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@monkeyheaven @CuteRaven Just saw we are in the BB with the A4o hand (I thought it was the SB). Changes things slightly, but I think I still fold. I know that many people suggest defending the BB really wide but with A4o at 10BB effective Stack there is almost nothing sensible we can hit. A4x and 235 are the only good flops, Axx has a lot of reverse implieds and the many flops that just miss us completely usually just mean giving up on the flop.

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@monkeyheaven @Dennis__ 

Thanks for the opinions! It's quite fun to play a game so complicated that even experienced players have such different views on what the best play is Very Happy (I don't count myself in this category, I have only played 5 man SNG for a few weeks now).

After thinking about these hands more this is my current view on them.

A4o hand: Seems it's too loose to jam. I agree that there should be a flatting range in the BB even this shallow (probably as shallow as down to maybe even 8 BB or so). I think A4o is too nitty to fold given the great price and probably I would flat this despite bad postflop playability, I think the flatting range can be surprisingly wide given the price, and ICM isn't as important 5 handed as I was thinking at some point. I could be wrong though, maybe the post flop playability is so bad that I should fold it. If I was in sb I definitely fold this. And how wide can BB flat here? Not sure.

Having a flatting range in this spot has some interesting strategy implications. For example, should I have some AA/KK flat call traps here since it's so likely the money will go in postflop anyway? Maybe...

Edit: I think river is still kind of close between bet and check but I guess either can be good. I guess check is better vs bluffier opponents, bet is better vs more face up opponents that never check turn with an A.

KQo hand: I think in this situation in the future I will play quite a mixed strategy. I think that I will have some jams, some non-allin 3bets, and some flat calls. On the one hand it's not the simplest strategy to balance, but there are some hands that just don't play that well in any other part of the range. For example, rather than force stuff like K9s or QJo into an akward 3betting range, I think these might be nicer to flat call in general. Of course I could fold these hands pre, but whats the fun in that Very Happy. Despite the difficulty to balance, it's the strategy I feel most comfortable with.

Balancing this strategy probably requires doing weird stuff rarely like flatting QQ/JJ in the small blind (I actually flatted JJ vs a cutoff open in the small blind once yesterday with an aggro 3bettor in the BB and was lucky to face a 3bet to then execute the funky call/rejam move Tongue. BB folded to the rejam).

Which range does KQo fit in best then? I'm not sure, I could see arguments for placing it in any of the three ranges, I think I prefer 3betting non-allin or flatting the most.

53o hand: Yeah it's probably a bit too loose pre, without antes at least, even against a button minraise this deep Tongue.

The fun thing about bluffcatching is that the absolute hand strength doesn't matter by the river, only things that matter are blockers and weather or not I beat bluffs. Any perceived unbalance in buttons range should give me the incentive to either massively overcall or overfold my bluffcatchers (because I'm getting the correct or wrong price). I do block 55, 5s7s, Qs5s, Ah3h, Kh3h depending on how wide the button range is of course. I would have raised some flushes and 2p+ before the river though and I don't have that many Qx, so I arguably don't have a huge amount of calling hands to choose from here. I think I rather call this than any 7 without a heart (maybe with the exception of A7 and K7).

Still, the call is quite loose and I won't make a habit of making these sorts of calls Tongue

I wonder how ICM affects postflop? I have heard that there is less incentive to bet in position because you open yourself up to getting checkraised (which is more dangerous for the cbettor than normal in ICM situations, because losing chips becomes a bigger threat). Anyway, ICMs implications on postflop (and how that should change preflop) is something I don't understand very well. Can OOP call wider preflop expecting to realize more equity if IP cbets less often? I'm not sure.

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I have never studied postflop ICM and don´t even know how to. Could of course be very rewarding to study but again, how?

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@Dennis__I have seen a Youtube video exploring ICM implications of postflop play with a solver. It's pretty interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFA5aJYG8Cc

It's probably possible to some extent/degree of accuracy with some solvers but yeah it doesn't seem to be easy to study.

I did end up playing just a few 50€ 5 man SNGs and 25€ HU SNGs today, with a minor profit (BR is 4757.78€) mostly from the HU, I won one 5 man SNG and busted the rest, I think I broke even pretty much.

There was this one player that was calling my all-ins super light, or going all in super light vs me (I didn't see them do it against other players). They either loved me ("trying to give me all their chips" as Phil Hellmuth would say), or really didn't like me, trying to take any possibilities to bust me, maybe they were tilted after one big hand I played vs them with AA. They called my 10 BB button rejam from the small blind with J7s (I had AQo, they won of course with JJx on the flop). Then there was this situation on the bubble on another table:

Preflop minraise, call jam from BB. When I saw this flop I was like oh no XD. Dafuq with the jam though from BB :p. I ended up bubbling this one.Preflop minraise, call jam from BB. When I saw this flop I was like oh no XD. Dafuq with the jam though from BB Tongue. I ended up bubbling this one.

