matlittle's avatar


1769 points

It's pretty much exactly how I would have played it too previously, and would have considered it completely standard. It was a good hand to review, my approach in this type of spot will be completely different in the future!

June 7, 2023 | 2:29 a.m.

8.00 - KJ on J98hh
I've been in a lot of situations like this recently where I am in a multiway pot, have a decent strength hand like a top pair, and face a donk. I am always torn between what to do - my hand is vulnerable but too weak to raise especially given the likelihood of being donked into on future streets instead of being able to check down to showdown on unfavourable runouts. We also have an uncapped player behind who can call/raise and make our life even more miserable. It's pretty hard to get a hand like this to showdown on this board type and with a player behind likely to continue. Would you consider folding the flop with this hand? My other concern with this exact scenario is that the BB could be a reg that knows the CO is a fish from their stack size and wants to lead out a strong hand. You're facing a bet that is somewhat large for a mutliway pot with a hand that is already middling strength, has very little chance to improve and has poor visibility.

June 4, 2023 | 4:50 p.m.

These monotone boards are a bit crazy sometimes. Seems like most people (including myself) don't really know how to play them, and even PIO seems a bit confused at times! Did you ever study monotone boards in depth?

June 2, 2023 | 2:40 p.m.

The same concepts hold true for other spots too, e.g. polar turn probing from the BB. Let's say the CO checked back the flop, the same sorts of rules apply for BB's sizing when probing. On a brick turn the BB can overbet, on 3 flush turns BB is usually limited to around a pot sized bet because the CO is considerably less capped.

June 1, 2023 | 2:33 a.m.

When it comes to betting polar turn spots, the size we use depends on how capped our opponent is. On flush turns, our opponent can make plenty of flushes, and can have plenty of nut hands so we can't make massive overbets. The same is usually true on 3 straight turns that complete offsuit straights, e.g. broadway. When it comes to 3 straight turns that only complete straights for suited hands for our opponent they don't make anywhere near as many straights. In the hand above, 54s makes a straight, but:
1. Suited combos are only 4 combos to start with
2. Some combos get 3bet preflop
3. Most of the rest of the combos would have check raised the flop here with the double gutter and no SDV

Some other things to consider on this exact board: some 76s 3bets preflop or check-raises the flop. A6o probably a fold for BB vs CO 2.5x open.

June 1, 2023 | 2:31 a.m.

Also a fan of the format, reviewing each spot before you record, and the occasional showing of a PIO sim is a good way to convey information effectively in a live play video. We don't need to see every sim, but interesting spots are worth showing briefly on screen IMO.

27.40 - QQ fold preflop
I like the fold here as it's good to add some strong hands to our folding range to balance it out, otherwise it is too weak and face up.

June 1, 2023 | 2:12 a.m.

KJo in the last hand
I'm not sure 3x pot shove on the river is the best play in a 4way 3bet pot. I think the chance of someone trapping the river here, combined with the tiny defence burden of each of the players in a 4way pot vs 3x pot means they don't need to call too often before it becomes a losing play. Yes one guy is likely to time out, but he will fold against any bet size if he times out. Would a pot sized bet not achieve a very similar amount of fold equity and be a higher EV size for a bluff?

May 31, 2023 | 3:39 p.m.

23.00 - A5o ISO BB vs BTN
Do you have any insight here on whether this hand is strong enough to ISO or makes more EV as a check? Do you know the rough thresholds for raising here?

May 31, 2023 | 3:38 p.m.

3.00 - Q84ss With A9
You recommend against using the 1/3 cbet size here on the flop vs a recreational player as they are likely to raise too much vs that sizing. Is this true for recreationals in most situations against a block sized cbet?

May 31, 2023 | 3:29 p.m.

At 18.30 with 65 on T74hh7T
You cbet the flop and checked the turn. In my experience, the BB will bluff most of their bluffs here given how good the runout is for their range, and if they check, most players are usually check calling with 88, 99, 7X, A high, or check-raising TX. I usually bluff here too thinking I have plenty of TX that checked turn, but I think it is usually a pretty terrible spot to bluff in general based on how people play. What do you think looking back on it?

May 26, 2023 | 3:51 p.m.

Hello Mark, do you think that after factoring in rake, rakeback etc, your hourly is higher on GG compared to Stars?

May 26, 2023 | 3:35 p.m.

Thanks for the detailed response!

also 2nd pairs with a spade and FDs

Yes, I hadn't considered these hands are part of the OOP turn folding region too!

if they check-raise they'd rather use combos with spade as a bluff

This is another thing I hadn't thought about. Not only the flush draws go into the flop check-raising range, but also gutters with a spade are more represented than without a spade, further reducing the spades in OOP's weak flop calling range.

Vs a recreational player, do you think it may be better to barrel with FD blockers on the turn even after overbetting flop, given that many of them still call -EV naked flush draws on the turn?

