After joining 888poker in May 2022, ian simpson dove headfirst into his role as ambassador. Not only did he win at the online tables, but he also traveled to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP.
The popular Twitch streamer has a wealth of poker knowledge, and here he shares asdfasdfasdf
On Christmas Day, with my wife and daughter asleep, I found myself gambling online. You won’t find me writing many gambling strategy articles, but in this rare case I didn’t want to sign up for long-running tournaments and given the rumors about the quality of tables on Christmas Day, I decided to give it a shot. .
I encountered the following two hands in quick succession against the same opponent.
Hand #1: Pocket Eights
With I defended the big blind for a 3x raise against the cut off and checked-called a half-pot bet on the flop of . The turn was the and he went to check check. On the river I check-called a half pot bet and my opponent revealed for the best straight line. Nothing was too unusual of me; However, it revealed that my opponent checked the turn with the nuts.
“A solver is not going to do that…”
A solver won’t do that, and in this particular gambling game the aliases have been anonymized, so there’s no weird metagame one could use to justify not betting here. If you prefer a check here, grab a pen and paper and make a quick list of all the two pair, sets and worst straights the opponent can have that just started hemorrhaging money. against your nut straight.
How to Gather Reads When Playing Against Anonymous Opponents
In short, they checked a hand that they definitely shouldn’t check, and that’s information to put away for later use.
Hand #2: 6-9 suited
Moving on to the next hand, against the same opponent, I defended the big blind with for three big blinds and check-call a half-pot bet on the flop of . The turn was the and he went to check check.
On the river, I check and face a half-pot bet. By a happy coincidence, we found the exact same sequence of bets against the exact same opponent. Let me make a few remarks about the hand that led me to my decision on the river:
- The moment we pressed call with the suited on the flop, we were almost at the low end and it would have been a very easy fold on the turn for our opponent’s second bet on a card that benefits his range more than ours.
- They checked the nuts at the turn of this first hand. So, at some unknown frequency, they will check hands that would generally make a good bet. , , , , and everything comes to mind.
- Due to their trick error in the previous hand, I’m going to assume they also check the bend with many hands that a different player would bet at a very high frequency. In my mind, they made a pretty big passive mistake in the previous hand and I’m going to assume they’ll also take a passive line too frequently with hands that often benefit from a bet. Hands matched like , , , etcetera all have good reasons to bet. Even small pocket pairs are hands that can win a lot by being bluffed here.
In the world of GTO, when my hand hits the river here after a check on the turn, I don’t count as many of those missed hands in my opponent’s range that he can bluff with. Usually, when an opponent checks on the turn and then bets on the river, he will have fewer combinations of the missed hands listed above than a passive player, because he would have bet them on the turn with a reasonable frequency.
Sure, they’ll still have a bunch of bluffs that my pair of sixes beat, but I’m going to use my 7x and all my Jx to call them, because I also think calling with my worst pair combinations would mean I’m calling too often . In this case, however, I feel justified in expanding my call range to include the 6x based on my assumptions of their passive error earlier.
Here’s the secret though, it’s not really a one-sample-based piece. It’s just that their single game puts them in a category of players I’ve collectively played thousands of hands against, which makes me confident that a call here will pay off in the long run.