Hoothoot's avatar


27 points

Thanks to both of you for your feedback. Upon further reflection I think the best line is actually to check turn. Much of his range apart from Qx and sets will check back and give me a free river, which if I brick I can think about bluffing vs a capped range. If he bets I can call getting a terrific price. I think my lack of SD value is actually less damaging than I first thought. It's my lack of fold equity that really makes betting a worse line, I think.

June 22, 2019 | 2:36 p.m.

So I recently played a live 1/2 hand where I got into a tricky spot. Admittedly I should have folded pre with this hand, but I had been playing very tight up until this point and there were no strong players at the table, so I got a bit fresh. Anyway, the action went like this:

Hero in HJ, ~90bb: Opens $7 with Jh4h
Villain (old Asian man) in CO, ~100bb: calls $7
BB (white man in his 30s w/ shortstack of ~40bb): calls $7
(Pot $22)

Flop: Qc 5s 3h

BB checks, Hero bets $10, CO calls $10, BB folds
(Pot $42)

Turn: 6h

Hero bets $30, CO raises to $85, Hero?

  1. I'll stop here because the turn is the main decision point. I was done with the hand after being called on the flop, but then I turned a FD + OESD. I decided to barrel pretty large because a) I picked up a bunch of equity, and b) I have next to no SD value, so x/c seems really bad. But in hindsight I'm not sure how much fold equity I have, given that villain's got a decent amount of Qx here, and his other hands like 77, 65s, 76s, and Ax wheel draws won't fold.

  2. Villain's raise is for like half his stack, and calling another $55 would leave me with only about $70 behind. But I don't think jamming is good since he's got no bluffs in this spot, and I'd be getting it in bad. At least by flatting and seeing river I can save myself $70 if I brick. Plus I only need like 25% to call, which I'm more than getting.


June 21, 2019 | 3:43 p.m.

Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $80.69
SB: $29.11
BB: $56.56
UTG: $50.00
MP: $55.97 (Hero)
CO: $61.64
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is MP with T T
UTG folds, Hero raises to $1.25, CO raises to $4.00, BN folds, SB calls $3.75, BB folds, Hero calls $2.75
I could've elected to 4bet here and iso the fish in the SB, but 4bet/folding TT is a nightmare, and calling it off is gross too.
Flop ($12.50) 8 8 9
SB checks, Hero checks, CO bets $3.92, SB calls $3.92, Hero calls $3.92
I thought about x/r'ing here, but I felt like I'd be overplaying my hand, and folding seems bad too.
Turn ($24.26) 8 8 9 J
SB checks, Hero checks, CO checks
CO checked back turn pretty quickly, which given the river action is pretty suspicious.
River ($24.26) 8 8 9 J 3
SB checks, Hero checks, CO bets $24.89, SB folds

June 20, 2019 | 5:19 p.m.

For the 2nd hand with KK, I get that we check the A turn because villain may have some Ax hands and we don't want to value-own ourselves, plus even if he doesn't have Ax, it kills our action. But my question is this: would it be a legitimate strategy to c-bet the turn ultra small, like 25% pot, in order to squeeze value out of worse hands on an earlier street than giving him a free river? A tiny c-bet might even induce some bluffs from villain, though not very often since the A is better for our range than his. Granted there aren't many bad rivers for our hand, so there's not much downside in checking, and it's not great to bet with a hand that has become a bluff catcher OTT. But I wonder about this anyway.

June 20, 2019 | 2:47 a.m.

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in NLHE: 2-pair on river facing huge raise
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $281.03
SB: $80.14
BB: $93.37
UTG: $137.76 (Hero)
MP: $56.85
CO: $31.27
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is UTG with 3 A
Hero raises to $1.25, 2 folds, BN raises to $4.38, 2 folds, Hero calls $3.13
Flop ($9.51) A 6 K
Hero checks, BN bets $2.35, Hero calls $2.35
Turn ($14.21) A 6 K 3
Hero checks, BN checks
River ($14.21) A 6 K 3 4
Hero bets $7.02, BN raises to $35.40

June 8, 2019 | 9:04 p.m.

soutaz89 Polar means 3betting your strongest and weakest hands, and flat calling with your medium-strength hands.

Linear means 3betting with strong hands plus some medium-strong hands, then folding the rest and not having a flat calling range at all, usually.

June 5, 2019 | 2:52 p.m.

