This can be a place to post hands for me (and others to review). Getting constructive feedback from multiple perspectives is a great way to learn. I will focus on your play, what you did well and could have done differently, rather than on the outcome (bad beats) or other players at the table (“how could they limp KK?”). While I am certainly not the best player on Replay, I have consistently won at all stakes and game types (of texas hold’em) on Replay up to at least 250k/500k ring and currently have over 900m chips from playing just under 240k hands.
Thanks for the really interesting hands.
In the first hand, preflop is standard. Your small flop bet was interesting. My understanding is that the small bet is typically used when the flop favors the raiser’s range, but it is a pretty dry board. There are lots of worse hands that give action like Jx/88/77/6x/55. I probably would have bet around half pot or 2/3 pot, but if he still decided to run a bluff it would lead me to read him as stronger than when he bluffs on your 1/3 pot bet, so your 1/3 bet is probably better to get value and induce without over repping your hand.
Based on the rest of the hand it looks like the small bet was also intended to induce some bluffs. Because the flop doesn’t crush your range, the small bet makes it look like you have a hand like QQ/Jx/TT/99/88. Would you bet the same size on this flop AA/KK/QQ? You can definitely have all the sets, but apart from those you have a lot of medium strength hands that he might think he can eventually get you to fold. He chooses a reasonable hand to bluff with (overcards + gutshot), but if he makes this play with every gutshot with essentially meaningless overcards and no back door flush draw, he may be bluffing too much in general, which informs your later decisions.
Once you call, the rest of the hand is kind of standard, but you are still going to lose some % of the time. Turn is a brick except for 53s, and his bet looks like it is setting up a river shove. His big bet is kind of fishy because it looks like you have a medium strength hand. If he really did have a set he might be losing some value because you might fold a good part of your range. So, I think your call was good. You can definitely fold some part of your range here like 77/88 that block his bluff combos, but he is polarized without a ton of value that would take this line, so you have to call a lot.
The river changes nothing, and he shoves as expected. There are definitely missed straight draws he can have, as well as pair + straight blockers, compared to not very many value hands. Once you call the flop raise, the turn and river don’t really change where you are in the hand. I don’t know what line you would take in this exact spot with AA/KK/QQ/66/44, but AJ may very well be at/near the top of your range by this river, making it a relatively easy (if reluctant) call.
Ultimately, I think you played the hand well. The real inflection point was the small bet on the flop, which seems to have worked as intended as it showed that you had a medium value hand, let him polarize himself, and then you call off because it seems like he has too many bluffs. Maybe he occasionally has sets, and 64s would also make a lot of sense for his line, but I like the call.
The second hand seems extremely straightforward to me. You open, flop basically the nuts (if he has the straight flush, oh well). I think your flop and turn sizing are fine to get value from hands with big diamonds, overpairs, straights etc. I like how you went for value on the river. He had called twice, so it looked like he would call again, and he did. Maybe he had a smaller flush or 56? Once you are going for the overbet, you could make it even bigger since he looks sticky and it would seem fishy, but I like the sizing.
Edit: I plugged his check-raise range in the first hand into equilab. If he can flat with 78, he can essentially have 52 bluff combos if he bluffs all reasonable straight draws (75/85/87/53s) and 115 bluff combos if we also include reasonable one pair + straight blockers (96/86/76/65/54). By the river, only 53s has improved to beat you. So, on the river he only has 19 value combos (64/66/44/53s) even if we give him all combos of 64. Maybe he can have J6. Either way, he seems to be bluffing at least ~50 times for every ~20 times he has value, so on this board you can call a lot.
Based on a rough EV calculation, you only need to be ahead about 36% of the time to break even, and you will be ahead closer to 70% of the time, which would make it massively +EV to call. Maybe he doesn’t bluff quite this often, but even if he bluffs half as much you would still just about be breaking even.
Here is my own hand for review. It was one of the weirdest I have been involved in. This hand would not have occurred against anybody except bb. Because he 3-bets a lot, I went for a light 4-bet. From a theoretical standpoint, I am not sure either of our postflop lines makes much sense given our exact hands. https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/667028705
Thank you for your detailed analysis. Let me add some of my own thoughts, even though those are much less analytic
First, the flop bet size. I usually c-bet around ~1/3 pot on fairly dry flops. Not necessarily to induce bluffs, but mainly to get some value from worse hands. So I would usually bet the same size with AA/KK/QQ.
