August 28, 2008

Bruechips Fade 'N Go, Part 4

I've been WAY behind the 8 ball on blogging I'm here to make a little contribution. Check out the HH below...

Well I flop the stone NUTS here cuz i run a cbet and am promptly CR'd by the SB who is a relatively passive player. I really need to think about his range here...and my options.

Range - sets, frush draws, str8 draws, air. Obviously I am ahead of all of them since I have the nuts, so I don't think reshipping is ever a BAD play...however it def not optimal.

In retrospect I SHOULD have taken the "Bruechips Fade 'N Go" route to increase my equity. If I end up frat carring the CR and jamming any non spade turn/paired board...I can significant increase my equity.

As it frop equity was onry 60% despite hording the nuts, taking the "Bruechips Fade 'N Go" would have pushed my equity to 77%.

Why I am playing RED cards to begin with is beyond me...SO -EV! SPADES ALWAYS GET THERE!


That might be a bit too risky in this spot. You do risk getting bluffed off the best hand if you're going to fold to a turn card that pairs the board. Also I'd be surprised if he didn't barrel again on any turn card, which prices him into a call anyway. Finally, you risk losing value from a set if you flat call and a spade comes and it checks through. You then miss value since he would definitely be felting on the flop, and you give him the two free cards anyway because you're afraid of spades. I think re-raising and just getting the money in is the way to go if there are any turn cards that would convince you to fold. The only time flatting is good is if he's insanely aggro and you think he'll fire and stack off very light on any turn with 66 or ATo or something crazy like that.


August 20, 2008

Defending Against Donk Bets

Lately I've been experimenting with some different lines against donk bets. My standard line in the past has just been to raise them with pretty much any two cards. But lately I've been trying out just calling them down with some good hands. Often times these donk bets are for "information" - that is, the donk bets into you trying to figure out "where he's at" with some middle pair, or sometimes, in the case of an aggressive donk, to set up a 3-b all-in with a draw. One way to give him bad information is to raise when you have the worst hand. Another way is to call when you have the best hand. Of course you can't ALWAYS lie. An observant player will figure out that your information is ALWAYS bad and start calling down your raises lighter, or shutting down when you call. But at least at .25/.50 6-max, it takes a while for anybody to figure anything out. Here's one hand where I got this guy to put in a lot of money with the worst hand but ended up losing on the river:

Seat 1: bruechips (Button) ($105.55)
Seat 3: BB ($56.60)
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [Kc Ks]
bruechips raises to $1.75
BB calls $1.25

*** FLOP ***
[Jh Qh 2s]
BB bets $2.25 (This is a very drawy board so raising would be the obvious play. However I think this guy would be just shoving all his draws over the top, so raising doesn't really protect my hand at all. Also I think he has some hand like J9 or Q8s a lot of the time, and I want to force him to keep betting later streets because he won't want to check out of position. I really doubt he would lead pocket 2s or QJ. He'd try to check-raise my c-bet instead. But even if he is leading those hands, his range has so much other crap in it that I am easily miles ahead.)
bruechips calls $2.25 (How could I call here with a hand that can take heat on later streets unimproved? I must have like AK, AJ, JT, some weak one-pair like that, right?)

*** TURN *** [Jh Qh 2s] [3s]
BB bets $3.75 (A total blank on the turn, he continues betting. Notice his bet size is small, as if it's kind of a blocker bet to control the pot size.)
bruechips raises to $14 (Now I raise and it looks like I have absolute air and am just responding to his ghey bet size. He probably thinks I have AK, maybe I picked up a spade draw or something like that.)
BB to $52.60, and is all in (This is obviously an instacall)
bruechips calls $38.60
BB shows [6h 2h]

*** RIVER *** [Jh Qh 2s 3s] [4h]

DOH!!! I did everything right except fade the river....


August 17, 2008

One Pair Gold for 200 bbs?

It's kind of a cliche but a hard-earned lesson that one pair is usually not good for winning a big pot in NLHE. Here's one spot where I did put in a lot of money with one pair. I think this is the right play, but again, I'd be open to comments. The SB was an extremely aggressive player, something like 30/25, three-betting about 10%, and playing very aggressively post-flop as well.

