$2.20 NL HE MTT: Donk Lead on the Flop

xOneCoolHandx

xOneCoolHandx

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Here is the hand that I played: https://www.cardschat.com/replayer/...LutVpyWkRAfunNzVXp3f0IFLjU7Otm3kvivT-2Mes0Ti8

First, a word about open limping. It is TERRIBLE, don't do it except in very specific circumstances. Especially from early position! This chucklehead is UTG+1 and open limps with a hand that is not even strong enough to open raise with. SMH. This is a hand that shouldn't be opened as a RFI until the CO. Maybe at a tight table you can RFI (raise first in). That is a table where you don't expect to get a lot of raises and 3 bets. This tournament was a Stormers Home Game where raises and 3 bets preflop are the norm and not the exception. Now, if this was T9s, then that is a hand that you can raise from pretty much any position and then call a 3 bet because it has a greater ability to flop very strong hands. But, this is a loose passive player who wants to see a lot of flops. He was VPIPing about 36% and limp-calling about half the time and limp-folding about half the time. My regular VPIP is around 22% and PFR about 16%. This is a little low for my regular stats but not too far off the mark. I choose to raise with KJs to 4 times his limp. It fold back around to him and he has to call 750 into a pot of 1825 (the BB, SB, antes, his limp and my raise) to do this he needs a hand that is running about 60/40 to my range. My range is 77+, and a lot of high suited connectors and broadways. Against my exact hand he is a 2:1 dog and against my range he really isn't doing much better and can be dominated by a ton of my range. Also, I have been playing fairly tight as my stats would indicate which should strengthen my range. However, he makes a poor decision and makes the call.

When he calls I can immediately rule out a big portion of his range. If he was trying to be tricky with AA, KK, QQ and AK then he would have 3 bet me preflop. It is very rare to see someone limp-call with these hands (that is one of the exceptions to open limping BUT you MUST be CERTAIN that someone will raise behind you if you try this play because otherwise, you end up playing these very strong hands OOP and in multi-way limped pots...that is how aces get cracked). I had also ruled out pocket pairs from about 77+, most broadway hands and suited aces because this player was making his rare raises with these types of holdings and I had not seen him limp-call with them. He had limp-called with smaller pocket pairs on some previous hands, so my initial range for him was a lot of small pairs and suited connectors that were low or middle cards.

The flop is interesting because it interacts well with both of our ranges. He has a lot of suited and a lot of middle cards. I have the nut advantage because I can have all the suited broadways, KK, AA, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, T9, AK, KQ, KJ, KT and maybe even K9. I also have Q9, J9 and perhaps 98. As I said before, he does not have a lot of nut hands in his range because he doesn't have KK, TT, 99 or QJ. Those are all hands he would have raised with preflop. The strongest hand he can have is two pair and most likely, he has a pair and a draw. Then he donk leads.

Donks leads have become very popular in poker over the last few years. You see them a lot these days especially from the BB on dry, middle card flops that favor the BB's range heavily. This strategy has grown with the emergence of and explosion of GTO. So, how do you deal with donk leads? Usually a donk lead is leading because they have some strength to their hand but not a lot. If they had a lot of strength, then they would be check-raising. But, most players don't think in those terms. They think solely about the strength of their own hand and not what other players are doing and what their ranges look like. Nor do they understand basic human psychology. Donk leads are rarely the nuts unless you are against either a very tight player who ONLY bets with strong hands or someone who balances their bets and bluffs. This is clearly NOT a player who balances.

This donk lead is for full pot, which means that I have 2:1 to make the call or 33%. Again, evaluating villain's range, there are 9 combos of T9 (there really should only be 3 because of the discussion earlier about T9o in this position) but there are a ton of combos that have flopped straight and flush draws or a pair and a draw or even combos draws that are in villain's range. That would make this an easy call with nearly all of my range. However, I currently have top pair with a draw to the best flush and a gutshot. I am well ahead of most of his range and only currently losing to T9, even against that two pair hand I am a substantial favorite to win. With that in mind, I put in a healthy raise because it will be hard to extract any value if a diamond or any face card comes on the turn. Plus, a jam is just slight over a 3x raise to his pot raise. So, I jam.

