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Old 12-06-2014, 03:31 AM   #1
CallMeVernon
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Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

This came up in another thread, but I see it over and over again and I thought maybe it deserved its own thread instead of derailing more and more hands.

It has to do with how we play the top of our range on various boards.

There are certain kinds of boards (all one suit is a common one and the one that inspired me to make this thread) where sometimes we will make a hand on the flop or turn that is close to, but not quite, the absolute nuts, and other times we have the nuts (or a hand we are going to play as if it were the nuts, like QQ on a QTT flop).

I'm making this thread because there are many times where people want to treat the absolute nuts differently than the near nuts in terms of how they'll play it. There are basically 4 things that I hear people say depending on the situation:

1) They would fastplay everything in the top of their range.
2) They would slowplay everything in the top of their range.
3) They would fastplay some hands and slowplay others--and they would tend to fastplay the nuts and slowplay the near nuts.
4) They would fastplay some hands and slowplay others--and they would fastplay the near nuts and slowplay the absolute nuts.

The reason I'm starting this thread is because #4, despite being pretty commonly argued in various threads on here, has never, ever made sense to me.

This is usually the argument I hear in favor of #4:

"When we have the absolute nuts, everyone else is drawing to a second-best hand, so we should let them draw for cheap. But with the near nuts, there are hands that are live to beat us, and so we have to charge those draws."

When I'm trying to distill this argument down in my head, it always comes out like this:

"When we have the absolute nuts, we don't want anyone to fold because we don't benefit from them folding. But with the near nuts, we should play more aggressively because now we can benefit from other people folding."

I call this the "Protection Mentality" because if you think about it, that's what it is. It's the mentality that when we have a hand that we think is the best, we should play aggressively if we "need to protect" it and we should slowplay it if we don't "need to protect" it.

Despite this argument constantly being repeated, no one ever wants to admit that they are betting their strong non-nut hands for protection, since mostly we say we agree that protection is not a good reason to bet. (See the discussion here: https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/17...ction-1463854/ )

So I guess my question is, can someone explain to me the logic behind #4 without bringing up protection betting? Is there ever a time when we want to bet for value with the near nuts but not with the absolute nuts? I always thought there never was, but this is such a common mentality and it is shared by some posters I respect on here, so I wanted to try to start a discussion dedicated just to this.

Also, for those who say #4 does make sense to them--do you think there are spots where #3 also makes sense to you? Because #3 makes perfect sense to me but I very rarely see it advocated on the forum.
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:30 AM   #2
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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Originally Posted by CallMeVernon View Post

This is usually the argument I hear in favor of #4:

"When we have the absolute nuts, everyone else is drawing to a second-best hand, so we should let them draw for cheap. But with the near nuts, there are hands that are live to beat us, and so we have to charge those draws."

When I'm trying to distill this argument down in my head, it always comes out like this:

"When we have the absolute nuts, we don't want anyone to fold because we don't benefit from them folding. But with the near nuts, we should play more aggressively because now we can benefit from other people folding."
if we are determined to use the categories: value, bluffing, protection, then i think the argument can more accurately be stated that when we have the nuts, the EV difference between our options due to protection alone is smaller than when we don't have the nuts; we literally have more to gain by betting/raising in the protection category when we do not have the nuts. i will address protection betting again later.

Quote:
I call this the "Protection Mentality" because if you think about it, that's what it is. It's the mentality that when we have a hand that we think is the best, we should play aggressively if we "need to protect" it and we should slowplay it if we don't "need to protect" it.
this is an issue of degree, not kind. it may be the case that the additional EV we derive from "protection" is enough to make our more aggressive choice the more profitable one, if it otherwise would not have been.

Quote:
Despite this argument constantly being repeated, no one ever wants to admit that they are betting their strong non-nut hands for protection, since mostly we say we agree that protection is not a good reason to bet. (See the discussion here: https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/17...ction-1463854/ )
i think there is a bit of a breakdown of semantics here. if you think of the reasons to bet being "for" something (which i guess you mean to primarily derive value from), then it is probably true that it would be rare to find a situation in which >50% of our ev(betting) comes from protection. if we drop the "for" distinction, however, then we can examine protection a little more critically. protection can certainly provide at least some portion of the EV of betting/raising, and while even if we are not choosing to bet because this ev is >50% of ev(betting), it may very well alter which of two options is more profitable, and essentially become a determining factor.

