HawksWin's avatar


972 points

Yeah, I can't think of better study than knowing what everyday opponents/pools are doing. If we know what someone/pool is going to do in a spot, doesn't get much easier to play against.

I look at it this way: I have my own business and I have figured out how to keep my own business practices in check and on point. Don't need to really spend much time on that anymore right? So now, it is time to figure out how my competitions inner workings/profit margins/customer service strategies/etc. works so I can figure out how to start crushing them right? I already know that what I do works time to figure out what they do. I think you are starting to understand the workings of your own game and are working to plug leaks. Your opponents are putting out a plethora of information and it is there for the taking and using. I would prioritize that over spending countless hours looking at solver grids and HH's.

June 13, 2021 | 1:41 a.m.

That's awesome. Bad Ass Win!!!!! How old were you then? Its crazy that was like 15 years go.

Totally get it with the home life > poker. Single guy, who cares about travel, time, etc.

Anyway, just wanted to confirm if it was you and keep up the good work here.

June 13, 2021 | 1:36 a.m.

Steve Paul This is a stupid question, but you are the same Steven Paul (Ambrose) that won that WPT even correct? I remember the episode, you were in some tropical place right?

I have a high confidence that it is you, but want to be sure.

June 13, 2021 | 12:52 a.m.

In addition to this, if you aren't reviewing lots of hands against guys you are developing history with, you are leaving a ton of EV and $$$$$$$ on the table.

For example, you are up against a guy that just check/folds an excessive amount of the time over a reasonable sample. How do you apply that godsend of information if yo u don't have a specific note about what is going on? It can be as simple as "Check/Folds a Ton". So, when we bet vs this guy 100% of the time and he raises us once we just fold. If you know he is x/folding 75% of the time, we win the pot uncontested 75% of the time and we lose a bet with our bluffing range once in a while. Remember, we are also betting our value 100% vs this guy to so it is not like we always bet flop and fold later streets when he check/calls or check/raises.

June 13, 2021 | 12:45 a.m.

I used to play WPN. I Have been considering depositing there again and testing the waters. I think, with the database work I have immersed myself in with Ignitions Pool, that developing player specific stuff vs guys I can note-up postflop will be pretty simple too. The advantage of seeing the hole cards on Ignition is immense and you can use that info more efficiently. Against something like WPN, I would focus on designing player specific stuff and also focusing on trying to get to indifference with betting based on their folding %'s in all of the main lines.

June 13, 2021 | 12:40 a.m.

Wow good to know. Didn't know they closed to NY players but I have kind of been out of the loop for awhile.

BUT, the same leaks permeate through all sites and most stakes up the medium stakes games. All you have to do is study the players you have a sample on and also create pool filters in HM3 or PT4. If you need help with this, I can help you with that. Once you know that pool probes 29% and you are facing a probe from a guy with 3000 hands on that probes 67%, probably have an exploit there and can apply the exploit accordingly. If you think PIO is going to probe 67%, the the guy probing 29% presents are very simple exploit.

June 13, 2021 | 12:34 a.m.

That is the thing, he (if he is a thinking player) is raising into a well protected range. I think the pool can have enough worse value here. I do agree that bluffs are rare here.

As for KQ, not sure I like the blocking effects enough to favor it over TT.

June 13, 2021 | 12:24 a.m.

Not sure about checking the turn completely unblocking clubs. Still plenty of Ax and FD's present that I am not all that happy checking to.

June 13, 2021 | 12:07 a.m.

I disagree. There is no pool in poker much easier to read than Ignition, even when we don't know specific players. There are a hole host of guys in this pool that will 4b a ton of Kx suited. Against those guys, this is a slam dunk call. Against the volatile type, this is a slam dunk call. Against solid regs, there can be debate. But I still think some solid regs are going to make the assumption that the A helped you on the river and check/jam K9s/KJs/KQs/QJcc/44 if he ever bluffs it, etc.

June 13, 2021 | 12:03 a.m.

I assume this is BB 3b and you call IP right. Looks like it based off pot size.

