whiteshark's avatar

whiteshark

111 points

I like the squeeze size pre, but I would definitely bet bigger OTF though. IMO you're not as far ahead as you might think as tons of flush draws/straight draws have quite some equity vs. your value range. If you range-bet this, I would go for 1/3. If you develop a checking range, I would bet 1/2. I don't think the quarter pot bet is really happening here.

As you unblock a lot of Kx and as some Kx might check back after your turn check, I like tripeling this off the most, but XR also seems fine. IMO it's a tradeoff: The bet/bet/bet line is higher EV vs. Kx, the bet/XR line is higher EV vs. flush draws.

June 12, 2021 | 7:52 a.m.

Welcome back to the forum BigDickPlaya!

June 1, 2021 | 7:09 a.m.

As a concrete response to your question: Don't drop down, just keep playing and move up as soon as possible.

May 31, 2021 | 9:01 a.m.

I would strongly advise against bankroll building (or any serious bankroll management) while playing micro stakes. The money we're playing for is just so little and the rake is so high that it's not worth grinding out a roll for any limit and constantly moving up/dropping down to whatever stakes your bankroll management rule system allows it.

I would say by far the best approach is: Play a limit until you have whatever kind of winrate over a sample size that you consider enough hands. Then move up and repeat. If you lack the roll for the next limit, deposit again.

Obviously this approach assumes that you have some $$$ on the side to support your roll up until NL50 or so. But the approach of "I deposited 50$ to Stars and played it up until I crushed high stakes" just seems so 2009.

May 31, 2021 | 9 a.m.

Thanks you two. Okay, then my general approach to check these boards with my overpairs will be upheld. I agree that out of these three holdings, AA has the least incentive to XR and QQ has the most incentive. I just checked this in GTO+, this seems to be approved across a variety of flops.

RaoulFlush and maco just a follow-up question: It just feels so ugly getting jammed on on flops like these holding QQ-JJ after our XR. Do we just close our eyes and call off then? Even with a blocker to the flush draw?

May 27, 2021 | 6:58 p.m.

maco I agree with you in every aspect here, great feedback.

Pre is a fold vs. a tight reg. I will pay more attention in the future how many value combos I actually have for my XR on the flop and be more selective in my bluffs if I have few. Also agree on the turn sizing, should definitely be bigger.

May 27, 2021 | 6:54 p.m.

I ran into a similar spot three times in today's session and I realized that I feel very unsure about this. What do we do with with overpairs in 3-bet pots oop when the board favors the PFC?

My broad take is that in general, we want to check a lot. I understand that checking a decent chunk of our strong hands comes with two advantages for our whole range:

  1. When we check, our strong hands profit from the presence of all of our weak overcards in our range that missed. These provide a large incentive of the PFC to stab, drastically increasing the EV of our strong pairs in the checking line. Hence there is quite some EV generated from overpairs by bluffcatching on middle/low boards.
  2. When we check, our weak overcards that missed profit from the presence of our overpairs. Since overpairs are in the checking range, the PFC cannot go crazy in stabbing and our overcards realize their equity better.

So do we just check our overpairs and basically range-check on boards like 982ss, T85ss, 754ss? Do we then check/raise or call down? One approach might also be to check overpairs with stable SDV (AA) and barrel through weaker overpairs (KK-JJ).

Here are the three spots. You can see that I'm very unsure since I'm taking a different line each time.

May 27, 2021 | 7:32 a.m.

BTN is a reg that is way too tight. J5s is on the bottom of my defending range pre-flop. On the flop, my value raises are centered around K8s, some 88 that I didn't 3-bet pre, and 22. Check/raising flush draws without SDV seems pretty fine to me.

My main question regards the river: Which bluffs do we want to barrel through, which bluffs do we give up? My in-game thought was that I would prefer barelling through those FDs that have better blockers to Kx, so hands like QsJs, QsTs and nut flush draws with the As. J5s would then be a give up.

How do you feel about this?

May 27, 2021 | 7:23 a.m.

I agree with maco, I don't really see a reason for shoving OTT. The board is not that awful and even on a river like the Jd we can still get this in for value I suppose. We want to extract max. value from hands like QTs, QJs and I think you achieve this best by betting around 66-100% OTT and then shoving river.

May 26, 2021 | 2:33 p.m.

I agree with you that range c-betting is way overdone in practice and doesn't appear in theory as often as we would hope.

