Originally Posted by LeGenie
I really appreciate the feedback. I look forward to hearing your continued analysis of this hand
Hey yeah kinda forgot about this topic. Sorry about that. I'm moving this weekend and will be pretty busy for the next little while, but true to my word I'll try and do up another reply for you on the matter. Poker is about planning your hands over multiple streets such that you do everything you can control to maximize your expected value (~not~ necessarily on a hand by hand basis) through whatever course of action you take. This unfortunately can't be quantified based on one singular hand or its result, but the more you're able to note (literally or mentally) various bits of information about your opponents (what they do in different spots, etc) and infer from such information, the farther you'll be able to push your EV simply by developing exploitative lines.
People tend to forget that with poker you're not playing cards or spots or whatever else so much as you're playing people. I read all these HH topics from players saying "what am I supposed to do here" and all anyone can really do is answer based on general network wide tendencies of the player pool at whatever stakes the posted hand is from... although to be fair a quality in depth response (as in not the kind I tend to give lol) accounts for this and would explain not only why A is better than B or C but probably when B would be better than A as well. It's next to impossible for most people to explain how to play poker. You see comments around here like "3 bet pre" for example and the OP never realizes that to 3bet his TT or AQ or K5s or whatever the hand in question is he also has to fundamentally change his game at the same time which goes beyond simply rebuilding his preflop ranges. All that in mind I feel like when I stated earlier that I would elaborate on how to plan this particular hand I got myself into a situation where I have to pretty much explain the game of poker itself for any of it to be valid.
Let's just focus on the river as played. Instead of planning the entire hand I'll compromise with you and explain how we might go about evaluating the best course of action otr. Makes things simple as we don't have future streets to concern ourselves with (our decision tree is more like a sprout). We are unfortunately out of position, faced with a decision while a third of a buy in sits in the middle and like 184 or so blinds behind still. We have been attempting to narrow his range throughout the hand in order to assign him an array of possible holdings that are much more likely than the rest of the hands (that certainly have a non zero chance of showing up here themselves) we've set aside. Suppose we estimate that he defends his straddle approximately half the time in single raised posts. This still leaves a lot of hands but makes stuff like 96o or 86o unlikely and removes some flush combos also should a 3 flush board come in.
When he checks behind otf we now decide the likelihood of a) this player slowplaying a complete monster, b) looking to improve upon a weakish made hand that he's not convinced is best yet, or c) giving up on the hand with a hand that missed the board by a mile. We decide C is not likely at all given his LAG style and that the flop is actually pretty good for a fair bit of that 50% range of hands we estimated earlier. We decide A is also unlikely based on things like flop texture and stack depth not to mention that flopping monsters in general is pretty hard to do... but we need to be aware of whether this player has a history of letting free cards peel when he's strong and whether he's one of those "trappy" lagfish. We bet the turn and get called, so we can all but eliminate option C entirely. This player has some kind of hand or draw. Going back to that very rough 50%ish preflop range, possible hands here would include let's say A9 A8 KQ KJ KT QT Q9 J9 J8 J7 TT T9 T8 T7 76 66 and god knows what else. Various backdoor club draws are also a lot more likely than if we hadn't failed to bet the flop. Again it's all very rough, and it just depends on what we feel he will call ott with based on what we've seen about his play not to mention what we believe he would've 3 bet preflop (whether or not he's likely to flat AKo there, etc). We ask ourselves right about now whether we've seen this player flat call 2p+ in similar spots. All very relevant stuff to ponder playing a hand like this. For the purpose of this analysis we'll assume he wouldn't check behind otf and smooth call ott with a hand like kings up even if he does play a K9o or a K8o against a UTG raise.