I think he has QJ/KQ here at least some of the time. I think QJ is incentivized to bet flop. QJcc is incentivized to call turn, honestly, this pool can and will have all QJ here. So, he has 8 combos of AK and 4 combos of KQs/KJs. We need to find a few dominated combos. QJcc is for sure in there. If he ever 3b KQo or even mix it pre, there are a few combos. He might continue all QJ. What if it is one of the aggro guys that are becoming more prevalent and turns 44 into bluff pre? We can't add KTs to his range because he can't have it here. The case T is a diamond and the Kd is on the board.

I am interested to see the cards once you download them. This feels very close. I feel like we will win often enough to go with it here. Either way it is a pretty close.

June 12, 2021 | 11:58 p.m.

I don't do it vs min squeezes. All we end up doing is inviting CO to call his 52s (not saying its a good play, but we all know how poor the call ranges are).

I am raising that min squeeze every time unless I am closing action. Even then, not doing it with with AKs.

June 12, 2021 | 11:42 p.m.

I am concerned with your lead. Not the in position players action. He has to bet if we check. The photo you had up was for the IP decision, if you click back to OOP action, TT is a pure bet on the river where T9 pure checks.

He seemed surprised that TT best river and T9 doesn't. That board is dry from the rainbow standpoint but kind of dangerous when considering how many combos flopped nutted here (all sets and straights are quite invulnerable). So, I think IP can take more passive lines looking to let your weak stuff catch up. So, him having all 3 combos of 999 here is quite important to the grand scheme of things. Your removal is worse with T9s than with TT since both cards interact. So, being that he has all 3 combos of 99, PIO will choose to bet with TT vs T9 here.

June 12, 2021 | 11:38 p.m.

Aren't you the OOP player in that hand? Going to go back and look. Didn't you c bet flop, check turn and then bet river OOP?

June 12, 2021 | 11:23 p.m.

Ugh.....yeah, don't donk flop. If he was 60/20 after 500 hands, could be different.

Folding turn. Only good card(s) for us are the 5 and the A. Spades bad, 2 pair outs REALLY bad.

June 12, 2021 | 4:26 p.m.

It is a horrid board but we do unblock diamond draws so I guess it is perfectly fine. With you having different suits, this spot would become more challenging (by this I mean when we have the Ad, etc.)

June 12, 2021 | 4:20 p.m.

This deep I kind of like to be a bit more polar with my 4 bets. I would personally 4 bet QQ+, AK and then a few logical combos in this spot have some balance ( A5s/A4s/AJo). I am not saying 4 betting is bad, I just approach it differently when deeper.

As played, an argument can be made for betting flop small, I guess checking is fine too. Turn is essentially a blank (he can have 99 here along with 76s on occasion but it is a small % of the range). If we call turn, not sure we can fold getting that price on that brick river. This is based off your read that this guy attacks weakness here. How are you playing the top of your range here? Like AQ+? Do you take this like with AQ+.

How many hands of history do you have with this guy? Looks like 3b is 18%? 100bb deep I think I just 4b all in vs a guy like this with JJ+ and AK mixing in smaller 4 bets with the top our our range since he will bluff off (again, going by your read). We capitalize on fold equity and also substantial equity denial.

June 12, 2021 | 4:17 p.m.

Not a fan of just flatting once the BTN cold dink squeezes.

Congrats on the Royal Flush :) I just hit one last week too. Also hit a straight flush last week.

June 12, 2021 | 3:59 p.m.

So with the combination of fold equity gained by jamming + getting to see all 5 cards when called, it will typically be better to get it in. You basically have to just get used to the fact that you will run bad sometimes and run into AA/KK but you are also going to collect so much dead $$$$ and get called by flips/worse that in the long run it will work out. Remember, AK has to improve, if we 4 bet small with QQ+, we get to flops where we flop overpairs 50% or better and don't have to improve.

June 12, 2021 | 3:56 p.m.

In a very broad way, your approach is going in the right direction.

A few pointers:

1) Be very selective about your c betting frequencies from OOP. This is typically a huge leak. Most solver sims are c betting 35% or less from OOP in aggregate. Board texture, stack dynamic, etc. will play a roll. My pool calls IP entirely too much (16%-20% depending on the position of the opener). My sims are pool specific and the betting OOP is closer to 30% over 300+ different boards. What ends up happening is if we c bet too much, we get to the turn with too many combos, then we force another bet then have to check/fold too much on rivers. Or we get called on the flop and have to check/fold vs turn bet (not as big of a leak).