Villain does make the call and is at the top of his range with T9o for two pair. But, this goes to show you that donk leads are like this. They are nearly always good hands that want to take the pot down immediately because they are too weak to call down across more than one street. Perhaps villain did think about my range and was trying to get me off of hands like AA without a diamond or to make me fold out an underpair. But, I don't think villain really thought a lot about my range because not much of my range that would be folding in this situation. Unfortunately for me, I miss all of my outs in this hand and get kicked out of the tournament, but he, that's poker.

I hope you enjoyed this hand and feel free to comment if you would have played it differently.
 
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fundiver199

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Preflop
Isolation and sizing is fine.

Flop
You have a combination of top pair and a 12 out draw, and this mean, there are almost no bad cards for you on the turn. For this reason I prefer to just call and allow him to blast off.

Results
Basically just a fish doing, what fish have always done: limp-calling preflop and then leading out, when they connect with the flop. The flop is a setup, and the hand itself most of all a bad beat story.
 
eetenor

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Here is the hand that I played: https://www.cardschat.com/replayer/...LutVpyWkRAfunNzVXp3f0IFLjU7Otm3kvivT-2Mes0Ti8

First, a word about open limping. It is TERRIBLE, don't do it except in very specific circumstances. Especially from early position! This chucklehead is UTG+1 and open limps with a hand that is not even strong enough to open raise with. SMH. This is a hand that shouldn't be opened as a RFI until the CO. Maybe at a tight table you can RFI (raise first in). That is a table where you don't expect to get a lot of raises and 3 bets. This tournament was a Stormers Home Game where raises and 3 bets preflop are the norm and not the exception. Now, if this was T9s, then that is a hand that you can raise from pretty much any position and then call a 3 bet because it has a greater ability to flop very strong hands. But, this is a loose passive player who wants to see a lot of flops. He was VPIPing about 36% and limp-calling about half the time and limp-folding about half the time. My regular VPIP is around 22% and PFR about 16%. This is a little low for my regular stats but not too far off the mark. I choose to raise with KJs to 4 times his limp. It fold back around to him and he has to call 750 into a pot of 1825 (the BB, SB, antes, his limp and my raise) to do this he needs a hand that is running about 60/40 to my range. My range is 77+, and a lot of high suited connectors and broadways. Against my exact hand he is a 2:1 dog and against my range he really isn't doing much better and can be dominated by a ton of my range. Also, I have been playing fairly tight as my stats would indicate which should strengthen my range. However, he makes a poor decision and makes the call.

When he calls I can immediately rule out a big portion of his range. If he was trying to be tricky with AA, KK, QQ and AK then he would have 3 bet me preflop. It is very rare to see someone limp-call with these hands (that is one of the exceptions to open limping BUT you MUST be CERTAIN that someone will raise behind you if you try this play because otherwise, you end up playing these very strong hands OOP and in multi-way limped pots...that is how aces get cracked). I had also ruled out pocket pairs from about 77+, most broadway hands and suited aces because this player was making his rare raises with these types of holdings and I had not seen him limp-call with them. He had limp-called with smaller pocket pairs on some previous hands, so my initial range for him was a lot of small pairs and suited connectors that were low or middle cards.

The flop is interesting because it interacts well with both of our ranges. He has a lot of suited and a lot of middle cards. I have the nut advantage because I can have all the suited broadways, KK, AA, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, T9, AK, KQ, KJ, KT and maybe even K9. I also have Q9, J9 and perhaps 98. As I said before, he does not have a lot of nut hands in his range because he doesn't have KK, TT, 99 or QJ. Those are all hands he would have raised with preflop. The strongest hand he can have is two pair and most likely, he has a pair and a draw. Then he donk leads.

Donks leads have become very popular in poker over the last few years. You see them a lot these days especially from the BB on dry, middle card flops that favor the BB's range heavily. This strategy has grown with the emergence of and explosion of GTO. So, how do you deal with donk leads? Usually a donk lead is leading because they have some strength to their hand but not a lot. If they had a lot of strength, then they would be check-raising. But, most players don't think in those terms. They think solely about the strength of their own hand and not what other players are doing and what their ranges look like. Nor do they understand basic human psychology. Donk leads are rarely the nuts unless you are against either a very tight player who ONLY bets with strong hands or someone who balances their bets and bluffs. This is clearly NOT a player who balances.

