$500NL Hand from Tonight (06/22)

chipsncoffee

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Here's a hand from tonight's session that I wanted to talk with you all about and see what you all think! I love the feedback that everyone gives on these, and I sincerely love explaining my thought process, why I did what I did in a certain spot, and hearing what you might've done in the same spot! Let's jump in!

Hero has been playing the same 6-max online $2/$5NLHE table for a couple of hours now and is up. Hero actually doubled through on the very first hand and has been able to keep momentum going. Hero has ~$1570 at the start of the hand.

Villain is an ultra TAG with a VPIP of 11 and his aggression percentage is ~70% over the entire session. He's not playing many hands, but, when he does, he's playing them hard. Villain starts the hand at ~$1070. There isn't much history between Villain and Hero just yet, but Hero knows that Villain is only playing premium hands based on Villain's stats.

Preflop:

It folds around to Villian in the CO, and he raises to $12.50. Hero has :qh::9h: and calls. While we know that we're not doing great against Villain's range, there's a lot of flop potential here. SB and BB fold. Pot is $32, effective stacks are ~$1045, and we go to the flop.

The Flop:

The flop comes :ts::ah::8h:. Hero flops the second nut flush draw and a gutshot, so we flop significant equity. If Villain has AK, we're flipping right now. If Villain flopped a set, we have ~35% equity and great implied odds to continue.

Villain puts in about a 3/4 pot bet of $24.

How do we proceed?

EDIT: Messed up bet sizes.
 
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chipsncoffee

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I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed these PAHWM threads and all of the discussion within them. I hope that they continue.

I'm glad that you enjoy them! I really want to keep them going by posting one every couple/few days for sure. It's great that so many people here are willing to engage in these threads!
 

Eriks

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I call as well. On a flop like that as the pf caller your value raising range is smaller than your semi bluffing raising range imo. Raising can’t be terrible though, but I call most of the time.
/Doug Polk
 

Eriks

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I would raise. My idea is to win the pot right now or give him a hard time to call with KK, QQ, AK, AQ

Firstly, I don’t play anywhere near this high online so I might be way off but I don’t see him betting 2/3s with QQ/KK and not really betfolding AJ+ either. We might need to go triple barrel here if we raise
 

Pinball

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Firstly, I don’t play anywhere near this high online so I might be way off but I don’t see him betting 2/3s with QQ/KK and not really betfolding AJ+ either. We might need to go triple barrel here if we raise

Some "Pros" recommend 2/3 pot as c-bet. But maybe I count too much on the fact, that villain is tight...
 

Eriks

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Some "Pros" recommend 2/3 pot as c-bet. But maybe I count too much on the fact, that villain is tight...
Wasn’t necessarily the size in general I was refering to but him doing it on A-high board with KK/QQ. Perfectly reasonable to bet like that with AJ+
 

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I’m gonna try to comment more on these threads to actually commit to how I would play a hand....thanks for doing these.

From your description of him it sounds like he would likely re-raise pretty big if you were to raise on the flop. I’m guessing he would. Also what do you think he has gathered about your play?

If you were to raise then I’m guessing it would be to $100-$150 and then I think he could re-raise to around $400 allowing him to shove most non-heart turns if you we’re just to call that. I don’t want to have this end up being the case as it puts you in tough spots and I think there are better spots in this game than to put in 1/3 of your stack when you are 50/50 at best.

If you raise to $100-150 and he just calls then I’m guessing he would check to you on the turn on all cards which would put you in a good spot to evaluate. It doesn’t really sound like his style to take this line, but I could see this with a set to induce a big bet on the turn from you and if it’s non-heart then he has a stranglehold on the hand with a low SPR with about $250 in the pot. He probably is somewhat worried about KJ and QJ if he only has top pair (in which case I would expect him to re-raise the flop).

I would just call. He’s probably betting again on all turns. I like keeping the pot small in position with multiple draws here against a known TAG who plays premium hands and is representing a premium hand. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck....
 
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Burke

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Wasn’t necessarily the size in general I was refering to but him doing it on A-high board with KK/QQ. Perfectly reasonable to bet like that with AJ+

I think KK and QQ are still in his range. Especially if he knows villain will call play a wider pre-flop range in position.
 

Legend5555

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Here's a hand from tonight's session that I wanted to talk with you all about and see what you all think! I love the feedback that everyone gives on these, and I sincerely love explaining my thought process, why I did what I did in a certain spot, and hearing what you might've done in the same spot! Let's jump in!

