Notes: Villain seemed timid, so I decided to play aggro vs him early on, expecting him to fight back with a weak range eventaully. I 3B him twice the 2 previous orbits, this was third time. He regular time called flop, insta-time called turn, regular time shoved river.

(6 max) - Holdem - 5 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com

BTN: 331 BB (VPIP: 20.83, PFR: 12.50, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 50)
Hero (SB): 188.4 BB ~(VPIP: 20, PFR: 18, 3Bet Preflop: 7)
BB: 112.6 BB (VPIP: 12.90, PFR: 12.90, 3Bet Preflop: 15.38, Hands: 34)
UTG: 87.9 BB (VPIP: 24.14, PFR: 24.14, 3Bet Preflop: 25.00, Hands: 29)
CO: 123.8 BB (VPIP: 37.50, PFR: 27.08, 3Bet Preflop: 8.33, Hands: 51)

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB, 5 players post ante of 0.2 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 2.5 BB) Hero has K:hearts: 8:hearts:
fold, fold, BTN raises to 2 BB, Hero raises to 10 BB, fold, BTN calls 8 BB

Flop : (22 BB, 2 players) 2:hearts: K:spades: 3:diamonds:
Hero bets 12 BB, BTN calls 12 BB

Turn : (46 BB, 2 players) T:diamonds:
Hero bets 23 BB, BTN calls 23 BB

River : (92 BB, 2 players) 7:clubs:
Hero bets 45 BB, BTN raises to 222.9 BB, Hero ???

7 Answers 7


MY GUT: I can't say I'm a fan of a hero-call here, which is what it feels like.

THE NUMBERS: However, PokerStove disagrees. A range for villain of:

{ TT+, 77, 33-22, AKs, ATs, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, AKo, ATo, KTo+, QTo+, JTo }

(which is basically sets, better K's, AA, sticky QQ or JJ, 2nd pair, and busted draws) gives hero 56% equity which is way above what's needed to call (178 into 360, or about 33% equity). I'd have a hard time narrowing villain's range down so much as to justify a fold here.

So... my gut vs. numbers? I'm a big fat chicken on these situations and tend to fold way more often than I should. I would need a strong read on villain to pull the trigger.

Side note: I probably would've check-called the river. It would widen villain's range by letting him bluff a wider portion of hands, and I don't prefer bloated pots with 1 pair.

But I'm no expert, either.

  • 2
    It occurred to me that check-call would be a better line here usually too!
    – Toby Booth
    Aug 2, 2013 at 8:14

I had planned to just write a short comment on splungebob's answer, but it became too long, so I leave it as an answer instead:

What could villain reraise with in this situation that he could hope to win with if called? I disagree with slungebob and certainly do not think that the villain would think QQ or JJ would win if called. That would be very, very optimistic. Instead, I think a good play for villain would be to call with QQ or JJ and hope that hero has nothing.

I believe that the reraise is either from having a very strong hand that the villain has slow played all the way, or that he has played a poor hand because he was tired of being bullied by the hero. My hunch, from the instant call on the turn, is that he had decided to bluff already. It is tough for someone to sit with the nuts or a very strong hand and to make instant calls when you should consider reraises etc, in particular if he wants you to also bid again on the river.

That said, I don't know that I would have done myself.

  • Actually, to be precise, this is an comment to splungebob's comment to smithandteam's answer.
    – Halvard
    Aug 10, 2013 at 13:26

You botched this hand. Let's work backwards through the hand:

  1. Fold to the river shove. I doubt he's turning any made hands into a bluff, and he has nearly no missed draws. Your range is TPTK-heavy, so he shouldn't be bluffing much here. Even if he did decide to turn some hands into a bluff, you're still losing to some of these hands. It's way more likely that he was slowplaying a good hand to give you rope to hang yourself, and you obliged.

  2. Why are you betting the river? What are you expecting to get called by? K6? QQ? You only get called by better. Your river action should be chwck/decide.

  3. Flop bet is fine. Turn bet is fine but I'd check/call some of the time, in order to pot-control and/or possibly induce some stabs from worse hands. You're stuck with a good-but-not-great hand OOP, and your hand is a weaker version of what villain puts you on anyway: pot-controlling a street seems prudent.

  4. Pre-flop is the big mistake in the hand. Why are you 3-betting this?! Villain being tame doesn't mean you have an advantage over him postflop, when you're deep, OOP, with a marginal hand. You should be 3-betting him a ton in position, but OOP you're not doing yourself a great service here. Also, your 3bet is too large: you're risking too much to win too little, and you're creating a big OOP pot with a bunch of money still behind. You seem to have a faulty thought process here, in my opinion, and you should re-think the method who made you think it's good to 3bet OOP here "because villain is tame".


By leading out on every street you have no information about what he could have there.

What i would do in that situation is check out he's 3 bet calls PF. If you have no information the best way is to pot control 10BB PF raise from a 2BB raise is way too much. 5BB or 6 BB is enough. On flop the pot would be 13.5BB with(6BB PFR) you raise 5 as PF agressor he would call. Turn pot 23.5 BB

With pot controll you win alot more on the long run than leading out betting big having no real information.

