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Don't bet/raise on strong holding without range advantage??

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  • Don't bet/raise on strong holding without range advantage??

    I see the flow charts about range advantage and nut advantage - but then when I hit two pair - Equilab puts my holding at 71% equity - yet I'm not going to bet or raise because my opponent MIGHT have trips???

    Why would I not want to be acting on this by trying to get more money in the pot? (e.g. my check / raise here)

  • #2
    The flop charts are a way of trying to simplify a spot as much as possible. In game, it's important to take into account all the available information before making a decision, not just relying on a "one size fits all solution".

    Here are some factors that would lead me to bet/raise instead of calling:

    - Large SPR (need to build the pot if I want to get all the money in by the river)
    - OOP (by betting/raising we decrease the SPR which in turn decreases the
    - Multiway (greater chance of getting called and thus getting value)
    - Wet/coordinated board (more likely to get value as opponent more likely to have hit/want to get value now before a potential scare card)

    This isn't what you asked, but I really don't like your min x/r. Why did you do it?


    • acercap
      acercap commented
      Editing a comment
      I raised because I thought I was substantially better - and wanted to build the pot. I admit, I may be a moron - I'm just trying to learn how so - and therefore how to be less so.

  • #3
    I never said you shouldn't raise. I didn't even get that far in the conversation yet. I was just trying to explain that it appears you are misunderstanding what is meant by range advantage. I believe that teaching you the meaning of range advantage will help you more than telling you what to do with this exact hand, because if you are misunderstanding what is meant by range advantage, you could be making many costly errors in many other pots.

    You are also the middle player in the multi-way pot. That also plays a big role in what to do here. But again the decisions on that spot are also based on understanding the meaning of range advantage.

    Range advantage/disadvantage - the comparison of the two ranges in whole and who has better equity on this board with the entire range of hands they may hold.

    When you run your range versus the CO range:
    Board: KdQh9s

    CO 50.03% { 22+, A2s+, K2s+, Q4s+, J6s+, T6s+, 96s+, 86s+, 76s, 65s, 54s, A5o+, K9o+, Q9o+, JTo, T9o }
    SB 49.97% { TT-22, AJs-A2s, K5s+, Q8s+, J8s+, T8s+, 98s, 87s, 76s, AQo-A7o, KTo+, QTo+, JTo }

    You see that you do not have a range advantage. Your opponent has a very weak advantage. He really does not have a range advantage, but it is clear that you do not have the range advantage on this board.

    Now on to the specific details of this hand.

    Preflop: This is a 3bet shove. With your stack, you should have never called the raise.

    Flop: When responding to a bet the response flow chart for a GTO type response is to tend to call when you lack the nut advantage. Your range is capped. You never have AA/KK//QQ/AK here. Depending on your 3bet range you never have 99 here. Therefore you lack the nut advantage as the CO has ever available combo of the nut hands and you are missing a large chunk in your range. However, as a note, the bet response flowchart is a simplification of GTO strategies to have a useful way to implement them into your game. But GTO quite often is not do this 100%. When the bet response flow chart says to call, it means that many of your strongest hands will not be raising often. However, in reality, I doubt it would actually be 0% in this spot.

    So the GTO response heads up may likely be mixed to call or raise. But the flat call is for very different reasons than the people have told you. It is not because you lack the nut advantage and your opponent may have some of the nut hands you lack, but you need to keep your strong hands in to protect your flat call range. If you raise every time you likely have a better hand and call with your marginal hands that might be good, your opponent should barrel turn and river to put maximum pressure on your calling range. What other hands in your range beat top pair here? This K9s and Q9s. So you don't have a large amount of strong hands to protect your checking range. However, K9s and Q9s need a bit more protection than your KQ here. Since a J or T may make some combos in CO range a better two pair.

    Additionally, the bet response flowchart advice does have exceptions when you are short stacked.

    This is the very top of your capped range other than JT. So if you are beat you are going to lose your stack. Just in a different manner. If all of those people who told you not to raise because you might be beat, what was their plan for the rest of the hand, to fold at some point?

    Now onto your flop raise. There are always reasons to deviate from GTO and raise here even if GTO says to flat here 100%. But when you raise, it should never be for anything less than all in with your stack size.

