# Theorizing Poker

• Bronze
Joined: 08.06.2010
I'm just trying to learn and work on my poker theory. All help is welcome.

I've been working on stuff learnt from Janda's book and videos. So I'll be blogging on poker theory he talks about, my thoughts and try and analyze a ton of spots.

Lets do this!
• 26 replies
• Silver
Joined: 01.05.2013
• Bronze
Joined: 08.06.2010
Ok lets start.

I normally do random boards on flopzilla when practicing. I'll maybe post some real hands here and try to analyze them.

Poker Stars, \$0.10/\$0.25 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

SB: \$9.79 (39.2 bb)
BB: \$28.58 (114.3 bb)
UTG: \$32.05 (128.2 bb)
MP: \$25.25 (101 bb)
Hero (CO): \$26.40 (105.6 bb)
BTN: \$25 (100 bb)

Preflop: Hero is CO with T J
UTG raises to \$0.75, MP folds, Hero calls \$0.75, 3 folds

Flop: (\$1.85) 4 K Q (2 players)
UTG bets \$1, Hero raises to \$3, UTG calls \$2

Turn: (\$7.85) 3 (2 players)
UTG checks, Hero bets \$4.50, UTG folds

Results:
\$7.85 pot (\$0.35 rake)
Final Board: 4 K Q 3
UTG mucked and lost (-\$3.75 net)
Hero mucked T J and won \$7.50 (\$3.75 net)

Now I did raise this while playing, I wanna figure out what my entire raising range will be on the flop and what I double barrel.

Flop: Ks Qc 4d

Preflop calling range vs EO open (QQ-33,AKo-AQo,AQs-ATs,KQs-KTs,QJs-QTs,JTs-J9s,T9s,98s,87s,76s,65s,54s)
IP:
Total Combos: 128
Combos to defend: 83 (since he's betting slightly over half pot, we'll defend about 65% of our range)

I tried to form a range by only calling and having no x/r range. However that was way too wide and I'd be calling with a lot of weak hands like gutshots which are too weak to call. However if I have a raising range I can easily use them in my bluff raising range. So gotta raise this board.

Value Raise: KQs(2), 44(3), JTs(4)=9 (decided to call with QQ, has blockers, isn't too weak that it needs protection asap and I am already raising quite a few hands and QQ makes my x/c range stronger)

Bluff Raise: AJs(4), ATs(4)J9s(4), T9s(4)=16 ( I form the bluff raising range after I've formed my calling range. Normally gutshots and BDFD go here. AJs and ATs also have 3 nut BDFD each here)

Calls: QQ(3), AKo(9), KJs(3), KTs(3), AQ(12), QJs(3), QTs(3), JJ(6), TT(6), 99(6), 88(6) =60 (Yup gotta call with those under pairs like 88,99 so that we defend wide enough to not give our opponent an incentive to bluff us with ATC. I couldn't find any other better hands to defend with.)

Total % of hands defended=66% (85 combos)

Oh and since most of my value raises are strong hands I chose a 2:1 value:bluff ratio for them and 1:2 value to bluff ratio for draws. I did however raise maybe 2 combos more as bluffs but I guess that's ok.

Turn: 3h

Range: KQs(2), 44(3), JTs(4), AJs(4), ATs(4), J9s(4), T9s(4)

Total Combos: 25

Value Bet: KQs(2), 44(3)=5
Bluff Bet: JTs(4)=4

Betting freq=36%

Using a 1:1 Value:Bluff ratio on turn

Not too happy with this betting frequency. I think its too low. Is it because by flop raising range was small? Or is it just that the turn is such a blank that I can't help it.

Also if he calls the turn I think I'll bet the KQs and 44 on river for value and bluff with half of the JTs. Will get a good value:bluff ratio too on the river of 2.5:1

Still not completely sure about my ranges.

Lets hear some thoughts and I'll work on it a little more later. I think I'll also do an OOP play analysis and then maybe get a better picture of how the ranges should work against each other.

Lets throw some stats in now.

He's playing 18/16 over 140 hands. Cbets the flop 67% and barrels the turn and river so far with 100% freq and only 12% WTSD.

Sample size is crap but still lets brainstorm on this one. Since he bets so aggressively I don't think its a good idea to slowplay and only call against him without having a raising range cause the overall calling range will be just too weak and he'll make us fold a lot later on.

