DNegs98's avatar


621 points

Flop call is fine, raise is okay at a small freq but don't want to be doing it too often IP in 3bp. On turn particularly with the double fd we should be raising all in. It's fairly typical with strong but vulnerable hands to just get all the money in on turns in 3bp rather than opening yourself up to having to bluff catch or fold on nasty rivers.

April 22, 2022 | 1:29 a.m.

Comment | DNegs98 commented on 1knlHU vs buttonclickr

If he's readless on you I'd probably call here, you're just going to have a ton of indifferent Ax that needs to mix and most people will pure fold them relying on AJ/AK to be enough calls but that's usually not enough in these spots where most hands better than A high in your range should be squeezing in a block bet. So with that in mind IP here probably has a pretty high ev of bluffing against a lot of players and I expect someone this good to notice that and fire just a touch too much here. Also hands like 97/T9/J9 should stab turn more than hands like 75/54 because of their extra pair outs vs an 8 or 6 so with that in mind a 9 is probably unblocking bluffs slightly better. Might be close though if he's playing a touch wider preflop than GTO due to assumed skill edge and he has T9o/J9o but that's just more combos for him to overbluff with if that's the case.

A good way to think through these spots is to think what's the weakest hand I'm pure calling and what's the strongest hand I'm pure folding. Everything in between falls into an indifferent region and is likely mixing, then you can estimate how much you need to call those hands overall giving you your base calling frequency. From there you can either pure rng, try and estimate which hands are the top x% in terms of blockers from that region or you can do a bit of both, say you need to call 25% of your AT-2, work out if you're in the top half then roll 50%. If you want to get exploitative but subtly and exposing yourself less to counter exploits you can just shift your base calling freq number (including to 0 or 100%) then do the same process. Often times if this indifferent region is very wide and a lot of the hands in it feel very meh as calls that's a good sign that you're at risk of overfolding AND that a good player might be trying to run you over (key word might).

April 22, 2022 | 1:21 a.m.

This is a very bad idea.

April 16, 2022 | 5:16 p.m.

No, never, bluffing is illegal.

In all seriousness your EV of x or betting small is way too high, it's not that a bluff isn't going to be making chips with Kd in hand, it's instead that fact that the EV of your other lines will be so much higher that you can't justify bluffing this. Often you'll see subtler versions of this where you'll be trying to work out what to triple barrel and a hand like a decent A high will pure give up because it can win vs a missed NFD even though it has decent blockers but a low missed FD will barrel because it does not have a non 0 checking EV to compete with when comparing the EV of both lines and thereby if the bluff is breakeven or even winning a single cent we can go with it. It does occur to me that you might mean as a reraise on the river? I couldn't really tell but in that case I think Kd is probably actually blocking folds because at that point we're firmly in the territory of repping boats so you're turning flushes into bluff catchers, much more important to have board pair blockers, something like AdQs seems ideal, even then I'm not sure the Ad is more helpful than harmful because nut flushes aren't loving life there but they are a very emotional fold to make so maybe you don't want to count on your villains dropping them. Even if they are folding all flushes they are bd flushes so they won't have tons of them so you might still just be owning yourself vs boats a lot and you're not gonna pick up many auto folds from them folding a hand they turned into a bluff themselves because it's a river raise at low stakes so as much as it pains me I think you should just nut peddle here.

River size seems slightly too big, typically when OOP on board changing rivers you want to have a block betting size with strong one pairs, it's not terrible by any means especially blocking some flushes but I'd prefer a bit smaller. Honestly solver might like half pot with Kd and block without it or something like that but you don't want to be splitting your sizings too much.

March 28, 2022 | 5:27 p.m.

Stop playing to make money, start playing to improve.

There's a temptation to stare at your bankroll, calculate your hourly and work out how much you have to play before you can move up. You will move up like this but very slowly; you will move up quicker and make more money in the long term by focusing on improving.

There aren't really any get good quick tricks, some key things I'd keep in mind though:
- Being a good poker player means being a good scientist, come up with theories as to why certain hands play in certain ways in a solver and then test that theory in similar spots where you would expect the same thing.
- Never accept not getting paid. If you find that the solver is value betting way thinner than you're comfortable with you need to work out why. Often this will be that people are overfolding that spot significantly and you need to generate more bluffs but it might be because your opponents are getting to this street with a much stronger range than they should so work out why that is happening and how to punish it.
- Always be open to being proved wrong. If someone does something you think is bad you shouldn't just dismiss it, investigate and work out if it really is bad or if there's something you're missing. Too many people let their ego get in the way of learning from other players.