Quote:
So I guess my question is, can someone explain to me the logic behind #4 without bringing up protection betting? Is there ever a time when we want to bet for value with the near nuts but not with the absolute nuts? I always thought there never was, but this is such a common mentality and it is shared by some posters I respect on here, so I wanted to try to start a discussion dedicated just to this.
im not really sure why we would want to eliminate a source of ev from the analysis. theres probably some situation where its close but blockers play an integral role, but i dont really think its relevant to this discussion.

Quote:
Also, for those who say #4 does make sense to them--do you think there are spots where #3 also makes sense to you? Because #3 makes perfect sense to me but I very rarely see it advocated on the forum.
is the distinction you are drawing here based on the additional value the nuts get from coolering near nut hands and the fact that you don't get coolered yourself? if yes, then i definitely agree that this should be something we consider.


i think its also worth noting that the hand that you refer to at the beginning had the important features of being multi-way, and not closing the action, which are distinguishable from many other hypothetical slowplay spots.
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:01 AM   #3
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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Originally Posted by CallMeVernon View Post
Also, for those who say #4 does make sense to them--do you think there are spots where #3 also makes sense to you? Because #3 makes perfect sense to me but I very rarely see it advocated on the forum.
You'd think more people would advocate #3 on this forum, since it is straight out of TOP. (Maybe also NLHE:T&P? I haven't re-read that book in a while, but I am sure it is in some NL book.)
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:02 AM   #4
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

Quote:
So I guess my question is, can someone explain to me the logic behind #4 without bringing up protection betting? Is there ever a time when we want to bet for value with the near nuts but not with the absolute nuts? I always thought there never was, but this is such a common mentality and it is shared by some posters I respect on here, so I wanted to try to start a discussion dedicated just to this.
The most common example would be flopping top set on a dry disconnected board. For instance K83r.

This is a spot where I would rarely bet KK. Since it is difficult for someone else to have Kx, and I am not going to get much value from weaker. Checking a street can induce a bluff, can induce calls on later streets from middle pair, or might let someone turn 2p or a draw. And if they have one of the only hands I could have gotten huge value from (K8, 88, 33) all the money is probably going in anyway.

Whereas if I held 88, I would bet it because it's then three times as likely for someone to have top pair.

I'm curious to think of when #3 would make sense because I'm struggling to think of examples.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:41 AM   #5
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

Imho, betting for protection concept is flawed. There is only really betting for value or betting as a bluff.
Whether to fast play or slowplay imo depends on more then the strength of our hand, but also on what we think V has, our stack size and what V thinks of us and our betting. Its quite possible that with our same hand and same V 's hand but different V fast playing is better then slowplaying and vice versa.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #6
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

Let's think of a multiway flop maybe everyone was called a small raise from tight player.

Board is 4d4s3d. Lets assume that a lot of people are playing pocket pairs 55-qq. Holding the absolute nuts 44, there is atone of value if we let someone catch up or back into hitting a set to make a high boat. holding 33, there is no value in letting someone catch up because them catching up will beat us, the deeper we are the more horrible this would be, as we are seemingly committed to our hand regardless; therefore we go for value now. Maybe we never get value from 55-qq betting flop, if they are only going to put money in if they improve and beat us, then there could be an argument to bet anyways simply to "protect" our equity/selves from getting coolered for no reason.

The weaker our holding is the less value there is in slowplaying because whatever they improve too will end up beating us, obv there is no value in that. Otherwise we could all just limp AA preflop to let people improve, or checkback flush/straight draw boards holding just an overpair. Also in the original example fastplaying both hands can get value from flush and straight draws. when we have 33 as well we can hope or assume someon will hold 4x, or a4 or the likes so there is very much value here as we can stack them before a scary turn comes that puts flush or straight on board. holding quads nobody has 4x to stack off with and we get very little value from 3x hands.

Last edited by ozmosis313; 12-06-2014 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #7
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

I think there are lots of situations where #4 makes sense as well as many where #3 makes sense. Which situations are which, of course, depends on the specific variables of the given situation.

