Discussion Thread: Capping vs Calling 3-bets Cold in BB

    • floaty
      floaty
      Silver
      Joined: 13.04.2010 Posts: 935
      Hi. I have a question about the 44-hand you discussed at the end of yesterdays coaching. Cold calling a 3bet in the bb. I might have gotten it wrong, but isnt a call there pretty mandatory and folding would be the wrong move? cause as far as i can tell from equilab you have like 32% equity with that hand. And even with 22 youre still at 29% eq vs a bu opr + a 3b there and you need 2 to 7 to call, and youre not even oop on all players, so shouldnt the call be mandatory there? you said it was ok to fold up to 66 in that spot if one would like, but 55 is at 34% eq against those ranges.

      Ranges in mind something like this


      Equity Won Tie
      BU 32.27% 31.34% 0.93% { 22+, A2s+, K2s+, Q2s+, J3s+, T5s+, 96s+, 86s+, 75s+, 65s, 54s, 43s, A2o+, K5o+, Q6o+, J7o+, T7o+, 97o+, 87o }
      SB 35.45% 34.51% 0.93% { 22+, A2s+, K5s+, Q7s+, J7s+, T7s+, 97s+, 87s, 76s, 65s, A2o+, K8o+, Q9o+, J9o+, T9o, 98o }
      BB 32.28% 32.01% 0.27% { 4h4s }




      Equity Won Tie
      BU 31.27% 30.37% 0.90% { 22+, A2s+, K2s+, Q2s+, J3s+, T5s+, 96s+, 86s+, 75s+, 65s, 54s, 43s, A2o+, K5o+, Q6o+, J7o+, T7o+, 97o+, 87o }
      SB 34.60% 33.70% 0.89% { 22+, A2s+, K5s+, Q7s+, J7s+, T7s+, 97s+, 87s, 76s, 65s, A2o+, K8o+, Q9o+, J9o+, T9o, 98o }
      BB 34.13% 33.85% 0.28% { 5h5s }
  • 16 replies
    • Boomer2k10
      Boomer2k10
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      Equity isn't the 100% overriding factor in this decision as you can justify playing a lot of hands based on their equity but knowing the equity and realising it are 2 different things

      That said I do think that 44 is a call in this situation for sure and I'd probably call any PP here, and in fact probably quite a few Suited hands as well. The immediate odds are good and the implied odds are also excellent, although we should be careful with calcualting implied odds as they get worse the bigger the pot gets preflop.

      Here's the hand in case anyone has missed it:

      Poker Stars, $0.25/$0.50 Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 4 4
      3 folds, BTN raises, SB 3-bets, Hero calls, BTN calls

      Flop: (9 SB) Q J J (3 players)
      SB checks, Hero checks, BTN checks

      Turn: (4.5 BB) 3 (3 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets, BTN folds, SB calls

      River: (6.5 BB) 4 (2 players)
      SB bets, Hero raises, SB folds

      Results:
      8.5 BB pot (0.3 BB rake)
      Final Board: Q J J 3 4
      SB mucked and lost (-3.5 BB net)
      Hero mucked 4 4 and won 8.2 BB (4.7 BB net)
    • Dawnfall26
      Dawnfall26
      Black
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116
      I cap this preflop just because I think there is no need in having a calling range in this spot at all. There is an existing chance to make BU fold his weaker part of his range when we end up in position vs relatively light 3bet range of SB which is already a big win. On that note I do cap here pretty loose.
    • floaty
      floaty
      Silver
      Joined: 13.04.2010 Posts: 935
      why do implied odds get worse when the pot gets bigger? and to what extenet would you go calling in a pot like this, cause eq-wise there are alot of hands you could call with, just throwing some hands out here now, but a hand like 96s has 27% eq against the ranges i posted earlier, do you still play this hand? 32s has ~24%, i wouldnt play this, but you need like 22,3% eq or something, not taking a possible cap from bu in mind, but how low eq-wise do you go here?

      even if you would put a cap-range something like 88+,ATs+,KJs+,AJo+,KQo for bu (~16%) you still have 22.7% eq here with 32s
      so the calculation would be
      0,84*(0,24*7-(1-0,24)*2)+0,16*(0,227*9-(1-0,227)*3)=0,09
      haha, did i do that right? to tired today.
    • Boomer2k10
      Boomer2k10
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      Originally posted by Dawnfall26
      I cap this preflop just because I think there is no need in having a calling range in this spot at all. There is an existing chance to make BU fold his weaker part of his range when we end up in position vs relatively light 3bet range of SB which is already a big win. On that note I do cap here pretty loose.
      I think having an all-cap range here is fine as well, it's mainly a stylistic thing

      What I think isn't fine is having BOTH a capping and calling range in this spot.

