Brian Townsend's avatar

Brian Townsend

182 points

Can you discuss your small blind strategy facing a min raise(or similar effective sizing in an ante game)? In particular can you discuss what if any slowplays you have? I noticed in your PIO sim you weren't slow playing preflop and raising a typical bb 3-bet range. Do you have a flat 4-bet range in the small blind? Or do you play call call/fold?

Dec. 23, 2016 | 6:08 p.m.

I prefer this format over the previous videos.

Dec. 9, 2016 | 8:38 p.m.

I really enjoy the series and prefer it over MTT videos.

Nov. 7, 2016 | 11:26 p.m.

I've noticed tournament players don't use many over betting strategies. Do you agree with that perception? If so do you think this is because of the ICM postflop effect, inexperience with those sizings, stack depths generally being shallower, or some other effect I missed?

Nov. 3, 2016 | 4 a.m.

Great to see you making stud content again. I would love to see some cash game videos and/or a specific video on bring in defense.

Oct. 30, 2016 | 1:37 a.m.

Hey Phil,

This got really long, so no worries if you can't get to everything.

@16:30 you 3-bet Oddson with AQ99ds. What do you think of Oddson's play in the hand? In particular not semi bluffing and not going for value on the river.

@21:30 Wruuuum checks back AJ5r IP in a three bet pot. I don't understand why a checking range is better than a betting range. Even KK87 is somewhat interested in protecting its equity. There are many hands in your CO range that have to fold to a small bet. Things like 7788, J987, 5xxx hands. He has a huge range advantage in both equity and nut combos. I don't see how a checking range over a small to medium bet size with range does better. His strategy probably isn't yours, but when I see a winning player do something I try to understand it.

@25:45 you open CO with KJ62ds, and get flatted in BB. Flop is AA6ss and you have jack high suit. You check back and fold to a 1/2 pot c-bet on T bringing two flush draws. Why did you choose to not bet the flop with this hand? This hand sems very interested in firing as we have more Axxx hands than the BB. My thought would be to bet range for a small sizing in that spot.

@26:45 Block bet seems great with that hand, but we have many hands that want to bet a larger size. I find peoples ranges are very weak in those spots and generally don't contain enough strong hands to call a raise. They are pretty much left to hero calls. Is this just something you do as an exploit or do you try to balance here? Do you have two sizing's on this river? Do you bet call A3xx on the river vs a large raise? What hands in this spot do you bet small and 3-bet as a bluff? Standard blocking hands like T97 combos probably aren't betting river for this sizing as you stated he has lots of over pairs in his range.

@31:00 you flat a CO raise with AKK5 with nut suit. Why is it better to flat it than three bet it in this situation?

@31:30 You have AT94 on T984 and he bets a king river. You say the king improves hands like KQQx. Do you think he has that in his river bluffing range? I wouldn't bluff with my JJ/QQ combos in that spot. They seem a bit to strong and have to much showdown value. I would be much more inclined to bluff weaker hands with worse blockers. Bluffing with it feels a bit like "They can't have the nut straight, I am bluffing!". I'd be more inclined to bluff A87x, AJ9x and busted club hands than QQ in that spot. Maybe I am under bluffing, but it feels like an over bluff with those hands I mentioned and our QQ/JJ combos without a straight.

@40:30 when you turn the nut straight you mention in theory you think a leading range is good. I agree with this, in particular on similar board textures with a flush draw. I find the oop check call range will include many more combos of straights as a large part of IP flop c-betting range won't include straight draws, especially on flushing boards.

The NLH analogy I think of is leading boards when the lower card pairs. In these instances the IP player is checking back many 2nd and third pair combos and oop is calling all those pairs. I believe a similar effect may occur in this instance, particularly if there was a flush draw on the flop and not J84r. Most dry straight draws are checking back as they have lots of equity and do very poorly when XRed. I haven't run any numbers, so my thinking could be way off.

I also find these spots are very poor to XR. First its very hard to find profitable hands that want to XR bluff. Pure TT/99 combos often won't have any other equity with them or good blockers for river bluffs making them a less exciting pure bluffs. Its very hard (unprofitable) to XR turn, have a spade roll off and fire into a range with lots of flushes/straights/sets with TT no blockers. Other hands with equity such as A987 with turned spades are very sad if they get jammed on the turn, though I think do make good turn XR bluff candidates.