Oct. 17, 2021 | 11:53 a.m.

Great video and excited to give the game a go. First off I was hoping you could help me with a quick practical question; roughly how many buy ins do you need to be rolled properly for this sort of game? Would love to get into it but I imagine the variance is significantly greater than holdem so wouldn't want to underestimate it and set my roll on fire.

Aside from that theory wise the idea of bluffing once you have one side of the board locked up is pretty intuitive once you laid out the logic for it. What I was wondering about is how do you play strong two sided draws both in and out of position? Say on a board like 9s8s2x where we've opened the button and they've defended the bb and we have smth like AsJsTx3x. I'm kind of assuming we just want to generate aggression with these hands on the idea that it's very likely we have half the board on turn and can continue denying equity from our opponent? How would this change as the draws become a bit less nuttish like say Ax7s6s5x? Here we're drawing to hands which will be in that situation you described where if we put in too much money we'll start making our opponents range too strong on at least one side and cap ourselves to winning at most half the pot. I feel like the potential to generate enough pressure that we fold some dominating draws on the turn and then our opponent will possibly call more sdv based stuff so we can hit and scoop against such as a hand like 88 gives us some incentive to play these hands aggressively despite the other possibilities so would love to get some of your insight here.

Sept. 14, 2021 | 12:18 a.m.

For me personally studying and playing are always interlinked, I sit down, have my coffee, focus as much as I possibly can then I play until I get to a spot where it becomes clear that I'm improvising too much and I don't actually have a solid plan at which point I pause my tables and go load up some sims to answer the questions that I have. There's this book Bounce: The Myth Of Talent And The Power Of Practise by Matthew Syed that goes into a lot more detail than I could here and it really shapes my fundamental approach to learning any skill not just poker. Side note but I regularly argue that someone like Messi is just willing to work harder and the only thing that holds anyone back from excellence is their own drive which people aren't particularly willing to accept as it makes mediocrity a choice rather than something thrust upon them.

One of the fundamental points of Bounce aside from just needing to put in more hours is how you put in those hours, you can put in 50 hours a week of poker for 4 years and get to the magic 10,000 hour goal to become elite but the fact is that if you put in those hours on auto pilot just executing the strategy you know and not trying to work on things and consistently add to it then you'll barely see any improvement. Essentially my point is that there isn't this massive divide between playing/studying, when I'm playing that's me getting repetitions and trying to dynamically analyse what I am doing well and what needs work, shutting off my brain and playing on auto pilot to just execute my strategy to an ok level isn't an option. I was sceptical of this at first but meditation can help with this, just shortly sitting there before a session to reflect on the things that you're trying to execute on today, maybe visualising some spots where you've found new edges that you want to push or something like that can really get you into the zone to play fully engaged poker and once you're doing that it just becomes super clear whenever there is a spot where you don't have a comprehensive understanding because your decision making process is so active rather than passive.

In more direct answer to your question I probably spend about a third of my time actually in pio these days, that number was a lot lower when I spent a while obsessed with leaderboards playing 50nl when I first realised I could make decent money from poker and was very high when I got sick of grinding 70 hour weeks at the tables and just started trying to rapidly improve my game which lead to me going from 50-500nl in around 3 months I think.

The most fundamental skill for learning poker is learning how to learn, you need to get familiar with seeing something in a solver that makes no sense to you and going down rabbit holes in sims to identify some possible reasons as to why it is happening. It's fine if you can't work it out immediately, there are things I've seen in solvers where for literal months those patterns just sat there as "a thing which solvers just do that I can't understand why" that have now become instrumental parts to my game and very second nature for me to execute because I had the curiosity to keep looking at these things and digging into them whenever they came up until they finally clicked in a eureka moment.

Aug. 14, 2021 | 7:51 p.m.

Sorry if this comes across as bragging but the easiest way for me to respond to this is to use myself as an example. I play tons, I study loads and in 2.5 years I went from learning the rules to playing 1knl. It's definitely doable, it's just a question of how much you're willing to put in. I believe that in theory everyone can get to a point where they're beating 500z because all that takes is having very solid fundamentals; the thing which holds people back, in my opinion, is that the work is very hard if you don't love it and you can't force yourself to love it.

