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2/5 AKo in SB (3! pot)

BocaJokaBocaJoka Posts: 6Member
edited September 2019 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
Although the hand described below is probably a pretty common situation, it's one in which I feel I'm losing money consistently and I'm having trouble determining a winning strategy.

2/5 @ Hollywood Hard Rock in South Florida

Hero - 1K effective, in SB w/ A K

Have been playing with Villain for 30-45 minutes; seems like a solid regular; opening a decent amount of hands; aggressive; taking pots down w/out showdown.

Villain opens in HJ to $20
Nitfish calls in CO
Hero 3! to $80
Villain calls
Nitfish folds

Flop ($185) = Q 6 :s: 4 :s:

Hero bets $90
Villain calls

Is this sizing OK? I don't like checking here because then I look like AK, JJ or TT, which may result in a good player barreling.

Turn ($365) = 4

Hero checks
Villain bets $160
Hero folds

Not sure what to do here. I feel like Villain can easily float with his entire range and bluff here.

Comments

  • Jax1234Jax1234 Posts: 67Member
    If you want to bet the flop, I would suggest a down-bet of around $50-$60 if your image at the table is balanced to such an extent that a villain won't just interpret a flop bet that is smaller than the amount of the pre-flop three-bet as weakness.

    I think the bet sizing that you actually utilized on the flop would work better if the flop was a rainbow flop or if either the ace or king in your hand was a spade.


  • ds2uaredds2uared Posts: 464Subscriber
    Howdy, Boca. Welcome.

    Preflop, you should raise it up a bit more with your 3! for a couple reasons. First, there is a caller in between and second, you're in the SB. As a standard, I add on to my raise for each caller and when I'm 3! from the SB. So, $100 here preflop.

    On this flop, I think you're fine checking. If I check, I'm likely calling a reasonably sized flop bet with AK. On this flop, you're not getting anything that beats you to fold when you bet. Every pair that continued will call at least once on this flop, and his range has every QXs and a lot of QXo (AQ, KQ, QJ, QT), so it makes it difficult to continue bluffing on most turns. $90 is a lot on this flop with your hand in this configuration.

    @JAX1234 was right you want to have a backdoor flush draw so you can continue a lot of turns if you're going to bet.

    As played, check-fold this turn, especially after he calls your flop bet.
    Thanked by 1CycleV
  • BocaJokaBocaJoka Posts: 6Member
    Jax1234 wrote: »
    If you want to bet the flop, I would suggest a down-bet of around $50-$60 if your image at the table is balanced to such an extent that a villain won't just interpret a flop bet that is smaller than the amount of the pre-flop three-bet as weakness.

    I think the bet sizing that you actually utilized on the flop would work better if the flop was a rainbow flop or if either the ace or king in your hand was a spade.


    Thanks, Jax. Is the rationale behind the smaller sizing that $50-$60 accomplishes the same thing as $90 here? If so, why does a rainbow flop make a difference?

    Also, what's the reasoning for larger sizing if I have a spade in my hand? Is it because, in that case, we're barreling a spade turn? If so, then why does that translate to a larger sizing?
  • BocaJokaBocaJoka Posts: 6Member
    ds2uared wrote: »
    Howdy, Boca. Welcome.

    Preflop, you should raise it up a bit more with your 3! for a couple reasons. First, there is a caller in between and second, you're in the SB. As a standard, I add on to my raise for each caller and when I'm 3! from the SB. So, $100 here preflop.

    On this flop, I think you're fine checking. If I check, I'm likely calling a reasonably sized flop bet with AK. On this flop, you're not getting anything that beats you to fold when you bet. Every pair that continued will call at least once on this flop, and his range has every QXs and a lot of QXo (AQ, KQ, QJ, QT), so it makes it difficult to continue bluffing on most turns. $90 is a lot on this flop with your hand in this configuration.

    @JAX1234 was right you want to have a backdoor flush draw so you can continue a lot of turns if you're going to bet.

    As played, check-fold this turn, especially after he calls your flop bet.

    Thanks, ds2uared. My issue with checking here is that I feel like my hand is face up to either AK, JJ or TT, and any good player can easily sniff that out and barrel me off with his whole range. Conversely, betting this flop allows a good player to float with his whole range and barrel turn and river. With this in mind, I think the best play here might be to bet $50-$60 on the flop and then barrel the turn for a little less than half pot.
  • ds2uaredds2uared Posts: 464Subscriber
    edited September 2019
    BocaJoka wrote: »
    Thanks, ds2uared. My issue with checking here is that I feel like my hand is face up to either AK, JJ or TT, and any good player can easily sniff that out and barrel me off with his whole range. Conversely, betting this flop allows a good player to float with his whole range and barrel turn and river. With this in mind, I think the best play here might be to bet $50-$60 on the flop and then barrel the turn for a little less than half pot.