1a) I would structure my betting range as TP2ndKicker+ and then the best equity driven bluffs and then work my way down to a point where I am somewhat balanced (as long as they are folding and you have a relatively well structured range, we can bluff a few combos of hopeless junk since they will have folds on the flop.

2) Bet a lot vs their checks. You call in BB vs a SB open. They check, force yourself to bet. They check/fold a ton. They c bet entirely too much OOP so when they check it is "typically" a weak hand that will fold flop or x/c flop and x/f turns. If you encounter a regular who starts to counter this strategy, we can re-adjust too him. IF you are playing in anonymous sites, I would just keep after it and accept that I will run into guys sometimes who play their checking range well.

3) Be willing to bet/fold often. Be reluctant to bet/call vs their aggression. The pools are pretty passive and aggression beyond c bets is quite unbalanced towards value. Of course, with reads we can adjust.

4) Really focus on position. I would be inclined to tighten up quite a bit from UTG and MP also and then make up for that tightness from the CO/BTN by opening wider. Also, look at your play in BB vs SB. This is the only spot where we have position and are forced to invest a whole chip into the pot.

5) I like your strategy with medium strength hands by playing them as a check/call.

6) This is totally obvious but you can be much more liberal with the c bets IP. So, we are quite tight OOP with our betting strategy but very liberal IP with our c betting strategy. You can filter your database to get your c betting % and success rate both IP and OOP. Most players will have a c bet success rate of 39% to 45% from OOP. If we are betting 65% from OOP and only getting folds 45% of the time, we are doing it too much.

7) I would usually recommend picking a spot and really focusing in on it instead of looking at c bets OOP one day and then doing something else the next day. The first spot I worked on was BB vs SB in single raised pots. I spent all my time on that spot and looking at how my BB range interacted with the SB's opening range on different boards. I was able to increase my winrate (actually we are always going to lose $$$ from the BB, so increasing winrate = decreasing loss rate) by 10bb. Simply put in your BB call range and then put in the SB open range into an equity calculator and start dropping random flops and see which ones are better for you (when equities are quite similar for both players) and which ones are worse (he has an equity edge based on texture and his naturally stronger range). Remember he has big pairs and all of the big cards and your range is limited/often dominated by his range. By this I mean he has AK/KQ/AA/KK/AQ on a AQ3 board. Your best A will be something like AJo/ATs so when facing bets, he will often have you dominated.

8) That being said, domination is a very important concept to understand. We want to have domination (get called by lots of 2nd bests hands) and avoid domination (calling with 2nd best hands). When we can say "he has 12+ combos of dominating value", we should fold. When we can say "he has 9+ combos that are dominated and are easy calls for him" we should continue. Seems obvious but understanding how this words is SUPER important.

In short, post hands here, post your thoughts and there are a ton of great players here that are very generous with their time/effort to help you improve your game and though process. Welcome in to the forums!!!!

June 12, 2021 | 3:52 p.m.

RunItTw1ce Well done my friend. All that work you are putting in is working out quite well. I like the format. The T9dd hand and the AA bet/fold river hands we the most interesting IMO. I think the solver is probably checking more on river since we block the presence of 99 in his range so TT will bet more often than T9 since we unblock the 3 combos of 99. Not sure how the line went or if it makes sense for him to have 99 in the line but that is probably the explanation.

Steve Paul Love the format. So easy to follow with the consistency of the table (pausing live play gets confusing to me sometimes. I think this format is awesome if players send you filtered out spots like "turn probe opportunity" or "river probe opportunity" or "raise c bet opportunity in BB vs SB" or 'check/raise opportunity".

RunItTw1ce and I have done some pool work with a few other guys in Discord and we have the overall %'s down pretty well for the Ignition pool through running the spots in Hand 2 Note and having a massive sample.

All in all, great video and keep up the good work!!

June 12, 2021 | 2:22 p.m.

