Douggyfr3sh's avatar


243 points

Fair enough. I have no idea what Ben is folding here and simply ran an ICM sim to get an idea of what the calculator advocates. Folding 88 does seem pretty ridiculous.

You said "you can't run this sim through HRC", but then said "I ran the sim", any chance you would be willing to share how you ran it? Part of my motivation behind this post is to understand how the high stakes guys analyze these decisions :)

Sept. 10, 2020 | 8:17 p.m.

Yeah just folding here. I think population here will play so so far away from GTO that we don't really need to care about GTO in this spot. There are plenty of better trips in SB range plus they have sets and 87. Also a very awkward spot for them to be bluffing much at all and even if they do find some turn bluffs it won't be enough to offset all the nutted value they will have here.

Aug. 4, 2020 | 7:04 p.m.

I think you should call turn and check-call any non-club non-ace river.

Villain opens 23% CO and folds about half the time to 3bets. Given that range plus the check-raise and turn barrel, I would expect them to have a range like this on the turn (The suited combos here are all club combos):

On this board texture, this range is pretty heavily made up of flush draws with some overs. A majority of the flushdraws contain an A. There are also some combos of sets and overpairs, as well as a few low frequency bluffs that are just 2 overs (which also contain an A).

Sometimes I think we just have to call-call-lose to QQ+, sets, but given this texture/turn run out villain can just have too many equity-driven bluffs for us to fold here IMO. I also don't think shoving makes sense because we have no FE vs good flush draws and anything that beats us is not folding.

We may get some protection from 87s, AQo AKo by check-shoving turn, but that is just such a small portion of villain's range and it may be higher EV to check-call check-call vs those portions anyway since we can induce an additional bluff on the river whenever the A,K,Q doesn't roll off.

Aug. 4, 2020 | 6:58 p.m.

Fold. once you bet i think we gotta fold to this raise. Just gonna be mostly 2p+. This type of V can def have AK but with our blockers that is only 6 combos and they have plentyyyy of available better hands here.

Aug. 3, 2020 | 2:30 p.m.

As played i think your flop shove is fine. The Ah is actually a pretty key blocker because many of the flushes CO can flop will have an A in them. The combination of your raw equity + fold equity should make this a profitable jam.

However, you said you would “usually” just call A9 here preflop rather than isolate. I would suggest you always just call and start isolating ATo+. It has a pretty significant jump in equity and also you are going to have poor preflop fold equity with the iso at these stakes/vs these opponents. If they are not folding why not just have a much stronger iso range and just take the pot odds call with these weaker hands?

Aug. 3, 2020 | 2:25 p.m.

you can't deny equity from high equity hands, if someone is holding a
pair + draw, strong fd or combo draw then you're not folding them off
this hand by the river so they're going to find out if they hit and
draw out on you so wouldn't you rather use position to realise your
equity and only play a big pot once you're sure that your hand wants

This concept is also what has helped me to play a much better strategy. Prior to really thinking about things in this way, I would consider a bet to have a "protection" component on earlier streets, even when it had 0 FE against the combos I wanted "protection" against. The problem with having too high of a betting frequency on these boards with that mental framework is that the hands I thought I was "protecting" from are actually mostly just calling and we end up folding out a bunch of air/draws that could easily shift into a bluffing mode once we don't cbet. Rather than gaining "protection" you're really just funneling villain into only getting to later streets with a strong range, and you are capping your own upside ($EV).

Don't just x back a strong value hand because pio told you to, if the
most reliable way for you to grow the pot is to value bet then this
should be your primary option, pio will not x back strong value vs
loose passive players either, but you want to be paying attention to
see if they are presenting you with the right incentives to play like
this sometimes.


DNegs98 's above post contains a ton of super, super useful information. Thanks for sharing all of that!

July 27, 2020 | 4:38 p.m.

Comment | Douggyfr3sh commented on c3bi sd OTT

Agree with other comments, I think XC is better on flop. Calling the turn is extra problematic IMO because villain will be overpair heavy getting to turn and can also have some 2 overs + FD combos, so our equity against that range is terrible. I think villain's bluffs will have quite a lot of equity.