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in NLHE: 2nd nut flush facing gross runout
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $251.17
SB: $54.25 (Hero)
BB: $46.64
UTG: $51.25
MP: $57.39
CO: $277.88
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is SB with K T
3 folds, BN raises to $1.25, Hero calls $1.00, BB calls $0.75
Normally I'd 3bet, but villain is a huge nit so I'd rather not get 4bet off my equity with a hand that flops well.
Flop ($3.75) 2 J T
Hero checks, BB checks, BN bets $2.00, Hero raises to $7.00, BB folds, BN calls $5.00
Turn ($17.75) 2 J T 4
Hero bets $11.80, BN calls $11.80
River ($41.35) 2 J T 4 6
Hero checks, BN bets $15.55
Sized my turn bet as such to leave myself with < pot sized bet on river, except that the river is disgusting. No idea what to do.

June 4, 2019 | 5:02 a.m.

To clarify, you mean flop is a clear b/f, not x/f, right?

May 29, 2019 | 9:23 p.m.

Maybe it's ok to x/f my hand exact hand because I don't have a club, but normally I would think that a c-bet is useful to put pressure on his hands like 66, 78s, and 88-JJ. The Q hits him plenty, but I still have a decent range advantage on this board. I take your point about K and A turns having negative implied odds for me, though.

May 29, 2019 | 3:21 p.m.

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in NLHE: Hero call in 3bet pot?
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $76.85
SB: $80.26 (Hero)
BB: $73.94
UTG: $53.74
MP: $50.00
CO: $50.61
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is SB with A K
UTG raises to $1.50, 3 folds, Hero raises to $5.50, BB folds, UTG calls $4.00
Flop ($11.50) Q 7 2
Hero bets $5.68, UTG raises to $15.26, Hero calls $9.58
Villain is a Brazilian reg I believe. I got sticky here because it doesn't make much sense for villain to have a value raising range on this flop. Some of his QQ combos 4bet pre, and the ones that flat pre should also mostly flat this dry flop IP. Same with his other sets. Plus I don't block clubs draws.
Turn ($42.02) Q 7 2 5
Hero checks, UTG bets $32.98 and is all in
So the question is: continue being a hero or give him credit? I don't block hearts, either.

May 28, 2019 | 12:58 a.m.

It's interesting that live poker is so limp heavy, since the rake in live cash games is often quite steep, which in theory incents agression preflop to avoid the rake. I guess it just goes to show how fishy live poker is in most places. (Unless of course OP was playing in a home game.)

May 23, 2019 | 12:16 a.m.

I wonder what would be harder, a pro writer transitioning to pro poker, or a poker pro transitioning to professional writing. This being a poker website filled with people know know how tough poker can be, I have no doubt that there's a bias toward saying poker is harder. Although I'm not a professional at either activity, I have a lot of experience in both fields, however, and imo it's a coin toss. Getting published is very hard.

May 22, 2019 | 10:09 p.m.

Comment | Hoothoot commented on Did I punt the river?

You weren't able to copy and paste the hand history into the hand converter? I don't think the suits of your hand were relevant in this specific hand, but often they can be useful info. Also, stack sizes are always relevant, so you need to include those too. Yet another reason why the actual hand history is helpful.

First of all, fold QJo pre vs UTG open. As played, I'm just flatting river because what worse hands can villain have, opening from UTG, that will bet/call this river? Basically just QTs. Maybe AA and KK, too, if the SPR is low enough by the river. But unless he's clueless he's checking those down. Your hand is actually just a bluff catcher since you lose to all his value bets except QTs (Q9s, KQ, AQ all beat you).

May 22, 2019 | 1:03 a.m.

Blinds: t800/t1,600 (8 Players) SB: 17,710
BB: 54,621
UTG: 14,579
UTG+1: 180,226 (Hero)
MP: 34,407
MP+1: 49,838
CO: 38,356
BN: 66,263
Preflop (2,400) Hero is UTG+1 with T T
UTG folds, Hero raises to 3,520, 3 folds, BN calls 3,520, 2 folds
Flop (11,040) 8 7 Q
Hero checks, BN bets 5,520, Hero calls 5,520
Turn (22,080) 8 7 Q T
Hero checks, BN checks
I was going to c/r turn after I turned a set here if I had been given the chance.
River (22,080) 8 7 Q T J
Hero checks, BN bets 16,560

May 20, 2019 | 11:58 p.m.