Having coached people I'm very familiar with people coming to me, telling me they want to go pro but there's this disconnect between that and the amount of work they put in. One of the things which is most annoying when coaching someone is when they start to see the hour a week that they see you as all the study that they need to do and I'll just drag them to beating 200nl.

"A goal without a plan is just a wish"

Aug. 11, 2021 | 9:10 a.m.

Preflop systems are like chess openings, there's a variety of reasonable ones to pick and choose from but it's much more important that you understand the dynamics of the system that you choose to play rather than which particular one you go for. I know regs at 500nl who out of the sb will raise to 3bb then vs a 9bb 3B they will raise to 18bb and I know regs who will in this spot raise to 27bb. Most people fall somewhere in the middle as these sizes tend to be slightly more 'solver approved' but if you understand the strategic implications of your size better than your opponent then that more than compensates for the theoretical minor EV loss. Clanty uses what is very close to a min 3B strategy for this exact reason if memory serves correctly.

Aug. 9, 2021 | 3:04 p.m.

"For human being it is impossible to make balanced river range including 2 sizes"

In the nicest possible way, no. 2 sizes on river is very doable, it's honestly rare for me that I play one sizing in a river spot, almost 100% certain I'm not being exploited for it either, in fact I think much the opposite as people fail to raise hands that should become value raises vs the smaller size when you account for the fact that I also have a bigger sizing incorporated.

July 23, 2021 | 5:23 p.m.

The issue here is the overpairs/8x than can call raise and a barrel but hate playing for stacks so you get a situation where the over cb here results in someone being run over on rivers.

July 21, 2021 | 10:55 a.m.

If IP stab freq is too high the correct response is actually to CB less (sometimes even not at all) and increase your x/r freq along with the freq and sizing of your stabs in delay lines. Start looking for some more aggressive hands to include as bluffs or turn stabs, for instance x/x 6r turn this A7 is a good candidate to push someone off of their hand with an overbet and a river barrel if you think they're capped at something like KT.

July 18, 2021 | 11:08 a.m.

I don't know if anyone will find this particularly useful on a practical level but I find it interesting so thought I'd share; there's an exception to the rule of bluff catchers below the value threshold being indistinguishable so you just call blockers. Sometimes what happens is that certain hands have exceptionally high blocker value but very low showdown value so what will happen is that in order to make these hands 0ev instead of printing calls we will actually "bluff" some hands that are ahead of these hands but behind the rest of the calling range.

An example of where I've seen this is when someone is repping a lot of pocket pair boats, say on 889JK where they have a massive overbet jamming range consisting of 99-KK and so the other player actually doesn't particularly value having trips because it doesn't block any of the value region so they start folding hands like A8 in favour of calling KJ but then the other player starts to (very occasionally) jam some weak trips hands which sort of function as a value bluff of sorts where you, in theory at least, get some worse hands to call and better to fold. These hands tend to finish up on the river after a call with something like 10-20% equity which is just a really strange number to see a hand at when you bet and get called, usually you have 0% or some number >50 (can get lower, especially when OOP at low sprs but just in general). It's particularly entertaining to me as there's a line in the actual DNegs masterclass advert where he says something like "if you get to the river and you're not sure if you have a value bet or a bluff you just don't know what you're doing". Obviously this kind of thing is super delicate, do this with too many combos and suddenly you just create a situation where your opponents can comfortably call linearly but I think it's just interesting to appreciate just how deep solvers will actually go in their efforts to maximise EV and having an appreciation for the possibility of this sort of thing can open your eyes to other options to squeeze EV out of hands.

July 10, 2021 | 4:47 a.m.

It's not, this is a pure call.

July 2, 2021 | 8:10 a.m.

Why do we have to resurrect this thread lol, I was very much in the wrong here and had a very arbitrary understanding of solvers when typing all this out, tempted to delete my comments for clarity sake but maybe the discussion could prove useful to someone having similar issues to myself at the time.

Also hands have higher EV than the pot all the time, if you take the nuts on the river as an example and you bet either they fold and you win the whole pot or they call and you win the pot + their bet so your ev is somewhere inbetween these numbers dependent upon their calling frequency and your bet sizing. The ev of your range can never be bigger than the pot which might be what is giving you the confusion.