Also bluff raising a bit is good against him since he seems to be betting so wide.

So don't think I'll really deviate from optimal play to exploit him.
• Bronze
Joined: 08.06.2010
I noticed this last post ended up being a bit long but I won't be explaining myself so much in future since I'll do it only in the first few hands. Normally I think I'll only be posting ranges and some thoughts and trying to figure out what hands fit better in what range.

As far as the value:bluff ratios go I'm just using Janda's theory here which is explained well in his book, if anyone is still interested I can go into further detail in another post but don't think I'll be talking in greater detail about them while posting analysis.
• Silver
Joined: 01.05.2013
I would flat: 44-QQ,ATs+,KJs+,QJs,JTs,T9s,98s,AQo+

and vs UTG we would have ~ 51% vs 49%
total: 100c
value raise just with 44 (3c)
bluff raise: T9s,9s8s,9c8c,9d8d (7c)
fold 37c

so I'm defending 63%.

we would have only 45.52% vs 54.48%

so I don't think I will defend enough
discounted combos 128
value raise just with 44,KdQd (4c)
bluff raise: J9s,T9s (8c)
call: JJ-QQ,ATs-AQs,KTs-KJs,QTs+,JTs,AQo+,KhQh(55c)
fold 61c
So defending only 52.34%
• Black
Joined: 05.08.2007
I think your preflop range is too loose. I would fold 33-77 they are hardly played +EV unless you have fish behind. I would also fold low SC and J9s, KTs, QTs, KJs (can 3bet some of them).

That way it will be much easier to defend on flop, you wouldnt need to flat likely -EV hands like 88,99. Calling -EV just for the sake to not allow villian to bet any too is not gto idea. So if your range is too weak to defend enough, just defend only hands that can be +EV, fold the rest.

Hands like ATs, AJs, are +EV calls for sure, so you dont need to use them as bluffs. You can put them in a call range, and bluff other hands that cant call +EV. Like T9s, 89s, 78s having bdfd. If you really have 56s, 67s in your range, then those with bdfd are also fine to raise, have also bdsd.

He's playing 18/16 over 140 hands. Cbets the flop 67% and barrels the turn and river so far with 100% freq and only 12% WTSD.
You can simply ignore his postflop stats, the sample is too small, especially for turn, river and WTSD. You can use his 18/16 that he is nitty player, so it means that your bluff raises will likely be -EV unless he is folding hands like AK. I would by default be value heavy vs him, just would raise value and AT, AJ (AT and AJ can hit nuts and are blocking his AK, AA, JTs which all continue vs your raise).

Still not completely sure about my ranges.
If you would be completely sure about your ranges, it means that you didnt understand anything from Jandas book, and you should reread it
• Bronze
Joined: 08.06.2010
Ok guys thanks for the inputs.

BTW I made a mistake and took my BU vs EP calling range instead of CO vs EP range.

@GingerKid, would you ideally raise JTs here against a good opponent?

Also with regards to bluff raising range, shouldn't it be better to have nut BDFD in that range rather than lower BDFD?
• Black
Joined: 05.08.2007
Sure it is better to have nut bdfd in raise range than lower simply because it is higher EV. Also it is better to have in raise range draw with 15 outs than nut bdfd. But when you have problem defending unexploitable, then you will be able to defend more combos when you flat good draws (+EV calls) and raise draws that are weakest, but can still improve to strong hand (like lower bdfd).
By doing this, on flop you would flat AT, AJ, JTs, and would raise low bdfd which you would fold otherwise. That way you obviously defend more combos, where all should be +EV vs good villian.

I usually call OESD on rainbow board especially IP because you have the chance to win the hand on turn or river once villian c/f, and it has great implied odds if you hit it. So the main point is, you can call it +EV twice. If I would be OOP, I would either raise flop or latest turn, because it is not so good EV to flat oop on turn (we cant win the hand on river as IP).
• Bronze
Joined: 08.06.2010
Ok same spot I'm trying to make OOP ranges for EP

Flop: K Q 4

OOP:
Combos: 156

Value bet: AA(6), KQ(9), AK(12), 44(3) =30
Draws: JTs(4)=4
Bluff bet: =AJ(16), ATs(4), J9s(4), T9s(4), 98s(3), 87s(3), 76s(3), 65s(3) =40
Total Betting Frequency=47.44% (74)

Total checks=88
x/c: KK(3), QQ(3), KJs(3), KTs(3), QJs(3), QTs(3), AQ(12), JJ(6), TT(6) =42

Checks Defended=47.72% (42)

Questions:

1. What are your thoughts on betting JJ/TT and x/c AJ instead?
2. Do you like the idea to use these SCs as bluff bets (87s, 65s etc.). I'm using only 3 of each which also have BDFD?
3. Would you rather have 44 in x/r range thrown in with some of those SCs like 65s, 87s in bluff x/r range?

