LOL - sometimes the best play is the fold. If the concept of folding or 3-betting increases your winrate, that’s all the fun you should care about. Yeah, its nice to have people agree with you and compliment your great play but this game is ultimately about making money. If that’s your focus, then who really cares what people think about 1 of your hands? I can’t tell you how brutal some of the responses to my hands have been on some forums. I read one and feel like I should crawl into a hole and never play the game again. Then I play - I can tell you those brutal comments stick in your head and really help.
I think we are pretty much done here, except for the last street - what was the purpose of the shove? Do you think there was any size bet he could call without having 1 of the 2 straight flushes (which are the only hands you don’t want to be called with)? If not, do you think he takes a stab with a weaker flush? We spent a lot of time on the turn but its the river where I think another play could have netted you some more value. I hate getting a fold on the most valuable street. I’m interested to hear what your thinking was there. Its ok to be honest and say you were just excited to hit your gin card in a huge pot and spaz-shoved. We’ve all done it
Right - I’m asking about the range as a whole, not this specific holding. It feels weird to me not to defend our checks at all apart from with the stone nuts. I don’t think Villain needs a lot of history with us or to be a super-strong player for us to have to worry about this - betting when checked to on the turn is just a common play for a lot of players.
Have you seen a method to their turn bets or is it almost Pavlovian that they bet when checked to? If the typical player you are facing is taking stabs too frequently when checked to, then the proper adjustment would be to overweight your checking range with lots of value. It still wouldn’t be balanced if you were exploiting their behavior. I thought people here were typically more passive and more likely to want to get to showdown if they have anything, especially on a scary board.
Now, lets say you do check the nuts and induce - how many times do players here have to see that before they stop taking stabs? If they are paying that much attention, then I suppose more balance is needed but I haven’t seen many who do.
Also, what other population specific reads do you have here? Is there anything it is doing in general that you don’t see in cash games, other than the preflop limp thing? Would you say they are overly-bluffy? If so, then I think I have to change my base assumptions.
I’ve been watching this thread for some time now and every time I read it I feel like a 3rd grader in a college class…I never imagined there could be so much science involved in poker
Don’t look too long or you’ll go stark raving mad You are peeking down the rabbit hole that is poker-theory. Most of us are already lost causes and there is no going back. Save yourself while you can. LOL
In all honesty, these thoughts are where my love for the game come from and why it continues. I get to talk to people from all over the world and we learn from each other constantly. Why don’t you jump in on the next one? The more the merrier and there are no wrong questions. If you enjoy this type of thing, jump in the pool, the water’s fine. Anyone who is participating in good faith would be welcomed on any thread like this.
I might jump in some day but not before I can commit to the effort and time it would take for a college course…and it’s been a looong time since this old dog took a college course.
For now I’ll just admire from a distance
It’s not every player that does this, but it’s common enough that I think about what to do about it. There are players who will play loose-passive preflop but will be aggressive postflop if they think that you’re weak.
Come at it from their point of view in this hand - how often do you see a player cbet and then check/give up on the turn? In position it’s a great spot to bluff against a typical player.
Don’t worry, there are no exams or study requirements here. Everyone in this thread is both friendly and passionate about poker and poker strategy. I don’t think any of us wants this to be intimidating.
Even if you don’t want to dive deep, please do ask questions about any aspect or terminology that interests or confuses you. We’d be happy to explain and hopefully make it more accessible.
Thanks bud, I appreciate that and may do so at some point, but until then I’ll just watch and try to learn.
There are a couple of reasons this thread hasn’t been hijacked by other people interjecting irrelevant posts all this time it’s been running.
Awe and respect.
I know all you guys are friendly and welcome others to participate but try to understand… we aren’t worthy
We haven’t talked much about the river, and the river was the reason I posted this hand in the first place! After our analysis, I feel pretty good about my decisions on the flop and turn, even if there are some alternative lines to consider in the future. The river, I will give my thought process, but I really have no idea what the right play is.
It seems like there were three possible options: check, medium bet, and overbet. I chose to overbet because 1) I was just excited to hit (it’s a roller coaster to go from expecting to fold AA on most rivers to hitting the 4-hearts-on-board nut flush), 2) I didn’t want him to check behind (as you said before you don’t want to let your opponent do the betting for you when you have a value hand), 3) I wanted it to look fishy. A half-pot bet looks exactly like value, while I thought an overbet polarizes me between value and bluffs.