Seat 2: SB ($89.25)
Seat 3: bruechips (BB) ($100)
Seat 4: CO ($50.15)
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [As Ks]
CO raises to $2.25
SB calls $2
bruechips raises to $9.50 (This part is pretty standard...I would be very happy to get all of my money in before the flop with either of these players although probably not both - i.e., if CO were to shove and the SB shove over the top or call, I would probably fold, but if either one were to raise and the other fold, I would shove)
CO calls $7.25 (Probably a mid-pp)
SB calls $7.25 (Not quite sure what to make of his range here but it can't be too strong since he would have re-raised the CO with big pairs and big aces. I'm kind of thinking mid-pps and suited connectors for him as well)

*** FLOP *** [Qd Th Kh]
SB checks
bruechips bets $22 (This kind of looks like a nightmare of a flop, but it doesn't hit the ranges I had for these other players very hard. CO has about $40, SB about $80. I think checking is no good because it gives a bunch of random hands like T9 or 77 that would fold a chance to improve. Also there are just so many gross turn cards that allow the SB to lead into me and force me to fold even if he doesn't have it. The only hands I'm really afraid of are the CO having TT, or either of the two players having AJs or KQs. But even these two latter ones I think don't come up too much. Most players realize these aren't good hands to take into 3-bet pots multiway. When I get played back at, it's mostly pair+draw or straight+flush draw type hands. Against a range of AJs, KQs, QJs, JTs, Ace-high hearts not including AhQh, 9h8h, 8h7h, and 7h6h, I've got just over 51% equity. That goes down significantly if you include AJo and KQo, but again I think CO is folding a lot of the time with those hands, and the SB is three-betting them, or perhaps calling and then folding to my re-raise. So to account for the idea that these hands are only in their range some of the time, I just included the suited versions.)
CO folds
SB raises to $79.75, and is all in (I'd rather it be the shorter stack, but OK....)
bruechips calls $57.75
SB shows [9h 8h]

*** TURN *** [Qd Th Kh] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [Qd Th Kh 6h] [2h]

So in this case I got lucky that I had the best hand on the flop and then unlucky that he made a better hand on the turn. I'm not a big fan of the SB's play. I think my re-raise preflop was big enough to price him out. And on the flop, it's pretty rare that I'd bet-fold this flop in a multi-way pot. MAYBE maybe AQ with no hearts...but even that I think I'd check the flop. When I put in more than 1/2 of what the CO has left, it's pretty clear that I have something, and given that I re-raised preflop, even though it was in a squeeze spot, there are a lot of ways that I can hit this flop very hard. I can certainly represent a whole lot more than the SB can, who didn't raise preflop and therefore doesn't have much of a claim on this board. So he has a lot of reason to believe I have a good hand, I have little reason to believe he has a good hand, and his raise needs at least some fold equity to be profitable, since most of the time at least some of his outs will be dead: if the J wins for him (i.e., if I don't have an A), then I probably have either one or two jacks myself, taking away some of his outs, and often I've got at least the Ah or maybe even Ahxh, which has him in very rough shape.


August 14, 2008

All or Nothing

Here's an interesting hand the villain berated me for in chat for a while...I like my line, but feel free to comment and tell me if I just got lucky this time or if this is a good play. Without further ado, the HH and my comments:

Seat 4: bruechips (UTG+1) ($222.60)
Seat 8: CO ($103.65)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [9d 9s]
bruechips raises to $4 (Standard open...but I'll note here that my image at the table was probably not so good since I had been playing a pretty LAG style)
CO calls $4 (My stats on him were 13/9, we have no history)

*** FLOP *** [3s Tc Th]
bruechips bets $6.50
CO calls $6.50 (This call means almost nothing. He could have Txs here, but I think he'd raise that pretty often. I raised UTG+1, I'm supposed to have a hand, I'm an aggressive player...I think if he had a T or threes full, or AA/KK had he slowplayed it preflop, he'd put in a small raise and hope I'd go nuts. But I'm not ruling out he'd slowplay those hands. However I felt like a monster part of his range were pocket pairs, both bigger (JJ, sometimes QQ), and, more often, smaller than mine, and random broadway cards.) 

