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Poker 101s: calling 3bets

Posted by sunny sen on 2012-11-16 at 12:00 AM

We continue from where we left off in part 1 ([URL]https://pokerguru.in/forum/entry.php?444-Poker-101s-part-1[/URL]) and we will touch on the some of the aspects of playing 3 -bet pots and try and have a very basic framework for defending a 3betting.

I guess i should clarify that most of this applies to decent-good villains and not retards (we expect to make money versus them by playing exploitatively and more easily) in a cash game setup with atleast 70-80bbs (some of it is applicable to 50bb stacks)

The standard 3bet scenario is we open 3x and get 3bet to 10x by an OOP villain (eg, btn vs sb/bb, btn vs bb in a HU game). Our apriory knowledge is that the decent villain knows that in a 6max/9 handed game, in general a competent button’s strategy is to open close to 60%+, while in a HU game this is close to 85%+.
If we defend , there is now 20bb in the pot

[B]3bet defense:[/B]

[I][B]Hand classifications:[/B][/I]

Facing a 3b, a reasonable way of defining our defense range is to decompose our range as below:
1. No brainer: hands that will play themselves and will win >20bb (amount in the pot after we call the 3bet) greater than 50% of the time.
2. Profitable: hands that we dont need to win >50% of the time, if we are calling 7bb to win a 20bb 3bet pot, we expect to make >7bb on avg with these hands for the play to be +EV.
3. Tweeners: These are the hands that are part of our variance roller coaster range which are probably 1-2bb within the 7bb mark, but not playing them (a decent % of time) would make us massively exploitable versus good villains.
4. Trash

Depending on the game type, our assessment of the 3bettor, stack sizes our hands move around between the above 4 categories in a dynamic manner, meaning the above decomposition is not rigid.
Eg: In a HU game if we have a dynamic where the 3better is 3bet-5b jamming any pair, then something like ATo, KQo is now “almost” in (1), where we are going to 4 bet stack off.

Here are some things to keep in mind while defending a 3bet

[I][B]Stack to pot ratio (SPR) considerations for 3bets defense:[/B][/I]

Belugawhale, Aejones and others in a 2p2 post (forget the link) talks about some back of the hand type SPR ratios thats worth mentioning here.
Below 3.5:1 SPR 78s is much more difficult to play than KJo, between 100-140bb starting stacks they are more or less the same and above 7:1 SPR 78s is more valuable than KJo. This kind of gives you a basic framework of when or when-not-to play certain hands.

Reason why 78s is better at a higher SPR is that, more often than not we flop a draw with 78s. At around 70bb starting stacks with 20bb in the pot preflop (exactly 3.5:1 SPR), if villain c-bets around 10-15bb, we can profitably jam our draw. At slightly bigger SPR, instead of straight jamming the flop, we can call flop planning to jam over a turn bet. Essentially a greater stack depth gives us more flexibility with this “tweener” (see 3 above) hand.

Conversely at very large stack depths KJo could be troublesome vs good villains as very frequently we will face barrels with what might well be the 2nd best hand.

[I][B]Player type:[/B][/I]

A lot of people have trouble with villains who will 3bet a lot and in the majority of scenarios follow
through with one or multiple barrels.

At 100-140bb stacks, while trapping with our big hands is a fair play vs them (we prefer a value 4bet at bigger stack sizes just to allow us to get 3 streets with a bet -bet-jam or straight up 4bet also if at 100-130bb a 4bet dynamic is in place), we also need to remember that by their barreling tendencies in 3bet pots, they actually end up giving us a even fairer price to call a 3 bet with our tweeners (vs this player type we are calling 7bbs to potentially win 30-35bbs instead of 20bbs).

This non-intuitive “better odd” laying by aggressive but not great LAGs, is what is termed as them
setting up a bluff equity for us. We’ll make them bet fold a variety of flops, or float the flop and
make them fold the turn.

By corollary villains who are aggressive preflop but will c-bet infrequently in 3bet pots, we are now
set up to defend a variety of hands towards the low end of category-2 (above) which have good showdown value versus them as villain pot controls for us.

An important differentiator between a good reg and an ok-leaky reg (regfish?) is that while they will be ok preflop with their aggression, their post flop game is leaky. A good LAG understands flop textures much better than a retarded LAG (majority who declare themselves to be Im a LAG yo) even though their preflop tendencies will be very similar.

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sunny sen

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