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  #11  
Old 12-29-2005, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

Yes, I agree that a good solution here is to autobet less. There were numerous occassions during this match where Negreanu raised pre flop, autobet a (say) A J x board, and then folded to the check raise that came on pretty much every single one of these broadway-type flops. I guess the reason he continued to autobet (not always, but a good proportion of the time, even though the flop bet was rarely taking it down) were for metagame reasons, although I can see there is a good argument here for checking in position and betting (with the high likelyhood of being checkraised) for value.
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2005, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

What you're saying makes a lot of sense to me. I think the challenging part of this defense against the flop check-raise is finding the right balance of checks with flops you like vs. flops you don't like. You have to keep your opponent off-balance enough that he doesn't interpret your check as a liscense to bet the turn and pick up the pot. But at the same time, you don't want to check too many good flops or you will not be getting enough value out of your good hands/flops. I think this delicate balance that needs to be maintained is a good indicator of the strength of the flop check-raise. That doesn't mean it can't be combatted but it takes an opponent with very good post-flop skills (like Negreanu) to do it.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2005, 01:56 PM
kiddo kiddo is offline
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

[ QUOTE ]
I think this delicate balance that needs to be maintained is a good indicator of the strength of the flop check-raise. That doesn't mean it can't be combatted but it takes an opponent with very good post-flop skills (like Negreanu) to do it.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yep, if u are good postflop there got to be ways to counterattack against a guy that always calls preflop and always check flop. Like this guy.

But what happend during the session? U get a feeling DN is angry at the guy. Why?
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2005, 02:29 PM
wackjob wackjob is offline
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

Do most of you think these principles and ideas only apply to the high limit online games? I find that lower games up to 20/40 that I have dabbled in, that keeping a pretty straightforward and simple strategy still works best. I have no idea how a 50/100 or 100/200 or 1000/2000 game plays.
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2005, 03:59 PM
StellarWind StellarWind is offline
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

It is important to recognize that calling preflop and checkraising Villain's flop autobet has exactly the same effect as 3-betting preflop and autobetting the flop. In each case the same money goes into the pot and Villain must decide if he wants to raise, call, or fold the flop.

Provided that you assume that Villain will autobet the flop there can be no "loss of value" that everyone keeps talking about. Walk through the two sequences and count the bets if you don't believe this. Chess players call this a transposition.

Hero gains two advantages by delaying his raise until the flop:

1. Information hiding: Villain cannot distinguish big starting hands from little starting hands that flopped well. On a 983 flop, AA and 98 are played the same way.

2. Flexibility: Hero has the option of not checkraising a good starting hand if it doesn't fit the flop. QQ looks like a wonderful hand, but perhaps on a AKx flop calling down will be more appealing versus this Villain. If you 3-bet preflop it's too late for this insight, but if you just called preflop you may change your plan.

Note that Hero can also adopt a more ambitious plan. Instead of checkraising a big flop he might call again and go for the turn checkraise. The point is that having more options is a good thing.

Unless Villain stops autobetting the flop Hero is gaining these advantages for free.

Much of what I just said is a restatement of Kiddo's posts.

My experience is that I am an unlucky player. I rarely have AA, QQ, or even KQ when someone raises my blind. Usually I have to defend with some random hand like K6s or 97o.

How exactly can the blind stealer stop autobetting the flop if it means giving free cards to all of these little hands and not pushing his 4-1 pot odds for bluffing the flop? There is a reason why people autobet the flop. To me it seems like Villain's "cure" is much worse than the disease it was supposed to treat.

The preceding paragraph has much more force when Villain is stealing from the field and just happened to get heads up with BB. In this case Villain is expected to have a much better average starting hand than BB and his failure to autobet the flop becomes egregious.
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2005, 09:46 PM
dave44 dave44 is offline
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

Stellar, how much weight do you give to the concept of "initiative"? It seems to me that "initiative" may not actually be a real advantage in a game between two perfect players.

Putting in the last raise preflop tends to limit the range of hands a player can be put on. On one hand, this can help you steal a pot when a flop hits your strong range of hands hard, but misses your particular hand. On the other hand, when your opponent can limit your range of hands, he can play better against you.

