Podcast Breakdown: Episode 50

Quickly, to recap the podcast hand with Will Kassouf.

Location: Deepstack London

Stakes: 170 pounds

Villain (Hyper-Lag middle aged man) opens UTG, 3 callers, Hero calls with 9c6c in BB. Eff stack 75bb

Flop (17bb) 874 two hearts, one diamond

Hero checks, Villain bets 12bb, folds to Hero, Hero calls

Turn (41bb) Td

Hero checks, Villain bets 25bb, Hero ships for 60bb, Villain calls with KT, hero scoops.

On the podcast, we discussed 3-bet squeezing in the big blind here. Will was hesitant since he felt like the in position callers of UTG’s open would be likely to call. If that is the case, then I also don’t like 3-betting. Still, let’s take a look at what this player’s 35% opening range looks like.

Even if UTG calls this 3-bet extremely widely with all suited broadways, some unsuited broadways, all pocket pairs, and some suited connectors, he will still be folding ⅔ of his range. Therefore, if we knew the over-callers would fold to a 3-bet, we are getting an immediate profit by raising to 15bb with a zero-equity hand with zero post-flop fold equity. If UTG folds even more, than our bet just gets better. Considering the likelihood of getting called and the relative variance, I do understand Will’s play.

So on this flop UTG’s range doesn’t really get a ton of help. We don’t know exactly what UTG is betting without being results oriented, but let’s take a look at what he has to work with. Villain has 26% top pair plus, 5% flush draws, and 4% OESD. That’s a significant enough portion of Villain’s range that if betting into 4 people means that Villain isn’t going crazy with low-equity bluffs, then I definitely think Will is onto something by flatting instead of raising when folded to. None of these hands are folding to a raise and we are ahead of very few with 9 high. We can also expect to get paid by a lot of these hands when we hit our draw since a 5 or T won’t scare Villain’s value.

Now let’s be a little results oriented for a second. Let’s imagine we were in a similar spot with the same villain and we knew that he had bet KT no draw in the same spot. Now we have to be raising. Even if villain calls with any gutshot and any Ace-high backdoor flush draw, he is still folding 40% of his range. Assuming 30% equity when called, we have a very nice semibluff. If he folds his worst draws then we have closer to 70% fold equity which is ridiculous for someone calling all top-pair plus.

On the turn, let’s examine how we should play against three different ranges: Villain’s strong flop range, his bet anything flop range but bet reasonably on the turn, and his bet everything on both streets range.

Against villain’s strong flop range, we have a clear all-in. Villain will have a lot of overpairs, sets, and strong draws, some of which will have turned a pair. All of these hands are likely to call Will’s ship and may check back the river or fold on a scary card if Will calls then leads. Therefore, this is a clear value ship.

So if villain decides to slow down on the turn and only bet strong draws, pair plus draw (probably a mistake but a likely one), and top-pair plus, what does that range look like? Well, take a look. The colored cells are in the range. Green is check and blue is bet. Blue and green cells are mixed check or bet based on suit.

What surprises me about this range is how weighted this range is towards top pair plus and pair plus draw, about 75%. Therefore, since many of these hands are likely to improve to a better/tying hand or check back, we should just get the money in now.

Ok, now what about if he just bets everything? If we check-raise this villain’s range of everything he had preflop and he calls with an top pair plus, pair plus draw, or strong draw, then our raise sees an EV of about 75bb. If we call turn and river and villain bets river with better than top pair and all no pair hands, then the EV of our turn call is about 100bb. Therefore, in this dream scenario where villain has a bluff frequency of 100%, we should just call the turn and check call any river. However, in any more realistic scenario, raising is clearly better, so we should probably just raise considering we didn’t know our opponent would bet no pair no draw on the flop, and we still don’t necessarily know what his turn bluffing frequency is, let alone his river bluffing frequency.

I won’t get into the EV of the speech in this post. Given results, it was probably plus EV. All things considered, I think Will played the hand well.