There are a lot of potential variables including position, initiative, opponents' tendencies, 'multiwayness', and more; but I think generally it boils down to two main factors: the vulnerability of one's own hand to being outdrawn and the likelihood an opponent has a hand that will give you action.

Those two are actually fairly similar - the more vulnerable your hand is, the more potential there is for your opponent to have a hand that will give you action. That's part of the reason why protection seems so commonly to be the motivation for fastplaying - if there are draws out there then there are more hands we can value bet against.

So, basically we're deciding whether to fastplay or slowplay by asking the question, 'where does my profit come from?'

When you have a non-vulnerable nut hand your profit from fastplaying comes from your opponents already having hands (whether made hands or draws) that can call your bet; slowplaying generates profit from allowing your opponents to make hands on later streets that will give you action (or from tricking your opponents into thinking your hand isn't strong).

When you have a vulnerable/non-nut hand you have some of the same sources of profit with some differences.

You generate profit from fastplaying when a hand that would have outdrawn you folded instead (in which case fastplaying generates profit when draws call or fold). However, you have less potential fastplaying profit from already-made hands because there are fewer made hands that you beat and some hands that already beat you.

As for slowplaying, you give up profit to opponents who could outdraw you, but save money against those that already have you beat.

On a flop of KK3r I might slowplay any K or better. But I'm most likely to fastplay 33 followed (somewhat distantly) by K3 and AK. 33 is both the most likely to be outdrawn and the most likely to be up against another strong hand since it holds no K blocker. K3 and AK could be outdrawn but are less likely to be; and they can get action from a weaker K (but reduce the chance that there is another K out there). I'm virtually never fastplaying KK, because there are no more Ks out there; and I'm rarely fastplaying KQ because of its potential to already be beat.

On a flop of KK3 with a flush draw I'm usually betting AK and KQ in part because they could be outdrawn. I'm also more likely to bet 33 and K3, even though they're no more likely to be outdrawn, because there are more hands that can call. I'm still almost always slowplaying KK and weak Ks - in the case of the weak Ks the risk of being outdrawn is made up for by not value-owning oneself against better hands.

Any time there is a paired board where the paired card is the higher card it makes more sense to slowplay the overfull or quads than it does to slowplay the underfull (eg KQ/KK vs. QQ on a KKQ board). If you have the underfull then it's much more likely someone has trips and will give you action.

In the case of a monotone flop it makes more sense to fastplay a non-nut flush because people are much more likely to chase with just the A of suit than any other draw. Many people probably think of it as protection when they're fastplaying in that case, and sure it's that also, but in a sense they're backdooring into the right decision. Likewise, I'm more likely to slowplay the nut flush with AK than AT because AT has the chance of being up against the K of suit (which people will chase more than the Q or J).

I think the principles behind #3 and #4 are often in play at the same time. The KK3r example above demonstrates that. Another example would be on an AQT flop: I'm far more likely to slowplay AA than KJ, QQ, and TT because of its blockers to Ax which are the most likely hands to give action.

A monotone flop with a potential straight flush is another example: on a 7s5s3s flop it makes more sense to slowplay As6s than 6s4s or QsJs because there are fewer hands that can give you action. But it makes less sense to slowplay AsTs than As6s cause you don't have the straight flush blockers (you're both more likely to be outdrawn and more likely to be against a hand willing to draw, eg 6s5x).

Oversimplified cliffs notes: near-nut hands often, but not always, have fewer blockers to strong second-best hands than the pure nuts.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:39 AM   #8
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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Originally Posted by ozmosis313 View Post
Let's think of a multiway flop maybe everyone was called a small raise from tight player.

Board is 4d4s3d. Lets assume that a lot of people are playing pocket pairs 55-qq. Holding the absolute nuts 44, there is atone of value if we let someone catch up or back into hitting a set to make a high boat. holding 33, there is no value in letting someone catch up because them catching up will beat us, the deeper we are the more horrible this would be, as we are seemingly committed to our hand regardless; therefore we go for value now. Maybe we never get value from 55-qq betting flop, if they are only going to put money in if they improve and beat us, then there could be an argument to bet anyways simply to "protect" our equity/selves from getting coolered for no reason.
Yes, exactly. If you've got pocket 8s on a TT8 flop, you've got the near nuts. The problem is when a 9, J, Q, K, or Ace comes on the turn and your opponent is showing aggression, you have to wonder if your "near nuts" have been counterfeited.