Aside from that b is completely correct and this one drives me nuts. The EV being slightly different in sims is what gave me this confusion in the first place and it always comes up when I'm coaching people and I say something like "mixed frequencies only occur when the EV of the 2 actions is equal" and they won't believe me lol so we have to run a sim down to incredibly low exploitability and show them that they're all essentially identical.

Soliares If you look at the picture you've posted with a 0.1% exploitability for your overall sim you'll see that the ev of the options is roughly 0.1% off being completely balanced with all options being worth 23.85

June 28, 2021 | 3:31 a.m.

Comment | DNegs98 commented on BU vs SB CC + 3barrels

I think you should bet something like 2x pot here. Want to pick a size that gets every Ax to fold whilst limiting the effectiveness of villain trapping (2x pot is a decent soft limit to impose upon your sizings if you're worries about this kind of thing). Don't really think there's much merit to any size smaller than that as it's likely we'll need to be getting folds from at least the occassional Ax to make it profitable which I don't think is happening given villain expects to chop tons. I think if you bet 2x pot here you get a fold over 90% of the time so I honestly think it's completely printing here vs someone who's not capable of realising that they need to roll a call frequency with some Ax to keep you indifferent.

June 27, 2021 | 11:45 a.m.

Comment | DNegs98 commented on NL25z The job of AJo

OTF: I like your logic, something that a lot of people often miss is that on high ev turns for your range where lots of your draws get there they have a tendency to run out of bluffs, thinking regs will notice this and will overfold at these nodes. Consequently, backdoors actually tend to perform marginally higher ev than they should and regular draws tend to perform marginally lower (as the draws don't get paid when they get there but the backdoors can generate more folds than at equilibrium) and so it is really important to look for these hands and be aggressive about including them even if they make you slightly uncomfortable. A good way to think of your flop x/r is you have strong draws that you will continue almost always then weaker draws/bd that you will continue when the strong draws get there. If you have too many strong draws and not enough more marginal eq holdings you underbluff good turns and you also end up overbluffing bricks and not having any give ups on a lot of turns (there's a recent hand between stefan and dvoress where I'm convinced stefan exploits this).

OTT: yeah, all good, stick to the plan.

OTR: I think this is a problem that tends to plague lower stakes players, the tendency to imagine showdown value that doesn't actually exist. If IP has a hand worse than yours then in theory they should be bluffing it here. It is possible that they make a similar mistake and x back a hand that wins at sd occasionally but is higher EV as a bluff but in theory I don't think you should get to x/x and win with this hand. There's also the question of what do you actually bluff if you're not prepared to bluff a rivered J here because if you have KJ or J9 you also rivered "sdv". I think Ah blocker is just way too strong here to not shove this hand. What's important to realise here is that sdv and the bottom of your range are contextual things, here we're looking at a spot where you x/r flop and barrelled turn vs an UTG range AND all the draws have either got there or at least hit a pair. In that scenario the bottom of your range is essentially a J here, you'll have a few other hands to pick from but for the most part you're going to have to take hands with sdv and bluff them. Pio actually accounts for this and in spots where you have to bluff hands that should win (i.e: the ev of x > 0) sometimes villain will start overfolding proportional to the amount of sdv you have to give up to generate enough bluffs to be balanced (making the ev of your bluffs = to ev of x rather than 0).

The really good news here is that thinking players can see this, they know that if you have AJ/KJ/J9 you hit a pair and are going to want to x down, they know you have tons of value bets so they're going to start finding some tight folds and lastly they know how scary a spot this is for you, they could have the nut flush after all! If you were UTG here and someone jammed into you and you have AxKh how are you feeling about your hand? At 25nl I think that hand is a snap fold in this spot, I'd probably snap fold anything short of a K high flush and even then I'm thinking about mucking it, only thing stopping me would be working out if you ever jam thinner for value.

Obviously if your opponent is someone who will snap call 66 like it's the nuts here then this goes out the window (but in that case you can stack them every time you do have a flush here) but that's an adjustment we can make later, until we see that we're just playing good poker. Bit of a tangent here but pre exploiting people for leaks that you don't actually know that they have would be right up there on my list of most common small stakes leaks; what it really says to me when someone doesn't want to jam "in case they station me off" is that they're afraid of variance, being okay with getting stacked here when they do flick in the occasional call is a big advantage over the people that sacrifice ev because they're scared to bluff in spots like this. What you'll often find is that the more you need to psych yourself up to bluff a spot the more often you see your opponents go into the tank and make a tight fold because they realise how scary it is to bluff here in your shoes.

