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PL/NL Texas Hold'em >> Micro Stakes

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ama0330Moderator
more whining, less poker


Reged: 04/20/06
Posts: 5704
Loc: Crushing
A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds
      #13059067 - 11/21/07 09:48 AM

I was discussing with Corsakh the merits (or lack thereof) in 3betting a medium pair from the blinds, specifically TT-99. What I thought I would do is illustrate some hands where we 3bet, and where we dont, and what situation each choice leaves us in. Fwiw I don't actually have a standard line in these spots yet, so this is not a "lesson" per se, its more a post which I hope will generate some meaningful discussion.

In these hands I have given hero 99 and not TT because I think it is important to realise that in most of these situations TT=99. Even though you may think that TT looks stronger, it almost always isnt when you consider his range. I haven't included the blinds in my calcs for simplicity. Also, quite clearly the flop texture has a big part to play in our decisions. Here, I have given a flop texture that is mostly harmless, not particularly draw heavy, but more importantly, it is good for a cbet both for us when we 3bet preflop, and for him when we just call preflop.

MP in these hands is a TAG, he is 19/16/3.0 over a good sample. There are no specific session dynamics which would make either one of us do anything crazy, but we both know that we play well and are both capable of making moves.

I've listed each position in terms of amount invested, amount won, and hand strength certainty. What do I mean by hand strength certainty? This is the way in which I measure the quality of the decision you make, based on the amount of informaiton you are given. If you are facing a shove when villain can hold a wide range, that means that your certainty about where you stand is poor. If you can narrow your opponents range down to a fine selection, then your hand strength certainty is high, making your decision much easier. In poker, the closer you get to the river, in general, the more certain you can be of your hand's strength relative to your opponents holding and make a comfortable decision, be it fold call or raise.



First, lets take a look at 3betting and cbetting.


Hand 1: We 3bet and cbet, he folds

UTG (UTG): $50
MP (MP): $50
CO (CO): $50
BTN (BTN): $50
SB (SB): $50
Hero (BB): $50

Pre-Flop: 9 9 dealt to Hero (SB)
3 folds, MP raises to $2, Hero raises to $6, MP calls.

Flop: ($12) K 6 T (2 Players)
Hero bets $10, MP folds.


Net amount invested: $16
Net amount won: $6
Hand strength certainty: Unknown

Our villains calling range preflop is wide, as we have no specific reads on him. Suited connectors, all pocket pairs, suited broadways, sneaky AA/KK and air looking to make a move are all more than possible. For this reason, when we make a bet, our hand strength is totally unknown, becuase we are playing against such a wide range - not just of cards, but of possible moves he can pull on us.

In this case, he misses whatever he was looking for and folds, but note that the fact we have 99 is irrelevant. We could make this move with any two.



Hand 2: We 3bet and cbet, he shoves

UTG (UTG): $50
MP (MP): $50
CO (CO): $50
BTN (BTN): $50
SB (SB): $50
Hero (BB): $50

Pre-Flop: 9 9 dealt to Hero (SB)
3 folds, MP raises to $2, Hero raises to $6, MP calls.

Flop: ($12) K 6 T (2 Players)
Hero bets $10, MP raises to $44 and is All-In,

(34 for Hero to call into 66, pot odds 1.94:1, 65:34, need 34% to breakeven)

Net amount invested: $16 -$50
Net amount won: $?
Hand strength certainty: Average - Poor

Again, we play against a very wide range. He can have us crushed, or he can be making a move with any two, figuring that we are FOS. We need 34% equity to breakeven, but the point is, you are essentially paying your whole stack without ever really knowing what the hell you are up against. Remember this guys no maniac, but he can make moves. How do you know what he has? A very difficult decision, and a very expensive one - consider that if you fold here, you have invested $16 into a hand where you can still not be any surer that you were behind on the flop than you were preflop.


Hand 3: We 3bet and cbet, he calls

UTG (UTG): $50
MP (MP): $50
CO (CO): $50
BTN (BTN): $50
SB (SB): $50
Hero (BB): $50

Pre-Flop: 9 9 dealt to Hero (SB)
3 folds, MP raises to $2, Hero raises to $6, MP calls.

Flop: ($12) K 6 T (2 Players)
Hero bets $10, MP Calls $10

Turn: ($32) 2 (2 Players)

Hero? (remaining stacks: $34)

Net amount invested: $16
Net amount won: $?
Hand strength certainty: Totally unknown

Now this is a horrible situation to be in. We have a PSB left, are OOP, and have no idea in hell where we stand. If we check, any bet he makes is going to commit us. Do we bet again? Do we shove? Was he floating with a smaller pair, or does he have the nuts? If we check and he bets or shoves, is he bluffing? How often is he bluffing? Why does he float the flop?

You are literally having to commit your entire stack without knowing a single thing about whether you are behind or not. We have not defined villains hand at all, we are in a huge pot, and we are stuck. Remember, villain plays well - his range is totally polarised - nuts or nothing. Thats what you should be trying to do, polarise your range, because you can see how hard it is to play against.