    So, I don't necessarily agree. If he's a good player and you feel he will view every check as weakness and begin barreling you off, it's time to start checking AA and way more so, AQ, and KQ on this flop. Those hands aren't vulnerable to many overcards and if you hold a high- :s:, there are way fewer flush draws you have to worry about. It also lets you check AK on this flop and protect your TT and JJ from getting bluffed.

    Holding a :s: also helps to construct which AK you're going to bet and which you won't across multiple streets. With no spade in your hand, you have to give up all but 6 turn cards (A or K). With a spade in your hand, you can continue with your A's, K's, and now ten :s:'s.

    Also, I definitely don't assume someone is a good player after 30-45 minutes. I have sat down at a number of tables and thought someone was a pro only to be proven preposterously wrong in the next 30-45 minutes.

    And, if a player is truly good, he just started playing with you 30-45 minutes ago, too; he's not going to float a SB 3-bettor he doesn't know well and then try to take the pot away from you very often at all.

    Open to thoughts and critiques but I am still fine with a check here, especially after the smaller preflop 3! sizing.
  • BocaJokaBocaJoka Posts: 6Member
    ds2uared wrote: »
    So, I don't necessarily agree. If he's a good player and you feel he will view every check as weakness and begin barreling you off, it's time to start checking AA and way more so, AQ, and KQ on this flop. Those hands aren't vulnerable to many overcards and if you hold a high- :s:, there are way fewer flush draws you have to worry about. It also lets you check AK on this flop and protect your TT and JJ from getting bluffed.

    Theoretically, I think that's correct; i.e., checking value hands against a barreler will induce action, which will create a dynamic that protects hands like JJ and TT. However, in live poker when we have limited history with our opponent, I think it's rare for us to get into enough spots with a specific opponent to develop this dynamic (unless you have a small player pool).
    ds2uared wrote: »
    Holding a :s: also helps to construct which AK you're going to bet and which you won't across multiple streets. With no spade in your hand, you have to give up all but 6 turn cards (A or K). With a spade in your hand, you can continue with your A's, K's, and now ten :s:'s.

    Thanks for fleshing this out. Just want to make sure I understand the reasoning here. If we hold a :s:, Villain has much fewer flush draws, which means his range is limited to Qx, JJ-44 and maybe AKo; whereas, if we don't hold a :s:, we add in all the possible FDs to his range, thus making it more unlikely for him to fold. Is this the reasoning behind barreling vs. not barreling this turn with or without a :s:?
    ds2uared wrote: »
    Also, I definitely don't assume someone is a good player after 30-45 minutes. I have sat down at a number of tables and thought someone was a pro only to be proven preposterously wrong in the next 30-45 minutes.

    I could have been wrong, but I was fairly certain this guy was a pro. He was chatting with other regs a bit and seemed to at least be a thinking player. In any event, I think, based on the information we have, we have to take into account the distinct possibility that this guy is a pro.
    ds2uared wrote: »
    And, if a player is truly good, he just started playing with you 30-45 minutes ago, too; he's not going to float a SB 3-bettor he doesn't know well and then try to take the pot away from you very often at all.

    This was ultimately why I decided to fold the turn.

  • ds2uaredds2uared Posts: 464Subscriber
    BocaJoka wrote: »
    ... However, in live poker when we have limited history with our opponent, I think it's rare for us to get into enough spots with a specific opponent to develop this dynamic (unless you have a small player pool).
    That's fair, and it lends credence to the idea you should bet this flop more often versus an unknown opponent. But it also negates the necessity of the information regarding his aggressiveness and "pro-ness" and puts you at a disadvantage in some later possible hands. I think if it was generic player-A and I had been on my phone and not paying attention and this happened, I would c-bet more often than I would versus the player you describe.
    BocaJoka wrote: »
    Thanks for fleshing this out. Just want to make sure I understand the reasoning here. If we hold a :s:, Villain has much fewer flush draws, which means his range is limited to Qx, JJ-44 and maybe AKo; whereas, if we don't hold a :s:, we add in all the possible FDs to his range, thus making it more unlikely for him to fold. Is this the reasoning behind barreling vs. not barreling this turn with or without a :s:?
    To me, holding a :s: is relevant to the flop decision because we can barrel turn :s: 's. In my game, it's also helped me to not set fire to money on every flop by c-betting 100% of the time. It's like an at-the-table tool to restrict being too aggressive or too passive.

