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Articles 2+2

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Published by Victoria Baginskaya

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Published by: Victoria Baginskaya on Mar 24, 2011
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  • Getting into Small Stakes Online 6-max NLHE (nextgenneo)
  • My 5k post (fees)
  • Basic theory – expected value (matrix)
  • A FRAMEWORK FOR POKER STUDY (learnedfromtv)
  • What matters, What doesn't (cbloom)
  • 6 Max fundamentals for SSNL players (Tien)
  • Tien's Article on Mentality, Image, and changing gears (Tien)
  • Almost there with Success and Failure (Gigabet)
  • Thoughts on Running bad for UNL guys (ssdex)
  • Do things for a reason (ofishstix)
  • Evolving (MTG)
  • Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (AJFenix)
  • How to use Poker Tracker (Pokey)
  • SOME THOUGHTS ON GAME SELECTION (fiksdal)
  • How to Put It All Together and be a Winning Player (MikeyPatriot)
  • Advice from a MHNL'er (whitelime’s)
  • UNL YOU ARE WEAK TIGHT (Pokey)
  • Working on your game (kom)
  • The Basics: session review & " Deconstruction" (matrix)
  • THE EVOLUTION OF A POKER PLAYER (aejones)
  • BETTING THE TURN vs BETTING THE RIVER (Reguin)
  • Crushing Short Stacks (Cry Me A River)
  • My Pooh-Bah post (C/R vs. b/3b) (Dan Bitel)
  • Small PP's - Moving beyond set mining (AZplaya)
  • Where the !*$# is Valuetown?? (pokey)
  • Playing OOP (epdaws)
  • LOOSE AGGRESSIVE PLAY (BalugaWhale)
  • You Should Open Limp... (RichC.)
  • Suited Connectors, Implied Odds, and You (goofyballer)
  • Reraised Blind Battles and Bluffing with Marginal Hands (sam h)
  • 3-betting light (Dan Bitel)
  • Preflop 4betting (Theory) (tannenj)
  • Blind stealing (Pokey)
  • Taking stealing the blinds to next level (Dan Bitel)
  • TILT and PSYCHOLOGY
  • The psychology of TILT (DaycareInferno)
  • TILT and R.A.A. (Pjo336)
  • My Take On Tilt (beavens)
  • Variance, Tilt, Ego, and SSNL (lmw)
  • EVERYTHING ABOUT CONTINUATION BET
  • Continuation betting – PART I (MYNAMEIZGREG)
  • C-BETTING (The Machine)
  • CONTINUATION BET ARTICLE (FreakDaddy)
  • WHY AM-I C-BETTING AGAIN ? (biblio-san)
  • Some thoughts on continuation bet sizing (Panthro)
  • DOUBLE BARRELING (orange)
  • GET IT IN (poincaraux)
  • PLAYING JUNK FROM LATE POSITION (tannenj)
  • HAND RANGES, READS AND NOTES
  • READS (djoyce003)
  • HAND READING / BET SIZING (carnivalhobo)
  • AN UNBELIEVABLY LONG GUIDE TO HAND READING (Pokey)
  • Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (I) (FreakDaddy)
  • Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (II) (FreakDaddy)
  • HAND RANGES (Mercman572)
  • RANGES (supwithbates)
  • The thought process during a hand (Nogastira)
  • Profiling opponents using PAH (sh58)
  • SOME GOOD TO KNOW PAHUD STUFF (Nick Royale)
  • BLUFFING
  • Bluffing assay (ThePortuguee)

ARTICLES 2 + 2

Getting into Small Stakes Online 6-max NLHE (nextgenneo)........................................3 My 5k post (fees)...........................................................................................................13 Basic theory – expected value (matrix).........................................................................27 A FRAMEWORK FOR POKER STUDY (learnedfromtv)..........................................31 What matters, What doesn't (cbloom)............................................................................36 6 Max fundamentals for SSNL players (Tien)...............................................................38 Tien's Article on Mentality, Image, and changing gears (Tien)....................................41 Almost there with Success and Failure (Gigabet)..........................................................44 Thoughts on Running bad for UNL guys (ssdex)..........................................................47 Do things for a reason (ofishstix)...................................................................................49 Evolving (MTG)............................................................................................................50 Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (AJFenix)......................................................52 How to use Poker Tracker (Pokey)................................................................................56 SOME THOUGHTS ON GAME SELECTION (fiksdal).............................................59 How to Put It All Together and be a Winning Player (MikeyPatriot)...........................62 Advice from a MHNL'er (whitelime’s).........................................................................64 UNL YOU ARE WEAK TIGHT (Pokey).....................................................................71 Working on your game (kom)........................................................................................74 The Basics: session review & " Deconstruction" (matrix)............................................77 THE EVOLUTION OF A POKER PLAYER (aejones)...............................................79 BETTING THE TURN vs BETTING THE RIVER (Reguin)......................................84 Crushing Short Stacks (Cry Me A River)......................................................................87 My Pooh-Bah post (C/R vs. b/3b) (Dan Bitel)..............................................................97 Small PP's - Moving beyond set mining (AZplaya)......................................................99 Where the !*$# is Valuetown?? (pokey).....................................................................101 Playing OOP (epdaws).................................................................................................118 LOOSE AGGRESSIVE PLAY (BalugaWhale)..........................................................122 You Should Open Limp......... (RichC.).......................................................................124 Suited Connectors, Implied Odds, and You (goofyballer)..........................................126 Reraised Blind Battles and Bluffing with Marginal Hands (sam h)............................130 3-betting light (Dan Bitel)............................................................................................134 Preflop 4betting (Theory) (tannenj).............................................................................137 Blind stealing (Pokey)..................................................................................................147 Taking stealing the blinds to next level (Dan Bitel)....................................................152 TILT and PSYCHOLOGY...........................................................................................154 The psychology of TILT (DaycareInferno).................................................................154 TILT and R.A.A. (Pjo336)...........................................................................................156 My Take On Tilt (beavens)..........................................................................................159 Variance, Tilt, Ego, and SSNL (lmw)..........................................................................162 EVERYTHING ABOUT CONTINUATION BET.....................................................164 Continuation betting – PART I (MYNAMEIZGREG)...............................................164 C-BETTING (The Machine)........................................................................................166 CONTINUATION BET ARTICLE (FreakDaddy).....................................................169 WHY AM-I C-BETTING AGAIN ? (biblio-san).......................................................173 Some thoughts on continuation bet sizing (Panthro)...................................................177 DOUBLE BARRELING (orange)...............................................................................184

GET IT IN (poincaraux)..............................................................................................186 PLAYING JUNK FROM LATE POSITION (tannenj)...............................................189 HAND RANGES, READS AND NOTES....................................................................201 READS (djoyce003)....................................................................................................201 HAND READING / BET SIZING (carnivalhobo)......................................................205 AN UNBELIEVABLY LONG GUIDE TO HAND READING (Pokey)...................209 Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (I) (FreakDaddy)...........................................217 Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (II) (FreakDaddy)..........................................227 HAND RANGES (Mercman572)................................................................................232 RANGES (supwithbates).............................................................................................234 The thought process during a hand (Nogastira) ......................................................................................................................................236 .....................................................................................................................................239 Profiling opponents using PAH (sh58)........................................................................240 SOME GOOD TO KNOW PAHUD STUFF (Nick Royale).......................................244 BLUFFING.....................................................................................................................248 Bluffing assay (ThePortuguee)....................................................................................248

Getting into Small Stakes Online 6-max NLHE (nextgenneo)
Disclaimer: This is something I wrote for a friend who wanted to get into poker and I’ve decided to share it with the general populous. This is designed for uNL 6max and a lot of the concepts may not apply to higher stakes games against opponents thinking on higher levels. There could be plain wrong information, in here so question everything, in turn you will gain better understandings of fundamentals and maybe even help me overlook something I've forgot. I am not claiming that preflop 6max is "chart based" or a few simple rules will make you a winning player but for someone starting out I think the concepts here are good starting points. Take everything in this for face value. Some of the stuff might be fairly trivial however it never hurts to think about fundamentals. I don't claim to be the best in the world but I know I am a proven winner at MSNL so that counts for something. I've worked up from $300 on $25NL so I've put my time in on lower stakes and no the grind it is, however it’s got to be done. Introduction When it comes to NLHE, this is the fundamental theory: You're opponent has a range of hands, some are better and some are worse. Your goal is to maximize your profit from the worst hands whilst minimizing your losses from better hands and so, make the most money against their range. As the hand goes on and more betting decisions have been made, your opponents range is narrowed so at no point in the hand do you have to "find out where you are". This is a common misconception. Consider a hand where you have 99 oop in a 3bet pot on an 8 high board (without the lead). If you c/r the flop to find out where you are, your average opponent will fold all the range you beat (over cards, small pairs) and stack off against the opponents range of QQAA. The fundamental theorem has been violated by trying to "find out where you are" on the flop. Instead if you check called and check/raised the turn all in this would allow an opponent to double barrel a hand such as AK, over commit with pairs or check behind giving us free information to narrow the opponents range and profit more. This is how you should be thinking during your hands. Do not allow your opponent to make easy and perfect decisions against your hand by playing it poorly. Also if you want to play poker for fun then enjoy it, try and improve; whatever. But if you want to move up and make serious money you need to approach it from a different angle. When you have a bad session, instead of thinking “oh crap I lost 6 buy ins from bad beats”, think “how could I have saved myself I buy in or two”, “how could I have made more money than I did on so and so hand” etc. Until you are the best player in the world and playing every hand perfectly there is always room for improvement. Take responsibility for your play, and stop using variance as a scape goat. Stats are very important but not the end all of being a winning player. TAG stats are at minimum 15/13/3 and can range all the way up to 25/20/4 where its vpip/pfr/af. Try and aim for 16/14/4. The spread is also really important and it is vital to have your pfr close

to your vpip whilst learning, so I suggest you play a mainly raise / fold strategy preflop. The better you get and the more comfortable you feel postflop, the more you can cold call preflop and this spread can get wider. Its also very important to not play too many tables whilst you learn. This is a mistake a lot of people make and even I still do sometimes. Playing loads of tables means you need to be comfortable making 95% of decisions with little thought (autopilot) so until you are really experienced this isn’t going to be the case. First bit of advice is to play no more than 4 tables until you are a solid winner. Post flop is going to be a lot about thinking during hands and will come from reading, thinking, watching videos and mostly experience. Learning is key to playing good poker, its a lot of work but the monetary reward later and satisfaction in being truly good at something is a reward in itself. I really hope you read this and take something out of it, I wish someone handed all of this to me on a platter when I was coming up!

Recommend Stats for HUD I definitely recommend playing with a HUD. The stats that are a MUST are preflop raise, vpip, number of hands. Aggression frequencies / factors. Fold / raise / call continuation bet. Attempt to steal blinds and fold SB/BB to steal. Preflop Chart First thing to do with preflop is a general hand chart. This is a style that was successful for me. You need to keep in mind preflop that different table conditions and your image on each table can vastly shift these ranges. As you gain a clear understanding of how these factors should change your ranges then you can move away from this rigid form of play. Raises should always be 4 x the big blind + 1 big blind for every limper e.g If two guys limp and you are on the button with AK in .05-.10c game you should make it .60c. Open raise the following hands (open raise means if no-one has raised or limped). These positions are dependent on how far from the button you are so if its less than six handed then change accordingly. Early Position UTG (3 from button) 22 + AJo + ATs – AKs TJs, QJs, KQs KQo, AKo 56s – T9s (consider raising from time to time, especially if there are weaker players in the blinds) UTG + 1 (2 from button) 22 + ATo + A2s + TJs, QJs, KQs, KJs QJo, KJo, KQo, AKo 56s – T9s (consider raising from time to time, especially if there are weaker players in the blinds) Late Position Something interesting from a theory perspective, if you look at the small blinds fold SB to steal stat and the big blinds fold BB to steal stat, if they multiply to be > 0.7 and you assume every time they don’t fold you never win the hand then theoretically you can

J9s TJo. KQs. K9s. KJs QJo. QJs. QTs.7 number can be lowered further. KQo. KTs. KJo. AKo . Q9s. KQo. If you consider you make money with these hands then this 0. QJs. QTo. AKo Big Blind when it folds around and someone completes (same as CO) 22 + A9o + A8s + T8s. 98s. TJs. TJs. T9s. KJs. 98s. QJs. QTo. J9o+ Q8s +. K9s. CO (1 from button) 22 + A8o + A2s + T8s. AKo 56s – T9s Button The majority of your money comes from the button. QJo. Q9o+ K9o + Blinds This is the area I struggle with the most and when you’re starting out I recommend playing a very tight range in the blinds. QTs. 22+ Any Ax o / Ax s Kx suited Any suited connector 54s or better Any one gapper 68s or better Any two gapper T7s or better Any connector 89o or better J8s +. KJs. J9s TJo. KQs. KQo. KTo. KJo. KTo.raise any two profitably. Small blind when it folds to you (pretty much same as UTG+1) 22 + A8o + A2s + TJs. KJo. T9s. Q9s. KQs. 30-40% of my profits come from the button so you want to abuse it. QJo. KTs.

I wouldn’t be calling raises with suited connectors even from position because people over-estimate implied odds all the time and they can get tough to play post flop. First off don’t fall into the. Every now it is alright to call with 78s if the raiser is a bad player (as in he has 40+ vpip and is spewy). If someone is raising a lot of hands from position then you can reraise them occasionally with suited connectors but this has a lot to do with metagame and table image which is a little too advance for this but some food for thought. Play as tight as you possibly can from the small blind but with pocket pairs you probably want to be raising when there are limpers.Big blind when there are a few limpers 99+ (sometimes raise with lower pockets if the table is fishy) AQo + KQs + AKo Suited connectors Suited connectors are generally over-rated by a lot of players and are very tough hands to play. The big blind can be tricky but I prefer to check my option most of the time and see a flop. They are also good to 3bet. its only ½ big blind to complete trap. Also they are good to open according to my opening guide above.e 150bb + with someone but don’t get carried away. . They are for most experienced players including myself. Playing from the blinds When you are starting out the blinds are going to be the trickiest spot to play from. Hands like 96o are garbage and should never be completed! You will have to play the rest of the hand out of position and unless you flop the absolute stone cold nuts your gonna get in a lot of trouble and be throwing money away. Suited connectors are good to be calling raises with however when you are playing deep i.

It is onto you in the CO with 44. If its not good enough for a raise. It is generally a mistake to isolate them with weak connector type hands. I can’t stress enough though you want to play tight from all positions other than CO and Button and loosen up from those spots but still play aggressive! Limping Limping in 6 handed NLHE cash games is always going to be a mistake. your image on the table and how the table has been playing. Generally if your raise is going to be more than 10% of their stack then don’t make the raise. By always raising you’re making yourself harder to play against.05c-. These are very general rules for how I beat micro stakes and as you get better with these you will gain a feel for hands and situations and be able to change these ranges depending on opponents. limpers are and will be a part of the games for the foreseeable future. be weary of players who limp/call a lot and rarely fold to c-bets.4c because the implied odds are cut short due to his 8 . It is also good to watch there play and get an idea if they limp/call or limp/fold a lot. To exploit these players mistake you need to be isolating (raising) there limps with a fairly wide range. still make the raise.10 stack. Deception. its not good enough to play so fold.10c game someone open limps UTG with a $2. including strong ones. Pockets if there are limpers in front You want to raise any pocket pairs as standard if they are full stacked. and always gaining the positive expectation of putting yourself in a position to steal the blinds. For instance: In a . If you are always limping behind with pockets its going to be obvious against thinking opponents Reasons to just limp behind with pockets are if their stack is not a full 100bb. and limp/raising AA and limp/raising bluffs to balance your ranges. However if one person who limps has a large stack and another is short. For instance if you limp 22-55 UTG then you will have to start limping other hands. It will also add another level of complexity to your game that is unnecessary. This is so you can:    Punish their limp and pick up the free money You build a pot so if you hit your set its going to be easier to get their stack in. Limpers Having said that about limping. However. A player that limp/folds a ton means you can isolate him with any ace and even hands like Q7s / 78s. keeping your ranges balanced without the bigger headache. Also players that limp/call and then fold lots of flops to c-bets are good candidates to isolate very wide. you prob don’t want to raise to 0. By doing this you will be putting money in with the worst hand a lot of the time and not enough fold equity pre or post.Preflop Concepts Position As you can see from this guide position is everything. Limping also leads to people playing less than optimal hands.

10c game you make it 0. you do want to make it 50c to go always with any pocket. a very tight player with 15vpip raises to $1. Hope you see the point of calling raises for set value. If someone with a 20 vpip raises I wouldn’t want to call more than 5% of my stack off because they are good enough to not pay you off all the time.05-. It is onto you in the CO with 44.20 from the button. This changes drastically in mid limits because people’s 3betting ranges are much wider but I feel this can be used almost perfectly against micro / small stakes players.g 4 In a .g 3 In a . 9 . You are $10 deep here I’d be inclined to fold because they are probably re-raising you wide enough that you would need a setup flop to stack them and this will happen too infrequently. Also. There’s lots of literature on this in the sticky section of 2p2.05-. in a . and you are also slightly deeper so you have better implied odds. You are also out of position. You are $10 deep here I’d be inclined to call because even thought it is tight his range is a big pocket pair enough of the time that you can be confident the majority of the time you hit a set you will be good. If someone raises and you have a pocket pair. Calling raises and re-raises with pocket pairs This is a very general rule which applies to all of small stakes but won’t work in mid stakes and beyond.00 from the button. a solid player with 20vpip raises to $1. its onto you. a very tight player with 15vpip raises to $1.40c from UTG+1 with 33. if you are facing a large raise or reraise you want to call off less of your stack out of position than in position.20 from the big blind. You are $14 deep here I’d be inclined to call because you are in position so it will be easier to put money in. You want to look at poker ace hud stats though in making the decision. E. its onto you.10c game you make it 0. call if it is 5-10% of your stack. its onto you. E.40c from UTG+1 with 33.00 from the button. E.05-.10c game you make it 0. E. its onto you. The higher the vpip the more you can call profitably pre looking to hit a set because generally this means they are poor players who will stack of lightly. a solid player with 20vpip raises to $1. However.40c from UTG with 33. Whereas if someone with 55vpip raises I would have no problems calling 10% off with 22 because you will often win unimproved and generally they will continue with any piece of the board so its going to be very easy to play a big pot with them.10c game someone open limps UTG with an $11 stack (you cover). Reasons for this are you will flop a set about 1 in 10 times and if you assume you will win their stack you have the implied odds.small stack and he is going to be much more willing to just stick it in with any draw / pair on the flop which will lead you to some tough decisions and often folding the best hand. This is all very important as pocket pairs are where most of your money comes from when you play tight aggressive 6max.g 2 In a .10c game you make it 0.05c-.40c from UTG with 33.g 1 In a . You are $5 deep here I’d be inclined to fold because you don’t have the proper implied odds.05-.

Anything less than 2/3 rd pot most of the time gets no respect. I generally try to keep my continuation bets the same size.Important concept: Something else to consider is their raise and aggression statistic. However I don’t recommend 3-betting too light at these stakes because there is no real need and when you are starting your poker career its best to keep it simple. the wider the range of hands you can reraise with is. Board texture comes a lot into this but there are lots of great threads about this which I will try to link to some other time. 10 . thus 66% of the time your opponent will have missed and be unable to continue. The fishier the opponent the less you want to c-bet completely missed hands.5. Continuation bets Heads up when you’ve raised preflop you want to be c-betting 60-70% of flops. Bare in mind that poker ace statistics like agro factors are only useful when u have 100+ hands but vpip is generally a good indicator from 30-40 hands on. If you feel the hand isn’t good enough for a reraise then dump it! Something very important which I forgot to mention is when someone raises look at what position they are raising from and if there are limpers in front. This can give you a lot of information on their hand but only take into this account if they seem to be a good player (because only good players widen their range in position). If some1 raises 2% of flops you prob just want to call with TT and play for set value and fold KQ because their range is so strong but if someone raises 18% of hands you should be reraising KQ and TT often against them because you are ahead of their range. The smaller their stack size the less you can bet is what I find. Into multiple opponents you can get away with betting ½ pot occasionally but I don’t really recommend it. A brief note on 3betting When I played micro stakes entering a raised pot I pretty much never flat call a raise out of position ever! So if I have KQ in the blinds or AJ in the blinds and some raises I am either folding or raising. The higher it is. If someone has a large raise % or is very aggressive then if it’s a tight call from implied odds perspective then you might want to dump it because they could be reraising you light with AQ/AJ type hands and you would need the perfect flop to stack them (A3x if u hold 33) whereas if they hardly raise their range is drastically cut down and contains big pockets a lot of the time so you don’t need that “perfect flop”. This is to do with the overall concept that your opponent will only hit the flop 1 in 3 times. When you are considering entering a raised pot you should look at their preflop raise stat. Out of position I recommend when your reraise should be 4 times and in position you can get away with raising 3 times because its going to be easier to play the hand. 3-betting “light” is a very hard style to play against and most people on microstakes think that when some1 reraises they have AA/KK so your c-bets don’t have to be as big because they are going to get A LOT of respect. If you think they could have a wide range then 3-bet more liberally. If they have a full 100bb then I will raise 3-4times their raise. I would consider a large raise % to be anything >17 and a high aggression factor anything > 3. between 2/3rd and ¾ pot depending on stack sizes.

When I’ve missed a flop or hit a flop I always like to continuation bet to disguise my hands well and build a pot (when I have something). Into multiple opponents you want to be c-betting less on boards like the KQ7 but its still good to c-bet great textured boards like K26. Also when you bet into multiple opponents you get more respect (generally). Boards like: KJT with two diamonds are not good to be continuation betting 22 because so much of the range has hit this board you prob just spewing money away. Boards like: KQ7 with two spades have hit a lot of the range but are still good to c-bet against tighter opponents because if u bet 2/3rd pot as a c-bet you need to win it a little less than 50% of the time for it to be profitable which it should be. not the whole table! 11 . Boards like Q88 with a pair are usually good to be c-betting too. The best way to get money in the pot when you have a strong hand is to bet it out. Obv by multiple opponents I mean 2ish. Especially on lower stakes games your edge comes from people playing dominated / bad hands and not being able to fold them when they hit or paying too much for their draws so value bet your hands to hell! But for a quick example on board texture: Boards like: K26 rainbow are GREAT to c-bet any hand because its really hard for the opponent to have hit this board with a lot of his hands.

Don’t get out of line and avoid marginal situations. metagame. table image and all that jazz. Try not to over-estimate implied odds or suited connectors as it will cost you in the long run! In future I will write articles on: • 3betting and playing against 3betting • Double barreling • Check raising continuation bets (both for value and as bluffs) Keep in mind this is all written quickly and off the top of my head. 12 . This is just a start. 3betting.Summary Things that I have just touched on and need A LOT more depth are c-bets. There may be mistakes in here but using a system like this and lots of experience I was able to cruise through micro stakes. Wield position like a hammer because it really is the most important concept in NLHE. Practice and thinking about this game / posting hands / asking questions is the real fun and learning process. Good luck. I suggest tight and aggressive.

Preflop: A. Unraised pots 5. c/ring C. Multitabling Preface 13 . c/ring C. History 7. Timing C. Raising F. SB F. Unraised pots 6. Double Barreling B. Raising F. betsizing B. Preface 2. Downswings D. Enjoy=D (sry if it doesn't read well I haven't had anyone proofread it) Table of Contents: (this is what the book would look like if I wrote the whole thing. Game analysis C. Floating D. Flop A. Upswings E. I started out here at 2p2 sometime last Feb at uNL as a pretty terrible strategy poster. Floating D. Cbetting B. but this post will be an exception. Turn A. Since then not much has changed (=P) still pretty lazy and rarely get around to making truly great strat posts. UTG B. I tried to write an ebook a little more than a month ago but about half way through I realized how much I hate writing and how lazy I was so I finished about half of it. Mentality A. Unraised pots 4.My 5k post (fees) Hey guys. but here's what I have thus far written of an ebook on the topic of beating uNL-MSNL online 6max. Maybe if this thread gets positive feedback I'll finish it. Psychology A. Raising F. c/ring C. River A. CO D. MP C. I got up to floating=/) 1. BTN E. Floating D. BB 3. Health B. Triple barreling B. Session Length F.

All hands will be assumed to be 6 handed. Also players that play something like 25/10 (meaning they are limping/calling WAY too much preflop) will do as well • Stack sizes. forcing them is not necessary. In these instances you should semibluff and bluff more . As described in the second feature for good game selection you want loose players to your right and tight players to your left. as you will find more fold equity. • As a general guideline it is better to play at a table with a bunch of loose passive/weak tight type players than a table with someone who players 80% of their hands and 4 other solid TAGs. as short stackers that have position on you are +EV for you. You want to have position on players that you cover. 23/20. • Position and hands played. as well as changing games. This means that if the game is loose (meaning there are a lot of bad players. you profit. Poker is simple. Loose players will search for an excuse to call. 17/12 than a table with a 70/30. Agaisnt Loose/bad players you generally want to play straight forward tight solid poker. its just something to think about. In a perfect world you would play with 3 full stacks with VPIPs over 40 to your right. Its going to be easier to play against several bad/mediocre opponents that 1 very bad opponent and 4 good ones. 18/15. as your opponents make mistakes. but 30 is too many hands as well. At the same time you want players with short stacks to your left. but this will rarely ever happen. as it is +EV. bluffing less often (including semibluffs) and value betting thinly with 1 pair type hands. For example I prefer a table with a: 40/10. for example a player that plays 32/5/1 is a weak bad player) you should be playing a tighter more solid game. The focus of this book will be the progression of a hand or. river. Your hand ranges in general should adjust and be contrary to the way the game is playing. 14 . Your strategy should involve you playing 4 tables or less and really focusing on your opponents and developing very strong reads. Agiasnt these types of players you want to lean towards a looser pre-flop strategy and a solid postflop strategy. preflop. 20/18. On the flip side if the game is tighter you should loosen up your starting range (incorporating hands such as 65s UTG as discussed previously) to exploit the your opponents tendency to fold. turn. Again this isn’t essential but its something to think about when switching/selecting seats. You should also play less starting hands.This book will cover small stakes online 6 max ring games. and too tight short stackers to your left. so feel free to sit. Your superior strategy will make it profitable to sit in a game with these players and exploit them. Do not make the mistake that every 20/17 multitabling tag is tight AND good. Avoid winners. as they will make mistakes for you. anything above 40 VPIP is gravy. though other situations will be discussed. generally players with VPIP’s higher than 28. • Losing/breakeven regulars. just don’t search them out or make a habit of it unless they are really bad. 20/12. Table selection When Table selecting you want to look for the following things: • Players that play too many hands. 30/20. Feel free to play with a regular that you have as a loser or marginal winner in your database. 20/18. whereas a tight player will look for an excuse to fold. Generally you want players with full stacks to the right of you. flop. 25/14. Agaisnt Tight/good players you generally want to mix up your play and play a trickier or deceptive style.

Under the Gun (UTG) Being under the gun means that you have three players to act that hold position on you. In this scenario you should avoid hands like 22-66 and 98s. A10o. For instance say you are UTG and there are two or three players with say 40BB stack sizes (or less). calling ranges and 3betting preflop (3B) aka preflop reraise. 109s. Adjusting: Loose games: Add hands like KJo or A10o. J10s. A9s. QJs. the small blind (SB) and big blind (BB). These hands widen you range against likely better players and make you a more difficult and tricky opponent. These hands have a lot of potential and will less often put you into situations where you have weak 1 pair hands out of position. middle position (MP). Middle Position (MP) 15 . AKs) (s meaning suited) AJo+ (meaning AJo. AJs. AQo. AKo) (o meaning offsuit) 98s+ (meaning 98s. etc) KQo KQs KJs+ (KJs and AQs[which was already covered]) (meaning suited 1 gappers)` This will account for 13% of hands and is a conservative but very solid and profitable preflop raising range. The reason we typically avoid these type of hands in tight games is because we will frequently show up with second best 1 pair hands out of position (OOP) and will put us in tough spots and to lots of decisions. AQs. Tight Games: Include hands such as 65s+ or A5s. cut off (CO) and the button (BTN). It also means you have two players to act that are out of position relative to you. because against these players you again are simply looking for a top pair type hand to get it in against (These 40bb stack players will generally be very bad and play poorly postflop getting it in with a wide range that doesn’t include many top pair type hands) Though it should be made clear in the higher MSNL and HSNL (medium and high stakes games) there are players who play a very tight and solid short stack game that are more difficult to play against. Stack Sizes: You should also adjust your raising range based on stack sizes. Your UTG raising range should be the tightest of the four non-blind positions. assuming full stacks and a mix of tags/lag fish (players that play too many hands without purpose)/and loose passive (fish that check call and are easy to extract value from): Range: 22+ (all pairs) A10s+ (meaning A10s. Always try to make poker easy to play. and instead substitute in hands like KJo. Your UTG range can adjust based on the game quality you are in. Lets take a look at a standard preflop UTG range.Preflop: This chapter is going to demonstrate preflop strategy and will focus on raising ranges. because you can make 1 pair type hands and extract value from players calling with weaker top pair hands or second pair hands. QJo. however it is uncommon to encounter one of these players anywhere below 3/6NL.

Just like UTG this range can be manipulated based on the game quality. You have to be careful about isolating in this position because there are two players with position on you that understand you can isolate these players with a wide range. however the ratio of light 3bet to value 3bet should be weighted heavily towards value. Use your image/table history to determine the optimal raising opportunity. two players to act behind you (CO and BTN) who have position on you. or to cbets/double barrels) however if you have one or two tight aggressive opponents behind you that will exploit your extended range you should err on the side of folding to avoid marginal situations. sure go for it. You need to be very cautious when 3betting an UTG opener. For example maybe you only raise these hands roughly half the time you are dealt them. playing 40% or more of his hands. Tight Games: These games you can open up more from this position. because this is where their raising range is likely the tightest (ignoring when they are in the blinds).Being in Middle Position means that you will have one player to act in front of you (UTG) whom you have position on. Just like UTG you can still profitably raise 98s and 109s. It is ok to try and add a hand like J9s to your range here for the purpose of isolating a weak player (by weak I mean folding too much. and two players to act behind you (SB and BB) that you have position on. you need to keep in mind that peoples limping range UTG is as tight as it will get for them (even though it could be wide). Light 3bets are certainly profitable. as its potential is very small. Again lets exam a standard preflop MP range. First lets assign our 3bet range: Value: AKo/s AQo/s(situational) 16 . however all the same principals apply. Middle position is very similar to UTG. Lets say for numbers sake we value 3bet an UTG opener 80% of the time. so just simply raise less hands in this position. 65s+ A8s. 3betting: In general you should be 3betting far more in position that OOP. Adjusting: Loose games: You generally want to avoid things like A9o. A5s Q10s Isolating: Pending a very weak player. include. isolate that limper. assuming full stacks and a mix of tags/lag fish (players that play too many hands without purpose)/and loose passive (fish that check call and are easy to extract value from): 22+ (all pairs) A9s+ A10o+ 98s+ KQo/KJo/KQs/ KJs/K10s This accounts for about 15% of total hands. you will incorporate a few more hands. whether it be limp folding. In the event that these players are in the blinds or you game selected well and you aren’t at a table with opponents that go after you. just do it less frequently. and light 3bet 20%. For the most part in a looser game you want to keep things closer to the vest. The only person you can 3bet in MP is UTG.

Stack Sizes: Just like UTG you should also adjust your raising range based on stack sizes. however it is uncommon to 17 . and instead substitute in hands like KJo. Anyway back to examining when to 3bet.KQs. it just means you shouldn’t do it every time and that you should be more inclined to do it in position. A10o. This means for every 4 times you 3bet an UTG opener with something like AK or AA.AJs(situational) KQs (situational) AA KK QQ JJ(situational) 1010(situational) When I say situational I mean that it is possible that 3betting with these hands is marginal to the point where you are not clearly ahead of their range. QJo. As stacks get shorter this scenario you should avoid hands like 22-66 and 98s. We said we wanted to use an 80/20 ratio. The top 8% of hands looks like the following: 88+. A9s. and the Axs hands will block combinations of AA and AK (which will help avoid him 4betting you) and also have tremendous flop potential.KQo The equity of these hands against this range are: AQ (all combinations) 48% AJs 41% JJ 54% 1010 50% KQs 38% Whereas: AA 85% KK 72% QQ 63% AK 56% Light 3bet hands: 56s-QJs Axs (x should = 5 most often. 80 value.AJs+. you want to 3bet him once with 56s. because against these players you again are simply looking for a top pair type hand to get it in against (These 40bb stack players will generally be very bad and play poorly postflop getting it in with a wide range that doesn’t include many top pair type hands) Though it should be made clear in the higher MSNL and HSNL (medium and high stakes games) there are players who play a very tight and solid short stack game that are more difficult to play against. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t 3bet them. as you will be able to flop gutshot+FD+over type hands. Avoid all other hands as they will form second `best hands often and get you in marginal spots.but 4-10 are all fine as well) 22-77 KQo AJo It will generally be more profitable to call with small pairs preflop (as I will outline in post flop chapters) however they can certainly make their way into a light 3bet category every once and a while. You generally want to 3bet an UTG opener with 56-109s or Axs because with the SC’s you will generally avoid second best hands and have tremendous flop potential.AJo+. A player that plays 14/12 and raises UTG probably raises the top 8% of hands. 20 bluffs.

and 3betting players to keep the pressure on. as it is suited. though you have seen him do it. They play way too many hands and don’t care about position. This compounded with dealing with a player limp-calling UTG is problematic because it is very possible you will be three way to the flop. This position is where you will start isolating weak players that limp. Without flopping sometime strong it will be hard to play against these players as they will regularly be out of line. or two big blinds) you will notice that you earn . If you beat a game for 5 PTBB (poker tracker big bets. second only to the button. and with K4s in LP). and likely less when his range is strong (which it is due to him being UTG). We also know that he folds to 50% of cbets.1BB per hand. not short ones. Lets get to our range: 22+ (all pairs) A5s+ A9o+ 65s+ J10o+ Q10o+ K10o/K9s 108s+ (suited one gapers) Q9s+ (suited two gapers) Roughly 23% of total hands. Lets imagine the following scenario: You are in the CO with K9s. Cut Off This is where poker will become more interesting. The second biggest concern of the hand is the shorties in the blinds.5BB’s (big blinds). If you successfully steal someone’s blind you have earned 1. as will be shown in our hand selection. Beginning to understand why it’s so important and profitable? Lets focus on adjusting. but first we have to examine situations where we should and should not isolate a player. however implied odds come from deep stacks. UTG who plays 38/10 limps (you’ve seen this player limp UTG with KQo. The button is a mediocre TAG playing 18/15 and doesn’t have a penchant for 3betting light IP. What’s your play? Fold ->[Although the player UTG is bad and limps a wide range we can be sure he’s at the top of his limping range UTG and is aware of the significance of position. be in position. The button is of very little concern. You have a hand with some potential. That means that stealing blinds earns you 15 times the average profit per hand.encounter one of these players anywhere below 3/6NL. The idea here is to steal blinds and isolate limpers. but we know he’ll reraise us with AQ+ and 1010+ and on rare occasion with a bluff. The cut off is the first position considered late position and is a spot where you will more often than not. In a tight game you can raise anything and most decisions will be easy. Loose games: Believe it or not but playing from the CO in loose games is more tricky than tight when it comes to isolating. The cut off is one of your most profitable positions. In a loose game you run the risk of playing a lot of pots with marginal hands and (despite being IP) losing money. As you become better post flop you will have the capacity to raise more and more hands from position to isolate limpers. This player is on the passive side and folds to cbets 50% of the time.] Let’s examine another situation: 18 . There is a much bigger transition in our range from MP to CO. so this is something to consider. The blinds are two half stacks playing 30-35% of their hands.

His fold to cbet is on the low end as far as weak tight goes. unless you are 100bb+ with that player.You are in the CO with 65s. but this is a situation where once and a while we can call and bluff some flops.] If a player calls too much after the flop you want to lean towards raising something like K9s. etc. It may seem somewhat counter intuitive and as if I was contradicting myself. he has between 75 and 100BB’s and plays 4050/5-15. The button is a tight player. with a fold to cbet of 66%. so should your isolating range. In the first scenario we didn’t raise K9s due to short stacks. General against these guys you can milk them with strong pairs/draws. but if he does we still can represent something cbetting the flop. This player folds to cbet 70%+ of the time. and has between 140 and 180BB’s. instead of 65s. and visca versa] Button: Button is the most fun and interesting position to be in. maybe playing as many as 35% of hands. You are in the CO with A9o. combined with a hand with major potential is a very profitable situation. This range is very tentative. The blinds have one good winning TAG who 3bets too much OOP and one donk who plays big pots with marginal hands too often. There are more opertunities to raise. but you have full stacks and position. but that was only because we we’re afraid that UTG would also come along with a hand that might dominate us. It is very possible to raise 50% of your hands on the button. The TAG who 3bets too much is kind of problematic. also we’d rather have 65s in a multiway pot. but less OOP. The other great feature of this hand is the weak player in the blinds who we cover. You will play loosest on the button. MP limps. [As his fold to cbet increase. it can be widened and 19 . though its close between raising and folding. Your button raising range can be very wide or very tight. so we definitely don’t mind if he comes in. through detailed explanation and examples. Lets focus on a scenario where it would be preferable to isolate with K9s/K10o/A9o. isolate and cold call than any other position. and the blinds are also on the somewhat tight side. Raise ->[ You definitely want to raise to isolate the player in MP who is definitely weak tight. and we also have major flop potential if the flop comes our way. if they are in fact profitable at all. We don’t want the button to come along. FWIW I’d rather raise 65s in the first scenario. but focus on each facet of the hand and how one hand can be a more profitable raise than the other. MP limps. and you cover. it really is all about the game you are in. he has a full stack and plays 25/12. We will have position on this guy with amazing implied odds. profitably. Lets get into the range: 22+ A8o+ K9o Q9o+ (offsuit 2 gapper) J9o+(offsuit 1 gapper) 98o+ 54s+ 64s+ 96s+ 106s+ K8s A2s+ This entire book is going to try to teach you how to make decisions by yourself. if need be. so it supports raising a Kx hand that can make strong pairs. The button is a 20/10 weaktight player. 3bet. as opposed to k9s with much less potential postflop.

you can raise the entire range plus more with marginal hands because you will have position and an unlikely holding that has tremendous potential and will often be a disguised hand.” In the event I am deep (200BB+) this equation changes and I would Instead rather play with a loose/passive type because I know that all my twopair+ type hands can really get paid off by these guys. your core range should always be raised). it lets us select when we want to play big pots with opponents. earlier analysis should provide examples of how certain hands are easier to play/more profitable than others in certain situations. you are OTB with 57s. just the bottom of the range (64s-86s. in these games people will tend not to notice or care. and I can also cbet/extract with 1 or no pair type hands. they will c/f the flop or try and play a big hand with these. Take this into account. and KQ type hands from early position. than a loose/passive player. which makes it easy on us b/c if we are weak we can give up our hand with ease. I am far more inclined to isolate a weak tight player with a marginal hand. 106s-Q9s. If for the most part you can isolate the one donk who is limp-calling lean towards a K9s or a J9o. he has about 110BB’s and you cover. So lets say a 40/20/1 limps in MP. You should focus on trying to raise when a loose player limps and there are tight players to act behind you (all of these situations are talking about marginal hands. any ace. As the game gets tighter and there’s less limping or people limp-fold or play weakly you can really open up. than a loose/passive player. these less than anything). Looser games: The button is so complicated that I want to give you some very straightforward guidelines and let you come to your own conclusions as to whether or not a button raise is profitable. I just said “. In loose games where there are a lot of limp-calls you want to avoid things like 64s or 98o. I am far more inclined to isolate a weak tight player with a marginal hand. Most TAGs (tight-aggressive player) will be very tight OOP. raise maybe a tight CO range and raise it bigger. suited connectors. As stack sizes shrink. Same thing if you want to open into Looser blinds. probably 90BB+ in this situation (effective stacks). The idea here is that players will just willingly give up 90% of their hands. 54s-76s. etc) If you prefer some hands and dislike others that’s fine. The other hands will put you to decisions in loose games. it’s okay to make it 5bbs+1 for each limper. A8A9o. Stack sizes: Like most things as stack sizes grow so does opening range and your strategy. maybe cut out 2% of hands or so. and even if they do make it to the flop we will have position. The most important factor when opening the button is the blinds tightness. Tighter Games: These are far more interesting. and embrace K8s or A9o. Anything you would raise from MP you can open or even isolate OTB. I think for the most part tight players are going to limp strictly small pairs. and medium offsuit cards (though. these types of hands are hit or miss. this means that on the button you can profitably raise just about any two suited cards. avoid 64s type hands. as they are the bread and butter of the bottom of your range. In the event people are limp-calling or there are frequently multi-way flops (3 or more players) you need to really cut it down.tightened by as much as 15% based on your table. A2-4s. The blinds are a nit and a 29/14 that folds BB to steal often (this is a statistic you should be using) You can for sure profitably raise your 75s. In the event that the BB plays 40% of his hands and the SB 20 . In the event that people are loose by will limp-fold with a decent frequency you can use almost the entire range.

but until an opponent shows a willingness to combat our strategy. Here you probably want your ratio to be 3:2. Let’s focus on situations to profitably cbet: 1. except against these players. for example the loose player in the BB. thus exploiting him and making you money. FWIW if someone folds 90% of cbets I’ll isolate them VERY loose.is a 20/18 tag. you just have to analyze his play and come to conclusions about how he plays. or 22 on 1098) B. They are short and my hand has very little potential. The third part of the equation is history. Almost any range. avoid bluffing so much and lean towards more value 3bets. cbetting 98s on 552 is generally something you want to avoid doing. just focus on every factor. (i. The second thing (but most important thing) is the % of hands this player raises. I have a note that says when I do not cbet they go bluff crazy. ratio. you should raise this hand less often. which worries me. When 3betting you must first consider position. real poker at a table online is completely different from table to table. unless the blinds are two loose shorties or something of this nature. principal. It also makes you harder to play against and helps your made hands get paid off by weak holdings) Flop Play: A.e. He makes you want to raise this hand less often. but the general idea is that the more raises this player makes the more we can 3bet. any opponent with a high fold to cbet (70% or higher). you can cbet basically your entire range profitably. This equation changes against more adept opponents that will really play back at you and go after you preflop or after the flop. say a 38/26. you throw in two bluffs. it allows you to win a wealth of small pots and makes you difficult to play against if executed correctly. 98s on 552. continue to exploit his weak play and keep the pressure on. (FWIW never check 99 on something like 974cc. however players that raise way too much. anything with texture like this. avoid 65s and lean towards AJo. If a player is good and willing to 4b bluff or c/r a flop with a draw or complete air. in these spots I’ll check very strong hands like 99 on 922 flop or something of this nature. You want to 3bet on the button far more than any position (go after people in position. the CO is when our opponents range is the widest. When cbetting you want to have some hope for your hand. then figure out how to exploit it (a simple example of this is someone who 3bets 80%+ of hands. 3betting: Here your range is also the widest. There are three instances where I do not cbet against these players: A. Cbetting Continuation betting is one of the most important elements of your strategy. i. and then come up with a solution (to raise or fold). not OOP). these players will frequently see the flop with you and you want to show up with a strong pair type hand. Consider all these things when making your decision. almost regardless of other players in the hand. The first scenario is the easiest to understand and grasp. that makes you more inclined to raise. so for every 3 value 3bets. but let’s say the limp folds to 90% of cbets. and the position we 3bet this player the most. If a player keeps folding to 3bets or c/f’s every missed flop continue to pound on him. idea or strategy in this book can be manipulated to exploit your opponent. This was discussed in an earlier street. each one unique. even if they do go bluff crazy when you check flops).e. Another situation I would check would be something like AK or AA 21 . here you c/r this player with air to exploit him cbetting so often with marginal holdings. Understand that these situations are fictional.

on K52. If this is the case I probably fire a river barrel. I have QQ on K52r (Or any second pair type hand where you are in a WA (way ahead)/WB (way behind) situation. for the most part these loose/bad players will not be stacking off with marginal 1pair in this particularly type of situation) you will be able to profitably double or triple barrel. Lets assume they fold to cbet 50% or less of the time. and pending a read c/c or c/f turn (your default is fold until he proves that he will put you on AK in this types of situations and try to take you off of it) 22 . Anyway the point is put the pressure on. This can never be a big hand (or very rarely) because if he does have AQ or 44 (and in some instances A4). and A4. One of my favorite indicators for a good double/triple barrel spots is the SNAP flop call. some loose guy calls OOP. bet all flops with any FD). if they are going to snap call your flop bet and have a range that is for the most part on the weak side (in this instance the strong hands he could have are AQ. 44. so for instance say we raise in EP (early position) and cbet a AQ4 (two flush or rainbow) and get instantly called by a player playing somewhere between 30-45% of his hands and folds to very few cbets (as described earlier). however is calling range is MUCH wider) put the pressure on. For the most part I’m not going to indulge in any complicated triple barrel spots. I will probably c/c this board. This is somewhat contrary to what I’ve been describing about how to play against these types of players (being very close to the vest). By instantly calling (btw this is something you should focus on avoiding. Also say I’m like BvB with AK on 332 (I’m SB) against one of these guys. K22. the simple answer is to tighten your range (which widens/tightens based on stacksizes. or a draw”. Against these players you have to be more cautious and give things up more easily. don’t forget) and simply c/f the flop. There are situations I don’t mind a c/c or a vbet with like A10+ or something. Even against two opponents I would cbet the vast major of Ace and King high boards (pending stack sizes and notes). he would at least have to think momentarily about his action. Now lets focus on loose/bad players that are calling way too many cbets (calling way too much in general). if hes a particularly weak player this will rarely be him trying to disguise his very strong hand inducing a triple. as players will view your range weighted towards these types of hands (and coincidently they will not have these types of hands very often) and will give you extraordinary amount of credit. Pending some read that this player will never ever fold TP (which is uncommon for the games you’ll play in. a lot of information can be drawn on timing) he’s basically telling you “My range here is some A7 type hand. so say the board is like 1099. C. Other WA/WB situations include like 1010 on Q77. this bet size will terrify them. and if he has some under pair his equity sucks. where by checking you can get value from like 77 (on this board) on later streets. I don’t mind cbetting AJ here because him having a better hand is rarely. Also if you have the opportunity to bet something like $99 or $199 on the river or something I suggest it. FD=flush draw) so you have some equity. Before I go forward I want to interject and mention that: You generally want to be cbetting almost every single Ace or King high board. whether to raise or just smooth call. K94 (rainbow. Anyway when thinking about theory/strategy of approaching these call-too-many cbet type players. but on occasion you are missing value by not double or triple barreling these types of players. In this situation I would most love to have a gutshot or FD myself (against these players I’ll put a lot of pressure on with FD’s. 2. however anything more than two I wouldn’t get fancy. it will be him genuinely weak trying to figure out whether to call or fold. or A2 on AK6. but that doesn’t mean I check when I do hit. Don’t be surprised if he takes a while to call the turn.

You probably won’t have a ton of history with TAGs (when it comes to cbetting and stuff) because your game selection should for the most part allow you to avoid these guys (you aren’t trying to avoid them. The flop came K74r. Anyway this is a great spot to check it back and maybe fire the turn. because their preflop calling range is rarely going to contain TP. but instead their range is weighted to small pairs and suited connectors (FWIW a pair has a 1 in 9 chance of flopping a set). and the only made hand he reps is 55 and far less often 88. just look at their fold to cbet. so we’ve talked about weak-tight and loose-passive type of players and what our cbet tendencies should be. The flop came K85r. this is a great situation to check it back. I’ll probably just vbet the river. these are the types of players where we like to mix up our play and throw in curve balls from time to time. I would probably play QQ the same way. For the most part your opponents here will not). (FWIW its ok to c/f like AK on 765 or something. however we think we’re bluffing with the best hand) I 3bet to $76 and he folded quickly. against these guys you want to be more cautious about cbetting marginally. or if he has something really weird like KQ or 77 I have the equity/the best hand (however this is a small factor in my thought process). So the simple answer Is that it is profitable to 3b/fold in this situation given the information (this is the yeti-theorem . The flop is AK5r and he checks. and krantz shoved. These will generally be your toughest opponents (even if they are bad TAGs). I remember playing against a player at FTP 200 who played something like 21/18 and played me tough/tricky. against your better/more thinking opponents simply cbetting will not be enough. simple right=D). fwiw if something like a K or A peels on the 23 . There is danger here. It’s going to be very unlikely that he will ever call will a worse hand. so out of position just cbet your range. I remember recently watching a hand with Krantz and Peachykeen where peachy raised UTG and Krantz called in MP. If the turn is something like a King or 5 I will probably check it again because nothing about this board has really changed and it will still be difficult to extract. Out of position you generally want to just bet your entire range (made hands. but we want to exploit everyone we play. Anyway I discourage calling because then you are in a very marginal OOP spot and you don’t have the initiative in the hand. peachy c/r’d the flop. He definitely love to go after me and my cbets. if he had any king it doesn’t really make sense because we didn’t have enough history for me to get it in with anything worse than a strong king. we would rather exploit them. unless its like they flatted AJ or KQ or something. The flop was rainbow so he can’t be semi-bluffing anything but a 76. Anyway In this situation my opponent is likely bluffing because his range contains very few made hands. you will never run into a situation at anywhere below $1000 where this is even remotely necessary. There is clearly a lot more here than meets the eye and a ton of history. Ok. but fundamentally against tough opponents is bad because its exploitable if they figure out what your doing. and fish are simply more exploitable and more profitable). which states that a 3bet on a dry board is always a bluff.3. Agaisnt these guys I’ll cbet just about every ace and king high flop. In position it becomes more interesting. now I did like the fact that I had 98 because if he does have 67 I have the best hand and a blocker. and in this situations it kind of is. so our analysis was very likely correct as we ran into the majority of his range in this spot (bluffs). and we will occasionally be c/r’d off the best hand and we will miss value from something like KQ or 88(if its suited I will on occasion still check it back. which makes your hand have less value intrinsically (Initiative simply means that you were the last person to bet/raise). if its low give up more and if its high go after them more. I cbet $8 (4 BB’s). semibluffs. What I mean when I say I want to polarize my range is that say I raise A2cc OTB and the BB (TAG) calls. which for the purpose of most MSNL games and lower is OK. Anyway I raised 98s from the SB and he called in the BB. just less frequently). Peachy had AK and Krantz had KQ. TAGs. This is a very suspicious line from him. so this isn’t really a possibility. IP I mix it up a lot and check tons of flops back. particularly when I’m marginal (this is called polarizing your range. or I might just check it down depending if my opponent does or does not have the capacity to call with worse. but nothing about this makes sense or is any sort of standard. now lets get to the fun stuff. he raised to $32. second pairs and bluffs). Also keep diligent notes about how they react to cbets so that you can adjust accordingly.

Anyway the point is when you flop a monster on a dry board start by check-calling. fold to 3bet. The risk you run is the overcaller having a set on this board. and go from there. 2. we obviously don’t want to put our money in with ace high 24 . For the most part you have probably already cultivated an aggressive image by 3-betting your opponents. if he gave up the first time. whoever called preflop comes along. and two overcards. it is a good idea to go after your opponents without history in these spots because they will have to be very spewy to continue with most of their cbetting range and worst case scenario you develop an image that you like to c/r bluff which we can later exploit by c/ring with big hands). Say we flatcall with something like 33 from a CO open. Against very tough player you will occasionally be river c/r’d with a range of trips/bluffs. so lets assume we are just vaguely familiar with how he plays and we have his stats. (FWIW it’s a c/r. an overcard. Also you should see an increase in success of these types of plays in multiway pots. This is not a good spot to check raise unless one of the following two conditions are met: A. Lets look at c/r situations: (For these situations lets assume we’re up against a LP TAG opener who plays somewhere between 23/18 and 20/15. it’s probably a good idea to fire away a c/r with something like QJss on this board because you have backdoor straight draws. put him to the test and make him adjust or just get run over. with strong hands because you are polarizing your range between air/sets and it will be difficult to get paid. especially if you play your hand fast. You want to avoid check-raising these spots. as you build history you could c/r something like TP on this board for value) we want to simply c/c our entire range (of course not bluffs. you check. For the most part when we check raise it will mean that we have defended our blinds. Since we probably will peel (check/call) a hand like A10 or 88 (pending history. but this is very uncommon amongst even good players at these stakes. this is a great check-raise spot because we have backdoor draws or a gutshot. you have assumably backdoor flush outs. B. you should c/r this spot. The flop comes 1053r. Both of this scenario’s require us to have some sort of read or note on an opponent. and because our opponent will also have a tough time having a hand strong enough to continue with on this flop. Not to mention a ton of FE. so we c/r with a monster to balance our range. as their cbet % decreases so should your c/r frequency. This was mentioned in example one but now lets say we have QJss or 76ss on 1053r (one spade). Assume same type of villain. History also plays a roll. So say for example you have been really going after a guy preflop and decide not to squeeze so you overcall something like A5s. You have a reason to believe that the villain is bad and spewy and will always put in way too much money with a TP or overpair type hand.turn or river you should be more inclined to bet because its unlikely he’s checking trips and its very likely he thinks you don’t have trips either. Check-Raising: Let’s now focus on the flop check-raise. 1. The flop comes 732r. do it again. however this will generally be unlikely and in the event that he does we should have a little bit of equity. potentially a backdoor flush draw. Be more and more inclined to make these sort of bluff c/r’s against players that cbet a lot. so he might make a marginal call down. really anything greater than 70% and you can for sure do it fairly often. so now lets suppose you slow it down and coldcall preflop. You have a history of check-raising dry boards against a decent-good opponent and he has reason to believe you are doing it with air frequently. and it appears as though you have to have a huge hand because you just c/r’d a particularly dry board into two players. the PFR cbet. and a gutshot. If he has seen you do it and is inclined to not give credit then change gears and just c/f and let him have it.

and there is likely a more optimal way to play your draw (FWIW big draws should likely be played for a c/r. he checks. as you will likely be getting money in behind/flipping most of the time.ATo+. The flop comes 1084r (with or without a spade). or to hopefully reshove a worse made h and.T8s+. in which case exploit this by c/ring draws and stone bluffs. First of all we will never float OOP. Lets first focus on floating with over cards. We want to balance each range and raising certain situations simply isn’t a good idea because our opponents will realize we raise bluff too often and we are basically giving him a free pass to 3bet bluff us. our opponents will be far more incline to play their 1 pair/big draw type hands fast to maximize fold equity.Q9s+. just keep it somewhere within this range and you should be fine. for the first scenario lets assume your opponent cbets 6bb’s into 8bb’s. more from CO and less from MP). rather than draws.KTs+.QTo +. but on boards with draws and texture we should opt to play our hands quickly. someone calls. Float: 1. He will generally be c/ring or c/fing this spot. I would likely make it 40bb’s to entice him to come along with something like JJ or QQ. Our opponent is a normal TAG and cbets. for example 98dd on 762dd. he probably has like 109 or 99 or something. 3. Anyway lets suppose MP or CO opens and we call IP with QJss. In the second scenario. whereas 109dd should be played for a c/c on 742dd [unless your opponent folds to c/rs more than most. so say he cbets 15bb’s into 22 or so on the turn. Also by raising certain situations we give away the opportunity of a free card to make our hand. Ok now lets suppose we hit our gin card. These are rough numbers. These boards should on occasion also be c/r’d with draws.98s. in which case bet the turn and river (FWIW you should do this with made hands like A10 as well to valuetown him). In 25 . Lets see what his range looks like at best in relation to this board: 22+. In this situation we instead want to play our hand quickly and c/r (as discussed previously. This means all of our floats will be done in position.87s. If he bets again it is probably because he has a strong hand.A8s+. 9. When someone cbets and you are in position you can raise. and probably c/c most big hands. Now we execute our float and bet 60-75% of pot. What we do by floating is calling with a marginal type of hands with the intention of winning the hand on later streets. you should c/r to 30bb’s with your entire range (this is to keep it consistent and avoid giving away something on bet sizing).J9s+. it’s way too tricky and complicated. and since they have none and we are way ahead we want to get the money in now. big hands should be slowplayed on dry boards). its just –ev. If we never floated people could just simply cbet every flop and give up because he knew he wasn’t good on the turn and would make us very easy to play against. say we have 87 or 55 on 965dd.JTo There are a lot of 1pair or no pair hands in there.and a gutshot) As far as bet sizes go. so if this is the top of his range we can certainly peel. but keep in mind that depending upon the opponent you should likely weight your range towards made hand. which he will likely do with a big part of his range. you should c/r to 18bb’s with everything. a deuce or 6 or 4. or do so with a marginal hand. if he check/calls who knows. call or fold.KTo+. leaning towards folding. unless you’ve really been going after him and you suspect he is sick of you]). Lets say on average he opens 20% of hands from these positions (combined. but I would probably just give up unless you are sure he has some under pair. Again if he checks we have no option but to bet and hope he c/r’s for us to shove over. whatever. So lets say we call his cbet and the turn is a brick. Now lets imagine we flop a made hand on a drawy board. and at this point I would probably just put in a medium sized raise. This is also a fairly conservative estimate. lets say your opponent cbets 8bb’s into 10bb’s.

FWIW raising isn’t a bad play. either way if checked to on the turn bet it 100% of the time (that’s why you floated right?). just call again and figure out what to on the river UI. If he’s super aggressive. 26 . Fold if c/r’d pending a phenomenal read. so let’s say for example the flop comes 10d8c3d. 2. if not flush draw as well. Now lets say we have 109s in this situation and the board is A72r or K85r. float 35%. but raising is probably a good default. and if he bets into you again just call if you pickup a draw. Now lets suppose we hit a Q or J. though if he gives you a pass like betting half pot on the river. and without a read as to his double barreling tendencies calling is likely best because if god forbid we do hit we can definitely get paid off on the river. FWIW this hand with these flops is another good spot to bluffraise IP. I don’t think either is preferential. if he thinks you are peeling the flop light (this requires a read. however it is high variance. I should mention that despite this board is rainbow you can also float something with like a flush draw. fold 50%. look it up and figure out what he’s doing). don’t do this blindly) then you can peel another street. in the event that he is doubling representing this card we still can take the pot away on the river if he checks. Lets now suppose we hit something like the A or K of spades. but never 3 UI without a read. and if he has this one pair hand its probable that he will want to go with it after making TPTK. If you make middle pair and he bets again it depends on him. since we know our opponents will cbet a ton of A and K high boards we should certainly throw in floats. definitely raise this situation. try not to get crazy with this because it is a bit higher variance but it’s certainly a good play if you can become comfortable representing the flush on later streets. you can still float this board.the event that I know my opponent is spewy or will make loose triple barrels calling is best. In this spot if he bets again you should just call. some players will check call something like 10x or 99 on this board (which is bad) and we should certainly be looking to value town these guys. Let’s now suppose he checks. and however realize that on later streets you need to bluff-represent the flush to make this profitable. you will likely have to fold unless the player is unusually out of line (to a triple barrel. just like when we were going to bet the turn if we missed we bet with made hands. It is more tricky and should be played around with a little. you generally want to mix it up. in these situations we have at least a back door straight draw. if I had to assign a frequency I would say raise 15%. and he bets.

6162 % 91.00% { KcKs } Hand 2: 91.3838 % 08.00% { AcAs } we can see here that if this hand goes to showdown (as it is going to) that Hero will win on average ~92% of the time. Poker is a game in which skill will beat luck every time assuming that you play for long enough. so if we run this hand 100 times Hero ought to expect win 92 times and lose 8 times.and loses 1600BB the 8 times he loses the hand. This play is +EV and has an EV of 168BB *every* time you make it. there are ~200BB at stake so Hero wins 18400BB the 92 times his AA holds up .g.38% 00.62% 00. Villain tables K K (disregarding how good the play is in this hand) what is the EV of calling knowing we are against specifically K K ?) If we punch those numbers into Pokerstove we get this output. Total net win of 168BB/hand.edits are in italics (matrix128) Expected Value . EV is simply what you expect to make on average with any particular play. from here on in positive Expected Value is +EV and negative Expected Value is -EV. here is a simple example Hero(100BB) has A A and raises preflop to 4xBB from the CO. Villain(100BB) calls from the BB and both see a HU flop of 9 3 6 Villain tells us he has black Kings (he's not lying) and then raises all-in and Hero calls.Basic theory – expected value (matrix) edited to fix glaring typo in 2nd example and to clear up AA v KK example . if we actually ran the hand above 100 times you might win all 100 times - 27 . While it's true that any two cards preflop can win any given individual hand and that luck is a large part of this game if you hold any aspirations whatsoever to beat Poker overany significant amount of time/hands you must learn to make +EV plays and not make -EV plays. Board: 9c 3d 6h Dead: equity (%) win (%) tie (%) Hand 1: 08.is commonly referrred to as EV.. e. It's important to note that EV and actual results can vary massivley over any short term period.

UTG folds. BB raises all-in $24. Poker Stars No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $0. Hero raises to $8.15 BB: $27. 1 player + 1 all-in . 2 folds. The closer your total number of hands gets to infinity the closer your actual results will get to this theoretical figure.Main pot: $53.and the more hands you play the closer these two numbers will get to each other.and conversely everytime you get chips in when you are a favourite in a hand you are winning money. in our simple example above we knew villains exact hand before calling so we don't have to put him on a range (which affects the EV of our play) in practice we never know what particular hand we are against when we make our decisions. BB raises to $3.8.8. 4 players) Hero bets $1.it's the flop action I am interested in here.Main pot: $53. Turn: 9 ($53. So in theory every time you make a -EV play and get chips in when you are an underdog you a "losing money" regardless of the actual results of the hand . In real life we don't know what sepcific hand we are facing at the point in time where we make a decision.80 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is SB with 2 2 UTG calls.10/$0.65 CO: $28. 1 player + 1 all-in . Hero calls. Lets look at a more complicated example.95 Hero: $25.no EV remains 168BB per hand. Button calls.8) River: 9 ($53. What hand does BB have here? is my hand strong enough to call his allin? and how do we work out the EV of this play?? 28 .8) Results: Final pot: $53. If you added up all the "Sklansky Bucks" (theoretical EV money) you made in the long run and compared this amount to your actual winrate .does this mean the EV has changed? or you might be unlucky and lose 25 times in 100 does this mean the play is now less EV? . Flop: J 2 5 ($1.85 UTG+1: $24.9. BB checks. Everytime you make this play you "earn" 168BB and the more times you repeat this the closer your actual real results will get to the "perfect average" of winning 92% of the time.Button folds.95 Button: $23. Hero calls.8 .25 6 players Stack sizes: UTG: $27. Button calls. This is a real hand from my database.after playing an infinite amount of hands these two numers will be identical . Once you have played enough hands (an infinite amount) your total actual results will equal the sum of all of the total EV of the plays you have made.

