Post Hands to Review


So this just happened about 30 seconds ago.

I shove on the flop, holding AQ which made top pair, top kicker, raising a half-pot bet to a hand that made a pair of 9s with an open straight draw. And get called. And then get beat, first by a trip 9s, but then it improves to a straight.

I realized this was risky, as I was going into the big stack, and there was two diamonds which would keep some players in for a flush, but I figured shoving here was my best chance to get a fold and take the pot.

Shoves are more likely to get calls in my experience than pot-sized bets sometimes.

Naturally, any time I try to shove with an unmade hand, it misses.


Yes, it is always a bummer when that happens, but just look at the texture of that flop. The only problem was the the opponent had a big enough stack that he was able to call your flop raise with second pair and the open ended straight draw, so there were 13 cards that could have improved his hand enough to beat top pair. Of course there were also cards that could have improved your hand, that should be subtracted from that number.

I just busted a player out with Q8 against his AJ–that is the power of stack superiority but I have to pick up my kids in 5 minutes. Currently in 1st place, may be able to fold way into money.

I think the moral is that playing online MTTs is a sui generis activity that involves certain elements of poker skills, but that stack size is much more important than pot odds and one should size bets relative to one’s own stack and the stacks of opponents rather than pot odds in many cases.

Sometimes you need to double up to get that big stack, and in this process you do have to take some risks, but it is always better to be a raiser than a caller.

You have also got to be able to win some pots with no cards at all. For example if you are in the big blind with three limpers, you can raise to 4 bb and then knock down a huge pot with nothing by leading out with a meaty continuation bet if the flop texture looks dry. Risky I know, but if you can win a few large pots with worthless hands, your actual good hands are a bonus, as long as you can raise high enough to get one-on-one with them.

Addendum: Folded my way onto final table. Woohoo!

Serious note: I have noticed this before: If I have to leave and start playing with extra freedom and abandon, I often zoom up the leaderboard, and I have noticed before that players who become super aggressive in the final stages of tourneys before the final table often win mountains of chips and obtain insurmountable leads. This happened in tonights Lucky 8’s tournament, where I knew I would have to leave shortly after the first hour break and so played super aggressively and at the time of the break was in lead position with a 17000 chip lead and 18 players left in. When I returned I had 44000 chips and only 8 players were left and I was in second place. I then foolishly blew all my chips within a few minutes and finished 8th, but it was fun while it lasted.


Your raise is good. You should go even bigger - 7-8BB.

Lots of draws possible on this flop, and it hits the preflop caller more than you. It’s an uncomfortable spot when they bet into you because they can have lots of 2 pair+ type hands and a lot of good draws. They can also have some 1 pair hands that you are ahead of right now, but all of those will have outs (KQ, QJ, JT, J9) and aren’t folding. You have top pair top kicker but on this board that’s only a middling hand.

I prefer calling the flop to raising, particularly in a tournament setting. If you get an A or a blank on the turn you can consider calling a turn bet, but you probably have to fold if your opponent wants to put a lot of chips in.

Once you raise, your opponent has a lot of outs with their J9. You are only a 55:45 favorite on the flop here so he actually has the correct odds to call.


@JoeDirk and @love2eattacos - I’ve looked at this hand a few times (Joe’s AA hand vs BlueBadger) and re-read both of your comments about it. Rather than giving my analysis of the hand, I’d like to challenge something you both have said about the flop hitting villain’s range more than heroes. Prove it.

This idea has been repeatedly used as a reason to play hands a certain way and has been universally accepted as gospel. Well, how do you know if its true or not? So, instead of accepting this statement as fact and allowing our play to be influenced by it, lets see to what extent its true. I think the results will be surprising to people who have never taken a deeper look into it.

The 1st thing we need to do is assign a realistic range for the villain. I can pull up any number of limp/call BTN ranges, both capped and uncapped but I’d like to hear what ranges Joe assigned to villain and use that one. We can then play with the range assumptions and see how that would change the outcomes. I can then substitute in what the field’s limp/call BTN range is and see how that compares with the ranges Joe/Taco assigned. I’m curious to see if the assumed ranges match with what the data shows or not. Sometimes we make the mistake of using our ranges instead of villain’s ranges. We aren’t playing a hand against ourselves so we must be careful about the assumptions we make on behalf of villain.

