belrio42's avatar


382 points

I see that you have posted lots of hands, which is a good way to study. However, it seems to me that you don't work through ranges systematically. You should first lay out your ranges and Villain's (estimated) range. What are Villain tendencies? What is your calling range pre? What are your value raises on the flop and what are your bluffs? See this post for some details.

In general, I would 3-bet pre with A5s. Playing 3-bet or fold in position is a simple way to avoid high rake and to simplify the game tree. Flatting with A5s in position cannot be a bad play, but you don't take full advantage of your hand and position.

If you're flatting 33 or 44 pre (which is risky because you can get squeezed), then it's acceptable to raise flop and bet turn. However, with the NFD, I like calling in position. Raising once in a while is also fine.

If I raise flop, I would raise bigger. You make it 3x Villain's bet size, but you should make your raise sizes based on the pot, not Villain's bet size (which is very small). You're giving Villain 3.5-to-1 pot odds with your bet, which is too good a price. You're not raising Tx here, right? So, your raising range should be fairly polarized, which means a larger size.

As played, it's fine to give up on river. All the draws bricked, and the K is not a particularly good card for you.

July 19, 2019 | 3:14 p.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on Nl 50z - KK vs Potbet

Preflop 3-bet size seems too big.

A small c-bet on the flop is probably good, but checking is also fine.

Turn pot-sized bet is somewhat dangerous. Might consider folding here.

River is easy fold.

July 18, 2019 | 7:30 a.m.

Any info on Villain?

In general, 4-bet preflop with QQ pretty much always. You want to 4-bet more of your range OOP.

Flop, I think check/call is the play. Your hand isn't very vulnerable, so check/raising isn't too good.

As played, turn is very bad for you. His small turn bet is very weird, but I think you still have equity so calling is ok.

River is a fold.

July 18, 2019 | 7:22 a.m.

I would 4-bet pre with JJ in a MP vs BTN situation. Villain looks fairly LAG, which means that his 3-bet range is likely wider.

As played, flop looks fine. Turn as well.

On river, you can lead, because he will check back with a large part of his range. You can get calls from overpairs and Qx.

July 18, 2019 | 6:33 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on 88 in a 3-Bet Pot OOP

You should first lay out your ranges and Villain's estimated range. Even if you don't know Villain, you should have some kind of population reads. Does your pool 3-bet tight against an MP-open, or are they aggressive?

Against a fairly aggro 3-bet range of something like 8%, you should call a fairly tight range OOP. Something like this: JJ-77,AQs,[50.0]AJs-ATs,KQs,QJs,JTs[/50.0]

Against a fairly tight 3-bet range, you should play even tighter. Something like JJ-88, AQs, AJs.

In either case, if I call pre, I like check-raising flop. The flop is somewhere between neutral and good for your range. Your hand has a lot of equity but is somewhat vulnerable. Though calling flop isn't bad.

July 18, 2019 | 5:35 a.m.

There can be many reasons. The simplest one is based on runouts.

If you are balanced, then you always have a good mix of strong hands and bluffs/draws on any given runout. Suppose the runout for turn and river is club-club. Then it would be good to have some backdoor flushes in your range. However, most of the runouts will not be club-club, so if you try to chase backdoor flushes too often, then you will have too many bluffs in your range.

So, one solution could be to mostly fold your backdoor flush draws on the flop, but call a few of them.

Keep in mind that solver solutions are often not easy to understand for humans. This is an attempt to provide a justification after the fact; it could be completely wrong. What you should try to do is to develop heuristics which give simpler strategies -- but with similar EV to equilibrium solution.

June 26, 2019 | 11:14 a.m.

I'm not solver expert, but when two actions have the same EV, they will be mixed by the solver in appropriate frequencies. That does not mean that you can do either action willy-nilly. They really have to be mixed.

For instance, if you fold every 0 EV hand when it's a mix of folding and calling, then you will be overfolding overall and Villain can exploit you.

You can simplify your strategy to reduce mixing, which might lead you to a more "pure" strategy with EV very close to a mixed strategy. This cannot be done always; sometimes mixed strategies are essential. You can node lock your "less mixed" strategy and see how it performs, EV wise.

June 25, 2019 | 2:37 p.m.

Something seems weird about your line. You 3-bet pre and bet two streets for value, and then you check/fold river to a reasonable bet.

I am not sure what ranges you're assigning Villain. Why do you think river is so terrible for you? Only AK, 98s, TT and the backdoor FD get there. Is Villain floating with all these hands? Also, you have the Ac and you block AK heavily.