Just always keep in mind that Snowie works with AI models rather than minimax-algorithms that derive equilbrium play (I know you know that) which means that Snowie is not the best source to trace game theory concepts.

I think the entire point of Clarke is that: there exist boards in
which the preflop caller has to overfold verses vs a cbet even if the
raiser bets his entire range. This is a hypothesis we can
prove/disprove, so we have to investigating it using solvers.

We can investigate this empirically using solver data and I did see such examples (though I agree it's less common just as you say). We can also do this formally and solve for the conditions that must hold for Player 1 being able to betting his entire range and Player 2 failing to defend enough hands to counter that. If you're interested, Tipton shows this in Chapter 4.2 (Asymmetric Ranges and the Breakdown of Indifference) of his Expert Heads Up NLHE book (available somewhere on the net), pages 126-128.

May 26, 2021 | 2:11 p.m.

b) Regarding your other comments: I completely agree, that is just weird. Betting small on dry boards where we have range advantage is probably a good take away as you mentioned. Add the logic of RaoulFlush to this and I think we have a nice general heuristic.

May 26, 2021 | 12:45 p.m.

You're not the only one who is lost, I also found it quite confusing to read this take on range betting. Just for clarity, the text itself was written by Simon Belzile, and the piece is "edited" by Peter Clarke and appearing on his website: https://www.carrotcorner.com/poker-essays/

a) I do think I can make sense of at least the first statement though.

"If we flip this round and look at things from the point of view of
the player facing the bet, the solver will overfold (meaning fold
more than the pot odds would suggest in an equal range situation)
less to the bigger bet than to a smaller bet"

This reminds me very much of what Will Tipton discusses in his book on the breakdown of indifference in the case of asymmetric ranges. The crucial thing here is that he doesn't say that the solver "folds" more to a small bet, but that the "overfolding" (!) is more extensive. So in general when facing a c-bet of size 3/4 into a pot of size 1, you are supposed to defend a certain amount of your range just based on pot odds. When you face a c-bet of size 1/3, you need to defend way more than vs. size 3/4. When ranges are symmetric, that is, when equities run close and the board doesn't favor either player a lot, the PFC is going to have no problem finding enough hands to defend vs. either size.

However, on boards where the PFC is in a range and nut disadvantage, he might still find enough hands to defend appropriately vs. a 3/4 sizing (since he is allowed to fold quite a lot here), but he WON'T find enough hands to do so when facing a 1/3 bet, since he's simply lacking the hands that perform well enough on later streets. This means that vs. a 1/3 bet, there is a larger discrepancy between the number of hands the PFC should theoretically defend and can actually do so in equilibrium (solver overfolds and doesn't meet MDF) in comparison to facing a 3/4 bet.

I think this is also what justifies the range bet in the first place. Highly unvafourable flop for the PFC -> PFC fails to make the PFR indifferent to expanding his bluffing range -> PFR reacts by betting whole range -> PFC cannot do anything about it and overfolds (even in equilbrium).

May 26, 2021 | 12:42 p.m.

Really nice elaboration RaoulFlush . Just having range advantage (with no unique nut advantage) would lead to a small range c-bet sizing, and when we additionally hold the unique nutted hands, we range c-bet large.

Does your decision of betting small or large affect your turn overbetting strategy on blanks in any way?

May 26, 2021 | 12:28 p.m.

yeah that might also work just fine

May 26, 2021 | 8 a.m.

Post | whiteshark posted in NLHE: Range c-bets and c-bet sizing

Hi everyone! I stumbled upon c-betting (again) and I'm currently wondering about the size that we want to use when rangebetting a certain flop as the PFR. We're currently witnessing the age of the 1/3-bet. I keep hearing from different sources that betting our whole range is however by no means necessarily tied to betting small.

For instance, in Peter Clarke's most recent "Essays on Poker - Strategic Options", it says:
"The size that we should choose [for the range bet] will be driven by
the strength of our value range. If most of our value hands have
75% equity plus, then we might prefer going for a 75% pot-sized
bet rather than the more common 33% pot-sized bet. It is
always in our interests to ensure faster pot growth when our
value hands are dominant in equity.

If we flip this round and look at things from the point of view of the player facing the
bet, the solver will overfold (meaning fold more than the pot
odds would suggest in an equal range situation) less to the
bigger bet than to a smaller bet. For example, on a very
favourable flop for the UTG raiser such as KhKc7d, BB’s main
weakness is an abundance of air hands and these fold to any
bet-size. Therefore, the smaller c-bet will be very effective for
UTG."