Next, the first hand. I’ve played a decent amount of hands with V before that hand and he used this turn overbet move quite a bit. It’s not easy to find out what kind of hands he is taking this line with because usually the other players just fold in that spot. I knew that it can be sets and some bluffs. I didn’t know for sure if he was bluffing any gutshot or just OESDs, but judging from the frequencies I was guessing that it couldn’t only be OESDs. So on the J64 rainbow flop, V can have sets of 4s or 6s (although I don’t think V check-raises all his sets on the flop), some two pairs (I actually didn’t really take two pairs into account because I don’t think V is playing two pairs like that) and then a lot of straight draws: 53s, 75s, 87(s), 85s, maybe even 32s. I didn’t count the actual combos, but this is clearly a lot of bluffs, so I decided to call.
Now, the second hand. I like the smallish flop and turn bet sizes. They keep pairs and flush draws around and at the same time kind of make it look like I’m drawing to a flush myself. Then the river overbet is of course to make it look like a bluff on a missed flush draw and to induce hero calls from pairs or better.
I really have to check out this equilab software at some point… I think my intuition is quite good, but I can see the value in getting quantitative answers.
I like the light 4-bet OOP against this particular V.
I think the c-bet in the 4-bet pot on this board is ok against this particular V (would you also c-bet against another opponent that doesn’t call 4-bets light?) because spades give you an opportunity to barrel again on the turn.
In my experience, V’s call with backdoor diamonds only is quite uncharacteristic, but this is may be due to your particular history playing each other. I would have c-bet the turn only on a spade. So I think your bet only makes sense if you know that V floats the flop against you frequently…
On the river, I think AQ, AK, A8s beats you. 88, 99, JT, KQ, Q9s would have probably raised the turn. And you beat KJ, KTs, QJs, QTs. Did I miss any hands that go to that river and might call a shove?
So, if I can count correctly, there are 6+6+2 = 14 combos that beat you and 12+3+3+3 = 21 combos that you beat and might call. So I’m not sure if the river shove makes sense. Maybe just check/call and give V the opportunity to bluff.
Thanks for your thoughts on your hands. I appreciate the similarities in our thought processes. Equilab is fun to play around with for range versus range comparisons in particular, plus reviewing hands and there’s an equity trainer to think about how to play flops.
In that hand vs bb, I don’t really have an analytical reason for my postflop play. I have only played a handful of 4bet pots all the way to the river. I did think that he would call me light and expect that I would give up on later streets if I missed.
I bet each street because it seemed like I could credibly rep a big pocket pair, I block AA/AK/AQ, and I needed him to fold to win. On the river I figured there were a few Kx or Qx hands that might call and that maybe he would even overfold. My sizing was small on flop and turn because it’s easy enough to get stacks in by the river. It seemed like if I were actually bluffing I would shove flop or turn, so I wanted it to look like AA/KK/QQ.
I assume he calls flop because he expects me to either run a wild bluff or just give up turn. Not sure how he calls turn. It would have been nice to get the benefit of having the better kicker lol. This was one of the more confusing hands I’ve played, but bb is creative like that.
What really confuses me is that both of our postflop play seems so bad, but we were also both right each step of the way that the other player didn’t have much.
I think your initial 3-bet size was too small. It gives your opponent a good price to call and try to outflop you. Once he 4-bets, I think it is fine to go all-in. Clearly he has a range wider than AA/KK, so you are way ahead.
Moe, for whatever it’s worth, I concur with Joe. The only thing you’d accomplish by betting less is giving the opponent the chance to fold when he missed the flop. This way, he was fully committed and couldn’t escape. The flip side is neither could you, but you had to figure you were way ahead at that point.
Today’s topic is big blind specials:
The first hand is seriously impressive and makes me question my own decision making. Villain doesn’t need a strong hand to try to win the pot with their initial bet, so I think your raise makes sense, but given his overbet I probably call and then go for a check raise on the turn. But my line probably nets another 2m while yours got the stack.