      So if you 4-bet everything you play here I've not really got any arguement against it and think it's fine. Personally I just call everything in this spot but I think both options have their merits.
    • floaty
      floaty
      Silver
      Joined: 13.04.2010 Posts: 935
      Originally posted by Dawnfall26
      I cap this preflop just because I think there is no need in having a calling range in this spot at all. There is an existing chance to make BU fold his weaker part of his range when we end up in position vs relatively light 3bet range of SB which is already a big win. On that note I do cap here pretty loose.
      would you cap like 65s aswell?
    • floaty
      floaty
      Silver
      Joined: 13.04.2010 Posts: 935
      Originally posted by Boomer2k10
      Originally posted by Dawnfall26
      I cap this preflop just because I think there is no need in having a calling range in this spot at all. There is an existing chance to make BU fold his weaker part of his range when we end up in position vs relatively light 3bet range of SB which is already a big win. On that note I do cap here pretty loose.
      I think having an all-cap range here is fine as well, it's mainly a stylistic thing

      What I think isn't fine is having BOTH a capping and calling range in this spot.

      So if you 4-bet everything you play here I've not really got any arguement against it and think it's fine. Personally I just call everything in this spot but I think both options have their merits.
      cant you just alternate, flip a coin every time the situation accurs and 50% you play all cap and 50 all call? :f_biggrin: but i recon the ranges cant be the same...
    • Boomer2k10
      Boomer2k10
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      Most likely the capping range is very slightly tighter than the call 2 range but there's not going to be a massive difference

      The idea behind the the capping range is that a non-0 %age of the time you'll get 2SB of dead money and poisition w/ initiave vs a wide SB 3-betting range so this can make up for the extra bet invested
    • kavboj84
      kavboj84
      Gold
      Joined: 16.06.2011 Posts: 2,161
      Originally posted by Dawnfall26
      There is an existing chance to make BU fold his weaker part of his range
      So you cap this as a bluff ?
    • Dawnfall26
      Dawnfall26
      Black
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116
      Capping 44 is certainly not as bluff. Its basically for value considering your entire range. In spot like this I would cap pretty wide,well that is when BU and SB are not overly tight and I can assume that they do this with fairly wide ranges.
      Smtn like A5s,A8o,K8s,K9o,Q8s,Q9o,J8s,JTo,8Ts,9To and some suited connectors(67s is totally fine imo) and all pockets would be my default.
    • kavboj84
      kavboj84
      Gold
      Joined: 16.06.2011 Posts: 2,161
      If you cap for value why do you want BU to fold. Plus if BU once realizes you cap light you wont have FE prefl. on him at all. Also I dont think you have the required equity for a value cap against them even if they play LAG.
    • Dawnfall26
      Dawnfall26
      Black
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116
      First about the value thing... what I meant is that this hand certainly is the part of our valuerange(bottom part but still) just for the fact that equity is pretty decent

      Equity Win Tie
      BU 32.19% 31.16% 1.02% 33+, A2s+, K2s+, Q6s+, J7s+, T7s+, 97s+, 87s, 76s, A2o+, K6o+, Q8o+, J8o+, T8o+, 98o
      SB 36.18% 35.15% 1.03% 44+, A2s+, K7s+, Q8s+, J9s+, T9s, 98s, A5o+, K8o+, Q9o+, J9o+, T9o
      BB 31.64% 31.38% 0.25% 4h4s

      ...about having a "value" hand not consistent with wanting him to fold... not true... if we make him fold that creates uncontested dead money and also our equity goes up significantly. Also we happen to play our hand IP with initiative which is really really good for a hand like lower pocket pair
    • madorjan
      madorjan
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2009 Posts: 5,561
      Have to agree with most here, 44 is a super easy non-fold in this situation. As you may know I prefer keeping my ranges together (aka either capping or calling everything), but this hand has to be continued with regardless.

