A2s 4-bet bluff get's called....Now what?

DeleuzerDeleuzer Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
I've been working on having a 4-bet pre-flop bluffing range, and A2s is my go to hand for this range. This follows Doug's suggestion for such a 4-bet. I had such an opportunity recently, but then got called and had no idea how to play post. My image was a solid TAG with emphasis on the aggressive part.

This hand was played at Harrah's Cherokee 2-5. Effective stacks were $1075. The game texture was fairly tight, I was in the SB with :Ad :2d , Villain a solid tag in the BB had been playing a very aggressive pre-flop game for the last hour.

The highjack and cutoff limped, and I raised to $40. Villain made it $100. Everyone folded to me, and I made it $250. I decided this was a decent spot to take a 4-bet line, since Villain had been overly aggressive recently. Villain tanked and then called.

Flop :Jh :9d :7c

Since I had no idea what to do here, I decided to check the flop and see what villain would do. He bet $200 into the $503 pot. I called deciding to jam the turn if an Ace or diamond fell.

Turn :Tc

I checked, he bet $400 and I folded.

Now that I've had time to think through this hand, I'm still not sure what I should have done.

Since I had a blocker for the Ace, I'm thinking I could have check-raise shoved on the flop forcing my opponent to call with a non-nut over-pair. If I assumed his pre-flop calling range was KK+,QQ+ or even TT+, it seems pretty likely that he would have folded in this spot. I had pushed him off AA earlier in the night with a well timed turn bluff.

I could also have c-bet for $300 or over-bet shoved, forcing him to guess if he was ahead or not. Again he probably would have folded a decent amount of the time.

Obviously, I also could have check/folded instead of continuing, which also seems reasonable.

How do you handle getting a 4-bet bluff called? What's the appropriate play against a solid TAG who's 3-betting range is likely [TT+,AJs-AKs] in this spot? Was this even a good spot to try a 4-bet bluff?


  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 3,930 -
    Start with this:

    1. Assign 3 different ranges villain could have 3bet AND called your 4bet with
    2. Plug the board and each range into Flopzilla
    3. Think about which hands villain would continue with if you CB the flop (would he continue with AK-high? What about TT?)
    4. Which of those ranges do you think is most correct in this spot?
    My new book lays out the playbook for AK. Grab your copy and start Optimizing Ace King!
  • DeleuzerDeleuzer Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Thanks for the response. I did 1 and 2 for about 5 different ranges, but it's #3 that gets me stuck. I know for sure he's a smart player and when he tanked he was either thinking:

    a) I'm sitting on AA and my opponent has QQ or KK so do I want to shove over the top now or call and milk him later.

    b) I've got a strong hand, and am getting 7 to 1 implied odds on a call with position. It's only costing me $150 to see the flop and it's worth it to see what comes on the flop and how my opponent reacts to it.

    I know he has a little gamble in him, so my general sense was he would have called with [TT+,AKs], I don't think he's 3-betting with AKo, though that's certainly possible. Mind you it's been a passive game, and I've only seen maybe 4 or 5 3-bets in four hours. This was the first 4-bet pot. So he could have been trying to isolate with AQ and AK, which would have given him a 5ish SPR (if he was thinking about that).

    On this flop, I think he does fold TT and AKs to a CB, but I think he continues with QQ+. However, I also think he mucks everything except AA and JJ to a check-raise shove.

    If I give him half of the AKo combos with a range of KK+,AK, then he'd be folding almost exactly a break even percentage to a $300 c-bet in this spot, but with QQ+,AK or TT+,AK. I'm not getting enough folds for a c-bet to be break even.

    The check shove on the other hand seems to be much more likely to get a fold, assuming my read of his folding range is correct. In this situation he'd only need to fold about 45% of the time for me to show a profit. Even with KK+,AKs, his strongest range, if he folds just half his KK combos, it's a profitable move. If I'm right about TT+,AKs, then even if he calls with KK, the check-raise shove is profitable.

    Does this seem correct? And if so, does this mean I should check-raise shove my entire range in this spot?

    The flip side of this whole analysis is that by checking twice, his bet on the turn suggests he wants me to call, knowing that I'm likely committed. I assumed he assumed I was check calling the flop with QQ+. I'm not sure he bets the turn without a hand he thinks beats KK, since the only hand I'm probably folding to the turn bet is QQ, and that's questionable at this point since I just picked up an OESD.

