MatoStar's avatar


75 points

Comment | MatoStar commented on NL25FF pn party

Yeah, agree with betting smaller on the turn.. we can balance it with some QQ,AA,AQ..
maybe I would think of betting slightly bigger on the flop since we are 137bb deep.
Also preflop it is kinda marginal squeeze and most of the time, I would just fold KQo.

Anyway, good turn fold mate:)

March 27, 2020 | 12:31 p.m.

What would be approximately the % of our iso-raising range against some 2 random fishes in this scenario? (imagine its our first or second orbit with no info on villains)

March 27, 2020 | 12:18 p.m.

Hand History | MatoStar posted in NLHE: Can we ever fold this full house?
Blinds: $0.02/$0.05 (5 Players) BB: $5.00 (Hero)
UTG: $4.72
CO: $1.25
BN: $6.95
SB: $2.38
no reads on button player. His sizing seems to be pretty low given the two limpers, but would not be making any assumptions probably.
Preflop ($0.07) Hero is BB with Q 9
UTG calls $0.05, CO checks, BN raises to $0.14, SB folds, Hero calls $0.09, UTG folds, CO folds
Flop ($0.40) 4 Q 4
Hero checks, BN bets $0.15, Hero calls $0.15
Turn ($0.70) 4 Q 4 4
Hero checks, BN bets $0.61, Hero calls $0.61
River ($1.92) 4 Q 4 4 6
Hero checks, BN bets $2.05, Hero
Pretty standard till the river. I would put him on KK,AA,A4s,AQ,KQ,QJ,QT and 0-5% bluffs. However, I am still more and more concerned with his river sizing. I am pretty sure that he is not playing all his Qx this way. Because it seems like he wants to get value from Qx. Actually I do think that he is more likely polarized to KK+ which kinda sucks, because now we need to find more bluffs in his range to justify calling here. On the other hand folding here might really exploitative.. buut imo it is highly assumptive to expect that someone would start exploiting us, given the fact that 95-100% players would snap call this river.
To summarize it, my main data point is the sizing on the turn and river as well. Up to 3/4 I think it is a good call since I expect much more split equity, but otherwise I think he is pretty polarized on a KK+ and most of the time he puts us on a Q - which most players would call, sooo based on this assumption I more inclined to folding this river.

Really happy to discuss your thoughts about this highly exploitative play:)

March 23, 2020 | 6:37 p.m.

Blinds: $0.02/$0.05 (5 Players) BN: $5.00 (Hero)
SB: $11.29
BB: $4.75
UTG: $5.00
CO: $4.65
Villain is a fish
Preflop ($0.07) Hero is BN with 9 J
UTG folds, CO raises to $0.15, Hero raises to $0.45, 2 folds, CO calls $0.30
I dont think we need to be 3betting against a fish, but our hand has a decent playability and being in position against one fish in a bigger pot.. was enough for me to justify a 3bet. Taking into a consideration the rake factor as well.. however, player on the BB seems to be fishy as well, soo maybe given this fact, I am better off just calling and playing IP against weaker players.
Flop ($0.97) A 6 3
CO checks, Hero bets $0.32, CO calls $0.32
I used to simplify my strategy and bet 1/3 with my whole range on most runouts. This flop is actually slightly better than the average one.. he can not really have AA,AK,KK,QQ (but yeah he has 66 and 33 which we dont, thats why its just slightly better)
Turn ($1.61) A 6 3 T
CO checks, Hero checks
Our hand didnt improve.. and we exploited the hotspot on the flop - it is not that lucrative for us to bet the turn even in terms of fold equity. I do check a decent amount of Ax hands (maybe all of them except of twopairs and AK)
River ($1.61) A 6 3 T A
CO bets $0.05, Hero
After he bets 1bb/checked he usually dont have the Ace, but rather some showdown value - I perceived it as some paired hand which want to avoid a bigger bet. I do not really think we can fold.. I mean he is a fish and can have even some busted flush draws, we need only 3% to call so, we can justify calling at least. Unfortunately, the ace is reducing number of Ax hands which we can have, but I am pretty sure that still it supposed to be a bet in theory and I would be really inclined to bet this hand, but against a regular player. Vs a fish I am pretty concerned, just because I see a lot at these stakes that fishy players are often not capable of folding here with almost any paired hand. Yeah, he sometimes do have KQ,KJ stuff, but it might be also tempting for some to make a hero call.
My adjustments against a volatile in this hand would be: betting 2streets for value even with JJ-KK,KTs,QTs, 3 streets with A9 or AJ (at least), avoid bluffing at all (on the river) or really rarely make a bluff

