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What’s Your Range

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: Feb 10, '11

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Today I’ve got another variation on the “What’s Your Play?” theme. I’m going to give you the play, and you have to give me the range with which you would make it. Of course for the sake of discussion, please give us your reasoning as well.

Reads:

MP2 I’ve never played with before but he’s at a couple of tables and is probably decent, just a little too loose and a little too passive to be considered Tight-Aggressive.

BTN is a regular who often plays higher stakes than this. He plays a lot of tables at once and is smart but not the most aggressive/creative regular there is.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em, $6.00 BB (9 handed) – PokerStars Converter Tool from PokerSavvyPlus.com

Button ($605.25)
Hero (SB) ($1134.25)
BB ($609)
UTG ($1229)
UTG 1 ($668.20)
MP1 ($591
MP2 ($702.15)
MP3 ($216.50)
CO ($726)

Preflop: Hero is SB with X X
3 folds, MP2 bets $12, 2 folds, Button calls $12, Hero calls $9, BB calls $6

Flop: ($48) J, 8, J (4 players)
Hero checks, BB checks, MP2 bets $42, Button raises to $131, Hero raises to $1122.25 (All-In)

Note that I have both of these players covered by a wide margin. MP2 has about $650 behind, and BTN has about $462 behind, at the time that I shove.

So, what’s your range? We’re looking for two-card combinations here, so don’t just tell me “trips”- we want to know your kicker!

I’ll give everyone a few days to think and comment, and I’ll post results and my thoughts on Sunday.

Andrew Brokos is a professional poker player, writer, and teacher. He is also an avid hiker and traveler and a passionate advocate for urban public education. You can find dozens of his poker strategy articles at www.thinkingpoker.net/articles and more information about group seminars and one-on-one coaching at www.thinkingpoker.net/coaching.

 
Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of CardPlayer.com.
 

Comments

JusDucky
over 11 years ago

If the Button is smart but not that aggressive, I would guess he has a medium strength jack in this situation. I'll put him on QJ. If that's similar to what you put him on, then you won't push so hard unless you really want him to overcall with trips. I think you have KJ, AJ, J8, 88, or maybe (just maybe) 9c10c. But then again I always think everyone has good cards so I'm probably way off.

 
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Foucault82
over 11 years ago

It's a question of "and", not "or". Although I will eventually reveal what I had here, the more important thing is to think about all of the hands that I should shove in this spot. Depending on what we think Villain's calling range will be, that may include hands I'm shoving for value and/or hands I'm shoving as a bluff.

 
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JusDucky
over 11 years ago

Oh yeah, and fun blog by the way Andrew, I really enjoy reading it.

 
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JusDucky
over 11 years ago

Oh yeah, and fun blog by the way Andrew, I really enjoy reading it.

 
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Foucault82
over 11 years ago

Thanks! I enjoy writing it, especially when I get interesting comments :-)

 
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mattrat33
over 11 years ago

I would guess you're made hand range consists of jack 8 through jack ace. I would discount the chances of the jack 8 pretty heavily since youre not looking to make a flush draw or straight draw fold and the money will most likely go in against most jack-x hands eventually anyway. I would also discount the chances of the jack ace slightly since you did not reraise preflop (though it is still very likely).
I would guess you're drawing range consists of all straight and flush draws as well as ace-x clubs, kq/k10 clubs. You may actually be able to get it in good with ace-x or king-x of clubs against a combo draw or with ace-x against a king high club draw, and you may get a king high draw to fold with your combo draw giving a shove some merit in both cases.

 
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mattrat33
over 11 years ago

Same thing applies for 88 as jack 8. Forgot to mention 88.

 
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Foucault82
over 11 years ago

When you say "all straight and flush draws" do you mean all combo draws or are you suggesting I should shove T9o?

 
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mattrat33
over 11 years ago

combo draws

 
 

LoProPoker
over 11 years ago

Fun blog it would help to know if he called or not tho but I think the button has maybe AQcc maybe even Aj kj kqcc .As for hero most def has 88 or even quads worse hand i think can be aj meaning button then has a draw or q ten. would be nuts if hand played out aj vs 88 or jj vs 88 tho :) ethier way I dont think you would push all in with anything less the the best hand on at least the flop. thats what i think .

 
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surfbum4life
over 11 years ago

I think it is first and foremost of the utmost importance to look at your preflop range in this spot. A mid position player minraised and was met with a call before you called in the sb. I believe your range incluedes connectors between 4 5 and KQ, suited or unsuited, pairs 2's-8's/9's, any suited King Xs or suted Ace X, along with unsuited AT or higher. While this does compromise the majority of your range and discounts only random junk it provides a little insight into the flop.

The preflop raiser has a range is lacking bluffs due to his semi passive nature. Due to his passiveness it looks like he actually has a hand here ranging from a flush draw, over pair, or random jack most likely Jack nine, Jack Ten, Jack Queen, or Jack King. This being said the button should be smart enough to realize this and raise with either his own flush draws, to find out and possibly drive off over pairs, or with a jack in order to get the most money in the pot.