Now lets take a look at when we just call preflop.



Hand 1 : We just call preflop, c/c flop

UTG (UTG): $50
MP (MP): $50
CO (CO): $50
BTN (BTN): $50
SB (SB): $50
Hero (BB): $50

Pre-Flop: 9 9 dealt to Hero (SB)
3 folds, MP raises to $2, Hero calls $2.

Flop: ($4) K 6 T (2 Players)
Hero checks, MP bets $3, Hero calls $3.

Turn: ($10) 2 (2 Players)
Hero checks

Net amount invested so far: $5
Hand strength certainty: Unknown

His range is currently any hand which he would raise from MP. Note that we can't narrow that range down because this is a great flop to cbet. But look what has changed between just calling preflop and 3betting:

1. We've only invested $5 so far.
2. We've made it to the turn, meaning there are only two streets left to play
3. Its going to be near impossible for villain to get our whole stack, unless he overbets somwhere
4. We can get further in the hand, and improve our hand strength certainty, for a fraction of the price of 3betting.

Im not going to focus on when he checks behind the flop, because then we can just check our way to freedom. I'll focus only on what happens when he cbets the flop, because I think that's what he does 90% of the time.

So lets look at some turn situations.



Hand 1a: He bets the turn, and we call

Flop: ($4) K 6 T (2 Players)
Hero checks, MP bets $3, Hero calls $3.

Turn: ($10) 2 (2 Players)
Hero checks, MP bets $7, Hero calls $7.

Net amount invested so far: $12
Hand strength certainty: Good

Note that I've listed our certainty as "good". Why? Because now we have a lot of questions that we can answer about what he is doing. Questions like:

1. Is this a good card to be doubling on?
2. How aggressive is he by street, what is his turn AF?
3. What is his went to SD?
4. What is his bet river %age?
5. How likely is he to bet the river if we call here? Could he ever bluff the river?

Question 5 is important because its a very specific one and usually pretty easy to answer. It takes a very, very specific and competent type of villain to triple barrel this board with a hand worse than 99. Its almost impossible, imo, to face a bet on the river and not know what to do, because he HAS to put us on at least KQ, or we could be trapping with a set. If he bets the river for value, its strong value, and even if its thin value, its a damn sight fatter than 99. So...



River: ($24) 7 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Hero checks, MP bets $18, Hero folds.

Net amount invested so far: $12
Hand strength certainty: Excellent

...we make an easy river fold. Our certainty is excellent, AND, more importantly, we save $4! We gain a much higher quality of information for a discount price, without ever having to worry about playing for stacks when we dont know where we stand. Of course if he behaves like we expect, this will happen a lot:


River: ($24) 7 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Hero checks, MP checks.

Net amount invested so far: $12
Hand strength certainty: 100% Certain

Results: $24 Pot
MP showed Q A (High card, Ace) and LOST
Hero showed 9 9 (One pair, Nines) and WON



Ship it.


Now I'm not saying that this is gospel, or that its how you should definitely play, or that this is the only way to play these hands. Of course the following things are crucial:

1. Villain tendencies
2. Session dynamics
3. Table image
4. Flop, turn and river texture

and so on. There are also times where you can be sure enough of your villain to 3bet 99 from the blinds for value and check fold the flop. But I do definitely think that to say that 3betting mediocre one pair hands from the blinds is mandatory is short sighted, and I hope that in this post I have shown that you can hugely increase the quality of the information you receive, and drastically lower the price of that information, having never to worry about playing for stacks, all just by not 3betting preflop.

Let the discussions begin....


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Gelford
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Reged: 11/15/05
Posts: 6392
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Re: A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds [Re: ama0330]
      #13059299 - 11/21/07 10:19 AM

tl;dr

But in the blind without reading the post, there is a stat missing in your post, which is attempt to steal.

Vs an aggro villian, I will 3bet.

vs a medium villian I might just call.

Vs a tight villian i might still call or fold.



There is a certain dynamic ingredient here, but I feel that many might overestimate 99/TT in these spots (or I underestimate it). Also TT is NOT = 99 imo. as there are plenty of mediums card flops, where a T hits vilians range (QT, JT, T8s, etc), but the is not the case then holding TT.


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ama0330Moderator
more whining, less poker


Reged: 04/20/06
Posts: 5704
Loc: Crushing
Re: A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds [Re: Gelford]
      #13059354 - 11/21/07 10:24 AM

Quote:

tl;dr

But in the blind without reading the post, there is a stat missing in your post, which is attempt to steal.

Vs an aggro villian, I will 3bet.

vs a medium villian I might just call.

Vs a tight villian i might still call or fold.



There is a certain dynamic ingredient here, but I feel that many might overestimate 99/TT in these spots (or I underestimate it). Also TT is NOT = 99 imo. as there are plenty of mediums card flops, where a T hits vilians range (QT, JT, T8s, etc), but the is not the case then holding TT.




