How to think at the table

zampana1970zampana1970 Red Chipper Posts: 546 ✭✭✭
This was motivated by a thread @Dabby posted earlier today.

I’m trying to come up with different, more manageable and maybe more intuitive ways of thinking about a hand in play that is an alternative to all the math and concepts and strategies and ways of looking at positions and such. There’s so many theories and ideas and models - SPR and GTO and frequencies and ranges and game flow and how many bluffs I've made versus hands played in the last hour and how many hands V has played and how many bluffs I’ve seen and there’s pot odds and drawing odds and our equity vs estimated ranges and where this hand fits in our range and board texture and future action plans and +EV decisions and on and on and on! There’s just TOO MUCH to think about in any given spot at any given time.

Further, so much of the theory is just that. It's developed in the abstract and can't possibly take into account that specific hand that will happen only once ever - that hand in that moment on that day in that casino in that tournament with those specific players and their in-the-moment psychological states. Poker is a game of information and the information is almost infinite. The math and theory might say one thing but there’s so much more info to factor in to tough decisions.

I'm wondering, particularly from our pros and long time live grinders, how you approach tricky spots? What do you rationally think out when you're tanking? Do you have go-to theories that you rely on, maybe fact checking against another related theory, and then going from there? Or do you leave all the theory back at home and just play intuitively, trusting that the theory has integrated and now you can use your fast System 1 (intuitive thinking) rather than the slower system 2 (rational) thinking? Or maybe you combo from both sides

Live play can be overwhelming and reaching for all the theory in a tough spot has not worked well for me. Any thoughts here would be greatly appreciated.
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  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 925 ✭✭✭✭
    I break my game up into two phases. at the table, and what I think about when I get home.

    At the table i"m very systematic, I very pretty fixed pref lop ranges, that I will adjust in sytamatic ways against certain kinds of players (and tables). But I know what I want to look for between hands, or because I've played with them before, and what changes I will make.

    I've model what type of hands players call my raise with preflop, and what type of hands they call with at home. So at the table this becomes systamatic. This board hits a fish weakly so I can barrel, if i have equity. This flop will get more the 50% folds form the regs calling range so I can cbet 1/2 pot priftiably type thing. But I know these things because Ive modeled players at home.

    Again, this is pretty systematic using a REM, or at least an EV model, how does a basic range they are playing hit this flop, ow do I think they will play each part of the range, (but all this is worked out at home)...by the time I get to the table I intuitively, know how each flop will react with each players range and how best to play my hands.

    Much of this comes from modeling my opponents. I believe that most 1-2 players may
    bluff and A high board once but not do it twise...so with KK I check Ace high boards on the
    flop, and call once. This is my current model. But having it I watch players on Ace high boards and watch for the ones who never bluff Ace high boards or will bet them twice. Here know I can adjust (again I work out the adjustment at home).

    AT home:
    I model my opponents...sure its often starts as a guess. then I try to work out the best line agianst them. Some of this modeling (a lot) came from watching pro videios and noting any observations they made, and their adjustments. If I'm not sure I might post the hand or the situation and see what other think of my assumptions and/or my line.

    This then becomes a cyclical process....observe games (videos) make assumptions. Come up with lines against these assumptions. Play with these lines, watch for players who play differently then my assumptions...take it home, work at lines against these lines...repeat. It's a bit like solving a big puzzle but its makes sitting and watching the game with these models much more fun.

    Note you don't need it all at first. You can start with simple assumptions. IF they raise the flop they have a big hand....then watch for the players who raise the flops with draws or cold bluffs, and model for them as well. What does a donk bet mean....what type of hand is a small blind potting into a 6 way limped pot mean. What if he then says same bet on the turn after getting 2 callers mean. what line will take advantage of these things.

