Thinking in terms of villain range = lighting money on fire against fish?

I am watching a lot of strategy videos and reading lots of articles trying to improve my cash game at microstakes. One of the points that keeps coming up is to try to think not only about your cards but your range and equally importantly your opponents range. However, I feel like thinking about the range of a fish is actually lighting money on fire and it’s causing me to lose more money. Wondering if anyone agrees with this. I’ll give a recent extremely frustrating example that just happened to me…

6 person cash game
$0.05/$0.10 blinds
100bb each

Villain: 56 VPIP, can’t remember PFR but something like 15


Villain raise $0.20 from UTG
Hero 3bet $0.95 from SB with ACQS
Everyone else folded

Flop: 4D, AH, 2H
Hero raise $1.50
Villain reraise $4.00

Ok so wtf does villain have that beats me if I’m putting him on a proper calling range vs. strong 3 bet from SB when he is UTG? Pocket aces have me beat but that’s a 4 bet so he surely doesn’t have that? Only real possibility is Ace King right (but even then that is recommended as a 4 bet)? He can’t have 4’s or 2’s to hit a set because you don’t bet those preflop from UTG? Running through my theory of ranges, I feel like maybe ace king but his VPIP is so high it could easily be ace jack or ace 10 or maybe suited ace 5 and he’s chasing a flush. Based on the above thought process, I decide to jam.

We flop cards and villain has 5C3C. Are you fudging kidding me?!? He hit a straight on the flop! How on earth is that a call? But then I remind myself this is a fish and think that all these hours of learning actually can be detrimental if your are specifically dealing with a fish.

Any thoughts? What would you do in this situation? Should any major sign of aggression from a fish just mean you immediately fold your hand no matter how ludicrous the cards needed for them to be beating up you are? I guess they really can have any 2 cards 3 bet be damned…


  • Some thoughts from a fish's perspective:
    When my 53 hits like that, you are just going to lose. I wouldn't over think it too much.

    Those guys are there to have fun/gamble/etc, and these hands are what keeps us playing.. so give it a "nice hand" and move on, knowing that over the long haul your tighter range will be profitable.

    To your question, against these players I think your specific hand is more important than their range. It does becomes a factor in big spots and you have to get it in uncomfortably light in those spots... but as played, with him showing aggression and you with only one pair, I'd just call and let him keep betting. Wouldn't have helped in this case, but as a general rule.

    *don't take my word for it though, like I said I'm the guy with the 53 most times :)
  • >re: try to think not only about your cards but your range and equally importantly
    I've been watching the RaiseYourEdge twitch stream this weekend and pro's do just that but are still wrong sometimes.

    >Are you fudging kidding me?!?
    At least it was sooooted(suited). Like theoretically you want villains calling wide but the odd time they'll get the perfect flop and hold. Theoretically you could've been on flush draw and rivered them. So the pendulum swings both ways. A fraction of the time (~3%) you'll get one of those miracle runner-runner boats.

    This reminds me that I should be studying via GTOWizard or another solver to see what percentage of the time a player should theoretically call a 3bet with suited-gap-connectors. My guess would be that's a less than 10% of the time a player following 'Game Theory Optimal' poker. But seems like it was a yolo call pre-flop by villain. And they got "lucky".

    You can note that they are Loose-Aggressive(LAG?) and 'call 3bets lite' and adjust accordingly.

    I mark LAG's and TAG's(Tight-Aggressive) as color red and play them as such.

    >Should any major sign of aggression from a fish
    Depends on how many hand histories I have on the player. Without a hand history you can't guess their tendencies.
    Post-flop that raise indicated to me likely a nutted flush draw. And without any blockers (eg. Kh) with the info you have.
    You could guess maybe they were set-mining a baby pocket pair. As if villain had AA they'd've likely 4bet pre-flop ?

    >wtf does villain have that beats me
    Even if you presumed they flatted with Ace-King. You were calling behind.

    Although calling a 3bet with 53cc is quite fishy. Hope it's a student that'll use your money for something useful.
    But they are likely degens' and that money will go right back into the poker economy.

    In my experience 6max (as opposed to full ring) leans towards more aggressive plays.
    It only 'micro stakes'. So easier to call 95¢ than $9.50 if you were playing $0.50/$1.

    Not that players wont make such calls at high levels of poker. As most players only have a set budget for donking.

    If it were $100NLHE and you bet $15 and were re-raised to $40 would you have done the same thing?
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