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Old 02-27-2014, 09:51 PM   #1
gamma001
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3k post: Overbetting.

The topic of overbetting has been widely overlooked both on the table and in the forums for some time. How many times do you even see an overbet at the tables? Once a session? Maybe twice? Not a lot anyway. Hopefully this post will help you see the advantages of overbetting, help you apply it to your game and understand how to defend against it.

So first letís have a brief overlook at why we bet. There are three reasons:
-for value: to get worse hands to call. Pretty obvious.
-as a bluff: to get better hands to fold. Also obvious.
-for protection/fold out equity/pick up dead money: not as important as the first two and doesnít really apply to large bet sizes since our range is polarised so it wonít be discussed any further.

When we overbet, our range will become polarised to relative nuttish hands and bluffs. On the other hand, Villainís range is mainly going to be bluff catchers i.e. will lose to our nutted hands and will win against our bluffs.

So why would we overbet? There are a number of somewhat interrelated reasons:

-Firstly, the ratio of value bets to bluffs will decrease as our bet size increases, meaning we can bluff more the bigger we bet.

-Furthermore, when villainís range is capped we can overbet to put him in a tough spot with his entire range. For more on capped ranges read TDAs great post on hand reading.


-Additionally, when we have a polarised range we maximise our Ev by getting all in over the three streets with equal sized bets on each street. For anyone who is interested and wants to read further this concept was described and derived in the Mathematics of Poker.

We can work out what percentage of the pot we need to bet to end up all in on the river using this formula **: (final pot-size) = (starting pot size)*(pot growth rate) ^(streets remaining)

So take for example we are on the flop with 7bb in the middle with a 100bb starting stacks and we are HU. This reduces the equation to 200 = 7*R^3 and with a little manipulation we can work out that R = 3.06. This means the pot should grow 3.06 times its size on each street i.e. we should bet 1.03 PSB (1.03 + 1.03 + 1 = 3.06) on each street. That formula is very useful so take note.

So whatís this about our value to bluff ratio? When we bet we offer villain odds to call. The odds offered define our value to bluff ratio from a theoretically optimal standpoint. If the pot is 10bb and we bet half pot villain is calling 5bb to win 15bb which means for him to be indifferent to calling with his bluff catchers he must win 25% of the time i.e. we must bluff 25% of the time and have a nut hands the other 75%. (being indifferent means it does not matter what decision villain makes, both have the same Ev)

However, there is an easier way to think about it:

Whatever you bet is the number of bluffs you should have and whatever the pot is AFTER you bet is how many value hands you should have. So letís say you bet half pot for 5bb; that means you should have 5 bluffs for every 15 value combos, or 3:1 value to bluffs. When you bet pot for 10bb that means 10 bluffs for every 20 combos of value or 2:1. Pretty easy right? Now what about overbettingÖ If we bet 2x pot for 20bb then we have 20 bluffs for every 30 value combos. Hopefully you can see where this is going... as our bet size goes to infinity our value to bluff ratio goes to 1:1.

You might say why does it matter if we can bluff more? The ability to be able to bluff a more in a balanced range increases the Ev of the whole range. We can take hands out of our check fold range and add them to our betting range. Letís further explain:

When we bet a balanced range on the river we automatically win whatever was in the pot. This may seem strange at first by bear with me. If we bet a particular size, take pot for example, and balance that with the correct amount of value bets and bluffs (2:1) villain becomes indifferent to calling or folding with his bluff catchers. Folding, by definition has an Ev of zero therefore calling also has an Ev of zero. Hopefully that made some sense. Now...

At any given point we share the Ev in the pot with the villain. If the pot is 50bb and we have an Ev of 20bb villain has an Ev of 30bb. Thus if villain has zero Ev we automatically win the entire pot. On the river, if the pot is 50bb and we bet a balanced range our Ev is 50bb against an opponent and his Ev is always zero (assuming he has only bluff catchers). I hope that made sense because itís pretty important .

The larger the proportion of our range we can bet the more often we will win the pot. Thus, it is ideal for us to bet as large as possible so we can bet as many bluffs as possible. However, if we bluff more than is theoretically correct Villain can just bluff catch 100% of the time and we lose with our bluffs. If we bluff too little villain can just fold his entire range and we lose value with our value hands. Therefore it is optimal for us to bet a balanced range so we canít be exploited by an optimal opponent.

Thatís probably enough theory for now. Let us not forget that being balanced is pretty bad idea in the majority of situations, especially at the micros and small stakes. It is a much better idea to play exploitatively with the aim of taking advantage of villainís unbalanced lines and poor tendencies. But that does not mean we can take good insight from theoretically optimal play. The most important thing to take from the theory above is: when villain is capped and our value hands are rarely beat, we should be big, very big.

A few examples of good situations to overbet:

We open from CO with 8 8 to 2.5bb and get called from the BB.

