matlittle's avatar


689 points

Hey Giova, good to see you here at RIO! Played thousands of hands with you at 100nl on stars a few years back and had some fun battles; you were probably the toughest player to play against too.
Enjoyed the node-locking, definitely something I need to do more of. Think it adds a lot to the analysis when we consider how real opponents will react to our strategies, and not something that is common in other videos.
Would you apply the same deviations at 500nl and 1knl, or do you think that making big strategy adjustments becomes less effective as people get better, and the risk of being counter exploited increases?

June 18, 2022 | 5:38 p.m.

19.32 - 88
I think PIO might call more 88 than TT preflop vs the 4bet as Tx is in the OOP 4bet bluffing region whereas no 8x is? Also I'd imagine the straights you make with 88 are worth more than the straights you make with TT given that they are less dominated and also rarer in terms of the amount of 8x either player should have. Additionally 88 should make more straights and sets as the MP 4betting range is almost exclusively high cards which blocks the cards TT needs to make a straight or set?

June 16, 2022 | 9:54 p.m.

2.24 - AKss on AdQ7ssJd
I think PIO likes betting the turn not the river because:
It's for a smaller sizing so easier to get value
We can presumably call a shove given we have a combodraw to go with our top pair. If we get shoved on on the river it's a grim spot that means we probably have to fold and don't get our showdown. We also dominate some turn check-shoves with pair + combodraw.
We can value bet a lot of rivers - any spade or straight.
Less capped on the turn as we only checked once, not twice so can still have more sets, KTs, 2 pairs etc.

June 16, 2022 | 9:03 p.m.

13.18 955rJT
Ran this one and it's quite interesting - the J turn is so good for BB as it connects with their high card heavy range, so they get to bet range for 1/2 pot. River shove with AKhh is not PIO approved as the Kh blocks fewer KQ combos as KQhh doesn't get there as frequently for IP as the other combos which have backdoor flush draws on the flop. Ah is funnily enough a good bluffing blocker and AhKo gets bluffed always - because IP should fold some AJs on the river, so Ah unblocks that folding region given that the J is a heart too.

17.00 JTss222
AQo folding almost always on the turn. If you get to the river calling around 50% of the time though, so not a bad play overall.

Enjoyed this format, think it's good to review different lines every now and then to see whether people are bluffing enough! Intuition alone doesn't always get us to the right answer with stuff like this.

June 12, 2022 | 4:03 p.m.

Cool, looking forward to it! So you would advocate for dealing with negative emotions in 2 ways - working to deal with it off the table to help minimise that amount experienced, and also working to deal with any that you still experience given that there will still inevitably be some left?

June 12, 2022 | 3:32 p.m.

Do you ever go max eploit and fold all your bluffcatchers on the river? If so, at what point do you feel you have enough information to do so (e.g. sample size of specific stat(s))?

June 12, 2022 | 11:46 a.m.

Also for the first hand at 7.00 there are no flop draws, no turn draws, turn is bad for opponent but they bet anyway. Think that an ace might need to size down to get value on the river whereas most people will shove quads thinking that no one will fold an ace.

June 12, 2022 | 11:44 a.m.

7.00 A94r99 with A4
Feels like this spot is never really bluffed, and we are only chopping at best. When our opponent jams rather than bets smaller, it becomes even more grim. Do you thinking calling here might even be -EV against the vast majority of players with Ax?

10.00 JJ2r55 with 99
Similar spot to above, think it's probably underbluffed a lot, although I think it's probably more important to defend here than the previous spot. I can see a good reg 3 barreling here with hands like KQhh or KThh. More passive regs however I don't think would bluff anywhere near enough.

June 12, 2022 | 10:54 a.m.

Some interesting topics here, looking forward to your videos! One thing I found particularly interesting was the idea of being able to make a non-angry decision whilst being angry. How do you go about doing such a thing? How possible is it in practise? Is this something you will cover in an upcoming video?

June 11, 2022 | 7:22 p.m.

Any idea why AcJo would be the only type of AJ to be checking back the river?

June 10, 2022 | 10:28 p.m.

Thanks, think JJ would have been the threshold I'd have chosen too, especially given that it can chop (and potentially beat TT). In such situations, would you consider folding more pocket pairs than PIO already on the flop, and even preflop? I know that we have to tighten our call-down range but I always struggle to work out which street is best to do it on.