I don’t really get how he calls your check raise and definitely don’t get how he calls off on the turn. On the flop his hand is good enough that he may be comfortable going with it, but he could be drawing extremely thin to the nuts. On the turn he picks up the flush draw but could be drawing nearly dead. I suppose he blocks some boats and straights and he has outs if you have a straight or even 55. How did you know that you could get called by worse on the flop? Same question on the turn. Did you have a bluffy or aggro image going?
I like your decision to bet in the second hand. You’ve got outs and block straights, and they likely don’t have much. I probably would have just barreled the turn. On the river it doesn’t look like you have much unless you hit a ten, but maybe the turn check induced a bluff.
Thanks for your remarks. This particular V likes to “overprotect” his vulnerable hands (like pairs/overpairs) with overbets and take it down on the flop. I think calling flop would be a mistake because my two pair is very vulnerable on this flop, a donk bet on the turn would look way too strong, and a check-back by V on the turn is likely. I was actually expecting V to fold to the check-raise (something like A5 or A6). This is ok because I would also check-raise some straight draws on this board. But this V can definitely call a check-raise with overpairs or a good straight draw+pair. The sizing also sets up the turn shove nicely (about 1.5x pot effective).
The turn shove is basically just targeting hero calls with overpairs (or the rare trip 7’s) and, more importantly, balancing my bluff shoves with some straight draws. Given that V blocks many of those draws, the V’s turn call was indeed very questionable. I don’t think I had a particularly bluffy image going.
I appreciate your thoughts. I agree that calling the flop would be a mistake because your hand (like most two pairs) is quite vulnerable, plus you can only go for value by donking the turn. But it’s probably the play I would have made because in a multi-way pot, he can have almost any two cards including 77/66/55 (though you block some of those) 98 or even 43. I wouldn’t expect him to have a lot of overpairs, maybe 88/99. I also would expect him to fold a lot, but that seems ok. What would you have done if the turn had been an 8 or 4. Or a brick or ace?
This V rarely has monsters in this spot with the overbet, so I was pretty confident to be ahead. Also seeing limped 88, 99, TT, JJ is not at all uncommon in these games. Honestly, I didn’t really plan what to do on a scary turn card because I didn’t see an alternative to the flop check-raise, and I was indeed planning to shove on most turns (which is probably not correct, see below). Even if a turn ace gives V a better two-pair, calling off with that on this board is really scary.
I would have hated to see a 4, 6, 8, or 9 on the turn. I probably would have check/folded on 4 or 9, and continued with around ~50% pot on the 6 or 8 (and folded to a shove). On reflection, this means that I should also not shove all of my boats or straights in this spot. I’m not saying that this is a good line here, I just don’t know what the right line is. How do you assess this situation?
It really takes me back to a general dislike of multi-way pots (though obviously as the big blind there isn’t much you can do). Your hand is strong enough and vulnerable enough that your raise is probably best as your are likely to be ahead, but he is also likely to have outs if he continues. It is pretty much impossible to put villain on a preflop range, so you seem to have a read on what kind of hands he might bet like this. If he doesn’t bet the nuts like this, then you are almost certainly ahead.
My default would be that certain players tend to take a big stab if it has checked to them and he could still have almost anything. But if he is actually protecting vulnerable hands and draws but not nutted hands, then it is good to go for value and charge him to try to hit his outs.
If I were in your exact shoes, I probably would have just called and pot-controlled while recognizing that there will be some tough calls or folds on different run-outs. Two pair hands are the most likely to lose big pots. But maximizing thin/marginal value is probably part of what makes your winrate higher than mine. I may be giving typically passive players too much credit for always having it when they bet.
I am not sure about the turn shove if you don’t improve to a boat. It seems a bit thin, even on a brick turn (like a 2 or J) as there certainly seem to be at least a few plausible better hands that call (55/66/76/77/89/maybe34), although if he continues with hands like 54/86/87/8T/A4/A8 or heroes with hands like 88/99/TT/JJ then maybe the shove is great. I agree that a turn ace or similar that creates more potential two pairs shouldn’t be too scary, as there are lots of other hands he can have, but a 4, 9, or even 8 would definitely put me into showdown/fold mode.