*** TURN *** [3s Tc Th] [5h]
bruechips bets $14 (I have no reason to believe I don't have the best hand, and when I think I have the best hand, I usually bet. Check-folding would be way too weak. Check-raising is possible - it does get value out of his overcards-type hands, but I would almost be committing myself to call a shove, and he also won't bet some of the hands I want to get value out of by leading, such as 88-66. Check-calling kind of turns my hand face up, which is maybe not so terrible, but I don't think it's the best line, just because he knows exactly where I'm at.)
CO raises to $31 (OK, now the hand gets interesting. Turn raises are usually red flags that you are up against some sort of monster. But I said on the flop that I thought he was floating me a lot. If he's floating the flop, there's a good chance he'll try to make a move  when I make another small-ish bet. And there are really very few monster hands that he can rep here. 33, Txs, and 55...just not that many hands. Especially I have a couple of 9s, eliminating two of the T9s combos. The key is that I don't think he'd play anything in between a monster and air like this. The only other possibility would be some big hearts that he floated on the flop and then picked up a draw with on the turn. It would be VERY rare for someone to play QQ or JJ like this. When all you beat is bluffs and you think your opponent is bluffing a lot, calling is usually the way to go.)
bruechips calls $17

*** RIVER *** [3s Tc Th 5h] [5s]
bruechips checks
CO bets $62.15, and is all in
bruechips calls $62.15 (The 5s is pretty much the best card I could hope for that's not a 9 or a T. It makes 55 less probable. And I think when I check he'd be more likely to check down 33, since any T or 5 beats him. Also hearts miss, so if he had them, he'd have to bluff to win the pot. So his shove is either a T or nothing. Or maybe 66-88 which he's betting trying to make me fold a bigger pp. It's a situation where his betting represents a big hand but the board didn't give him very many big hands to represent.)

*** SHOW DOWN ***
CO shows [Qh Kc] two pair, Tens and Fives
bruechips wins the pot ($205.80) with two pair, Tens and Nines



August 12, 2008

Art of the Min Raise (Part 12)

As this guy shows, the donk method of AA isn't reserved for just pre-flop betting. You can definitely donk it up with min betting and raising post-flop:

Seat 2: SB ($115.45)
Seat 8: CO ($100)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to HERO [Qc Td]
folds to me...HERO raises to $3.50 (standard...maybe a little on the loose side, but pretty standard from the CO)
SB calls $3

*** FLOP *** [4d Ks 9h]
SB bets $1 (Donks love these min lead bets into a pre-flop raiser. I pretty much treat them as a check and bet whatever I normally would bet.)
HERO raises to $6 (This is basically like my c-bet. I would definitely be c-betting this flop. When he bets $1, I'm assuming it's a check and betting $6 as I normally would, repping AK or KQ, which I could obviously have)
SB raises to $11 (MIN re-raise on this K-high dry board. This is rarely a bluff. When you raise pre-flop, people put you on AK, since it's the most common hand to raise with. The others are AA and KK, which hit this flop hard too. So I doubt his re-raise is a bluff. It's possible he knows that I'll be raising his min donk bet often and is testing me again, but usually in this spot he will have at least KJ. So since he HAS a hand, I can call to hit my gutshot, since it's only $5 and the pot is already $20, plus we have another $85 or so behind.)
HERO calls $5

*** TURN *** [4d Ks 9h] [Kc]
SB checks
HERO checks (Bad card because now I could be drawing dead. Again going with my read that he's strong, I check here. Of course he's never folding any K or a boat, and there's some chance he might now continue with a pair below the K ,like TT or A9, since the extra K on board makes it less likely I have one. If he checks again on the river, I might fire to try and take it away.)

*** RIVER *** [4d Ks 9h Kc] [Jd]
SB bets $30
HERO calls $30 (This is kind of close between calling and raising. His calling range is probably AA, AK, KQ,KJ,KT,K9, KK, 99, 44, and JJ. I beat 26 combos and lose to 22 combos. But some of the hands I'm beating like AA and AK he only plays this way on earlier streets sometimes, whereas I think he takes this line more consistently with 99, 44, and KJ.  Also I'm not positive he'd call a shove on the river with I decided to just call.)

*** SHOW DOWN ***
SB shows [As Ad] two pair, Aces and Kings
HERO wins the pot ($87) with a straight, King high

So I called $5 on the flop to buy the turn card, got the river for free, and ending up winning back the $15 I already had in there before my flop call, plus the $48 he put in during the hand. Definitely a good return for that investment, especially since if I had gotten there on the turn, I could have won his whole stack with betting on two streets.