June 23, 2021 | 9:27 a.m.

No worries, happy to help, honestly this isn't something I've read about, this is just something I've found myself from spending enough time playing around with solvers and trying to make sense of why solvers were using uncomfortably big sizes in spots where you actually can run into the nuts fairly often.

It's kind of a situation of all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares; all nuts and air vs bluffcatchers situations represent a polar dynamic but not all polar dynamics arise from nuts and air vs bluff catchers. Essentially you can have a range that contains more than just nuts and air but you're not sufficiently incentivised to bet with any other hand class and so for that reason your betting range will be polarised even though your range as a whole is not. In terms of this scenario here, you're not particularly incentivised to bet turn with hands that can't barrel river OOP because of the threat of devaluing rivers or just having to bluff catch in an inflated pot (different from IP where you can just x back and realise your sdv immediately) and therefore hands that are too weak to consistently bet rivers would rather just go into a bet/x/bet line. So with that in mind your betting range becomes polarised even though some of the hands may not really meet the definition of "nuts". This spot may also play quite unintuitively because it often feels unnatural to people the amount of money you should be putting in with relatively thin value hands as a result of the wide ranges at play, at 500z I see some IP players face a x here then bet 75% with KT to x back or bet half pot on rivers because they don't understand the dynamic and how much money these hands can actually play for.

June 18, 2021 | 4:05 a.m.

This is a slightly misapplied heuristic and one that I often perpetuated myself, nuts and air vs bluff catchers is a simplification of the dynamics that result in overbetting. Overbetting happens as a result of polarisation, nuts and air vs bluff catchers is one - but not the only - reason that polarisation might occur. If you look at a J turn on the same board you'll see OOP will x a lot of nut hands, particularly JJ/77 but a freq with various combinations of 2 pairs and yet IP will still overbet a bunch of Kx, going as light as something like K6 at least some of the time. You can go a step further and see OOP taking a x/c line with K7/K5 but IP will still find overbets for value with K9+ on a rainbow 2 river. Essentially what I'm trying to get at with this tangent is that the existence of traps in someones range is less important than the range construction as a whole.

All that being said AK is definitely a thinner value bet here than people perceive it to be, a solver primarily likes to take the x/c -> x/c line as the A kicker means we don't need as much protection from overcards and we block some check backs but I think in practise this line underperforms as people will not put in enough money with middling Kx, you'll often see hands like K8 bet the turn and then x back a brick river which is beyond infuriating when you have AK and take this line. With that in mind that AK is actually somewhat thin on turn when we get a devaluing river like this we should be looking to block our hand to pick up a tiny bit of value whilst mostly trying to just find our way to showdown, once we start going half pot or bigger I think we're just not getting called by enough worse hands for the benefits of growing the pot to outweigh the drawbacks.

June 17, 2021 | 6:51 p.m.

I x flop with overpairs here for a lot of reasons, it's not just this notion of presenting yourself being run over by aggressive regulars.

1) bet/raise/call, x/c, x/c is just horrible. You're holding a pure bluffcatcher with no blockers to value range and at no point did you have that much equity to catch up either. You expose yourself to this line by betting flop, this is essentially the worst possible result that you can get with AA-QQ on this flop and you can avoid it with a check here.

2) bet/call, b/c, b/c is less exciting of a line than people tend to think. I think people tend to overestimate the tendency for the board to brick and for their hand to retain it's value over multiple streets because they are likely ahead of the vast majority of the calling range now but way more often than not you will have at least one connecting card that creates new nuttish hands and forces you to put in a x later down the line or put money into the pot with a high degree of uncertainty, neither of which is a highly desirable outcome. For hands to be heavily incentivised to generate aggression on flop they need to be ahead of the tight continuing range that will call off the triple barrel (not the flop bet) across a variety of runouts.

