New 100k/200k Hand to Review


#1

I played a long session of 100k/200k +20 ante, and I finished down 10m (though I won the 1m mtt at the same time to end the session down 1m total). It was a frustrating session where I was mostly card dead, and on the rare occasions that I had JJ/TT/88 and opened, the board came with two overs and/or my opponent flopped top pair with a trash hand. This hand occurred 3/4 of the way through the session and is a spot I would ordinarily fold or occasionally 3-bet, but I saw that the original raiser was opening a lot (and sizing it too small) and a lot of players would come along, so I just called.

My hand is 75 of spades: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/450690524

What other lines may have been better? Or do I just fold on the flop/turn? Key points, robdogg is pretty active and usually pretty straightforward. Enryu is pretty aggro and likes to 3-bet, especially OOP. Here is my thinking:

On the flop, it checks to robdogg and he bets small. The small flush draw plus under gutshot is a spot I would love to raise, but with an ace on board I am always wary because there are so many aces in his range and I don’t expect to get folds from many aces, so I decide to call, knowing that I am getting a great price. Bayern is very passive and calls too much. Then enryu raises, which is the real inflection point of the hand. He raises to 8m over 1.9m into ~10.4m. So I need to call 6.1m to potentially win a pot of 24.5m. According to an EV calculator I need 21% equity to be profitable (though that is obviously hot/cold equity that requires seeing 2 more cards). I decided I had enough equity and he was semi-bluffing enough of the time (although I do block a lot of semi-bluffs). I can see merit in all 3 options, fold, raise, or call because my flush draw could be no good, enryu can be raising with a lot of draws, including overcards+gutshot and robdogg usually only has Ax.

On the turn, my 5 pairs, which in retrospect is probably irrelevant, but in my mind it was effectively a blank for their ranges (unless enryu has 76s, which I block) and gave me more equity because a 5 or 7 on the river now beats Ax and enryu can have bluffs. When he bets 18m into 30.5m, he probably isn’t bluffing OOP into 2 players unless he has a hand like JT of spades, so I probably just need to fold because his bluffs include flush draws that beat me and his value is 2-pair+ that takes away some of my outs. But paying 18m to potentially win 66m was a price I couldn’t resist (I only need to 22 equity for a profit). I can see a case again for either folding, raising, or calling.

On the river I knew I was behind to at least robdogg, so when he shoves it’s an easy fold, but if he had checked I may have shoved based on the weakness my opponents showed. I would like to do some analysis on ranges to see if my calls made sense and hear any opinions about other lines to take. Folding pre is probably the best option…


#2

Here’s some analysis:

Enryu didn’t 3-bet preflop, so I will take away TT+/AQ+ from his range. I expect he also 3-bets a lot of 99/88, suited connectors and suited Ax, but he could flat at times with such a good price, so I will keep those in. I would give him a very wide range preflop, but for the sake of analysis I looked at hands he would raise on the flop. I gave him 99, 88, A9s, A8s, 98s, all JT, 76s, and 14 flush draw combos including all Ax of spades. I didn’t think he would raise any top pair Ax unless they were suited in spades. I didn’t think robdogg would flat the raise with a 99/88/A9s/A8s (though it turns out he did), but I did think he would flat with AT+. So let’s give him all sets, A9s, A8s, 98s, JTs, 76s, and AT+, plus 9 flush draw combos (Q through A high). Against these ranges, which give enryu a pretty strong range to check-raise (not a bunch of trash overcards+gutshot or pair+gutshot), I still have 29% equity.

On the turn, if he continues with 100% (which is plausible on the blank turn) and robdogg calls 100%, I have 24.5% equity, which is enough to call.


#3

Yup - this is a fold or raise pre for all sorts of reasons, some of which you mentioned above. You aren’t closing the action and would have to fold this hand to another raise anyway so fold and don’t get yourself into weird spots. If you know enryu 3-bet from the SB a lot, then the decision is an easy one. Pretty hand that plays well but the wrong spot so it goes in the muck preflop.

If you were going to play it, I would try to iso-raise and get Robdogg865 HU in position. If you could do that, then you can take advantage of his weak range and your positional advantage. All of the money in poker is in isolating weak players/ranges in position. If you wanted to go for it, go for it, understanding that its still a fold to a 4-bet.

Do you want me to run this through an analysis as played or are you good with just the folding pre thing?


#4

It depends. These are the kind of post flop spot that generally confuses me, but if we never end up in this exact spot because we should always be the preflop aggressor instead of flatting then I suppose it doesn’t matter.


#5

I’d complete with this hand in the BB easily but wouldn’t flat it in the HJ, at least not in an opened pot. If it was a limped pot and you were almost sure no one behind you would squeeze, then you can take a cheap peek at a flop. I’m interested to hear what others think about it but I’m not putting myself in this spot if I can avoid it.

In all honesty, the hand was played passively, looking at raw equity. That’s gambling. You are far too good at this to gamble. Of course you are good enough to gamble in spots but if that’s what you want to do, be very selective in choosing them. Pick spots with limited risk and maximum reward. Too many things had to go right for you at every point for this to be a spot I’d pick in your shoes.

ADDED: A good rule of thumb is to see if someone is opening a 20%+ range. If they are, you can attack. They cannot defend that wide a range unless they have some 4-bet bluffs. If they don’t have those 4-bet bluffs, they must overfold to the 3-bet, either preflop or on the flop. Since no one outside of the very advanced or the crazy agro has a 4-bet bluff range, this works in most games. 3-bet isolate them relentlessly when in position. The biggest issue I’d see with implementing this strategy here is that you may not actually succeed in isolating them. For that reason I’d use a stronger overall range but 7/5s would likely still fall into that range.

