Ripple

The other night I heard a faded but distinct second echo of the strategy post where I talked about applying cbetting principles on a board that favors the blinds.    To be frank, when this hand started, I was tilted or more accurately, trying to control my tilt, so I may have been a bit blinkered.  The runbad of late has been off the hook.  I had opened the session by ending up in last place with a set for the fifth time this weekend, a lost one where I dumped, appropriately enough, more than five buyins.

I was not ready to quit this night, however.  I had invested time, created an ambiguous image, and had solid reads on everyone at the table.  Many of my bluffs had gotten through, and my mistakes were all small. I had just gotten coolered, KK versus QQ, and my peripheral vision was clouded with plumes from my smoking brain.  To be set up again versus one of the table marks, during this long stretch of bad luck, was like a boxer returning to the corner after another brutal round, still somehow on his feet, only to have the stool break and be comically floored.

So when I was dealt aces in the cutoff, I assumed my raise would pick up the blinds.  Negativity breeds.  The straddle, which had boosted the game to an absurd and almost shortstacked 5/10/20 had briefly come off, naturally, and a small pot, if one at all, was in the air.

However, I got one caller, yet he is about all one can handle.  The truth is that there are very few loose aggressive players.  When you read about one in the forums, it’s usually pretty much a laugh.  “LAG limps from MP, calls,” etc.  What the poster is trying to convey is that a player might have some aggression, as if the standard should be no aggression.  “This opponent troubles me so I will give him a fearful label.”

This flatter from the blinds, on the other hand, is one of the true players in my pool, probably a much better player than I am, if in part because he gives himself the entire plain to roam and has no bankroll issues to back seat driver his strategy. Aside from everything else, I noticed he recently made a ridiculously expensive and unnecessary purchase that as far as I know, has gone uncommented upon. (I also really, really like his combativeness at the table, which is challenging and cocky but never rude.)  So when he makes the call out of the big blind, and chooses not to three bet, it signifies a very junky part of his range is included in whatever else he chooses to take a flop with out of position.  The cutoff is a stealing spot; he has called me out, mid game, on three betting him light previously and must have ideas about me.  He has, therefore, good incentives to make a standard blocker play.  Yet no.  He is weak here very often.

The board comes 246cc.  Much as in the previous thread, this is the kind of board he can hit and I shouldn’t.  I don’t have the Ac, which increases the probability of his drawing hands should I face aggression.

I took a long time while considering a cbet.  I am going to get raised here nearly all the time.  However, unlike the 76 spot, I can’t really improve on my holding much.  If I check, he may bet, in which case I can go for x/r to protect my hand.  If he checks, however, he has outplayed me, by recognizing the situation.  He gets to realize his equity for nothing.

I suppose checking would not be the worst play.  I do not have the widest cbetting range, and I can protect my range by checking and showing down a very strong hand here.  This is a consideration.  However, while worth thinking about, I don’t believe it’s the best play at all.  The reason is, unlike 76 spot, one factor, among others, is very different: the opponent.  A true LAG and a solid reg have very little in common.  I need a plan, and one that works with this player.   I also want value at the top of my range, and should be going broke here.  What is my decision?

One of the interesting aspects of that classic AJ spot vs. a calling board in the forum is that while one action is clearly best, there is fact an ordering of possible actions.  Can you list them?  It runs like this, with a few hints: x/?, x/?…b/3b… etc, down to b/f.

Here, in a related but non-equivalent spot, I like my decision to bet three bet, which is well down the list compared to that other hand.  I don’t want the maximum fold equity, I want the maximum commitment from my opponent. I am assuming his range looks like:

Board: 6s4c2c

Equity  Win      Tie

MP2     39.43%            38.97%            0.46%  { 88-22, 98s, 86s+, 73s+, 63s+, 52s+, 42s+, 32s, QcJc, KcTc, QcTc, JcTc, Ac9c, Qc9c, Jc9c, Tc9c, Ac8c, Qc8c, Jc8c, Tc8c, Ac7c, Jc7c, Tc7c, 9c7c, Ac6c, Ac5c, Ac4c, Ac3c, Ac2c, 65o, 54o }

MP3     60.57%            60.12%            0.46%  { AdAh }

That’s a lot of draws.  His plan is likely to apply maximum pressure with significant equity.  I am never significantly ahead, and he does not like to fold.  So while the distinction may be without a difference in some ways, because he can put the last bet in more successfully when I x/r, the remarkable difference is, I will always capture more blinds when I b/3b because he does have a r/f range and certainly a b/f one as well. I can’t assume he will always stack off light, because he is going to take advantage of this board nearly all the time, and need to give up occasionally.  Raising me is the right play, after all.

In this case, he does not give up.  I cbet, he raises, I reraise, he sticks in another bet, and I shove for the remainder.  The board runs out blanks, no flushes, no straightening cards, and I know I am likely good when I turn over my hand.

Unlike in the 76 Saturday, I think I played this one exactly right. Good lord, something worked.

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