Hand Analysis - $100/$200/$400 NLHE Home Game (1 Viewer)

Windwalker

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It's time to play along with another interesting hand from the past weekend.

Villain is new to high stakes poker. 22-year old crypto kid, billionaire dad. This is his 4th game with our group. Biggest game he played before that was a $10/$20 NLHE. He's coming off a high of having had an insanely run-good in his 3rd game the previous weekend, with profits of over $750K. He's not super experienced, and tends to break flow and lead out when he has a good hand. Relatively tight, and makes decent decisions. Hero is usual loose-aggressive.

Stacks: H - $380K, V - ~$500K.
Hero is up about $80k, V is up about $100k.

Hero is in the straddle, Villain is UTG+2. 7 handed game, about 3 hours into play. 100/200 with a perma-straddle UTG to $400.

Villain calls straddle. Small and big blinds call. BB is a pro, big cash game player from Vegas. SB is a well-known poker personality, semi-pro. Both are aggressive players.

Hero looks down at :qs::qd:.

Hero?
 
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Senzrock

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Yeah, decent sized raise here - $4k is probably on the small side given we want to avoid going to a flop 4-ways and OOP to the preflop limper with an undefined range. Also, our image should be fairly loose/aggro like you mentioned - I like $4500.
 

Windwalker

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Yeah, decent sized raise here - $4k is probably on the small side given we want to avoid going to a flop 4-ways and OOP to the preflop limper with an undefined range. Also, our image should be fairly loose/aggro like you mentioned - I like $4500.
Added some info on the SB and BB to OP.
 

Senzrock

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Added some info on the SB and BB to OP.
So it's nice to have position on the pro here, but even so, it definitely reinforces hero's action to get the pro out of there. If we can get heads up vs crypto newbie, that is the best outcome.
 

Windwalker

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Continuing, because hero’s action is relatively self evident, and the hand gets really, really interesting after the flop.

Villain is new to high stakes poker. 22-year old crypto kid, billionaire dad. This is his 4th game with our group. Biggest game he played before that was a $10/$20 NLHE. He's coming off a high of having had an insanely run-good in his 3rd game the previous weekend, with profits of over $750K. He's not super experienced, and tends to break flow and lead out when he has a good hand. Relatively tight, and makes decent decisions. Hero is usual loose-aggressive.

Stacks: H - $380K, V - ~$500K.
Hero is up about $80k, V is up about $100k.

Hero is in the straddle, Villain is UTG+2. 7 handed game, about 3 hours into play. 100/200 with a perma-straddle UTG to $400.

Villain calls straddle. Small and big blinds call. BB is a pro, big cash game player from Vegas. SB is a well-known poker personality, semi-pro. Both are aggressive players.

Hero looks down at :qs::qd:.

Pro is eager to play hands with both H and V, and is most likely going to call a small raise with a wide range, planning to outplay on the flop. We need a raise that will fold most of his outer range, like AxS.

Hero raises to $4,800.

Villain calls.
SB folds.
BB Pro takes some time, calls.

Flop is :6s::8s::7d:

BB checks. He has about $200k behind, down about $100k.

Hero?
 

Kain8

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BB checks.

Hero?

indignation-jump.gif


Giving a free card is tantamount to quitting on the hand already. Let's bet around $6,000 and buckle up.
 

Senzrock

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This will almost always be a check. No over cards but it still smacks both villains limp/call range. We have to tell ourselves that we will likely not be winning a huge pot and have to figure out a way to get to showdown. We could bet small here but do we really love calling a check-raise out of position to start things off? Check-call should be the line here. If villain checks back we can lead small on the turn.
 

Moxie Mike

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Flop is :6s::8s::7d:

BB checks. He has about $200k behind, down about $100k.

Hero?
Villain limp-called a big bet from a player who had the option to check behind. I don't know if this pattern is normal for him, but it would seem he's in there with some type of speculative hand that can't take the pressure of a 3-bet (hence limping). Obviously, this flop smacks his range pretty hard.

BB limps given the price he's been laid, then calls getting better than 2.5:1 closing the action. He's probably setmining... 66, 77, or 88 are in his range but seems unlikely.