The equity of betting range here vs. the calling range that wealthybrainer made are 44/56 for EP and BU.

Although the betting range equity is low, I think its still ok cause the hands in betting range can improve to strong made hands or strong draws against the calling range which is primarily bluff catchers. So the case of low equity hands but can still have higher EV since they improve to strong hands.
• Black
Joined: 05.08.2007
I would do very similar to your range. Not sure if AK has 3 streets value, imo river is very thin, depends how many Kx has cold caller. Using your ranges we have value on river, but imo using standard ranges from pokerstrategy platinum articles we dont.

1) Can you cbet TT, JJ for value on flop, and then can you call +EV if villian bets once you check turn? I dont think so, so it is very standard to put those hands in check range. AJ can be also in cc range, you can in fact split them, so that you can have nut straight in both cases and some Ax hands. I would also cc with QTs. If you construct cc range as you did, then you dont fold anything on turn, so why would villian bluff turn? Thats why it is good to have some floats, like GS that you can bluff river if you miss and villian gives up turn, or to cr turn if he bets and balance it with KK, QQ. So it would be good to have around 50% QTs and AJ, AT in both ranges. In fact, if you would check 70% of time, then I would put 70% of QTs and AJ, AT in check range. The same is if there is fd possible.

2) standard, simply choose bluffs that retain equity, which are bdfd, GS etc and check high cards and PP.

3) you can cr. But imo on such high board villian will check back hands like Kx that he cant bet 3 streets value and Qx, 99-JJ so you loose a ton of value. On low board or draw heavy I would tend towards cr most of strong hands.

The equity of betting range here vs. the calling range that wealthybrainer made are 44/56 for EP and BU.
Who cares It is not all about average equity of range vs range. It is also very important who has higher % of strong hands in range. If in general your range is weaker, by comparing average range vs range equity and % of strong hands, then it makes sense to check 100% of time, or to check very high % and cbet only polarized range. The same is logic when you are cold caller, if you have stronger range you should donk. "initiative" is only for noobs important.
• Bronze
Joined: 20.09.2014
Originally posted by GingerKid
I think your preflop range is too loose. I would fold 33-77 they are hardly played +EV unless you have fish behind. I would also fold low SC and J9s, KTs, QTs, KJs (can 3bet some of them).

That way it will be much easier to defend on flop, you wouldnt need to flat likely -EV hands like 88,99. Calling -EV just for the sake to not allow villian to bet any too is not gto idea. So if your range is too weak to defend enough, just defend only hands that can be +EV, fold the rest.

Hands like ATs, AJs, are +EV calls for sure, so you dont need to use them as bluffs. You can put them in a call range, and bluff other hands that cant call +EV. Like T9s, 89s, 78s having bdfd. If you really have 56s, 67s in your range, then those with bdfd are also fine to raise, have also bdsd.

He's playing 18/16 over 140 hands. Cbets the flop 67% and barrels the turn and river so far with 100% freq and only 12% WTSD.
You can simply ignore his postflop stats, the sample is too small, especially for turn, river and WTSD. You can use his 18/16 that he is nitty player, so it means that your bluff raises will likely be -EV unless he is folding hands like AK. I would by default be value heavy vs him, just would raise value and AT, AJ (AT and AJ can hit nuts and are blocking his AK, AA, JTs which all continue vs your raise).

Still not completely sure about my ranges.
If you would be completely sure about your ranges, it means that you didnt understand anything from Jandas book, and you should reread it
I a gree with all of that, small suited connectors don't work that good out of position anyway and it is better just to avoid them.
• Bronze
Joined: 08.06.2010
Not sure if AK has 3 streets value, imo river is very thin, depends how many Kx has cold caller.

The BU has overpair+ 6.25% of the times in his pre-flop calling range vs EP.

