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3Bet KK in SB against UTG Raise

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  • 3Bet KK in SB against UTG Raise

    I'd like to hear how you may have played this differently. This hand is from ACR .05/.10 Blitz. So there's not much to go on as far as the opponent. According to PT4 it has 40 hands on him but none that I remember, so we've likely never locked horns before.

    I'm not upset about the hand. I don't think it was a "Badbeat". In fact I think this played out exactly how I wanted, except for maybe my bet on the river.
    More than anything, I'd just like to get better playing in this spot.

    I have a solid pocket pair
    I don't want to 3bet so large that it chases my opponent.
    When the flop comes like this one did: I really want to try to keep them in for as much as I can. However, maybe that's the wrong way to play it??

    What could I do better?


    Yatahay Network - $0.10 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
    Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

    BTN (BTN): 93.9 BB
    Hero (SB): 129.4 BB
    BB (BB): 119.4 BB
    UTG (UTG): 100 BB
    MP (MP): 161.4 BB
    CO (CO): 113.1 BB

    Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

    Dealt to Hero:

    UTG raises to 2.5 BB, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 6.5 BB, fold, UTG calls 4 BB

    Flop (14 BB, 2 players):
    J♠ 6♥ 2♥

    Hero bets 10.5 BB, UTG calls 10.5 BB

    Turn (35 BB, 2 players):

    Hero bets 17.5 BB, UTG calls 17.5 BB

    River (70 BB, 2 players):

    Hero bets 17.5 BB, UTG calls 17.5 BB

    Hero shows:
    (One Pair, Kings)
    (Pre 71%, Flop 80%, Turn 89%)

    UTG shows:
    (Two Pair, Aces and Jacks)
    (Pre 29%, Flop 20%, Turn 11%)

    UTG wins 99.8 BB
    (Hero begins crafting a very ugly voodoo doll in UTG's likeness)
    Last edited by Cloutier; 01-07-2020, 11:11 PM.

  • #2
    My 2 cents:

    Preflop: The recommended 3bet size in this spot is 4x. So 10BB. I'm not a fan of 3betting small for value. Sure, you get to keep your opponent in with junk and playing against an unknown opponent you don't have to care all that much about being balanced.

    But if you want to be even somehow balanced and bluff in this spot, you need to bet big to have fold equity. Even if you want to 3bet linear here, given how wide population tends to call, I would still prefer the bigger option. You get to put more money with a stronger range, can't be bad. Moreover, you are OOP which makes it harder to realize equity, you can't hate it if the opponent folds.

    Flop: Flop is great for your range + you have the nut advantage slightly. Seems like a good bet size.

    Turn: Turn card is amazing for you. However, when you get called, ranges come much closer together as opponent gets rid of his junk. On J62, I assume you get called by: QQ, JJ (you block Ks there is only one pair left and Aces might have 4bet, but maybe he is tricky), QJ, KJ, AJ, random Broadways with the hearts flush draw, like AQh.

    Given how small you 3bet, you can't really eliminate any of these hands as the opponent is not making a mistake by calling with pretty much his entire range in position.

    You would need to check this in Equilab as it's hard to analyze without an equity calculator, but given how many QJ,KJ,AJ combos he has (since he is still in with the unsuited combos as well), your specific hand should still have a pretty big advantage. I am not sure here if you should have bet bigger or not (thinking about your entire range).

    River: The worst card for you, besides the A of hearts specifically. The river bet can't be right?! You are totally giving away the strength of your hand with your bet size.
    But honestly, no idea what the right play is. Because checking also lets them know you probably don't hold an Ace. Maybe check-folding is not that crazy? Or check-calling a smallish bet. Jx makes a lot of sense for the opponent to have, as this is what folks typically call down with, pairs.

    Hands that you beat: There are 24 combos of QJ and KJ, 6 of Qs.
    Hands that beat you: 9 of AJ and 3 of As (if the opponent decides to slow play them preflop).

    You beat all the missed flush draws, except the Ah ones who got top pair on the river. He should have about 8 of those.

    So you beat 30 combos and lose to 20. Purely from a GTO perspective, that means you should bet just a bit over half pot.

    If the opponent sticks with random Broadway flush draws you beat a few more hands that I have not counted (K10,Q10, KQ) But it's though to say opponent floats with these + he won't call a half-pot bet with them anyway so I don't think they should affect your bet size.


    • Cloutier
      Cloutier commented
      Editing a comment
      10BB? I definitely see that sort of sizing a lot. But it's tough for me to use larger sizes. It's something I'm working on because I know well-timed aggression can be profitable, but at this point in my progression I'm still very timid.

      More than just potentially losing the money is the fear. Fear of not getting any action--and now that I'm thinking about it--fear of the fact that whoever does give me action is probably better than I am.

      Wow, I just had an epiphany there. That's the first time I've thought about what's really running through my head in these kinda spots. Definitely gonna work on that.

      Thanks for such an in-depth critique man. It really helps!

