Third Level Thinking

This hand is a good example of being aware of your own range and what your hand will look like to Villain. I had recently folded to a triple barrel from this same Villain, who generally exhibits very aggressive tendencies. I had no idea whether that history would make him more or less likely to try to bluff me here.

Consequently, I made the decision to call down based on the fact that the board came out very badly for my range. I think Villain would (correctly) expect me to bet flush draws on the flop, and the check-call probably indicates either a pair of T’s or a pocket pair to him. QT isn’t the absolute top of my range here- that would be something like AT or KdT, but it’s close enough to the top that I think it needs to be in my calling range against a Villain capable of triple barreling on a run-out that’s bad for my perceived range. The fact that draws missed on the river should also increase his bluffing frequency, as he may expect me to be on a pair + draw planning to fold if I don’t improve.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t expect to be good here anywhere near all the time. He would surely play flushes, straights, and probably AJ and AT this way. This isn’t even a particularly good line to take, and it’s not something I planned from the beginning. I just checked, and then he kept betting, and I kept thinking about how unlikely I was to have a good hand and therefore how much he ought to be bluffing me.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em, $4 BB (4 handed) Hand History converter Courtesy of

BB ($456.10)
UTG ($600.80)
Button ($1008.80)
Hero ($2248.35)

Preflop: Hero is SB with Ts, Qs.
1 fold, Button raises to $9.2, Hero raises to $32.8, 1 fold, Button calls $23.60.

Flop: ($70.40) 3c, Td, Jd (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $48, Hero calls $48.

Turn: ($166.40) Ad (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $126, Hero calls $126.

River: ($418.40) 2c (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $288, Hero calls $288.

Final Pot: $994.40

Results in white below:
Hero has Ts Qs (one pair, tens).
Button has 7c 4c (high card, ace).
Outcome: Hero wins $994.40.

One last comment, regarding the 3-bet: Villain actually had pretty high F3B stats, but most of my history with him is from 100BB games. If I knew he would have such a wide calling range, I would not have 3-bet this hand.

6 thoughts on “Third Level Thinking

  1. Oddly enough kinda standard for NL in tough games in 2011.

    Not sure how I feel villains line w/ 0 equity if he’s going to defend this wide. I think there’s better portions of his range to bluff with than 0 equity.

    Then again, you did fold last time, so maybe he just thinks you’re weaktight 🙂

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