June 10, 2022 | 6:45 p.m.

Hello Patrick, nice to hear your thoughts on some high stakes hands.

20.00 3bet pot 9966
The recreational player 3bets SB vs EP, bets 2/3 on the flop and shoves the turn. Without any prior reads, what's your calling threshold here if you were in EP vs a recreational player? Given that recreationals tend to 3bet a smaller %, and therefore have a stronger range, I get a bit lost here in spots like this with hands like TT in EP.

June 10, 2022 | 4:59 p.m.

The heuristic about calling wider vs check-raise on paired boards is pretty useful, I had never considered before that the dryness of the board means we have fewer natural calling hands (fewer pairs) and must therefore call more speculative backdoor hands vs this small raise.

J87ss board was interesting to see how tight we have to be vs check raise, especially in early position and on the turn.

I think the important lesson is that our cbetting range is much stronger when we use a mixed strategy on the flop compared to when we cbet range. This affects which hands we need to defend when villain plays back at us a lot, as our cbetting range no longer contains so many middling hands as it is polarised.

June 10, 2022 | 1:04 p.m.

BVB some of the hardest/most misplayed spots in 6max, so I would also like to see a similar video for those positions!

June 10, 2022 | 12:20 p.m.

48.28 - QJhh on J7725 4 flush board in 4bet pot
I see that PIO here likes to bet nearly all flushes in this spot, and have seen it in 3bet pots too whereby it bets nearly all flushes on 4 flush boards and leaves its checking range pretty capped. Do you think that this is how this board plays out in reality by most players? If not, how will you adjust your strategy against someone who you suspect is deviating substantially from a PIO equilibrium for a 4 flush board?

June 8, 2022 | 11:32 p.m.

Hey Luke, liking the hyper focus series! Big fan of the very in depth analysis at the end, and the bulletpoint conclusions with occasional flicks to a sim output that reveals something interesting. Great balance in my opinion.

17.00 - AJcc on J93cc28
You bet 1/4 on the flop, overbet the turn, and then didn't consider a river value bet. My sim has this hand as a river value bet for 75% pot, and likewise with all other AJ other than AcJo for some reason (but not AJcc).

June 8, 2022 | 11:27 p.m.

23.50 AQ7rK
53s is better than 54s as a turn barrel because IP will call both 44 and 33 on the flop, but IP will have more combos of 44 than 33 as 44 is pure in the preflop range but 33 isn't. Therefore 54s blocks a few more combos of the folding range than 53s. Got no idea why 43s doesn't bluff at all though.

41.52 976d5d3d facing river overbet with AdA
Kinda surprised that when calling the river overbet with AA or A9 that Ad isn't a positive blocker for hero calling. Is it because OOP's range has improved so much that they get to bluff most A high hands on the river, and especially those with Ad? Therefore Ad is represented in both the value and bluff region, making it a neutral blocker?

June 8, 2022 | 7:01 p.m.

Enjoyed the review!

17.50 KT3ddK with A7dd
You mention that villain raises but shouldn't have a raising range, and that it can be tricky to navigate such spots. I also find it a little tricky and occasionally make some out of line plays in response. What are your thoughts on how to respond in such situations? You mention in this exact spot you think that folding is just best - do you anticipate players to mainly raise strong hands like AK, and continue to call with draws, especially when in position?

June 8, 2022 | 6:49 p.m.

Thanks for the detailed responses!
I agree with your ideas, and that better regs are generally more likely to bluff appropriately with this line.

May 28, 2022 | 12:38 p.m.

For the river call efficiency around 1.4 - is that for an unfiltered sample for all hands that get to the river with this line, i.e. it includes some value-catchers that beat some of villains range, and some traps? And then whilst filtering for 1 pair pure bluffcatchers it should be just over 1? Or have I misunderstood?

May 28, 2022 | 12:35 p.m.

You mentioned early in the video that you think this line is underbluffed in general. After the analysis, do you still hold this opinion? Or is the 42% bluffcatch success rate and the sample size enough to change your mind?

Do you have any opinion/data to say whether this differs between regs/recs?

Do you think at lower stakes this line is likely underbluffed?

Thanks, looking forward to watching the 3bet pot version next!

May 24, 2022 | 5:28 p.m.