Would you bet the river vs a fish/reg?
What do you think about my adjustments?

March 23, 2020 | 2:29 p.m.

I see your point..
However, I checked the flop just to protect my checking range since I do have AK,AQs in my range and with these hands I check the flop all the time.

Maybe it is not that important to care about protecting our range at 5nl multiway, squeezed pot, especially with at least 1fishy player..

March 22, 2020 | 7:43 p.m.

Btw he had TT..:/

March 22, 2020 | 10:43 a.m.

Unless you have really decent sample size.. however, you can just observe it from your experience.. but I would not actually categorize it wet, dry.. rivers. (even if there are some exceptions...) Because it is pretty complicated from the beginning and not as important as the whole fact that it is generally underbluffed, generally speaking.
I would also recommend you to check out nick howard and his free youtube content.. his approach is mainly exploitative-oriented which may gives you the fundamental understanding of where are the population inbalances and how to exploit them.

March 22, 2020 | 10:41 a.m.

What assumptions do you mean in particular?

March 22, 2020 | 9:26 a.m.

What worse hands do you expect that villain would bet for value?
Because I can't see almost any bluff though

March 22, 2020 | 9:23 a.m.

Comment | MatoStar commented on 3b pot raise

We are OOP, so we do not have the option to decide whether or not we make a check or bet (Unfortunately:/)

March 21, 2020 | 7:04 p.m.

Comment | MatoStar commented on 3b pot raise

Betting range with 1/3 is fine by me.. especially on this flop - our range is pretty linear in most cases and he has a lot of lower hands such as suited connectors or even pocket pairs. So we have a range advantage on this flop.

As played I would not be raising this flop.. you are blocking his potential bluffs with Ah. Basically by raising you are isolating yourself against better hands. On this runout I would call the turn and without any further reads I would fold this river. Mainly because our range is well protected by KQ,QQ,KK,88.. maybe calling with AxAx no heart.
Bluffcatching on a flush completing river might be fine.

March 21, 2020 | 5:30 p.m.


Quick mental inside:
This hand got me into a really nasty spot. Firstly I was really sucked and you know the feeling of spots. I did wonder about it after the session and even when I was about to fall a sleep... but today I am looking at this hand from a bit different perspective. The main difference is that now I am not emotionally involved, so I can look at this hand with a clear mind. That said I regard it as really cool- to have the opportunity to play the tough spots like this, because this is the core of it from where I can be improving my game. More spots like this = more opportunity to built mental toughness, but also more rooms for an improvement. So now I am grateful for getting a chance to play this specific hand.

Okay lets move into the hand. Some can argue for bigger sizing pre - I used a smaller one, just because I have AA (I know its fu**ing exploitable and stuff, but I do it only sometimes, not really sure whether or not it is pointless).

FLOP - I mean both bet/check are fine, but I actually think we can play a checking range being OOP vs 2 players.

TURN - Initially I thought we have to bet.. now I think that x/shove could be an option as well (probably even x/call might be fine). But I decided to bet for value and protection from hands like pair+draw.