3) In the scenarios where you're regretting the decision to bet your overpairs because the turn comes super clean you can now just put in really big bets with a high confidence that you have the best hand. So instead of being more reserved and picking more middling sizes to match the relative value of an overpair against the calling range you can pick massive sizings to match the value against the significantly weaker x back range and you can get to roughly the same pot size without exposing yourself to the potential negative outcomes described above.

There are caveats to this of course, things like you might be playing against very loose passive players who will put in way too much money calling down and not bet that often themselves. You can also consider using very small flop sizings to clean up equity from things like pocket pairs whilst not inflating the pot too much in case of a bad runout but this is essentially why I don't see a problem in checking my AA here even with 2 weaker players in the pot.

In terms of getting way way out of line and doing this with just complete random crap I don't think so, you can easily overbluff this and steal the pot a lot without going into those very meh pure give up hands. As a rule I try to stay away from taking lines with hands that you should never take with a hand and just mess with the frequencies that I take that line with reasonable candidates (this doesn't mean I don't get super aggro but I do it within my system, not just spewing), it just makes it so much less messy if someone does get to see a showdown, you get accidentally exploited or someone is just playing decent poker that doesn't fit your assumptions. That being said, it's important to work on generating weird bluffs, in part because you may want to deliberately overbluff and also because you want bluffs when the obvious stuff gets there. So take a 6 turn for instance, I might take a hand like 76, A6 or 65 and do this which can be particularly nice as you block their only really strong turned value hand in 66. Having an awareness of those extra ways that you can draw bluffs in a spot like this where you can't just magic up more draws is important because otherwise there's a very defined cap on the limit to how much you pressure you can choose to put on.

May 25, 2021 | 5:45 p.m.

I think this is fairly similar to the other spot you posted, flop has checked round, you still rep a ton of value that no one else does as you should be checking a lot on this flop against btn + sb ranges that hit this board super hard (especially if sb isn't particularly creative and doesn't have leads here). Also there's a ton of call 1, fold 2 hands but people won't respect the need to find call 2 hands, particularly the sb. By that I mean a weak reg in sb isn't like to find a double x/c with a hand like AJ that can just snap it in on river vs your double barrel, they'll probably just bet it themselves, likely same with KJ and even probably QJ, weak regs just can't x/c thin value hands in my experience. Also people often flick in one call with hands like pocket pairs that really should be folding to a reasonable sized bet as they never improve and never block anything. As a way to intuitively sell this to you, if you bet 75% or so on turn then went 150% on river with an overpair how excited are you about all the value you're going to get vs frustrated that you're never gonna get called and considering betting smaller to convince them to flick in some calls so you get paid. Obviously this kind of thing is read dependent and I'm not advocating taking a different line with QQ - AA but it's just a nice way to conceptualise the fact that you're just getting this through more often than you should.

Another line that is reasonable to take, you can bet big and then x/c river vs the btn, this one's kind of fun, you're ahead of all the bluffs, often times btn won't value bet thin but will have a fair few draws that will try to take it away. Downside to this is you lose fairly often vs a x back, although you can win sometimes vs stuff like nfd. I think this line is a bit less attractive than just bet big -> overbet because I think the btn will bet flop here way wider than they should with all their top pairs and never have KJ+ here (until they prove otherwise) so they really don't have call downs but I also think you can make money doing this and can be a weapon against people if you see that they try to play draws passively then stab river if they miss + don't value bet thin enough vs your x so they just get weighted heavily towards bluffs.

May 22, 2021 | 1:36 a.m.

If there's no 9x there's no calls, if someone snaps you off with an 8 just make a mental note that they're a station and write it off as advertising. If you go really small you might damage your credibility for repping a 9 to a fish on river, they might talk themselves into the idea that your line "makes no sense, I gotta see it". Also in a way your turn bet is an investment, I'm expecting them to fold river way way more than they should so making it a bit bigger whilst still getting those calls from 1 pairs can actually net you some money because you're intending to win the pot later. This is all way out of theory but in soft live games where people never have a chance to get a sample on you I think this way of playing is fairly legit.

May 22, 2021 | 12:14 a.m.

I'd just bet turn small then overbet rivers, a 9 will likely raise vs a smallish turn sizing and everything worse than a 9 will fold if you rep it hard enough on river. Also you have 10 outs vs an 8 so x/f with this kind of equity is very meh and to be avoided where possible.

May 18, 2021 | 6:10 p.m.

Comment | DNegs98 commented on Bluffcatch v reg?