I play using the general rule that I should never fold a flopped set for ~100BB. It's the reason that a 20x buyin roll is recommended.28% 00.. So I happily call his all-in. Variance is neither good or bad . So that you don't go broke in the short term making +EV plays that you lose in the short term because the real results vary from the Expected results. AhKh. Against most of these hands I am a favourite. 29 . But have I made a +EV play and will this earn me money in the long run??? Lets put his range and my hand into pokerstove and see. J2s.and the bigger bankroll you have to absorb variance the more you ought to be willing to risk on a marginal +EV play. AJ.7155 % 78. The reason being that no matter the flop if we can get all the money in on the flop we are almost always a favourite to win the hand at the showdown vs our opponents range of hands. 55. or he might be bluffing. and what cards come on the Turn or on the River don't matter either (as the decision is already made by then) if I make this play everytime it is +EV and in the long run I expect to win ~170BB everytime I make this play.but that he isn't playing any other hand apart from the ones in this range in this fashion. J5s. Ts7s.a lot of people misunderstand what variance is and try to avoid it. The actual results don't matter. In this particular case his range is wide because there was no preflop raise. Also we are not saying htat he will always play every hand in this range exactly this way . Ax . 52o } (T7ss is included in this range to represent a bluff) and the numbers say that on this wide range of hands my play is +EV and that calling his all-in here means that vs that range I expect to win ~79% of the time. he might also have JJ-KK. If you don't you are losing money in the long run. Do You See Why? Ultimately it is EV that will decide what your true winrate is. 52s. AJs.72% 00. Closely tied in with EV is variance .52. or get around it in the long run eventually your total real results will match your expected results. AJo.00% { JJ+.J5. and against some of them I am an underdog. whether BB shows me JJ for top set or A 8 for a busted flush draw I still "gain" ~70BB everytime I make the play.The answer is to put BB on a range of hands . as long as my range is accurate. you can't beat it.00% { 2d2s } Hand 2: 21. J2o. But you shouldn't. sometimes he has 55 and we are a huge underdog. Board: Jc 2h 5h Dead: equity (%) win (%) tie (%) Hand 1: 78.2845 % 21.J2. As this play costs me 100BB to make I make a profit everytime here of 70BB. Whenever you determine at the table that a play is +EV you should make it EVERY time. The very very best players at poker don't care about variance and try to make every single +EV play that they can (this is the main reason why they are such big winners) Variance is simply how much your actual results can vary from the statistical EV results in the short term. J5o. I have no way of knowing what hand he has and certainly don't have time at the table to put the numbers into Pokerstove so we just make an educated guess.if we re-run this hand 1000 times say sometimes he has AA and we are a huge favourite..KJ.

run the numbers into pokerstove and see how much you made in EV. 51% of 200BB is more than 51% of 20BB . the more money you stake on this play the more you stand to win in the long run. As a final thought here is an exercise you can try when you next get a big losing session.though in the short term real results will vary lots and you stand a great chance of losing this particular bet if you can afford it (have a large enough bankroll) you should bet as much as you can on this 51% shot. I do this sometimes and often find out that I had a +EV session that in real results lost me lots of real money. so despite losing now in the short term you can be happy that in the long run you're still winning 30 . Review all the hands in the session and for each hand you play work out a range of hands for each villain. If most of the losiung sessions you have are +EV you are paying well and eventually real results will catch up with your EV results and you will be a long term winner.Lets say you determine that a play is +EV and you'll win 51% of the time.

however. I call it a framework for poker study. and in MSNL. every time you make a bet that maximizes expectation versus your opponent’s actual hand. so you have a claim of some part of the pot. both you and your opponent have a specific hand. The FTOP formalizes how to maximize your return in the special case of complete information. we work with incomplete information. because I think that one good approach to getting better is to spend time away from the table focused on these component variables one at a time. Your hand has some % chance of winning the pot. you win. for example). which is the form most analyses take on these forums. there is a significant margin for error in the final result which is due to necessarily imprecise assumptions about an opponent’s ranges. component-by-component analysis to be practical. I think a lot can be learned from thinking about poker hands in terms of their component variables. and z% of the time. This essay is my attempt to categorize and analyze those components. the FTOP is still the final theoretical measure of what is profitable or unprofitable action. acknowledges that poker is actually a game of incomplete information. Core Ideas There are three core ideas with which I assume everyone is familiar – the concepts of pot equity and Expected Value (EV). the pot contains some amount of money. Situational Factors We all know that the proper play of a hand and the correct read on an opponent’s range depends on a lot of situational factors. and what I will call “hand range calculus. I'm posting it in MTT.A FRAMEWORK FOR POKER STUDY (learnedfromtv) Below is an essay I've written for my Carpal Tunnel post. from thinking about the structure of that giant math problem and how it could be solved if it were solvable. where 31 . where I have spent more time lately. “Hand range calculus”. I think we are accustomed to thinking about these factors in the context of whatever particular hand we are playing or analyzing. and attempts to define best actions in terms of maximizing expectation versus the range of possible hands your opponent could have. Every bet you make is an investment. I guess). and agree that in even the simplest cases (short-stack push/fold calculations. you win. That said. thus poker skill is a combination of the ability to make best decisions within the context of “hand range calculus” and the ability to read your opponents’ ranges better than they read yours. b. in particular NLHE. y%. Sklansky’s Fundamental Theorem of Poker. Because in every case. where I spent most of my time since joining 2p2. in order to be better prepared to think through all of the relevant information when faced with decisions at the table.” Pot equity and EV are functions of basic probability and govern every action in a poker game. I agree with this. and c x%. every time your opponent fails to maximize his expectation given your actual hand. So even if a poker hand is one giant math problem. It's long (> 2500 words for a 2500th post. It is frequently said that there are too many variables involved in the play of a hand for anything resembling a formulaic. Introduction Recently I have put some thought into strategies for studying poker. In practice. you should bet when your expected return from the bet is larger than the cost of the bet. it’s an unsolvable problem. in light of the range of hands it is likely he thinks you have. complete with game theoretic opponents who do a.

etc. Board Texture This one is more interesting. how often should he get called. Same questions how often should this flop be bet. The factors I want to talk about are position. the monsters are in plain sight. and they all blend into each other. but have it less often than he has the A on the A-high flop. Not only does someone in position have fewer people left to act and more information on that particular round.many relatively small factors accumulate to a read and a decision. there are always sets. What does a bet mean on this flop? How different is that from what a bet means on an A-high flop? How often does someone betting this flop have no pair? Compare a raiser betting this flop to the A-high flop – how often should he bet. etc. Maybe another time. Axy rainbow. betting patterns. What percentage of the time does one of the two players have an ace? How often can one of them beat AK? How often does someone bet this flop with less than an ace? If you are called the raise and are in position. but questions like “how often should the preflop raiser bet the ace”. sets. what percentage of the time should you expect an honest opponent to bet into you? How much more frequently than honest does he have to bet before you can exploit him by representing the ace? There’s a whole game theory problem right here. and the rare two pair. Raiser is going to rep the K a lot. You’ve probably played hundreds of hands that fit this description. how easy or hard is it to push someone off a mediocre hand? Etc. the Button is more likely to bet than the guy in the middle. maybe. Imagine a heads up raised pot with a dry ace-high flop. pot size in relation to stack size (there are two others I’m not going to cover but that I want to mention – table image. or whatever. as it is already built into every thought any of us has about the game. and bet sizing because I find it interesting. raised? Raised pot again. or JJ8. and might make clearer what I’m getting at with the “isolating situational factors” idea. How many flop textures are there? Dozens. A 20/12 is 7/5 UTG and 40/25 on the button. it might be a draw instead. most analyzed. by what hands. pocket pairs. So CO and Button preflop raising ranges are much wider. this will be long enough as is). Now there are lots of draws. Onward. betting frequencies. the kind with straight draws (T85 or 974).to maximize EV versus an opponent’s range and know his range better than he knows yours. but now if you get action that looks like a set. independent of any other knowledge. Hand ranges automatically widen with better position. now K-high. but by isolating them I hope to get a better sense of the role each plays in the core goal we're all seeking . If position was all I had to talk about. on this simple board where the only hands people “should” have to continue are TPTK-TPGK. and “how fast should JJ play on a T85 two tone board” are things that are partly determined simply by 32 . board texture. How often should an “honest” raiser bet the flop. Position The most familiar. like J88. thousands. they and their out-of-position opponents have the knowledge that the player with position on this round will have position on future rounds. What about a medium two-tone flop. The framework for study that I suggest in this essay (and which I am following myself) is to separate the most important situational factors and analyze them individually. still sets. Now there are only 5 cards that could have hit the board. hundreds even. Pocket pairs are stronger. I don’t think much more needs to be said about this. and in-position bettors on the postflop streets usually have wider ranges. instead of 9. allowing for bluffing as long as it isn’t done too frequently? How frequently is that? Paired board. and easiest to understand situational factor is position. combo draws. All of these factors are interrelated. if you check the flop first to act in a three way pot. table image because it is obviously so important. this essay wouldn’t be very useful. and bet sizing.

In practice. sort of. call. and raise. check/check. What I suggest is that thinking about these patterns and the frequency with which they occur is instructive. check/check. the patterns that occur most frequently are also the patterns that match the most frequently occurring situations (weak to moderately strong hands building and contesting a small to medium-sized pot). Especially against good players. Or. Etc. Raiser bets. we set these frequencies to exploit specific opponents. He does this with 20% of his hands and he never raises. like what % of the time should a preflop raiser bet the flop (or optimal frequencies for any action sequence). checked to the raiser. you should check/fold. which is easiest to get away with if done quietly. turn goes check/check. Raisy McRaiser raises in front of you. Or. Or bet/raise/call. In fact. and no frequency mumbo-jumbo changes that. perfectly-playing opponent sense. Limpy McLimper limps in front of you. raiser folds. Some patterns are more common than others. the same patterns repeat themselves over and over. He does this with 20% of his hands and he never limps. or that opponent) bet the turn after having bet the flop and being called? What % do I bet three streets in a row? What % do I bet two streets then check/fold? What % of the time do I check-raise the flop. you should follow up when it hits on the turn (whether you have it or not). the majority of profit comes from creating large pots with big hands. but I am more talking about things like “what % of the time do I (or this opponent.the kinds and number of hands that can like a given flop. so maybe in theory we should bet the flop 75% of the time we raise. OOP bets. check-raise. bet/call. These are the things you start thinking about when you think about action frequencies. caller bets. raiser bets. bet/call. It’s easiest to categorize headsup pots this way. Raiser checks. But contrast: Same 100xBB stacks. One. the board often changes from flop to turn and turn to river. Or. this can be very difficult. bet/fold. checked to raiser. call. You reraise with the same two cards. If the draw hits. he calls (he 33 . and you know 100% that your opponent was drawing. fold. Or bet/call. raiser folds. but patterns repeat themselves in multiway pots also. Betting Patterns Because NLHE is a game where you can bet any amount at any time. Betting Frequencies Under “betting patterns” I was talking about an observer’s view of all participants in a hand. for two reasons. There are big meta-theory questions here. raiser OOP. Pot Size/Stack Size Dynamic 100xBB stacks. Are there optimal frequencies for all of these? Maybe. check/bet/fold. raiser in position. Think about how often a hand plays out like this: preflop raise. raiser folds. all with appropriate bluffs mixed in. But since some of the time you should bet the flop with that obvious draw and some of the time your opponent is calling without it. then check the turn? How often do I call three barrels? How often do I follow up my turn bet with a river bet? Clearly. especially among decent players. here I’m referring to the frequency with which individuals bet. bet the turn 25% of the times we’re called and 50% of the time the flop checks through. bet/call. of course. but I think analyzing these questions in general can help us understand how to do that. then some of the time. it could feel like there are a ton of ways to build a pot. How strong a hand do you need to play for 100BB? For 50? For 25? Too broad a question? Dependent on too many other factors? Yes. Pots grow exponentially. call. in a game-theoretic. and bet the river 10% of the time the turn is called and 20% of the time the turn checks through. then bet the turn? Do I ever check-raise the flop. Two. He calls and you see a flop with 9 BB in the pot. You have two cards and raise.

There may be times to fold a set in a reraised pot and times to felt middle pair in a limped pot. Clearly. pot/stack dynamic is always present because of increasing blinds and variance in the size of opponent’s stacks. etc. because it is a time when raisers with one pair have a hard time folding.” you have to consider -the range the raiser raises from that position -how likely the particular flop is to have hit that range (AQ5? T85? 522?) -what betting pattern is most likely to create a large pot without tipping anyone off that you want a large pot -how likely the raiser is bet the flop if checked to. you should be able to look at the pot size.. and have some general idea of what kind of hands should be willing to play for how much. what various bet sizes mean. raise if bet into. then play aggressively. you’re usually a fish. simple example. I find the 30-40xBB range particularly interesting. Also. But do too much of this. against Raisy. The point is not that there is a formula for proper size pot with xx on flop abc in terms of preflop pot size “AA is worth 3x preflop pot size”. exploit them – reraise a lot. this dynamic shows up more in the differences between limped pots. But on every flop. raised pots. on average. etc. with one pair? With a big draw? The only difference is that the pot is a bigger percentage of the stack. in MTT’s. There is more to fight for. you call in the BB with 55. a significant shift in pot size/stack size ratio happens when antes are introduced. about how ranges and betting frequencies change in vs out of position. look at the stack sizes. All this theory in practice A short. so ranges change and more aggressive play is rewarded. and reraised pots. This generates a cat-and-mouse game where you have to accompany the raising hands you do plan to go broke with hands you don’t plan to go broke with in order to deny implied odds to speculative hands. Clearly there isn’t. With more to fight for. and so on. but callers with speculative hands still have odds to call and try to outflop (also because allin reraises are too overaggressive in this stage and easily exploitable). Button calls. All I am arguing in this essay is you will be better prepared to make the best decisions if you have thought independently about how different board textures play. Now how strong do you have to be to play for it all? What size pot should you play. 27 BB in the pot. but it plays its role too. how sure you are that you're ahead (or behind). Sure. let them fold too much. how often the raiser will follow up on the turn with a marginal hand. and you become vulnerable to preflop reraises. how likely the other caller is to be trapped with a marginal hand. that general idea has to be adjusted based on all of the other situational factors. how often he’ll give up the lead if you show flop aggression. If they do make this adjustment. there are plenty of other factors that I didn’t discuss. how easily you 34 . Someone raises UTG+1. The flop contains a 5. -what the stack sizes are and how likely your opponents are to have a hand that is willing to play a large pot. about how to play versus different betting frequencies. Before you say “lead” or “check.calls raises as often as Limpy). Obviously. where stacks are usually 100x and there aren't antes. you have to adjust with them in reraised pots. people’s ranges for postflop actions necessarily should change toward being more aggressive. like table image. probably not. about the amount of strength different betting patterns represent. In cash games. If your opponents don’t make this adjustment. in MTT's. Go broke with AA against Limpy.

how vulnerable your hand is to the type of hands that are willing to play with you. or even close. 35 .can improve. I don’t pretend this covers everything it could cover. I hope this is useful/thought-provoking to some of you. but this is what I’m thinking about right now. and that some of the many of you who are better than me will take the time to comment. how likely you are to end up paying off a second best hand if someone catches you.

not being super-aggressive like you think you should be. I've almost reached 100k hands at about 8 PTBB/100. Not "spewing" .I gaurantee that "spewing" in one way or another is a big part of it. most of the things you need to be a winner are NOT strategy. strategy is probably not your problem. work on your game. Secondly.What matters. not making fancy moves. you can make their mistakes into good plays. Most fishies have very high VPIP's. and you need to adjust properly. When you bluff a calling station. being on your "A" game is like a habit . you get used to that and before long you find you're playing your C game all the time. Whatever it takes for you to be a winner. What doesn't (cbloom) Well. so I know what it's like to be a breakeven/losing player and where win rate really comes from. you've turned the fish into a better player than you. not doing what you're "supposed to". read the forum. Don't make the fish's mistakes correct. you had an almost gauranteed big bet you could've made and you didn't. downswings. The first thing is to remember that the goal : being a profitable player. What Matters : 1. it's folding decent hands to tiny bets. folding monster hands because you imagine he has the nuts. my win rate would be a lot better if not for some stretches where I was way off my "A" game. I've struggled with questioning my game. This isn't just bluffing. The fact is. do that. Yes.just throwing away money.not value betting top pair on the river against a calling station is a form of spew. Once you start playing your C game. get practice. that's not true. any monkey can get the basics). For example : Fish UTG raises A 6 to 2 BB You reraise K K to 12 BB folds to Fish who calls Flop 6 6 7 Fish checks You bet pot Fish pushes all in You call!!!! 36 . I thought I'd drop some thoughts on what really matters in being a winning player.you get in the groove and can keep it up. taking breaks. You punish them by usually having better hands and charging them to see flops. play hands. 3. These terrible players will do odd things. Beating the rake is hard and you probably can't do it on your C game. Poker is not easy. we can be on our B or C game and still be profitable. trying to get lucky on the flop. Furthermore. 2. If you don't. You turn them into experts if you pay them off when they hit. Note that "spew" can be subtle . but assuming you've got the basics (and trust me. Playing vanilla good poker and eliminating major "spew" will make a huge impact on your win rate. If you really review your sessions you'll find hands where you just threw away a lot of money. You should be playing most of your hands against terrible players if you're using good game & seat selection. Being on your "A" game. I never made a "Poob" and I'm coming up on my Carpal Tunnel so I figured I better get this in first. One of the traps I think we all fall into is thinking that the fish are so bad. It's better to just take a break when you're not on your A game and try to only play in that state. etc. Maybe we can tilt a bit and try to play through it. Anybody who's struggling with their game .

Little details about your play. What Doesn't : 1. If you're playing a hand and you hit a really really tough spot and you just can't figure out what's the best move . but the fact is. in which case you can try to trap them. These sort of "tough" decisions are fun to analyze because they're very close and complicated. but if you're thinking about the range of hands it was actually EV neutral. Maybe you complete T7o in the SB. 2.Oh no! you made the fishes -EV style of chasing flops into a profitable style. but the fact is they have almost zero effect on your win rate. maybe you're 30% vpip. maybe you don't. but it's a very small EV difference. maybe you don't. and that will hurt your win rate a lot!! This is sort of like a reverse implied odds situation. you might lose a huge pot because you made the wrong decision in this particular case. 3. Maybe there is in fact one move that's better than others. Maybe you reraise a lot preflop. You will run into lots and lots of marginal situations. "Tough" Decisions. but it's a tiny tiny leak and not worth worrying about. You'll see these some times when you post a hand and good/respected posters disagree about the best move. Marginal situations. maybe folding T9o in the SB is a small leak. What you should not do is play in a way you're not comfortable with. (synopsis for the tl. fix your big leaks and play solid) 37 . it's very easy to make a big mistake in a marginal situation. that means the EV of the choices is nearly the same! Yes. they have almost zero effect on whether you're a big winner. Yes. but that's not really a problem unless someone starts trying to do it. Again.dr crowd : stop worrying about trivial details that don't affect your win rate much. Don't complete hands in the SB because you think you should if you're not comfortable playing them postflop. You could fold almost every one of them and it wouldn't hurt your win rate that much. On the other hand. It's almost never bad to just be a wuss in these spots unless you do that too much. these could be slightly +EV or slightly -EV.it doesn't matter! If it's truly a tough decision. A lot of people are scared of being "weak" or "easy to run over". Maybe you're 15% vpip.

The reason you MUST do this is because: 1) you steal the blinds if they all fold 2) if they call you. Open limping in 6 max is a very very big sin. I would also like to make a note here that you should almost never open limp. they are playing a raised pot out of position and you have the advantage. That is why if you open up pokertracker and a large enough sample size. Open limping is just gross. or draw. I play 22/18 and consider myself TAG. First thing I want to mention is position and the button. When you are on the button and CO. For all you poker tracker statiticians out there. 4) People are more likely to go broke on raised pots than unraised pots. consider yourself the gatekeeper.6 Max fundamentals for SSNL players (Tien) Some 6max Fundamentals Now that I have decided to walk away from poker and pursue other ambitions. they will bluff you more and ship more money your way.org/?578669 Another positional hand. QJo. 38 . If he doesn’t have an A. This comes from a player that played primarily (only) 6max 200NL. DO NOT OPEN LIMP.pokerhand. Continuation betting with nothing often takes the pot down. every single Axs. One of the hardest things I had to learn was the fundamentals of 6 max and how to play like a proper TAG for medium stakes. http://www. It is up to YOU to decide whether or not people get to enter a pot cheaply or not. even any Axo if folded to them. you will see that the button and CO is the most profitable position to play in. I can check behind for a free card. This post will merely cover the basics of 6 max. Raise rather than limp. http://www. 400NL. Hell. meaning every single pocket pair.org/?578668 One example of why you need to raise. he folds to my raise. This play is better than calling his flop bet. True tags understand this concept and abuse the [censored] out of the button. Would I have stacked him in an unraised pot? Most likely not. I have decided to give something back to community that I have received so much from. A10o and better. why let them play out of position hands for cheap? Abuse the [censored] out of the button and CO. every single suited connector. and a HUGE variety of high cards. If he calls my raise. That includes KJo. Don't do it with suited connectors or whatnot. There is quite a lack of information on how to properly play 6 max TAG and I am mostly appalled at how the lower stakes players are completely missing out on the fundamentals. Hands that a true TAG will raise with if folded to them on the button / CO is: 22 -> AA. It is a no brainer to why position is so important in NL. and 600NL (when the games were fishy). and not quite on advanced play. 3) Flopping sets / monsters in unraised pots is basically a crap pot. And hell. positional preflop play and image.pokerhand. Being last to act simply gives you a world of advantage over your opponents. Take down the blinds and move on to next hand. Open raise.

Example: UTG limps, folds to you on the CO, you have 22. What do you do? Answer: RAISE. How much to raise, 4-5x BB is good. Example 2: UTG limps, MP limps, you hold 22 on the button. What do you do? Answer: RAISE THAT [censored] UP If they call, you will take it down often enough with a continuation bet to make it profitable. And BTW, continuation bet 75-90% of the time. They will most likely fold a hand that didn’t hit. So now that you understand basic fundamental button and CO play. It is time to figure out how to play UTG and MP. UTG: You want to play real damn tight, fold suited connectors, fold high cards, fold Axs hands. But continue to raise pocket pairs in ANY POSITION. Pocket pairs have the ability to flop such powerful monsters that you just can’t fold them in any position. Raising pocket pairs is so mandatory. Assume 100BB stacks. You raise 44 in MP and get reraised. You call and flop comes 346, 2410, 410J, 345. You are stacking KK AA 100% of the time. Don’t limp either. It is so transparent when a weaktight (who thinks he is a TAG) limps UTG, and calls you raise. He has small pocket pair or suited connector 99% of the time. Continue to raise AJo and better. Folding QKo and KJo, as well as QJo is not bad play at all. These hands are pretty garbage out of position. MP: You can still fold the QKo, KJo, or QJo, but start loosening up your standards. Start mixing up raising or folding those Axs hands, suited connectors. Blinds: You want to play real tight in the blinds. Calling too many raises out of position is just a death trap. You don’t want to build big pots with marginal holdings in the blinds. Fold suited connectors, Axs, call with pocket pairs obviously. But just because you are playing tight in the blinds doesn’t mean you are a big sissy either. Facing a button raise or an MP raise, if you hold hands like AK, AQ, JJ, 1010, RERAISE. It’s much much better to reraise these hands in the blinds that many SSNL players normally just call with. Reraising these hands start to become advanced play so be careful. New players trying these things out often lose stacks because they are out of position and are bad post flop players. Example: You are in BB or SB with AK, AQ, JJ. UTG limps, MP limp, button limps. What do you do? Answer: RAISE THAT [censored] UP. Raise it up to 6-7 even 8x bb depending on players. Take down the pot without even seeing a flop is better than checking and playing a multiway un raised pot. http://www.pokerhand.org/?578721

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Raising all these hands allows you to play raised pots against players that have no idea of positional or image. You will stack them more often than not. And don’t sissy up on continuation bets. Bet 75-90% of the time no matter board texture. Only if 2 people call you and u completely missed the flop can you decide to check and give up on the pot. Example: You have A8s on the button, UTG limps, you raise 5x BB and get called by BB and UTG. Flop comes 48Q rainbow. BET 100% of the time if checked to you. That covers the BASICS of positional preflop play. Combo Draws Another thing which I think is standard to most people but may not, is combo draws. Hands where you have say 13-15 outs on the flop should be taken to the felt. http://www.pokerhand.org/?578686 Here is an example of properly playing a combo draw. Same goes with open ended straight and flush draws. Play these hands strong and very fast. There is a ton of fold equity as well as getting money in being a 50/50 if they do decide to take their hand to the felt with you. Best case scenario for the hand I played above is that everyone folds. Making them fold in spots like this is what makes playing combo draws this way profitable. You don’t profit by them calling a 50/50 shot. You profit making them fold. I wanted to talk more about 2nd barrels, increasing range of reraising hands preflop, and pot control, but that is a bit more advanced than the basics and maybe I’ll write something later on. In conclusion. Don’t make dramatically changes to your game. Start implementing one concept at a time. Don’t start raising 6-7% more hands just because I told you. Start one different hand at a time and slowly make changes. I hope this helps the struggling low stakes player out there. If you keep these strategies and tactics in mind, it will definitely improve your play.

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Tien's Article on Mentality, Image, and changing gears (Tien)
Ok, This is a follow up article to the last one I wrote: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showfl...part=1&vc=1 I finally got around to writing this and will probably be the last one I write before I disappear from the online poker world altogether. Although I think this article should have been written before the first one, since I will talk a lot about mentality which I feel is the most important thing a player needs to develop first. I will mix up image in here somewhere too. First though I would like to rant about a couple of things first before I really start. Starting players hoping that they will make something out of this game really need to ask themselves a question. How badly do you really want it? What it takes to continuously go from level to level in poker is an insane desire to continuously challenge yourself and improve. You won’t go anywhere thinking how you play right now is sufficient for whatever stakes. IMPROVE YOURSELF. There is a huge growing army of 12 tabling hudbots continuously grinding away. Some of them are improving, some of them are not. If you belong in the category of players who don’t improve than you will be left in the dust. The games ARE getting tougher for those who are NOT continuously improving. 1.5 years ago, I don’t think I even heard of multitabling TAGs playing at 25/22 at Mid stakes with insane relentless post flop aggression. Now, if you visit the mid stakes forums, it’s the norm. Ok, so the first thing you need to change is your mentality. And by surfing these forums, I can guess there are thousands of winning players who need a total mentality re-haul. You may ask, but Tien, they are winning, what’s wrong with them? My Answer: They still complain, whine and bitch about irrelevant things. They still get angry and emotional when a doofus fish sucks them out when they are a 85% favourite. They get frustrated and cry out to people who don’t even care saying how badly they are taking it. It doesn’t make any [censored] sense whatsoever to complain about getting sucked out. And if you are running bad, guess what, I DON’T [censored] CARE. Poker player who needs a total mentality re-haul: “OMG MY AA JUST LOST TO 44 ALLIN PREFLOP 134993024 TIMES TODAY, IM DOWN 15 BUYINS, OMG I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE” My answer: “I don’t care” Poker player who doesn’t need mentality re-haul, this time he is thinking to himself whenever the following happens: Loses AA vs KK allin pre 3423432 times. “Whatever I don’t give a [censored]” Loses a bunch of coinflips on monster draws. “Whatever I don’t give a [censored]” Loses a whole bunch of buyins. “It’s about time these weaksauce [censored] win something from me”

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You need to be cool and remain calm. Your reaction to winning a 200 BB pot should be the same as the reaction to losing a 200BB pot. Next time you complain to someone. Remember that deep down what they are really thinking is “I don’t care”. Complaining serves no purpose whatsoever and should be completely and 100% erased from your character. Getting sucked out and going on downswings is the nature of the beast. It can’t happen any other way. How does complaining or whining help you improve? It doesn’t. It makes you a worse player. You can’t win if you don’t get sucked out. You can’t improve if you never go on downswings. You can’t succeed if you never fail. Mentality change goes beyond complaining / whining / bitching. If you want to change yourself from a weak tight player to an aggressive player (Notice TAG and LAG both have the words aggressive in it) you need to change your mentality first. No matter how hard you try to change something, if you don’t program it into your head, YOU WILL NOT CHANGE. You need to start to think aggressive every time you sit down in your sessions. Think about opportunities to raise and re-raise and win pots. You need to have that image of a player who is constantly raising and re-raising and instilling FEAR into the other players. Don’t make sissy as hell bets and raises either. Every time you bet or raise, bet and raise like you mean it. 2/3, to ¾ pot size bets to build big pots to stack people or make them fold. Again, for the mid stakes players nowadays, this is the NORM. For a lot of you starting players out there, there is an entirely new concept that you NEED TO LEARN AND IMPLEMENT. I don’t want to get so much into post flop because that subject is really complex, but I’ll give a couple of examples. 1) You raise 10Js on the button and some weaktight fish who limps before calls. Board comes 48K rainbow and he donk bets into you meakly. Raise the [censored] out of him! 2) You raise A5s in middle position and flop comes 3s4sQx. You lead out and bet and get miniraised or raised. RERAISE. You have 12 outs here and plenty of fold equity, ALLLIN. 3) You have 98s and raise in the button and some guy calls. Flop comes 7810 rainbow. He leads into you. RAISE THAT [censored] UP. Results in these hands don’t matter nor should you care if you lose being 40% dog or whatever. You played these using concepts of fold equity properly. These are just a couple of examples of what kind of an aggressive mentality you need to have. Don’t take these examples in stone every single time, but the mentality behind these examples is what you need. Once you change your mentality into the one proper for poker, many many postflop decisions will become easy to you. I guarantee that. On towards Image. So what image do you really need? As mentioned before you need an image of a player that the table is afraid to play against. And at small stakes NL, there are a bunch of weak tight players waiting to be afraid of you. So go out there and instill fear into them! Play

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solid positional aggressive poker. Look for spots to raise and re-raise in position holding draws, marginal hands, etc etc. Achieving that image cannot be done unless you yourself believe inside you possess that image. What you think about yourself inside reflects a lot on how people think about you. Again, this goes back to your mentality. This type of image will also get you a lot of action too. You are in there building pots and people will give you action in return. You don’t care about that because if you play solid positional poker, you will have the advantage. People will also give you their respect and fold to your bluffs or semi-bluffs. Don’t show down a losing hand. But once your image has been shot to [censored]. You’ve been caught bluffing or people see you have been playing a lot of big pots lately and are starting to play back at you. It is time to tighten up a bit. You can slow down on the cont bets if you feel these guys will look you up with any 2 cards. You can also raise less in MP and UTG with marginal hands. Once you feel you have been playing tight enough and showing a lot of aggression but also showing down big hands, you can then again loosen up and become more aggressive with marginal hands / bluffs. That is changing gears. Reacting to your table dynamics and how you think people are observing you. In conclusion, this article again covers the BASICS of what I have been talking about. Continue to go out there, post hands, discuss hands, observe hands. That’s what it takes to improve. And when you are done a session or whatever. Review your hands, post them, analyze, observe etc etc etc. Lots of players are doing that right now, and they are improving. Bah, I can review this a couple of times and make a better article but I’m really too lazy. The most important point in this article is your mentality. I can’t stress that enough. An aggressive mentality towards poker will continue to open countless opportunities, doors and $$ in the world of poker. Some important reads: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php? Cat=0&Number=5615820&an=0&page=0&vc=1 http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showfl...amp;o=&vc=1

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The wording he uses in the text lets me know where he is at on the "path. it just seems impossible for me to believe that someone else can understand). I believe that there are many pros who will fail once they begin to experience average luck. It is simply a choice. These are words that mean such different things to each individual that to use them to label your accomplishments." Here is the link http://forumserver. Quote: Everybody will eventually run worse than they thought was possible. it isn't good for my long term financial situation. that most won't finish. I rarely respond to posts. I should say that there are no failures and everyone is a success. or you will not perform to your potential. the sooner you will start to have a real understanding of the game.twoplustwo." Everyone is the same. He is so close. and everyone has the same potential. is setting yourself up for a long ardurous journey. The two concepts should be 44 ." so to speak(the very beginning). The difference between a winner and a loser is that the latter thinks they do not deserve it.com/showthreaded. will keep you from attaining a more complete game. but travelling in the wrong direction. is to let yourself be affected by negative variance.php? Cat=&Number=1822484&page=1&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=14&fpart=1 When I read Irieguys post I wasn't planning on responding. Stop thinking in terms of winning as good and losing as bad. The trick is recognizing these negative ideas. Just because one person doesn't achieve the same goal that I strive for.Almost there with Success and Failure (Gigabet) This post is in response to Irieguys Post "The Difference Between Success and Failure. There are no winners or losers. A choice to change the way you think about results. or lackthereof. it is a large task indeed to sort them out as real. All of those negative ideas must be eliminated from your mind. If you are not in the positive for the day. most of them are actually quite lucky. Let me start with the words success and failure. or just ideas created by the masses. because most of the time I am the dissenter. to think that. Success and failure are just ideas created by society to improperly judge others against ourselves. using these words. doesn't make that person a "loser. There are no successful people. and so the downward spiral begins. then you therefore must be a loser. some just direct their energies in different directions. Our labels for winners and losers simply identify individuals who play the same game a different way. Quote: I am beginning to realize that most people don't have the psychological fortitude or spiritual perspective to manage the vicissitudes of this game. I really believe that everyone has the "psychological fortitude" to manage the vicissitudes of the game. The sooner you can get that into your head and really believe it. I also believe that of the very small number of professional poker players who have been successful for more than a few years. What he says about winners and losers though. and frankly. This statement is truer than anyone can know(even though I think most of you do know. since there are so many and so commonplace in our society. As I started reading the responses I soon felt obligated to respond. or rather.

. playing. Identifying every negative thought as it creeps into your mind is a start. and everything that has been blocked comes pouring out at once. ask my brother(ship_it_tome) how upset I get when he is at my house. we are attaching shame to A meaningless act. you can read their hand. It involves turning your noise filter all the way up. You have to be able to eliminate all of these ideas. actually talk to your mind and announce their arrival. no matter how bad things seem to be running. are the same people that do not give up.. the game becomes a cakewalk. When God "blessed" man with shame. The problem is. when they approach. not the cards in your hand. that doesn't mean just noticing their presence. The problem comes to life when a person starts their downswing. I have been there many times. Best 5 card hand wins. You get 2 cards. Eventually they become the "professionals" in whatever walk of life they choose. Once you train yourself to be completely judgement free." We get along very well. and finally says "I can't win. as I am sure you all have muttered them at one time or another. we have all of these predisposed ideas of who a person is based on ideas that have been placed in our heads by our society. which creates the very worst tilt imaginable. and then identify the reasons behind them. The people who come to realize these negative labels aren't real. With a game this simple. it will eventually stop creating them in the first place. but eventually it builds and seeps through at one time or another.grouped in your mind exactly the same. Quote: I think you can learn how to avoid this trap of psychological betrayal. but you cannot eliminate what you do not recognize. OK. and you do a little betting here and there. I think I'm beginning to learn it myself. If you know a person well enough. struggling. either concretely or intuitively. Throughout my life I have been around alot of people that most would classify as "failures" and not one of them seemed any different than myself. As your mind comes to realize how trivial and meaningless these thoughts are. 5 cards come up. Believe me. which we classify as "losing. It takes alot of time and effort to do this. for hours on end.SO HOW DOES ALL THIS REALLY RELATE TO POKER? The game that most of us play is really very simple. failure became a real entity we had to deal with. and once you know what they have in their hand. Turning your noise filter up will work for a time. You have to find your own way to deal with these thoughts that have been brainwashed into your mind for your whole life. but I get very irate with him when he utters those deadly words. you will become a more complete player." they begin to suspect that they may "fail" and rather than become susceptible to the shame that comes with "failure" they decide to quit. I try very hard not to allow any negativity in my life.. That is what we are trying to achieve when we label a person as a failure. it takes practice to monitor your thoughts. but the long term results will be well worth it. why do so many people have so much trouble ending up ahead of where they started? The real game is about people. They stop because they fear things that aren't even real. I have come to realize that it is much better to acknowledge the negative or angry thoughts as they arrive. Anyone can read a persons 45 .

Practice trusting yourself. open up the hand history file. even if it means your tournament is over if you are wrong. it isn't some spiritual science. Imagine. Believe me. This is what it takes.hand based on his actions and seeing common tendencies. There is a strong possibility that I am the most active player in the world. ie. 6000 hands a day on average. trust your judgement 100%. Use your bets to pull information from your opponent. Gigabet 46 . If you think he is on second pair. Every time there is a showdown. and see what he had. Put effort into every single hand that is played out at your table. what kind of hand would you have if you were betting like that? Now do this for every hand for every player that is in the hand. then bet your whole stack(unless of course you have a better hand than second pair. with no predisposed judgements of the other players. a beginning player will commonly bet small when on a draw. you will be wrong enough in the beginning to doubt yourself. Try and eight table while doing this exercise. What about more experienced players? What does it mean when they bet 2/3s of the pot one time. What is really important is learning the thousands of languages that different people speak through their actions at the table. Put yourself in his spot. Try and figure out what he is thinking. which is unlikely since players like us can rarely beat bottom pair). and I can honestly say that this is something that I do on nearly every hand. for every player at the table. every single hand. Bad beats are no longer bad beats. evening themselves out over time. it is listening and learning without prejudice. Post flop is where the real game is at. but will not fold unless you bet your whole stack. not just the ones you are involved in. for every table that you are playing at. they are just the cards coming out randomly. and then when you know what he has. and bet big when he has a made hand.) I call this an exercise. and it is fun to play. get to know him. just watching and learning.. but this should be done on every single hand that is played out at any of your tables for the rest of your poker career. he has to be thinking something. and than bet pot the next? They are certainly experienced enough to know not to bet the same pattern for the same types of hands. then you can ignore the "sng" formula and really start to play. and the losing hand is mucked. This is how you become a real player. but don't let that stop you. watch him play. Go through the hand again and see if you can figure out why he willingly showed down a losing hand(something that should rarely be done. So how can you figure out what they have? Well.

and they find themselves in the utter state of busto. which is kind of cancerous and had several very bad downswings (1 20 and 1 25 buyin downsing). You will understand your moves are +EV and you have been playing good just running poorly. but they are emotionally -ev at those levels because they can't become "numb" to the instant results. If you are playing at levels where you are "numb". I am pretty sure there is no other 50nl reg that plays as overrolled as I do. not just beat +EV. So I will always have multiple 5 buyin downswings per month and a really good month won't include a 10 downer. Tilt during this time becomes way worse then normal. He calls it "connecting". I know at the beginning of my poker career when I was in school I could care less about the money at first. which is also a poor result. much less nl100. but take small shots. much more so than I already am. the downswings emotionally effect me too much and prone me to tilt. Learn from others mistakes! This post was inspired by my last 100k hands which were my worse ever at nl50. But it is hard to deal with when you think you have/take ownership to $15k sitting in a poker account and then 3 weeks later there isn't anything there because your busto. If you don't have a lifestyle that relies on poker for $ then I think you can emotionally move up much faster. Often bad enough to bring us close to busto and crush our confidence in poker. I feel better about it. It won't matter if your on a 15 buyin downswing or you've played 20k hands at breakeven. Lots of players can beat levels way above the one they are playing. There have been times during my poker career during my worse downers where I considered the fact that I had just run good over hundreds of thousands of hands and was not indeed a winner. A really bad month will probably have a downswing much larger than this. It is really hard when you first begin poker to understand the concept of "variance". You should play at levels you can emotionally beat. The reason I prefer to play lower and overrolled has a lot to do with the emotional side of poker. Most of us have been there. even if I moved up to 100nl. 47 . The next 100k will go better. but when I find myself venting over beats and not being "numb" towards the results I come back to my haven which is nl50 at stars. or are just on life-tilt in general. Over 100k hands you can expect 2 or 3 of these type of downswings. then you will be emotionally numb to these swings. Ive also been running at 2bb/100 at nl100 over the last 20k. but if you havent read it. The point of this post is to understand that you should be emotionally "numb" to the limits you choose to play. but after review. Taking shots is obv ok. when I am having good months or I feel like I am really keen on my game. I have a lot of "unnecessary variance" in my game. I have written before on my uber nitty strategy of bankroll management. 10 buyin downswing happen people. I think it is possible to avoid these moments in your poker career. Just because you have 30-40 buyins for a level doesn't mean you should feel obligated to play it. here is my 2 cents. I would still probably be the most overrolled reg there. I'm to lazy to link ama's pooh bah post. times where I wasn't sure if I could beat nl10.Thoughts on Running bad for UNL guys (ssdex) I browse through posts really often in the brew and in general where I see people who have 10 buyin downswings and are ready to quit poker. Being emotionally -ev can often overcome even the greatest edge in cards for the shorterm. But if you are playing where you belong (this in my opinion has nothing to do with your bankroll). not big ones. I play nl100 nl200 and even nl400 from time to time. I ran 4bb/100. You will shove b/c you know you have the right equity. you should. Running bad at higher limits. and not be scared to pull the trigger just because you've missed 9 of your last 10 combo draws. I just say you should be numb. So.

in his words. i'm just not there yet..maybe like the 400k before that.. Happy reading and good luck at the tables...... I am in no hurry to move up permanently. I'll move up when i'm "numb" at those levels again. hope this post is helpful. and i'm ok with that now. connect! 48 . great pooh bah post ama...

He told me: Always have a good reason for everything you do Don’t 3bet for the sole reason you haven’t done so in a while. but not exactly epiphany-type stuff. I hadn’t 3bet preflop in a while so I decided to do it with something marginal like J9o. I’ve learned and forgotten a bunch of ideas and concepts. “They’re all sports betters who like gambling. turned out to be his famous million-dollar-day. Though I broke even that day. though. ofishstix 49 . I’ll take half your action. this lesson can be applied to everything. and they never stop reloading. You must reason out every move you make. I still ended up being down 4k because I lost one 200bb and two 400bb coin flips. 5/10 full ring. He was already up 600k on the day and was about to cal it a night. Don’t bluff raise the flop just because you haven’t done that lately. I woke up a few hours later and durrrr was up 400k which covered my debt. we went out to take care of some things. Despite the great advice. I remember the lesson it prompted. Though I don’t remember the exact hand. In the car he was telling me how soft the heads up games on Prima were. and spewy plays because you’re not just acting on a whim. find a fish. durrrr asked me why I did that and I told him that I hadn’t 3bet in a while so I thought it would be a good time. Some things my friends and I learned/reasoned out were right. He was helping me out with the HU match as I had never played HU NL outside of SNGs. It will help prevent you from making terrible. there is one piece that is so important I’ll never forget it… I got to durrrr’s house around midnight when he was playing some 200/400 PLO. and 5/10 HU. Now owing him 2k. in fact. You will constantly be analyzing your play and improving. If you’re going to get called anyway. It’s much harder to make a poor decision when you think through it first. In addition to poker. In terms of advice. tilty. Doing so will make you play more actively/not in autopilot mode.Do things for a reason (ofishstix) It has been a little over four years since I started playing poker and about three years since I’ve done so online. Good advice. Good luck. In this time.5% of his session.” I three tabled 3/6 6 max. you’re consciously reasoning through your options. After he finished up his sesh. This is when I learned that limping the button is fine. others were terrible wrong. Sit at 5/10. the lesson helped me make plenty over the last 10 months. why would you want to bloat the pot with marginal hands like 45s? Limp and outplay your opponent postflop. I decided to take a nap and . That day.

. "I'm in the CO with 15BBs and an MP player raises." The confuzzled understand basic strategy but get confused and puzzled by anything but the most simple of situations. but becomes involved in debate in an attempt to understand the advice he receives. Thye know poker basics like simple preflop hand selection and basic pot odds. Step 1: The Newb The newb has just stumbled onto this site. or just fold it.. they have found math. The angry newb posts so that he can crow about how his decision is right and berate those who disagree with him (even though it is clear to most that the angry newb is clearly a worse player than the ones he berates). however." or "Restealing with QQ. often without rhyme or reason. Players games have improved from when they were newbs. The rest of poker is still a mystery. Specifically they begin assigning hand ranges. In order to progress further. (for example open pushing with roughly 10BBs). Generally they enter into the forum asking a pretty simple question like "UTG with 6BBs and AKo. They begin reading and posting and get bombarded with concepts they are not prepared to deal with. the angry newb. instead they just try to use them. They have grasped that the "rules" are just a shorthand way to deal with frequent situations. Step 2: The Confuzlleds Generally speaking this stage occurs when a newb sticks with it. and often incorrectly. should I stop n go." or. The passive newb posts a hand to be told what to do. This stage usually finds posters responding to many many posts (usually authoratatively and usually correctly) because while they are helping answer the question the poster is asking they are also helping themselves become more comfortable assigning ranges and doing complicated EV calculations. a small number of confuzzleds strive to understand the "rules" (they understand that "rules" should be in quotes) and the leads them to progress.. Then there is the interested newb who is much rarer than the other 2. Step 3: Leapers If a poster progresses this far they are on their way. However. and that they stem from the math. 50 . and figuring out how their hand fares against those ranges.. Unlike the angry newb he doesnt assume he is right. They have made the first leap. He (or in much rarer cases she) posts a situation so that the better posters on the forum can tell him what to do in the given situation. "if you want to play for first call. should I just call so I can get away if an A flops. and unlike the passive newb he is seeking to understand how to make decisions. inspired by this I thought I'd examine the stages a poster goes through. and the interested newb. both the angry newb and the passive newb must first transform themselves into the interested newb. push. if you want to make the money then folding is ok.Evolving (MTG) The quality of posts in this forum has been incredibly bad recenty. "if you want to gamble then call" or. but generally they remain break even players at best. The majority of players stall here because again they do not make the effort to understand the thinking and reasoning that dictates these rules. The interested newb posts the same type of threads." The newb comes in 3 distinct brands. So. and examine the ways we can all get better. raise. You often see phrases like. Thus they end up making posts like "KK and 8 BBs." Most confuzzled players games consist of trying to apply rules they read about to situations they are confronted with. not how to play only the hand he posted. If a poster makes it to this point they are more than likely a winning player which makes it oh so tempting to stall and not continue on to. that is. There is the passive newb.

more than anything else this category stands as a reminder to us all that there is a level to which we can improve. They think about how to play their hand in relation to all the other hands they play. which sucks for the rest of the forum. No matter how good we are there's always a way to get better. 51 . A poster who reaches this level is clearly a very good tournament player (although might still be a very middle of the road cash game player) and its easy for them to think they have nothing left to learn. the math has become 2nd nature (even the most complicated of it). You main focus is no longer individual decisions but rather lines (the series of decisions you make in a hand looked at collectively). or decision. There are always ways to get better. Still. Often when responding to basic questions these posters leave out explicit calculations because it has become so second nature that they can intuit the correct action without having to do the math out (this can occasionally make them a little hard to distinguish from the cunfuzzled). Its a shame that so many posters here have their games stuck in neutral because its brought the forum to a grinding halt. and persuing those avenues is interesting and rewarding. quit being comfortable with where you are and start trying to improve your game. my advice to everybody is stop being lazy. So. Often they have no time for the simple decisions.Step 4: Poker Players If you make it here. They are focused on playing poker instead of just an individual hand. Step 5: Meta The elite. By focusing on how to play the hand as a whole these posters learn how to make better postflop decisions and often it leads to them leaving the forum in favor of cash games as for the first time they may be equipped for it.

they still make far more money on these hands than they should be making. By reraising you gain momentum. I don't think people realize how crazy the dynamic at a game like the 10/20 6max on party can be. and also have much bigger leaks themselves. You are also going to be missing the majority of the time. In certain spots calling may even be your worst option. calling may be +EV in some of those situations but many don't even consider the +EV situation a reraise would set up for them and how much greater that EV would be than that of calling (the same thing often applies in many spots as far as raising vs overlimping. and after all. Just as the solid grinder is preying on the fish to pay off his big hand. As far as calling. 1) Reraising Preflop Many midstakes players have a very tight reraising range. the 30/20 in the 10/20 Party game is preying on the solid grinder's leaks. the more observant players you encounter. With more deceptive hands your actual implied odds to call the LP preflop raise are generally very poor. They have gotten to midstakes playing a particular way. and even though their range is so slim. given how well defined their hands tend to be in certain spots. and I figured it might benefit players on here if I shared a little of what I learned and observed. They will reraise their big hands. Your hand carries reverse implied odds. you overrepresent your hand and force them to make a hand. These players may have pretty big leaks in their game (that may very well be unknown to them. This generalization encompasses a lot of solid midstakes players. what do you accomplish cold calling a raise with the majority of your hands? Sure. or getting forced off of your more marginal hands (which will often be the best hand) by 52 . and it is whom I am directing this post towards. A lot of players seem to be stuck in a mode. and increasing your action on your big hands as observant players will realize that you are capable of reraising light. and/or its simply hard for them to do certain things differently as it has all become routine. These same players are content to just call preflop with certain hands. whatever that mode may be. and if you get called you will often have another +EV situation postflop. The higher up in stakes you go. and really not that big of a deal to them at this point in time as far as the games they are playing in go) and still be winning players or even be doing very well. I will touch on this game dynamic within the next few parts. they encounter more players that are capable of exploiting their leaks and that also possess fewer themselves. When you are on the SB facing a button raise or even button facing a CO raise. where both may be +EV but raising may be a much better option). as LP's raising ranges tend to be very wide. midstakes are (hopefully) only a gateway for you. which is to reraise.Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (AJFenix) Recently I have had some interesting discussions with a few regulars. and even when you do get a favorable top pair flop. even disregarding your actual hand. and your reraising range obviously increases. and even though they may have somewhat adjusted to the different dynamic of this game. you will often be unsure of your hand if you are facing a lot of pressure in certain spots. both decreasing the implied odds of your opponents calling and trying to crack your big hand. they don't even consider their third option. and even though their decision to call may be +EV. getting you ready for the next level. You likely have a +EV situation right there preflop. As these solid players move up. simply because the vast majority of their opponents are not exploiting their leaks. with clunkier hands like KQ/AJ you will often be folding the best hand when you miss (which will be most of the time). they are still unwilling to open their game up whether they recognize it or not. and some interesting points were brought up from which I learned quite a bit.

Far fewer people fully appreciate the value of his big brother. Their variance shoots up. You have to ask yourself what you are really accomplishing by calling with some these hands. Their preflop game is so much different than what the average midstakes player is used to that it can really be amazing. Everything leads to you making more money. I am simply pointing out that this is a very common spot in which players are passing up on clearly profitable situations and are really hurting themselves in the long run. If you run into a player that is playing back at you light. fireworks do fly when they are at the table together. Over and over and over and over. someone might actually put 2 and 2 together (!!!) and realize//exploit the fact that you don't have anything on the flop a good amount of the time you are betting. They make use of him from time to time. and have absolutely no problem reraising/rereraising light. even though everyone is fully expecting you to bet at almost any flop with any hand you came in raising with. and their analysis of situations is dead-on the majority of the time. when the hand may have just went down between the 2 biggest winners in that game. You will see full stacks go in with relative garbage. They are awesome post-flop players. If you are raising a fairly wide range of hands. but you realize that firing the turn will probably get him to fold often enough to be +EV disregarding any outs you may or may not have. and you simply give up on the turn the majority of the time when you get called on the flop and you don't have anything. there really isn't a decision to be made as far as what your play should be. Just about all of the biggest winners in the 10/20 game on Party have a very "opened up" game. the second barrel. This also leads to forcing your opponents into making mistakes. and one is an amazing 47/29. and you are further bettering your overall situation. In both cases you also lack initiative. and betting at a lot of flops. These players are squeezing each other left and right. the top high stakes players are generally firing that second barrel at a drastically higher rate than the solid regulars at 53 . but far less than they should. and also leads to you getting more overall information in various subsequent situations and reading hands better.aggressive players. I am not advocating players to fire the second barrel without considering all of the important factors. If you didn't know any better. but the number of +EV situations they are involved in does too. Going back to the discussion of higher stakes games. he is going to be much less inclined to contest pots against you with weak holdings. To be even more specific. either. That being said. The reraising ranges of some of these top players are astounding. Not only is the situation itself +EV. though. you are begging him to keep running you over and you are throwing money away if you yourself are coming in light and then playing bad postflop. and firing again will be lightning money on fire in many spots (as their hand will already be well defined as unfavorable for you after their flop call in a particular spot and/or the situation is not a profitable one for other reasons). They can become much stronger players by utilizing these situations. If you would be giving up the pot by checking. And they aren't the only ones you will see this kind of action from. Now your continuation bets are going to be getting more respect from this player. And believe me. 2) Firing the Second Barrel Everyone knows and loves the continuation bet. but future implications are there as well. I believe 4 of the top 5 have close to 30/20 stats. and of course their profits do as well. The continuation bet is a transparent play that tends to work often enough on its own merit. One other thing that they are very good at doing is spotting and setting up profitable situations preflop. When your opponent realizes that he has to expect a turn bet from you a high percent of the time and you aren't just giving up whenever he calls you and you don't have a very good hand. you may chock it up as donk-on-donk violence.

and there isn't any hesitation. the biggest winner in one particular game was apparently recorded as to having TWO 25 buyin downswings last month alone. But if your goal is a nice steady ride up the money hill with a few bumps that aren't going to wreck your ride in more ways than one. helps some people become more willing to open their game up and attempt changing their thinking a little and getting better. You should gradually move up. they can lose far more than that and still have evidence of absolutely nothing if they do not analyze their situation properly. This is obvious and everyone thinks they realize this. which the turn brings very often. 3) Giving Yourself a Bigger Cushion I have observed the bankroll discussions on this forum and have a few comments on the subject. Poker is very good at painting an illusion because of how deceptive and subtle variance in poker can be. They simply play very well postflop. You can't really argue with that. though. and how many small things go into running bad and running good that you do not pay attention to. as are long breakeven stretches. and playing very well postflop indicates that they are good at spotting +EV situations. Others give themselves a small cushion without knowing what can possibly happen. What it comes down to is realizing what goes into variance and what it is capable of. Some people are perfectly fine with giving themselves a small cushion. some people do not give themselves enough cushion because they do not realize that a big downswing near the beginning of their move up is very well within the realm of possibility. but they are expected/inevitable. I really doubt I could foresee it happening.mid stakes. 4) Conclusion Hopefully this post helps people realize whats in store for them at the higher limits. but people don't fully grasp it. More than one very good player has been known to run at almost breakeven for 100k hands. and they think that if they drop 5 buyins at 5/10NL it will prove to them that they are not ready for that level. Now 10 buyin downswings are not only a possibility. That can seriously be devastating to that person. and be willing to play multiple levels as your bankroll allows whenever you spot a good game. and adjusting according to what you are willing to accept. although some spots are so clear that it really doesn't require much thought. The second barrel is really just the tip of the iceberg. The players who were moving up from 100NL to 200NL and from 200NL to 400NL very quickly as soon as they attained 25 buyins for the next level probably have never experienced a decent sized downswing. A 2p2 regular who is a consistent winner at 5/10NL moves up to 10/20 with 30-40 buyins. Swings become exponentially more violent as you move up and your winrate drops. If you asked me a couple months ago whether I could have a 10 buyin downswing playing my normal game without any real tilt in there. When they make the next level their "regular" game. To give a point of reference. That isn't to say they are just brainlessly firing away. but most people do have a "regular" limit for them where they put in the bulk of their hands. As I have been pointing out. Swings are inevitable over the long run. and gets crunched for 10 buyins. Some posters have said that your "move up" shouldn't be a big event. and hopefully those players that aren't trying to ride a rollercoaster both emotionally and bankroll-wise have a slightly better grasp of the capabilities of variance. as its really going to be necessary if they want to continue moving up in stakes and doing well in the higher games. and have no problem hopping up and down in limits at a crazy pace on the whim of their latest upswing or downswing. then you may want to consider giving yourself a bigger cushion. If you like the rollercoaster thats up to you and its your choice. I also want to add that I am 54 .

nowhere near the skill/experience level of some of the players discussed here at this point in time. 55 . I am simply relaying my thoughts and observations.

but if my Button VPIP is at least 50% larger than my UTG VPIP. you're not aggressive enough out of that position. I like mine to be over 30%. My general guideline is that you should raise at least half the hands you play. This should be an exceedingly profitable thing to do when you try it. open up your ring game statistics and go to the "position stats" page. and you can be a consistently winning player at SSNL with a VPIP of 30%. and how the attempt turned out for you. 2. If you multiply this number by 100. You can be a consistently winning player at SSNL with a VPIP of 12%. it should be a function of your level of looseness.. You should see that VPIP steadily dropping the farther you get from the button. While it's true that Poker Tracker can help find problems. Defending the blinds." and then click on "Filters.) Now click on "Filters. Click on "Turn Filter Off. The large majority of those dollars should have been bet from late position. Only a small percentage of your total handle should have been bet from up front.How to use Poker Tracker (Pokey) This is a how-to post.. they include a dozen numbers from Poker Tracker and hope that the old-timers on SSNL can fix all their holes." Select OK and look at the numbers." Now under "Vol. I'd love to see my button VPIP at double my UTG VPIP. If you're trying to steal the blinds less than 20% of the time. To test this. To Steal Blinds" I'd like to see that number at LEAST 20%. That shows your per-hand winrate on blind steals. if it's not. If it's much less than that and you have a decent sample size. Under "Blind Status" click on "Either Blind.. Under "Totals" see the "BB/Hand" statistic. aggression is a relative term. This shows every time you've tried to steal the blinds." and under "Chance to Steal Blinds" click "Chance to Steal & Raised. Where it says "Att. it's to teach people how they can use the Poker Tracker data to find flaws in their game. (Personally. The best way to play is usually player-specific. See. go to the Position Stats and look down the list of VPIP from Button to UTG. you need to work on your strategy. you're leaving lots of money on the table.. you have a hole in your game when it comes to blind stealing. it should be at least double your "PTBB/100" average winrate. Not a week goes by that someone doesn't ask if they are playing the game right. These are all just my opinion. go to the General Info. from every position on the table." again. I'm going to try to give you a rough guide for the things you can do to check on your game. Are you positionally aware? Positional awareness means that you understand Ed Miller's comment when he said: Quote: Total all the dollars you've ever bet playing poker." If you get a number smaller than 0. In that post. they're all subject to interpretation. 3. tab.5. 1. For each position other than the small blind. but these strike me as some things you can check on that are frequent flaws in the small-stakes player's game. but it doesn't belong in the software forum. this is not the way to approach it. but only if you are sufficiently aggressive. divide the "PF Raise %" by the "Vol. I'm happy with the situation. Do you have sufficient preflop aggression? To answer this question. but I'm very aggressive in these situations. Put $ In Pot. How's my stealing? To check on your performance when trying a blind steal. Put $ In Pot" click on "Put 56 . and other people may disagree with me strongly. 4.

6. Pocket pairs.375. you’re probably not playing your suited connectors well.” Hit “OK” and see what comes up.at least 1/3 of your VPIP. Multiway pots. In the “Filters…” change “Vol. If things look OK. if it’s not. you should be able to come up with a specific explanation for why you did so in each and every one of them. my suited 57 . villain and I are both extremely deep-stacked. Change “Hands With Between…Players Seeing The Flop” to “3 to 10 players.” When you hit OK." This shows you if you're bleeding money out of the blinds. but the hand was heads-up on the flop (this includes pure limping and when someone ELSE raised preflop. but not when you were the preflop raiser). unless you play at highly unusual tables. especially AA-88. See how you’ve done in these situations. you'd lose less money by always folding rather than doing what you're doing. or as a steal move. your Total PFR% with these hands should be rather high -. and I don’t have a problem with that. you need to rethink your suited connector strategy. If your "BB/Hand" is larger than that. If you click on "Filters. Remember: these hands play best in a multiway. I’d be surprised to see this number below 85%." again and go under "Steal Attempted Against Your Blind" and click on "Steal Attempted. Heads-up play. Put $ In Pot” to “Cold-Called. the magic number is for your "BB/Hand" to be bigger than -0. if you’re not playing them almost all the time. Look over individual hands where you lose lots of money and see if you played too timidly early in the hand. villain is passive post-flop. villain is incredibly aggressive preflop. Also.” I’m much less likely to play suited connectors than pocket pairs.” Is it still positive? If so. it may indicate bad play. but a flop was dealt. I’d expect every one of these lines to be positive.. Click on “Turn Filter Off. Good explanations: the raise was very small. you should have almost no entries to view. Review the hand histories. or if you routinely forced weaker hands out when you should have been milking them for profits.Money In. I had position on villain. you’re selecting good times to play/limp multiway pots. If things look good. That's all you can really hope for. especially without padding in the pot. then you typically win back some of your blind money when you put money into the pot from the blinds. Of the times you cold-called. Under “Filters…” change “Type of Hole Cards” to “Suited Connectors. Is this number positive? If not. especially at short-handed tables. If you have any glaringly negative numbers. it could be an indicator that you have trouble when you are not the aggressor preflop. If either of these numbers is lower than -0. Your Total VPIP with these should be EXTREMELY high. 8.” then click on “Filters…” again.375 would indicate that you were no better off putting money into the pot than if you had folded.” This shows you how you do in multiway pots. If you have enough hands. your BB/hand should be positive. This shows you how you’ve done when you were heads-up preflop.” This will show you how you generally play and perform with pocket pairs. or if you went too far unimproved in the face of resistance. Under “Hands With Between…Players Seeing The Flop” change the range from “0 to 10 players” to “2 to 2 players. if not 1/2. go back to “Filters…” and under “Pre-flop Raise” select “No Raise. if you can’t come up with a really good reason why you thought it better to cold-call." After you click "OK" you'll now see how you did when you chose to defend against a blind steal. Clear the filter and go back under filters. Some people have this number higher still. you’re leaving money on the table. Pocket pairs make extremely powerful hands that are extremely well-hidden. look at the hands where you won to see if you played too timidly. As a result. A "BB/Hand" of about -0. go back and select “No Raise” under “Pre-flop Raise. Suited connectors. that means you're making back some of your blinds when you try to defend against a steal. and reasonably significantly so. Under “Filters…” change the “Type of Hole Cards” to “Pairs.375. I don’t really have a good suggestion as to how high your VPIP or PFR should be.” This will show you how you’ve done when you didn’t raise preflop. 5. but some people play them religiously. 7. Again.. rather than raise or fold. unraised pot. However. Also. and you’re playing them well postflop.

Change “Type of Hole Cards” to “Off-Suited Connectors. The pot is already decent-sized. Unsuited connectors. others check-raise infrequently. only if you have a good reason why you CANNOT raise or fold should you call. and there’s no reason to give some donk a free look at a turn card that could sink you. keeping in mind that the reasons need to be even stronger than for suited connectors. The goal of the check-raise is to remind your opponents that just because you checked does NOT mean that you don’t have a hand. I check-raise on the flop when OOP against a preflop raiser. you need a good reason NOT to raise the flop. If you add Bet and Raise. 58 . Remember: people who cold-call a preflop bet are often in fit-or-fold mode. of course). rather. Then. Select the “More Detail…” button above the “Filters…” button. I personally like to check-raise at least once in awhile. Postflop aggression. Typically. However. Notice how much more in-depth it is than just glancing at a few VPIP numbers. Your default play here should be to fold weak suited connectors and reraise strong ones. No-limit is not a game where you can call frequently and turn a profit. Scroll down a bit farther to “Aggression Factor.connectors are particularly strong. or on the turn when OOP against a flop bettor/raiser who was clearly not on a draw (uncoordinated flop). Typically. Clear the filter and then go back into it. Scroll down. open the discussion up to see if 2+2ers agree or disagree. Filter for cold-calling and see if you had good reasons for doing so. circumstances need to be very specific for a check-raise to be appropriate. post them up (one at a time. and why you think this hand might indicate the problem. which gives you a large aggression factor. you don’t give them a chance to fold. the only person who can truly do a “check-up” on your playing style and ability is YOU. There is a section marked “First Action on Flop After A Pre-flop Raise. 9. 1% would be fine.” This shows your likelihood of continuation betting.” Your total aggression factor should be at LEAST 2. As always. 0. Continuation betting should be your default play. If you are check raising much more than 2% of the time. If you don’t bet. and that will cost you money in the long run. you’re being entirely too tricky for a SSNL table. Check-raising. and straightforward play would probably be more profitable for you. Check your winrate and make sure it’s positive. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever cold-call with suited connectors. there are several cold-callers in front of me. Tell us the problem you are worried you might have. 10. You should always be looking to see if you can raise or fold. As a result. All of this is just an introduction to the kinds of self-analysis you can/should do with Poker Tracker statistics. if in your searching you find hands that indicate you may have a flaw in your poker reasoning. If you raised preflop. calling should be an infrequent occurrence in your play. you’re probably giving up too soon on your good hands. Some people never check-raise. the total should be at least 40%. I’m saying you shouldn’t AUTOMATICALLY do so. Clear the filter. 11. If it’s not.” Your VPIP for these hands should be noticeably smaller than your VPIP for suited connectors.5% would be acceptable. etc.

but it is not where the highest possible winrate can be achieved. because pretty much no matter what kind of micro stakes table you are at. There are of course a lot of fish on 50NL too. As a result of other people using the same strategy. passive and nitty opponents that will be easier to run over. there aren’t usually any free seats at the table with the highest average pot. So it’s probably gonna take something like 10-15 minutes from when you register to when you actually get a seat. with perhaps even 2 or more 70/8/1-ish types. even if they are kind of tight. bluffing several streets with air/a marginal hand. and I have had mixed experiences with it. and build big pots with them. the higher you get up in stakes. the players seem willing to usually put a lot of money in the pot. you probably like to have the loose/passive kind of fish. it could simply be a result of variance. is gonna be crucial for your expected win. I’d definitely recommend considering what kind of tables you chose to sit down at. what is your favorite kind of fish? Different people might have a different answer to this question. most of the tables are gonna be filled with them. The reasoning behind this tactic is obvious. who will usually have good cards when we decide to play those big pots. Also. However. This is a pretty low number. if you are a loose aggressive player who get a lot of your profitable situations from fold equity. First of all. and the logic assumption about the players at it. but personally. you’d perhaps prefer tight. But is this given? Not necessarily. The POT SIZE strategy A lot of people start their session by putting themselves on the waiting list for the games with the currently highest average pot sizes. only to eventually sit down on it to find a bunch of 17/13 tight aggressive players sitting around folding preflop. by your side. every table will have at least a couple of TAGs on it. 2. At 50NL for instance. I definitely prefer the loose passive kind of opponent. Big pot size doesn’t necessarily mean bad players. then those pots. is that they aren’t gonna pay off your big hands. Clearly this kind of table is also beatable if you adapt. the fish who were putting all that money in the pots might already have been stacked by one of the more solid players at the table! Several times have I waited for a seat at the juiciest game. this is usually the case. Different kinds of players prefer different types of opponents. For instance. Most of the time there are even a couple of people on the waiting list already. Let’s say you have a 6-handed 50NL game with $10 as the average pot size. and thus the average pot size is gonna be huge no matter how skilled the players are.SOME THOUGHTS ON GAME SELECTION (fiksdal) Game selection is something every serious poker player should have in his mind when he starts a session. Ask yourself. and then in the next time to deep-stacked players both flop a set. For serious uNL players. So how do you find the typical loose/passive fish that go to showdown a lot? At 10NL for instance. good players know how to value bet their strong hands. at the tables where the pots are big. By that time. For instance. Game selection gets more important the higher in stakes you get. is something you aren’t gonna be doing. This is where game selection gets even more important. Obviously what kind of table you are at and which opponents you are facing. who calls down a lot. but even at 10NL. But even there you would like to find the very juiciest tables. If you are a tight aggressive player who usually have the goods when you play big pots. Problems with this strategy: 1. if in one hand BTN pick up KK while BB has AA (they’ll probably get it all-in preflop or on the flop). but they are rarer. This is good for us. Personally I have used this game selection strategy a lot. I’d like 59 . the fewer will the true fish be.

