River Donk Defense

Martin DMartin D Red Chipper Posts: 79 ✭✭
edited August 2018 in Live Poker Hands
Evening all. Sorry if this post ends up disjointed I'm sticking it in flopzilla as I type.

In this hand I faced a river donk on a paired board and was uncertain what to do. During my analysis of the hand I came up with a number of subquestions which I'm hoping you the reader can help me with.

Villain is one of the better players at the table, and I have no obvious "this is how I make him pay me" type notes on him.

Live £1/1, 6 players, about 9pm, whole table sober and not a lot going on.

Seat 1: Reg1 (£150)
Seat 2: Reg2 (£250)
Seat 3: Hero (£160)
Seat 4: Badreg (£100)
Seat 5: Badreg (£100)
Seat 6: Nitty TAG (£200)
Reg posts the small blind of £1
Reg posts the big blind of £1
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Qc Qs]
Hero raises to £4
Badreg folds
Badreg folds
Nitty TAG folds
Reg1 calls £3
Reg2 calls £3
*** FLOP *** [Jh 2h 2d]
Reg1 checks
Reg2 checks
Hero bets £5
Reg1 calls £5
Reg2 folds
*** TURN *** [Jh 2h 2d] [Kd]
Reg1 checks
Hero bets £11
Reg1 calls£11
*** RIVER *** [Jh 2h 2d Kd] [Tc]
Reg1 bets £25
Hero folds
Reg mucks

I think my poker knowledge is a bit weak regarding river donks. I generally assume they are pretty strong and that villain is worried that I might check back a hand he beats. I know villain is capable of bluffs, but I don't know whether he is capable of doing so in this specific spot.

Subquestion 1 - Do people agree or disagree with my generic opinion of river donks?

I've attacked this problem 2 ways - analysis of his range and analysis of mine.

My Range

This is what I expect my range to look like when I hit the river:-

https://imgur.com/a/kyUsh8t

Minimum defense frequency is about 64% or ~40 combos. If I were to defend to that frequency QQ is a snap call because I need to defend at least all my Jx and better to get close to that frequency .

I don't think people at my stakes bluff anywhere near optimally, especially in a spot like this, and therefore I don't believe I need to meet MDF. I would be interested in what sort of bodge rules people use in defending their ranges. If I were to arbitrarily defend half my range QQ is in. If I were to defend 1/3 of my range (ie. half of MDF) it is not.

Subquestion 2 - when facing a 1/2 to 2/3 psb by someone you believe has some bluffs but at a low frequency, what would a good "rule of thumb" defense frequency be?

I got to this river by betting about 60% of my range on every street (I'm assuming I dont slowplay in this range analysis for simplicity). On the flop I bet all of my nuts, pocket pairs, top pairs, flush draws and BDFDs. On the turn I bet my Jx or better, and my flush draws.

Subquestion 3 - Have I put myself in a spot by betting too wide a range?

His Range

I expect him to get to the river with hands fitting in one of a few categories:-
a)Flush draws - I stuck a ~15% range into flopzilla, removing QQ+ and AK. I then assumed that he only continued BDFDs on the flop if they were Ace high, not sure if thats a good approximation or not. This gave me 33 combos.
b)Jx - AJ KJ QJ JT - probably only suited combos. Probably. This splits down to
i. Combos that beat me KJs - 2
ii. Combos that don't AJs QJs JTs - 6 after QQ removal
iii. AJo if its there - 9 combos potential
c) Kx - KQs, KJs, KTs. 2 not already counted
d) Nuts, divided into rivered straights and slowplayed hands
i. Straights - 2 combos of AQs
ii. Slowplayed trips, quads, boats - 6 combos

Subquestion 4 - how often do live players slowplay nutty hands for 2 streets then donk bet the river? Is this a realistic line?


I'm going to assume that he doesnt look at his naked Jx and think "I really need to ensure he doesn't check back here". Especially given my sizing on previous streets - its not like I've been potting it and might only call a 1/2 pot bet to give him a cheaper showdown. Apart from that, I'm going to calculate my odds in three scenarios and compare it against my 26% pot odds.

