Post Hands to Review


My approach in tournaments (MTTs and SnGs) is to open 3x early on with a tight range because players get loose-passive with deep stacks and call larger bet sizes. Then once the blinds are about 10% of the original stack size, start opening 2x with a wider range because players start to get much more fit-or-fold. Either they get super aggressive, making it obvious that they have a big hand, or they will overfold when they miss the flop. Once the stack sizes get under 20 bbs, I only shove. While most of the time on Replay players call way too much, later in tournaments players seem to feel more invested and (as we were discussing in this thread) will only call with strong hands (AT+/88+), which means that with 10 bbs behind shoving any Ax for blocker value is the right decision in an un-opened pot at a 4-handed table.


Here’s one of my own. Can you guess my hand? What hands can I bet this way on the river for value? As a bluff? What do you think my opponent has? What would they do against a smaller bet? I can reveal my hand later if people are interested.


I think you had AQ or AK with the Ace of hearts.

I would guess your opponent had a straight or smaller flush.

I don’t think you have many bluffs there, if any.


OK, let me expand on that a little.

You aren’t bluffing a random hand from the SB with 5 in the pot, so you had a hand worth playing out of position in a multi-way pot. I don’t even know if AQo would be in your range there, but I guess we can add AA, KK and maybe QQ if you have been drinking heavily.

Bet on the flop is pretty standard and doesn’t tell us anything.

The check/call on the turn tells us something though. Overpair with the nut flush draw? (AA), the river rules out KK, QQ with a flush draw? Kinda risky, but maybe. AK or AQ with the ace of hearts, sure, why not?

Your river bet looked like you didn’t want a call, so you probably wanted a call. I still don’t see a lot of bluffs where you would take that line though.


I would actually open AQo here, and I can have all of the sets because I am opening 99, TT, JJ here. I think only opening QQ+ here, especially while drunk, would be a mistake because everybody else at the table has shown weakness by limping. 99 and AQo are way ahead of my opponents’ ranges, even though getting called out of position can make decisions tough on later streets. If somebody decides to limp 3-bet then I can fold the weaker part of my range pretty easily.

Apart from that, your analysis is pretty spot on. I had AA with the ace of hearts. I would like to have bet larger on the flop on that wet board, but given the pot size I thought a smaller c-bet size would get calls from worse hands that might otherwise fold. The turn is scary because my opponent can have tons of flushes, including straight flushes, as well as sets, two pairs, or Q8s/KQ. I believe I would fold AK or AQ even with the ace of hearts to his bet on the turn because even the nut flush draw does not give enough equity when my overcards and gutshot are probably no good. I knew AA was not strong enough to bet, but I couldn’t fold to one bet with the nut flush draw and I can still beat some pair+draw hands like QJ.

The river is where I am really confused about what to do because the dynamic of the hand essentially flips again. A lot of hands that my opponent may have still loved on the turn (sets, straights, baby flushes) now look like trash. So I figured the only way to potentially get value was to polarize my hand and make it look like it could be a bluff. The second I made the bet, I froze because I realized that he can easily have QT/T8 of hearts that beat me. But like you said, I tried to make it look like I didn’t want a call in the hopes that the Q or T of hearts could call or maybe it would look fishy enough to get looked up by a straight or set. I figured that he has more straights/two-pair/sets than hands with exactly the Q or T of hearts, so I wanted to make it seem like I could be bluffing rather than making a normal sized value bet.

Is there any merit to checking? I would kick myself if he checked back.

As far as my own bluffs go, in reality it is tough to pull the trigger here because his pot-sized bet when the flush hits the turn means that he can have many flushes (if I wasn’t holding the ace of hearts). So on the river, I would usually give him credit for having the ace of hearts (or at least ten or queen). The only hands that I open that could turn into bluffs would be sets without a heart (because the ten of hearts could potentially call river). Those hands are now behind to straights and baby flushes (like 65 or 86 of hearts), but those straights and flushes that my opponent might bet big on the turn, he might now fold on the river. Figuring out how much value is possible and how to get it on this river is pretty confusing.


I dunno Joe, I just don’t know how these senior accountant games usually play, and don’t know anything about those in the hand. I was surprised to see so many limpers though.

The turn was the, umm, turning point for me. I would almost rather have had AQ with the ace of hearts than AA with the ace of hearts there. If not for the flush draw, AA was either dead or hurting, with lilltle chance to get better.

I like to think I would have bet 1/3 the pot on the river. Maybe you induce a big bluff, maybe you get a call. Eh, hard to say without knowing the other guy though. Still, I don’t see what can call the bet you put out there with the line you took.


I will add that I don’t much like opening there with 99, or TT. Yeah, you will be ahead of any 1 person’s limp range, but with so many in, you have to fold too many flops to be worth opening.


And yeah yeah, this from the guy who would open 72o there. Haha.


Then you would absolutely hate my range vs limpers from the SB. Attacking weak ranges from this position is tricky but you cannot only open QQ+, AQ+ or you become terribly easy to play against. With that many limpers, it may look daunting to attack them but its the proper play. In reality, all you are doing is focusing on that 1st limper. If they fold, usually the rest fall like dominoes. OK, the game is more loose-passive here so you may need to strengthen your range somewhat from optimal but the concept remains the same. All that dead money in the middle makes squeezing 55+ for pairs, A4-5s, A8s+, AJo+, and a ton of other hands including Q9s EV+ with the proper raise size.

@JoeDirk - I’ll have to look at this tomorrow because its a bit odd in a few spots. Do you have any player-specific adjustments for BlueBadger or are you treating him like an unknown? That info would help if you don’t mind sharing, even generally.


Yeah, I get that. I guess I’m stuck in tournament mindset, where you just can’t afford to open wide there and people don’t really know my open range. I just can’t afford to bet enough to fold out enough players to make it worth while.


