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Quiz #653 preflop decisions with QQ from the BTN

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  • Quiz #653 preflop decisions with QQ from the BTN

    OK, I just took quiz #653 where hero has QQ on the BTN, deepstacked in a tournament and opens to 3x. SB 3-bets and BB folds so action is back on us. My inclination is to 4-bet QQ for value. This is supported by the preflop charts supplied by this site. However, in the narration, Mr. Little suggests that flatting is the preferred option. The rest of the hand becomes a bit of a guessing game because ranges are still wide and undefined. My question to everyone here is, "would you ever flat QQ in this spot if you had no reads whatsoever on your opponent?" With over 100BB effective and anything close to standard ranges, this is a clear 4-bet for value to me.

  • #2
    I always call in that spot. We went to keep their bluffs in as well as the value hands we are dominating.

    Just going off of the GTO charts the SB 3-bet range is going to consist of 282 combinations of which we are ahead of 270.
    The SB should also have a very robust bluffing range. 170 combos and we want to keep all of those hands in giving them the opportunity to continue bluffing.

    I'm not going to fold to a flop bet just because and A or K comes off. We are in position and have plenty of those combinations in our range as well which will
    make it difficult for the V to bluff the turn as well without any strong draws.

    At this point I watched the video and I guess I'm still getting all of this wrong! WTH

    I got a 45 on the quiz but I feel like I bombed it because my reasoning's were very different that the coaches.

    I don't understand his open raise size playing over 100BB. Typically we are going 3x sometimes more so 450 - 600. I'm not sure why he went 2.6x I would
    have opened 500-525 but they weren't options.

    At the end of the video and to my surprise JonathanLittle said if he knew the V was 3-betting that wide he would have 4-bet.

    So my big question is why would we want to 4-bet to make him possibly fold the hands we are dominating?
    Last edited by kkep; 01-15-2020, 10:05 AM.


    • #3
      Originally posted by kkep View Post
      So my big question is why would we want to 4-bet to make him possibly fold the hands we are dominating?
      To build a pot and/or deny equity to a weaker hand that may outdraw us (K9s, A5s …). Also, to preserve our ability to 4-bet bluff. Taking the pot down right here and now is 100% fine for our entire range. If villain folds, we still make more than QQ does on average and we have zero variance. Its also more than fine to play a big pot heads-up in position with a hand as strong as QQ vs what should be a very wide 3-bet range.

      I'm fine with hearing reasons for deviating from optimal strategies, assuming we have a specific read on the player or a population read. My issue is when the scenario assumes no advance knowledge yet still recommends deviating from the site's own preflop charts. In situations where deviating from baseline is recommended, I think there needs to be a clearly defined rationale supplied. Contradictory strategic advice isn't helpful unless there is a reason it isn't actually contradictory. I did not see/hear anything to explain why the recommendations in one part of the site should be abandoned in this instance.
      Last edited by 1Warlock; 01-15-2020, 12:43 PM.


      • #4
        And now the same thing with the Day 4 challenge quiz (#453). Deep stacked opening QQ from MP and facing a SB 3-bet. All the charts suggest 4-betting for value here but the quiz suggests flatting. No reads, no explanation for deviating. So, I am now thinking that the site does not believe in their own preflop charts. Very disconcerting.


        • #5
          To answer your question... yes, I would flat QQ in position and selected that for both #653 and #453. I would do this because the small and medium stakes field has a very narrow 3bet range from the SB. I need specific reads that a player is capable of playing a more optimal line before I would start 4betting for value with QQ. I also tend to take this line because I think I have an edge post flop.

          I do think there is some explanation for why they flat. Matt specifically says he should have no trouble getting all in by the river and this line extracts more value from villains bluffs. JL is surprised his opponent had 86s even though that is a SB 3bet per GTO charts (meaning he assumes a stronger 3bet range from SB at these stakes).

          The charts are not the recommended playing charts by the site. The charts are simplified GTO charts that are easier to follow than true GTO charts. My understanding is they are provided so we have a baseline to deviate from when making an exploitative play and so we can better tell when someone else is making a mistake. They are a starting point. JL specifically states we should not blindly follow those charts. He makes that clear anytime he discusses the charts.

          At small stakes and medium stakes, we should be exploiting the field until we get a read. It seems pretty well known to me that small and medium stakes player pools are not aggressive enough especially from the blinds and when they are aggressive they tend to have strong hands. I see this as a given and do not expect the coaches to compare their strategy to the gto charts and offer explanations on why they deviate from GTO. I expect them to deviate from GTO. If they offer no explanation, my assumption is they are exploiting the field tendencies.

          All that said, if you are concerned about the coaches not following the charts and not explaining why they deviate, email support. JL reads all the emails and probably will respond with his thoughts.


          • #6
            Either play is fine. I am especially more inclined to call against a super tight player (because I don't want to get it in) or against a lunatic (because I want them to bluff postflop). I am also more inclined to call in tournaments where I really don't want to go broke on any individual hand when deep stacked. Realize that the preflop charts are certainly not set in stone and should be adjusted to your specific situation.


            • #7
              JonathanLittle - I appreciate the reply. In quiz #653 specifically, we open from the BTN to a small size to keep ranges wide (both ours and theirs). This size should instigate a decent amount of 3-bet activity from the blinds, especially the SB who is not capping the action. Without any reads whatsoever (your comments in the quiz), SB's 3-bet range vs a small size BTN open should be pretty wide and include all sorts of hands that cannot withstand a 4-bet. I have found that people will 3-bet light but tend to get pretty honest in 4-bet situations. Given that I'm likely miles ahead of his overall range and that he should have a ton of auto-folds in his 3-bet range, I prefer a 4-bet here with my value and with my bluff candidates (mostly blocker heavy). It would be a totally different situation if I opened UTG and the SB 3-bet me but with an open from a stealing position, I think the 4-bet is by far the best option. I am not looking to maximize the value of this 1 specific hand but of my entire range. In the meta-game, I'm also interested in keeping the player more passive to my opens so that I can continue to steal wide.

              I understand that people will play different ranges and prefer different styles of play. I absolutely want to hear about situations where exploitative play is preferable to balanced play. I simply don't think there was enough information provided to warrant taking an exploitative line. No one takes charts as gospel but the GTO-approximate solutions were derived for a very good reason. In the absence of specific reads I think sticking with your ranges, tailored to the population tendencies, is the best way to go.
              Last edited by 1Warlock; 01-22-2020, 01:29 PM.


              • #8
                Like Jon Little's reasoning, like Warlock's better

                Maybe like Jon little more ... I would hate to have big blind fold that.
                Last edited by CrazyEddie Reloaded; 01-23-2020, 03:02 AM.