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PL/NL Texas Hold'em >> Small Stakes

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BalugaWhale
Busto on tatas

Reged: 01/25/06
Posts: 4869
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the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long)
#6605819 - 07/19/06 09:17 PM

no, I didn't name it after myself. Somebody suggested it and I guess it caught on.

I've gotten a few questions about it and there have been some threads recently, so I thought I'd clarify some examples where I think it applies and some where it doesn't.

You (100bb) have AK in MP at a 6max game. UTG (100bb) limps, you raise to 5xBB, Button (100bb) calls, UTG calls.

Three to the flop (pot ~15bb), which is:

A46

UTG checks, you lead out for 12bb, Button folds, UTG calls.

On to the turn (pot~ 36bb)

8

UTG checks, you bet 25bb, he raises all-in.

We fold. One pair is not good here. A draw does this about never. We have to bet this turn because we can't let spades draw, and we need value from worse A's, but now that he raises, we can rule out worse A's and draws.

However, to slightly alter Isura's example, lets say we have AA, same pf action as before and the flop (pot~15bb) comes down:

K22

UTG checks, we bet 12bb, Button calls, UTG folds.

the turn (pot ~36bb) comes:
J

We bet 25bb, Button raises all in.

Here, I think we should call. We are very likely to see KJ here, as well as AK or KQ. Occassionally we see a random 2, but we are ahead of his range more often than not.

Basically, the whole point of the "Baluga theorem", as I see it, is to strongly reevaluate one-pair hands facing a turn raise.

A few notes to remember-
turn checkraises are more frightening than turn raises

big turn raises are rarely pure draws-- occassionally they will be draws that pick up a pair, or pairs that pick up draws, but most of the time you can count on a strong made hand.

when playing against a goood TAG, particularly a 2p2er, most especially me, raising the turn with a draw is a powerful (but risky) play.

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cbloom
Carpal \'Tunnel

Reged: 07/20/03
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#6606001 - 07/19/06 09:38 PM

Word. I dig the Baluga Theorem.

I think there are a few general principles at work :

1. People tend to play more tight-weak / straightforward when the pot & bets are big. On the turn, if it was PFR'ed and the flop was bet, the pot will be quite big. Very few people make moves for lots of chips.

2. People tend to make moves on the flop much more for various reasons. One is that people know they can raise draws on the flop & get free cards or at least have good equity if they get all in. Another is that people are used to cbets and trying to pick off cbets, so they have a habit of messing around on the flop.

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goofyballer
Emo Communist

Reged: 06/12/05
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#6606053 - 07/19/06 09:46 PM

BW, the second example is clearly a two-pair hand

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BalugaWhale
Busto on tatas

Reged: 01/25/06
Posts: 4869
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: goofyballer]
#6606096 - 07/19/06 09:49 PM

Quote:

BW, the second example is clearly a two-pair hand

doh.

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Black winter day
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#6606132 - 07/19/06 09:53 PM

For me it's autofold in hand 1.I would call a shortstack who had 50BB or less at the start of the hand.
I may call in hand 2 but only against a donk who would overplay a good K.

Against a solid player i would very much suspect slowplayed KK,JJ or A2s.

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Rev. Good Will
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#6606464 - 07/19/06 10:26 PM

I might need this

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MyTurn2Raise
The drug-free MVP

Reged: 06/28/05
Posts: 18508
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#6607581 - 07/20/06 12:20 AM

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Grunch
Bounty Hunter

Reged: 08/25/04
Posts: 9623
Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#6607951 - 07/20/06 12:55 AM

Very nice, you get an entry in the MS.

One thing, tho:

Quote:

We have to bet this turn because we can't let spades draw

Being heads-up, I can't say I totally agree. Without a read or against default opponents, I agree. Must bet. But against opponents you know well, opponents you know will play any piece of the board this way, it is possible to be correct to just check.

I'm not saying that it's correct to check a lot, just that it's not always incorrect to check, and sometimes it's best to check.

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veteran

Reged: 08/31/05
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: Grunch]
#6608026 - 07/20/06 01:04 AM

Nice post, Baluga.

I do agree with Grunch though that in your first example it is often better to check behind the turn though. Depends on your opponent. Against a donk I would never do it, but against a decent aggressive player check that behind all day.

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nickcee
member

Reged: 05/10/06
Posts: 170
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: yad]
#6608229 - 07/20/06 01:29 AM

I think checking, when in position, is somewhat of a standard play when head-up. By checking your representing weakness,managing the pot size, and making it more likely you will get paid off or make a little something when they decide to bluff. You can't do this all the time, but I think it's a decent play especially in situations similar to the first hand.

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BalugaWhale
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: nickcee]
#6608759 - 07/20/06 02:49 AM

this is kinda a hijack, but what does a decent aggressive player CRAI with here (in hand 1)?

AQ? I doubt it.

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Grunch
Bounty Hunter

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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#6610016 - 07/20/06 08:05 AM

Well, AQ/AK is about the only 1-pair hand in the universe that would CRAI here. But it still doesn't CRAI here often, so I agree that 1-pair is generally no good.

But that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the need to protect against a flush draw. When you're up against just one oppponent, the chance that he's on a flush draw is reduced. Just how much it's reduced depends on the opponent. I draw the line at two opponents, and even that may be a little WT, but I'm putting off getting better at this until later.

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c_strong

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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: Grunch]
#6610219 - 07/20/06 08:53 AM

How many opponents you had on the flop is at least as important as how many you have on the flop. If it was HU on the flop I wouldn't be worried about a flush draw on the turn, without a read. If there had been three callers pf, two had folded the flop and one had called, I would definitely bet the turn to protect. Two callers (as in BW's example) is borderline IMO.

