Sunday, March 11, 2012

Me vs. Sonny, part 2.

I played one more big hand vs. Sonny, although I'm wondering if I played the hand well. I'm going to analyze the hand below and see what conclusion I come up with.

One limper to me, I punish again to $4 with pocket sixes. Sonny is in the blinds this time, and he three bets $14. All else fold to me.

The default play is to fold, setmining in 3bet pots isn't profitable most of the time. "How much do you have back, there, sir", I ask Sonny. He's a good player, he pretty much knows without counting. "About one-forty, one-forty-five", he says. I have him covered.

Even though his stack is above an average 100 bigs, I still don't really have odds to call. I'm getting 10:1 effective implied odds, most advice I've seen calls for 15:1 or even 20:1 implied odds to setmine a 3bet. Admittedly, these rules of thumb were not present in my mind as I pondered my decision. What went through my mind was a more fuzzy "hmmm, bigger stack than normal, I don't have to auto-fold here", and then made the call. I'm not thrilled with this decision.

Before seeing a flop, I put Sonny on a range. I felt like his range might be a bit wider than AA/KK/QQ, because a) he was a good player who is capable of 3betting lighter, and b) I had been running the table over pretty good and not showing down much, and he might be getting sick of it and making a move. I decided on JJ+, AK, AQ, and a couple combos of bluffs as my range for him.

I didn't flop my set, but hit the next-best thing, a 4-5-7 board. It's not often that you hit a draw with a small pocket pair, but I had done just that. Draws are great because you can continue aggression with semibluffs, and then get bailed out by hitting a hand on future streets.

Sonny continued his aggression and made a $23 cbet into a $31-ish pot. A very strong move, and I pondered what to do. I already knew he wasn't folding any of his overpairs (I had seen him go broke with QQ against KK earlier), but I also felt like his range had widened enough that he missed this board at least as often as he hit it.

I didn't feel like I could just call and try to hit. Any six, three, or eight that gave me a winner also put a 4 card straight out there, and he would easily check/fold to all those cards. Folding seemed a waste - I had been given this rare opportunity to semibluff, and wanted to take advantage. So that left raising. Shoving was too big, $126 into a currently $54 pot. I went with a standard raise, $60. As I slid the chips out there, I realized I was again wading out of my comfort zone, about to commit 74 big blinds with flippin' pocket sixes. I wasn't sure if I had just committed myself to calling a shove in a spot where I would almost certainly be behind, but I figured I would have time to do that math if I was faced with that decision.

Sonny heaved a big sigh, and I knew he was folding. He complained that he felt like he was still folding the best hand, which I'm guessing means he had ace-king.

So was my semibluff a good one, or was I just being an aggro-spew-monkey by putting 74 big blinds into the pot with pocket sixes? Let's bring in the visual aid... 

3Bet pots are fairly easy to analyze because ranges are generally tighter, and even easier when you've got Flopzilla to help you. As I mentioned, I've got his range at AQ, AK, and JJ+, with T9s acting as 4 combos of bluffs. We're left with 3 possible hand types that Sonny can have.

Unpaired overcards (shown as "Ace High" and "No made hand" in the screenshot): He has these 60% of the time, and is going to have to fold to my raise.

An overpair: He has these 40% of the time. I'm assuming he never folds an overpair here, so he'll be shoving over my raise.

The third possibility is that he hit a flush draw with the 2 spades on the board. (AsKs, AsQs, or Ts9s make up the combos in my example. I'm using Ts9s as a bluff type hand, but I'm going to include this one combo here to represent the possibility that he decides to shove with a flush draw that he happened to hit on a bluff). These few combos make up 5% of the "Unpaired overcards" above. This is a decent player, so I think he shoves his flush draws also, which means we really don't have to treat them differently than overpairs.

The math is as easy as pie now. The pot is $54 before my raise. He folds 60% of the time, meaning I win $32.40 when he folds. If he shoves and I fold immediately, then 40% of the time I lose my $60 raise, for a net of -$24. So my semibluff nets me $8.40!**

Finally, let's take into the case where Sonny shoves, and see if a call is correct or not. He has $103 after his cbet (140-23-14). The pot is currently 217 after his shove (Sonny puts in 140. I put in 60+14. The limper and blinds put in 3). I have to call $43 to win $217, giving me 5:1 odds on a call. With these odds, I have to win about 16% of the time to turn a profit. His shoving range is JJ+, and the three spades hands (see below). Against that range, I am 39% to win, meaning a call would be mandatory.

26,730 games 0.025 secs 1,069,200 games/sec 
Board: 4s 5d 7s 

Hand 0: 61.173% 60.47% 00.70% 16164 187.50 { JJ+, AsKs, AsQs, Ts9s } 
Hand 1: 38.827% 38.13% 00.70% 10191 187.50 { 6c6d }

So there you have it. My preflop call of the three bet was marginal. But my flop raise was certainly profitable**, and even getting all in with 66 against his shoving range would have been profitable also, had the hand gotten that far.

**All this analysis is based on my assumptions of his range, which I have pegged somewhat wider than normal. If he's only 3betting AA/KK/QQ, then I'm in much bigger trouble here the whole way.

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