Why can't Villain have KK with Kc here? As for bluffs, maybe he's turning KTs or ATs into a bluff. If he's floating TT or 98s for two streets, he could just as well be floating 99 and T9s and then turning it into a bluff on the river.

If you're not confident that you're ahead when you get called, you should check one of the streets instead of betting. AA is a good hand to put in your checking range OOP.

June 24, 2019 | 6:47 a.m.

Jeramae If you have good population reads, just make up a reasonable strategy for Villain, node lock the strategy in GTO+ and see how the solution diverges from the "optimal" equilibrium.

For instance, if you know Villain's raising range is stronger than "optimal" (say, he isn't raising top pairs on the flop), you node lock the strategy to make Villain check the hands always. Then see how the solver responds to the new raising range.

You can also node lock your own response to the strategy and see how much EV you lose by defending with a different strategy than what the solver suggests. It's possible that you can simplify your defence strategy without losing too much EV.

June 23, 2019 | 2:08 p.m.

Just as a point about software: if you buy GTO+, you get a free license for CREV.

You can technically do most of the things you do in CREV, in GTO+ as well (using node locking). However, CREV is nice because you have to input the various strategies yourself instead of a solver doing it for you. So, it's good to build intuition.

June 23, 2019 | 11:41 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on fold set on flop?

Haha. :P

June 23, 2019 | 11:34 a.m.

Keep in mind that the Snowie ranges are based on a half pot raise (2.25x). If you open larger (3x is normal in many games), you should open tighter.

June 19, 2019 | 10:48 p.m.

In general, I would just check/call flop against a half-pot size bet. AKs with backdoor FD is good enough to float OOP.

For bluff-raising, I would pick some of the FDs, combo draws and some hands like ATo with Ac or KQo with Kc. For value, overpairs.

June 19, 2019 | 2:33 p.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on Donk betting

Donking is hard to implement. You can look at this video by Diego Ramirez, where he talks about donking (small) with your entire range on the turn.

I have had some modest success with this strategy (I use it sometimes), but in general, I don't really donk much at all.

June 19, 2019 | 2:27 p.m.

In general, this hand is great as a bluff-catcher. You have top pair decent kicker and you block some flushes and straights. I would find it hard to let it go.

However, Villain is very nitty preflop. Is he aggro postflop? What are his barrel frequencies? WWSF and WTSD?

June 19, 2019 | 1:54 p.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on fold set on flop?

200BB deep and two people shoving before me, this is one spot I may make an exception to my general rule of "don't fold sets".

June 19, 2019 | 1:49 p.m.

Poncheezied The range I gave above was for calling the 3-bet.

It's possible that Villain may iso AJo against a UTG limp. However, will they also call a 3-bet from the SB? That's iffy.

June 19, 2019 | 1:26 p.m.

Hi Saulo Ribeiro

Nice video. I like your approach to studying. I try to do something similar myself, though certainly not as organized as the plan you have laid out.

I have a question:

In my studies, when looking at a spot or board texture in solvers, I find that a lot depends on the initial ranges one assigns to Villain (whether they are fish or reg, for instance). I suppose this is covered in your categorization into "pseudo-GTO" and "exploitative" (maximal or simplified). So, for the same spot, (say BTN vs BB SRP), we can have two different strategies against regs and against fish respectively.

Do you also do this kind of thing, and do you have any tips to organize the work done in these spots?

June 18, 2019 | 2:47 p.m.

Many people only flat pocket pairs against a UTG open. Checking flop is a good idea here. Betting is probably not bad -- you can keep firing on brick turns.

When you get called in two places on the flop, it seems prudent to check/fold facing this action. The turn is really bad for you.

June 18, 2019 | 1:43 p.m.

In general, you should not be assigning the offsuit versions of AJ, KJ or QJ to Villain's range preflop. iso-raises of UTG tend to be tight, and these hands will not call a 3-bet from SB anyway.

I would assign his preflop range to be something like: QQ-22,AQs-A2s,KQs-KTs,QJs-QTs,JTs,T9s,98s,87s,76s,AQo. Maybe some of the lower suited Aces and lower suited connectors will be folded pre.

Your 3-bet range is something like AA-66,AKs-A9s,A5s-A4s,KQs-KTs,QJs-QTs,JTs,T9s,AKo-AJo,KQo.

There are many ways to play postflop. You can bet half pot on flop and shove turn. You can bet small on all three streets.

Flop seems fine.

On the turn, you can both bet and check.