If Lars had bet the turn we could XR to pot which leaves us with a pot size bet behind. This is a pretty terrible spot with a dry straight out of position. If we slow play our dry nut straights and only XR straights + flushes or 2pr he gains way to much by betting all his two pair for protection and checking rivers.

This brings me back to the leading idea. I think leading for a very large sizing isn't great as we may cap our range too much and put in money with our weaker hands. I do think leading for a smaller sizing such as 30-50% pot could be really cool and have found it very effective in practice. Even a hand as weak as the one Lars had has 7 outs vs a dry QJxx which would like some protection. It would let us protection bet some (all?) two pair hands as well as get some cheap bluffs in with our 567x combos or weak draws which couldn't call a bet. Do you think leading range for 1/3 pot is to wide if this had been a HU pot? What if the board had a flush draw on it?

@41:00 you defend KT42ss vs a BTN steal. You check call an A turn to a pot sized bet. This feels really thin to me. My thinking is we have so many other hands like the one we have to check call with we don't need to further weaken our range. I realize we need to defend lots here, but the ace is better for his range than ours and I don't believe we need to defend 1-alpha. Would you consider this an exploit or what you think is standard? I could be too tight in this spot.

@45:45 quick check back to balance is hilarious. I try to do this as well and it never seems to pan out. It takes a special opponent to pick up on it and then try to exploit it. From a theory standpoint do you think some slow plays are good here? I've noticed in these spots solvers don't seem to do much slow playing.

As always, love hearing your thoughts and really no worries if you can't get to everything.

Oct. 18, 2016 | 7:57 a.m.

Hey Phil,

Thanks for the video.

At 4:00 you folded AsJd7d4s in SB vs BTN, while defending 3322ss (31:10), even commenting you might 3-bet it. I think AJ74 is clear call and 3322ss seems very close, but I think its a fold. I would never 3-bet 3322ss vs a BTN who plays well. In past videos you have mentioned you don't agree with propokertools hand rankings, but it ranks AJ74ds in top 14% 3 handed and 3322ss in the top 78% 3 handed. I think that's a bit off, but I think backs up my argument that AJ74 is a call and 3322 is a fold.

At 14:45 you commented that the peal with a set of 7's on 678 turn T was to thin, but it seems reasonable to me. I think it does better than a dry 9x straight (though I would call many of those, especially with two pair and flush draws). What about mixing our strategy on the river? I realize his turn call is wider than you anticipate, so you would be very incentivize in bluffing the river with all of your bluffs. I would imagine he will call his ten high straights. What about betting 60-75% or so with the jack high straight on the river and check the rest. I think we miss some value by only have QJ in our range as we do want to bet our non straights. It also seems like multiple sizing's would be very good. A large one for lots of our QJ range and a small one for our J-high straights.

at 14:45 on J99r I think we need a mix strategy on the flop. We need to call some of our 9's and raise vs his sizing I think. I don't like shoving river with AQT8ss in particular. As you mentioned it does well not blocking diamonds, but I think we have much better bluffs in our smaller straight draws. I think we want to shove our smaller wraps since we don't block AA-QQ as much and block some of his 3-bets which contain a 9. Hands like T87x without diamonds seem to make the best river bluffs to me. I think we have to many bluffs if we include AQT8 when we face a flop bet of 1/5th pot. I do like the turn bet with this hand though some of the time as we do block his AA/QQ combos and checking to give up on the river.

I was surprised as well on the first hand were you had A977ss on 554ss and Ike checked QT99 with a backdoor. Seems like a small betting strategy with range would work well for him. Seems like his range is distributed to many high equity hands (overpairs) that he gains so much from a small bet, which let him bluff and protect equity cheaply. He also has plenty of 5x in his range that he doesn't need to worry about having hands that can face large bets and raises.

At 7:20 you 4-bet AAJT no suits. Do you flat any of your aces range there or three bet 100% with those stacks? On the flop you potted Q54ss. Do you have two sizing's in this spot? One for your nut combos like QQ/AA+NFD along with your JT98ds type hands? Or do you just pot range?

