I don't know (Part 2)

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I don't know (Part 2)

In part 1, I talked about the most common mistakes in situations where we do not know what to do. They are either to fold suddenly when something happens, or bet "to force a fold."


Now let's look at what we should do. It is clear that we need to learn how to play.

The key rule, in a nutshell, is - if we do not know what range our opponent may have in this situation, our task is to find out. This is especially important because this situation is sure to be repeated in the future. And not just once or twice. And we need to meet it head-on, of course, if we do not want to run in to the same problem.


When determining their range, we should consider the following factors:


1. The opponent's behaviour on this street.

2. The structure of the board.

3. Our table image (how he sees our hand).

4. Do the hands that he portrays look believable?


Now let's look at a worked example of a hand and see how to analyse all four points.


Let me remind you, we are in the BB with 9d 9s against the SB (raise 1st 30%). The flop came Td 7h 4h. Opponent puts a continuation bet.


1. Their behaviour is consistent. In this case the opponent makes a continuation bet (c-bet the flop 70%). Checking our database, we find 4-5 regulars for whom we have a lot of hands and see that they have raised from the cutoff 27-33% of the time, and c-bet 67-73 % of the time.

2 . The board is low, co-ordinated and with a flush draw. So in our database we are looking at what the regulars of paragraph 1 will have to put a continuation bet on such boards (964ss, T82s, 863ss, you get the idea), and we obtain a certain alignment.

For example, we see that there is a lot of bluffing by your opponents (say, out of 50 hands they had found a lot of empty hands, such as overcards gutshots, third pair , including pocket pair), and of course the second pair as well as strong hands, I.e. we understand that a board of this nature, the enemy will often c-bet with air.

3 . As we called in the BB, we can have a broadway as well as pocket pairs and sometimes connectors (depending on our calling range) i.e., in his eyes we can have a lot of weak hands.

4 . Putting in a continuation bet, he portrays many plausible hands — overpairs, top pairs, strong FD. We can also not rule out sets.


Now bring all these facts together.

Since these opponents often bet with air on such boards, depicting many plausible hands, hitting our weak hands, then all we need to call is usually 35-40% (and the villain's range clearly is broader than the 60% of hands which are stronger than ours), to equalize the chances for us here. Calmly click call.


It is worth adding that if the 1st and 2nd paragraphs are easy to understand, then the 3rd and 4th are more complicated. Because if you correctly understand what our opponents think about our hand (if they think about it at all), and what s/he would do based on that, then you can play at the higher limits. If you can not understand the opponent's logic, you need to ask for advice from experienced people who play at a higher level.

However, to determine the range, rather than their logic, you can focus on the first two paragraphs. Ie if you at least learn that on this type of board, such and such actions on any street mean such and such a type of hand (even if you do not always understand the logic), then it will help you avoid a lot of errors.

To make it clearer, let us take another opponent. The same distribution, but now the enemy's cbet rate is 53% .

1. Again, we go to our database, but this time we look for regulars with a cbet rate of 50-56 %.

2 . Let us look at the same low, co-ordinated board with FD and understand exactly when these opponents make a continuation bet. Let's say we get some kind of sample of 100 hands, 50% of them - TP +, 30% - the second pair / pocket  pair, 10% - FD, 10% - air.


Remember that we need about 35-40 %, respectively to call, 99 at a stretch passes. But with a lower pair we are on thin ice, because with 66 we lose to 88 and 99, and 7x (if he opens from the cutoff with suited connectors) .


If you go back to the question of what to do if the turn brings overcards, the analysis is based on the same principle.


So again.

We are in the BB with 9d 9s against the SB (raise 1st 30%). The flop comes Td 7h 4h. The opponent puts in a continuation bet (70%), we call. The turn is Jd. The opponent bets the turn (48%).


1. Let us take opponents who raise the cutoff 30% of the time and continuation bet on the flop 67%-73% of the time and 47%-49% on the turn.

2 . Overcards come. However, the board has become more coordinated, this is an important point. If, for example, an Ace had fallen, we would put the opponents on a different range (with higher bluffing potential) , but because a J fell, his calling range on the flop has increased (Q9s, J9s, 89s, 78s, T9s, T8s, etc.). But the ace has just not particularly helped us and the preflop raiser might just have one.


Here we look in the database, to see which way the wind blows.

If it turns out that against such opponents we can not simply assume that the J is a terrible overcard, and their c-bet range on the turn still involves a lot of bluffing, then in such situations against such opponents at this limit 99 is still well worth a call. Or vice versa , if it turns out that out of 100 hands, we saw our opponent bluff only 20% of the time, then we can not chance a call.


If you need to know the range of Fish, you can do 2 things:

1. Look at your database and look what fish with similar stats and aggression show in such situations

2.The fish should have 400-500 hands. You can mine the database to see how he plays what hands. I assure you that in some situations there will be very clear patterns. For example, if the fish (not superaggressive) puts in a c-bet on 2 streets of ¾ of the pot is in most cases these will be value bets (if we have not seen evidence to the contrary at the table).


During the analysis of the database we will see only the hands that reached showdown.  It is worth noting that often a player can bet two streets, but will not necessarily go further. At the same time he might stick around with top pair, but fold to a raise on the turn (river) or, for example, his opponent may fold on the turn. Actually, the possibility of either of these hands folding is roughly equal so if there is an error it is usually a slight one.