There is not much more of a explanation given. However, this does still confuse me. We only range c-bet in the first place when we find our range holding a relevant equity and nut advantage, so our value hands will always obtain >75% equity, right? How should that help us differentiating different sizings when range c-betting?

Would a suitable heuristic be to range c-bet small on boards where the PFC will have a hard time finding any hands to defend with (e.g. KK7rb) and go large on boards where we do hold a range and nut advantage but the PFC is gonna have an abundance of paired hands that can pay us off (e.g. AK8rb)?

Can anyone illuminate this?

May 25, 2021 | 1:30 p.m.

I want to comment on your situation with a young family, which is the same situation I find myself in. Deciding in favor or against a time-consuming hobby when considering moving forward with or quitting poker is not the easiest of all decisions.

My take on this is this: Everyone has a reason why they are dedicating time to poker. There is a "Why" that must be underlying such a steady dedication as the one that is needed to succeed in this game. Ask yourself what this "Why" is for you. Usually, these reasons are not located on the surface ("making money", "boredom") but are routed in your biography, are related to milestones within your life or maybe attached to your relationship with your parents etc. etc. "Fighting for recognition" would be one reason that's bad. "Running away from the fact that there is no other future outlook that you deem worth investing in" would be another bad reason. "Negating a life composed only of work and rest and embracing a lifestyle full of enjoyable endeavors" I would deem a good reason, for example.

Once you know your "why", evaluate whether this is a good or bad reason. Maybe ask yourself if you would advise your kid(s) to continue playing if they find themselves having the same motivation as you do now. If you would advise them to do so, then continue playing and celebrate it every day. If you would advise them against it and rather clear up an underyling problem that is producing their focus on poker, then quitting might be a good option (and another reason to celebrate because you're moving forward).

May 25, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.

I once heard some wisdom from Barry Greenstein's on this in a podcast.

He said that whenever you feel that you can handle variance better than your opponent, there is additional EV in running it just once. If you lose, this won't induce anything within you. If you win, this will induce tilt/bad/spewy play by Villain which in turns highers your overall EV in the game. On the other hand, if you are the one with the tilt issues, you should try to run it as many times as possible (best possible scenario being chopping based on equity).

May 25, 2021 | 11:11 a.m.

862 is not the kind of board you're hoping for as the 3-bettor. The PFC however will hit this board way better since his range is comprised of way more 98s, 87s, 76s, 86s, 88, 66 etc. than yours. This decreases your c-betting frequency as the PFR in theory, polarizes your range, and increases your sizing. I also doubt that this is the kind of board we can expect the PFC to overfold vs. a bet. I would c-bet both boards selectively for about 1/2 size.

AKo without a backdoor flush draw goes into my checking range. You have SDV, you are unlikely to extract value from any worse holdings, and you have bad improvability once called. However, you at least can still spike an A or K on the turn/river and get one (or two) streets of value after your check. On a turn that further improves the middling card spectrum I just give up vs. a bet. Don't overplay AKo - It actually doesn't suck that much to lay it down on unfavourable boards that completely missed your range (and holding).

AKs with a flushdraw goes into my c-betting range. Some people argue for checking Ace high flush draws with SDV at least some amount of the time, but I definitely like betting AKs twice here especially on NL2/NL5.

May 22, 2021 | 12:14 p.m.

Good point, I didn't think about blocking A5. AQ/AJ would definitely be even more suitable.

May 22, 2021 | 12:05 p.m.

Hand History | whiteshark posted in NLHE: NL10z 3-bet pot bluff selection (part II)
Blinds: $0.05/$0.10 (6 Players) BN: $10.53 (Hero)
SB: $10.51
BB: $10.67
UTG: $16.30
MP: $11.06
CO: $17.70
Preflop ($0.15) Hero is BN with A T
2 folds, CO raises to $0.30, Hero raises to $0.90, 2 folds, CO calls $0.60
Flop ($1.95) Q 4 4
CO checks, Hero bets $0.65, CO calls $0.65
Turn ($3.25) Q 4 4 Q
CO checks, Hero checks
River ($3.25) Q 4 4 Q K
CO checks, Hero bets $1.75

May 22, 2021 | 5:27 a.m.

