Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The threaten your stack bet

Hand played on Pokerstars
***** Hand History for Game 84518179928 ***** (Poker Stars)
Tourney Hand NL Texas Hold'em - Thursday, August 09, 10:35:12 ET 2012
Table 598589073 1 (Real Money)
Seat 5 is the button
Seat 1: Villain ( $1590.00 USD )
Seat 2: Player 3 ( $1950.00 USD )
Seat 4: Player 4 ( $2280.00 USD )
Seat 5: Player 5 ( $1380.00 USD )
Seat 6: Hero ( $1800.00 USD )
Hero posts small blind [$50.00 USD].
Villain posts big blind [$100.00 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Hero [  2s 7s ]
Player 3 folds
Player 4 folds
Player 5 folds
Hero raises [$170.00 USD]
Villain calls [$120.00 USD]
** Dealing Flop ** [ 8d, Ah, Ks ]
Hero bets [$265.00 USD]
Villain calls [$265.00 USD]
** Dealing Turn ** [ 6h ]
Hero bets [$355.00 USD]
Villain folds
Hero wins $355.00 USD
Hero wins $970.00 USD from main pot

I had a couple of other interesting hands I was going to throw in but a lot of the analysis was pretty dry and dense, so I decided to just take a look at a simple hand for now with shorter analysis. I’ll revisit those ones though for sure in future posts.


So it’s folded round to me in the SB and I’m dealt 2-7ss at 50/100. This is probably a spot where depending on your opponent all of the 3 options of folding, limping and raising are viable. Shoving is clearly not viable and way too excessive for this hand/amount. I have 700 hands tracked on my opponent and he folds his BB to steals 73% of the time from the sample I’ve accumulated. His BB raise SB limp pre-flop is also 50% so I’m not a fan of limping to stab on any flop here when half of the time I will get exploited. So, with limping out of the question, it’s a raise or fold spot IMO, and with this BBFTS (big blind fold to steal) % fairing particularly high I go for the raise which is essentially a min-raise although sticking on an extra 20 chips to manufacture that extra bit of fold equity. Some player’s will never fold to min-raises because they feel they have to call with good pot odds, so sticking on a tiny amount more can sometimes psychologically work against your opponents.

Mehhhh it doesn’t work this time and our opponent calls so it’s off to a flop!

FLOP: 8d-Ah-Ks

So, the flop of A-K-8 rainbow isn’t a particularly good one for my hand but a good board to follow up on since it hits my range. I also have no showdown value whatsoever and it would be very poor to check-fold and give up that equity post-flop having bloated the pot pre-flop so it’s a must continuation bet spot. I’ve gone for a little over half pot at 265 into 440 and my opponent calls. Now, although his HUD data %s won’t be pinpoint accurate with only a sample of 700 hands, they will be a solid indication of this player’s tendencies. His fold to flop bet (FTFB) is a rather small looking 38% meaning I’m expecting him to continue a lot of the time on this flop – not only with value hands and some gut-shots but also floats that will attempt to take the pot down in a subsequent betting round and attack passivity. It is true this board hits my range and that’s why I must bet but my opening range from the SB pre-flop will also be pretty wide so it’s possible he’s factoring that into account to call with air with the intentions of betting into turn checks. It’s worth mentioning he also didn’t 3bet pre-flop and with a 3bet % of 7.7% I’m hardly worried as most As have a profitable jam.

So he does call, and we’re off to the turn. There’s now 970 in the pot, and I have a stack of around 1.3k whilst villain has 1.1k.

TURN: 6h

Although the 6 might not particularly seem a good card, it actually is since it misses all of those gut-shot hands that would be calling the flop – Q-J/J-10/Q-10, so if I’m going to barrel I can have more confidence. Now, against some opponents this would be a spot to just check and give up – either tight-passives who rarely call 2 streets so are likely to be strong or loose-passive calling stations who would be unlikely to fold although you shouldn’t be building the pot pre-flop out of position with garbage (or bluffing) this type of opponent in the first place. This guy doesn’t fit either of these bills, and he’s looking like a fairly typical TAG player who if anything is erring on the side of being tight. His VPIP of 24% and raise of 18% are totally respectable in a 6max format so I feel like it’s a good spot to follow up with what we call a threaten your stack bet. If we bet a small 355 into 970 we are essentially putting villain to the test for his stack – he has to make up his mind right here and now whether he wants to commit the rest of the chips to this hand or not – there is no room for calling another street and putting his hand down on the river since by that point over 50% of his stack would be committed. This is a really pressuring bet and not only will fold out all of the floats he continued with on the flop but depending on his perception of me and his style of play/how comfortable he is may also fold some K-Q/K-J type hands and A-rags that he decided to call with and is too afraid to commit. Besides that, a bet of 355 into 970 is giving ourselves excellent odds on the bluff and we’ll only have to win the pot around 1 in 4 times to show immediate profit. Since we know villain will be flatting the flop around 62% of the time along with the fact he didn’t 3bet pre-flop and the A high board has come then we can expect most of this range to be folding to a turn lead - I suspect he’ll be folding well over half the time quite easily therefore making the bet a clear profitable proposition.

With villains stack size not much greater than the size of the pot on the turn, a lot of people will feel they have to open-jam to have any shot at winning and that would appear the most pressuring. That’s really not the case. Not only is it risking more giving you worse odds on a bluff i.e. since a jam would be slightly more than the size of the pot you would have to win just over half the time to show immediate profit, but not only this, it will usually appear a weaker line to the villain than a smaller bet. The smaller bet looks like you are setting the hand up to be chunked for an all-in on the river whilst appears luring by leaving room for a move. Not only this, it would appear villain doesn’t have much fold equity on a re-shove since villain is aware that after hero has bet the hero will have excellent pot odds to call if villain re-shoves, so this is again perhaps another reason that will dissuade villain from committing with some of those K-x/A-x hands we mentioned that would be able to call a shove much easier since it would appear much more like a bluff.

Against an opponent with a VPIP of 40% I would be sceptical of putting another bet in since they’ll be folding Ks/weak As much less of the time (though would depend on how often they floated). But this guy’s VPIP is 24% and he seems like a decent player so I feel he’d be capable of putting down a K or a weak A to this bet even though his FTFB was only 38%.

It’s possible he was planning on using the same weapon against me and his reason for calling the flop was because my stack was vulnerable and he reasoned most of the time I’m called on the flop and have nothing I’ll give up on the turn because it will be tough to risk any more chips in the hand with not a whole load behind and the fact I’m OOP and have been called, so he may have been planning on sticking in a small bet himself with a whole load of nadda. If this was true, I beat him to it.


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