What’s Your Play? HUD Edition

What's Your Play?The first video in my new four-part series about HUD-based decision making and using statistics to exploit opponents has just gone live at Poker Savvy Plus. In conjunction with that, I’ve got a twist on the old “What’s Your Play?” series. In this hand, calling or folding are your only options, and it’s an extremely read-dependent decision.

Take a look at the hand, and then sound off on the question I’ve got for you at the end:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold’em, $10.00 BB (5 handed) – Full-Tilt Converter Tool from FlopTurnRiver.com

UTG ($1570)
MP ($1124)
Button ($2200)
Hero (SB) ($1000)
BB ($1017)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 7, K
3 folds, Hero bets $40, BB calls $30

Flop: ($80) 6, 8, 6 (2 players)
Hero bets $55, BB calls $55

Turn: ($190) K (2 players)
Hero checks, BB bets $150, Hero calls $150

River: ($490) 3 (2 players)
Hero checks, BB bets $772 (All-In)

Suppose that you were going to have to make this decision. I tell you that he is a winning regular at these stakes, and I offer to give you just ONE of the following statistics that I have on him, based on a sample size of 397 hands played in 6-max games. Which would you choose and why?

Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VP$IP)
Pre-Flop Raise (PFR)
Three-Bet Percent (3B%)
Aggression Factor (AF)
Fold to Continuation Bet (FCB)
Flop Aggression Frequency (FAFq)
Turn Aggression Frequency (TAFq)
River Aggression Frequency (RAFq)

I want to wait a few days to give everyone a chance to comment, so I’ll post my thoughts on Sunday.

33 thoughts on “What’s Your Play? HUD Edition

  1. Well, I guess the pseudo-obvious answer would be RAfq, but if you look at the line much closer, I think that FCB or TAfq might be a more telling statistic if it is weighed heavily one way or the other. He almost certainly isn’t drawing to the clubs, and while a K might be in his range, if he is a ‘winning player’ at these stakes he is raising the turn for value. This pretty much narrows it down to him calling you down with a 6 and putting you to a decision on the river…so I feel like when the K comes up, the best stat to refer to is TAfq.

  2. The turn check after the c-bet will look weak to villain, so he could be bluffing the turn, and thus bluffing the river. I would want to know his Fold to Continuation Bet %; if it’s low, then the chances of him bluffing are higher (especially since he’s a good player).

  3. I’d like to have the “overbet-shoves R” stat. I’m not sure FCB is all that important, because I’d expect a reg to have a pretty wide calling range in this spot anyway. If I had to pick one stat it would probably be his AF just to get a feeling for how aggro he’s playing in general.
    I think as played you should call. You’re not repping a hand that can call the river shove. Also if he has a 6 I wonder why he wouldn’t pot or slightly overbet on the turn if he wanted to play for stacks. There are some flushes in his range or the FH but there should also be some bluffs. So unless he’s really nitty you probably have to call. I also don’t expect him to play Kx like this, so K7 beats as much of his range as AK and Kx is also likely to be the top of your range as played.

  4. Let’s start with an elimination.
    Let’s start with a strong assumption -flop aggregates (FCB,FAFq) are pretty useless in our context.
    “double” board opens the game of chicken in HU and 6-max.
    In Hu is pure game of chicken and the exploation point(bluffing, re-bluffing,trapping).
    The bottom line is: he is winning reg and he does not want to be chicken.
    I will not focus on his flop aggregates but his flop betting patterns on double boards.
    I observe that regs in lower stakes have predictable patterns in the context-let’s say not well balanced.
    I mean reg specific betting patterns.I do not mean the common betting pattern shared among regs at given stake.NO commonality rather variety.
    So two regs with the same (FCB,FAFq) will have opposite (passive,agro) behavior on double board.
    But again I do not play 6-max BB(10$).
    Maybe at such stake the flop game is so well balanced that (FCB,FAFq) could be “sensitive” aggregator.
    100BB effective stack is another argument to disregard flop aggregates in this context.
    The turn is a continuation of the flow game of chicken where reg bet tries to put in question your dignity as poker player.
    Lets start with river aggregates.
    If I were classic statistician who believe in classical theory of probability I will have say that all river aggregates are useless.
    you mention 397 sample. My question is about a size of sample with his river action story?
    But I believe in magic -Bayes Theory of Probability and my choice is River Aggression Frequency (RAFq).