Hand History | whiteshark posted in NLHE: NL10z 3-bet pot bluff selection (part I)
Blinds: $0.05/$0.10 (6 Players) BN: $10.00 (Hero)
SB: $10.05
BB: $10.00
UTG: $10.00
MP: $13.57
CO: $26.14
Preflop ($0.15) Hero is BN with Q J
2 folds, CO raises to $0.25, Hero raises to $0.75, 2 folds, CO calls $0.50
Flop ($1.65) K 5 8
CO checks, Hero bets $0.55, CO calls $0.55
Turn ($2.75) K 5 8 5
CO checks, Hero bets $1.75

May 22, 2021 | 5:21 a.m.

Comment | whiteshark commented on 50z river bluff?

Hmmm so there's a couple of things I'd like to comment on.

Flop: I assume you are betting range on this flop if you bet 54s with no BDFD? K83ss is a liberal interpretation of a range bet board (even on these unconnected HML boards the solver will check back quite a lot of hands, e.g. K72ss has a check back frequency of 43.1% CO vs. BB in my solves) although I make the same simplification and also range bet this flop in its two-tone variant. I think the BB is just too unlikely to reach the quite substantial XR frequency that is needed vs. range c-bets and if he doesn't, 54s is exactly the kind of hand that profits from betting rather than checking back. Nice bet.

Turn: I don't like your turn overbet. Yes, this is a nice overbet spot. Talking about overbetting in general, my hunch is that we primarly want the bluffing part of our overbetting range to be composed of two hand categories:

  1. high equity bluffs that still have quite some outs to move ahead when called and which have a standalone incentivze to build the pot rapidly due to their nut potential
  2. hands that can compose your bluffing range on the river given that your high equity draws complete (e.g. you cannot just overbet flush draws since your range is going to consist of 100% value hands if the river completes the flush)

Now my experience from looking at solves is that when the board is very wet, we don't want to become creative in our overbetting hand selection (like you did with the gutter here) for two reasons:

  1. We have many way better hands to do this with. E.g. on a board with two flush draws we could just overbet both spade and clubs FDs which also ensures that we'll have enough bluffs on any kind of river runout
  2. If the board is wet, it's less likely that BB will overfold in relation to our betsize, since there are so many ways possible of connecting to this board. So I'm not sure if extending the bluffing range up until a gutter with 54s is the best kind of exploit on these types of textures.

So in summary, this particular holding goes into the 70%-size for me.

River: As played, I'm shoving river. Double flush draw + straight draw boards produce quite some calls on the turn vs. overbets, but a large number of these draws can still give up the river when unimproved.

May 22, 2021 | 4:06 a.m.

Comment | whiteshark commented on Blind Battle 2nd

Regarding your turn sizing:

After the flop action, you have a polar range and the BB has a way more condensed range consisting of many middling strength hands.

On a wet turn: Your value hands are still ahead, your bluffs significantly gained in equity. Overall the EV of your range improved. Betting frequency goes up, you bet a more merged range here, sizing goes down (<50% potsize).

On a blank turn: Your value hands are still ahead, but your bluffs now lost in equity. Overall the EV of your range decreased. Betting frequency goes down, you bet a more polarized range here, sizing goes up (>60% potsize).

So I guess on this turn I would bet something between 66%-75% potsize.

May 21, 2021 | 7:31 a.m.

I agree with the approach of having multiple sizes at least in your solves. Don't get me wrong, in game I also apply a single-size strategy on each invididual flop. However, that does not mean that I have the same size across all board textures.

Starting your script out with multiple sizes and then investigating which board textures lead to high frequency barreling (small size, merged range) and low frequency barreling (big size, polarized range) was pretty eye-opening (at least for me) and helped my understand of how different ranges interact with different boards a lot.

May 18, 2021 | 10:09 a.m.

Comment | whiteshark commented on AKo 3bet v rec.

RaoulFlush I like the argumentation line around betting when we hold a club, I do think it's absolutely crucial to mix betting and checking with Top pair + FD though.

If we always bet with a FD, we're going to have a very hard time to play the branch of the tree where we check and a fourth club card hits. If we don't hold any flushes there, the PFC can straightforwardly overbet hugely if turn and river goes check/check and we will need to overfold extensively. Once we do want to check some FDs, I guess checking those with stable SDV (e.g. AxJc) is best. So I do think we need to mix here.

Not sure how much this dynamic manifests already on NL10/NL25, but I guess that as soon as the stakes rise just a little more, this becomes very relevant.

May 18, 2021 | 7:23 a.m.

Comment | whiteshark commented on AKo 3bet v rec.