SB folds. SB folds. Hero checks. Turn: K (24. However. 3 players) BB checks. call preflop raises all the time and rarely use aggression himself but rather call.5 player doesn’t bet that river. which is of course a felony on this board and these stacks. MP folds. CO calls 1bb. BTN calls 2bb. He just wants to see that showdown. maybe even a 3bet. MP folds. the 70/6/0. Flop: 6 8 A (8. Now only on the preflop round have we seen an example of bad players who you’d love to sit with.5bb.him to play a lot of hands. out of fear of CO going away if he raises. BTN however. call.) Such small pots make a surprisingly big difference in your final result. 6 players) UTG folds. Example hand: Hero (CO): 100bb: T T Fish (BB): 70bb [70/6/0. and is (correctly) trying to get some money into it. He missed his OESDFD (something that makes most players frustrated). and we get to check behind and take down that 24bb pot. after all he has a pair (and we all know how these players overvalue their hands). taking the pot away from us. 2 players) Now this is a spot where a lot of villains will usually put out a bluff. So he checks. BTN checks (lol) Now both players decided to slow-play their flopped sets. River: 7 (24. and they aren’t even the aggressive type who bluffs us off the best hand from time to time. but still they don’t create big pots. and he saw us showing weakness by checking behind on the turn. BB folds. BB calls 3bb. there would have been at least a raise preflop in this hand. The advantages of facing these kinds of opponents are obvious. It is however an extremely common play by loose/passive fish. Hero raises to 4bb. BTN folds. For instance. let’s look at another hand where both the involved players are fish with similar stats to the villain in the other hand: CO: 130bbs: 8 8 BTN: 130bbs: 9 9 Preflop: (1. We get the ability to decide when the money goes in against them. Turn: 4 (3. 2 players) BB checks. may very well be filled with that kind of loose passive fish. 6 players) UTG folds. 2 players) BB checks. Their passive nature has just prevented them to build a lot of big pots. BTN calls 1bb. Hero bets 8bb.5bb.5bb. 60 .5bb.5bb. Flop: 9 8 2 (3. BB calls 8bb.5]: 9 7 Preflop: (1. BB checks.5bb. CO notices the pot being tiny.5bb. decides to keep slow-playing. If at least one of these players was a TAG. A table with a small average pot size. So most of the time they are gonna put out that bluff. CO bets 2bb. call. 3 players) BB checks. CO checks.

uNL. What kind of players do you think is gonna sit down with me? Do you think the other decent TAGs who play multiple tables are gonna sit down and play heads up with another regular? Very unlikely. and a low one doesn’t always mean good ones. and the average stats of my table are amazingly often along the lines of 50/10/1 when I use this strategy. However. but such hands go down between passive fish all the time. It usually doesn’t take long before I have 5 sweet loose/passive fish sitting with me. They usually buy-in for like 20-50bb (a very good sign). All they need is someone to make bets that they can call. the final pot size would by all likeliness have been 260bbs. and if the aggressive player picks up a bunch of hands that qualify to value bet multiple streets with. Most of the time the people that come to me are total fish. An incredibly small pot considering the monsters the players had. How do you find the tables with this kind of opponents? Personally. there is a strategy I have been using more and more lately. pots involving the calling stations and him could get rather large.5bb.5bb. aggressive player sits down at a table full of these opponents. 61 . BTN calls 4bb. This is why the tables with the low average pot sizes might not always be that bad at all. In a scared fashion he puts out a small value/blocking bet. just calls! The final pot size is 15. Someone who will build big pots: YOU. Then the fish double up through each other and I get to play with them 100bbs deep. When I start a session I open a couple of empty tables. They usually call down too much. he will be able to control pot sizes against them. So a high average pot size doesn’t always mean bad players. Players at it could be very willing to put money in the pot with medium hands. If this hand had been going on between two TAGs. I encourage you all to use this table selection technique the next time you start a session.River: 7 (7. if a good. CO sees the card completing the draws. and start limping all over the place. 2 players) CO bets 4bb. BTN who is also afraid of the draws. and sit down at them.

Since then. started lurking 2+2/SSNL. but it can't be said enough. but surely (and switching to six max) I started to see my winrate improve. I got the itch to play again. those who are truly passionate about what they're doing are the most successful. 4) Participate on the board! . I understood where these people were coming from. Doing these things help build the fundamentals which make everything else such a breeze. you're potentially risking your whole stack. The more you challenge yourself to critically think about the game. the more able you will be to handle marginal situations. The marginal EV you gain playing the hand isn't worth the risk if you'll get stacked a bunch when you hit top pair. it will be very hard to be successful. I started out playing in an unorganized. Bill Gates didn't become successful by writing software in his free time. they aren't that important! If you have a hard time in marginal situations. the easier decisions will come to you at the table. I should start by saying this: it isn't easy. blindless home game and donating my paychecks online. Like I said before. I'm not going to try and tell you I know it all. the advanced stuff starts to come to you piece by piece. If you are playing at a level you are uncomfortable at.especially when you first start out.How to Put It All Together and be a Winning Player (MikeyPatriot) My poker career has been a long journey. read SSNL. I certainly don't. by all means play as high as you can afford. I couldn't believe that some people were beating the game for 8.Post hands. But these are some things I've noticed in my playing experiences that I think are important to my success. When people say you should post hands. I'm trying to learn all the time. This can definitely add a BB to your winrate. If you don't mind going bust and reloading. you're probably playing far too high. However. You can beat it with a good understanding of the fundamentals. Like most professions though. I read any book I couldn't get my hands on. but when you enter a pot. If you're scared of getting it all in and being sucked out. as other posters have made note of. 3) Marginal situations . Slowly. When I first started reading here. After a 9 month hiatus from the game for personal reasons (moving/not having a home game/dating someone I spent a majority of my time with).The more experience you acquire.I'm sure this sounds like a broken record to those of you who read this forum with any regularity. It may not be optimal (and I may get flamed for suggesting it). etc. But it does mean you should constantly be looking for ways to improve and never accept complacency . Once you get the basics down. they aren't kidding. I've made an effort to improve at all times rather than assume I know how to play because I've read Super/System.Poker is a game. 2) Bankroll management . You COULD beat the game that bad. Michael Jordan didn't get to his level by shooting free throws on the weekends. and most importantly started to manage my bankroll responsibly. Do something. These people were/are passionate about what they were/are doing. Sign up for a session review (I highly recommend this). Fold QJo on the button if everyone has limped to you and you don't want to raise. 1) Passion . 62 . but don't want to call. Even when I became a consistently marginally winning player (3-4/100). This doesn't mean you have to play 8 hours a day or be thinking about poker 24/7 away from the table. evaluate your play in PT. I figured the big winners were liars or luckboxes. Reply in other hands. It's comparable to a musician playing scales over and over or a basketball player taking jump shot after jump shot. 10 or 12 PTBB/100 hands. you will save yourself money and frustration by keeping yourself out of them.

Playing ATo from UTG is trouble for most everyone. politics. 63 . AIM me at MikeyPatriot. Don't let an upswing twist your head into thinking otherwise. we want to play as many hands against the fish as much as we can. Just the fact that you are here is a great start. poker.5) Stay humble . These are the things that have led me to becoming a winning player.I don't know how many times I started my own downswing by getting to cocky. if anyone would like to discuss hands. etc. Keep learning and don't be afraid to make mistakes! Also. Sure. Finding Two Plus Two kickstarted all of it. but (and this goes with point 3) that doesn't mean we should be putting ourselves into super marginal positions. life.

A donkey. 1 very loose player. Axs. You should be looking to sit to the direct left of the very loose players.. Sit to the left of the loose player. you won't be able to isolate that effectively. Our 2+2'er limps behind. even if does call once in a while. someone send me a PM. and he checks the flop.. Many other posters hold back their thought processes to a certain degree as well. KT. If you get HU with the fish. KQ. you will show an automatic profit. If this is the case. Mix up the bet amount so no one can read your hand. Additionally. AQ. J9s. AJ.5BB + 1 per limper (pot size raise). AK. but a general rule is 3. There is one situation where you should not isolate. If you bet the full pot every time. he will have to fold LESS than 50% or you show an automatic profit. the more frequently you should be isolating. use some common sense. lets say VPIP over 50 limps. you should be betting almost 100% of the time. the closer you are to the button. a half pot bet probably makes the same hands fold as a pot bet. However. Let me put an end to this debate. If I forget. However. but way more. some of the advanced concepts and thought processes are better left unsaid since some people still don't understand them. K9s. The amount you raise can vary. QT. I don't post often in MHNL because at that level. I have gained some knowledge from 2+2 and would like to repay by helping out some Small Stakes players. Your bet amount should vary between 1/2 the pot and the full pot. AT. This is very bad.etc. QJ. Since most HE hands miss more than 50% of flops. I will try to post one solid piece of advice for SS play each week. Furthermore. Naturally. Bottom Line .Advice from a MHNL'er (whitelime’s) (PART I) Hi. Think about it from a game theory perspective. If the flop is A55 rainbow. It's not even close.. You should pound on them. and one very 64 . 9Ts.. KJ. he is bad. Attack them relentlessly. Your range of hands for raising the weak limper with position on him should include AT LEAST the following and probably more if you play halfway decent postflop: AA-77. unless the fish can adjust to your strategy.. I've actually heard it debated whether you would rather sit to the left of a very loose player or the TAG so to avoid him having position on you. JT. 1) Isolate against the fish VERY FREQUENTLY I see this mistake made very often.Start Isolating. Bet your monsters and bet your crap. you will have a hand once in a while so he'll have to be calling/raising not just 50% of the time. I normally play 5/10 NL and higher. This is if you have someone who is VERY loose in calling raises to your left. Q9s. if he does start raising and playing back at you. so you should be able to outplay him. If you have a 6 handed table with 3 average players.

This is against a player who is recklessly aggressive postflop. or forced to make an incorrect call preflop. pick your spots. Enjoy! (PART II) Hi. I will try to post one solid piece of advice for SS play each week. Note that just being recklessly aggressive postflop is not enough to warrant a smooth call. some of the advanced concepts and thought processes are better left unsaid since some people still don't understand them. I don't post often in MHNL because at that level. however. If you smooth call a loose raiser and see a Q44 flop. I normally play 5/10 NL and higher. suited connector) Call raiser's flop bet when you hit your monster. I'm not saying to get rid of this line completely. The reasons for this should be obvious. Value bet the river. you will not take their stack this way against an overpair. However. This. but postflop slowplaying is usually much worse. Against most thinking players. I'll try to think of another important concept for next week. however. but will fold to a reraise preflop. If he is willing to call a pot size reraise preflop. someone send me a PM. 65 . he has very slim implied odds regardless of his holding. If you still like to slowplay your AA/KK. If I forget. Every time you smooth call a raise preflop with AA or KK There is one common condition smooth calling preflop is correct. This is because it takes a ridiculous number of table hours against a particular opponent to deduce that he will NEVER slowplay AA/KK. I have gained some knowledge from 2+2 and would like to repay by helping out some Small Stakes players. 2) VERY VERY rarely is slowplaying correct This goes not only for postflop play. you'll only end up trapping yourself when he shows you a 45 which you could've either pushed out preflop. Many other posters hold back their thought processes to a certain degree as well. I would estimate your BB/100 will be DRAMATICALLY higher sitting to the left of the loose player with the TAG to your left. I call the following "The Idiot's Monster" Call Preflop with a drawing hand (pocket pair. is the most overrated reason at almost any limit. There is a second minor reason to slowplay preflop and this is for deception purposes. However. Raise the turn small (whether it's minraise or raise f/ $200 to $500). make sure you do it against an opponent whose PFR is small enough to the point where you know the range of hands you are trapping.solid TAG and you have to sandwhich yourself between the TAG and the loose player. Preflop slowplaying is bad. First I'll discuss the simpler preflop play. but preflop play as well. Factor in that he will often incorrectly put money in the pot postflop as a big underdog and slowplaying becomes very incorrect.

most thinking players will never see what hit them when you fastplay yours. T. It allows your opponent to play a small pot in a hand where he is either way ahead or way behind. Here is another example from a hand that I played recently: Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em. This assures that you disguise your quads.. 6.12) CO ($992) Button ($704.35) SB ($769. You don't want streets checked when you have a very strong hand. SB posts a blind of $5. This one should be obvious. The reason check-raising is equally good is because your opponent will often make a continuation bet when he misses which you would not gain if you lead.3 could result in your opponent not willing to go to the felt with his overpair. SB calls $175. 6 handed) converter BB ($949) Hero ($1342) MP ($286. BB calls $25. Don't plan on taking half his stack. 5. you should be wary of the fact that any time you check 66 .75) Preflop: Hero is UTG with 6. BB checks. However. BB folds. slowplaying is not (against thinking players). I forgot that an A could hit the river and potentially kill my action. You heard right. The correct play in this situation is not only to bet the turn. 3) a scare card hits. pound him. Turn: ($245) 6 (2 players) SB checks. I stated that check-raising and leading are both good options. Reasons slowplaying is bad: 1) Fastplaying is deceptive. He probably isn't folding unless. Go for it all. The flop comes T74 with a heart flush draw. 6 (3 players) SB checks. Flop: ($105) K. Any heart. Hero ??? So many players will check the turn.6. Hero raises to $35. Because the overwhelming majority of players online slowplay their very strong hands. and prevent a scare card (Ace) from killing your action on the river. Checking the turn is 100% wrong. You have 77 OOP against a preflop raiser. 4) Your opponent doesn't bet! In the previous 77 example. get 95%+'s opponent's stacks all-in with Kx. This example illustrates how much can go wrong when you try to slowplay. Check-calling is pretty bad. J. Hero bets $70. Think about how many turn cards could potentially kill your action. Betting it also disguises your hand and most probably stacks Villain if he holds Kx. 2) Fastplaying builds pots. 3 folds. You want the maximum amount going in on every street. He will never fold his TPGK. When you flop a set and sense that your opponent has an overpair. Hero bets $175. SB (poster) calls $30. You check call the flop. River: ($595) A (2 players) SB checks. I'm going to use a simple example to illustrate this point.against some loose calling station whose entire thought process is "he bets more so he has a better hand".. However. but to bet all-in. SB calls $70. $ BB (6 max. use this line (raising the flop is still superior) and value bet him into submission. Check-raising and leading out are both acceptable options.

Be warned that you shouldn't automatically assume that because a certain player's VPIP is over 30. However. I don't think there are many doubters to the fact that game selection is important so I won't spend much more time on it. there is a big difference between winning 2BB/100 on a certain table as opposed to 15BB/100. you should leave your computer on and datamine. he is a fish. Here are a few specific ways to improve your profitability (roughly in order of importance) 1) Game Selection: This is by far the most important thing you can do to improve your winrate.intending to trap. your game selection sucks.. Anyone opposed to this? Enjoy. obviously you have to know what a good game is. they are my opinions. If we take a conservative estimate and say he lasts 70 hands. If you follow most of the following advice. Sure there are times when you should be slowplaying. the important thing you should be taking in from this is the thought process involved in making decisions. sometimes you'll be the one taking his stack. on average you will take x% of that player's stack. If your game selection consists solely of putting yourself on the waitlists of the tables with the biggest avg pots/highest% to the flop. but a bunch of you bombarded me w/ PM's so here goes: The first two posts focused specifically on poker strategy while this one will deal with profitability. Rather. However. When you aren't playing. sometimes you won't. let's move on to how you go about picking good games. losing players. think about how important game selection is. your opponent may check also.. How quickly on average does he go broke? 30 hands? 50 hands? 70 hands? If you are on his table. Disclaimer: Don't take what I write as black and white. Whether I state them as absolutes or not. At small stakes. I have an idea. I've been busy lately. and the regular. that's a ridiculous 9-12BB/HR raise on your winrate. First. if you are a good player. the decision is whether to slowplay or not. Sorry it took me so long to get this one out. Depending on how much he bought in for. There is a wide range of styles with which people can play 67 . The important thing is that you have the thought process to recognize when those situations arise and why slowplaying is more profitable than fastplaying in those situations. rather than a pure strategy discussion. chances are there might be 4 or 5 tables out of 100 that you are unable to sustain a positive winrate. (PART III) Hi. Within a few days you can easily recognize the regular. but it is more of a profitability discussion.. For my third post next week. this may average out to around 9-12BB's. However. the bottom line is. Think about the times where you sat down with a fish on your table playing 70-100% of his hands. wrong and right. Since most of you are probably multitablers. 2) Identifying Fish If you are to exercise good game selection. winning players. x will be around 30%. the easiest way to do it is to use PokerTracker and an add-on which superimposes everyone's stats onto the table. In this case.

The bottom line is that speculative hands fluctuate in value depending on the player you are playing them against. Very bad player minraises UTG. this is incorrect for a number of reasons. Here's an example. Or write "doesn't extract proper value from strong hands". no draws. and I am now playing more hands against each fish. don't write "donkey" as your note. Instead. I'd have to play postflop and not just win exclusively on the strength of solid starting hands. Maybe a scare card hits on the turn to kill your action. 4) Learn to play short-handed This is probably one of the biggest fears of a lot of small stakes full ring players. All folds around to you. Playing 46s profitably against a very bad player in this situation should be pretty easy if you know what his leaks are and how to properly exploit them. Here is another example. Other than widening your range of hands you will play against a weak player. 68 . Now you know not to bluff him. like most things. However. Next. The next way to identify the fish is to observe how they play particular hands. Now. you need to learn how to take advantage of them. and ways for you to exploit that. One caller. Now you know that you should just check-call him down with your top pair type hand. write "calling station". A lot of players will call and take a flop to try and flop a set. TAKE NOTES. how else can you increase the number of hands you play against him. there are 50/20's who are winning players at 5/10NL and 10/20NL. Solid player raises 4-5x from middle position. you can be pretty sure that he is a losing player. Sure this tells you he sucks. However. because this player is good. However. that you have to plan on getting 50 big blinds worth of his stack in the middle just to BREAK EVEN on your small pocket pair.. I know when I first started out.profitably. but what good is that if you are unsure of how to exploit it. I can honestly say that after 2 or 3 days of playing 6 MAX. a solid player's opening range is going to be such that every time you flop your set. I was scared to death of SH play. but it is amazing how many players play on complete auto-pilot and disregard for who they are playing the hand against. Or write "fires three barrels with overcards". there's no guarantee that he will even go broke with an overpair or top pair. Standard starting stacks. you are playing the numbers game. Standard stack sizes. For example. 3) Play more hands with the fish and less with the sharks This should be obvious. You should be seeing a flop here every single time. Remember. he will not necessarily have a strong enough hand to pay you off. You aren't going to win much off him. Maybe he reads your hand well and can get away quickly. Once you are able to identify the fish. Now you know to just check-call him down to the river. Chances are that a player with a VPIP of 50 is much more likely to be a loser than a player with a VPIP of 15. You have 46s on the button. When you see someone check-call the KQ4 flop OOP w/ A7o. my winrate was significantly higher than what i was earning at full ring. You have 55 in the SB. First of all. Say he raises KQ and the flop comes J75.. This isn't because I improved my postflop play that quickly but rather because there are more fish on the 6 MAX tables. Believe it or not. It's important that you note specifics of how the weak player plays.

the more potential the game has for profitability. 6) Psychology How psychology applies to poker is something a lot of people don't properly understand. Here is an example: Say you've been making a lot of continuation bets after PF raises. The fewer the number of players. Now what happens if you aren't able to move to the left of the weaker player. However. If he raises 4 times the blind. the game will still be profitable. He opens from the cutoff. The reasons for this are fairly obvious. Even if once in a while you have to play a hand out of position against a tough player. this usually involves how you've been playing for the past 40-50 hands. if possible. 5) Seat Selection Issues It is often argued whether it is better to sit to the left of the players who play well. Unless you have a long history with the opponent. Check. Call. You are going to have to significantly tighten up your preflop raising. you are out of position. Not only are you now able to isolate against that player at will. You raise xy. or the players who play poorly. You should very seriously consider making an abnormal size raise. CHANGE YOUR SEAT. You'll have to control your continuation betting because that player is probably a calling station. Who wants to play a 4 handed pot out of position with hands like that? Furthermore. One of the important aspects of any hand is how your opponent perceives you. This is especially the case when you have just sat down at the table. Turn is a 2. it might be very profitable for you to fire a second barrel as your opponent probably thinks you only fire 2nd barrels with legit hands. Flop comes 982. Think about it. weak player opens up. every time you are in a pot against the player you are trying to play as many pots with as possible. you should definitely look for another table where you can get more favorable seating. Let's say an average player opens from the button. you don't risk getting 4 callers behind you. The overwhelmingly correct answer is the players who play poorly. This is what is going to happen. The point of this example is that your table image can greatly influence certain decisions. In this situation. maybe you should consider reraising him 20 times the blind. sometimes if you don't have a piece you might give up. Very next hand you are dealt AA. One caller. The bottom line is that because that player is so bad. but now when you raise. You reraise AQo from the big blind and he folds. to 3 handed and HU play. One of the reasons it's so difficult to comment on HU NL hands is because a lot of that depends on the previous hands that you've played with the opponent. Bet. you should be playing 4-5 times as many hands against the weaker player. Most players don't have the thought process required to deduce the real reason you are reraising so much and will think your a nutjob 69 . Let's say you are to his direct right. However. given your table image. and C/F turns when you miss. and this will entice others after him to follow. You can't open JTo anymore because the loose player will call. If a seat to the direct left of a loose.I think that every player takes a progression throughout their poker careers from full ring to 6 max.

A hand like TT or JJ will have trouble dealing with this much pressure.and go broke with a mediocore hand. feel free to PM them to me. you should almost always just call his preflop raise. 70 . so if something doesn't make sense. Similar situation. If you have ideas on what you would like me to discuss. Enjoy. however this time you hold a hand like TT or JJ. In this case. This is all I can think of at the moment but I'll try to add something next week. You are very likely to be put all-in preflop. I'm too tired to proofread this. or get raised on the flop. The reason is that he won't give you as much credit for a strong hand since you are reraising him two times in a row. lemme know and I'll try to address it.

60 BB: $22.$0. when we give them credit for being paranormally perceptive poker players we shoot ourselves in the foot. because I tricked you into telling me that you were. You give your opponents too much credit for hands and too much credit for hand-reading. Well.80 CO: $48. Hero bets $2.30 BTN: $10. this month I tested uNL and found out that we're still weak-tight as a group." where you feel like your opponents can see into your soul.. The results as of right now: Less than 25% of the time: 6 (15% of responders) Between 25% and 50% of the time: 11 (27.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . weak-tight means you have MUBS: (M)onsters (U)nder the (B)ed (S)yndrome. I like to call it "Psychic Villain Syndrome.5% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 18 (45% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 5 (12.55. Why do I accuse uNL of being weak-tight? Well.00 Hero (MP): $29. I had my sneaky moderator-accomplice make another post. BB calls $2.5% of responders) After that thread died down. 3 folds. failing to make +EV moves because we fear that our plays will be obvious (no matter how far from the truth that might be).00 Turn: ($6. Hero bets $14. Hero calls $5..10) 9 8 5 (2 Players) BB checks.25 Blinds .(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $28. They're just as lost as we are.6 Players .10) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $5.00.10) 3 (2 Players) BB checks.10/$0.00.. You know what? They really can't.00 Flop: ($2.UNL YOU ARE WEAK TIGHT (Pokey) A little over a year ago I tested SSNL and found out that they were weak-tight. It should look reasonably similar to you: ---------- 71 . I gave you this thread where hero flops air: ---------Poker Stars . What does weak-tight mean? In a nutshell.55 UTG: $10. Hero raises to $1. BB calls $1.00.00 River: ($16. Unfortunately.35 Preflop: Hero is dealt J T (6 Players) UTG folds. First. ---------I then asked you how often villain calls the bluff.

then the next time you have the 72 . but at LEAST one of them MUST be. IF our villain dumps most of his hands to a river push. the other will. then pushing with the nuts will be extremely +EV for us.$0.00 Hero (MP): $29. is the very definition of weak-tight.7% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 1 (4. The flop and flop action are identical.00. 3 folds. ---------NOTE WELL: stacks are the same. This makes no logical sense.55 UTG: $10.00 Flop: ($2.35 Preflop: Hero is dealt 7 6 (6 Players) UTG folds. Hero bets $2. my friends. How do we beat this weak-tight curse? Let's assume that we err on the side of overestimating our folding equity.00. and the formula will change as you move up in stakes. We bluff too little because we're just SURE that villain is calling. but believing that NEITHER pushing the nuts for value NOR pushing air as a bluff will be +EV cannot be correct -.. My pure and uneducated guess is that at uNL. I honestly don't know where the truth lies.if one doesn't work. What are the consequences of being weak-tight? Well. BB calls $2. Hero calls $5. If that's the case. We then asked you how often THIS river bet gets called. BB calls $1. and you told us: Less than 25% of the time: 7 (29.00 River: ($16. unknown villain calls MUCH more often when we've got nothing than he would when we've got the nuts.2% of responders) Between 25% and 50% of the time: 12 (50% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 4 (16. Hero raises to $1. Hero bets $14.55. The turn and turn action are identical. but it's how we think as a group. The river and river action are identical.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $28. The ONLY DIFFERENCE is that instead of air we've got the immortal nuts.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .6 Players . You've mistakenly assumed that an identical.. then bluff-pushing will be extremely +EV for us. pushing for value is usually +EV and pushing as a bluff is usually -EV. even though every possible factor in the hand is otherwise identical. That.10) 9 8 5 (2 Players) BB checks.25 Blinds .00 Turn: ($6. but in the same situation when we've got the nuts we bet small because we KNOW that villain won't call a big bet. I'm not saying that both of these statements are wrong.10) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $5. On the other hand..00. IF our villain will call our bluff-pushes too often for bluff-pushing to be profitable. the main consequence is that we make incorrect plays because we give our opponents too much credit.30 BTN: $10. but this will vary from villain to villain.60 BB: $22.2% of responders) Bummer -. Only empirical evidence and reads will tell us which answer is correct for a particular villain.you're weak-tight.10/$0.80 CO: $48.10) 3 (2 Players) BB checks.Poker Stars . it cannot be correct.

73 . would pushing be +EV?" If your answer is no. at all stages of development. Let's try to get around our psychological stumbling blocks and start making rational decisions instead. I point it out because it's an EXTRAORDINARILY common problem for poker players in general. rather. then push. If your answer is yes then decide how large a bet you could make with air and still have it be +EV. It might over-reduce it.nuts on the river. I don't point this out to insult you or try to make you feel stupid. reduce that amount by a couple BBs. but it's probably a move in the right direction. ask yourself "if I had air. and bet that much. This adjustment will reduce our predicted folding equity when we have the nuts. Give it a try for a couple days and see how it works for you.

The results are my last ~100k hands.. vaguely aware of position. spent alot of time reading posts across unl-HSNL. I was tight preflop.. As you can see I was pretty much the typical "tagfish". knew how to c-bet etc but still had some pretty big holes in my game.Working on your game (kom) I decided to post what is most of my 50nl "career" because I thought it might be useful for some players. got some coaching and did some sweat sessions with friends. 74 . First we begin with my first ~150k hands which can only be described as mediocre. So I signed up for cardrunners.

2. whatever pot odds" calls on the river when it was obviously -EV.I think the things I learned in the second batch of hands are: 1. I never used to adjust my play if my image wasn't so great. If early in a session I showdown premium hands and establish a tight image then this becomes very successful as I can abuse this image to steal and rob lots of small-medium pots. I find it can be a decent indicator of how you are viewed by the table. Look to make river folds!! Too many times I used to make alot of very bad. The one thing I will say 75 . 3. If you have been caught stealing with trash/double-barrelling with air etc.Variance In the brew etc people are always moaning about tiny swings over tiny samples. c-bet less and wait for a good spot to use your bad image to get paid off. 4. However. Man up and play the hands and don't talk about variance until you've played at least 50-100k hands. "meh. but alot of uNl players are not aggressive enough on the turn. Showdown Comparing the 2nd sample to the first you can see that i went to showdown less and won more often when I got there. Work on identifying profitable places to fire again on the turn (Scare cards against habitual floaters etc) and it will pay dividends. Alot of players have gotten flop aggression down. check raising flush draws etc. One good tip here is to include your net $won/lost in your HUD. Working on stopping this has brought my showdown numbers into the range which I think is about right for a taggy style. Looking at the two stats samples you can see in the 2nd one my turn aggression is significantly higher and I think that has been one of my biggest improvements.Table image Be aware of your image at the table! My default is to c-bet ~100% of the time and look to aggressively take down pots with or without a hand. ie cbetting. and even then probably don't talk about it. then ADJUST!! Tighten up a bit from late position. Turn aggression is important.

You are on the right track and with some small adjustments you can join me in beating the uNL games at a good clip and getting ready to take shots at the higher games. 76 . In conclusion.is it is quite obvious that the 2nd graph has far less variance than the first due to the significantly higher ptbb/100. Those of you struggling as breakeven/small winners like I was. whilst I still have alot to learn I feel I've at least grasped the fundamentals of playing good ABC tag poker. take heart. Although even with a >6 winrate I still experienced a ~13 buy in downswing while playing my A game.

. Session 5th Nov . If you got all-in pf AAvKK and stuff ignore those . We make less FTOP "mistakes" than the rest of the opposition thats it.and in what spots I really need to work on and improve.what bad stuff you did and trying to not repeat the bad stuff again and versa vice. You should end up with a notepad file that looks like. Sound like you? A lot of mediocre players play like this .and move onto the next big hand. Here are some handy steps that help me after I play a session to get a handle on how well I am playing .open up the tracker s/w and filter it to show the big pots you just played. ii) Open poker stove .just focus mostly on the hands where you had to think a little.The Basics: session review & " Deconstruction" (matrix) Poker .replay the big hands you wanna look at in the replayer and pause the action when you had to make a decision. This takes you 15-20 mins after you're done playing for a 90 min 4table session or thereabouts. It's *very* hard to get out of the "woot I won x buyins today I rule" or the "Holy sheet I ran so bad I am down $x" mentality when you finish a session. iii) MAKE A NOTE! .for the most part they make the right plays most of the time hey nobodies perfect right.Party $50NL 77 . An hour or two later I finish up happy that I ran goot or mad that I lost monies and I go do something else. Punch the hand into the stove take your time and put the villain on a range and check your equity vs that range. i) Open up notepad or use pen/paper or something .they know the basics they know what plays are goot and what are not . All we ought to really care about is whether we made goot decisions or not and think after a sesh "woot I made some great +EV moves today ++ Sklansky bucks for me" or "man I really sucked calling there and sucking out for 300bb" But if you play a bunch of tables you don't have nearly enough time to review how +/your EV was for the big decisions you made that session.I get the poker fired up I open up 3279874574305790428590480 tables .. Often times I find myself playing on autopilot .how do you play yours? are you a TAG a LAG a sLAG a nit ? However you play and whoever you play against one often overlooked part of paying goot is reviewing the hands you play afterwards and looking to see what good decisions you made . How do we make $ playing poker?? We make more with our good hands and lose less with our bad hands than the other players we play against. I think this is a one way ticket to breakevensville.I look through the players that are sitting choose what tables I want to play and off I go.

and looking for ways to possibly exploit their weaknesses. etc. 78 .folded to shove . ii) called a b/3b all-in OOP vs TAG on flop w TPGK.pick out a villain I play against often that I have a LOT of hands on and I look at what moves they make . I write up a huge pile of notes on this villain and either import them directly to the poker s/w or I notepad them and copy/paste them in later when I see them again.. figure them out and be better armed next time you play them. Some villain giving you trouble at the table? .villain plays v tight from E/MP ..get into the habit of writing down why you did x in y situation and I find it helps me to think better at the table and overall make less FTOP "mistakes". V had naked fd.but can't continue with whiffed OC's . Save these then once a week look back through your cliffnotes and see if the same spots come up often .he is often semi-bluffing.or to get a fold. Which leads me onto "Deconstruction" Basicaly taking other peoples games apart .what size of raise is need to get value .we ought to use these more.i) raised a 19/16 MP TAGs "CB" with air on rags flop .instead of keeping out of their way get under their skin. iii) .how they lost the big pots they played how often they fold to a re-raise . Good call .OK play. Once a week I sit for an hour . We all maintain large databases of opponents play .

Through these books. I remembered that was a question that is asked in most “wells. if you want to surpass the fgators’ of the world. After many of you found poker and decided you wanted to get better at it. I’ll have a huge advantage recalling his thought process from hands I read over and over back in the day (without him knowing the information I’m using). Milestone #1: Poker is not played inside of a box. I believe that if/when I play with DN. Daniel Negreanu was my most important teacher before I was any good at poker. The goal of this ‘essay’ is to expedite the education process of all those who read it indirectly. but nevertheless an integral part of your poker career. thanks) The Evolution of a Poker Player by aejones Poker is discovered differently by many individuals. and right now jman is doing a great well in HSNL in which people are asking him the same question. Tight was right. you would have an advantage. you picked up a poker book at your local bookstore. you searched Google for poker articles. I’d appreciate it if HSNL people read it and expounded upon it (and the future. but it’s not nearly enough to win online. the pitfalls to avoid along that path. Thus. or even tournaments. you learned to play tight. It worked. and might even assist you to winning low stakes NL online.THE EVOLUTION OF A POKER PLAYER (aejones) Disclaimer and qualifier: I have played well over one million hands of online poker. These kinds of things will help the average railbird. He was one of the few people 3 or 4 years ago that actually went through some thought process fairly publicly. Although there are a variety of ways to go about discovering the game. there are specific channels to go about educating yourself on it. (would also appreciate if someone who visit SSNL would link it there. If you really got more hungry. so by folding a lot and only playing strong hands. no one else was folding enough.” I was asked more than once in mine.it seemed fairly simple enough. you’ve received it a specific way. you reach the first milestone in your poker career. and I benefited greatly from knowing how he thought. You might have won some money in home games or online. and almost that many this year alone. I’ve just recently started to reflect on my career in poker. and what you can expect in the future. This essay is designed to describe a successful way to go about educating yourself about this game (a ‘method’ that many of you will be able to identify with). but fairly important ones nonetheless.most notably) and if SSNL and MSNL people would ask questions related to this thread that others could help them answer. For me. To this day. or read excerpts by Phil Hellmuth or Daniel Negreanu from their websites. where the only person who can beat the rake in that game is Jerry Yang. Around this time you start thinking about things other than your cards. Clearly. You realize that other people have cards too! What if you could figure out what they have? A novel 79 . and I was able to find the points in time in which I really had epiphanies. Basic concepts. since I haven’t made a serious post in MSNL in a very long time. including dreams of wanting to become the next half-witted accountant from Tennessee with a weight problem to make seven figures. you need to learn to think outside of it. I’ve decided that I’ll take the time to answer it comprehensively. You learned about pot odds.this is my Christmas present. or how to squeeze out an extra bet with two pair playing 3-6 limit. This book was in all likelihood terrible (with the exception of Super System). if you’re reading this.

When you’re tight and losing. Downswings from playing too fancy and getting your ass handed to you by regulars will lead to low confidence. It is at this moment that Grimmstar shot off from the standard evolution of a poker player. have this epiphany. but wise enough to learn along the way. He moved straight up from this first milestone. It all causes you to retool your game. and one that many players have not come into contact with yet. perhaps. stunted his growth in poker. study game theory. A note about discovering LAG play. I was playing straightforward. and you get excited about poker. get tight. Suddenly. You realize there are all sorts of player types. get tight. specifically. true story. with a friend having some of my action (probably a quarter). you blame it on the loose leaks. you’ve done alright! Hello fold equity! Anytime I go all in. Oftentimes. indeed. You learn to play draws super fast. and then value highly again. There are other examples about players who left here to success. If you are fortunate enough to run good at 25-50 and continue to ask questions. and eventually settle on something that fits their personality. get loose. Hell. I guess I could think of a few examples… I remember one time I was taking a shot at 25-50 on about a 50k roll. and checking the size of my dick every time I showed a bluff. When you’re loose and losing. and be open to moving down anytime you hit a bad run. and became a terrible. fold equity. the period before this next milestone is characterized by a great humbling at the poker tables.a TAGfish. I think cts and jman had fairly instant successs at higher stakes. The man burned nearly a million dollars. This was by far the most difficult concept for me to understand. we all see how bad people play against Poly Baller. get tight. We’ll likely revisit this transition later in our poker careers. Second and third level thinking come into the picture. get loose. running 50 buy ins below expectation in back to back months. When you learn the nuances of playing loose and aggressive and the effects of your image on the table. fold equity’it’s a chant to the poker gods. loose in tight games) instead of imposing your impressive will of folding in an already nitty game. you’re looking to fillet a different kind of fish.then you’re clearly smart enough to ‘learn on the fly’ and discover other milestones in your poker career as they come. You learn about Gabe’s girlfriend Shania. which in time you will learn to de-value.I can do anything as long as I balance! You likely overvalue balance. and hopefully. you are brought into a whole new world of poker. terrible high stakes player.anytime you can get it in with more outs than you have fingers on one hand. You make this transition over and over again. I’ll just be like ‘fold equity. People change their ideal style based on what is sexy at the time. Usually a shot goes wrong or you just start experiencing extreme variance. and you should try to cater to the way they play (tight in loose games. Milestone #2: Playing the hand in the fanciest manner does not necessarily equate to making the most money. You get aggressive. I’m not sure at what point I came to understand that you could play “straightforward” and be extremely successful. you complain about not getting enough action. Everything looks and tastes different than it did before.concept. and after about 50 hands I was looking at my PAHUD and it said this 80 . They were lucky enough to move up and run good.for instance. The human brain is constantly conditioning itself to be results oriented and doubt anything that doesn’t work at the moment. I spent the greater part of a year worrying about how loose and aggressive I could play. This is around the time most of us learn how to play LAG as well. You realize your image can effect others into making awful plays. or splashing around with bottom pairs and draws when no one is folding second pair on any street for any bet.

an ace peeled the river. while I had been using entirely too much of it for most of my poker career.player was like 15/12 preflop… I won’t mention who it was (not a 2+2er) but I asked one of my friends who played high stakes. obvious aggression. leading the turn without initiative. reg with history. Eventually. it’s super standard without real history. you will learn that not everyone on 2+2 is good at poker.turn check raises. Backdoor aggression is basically tricky stuff. Most of you are standard 19/17 TAGs and your only ‘battle’ with regs are “zomg. your first king or queen high call down). In general. Perhaps when you make your first sick ace high call down (or in Gabe’s case. you’ve likely been humbled many. is by far the most important in any players career. and although they are inevitably related. You will realize that quantity does not equal quality and that high post counts are more a function of boredom than wisdom. (re: upfront vs. however. The next milestone. but their backdoor aggression is pedestrian.before the second milestone). easy to bluff-raise. It was the most concise way to say this: At some point in your career you will be humbled. You realize that you also have a valid opinion. Guy bet-calls AQ high on the river. you will have real battles with other regulars.” I call horse****. no offense. neither does durrrr! Point being. Okay. I’ve been using these terms with friends of mine for a while now. river check raises. Some people like to LAG it up pre. A lot of you write posts in MSNL that say “Tough battle vs. Regardless. however. Some players have absolutely no backdoor aggression. hopefully you found this past section very insightful. once you learn about stats like WWSF and just general dogfights for flops that you know you both missed. many times. Most of what you guys play is just crappy. but I just realized that it might not be standard lingo on here. Most of us come from different backgrounds and therefore employ different thought processes. THAT is a hand with history. lots of c-bets and obvious second barrels.and he said this guy is the BEST 25-50 player on the internet. however. All great players are not made the same. This is where you try to find your niche. backdoor aggression. As soon as I learned how you could play relatively straightforward and just add some tricks up your sleeve (when you image warrants you getting away with it) I instantly became a better player. that was a bit harsh. they are not a direct product of each other. and maybe you don’t agree with someone like Jason Strasser on a hand. so at this point in your poker career you gain a great deal 81 . Milestone #3: The realization that TheWorstPlayer is awful at poker. There are.but that’s okay. They’re easy to float. easy to 3-bet pre. Most of you haven’t seen history. their upfront aggression is strong. but he still called!” In most of these cases. If you all haven’t graduated from the whole “2+2 says I should be super tricky in agro” stage of your careers. etc. one time he called me down with third pair. not everyone can play the same. Times when the heavens open up to you and you are being spoken to by the poker gods’ themselves. How can he be the best playing 15/12? That baffled me. THAT is a hand with history. Upfront aggression is basically betting with the lead. If you reach this stage. Around here you will learn a very valuable lesson that aggression post flop is not the same as aggression preflop. and then a flop c-bet is as far as they go aggression-wise. spots where you should gain extreme confidence. or you bluff (or 3-bet bluff) the river for the first time successfully. I remember Ansky and irockhoes played a hand months ago where they got it on 4-bet on the flop with KQ on J high dry.

I know you skipped your 8am chemistry class because you were up until 6am getting unstuck. This is the milestone around most people in MSNL struggle. did not read the assigned chapters the previous night. this month. If you have thick skin and an open mind. During nearly this entire maturation process. if you get to this stage too quickly. The final Milestone is one that I’ve only recently come to discover. Milestone #4: There’s more to life than poker. Get past the internet. there are winning 10-20 and 25-50 players. increase their exercise regiment. I was humbled by players that were better than me (at the time. but game select like a 100-200 player. this can be a strong learning experience. If you don’t. not a minimum quantity. we cry together at ddubious. I know if you ever took the time to learn equity calcs that you sat in the back of algebra and figured out how much fold equity you needed preflop to 4-bet shove Ax in a bvb battle. Many use this milestone to better their social life. the better decisions you will make. Maybe these guys aren’t that good! You see certain players playing a lot of hours high stakes. most of us who strive to ‘be the best’ were obsessed to some degree. you need to have a strong self-confidence to survive it. and this year. may never ‘conquer’ this stage. In fact. The fact is that this website. get past the 45/12 on your right.he must be good! You see Phil Hellmuth’s bracelets. We all know that. we spend all of the time that we used to on athletics and our family sitting in front of a computer and reading a stupid website with ingenious posters like aejones. perhaps. spend more time with their family. I know you sat in freshman composition class. and improve your life. Maybe you start posting in HSNL more regularly. maybe your opinion is well received. they feel like a fraternity. I’ve been trying to surpass this milestone for 3 years. Most will find MSNL grinding to be satisfying enough.we laugh together at reef. alternatively. Seeing is believing. and in order to achieve maximum success you need to play quality hands. and still) by posting in HSNL. regulars. Only by doing so will you ever improve your poker game.he must be good! If you can get past those three statements. Mostly. This is the moment when you realize that there is a certain burnout point in the game. you’ll start to see it everywhere. A truer statement could have never been written. (note: reading this does not mean you’ve passed the third milestone.most. and did math problems with win rates and tried to figure out how much money you were going to make this week. They do most things as good as a 3-6 player. 82 . The more endorphins you can release through exercise or sex or something. in fact. I didn’t have experience. but I had ambition. it can be confidence-shattering enough to induce people to quit the game. The fact is that many of us live unhealthy. your chances of succeeding in poker will increase exponentially. you have to realize it for yourself) Once you realize everyone sucks.he must be good! You see Dario Mineri’s Sharkscope. Here is where you will decrease the number of tables you play and increase your reads on the regulars in the game. who are very bad. these forums.of confidence.

rightfully so. We will second guess this medium. doubt ourselves. rightfully so. We will repeat this process over and over again. because it will be wrong.In summary. many of us will cycle between loose-aggressive and straightforward. the best understand their place in the poker universe. We will change styles again. 83 . We will repeat this cycle many times until we reach a happy medium. because again we will be wrong. The best have found their niche.

the river with two types of hands: middling made hands that you would like to value bet once more with. so we lose nothing. once again. and better to bet your middling made hands on the river than the turn.BETTING THE TURN vs BETTING THE RIVER (Reguin) This has been under discussion recently in a number of threads. To keep it simple. Basically. with this type of hand we don't want to do that anyways. However. Then I'd like to see how Shania fits into all of this. I want to examine if we should prefer betting on the turn vs. we don't have to worry about another street. it is harder for us to call a turn CR than a river CR for. though. and bluffs (obviously by bluffs I mean air that you have decided you would like to bluff with. So for the above mentioned reasons. but I'd prefer to keep it abstract. it is better to bluff on the turn than the river. I'm not getting into when you should bluff. but on such a dry board villain will often go for a CR again on river if he missed it on the turn. That involves shania though. This makes him extremely vulnerable to thin value bets on the river as well as to river bluffs. which on such a drawless board means we only have to consider one more thing. and I'd like to write my ideas about this down so that its clearer to me and so I can get some feedback on it. but the majority of the time. The other factor is that if we have the nuts we are almost always betting the turn. the opposite of the bluff applies. I say less likely instead of impossible because if villain decent then he should often go for a CR on river (given the dry board) if he missed it on the turn. luckily. you would prefer to check the turn and bet the river. By this I mean hands that we are happy to bet all 3 streets with. Both have slightly deep 150bb stacks. is that by checking the turn we are less likely to be CRed off the best hand. we will get into that later. in that we might not want to get our stack in with the nuts 84 . is it better to bet the turn or to check it? We do not need to consider the case where villain is going for a CR because if he is. It is harder for villain to call the turn than the river with a weakish made hand because villain knows that by calling here. we might save some money from bluffing if we checked the turn and villain bet out on the river. assume that decision has been made). we should lose about the same amount of money overall. and so I don't consider our EV much different between a turn bet and a river bet if villain wanted to CR us. assuming villain keeps checking to us. An important consideration. So I will consider only those times where villain is simply check/calling us down with a weak made hand. Not always. so I think bluffing the turn is more effective. everything I discuss assumes Hero is the preflop raiser from the CO after it was folded to him. Actually. of course. What about your middling made hands? Well. and villain called from the BB. Anyways. I only do this so we have room to manoeuvre. things he doesn't have to worry about if he is just calling a river bet. Obviously this is different than the best hand possible. I think that in this case. By doing so we lose the ability to multistreet bet. the deepness of the stacks won't be much of an issue since I am mostly discussing times when villain check/calls us down. I feel that it is better to bluff the turn than the river. Villain then checked a blank turn. all based on how easy it is for villain to call. it is easier for villain to call the river imo. Now lets look at our turn options. So even when considering being CRed we prefer to bet the river with this type of hand. I know that that is kind of vague. If we are bluffing. even if this is true. The postflop action was that Hero continuation bet on a dry board with one face card and two unconnected low cards and got called by villain. Why? Well. in that you want it to be easy for villain to call. the reasons mentioned above. he basically turns his hand faceup as a weakish made hand. We can assume that villain likely has a weakish made hand. Now I want to examine Shania here. the nuts. Essentially all I've said here is that it is harder to call 1 bet on the turn than 1 bet on the river (if the turn was checked).

Now we have to ask. we are betting 'optimally' without balance. is that villains adapt. is it exploitable. we can say that it is optimal to bluff and bet the nuts on the turn. This allows a villain who knows what your valuebetting range is to play optimally. of course that depends on the game/villain. thats the term I'm using. However. and should we choose to bet the river. but does that actually give him an equity edge? If we mix it up and bet some of our own middling hands on the turn. I can't tell you what that % is. should we balance this out? That is my main question here. we have to bluff sometimes for the exact same reason we have to bluff sometimes in spots where we have the nuts. But where is the gained equity? I can't find it. Now I want to examine balancing our game by sometimes checking the turn and bluffing the river. should be betting the turn. like a bluff. This only happens a fairly small percent of the time though. Once we got here. because we should not be doing that too often. If. instead of the 'optimal' way. But the problem. Now the usually downside to turning your hand faceup 85 . It should be obvious that we prefer to bet the nuts on the turn than to check it. Anyways. Anyways. and to valuebet middling hands on the river. So mixing up the 'optimal' betting pattern for bluffs and middling hands. so he has to wait for certain stronger hands. we are valuebetting and don't want villain to play perfectly. the value of the ability to mutistreet bet is enormous with this kind of hand and outweighs other considerations. but I think we do need to bluff the river sometimes or else villain will simply play perfect poker. by balancing our game we dictated the villain's actions and forced him to do something. So the nuts. Thus he can correctly assume that all of his middling made hands are of equal value in that situation. Fine. then he can arbitrarily choose what hands will make up this X%. if you throw in some bluffs. as we would lose too much value. we mix it up. he would then correctly recognise the turn bet as a nuts or air situation. right? (the top X% of his range) So we aren't gaining any real equity. Thus I don't see the point to balancing our game by betting middling made hands on the turn. then it becomes correct for him to call down with only the stronger part of his range. and so I will ignore it. If we don't balance this. But he is still calling the theoretically correct X %. What can villan do to us if we bet that way? Well. by not mixing up our game on the river. The real problem with this 'optimal' betting pattern seems to be that our hand is faceup as air/middling hand once we check the turn. the reason I took the time to write all this down. Then villain knows almost exactly what kind of hand we have when we check the turn and bet the river. In terms of balancing I want to first consider bluffing more on the river instead of the turn (not talking about 3 barreling here).so described if we get CRed on the turn. it is faceup as a middling hand. simple as that. and it is correct for villain to call say X% of the time on the turn. all you have to do is adjust your bluffing % (even while keeping a constant valuebetting hand range) in order to make profit off your opponent. and we are in fact betting a very strong hand on the river after checking the turn. If. however. What does this accomplish? Well. I keep saying 'almost' because there will be those times when the river improves our hand. obviously. say we bet in an 'optimal' pattern. because we almost never have the nuts and aren't bluffing here. we have have turned our hand face up as a valuebet once we bet the river. While the arguments of being easier for villain to call on the river than the turn still apply. Ok. So if the above assumptions are true. and/or betting weakish made hands on the turn for value and then checking behind on the river. He cannot just randomly choose when to call down because it is not a nut-or-air situation. and to what degree? I will examine checking the nuts behind on the turn later. for example. the villain will be forced to make up his X% from the top part of his range. how do we balance this out? Or perhaps most importantly. Lets examine the exploitablility of only betting middling hands on the river and never on the turn.

simply because it hurts you much less here. In this spot. I hope that wasn't too rambling. I won't be able to respond right away as I'll be away most of teh day but I'll check back in later. And of course. it is much less of a problem if you do it on the river than on the turn. That's a very big difference. the only option you have in terms of not turning your hand faceup is to check the nuts on the turn sometimes. I also know that there are a lot more Shania issues that I haven't touched. is it worth it to lose all that value of multistreet betting with the nuts in order to keep your hand a mystery on the river? I think you have to balance this spot much less than you would in other situations on poker. So you have to ask. villain has 2 streets to bluff or valuebet you. This isn't so much a post intending to educate as it is my looking for comments and criticism on my thoughts. Anyways.applies. So while there are obvious downsides to turning your hand faceup. it is easy for villain to valuebet thinly against you. because this is how I see it and want to know that I am not making some wrong base assumption that is hurting me without my knowing it. so please feel free to point them out. where you turn your hand faceup on eariler streets. compare this to a situation when your hand is faceup by check/calling the flop and checking the turn OOP. However. Here the downside to turning your hand faceup is much more extreme. and you are vulnerable to bluffs. 86 . and am very interested to hear your thoughts on this. he has only 1. Anyways.

Short stacks generally only play. Consider this an early PoohBah post. So even though you may not have odds to call against a short stacker's raise. And any time you stack him it's a knife in the gut. you ALSO have a 20BB stack. So all those moves you hate? Pushing over your preflop raise? Donk-pushing flop? Well you can do those too. but how to crush them. Dealing with short stacks is higher variance than dealing with big stacks. There are a couple things you need to keep in mind. All the whining in the world is not going to change a structure that is VERY profitable to the poker sites. Any chip you take from a short stack hurts him worse than the chip he takes from you. When you are head's up against a 20BB short stack. However this advantage is often only one of perception. at most. think of this. In such a squeeze.Crushing Short Stacks (Cry Me A River) I should hit 5K posts sometime in the next couple weeks. And they're just as devastating when used against a short stack as when used by one. Advantages to Short stacking Fold equity and Gap concept Only have to play preflop and flop. The only real advantage a short stack has over a full stack is the ability to squeeze two full stacks against each other and force full stacks to fold for fear of other full stacks. Short stacks are successful because they have no difficult decisions on later streets. then avoid or neutralize those strengths and exploit their weaknesses. everyone talks about short stackers but nobody does anything about them. This is the thread where you learn not only how to deal with them. What would normally be small pots become medium sized pots. Any time you get him to fold after he's put a third of his stack in it's a smack in the mouth. If you take nothing else away from this post. Like the weather. Even more so because short stacks don't ever get to win 100BB pots to make up for those losses. So you should usually concentrate on the short stack. no worries about what to do against scare cards etc on later streets 87 . the other full stack is likely to be as afraid of you as you are of him. there is no reason you can't do this too. These two factors mean you tactics against short stacks may be radically different from your tactics against full stacks. Your only recourse is to learn to beat the short stacks. 2 streets. they rely on fold equity and abuse full stacks who are loathe to take a coin-flip or get it in as a dog even when pot odds dictate they should. The way to beat any enemy is to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Do this sometimes with big pairs too to put the fear if god in him. If you do not have the bankroll or the stomach to deal with this you need to find another game. The thing is. call him anyway and then open push flop with ATC and see what happens.

3) Raise. there are seldom absolutes. The Good Short Stackers Good short stackers are the guys you hate. they will try to set mine or call raises with suited connectors without anything resembling implied odds and then fold flop. short stacks. You can spot the bad tight short stackers because the make bad plays. Bad Short Stackers Tight. raise. And even so. Spotting the loose/bad short stackers is generally quite easy just from their stats.If the short stack has a big pair QQ/KK/AA and the player raising preflop is likely to fold 88 . Bad Short Stackers Loose. These guys are generally sitting with short stacks NOT because they know how to play short but because they're either scared money or short rolled. something like 12/6/2. To exploit shorties. however. 2) Effective stacks and pot odds. bad short stackers are the short stackers with reasonable preflop stats. Fortunately These kinds of short stacks are in the minority. There are a few situations where calling preflop raises with a short stack is a good idea and I'll outline a couple here so you can spot them: . I am going to group short stackers into three basic types. they are still very bad. However. These are the guys who don't abuse their fold equity. These are the guys who sit in with 20BB and call preflop raises with 44. Differentiating between the good short stackers and the bad tight short stackers can take a little more time. Essentially. However. Loose. Not all short stacks play the same. they can be VERY high variance. These three different types of short stacks require slightly different approaches to play against and exploit.Opponents seldom have odds to chase draws Full stacks who hate shorties and play badly against them Disadvantages/mistakes from short stacking No implied odds Low ceiling to the amount won with monsters Need to push with a wide range to be profitable Short stacking is a limited game plan with no depth that tends to rely on mathematics and tight opponents who fold too much High variance From this I have derived three keys to victory against short stacks. In particular. Tight. The ones who have a clue and put you to tough decisions. Know your shorties Obviously everything is on a continuum. Know when you have to get it in with the worst of it. you can make their life just as difficult by putting THEM to the tough decisions. bad short stackers are the nuts with stats like 40/20/4 who are looking for any excuse to gamble and get their stack in. raise. particularly short stacks around 20BB should be calling raises almost never. These guys are basically free money. They are: 1) Know your shorties. the price of playing poker MUST go up.

In addition. Some will do this with any pair. We need to do that first. However. bad variety his range is very wide.If the preflop raiser is weak-tight and likely to fold flop too much then the short stack can call and push flop with a wide range and make a lot of profit from these bad folds. If you're in a position where your raising range is wide (i. he may take into consideration whether or not you fold too much to short stack pushes. you raise preflop. You need to adjust your reads according to the situation. or at least a short stack who is not playing optimally. we will stick to 88+/AT+ The tight. He isn't good enough to take full advantage of his fold equity and he's waiting for a hand that gives him a good chance to double up. If you see a short stack calling raises outside of these parameters then you're likely dealing with a bad short stack. This is because he's good enough to try and abuse his fold equity. So the question is. . There are three very common situations you face all the time against short stacks. the short stack usually has 20BB to 30BB. The good short stacker is the toughest to put on a range. Situation 1) In this situation. So his range here is going to be somewhat dependent on your raising range and position. OR You raise preflop. we are going to assign good short stackers a range here of TT+/AJ+. button) and/or you're an aggressive raiser his pushing range will be much wider than if you are a nitty player. you cbet and short stack checkraises all in. Everybody else folds. short stack pushes all-in. For the purposes of the math that follows. what do we call with here? This all depends on the range we can put the short stack on. If you are having a hard time against short stacks. Effective stacks and pot odds This is really the meat of the equation. Something like 88+/AT+ is not unreasonable. It's important to know which type of short stack you are dealing with since it helps determine their hand ranges and how best to implement the other parts of our plan. you cbet flop and short stack pushes all in. So a reasonable range here is JJ+/AQ+. you raise preflop. keep in mind that their range may be almost as wide as the loose short stacker or as tight as the bad/tight short stacker. bad short stacker actually has the tightest range here. short stack calls and pushes flop. He's not looking to re-steal. short stack calls. 3) Short stack limps. I will use these three ranges to give you an idea of 89 . If the short stack is of the loose. you are almost certainly folding too much.to a 3bet/push the short stack may be wise to just call a preflop raise and try to get it in on the flop. some are pushing KQ or KJ here as well. However.. Do you call or fold? 2) Short stack limps.e. Larger short stacks don't usually push preflop like this and if they do you should probably treat them like full stacks. They are: 1) You raise preflop.

88% equity vs range 44 has 39. If short stack has a range of 88+/AT+ AK has 55.19% equity vs range AQ has 42. Against the loosest range.87% equity vs range 22 has 38.32% equity vs range 66 has 39.93% equity vs range 33 has 39. The pot is 25.75% equity vs range 76s has 33. call 22+/AQ+.79% equity vs range 99 has 40. how small a stack does villain need to have to make calling with 22/AQ/76s break-even in those situations above where it is otherwise a fold? 90 .49% equity vs range AJ has 31. In addition.5BB and you need to call 16BB. the dead money in the pot dictates your calling range.11% equity vs range AQ has 33. You raise 4BB.186 equity vs range AT has 31.07% equity vs range JJ has 42.86% equity vs range 44 has 39.41% equity vs range 33 has 38. Against the tightest range.28% equity vs range 76s has 32. Against the medium range.8% equity vs range If short stack has a range of TT+/AJ+ AK has 54. call 55+/AK+. However.044% equity vs range 44 has 38.25% equity vs range 55 has 39.36% equity vs range 22 has 38. This often isn't the case.54% equity vs range AQ has 47.83% equity vs range 55 has 39. You need a hand which has 38. this assumes villain has a stack size of exactly 20BB.39% equity vs range If short stack has a range of JJ+/AQ+ AK has 50.745% equity vs range TT has 40. call 33+/AJ+.11% equity vs range 99 has 39.772% equity vs range As you can see you're going to be getting it in behind the short stack's range quite a bit. Everyone else folds.18% equity vs range TT has 43.55% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. Short Stack pushes.63% equity vs range 99 has 45. So.525% equity vs range 76s has 32.where you stand in a variety of scenarios.61% equity vs range 88 has 41.26% equity vs range AJ has 39. Scenario 1A) Short stack has 20BB and is not in the blind.

Scenario 1D) Short stack has 30BB and is in the big blind.5% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. the pot is 23. call JJ+/AK+. the pot is 20. Against the loosest range. Villain's stack actually has to get down around 10-11BB for the equity value to shift enough to make 22/AQ/76s calls in these situations.5BB and you need to call 14BB. You need a hand which has 42% equity against short stack's range to make a call breakeven.92% equity. Scenario 1B) Short stack has 30BB and is not in the blind. due to the larger stack size the fact villain is in the blind doesn't make much difference.5BB and you need to call 11BB. As you can see.e. call 55+/AK+. You raise 4BB. Against the medium range. Break-even is 34. So the fact that the short stack is in the big blind does mean your pot odds are not as good and you need to tighten up your calling range a little. But not a lot. Scenario 1C) Short stack has 20BB and is in the big blind.33% equity. You raise 4BB. The pot is 35. The pot is 24. As you can see pot odds are such that you need a much tighter calling range. big blind will have a wider push range against an open raise 91 .98% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. Against the tightest range. Short Stack pushes. Short Stack pushes. Everyone else folds. So at 30BB in or out of the blinds can be ignored unless it affects the short stack's range (i. You need a hand which has 39.If villain has an 18BB stack. You raise 4BB. If villain has an 15BB stack. Short Stack pushes.5BB and you need to call 26BB. Everyone else folds. You need a hand which has 42. call 55+/AJ+. Break-even is 37. call 44+/AQ+..5BB and you need to call 26BB. call 99+/AQ+. Against the tightest range. Against the loosest range. call TT+/AQ+. Against the medium range.5BB and you need to call 16BB. The pot is 34. Everyone else folds.

particularly other limpers or other players calling your raise. You need 36.00 { Tc9d } 92 . I can't list all of them. Bad. But here are some things to keep in mind.657% 75.00 { 7c7d } Hand 1: 91. If one of these guys pushes they usually have at least TP or a big draw. the pot is 11.00 { AcKd } Hand 1: 75. short stack calls and pushes flop. On the flop.00% 907 0.04% 00. The good short stack has a hand sometimes. So let's examine some standard situations to see how much equity you typically have. And this is assuming fairly tight pushes. tight short stacks actually have the tightest range here by far. All the better if he can push you off pots. Situation 2) In this situation.616% 91. but he also wants to exploit his fold equity by making you fold the better hand.from the button than a raise UTG) The thing to take away from this is that calling these pushes is never far wrong.62% 00. You need to call 15BB to win a 26.5BB. short stack limps. And if there are any mitigating circumstances. you raise preflop to 5BB.343% 24.00% 83 0. loose short stacks and good short stacks have a huge pushing range here. They're check/folding any flops that miss them. I'm going to assume it goes without saying that you are calling the push with TP or better and any good draws. you know sometimes these guys are pushing with 76s themselves. They are unaware of fold equity.35% 00.38% 00.30% 238 3.14% equity in this pot to make this call. Bad.30% 746 3.384% 08. Obviously there are hundreds of possible scenarios here. some of the close folds (like AJ or 76s) can quickly become calls. Overcards vs pocket pair: Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 24. The point is that you're probably making a mistake by folding too much and NOT by calling too much. though for different reasons.00 { 6c6d } Pocket pair vs bigger pair Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 08. Villain pushes 15BB.5BB pot. The loose short stack can't wait to get his stack in and gamble.

50 { 7c7d } Hand 1: 41. they may call with a wide range if they think you are likely to fold preflop to their push.81% 05. Tc9d.50 { TT-22. 98s. ATo+. 98o } Board: 2c 9s 5d equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 59.34% 62017 7558. J9o. So we will try to assign some appropriate flop push ranges: Loose short stacks will call preflop with a very wide range and push anything that hits their hand or if they think flop did not hit you.971% 58. 98o } Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 58. ATs+. J9s.Middle pair with overcard vs top pair Board: 2c 9s 5d equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 25. He should be calling raises very rarely unless he thinks he can push-steal against you on the flop.029% 40.71% 00. Against a loose short stack. 93 . I'm going to eliminate big pairs under the assumption they would have been raised preflop.29% 00.909% 59.67% 00. KJo+.00 { T9s } These look pretty bleak. 98s. Against bad.48% 00. T9s.286% 25.50 { Ac5c } Hand 1: 40.50 { TT-22. Tc9d. However. If he's not stealing then you can expect him to push TP or better like the bad/tight short stacker and you should be prepared to get out of his way. However against loose short stacks and good short stacks their range is usually much wider. his range is going to be similar to the loose short stacker.. This may not always be the case. Tc9d. tight short stacks we can often take them at their word and just fold.24% 59574 357. ATo+.55% 95434 895.24% 89201 357. pushing range on this flop and our equity in these hands looks something like: Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 49.85% 00. from the button).52% 05.00 { Ac5c } Hand 1: 74. particularly if your raising range is wide (i. Good short stacks have a much narrower calling range preflop. KJs+. J9o.854% 45.50 { AcKd } Hand 1: 50. but usually it should be. ATs+.55% 66125 895. If he's going for a steal. They know not to try and set mine.146% 43.42% 00. J9s. T9s. KJs+. ATs+. J9o. but only if the short stack has EXACTLY those hands.34% 64436 7558.00% 2219 0. 98s.714% 74.00% 751 0.50 { TT-22. KJo+. KJo+. KJs+. ATo+. J9s. 98o } Against a good short stacker it comes down to figuring out what he's calling raises with.091% 39.e. T9s.

