Podcast Breakdown: Episode 41

For this week's episode, Jack and I ended up disagreeing in a pretty major way on what to do on the turn. To recap the hand:

Location: Underground Card Room

Stakes: $1/2

Main villain limps UTG+1, two limpers (150ish) in MP, Hero makes it 15 in the CO with KQdd. Main villain calls and one of the limper calls.

Flop (50)

Kh Qh Jd

Checks to Hero who bets 30, main villain makes it 85, limper folds, Hero calls.

Turn (220)


Villain bets 200, Hero folds

Based on what the Hero said about this player, I gave him the following limp in EP range: All suited aces A10 and worse, pairs 2s-6s, half combos of 7s and 8s, half combos of AQo, 1/4 combos of AKo, 78s-910s, half combos of 56s 67s J10s QJs, half combos of KJs K10s Q10s, and one combo of aces for the occasional times he slowplays a big pair.

After that limper, two even looser weak players limp, so KQdd in the CO is a clear open for value. As discussed on the show, I think a sizing of 20-25 will likely be called by at least two spots so I think that is a better sizing to use than 15. The object here is to punish those for limp calling with a wide range not by making them fold most of their range, but by making them exacerbate their mistake by calling with most of their range.

On the flop, when it's checked to Hero, Hero has 78% equity against villain's preflop range. Hero can realistically get called by draws and worse made hands. I didn't bother making a range for the other limper that called, but given Hero's read that this player is a weaker looser player, that only sways the decision more so towards betting for value on this flop.

When villain checkraises the bet, this is where things get interesting. I think that the villain as described is likely to play all of his worse two pair combos this way, sometimes over play a weirdly slow played aces, AK, or K10s this way (1 combo, 3 combos, and 1 combo respectively), and given the read that this player has never shown down a bluff over 6-7 sessions, let's say he plays half of his nut flush draws as a checkraise. Of course, all combos of A10s and 910s he will also play this way.

So against this range, Hero is either slightly ahead (nut flushes), crushing (worse two pair and top pair + straight draws), or way behind (straights). Given the price Hero is getting, folding is out of the question with a little over 50% equity against villain's check raising range. So now the major decision is to whether it's best to shove for value or call in position with another 300 behind. If Hero was out of position, I think this would be a much more difficult decision and shoving would probably be marginally better than calling, especially against a better player. But in position, Hero has the ability to evaluate what to do on the turn based on the villain's sizing, can comfortably fold if a bad card comes on the turn and villain continues aggression, and potentially even get a straight to fold if a heart or jack comes with 1.5x pot behind. So this is a clear call on the flop.

Now on the turn the 7c, a complete blank, falls. Villain seems undeterred and bets 200 into a 220 pot. Based on the Hero's read, I imagine this is a player who is capable of sometimes semibluffing in a good spot on the flop, but that is unlikely to put in such a large bet without a made hand. So instead of giving him all 4 of the nut heart semibluffs in his flop range, I gave him two combos on this turn. Also key in my analysis, is that while he will likely play all of his worse two pair combos this way on the flop, he wouldn't value QJs and KJs so highly on the turn and while he will still likely bet them, he won't be betting pot with them. So here is the range I gave him, which makes folding on the turn by far betting than shoving/calling.

However, if Jack is correct and and he plays all of his worse two pair combos this way, even taking away two of his semibluffing combos from the flop to the turn, it's close but it still makes shoving/calling better than folding given the price we're getting and what's left behind. Hero is getting 42% equity against what Jack had in mind for his range.

And if Jack is right and he continues to semibluff with all the nut flush combos he did on the flop, then it's not close between shoving/calling and folding with 58% equity against this updated range.

What this hand really comes down to is twofold:

1) How often we think the villain is playing a worse two pair hand this way

2) How often this villain is semibluffing with such a large sizing

We invite you to share your thoughts in the comment section. If you have listened to the podcast, then you have all the information we do. What do you think about our assumptions? This is a spot where even slight variations in preflop ranges make drastic differences in how we should play.