    One very specific reason to ignore GTO here is if your opponent will not take advantage of your flat calling range. If he plays honest poker after you call, then you are ok to not protect your calling range. But I think there is enough of the player population that knows to attack the weaker ranges, so unless you have that specific read, I don't think you can make an assumption on the player pool. A smart player who recognizes you raise your monster hands there, will be incentivized to over-bluff when you just call.
    Last edited by jjpregler; 04-20-2021, 07:05 AM.


    • acercap
      acercap commented
      Editing a comment
      1) protect my checking range - and this has to be included in that. Roger.
      2) Raise all in - I hear that - trying to get away from "but I wanna get him to call because the odds of him having the straight or a set aren't great." I'm sure that logic is flawed - but not sure if it's because there's a substantial probability that he has nuttish hands - or more than there's ANY more than de minimis possibility that he has it. . ??

  • #4
    acercap the simple way to think about it is you don't have KQ for 2 pair here. You have an entire range of hands that flats from the SB here. While our exact hand is happy to raise here for value, we need to consider what happens to our entire range if we do. If we don't have a range advantage, that means Villain's range contains more strong hands than ours, if we check raise some of our best hands and best draws, our check calling range often becomes impossible to defend by the river. And because we have very few strong made hands here, and very few good XR bluffs, our range becomes very face up when we raise, and we shouldn't really get action. If we knew Villain was not going to bluff enough when checked to, and will call off light then sure maybe raise exploitatively, but probably not.

    We need to always consider our range, the opponent's range, and how the ranges interact with the board to determine our overall strategy, then we look at our exact hand and decide where it fits into that strategy. It seems like we're losing value by not raising our probably best 2 pair here, but in reality we're generating more EV by protecting our check calling range.

    Side note this is probably a 3-bet shove, and as played, wouldn't raise the flop because calling creates a 1SPR, all the money is going in by the river anyway, might as well let him stay in with all his bluffs


    • acercap
      acercap commented
      Editing a comment
      "but in reality we're generating more EV by protecting our check calling range." -- meaning for OTHER hands, is that right???

    • Dilly
      Dilly commented
      Editing a comment
      Correct. You have to look at it from the perspective of your entire strategy. It "seems" like you have KQ in this situation so you should do whatever is likely to get the most value out of your KQ holding, but in reality in the long term which is all that matters this particular hand is one hand within an infinite set of hands you have in the same situation. So we have to base our strategy off all the hands we can possibly have in this situation.

      A very simplified way of thinking about it/example is to look at a huge percent of the live 1/2 population. They limp and then call raises that are often 5-10BB, with a range packed with junk. In their mind they're not risking that much and when they connect they often get paid big, but in reality they're good opponents are printing money off the folds, they lose way more $10 limp call, fold flops, than they do from limp call, hit flop and win a $200 pot. Same thing here, it feels like you make enough from getting it all in with top 2, but in reality you're probably losing more from all the times you fold turn and river because your check calling range is too weak, and from when you run into the super nuts because KK QQ 99 and JT are all in Villain's AA counterfeits us sometimes, etc etc

  • #5
    Alot to absorb here, guys, which I'm going to try to do. At my stage, it does represent a bit of a heavy lift to shift from acting on "my hand" to acting on "my range" where the idea of my range seems intuitively more theoretical than actual - and of course my hand feels so ACTUAL. I'm trying to absorb how it could hurt me in the immediate term (e.g. this hand) to bet raise with two pair KQKQ) and how it could hurt me in the longer term to do so (e.g. I wouldn't protect my checking range). Sometimes I think it's just more baby steps in stringing concepts together than for those who grasp it all already... Thank you for the efforts in putting all this together..


    • jjpregler
      jjpregler commented
      Editing a comment
      Have you studied the Tournament Masterclass yet? The whole focus of the course is to teach you how to play your range instead of your hand.

    • acercap
      acercap commented
      Editing a comment
      Definitely working through the masterclass - and really outlining every darn video - and I've SURELY seen that range advantage and nut advantage are implementable. I guess I didn't know how to approach that with this KQKQ. . . it was hard to think big picture in the face of the "immediate picture" I was faced with. I think it's a pretty significant brain wrinkle to warm up to the idea of playing the range more than the hand -- and it can be accepted on faith - but I think moreso I have to understand the "why" of it - which I THINK is more about other hands - how my actions will be interpreted there. Maybe that's not all there is to it - but that's currently how I'm internaling the "protect my range" idea.