This hand makes me think that in general it is profitable to go for max value/stacks with 2-pair plus, especially if there are draws or pair + draws that might get too sticky.
As far as balance goes (whether you should be shoving boats or straights), that is one of the most confusing things about playing on Replay. Do you need bluffs to balance out this shove? Not necessarily, but the players with the highest winrate certainly seem to have them. Just because there are bad turns that you bet for half pot, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shove on the turns when you improve. Theoretically you would need some bluffs to balance them out. You could potentially bluff shove this turn with hands like hearts with a gutshot or open-ender (like villain has) or with the six of hearts or even a nut flush draw. But do you even need to make those bluffs if you can go for pure value and people will effectively hero you anyway?
It is possible to ascribe what is unusual about this hand to villain’s exact hand. He just so happened to improve to a flush draw on the turn, so when you shove he has two pair (leaving you with only a few potential boat combos), an open-ender, and a flush draw. So he has outs against trips/overpairs, straights, your flush draws (you could maybe have A4/A9 of hearts), and even 55. If he doesn’t get the flush draw, maybe it’s an easy fold. If he has A8 of hearts, maybe he folds flop, so he really did have one of the few hands that can call this turn without at least being a made straight.
Today two hands from the category “to call or not to call on the river”:
- https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/667719189 I had AsKc. I don’t have much experience with this V, but I know that they are capable of semi-bluffing and pure bluffing and also that they have a fairly large preflop flatting range and a tiny preflop 3-bet range.
- https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/667747700 I had JcJh.
To be honest, this was so long ago and the replay is just vague enough that I can’t recall if this was in a tourney, which I am 90% sure it was, or a ring game. Knowing I am not one to risk that size of a pot with my hard-earned(ya, I know they’re free, but I treat them like they’re real) chippies. With that information in hand>head, I can’t see how my heads-up for-the-tourney-all-the-marbles play was wrong. But hey, I do admit bias.
Those are both tough spots. I have learned to fold even top pair top kicker against most players when they bet near full pot on the river.
This is one of those where I don’t like the 1/3 pot bet, especially against two opponents. They could flat with pretty much anything, so not sure if it generates enough folds. Out of position versus two players, I would rather get half as many calls for twice as many chips and have a better sense of what hands might call. Sure, this time you got value on the flop from a gutshot, but there are lots of straight draws in their range. The small bet gets one street of value from 7x/9x, but even these hands are getting decent odds to improve against you, especially if you are checking some turns. Plus, they might call a bigger bet with similar frequency.
I like the check on the turn with the plan to call down, and then you need to call the turn. You underrep your hand and possibly induce some bluffs. They can definitely bet Kx or maybe even Tx/JJ/QQ. But on the river, I need to see some bluffs from players before making a tough call when they rep something big. They could turn a diamond draw or a pair+gutshot into a bluff, but it looks really strong. You can have better hands to call with (unless all of your sets bet bigger on the flop or barrel the turn), and even if they raise sets and two pair on the flop, they can have multiple two pair hands (at least KT/T9/T7), not just made straights. So, while it isn’t adviseable against a known opponent, I would probably make this fold. (That being said I called off a 30m pot sized bet on the river with trip kings and lost to a flopped broadway; they showed that they had it and I called anyway). It isn’t an easy fold to make.
I agree with your decision to fold on the second hand. So much of their range that flats a 3-bet has a A/Q in it. It is possible that they see weakness and bet a diamond draw or a random bluff, but kaei seems like a relatively straightforward player. That being said, it’s tough to see what he is credibly repping on the river. He calls flop and calls turn, so I suppose he could just be floating with AK or some Ax. He should be raising earlier streets with sets, and Qx probably doesn’t bet this river. You have probably played against him to know his bluffing frequencies, but I would imagine that more than half of his flatting range has an A or Q in it, so it doesn’t seem like the best place to make a hero call. Maybe he is bluffier/more balanced than I think.
Just want to revive this thread. It would be great to generate some kind of poker related discussion in this forum. Anyone feel free to share hands from any stakes and game type (of hold em) or ask any kind of strategy questions. I am not a “good” poker player, but I recently crossed the 1,000,000,000 chip mark here at Replay and would like to keep learning the game.