There's a case to be made to c-bet and there's a case for checking. The case for both are pretty obvious. I lean toward c-betting since basically half the deck is gross in some form or another. A bet of about $7k sounds about right.
 

ninedeuce

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It's a lot easier for me to reason about hands in terms of BBs vs $, so took the liberty of adding BB counts to @Windwalker's last update. Since the $400 straddle is permanent, I'm considering $400 to be the BB amount.

######################################


Villain is new to high stakes poker. 22-year old crypto kid, billionaire dad. This is his 4th game with our group. Biggest game he played before that was a $10/$20 NLHE. He's coming off a high of having had an insanely run-good in his 3rd game the previous weekend, with profits of over $750K. He's not super experienced, and tends to break flow and lead out when he has a good hand. Relatively tight, and makes decent decisions. Hero is usual loose-aggressive.

Stacks: H - $380K (950bb), V - ~$500K (1250bb).
Hero is up about $80k, V is up about $100k.

Hero is in the straddle, Villain is UTG+2. 7 handed game, about 3 hours into play. 100/200 with a perma-straddle UTG to $400.

Villain calls straddle. Small and big blinds call. BB is a pro, big cash game player from Vegas. SB is a well-known poker personality, semi-pro. Both are aggressive players.

Pot is $1600 (4bb).

Hero looks down at :qs::qd:.

Pro is eager to play hands with both H and V, and is most likely going to call a small raise with a wide range, planning to outplay on the flop. We need a raise that will fold most of his outer range, like AxS.

Hero raises to $4.8k (12bb)

Villain calls.
SB folds.
BB Pro takes some time, calls.

Pot is $14.8k (37bb).

Flop is :6s::8s::7d:

BB checks. He has about $200k behind (500bb), down about $100k.

Hero?

######################################

This game is playing really deep. Like not 300bb deep (which is deep!) but 1000bb deep.

In a game this deep, a 12bb preflop raise is like a fart in a tornado. I'm not sure what folks are doing with these limps, but in the BB with AXs (or 76s), I'm not folding to a 12bb raise with effective stacks of 500bb and closing the action. I'm on board with the raise for value with QQ, but it's just going to be tough to raise significantly enough to fold out anyone's playable range without putting undue mathematical pressure on oneself (e.g., raising to 50bb).

The deeper the game, the more I lean towards pot control lines with any kind of value. The more villains in the hand, the more I lean towards pot control lines (and straightforward play). :6s::8s::7d: is a flop that essentially immediately puts our QQ into the medium strength category for the rest of the hand (and possibly renders it an overqualified bluff catcher), especially given the limp/calls by villains. Having the Qs is better than not, but it's small consolation.

The argument for betting is to get value and protection. E.g., from JJ, TT, 99 and 55, also from AX or KX spades or 9d8d.

The argument against betting is that aside from JJ and TT, we are not that far ahead from an equity perspective. And yes, we'd like to fold out random As or Ks, but we are getting crushed by a lot of their range, too. So we're building a pot and giving ourselves tougher decisions down the road. Also, these villains are not face up with their hands (one is a pro, and the other is described as making good decisions). Against passive villains, I lean more towards betting

So my goal would be just getting to showdown as cheaply as possible. In this situation, I'd check with the intention of calling most bets from UTG+2.
 

Moxie Mike

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If this (which I agree with)

Then I wouldn't do this
Then what's the most +EV play: making him pay to chase a draw that won't get there every time? Or giving a free card (potentially) in the interest of pot control?

Against one opponent, checking and calling makes more sense, but giving a free card to 2 opponents just seems like bad poker.
 

utgtrash

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I can hardly think of a good runout here especially vs two opponents. I’m not sure what is better but you can check or bet pretty small like 1/4 pot. I’m not saying I’d be done with the hand but what are you protecting against and what worse calls? Me personally I’m checking and basically in bluffcatch mode.
 

Senzrock

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Then what's the most +EV play: making him pay to chase a draw that won't get there every time? Or giving a free card (potentially) in the interest of pot control?

