September 30, 2010

Table bullies, maths and baby pairs

I normally just up-sticks and find another table when I have a non-spewy aggro donk (meaning, most likely one of the better 100nl players at 6max) seated on my left, but when there's some bad players at same table sitting to left, you just got to hang around sometimes.

That can lead to some interesting table dynamics, which in turn can lead to some high variance pots. As I have a pretty robust bankroll for these stakes, I don't have a problem with adjusting my play to their ranges and betting styles, and the history that develops between us through 100 or more hands, normally too small a sample to make anything clear pre or post based on stats alone.

Here I wake up with AQo in the cut off, and even before I raise, I am almost sure the Mr aggro on the button will 3bet. He has a 15% 3bet, but more importantly, over 283 hands, almost all of that has been against me. I have 4 betted him once, where he folded, but the other six or seven times in this session, I have folded. It's what I do I guess.

Here I 4bet to just under one sixth of my stack, as we are playing 140bb effective stacks. I have decided a while back, once we became deep, that there will be no 4bet bluffs from me against him, it's just too likely that he can outplay me if he decides to call or whatever. In other words, unless I am certain he has me crushed, I probably am going with the hand.

Instead of folding, or flatting my 25bb, he insta shoves, which really surprises me. I time bank and finally call all-in.

Pre-Flop: A Q dealt to Hero (CO)
2 folds, Hero raises to $3, BTN raises to $10.50, 2 folds, Hero raises to $25, BTN raises to $199 and is All-In, Hero calls $109.40 and is All-In

The first thing to note here is that hands like AA-QQ I don't believe would normally do that this deep, in position, from a good player. They would think about it first.....,and if including card reduction therefore I think its only around 15% of the time. I would have 24% in that scenario

That leaves AK or a bluff/crazy play with baby pair. He has folded to only one 4bet previously, out of 3 in total. I used to play deep stacks at full ring, and it was rare to see a shove from a good player with AK at 200bb. I would rarely do it. But AK is a possibility, say 15% likely. I would have 27% in that scenario.

So here is where the history comes in. I have set up a "3bet in position" stat on my hud, which showes how often a player 3bets in position. I am amazed to see that over the 200 or so hands we have played at the table, he 3bets my raise from any position a staggering 38%. To assign a proper range to that is difficult, but I think it will be pretty wide, as good aggro players understand fold equity very well against a positional player like me, and I also 4bet-fold too. I think he might do any pair 22-TT, suited connectors and gappers, some Axs hands, and a few random bluffs like JTo, 64o. This is a 13% range, wide because of our history as noted, and his aggodonkishness. I have 58% to this range, and I think its 70% certain he is playing like that based on the above.

our expected value might be something like this therefore:

$EV=15%(24%x270) x 15%(27%x270) x 70% (58% x270) = $130.48

I am getting actual pot odds of 40% to call all in (pot is 162bb, 110bb for me to call) , it costs me $11o and my $EV is $130.48. I think its profitable and a decent call, even though it's a situation I would normally try to avoid even arising.

Full Tilt, $0.50/$1 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players - Hand History Converter
Hero (CO): $134.40
BTN: $199
SB: $100
BB: $101.50
UTG: $73
MP: $26.75

Flop: ($270.30) Q T 7 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Turn: ($270.30) 6 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
River: ($270.30) J (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Results: $270.30 Pot ($3 Rake)

Hero showed A Q and WON $267.30 (+$132.90 NET)
BTN showed 9 9 and LOST (-$134.40 NET)

Let me know if you think I spewed, or if you think my maths is out, which it could well be. Of course I didn't do these sums at the time, but I do away from the tables, and therefore decisions like this do become easier with a 30 seconds of thinking.

Finally, and most importantly, let me emphasise that calling an all in with 110bb behind with only 25bb invested is, normally a terrible play, and an auto fold. With 75bb behind, without history, I'm still considering a fold, although my 4bet would have been smaller.


  1. I think a good move here "when your opponent is 3betting a wide range" in position as pointed out is to flat call the 3bet w aq and crai a good majority of flops. This eliminates being dominated vs ak preflop. if he calls w JJ or lower you still have good equity. taking ak out of the picture post flop really increases your equity vs. his range

  2. Yes, it can work, but good players do know about that, and can quite often just call your shove, or shove over you, with a medium pair on a ragged flop. Calling a 3bet oop with AK-AQ with a view to CRAI is not clear whether I would get enough folds for it to be profitable.

    I am never trying to out play a good player, which this one was as I stated, out of position, post flop, in a 3bet pot.

    I am calling his all in because I think the maths is correct to make it profitable.

    thanks for comment

  3. I liked your report and your play too. Definately not spew!

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  5. Many useful info on your blog, thanks a lot!

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