Interesting hand from the Unibet NL800 streets

To give some context for the hand in question, we are playing at an NL800 cash game at Unibet Poker. The hand is played at a fairly soft table, but the villain in this particular hand is one of the toughest regs in the game (although I did not know that at the time, and this is not the real Jakeeeeeeee fwiw). To explain how we should be constructing a defending range against villains line, I will use the concept of “minimum defence frequency”.

The hand begins with me looking down at KQo in the small blind, and I open for 3x the BB to €24. I’ve got close to €2000 at the table and the big blind covers me. He 3-bets to €80 and now we have a decision. We could turn this hand into a bluff by 4-betting, as our hand has very strong blocker effects, blocking many of his value hands (QQ/KK/AQ/AK). However, our hand plays fairly well post flop and I think our hand is just too strong to turn into a 4-bet bluff here.

So I click call and the flop comes AdTc7h. I check (as I would with my entire range in this spot), and he bets 1/3 pot for €52 into the pot of now €157. I like this bet size by him, as it is a cheap way for him to put pressure on my range. KQ is not a super strong holding at this point, but we have a gutshot to the nuts as well as some showdown value with our KQ high cards.

I call and the turn brings the gin card, a jack. So we turn the nuts, but there is now also a flush draw on board with two hearts. I check again and he makes a slight overbet for €300 into €261. At this point we have two choices: we can either flat call and let him keep barreling his bluffs, or we can raise to get value from his value hands (AA, JJ, TT, AJ, AT etc) and to prevent him from drawing cheaply to a heart flush.

I ultimately decide to flat call, as I strongly suspected he would keep firing the river with a lot of his bluffs, thinking that my range would be somewhat capped just flatting the turn. The river brings the 4 of hearts, completing a possible flush. This is not a great card as we no longer hold the nuts, and a heart flush is definitely possible for our villain here. I check a third time and he overbet-jams for €1537 into the pot of €861 for slightly less than 2x pot. Sigh…

What now?

What we need to do in a spot like this, is to think about our range, and what hands we get to the river with. Then we need to decide what pot odds we are getting, and how often we need to call. To figure out how much we need to call this bet, I will use the concept of minimum defence frequency (MDF). MDF is basically the minimum we need to call to avoid that our opponent automatically profits with his bets.

Villain is here risking €1537 to win €861. So:
B (ratio of what he is risking to what he can win (bet size/potsize) = 1537/861 = 1,79
A = B/(B+1) = 1,79/2,79 = 0,644
MDF: (1-A)% = 1 – 0,644 = 35,6%.

This means we need to be at least calling 35,6% of our range. This should basically be the top of our range, but blocker effects to his possible value-jams need to be taken into consideration. If we assume his value-jamming range on the river is KQ straights and all flushes, then holding a king, a queen or a heart in our range is naturally good, as it reduces the number of combinations he can have of those holdings.

Let’s assume we get to the river with all suited aces, A9o+, KJ, KQ, JT, 98s, 77, TT and JJ, and some heart flushes (all Axhh, KThh, QThh, T9hh, T8hh and 89hh). The total amount of combinations we reach the river with is then 127. If we want to reach our MDF of 35,6% we then need to call 45 of these combinations. If we call all straights and flushes, that totals to 33 combinations, meaning we need to find 12 more combinations to reach our MDF. The remaining 12 combinations should be strong hands that also blocks our opponents value jams. So for example, calling a hand like AxQh would be better than calling TT, even though AxQh is weaker in terms of absolute hand strength. This is because AxQh blocks both the KQ straights and his Qxhh flushes, lowering the frequency our opponent will have these holdings.

Breaking down the hand we can see in this example that KQ definitely is a call. In real time I was not super confident though, as I suspected that my average opponents at Unibet were underbluffing this line. Anyways we ended up pressing the call button, and villain showed Kh5x for king high. I remember my Twitch chat going off the rails when he showed his hand here, but in reality, this is a really good bluffing hand on this runout. The Kh is obviously a very good card, as it blocks all Kxhh flushes as well as the KQ straight. The Kh is probably the best blocker card to take this line with, as the Ah has enough showdown value to check back at some point. Also by not holding the ace, he unblocks a lot of the hands he wants to put pressure on (all the Ax hands). The 5 in his hand doesn’t mean all that much, but it unblocks a lot of the hands I will call twice with and fold river, like AQo/A7s/JTs.