Against one opponent, checking and calling makes more sense, but giving a free card to 2 opponents just seems like bad poker.
So I would actually say the opposite. Against one opponent, I think a small bet is fine, though I still prefer a check. Against two opponents however, both of whom could have a strong hand on this specific board, I would just always check. Yes, we allow opponents to get there sometimes, but if they get there that will likely happen anyway, so why bloat the boat. This check with QQ actually protects our checking range, ie. allows us to have some strong hands of our own, and not just a bunch of check-folds like we might with say AK/AQ/AJ/44 etc. Pot control is the name of the game. It's just a tough spot, but that's OK.
 

ninedeuce

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Then what's the most +EV play: making him pay to chase a draw that won't get there every time? Or giving a free card (potentially) in the interest of pot control?

Against one opponent, checking and calling makes more sense, but giving a free card to 2 opponents just seems like bad poker.

In a vacuum, yes, you want to charge draws. If we were 88bb deep, with a 37bb pot on the flop, there's an argument for blasting the flop (getting it in by the turn) or even check shoving the flop to really price the draws out.

But we're 500bb eff, and as @Senzrock says, the draws are coming along no matter what we do. And the board is only getting worse for us going forward (absent a Q-Q runout).

@Windwalker, a factor to consider is how attached do you get to overpairs? If you routinely let them go when you sense (correctly) you're beat, it's not as bad for you to bet and charge draws because they won't be getting the implied odds when they hit. If you have a history of getting sticky with them on low boards and paying off better hands, makes more sense to pot control to the extent you can.

Also, this is somewhat villain dependent. The board is obviously wet. And of anyone in the hand, hero's range is the most clearly defined and weighted towards big cards and big pairs. I.e., villains know that this board is unlikely to have hit hero hard. If villains are the type to put maximum pressure in this spot in an unbalanced bluffy way, hero might take that into account and win a big hand by betting and building a pot.

But I'm on team pot control in this situation.
 

Senzrock

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So I would actually say the opposite. Against one opponent, I think a small bet is fine, though I still prefer a check. Against two opponents however, both of whom could have a strong hand on this specific board, I would just always check. Yes, we allow opponents to get there sometimes, but if they get there that will likely happen anyway, so why bloat the boat. This check with QQ actually protects our checking range, ie. allows us to have some strong hands of our own, and not just a bunch of check-folds like we might with say AK/AQ/AJ/44 etc. Pot control is the name of the game. It's just a tough spot, but that's OK.
Let's look at some potential outcomes of betting:

1. We bet and everyone folds: This is one of the better outcomes. It means that both opponents basically had nothing (think KJ or A3s) and we won ~$10k
2. We bet and get called in 1-2 spots: We are now a bit in the wilderness and are unclear if we are actually ahead or behind or what we are hoping for
3. We bet and get raised: Possibly the worst of all scenarios. This forces us into a decision to play a potentially massive pot with just one pair that has little hope of improving. Stacking off in this spot would generally be a huge mistake so we want to avoid this at all costs. Bet-folding could also be a massive mistake if we are folding to say an aggressive A9.
4. We check and it checks through: Pretty good outcome, we pot controlled, we still have an overpair AND they probably aren't expecting us to be this strong
5. We check and villain 1 bets, villain 2 raises: We can now pretty comfortably fold given that we know at an absolute minimum we are up against a massive draw, but likely beat or even drawing nearly dead.
6. We check call vs 1 or 2 opponents: Not ideal, but we are protecting our hand while not unnecessarily inflating the pot. We also keep our range nice and wide (assuming we do this with other hands as well - flopped straights or sets of our own etc.)

Looking at these various scenarios... I think the check lines make the most sense. We also set ourselves up to bluffcatch vs a ton of missed draws and win a nice pot vs over aggressive villain(s).
 