The flop is Q T 8 with 5.5bb in the pot.

We bet 4bb and he calls.

The turn is the 2 with 13bb in the middle.

Using the bet size formula above we get 200 = 13*R^2 which means R = 3.92. That implies we should bet 1.46 times the size of the pot.

We bet 19bb and plan to ship blank rivers.

Why is this good spot to overbet? Villains range is capped to one pair hands since he would be raising QT, T8s and sets OTF a very large percentage of the time. The 2 didnít improve any part of his range. We would also want to overbet draws as well as sets and possibly two pair to balance. You might think that we aren't getting value with our sets since villains range is weak. But the benefit of being able to overbet our unmade hands increases the Ev of our entire range (and if villain never calls we can always exploit by decreasing our value to bluff ratio i.e. bluffing more than we should theoretically be able to).

Another example:

We open 2x OTB with A 5 and get called in the BB.

The flop is K 8 7. We bet 3bb into 4.5bb.

The turn is 4 with 10.5bb in the pot.

As before, using the bet size formula we work out we should bet 1.68 PSB.
We overbet 17.5bb into 10.5 bb pot with the plan to jam river.

Again, this is a good spot to overbet because we block the nuts and have plenty of equity. Typically, most villains will be raising most possible flush draws besides 7xdd of which there aren't many combos of. Axdd would also be a check call quite often from villainís perspective but we obviously block that.

Another good scenario to overbet is in 3bet pots as the PFR when we have a big draw. One of the worst situations any poker player can face is being forced to fold a big draw after barrelling the turn in a 3bet pot because we were raised and aren't quite getting the odds to call. Take this hand for example:

We have Q J and 3bet a CO open to 10bb and get flatted 100bb effective.

The flop comes K 8 2 with 21bb in the middle. We bet 13bb and get called resulting in a pot of 47bb.

The turn comes 4 .We bet 26bb and we get shoved on.

We would be calling roughly 50bb to win 150bb which means we need 25% equity to break even, but we only have 20% equity .

We have to fold after putting almost half or stack in the middle. Disaster! There are two ways to deal with this problem. We can check-jam which ensures we realise our equity (but this can be difficult to balance). Or we can make sure we bet all the money in OTT by overbetting. Betting 77bb to win 47 is quite a large overbet so it might be preferential to bet slightly larger OTF so our turn bet isnít quite so big.

The final example is of a hand I played recently (this one is pretty simple ).

Poker Stars $50.00 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players -
BTN: $39.75 - VPIP: 43, PFR: 27, 3B: 4, AF: 1.4, Hands: 84
Hero (SB): $89.45 - VPIP: 21, PFR: 18, 3B: 8, AF: 3.2, Hands: 765669
BB: $69.49 - VPIP: 23, PFR: 5, 3B: 0, AF: 0.9, Hands: 86
UTG: $50.00 - VPIP: 21, PFR: 16, 3B: 7, AF: 3.7, Hands: 616
MP: $9.98 - VPIP: 0, PFR: 0, 3B: 0, AF: 0.0, Hands: 6
CO: $56.80 - VPIP: 18, PFR: 15, 3B: 5, AF: 2.2, Hands: 807

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is SB with T K
2 folds, CO raises to $1.25, 1 fold, Hero calls $1, BB calls $0.75

Flop: ($3.75) 7 8 J (3 players)
Hero checks, BB checks, CO checks

Turn: ($3.75) 9 (3 players)
Hero bets $2.25, BB calls $2.25, CO folds

River: ($8.25) Q (2 players)
Hero bets $85.95, BB calls $65.99 all in

Final Pot: $140.23
Hero shows T K
BB shows T A
Hero wins $117.77
(Rake: $2.50)

The reasons for overbetting here should be quite clear so I wonít dwell too much on it. Villain is quite obviously a fish. Not a drooler but still not a good player in any respect. We have the nuts and villain is NEVER folding the second nuts. So overbet! Doing anything else is leaving money on the table.

Poor situations to overbet are when villain is uncapped. This will occur quite often on dry boards such as K72r or A64r where villain will slow-play his sets and two pairs as a standard to give us a chance to continue bluffing. It also may occur in semi-wet multi-way pots where villain will call hoping to keep a fish or weak reg in the pot with a big hand. Just keep in mind that not all boards provide profitable overbetting opportunities.

Defending against over bets is pretty difficult. This is one of the reasons why it is such a powerful strategy when it is correctly employed. If youíre being harassed by overbets from a particular reg you should defend by ensuring your range is strong on run outs where villain is likely to overbet. This may mean having to slow play sets on wet board. This is something we generally will avoid doing since villainís bluffs have significant equity versus our range. However, when there is a high probability that villain will overbet, calling is worth the risk. Albeit, in some cases a turn or river is just poor for our range and good for villain's which means we just have to acknowledge that fact and call with the best of our bluff catchers. Itís not ideal but we do have to call to prevent villain from being able to bluff recklessly and print money versus us.