You need to call 35BB in a 52BB pot. If short stack starts with 30BB On the flop. You only need 31.5BB. If you KNOW he's going to push over you and you don't have a hand that can call him then don't cbet. As the short stack's stack gets bigger... If he's calling raises with a fairly wide ranges and trying to steal on flops then you need to call him down lightly. short stack calls. Situation 3) Short stack limps. In fact. If he's playing tight against raises then you have to be prepared to fold marginal hands. The last thing to consider here is that even head's up. Call his preflop raise and then push flop. You need 37. This can work just as well against the short stacker as it does for him. you need better equity to call his flop push. You need 40. Villain pushes 25BB. Or push over his preflop raise. So he can't put you on a hand in these situations and sometimes HE has to fold the best hand.5BB.5BB. Against a 40BB stack. If short stack starts with 40BB On the flop. You need 40.65% equity to call. You need to call 25BB to win a 36. 94 . Against a 30BB stack. say you cbet 7. if the pot on the flop is 9.3% equity to call. the pot is 11. Villain pushes 35BB. So while you should be tightening up your calling range slightly.92% equity to call which you will have with a very wide range of hands. This situation almost becomes trivial against a 20BB stack. The other big thing to keep in mind on flops is turning the tables on the short stacker.5BB.5BB. you don't HAVE to cbet against the short stack. you cbet and short stack checkraises all in. OR You raise preflop. you raise preflop.You need to try and track what the good short stacker is doing.5BB. you should do this sometimes when you DO have a hand you want to felt. keep in mind that you after still have plenty of equity against the short stack's range.5BB. say you cbet 7. Put HIM to the tough decision for all his chips.5BB pot.5BB. Short stack then pushes his last 15BB. Short stack then pushes 35BB. Either take the free card or let him bet and then YOU push over him and let him decide if he has enough equity. Short stack then pushes 25BB. you cbet flop and short stack pushes all in. You need to call 25BB in a 42BB pot. You need to call 15BB in a 32BB pot. You need 42.5BB pot.94% equity to call. You need to call 35BB to win a 46. if the pot on the flop is 9. If the pot on the flop is 9.23% equity to call. the pot is 11.. say you cbet 7.

Finally, when it comes to your preflop raising, keep in mind what, if any short stacks are in the hand (or left to act behind you) and whether they're likely to push on you either preflop or on the flop. If they are, then you may want to consider tightening up your range and not raising hands like 76s. Rather only raise hands that you will be able to get all-in on a wide variety of flops. Or if you do still raise 76s, try to do so in situations where you're likely to have good odds postflop even if the short stack pushes. For example, multi-way with several players calling the raise. In this case, also consider raising a smaller amount that your usual 4BB+1 to juice the pot rather than isolate. Raise, raise, raise Short stacks do not want to call raises unless they're planning to push-steal a lot of flops. The worst thing you can do to a short stacker is raise his limps, raise his blinds and 3bet his raises. Remember, he has no or very bad implied odds. And in raised pots he shouldn't have much fold equity against you. This is the worst possible situation for him to be in. You want to raise a short stack as much as you possibly can. Yes this will lead to high variance situations when he comes over the top, however you usually know when you have the best of it. For example, if a good short stacker overlimps from late position, you know he almost always does not have much of a hand or he would raise. So you need to raise. This forces him to fold 33 or 76s because he doesn't have odds to call and try to outflop you. Unless he's going to try push-steal flop. But his range is already well defined. So you know that on the flop you're going to have good equity to call his push. And if he realizes you're playing him tough this way he doubly can't afford to call because he no longer has the benefit of fold equity on the flop. So he needs to fold to your raise; calling becomes a big mistake. If he open raises, 3bet him liberally. His choice here becomes one of folding or pushing. He knows he has little fold equity against you and he can't afford to put in half his stack and fold flop very often. This becomes a very difficult situation for a short stack particularly if you keep 3betting him and raising his limps. You do not want to let short stacks see too many cheap flops. You also do not want to give them the opportunity to be the aggressor and exploit the gap concept and their fold equity. Raise them. Put them all-in before they put you all in. Leveling Keep in mind that several posters here short stack some time or all the time (also lurkers!). If they are aware that you will have read this post they may start adjusting their ranges against you. For example, if they think you've started folding AQ against their preflop pushes, they may start pushing with a MUCH wider ranger to exploit your propensity to fold. On the other hand, if they see you widening your range against them they may tighten up. Against the bad short stackers you really don't have to worry. But watch out for the good ones making adjustments to your game. Final Words Good short stackers are difficult to play against. OTOH, bad short stackers of both the loose and tight variety are very transparent and often amount to free money, particularly if you are willing to play them tough. If you can learn to play well against the bad short stackers they will more than make up for the good ones. What's more, the good short stackers are not unbeatable either. You just need to start playing them as short stacks NOT as big stacks who sit out the turn and river.

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A lot of it is putting yourself in very marginal positions, but, the short stacks make a lot of profit getting people to fold too much. The only way to combat that is to not fold when you have decent equity, ensuring that they share in these tough spots. This can lead to very good things for you from a meta-standpoint if short stack alters his play so as to avoid you and not try to push you off hands very often. Thus taking away all the advantage that comes from short stacking.

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My Pooh-Bah post (C/R vs. b/3b) (Dan Bitel)
OK, I know it’s time for me to make my Pooh-Bah post, but my problem is, that I’m not good at these long posts, and I don’t really have a good, original idea what to post about, so I’m going to write a short piece on C/R vs. b/3b with both monsters and combo draws. Firstly though, I want to point out a general fact that is a lot of the time overlooked on this forum. Every1 (including me and a lot of the well respected posters) on this board keep harping on about playing combo draws and monsters the same way. We justify saying that by spouting the words “shania”, “metagame” or “game theory” usually. However, it’s quite obvious, that with the 2 hands we are looking for 2 different things. When we have a monster, we want to get paid off, and when we have a combo draw, we want folding equity. Against a very good opponent (one that is better than us or as good as us), then playing your draws/big hands the same way is the line that achieves optimal +EV. However, against a donk, this is not true. For instance, vs. a calling station that will always stack off with TP, what’s the point getting all in on the flop with 12-15 outs when you know he will call, when instead you could draw with good odds and stack him when you hit, b/c he’s that bad. Similarly, vs. a nit, there’s no point bet/3betting all in with a set on a dry board, b/c you’re letting him fold his overpair. OK, now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you about some of the considerations when deciding whether to b/3b or C/R: Stack Sizes (in relation to the pot): This is really important. There’s nothing worse than C/R a board with a combo draw, only to get called, have a lot of money behind on the turn, and the turn bricks. You’re aim it normally to get AI on the flop with both a combo draw and a monster, so if unsure, it’s best to take the line that that gets you all in with the most ease. Eg. You have $20 behind and the pot is $10, then a C/R is the best option, as it gives your opponent a chance to cbet/bluff and your C/R will easily be all in. If however you have $95 behind and the pot is $17, then a bet/3bet is better. Lead for $17 and then after even a minraise, you’re 3bet all in, is a PSB. The other reason that stack sizes are important, is to figure out the FE you have on a draw. Obviously, the shorter stacked the opponent is, the less FE you’re going to have Dead Money: This again is VERY important and a point overlooked regularly. You want to take the line that traps the most dead money in the pot. E.g. Let’s say that UTG raises, and gets 3 callers, you call in the SB with a suited connector, BB fold. You flop an OESFD. If you lead out, and the PFR raises, then the 3 callers inbetween will all fold. If, however, you check, the PFR bets, then hopefully a few of the players inbetween will call with a draw/weak TP or whatever, and when you then C/R, you trap all of their money in the pot. The opposite of this is also true. I.e. you call the button’s raise in the SB and 3 others also call it, then it’s best to lead out, as you trap the most dead money in the pot that way. Image/Reads: Imagine the PFR is a LAG who cbets a lot, but gives up UI on the turn. Then obviously, a bet/3bet line is inferior to the C/R, as you lose his potential cbet. If however, the PFR is

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very agro and can raise semi-weak leads with air/weak made hands, then the bet/3bet line is superior as we trap more of opponent’s money in the pot. As well as our read on our opponent being important, our own image is important. If for instance, we have been seen to C/R big with a monster hand before, then it might be best to C/R big next time with a combo draw, as we’ll have a lot of FE. Also, the tighter our image, the weaker our draw can be that we’re either C/R or bet/3betting as we’ll have more FE. If however, we have a very loose image, then its best to stick to very strong draws, as we will get looked up more often. Lastly, as I’ve already stated above, our read on villain is important as to how many draws we can play fast. If villain is a nit, then we can play a lot of draws fast, if he is a calling station, then very few. The Turn One of the biggest problems with a bet/3bet line, is if our opponent doesn’t oblige, and he just flat calls our lead. Here, reads are VERY important. If you think he is the type to just call on the flop with TP, then there’s little point making a big bet on the turn getting him to fold it, as it’s very likely he won’t. It is instead better to bet an amount that prices you in, or maybe just check/call. If however, you think that you’re opponent is floating you on the flop, then it might be best (albeit very high variance) to C/R the turn. C/R with other hands I see so many posts on this board that say “Well I flopped TP, but with a weak kicker, so I checked. He then bet, which I think could be a cbet, so C/R him to find out where I stand”. IMO this is a terrible (and expensive) reason to C/R. A much better line is to just lead the flop, or if you want to snap off the cbet, then call, and lead a blank turn. While this line is quite transparent at higher levels, it is VERY VERY effective at SSNL. Lastly, I’d like to introduce you to the dbitel rule of check-raising: “By default, never C/R, only C/R if you have a very good reason to do so”

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Small PP's - Moving beyond set mining (AZplaya)
In my transition from a full ring nit to a decent(not quite good) 6m player, I have found it necessary to add a bit of versatility to the way I play small PP's(22-66). In full ring, if we call a raise with a hand like 55, we are usually in set or fold mode, unless we hit a flop like 234. However, playing 6m, I have found it necessary to mix up my play with small PP's in order to add to their effectiveness. The following are some examples of plays I have been making that I feel can add BB's/100 if used correctly. There are, IMO, four very important items to analyze when deciding to make a play with a small PP. These are flop texture, type of opponent, your image, and position. Flop texture: Their are 4 types of flops I am looking for when I call a raise with a small PP - Paired boards, monotone flops, ragged flops, and flopping a set. Paired boards - Take a look at the following hand: Party Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $0.50/$1 6 players Converter Stack sizes: UTG: $96.50 UTG+1: $36.75 CO: $119.69 Button: $46.62 Hero: $103 BB: $109.04 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is SB with 4 4 UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, CO raises to $4, Button folds, Hero calls, BB folds, UTG+1 calls. Flop: Q Q 9 ($13, 3 players) Hero bets $7, 2 folds. Uncalled bets: $7 returned to Hero. Results: Final pot: $13 This is a play I make fairly often with small PP's. A paired flop is a great situation to take a stab at the pot. We all know that a flop misses our opponents about 60% of the time, and on a paired flop, that percentage is far higher. A hand like 88 on a QQ9 flop will have a very tough time continuing when faced with calling a bet. Obviously, unpaired high cards are folding this flop as well. Even an overpair will get nervous when lead into on a flop like this. These are the types of flops that either hit our opponents very hard, or completely miss them. Monotone boards - If I call a raise with 33 from the BB and the flop comes down J95 all 's, I will often lead out into the preflop raiser. Unless the player has a flopped flush(very unlikely) or has a big heart, they will have a hard time calling my bet. This is especially good on a board that is monotone with all low cards, as it is unlikely to have given the preflop raiser a big pair or a set.

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Finally: My final bit of advice is to not get carried away with plays like these. If a player calls your flop bet.This type of board is less desirable than the above two situations. If you are making these plays quite frequently. If you are OOP. have been playing in very few pots. it is important to occasionally fire a second barrel in spots like these to avoid becoming to predictable. and fold if they don't. a LP player raises. I have been most sucessful with these plays when I have been fairly card dead. you will usually be facing a c-bet. Therefore. Example. That said. 100 . don't try this play.Ragged boards . I consider a ragged board to be a rainbow flop of uncooridated cards all less than 10. It is better to wait for monsters and value bet against calling stations. Flopping a set . The type of opponents we are looking for are players who have a fairly wide pre flop raising range. A key component to the effectiveness of these moves is that they are fairly uncommon. set. If your observant opponents have seen you slowplaying your big hands. etc. and who play very straight-forward post flop. Our bets will pack considerably more punch when our opponents have seen us bet our flopped flush. Though the board is far less scary than the above situations. then don't try this play. I will do this occasionally because often times my opponent is on whiffed overs. your opponents are more likley to start looking you up. I limp UTG with 55. If your opponent will call down with 99 on a board of KK7. Also. and all fold to me and I call. I will often lead out. Bluffing them off the best hand is not possible in most situations. Your image: IMO. I would suggest giving up on the turn unless your hand has improved significantly. these plays are better suited for a TAG image. the above plays won't work. LAG's will have a difficult time making these moves. This is not a good play to try against tricky players who like to slowplay or float. don't try these moves. If you have position.Obviously our best case scenario when calling a raise with a small PP. and the important thing here is that we lead out with a big hand. This is also not a good play against calling stations. but still deserves discussion. If the flop comes down 269r. if you play TAG but have had a good run of cards and have been active in alot of pots. raise preflop. The way you make money against players who only raise top 5 hands pre flop is to flop a set and stack their overpairs. If your opponent only raises QQ+ pre-flop. as most players think a LAG is bluffing. I don't usually go beyond the flop with plays like these. Also. and will be more inclined to play sherrif. straightforward players. not to try and take pots away from them. Position: This is one of the few situations in poker when I think it is better to be OOP. This is also not a good play against players with a very narrow PF raising range. These plays become a much more expensive and high variance proposition if you are required to raise a c-bet as opposed to leading into a pre-flop raiser. Type of opponent: This play works best against vanilla. and have been showing down the goods. continue if they hit the flop. We are looking for players who find two good cards. I think they are much easier/lower risk to attempt when OOP. you can lead into the pre-flop raiser and put them to a difficult decision.

If you check into him. When your hand is strong enough. or FOLDING. To better disguise your hand. let's try and find a roadmap to Valuetown. he's far more likely to bet it for you. Could this be any more vague? Probably not. You can thank z28dreams for this one: it was his suggestion. simply because the odds of some sneaky lil' monster increases with the number of opponents out there. 5. . If you bet into a maniac. 4. I think this is an outstanding question. 6. I figured I'd come back with another PSA. The strength required to consider a hand "strong enough" is going to go up as the number of opponents rises.if your opponent is tight he's not going to call without something. he's likely to release and move on to the next hand. and I think I'm finally ready to go back to it. there are a few good times to bet the turn: 1. When your opponent is likely enough to fold. top pair weak kicker. 3. 101 . at which point you can snap off a bluff or two (or three. 1. but common spots that we should always be betting. but TOGETHER they make betting +EV. A few things to consider: . but I'm never sure where I should be betting. While we think of aggro-monkeys as always wanting to get involved in huge pots.betting for value should happen less often when your opponent is aggressive. Could you a handful of examples where a river bet might be appropriate. but it's as good as we can get. everybody -. and when you get called you're less likely to be ahead. This one is obvious -. So.real life came nipping at my heels a few months ago and I wound up giving up poker playing and poker writing for a bit. "Strong enough" is going to be opponent-specific. or four).Where the !*$# is Valuetown?? (pokey) Sorry for my extended hiatus from the forums. Rather than just dribbling back into the forums. but a typical USNL player might miss it? I'm not talking razor-thin value bets. without further ado. When your hand needs protection. The past few weeks I've been dipping my feet back in the soup. When neither #1 nor #2 applies. When your hand is strong enough. or strong hands that end up facing a 3-flush/paired/straight-completing board.betting for value should happen less often when your opponent is tight.betting for value should happen less often against multiple opponents than heads-up.. He PM'ed me the following: Quote: I believe that my biggest "leak" is in losing value on the turn or river though. Let's look at these one at a time. When you are in position and want the option of a free showdown. and it's the kind of question that all uNLers should be asking themselves regularly.. . the reality is that most of them look so aggressive because they're always either betting . 2. Examples might be mid-pocket pairs on low boards (99-TT). When should I bet the turn? As a general rule.

. against this sort of opponent.. You've got A7 on a board of J732 rainbow. followed by a flop bet.nobody is going to see you coming. . go ahead and value bet any pair on a two-suited board. Before you build a pot. don't understand when to fold. but when your hand beats villain's range. Charge them for the lesson. . A preflop raise. the flop comes A72. and that second seven is going to put the fear of trips in your opponents. you don't want to build a pot against a tough and clever opponent. and don't understand when they are beaten. Bad players don't understand hand values.folding equity is stronger with better players. that's for sure. If you know your opponent is the kind of person who never folds suited cards. since they will either try to bluff the river or check/call your "obvious bluff" on the river.) . you've got more chances of getting a call from someone fishing for a hand. Not only was it an unlikely card to have improved 102 .betting for value should happen more often when your opponents are likely to be drawing." because raises often shut down your opponents. Now if the board were 9872 with two hearts. adding far less to the pot than if you'd let them keep firing. so you're very likely to get called by weaker hands. especially at uNL levels. consider betting when that K hits on the turn. You'll often find players who "test" the preflop raiser to see if he'll keep firing on the turn. Again.folding equity is stronger if you've shown strength earlier in the hand. . . . because if two stacks go into the middle and you've got TPTK you've usually made a mistake.betting for value should happen more often against calling stations. a "second barrel" often has ridiculously high folding equity. either causing them to fold and stop spitting money into your pot or causing them to check-call.folding equity is stronger when a scare card falls. value betting should happen not only when you are sure your hand is best. . what the hell is your opponent going to call with? Nothing that makes you happy. A bet here is going to have some solid folding equity -. . you checked through. Just be sure you can fold if the third card falls.it's unlikely that anybody has an ace (the flop was checked through). this is going to be opponent-specific and board-specific. make sure you WANT a big pot. followed by a turn bet is EXTREMELY SCARY for most players. and the turn is another 7.. While bad players call too often.betting for value should happen less often when the board is dry. With JJ on a Q942 rainbow board.betting for value should happen less often when you want a small pot. Say you were in the big blind. Make him suffer for being too loose. 2. start shooting -. One more point: "raising for value" is harder than "betting for value.folding equity is stronger when the turn could have logically improved your hand. checking behind on the turn with a good hand is often extremely profitable. (SIDE NOTE: against this type of opponent. If you check-called your 88 on a board of Q74 with two hearts.betting for value should happen more often against bad players. and force them to fold on the turn. especially ones who "understand" continuation betting. Make use of that. The preflop raise / flop bet / turn check / river value bet can be a very potent combination if used sparingly and if used against the right type of semithinking opponent. Typically bad players are calling stations and "good" players are weak-tight. If you raised 54s UTG and the flop comes 876 rainbow. but against a calling station you're WAY ahead of his range.betting for value should happen more often when your hand is subtle. In short.. Some important points: . especially against the kind of opponent who doesn't bet draws (you know which ones I mean). When your opponent is likely enough to fold. you want a small pot if you have a weaker hand. Generally speaking. good players often fold too often.

folding equity is weaker in a multi-way pot.) Turn: 9 You check. Example: You've got 6 call.enough said.folding equity is weaker when your opponents are calling statiosn -. This is commonly called "semi-bluffing. Smooth-calling for flush value is pretty weak. . He's never folding the flush. (Not necessarily your best play.you're not going to get folds. button calls. your push will be a big enough bet to put the fear of jeebus into your opponent. If he folds.anybody. but it's also going to get hands like 88-KK to fold quite often. and don't pretend that the KQJT board matches your big blind -. Flop: A 7 5 in the big blind.. things change around quite a bit. Button folds.folding equity is non-existent if your opponent's hand is strong. You call. CO bets 20xBB. so you can't just smooth-call and hope to get lucky on the river. The pot equity isn't here and the implied odds are pretty poor. However. Don't pretend that the board pairing deuces helped your hand when you've got naked overs. because you're out of position and unlikely to get called by a hand that you beat if you manage to hit your flush. the COMBINATION of these two bumps the play into +EV territory. here. You don't have enough folding equity to be +EV (you think your opponent probably has a good hand). Folding is an option. and that's always a nice situation. . your opponent doesn't NECESSARILY like his hand right now! If you push. You should consider pushing. if you KNEW your opponent would call 100% of the time and be ahead. He's never folding the straight.. Be realistic. 3.(this might be a good time to value bet your pocket pair 99+. but let's say this is what you do for the example. Don't rely exclusively on folding equity here unless you've got a good reason to do so. people aren't going to believe that you've got a 3. First off. If he calls. though -. and the turn was a 3. . pushing is -EV (your folding equity alone doesn't make this a +EV move). a big pocket pair (20% of the time).) . Now." You don't have a strong enough hand to warrant a bet (usually you're on the draw). you walk away with a 48 BB pot with nothing but potential and guts. Likewise if you KNEW your opponent would win 100% of the time at showdown. the flop was 765. But together. Don't even try. CO (TAG) raises to 3xBB. Let's say that your opponent either has an ace (70% of the time). sometimes villain will fold the best hand (value for you) and sometimes villain will lose the hand when he calls (value for you). When neither #1 nor #2 applies. You check. though: if you were the preflop raiser. SB calls. Also. but TOGETHER they make betting +EV. He's never folding his set. the two sources of value make the play +EV. Often.just strongly consider checking behind on the river if your opponent calls this turn bet. pushing is -EV (your hand strength alone doesn't make this a +EV move). Aces will often still call you down." People typically assume the blinds have crappy random low cards and people typically assume that the preflop raiser has AK or a strong pocket pair.folding equity is stronger when the board matches your "likely holding. you've still got twelve outs to a very likely winner.. you 9 SB checks. CO bets 8xBB. SB folds. but that's a risk you've got to take sometimes. and that means you'll win money some of the time. but you've got lots of outs to a very likely winner. or junk (10% of the time). 103 .

you go for the safe win.5 BBs. the EV would be -13. It is only because of the combination of some folding equity AND some showdown equity that this move is +EV.You must have some folding equity. Here's when your hand needs protection: . here.75*(-13. The turn is Q putting two hearts on the board. you'll win ~120 BBs about 1/3rd of the time and lose 80 BBs the other 2/3rds of the time. This reason to bet is misused more than any other. your opponent folds. Your opponent checks. and rather than trying to extract value while you're WAY ahead.You must have outs. here. Unlikely as this may be. You don't want to fold the best hand.Here you're risking about 80 BBs on the push -.5 BBs. "I protected my hand from the draw!" The reality is that "protection" is an excuse for timid play. you can't be semibluffing. your opponent calls.3 BBs. The flop comes A K 7 rainbow. . EV from pushing is +2. With outs. the following must all be true: . you can win at showdown if you are called. If you've got 99 and the board is now 8 5 4 3 . if you were always called when you pushed. you win ~50 BBs. This happens 75% of the time.When your opponent likes to bluff.if your opponent folds. you're not protecting anything against anything -. Note: if you always lost when you got to showdown. you bet 6xBB (ooooh. Likewise.3 BBs. EV from fold equity: 50 BBs. EV from push equity: 1/3*(+120) + 2/3*(-80) = -13. . If you get called. so getting an opponent to fold when you're OOP is often a good thing. here? JT? Do you really think JT is folding here?? Or maybe you think your opponent was calling you with J 7 and just improved his hand to a superdraw. If you've got AA and the board is 8754 rainbow. For semi-bluffs to work. be more likely to protect your vulnerable hands. but many. .bet for value or check behind with an unusual read. And yes. Let's say your opponent folds 25% of the time. This happens 25% of the time.When you are out of position. sucker him in!).3) = -10 BBs.When you are ahead. If your opponent never folds. When your hand needs protection. 4. You raised preflop 4xBB with KK. you've got a reason to protect. .When the board is extremely draw-heavy.5 BBs. so the total EV here is . you're still ahead -. you push for 90 BBs. "Whew!" you say. 25*(50) = 12. many hands could destroy you on the river. These last two combine in some pretty spectacularly ugly ways at times. pushing can be TIMID: you know your opponent will fold. so the total EV here is 0.75*(-80) + 0.25*(50) = -47. What hand are you afraid of. For instance: say you've got black aces and the board is J T 6 5 and your opponent is loose and 104 . the EV would be 0.make him pay for his draw! Don't chicken out just because your hand isn't the absolute nuts.

getting them to finally believe that you have an ace. However! If you bet the turn. bluffing. Don't try this move on tricky-trappy opponents -. Of course. Damn near every card in the deck is a scare card for you: villain could complete a straight with any 2.they love to smooth-call flop bets with monsters and then check-raise the turn. and pot control into one reason. SB and BB call. because you've got no idea what's going on.any card in the deck is a potential scare card on the river. remember? Make a bet that your opponent can talk himself into calling. 6. or a 2. To better disguise your hand.You get more value from a stray 7 (or 4!) that happens to be overly optimistic. You've got 88. and SB bets into you? Well. any J. So what do you do? You bet the turn -. 105 . BB folds. decreasing the likelihood that villain chooses this hand to get all tricky with a bluff. checking behind on the turn can be the better move. you're going to have to call his river bet out of fear that it's a bluff. That means that -. SB calls. or 5 could give villain trips. calling the preflop and flop bets and check-raising the turn means you can safely let your hand go. when the river card comes. Against the typical opponent. you DO have the best hand -. but you have no idea which ones are the magic ones. The flop comes A74 with two hearts. Luckily.HARD -. losing very little to Ax or overpairs. Make sure that your betting strategy is internally consistent and well-disguised -. this could create some very tough decisions for you on the river. K. 8. 3. tricky and bluff-happy. Q. When you are in position and want the option of a free showdown. 9. Even if you are called on the turn. 6. especially if you're making this kind of play with very few outs to improve (like a pocket pair). and winning unusually much from weaker hands and draws.You might fold out 88-KK. Don't go nuts with your protection bets: after all. you cry. or another A. you bet 9xBB. 4. or an overcard. Also. You get to set your own price for the showdown. not POTS. this reason combines protection. . You'll hate it.to protect your hand. bet your strong hands on the turn but ALSO bet the weaker stuff on the turn sometimes. we're trying to win MONEY. The blinds check. What to do? Many uNL'ers will check here. or a 7. 5. Against these opponents. or A. any red card could complete a flush. but that makes calling -EV for him. here. After all. What do you do when the river card is a heart. Here's another good one that uNL'ers often forget. look at all the good things that happen: .literally! -. so you raise 4xBB preflop.that's what you're protecting. In other words. 7. you'll very often get a chance to check behind and see how the cards look. or something that looks totally blank.You charge the heart draw to see another card. hoping to get a cheaper showdown. . or you'll be obvious enough that you'll induce a ton of turn bluff check-raises that you won't like. T. Given your opponent's style. Also.don't automatically slowplay the turn with stronger hands and automatically bet weaker hands on the turn. Doing so reduces his implied odds if he hits and charges him a big price for hunting. The turn comes with a black 2 and SB checks. these folks are relatively rare. particularly if you've got outs to improve (even if it's only a few outs). You know that your opponent is likely to have somewhere between zero and 15 outs. Feel free to bet the pot.aggressive. It also makes you look committed. In a sense. or a 4.

The river is 3 and your opponent bets. 3. and if you were caught betting with air a few times (especially against THIS opponent!). At the river. Getting your opponent to fold when he has the best hand. and makes it more likely that you get paid off handsomely when your ship does come in. things are a bit simpler: now.your opponent checks to you and calls your bet. You're air-tight play has earned you mountains of folding equity. If your table image is crap. Third. The flop comes KT8 with two hearts -. 2. Secondly. and therefore rarely getting called by nonmonster hands). and the purpose of this bet is not to fold your opponent. Your opponent limp-calls preflop. bluff rivers more when your betting tells a logical story that means you've got a good hand. he's not folding -. getting involved in very few hands. If you've been showing down monsters for the past hour. He's telling a consistent story: "I've 106 . but the intent is very different here: should your opponent choose to fold on the turn you wouldn't be too upset. "Value bluffing. bad players cannot see beyond their own cards. River bluffs take lots of courage. betting strongly. Many people would consider this a variety of semi-bluffing. Rather. feel free to throw your weight around a bit on the river. but if they are done properly they can be extremely profitable.Here. feel free to check behind and lose a smaller pot rather than a bigger one. If you don't have the best hand then your only hope of leaving with the cash is to convince your opponent to fold. let's go through them one-by-one.it's an expensive habit." Once again. and flashing nothing but the nuts. The most obvious example is when you're OOP with a flush draw -check/calling the turn and leading a river flush card is equivalent to renting billboard space to announce your hand to your opponents.it doesn't much matter what you say about your holding. disguise bets want calls. and save your money for when you get a hand. However. ---------When should I bet the river? For river bets. we should bluff rivers more against good players than against bad players. Unfortunately. most people either bluff the river WAY too much (spewing cash left and right since their opponents know not to fold) or WAY too little (never betting unless they are fairly sure they are ahead. However. 1. but this bet will not be all-in. you either have the best hand or you don't. if your turn bet is a continuation of previous aggression you will have the added benefit of folding equity to make your move more +EV. Getting your opponent to call when he has the worst hand. if you've been mixing it up left and right. The turn is 4 and your opponent check-calls your bet. Good players can see that they are beaten. Getting your opponent to fold when he has the best hand. the idea is that checking the turn would give away too much information about your holdings.understand this. cash in by bluffing more freely at the river. leading out on the turn makes it much sneakier if and when you hit on the river. your folding equity is floating in the toilet right next to it -. your value comes from only three sources: 1. the goal is to make your river payoff much larger if you are lucky enough to hit your gin card. Semibluffs want folds. bluff rivers more when your table image is tight and strong. How do you decide if a river bluff is a good investment? First off. If a bad player likes his hand. Also. Don't bluff the calling stations -.

Ah. don't pretend you were limped preflop and were check-calling all the way with AK.Bet bigger if your opponent sees too many showdowns. But against an idiot you can bet big with a big hand and small with a small hand and suffer no negative consequences. now you've got to figure out how to get paid. even if your opponent's actual holding is 9 7 . make sure you give him enough odds to talk himself into a crying call. If you've got AA on a 107 ." Make sure that your bets make sense. baby! If you're lucky enough to catch pocket rockets this hand. a third suited card. bet a river scare card: an ace. Know this. the art of poker. we tell an INCONSISTENT story: we raise preflop. our table image will look bad. but still separate enough to warrant mentioning.bet? What strong holding is actually consistent with this betting strategy? Our opponent knows we're not doing this with an overpair. Use it. Against these folks. he knows we don't have a straight. He calls. The last hand your nut flush lost to a rivered full house? You're on tilt.. Feel free to make these kinds of plays against the hopeless goobers sitting at your table. play it to the bone -. . you can't get away with sizing your bets based on your hands. . it's just not credible. river raises or check-raises are often the most profitable play you can make. Against a good opponent or a watchful one. . The turn is another 7.. Too often. "How can you call with that crap??" we scream. bluff rivers more when you've got a read that your opponent knows how to find the "fold" button.Bet bigger when our table image sucks. The river is a 3. unburnished nuts! Now what? Well. our opponent checks and we bet. Alternatively. I'll bet my 3PNK is good!" . I've got a flush draw . So if you raised preflop. bet the flop..nobody is going to believe you. just be sure you behave yourself when a smart player is in the pot. right? ) No... If we've been playing crappy poker. or if we've not shown down any winners lately. fight against them.. The flop comes 876 rainbow. Our opponent checks and we check behind. You've got the nuts -. what I mean here is that you can bet bigger if your play will *look* like a tilt play to your opponent.it'll look desperate and scared.. Our hand screams of missed overcards. I've still got a flush draw . Some ultra-tight nits cannot ever fold after raising preflop -. Conversely. but the answer is obvious: "because you only make that play with air." I put "on tilt" in quotes because I'm assuming you're NOT on tilt (we're beyond emotional play. and he knows we don't have a 7.. This is a useful number to have in your HUD for this reason alone. Finally. and checked the turn. We've got a dilemma: the bigger our bet.Bet smaller if your opponent is timid.nobody's going to believe it.got a speculative hand . though. . or if we've been unlucky enough to get caught stealing a few times. the bigger our payoff when we get called but the less likely our opponent is to call us. This is related to the first point. This is especially true if this particular opponent has caught us stealing recently.Bet bigger if you're "on tilt. some maniacally aggressive LAGs will release a hand the moment they face pressure. Some general hints: . A weak-tight nit is not going to pay off a pot-sized river bet without a strong hand. How do we maximize value when we think our hand is best? We pick our bet size carefully.Bet bigger if your opponent is bad and/or unobservant. and you'll be paid off because "he's tilting off another stack. and our opponent will call more often than usual.they play so few hands that they are simply incapable of letting go of a hand once they've got one.that sort of thing. Getting your opponent to call when he has the worst hand. and a savvy opponent is going to call with his T6o and piss us off as he rakes the pot. possibly a king (on an aceless board) -. I've got a flush!" This is the kind of bet that has TONS of folding equity. and avoid bluffing them. One of the greatest difficulties in poker is deciding on bet sizing.the absolute.Bet smaller if your opponent couldn't possibly have a big hand. Feel free to make large bets -. Don't pretend that the river 3 made your straight when the board is now JT653 -. 2. our opponent checks and we.

but amateurish enough to do a really bad job of it. but you think there's an 75% chance you're beaten. It was a joke." That small river bet can induce a maniac to come over the top with a bluff raise.) 3.5*(-1) = +0. and you're risking the pot on the bluff (you lay 1-to-1 odds on a bet that's 2-to-1 against you 108 . Now. hoping to drag down a big'un. part value bet"? Well. He calls with a better hand 2/3*(75%) = 50% of the time. do whatever it takes to induce a bluff." because they don't exist at uNL (or SSNL. Of course.083xPot. Note that this strategy doesn't work as a bluff -.3% of the time. let's say this is the kind of opponent you have: loose enough that you can't predict his holdings all that well. Best case. A common betting pattern that might do this at uNL is "raise preflop. "Value bluffing. Your opponent's range is quite wide.7% of the time. for that matter).. because it's a really. this works the other way around. How does this work out? He folds 1/3*(75%) + 2/3*(25%) = 41. because your opponent isn't holding a hand. you won't know their exact holding. Here you lose 1xPot. The current board is AJ974 with no flushes. He calls with a worse hand 1/3*(25%) = 8. making this a winning strategy." Of all the ideas in this post. REALLY important concept: your opponent isn't holding a hand.villain only folds 1/3rd of the time. He's not a "good LAG. Rather. but beginning hand readers will often do something very similar to this. (Note that many of these hints work the other way around for sizing bluffs. How can you possibly have a situation at the river where your bet is "part bluff. smart enough to try to put you on a hand. value bluffing is probably the least understood. Your net is 0. you simply can't get away with betting much under normal circumstances. is not +EV as a value bet. At the river. if that's the case.. You have QJo and you attempted a steal.417*(+1) + 0. It's what good players say to freak out their opponents." A while back. 1/2-pot river. but is +EV as a combination of the two.5th-level thinker" to represent a player who thinks about your hand but always puts you on AK. too: your opponent can't identify your exact holding. he's holding a range. Some opponents LOVE to push people off their hands on the river. This is especially true if the "obvious draw" misses on the river.Bet smaller if your opponent likes to raise or check-raise weakness.board of AAQ72. .and identify his exact hand holding . 3/4ths-pot flop. the combination of these two scenarios leads to the interesting (though unusual) situation of the value bluff. Let's say that your opponent is an ultra-loose but not completely stupid player. someone coined the phrase "1. he's holding a range. Anybody who says he can size up an opponent -. he's a "semi-thinking LAG.083*(+2) + 0. you'll know their range. It's the river equivalent of a semi-bluff: a bet that is not +EV as a bluff. Here you win 1xPot. The truth is that unless an opponent is woefully straightforward in playing style. there's a 1/3rd chance he'll fold a better hand than yours and also a 1/3rd chance he'll call with a worse hand than yours. Make a small bet and be happy that you got paid off at all. putting you on an overly narrow hand range and sticking to it despite any evidence to the contrary. So. I'll repeat that. well. either. Really. that person is a liar. If you bet the pot. 1/2-pot turn. stare him in the soul -. Here you win 2xPot. you've got second pair.look him in the eye.

(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $100.70 CO: $85. He doesn't disappoint me.$0.50 MP: $34. Here are some Valuetown examples from my $100NL play. the bet is -EV as a bluff.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . Full Tilt Poker .00. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) 4 folds.00. BB calls all-in for $43. Note that he didn't even have the proper odds to call my raise.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .50/$1 Blinds . I stacked him. BB calls $3.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) 109 . 4 average aggression. but you're only getting twice your money when you win (you're getting 2-to-1 odds on a 3-to-1 longshot). ---------Sneaky hands can bet harder. In other words.35 Villain is horrible: 66/11 preflop. -EV as a value bet. Pokey raises to $4. Pokey raises to $79. Potential is great for a good player but extremely expensive for a bad one.05 returned to Pokey Given his aggression factor.90 ($3 Rake) BB had 6 5 Pokey had A (Queen Jack high) and LOST (-$85.$0.6 Players . he would have easily folded his unimproved 65o.95 UTG: $46.95 Uncalled bet of $7.95) A (a pair of Aces) and WON (+$82.00 Three-betting is SUCH a strong move that I don't want to scare him off yet. BB raises to $10. BB bets $28.00. Pokey calls $5. He's bleeding money in every direction and he won't last long.6 Players . Villain's sloppy hand-reading combined with villain's unidentifiable hand makes this a fuzzy enough betting area to be +EV.00.villain's hand beats yours 75% of the time. and he quickly calls off the rest of his stack with a cruddy draw.00.95) By getting the money in while villain still had a draw.25 BTN: $45. Turn: ($28) 3 (2 Players) Pokey checks.90) Q (2 Players .50/$1 Blinds .winning). I take the risk of a check-raise.00 Flop: ($8) J 8 4 (2 Players) Pokey bets $5. but +EV as a combination of the two. Get the money in while they still have potential. Full Tilt Poker . Note also that this strategy doesn't work as a value bet -. River: ($171.1 All-In) Pot Size: $171.00 BB: $85. If I'd waited until the river to try and take his money.

but that leaves villain with a crying call on nearly any river. MP folds. Note that even though straights and flushes have hit the board.SB: $142. redux. A turn push is quite aggressive.4 postflop.00. River: ($121) 3 (2 Players) SB checks. Pokey checks Plenty of padding from limpers. SB calls $0.00 ($3 Rake) SB had 8 2 (two pair.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .00. and I stack him with my straight. villain feels obligated to pay off the 1/3rd-pot bet (all-in) on the river with only two pair. but smooth-calling the turn leaves too much behind to have a reasonable way of getting it all in on the river. I make the obligatory all-in bet and villain makes the obligatory crying call.00 Bingo! I hit my hand.00. I might as well see a free flop with my speculative hand. Pot Size: $203.50 CO: $45. that's a hand.00 No way does an aggressive opponent check through with a runner-runner flush. ---------Sneaky hands can bet harder.00 Pokey (BB): $100.50. The smallish turn raise followed by the tiny river bet are both easy for villain to convince himself to call.10 MP: $58.65 Pokey (UTG): $98.05 BTN: $38. SB raises to $8.05 110 .00) Pokey had 6 5 (a straight. 3 folds.00 UTG: $35. Turn: ($21) 7 (2 Players) SB bets $21. Full Tilt Poker . CO calls $1. Preflop: Pokey is dealt 6 5 (6 Players) UTG calls $1.00) This hand shows a good multi-street strategy that intends to make it very easy for villain to put all his money in the middle. Villain bets hard and I have the absolute nuts -. Eight high) and WON (+$100.I make a raise that villain can easily call. SB calls $41.$0.00.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $68.00.50/$1 Blinds .5 Players .00 Double-gutter. Pokey calls $4.00. Pokey bets $4. I can nearly call on pot odds. Flop: ($5) 2 8 4 (5 Players) SB checks.95 CO: $28. SB calls $29. Eights and Twos) and LOST (-$100.90 BB: $42. Pokey bets all-in for $41. Pokey raises to $50. BTN calls $1.00. and definitely on implied odds since I'm in position. throwing in a more-than-pot-sized raise. I bet strong and get a minraise.00.50 Villain here runs 47/15 preflop and 2.

Pot Size: $141. CO calls $1.00.10 CO: $134. go for the freakin' jugular. Pokey raises to $50.00.00.90) 2 (a full house. Villain comes along for the ride.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $99. I offer a 2/3rdspot bet. River: ($42) 8 (2 Players) SB bets $6.50/$1 Blinds .3 average aggression postflop. SB raises to $2.6 Players .10 BTN: $155.00.00. Queen high) and LOST (-$68.80 ($3 Rake) SB had Q J Pokey had 2 (a flush. CO folds. Pokey calls $1. ---------Protecting your hand. BTN folds. Either way. If villain shows interest and you know you've got him dead-to-rights. SB calls $12. I'm happy.00 Deuces never loses. but that I get called by the flushes. running 29/9 preflop and with a 2. SB calls $5.00 111 .00. Full Tilt Poker .00. Rather than smooth-call my near-nuts. SB calls all-in for $43. Villain pays me off with his heart flush. Since I was going to lose the bluffs anyways.BTN: $72. CO calls $1. BB checks. Turn: ($18) 4 (2 Players) SB checks.10 MP: $67. Sneaky hands have the potential to win bigger pots than obvious hands.00 UTG: $109.90) Lessons here: let villains draw if they're drawing dead (or nearly so). Preflop: Pokey is dealt 2 2 (5 Players) Pokey calls $1.10 returned to Pokey Thank goodness for position: we river the third heart and villain makes a pansy-sized bet. knowing that I lose the three-pair hands and bluffs.00. woo! Flop: ($8) 4 Q 2 (4 Players) SB checks.00.$0.00 Villain is mediocre-to-bad.00. I push. BB folds GREAT flop. I decide to bet for value and to try to build a pot (hoping for callers) and it works. Given that the preflop raiser just checked.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . Twos full of Fours) and WON (+$69. so rather than try to price him out. this seems +EV to me. BB calls $1.00 I'm not afraid of the draw anymore.00 BB: $100. or make some weak-assed minraise.90 Uncalled bet of $0. Pokey bets $5. Either he's got a Q and he's drawing nearly dead or he's got hearts and he's drawing totally dead. Pokey bets $12.

25 MP: $157. I guess they trusted me more than they trusted each other.00. instead he minraises.00. intending to check-raise a safe turn.00. and I don't want to be looking over my shoulder if the river comes with a diamond or spade. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) UTG calls $1. not to mention a 2. Full Tilt Poker . BTN calls $12. Pokey calls $15.25 UTG: $102. CO calls $1.05 CO: $100. so I charge 'em to see. SB folds. To my great surprise. Pokey raises to $6.00.50) 2 9 7 (2 Players) Pokey bets $15. BOTH villains fold for the relatively small additional bet. Pot Size: $155. so I figured that with BOTH of them in the hand I had room to get trappy.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . Pokey raises to $7. BTN calls $1. 112 . BTN calls $5. BTN calls $6.00.00.00 BTN: $461. CO folds. 2 folds Uncalled bet of $48. and they oblige. knowing your opponents.45 Pokey (BB): $169.00 Super-premium hand.00 Flop: ($15..50/$1 Blinds . I smooth-call. 7.00. BTN raises to $30. CO bets $12.00. CO calls $5. Pokey raises all-in to $81. or 9. I don't want to deal with a river decision.00.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Over a short sample.00. ---------Protecting your hand.00. With this many scare cards. BTN calls $33. CO bets $33. MP folds. MP folds. snapping off multiple bluffs. Turn: ($56) 9 (3 Players) Pokey checks. SB: $106. redux. With a relatively blank board.Both CO and Button are extremely loose and extremely aggro...00. 2 folds.$0.15 Preflop: Pokey is dealt J J (6 Players) UTG folds.00. I smooth-call to see a turn. Flop: ($20) 2 4 7 (3 Players) Pokey checks.00 I bet my overpair expecting villain to fold.00 returned to Pokey This board just became *way* too drawy to allow any cheap cards.00.00 ($3 Rake) Read this hand as an example of showing weakness to induce bets. hoping for a bet. villain is running 40/17 with a postflop aggression of almost 11. 4.00 I wasn't c-betting into these two very often. Pokey calls $12.6 Players . I just put all my money in the middle after the bet. 3. I check. MP calls $1.00. BTN calls $1. and protecting your hand.

Turn: ($75.50) 3 (2 Players) Pokey checks, BTN bets $45.00, Pokey raises all-in to $132.25, BTN folds Uncalled bet of $87.25 returned to Pokey The good news is that I still have an overpair. The bad news is that the board is ridiculously drawy now. I check, knowing that this opponent simply cannot resist the opportunity to push me off my hand. After he makes his bet, however, I am unwilling to see a river card -- with well over half the deck as scare cards, I can't trust myself to make the right decision there. Instead, I put it all in the middle, expecting an improper call from any solid draw or strong 9, and a fold from everything else. Villain folds, and I snap off a large turn bluff, picking up a big pot uncontested. Pot Size: $165.50 ($3 Rake) On a less wet board I might have gone for a smaller check-raise to gain value; as it stands, I need to protect my hand from an increasingly unpleasant board. This is the kind of opponent who puts monsters under my bed; knowing that, I bet all-in to prevent an extremely expensive FTOP mistake on the river. ---------Protecting your hand, part III. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 6 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $148.05 BB: $101.80 Pokey (UTG): $145.40 MP: $78.10 CO: $207.80 BTN: $238.60 Villain in this hand has good stats, if a bit on the nitty side: 19/13 preflop with a 2.5 average aggression postflop. We don't tangle much, but sometimes it's inevitable. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) Pokey raises to $4.00, MP folds, CO calls $4.00, 2 folds, BB calls $3.00 Obvious. Flop: ($12.50) K 2 Q (3 Players) BB checks, Pokey bets $9.00, CO folds, BB calls $9.00 Value bet hoping for a call from a good K. Turn: ($30.50) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $22.00, Pokey raises all-in to $132.40, BB calls all-in for $66.80 Uncalled bet of $0.00 returned to Pokey A very important turn: that 2 just counterfeited KQ and almost surely didn't help villain in any case (good news). There are now two flush draws on the board (bad news). Villain has bet into me, indicating something strongish (bad news). My hand is quite strong despite that (good news). If villain is drawing he's only got one more card for a suckout (good news). I make a pot-sized reraise to end this farce: villain is likely to fold here, but if he calls he'll still be behind most of the time.

113

River: ($208.10) 8

(2 Players - 2 All-In)

Pot Size: $208.10 ($3 Rake) BB had T K (a flush, King high) and WON (+$103.30) Pokey had A A (two pair, Aces and Twos) and LOST (-$101.80) Villain calls and sucks out on the river, but when the money went in he was far behind. I lost the hand, but I won the Sklansky bucks: my play was superior to his. After all, when the money went in the pot I had a slightly greater than 77% chance of winning the whole thing. Bad luck but good play -- hey, that's just poker. ---------Even if you're ahead, sometimes it's -EV to bet. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 6 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $100.85 BB: $47.20 Pokey (UTG): $149.65 MP: $106.50 CO: $42.35 BTN: $83.50 SB is a maniac: 87/50 preflop, 1.6 average aggro postflop. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A J (6 Players) Pokey raises to $4.00, 3 folds, SB calls $3.50, BB folds Flop: ($9) J A 4 (2 Players) SB checks, Pokey bets $6.00, SB calls $6.00 Pure value bet, hoping villain plays back. He doesn't. Turn: ($21) 2 (2 Players) SB checks, Pokey bets $10.00, SB calls $10.00 Weak bet to induce a raise. He doesn't. This is worrisome: when an aggressive player slows down, it's time to get frightened. River: ($41) T (2 Players) SB bets $20.00, Pokey calls $20.00 The inevitable scare card hits and villain bets it. Villain wins at showdown about 36% of the time, so the odds are strong that this is just a bluff. That means my hand is best more than 50% of the time. Despite this, I cannot profitably raise -- villain will almost never fold a better hand and almost never call with a worse hand, so even though I am ahead more than half the time, if I bet it will be -EV, winning me the same amount of money most of the time and losing me more on those unusual occasions when I'm behind. Pot Size: $81.00 ($3 Rake) SB had 4 T (two pair, Tens and Fours) and LOST (-$40.00)

114

Pokey had A

J

(two pair, Aces and Jacks) and WON (+$38.00)

Moral of the story: aggression is good as a general rule, but being overly and blindly aggressive is -EV. Only bet when there's profit in it. ---------Checking to induce a bluff from an aggressive opponent. Opponent is 42.4/10.6/1.6, steals 16% of the time and LOVES to float flops. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 5 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $114.60 Pokey (BB): $183.55 UTG: $329.40 CO: $100.85 BTN: $160.20 Preflop: Pokey is dealt A Q (5 Players) 2 folds, BTN raises to $3.50, SB folds, Pokey raises to $15.00, BTN calls $11.50 With a premium hand I mix it up by reraising instead of calling, trying to get the upper hand. Flop: ($30.50) A T 5 (2 Players) Pokey bets $25.00, BTN calls $25.00 Standard continuation bet, combined with a standard float from villain. Turn: ($80.50) 9 (2 Players) Pokey checks, BTN bets all-in for $120.20, Pokey calls $120.20 I "show weakness" and villain fires all-in. I was surprised to see just how strong his hand actually was. River: ($320.90) 3 (2 Players - 1 All-In)

Pot Size: $320.90 ($3 Rake) BTN had A J (a pair of Aces) and LOST (-$160.20) Pokey had A Q (a pair of Aces) and WON (+$157.70) This hand shows another example of NOT betting to maximize pot size. It also shows the importance of knowing what story your betting line is telling -- in this case, I spoke of weakness to induce a bluff, so I had to call the resulting bet. ---------Not telling a consistent story. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 5 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $191.95

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Pokey (BB): $144.45 UTG: $444.30 CO: $43.40 BTN: $87.40 I've been struggling on the table, and I've recently lost some big hands. Villain is superbad: 68/9 preflop, went to showdown 37% of the time and won there 39% of the time. He's sloppy and lucky, and he's got money I want. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (5 Players) UTG calls $1.00, CO calls $1.00, 2 folds, Pokey raises to $5.00, UTG calls $4.00, CO folds Time to use my lousy table image. Flop: ($11.50) 8 9 5 (2 Players) Pokey bets $8.00, UTG calls $8.00 I hope he pays off my c-bet; he does. Turn: ($27.50) T (2 Players) Pokey bets $23.00, UTG calls $23.00 Nothing has changed; I make a big bet to try and get some money in the pot. Villain calls. River: ($73.50) A (2 Players) Pokey bets all-in for $108.45, UTG calls $108.45 River time. Keep in mind that villian is *BAD* -- he's looking for a reason to call, not a reason to fold. So I give him one. My river bet is too big, and that looks very fishy. Villain KNOWS I don't have a flush because there's no way I could play a flush draw this way (in actuality, I definitely could, but like I said: villain is bad). Villain decides I must be making a desperation bluff with air, and talks himself into a heroic call. Pot Size: $290.40 ($3 Rake) UTG had J T (a pair of Tens) and LOST (-$144.45) Pokey had A A (three of a kind, Aces) and WON (+$142.95) I told an inconsistent story and villain got levelled into paying off an extra buyin on the river. ---------Know they enemy. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 6 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $148.05 BB: $104.15 UTG: $39.00 MP: $259.05 CO: $77.25 BTN: $31.75 Villain hasn't been around long, but he's terrible AND he's on tilt. He just lost a big pot

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and someone at the table is taunting him for it (not me, of course). Villain runs 45/3 preflop and 2 average aggression. He's a target. Preflop: Pokey is dealt 7 Q (6 Players) UTG folds, MP calls $1.00, CO calls $1.00, BTN folds, Pokey calls $0.50, BB checks Speculative hand, low price, lots of padding. I complete. Flop: ($4) 9 3 Q (4 Players) Pokey bets $2.00, BB folds, MP calls $2.00, CO calls $2.00 Flop gives me a mediocre hand. I bet weakly to try and pick up the pot and get two callers. Hmmmm. Turn: ($10) J (3 Players) Pokey bets $6.00, MP calls $6.00, CO calls $6.00 Now I've got a flush draw thrown into the mix. I make another weak bet and get two callers again. I'm liking my pot odds and implied odds. River: ($28) A (3 Players) Pokey bets all-in for $139.05, MP folds, CO calls all-in for $68.25 Uncalled bet of $0.00 returned to Pokey If my hand wasn't good before, it's DEFINITELY good now. Given that villains have been calling all along, I'm hoping someone just backed into two pair with their Ax hand. No stronger flush makes any sense, and my hand is wickedly-well disguised. Rather than try and get both to pay off a small bet, I go for the gusto and shove. MP escapes but CO pays off my massive overbet. Pot Size: $164.50 ($3 Rake) CO had Q T (a pair of Queens) and LOST (-$77.25) Pokey had 7 Q (a flush, Ace high) and WON (+$84.25) Again, I tell an inconsistent story, again I overbet to disguise my hand, again villain calls because of emotional reasons, and again my sneaky hand collects me a huge pot. Now, I'm not saying that overbets are always the best choice, but if you OCCASIONALLY mix them into your lineup -- particularly when your betting is highly inconsistent -- you can get a big payout from the right enemy.

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If there is a balance. and you are both new to the table. You want to end up on top of the hot girl at the party. and you’ll usually finish ahead of her. you’ll always get what you want.Introduction We are operating under the assumption that everyone knows the following: You ought to be playing many more hands from LP than from EP. moving on… Reads are Essential: Study Hands You Don't Play To be comfortable playing out of position. Some of the best reads you can develop will come from studying these hands. and mucking your hand now is not a bankroll killer by any means. It’s the tougher players who will challenge you. Take a look at your winnings and total hand investments. pull up the hand history if you can. but you will eventually be able to ascertain the times in which they are simply trying to intimidate you based on position. do your best to pay attention to similar situations even when you are not in the hand. Watch how he handles position in future hands. use that information to make detailed notes. this does not go for every opponent. Think of position like many of us thought of hooking up back in college. If you notice a big pot that happened a hand or two ago while you were devoting your attention elsewhere. you have to let her get on top. But you will quickly be playing for your stack to find out if he flopped a set on you. Players who like to multi-table often make the mistake of only paying attention to hands in which they are involved. If you are dealing with aggressive postflop players who have a positional advantage over you. you must also be comfortable trusting your reads and your feel for flop textures. you’ll run into players who like to raise less often than Clear Channel likes to raise salaries in a union negotiation. in which the highest EV line is to muck a reasonably strong hand when you are out of position. and it takes forever to reload. There are ways to make this easier on you. and it is likely costing you money. Party Poker in particular is very generous about revealing a player’s hand at showdown. The bulk should come from LP. It will be much easier to develop reads and handle your positional disadvantage as a session goes on. Make a note of his play. playing big pots OOP early in a session is generally a bad idea because you haven’t had the time to develop reads and a feel for the rhythm of the table. though. Flop comes A 8 3 and you lead for 3/4 pot. I guess this analogy stops at busting: you’ll always bust. You have no read on this player. and circumstances. Let’s say you raise A K UTG and get one caller. Sit out for a few hands at your other tables. If you do. Again. sometimes the best advice is the simple "leave and wait for a better seat. as many strong players do. but that doesn’t mean you can’t get what you want. you are playing too many hands out of position. she’ll enjoy the position more. Villain comes over the top for a PSR. Anyway." But I’m only doing this against a maniac. it will benefit you to carefully watch their play as often as you can. Occasionally. Most importantly. Having said this.Playing OOP (epdaws) Playing Out of Position -. But before we get there… There will be hands. He might certainly be wielding his position like a weapon. not a tough TAG or a good LAG who 118 .

he pushes. overall. If he beats that. and more likely to float or fold. as I felt this opponent was perhaps less likely to raise my flop Cbet. I am telling him that I have a monster pair. Likes to raise flop Cbets. It is this. He raised to $18. similar to Harrington’s 10% chance of a bluff concept: If I have a strong enough sample size against an opponent I respect.knows what position is. I want to beat those players at their own game. or float and raise turn. because at SSNL. capable of making good laydowns. checking out hands. How did I come to that number? I spent a lot of time combing through the PT database. and I opened for $4. and he has position on me. but he might very well have been playing it up. I don’t use the number without a lot of hands or a solid read on a player. We’re trying to improve our play against the strongest opponents and 119 . I could have been behind a set or two pair. I don't expect everyone to agree with the range. most players tend to play their cards based on the strength of their hand. AJ kind of hand. Is 25% a huge number? It is not." I was in MP with A Q heads up to the flop. with effective stacks $175. I would have had to do it with no information about this player and I would have been simply hoping I was not up against a set. and making my best guess. much more likely that he had an unimproved pair. It’s pretty darn straightforward. and I made it $58. and we were Flop came J 5 4 . I wanted badly to call him and force him to show me a set. But my reraise knocks out his drawing hands and folds out many hands that beat me. . The 25% Rule I tend to make an assumption about players that I am not sure is perfectly accurate. a float. Recalling my long-ago days of 25NL. I would also assert that this number is going to rise based on the stakes you play. or a semi-bluff into the equation a lot more often. and I fold. but I have backed down each time. Here is an example from a hand that happened last weekend. I would guess it’s much lower. I immediately made a note of the hand. and often enough an unimproved PP. but it has seemed to help me. I also considered my own tendencies and my proclivity to use position like a hammer on a stubborn nail. Again. I had the following notes on a player who is 21/12/3 in 500 hands: "Strong player. We were both reasonably deep. a play he had used on me on my second orbit of the session. Keep in mind that had I attempted this play early on. and I led for $6. but it brings a bluff. I thought it was possible I was behind to a JT suited. along with changing the table dynamic that had previously convinced him I could be run over. I’ll adjust and there are multiple lines I can take to win pots from him. In other words. this is quite a nebulous number and concept. Seems to understand position and has pushed me out of several pots after I raised preflop. He would certainly make this play with a set. I decided it was. Worth watching some more. he can not call a re-raise with much of his range. there is at least a 25% chance that any aggression he shows against me in a heads-up pot is based solely on his positional advantage. TP or air than a big hand like a set or overpair. but I try to keep it in mind when I make a reasonably strong hand against a solid opponent who has position on me. but I the concept has worked for me. because by re-raising. Eventually I won’t mind if a strong. He seemed to think for a while and folded. only occasionally an overpair. aggressive player thinks he can float and bully me. He called on the Button. but he seemed to be raising with TP just as often.

120 . River was the T . Handling Min-Raises: They Don't Always Mean Sets Here’s a hand that I butchered like an overweight cow on Hamburger Day that indicates the power of raising in position. I was convinced he would only min-raise for value with a set. If they push I fold and make a note that I believe they’ll min-raise sets. and he checked. It’s a bounty of information. I’ll call and lead the turn for 2/3 pot. I checked. It’s amazing how effective it can be against us. They’ll push. I’m making it 35. If I get raised again on the turn. Foxwoods Fiend.prepare our game for higher stakes. If that player shows his hand down. If I lead for 6 and get raised to 12. However. I checked. shared some of his thoughts on handling this spot and I’ve built them into my default line. I’m coming over the top. The min-raise froze me on the flop. A Default Line for Handling AA or KK vs. or at least the plurality. I was dealt A K and made my standard raise. Turn was a total brick. Their best play with a set is to call. Even seemingly solid players – and I’ve seen plenty of 2p2ers do this – min-raise their set on the flop because they want to build a pot and get value. If I’m raised with normal or deep stacks. I note that they’ll try to take away the pot with a min-bet and will back down to further aggression. perfect. He seemed solid. I still tend to think that the majority. I’m gone. and I’ve run into plenty of players who use it to float or shut down their opponent. If I get called I have to check the river. Flop came A 7 6 . but of course that’s dependent on the read and opponent. maligned as the minraise is. I led for $6. it’s helpful to know how opponents play their monsters. the 2 . and I called. I’ve come to find out that it can mean something else. I think folding to every raise when OOP is giving away too much value. One of 2p2’s best posters. but they don’t want to lose their opponent. and a call/fold will be reads-based. and he min-raised to $12. one caller. Does it get expensive sometimes? Yes. But let’s say I raise A K in EP and get one caller. Many players know that a min-raise is regarded with dread because of what it represents. cause that makes it very difficult for me on the turn. He showed 9 8 for a straight. If they fold. instead I let him draw cheaply and I fell for the trap on the river. but I didn't have much history with him. I’ll make my Cbet. I called but feared a set immediately. I will make note of it. Having a note on what a min-raise means is one of the most helpful pieces of info you can have in this game at this level. This is assuming the flop is at least somewhat innocuous. of flop min-raises indicate a set. Resistance Playing AA or KK against resistance when you are OOP can be dreadfully difficult – harder than a group of teen boys at a Scarlett Johannson photo shoot. My opponent’s action is then going to tell me a lot. and if I get min-raised. and the flop comes K 8 3 or even T 8 3 . he bet $30. I’ve run into opponents who will min-raise a Cbet with top pair or an unimproved PP. So here’s how I handle it: Every time I see a player min-raise a flop Cbet. There are also times when I will muck AA or KK on the flop to one raise. But you’ll be surprised how often you can take the pot and when you get pushed. but thankfully most opponents at SSNL won’t just call there with a set.

But don’t roll over dead just because you have to act first. Trust your reads. Lots of teeth. unless you’re into that kind of thing. Not generally much fun. 121 . and then they’ll be dreading playing any pots with you at all.Conclusions Being OOP bites like a vindictive girlfriend who finds out you’ve been cheating. It just takes some adjustments to get your opponents off balance. Use check/raises occasionally. So do yourself a favor and play the bulk of your hands in position.

or when I first sit down. if ever.. I want them in my stack. but I want to be that guy people play passively against. Villain calls in the BB. I don't know about you guys. villains will play back eventually. However. but everytime I see a flop and there are chips in the pot.. stealing blinds with any A.. playing passively against a maniac is right sometimes. Pokey can't count to 1600. This depends on two factors very heavily-Board Texture and Number of Villains. Aggression wins money. The flop comes down T 8 3 Villain checks. and most suited Q's. Sure. I try to avoid situations like the one above without a read. folding may be the correct play here. It makes life easier for me. important caveat--> when you are raised on the turn.LOOSE AGGRESSIVE PLAY (BalugaWhale) (forgive spelling mistakes. The point is this: when people are willing to play back at you with less. It's important to know what to do-. and now you always have the cards. wrong. period. and I'd like some money in there to win. Knowing when to/when not to c-bet will help your winrate a lot. I'd check often vs. as it stands. You'll still get the action. I do this because I am aiming to win the pot. any K. I might c-bet into 3 weak opponents if the flop was 842r. I call the c/r and play poker on the next two streets... 122 . I want them. With no image and playing a TAG game.. Plus. I'm not convinced it helps that much in a world where villains think about their own cards and not yours. Playing LAG gets a table worked up.and this means knowing your villain.. So. 2 opponents if it was K87 two-tone and I held AQ. But. maybe more haha). and value on the river. you can value your average hands higher. It applies somewhat to being in MP-LP in FR. I am wearing a cast on one hand. Lastly. into a pf raiser?? No! Rarely. I am more frightened if I lead and am smoothcalled. Villain c/r for 32bb. stupid football) Note: This applies to 6max far more than FR. but then again.Know when not to c-bet. How much higher is up to you--and up to your read of a villain. Another reason I'm consantly raising and stabbing is that it helps me get paid off when I hit the flop hard. It's not as long as Pokey's. raising gives me the ability to take down the pot when we both have nothing on the flop.. You will be amazed how many times you are shown J 8 here. However. even considering the previous statement. I don't care if there are 20bb's in pf or 2bb. or reraising you.. If people start calling pf raises en masse.. its time to stop raising 56s UTG and look for value from your big pairs. it may not. first let's deal with pf. thinking pot control on the turn.. your top pair is still not good. I know a lot of you are interested in loosening up your game. because I decide when the money goes in and when it doesn't. Many people advocate folding here. Lets say I've been hammering on a villain all game. know when to go TAG. I hope this was somewhat of a brief outline. What hand would villain play like this? Very few that beat you from the average villain!! Do you think your average SSNL player c/r a set/2pair on the flop. caveat. I raise a lot pf (in 6max about 25% of my hands. I open from the CO with A T . Playing tight pf is rarely. I lead for the pot ( 9 bb).

scoop it to your side..Only an idiot bluffs a man he knows will call him!! Disclaimer. Remember.the word is still out as to whether or not I'm good at poker..As you raise more pf and c-bet the flop constantly. So don't take any of this too seriously. people start floating you.your opponents are likely to play back with less than you're used to. 4) Read the table so you know when to slow down and tighten up. 3) Be strong when you connect.. It is a powerful weapon. pf and the flop. One more quick thing to highlight. 123 .. use it against the right opponents.So heres a brief outline 1) Attack. 2) Know when to c-bet and when not to. often the answer for me is double barrel bluffing. Its not hard to notice. Put money in the pot.

there are many many more like it. Awesome. Button folds. Turn x.) . river x. This is a very hard concept for many players to grasp. Many do not want to raise SCs UTG.You Should Open Limp. and many more like it. (RichC.. I more than likely get to reraise all-in. But.. calls or raises you. I limped in for $2. If you raise. Back to my intial point.. i flopped quads.. you immediately take control of the pot until either everyone folds. It tends to leave money on the table when you hit big. they feel that they got a chance to get away cheap while still playing a flop. you dont have to hit your hand.. It was checked to the river when i finally bet $20 and he called and said "Show me your aces" So.75 124 . so they limp in. Flop is AAJ... When they miss. so you are therefore losing value. Open limping is a pure chip spew. This is just one example. I left A LOT of chips on the table that should have been shipped to me by getting it all in PF. Back to me. but we all know that this is about as micro as it gets live) It folds to me and I have AA. so yes...... MP2 thinks and finally calls but I can tell he knows what I have.. What do I mean by this? I'll give you an example from a 1/2 NL Live game from a while back.. in this very hand. (I know this is bigger stacks than many uNL players are used to.. Open limping will cost you money in the long run. Hero is in MP1 with about $150 behind. had I just made a standard raise to maybe $8 in this case. Limping behind someone is a different strategey all together. this is bad for business.. you should make a c-bet.NOT!!! First. to clarify. but yet they want to see a flop. open limping is when you are the first one to enter a pot and just limp in. I will limp behind someone if I know I can stack them when I hit big.. When called. My friend (who also happens to be MP2) raises to $10 Button calls. Either way. just evaluate the flop and determine if your opponent hit his hand.00 One caller and the blinds fold (not taking out the rake) pot is $4. My friend had KK. An example or two: (assume full stacks for both examples at 50nl) You are UTG with 9 7 and raise to $2. IMO. This was a regular game that I played in about 3 days a week. I figure that I cost myself $100 by limping that hand.. I reraise to $30. on to Open Limping: I feel this is one of the biggest leaks in a players game.

one of the biggest live pots I have ever seen (and won for that matter) came up. Hand 2: Again. Now. think about if you had just limped in with those hands. 2 folds and then the other two both call. lead out for $3. these type of situations occur more in tournaments than in cash games. I had them covered. folds back to me and I am just sick but I'm not good enough to fold KK PF. I had managed to build up to about $400 despite have gotten played back at all damn night when this hand. When someone is constantly raising and reraising you. then open limping a big hand is fine IMO. but IMO. I'll leave you with this example from the same 1/2 NL Live game. You dont have to play the LAGtard game that I do to never open limp. Both examples are hands very similar to hands I have played. your hand isnt the nuts and you make it pricey for an over pair to draw out against you that 5% of the time that they do. TAGs should not be open limping either. felt like every hand actually. but I hope I have provided you with some decent examples of why you shouldnt be open limping. no one in their right mind can put you on 74s and will believe that you missed this flop and a good aggressive opponent will try to take this away from you with A high or and over pair like 99. I just say to hell with and push. you are UTG with 7 4 One call and the blinds fold. but refer back to my first example and how I left a lot of money on the table and you will find it is still better to raise and then reraise them to get it all in PF. Wrong. arent there ever times that you should be open limping? So glad you asked. Flop is 744 You just flopped a monster. you ask.00 125 . YES there are. ~Rich and raise to $2. Middle pair for you. Our natural tendency is to check raise or check call here. odds are that you are leaving chips in your opponents stack that rightfully belong to you. Sorry slight brag at the end there. Also. my KK>QQ>JJ and your hero wins about $800. Why would you bet this monster you ask? Easy. Lead out for $3 again. We all flip. one spade. I am UTG and raise to $10 with KK 2 callers and then the expected reraise to $90. I also won a tournament about 7 hours later. I had been playing a fairly aggressive game and had been getting reraised all night long.Flop is 7Q6r. Now.00 This is a fairly standard value bet and you will usually take down the pot. One more caller.