Moxie Mike

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Let's look at some potential outcomes of betting:

1. We bet and everyone folds: This is one of the better outcomes. It means that both opponents basically had nothing (think KJ or A3s) and we won ~$10k
2. We bet and get called in 1-2 spots: We are now a bit in the wilderness and are unclear if we are actually ahead or behind or what we are hoping for
3. We bet and get raised: Possibly the worst of all scenarios. This forces us into a decision to play a potentially massive pot with just one pair that has little hope of improving. Stacking off in this spot would generally be a huge mistake so we want to avoid this at all costs. Bet-folding could also be a massive mistake if we are folding to say an aggressive A9.
4. We check and it checks through: Pretty good outcome, we pot controlled, we still have an overpair AND they probably aren't expecting us to be this strong
5. We check and villain 1 bets, villain 2 raises: We can now pretty comfortably fold given that we know at an absolute minimum we are up against a massive draw, but likely beat or even drawing nearly dead.
6. We check call vs 1 or 2 opponents: Not ideal, but we are protecting our hand while not unnecessarily inflating the pot. We also keep our range nice and wide (assuming we do this with other hands as well - flopped straights or sets of our own etc.)

Looking at these various scenarios... I think the check lines make the most sense. We also set ourselves up to bluffcatch vs a ton of missed draws and win a nice pot vs over aggressive villain(s).
I'm looking at it from a different perspective. If we're taking the position that we can't stop the hand from going to the turn by betting, Then we're betting for a different reason. Just because this flop 'smacks both opponents' ranges' doesn't automatically mean HERO isn't ahead by a wide margin. The chances of a flopped straight, set or 2-pair are valid, but not so strong that HERO should play scared.

Betting accomplishes quite a bit in terms of value and charging draws. Even though 1/2 the turn cards are uncomfortable, the other half are pretty safe. And a larger pot will allow for a more substantial turn bet.

For example, say HERO bets $7k and is called by UTG+2. That puts ~$25k in the pot going to the turn. HERO can bet $20k on any safe turn card and likely end the hand.

Sure betting and getting raised sucks. But so would giving a free card to someone in there with :jd::td: or something like that.

I think you and I just have differing opinions. HERO describes himself as LAG - betting is also consistent with that image.
 

Senzrock

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I'm looking at it from a different perspective. If we're taking the position that we can't stop the hand from going to the turn by betting, Then we're betting for a different reason. Just because this flop 'smacks both opponents' ranges' doesn't automatically mean HERO isn't ahead by a wide margin. The chances of a flopped straight, set or 2-pair are valid, but not so strong that HERO should play scared.

Betting accomplishes quite a bit in terms of value and charging draws. Even though 1/2 the turn cards are uncomfortable, the other half are pretty safe. And a larger pot will allow for a more substantial turn bet.

For example, say HERO bets $7k and is called by UTG+2. That puts ~$25k in the pot going to the turn. HERO can bet $20k on any safe turn card and likely end the hand.

Sure betting and getting raised sucks. But so would giving a free card to someone in there with :jd::td: or something like that.

I think you and I just have differing opinions. HERO describes himself as LAG - betting is also consistent with that image.
I hear what you're saying, but think this is really where understanding ranges come into play. We take certain actions in certain situations, often based on our perceived (and actual) range. This is a flop that happens to be terrible for our range, which means, in theory, that we are forced to play more conservatively. If we had a different flop, we could play it a different way. The problem with your approach is that you are largely just betting into the void and hoping that nothing bad happens. This might work for a while, but when we are talking about thousands of dollars, you really want a clear reason for your bets. You gave an example of villain hitting a 4-outter on us, OK, sure, that can happen. But it isn't a very likely outcome so we can't plan around that. We have to plan for what is *most likely* to happen in any given situation. Hopefully that makes sense. To sum it up: we don't just get to bet in any and all situations. Doesn't matter if we have AA or KK or QQ. We have to adapt given board textures and opponents potential/probable hands. This is the basis of hand reading and understanding it will make us more profitable players.
 

swana

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Totally get what @Senzrock is saying about ranges and how this flop is not great for hero... However based on what we know at this point how often is hero ahead at this point? More often than not hero is ahead, right? Building the pot when you are ahead can't be that bad (even if hero likely won't improve on 4th and 5th street). I would likely be betting here 2/3 of the time and be looking to reevaluate if turn falls in villains range again. Make em pay for playing low connected cards!!

But my MO is betting into the void hoping nothing bad happens, so what do I know?!?!
 

