belrio42's avatar


463 points

Assuming a 3-bet range of something like TT+, AQ+, you have about 25% equity on the flop. Against a 30% c-bet and being IP, you have just enough to call, but it's close and folding is also ok.

Turn is fine.

River is dicey, and depends on Villain. What is Villain going to do with stuff like TT-JJ? Is he going to bluff with them on turn and river? Also, I think Villain shoving AA (without a heart) on the river is too thin, probably AK as well, but he could do it.

If Villain turns any JJ or TT with a heart into a bluff, you have a clear call on the river. You only need 28% or so, and you have 40% equity against a reasonable range which includes JJ-TT with a heart sometimes. Even if Villain always shoves AA and AK and only bluffs with one combo of JJ-TT with a heart (say, something like QQ+,JhJc,ThTc,AKs,AKo); you still have 33% equity.

It's not clear to me that most Villains are bluffing with these hands here. But some extremely tight players do go ham with JJ-TT here. They figure that their range is so tight that they get to bluff a lot postflop. Also, there's a small chance of spazz -- I see some extremely tight players randomly 3-bet A8o and barrel off.

Sept. 14, 2019 | 7:07 a.m.

SB 3-bet size is weird. You're getting great odds.

In general, IP, you mostly want to just call this hand. OOP, a case could be made for 4-betting, but calling is probably still better. Hand has good blockers and flops pretty well.

For 4-bet bluffs, I would choose hands such as AQo some of the time, and the wheel suited Aces some of the time.

Sept. 14, 2019 | 4:29 a.m.

If you're repping AA-QQ, you have 18 value hands here. If you're betting all AK on the river, that's already 16 bluffs. That's already too many bluffs.

If you're also bluffing AQ or something like KQ, that's way too many bluffs.

I would just check river and try to get to showdown. Villain could have AK or AQ himself, which he may try to showdown.

Sept. 13, 2019 | 11:22 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on HH interesting hand

The source for this comment is here. Tyler Cowen is a reasonable commentator, but that is just his personal opinion. Nowhere does Carlsen say that he aims for a position which is -0.5 or -0.6 from the opening. He says that, taking inspiration from AlphaZero, he's more willing to look at pawn sacrifice lines (which is not at all the same as having a negative evaluation).

I have seen a lot of Magnus Carlsen's games, and I can recall very few recent games where he has a -0.5 or -0.6 position from the opening.

It's a bit of a myth that Carlsen is bad at the opening. He is good at the opening like he is at everything else. AlphaZero has showed that you can win with an extremely aggressive style, and people who have superior positional judgement (like Carlsen) can often evaluate unclear positions better.

Sept. 13, 2019 | 10:34 a.m.

When Villain calls you twice and raises you on a flush completing river, you should think about Villain's range. He's never doing this with a value hand worse than you -- so you just have a bluffcatcher.

As a general rule, raises on the river are nutted, more so when you're against passive players. People underbluff in these spots, so the optimal play is to fold all your bluffcatchers. There's no "call 30% of the time", because an optimal strategy will never play a hand in a way which has a lower EV. Mixed strategies are only applicable when two courses of action have the same EV.

So, just fold. Yes, it sucks, but bet/folding prints so much EV, especially at the micros.

Sept. 13, 2019 | 9:32 a.m.

At about 24:30, the 4-bet hand with 99.

You say that you have no information on Villain, so perhaps you can make an exploitative fold. When we have no reads, shouldn't we stick closer to GTO?

On the other hand, if we know that the pool is 4-betting tighter than normal, we perhaps should stick closer to "population tendencies" rather than GTO. Do you feel that an unknown player is quite tight in these situations?

Sept. 13, 2019 | 6:17 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on BB 3-Bet Ranges

You might want to check out Peter Clarke's "Modern 3-bet ranges". (It's a free ebook, just Google it). In his ranges, the BB plays a mixed-polarized strategy against BTN or SB open. The range basically looks like:

(a) Always 3-bet
(b) 50% 3-bet, 50% call.
(c) Call

The 3-bet percentages against BTN and SB (both 2.5x) are 13% in his ranges. Obviously, we can't apply these ranges dogmatically, but they're a good starting point.