This donk lead is for full pot, which means that I have 2:1 to make the call or 33%. Again, evaluating villain's range, there are 9 combos of T9 (there really should only be 3 because of the discussion earlier about T9o in this position) but there are a ton of combos that have flopped straight and flush draws or a pair and a draw or even combos draws that are in villain's range. That would make this an easy call with nearly all of my range. However, I currently have top pair with a draw to the best flush and a gutshot. I am well ahead of most of his range and only currently losing to T9, even against that two pair hand I am a substantial favorite to win. With that in mind, I put in a healthy raise because it will be hard to extract any value if a diamond or any face card comes on the turn. Plus, a jam is just slight over a 3x raise to his pot raise. So, I jam.

Villain does make the call and is at the top of his range with T9o for two pair. But, this goes to show you that donk leads are like this. They are nearly always good hands that want to take the pot down immediately because they are too weak to call down across more than one street. Perhaps villain did think about my range and was trying to get me off of hands like AA without a diamond or to make me fold out an underpair. But, I don't think villain really thought a lot about my range because not much of my range that would be folding in this situation. Unfortunately for me, I miss all of my outs in this hand and get kicked out of the tournament, but he, that's poker.

I hope you enjoyed this hand and feel free to comment if you would have played it differently.
Have not looked at results or other posts or all of your post

Flop lead for pot in this spot if called leaves us with an SPR of 1- Stopped before your action-
We have a go for stacks hand we might as well get all the money in now- We may be behind- they may have a better flush draw -they may have weak hands that fold---this is a spot that just plays itself we get it in now before a scare card comes on turn
You did go all-in all good on the actions we can control -:mad::cry::love:sorry you lost

You did nothing wrong- there is no other way to play it-variance is a :poop:--- I have not read your post but it is best not to dwell on the hand- just keep playing good poker(y)
 
xOneCoolHandx

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Have not looked at results or other posts or all of your post

Flop lead for pot in this spot if called leaves us with an SPR of 1- Stopped before your action-
We have a go for stacks hand we might as well get all the money in now- We may be behind- they may have a better flush draw -they may have weak hands that fold---this is a spot that just plays itself we get it in now before a scare card comes on turn
You did go all-in all good on the actions we can control -:mad::cry::love:sorry you lost

You did nothing wrong- there is no other way to play it-variance is a :poop:--- I have not read your post but it is best not to dwell on the hand- just keep playing good poker(y)
I wasn't dwelling on it and I know I played it right. Thanks for your response. I have not been in the forum consistently for a long time but I like to post hands because I study a lot and when I find something interesting I like to share. This post was not about playing the hand right. It could have been played a couple of different ways. The point of it was to point out that donk leads a almost never strong.
 
dallam

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Hi Mark,

This is a good showcase that what's the big problem with poor pre selection, and how vulnerable that hand can become once on a flop like this mixed with a directionless outplay. Donk bets could easily hide great hands tho if the players understand the power of their positions and ranges, and the texture of the flopped cards.

On this one not only the donkbet itself is a huge mistake, but the pot-bet sizing is even more horrible. Honestly, as you mentioned, this is really not looking strong from the opponent - since it's targetting all of our value hands way too hard, and you are going to foild every single hands which were just on-the-line, and maxisime all the hands which could represent the nuts. So it gives us a message, that this is like never in a lifetime will be a value bet, but actually want to make you fold here and now. And what kind of hand are going to limp then going crazy on that board?

My most common guess would be the exact two bottom pairs, 10-9 and K9. Meaning that Flush, Straight, and top two Pairs are always favouring you. Sometimes a very poor outplay of AA, QQ, JJ even 88, and a way too late-action when opp see how wet board you have. Sometimes Axs or other combinations of flush-draws with a possible runner-runner straight chance. KQo could be very uncomfortable, but more likely not appear neither as the even stronger combinations.

It's really not a big thing, but I would also just call this flop raise. It just sending a message to your table that your calling range can be very strong, and also expose this player by making continuation bets to all-in with 2 bottom pairs here, where you are always capable to show better or at least competitive ones when you're calling the donkb. on the flop. :)
 
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fundiver199

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It's really not a big thing, but I would also just call this flop raise.
Just to elaborate a bit more on this point our hand looks very strong with top pair good kicker, but its actually no more than a combination of a bluff catcher and a draw, since the best made hand, we beat, is K8. And this is why, a raise is not the most effective play. No better hands fold, and the only worse hands, that lead out for full pot AND then call a jam, are hands, that beat us, or good draws like maybe the nut flushdraw. Whereas if we just call, we keep his entire range involved and allow him to potentially blast off on the turn with some airball bluff. But to be fair its kind of unlikely, he has a total airball, and against his specific holding the chips are going in on the turn, so the outcome would have been the same.
 