    Tools like SPR are important because they bring the two together. You raise AK and get 2 callers. the flop is KQ3 rainbow. It checks to you you raise and get shoved on (or raised size to commit), should you call. Well go home think of what there shoving ranges are, see what equity you need given the pot size our bet and the stack size. Now determin what equity you need....what spr matches this...know by your modeling you know what SPR you need in similar situations. Maybe you assume they would shove Kto here.....you watch for a while no one every shove just a King on these boards....go back and revalutate taking those hands out.

    realized I kind of ran on here a bit (but this is really a course) but hope some of these ideas might help.
  • LukaLuka Red Chipper Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    This was motivated by a thread @Dabby posted earlier today.

    I’m trying to come up with different, more manageable and maybe more intuitive ways of thinking about a hand in play that is an alternative to all the math and concepts and strategies and ways of looking at positions and such. There’s so many theories and ideas and models - SPR and GTO and frequencies and ranges and game flow and how many bluffs I've made versus hands played in the last hour and how many hands V has played and how many bluffs I’ve seen and there’s pot odds and drawing odds and our equity vs estimated ranges and where this hand fits in our range and board texture and future action plans and +EV decisions and on and on and on! There’s just TOO MUCH to think about in any given spot at any given time.

    Further, so much of the theory is just that. It's developed in the abstract and can't possibly take into account that specific hand that will happen only once ever - that hand in that moment on that day in that casino in that tournament with those specific players and their in-the-moment psychological states. Poker is a game of information and the information is almost infinite. The math and theory might say one thing but there’s so much more info to factor in to tough decisions.

    I'm wondering, particularly from our pros and long time live grinders, how you approach tricky spots? What do you rationally think out when you're tanking? Do you have go-to theories that you rely on, maybe fact checking against another related theory, and then going from there? Or do you leave all the theory back at home and just play intuitively, trusting that the theory has integrated and now you can use your fast System 1 (intuitive thinking) rather than the slower system 2 (rational) thinking? Or maybe you combo from both sides

    Live play can be overwhelming and reaching for all the theory in a tough spot has not worked well for me. Any thoughts here would be greatly appreciated.

    I feel where you are coming from. It touches upon some of the difficulties in progressing in this game. There are lots of concepts, ideas, materials out there on this game. Some good, some bad. It's difficult to not get overwhelmed by all this info and what to make of it and how to apply it. Also, for all the information out there people can speak on lots of terms and concepts but it rarely reveals a cohesive strategy or a deep understanding.

    I think the path forward is moving away from a reactionary approach where you are constantly trying to run through a database of concepts to guide you in the moment. Taking some time to think about the game, and use resources available to you. This forum has some real gems in it on this topic. If you want an example, I'd recommend the Soto Reveals videos in the pro library. Whether you decide you like his approach or not it is an example of a player having developed a cohesive strategy off the table so that their decisions in the moment are things they've already contemplated and anticipated. You'll see the clarity he has as to what to look for while playing as well because he's isolated and narrowed down the variables he's having to deal with through off table work.

    I used to struggle with the same frustration where I felt I had a bunch of stuff I did but none of it amounting to a strategy.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,430 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A couple thoughts that might help:

    - At the table, accuracy is more important than precision. You can Google the difference.

    - If you're really struggling in a hand, it could be that it's just too hard to figure out, or it could be that it's simply really close. If the latter, I think it was Ed Miller who said we spend so much time analyzing the really close decisions, when in the end it doesn't matter. That's almost the definition of a really close decision! Pick the one that gives more action if it seems near 50/50.
  • zampana1970zampana1970 Red Chipper Posts: 546 ✭✭✭
    These are all good thoughts guys. I guess I'm still interested to know what's going through your heads when you are in a complicated spot. I know I can get some of this by watching a live sweat video - definitely has the sense of it. But interested I suppose what people think they are thinking, if that makes sense :-)
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,430 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It would be useful if more people described their full thought process in hand examples, as some people do.
  • zampana1970zampana1970 Red Chipper Posts: 546 ✭✭✭
    True enough. Although I guess what you run into is accuracy which is sort of why i was coming at it from a more general place. How do people think they think?