Read the post man, ffs


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Spurious
veteran


Reged: 08/08/06
Posts: 1575
Re: A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds [Re: ama0330]
      #13059393 - 11/21/07 10:27 AM

First of all, nice post!

I prefer 3betting strong PPs like 99,TT from the blinds, just to get control over the pot and get value from my hands.

I think your cbets are way to big for a 3bet pot. You can cbet 1/2-2/3 pot and he'll fold his missed PP or AQ or whatever.
So we have a lot more than just one PSB on the turn.


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traz
Werewolf Super*


Reged: 10/21/05
Posts: 19775
Loc: Sleeping on stacks
Re: A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds [Re: Spurious]
      #13059416 - 11/21/07 10:29 AM

I usually don't 3bet mid pairs unless I know a player will call with worse (or call with overs and then cf if he misses).

Without that info, I'll call and play poker (ha hi pokey!)


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ama0330Moderator
more whining, less poker


Reged: 04/20/06
Posts: 5704
Loc: Crushing
Re: A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds [Re: Spurious]
      #13059437 - 11/21/07 10:32 AM

Quote:

First of all, nice post!

I prefer 3betting strong PPs like 99,TT from the blinds, just to get control over the pot and get value from my hands.

I think your cbets are way to big for a 3bet pot. You can cbet 1/2-2/3 pot and he'll fold his missed PP or AQ or whatever.
So we have a lot more than just one PSB on the turn.




UTG (UTG): $50
MP (MP): $50
CO (CO): $50
BTN (BTN): $50
SB (SB): $50
Hero (BB): $50

Pre-Flop: 9 9 dealt to Hero (SB)
3 folds, MP raises to $2, Hero raises to $6, MP calls.

Flop: ($12) K 6 T (2 Players)
Hero bets $8, MP Calls $8

Turn: ($28) 2 (2 Players)

Hero? (remaining stacks: $36)

Doesn't look much different to me, still pot committed with 2 streets to play


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munkey
A model citizen


Reged: 05/25/06
Posts: 1340
Loc: stackasaurus
Re: A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds [Re: traz]
      #13059442 - 11/21/07 10:32 AM

I've been thinking/talking about this recently but haven;t quite got my thoughts up together. I play it based on villian as per gelford except I call more often vs loose aggros -basically 3bet if i think I'm vastly ahead of villain's range when the flop comes down i.e. they'll felt 7xx flop with 87 or I have FE from the 3bet or fcbet.

One benefit of TT/99 vs other 3bet hands is vs some villans 3bet calling range they dominate 88-55 and we either flop or miss so it's a relatively easy hand to get away from if we have to.


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Spurious
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Reged: 08/08/06
Posts: 1575
Re: A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds [Re: ama0330]
      #13059493 - 11/21/07 10:39 AM

Quote:

Quote:

First of all, nice post!

I prefer 3betting strong PPs like 99,TT from the blinds, just to get control over the pot and get value from my hands.

I think your cbets are way to big for a 3bet pot. You can cbet 1/2-2/3 pot and he'll fold his missed PP or AQ or whatever.
So we have a lot more than just one PSB on the turn.




UTG (UTG): $50
MP (MP): $50
CO (CO): $50
BTN (BTN): $50
SB (SB): $50
Hero (BB): $50

Pre-Flop: 9 9 dealt to Hero (SB)
3 folds, MP raises to $2, Hero raises to $6, MP calls.

Flop: ($12) K 6 T (2 Players)
Hero bets $8, MP Calls $8

Turn: ($28) 2 (2 Players)

Hero? (remaining stacks: $36)

Doesn't look much different to me, still pot committed with 2 streets to play




It makes a small difference, but it's neglible, you're right.
But I think we can shut down here.
If he folds to a c/r we might do this, but i am shutting down nearly everytime i get called on the flop.

Your investment argument is right, but without control over the pot, we have to fold to most of his turnbets.

Btw:
Why is his bet sizing so small compared to yours?


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Gelford
Regular Joe


Reged: 11/15/05
Posts: 6392
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Re: A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds [Re: ama0330]
      #13059520 - 11/21/07 10:41 AM

[quote
Read the post man, ffs





FFS [censored] diagf [censored] .. yo! just sneak peaking quickly at work


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fees
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 02/19/07
Posts: 4162
Loc: Whats my motivation? LOLOLOLOL...
Re: A discussion with Corsakh - 3betting pairs from the blinds [Re: Gelford]
      #13059553 - 11/21/07 10:45 AM

a lot of thinking went into this, more than need be.

Theres alot of math analysis here but I assume most of you guys play so many tables and your player pools are so big that you wont have built history where you can figure out what the hell do to in marginal type situations. Basically if you are far enough ahead of his range and its hard to play if you do anything but b/f, just 3b and b/f this flop all day. Also if he calls give up no matter what (cept a 9ball)


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