ADDED again: I looked at a database of online cash 100-200NL with 12 players combining for over a million hands in it. The average winrate for 7/5s when calling an open is a fraction of a BB/100. The average winrate for 7/5s when 3-betting (and not shoving) is ~3BB/100. This gels with what I said earlier about gambling. Playing it passively and hoping to make the hand yields a small positive expectation over time. So, its not a horrible decision but its not one that you’re going to make any money with over the long term. 3-betting with this hand now gives you some real positive returns. 3BB/100 is what you’d expect to make with AKo. If you can turn suited gappers into AKo, you are laughing and printing profits.


#6

Article on Suited Connectors - close enough to be relevant: https://upswingpoker.com/suited-connectors-poker-strategy/

Most relevant pieces are - don’t 3-bet them vs stations (I think I mentioned that as a problem) and don’t overcall with them except in the BB (with exceptions for extremely weak players and no one likely to 3-bet behind).


#7

Agreed on 3-bet or folding preflop. As played, on the flop I think you have to raise or fold too when facing the cbet.

I wanted to ask about this though:

How do we know that his range is weak when he raises from UTG+2?


#8

We don’t know for sure that his range is weak, but he was opening a lot from all positions.

I agree with you both that this is a fold pre. My improved winrate recently has been largely down to flatting a lot less and avoiding marginal spots like this one. This hand was the difference between finishing the session up ~18m (90 bbs) or down ~10m (50 bbs).

So the next question is what kind of hands are ok to flat against a typical open? It’s tough to define typical since so many people open KK+ and limp the rest, but let’s say villain is standard loose-passive with a PFR of 9 (which is my guess for a typical open range here). Is it small pairs and like QTs only?

I am thinking that flatting is pretty much never a good idea. Set-mining seems to be the only exception but that is just so face-up and takes many sets out of your range when you do 3-bet. So, would it be a good strategy to have no flatting range (and also to never limp behind). With this strategy I would want to 3-bet more often with a merged range. Most players here are not paying enough attention to 4-bet light and/or will not adjust correctly.


#9

Joe has played with him before. My rule is 20%+ If you ever see him open JTo or any dry ace, you can assume he’s wider than that.


#10

My rule of thumb is to never flat a preflop open when there are players left to act, but to play everything as 3-bet or fold. Otherwise you’re in a tough spot if one of the players behind makes an isolation raise, particularly since your range will be capped during post-flop play, potentially in a multi-way pot.

If you’re closing the action, different story. Having no risk of further preflop aggression changes the calculus, so you can definitely put your set-mining low-to-mid pocket pairs, medium suited connectors, and maybe off-suit Broadway’s into a flat range when there’s nobody left to act.


#11

That’s good rule, exactly along the lines I was thinking. I just played 96 hands of 6max and flatted maybe 4 times (and won twice), always either closing the action or getting a great price from the BB with only 1 previous limper still to act. And it was my most successful single session so far, +299bb (although I got the gift of a 125bb limp-shove from A8o when I had QQ). Still, not a bad win-rate and no trepidation over how to play drawing hands when not the preflop aggressor because I always was the pre-flop aggressor!


#12

There are some hands where a flat is fine but you do need to be aware of the players left to act. Flatting TT in MP is profitable vs an EP open but flatting 55 isn’t. The more people left to act behind, the tighter your flatting range needs to be. Flatting many suited connectors with players left to act is asking for it much of the time. Then again, much of this depends on how active your table is. I’ve always been amazed that so little squeezing goes on here - it should be monstrously profitable, assuming people could find the fold button on occasion. So many adjustments you need to make to play this many loose-passives.


#13

Do you have stats from real-money databases on the EV of hands by position in no-limit? That would be extremely helpful. I seem to only be able to find data for limit, which is pretty useless at this point.


#14

Is flatting tens in MP really more profitable than 3-betting them? I’d be concerned about players calling behind and navigating a multi-way flop that will often (about 70% of the time) contain at least one overcard.


#15

Not public databases, just databases through my coach who has been aggregating his students data. There are established expected values of hands overall but not by position that I know of. This is one reason why I wish this site would allow for hand exportation - if you could see your ~250,000 hands and analyze them, how valuable would that be to you?

PM me if you want to talk more about this - I can’t give away his data in good conscience.


#16

Depends on the openers range and people left to act behind. Also highly dependent on stack depths, especially if in a tournament structure. I’ll try to hunt up some articles on hands that can be profitably played by position. Upswing poker has flatting ranges by position but most are behind their paywall.

ADDED: you may be capping your range here but you also should only be flatting hands that are easy to play postflop. If I have TT on the BTN and a tight player UTG opens and folded to me, am I supposed to 3-bet that range? I’m not folding TT to just an open but I don’t want to be 4-bet here and put into a gross spot where I have to shove or fold. I’m actually pretty happy to have the BB flat as well because I’m playing this hand for set value, with some opportunities to bluff because of my position.

Everything in poker is dynamic. Opening ranges can’t be static because the table you are on isn’t the same every time. In Joe’s hand, he had an agro in the BB so he can’t profitably flat as many hands as he could with a passive there. If UTG is opening 20%+ and you have TT, sure, its a 3-bet all day long. If that same player is opening 5%, 3-betting seems a bit too aggressive, right? In fact, if the guy is just opening QQ+, flatting 77-JJ in the hijack or later works nicely because you are either making your set and getting his stack or you are mostly done on the flop. Always look for risk-reward.