Discussion for Niman's How The Games Have Changed 600NL Review.
doncamatic Poker Newbie
15 PostsVery interesting idea for a video. Looking forward to watching it.
The video was awkwardly funny, but i didn't get anything out of it. The concepts you talked about were much too basic.
On the positive side, you were spot on how the state of todays games should change your plays.
I hated the idea of 4bet/calling with AJ for about 110 BB starting in the hijack. The SB coldcaller (he coldcalled a Buttons 3 bet when they were quite deep) could easily call something like (TT,) JJ, QQ, AK, AQs which he will shove over your 4bet if the button folds, being 110 BB deep with you. Those hands have you crushed and the call will be hugely -ev. The break-even point for your call of the shove to be profitable is with a 4bet-size of about 40% of your stack. I doubt you will ever 4-bet this huge in this situation.
Nevertheless, AJ is one of the best 4bet-bluff hands and since the situation is good, 4bet/folding is the best play in my opinion.
tompoker, what were the bet sizes? considering that AJ has at least 30% equity against anything except AA, and is flipping against a few shoving hands, I think folding after 4-betting as you suggest would be very bad from a mathematical standpoint. But I don't remember the bet sizes and stacks: if you relay them to me, I can either prove my point or agree to yours.
Blinds were 3$/6$, your stack was 646$ with both the BU and BB having you covered. You raised AJo UTG 5-handed (so technically in the hijack) to 17$, BU 3-bet to 60$, BB coldcalled the 60$ bet (he is 170BB deep with BU). Now it's you to act.
By the way, AJo does not have an equity of over 30% versus QQ-AA, AK and AQ, and ~30% versus JJ.
Against an optimistic stack-off range in this situation of 77-QQ, AK and AQs you have 35% equity with AJo. Assuming you would 4-bet to 180$, which i think is very large (i would 4-bet to 160$, do you think this is worse?), then you have a break-even call.
Against a more realistic stack-off range of the SB, especially considering this is ~2 years ago, of TT-QQ, 1 combo of AA (slowplay), 1/2 of AK (the other half he 4-bets himself) and AQs your equity is down to 30.7% and your call of the 5-bet shove, even after a hefty 180$ 4-bet, has an ev of -50$. The break-even point for a call of the shove for this situation is with a 4-bet size of 230$, which is 35.6% of your starting-stack.
The BU 5-bet range has to be even stronger, since the SB with whom he is deep with is still to act and could potentially have slowplayed a monster.
I am looking forward to your calculations and really hope that i am wrong, since that would bring up a leak of mine.
So if you four bet to 180 (anything less would allow a player in position to profitably CALL with most of his range which would put you in a grotesque position regardless of the flop) and get shoved on by the button, you would have to call 466 to win 892 (your 180 + button 646 + sb 60 + bb 6). In order to make this call correct, you would need equity of 34.4%. If your equity is 35% as per your assumptions, then you would be making a bad fold. Note also that you have to add in the occasional 5-bet shove bluff as a potential hand for the button (admittedly not frequent but not negligible either). Moreover, it is obviously a horrible idea to put yourself in a situation where you have to fold getting close to (but not quite) the correct odds to call. Your raises should be ones in which you can comfortably call or comfortably fold to shoves: otherwise you are making a huge game theory mistake. Finally, one last point is that against frequent three bettors, it is absolutely necessary to have a larger four-bet calling range so that you can four bet bluff more often. If you are four betting often to combat a frequent three bettor - but are then folding to shoves with all but your premiums, then your opponent can profitably shove over your four bets with a wide range. ... So basically, based on pure mathematics, and looking at the hand in isolation, four-bet calling and four bet folding seem to be very close to each other in equity. But if add in game theory optimization, balance, and meta game considerations, four betting to call is much better than four betting to fold. Of course, having said all that, it is still unclear (and very much a function of the button and small blind's respective frequencies) whether it is just best to simply fold to the three bet.
Thank you very much for your answer. I did not considerate a bluff-shove hand and the fact that such a big 4-bet is necessary to prevent a profitable call with a bunch of hands.
I think balance and meta game is considered by only 4-bet-bluffing with some combos (or even all) of AJ and KQ and nothing else, and 4-bet/calling AQ instead.
