Wednesday, June 20, 2012

B3RTstare's Hand, Revisited

Now...time to look over our work from the previous example!

My data on villain shows that he is opening 19% from MP.  Although he might be valuing his openers slightly different than I would, here is what I came up with:

Top 18% Hold'em hand range.

Developing this range assumes that we are working with a substantial sample size of MP opens.  From a database of hands obtained through a vendor, I have 232 samples, which should put us close to where we need to be for this to be workable.  Being that villain is a 22/20.5, this seems roughly accurate.  The 19% range is actually kind of tricky, and the basis of coming up with an accurate estimate is highly dependent on how he values his mid-upper range suited connectors, which begin to take on a very subjective appeal around the 20% range.

Normally I wouldn't care so much, but the 9 dropping on the turn, in addition to flopped made flushes make this situation rather acute.  Looking back over his 232 samples of MP opens, I was fortunate enough to find a showdown one worthy example of 98s, in which there was a likely defender in the BB, meaning that we can expect villain to do this on a regular basis.

Plugging all this into Flopzilla yields this:

Villain is trailing B3RTstare just under 70% of the time.  But what happens on the turn?

Completely unfiltered, villain's equity has grown by a mere 1%, however, his turn call has eliminated all the trash from his range.  Assuming that I did this correctly by using the turn filters (close, if not precise), here is where we are now:

B3Rtstare turn Flopzilla analysis

Equities now have almost flip-flopped, with villain taking a 63:37 lead in the hand.  Let's go to the river!

B3RTstare's river card Flopzilla analysis

Facing villain 85% equity, it's time to call it quits on this hand.  There are two very important things to note here:

1) B3RT's open-ended straight flush draw provides a great blocker for reading villain's hands.  It eliminates virtually all possibilities of king-high flushes, and there seems little to no doubt in concern of flushes below a 9, given the opening range.

2) Virtually all possibilities for villain's flush potential is to the nuts!!!!  Would he turn a nut flush into a bluff or thin value shove?  Doubtful, in my opinion.  On the other hand, a very good player such as this could make great bluff shove with a top pair hand like AcQx, knowing that B3RT could really only make the hero call with the small boat.  


Any way you cut it, this hand goes to villain, no question.

Is the case closed on this hand?  Not quite...there is still the possibility that something strange happened, like villain hanging around after the flop with 8c8x because he doesn't like folding to B3RT, coupled with the fact that he still has the slim hope of drawing to straight flush.  Or he might even be raising a different range to combat what he believes B3RT's blind defense strategy to be. 

Bottom line: I think this hand has great potential to open people's eyes to how ranges hit the flops and how using c-bet frequencies and blockers can seal the deal on reading an opponent's hand.

Monday, June 4, 2012

B3RTstare's River Spot vs. a Tough Reg OOP

B3RTstare's take:
Villain is a good reg. I haven't played for a month so I have no stats but iirc he has a cbet of just under 90% but I would imagine it would be less on this board*.

*When discussing this hand previously, someone had mentioned that this particular villain wouldn't often bluff the flop here. His call of the turn lead definitely eliminates this possibility. I dont know his MP open, but I recall this villain not being too loose.

What do you think of bluff-shoving river to fold out AQ, KQ, AA, KK? Ac is about the only bluff he can put me on here although at the same time my value range is super thin and probably only A9, K9.

Or c/c for the times he has an underpair or some other bluff? Or c/f because he can have Jx or 9x sometimes. I have no idea how much he's cbetting these hands on this board so it's a pretty tricky spot imo.

My take:
His flat range on turn that he would also bet on the flop consists of "get it in" hands, followed by strong draw hands, and made + strong draw.

Hands he would like play this way are:

Two pair, which may have filled
Sets into boats
9, J, and Qx with big draw
AK, with appropriate suit for either card

Naked Ac

I'm not sure he calls the K high draw without something to go with it, but I doubt he raises any low Kx from MP that hasn't already made at least a pair or flush. So his weakest Kx hand is exactly KTo, and he easily could have checked that back on the flop. This also makes Kc9x a strong possibility, and also a hand he wouldn't feel the need to raise on the turn.

The fact that you hold exactly the Tc is very telling, because that eliminates some very weak made hands with draw combos, like TcTx, Tc9x, JxTc, and of course, QxTc.

In fact, your blocker might be the perfect "x" for figuring out the river equation.

From here, let's examine what your turn donk looks like:

I would say precisely made flushes and trips, with a fairly unusual naked bluff float. Not to say that you don't differ from the crowd, but typically most players would check raise all in with a made straight on the flop and the naked Ax flush draw (particularly if you had a pair), but that is only likely to be A9o and ATo, depending on how loose villain is from MP. These naked ace hands will frequently donk the flop as well, hoping for a raise. There are fair number of nut and second nut flushes in your range as well. The hand that you actually chose to donk with is not likely a consideration for villain, as it doesn't really fit the profile for a check/call lead line and seems more likely to be a check-raise. I wouldn't exclude a boat, as Q9 and J9 are classic flat hands from OOP, but those are still going to check a fair amount. Even though you have a bluffy image, villain is far too good to make some crazy donkish float hoping to bluff the river, which he could only do if you chose to give up. Being that there are still some draws in your range, taking this line would be suicide. He has some kind of quality hand, IMO.

The river seems to seal the deal. You check your hand and he shoves. While he could do this to get you to fold a made flush on the flop, he can be quite certain that you are never folding a 9 and almost never led the turn with any sort of J in your hand. At this point, what are his possible holdings that he would play this way?

From strongest to weakest we have:

1) Quads
2) Full houses, big and little
3) Nut flushes
4) 2nd nut flushes
5) Straights
6) Overpairs, with or without the correct suit
7) Top pair, with or without the correct suit
8) Busted flush draws, typically with the ace

So which of these would he bet? 

He bets options #1 and #2 every time. Some guys aren't brave enough to bet the little boat here, but given the action, almost all good regs would take his shove line on the river. 

I doubt he value bets options 3 and 4, as this is just crying for hero calls from smaller flushes, and the fact that he holds two of the suit and the kickers are inevitably consisting of little cards, that means that he holds certain blockers to your range. And of course, these are just bluff catchers at this point.  Furthermore, he can pretty much always exclude any AQ or AK combos from your range, as these are almost exclusively 3-bet preflop.

If he has an overpair or top pair, it seems strange that he would try to get you to fold a flush and would be happy to check it down vs. a potential busted draw or even a 9, but perhaps so. Unfortunately, you can't even beat most of his "bluffs". IMO, at this point, he is just left with strong made hands and the occasional bluff. While I don't know offhand, I believe that the strong made hands seriously outweigh his bluff combos.

This is how I would look at this hand in real time.  For the next post, I will pull out the actual open % from HEM and take a look at his c-bet % on superwet boards vs. OOP flatters.  Then we can examine the actual hand percentages in Flopzilla and see how this analysis stacks up.