Queens in SB facing 3bet

RyanH1995RyanH1995 Red Chipper Posts: 33 ✭✭
Winning Poker Network (Yatahay) - $0.10 NL - Holdem - 8 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com

UTG: 654.5 BB (VPIP: 11.11, PFR: 9.26, 3Bet Preflop: 10.53, Hands: 55)
UTG+1: 250.3 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 1)
MP: 110.2 BB (VPIP: 15.73, PFR: 10.11, 3Bet Preflop: 3.23, Hands: 91)
MP+1: 127.8 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 1)
CO: 27 BB (VPIP: 23.08, PFR: 23.08, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 13)
BTN: 224 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 1)
Hero (SB): 100.5 BB
BB: 100 BB

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Qc Qd
fold, UTG+1 raises to 3 BB, fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 12 BB, Hero calls 11.5 BB, fold, UTG+1 calls 9 BB

Flop : (37 BB, 3 players) 7c Th 5s
Hero checks, UTG+1 checks, BTN bets 30 BB, Hero calls 30 BB, fold

Turn : (97 BB, 2 players) Jd
Hero checks, BTN bets 60 BB, Hero calls 58.5 BB and is all-in

River : (214 BB, 2 players) 8c

Im dealt Queens and am pretty surprised to see the button 3bet UTG+1. I am never folding here but my lack of history with these players puts me in a tough spot. With no reads I assume the button has a snug 3betting range here vs EP and I give him a range of JJ+ and AKo and AKs. I really did not have a plan for getting 3bet in this spot so I decided to flat as I thought I was up against a very strong range and also thought I would be put in a tough spot if jammed on. My hand has 47% equity vs the buttons 3bet range and I when UTG+1 calls I put him on a range of something like 88-JJ and AQo-AKo and AQs-AKs.

On the flop when button bets very big his hand feels like AA or KK to me. I think a lot of less experienced players at the micros bet huge in 3bet pots with the top of their range even on very dry boards. I think the only option here is to call.

When villain puts me all in on what is a blank turn in real time I thought he had AA or KK for sure. Based on his flop sizing I guess he could be betting very large with a hand like AK looking for a fold some of the time. Although I think Im behind here I make the call as I think it is too nitty to fold here. QQ is the very top of my 3bet flatting range and if Im folding on a runout like this I think I can be exploited way too easily. I think this is a spot I just need to call and expect to get shown AA and KK a decent amount of the time.

After analyzing the hand I think a 4bet is a more +EV line than flatting from the small blind. That way I have the betting initiative when OOP and could possibly take the hand down pre flop. Im still not sure how I would react to getting jammed on as players at these stakes almost never seem to jam pre flop for 100BBs without AA or KK. It seems very exploitable to 4bet with near the top of my range and fold to a jam unless they are a super nit but I really had no idea as this was only my second hand at the table.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    edited April 29
    The tough thing is that being out of position without initiative, you perhaps might not be able to realize all of your equity. And the pot odds are deceptive because you're probably going to be facing subsequent bets. And when you have the best hand, you're probably not getting paid off very much, eg. when they have JJ, but when you don't, you could end up paying them off big, eg. when they have AA/KK and you both have overpairs.

    You almost/sorta are priced in for a setmine, and you do have some solid showdown value, so I agree that you shouldn't fold, but I do think it is a rough spot. As for 4betting, I don't think it's a good play against such a strong range.

    If you think the bet size indicates such strength, why do you have to call? If they are forking their range with different bet sizes, that is a tell/leak that you can exploit by folding, because QQ is crushed by a QQ+ range. Even a JJ+ range. I think the reason to call here would be if you think they are also making this bet with AK. If they are, you have about 53% equity and can probably justify a call. I say probably because if they're the type who could bluff future streets and push you off your hand, you won't realize all of that equity, but I don't think you have to worry about that at NL10. I think they're going to play the turn and river pretty straightforwardly.

