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Teachable Moments From Twitch: Triple-Barrel Bluffing With 'bencb789'

Teachable Moments From Twitch: Triple-Barrel Bluffing With 'bencb789'
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  • Carlos Welch shares another "Teachable Moment from Twitch" via the stream of online star "bencb789."

  • A look at a Twitch discussion of triple-barrel bluffing with "bencb789" alongside a hand example.

This teachable moment is brought to us by the founder of the Raise Your Edge Masterclass, "bencb789." The hand occurred during a Twitch stream on his channel at www.twitch.tv/raiseyouredge.

An interesting spot came up while he was playing the $215 Sunday Supersonic on PokerStars, a 6-max. hyper-turbo tournament. The hand took place at the 150/300/75 level and began with Ben sitting under the gun and opening to 700 with {10-Spades}{10-Diamonds} from a 70 big blind stack. Villain flatted from UTG+1 with a 40 BB stack and all the other players folded.

The flop came {A-Hearts}{Q-Spades}{J-Spades} at which point Ben shared his thoughts.

"If I think about certain run outs, this is one of the hands that I want to have in my bluffing range," he began. "What am I going to bluff with if the turn is a spade? What kind of bluffs can I have if the turn is a nine? Maybe in theory you should bluff some pocket deuces and pocket threes with one spade, but I think blocking K-T and A-T, this is a hand that often wants to triple-barrel to make him fold a queen or jack... like K-J, J-T, K-Q, Q-T type of hands which he can have in his range."

Ben continuation bet 800 into a pot of 2,300, was called, then after the {9-Clubs} came on the turn he barreled another 2,600 into a pot of 3,900. Again his opponent called, and Ben continued his explanation before making a decision on the {A-Spades} river.

"On the river, we block all of the flushes. He can still have K-Q, K-J, J-T, and he might be able to make a lay down with an ace because... what hands can we bluff here besides T-9-suited?"

Ben has a clear range advantage on this board, but it also smashes villain's flatting range. This sets up an interesting dynamic. Villain has tons of medium-strength hands with which to continue, so a one-and-done c-bet or double-barrel is unlikely to work. However, because villain is unlikely to have the strongest hands possible on this board, many of his flop and turn calls will have a hard time continuing to a river shove. These strike me as the perfect conditions for a triple-barrel bluff, but on a Broadway-heavy board like this one, it can be hard to construct a robust bluffing range.

On the river, we would be shoving for pretty close to pot. This means we need a bluff for every two value hands in order to make villain indifferent to calling or folding facing our shove. If Ben bluffs here with the two combos of T-9-suited and six combos of T-T, he can shove 16 combos for value.

The problem is that we have 20 value combos with {K-Spades}{10-Spades}, J-J, Q-Q, A-A, A-J, and A-Q alone. If we ever wanted to bet with flushes, straights, 9-9, or A-9-suited, we'd have to find a lot more bluff combos.

Ben may be good enough to recognize this and take this line with pocket deuces and pocket threes with one spade, but that would not have even occured to me until he mentioned it. That's some high-level thinking in a high-level tournament, and it has served Ben well over the course of his career. Unfortunately for him, his opponent must have found his way into that tournament from a different level because he called Ben's river shove with {A-Clubs}{8-Clubs}.

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