Hero has been playing the same 6-max online $2/$5NLHE table for a couple of hours now and is up. Hero actually doubled through on the very first hand and has been able to keep momentum going. Hero has ~$1570 at the start of the hand.

Villain is an ultra TAG with a VPIP of 11 and his aggression percentage is ~70% over the entire session. He's not playing many hands, but, when he does, he's playing them hard. Villain starts the hand at ~$1070. There isn't much history between Villain and Hero just yet, but Hero knows that Villain is only playing premium hands based on Villain's stats.

Preflop:

It folds around to Villian in the CO, and he raises to $25. Hero has :qh::9h: and calls. While we know that we're not doing great against Villain's range, there's a lot of flop potential here. SB and BB fold. Pot is $57, effective stacks are ~$1045, and we go to the flop.

The Flop:

The flop comes :ts::ah::8h:. Hero flops the second nut flush draw and a gutshot, so we flop significant equity. If Villain has AK, we're flipping right now. If Villain flopped a set, we have ~35% equity and great implied odds to continue.

Villain puts in about a 2/3 pot bet of $38.

How do we proceed?
Important things to consider:

Which of the following hands do we have on our PF calling range? TT, 88, ATs, T8s
The more of these we have, the more I'd want to raise with the draw here.

Opponent can't have :ah::kh:, :qh::kh:, :qh::jh:, :jh::9h:, :9h::7h:. So it's hard for opponent to have a big draw here.

So opponents value range here is basically the sets, AT+. The TP only hands are likely not going to go to war this deep on the flop. Sets and top 2 probably will since they are OOP. If his cbet% is high, he could even have stuff like JJ+ with a heart and betting because it's an A high board and he should have range advantage here. Opponent should have slightly more medium hands than strong.

So IMO, it comes down to what our value range is like here. From a theory POV, if we can have sets and 2 pair, then we should be raising. If not, then we should likely be calling.

If we raise and get called we evaluate turn and likely barrel. If we get 3 bet on flop, then we call because it's almost a certainty all our outs are clean and we have position.

If we just call, we evaluate future streets and a lot will depend on our opponent's bet sizing.
 

Burke

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So opponents value range here is basically the sets, AT+. The TP only hands are likely not going to go to war this deep on the flop. Sets and top 2 probably will since they are OOP. If his cbet% is high, he could even have stuff like JJ+ with a heart and betting because it's an A high board and he should have range advantage here. Opponent should have slightly more medium hands than strong.

So IMO, it comes down to what our value range is like here. From a theory POV, if we can have sets and 2 pair, then we should be raising. If not, then we should likely be calling.

Could you flesh out what you mean by a value range? I just am not familiar with the term and you clearly know more about strategy than me.

Also can you explain why you think he isn't going to war with TP hands here? I certainly wouldn't, but I'm not sure this player wouldn't not knowing anything about him other than "Villain is an ultra TAG with a VPIP of 11 and his aggression percentage is ~70% over the entire session. He's not playing many hands, but, when he does, he's playing them hard." (from the OP)
 

Legend5555

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Could you flesh out what you mean by a value range? I just am not familiar with the term and you clearly know more about strategy than me.

Also can you explain why you think he isn't going to war with TP hands here? I certainly wouldn't, but I'm not sure this player wouldn't not knowing anything about him other than "Villain is an ultra TAG with a VPIP of 11 and his aggression percentage is ~70% over the entire session. He's not playing many hands, but, when he does, he's playing them hard." (from the OP)
By value range, I mean made hands. Hands that don't have to improve. In general (this is a big generalization) you can think of having 2 (maybe 3) types of hand ranges in any given scenario.

Value range (made hands, don't have to bluff to win)

Bluffing range (draws that have equity but can't win unimproved, hands that you want to bluff with and can easily become the best hand)

"Garbage" range (hands that can't really improve and have at best backdoor potential, bluffing generally only way to win)

So in any situation, you want to think about all the potential hands you (and your opponent) could have and broadly lump them into groups.

So for you, your value range on this flop would be two pair, TT, 88. But not AK, AQ, or AA because I'm assuming you would have 3 bet those pre flop. If you also 3 bet TT fairly often, then you likely wouldn't have TT here either. So the larger your value range is, the more bluffing hands you need to be balanced, or else your raises on this flop always are 2 pair+.