In general, "optimal" blind vs blind play is very complicated. Snowie SB range is nuts, for example.

Sept. 13, 2019 | 5:40 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on Just for fun !

Cool hand, quads vs straight flush. The most fun hand I've had was when I got set over set, got my money in, and then hit quads on the river.

Raising flop is ok, but this raise is too big.

The idea is that you want to raise to a level where you want to get value against made hands and draws,and to also allow Villain to call with a range of hands. When you have a set, you have Villain's range crushed, so you want him to stay in with a lot of his range.

So, when you jam here, Villain may fold something like QT or KT, which is drawing almost dead against you. Yes, you'll sometimes get outdrawn, and you don't know which cards are bad for you. But you can't assume that every potential bad card is indeed a bad card. Especially when you're IP, you can easily check back a street for pot control.

In this particular instance, the final outcome would probably not change, because you'll raise, Villain will jam and you'll call. But that's not what will happen against other hands in Villain's range.

Don't get me wrong: jamming is definitely +EV, it's just not the most +EV line. Just like open jamming AA preflop is +EV, but not the most +EV line.

Sept. 13, 2019 | 5:06 a.m.

I have a question about the 43s hand where you jam river as a bluff (at around minute 24:00). I would think that you want to block straights when you want to choose bluffs. You say that you made an exploitative bluff on the river. Obviously, as one plays, one develops feelings about various spots, but how to quantify these things and not fall prey to one's biases?

Sept. 12, 2019 | 11:44 a.m.

I have been thinking about these (and other) kinds of spots as well. I play in a player pool which isn't too big, so having good reads on my opponents / player pool tendencies would be quite useful.

While I have some general ideas, I am wary of my biases affecting my judgement. Any ideas how to quantify the spots and decide one way or another whether my feelings are right or not in a particular spot?

Sept. 12, 2019 | 11:36 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on 2-5 Live

While a smaller size might make it possible for him to call with bad draws, a bigger size also looks a bit more bluffy, looking like you're doing this with something like AQ, AJ or FD. So he could possibly hero call you with Tx or something, or maybe he'll just call with a draw anyway.

Overall, the effect is probably a wash. I would just shove here OTT. Leaving a little change behind doesn't make much sense to me.

Also, I'm leery of looking at how much people tank as some indication of whether they end up calling or not. Maybe they do tank because they feel it's marginal, but that doesn't mean that it makes a lot of difference either way as to whether they end up calling. Calling stations will find some reason to call, nits will find some reason to fold. I'm very wary of reasoning which says, for instance, that "this bluff almost got through" because they tanked so long before calling. The bluff either got through or it didn't. Tanking doesn't matter for the final result.

Sept. 11, 2019 | 9:08 p.m.

You say you only 3-bet or fold from this position, so why did you call pre?

As Samu Patronen mentioned above, both turn and river are going to be mixed strategies at eqbm. Since your range is so condensed, you have to call sometimes and fold sometimes. You can go either way depending on reads or RNG.

Btw, when you say this spot is underbluffed, how do you figure that? Is that just a feeling, or is there some quantifiable data?

Sept. 11, 2019 | 1:08 p.m.

Depends on the board and the details of your sim.

If you're talking about Minimum Defence Frequency -- it's just a heuristic; solvers don't follow MDF on every board. See this post of mine for an even more glaring discrepancy. Or, for a more theoretical example, where OOP folds their entire range on the flop, see this.

In general, overfolding happens on boards which are bad for BB's range. You overfold on earlier streets (where you have put in less money) to make your range stronger and make bluffcatching viable on later streets.

Sept. 11, 2019 | 12:47 p.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on Too Many Questions

As a starting point, you need to start with your ranges, and the Villain's range. The way you've grouped the semi-bluffs completely ignores the second half of the equation, so while it may be conceptually easier to understand, it will not necessarily lead to a better analysis.

