Hand No. 2 with Dusty Schmidt

POKER STARS $3/$6 NO LIMIT HOLDEM – 6 PLAYERS

After sitting out a few hands, the hijack has returned to the action by posting a live big blind and a dead small blind. As a result, there is an extra $9 sitting in the middle when the action gets around to the button. His typical open range from this position is about 72%. With twice as much money in there to win on a successful steal attempt, it’s possible that he’s raising even more often, maybe up to 100% of his hands.

Knowing that the button has such a wide range, Dusty puts in an aggressive 3-bet. With so much money in there and an opponent with such a weak range, this opportunity is too good to pass up, despite the fact that the button may 4-bet aggressively. In fact, if the button makes a small 4-bet, Dusty may even re-raise all in, since he’ll be getting good odds against a range with a lot of crap in it. The amount of contentious history between Dusty and the button means they’ll be getting all in with unusually wide ranges here.

Once the button just calls Dusty’s 3-bet, a lot of hands can be eliminated from his range. He’s too good of a player to call with a weak offsuit ace, so those are out. With a suited ace or a stronger offsuit ace (think ace-king, ace-queen, ace- jack), he would almost always 4-bet with the intention of committing. He would also usually 4-bet shove with all of his pocket pairs. The only hands left in his calling range are suited connectors that he feels are too good to fold, but are in bad shape when all the chips go in.

Given the button’s range, the flop is excellent for Dusty. His king is usually good here. More importantly, the button will never have a strong hand. Dusty fires off a continuation bet, planning on firing a second barrel on the turn. He might even shove the turn as a bit of an overbet, mostly to prevent the button from making a play of his own.

The button’s call does not represent a hand. It simply means that he knows that Dusty will rarely have a hand here himself. There are two aces on board, so it’s hard for Dusty to hold one. Aside from pocket pairs, everything else is essentially garbage on this flop.

When the turn gives Dusty a gutshot and a flush draw, he decides to check/raise all in instead of just leading out. If the stacks were shallower, this would be a mistake (unless Dusty had enough equity to call with king high and a ton of outs), since it would give the button a chance to put in the last bet by shoving. With $453 left behind in a $307 pot, there’s almost no chance that the button will stick it all in. There’s also very little chance that he’ll check behind, since we’ve established that he’s calling the flop with the intention of taking the pot away on the turn. From his perspective, he got what he wanted when Dusty checked, and there’s no reason for him to risk a large bet when he thinks Dusty has nothing. (Actually, he should probably think about jamming just to keep Dusty from playing back at him – as he did in this hand – but it seems that he doesn’t expect to face such aggression.)

On a lot of boards, picking up a huge draw would be an essential factor in making an all in semi-bluff. In this hand, however, Dusty could bluff all in with any two cards, since his opponent will almost never have a hand. The added equity does make him more comfortable check/raising the turn instead of betting, just in case the button makes some sort of Dusty call with an unlikely pair. This gives him good equity even when he gets called. The check/raise also extracts a turn bet from the button’s float, increasing the value of Dusty’s bluff.

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