RiverOfTears's avatar


65 points

I think you can reach a certain level exploiting fish with obvious leaks. However, when facing better players and playing in games with a lot of good regs I think a deep understanding of balanced ranges is very important. This will enable you to spot subtle leaks in your opponents game that you otherwise wouldn't.

Also it will give you a lot of skill in recognizing your edge (or lack of) against your opponents instead of letting variance and short term results be the judge of that.

A deep understanding of your own ranges will give you a lot of confidence that you are making the right plays in a lot of spots. For example when bluffing the river, if you know that you will have a value betting hand very often in a certain spots then bluffing without caring what the opponentdoes becomes a lot easier. It makes you more dettached from the immediate results. I mean if he calls it means that he would have paid off your valuebet had you been value betting.

Another example would be bet-folding in a certain spot. It is very nice to know that villain can't exploit you by raising since you know your own range and know that you have plenty bet/call hands in that range. Without this awareness you might be tempted to stack off too light in many spots. I think it helps keep your cool at the table too.

That said, whenever you see anything at the table that is exploitable you should exploit it. Some leaks are very obvious while others are more subtle and I think a good understanding of balance helps youdetect the more subtle leaks.

July 30, 2013 | 5:42 p.m.

I would def 4bet preflop. I dont see that we gain much by flatting. I assume you 4bet quite wide in this spot if he 3bets 20% from btn so it is not like he can put you on only AA.

Postflop I like valids ranges however I think the preflop ranges are pretty far from top 20%/30% so I would prefer to use standard 3bet ranges that approximte a 20% 3bet range better. I think that will give your AA an even lower equity as it takes out a lot of weak KK/QQ and adds more rundowns that connect with this flop.

July 21, 2013 | 1:57 p.m.

As a default I check these flops a lot too. I do however try to remind myself to cbet against players who play fit or fold.

But what I try to do is to take on the mentality that I have flatted the blind (as opposed to 3betting) and I am now checking to the opponent expecting him to bet. It helps me not get too tied to the pot with weak holdings. I then try to play the hand as I would if I had called preflop and not 3bet. By that I mean basically xc, xf and xr with the same ranges on the flop and turn.

My preflop range is obv different than if I had flatted the blind so the frequencies for each action will be different. But I am not sure what else I can do when faced with these flops.

July 21, 2013 | 12:56 p.m.

I defend pre too and against this type of opponent I would xr flop to stop his agression. Your hand cant take much heat and there are not many gret turns for your hand.

As played I would rather call than xr the river. If he is barreling as wide as you say I think you can just call. You only need to be good 25% of the time and I think he will have plenty of busted draws.

July 21, 2013 | 12:42 p.m.

Yeah I would bet small here too. You can do the same when you have naked 77/88 blockers.

July 21, 2013 | 12:31 p.m.


That might work. By betting small we do risk 1) widening his calling range even further and 2) getting bluffraised. I am trying to think what hands I would want to vb small in this spot. Maybe a AQ/AK hand but I don't see many such hands that we would play this way? Any suggestions? I think I would bet all boats big to get call from A.

I still think I would give up. We should be giving up sometimes and this hand combined with this river is perfect hand to do it with imo.

July 21, 2013 | 11:21 a.m.

Yes, you are at the bottom of your range...BUT this river is one of worst cards to bluff. I would estimate that he has an A about 60% of the time and I can see him call here with a 9. I think he has (A,9) about 70% of the time. I don't see him folding and A here ever and I think he calls your flop xr whenever he has TP + nut GS or better. 

I think however you should definately bet the turn. You might not get many folds (but you will get some) on the turn but you will get a lot of folds on the river...just not on the A. If you look at range vs range I would say that the best cards for you to bluff are 2-5, 9 and I think diamonds are decent also. I think you have a lot more BD diamonds than he does. The J where you make the nuts is actually the worst card for your range :)

July 20, 2013 | 11:44 a.m.

That would be a pretty bad strategy to push a lot of money in preflop and only stack off with such a narrow range. You flop the range you mentioned about 20% of the time.

July 20, 2013 | 10:45 a.m.

Any chance you misread the hand? :)

KK is obv not folding the flop and there are actually a ton of draws (most of which we dominate) on the turn.

After doing a little math I am pretty convinced that turn is a xr.

July 19, 2013 | 3:50 p.m.

I am a bit surprised too that he is not leading the river with the NF. You are repping the made hand ott and he is repping the draw so I find it a bit strange that he is not leading (which I think he should). As you mentioned you are checking a lot of rivers in this spot. That said, people make a lot of mistakes and don't play balanced and as OnceItRun mentioned when he flats from the SB I don't think there are many unsuited  Aces in his range unless he is a 80 vpip maniac :)

July 19, 2013 | 3:31 p.m.

