Monday, 18 February 2013

HH Review: Min 3-Bet Pot Mistake

February continues to go fairly well after 18k hands. I had a mini implosion weekend before last and ended up trying to force a lot of plays that were just not going to work and getting crushed by weird 2 pair after weird backdoor gutshot. That was an 18 buyin downswing over 4k hands. I've since recovered that and then some. I'm sitting at an overall winrate of 17.5 bb/100 on the month,  a third of that small stakes and the rest micros.

Something I never did on Stars was mix stakes. I just found it too confusing. With the lack of traffic on my new site, I'm finding it's much better for my winrate if I do mix in three or even four stakes for the highest fish ratio. It's interesting how I've started thinking more in terms of SPR than in $ or even in bb.


Villain in this hand is 32/14 with a 6% 3bet over 180 hands. All of his 3bets have been from the blinds.

$0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players

BTN: $15.66
Hero (SB): $25.16
BB: $15.16
UTG: $40.07
CO: $20.30

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is SB with 7 of spades J of clubs
3 folds, Hero raises to $0.50, BB raises to $1.10, Hero calls $0.60

My min-steal is a bit marginal with J7o as he's a bit more aggressive than average postflop, but he does fold to 50% of flop cbets and 40% on the turn. He's also shown himself to be a bit spazzy a significant portion of the time. I spite call the near min-raise, but I think the math generally has me covered at potentially $16 profit for a $0.60 call giving me 27:1 stack odds. I'm going to hit 2 pair or better about 6% of the time and draws add a few points as well.

Flop: ($2.55) 7 of clubs 7 of hearts 4 of spades (2 players)
Hero checks, BB bets $1.65, Hero raises to $3.90, BB raises to $6.15, Hero raises to $17.85, BB folds

Jackpot flop. My concern now is how to best get my money in. He's a bit fishy so 6% is probably going to be top heavy with a range like 88+, AQ+. That means I have 95% equity trying to dodge the fullhouse spike. 55% of his range is overpairs, 45% is Ace high.

I was torn between getting all the money in on the flop fearing that calling could bring an action killing overcard like an Ace or King and would shut down 88-JJ. But at the same time, I'd prefer to let him spazz or hit with his Ace high hands. I picked a size slightly larger than a min-raise to give him room to play back with $12+ effective and an $8 pot to get me to fold a hand like 33 or 55 with his unpaired hands, with his overpairs obviously raising as well.

Once he clicks it back, he has almost $8 left. He has 71 combos, so lets break down each group of hands in his range:

  • 88-JJ (21): These likely shut down if an Ace or King hits the turn. They maybe shut down half the time if a Queen hits. Given that weighting and the likelihood of those cards hitting, I miss $8 on 20% of turn cards. There is a small chance he checks back a hand like 88 or 99, so lets say a conservative 25% when an Ace rolls off by the river.
  • QQ-AA (18): These will probably not shut down at all given a $15 pot with $8 left.
  • AQ-AK (32): These will generally fold to the flop shove. I'd say there's a 20% chance he spazzes out with them if checked to on the turn. He's going to hit a pair and stack off 24% of the time by either hitting the turn and shoving or checking back and hitting the river.

So my dilemma then is making the correct decision between:

  • Winning $8 that I would not have won 25% of the time x 30% of range (88-JJ). EV difference = +$0.60.
  • Winning $8 that I would not have won 38% of the time x 45% of range (AQ-AK). EV difference = +$1.37.

Clearly then, shoving the flop is a mistake.

Monday, 4 February 2013

HH Review: Folding Out Equity

As promised, I'd like to review an interesting hand every week or two. This was one of the more interesting hands of today. Note that I'm using Flopzilla to compute hand range values and weightings.


  • UTG:  44/27 - cbetting every hand and barreling a good deal, too. Not positionally aware at all and raising 45% of unopened pots.
  • CO: 24/18 - likes to cold call a ton to nut peddle post-flop, folds to most cbets.
  • Hero (BB): 30/25 and running hot on this table - raising cbets 25% and calling cbets 30%.

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players

UTG: $101.50
MP: $127.52
CO: $172.08
BTN: $187.20
SB: $46.69
Hero (BB): $333.37

Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is BB with 9 of hearts T of diamonds
UTG raises to $2.62, 1 fold, CO calls $2.62, 2 folds, Hero calls $1.62

Not an ideal hand to call out of position, I'd have a lot more postflop playability if it was suited. However I am getting 4.2:1 and UTG flops a lot of nothing. My plan is to let him hang himself if I hit and steal it when I miss given that CO doesn't get too involved past most flops.

Flop: ($8.36) 6 of spades T of clubs Q of clubs (3 players)
Hero checks, UTG bets $6.27, CO folds, Hero raises to $24.17, UTG calls $17.90

I flop 2nd pair. The plan is to check/raise if CO folds to the auto-cbet and check/fold if CO continues. The reason I want to go for a raise here is because there are tons of hands that I am currently ahead of that have equity and I either want them to fold or get value from them. These would include hands like AK, AJ, KJ, J9, 98, 87, 99, 88 and 77. Only 15% of his range consists of top pair or better, while 28% consists of Ace-High and 30% of pure nothing.

Either having villain fold or call with worse is fine with me given my mid strength hand that can't stand much heat on most turn cards without initiative, which means my options are to either give up now or try to steal like in my preflop plan. I also have a few backdoor straight draws as backup for future aggression opportunities.

Flopzilla tells me that I have 62% equity against his cbet range and 35% equity against his continuance range. I'm expecting a fold about 65% of the time. My Excel equity calculator tells me with 35% equity, I need a fold only 14% of the time to breakeven.

This is precisely the scenario that Baluga Whale talks about in the newest edition of Easy Game where he kills off collection of dead money as a reason to bet, simply combining it with a new definition of bluffing where getting your opponent to incorrectly fold their equity and/or preventing them from making the bluff they should make go hand in hand. ie. Fundamental Theorem of Poker: if he knew I had 2nd pair, he would shove his entire range and therefore he makes the mistake of not re-bluffing.

Turn: ($56.70) 9 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets $306.58, UTG calls $74.71 all in

At this point his range consists of 40% top pair or overpairs which I now beat, and 25% 2pair or better that beat me. The remaining 35% consists of draws. I have 57% equity against this range, so while I am ahead 75% of the time, it's by a slim margin. I'm flipping with his range if he folds all of his draws.

Given the amount of money in the pot compensating for my thinness in equity, folding is not an option. My choices are to either bet/call and pray for a blank river if he just calls, or shove right now.

I'd prefer not to flip for it if possible if he decides to shove over a smaller bet or call and show me one of 20 gross river cards. Therefore I'm using the same reason for overbet shoving here as I did for raising on the flop in trying to get him to fold significant chunks of equity rather than giving him the opportunity to try to bluff or thin valuetown himself with that equity.

River: ($206.12) Q of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $206.12
UTG shows J of spades 9 of clubs
Hero shows 9 of hearts T of diamonds
Hero wins $203.12