Even a TAG isn't just going to blast away by 3 betting with TP 200+ bb deep on this flop. At least they shouldn't. Because even your bluffing range has a ton of equity. When OOP, you really don't want to be going crazy with TPTK. They should just be calling and evaluating turns.

Opponents value range is all the sets, AT+. And his bluffing range is like KhJh, JhTh. Those are really the only hands he can easily continue to the turn with. If his Cbet% is really high, it means he's even betting stuff like JJ+ and Broadway gutshots with backdoor hearts. Which gives you more incentive to bluff with your exact hand.
 
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Legend5555

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Important to note, that even a TAG with 11% vpip is raising more than 11% from the CO. An 11% range is roughly...

Screenshot_20200622-085918_Holdem Lab.jpg
 
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JustinInMN

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Villain is an ultra TAG with a VPIP of 11 and his aggression percentage is ~70% over the entire session. He's not playing many hands, but, when he does, he's playing them hard. Villain starts the hand at ~$1070. There isn't much history between Villain and Hero just yet, but Hero knows that Villain is only playing premium hands based on Villain's stats.
It folds around to Villian in the CO, and he raises to $25. Hero has :qh::9h: and calls. While we know that we're not doing great against Villain's range, there's a lot of flop potential here.

I really hate the pf call against this sort of opponent opening a pot for 5x with promises of aggressive play the rest of the hand. These sorts of hands play much better in limped pots (which make the effective SPR much deeper), and to take advantage of passive opponents that give too many free cards away. @Legend5555 's range above strikes me as reasonable for the description of the villian and is really bad news for Q9s. You may barely be ahead of JTs, against everything else you are a dog, and a 2-1 dog or worse against most of the range.

Against an opponent that's VPIP-ing 30-40% and for a smaller sizing (2.5-3x), I can see calling this raise. However, against this opponent, it's a leak justified by the vague term of "flop potential." Literally every hand can flop quads, every suited 3-gapper or less can flop a straight flush, doesn't make all of these hands playable. You have to be specific about how many flops improve your hand and how these improvements flop against villain's range. You are never going to be happy if you flop a pair with this hand, You might do okay flopping a flush draw, but you will have to hit to win against most of villians range which isn't often going to fold against aggression.

This was an obvious fold pre.

The Flop:

The flop comes :ts::ah::8h:. Hero flops the second nut flush draw and a gutshot, so we flop significant equity. If Villain has AK, we're flipping right now. If Villain flopped a set, we have ~35% equity and great implied odds to continue.

Villain puts in about a 2/3 pot bet of $38.

Well I think you are fortunate you flopped about as well as you could here. You certainly are not folding. It's a decision to between a call and a raise. Personally, I don't like to escalate against generally aggressive players, especially ones that will have a hard time finding a fold here with most of their range. A raise might tell the story you have an ace and gets KK, QQ, JJ, 99 to lay down. But I think you run a risk of getting 3 bet by AK, AQ, or any of the sets. Your holding and the :ah: on the board really block many of villian's drawing hands as @Legend5555 above is saying. He may have them, but considerably less often than he has actual value. And the drawing hands that are left, have hero crushed, :kh::jh: :kh::th:, even :jh::th: isn't great news.

Against an aggressive villian, raising here is too risky, he could 3 bet shove you off the hand. (A play I would assume is in the arsenal of a TAG using 5x as an open size, even with deep stacks.) and raising doesn't really put a lot of pressure on most of villians range. (Meaning raising doesn't gain you much fold equity except against the missed pocket pair portion of his range. He will usually have enough to call a raise.)

Just call and evaluate the turn, you aren't going to bluff villain off of his holding often and you are going to have to hit to win. The good news is you flopped well enough where the price is more than good to draw.
 

BGinGA

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In a tournament setting, I'm folding pre-flop as @JustinInMN suggests. But in a deep-stack cash game setting, I suspect it's a close call in theory vs this opponent, provided Hero has the skills and discipline to carry it forward with a positional advantage (not sure that applies to me, so I'm still probably folding pre).

As played, I just call the flop bet. I see no reason to risk getting blown off the hand by a huge 3-bet re-raise here.


