Eddie Spencer-Small's avatar

Eddie Spencer-Small

126 points

I've been reviewing a final table I made which was live streamed (thinly veiled brag), and the guy to the right of me continued to bet 50% of his stack instead of going all in when he has 10-15bbs. He's a good player with results, so there clearly is well thought out logic behind this, but I'm a fish in regards to this aspect of the game. Is it purely a way of just balancing your value and bluff shoves, so you're not dominated when all in with hands like A5?

And if so, what range of BBs should you be employing this tactic, as opposed to just pure jamming your range?

May 29, 2024 | 2:17 a.m.

The question is in the title: I have PokerTracker and have a not insignificant number of hands logged. I was wondering what would be the best way to study these hands, which filters should I use, and what should I look for in order to gain the most from the software. If there is an essential video regarding this, I would much appreciate being linked to so I can create and use filters that will help highlight my biggest leaks.

May 18, 2023 | 10:29 p.m.

I've discovered this tournament variance calculator https://www.primedope.com/tournament-variance-calculator/, and I was wondering how can use it to create a bankroll management strategy which is suited to my individual ROI, as opposed to using some binary strategy which may not be suited to my needs.

Sept. 17, 2020 | 10:37 a.m.

Yeah, that's what I did, and they had me beat. Just overthinking it I guess.

Aug. 29, 2020 | 4:30 p.m.

Blinds: t40/t80 (7 Players) CO: 1,419 (Hero)
BN: 601
SB: 3,924
BB: 1,228
UTG: 1,141
UTG+1: 2,049
MP: 3,838
SB is 24/11/4.8
Preflop (120) Hero is CO with 9 A
3 folds, Hero raises to 166, BN folds, SB calls 126, BB folds
Flop (482) 5 2 5
SB checks, Hero bets 280, SB calls 280
Turn (1,042) 5 2 5 8
SB checks, Hero bets 963 and is all in

Aug. 29, 2020 | 1:23 a.m.

Hand History | Eddie Spencer-Small posted in MTT: Facing committing raised turn.
Blinds: t15/t30 (8 Players) SB: 1,198 (Hero)
BB: 1,607
UTG: 1,184
UTG+1: 1,635
MP: 1,699
MP+1: 1,404
CO: 1,670
BN: 1,496
BTN is 16/12/6.1
Preflop (45) Hero is SB with K Q
4 folds, CO raises to 90, BN calls 90, Hero calls 75, BB folds
Flop (332) K 5 9
Hero checks, CO checks, BN checks
Turn (332) K 5 9 4
Hero bets 230, CO folds, BN raises to 864

Aug. 29, 2020 | 1:14 a.m.

Hand History | Eddie Spencer-Small posted in MTT: How do I react to donk lead?
Blinds: t15/t30 (7 Players) MP: 2,998
CO: 140
BN: 1,516 (Hero)
SB: 1,315
BB: 2,177
UTG: 1,561
UTG+1: 1,956
No significant reads
Preflop (45) Hero is BN with J A
3 folds, CO raises to 136 and is all in, Hero raises to 288, SB calls 273, BB folds
I raise to isolate. Get called by SB.
Flop (770) J 4 8
SB bets 270

Aug. 29, 2020 | 1:07 a.m.

Hey, fully committing myself to becoming a pro from MTTs. I've been in one or two study groups before, and I'm always looking to be parts of new ones. Please feel to add me to your study group. I'm from the UK, so we have similar hours. Mainly play multi table SNGs at the moment, but I'm looking to transition into bigger MTTs.

Aug. 28, 2020 | 1:19 a.m.

Blinds: t80/t160 (6 Players) CO: 4,878 (Hero)
BN: 5,611
SB: 2,542
BB: 2,304
UTG: 3,727
MP: 2,703
BB is 31/13/7.7, MP 23/21/9.4
Preflop (240) Hero is CO with A Q
UTG folds, MP raises to 336, Hero calls 336, BN calls 336, SB folds, BB calls 176
I just call instead of 3betting. Which may be a mistake, but there are two reasons for me calling.

Firstly, I don't think AQs will do too well against MP's 4bet shove range (in addition by just flatting I keep in dominated aces and queens which they will get in if they flop a pair).

Secondly, there are short stacks in the blinds capable of shoving themselves with hands I dominate.
Flop (1,544) 2 5 9
BB bets 772, MP folds, Hero calls 772, BN folds
BB donks multiway and I call. I don't like my hand too much, but with backdoor straight and flush draws, I believe that I have just enough equity to call, even against a straight value range, considering that they are capped.
Turn (3,088) 2 5 9 6
BB checks, Hero checks
I take a free card as they will be pot committed with their value range, and I will only fold out worse hands
River (3,088) 2 5 9 6 J
BB bets 160, Hero calls 160

Aug. 28, 2020 | 1:13 a.m.

