Thanks so much for doing this, you are an invaluable resource to the community and we are all so lucky to have you.
I am a live midstakes NL pro and while I know this isn't your domain, I was wondering if you could help out with a few questions I have.
We quite frequently play bomb pots (Every player antes in $50 in a $10/20 game with effective stacks of on average $3k and normal play begins after a flop is dealt). I was wondering if you have any experience in bomb pots or if you intuitively have any ideas regarding how to best approach them both from a GTO standpoint and from an exploitative standpoint. Also, what do you think would be the best way for me to study/improve in bomb pots?
Wondering your thoughts on a particular hand I played. $5/10/20 blinds.
I open to $60 JhTs in the CO. Reg calls in the SB (I've seen him play relatively tight/not 3b much from this spot in the past. Think he can have a lot of strong hands up to AQ and maybe even TT here) and a recreational player calls from the third blind. $4k effective.
Flop KhQs2s. Checks to me, I bet $200 into $190, only reg calls from SB.
Turn 2x. I bet $800 into $590 he calls.
River 6sss I bet $1300 into $2190 he calls.
Thank you for all the videos and for all the help you've given over the years. Happy Holidays and New year to you and your family!
Dec. 22, 2019 | 1:49 a.m.
Hey Ben, super cool idea and very kind of you to be doing this, we all greatly appreciate it.
My question is do you have any tips for a mid-stakes, live, cash NL pro in terms of the best and also under utilized ways to exploit other regs and also recreational players in these games (5/10,10/20)?
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Dec. 17, 2019 | 1:35 a.m.
Hey Ben, great video again as always.. I really really enjoyed it
We block and you say it's a good sizing for how his range is constructed. I am a bit confused because I see this as a board where he has very very few folds and our sizing doesn't really pressure a large portion of his range which are generally PP's in this spot. If you can please elaborate on why you like block here, that'd be great!
I understand that bluffing every AQ combo here would be a severe overbluff, but is AQ the best 4b bluff candidate for this spot because of blockers or are there others that do a better job for other reasons?
Thanks a lot for all the help!
Oct. 14, 2019 | 7:57 a.m.
In a vacuum, I'd lean towards folding preflop. Assuming you don't have a spewy image, this hand would perform so much better as an occasional 4bet bluff due to the K blocker. I feel like calling here is teetering between break-even and -EV.
As for the flop, I'm going to deviate from the rest of the audience here and advocate a FOLD:
Although 1-α is usually a concept that is worked with away from the table, any time villain only bets 1/3 pot (or close to it in this case), you should be looking to ditch no more than the bottom 1/4th of your range to prevent villain from auto-profiting. You seem to be aware that you need to be calling wide here. However, the fact that this is a 3bet pot changes the dynamic a bit:
If this were only a single-raised pot where the BB lead into you, this is an easy call with an occasional raise thrown in vs. a player you know you have some fold equity against. However, given that you raise/called the BB's 3bet, your range is much narrower here. Does K8hh make the cut of being in the top 75% of your range?
I don't know. It depends on how wide both your and your villain's ranges are in this spot. It's pretty dicey.
However, the secondary factor that is nudging me towards a fold here is your reverse implied odds -- When you raise/call the BB's 3bet here, you are significantly more likely to be dominated by K9s, KT, KJ, KQ, or AK and lose an extra bet in an inflated pot when a K arrives on the turn, or be dominated by Axhh and lose your entire stack on a heart/heart runout.
In conclusion, your flop decision could go either way depending on range vs. range interaction. Defaulting this hand in either your raise/fold or raise/4bet bluff range will be more +EV in the long run.
Aug. 21, 2019 | 8 a.m.
Sounds about right. Much to all our dismay, faster money doesn't necessarily = easier money. With Zone poker, getting $$$ out of the player pool can sometimes feel like trying to get blood from a stone; people are much less inclined to stack off light.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
When playing in loose-passive games with recreational players, we make money from the marks/fish/donkeys in the game who overCALL to our BIG bets with hands that end up GOING TO SHOWDOWN.
Quite the inverse is the case for nitty tables:
When we play in tight-aggressive games with other grinders, we make money from the TAGs in the game who overFOLD to our SMALL bets with hands that end up NOT GOING TO SHOWDOWN.
As a result, your red line (non-showdown winnings) is going to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting rather than your blue line (showdown winnings)
To adjust to this different game dynamic, you're going to have to LAG it up a bit:
The two positions/opening ranges that are affected most when you change gears from TAG to LAG are the cutoff and the button. When playing my default TAG game, my PFR from the CO and BTN are 25 and 41 respectively. When transitioning to a more LAGish style, I up those numbers to around 45.4 and 51.5.
By doing this, you WILL be putting yourself in more marginal situations postflop, so you do need to make sure that
1) Your hand reading game is on point and
2) You are playing a more aggressive, yet well-balanced postflop game.
Since you will be playing against competition more densely populated with tight regs, the profitability of the occasional well-timed bluff will be much higher.
Example: Betting or check-raising the turn or river as a bluff would almost always be a blunder vs. someone who is unable to fold top pair. However, employing such tactics vs. a tighter player pool will most definitely become +EV when implemented at correct frequencies (which brings us full circle back to the importance of being well-balanced).
Definitely start deep diving into some GTO Theory videos here on Run It Once if you haven't yet already. While playing "perfect" is not humanly possible, GTO is by far the best strategy to try to emulate against tight regs and/or an unknown player pool.
Aug. 21, 2019 | 6:09 a.m.
5:05 with QTo: Can you please expand a bit more on how you deduced that you would only have 1/2 the combos of KK, JJ, and 55 in this particular spot? Are you noticing that PIO has you arriving with your flopped sets here 1/2 the time on these similar board textures & runouts, or are there other factors that guide your combo counting in situations like these?
March 13, 2019 | 12:14 p.m.
16 min -- do you think peeling 55 off 20bb in mid vs an utg open is std? more or less set mining and not closing action feels a little shallow to me.
18min --same thing basically with 77 off 17bb vs 15bb utg open from mid. are you peeling because these are soft tournaments and you're not going to get squeezed as often or are you peeling at these stack depths no matter what. feel like i play that as shove or fold if i think they're opening light
32min-- is your standard play to rip 40bb with ak vs an open instead 3b induce/get worse to continue. curious thoughts here
Nov. 1, 2018 | 5:37 a.m.
How are you proceeding on turns when called with these middling hands like 55 on k22ss that are ahead of range when raising but in no mans land when called
Feb. 8, 2017 | 6:42 a.m.
I think this is very useful as far as estimating how big our edge is and deciding whether to take spots accordingly in FT situations. The only confusing part for me was In the second example you had an exploitative read that when he uses a bigger sizing that he is not bluffing which is why you raised turn. For this reason, given the different range we are giving him from a normal situation, his range should be almost exclusively pairs and rivered two pair which we can safely go for value against. We may be able to exclude straight and flushes almost completely given the turn sizing. I would argue that we are just as rarely beat given our read as we would be on the off suit 6 river(without the turn bet sizing read). I really agree with the thought process, in this specific hand I think our exploitative read that made us raise turn should also lead us to value bet river.
How strong would your read on the turn have to be to follow my logic here and bet river anyway and is there a way for us to quantify this or is this just part of the feel of the game we cant analyze?
Given our edge in this match, should we find a lower variance spot to use our bet sizing read and just play closer to theoretically optimal as you were originally suggesting? thanks for your time