    Still not sure what I should have done :-(
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,618 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The point of the 4 bet bluff is usually to win preflop a certain percentage of the time. If you felt this was a good spot, 1) I would rethink your 4bet sizing, as you are laying a tempting price, and 2) if this sizing failed, you don't have to go broke, especially on a board like this which hits a calling range that is going to be wider than 2.5% because of no. 1.

    Unlike a single raised pot, your represented range is so strong even on this board you can cbet and attempt to win the pot vs. the bottom of his range. In a three bet pot I like your check to pick up equity vs. a range that hits this too hard to fold.

  • JesseJesse Red Chipper Posts: 134 ✭✭
    @William - from your 2nd post it doesn't seem like things have gotten so crazy that people are 3-betting super light.

    My approximation says that 4~5 3-bets in 4 hours is like 4/120 ~= 3% 3-bet range. This is like AA-QQ,AK, which seems quite normal.

    What am I missing? Is the villain the only one who's been 3-betting people?
  • JesseJesse Red Chipper Posts: 134 ✭✭
    Pot is $500 and we have $800 behind - is it profitable to just open-ship?

    Let's say he could have QQ-22 and some other random hands.

    Expect calls with:
    QQ, JJ, 99, 77 - 15 combos

    Maybe he might have AJs (2 combos), KJs (3 combos), QJs (3 combos), JTs (3 combos)
    = 11 less-likely combos

    Let's say we have 5% equity when called:
    1300*.05-.95*800 = -695 when called

    We need him to fold about 60% of the time.
    695/(695+500) ~= 60%

    So let's say there are about 20 combos of hands he'd call with - therefore we need his total 3-bet/call range to consist of at least 50 hands (he's calling w/ 20 of em, folding the other 30). If you think his range includes AK (12 combos) and a bunch of low pocket pairs 66-22 (6x5 combos) along with some other junk, then maybe it works out.
  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 3,930 -
    persuadeo wrote: »
    and 2) if this sizing failed, you don't have to go broke

    Very much this.
    My new book lays out the playbook for AK. Grab your copy and start Optimizing Ace King!
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,343 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know this is kind of weird hindsight, but you can think about it like you lost $450 in the hand. If you take some of that money you spent on the turn and invest it preflop instead, it would probably be better spent. So let's say you raise to $350 instead of $250, and I think you increase your fold equity significantly.
  • DeleuzerDeleuzer Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Ah this is great! I was curious if the pre-flop sizing was a little bit too small as well. I find myself in this spot so rarely that I have very little experience with the play.

    As a general rule, do you try to make a pot size or larger raise pre-flop in this spot?
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,343 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Preflop you can raise more relative to the pot generally. For example, your original raise to $40 was more than a pot sized raise. So in that same vein, I think a raise of more than pot size is appropriate.
  • KemahPhilKemahPhil Red Chipper Posts: 101 ✭✭
    I'm not familiar with Doug's suggestion that you referenced in your original post. Does he recommend making this kind of move from the SB?
  • ShayneShayne Red Chipper Posts: 19 ✭✭
    edited January 2016
    But hey, William. Nice try. Don't forget, they definitely don't always call so whilst this one went tits up remember you are heading in the right direction. Well done for pushing the button on the plan! Those three bets steals can be a bit bigger in the cash game whereas in a tourney you will get a bit more leverage with something closer to a click back.
  • DeleuzerDeleuzer Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
    KemahPhil wrote: »
    I'm not familiar with Doug's suggestion that you referenced in your original post. Does he recommend making this kind of move from the SB?

    Oh sorry, I don't think Doug explicitly recommends this move from the SB. It's the A2s part that he recommended as a reasonable 4-bet bluff hand. It may not have been on RCP that he made this recommendation though.
  • KemahPhilKemahPhil Red Chipper Posts: 101 ✭✭
    It just seems to me that you should consider the fact that you're going to be out of position for the rest of the hand before making this move. As the hand played out, you ended up giving it up because you were out of position and your opponent could control the action.

    Seems to me like this is a better strategy from late position.

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