Senzrock

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Totally get what @Senzrock is saying about ranges and how this flop is not great for hero... However based on what we know at this point how often is hero ahead at this point? More often than not hero is ahead, right? Building the pot when you are ahead can't be that bad (even if hero likely won't improve on 4th and 5th street). I would likely be betting here 2/3 of the time and be looking to reevaluate if turn falls in villains range again. Make em pay for playing low connected cards!!

But my MO is betting into the void hoping nothing bad happens, so what do I know?!?!
Yeah, the thing that makes this tricky is that you are right, we should mathematically still be ahead more than 33% of the time here vs 2 villains but the times we are behind, we are in real rough shape. Betting allow villains to play perfectly against us while checking can disguise our strength and welcome potential bluffs (which hopefully we can pick off if they do happen). Even being "ahead" can be a bit of a misnomer on a board like this. Our hand might be ahead, but our opponents can put us in jail if they correctly read the situation. Against hands like 65dd or 98d or JTss are never folding and have so much equity. We do not want to play 1000bb pots against villains here, we just don't. If we were shallower - then by all means.
 

Anthony Martino

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fwiw I don't play much NL cash, but here's my thought process:

We're facing one opponent who will have position on us post-flop (UTG+2) who just calls the straddle from an early position. Both blinds come along, whom we do have position on.

What's nice about UTG+2 is that he plays tight and tends to telegraph when he has a good hand by betting, so playing OOP against this particular player isn't too terrible.

I always thought you want to raise 3x the bet plus an additional 1bb for each limper. So to me that would be $1200 + $1200 = raise to $2400, but looks like everyone else wants to raise significantly larger than this. Either way, with everyone super deep it looks like no matter what we raise we aren't folding these guys out as two of them come along.

On the flop I get both sides of the coin that folks are discussing here. This board is better for our opponents calling ranges than our raising range, in theory (although with Krish doing the raising from the straddle, his range could be perceived as much wider, so this board could smash him sometimes too)

If I was the person raising (i.e. it's not Krish making the raise) then I would likely go into check-call mode here as I expect we're ahead, but I can't really take a lot of heat if I lead and get raised. I figure this underreps our hand, allowing us to win more from someone value-betting a worse hand or bluffing given the board will favor their range over mine, while also limiting my own losses the times I get beat.

At the same time, if we believe we are ahead on this board, then it does make sense to charge our opponents to try and outdraw us, rather than give them free cards. But on such an insanely wet board I would likely lean towards pot control.

The guy in the blinds is the one I'd be worried about making a checkraise here. The UTG+2 player if his description is correct, isn't likely to run a bluff against us, so I don't see a ton of danger in checking and seeing what he does.

We'll likely get to the turn cheap, where we may pickup the flush draw ourselves, and the guy in the blinds will still be at a positional disadvantage against two opponents, making it a bit harder to run a big bluff.

Now if we check and UTG+2 bets, we'll need to evaluate.
 

Eriks

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@Moxie Mike and @swana
You’re not really listening to @Senzrock

He is saying that we shouldn’t just play our actual hand but rather our range of hands. On this kind of flop given the preflop action our range doesn’t do well, so we pot control. Especially considering how deep we are.

But you’re like ”yeah, we get the ranges talk but QQ is likely ahead so let’s fire away”. Doesn’t really make that much sense.
 

swana

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@Moxie Mike and @swana
You’re not really listening to @Senzrock

He is saying that we shouldn’t just play our actual hand but rather our range of hands. On this kind of flop given the preflop action our range doesn’t do well, so we pot control. Especially considering how deep we are.

But you’re like ”yeah, we get the ranges talk but QQ is likely ahead so let’s fire away”. Doesn’t really make that much sense.
You are not listening me... I like betting in to the void and hoping something good (or at least not bad) happens. Cbet 100% baby!!! It works sometimes, right? Being a winning player in the long run is over rated.

