Hand No. 11 with Dusty Schmidt

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The big blind’s range is so wide when he 3-bets that Dusty decides to just call before the flop and let him barrel off with all of his garbage hands. Putting in a 4-bet would allow him to get off cheap with those hands.

The flop is good for Dusty’s hand. While overcards are never something to rejoice over, the presence of a second king on board makes it 33% less likely for the big blind to hold one. It also eliminates the opportunity for him to make two pair with a hand like eight-seven or eight-nine.

Just like the preflop decision, there is no reason to force the big blind to fold his garbage. There’s nothing to get value from, and not much to protect against. The only bad card in the deck is an ace. By calling, Dusty represents a range of jacks, tens, nines, and various pairs of eights. He could also have some random hands calling as a float.

Nothing changes on the turn. The reasons for calling are the same as they were before and on the flop.

When the big blind checks the river, Dusty will almost always have the best hand. The big blind is either giving up with a bluff, or checking a marginal pair. In fact, discarding the irrelevant garbage from the big blind’s range (irrelevant because it will check/fold), Dusty and the big blind should have very similar ranges at this point in the hand. Since pocket queens are the absolute top of that range, it’s an easy value bet.

The big blind calls the river and turns over pocket aces, raking in the pot. While he wins the pot and the rest of Dusty’s stack, he made a clear error. Unless he thinks (which he shouldn’t) that Dusty is pulling the Mississippi bluff all over town, there are no bluffs in Dusty’s range to induce a bet from.

Dusty’s hand should look like a middle pair, which is much more likely to call a bet than it is to put on in itself. The big blind has a clear value bet on the river, since he’s ahead often enough to see the showdown, and the money will go in better when he puts it in himself.

The moral of the story is don’t check and call the river when the money goes in better when you bet.

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