GadirGadir Poker Newbie
6 PostsI completely disagree with that AJo hand analysis. First of all if you pokerstove that spot you will find outyou do not have 35% but around 30-31% at most against any kind of reasonable stack off range which actually makes a significant difference as even by 4-betting HUGE to 180 you still do not have enough equity to call a shove. Secondly, advocating 4-bettting to minimum 180 with a 646 stack is just absurd, I know niman likes to have very big 4-bet sizes or also very big flop 3-bet sizes but there should be a reason nobody else does this at 3/6+ NL! Sure you will get flatted sometimes by not 4-bettting super big but thats not so bad and there are lots of hands that will still fold to the 4-bet. Let say you get 4-bet to 150 here, do you really think its a profitable call with A8o, K6s or whatever other bluff hands you may have? Come on, no way it is. Lastly, let say the BTN value range is arpund 99+,AQo+, thats already 5.1% of hands (against which AJo as 29.6% equity, far from 35%) not taking into account the BB so you absolutely need the BTN to be 3-betting a HUGE amount and pick up a lot of pots preflop to even consider 4-bet calling AJo given how bad you get in on average. So 4-bet calling AJo, without a read that the BTN is insanely aggro, is just going to be very -EV.
GadirGadir, thanks for the feedback. Let me see if I can explain my reasoning in further detail. Your statements are in quotation marks.
"First of all if you pokerstove that spot you will find outyou do not have 35% but around 30-31% at most against any kind of reasonable stack off range" ... I think this is incorrect. Your equity is 35% using the (very reasonable) range that tompoker suggested. Note that he completely left off any possibility of a bluff shove from your opponent. Since there is obviously some non-negligible possibility of that, your equity becomes even greater.
"Secondly, advocating 4-bettting to minimum 180 with a 646 stack is just absurd, I know niman likes to have very big 4-bet sizes or also very big flop 3-bet sizes but there should be a reason nobody else does this at 3/6+ NL! Sure you will get flatted sometimes by not 4-bettting super big but thats not so bad and there are lots of hands that will still fold to the 4-bet." ... This is very wrong. If you use the logic that this is correct because 'nobody else is doing it,' to make your decisions, then you are really going to have a hard time getting ahead and beating everyone else. Whenever you do - or don't do - something in poker, it is of paramount importance to understand the reason why. Let me break down this particular situation for you. With regards to small four-betting oop, it USED to be a decent play to four-bet small for one very clear and specific reason. Most opponents responded to four-bets - regardless of size - by shoving or folding. Obviously, it goes without saying that if your opponent is going to shove or fold, then you should always make the smallest possible raise. However, as the game as evolved and players continue to game-theory optimize their play, the good players have incorporated calling of four bets (that are too small) into their game, especially in position. Considering that many players are three betting hands like 55, 87s, etc, four betting small gives them the absolute correct odds to call with those hands in position (as well as calling with big hands to balance). This of course, makes a hand like AJo a disaster to play oop after having four bet with still plenty of stack left behind. In this particular hand, you propose making it 150. That means that the button has to call only 90 into a pot that now has 276 - better than 3-1 in direct odds! And of course, the increased playability of his hand and best position puts him in a hugely +EV position with plenty of stack left behind. This is of course particularly true when you have a hand like AJo that is almost never going to play well after the flop. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to understand WHY a play is good or bad - and not just go along with it because the majority are doing it. If you investigate the reasons behind the necessity of a larger four bet, you should understand that it is not only not "absurd" as you say, but it is a significant mistake to four bet smaller in this type of situation against a decent player that can call the four bet.
Finally, in your post, you are ignoring the very important consideration of balance. If you are facing a frequent three bettor - especially one who three bets you often in position - you need to combat that by increasing your four-betting frequency. However, if you increase your four-bet frequency, but do not correspondingly increase the frequency with which you call a five-bet shove, you will create an intrinsic imbalance in your play. In order to maintain your balance (and thus not be able to be incessantly five-bet), it becomes necessary for meta-game considerations to increase your range to stack-off range. And as such, you may have to give up a little bit in isolationist equity to fit the bigger picture in close spots such as this one. So in summary: (1) your equity is closer to 35% than 30-31%, but even if it were closer to the latter, it is necessary to increase your four-bet-calling range in order to increase your four-betting frequency. (2) the four bet should be to at least 180. try to avoid the mass mentality of four-betting small just because everyone is doing it and understand the specfics of the situation to determine appropriate sizing. (3) So ultimately, four-betting to call > four-betting to fold here. Having said that, just folding to the three-bet may well be the best decision.