I realize I wrote these more as my thoughts, but wanted to hear your some more of your thoughts on these spots. Thanks!

Oct. 3, 2016 | 9:27 p.m.

Can you discuss your flatting ranges in the SB vs later position raises and various sizes? I know you flat a wider range vs smaller sizes. Are you balancing with slow plays in that spot (flatting top 5% hands)? Or are you just maximizing your EV with each hand and when the BB squeezes you let many of your small blind flats ev go to zero?

My thoughts are vs a 3x sizing and no antes we want to play about 18-20% of hands from the SB vs a button first in raise. We can three bet around 15% of them, so its not a huge deal not having a flatting range.

Vs a minraise I estimate we want to continue with ~28% of hands, so we definitely need to construct a flatting range. I am guessing in this spot we want to roughly 3-bet 10% of hands and flat 20%. I am torn on how to construct this range though and which hands we want to continue with to a BB 3-bet.

Sept. 10, 2016 | 11:22 p.m.

Comment | Brian Townsend commented on A

What I don't like about this river lead is this card is better for your opponents range than yours. I don't think you should have any leading range on this river. You might be able to construct a balanced strategy where you lead the appropriate amount of bluffs vs value bets, but I don't think that means you want to lead the river since straights make up such a small portion of hands in your range.

Oct. 11, 2015 | 12:31 a.m.

Won't this range leave our checking range very weak?

Yes, but I think a checking range in position should be weak. Otherwise why are we checking? Sure we can mix in some traps if we think our opponent overbluffs to checks, but generally in position with strong hands we want to bet. We also are checking back some 2nd nuts which is a fairly strong hand.

Oct. 3, 2015 | 4:45 a.m.

My betting range would be nut straights, two pair and flush draws, some dry flush draws, dry straight draws, some hands that need protection like JJ22 or AK9Q, and some set combos, and some blockers. Occasionally I might trap with the nuts as well, but that would be rare.

Oct. 2, 2015 | 5:30 p.m.

Thanks for the responses. Seems like the argument for a lead is my range is devoid of bluffs and very value heavy. If we assume I have all combos of straights, sets and two pair in my roughly 30% opening range then that 2pr+ range is ahead 60% of the time of T9xx. I would need to be hero calling overpairs for him to be ahead of my range. Maybe he thinks I will be doing that with a high frequency, but I think I would fold overpairs without some type of good blocker effects to the straights. I might hero call AA55 or something, but KKQJ I think i find a fold on this river.

I need to call the river about 60% of the time to make him indifferent to bluffing. I think that I will be able to call a few two pair with good blockers and top two+ and be unconcerned about folding to much to this river lead. There is lots more exact combinatorics we could do here, but I suspect 2pr hands make up enough of my range to not need to worry about calling with worse to often.

So in this case where I have no bluffs he is behind my value range and should probably check fold as I am less likely to bet worse two pair. I admit I might not have tons of bluffs in this spot, but I think I would at least have some AQJ4 with hearts,2KQJ with or without hearts etc type combos that I would be interested in bluffing the river with which would have c-bet the flop.

Oct. 1, 2015 | 6:05 p.m.

Blinds: $25.00/$50.00 (4 Players) BN: kimokh: $2608.21
SB: H@££INGGOL: $4434.77
BB: Sauce123: $17800.30
CO: aba20: $9874.09 (Hero)
Preflop ($75.00) aba20 is CO with T 5 K T
aba20 raises to $150.00, kimokh calls $150.00, H@££INGGOL folds, Sauce123 calls $100.00
Flop ($475.00) 2 4 9
Sauce123 checks, aba20 bets $350.00, kimokh calls $350.00, Sauce123 calls $350.00
Turn ($1525.00) 2 4 9 T
Sauce123 checks, aba20 bets $1300.00, kimokh folds, Sauce123 calls $1300.00
River ($4125.00) 2 4 9 T 6
Sauce123 bets $2791.34, aba20 calls $2791.34
Final Pot Sauce123 lost and shows two pair, Tens and Nines.
aba20 wins and shows three of a kind, Tens.
aba20 wins $9705.68
Rake is $2.00

Sept. 29, 2015 | 9:40 p.m.

