sjfraley1975's avatar


88 points

Are there any reads on Villain at this point, or at least some information about how he has been acting post-flop up to this point?

Without them I think the river overbet carries more weight than having a Jack in our hand, especially since with the exception of TT all the hands that would give Villain a nutted hands he would try to x-r the flop (T9s, T7s, 97s, 99, 77, 86s) with are sitting neatly in a BB flatting range. 22 and 44 could even be possibilities with how this hand played out. Basically this is looking like it is either complete bullshit or something big that is trying to make up for not being able to get the pot as big as their hand by the river. Without a read I would just adhere to the maxim that rivers are way under-bluffed at uNL at normal bet sizes, even less so when the bet is bigger than the pot.

May 5, 2021 | 7:02 p.m.

What are we doing to a bet then? Are we peeling one and if so what is our threshold as far as what bet size we are willing to do this with?

April 30, 2021 | 11:59 a.m.

Comment | sjfraley1975 commented on Easy Fold?

You can either build a big pot for value OOP or you can check-fold when the river visibly pulls ahead of whatever the nuts were on the flop.

You can't do both.

Dumb non-observant aggro-fish stab at the pot when the OESD/FD completes and the previously aggressive player checks to them almost as some hind-brain reflex which means their common "I learned it from watching TV" tactics become correct play when they are IP vs you.

Thinking observant players will make it even worse. Someone with TAG/solid reg stats building big pots and then suddenly stopping gets the attention of observant players. It isn't going to take too many times for the regs who pay attention to notice that when that happens you will fold to the decent size bet.

Also, as per my "You can't do both" bit above, I know damn well that there will always be some situations where it is merited and that "it depends", but "Villain unknown" is not one of them. Please don't interpret years of writing for dramatic effect as some strategy doctrine.

April 30, 2021 | 11:57 a.m.

Comment | sjfraley1975 commented on Easy Fold?

Why wouldn't worse hands bet for value? Buttons range on the flop includes all possible two pair combos, all sets, 96s, and all overpairs. On the turn 6h4h made a worse straight.

Bluffwise: Any two clubs that hit a pair on the flop and on the river decided they may be able to fold top pair, this can also apply to nines that found a reason to chase the draw on the turn.

I don't know how 5NL is on the site you play on, maybe Villain's are so straightforward and unlikely to over-value two pair or better that folding this on the river for less than 2/3 pot is a good idea. If that is the case that must suck. If that is the case feel free to come over to ACR where all sorts of worse hands and dumb bluffs will show up here.

April 30, 2021 | 11:33 a.m.

Yatahay Network - $0.02 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4:

BB: 121 BB
UTG: 50 BB
MP: 80 BB
CO: 92.5 BB
BTN: 42 BB
Hero (SB): 153.5 BB

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Kc As
fold, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, BB raises to 9 BB, Hero raises to 26 BB, BB calls 17 BB

Maybe about 80 hands with Villain so far. About 35/25ish and seems to like 3Betting IP/Squeezing. No info yet as to 4B calling range.

Flop : (52 BB, 2 players) Qd 9h Js
Hero bets 16 BB, BB calls 16 BB

I've not seen any evidence that Villain is slowplaying AA/KK and the board blocks QQ. We are blocking hands like AQ/AJ/KQ which is good but that also means that there are more medium pairs and hands like QJs or some random Ten to call a bet with.

Turn : (84 BB, 2 players) Qh

If the turn card isn't going to complete my straight or give me a pair I kinda feel this is good for us since it makes it harder for Villain to have a Queen and would let us put pressure on a pair of Jacks or worse pairs. I don't have a heart though so there may be some pairs that picked up a flush draw. I could also be completely misreading Villain's possible range here. What are thoughts on a CB in this spot?

April 30, 2021 | 11:03 a.m.

Consider a situation where at the Nash equilibrium it is correct for X to bet 100% frequency pot size all in on a particular river as you only have 99% nuts 1% air. Your opponent has 1% medium and 99% air. Nash for Y is to fold 100% here as you can't have enough bluffs.

This situation doesn't describe what would happen at equilibrium. If "medium" beats "air" then there will be a some non-zero percentage of calls made with "medium" hands by Y at equilibrium.