OTR pot is 74bb and you have to call 64bb giving pot odds of ~32%. Let's add 1% for rake and make it 33%.

Vs a range of 66+ we only have 26% and it's a fold.

If we add in some 2 overs + diamonds combos like AK,AQ,AJ,AT,KQ,KJ,KT,QT we have about 31.8% equity and calling is essentially breakeven or slightly losing.

July 23, 2020 | 4:54 p.m.

Comment | Douggyfr3sh commented on trip get raise OTR

I agree with zinom but would add that even if villain basically never bluffs, we probably still have equity against his merged value hands (worse 9x such as 98, 97). We are dealing with a narrow range so just having a few combos of merged value we beat is probably good enough on it's own to merit a call. I also agree that those hands shouldn't be checking back turn, but also, this line basically doesn't make any sense with any combo of hand in the deck. Fish do weird stuff and it's possible for this player to have some merged value here.

EDIT: I am curious why OP chose to check turn here. Why not barrel for value?

July 22, 2020 | 4:55 p.m.

Comment | Douggyfr3sh commented on call or jam FH OTR

Totally agree here don’t see much merit to it

July 22, 2020 | 2:31 p.m.

Comment | Douggyfr3sh commented on call or jam FH OTR

Ahhh you’re right my bad!!! That obviously makes the 3bet way better but i think the approach/process still makes sense and is a good way to analyze the spot

July 22, 2020 | 2:30 p.m.

Comment | Douggyfr3sh commented on call or jam FH OTR

It’s not, because hero is playing against a human and not a GTO bot. I think hero basically just needs to combinatorically determine how many Qx villain or pool has here vs how many 77, KQ etc. if more than 50% of villains range is Qx its a raise.

77 and KQ is only 9 combos and as long as villain has all AQ that is 8 combos alone, so just based off that it is a raise OTR imo.


I wanted to add some more here because I feel what I posted above is not the full picture. Villain does not only need to have enough weaker combos in their range, but they need to call a raise with enough of them. I don't think it's unreasonable to consider that villain will fold many of their weaker trips to a river 3bet.

Example- let's construct a simple toy game type of situation for this river. Let's say villain's range with their range is entirely made up of trips+. We can give them AQ, QJs, QTs, KQ and 77.

Now, let's say they only call a river 3bet with AQ, KQ, and 77.

KQ= 12
77= 3

AQ= 8

In this toy game, our raise only beats villain's calling range 8/23 of the time, so we are torching money with a river raise.

Now, what if villain also calls with their QJs and QTs?


we win when our 3bet is called 12/27 so our 3bet is still torching money and we should just call.


Do people really just call turn with top 2 pair here? Probably not always. We can probably somewhat discount our opponents KQ holdings because of this. If we cut them down by half:

KQ = 6
77 = 3
Value = 9


Our river 3bet wins when called 12/21 of the time. 3betting river is a bit better than just calling.

Obviously the more you discount KQ due to previous street actions, the better 3betting is, and if you think CO can take this line with the offsuit QJ and QT combos, the river 3bet starts to become very very attractive.

the decision to 3bet hinges on the following:
-How loose is CO preflop (do they have Offsuit QT, QJ)
- How passive will they be on turn with top 2? Do they mostly just call?

Either play (just calling or 3betting) could be correct, depending on how our opponent plays their range here on previous streets.

Running a solve and then saying "raise because solver said so" is not the solution.

July 22, 2020 | 12:48 p.m.

Ah yes you are probably right. I don’t
Care enough to re-run the sim and will take your word for it. Perhaps the KTs is more marginal
And less bad than i initially thought. Still seems a little loose but is not so far outside of ICM like i thought it was. Thx

July 22, 2020 | 12:39 p.m.


I am working on constructing exploitative preflop ranges based on database analysis over a decent hand sample (150k ish hands, growing by 5-10k hands per week)

My next goal is to construct Hero 3bet ranges vs. RFI for every position/formation. I have PIO (Edge), CREV, power-equilab, flopzilla, and H2N. I do not have monker but could be convinced to buy it if that's what I need for what I want to do, but it seems like CREV might be a good tool. I don't know how to use it, though. Basically, I want to describe below what I am trying to do, and an wondering what the right tool is. If CREV will work, I would like to hire someone who is an expert with this tool to coach me for 1-2 hours on how to do this. If I need Monker to do this, I'l get it and also would like to hire someone to teach me that if needed.