    • I suspect I know your answer.Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VP$IP)-the most synthetic one.
      “just one” and only which make sense in absence of the rest.OK?

  5. I don’t play anywhere near these altitudes (yet), but I would fold pretty much all the time. The only legitimate hands you can beat are pocket pairs between 9 and Q or maybe a worse K. But I would think he’d check those down as he cannot expect you to call a value bet unless you’ve got him beat. But he might think you have a K and will fold to a really big bet on a scary board. In any case, the only situation that would possibly make me think he had one of those hands would be if his 3B percentage is close to zero.

    He could also be bluffing with a missed straight draw, either 97 or 75. You do have one of the sevens so that’s unlikely but still possible. I guess a high AF would be needed to determine that but it would be indistinguishable from a flush draw. I’d prefer to look at his showdown win % for that one but of course you didn’t give that option.

    • I agree that I don’t beat anything he’s value betting. That will almost always be true when I take this line, though. If I always fold the river, I open myself up to exploitation by bluffs. I suspect that he could have other weak hands besides busted straight draws…

  6. I think that if we break the hand down from beginning to end we can figure out which stat is going to help us the most.

    He calls a standard raise in a BvB.

    We make what I feel is a standard CB. He calls. Now he could have a flush draw, 8, 6, 79, or overs. I believe the reason is because he’s most likely going to float you as this board is not likely to hit us either.

    We check on a “scare card”. He makes bet of about 3/4 of the pot and we call with our TPWK OOP.

    We check again and villain over shoves the pot.

    What hands do this on the river and what does villain expect to get called by? At this point I think he either has a monster or air(I know not real shocking!), but not a hand with showdown value.

    I wouldn’t think he’d do this with an 8 or better King since we called the turn bet OOP and we could face another bet on the river. Plus those hands have some showdown value and don’t have to bluff the river.

    So which stat gives us the best read on whether he has the nuts or air?

    Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VP$IP)
    Pre-Flop Raise (PFR)
    Three-Bet Percent (3B%)
    Of these stats in this situation I don’t think any of these would help us. If he’s a winning reg and a thinking player he could play a wide range of hands in position in a BvB. Monsters or Air.

    Fold to Continuation Bet (FCB)
    If this stat was really high he’s most likely not floating us to often. Also if this stat is really low I think he could have a lot of “air” hands.

    Aggression Factor (AF)
    Flop Aggression Frequency (FAFq)
    Turn Aggression Frequency (TAFq)
    River Aggression Frequency (RAFq)
    I think the flop aggression frequency is the better stat here because first we’re leading on a semi-wet board and yet he just flats us. If his FAFq was high and he just flats us I’d expect more monsters and less air.

    Interesting that I think his FAFq would help me the most. If it’s normally really high I’d fold this river. It was really low I think I’d call.

    I can’t wait until Sunday! Both for the games and for your response. =)

    • i agree with shawn that the best indicator for this particular hand is FA since we’re essentially in a monster/air decision at the river. while we cannot rule out backdoor flushes and some miracle FH, it’s much more likely villian made his decision on the flop for this hand as he is a winning reg and thus not as likely to just put $ in without a plan.

      in a vacuum it’s not like you’ve repped much of anything at any point and in a way your hand is under-repped, which would make me think he’s making this move as a bluff unless he has some reason to think you may call him down light here. i’d be very tempted to call but could just as easily level myself into folding and feeling embarrassed when he shows 45s.

    • Thanks, Shawn. I like your reasoning here. The only thing I’d question is your claim that he can’t play a better K this way. If I were in his shoes, I’d feel quite confident that KJ was the best hand, so why shouldn’t he value bet it?