Imagine Y calls his 1% medium hands. the nash strategy makes some EV (from when he calls medium). However X cannot exploit this call as he should still bet his 1% air (to fold out the 99% air which he would chop with) and so in this case the maximum exploitative strategy is the same as the Nash strategy (bet everything).

If Y deviates from the optimal amount of calls, the normal exploit pattern could start being applied where we either add or decrease the amount of our bluffs depending on whether or not Y is calling too much or too little.

April 25, 2021 | 11:58 a.m.

In general tou aren't really going wrong much if you consistently x-back theses kinds of turns where Villain couldn't have much but draws on the floo and a draw hit on the turn. Once the third spade hits our reasons to playbfor stacks just went out the window. It also increaees thev likelihood a hand we beat puts some money in on the river if we check the turn.

April 25, 2021 | 5:24 a.m.

Do have you seen this player CB flop, check turn and river, and then showdown AJ/KQ type hands unimproved? If so, then fold here as you have seen what he does with the overcards in his range that you beat. If not, then you probably shouldn't be trying to pull this off with your limited information. If you are going to try and pull this off without having seen what Villain does with his overcards in these spots you should at least bet the turn to:

1) try and get him to fold out the equity he gets from his QJs/KTs type draws

2) maybe fold out some A6s/A2s type of hands

3) get us more of a chance to check back to SD. Almost all the medium strength hands that would check the turn and then bet $8.20 on the river once we check back would also likely call a $6.50 bet on the turn and then check to us on the river.

April 25, 2021 | 4:34 a.m.

Comment | sjfraley1975 commented on 5-bets sizing

I don't see any reason to believe that this spot is happening enough for the difference between a 40bb 5B and a shove to have any non-trivial difference in our winrates. This is even if were playing playing a pool consisting of all relatively decent players. Since it turns out we are playing uNL/SSNL and that pool should regularly contain a decent selection of less than decent players this seems like a lot of navel gazing to me.

April 25, 2021 | 3:53 a.m.

While factoring our chances of flopping a set and such is all fine and good, this call is more for reasons of hitting our MDF. We are calling because between the options of opening then calling with a low PP or opening then folding with a low PP we lose less by opening then calling.

April 24, 2021 | 11:58 p.m.

Yes, the statements are generally correct. I think there are a few details that seem to slip past people when it comes to their understanding of how this would apply in real life:

1) Human players vs. other human players will never even begin to get close to playing GTO strategy. In our discussion we drastically underestimate the number of actual variables in play at the tables.

2) What solvers are producing is not perfect GTO strategy against the pretty much any real players. One of the fundamental concepts behind Nash Equilibrium calculations is that all strategy elements of all opponents who are being factored into the calculations must be known and accounted for in order to accurately calculate a solution. Think about how many different bet sizes you face in a session. Now add how differently each opponent chooses the spots to check/bet/raise. Now think of the inputs for every solve you have run or seen run in a video and how far different from actual play over the course of a session that is.

3) Because of the first two points, we do not have access to any perfect strategy that we can work on memorizing and then use at the tables to simply soak the EV of our opponents mistakes. Furthermore, we are not even close to getting one. The only useful purpose of studying GTO is to gain further insight into what optimal play might be as a means of learning how to maximize exploiting our opponent and seeing how our play might also be exploited. Then we use that information at the tables as part of our decision making process.

April 24, 2021 | 10:40 p.m.

John Nash won a Nobel Prize for doing the math so I'm pretty sure that part has been covered.

April 24, 2021 | 10:16 p.m.

Maybe overpairs may need to see a bet this large to fold, but I don't see how any of the other parts of the range you mentioned are folding any less to a 3/4 pot bet than they are to the overbet. Even then, are we really going be that confident that overpairs or AQ are folding here?

April 17, 2021 | 12:25 p.m.

Comment | sjfraley1975 commented on basic questions

If they overfold in a given spot the solution is to keep betting your strong hands and add more bluffs in that spot.

April 17, 2021 | 12:19 p.m.

Comment | sjfraley1975 commented on Gto

I second this. You want to study GTO play so you have a decent idea what you or your opponent should be doing in a given spot. You don't do this so you can always make the GTO play, you do this so you can recognize where your opponent is failing to do the right thing in terms of GTO and then figure out the best way to exploit that.