Also, there are different versions of the nuts. Flopping the nut flush is awesome, but when the board pairs on the turn, you no longer have the stone cold nuts. Flopping top set, on the other hand, can remain the nuts (or near nuts) for the entire hand and be pretty hidden.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:44 AM   #9
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

I don't like the way the question is phrased, which is why people have different reactions to it. I would like it separate the boards differently with nut hands.

1. I have a hand that on this board where virtually no cards can come on the next street that can give the villain a hand they feel could be best. Let's call this the invincible nuts.

2. I have a hand that on this board where there are 6+ cards that can come on the next street that can give the villain a hand they feel could be best, but isn't. Or the villain can have a near nuts hand and believe it is best. This is the hidden nuts.

3. I have a hand that on this board where there are 6+ cards that can come on the next street that can give the villain a better hand. This is the vulnerable nuts.

4. I have a hand that on this board where there are possible better hands out there and there are 6+ cards that can give the villain a better hand. This is the non-nuts.

When we look at it this way, we only want to slow play the invincible nuts. We aren't getting multiple streets of calls. We're trying to just get one additional bet.

The hidden nuts we want to bet because of two reasons. First, many of our opponents will slow play these hands so we under rep our hand. Second, they have a draw that can call two streets at least. If we get lucky, we want to make the river bet small enough that we don't have to raise, yet we've got the stacks in.

We bet the vulnerable nuts because we want to extract value from draws. Finally, we want to bet the non-nuts because we are likely ahead of their range. It should be needless to say that if we aren't likely ahead and aren't drawing, we should be c/f much of the time.

For example, let's look at a K83r flop. Top set is the hidden nuts. AA has just 2 outs and a smaller set has 1 out. If we bet out, smaller sets are going to get it in because they believe they can have the best hand (their hand reading skill tells them we have AK). On a AAT board, we have the invincible nuts with AA. Only TT could call any bet. So we need to offer some time to the villain to catch their FH to start playing.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:50 AM   #10
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
For example, let's look at a K83r flop. Top set is the hidden nuts. AA has just 2 outs and a smaller set has 1 out. If we bet out, smaller sets are going to get it in because they believe they can have the best hand (their hand reading skill tells them we have AK).
I don't understand this line of thinking. Obviously position and stack size play a role, but it should be pretty easy to get the money in against smaller sets or AA (which is unlikely if you have KK and the money didn't go in pre) whether you slowplay or fastplay.

Those hands make up a tiny portion of an opponent's potential range anyway. Slowplaying to let Ax catch an A or 77 to call a later street, for example, should provide a much bigger boost in long-term profit than the loss from the rare cases where you slowplay and smaller sets get spooked by a scary-ish runout and don't stack off.

(Against a group you regularly play against occasionally fastplaying KK here can provide some benefit by keeping your c-betting range balanced; but that benefit is pretty small imo, and that's not really the issue at hand anyway)
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:56 AM   #11
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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Originally Posted by DK Barrel View Post
I'm curious to think of when #3 would make sense because I'm struggling to think of examples.
You should probably play QQ faster than T8 on a QTT board. You should probably play AK faster than 98 on a QJT board.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:18 AM   #12
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

Good discussion. The only factor missing (in venice's list and ITT as a whole) is the scenario - I have a hand that on this board where 6+ (or other arbitrary number) cards can come on the turn that kill my action from inferior hands I can get value from now.

This an important consideration in whether to fast play near nuts or nuts OTF.

For example -

You have QsJs (or AsXs for that matter) and flop a flush when V holds TPTK with no spade. Another spade on the turn will kill any further action.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:24 AM   #13
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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Originally Posted by blankblankobv View Post
I think there are lots of situations where #4 makes sense as well as many where #3 makes sense. Which situations are which, of course, depends on the specific variables of the given situation.
tl;dr whole thread -- quote hits the heart of the matter

Essentially, the argument between slow-playing or fast-playing near-nut/nut hands comes down to value. There's no such thing as betting for protection. We bet for value or as a bluff, both of which have pleasant side effects. Slow-playing is a form of value, in the form of deception.