RIVER- and now we are here..51.8bb left I think AQ and KQ we can extract since the villain called a decent bet with one player behind. So then we dominate Jx hands and worse (rarely KK). In a big spot like this I do not think that he is disciplined enough to fold his Jx hands.. however the worst ones such as TT,99,98s,T8s,97s could find a fold. Which means that he probably has more value combos QJs,T9s,88,77(22,QQ) than hands which we dominate and would call a river shove. So we do not have a value bet.
Okay now look at the x/call option - since he does not have almost any Qx hand, we barely can find something worse than AA which he would value bet with (rarely KK,if so). Then we should look at his bluffing frequency.. only hand which I see which is not paired is 65s - but it is a decent assumption that he got to the river with all combos of 65s.. It follows that we can not even call this river (unless he is spewy, but it is too assumptive to expect that he is).
To conclude, based on my todays assumptions I would probably just x/fold this river.. in reality, I made a 1/6 pot block bet on the river - I thought it is close, but with this sizing I could get some crying calls from almost everything which is paired and even from some better hands such as QJs and lose less. I assumed that he would raise almost always only better hands and almost no bluffs since most players are not capable of folding to a raise given the odds.

his possible range on the river without QQ, but with all Jx which he might bet even on the flop, however with T9s,JJ or 88 which could bet the flop as well. If he would call TT to a river bet. It would be 21vs20 - really close value bet.

March 21, 2020 | 4:05 p.m.

Post | MatoStar posted in NLHE: TPTK vs an x/shove OTF 3bpt

Hey again

This hand was weird even from the beginning. Pretty rare to see someone open raising for 6bb, so my plan was to 3bet lighter and play IP as an aggressor. I would probably fold to a shove.

Decent decided to cbet for value/protection. I used a bit bigger sizing since I am not interested in range betting given it is multiway and the board connects with their calling ranges pretty naturally. My sizing was 1/2 pot so I have some reasonably amount left for shoving the turn. However, not in this case:/
Pretty strong line from him - could have even AA,KK in his range. However, I would be more concerned if the first player would have shoved since he still do have one player behind. So the villain has probably more bluffs since now we are heads up.
Okay here are my data points why I decided to call.
He opened for 6bb preflop - even if he is unknown it actually indicates some kind of volatility
We have at least some split equity with AK.
It is a decent assumption that he is slowplaying KK+ especially after 6bb open.
The volatility makes me wonder (whether) he might raise KQ for value.. or flush draws as a bluff

Thoughts? :)

March 21, 2020 | 3:15 p.m.

Comment | MatoStar commented on 6max Stats Checkup

Agree with above especially about the sample size..
What Ive noticed is your flop cbet, it is 45, right? For me it is pretty low tbh. Your fold to 3bet is pretty high as well given you are playing sth like 25.5/23.
Would be interested in your fold to river bet, obviously after bigger sample size.

Keep in mind that still you might be playing pretty well.. just look at pokerdope and see how important is to understand the variance:)

Good luck!

March 21, 2020 | 2:48 p.m.

Heyy, I am back:)

Just reviewing my HH and struggling a bit with this spot. Specifically I am talking about the river decision.

Okay here is my thought process: BB has pretty wide range and can bet on the turn draws, gutters, 2rd pairs and even worse for protection, top pairs, two pairs and sets as well. So I made call - pretty standard I think.
River flush came in and the board get paired. His value range contains some flushes, trips, full houses, boats, Q8 and sometimes KQo,QJ.
I would say he is not valuebetting Qx that often, since people are generally not thin vbetting enough, but lets assume that the strongest ones are in his vb range. It is pretty much combos, however, he might have many bluffs as well.
That said his range contains many value combos, but also enough bluff combos. So we should be looking at his bluffing frequency. Given the fact that we cold called the turn with one player behind.. and the river improved some part of our range, it is not the best card to bluff.

I mean, our hand is supposed to be a call in theory imo, but I am a bit concerned that this river is not attractive enough for villain in general, to bluff with somewhat theoretically correct frequency. What do you think?