The thing to also keep in mind is that getting anywhere close to GTO play is pretty much impossible for an actual human under any circumstances, let alone within the time limits you have to work with while actually playing.

April 16, 2021 | 4:58 p.m.

So what range are we putting Villain on here that we don't have SDV against but will realistically fold here enough to make this large of a bet profitable?

April 16, 2021 | 3:48 p.m.

Comment | sjfraley1975 commented on basic questions

1a) High PPs are very strong hands but their equity drops dramatically on the flop and often more so on the turn. We want to get as many chips in the pot as possible at the point when our equity is highest to maximize our EV. With large PPs this means building as large of a pot as possible preflop.

1b) When we have a big pair preflop, we want to start working to reduce the implied odds we are offering our opponent to see the flop and turn and pull ahead. Raising and 3betting PF reduces the implied odds our opponent gets to try and do this with hands like lower PPs and suited connectors.

1c) Since bet sizing is normally based on pot size in NLHE, we need to take advantage of opportunities preflop to increase the size of the pot so that we can bet more chips on later streets so we can win as much as possible. The most efficient way to build a pot over the course of a hand is with moderate sized bets on each street.

2) When we are defending against 3-bets we want to 4-bet our hands that are sufficiently ahead of what Villain would 3-bet, enough bluffs to balance the number of hands we 4-bet for value, and call enough of the rest of our hands to make sure we hit our minimum defense frequency. That calling range is made up of the strongest hands that are too weak to 4-bet for value. Most pocket pairs fall into this category based on that alone. This is enhanced by the fact that they can flop sets and depending on the size of the 3-bet we can sometimes call even hands like 22 just to try and flop a set.

3) I don't understand what you are asking.

4) Since the rake at uNL/SSNL is pretty heavy, it is perfectly OK to fold hands that would would be break-even before the rake is accounted for.

A lot of these types of questions could be solved by investing in a set of GTO solved preflop charts. There are a number available out there for purchase. While it may seem a bit expensive at first look it helps a lot to have a solid GTO reference to start from that you will need to start building exploitative play, saves you the trouble of trying to create good ranges yourself, and saves you the money that would be lost from building them wrong.

April 16, 2021 | 3:31 p.m.

As I mentioned earlier, on the turn TT has 48% equity even if Villain's range is exclusively two pair or better. Since at 5NL you couldn't get most players to lay down two pair or better at gunpoint I think shoving here just to make sure we get it all in while we have outs to a boat is a perfectly reasonable way to go.

April 15, 2021 | 3:01 p.m.

1) While not a lot of players have a light 4-betting range, a decent amount of the pool understand that squeezing is profitable. Even if you were on the button, the possibility of getting squeezed from the blinds is an issue since it would leave you with a choice of either 4-betting the squeeze with a pair that is not awesome in 4-bet pots or flatting with a hand that will have an overcard that connects nicely with Villain's 3B range hitting the flop about 70% of the time. To make it worse, you are not on the button here. Getting squeezed by the button is even worse than getting squeezed from the blinds for you. Either way, you will start to see that your attempt to see a flop for 2.5bb frequently turns into seeing the flop for 7.5bb. If that is going to happen it is better to be in position heads up than it is to be 3 way or OOP.

2) Even if we don't get squeezed, getting to a mutli-way pot with TT isn't too hot either, especially with the chance of the button overcalling. As mentioned before, a jack or better will be on the flop almost 70% of the time and if we don't have the best hand on the flop we are drawing to two outs.

3) The rake at uNL is huge. There is a lot of benefit to taking the pot down preflop and not paying any rake as opposed to winding up on the flop with a marginal hand and 5% being taken out every street postflop.

I have some rake factored solved preflop ranges (admittedly for 10NL/25NL as opposed to 5NL) that I use as a base line and CO vs. HJ TT is getting 3Bet 80% of the time.

From experience over the past year, you will do fine just taking down the pot preflop and if you don't do that 3-betting will normally at least have you in position heads up where you have better options with you one pair postflop. At 5NL you will get a lot of calls from weak pocket pairs, big Ax hands, suited connectors, stuff like that.

