Ok to turn top pair into a bluff here?

5 handed 110 bb’s effective

Hero AcTc in the HJ/UTG

H opens 2.2, fold, BTN 3! 7.4, fold, fold, H call

Flop (16 bb) 9s5sAs… we x, BTN 5.75, we call

Turn (28 bb) 8c… x, x

River (28 bb) 7c… we x, BTN 17 bb, we raise 102 bb all in

I think just calling is better. It seems like you’d prefer a high spade as a blocker to bluff with. On the other hand in order to call you want V to have a busted flush draw and you don’t block spades.


I didn’t think having a flush blocker was all the relevant as most of BTN suited 3! combos contain an A which is on the board and I didn’t think he’d x back a flush on the turn.

I have to agree with Taco, here. Unless you have a specific read on your opponent, a flat call is probably the best move, and I would seriously consider folding, but I am a folding station. On the river, you have the odds to call, though marginally so.

From your opponent’s point of view, it’s unlikely that you made a straight. I would not put you on a flush either for the same reason that you did not put your opponent on a flush. Without knowing your hole cards, I would also rule out combos of 55, 66, 78, 89, and A5. With your river jam, what kind of hand are you trying to represent? To me, it reads as a polarized bet.

So I think that this is not really a bluff unless you suspect that your opponent has your AT covered. What other hands would you put them on? The 17bb bet on the river reads like a value bet and there are a quite a few combos that could have you beat.

A question: why no re-raise on the flop or why check the turn? If you are willing to jam on the river, when your probability of winning was lowest, why not bet the turn, when your probability of winning was highest?

Since you are oop, you should have some slow plays with either sets or flushes. Facing a river XR, I would imagine AK with Ks or two pair+ would be natural bluff catchers. V’s bluffs would be broadways.

Ideally, you would want to hold a spade blocker, though preflop you shouldn’t call many offsuit hands vs a 3bet. You should have some AQo, but that hand is too strong to turn into a bluff imo. Thus, you have to bluff without spade blockers.

Your weakest hands in this spot should be T9s, ATs, and AJs. I would just fold T9s as it doesn’t block the ace. I think both AJ and AT would be fine as bluffs.

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What 3! range are you assigning to BTN? On 100bb+, my 3! range BTN vs HJ is about 9% (118 combos). In simplified form (consolidated some combos to remove partial frequencies), this is what it looks like : AA-JJ,66,AKo,AJo,KQo,AKs-AQs,A5s-A3s,KTs-K8s,QTs-Q9s,J9s,T9s,65s. Using this range, the As only blocks ~40% of villain’s flushes. The 9s blocks nearly as many combos and the 5s blocks 1 additional combo.

Since my assumptions seem to be very different from yours preflop, its hard to evaluate whether this is a good bluffing candidate for your range or not. The line looks really really funky though. I can’t come up with a range off the top of my head that would take this line. In general, I’d prefer a x/c to a decent opponent, knowing I’m not good most of the time.

The players seem more than happy to see flops with suited connectors and broadways and more weighted to 3! suited A’s. Especially broadway and wheels. 3! AA-JJ AKs-AJs A5s-A2s AK-AQo and I’d give roughly 50% of TT-88 ATs-A6s KQs-K9s QJs-Q9s JTs J9s T9s-54s. What I was thinking is that suited combos 3! weighted more towards A combined with the x/b on the turn V was weighted more towards one pair hands as I don’t think he’s x strong hands on the turn like flushes and sets. The reason I shoved is because I didn’t believe I was beating any value on the river and was hoping to fold out AK-AJ. I was confused by his sizing expecting to see either a larger closer to psb or like a 40% down bet and maybe got tunnel vision in game, his 60% bet in my mind was screaming AK-AQ.

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If you x/c ATs, then what hands would you x/f and x/r bluff? OOP should have nutted hands want to x/r all in.

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OK, I can see this as an exploitative move vs an unbalanced opponent. However, given that population tends to have inelastic calling ranges on monotone flops (esp with no overpairs available), do you think you needed an all-in size?

ADDED: his bet size on the flop was also confusing. You’d expect something in the 20-25% pot size if betting range here.

The more I think about it, the more I lean towards x/f AT and AJ if the opponent is as face-up as @dayman suggests. If he might make a thin value bet with TT-KK and bluffing appropriately, it becomes a call. As to hands to x/r for a 2.5x pot all-in, I don’t see it here. Monotone flops in general (and A-high uncoordinated in particular) dissuade both players from piling in lots of chips. All betting frequencies and sizes should be reduced substantially as top of range equities run very close. When looking for bluffs on the river on monotone flops, many will come from the small pairs with a flush draw (that could call the flop bet).