I was similarly wondering why hero elected to bet 2/3 pot on both flop and turn. Normally I'd expect that hero has a range advantage on a Kxx flop that allows him to bet more like 1/3 pot. But since it's a fairly wet flop I'm guessing that's why sizing is larger? Larger sizing makes more sense on turn I suppose, particularly given your Ah.

May 17, 2019 | 4:13 a.m.

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in NLHE: Best line to take in bizarre 3bet pot?
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $35.16
SB: $65.46
BB: $30.39
UTG: $206.47
MP: $169.71
CO: $78.05 (Hero)
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is CO with 6 A
2 folds, Hero raises to $1.50, BN folds, SB raises to $5.00, BB folds, Hero calls $3.50
I nearly folded pre, but I had a note on this guy that he's a reg that finds bluffs creatively and previously 3bet 55 from SB vs CO open. Plus we're deeper than 100bb, so I took a flop IP.
Flop ($10.50) 7 8 J
SB checks, Hero checks
I think checking back is standard here with my exact hand, and I think overall my range wants to check, too. But betting here would have kept the sets in my range, and by checking back it capped me a bit.
Turn ($10.50) 7 8 J Q
SB checks, Hero bets $5.75, SB raises to $19.90, Hero calls $14.15
I could've checked back here again, but decided to semi-bluff targeting his hands like 55, 66, 99, TT, and AK. Even though checking back again and bluffing river is possible too, I think putting a bet in here gives me more credibility on the river if I brick and need to bluff. I've got T9s and QJs much more often than he does here, as played. His c/r really confused me. If he's truly as creative a bluffer as my note implies, he could be doing this with hands like JTs, J9s, and 56s. But then again I think bluffs are less likely given how I can easily have a good hand here, and crucially I block his nut FD hands like AcKc which could easily take this line. So that weights him toward sets I guess. I think he'd be overplaying AQ with this line, and AJ makes no sense.
River ($50.30) 7 8 J Q 2
SB bets $40.56 and is all in
Really no option but to fold now, sadly, because I even lose to some of his bluffs like AK and 55.

May 13, 2019 | 10:06 p.m.

I suppose I don't have as much of a flop range advantage as I originally thought. I was thinking that I had TT, 89s, perhaps T8s, and then draws like QJs and J9s. But I guess his overpairs still crush my pair+draw hands. I just think I have a nut advantage on this board by the turn, though, cause although he's got TT and QQ, too, those hands are heavier in my range, while his range is weighted toward JJ+ and AK.

May 13, 2019 | 2:32 a.m.

Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $71.83
SB: $260.69
BB: $97.63
UTG: $108.86 (Hero)
MP: $64.82
CO: $33.66
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is UTG with J A
Hero raises to $1.25, MP calls $1.25, 2 folds, SB raises to $7.00, BB folds, Hero calls $5.75, MP folds
Flop ($15.75) T 8 8
SB bets $7.48, Hero calls $7.48
My range has the advantage on this flop, so I'm floating here with my BD draws.
Turn ($30.71) T 8 8 Q
SB bets $17.00, Hero calls $17.00
Turn a double-gutter, and villain continues his aggression. Not folding here, decide to peel another IP.
River ($64.71) T 8 8 Q 3
SB bets $44.50
In a tough spot now because villain takes away almost all possible fold equity by betting so large.

May 11, 2019 | 5:59 p.m.

Great video once again Peter. In regard to randomization, couldn't we just set up some system based on the suits in our hand? Something along those lines appeals to me as well because I can rely on it while playing live poker then, too. For example, only bluff certain spots when your unsuited cards are the same colour, ie. diamond and heart, or club and spade. This isn't a fully formed idea but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

On a different note, I've also heard you mention that you size up your 3bets when using a linear 3betting range. I find that confusing because I've typically heard that a larger size works better with a polarized 3bet range, while a linear range suits a smaller size because you're 3betting somewhat wider. Additionally, it makes sense to me to size larger with a polarized range because in theory if someone is responding correctly they'll be flatting vs a polarized range, and sizing larger makes them play larger pots while capped. Maybe you just mentioned that in a specific situation vs a specific player, because later on you sized up using a polarized range after all.