With absolute nut hands, we have the convenience of choosing when to collect our value. With vulnerable nut hands, or near-nut hands, we have to choose between getting value from betting or from deception.

How many times have you checked top set on the flop on a dry, disconnected board only to find out you gave villain a freeroll to turn the 2-outer? Do you make up for it when you check and they undervalue your hand on a later street? Reconcile this on a situational basis and you have optimal play.

TL;DR None of the proposed statements is useful. Practice properly constructing v-ranges and profitably manipulating perceived range.
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:37 PM   #14
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

One other big factor that has not been mentioned yet is the number of opponents.

If I raised pre with KK, get one caller and the flop comes out K83r I'm much more likely to slow play. Not always, if villain has position and likes to float or just hates to give up on the flop, I would still bet a lot. If villain is tight and is giving up most non-set hands to a bet, then I would slow play more then bet.

In the same situation, if we are 4+ to the flop I'm almost never checking. The more opponents, the more likely somebody has something that can call, and the more people in the hand the less deception is worth. Heads up hero might get somebody with a middle pair or even 8X to call both turn and river if hero checks flop, with 5 players in the hand as soon as there is action your hand looks like KX or better.
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:55 PM   #15
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

In poker, we're generally weighing several factors against each other, and while in different situations, certain factors might take precedence and those factors alone might make a certain line of play preferable, but secondary and tertiary (and so on) factors can still push other lines toward the top.

If we just completely put our blinders on and talk about protection and protection alone (I know this is exactly what you *don't* want to do, but bear with me, there's a point in it), the distinction between having the nuts or the near nuts is unimportant. What is more important is how *vulnerable* our hand is. On an A T 6 tt flop, we don't want to offer a free opportunity at having flushes or gutterballs completing regardless of whether we hold AA or AT. Of course AT is a bit more vulnerable because JJ-KK have 2 outs and AJ+ have 3 outs, but it's nothing compared to the mutual concern of flushes hitting.

There are situations where the nuts are less vulnerable than the near nuts (eg: 66 vs A6 on a 665tt flop), but I have a feeling that we would all gather together and consent that *of course* it's more important to fast play A6 in this spot than it is 66, so I still don't think these are the sorts of contentious discussions you're referencing.

Now when you consider the full range of factors, you'll find spots where protection is basically all that matters. Let's say we're first to action the flop in a 5-way single raised pot, and the PFR acts directly after us. The flop is QT9tt. Let's say our villains are all passive (they're not ever raising as a bluff unless it's with absolute nutted combo draws), but they're all MUBSY and so will auto-raise their top-and-bottom+ hands on a board this ugly because they'd rather take the pot down now then let the board get ugly.

When we hold 99, we can lead out, but if we're raised we're basically only doing okay against their range, and a shove might make them fold basically every hand short of QT or the best combo draws. Alternatively, we can check hoping that the PFR bets, several players call, and we can squeeze, likely getting called by a mix of good draws, two pairs, pair + draws, etc. It's risky because with all these passive players left to act, it might check all the way through and we're at the mercy of the turn, and even the times we get to x/r or x/squeeze, we're mostly only going to get that much money in, and we'll still be at the mercy of the turn before we can shove all our money. It's not the best from a protection standpoint, but since checking and raising a significant bet with some calling action is the only permutation in which we get a ton of money in on the flop *while still dominating the continuing ranges*, it might very well be best to check and pray for that permutation. If it checks through, and the turn is a blank, then money will likely go in very lightly from that point on, so we can just crush everyone.

When we hold KJs, OTH, we know that no matter how the money gets in, we are guaranteed to have it on the flop. This more-or-less means that nothing really matters except for protection--or more accurately, how to get money in as fast as possible. We're not as worried about how we get the hands directly below ours to stack off, because the hands directly below ours are the second nuts and that hand will gladly shovel money in for us, so it's just whatever line will give us the hardest green light. Well, our reads say that good two pairs+ are going to raise whenever we bet into them, so we can b/shove and expect to force their best hands to a decision while we still hold the stone-cold nuts. The protection risks involved with checking aren't worth it because the benefits of keeping their ranges wide are kind of irrelevant.

