(Editor's Note: The hand being analyzed was played by Oksana "GorbunOK" Gorbunova on GGPoker. The action is as follows)

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Hero raises under the gun to $0.06 with . Villian calls in position.


Hero checks. Villian bets $0.08. Hero check-raises to $0.26. Villian calls.


Hero bets $0.45. Villian calls.


Hero checks. Villian bets $1.18. Hero calls and loses to

The opponent is unknown, there are no statistics.


I'm UTG. My opening range is 15.5%

My opponent calls in MP, and I give him approximately the following range of hands.


I'm out of position, I end up with top pair with the best kicker. I decide to check-raise.

The opponent also theoretically hits this flop quite well. He may have a flush draw, a pair of queens, second and third pairs, sets, and a gutshot.

As a preflop raiser out of position, I try to play with a low continuation bet percentage since I'm facing a fairly tight range from my opponent. In general, I try to keep the continuation bet frequency in such spots around 30-40%. Due to the low continuation bet, I protect my range with a check-raise with frequencies in the region of 13-20%, followed by an aggressive play. Top pair top kicker I play 50/50 according to the randomizer. This time it was a check raise.

My opponent bets a little more than half the pot and calls the check-raise.


I continue my aggression. I bet a lot, about 70%. My opponent calls. I put only a flush draw and a pair of queens in his range. I think that he would raise better hands on such a board (as they often do at this limit).


The flush draw did not come in, but the king came – an overcard. After I check, he puts me all in. I thought it was a bluff and he didn’t get the flush, plus that’s how they sometimes play with a pair of queens, so I decided to call.

Trainer Analysis

Igor "Budda1985" Ufimtsev


The first thing to pay attention to in this hand is the sizing and opening range from UTG. You need to understand that these variables are interrelated – the larger the sizing we use, the narrower our range, and vice versa.

At this limit, opponents do not realize the equity of their hands well enough, they make more mistakes preflop and postflop, which motivates us to open wider. Also, from a theoretical perspective, we want to use a smaller opening size from early positions because we don't want to put a lot of money into the pot when we have to play out of position. We can increase the sizing in later positions. A high rake has a greater impact on passive lines when we call, but we can raise more widely since in many rooms pots won before the flop are not subject to rake. Ultimately, we want to maximize our VPIP without investing too much money in an early position.

I would recommend you expand your range to about 17% by adding hands like K9, Q9s, KJo, and all Axs, and use an opening size of 2.5bb from UTG and MP. If there is a weak player at the table, especially in the blinds, I would extend this range to 20%+.

My opponent calls in MP, and I give him approximately the following range of hands.

In general, your opponent should have no calling range at all here, just an 8% 3-bet, as he risks getting squeezed by opponents in position. In theory, he can only afford to have a cold calling range on BTN, however, let's assume that the opponent has a similar range on MP or CO. This is a limited range, consisting mostly of hands that are too weak to 3-bet against UTG, but too strong to fold. Here's what the BTN vs. UTG calling range looks like.

Let's assume that our opponent will call with these hands.


The first thing you should always start with when making a post-flop decision is comparing ranges. I made a simulation of this hand in GTO Wizard, it has a very clear graphical comparison of ranges.

We see that despite our opponent's limited range, we have parity in equity due to the narrowness of his range. In terms of EV, he is generally ahead of us, as he has a positional advantage. Our opponent has a slight advantage in sets, but they are only 3% of the range, he also has more middle pocket pairs, but we have an advantage in overpairs.

In general, your line of thinking is absolutely correct, since our opponent’s range is narrow and we have no advantage over him. We want to play from a protected check, we can split our AQo into bet and check, and after receiving a bet, split into check-call and check-raise. We can shift this balance towards a more or less protected check depending on our opponent's level of aggressiveness.

Our check-raising range is polarized mainly on the value side, +, and the bluff part – flush draws and gutshots. The opponent's range is limited, since the small number of sets that he has, he will partially reraise further. The basis of his range is a pair of queens, middle pairs, and draws.


The turn suited our opponent a little better, but our hand still has enough equity to bet. In this case, we need to remember both ranges (betting and checking) and divide our hand into both. Again, having information about the opponent’s aggression, we could bet more often or less often. Villain calls again, his range mostly consisting of queens, weaker pairs with extra equity, and draws.


The river is not a bad card for our range, but bad for our particular hand. The river is where the pot gets big and any information about your opponent will be extremely important. How much more passive or aggressive is our opponent than he should be according to GTO? Is he inclined to make calls or, on the contrary, does he overfold?

By default, we want to use sizing in the region of ⅔-¾ with our , , adding the nuts to it. Some of the strong hands such as , we can use to check and then bluff catch since they block our opponent's calling range.

Our hand in a vacuum is a check since it does not have enough equity to bet and turns into a borderline bluff catcher when our opponent pushes. That is, in a vacuum, calling and folding the river have approximately the same EV, and we can make a choice based on the randomizer.

But it is important to understand that it is when we have information about our opponent’s game that we begin to make money!

If we have identified our opponent as aggressive, we can make a positive call, building up an overall protected check-calling range. If our opponent is generally passive, we should fold since the bluff catch's EV will become negative. If the opponent is a calling station, then we can value bet the river wider and larger. Your opponent's tendency to draw is generally important for bluff catching as well since the station will have too many unmade hands on the river that he will want to turn into a bluff, especially if he is also aggressive. If the opponent is prone to overfolds, then we cannot value bet the river subtly and tend to fold more often to his push, since he has fewer hands for bluffing, and, in general, the desire to bluff.

To summarize:

Overall, you played the hand well, correctly justifying each of your actions. Try to get to know your opponents better, understand how they build their range specifically against you, taking into account the dynamics between you and a specific board. Try to also understand your range with every action, think about how your ranges relate and interact with each other, and how to structure your range in such a way as to maximize EV against your opponent, find out which way he is wrong, and how you can adjust to completely destroy his strategy.

I wish you development in poker and rapid growth in limits. Best regards, Igor.