I’d flat call
Can I ask why?
Because he really hates folding. :)
 

Legend5555

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I see a lot of people advocating for just a call. There is nothing wrong with that, but does that mean hero is just calling with TT, 88, AT, and T8 here too? Surely hero needs to be raising some bluffs here, no?
 

chipsncoffee

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I’m so sorry, guys. Villain did NOT raise to $25. He raised to $12.50. It was a 2.5x raise, and I was doing a couple of other things while typing out this post, and I was still thinking about $5/$10NL. Whoops! Thanks @JustinInMN for helping me to remember that!
 

chipsncoffee

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I’m gonna try to comment more on these threads to actually commit to how I would play a hand....thanks for doing these.

From your description of him it sounds like he would likely re-raise pretty big if you were to raise on the flop. I’m guessing he would. Also what do you think he has gathered about your play?

If you were to raise then I’m guessing it would be to $100-$150 and then I think he could re-raise to around $400 allowing him to shove most non-heart turns if you we’re just to call that. I don’t want to have this end up being the case as it puts you in tough spots and I think there are better spots in this game than to put in 1/3 of your stack when you are 50/50 at best.

If you raise to $100-150 and he just calls then I’m guessing he would check to you on the turn on all cards which would put you in a good spot to evaluate. It doesn’t really sound like his style to take this line, but I could see this with a set to induce a big bet on the turn from you and if it’s non-heart then he has a stranglehold on the hand with a low SPR with about $250 in the pot. He probably is somewhat worried about KJ and QJ if he only has top pair (in which case I would expect him to re-raise the flop).

I would just call. He’s probably betting again on all turns. I like keeping the pot small in position with multiple draws here against a known TAG who plays premium hands and is representing a premium hand. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck....

No problem! I love hearing the feedback I get from others!

I think KK and QQ are still in his range. Especially if he knows villain will call play a wider pre-flop range in position.

Absolutely, and I think we can fold out hands like AA and KK most of the time.

By value range, I mean made hands. Hands that don't have to improve. In general (this is a big generalization) you can think of having 2 (maybe 3) types of hand ranges in any given scenario.

Value range (made hands, don't have to bluff to win)

Bluffing range (draws that have equity but can't win unimproved, hands that you want to bluff with and can easily become the best hand)

"Garbage" range (hands that can't really improve and have at best backdoor potential, bluffing generally only way to win)

So in any situation, you want to think about all the potential hands you (and your opponent) could have and broadly lump them into groups.

So for you, your value range on this flop would be two pair, TT, 88. But not AK, AQ, or AA because I'm assuming you would have 3 bet those pre flop. If you also 3 bet TT fairly often, then you likely wouldn't have TT here either. So the larger your value range is, the more bluffing hands you need to be balanced, or else your raises on this flop always are 2 pair+.

Even a TAG isn't just going to blast away by 3 betting with TP 200+ bb deep on this flop. At least they shouldn't. Because even your bluffing range has a ton of equity. When OOP, you really don't want to be going crazy with TPTK. They should just be calling and evaluating turns.

Opponents value range is all the sets, AT+. And his bluffing range is like KhJh, JhTh. Those are really the only hands he can easily continue to the turn with. If his Cbet% is really high, it means he's even betting stuff like JJ+ and Broadway gutshots with backdoor hearts. Which gives you more incentive to bluff with your exact hand.

Thank you for adding this! Very useful information!
 

Legend5555

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To add on to my previous comment. How many hands in Hero's pf calling range would want to just call here? Hero can't really have AK or AQ, so does hero have AJs and A2s-A5s? Does hero have J9s, 97s?
 

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Preflop: Hero has a decent speculative hand, the button and 200+bb. I agree with @Legend5555 about the villain's range, well sort of < see below > Hero is not all that far behind villain's range. This is going to yield a pretty high SPR - ~18. Maybe the SPR is over 30? I think the flat is good. I wish we had talked about it. I know there will be a camp that wants to fold and a few who want to 3-bet.

So we are missing critical information about villain. First, 11% VPiP is not the same as percent preflop raise. At the moment, I wonder how "ultra" TAG this guy could be. I give you tight - at a six max table you naturally want to play something like 20% of the hands playing a tight style.

Second, be mindful that "aggression percentage ~70%" might not mean what it seems. A deep dive into the HUD's mechanics is in order. Of particular note, preflop aggression and post flop aggression need to be parsed apart. If villain is preflop raising 100% - no limping / cold calling ever then his post flop could easily be fit/fold.