Yeah, I like the effect of blockers when I 3 bet plus big cards are just better. We can outflop their calling range better with AJo than we can with 65s. If they are calling 3 bets up to JJ, we have 1/2 overcards with AJo and can win pots with pairs. With 65s, we have to hit some specific boards. I still 3b connectors roughly 25%, or one combo of each connector. I use spades as my randomizer, so if I have 65s, face a BTN open, I will 3 bet it. You can use RNG too.

One of the problems with chart based play vs pool based play is that, for example, my pool Steals from BTN under 38% where a GTO opening chart will open 43%+. So this simply means that they have less garbage in their range. Less Garbage = Less Folds.

June 8, 2021 | 3:03 p.m.

Winrate When 3b SB vs BTN

This is my winrate in BB/100 and EV BB/100. I am breakeven in the spot which is massive when compared to the alternative. I am running -8bb/100 in EV so strict run bad over the course of a pretty big sample.

The other thing to consider is how often you get 4b but 4 bets are pretty easy to play against in the small takes arena IMO.

June 8, 2021 | 2:14 p.m.

Essentially what you are doing is determining the break even point based on the bet size. If he folds 68% or more, we auto profit by 3 betting. The problem with this preflop is that I have never found a spot where I print $$$$ by making a 3b preflop. We profit from the combination of their poor calls which lead to poor plays post flop combined with the actual amount that they fold. So the combination of the two things makes it massively profitable to 3b.

If you have PT4, I would create quick filters and save them for each position. Like, say you are in MP and UTG 2.5x. I would filter for this spot and add the "3 bet Success" stat to a report to get the actual % of the time they raise first in and fold to 3b. There are other variables in play which you have to account for (for the 3b to be successful, we need CO/BTN/SB/BB and UTG to all fold). Essentially, the fold to 3b ranges vary from about 27% (UTG fold vs MP 3b) on up to BTN's folding as much as 1/2 the time vs 3bets from the button.

Once you get a feel for how successful your 3 bets are, you can start to construct ranges around that. Or, to make things easier, you can find a plethora or ranges online (Upswing has free downloadable charts, I have heard good things about Zenith, etc.).

Below shows you how to filter for BTN open and us 3 betting SB and then the 2nd link should how often I 3b and also how often it is successful (win pot preflop). I 3 bet buttons 16% and I am successful 48% of the time. What does this mean? I am much more likely to keep my top end value range intact and then begin to slowly start to add logical bluffs so that I am getting a ton of folds with my bluffs (stuff like KQo, ATo, Axo, KJo, etc). My top end range stays intact so that I can play more efficiently vs 4 bets (can fold the garbage and not think twice or jam most of my value).

I am running horribly over this sample but I am winning compared to the alternative which is a winrate of -50bb/100 if we always folded our SB vs a Steal. To be honest, I think 16% is a bit too high still so I am trying to drive it down a few % points.

Filter for SB 3b vs BTN

Filter Results

June 8, 2021 | 2:10 p.m.

Comment | HawksWin commented on Real vs Solver

I guess a couple of general questions will help us start to narrow this down for you:

1) SB 3b ranges are fairly easy and straightforward but what is the range you plugged in for SB?

2) CO call range is more tricky because these pools typically defend entirely too often. What is the range you used for CO? Do you have reads on this guy/pool? I usually include one combo of each AA/KK/QQ since they do play them as calls a small % of the time. A cool thing to do is to run a sim with them included and a sim where they are not in there. Typically, most sims don't have AA/KK/QQ/AK/etc in them because it is assumed they will always 4 bet them.

3) How many bet sizes did you assign for each street? This is important since we can compare the EV's of the different bet sizes and can make some simplifications (I have zero problem going with a 33% sizing here). Often times (not always of course) the ev difference between 2-3 bet sizes is very very small, so simplifying makes sense.

I would say you have range advantage here but he probably has the nut advantage (I think he will easily have all sets here where you might not have 77/55 all the time in your SB 3b Range). If you do have it in there, then the nutted portions of your ranges will be the same.

June 7, 2021 | 3:44 p.m.

I am snapping river.

I would worry less about the raise size in relation to his really poor bet, I would raise it up much higher here on the flop. There are three ranges in play here and they are full of hands we can get fat value from. I honestly think I would pot it here on the flop (or least somewhere close to pot).