I’d like to use Flopzilla for because it gives a far better picture of what’s going on than simple equity calculators do. Being able to see what hands pass through what filters is a great way to understand how a hand develops and will yield a better analysis for how to play any hand.


Thank you @1Warlock for challenging the assumptions that I am making.

Here is a range that I would use for a limp-caller:

Maybe there are a few more or less hands at the high end of the range (e.g. I see some people limp AK, some people raise with AQ). Maybe a few more small suited connectors. Maybe this is all just too tight! I’m definitely very interested to see what data you have on this.

On the flop, from a pure equity perspective I see that this is about even with the preflop open range that I used before (77+,AJs+,A5s-A4s,KQs,QJs,JTs,T9s,98s,87s,AQo+).

In terms of specific hand types, the preflop raiser has overpairs while the caller likely does not. The caller has fewer sets but more combos of made straights and 2 pair hands, plus a few more straight and flush draws. The caller also has all the under pocket pairs which are going to be very unhappy with this board but at least are easy to play.

I don’t have Flopzilla (just Equilab) so am interested to see the analysis that can be done with that tool.


Thanks @love2eattacos - I thought it would be more useful to put all the assumptions through the meat grinder and see what really comes out. We all need to have our assumptions challenged from time to time or we are just playing on autopilot. Let’s wait to see if @JoeDirk will give a range and then we’ll get into it. Being able to see the number of combos that pass through each street vs those that don’t is extremely helpful.

I’m a little surprised that you didn’t have the weaker suited Ax combos included in your limp/call range. Are you giving a range that you would play or one that you think the average player would? Its important to make a distinction. Remember, this guy already over-limped on the button so what does that say about his possible range? No pairs stronger than 99 either. How is this guy playing TT-AA?

Get it. It will change the way you look at poker and train forever. It is indispensable as a training tool. For $30 (1 time charge, not a subscription), its the best investment you can make in poker as far as I’m concerned. CardrunnerEV is also good and so is PokerStove but not nearly as good as Flopzilla. I don’t have any financial interest in making the recommendation so it isn’t about that. IMO, anyone looking to get serious about poker or just learn the game on a deeper level needs this tool.


Well, this is all speculation on how someone else plays because I don’t really have much of a limp-calling range from the button :smiley:. I think weak Ax get limp-folded. AA-TT I think either get raised or limp-reraised most of the time. Certainly I think it’s possible for them to be in a limp-call range but I would heavily discount them. AA/KK I think are particularly unlikely to be there.

I’ll look into Flopzilla. I’m a Mac person so will have to try some things to see if I can get it running.


Ugh - I don’t think there are any easy workarounds for Mac with this program. I’ll ask around and see what people are doing or if there are similar programs for Mac. Of course the easiest solution is to throw the Mac out, get yourself a real computer, install Flopzilla and you’re done :slight_smile:

Trying to come up with a limp/call range isn’t that easy. It wasn’t even an open-limp, it was a limp behind from the BTN. Ranging loose passives is a real pain in the butt.

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon to pick this back up.


Ha, I got Flopzilla working ok using Wine. Just on the free trial for now - will play with it and see how it goes. So far I’m liking it - it’s definitely easier to use than Equilab for this kind of analysis.


This is very helpful to think about and challenges my assumptions, which is exactly why it’s fun to post hands in the first place.

Replay ranges are hard to define, especially in unconventional situations like 5- way limps. My note on Bluebadger is that he can limp big hands, including TT/AK. I’m not sure if he would limp them behind this many other players, but he might. As @1Warlock pointed out, my open size was a little small, so his limp-call range would be super wide. My assumption at the time was that he was heavily weighed towards Broadways and pocket pairs, but in retrospect the range I would put him on would be 22-QQ, A2s+, ATo+, all suited broadways, all suited connectors 54+, all suited gappers 64+, K6s+, Q8+, J8s+, and all offsuit broadways (26% of starting hands). I believe he usually folds most hands that missed on the flop.