@pablo that is EV PIO returns when you plug in the ranges into the solver

Sept. 29, 2015 | 3:29 a.m.

Great video as always. I found the Qc8c hand very interesting. Every decision you made seemed reasonable to me, but the total sum of the hand feels so wrong. I could be biased as we did face a triple barrel in a spot where our opponent roughly wants to make this hand class indifferent to calling or folding. The problem is I can't figure out where I would make a different decision. I am tighter preflop in small blind than you, but haven't played NLH with antes so I don't have a great feel for that spot. One thing that makes the argument for folding preflop is that we had a flop in the top 15% and still only return returns $213 of the $370 pot before we face a bet. Once he begins betting our EV starts dropping all the way down to neutral EV vs a triple barrel. This feels to low to me for a hand that is so strong on such a good flop for us. Another topic you didn't discuss, is this was a multi-way pot, so you don't have to bluff catch quite as liberally both preflop and postflop. Hatrick is betting into two opponents lowering the EV of his flop bluffs. Do you think the third player on the flop has an effect on his bluffing/value range on the river vs a similar scenario that was HU on the flop?

Sept. 28, 2015 | 9:52 p.m.

In the pot where you had JT92 and the board was 226 rainbow, you said "In a HU pot WithColor is supposed to have a high c-bet frequency". I disagree, and think WithColor wants to check a huge portion of his range. I would think he only wants to c-bet 30% of the time at most. My reasoning is that your range is highly polarized and has more hands that are looking to get three streets in while his has an equity advantage but isn't looking to narrow your range of its air. In general on boards where protection is less important I think we gain more by having a large checking range particularly when our range doesn't have many nut combos. Can you tell me why you think the button should have a high c-bet frequency in this spot HU? Exploitatively vs many I think c-betting 100% is good, but I wouldn't use that strategy vs a strong player.

Just watching more of the video and the hand at 26:20 against alexKP on the 933r board really illustrates why I think a large checking range is good as you are XRing that board without a hand with backdoor. You say its hard to decide which hands to choose to XR, and I think hands that are at the top of your check folding range (The hand you used is one I would use) as well as hands with good backdoor equity when called to either continue bluffing or try to realize equity. I think JJ/TT/9x are fine some of the time to protect equity, but I wouldn't always check raise those.

In the pot where action freak at KK33 with diamonds. I really like slow playing there, but I find nlh solvers don't slow play as much as I would expect, especially in position. I think what occurs is the lost EV of a not putting money in the pot really hurts vs the induced bluffs. Our bluff catchers gain so much by not putting money in the pot and bluff catchers gain so much by letting our opponent bluff. This hand maybe a perfect example of why the solvers don't like slow plays as KK lost huge value to your 2nd set, and let a hand like 86xx realize equity when it would have to fold to a flop bet. That said the times when a Jc comes on the turn and BB holds JJxx seems to make up for the situation where you cooler a lower sets. Thoughts?

Sept. 28, 2015 | 9:13 p.m.

When we hold A4o, I still think we have a fairly large range advantage on Ks7c5c. I would bet 100% of range in that spot assuming A4o is the bottom of our three betting range. What about this texture makes you believe you don't have a large enough range advantage to c-bet 100%? I am surprised you ran into a portion of his range that folded. I would expect him to peal this board with almost his entire range, maybe folding 5% of the time on the flop.

In three way pot on KhTs5d, I think MqThales line is very standard. Bluffing with T9 there seems way to wide, when he will have much better bluffs like the suited connectors you mentioned and A9-A7s. Do you think his preflop range won't include A9s-A7s there? I don't like devilne bluffing with 22 in that spot, at least not all the time. As you said he will have better suited aces to bluff with.

In hand with Jd5d, I think you will have plenty of bluffs to not need to bluff non paired hands. I would bluff with spot with my KQ with a backdoor FD, KT with a backdoor flush draw, Axs with a backdoor flushdraw etc which I choose to XR the flop. I think this gives me enough bluffs on pretty much any runout. What pair hands are you putting in your bluffing range? Also on a 2 turn I wouldn't consider XRing J5 here ever even vs a 30% UTG opener. I think our hand is to weak vs a range that bets twice and very bad exploitatively given how passive amigo is with QJ on the KJx board and and 55 on the 922 board. It seems like his range will be more polar than most and be J+ for value and his bluffs.