Implied Odds. 17:1) However. or 1 in 8 (very close to how often you will flop a set with an overpair). and You (goofyballer) A recent thread about using the 5/10 rule to call preflop raises with PPs and suited connectors got me thinking about the kind of implied odds required to call preflop raises with SCs. Let's separate this into two categories: combo draws and regular draws.dr math for the bottom for those of you that want to peruse it. stolen off some page I googled: Odds of flopping.077% 17 outer (Gutshot + FD + pair): 0. the combo draws range from 45%-65%). REGULAR DRAWS 126 .35% Full house: 0. you can't say that you also need about 7:1 odds to call with a suited connector.. and that's where things get complicated.450% 13 outer (Pair + straight draw): 1. First. COMBO DRAWS Odds of flopping. I also encourage math-head-types to check my math to make sure I didn't mess anything up. which of course we don't do) and draws.153% 15 outer (OESD + flush draw): 1. Flush: 0. compare this with sets.09% Quads: 0. There are two kinds of hands you can flop with SCs: Good made hands (most of which can be made by calling with ATC. people tend to arbitrarily use things like the 5/10 rule. I'll list the conclusions first. most of the time you will be flopping draws instead of big hands with SCs. 13:1) These draws are all hands that can be played profitably after the flop. Your average equity on the flop with these made hands and combo draws against an overpair is 66% (the made hands go from 75%-99%.664% -----------------------Total: 6. since a set is a near-invincible hand and you still have to improve with these draws.6% (1 in 18 times. made hands.84% Two pair: 2% Trips: 1.01% Straight: 1. where your equity is generally 90+%... I'm going to attempt to solve that problem (but I still need some help!). or getting AI on the flop is +EV when you take some fold equity (and thus taking down dead money) into account. either you are a favorite against an overpair.424% 14 outer (Pair + flush draw): 1..Suited Connectors. you'll have a relatively "big hand" on the flop 12. However. 20 outer (OESD + FD + pair): 0. even though I've never seen any mathematical description of the kind of odds you need to call these raises. and leave the tl.31% ------Total: 5.9% (1 in 14 times.147% 12 outer (Gutshot + flush draw): 2. Combining these big draws with good made hands.5% of the time.

for example. +EV to shove it in).07653%. The odds of hitting each of those flops are 12/50 * 8/49 * 4/48.5.. However. there are four flops that give you a straight (789.Odds of flopping. OESD + flush draw + pair (20 outs ZOMG): You need a flop of 87(6/5). 6.6% (1 in 18. a question from me to all you math-heads: How do you combine these preflop odds with the odds of hitting your hand postflop to figure out the implied odds required to call with SCs preflop? If you don't like numbers. Summary . (6/5)42. you will flop a hand you can continue with on the flop 25% of the time (1 in 4). 17:1 chance) of flopping a good made hand . 9c 8c 6/5x: 2/50 * 1/49 * 5/48 * 3 = . 13:1) chance of flopping a strong (12+ outs) combo draw . (6/5)32 with two clubs. or 43x with two clubs.you have a ~7% (1 in 14. you can catch ultradeceptive flops of 973 with two clubs or 842 with two clubs.you have a ~13% chance (1 in 7. you'll have your standard old OESD or FD which requires playing some poker.5 times. These draws improve to a flush or straight on the river about 1 time in 3. it will most frequently be one of these. skip the rest of the post..153%. tl. 127 . 347. Combo draws All examples assume you have 6c5c. what follows is how I calculated everything. and you get 1. 97(6/5). 478.0% ----------------Total: 13.31%. 6.dr math Made hands: I calculated the odds of flopping a straight myself. OESD + flush draw (15 outs): You need a flop of 87x. when you flop a hand with which you can continue. 8(6/5)4. with 65s. the other half. 234). 7(6/5)3.00255% Multiply by 6 to get odds for all six flops = 0.e. 7(6/5)4. with two clubs each. in addition. Gutshot + flush draw + pair (17 outs): You need a flop of 98(6/5).you have a 5.2% 8 outer (straight draw): 8. (6/5)43.5:1) chance of flopping a standard OESD or FD Adding these all together. 74x. 8c 7c 6/5x: 2/50 * 1/49 * 5/48 * 3 = .0255% Multiply by 3 to get odds for all three flops = 0. So. multiply that by 4 flops. Not very high. only half of the time will these hands be immediately profitable (i. 9 outer (flush draw): 5.5:1) These are your standard draws.2% (1 in 7.

subtract 0.153% (17 outs) + 1. 0. (6/5)43 8/50 * 4/49 * 5/48 * 3 = 0.442% for the times it makes an OESFD (which we already counted) = 2. Same calculation as OESD + flush draw.153 to get 1. where x does not complete a flush or straight and does not pair your hand: 87x: 7c 8c x = 2/50 * 1/49 * 27/48 * 3 = 0.45% Pair + straight draw (13 outs): using 65s.424% Pair + flush draw (14 outs): Two clubs and one of your hole cards: 6/50 * 11/49 * 10/48 * 3 = 1.408% Multiply by 3 for all three flops = 1. 7(6/5)4. 42x.138% 7c 8x xc = 1/50 * 3/49 * 10/48 * 6 = 0.33% Multiply by 2 for the odds of 973/842: 0.664% (12 outs) = 6.65% Subtract 0.444% per flop * 6 flops = 2. 97x. 973.332% 973: 9c 7c 3x = 2/50 * 1/49 * 3/48 * 3 = 0.558% 128 .664% So.498% Multiply by 3 for the odds of 87x/74x/43x: 7.224% Since we already counted pair + FD + OESD. 74x.94% Subtract 0.153% 7x 8c xc = 3/50 * 1/49 * 10/48 * 6 = 0. 73x.0918 since we already counted double gutshot + FD: = 0.915% = 1 in 14 times (13:1) Regular draws OESD (8 outs): There are five flops you can catch an OESD with: using 65s as an example. subtract 0.444% Total for all 3 flops = 1. 84x. and 842.68% Since we already counted pair + FD + OESD and pair + FD + gutshot.147% Gutshot + flush draw (12 outs): You need a flop of 98x. 43x.45% (14 outs) + 1.424% (15 outs) + 1.494% Odds of flopping 973: 12/50 * 8/49 * 4/48 = 0.0153% *3 for 9c 7x 3c/9x 7c 3c = 0. possible flops are 87(6/5).0459% *2 for 842 = 0.147% (13 outs) + 2.07653% (20 outs) + 0.Odds of flopping 87x with two clubs.153% Total = 0. 32x (where each flop has two clubs). there's 87x.0918% Total odds of flopping 15-outer: 1. Odds of flopping 87x (where x does not pair your hand and does not complete a straight): 8/50 * 4/49 * 34/48 * 3 = 02.07653 and 0.07653 to get 1. total odds of flopping a combo draw = 0.

6.077 / 12.5 * 50.5 * 74. 65.01 / 12.84 / 12.717 129 .077 / 12.5 * 57.86 + 2.5 * 87.5 * 91.31 / 12.5 * 97.225% (1 in 7.5 * 47.05% (OESD) + 5.78 + 0.Total odds of flopping non-combo OESD = 8. your total chances of flopping a standard 8 or 9 out draw are 8.664 / 12.5:1).677 + 1.5 * 96.5 = %age of time you flop oesfd+pair.147 / 12.5 * 56.71 + 1.05% Flush draw (9 outs): Two clubs + a blank that does not complete a flush or pair your hand: 11/50 * 10/49 * 33/48 * 3 = 9.78 + 0.5 * 99. and you get 5.5 * 65.26 + 1.899 + 1.556 (0.153 / 12.424 and 2.175% non-combo flush draws.556% = equity of 6s5s on 9s8s6x board against AcAd) + .26% Subtract 1.5.414 + 0. So.45 / 12.5 * 45.17 + 2 / 12. I calculated the average equity of made hands/combo draws against overpairs by taking the weighted average of each: 0.424 / 12.09 / 12.175% (flush) = 13.661 since we already counted the times where the flush draw gives you an OESD.35 / 12.55 + 1.

5 units in the pot going to the flop. I did not include a simulation for a total nit. Two simple observations to start: (a) Your opponent’s preflop range changes things dramatically but (b) generally speaking opponents will frequently have very little on a board like this. this seems like one of the issues that SSNL players need to figure out in order to move up. the SB folds. these situations are only applicable selectively. So let’s look at a situation (Stacks=100 units) in which you raise the button 3. (These ranges and labels may not be accurate for many games but it captures to some degree three different ideal-typical players as far as 3-betting. I think many of us realize that we can’t call these bets if we are going to play weakly after the flop (only continue with a set or on really favorable boards) but the question of when to continue or bluff with marginal hands is tricky. and so thought I would try to "give back" by sharing some calculations and thoughts that I have been working on. but How Often Did Your Opponent? So let’s imagine the flop comes down T73r and your opponent makes a standard continuation bet of 16 units (into 22. which is obviously 0 EV. leaving you with a marginal holding. Is raising crazy here? Well how often did he actually hit that flop hard? Let’s look at results for three preflop ranges with updated probabilities based on the flop cards. I am a lapsed limit player trying to get back into poker and trying to get serious about learning NL. Obviously. And with 3-betting frequencies increasing so much as stakes rise. 130 .5 units. I have gotten a lot from lurking around here and in MSNL the last month or so. These equities can be then compared to folding. especially about examining a lot of the math underlying various situations. But those spots are still important against the more agro preflop players. There was a recent post where players were wondering about calling 3-bets after raising in position. The rest of this post is going to look at the equity of bluffing on a relatively dry flop while manipulating three variables: (a) your hand – AK or 55 for simplicity’s sake (b) your opponents preflop 3-betting range and (c) your opponents range for calling a bluff if you raise. but this post is so long just with bluffing that I will save that and maybe do it later if this post seems interesting to enough other posters. and the opponont of course c-bets.Reraised Blind Battles and Bluffing with Marginal Hands (sam h) Hi. The flop comes down pretty dry. So we have 22.5). we also want to know the EV of calling given certain scenarios. Hopefully I will have some dedication and be around the forum relatively frequently for a while. You Missed. the BB bumps to 11 units. Since most 100 and 200NL opponents are nits when it comes to 3-betting preflop. and you call. like TT+ AK+ because intuitively I am pretty sure you don’t want to challenge this player post-flop with marginal holdings).

an obvious implication/generalization is that other high-card hands become more playable if we can identify which flops to profitably bluff raise. While AK is a hand that we would always be continuing to the flop with in these situations. which amounts to (1-x)(38. I think that a lot of “good” SSNL players. Your equity for each situation is going to be the sum of your FE and PE. in trying to improve and imitate the styles of known high-limit winners. So perhaps a fairly powerful general conclusion can be drawn from this specific circumstance: Take Home Point #1 – Some of the most “surprisingly exploitable” players at SSNL are those who. where x is the probability he calls and y is the probability you win against his range when called. In some sense. which is awkward. his calling range and thus your fold equity (FE). Another interesting conclusion from this is how dramatically the EV of plays changes based on seemingly small adjustments to ranges. pushing is just printing money when compared to folding. and your pot equity (PE) against his calling range. changing gears is about establishing an image 131 . The only difference between the SLAG and the TAG preflop is a willingness to three-bet with AJ or KQs. you can profit immensely by running them over on the right dry flops. Right? Let’s assume that you have AdKh and push and look at each of the preflop raising profiles based on whether they would call this push with only a very strong hand (first column in table above) or also a medium strength hand (second column in table above). and the only difference between the strong and medium calling ranges of these players is a willingness to stack off with 99 or 88. So let’s look at the equity of a couple different bluffs – first a push for 89 units and then a small raise to 45 units.” Let’s pretend we’re the BB for a second. But if you push here.5 units. This should expand your preflop calling range if you’re really going to capitalize on these opportunities. But what if you raise? The EV of raising is going to depend on how much you are risking. Pushing Has to be Crazy. Using pokerstove to get your PE if called by his range. including myself. the difference in EV between being up against a SLAG/strong range versus a TAG/medium range is 23 units! This may say something interesting about the notion of “changing gears.5) + (x)(111. (Note that now that we have AdKh.5y + 89(1-y)). we have to discount the chance that he has an ace or a king in his hand so the probability of calling in each situation is slightly different although not very different than the probabilities in the table above). Against this type of player. A pot sized raise be a total risk of 70. have let their preflop aggression outpace their ability to counter post-flop aggression. Wow! As long as the player is loose enough preflop but needs TPTK or better to stack off.I think the gut reaction of many players is to fold your whiffed overcards here for sure on the T73r flop and sometimes also your small pairs. here is your EV in units under those circumstances. have adopted fairly laggy preflop styles but are not calling a push light here in the BB as a default play and have trouble figuring out when that’s necessary.

But is pushing necessarily the best idea? Small raises are often derided but may be pretty effective in SSNL games. with AK we may not have a great grasp of the villain’s 3-betting range. you have a small pair like 55? Is raising still better than folding? Things are not quite as rosy if you hold an underpair. pushing into the nittier preflop three betters is going to be a big mistake even if they are never calling light. Basically. overcards can constitute a semi-semi-bluff. But I do think many SSNL players at least will fold hands like 88 or 99 here 132 . so bluff raising dry flops looks like something that needs to be added to the arsenal in some situations. If you know with high probability your opponents’ 3-betting and push-calling ranges. Because if a SLAG/strong changes gears to a TAG/medium.) Behold the power of the donk raise! Of course. Take Home Point #2: If your opponent is a thinking one and has likely become suspicious of your bluffing in these situations. consider not the strength of your hand currently but its equity against your opponents calling range. with you then folding to that push. but that’s the simulation). then you need to track any changes in his 3-betting tendencies and be careful.for your opponent of the “state of the world” being a given cell of the table above and then adjusting your play to make a different cell the de facto reality. For instance. your opponent may be less likely to fold to this raise with a medium strength hand (and will not always push over. instead of overcards like AKo. Let’s consider a situation where you raise to 40 units and your opponent will still fold all the hands he folded to a push but will push all the hands he previously called. These calcs assume AK. What if. What About Underpairs? So lets get back to the main discussion. then a must-capitalize +EV opportunity can quickly become a big –EV mistake. but as long as we are relatively sure that he won’t call a push with 99 or 88 then it is hard for us to make a big mistake. then pushing may still be profitable. With 55. But notice how much it hurts if your assumptions are wrong. but I think the table above does show how profitable it can be in some situations for the BB to shift gears and trap. Take Home Point #3: If you are going to attempt to run the opponent over. since your equity against his calling range decreases dramatically – the draw value of AKo is much preferable to having a pair. having AK versus 55 only matters in so far as it slightly changes the probabilities of his holdings. Moving to an iterated situation or one in which you are trying to mix strategies against a range obviously involves a lot more than the simple model presented here. What does your equity look like now? (Since you are folding to the push if it comes. Are Small Raises Really Donk-Like? Ok.

Also. I don’t see why 962. Flops with As. The chances of your opponent having the draw are actually very slim. feeling that calling commits them to the pot and being unsure what to do on the turn if they call and don’t improve. it probably makes sense to think of a T73ss flop to play roughly similar to the T73r one examined here. Ok. If you can find a player that will still fold medium strength hands to a small raise or is loose enough with preflop three-bets. so that got way too long.for 24 more units. against the looser preflop 3-betters. Even J high flops are pretty similar for players with the tighter ranges. etc would be much different. But we would assume that opponents are going to call raises lighter if there is a flush draw. and Qs are a different beast. The small raise also obviously has the advantage of lower variance. The major caveat I would add (other than the very real possibility that my math is wrong) is that naturally our overall strategy involves mixing our range and so looking at just one isolated situation should be taken with a grain of salt. since they won’t have many more jacks than tens. so it shouldn’t affect the strength of his hand that much. Ks. Take Home Point #4 – Don’t discount the power of the small bluff raise. Also notice that. 755. then a small raise on dry flops can be devastating. but that the opponent is significantly more likely to be calling with a range that includes medium-strength hands. Hope this provides some fodder for discussion. the small raise is a winning play no matter what unless they are willing to expand their repushing range even more. then the donk raise in this spot is almost always better than folding no matter what you have. 133 . flops with flush draws that are low may also play differently. T83. Therefore. If you are up against that type of player. and few straight draws. What About Other Flops? For the ranges examined here. the T73r flop is pretty generalizable to other flops with three relatively low cards. no flush draw. since raising the FD in our position is so typical.

if the guy who raised is a 11/3 preflop type. Now I'm sorry. The reasons for this is that normally you either have air as you're 3-betting light and so we dont have to take it down as often if we bet less. Although a 70/50 player will raise too lightly. that would be a 3bet. Important note on cbeting in reraised pots: DO NOT BET AS MUCH AS YOU WOULD DO IN A NORMAL POT! Your cbets in reraised pots should be between 1/2 pot and 2/3 pot. BUT they still have no idea how to respond. right? BUT. They start to call you down a lot lighter (so obv you have to readjust your frequencies) Now onto the cbet=$$$ point. And it is basically just a reraise. they call preflop b/c they think they have implied odds and they try and get a good flop with their 78s or their 22. most players when they start to play poker to a decentish level tend to only reraise (3-bet) very strong hands preflop. OR we have a very good hand. Its a term used here to describe preflop (although can also describe post flop). OK. we have to establish what a 3-bet is. Not to mention that people are still too scared to play their sets mega fast a lot of the time anyway. after all. But they c/f the flop all the time unless they flop a set or 2pair or whatever. You know how when you raise preflop and cbet the flop normally. or even the 22/17 TAGs. or even a 60/5 preflop type. so they will think nothing of it. it REALLY REALLY affects the way villains view you. you get looked up by bottom pair. Why do we 3-bet light? Theres a few reasons here. When you showdown 79s after 3betting preflop. Theres not point 3betting light. Good players realise exactly what you were doing. what is the "light" part about? Well.3-betting light (Dan Bitel) What is 3-betting light? Firstly. BUT when you 3bet light. next. The typed you want to go for are the 30/20 types. Something like QQ+ and sometimes AK and that's about it. we can get AI very easily by not betting all that much. gutshots etc. with what hands and in what position? I can't stress how important reads are when 3-betting light. in rr pots. I'm sure every1 says that pushing a combo draw is so good because now you can play your sets the same way and get looked up light. you have AK. NOT more. he'll also be 134 . I guess. Who to 3-bet light. You firstly need to know how light some1 is raising. So. it make you look like a maniac. but this is really a bit of BS. 3-betting light means that you do it with some weaker hands as well. And bad players don't fold TP+ anyway. things work differently. The main 2 though are for image/shania/metagame and b/c cbets = $$$$$$. Every1 puts you on AA all of a sudden. All sorts of trash. 78s etc etc. So an example is if UTG raises to 4BB and I then in UTG+1 reraise to 12BB. and due to pot/stack size ratio. like AQ. 66.

55 Button: $343. feel free to post hands you won or lost: This guy is a 23/16 TAG. Also. But the beuaty of 3betting light is that we make most our money when every1 folds preflop or when they fold to a cbet on the flop. hands that have good showdown value. 2 folds.90 UTG+1: $142 CO: $218.calling raises to light and not folding to cbets. The hands you should be 3betting with are ones that CAN win you a big pot. when you have position. And if you need some help on hands in rr pots. dont 3bet lighgt these guys. just pots them. SB calls. try to get a read on what their calling ranges of 3bets are and how they play postflop after calling. Maybe drop down a level if you're a bit scared. or PM a few to some1 you respect. SB calls. Also. Hero raises to $38. If they 4bet light and c/r bluff a lot of flops with a good frequency. 3bet these guys. but is SOOO important. KQs etc. Also. who I had been 3betting light the whole time. so he's not a good person to 3bet light. This needs reads. Anything Else? One of the keys to 3-betting light is playing well is rr pots. you can check behind some flops for pot control etc. But all.10 SB: $147 Hero: $484. Flop: 5 T 8 ($87. I really recomment that you just have a go and practice makes perfect. This is mainly common sence. Remeber that people raise way looser on the button that UTG etc. 2 folds. Instead I will post a few hands that I won BECAUSE I 3bet light. 33 etc. So 78s. 2 players) 135 . Button raises to $9.30 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with T J UTG calls. and I's sure they'll help you out __________________________________________________ Here is where we are supposed to put example hands. You need to understand pot control and your image well. If they call a lot preflop and play fit or fold postflop. and had finally tilted him: Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 6 players Converter Stack sizes: UTG: $214. so theres littly point me posting those. Position is also quite important. like AQ.

1 player + 1 all-in . Results: Final pot: $399. Uncalled bets: $3. SB calls. I doubt he would play his hand the same way: Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 5 players Converter Stack sizes: UTG: $42 CO: $254. Hero raises to $18. he's screwed.SB checks. 3 players) SB checks. Sure I have AA here.7 returned to Hero. 1 player + 1 all-in . Hero bets $109.10 SB: $198 Hero: $201.90 Button: $59. Hero bets $65. SB calls all-in $109. 3 players) SB checks.7 Hero showed Ad As SB mucks Jh Tc 136 .Main pot: $305) Results: Final pot: $305 SB showed 9d 8d Hero showed Th Jh Note quite how bad his preflop call is.Main pot: $305) River: K ($305. SB calls.7. If I have a big hand. Hero bets $25. Hero is all-in $93. 3 players) SB checks.70 Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is BB with A A 2 folds. I can still flop better than him and if he doesnt hit the flop (he only hits 1 in 3 times) he's folding to my cbet. River: 2 ($216. This one is also vs a 22/16 type TAG. SB raises to $6. Turn: 2 ($305. if I have a badish hand. SB calls. Flop: T 4 7 ($36. but if I wasn't rr 56s and 22 all day. This is a classic example of some1 playing badly in rr pots. Turn: 6 ($86. I think even a 2p2er. SB calls all-in $90.

really. There are times when it makes sense to just call a 3bet with hands like AA and KK. QQ. so it often makes sense to stay at the table -. it’s helpful to have the light 4bet in your arsenal. This can be useful. especially if A) they suspect you’re raising light from late position or B) they have position on you. at 200 NL. but for the purpose of this article I’ll advocate an aggressive preflop strategy and assume that A) many villains 3bet light. Rather. and at times. however. If A) you think you have the best hand and B) the villain has 3bet and you think it’s likely that he’ll call or shove over the top of your 4bet with a worse hand. B) to counter this. The situation follows: A) the villain knows you’re a TAG (or a LAG) and are opening with a pretty wide range. If you read this post and think you got something out of it. However. and my experience at the level is relatively limited. and a curiosity I’ve noticed I have about preflop play since I started datamining and dabbling with 400 NL -. he’s 3betting with a wide range. especially preflop -. If you have played 400 NL. We play to make money. especially if he has position on you. In reality.Preflop 4betting (Theory) (tannenj) This post was inspired by this thread. and C) to balance light 4betting. 137 . As a bluff: As I touched on. This is often a reasonable approach. Say you’re sitting with a 26/22 LAGTAG and he’s 3betting the crap out of your open raises. For value: Not much explanation necessary. you might disagree. most villains don’t 3bet very light.a few weeks ago. end all on preflop 4betting. and if the light 3bettor is competent postflop. and it’s a key component of this article. 2) Open up your calling range. and I’ve been guilty of doing so myself. it can make sense to mix in some speculative calls with the knowledge that A) you’ll hit sometimes and B) you can check-raise a bunch of flops profitably to throw the villain off guard. you might like my Pooh-Bah Post. there’s a significant increase in preflop aggression from the 1/2 games to the 2/4 games. the play is generally to 4bet for value. Why 4bet? It’s fairly simple. B) as a result. poker wouldn’t be the fascinating game that has captivated the majority of this forum. This is what I’ve been setting up for. At 400 NL. most TAGs 3bet light. especially if you’re in position. and C) being 4bet with the bulk of the hands with which he’s 3betting is going to put the villain in some very tough spots.a level known for a distinct spike in aggression. I’ve found that some TAGs 3bet very light/frequently. this article assumes that villains 3bet light.especially if there are one or two weak players sitting. Too many of us play poker with our egos. 2. The following discussion isn’t meant to be a be all. I hope this post provides some food for thought about why to 4bet and helps some of SSNL with regard to how to think about villains’ ranges and how they should affect preflop decisions. you want to 4bet for value with AA and KK. If something like that could exist. AK. it can be pretty tough to make money. etc. At the very least. This is a personal observation. 3) Throw in some light 4bets. Two reasons (no order): 1. some brief AIM conversations with this guy. we also play to have fun and to improve. You have a few options: 1) Leave the table. Even out of position.

the purpose I had in mind was to explore the small 4bet. really): for value. JJ. it’s tough to run into trouble. With that said. and B) obviously. “If this guy is a nit. they’ll 5bet all in. Against some villains. ‘Nit’ doesn’t mean he doesn’t 3bet light.but really. it dictates your decisions in this game if your goal is to play soundly. 3) Nit will 5bet all in with AA and KK and fold everything else (note: you might be thinking. these things will rarely be exactly the case. how they should affect these players’ 5betting ranges. things get fuzzy. the lower will be your win rate. it’s just a name I’m giving him to differentiate his 5betting range. and half the combinations of 87s (and fold all other hands). I suppose there will be times when he’ll call (especially if he’s bad -. however. because A) at this point. and hopefully someone will do this if it’s decided that the initial investigation is worthwhile. 1) effective stacks are always 100 big blinds. you give up expected value. Much more often. Easy stuff. “Whatever. 5) Aggressive TAG will 5bet all in with the above hands plus AQs. This is a theory article. 4bet bluffing preflop is trickier. 138 . if you think they seem “random. The first one is easy. Unfortunately. though. they’re just four ranges that start out tight and gradually increase in scope. a villain will be less likely to 3bet after he notices that you’re willing to 4bet his 3bets. 6) LAG will 5bet all in with the above hands plus AJs. he’ll shove. half the combinations of 88. your 4bets should have a ton of fold equity (perhaps not after the villain realizes what’s happening. it becomes more likely that you’ll make a mistake. 4) Conservative TAG will 5bet all in with the above two hands plus AKs. When you make a mistake. and QQ (and fold all other hands). Show me some math: When I decided to write this article. you can’t know what hand he has (unless you’re Phil Hellmuth and have world class “reading ability”). And when he shoves. etc. Obviously. As I explained. you’re hoping the other guy folds. AKo. even if some of them seem contrived. why are you 4betting his 3bets light?” The response is. if they continue with the hand. There’s little rhyme or reason to them. At the risk of stating the (very) obvious. there are two reasons for the preflop 4bet (or any bet or raise. the other two combinations of TT. don’t worry about 3bets. I came up with these ranges in the span of a few minutes. much of the importance of the move is rooted in metagame. and half the combinations of TT (and fold all other hands). When things get fuzzy. For the purpose of this article. When you 4bet light.If a villain is 3betting light. -. For the purpose of this article. I hope the following calculations illustrate some of the reasoning behind small preflop 4bets: What follow are some assumptions I made for the purpose of my PokerStoving. when betting and raising for value.just go with the assumptions. The more expected value you give up.”). and in general. 99. Adding a broader range of ranges (ugh) to this analysis definitely has some merit.” you’re right. he won’t always fold. you’re being laid major odds. but at least for the first session or two). 2) players won’t call your preflop 4bet. half the combinations of ATs. 4betting light is major +EV. There’s this stuff called pot odds. it’s theory. and more often than not. the number of ranges with which the following calculations can be performed is essentially infinite. The issue is that poker is a game of math. you shouldn’t be doing light 4betting against bad players). and as a bluff. It’s very bad for your raises to be constantly 3bet.

but calling is correct because folding would be a slight mathematical error. You’re UTG with TT. These guys have wider 5bet shoving ranges. so when you 4bet with this hand.504% 77. You can fold the hand without making a mistake. Since you’re priced in to call all in after making a pot 4bet with 65s against the range of Conservative TAG. but it’s important to realize what’s occurring. The bad news is that they’ll 5bet shove on your 65s more often. Two folds to Nit on the button.20% 18321336 168354.22:1.856% 68.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. You open to $7. You’re getting 278:125. $125 to win a pot of $278.20% 63532548 168354. You’re getting 278:125. it is not. a value raise. You need 31. The good news is that your 65s has more equity against their ranges.22% 159831996 515570. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. you’ll get stacked more than twice as often as you’ll suck out.22:1. You open to $7. so folding against them becomes a significantly bigger mistake.63% 00. you’ll be priced in with the same hand after the same action against both Aggressive TAG and LAG as well.06% equity or more to call. You’re priced in to call with only about 31% equity.22% 72010208 515570. You need a little over 31% equity to call. however. Even TT is a dog against the widest of the villains’ 5betting ranges. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes.First. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. Nit 5bets all in. TT does have solid equity against the range of LAG.06. You make a pot 4bet to $75.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 77.00 { QQ+. each one is a bluff. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 22. or 2.30% 00. Note that none of these 4bets are for value.496% 22. or 2.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 68. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 31. Nit makes a pot 3bet 139 . you’ve decided to turn your hand into a bluff. You open to $7. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.29% 00. Pot Odds: You have to call $125 to win a pot of $278.5%. Turning TT into a bluff by 4betting isn’t necessarily a poor play. let’s look at some scenarios in which you 4bet pot. You make a pot 4bet to $75. and you only have about 22. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. You’re UTG with 65s. AKs. The best hand you hold in the following scenarios is TT. and you have it almost exactly. Two folds to Nit on the button.92% 00. You’re UTG with 65s. You need a little over 31% equity to call. 100/3. and your hand is still a pretty big dog against the group of hands with which they’ll be pushing.144% 30.22 = 31. Pot Odds: Same as above.

You’re UTG with KQo.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 88. your TT is a slight dog (about 45.00 { TT } Hand 1: 63.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. You’re getting 278:125.514% 88. you’ll also have to call against the remaining two fictional players. You’re UTG with TT. TT is generally a much better hand than 65s.20% 99548892 242334. Pot Odds: You need 31.06% equity or more to call. so you can pitch it without making a mathematical error. It’s notable that even against LAG.943% 80. You make a pot 4bet to $75.00 { TT } Hand 1: 80. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 11. You open to $7. Nit 5bets all in.4% is enough equity that you should be calling. Two folds to Nit on the button.21% 00.20% 126502032 693396.15% 00. You make a pot 4bet to $75.34% 163058412 628650.06% equity or more to call. 140 . You’re UTG with KQo.5). You need 31.057% 18.486% 11. 36. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 36.39% 00.22:1. You need more than 31% equity to call and only have about 19%.06% equity or more to call. You make a pot 4bet to $75.587% 63. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.86% 00.20% 221421192 693396.to $24. or 2. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. since you’re priced in against this guy. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 19.75% 00.5/55. Pot Odds: Still $125 to win a pot of $278. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No.00 { QQ+. AKs. Pot Odds: You need 31. Nit 5bets all in.413% 36. Like in the first scenario.17% 00. You open to $7.34% 20613120 628650. but Nit’s range is so narrow that TT actually performs worse than 65s against the hands Nit could be holding.20% 23252328 242334. You open to $7.

26% 00.43% 194732364 3147627.49% 388386852 2423022. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. AQs+. TdTs.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 79.67% 00. You need a bit more than 31% equity to call.06% equity or more to call. and when you do call. You make a pot 4bet to $75.00 { 99+. you make a small 4bet to 2. You make a pot 4bet to $75. 8c8s.82% 00. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. 8h8s.33% 00. so 141 . TcTs. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 32. and you’re only getting about 21%.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 73. Two folds to LAG on the button.249% 72.249% 78. AKs. AhTh. This range is wide enough that you have to call. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button. You open to $7. you’re still not getting enough equity against the range you’re facing.43% 538687710 3147627. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No.49% 99910656 2423022. Your hands will remain the same.00 { QQ+. You open to $7. Pot Odds: You need 31. as will the villains’ ranges.751% 26.25 times the villain’s 3bet ($54) instead of 4betting pot. Pot Odds: You need 31.00 { JJ+. 8d8s. Such a 4bet risks less money while still denying villains the odds to set mine against you and to call with speculative hands. Pot Odds: You need 31.76% 00.973% 67.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 67.35% 750276744 3937734. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 26. in the following hands. In addition. ThTs. let’s look at some similar scenarios.06% equity or more to call. you’re a big dog. AsTs. You make a pot 4bet to $75. You’re UTG with KQo.35% 351420780 3937734.751% 20. AJs+.06% equity or more to call.Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.027% 31. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Now. However. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 20. LAG 5bets all in. You’re UTG with KQo. Aggressive TAG 5bets all in.62% 00. it makes calling a 5bet shove less attractive from a pot odds perspective.

AKo } Are you priced in to call? No.63% 00.29% 00. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24.20% 18321336 168354. IT IS NOT THE CASE. You’re getting 257:146.76:1. You’re getting 257:146. Nit 5bets all in.23% equity or more to call. THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE CASE! For the purpose of this article. When you make the small 4bet. Pot Odds: You have to call $146 to win a pot of $257. you were mathematically forced to call off your stack after the 4bet bluff with this hand. Note that when you 4bet pot. though. or 1.504% 77. You open to $7. or 1. You’re UTG with 65s. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button. You’re UTG with 65s. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.22% 72010208 515570.496% 22.5%. You open to $7. you can fold to the shove without making a mistake. You’re UTG with 65s. and you only have a bit more than 31%.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 68. You make a small 4bet to $54.00 { QQ+. Two folds to Nit on the button.22% 159831996 515570. AKs.76:1. You can fold the hand without making a mistake.144% 30.you won’t be mathematically obligated to call shoves as often after making a light 4bet.” IN REALITY. You’re getting 257:146. Pot Odds: Same as above. the examples would become extremely lengthy and complicated. and you only have about 22. If I were to assume that the villains’ 5betting ranges change when you decrease the size of your 4bet.30% 00. or 1. 142 . For the purpose of this article. You make a small 4bet to $54. You need a little over 36% equity to call. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. You make a small 4bet to $54.20% 63532548 168354. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.92% 00. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 31.23 Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 22. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.76:1. $146 to win a pot of $257. “Fair enough. Important note: you might be thinking.76 = 36. assume that a small 4bet has the same fold equity as a big 4bet.856% 68. but a small 4bet doesn’t have the same fold equity as a 4bet to pot. You need 36. $146 to win a pot of $257. 100/2. Pot Odds: Same as above. You need a little over 36% equity to call. You open to $7.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 77.

so clearly you’re not priced in now that your pot odds have become less favorable. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No.057% 18. Two folds to Nit on the button. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You still don’t have enough equity to call.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 70.73% 00.943% 80. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 19.76:1 and need 36. You’re UTG with TT.23% equity or more to call. AsTs.31% 322728794 1400403.22% 224472772 721187.76:1. TcTs. you can fold 65s to the shove after 4betting. Even against LAG’s range.368% 29. your equity has dropped slightly despite the fact that the range you’re facing has widened. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. LAG 5bets all in.20% 99548892 242334. You make a small 4bet to $54.00 { TT } Hand 1: 80. Two folds to LAG on the button. TdTs. AJs+.00 { 99+. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 30.23% equity or more to call.00 { JJ+.045% 29. AhTh. You open to $7. ThTs.22% 95998006 721187.33% 00.06% 00. You’re getting 257:146. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. 8d8s. You open to $7. You open to $7.86% 00.75% 00. Pot Odds: You’re getting1. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. Pot Odds: Same as above. You make a small 4bet to $54. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24.31% 133367872 1400403.20% 23252328 242334. You’re UTG with 65s. 8h8s.955% 69. AQs+.82% 00. In fact.23% equity or more to call.You need 36. $146 to win a pot of $257. You weren’t priced in to call against this guy even after making a pot 4bet. You make a small 4bet to $54. Nit 5bets all in. 8c8s. or 1. 8s7s. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 29.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. 143 .632% 70.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 69.76:1 and need 36. You need 36. You’re UTG with TT.23% equity or more to call. 8h7h.

You’re UTG with KQo.23% equity or more to call.34% 20613120 628650.00 { QQ+. You open to $7.751% 20.26% 00. You’re UTG with KQo. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 20.17% 00. You make a small 4bet to $54.49% 99910656 2423022.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 79.Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 36.49% 388386852 2423022. but that then. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button. Note that TT also became a call against this guy when you were 4betting pot. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. Aggressive TAG 5bets all in.76:1 and need 36. You open to $7. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 11.76% 00. You open to $7. You’re UTG with KQo. You make a small 4bet to $54. AKs.587% 63.76:1 and need 36.413% 36. Two folds to Nit on the button. Math dictates that with TT. barely. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You need more than three times the equity you have before calling becomes the right play.23% equity or more to call. you’ll be priced in against Aggressive TAG and LAG too).34% 163058412 628650.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 88. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button.00 { QQ+.249% 78.20% 126502032 693396.514% 88. You make a small 4bet to $54. However. the four villains’ 5bets should be dealt with the same way despite the difference in 4bet size (since you’re priced in against Conservative TAG. the decision wasn’t a close one.39% 00. Equity: 144 .00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No way.20% 221421192 693396. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.76:1 and need 36. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. and it’s still not close. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24.15% 00. Nit 5bets all in. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes.21% 00. AKs.23% equity or more to call.486% 11.00 { TT } Hand 1: 63. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. folding would only be a very minor mistake because the small 4bet leads to much less favorable pot odds on a call.

82% 00. you were able to fold against all four players’ shoves without making a mathematical mistake.751% 26. Being able to 4bet bluff with the knowledge that you can fold to a 5bet all in is a nice luxury.78% 00.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 67. You’re UTG with KQo. When you made a small 4bet. decreasing the size of your 4bet made it possible to correctly fold to 5bet shoves in spots where you would’ve had to call if your 4bet were bigger. AJs+.8 < 36.33% 00. However. but you had to call against the other three. When you 4bet pot with pocket tens. You make a small 4bet to $54. TcTs.36% 740938512 3972930. with 65s and KQo. but you were priced in to call against LAG. meanwhile.865% 32. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Nope. 8h7h. With this hand. You open to $7. the smaller 4bet provided you with increased leverage.23% equity or more to call. Analysis When you 4bet pot with 65s. When you 4bet pot with KQo.36% 360688620 3972930. you were priced in to call three times out of four when making a 4bet to pot.76:1 and need 36.00 { 99+. you were able to fold to shoves from the first three players. ThTs. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 32.equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 26.51% 00. LAG 5bets all in. The same was the case when you decreased the size of your 4bet with the tens: folding was correct against Nit. the small suited connector. but you were priced in to call against the other three players. you were priced in zero times out of four. when holding the other two hands. when you made your 4bet bluff smaller with this hand. When you 4bet bluffed small with 65s.43% 194732364 3147627. 8d8s. AQs+. The results were especially drastic with 65s. you were able to fold to a shove from Nit. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.43% 538687710 3147627. 8s7s. TdTs.249% 72. though. decreasing the size of your 4bet changed nothing with regard to the correctness of calling a 5bet shove against the given ranges.00 { JJ+. 8h8s.135% 66. Even against this guy you can fold and avoid getting all in preflop as a 67/33 dog. you were able to correctly fold against all four players.the player with the next narrowest range -the decision to call in this spot was extremely close). you were able to fold to Nit’s shove. When holding TT. Two folds to LAG on the button.2. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. Decreasing the size of a 4bet makes this process 145 . 26. 8c8s.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 73. Being mathematically forced to call off most of your stack is bad when you know you are a significant dog in the pot. However. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. but you had to call against the other three (though against Conservative TAG -.

Note that it’s important to make both small 4bets and 4bet pushes with both hands that are marginal and hands that are powerful. especially at 200 NL. if you’re pulling this crap often with junk. 4betting small with premium hands is a good adjustment and is important for balance. perhaps at the expense of some fold equity. does it never make sense to 4bet pot? It never makes sense to 4bet pot according to the assumptions in this article. Won’t villains adjust to my small 4bets? Probably not. according to this article. If they adjust. I’ll probably begin to replace pot 4bets with a combination of small 4bets and 4bet shoves. However. So. you adjust. it’s impossible to prove that fold equity is the same regardless of 4betting size. 4betting pot would be inferior to both 4betting small and to 4bet shoving. But yes. If I had some way of knowing that light 3betters react the same way to small 4bets as to pot 4bets. How much fold equity (if any)? Tough to say. 146 . smart villains should notice eventually and begin to shove over your 4bets with a wider range.possible. With the information I have. I’d eliminate the pot 4bet from my arsenal because if this were the case. in my opinion.

I steal blinds when I’m playing my 16/9 full-ring TAG game and I steal blinds when I’m playing my 35/20 6-max LAG game. I’ve always stolen blinds. AQ: 90. Over those 313 blind-steal attempts. and they have random hands.6% chance with three players left to act. any pair.” all Great Hands plus 88. . I'd be a Pooh-Bah now.“Very Good Hand. . Due to some…er. what’s the approach? The answer is that it’s quite easy.“Premium Hand.” any pair. I’ve maintained a healthy win rate of 1. any two broadway: 29. and 77. Know yourself and know your target.31% of the time – that works out to be 313 steal attempts out of 817 opportunities. blind stealing is a VERY important contributor to your overall win rate. I stole blinds when I played limit hold’em. AK: 94.“Above Average Hand. the weaker the average hand you’ll have when you attempt a steal. . The odds none of the remaining players have “good” hands are as follows: . I’ve stolen blinds from my eight-year-old cousin and from an 85-year-old great-grandmother. hopeless. In the last 17. Note what this means: the “looser” your remaining opponents. or perhaps just an “image move” to help get paid off on your big hands. KQ: 87. .“Good Hand. those steal attempts have generated over 30% of my total profits at the no-limit poker tables. heartless. you’re hoping NOT to get to a showdown.5% chance with two players left to act. Despite the fact that I’ve only attempted a blind steal one time every five orbits. and I always will. That means that for the frequent blind thief. So.10 PTBB/hand: that’s 110 PTBB/100. AK. let’s turn to the issue at hand: how do you steal the blinds successfully? What’s the formula. I’m forced to make a SECOND Pooh-bah post. Pokey’s Rules for Blind Theft: 1.” AA-TT.4% chance with two players left to act. I’m reasonably good at it.500 hands. any suited.8% chance with two players left to act. I’ve attempted to steal the blinds a whopping 38.3% chance with three players left to act. helpless. what’s the method. and 55. The good news is that the odds of your remaining opponents having a decent hand are slim – there are only two or three players left to act. I haven’t had quite as much time to think about it the second time around. any two broadway: 67.8% chance with two players left to act.9% chance with three players left to act. If your blind steals are a standard 4xBB. AQ.3% chance with three players left to act.1% chance with two players left to act. habitual blind thief. and 86.Blind stealing (Pokey) Well.” any ace. if somebody hadn't changed my title. and despite that. Blind steals rely heavily on folding equity. AJ: 84. Furthermore. then you 147 . The more frequently you try to steal the blinds. and 91.3% chance with three players left to act. I’ll admit it: I’m a ruthless. think again – blind stealing can be an extremely valuable part of your poker arsenal. AK. and 16% chance with three players left to act. now that I’ve got your attention.” AA-99.“Great Hand.6% chance with two players left to act. I stole blinds when I played tournaments. but I’ve decided to address an important and often-misunderstood topic in small-stakes no-limit poker: blind stealing.“Super Premium Hand. the harder it will be to successfully steal the blinds preflop. To those of you who consider blind stealing an insignificant part of the no-limit poker game.” AA-JJ. I steal blinds when I play no-limit hold’em. and 82. “irrational exuberance” on my part. Like I said: done right. . it’s wildly successful.

you will be stealing with reasonably solid hands yourself: collectively. Let’s assume that when we’re called. .4% of the time. As an example. how often our opponent will improve and we’ll improve more. The odds that your hand is worth pursuing is therefore significant enough to warrant a full pot-sized continuation bet from you. how often our opponent will improve and still fold. This will be the case when we are relentless with our steal attempts and our opponents are conservative with their calls.If our opponent is playing “Great Hands. . any king.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 56. aggression. so you need to remain aware of both your table image and your opponent’s play style. Now we get into the art of blind stealing: how large should our flop bet be? We want to make sure our flop bet is at the same size whether we’ve flopped well or not. and if not. any pair. So against players who will only play “very good hands” versus a steal attempt. the chances that on the flop you have 148 . any ace. this is not a tragedy – it’s an opportunity. we need to apply that steady aggression.6% of the time. you should be stealing with literally any two cards from either BB or CO. meaning that your hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 47. how often we’ll improve but our opponent will improve more. even if you never win a hand when you don’t win preflop. . your flop bets should be sizeable. if your opponent folds. Most opponents crumble quickly against steady aggression. but we’re balancing competing issues: how often our opponent will improve. we win immediately. Of course.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 59.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 49% of the time.If our opponent is playing “Above Average Hands.” If that’s your steal range.If our opponent is playing “Premium Hands. Aggression.1% of the time. Since 3 out of 11 is 27. The flop is going to improve our hand about one time in three.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 40. my steal rate of 38.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 73% of the time. However.4% of possible holdings. if our opponents are likely to fold 72. 20% of the time or less). how often we will have a strong hand. While this sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy. However. so if you immediately win 3 times out of 11 you will show an immediate preflop profit. When you get called preflop. some of his hand range will include unpaired preflop hands like AK. As complicated as this all sounds. that we have played the hand aggressively so far and that we will have position on this and every remaining street in the hand.If our opponent is playing “Very Good Hands. . I don’t recommend stealing “only” 20% of the time.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 64% of the time. Given that you are only attempting a steal 20% of the time. . I recommend stealing much more often than that. the hand range your opponent will consider worthy of a preflop call will expand as you attempt steals more frequently. and any two broadway cards make up 20. what are the odds that by the flop our opponent’s hand is at least strong enough to beat unimproved pocket deuces? . to successfully steal blinds. we need to do so CAREFULLY so as to make sure that our attempts are profitable.3% corresponds roughly to stealing with “any pair. we’re typically behind. Consider that even if our opponent is playing as incredibly tight. So. any two broadway cards. 2. etc. and doing so will show an instant profit even before the flop. For people who steal infrequently (say.7% of the time. all suited aces.7% of the time.3%.If our opponent is only playing “Super Premium Hands. and any suited connector down to 87s.will wager 4xBB to win 1.5xBB. aggression. it’s actually not bad at all. you have a valuable hand often enough to make this a highly profitable hand for you. we’ve got a few things going for us: namely.If our opponent is playing “Good Hands. great.

a 2/3-pot sized bet only needs to win 40% of the time to be immediately profitable.Above Average Hands: 29.36)*(+2. Skipping ahead to the loosest players: . we win 2. your opponents are more afraid of you than you are of 149 .08 PTBB. If we consider only the tightest and loosest opponents.5% of the time they fold preflop. Once again. While a pot-sized bet needs to win 50% of the time to be immediately profitable.75) + (0. there is too much “art” in the play to be easily categorized in a summary like this.5) = +0. raising the value of your PREFLOP bets. the odds that he CALLS your preflop bet go DOWN.295*(+0. Note well two points. Consider the value of a steal attempt from the big blind against the various opponents.75) + (0.9% of the time they fold on the flop. this assumes that our opponent is calling EVERY time he has a hand that is at least as strong as a pair of deuces.51)*(+2. At this stage of the hand.at least a pair will be noticeably lower (something like 42. The answer is not to bet less often on the flop. Much like bears in the woods. Also.17 PTBB.5) = +0.674*(+0.75) + (0.5 PTBBs). we’ve already had two chances to win the pot: one if our opponent folds to the preflop bet and one if our opponent folds to the flop bet. and when they fold.75) + (0. After the flop.Super Premium Hands: 94.8%).75) + (0.908*(+0.5) = -0. 51% of the time they fold on the flop. EV = 0. .092*0. rather.45 PTBB. easy and simple rules must be thrown out the window.705*0.092*0.75) + (0. the odds that he has a decent hand on the flop go up. Notice what this means: if your opponent plays very tightly against your preflop raise. the opponent holding 22 on a board of AKQ is assumed to call our continuation bet.75) + (0. This assumes our betting is 2 PTBB preflop and 3. and (b) only call the flop with a hand that can beat 22 (when they fold. and that safely makes all of these calculations +EV.75 PTBBs). 27% of the time they fold on the flop.4% of the time they fold preflop.059*0. 59.64)*(-5.941*(+0. lowering the value of your flop bets. EV = 0. assuming they will (a) fold preflop if their hand is outside of the specified range (winning 0.75) + (0. we lose every time.1% of the time they fold preflop. this demonstrates a bizarre truism: the less likely your opponent is to fold. 36% of the time they fold on the flop. However.51 PTBB. thus. we lose 5.326*0. EV = 0.75 PTBBs.27)*(+2. the less profitable your blind-stealing will prove to be in terms of folding equity. From here on in.Premium Hands: 90.599)*(+2. we see this: . the answer is to bet a smaller quantity on the flop. . This should prove FAR from true.Good Hands: 67. however: first. EV = 0.5 PTBB on the flop.49)*(-5. our EV calculations have thus far assumed that whenever we have not won with the flop bet. especially against the loosest of our opponents.73)*(-5.5) = +0.401)*(-5.705*0.326*0.059*0. I do want to point out a few simple points that might make help you in your blind-stealing adventures: 1.8% of the time they fold preflop. A safe bet is that we will win at LEAST 1/3 of the time when our flop bet is called.

I thank the both of you. Don’t bother seeing what the flop brings – there’s no profit in it. since my opponent won’t see my straight or flush coming). feel free to fold your KQo. we need to tighten up considerably. Blind stealing is decidedly a “small pot game” strategy. your folding equity remains solid. TRUST him. Just because you got reraised preflop the last time you tried to steal doesn’t mean that they’ve got your number. You’re SCARY. Your entire strategy here is a bluff that depends entirely on your playing your monsters and your junk identically. If the flop comes A83r and your opponent bets the pot. the turn flush card. fire that second (third?) barrel! Don’t be afraid to bet the turn ace. 3. and he does NOT have a pair of balls. or check-raises big. but give your opponents a tiny chance to catch their breaths between steals. but it also gets paid off much more frequently than it would if you were only nut-peddling. 5. Why not take advantage of the fear? Instead of playing for my 2-to-1 draw. the turn straight card. There is no shame in folding your blind steal attempt. DO NOT SLOWPLAY. To those of you who read this entire thread. GET OUT. If a scare card hits on the turn and your opponent checks to you again. This is your hand – you’ve raised preflop and bet the flop. but you’ll also get even more respect the next time you play fast on a board of A55…only this time you’ll have 98s…. if you are risking your stack on a blind steal. Don’t get discouraged if your steals fail. the turn pair. Don’t ALWAYS take it. though – I’ve often fired another barrel with a hand like Tc9c when the board looked like QcJd4s4c. understand your table image. Don’t. and STILL win 1/3 of the time at showdown (usually for even more money. 6. Our opponents don’t adjust NEARLY as much as we think they do. Know your image! While players don’t adjust very well or very far or very effectively. Now he’s got 92o. and your opponent will usually offer you a free card on the turn. Give it a shot – you may find it more lucrative than you ever imagined it could be. This is another place where knowing your enemy helps. I can bet immediately and win the pot a significant chunk of the time. understand that your opponents are getting pissed off at you. you can go back to stealing and bullying. Take free cards if they are beneficial to you. Don’t! With any luck. I cannot emphasize this enough. There’s always the temptation when you have AA preflop and catch A55 on the flop to suddenly change gears. SB had AA when he fought back. the turn king. If you’ve got a good draw. If you’ve picked up the pot with preflop bets and flop bets the last four hands in a row. but it also scared the doody out of my opponent. and understand that your folding equity falls every additional time you win a pot without showing your cards. feel OBLIGATED to do so. more likely. you’ve screwed up big-time. your opponent won’t believe you. Given that your opponent has exhibited NO aggression at this point. making him think that I just turned trips. fold your 98s in the CO this time. We’re often worried that because our opponent played back at us the last time we tried to steal. You are not a slave to your cards. 2. if you are stealing with total garbage (86s or some such) and someone reraises. In fact. and I hope this gave you some additional insight into the ins and outs of blind stealing. feel free to take it. One strength of this strategy is that you’ll often have good draws on the flop. 4. Use that ruthlessly. After you’ve folded preflop three or four times in a row. Fold immediately. and without hesitation. Not only will you stack him. Not only did that turn card 4c improve my hand by giving me nine more outs. Hit him again. Similarly. and keep hitting him. 150 . Not only does it boost the shania of all your weak junk by elevating your folding equity.Fast play of big hands is CRUCIAL to the success of this strategy. here. they DO adjust. and will call all-in with QQ unimproved. or the turn blank if you think your opponent is running scared. If your opponent gets aggressive.them.

I've made some lengthy posts in the past.Geez. 151 . but this one was longer than Ghandi. Sorry about that.

of limpers: normally 1 or 2. what you have to realise is quite how +EV blind stealing is. what hands should you be doing this with? After how many limpers? After what sort of limpers. 6) Our oppponents are plays sub-optimally by open limping. It means 1) they will be folding more.Taking stealing the blinds to next level (Dan Bitel) Secondly. this means that on the BB . even from CO. Next. 4) When we take it down preflop.. is this a good thing or a bad thing? I think in a way. we'll catch you yet 5) We'll get paid off more on our big hands. We've got a poor hand after all.. what should you normally do? Well folding certainly doesn't look too bad. You have K 2 .. Normally. Now considering that a good TAG player will normally only play about 20% of their hands.5BB. Check you BB/100 when blind stealing in PT. the blinds are at such a disadvantage. IMO. Well.freakdaddy. Or maybe you're sitting at a table of just mega unobservant fish. we are punishing that mistake. but sometimes more if conditions allow 152 . what I'm about to write is not for every1.. so lets say you're on the button and MP limps to you. you should do it with your normal blind stealing range. so it's less likely the blinds will see it as that and play back at you. either you're at a table of mega mega unobservant fish and you just keep raking in the money from their limps. Kxs. Well. 2) They will be raising more and will be out of their comfort zone. Axs. This means they will usually make even bigger mistakes than usual as they try to adjust Next. Unlike blind stealing. OK. 2) It's scary the amount of times that I've seen people limp/fold preflop. they won't continue after your flop cbet very often. OK. I know that a lot of good players/respected posters do this already and some don't like it at all. which as we've already discussed is $$$$$$. so SC. you don't HAVE to do this to play optimal poker. What do I think you should do? RAISE THAT [censored]!!! Reasons: 1) now. now that a hell of a lot of $$$$!!!! The reason for this is in a way. that they normally wouldn't put in. No. lets think about what will happen after we make this play a few times. its a VERY good thing. It kinda baffles me realy!! What kind of hand can they have? 3) What do you opponents limp with? This is a very important consideration. either trash/SC/PP. and they realise what you're doing and they stop limping. yourblind steal doen't even look like a blind steal. they have to post their blind without even seeing their hand. I'm sure that for most of you it's bigger than 60 PTBB/100. NLTH is a badly structured game in the way that when you play without antes. low PP etc etc. unsuited connectors. So even if you do get called. So by raising. they're losing 4BB every 5 hands. so you can steal the blinds more. Thats over 100PTBB/100. These hands miss the flop very often. we now win 2. suited 1 gappers.

Lastly. raising them all and then from all other positions just play pairs/big aces/KQ is a simpleish but very profitable strategy 153 . the problems with this: 1) If you do this too often. IMO. playing a huge range of hands from the button after 0 or 1 (and even 2 limpers). you'll find that you open up your game tooo much and start raising poor hands OOP too and get into trouble. eihter preflop or 2 cbets. 2) watch out for LRR 3) You'll be put in a lot more marginal situations post-flop. so you need to make sure your reasing skills are goot.The type of limpers: the ones that like to fold.

and I wish that I could at least help them start down the right road towards managing this problem. you must work hard to condition yourself while you are thinking rationally. and the 154 . this can be very hard to do. what is it then that separates players with regards to tilt? Well. and managing a problem. This is my attempt. first we should understand the problem." and never pick up another cigarette again? Probably not. When it comes to poker related behaviours. While there have been many attempts. Things just don't work that way. The fact of the matter is that these tendencies are very common among all poker players. Guess what. It will lose its effect. addiction prone. Fear can override them. and displayed strong tendencies of any combination of various personality disorders that you can think of. pops. So. think about how someone that you know well. If a person that has problems with tilt control were to go to a psychologist. You get cut off in traffic. for the most part. because they lack a certain fundamental understanding of human behaviour. would you say "Golly. logic isn't much help in the now. Conflicting responses and urges can override them.TILT and PSYCHOLOGY The psychology of TILT (DaycareInferno) I have been giving a lot of thought today to what factors separate highly tilt-prone players from those players that struggle with tilt less often. First let me say that there are big differences between recognizing a problem. its simply a matter of anger levels and how conditioned an individual is to managing their anger. Logic does not override peoples' hard-coded responses and urges. egomaniacal. just like an ill conceived New Year's resolution. In order to use rational thinking to help manage your problems. so how do we go about managing the problem? Well. though? That same psychologist is going to draw similar conclusions about a high percentage of poker players that aren't as tilt prone. These are the moments that bring to light the levels of anger within a person. both by amateurs and seasoned professionals. If your old man told you that you should stop smoking cigarettes because they are bad for you. think about how you would react in the following situations. to help people with this particular problem. and not just look at the end effect. If you are very prone to tilt. but for the most part. An old lady in front of you in line at the grocery store insists on sifting through change for 5 minutes in order to pay an exact amount. also. most of these attempts that I have seen are somewhat misguided. Having a mantra. or a picture on the ready for when you're thinking irrationally just isn't going to cut it. or a cliche. understanding a problem. I guess you're right. whether they're tilt monkies or not. Ok. that psychologist would probably come to the conclusion that he/she was compulsive. and is every prone to tilt would react in the following situations: Your favorite football team throws an interception in the last minute of a close game that is returned for a game winning score by the opposing team. I often feel bad. because a lot of friends of mine are severely inhibited by tilt. would you jump up and yell "Yay! Let's all go to McDonald's!"? Probably not. and that it's just a game. and your mother approached you and told you that it was okay. If you are not very prone to tilt. If you missed an easy layup at the buzzer of a high school state championship basketball game. because there are so many unique factors in play.

Something else that should be added to that. As nice as it would be to be able to condition your behavior by taping some fortune cookie [censored] onto the side of your monitor. tend to lose it in all of these situations. there are plenty of free resources available that can provide you with a foundation for that work. its not going to do you much good when you're involved in something as intense as a game of poker. get on google. not just for the sake of your poker career. Your approach might keep you from getting punched at Aldi's. but its everyone to a certain extent. Its not that hard to improvise a little bit and put your research into a context that makes more sense for you. or in poker. start researching. and so a lot of them will probably come off as fairly cheesy. you shouldn't go off the deep end just yet. Final Thought: Watch more Kung Fu 155 . Try to keep in mind that while the end result of your problem may surface on an imaginary card table. these type of solutions aren't really any more effective than a rabbit's foot. There is no one that doesn't get mad. Most online resources for these types of things really aren't very well geared towards younger age groups. but its something you would like to work on. What can you do? Well. If you're the type that just boils on the inside. though. Don't think that you're going to be okay. and maybe it is. is that although a marginal ammount of self control will suffice in those situations. I can tell you right now that it will do you no good if you do not continue to work. nonetheless. you'll come to find out that in the long run. If you're serious about looking into effective ways of managing your anger. though. you're going to have a real uphill battle with poker. then it would greatly benefit you to seek professional help. If your problem isn't severe. just like lifting weights for a day isn't going to make you any stronger physically. but it won't help you much in poker. just because you're not the type to lash out in those sorts of situations. is by the consequences of your actions.people that lose it in any of these situations. If your anger is causing you major problems in your life. The easiest way to assess the severity of your problem. though. that does not mean that people that spend a lot of time around imaginary card tables are the most qualified to help you with that problem. If you're the guy that screams at your television when your team loses. I'll warn you ahead of time. in life. as opposed to sitting on your couch and eating potato chips. and be prepared to actually spend some time and effort on it. like the guy from "Falling Down". that anger is still there. You might be reading this and thinking "Oh my god! That's so me!". just like with anything else. instead of looking for a quick fix. and tend to lose it at the poker table as well.

156 . and if followed. I think its fairly safe to say. and alot of times I see people doing things that i know they know they shouldn't be doing. i am pretty well versed in tilt. Alleviation 3. The process I developed in terms of tilt is called R. your game will develop 10-fold. and then there are players who "know" this and basically ignore it. but as a once chronic tilter.A. R. Im not proud of this lol. what is tilt first off? I would define it as a state of mind a player enters that causes them to deviate from ANY play they would make normally with sound reasoning. people will not KNOW they are actively tilting. Lets face it. I sweat people a ton. Recognition This is perhaps the hardest thing about tilt. and as much as the 12 tabling hudbots want to believe. There are players who know this. and fix it. Recognition 2. (Pjo336) know there have been many posts on tilt and cures etc. i thought i would throw in my thoughts and ideas on what I have learned on the topic. (hope i didnt lose anyone) So how can you come to realize it? Well. However they dont realize it.A. the fact that alot of the time. you WILL NOT WIN if you continue to let tilt run thru your game. emotion will kill you in this game.A. The fact is simple. Im here to help the latter.TILT and R.A. to a play of pure emotion. 1. 1.A.A. Adjustment Each portion is important. we are all humans and prone to such emotions.

