I don't know if it's of any importance, by the way, but I forgot to mention that villain can't know my tendencies either. I just changed my ID on Party Poker
yesterday and have only played 100 hands since.
Originally Posted by Zybomb
How to proceed here is generally decided (IMO) by how we would (and how our opponents believe we would) play AA in this spot. Would we three bet the flop? Call then raise a blank turn? Call the call a blank turn?
Whatever the line is, I suggest we take the same line with our 42o in this spot.
I tentatively agree. I think we should take the same line as we would with the strongest part of our range, but AA isn't at the top of it - 99 is. So substitute AA for 99 and I'm right there with you. The reason I say that is because a lot of the value from a hand like AA comes from catching bluffs (i.e. calling when he shoves with a flushdraw), where as 99 stacks his monsters. It's subtle, but it's important, I think.
Originally Posted by BelgoSuisse
i don't think we can 3bet pot-sized because it gives villain the last bet for stacks.
I definitely agree. And it's why I'd raise pot-sized with AA but not necessarily with 99.
I think my choices are between flatting and betting the turn when checked to and 3-betting small. Both are lines I could take with 99. I don't like flatting and checking back the turn if given the option, because this can be a stab-taking checkraise too often to forfeit fold equity like that and he has the chance to "bluff first" at the river, which - if the river is not a spade - he often will. And while flatting flop, checking back turn and raising river as a bluff is a very sexy line, I think it's a little bit better suited for an opponent we know well.
If I make my 3-bet something like $75 and he
* re-raises, I think I have an easy fold. Even if there'd be room to shove I don't think I have any fold equity at that point since I find it hard to fathom that he'd 4-bet bluff the flop against an unknown. He may be on a flushdraw (probably the most likely part of his range) but he's still not folding that to a shove and I'm of course holding the nut low.
* folds, I'm a happy camper, having gotten away with a cheap bluff
* calls, I can make a ~2/3rds bet on the turn (regardless of the turn card) without being committed. If he calls again on the turn, I'll have left another 2/3rds bet in my stack for a river shove (as bluff or for value)
However, I'm not sure what kind of hands a random aggressive opponent might flat a 3bet with OOP on this board. I mean, he's 45/35 at this point but it's only like 10 hands. I would guess that he'll flat with medium strength hands that don't quite believe me when I 3-bet the flop and decide to peel. Stuff like A9, maybe, or 88. Maybe 76 or 87 peels a small 3-bet thinking that my action indicates a monster and that he'll stack me if he gets there. I think it's safe to say that his flatting range is fairly narrow but not very strong, at least. If he flopped a set I think it's unusual for him not to try to get it all-in on the flop. So when he calls and the turn is safe (a red deuce, say) I think I'll be able to take it down very often with a bet. Perhaps, by making the 3bet small, we may even induce some really weak hands to come along and win some extra money when we bluff the turn? This is dangerous territory against an unknown, though, but fun idea to play with.
But that's secondary. If I raise the flop small, I'm of course hoping that he folds. But what if we flat?
What I don't like about flatting is that often (most of the time?) we're going to have to shove the turn to win the pot because I think he'll bet the turn more often than not. And unless he makes it super small, we can't call for pot odds
. What I like about flatting is that it allows us to find out if he's just spite-raising the flop and we have a much safer bluff when he checks to us on the turn (since that's very rarely going to be a strong hand). It also, of course, guarantees that we actually get to see a turn, which 3-betting the flop doesn't.
However, it's also the case that our outs are tainted. If he's checkraising on a semibluff, 87 is a part of that range and that takes away sixes from our clean outs. And of the four aces, the ace of spade is of course dangerous - and the other aces may just kill our action instead of letting us stack him (e.g. he check/raised the flop with TT and a red ace falls on the turn).
Overall, I'm leaning towards a small 3-bet with an option to bluff the turn if called and giving up if re-raised. But I'd like to hear more arguments for and against it.