Thursday, 26 September 2013

Calling the fuck off

Hand played on Pokerstars
Seat 4: Hero (4868 in chips)
Seat 6: Villain (4132 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind 75
Villain: posts big blind 150
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Tc 3c]
Hero: calls 75
Villain: checks
*** FLOP *** [4c Td 9d]
Villain: checks
Hero: bets 180
Villain: raises 330 to 510
Hero: calls 330
*** TURN *** [4c Td 9d] [Ah]
Villain: bets 690
Hero: calls 690
*** RIVER *** [4c Td 9d Ah] [Qs]
Villain: bets 2782 and is all-in
Hero: calls 2782
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain: shows [6d 8c] (high card Ace)
Hero: shows [Tc 3c] (a pair of Tens)
Hero collected 8264 from pot

In this post, I really just wanted to show you how what may appear a difficult call actually becomes an easy one when you break down your opponent’s range in line with the board changing. There’s not a lot worth mentioning about my opponent other than he is a solid aggressive reg.

So, I’ve got 10-3 suited and getting 3 to 1 this is definitely worth a limp. I’ve hammered on about this in previous posts so won’t go into too much detail: 10-3 suited has exactly 45.7% equity against a random hand and with 3 to 1 odds all we will need is anything >25% equity to make limping profitable assuming we see the 5 card community board. This makes limping preferred to folding.

FLOP: 4c-10d-9d
So, I flop a rather weak top pair on a reasonably wet board. My opponent checks to me and with a myriad of flush and straight draws I must bet for value and protection since my hand is clearly vulnerable to all those draws and potentially overcards. A bet of 180 into 300 looks good, and my opponent slides in a check-raise to 510. With his pre-flop check we can almost certainly remove any overpairs from his range, so his range is fairly open to a pair of 10s, any two pair combination as well as any straight draw/gut-shot or flush draw. Check-raising with a draw is quite often a good line since if your opponent checks you gain a free card and can fire the turn, if your opponent folds you win some chips with an unmade hand (more so than if you had bet out) and if your opponent calls you can still improve, so it is conceivable my opponent being a good reg may take this line with his draws. Obviously since we’re ahead of the majority of that range we estimated and since we have a pair of 10s (reducing the combinations of flopped 2 pairs he can have) we have a fairly easy call.

So, the turn brings an A and my opponent fires a bet of 690 into a pot of 1320.

This would appear to be a scare card for both of us. If my opponent had a pair of 10s he may well check and allow me to make some goofy bluff attempt at repping the A – after all, I didn’t raise pre-flop so from his point of view the A can’t have helped me. However, this just means it’s not really a scare card so if he was ahead on the flop he’ll still be ahead now, and there’s plenty of draws I could have in my range so betting with a lone pair of 10s would definitely make sense. You might see a lot of weaker players checking a pair of 10s here fearful of that A. Realising that the A doesn’t constitute a massive part of my range with my pre-flop limp he may also continue with his draws and any air hands he has in hope that I may toss some weak hands such as a pair of 9s or even a weak pair of 10s which isn't looking so pretty. I can be fairly certain myself my opponent doesn’t have an A with his pre-flop check so at this point all we can say is his range is still open to a pair of 10s, flopped two pairs and draws. There’s more draws he can have in his range with the fairly wet board texture than flopped 2 pairs (especially since we hold a 10) so with this in mind it makes sense to call and evaluate on the river.

The rivers another overcard making my hand less pretty than it already was on the turn.
My opponent quickly stacks 2.7k all-in for a pot sized bet. This gives me pot odds of almost 2 to 1 and I’ll only need to be good here around 34% of the time to make calling off profitable; in other words, I'll need my opponent to be bluffing around 1 in 3 times to make money on the call. That’s all well and good, but how likely is it I’ll have at least 34% equity here? What about my opponent’s range?

This is where the narrowing down of my opponent’s range really begins:
We concluded that when the A came on the turn my opponent could still be betting some 10s for value and protection against those draws. When he stacks all-in on the river however, we can confidently remove a pair of 10s from his range. Shoving all-in with a mediocre hand like third pair here will typically only get called by better hands whilst folding out anything worse including any busted straight or flush draw that I may have, so it would make sense to check and invite a bluffing range from some of those missed draws. Whilst, if he had a hand like KQ/QJ/Q8 for a draw that rivered a pair of Qs the same applies: he would most likely check to induce a bluff or perhaps value bet really thin to get called by a pair of 9s/10s than shove and destroy the value of those hands. We also deduced on the turn that the A isn’t part of his range with his pre-flop check, so what does that leave us with?

That pretty much leaves us with a flopped two pair or a busted draw or perhaps complete air. We previously concluded that there’s more combinations of draws he could have than flopped 2 pairs, especially since we hold a 10. Furthermore, from his point of view missed draws are still part of my range so this gives him good reason to jam complete air or a weak busted gut-shot/straight or flush draw since it’s possible I may be holding a better draw that may win at showdown but cannot call a bet. And remember, I can’t have the A either with my pre-flop limp so he may feel he’ll be able to induce a pair of 9s or 10s into folding. One mistake people tend to make here is folding on the basis their hand isn't so pretty. However, having broken down our opponent's range to essentially 2 pair or complete air then holding a hand as weak as 10-3 is really the same as having A-K in this spot; if our opponent won't value bet any hand that's better than 10-3 nor worse than A-K (which I highly suspect to be true) then our hand holds as much value as A-K and we shouldn't avoid calling out of fear just because our hand isn't excellent. If anything, 10-3 is stronger than A-K here since we block the number of flopped/rivered 2 pair combinations he can have since we eliminated the possibility of him having A-x here.

It’s also worth strongly taking into consideration the speed of his jam: he jammed instantly and even a hand as strong as 2 pair should give some consideration to checking or at least take more time to plan out the most +EV move since our range should be full of missed draws. This makes it all the likelier that he is indeed bluffing. All this combined with the fact that my opponent’s aggressive, I’m getting 2 to 1 and he’s not really repping anything that believable meant I took about 2 seconds to call the fuck off, and my opponent indeed tabled 8-6o for a busted straight draw.

Live long and prosper

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