May 13, 2023 | 1:42 p.m.

Interesting video!
One thing I wanted to ask about was at 29.20 on AQ3ss where KJo barrels the turn mainly without the spade blocker. My previous understanding was that on the turn you would bet these kinds of hand more often with the spade blocker to block strong draws, pair + FD and combodraws that continue turn. I'm trying to think of reasons why, and came up with the following:

The flop overbet causes BB to have very little of a check-raising range on the flop, and so it calls mainly with strong draws like flush draws and gutter with backdoor FD, so the K or J of spades strongly block the turn folding region after betting the flop

Both the As and Qs are on the board, so BB doesn't have many pair + FD hands on the turn that can call (that Ks or Js would have blocked on another board Like AsQd3s), and instead has mainly naked FDs which can't call due to not having enough equity (which Ks or Js do block here)

I think it's probably mainly the first reason, but do you have any insight on this?

May 12, 2023 | 12:09 a.m.

At the end of the video you make a very good point about the necessity to include enough raise sizes on the river vs the block sizing so as to not cap the amount your opponent can put in the pot.

Is it also true that just using 1 massive raise size on the river would increase the block frequency unnaturally? I'm thinking that because it would be used so infrequently because it would not allow your opponent to raise the river with appropriate mid/thin value hands.

May 11, 2023 | 7:45 p.m.

On H2N to change the bet sizing groupings, go to:
Configuration > Popup on stats > Bet sizings

Also, please can I ask about the following screen on your H2N:

H2N screen link

Is this something built into H2N, something you built, or something from a package you purchased? I'm just getting started in H2N, and this screen looked like it was pretty useful and full of info.

May 11, 2023 | 5:10 p.m.

You were explaining why when you are OOP you bet thinner for value than when you are IP, and I have a few things to add:

When you are IP:
Checking back gets you to showdown and you realise 63% of the pot.
EV of checking IP = 0.63 * $44.76 = $28.20
By reopening the action (by betting) you give your opponent the chance to re-raise you, which is punitive to thin value bets.

When you are OOP:
Checking doesn't get you to showdown, so you don't realise 63% of the pot. You will still face a bet from a polar range a non-zero amount of the time, and (in theory) this betting range turns your hand into a ~0EV bluffcatcher.

As such, your EV of checking OOP is much less than the $28.20 of checking IP.

When you are deciding between block and check with KTo OOP you compare the EV of block and the EV of check and pick the highest EV play (or mix if they are the same, i.e. at the indifference point). Given that the EV of checking KTo OOP is much lower than IP, the indifference point is much lower, so it's more likely that blocking is higher or equal EV to checking when OOP as compared to IP.

This is the reason why you should value bet thinner OOP in general and holds true for other scenarios where you are OOP on the river.

May 11, 2023 | 4:40 p.m.

If people are betting their exact hand strength ott, and are never checking any draws, then raising the turn a lot w good but not excellent hands like overpairs, good tps or w some high equity draws might be the way to go. It definitely is a mistake to always bet draws ott in OOP's shoes.

I was thinking of this, but usually on the turn a raise leaves ~1 bet behind, and OOP often will shove or fold most of it's range. My feeling is that it's hard to get protection for these hands without facing a fold or a shove in most scenarios?

May 6, 2023 | 12:45 p.m.

It depends a lot on various variables, e.g. the exact raise size, how many players are behind you and might have trapped or re-raise, stack depth of raiser, position etc. Sounds like most of the time you are getting pretty insane pot odds, and calling to see the flop and playing fit or fold after can't be too bad.

If the 3betting range is particularly tight, then avoid dominated offsuit hands like AJo, KQo, etc. The pot likely going (very) multiway also devalues these hands, and makes it harder to realise their equity as their flopped draws are usually weak too (many gutshots). The pot odds might seem great, but the chance of you flopping 2pair+ is small, and you are way way more likely to flop a middling 1 pair hand or weak draw.

SCs can be ok, but if the flop is going to be 4way, then a weak flush draw can easily be dominated, the smaller stacks might shove and you end up getting it in completely dominated. Also with shallower stacks the value of flopping rare trips reduces. A hand like A5s might perform better than 54s in such a scenario.

Video request Dealing with small 3bets! I wish Luke would have gone more into his strategy on this when he was making rio videos as he was known for his small 3bets!

This was one topic he said he would never go into, presumably because it was generating him a decent amount of extra EV, and people didn't respond too well to it because they didn't want to dedicate study time to something not many people are doing.

May 6, 2023 | 12:36 p.m.

Based on my experience (and I could be wrong here) most draws go into cbetting range, and the check-raising range is usually value heavy with the occasional very strong draw. Plus the draws likely have 2 over-cards or combo-draw and have 30%+ equity. The point I was trying to make about the turn is that at equilibrium bluff-catchers get some of their EV by being able to check down and win sometimes. Based on how I believe people construct their ranges in game (i.e. devoid of random trash hands that a solver would use sometimes) then real players usually have few/no turn give ups, which removes this part of EV from IP's bluff-catchers. If those bluff-catchers were ~0EV to call the flop raise at equilibrium, then in game they are probably very -EV.