    If you knew your opponent was nitty and capable of folding, you could raise if you think they'll fold their overpairs. Some nits interpret a raise as "you hit the set", especially on this board and given that you cold called a 3bet. But I don't think most opponents are capable of folding overpairs at NL10, and you don't have any reads, so I wouldn't make that play here.

    I'd definitely look to fold this turn. You need about 27% equity to justify calling. It works out that if you are about 35% confident that they have AK in their range, that's where a call is breakeven. If you're more confident that they have AK, a call is +EV, if you're less confident, a call is -EV.

    I feel closer to maybe 10% confident that they have AK. When the pot gets big and we get to later streets, people at smaller stakes just don't bluff enough. And this is a scary board for AK to bluff at.

    (Just read your thoughts; sorry for a jumbled analysis/response on my part)

    Here is a point that I think is way more important. It's about GTO vs exploitative play. If your opponents aren't taking advantage of you the way they should, you can deviate and exploit them. Check out this video by Ed Miller talking about it. He uses an analogy that I love. Imagine two professional boxers. They bounce around and feel each other out. That's GTO. But now imagine a pro against an amateur. Would the pro bounce around and feel things out? No! He'd just go at the amateur and smash him! That's being exploitative. If you're against someone who won't exploit you, you can just "go right at them" and not worry about them making you pay.

    If QQ is at the top of your range and your opponent sees that you're folding the top of your range, yes, you can be exploited big time. But the question is whether they are actually going to do that. At NL10, almost certainly not. People moreso play their cards. And if your opponent is not aware or willing enough to exploit you, and is just betting their value hands here and checking AK, then the correct play differs from the GTO play - the correct play would be to fold.

    And it seems that you even acknowledge that they don't have bluffs by saying that they're on KK+ here. Perhaps you could hold that belief but worry that they'll figure you out and add in bluffs in the future to exploit you in the future if they see you folding the top of your range here, but I wouldn't worry about that. I'd read into the fact that this isn't an opponent who defaults to bluffing/aggression in big pots as a strong signal that they aren't the type who you have to worry about exploiting you.

    Also, I want to point out that I'm not alone in this position regarding GTO vs exploitative play. Check out Red Chips very own James Sweeney admitting that he is "very unbalanced" because that is often the correct approach to take. If you google around for exploitative vs. GTO strategies in poker, you'll find basically everyone in agreement that you don't need to be balanced at lower stakes, and that it becomes more of a dilemma as you get to higher stakes games.

    Sorry if that sounded rant-y. It is a pet peeve of mine, but I think that it is an easy mistake to make, trying to be balanced in spots where you don't need to be. I don't mean to come across as rude :)
  • YoshYosh Red Chipper Posts: 580 ✭✭✭
    No one is going to exploit your folds in one-off formations in an 8-handed game. There are so many other more worthy things to ponder than non-auto profit. Notice though, that you called to avoid a tough spot if jammed on pre, only to carry on and face several tough spots post. The truth is that hands that straddle the relative top and middle will always be tough to play, in a sense. That is the nature of the beast.
  • AceFromSpaceKKAceFromSpaceKK Red Chipper Posts: 281 ✭✭✭
    edited April 29
    @adamzerner great analysis!
    RyanH1995 wrote: »

    Im dealt Queens and am pretty surprised to see the button 3bet UTG+1. I am never folding here but my lack of history with these players puts me in a tough spot.

    when UTG+1 calls I put him on a range of something like 88-JJ and AQo-AKo and AQs-AKs.

    After analyzing the hand I think a 4bet is a more +EV line than flatting from the small blind.

