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[FTR Quick Tip #003] Defending the BB vs a SB Open

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  1. #1

    Arrow [FTR Quick Tip #003] Defending the BB vs a SB Open



    FTR Quick Tip: Helping you plug leaks in 5 minutes or less.

    Here, we take a look at a relatively common, yet seldom-discussed situation: defending the big blind when facing an open from the small blind. By using ranges and comparing equities, we come to some surprising conclusions. Don't be a nit -- learn to defend your big blind at Texas Hold'em cash game poker tables.
  2. #2
    Great video Mike. What do you look at when analysing the player who has opened in the small blind? What stats do you look at to decide how wide their range is and is this something you consider more for pre-flop play or post-flop play? And one last question - how does your preflop range differ against a nit's 3x open to a lag's 3x open?

    Thanks!
  3. #3
    Usually, I'm using their PFR and steal% to get an idea of how aggressive they might be when opening from the SB. Sometimes, if I have thousands of hands on the player, I'll have a reliable percentage of how often they are opening specifically from the SB, but usually there's not really enough information there to be useful. Mostly I am considering preflop plays here, because there are a wide range of hands that should be profitable almost regardless of postflop tendencies, assuming your opponent is opening wide enough.

    There are, however, some postflop tendencies that might make you want to play more hands against someone. If they are passive postflop, then you're going to get a "4-card flop" more often, which helps a lot of your drawing hands or your A-hi and K-hi that want to get to showdown. Also, if they have trouble folding postflop, your implied odds become huge with suited and connected stuff. There are some other things you can think about postflop, these are just a couple of examples.

    Against a nit, we tighten up our defending range. We might tighten it up a lot, to like 25% or so, if this guy is only raising 10%, or we'll just tighten it up a bit if the nit is tight, but positionally aware and thus opening semi-wide in the SB.

    Against a LAG, we almost can't widen our range very much because it's already so wide, but we can make some plays to exploit him terribly postflop. Supposing he's cbetting 75% of the time, and he's on a 50% range opening from the SB. He's very, very weak here after his cbet. We can float him, bluff-raise him, call down light, and generally make his life miserable postflop. His aggression can't compensate for his positional disadvantage when his range is that wide.
    Last edited by Mike1013; 04-16-2013 at 09:15 PM.
  4. #4
    DoubleJ's Avatar
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    Really enjoying this vid series Mike - thanks for doing it!

    In this vid, you only talk about defending by calling. In what kinda spots would you be 3Betting (if the answer is in an upcoming vid, then no worries)?

    BTW - what is a "4-card flop"? Do you mean there's a hi prob that the flop will go check/check and we see the Turn card for free?

    and how did you go about finding BB's continuing range?

    EDIT: would you mind explaining Hot and Cold Equity, plizz? I have looked it up, but i'm not sure i get it...
    Last edited by DoubleJ; 04-18-2013 at 09:16 AM.
    don't want no tutti-frutti, no lollipop
  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleJ View Post
    Really enjoying this vid series Mike - thanks for doing it!
    Thanks for the feedback, DoubleJ. I'm enjoying making these vids a lot more than I thought I would. Trying to fit everything in about 5 minutes forces me to think about spots and clarify everything in my mind, which can only help me in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleJ View Post
    In this vid, you only talk about defending by calling. In what kinda spots would you be 3Betting (if the answer is in an upcoming vid, then no worries)?
    I've had a couple of ideas about videos featuring 3Betting. The problem is that every spot that you could 3bet depends on so many things, and there will not be time to go through them all in a single short video. I think I might want to do a 3 or 4 part series specifically about 3betting: when to 3bet, how to choose your bluff-range for 3betting, how to react if your villain folds to a lot of 3bets, how to react when villain instead calls a lot, 4betting/5betting wars, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleJ View Post
    BTW - what is a "4-card flop"? Do you mean there's a hi prob that the flop will go check/check and we see the Turn card for free?
    Yes, that is exactly what I meant by a "4-card flop."