So here's what I want to do:
-Enter pool RFI range for a position, e.g. CO
-Leave my PF flat/3bet ranges empty, solve for this (e.g. BTN vs CO)
-Enter pool's response ranges to when I 3bet- What hands they call, 4bet, fold.
-Solve for my 3bet and possibly flatting range. I am OK with using a postflop abstraction but need to at the least be able to apply equity realization factors to my range to solve for what I should 3bet exploitatively. If possible, I would also like to solve for how I should respond to 4bets after I 3bet, given known pool ranges.

Is CREV a good tool to accomplish something like this? Do I need to run a full preflop solve in something like Monker instead? If Monker is needed, can I apply specific ranges for preflop actions and allow the solver to play GTO postflop and use realization factors?


July 20, 2020 | 2:18 p.m.

Thanks for your input zinom1 and BigFiszh!!

For now, I am going to stick to using the canned equity realization profiles in Power-Equilab. They seem pretty good and fine for now. Maybe when I have a massive sample I can get more accurate data from my DB and tweak them.

I was able to construct vs. 3bet ranges for every spot using a mix of H2N and these realization profiles, and found that I had been peeling way too wide vs. preflop 3bets in a bunch of spots. Now I can be confident that every hand in my range vs. 3bets is profitable, even after rake and equity realization is considered.

I personally would prefer to construct my own ranges rather than grab a GTO solution for a few reasons.
1- Pools don't play GTO, not even close, even preflop.
2- I need to understand the why behind my ranges to perform well in game. "Because a solver said so" is just not going to work for me.

July 20, 2020 | 1:16 p.m.


I am trying to transition into mostly cash after playing primarily MTTs for many years. I have plenty of cash game experience and understand all fundamentals/GTO principles etc. I understand the idea of Equity Realization, and have used the concept in MTTs mostly for constructing BB Defend ranges. In cash though, I struggle with how to apply EQR to range construction for spots like calling 3bets preflop, and calling cbets OOP.

I feel like I'm a little behind the curve in terms of best tools and processes to study EQR in these spots. In the past I have used power-equilab to apply EQR profiles to BB defend spots, and a similar approach could be used for other spots, but I am wondering:

-Are there better tools for EQR? Can PIO provide EQR values for specific combos?
-Are there good resources/videos on how to determine EQR for various hand combos preflop and postflop?
-Is there a way to do DB analysis to get actual EQR numbers from my sample of hands for specific combos?


July 17, 2020 | 2:43 p.m.

I didn't read all the replies, but wanted to share my thoughts:

I think folding is fine, flatting is reasonable, and 3bet/folding specifically AJo and KQo in this formation is likely to be better than flatting in a lot of softer environments, but really depends on the tendencies of your pool and the specific opponent. If they are going to fold a significant chunk of their range pre if you 3b, and continue to make lots of mistakes postflop OOP after calling a 3bet, then I would lean toward a 3bet. There are a lot of advantages to doing so, it uncaps your range and increases your EQR simply because of having a stronger perceived range. I would prefer to flat hands like KQs and AJs and 3bet the OS combos because it's much harder to realize with those in an SRP.

If you aren't confident the hand will be profitable as a 3bet, I would prefer a fold over a flat with these combos.

July 17, 2020 | 2:39 p.m.

I am fairly confident I set up the sim correctly to get $EV ICM ranges. Regardless, it seems pretty clear that there is no reasonable range we can give Ben which would result in this call being + $EV based on the ICM framework.

I think it's fair to say that this is just a mistake, but I also know that ICM is not a perfect model and that it's pretty likely high level pros are building their own models and there may even be proprietary solvers out there that use these more advanced models. I have not run an FGS sim on this spot, but feel pretty comfortable saying that FGS 1,2, or 3 would not sway Ape's range dramatically here, not enough to make KTs + $EV.

