forhayley's avatar


207 points

Sept. 27, 2017 | 11:24 p.m.

In case others were confused: This video is Ike's commentary on footage of Sauce's play.

Sept. 18, 2016 | 6:42 a.m.


1) I don't really see how raising to pot increases our EV vs limping based on the "implied odds", as you call it, of flopping top set. If we are about to flop top set on a non-straight/mono board, we should want to allow as many opponents to see the flop as possible, not push some of them away with a maximum open. Our EV when flopping top set is dependent on SPR and the specific opponents and positions they are in when we reach a flop- this is something we don't have much control over with our open-size; there are so many possible outcomes of preflop action such that it's not very important how much money we put in the pot with the first action, at least before we specify our opponents, their positions, and their stack sizes. When you raise to pot, the flop goes multiway, and you don't hit anything relevant, you often can't cbet or check-call profitably and have lost the maximum. There isn't anything special about this hand that makes the $ gained from top set situations obviously greater than money lost c/fing flop/making meh cbets multiway when you open bigger vs smaller/limp

2) Your assumptions about 3betting frequency seem wild (who is 3bing FR-UTG that much?) but are kind of irrelevant in my example of playing deep since AA frequency is a constant. In your example if we open UTG 9m there are 6 players who may 3b us in position, not just the person you pointed out. I don't think the result of losing like 15% of our 300bb stack on 2% of our opens vs AA (-90bb/100) is insignificant.

3) You reiterate that you don't know how to play weak AAxx once you've limped. OK, there were 4 other limpers and a PSR. Just call. Your hand is a disguised top set draw- a pretty good hand to have here, a fair bit better than KKxx but still way too weak to re-raise. Obviously don't fold. What's the problem?

May 15, 2016 | 4:04 p.m.

Not hostile at all. I've always tried to go against the grain with the way I think about poker but there's only so much that can be debated in NL these days so here I am in the PLO forum. Anyway, here is a possible scenario where I would consider folding very bad AA in first couple spots of a 9 handed game:
High stakes game running around one huge whale: a typical PLO whale who plays too many hands preflop, doesn't mind coldcalling 3bets with junk, and plays very straightforward postflop. Almost every other player is smart and aggressive and the big blind is world class. Also, you're playing 300bb effective with almost everyone.
Why: The supposed dream scenario/most important reason for pot-opening all AA is that if you get pot-3b you can pretty much unexploitably pot-4b and pot flop without looking. That is probably not a very good strategy in the game described: you would have a flop SPR of 3.43 (this seems like not a great spot) when you get flatted, and when you get pot-5b I suspect you will have around 43% equity still needing to put in 43.6% of the final pot if all-in(Yes, this is real and you might be able to fold vs some players-although I think the strategy of flatting and only folding when the flop is monotone and you don't block the suit, and donkbetting 1/6 pot or praying your opponent checks back to decide on a flop like KQQr, is probably a better response that recoups enough EV). Another scenario is when the fish gets involved and you still face the pot-3b from CO. You are losing quite a lot of money the times you repot into better AA and the fish has an unpaired hand that doesn't fold.

I disagree with all of this. In case you don't play much NL these days, if you open KK utg 6m for 3bb and a regular in the BB 3bets you to 12bb, 100bb eff, you should probably just call. The justification is much more complicated than being "seriously worried" about AA, but it is indicative of the caution you should take to not shovel money in vs tight polar ranges, and to not leave holes in optimal defense ranges. Maybe someone more math intensive can give you a better idea exactly how worried you should be in PLO, but it sounds like you vastly underestimate how often it happens.

I think limping is OK because you probably want to do some open-limping at FR PLO. Limping weak AA hands will allow you to represent an uncapped range on more board textures, and to more frequently isolate short stacks who get aggressive preflop behind you. If you are uncomfortable to limp-call AAxx preflop and play postflop from there, chances are there are huge flaws in your fundamental understanding of poker strategy. You have a range and your opponents also have ranges; now it's time to analyze how the community cards affect those ranges and go from there. I think it is poisonous in PLO to think of hands as "the nuts" pre-river and think that means you should always try to pile a bunch of money in because you have the current highest absolute value. This is frequently a very bad strategy!

May 14, 2016 | 1:17 p.m.

So far, these are all weak arguments for opening the hand 100%. There are probably lineups+ stacksizes at fullring where limping is far superior to opening for pot, and very rare ones where it is, in fact, best to fold. Also, AAAx is probably worse than AA72r so why don't you ask that question as a starting point? It is very weak postflop unless you hit a nfd blocker board/case A/disconnected paired board. However, it is certainly the preflop nuts whereas AA72 vs other AAxx is quite bad, and at FR that's a much bigger concern than at 6max.

May 13, 2016 | 11:34 p.m.

worked for me, excellent video

April 15, 2016 | 8:01 p.m.

I wasn't criticizing Phil or the video at all--I enjoyed it as I do all of Phil's videos. I just think AKK9ds is a pretty clear fold-based on my experience of this situation, our ace blocker isn't making me any more optimistic that we face a non-AA hand more than 1/100 times. Some other strong KK like KKJTds is probably a profitable preflop peel. versus an erratic fishier player i'd probably go ahead and let him stack me here if i flop OK but no 500 regs make this cold 4 light given stacks and positions.

