DeathDonkey and mike l. continue their discussion on DeathDonkey's single table session on cake. In this short handed play they talk about playing both good and bad players at the same time.
DeathDonkey and mike l. do shorthanded Limit Hold'em!
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another great video in what seems like one of the most valuable series in quite some time. (At least for me, whose personal motto has been "Three's a crowd" for the last couple of months. I'm beginning to relax that a little.)
I would like to get some discussion going about the K6 hand (around 27:00), specifically from villain's perspective. Here's the hand:
BU opens, Hero calls Qh8h from SB, BB folds. (Obviously pretty meh, but let's ignore that or better, pretend Hero is BB instead.)
Flop ThJc5s, Hero c/r, BU calls, Turn Ah
And here are my 2 cents on it:
In the vid you discussed the advantages of going for a checkraise here (mainly in contrast to b/3betting, which seems to be the other reasonable line to take). I agree for the most part, but it seems to be a pretty imbalanced way of playing the hand. After all, there are very few hands in your range which should cr for value here: You hardly ever have an ace here unless it's AJ,AT,A5, which I think should go for the b/3b, or AQ,AK, which certainly are reasonable hands to c/r the flop with, but shouldn't really be in our range because of the preflop action (unless Hero is BB and plays DD's preflop strategy of just calling with all his range). Anything better then aces up should almost certainly go for 3 bets, so just about the only made hand we could have which I like cring with is JT.
Now you might be saying that the situation (of you wanting to go for a double checkraise) is unusual enough that you needn't worry too much about balance, but if BU is a good player and not just some lucky monkey I think it's a fairly reasonable assumption that he/she will take a good long thought about what your range might be for checkraising twice and not just instafold a hand like 88. At least I think I would, but then again I'm mainly a HU player and i just don't fold a pair if my opponent takes a fancy line that seems reasonably likely to be either a monster, some sort of semibluff or total BS.
Curious to hear your thoughts about all this
Really appreciate your well thought-out post. I only disagree that it is not balanced to play this way as I am very fond of checking an ace turn to an aggro player after being the aggressor on the previous street. The ace is pretty much a really bad card for my flop CR range there so I feel in heads up pots I usually am checking that turn and folding my bluffs, calling with my ok hands, and raising again with my monsters and sometimes big draws. I agree that a good heads up player will see this board texture as one where there are a lot of semibluffs possible and consider a light calldown, but most of the time I CR this turn I'll simply have aces up or better a lot too, so I don't think it will be awful for me.
thanks for your reply which makes a lot of sense to me. BTW I never thought of the play as being awful, (and I hope I didn't put it that way), I was curious to hear how you would balance that kind of play. I mean, how bad can it ever be to bluff the turn with so many outs, and if you are really lucky your opponent calls BS on you, you win the pot by spiking a Q on the river, and you can literally hear the steam coming out of his mouth :-)
So the way you provide cover for your semibluffs is by checkraising your really good hands? That's very interesting and I have to think about that some more, since I'm pretty sure I would just instabet this turn with AJ, hoping for my opponent to realise that the ace is a bad card for my range when in fact I pretty much hit gin, which might lead him to
- call me down light with something mediocre as the K6 you actually had in the hand
- raise me for perceived value with any ace or better, against which range AJ is probably something like a 75% favorite
- take some stupid (?) shot at me trying to push me of a midpair just because a bad card for my range came
But I can see that checkraising has a lot going for it too. Maybe I'm just averse to it because it feels so FPS, which of course really shouldn't be an argument against it.
I didn't like this video much, although it seems to be mainly because DD rarely got into tough spots, as his TAG opponents appeared to be nutpeddling. Most of the play was fairly low level and the game played like a 3/6 4-handed game on Stars.
I liked most of DD's adjustments against alltimel0w with the exception of not betting out on the river in the A6 hand after making a straight, going for the river c/r. I think it was important to realize from the A3 v K8 BvB hand earlier that he checked behind when you rivered a pair of aces, which means that he is not going to barrel (or value bet) scary boards when he has showdown value.
As for the Q8hh discussion, it is a little tricky to simultaneously balance the turn c/r and b3b for value - this is a situation where having a mixed strategy postflop against a tough player comes in very handy.