Some general principles which you can use are:

(a) Value-to-bluff ratio should increase as we get closer to showdown. An old heuristic for pot-sized bets used to be "1 value for 2 bluffs on the flop", "1 value for 1 bluff on the turn", "2 value for 1 bluff on the river". On each street, you need to give up with some of your bluffs to stay balanced.
(b) Hands which have robust equity against opponent's range (like hands which can make the nuts and allow you to bet for value fearlessly) should be bluffed more. You don't need to make the absolute nuts; "effective" nuts will do. For instance, if you think that Villain has very few flushes in his range, you can value bet a straight on a flush-completing river.
(c) Hands with less SDV should be bluffed more than hands with more SDV.
(d) Hands which unblock opponent's bluffs and block Villain's value range should be bluffed more, and vice versa. So, for instance, it's often not a good idea to triple-barrel bluff flush draws, because if an opponent had the FD himself, he'd likely call/call/fold. You're blocking his folds with your own FD, so you're more likely to be up against the value part of his range. Especially on the river, when ranges are narrow, card removal can play a very important role in choosing bluffs.

There are many ways to construct ranges. You can watch the "bluffing" section in the "Learning Paths" area for more information. My favourite is the video "On Bluffing" by Francesco Lacriola.

Sept. 10, 2019 | 9:02 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on HH AK or AA?

After misclick 3bet and facing a 4-bet, fold pre.

In general, with suited connectors you need about 20-to-1 implied odds to call. The stacks aren't deep enough, and T8s is too weak a hand anyway.

Sept. 10, 2019 | 1:25 a.m.

3bet pre. In the SB you should tend to 3-bet or fold anyway, and AKo is a hand which benefits from 3betting -- it plays better heads up, so if you knock the BB out it's good for you.

If BB folds and UTG makes a normal 4-bet you can probably fold, though calling is also probably ok. Since UTG is IP to you, he should be calling with a lot of his range, and 4-betting with a small range. AKo isn't doing so hot against this range.

As played, folding is fine. You don't need to call a 180BB jam with AKo. Besides, BB is still behind you with an uncapped range, so you also have to worry about him.

Sept. 10, 2019 | 1:12 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on NL5 AKo in 4betpot

4-bet should be bigger, something like 2.75x-3x times your opponent's raise, so something like 1.2-1.3.

You don't lay out your range, so it's not clear to me how often you have A4s or KTs pre. I would basically never 4bet KTs; I would just fold.

c-betting flop small is ok because the flop is very dry.

OTT, I don't think betting this hand makes much sense. You have some SDV and your hand is too good to bluff, so I would look to check and try to get to showdown. Better hands to bet would be overpairs, boats, FDs and wheel suited Aces (which either have a gutshot or made trips).

Sept. 9, 2019 | 6:02 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on Wierd spot 200NL

Pretty weird line by BB.

I think if Villain wants to lead on a flush completing turn (leading on Ks is dubious, leading on As could be fine because he likely has more Ax, more two pairs and more flushes than you), he should probably lead small.

Sept. 8, 2019 | 2:23 p.m.

Great video as usual. I liked your explanation of turn checks when range betting flop.

I have a question about the last hand (KK). I am curious about the overbet on the river on a double-paired board. The old thinking which I learnt (pre-solver) was that one should generally choose smaller sizes on paired (and double paired) boards. Is this thinking outdated? Do solvers prefer overbets here?

Sept. 5, 2019 | 4:41 a.m.

Interesting. I guess solver thinks the pot-sized bet is really strong?

Given the results, your adjustment seems reasonable. If EV of calling/folding is the same, you can use your reads to make a decision either way.

Sept. 4, 2019 | 1:52 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on "GTO PREFLOP RANGE"

Samu Patronen Yes, you're correct. I was imprecise in my comment.

Sept. 3, 2019 | 3:04 p.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on "GTO PREFLOP RANGE"

I don't know about others, but I use Snowie ranges often because they're free, pretty reasonable, and pretty convenient.

As for Snowie's tightness, there's nothing wrong with playing a bit tight at the micros/low-stakes. Playing tight is the first thing new-ish players should learn. Rake also means that one should play tighter.