In all seriousness if you can afford it I would invest in some solved ranges (a number of them are available now) or subscribe to PreflopGuru (a site that has solved ranges and a nice web interface for working with them) for a month or so to get an idea of what has been learned about preflop in the past few years. At SSNL and lower at least the shift has been towards a PF strategy that is very 3B/Fold due to both the rake and that you will encounter light 3Betting/squeezing regularly even at 2NL now. It also helps with exploitive play since now that we have Nash Equilibrium solved ranges available it is easier to find out what the GTO percentage for a given action in a given spot is so you can have a clearer idea if an opponent is under/over with their folds, calls, and raises.

April 15, 2021 | 2:55 p.m.

Unless you have a read that Villain will 2nd barrel hands worse than yours here I see no reason to call the turn.

April 15, 2021 | 12:48 p.m.

Calling TT OTB could be fine occasionally but from the CO please 3B this.

On a flop that wet do not flat your set. This is a dream board to flop a set on since there is so much here that simply will not fold to a raise. make at least a pot size raise and be willing to get it all in on this flop.

I ran this through FlopZilla and even if we reduce Villains range to only two pair or better you have a little over 48% equity here which means that not only should you not fold, but you could shove here profitably due to the money already in the pot.

April 15, 2021 | 12:44 p.m.

It's going to depend a lot on how the flop interacts with your opponents range. Against a rather tight calling range such as you will see when regs flat IP vs. an open you can narrow it down and range check boards that have some coordination to them and miss your high cards. You can still CB boards that have an Ace or King or are rather dry. Against wider ranges such as you will find when BvB or when loose, fishy players flat in position you will find that you will be range checking a ton of flops.

As for what to do after the check it will be decided a lot by the tendencies of your opponent. Players tend to fall into some pretty standard groups in these situations:

1) passive players that tend to check their weak pairs, Ace high, and their marginal (and sometimes pretty decent) draws back. Against these ones you don't want to be check-raising any bluffs when they bet because they are generally only betting with hands that will call a check-raise and often won't fold hands like 98 on a 9 high board so you can't rely on your 2nd barrels to clean up a decent amount of what they called the flop with.

2) players that don't tend to bluff with air and weak draws but will bet anything they consider "something". They will bet any pair and will also tend to bet their OESD/FD or better draws. These guys you can start check-raising your decent draws (OESD to the nuts, FD+overcard) due to the amount of weak pairs (and possibly TPWK) hands that will fold to the check-raise. It pays to look at the pop-ups in your HUD with these guys and see how passive they are on the river before deciding to check-raise. If they tend to bet a lot of rivers, it may be worth it to check-call more draws to avoid bloating the pot you may have to give up. If they tend to seldom bet rivers IP (meaning they are likely to check back their busted draws) be willing to be more aggressive with draws that have overcards to the board (T9 on 873, Q8dd on 963dd) since you have chance of winning more showdowns against the busted straight draws that get checked back.

3) players that frequently stab at the flop whenever the PFR checks, so much so that they are obviously over-bluffing these spots. These are the ones you will want to be going for a check-raise with almost all your strong hands plus pretty much all your OESD/FD hands. Against players of this type who also have pretty tight flat calling ranges (TAGs calling OTB would be an example) you could also consider throwing in some bluffs with backdoor draws that block the combos in their range that would connect with the top card on the flop (Td8d on a 9 high flop that has a diamond in it).

April 15, 2021 | 12:27 p.m.

I agree here. If we aren't looking to make it a two street hand once we hit our top pair why are we 4-betting here in the first place?

April 12, 2021 | 7:51 p.m.

Comment | sjfraley1975 commented on Squeeze Sizing

The solved PF charts for 10-25NL I bought from have it at 13bb OOP and 12bb IP. I have no idea how that bet sizing was chosen though.

March 29, 2021 | 4:15 p.m.

Sizing your bet on the strength of your hand is one of the fundamental things not to do in poker, it just tells your opponent what you have. What you want to be dong here is size based on the board texture and make sure you work to balance the amount of time you bet for value with sufficient bluffs.

March 26, 2021 | 9:50 p.m.

Janda fuck your girlfriend or something?