An interesting excercise here is to try and work out the difference between A3ss and A3cc, not particularly important here specifically vs the small size but versus a jam in this spot it does make a difference, particularly if you want to start folding a bit tighter without just ditching your entire range of bluff catchers it's nice to have a systematic approach to it.

May 16, 2021 | 11:09 a.m.

Comment | DNegs98 commented on Blind Battle

No worries, happy to help. Some advice I'd give is to not overly fixate on flop overfolds, yes they are a thing you can exploit but I think a lot of people never get further than this when looking for mistakes in the game tree because it's the first thing they notice and latch onto, there's tons of small things that people will fail to execute on that you can punish beyond that.

May 16, 2021 | 11:04 a.m.

Comment | DNegs98 commented on Blind Battle

First and foremost: low stakes regs don't try to make people fold when they likely have trips so if it looks like you have trips and they're still barreling it's almost certainly because they have trips beat AND even the ones that do occasionally pull the trigger and bluff here often do not do it enough to incentivise you to bluffcatch, you need to see consistent, not occasional, aggression.

Now that's out of the way, something that might be worth considering is that trips are for the most part indifferent to calling here at equilibrium and worth roughly 0 chips, in theory you should fold roughly half your trips here, this combo will favour call but just a note on the hand class as a whole. Better trips with no straight blocker are mixing and worse trips are pure folds BUT the key thing is recognising that trips is your borderline region and it is NOT your snap call region. I say this because a lot of the time people turn into complete stations in tight range spots because they feel like folding trips here is criminal when in reality getting shoved on with trips here feels terrible because it's supposed to, you're not supposed to be able to make a clear decision between call and fold here and clicking fold is allowed.

Also a lot of the time when people look at spots like this all they consider is how gross the river spot is, what they don't consider is how they volunteered for this river spot all the way back at the flop by deciding to bet. What I mean by this is that when you bet this hand you are accepting the risk of facing the x/r and barrel off line. Here you turned trips and faced a relatively small turn bet so your turn call was trivial and making a lot of money but say it was a brick turn and you faced a big polar sizing your hand would already be indifferent to calling or folding. Every time you get made indifferent with a hand you "lose" the entire pot, by that I mean your call is worth 0 chips so in the moment you may win if they are bluffing but in the long term when it averages out you only ever get back the value of the call, nothing more i.e: the entire pot belongs to your opponent. For comparison a hand like Jxdd can call a x/r and barrel profitably, it won't be worth tons of chips but on the turn you are getting more than the money you put in.

What I'm trying to get at here is that you have a hand that people tend to bet way too often on the flop because they think in terms of a one street game: "Am I ahead when I get called?" and maybe some consideration for "Can I call a x/r?" But if you look at a solver you will see that this hand is mixing and is betting around half the time with a diamond and roughly 35% without. What is happening here is the solver is recognising the fact that yes it can get value (hence it does bet sometimes) but there is the potential drawback of all these situations where your hand gets owned which you want to limit your exposure to. It's also worth noting that this hand most likely plays for roughly 2 streets of value so you don't miss out on the opportunity to play the size of pot you want by checking this hand. Again if we consider Jxdd, even the weakest one J2 there are significantly more runouts where that hand wants to play for 3 streets of value because it can improve to a flush as well as trips or 2 pair so that hand will play almost pure bet to avoid situations where you improve to a 3 street value hand but flop went x/x so now the pot is too small.

All this is of course conjecture, you could be playing a wonderful mix on the flop and absolutely nailing it with your top pairs but just thought this was worth sharing as a lot of the time undisciplined flop play is what leads to consistently ending up in spots where you're hating your life later down the line. Also please do not take the wrong message from this and stop value betting, value betting thin is still the way to go I just think it's important to consider all the different ways that you can get roughly 2 bets into the pot and their benefits/drawbacks instead of just going bet/bet/x every time you have a hand like this.

May 14, 2021 | 2:09 p.m.

Yeah this is the answer, don't worry about this kind of stuff though, has very little impact upon strategy and easy to get bogged down in stuff like this. When you see stuff like this take a look at the EV differences for taking various lines with various combos, you'll see that the EV difference is negligible, what's more important is the frequencies and understanding something like "why does KQ ever x back?" and from there you can decide if you want to incorporate it into your strategy and also understand that if you're not going to do that then what could you see from your opponent that would incentivise you to do so.