Scenario 1 (~worst case) - villain slowplayed everything, is not bluffing any flush draws, and is betting everything JTs and better. QQ has 14% equity here (without JTs its 0%) and should be folded.

Scenario 2 - villain raises his trips, and thus doesnt have them, but not quads or boats (he only has JJ). Also assuming that the straights are there. No flush donks. QQ has 17% equity and is a fold. However if villain were to raise his combo draws on the turn (and thus have no straights) my odds are 20%

Subquestion 5 - is it at all realistic to assume that a villain might raise nutty hands but not combo draws?

Scenario 3 - villain raises his trips, and therefore doesn't have them. He also raises his combo draws therefore he has no straights. Finally, he bluffs his non-ace flush draws in the hope of folding out an ace high FD. This squeezes QQ into profitable with 33% equity.

Any more flush draws just makes it better to call - and he does have a lot of them. If he is a clueful player (which I *think* he is) could this be a spot to try and push me off Jx?

Subquestion 6 - the more I look at this spot the more it looks like a good one for him to bluff at. Is this realistic or am I just looking for fishy reasons to call?



Sorry for the extended rant/essay. I think my biggest conclusion is that I don't play enough live poker - if I did a fair few of these sub questions would not arise. My second conclusion is that if I want to defend my range I have to call. I'm not convinced, however, that I have to defend my range - in two of the three scenarios I put together QQ is a happy fold.

Comments

  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    *** RIVER ($44) *** :Jh :2h :2d :Kd :Tc
    Reg1 bets £25
    Hero folds

    1) I don't use mdf because as you stated low stake players are not bluffing enough.

    2) what range did you give the reg when calling from the blinds? Seems pretty tight with the combos that you say are beating you. Might want to expand that at 150bb deep.

    3) I agree with reg taking a check call line on two streets and donking river to be pretty strong. On the the flop you bet $5 into $12, which I think is fine, but remember they continue wider.

    Hands you lose to
    A2s (2)
    KJ (6)
    Kh9h-KhQh (3)
    Qh9h (1)
    TT (1) incase he is sticky
    AhQh (1)

    Now what hands do you beat that take this line?
    J10s (2)
    Axs? (7)

    I'm not finding many bluffs unless we start to include some low SCs which can add 4-5 more combos of bluffs.

    I think you played it fine. I also like your half pot turn bet despite it being an over card. Not sure how many backdoor combos i would give villain credit for. I could see all combos of KQ-AK as naked over floating the flop though. Just more combos you lose to.

    I would just given villain credit for taking a strong line.
  • JoeOffsuitJoeOffsuit Red Chipper Posts: 388 ✭✭✭
    Martin D wrote: »

    Subquestion 1 - Do people agree or disagree with my generic opinion of river donks?

    I don't think people at my stakes bluff anywhere near optimally, especially in a spot like this, and therefore I don't believe I need to meet MDF. I would be interested in what sort of bodge rules people use in defending their ranges.

    If you don't mind me stopping right here, I would like to mention something from one of the authors and founders of this forum, Doug Hull from his first book Poker Plays You Can Use (Vintage 2013):

    Remember the Chicken-Hawk Declaration.

    “If a passive player check-calls out of position on the flop and turn, then jams the river, he has whatever big hand you fear he has.”

    I have come to strongly agree with this, making this a very easy to fold a wide range against a passive player. Even if its made by an unknown player at low stakes, the low stakes player is usually expecting you to call with medium strength hands, making bluffs pretty rare here. So while MDF is generally a good approach with medium strength hands against strong unknowns who think you are capable of folding medium strength hands here. I believe there are lots of opponents who you could exploit by folding more than MDF here.
  • Martin DMartin D Red Chipper Posts: 79 ✭✭
    JoeOffsuit wrote: »
    Martin D wrote: »

    Subquestion 1 - Do people agree or disagree with my generic opinion of river donks?

    I don't think people at my stakes bluff anywhere near optimally, especially in a spot like this, and therefore I don't believe I need to meet MDF. I would be interested in what sort of bodge rules people use in defending their ranges.