      • As you noted if you were in Villains shoes you’d feel pretty good about KJ as the best hand. I think Villain gets more value from betting smaller trying to induce a shove or a call with worse.

        I also think that maybe he would try to induce a bluff check-jam flush draw from you as maybe you picked up the flush draw on the turn although unlikely. By jamming he’s never giving you a chance to bluff at it. Which I think he would do with an 8 or good K.

        He gives you less ways to make a mistake.

        As soon as he jams he folds out all your air hands. You’re calling with an 8 or any flush. You’d also call with an “good king” ak/kq/kj/k10. So at this point the amount of hands you’re going to call a jam with are very numerous relative to what he beats. (if he hand KJ)

        If he bets small or some normal amount for the river (although I’m not sure there is a normal amount since he’s pretty much committed since if he bet like 250 and you jammed he’d be getting 3.5 to 1)he calls any air hands you jammed with but he also calls all the hands that already hand him beat.

        I’m not sure any of that makes sense and you have to remember I play 3.40 SNG’s and like .02/.05.

        • “8” should say “6”. I’m not sure how often you’d call with an 8 but you’d obviously always call with a 6.

        • Thanks for the comment, Shawn. I think what you’re essentially saying is that while Villain’s line may be the best to take with KJ against the bluff-catching portion of my range, it is not best against either my monsters or my air. The thing is, as the hand has played out (and this probably a mistake on my part), my range consists overwhelmingly of bluff-catchers, nearly all of which are worse than KJ. After check-calling 150 on the turn, I am extremely unlikely to have a hand that needs to check-raise bluff the river, so I don’t think he should plan around that. And while I may occasionally have a slowplayed monster, if I were in his shoes I would put me squarely on something that can beat my bluffs but not my KJ. Against that range, shoving is best no matter which hand he happens to have this time.

          • That makes sense. I guess at the level I play at this shove on the river is almost either the FH/flushes/trips(90%) or complete air(10%).

            My opponents see that they have a good one pair hand and will either bet small (like 1/6th the pot) to induce a call with worse or they will check behind. This happens quiet a lot on paired boards or when a back door flush gets there.

            As you noted the way the hand played out your monsters are a small range and your bluff catching range is where you’re most likely at. For me at the 10NL I don’t really have to worry about KJ type hands on the river shoving for value as most of my opponents are to afraid that you either were slow playing a 6 or picked up the flush draw on the turn that now hit and you’re going for a check raise.

            Because with the line of, Raise, CBet, Check-Call, Check at my limit is normally a sign of a huge hand/draw that’s trying to get a shove. Which in this case did get a shove and then hero would snap off with a 6x/ak/flush. Because at this level TPWK is almost never going to call a huge over shove on the river unless it’s a spite call so KJ hands lose value since you won’t be called by worse and when you do get called you’ll be behind.

            I’m glad I could provide some useful feed back although I think the point of view that I’m making is from a different subset of players. I’ve learned a lot from your articles and your posts so I’m looking forward to the next ones.

      • I call < pot, then bet most if not all turns. Depending on the player and our previous history, I might check-raise a draw or king. I'd probably check a 6 or 8, planning to bet the river if he checks behind on the turn.

        The c-bet on the flop is too obvious, too dullsville. I'd expect the typical 5/10 "winning regular" to float a call with almost anything, to see what you do on the turn. With so little fold equity, the c-bet just isn't that attractive. I figure to have a better chance of swiping the pot on the turn, and I could pick up a cheap draw to boot. Also, since he's expecting me to c-bet, a check may sow a bit of FUD, especially on a paired board. No law against my having a 6 or 88.

  7. Andrew – this is my first post. Love the site. I agree with Dana. Given only the stats you listed to pick from I would want to know FCB. If it is high, he is not likely to be bluffing on the river. If it is low and he is a winning player, he is likely to be bluffing on the river.

  8. I’ll take his BB 3b%, mostly to get a feel for how much Kx he shows up w/ pre. Is he 3-betting KTo+ vs is he flatting some %.

