Podcast Breakdown: Episode 43

This week we discussed a hand where Jack had kings preflop and got limp reraised by a loose unknown within his first few hands on the table. Here's a recap of the hand:

Empire Casino, London U.K.

Stakes: £1/2

Villain (500 effective) limps UTG+1. Hero (covers) makes it 10 in the BB. Villain makes a speech and makes it 30. Hero makes it 80. Villain makes it 180. Hero calls.

Flop (360)


Hero checks. Villain ships for about 320, Hero calls.

It's clear that kings should be in Hero's opening range here, and I personally like that sizing because even though Jack has only played one hand and showed down a winner with a strong preflop holding, most players that are limping a wide range aren't going to have the discipline to fold for just another 8 pounds with such deep stacks and position. Normally I would personally go a little bit bigger because in my experience around 12-13 is a size that will still get called the vast majority of the time which is what Hero will generally want when opening in this spot, I like exploitatively making it a little bit smaller with the second best starting hand and deep stacks, where having the villain fold to a single raise is a real disaster.

Once the villain makes a speech and opts to limp reraise for 30, this is the main point where Jack and I disagree in the hand. In the podcast episode, Jack makes the case for 4-betting to not miss value from worse hands that will call. Ultimately, what this hand really boils down to is what the villain's range looks like after limping in early position, making a speech about Jack could have just checked it, and choosing to limp reraise to 30. Without any more information besides that this player limped four times in the 11-12 hands Jack was at the table and looked disappointed when folding a gutshot, I think it's safe to assume that a loose passive player will have primarily aces in this spot. In my experience with limp reraises in early position with no prior history, when the hand gets to showdown, I estimate that aces come up 80-90% of the time.

This is the range I assigned the villain.

I think that any player that opts to limp reraise in this spot will have 100% of their combos of aces here. I gave him the other combination of kings remaining, but I really think that I would like to assign this player half a combo of kings, because I think limp reraising at the low stakes is just so often aces from players like Jack described. Going off this, I would probably give this player 1/4 combos of queens and maybe like an 1/8 combo of Jacks. But because this is not currently possible on pokercruncher, I opted to give this player the entire remaining combination of Kings which for our purposes will be close enough. In this same vein, there's always a small percentage that the player has some random holding that they decide to 3bet because of something crazy going on in their life, tilt from boredom, etc. So to account for this, I ideally would want to give 5-7 1/16th combos of suited aces, suited connectors, and lower pocket pairs, but to simplify things I gave the villain one combination of A4s.

Note: I think that this range is too wide and ideally the range would reflect the fractional combos and be even tighter and have slightly better equity against Hero's exact hand.

I think the main reason not to 4bet here is that Jack has decent equity against villain's fairly tight range, a skill edge, and lot of money behind, giving Jack a clearly profitable call. Because I think the villain's range is so aces heavy, 4betting will be lighting money on fire by having to then put such a higher amount of money in at a range disadvantage, or then to fold to a shove when a profitable set-mining and sometimes bluffcatching scenario could have presented itself. 

And to add weight towards my point of view that Jack should have called the extra 20 and not 4bet, the small percentage of the time someone who is loose passive or a non-descript middle aged player makes a 3 bet or limp reraise with a hand like Jacks or Queens and get shoved on, this type of player who likely overplayed the hand is a lot more likely to fold face up than to call the final bet.

But let's look at a scenario where I could be wrong, and while villain may still very strong here, has some worse hands he's limp reraising for value and would be willing to call a 4bet with. For the range below, I added half the combos of Queens (3 combinations) and 1/3 of the combos of Jacks (2 combinations).

So assuming that this player will play 1/2 of their queens this way and 1/3 of their jacks this way, with one combination of the random bluff represented by A4s still in play, and, always call with these worse hands, the Hero has a clear 4bet for value assuming he can comfortably fold to any 5bet that isn't a minraise. I don't think either of these assumptions are close but wanted to show about where the breaking point in villain's range is where a 4bet becomes the best play, because there are surely players here who after observing more about their game and playing more with them can reasonably have a range that looks like this.

So in game, Jack 4bet to 80 and then the villain made it 180. My first reaction to this on the podcast was that it was probably close, but that folding is the best play here. I'm comfortable saying that this player plays all their combos of aces this way and has about half a combo of A4s representing the random bluffs.

Because some of the random bluffs we will be dominating or have significant equity against, the entire combination of the A4s is close enough to the math of the equity we will have against villain's small 5bet range in this spot.

So now the question is given this range, which Jack and I were basically in agreement on on the podcast, is it best to call or fold?

Jack would be calling 100 to win the 260 already in the pot plus another 320, for a total of 580. For Jack to have pure set mining odds, Jack would need 100 to be ~17.09% of the total amount of money he's calling to win. My instincts were incorrect and it looks like Jack is getting exactly the right price to set mine. (100/580= .1724)

So as played the call was correct. What are the chances the villain knew exactly what he was doing and offering Jack just the right odds to make sure he would call for sure?

So now onto the fop - I think on the rainbow board of Q85r villain will bet 100% of his combos of aces and likely give up with 1/2 of his bluffs that got here this way. But even if villain never gives up on this board texture with his bluffs, Jack has just about 20% equity against villain's shoving range and given the size of the bet, nowhere near enough equity to call.