In this week's episode, Jessie had a couple of interesting decisions at the top of his range. First, here is a recap of the hand.
Location: 2013 WSOP Main Event
Jessie (15,000) opens to 300 UTG w/ 77, MP calls, CO calls. Jessie is the effective stack
Flop (1050) Kh7h4s
Jessie bets 750, two calls
Turn (3300) 3c
Jessie bets 2100, MP raises to 5800, CO folds, Jessie Ships, MP calls with 65s which holds up
Let's start out getting a sense of his opponent's likely preflop holdings. Villain in MP is probably holding something like the following based on Jesse's description. The yellow line is 100% of combos, green is 75%, and blue is 25%
The CO is going to be much wider and perhaps slightly more likely to flat a strong hand given his passive tendencies. The purple line indicates 50% of all combos.
So on the flop, one key thing to decide whether to lead or check-raise is to figure out how often at least one of our opponent's will bet when checked to. I think MP is likely to semibluff most draws when checked to and bet KQ+ for value with the occasional KJ. CO is passive and seems likely to bet KT+ for value and semibluff his stronger draws.
Given these assumptions, MP will bet when checked to 22% of the time and CO will bet 26.5% of the time. Ignoring card removal effects, at least one will bet 43% of the time.
If we assume that both villain's will call MP+ and strong draws (flush draw or OESD), then MP calls 41% of the time and CO calls 43% of the time. Even without considering the possibility of getting raised and given the conservative calling ranges where draws are concerned, leading seems clearly superior.
Check-raising could make it easier to get max value from villain's strongest kings and best draws, but neither villain seems particularly likely to stack-off with one pair in this spot and draws are not our best value targets since they have a lot more equity than villain's one-pair hands. Leading allows us to get the most value from those one-pair hands.
OTT, Jesse's continuation seems very clear to me. Each player has fewer than 5% straights on this turn card assuming that they call their whole range OTF. Given that the OESD hands are some of the most likely to be semibluffed OTF, I think we can be confident that we are ahead so often that we must be value-betting the top of our range.
When we discussed this hand on the podcast, I knew that the turn raise would give me an opportunity to employ a technique of analysis that I really like to do. Since we can be fairly confident about the types of hands MP will raise here, we can imagine several versions of this villain and make our decision based on our equity against the various versions of this villain and their relative frequencies.
We know MP will be raising some combination of straights, sets, two-pair, and flush-draws. Let's imagine 4 versions of this villain which are each equally likely at the beginning of the hand.
Version 1: Villain always has the straight here, but only has 3 combos at this point due to preflop and flop-semibluff frequency. 3 total combos, 23% equity, 23% equity when called.
Version 2: Villain is never light, but has 3 combos of 65 and 2 combos of 44. 5 total combos, 41% equity, 41% equity when called
Version 3: Villain has 3 combos of 65, 2 combos of 44, A5-A2h. 9 total combos, 60% equity, 60% equity when called.
Version 4: Villain has 3 combos of 65, 2 combos of 44, 43h, and all nut-flush draws, folds 43 and non-combo draws to jam. 15 combos, 70% equity, 60% equity when called.
So against these 4 villains equally distributed preflop, we have 58% equity. When we shove win the pot on the turn 19% of the time and have 52% equity when we are called. This makes me think shoving has to be very +EV even if my assumptions about these potential villains are off or are in the wrong proportions. I feel like I was fairly conservative since I gave each villain 3 combos of 65s which I think is a little high. Obviously, as those combos are reduced, shipping becomes much more attractive.
Jesse outlined some points during the podcast about other advantages of calling. However, given our position and the EV of shipping, I think it is unlikely we will be able to outplay our opponent on the river enough for calling better than shoving.
Thanks for reading, and as always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.