Why live poker is still profitable, episode #193

Semi-bluffing can work, I think, especially since you won’t semi bluff all the time. The key is consistency – you don’t want it in bluffing. Once you note that when you check, your opponent will raise the majority of the time, whether or not they have anything, you can design your strategy around this. It’s rare to see a player who usually raises leave the table with more chips than they started with.

But you’re right in that bluffing can work in a super tight limit table. A couple times. Then people take note. I personally only totally bluff when the table has already checked around and there are a lot of people in the pot, and even then I usually don’t take the pot without a showdown. All it does is increase the chances of me taking the pot with the better crap hand than the few remaining people who stayed in, and still I don’t bluff all the time or people would take notice.

Then again, I am a noob at bluffing in limit games so I may be wrong. I just know that empirically it doesn’t seem to work.

Damn, that’s gutsy play with pocket sevens, dude.

Yep. In my case this was a £2/5 table, so 1000 big blinds = £5,000 = about $8400. That’ll buy a lot of cheeseburgers.

Yep. And it’s a horrible horrible idea. Never ever let people know you’re capable of making big folds, because I guarantee you there is at least one player at your table that will spot that and attack you relentlessly. Being able to fold a big hand is a rare and wondrous thing at the low-stakes, where the two main flaws for most players are a) playing too many hands, and b) calling too much, but ideally you don’t want to let the table know you can make a big laydown. **

notfrommensa, **that is indeed an impressive laydown, but now the table knows both that you a) three-bet with your premium hand, and b) will fold to further aggressive action without the nuts. I’d much rather you fold face down, which maintains at least the possibility that you were 3-betting a bit light. Nothing worse than getting AA, 3-betting and watching everyone fold.

Secondly - I admit, I don’t play tournaments, but first, that UTG+4 raise looks too big for tournament play (5x??), and your three-bet sizing (basically a min-raise) looks ridiculously small. You have an UTG+4 open from a guy that’s been ‘opening a lot of pots’. You have a big hand- raise for value! You’d just as soon not play against half the table; ideally you’ll be heads-up against UTG+4. I’d make it 3500 or something. If he folds, he folds. Yes, in this case you ran into the top of his range. You still need to raise bigger.

Also, I know you said you wanted to ‘project a nitty image’ so that when you did make a big move, you could get folds (‘well if he folded queens there, but he’s raising now, he must have it’).

My quibble with that is - this is low-stakes poker, even vs nits when they absolutely should fold, they’re still going to call! Last week I saw a guy - a semi-regular, no less - make a huge call on the river to Old Guy Nit that would never be putting a penny in the pot without the stone cold fucking nuts - I mean, nobody should ever lose a big pot to this guy unless it’s a total cooler (i.e, suck-out; we have the best hand but the guy hits the one miracle card on the river that wins).

I don’t like trying to move people off their hands. It just doesn’t work that often; they call too much. My game is generally pure value play: I usually don’t -want- folds. I don’t *want *the guy to fold his top pair to me. Ever. I want him calling all three streets with A7o when I have AK.

I’ve never played limit hold 'em, but how in the world could you possibly bluff if you can almost never raise enough to deny someone the odds to properly call??

Note that in most card rooms (at least, every card room I’ve played in the last few years), you’re *not *allowed to show your cards during the hand. And in some card rooms, showing your cards (even just one) during the hand can mean your hand is dead and you lose the pot.

Well, I didn’t really give the entire hand history - trust me, KK is a fold, and I don’t think it’s even that hard of a fold. Yes, ‘KKKAA’ is a monster hand in absolute terms, but in relative terms on this board and the given action, it’s literally just a bluff-catcher (i.e., the only way he wins the hand is if I’m bluffing…).

I raised pre-flop from UTG. Villain 3-bet me with no callers in between (i.e., he’s not squeezing as a semi-bluff to pick up the dead money in the pot), and I flatted (i.e., just called*).

Now, I’m pretty much your classic definition of TAG (tight/aggressive). I play strong hands, particularly from early position. Which means that in general, a reasonable range from UTG to *flat *a 3-bet can be assumed to be pretty much JJ/QQ/KK/AA/AQ/AK. *Maybe pocket 10s. *

Suited connectors are very very unlikely - a hand like J10 does *horribly *vs big pocket pairs in big 3-bet preflop pots. So that means on that AKQ board, I almost -never- have JT. Like, literally never (in that situation, I’m either folding J10 (97% of the time) or shoving (3%) as a bluff. I think I could get notfrommensa to fold :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, from villain’s perspective: on the turn, when the board is AKQA, of my ‘standard’ range, the only hands he beats are JJ and QQ. And JJ is very very unlikely to: Would JJ bet flop and then bet turn on that board, when *villain *obviously has essentially the same range? I’d have to be a complete idiot and be putting villain on pocket 10s to make that move with JJ. With QQ, same thing - I’d have to put Villain on JJ, and we already saw that isn’t logical on that board.

I obviously can’t have KK (two in villain’s hand, one on the board). Villain can account for one Ace and one Queen. So there are two combos of AK, three combos of QQ, 1 combo of AA, and 6 combos of AQ. So of those 12 combos, he beats exactly 3 - QQ - and that has to assume that on an AKQA board, I have QQ and am putting a villain that 3-bet an UTG raise pre-flop has JJ or worse.

Or I’m bluffing…and I don’t know anybody that bluffs off his stack by *calling *a preflop 3-bet, bets flop, bets turn, shoves river with pure air into a huge pot vs an opponent that’s been calling all the way.

So basically - no, there’s almost no way villain is good on the turn, and there are far, far more hands villain loses to vs beats. I never show up there with A6, so he can dismiss that from his range…

  • I could have 4-bet shoved, or just 4-bet then called the inevitable 5-bet if he had KK…but I just called, for two reasons. One, it was already going to be heads-up so I wasn’t worried about having to face multiple people in the hand. Second, a 4-bet there looks *so *strong - basically KK or AA, and since he has KK, it sure screams ‘I haz Aces!’. Now, folding KK pre-flop doesn’t happen that often, and I don’t know if this villain is capable of folding KK prelop…but I didn’t want to give him the chance to make a hero fold. Plus I don’t want him to fold all his worse hands like AQ/AK, smaller pocket pairs (rare) or random bluffs (rare).

Sorry just had to share this ridonkulous hand from last night, didn’t involve me tho; I don’t have the cajones.

About £350 in the pot and we’re on the river. Board is A8876, no flush. Preflop raiser shoves for £325. Villain tanks and tanks and tanks and tanks. And calls.

And it’s a chopped pot, K7o vs T7s.

Mind blown.

Nice! I like the shove, but as has been mentioned upthread, sometimes a shove on the river can look like a weak bet. Clearly that’s what the caller convinced himself, perhaps he thought he was going to beat a pure bluff? But it’s hard to argue that’s a good call. You must be hoping you get into a similar situation against that player when you hold the nuts!

By the way, in your previous post, you seem to be assuming villain knows all this as well. Was there reason to expect him to have this knowledge? Fair enough if you are both regulars at this game, but if not then he just may not have realised how you play (or been too slow to notice).