    I don't actively do a lot of math at the table, while weighing a tricky spot. I will feel out how many combos of my Vs perceived range I beat vs combos that beat me -- just a quick run through them and I should get an idea of how weighed once way or the other it is. But I don't have the ability or brainpower to accurately balance all those numbers in my head.

    I'll have my blinds figured early (duh) and SPR, so I generally don't need to think about that. I'll think out how a player got to the spot we are in to see if it's likely he has what he's repping. I'll then try and get a sense of my equity against what I think his range is, but again this is an educated guess - I'm not actually calculating any of this. I figure I get it close enough to make a decision, and if I feel like I need to be more accurate then the spot is too close for tournament play and I'll lay it down.

    I may think about gameflow, how many times I've bluffed, how many hands I've played against this V, to see if there's anything there I can use in a decision.

    The last thing I'll think through is what I think V thinks of me and what I'm doing and what they'll do once I decide. The longer I take to figure the spot out the more likely they'll think I'm marginal. I know that I should take a little more time in those spots where I know I'm good to balance out this tell, and sometimes I'll try and do that in a particularly long tournament.

    That's generally what I remember thinking in many of the weird spots I get into - my general process or headspace.
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,310 ✭✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    It would be useful if more people described their full thought process in hand examples, as some people do.

    This can be intimidating. What I mean by that is, when people post their thoughts, usually they include things that they didn't consider at the table, in that moment. Rather, it's an accumulation of other things they've considered hours after the hand took place. So, to some people reading these, it can appear as though a player considered a ton of factors during the hand--when that probably isn't true. So, one can be left thinking--wow, this player thought of 100 factors, and I could only think of one.

  • zampana1970zampana1970 Red Chipper Posts: 546 ✭✭✭
    @bigburge10 exactly - definitely the point of the OP was to get a realistic description of what we are ACTUALLY thinking in hand. I see a lot of analysis that is great but I find it really hard (intimidating) to believe that level of analysis is happening in that minute or so sitting at the table. Or seconds, likely!

    The new post button has disappeared for me - maybe cuz of recent spamming - but I'm halfway through this book:

    How to be a poker player: The Philosophy of Poker
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20363201-how-to-be-a-poker-player

    It's REALLY good, IMO. Not a strategy book but definitely a how to think, what to think, deep on the metagame, deep on frequency and range thinking, etc, book. I think it's self-published and I have no idea who this dude is but I've gotten a lot to think about out of it, particularly around this question of what we are doing and thinking in the moment at the table.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    @zampana1970 ... I'll bite...

    Played a hand today where I tanked...
    I'll give you a peak into the demented mind of kagey:

    It's folded to me. I raised pre in MP with 77.
    I make it 20. (my standard opening in the 1/3 game)
    Button calls. Blinds fold.
    First thing I think:
    "who called and what should he have? what's his stack size?
    Button is a player that I know of - he can be aggro, but he does it with a purpose.
    Since he didn't 3-bet (and he's not afraid to 3-bet) - his range should be suited connectors, broadways, pocket pairs. He's not super tight. But he's not just calling because he has the button.
    He folded his button a few hands ago...
    He's got like 500 behind. I've got him covered.
    Ok, cool."

    Flop: :4S: :4H: :9C:
    Pot is 40

    "Can I c-bet?
    The flop should give Hero range advantage. While I don't have a lot of 4s in my range, I should still have overpairs in my hand. so, yeah....
    How much should I c-bet?
    I think I'm ahead of V's range, still. I'm targeting hands that may want to call/chase.
    He might have an underpair that I can also get value from..."

    Normally I check a paired flop, but I think V bets his entire range if I check - and I'm not in the mood to bluff-catch and play a game of chicken with this player.
    I c-bet 25.

    V thinks for a moment and raise to 60.