If players simply erased their memory of who put in the last raise, all that last raise you put in preflop did was allow your opponent to better define your hand.

Thus, I don't think that the way people discuss "initiative" having value is always correct. Against a weak player who will now fold too much, there is value. But against an aggressive player who can read hands, "initiative" doesn't seem to mean anything. Deciding whether to put in that last raise should be made based on the benefits in the immediate value you gain and the cost of allowing your opponent to define your range more accurately.
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2005, 11:15 PM
StellarWind StellarWind is offline
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

[ QUOTE ]
Stellar, how much weight do you give to the concept of "initiative"?

[/ QUOTE ]
I spend a lot of time thinking about this and I still don't know much.

In regards to this thread, both main lines are an attempt to seize the initiative. One could argue that the preflop 3-bet is more intimidating because of the overpair threat. Or one could argue that an attacked launched after the flop is visible is more credible because Hero made an informed decision.

Intimidation is in the eye of the beholder. The more effective threat may be opponent-dependent.

I think the initiative can be overrated because Hero doesn't see what Villain folded. There are so many cases where you 3-bet preflop, autobet the flop, take down the pot, and feel great about your game. Until you look at your hand and reflect that whatever rubbish Villain folded, he certainly did the right thing. People don't fold good hands very much.

The initiative is a semibluffing concept and bluffs only fit certain types of hands. I commented recently in a specific situation that 3-betting QJs headsup preflop might be risky but at least it is well-motivated. A similar play with 33 is pretty hopeless because the only hands that fold postflop are the ones you hope will call you down.
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2005, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

"Provided that you assume that Villain will autobet the flop there can be no "loss of value" that everyone keeps talking about."

Assume you have AA and your opponent has KK. If you 3-bet pre-flop, there's a good chance your opponent is capping (if 4 bets is the cap). Now assume that the flop comes A-K-5. There's a good chance that the flop gets capped as well. If you didn't three bet pre-flop, you would have missed out on two bets.
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2005, 12:25 AM
StellarWind StellarWind is offline
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

[ QUOTE ]
"Provided that you assume that Villain will autobet the flop there can be no "loss of value" that everyone keeps talking about."

Assume you have AA and your opponent has KK. If you 3-bet pre-flop, there's a good chance your opponent is capping (if 4 bets is the cap). Now assume that the flop comes A-K-5. There's a good chance that the flop gets capped as well. If you didn't three bet pre-flop, you would have missed out on two bets.

[/ QUOTE ]
First, unless Villain is a special type of dumdum (a few exist) he makes money off his preflop caps when averaged across your entire range of 3-bets. Cappers have better average hands than the people they 3-bet.

Second, there is a certain number of raises after which the cowboys will "get it" and just call you down. This number of raises is player-specific, but I don't see why on average you wouldn't get an extra raise postflop to make up for the raise you lose preflop. If the cap on the flop stops the show, then we can just start up again on the turn until he finally slows down.

Third, in this specific case I would greatly prefer to have called preflop. It's going to be much harder to figure out that KK is no good after I just call preflop. Even if he knows I never 3-bet my possible hand range is still larger and the chance of AA correspondingly less.
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  #20  
Old 12-30-2005, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: 3-bet pre-flop or check-raise the flop?

Tilt can and often does play a huge factor when playing heads up even at high limits. Whether these people are "dumdums" or rocket scientists is irrelevant.

Against most opponents, I agree that not 3-betting pre-flop can be made up for post-flop. But against tilting or ultra-aggressive opponents, you could be losing out on bets.

"Third, in this specific case I would greatly prefer to have called preflop. It's going to be much harder to figure out that KK is no good after I just call preflop. Even if he knows I never 3-bet my possible hand range is still larger and the chance of AA correspondingly less."

To say it's going to be much harder to figure out that KK is no good after you just call pre-flop is absurd. An average high limit heads up player 3-bets 20% of his hands pre-flop (I have 270,000 datamined hands of 300-600 to prove it). AA accounts for .45% of that 20% hand range. That means your opponent can be roughly 2.25% surer than normal that you have AA. After an ace flops, you only have three ways to make aces instead of six so he can't even be 2.25% surer.
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