      @bluff or value: preflop it's quite hard to qualify an agressive action as either. Obviously you raise AA for value, but actually - if I remember my results correctly - everything below QQ or maybe JJ profits more from not seeing a flop rather than seeing (in openraising situations LDO). So you basically raise every hand you play as a protection raise (wouldn't say value, cause you want folds, wouldn't say bluff, cause sure as hell nothing better than TT folds pre), and in this regard capping 44 to make a 'flip' (or even a '3-outer') to fold is super-valueable. However, nowadays I see less and less of this raise/fold for 2 more line, so it's definitely a noteworthy thing if you see one.

      Still, I highly prefer coldcalling everything in this situation, the reasons have been said several times through several threads and coachings and videos. (And cap everything if the BU is the foldy type.)
    • kavboj84
      kavboj84
      Gold
      Joined: 16.06.2011 Posts: 2,161
      I dont agree with either of you (how surprising :D ) Now... the problem is you all consider this as a single move or a partially single so sort of..

      For ex. @Dawn:

      First things first : for value you need 1/3=33.333..%, you have only 31% pot equity. That is only true if you go all in and add the rake, plus the fact that since you are not all in you wont be able to realize your pot equity(remember : 44 is capped for value!) IMO nowhere near 30%

      Ok, suppose you have fold equity, but you never gonna get better hands to fold. I understand if you cap like 87s here, cause you make K2 or Q7 fold and thats a gain in pot equity also cause the range what they continue with is better for a mediocre suited connector, but with low SD value hands like mediocre Ax or low pocket pairs whats gonna happen most of the time is that you value cut yourself. You only make better hands to fold, and pay off the ones that where already ahead or drawed and hit vs you .
      Cause how you look like vs those ranges is that you either flip a coin with two overcards from which the most fold by the river anyway, or are dominated vs your opponents overpair that you pay off. On the one hand you make 5% on the other you loose 80 and thats the bigger pots.
      Cause what is 44 in this situation ? Its low SD value. Its not something you play to flop a set, you have to show down with it cause how you win money = your edge, and by a hand like this that comes from your opponent paying you off with a worse hand . And this wont happen frequently enough I think. On most of the flops you wont be able to v-bet 3 streets, while you pay off (better/worse) hands a lot just due to the facts that in some cases :

      - some high card will turn/ river you
      - or semi -bluffs gonna hit,
      - or you fold vs bluffs
      - or giving freecards to your opponents cause you wont be able to barrel all boards with 44
      - or not being able to v-bet cause you have to count with calling a raise
      - or rarely (or not rarely if you are part of the swinger club like me) RIO(i.e. overp(l)ay) situations= coolers like sets vs backdoors straigst/ flushes/oversets/fulls etc...

      I guess you may realize around 25% EQ there , also baring in mind that you protect such hands somewhat vs one overcard type of hands but thats really some minor part of BU-s range and I think its still not enough to cover the costs that you loose on the other side when BU does continue.

      Plus as I said if some decent(ish) player realize(s) they/he will get a lot of resteals from players socialized on agro-culture, what you will end up is adaption form their/his side.
      First they will thighten up and then fold nothing. Cause no decent player wants to have a range raise/folded pre on the button I think you can agree with me on that.
      Secondly they will rasie the hell out of you. But this really gonna get to where I wanna make the point so a bit later.