Shorten it up. Shorter sessions !!! I used to sit and play till i reached 1500 hands. Excercise. Alleviation This step is of course coming down off of tilt. Hell I cant handle 8 without tilting. Lessen it up. A year. The fact is. but I promise you. Not all of us can handle 2 hour sessions at 12 tables. Even talk to someone. Its science. Take a break. flop an oesd and check call half your stack. annoying as hell. put on a soothing song. I tilted off a very sizeable roll in about a 157 . STFU noob. ill help you out! Personally I light up a scented candle and reflect on finding my center. BUT YOUR "A" GAME WILL NOT. whether it was a beat. Most of us have the advantage here in the micros of knowing there will ALWAYS be fish to feed us sharks. Eventually youll have a solid list of "What to avoid" while playing. wash your face with warm water or draw a warm bath and play in it. Recognition is the hardest part of this process. THE GAME WILL ALWAYS BE THERE. there are a few quick things you can do to calm yourself. This ones pretty obvious as well. about poker or not. When you get rattled. Write it down and remember it. a tournament).Adjustment Finding what caused your tilt can help. you play less optimally and become part of the "force it" crowd. Hell im on this site way too much. An hour. Do SOMETHING to get your blood flowing a few times a week. w/e. whether its 5 hours or 5 days later. 3.Common tilt thoughts: "This [censored] has min raised my cbet far too many times" Yes. a player. This is emotion getting involved and is deviating you from playing optimally "Come on gimme a hand" Patience child. pm me. Pretty simple: Have a smoke if you smoke. Take a walk. even by 1 and im sure youd be surprised at the somewhat calmer pace calming you. Nothing is harder than the first time you leave a 60/4 monkey sitting on your right with 5 buy ins. This is more important than you will know. You start playing against the 60/4 with 89 offsuit. It adds 5 minutes to your time. and lets not forget. A month. STOP. it gets easier. go thru the session and find what caused it. or your gf bitching at you. but people fall into a trap of getting MORE into the game when they are urked. If it seems to be bothering you especially today YOU MAY JUST BE ON TILT. because everyone is different. Dont do this. Endorphins and what not people. life isnt all about poker. #1.Long term: This of course means one thing. "I never win flips" [censored] you dont. There are 2 different forms of alleviation. This will not only improve the quality of you emotional state. but its more or less finding what you can do to avoid ANYTHING that will hurt you. Dropping 2 bis then noticing you still have 32 bis left is much easier to handle then realizing you were never really rolled for this level in the first place. Play 500. take a five minute break. By 1100 i was usually going batshit insane. WHY? Leave the table until you are settled. Next time you have found yourself tilting. DO NOT CONTINUE PLAYING. then play another 500. but also adds to your ptbb/100. but worry more about his stats and reads. Sufficient Br. 2. Less tables. stop!. Nothing makes a cold hand streak stick out more than tilt. on the phone or aim. #2-Short Term: I recommend trying to avoid this. You would be surprised how much taking 10 seconds to breath and focus on something else would really help. get a soda. but even health state. but if you are for for any reason in a spot where you need to continue (i. hell [censored] someone ferociously. quit tilting. pump some iron.e.

how you alleviate it. If you lose either. Don't force anything! If your not in the mood to play today.week of nonstop tilting. whether poker related or not. and how you can adjust to avoid needing alleviation. tl:dr 158 .9% of my posts are worthless. Everything about tilt and its elements are pretty individual. but this does not make YOU a professional. You can watch 100 people do it. so in reality. Stop playing for a day and pick up a book. Id love to hear thoughts on the topic. I PROMISE! And remember. I took a 4 month hiatus from poker. the secret to success is passion and patience. (I recommend Take Me to the River by Peter Alson as a non-strat poker book). ill start. there's always tomorrow. and I have come back stronger than ever. you are screwed. Try filling in on a piece of paper one day how you recognize your tilt. Well I hope this rambling helped someone out so I can say only 99. its up to you to find how it all pertains to your play and your emotions. It WILL help your game 100%. Guess what guys. dealing with tilt is just like sex.

WTF? No way. Instacall. Not this time. Gets to our friend. You tilted.reraise. If you've played poker for any amount of time you've experienced it. Revenge is the only thing on your mind right. Fuming.still steaming. Table-Monkey . and cheer. who now has taken you for 200BBs. and your poor mouse doesn't even know what it's in for. It is like the 4th of July in your head. Your mouse winces each time you click Fold Fold Fold. RAISE! Fold. You lead. "XXXX you. pal. couldn't have helped the monkey.My Take On Tilt (beavens) Tilt. you XXXXing donkey XXXXX" is typed out into the chat box with such anger that the desk shakes with every keystroke. You yell. You want back the money you rightfully earned and Senior Donk took from you with his insane luck. Pissed off at how this moron could go all-in with TPBK and a backdoor straight draw.you get AJs in the cutoff. You happily 3bet all-in and raise your fist triumphantly in the air as your push gets called. fold. I wanted to make this (obscenely long) post about the two different kinds of tilt: Loser's Tilt and Winner's Tilt. You scream. What happened??? One event sparked a total change in momentum of your entire session. 159 . and also briefly talk about ways to cope with and prevent tilting in general. River card: 6 SHIP IT! But wait . You already picture yourself stacking those chips (or virtual chips) in a huge pyramid. All you see is the AA flipped over and another 100BBs being shipped over to Senior Donk. You push .why are all the checks being pushed to the monkey??? The table-monkey flips over his K9 for the runner-runner straight. You get restless and frustrated by not receiving one playable hand. You don't even remember the flop. turn or river. get raised by an obvious table-monkey. And then it comes . Turn card: 7 Ha. Steaming. You flop top set with KK on a board of K58 rainbow. You rebuy.

In almost all cases. This part is more psychological. You are an overwhelming favorite in a hand. are anger and disgust . your stack starts to dwindle. The second form of tilt (that I didn't even THINK of until it was brought to my attention) is Winner's Tilt. This happens when an event takes place like listed above. For a lot of people. we thrive on these people sucking out on us. I believe it depends on the person as to what calms them down the best.which I personally would hate. is the most obvious one we've all dealt with .First. We do this by: opening up your preflop standards too much. raising/calling raises with marginal hands. and the villain catches a miracle card(s). Otherwise we'd be sitting at tables full of 4_2's.both of which pave the path of you misplaying a future hand. the bad beats won't matter and that you'll come out on top more times than not. right?". The sooner you can learn to roll with the punches. This brings me to preventing tilt from happening in the first place. Watch some TV. you were behind the whole time anyways). You laugh at the meager plebs and look down on them from your mountain of chips. and becoming way too aggressive. "How can you tilt when you're winning??". As SSNL players. taking a break from poker altogether for a little while is the only way. You may think. Next thing you know you're up 150BBs and life is g00t. So if you don't hit (don't worry. but not to somehow rationalize making -EV decisions.I can afford to make this call. etc. quarks. I'm running hot anyways. hang with friends. Common reactions. then hopefully you will not flip out when you drop few buy-ins to bad beats. reviewing their plays for the session. 160 . I'm up big . let's look at way to cope/deal with tilt and ways to prevent tilting in the first place. Your goal should be to be able to shrug off bad beats because you know that the short run is just the battle. You feel a need to win that money back as soon as possible. or reading their poker books help. play some video games. If you provide yourself a nice cushion to soften out the variance. It's a numbers game! You get your money in as the favorite and overall you WILL make money. read a book.just get your mind off the game. For others. as it is the nature of the beast. go outside. dbtiels. Picture this You are on a heater and playing well. etc . not the war. I've personally found that when I've got a nice BR for the level I'm playing on. right??? No. AJs. it involves doing something OTHER than playing poker.Loser's Tilt. obviously. But it doesn't faze you! You're still having a winning session. Everyone goes through the swings. . by making these poor decisions and losing these "small" pots you’re basically burning money. Now that we've looked at the two different forms of tilt. The main goal in dealing with tilt is realizing that in the long run. so I would love if some of the Psych regs could come in and shed some light on how to get in the proper mindset for poker. Then winner's tilt comes into play but the scary thing about winner's tilt is that you don't even realize it! You find yourself playing marginal hands and pushing even the thinnest of edges because in your mind you're thinking. My practical suggestion for preventing tilt is being properly bankrolled. posting/reading on 2p2. right? All is good. and in doing so. you set yourself up for more future losses. "Hey. the better off your game will be. There are infinite ways to cope or deal with tilt. I think we've all been in those situations are know them pretty well. Getting a deep stack should allow you some opening up of your game. You're getting hands and they are hitting hard. not keeping position/stats/reads in mind during a hand.

161 . I hope that no one follows my lead and blows their entire BR in one night by tilting your face off and jumping into a game that you are severely underrolled for. If you don't get anything from this thread.my tilting has dropped dramatically. Well. I hope this wasn't TOO long and it provided something helpful.

Variance. Knowing we have an edge against our opponents makes losing to them all the more painful. The problem is we know it. There has been several posts written on the subject by far superior players than myself. I am not posting this to bore the forum with tales of one outers or runner runner disasters. Sometimes they all hit in a short amount of time. It is important that we separate our self worth from the results of our poker sessions. but to hopefully allow some of the newer players a chance to learn from my downswing. We see our opponent’s mistakes and do our best to manipulate them. we would be much better off playing for 6 hours when we are playing well and controlling the table than when we are stuck and trying to get even. We work at getting better with every post we make. I believe that most of us feel like we are one of the better players at the table when we sit down. . He also said that it was one of the hardest things for him to over come early in his career. The less of your self worth you derive from poker the better player you will be. As 2+2ers. If you are a professional player. You successfully manipulated your opponent into making a huge mistake and that is all you can hope for. There is nothing you can do about it. Not matter how big our edge is. are very closely related IMO. Before we can become truly great players we must learn to be able to quit behind and play longer when we are winning. It also can lead to us playing longer than we should when we are losing. We know we are better.” I find myself in the middle of such a time now. Tilt. Tilt. Ego. If we normally play 2 hours a day but sometimes play 6 hours. We all need something outside of poker that we can be proud of and enjoy. When we lose it’s usually because someone got lucky. We get impatient and try and force the issue when what we really need to be doing is waiting for the right spot. I hope if you’ve read this far. students. We study hands. The other two factors. parents. Variance. and Ego all play huge roles in the length and destructiveness of our downswings. and SSNL (lmw) As a famous STT poster once said. When we win we pat ourselves on the back and feel good about the time we have put into improving our game. we will never be able to win everyday. I don’t really have any more to say on the subject now. all have to hit sometime. You may have heard the interview with Chip Reese this week. Everyone plays better when they are winning and everyone plays worse when they are losing. the 10-1 shots. so we ignore the warning signs of tilt in the hopes of stacking a bad opponent. As there are only two of these three factors we can control. or whatever. In this interview Chip mentioned that he felt like playing to long when they are losing was one of the biggest mistakes he sees his opponents make. Find something stable that brings you happiness. 162 . and the 45-1 shots. you are setting yourself up for one hell of a emotional rollercoaster ride. and learn from others mistakes and we are better poker players for it. IMO ego is the main reason players get stuck. If you let poker determine you happiness. “ there will come a time when you will run worse than you ever thought possible. I don’t intend to spend much time on variance. find other hobbies that you enjoy. We should all strive to be good friends. so that they may be able to cope with there own inevitable downswing better. If any of you listen to The Circuit. tilt and ego. Learn to be happy when you get your money in with way the best of it and lose. we make up a small percentage of the SSNL player pool who considers themselves serious students of the game of poker. The bottom line is the 4-1 shots. share ideas. If you are a causal player keep other aspects of your life at a higher priority than poker.

and help an old lady cross the street. 163 . I got a lot out of writing it. I’m going to take a break from poker for a couple of days. take my girlfriend out. but if not. hopefully I’ll be able to take it in stride. read a book. I have to if I ever want to be a true professional. I can only hope you got something out of reading it.that you have found some food for thought in this post. Hopefully when I return the pendulum will swing the other way.

You hold 65s on a 8c9c2s? Monster backdoor draws. “Find a flop for me not to continuation bet. Heads up vs the weak-tight-OMFG-he-must-have-flopped-the-nuts-to-bet-atthat-flop. Flop comes 9JKs. I like to call it. you can give up. and yes that means betting KJc on an AhTh3s board. Without getting more into further streets. they work well. You will have to start firing out at a few turns here. Once you observe your opponent and he seems to be in synch with his normal game play. bet it. proceed with caution. you’re going to have to concede some pots to him on the flop by check/folding. you’ve just sat at a table vs a table of unknowns. The normal player. and 4+ players. Of course. and sometimes firing out two barrels if you think you’ll be called by something like a ten. disregard the stats and go with how he is playing today. raise continuation bet %. If he starts to call you thin (b/c you check through the turn and river and he shows down MP on the flop). However. let’s hit it up. or sometimes bluff raise you. you will have reliable stats. The annoying ass “LOL I have two cards I call” player. there are a few numbers considered when continuation betting. Those numbers are: call continuation bet %. after all. if you have a shot of winning the hand. etc. Until you know he has adjusted his game by calling thin/semibluff or bluff raising the flop. Of course. and fold continuation bet %. I will split continuation betting into categories of: heads up on the flop. *NOTE* Do not depend on these stats as the be all end all. For this player. But. Essentially. For organization purposes. have 3 outs to the nuts. this will set you up for a check/raise on the flop with a real hand or bluff. There are a few stats I care about. that means betting out AA on an A63 rainbow. this is a good guy to represent scare cards on the turn with. This is the guy who folds to continuation bets 70-80%+ of the time. Bet out. or hate you because you just rocked them on some other table. if he is playing differently today. bet out. these quick examples are merely defaults.” As a default. You do. or getting a piece. So. I will attempt to discuss the intricacies of continuation betting. 3way. so I guess we need a strategy for those situations too…. Just be sure to balance by betting out here. If I have some gutshot. Honestly. so eventually he doesn’t always bet this flop when checked to. Now. or fire the turn 100% if he is OOP. Of course. this guy is going 164 . and dynamics becomes weighted more. and bet your made hands as well. Sometimes. poker is rarely an unknown in an unknown situation. stats become less important. over a bunch of hands. or backdoor draw. Poker players may play in different moods on different days.EVERYTHING ABOUT CONTINUATION BET Continuation betting – PART I (MYNAMEIZGREG) In this article. Now. start firing the turn and river more often. This is the guys who calls around 50% of the time or greater. I will discuss the types of players that fall into various categories based on their stats. as I moved up through the ranks. I resort to the bet if I can win strategy outlined in the opening paragraph. and you have 65h. Heads up. or Qs9x. or want to have a dick measuring contest with you because their girlfriend just broke up with them because they lost that contest with her. But alas. try to get to showdown and figure out what the hell this guy is doing. Note that this player has NOT started playing back at you. you can bet your draws as well. The only thing I will say about a specific situation in this paragraph is a quick synopsis of a monotone flop. or average player who generally calls or raises with a hand. When he raises or calls. let’s assume you are OOP and get called. Fire away. Ok. This is your average tag. Yes. but will sometimes call you down thin.

Continuation bet monsters and air. You are somewhat forced to call the turn if your opponents fires. However. I will not get into the specifics of when to bet monsters or not. Check/raise with good and bad hands. but if you decide it is +EV to do so. Note that checking behind with marginal hands will be balanced by the times you check behind with air. allowing you to play closer to perfectly.to win some money from you at the beginning. and marginal hands. or checking. This is the idiot who has a 33% calling/folding/raising ratio when faced with a continuation bet. or seems generally tilty will also fit into this category. because your opponent will give you less credit. considering not betting the next flop. Next time we will talk about multiway pots. Also. this is a great time to pound the flop if you hit. This would be QT on a TK3r flop. but also check behind on the flop with them. The tool for combating these guys is to let them outplay you. and how your hand and position affects what you do. That means three streets with TPTK or TPGK. and there actions will define their hands more easily. if they want to outplay you. Don’t check to these guys if you have a hand. the game is essentially over. However. You might be ahead but you might not be. This is the lag who wants to outplay you. you still should be betting these hands much of the time because check/calling doesn’t really get you a lot of information. OOP. Start to double barrel these guys. while in position. He is the calling station. Basically. This is the 2p2er who wants to stroke his ego. I guess feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer. 165 . because we’re gonna be firing at them all day long. It might be a good time to check/fold. The more difficult version of these players is the b) floaty type. a strong hand. until you figure out what exactly he is doing. or a set. Remember. and evaluate the river depending on the specific situation. so you are losing a LOT of value by check/calling to see if he bets his busted draw when you are sitting there with aces on a Q high board. when your draws hits. The last thing to take into consideration is your image. you have the option of checking behind. they are going to have to call down with middle pair for their stack. while you will turn their aggression into a mistake. calling or raising). The a) station is easily dealt with by value betting him to death. Marginal hands are tricky to play. if you just showed down a bluff or something happened when it looked like you were full of [censored]. and your image is of betting into every single flop. once you make that note that he called your two street bluff with 63 on a 68JK board. So. note that the normal player who just lots a few big pots. these are the guys that might take one off with 88 on a 29Q board. Check/call and lead the turn. because it is pretty specific to the opponent. however. But. However. as that flop hit a lot of hands and your image isn’t that great. The normal player will also fit into this category after you’ve pounded him with continuation bets the last 30 minutes. or with a hand like 9T. Of course. Additionally. HE’LL talk himself into a call. When players see you are capable to have a wide range of hands even doing any action (betting. Remember. Betting the flop and check/raising the turn is a sick move against these guys. and you can represent having a busted draw there too. The big thing not to forget is the importance of mixing up your play. You tricky [censored]. The board is really drawy. and the table dynamics (ie 15 pages). and is generally a weak play. your image. or a monster (slowplaying). whether you have air or a monster (I for one am not really a fan of showing bluffs. The strategy against these people depends on what subset they are. two pair. that your aggression is going to cause them to make mistakes. they are less likely to play back at you. go for it). that in a nutshell is continuation betting heads up. or KTs on a AK8 flop.

or even just a good reminder to most Why continuation bet??? Well that answer is easy.C-BETTING (The Machine) One thing when I first started playing poker that I noticed I did not have a good grasp on was betting. It is very unlikely that this flop has helped our vilain unless he has 99. How much should my continuation bet be??? That question depends on a few different factors. (this example will come into play more in a later example) Well I just read all this crap about why I should bet and this part was supposed to be about how much I should bet. no more. #1 reason is to protect what is most likely the best hand at this point. his 18% range is much wider then these 3 hands and we are ahead of almost all of them. We likely are still ahead of his holdings so here we are betting for protection and value. Our bet sizing does not need to be full pot here. For the time being I would like to keep our post flop to heads up play. If we say the flop is 10 9 4 now we have a different situation to face. (For simplicity's sake im negating the fact that villains possible QJ are also live outs against our AK here). If any further action is pursued then we can readjust our read and make the appropriate play. By making a PSB villain loses the most when he does not outdraw us and he was willing to put more money in post flop because how the flop had helped him. If our villain is drawing to a flush or straight we want him to pay the most he possibly will while doing it unprofitably. In our AK example our job is to get villain to fold. So if we continuation bet at all of the pots we raise we should win at least 2/3 of them just because the other person hasnt made a hand. Now lets take the same villain and change our flop around. We would always come out for a C-Bet in this spot when checked to. On a flop like this it is very drawless against this villain. Now our villains 18% has become much larger in possible holdings that can outdraw us. In a heads up pot any random hand will miss the flop 2/3 of the time. Lets assume our villain in this example plays a semi TAG game at 18/6/1. All continuation bets should be no less then 1/2 PSB to no more then full pot. We only need to bet an amount that we feel is enough to "get the job done". particularly continuation betting. I will try to go through a few different examples to describe my meaning. so we came in for our 4xBB + 1 for one limper and we were called by the BB only. This board has become draw heavy as there are POSSIBLE flush draws and straight draws on board. If we feel that 1/2-3/4 PSB is the right amount then that is the amount we should bet. This way we save money when we actually are behind. no less. 166 . it is unlikely that he holds 53 for an openender and there are no flush draws out. or 22.5. let alone made a hand strong enough to call us down with. Most of this post may be trivial to most but it may be helpful to some. If he is willing to call a PSB on the flop with an OESD then we need to make a PSB. We still hold AKo in the CO and he is still in the BB. Well I felt that getting that part out of the way was very relevant to how much we should bet. 44. The flop comes 9 4 2 . Well its standard to PFR 4xBB + 1 for each limper. In the CO we hold AKo. #2 reason is more of a semi bluff in which we are representing a hand which is stronger then ours really is.

#2 We hold a hand such as AA and the flop is KQJ. Aside from this aspect my main reason to keep C-betting (which I fail to do sometimes 167 . Against this opponent we need to C-bet when we actually make a hand and have him pay us off with many worse hands. Is there a time when I shouldn't be C-Betting YES. This is actually the beauty in a continuation bet (to be discussed later). Villain will most likely check his weak ace to us for fear of being outkicked/FPS with top pair.Well I followed your advice but every continuation bet I make gets check raised or called and we check down This is ok. Should I stop C-betting for a few hands? The answer here may be yes for some reasons such as an incorrect perception of a player." This quote in our context I'm not only applying to a semi bluffing hand such as a FD or OESD. We still have a villain left to act behind us and we have no idea where they stand with this flop because they have no acted yet. if we have our previous semi TAG villain it is very likely that this flop has helped him in a big way and we need to get our hand to show down as cheaply as possible so we would not want to continuation bet here. Opponent dependent and note dependent I will sometimes not C-bet against this villain. If villain holds a weak Ace and we flop a flush draw and lead for a 1/2-3/4 PSB on a A 10 2 and are called(say we are playing 25NL) The pot was 2$ on the flop and now between 4-5$ on the turn. C-betting becomes espically important with SC's when we flop our draws. We represented that we had a big hand preflop when we raised so most of the time (again opponent dependent) if I am raising SC's preflop I will be betting them on the flop. #3 A good quote from jjb108 "This is an important point to remember…the average donk plays Axo. A continuation bet is a small bluff and from time to time they will get picked off. Why semibluff the donks with an OESD or FD with when you know they’ll call with their TP and better kicker? IMO an A on the flop means that FE can quickly approach 0. Say we raise 67 4xBB from the button and are called by BB. It is then your decision to step back and play poker with AK on the 942r board. #1 We do not want to be C-betting OOP in multiway pots. Well it seems my C-bets keep getting called and i havent been improving. Sometiems your villain will hit a flop and check raise you. If we have notes on a villain that says plays any ace from any position in raised or unraised pots then our KQ which we raised from MP should be wary when this villain calls and an ace flops. Go with your feel. When up against a calling station we do not need to C-bet bluff because he will be calling us down. The semi-bluff in this situation can be –EV IMO. I play a semi LAG stayle and love raising SC's so what to do on the flop when I miss? A continuation bet is also a stone cold bluff as much as it can be a semi bluff or a bet for value against a worse hand. We do not want to be C-betting in a few different spots. We have now bought ourselves a free card on the turn should we need it to complete a draw we may have flopped.

Villain 3 times in a row picked off my AKo C-bet on a Q72r flop. When done correctly you can C-bet your way from one level to the next.when Im running bad) is to set up for later hands. and I hope you all do!!! 168 . Against the same Semi TAG villain from the previous examples. Reason 1: When we were betting before with AK high it may become very suspicious to some villains if we decide to check behind on a flop where we were checked to when we flop a monster hand. This here is a double edged sword also. THIS IS THE BEST PART!! This way in the future our C-bets when we have nothing but air will be getting much more respect because of the hands that we have been leading out with! There are so many different reasons for C-betting given certain hands. with AA on a 942r board we are betting for value since its alomst certain we have the best hand. When we come in for a raise with a PP and flop a set and lead out when checked to it is very likely that said villain will be paying us off from the perception we have given him about us. There are obviously circumstances where it would be wrong to C-bet that I have not mentioned here but anyone who would like to add some or add some other ideas about C-betting that I did not touch upon please feel free. We need to keep C-betting to set our self up for later hands. The same is true when we actually flop a big hand. as well as flop texture and size up the appropriate bet. By this time he has me pegged as a bluffer. We need to look at our villain. We need to keep portraying the image we have set up with them and bet into the pot. the whole table sees that we are leading out with powerful hands and not trying to slowplay them. The pot gets big and hopefully said villain who thinks we are donkey of the year pays us off with a nice big 100BB's Reason 2: If we are unknown to villain and we C-bet with a flopped set or TPTK and get to showdown. With AK on the same board we are betting for protection since our hand is most likely the best but could easily be outdrawn.

which is a fairly rough and approximate representation of small stakes No-limit Holdem. and folds the other half of the time. as long as you make your continuation bet sizes small enough to provide for a higher failure rate. They are a continuation of pre-flop aggression. At small stakes No-limit Holdem the most optimal play is to vary your continuation bet sizes between ¾ of the pot and the full size of the pot. When continuation bets are used incorrectly. and ¾ of the pot the remaining ~30% of the time. Then you could bet the full pot size when you connect with the flop and get called over 50% of the time. Unfortunately most opponents that are paying attention at all will soon catch on to your varying bet size. For example. When continuation bets are used successfully. while remaining intimidating at the same time. You can however. If you do this effectively enough. The proper use of pre-flop raises. In a perfect world you could bet ¼ of the pot when you miss. This article is going to look at how to maximize your continuation bets by examining pre-flop situations. you want to choose the minimum size you think will win you the pot with the least amount of risk. and vary between them depending upon the flop texture and the types of opponents you face. (¾ of the pot)If the pot is 12BB and you make a continuation bet of 8BB. while tilting the odds in your favor. (Full pot size)If the pot is 12BB and you make a continuation bet of 12BB. Let’s also assume that you NEVER improve after continuation betting. they are an important money making weapon of the solid poker player. This will create a randomizing effect that will be very difficult for your opponents to pick up. You will however have to adjust these percentages depending upon your own style of play (See “The type of player you are” at the end of the article). and ¾ of the pot the remaining ~15% of the time. typically by beginners who over use the concept. or continue to build a pot when ahead. and win the pot over 50% of the time. flop textures. then you need to be successful 41% of the time. when you miss the flop. then you need to be successful 51% of the time. you are keeping your opponents guessing. designed to win the pot if the pre-flop raiser missed the flop. in order to make your continuation bets as successful as possible. For example. win only 35% of your continuation bets and still be profitable with them. bet the full size of the pot ~50% of the time.CONTINUATION BET ARTICLE (FreakDaddy) Continuation bets are exactly what the name implies. So let’s take a rough example of this and say that your opponent calls half of the time. betting sizes. if you bet the full size of the pot ~85% of the time when you connect. they can become a marginal./You lose 120 BB /You lose 300 169 . When determining the appropriate continuation bet size when you miss. Let’s also say that the pot size is 12BB and we simulate this 100 times. betting sizes. if you don’t bet at all ~20% of the time. you can vary your bet sizes to provide you with slightly better odds when you do miss. So the best way to combat this is to use two very similar bet sizes for your continuation bluff bets. you are again keeping your opponents guessing. The primary goal of solid continuation bet play should be to win your missed flops with continuation bets 50% of the time or more. and at the same time maximize your profits. are important components in achieving better than break even numbers with your continuation bets. and balance. or even money losing play. The net result will look as follows simluate 100x: 20% of the time don't bet/30% of the time bet 3/4 pot/50% bet the full pot Your opponent calls -N/A. and opponent player types. here are the 3 common continuation bet sizes: (½ the pot) If the Pot is 12BB and you make a continuation bet of only 6BB then you need to be successful only 34% of the time. and build an effective pot when you do connect. Also.

You’ll have to look hard to notice the mouse because you’d almost swear he doesn’t exist. Jackals like to have fun and be involved in a lot of pots. is he just continuation betting again. You want to identify these players and use the continuation bet against them as often as possible. but also give them respect of they show too much resistance. your opponents have to guess. you’ll win it uncontested more often against the mouse than any other player type. but don’t get out of line if you suspect that the rock has hit a good flop. Again. He likes to try and sneak into flops cheap. These common player types are as follows: The Mouse – The mouse plays a fairly weak/tight style of play. Apply pressure to them as much as possible. They differ only slightly in that they will sometimes call with their pocket pairs if they suspect you are betting into them with air. Yet they are nearly as timid as the mouse. So the next time you do connect with a big hand on the flop and bet. If the mouse does bet into you. and they hold a marginal hand. you’re still achieving the same goal. but that we vary our bets in order to provide us the best possible odds considering the given flop and hole cards that we hold. He doesn’t enter many pots.5 / WTSD =< 15 The Rock – The Rock is very similar to the mouse in that they play very few pots./You win 180 BB /You win 300 Your opponent bets. go ahead and take a stab at the pot. For if it is called and you missed. we should be able to net enough because we’ve kept our opponents off balance and guessing. or does he really have a hand? While it is true that a lot of online opponents don’t pay particular attention because they’re watching T. go ahead and continuation bet into him at a high rate. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 12 / PFR =<3 / AGR =< 1 / WTSD =< 16 The Jackal – This player plays a few too many hands. Test them. or they’re playing multiple tables at the same time. We’re not concerned necessarily that they are always paying attention. Good Players to Continuation Bet Against There are some types of players that are better to continuation bet against than others.You /check/fold = 0 N/A N/A NET RESULT YOU WIN : 60 BB Let’s also remember that sometimes we will improve. try and lure him in by beating weak and inviting him to come along. One of the primary keys to effective continuation betting is BALANCE. or he doesn’t have a strong hand while facing aggression. an effective balancing strategy doesn’t care. If your opponent doesn’t hold a pocket pair. Keep in mind also that 70% of flops are missed by our opponents. and when he does he is almost always holding a premium hand.V. you will typically win the pot. or have a very small pocket pair. This is one of the primary reasons that continuation bets are so effective. If you’ve been playing a solid around game. if you encounter any 170 . And that’s just when we don’t connect with the flop. When you achieve effective balance. but they will typically give tight/aggressive opponents the benefit of the doubt more often than other players. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 12 / PFR =<3 / AGR =< . fold unless you have a strong hand. so if you continue to apply pressure. When you do connect. and we’ve mixed in our continuation bets effectively. He will almost never continue if the flop doesn’t hit him. and will sometimes call raises with non-premium hands. they may not be able to continue if you apply the correct amount of pressure. When you miss the flop. and sometimes our opponent will fold on the turn. When we do connect. you should actually become ambivalent as to whether your continuation bet is called or not. This is the second best player type to continuation bet against.Your opponent folds -N/A. but not enough that we’re worried that non-descript boards hit him hard.

The main distinction between the gambler and the maniac is that the gambler will fold a little more often when he knows he’s beat. and going too far with mediocre hands. Don’t be too afraid of chasing them off though. unlike the maniac. Thus the most optimal play is to bet into him and hope to be raised. They usually won’t continue on the flop unless they have top pair or better. It will take awhile to spot these guys. or raising. or they’re informing the table about how a hand should have been played. but will readily fold to a second bet. will check behind sometimes. and play a little bit of a rope a dope strategy. and you’ll have little difficulty spotting him at the table.resistance then step on the breaks. They will raise when they have a solid hand. Against these opponents you just have to wait for premium hands. If however he has any chance to outdraw you. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 20 / PFR =<5 / AGR =< 1 / WTSD =< 22 The Look-up Artist – These opponents are great for your chip stack. These opponents typically come in two different player types that you have to be aware of. This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever continuation bet against them. He’ll be involved in a lot of pots. Both the maniac and the gambler will be easy to spot. Either way. Make sure you have a very good read on this opponent before you commit too many chips to the pot with missed over cards. These players typically understand the basics. If you do continuation bet. as they’ll be involved in a lot of pots. You can wait for better spots against these guys. He will however gamble and take shots at gut-shot draws. there are others that you don’t want to continuation bet against as often. then you should definitely slam on the breaks. The other is usually a bit more of an aggressive opponent that typically will call because they don’t believe your flop bet. If he just calls. 171 . unless of course yours is very good. and when they do get ready to release your hand. You can usually spot them because they’re typically making comments about how (bad) others play. or in the off chance their ace high may be the best hand. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 26 / PFR =<4 / AGR =< 1 / WTSD =< 20 The School Teacher – These opponents play a fairly straight forward ABC style of poker that is quite predictable. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 65 / PFR =<12 / AGR =< 10 / WTSD =< 24 The Gambler – The gambler is fairly similar to the maniac. but not much more beyond that. Even check-raises on the turn don’t faze the maniac very often. That doesn’t mean you should just them run you over of course. you’ll just have to apply much more discretion. and overplay his second pair. When you do happen to come across a big hand with the gambler it’s best to bet your hand strong. He’s usually either raising. except he won’t be raising as many pots. make sure you have some good outs. but when you do it’s best to bet into them. but the gambler. They’ll typically call your flop bet in hopes that you’ll give up on the turn. and then be prepared to fire the second bullet. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 40 / PFR =<5 / AGR =< 1 / WTSD =< 22 Players NOT to Continuation Bet Against While there are several types of players you want to continuation bet. I’d recommend not continuation betting against the maniac for he’s likely to call or raise you with any two. Don’t attempt fire a second bullet until you get more comfortable with flop textures and turn play. raising. You could employ a similar rop-a-dope strategy of checking your hands to him and letting him do the betting for you. and they do little in terms of applying pressure. and he won’t be quite as aggressive. Apply pressure and test them as often as possible. but fold to turn bets. raising quite often before the flop. Here are a few of those player types: The Maniac – A true maniac needs no introduction. he will often take that chance. The maniac knows little about calling. yet they will fold to further aggression on the turn. The first is the fairly passive player that just likes to call and hope he pairs his king or ace on the turn. pay attention to players who call too many flop bets.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just been playing your normal game or not. Make sure that it fits how you’ve been currently playing at a given table. and don’t raise that much before the flop. so don’t do it on a bluff. I would highly recommend almost never continuation betting your missed flops into calling stations. then let’s say a gambler type person who raises before the flop a lot. but make sure the flop is fairly draw-less if you do. and if they do. Always be aware of your current play and how others may perceive you. Calling stations don’t bluff. you don’t want to bet into someone who will with any two. A lot of raising by one particular player begins to build a tension at the table that someone eventually attempts to snap. and the types of hands that you’ve showdown. 172 .25 / WTSD =< 24 The Type of Player You Are How often you continuation bet is also very dependent upon your own personal playing style. then your continuation bluff bets will likely get more respect. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 50 / PFR =<10 / AGR =<7 / WTSD =< 24 The Calling Station – Hopefully this should be an obvious one. it only matters how others “think” you are playing. then make sure to say thank you. Take into account the number of times you’ve been involved in recent pots. as you’ll likely night chase them loose. If you play a fairly conservative style. but let’s say you’ve just had a recent run of great cards. They hardly ever raise. Not only must you be aware of the types of opponents you are facing. don’t go crazy if you miss the flop. Just wait for good hands that connect. EX: You may be a somewhat conservative player who raises around 5% of his starting hands. and you may loose most of your chips trying to push them off of a hand. If you’ve been raising a whole lot. the number times you’ve gone to showdown. If you miss the flop. The calling station is of course easy to spot. flush draw or one outer they can find. You may even just check and give up the pot. and not showing any cards. or any small piece of the flop. then you suddenly pick up AK again and raise.You can continuation bet against the gambler a little more often then the maniac. but you must also be aware of how you think the table perceives your style of play. The calling station will gladly call any bet you put in front of him. based on your current “table image”. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 50 / PFR =<1 / AGR =<. Also. and bet them all the way to the river. I hope you turbo toss your hands into the muck. Below is a small table with suggested adjustments to make with your continuation bets. They’ll be the person at the table calling and chasing every gut-shot. don’t just blindly adjust your continuation bet frequency based upon your playing style that YOU actually play. how often you’ve raised.

move on. After all. In some cases you may decide that this isn't very feasible (always trying to showdown 22 unimproved on any board is probably not a great idea). and I can recall that in many of them. a draw (weak or strong). Debitel. To reduce the complexity of the decision trees involved.WHY AM-I C-BETTING AGAIN ? (biblio-san) TL. the fact that many Cbets with made hands win the pot convinces many players that their bet was. others I am shamefully forgetting). Epdaws. DR. I think there are a couple of reasons this is popular. I couple of things have changed my mind about C-betting. or middle pair. 3-ways? Sometimes. conventional wisdom is that the pre-flop aggressor should always C-bet in a heads-up pot. indeed. AK on an A97 flop. and good players can be tricky). we should by now know that it's rarely that simple. Bad players might check-raise with hands that they really shouldn't check/raise with. I almost think each of these 6 points could deserve its own thread In SSNL. in which case decisions are also usually easy. and good players will tend to balance it out more by check-raising monsters. semi-bluffs. Part of it is that. 1) The value of your hand 2) Whether or not you opened in a steal position 3) Whether or not being check-raised will present you with a difficult decision 4) Whether or not betting presents your opponent with an easy decision. until we get to a big hand/big pot situation. let's consider whether you have a made hand. like underpairs. To be honest. Orange. and big overpairs. or TPNK. I think there are a few factors to think about when you are deciding whether to C-bet your hand in a heads-up pot. players get a lot more tricky (note that this is a separate attribute than "good": bad players can be tricky. the correct move. But the range of hands players will play aggressively changes as you move up. the standard answer was "Heads-up? Always. or betting will make your opponents turn/river decisions easy 5) Your position 6) Whether or not the pot is re-raised 1) The value of your hand First. With strong hands. for 173 . they won the pot. and a lot of these concepts are stolen directly from Green Plastic videos and other good posters on these boards (True. and your move that is wrong 90% of the time just won the pot because this is one of those other 10% holdings. let's (for the moment) assume 100 BB stacks. the best way to get value from it is to bet it." I was definately one of those posters. Raise. it makes for easy decisions. as you rise in stakes. and with a wider variety of hands. Second. worse hands. Maybe you could have won a bigger pot. and a potsize of approximately 7-10BB. scoop pot or fold to C/R. There have been a lot of "When should I c-bet?" threads. I'd greatly appreciate if we can get some discussion on these topics going. in position. you should be thinking of how to extract the most value from it vs. They check-raise more. Made Hands Every time you have a made hand. right? But on this forum. C-bet. First. or complete air. Maybe you just got lucky.

this is a strong hand). 88 on a 459 board with two diamonds. but especially A-high and drawy flops. This might mean they are more likely to call you lightly (so you can get more value from moderate-hands) or it may mean that they are more likely to c/r lightly (making it hard to gain value from weak/moderate hands by 174 . yes. An additional problem is that many of those "worse hands" will not just call your flop bet but will raise (see point 3). especially if you have position. and open-ended straight draws on two-tone flops (again. Complete Air Unless you are giving up on the pot entirely. like the nut flush draw with two overcards. I think you should just about always C-bet with complete air -. If you have AK on an A72 rainbow flop. With medium strength hands. there are some worse hands that might call a flop bet (67. 2) Did you open in steal position? Players will give you less credit for a hand. because you just don't hit very often). Draws There's a very good section on playing draws in Miller and Sklansky's NLHTaP. Whether or not you bet a medium-strength hand should depend on the board texture and your opponent's tendencies with the range of hands that you are ahead of. but important points are that the if your draw is not to the nuts. if your opponent folds to this bet. or have some reason to believe that a delayed bluff will be more successful. If you have KK on the same flop (yes. if you hit on a flush card. you should be more inclined to bet. you probably won't get a lot of action). it was almost always a hand that you were a 2 or 3:1 favorite over. because if your draw is very weak. and there are also many turn cards that you will not want to see. you are essentially on a 6-out draw). But. which. there are some strong hands that you should really check (at least some of the time). With these holdings. You would also. especially if those tendencies are identical to when he holds hands that you are behind. depending on your opponent. can make you more inclined to bet. any diamond draw).example. Obviously. Examples of weak non-nut draws that you should be inclined to bet are: bare overcards (these are sometimes the best hand. unless players are very loose). you have the same problem. low flush draws on paired boards (if you hit. you should be aware of the possibility of making your opponent sometimes fold a better draw by firing two (or sometimes three!) barrels. the best way to get value from these hands is to check the flop. potting the flop is a pretty good way to make just about any one-pair hand without an Ace fold. you won't hit it very often.it's one of the reasons raising a wide variety of hands pre-flop is profitable at all. then you should be more inclined to check because it is often the best made hand and is not vulnerable to the flush draw for obvious reasons). and if your draw is not to the nuts. but if you are called. For example. With non-nut draws. in genaral. or open-ended-straight-flush draws. However. the best way to get value is never very obvious. you might lose a lot of money if you hit (or gain very little from worse hands). the value of winning the pot outright becomes much greater than simply hitting your draw. or pair+flushdraw combos (although if your "pair" is the Ace. you won't get a lot of action except from the nut flush or full houses. be inclined to bet very strong draws. gutshot straight draws (if you can pick up the pot a good percentage of the time. of course. Many times. and I will not repeat all of it. this makes up for winning big pots the rare times you hit. Sets on just about any flop. or is very weak.

You're making it pretty easy for both players to play this flop if you pot it. 5) Are you in position? All things considered. this is making things too easy for them. This is because the villain will sometimes be semi-bluffing. How about K K ? Notice that all those hands have very strong equity vs. the naked flush draw. you are probably doing on the same board.betting). I'm much more inclined to bet out of position than in position with my made hands. resist the temptation to slowplay if you hit your 2-outer on the turn. 3) How much does getting check-raised suck? If you have 3 3 on an A 3 6 a little jig in front of your monitor. and the value of simply winning the pot goes way up in comparison to the value of extracting another bet from worse hands. and he is pretty unlikely to put you on a set given the flop action. Note that in many cases. they generally don't c/r bluff the turn with naked draws (most players would bluff by betting after the turn was checked through). in a heads-up pot. In general. your hand is still often best (because your opponent will be bluffing a good % of the time. If it is bet to you on the turn. or "value betting" a weaker hand thanks to the weakness you showed on the flop). and you can usually fold to a c/r without feeling the least bit bad about it. They'll probably just fold anything less than an Ace here. etc. There are certain made hands (33-55 being the prime examples) that benefit greatly from a flop like this. So if it is checked to you on the turn. you can safely value bet. depending on how the player plays with his hand range. but the A7 hand and especially the KK hand suck vs. most Aces. By the way. but you will have to fold because you might be crushed. especially if you have position (almost regardless of what made hand you hold). Also. but other made hands (like 99-KK and weak Aces) that really don't want to make things that easy for Villain. the turn action changes things greatly. Again. and in both cases he will very likely call a big raise. your opponents range for calling you preflop is wider when you steal from the CO and Button. and his perception of your hand range. For one. most draws has gone way up. you really don't want to be put in positions where your hand is probably the best hand. that's not so hot. whether you welcome a C/r. and will sometimes be betting an Ace. players very rarely try to c/r twice. It's much harder to extract value from medium strength hands (and easier to be bluffed off of them). should influence your decisions on whether to C-bet. and if they do. If you hold A 7 board and get check-raised. Unless you are holding complete air or a set. as they are way ahead of villain's non-Ace holdings. 4) Are you making it easy for Joe Tag or Mac Donkey to play this hand? Let's go back to the A72 rainbow flop. 6) Is this a re-raised pot? 175 . but notice how very often your equity vs. if you check a hand like KK on the above flop.

or AA on 743 flop. If you have a monster. or QQ on an A72 flop. but not so hot if you hold KK on a QJx flop. the pot is big enough to get the money in on 3 streets. which is fine if you hold air. 176 . And often in re-raised pots. your bets are only going to be called by a very narrow range of hands.You shouldn't always bet in a re-raised pot. or if you have a set.

Methodology #2: Vary your bet sizing based on the texture of the board The general idea being to vary your bet sizing based on the texture of the board(duh) – bigger bets on more coordinated boards and smaller bets on less coordinated or dry boards. as they’ll soon realize that your bet sizing represents the exact strength of your hand. you want to minimize your losses and play a small pot. Big mistakes. It’s also worth noting that I don’t consider any one strategy to be any more or less favorable than any other. when you always bet too little. you’re offering your opponent correct pot odds to continue with drawing hands and suck out on you. but what about post flop? Do we always bet the pot? Min bet? Shove? On one hand. I’d like to focus explicitly on bet sizing strategies and the rationales behind why we may find it optimal to utilize a specific approach over another. and have pots stolen from you when you show weakness with small(er) bets. etc. A solid villain will correctly fold his marginal holding facing your pot sized bet.Some thoughts on continuation bet sizing (Panthro) Most 2+2’ers are familiar with the 4xBB + BB/limper preflop betsizing methodology. Note that this article will not cover the “ifs” and “when’s” to continuation bet. you’re losing a ton of value when you make a small bet when your opponent would have called a much larger bet. villains who don’t show aggression against weak bets without a hand. When you have a strong hand. Disadvantages: Against good/observant villains you lose action on your big hands. and the largest amount you think your opponents will call when you have a strong hand. and will interpret your smaller bets as weakness and raise you off your hand. Methodology #1: Sizing your bets based on the strength of your hand Seems straightforward enough. if you always bet too much. we want our bet sizes to encourage our opponents to make mistakes against us. that is. The obvious drawback to using this tactic is that you become very exploitable to observant opponents. you want to maximize your winnings and play a big pot. you’re allowing your opponents to play perfectly against you. Rather. Since the texture of the flop impacts the shape of the hand distributions. hands that the board ‘hits’ are much greater on coordinated boards than on dry boards. and you’ll wonder why you always get raised when you have nothing and always get folds when you flop the nuts. Works best against: Weaker villains. this approach would be almost flawless and poker would be much easier if our bets somehow didn’t represent the actual strength of our hand. types of villains or flops to cbet. On the other hand. or what conditions make a bet +EV or –EV. Mistakes that maximize our expectation. 177 . Theoretically. By telegraphing the strength of your hand with the size of your bet. So you bet as the smallest amount your opponents will let you get away with when you’re bluffing. This write-up is simply an attempt to get people thinking as to why they’re betting a precise amount and the implications related with the size of their bets in different situations. Lack of balance. you’re going to lose the most when your opponent calls with a hand that’s better than yours. So how much do we bet? What factors should we consider before sizing our bets? In this article I plan on discussing some of the more common methodologies regarding sizing your continuation bets and some of the advantages and disadvantages that accompany the various tactics. I’ll leave that for another time. Obviously. villains who call preflop raises to play fit or fold. On the flip side. and when you have a weak hand. or float with the intention of taking the pot away it away on a later street. On the one hand. risking a large amount just seems silly when you can bet smaller and achieve the same result.

we can make larger bets (~2/3rds to the full size of the pot) to deny drawing hands proper odds to continue that a smaller bet may not have. and a very coordinated board. BB folds Flop: ($9) 8 4 9 (2 Players) SB checks.50 Example 2: a middling drawy board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. It is also worth mentioning that by using a bet size methodology that advocates using consistent bet sizes relative to the texture of the board and not your hole cards. Disadvantages: Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands and vice-versa. Methodology #3: Adjusting your bet sizing based on the depth of the stacks 178 . Hero raises to $4. Hero bets $8 Works best against: all villains. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. we’re anticipating getting a lot of money in the middle before the river when many drawing hands in our opponents range become worthless. Lets look at 3 examples: a dry board. Also. BB folds Flop: ($9) 9 Q J (2 Players) SB checks. Hero raises to $4. we can bet a smaller amount (~½ to 2/3rds of the pot) that will often achieve the same result as a larger bet with less risk. This strategy is very advantageous against the type of villain who will raise smaller continuation bets with drawing hands sensing weakness. you effectively disguise your hand to your opponents. and we’d much prefer our opponents to play passively against us. After all. Hero bets $5. Hero bets $7 Example 3: a very drawy board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. but is more liable to flat call a larger bet sensing strength.we make our bets larger on drawy boards and smaller on dry boards Since dry boards miss most hands. Hero raises to $4. Example 1: a dry board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X.5. SB calls $3.5.5. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. On draw heavy boards that hit a wide range of hands. SB calls $3. BB folds Flop: ($9) A 2 8 (2 Players) SB checks. the semi-bluff can difficult to defend against with marginal one pair type hands. and some bet sizes we may decide to fire into each pot. when we make large bets on drawy boards with strong hands. SB calls $3. a somewhat coordinated board.

if we assume 100BB effective stacks. Hero bets $27. Flop: ($9) 8 5 J (2 Players) SB checks. both from a practical and mathematical standpoint. I should point out that ponicaraux made a cool write-up entitled Get it in where he mentions similar concepts. Disadvantages: Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands. Works best against: all villains. Hero raises to $4. The whole idea of geometric growth (credit “The Mathematics of Poker”) is essentially betting a consistent percentage of the pot on each street to get our effective stack ‘all in’ comfortably by the river. and you can set yourself up for larger bets on later streets with strong hands. When we adjust our bet sizing based on the effective stack sizes. Also. we want to get as much money as possible in the middle to maximize our winnings. River: ($81) Q (2 Players) SB checks. especially for a LAG who is playing a high number of marginal holdings. Hero bets $9. SB calls $3. Methodology #4: Always bet the pot Many UB/FT’ers religiously use the “bet pot” button to size their bets. SB calls. playing big 179 . stack sizes can help us extrapolate an optimal percentage of the pot to bet. we can reduce our opponents implied odds to call bets on early streets with inferior hands in hopes of drawing to a better hand. Against weaker/passive players. as building big pots against aggressive opponents who will check-raise with air and draws and try to push you off your hand can get expensive. Turn: ($27) 3 (2 Players) SB checks.relative to the size of the pot Without divulging into too much theory. SB calls. Hero bets $81 and is all-in Lastly. so betting 100% of the pot on all three streets should get our stack all in by the river. the pot is $9 and the effective stack sizes are $117 (13 times the size of the pot).5. One of the most important aspects of stack sizes in NLHE is how they affect implied odds. always betting the pot seems optimal because you build bigger pots when you’re the aggressor. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. and a larger percentage of the pot when the pot is small. Also. A really really basic example: Hero (BTN): $121 SB: $200 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. Since the pots are bigger. Not always optimal/feasible with deeper stacks. you again completely disguise your hand to your opponents. Weak-tight players will give up easier against you knowing they’ll be facing large pot sized bets on every street. you will often find yourself facing difficult situations with medium strength hands. BB folds In this example. By making the same sized bets relative to the size of the pot. it does make a lot of sense why we would prefer to bet a smaller percentage of the pot when the pot is large. It should seem obvious that when we flop a monster. The drawback of this approach is that consistently building large pots results in very high variance. a concept critical to success in NLHE.

Works best against: all villains Disadvantages: Higher variance.credit Ray Zee. villains who don’t like to fold. Some opponents will interpret your overbet as weakness or a bluff and call down with a marginal hand. Methodology #6: Overbetting the pot Making a large overbet doesn’t have to work all that often for it to be a profitable play. Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands.pots regardless of hand strength reduces your ability to utilize pot control. or in blind battles where opponents always think an aggressive player is FOS and trying to buy the pot. Methodology #5: Always bet x% of the pot. Methodology #7: Adjust your bet sizing on the objective you’re trying to achieve -. you can take a stab at more pots while risking a smaller amount of chips. chasers. villains who like to make hero calls and pick off bluffs. Disadvantages: Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands and vice-versa. Disadvantages: Bigger bets may lose action when a smaller bet would not have. Works best against: Weak players. and the so called ‘chasers’ who won’t fold any kind of draw on any street. I’ve had some success using this strategy after losing a large pot when my opponents perceive me to be on tilt. Most of the same disadvantages associated with the aforementioned bet pot methodology are apparent in this theorem. as every pot you play in as the aggressor will be of the same size (number of opponents is relevant here). They usually have it set up to bet some arbitrary percentage based on the current size of the pot (often in the neighborhood of 60% to 100% depending on preference). Using this strategy extracts maximum value from ‘calling stations’ who won’t fold with any piece of the board. As with the previous methodology. but the actions you may want your opponents to take 180 . With a smaller continuation bet size than the ‘bet pot’ advocacy. Lastly. You can extract a large amount of chips before the river when missed draws become worthless and induce river bluffs from villains who have missed their draws and find themselves pot committed. calling stations. where x is some fixed predefined number I’ll refer to this as the multitabelers theorem because many 2+2’ers use a bet pot script to handle their bet sizing. by always betting pot you’re risking a lot to win a little when you’re bluffing. it can be very difficult/impossible for opponents to deduce the strength of your hand if you’re always making the same size bet whether you’ve hit the flop or not. soah and a few other HSNL/MSNL 2+2’ers The idea being to adjust your bets to manipulate your opponents into playing not only the pot size of your choosing. Works best against: all villains. Balancing overbetting strong made hands with weaker hands/bluffs can be difficult and/or suboptimal.

and bet the pot when you don’t want action or want to discourage opponents from making plays or calling down lightly. Or bet larger to force your opponents to fold. it is something to keep in mind. and maybe he wasn’t. Sometimes you want to bet smaller when OOP to price yourself into seeing cheap cards. So what have learned from this hand? The actions taken by this particular villain may or may not have been prejudiced by the size of our bet. let’s look at a really simple example where we might be able to manipulate our opponents into taking specific actions against us by varying our bet sizes. 2 folds. the on collected the pot and exposed his hole cards. With a dry Ace high flop. 2 folds Flop: ($9.50) 8 3 A (2 Players) Hero bets $5. T (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. Maybe the button was planning on making a play regardless of our bet size. we decide to make slightly over half pot size continuation bet expecting the button to fold all worst hands and call or raise all better hands. On to the next meeting… Hand 2: (same villain) Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt A . We open UTG open get called by the 20/10 button. despite the fact that we anticipated this opponent to be much less likely to take action Y over action X if we made a bet of value A instead of value B. Could the button have interpreted our ~½ pot sized bet as weakness? Would a 2/3rds or near pot sized bet be more sufficient in representing a strong hand? Would the button be less likely to make a play facing a larger bet? In the actual hand hero folded. The disadvantage of any complex bet sizing methodology is that our opponents may or may not construe the information we had hoped to associate with our bet sizes as we have intended. In our short history. or to induce a raise. or at the very least force them into a difficult decision as to whether or not they should continue with the hand. Say for example. maybe. a 18/14 thinking TAG who uses a highly varied bet sizing methodology. Flop: ($9. or to pick up the pot with minimal risk.50) 8 3 Hero bets $5.50.against you. BTN calls $4. In response our opponent may instead decide to take action Y because they interpret our bet of size A much differently than a bet of size B. Q (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. J Q .50) 5 K T (2 Players) 181 . Nevertheless. we might choose to make smaller ½ pot bets when you want action or want to induce a raise. we make a bet of size A because we want our opponent to take action X. BTN raises $20 Easy fold right? Well. BTN calls $4. As an example. Still with me? OK. enough theory mumbo jumbo. we view the button as an aggressive villain who is capable of making a move. 2 folds Flop: ($9. Hand 1: Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt T .50… A (2 Players) We’ll play the role of hero. 2 folds.

Now again. Button mucks K T and hero collects the pot. However. Hero calls $14. BTN calls all-in. Works bets against: villains who we have a very good read on. Now obviously. or make a smaller bet when we’re bluffing. Miller. so we adjust by making a larger bet with a hand that we don’t necessarily want action with.50) 7 J 2 (2 Players) Hero bets $5. we may face difficult decisions on later streets as opponents reactions may or may not be influenced by the size of our bets. Hand 3: (same villain) Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt 7 . BTN folds. We now have a stronger suspicion that this villain may perceive our smaller continuation bets as weakness and larger continuation bets as strength. but rather. Requires constant adaptation. BTN bets $38. Do note. our static strategy won’t work forever on this particular villain. p57). Maybe the button decided to fold in this hand given he recently made a play against us. Flop: ($9. Hero raises all-in.50) K (2 Players) Hero checks. Ship it. Turn: ($49.50) 7 J Hero bets $5. BTN calls $4. betting an amount that maximizes our expectation which is the size of our opponent’s possible mistake times the chance he will make that mistake (Sklansky. The idea is to adjust better than your opponent does.50. so we’ll need to make continuous adjustments. We’re not necessarily always trying to deceive our opponents with our bet sizes.50… 2 (2 Players) Using previous history and our read on villain. or maybe he had a timing tell and felt we were stronger in this hand than in the previous one. BTN raises $20. 182 .50) 5 K T Hero bets $8. Flop: ($9. in a game with no absolutes. and yet still be able to manipulate them into doing what you want them to do. that with this simple illustration we’ve only begun to scratch the surface in realizing how powerful a highly varied bet sizing methodology can be. we have a read that this villain may have interpreted our smaller continuation bet as weakness. The next time we flop a strong hand we might make a larger bet. 2 folds. this may or may not be the case. (2 Players) The button folds and hero collects the pot. Disadvantages: By varying our bet sizes based on a specific set of objectives.Hero bets $8… In this hand. we still plan on experimenting with our newly gained information in an effort to size our bets to incite specific responses against this opponent in the future. and we intend to exploit our read by manipulating our opponent into making a mistake. 7 (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. 2 folds Flop: ($9. NLHETAP.50. we can now make the same small continuation bet we made back in hand 1 in an attempt to induce either a call from a weak hand or a bluff raise.

Feel free to add any thoughts/criticisms.There are some things I haven’t covered that are worth noting. such as adjusting bet sizing based on your opponents estimated hand ranges. adjusting your bet sizing based on position. number of opponents. your image. history. etc. 183 .

It can be an effective play used in many different manners. Just thought I'd write a little something. Our ranges are wider and therefore harder to read. As you move in limits. -When applied correctly to certain players. Firing two barrels. This is pretty much the standard double barrel line. You bet. all else fold. this common knowledge can be exploited (ie.DOUBLE BARRELING (orange) Hey guys. bluff raising the double barrel because you know the opponent would double on this board nearly everytime. Some examples of double barreling: (Assume all situations are 100BBs/6max). (10bb)Flop: T 6 6 You bet 6bb. this is still a nice play. The first and very standard one: You open xx in the CO. we gain more action to when we DO actually have a hand. having AK on that such board and betting the turn). But for now. calling much wider. The purposes can be very manyfrom pure bluffing against a suspected float or semi-bluffing with a nice draw. all else fold. where the aggression is much higher and more frequent than those games that we play. etc). We bet because the paint changed the board and therefore hand values. -Along with that. When double barreling: -We mix our ranges so that when we bet the turn after raising PF/betting the flop. It is a very common play in MSNL+. You bet. BB calls Turn: A/K/paint BB checks. You get a TAG caller on the button. he calls 184 . What is Double Barreling? Double Barreling is exactly that. BB calls. and one that CAN be used for value too (ie. This is a very standard double barreling line used against all opponents. we either dictate the action and set ourselves odds in which we would not have received (when double barreling draws) and enable ourselves another chance at winning the pot other than improving. On Double Barreling: This is a concept not widely used in uNL or even SSNL. the double barrel is effective. A villain should be much stronger if your betting (and repping) that paint card (and should fear a river bet if he calls). Your raise A K to 4xbb. Flop: T 2 9 BB checks. our hand is NOT always the nuts/strong hand. he folds.

If your opponent is one that will fold to aggression. you would be double barreling with AK and the like in this spot. Mixing your strong hands with draws is an essential skill that evolves into 5th level thinking in the HSNL games (ie. There are many more instances in which double barreling is effective. Try exchanging A 7 with AK/a set/QJ and you still may very well be double barreling. GP states that K high boards are excellent ones to double barrel on. He calls. simply because you are representing a ton of strength. You also enable yourself another chance to win the pot other than improving (as stated earlier. you can c/f. all else fold.(probably the best selection for those in uNL). forgot to add this little snipit (edit). one thing I forgot. Notes: This is a common line used most against TAGgy regulars. bet sizing/etc). In CR. You open 6 7 someone calls. This play is often used against more competent players as donkeys will continue to call with 77 and other marginal hands. As of PF/flop action. these are just a few. we can generally narrow TAG's hand range to a pp or some float. and also the definition of a semi-bluff). As stated earlier. (10bbs)Flop: 4 T K You bet 8bb. 185 . Button calls.many times. Betting the turn makes river play GENERALLY pretty easy. your hand range is widened . we generally fold out better hands against a very predictable range. Think for yourself on some other spots and share them. If he's determined and willing to go far with this hand. one that your opponent may not have given you. and he folds. Sorry. why is he betting? He must be strong" #3: You raise A 7 . he calls Turn: 8 You should bet Again. The TAG should be thinking "he knows that the turn changed nothing. He is an unknown player. You set your own price for a draw. (26bb)Turn: 2 You bet 17bb There are a few reasons why double barreling on these boards is nice. By double barreling.(22bb)2 You bet 15bb. you can triple barrel at times. it goes along with the semibluffing thing. Flop: T 2 4 You bet. Another instance in which it might be nice to double with a draw is when you pick up a draw on the turn.

call the turn 80% of the time. normal stacks. He'll probably call reasonable-sized bets. Flop: ($10. let's say it's $100NL. To make the numbers easy. Hero raises to $4. 2/3-pot has us betting $7.  How much are they worth So. if there's money left to bet on the river. Let's say. Cliff's notes: bet more] In another thread yesterday. Ideally. hero raises in position pre-flop I play a lot of hands that are effectively like this. What are the lines? If there's only one bet per street. and then got busy. we want the pot to be bigger than our stack.  Against the 3/4. everyone else folds. seeing the turn with $25 in the pot and $87. stacks $95). betting $17 on the turn and ending up at the river with $70 in our stack and $60 in the pot. let's say he'll always call the flop. hero flops the nuts and wants to get all the money in. we want to think about lines that will get as much of our stack in the middle as possible.2/3 line. and hadn't really thought so explicitly about this stuff before. I wrote this up on the fly. so please give me some feedback. I've thought about this before. like TPTK. when we flop a monster.50 on the flop. but not enough. 4_2_it said Quote: When you flop a monster the first thing you should do is look at stack sizes and figure out what size bets on each street gets everything in the middle. the easier it is for the villain to make a crying call. The bigger the pot is. We'll analyze things 186 . there's a *huge* difference between those two lines. but be less likely to call an overbet.  pot-pot gives us $30 in the pot and $85 in our stack on the turn and $90 in the pot. UTG calls.GET IT IN (poincaraux) [Note: I started writing this up. 2 players. but I thought the EV calculations in the middle were pretty enlightening. Let's see how he stacks up (ha!!!) against the two lines. $55 in our stack when we see the river. The two hands that made me think about this were hands where Hero had Ace-rag suited and flopped the nut flush. One bet per street.50 in our stacks. It's still probably too long-winded for many people to actually read it. that villain has donk-certified calling hand against you. but only call the river overbet 50% of the time. 6-max and this happens: Preflop: UTG limps. and we're asking villain to put in a little more than 1/2-pot on the river. for instance. Let's think about two standard lines: One villain. and I think about it sometimes during the hands. I think the standard 2+2 lines are pot-it-all-the-waybaby and 3/4-on-the-flop-2/3-on-the-turn. 3/4-pot. The basic idea is that.

he'll always call the river if he gets there because there's so much money in the pot. it's likely that we can get more than one bet in per street. Then. I usually try to squeeze out as much value as I possibly can on the early streets.0*(10 + 10) + 0. our EV is 1. he'll have an OK hand with a draw that missed on the river. It turns out that he only has to call 46% of the time on the turn for the lines to have the same EV. That's 1/3 more money than we were making with the smaller bets. if there's $10 in the pot on the flop. the bets will be $10. the bets will be $7. you can see that the villain will have to be a *lot* more likely to fold to the pot-pot line before we start using the 3/4.5) + 0. Pots grow exponentially. With big hands. Intuitively. So. so you can get 8. this concept gets more important. like 50% of the time. If it's going to go pot-pot-1/2pot. 3/4. you should be betting quite a bit when you have a great hand. $30 and we'll get $54 in. $30 and $90. Similarly. or because I don't want villains drawing to it. let's say he'll always call the flop. What's our EV if he'll fold the turn more often. Then again. pot-pot-pot bets will be bets of $10. when the villain decides he'll call a 1/2-pot bet on the river. because it makes it that much easier to get more value on the later streets. As stacks get deeper. that 1/2-pot bet is a lot of money. so you can get about 5x the pre-flop money in that way.5x the pre-flop money in. 1/2. 2/3. unless you think that villain is savvy enough to make some real adjustments based on the various lines you take.  For the pot-pot line. Why am I focusing on smaller bets on the river? Well. you can get 13x the pre-flop money in. and we'll get $85 in. That is. those extra bets are usually on the flop. so betting just a little more early on can make a big difference later on.0*(10 + 7. So. 1/2 isn't good enough. $17. cr. though? Let's say he folds the turn a lot.2/3 line. The key is to think "if I bet this much.8*(17 + 0. The key is thinking ahead on the early streets. either because I have the scary hand. it's quite possible that.5. I want most of the money in before then so that he can make a crying call. If it's going to go 3/4. if we have full stacks and want to get it in. etc. and we'll get about $130 of your stack in.from the flop on. With shorter stacks. 2/3.5*(30 + 55) = $62. A lot of that transfers pretty easily when you start thinking about b3b. this means that I'm much more likely to go pot-pot on scary boards. Then our EV is 1. What if he's a more typical calling-station kind of guy and calls more like 70% of the time on the turn? Then our EV is $80." 187 .5. $45. the pot will be that much on the next street and the stack sizes will be blah blah. We want to set things up so that. you won't be able to make sizeable bets on all streets.5*(70)) = $59. $30. if it's going to go pot-pot-pot. in situations like this. we can run into a lot of situations where the villain has a good draw. More than one bet per street When we flop a monster. Just so that you don't have to work it out on the fly. In practice. In that situation.