April 14, 2016 | 10:09 p.m.

Definite fold pre with AKK9. OTF it's at worst less than a 1bb mistake to stack off, folding is preposterous after making such a thin preflop call.

April 12, 2016 | 3:50 p.m.

gaucan, what hand has "low equity" versus the weaker hands we want to defend? Our R is not good with three streets to play OOP vs a polarized range, and all of his trash has similar equity to a strong draw vs our unpaired hands. thanks for the snide comment.

March 10, 2016 | 8:40 a.m.

I was only guessing at how I'd respond in a vacuum, in the moment, against the super polar range we guessed he might be using, if I even cared to try to "defend properly". If we think he has developed an actual 9x open "strategy" versus just a "tactic", figuring out various equilibria for our defense would require a lot more work. In the more likely event that he is just clicking buttons with a value heavy maximally polarized range, we shouldn't be spending much time figuring out how much money we should voluntarily be adding to the pot with hands like QQ.

March 1, 2016 | 5:45 a.m.

I was thinking more along the lines of calling off my SCs from that 3bet range vs a jam as they have better equity vs AA than any of those "strong" hands and dominate some of baj's trash, if we think he is actually capable of making a stand with those. It also seems like these ranges could result in a clickback type rebluff strategy rather than an allin wager by baj.

Feb. 25, 2016 | 2:40 p.m.

It's very possible that, in theory, calling is the only correct way to begin defending against the range I gave. Then again, that 9x open range is def an explo one and is not designed to rebluff effectively, and 3betting seems like an effective exploitative response to fold out that high percentage of total garbage and save yourself some headaches. As far as hands 3bet with, I think AA/A6o-ATo/A6s-A8s/56s-89s would be the range, while we would be flatting the 9x open with like 44-KK, suited broadways, AJ+ and stronger Axs.

Feb. 24, 2016 | 10:20 a.m.

Why would shoving even be any part of a defense strategy if you think bajs most likely range is AA/trash/maybe KK. Calling and 3betting to 4400 are both much better with most of the hands that would fall into an MDF prescribed range. I suppose Sauce's play reflects that he just thought it was like 90% to be a misclick, but that seems like quite a poor assumption for the reasons Apotheosis stated.

Feb. 23, 2016 | 9:18 a.m.

Very good hands for a video though, and you showed a lot of heart with your lines.

Oct. 7, 2015 | 5 a.m.

In my experience, tourney players are quite capable (right or wrong) of valuebetting Set+ in hand one and A8+ in hand 3.

Oct. 7, 2015 | 4:59 a.m.

I strongly disagree with your opinion on that hand; line seems very standard.

June 19, 2015 | 10:50 p.m.

are you not used to playing deep? this is a winning value bet.

May 31, 2015 | 2:11 p.m.

Bro, this is elegant tournament poker. Like, can't you see how SICK these sickos are. There was nothing either could have done differently. They both maximized their EVs with sick plays but Amadi was just a little sicker and had position. How can you even question the logic behind their lines. They are way too sick for you to comprehend bro.

May 24, 2015 | 6:47 a.m.

I've never played this game before, and these were the things I was thinking during the video, except that I'd probably limp in with the kk99. Maybe I am ready for 50/100.

May 21, 2015 | 11:28 a.m.

LOL at fish diagnosis from that cbet. Gonna be hard to bluff catch A3 no backdoor fd. And nice to have a "bluff" that gets to realize >10% equity vs top pair of kings. I'd imagine the EV gained relative to checking with this hand is greater than with a hand like T6hh vs lucas' style, which it sounds like you'd love to bluff.

April 21, 2015 | 8 p.m.

more hands, less dylan mispronouncing "you're with me, leather"

April 19, 2015 | 5:05 p.m.

That is a good bet. And given he'd make that bet I'd imagine he's less likely to pick the best players.

April 15, 2015 | 7:48 a.m.

dislike obv, even though main event ROI for elite players is generally underestimated. Too top heavy for this sort of bet.

April 15, 2015 | 12:09 a.m.

Oh man I think that last hand was pretty brutal...would like to see someone CRev it.

April 9, 2015 | 8:41 a.m.

great video, looking forward to many more. glad to see the feedback is all positive so far. I believe this sort of content benefits everyone in the community whereas I find all the GTO-approach strategy videos rather masturbatory and detrimental to poker.

March 10, 2015 | 10:47 p.m.

I hear some good pros like to size their later street bets larger because it's the highest chip-EV strategy vs thinking opponents.

Jan. 11, 2015 | 1:24 p.m.


Dec. 10, 2014 | 12:20 a.m.

The nit is socalquest/don nguyen and villain is prahlad :)

Nov. 18, 2014 | 11:41 a.m.

T3 fold is reasonable. K532 fold must be some sort of level.

Oct. 30, 2014 | 12:27 p.m.

@gametheory It seems that lasagna folding 97%+ is a pretty good result for our button gameplan there. Making more money with our tt-qq/ak isn't very important when we have the opportunity to make him fold so often.

Oct. 25, 2014 | 6:45 p.m.

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