The same goes for the aforementioned K82r flop. Arguably the biggest part of the reason that we're more apt to check back KK than 22 is because we have the deck so crippled when we hold KK. Also, though, when we hold KK, we know that pretty much no matter happens from this point on in the hand, when all the money goes in, we will have the best hand. When we hold 22 300bbs deep and check back the flop only to get x/r/4b-all-in'ed, on a 3 turn, then people start making 2p2 posts that are like, "Is this ever anything less than a higher set"? So with KK on this board, you can afford to worry about how to maximize value against second pair because even when you accidentally run into hands that are immediately below your own, then you're getting their stack no matter what you do. With 22, your strategy is so centered around maximizing value against great-but-not-auto-stacking hands like AA and AK that you don't have the luxury of taking a line that maximizes against air and marginal hands.

So I'm not really keeping score on how many times I'm supporting slow/fastplaying the nuts versus the near nuts in this post, but I wanted to get across the point that there are many factors that go into how to plan out a hand. Protection is one of them, and posters might be more apt to protect the nuts in certain hands (because, like in the KJs example, protection is the only factor that really matters because, lol, we have the immortal nuts so let's just figure out how to shovel money in ASAP); other times, the nuts are less vulnerable, so protection is less relevant, even if it's one of only a few factors we care about. Sometimes our hand is pretty much unaffected by the turn regardless of whether we have top or bottom set, so protection isn't really in the discussion at all, yet we still might play the nuts differently from the near nuts.

Anyway, as you can tell from this post and several others that I've made here in the recent past, I think there's another very important factor that plays in when it comes to slowplaying the nuts versus the near nuts: with the near nuts, we need to consider how to expand villain's stacking off range in order to gain a fat margin,[1] whereas with the nuts, our margin is 100% regardless of what range we're stacking, so it's easier for EV margins drawn from other factors to overtake this one (though it's always nice to stack the widest range possible, obviously, so it's never completely taken *out* of consideration). One of those factors is protection. It is also true, however, that the nuts are sometimes less vulnerable than the near-nuts, so while protection may only be one of many factors when holding the near-nuts, the value gained from it can make an otherwise second-place line the optimal line.

I'm not sure whose side of the argument this supports, but I don't think any one of the numbers you mentioned are unilaterally correct anyway, so I'm fine with concluding that none of them are correct.

I would certainly say, though, that the value we gain from protection is *always* a factor in every hand; it's just rarely of such high value that it's best to do it in spite of all other factors (especially the ones of highest leverage, like value and equity). The whole "bet for protection" fad was obviously very flawed, but the "protection is a myth" counter-fad is equally flawed.


[1] This doesn't inherently support slowplaying or fastplaying. Not only is it situationally dependent, but *highly* opponent dependent. In live games, we run into a lot of loose-passive players, so they call off much lighter when we do the betting (hence the loose part), then when they're doing the betting themselves (hence the passive part). Against players who turn into bombardiers once your perceived range becomes capped, playing a hand passively will often be the best way to maximize villain's stackoff range.

Last edited by surviva316; 12-06-2014 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:26 PM   #16
Richard Parker
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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I don't understand this line of thinking. Obviously position and stack size play a role, but it should be pretty easy to get the money in against smaller sets or AA (which is unlikely if you have KK and the money didn't go in pre) whether you slowplay or fastplay.
Not true, because your opponent is thinking the same thing as you are here:

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Those hands make up a tiny portion of an opponent's potential range anyway. Slowplaying to let Ax catch an A or 77 to call a later street, for example, should provide a much bigger boost in long-term profit than the loss from the rare cases where you slowplay and smaller sets get spooked by a scary-ish runout and don't stack off.
And you see this a lot, two players went to showdown with minimal betting and both had overpair.

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(Against a group you regularly play against occasionally fastplaying KK here can provide some benefit by keeping your c-betting range balanced; but that benefit is pretty small imo, and that's not really the issue at hand anyway)
Benefit is ONLY small if you're typically a passive player. When you're a passive player, you can only balance through bluffing, and usually you would have to show your bluff because others simply fold.