May 6, 2023 | 12:21 p.m.

4.00 with Q3s
Interesting to hear that you would call this 3bet with Q7s. I get that it's a small 3bet and likely a weaker player, but I wouldn't have thought that this would be sufficient to make such weak hands a call? Especially vs BB where people tend to under-3bet a lot and end up being too strong when 3betting. Do you have data to suggest that it's +EV vs this smaller size?

May 5, 2023 | 2:49 p.m.

It's partly because many times the appropriate play for OP is to play x/c with many of it’s FD/SD.

Yeh that's a good point, not many people check-calling many draws, and especially any without showdown value. I think it's probably still true that the check-raising range is too equity driven though, as it will still lack the random 2 overcard check-raises or mergey hands. For example if I stab 77 on 852ss and get check-raised, I think it's a really -EV spot to call:
Most of opponents bluffs with be flush draws with ~50% equity
Value hands have you crushed
Given the high equity nature of the semi bluffs, it's unlikely to see a check from them on the turn, usually people just continue to bet them. The lack of trashy bluffs that give up on turn means you rarely get to showdown and win

May 5, 2023 | 2:06 p.m.

Would you expect regs or recs to have more bluffs in this line on the river? Would you expect fewer bluffs for this line at lower stakes than 500z?

I notice that some people bet the turn too often, for a middling sizing, with too depolar a range. I suspect they bet their exact hand strength pretty often with middling hands, and continue to bet most draws as they don’t want to check them. How would you adjust against this type of strategy?

May 4, 2023 | 11:23 p.m.

37.00 - AT on T94cdd6c
Here you said that you should shove this hand. I see in PIO that shoving this type of hand on the turn can be a play sometimes, but I'm never sure in game which scenarios and exact hand types require shoving. Do you have any loose heuristics for when to shove this type of hand on the turn when you are essentially beating no value hands that call the shove?

May 4, 2023 | 11:06 p.m.

17.20 - KT on QT2r52
Was a pretty funny hand where he bets his exact hand strength on the turn then min bets the river. Do you think this player just had you labelled as a fish, or do you think there is more to it?

May 4, 2023 | 10:46 p.m.

When it comes to in game play, I think the biggest mistakes people make are:
Cbet too often from BB and play it like it's SB.
Cbet too small from BB - way more block than they should use and not enough bigger sizings.
Don't protect weak ranges with enough strong continuing hands (via calling OR raising). e.g. flop checking range is way too weak. Turn checking after cbetting 1/3 on the flop way too weak.
Don't check-raise flop with enough bluffs, especially the funkier lower equity hands or middling showdown hands (e.g. 66 on the 852 flop).

I think good adjustments are:
Barrel vs checking ranges with lots of bluffs.
Fold to flop check-raises with most bluff-catchers as the flop check-raising range is way too equity heavy, with little/no turn give up.
Stab flop for protection in a one-and-done fashion with middling hands that are vulnerable.

Would you agree with these?
How would you counter a BB that cbets too often for a block sizing?

May 4, 2023 | 6:22 p.m.

Thanks for including the charts - they add a lot of value and increase the quality of the video a lot! I'm using a slightly different methodology (single cbet size sims), but all the patterns seems to be the same as yours.

May 4, 2023 | 6:14 p.m.

The value and trash removal feature on GTOWizard is very useful, and it's the first time I've seen it. Is it the case that a bluffcatcher's EV is solely determined by the ratio between value removal and trash removal (if we assume it's not beating/chopping with any value hands)? Or is it sometimes not as simple as that?

May 4, 2023 | 2:15 p.m.

Always been a fan of your theory videos, glad to see you are back making them!

May 4, 2023 | 2:11 p.m.

If I was pick one board texture to be overbluffed on a blank river, this would be it.

Yeh that's a fair point. I would argue again that the types of hands that get over-bluffed on the river probably contain a 9 or T (as most regs know missed flush draws are bad bluffs), but I would also imagine this negative blocker effect is far outweighed by the extent to which a blank river would be over-bluffed here by your average player.

April 21, 2023 | 1:15 p.m.

And this card is amazing for IP -- it makes me think that a smart player might just decide to play checkraise with his nut hands here, because he basically always expects IP to bet. We'll clearly lose a lot more money bluffing draws and value betting all Jx here against a nut hand, than by facing a big bet and only calling Jx and (maybe a little region of Qx).

Yeh I think this is a very good point. When I'm in this kind of spot I always have the feeling of "my hand SHOULD be strong enough to bet for value but he's probably check-folding or check-raising most of the time which is a disaster for my thin value bets".

April 21, 2023 | 1:10 p.m.

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