The reason I didn’t know what to do is because the board texture was so dynamic throughout the hand; I was confident that I was ahead on the flop but that he had a piece. The turn favored his range, and the fact that he bet basically turned my hand into a bluff-catcher and draw. So then the river seemed really bad for his range. His turn value range includes a lot of flushes and straights (even if we think he raises the flop with sets and 2-pair), so a lot of his nuttish hands on the turn are basically counterfeit on the river. So I was hoping for a cry-call from hands that just don’t want to fold after being ahead or thinking they were ahead like KQ/QQ/QJ/QT with the queen of hearts, AT/KT/QT with the ten of hearts, or a smaller flush that just didn’t want to give up like Q8 or 86 of hearts.
While I realized that there was a straight flush draw on the board, I did not give adequate consideration to the fact that the straight flush cards can easily be in his range and even 2 different possible combos. After I made that polarizing bet, I froze for a second because I realized that is a bad value bet when I didn’t actually have the nuts. On the other hand, if I bet half pot and he shoves, can I really fold the nut flush to 2 combos of straight flushes when he can have other Qx/Tx of hearts? Analyzing his range, if he had a flush on the turn, it was a straight flush 28.5+% of the time (or 50% of the time if you don’t think he calls with 86s/64s/54s preflop) and I was drawing dead all along.
I am not sure about this exact line, but there are definitely spots where I would donk-shove as a bluff on a scary river card like this when I thought my opponent was unlikely to have the nuts. If I were holding QQ with no hearts, and he had raised the flop like he had a straight or set and then checked back the turn when the third heart came, I would potentially shove the river as a bluff. Sometimes he might play the nut flush like that, but generally it looks like he would be scared of the 4-heart board, so it can be a good spot for a polarizing bluff. So why not try a polarizing value bet?
Thanks. This hand was indeed a roller coaster and I think there are several credible lines from start to finish. My hope is that we all got a little something new out of it, even if all 3 of us have slightly different lines in the end. I’m happy that the Flopzilla analysis was doable, with visuals so that anyone could follow along even if they don’t have the program. I’m also happy that we got into the guts of it beyond straight equity numbers. Being able to see what possible hands an opponent could have is more valuable to me than just knowing whether I am generically ahead or not. It allows me to visualize what parts of his range I can put pressure on. I hope you and others found it to be a worthwhile exercise as well. On to the next one!
Absolutely. If someone is just firing c-bets 100% of the time but is 1-and-done, I’ll float in position with all sorts of hands. Same thing with people who don’t protect their checking range on the flop at all. With some players, a check is nothing but a total whiff so they are really easy to exploit.
I’m wondering a few things about this hand and about the play here in general. What in the world was villain limp-calling with in the 1st place and then what makes sense for the line he took? I’ve got 88 as my favorite candidate and not a lot else. What else is he playing that passively preflop and on the flop but betting on the turn? Not many bluffs would make sense there if he isn’t raising any draws on the flop. The other thing I’m wondering about is whether players adjust their tendency to bluff checked turns to players like you and Joe? Will they keep falling for this line over and over again? If many do, then I could see how that would impact the overall strategy. Something to consider at the very least and thanks for the info.
If I had to guess his hand it would be something like J8/T8/98 all suited or 88. But honestly, with this particular player and the typical Replay field at these stakes, it could really be anything. He can limp-call preflop with the 25%+ range I gave him earlier and flat 100% of flops on a board that he believes favors his range expecting that I will get sticky with overpairs if he has a monster or give up on a lot of turns. So he could be going for value or bluffing with 54 of spades. He can still have 100% of the hands he would originally limp with by the river. Or I could be completely wrong and he only limp-calls certain hands, he raises the flop with monsters, he only bets the turn for value, and so on the river he only has a few combos left like the ones I listed at first (and only the non-heart ones).
As to how players may react to playing against someone like me or tacos, well, some players do not pay enough attention to adjust at all. At the highest stakes, I believe players do adjust, but they often adjust incorrectly in ways that actually benefit me. They often perceive me as a maniac because they can tell that I open more than the 3-10% of hands that most people here do, so they respond by either floating to try to steal because they think I often have nothing (which is possibly the case in this example) or they wait to have a value hand and fire giant bets that make it really easy for me to fold when I have nothing. It’s one of the more enjoyable aspects of poker when you can be active and aggressive at the table and then somebody plays back at you in a hand so you can tell they have a monster and you can easily just snap fold. I do think that table dynamics affect lines. That may be why we differ in how we would play the turn. In a balanced range, hero’s hand is clearly high enough up in the distribution to bet for value, but based on how these hands play on Replay I expect villain to fold almost all worse hands to another bet and to try to steal a lot when checked to.