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eetenor

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I wasn't dwelling on it and I know I played it right. Thanks for your response. I have not been in the forum consistently for a long time but I like to post hands because I study a lot and when I find something interesting I like to share. This post was not about playing the hand right. It could have been played a couple of different ways. The point of it was to point out that donk leads a almost never strong.
Sorry for using the word dwelling I will try to do better(y)

I am confused- lead was pot with 2 pair---how are we then concluding that donk leads are almost never strong from this example? Head to head range vs range 2 pair is a strong hand on this board-
Secondly if your Villain were skilled not a donk and is aware of boards that are frequently checked back-then strong leads are often used as well as bluffs- not for full range pot sizing unless the skilled player suspects you will not fold flop but will over fold turns but again it would be an over simplification to conclude leads are almost never strong and apply that to further hands-
we always want to consider V specific data- player pool data- SPR and board texture when thinking about our strategy when being led into

As to this board -this lead is not bad as a lead but not great for the sizing at this SPR- V has a strong but vulnerable hand a check back would be terrible here and will be frequent as your range vs the limp is 20% of hands so you have a high percentage of check backs here on this very wet board- we do not range bet this board- so our V can be leading with 2 pair plus here often
 
dallam

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We suppose that Hero here is having cards from the higher range of the deck because the 4bb 3-bet, or some Axs ones.
Meaning that if Hero call the donk-bet here, Villain has to avoid all of the flush and 10+ combinations to feel safe on the Turn.

+ A-J: 16 cards
+ 8-2 (diamonds): 7 cards
- 2 cards, if Hero is actually making a call on Flop, cause he cover them
=21 cards to avoid

+ Every 10 and 9 could be good: 4 cards
+ Every non-flush 8-2: 7x3= 21 cards
=25 cards to continuation bet

Meaning that 48% of the time villain could hit a favourable card on the Turn.

...
In another aspect if you making the call on the flop, Villain's effective stack is going to be almost equal as the size of the pot & so as yours is going to be. Meaining that all the chips are supposed to get them in at one point.

As to this board -this lead is not bad as a lead but not great for the sizing at this SPR- V has a strong but vulnerable hand a check back would be terrible here and will be frequent as your range vs the limp is 20% of hands so you have a high percentage of check backs here on this very wet board- we do not range bet this board- so our V can be leading with 2 pair plus here often

And this is where I'm probably tight or becoming tight, since I can accept the volnerability of this exact situation, and as I would feel that I get really lucky by hitting two pairs on the flop. Would not making a huge impact on the 10-9 on the flop, and choose to check it down, and expect to see our Hero raising here because of the possible range considering what he could - and we could have.
So by that way, this party won't played on the maximum volume, and I could run away if Hero hits, but still come pull some value I believe.

Nevertheless, I'm accepting the donkbet now much better with your explanation here better.
May I ask, a 35% pot bet could be working from the Villain insted of the pot-bet, or what number is suitable here?
 
eetenor

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We suppose that Hero here is having cards from the higher range of the deck because the 4bb 3-bet, or some Axs ones.
Meaning that if Hero call the donk-bet here, Villain has to avoid all of the flush and 10+ combinations to feel safe on the Turn.

+ A-J: 16 cards
+ 8-2 (diamonds): 7 cards
- 2 cards, if Hero is actually making a call on Flop, cause he cover them
=21 cards to avoid

+ Every 10 and 9 could be good: 4 cards
+ Every non-flush 8-2: 7x3= 21 cards
=25 cards to continuation bet

Meaning that 48% of the time villain could hit a favourable card on the Turn.

...
In another aspect if you making the call on the flop, Villain's effective stack is going to be almost equal as the size of the pot & so as yours is going to be. Meaining that all the chips are supposed to get them in at one point.



And this is where I'm probably tight or becoming tight, since I can accept the volnerability of this exact situation, and as I would feel that I get really lucky by hitting two pairs on the flop. Would not making a huge impact on the 10-9 on the flop, and choose to check it down, and expect to see our Hero raising here because of the possible range considering what he could - and we could have.
So by that way, this party won't played on the maximum volume, and I could run away if Hero hits, but still come pull some value I believe.