    If you don't mind me stopping right here, I would like to mention something from one of the authors and founders of this forum, Doug Hull from his first book Poker Plays You Can Use (Vintage 2013):

    Remember the Chicken-Hawk Declaration.

    “If a passive player check-calls out of position on the flop and turn, then jams the river, he has whatever big hand you fear he has.”

    I have come to strongly agree with this, making this a very easy to fold a wide range against a passive player. Even if its made by an unknown player at low stakes, the low stakes player is usually expecting you to call with medium strength hands, making bluffs pretty rare here. So while MDF is generally a good approach with medium strength hands against strong unknowns who think you are capable of folding medium strength hands here. I believe there are lots of opponents who you could exploit by folding more than MDF here.

    It's a half pot bet, not a jam. It's also one of the stronger players on the table, not necessarily a passive player (although not hyper aggro). Good advice though, similar to some of the lessons in The Course.
  • Martin DMartin D Red Chipper Posts: 79 ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Austin wrote: »
    ...
    2) what range did you give the reg when calling from the blinds? Seems pretty tight with the combos that you say are beating you. Might want to expand that at 150bb deep.

    ...

    I gave him the below, seem reasonable?

    https://imgur.com/a/urC27tZ

    nb. looks like you give him Q9s and K9s where I don't. Would that be your main difference?

    I don't know what his opinion of me is, and how that might shape a call, but BB is probably the best player at the table and SB knows this.

  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Martin D wrote: »
    Austin wrote: »
    ...
    2) what range did you give the reg when calling from the blinds? Seems pretty tight with the combos that you say are beating you. Might want to expand that at 150bb deep.

    ...

    I gave him the below, seem reasonable?

    https://imgur.com/a/urC27tZ

    nb. looks like you give him Q9s and K9s where I don't. Would that be your main difference?

    I don't know what his opinion of me is, and how that might shape a call, but BB is probably the best player at the table and SB knows this.

    0c4ggi3vvh6y.png

    A bit too tight as expected. You dont give him A10o, 97s+, KJo, KQo....

    Seems like a very nitty game if they are not calling these hands with a price in the blinds.

    I would use something like this to start with But K9s and Q9s main donk hands on this river... Maybe not K9s as I think that hand still check calls.

    5vb35685krq5.png
  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 3,950 -
    edited August 2018
    This is so rarely a bluff imo and even worse since you don't have the :Qh and thus V can easily show up with:

    :Ah :Qh
    :Qh :9h

    Fold & move on.
    My new book lays out the playbook for AK. Grab your copy and start Optimizing Ace King!
  • dnoyeBdnoyeB DetroitRed Chipper Posts: 284 ✭✭
    The table image plays some role here. There is a flush draw on the flop but you are making 1/2 pot bets. You're not "protecting" you hand. The K doesn't bother you.
    Some will take this to mean you probably don't have it. I would expect a 2 to donk the turn since he's more likely to get a call there but admittedly a smaller one than a river donk. I think he's putting you on the J.

    I'd put him on a Broadway pair. Probably the K.
  • Martin DMartin D Red Chipper Posts: 79 ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Austin wrote: »
    A bit too tight as expected. You dont give him A10o, 97s+, KJo, KQo....

    Seems like a very nitty game if they are not calling these hands with a price in the blinds.

    I would use something like this to start with But K9s and Q9s main donk hands on this river... Maybe not K9s as I think that hand still check calls.

    5vb35685krq5.png

    Maybe I'm too tight and it's affecting my hand reading. I wouldn't call pre in the blinds with a hand like KJo vs an UTG open unless its some kind of dream situation. And if he has this many Kx/Q9hh/etc it makes the situation far worse than I thought it was.

    Thanks for the advice all.

  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 728 ✭✭✭
    Isn't including AK in the same grouping as AA, KK, QQ, and JJ a common misunderstanding in cash games?
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Joseph F wrote: »
    Isn't including AK in the same grouping as AA, KK, QQ, and JJ a common misunderstanding in cash games?