I also made one probably bad river call in a pot with Kh4h on [Qh 3h Qc] [4c] [5s] against 1/4 pot river sizing. Called flop and turn with the heart draw and pair of 4. Got tempted by the river price, well played by whoever villain was there with QdTc (Villain was UTG, I was in SB, BB also called pre and then folded the flop. I went call, call, call here vs 1/2 pot flop, 3/4 pot turn, 1/4 pot river). I think I should just get away, way too uncommon that players have a bluff in this line, and probably even A high without the hearts is a better call here. In theory I can't fold much vs that sizing but still Tongue. I'm also about 75% sure that this player was @monkeyheaven in retrospect!

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I suspect at the highest stakes 5man SnG's KQo would be shoving pre but it seems unnecessary in these games. It feels a bit lazy and gives opponent's fairly easy decisions. I think mixing some flats and some 3bet folds is going to be good. Especially as the pool is probably going to 4 bet jam too tight.

A4o I would guess is just a fold pre. Seems close for chip ev as it is and with ICM considerations is probably going to just be a fold. You are almost defending to try and flop a bluffcatcher as a fairly best case scenario. It feels like villain is gonna insta-win on quite a lot of boards and when lots of money goes in on ace high boards again it feels like we lose a lot. As played I don't think shove achieves anything after villain has cbet 3/4 pot. It seems unlikely they are gonna have a hand like KQ/KK for that size on the flop, let alone call with it even if they did when our only potential bluff is T9. I actually think it's more of a check fold than a check call, and that the pool is going to be massively under-bluffing this line if we check and see a jam.

53o hand is a lot too loose pre, it isn't even a defend heads up. Your hands are tied till you reach river which is the decision point. I actually think you stumble into a good bluff-catcher just because there are so many potential bluff combos and situationally on the bubble it's easy to over-bluff to apply max pressure. Think of all the AK AT A9 A8 A4 A3 K9 KT T9 combos with one heart that could potentially get to the river this way. Your hand blocks a few value combos and unblocks villain's most likely bluffs.
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think I agree with @Groggy now re 53o hand, but such a marginal spot I typically avoid. Have thought about my line some more, Ah looked like a natural 3 barrel on this runout in game, but Ah doesn't block the nut flush effectively because we should expect bb to shove all suited aces preflop, non-Broadway heart is probably a better candidate. 

@CuteRaven for sure playing these weak hands (K4s is another one, no it wasn't me this time) sets you up well for playing 100bb cash games, and you're navigating these spots far better than I could, have you considered you could cut your vpip in half, double your table count and print in lots of easy situations vs what are overall soft fields imo?

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Thanks for the analysis @Groggy! I agree with your analysis on the KQo and 53o hand at this point (apart from one thing, 53o can be defended in HU, depending on stack depth, the deeper the better Tongue https://www.pokersites.io/heads-up-hyper-pre-flop-charts/)

Interesting thoughts on the A4o. I think it's always hard to quantify what the correct price is for a call. Yes, A4o plays bad postflop, but how does this relate to price and stack depth and ICM? In a 100 BB cash game this is an easy call vs button minraise. What is a high enough stack depth to call this? I think it's very hard to figure out with intuition the correct calling range is what I'm trying to get at. Anyway, I understand why you and Dennis would fold this pre.

As for the river check fold, it's pretty nitty but it could even be justified versus some players, I will have to think about that more Tongue

@monkeyheavenYeah, I think some of my main leaks are too high VPIP (from blinds at least) and playing too LAG style (and yeah K4s is way too losse now that I look at it). I think it's because of playing so much HU, you really have to be quite LAG (compared to other poker formats) there to win nicely, the best players know this and they bluff quite a lot in HU SNG. Anyway, something to work on for these formats for me, and yeah it would make playing more tables easier too, thanks for the advice!

Good point about the Ah! On the other hand you block me from having stuff like AhQs (edit: nvm AQo is ofc a preflop jam, maybe you're right Kh is better here to bluff with) or Ah7s which are good bluffcatching candidates blocking your nut flush, so I'm not sure blocking some of my best bluffcatchers is that bad, especially when I might raise a good chunk of my flushes on earlier streets.