Blinds: t15/t30 (8 Players) BN: 2,605 (Hero)
SB: 2,249
BB: 1,444
UTG: 1,464
UTG+1: 1,444
MP: 1,444
MP+1: 1,508
CO: 2,830
CO is 67/22/14. Very OOL stats.
Preflop (45) Hero is BN with J K
4 folds, CO raises to 137, Hero calls 137, 2 folds
I call with KJo considering how deep we are, and how exploitable my opponent is.
Flop (351) 3 4 9
CO bets 30, Hero calls 30
Min-bet so I autocall 100% of my range.
Turn (411) 3 4 9 3
CO bets 30, Hero calls 30
Same logic as flop.
River (471) 3 4 9 3 J
CO bets 471

Aug. 28, 2020 | 12:42 a.m.

Blinds: t80/t160 (8 Players) MP: 3,696 (Hero)
UTG+1: 9,194
MP+1: 882
CO: 2,970
BN: 3,000
SB: 2,947
BB: 3,195
UTG: 2,329
BB is 35/23/7.5. Reasonably aggro.
Preflop (240) Hero is MP with 3 3
UTG folds, Hero raises to 424, 4 folds, SB calls 344, BB calls 264
Multiway pot, so I give BB a wider range than I normally would considering the increased pot odds to call.
Flop (1,432) 6 7 5
SB checks, BB checks, Hero checks
Checks round so I have removed the top of BB's range as they are fairly aggro.
Turn (1,432) 6 7 5 4
SB checks, BB bets 480, Hero calls 480, SB folds
I pick up a straight, so I cannot fold considering there is now also a flush draw.
River (2,392) 6 7 5 4 K
BB bets 2,271 and is all in

Aug. 28, 2020 | 12:29 a.m.

Hand History | Eddie Spencer-Small posted in MTT: Check/raise bluff or give up?
Blinds: t10/t20 (9 Players) BN: 1,500
SB: 1,500
BB: 1,500 (Hero)
UTG: 1,500
UTG+1: 1,500
MP: 1,500
MP+1: 1,500
MP+2: 1,500
CO: 1,500
Preflop (30) Hero is BB with T 8
UTG folds, UTG+1 raises to 97, 2 folds, MP+2 calls 97, CO calls 97, BN folds, SB calls 87, Hero calls 77
First hand of the tournament. No reads on any of the players.
Flop (512) 5 7 9
SB checks, Hero checks, UTG+1 checks, MP+2 bets 110, CO calls 110, SB folds, Hero calls 110, UTG+1 folds
I considered check/raising, but multi-way I figured check/calling would be more effective. I likely would have raised if it was heads up.
Turn (842) 5 7 9 2
Hero checks, MP+2 checks, CO checks
River (842) 5 7 9 2 Q
Hero checks, MP+2 bets 370, CO folds, Hero folds
With how weakly my opponent played their hand, I felt like it could be possible to turn my hand into a profitable bluff, but at the same time I block a lot of the hands which I would be hoping to be bluffing against. Is T8dd a suitable bluffing hand, or should I just fold and let them take the pot?
Final Pot MP+2 wins 842

July 11, 2020 | 11:42 p.m.

Blinds: t4,000/t3,633 (5 Players) CO: 10,061
BN: 26,597
SB: 127,318
BB: 4,433
UTG: 101,591 (Hero)
BB is all in with less than one big blind, so is a dead pot.
Preflop (7,633) Hero is UTG with J A
Hero raises to 20,004, 2 folds, SB calls 16,004
SB is TAG. 19/14/7.9 stats
Flop (47,641) 5 A K
SB bets 8,000, Hero calls 8,000
I feel I'm in a slightly ahead/way behind situation so I just call down to avoid bloating the pot with a crushed hand.
Turn (63,641) 5 A K 5
SB bets 16,000, Hero calls 16,000
Same logic as the flop, so I continue to just call down.
River (95,641) 5 A K 5 K
SB checks, Hero checks
At this point I feel that the SB would have shoved, or led small with a King, so by checking he has capped his range. The only other value hands I am against are aces, so by shoving, with ICM pressure would I get him to fold his Ace Queens enough to make a bluff shove profitable, or should I just check down with the second nuts, as hands like AT I feel would likely fold, and I wouldn't be able to get any value out of shoving into them.

July 11, 2020 | 12:12 a.m.

By "I do not like the local design" do you mean "I do not like the responses I'm getting"? Because you can go onto as many forums as you like with this question, and you will receive exactly the same response, I assure you of that. Except for maybe insomniacs interactive, but they'll probably be more against it than we are.

Sept. 9, 2019 | 1:29 a.m.