All this being said it looks like you should ONLY be in there with the top of your range, aka J8 JQ, JK, JA, and 88. Due to the belief that the button has a jack of some nature then you should be shoving the top of your range in order to get the rest of his stack in while you have a large edge over his range and before a club or straight draw hits that scares off the button.

Its an interesting place to be since there is absolutely no bluffing in your range due to the nature of these opponents. Therefore I know that this answer is the incorrect answer as it is an entirely unbalanced range that can be taken advantage of; ironic as I am by far and away a loose player who is all for bluffing in appropriate spots. I am extremely eager to find out your thoughts on this blog - thanks for everything and as always its nice to hear your thoughts.

 
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mattrat33
over 11 years ago

So I guess Hero is just laying down the 9 10 of clubs here?

 
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Foucault82
over 11 years ago

Thanks for a very well thought-out comment.

Don't read too much into my description of MP2. He's less aggro than your average winning 3/6 TAG, but he's not incapable of bluffing. I'm not saying that he is or isn't in this exact spot, but he's not like a loose-passive or anything.

You're correct that a shoving range of QJ+ would be unbalanced and exploitable. That isn't necessarily bad, if you think that your opponent will not exploit it.

Assuming you wanted to balance this range, though, what other hands would you shove?

Hint: Think about what your opponents would need to do to exploit you if they knew you were only shoving for value here.

 
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surfbum4life
over 11 years ago

Alright, well with that additional information it still looks like an extremely bad spot for him to be bluffing. A minraise PF with three callers and cards that are very much in their general range, looks to be more like a a high pair, Jx from JT - AJ, or a flush draw due to his bet sizing. This being said the button, if he is indeed a smart player can raise small here with a wide range knowing that if he is reraised he is likely to be up against trips but if just called he can jam any blank on the turn knowing his opponent will likely have to fold.

All this being said we can now widen the hero's jamming range here due to the belief that the original raiser will not be able to withstand a fourbet jam as he percieves it as his opponents having him crushed. So in this new light I would open up the hero's range to include 9c Tc, Qc Xc, Kc Xc, and Ac Xc. It is also possible to include incredibly light draws here such as gut shots for some equity if wrong that MP2 will fold to two raisers and the button was in fact light a large percentage of the time.

I almost feel as if you are having to unbalance your range in order to attack their unbalance range in the respect that MP2 is betting strong made hands and strong draws, but they are not strong enough to withstand such pressure. The button's range is probably the best in this spot as he is just as likely to be raising a mid jack for protection as he is to be a draw or pure bluff...

Ahhhh the complexities of NL...

 
 

chevychasin
over 11 years ago

Unless Btn is the most straight forward player ever, he has to do this sometimes with flush draws because he puts MP2 in such a tough guessing spot provided we fold. Also, let us not forget that MP2 can have the J8 suited (depending on looseness) through AJ os and 88 too, and bet sizing suggests he has something. He must have a stronger hand to over-call though, basically KJ, AJ, J8 and 88. I would say Btn can have J10 and J9 very easily, as well as the QJ JusDucky mentioned earlier. I expect he might 3-bet in position a 10Js, JQs, JKs and AJos/s or 88 sometimes (with more weight to AJ and 88) so that takes some combos of the top end hands he needs to call the all-in out of the equation or at least lessens their frequency.

I would say considering the action, a move in w 88, J8, AJ, KJ and JQ would be acceptable. The J10 really only beats the J9, so no real value there. Given the action, anything else is a pure bluff/hope that btn is raise folding flush draws and JQ, J10 and J9 , so could do with straight and/or flush draws if u have sick read that Btn will always fold bottom end of the calling range and MP2 has a pair (cause if he has the flush draw, it is less likely btn has one, making it more likely he has the J).

 
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mattrat33
over 11 years ago

In my opinion people are giving the button too much credit for his raise in this spot. He plays higher stakes than this normally and he raised a continuation bet in position. MP2 certainly doesn't have to have an overpair/jack (though overpair is likely), and Button may have a jack, but could easily have a bunch of other hands (bluffs, raising for information, semibluffs). I don't think either of their hands have become extremely defined as of yet. I can't even fathom folding any jack in this spot without some kind of elaborate history with the button. Because of this combined with the stack sizes I could see taking the aggressive all in path with a variety of hands that include strong draws as well as any jack.

 
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Foucault82
over 11 years ago

Nice post. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your conclusion, but I have one quibble with your logic. Just because you expect a weak J to be ahead right now doesn't mean you should shove it. There's no prize for being ahead of his raising range. When moving all-in, your primary consideration should be how well your hand will perform against his range for calling your shove.

 
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L2K4FC
over 11 years ago

mp2- 77
button- 10,10
you- QQ, or semi bluffing with straightflush draw

 
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literation
over 11 years ago

(I have seen hero call with big pp in the sb in a previous blog)

 
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literation
over 11 years ago

...but hero can't have QQ here with his latest hint --

"When moving all-in, your primary consideration should be how well your hand will perform against his range for calling your shove."

 
 

L2K4FC
over 11 years ago

One variable we don't know is what read "they" have on hero. It is possible maybe remotely possible, that he could have QQ here and get called by button and still be ahead. Lol- remember "remotely" possible.