      @madorjan: I dont think its that hard to qualify an action if you look at the game from the beginning till the end. I think if its on 44, then calling is definitely better than capping. However I want to point out, that I dont decide between continuing /folding by claiming this, Im only looking now on 44 not on your overall ranges here. The reasons are some of one I mentioned above, and I think the most important is which I havent really defined yet but was heading towards so far is that you have to make a decision on the flop and this is really important, because that is a tougher decision with 44 that you may think. What is gonna happen (I suppose) that you cbet. What if you get flops like Axxx or Kxxx or both or even if there is a T9x flop and your flop c-bet is raised, you say 'eek' with a 44 cause your cap got shitty.
      What I say is that they will know, that your range is weak overall and if you cbet you will be an easy target for overfolds and at the same time isolation ( should it be a v-bet or a bluff). You will be either overbluffing the board with your 100% cbet or underbluffing cause your nonpair hands(mostly on high card flops) often hit something and the bottom of your range will be pair heavy.
      Thus with a range that contains 44(+...?) I think you should have a checking range cause its not that strong and it can be exploited with flop raises. If you would check with a balanced range like that, now that would be a question, but also OOP with initiative 3 ways in a capped pot... who the hell can establish a range like that ? And thats the bottom line here , flop decisions are critical here and you have to bear that in mind what you are going to do with the 44 in postflop mode, and therefore its not a good candidate for a cap for me, I would cap here with something like 88-99 for value (and for sure) and thats considering all negative circumstances, like adaption of the opponents and playing postflop OOP with initiative .
      If you have a 'flat everthing ' range on the BB it can be exploited with a flop check(back) range plus a bit wider pre range knowing that BB wont ever cap pre and will check the flop 100% of the time OOP.


      So I think neither solutions are perfect and if there is a case when either capping of flatting is better that the other, it mainly depends on your flop decision, which is not going to be perfect if you either bet 100% or check providing your range contains 44. Its practically sort of a 'hole' in the game, neither bluff, nor value and its really somewhere around or perhaps rather below break even.

      As its being an unclear and mainly marginal situation with a borderline hand and as Im not sure that I could play the hand profitably I would throw 44 in the muck and cut the gordian knot with the most simple decision. That may sound raw, but I think its the best play overall considering real life circumstances, but not (equi)laboratory conditions where you can stop time and examine every decision.
    • Boomer2k10
      Boomer2k10
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      One thing I will point out about you questions is, how can a "call everything" range be exploited by checking back? What are you gaining with your 3-bet range by checking back?

      Range Assymetry-wise your 3-bet range should still be mostly ahead of a BB call 2 range (in fact if your opponent splits his ranges with capping and calling your 3-bet range is MILES ahead except on some board textures where you probably can check back where range assymetry is against you)

      This is actually a pretty misunderstood concept that the "flat everything" strategy can be exploited by checking the flop. If your opponent plays in a balanced way you're not exploiting him at all, all you're doing most of the time is not putting a bet in where range assymetry is in your favour.

      The only place where checking back, imo, is a viable option is HUHU play because there the ranges run much closer together.

      In 6-max the aggressive range is often far ahead of the calling range and certainly if the raise is from EP or it's a 3-bet pot.
    • madorjan
      madorjan
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2009 Posts: 5,561
      @madorjan: I dont think its that hard to qualify an action if you look at the game from the beginning till the end.


      That in itself is an oversimplification, or just plain wrong. Since you've got so many unknown variables especially in the early game, you cannot plan out a hand preflop. 44 is a monster if a 4 is on the board, can be a nice valuehand on nothing-boards, can be a strong bluffcatcher, a straight-up fold, or a bluff, depending on the action and the board. You can't look at a hand preflop and say "this serves x purpose".

      I think if its on 44, then calling is definitely better than capping. However I want to point out, that I dont decide between continuing /folding by claiming this, Im only looking now on 44 not on your overall ranges here. The reasons are some of one I mentioned above, and I think the most important is which I havent really defined yet but was heading towards so far is that you have to make a decision on the flop and this is really important, because that is a tougher decision with 44 that you may think.
      No it isn't. It is, if you play exploitatively and don't know your opponent. But if you a) know your opponents' tendencies or b) play balanced, this decision is as easy (or hard) as anything else. It is considered tough, because it's an unusual and uncomfortable situation for PEE-players, therefore it has to be tough. It really isn't.


      What is gonna happen (I suppose) that you cbet. What if you get flops like Axxx or Kxxx or both or even if there is a T9x flop and your flop c-bet is raised, you say 'eek' with a 44 cause your cap got shitty.
      And hence why I don't cap anything in general. There is absolutely no value in it, unless it generates fold equity preflop, and delays the decision to the flop. Well put. However, a T9x board is super-easy, since there are an awful lot of bluffs out there, so super easy calldown (in a 15SB pot, are you kidding me?), on Axx you probably peel one, depending on xx two, etc.