The hand in question was streamed live on my Twitch channel, and I exported the clip to YouTube after. Check it out here: YouTube

Twitch partnership celebration marathon stream!

It took a while to get there, but we have finally received that elusive Twitch partnership. Along with it comes a flashy subscriber button, custom chat badges and emoticons and a bunch of other cool stuff. To celebrate this great piece of news I am going to do a 24-hour poker stream this coming Sunday! During these 24 hours, I will play a variety of different games (poker games that is). I will play cash games (anything from NL4 to NL800), SNG’s both 5-max and HU, and tournaments. The main event for the evening will be the €50,000 guaranteed on Unibet, a tournament they are hosting to celebrate the 500,000,000th hand being dealt on their poker platform. It’s gonna be a €100 buy-in tournament with unlimited re-entries and one add-on available. Not only will this tournament have a €50,000 prize pool, it will also have 3x €3000 packages added for a poker trip to Las Vegas!

There will also be a number of giveaways and freerolls during the stream, totalling a total value of €1000! There will be five €100 freerolls in total. They will be starting at 12.00, 18.00, 21.00, 00.00 and 08.00, all times CET. In these freerolls there will also be a bounty for €25 on my head. I will also give away 3x €100 tickets to the €50,000 Guaranteed tournament that evening, as well as €200 worth of different satellite tickets. These will be given out at random, or to people I feel deserve it! I’m sure I’ll come up with a competition or two by then as well.

So yeah, hope to see you guys on Sunday! Feel free to reach out to me if you got ideas for competitions we can arrange during the stream, or if you have any other suggestions!

Unibet Open package giveaway

Hey there, long time no see! I haven’t been blogging for a while, for a number of reasons (the main one being laziness obv). Another reason is that I have been spending some time vlogging instead, as I believe the vlog format is more interesting for and better received by a 2017 audience. I am still not sure if I will be vlogging AND blogging, but for the time being, that’s the plan. So expect some of those vlogs to show up on YouTube very soon!

ANYWAYS, I wanted to make a quick post here to tell you guys about this new promotion I am running through my stream. As most of you probably are aware, Unibet has a live poker series called the Unibet Open. There are four Unibet Opens every year, and they are held at various locations around the world. The first two this year were held in London and Copenhagen, while the next two will be Bucharest and a mystery location! Anyhow, Unibet has satellites running for these Unibet Open events on their online poker client. They begin at €2 and €4, and you need to win your way through 3-4 steps before reaching the €250 finals, which are held on Wednesdays and Sundays. In the €250 finals you can win packages to the live events. These packages are usually valued at €2000, but for the mystery event, it’s €3000. This includes buy-in to the tournament (€1100), hotel and travel/spending money.

Since I am now a Unibet Poker Ambassador, I receive packages to all these events anyways. I do however enjoy playing the satellites for them, so I got this idea… What if I could grind my way up from the lowest tickets (€2 and €4), up to actually winning a package, and then donating it to a viewer of the stream? Sounds good? Alright! So that’s essentially the plan. Unibet will provide me with 10x €2 tickets and 10x €4 tickets every week (surely I can get more if I run out and ask nicely). I will then try to grind these tickets up through the different levels and hopefully manage to win a Unibet Open package (or five). The way I will choose a winner (or more winners), is that I have created a competition through Gleam, where you can collect points for a raffle. To check out the Gleam competition and give yourself a chance to win a €3000 package and go to the next Unibet Open for free, follow this link:

That’s it for now guys. Hope you like the idea of the promotion, and good luck to everyone participating! Expect a new blog post in just a couple of days, where I give some details on the 24-hour stream I have planned for this Sunday. Teaser: There will be giveaways and freerolls with a value of €1000!

Unibet Open London 2017 winner Gerret Van Lancker qualified for the event online (photo by Tambet Kask).

Edit: It has been pointed out that by doing this promotion I was taking EV away from the people grinding these satellites, and that giving away packages was against Unibet’s T&C. I had, of course, arranged this through Unibet, but I guess we did not think it through properly. However, since the promotion already has been launched, it will be completed as planned (almost). To make up for the EV I am (presumably) taking out of these satellites, Unibet came up with a way to recompensate the other players. So if I happen to win a €250 satellite, Unibet will add another €2000/€3000 package, which will be given away to the bubble boy of that given satellite. The plan was to keep this promotion going throughout the rest of the year, but this will now simply be too expensive. So, as soon as I win a package and raffle it away, this promotion will come to an end.