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleJ View Post
    and how did you go about finding BB's continuing range?
    Well, since I calculated that I needed 33% equity to call getting 2-1 odds, I put in SB's 35% opening range in PokerStove and saw which hands had at least 33% equity against that range.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleJ View Post
    EDIT: would you mind explaining Hot and Cold Equity, plizz? I have looked it up, but i'm not sure i get it...
    Hot and cold equity refers to the equity numbers that you get from a calculator like PokerStove or ProPokerTools. It is a good measure of how different hands stack up against one another. But in real poker play, there are a few things that are not considered by hot and cold equity calculations:
    1. There is more money left to bet on future streets
    2. We might not get to see all the cards that can improve our hand if we are behind
    3. Implied odds

    Let's look at an example. Suppose we take a villain with the 35% range that I showed in the video:

    22+,A2s+,K7s+,Q8s+,J8s+,T8s+,97s+,87s,76s,65s,A2o+ ,K9o+,Q9o+,J9o+,T9o

    And we want to see how two different hands fare against that range if we call. Let's do K6o and 76s.

    K6o has 39.8% equity against that range. 76s has only 39.2% equity against that range. If our call would put us all-in and there would be no more money left to bet, we would certainly prefer to have K6o in this spot.

    But when there is money still left in our stacks, we still have to play poker postflop and consider what kinds of hands we can flop. The 76s can flop gutshots, open-enders, flush draws, pair+draws and a bunch of other hands as well. We will win MORE than our equity suggests when we flop something like an open-ender with an overcard. Not only can we hit a monster and get paid off, but we can semi-bluff and often get our opponent to fold the best hand.

    K6o doesn't really have any of these benefits. Our most likely "good" hand to hit postflop is a pair of kings with a 6 kicker. When we do hit this hand, we're unlikely to get much action; our opponent can see the K on board and will be afraid to put too much money in. If we DO hit top pair with a K and get a lot of action, our opponent likely has top pair with a better kicker and will take us to valuetown.

    So, some hands will be able to win more than their equity share postflop. We can say that they have implied odds. Other hands, despite having similar or better hot-and-cold equity, will tend to do more poorly postflop than their equity numbers might tend to indicate. These hands have reverse implied odds.
  6. #6
    DoubleJ's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response, Sir!

    This has got me thinking a lot more about playing vs. SB steals already; will likely have more questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1013 View Post
    Well, since I calculated that I needed 33% equity to call getting 2-1 odds, I put in SB's 35% opening range in PokerStove and saw which hands had at least 33% equity against that range.
    sorry - my Q was a bit ambiguous. i was wondering how you accomplished the above in 'Stove, as the only way i can think of is by assessing hands one-at-a-time, which is a bit pants compared to Equilab's Hand Range Calculator....
    don't want no tutti-frutti, no lollipop
  7. #7
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleJ View Post
    sorry - my Q was a bit ambiguous. i was wondering how you accomplished the above in 'Stove, as the only way i can think of is by assessing hands one-at-a-time, which is a bit pants compared to Equilab's Hand Range Calculator....
    My thoughts exactly.
  8. #8
    Yes, I did it by hand in PokerStove by choosing hands one-by-one. I suppose it is easier in Equilab, I just am old-fashioned, I guess, and used PokerStove automatically without really thinking about it.
  9. #9
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    A lot of people in the FTR CHAT ROOM (no download needed) prefer PokerStove as well. It would be great if one of you younguns could come show us how to use Equilab.
  10. #10
    DoubleJ's Avatar
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    @ spoon asking for advice?

    my wurld just crumbled
    don't want no tutti-frutti, no lollipop
  11. #11
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    I don't know how to make a video, so that would be first. Presumably I need some software? If it's not free, I wont make the investment, not for one vid.

    PLEASE: anyone let me know if there is software that is free, not too ridiculously complicated to set up and will make vids I can post on FTR.


    I'd be glad to do so and post a primer (or series) on Equilab.
  12. #12

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  13. #13
    DoubleJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    I don't know how to make a video, so that would be first. Presumably I need some software? If it's not free, I wont make the investment, not for one vid.

    PLEASE: anyone let me know if there is software that is free, not too ridiculously complicated to set up and will make vids I can post on FTR.
    I've used Camtasia - it seemed pretty simple to set up. It costs $$$$, but there's a 30 day free trial which'd easily be enough to create a vid.

    alternatively http://camstudio.org/

    it's free, but i don't know nuffink abaaht it guv'nor
    don't want no tutti-frutti, no lollipop
  14. #14
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    My computer's been buggy as hell ever since I installed camstudio...
    I've already uninstalled it, and a couple of other things that showed up the same day
    but still having firefox crashes... might have to re-install firefox

    FTR vid no longer immediately forthcoming

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