Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nobody's perfect

What a disaster...  I've been running poorly this month.  I'm on travel for work in Hood River, Oregon - my hours are slightly off, coupled with me being sick makes for a bad recipe for poker playing.  However, me being me, I'm driven to get that damn Black Card from FT.  It's been a challenge putting in the hands, but I'm somehow managing.

Anyway, I put up a few posts in the past month regarding 4 betting and squeezing that I'm running into at the 100NL level, and I've been able to fairly well navigate the pitfalls and showing a nice profit by exploiting these plays.  However, I want to share a play with you where I miserably fail at considering what my opponent considers me to have.  I post it up here not only to publicly shame myself into never doing this again, but I also felt it was somewhat interesting.  I've definitely been thinking about it since it happened.

He has a 7.3% 3bet with an 8% squeeze over 1K hands...

I over-think his capability for giving me credit in this spot...  I think, due to the dead money, even if he considers me to have a pair, he still shows a profit being very likely to be a 50/50 flip.  He proves to be a lot better than 50/50 (70/30 to be exact).

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 7 players
The Hand History Converter

CO: $103.00
Hero (BTN): $102.50
SB: $113.80
BB: $35.00
UTG: $137.10
UTG+1: $35.00
MP: $91.50

UTG+1 posts a big blind ($1)

Pre Flop: ($2.50) Hero is BTN with As 5s
UTG raises to $4.50, UTG+1 calls $3.50, 1 fold, CO calls $4.50, Hero calls $4.50, SB requests TIME, SB raises to $20,
I mostly expected my 8% squeezing friend to squeeze in this spot.  I should like to 3bet in this spot; I have position and initiative.  However, I can take less of a risk by letting my friend 3bet for me...  Since he folds out everyone except me, I opt to shove over him.

4 folds, Hero raises to $102.50 all in, SB requests TIME, SB calls $82.50
What I fail to consider is the fact that he doesn't see himself as a squeezer.  Therefore, he does not expect me to ever make this move on him - he would more expect me to 3bet prior to action getting to him.  Therefore, he can mostly discount AA, KK, even QQ, making him a 50/50 split at worst.

I was actually surprised at his call, but after careful thought, I think this was poor playing by me.

Flop: ($219.50) 6s 7s 3h

Turn: ($219.50) 2s

River: ($219.50) Th

Final Pot: $219.50
Hero shows As 5s (a flush, Ace high) - I'm such a luckbox!
SB shows Ac Qc (Ace Queen high)
Hero wins $216.50
(Rake: $3.00)


  1. His 3 bet call is dreadful. But you have to consider that he probably won't 3b fold for 20% of his stack. Such a huge 3b. Take a note and play a bit more st8forward with him in 3b pots. If he is 3b calling AQs and 3b almost 8% you can certainly find good spots against him. Inducing squeezes with QQ+ and AK and the like.

  2. I also think a raise to 55-60 sends the same message and may "look" stronger to the villain..assuming he can "see" these types of things.

  3. Wow can't believe you couldn't get there after seeing that flop. Yuck. So I like your recap of the hand where you were the 3rd flatter after an initial raiser and then elect to 4-bet ship over an OOP "squeezer". While I understand that this player is very aggro [apparant by his lack of hesitancy to raise out of the SB], you need to think about how often is the villain [SB] actually going to do this light? You probably thought he was looking at all of the dead money in the pot and pondered "...I could raise to $20 to win $20. What an awesome deal..." However, the most important factor in the equation is that you flatted a raise on the button after 2 other cold-calls, which means that you're range [and everyone, but the initial raiser's range] will mostly consist of pairs 77-JJ and some random middle suited connectors. I like his tank-call against you, because if I'm him with 1k hands on you, I know I'm never dominated. If you own me, I take a note that you're capable of flatting the button in bloated multi-way pots with AA, KK, etc. and then re-shipping over a SB or BB 3-bet. That's a pretty rare execution of a premium hand on the button in multi-way pots.

    While on the topic of 4-betting as a bluff, I think it's important to remove semi-bluffs from your 4-betting range most, but not all, of the time. The way I see it, speculative hands should be used to 3-bet or defend 3-bets when given good odds, favorable, position, yada yada yada. A 4-bet should be much more black and white where you want someone to call or you want them to fold. It's important not to turn scenarios with positive expectation into scenarios with reverse implied odds. Not to say that A5ss is the nuts, but it is a very playable hand in a bloated multi-way pot on the button. If the SB 3bet% wasn't so high, say 4%,would you still 4-bet here?

  4. So the villain has an 8% squeeze, which means that he's raising when there are one or more callers to a raised pot 8% of the time. I'm folding everything if I get a caller / shipper between me & the squeezer. However, it folds around to me, and I see that this guy is squeezing an off-norm amount of time; 8%. I'd say a squeeze of 2% or thereabout is "normal." Couple that with his high 3bet %, and I have a recipe for creating the same scenario with JJ+. It's *VERY* obviously opponent-specific.

    As far as SB's 3bet... I'm not so concerned about his 3bet, but I'm more thinking about his squeeze %. He's shown a propensity to steal in the past at a higher-than-normal clip. He can make this move with ATC and be profitable, which is why I ship on him, thinking that he has exactly ATC and can't possibly call without the very top of his range. I also factor in that he knows I know he's a squeezer. I can't wait to show up with KK or AA in a similar spot and truly have him dominated.

    I don't see calling with 4-1 implied odds as profitable with A5s. I will have to fold most flops in this spot, which is why I opted to 4bet shove. I have to assume he's auto-shipping any flop with a $50 pot & $80 behind.

  5. I'm not at all suggesting that you flat the 3-bet. You just have to acknowledge that he can never give you credit for anything better than JJ and that you usually don't have AK either, assuming he's got stats or notes on you. With that said he's rarely in bad shape against you, except for when you have QQ or AK.

    One other thing to note...there is an article in HEM that talks about 3-betting and 4-betting stats based on position. While you've indicated that the villain has an overall squeeze % = 8, we need to recalibrate what we think that would be based on each position. For instance, while on the button this may be 10-12%, but from UTG it's almost certainly less than 8% [say 2-3%] unless this guy is a limp-reraise ninja, which I aspire to be. So in this example the villain is 3betting/squeezing from the SB an early position raiser. If this was a blind-versus-blind or steal position vs. blind [such as button or cutoff] I'd expect 8% to be accurate +/-1% to 2%. However, based on my reclibration of villain's squeezing % here, I believe you can cut it in half to about 4-5%.

  6. this is not good at all. First, why are we thinking we can just liberally squeeze the utg's open? secondly, obviously you are not flatting a huge pair pre when you are like the 3rd or 4th person in, bc that is just lol bad. So he's putting you on a range that is almost entirely <JJ, and therefore it is an easy call



Blog Archive