WATCH: Daniel Negreanu on Being Aggressive With a Range Advantage
Daniel Negreanu took to his YouTube channel recently to introduce the concept of ranges in poker and discuss a few related ideas including counting combinations within a range of hands, using blockers to help narrow ranges, and recognizing when there exists a meaningful "range advantage" in a given hand.
That last idea Negreanu explored further in another video in which he examines a hand from the $100,000 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller final table earlier this year.
There were seven players left and Negreanu was one of the big stacks in second position with 2.4 million. As he explains, his big stack plus ICM considerations perhaps causing those in the middle of the pack to tighten up encourages Negreanu to open up his range just a bit here in terms of hands with which he can open with a raise — up to around 20 percent of starting hands (which he notes his "pretty wide").
With the blinds 25,000/50,000, Negreanu raises to 115,000 and it folds around to Cary Katz in the big blind who is one of the short stacks with 995,000. Negreanu discusses what hands Katz might defend his big blind with a call, a wider range that will include all of Negreanu's hands plus a lot more — up around 60 percent of total hands, in Negreanu's estimation.
Katz does call, and the flop falls . This is where the concept of "range advantage" begins to come into play. Despite not actually hitting the flop with his king-queen, the flop is still good for many of the hands in Negreanu's opening range — better, in fact, than it is for most of the hands in Katz's calling range.
Katz checks, Negreanu makes a small continuation bet (one-quarter pot), and Katz calls. That leads Negreanu to start narrowing his opponent's range down, canceling out hands with which Katz wouldn't call preflop and then check-call the flop.
Katz checks again after the turn, and this time Negreanu puts a lot of pressure on him by making nearly a pot-sized bet, with his range advantage being one of the reasons why he can make such a bet. Interestingly, Katz had one of the better hands he could have with this flop — top pair of aces with — but Negreanu's range advantage made it hard for Katz to continue.
Take a look to see what happens and hear Negreanu's explanation:
As he mentions near the end, Negreanu has done more hand analyses from the PCA Super High Roller, including looking at an interesting hand he played against Justin Bonomo that he mentions at the end of the video. You can watch that one here: "Tough River Spot vs. Justin Bonomo."