You're basically trying to get value from QQ, AJs, KJs, QJs, JTs. That's 6 + 1 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 16 combos. Maybe KK if he has that preflop.

You lose to JJ, 77, 66 and 44, so 12 combos. Maybe 76s if he has it pre. So 14 combos at most.

So, you shouldn't really be worried about getting coolered here.

Btw, a point about terminology: this isn't a squeezed pot. A squeeze is when you 3-bet over a raiser and a caller. This is an iso-raise followed by a 3-bet.

June 18, 2019 | 1:15 p.m.

Really depends on the ranges you assign to Villain. One question to consider is that UTG and SB are very deep, while you aren't. So, SB has to consider the possibility that you might just jam here because there's a lot of money in the pot already. This might make SB's range tighter.

In general, with AK and 100BB, I prefer to get all the money in preflop. It's rarely a bad idea to get it in pre; and this way, you don't make mistakes postflop.

As played, you can call or jam flop. It doesn't really make much difference either way. SB shouldn't really have too many flushes here, and since the SPR is so low, he might consider calling your jam with a FD anyway. It looks to me like he bet so big on the flop so that he's priced in to call a jam with something like QQ with a diamond. Of course, he could have AK himself or AA.

June 18, 2019 | 11:45 a.m.

It's rather weird for Villain to have JJ in this spot. Assuming you're 3-betting aggressively in the SB vs the BTN, he should really be 4-betting JJ pre.

June 18, 2019 | 9:26 a.m.

Both betting and checking flop are fine.

I like the bet turn or the check/shove turn line, for the same reasons as Jbarez mentioned above. Mostly betting turn.

June 18, 2019 | 9:23 a.m.

Villain cold-called a 3-bet. But you're both very deep, so calling with speculative hands in position could make sense.

It's not clear to me if fish will call 3-bets with KJs pre. Maybe they will. KQs, probably they will.

In general, when 160BB deep, I am not really looking to get it all in on the flop with just one pair. The 3-bet size is massive on a board which should be fairly good for you. So does Villain do this with AK? Hard to say. Maybe. KQ almost certainly not. Pair + FD? Maybe.

Another point to note is that if they have some sort of FD or pair + FD, they might just call the flop. (Villain is in position. and the flop is still 3-way when the action gets to Villain.) So you can't just assign all the FD to their raising range.

June 17, 2019 | 9:17 p.m.

Oops, sorry, yes Villain is IP. Brain freeze.

June 17, 2019 | 9:08 p.m.

Line by Villain does look extremely nutted. But there's some chance that Villain is shoving something like AJ. Overall, I think folding is fine.

You say that bet/folding is better. Maybe it is. But couldn't you check/call river hoping for a value bet from Jx? You should be checking river sometimes and putting some full houses in your checking range is nice.

June 17, 2019 | 8:11 p.m.

Don't understand the question. Hero called a 3-bet OOP. It's normal to check to the pre-flop aggressor.

June 17, 2019 | 7:56 p.m.

Preflop, CO vs BB, you should 4-bet. If BTN is a reg, he's 3-betting fairly aggressively here. OOP, you want to 4-bet more of your range. However, you're very deep, so calling is ok.

Flop and turn look fine. You can bet a little bigger on turn.

River, I would check/call. For a value bet to make money, you have to be ahead of 50% of the calling range. Tx will likely call you, but that's basically it. Will 99 call? Not sure. If you check, you induce hands like Ace-highs with a spade to bluff river.

June 17, 2019 | 11:47 a.m.

Looks ok. You only need 32% or so equity to call (excluding rake etc.), and even if Villain only 5-bets QQ+, AK; you have 38% equity. In general, you should be ok getting in AK preflop with 100BB stacks.

Might want to go a little bit smaller on the 4-bet. Something like 2.75x to 3x. This will allow you to 4-bet bluff more. When you go a bigger size on your 4-bet, you will find it hard to fold to a shove because you'll be getting too good a price to call.

June 16, 2019 | 10:48 p.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on hand feedback

You can probably fold preflop. If it was just an MP 3x open it's close as a call in the BB. With an open and a call, you should play a little tighter from the BB than when you just have an open.

I would not donk flop. You have two strong ranges behind you, so donking does not make much sense. The flop is not particularly good for your range either.

As played, it's ok. You should not be looking to fold top two pair in most circumstances. I might go a little bit smaller on the river, though. When you overbet shove, Villain may fold some top pairs. The board runout is rather scary because the BB can have some good hands here.

June 16, 2019 | 10:33 p.m.

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