March 20, 2020 | 4:39 p.m.

Comment | MatoStar commented on 4Bet vs Squeeze

it is an incentive to 4bet much bigger.. on the other hand when your strategy is to 4bet/fold then it costs you more money since your 4bet was larger

March 19, 2020 | 12:48 p.m.

Oh, right I see...
but generally speaking when talking about low pocket pairs is not better to face more tighter 3betting range? In terms of the likelihood of getting stacks once we hit

March 19, 2020 | 12:40 p.m.

We can not, but given the fact that we are not winning only when we hit it is not just about set mining - we are playing also IP, we have the additional advantage. Just for AK or AQ if does not hit and get checked to the river we win

March 19, 2020 | 12:14 p.m.

Comment | MatoStar commented on 4Bet vs Squeeze

AKo mostly wants folds when you 4bet, so it doesn't perform well with small 4bet sizes.

Why does it not perform well with small 4bet size?
I would not be thinking about shove, actually I do think it is a mistake if you know your pool is tight. So I would either just call or 4bet lighter and fold to a shove (since I expect mostly KK+ and sometimes QQ and AK in his 5bet/shoving range).

March 19, 2020 | 12:10 p.m.

It is 2nl, so the ranges are even tighter than on 25 or 50nl.
But tighter 3bet range might be even better for us with this specific hand. If we hit a set, he is willing to pay it off with top pair most of the time.

March 19, 2020 | 11:56 a.m.

What would be your bottom range for shoving?

March 19, 2020 | 11:50 a.m.

Hi everyone:)

Just wondered during the hand whether I should be stabbing this flop or not. I decided to take the more passive line since I have expected that villains checking range is mostly from pocket pairs, weaker Aces - which dominates me pretty drastically. We may have some fold equity on suited broadways, however, I do think it is not enough since he might cbet some of them, some might call or even raise to a stab. So I checked.

Do you think that villains checking range on these A-high flops is more/less protected than on average?
Would play the same style even vs a volatile player profile?


March 18, 2020 | 4:05 p.m.

Hey guys,

During my last session occurred this type of an awkward spot.

My question is regarding my whole range, not only about this specific hand. If we do 3bet it is either a shove or 3bet with an option to fold to a 4bet which seems weird given the odds. Moreover we might get a call and play oop on the flop with spr around 1.
Personally I would like to avoid such a spot like that. Balancing my checking/betting range might be pretty tough since we can barely assume what villains range might look like. Are we better off playing a push/fold strategy?
Also calling does not have to be necessarily a bad idea, especially with hands which could hit strong top pairs and get stacks in.

How would your strategy deviate from the standard when we are playing with full stacks and why?
Btw unfortunately, no info on both players, so hard to say whether we are dealing with shortstackers or fishes.. but given it is 2nl I would say it is most of the time either fish or weak reg.

March 18, 2020 | 3:50 p.m.

I would recommend you to play in equilab. Look at the equity of your single hand vs opponent range.. see how much you need to call based on the odds. Also take into a consideration whether you will be playing IP or OOP posflop and the rake factor as well. For instance if you need 33% equity to call, I would look for 35% equity hands given the rake/being OOP.

Also I would ask myself question: What type of hands do I wanna play oop and ip? meaning if for instance are you more comfortable with playing pocket pairs, suited connectors, suited aces ip or oop.

Bonus question - again open the equilab set the opponent range and look how your equity decreases/increases from hand to hand.

March 18, 2020 | 9:36 a.m.

I would not say it is bad to 3bet being in villains shoes. However, what I would point out is his sizing. He is basically capping himself to call your all in and not generating any real amount of fold equity, especially against your draws.
So if I do 3bet postflop, I would opt for an all in.. I think it pushes a lot of pressure on your draws which you could raise as a bluff. Another reason is that once he makes a 3bet on the flop, it is almost impossible based on the odds to find a fold to a 4bet all in.
It does have to be necessary a bad strategy if the population is raising often enough.
But I also do prefer just call being in position since I do not see that people would go somewhat crazy and all in all by just calling you are also decreasing your variance a bit which in my case is pretty crucial when it comes to few similar EV options:)

March 18, 2020 | 9:25 a.m.