Then what usually happens is that you then go back to betting once every blue moon, and again, people forget that you bluffed 5 orbits ago.
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:23 AM   #17
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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I don't like the way the question is phrased, which is why people have different reactions to it. I would like it separate the boards differently with nut hands.

1. I have a hand that on this board where virtually no cards can come on the next street that can give the villain a hand they feel could be best. Let's call this the invincible nuts.

2. I have a hand that on this board where there are 6+ cards that can come on the next street that can give the villain a hand they feel could be best, but isn't. Or the villain can have a near nuts hand and believe it is best. This is the hidden nuts.

3. I have a hand that on this board where there are 6+ cards that can come on the next street that can give the villain a better hand. This is the vulnerable nuts.

4. I have a hand that on this board where there are possible better hands out there and there are 6+ cards that can give the villain a better hand. This is the non-nuts.

When we look at it this way, we only want to slow play the invincible nuts. We aren't getting multiple streets of calls. We're trying to just get one additional bet.

The hidden nuts we want to bet because of two reasons. First, many of our opponents will slow play these hands so we under rep our hand. Second, they have a draw that can call two streets at least. If we get lucky, we want to make the river bet small enough that we don't have to raise, yet we've got the stacks in.

We bet the vulnerable nuts because we want to extract value from draws. Finally, we want to bet the non-nuts because we are likely ahead of their range. It should be needless to say that if we aren't likely ahead and aren't drawing, we should be c/f much of the time.

For example, let's look at a K83r flop. Top set is the hidden nuts. AA has just 2 outs and a smaller set has 1 out. If we bet out, smaller sets are going to get it in because they believe they can have the best hand (their hand reading skill tells them we have AK). On a AAT board, we have the invincible nuts with AA. Only TT could call any bet. So we need to offer some time to the villain to catch their FH to start playing.
I hate to keester kiss but venice really smashes some of his posts(no new info here). The last paragraph is also a sick reminder imo. And if hero has a read(+maybe some physical tell) on villains hu or multiway putting them on AA or trips we're playing perfect here
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:56 AM   #18
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

What is the difference between "betting for protection" and "charging the draws"? Honest question.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:20 AM   #19
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

Thought id share, seems relevant.
For those who havent read super systems
On a say jTT board, hand: jt, doyle is charging draws otf; as am i
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:49 AM   #20
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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What is the difference between "betting for protection" and "charging the draws"? Honest question.
Generally bet size.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:04 AM   #21
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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What is the difference between "betting for protection" and "charging the draws"? Honest question.
Betting for protection means that you want a fold. You're going to bet enough that even the densest calling station is going to fold. Charging a draw means that you want a call and will bet the maximum the villain will call. Against a tough villain, you want your charging a draw bet to be about the same as your cbet when you wiff the flop. You rarely see a tough villain in LLSNL though.

As said above, the protection bets are larger than charging bets.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:21 AM   #22
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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What is the difference between "betting for protection" and "charging the draws"? Honest question.
This is mostly an issue of semantics.

'Betting for protection' can be a blanket term covering any time you bet with what is likely the best hand against a range that has at least a 'decent' number of outs against you.

It can also be used as specifically meaning that you want (or derive maximum ev from) a fold even though you have the best hand. This is opposed to a value bet where you 'want' a call (the implication being that you are denying your opponent the correct implied odds to call - either because your bet is too big for the size of the remaining stacks or because you know you won't stack off if they hit).

I think 'charging draws' mostly has more of a value connotation, but I think it can apply more broadly to anytime you're betting against a range of draws whether you're 'denying odds' or not (like in limit hold-em for example; or when you're raising all-in when effective stacks are too shallow to deny odds).

I personally use the term 'protection' pretty loosely with the presumption/hope that it's understood as shorthand for the attempt to balance maximizing the chance a draw will call without the correct odds with maximizing one's ev when they do call (ie by making bigger bets) - with the understanding that getting a draw to fold generates ev even if it generates less than if it had called; and therefore bigger bets can be better even when they decrease the chance of a call.