If I try to just use "card sense" to analyze the spot, I also can't really come up with any qualitative value Ape gets out of making this call which would lie outside of an ICM framework. At first, I was thinking maybe there is some outlying value here for Ape to increase his stack and bust the shorty, because then Zazano on his right can't keep punishing him as much with opens from BTN/CO. Zazano had been very active and doing a good job of leveraging the chip lead in this FT, but I don't think Ape increasing his stack by 10-11bb and busting Ben really changes much there. Zazano still has a major lead and stacks would still be situated such that he could continue to punish everyone else. Probably just a mistake I guess.

July 14, 2020 | 3:43 p.m.

Hey Y'all,

I was watching some coverage Joe Ingram did of a recent SCOOP final table, and one hand between BenCB and Apestyles looked like it was just a clear ICM punt call-off by Ape. I ran it in HRC, and HRC seems to agree it is a punt, but Apestyles is world-class and I consider him to be one of the best MTT players in the world, which makes me think I am just misunderstanding something in this spot:

Here, Ben makes what I would consider to be a pretty standard jam given his stack. Ape quickly calls off here. When I saw this, I felt that seemed like way too wide to call off, and when I run it in HRC that confirms.

HRC gives Ben a nash range here like this:

Given this range, Ape needs to call off extremely tight. Even if we give Ben a more "human" range of:

Ape's calling range should look like this:

But he calls off here with the KTs, which seems like just torching EV/Money.

I just had to make this post because I can't help but think that I am missing something. Is this really just a straightforward ICM fold and Ape made a mistake, or does it become a clear call with FGS considerations or something like that? Thanks!

July 10, 2020 | 2:07 p.m.

Hi Bryan, I am looking for this too I will PM you!

June 25, 2020 | 2:52 p.m.

Hey Jeff,

I have this problem sometimes too. Exercise and Meditation help me a lot, but especially strength training exercises, which I have recently started doing before session. I used to do light exercising, yoga, but since I have started lifting more heavy weights and doing squats that has really helped me be more calm. I play MTTs and try to do a few squats/push ups etc. on 5-minute break and that seems to help.

On top of this, I think it is really important to have a "WHY". Why do you play poker? It can be a very tough and lonely game, and in those low times you need something motivating you and driving you to avoid anxiety/tilt/sadness etc.

I have been playing poker for about 14 years, first off recreationally, but for 8-10 years seriously and working to be better. I still struggle with anxiety from time to time, and I find that it is mostly when I know deep down I shouldn't be playing a session or that it is going to be problematic if I go deep and don't get enough sleep. (reading between the lines here, basically what I'm saying is any night I grind MTTs when I have to work the next day I get anxiety).

Hope some of this might be helpful

June 25, 2020 | 2:52 p.m.

I'm Still Here

I feel like a zombie. Like I drank a fifth of whiskey and then slept on a hardwood floor for an hour. Yesterday's Sunday Session was one of those "this is why I play the game" days.

I had been downswinging for a while. I was down to my last table in a session full of close calls, sitting at roughly break even for the day. I was tanking every decision trying to squeak my way into a mincash with a 4bb stack on the bubble in a $40 rebuy. I had some close calls, snagging a 10th and 7th in some smaller events.

I was able to squeak in that mincash, and then through patience and picking good spots, I kept my head above water and just barely surviving as I laddered up in my last event. I built a decent stack and held onto it until around 50 left, where I lost a big all-in and was back down to 2bb. A couple hours later, I snagged 2nd place for a $9k score!

The last time I was having really good success online was in sept-oct last year, and I have basically been downswinging since then. Between that and taking a bunch of money out of my roll to pay debt, I've been playing on a pretty short roll. This score is huge in that I now have an actual bankroll again and can play a little bigger.

COVID Got Real

Very shortly after my last post, COVID got real. The RIU Reno trip I was planning to take was botched, and I obviously am not playing Live poker any more. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm also feeling real good about being back to my roots of playing online MTTs.

Last week was the best week of study I've put in this year. I studied 3-4 hours every night and didn't play until the weekend. I'm gonna try to keep that up and I'm as motivated as ever to work on my game and become a better player. This week, I will be focusing my efforts entirely on studying exploitative reshoving ranges. As long as I get in some good hours, next week I will be able to graduate to postflop study.