    Back to me....
    "Fuck!
    How much more?
    45?"
    (okay - here's where I start to tank.)
    "45 more. there was 40 in the pot pre. I put in 25, he puts in 25...
    90 total in pot. 45 for me to call.
    It's a very callable bet... but more importantly, what does it mean?
    V's got position.
    and although I'm showing strength...
    I think he would be one to smooth-call with trips or a set.
    So why is he raising me?
    What happen pre flop again?
    I raised.
    No other callers.
    V on button called.
    So he's probably not calling with suited connectors/gappers - cuz
    he's not getting any pot odds.
    So he'd have to be calling with pocket pairs, broadways and big Aces.
    I doubt he's doing it with a 9... like A9s... but maybe.
    what did I c-bet?
    25.
    was that too weak?
    no.
    that's pretty standard.
    45 more to call?"

    (I count out chips to call and think some more)

    "Pot is 90-ish?
    I'm getting 2:1.
    heck, I can't even beat a 9.
    Can I re-raise?
    Seems like a gross overplay here. I mean, if I was playing A4, 44 or 99... it would be stupid of me to raise and push V off his hand.
    So if I 3-bet, I makes it obvious that I don't have a 4 or a boat.
    Can I float and rep a 4 later?
    unlikely...
    What would I expect V to fold here?
    Would V even fold to a raise? I dunno.
    how much more does he have behind?
    I cover him. He's got 400-ish more.
    shoving's out of the question...
    So back to the raise... what does it mean?
    Seems like V wants to slow me down or get to cheap showdown with a showdownable hand.
    Maybe he's raising because he wants me to check it down if I call.
    But if I call, there's no way that I'm getting action if I spike a 7 on the turn or river.
    So basically, if I call... I doing it to spike a 2-outer...
    cuz V's got to have my 7s beat...
    How many times has he made this move on me today?
    none.
    How many times have I raised and c-bet and gotten resistance from him?
    none.
    He's got to have a hand that beats my 7s.
    right?
    If I'm calling I'm probably already behind...."

    I fold.
    V shows JJ

    I don't know if this is a standard thought-process... but as I tried to show... it's solving a puzzle or learning a foreign language.
    V & Hero are having a conversation with chips.
    I told V that I have a good hand.
    V said, "I don't believe you."
    Now I have to figure out if V is saying this because it looks like I'm FOS or have AK, or because he's correctly figured that his hand is indeed stronger than mine.
    I try to gauge V's strength before I start to consider my pot odds, implied odds, etc.
    The size of his bet (in this case) meant strength.
    I thought that he thought I wasn't FOS... so he wasn't raising just to make a move.
    and as you can see - I'm not just calling this bet... but I'm looking ahead to what V or I might do.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,430 ✭✭✭✭✭
    bigburge10 wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    It would be useful if more people described their full thought process in hand examples.

    This can be intimidating.

    Yes, also you're sticking your neck out for judgements on all your thoughts in the fourm.

  • (RCP Coach) Fausto(RCP Coach) Fausto RCP Coach Posts: 802 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    So @zampana1970 I pretty much just boil it down to a few factors that are always relevant in hand that will help me make a decision and all the small details like the raw equity of hand , spr and more is done of the table to tie everything together so i dont make massive mistakes.

    You need to learn all the details of what goes in a hand and then ask yourself ok how can i make this proccess simpler. I do that with everything.
    COACHING NOW AVAILABLE HERE
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,310 ✭✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    bigburge10 wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    It would be useful if more people described their full thought process in hand examples.

    This can be intimidating.

    Yes, also you're sticking your neck out for judgements on all your thoughts in the fourm.

    But, we can say that that's why one would post a hand in the first place--to be judged. But, I think I know what you mean--some people may post a hand without being prepared for the judgement they're about to receive--not to say that this forum is so harsh that someone should be afraid. Is that what you mean?
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,430 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You need to learn all the details of what goes in a hand

    Of course asking yourself all the right questions during the hand is at least half the battle to begin with....

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,430 ✭✭✭✭✭
    bigburge10 wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Yes, also you're sticking your neck out for judgements on all your thoughts in the forum.