Flop: I like the flop size. Axx boards perform poorly as rangebets and hence I would definitely have a checking range here with hands like A5s-A4s and KK-QQ. This leaves our betting range sligthly more polarized which would justify a half pot sizing, the reason being that the bottom of our value range is now stronger when compared to betting range. But if the reason for sizing up is just to generate more money from a recreational with the top of your range, that's also very fine I guess.

Turn: I think there are two things to note here.

1) In 3-bet pots, the 3-bettor prefers static board runouts that don't endanger his top pairs and trips. Essentially, the 3-bettor wants to carry his preflop and flop advantage onto the river without any "game changer" turns.

2) The 3-bettor will c-bet a large portion (or even 100%) of his preflop range on this board, so you still have all the diamond, hearts and spade combos that completely missed by the time you get to the turn. The PFC in contrary folds out all the spades and diamond combos that missed, especially vs. a 1/2 potsize bet when compared to betting 1/3. This means that the PFC will have way more flushes than you here.

So in general, I like that you start checking here, as the betting frequency of our overall range drops a lot on the three-to-flush card. If you look into solvers, you will see that the betting frequency is not 0% however and the very strongest of our hands keep barreling through (like TPTK). So I think AK specifically is a triple barrel actually even on three-to-flush boards. The fact that Villain is a recreational will make me be even more incentivized to bet. As played, I would just check/call twice on almost all runouts.

May 18, 2021 | 5:04 a.m.

Well played, just triple this off.

As the 3-bettor, you want to slow down on three-to-flush cards and boards that complete multiple straights in the middling card spectrum which interconnect well with the PFC.

On runouts like this, you really want three streets of value from AQ-AT.

May 7, 2021 | 9:19 p.m.

Hand History | whiteshark posted in NLHE: NL10z Bluffing with middle pair?
Blinds: $0.05/$0.10 (6 Players) BN: $8.52
SB: $10.37
BB: $14.44
UTG: $11.46
MP: $10.00
CO: $15.02 (Hero)
Preflop ($0.15) Hero is CO with 6 5
2 folds, Hero raises to $0.25, BN calls $0.25, 2 folds
Flop ($0.65) 2 8 4
Hero checks, BN bets $0.36, Hero raises to $1.00, BN calls $0.64
Turn ($2.65) 2 8 4 6
Hero bets $1.65, BN calls $1.65
River ($5.95) 2 8 4 6 J
Hero checks, BN checks

May 7, 2021 | 8:41 p.m.

I looked this one up in my GTO+ library for SB vs. BB. I don't have the AK5rb in there, but AK2rb also does the job I guess.

1) It does seem like the BB is checking the majority of his range (81.3%) after being checked to. In general equities favor the PFR with 60.09% (compared to BB's 39.91%), which is quite a profound difference for a single raised pot. When betting, you can also see that the small size is not used (30% pot) and a polarized range is indeed constructed around a bigger sizing (60% pot).

2) BUT: AJo (though mixing) predominantly bets and (depending on runout) is sometimes indeed going for a triple barell here as you Arteus and RaoulFlush argued. I might be too nitty here...

May 7, 2021 | 7:21 p.m.

I agree that this flop heavily favors the SB PFR and many opponents will go for a 1/3 range c-bet here even oop.

I'm not sure if I'm the biggest fan of your flop stab.

1) SB is going to have a ton of continues here. Even when checked, we're up against the PFR on AK5 rather than on a board like 632. I guess you can expect him to xc with any Ax and Kx and potentially some PPs and gutshots (having an additional two overcards to all of your medium and low combos) vs 1/3 that (for which reason whatsoever), didn't make it into the c-betting range. That's why I am not sure how wide I actually would want to bluff here with all of my weak hands. I guess the BB predominantly prefers a check here rather than moving money into the pot since equities favor the PFR so heavily. If I would establish a betting range, I would then be polar and go for a bigger sizing.

2) Not sure if TPMK wants to bet here though. You block the calling range (weak Ax) and I don't think this hand can go for three streets of value. I would elect to check back flop and still get two streets of value from Ax if SB checks turn PLUS giving SB the chance for a delayed c-bet OTT with the plan to call turn and call river. With the flop bet, you fold out all of these hands that might improve (and pay you out) or bluff on later streets.

As played, this hand is as good as it will get as a bluffcatch since the Jc blocks straights and a substantial part of the SB's flushes and we have few better hands here (I don't think we ever hold AK/AQ), but I like the fold versus pool (hard to imagine bluffs in SB's range to be honest).

May 7, 2021 | 11:29 a.m.

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