Now that I'm (hopefully) going to be studying more consistently and playing less, and have sort of a roll to leverage, I feel like it's time to execute at a level at or near my full potential. I've been working on mental game concepts as well and building consistent pre-session warmups that have helped me execute more confidently in-game.

For a few years now I've felt like one of my biggest over-arching leaks is my inability to consistently perform at the highest level I'm capable of. I want to brush that shit to the side and start beasting. Let's go.

June 8, 2020 | 4:17 p.m.

Super interesting thread, read about 75% of it before realizing it was 6 yrs old!

While some of the concepts discussed are a bit dated at this point, I think there is still some super useful takeaways.

The thing I found surprising reading through this is all of the discussion centering around LAG vs TAG. I kind of feel like in 2020 that is a false dichotomy and that the best players could be described as "TAG" in some stages of the tournament and shift their strategy to what could be considered "LAG" in other stages.

I have always felt min cashing is pretty important in tournaments, more so than most of my peers. It seems like over the years the trend has been that people are starting to value the mincash a bit more. I think in general the right approach to MTTs is to have a more "TAG" approach all the way up to the bubble, then shift to what could be called "LAG" from the bubble all the way to final few tables or final table, and from there on you are basically at the mercy of ICM and your stack size dictates a lot.

Once you achieve the mincash, a tournament (pretty much any tournament) is just going to be extremely volatile all the way up to FT or Final 2-4 tables depending on structure. In this phase volatility needs to be embraced and you kind of have to just go for it. As soon as the bubble bursts, strategies should and do shift dramatically.

June 5, 2020 | 9:15 p.m.

As a winning small-mid MTTer on the softer US sites who considers himself to be somewhere between a standard TAG and very good TAG, I think this post totally nails it.

"it's criminal not to take any substantially +EV play provided it surpasses the threshold of profitability with tourney life factored in" -THIS

June 5, 2020 | 3:57 p.m.

Yup totally agree with Jae Kim here. I would add that at this level I think you can use a very exploitable strategy with your raise sizing and increase it significantly with top of range here. I think the pool is going to tend to see flops too wide vs a really large isolation here. You could go like 5x (2500) which will achieve more isolation, result in more heads up pots, and still get too many limp-calls from the limper. You can also convert a bunch of thin raising hands that have good playability into overlimps here (since with those hands you don't have incentive to use the much larger iso size, and you're not gonna get many limp-folds).

June 5, 2020 | 2:43 p.m.

In my opinion, there is no theoretically "correct" re-entry strategy. A lot of it is personal preference and depends on a lot of factors.

There are, however, some fundamental rules I think people should keep in mind when deciding.

  1. Re-Entering should be considered entering a brand new tournament. So, if you bust an $11, and you can re-enter for another $11, you simply need to ask yourself if that is a +EV investment to enter a brand new $11 tournament and start with 30bb. You shouldn't consider it as making a $22 investment into a tournament that everyone else got to enter for $11, and if you did think about it that way, it would basically never make sense to re-enter (you would need >100% ROI)

  2. Your Re-Entering strategy should be dynamic. I hate one-size-fits-all rules, and it doesn't make sense for your Re-Entry policy. I wouldn't say "I will re-enter if I have at least 30bb". I would factor in my stack size if I re-enter, structure (how fast blinds increase), how many tables I already have up and if I have room for another, what implications does re-entering have on the future EV of my schedule for that day (If I re-enter this $11, does that mean I can't play the $22 that starts in 30 mins because I am at max tables)? And lastly how good I am feeling for the day. If I re-enter and bust again, is that going to effect my performance later on in my other events? If the answer to that is ever yes, don't re enter.

At the end of the day, your decision to re-enter really boils down to whether or not it is a +EV investment you are willing to take. IMO never re-entering is fine and many people do this. Re-entering the same event 4-5 times can also be fine if it's very soft and your 5th entry is still +EV.

June 4, 2020 | 3:48 p.m.

My thoughts:

As BB you should just be abiding by the leveraged equilibrium and understand you just need to fold a lot. I don't really see benefit in widening your range just to spite SB as this is lighting your own money on fire and you don't gain anything.