So I think we can go 3 streets of value when OOP against BU with TPTK. It surely satisfies the Janda rule that you can triple barrel with TPTK if he only beats you <10% of the time with his flopping range.

Who cares smile It is not all about average equity of range vs range. It is also very important who has higher % of strong hands in range. If in general your range is weaker, by comparing average range vs range equity and % of strong hands, then it makes sense to check 100% of time, or to check very high % and cbet only polarized range. The same is logic when you are cold caller, if you have stronger range you should donk. "initiative" is only for noobs important.

Yup I agree. I wasn't saying that its bad that we have less equity, I was just saying that I am ok even though its less equity cause I like the hands in the overall betting range I made. They are more high EV hands even though the equity is less.

Was just trying to repeat Janda's point, Equity can't be converted to EV and some hands might have low equity but are still more +EV.
• Silver
Joined: 01.05.2013
I mean BTN has 45.52% and UTG 54.48%
• Bronze
Joined: 08.06.2010
Originally posted by wealthybrainer
I mean BTN has 45.52% and UTG 54.48%
I am comparing the OOP betting range I made to the IP calling range that you made.

The OOP betting range has 44% equity vs IP's calling range having 56% equity.

However like I said in my post, I'm not too worried about the gap in equity since the betting range has some good bluffs that can improve to some strong made hands or good draws that can draw to very strong made hands.
• Bronze
Joined: 08.06.2010
Poker Stars, \$0.10/\$0.25 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

SB: \$35.72 (142.9 bb)
BB: \$25 (100 bb)
UTG: \$30.71 (122.8 bb)
Hero (MP): \$28.11 (112.4 bb)
CO: \$50.60 (202.4 bb)
BTN: \$25 (100 bb)

Preflop: Hero is MP with A 8
UTG folds, Hero raises to \$0.75, CO calls \$0.75, 3 folds

Flop: (\$1.85) 5 A T (2 players)
Hero bets \$1, CO calls \$1

Flop: A 5 T

MP vs CO

OOP:

Range: AA-22,AKo-ATo,KQo,AKs-A7s,A5s,KQs-KTs,QJs-QTs,JTs-J9s,T9s-T8s,98s-97s,87s-86s,76s-75s,65s,54s

Combos: 197

Value Bet: ATs(9), A5s(2), AK(12)=23

Draws:0

Bluff Bet: KQ(16), KJs(4), QJs(4), 75s(3), 65s(3), 54s(3), T9s(3), T8s(3) =39

Betting Freq: 62 (31.47%)

Checking Frequency: 135 (68.53%)

x/c: AA(3), TT(3), 55(3), AQ(12), AJ(12), A9s(3), A8s(3), A7s(3), KK(6), QQ(6), JJ(6), KTs(3), QTs(3), JTs(3)=69

X/r value:0

x/r bluff:0

Check Defending frequency: 69 (51.11%)

Another dry board. The betting range ended up being low cause I decided to slowplay all the sets.

1. What do you think about x/c only and not betting anything on this board? Position isn't too important here and our strong hands are really strong.

2. Would you x/r any sets like 55 or TT maybe. I think AA should definitely be x/c since it has many TP blockers and won't really have anything to get value from? I thought that TT and 55 are a good x/c as I don't expect them to have hit a lot that would continue against a x/r and I think x/c is more +EV

3. Would you switch anything around with the x/c and bluff betting range? since the second card (T) is high enough I thought of x/c with it else I would bet if it was lower say a 7. I normally bet middle pair as a bluff on a board like K74 and x/c middle pair on KQ4.
• Black
Joined: 05.08.2007

Another dry board. The betting range ended up being low cause I decided to slowplay all the sets.
Very standard frequency on such board and preflop ranges. I wouldnt slowplay all sets. Probably just AA because it blocks so many top pairs. But TT, 55 have so much value, and I wouldnt slowplay them. The downside of slowplay on board of 2 broadways is that villian will check back so many middle pairs and weaker top pairs. He has also many GS combos that he can float or cr, in which case you really lose value with sets.

I would also cc some KQ, JQ combos, so that we can in call range have some nuts on turn and river. Also if you have 100% bluff catchers in call range, then you dont exploit villian once he bets flop and checks back turn (you dont bluff with anything). In that way, you can cbet some weaker bluffs, and cc some KQ, JQ, and this way you can cf less %.