    But, we can say that that's why one would post a hand in the first place--to be judged.

    Yes, you have to get over your own pain threshold.
    bigburge10 wrote: »
    But, I think I know what you mean--some people may post a hand without being prepared for the judgement they're about to receive--not to say that this forum is so harsh that someone should be afraid. Is that what you mean?

    Yes, this forum is easier than some others, but still it's a lot easier to be a wallflower than it is to put your ego on the line.

    I should probably ask more questions myself. I suppose the main reason I believe more and more that the real answers to questions rely on more history and biographies of the players than can really be put in a forum post. But posting a hand example with all your thoughts can still reveal how you're thinking about a hand, if not which decisions are correct based on all your examples.
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,310 ✭✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    I suppose the main reason I believe more and more that the real answers to questions rely on more history and biographies of the players than can really be put in a forum post. But posting a hand example with all your thoughts can still reveal how you're thinking about a hand, if not which decisions are correct based on all your examples.

    Bingo

  • zampana1970zampana1970 Red Chipper Posts: 546 ✭✭✭
    @kagey I thought that thought transcription was excellent. And in a way it made me feel a little better about how I'm playing - I'd say I'm probably thinking along the same lines, but your are working a clearer thought pattern than I do - I definitely bounce around more. Of course that could be the transcription.

    @jeffnc History and biography - yeah I couldn't agree more. Which is why I'm feeling like as well as we might be able to model spots and hands, we'll never be able to mathematically solve that particular spot with that particular person in that particular moment. This is where poker becomes less a sport or game and more a performance or debate. This is why I LOVE playing live and really meh online. The richness of playing a 14 hour tournament and getting to the final table and finding yourself with 5 of 9 people you've played with before and where you can start making reads and figuring out patterns and such. Wonderful.
  • zampana1970zampana1970 Red Chipper Posts: 546 ✭✭✭
    @Faustovaldez123 Yes, simplify, distill. All the modeling in the world before sitting at and now we play. It's like golf - you never want to think about the mechanics of your swing in the moment. Or boxing. If you get in the ring and you're thinking jab-jab-right-cross as counters, you'll get your chops chopped.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @kagey I thought that thought transcription was excellent. And in a way it made me feel a little better about how I'm playing - I'd say I'm probably thinking along the same lines, but your are working a clearer thought pattern than I do - I definitely bounce around more. Of course that could be the transcription.

    sounds like you're doing the same from your posts.
    I don't often tank - but when I do it's because a betting line has me confused and I don't want to proceed without some clarity about what I'm getting into. Playing the hand back from the beginning often helps...

    also since the board was really neutral - I didn't really consider the combos of draws that he could be doing this with... it seemed more cut and dry to a 9, overpair or trips... none of which I beat. So this tank wasn't extensive... didn't really need to do a lot of math as far as calculating odds as to whether or not I should call because I'm priced in.

    BTW - the raise must of been $70 not $60 because I definitely remember it being 45 more to me and I had bet 25...
  • zampana1970zampana1970 Red Chipper Posts: 546 ✭✭✭
    I don't tank much either but I think sometimes I play too fast. I'll be too fast calling off my stack - I'll have decided earlier in the hand that I'm going to play this one for stacks or that this is my hand and I'll discount/ignore subsequent action. Or even, I'll realize the board has run out bad but since I decided earlier that this is the hand to go with (say under 20bb late in tourny, it's now or never kinda thing) I'll just press forward, when I should instead stop, take a breath, and reevaluate. I still might stick to plan, but it doesn't hurt to take a little time sometimes to just check in and see.
  • (RCP Coach) Fausto(RCP Coach) Fausto RCP Coach Posts: 802 ✭✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    You need to learn all the details of what goes in a hand

    Of course asking yourself all the right questions during the hand is at least half the battle to begin with....

    yeah for sure, we still have to implement correctly
    COACHING NOW AVAILABLE HERE
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 1,756 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    @zampana1970
    For you, here is a hand played during the yesterday RCP Meetup.

