Hand-Reading Exercise

This is a little different from my typical post, but I’m aiming to get a little more interactive with you guys, and would love to see some comments on this post in particular (though comments on any post are appreciated and read with enthusiasm!).


In this spot, my hand is not given, nor is villain’s. Let me know what you think villain has after each decision point, and whether you like my line with air, with value, or a semi-balanced range (should have some of both) at each point. Another thing to consider is what you think a good preflop range is in this spot, and what our plan is for different postflop board textures.

Preflop: X X
On the button, facing an UTG raise from a somewhat weak-tight player to $10, along with two calls. I call. The blinds fold.

Flop: ($35)    (4 players)
Checks around to me and I bet $20. UTG calls. 

Turn: ($75)  (2 players)
UTG checks, and I bet $45. UTG tanks for a while before calling.

River: ($165)  (2 players)
UTG checks, and I bet $75. Villain snap folds.

Let me know what you guys think. If I get some comments I’ll be happy to reply with my thoughts on your analysis, and who knows, maybe we can get some discussion going!

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2 comments on “Hand-Reading Exercise
  1. Fknife says:

    I’m not good at this so I would be happy to hear what you think about my “thought process”.

    First of all you said he’s weak tight so I’m assuming typical UTG open-raise range: [22+, ATs+, AJo+, KQs]. This flop is terrible for his range leaving him with two overs (A-high) about 47% of the time, two pairs about 50% of the time. The remaing 3% consists of monsters (55, 77) and (backdoor) flush draws/straight draws. So he’s capped to 2 pairs (??) (remember me from CC? 🙂 ).

    Flop: he x/c. He may do that with two overs (possibly suited) and small-medium PP’s (including 55 and 77) that have some SD value. Since this board hits more your BTN-calling range (heavy in suited connected cards) I think he would x/r you here with QQ+, trying to prevent you from drawing.

    Turn: 4 on the turn does not change anything in case of overcards but improves his 44 to a full-house, gives 66 an open-ender and 33 a gutshot.

    River: 8 obviously completing a flush draw, improving 88 (full-house) and 66 (straight). No high cards so if he was calling with overcards, he missed. Of course if he had a full-house, he would probably x/r, and x/c with flush/straight. My guess is that he had a middle pocket pair with some SD value(at least on the flop/turn): (99, TT, JJ), maybe even QQ+ (and managed to make a fold on that final board).

    • mev202013 says:

      Hi Fknife (of course I remember you!). Thanks for taking the time to think things through and comment! I like your general line of thinking, but I think your preflop assumptions are a little off, and really warp your analysis later in the hand.

      Keep in mind that this is a full ring, live 1/2 table. So a weak-tight, or otherwise nitty player is not really going to be raising the lowest pocket pairs from UTG that often, if ever. I’d say his preflop range is a little closer to 88+ or 99+ with AJ+ and maybe KQs.

      So we quickly notice this means he does even worse on this flop. He has an overpair or two overcards 100% of the time. What he does with his weak overpairs like 88-JJ is unclear imo. He may or may not bet them 100%. But I think he definitely bets QQ+ on this scary board, so his check weighs him to his weak overpair and overcard hands a ton imo.

      He might hold on with all his A high hands for one street, but I think when he tank-calls the turn, the only A high he has left is AK. So he’s got something like, 1/2 of the combos of 88-TT, and maybe 2/3 of his combos of AK. So on this river that completes everything he would have beaten, everything in his range EXCEPT for 1.5 combos of 88 and 0.67 combos of AK (AKss) is looking to fold. And he’s got about 13 – 15 total combos left, so we are in pretty good shape if we want to bet here and try to take it down. If anything, he probably leads river with those value hands a non-zero percentage of the time, so he’s likely folding the river more than 90% of the time, making this a slam-dunk bluff spot.

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