On a side note, this whole pot control thing is probably something I should look in to.
 

utgtrash

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I lean towards check calling as I said, but see an argument for betting small as a way of protecting your range and keeping in hands you might actually be ahead of. However, I think it’s reasonable to assume you aren’t a big favorite vs both hands combined even if you’re ahead. You should be scared! If you played a three way pot with QQ and got this flop every time, I’m not sure if you would be +ev when you bet and are called.

I guess another way to look at it also is if you do bet and are called, what next? I wouldn’t want to bet flop, get a caller, and then probably have to follow through with a bet on the turn if a non-coordinated card falls. just gets pretty dicey. Sets up a pretty uncomfortable river spot.

There are times where I would take a more aggressive line but it is because I do know the players are too passive and maybe too sticky. Against a very good or overly aggressive player im sticking more to a baseline and just try to realize my equity.
 

Eriks

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You are not listening me... I like betting in to the void and hoping something good (or at least not bad) happens. Cbet 100% baby!!! It works sometimes, right? Being a winning player in the long run is over rated.

On a side note, this whole pot control thing is probably something I should look in to.
1D660EE4-A848-4059-864F-21140E96DF57.gif
 

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Noting that the discussion doesn't benefit from knowing BB isn't part of the picture later in the hand.

Hero should hate this flop. Much worse deeper and then we add in a skilled pro who could easily put hero to the test. God only knows what the amateur will do.

I recommend Hero's goal should be directed at stack preservation. Hero started with $380,000 and at the moment the fight is over a three-way $15,000 pot. The reverse implied odds are huge. < let's note I would say the same thing playing penny stakes. Hero is going to lose bigger pots than he wins with the over pair. > Hero is in a situation where he can be out played by skilled villains. Accept that and proceed accordingly.

I am not quite to a check fold line. But I am not putting much money into the pot. Cheap showdown or fold.

How to proceed isn't clear. I don't have a lot of experience playing vs really good villains. My bias is check / call one bet. Check fold vs a bet followed by a raise. from BB. Might even take the same line on the turn.

I can respect a bet / fold line. That might even be right? But I prefer a passive approach.

There are better times to go to war. -=- DrStrange
 

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Continuing.

Villain is new to high stakes poker. 22-year old crypto kid, billionaire dad. This is his 4th game with our group. Biggest game he played before that was a $10/$20 NLHE. He's coming off a high of having had an insanely run-good in his 3rd game the previous weekend, with profits of over $750K. He's not super experienced, and tends to break flow and lead out when he has a good hand. Relatively tight, and makes decent decisions. Hero is usual loose-aggressive.

Stacks: H - $380K, V - ~$500K.
Hero is up about $80k, V is up about $100k.

Hero is in the straddle, Villain is UTG+2. 7 handed game, about 3 hours into play. 100/200 with a perma-straddle UTG to $400.

Villain calls straddle. Small and big blinds call. BB is a pro, big cash game player from Vegas. SB is a well-known poker personality, semi-pro. Both are aggressive players.

Hero looks down at :qs::qd:.

Pro is eager to play hands with both H and V, and is most likely going to call a small raise with a wide range, planning to outplay on the flop. We need a raise that will fold most of his outer range, like AxS.

Hero raises to $4,800.

Villain calls.
SB folds.
BB Pro takes some time, calls.

Flop is :6s::8s::7d:

BB checks. He has about $200k behind, down about $100k.

Right away, the flop isn't great for us, given the limp-call range of our UTG+2 villain. Hero considers a check, but given how tight UTG+2 villain is, and how aggressive BB Villain is, decides on a small-ish bet.

We expect, given his prior plays, for UTG+2 Villain to raise if he has something (like top pair with an Ace, 2 pair or a set), and call if he's drawing. He almost always calls when he's drawing.

We expect BB Villain, given his extreme TAG image for the last 3 hours, to fold if he has air, raise if he's made a big hand like a set or 2 pair, and call if he's on a draw. We think he may also raise with a big combo draw or sometimes bluff the pot, especially if UTG+2 doesn't call.

Checking controls the pot, but doesn't necessarily give us additional information. Or at least, that was the logic I went in with.

Hero bets $5,000.
UTG+2 Villain pauses for a bit, then calls.
BB villain thinks for a second, and then folds.

Turn is :tc:

Hero?
 
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