On the KT hand, what is your turn value range? I think its a bit wider than a jack or ten. Would you be raising 77-99 or AK for a free showdown and to protect equity from debilne? What do you think are the merits of showdown raises? I don't do them often, and less often in HU pots, but in multiway pots I see lots of merit for it.

Sept. 25, 2015 | 8:11 p.m.

I think you played it well. I like the river fold, not an easy one to make.

Sept. 15, 2015 | 9:41 p.m.

"Also, when we include my dead cards his flushes go up to ~35% (though I know you're talking range vs. range - just pointing it out because it's interesting)."

I did overlook this and I think it is quite relevant when constructing our bet folds vs our bet calls. Really shows how bluff catching with even one diamond can greatly increase our EV.

As for your main concern, I don't think my strategy is in anyways complete or correct. I am formulating this as I go along with everyone else. My argument would be that we want folds from lots of hands on the turn. The distribution of equities changed from one where he has lots of high equity hands and very low equity hands to one where he has lots of hands with 20-35% equity which we want to fold. If the flop were K92 of diamonds I would think the best strategy would be jamming range on the flop. If on those turns he improved his EV by checking back the flop with lots of hands then he can't bluff the flop as often and we can check fold the flop more. So I don't think its a total give and take. I also think he should do lots of checking on this flop with his strong hands on this flop as the stack to pot ratio is so small and like you said many hands don't need protection. This allows him to have more profitable semi bluffs on turns with his QJT9 type hands on a 9 turn if we were to check to him. If he bets flops with all his strong hands he couldn't have as many of these.

Sept. 15, 2015 | 7:46 p.m.

"I think you're way ahead and there's nothing he can do about it."

This is true, and everyone agrees betting range large or small is +EV. I suspect though since your hands have either very little equity(10%-15% on the flop) or very high equity vs our range that we gain more by having a checking range. We gain so much by having those hands bluff, even a small part of the time. I think this is what Phil was eluding to in his original post. The only hand class that doesn't fit into this high equity low equity hand class are your Kxxx without a flush. I suspect this hand class makes up a small portion of your overall range (ballpark 20%?) in this spot and giving free cards to that small part of your range isn't to disastrous when compared with the gain from your pure bluffs with the weaker parts of our range.

Sept. 15, 2015 | 7:20 p.m.

I believe villain is some rich business man or has money from a trust fund. He has been around for a long time and I would guess is one of the bigger fish in the history of online poker.

I think in the past we would all jam flop with our hand. It does make the hand much easier to play, but I agree with you that higher EV lines may exist. I think he has more Kxxx and KK hands than you think. If I were to breakdown his range it would be 20% Kxxx hands, 10% KKxx, 25% flushes, and 45% low equity no pair hands or low equity 8899 type things. I think vs this range we do well with either a very small bet sizing from a portion of our range and a checking range for the remaining hands.

I think our range is 20% flushes, 70% aces without a flush, 5% KKds or KKssdc, 5% pure air(QJT9 without a flush etc).

Since our range is so strong I would include all our bluffs in the flop small betting range, as well as a few combos of our flushes and aces. I would call a shove with all our AAxx combos which had a bit more going on such as this one, and some that blocked some of his value range, such as AAKJ or AAxx with a diamond.

On turns I would jam all of my range on a 9-Q and any pair. On a 3-8 I would bluff jam some some of the time with my QJT9 type hands and VB jam my remaining range.

If he jammed flop to our check I would call AAxx as I did before with a bit extra going on. Along with this I would call flushes. I would guess I would call about 60% of the time when he jammed. If he bet small I would call a higher portion of my AAxx hands.

On the turn in a check check flop scenario, I would protection bet my range for full pot on a 9-Q and check on all other turn cards. Facing a bet on a non 9-Q I would use a similar strategy as I did on the flop of calling hands that had some extra equity or good blocking effects.

If Sauce had bet small on the flop, I would also lead jam a 9-Q on the turn for protection. Exploitatively I might check some flushes in that spot, but in balance I would lead range for protection as him checking back JT98 type hand is disastrous for us on a 9 turn.