    Also, without a :s: in your hand, every :s: turn he can now represent and you can't do shit about it.
    BocaJoka wrote: »
    This was ultimately why I decided to fold the turn.
    Yeah, it's a tough spot. I will check-call this often versus an aggressive player, but I am lucky in that my player pool is super small. The aggros I play with known I can show up with AQ here so they will bet when I check way too much early in the hand and then shut it down later. X/B/C, X/X, B/F is stupidly common to the point I turn AK into a bluff on the end probably too often, but it works in my game.

    Look forward to your response, sir

  • PokerShamanPokerShaman Posts: 107Subscriber
    I agree that I want to size up to something like $100, i.e. (5+n)x where n is the number of flat callers.

    But this is not a bad flop for us.Give the villain a tight player's opening range, such as Ki Lee's HJ opening range. Suppose they fold their worst 50% hands (like a tough online player, although LOLive players call a lot more widely), and suppose further that their range doesn't have AA, KK, or AKs because they didn't four-bet. Then their range is going to look something like {QQ-22,AQs-ATs,KQs-KTs,QJs-QTs,JTs,AKo-AQo,KQo}, giving them all the pairs because they are getting the right price to setmine.

    This range hits the board 36% of the time, and the villain has air 64%.

    A half-pot bet needs to succeed 33% of the time to be profitable. Hero's c-bet is printing money.

    We bet and got called. The turn card doesn't change anything (the only 4 in villain's range is a single combo of 44). Maybe we can push them off a pair with a second barrel, but I don't expect to do so.

    We check, villain bets. I see nothing wrong with folding.
  • BocaJokaBocaJoka Posts: 6Member
    This range hits the board 36% of the time, and the villain has air 64%.

    A half-pot bet needs to succeed 33% of the time to be profitable. Hero's c-bet is printing money.

    PokerShaman, this makes sense, but it's also assuming villain is playing straight forward and isn't floating us in position with part of his range that doesn't hit this board. I don't think this as simple as saying we win with a c-bet every time villain doesn't hit this board (i.e., we don't auto-win 64% of the time). I think we also need to factor in the percentage of time villain is calling with hands like JTs.

    Also, I would probably add AQo and maybe AJo and KQo to villain's range.
  • BocaJokaBocaJoka Posts: 6Member
    ds2uared wrote: »
    BocaJoka wrote: »
    Thanks for fleshing this out. Just want to make sure I understand the reasoning here. If we hold a :s:, Villain has much fewer flush draws, which means his range is limited to Qx, JJ-44 and maybe AKo; whereas, if we don't hold a :s:, we add in all the possible FDs to his range, thus making it more unlikely for him to fold. Is this the reasoning behind barreling vs. not barreling this turn with or without a :s:?
    To me, holding a :s: is relevant to the flop decision because we can barrel turn :s: 's. In my game, it's also helped me to not set fire to money on every flop by c-betting 100% of the time. It's like an at-the-table tool to restrict being too aggressive or too passive.

    Also, without a :s: in your hand, every :s: turn he can now represent and you can't do shit about it.

    Thanks, ds2uared. I think what I'm trying to understand is the why behind the underlined. I understand that we don't want to c-bet every flop 100% of the time. But something that seems a little weird to me, and that isn't consistent with Bart's thinking, is why wouldn't we c-bet this flop 100% of the time? I can get on board with the idea that when we hold a :s:, a larger percentage of villain's range is going to fold the flop, but otherwise the idea that we're using it as a tool to limit our c-betting frequency just seems arbitrary to me. The premise of c-betting is that, by betting, we're attacking the large portion of villain's range that missed the flop, which should print money. If we don't c-bet certain boards simply because we're sometimes behind, it seems to me that we're arbitrarily deciding when we should and shouldn't c-bet, which throws a wrench into the whole rationale behind c-betting.

    I understand that we want to be balanced in certain situations, which lends credence to the idea that we shouldn't always c-bet this flop, but how much do we really need to balance this spot specifically against a player we've never played with and that we're unlikely to play very much with again?

  • fozbofozbo Posts: 144Subscriber
    If u start checking overpairs and some Qs on turns like this, you can check call, and not feel like villan can float you and exploit you, which is what it seems your worried about, this is just a give up combo, cant win em all
  • fozbofozbo Posts: 144Subscriber
    edited September 2019
    Also, by choosing combos with spades in them to cbet here isn't arbitrary, it makes it so the times you get called, you will have many good double barrell opportunities to still win the pot, with this combo, once u get called, ur kinda handcuffed to check fold, i mean u could still double barrell this card if you think V is calling flops too light
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