August 8, 2008

Art of the Min Raise (Part 11)

This was an extra-donkish method of playing AA since this villain got not 1, but 200 big blinds in drawing dead on the frop:

Seat 2: MP ($146.90)
Seat 6: HERO ($100)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to HERO [Td 9d]
HERO raises to $1.75 (I think this is pretty standard in 6-max these days)
MP raises to $3
HERO calls $1.25

*** FLOP *** [8s 7c 6s] (Nuts!)
HERO bets $5 (I decided best way to build the pot this deep was to lead...he might get suspicious of a check-raise, but he was such a monster donk that it probably wouldn't have mattered)
MP raises to $10 (Note that he min-raises again here on the frop. On an 876 two-flushed board. I love donkeys!!!) 
HERO raises to $30 (Keep building the pot while he seems interested...200 bbs deep, you can't slowplay much if you want to get it all-in. Also a spade, 4, 5, or 9 could scare him.)
MP raises to $50 (Min raise #3!!!!)
HERO raises to $97, and is all in (Pretty clear he's not getting away now, ship it)
MP instacalls $47
HERO shows [Td 9d]
MP shows [Ad As]
*** TURN *** [8s 7c 6s] [5c]
*** RIVER *** [8s 7c 6s 5c] [4h]
HERO wins the pot ($197.75) with a straight, Ten high


Kind of a bad beat that you didn't have the DONK covered in this spot...cuz its obvious he is stacking off here. I wonder if there is a stack size where he would find a fold...doubtful. SHIP the 200bbs with 93% equity on the frop...VERY TASTYYYY!


Yea there's no way he would have folded even if I had had him covered. Unfortunately this was like my 4th hand at the table so I hadn't accumulated a stack yet. I would estimate that I'd be able to get at least 400 bbs on the flop....if he had more than that...I might have had to wait till the turn. For all three streets of betting, I think I could get in 6-700 bbs total if we had been that deep. 


August 6, 2008

Second Royal!!!

Nothing really too exciting about the action, but nailing the turn here was tasty after being called down on the flop by bottom pair:

Seat 6: Monsterdonk ($40) 
Seat 8: SB ($108.95) 
Seat 9: HERO ($212.55) 
Monsterdonk posts $2 
The button is in seat #7 

*** HOLE CARDS *** 
Dealt to HERO [Td Ad] 
Everybody folds...
Monsterdonk checks
SB calls $1 
HERO checks (Looking back, this should be a raise. The poster is such a huge donk that I would feel comfortable getting it in with AT-high vs. him on pretty much any frop. Even if he had limped instead of posted, I think it would still be a raise.)

*** FLOP *** [Kd Qd 4h] (I frop the world) 
SB checks 
HERO checks (I think the donk will be betting pretty much every time. He won't be folding any pair, but he will bet/fold some total air hand, and I've got huge equity against his stacking range, which also includes all lower draws. So basically if he has any piece, we'll be getting it in no matter what, and check-raising gets me an extra bet when he has air. Another advantage is that the SB might call and then fold when I raise if he has a weak one pair like QJ.) 
Monsterdonk bets $6 
SB folds 
HERO raises to $24 
Monsterdonk raises to $38, and is all in 
HERO calls $14 
Monsterdonk shows [Ah 4d] (nh sir!!)
HERO shows [Td Ad] 

*** TURN *** [Kd Qd 4h] [Jd] (!!!!)
*** RIVER *** [Kd Qd 4h Jd] [Tc] 

HERO wins the pot ($79) with a
Royal Flush 

Man losing that pot to bottom pair would have been gross....


August 4, 2008

THIN! (Part 7)

One of the most important things to do while you're playing, in my opinion, is to keep track throughout the whole hand of what you think your opponent's range is, how he will play each part of it, AND how you will react to those plays. Here's a hand I played against an aggressive villain where I got some very thin value by inducing him to make a pretty horrific shove:

Seat 2: MP1 ($209.60)
Seat 5: HERO (CO) ($200)


Dealt to HERO [Kd Ks]
MP1 raises to $7
MP2 calls $7
HERO raises to $34 (Pretty standard re-raise with the second nuts preflop. I want to make it pretty big because there's a caller in the middle. Making the bigger re-raise might look it a little more like just a squeeze, and also I have a better chance of getting to just heads-up, which is what I want. If I make it $25 or so, MP1 will be calling much more often, at which point MP2 will be priced in with all his JTs/66 type of hands that could easily own me on the frop.)
MP1 has requested TIME
MP1 calls $27 (This guy was a pretty aggressive player...I think about 20/16/6. Since my raise looks like it could be a squeeze, I think he'd be 4-betting AK, but it's possible he could be calling AK. I think AQ he would be either 4-betting or folding, although there might be a slight chance he'd call and see a flop with AQs. But in my mind most of his range is pocket pairs. And I doubt he'd slowplay AA - he doesn't want to go multiway with AA any more than I do with KK. So to me he's got 77-QQ probably 80% of the time. QQ-TT or so he's calling because he thinks he has the best hand a lot of the time but doesn't want to get it all in preflop with them. 77-99 he's probably hoping MP2 calls so that he has odds to draw to a set.)
MP2 folds (Good result. Overall, the preflop action went exactly as I wanted - I got a lot of money in, with position, and it's down to heads up.)