On the river I would have no leading range and bluff catch with my best blocker hands when faced with a bet.

Sept. 14, 2015 | 7:14 p.m.

My strategy vs a tough opponent would be to c-bet the flop very rarely, something around 15% of the time. When I did c-bet it would be for 1/4 pot sizing and consist of the very very bottom of my range, as well as some of my big flushes, and hands like AAT7 which gain most from protection. Hands like AKQJ without a flush or KQJ9 type of things I would put my bluffing range. This will be a very small range as most of the pure bluffs would be frequency 4-bets preflop, and not contain all combos.

On the turn I would bluff catch under the amount making him indifferent to jamming range. I would remind myself that the opponent can bluff me here and there is little I can do to counter it because of the preflop action. I would accept that this board texture was poor for my range and because of this I would be losing money and winning the pot less than 1/2 the time. My turn bluff catch range would be any flush, any straight, any over pair with a little extra, and AAxx with some spades some of the time. If checked to I would again implement a small betting strategy betting another portion of my big flushes with the next bottom portion of my range and hands that needed protection most. In this range I would put things like KQJT etc and have AKQ6 in my bluffing range. Again my betting frequency would be very very low on the turn, something like 20%.

On a 2c river if jammed into I would call my remaining flushes (about 1/2 of them I would have still in my range at this point), and bluff catch my strongest hands with blockers. Sure isn't fun calling the river with AAxx with a spade, but I think we can profitably bluff catch there some of the time. Again I would be over folding so villain could jam range profitably. I would just try to minimize his profits from his jams with bluffs.

If checked to on the river I would VB any flush or straight I might still have and balance that with some lone AsAxx hands I didn't put in a protection bet portion of my range earlier in the hand.

Sept. 14, 2015 | 6:03 p.m.

"I am impressed that you (as a mixed games reg) made that many thouhts on FLH :)"

Somehow I missed this burn when I first read your post. Good one haha.

Sept. 5, 2015 | 6:58 p.m.

I think Kevin Rabichow summed this spot up best with a quote of something like “Don’t think of how think what they are doing to their betting range but think about the rest of their range.” It is true that AQ profits slightly more betting for protection and checking rivers, but it greatly hurts the rest of their range. I used to get frustrated in poker when opponents could bet portions of these ranges for a profit without me stopping them. Often times we can’t and not worrying about it is best. Any way villian chooses to play AQ on this board texture will show a profit for them as it’s a strong hand in both ranges. It is a spot where they have a hand they can make a profitable bet, and when they hold that hand there is little we can do to counter it.

I am personally happy if my opponents want to play AQ on this board texture with a CO range as a bet bet check as I think its suboptimal to the more standard bet, check, call/bet line. I don’t really worry much about exploiting someone who has a strategy like this as other parts of my range gain greatly from him putting in money in a slightly +EV spot for him while I gain immensely from all my backdoor hands that check called the flop and can now more profitably bluff the river vs a turn check. Now speaking exploitable yes I will delay some of my value range until the turn if I think my opponents are betting too many hands for a showdown, but in LHE this would be something like QJ on a 8 turn which few people are doing and then my middle pair or bottom pair weak kicker hands profit greatly.

Sept. 5, 2015 | 6:55 p.m.

I really enjoyed the video and the limit content.

I play fewer unsuited hands from the BB than you. Vs a 35% CO raiser I fold 96o while you defend vs a 30% opener. 96o would be the top of my folding range in that spot. I play more suited hands. From my rough calculations I think any two suited can be played as their equity is realized so much more often. It feels very wide to me and unprofitable as many of the blind defense situations do to me in LHE. My sample size is so small I don't have a great idea if they are profitable or not. I suspect a 72s is more profitable than Q6o vs a raise from any position. I used to feel high card hands were much better in limit games as implied odds are lower than big bet games. But they have such a hard time realizing their equity. What do you think of playing 100% of suited hands or close to from the BB vs a raise from any position? How do your suited hands perform against BTN raisers vs unsuited higher cards?

