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  • Go for a River Bluff?

    Posted by taylormaas on August 9, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Interesting hand, wondering what people would do here. We are in the final 120 of a 1700 person field. So we are in the money but a ways to go until we get to FT.

    We have 34.5 BBs in MP+1 and open to 2 BBs with A7o. folds to the BB (24 BBs) who calls.

    Flop Ks9d3s. They check, we bet 2 BBs and they call.

    Turn Kd. They check, we bet 3.25 BBs and they call.

    River Qs. They check.

    Now we are at a tough spot, do we decide to fire a river bet? The pot is 16 BBs, and they have 16.5 BBs behind.

    jim replied 3 years, 11 months ago 6 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • steve-fredlund

    August 9, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Hmmm.. sticky wicket. If we just check back river and lose we have a very playable 27.25 big blinds. Are there some hands that we perhaps win at showdown against; could they get too this spot with something like T8 suited; A2/4/5/6 suited? There is a chance we check back and win at show down (unlikely) that would give us about 43 bigs.

    So let’s look at making a pot size shove here; if we shove and they fold we have 43 bigs. If we shove and they call, we are undoubtedly beat and down to 10.75 big blinds.

    I guess what are hands that beat us that call preflop, flop and turn with, but won’t call river? JJ, TT, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, AJ, AT ?

    At the end of the day, I think we have enough marginal showdown value PLUS enough likelihood that they call river with a hand that beats us, that I’m in check-back mode; keep my 27 bigs with a small chance I bump up to 43. I generally want to go for a stack here but don’t love this as a triple barrel spot.

  • binkley

    August 10, 2020 at 12:23 am

    Since you didn’t mention it, I assume that you didn’t have the A of spade. I can see bluffing if you had that card.

    What hands would we shove for value on this river? AK, KQ, KJ, AsXs, JsTs, QQ. But I don’t think we would use the bet/bet/bet line with all of them.

    What hands does BB call/call/check with? Possibly Kx, 9x, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, JsTs, JdTd, QdTd, QdJd. Of these, BB may call a shove with Kx, JsTs, JdTd, QdTd, QdJd.

    Some possible traps are K9, 99, AsXs. We would usually see a lead or raise at some point but some players like to be tricky.

    I think I would check and take the marginal showdown value. You likely lose but still have a playable stack.

  • fivebyfive

    August 10, 2020 at 11:24 am


    I think if we’re bluffing here, we’re targeting a 9 or a sticky Q. I ran this in Flopzilla and gave them a pretty basic BB defense range (which includes all Kx suited and most Kx off suit except that real bottom). I think the real trick is does Kx flat that turn or raise? There are two flush draws on board. The worst case is if they flat all of their Kx, 9x, and flush draws, because now we’re in a bad place to bluff. I don’t think we’re getting Kx to fold with a shove at this stack depth.


    If we shove, our bluff needs to work at least a third of the time. If they’re very passive and they flat all of their Kx/Qx gutters/flush draws on the turn, then by the river only ~25% of their range is a 9 or worse. So then the question is really whether any sticky (and passive) Qx will fold to this shove. IF we can assume that QJ/Q10/Q9 came along until this river (a fairly big assumption) AND we think we can get QJ/Q10/Q9 to fold OR we think we can eliminate a lot of Kx/flush combos because they would have raised the turn, then I think this is a good bluff spot.

    In the end, I’m probably bluffing here because I’m assuming the field raises that turn with lots of Kx/flush combos. But if this was a more passive opponent, I’m giving up and hoping I have some marginal showdown value.


  • taylormaas

    August 10, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    I did the same thing Chris, but the difference maker is how often do we think our opponent checks the river if they have a:

    1) King

    2) Flush

    3) Straight

    4) Anything else

    I think its standard to check 100% of their range on the flop, and even possibly on the turn. But on the river I think we can start to define ranges of leads vs checks.

    • fivebyfive

      August 10, 2020 at 7:18 pm

      I totally misread this. Villain was OOP. Once we get the river check,
      we’re golden to bluff. There are some players capable of checking to
      induce with a made flush on this board, but those players aren’t very
      common. I’d bluff shove this in position every time. With only the fear
      of those Qx hands calling us and many/some of those combos will fold.

  • arw

    August 10, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    All of the replies are excellent.

    You’ve invested 7 bb with an aggressive line.

    You have the choice of investing 17 bb more by putting your opponent all in or you can check back and hope for the best.

    The flush draw hitting can be a good thing for you. Shoving on this card allows you to fold out a big part of their range. You have been betting pretty small on the previous streets so your opponent might have some questionable floats that will fold when the draw hits.

    Do they have the nuts?

    — a hand like pocket 33 or pocket 99 would likely get a raise in and I highly doubt they would check the river unless they think you will bluff.

    Do they have trips?

    — I think you have trips more often than them. If they have Kx, they likely don’t have a strong kicker. Trips with a good kicker should be probably raising on the flop or turn. With 25 bb effective, I’m not check calling very often with a super strong hand.

    Do they have a weak hand?

    — I think so. They haven’t shown any aggression. They checked the river when you could potentially check behind. They defended the big blind to play the hand heads up. All of these things point to a hand with some showdown value but definitely not the nuts.

    You told a solid story.

    Shove, Bet, Jam, Push, and Pray

  • taylormaas

    August 10, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    So my thoughts are….

    I think the villain rarely checks a strong hand on the river. I think they fear us checking behind so will lead out with value hands such as a King, a straight, or the rivered flush. I also think we have a very strong nut advantage here. Our range should be made up of a lot of kings, a lot of flush draws, and even a lot of our bluffs got some marginal value on the river. The majority of our bluffs in this spot being combos of QJ/JT/QT/etc. So even though we have nut advantage, we also just have the straight up range advantage.

    I also think we have absolutely no showdown value. Meaning, I don’t think there is a single hand that our opponent can have in this spot that is worse than ours. Almost all of their OOP floats have gotten some sort of value on the river here, except for maybe a hand like A5dd. And even with that, we are chopping.

    It’s not the best bluffing hand in terms of blockers. It’d be great to have the A of spades, or another spade blocker like J of spade, or T of spades. Atleast we don’t block any backdoor diamond draws.

    And then, I think our opponent folds a lot of their range here. With the river check, there’s a lot hands that have marginal showdown in their range. It’s always hard to pin an opponent down to an exact hand. But I’d be surprised if they didn’t have a 9 in this spot. When I ran the ranges, I expected there to be almost 80% of their hands would have a pair of 9’s or worse. 20% of the time it was a hand like a suited Q, or Q9. I think they might get sticky with a Q, but almost for sure would fold a 9 if I jam on the river.

    As played, I jammed for 17 BBs when I was checked to, and got a quick fold.

  • binkley

    August 10, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    Well played. Thanks for sharing the hand.

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