I think the semantic hair-splitting can be useful to the extent that it helps us clarify our reasons for how much, and whether, we bet; but I don't find it particularly useful in everyday threads.

In part that's because a bet is virtually never purely for protection since you're almost never able to be sure your against a range of 'high out' draws with no dominated made hands.

Most commonly 'protection' coincides with 'value' - both in the sense that you're 'getting value from draws' and that you are possibly up against second-best made hands (like with AK on an A76 flop - your 'protecting against draws' at the same time as your 'value-betting' against Ax).

Protection can also coincide with semi-bluffing. For example, with KQ on the above flop a bet might be for protection against 43 or JT while being a semi-bluff against 55.

There is a more detailed discussion in the thread linked in the OP. I didn't mean to blather on so much :/
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:17 PM   #23
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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What is the difference between "betting for protection" and "charging the draws"? Honest question.
If I can slip into semi-troll mode here, "betting for protection" means you are a coward who is afraid to play against drawing hands while "charging the draws" means you want to make value bets against hands where you have an equity advantage and don't mind if your value bet gets called by someone who has incorrect odds to call.

It's not the definition other people use, but when I think about betting for protection, I include the idea of betting to protect your equity in the pot by minimizing your opponent's fold equity. How I play against a likely draw on the turn has a lot to do with how I predict the river action will go down.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:39 PM   #24
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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Originally Posted by Drbennyboombass View Post
What is the difference between "betting for protection" and "charging the draws"? Honest question.
I was always under the impression that they mean exactly the same thing, but people are afraid to use the word "protection" on this forum (since that is a "donkey term"), so they use the expression "charging draws" as a circumlocution. (For evidence, see a few of the posts in this thread.)

Anyway, as blank said, there's a big debate about the proper meaning of protection betting in the COTM I linked in the OP. I think the conclusion we came to was that what defines a protection bet is that you generate EV from your opponent correctly folding and giving up his pot equity (as opposed to a bluff, where he is incorrectly folding, or a value bet, where he is incorrectly *not* folding).

(Rest of the discussion is pretty good--I don't have time to write a long response now but I'll get back into the conversation soon. Oh, and AsianNit--#3 absolutely is in NLHT&P.)
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:06 PM   #25
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Re: Slowplaying and the "Protection Mentality"

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Anyway, as blank said, there's a big debate about the proper meaning of protection betting in the COTM I linked in the OP. I think the conclusion we came to was that what defines a protection bet is that you generate EV from your opponent correctly folding and giving up his pot equity (as opposed to a bluff, where he is incorrectly folding, or a value bet, where he is incorrectly *not* folding).
I don't think there's much debate over what protection is. It's a hard, mathematically demonstrable value tied to the concept of equity realization. I think at this point I'd have to agree with jvds that we're getting confused because we think that a bet has to have a single objective.

Saying that a bet is "for" [value, bluff, protection] is helpful for beginners to get the fundamentals, especially in the all-so-common, "Why did you 3b JJ here if you didn't think he would continue with worse" sort of discussion. You're mistaken, though, if you think that there has to be a prime objective to all of our bets; betting is simply the best when it has the highest EV of any of our choices, and the values that go into our EV is just about always a varied source.

If we're playing IP in open-faced poker with fixed pot-sized bets, and we hold AKo and villain holds AQo on a 245r board, then betting is best. Whether it's a value bet or a protection bet (it can't be a bluff because 0% of villain's range is better hands) is, I guess, dependent on whether we think villain will be dumb enough to call or not, but that's frankly irrelevant. The important thing is that we're forcing him to a decision for whether he should overpay to realize his equity, or if he should just fold and win 0% of the time.

When he calls, we can calculate the Value value of our bet by taking the difference of our equities and multiplying it by the bet size. When he folds, we can calculate the Protection value of our bet by multiplying what his (would-be) equity by the pot size.

It's all very simple and straightforward. We only muddle the issue when we make blanket statements about the prime objectives of our bets or about whether protection is always great or never relevant or any other sort of generalizations. It's simply a calculable value tied to our bets that exists but will not always be worth achieving once we consider all of the other (often much more important) factors that go into the EV of different lines.
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