I understand this completely. Sometimes I watch to see what is going on and the hands that are played (and the way they are played) makes my head hurt. When things like this are going on, its not even close to poker anymore: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/451184137
222M chip pot opening 6/2o UTG, flatting a 3-bet and continuing on the flop pairing the 2. This is elite stakes and sadly not that uncommon. Its this type of thing that reminds me how unmoored to reality a lot of what goes on here is.
Just something to keep in mind whenever you are tempted to think your opponent here is thinking in terms of ranges. Its very doubtful that the vast majority are, at any stake game.
A nice article on analyzing hands from Upswing Poker:
A good read for people who already analyze hands and for those who want to learn how to do that.
For this river, I think there are a few different options we can consider:
A: Lead bet all in (Joe’s actual action in the hand)
B: Lead bet a large-ish size - say 60-80% pot
C: Lead bet small - say 25-35% pot
D: Check with a plan to call any bet
E: Check with a plan to check-raise jam over any bet
In order to pick between these, here are some questions we have to answer.
- Does Villain potentially have a hand that will call an all-in that we beat?
- Do they have hands that might call a smaller lead bet instead?
- If we check, how likely are they to bet for value with something that we beat rather than checking back?
- How often are they likely to bluff if we check to them?
Agreed on all these points and options. I’d only add 1 more thing, the timing tell. If I recall correctly, the shove was nearly instant, indicating it required no thought. Some people scoff at timing tells online but I find them very useful. Quick actions indicate they were made on autopilot and so I take them much more at face value than I would had there been at least a few seconds of pause before the action.
- I don’t think so - IMO,even the Q-high flush would be a tough call for that large of a shove that quickly.
- I’d like to give him a chance to call with the Qh or Th with a smaller size bet
- Unknown and I’m not sure there is a way of knowing since we can’t get a solid read on his range. He’d likely bet the Q-high flush if checked to but maybe check the T high. I don’t see him betting any hands without a heart so straights and sets are checking back with showdown value.
- What hands is he turning into a bluff here after being called on the turn? Unless he really floated the 6/5 spades as Joe suggested he might, I can’t find anything that called the flop, bet the turn and is now a zero-equity bluff. 2-pair still has some showdown value so it would have to be total air, without any blockers. I don’t see a bluff here.
So, I’m more in the camp of the 25-33% bet and cry-calling a shove (maybe - I’d have to look at how much was behind). But just to beat a dead horse once more, the river is another reason I would have led the turn with this particular hand. The 33% bet size works because it allows people to call wider than larger sizes. Maybe he would have called on the turn and river with some weaker flushes and maybe even a hand as weak as a set, no heart?
I like how you organized the key questions.
I think the Q of hearts can call, but realistically no, villain folds almost always. It’s funny @1warlock that you mention the timing tell because I actually was trying to reverse the timing tell. I thought that when somebody bluff-shoves they usually do it very quickly because they realize that’s their only way to win and they say screw it and pile their chips in while trying to seem confident. But obviously that is a mistake, and I should actually tank more in general for balance.
Not very many. I think a Q or T can call a smaller bet, but 2-pair/sets/straights/baby flushes all probably fold to 70% or 35% pot.
If we check, I think he checks back all previous value hands except maybe Q of hearts.
To me this seems like the best option, to hope that he hit a straight on the turn with no hearts or was trying to steal on the turn with a random bluff. He may think I would never check the nut flush and decide to bluff me off the T of hearts. Realistically, if I had a heart on this river, it would be the T/Q/A, so bluffing is probably not a great play, but he may not realize that.
Here are my thoughts on my own questions
- If you can get called 30% of the time for 150% pot you’re doing better than getting called 90% of the time for 30% pot. Realistically though I don’t think you’re getting looked up often enough here to make the jam more profitable than a smaller bet size.
- Agreed, hands with the Qh or Th almost certainly make a call to a 30% pot bet.
- Agreed, maybe the Qh gets bet if checked to. Pretty much everything else checks back.
- My population read is that people virtually never bluff on a board containing 4 flush cards. Maybe he goes for it with air but after you called the turn pot-sized bet it certainly looks like you have something so I think it’s more likely he just gives up.
Overall, I think I lean towards plan C of leading for a small bet and trying to extract some value.
In general in this type of situation where I have called a turn bet out of position with a draw, when I hit the river I have been using a mixed strategy of sometimes donk betting and sometimes checking. However, I’m not sure whether this is really necessary. The donk bets seem to get called more often than I would have expected so they’re certainly +EV, but on the other hand when I do get the chance to check-raise the river it wins a much bigger pot. @1Warlock does your hand database let you analyze rates and profitability of these two different actions?