Just a few general notes to finish off:
-do not overbet against fish as a bluff unless you have a read that he folds to frequently. Putting large amounts of chips into the pot with a low equity hand against someone that doesn't fold is a no no. Overbet for value vs fish

-Against a good reg who you assume will call your overbet with a somewhat correct frequency you should be a balanced range. Balanced doesn't mean we have EXACTLY the right amount of bluffs and value bets, it just means our range isn't completely out of whack.

-Against reg who will react in an exploitable way to overbets (this will mostly be fold too much) we should take advantage of his leak adjusting our value to bluff ratio (usually by value betting less and bluffing more).

Thank you for reading that wall of text and I hope you took something useful from it

**Referencing Applications of NLHE by Mathew Janda.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:14 PM   #2
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

First. Never got around to reading the drafts so I'll definitely read this tomorrow.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:06 AM   #3
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Nice post, both were good reads today but they are going to be horribly misapplied, can't wait to randomly see fish 2x random turn cards.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:28 AM   #4
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Fantastic post and like I said earlier, a topic I always wanted to read about.

And yeah, looking forward to a lot of spew in coming days on the tables from regs.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:44 AM   #5
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Just read this - kinda funny that we both posted things with similar messages (yours is clearly more practical though) within a day of each other.

Awesome post though, certainly I've felt myself slipping with consideration of bet sizes recently so this will help me.

If you ever feel like writing an appendix, might I suggest a more detailed review of population assumptions re: overbets at various limits?
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:18 AM   #6
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Good post gamma
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:27 AM   #7
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDefiniteArticle View Post
If you ever feel like writing an appendix, might I suggest a more detailed review of population assumptions re: overbets at various limits?
Would be interesting to do but it would probably require me to play a lot of hands at each stake to get a good grasp of what general assumptions need to be made, which would be a lot of work

Maybe for my carpal tunnel post
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:41 AM   #8
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Expert Heads Up NLHE has a really good discussion on optimal river play given a certain percentage of slow plays in villain distribution. For now we are still going to shove. Villains total defending frequency including traps is going to be P/(S+P); P=Pot, S=Stack. So when deciding to shove at a certain stack size with our value hand we need to decide which term is greater for our villain, their their trap frequency T or their bluff catching frequency P/(S+P) - T. If T is greater, we are losing money on our shove with our Value hands so we need to start considering smaller bet sizes. This smaller bet size increases Villains optimal bluff catching frequency and in a lot of cases this can still be an over bet. Now Villain has the option of raising over top of our smaller bet size with their Traps + some bluff catchers to make our Value range indifferent to calling or folding. Villains bluffing frequency in this case is X = (S-B)/(2S+P); where B is our new bet size, and X is their bluffing frequency. As stated in your earlier discussion, our EV for this decision is now going to be 0 once Villain shoves over us and our overall EV will be our stack - Bet, S-B. Now Villains jamming Frequency is T+X and their bluff catching frequency is P/(S+P) - (T+X). With our Value hands we lose B every time villain shoves and win the pot every time they bluff catch, so intuitively we need to choose a bet size that is going to be most EV for us. We can now set up an EV equation for betting, in the book it is written EVbet = (S-B)(frequency Villain shoves) + (S+B+P)(Frequency Villain Bluff catches) + (S+P)(Villain folds). The author uses calculus to find the maximum bet size given effective stacks in Pot sized bets and % Traps in Villains range

Anyways the results are that if Villains Stack = 2 Pot sized bets it is still optimal to shove on the river if 10% of their range is traps. If stacks are 10 Pot sized bets now our optimal bet size is going to be less than 1 pot sized bet.
Lets say Villain holds 5% traps and effective stacks are around 3.5 Pot sized bets, it is still correct to shove. Its a pretty neat graph in the book.

Last edited by Spongeboobies; 03-01-2014 at 02:52 AM. Reason: I forgot's to add something
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:27 AM   #9
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At last Gamma. Wp, will read now
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:02 AM   #10
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Have finished reading it. Awesome post mate, vwp. Clear and concise.