I filtered my database in the same way, and found that my winrate calling the river with hands worse than 2 pair was around -100bb/100. I assume this means I'm not calling enough on the river? Let's assume I'm calling around 2.5bb preflop on average, ~2.5bb on the flop, ~8bb on the turn. So 13bb in total (very rough guess), then my breakeven winrate for calling on the river should be -1300bb/100? Given the big difference, I think that means I'm passing up a lot of profitable river calls given that my winrate is way higher than the breakeven point?

May 24, 2022 | 5:20 p.m.

We'd want to use the lower pairs, as they are generally higher in IP's range once they've been bet.

Do you mean that villain will only bet lower pairs if they are 2pair+? And that some higher pairs are bet for thin value if they are good one pair hands, e.g. AT? Therefore lower pairs make better bluff raising hands as they block better hands?

The A is presumably a good blocker as villain will not bluff A high, so we unblock the bluffing range by having A kicker?

May 12, 2022 | 12:19 p.m.

Ah ok, didn't realise it was possibly a rec! I think against most recs I would still be tempted to shove this hand on the turn:
most recs presumably are not 3betting at a high enough % and are more overpair heavy here than a reg/solver would be
rec is more likely to check fold an overpair on a draw completing river
rec will probably call off any flush draw vs turn shove
I agree with you about giving more rope to rec players and will usually slowplay vs them, but on this exact board I think I would go for a turn shove with this hand.

May 12, 2022 | 12:12 p.m.

12:30 - It seems like a mix according to PIO; better to have the Td than the Kd.

I think lots of the CO's natural bluffing hands on this turn will be KXdd e.g. K7dd, so having the Kd is bad as it blocks the CO from having those hands.

May 11, 2022 | 12:12 p.m.

59.50 Q97ss8T with K7
Which region(s) do we pull our bluff raises from in this type of spot when checking down and then facing a river bet? Would Ks7 be a good candidate to mix in some raises with? Is K an important blocker to have so we block the (admittedly infrequent) supernuts? Is it important to have a board pair also?

May 10, 2022 | 10:45 p.m.

5.30 A7783 with T8
You said that Q8 and J8 would check here but T8 would bet the river. What's the logic here for this? I would have thought it would be the other way round given that Q8 and J8 have better kickers and also block QQ and JJ? Does T8 block bluffs? I would have thought J8 also blocks bluffs, as I assume J high bluffs here too?

20.20 T76ddc7c with 98
Seems like a decent hand to raise on the flop or turn, especially when we don't have a club or a diamond? Our hand unblocks opponents continuing range, still vulnerable to 2 flush draws, and draw completing rivers can kill our action.

May 10, 2022 | 10:43 p.m.

The last exploit can be very useful against certain players who don't balance their cbetting ranges well and fold way too often against a stab or a probe. Such players can also be exploited by overfolding when they cbet or put in multiple barrels given that their cbetting range is too strong and equity heavy.

For the second hand with the 297 hand sample I thought the sample was too small, so I did some research. The player has had around 50 hands in the BB, around 5 would be walks, so 45 hands where they have faced a raise. His stat for 3betting the BB is 30% which is ~13 hands. Assuming that the optimal 3bet % from the BB is ~11%, and using a binomial distribution, the chance of the player 3betting more than optimal is 99.9%. This was very surprising to me, and has opened my eyes as to how quickly we can adjust when a specific stat is way out of line!

May 10, 2022 | 3:26 p.m.

52.42 KQ on AKTr
You said there is a minor blocker effect with the Kd, and I want to check that I understand it correctly. Does IP bet call some KXdd hands like K8dd on the flop ahead of Khh combos as the Ad being on the board means the KXdd are drawing to the backdoor nut flush rather than backdoor 2nd nut flush?
So then the bluffing preference for BB's KX on the offsuit turns would be Ks>Kh>Kd?

May 9, 2022 | 10:40 p.m.

Hello Luke,
Enjoyed the ratio of play to depth of study on this video, looking forward to the next one.

9.00 AsTd 3 barrel on 984ccs37
This was also an interesting hand, so I ran a sim for it -
AsT low frequency flop cbet
Turn should be a pure give up though with AsT due to blocking AXss which called the flop and will snap fold the turn
River - jam AT without Ac
77 pure fold on the turn

May 9, 2022 | 10:39 p.m.

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