As SB, vs an unknown BB, I would start with the leveraged wide-range equilibrium. Vs a known BB who is calling too wider or as you gain evidence they will call wide, I would tighten my range and overfold relative to equilibrium because you can't stop BB torching both of your equity.

There are some edge cases. If everyone at the FT is weak except BB who is world class, and you slightly cover them or have same stack, there is a lot of implied value in busting them because then you have a much bigger lead vs the remaining field who are weak. If BB is going to consistently build and make good decisions vs the field, but is happy to torch both of your EV's vs your SB jams, maybe you should just YOLO and keep hammering on BB and be willing to risk tournament life with thinner EV shoves, maybe even shoves that are -EV without considering Future Game States.

June 4, 2020 | 3:36 p.m.

Cold Turkey Live Trip

Hey Everyone!

I haven't posted for quite some time. There are a few reasons for this. For one, I have been chatting in a private slack group and getting my fill of documenting my journey through that. Another reason, however, is that I have been trying really hard to quit nicotine cold turkey again, and didn't want to post until I had accomplished it. I have done it!

As of today, it has been about 30 days since I last had nicotine, and I am officially considering myself quit at this point. As a reward to myself, I am booking a trip to Run it UP Reno in April! I have been wanting to make this trip for 3 years and really looking forward to it. I might be blowing most/all of my bankroll if the trip doesn't go well, but that's fine. Easy come easy go and all that.

I've been taking a bit of a break from online and playing a lot more live, and have been enjoying the live game quite a lot lately. My hourly is quite good over a meaningless sample, and my main goals for now are to grind enough hours to have a meaningful sample of live (this is pretty hard to do, I'll just play as many hours as I can) and to consistently study and get more into the post flop solver grind.

There aren't many live games to choose from here in ME- I play high rake $1/3 at the only casino in the state, and some $1/2 home games, and the occasional $2/5 home game, but that doesn't run very often. I would love to grind up $12k or so and then start taking weekend trips to Encore Boston to grind $2/5- that's kind of what I'm targeting for now.

For the next month I will be trying to study on weeknights and just grinding live most weekends as I prepare for the RIU trip. It feels a little ironic that a few months ago I was grinding MTTs way too much, grinding my face off, and now when I have a live MTT trip coming up, I'm only playing cash and not really studying or playing MTTs. I feel pretty confident that I'm taking the incentivized path here though, and playing live is good for getting some reps in with "live reads" and leaks that are unique to live play - such as people over VPIP'ing because they get bored only playing 20 hands/hr (this is a leak for me also).

GL out there- if anyone is going to RIU Reno holla at me!

Feb. 24, 2020 | 3:31 p.m.

Hey, my RFI range is based on suggested ranges from various MTT training courses, but yes IIRC I did set the 3b defend range based on HRC. I don't have monker so that's the best I can do. Also, because this is simply an experiment to get a feel for how ICM effets our 3bet and flop ranges, I don't think we need perfect GTO preflop ranges to accomplish that goal. HRC is letting us realize our equity post in both spots, so it will still give us a reasonable idea of how ICM effects our overall strategy.

EDIT: having said that, I agree with you that a true full-tree solve taking into account our postflop realization, etc. would be much better. Eventually I'll get around to learning Monker ;). I wish HRC would at least allow us to define realization factors to each combo in our range sort of like how Power-Equilab does - seems like that would be very doable and would make these types of sims much more accurate. Would be a cool way to do quick experimentation and achieve higher accuracy and could be done much faster than a "true solve"

Jan. 15, 2020 | 6:43 p.m.

Very easy flop fold as played. Agree you should be folding pre. FWIW I personally think that the same iso with 54s is fine this deep assuming villains will make plenty of postflop mistakes.

If we give both villains the below range (the suited combos are Hearts only -e.g. all nut flush draws + KQhh + 67,78hh), we have 27% equity. This is not the worst-case or the best-case scenario (I gave them both 88,99 just to make the spot not the worst case) and we have to fold. I think giving them both 88-99 is generous here and they probably have an even stronger range than that:

Dec. 30, 2019 | 8:33 p.m.

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