August 31, 2009

calling 3bets using player types

In my previous post I talked about the 3bet and how much value is being lost in my view by its (over) application. I argued that keeping pots small and extracting value is more +EV than 100% 3bet/fold strategy. But what to do when tight people 3bet you, and you have to decide what to do. Well, I tend not to pay so much attention to stats, and much more to the type of player I am up against, our history, and my cards in relation to my position. A speculative hand such as sc or low pp is only good for me if I have position and I think my opponent will overplay his hand, as many do in 3bet pots. and I VERY rarely call a 3bet with 22-66.

So here is a hand to sum up. Villain is a mixture between an ubernit and a spewtard, who has only ever 3bet with a premium hand, but will go to showdown with it 100% of time. He is the perfect dude to therefore play a speculative hand in position with a view to busting his fat arse (he's got a huge stack). I have already called his 3bet once, and lost a few bb trying to make him fold by repping a flush, and regarding levelling, I know he knows he's not to believe me when I flat call from stealing position. I know I am way behind here therefore, and I know he thinks he's ahead. So this Villain is 18/16 with a 6.4% 3bet and, importantly, a huge WTSD%.

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 4 Players

Poker Tools by Stoxpoker - Hand Details

Hero (CO): $115.55 (115.6 bb)
BTN: $178.30 (178.3 bb)
SB: $332.45 (332.5 bb)
BB: $187.50 (187.5 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is CO with 9 of hearts T of hearts
Hero raises to $3.50, BTN folds, SB raises to $11.50, BB folds, Hero calls $8. I am in the habit of occasionally calling in position, only if I think villain has a preflop monster. T9s is no good against something like AQ or 66 as villain will rarely be prepared to play for stacks post flop, but great against AA-QQ.

Flop: ($24) 5 of diamonds 8 of hearts 7 of hearts (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $15, SB raises to $35, Hero raises to $104.05 and is all-in, SB calls $69.05
here I am happy in the knowledge that my opponent almost certainly has the overpair or possibly an unlikely AK. I am 56% versus his 44% range and I am definitely playing for stacks, as I understand I have no fold equity. I wouldn't have called without the intention of playing for stacks in a marginal spot otherwise. the only hand I am worried about is JJ, which is 51% against my 49%, as I have lost a few outs, and the AKhh which still leaves me with good equity. Note I have discounted sets from his range as I think he is set mining with these (which is a poor play in his situation, but I still think he plays that way). Even with a set, I am still 42% .

Turn: ($232.10) 5 of hearts (2 players, 1 is all-in)
River: ($232.10) Q of diamonds (2 players, 1 is all-in)

Results: $232.10 pot ($2.00 rake)
Final Board: 5 of diamonds 8 of hearts 7 of hearts 5 of hearts Q of diamonds
Hero showed 9 of hearts T of hearts (a flush, Ten high) and won $230.10 ($114.55 net)
SB showed J of diamonds J of clubs (two pairs, Jacks and Fives) and lost (-$115.55 net)

Please note my winnings here are not 232 bb. I need to subtract the 30bb I spent on an earlier hand finding out about this particular player. Why would I play for stacks with no fold equity in a flip situation ?(actually I am marginally ahead, but forget about that for now) Well, because of this dudes desire to commit when in a hand, I would continue to search him out, to continue to aim for the huge implied odds he offers, in order to recoup the "purchase cost" of my 30bb. I would also aim to avoid coinflip spots with no fold equity against him in the future, and therefore, for example, mix up by just flat calling with a hand like AA, or set mining maybe.

Final thing to note is I understand a lot players may not agree with this line. In a previous post, Lorin Yelle provided some input in why he believes I could make a mistake, as well as over valuing implied odds, so please read that for further analysis, keeping in mind that is a full ring situation, whereas this is 6max, where flipping is more common obviously. There is no need to play these type of hands at 1006max in 3bet pots, but with good reads, there is money to be made.

Hope this isn't too spewy a line.

OK so its back to playing poker in September.


  1. I like the investment analogy. Something I've understood for a while but never implemented properly is that you don't get paid unless you invest a little, either by 3-betting, semi-bluffs/bluffs or light call downs.

    Interesting the difference in equity with your hand, on this board facing JJ v AA-QQ.

    Might be a brainless question but given you know you have minimal fold equity would you play the hand the same way if you had a similar stack size to villain?

  2. james, that is a very good question, and not brainless.
    i am even more likely to play in 3bet pots in pos with both players 300bb+ deep v this type of player in particular. he is just so inclined to overplay his cards and not think about opponent.
    in this spot i would be raising his check riase to just over pot, inviting him to push the remainder of his stack, which i am snap calling. if he flat called,at that point the pot would be 195bb with us both having 205bb behind. if turn was a brick and he checked again, then that would be a bit harder to guess, as i am not sure how much fold equity i would have and whether he would continue to cr the turn. at that point i am down to 32% equity on his adjusted range (aa-jj, akhh, aqhh) so i may take the free card. however his check call would really turn his cards face up to jj-qq and he would have to ask himself a hard question if i did bet out a half pot bet on the turn, which i really might do in that scenario say only 20% of the time even with this type of player. if i did make the bet, and he cr again, i prob would have the odds to call, hence the reason to take the free card, to avoid hating myself but having to call. if the river bricked again i think i would have to check (unless i bluffed the turn, and he flat called, then i push all in on any card, even though i hate myself by then, and hence only rarely betting brick turn to avod that spot) , but he still is going to pay my pot river bet off if i hit my 15 outs, and i will get his stack if the 2 remaining jacks hit.
    finally to re-emphasise the reason to play the 3bet pot here, v his range, t9s can so easily bust this player type, and if you imagine all the hands that complete for me on the turn or river, he is never believing em so many times, and other times my nut hand give his range 2nd nuts.

  3. and finally finally, the other reason not to bet the turn if it bricks is because the hands that i am repping by then(a slow played aa-kk, 78s or a set) this type of player is incapable of laying down to, hence the no fold equity, even 300bb deep. it just verges on the spewy.
    against a good observant player, repping these hands is maybe easier, as you put them under a ton of pressure, as they know they are facing another barrell on river.

  4. Linked you up mate if you would kindly do the same :)

  5. not to be rude or anything but your whole reasoning about 3 bet pots is really noobish. The way you played this hand is pretty bad if your opponent is always stacking off AA KK QQ JJ. It's a supermarginal play vs a bad player. I don't mind calling pre and i don't even hate gettting it in when he reraises flop but seriously if you have no fold equity it's a pretty meh spot.

    Your whole thought process about investing 30 bb in previous hands to ' find out' what your opponent is doing in 3 bet pots is pretty terrible as well. And geting it in on a big flip is not going to compensate you for it. calling to setmine in this spot would have been a much more solid plan since you are getting better odds to bink the flop and happily stack off , being a likely masisve favourite. The problem with implied odds hands like 9Ts vs bad preflop ABC nits , is that you are going to flop draws or toppair. Both of which you shouldn't be too excited about since he crushes you and not the other way around. Honestly in this spot you were the donk , knowing you were up vs a superstrong range and trying to rationalise your postflop play ' in 6 max flipping is normal' , no it's not. That's a severe misconception. Getting it in with draws is considered to be a part of metagame. you just said your villain is retarded and is always going to show up with JJ-AA. If that's the case then you should not play 9Ts the way you did. There is no level vs this guy. You levelled yourself like the true donk you are.