I was hesitant to post my own range because it is pretty tight and I don’t want to be too face up, but as some people in the “fairness debate” thread would surely tell me, it’s all fake so who cares. I’m pretty new to this stake level (since my bankroll went bust earlier this year), so being up for the session with 15% of my bankroll in front of me and less of an obvious skill edge against players who love to limp- call, I just don’t have a lot of bluffs that I would have in a game where I was more comfortable. So let’s say my range is 99+, ATs+, AQo+, KQs, and A5s. And the ATs, KQs, and A5s might not even be there.

Which range is best on this flop and turn? I don’t have any resources in front of me, but I will proof this with some various ranges later. As I said in an earlier post, i have all the flop sets and QQ+, but I also was thinking at the time that I didn’t have the connectors that made straights and two pair that my opponent might have or nearly as many 2 card flush draws that got there on the turn.


I dropped those ranges into Equilab (sorry Warlock :wink: ) and your range is crushing his here from a pure equity perspective - 57% to 43%.

You assumed a tighter PFR range than I did, and a looser limp-calling range. The end result seems to be that he has more ace highs and total junk. Either way a big chunk of his range caught at least a piece of this flop (even the single pair hands often have some sort of draw) so it seems like you are often going to be able to get some value by betting.

Comparing how the two different assumed ranges hit the flop, your looser limp-call range is on the left, my tighter range on the right.


So what does that tell us? I figured my hand (and range) was ahead on the flop (though I wish I’d bet 2/3 pot). When I said the flop crushed his range, I meant he likely caught a piece of it (and sometimes the nuts). I’m guessing the turn favors his range after a flop call?


Just caught this before I get out of the office - good to see you playing with the program already. I wanted to make sure you knew to put Joe’s cards under the “Dead cards” section. This will allow the program to eliminate the possible hands in villains range that Joe’s hand blocks. If you don’t do this, there will be hands in villains range that can’t exist in reality.

Also, if you want to look at the turn, just put a filter on all the hands that would continue to Joe’s c-bet and then fix them (turn green to red). Now you can enter a turn card and only the hands that would have continued on the flop will be counted. This is important because you don’t want to reintroduce hands on later streets that you eliminated earlier. Many people don’t do this 1 step at a time and find themselves wondering if villain could have “Xx”. If they had done it step by step, they would have eliminated “Xx” on the flop so it would make no sense to add it back as a possibility later.

Lastly, if you drag the frame to the right, you will see another section that isn’t displayed in the standard pop-up frame. These are “hot cards” and will show you which cards are better or worse for which range. Dragging the frame down will give you yet another bunch of tools. If you have any problems using the program, just ask me or look for instructional videos online. Once you have it down, its easy but its not entirely intuitive to use at first.

Pretty awesome program isn’t it?


Got it. One thing that it doesn’t seem to accommodate is range vs range analysis - unless I’m missing something, I can only look at range vs specific hand?

Looking at the turn card where Joe checked and Villain bet… oh boy, now we have to make some really big assumptions. Does he only bet flushes? These are only about 6% of his range. On the other hand, if he gets aggressive in this spot and bets everything down to decent straight draws (perhaps thinking that Joe is weak having checked) I can easily come up with an 85+% range that he bets. I’m not really sure how to sort through this.


I’m never getting out of here tonight :slight_smile:

It gets tricky and sometimes we need to look at it several ways before we get an answer. 1 of the things you can do to narrow villain’s range on the turn is to remove all the hands he would have raised instead of calling with on the flop. On a wet board like this, its reasonable to assume he would raise all 2-pair hands and sets rather than flat-call. Would he also raise with his strongest combo draws? Does he have any bluffs if he raises? Whatever you decide he would have raised with on the flop, you can eliminate when examining the turn. Just remove the filters from them before you fix the flop. This is the same concept as removing hands from his range preflop that we assume he would have 4-bet with rather than flatting. Anything you can do to narrow villain’s range is helpful.

No, this is not a range v range tool. This helps you with your particular hand vs an opponent’s range. This tool is not meant to take the place of a GTO-solver in that regard. You can work some of that out by removing hands from villain’s range step by step and looking for opportunities to turn your hand into a bluff. You will find spots where he simply can’t be strong or you can look at the hot cards to help you plan what turns or rivers would make the best bluffing candidates. Hey, its a $30 tool, not a $1000 solver.


