Thief of Thieves

Posted on September 13, 2013


Welcome to the second installment of Stackedforlife strategy guide. In my last post, “Don’t Steal, Plan a Heist”, I discussed the mathematics behind profitable steals. In this post we will look at situations where we face an open raise from steal positions and list a defense strategy.

When we face an open raise from a steal position (CO, BTN, or SB) we can take one of three actions: Fold, Call, or re-raise (3bet)

The decision we take depends on our opponents opening range and position, their continuation range vs a 3bet, and ofcourse our cards.

First let us calculate the breakeven point of a re-steal or 3bet.

We are in the BB with QcTh and a regular open raises 3bbs from the BTN.

We think that calling will not yield a profit postflop being OOP against this TAG. So we can either fold and give up 1bbs or 3bet to re-steal.

We decide to make it 10bbs (3x + 1bb for being OOP); we already had paid 1bbs for the BB so we invest 9bbs more to win 4.5bbs. Hence, to show an immediate profit on our 3bet we need our opponent to fold:
9/13.5 or >67% of the time

Mathematically speaking, 3betting any two against an opponent with a Fold to 3bet higher than 67% will yield an immediate profit.  But we do not live in a perfect world, and we expect our opponents to defend against 3bets by 4betting or calling which means we have to be selective with the hands to 3bet as a resteal to provide ourselves with good options post-flop in case we are called.

So what makes a good hand to resteal?

Basically hands that are too weak to call yet have postflop playability and have blockers.

Hands like: AT, A7s, KJ, JTs, T9, etc.

Here are some considerations:

. When an opponent is OOP, they would generally defend by folding or 4betting; rarely would you see an opponent flat calling a 3bet OOP. So whenever we are 3bet stealing IP (BTN v CO/BB v SB) we want to use hands with blockers: Axs, Kxs.


. When an opponent is IP, they can call a 3bet wider and they would generally do so with big Ace hands: AQ, AJs, ATs or big suited connectors: KQs, QJs or medium PPs: JJ-77. So whenever we are 3bet stealing OOP against a villain with a low 4bet frequency I would weigh blockers less and use connectors to 3bet steal.


Why? Well think about it.
When we do get called we are going to represent a big hand on a face card anyways regardless of our holding but when the board is low and we connect with it we can also cbet for value or semi-bluff.

Ex. BTN opens for 3bbs and we 3bet to 10bbs from the BB with Tc9h after the SB folds. The BTN elects to call.
Flop: Kc 7h 3c

We bet 2/3 pot and villain folds

Now let’s take the same scenario and change the flop: Jc 8h 3c

The way I see it, we can play on two different board textures when we would bet a K high flop with Axs but x/f a J83ss

I hope you find this information helpful or atleast re-enforces what you already know!
Leave a comment about what you think and if there is something specific you’d like to read about in the next installment of strategy guide.
GL at the tables!

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Posted in: Strategy