I would call the river. You are ahead of most of his bluffs and some of his thin value hands, so you have to call.

With the line you took, it’s hard to convince anyone you have a strong hand. Since he checked behind on the turn, it’s hard to sell a x/shove on the river. If you had a hand, you would have had to bet the river, not rely on a check raise.

As played, I don’t see a lot of hands that beat you folding, or that many hands you beat calling. There are a few, sure, but mostly you’re getting called when you are beat and getting folds from hands you would have beaten at showdown anyway.

You don’t have to love it, but I think you have to call.

When BU checks the turn and the As on the board, it is much less likely BU has a flush. However, HJ should trap some nutted hands even on the river. HJ can make this play with a high set (maybe this is too aggressive?), straight, or flush.

TT with the Ts is a better bluff than ATs. However, TT without the Ts will be a worse bluff than AT because it blocks more broadways. That is 3 combos of TT. To get more bluffs, I would be fine with jamming AT at a low frequency.

When you are oop and there is still some stack depth left, you need to be trapping some strong hands even facing passivity. If HJ bets all strong hands on the river, then BU can exploit HJ by jamming strong hands and betting small with mediocre hands.

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Sure, some strong hand, but you should mostly be trying to get some value and not trapping. Yeah, mix in a few bluffs with the bottom of your range.

By the way, if V calls here, I would expect him to show the nut flush way too many times. KsQs, KsJs… something like that.

I tried coming up with conditions that would generate this play from Pio and couldn’t. If you can proof this, I’d love to see how you get there. Again, as a pure exploit I can understand the decision. Under the assumption that H had V ranged perfectly and could generate a fold with a shove, it wouldn’t matter what H’s hole cards were. It wouldn’t matter if H had any blockers or interaction with the board at all. I’d still question whether the all-in was the proper size though. As mentioned earlier, ranges tend to be more inelastic on monotone flops.

Anyway, I sent the hand to a study group I work with to see what they come up with. When they get back to me, I’ll post their replies. Maybe I’m being thick but this line doesn’t work for me without way overvaluing hands on this runout. Also, on the sims I ran, there were robust leading ranges on the river (with 2 bet sizes available) which were not exploitable by IP. I don’t think anyone suggested betting all strong hands on the river and leaving the checking range unprotected.

I know I didn’t suggest this. “Mostly” and “always” are different words with different meanings.

Considering the check/check on the turn, I’m leading most of my value and most of my bluffs on the river, and most of my bluffs would contain the Ks. I would sometimes check that river with the nut flush, but I’m usually leading 1/4 to 1/3 pot.

In the hand as played, I’m just calling the river bet.

I just ran some sims and you’re right. AT is never bluff raised and always called. JJ and TT with the spade are bluff candidates. The value hands are nut straights and flushes.

However, AcTc’s EV difference between calling and shoving differs by 0.6bb. This could definitely be exploitively shoved.

For a river X/R, allin is the only size used at a non-negligible frequency when allin, pot, 1/2 pot are the options.

Interestly, if the allin option is removed sets are X/R at a low frequency and AKo is used as a bluff.

BU’s calls mostly consist of straights and AQ and AK with the spare kicker. BU has very little flushes. Two-pairs are folded.

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Thanks for looking at this. The results from Pio are very sensitive to available bet sizes and assumptions made by how people actually play (vs optimal). I love the node-lock functions because no one plays close to optimally but it introduces new problems if we’re wildly off in our assumptions. From experience, I tend to look for sizings that can be called by worse more than I overbet bluff rivers. That’s an adjustment to populations who overfold flops and turns and arrive on the river with stronger ranges than optimal. Nothing ruins my day more than missing a nice value bet because my opponent folded :slight_smile:

I heard back from 3 people in the study group. None of them are pros but all of them are winning 200NL players. Consensus was that this was not a hand to bluff with if H was being in any way balanced. If it was purely exploitative, then any 2 cards would do. If you use flushes only as the true value hands, then the # bluffs is covered by the KsX combos. If you include the nut straights, then we dip into the TsTx and JsJx combos (but not all). If the board was more high-card heavy than middle card, the bluffs would come from the smallpairs with a spade. The problem here is that H would have to flat all made flushes on the flop, along with all the flush draws to arrive at the river this way. That in itself would be sub-optimal and I doubt anyone of @dayman’s ability would take this line.

Good stuff and always nice to do a little deep diving into a hand. From what I’ve seen and studied, almost everyone misplays monotone flops. The trick is to figure out how your opponents are doing it and find the maximally exploitative counter strategy. It may be that an overly aggressive unbalanced line is best, if villains are going to fold almost the entirety of their range.

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So what happened?