Podcast Breakdown: Episode 48

So first, a quick recap of the hand. CO is a tight player who 3-bets most of his range. SB is an Israeli reg who has been chatting in Hebrew with Zach. He is very loose preflop and chases draws. BB is a tight professional who has folded strong holdings to Zach in the past.

Location: “The Vic” London

Stakes: $2/$5


CO (1500) opens to 20, Hero (3200) calls with 7s7c, SB (4000) calls, BB (3000) raises to 90, CO folds, Hero Calls, SB calls

Flop (290) 6d4s3s

SB checks, BB bets 110, Hero calls, BB calls

Turn (620) 5s

SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets 245, SB folds, BB folds

Some weeks, I’m really not sure what the right line is, even after talking it through with Zach and our guests. This week, I’m pretty sure Zach got it right. I definitely would have done the same thing. However, that doesn’t mean the hand should not be examined. In fact, it is extremely important to take a close look at some hands that seem relatively uncontroversial. Spots where we are uncertain are usually fairly close in terms of EV. Getting these right is nice, but often fairly inconsequential to our bottom line. However, consistently getting hands wrong when we think we are playing correctly can be detrimental to that bottom line. Therefore, let’s double check this hand using the same methods we would use for a hand we were clueless about.

Let’s start with preflop ranges. For times sake, I won’t get too into the CO since he folded preflop. I think it’s safe to say CO opened something like 18-22% of hands preflop and then folded the bottom 5-10% to the 3-bet. I also think calling the open and 3-bet with 77 are extremely uncontroversial. Therefore, let’s examine the blinds’ ranges and then head to the flop.

Note: I'm having issue with my software this week and light green/red is unselected, only yellow is selected.

SB before the 3bet

SB after the 3bet

So the SB’s range probably gets trimmed from the top image to the bottom image after the 3-bet. Zach thinks he will call anything playable and call with most of his range after the 3-bet. I’m taking out the totally unplayable hands after the 3-bet, but we can see that the SB is still extremely wide. This is an important assumption on this board since a tighter villain would have many fewer two-pair and straight combos.

BB is a tight player, but this seems like an excellent squeezing opportunity, so I’m giving him a slightly wider range. I think villain may play some of the suited aces as a call considering the stack depth. Therefore, I’m discounting AJs-A2s to half of all combos.

Given the description of SB, I think the flop check might discount certain combos on the flop. I think this player is likely to bet some straights and two-pair combos. I think he will likely check-raise all sets. When BB continuation bets, I think we can remove many of his worst bluffs since he is tight. However, I think he is betting all overpairs, and many high card hands with a spade. I also think he will bet all unpaired flush draws and unpaired straight draws.

When looking at BB’s range here, remember that all unpaired combos have at least one spade unless they are a straight draw. I’m also removing all A7 since we block two combos and it is one of his worst draws to bet. Therefore, BB has 24 overpairs, 9 flush draws (7 nut), 12 high card 1-spade combos, 6 straight draws, and 2 combo draws. We have 46.5% equity against this range, and we also have position, so I think we should clearly call. We could definitely consider bluffing since many of his hands will fold. However, we have so much equity that calling seems much safer, especially when we have position. It is also likely to be clear which cards help/hurt our hand against his range. I also think keeping SB in the hand with a wide range will be +EV.

A quick note on BB’s play. I think betting into two people on this board with his perceived range is dangerous. When you have no sets or straights but your opponent could have all sets and potentially straights and many two-pair combos, you could potentially be bet-folding too high of a percentage. Therefore, I think villain should be check-calling and check-raising some of the hand in his range. For example, I think check-calling AsAx is a good idea. Check-raising is risky against elite players on this board, but against slightly weaker opponents I like check-raising KK, QQ no spade and our combo draws.

When SB calls, he definitely has a piece of this board. I think he is probably calling top-pair+ and all decent draws

So looking at SB’s calling range, note that all unpaired combos are some sort of draw. For 87s, I’m giving him spades and diamonds. I’m also having him raise all two-pair plus. I don’t think he will be raising very many draws against two people in a 3-bet pot. Therefore I’m giving him all of his draws in the calling range.

On the 5s turn, I think it is fairly likely that SB checks his entire range. I also think it is likely that BB bets all of his nut flushes given how deep we are.

So here are the breakdowns of SB and BB’s ranges OTT.

SB: 18 overpairs (9 w/ a spade), 4 nut straight, 23 flushes, 5 two-pair, 3 sets, 9-13 7 high straights (depends on how loose he is calling the flop)

BB: 24 overpairs (12 w/ a spade), 1 nut straight, 2 flushes, 12 overcard hands with a spade (6 w/ A of spades), 3 A5s

So this hand is starting to look a bit less clear. It isn’t surprising that this card smashes SB’s range since it basically completes all draws. So should we bet with the straight and a flush draw? BB has 21 callable hands of which only 3 beat us. We also have equity against the hands that beat us. In fact, we have 72 percent equity against this calling range.

But what about SB? A big part of this decision is will SB call overpairs with a spade. I don’t think he will. We really aren’t doing very well against SB’s range. We have to fold to a raise since he has so many flushes. He also is calling mostly with hands that chop with us or beat us. If he folds two-pair here, then we are really doing poorly against the calling range.

Therefore, I think that the turn is actually a check. In position, we will be able to play the river quite well. On blanks, we can probably fold to a bet from the SB and call a bet from the BB (much more likely to be a bluff). When we hit our flush, we can check behind. Occasionally we will hit a straight flush and potentially stack-off against SB’s nut flushes. When it checks to us on blank rivers, we can then value bet and get looked by some of SB’s two-pair/set hands as well as the occasional skeptical overpair w/ a blocker from BB.

Alright, thank you all for reading. As always, you can email me with questions at jack@justhandspoker.com. Remember to check out last week’s analysis, another hand Zach played with the BB and CO from this hand.