Now our river action. The above gives us a bit of a framework to plan around, and we will use the list of hands I named off after the turn action and hope villain's range isn't too dissimilar from it. We can look at bet/fold, bet/call, check/fold, and check/call... without getting too much into the different possible bet sizes. If this player calls otr with all 1p hands 7s or higher and raises all 2p+, then just using the aforementioned hand range he'll pay us off with 66 different combos of hands that make one pair and win the pot with 30 combos of hands that make a pair of kings as well as the 28 combos of 2p+ that raise us (obviously bet/call under these circumstances is dominated by bet/fold). We don't profit from the various whiffed flush and straight draws or the pocket 6s but we do win a bet from 66 different hands versus 58 that collect our bet from us. This makes bet/folding the river quite thin but still a profitable action. With a half pot bet (a little more than but not too far from what you bet on the turn) you earn approximately 2.3 blinds on average when called in this spot by sticking in that ~17bb bet otr.
Because he has to call with pretty much all his pairs for betting to be marginally profitable, he needs to either think you're bluffing a disproportionate amount of the time in this instance or be a bit of a moron. If we instead suppose he only calls with 8s or better as opposed to 7s or better, then again using the aforementioned hand range we now only collect a river bet from 36 hand combos instead of 66. We still get owned by the same 58 combinations so bet/folding here would now become much much less appealing just by taking out a few 7x hands from his calling range. It's true bet/folding has the advantage of perhaps folding out some of his whiffed hands that bluff us off the pot if we check/fold, another option we have - check/call - will prove superior to both check/fold and bet/fold against a player we suspect has a strong tendency to bluff us should we check here otr... so it's kind of a moot point. We'll look at check/call next to verify this.
Suppose he bets his entire range otr once we check. This is not unheard of in the least for a lagfish. Again he has 58 combinations of hands that win a showdown but there's another 88 or so hands our jacks are still beating. By betting all 146 hand combos in his range we can very easily exploit him just by calling off. On average we bank almost 9bb here every time (regardless if we win or lose) if he uses a half pot bet size so the numbers show it to be vastly superior to bet/folding against a player who even calls as wide as 76o. Common sense dictates that we never ever fold when a player is bluffing more than 50% of the time regardless of his bet size. Check/raising instead of check/calling might be more profitable still, depending on how much of his value range it folds out. In this particular spot I don't advise it lol but anyway the goal is not to find a profitable course of action but rather the most profitable course of action.
What if we estimate this player would probably bet 100% of the hands that beat us and only a third of the hands we can beat? Check/calling becomes less attractive as this lag's bluffing frequency decreases but we can play with the numbers and see how viable it is. Villain bets again 58 combos for value and 88/3 or ~29.3 combos as bluffs. His bet is still a bluff 29.3/87.3 or ~33.6% of the time and that's how often we'll win the pot should we call. As poker players we know that a half pot bet affords us 25% pot odds
and we only need to win that percentage of the time to break even. We're well above it and so despite losing the pot 2 times out of 3 the check/call approach has an EV of more than 5.7bb when the bet size is ½ pot.
It's really starting to look like check/call is our soundest option here isn't it. Even when he gives up entirely in position with his weak hands 67% of the time, check/calling to pick off bluffs is quite lucrative. The option becomes even more attractive if he checks behind with some of the Kx hands that beat us instead of betting them. Everything comes down to the ranges you assign your opponent though. He can only bluff with air otr for instance if he has air in his range that gets to the river to begin with. Maybe this particular LAG is unbalanced toward made hands he's unlikely to bluff with after checking the flop and calling the turn. That's something you should be able to ascertain as well as or better than anyone else here.
We've also had to make some assumptions here and there of course to produce the numbers I've been working with. Obviously the more diligently you can profile players by studying their actions and w/e, the more accurate these assumptions are going to be. The range of hands is probably way off (it's late yo) but I mean the hands themselves are beside the point this is more about how to weigh your options. I didn't get into accounting for his perception of our own range and all that either because one I don't have time and two against a fish at 2/5 it isn't exactly critical. The final point is to disregard everything I said in this post as it's all complete crap. Grats though if you made it to the end.