Thanks for your opinion, pretty interesting and forces me to think :)
I still do wonder.. if I decide to 3bet shove on the flop what hands would you expect from villain to be calling? Are we okay with getting called only by better overpairs (sometimes 7x) and flushdraws?

March 15, 2020 | 1:16 p.m.

Comment | MatoStar commented on z25 River decision

Tell me why are the lower suited connectors are better than 78/98/9T? What's the crucial factor about it?

The playabilty of low connectors in 3bet pots such as 76s-54s is slightly better in terms of maximizing our value when we hit. Generally speaking on a flop like 65x villain does not expect as many 65s as he does the T9s on a T9x flop. I just think he is more cautious and preservative.
In terms of balance it is also nice to not be a total outsider on a low boards.
Last but not least, we might run into a set - he more likely has some TT-88, than 77-44.
I mean it is not a huge difference at all, but it is something and poker is all about those small ball things if we understand the general strategy.

March 15, 2020 | 1:06 p.m.

Comment | MatoStar commented on z25 River decision

Hmm first of all I would start to detach ourselves from the absolute value of our hand and rather focus on the relative value. (I found it as a clear call with a flush, but after a while I was like wait what?)

Then I would start asking myself questions: what my opponent could call on the turn and bluff the river with? Is it enough compared with number of value hands which he might hold?
Since he called with one player behind he has either pair+ or draw.
So on the river he mostly has at least one pair (rarely T9s). I doubt that he would turn his pairs against your uncapped range into a bluff.

Is he valuebetting something worse than T-high flush?
(My answer is that in case he is not a fish/volatile player then not)

To summarize it, he barely has some bluffs and very rarely bets for value worse hand than ours - I would fold the river. And probably bet around 1/2-2/3 of the pot - our line really looks pretty strong.

I would even fold to a squeeze preflop (maybe 150bb deep it is okay) rather call some pocket pairs or lower suited connectors.

March 15, 2020 | 12:26 p.m.

probably fold is also good

BvB 3bb open against standard reg I think it is a clear call.

I do like reasons for raising the flop, however, your raise looks too small to me. He needs only 19% equity. For instance AK vs JT (without draws) has 23%. So I would make it like 3x (0.85-0.90).

The turn overbet is great on a card which is better for us + being that deep. I think it puts a decent pressure on his overpairs. Against a min raise we have to call given the odds.
However, I would be aware of what he actually did. He raised our overbet - our polarized range on twopairs plus - he really wants to pick up some calls.

River our main concern is J9. Since he could easily open this combo preflop, cbet the flop, call the raise given the odds. Min raise turn with nuts (well known line). And now playing for stacks. So 16 combos JT + sometimes 96s (lets say 1-2combos) means that we have to find at least 8 bluffs in his range. Sometimes we split with 65s, but still it is not enough.
About his bluffs: I think villain is not bluffing twopair or set right now, since it does not really make any sense. So I would say he might be bluffing some well randomized draws from the turn. These draws are mainly flush draws, but we also do block some of them, so I doubt we can find more than 8 combos of bluffs on the turn, not even on the river. So I would fold.

March 15, 2020 | 12:05 p.m.

Hmm, that is interesting. I had staking for playing live, but only for one month since my staker/coach has decided to take a break and maybe even quit not sure.. So I have moved back to online and started from nl2, even if I was beating nl10 like year ago. I just want to earn some confidence playing online.
Do you think it is possible to find some reasonable staker not through acquaintanceship? Or maybe do you know some site which is offering sth like that?

March 15, 2020 | 11:37 a.m.

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