This is a horrible idea, sure, you'll have more hours in the day, but those hours will be far less productive than the hours you get when fully rested. This isn't even taking into account how damaging it will be to your health.

Just focus on making the hours you are awake more efficient. Use little life hacks like cooking a batch of food at once, then freezing it to save time on cooking individual meals if you're that serious about squeezing every single second out of every day. Meditation helps my efficiency. Do anything but put your mental and physical health at risk.

Sept. 6, 2019 | 12:39 a.m.

Obviously, we all know the importance of ICM spots preflop, and how we should react to and study big stack, short stack play etc, but how should ICM spots affect us when betting on the flop, turn & river (and should they?), as I feel I bluff off my stack too often when I reach the final table, in spots that would be +ev during earlier stages of tournaments and in cash games. On top of this, how should we study these spots and is there any software that can be used to aid this?

Sept. 5, 2019 | 9:57 p.m.

Post | Eddie Spencer-Small posted in Chatter: Avoiding C Game

Does anyone play poorly after being out all day, even if you don't feel particularly tired? I get this frequently and I really don't want to have to avoid playing a session at night everytime I go out to the cinema, or play golf during the day.

Does anyone have any tips to minimise your chances of playing at your weakest as a result of "fatigue"?

July 30, 2019 | 10 p.m.

I would say it's probably best to just start with one bet size (maybe half pot) until you get comfortable with the sizing, then slowly add more sizes so you can see the subtle differences between each.

Sept. 18, 2018 | 6:53 p.m.

Any MTT which has a PKO factor I would go for, for obvious reasons that you don't have to make the money (even if your preflop game isn't that great: you only have to pick up aces or kings once and you've got a good shot of getting a bounty). If you don't know PKO strategy, its essentially, the amount of money you would win you ratio that value into the starting stack and count it as dead money (in which you would work out the pot odds for). So for instance if it is a $100 buyin and the bounty is $100 on top of that, then it would translate into being a full starting stack, which you would then factor into the pot odds. One thing I should mention however is that on party poker, the bounty you recieve is only 52% of the amount advertised next to a player and the other 48% is put onto your bounty (its 52% and not 50% because of the recent rake changes).

After that, I would pick the one with the deepest blind structure, so even if you don't take advantage of any bounties, you still have the best chance of making the money.

Sept. 6, 2018 | 6:37 p.m.

Absolutely loved them when I played them seriously. People would shove too loosely and I could just wait for them to knock themselves other out. Stick with them because there is more variance than in regular SnGs, but they can be very profitable if you know your shoving ranges and ICM.

Sept. 6, 2018 | 6:26 p.m.

I'd never shove this regardless of how many people you're off the money. Bet/fold at best.

Sept. 3, 2018 | 8:08 p.m.

A little bit on stars. I've moved to MTTs now and I don't play as many on stars, mainly on 888 and Party.

Aug. 28, 2018 | 6:12 p.m.

Have you tried 45 man sit n gos? When I played them seriously they were the softest by far. Even with the added variance.

Aug. 27, 2018 | 6:05 p.m.

For some major tournaments Pokerstars have a feature where you can watch a replay of the final table with the cards up. I imagine these videos are made watching those replays.

Aug. 25, 2018 | 6:11 p.m.

You can't change variance, but what you can do is improve your mental game. Buy Jared Tendler's book and use that to improve your confidence (and stop you tilting) when things go against you.

Aug. 10, 2018 | 5:37 p.m.

One thing I would say is that if you want to branch out into MTTs, then it probably makes sense to play on a softer, smaller site, as the variance will be reduced greatly (and if you're improving you don't want to worry about making errors, when it's just actually due to variance), but for cash games this advice is spot on.

July 24, 2018 | 8:03 p.m.

Sky Poker is very soft. Not sure if it's just a UK exclusive site (everyone I've seen on there seems to have their location in some UK town), but it's definitely worth a look.

July 21, 2018 | 8:06 p.m.

It's probably fine. As you have the K & Q flush blockers, its going to be very difficult for you to get him to call off if you shove. You're far more likely to get him to stack off here as a bluff.

June 20, 2018 | 6:13 p.m.

100% this. Variance is a natural part of the game which should be welcomed, rather than feared. It's impossible to eliminate, and if you try to remove it just for the sake of removing it, you'll inadvertently make it worse.

June 2, 2018 | 5:34 p.m.

Agreed, there is basically zero difference between 2nl and 5nl, so if you can beat 2nl, you should definitely move up. Also I would suggest, in addition to getting the mental game of poker, that you download a meditation app (headspace or primed mind if you can afford it), as that will really help to clear your head and focus on making good decisions (in life as well as in poker), and forget about things like bad beats.

May 20, 2018 | 4:27 p.m.

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