You wrote you bluff Tx hands. Thats not good, because they have > 50% equity vs villian range, so you can comfortable cc flop and cf turn. With 5x hands, you dont have so much equity and hand needs more protection, you you can turn it into semi bluff.

1. What do you think about x/c only and not betting anything on this board? Position isn't too important here and our strong hands are really strong.
That makes sense only if villian has much stronger range. For example, when you cc preflop, on most flops you have weaker range than villian. Thats the only reason why you mostly check 100% range, you dont check because of the preflop initiative. So the same if you have preflop initiative, and villian has stronger range, then you check 100% hands.
If that is not the case, you lose a ton of value when you check your value hands, and you lose the chance to bluff your bdfd which play bad as cc.

Would you x/r any sets like 55 or TT maybe. I think AA should definitely be x/c since it has many TP blockers and won't really have anything to get value from? I thought that TT and 55 are a good x/c as I don't expect them to have hit a lot that would continue against a x/r and I think x/c is more +EV
55, TT I would cc only vs guy who bets too frequently vs check. Otherwise cbet, or cr. On this board, only draws are GS which cant call your raise, so you raise only vs Ax hands mostly, which means you can slowplay.
• Silver
Joined: 01.05.2013
guys, what do you think on this hand?

we in co open with this range:22+,A2s+,K7s+,Q8s+,J7s+,T7s+,96s+,85s+,75s+,65s,54s,A8o+,K9o+,QTo+

and only btn flats
flop comes: K T 2

how would you play and why?

My range would look like:

bet value: KK+,AKs,AKo,TT,KTs,KTo (33c)

out of them 3bet value vs raise TT,KTs,KTo (12c)
other 21c call vs raise

bet bluff and draws betting: AQ (15c), AJ(15c), Ah9h-Ah3h (7), Ah9x(3),Ah8x(3),QhxJxh(6),QJs(3),Q9s(3),Q8s(3),J8s(3),9h9x-7h7x(9) T9s-T7s(9) [69c]

3bet bluff vs raise: T9s,T8s,T7s (9c)
call draws vs raise: AhQx,AhJx,QhxJxh, Ah9h-Ah3h (19)
other 41c fold

check raise value: 22,AhJh,Ah2h,QhJh,Qh9h,Jh9h,AhQh (9c)
check raise bluff: A2(2),J9(3),Th7h,8h6h,8h5h,7h6h,7h5h,6h5h,5h4h (11c)

check calling: JJ-QQ,ATs,KJs+,K7s-K9s,QTs,JTs,ATo,KJo+,K9o,QTo,QdJc,QsJd,QsJc,QcJd,QcJs,Qh8h,Jh8h,Jh7h,9h8h,9h7h,9h6h,8h7h,QdJs (94c)

check folding (105c)

some considerations:
Am I playing small flushdraws right? (9high and lower) What your opinions?
what flushdraws to check call? (on this board there arent many high flushdraws so I x/c 9 and some 8 high flushdraws)
Is it ok to bet bluff with 9h9x-7h7x?
Is it good to 3bet bluff Tx?
Do I defend enough bet calling range with my strong hands?
Do I x/r too many combo-monster draws?

here is visual range
• Black
Joined: 05.08.2007

check raise value: 22,AhJh,Ah2h,QhJh,Qh9h,Jh9h,AhQh (9c)
check raise bluff: A2(2),J9(3),Th7h,8h6h,8h5h,7h6h,7h5h,6h5h,5h4h (11c)
So you cr only 3 combo value, and 17 combo bluff? I dont think that hands like Ah2h, QhJh and similar are really value, it is semi bluff. You have around 50% equity vs bluff catchers that call your raise. So imo we should count them as 0.5 combos bluff and 0.5 combos value. Since you want 1:2 ratio, it means that for each semi bluff you can add 0.5 additional bluffs. And similar for weaker draws. So since you have 6 strong draw combos, it means you can have 3 additional bluffs for them. For 22 you can have 6 additional bluffs. That means 9 combos bluff. Why did you choose 11 combo bluff? And this all assumes perfectly polarized ranges, which is not the case here, meaning that we should remove some bluff combos.
• Silver
Joined: 01.05.2013
what would you x/r?
• Bronze
Joined: 14.03.2009
I learned more reading this thread than I have in the last months 50+ hours of study time... Excellent thread