Dec. 8, 2010

One of the things I have had drummed into my head over the past month or two is ranges ranges ranges. Every single hand, thinking about what villains range is and also, what my perceived range is.

Almost ignoring what our actual hand strength is, if our perceived range (how villain views our hand) is strong, then we should be bluffing a lot more than usual, however if our range is weak/bluff heavy then value betting very thinly/over betting for value and bluffing almost never.

Example of where our range is nutted and villains range is weak/1pair type hands

Villain SB ($310)

MrPotatoHead UTG ($203)


Dealt to MrPotatoHead Tc  Ac 

MrPotatoHead raises to $3

Villain raises to $10.50

MrPotatoHead calls $7.50

FLOP ($22) 6c  9d  7h 

Villain bets $12

MrPotatoHead calls $12

TURN ($46) 6c  9d  7h  Jc 

Villain checks

MrPotatoHead bets $26

Villain calls $26

RIVER ($98) 6c  9d  7h  Jc  Ks 

Villain checks

MrPotatoHead bets $154 (AI)

Villain folds

MrPotatoHead shows Tc  Ac 


I admit in this spot the one mistake I made was not betting big enough on the turn to set up a comfortable river shove but ignoring that, starting with the flop, you should be floating this flop with 100% of your range because you can make villains life hell on pretty much every turn card that doesn’t give him a set. By the river my range contains all the sets, except for KK, a load of two pairs/straights. Once the villain checks turn and river it’s pretty clear he has a 1 pair type hand that is begging to get to showdown, my only concern was rivered KK but meh.

I think the only bet size in this spot has to be the whole lot, I find I will get too many crying calls from bad regs going "sigh pot odds" and calling with qq/aa here to a bet between 60-80.

At the same time, if I had JT in this spot, I would continue turning my hand into a bluff, as I rarely have enough showdown value.

Here is a example of when our range is very bluff heavy.

Villain ($193) MP

MrPotatoHead ($118) CO


Dealt to MrPotatoHead Ac  Jc 

Villain raises to $3

MrPotatoHead calls $3

FLOP ($7.50) Qd  Jd  Qc 

Villain bets $5

MrPotatoHead calls $5

TURN ($17.50) Qd  Jd  Qc  8c 

Villain checks

MrPotatoHead checks

RIVER ($17.50) Qd  Jd  Qc  8c  6c 

Villain checks

MrPotatoHead bets $28

Villain calls $28

MrPotatoHead shows Ac  Jc 


Villain shows 8s  As 

MrPotatoHead wins $70.50


I know it’s easy to over bet with a flush, but even if I don’t back door a flush, I was planning to over bet my J for value. Once I check back the turn my range is very draw heavy, as I don’t have many slow plays just because of the style I play and board texture. When I over bet the river it just looks super bluffy and I expect to get looked up really light.


So to summarize, if we just continue to play our own hand strength and not think about what our overall range looks like and what villains range is, we are going to miss lots of value and also miss really clear bluff spots. Stop just trying to get to showdown, bluff the weak regs and value town the hero callers!

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