Yep, I only carried forward to the turn hands that I thought would flat the flop bet. We’re still left with a lot of potentially bettable hands on the turn. I can build MY range for betting that turn in a balanced way but I don’t really have a good sense of what a typical loose-passive player might bet here. Guess this means that I need to pay better attention to turn betting ranges in general.


Turn betting ranges seem like one of the most ambiguous aspects of poker because there is so much variability. It is far more complex than the flop because of the extra card and round of betting, and it is less straightforward than the river because another card is coming. I try not to overcomplicate things here because that can lead to making mistakes by playing ranges (or just overthinking decisions) when your opponent may be playing their exact hand pretty face up. It’s tough to analyze things statistically when the assumptions of your analysis are shaky.

I agree with your earlier assessment that many players will bet only flushes here while many others will bet a much wider range, including some air that floats the flop. Let’s assume that the flop was pretty straightforward and that bluebadger is folding total air and underpairs. This is where it gets tricky because @1Warlock points out that we would expect raises from sets and two-pair (and straights too), but is that actually a safe assumption? It partially comes down to this being replay where play (or at least player perceptions) may differ from elsewhere. Bluebadger may believe (as @SunPowerGuru did) that my range is exactly QQ+ and his flop strategy could involve calling with his entire continue range in the expectation that I fire or at least call most turns. This may not be optimal play considering that QQ-KK both have straight draws but he may think I don’t have any other straight or flush draws. Personally, I call a lot of flop bets with super strong hands when I believe my opponent is going to bet an overpair again on the turn, even on some scary boards.

But, let’s go ahead and assume he raises two pairs, sets, and straights on the flop. When I check the turn, I can still have sets that I want to call down with, but I certainly look weak and the straight/flush board favors his range. I have 2 combos of the nut flush while he has 8-11 flush combos, including 2 straight flushes (depending on what range we give him and knowing that I have the ace of hearts). I may have KQs for the straight, but he can have that plus KQo, 88, Q8s, K8s, J8s, T8s, 98s, 87s, and 86s. The only hands my AA beats on the turn that he bets is maybe QQ/AJ/KJ/QJ. He may be bluffing at my perceived weakness but I don’t really think so because he would have to be trying to fold out overpairs and AK/AQ, all of which could have strong heart draws.

This is a really thought provoking exercise and I’m interested in what range analysis reveals about these spots (I still haven’t had a chance to do any myself using a program). Ultimately, still not sure what to think about the river. It was scary to over bet for value when he can have the straight flush, and maybe making a small bet for value or to induce is better. But trying to look fishy and get looked up by the Q or T of hearts also still makes some sense to me.


This is a true statement across all databases up to very high stakes and even runs mostly true at that level. There is no way to predict whether villain will bet the turn or not. Its the same with rivers. Betting frequencies on both streets are all over the map with no discernable pattern. So, you need to develop a solid strategy to address this as the initial raiser (both IP and OOP). Keeping the betting lead is important for this reason, and others (like not capping your range). Not always but most of the time this is the case. I think it would have been a better line to continue on the turn in this particular hand but we’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.

@JoeDirk and @love2eattacos - I PM’d both of you a little while ago because I couldn’t get to this today. I did want to address this one thing though.


Your turn check made it look like you were afraid of the flush. I might have bet any 2 cards there to see if your heart was in it. He might have floated the flop just to see if this opportunity came up.

If you didn’t have the ace of hearts, how many hands can you call the turn with? Sets maybe, 2 pair maybe, but there aren’t many hands. I don’t see many 2 pair hands in your open range there, and not many sets considering your flop bet, so it was worth a shot.

“When luck closes the door, you might have to climb through a window” - Doyle Brunson


I hate to flood this, but the reason why I posted this one is to see from the better players (and anyone else - all welcome, of course) if I did anything ‘wrong’ in this hand. Hoping to get a little bit of feedback on hand ranges here and some considerations on what to suspect and what to do based on those ranges. I actually think I played this one pretty well, but have a few ideas on what maybe could have been done differently. I’m not 100% sure if I even made any ‘real’ mistakes or not, but would like to know from you if I did. As most often usual, I prefer to provide any information after replies to see if my retrospective thoughts meet any of your initial ones (and I’ll be honest - only hurting myself if I’m not). When you’re willing/able: Thank you!