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Hand No. 1 – WSOP $200NL – 5 players – $400 effective

Preflop: I have Tc3c in the BB
2 folds, BTN raises to $4, 1 fold, I call

Flop: 4c5s9d ($8.50 pot – 2 players – $196 stacks)
I check, BTN bets $4.50, I fold

Question: Do I peel or check/raise this against this sizing or smaller sizing?

In-hand thoughts: I will c/r this board against a third-pot sizing with this hand. This board is pretty good for my range. Against half-pot, maybe this represents a stronger range for opponent and c/r won’t work enough.

After hand thoughts: I still like c/r v. third-pot, especially exploitatively. I figure people will bet this board with range even if they shouldn’t, I’ve got tons of all the pairs, as well as all the two-pairs suited, and potentially all the sets in range. They have all the sets, but none of the two-pair combos except 54s. So I have a nuttiness advantage, they have a second-tier value advantage with the overpairs, and I have tons of draws. T3s blocks some continues like A3, but not as many as a hand like T6s. I like T6s a lot more as a c/r against this half-pot sizing. Let’s check results. (For some reason I was thinking the board was 943r for a moment, so the pair advantage is less than I was thinking. I think.)

PIO solver says: IP has 53.5% equity edge. Their EV is 59.9% of pot. So a sizeable playability edge as well. Nonetheless, they should check back 52% of range, and mix between sizings (13.5%,18%,16.3% for full, half, and third pot). Range explorer confirms IP has edge throughout range, except right near the top.

T3s (and T6s) are pure folds against half-pot sizing. OOP should check/raise with 14.4% of range. K9+ for value, lots of two-pair & sets, and tons of straight draws. K3s/K6s w/BDFD likes to c/r.

T3s still folds against the small bet size, but T6s now mixes some calls and c/r. Against third-pot, OOP c/r almost 20% of range. Let’s see what happens if we force IP to bet third-pot with range. I think these hands will start to c/r or at least peel more.

Original sim EV: 509 IP
Third-pot range EV: 497 IP

So they drop 12 EV in a 850 pot. That’s 1.4% of pot, which is not great, but also not catastrophic by any means. I imagine OOP must c/r well over 20%, maybe in the 30% region to keep IP honest here. Yes. 27% c/r, 54% call, 19% fold. T3s & T6s do a ton of check/raising here with BDFD. T3 folds when it doesn’t c/r and T6 calls. Both fold without BDFD.

Conclusion: I feel fairly vindicated by this. Against an opponent who is c-betting too wide, my c/r would have been theoretically balanced and probably exploitatively effective, as it’s not easy for them to defend against. They’re supposed to defend hands like J8/J7/T8/T7 to the c/r, which few people are likely to do. (That’s my assumption anyway.)