Usually I want to be in position (unlike this situation), but opening a wider range than just premium hands is one of things that helps the most in Replay ring games (and tournaments too) because people are so passive. Being the aggressor preflop more often gives you a great opportunity to get folds, build bigger pots when you hit, and you can often call flops (or all the way down) with hands like 99/TT even when they are not top pair. This game was 100k/200k +20k ante which is the highest stakes I can afford at this point, so I was playing a bit more straightforward, but in lower stakes where I have more confidence in my postflop skill advantage I would also have bluffs in this spot, like suited Ax and suited connectors.

I proofed this spot in equilab, and if I give my opponent a worst case scenario range of sets/straights/flushes/two-pairs, I still have 36.6% equity on the turn, which is enough to call a pot-sized bet. I probably had ~38% against his actual range (assuming he has no bluffs at all or even semi-bluff pair+straight/flush draws like QT not of hearts). It was not a fun call, knowing that I usually have to fold the river.

@1Warlock, this opponent is typically pretty passive and straightforward, betting for value when he has it and potentially limping big hands. I would potentially even put hands like QQ or KK in his limp-call range. His range crushes this board. I wouldn’t say that he never bluffs, but I wouldn’t expect it. Also, in this game it is typical for many players to bet big when the original aggressor checks, so that is a case for including some bluffs, semi-bluffs, or marginal value hands like AJ/KJ/QJ in his range as well when he calls the flop and bets the turn.


Yup - cash ranges with 100BB+ effective stacks are a different game, especially with antes. Would be very hard to find a proper squeeze size in MTT’s with most stack sizes other than very early in the game. This is one of the more interesting strategies in cash games and its not always intuitive. Its also one way most of the play here deviates from poker for money. When I see a string of limpers plus antes, I’m not looking at all the ways my hand is screwed - I’m looking at it as a golden opportunity. One of the reasons you just don’t see this many limps in decent cash games is because each successive limper is giving the next player a better and better price to squeeze. Now, if no one is going to squeeze, then there’s no penalty for limping behind. When you get to games where players are willing to attack more, limping behind becomes severely negative EV in most spots.


Had I though about it more, the 8BB open would have seemed more like a big pair trying to limit the field than a hand like AK or AQ, which is more of a drawing hand.


The open size was one of the interesting parts - too small from the SB, IMO. Size up from there because of the positional disadvantages. 3BB + 1 per limper isn’t the right size from the SB, especially with antes in play. Giving too good a price for others to see a flop. Its also important to squeeze your entire range because you want to be happy getting folds and not feeling like you could have wrung more out of this specific hand. If you are going to make 11BB per AA (in position so less from the SB), you want to blend that with hands like TT or AJo so that you have not lost value over your entire range by squeezing here.


@SunPowerGuru this was an ante game, so the 8BB is actually smaller than it seems. And I would use the same size with my entire open range.

@1Warlock I am new to playing ring games with antes, but I was trying to go for my standard open size, which is 3.5x +1 for every limper +1 for the antes, which it looks like I was short on. In the future I would open to about 1.9m with the same number of limpers. 1.6m just seemed like such a big number at the time… I’m not sure how it affects the BTN flatting range.


Come on Tacos, spit it out already! You’ve been replying for the last 2 hours!


Preflop raising range from the SB:
77+, AJs+, A5s-A4s (not sure if you raise these or not), KQs-87s, AQo+

Flop is super wet. It hits the preflop caller’s range harder than yours. The challenge is avoiding cbet bluffing too much because there are a ton of things that will call. For example if you cbet all of your gutshots you end up bluffing way too much.

Value bets: QQ+, KQs not hearts, 87s, JT, T9
Value draws: AhKh, Ah5h, Ah4h
Bluffs: AcKc, AcQc, Ac5c, Ac4c, AKo/AQo with a heart, 88/77 with a heart, 9c8c

I’m check-raising sets, KhQh and the remaining flush draws, along with some of the remaining gutshots. Check-calling some hands like QJ and AJ.

Wild turn card. Villain has more flushes than you so slowing down is good. You have a lot of overpair or better hands - I think you can even check-fold some of your KK here.
Turn check-call range: AhKh, AA-QQ with a heart, 88 with a heart, 87. (19 combos)

Wild river card too lol.
River donk jam value hands: I’m only left with AA with a heart or AQ with the Ah. I like having a donk range, but some those combos need to get check-raised so that you can check nut flushes.
River donk jam bluff hands: There are only a couple of value combos here so you need very few bluffs. You want him to have (and fold) the Qh so that leaves you bluffing either some of your 88 or 87. I kind of like bluffing 88 because you at least have a blocker to the straight flush.


LOL! I started typing and then got distracted with other things. I need a “save draft” button.


I’ll try to address open sizes here tomorrow when I have a chance to review the entire hand. Man, I wish we had a pause button so I could stop it at each decision point. That would make things so much easier. Anyway, you can’t look at 1.6 or 1.9 million as an absolute. Everything is relative, as you know. Your squeezing range is going to be in part determined by the open size you use. IMO, if you are going to have a robust squeezing range from the SB, you should be looking at a pot sized open, at the very smallest. If you want to have some bluffs in there, the pot size open needs to induce folds 50.1% of the time to show an auto-profit.

I’m almost embarrassed to tell you what some suggested sizes in this spot are because you could have doubled your open and still not have exceeded the ranges from people like Splitsuit, Little and Fitzgerald. You’d need to be above 20BB before you’d even raise an eyebrow from any of them.


OMG yes please!

I agree that it can go bigger, especially from the small blind. On the other hand it went heads up so it may not need to go too much bigger. My personal experience has been that raising to pot + 1-2 BB is enough to get folds or isolation to 1-2 callers most of the time.