I would certainly lead the river big here if had any chance of repping a bluff/air. It would have to be a pretty strong made hand like a Q9/Q8 w a big heart blocker into a bluff on this river? If I start doing that more I should obv lead a lot too. My thinking in this situation was that it looks too strong and obvious that I have a flush. By check raising however (and hoping he has a flush or bets a str) it looks more like a SD hand that suddenly discovered a Kh blocker and decided to XR. Also this Villain had very high bet river % so exploitably that made me go for XR. 

Balance-wise however, shouldn't we have a XR range in this spot? I am thinking that leading with NF when we have the Jh/Th blocker is good (since the chance of him b/c is smaller) and going for XR when we don't have these blockers is a good strategy?

July 19, 2013 | noon

Thanks for the feedback. Nice to know that it was a close spot. Regarding preflop I agree that I should flat 100% (which is what I did), however at the time of posting there was so much talk about 3bet/fold from the SB. But I think that a lot of hands play fine as flats from the SB including this one.

The discussion regarding leading flop/check rasing is not very interesting imo and besides the point. People can balance their flop ranges as they want and I prefer to xr nutty hands vs players who cbet a lot. I can barrel every single turn in the deck, maaaybe with the exception of this 8c.

I think that if I look at the blockers in my own hand I have a T blocker, but no Q9 blockers. I think that skews Villains range towards Q9. The problem is that a lot of Q9 hands in the top 16% will also at least a GS or a FD on this turn (about 75% to be precise) that I think I have very little FE. If that is true what is the point of betting?

I am thinking like rengonnaren that checking my whole range here (when the 8c hits) is probably not bad. It means I have hands that can XR sometimes so Villains can't just autobet. It also means that I can call and credibly lead certain rivers as bluff which I need to be able to do to call a big turn bet with this particular hand.

July 19, 2013 | 11:40 a.m.

Yeah, it a good spot where:

1. You can rep a very strong hand (straight) and make a lot of hands w equity fold.

2. If Villain happens to have the hand you are repping (unlikely) you have a lot of outs against that hand.

July 9, 2013 | 1:09 p.m.

I take that back. I like checking the turn better :)

July 9, 2013 | 8:54 a.m.

Comment | RiverOfTears commented on AAA8ss, 4 bet pot

If he does it every time and you fold everytime then yes you are being exploited. He obvious shouldnt have many KK or 2s (actually looks more like a 2 than KK). But then again I don't think people try to bluff you off AA in this spot. Another possibility is a K high rundown that picked up spades.

Also AK/AAK/AAss are a better hands to call with in your spot.

I personally hate feeling like I am being exploited but I think I would (try to) fold without any reads of him being a lunatic.

Preflop I wouldn't 4bet in this spot with AAA this deep.

July 9, 2013 | 8:16 a.m.

I am getting a bit confused in these spots too. For the same reason I started this thread hoping for some good feedback: http://www.runitonce.com/plo/general-discussion-defending-from-the-s/

July 8, 2013 | 12:01 p.m.

I would like to start a discussion about play from the SB because I am getting a bit confused in that spot. I hear so many advocate that we should either be 3betting or folding a lot from SB. The arguments for that are usually that we if we just call the BB will most often come a long and we will have poor absolute and relative position postflop.

Yet, I see Phil defend so often with all kind of hands from the SB in his videos. Hands like weakish KK and today a QJ96ds vs a MP open (from a kind of loose player).

If we have a pulling hand like weakish KK or As9s8c6h I would argue that just calling is fine as long as we are playing against a medium/weak range. We have too much equity to fold and many of these hands don't play that well in 3bet pots oop. Is the fact that the BB can come along with a weak hand really enough to make us want to fold or 3bet these hands?

And when we are playing against stronger ranges like top 20% is it really bad to defend with a hands like AsKsTh8h? This would be a hand that I am not crazy about 3betting vs MP range but feels too strong to just fold.

Anybody have any input on when to flat and when to 3bet from the SB? How much is the strength of the opening range a factor? And how much is the player type in the BB a factor? I mean if the BB is a big fish I would think we don't want to force him out of the pot.

Looking forward to any input.

July 8, 2013 | 11:59 a.m.

Yeah, I agree that I should bet turn especially with the J in my hand. It blocks JT and gives me a GS if I am behind. Without the J in my hand I think checking is ok.

