Dec
03

Using Player Tendencies to Bluff — Limit Holdem

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Today when playing $40-80 limit holdem at Bay101’s casino on cell phone. I used my knowledge of a player’s tendencies to bluff him out of a hand.  In a previous hand I had seen him just call a raise from a middle position opener while in the small blind, and lead out at an Ace-high flop.  The raiser folded, so I was left to surmise that he had called with an Ace-high hand, and led out when he flopped top pair. (Neither of which play I recommend. When heads-up, playable Ace-high hands should be three-bet from the small blind, to seize the initiative, force the big blind out, and create dead money in the pot.  But as played, I would usually check-raise the flop to win an extra small bet from the original raiser.)  I made a mental note that this player simply called some Ace-high hands in the small blind heads-up.

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This note payed off for me in a later hand against this same player:

Poker Game: $40-80 limit holdem, 9 players

Pre-flop: I am in the cutoff with K♣T

Action: Folded to me, I raise.  The small blind (this same player) 3bets, big blind folds, I call.

Flop: A♠Q2♥ (two players)

Action: Small blind bets $40, I raise, he calls.

Turn: 6 (two players)

Action: Small blind checks, I bet $80, he shows JJ and folds.

Because I knew that this player liked to simply call many of his Ace-high hands in the small blind, when he 3bet I was able to put him on a range of hands that was heavily weighted towards pocket pairs.  This gave me the confidence to raise him on the flop and continue on the turn with just a gut-shot, knowing my play had a lot of fold-equity.

If I were against a really tough opponent, on the other hand, my play would probably not be profitable.  A top-notch pro would include a lot of Ace-high hands — something like A7s and ATo and better — in his 3betting range in the small blind versus the cutoff.  He would also include some hands with two suited broadway cards, like KQs, KJs and QJs, as well as some non-suited broadway hands if he were really aggressive.  So this AQ flop would hit a tough opponent’s range pretty hard.  I would probably be forced to simply peel the flop in the hopes of improving, and then fold the turn if I missed.

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