Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Curiosity Call

REDi, REDi, REDi. The secret to maximizing your expected value in Hold'em is to Read, Estimate, Decide, Implement. You don't have to be a robot about it, but you do have to do these four steps if you want to make money. Here's a nice example of how it works from a session I played tonight:

Merge Network $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players
BTN: $56.37
Hero (SB): $25.00
BB: $28.93
UTG: $25.00
MP: $42.05
CO: $27.10

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is SB with K of diamonds A of diamonds
1 fold, MP raises to $0.75, 2 folds, Hero raises to $2.50, 1 fold, MP calls $1.75

{This is a pretty standard reraise. Why? REDi. My Read on the 19/17 villain is that he's a TAg player, very positionally aware, with a tiny 3bet percentage of just 2%. Against his MP opening range, my AKs is pretty far ahead; probably something like 65:35. Yes, some of his hands beat mine, but many more of them don't. This means I've got a lot of equity, and therefore have a Value hand. Ergo, I want to bet to build a pot and protect my equity. If he comes over the top of me here, I can fold relatively easily. If he calls, I'm in pretty good shape. I'm way ahead of his unpaired hands, and nearly even money against the pairs. When he flats my RR here, I'm pretty happy with where I'm at.}

Flop: ($5.25) 4 of spades 3 of diamonds J of clubs (2 players)

{Well, no Ace or King, but otherwise the board is pretty dry. The Jack hits some of his range, but there are still a lot of hands that I'm still ahead of. Again, if he reraises, I need to think about slowing down, but until he does I'm still continuing a Value line with some Fold Equity thrown in. He's capable of folding out many of the hands that are ahead of me, so I want to CBet as a semi-bluff weighted toward the value end.}

Hero bets $3.50, MP calls $3.50

{My CBet size is pretty standard. His flat here makes me think he's got a middle to biggish pair, or perhaps a Jack. He might also think I'm full of it with a hand exactly like I've got and is thinking of taking the pot away from me on the turn.}

Turn: ($12.25) K of spades (2 players)

{Gin. If I was behind on the flop, I have easily moved ahead of most of his range here. The problem is that if I bet, even a small amount, he very well could lay down hands that I'm ahead of. I have strong Value here, but he's going to fold most of middle pairs that I'm crushing. To maximize EV, I think I need to wait a street to get any more value out of him. In other words, he's only calling with hands that beat me here, such as KJ}

Hero checks, MP checks

{Villains check behind rules out those KJ hands. I'm narrowing his range to mostly pairs.}

River: ($12.25) K of hearts (2 players)

{Obviously a nice river card for me, but not for the reason you might be thinking. Sure, I'm now way ahead of his range, but I was on the turn already. No, the reason this is a good card for me is that the pairing of the King makes it less likely in his mind that I have a King in my hand. This is amplified by my check on the Turn. Ergo, he's probably putting me on a hand like AJ or QJ at this point, both of which he's either way ahead or way behind (in his mind). So how do I extract max value here? Answer: overshove. I've got Value hand and I look fairly weak, so I want to get as much money into the middle as I can. A check-raise is a serious possibility, but he might just check behind, in which case I've wasted a golden opportunity. On the other hand if I make a big bet, he might just think I'm full of crap. Said another way, I think his calling range is pretty inelastic; he's either calling or he's not, regardless of my bet size. Also, I think he's actually more likely to look me up if I shove than if I bet pot or less. Ergo, we're jammin' bro.}

Hero bets $19 all in, MP calls $19
Final Pot: $50.25

{I picked this over-shove play up in a training video I watched the other day on repping bluffs when you hold the nuts. The coach called it planting the seed of curiosity in the other player; they simply don't believe you would over shove here with a monster, and want to believe they're ahead. In this particular hand I obviously didn't have the nuts, but I felt I was far enough ahead of his range that it was essentially the same thing. I.e., I wanted it to appear I was turning a weaker made hand into a bluff-- and hopefully get him to look me up with a weaker pair.}

Hero shows K of diamonds A of diamonds (Three of a Kind Kings)
MP shows Q of diamonds Q of spades
Hero wins $47.74
(Rake: $2.51)

REDi, REDi, REDi, folks...If you're not Reading, Estimating, Deciding, Implementing, you're simply not maximizing value....

All-in for now...

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