Nevertheless, I'm accepting the donkbet now much better with your explanation here better.
May I ask, a 35% pot bet could be working from the Villain insted of the pot-bet, or what number is suitable here
The factors at play here are
1 Why lead- We want to protect vs a check back and we want to end the hand before the river- Ax low kicker flush draws want to check this flop AQ AJ no flush draw or back door flush draw JJ QQ Kx no flush draw etc- We do however want to still get value from some hands not folds and we do not want to narrow the IP range to high equity only calls

2 SPR IP V has 5 SPR before we bet practicing here vs the above range of hands we expect to call only we can estimate the most effective sizing

If we bet pot IP SPR after call is 1 - Which falls into a very reasonable turn shove range for the OOP player- Therefore IP can be expecting to see a turn shove often so they will fold out many floats many AT A9 no diamond hands some JJ they also want to be folding their weakest Kx no flush draw
If the V does call flop they also have an easier turn call when we shove due to pot odds.

If we bet 60% we get the protection we need but also we have more nuts in that range so our bluffs can be protected- we get value from more hands that float and the IP player after calling has SPR 1.5- We can still shove the turn and it not look strange- but now the V has lower odds to call

If we bet 50% pot or less our V is not making a mistake to call with most draws and over pairs and our turn shove does not balance between nuts and protection well- this sizing is more of a 3 street sizing which we do not want to do with bottom 2 on this board as you pointed out this is a very dynamic board and the nuts can change on many turn cards- We do fold 2 pair on some turns on this board type

3 We do not have the nuts nor a high equity draw to the nuts on flop on a very dynamic board
We do not want to build a larger pot on flop that we have to then check and call or fold to a potential turn shove based on SPR
A pot size lead-the pot will be 7500 we will have 9200- our IP V can now shove and because we have narrowed their range on flop they will have far fewer bluffs and more nut hands so a very -Ev spot to be in-The 60% lead vs standard V allows us to check fold turn on the worst turn cards and preserve our stack

While the player did win with T9- limping and then calling were -EV plays- as we saw here as well potting and calling for stacks was -EV as well
 
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dallam

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The factors at play here are
1 Why lead- We want to protect vs a check back and we want to end the hand before the river- Ax low kicker flush draws want to check this flop AQ AJ no flush draw or back door flush draw JJ QQ Kx no flush draw etc- We do however want to still get value from some hands not folds and we do not want to narrow the IP range to high equity only calls

2 SPR IP V has 5 SPR before we bet practicing here vs the above range of hands we expect to call only we can estimate the most effective sizing

If we bet pot IP SPR after call is 1 - Which falls into a very reasonable turn shove range for the OOP player- Therefore IP can be expecting to see a turn shove often so they will fold out many floats many AT A9 no diamond hands some JJ they also want to be folding their weakest Kx no flush draw
If the V does call flop they also have an easier turn call when we shove due to pot odds.

If we bet 60% we get the protection we need but also we have more nuts in that range so our bluffs can be protected- we get value from more hands that float and the IP player after calling has SPR 1.5- We can still shove the turn and it not look strange- but now the V has lower odds to call

If we bet 50% pot or less our V is not making a mistake to call with most draws and over pairs and our turn shove does not balance between nuts and protection well- this sizing is more of a 3 street sizing which we do not want to do with bottom 2 on this board as you pointed out this is a very dynamic board and the nuts can change on many turn cards- We do fold 2 pair on some turns on this board type

3 We do not have the nuts nor a high equity draw to the nuts on flop on a very dynamic board
We do not want to build a larger pot on flop that we have to then check and call or fold to a potential turn shove based on SPR
A pot size lead-the pot will be 7500 we will have 9200- our IP V can now shove and because we have narrowed their range on flop they will have far fewer bluffs and more nut hands so a very -Ev spot to be in-The 60% lead vs standard V allows us to check fold turn on the worst turn cards and preserve our stack

While the player did win with T9- limping and then calling were -EV plays- as we saw here as well potting and calling for stacks was -EV as well


Wow, this comment honestly is incredibely helpful for me.

I still not like the limp with this hand, but understand the post-flop direction, and with your analysis it's totally understandable why.
I was not sure how we can cut Hero out from this board (That's why I asked about seems to be a wrong sizing in this scenario), but giving this a very agressive dinamic post could be working, and if the Turn is safe it actually will make Hero fold. Well, KJs will not for sure but f.e. KJo became a different hard story.

Thank you :) :)
 
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