T (2 players) BB bets $1.10) J BB checks. Hero raises to $1. hero ends up with $30 in his stack and $20 in the pot. so a push from the hero got a stubborn call. there was some history. Q . If it goes pot-call.10) 7 (2 players) BB bets $3. BB calls $3.HERO? (2 players) So. making it pretty hard to get the rest in. even if villain goes into check-call mode. Hmmn . getting $220 of your stack in. Hero raises to $2. BB calls $1. Q . Just for fun. So. Now. Hero bets to $10. that sounds like the hand from the post I referred to earlier: Quote: UTG ($26.49) BB ($47. BB calls $10.10) 9 . let's see how this would have played out with bigger bets: If hero makes about a pot-sized raise on the flop.03. it will look like Flop: ($2. BB calls $3.10) 9 . you'll put in $50 on the turn and $150 on the river. Turn: ($10. 188 . Flop: ($2. and villain was pretty likely to think he was getting pushed around. 3 folds. though). you might get $20 in on the flop. (We'll often want to bet less on the river. In this specific case. 1 fold.10.If there's $10 in the pot. Hero raises to $7. Turn: ($6. though. BB calls $0.. SB posts a blind of $0.10) Preflop: Hero is Button with A .75) Hero ($38. River: ($20. pot-call after that.50) CO ($9. And we see the river with $30 in the pot and $23 in our stack. 2 .81) MP ($30.75. when you're playing against someone who has a 2x stack. Hero raises to $4. and it goes bet-raise on the flop. T (2 players) BB bets $1.97.10) 7 (2 players) BB checks. it's important to raise early on to set things up to get the stacks in later on.62) SB ($41.

I’m on the button. this is not a new concept for SSNL. but that’s an issue that probably deserves its own thread. 30. and from CO to BTN. in theory. Table image/metagame (this is less important than the above two reasons. Note how sharply the numbers jump from MP to CO. MP: 11/11. the percentages are even higher. In general. strong players are MUCH less common than weak players. Position is a HUGE advantage. The gist of it is that stealing blinds = $$$. I’m sure many good players can provide numbers higher than these.PLAYING JUNK FROM LATE POSITION (tannenj) My current VPIP/PFR stats: UTG: 11/11. 35 percent of the time that you’re on the button. If you want to steal the blinds 25. 35 percent of the hands you’re dealt from this position (actually. Use PT stats: If you’re on the button. I’ll often raise with anything suited. the better. but this doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t steal if I expect to be called. guess what? In general. any two cards. they’ll think you’re a fish and give you action the next time you raise aces UTG. it’s profitable to play X% of hands UTG at a 6max game. neither of you will have hands. B) if they suspect you’re playing a bunch of junk from late position and decide to tangle with you without hands. If you want to raise 30 percent of your hands from the button. because PT only registers a blind steal attempt if there are no limpers to you). My attempt to steal blinds percentage: 31. From late position. then it will be profitable to play X+Y% (Y>0) of the hands you’re dealt on the button. Why Do It? In order of importance: 1. say. you’ll see that your PTBB/100 skyrockets when you attempt to steal the blinds. CO: 22/20. use the statistics “Folds BB to steal” and “Folds SB to steal” to evaluate the preflop tendencies of the players in the blinds. Stronger players might realize you’re positionally aware. anything connected. the more these players are relinquishing their blinds. 30. if you check PokerTracker. and if conditions are right. To steal the blinds: There’s little reason for me to elaborate much on this. This is one of many reasons to upgrade if you’re using GameTime Plus. The last five numbers used to be even higher when I was playing a higher variance style. the SB is a nit who folds his blind to steals every time. and the 189 . If. you have to be willing to raise 25. you’re gonna have to raise some absolute junk. When To Do It? 1. 3. Winning players generally make most of their money from late position (cutoff and button). 2. but still worthy of a mention in my opinion): When weak players see you show down 75o after raising preflop from the button. Pokey covered all the details (and more) in his thread. obviously. BTN: 30/27. but A) sometimes you’ll get aces on the button. and C) at SSNL. Position makes it profitable to play many more hands: If. It is notable that you can only get these statistics in your hud if you have Poker Ace Hud. and you’ll have position after the flop comes.

What follows is a list of the situations in which you’ll find yourself when you raise from late position with a not-so-great hand and get called. bet is usually the play here. it makes sense to cut down on the junk you’re playing from the CO. Note that I ordered the three categories in this list in a way that I think proceeds from easiest to hardest to play. it’s profitable to raise (and continuation bet. 2. If you’re in the CO. and the players in the blinds tend to defend their blinds by calling preflop. everyone folds. But in general. In a case like this. Playing junk from late position is easy when you pop it up preflop. of course. Bet. or B) the villain is a thinking player and you want to throw him a curveball for shania’s sake. You hit the flop hard (two pair. if the player on the button is constantly calling raises preflop and has a reasonable postflop game. and neither of the tags in the blinds likes to fold to steals. overpairs. I’ll be much more likely to raise with junk in a spot like this than with 100bb stacks against players in the blinds whom I respect. straight. This is obviously unrealistic. but both of them have a tendency to overvalue top pair. that the villain won’t 3bet preflop. I’ll raise to isolate the fish with almost any two cards. but this article is theoretical in nature. so start building the pot. you’ll still want to glance at the percentage of time the blinds fold to steals. If a scare card hits. quads. and fabricated hands designed to illustrate the written principles. Use non-statistical reads: Maybe you’re on the button. that he won’t donkbet the flop. Slowplaying can be a reasonable option once in a while when A) you have the board crippled and your hand is beastly enough to let the villain catch up without having to worry about being outdrawn. this is read-dependent. and that stacks are always 100 BBs. Maybe effective stats are deep. For simplification. but tend to shut down if they miss postflop. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not 190 . etc. when I came up with the idea for this post. you flopped huge and want to get some money in the pot. Poker at its core is about playing big pots with big hands. and it’s time to get the villain’s monies. bet. set. big draw): You lucked out with your junk. and also in a way that I think proceeds from least interesting to most interesting: 1. I intended for this section to be the meat of it. trips. and you get the blinds. royal flush. of course) with any two cards. But sometimes you’ll get a caller or two. I could spend time coming up with more examples. In the past. How To Play With Your Junk After The Flop WARNING: NOT EVEN CLOSE TO SAFE FOR WORK But seriously. You have a big hand. but you’ll also want to look at the percentage of time the button calls a preflop raise. the bottom line is that it’s not difficult to find “excuses” to play more hands if you’re a thinking player and will have position throughout the hand.bb is a 65/1/1 fish who A) rarely folds his blind and B) rarely folds postflop. I’ll assume that there’s one villain per hand. I’ve been guilty of not paying enough attention to this statistic. you’ll want to slow down sometimes. flush. boat.

Hero bets $13. so bombs away. I like a bet of close to the pot because the board is drawy. That’s about the best flop you can ask for. 2 players) BB checks. 2 players) 191 . 2 players) BB checks. MP folds. so call and let him think continue to think his AJ is the best hand or fire another barrel with air. It’s possible that he has something like A6. Hero bets $78. position. Hero bets $35. it’s reasonable to make a smaller bet. Turn: J ($41. 6 players) UTG folds. Hero raises to $7. Since there’s no need to protect anymore. River: 6 ($111. so there’s no reason to slowplay. BB calls $13 One caller. I tend to continuation bet a bit smaller. etc. Our hand is vulnerable. Hero calls $18 When the board is drawless. but when you raise preflop with a 6 in your hand and flop trips with it. 2 players) BB checks. CO folds. I have shoved in these spots before. he raised. and I didn’t provide a read on the villain. Turn: T ($73. you’re not folding the hand when the stacks are this size. BB folds Bet size is preference. Flop: 6 J 6 ($15. really. The board has two diamonds. 2 players) BB checks. but at this point it’s almost always the best hand. SB folds. SB folds. Flop: 5 A 4 ($15. BB calls $5 Blinds. Hero bets $11. You’re not afraid of being outdrawn (he has two outs at most). BB calls $5 Everyone folded to you. You don’t have to do it every time. BB calls $35 Same logic as above. Yum.MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 5 4 ($3. but this is a good spot to try to pick up the blinds. Hero raises to $7. CO folds. 6 players) UTG folds. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 8 6 ($3. MP folds. metagame. BB raises to $29. though.

but the villain is 192 . is just a draw that you’re willing to felt on the flop. Our read indicates that checking is probably better than betting in this spot. Hero raises to $7.” Everyone knows what the terms two pair. you’re shoving. but the phrase “big draw” is somewhat ambiguous. both betting and checking are reasonable. especially with the right read -. Hero bets $13. We’re not confident that the villain will fold to a bet. Turn: Q ($41. it has about 42% equity). If you get raised. SB folds. set.it’s important at this point to clarify what I meant above when I used the phrase “big draw. You want to throw out on a continuation bet on the flop because you have an equity advantage over the villain’s range and you want to build the pot. Read: The villain in the following hand is a level one thinker with no handreading skills. It’s possible that the villain has you in bad shape with something like K J . BB calls $5 See above. but how about an open-ended straight draw. and if a good player doesn’t have a big hand. to go too far with top pair. you’re making another big bet. 2 players) BB checks.but shoving is a bit safer and perfectly reasonable. 6 players) UTG folds. but it’s unwise to worry about that. in my opinion.BB bets $60. and royal flush mean. he won’t call a turn bet. you should think of your hand as an absolute monster. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: T 7 ($3. If you get called and miss on the turn. Betting is good because it disguises your hand. a flush draw. CO folds. Hero shoves. the better an option betting becomes. and has a tendency to call big bets with draws. BB folds The turn was another diamond and provided air like KQ and AQ with straight draws. If you get called and hit on the turn. the better the villain. a gutshot and two overcards. BB calls $13 You flopped an open-ended straight flush draw. quads. 2 players) BB checks.? A “big draw.5. This is heavily dependent on reads and flow. An OESFD will always be a big draw. Hero checks. etc. boat. I can see just calling anyway -and I’d do it fairly often. He plays at about 25/9/1.” for the purpose of this article. so he there’s a small possibility that he has some outs now. and our hand no longer has an equity advantage over a pair. This is the case because a good player will generally raise a wet flop like this with a big hand. MP folds. flush. Flop: 2 9 8 ($15. of course. trips. straight. which is a favorite over any hand except a set (and even against a set. etc. it’s more of a “feel” thing than a science. Sidenote -.

and he’ll fold often enough to the shove for it to be a good play. and the only way to win the pot is to bet. Checking does carry the disadvantage of making it impossible to stack the villain if we hit on the river. BB calls $5 See above. MP folds. CO folds. BB folds I’m calling this a “big draw” and including it in the first category of hands because against this villain. but sometimes it’s +EV with the right board and the right read). You have at least eight outs no matter what the villain is holding and against a hand like AQ. SB folds. BB calls $30 Time to value bet. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 7 9 ($3. you’re willing to reraise all in with it after he check-raises your continuation bet.only thinking on one level and will probably pay off a river bet if you hit anyway. very little drawing potential): Your hand is more or less hopeless at this point. He’s a solid player. you’re less than a 2:1 dog. and to continue at times on the turn (and I don’t make a habit of three-barreling. Read: The villain in the following hand is very aggressive postflop and likes to raise your continuation bets with a wide variety of hands. though. 6 players) UTG folds. The play in this spot is generally to make a pure bluff on the flop. He plays solid.5 or so. 2 players) BB checks. but rarely in poker are there flawless plays. Hero shoves. putting more money in the pot might as well be burning it. the best play is often just passing up on a continuation bet and shutting down. Hero raises to $7. say 17/13/3. and has respect for your play. The villain’s range is very wide. You missed the flop entirely (no pair. Flop: 6 Q 8 ($15. but you’ve played a ton of hands with him and never seen him make a move or a “tricky” play postflop. Read: The villain in the following hand is a straightforward tag. 2 players) BB checks. It might feel strange to raise preflop with a garbage hand and then not even bet the flop. Hero bets $11. River: K ($41. BB raises to $40. Hero bets $30. 2. but if he’s not folding and you have a minute chance of improving to a real hand. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter 193 . Against the 65/1/1 type I described at the beginning of the post.

He calls. because A) the villain is straightforward enough that we can assign him a fairly tight range. 2 players) BB checks. 2 players) BB checks. Hero raises to $7. Not a play I’d make every time. MP folds. and B) most of his range will fold to a turn bet. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: J 8 ($3. The club provides our hand with a runner flush draw. BB calls $5 Blinds. JT. SB folds. You know the big blind has a tendency to pay off. Flop: K Q 3 ($15. MP folds. BB calls $11 194 . Betting here is a solid option. a queen. which is a good thing in this spot. which is fairly high. Hero raises to $7. BB folds The turn is a brick. Hero bets $11. CO folds.Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 7 6 ($3. etc. Read: The villain in the following hand has folded to 7 of 11 continuation bets thus far. CO folds. The villain most likely won’t continue to draw against us with these pot odds. you might get rewarded with a stack. so you make the same bet as you made with the monster hand on the drawy flop above. which more or less means he has a king. Flop: A Q 5 ($15. You want to bet based on the texture of the flop and not on the strength of your hand. maybe even the weaker kings in his range. BB calls $13 Bad flop. BB calls $5 I’m raising suited connectors in this spot almost every time. and there’s a good chance he’ll fold a queen. suited cards. or diamonds. Turn: 2 ($41. Hero bets $13. 6 players) UTG folds. 6 players) UTG folds. but aside from that seems like a donk and Poker Ace Hud shows that he has gone to showdown 28 percent of the time. position. but this is a thinking player’s turn bet. Raising will steal the blinds pretty often. 2 players) BB checks. implied odds. but that’s hardly a good draw. SB folds. and if you flop big. Hero bets $35.

even against this villain. and raising is just asking for it. but even that’s illogical because you won’t get three streets of value out of even the biggest fish with a high card hand. Hero checks See flop analysis.He’s folded more than half the time to continuation bets. 6 players) UTG folds. Hero raises to $7. so we can’t semibluff either. Turn: 3 ($15. Turn: 5 ($37. He has folded to continuation bets only two times out of 15 and gone to showdown 53 percent of the hands he’s played. MP folds. 2 players) BB checks. and our read is that this villain likes to go to showdown. SB folds. River: 2 ($37. BB calls $12 195 . 2 players) BB checks. but raising is good anyway because it’s +EV to isolate this dude with pretty much any two cards. just pitch the hand. 2 players) BB bets $24. Now is a good time to give up. CO folds. As Taylor Caby would say. the runner flush draw we flopped was eliminated by the turn card. Hero checks The continuation bet didn’t work. so theoretically even a full pot cbet should show a profit. Hero folds J-high is good almost never in this spot. BB calls $5 You know the big blind is probably calling preflop. especially with position. Flop: 2 K 4 ($15. River: T ($15. and we don’t even have an ace. Read: The villain in the following hand is the 65/1/1 megafish described earlier. 2 players) BB checks. 2 players) BB checks. You bet a little over two thirds of the pot because the flop is pretty dry and again. so there’s little reason to bet. We still don’t have a pair. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: Q T ($3. Hero bets $12. consistency is a good thing. The only reason to consider betting now is if you think queen-high is good enough for value. Hero checks He’s not folding. If you’d flopped top pair (either the queen or the T) you’d be betting this flop with a plan to get three streets of value.

If you flop middle pair and elect to continuation bet. Hero bets $13. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: J 4 ($3. 2 players) BB checks. SB folds. ten outs. but you’re losing major value if you check behind against this guy. but with the knowledge that your hand has some outs if you get called. If you have a draw that you’re planning to fold to a raise on the flop. Your goal is to take down the pot. Turn: 3 ($41. This category is interesting because it’s the only one of the three in which there are usually two reasonable ways to play the flop and the turn: A) Check behind. but it is reasonable to open with it once in a while from the button. a mediocre draw): I left this for last because I think it’s the most discussable situation. CO folds. 2 players) 196 . three outs to two pair). If you have a weak pair. You might have the best hand at this point. at least you’ve inflated the pot for your five outer (two outs to trips. B) Bet. because it’s going to be pretty tough to bet all three streets with this hand unimproved and see a showdown. BB calls $13 You flop middle pair and elect to semibluff with it. etc. A check behind with a mediocre draw like a gutshot and overcards is somewhat tricky. Bets in spots like these are semibluffs. but it’s a reasonable option at times because it guarantees that you won’t get raised off a hand that has something like six outs. your hand might be good but can’t stand to play a big pot. 3. It doesn’t make much sense to bet your jack for value at this point. A check behind with a hand like middle pair is a “value check” -.it keeps the pot small. this can mean overcards. MP folds. middle pair.depending on your read of the villain and your feel for the situation. but that doesn’t mean the continuation bet was for value. you are betting and hoping the villain folds. It’s not a certainty that your hand is best. You bet $13 because the board is drawy. 6 players) UTG folds. BB calls $5 This hand is some serious junk. but if that doesn’t occur. Hero raises to $7. You got a piece of the flop (bottom pair. you’re generally not betting for value. even a hand as good as an open-ended straight draw or a flush draw.Time to take this noob to valuetown. A “mediocre draw” is any draw that you’re not willing to felt on the flop -. a gutshot and an overcard. induces bluffs. Unfortunately. the villain calls. Flop: J 3 Q ($15. low top pair. and ensures that you won’t get raised off your hand and that it gets a chance to improve to trips or two pair.

BB checks, Hero checks You decide not to continue the semibluff this time. If the villain can read hands, he’ll know that you don’t have a good made hand now, but in this hand the villain is unknown. If the river bricks and the villain makes a reasonable bet, you have little choice but to fold. River: Q ($41, 2 players) BB bets $30, Hero folds The villain could be betting missed spades or air, but it’s probably more likely that he has a queen or a better jack than we have. I’ll try to pick villains off in these spots in the right situation, but the standard play after semibluffing, checking through a blank turn, and missing on the river is folding if the villain makes a river bet. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: J 4 ($3, 6 players) UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, Hero raises to $7, SB folds, BB calls $5 You have the same hand and elect to raise it again; you’re going to play the flop differently this time, though. Flop: J 3 Q ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero checks Oh my, a very similar flop. Last time, you tried semibluffing with your flopped middle pair, which was perfectly reasonable. This time, you’re going to check behind and try to see a cheap showdown. I tend to be more likely to try this with dryer flops. I changed this flop slightly from the last hand -- this flop was rainbow, the last one was two-tone -but I’m capable of semibluffing on a dry flop and checking behind on a wet flop, etc. It’s also better to check behind with a pair of jacks or queens than with a pair of fours or fives, of course, because overcards are scare cards when your hand is just one pair. Turn: 3 ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero checks This is a good turn card. There’s still not much of a reason to bet, because you’re not getting more than one street of value out of this hand. If the river doesn’t scare us and the villain checks again, it’s time to think about betting. If the villain bets the river, you have little choice but to call since you induced a bluff. River: Q ($15, 2 players) BB bets $9, Hero calls $9. There’s a chance the villain has you beat, but I’m not folding after the way we played the hand. There’s no reason to raise the river (save for very high level thinking against a

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villain with whom you have a lot of history), so calling is the only option in this spot. Read: Villain is nitty and bad. He runs at 9/5/4; when he calls a raise preflop, it usually means he has a pocket pair. If he flops an overpair, he’s generally felting it. He likes to check-raise continuation bets big with small overpairs, unaware that against good players, this turns his hands into bluffs. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 4 5 ($3, 6 players) UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, Hero raises to $7, SB folds, BB calls $5 Your hand sucks, but the BB is the perfect player to blind steal against because he’ll usually fold his hand, and if he doesn’t, you have implied odds out the wazoo. Flop: 6 7 2 ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero checks You flop an open-ended straight draw on a rainbow board, but the villain’s range consists mostly of overpairs and sets. Given the provided read, the villain will check-raise if you continuation bet. PokerStove says your hand only has a 29.26 percent chance to win against the range of JJ-66 and 22, so if you get check-raised big by the villain, you can’t shove and you won’t have the odds to continue with the hand. You decide to check behind and ensure that you get to see a free card, knowing that there’s a good chance of stacking the villain you peel off a 3 or an 8. In addition, if you miss on the turn and the villain bets, you can call the bet knowing that you generally have the implied odds to continue. Turn: 9 ($15, 2 players) BB bets $12, Hero calls $12 The turn doesn’t complete your draw, but it’s a low enough card that the villain can still have an overpair with JJ or TT (I’m assuming he would’ve reraised preflop with QQ+), and he could have a set with 99, 77, 66, or 22. Calling is a slam dunk against this villain. River: 9 ($39, 2 players) BB bets $44, Hero folds You have close to the nut low, and judging by the villain’s tendencies and his overbet, there’s a good chance he just filled up. It’s possible the he just has an overpair, but our read is that he won’t fold that to a shove anyway, and in this case he might even be right to felt it if you pushed because a river push would make your line strange as hell. Just fold this time and stack him when you have a real hand. Read: Villain is loose preflop and likes to call raises out of position with hands like QJ, KT, etc. He’ll fold to a continuation bet if he misses the flop, though; thus far, Poker Ace Hud indicates that he’s folded to 13 of 16 continuation bets.

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$1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 4 5 ($3, 6 players) UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, Hero raises to $7, SB folds, BB calls $5 Against a BB like this, you can probably raise profitably and then continuation bet with any two cards. This analysis ignores the SB, of course, but for the purpose of this article, the SB doesn’t exist. Flop: 6 7 2 ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero bets $13, BB folds The flop is the same as in the last hand, but the villain is different. Whereas a checkraise loomed against the last villain and implied odds were plentiful if you checked behind, this villain will probably fold to a continuation bet (and a hand like KT or QJ is about even money against our draw at this point), and it’s tough to say how much money we’ll make if we check behind and make our hand. If the villain makes a big raise, we probably won’t continue, but that’s an unlikely scenario. Against this villain, the play is to continuation bet and try to take the pot down. Read: Villain is a 44/18/5 lagfish who loves to attack weakness. He folds fairly often to shows of strength -- in fact, he has folded to five of seven continuation bets so far -- but you have seen him fire three barrels with air when he thinks he can steal pots. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: J 9 ($3, 6 players) UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, Hero raises to $7, SB folds, BB calls $5 From the button, this hand is an auto-raise for me. Flop: J 8 3 ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero checks You flop top pair and check behind. The flop has two spades and any Q, K or A is a bad card for you, but given your read, checking behind is the play. If the villain fires the turn,

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you’re calling 100 percent of the time regardless of the turn card. The river is trickier if he bets again, but it’s important to keep your read in mind. Turn: 4 ($15, 2 players) BB bets $14, Hero calls $14 The turn was an undercard and didn’t scare you. As expected, the villain bet out. This is an easy call against this villain, and there’s little reason to raise. River: K ($43, 2 players) BB bets $23, Hero calls The king is a bad card because you no longer have top pair. The villain leads for $23 into a pot of $43, giving you 66:23 odds (a little less than 3:1). It’s possible that the villain hit the river, but you reason that your hand will be good more than 25 percent of the time against his range. This is good reasoning against a villain like this one -- if he’d bet the pot on the river, you’d have a harder decision, but with pot odds this generous, the river bet is a pretty easy call.

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HAND RANGES, READS AND NOTES
READS (djoyce003)
I posted this in another thread started by Fallen Hero, but after posting my original thoughts, i've developed a few others that I think are worthy of including, and therefore should be included....thus I'm copying my original and adding to it. Sorry if this causes you to read it twice. First rule of reads - You have to apply any reads you have to the context and history of the hand....does it make sense what the villain is doing? Example from the other day. I pick up queens in the BB. 4 limps to me, including the SB. I raise it 8xbb. Folds to SB (who is TAG). SB goes all in for 50bb's. Does that make sense? Could he have possibly gone for a limp-reraise with AA or KK here with only the BB left to act who is OOP for the rest of the hand? The answer is clearly no. He put me on the squeeze play and assumed I had garbage. I didn't, I called, and I stacked his completely dominated QJ. Whenever an opponent makes a play, does it make sense in the context of the hand. A few really valuable reads to have on villains. Valuable read 1 - villains that overplay TPTK One of my villain's notes is "plays TPTK like the nuts, even with it's TP of 9's. Raised and called all in with A9 on a 7889 threeflush board." I've used that read to stack a particular villain at least 4 times. However, this has to done in the context of the hand. Conversely if you have a read that a loose passive opponent can't fold top pair, and the flop comes 7 high and he'd raised preflop with a relatively narrow raising range, you know he's not going crazy with TPTK...you know he's got an overpair. Valuable read 2 - Plays way too agressively when there is a flush draw on the board. These villains are great to flop big hands against in position because you never even have to bet or raise because you know they don't have the draw either. Example, you have pocket 7's in position. Villain raises, you call. Flop comes XX7 with 2 spades. Villain pots it, you call. Turn - blank, villain pushes, you call and stack his AA that he overplayed due to the draw-heavy board. Valuable Read 3 - total donkey calling station One of the best reads known to man. Do not semi-bluff these guys, do not threebet all in with a coin flip hand because they'll call, and you are only 50/50....try to catch your hand because they will call once you catch it too. They can't fold TP even on a straigthening flushing board. Value bet, value bet, value bet. I called a $20 turn bet against one of these guys into a $10 pot with a flush draw last week on a TJQK board. Rivered the flush, push overbet for $250 and he called with the ace hi straight. Valueable read 4 - minbets draws

201

makes big c-bets with hands that connected These villains are really easy to float against with nothing. and now villain checks.. Valueable read 8 .his bad play is why you are here. I really have no idea what they are thinking. Good LAGS typically realize this but still can't fold. A read that an opponent will play ANY draw agressively is however.. he'll probably call. and they have 89..you bet they raise.now you've got him.. this destroys their odds and eliminates tough decisions on your part as very few of them have the guts to go all in at that point.you easily dump your hand (provided you have this read).You've all seen these guys.makes weak C-bets with whiffed hands. it's generally a big hand. and fold if any draws come home. Same thing on connected flops like A78.minraises small pockets/SC's/suited aces preflop. Against a lot of these villains if you threebet the flop big you are likely to get raised all in and are then faced with a tough decision.. you bet and get raised. Villain leads into you with a minbet on a draw heavy board knowing you'll raise. If he calls he's probably got the draw and that lets you play the river perfectly. Turn 9.. If he raises you again... even though TT+ kills them. or wait until the turn to raise as that's always more scary and almost always gets a fold. the converse "smart enough to know he just got counterfeited" These villains are great... Example from above 982 though.minbet-threebets monsters These are great too because they let you get away cheap. Any ragged 2 flush board with him raising makes it easier to include the draw and not a set as his likely holdings.. Flop comes 228.. Punish these guys. Valuable read 6 ..... Valuable read 7 . 202 ..can't fold right. Turn comes a 2.they don't usually minraise all three. you reraise. then they go ahead and call your big raise. and villain has top 2. They minbet into you and try to draw cheap. and then disappoint them by donking a PSB on a blank turn.think you might be behind to 98 so you flat call.they know they can't pay full price to draw. It can save you money a lot of the time. Also. Some villains will typically minraise either small pockets. Villain doesn't realize he could have potted it and gotten a much bigger raise out of you but hey.. but lots of villains will minraise at least one of these. and now the threebets all in with a set.makes it easier to put him on 9T or 56 and lets you know by his action if he's hit. Start valuebetting. or punish with big hands. You bet with Jacks and they call. A good way to determine if villains got a monster or not is to flat call his flop raise when OOP and donk into him on the turn. you can generally figure they've got the trips with top kicker.. I generally like to call their flop raise. Valuable Read 10 ..or you can PUNISH them on a 55K board when you've got KK because you KNOW they've got A5. They don't realize your 2 pair beats them. You oblige... which is why they bet small. but then they call a raise anyway.can't read boards and tell when he's counterfeited. which you represent. or sc's or suited aces preflop. Valuable read 5 . If you start getting action with a big hand on a ragged board or a board like 55K. This is a great read to have. If a villain makes a weak c-bet into me I'll generally raise if I think he'll fold right on the flop.plays ALL draws agressively A read that an opponent plays big draws agressively doesn't really help you much other than including the big draw in his range when he's raising on a draw heavy board. or a set on a 852 board or something similar.

because AA isn't in his reraise range. If it's against a multi-tabling tag it's not as reliable as he could be acting on another table.Does not consider pot size when determining the strength of a bet Some villains associate the size of the bet in relation to the stakes as a strong bet. sometimes something outside of that normal range can give you a tell. Valuable read 11 . it's almost a certainty that he hit the flush. Conversely. beware. This read makes you money in a number of ways. depends on villain) Lots of villains (myself included) will call smallish PSB's on the flop with draws. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this and it's been the flush. slow way down when the draw hits and consider folding. I generally insta-fold TP with this read and i'm almost always right. We as a group typically consider that a weak bet.. You must make a PS turn bet. If a villain is capable of bluffing the river with missed draws and things of that nature. but in reality it's strength. Other Ramblings . They are thinking that you'll associate their long thought period with weakness. I've gotten burned by this lately with things like K high flushes facing pushes and losing to the nut flush.. then calling is 203 .Conversely. punish these donkies. Villains typically just don't bet rivers huge without the nuts or near nuts.but if the villain doesn't. I know I can safely fold and won't try to float because I know he's got a hand.villain ALWAYS raises in the BB if it's a headsup blind battle and the SB completes. but not unbeatable hands.. Valuable Read 12 . and that villain takes an inordinately long period to act after the card hits. The ones that will call large turn bets are truly great buddies for life and worth following around. When you get called by one of these guys on the flop on a draw heavy board.Villain reraises light and flatcalls with truly big hands. rather than the size of the bet in relation to the pot. Also beware of the full pot size bet or slight overbet if you checked the turn behind after a draw hit. disappoint them by not letting them get the checkraise in. And second you KNOW he's raising so you limp with TT+ and punish him when he does. For example.Calls pot-size bets on draws on the flop AND turn. if the villain makes a PSB and I have nothing.. Not as many will call on the turn. First you know not to complete with hands you want to play OOP to a raise. screw pot control. Valuable read 13 . you know your AK is good on an a K hi flop. The most common one is the delayed call or bet. If a villain raised on the flop and then a flush card falls. Valuable Read 14 . After enough of these you can start limping and not expect a raise. I found a TAG villain that religously reraises with marginal hands (AJ for example) but NEVER reraises with AA/KK.some villains think their $10 bet into a $50 pot is strong because it's a big bet for $50NL.Absent reads I'm typically very reluctant to call large river bets with good. things like that. The other great thing about these guys if that they'll almost always go for a checkraise when they complete their draw. This read is subject to a villain that is only single-tabling though. This almost always signifies a whiffed turn-checkraise that the villain is trying to make up for. Marginal but sometimes valuable timing tells Assuming a villain normally acts in a certain period of time. etc. This makes him easy to play against because if he reraises you. because you know you'll get one. then either goes for the checkraise when it hits (or donk bets it. This is why it's so critical that you always make your cbets a standard size.

204 . but I have to have a read to make me do this and it has to be a very good read.standard.

and lots of them. One of the biggest cues I use to read hands online is bet sizing. Secondly. if your opponent has a vpip under 20 he just isn’t going to have 94 if he limps behind limpers or cold calls a raise. I am currently playing 200NL with occasional shots at 400. Preflop The small raise from EP: A typical LP player opens in EP for just over the minimum. and is intended as more of a primer for some of the uNL people and maybe some of the limit converts. Make notes. A lot of hand reading is based on what I would call feel. or just in between hands at other tables. At the request of lorez I am discussing hand reading and bet sizing. make a note. AF Now this is where it gets more complicated. I will frequently say out loud the hand I think my opponent has. mostly I am lazy. I’ve only really been around about 8 months and didn’t play seriously for many of those first months. “bluff raise river with missed draw”. Whenever you see someone play a hand differently than their PT stats or perception of them as a player would lead you to believe. aren’t often betting out with draws. When you are watching a high stakes game. put people on hands all the time. This has all been pretty vague. What basic elements of pt stats should you be looking at when deciding hand ranges for opponents? VPIP This is the most basic. As soon as these decisions start influencing your bankroll you suddenly become much more excited about the proposition of being right about what your opponent has. these shouldn’t be included in his hand range later. PFR This one is pretty clear too. actively attempt to put people on hands. but after gradually spending more time on 2p2 and getting the courage to post here I’ve developed into a poker player (I have the FTP jersey to prove it !). Sometimes you just know when a guy is leading into you with a flopped set and you can make a great fold with an overpair. people with low AF (total post flop). practice. Work on developing your reads. Practice. I didn’t write a Pooh-Bah post for several reasons. say lower than 2. Similarly these players aren’t going to bluff missed draws as often so if there was a FD on the flop.HAND READING / BET SIZING (carnivalhobo) Bet sizing and hand ranges in Small Stakes NL First I’d like to just say how much I’ve learned about poker from this forum and hope to be able to give something back to the group of people and community that has helped me makes money and exercise my brain. If you put your opponent on a draw and then he makes a PSB on the river. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. or making elaborate semi-bluffs. if a x/6/x player raises from UTG in a 9 handed game. its not wise to assume that a missed draw is a big part of villain’s range when he pots the river. and small-medium pocket pairs. as I feel they go hand in hand. he isn’t going to have 33 or AT. you have to put faith in your reads. Axs. “lead into pfr and bet 3 streets with TPWK”. What you can do at the table. When a passive player raises the turn your TPTK is often no good (see: Baluga Theorem). this creates accountability. Some samples: “donkbet with air”. This 205 . but I’ll try to keep this basic enough for all levels of uNL and up. make the call. Most likely he is limping with suited connectors. practice.

as this is the most common spot for a 2p2 TAG to be in. a good range for minraises preflop is 22-99. with a 15% WtSD (sample size is 300 hands). Donkbets: This is when a guy calls your pfr OOP and the leads into you on the flop. and maybe AK. Use this to your advantage. they aren’t going anywhere. so I don’t feel comfortable making generalizations) most villains aren’t 3betting without QQ+. Use this to your advantage and see a flop too if your hand is reasonable. He had been playing solid aggressive poker. no bet is the way to go here. and then it kind of breaks down based on individuals. For example. 3 bets: The lower the level the tighter our opponents are here. call and re-evaluate the turn. and don’t try to 3bet these guys light. yes 24 aggression. at 25nl (I never played 10. make a good sized raise. This is precisely why we use the 4xBB +1/limper formula to make preflop raises (a PSR is fine too. I could go on and talk about every type of betting situation and what I think of various betsizes. see a flop with a PP these guys cant fold aces ever. especially as you get to . The 8xbb+raise: This is a scared monster. if you were planning to check behind. As you move up. and even AK hoping to take it down then. Would he fire again 206 . I’ll deal with mainly raised pots in which we are the aggressor. If the flop is draw heavy you can either raise. On the flop I have 2 overs and a gutshot to the nuts. The villain in the following hand is 16/8/24. if not a bit small. in some cases significantly. He makes a standard. Minbets: In general treat these as checks. but I’d rather look at some examples of where hand reading comes into play. suited one gaps. As you move up. I decide to call with AQ preflop because I have position and I also suspect that he is raising limpers from LP with a wide range. I suspect that he will fire a second barrel fairly liberally as his turn AF is 6. 34s-JTs. or build a big pot so they don’t have to worry about folding. so stack them with every set. These hands tend to be even weaker than those by people who make larger donkbets including small PPs and naked draws. something like QQ or JJ where the villain doesn’t want to play postflop. but be weary and don’t put more bets in postflop “just to make sure”. The more taggy your opponent the more often they will be leading sets and big draws they want to b/3bai with. Now we get more information about our opponent’s hand. At the uNL levels. then just call. the average player’s range widens to something like TT+ AQ+ at some of the more aggressive 200nl 6max games.5/1 and 1/2). Our raises: As you can see. at 50nl when most people aren’t yet 3betting without the goods. try a resteal the next time that tag that has a name like BustoYOU tries to steal your blind. Use the 5/10 rule judiciously. If a typical player leads into you on a Q72r flop and you have AQ. but as far as I can tell. liberating isn’t it? Flop We are finally here. AA. some community cards to work with. or let a blank roll off and bomb the turn. A2s-A9s. and I feel like he can fold due to his low WtSD.is nearly always a monster. some will pull this maneuver with KK. cbet I decide to call with position looking to bluff the turn or make the best hand. control the pot and just call. If you hold an overpair and a TAG leads into you on a dry flop. then go ahead and re-raise them and you’ll often find yourself winning the pot preflop. If the flop is QsTs8o then consider raising to price out a draw. then make a note. These are “pot sweeteners” just juicing up the size of the pot with a hand they want to play. you should be more aggressive than the average player preflop. a simply pfr size helps us narrow down our opponents hand range. If you see someone lead into you with a hand like TPTK or another odd hand. Now here is where the hand reading comes into play. The turn is a total blank and he fires again. or if it’s a good hand. start 3betting with a wider range yourself. I think in shorthanded games especially. Min-raises: This is something I make notes on to narrow a range down. No set. If you were going to make a cbet. In general this means a weak made hand or a draw.

Turn: 5 ($43. BB raises to $21. JT. 2 players) CO bets $75.5/2 with a WtSD of only 5. Turn: 5 ($106. on to the hand: I put his preflop range at AT+. Flop: J 5 7 ($43. CO raises to $20. Villain is a typical aggTag and plays about 23/20/3. although it’s certainly a 207 . Hero calls. with lots of light preflop raising. but he checks. Hero calls. playing 16/7. Hero checks. With this type of image I think his calling range is on the order of JT. Hero calls. Hero raises to $7. Flop: 3 T J ($50. Also I suspect he is capable of making a laydown and so a hand like AA will often get mucked if I push. River: 9 ($103. I can’t stand a check raise and would likely check here with most hands (especially a set). KJ+. 2 players) BB checks. UTG+1 calls. 2 players) BB bets $30.8%. I start to discount the chance of him having a set or AK here. TT. over the 100 hands I played at this table I had been quite tight. Results: Final pot: $103 He had K Q and MHIG Now. 3 folds. My image is similar at 22/18/3. 2 players) BB checks. and some sc’s. I played this hand with him earlier which indicates his range preflop is widened as well as some hint to what his flop check means. Hero checks. he would likely go for a c/r. 22+. Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 Hero: $248 BB: $1070.25 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with 4 4 UTG folds. Hero raises all-in $372 This next hand took place in an aggressive shorthanded game. the portion of his range with which he bets (something like 88+. 3 folds. I would have likely folded to a cbet on this board. sometimes QQ+. QJ. Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $2/$4 Stack sizes: CO: $473 Hero: $420 Pre-flop: (9 players) Hero is Button with Q A UTG folds. 2 players) CO bets $28. but most importantly. AT+ KQ. and some other random aces) I have a lot of FE against. JJ. 3 folds. Because of the previous hand. Against this range I am still drawing live. Hero calls. The reason I can assume this is my image.here with a huge hand like 3 Jacks? Unlikely.

Turn: 3 ($57. Hero checks. Of this range I think they all fold to a river bet. 2 players) BB checks. Hopefully it was helpful. Now. How much would I bet here with a set? I make a roughly 2/3 pot bet and this way I save some money when he has played a big hand sneakily. I go with my plan and make it 122 to go. I decide to make a move on a decent turn card and check behind. BB calls. QQ. Hero raises to $9. After he checks I immediately remove a set from his range. which means about 3 people are actually going to read it. could he actually have AK? He checks it to me on a fairly blank river card. 2 players) BB bets $40. UTG folds. The turn is another low blank and he makes a bet. Flop: 4 2 K ($57.40 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with Q J UTG calls. AA. AK. Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 Stack sizes: Hero: $475. Hero raises to $122. The only hand of those I can see looking me up is AA. and I cant win by checking. and I think 220 and a push are the same when it comes to folding out other hands. Hero bets $220 This is getting to be longer than a Pokey post. 2 players) BB checks. 208 .90 BB: $835. I think his range is something like JJ. this sets me up for a potsized river push which is the betsizing id use with the nuts or a set here. BB raises to $27. 3 folds. Hero calls. he would never play it that slow (he plays big hands fast like most 2p2 style tags).possibility. He calls and I start to wonder what his hand is. River: T ($301. a betsize.

here are some potential example ranges: 5% = "pairs 77+. suited aces. any suited connectors 54s+. AQ. any suited broadway. Any two broadway: Two cards. KQs. However. the first thing you do is you put your opponent on a hand. while there is a great deal of artistry in hand reading. AK. both T+. KQ. suited connectors 54+. QJs" 15% = "any pair. AK. KQo" 30% = "any pair. your opponents work very hard to AVOID letting you know the cards in their hands. AQ. any king. Total probability: 10. 32o-AKo. remember to use the relevant range: a player who is 65/10 is looser than the 50% range when he limps but has a rather tight range if he actually raises. any suited ace" 20% = "any pair. Total probability: 14. any suited connectors 54s+." 10% = "pairs 66+.3%. AQ. AQs" or "pairs 99+. including pairs. QQ. any two broadway.6%. AK. So you know that your opponent who just limped has a VPIP of 30%. 1.9%. Hand reading is simultaneously the most important and the most difficult thing that a poker player does. AK. any two broadway. blame the mod) to get you started. any broadway" 40% = "any pair. AK. A2s+. any suited king. AK. Any two suited: literally.9%. any ace. Any ace: A2o+. any ace. Total probability: 14. Total probability: 2. any suited connectors 32s+" 50% = "any pair. Unfortunately.5%. any suited king. and make mountains of cash for their troubles. "Maximum suited connectors": JTs-54s. but are you really aware of what "30% of all hands dealt" actually looks like? Here are some probabilities of getting a hand in a particular preflop range: Super-premiums: AA. KTo+. K5o+" Again. After some thought I came up with these Five Commandments of Hand Reading (I had ten. what does 30% really MEAN? We know it's loose. the basics are describable.9%. Total probability: 23.5%. Any pocket pair: AA-22.1%. What do you do? Well. KQ. Other players are exquisitely good at all the fundamentals but stink at hand reading and therefore struggle to consistently beat $50NL.9%.sorry. any suited ace" 25% = "any pair. there is no "magic formula" for hand reading. To give you a VERY broad feel for what different percentages translate into. AQ. Total probability: 5. Total probability: 3. any two suited cards.AN UNBELIEVABLY LONG GUIDE TO HAND READING (Pokey) So you've got bottom set on a three-flush board and your opponent just check-raised you all-in. after all. any suited broadway. Any two connectors: 32s-AKs. but one of the tablets broke when EMC dropped it -. any ace. QJo" or "any pair. Total probability: 2. any two broadway. have deadly-accurate hand reading skills.6%. AA. Any suited ace: A2s-AKs. any ace. Premiums: AA-TT. any ace. Total probability: 14. Know thy numbers. Some of the best poker players in the world ignore many (or all!) of those other "rules" in poker. Total probability: 5. Also realize that some players who are loose and passive will raise with SECOND-best hands like 88- 209 . KK. Unsuited ace: A2o-AKo.

suspect a trap: this is very often a strong hand that's going for a check-raise.JJ. Preflop aggresssion: a passive preflop player has a PFR under a quarter of their VPIP. any ace. When that same play comes from someone with a postflop aggression of 0. but NOT the ultra-premiums like QQ+. His mistake is playing too many hands -.4. the HUD trinity (VPIP. and you can fold without a worry. Alternatively. or "any unsuited ace. When a player with an average aggression of 8 raises preflop and then checks to you. Be sure to watch this 210 . especially at uNL stakes. a tight preflop player has a VPIP under 20%. and here he didn't. A likely range here is going to be the difference between the two ranges. When we're trying to decide a player's preflop holding.checking is just what this player does. but keep the bets small and try for pot control. any two broadway. On the other hand. Aggressive players play aggressively and passive players play passively. but you get the general idea). and average aggression) tell us much about a player. and any hand you're willing to play is beating their range. Watch these folks at showdown to try and figure out how they play their really big hands. A leopard never changes its spots. If we assume that villain raises with his top 20%. an aggressive preflop player will have a PFR over half of their VPIP. however -. you gain no information from the check -. These folks won't enter into a hand unless they've got something worth pursuing." But we can already refine this range some more: we know that with 20% of those hands. tight players play tight. raise light and raise strong preflop while your hand dominates your opponent's range. Loose players play loose. any king. What sort of holdings do you expect them to have? Well. our sample range for this looked something like "any pair.those they will slowplay to disguise their hands. When you get that same preflop bet and flop check from a player whose average aggression is 1. Say a player has a VPIP of 40% and a PFR of 20% and they limp in front of you. Don't fall for it. That's not to say you should be check-calling. K9o or worse." That's a much easier range to play against. and 54s-JTs." So take THOSE hands out of his current range: just like you discount 72o when a nit is in the hand. villain would have raised. we should use their VPIP and their PFR to come to a conclusion. K9s or worse. KQ. and is waiting to beat your brains out. Postflop aggression numbers also reveal much about a player. expect to be ahead and bet consistently with your made hands. and low aggression -. Alternatively. AJ. T9s or worse. any suited connectors 32s+. Be prepared to play with caution when you don't have a monster. Categorize your opponents on three separate measures: Preflop looseness: a loose preflop player has a VPIP over 40% (I made up the number. any suited ace. and the only way you can really take advantage of this characteristic is by stealing their blinds remorselessly (though you'll have to instafold if they catch you stealing and you don't have an honest hand). PFR. it is aggressive for a player who has a VPIP of 15%. our sample range for that looks something like "any pair. Together. Know thy enemy.there's no flop that definitely missed your enemy. The ultramaniac who check/calls two streets also has a monster.high aggression. AK. you discount QQ when a maniac limps. They aren't really making a major mistake preflop. Be VERY afraid when a player is playing out of character: the passive postflop player who leads and raises almost always has a monster.and then adjust accordingly. that's more likely to be a player who missed and is giving up. rather. Beware of these folks postflop. medium aggression.3. All of this leads us to our second commandment: 2. and AQ -. any two broadway. Mentally split players into three groups -. These guys have crap preflop. That means that this is a floating scale: while 10% PFR is passive for a player who has a VPIP of 55%. we know the player is willing to play with 40% of his hands.exploit this mistake by hammering him preflop while you're way ahead.

Remember. if a loose and aggressive player is check-calling you can expect him to have the near-nuts. they're out of the hand. Suitedness: flops can come "rainbow" (three different suits). depending on your holdings and your opponent's range. but when they hit it will be with something sneaky-as-hell and solid-solid-solid. What affects the texture of a board? Well.. or that an aggressive preflop player is aggressive postflop. Flops have different "textures. this idiot is 72/7. or "monochrome" (all three cards in the same suit). your range will be significantly wrong. and you'll be in a good deal of trouble with your hand reading. once we're on the flop and beyond we need to use average aggression and postflop tightness to decide what a player's holdings are. different people respond in different ways to different board textures. Know thy board. let's start with the flop. but increasingly common at higher levels (and deadly-dangerous when they do it right) is the LP/TA: this player is a total calling station idiot preflop. this opponent plays hands so infrequently that when he finds something -. Another common player is the TP/TA. or "float" (smooth-call on the flop with the intent of taking the pot on the turn) with either a pure bluff or a semi-bluff (draw) on these types of boards. you can often steal these pots for a reasonably small (2/3rds-pot) bet. People often make the mistake of assuming that a tight preflop player is tight postflop. Postflop aggression: after the flop." They stack more TAGs than you and I could ever hope to. The true TA/TA (tight-aggressive preflop. note that many hyperaggressive opponents will be more likely to bet out. "two-suited" (two of one suit and one of another).. betting incredibly hard and relying on unobservant TAGs to call them down lighter because "hey. Now. however -. if you are called. beware 211 . refining our original range based on their preflop play. escaping for 1 BB. One huge word of warning: people often look at a player's VPIP and conclude that the player is a loose idiot. tight-aggressive postflop) and LP/LP (calling station pre and post) is only one form of opponent. On a draw-heavy board. Less common at uNL. Don't fall for it! It's a ruse. They'll be folding a tremendous fraction of the time on the flop... Don't mistake his typical preflop looseness with a wide range when he raises. well. check-raise. These folks are splashing around in as many pots as they can as cheaply as they can. I will tell you that every combination of preflop and postflop playstyles is possible. the bigger the hand most opponents will need to call. This leads us to the third commandment: 3. He turns into a maniac postflop.that he's willing to play preflop he cannot bring himself to let it go. he has roughly the same hand range as when you're raised by a 12/5. If they miss. The more "suited" a flop is. a new game begins." and those textures can be much more or much less scary. who goes from nit preflop to aggro-monkey postflop. If you have a tricky opponent who raises his middle 20% and limps the top 10% and bottom 10%. Then they call his raise and are shocked when they find out at showdown that he had rockets. expect people to play a different style postflop from preflop. However. if you are raised preflop by a 65/5.. but if a loose and passive player is check-calling you can expect him to have . So the rule is: postflop is a new game. and then postflop they play POKER.you'd really like to know if your assumption about him raising the top 20% of his range is correct or not.ANYTHING -. and try to quickly figure out BOTH of these styles. and none are terribly uncommon. This can only be discovered by observation. relying on folding equity and a better starting hand range to win money. If you are first to act. my TP3K dominates his range. Another very common player is the TA/LA: always aggressive and solidly tight preflop. They then go into aggro mode. because their image gets them mad phat postflop action.opponent's showdown hands. but if they hit the hand they're going to hammer every street and try to get all-in by the showdown. any damn thing. More importantly. You'll often see preflop numbers of 75/11 or 68/6 for these folks.

Think about this: say you have AJ on an ace-high board. a pair of aces with a J-or-worse kicker is going to be in oodles of trouble unless that kicker connects. I'm usually done with the hand. Your more aggressive opponents will bet BOTH hands strongly. and the unlikely AA has you decimated. check/calling in the hopes of improving. right?) but they haven't. Opponents love nothing more than playing aces. the odds that your opponent has two spades drops to 2. Sure. Say your 30/11/3 opponent raises preflop from MP and you call in position with 33. you need to decide if they're likely drawing or if instead they've flopped some powerhouse hand. A straight draw can become an almost unbeatable monster.75 times more likely than the made flush that has you killed.8%. the player holding JTs just stacked the preflop raiser holding AK.6% and the odds that he has one spade drops to 14. A flop raise or a flop float can prove extremely valuable to you. because your weak-but-made hand is often drawing very thin against it. you've outgrown calling raises with KJo and A9o (you HAVE outgrown that.they're a gold-mine to the savvy poker player because so many people miss them. When someone plays back at you on a fairly connected board. there are four OTHER aces that beat you -. Heads-up. and when those aces hit the board your opponents will hang on to their aces like they were made out of solid gold. Often. In this analysis I'm completely ignoring your inside straight draw -. When the flop comes A-K-Q. too. many players will play very passively with a draw. the flop comes 7-6-5. Worse yet. so the odds that this flop has completely missed your opponent are higher than usual. If you've hit a solid hand (say. Then you'll proceed based on the strength of your hand in relation to the range you think is likely for your opponent.that's virtually worthless since it's highly unlikely to happen and also highly unlikely to get paid in any significant way by your opponent while still being the best hand.the ones that have made two pair. Much like a suited board. two pair is the scarier event. Two pair is already there. If an ace hits the board in a multi-way pot and I don't have AT LEAST AQ. If one other player has an ace. what are the odds that his hand beats yours? Well. Always be aware of straight draws -. if your opponent actually has a second-best hand. Bet and protect! Connectedness: here we're talking about how many cards to a straight the board has.6 times higher than the odds that he flopped the monster. a connected board can often be used as a powerful bluffing or semibluffing tool. Bet while your hand is best and charge him well to try and outdraw you. he'll be more likely to pay off a bet on a monochrome flop than he will to pay off a bet when the turn has FOUR spades (assuming he doesn't have one). No. I'm saying that this flop is a good one for you because it is unlikely to have improved your opponent in any meaningful way. so the odds that your opponent is drawing to a flush are now 5. but they will play aggressively with two pair. At small stakes games.of the flush draw! One small bit of math: let's say that the flop comes with three spades and you have none in your hand. Pressing back hard should win you this pot quite often WITHOUT getting to a showdown. the raise makes overcards much more likely than usual.3% and the odds that he flopped a flush DRAW are 15. AK and AQ obviously have you outkicked. Incidentally.4%. However. When the board is connected. TPTK) DO NOT PANIC AND START CALLING! Bet out and protect against the draw that is 4. if your board has three spades and you have one in your hand. you need to beware of two separate possibilities: your opponent might have two pair and your opponent might have an open-ended straight draw. but it has to GET there first. Besides. but realize this general rule: a flop that is high-card heavy is much more likely to have connected with your opposition than a flop that is high-card light. This is a REALLY good flop for attack aggressively: considering your opponent's stats. The next highest board card is a T. 212 . Playing these easily-dominated hands will prove very expensive for your inattentive opponents. The odds that your single opponent flopped a made flush are 3. A monochrome flop of J-T-9 is MUCH more dangerous than a monochrome flop of J-7-2. High Card Value: your opponents love playing high cards.

but VERY dangerous as a player's LOW card. Here we're discussing how this particular hand has played out: who bet when and how 213 . with a PAIRED board. Recognize that the odds that your opponent has missed the board are highest on lowcard boards. Someone willing to play KJo preflop is virtually never going to fold that hand on a J-high flop. because the looser opponents will play many kings. However. but if you bet the flop they will assume you DO have one. assume you have a pocket pair. don't give up when the flop comes with a high card. Now. and board pairs will continue to pertain. it's now almost 50% less likely that an opponent has made a hand good enough to want to continue. On the turn and river. especially if that high card is an ace. similar issues with connectedness. but they're unlikely to fold any hand that beats you. In short. and fold even more often than he would fold to a typical continuation bet. you're even MORE likely to be behind. Paired boards are perfect for continuing preflop aggression. You should use this against them if it is reasonable for you to do so. and that's even assuming that your opponent "only" has an ace! You throw in the other random two-pair and set hands and your hand will win at showdown less than half the time. Worse yet. too. and much lower when the board has high cards. and may even bet these boards on a pure bluff. However. high card value. because your opponent is not going to believe that you have the goods. a tight opponent will continue on "wet" (highly coordinated) boards when he has a strong hand or a strong draw. check/raise turn. In other words. Paired Boards: usually.these folks rarely bet their draws. this will be opponent-specific. if you limped preflop and the board is AAK. to start to put this all together. Why? Because with an unpaired board there are nine separate cards in the unseen deck that could give an opponent a pair. As a general rule. suitedness. This is a fantastic chance to steal the pot. Obviously. virtually any opponent you could face has a less-than-50% chance of having an ace in this situation. a "combination draw" (straight and flush). so if you happen to be in a pot that someone else raised. One major exception to this rule: if you RAISED preflop." Your aggressive targets will fire off a continuation bet quite often. Statistically speaking. King high boards are pretty dangerous. and will define the "texture" of the board. a paired board is a cause for celebration. if you raised preflop and the board comes 884 a bet in a heads-up pot is virtually MANDATORY: your opponent will realize he's missed. Mind you. the flop comes paired and you've got a sneaky monster. that number falls to only FIVE cards. consider a slowplay like a flop checkraise or even a "check/call flop. you can usually checkfold. most opponents will get the message and fold their aces with weak kickers. A passive opponent betting into a "wet" board usually has the goods -. Q's and J's are less scary as a player's high card. fold and move on to the next hand. but keep your eyes peeled for such opportunities. If they play back. A standard continuation bet will win the pot a surprisingly large fraction of the time. This is especially true if the board has more than ONE high card. Know thy hand history. especially suited ones. or a pair+draw.That means you're behind about as often as you're ahead in this situation. even if you have an ace. let's move on to the next rule: 4. and you can then "snap off a bluff" and win a bigger pot than you otherwise would. realize that most aggressive players know this. proceed with great caution on ace-high boards. Also. but a loose opponent may continue with as little as top pair. An aggressive opponent can bet "wet" boards with a draw. The odds are that if you somehow create a big pot.

Against a passive calling station this means "I have two cards. some players will go from betting/raising to check/calling all the way to showdown. These types of bets will usually mean one of three things: either your opponent was monsterously strong and slowplayed an earlier street. a donkbet should be interpreted as saying "that card helped me. I would say that until an opponent has an aggression factor of at least 2 you shouldn't worry much about a check-raise semi-bluff. as different people will have different patterns. Against a medium-aggressive opponent. if a player called your preflop raise but then leads into you on the flop. For instance. one obvious interpretation is that he has been bluffing and has now given up on the hand. the more straightforward this interpretation is. or he is bluffing in a situation where he thinks he can scare you off your hand. On the other hand. Similarly. you should expect that the card has helped his hand out and he is now value-betting. Be aware of this. What does this mean? Well. or the last card just helped your opponent in some way. Look! Spades are pretty.because it gave them two pair. the more likely a check-raise is a bluff. What's more. That does not necessarily mean they are ready to fold. or a pairing of the board. Of course. One caveat to this: check-raises on the flop are far more likely to be bluffs or weak hands than check-raises on ANY other street. Donkbets: a "donkbet" is when someone who does NOT have the betting lead makes an unexpected bet. if a player calls your flop bet but then leads on the turn. 214 . He knows you are betting and he doesn't care." Check-calls are precursors to check-raises on later streets from very aggressive players. no kicker" because they know that their opponent will frequently have pure air." Against a highly aggressive player this often means "I have a monster and I'm going to let you bet yourself to death. A few general issues: Check-raises: when an opponent check-raises. even with hands like "bottom pair.. Another general rule is that the more aggressive a player is. They are worried about the overpair.and then slows way down when the turn brings a K. he is sending the message that his hand is unusually powerful." Against a tight and moderately aggressive player this often means "I'm on a draw. I like pie. On the flop. that would be a donkbet. If you don't have a sneaky MONSTER (and I mean MONSTER with a capital *everything*) you should be folding to this raise. people will often take a checkraise line against a frequent c-bettor. Most players are straightforward enough that this will be the case. People are very quick to put a player on a bluff when he check-raises. that would also be a donkbet.say top pair on a T-high board -.much? Start looking for betting patterns. and many aggressive players will take advantage of a turn ace or a third/fourth club. Don't expect that this means he has the nuts: I've seen passive players wake up and bet the fourth heart. Completely. this will often be a good opportunity to bet with any two cards. or some odd-looking random card. Unexpected checks: a player who has been betting steadily in the hand suddenly starts to check. from very passive players. or a board pair to try and steal the pot. how strong his hand is remains to be seen. This is a cheaper bluff than a check-raise but it works just as often at these levels. he was confident enough to risk your checking behind in his quest to get more money in the pot. trust check-raises from passive players." but a check-raise on a later street usually means "I can beat YOU. very aggressive players love to donkbet on scare cards. they just precede more check-calls. When a passive player comes alive on a third straight card. since your folding equity will be through-the-roof." The more passive your opponent. So: a check-raise on the flop usually means "I can beat ace-high. At these stages. People often ask "can I ever escape from pocket aces?" This would be one situation where escaping would be easy. Another common situation is that a player flops a decent hand -. or a fourth flush card." Check-calls: this play is highly player-specific. I believe this event is much rarer than most people think. As a general rule. but the card has improved him. and until he has an aggression factor of at least 4 you shouldn't worry much about a check-raise bluff. and so have stopped betting..

weak = strong" philosophy to heart. they feel they have strong folding equity (which is true). This is NOT the time to get cute with QJs or 33 -. you would really need to know more about your opponent before you knew if this was a bluff or not. Sure. this river bet is often what we call a "desperation bluff. Against others. your folding equity will be HIGHER than usual. check behind on the turn. If an obvious draw arrived on the end. Since you've shown little or no strength the whole hand through.this is the time to play squeaky-clean poker as tight as you know how. Be aware of this. Recognize that your table image is now absolute CRAP. Know thy image. First-level thinking is asking." The hand has no showdown value so the villain bets in the hopes that you will fold the best hand. your starting hand selection is tight. and you never show your hands without being forced to do so. "what does my opponent think my hand is?" Obviously third-level thinking is irrelevant against a first-level thinker. and they are now attacking in a last-ditch effort to scoop up the pot. because people will begin to believe that you don't get involved with a hand unless you've got the goods. You won all five hands before showdown. Bet-check-bet: a strange-looking but rather common three-street line is "bet the flop. against other opponents it will be -EV with anything short of a powerhouse. When you have a complete idiot who never looks past his own hand while playing the game. it will not matter at all. However. and they're very quickly going to get sick of your crap and start looking you up. Very few of your opponents 215 . these players have taken the "strong = weak. JT (flopped straight). It all depends on how attentive your particular opponent is. For some reason. They doubt you. Watch your opponents carefully to see if the turn check usually means they are giving up or if it usually means they are trapping you. Your cards only affect your image when you SHOW them. "Image" is how the other players at the table perceive YOU. don't worry about image -. Against an aggressive opponent. Of course. None of that matters. this will be the very most important commandment. that's usually a sign that your situation is not as dire as you thought it was. Calling against some opponents will be extremely +EV even with bottom pair. "what is my hand?" Second-level thinking is asking. Alternatively. this is your first segue into third-level thinking. and the river either made the draw or missed. most opponents will at least make some token effort to guess your hand.you'll just be wasting your time and effort.However. and 55 (flopped set). All your opponents have seen is you betting and raising every hand. and will often bet with little or nothing but immediately slowplay the moment they get a hand. Yes. Beware of the hyperaggressive opponent who unexpectedly checks. "what is my opponent's hand?" Third-level thinking is asking. Recent history matters more than ancient history. However. Against some opponents. QQ." where the opponent has check/called the whole way. KQ (flopped trips). Our fifth and final commandment ties in to everything we've already discussed: 5. ESPECIALLY if he check/calls a scare card. Again. the turn gave the opponent a draw. your hands were actually powerhouses. if each of those five went to showdown and you displayed to the table your powerhouse winners. you had the goods. How do we start to figure out our image? Only worry about image with second-level thinkers. Another common reasoning behind this line is that the flop bet was with nothing. so against your better opponents understanding your image will be important. watch your opponents and take notes on what their lines mean. In the last five straight hands you've had AA. when an aggressive player stops being aggressive. you need to be aware of what the board looked like. bet the river. For some of you.

Most people have a relatively short memory. When you want a fold. but won't be low at all against the other players at the table. If you stole a player's big blind three times in the last four orbits. and play back at you with all sorts of crap. If you bet 3/4ths pot on a river scare card with the nut flush. but he WILL remember that you bluffed HIM off his hand once an hour and a half ago. 216 . so concentrate most on your actions in the last two orbits. he's going to know that. do exactly what you did the last time he saw you with the nuts.actually have Poker Tracker. Personal history matters more than table history. Opponents will usually assume that your lines always mean the same thing. so remember how your last two orbits looked at the table. It's the recent history that counts. or bet 1/2 pot. tighten up and fold for the next two orbits -. As a result. their image of you will be determined by their own personal observations. bet a DIFFERENT amount -. A player may not remember that you bluffed Seat 3 off his hand five times in a row. then the next time you are in a pot against that opponent and the river comes with a three-flush (not yours). and he's going to play back at you with any reasonably strong hand. Your folding equity on a steal will be particularly low against HIM. people will think of you as a maniac. People will remember these things. bet 3/4ths pot! Your folding equity will be tremendous. When you want a call.push all your chips in. People have much longer memories for hands that involved them personally. or do something else. if you've been at the table for three hours playing a 12/8 game but you've gotten involved in 10 of the last 12 hands. If your table image has fallen apart and your bluffs have gotten picked off several times in a row. Alternatively. Conversely. if the flush card DID help you.in that short period of time you will rebuild most or all of your table image and you can then go back to doing your nasty deeds. don't do what you did the last time he saw you with the nuts.

2. List of Abbreviations (Brief Overview) ATC (Play any two cards) – Whenever a hand goes to showdown it’s always good to note what hands your opponent was playing and from where. and when you do this in live play people know that you are aware of that hand and how it was played. What that means is that while the cards are important. Most sites offer an area where you can click on an opponent’s name and type in some notes about that player. since the others have had such popular responses. When you see someone play 95o from 217 . Playing good poker is more than just playing your cards and perhaps your opponent’s cards. Hope you enjoy. it will inevitably be more profitable to take as many notes as possible for the following reasons: 1.Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (I) (FreakDaddy) I haven't posted any articles on here since my Continuation Bet article quite some time ago. if you have any comments or suggestions. We’re going to begin by outlining some of the general things you should look for while playing poker. It’s not quite as easy to do in live play. don't be shy. or make a bold bluff that you wouldn’t normally make against most opponents. 3. When you pay attention by taking good notes. You can expand these and/or type in the entire meaning of the play when you actually make your own notes during play. you’ll have more information available that can help you make the best decision possible. you can win a lot more pots if you pay attention to how your opponent plays the game. In online play. so I thought I'd share another with you. It’s best to view taking notes on your opponents as the “work” aspect of playing profitable poker. no one knows if you’re watching TV or intently watching every hand and making pages of notes. Types of Notes to Take One of the biggest advantages of playing online for the good poker player is the amount of data and notes you can take on an opponent seemingly instantly. Each type of play will have an abbreviation that you can use which will help if you are multi-tabling and only have a couple of seconds to jot in a note. As always. While it’s possible to play profitable poker without taking notes. When a similar situation or hand arises. The reads you make influence the action you should take on your hand. you can apply this information to sometimes win when you don’t have the best hand. It will help you in getting an overall read on how your opponent is playing. push a marginal hand. it will help you in understanding how to play against a similar player in the future. We’ll discuss how your reads translate into making the best play in order to maximize the value of your hand and minimize your losses. It’s really about playing the opponent you’re up against. In this three-part article we’ll focus on what kind of notes to take on your opponents and how to apply these notes in order to make good reads on your opponents. This always provides a lot of insight into how he thinks about the game. In some cases this information can also be used to get away from a good but obvious second-best hand. Even if you never play against that particular opponent again.