May 8, 2021 | 8:29 a.m.

At 21 minutes with AQ you mention the spade as a bad blocker, but I actually think it's quite a good one, OOP wants to unblock your bdfd floats from flop that you decided not to bluff and will be folding on river which will be spades so OOP has a preference for bluffing diamonds or clubs here. Aside from that I think there is a tendency for some regs to find enough bluffs in these spots but be a touch too tentative with their value range and so a call ends up making a fair few chips against certain players.

With the 88 hand around the 30 minute mark, something I've seen when you have a pocket pair like this is you tend to dislike call for the reasons you said, you disproportionately unblock the bluffs relative to the value hands. However this sort of hand tends to really like shoving because as a result of unblocking a lot of their thinner value you unblock a lot of bet/folds whilst of course blocking a lot of the straights that will obviously bet/call which starts to outweigh the fact that you block some of their bluffs so I tend to see this hand class just playing very little call and then I just mix it between shove and fold.

At 33 with the A4dd I was thinking this is quite a good hand to fold better and get called by worse, you can get folds from AT-AQ, A8-A6ss, 2x, 33-44, 5x whilst getting called by Kxdd and because of the specific texture with no pair + fd combos there's a fairly demanding frequency that the BB needs to hit with their 5x and even stuff like AQ that there's a chance they may get lazy with. Don't hate the check behind by any means but I just tend to see that people shy away from pure bluff catching the turn and like to weight their calling range towards equity driven hands which this sort of hand class very effectively punishes.

April 27, 2021 | 5:25 p.m.

Perfect GTO gameplay has a lot of mixing with hands as both lines are identical in EV due to the play of your opponent. The exact frequency comes about because if we start to take one line less in theory our opponent should adjust and that line should increase in EV and therefore we would start to take that line more until our opponents were to readjust at which point the EV of both lines would go back to being the same. This is what equilibrium means, not that everything is completely static but rather that were something to change then we would expect a reaction which would incentivise us to revert back to the previous state.

However, if we have a case where our opponent is playing sub optimally and not reacting to the adjustments that we are making then this equilibrium does not actually exist i.e: one of the lines has become higher EV than the other - thereby incentivising us to take it 100% of the time - and taking that line is NOT resulting in an adjustment which would incentivise us to revert back to our default strategy.

One thing you'll see if you look at a solver is that solvers don't mix just to look complicated and unreadable. Every hand that mixes if you sim down far enough will have identical EV for both options. If you node lock your opponent to play in such a way that the EV of both options is not equal then the solver will shift to playing a pure strategy.

One often overlooked consequence of all of this is that frequency mistakes only matter if they're correctly punished. This is because versus a perfect GTO strategy the EV of taking different lines for a hand that mixes is equal, the reason that a given hand will take one line 75% and the other 25% is not because of a gain in EV but because if they were to mix at an incorrect frequency then our opponent would hypothetically adjust in such a way as to increase the EV of the line that they are not taking and decrease the EV of the line that they do. A practical example of this might be if someone bets all of their top pairs on the flop instead of mixing them appropriately, as a response you would start to put in a lot of money vs their x line (going bet/bet for a large sizing with any top pair yourself) thereby increasing the EV for your opponent of checking top pair on the flop and in that way dragging them back to equilibrium. A lot of people tend to ignore this and try to just play a "passively printing" style of poker where they just collect the punts from the fish and just do their thing vs regs, in fact a somewhat common belief I hear from some 500z regs is that's it's impossible to have edge on regs because they just adjust if you start exploiting them. I'm not saying you can't make money doing this but take it from me there's tons of mistakes being made by even the absolute best players and understanding the nature of those mistakes and the correct way to adjust in somewhat subtle ways has a lot of EV. So just to be clear here, it does matter which particular exploitable strategy Y plays, if Y plays a strategy that makes frequency but not EV mistakes (playing a hand with a pure tendency in the wrong line) then X will not actually make money from Y.

April 24, 2021 | 8:08 a.m.

There isn't some nice poker theory reason as to why snowie is so far off mdf here, the reason is that poker snowie is not a solver and just approximates reasonable play based on simple hand vs range, 1 street calculations with no attempts to exploit itself.

April 23, 2021 | 9:46 a.m.

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