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Struggling against bad lags... Aria 2/5

barry20calvin81 Posts: 30Subscriber
edited August 12 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
I feel like the weakest part of my game is not adjusting effectively against bad lags. I either fold too much against them from the jump, which allows other people at the table to get their $$ before they go bust, or call in situations where I would normally fold against the average player and then I'm lost for the rest of the hand.

Here is a situation that came up at Aria over the weekend, which is representative for the later issue of when I try to engage with these guys and then get lost. Effective stacks are $1500. Villain is a bad lag, bluffing a bunch, voicing frustration that table has gotten too tight, etc.

Cutoff limps. Hero on button with 4♦5♦, bets $25. Villain calls in BB. Cutoff calls.

Flop: 3♣,5♥,7♦. Check to hero. Bet $35. Villain check-raises to $75. Cutoff folds. Hero calls. Correct decision? Seemed too weak to fold given how much he is bluffing and I'm in position.

Turn. 9♦. Villain checks. Hero bets $125. Villain calls. Correct decision? Correct sizing? This is what I mean about being lost- this seems like a bet that I wouldn't normally make here, but I now I assume his flop check-raise was a total air and so it seemed that I should bet for protection/value.

River. 8♣. Villain bets out $350. ????.


  • Garland Posts: 265Subscriber
    edited August 12
    I don't mind your play up to the turn. I severely dislike the turn bet. You are turning your hand into a bluff. You have a little showdown value and a nice combo draw. I would take the equity, check and play across rivers. You would absolutely hate life if he double check-raised you. As played, you have to give this up. The problem is even if he's bluffing, he's likely to still have the best hand. Your only other option is to go all-in as a bluff, and I'm not really loving this option.
  • PokerShaman Posts: 65Subscriber
    edited August 12
    You don't say what the effective stack size is. That is going to have a significant effect on decision-making at every step of the hand.

    I don't mind preflop if stacks are deep, like 200 blinds or more. Otherwise, I think it is ambitious How deep are stacks?

    I really don't like the flop bet. Yes, we have some equity to protect with our actual holding, but the flop is low and coordinated, and in general the defender in the big blind is going to get more help from it than an iso-raiser on the button. Also there is the caller in the cutoff to consider. At any rate, we should be checking back with a large proportion of our range, and I think that checking range should include our actual hand.

    The turn card is a moderately bad card for both our range and our actual holding even picking up the backdoor flush draw. What were you thinking when you bet?

    On the river, the board is a one-liner to a 6, and we have fourth pair. This is such an easy fold that I don't understand your apparent confusion.

    The pot is 475 and the villain bets 350. Required equity for a break-even call is 350/(475 + 350 +350) = 0.30. Is the villain really bluffing more than 30 per cent of the time here?

    The decision would be even easier if you hadn't bloated the pot with your turn bet.
  • barry20calvin81 Posts: 30Subscriber
    edited August 12
    @PokerShaman, I said above that effective stacks are $1500...

    My turn play was bad; I thought there was a good chance that he checked raised flop with air and I wanted to take it down before the river made this complicated with another overcard, and obviously I have outs if my read is wrong. Yeah, but it was bad and hard to correctly justify in retrospect.

    The reason I thought river decision was hard is that he is repping exactly the 6, exactly, and there is a good chance he is just trying to bluff me off of the hand. Yes, I think there is a more than 30% chance that he is bluffing, probably a good deal better than 30%, given the board and how laggy he is playing. Per Garland's comment, however, I was concerned that I could be behind what he is thinking is a bluff. I agree that again most players, this is an easy fold. The issue is against bad lags, I feel like I'm folding too often to these bets, letting myself get bluffed.
  • Superfly Posts: 252Subscriber
    I think preflop is ok if you’re willing to gamble it up a little. Ki Lee says use MP2 range vs one limper, and 45s is in there as a partial. But if you don’t feel confident playing postflop vs Lag, may be better to wait for stronger hands.

    I can see arguments for both check and cbet on the flop. Not sure if one is better. Once you get raised, calling with a pair, OESD and BDFD is slam dunk.

    Since you got raised and just called on flop, I prefer checking turn. If V had just called the flop, I think continuing to lead on turn would have been fine. But in this case you gave up the lead and have good equity but not much showdown value, so best to try and realize your equity as cheaply as possible.

    Bad runout. Fold river.

    Playing against lags is tough. Key for me is not to fall into playing their game and overplay my hands or start making big bad bluffs. Stay steady, don’t bloat pots for protection, and wait for good spots. Leave aggressively isoing and outplaying the lags to the pros is my advice.
  • JoneseyJonesey Posts: 71Subscriber
    Most LAGs, bad ones especially, have post flop tendencies you can pick up on. Many tighten up on the turn and river. Some continue betting like a drink sailor. I always try to get a sense of their turn and river style because unless they’re a very good pro who’s perfected the style, there are patterns.

    Also you missed your draw. I rarely make the correct decision when I miss a draw and try to convince myself I’m good anyway. Let the game come to you. Forcing it is rarely correct.
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