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Grunch
Bounty Hunter

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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: c_strong]
#6610241 - 07/20/06 08:56 AM

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veteran

Reged: 08/31/05
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#6616236 - 07/20/06 04:51 PM

Quote:

this is kinda a hijack, but what does a decent aggressive player CRAI with here (in hand 1)?

AQ? I doubt it.

Something like 7 8 or A Q or A J or even 8 9 , as well as air sometimes, and all sorts of stuff that is crushing you.I know that you don't want to give a free card to all those spade draws, but:

1. If he c/r with them at the right frequencies, you are in an impossible spot.

2. To balance the fact that sometimes he will outdraw you, more often he will miss and bluff the river where he would either have folded the turn or c/r the turn forcing you to fold.

3. Most of the time on this turn he will not have a hand that will c/r. Things like AQo and AJo. I think you get more value out of most of those hands by checking behind turn and either betting or calling the river.

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bilbo-san
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: Grunch]
#6616476 - 07/20/06 05:10 PM

Quote:

Very nice, you get an entry in the MS.

One thing, tho:

Quote:

We have to bet this turn because we can't let spades draw

Being heads-up, I can't say I totally agree. Without a read or against default opponents, I agree. Must bet. But against opponents you know well, opponents you know will play any piece of the board this way, it is possible to be correct to just check.

I'm not saying that it's correct to check a lot, just that it's not always incorrect to check, and sometimes it's best to check.

I'd rarely check against a good LAG, as he'll recognize a pot-control check from a mile away.

Such players are very likely to pot the river with all their holdings, be they bluffs, weak made hands, monsters.

And then you are faced with a pretty ugly river decision.

On the other hand, those same players are not very likely to make a move on a the turn versus a player who has shown a lot of strength, so even vs. most decent LAGs, your turn decision is very easy if you get raised.

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Freelancer
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: bilbo-san]
#8032263 - 11/13/06 04:21 AM

If you have a fear of losing you shouldn't be playing poker for sure.

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GameTheory
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: nickcee]
#8032393 - 11/13/06 04:47 AM

The real question is, what happens in hand one when you get minraised on the flop?

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Freelancer
Pooh-Bah

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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: bilbo-san]
#8032635 - 11/13/06 06:05 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Very nice, you get an entry in the MS.

One thing, tho:

Quote:

We have to bet this turn because we can't let spades draw

Being heads-up, I can't say I totally agree. Without a read or against default opponents, I agree. Must bet. But against opponents you know well, opponents you know will play any piece of the board this way, it is possible to be correct to just check.

I'm not saying that it's correct to check a lot, just that it's not always incorrect to check, and sometimes it's best to check.

I'd rarely check against a good LAG, as he'll recognize a pot-control check from a mile away.

Such players are very likely to pot the river with all their holdings, be they bluffs, weak made hands, monsters.

And then you are faced with a pretty ugly river decision.

On the other hand, those same players are not very likely to make a move on a the turn versus a player who has shown a lot of strength, so even vs. most decent LAGs, your turn decision is very easy if you get raised.

How is the river a ugly decisions if you know your up against a good LAG AND you know he knows that with checking the turn you have a hand that cant stand a lot of heat (ie. call if its likely he'll bluff). It gets interesting if he knows that you know he's likely to make a play on the river...(if your still following me)

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Montezuma21
old hand

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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#9253167 - 02/20/07 10:20 AM

extremely interesting thread. it makes me think of a hand i saw the other day at 100NL which i think might apply.

100BB stacks

MP: good TAG

MP opens for 4BB
SB calls 4BB

(2 players see the flop)
Flop is: Th4s3c (9BB)
SB checks
MP bets 8BB
SB calls 8BB

Turn is Th4s2c (Ah) (25BB)

SB checks
MP checks

River Th4s2cAh (Ts) (25BB)

SB checks
MP checks

MP shows down AQ
SB mucks
TAG's turn decision striked me at the time as very unusual, as my default would be to bet. is this play normal? would a twoflush board change your decision?

This concept is presumably much less applicable OOP, is it ever?

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MTSuper7
journeyman

Reged: 02/14/07
Posts: 89
Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: BalugaWhale]
#9253293 - 02/20/07 10:34 AM

Quote:

We fold. One pair is not good here. A draw does this about never. We have to bet this turn because we can't let spades draw, and we need value from worse A's, but now that he raises, we can rule out worse A's and draws.

One hand we have beat that might reraise all-in here is both a worse A AND a draw: A5 of spades or A7 of spades. I agree that we are beat most of the time, and probably by two pair since UTG limped then called our raise. A-8 would make the most sense, unless he flopped a set (but I don't see someone flopping a set not raising this flop considering it has two spades and that you probably hit your A). Of course, heads-up it isn't unreasonable to slow play a set with that board. In summary, yes we should fold because we are behind most of the time (though not always).

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recallme
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: MTSuper7]
#10883402 - 06/21/07 03:42 PM

Would we call the second one if flop was 23K and turn is the J again?
I think this is really tough.

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892King
enthusiast

Reged: 11/17/06
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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: recallme]
#10978273 - 06/28/07 04:55 PM

quite nice...

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wrkingtobegreat
old hand

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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: 892King]
#11501492 - 08/02/07 02:49 PM

nice post baluga

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kytra
stranger

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Re: the so-called Baluga Theorem (kinda long) [Re: GameTheory]
#11880975 - 08/30/07 10:11 AM

Quote:

The real question is, what happens in hand one when you get minraised on the flop?

Lets talk about this case. If we have a LAG image (lot of c-bets) people can raise here with Ax or middle pair.

If we reraise we'll not be able to get out of this pot easy. He maybe will just call with a set to keep us in pot.

So how is the perfect play here not to lose 1 buyin when we are beaten on flop?

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