    Hero and the 4 players at his left are RCP.
    Main Villains are:
    - Lara (I think @eisen009 ? but she said not being very active on the forum)
    - An Asian guy (NOT RCP), 40-ish. Arrived 2-3 orbits ago. Seems to play loose pre and fit-or-fold post, in a somehow weak way (he hesitated to call a raise with trips few hands before, when it was clearly the best hand.)

    Preflop
    Hero is UTG+1 with :AS: :JC:
    Effective stack is 342$ / 171BB (Hero's stack).

    UTG fold. AJo is a good hand. I open for 12$ (upper fork of the standard raise)
    Fold to Lara (MP or UTG+3) who 3-bet to 47. Fold to SB who, at my surprise, cold call. BB fold. What do I do?

    My thinking process: Preflop
    Lara seem a very decent player. She played somehow tight and I think her range is good, better than AJo. SB call is bizarre: cold calling OOP when the PRF still has to speak... So he shall not have too many junk / weak hands here. Back to me: I've AJo. It's a good hand, we are deep (171BB at the start of the hand), I won't be OOP (2nd/3), I've good odds because SB calls. 4-bet is not a possibility: it's too weak either to play a bloated pot (maybe OOP) or to face a 5-bet shove. So I call

    Flop
    pot: 158$
    :KC: :TS: :7S:
    SB and Hero check
    Hero said "And now to the Preflop raiser who gonna C-Bet" (I usually don't talk, but it was a friendly RCP game :) )
    Lara C-Bet 75$. SB call easily.

    My thinking process: on the Flop
    What do I do? I'm sitting with gutshot + bckd nut FD. It's not a great great hand - not so much equity in this 3-player hand. Even I expect a ton of C-bet from PFR (because K high = good for her range; and 2 :SPADE: = "have to bet" to charge the :SPADE: FD). SB calls so he has to have something.
    I look at the chips: see that the effective stack will be mine. Pot odds for a call are 75/(158+75+75+75) ~75/375 = ~20%. It's a great price to make me call.
    But if I call, I can only improve with :SPADE: (for a FD) and a Q. Both of them may kill the action and, still, are unlikely to come. If I call, my stack will be 220$ for a 378$ pot on the turn. So despite the great price, we are on the leverage point. A call implies I will have a great price to go all-in in bad situation.
    Do I raise? If raise to 220$, it will be odd to my stack size (less than 100$ remaining), and they will have good odds to call. And my stack will be even smaller on the turn. What about an all-in?
    I see that I've :AS: . It's a great card because I block all nut FD and esp. AsKs (TPTK+nutFD). Are also blocked: AsQs, AsJs, AsTs, KsTs, QsTs, JsTs. :JC: helps a little: to block KJ esp. KcJc, and QJ (so half OESD). Also, Lara shall have a lot of not-nutted hand in her range because even if she 3-bet, I expected her to C-Bet 100% of her range, so a lot of combos to C-Bet/fold. And SB is capped: despite having something, he should not have a nutted hand either.

    Hence, I see my position: it's the leverage point, I've a great blocker ( :AS: ), with some equity with the nut backdoor flushdraw and a gutshot, against 2 ranges which have many hands to fold.

    Hero C-R all-in for the remaining 297$.

    Resolution
    Lara thought 2 minutes. And fold. She said she was holding QJs (but not in spades)

    Asian guy tank for a really long time. Said "I don't believe you slow play 77". Said he has no idea about Hero's hand. "What, really trips??" Talked a bit with Hero. Showed :KS: trying to get a tell, but Hero didn't flinch. [And at this point, Hero is afraid because it's the best card to hold for a call] After he asked "Do you want me to call?", Hero shut up. After more tank and conversation tries, he.... calls, giving more tell pushing his chips that he was totally confused in this situation.

    Turn: :6D: (a brick)
    River: :QC:

    Hero won the hand with the nuts, top straight.