Yeah, honestly the main reason I played 5 man SNGs is out of curiosity, it seemed like a good opportunity to try a new game type, sometimes I want to play different game types to mix it up a bit and learn new poker. I think I will play more HU SNG and cash in the coming weeks. I still like the exitement of the one on one reg battles and truly maxexploit possibility vs fish in HU SNG Very Happy

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The problem with a hand like A4o is it under-realises a lot postflop just because of how badly it hits boards. It's just a hand that we are going to lose with a lot even when we are still ahead on a lot of flops. In terms of raw equity of course it is doing well enough to defend vs btn, it just doesn't get to realise that equity efficiently.  The reason there are negative ICM implications is because we basically always have to call down stacks when we make top pair just because we are massively lacking for Ax hands when we call preflop given we reshove a lot of Ax hands. Ace high boards are significantly better for button so it is a board we should face a lot of aggression on.

In terms of suggesting river check fold that would purely be an exploit play against the pool, we are definitely supposed to get stacked here. I don't think opponent's are bluffing big size often enough, especially on this kind of board. The 3rd diamond improves a lot of potential bluffs to high equity semi bluff jams on the turn. (T9, K9 one diamond) So realistically, what bluffs are we going to see the average villain show up with at river given this line, other than perhaps T9 or T8s without a diamond?

The main reason I'm playing 5 man SnG's is also just to experience a different game type, poker has been feeling a bit stale for me and I've enjoyed the change. I enjoy promotions that feature leaderboards that give me an incentive to grind. 

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Bankroll is now 5172.18€

I played some 50€ HU SNG earlier today (played 6, won 5), then I decided to take some shots at 100€ HU SNG in the evening (played 25, won 13). Some of the regs at 100€ are def very good, but not unbeatable. Anyway, I will have to make sure that I'm feeling sharp and thinking through all my decisions properly when playing that buyin level!

I also came second in the 1000€ freeroll flip for about 197€ (I wasn't watching when it happened). It's the first time that I have got the ticket. I'm not sure what the criteria for getting it is, probably something like playing on Unibet consistently for some time at certain stakes (I haven't raked much recently because of playing the rakeless 5 man SNGs). Lucky result, in any case!

Here is a fun bluff that was successful. One of the best bluff candidate hands that I have here IMO:

Table €100 SNG 2 Seat - 20.00/40.00 - No Limit Hold'Em - Total prize €194 -
*** Seated players ***
Seat 1: Hero (1120)
Seat 2: Villain (880)
*** Blinds and button ***
Villain has the button
Villain posts small blind 20
Hero posts big blind 40
*** Hole cards ***
Dealt to Hero [7d Kh]
Dealt in Villain
*** Preflop ***
Villain calls 20
Hero checks
*** Flop *** [9h Ah 7c]
Hero checks
Villain bets 40
Hero calls 40
*** Turn *** [9h Ah 7c] [Th]
Hero checks
Villain bets 80
Hero calls 80
*** River *** [9h Ah 7c] [Th] [2s]
Hero checks
Villain bets 320
Hero raises 960 to 960, and is all-in
Villain folds
Uncalled bet returned to Hero: 640
Hero wins 960
*** Summary ***
Total pot 960
Seat 1: Hero: bet 1120 and won 1600, net result: 480
Seat 2: Villain: bet 480 and won 0, net result: -480


@Groggy   Yeah I agree with what you are saying about A4o playability and also that equity realization is more important than raw equity, what I was wondering is when does the price become good enough to call pre? My pot odds vs minraise is 22%, what would be the the correct pot odds to call with A4o (lets say stack depth and ICM was same but it was somehow legal to raise as button to a size smaller than a minraise)?  Regardless of how badly a hand plays postflop, it's still a call for some low enough (theoretical) price. But for the price of a minraise in this spot, maybe, maybe not? I'm not saying you are wrong, I just don't have much that is concrete to justify this borderline hand as either a call or a fold in this specific spot. Pot odds and range advantages are hard to translate into accurate preflop ranges without some software (software that also looks at postflop equity realization) Tongue. Seems most people prefer a fold pre here, maybe that is what I will do in the future.

And yeah, a river check fold is tough. I could chop with some hands like A2s valuebets and I would be folding the vast majority of my range if I check fold A4o. But it might well be justified vs severe underbluffers. I would add K9s sometimes into the bluff range, TT and 99 for the more creative. Then again other players would probably never bluff here on the river.

Appreciate the insight/advice!

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I don't know the answer to your question I'm afraid. I'm sure there are some GTO defence ranges ICM adjusted out there at varied stack depths somewhere. I haven't studied ranges or the format, it's just my opinion, it isn't necessarily correct. I would defend A5o so to me it is marginal. I would like to know the answers to the questions your asking myself.
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