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How would you have played this hand?
This is a hand I played on my PokerGenius simulation game today working to apply my leanings from Alton's Crush course. I list the hand first so you can form your own approach, then I give my thoughts below the hand after you have had the opportunity to form your own approach. My final opponent had exhibited a wider range and aggresiveness in prior hands.
May 29, 2016
2:32 pm
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frogmoreace
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The hand:

Poker Genius #22

No Limit Texas Holdem ($1/$2 NL)

9 Man Training Table

May 29, 2016 – 11:03:41 (EDT)

 

 Chris – Hero $215  Qs Ks

  Player 2       $200 

  Player 3       $191 

  Player 4       $154 

  Player 5       $225 

  Player 6       $254 

  Player 7       $262 

  Player 8       $101 

  Player 9       $198 

 

Player 9 posts small blind $1

Chris posts big blind $2

Player 2  folds

Player 3  folds

Player 4 folds

Player 5 folds

Player 6 folds

Player 7 folds

Player 8 raises $10

Player 9 folds

Chris raises $10

Player 8 calls $10

 

Pot at $43 (1+2+10+20+10)

 

FLOP:  Jh As 6d

Chris checks

Player 8 bets $15

Chris calls $15

 

Pot at $73 (43+30)

 

TURN:  Jh As 6d Kh

Chris checks

Player 8 bets $25

Chris calls $25

 

Pot at $123 (73+25+25)

 

RIVER:  Jh As 6d Kh 7h

Chris checks

Player 8 bets $39 (all-in)

Chris calls $39

Player 8 shows Ah 2s

Chris mucks

 

Player 8 wins $203 with a Pair of Aces

 

  • I 4bet pre-flop given I had observed Player 8 playing wider ranges and being aggressive many times with marginal hands and I felt he was stealing my blind and I was holding a playable hand in the BB
  • I was not surprised he called my 4bet based on his past play and if I hit the flop I would then continue my initiative
  • given I did not hit the flop and there was a flop overcard to my pocket Broadways I checked the flop for pot control
  • I called the opponent flop $15 bet given direct pot odds of almost 4:1 ((43+15)/15)) and with my draw of an inside straight with 2 overcards also having odds of 4:1; I also felt there were implied odds from this opponent and combined with a backdoor flush I had some additional equity
  • when I hit “next to top pair” on the turn I again checked for pot control since I did not have top pair
  • I called the opponent turn $25 bet given good direct pot odds of almost 4:1 ((37+25)/25)) and my still having equity to improve on the flop – either making the straight, hitting a set with an additional K, or two pair if I hit a Q
  • given the river card was a brick for me and most likely for my opponent I again checked the river for pot control
  • I called the river bet feeling that I was ahead of his range more hands than not – especially with him going all-in which may have indicated he knew he would not have much left anyway if he lost the hand

I look forward to your thoughts! THANKS! Chris

May 29, 2016
9:29 pm
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Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
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Hi Chris – this is the first time I’ve seen someone post a bot hand history, interesting stuff!

Pre-flop, you 3-bet (4-bet would be the 3rd bet after the posted blinds). Regarding the 3-bet, are you 3-betting for value or as a bluff? Because if you’re 3-betting for value, then are you okay with stacking off or calling a 4-bet with it? If not, its a bluff. Typically a hand as good as KQ suited is great for a flatting range because (1) its typically not strong enough to play in most 3-bet/4-bet/5-bet+ stacking off pots. Also, in this instance, your opponent raises 5bb pre-flop, which is a fairly large raise. I personally would had just called with KQ. Also, when you 3-bet, typically its about 3x the initial raise, not a min-raise. Lastly, when your opponent flatted your 3-bet, what range do you put him on? Your opponent’s 3-bet flatting range is very important in this instance.

On the flop, you really only have a gutshot and a backdoor flush draw. If you think your opponent is weak, then you should c-bet with your perceived strong 3-betting range. Your c-bet serves 2 purposes (1) betting for protection and (2) semi-bluffing your draw. Plus you have lots of turn cards you can double barrel. As played, with your equity in the hand being roughly 8%, calling is marginal since fish like to play Ax hands. Since your opponent started with only 50bb, you really don’t have great implied odds. So I’d probably just fold here as played since you can’t win much even if you hit your hand.

As played, the big question is, “do your opponent double barrell worse than Ax against your in a 3-bet pot?”. If not, then fold because again you’re behind and he only as ~19bb left on the river, which isn’t great for implied odds.

As played, the river is an easy fold. You only beat a bluff and I don’t think he has much of a bluffing range here.

One quick note about this AI poker simulator…its set up each bet so you get 4:1 pot odds post flop…kinda fishy and unrealistic in my opinion. Are you playing for real $ or just using this simulator? Because I’d be weary of just using this simulator since you’re assuming the bots play just like $1/$2 live players, which it probably isn’t 100% realistic.

Hope this helps.

May 30, 2016
6:17 am
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frogmoreace
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THANKS ALTON!

I really appreciate your comprehensive analysis. I have read it several times and will study it in conjunction with the hand – and I can also replay it following your advice.

I need to ponder your questions as to what I was thinking and shift my thinking to where you are guiding me. I can see where your approach fits what you tried to teach me in Crush – actually playing hands hopefully will allow me to bridge the gap between “understanding” as I watch the videos and actually proper “implementation”.

I know when I see a player in earlier hands be loose and “muscle” I will play against them with thin value hands, but then I end up on the river often losing when their hand is better that time – and it is against me!

Whenever I look back at a multi-day live session trip my net losses can be attributed to only 2-3 hands where I went too far in a marginal situation.

I am using the simulation software since it gives me the opportunity to analyze all of the parameters – poker reminds me of a giant simultaneous equation. I hear what you are saying about the shortcomings of the bot play though.

I have money at Bovada but the time clock constraint works against me right now. I will be playing live for 4 days again the end of this month in Jacksonville. So I am prepping for that trip.

Again, THANKS!

 

Chris

May 30, 2016
1:24 pm
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Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
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Hi Chris – you’re welcome!

There are a couple of ways to play against aggressive opponents: (1) fight fire with fire or (2) let them slowly hand themselves. I prefer method (2) because its lower variance. Looks for solid spots where you make a good hand and let them be overly aggressive and bluff off their money. There really isn’t a need to fight fire with fire if you know you’ll get their money slowly throughout the session.

Also – at the live low stakes and online micro stakes, people don’t bluff that often; instead the value too weak of hands…so I always recommend starting off playing more conservatively and as you improve you can loosen up your style of play.

As for playing on Bovada, you always have the 30 second time bank available for you for each hand for your decisions, so that should help if you haven’t been using that.

Good luck on your upcoming trip!!! I’m planning a trip to Vegas in August and still not 100% certain where I want to stay this year (1) MGM Grand, (2) Aria (stayed there last year) or (3) Monte Carlo. 🙂 Looking forward to getting a chance to play some live play…unfortunately the casino closest to where I live usually only has limit games going…and no 1-2 or 1=3 games…very odds!

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