  • #3
    Well lately I’ve been losing ugly hands like this and doubting my own game so I don’t know if I’m going to give you great advice here but...
    I think your 3bet preflop is too small. I understand not wanting to “lose” the opponent but even with Kong’s winning preflop means paying no rake as well as not playing out of position the whole hand, so taking it down preflop isn’t a bad thing.
    Flop seems fine, although you might actually bet smaller to get hands like 77 or 99 to stick around drawing very thin.
    I think the turn bet is too small. You’re very likely ahead and you want to charge the max/protect your hand against flush draws.
    Dont like the river bet. It’s unlikely you get called by worse. Checking is superior because it gives him a chance to bluff. Any hand you beat is gonna fold and it seems really unlikely anything you do beat will call at this point


    • Cloutier
      Cloutier commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah I'll admit I just kinda malfunctioned on the river. I was hoping I wouldn't see an Ace so much that I think I willed it into existence. When the river came I didn't want to make it obvious that it was a scare card, so I shot one more time. Believe me I cringed when I did it. Especially since I knew that JA was very likely.

      River was just a dumb, dumb move.

  • #4
    Have to bet bigger pre. 6.5 just gives him way too good of odds. He can call with his exact hand and isn’t making a mistake.

    As you already know, river bet is a mistake. Check call and still probably lose the same but let’s him bet with hands you beat.


    • #5
      I'm with everyone else on the 3-bet he needs to be bigger somewhere between 10BB - 11.5.

      I actually don't mind the blocker bet on the river bc I still think this V would have called with hands like QQ (most at these stakes would have raised that hand on the flop tho) KJs QJs maybe JTs J9s and TT

      I disagree with with JPB to some extent. I think if we check the V goes to at least 35BB (90% of the online players I'm seeing at these stakes auto click 1/2 pot for value).

      In fact our hero auto clicked 1/2 pot on the turn where I think he could have gone bigger to 23BB.

      Then we would have about a 2/3 pot river jam.
      Last edited by kkep; 01-08-2020, 08:33 AM.


      • Cloutier
        Cloutier commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting. So you think the river bet may have saved me some chips?

      • kkep
        kkep commented
        Editing a comment
        The V shouldn't be getting to the river with a lot of Ax combos. AhQh AJ AhTh Ah9h but that's about it.
        Although recalling that your 3-bet was small I suppose he could have a few more.

        But I still think he will have many more Jx combos so I do like the small bet. It just happened to be AJ this time...

        I think once we check the river our hand looks exactly like what it is KK QQ. I'm not the biggest fan of blocker bets but I think
        they are nice if there is still some value to be had and when the river doesn't complete obvious draws.

        For sure if you check I think the V should be betting for value and I think it would have been much more than 17BB.

    • #6
      Versus 1 opponent stick to a 3-bet sizing of 3.5x in position and 4x out of position. This is proven to be a winning way of playing and means you have one less thing to think about.

      I think the range advantage is close on this flop, neither of you will have many (if any) 6x or 2x in your hands. There are 2 hearts out there but other than that it's fairly dry. I think you could argue for both a 33% pot size bet or 65%-80% pot size bet here so your sizing is fine.

      The turn bet is too small. You are almost giving him the exact odds to draw to an AhXh hand, and the fact that's he's in position means he will over-realise when he hits. You also want to extract more from his Jx hands. I'd suggest about 66% pot here for ~22bb.

      I really like your river bet. Provided you are planning on folding to any sort of raise! Against a stronger opponent I would not recommend 'blocker' type bets but you've worked it well here.
      Last edited by LondonImp; 01-08-2020, 09:44 AM.


      • Cloutier
        Cloutier commented
        Editing a comment
        The river bet was a scared bet so I would've folded to a raise for sure. I think. Lol

        AJ, AQ was in my head from the time he called me preflop. By the turn I was thinking, AJ, JJ, KJ, JJ, *maybe* AA or even more likely AK, because I see players get real sticky with that hand specifically.

        Thanks for taking a look at this hand and helping me out!

    • #7
      Preflop 3bet sizing; We want to go bigger when we are OOP to help neutralize our positional disadvantage. Also, we have a really strong hand and we want to get paid. Think of it this way: If you owned a roofing business, would you fix a customer's roof for free, and supply all of the materials? No way! You'd want to get paid for all the dangerous labor and intense work you performed on their roof. Not to mention the expensive materials.

      So when we 3bet preflop, OOP, we want to charge the customer for seeing a flop. The beauty of it is, with our strong hands like AA and KK, we charge a premium. We also want to charge that same premium with our bluffs and it works to our benefit in two ways: We get paid with our value hands, and we maximize our fold equity with our weaker hands.

      I like your bet-sizing on the flop. You're value target here is Jx as you don't directly block those hands from villain with the exception of maybe KJ but you can still get value from JT, QJ, and AJ as well as QQs and TTs.

      On the turn, I'd say you definitely want to go bigger. The board is starting to get more coordinated, so you want to deny equity to hands like 9Ts, or QTs that called on the flop and is now an OESD or a gut-shot with a flush draw, and still get value from the Jx hands. I'd go something like 66%-75% pot.

      The river is a bit trickier. I think I actually like your sizing because you're trying to squeeze out thin value from those Jx hands that may call a tiny river bet. Also, by betting instead of checking, you get to set the price, instead of checking and letting villain bet larger. Unfortunately, this was a bad run out for you on the river. Not much you can do about that.


      • Cloutier
        Cloutier commented
        Editing a comment
        I was raised doing remodeling and things like that, so you're talking my language. The way you put it makes a lot of sense. I'm realizing now I made a big mistake not considering about my position here a little more. I normally think about position a lot but not in the way you talked about it. It's super helpful.

        Thanks man!

    • #8
      I shall be following this