In this Q&A I used Andrew Brokos' method to put opponents on ranges in two hands of poker, one cash and the other MTT.
In case you missed it…
In episode 8 I taught you how to ingrain new skills into your poker repertoire in a smart, systematic way by using Focus Sessions. This is perfect for practicing Andrew Brokos' hand ranging method of Monster, Marginal and Draw/Air.
The Andrew Brokos Method of Ranging Opponents | Q&A | #41
Hand 1 comes from LTUMaximus:
I had a situation last night. Villain's stats are from 223 hands : VPIP 19; PFR 13; 3bet 1.2; Fold to 3bet 87
Best Regards, LTUMaximus
Thanks for the hand, LTUMaximus.
This guy has pretty TAGgy stats at 19/13, with a very high Fold to 3bet, so I like the 3bet bluff. I would’ve liked to see an Ace in your hand as this would put less Aces in his range so he’d be defending even less. But folding to 3bets 87% makes this a profitable play, so I can’t fault you for it. Your 3bet only had to work 46% of the time to be profitable, so good on you for this.
As an initial range for villain, we’re looking at JJ or below, suited A’s, broadways both offsuit and suited. He continues to 3bets only 13% of the time, so it’s a pretty small range. He’s also OOP, and that can influence him to be on the tighter side.
I like making the cbet as you’ve still got some equity in the pot as any K, Q, J, 9 or A gives you either TP or additional outs, as does any heart. But I’m not really fond of the sizing to make the pot exactly 30bb’s. I’ve often found that careful sizing like this means my opp did some math in his head and he wants the amount to scare me into folding. If it seems the number is more random and closer to a standard % like 1/2pot, 2/3pot or ¾ pot these can be either value or bluffs, so I generally tend to hit one of these standard buttons so I choreograph my intentions.
Now that he’s called the flop OOP, let’s put him on some ranges:
- Monsters – all three sets
- Marginal – any board pair and underpairs like 66-99 might call one street due to the sizing. Callers prolly have some sort of fd or bd draw as well
- Draw/Air – possibly two overs like KJ or AQ would call one street, especially with a good heart. Also the fd would call
Too bad this card wasn’t the 9h for additional fd equity. If it were, I’d be good with the bet. In this case, we’re looking for only 10 outs on the river so we can just ckb here and see it for free. Plus, the 9 doesn’t really help our range too much. From his point of view calling the T high board on the flop, he’d prolly call on the turn lower card. It’s just a 9 and it didn't really change the board much. Plus the smaller bet sizing is indicative of a weaker hand. You went from betting 60% on the flop to 50% on the turn, making it less likely you’re trying to get stacks in with a strong hand.
- Monsters – still just sets, and one of his flop marginal hands turned into a monster (99)
- Marginal – any board pair and underpairs still.
- Draw/Air – this second spade makes for a bdfd possibility, and the 9 could’ve given him a sd as well.
I think he’s heavily weighted towards marginal and draw/air as I think a set would be c/r or donk leading to build the pot for value and protection against the draws.
The river card puts you in a good spot, until he decides to donk shove. Nut straight on a 3 flush board and the opp suddenly jams OOP after c/c the flop & turn. At the lower stakes, when guys are passive then finally get agro on the river, it’s usually a nutted hand, and b/c he did it on the third spade I’ve got to put him on a flush. He could’ve had lots of broadways with two spades and TP or two overs. I’ve got to fold here as I don’t see any of his draw/air hands playing this way, and marginal hands would just c/c this final street. He could be shoving with the same hand as you, but I think he’s only shoving w/made hands here, so you’re beat by too many more flushes than the straights you chop with, so it’s a fold.
This is what LTUMaximus had to say about the hand:
I really didn't expect him to play like that from OOP and especially w A3s… I put him on small pairs 22-99, might be suited connectors 67s, 78s, 98s but very unlikely, 3bet % is so low so he might be slow playing JJ, QQ, KK, AA, AK, AQ… I think I had to call it because I've put him on Set or lower str8. What would be your opinion?
Yeah, so I had originally told LTUMaximus that the turn cbet was good, but now that I’ve put more thought into it I would’ve liked more equity with a heart or a K or Q, not an undercard b/c this won’t scare him into folding as that’s what our turn cbet is intended to do. Or making it bigger like bumping the % up to 70-75% pot would’ve been more convincing.
I also told him that I’d call the river, but now that I’ve used Andrew’s hand reading thought process, I think he only shoves w/made hands, and he’s got more flushes than straights in it, so now I think it’s a fold.
Hand 2 comes from Dom:
Here's an interesting hand. It’s a multiway hand. If you get a chance let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for the hand, Dom.