March 26, 2021 | 9:44 p.m.

Comment | sjfraley1975 commented on Getting started

On Ignition you are limited due to they player pool being anonymous but assuming whatever HUD or tracking software you are using has some way to track Ignition hands while you are at the table the same things would apply. I know that PokerTracker 4 has all these stats as part of the standard HUD.

On an anonymous site you can't really game select, the best you can do if you are not playing Zone is to get up and move to a different table if it becomes apparent that their are no loose or otherwise obviously fishy players at that table. On Zone (or any fast-fold poker on any site for that matter) you can't game select since what players are at the table and at what position is determined each hand by the site's server. The best you could hope to do on fast-fold is to pick the site that has the softest overall pool or try to only play during the times where the largest amount of fishy recs are going to be playing.

March 24, 2021 | 6:54 p.m.

Remember that GTO is fundamentally a "lose the least" strategy. Yes, you can choose not to adjust in any way and that is fine to prevent losing any more money vs. your opponents over the long run, but there is more money to be made by adjusting to exploit whatever deviations from GTO your opponents are making.

To use an example I have dealt with recently, there is a reg at my current stakes who I have about 4k hands with. It has become apparent examining all the hands I have in my DB with them showing down that the only hands they will make a 5B with are AA and KK. QQ, AK they will call a 4B but not 5B with. I could just do whatever the solved ranges I bought tell me to do and call with more than AA/KK in these spots and over the long term I will be fine since the money he leaks from not bluffing enough and letting me realize equity will balance out the times I am getting it all-in preflop with a hand that he crushes. That is a perfectly acceptable option.

But why?

I can start exploitatively folding everything but AA/KK and increase my winrate vs this particular opponent. The gain will be small because the opportunity to do so will only happen rarely but it will be a real gain. There really isn't any reason not to do this.

The same applies with other PF scenarios. Use your GTO strategy as a starting point both for what you do and what your opponents should be doing against you. Make sure you know what the percentages are so can use for your assessment, stuff like "BTN's 4B after Raise here should be 7%" so that way you know what they should be doing. Then start figuring out how to best exploit that.

As per what you posted above, assuming that you are up against a narrow and linear 3B range then you can exploitatively fold a wider part of your range and call with hands that have strong implied odds vs. TPGK/Overpair type hands. As always, do this far more in position than out.

March 20, 2021 | 7:05 p.m.

Yes, you can simplify to one size if you want. Fundamentally playing correctly in terms of betting, checking, or calling is the biggest factor in terms of EV and the EV difference between a single bet size strategy and a multiple bet size strategy will be pretty small. If you want to check this out run one solve with a single bet size and one wjth multiple sizes and compare the overall EV of each. You will see that the EV is very close.

This becomes pretty important here in SSNL since a simpler strategy means is easier to learn, remember, and play properly at the tables resulting in fewer mistakes on our part compared to our opponents.

Make sure though that you choose bet sizes that allow for getting a big pot built on the river if bets happen on all three streets. I would simplify to 75% or 100% on the turn so we have a good chance to stack opponents when we have a strong hand.

March 17, 2021 | 3:31 a.m.

Comment | sjfraley1975 commented on NL25 bluff river?

I don't think the turn is as straightforward of a 2nd barrell card as you seem to assume here. If, as you keep saying, Villain is a fish, every single draw that he decided to call with on the flop is still there and fish don't fold FDs or combo draws to 2nd barrells, and likely aren't folding GS+pair that x-c the flop. Also, since one of the obvious draws that we don't hold any cards to block that was on the flop was a flush draw which means that combos with the ace of spades didn't go anywhere when we c-bet the flop and now have top pair on the turn. I would just take the free card with our 4 or 10 outer.

As played, I am not bluffing the river. We block zero of the hands that would want to call here and actually have showdown value against FDs that didn't have the king of spades. There rest of Villains range that calls two barrels here contains too many hands that actually want to call a bet here. That six gave hands like 8s6s/6s4s two pair and gave hands like 7s5s a straight. Depending on how loose Villain calls in the BB Qs6s may be in his range. As you said, he is a fish and fish call too much with suited cards that have a broadway in there, especially with a discount.

March 16, 2021 | 8:53 p.m.

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