On the 943r board I haven't found a 100% c-bet strategy to be profitable. I like having a fairly large checking range in that spot. I think your turn logic can be applied to the flop. He is never folding a worse hand and calling all better. Our range isn’t so strong that we gain much by betting KQ which is in the middle of our range. He has nearly as many pairs as we do and we only have 56% equity vs his range. He also has more combos of strong semibluffs (75s, 67s etc) which our range lacks. I wouldn’t always check KQ with a backdoor flush draw on the flop, but I think it fits very nicely into a check back range some of the time. I feel like I may be missing something here though as no one else seems to have a check back range in this spot. Thoughts?

In regards to flatting the small blind, I see the benefit, but I think having no flatting range and a three bet and flop checking range works much better as few are capping pre. I would love a video going over your experimental SB flatting range. My thoughts are pushing the BB out of the pot is very good for our equity as he gets such good odds. I can't imagine folding T8o to a button raise and SB flat. That seems like such a profitable call to me, but that could be because the weaker players generally flat the SB. I see it differently when Yoghii flats the SB and "lets us in". I see him losing a share of the pot equity to us, but gains in being able to profitably play more hands in the SB to the button raise. My guess is the blind equity is split between the SB and BB at the cost of the button raiser whose steals become less profitable. What hands are you playing to a Yogii flat from the BB?

Interesting thought on just flatting entire range BB vs SB, an exploitative strategy I hadn't considered.

Looking forward to part two.

Aug. 28, 2015 | 3:46 a.m.

"When we get to the turn, I have everything I called preflop with, and he has:

-Draws (mostly weaker & non-nut draws)
-Air (but my reads in the video discussed how I thought he was betting more air and checking back more marginal-strong hands than most)"

Hey Phil,

I don't think you are giving your opponent enough credit here.  In the first video we saw Raven check back a dry top two on a draw heavy board.  I think there are lots of combos of 96xx he will check back, not to mention an occasional slow play with top set.  True you will have few more boats, though I would guess from a completely theory standpoint (and maybe vs this player in practice as he c-bets a lower frequency) your range will be similar to his as you would be leading some of you set/two pair combos on the flop.

Jan. 30, 2014 | 5:32 p.m.

Hey Ben,

Thanks for the response.  There is a hand that the bots play which will be in the 2nd or 3rd video where slumbot defends 57o in the BB and flops an OESD on a A34r board.  Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Nov. 13, 2013 | 6:43 p.m.

I did some work on this and my initial intuition was off.  I agree with you.

Nov. 13, 2013 | 6:41 p.m.

oboltys88, I don't view AAxx on a 336r board as a bluff catcher.  I think of it as how many hands do I have to call or reraise with so my opponent can't bluff raise me.  Then I take the best hands in my range and go with them and fold the weaker parts of my range.  

As for adding more rundowns, I have tried but not found a reasonable way to include enough hands that cover all boards.  I 3-bet almost 100% of my AA combos and probably at most 20% of my 66 combos preflop.  Coming up with a preflop strategy where I have the same amount of sets on AKT and 346 boards doesn't work since we end up three betting 66J7ss and other weak hands that we aren't pushing any equity preflop making our three bets unprofitable since he can 4-bet and call in position.  Sure you can add a few hands in to give some coverage, but your range is still incredibly weak on the 346r board.

Nov. 13, 2013 | 2:28 a.m.

"I always argue for an expanded 3betting range with more board coverage as stacks get deeper."

I have played around with my three betting frequencies to try to incorporate more board coverage, and we can to some degree, but I find to have a truly balanced range we need to weaken our three betting range so much that we gain nothing vs a strong opponent.  Sure vs weak ones we can over c-bet and they will fold to much, but vs tough opponents we can never have as many hands on a 346r board vs a AKTr board as if we do we aren't pushing any equity preflop and making our three bets less profitable or unprofitable.  It kinda feels like a damned if you do damned if you don't scenario.  What I think may be the case in this scenario is that on certain boards our opponent shows a profit and there is nothing we can do if he plays well.  I suspect that may be the case on the 346r boards, he can c-bet 100% and we don't have enough hands to check call or check raise to counter his c-bet even though we may have 55%-60% hot cold equity vs his range.  What does occur though is we show a profit on the AKTr board when the preflop action is raise call and we c-bet 100%.  There is very little our opponent can do on those board textures since our range is much stronger than his.

Nov. 13, 2013 | 2:18 a.m.

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