    And the audience is surprised - a RCP lady even said "I'm never gonna go against you"
    :)
  • NinjahNinjah Red Chipper Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    @Red I think calling pre is my least favorite option. AJo is not a great hand to play OOP against the 3-bettor. With the SB in the hand and the blocker value of AJ, I like 4-betting. I'm not looking to 4-bet because this hand plays well post (because it doesn't), I'm looking to 4-bet to pick up the dead money (forcing folds preflop) and to discourage the 3-bettor from trying this in the future.
  • The MuleThe Mule Red Chipper Posts: 777 ✭✭✭
    Ninjah wrote: »
    @Red I think calling pre is my least favorite option. AJo is not a great hand to play OOP against the 3-bettor. With the SB in the hand and the blocker value of AJ, I like 4-betting. I'm not looking to 4-bet because this hand plays well post (because it doesn't), I'm looking to 4-bet to pick up the dead money (forcing folds preflop) and to discourage the 3-bettor from trying this in the future.

    One thing I've always struggled with is, what do we want to block with our 4-bet bluffs ? Is the ace a good blocker because it blocks pocket aces and strong aces, or a bad blocker because it blocks likely 3-bet bluffs and makes it more likely our opponent will have a high pair like QQ or KK ? And is the J blocking his folding range or his calling range ?

    I'm sure this is a simple exercise on Equilab but I don't have a good sense of what range people will continue to a 4-bet with (if anyone wants to suggest a typical 4-bet calling range that would be helpful).
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 1,756 ✭✭✭✭
    @Ninjah
    Thanks for the feedback - it wasn't necessary, but it's welcome.

    Nonetheless, I tend to disagree with you. If we 4-bet AJo, we shall also 4-bet AJs, AQ, KQ, TT+ (or 99+, or lower?). If we includes some bluffs, we are suddenly 4-betting a lot - we also induce we are 3-betting even larger. A bit maniacal no ??
    Also, I agree with @colldav : we don't block much with J. Somehow, there isn't much difference between 4-betting A2s and AJo, is it?

    Also, when I flatted here, I had in mind the merging ranges thread (maybe wrongfully?): where we want to have such hands (KQ was the example) in our merging range and avoid to put too much value in our re-raising range - as we want it to, usually, be polarized. (As I remember(ed) too that putting too much value in the re-raising range was a problem of NITs, who don't understand we shall re-raise with a polarized instead of a depolarized value range.)

    So here I thought I'd rather 4-bet A4s some times (as bluff) and keep AJo as value in my merging ranges.
  • NinjahNinjah Red Chipper Posts: 1,095 ✭✭✭✭
    Red wrote: »
    @Ninjah
    Thanks for the feedback - it wasn't necessary, but it's welcome.

    Nonetheless, I tend to disagree with you. If we 4-bet AJo, we shall also 4-bet AJs, AQ, KQ, TT+ (or 99+, or lower?). If we includes some bluffs, we are suddenly 4-betting a lot - we also induce we are 3-betting even larger. A bit maniacal no ??
    Also, I agree with @colldav : we don't block much with J. Somehow, there isn't much difference between 4-betting A2s and AJo, is it?

    Also, when I flatted here, I had in mind the merging ranges thread (maybe wrongfully?): where we want to have such hands (KQ was the example) in our merging range and avoid to put too much value in our re-raising range - as we want it to, usually, be polarized. (As I remember(ed) too that putting too much value in the re-raising range was a problem of NITs, who don't understand we shall re-raise with a polarized instead of a depolarized value range.)

    So here I thought I'd rather 4-bet A4s some times (as bluff) and keep AJo as value in my merging ranges.