***** 888poker Hand History for Game 602369906 *****
$25/$50 Blinds No Limit Holdem – *** 04 02 2016 21:21:05
Tournament #77026304 $2.70 + $0.30 – Table #26 9 Max (Real Money)
Seat 10 is the button
Total number of players : 9
Seat 1: ronvic22 ( $10,208 )
Seat 2: zhigaslav ( $6,379 )
Seat 3: rascooby ( $5,425 )
Seat 4: gogoboy76 ( $4,605 )
Seat 5: DatsOnSalp ( $7,536 )
Seat 6: DmcE1 ( $3,497 )
Seat 7: OlafKasten ( $2,475 )
Seat 9: Flaaahnge ( $4,975 )
Seat 10: IcePube ( $3,748 )
ronvic22 posts small blind [$25]
zhigaslav posts big blind [$50]
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to DmcE1 [ 8d, 8c ]
DmcE1 raises [$122]
OlafKasten calls [$122]
ronvic22 calls [$97]
zhigaslav calls [$72]
** Dealing flop ** [ 9d, 4s, 4c ]
zhigaslav bets [$50]
DmcE1 raises [$250]
ronvic22 calls [$250]
zhigaslav calls [$200]
** Dealing turn ** [ 4h ]
DmcE1 bets [$619]
ronvic22 calls [$619]
zhigaslav calls [$619]
** Dealing river ** [ 2s ]
What do we do?
The blinds have very wide open ranges as they were getting great odds on their calls, and all I can really remove from their ranges is QQ+. The first caller w/position on us has a wide range as well w/ 99-, suited A’s, lots of broadways and suited and connected hands. We’re just hoping to hit a set here b/c we can’t stand much pressure without one on most flops vs 3 other players.
Our cbet eliminated one and we now have position throughout the hand. Now, what are these two OOP guys playing? The minbet/c by the BB feels like a very marginal or draw/air hand.
- Monsters – trip 4’s, fh 9’s over
- Marginal – overpairs like TT & JJ, and underpairs and maybe some TP hands. Doubt the 22-33 would stay in.
- Draw/Air – possibly two overs like KJ or AQ would call one street and it’d have to be suited for a bdfd, but on a paired board that seems like a bad call OOP
They both c/c. This means they both think their hands could be better than ours, or they’re just pot controlling by playing passively. The SB c/c knowing that the BB might raise, and the BB called knowing that the SB called and likes his hand. One could be slow playing quads, and the other could be slow playing the 99 nut fh.
- Monsters – quads and better fh
- Marginal – TP (turned into monsters), under pairs might stay in
- Draw/Air – on this board most draws/air would fold. You might get a station who c/c w/two overs hoping to hit a six outer for a strong fh, so this is a small part of their ranges.
I think they’re both weighted towards fh's, and some are better than ours.
I’m just checking behind here. I think if we bet we’re only getting calls from better. Any 9, 4 or overpair will call. I doubt 55-88 would call as they were just pot controlling and hoping you were bluffing w/AK or something. I think a bet here is mostly just value owning ourselves.
In a subsequent email, Dom gave me the results:
SB had 77 and the BB had AQ.
He went on to say:
This hand was before we started the ranging study so I may play this differently on the river now. Firstly I don’t know what the BB’s 1/10th pot donk bet multiway is meant to be. When we get to the river I think it's clear that draws and air are not there. Maybe a slow-played monster like a 4 or 99. I'm not putting AA-QQ their ranges as I think they may raise pre but being 82/0 & 76/12 players they may flat JJ-TT. These look like marginal pairs 22-77 in which I can get value from. I think I could have shoved my remaining 2,500 and gotten by this marginal hand range. I did get 2 streets of value from these two players though and sometimes a 9 can be turned over by one of them.
It’s possible you could’ve been called by that 77, especially seeing now that they’re such fishy players. Well at least you won. Good hand, Dom.
Question 3 comes from Ingamar:
Subject: May I get a copy of your HUD please?
You're awesome. So much good stuff for free. Hope to be a big winning player like you.
Thanks for the support and the email, Ingamar. And the kind words as well.
Thanks also for clicking through my site to purchase PT4, it really does help me a lot. I sent Ingamar the requested HUD's right away, and hopefully they're already being put to use!
Give PokerTracker 4 a chance by getting the 14-Day Free Trial here. There's no better poker tracking software available. Just send me a screenshot of your purchase confirmation and I'll take care of you with one of my personal HUD's.
Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: If you don’t already have a way to classify ranges and to narrow down what your opp’s have street by street, start using Andrew Brokos’ Monster/Marginal/Draw-Air classifications. Start by putting them on a likely pre-flop range, then as the hand progresses, narrow their range analyzing their choices. I’m finding it very useful and I’m sure you will as well.
In podcast #42, I'll tackle another of your poker leaks.
Until next time, study smart, play much and make your next session the best one yet.
- Exploit Every Player Tendency – Preflop and Post-flop - September 21, 2023
- Micro Stakes Cash Game Online Poker Training – Ultimate Guide - August 2, 2023
- Poker Question and Answer Episode | Smart Poker Study Podcast - July 27, 2023
Don’t Miss Out!
Get expert tips and strategies straight to your inbox each week!