May 6, 2019 | midnight

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in MTT: TPGK facing river overbet in 3bet pot
Blinds: t100/t200 (9 Players) MP: 9,647
MP+1: 4,568
MP+2: 20,543
CO: 12,698 (Hero)
BN: 8,982
SB: 10,892
BB: 16,704
UTG: 14,196
UTG+1: 166
Preflop (300) Hero is CO with Q A
UTG raises to 400, 4 folds, Hero raises to 1,000, 3 folds, UTG calls 600
Flop (2,480) 3 T T
UTG checks, Hero checks
Turn (2,480) 3 T T A
UTG bets 800, Hero calls 800
Always calling here. Can't fold obv, and a raise seems too thin plus I want to keep his bluffs in.
River (4,080) 3 T T A 2
UTG bets 6,000
Kind of shitty to muck given how narrow his value range is here, but for this size I don't see an alternative. He knows I've got lots of good Ax, but he bombs anyway. Make the exploitable fold?

May 5, 2019 | 7:22 p.m.

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in NLHE: Straight facing a weird river check-raise
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $89.76 (Hero)
SB: $48.58
BB: $104.17
UTG: $52.40
MP: $194.53
CO: $59.08
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is BN with 2 2
2 folds, CO raises to $1.25, Hero calls $1.25, 2 folds
Flop ($3.25) 5 3 4
CO checks, Hero bets $1.70, CO calls $1.70
Villain's flop call instead of c-bet usually indicates something like A-high with a BD draw, or maybe a small pair like 3x, 4x, or 5x that is seeking a cheap SD and doesn't want to bloat the pot OOP. I bet for equity denial/protection against his unpaired over-card type hands.
Turn ($6.65) 5 3 4 8
CO checks, Hero checks
River ($6.65) 5 3 4 8 6
CO checks, Hero bets $6.32, CO raises to $20.00
I make the idiot end of the straight, but it should be good most of the time vs the hands villain could have here. His c/r is really strange. He's saying he's got only 7x, but 75s is pretty much the only 7x combo he could have because 76s flopped the nuts and wouldn't triple check it (would he?), and 78s, 79s, and A7s aren't c/c'ing flop. I suppose it's possible that some bad players could play A2s this way, but I block that and they're unlikely to c/r it given this river anyway.

April 8, 2019 | 2:05 a.m.

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in MTT: Facing river jam on wet board
Blinds: t100/t200 (9 Players) BB: 14,504 (Hero)
UTG: 11,202
UTG+1: 9,644
MP: 12,539
MP+1: 12,324
MP+2: 9,324
CO: 5,012
BN: 15,243
SB: 7,453
Preflop (300) Hero is BB with Q A
3 folds, MP+1 raises to 400, 4 folds, Hero raises to 1,200, MP+1 calls 800
Flop (2,680) 8 7 A
Hero bets 992, MP+1 calls 992
Turn (4,664) 8 7 A K
Hero bets 2,000, MP+1 calls 2,000
River (8,664) 8 7 A K J
Hero checks, MP+1 bets 8,112 and is all in

April 7, 2019 | 6:43 p.m.

The thing is that pre I'm getting a good price to continue IP (better than 2.5:1 I think) with a hand with good implied odds that will frequently flop equity.

April 1, 2019 | 12:46 a.m.

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in NLHE: Trips in 3bet pot facing river donk jam
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $50.00 (Hero)
SB: $50.00
BB: $50.00
UTG: $65.72
MP: $125.69
CO: $50.00
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is BN with J 9
UTG folds, MP raises to $1.00, CO folds, Hero raises to $3.75, 2 folds, MP raises to $9.50, Hero calls $5.75
Flop ($19.75) 7 A 9
MP checks, Hero bets $6.94, MP calls $6.94
A missed c-bet here means his range will be weighted to KK and QQ, plus the occasional AK, AA, and a few give-ups. So I'm turning my hand into a bluff here, targeting KK and QQ. I figure for balance sake I should bet small because that's what I would do with Ax vs a mostly capped range, and I can exert more pressure using bigger sizes on later streets if need be.
Turn ($33.63) 7 A 9 9
MP checks, Hero bets $11.82, MP calls $11.82
Gin turn, now I'm betting for value but still against what I perceive to be a KK, QQ type hand holding on for dear life, hence my small bet size.
River ($57.27) 7 A 9 9 8
MP bets $27.50
Suddenly it becomes clear that he doesn't have KK or QQ. I really don't think he has any bluffs here at all. As far as I can tell, he's got only AA (most likely, given his small 4bet pre) and flushes (mainly Ax hearts, maybe JThh, except I'd expect him to c-bet JThh so that's unlikely). I'm getting a fantastic price, like 4:1 I think, but I just don't think I beat a single hand he plays this way.