One strategy would be to check on the turn and see what he does. If he raises you can check raise him to get more information and if he calls your check raise you are pretty sure behind and can check fold on river(at this point the check raise would have cost you as much as you have up to the river but you get more information out of it). If he checks behind on the turn you can check call the river unless he goes all in. I normally don't make hero calls from people i have no information, but if you feel you have the best hand you could do it.

Depending on the blinds you are playing on lower blinds NL100 most of the time that means people have the nuts or almost nuts when they overpot all in.

I use overpot all in when i have nuts but also on some pots where i feel he would call a big raise but not an all in(semi bluff or bluff situations). But it's entirely different NL400 from NL100 people behave and play differently.

When you say he's timid do you mean he's more tight ? tight agressiv ? rock ?...

  • Timid as in fearful & hesitant. It's my read that he's likely to fold too much when facing considerable aggression. Given that I believe he's uncomfortable in these situations, I also believe he's likely of making an error regarding the strength of the hands he can play against me.
    – Toby Booth
    Aug 6, 2013 at 12:47
  • problem here also is that you bet every street, if you do that on every hand you could be exploited by some players like me who checks that CB 100% of hands on every street, if you end up against a player like me you will get alot of check raises or raises behind, and if you do that when you hit sth or have a draw it can be predictable. Try to learn when to check call and check raise it realy will change your overall winnings. Check out peoples history you will see that people NEVER check raise you with bad hands and people are scared when someone does it because they are not used to it
    – Marcio
    Aug 6, 2013 at 15:31
  • 1
    You can't possibly know that 3-barreling here is bad in my case. "Lucky" for me that I don't take this line every hand then! Yes, i'm sure learning to c/c & c/r will change my win rate(!), but speculating about adjustments to a broader strategy does little to address what to do in this particular hand history.
    – Toby Booth
    Aug 6, 2013 at 22:33

Given what you say, you should have decided what to do on the flop, not on the river. You say you've already seen him make that move and it's a profitable move in such a dry board, he can only be afraid of TT, KA and AA and maybe KT. Since his line looks so strong (and if you know he tends to do this kind of moves in position in 3bet pots) you're going to have to make a decision on the flop and then follow through because otherwise his line is so strong you're gonna have to fold.

In my opinion this is all about the read you have on him, which is kind of mixed up. On one hand you describe him as "timid", but on the other you say you've seen him make this kind of move before which is a really agresive and bold move.

It doesn't matter what he has, he's reping AK, KK or AA. In any other player, without your read I would have simply folded or maybe check called the river but given your read on him you shouldn't wait to the river to evaluate. This move doesn't precisely correspond to a "timid" player having air, so if you really think this is a timid player then fold.

  • I understand what you say and it's reasonable. However, I never said I'd seen him make these moves. I can't see how you got that from the OP! It's more a gameflow read (not hard data like seeing a previous showdown), and was definitely the first time I'd been confronted with it. Does that affect your analysis?
    – Toby Booth
    Aug 6, 2013 at 22:23
  • I actually though you were saying you'd seen him do that move before. In that case I would fold... His line looks so strong at that point I'd say you're surely beaten. After you 3B him and barreling streets he can't be making that with air. Aug 7, 2013 at 8:31

I don't get that raise pre. Btn making a small raise is a hand they want to play. You are not likely to fold them out. K9s is not strong enough to build a bigger pot. Why not just see a cheap flop? KQs KJs I would get the raise.

Villain has called three strong bets and then over-bets the river.

There are no busted draws on the board. A5, A4, 45 just does not make sense.

You definitely have KK or better.

AK, AT, .... would (should) just call.

22, 33, and TT would play the hand this way.

I don't see any bluffs getting there. Even JJ should just call. If it is a bluff then it is a great or stupid bluff as I think you have to release.


Fold, he's got TT. (Maybe 22, 33)

Splungebob's answer is completely off-base, that is not even close to the right range for PStove.

  • 3
    "he's got TT. (Maybe 22, 33)" It would be way better to have some arguments for why you think the Villain has a set. Some analysis is required, based on the available information; just picking some hole cards off the top of your head is not good enough. Aug 2, 2013 at 7:31
  • I don't really need to justify this answer; opponent is classified as timid and has made a large river raise. I have eliminated all hands from his range but those three. Feel free to play poker however -you- want to, though. Aug 2, 2013 at 18:08
  • He didn't have TT.
    – Toby Booth
    Aug 2, 2013 at 21:42
  • 1
    If he can call the flop w/TT (doesn't believe hero has K), then he can also call it w/QQ or JJ, right? With that, QQ or JJ aren't scared of turn or river. So if he thinks QQ/JJ is good on flop, it's still good so a raise is not out of the question and must be considered as part of his range.
    – splungebob
    Aug 2, 2013 at 23:12
  • @splungebob: I commented on this comment in an answer by itself.
    – Halvard
    Aug 10, 2013 at 13:23

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