here (unless you know something about this specific player that I don't know). I also think it is bad to assume he will never float oop (maybe something like with QJT, AJT9, QQ). Lock down boards like this are a hotbed for bluffing and rebluffing since it is relatively unlikely either player holds a nutted hand here. Add to this the fact that the players have history of aggressive flop play on paired boards and a thinking villain will be expecting a rebluff. 3Betting large/pot instead takes all the air out of our range and prevents villain putting in 4B/float with his air, while keeping in all his value hands (which would have continued anyway to a smaller bet). There is an enormous amount of value in getting an extra bluff bet out of an opponent, so I think large 3B is the worst option on this flop. This is the case unless you have a specific read that a villain is playing his hands extremely honestly and straightforward (in a very exploitable manner- i.e. check raising only value hands, or only ever putting in one bluff bet ever before shutting down).

Regarding calling flop to let villain bluff more streets: our range looks very strong to cbet and call the flop X/R here- most villains will see this as strongly indicative of a king (since we would rarely float air here having to fold to a turn bet, and we would often check back marginal hands like QQ or AJT). I think very few players would continue barreling here once we take air out of our range like this. 3Bing the flop small at least keeps in air combos that are too weak to call an X/R.

May 3, 2013 | 6:01 a.m.

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