    By just calling you make it very easy for your opponents to put you on a hand (if they have some experience). By 4betting you put HIM into a tough spot! Imagine being that guy sitting there with AK or KK.
    It's kind of surprising to me that he is firing flop and turn when you have the nut and range advantage. I think 4bet/fold is a good option at these limits.
    I guess you could put UTG+1 on any pp he opens, also good looking SCs and broadways.
  • RyanH1995RyanH1995 Red Chipper Posts: 33 ✭✭
    Thank you guys for the analysis. @adamzerner I pointed out that my opponent was not playing balanced with his bet sizing and line that usually contains no bluffs yet I was focused on playing balanced vs him. This was definitely a mistake and I was worried way too much about being exploited. @Yosh I also agree with you in that I attempted to make what I thought was an easier decision pre flop but this mistake compounded into facing tougher decisions post flop. I definitely need to work on having a plan post flop as well as focusing less on trying to play optimally against players who are unbalanced themselves.
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    @RyanH1995 No worries, that's why we study the game off table and learn. Keep in mind that your opponents are probably not taking the time to study and learn, and if you keep learning you're going to fly past them :)
  • RyanH1995RyanH1995 Red Chipper Posts: 33 ✭✭
    @Phil Ebbs I guess the fact that he was 3betting the UTG+1 opener and that I had no history with him made me think he had a very tight range. I agree the cold 4bet is much better than the line I took. He also did happen to be 3betting very light this time and the range I assigned him was not even close.
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    @Phil Ebbs My impression is NL10 players are similar to live 1/2 in that they are very passive with their 3bets. I started tracking population frequencies for 3bets once I got to NL20, and here is what I have there:

    3bet vs steal: 6/228 (2.6%; QQ+/AK)
    3bet vs strength: 8/508 (1.6%; QQ+/AKs)

    I assume NL10 is also in that ballpark, so I agree with the ~2-3% 3bet percentage.

    Note: I am talking about full ring here. I've seen that at 6max people 3bet more. I have a 4-5% 3bet percentage at NL20 there. But this hand is at a full ring table.
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    @Phil Ebbs I decided that a steal attempt is an open from BTN or CO, and everything else is a "strong" open. So 3bet vs. steal is looking at how often people 3bet vs a BTN or CO open, and 3bet vs strength is looking at how often they 3bet vs other opens.

    The sample size isn't perfect, but I believe that it is definitely big enough to point us in the general direction. Eg. my numbers say ~2%. So maybe reality is 3-4%, but I don't think reality is 8-10%. I think it's also worth noting that it's pretty easy to tell who is deviating from the averages. I've seen tons of people flat AK and QQ, so they're good candidates to be tighter. And I've seen tons of other people 3bet light, so they obviously are going to be closer to like 4-5%.
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    @Phil Ebbs Everything is data. Even if you just have one data point, that is enough to shift your beliefs in one direction. Now, it's probably not enough to shift your beliefs strongly, but it is enough to shift your beliefs somewhat.

    This gets in to bayesian vs. frequentist statistics a little bit. Traditional frequentist approaches say things like, "the results of this experiment were not statistically significant, therefore we're going to throw this away and move on". Bayesians say that this approach is wrong. They say that everything is data and you should always shift your beliefs in response to data, the only question is by how much.

    Ed Miller talks about this in How To Read Hands At Texas Holdem in the Profiling Players Using Bayesian Inference section. "As you keep watching hands, you get more and less certain with each raise and each fold about whether your hypothesis is correct or not."

    So, as this relates back to the question at hand, I really don't think we can ignore a 500 hand sample at all.
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    @Phil Ebbs I did think you were saying to throw it in the trash; sorry for having misunderstood. Agreed about how to respond to different ranges.
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    @Phil Ebbs I'm saying that I would assume that a typical NL10 is OMC style and 3betting really tight. That is the point that we disagree on.

    If I saw people consistently 3betting AJ and 99 and A5s, yet had that 500 sample say something different, then I agree that the sample perhaps shouldn't be weighed too heavily, although I think 500 isn't too small. But the sample does happen to match my impression of what I see people actually 3betting in NL10 games. I see them flatting with all that stuff, and rarely 3betting.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,002 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2
    You aren't going to find the Virgin on this grilled cheese sandwich.

    It's just a regular fourbet for most strategies because, duh, it's queens; an unususal fold vs the purest of nits; and only a call if you are interested in creating complexity and a whole set of options for yourself which are beyond the purvue of this forum.

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