Thank you.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:32 AM   #11
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Excellent post! Thanks for the time you took to write it.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:42 AM   #12
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

great post very concise
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #13
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

What do you think about this spot? Nice bluff or flopped nuts? AA/KK?
His cbet was 100% in 3b pot prior to this. Part of me believes this is a bluff but i also think that it's possible that he just wanted to slowplay something big. It's really nice bluff spot since my range is obviously very weak.

iPoker - Ä0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

BTN: Ä17.16 (VPIP: 18.56, PFR: 15.46, 3Bet Preflop: 9.38, Hands: 102)
SB: Ä12.26 (VPIP: 34.37, PFR: 29.36, 3Bet Preflop: 11.03, Hands: 433)
BB: Ä10.00 (VPIP: 20.23, PFR: 17.91, 3Bet Preflop: 6.10, Hands: 440)
UTG: Ä11.06 (VPIP: 16.13, PFR: 12.90, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 32)
MP: Ä10.50 (VPIP: 25.00, PFR: 25.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 4)
Hero (CO): Ä10.00

6 players post ante of Ä0.02, SB posts SB Ä0.05, BB posts BB Ä0.10

Pre Flop: (pot: Ä0.27) Hero has Q K

fold, fold, Hero raises to Ä0.25, fold, SB raises to Ä0.85, fold, Hero calls Ä0.60

Flop: (Ä1.92, 2 players) 4 7 7
SB checks, Hero checks

Turn: (Ä1.92, 2 players) 4
SB checks, Hero bets Ä1.10, SB calls Ä1.10

River: (Ä4.12, 2 players) 8
SB bets Ä5.55, fold
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:16 PM   #14
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Unfortunately a lot of his bluff range consists of Ax, making it not so much of a bluff range against your KQ. There is very little you beat here.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:57 AM   #15
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Well I am late to the party, but very nice post. Time to misapply it!
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:14 PM   #16
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

what happens if V jams in example 2?
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:53 PM   #17
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctor877 View Post
what happens if V jams in example 2?
We tag him as retarded and make a pot odds calc assuming he has a flush (I.e. fold).
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:48 PM   #18
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

How do we make it so we adjust our value:bluff ratio OTR to 2:1, because without some "basic rule" it's kinda hard because selective memory etc?

Should we do something like this?

12 outs OTT to basically nuts (nut flushdraw + gutter), okay so we try to make the pot OTT so big that potsize bet basically is a shove. And lets assume that villain has a range that is basically only single pairs as bluff catchers.

So we make the draws ~24% of the time, that leaves 75% when we brick OTR. So we need to be bluffing bricked rivers 1/6 of the time. So we roll a dice and bet when we hit a 6.


Do you guys do something like this?
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:01 PM   #19
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Great read.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:17 PM   #20
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

This is interesting as ****, and the theory afterall seems fairly simple. But how to implement this into your ABC game is whole different story, which requires some (a lot) of number crunching.
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:40 AM   #21
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamma001 View Post
do not overbet against fish as a bluff unless you have a read that he folds to frequently. Putting large amounts of chips into the pot with a low equity hand against someone that doesn't fold is a no no. Overbet for value vs fish
So we should be more value heavy with our over-bets then? Given he has a capped range we should be able to have a lot of value hands relative to his range right?

Like...

(BB) Hero: QTs
(LP) Villain: Fish who likes to hit call button frequently

Flop, SRP (villain raised we called)
T86
Checked through

Turn, 4bb
2
Hero bets 5-6bb?
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:55 AM   #22
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

I love the EV information stuff btw...

Random question so how often should u over-bet (obv when villain is capped)? Would it be weird to over-bet every single time villain has a capped range in a spot, or would just want to do it sparingly so he won't adjust/realize what we are doing etc...

I figure when u over-bet u generally build up a pot and winning big pot's are pretty crucial to ur overall winrate. That's why i was wondering about those 2 questions ^^^
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Old 06-05-2016, 04:18 AM   #23
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctor877 View Post
How do we make it so we adjust our value:bluff ratio OTR to 2:1, because without some "basic rule" it's kinda hard because selective memory etc?

Should we do something like this?

12 outs OTT to basically nuts (nut flushdraw + gutter), okay so we try to make the pot OTT so big that potsize bet basically is a shove. And lets assume that villain has a range that is basically only single pairs as bluff catchers.

So we make the draws ~24% of the time, that leaves 75% when we brick OTR. So we need to be bluffing bricked rivers 1/6 of the time. So we roll a dice and bet when we hit a 6.


Do you guys do something like this?
Lol, this is so cute.
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Old 06-05-2016, 07:20 AM   #24
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoxgsr96 View Post
Random question so how often should u over-bet (obv when villain is capped)? Would it be weird to over-bet every single time villain has a capped range in a spot,
Nice bump. Also I feel like the counter-strategy to this is pretty obvious, so you should think about what v would do vs this sort of strategy and how that impacts your ev.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:55 PM   #25
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Re: 3k post: Overbetting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncelanas View Post
Nice bump. Also I feel like the counter-strategy to this is pretty obvious, so you should think about what v would do vs this sort of strategy and how that impacts your ev.
Add more hands + slowplays to your x back range in some spots and call down with the top of your range? So yeah like i was asking we should only be over-betting sparingly... (also vs. weaker villains?)?

Well yeah it impacts our EV in that if we are constantly running into stronger hands (aka hands in villain's value range that beat us) our EV is going to go down when betting.
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