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High Card Hands in 3bet Pots on the Flop - To cbet or not to cbet?

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  • High Card Hands in 3bet Pots on the Flop - To cbet or not to cbet?

    Problem

    We all know the scenario: we 3bet preflop with AKs, KQo, 87s, or really anything, it doesn't matter. We then completely miss the flop.


    Now what do we do?

    The 'correct' answer is of course to adopt a perfectly balanced strategy, which quite probably involves taking some losses with these types of hands in order to maximise our profits with our made hands. Another way of saying this is we use these as (semi) bluffs to balance our ranges.

    But is a perfectly balanced range really necessary at the micro to low stakes? I'd say no...


    Database Analysis

    Here are some stats I've pulled from my PT4 database which combine my results at 5NL, 10NL, 20NL, and 25NL. The stat is the action followed by my profit (or loss) in big blinds per hand on average.

    3-Bet Preflop: 2.29
    Cbet Flop in 3-Bet Pot: 4.01
    Check Flop in 3-Bet Pot: 1.54

    Cbet Flop in 3-Bet Pot with High Card Hand: -2.59
    Check Flop in 3-Bet Pot With High Card Hand: -5.10

    Cbet Flop in 3-Bet Pot with High Card Hand In Position: -5.44
    Check Flop in 3-Bet Pot With High Card Hand In Position: -1.35

    Cbet Flop in 3-Bet Pot with High Card Hand Out Of Position: -0.92
    Check Flop in 3-Bet Pot With High Card Hand Out Of Position: -7.57 (damn that's bad)


    What do I make of these numbers?

    If I 3bet preflop and then end up with just a high card hand on the flop then I am going to lose money on average. The key here is going to be to lose as little as possible (a big blind saved is a big blind earned).

    When I am in position then it's best for me to check behind instead of cbetting.

    When I am out of position then I need to be firing off a cbet for sure!


    Conclusion

    I am going to try, probably for the next week or so, to implement a strategy of checking IP with High Card and cbetting with High Card OOP (only in 3bet pots as the aggressor) and see how my results look.


    Thanks for taking the time to read this (if anyone even still uses this forum - haha...), I'd be really keen on feedback and to hear if you've done any similar work with your own numbers.


    TL;DR - Position is vital in determining action with weak holdings in 3-bet pots
    Last edited by LondonImp; 03-23-2020, 05:07 AM.

  • #2
    Really great analysis, interested to see how the adjustments turn out

    Comment


    • LondonImp
      LondonImp commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks mate, will update this in a week.

  • #3
    Great analysis. I've often wondered if taking a balanced approach at these stakes is optimal. Not that I could call my game balanced but its certainly closer than what the opponents are doing. Hopefully some smart data analysis will improve our game!

    Comment


    • LondonImp
      LondonImp commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm slowly tinkering with my system as I go along. Generally green is for a very wide VPiP, but I'll also use it if they have a ridiculous leak, like cbet 100 across every single street. Basically if they're green, I want them on my table.

      I use red for the really nitty players because I want it to immediately stand out to me when they've bet.

      It's interesting that you want to avoid 'annoying' players. What is it about them that you want to try and avoid?

    • AJH914
      AJH914 commented
      Editing a comment
      While admittedly a leak in my game there are player types I deem annoying simply as I can't figure them out. As I play more I've gotten better. Learning to analyze others players in PT4 also helped. I'm thinking of one guy now who randomly changes his bet sizes all over the place. Switching between 1/3 pot to full pot to 5x pot seemingly at random. I've looked at PT4 history and haven't found a pattern. He's not a winning player, still I'd rather avoid this and focus on the "green" guys I know I can beat.

    • LondonImp
      LondonImp commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah that makes sense. If there are good games available why play in tougher ones?
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