      What I say is that they will know, that your range is weak overall and if you cbet you will be an easy target for overfolds and at the same time isolation ( should it be a v-bet or a bluff). You will be either overbluffing the board with your 100% cbet or underbluffing cause your nonpair hands (mostly on high card flops) often hit something and the bottom of your range will be pair heavy.
      "Your capping range is weak on this A hi board..." - said no man ever.

      You have shitton of Ax and Kx in your capping range, and yeah, in that situation 44 tends to go to the bottom of your range, so what? A) you still should have some weaker stuff, suited connectors QJo, etc, and b) once again, so what? On non A- and K-hi boards your 44 will do much better. You will always have some cards at the bottom of your range, and they're gonna have around the same relative strength against your opponents' ranges.

      Thus with a range that contains 44(+...?) I think you should have a checking range cause its not that strong and it can be exploited with flop raises.
      Nope it cannot be done. Folding a hand that you capped preflop is NOT being exploitative. Folding wrong hands is. I really don't get why you think it is exploitable to fold 44 in the right situation. (My guess would be that you want to justify your flop b/f with 44 - been there done that.:) )

      If you would check with a balanced range like that, now that would be a question, but also OOP with initiative 3 ways in a capped pot... who the hell can establish a range like that ? And thats the bottom line here , flop decisions are critical here and you have to bear that in mind what you are going to do with the 44 in postflop mode, and therefore its not a good candidate for a cap for me, I would cap here with something like 88-99 for value (and for sure) and thats considering all negative circumstances, like adaption of the opponents and playing postflop OOP with initiative .
      If you have a 'flat everthing ' range on the BB it can be exploited with a flop check(back) range plus a bit wider pre range knowing that BB wont ever cap pre and will check the flop 100% of the time OOP.
      88-99 is super-funny starting hand chart-based lolz. 44 may be a borderline capping hand here (I think not, but may be), but say 55, 66 are just supersnap caps. It really comes down to PS's old articles and material (here we go again...), where playability is overrated and therefore low PPs are being frown upon. Unguarded on 2p2 said stg like "you should not fold pocket pairs preflop ever" or stg like that, not sure if that's the exact quote, but the thing is - even tho I don't agree with it, it's much closer to the truth than "I'll just play the absolute best pocket pairs in the 50% range vs 30% range situation". I had this low PP-phobia for a while, cause yeah, with the standard PEE-mindset they're awfully uncomfortable to play. It is their nature, they most usually are complete bluffcatchers with no equity in the pot whatsoever. We're used to having at least 5-6 outs with our bluffcatchers, can hope that we may hit, etc. Not with 44, nope. Makes much less of a difference than you might think.


      So I think neither solutions are perfect and if there is a case when either capping of flatting is better that the other, it mainly depends on your flop decision, which is not going to be perfect if you either bet 100% or check providing your range contains 44. Its practically sort of a 'hole' in the game, neither bluff, nor value and its really somewhere around or perhaps rather below break even.
      It definitely won't be either of those, not even mentioning that you don't want breakeven here, you want more than a -1SB/hand loss.

      And just one more thing. You mix balance and exploit arguments here, I tried to highlight them with different colors. This kind of a mix is dangerous, cause the logical structure of both views are completely different. You can use exploit in balanced play, but balance play should be a base for exploitation. You can also use balance in exploitative play (tho much harder and... well, rougher), but then why do you care what's at the bottom of your range. See, it's all a little bit wishy-washy to me, ideas that promote your thinking rather than logically congruent ones. (And don't misunderstand me, I used to do that all the time, and still do for some extent, there is no problem with that - until you are still convincable.)

      @Boomer: don't you think it would be nice to select the posts about this discussion and copy these onto a new board?
    • Boomer2k10
      Boomer2k10
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      Hi Guys, just so you're aware I've moved the discussion regarding this topic from my coaching thread to here so it's properly labelled, go at it :)