Defense against the semibluff

F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Long story short, I just submitted an article on semibluff defense to Nick, and now I want to see if my conclusion fits with what the rest of you think:

Basically, I'm saying that versus a bet that's either a very strong hand or a very strong draw, you should almost never raise (unless of course you can beat the "very strong" part of your opponent's range) unless stacks are short and you'll be all-in after the raise, even if your opponent's range is heavily weighted towards a draw.

The reason being that by raising, you're opening up the betting round for a re-raise which means you get to either put two bets in versus a strong draw, or 3 bets in drawing near dead; your EV is going to suffer heavily even when you're looking at something like a 70% chance that he's drawing.

Anyone agree with my conclusion? I hold this to be true for both LHE and NLHE.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Yah, similar idea. Except this applies on the turn as well, where villain's equity in practise makes it almost WA/WB. The threat of the 3-bet and its implications is really what's defining about the situation.
 
K

Khaosk

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Are you suggesting that you should fold every time someone semi bluffs? Because calling a semi bluff is a bad idea I would think.
 
OzExorcist

OzExorcist

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Are you suggesting that you should fold every time someone semi bluffs? Because calling a semi bluff is a bad idea I would think.

Unless I'm reading it wrong, the suggestion is to flat call it, not fold. By flat calling, you know you're only going to be putting in one bet, whereas if you raise, you may end up having to put in three.
 
royalburrito24

royalburrito24

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Unless I'm reading it wrong, the suggestion is to flat call it, not fold. By flat calling, you know you're only going to be putting in one bet, whereas if you raise, you may end up having to put in three.

What if you are a gambler (like me) and don't mind at all putting in three bets? There are situations where I do call and where I do raise. Normally I only raise when I believe that my opponent is very weak, and he/she will let me know by calling/folding. My opponent will let me know if he/she really is strong if he/she puts in a big re-raise, then I can re-evaluate.
I'm sure F Paulsson realizes that their are certain situations where you can get away with raising, but calling would be more profitable in the long run and be a +EV play. Hopefully I am getting this right.
 
OzExorcist

OzExorcist

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What if you are a gambler (like me) and don't mind at all putting in three bets?

Then I expect you're probably used to taking -EV bets and have a decent idea how to handle them? :p
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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The situation I'm describing has to fulfill a few criterias for it to be true, and these are:

1. We have a hand we want to take to showdown
2. Our opponent has either a draw or a very strong made hand.
3. Stacks are deep (or this is LHE).

... and, after having thought it through for awhile, I want to add this:

4. We're on the turn.

We have no way of knowing that a flop lead means either a strong hand or a draw. On the turn, we may have narrowed it down sufficiently though. Also, on the turn, the drawing hands' equity is down quite a bit.

If we have a weak enough hand to toss away if we get re-raised, then raising might be good enough. And it's probably the best move if we're approaching short stacks where a normal sized raise will put us all-in.

There are some interesting differences between LHE and NLHE in this, although the principle applies in both games. In LHE, getting 3-bet is a bummer because we have to call it and we know we're losing money (crying call; the pot is simply going to be big enough to warrant calling down) and in NLHE, getting 3-bet sucks because we're often going to have to let go of a big hand and we're sometimes going to make a mistake.

But what they have in common is that by raising, we're setting ourselves up for trouble.
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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So there is NO defense against the semi-bluff except passivity?
 
K

Khaosk

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All of this preventing a reraise and such sounds good, but I'm not going to let a player give themselves pot odds every time.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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So there is NO defense against the semi-bluff except passivity?
In essence, no. Think of it this way - they're still making a -EV play if you don't fold. So you're not "letting them get away with it" as much as you're just keeping your stack protected until you have a better angle.

All of this preventing a reraise and such sounds good, but I'm not going to let a player give themselves pot odds every time.
What do you suggest then?

If they give themselves "pot odds" for their draws when they lead out, that means they're betting less than half the pot. If they're drawing, this is unfortunate, but not a disaster (neither you nor your opponent wins any money if he gives himself even odds on his draw), but if he has a set or two-pair, and you just call a small bet on the turn, it's going to be very hard for him to stack you on the river as well, and that means that HE'S losing a lot of value by betting so small.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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drunk post, excuse any wrongness.

There is a defense against semibluffs if you knew you were against nothing but, but we of course never know this so in actual situations it's very hard to defend against.

If we knew we were against a semibluff we could do a few things to exploit that, but as it happens we can only know that a semibluff can be part of our opponent's range, so it's very hard to combat. I think that example from my thread (if I do say so myself) is a pretty good example of why raising (or betting) when we're ba/wb is a bad idea.

*barf
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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REMEMBER THE HANGOVER PILLS! TAKE THE HANGOVER PILLS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

Learn from my mistakes!

*cries desperately*
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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i know nothing of these pills you speak of.

I know of nothing but gatorade two hours after I wake up and start seeing straight :eek:
 
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