Olivier Busquet, also known as "livb" online, honed his poker skills by crushing online sit-n-gos. He's also had impressive live tournament poker results, including a win in the 2009 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open. His live winnings exceed $2.4 million.
For this edition of Strategy with Kristy, Busquet answers questions sent in by listeners, and also discusses his thought process in a few tough spots against good, loose-aggressive players.
Here is a snippet from the interview:
Let's say you have queens and you raise in middle position. A loose-aggressive type of player flats you in position, and you're 200 big blinds deep. The flop comes nine-eight-seven with a flush draw. You continuation bet [c-bet], and your opponent raises. In this spot, you're out of position against a good player. It feels like you're getting run over if you bet-fold an overpair. At the same time, he's going to make the rest of the hand super difficult for you to play if you call. He will be able to play perfectly against you with hands that either have a lot of equity or a hand that has you beat. What's your thought process here?
What a lot of people have to understand is that the definition of tough spots is that there aren't clear cut answers. So, you're in a tough spot, and you're not sure what to do, that's good. That's the right response to have. It shouldn't be an easy answer where you just say, "Oh I have to call, I have queens." Well, no you don't. Folding isn't the worst play in the world.
What do you do if you have top set? Or when you flop a straight? Or when you have queen-ten with the flush draw in that spot? If he's raising so much on that board, then when you do have big hands, you're going to end up being able to make a lot of money. It's fine, from a range point-of-view, to fold your marginal hands. To be honest, even though it's an overpair, queens in that spot, on that board, is a marginal hand.
It's the type of board, depending on your opponent, that you should probably be catering your c-betting range to your opponent's aggressiveness. You don't want to be c-betting your entire range on that board if you think your opponent is going to raise light there.
Now there are some good aggressive players who interpret that board as really scary, so they're actually not raising your c-bet without hands that are either very strong or have a lot of equity. From that point of view, you might want to c-bet a lot on that flop. So again, it just depends on how your opponents play.
If your opponent is trying to represent a number of hands because he knows he can represent tons of hands and he knows you can't continue without a strong hand, then you might want to tighten up your c-betting range. But, I think folding in that spot is perfectly reasonable and probably the best play.
If I had jacks, I'd be much more likely to call than if I had two queens. And that may be obvious, but just to be clear, you would have a gutter to a ten that would give you a straight that would beat other straights. Your opponent could have a six, so it's not like he couldn't have anything. It also makes it less likely that your opponent could have jack-ten. It's just a much better hand in that spot because you can improve your hand and it takes away some of the cards from your opponent. Two queens on that board, is just not that strong. Folding is probably the best play.
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