This is a very profitable opponent to play against. if you see an opponent calling large bets and then connecting with his flush. Ax (Will play any ace from anywhere) – A lot of opponents fall in love with the Ace. you’ll want to note this. and some will do it with air. but he folds to a small river bet. Also. Some people will call large raises with Q8s thinking that they will bust you if they hit their flush. because you definitely need to see a few showdowns to confirm this for sure. If you get a chance to make the distinction between the two. and some do it habitually. or a hand like A9 out of position to a raise. but not as loose and aggressive as someone who raises Q9s from middle position. will bet the turn unimproved. then you’ll want to make some generous raises on the flop when you have a hand. the more solid your read will be. This read will be a bit harder to make. LA (Look-up artist) . When you see someone calling large flop and turn bets with an obvious flush draw. it will be very helpful with your flop play. He will typically call nearly any flop bet you make but will fold to further aggression. and sometimes when you don’t have a hand. He could also call a large raise with A4o or even a more speculative hand like J8o. then you have an Ax player. LAF (Will lead into pre-flop raiser and fold to a raise) – Some opponents will call raises out of position with the intention of betting the flop to steal the pot. It’s also good to note if they call raises with these hands too. or J6s from middle position. LRR (Will limp re-raise big hands) – Some opponents limp re-raise every once in awhile. or perhaps even a re-raise with KJ or some other dominated hands. FC (Flush Chaser) – A lot of opponents love to chase flushes. NPR (Will raise a non-premium hand) – Some opponents will raise a non-premium hand from anywhere. The range which they take this to the extreme will let you know how loose and aggressive they are. SOOT (Likes to play any two suited cards) – This is similar to FC except there are some players who also like to play any two suited cards from nearly anywhere. AK (Will bet turned unimproved) – Nearly everyone will bet the flop with any two cards if they raised before the flop. you can label him as ATC. but they’re still calling large bets. He tends to like to see how you’ll react after he calls your first bet. and you can also get away from your pocket kings if this opponent is sticking around on an ace high flop because he’s not folding his weak ace. The more you see this from him. If you see someone playing A3 from early position or A8 to a raise. however. We love to play against these types of opponents. you can be pretty sure they’re a suited player. Anytime you see someone limp re-raise with KK or AA from EP make a note and know that it’s unlikely he is making a play if he comes back over the top of your raise. This is very good to know if you’re holding a marginal hand and your opponent is still firing. CRW (Calls raises with weak hands) – This opponent will call large raises.middle position. Not everyone. Some opponents will do this with small pocket pairs. you can be pretty sure he was chasing his flush. for example. with QT out of position. However. when you see someone do this. This is good to know if there’s a flush draw on board and you have a marginal hand. When see opponents play K4s from early position. but folds a large percentage of the time 218 . This just adds more insight for you as to how your opponent understands the game. Opponents who raise a hand like KQ from late position are good to know. It’s also important to note whether he CHECKED his flush on the end or bet it.

and show how they’ll apply in actual hands. Make your bets big and strong against these opponents. and they may also call you down with any piece of it. When you are against ATC 2. We’re going to take the above abbreviated notes. You do. you know this opponent is just basically “fishy” (bad player). when taking notes. They can also read well when they have a good second-best hand and minimize their losses. you will only see ATC 1 & 2 at small and mid stakes. ATC (Any two Cards) Players who literally play any two cards are divided into three types of players. You want to bet into them when you have a strong hand and hope they don’t believe you and make a move in the wrong spot.5/1 NL and above at 6 max. position. but you need to be aware that if you miss the flop. and they’ll usually be fairly aggressive. make sure you know what type of ATC you are facing. because they’ll be involved in a lot of pots. These players are commonly called “fish” because they’ll put in too much money with weak hands and pay off against dominated hands. They’ll commonly call raises with a hand such as K6o on the button (note: this is different than CRW – see above) with the intention of either bluffing you out of the pot or nailing a big hand hoping to bust you with your large pocket pair. or why to play certain hands in some situations and not others. because they know how to read situations well and win a lot of hands even when they have the worst hand. but they also show up in full ring games. Applying your abbreviated reads to situations Now that we have an idea of some of the things to look for. ATC 1 (No grasp of hand strength) – The first group of players who play any two cards really has no solid grasp of hand strength. Typically. When you are playing against an ATC 1. want to value bet your made hands against them as they will nearly always pay off with weaker hands or dominated hands. expand them a bit more. These opponents can be more dangerous. Make the appropriate additional note. however. let’s look at how to use this information in a real money game. this player tends to be more on the aggressive side. but they generally won’t invest too much into the pot unless they have a good hand after the flop. You should like playing with them. If they have some kind of hand strength. and that reason is usually because they believe they can bluff you out of the pot. but a lot of times they will still go too far with a top pair hand. ATC 2 (Some grasp of hand strength) – You’ll see a lot of these players primarily in short-handed games. So you don’t normally want to bluff players in this category unless you see them folding a lot to a second bet (or third). they may have hit it. So. or bust you with their unusual T4o hand. These players will play nearly any two cards. This player can legitimately be called a solid LAG (loose-aggressive) player. For these reasons you’ll typically run into a lot of people that are of the former two types of ATC’s described. The commonality to which you see all of these variations will depend on the stakes you are playing. because they tend to not believe people betting into them. These players will play any two cards. Some will be ATC’s that have some concept of hand strength who think they are good LAG players but really they aren’t. thinking you’re bluffing (even though you have a better kicker than they do). He is usually in a lot of pots because he is 219 . and you need to be aware of the differences between these players. You really don’t need to slowplay against these opponents. These players will be very visible. ATC 3 (Good grasp of hand strength) – These opponents are almost non-existent at small stakes.to a second bet. then they are getting involved in a lot of pots for a reason. Playing this style requires excellent hand reading and making a lot of difficult decisions. you will sometimes see them at .

and you notice that you put down that your opponent was an ATC 2. We know. You look at your notes. you and your opponent both started the hand with 100BB. want to bet too aggressively in this particular situation. Your opponent then mini-raises you on the flop. but our opponents don’t seem to 220 . The flop comes: 7c. however. and you’ve only played eight rotations with this opponent. If you happen to be unlucky enough to see an ATC 3. The action folded to the button who called the raise and the blinds folded.impatient and is an “action junkie”. EX1 In the above example. Do you slow down? No! You should continue to bet this hand aggressively against this type of opponent. It’s very likely that he may try to represent the flush by raising your bet. and you call the raise. You don’t however. giving you the second nuts. Give your aggressive opponent a little room to hang himself. but don’t get fancy and check. just try to stay out of pots with them unless you have a good hand until you’ve developed your post-flop skill to a high level. Just continue to bet into this type of opponent. You don’t have any other notes beyond that. A half-size pot bet will invite a possible raise-which is what you want.Tc and you make a ¾ size pot bet with your nut flush draw and two overcards.3d. that the suited cards only out perform their off-suit counterpart by 2% (if all the money went in). There’s something about looking down at J8s that looks so much better than J8o to a lot of opponents at small and mid stakes. The turn comes the 6c. FC (Flush Chaser) A lot of No-limit Texas Holdem players just love to make flushes. It was folded to you and you raised 5x the BB from MP1 with AcQc.

and you can make a note of it (I suggest putting a question mark next to the read meaning it’s not confirmed yet. doesn’t mean he absolutely has a draw.mind. When you have position on a SOOT with a good hand. so you want to maximize your advantage by getting in a nice raise before the flop. bet the hand hard. If you get involved in a hand with a SOOT. if you have a strong hand. But they will also typically call large turn bets with their draws. It’s bad for them. 08% of the time). If you happen to see someone showdown a J4s from early position. which isn’t terrible on the flop. Now. but there are some at every buy-in level. You want to make him pay as much as possible for trying to hit his improbable hand (a player flops a flush less than . but look for the telltale signs of a draw. you can rest assured you’ve found one of these opponents. Don’t be afraid of chasing him away. He won’t know that you have this kind of read on them. Make sure to always exercise caution. unless he bets a very small amount. If they are calling large bets on those kinds of boards when they only have as many as nine outs. but good for you. but make sure that you make the distinction because it matters. Same thing if you’re out of position and he’s been calling your bets. You may have an initial read of FC. and a flush draw comes in. or more accurately. it may be best to consider folding. Most FC players will still play reasonable cards. An example of this would be if they held 8d9d. and often from any position. EX2 Both opponents start with even stacks of 150BB 221 . or they chased with just a flush draw that likely had no overcards. bet the flop and turn harder than normal. If you are lucky enough to get to see a showdown and their cards. he’ll continue on if he has any hope if hitting his flush. Sometimes even overbetting the pot (on flop and turn) is appropriate. but always make sure not to go too crazy. Also if you’re involved in a hand with a SOOT. and then later find out that the player is really more of a SOOT. so they likely won’t be bluffing you. Just because you’re in a hand with a SOOT. don’t pay it off. such as your opponent checking and calling. then you can put an exclamation on their FC note because they are a definite flush chaser. make sure you “pop” the pot pre-flop with a nice raise. If you have a marginal hand. and the board on the turn read AcTd4d2h. don’t know that. and he suddenly bets or check-raises. The FC player likes to chase his flush. Again. but you suspect this to be the case). let’s not get confused between the FC player and the SOOT player. and there are flush draw possibilities. if your opponent is checking and calling and a flush draw completes. SOOT players are always fairly loose. you can be pretty sure he was chasing. and he’s limped in front of you. SOOT (Like to play and two suited cards) You’ll run into these opponents a lot at small stakes. and a flush draw completes on the river. then also make a note whether they chased with a flush that had likely overcard outs. but they’ll call large flop bets (pot-size or more) with their flush draws. which is bad. you should fold. These opponents have so fallen in love with the flush that they’ll play any two suited cards. When you see a person checking and calling and then check/folding the river to a bet. but that doesn’t mean that he’ll play any two suited cards. and there’s a flush draw.

and also make much more money in the long run. It’s very unlikely that HE’S AWARE that you know he plays a lot of suited cards. you may consider calling. Of course if they fire multiple bullets in nearly every pot they’re involved in. The turn comes the 7d. trust it and go with it. You should fold. but it will be rare that you’ll be able to see them showdown a hand often enough to know the rate they do this. The turn now comes the 3c and the FC bets 50BB. If this were any other kind of player. Everyone folds back to the limper who calls the raise. Since you know however that this opponent plays a lot of suited cards and he was checking and calling the entire way until the flush hit on the river. The FC against checks and you bet 25BB.In the example. You will save yourself. The SOOT checks to you and you bet 10BB. a noted SOOT limps into the pot and you pick up AdQh in the Co and raise to 6BB. The most important thing that you can take away as a read within a short session against an opponent is how 222 . The SOOT calls and the pot is now 33BB. The flop comes as shown: 2c9hQc. The FC calls and the pot is now 83BB. When you make a read. then you can be quite sure they make this play often. Not all opponents however will fire the second bullet with an unimproved hand. write down what the bet size was in proportion to the pot size. When you get a rare chance to see a showdown when someone bets the turn with an unimproved hand. you should let it go. Noting that your important will fire multiple bullets with a non-paired hand is important. AK (Will bet turn unimproved) Nearly all opponents who raise before the flop will follow it up with a continuation bet on the flop. It’s also unlikely that he checked and called all the way with some weak hand like QJ or worse and now decided to just represent the flush and lead the river. you should make a note of this and most importantly.

For example. and then get to see them go to showdown with a made hand. A lot of opponents (especially at small stakes) are not very balanced in how they bet their bluffs versus their made hands. a lot of opponents don’t think to alter their play. EX3 Both opponents start with even stacks of 120BB In the above example a noted AK raises to 5xBB pre-flop. but how they bet their hands as well (you should do this with all opponents of course. you want to note the differences in how they bet these two hands. If you hit the flop hard and have position it’s best to call their flop bet and raise the turn when they bet again. So. if you get to see an AK opponent go to showdown with an unimproved hand. You don’t want to invest too much with mid pair or an under pair to the board. they’re weak. If you get to see it more than once. see the opposite of this. Otherwise you can check and call out of position and check-raise the turn. Note everything you see about the differences. you can almost ink is. Some opponents will have a very definitive pattern here. as again. and different ones also on the turn. unless you feel VERY confident in your read. You might for example. So don’t only note that this opponent is an AK. or any other combination of betting patterns. but they bet a made hand for a full sized pot bet on the flop. this will likely be a pretty reliable betting tell. if you see someone bet an unimproved hand on the flop for a ½ sized pot bet on the flop. You’ll know in this example when your opponent is betting weak. The action folds to you in the 223 . and try and relate their betting pattern to a ratio of the pot size. and when they bet strong. The best thing to do if you are up against an AK player is to raise the flop if you have some kind of hand modest hand. but especially true when you see opponents who are firing multiple bullets). they’re strong.he bets his made hands versus his bluffs. or lead the turn.

Against a lot of opponents it’s usually best to raise the flop so that you can easily get all the money in as soon as possible. and also don’t believe opponents have the hands they’re representing. T7o. continually try an increase the size of that raise until you can find a size that will fold them out. Generally however there are two types of LAF’s if you are keen enough to spot them. There are a lot of CRW players that will limp and call large raises with weak hands like J9o. You might as well wait in case this is true so that you can pick up the extra bet. Against an AK opponent it’s best to wait until the turn since you know they are aggressive and may fire again with nothing. and the flop comes something like: J83. we hope they do have something and will be willing to go too far with it.CO and you decide to call the raise with AsJs. If they have position on you. When you have a big hand and raise. On this particular flop. you want to raise continually when they’re in a hand with you. doesn't mean that they have only AK. It’s likely that it may have hit your opponent. Another major advantage you’ll have over this type of opponent is that they’ll commonly go too far with top pair and sometimes middle pair hands. If you hit a nice flop. In order to make their play as unprofitable as possible. Even top pair and top kicker is good enough to get a good sized pot formed against them. 56o. They are only somewhat aggressive because they will nearly always fold 224 . The key to this hand against this type of opponent though is waiting until the turn to raise. etc. Remember that because we're labeling them AK. LAF (Will lead into pre-flop raiser and fold to a raise) These opponents aren’t very easy to spot. They are: LAF A – These opponents tend to be somewhat aggressive and like to apply the pressure to their opponents by leading into them and seeing if they can “steal” the pot from them. The turn comes the 6h and your opponent makes a bet of 15BB. but shut down if you’re called. That means that if you raise with AK and miss. pay particular attention to the hands they showdown and note how much they called with those hands. The AK player makes a bet of 7BB and you call the bet (pot is now 25BB). you can pummel them with big bets and win a nice sized pot. especially if you have position. Pushing is also an option here. Now is when you should raise and commit them to the pot. You have to pay special attention (which you should be doing) to the particular dynamics of the hand that’s occurring and note why they might be making the play they’re making. but that this type of opponents "double barrells" a lot. It doesn’t need to be a pot sized raise as they may call with top pair. Most importantly. they’d rather take the initiative being out of position and see if they can take down the pot with a bet. you want to do your best to see how much they’ll call before the flop and maximize your edge by raising as much as they’ll call.. it’s still OK (if it’s heads up) to take a stab at the pot. When you notice that a player is calling a lot of raises. They tend to be somewhat on the more aggressive side generally. They tend to know that since most opponents will miss the flop a majority of the time. CRW (Calls raises with weak hands) Against opponents who will call raises with weak hands. You’ll see some players that will call 6xBB-12xBB and occasionally even more with weak hands in the hopes of catching some fluke flop and busting you. but between the two making a nice raise on the turn is the best play. just make sure you are aware of this type of player and know that they will have a wide range of hands that they’ll play in missed flops. Then do your best to stay within the range that will keep them in the hand with you. Everyone else folds and the flop comes: Ac9hJd.

They will fold instantly to a raise however fearing the worst of their opponent’s hands. When you flop an ace with a good kicker. Ax (Will play an ace from anywhere) There are many opponents at small and mid stakes that will play A (and any other card) from any position. you may not really know for sure if someone is a LAF. you’ll know that they’ll pay you off with a weaker kicker. These players you want to note for a couple of reasons. or call a raise with A6o out of position. and they are still involved in the pot with you. That’s why these types of opponent’s tendencies are much harder to pick up on. It will give you some insight into how they think about the game. there’s still a very good chance you have the best hand.to a raise unless they have a big hand. Anytime that you see someone put a bet in on the flop and fold to a raise. At the same time. They are playing them for a reason. 2. You don’t want to completely overdo this concept. Just because someone does it once or twice doesn’t make them a LAF. 1. you can be nearly 100% sure you’re beat. There are times however when you will be able to make this read within a session. Both of these opponents present a unique opportunity for you to pick up some extra big bets. This is much more of a long term read that you may have to make against a regular player. Remember. When these players bet on the flop. Ex4 Both opponents start with even stacks of 100BB 225 . opponents who play weak aces a lot tend to be in love with these hands. If you’re in a pot with them and have a high pocket pair. you should raise with nearly any two cards. so get a lot of value bets in. make a quick note of it. but you do want to apply as much pressure as possible to these opponents. you want to test them as see how much they really like their hand and how far they’ll be willing to go with it. but an ace flops and they give you action. Since they tend to be able to fold their weak hands. In only one session. if there’s an ace on the flop and you hit a nice hand like two pair or better. They’ll also tend to be “sticky” to these top pair hands if an ace flops. Just make sure that if you do overdo this concept that you are attempting to set them up for a raise when you have a really big hand hoping that they’ll be ripe to “take a stand” against you and re-raise. and that reason is primarily because they believe that if they flop top pair they’ll have the best hand. They’ll limp A4o from early position. So when you have a modest hand. LAF P – These opponents tend to be a bit more passive. Be aware of these opponents and make sure to steer clear of them if there’s an ace on the flop. and it will be quite obvious when that time occurs. Meaning you know this opponent is over valuing hands that really aren’t that strong. 3. but will take stabs at the pot with their mid pocket pairs or middle pair type hands. make sure to do your best to formulate a plan to get all the money in the middle.

If they are overly aggressive and a noted Ax. it’s very likely you were out flopped against an opponent you know will call with any ace in their hand. you should trust it. Second. One. If your opponent has checked the turn and you’ve checked as well. If your opponent is very aggressive. they may take that as a sign to steal the pot on the river. and your opponent checks the turn then you should definitely check the turn. your check on the turn indicated weakness. The rest of the table folds to the Ax opponent who calls the raise. a noted Ax limps into the pot and you pick up the KhKd in late middle position and raise 6xBB. It is possible that they are calling with some kind of small pair or draw. You can make a flop bet as small as 5 or 6BB and that will accomplish the task. Third. Your opponent checks to you.In the example. 226 . and now your opponent fires on the river I would heavily lean towards folding. Yet when you have a good read. Any other sized bet will really depend on other reads you have on your opponent. your opponent called a flop bet on a very non-descript board. So you have to balance all of these things when making a decision about calling a river bet. You have to consider three important things on this kind of hand. but the Ace is the biggest concern against this type of opponent. You should make a small stab at the pot (you don’t need to make a big bet). then it’s best to just fold You want to get to showdown as cheap as possible and calling the turn usually means you’ll have to call a river bet too. If it’s a pot sized bet. If your opponent leads into you on the turn. then definitely fold. If you are called. Either they’ll have the Ace and call or fold. It’s plausible they may call with some sort of straight draw. you may consider calling. The flop comes As7d6h.

So you’ll either have to be cautious. Just make note and be aware that you have an opponent that’s capable of making such a play. not so smart (a fish). The other two will be a bit more subtle. These opponents will be quite easy to spot and you need to make sure that whenever you have position and a decent hand against them that you are re-raising them. so you’ll really have to analyze the situation and decide if the raise made sense considering the circumstance. For example they’ll raise a hand like Q9s with the button after a couple of limpers. A3o or a similar hand out of position because they just don’t understand hand values or that usually only a better hand will call them. but they believe that this will benefit them when they do have a real hand and can get someone to “stand up” to them with a weaker hand. the flop texture is much wider for how hard it hit them. In future hands you’ll know that that if you’re in a raised pot against these opponents. LRR (Will limp re-raise big hands) A good portion of opponents will do this from time to time. if you see anyone limp re-raise from early position. the alarm bells should be going off for you. Nearly all opponents will only do this with big 227 . There are some opponents who will do this almost always though. They aren’t really playing to be overly aggressive and outplay opponents. NPR (fish) – I say this opponent is a fish because they will raise a non-premium hand such as QJ. so let’s take a look them. They may also raise some connected cards in early position. Against these opponents you just want to make note what hand they raise. That’s what makes this kind of play difficult to play against. These opponents will have little rhyme or reason to what they’re doing. they are just raising because they believe this is the correct thing to do. With any kind of NPR. or just plain crazy (maniac). The maniac will be noticeable pretty quickly. NPR (Will raise a non-premium hand) An opponent who will raise with a wider range of hands makes it a bit more difficult to put them on a hand. and how much the raise was for. and why it’s something you should look to incorporate in your own game. I thought I should wait a couple of days before posting this. but of course. OR make them pay for their weaker hands. There are typically three different types of NPR’s. The second identification stage will be to see if they are smart (a switch). the first thing to do is just make a note that you saw them raise a non-premium hand. NPR (switch) – These opponents will occasionally switch up their game and incorporate some non premium hands in profitable situations for them. This is one of those reads that you need to just make a note of. or occasionally re-raise almost any hand from the blinds. but you will from time to time. NPR (maniac) – This opponent will just raise any two from anywhere at any given time quite excessively. This is primarily the reason you should look for situations that you can also raise some non-premium hands so that you can keep your opponents guessing (more on this in other modules). You won’t run into these opponents that often at small and mid stakes.Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (II) (FreakDaddy) With al the changes to the forum. The thing an aggressive opponent hates most is someone who comes back over the top of them. or KJ. There’s not much you can do but know that you may want to raise them if they bet into you on the flop (because they could have any two) or back away if they keep firing on a ragged flop. what position they were in.

you can make a standard continuation bet. and whether you can represent properly the hand you’re trying to represent. then come in for a nice pot sized check raise. then they are thinking about the game and what you’re doing. Once you believe you have discovered a look up artist. so they take some concerted effort to pinpoint. but fold to a turn bet. Just make a note. That’s why it’s fun to sometimes do this with a weak hand. and you’ll want to make a note of that as well. this time on the slightly larger side. or sometimes even just call and trap their opponents. If you have two pair or better you can either call their bet on the turn. Thinking opponents are aware and may get a read on your play. Some opponents will also mini-raise these big pairs in early position and re-raise. or if the flop texture has some probable draws or potentially could get ugly. If you bet on the light side with your missed hand. Primarily big pairs include QQ-AA. Obviously if opponents are looking to call a lot of bets (particularly in position) on the flop. but they’ll fold to a second bullet (or they’ll bet when checked to them nearly always). You’ll have to pay attention to the opponents who are calling a LOT of flop bets. and larger with your connected hands. then make sure one time you switch these up. A majority of LA’s will be making these plays when they have position on you. These opponents will not be readily easy to spot. If you notice that an opponent will also call flop bets out of position. then make sure you fire second bullets liberally when you have position. I’d recommend that if you only have top pair to just check and call and then take the lead on the river again by making at least a 1/3 to ½ sized pot bet. make a continuation bet. Sometimes though there are some really bad LA’s that will do this out of position with almost any two cards (usually with ace high). If you happen to see someone do this without a big hand. and know that they are prone to make this play so that you can make the appropriate play (which is fold unless you have a big hand yourself). EX5 – Both opponents start with even stacks of 100BB 228 .hands. This is particularly true of how you are sizing your flop bet. or a small pocket pair yourself. Make sure that if you’ve made these plays more than once against the same opponent that you occasionally mix up your play because they’ll obviously start to become aware of what you’re doing. and then check the turn to them (if they have position). They’re an opponent who will call a flop bet (usually in position) in the hopes that you will check the turn for them so they can steal the pot. Then be prepared to fire a second bullet – but make sure that you are always thinking about how the texture of the flop fits your opponent’s hand. try and exploit their weakness by doing the following: • If you raise with an unpaired hand before the flop and miss the flop. then you know you have a difficult and thinking opponent. A lot of opponents will limp this in early position in hopes that someone will raise so they can re-raise. LA (Look-up artist) One of my favorite opponents to face is the look up artist. but try and make it on the smaller side. • Secondly if you flop a big hand. This is sometimes also referred to as “floating” the flop.

CRW 229 . and play them far too passively after the flop. then your opponent will have a hard time continuing unless he has a K. then you’re nearly always beat. You made a continuation bet of 7BB and your opponent called the bet (pot now 25BB). The flop came: Kd5h9d. so they make the game very easy to play against them. Loose / Passive The loose / passive player is typically called a “fish”. General player type models The most general way to describe a person’s playing style is to attribute how they play before the flop. If you’ve been playing a solid tight-aggressive game. and you should attempt firing a second bullet in this spot. a noted LA called the raise. The turn comes the 4c. This kind of characterization creates 4 basic player type models. The player in the Co. We’re going to look at these 4 basic models and analyze how and why particular player types exhibit certain playing tendencies that we’ve described throughout the article (on the pervious pages). and combine that with how they play after the flop. This is the most profitable kind of opponent to play against of course. Most common attributes of a loose / passive: ATC – FC – SOOT . because they’ll pay off a lot of second best hands.In the above example an early position limper called the big blind and you picked up AhQh and raised to 5xBB. The rest of the table folded including the limper. You should now fire a second bullet. These opponents play far too many hands without regard for position. Combine this with the fact you know your opponent is a noted LA. Your opponent won’t have a strong enough hand to continue most of the time. You know that if the loose/passive bets or raises. and allow you to draw out on them when they are ahead.

re-raise and bet when appropriate. so just bet your hand for value. They follow this up by being very aggressive after the flop. Typically you’ll just want to sit back and set some 230 . This doesn’t mean that if you hold top pair and a marginal kicker to always bet. Since they are loose with their starting hand selection before the flop it’s hard to tell if a flop hit their hand or not. Implied odds are very high – Since loose / passives tend to overplay very marginal hands. Sometimes you’ll run into big hands that you wouldn’t expect seeing. There’s no need for deception of any fancy plays against these opponents. Save your bluffs for opponents who have a higher ability to fold. and it can put you into situations where you’ll be making difficult decisions. So look for situations where you have position and a good drawing hand. Since these types of opponents are generally the weakest and make the most mistakes after the flop. but keep your bluff to a bare minimum.How to play against these opponents: Raise pre-flop to isolate – Anytime you have position on a loose / passive you want to raise with a somewhat wider range of hands than normal in order to buy yourself position and hopefully see a flop heads up with them. while making as few difficult decisions as possible for yourself. It will be completely lost on them. Value bet marginal hands– Make thin value bets against the loose / passive on the river. This doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally semibluff. it only makes sense that you’ll want to do your best to play the most pots against them. Beware that because they are so passive that a lot of times when most opponents would be raising with strong hands they only call. Bet and raise – If you have a strong hand. At small and medium stakes. so you need to take advantage of this by betting at every given opportunity. Some opponents that you’ll face in this category will range all the way from the total lunatic maniac (who will raise with any two cards and bluff off all his chips with 6 high) to the fairly tricky loose and aggressive player that has some hand reading skills. there are very few really good loose and aggressive opponents. if they show any signs of aggression they tend to have a big hand. In any form of poker you want to continually apply the pressure to your opponents and force them into difficult decisions. Don’t get “fancy” – Play your hands in a straight forward manner. but definitely bet a top pair and top kicker or better hands if it appears there’s a decent chance your opponent has some piece of the flop. Don’t continue in the hand unless you have a very big hand yourself. drawing hands such as suited connectors go up high in value. Fold if they raise or bet – Since these opponents are so passive. Your overall implied odds are generally higher against this type of opponent than any other player. Don’t however let this slow you down. You’ll have to quickly deduce what kind of opponent you’re up against and make the correct adjustments against them. Loose / Aggressive The loose and aggressive opponent can at times be the most difficult opponent to play against. How not to play against these opponents: Don’t Bluff – Loose / passive opponents like to call. loose / passive’s commonly call down with very weak holdings. They’ll call with King high and they’ll call with bottom pair without much regard for the action. make sure to get as much money into the pot as possible by betting or raising. There’s no need to get tricky with your hand.

While the “trickier” player you’ll want to play back at them occasionally by applying the pressure back on them. 231 .traps for the maniac and let them give you their chips.

remember that although a player thinks 2nd pair is good enough to bet with. I will begin on Level One: This is when your opponent is only worrying about how strong his own hand is. and bet/ call or raise when you beat the majority of those hands ---. I am going to explain the dynamics of hand ranges. than you simply bet or call when you have 2nd pair beat. and betting the river after the flop gets checked through. Table image can also affect how weak or strong an opponent perceives you in a given hand (and thus affect how wide or narrow their betting and calling range will be).1. acting overly strong may cause your opponent to think you are weak. You want your range to be perceived as wide when you are betting for value. so you must be willing to dump your stack with garbage. he will be more inclined to call with weaker hands. and you want your range to be perceived as narrow when you are bluffing Manipulating Your Perceived Range We can deceive our opponent by acting as they believe we would if we were weak when we are actually strong. image isn't as prevalent as we 232 . 2. So your raising range should lessen accordingly. and calling when the % of hands in his range that you beat is greater than the pot odds/equity you are getting.HAND RANGES (Mercman572) Plain and simple. Keep in mind that often even for bad players. our hand can't be that good. On the next level. this is likely to be the game you're playing in. an opponent is trying to put you on a hand. they might not call a raise with less than top pair good kicker. and will try to call you down or push you off your hand. Against a level one thinker. Too many times I see someone ask a player questioning his bluff "Would you play AA that way. We may widen our range through several different courses of action. Newbs. it is likely that villain's range will widen too. You stand to benefit when you bet or raise hands that beat the majority of your opponents holdings at showdown (or will fold out their holdings that will beat you). you simply determine what hands your opponent considers to be good ones.2. First. it is likely that villain's range will narrow as well. ----. their range for calling a raise will be smaller than calling a bet or betting themselves. Betting paired boards with trips against "Policeman. So when you are deciding to raise. we always care about an opponents actual range. right? Remember though. it only matters what they THINK your range is . The most basic is playing the hand itself weakly. When your perceived range has narrowed." Of course. Use this to your advantage. however." They think you would NEVER bet when you actually have trips. and by acting as they think we would if we are strong when we are actually weak. Sometimes. poker is about putting your opponent on a hand and acting accordingly. 1. checking the turn. There is one caveat. An example of this is betting when you flop TPTK. Since a player thinks you are betting with weaker hands when you have a wide range. so he will call the river with worse hands than he normally would. After all." What they really should be asking is "Does he THINK you would play AA that way. ---. It does not matter what your range really is at any point against these players. you're raising 1/2 the time and betting tons of flops. When your perceived range has widened. It is important to note that different players have different schemas of what constitutes weak and strong play.If they think 2nd pair or better is a "good" hand. Our opponent believes that because we have checked the turn. 3. There are several theorems that can be derived from this concept.

it may be the case that he sees our range as very narrow. They call or raise. and can call with considerably fewer hands than they could on the flop. you have to go to showdown alot more. When they don't fold. That's all for now. 5. We bet again on the turn. It is very difficult to accurately assess what an opponent thinks of you. We may narrow our perceived range by showing continual aggression. The former happens rarely. When you've been playing LAG. You may think they are playing back when they just caught a really good hand. so it is not a major point of concern. ----The danger of playing TAG. 233 .sometimes think. is that opponents will be more likely to fold. you're not really sure if they are pushing back because they think your range can't make it to showdown (like when you raise preflop and the flop comes 789 with a flush draw). and can beat the hands he puts us on (caveat: sometimes they only put you on AK and will call down when no A or K flops). Remember this! Sometimes when an opponent keeps calling when we are very strong. So by this reasoning. so you stand to make fewer errors playing TAG. Or range narrows when we have been playing tightly. I considered third level thinking. The danger of perceived range (or image). and you get good hands much less frequently than bad ones. We raise preflop. Or you may think they caught a good hand but are just playing back. Please let me know if you think I have made an errors or have anything to add. bet a 7 high board against a good player. Now they are forced to think we hold either an overpair or AK (which may or may not bet true). 4. and harder still to think they will react based on how they feel. on the other hand. or actually have your perceived range crushed. but that would be hard to express and think it's beyond the scope of this single post. So you must be exceptionally good to play LAG because you are at the constant risk of calling and raising more than the opponents' range would dictate. you assume people see your range as being very wide. and misconstruing what our opponent thinks of us is a good way to massively leak EV.

but instead protects you from making a larger mistake later on by forcing your opponent to define his hand.RANGES (supwithbates) To celebrate two things. the concept behind hand reading in poker is putting your opponent on a range of hands given the line he takes. But even against bad opponents. By actually tightening the range of hands your opponent could be holding. for example. you're likely to keep your opponent on a wider range of hands going to the turn---he might even decide to bluff/raise you with air! If he then improves on the turn to a second best hand that will pay you off. However. For my purposes today. I've decided to share some musings with my fellow uNLers. This doesn't mean you can get him to fold second nuts. they'll call with AJ+ 77+. So now we move on to metagame. check/raise? If you were to check/raise. Metagame is all about creating an illusion. Take an example in which you are the Big Blind. discounting the possibility of a misclick you're not going to get called down lightly. the way the board comes out. you've profited by manipulating your opponent's range. if you're playing a normal TAG game and suddenly open shove for 100BBs. and metagame. an information raise has little value in forcing a mistake from your opponent. and requires a certain degree of adjustment to deal with it. Think of it this way: Villain is a 70/0/0 loose passive station that you could say "never folds". that never gets called by a worse hand but that has showdown value given the way the hand was played. If you lead out. you've defined your hand as strong in your effort to build a pot. The major factors influencing your opponent's range are his holdings. This last concept is one that I think isn't stressed enough: how a villain's range of hands is defined by the way that we're playing our hand. you eventually will force opponents to adjust by widening the range they play back at you with." By definition. you've narrowed the number of hands you beat. I generally separate this into two different themes: the lines you take on any given hand individually. Such bets frustrate me because they are essentially a bluff. but it does mean that through deceptive play you can increase his range of hands so that his range is wide enough to include a lot of hands that are much worse. thus saving you money in the longrun. and his feelings on your possible holdings. his holdings will always be defined largely by how you are playing your hand. take the same line for 12 hands in a row and you'll find that smarter opponents will be willing to gamble a bit and call with a wider range-instead of just AA and KK. Often you'll see people throw out stupid valuebets with hands like 22 unimproved on the river. Do you lead out. and it's folded to the small blind 234 . However. By playing aggressively. he's mucking a lot more than 70% of his hands. Reading hands can sometimes be difficult at the microlimits. check/call. and confusing opponents by playing a wide range of hands the same way. but allow yourself to play more perfectly against those hands. you can put them on a range. one of which is my bankroll finally exceeding my postcount. although it will generally be much wider than against a good thinking opponent (and not just because they're looser). I'm going to define metagame as an amalgamation of your overall playing style and the way that you are viewed by the other players at the table. No matter how bad your opponent is. One example of how to use this concept to your advantage would be when deciding how to play a set on the flop against an aggressive preflop raiser. if you open shoved into him. however. and the other of which is my becoming a poobah. Another relevant point is "raising for information. As everyone knows. Referring back to the example from before. even if not intended to be one. Aba20/SBRugby recently wrote an article in card player magazine on the subject that can be found here.

and the disguise afforded by aggressive metagame. the betting impetus. they start to question.who limps. As a closing note. you will generally either force your opponent to give you more walks. I think that many uNLers are asking themselves the wrong questions when they evaluate a hand. it makes little sense to be trying to play for stacks because you'll be behind more often than you're ahead. this creates a very profitable situation because your opponent will call you down lightly thinking that they're ahead of your range. After they lose a hand where they flop top pair top kicker or an overpair or whatever and get played back at and are felted by a better hand. whatever. or to play back at you with a wider range. "did I play my hand in such a way up until this point that would allow me to be ahead of this opponent now that he's playing back at me." Although the range varies from person to person (and again. Because you have position throughout the hand. you should focus in these situations on keeping your opponent interested with a wide range while still protecting your hand and extracting value. "Am I ever ahead here?" The better question to ask is. overpairs. depends on how you play your hand and how the board comes out). If you start raising a very wide range here. If you're at the bottom of that range of hands. Instead. two pair. most players have a range of hands that they will be willing to felt. 235 . whether it's TPTK+.

Your hands go up in value against these players. 18+ expect these players to be raising on the light side from any position. 35+ is often a bad player.1. 1) preflop VPIP/PFR/AF I marked these stats the preflop stats. I'm going to explain what all these numbers are and how you can use them. These are the 3 numbers you'll see when people are posting hands. In this example villain is 16/10/2.The thought process during a hand (Nogastira) I'm going to explain how I go trough hands while I'm playing. They will be opening suited connectors every now and then from UTG aswell and their CO and button range will be pretty wide. I hope this will be usefull for some people. things that help me narrow down their handrange and other little things that make me able to play more profitable against certain people.is a tight player. then he'll often have a strong hand PFR: This goes hand in hand with the VPIP. things I look out for. playing too many hands 16. if he's in the pot. You can play 236 . VPIP: This is the total amount of hands people are playing. cause it took me some time to write it all Using your HUD This is what my HUD layout looks like.

20. wont be really bluffing or taking shots at pots 43+ more agressive villains. This number 237 . 60. 2) showdown WTSD / W$SF These stats will tell you how often villain is going to showdown and how often he's picking up pots.hands like KQ against their raises because you won't be dominated so often.these are tight raisers. bets when checked to. Note: you need a large samplesize for these stats to be somewhat accurate! WTSD: Went To ShowDown. 3bets preflop. Probably overused a bit since it doesn't say 'that' much about how agressive a player is. CBETturn: This is when villain bets the turn when checked to. given that he cbet the flop. 12. You should probably be leading with your big hands.. they wont see the river too often 30+ calls a bit looser on the river and you should be making thinner valuebets against them W$SF: Won money when Saw Flop This is probably best applied to TAGs and regulars since you need a big sample for it aswell and bad players with a high vpip will automatically have a lower w$sf. It also depends on the players style. Someone who's playing a lot of hands will probably go to showdown less often. taking shots at pots. They'll be checking hopeless hands. play for potcontroll more often and they might also slowplay their big hands. They might have completely missed aswell though when they check. raises or floats c-bets. . 3) postflop CBETflop/CBETturn/CRflop These stats are usefull for narrowing down handranges postflop.. For example: someone with 21/17/3 stats is less agressive then someone with 35/32/3 stats. 38. . The kind of villain that likes to check to induces bluffs on the river will have a higher wtsd because he wont be betting villain out of the hand on the river. Higher VPIP will resolute into a lower AF. Do notice that this goes hand in hand aswell with VPIP. middle pair with a good backdoor draw.you can bluff these villains more often. you should be folding hands like KQ against these type of players because they will have you dominated more often AF: The total agression factor.) When they check its often for potcontroll with a hand like KT on a AK2 flop. bluffs and semibluffs since you can't expect them to be putting in money too often. VPIP has a strong effect on this one aswell. People with a high AF might just be playing a raise or fold style and therefor will have a high AF.these people play straightforward. This is of course a key to solid handreading and making plays! CBETflop: 80+ these people will cbet too often so you should be willing to check/raise them more often with weaker holdings (bottom pair with top kicker.is rather low.

suited broadways and you can still 3-bet light with weaker hands (89s/TJs/. because just playing these hands and play fit-or-fold with them will be throwing away money) if ATSB is 20-: call with pocket pairs. suited 1 gappers. You can valuebet QQ on a K87 board because you dont expect to be raised off with draws or worse hands. suited connectors (you do have to find yourself in a position where you know you have a skill advantage over your opponent. suited aces.is a loose defender and you shouldnt be stealing with trashhands. AJ+ Fold bb To Steal: 80+ is a tight blind defender and you should be stealing more often with weaker hands. 40+ is high. Here are some general guidlines when you are in the SB and someone does an attempt to steal: if ATSB is 36+: call with pocketpairs.. Therefor you can call the flop a bit lighter and expect more free showdowns. 6+ is high and you need to have a plan when you're cbetting on how you'll react when they do check/raise you. you should be c-betting more often against these players because they won't be bluffing you off with a worse hands. AQ+ (and even fold AQ if his ATSB is really low because they just dont pay attention to their position and playing AQ OOP will get you into trouble against these kind of villains) Here are some general guidlines when you are in the BB and someone does an attempt to steal: if ATSB is 36+: call with pocket pairs. You should also make notes on the type of hands they c/r you with. suited broadways. 70. This of course also depends on how bad they play postflop. 4) stealing/defending ATSB/Fold bb to steal These stats are good to merge down handranges preflop and will of course be usefull post flop aswell. then it counts as an Attempt To Steal Blinds. You can slowplay your big hands against them because they will be putting in more money with bad hands. AJs+. You should be playing for pot controll more often against them. suited broadways. You should be carefull calling the flop out of position and you need to have a plan for the turn before you make the call on the flop. 3. It has no use to slowplay against them because by betting you give them the chance to build the pot even bigger with a c/r.requires a very large samplesize. CRflop: Once more a number that requires a super big sample size. ATSB: When a player opens for a raise from either the SB.) if ATSB is 20-: call with pocketpairs. Often bad players will be c/r you with TPWK hands and good players will be c/r you with all kind of draws. 238 . 25.is low. His range postflop will most likely be pocketpairs or suited broadways. button or cutoff.is low.

are people who play loose on the flop so you should be cbetting much less. FoldCB: 55. Summary These are some general things I use on my HUD to try to find the correct line against the villain. Peace out -Noga 239 . Hands you normally check for potcontroll should be bet for value now though. 70+ are tight on the flop and you could profitablly cbet 100% of your range on most flops. you can start valuebetting very thin. then at least my pooh-bah post was somewhat good. When they call or raise your cbet you'll need a big hand or draw to put any more money in the pot.5) response to c-bet RaiseCB / FoldCB These stats will also help on desciding weather you should cbet or not. Once you're getting good at that. It also helps me to merge down their handrange and sometimes even put them on exact hands. Every dollar counts! I hope it was usefull for someone. 8.is low and you should get worried when they raise your cbet. RaiseCB: 13+ is high so when you do cbet you want your range to be stronger. Hands like KQ on a Q82 rainbow flop go up in value when they reraise. or check to induce bluffs in correct spots.

that I will play with a lot. usually TAG’s. or bluffcatch the river g)does he Cbet alot when you know the answers to these questions. or be common knowledge. and you have some reads about how the villain played certain hands. but in some cases you can make assumptions based on only a couple of hundred hands. so it is pretty much a waste of time. Regs are the best people to profile because you will be playing with them on a frequent basis. Here I answer the questions purely using HUD stats. If villains call PFR % is low (6 or lower is my general rule) but their fold to steal % are also fairly low (75 or less) then they are definitely 3betting light.Profiling opponents using PAH (sh58) Most SSNLers will use pokertracker and poker ace hud. well. and there have been many posts about how best to use them in the past. b)this is just using the attempt to steal stat. Against anyone who has a 30+ attempt to steal you can 3bet a lot of hands for value. because it is incredibly easy to exploit them. The players I usually profile are regulars. it is very easy to tell. A lot of this stuff may be known to some players. 3betting KQ (for value) might not be such a good idea if their attempt to steal is much lower (>25) c)this is definitely the most useful one. These are the type of questions I ask myself about a player: a)is he positionally aware b)does he raise lightly in late position c)does he 3bet light out of the blinds d)does he play back at you a lot when he calls my raises e)does he doublebarell a lot after raising preflop f)does he call down light. and it isn’t normally obvious at a glance what their leaks are. It is very important to know this so you can 3bet a bit lighter OOP. There are a lot of people at low stakes who have 35/19 vpip/PFR or something similar and you are not sure if they are good or not. both 70+. you can often tear apart a proficient TAG who doesn’t realise the information you have The main point in my post is that you can gather general tendancies by combining PAH stats. and is invaluable in judging how to play certain opponents. but I hope there are a few bits and bobs that will help people. it is very likely that he is positionally aware. I will 4bet with whatever trash I am raising straight away. This is useful to use if you are not sure whether you are facing a Lag or a Lagtard. ideally above 1000. KQ for instance. If there is a villain with less than 5 call PFR and about 70 ish fold to steal% I really attack there 3bets. however. It is fairly important to have a fairly large amount of hands on a villain before we can note any patterns. and they aren’t gonna be around very long anyway. his attempt to steal is 25+. you normally have a lot of hands on them (usually datamined). I will 3bet bluff a lot 240 . a)if the fold SB/BB to steal are fairly high. using the combo stated above. that there is a lot of interesting information you can gather that isn’t so obvious. There is little point doing any detailed analysis of the game of a 70/3/2 who you have 100 hands on. d)if a villain is raising my Cbets more than 13-14% of the time. I believe. I can also call 3bets and shove in on tonnes of flops if there Cbet % is high.

Habitual floaters are also easy to spot. This means you may want to raise flops against them with vulnerable holdings that can’t take much heat. the more chance they are playing back at you. or you can just call down lighter. and river AF. The same goes for stealing blinds. especially on draw heavy boards. If there is a reasonable player who raises Cbets a lot. e)if someones turn AF is pretty high (higher than 3) and so is their Cbet frequency. Like the last point. 241 . For instance. Obviously you want to doublebarell or c/r the turn against these villains. f)there are a lot of passive river players out there. An important thing to note is that a lot of their moves will be aimed at you. The higher it is above 40%.and on some boards. Here the key is went to showdown. Against him. he is gonna steal a lot more against people who have high fold to steal%. There river AF will be less than 2. he is gonna Cbet every single time. a villain may Cbet 70% of the time on average.against them if they are not maniacs. such as middle pair. who will try and take down more pots. you can obviously bluff raise the river occasionally g)here just look at the Cbet F%. a high W$WSF is the sign of a double bareller. as well as a fairly low fold to Cbet % (less than 70). you can be reasonably confident that this villain will double barell regularly. and a slightly higher turn AF then you would expect. and their go to showdown is fairly low. call PFR fairly frequently. I will quickly analyse the stats of a random TAG I picked out during my session this afternoon. there is a lot of information to be gathered that helps a lot in your battles with the regs. and the TAG is going to be the highest by far. Fairly low flop AF. A lot of aggro donks have 20% or higher and you really should not fold good hands when they raise this often. They will play much more ABC against the bad players. with pretty good hands they will c/c the river a lot to bluffcatch. Against a fellow TAG. there fellow good player. Another sign of a villain who might play back at you is a high W$WSF. but with floaters it is best to bet the flop with MP and TPNK. As you can see. he is gonna be Cbetting closer to 80 or 90%. Someone with a really high river aggression factor will be bet/folding a tonne of rivers with marginal holdings. then you can stack off a lot lighter on the flop. any higher than 80 and I start bluff raising the flop a lot. So his attempt to steal being 30% really means that when you are in the blinds he is gonna be stealing 40-50% of the time. If it is as high as 20% or higher. So some of the stats will be more extreme then they seem. I also will start checking behind more vulnerable hands.

his TAF is also less than 3 so we can't expect fireworks every time we are in a pot with him. there are some stats that will be useful when we have the betting lead. i would doublebarell him alot. his opening range is fairly typical from a TAG. as his turn agression isn't that high. i think his Cbet % of 69 is hard to exploit. but i wouldn't come after him very light from the blinds.5.so this guy is a 21/15/2. just from these 3 stats you can tell he isn't really that aggro. with a 28% attempt to steal. his vpip/PFR ratio has a bit of a gap. so he will be calling PFR's or overlimping slightly more than a 21/18 for instance. as he is hardly raping us. so i wouldn't start c/r him alot when he has the betting lead. i may try and float him sometimes though. but i think he might float a decent amount. so i would be very wary if he raised my Cbet. so a fairly solid player. but he does have a 242 . his fold to Cbet is fairly low and so is his raise Cbet.

i wouldn't be too upset about calling a 3bet w KQ and stacking off on a K hi flop. There are probably tonnes of other things that I either forgot to mention. and adjust accordingly. as you can start making good money off the regs as well as the fish. so the ranges I mentioned are just a rough guide that seems to work for me. you can just work out a lot of things just using common sense.. he does have quite low fold stats of 80 and 76.. or haven’t worked out yet. None of this information is worked out mathematically. Basically. if they take a few notes with villains tendancies based on the HUD stats.very high WTSD% of 31 so i would be careful as he has some stationy tendencies as for 3betting light (the most important thing to know when you play with a TAG). as you may have forgot what you concluded about them. and also add some other useful stat combo's. so i think he is 3betting slightly light. I think knowing this stuff will improve your game a lot. you guy can make up more accurate ranges if you can be bothered. but also a very slightly above average call PFR. for example. it will save alot of time and effort the next time you play them. 243 . but nothing too out of line. every player should look at all the players they play with fairly regularly and do a quick profile so they can react to the flow of the game better. feel free to criticise my post. or at least avoid getting 3bet to death when you open on the button.

Ex: If you have a laggy image some opponents will start playing back at you light. Attempted to steal blind % (atsb) – How often villain raises first in from CO/button • Mainly shows how positional aware the opponent is and helps us figure out how light we should 3-bet him in steal situations. so you give it up. Ex: You realise villain is a habitual slowplayer. crappy hands rarely make big hands and yet he manage to play these hands aggressive. I think for most situations there are other postflop aggression stats that will be a better help. A player with a vpip of 60% combined with an af of 2 is probably very aggressive. Looking blindly at you PA-stats will otherwise fool you. Aggression Factor (af) – A (bet + raise)/call ratio postflop • • I don't use this stat so much actually. 244 . Ex: You're at the turn facing a situation you consider pretty marginal to 2nd barrel. so despite of his river af being high. 2. there's no substitution for handreading. You look at villain's wtsd (went to showdown) and it's 36%.SOME GOOD TO KNOW PAHUD STUFF (Nick Royale) So I'm testing out coaching and have started by taking a uNL student. 3. It will give a decent overall hint on your opponents postflop aggression though. To get him started I wrote a compilation over what PA hud-stats I find most usefull and how I put them into practice. Constantly keep taking notes. This is because he plays crappy hands. they do not know why they look the way they do. pfr and number of hands standard to have in your hud. Stats are just numbers. he's not bluffing much on the river. PA hud does not take the board or previous betting into consideration. it's up to you to figure out. Consider your image. I consider vpip. so I'm going to assume you all know what they are and how to use them. Handreading is always the nuts. as vpip increases it becomes harder to maintain a high af. It's your job to spot these opponents. Stats should mainly be used in somewhat close situations to tilt the decision in either direction. Important to consider. 4. Disclaimer first: DO NOT TURN INTO A PA HUD-BOT 1. I figured I might as well post it here because it might help some of you guys out.

If someone has a cb 50%. Put the numbers into Poker Stove to get an idea of what those ranges includes. C-bet % (cb) . If both the cb and cbt is high we're often better off raising the flop if we want to bluff him (still. Ex: If someone has a cb of 90%.• • If a frequent stealer is also a calling station we still most often need a quality hands to re-raise anyway. unless he also has a high wtsd (went to showdown) since it'sa sign he's a station. because he's more likely to play predictable postflop. If the cb stat is low we should realise he most often has a strong hand when he c-bets and thus we should not call as many c-bets. This is also an opponent we should be more inclined to float preflop ip. there's a huuuge difference in the range you should felt vs those type of players. This stat is a great help. to collect an extra bet on the turn. then a cbt of 50% is pretty low. Some players have a rcb of 4%. 15%+ = red. the best way to play vs stations is to play good hands and valuetown hard. but players having 20%+ is pretty common. Needless to say. So what's a high c-bet turn frequency? It highly depends on how often villain bets the flop. A player raising 15% of the c-bets are likely to do so with some draws/air. then a cbt of 50% is high. You need to use your own judgement to draw conclusions. A high ftcb also means we should be less inclined to 2nd barrel (and vice versa). you can get a quite good idea of what hands your opponent steals with. It doesn't matter if the he's playing 70/10 or 12/5. 0-15% = white. meaning we'll make an immediate profit from raising any two cards vs them and c-bet the flop. as his range after calling a c-bet is rather strong. Generally an atsb of 30%+ makes a quite frequent stealer. Against a 20%+ I'm usually willing felt any top pair for 100bb. don't try to bluff a station obv). as it's obviously depending on the board and the strength of my tp. A 4%er usually only raises really strong hands or very. 245 .How often villain folds to a c-bet Raise c-bet % (rcb) – How often villain raises a c-bet • • • • Ftcb is probably the postflop stat I use the most. all are players that are playing incorrect from a game theory perspective. VERY strong draws. fd/oesd and maybe even marginal tp or gs. I just love to be isolate limpers that has a high ftcb. Since atsb is the same as pfr from CO/btn first in. Rcb is one of few postflop stats I have color coded.How often villain 2nd barrels • • • • If your opponents has a high cb but a low cbt it's an opponent we could float and plan to take the pot away on the turn. At the same time we should be more prone to call rather than raise the flop with our strong hands. Of course we need to realise there's more players at the table so if the rest of the table is loose we can't isolate much anyway. Anyone having a fold to c-bet of 65%+ is probably a good target. my atsb is around 36-40%. A 20%+er is very likely to be capable of raising air. but do NOT use this as a rule-ofthumb. As always.How often villain c-bets C-bet turn % (cbt) . Rcb is the very most underestimated stat imo. Fold to c-bet % (ftcb) .

if he often goes to sd. But beware. It's quite straight forward. On the flip side. I'm just going to give a couple of examples. Wtsd is a great stat. he's likely to call you down light. not a bet. thus we should v-bet him with a tighter range. I prefer going by feel when raised on the river. Bet river % (br) – How often villain bets the river • • • • Br is the best stat for knowing when to call with a bluffcatcher and when to check the river to induce a bluff imo. A high w@sd means is an indicator that villain only takes relatively strong hands to sd. as checking isn't a part of the af ratio. maybe not even c-bet. A floater generally calls alot of flops (low ftcb). he rarely calls. the definition of a high af. If a player has a high wtsd you should usually just c-bet and give up. It's also the stat I use when deciding whether or not to check the turn through to induce a river bluff. personally I don't think that's a good idea.Went to showdown % (wtsd) – How often villain goes to sd when seeing a flop Won at showdown % (w@sd) – How often villain wins at sd • • • • If a player has a high wtsd you should valuebet a wider range and vice versa. Note that br has nothing to do with how often villain raises the river. A floater either gives up or bet/raise. And he rarely goes to sd because he either takes it down on the turn. I also use w@sd to determine the accuracy of the wtsd-number. he tries to take the pot down on the turn with his weak hand (high turn af). while br won't be affected as much (as a habitual slowplayer is more likely to put in a raise. at least not when used to determine whether or not to induce a bluff. a high turn af and a low wtsd is likely to be a habitual floater. thus a good target for a bluff. 246 . A high river af could be the result of villain being a habitual slowplayer. Combining stats: There are tons of information to be achieved by combining different stats. • A player with a low ftcb. Some of you might use river af instead of br. if villain has a low wtsd. on the river). or he gives up with his weak hand (low wtsd). Vs a player with a high wtsd and a low ftcb you should mainly play strong hands and wait until you hit a hand and and take him to valuetown. it's easy to mis-interpret the stats and why they look the way they do and end up spewing. he's unlikely to call you down. Also. If someone has a high wtsd (~32%+) and a high w@sd (~55%+) it's a sign of him running hot and he's not necessairily a callingstation. That's because a player can easily get a high af despite checking behind alot. raises effects the river af and raises aren't really relevant when it comes to bluffinducing.

you can start to trust the stats more. The sample size issue: You need to consider that most of these stats need a decent sample size to be accurate. 300 etc. After 100 hands most of these stats just gives you a vague hint on how your opponent is playing. but still there can easily be flaws in the stats. He's folding too rarely against blind steals in comparison how often he calls to not be 3-betting light vs blind steals. Passing 1000 hands you're starting to get a good idea of how your opponents play. However there's no fixed amount of hands where you can start to trust your stats. but you need to know they might very well be way off. As the sample size increases to 200.This doesn't mean the stats are completely useless.• A player with a fold blind to steal (fbts) of 75% or less and a call pfr of 5% or less is likely to be 3-betting light from the blinds. 247 .

and even though the vast majority of players (at least at small stakes) would not be able to fold it. I guess maybe Ill post it in theory later on. becuase opponent only fourbets there with aces. Obviously when you bluff. in accordance. do best: whether they do it consciously or intuitively. apart from being something that's interesting to do in general. you're instafolding without a second thought. Now that's brilliant. Now when a player folds a strong hand. seems to be to play a hand in such a way that the ONLY thing you can have in that spot is the winning hand. there are a few things that have to happen 248 . though. because now you're going to sit there thinking you did the right thing: you just folded to his "value bet. though." And. While it's probably true. you'll do it every time feeling like a genius. but just doing that seems like something of a cop-out. oftentimes. that your opponent has effectively played a nothing hand in such a way taht not only are you folding it. As if the only decision in that spot is to fold your hand--even though it is often strong. and will thereby allow you to do so much mroe successfully. It should be an easy decision. so that he feels like his decision to fold is a simple. I think it might be worth it to consider not just how to make your opponent fold the best hand. The first observation I make in this regard pertains to what you're trying to accomplish with a bluff. you're trying to make your opponent fold a hand that's better than yours. is what the greatest poker players. I have no idea how interesting its going to be to you guys. money-making play that he can forget about. It could be. "Fold.BLUFFING Bluffing assay (ThePortuguee) Here's a sort of essay ive been playing with. the ones who are famous for their bluffs. the decisions they put you to leave you inevitably believing that you must be behind." These are pieces of advice that we dispense. When we discuss hands on these forums. I'm interested in the theory of the bluff. no matter how intelligent. I believe. but also make him happy about it. are more likely to be called at smaller stakes than higher ones. Beyond this. perhaps." or "villain never overbets without a set or better in that spot. and this. The ideal bluffing strategy. When we ask ourselves "why?" I feel as if our standard response is just to accuse small stakes players (and fish in general) of being calling stations. then. certain things seem obvious to us. with advice received at this forum. it doesn't really try to understand what's going on in the opponent's head. I think that understanding this question of why. even worse for you. This might turn out to be a lot of incredibly standard stuff. would offer a new perspective on what to cosnider while bluffing. as if it is obvious. but here are my thoughts: I think that understanding bluffing at its base helps to explain the concepts underlying one thing that most poker players know to be true: that bluffing is generally MUCH more effective a higher stakes than lower stakes." or "villain obviously hit his draw. and in order to do so you must obviously convince your opponent that the strength of your hand is superior to his. to try to understand why your bluffs. and so you fold. The "story you tell" with your bluff should be obvious and convincing.

to greatness in the art of the bluff. This implies a range of holdings. you dont have a whole lot more information than you did before. the range of hands you can credibly have narrows. and you flat call from position. and that showing strength will convince you of his own hand's strength. say the 4c. Perhaps what we should be doing at any point is keeping in mind all the possible hands we can have in a given situation. 3) The bluffer plays his hand the way someone with his ALLEGED hand would play it. Im particularly talking about step 2. he's still likely to have a strong PF hand. which is no guarantee. here. Your opponent bets again. Now you have to be thinking "Okay. Note that your holding at this point is irrelevent. xxhearts. suited cards. In this way. but this. 6x8x. For a more LAGGY player the range is much wider. 2) The bluffer has decided on what HIS HAND IS. We're actually assuming you have air. 6h8h. 79. Now this might marginally narrow your opponent's range but not much. and can even be successful. because as the bluffer you're going to make up your mind what you have later. But when you flat call that flop c-bet from your villain. Say your opponent raises preflop. 77. Now the turn comes a blank. he can still have an overpair or outs to TPTK or better. and assessed its strength. I think. supplementing the intuitive process of displaying generic strength in the face of perceived weakness with rational thought seems like a great way to improve the success rate of bluffs at different points. but he does basically think you have a hand you can fold. and waht the opponent has. as most PF raisers will bet most flops. so let's say your hand adapts to be the antinuts no matte rwhat the board. is where we see "great calls. For a TAG this range is narrower and is dominated by stronger holdings. at least not in a conscious way. you might have raised a lot of those hands. This amounts to a vague and sort of intuitive progression through steps 2-5. But if your opponent is a TAG. 99. 33. some opponents will be aware that you're floating. This might be often effective." because oftentimes a player can think through this display of "generic strength" and make a call realizing that the only thing that makes sense given the line is a bluff-since the line isn't consistent with any of the hands that would be winning. Let's say you flat call. think. While it is difficult. I will concede that it is not always a necessary step but I will discuss that in a moment. Now we have to figure out what we have. This element is key. he sort of leaves it to you. he shows some generic strength and figures that you'll make up your mind that your hand is too weak to beat what he has-whatever it may be. Even if he missed the flop. At this point in the discussion it probably makes sense to discuss a sample flop. I'm representing what?" The answer. Still. and realizes that the bluffer MUST HAVE the hand that beats him. This might also offer rationale at the table not to pull the trigger and fire an expensive bullet at the wrong time. The process seems obvious but I don't think that's how your average player applies the concept. 4) The bluffer's prey falls for the ploy. and potentially includes all manner of connected. 5) Prey folds. Th8h. I think that oftentimes peopel will read weakness at the poker table and bluff. etc. Let's say 7h 9h 3d. too. bluffer wins pot. This is a drawy 249 . Bluffer doesn't know exactly what he's representing. though arguably. is Tx8x. Now let's say you miss the flop and your opponent throws out a c-bet.successfully: 1) The bluffer has put you on a hand. And yes.

The "bluffs" that are successful at smaller stakes take all this BS into account. becuase once you call on the turn and push the river. or make a big turn bet in position after it's been checked to you twice. it just doesnt make sense for you to have anything other than a flush. he can fold hands like QQ. Maybe a better time to try to "have" a set is on a board of 952 rainbow. what can we do? At this point. Now we can take this idea (which might seem obvious I suppose) and explain why bluffing is generally less successful at lower stakes than higher stakes. and you're assuming that you can make him check/fold if. without ever worrying about it again. This is a key distinction. Even if you have soething like a speculative pair or weak overpair in the hole. too. If you raise. though. where you flat call a flop bet then make a substantial turn raise. slightly better high card fold. but you think/hope that given your line. That's how you'd play a set right? Maybe not all the time. The ability to do this convincingly. Now that's a standard observation but taken in the context of the constant discussion about whether to bother bluffing Small Stakes players it offers something tangible in the way of an explanation. needs to be worried about possible draws against some opponents and the pot has been inflated quite a bit. you're representing a set or two pair. say. scared. A set might flat call but he. but that's how a lot of people at any stakes might play a set on such a dry board. While. but the effect is somethign substantively different than bluffing a thinknig opponent off of a good hand. it might be hard. c-bet a missed flop after raising. so opponent is probably correct to fire two barrels with an overpair. you are generally making him fold very weak hands. THEY need to be convinced of the STRENGTH of ours. a heart comes. Your optimal play on this board might be to call and hope a draw gets there. then he's probably doing it happily. you could theoretically "change" that holding later on if you think (a) you're actually behind. Now if the heart comes and he check/folds. IMO. you ACTUALLY ARE DRAWING for credibility. and hoping you can fold your opponent's range. then again. They don't care what we have. and that a monster would suddenly pipe up while your actual hand should really be checking or folding. like when you c/raise AK unimproved. because not only do we need to be convinced of the weakness of our opponent's hand. The reason is simply that most of our opponents aren't bothering to think about what our holdings might be. So he can fold--he can even do it happily.board. in many cases. they're more concerned with the WEAKNESS Of their own hand. and (b) your line up to that point in the hand is also consistent with a monster. If you smooth call. whether we're conscious of it or not. But. Now all that is a long way of fleshing out the point Ive been tryign to make about keeping track of your range. because what it tells us about small stakes HE is that if you assess your opponent's holding to be one of even moderate strength. You dont think he has a set. you must resign 250 . It's not out of the question that you'd play a draw that way. only what they have. it's probably time for a set to raise. rathern than the STRENGTH of YOURs. It amounts to one high card making anohter. then make a convincing river bet if he checks. and given the presence of draws many players can talk themselves into calling. your opponent is folding a hand that is technically better than yours. When you successfully "bluff" a small stakes player. is what we need every single time we make a bluff.

At higher stakes. Many of his most intelligent bluffs would simply be instacalled not because the individual is making a brilliant read of mahatma's hand. bluffing at small stakes in big pots is generally less effective. you're only going to win at showdown. and this is what you use to your advantage. This is when you can start making overpairs fold. The "brilliant" antics of mahatma and others with which many of us are so familiar simply don't have the same place in our game as they do in his. and that. becuase you simply MUST have a set given a certain line. 251 . but precisely the opposite: becuase he hasn't really ever thought about mahatma's hand. This is a long explanation of a simple concept. corollary to this idea.yourself to winning the pot only when you have a hand of greater strength--ie. or else he would have bothered to realize that he (mahatma) MUST have the best of it (even though he actually doesn't). but I'm trying to flesh out some of the ideas underlying what we all know to be true: that you have to adjust to the quality of player. it becomes more likely your opponents are concerned not only with their own cards but with what yours might be in making their decisions.

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