    Vs a good player river is probably close to 0EV either way tbh, assuming he can overbet with more than just the nuts. There is enough JT, J9 T9, 54, 97 etc that probably play like this to make the river near 0 EV.

    Who villain is (screenname) and how you think he views you would be the deciding factor here.

    Since you only have 400 hands together i’m assuming he doesn’t know a ton about you, pushing me slightly more towards a call, and given we are toward the top of our range given this line, that’s probably where i’d come down on it.

    • Interesting. You are the first person to suggest trying to get a feel for how many value hands he shows up with on the river rather than how many potential bluffs are in his range.

  9. Given that sample size, I would choose fold to c-bet. It should tell us just how wide he is pealing. I don’t know that you have a large enough sample that turn or river aggro freq. is going to be that accurate. The flop aggro freq. could also be relevant, and I think that would be my second choice.

    • Even a fairly small sample is significant, but it has a big margin of error (MoE). A TAFq with a MoE of 10 points is not going to be very refined, but there would still be a significant and obvious difference between a TAFq of 35 and a TAFq of 65.

      I’m not saying I’m picking TAFq (or any other stat), just pointing out that even a small sample size can be meaningful as long as you understand that the MoE is likely to be big.

  10. I think he re-pops a better king pre.
    I think he expects you to bet a king on the turn almost always.
    I think he is betting a draw on the turn (hoping you fold).
    I think a lot of the times he is bluffing the river cause you checked the turn.
    Turn Aggression Frequency (TAFq)
    If his TAFq is high I think you have to call the river.
    Plus if you have a 6 I think he expects to hear from you before he shoves the river.
    So ya I call.
    Of course this is way higher then I play and I probably leveled myself 3x in this hand 🙂

    • “If his TAFq is high I think you have to call the river.”

      Could you elaborate? It’s not clear to me why this follows logically. Not saying I disagree, just don’t follow your reasoning.

      • I was thinking if he is the kind of player who bets these turns with weak holdings to try and take it down on turn, then this same type of player “might” feel compelled to bluff the river since the backdoor flush seems like a good card to bluff especially when he doesn’t think you have a k or 6 very often as you checked turn, checked river. Plus I think he thinks you bet a flush draw on the turn quite often but I could be wrong about that.

        It seems equally as unlikely that both of you have a flush so in these spots the first to bet seems most likely to win.

  11. river aggression is important to see if he’s even capable of a river overbet bluff…if he’s a winning player at this level, then i assume he must be capable of this.

    but a combination of the fold to cbet/turn aggression would be also important to see if he commonly floats and steals.

    to answer the question- using one factor- i think the turn aggression is the most important.

      • the TAFq gives us more info because there’s a larger range of hands that would call a cbet, and a tighter range of hands that would call a cbet AND bet the turn. it’s important to know how often he bets the turn to help with this range.

        reasons for him to bet the turn:
        -monster hand trying to get value
        -air with no showdown value trying to steal (but the fcb would tell us if that is possible)
        -bluffing with a draw (a non-Ahi FD)

        the TAFq would tell us if he’s more likely to check behind with his drawing hand or to bet his drawing hand.

        hope this makes sense…

  12. I would like you to comment on the ethics of using a HUD in the first place. It most certainly gives you an edge over players that don’t use such software and provides you with stats that you couldn’t readily obtain during a live game. I guess I’m an old-fashioned poker purist, but anything that gives you a slight edge over other players is cheating.

    • respectfully disagree, and i don’t even use an HUD as i’m a live fish. if it’s within the rules then why wouldn’t you use it? isn’t the difference between winning and losing players the edges that winners have over losers? one could easily draw a correlation here to players who play GTO to those who don’t, no? i think i get your point in that players should not have software that keeps tabs on others, but it’s legal for one, and imo why wouldn’t someone try and keep an edge over another if the whole object is to win $.

  13. Shouldn’t we discount fold to c bet because it is sb vs bb? i.e. much more likely to peel therefor a call on the flop doesn’t really mean much in terms of info.

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