March 31, 2019 | 9:47 p.m.

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in NLHE: Call down river in 3bet pot?
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $77.50
SB: $50.00
BB: $50.61
UTG: $115.22 (Hero)
MP: $50.00
CO: $77.31
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is UTG with 8 8
Hero raises to $1.50, 3 folds, SB raises to $5.00, BB folds, Hero calls $3.50
Flop ($10.50) T 6 T
SB bets $4.23, Hero calls $4.23
Turn ($18.96) T 6 T 3
SB bets $10.99, Hero calls $10.99
River ($40.94) T 6 T 3 K
SB bets $29.78 and is all in
So at this point I'm losing to all pairs, AK, and like AQcc and AJcc. The river K is awful for me and great for villain's range, except that AK should slow down here given that it has SD value and I have a lot more Tx than he does. That's the factor that makes this feel fishy to me. I'm getting better than 2:1 to call, but I really only beat AQ and AJs.

March 4, 2019 | 1:32 a.m.

I think the snap overbet is the biggest thing to consider here though. That is usually indicative of strength. It's tough for him to have worse trips than me since he overbet the turn as well. I suppose KT and T9s could do that, but not often. In other words, I'm looking to beat pure bluffs with which villain overbet twice.

Feb. 28, 2019 | 10:01 p.m.

Hand History | Hoothoot posted in NLHE: Facing river overbet with trips, BvB
Blinds: $0.25/$0.50 (6 Players) BN: $55.44
SB: $151.38
BB: $90.40 (Hero)
UTG: $55.36
MP: $56.59
CO: $55.50
Preflop ($0.75) Hero is BB with T A
4 folds, SB raises to $1.50, Hero calls $1.00
Could 3bet here, but opted to flat IP given how deep we are.
Flop ($3.00) T Q J
SB checks, Hero checks
Turn ($3.00) T Q J 2
SB bets $4.00, Hero calls $4.00
Overbet is a bit worrisome, but still calling since I have a draw, and can't fold to a single c-bet.
River ($11.00) T Q J 2 T
SB bets $14.00
Villain SNAP overbets. Tough spot because on the one hand I block broadway and some FHs, but on the other hand I also block the bricked nut FD. It feels like villain is trying to ram through value with something like QQ, JJ, or maybe AK. The fact that he snap overbet makes me lean toward a fold. Thoughts?

Feb. 27, 2019 | 4:30 p.m.

Great video Ryan. A few questions:

  1. Your results for MTT and both SNG formats appear to show that you play way more hands from EP and even the SB than you do from LP, which is pretty counter-intuitive at first glance. I can only imagine it's because you make a special effort to defend your blinds given the price you're getting, and for EP because you get to open hands more often whereas in LP you're forced to fold a lot because of people opening ahead of you. Am I correct in those assumptions? Sometimes I think I'm playing too tight from EP when I play in both MTTs and in 6max of either SNGs or cash games. Any pointers you might have here would be great, in terms of the EP opening ranges you use.

  2. In regard to your checklist, could you clarify what "DATA POINTS!" means? And also clarify what you're talking about in the two bullets that mention off-suit portions of villain's ranges.

Thanks very much!

Feb. 23, 2019 | 7:13 p.m.

Haha well I've succeeded in starting a debate, that's for sure. As for the other part, I'm yet to hear a compelling counter-argument to my reasoning, which has only reinforced my belief that I made the right decision. So far I've heard two criticisms that I can easily refute.

  1. Villain could have KQ.
    Response: Equal combos as KK, and a less plausible line.

  2. My fold is exploitable.
    Response: I agree that it is, but that alone doesn't necessitate calling. Villain doesn't know what I'm folding, so there's very little chance for him to exploit me in the future.

Aug. 30, 2018 | 3:39 a.m.

Yes it's an exploitable fold for sure. But it seems to be a timely deviation from balanced play given my reasoning above. It's an exceptional circumstance to be folding the near-top of my range.

Aug. 30, 2018 | 2:59 a.m.

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