 
 

literation
over 11 years ago

I wouldn't even push with QJ. Only these 5 hands, KJ, AJ, J8, 88, 9c10c
Classify myself as a bit too tight.

 
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trentbridge
over 11 years ago

With two jacks on the board, I don't see YOU check/raising Jx after the flop. (Except J8 and a flopped full house.) I think you WANT them to think you have trip jacks. Logically, you'd only be called by another jack.
I think you do have the ten-nine of clubs and are looking at a straight/flush draw. (why would you say you had them covered, otherwise?) I think you suspect one of them has trips and you want them to worry that that you have a full house with eights over jacks. You're the underdog but the all-in move suggests you think only an AJ or 88 would call.

 
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Boredreader
over 11 years ago

I say you had 9,10 of clubs. MP2 made a continuation bet and could have just about anything. You're description of the button "not the most aggressive/creative regular" makes me put him on a Jack. So you are hoping to push him off of a middle Jack. but if he calls you have plenty of outs. I can't imagine you shoving with J-8 or 88 I think you would finesse them a bit more

 
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surfbum4life
over 11 years ago

Question on this real fast...

If you are putting the button on a Jack and think that you would 'finesse more with a J-8 or 88" what happens if you call and the turn comes down the 7 of clubs? If you check to him than he is sure to check back and either pay small on or not at all on the river lest he hits. So if he did have J-8 or 88 would you propose he calls, raises small, or shoves? Just wondering

 
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LoProPoker
over 11 years ago

Im must have been exactly right :_)

 
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dragondogg
over 11 years ago

If you had 88 you would shove for valve hoping for flush draw to call or Jx to call and not boat up.
If you had Jx shove to get rid of flush draw.
Flush draw has to be Ax or 9c10c to shove hoping to hit and and Jx not to boat up.
A lot of it depends on your holding to put btn on hand, just looking at it i would say was c bet follow by flush draw raise, follow by Jx shove. I like it make you think keep it up.

 
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scote01
over 11 years ago

I think you definately have j8 or 88 as your whole cards.

First off 88 is perfectly normal for you to have in your limping range in a multiway pot especially against a raise. j8 ( suited and not) is the other hand i put you on because it is another hand you may take a flop with too hit a nice hidden two pair combo and get action for an over pair and a better jack.

Because of the flop texture ( the flush draws, straight draws, trps etc) you are more likely to get action from an aj or even possibly kj if player puts you on a strong flush draw. So by check reraising there you make it seem more likely that your on a flush draw and will get called often by a jack there. The button's raise againt mp2 is also pretty small so its hard not putting him on a strong jack.

 
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dumbasheyll
over 11 years ago

my guess is both you and the button are puttting mp2 on an overpair because that is not a likely flop for him to b c betting the pot w his air hands.Mp2 knows A player is likely to check raise him w a jx hand and would probably check back. When the button checkraises mp2 that is an indication of strength given the line mp2 has taken, i believe the button is not check raising 3x on mp2 that often on a draw bc i do not believe that mp2 folds enough to make that profitable, so we can assume the button has QJ+ in his hand range, i think we can safely take J8 out of the buttons range bc it would make more sense given mp2s line that he would flat and try to disguise his hand as a draw to maybe get a call from you on the flop and another bet on the turn from mp2,but mainly bc if you have 88 in your hand it is highly unlikely he has J8.That being said if you are putting the button on QJ+ then your 4 bet shove is the perfect bet w 88.If you flat and the turn is any card that completes a draw, that slows the action and ur not likely to get another bet out of either player,also this increases the range of your hand to include KJ or even QJ and your shove is likely to get called by the buttons range.I may be way off but would appreciate some feedback

 
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dumbasheyll
over 11 years ago

2 things......typo on the 4bet shove and i think that hero folds 910c MOST of the time bc it loses alot of equity bc of the board being paired and QQ is a likely hand for MP2 to have reducing your outs...

 
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BLAAKK
over 11 years ago

I like the way this hand plays out because flatting the button's raise is so insanely strong that it can't really be a good play with any cards. Unless the flat is only to make a move with air. So technically, considering how many pocket pairs or pure moves are in both villians ranges, you really must shove any hand you're willing to continue including any club draws, combo draws, all jacks, and 88, QQ+, and complete air. The only real worries are getting called by 88, nut and second nut flush draws, maybe Q10 too, and QJ, KJ, AJ, especially the backdoor flush combos. Your range should be super wide considering how often the other players find folds.

 
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mattrat33
over 11 years ago

+1

 
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Leighton50
over 11 years ago

I think you have 88. I can't see any other hand that you would play this way. The button has J10suited or Q10suited. He would have raised KJ,AJ pf. His raise on the flop says to me that he wants to protect his trips and discourage any draws. I believe he is going to call you regardless of what you bet. So, why not shove now with 88 because if a club or straight card hits the turn you won't get another penny from this guy if he is smart. I think its too risky to shove with any draw you may have especially when he can make a boat and beat any draw you might hit. But, i have been known to be wrong and end up busted. LOL.

 
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Leighton50
over 11 years ago

I meant J10 or JQ suited. Not Q10.

 
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