I appreciate the feedback, and I agree with you about betting out on the river in that A6 hand. It was a bit hard for me to plan out this series because games just don't tend to stay 3 and 4 handed, especially if they are good games. If I play in crappy games with other tough players its a bit harder to learn because 1) you shouldn't be in those games, 2) variance is way higher so the smallish number of hands we get to see in a series will just a lot of luck among closely skilled players, and 3) the correct strategy is always going to be a bit mixed, I mean it can never be "wrong" to take several different lines in a shorthanded game against a very good player, its gambling, there's some luck in those situations.
I prefer to focus my teaching on things that people can readily improve on, and I was hoping most of the games for this series would usually feature a mix of a tougher player, a weaker player, and perhaps a 4th guy, and that would help me talk about the contrast in dealing with both types. Of course, the right strategy in that situation is usually to "take turns" beating up on the weaker guy so that might be why it seems to play at a lower level, but I guess my opinion is if I'm going to play in a high stakes game, that's the type of situation I'd be looking for anyway (many times I've played 100/200+ under similar circumstances, where one bad player is making the game) and I think this series will reflect the type of games I wouldn't be just quitting.
Anyway, please continue to give me feedback and hopefully we will cover some interesting higher level topics with tough spots.
first of all I think you've got your priorities in the right place. That said, I don't think it wouldn't hurt to dedicate a couple of episodes to some really crappy games. Let me address your point in order:
1) you shouldn't be in those games
Yeah, but it's simply not true that you can't learn anything from watching a game you shouldn't ever sit in. In fact, learning more about how the game "should" be played (not only by you, also by your opponents) can deeply improve one's understanding of the game as a whole. Many HU specialists put a lot of effort into understanding GTO strategy (probably a bit too much, I'll admit) based on the reasoning that even if noone is playing optimally, it's easier to exploit your opponents if you understand how and why their play is nonoptimal. Surely some similar point can be made for 3/4-handed play, no? As another analogy (and I know I'm stretching things a bit here), in chess (which I was very into in my past) it is utterly uninteresting to study games between a grandmaster and a fish, compared with games played by the very best of players against each other.
As a final point, it is a matter of fact that many of us LHE grinders often end up in a bad game, either because we suck at game selection, or because a good game has gone bad and it takes a while before we realize that the game is no longer worth playing. Merely seeing an example of a bad game might help to recognize these situations and handle them accordingly.
2) variance is way higher so the smallish number of hands we get to see in a series will just a lot of luck among closely skilled players
TBH I don't really see the point here. Variance didn't stop from making a TD series
3) the correct strategy is always going to be a bit mixed, I mean it can never be "wrong" to take several different lines in a shorthanded game against a very good player, its gambling, there's some luck in those situations.
That's actually an argument for some more coverage of bad games imo. I for one would be very interested in hearing your explanations for choosing between various mixed strategies. Even if the play itself can never be right or wrong, the underlying strategy can very well be. As far as I can see, there's no content in the DC library yet focussing on that kind of stuff, and I feel it would be a valuable addition.
To cut a long story short, plz retain your current focus, but that doesn't mean you can't be doing something else from time to time.
just wanted to mention that ive been looking in and the level of discussion here is very high. pretty cool.
i will try to stop saying "sure" so much sorry about that.
ive been playing a lot of sh 20 on cake lately as well so ill try to video some of it for possible future episodes.
Mike's ability to get into the mind of the players is pretty mindboggling.
The c/r in the AJdd hand about 20 minutes in when you backdoor the flush on a Q42r flop after 3-betting in the SB and alltimel0w capped in the BB is a mistake. Easy peasy bet/3-bet because he checks behind a fair amount of hands that calls a bet and he prolly doesnt 3-bet that many hands except maybe top set. Otoh he might very well raise overpairs and TP.
Thank you mike l. for asking this question! I've gone from mindlessly spewing to thinking about ranges and balance and all that stuff and along with that I stopped capping heads-up OOP and a lot in position, as well. I'm thinking of bring back capping heads-up OOP, especially against a lot of the unsophisticated, live players I play against, which is basically a good majority of them.
You guys seem in agreement that this is a snap call on turn and river, but I really think it's closer to a fold on the turn than a raise, and I really don't think a fold on particularly the river is really that bad. It seems like he's always going to show up with something better than middle/bottom two here, and especially how we've been running him over, I'd be hard pressed to see him show up with anything less than TPTK which incidentally turns into two pair OTR or maybe KQ.