    We aren't always 4-betting AJo, I was simply stating that I think it's a better play than flatting. You chose to flat a hand that doesn't play well post when you have a SPR of 2, which is why I think a 4-bet or fold is best in this spot. With the dynamic created in this hand, I will 4-bet with the expectation of getting folds a decent amount of the time. We have a RCP member who 3-bet you which would make me think they at least have the capability of doing this light. We have a loose player who likely capped himself at JJ (which we block so it's likely his pocket pair holdings are even smaller) that is stuck in between that the 3-bettor has to worry about. I won't go into much detail about your mention of a merged range but I will say that I certainly don't think you're deep enough to put AJo into that mix, especially when the lower SPR is created by going multiway.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,430 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Red wrote: »
    If we 4-bet AJo, we shall also 4-bet AJs, AQ, KQ, TT+ (or 99+, or lower?). If we includes some bluffs, we are suddenly 4-betting a lot - we also induce we are 3-betting even larger. A bit maniacal no ??

    I think a common mistake people make in reading hand examples is assuming we (or our opponent) does the same thing with the same cards all the time. It's not necessary at all to have a static range.

    Just for example, I play against one player in particular who often gives away the fact that she has AK. She plays is super aggressive and her 3-bet raise sizes are always larger with that hand than other premiums. So against her, I might 4-bet TT. If I show down TT, then the other players think I'm a bit of a maniac. But I would fold TT to those players, even though they assume I would.

    Another example, I once raised T8s UTG, and got flatted by a weak player with AA. The flop was J97 by the grace of the poker gods, and he shoved the flop after I c-bet. The point here is not that I got lucky or that he got stacked, the point is he's still talking a year later about how I raised T8s UTG which I "shouldn't" have done. I rarely do that though, but now everyone thinks it's in my range.

  • eisen009eisen009 Red Chipper Posts: 14 ✭✭
    Sorry to be late to the party on this one! Was fun meeting and playing with Red at this event. It is funny the impressions we get of people in a short period of time. I'm definitely not the tight player I appeared to be to Red. Had been quite card dead (I run at least 26/22 online). It appeared to me that Red was opening fairly wide from most positions and seemed an excellent time to 3 bet. I had QhJh and, while flatting is fine, I think 3 betting and getting heads up is more profitable. The BB cold call of the 3 bet was bizarre. He seemed definitely weak and almost folded but then did the shoulder shrug "ok, why not" thing and called. I honestly felt like his range was quite wide and would include a ton of SC/SC1/pairs/Axs, and unpaired bway and some offsuit aces too. I was sure Red was going to 4 bet when he saw the BB almost fold and I obviously would have had to fold but when he flatted, I thought this could still be AA/KK trapping, though less likely and more likely AQ/AJ (esp suited), suited bway, rest of the pairs, and SC (maybe 76s+). I'm definitely not betting this (or almost any) flop 100%. On KcTs7s, of my 3 betting range, I'm betting sets/FD/OESD/2 pr for value. I'm betting AA and AK/KQs. Checking behind QQ,JJ,AQ,AJs,ATs and 99 if that snuck into my 3 bet range. I think I have enough draws in my flop betting range that I don't really need to put a ton of total air in my flop betting range to balance . This flop is so wet that I think I'm never getting 2 folds with a flop bet here. When I bet my OESD and the BB immediately calls, I think he most likely has top pair or a draw here. When Red check jammed the flop, I think his mostly likely holdings are sets, 2 pr, and the draws. I'm blocking the OESD and double belly buster which makes it very likely one or the other has a decently strong made hand or a draw. Easy fold for me and correct read when the BB calls with Ks6s for pair and FD. Red hits the gutshot to bust him. I'm not in love with the OOP pf flat because I think there are so few runouts where you profit, especially multiway. I think the check/jam may be profitable vs my 3 bet range there if we are heads up but I don't love it with the fish in the pot after he instaflats because so many of them have such a hard time finding the fold button. Was an interesting hand though and fun playing with you, Red! :)
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 1,756 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    @Austin & @jeffnc : good point! I'm going to think that deeper in the next days

    @eisen009 : very interesting feedback :) . And I liked to play against you (and the others)
    I agree with the impact of the 3rd player. It made the hand ran in a very bizarre way

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