July 6, 2013 | 1:57 p.m.

I would just b/f flop. You have many hands in your range much stronger than this to continue with.

July 5, 2013 | 2:36 p.m.

Well, I felt that this was a turn that I should be checking quite a bit with my range so I wanted to check with a pretty strong hand also to induce a bet from worse.

I also dont see too many worse hands calling a bet and I dont need to protect a lot since I have most of the draws myself.

Had I bet the turn I think the river is a clear XR. Having check called the turn I still think a XR is best. I think I should lead with Q, J high flushes and XR K high flushes in this spot.

I also think that I should only lead rivers when I can clearly rep a bluff and I cant really on this board.

July 5, 2013 | 2:27 p.m.

I didn't even think of shoving the turn but I like that a lot too.

July 5, 2013 | 2:10 p.m.

Hmm maybe you are right regarding preflop. I guess it was just too pretty. I think I will try to 3bet or fold more from SB in the future.

Regarding postflop...I think that if you look at my xr range vs his bc range on the flop then I have more topsets and NFDs and he has more wraps. So on the turn blanks, diamonds and pairing cards favor my range while straightening cards favor his range. I think the 8c is probably the worst card in the deck for my range and a card that I should actually be checking a lot. Remember he had a 55% BF so he is not continuing with anything. Given my Kd blocker I think it is even more of a check. I think I have very very little FE so I see no point betting? But maybe there are some concepts that I have misunderstood especially deep.

I will do a more in depth analysis soon.

July 5, 2013 | 2:05 p.m.

Yeah, I agree that it is a xr. I did xr and ran into topset. Have been doing that quite a bit lately so was wondering if I might be overplaying hands in certain spots. But there are so many other hands that I dominate on this turn.

Regarding preflop...I have been working on 3betting more from SB. Sometimes with a fish in the BB and a decent multiway hand like this I prefer flatting. However, with a good reg in the blinds 3bet is probably better if opening raiser is not too tight. I guess right around OR of 15% would be a good threshold between 3bet and fold in this spot?

July 5, 2013 | 1:55 p.m.

Yeah, what I mean is what hands do we bluff catch with as a default wo any reads.

We obv call anytime we have clubs. My point was actually that I think we will have clubs here quite often. But maybe K6 with a 8+ club blocker might be nice threshold...as a default.

July 4, 2013 | 11:57 p.m.

Jonna, what would be the weakest hands you would bluff catch with here? And would you need a club blocker? Could you give a few examples?

July 4, 2013 | 10:54 p.m.

I dont like preflop but ok. I think limp/call if better. Dont be afraid to play small pots oop vs a wide range.

Postflop I dont think you should call if he raises but I agree that it should rarely happen. On the turn I like betting. If he has a hand like AJ56 you actually have to protect against 2p and gs outs so you want to make him fold that equity.

River? Hmmm...if villain is very bad and bluffy I might call a bet since he is really only repping JT and you block a T. A good player will know you have a hand and will probably not bluff the river very often. 

July 4, 2013 | 10:51 p.m.

Flop: I think you should cbet a bit smaller with your entire range. Saves you money when he shoves and when u have to give up on turn. I also think you can assume he shoves his wrap vs your perceived AA for FE.

Turn: You should bet/call here always. If he somehow has you beat so be it. You have backup. I also think he can shove worse. You loose too much value here by checking. 

River: Your perceived range is AA so you are a lot stronger than your perceived range. I can see him value betting a Q here as played along with a lot of bluffs. I call.

July 4, 2013 | 10:38 p.m.

I like this better than the other one because you can rep AK+. Since you can VB all those hands it is fine to shove missed draws.

But since you vb range includes AA/AK you should never expect to fold out Txxx, but that is ok. The hands you want to fold out are 8, JJ, QQ and maybe some weak Ks.

July 4, 2013 | 10:25 p.m.

I dont 3bet that hand preflop but whatever :)

I think 2p raises the flop. I think KJ shoves the turn. So for him to call turn i think he would need a K and something to go. We block the SD so I actually think he has clubs a lot. We don't block any clubs either. I like the shove on an offsuit 9 obv. That said you are getting a great price on the bluff and would probably shove a straight if u had it so I guess it is ok.

July 4, 2013 | 8:12 p.m.

I think b/f flop small is best like u did. On the turn I am not sure what is the best play. I think most people shove an A on the flop and might peel with a weak Fd/Sd. I think I like a shove on the turn. Your range is soo strong in this spot and it is nok even an easy call for Villain with a weak A.

July 4, 2013 | 7:04 p.m.

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