Third, we don't know if villain is raising 11% of the time preflop or much less. Maybe he is 8% preflop raise / 11% VPiP? maybe it is 6% raise? Maybe 11% Why does it matter? Because the hands in the mushy middle, say QJs or JTs or A9s or KQo or 77 are are candidates for a limp as well as a raise. And they interact with Hero's hand pretty strongly. Hero has a HUD, lets use its data to get a better read and range.

Fourth, we don't have a specific read on c-bet percentage. Does villain c-bet with an underpair? How about with a gut shot?

Flop: This is a good flop for Hero's hand and could be a good one for villain. Villain's range has a lot of big aces. 42 possible combos of AT+. 21 combos of TT+ maybe 48 broadways combos - depending on what his preflop raise range is, and keeping in mind this was an opening raise. Villain should expect to have a range advantage here - many of Hero's "good" hands are going to be draws.

I think Hero has plenty of reason to continue, it is a matter of raise vs call. Hero has the button. I think villain has top pair or better at least half the time. Does villain c-bet with the half of his range that "missed"? Underpairs, gut shots and double bellybusters?

I see no reason to turn Hero's hand into a buff with any significant frequency without more post flop villain data. Hero seems better off to flat the c-bet and see a turn plus the villain's reaction. Will he double barrel with the weaker hands? In my mind, the time to semibluff is the turn. That is often how I play monster flops and draws. Not always, but with some frequency.

Tldr; cold call preflop, call flop, evaluate turn - could spring a semibluff then.

DrStrange

PS by the way, I am not sure about 3-betting AQ vs a really tight villain. If his preflop raise percentage is 6%, his range is something like 99+, AQo+, AJs+ which crushes AQ
 
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Frogzilla

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I see a lot of people advocating for just a call. There is nothing wrong with that, but does that mean hero is just calling with TT, 88, AT, and T8 here too? Surely hero needs to be raising some bluffs here, no?
If villain goes 3/4 pot our raising range should be extremely narrow...A high board and we’re capped. I like to just simplify and not have a raising range, protects the much larger call range. We’re in position, exploit information asymmetry and force villain to make turn decisions completely in the dark to what we have
 

chipsncoffee

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To add on to my previous comment. How many hands in Hero's pf calling range would want to just call here? Hero can't really have AK or AQ, so does hero have AJs and A2s-A5s? Does hero have J9s, 97s?

Hero can have a very wide range here. We can definitely remove AKs, AKo, and AQs though because of Villain’s image. Basically everything you listed is well with our range. Maybe a tad more. ;)
 

Legend5555

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Hero can have a very wide range here. We can definitely remove AKs, AKo, and AQs though because of Villain’s image. Basically everything you listed is well with our range. Maybe a tad more. ;)
Then I can get more behind a call since we will have several other hands that want to see the turn. But it feels gross having a spot on a wet board like this where we aren't going to be raising sets this deep.
 

Burke

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If villain goes 3/4 pot our raising range should be extremely narrow...A high board and we’re capped. I like to just simplify and not have a raising range, protects the much larger call range. We’re in position, exploit information asymmetry and force villain to make turn decisions completely in the dark to what we have

information asymmetry?
 

Burke

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like we have all the information from his actions and he has less on us because we are just calling? Isn't just our calling information too though?
 

JustinInMN

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I see a lot of people advocating for just a call. There is nothing wrong with that, but does that mean hero is just calling with TT, 88, AT, and T8 here too? Surely hero needs to be raising some bluffs here, no?

Imo, this is the best argument in favor of raising instead of flatting, if we as hero are playing the strongest part of our range fast, it's okay to come up with candidate hands for balance. However I don't think I have :qh::9h: in my range at all here. If I were constructing a balanced range, I would probably want the strategy to be to flat with the best draws and turn some of the weaker draws into raising hands, QJs of not hearts for example would probably be in my range. But Q9 is a good pick if it's in the range legitimately.

I’m so sorry, guys. Villain did NOT raise to $25. He raised to $12.50. It was a 2.5x raise, and I was doing a couple of other things while typing out this post, and I was still thinking about $5/$10NL. Whoops! Thanks @JustinInMN for helping me to remember that!

Thanks for the clarification, this makes the call better, but still not a holding I would like to take against a TAG, but at least the relative stack is much deeper and it's less expensive.

So by my math this puts $32 in the pot preflop (two players for $12.50 plus $7 in blinds)? Did villain still bet $38 on the flop, or did he still do a 2/3 sizing at $22 ish?
 
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