Sept. 3, 2019 | 1:59 p.m.

Jeff_ I don't understand your comment. I'm assuming that I would fold 66-22 preflop from UTG (MP actually, because 5-handed) against a 3bet from CO. Maybe 77 is a call pre, not sure (I'd probably fold 77 too preflop).

Sept. 3, 2019 | 1:53 p.m.

This hand is much too loose for a preflop 3bet against an MP open. Against a BTN open, it might be ok to 3bet this rarely.

I don't mind cbetting flop because you gain some protection against something like KQ.

You should check turn. You say that the A is good for your range. This is doubtful because your range apparently includes 75s. Anyway, even if it is good for your range, that's not a reason to automatically bet. Are you already turning your hand into a bluff? Instead, you should check/call (maybe X/R) because you have middle pair and OESD, so you have a ton of equity. If you bet and Villain jams (as he does here), you probably have to fold (not sure).

Sept. 3, 2019 | 11:04 a.m.

UTG's range here should be very condensed, because he'll 4bet his best hands and fold a lot of his range. So his range would be something like JJ-88, AQs, AJs and a few other combos.

OTF, you should bet bigger because the flop favours the PFC. I would use 1/2 or 2/3 pot. You can also check.

When you bet and get called, you should play very carefully OTT. I would tend to check turn; because you have the As there are almost no bad rivers for you.

On the river, you say that you only lose to JJ. Not true: he will likely call 88 with a spade on the flop because you bet so small. He might check/raise 88 on the turn or call. So he could have 88 on the river. And he can definitely have TT. He's not likely to have a flush because you have the As.

Sept. 3, 2019 | 10:38 a.m.

Comment | belrio42 commented on "GTO PREFLOP RANGE"

As mentioned above, Snowie ranges aren't GTO because Snowie isn't a solver.

In general, there is some misunderstanding in the OP about what GTO means.

GTO doesn't mean unbeatable. It is just the equilibrium solution for two players trying to maximally exploit each other.

It is definitely possible to get out of line against an "optimal" solution to try to exploit it: if your opponent doesn't adjust to your strategy, you can profit. The catch is that the magnitude of counter-exploitation is much bigger than exploitation. So if your opponent catches on to your strategy (say, you're playing too loose against what you perceive to be a tight range of the Villain), then he can hurt you back very quickly.

Sept. 3, 2019 | 10:21 a.m.

He min-raised pre from the SB, so you probably have every A7 and K7 pre, 87o and 76o, and most of the suited 7s. Thus, you have somewhere around 40-45 combos of 7x.

Let's say you get to the river with good FDs, ATo and 7x. That's about 70 combos in total. You have to defend about 60% of your range, or 42 combos.

So this combo is close and can go either way. You can call/fold 7x combos based on flush /straight blocker or in a linear fashion (call better kicker, fold worse kicker).

If there's any chance this is AA (I have also seen recs overplay AA), then it's a clear call.

Sept. 3, 2019 | 9:43 a.m.

What's your range to call here, and what range do you assign Villain?

In general, against a very small bet (1/4 pot) in this spot, you should continue any pair. Both calling and raising are fine.

Sept. 3, 2019 | 8:33 a.m.

Well, it's true that JTs is not a "natural bluff", but it still seems a reasonable bluff to me, since it has no SDV, very low in our range, that sort of thing. Is it hard to imagine someone bluffing Jack-high on the river?

Do people actually triple with JTs on many rivers? Dunno. You know population better than me.

Also, if you think that people underbluff triple barrel spots like this, it might still be not a good idea to jam turn. For instance, people might value bet very thinly on the river; so calling with trips no kicker will protect your overall range.

Sept. 2, 2019 | 8:56 p.m.

Your hand has too much equity to fold. Even against an AA/KK, you have 10 outs. Super tight players can have AK here.

Yes, it's not a pleasant situation when you're super deep, but there's not enough information to fold here.

Sept. 2, 2019 | 8:31 p.m.

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