** FLOP ** [As 6h 2h]
MP1 checks
HERO checks (Obviously not the flop I wanted. Not so much because I'm afraid I'm behind now, because as I said, I think he doesn't have an ace that often. More because it's harder for me to get value from the pocket pairs, which are now afraid of the ace. Checking behind here is kind of risky because you're just giving those pocket pairs free draws to a set, 1) but if he has an ace, he's never folding 2) I could catch a king and stack AQ, 3) he's aggressive enough that I could get value catching some bluffs on later streets if I check behind. I probably check this flop behind more than most players in general. If I had AK or especially AQ, I would check a good percentage of the time as well.)

*** TURN ** [As 6h 2h] [Ad]
MP1 checks
HERO checks (Awesome turn card. I am now more confident in my hand, because he's less likely to have an ace, AND he's thinking the same thing if he's sitting on a pocket pair himself. I could bet here, but I think it's slightly possible he could check an ace or 66 twice and I'd rather keep the pot small for now, because if he has QQ-TT, he will probably only call one bet, and I can wait until the river to see him check again before making that bet.)

*** RIVER ** [As 6h 2h Ad] [9s]
MP1 checks
HERO bets $50 (When he checks again, I'm pretty sure my hand is best. I don't think he'd have the patience to check 66 or AQ THREE times. He could check-raise 99, but 1) I'm not totally sure he'd call my re-raise preflop with 99, so it's a little bit less of his range, 2) I think he'd be leading it most of the time because it looks like I have exactly what I have, a big pocket pair, and he probably thinks I'll check behind on the river with those hands a lot, as I probably would if I had a slightly weaker hand, like JJ. So I bet to try and get value from QQ-TT. But before doing so, realizing I'm up against an aggressive player, I think about what I'm going to do if he shoves. Since it really doesn't look like I have an ace after I checked the flop and the turn, I think my bet will induce some bluffs. Enough of them that checking behind would be better than bet-folding. So I decide to trust my read that I have the best hand, and bet-call. If we had been a little deeper, I might have just checked behind.)
MP1 raises to $175.60, and is all in
HERO calls $116, and is all in

*** SHOW DOWN ***
MP1 shows [Qc Qd] two pair, Aces and Queens
HERO wins the pot ($407) with two pair, Aces and Kings

So I made a pretty thin call on the river that turned out to be good. I will get owned there sometimes, but I think this is a good call long term. His shove with QQ on the river is, in my opinion, horrific. If he's shoving for value, it's way too thin, since he is not ahead of my calling range. If he thinks I'm calling with JJ, then he has to think I'll call with KK as well, plus any ace I could have been slowplaying or boat that I rivered. Even if the only time I'd slowplay is if I had AA, and I'd only be re-raising 99 preflop 1/2 the time, that's still 6 KK combos, 1 AA combo, plus 1.5 99 combos, which is more than the 6 JJ combos he'd be getting value from. Remember, if you're raising for value, you have to be ahead of your opponent's CALLING range, so he has to beat more combos in my calling range than he loses to, which is definitely not the case.

If he's raising as a bluff, it's almost as bad. The only hand he's behind that I might consider folding is KK. And he's spending $175 to win $120. Which means his bluff has to be successful AGAINST HANDS THAT HE BEATS 175/(120+175) = 60% of the time. It doesn't matter if he raises and gets me to fold TT, he would have beaten that hand by calling and winning at showdown anyway. "Bluffing" out a worse hand has no value. Going back to the range above, if I'm folding KK, then he's folding out 6/(6+1+1.5) of the hands he beats, which is slightly more than 60%, but I think I do check down AQ to the river occasionally. And of course I end up making the call with KK, so the point is pretty much moot.

His play here should definitely be to call. It's not that I'm never bluffing or that I'm doing a good job of repping an ace. It's that his hand beats pretty much all my bluffs, and the hands that he loses to are pretty much never folding.