    Why? All our top hands. Low stakes AK played more passive though.
  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 728 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Austin wrote: »
    Joseph F wrote: »
    Isn't including AK in the same grouping as AA, KK, QQ, and JJ a common misunderstanding in cash games?

    Why? All our top hands. Low stakes AK played more passive though.

    Because it's not even a coin flip against either of those 4 hands. Why would you want to take AK and isolate yourself against a range that crushes it? Of course, there are other things to take into account and sometimes an all in pre with AK is the right call. To broad brush group it in with the top 4 premium pocket pairs is the part that has never made sense to me.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Joseph F wrote: »
    Austin wrote: »
    Joseph F wrote: »
    Isn't including AK in the same grouping as AA, KK, QQ, and JJ a common misunderstanding in cash games?

    Why? All our top hands. Low stakes AK played more passive though.

    Because it's not even a coin flip against either of those 4 hands. Why would you want to take AK and isolate yourself against a range that crushes it? Of course, there are other things to take into account and sometimes an all in pre with AK is the right call. To broad brush group it in with the top 4 premium pocket pairs is the part that has never made sense to me.

    It's for balance
    AK = 16 combos
    QQ-AA = 18 combos
  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 728 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Austin wrote: »
    Joseph F wrote: »
    Austin wrote: »
    Joseph F wrote: »
    Isn't including AK in the same grouping as AA, KK, QQ, and JJ a common misunderstanding in cash games?

    Why? All our top hands. Low stakes AK played more passive though.

    Because it's not even a coin flip against either of those 4 hands. Why would you want to take AK and isolate yourself against a range that crushes it? Of course, there are other things to take into account and sometimes an all in pre with AK is the right call. To broad brush group it in with the top 4 premium pocket pairs is the part that has never made sense to me.

    It's for balance
    AK = 16 combos
    QQ-AA = 18 combos

    Hence why it would be less common to want to gii with AK at lower stakes. I see.

    There are guys who have just always, and will always, treat it the same as AA, even in micro/low stakes online cash games. I would definitely think there would be less of this in a $1/2 or $1/3 live, for example.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Joseph F wrote: »
    Austin wrote: »
    Joseph F wrote: »
    Austin wrote: »
    Joseph F wrote: »
    Isn't including AK in the same grouping as AA, KK, QQ, and JJ a common misunderstanding in cash games?

    Why? All our top hands. Low stakes AK played more passive though.

    Because it's not even a coin flip against either of those 4 hands. Why would you want to take AK and isolate yourself against a range that crushes it? Of course, there are other things to take into account and sometimes an all in pre with AK is the right call. To broad brush group it in with the top 4 premium pocket pairs is the part that has never made sense to me.

    It's for balance
    AK = 16 combos
    QQ-AA = 18 combos

    Hence why it would be less common to want to gii with AK at lower stakes. I see.

    There are guys who have just always, and will always, treat it the same as AA, even in micro/low stakes online cash games. I would definitely think there would be less of this in a $1/2 or $1/3 live, for example.

    Lets say you don't get in with AK. Now villain has QQ and your willing to get it in he can easily fold. Other times they can even 4 bet fold KK (I used to Do this) if you flat 4bets with AK, QQ, and JJ what are you 5 betting with when I hold KK?especially 200bb deep you have huge edge over someone who does not get all in without KK or AA. Ya you can make money doing this, but you leave a ton of money on the table.
  • Martin DMartin D Red Chipper Posts: 79 ✭✭
    There are certain £1/1 and £1/2 players who I can assume don't 3bet/4bet AK due to their general level of passivity and/or obsession with trapping - probably somewhere near half of the regular faces. Against more aggro players like this guy I can reasonably assume its not in his calling range. I'm tracking this by keeping a rough count of their 3bet frequency and taking notes if they show up with something non-premium in a 3bp.

    He could even be 3betting wider, although hes in a bit of an awkward spot in SB facing a tight open and with a strong player to the left in the BB.

    Personally I'm always 3betting AK in his position. Probably AQ and A5s too. Maybe some other stuff. I don't want to go multiway vs strong opponents who I know can fold pre.

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