$2 NLHE 6-max: limped pot, flop top pair facing PSB.

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Casey55

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I've seen the villain limping before, not sure how high he's vpiping and havn't picked up any reads yet.

pokerstars, Hold'em No Limit - $0.01/$0.02 - 6 players
Hand delivered by Upswing Poker

UTG: $5.08 (254 bb)
MP: $3.02 (151 bb)
CO: $2.00 (100 bb)
BU: $2.58 (129 bb)
SB (Hero): $2.10 (105 bb)
BB: $2.06 (103 bb)

Pre-Flop: ($0.03) Hero is SB with 9 T
UTG calls $0.02, 3 players fold, Hero calls $0.01, BB checks

Flop: ($0.06) 9 4 2 (3 players)
Hero checks, BB checks, UTG bets $0.06, Hero calls $0.06, BB folds

Turn: ($0.18) 3 (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG bets $0.08, Hero calls $0.08

River: ($0.34) 7 (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG bets $0.10, SB (Hero) ...?

On the flop I was thinking about MDF meaning we would need to defend half our range, I thought top pair would a defend. I am trying to think of a range which he limps and I guess I would give him something like this:



Its interesting because he bets pot are we giving him a polarized range here?
- Do you think he would pot with under-pairs like 55-88 ? seems optimistic I guess...
- I think he may pot with his gut-shots, namely 65s,A5s and A3s.

I need 33% equity to call flop I think I have it if he pots with his gut-shots and FD's. was also thinking about MDF and top pair is probably in the 50% defending range.

On the turn his gut-shots get there, top pair is still top pair. V sizes down now and bets 44% pot. I find this interesting and not sure how to interpret this besides a value bet I guess? since many of his draws could check behind for a free river.

I call and river comes, and it completes villains FD's if he was semi-bluffing, now I check and V bets very small . I'm getting 4.5:1. Because villain sized down this made me suspicious he was trying to string me along for thin value, all his bluffs got there and I thought I was probably never good. I folded. I think maybe it was worth the 10c for information but maybe its better to save 5bb long term lol. Thoughts?
 
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fundiver199

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Preflop
I would also complete with T9o.

Flop
In limped pots nobody have the initiative, so the standard approach of always checking out of position does not apply. We talk about “naturally checking to the preflop raiser”. We dont talk about “naturally checking to the preflop limper”. I personally do a lot of leading in limped pots, whenever I connect with the flop, and this hand certainly connect. The issue with check-calling is, it puts you in this passive position, where you allow them to control the size of the pot, and you typically always end up playing some kind of guessing game.

Turn
3c is one of the better cards, we could hope to see, even though it did complete A5 and 65. As played a very standard check-call.

River
Now frontdoor spades come in, but I am definitely not going to fold top pair, when he bet less than 25% of the pot. Dont level yourself into thinking, that small bets are always fat value. This is definitely not true. He is a fish, and fish will sometimes bluff with this sizing, because its a cheap shot. Or they will bet an in between hand like A7 for no good reason.

You say, you were thinking about MDF on the flop, but the river is, where the concept truly apply, because you either have the best hand, or you dont. And if you fold a lot to small river bets like this, you are simply not playing good poker. If he is bluffing you here, it only needs to work less than 25% of the time, so you need to defend with at least 75% of your hands, that get to the river this way.

Not saying, that you always need to defend exactly 75%, and in real time we are not sitting and calculating it, while our time bank runs down. But for me this is just a snap call, and if he made a flush on the river, he is missing out on value by betting it so small. So I dont even care. I just pay the guy his 10c, make a note on him and move on to the next hand.
 
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Hermus

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MDF isn't 100% applicable to all streets. The only situation where playing the MDF strategy makes your opponent indifferent between betting and checking with a bluff is the river.

Before the river pure bluffs don't really exist because each (or at least most) hand has some form of equity. More importantly, equity realisation still plays a role because the action is not closed. In practice, that means you can call/raise more IP (because you have an easier time realising equity) and fold more OOP. Relative to the MDF of course. Not trying to say that you should fold top pair here but there is a little bit more nuance to MDF.

EDIT: Other factors, such as range advantage, player skill and board texture also play a role in what percentage of your range you can continue.
 
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Casey55

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MDF isn't 100% applicable to all streets. The only situation where playing the MDF strategy makes your opponent indifferent between betting and checking with a bluff is the river.

Before the river pure bluffs don't really exist because each (or at least most) hand has some form of equity. More importantly, equity realisation still plays a role because the action is not closed. In practice, that means you can call/raise more IP (because you have an easier time realising equity) and fold more OOP. Relative to the MDF of course. Not trying to say that you should fold top pair here but there is a little bit more nuance to MDF.

EDIT: Other factors, such as range advantage, player skill and board texture also play a role in what percentage of your range you can continue.

"Pure bluffs don't really exist before the river", what was the point you were making? I'm confused a bit, are you just saying the MDF is less relevant on the flop? I think that's true but from a GTO standpoint if we defend around MDF from flop to river we end up with a proper defending range which we can realistically defend based on bet size we are facing, at least this was my understanding. I know we can defend less from OOP.
 
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Hermus

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"Pure bluffs don't really exist before the river", what was the point you were making? I'm confused a bit, are you just saying the MDF is less relevant on the flop?

MDF as a concept only checks out when you're closing the action and villain is deciding on betting or checking a bluff. The point of defending a specific frequency is reducing the EV of the bluffs in villain's range to 0 (i.e. villain is indifferent between checking or betting because the EV of checking a pure bluff is also 0). This results in an unexploitable calling strategy because villain can not increase their EV by either bluffing more or less. With cards and action left, and it being very rare that any holdem hand is drawing dead (i.e. has 0 equity, therefore, is a pure bluff) on the flop or turn MDF just doesn't work very well in those situations.

I think that's true but from a GTO standpoint if we defend around MDF from flop to river we end up with a proper defending range which we can realistically defend based on bet size we are facing, at least this was my understanding. I know we can defend less from OOP.


For the exact reasons I highlighted in this post and my previous post, this isn't true. Solvers also know it and defend more or less based on position, range advantage, and nut advantage. So from a GTO standpoint defending MDF from flop to river does not maximise EV and is even a losing strategy against a solver.
 
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