He should never really have sets here so his range is AQ maybe some Q9s and then the two pairs. Cant rule out spaz moves with AA/AK completely. We essentially need to be right 3 times out of ten and I can't imagine we don't hit that mark.

June 6, 2021 | 6:14 p.m.

1st hand QQ-Mostly 4 betting pre. I think I am pretty much 4 betting QQ+, AKs and
probably my A5s combos or something like that. Flop obviously fine (do you ever float here? and with what?). Turn, I think the more you float, the more often we want to bet this. I would float here, so I think I like betting turn. Yeah he has some Kx probably but he also has some Ax too that I don't mid shutting out of the pot here. As played, I don't see anything unreasonable with him playing some strong stuff this way since your hand basically looks like what it is. If he barrels all of his strong Kx+ on this board he cuts most of your underpairs out of the loop on the turn. Board is super dry, so letting you catch up or giving you the opportunity to bluff might work out better in the long run. As played, I am kind of leaning towards a check back.

Hand #2-Flop seems marginal. Turning 2 pair is bad for us. Turning trips is decent but potentially dangerous. Turn is a check/fold IMO. I am already not liking flop in a spot where he has AA/KK/TT/99/QJs/QJo for starters.

Hand #3-It's tight, but this deep I would fold to the squeeze and start continuing with stuff that flops better deep (Axss and the PP's). Flop feels like a good spot to raise with pair+FD.

Hand #4-QQ. Not too much to say here. I think checking turn is ok sometimes. Of all of the possible rivers, I guess this is the one to check. Problem is we get value from he Ax range when we bet. If you have a read your pool will take something like A4 and thin value bet this river and have some bluffs (low on natural bluffs on this texture) then its likely ok but in the long run, I think the river improves them enough where we can just bet.

I will say this, since all of these hands made it to showdown, make sure you start putting some notes together in PT4 or HM3. Whichever you are using. There is a wealth of information you can gather from these hands.

June 6, 2021 | 12:27 a.m.

Pre seems a touch too big but there are factors that could make it fine I guess.

Flop, would simplify and just bet something like a 1/3 and range bet here. We have massive EV/EQ advantage based on typical BTN call ranges here. Again, there can certainly be reasons to bet slightly bigger but I don't expect it to make a huge difference.

Turn I would play as a pure check with this combo. We have middle pair, some draws have completed and there are really no rivers (aside from another 5) that we like.

June 5, 2021 | 7:13 p.m.

Flop: Zero problem with checking or betting. I am sure a solver is going to be betting 50%+ overall and having the pair is nice. Checking is perfectly fine also. I feel pretty indifferent.

Turn: Very odd play by opponent. I imagine check/raising is pretty non-existent for him on such a brick/non equity shifting turn. If we ignore this and focus on the best "non-made" hands to double check then raise turn with, it is centered around stuff like QJ and KJ and then maybe 87. Turn is a pretty easy continue I assume. Looking forward to rivers. A/K/Q/J are the worst of the lot so my plan would to be to check back on those turns.

I think the main question is, should be we betting the turn to begin with?

River: Based on how ranges interact, I would be checking this back.

June 5, 2021 | 6:48 p.m.

I am reluctant to apply strict rules like this. We have to be self aware and if the quality of our play is starting to break down for any reason (you catch yourself looking at phone, replying to skype messages, watching tv, someone is talking to you, etc.), I would strongly consider shutting things down for a bit.

There are guys that can play 8+ hour sessions and be razor sharp and there are guys whole start to melt down after hour #2. There are going to be days where you have it together and can push through with a massive session and days where you are sucking and have to close it up after an hour.

The key is to be self aware and honest with yourself. Just last weekend, I had a lot on my mind and just completely punted 5 buy ins due to my own stubborn behavior instead of realizing I just didn't have "it" that day.

June 5, 2021 | 6 p.m.

Yeah, I get the logic for raising. I admittedly have not spend much time on mono boards because when the pot gets big it is typically a cooler type situation.

It sucks being OOP since rivers are hard to play. What do we do on safe rivers? Lead? Checking looking for him to bluff? How do we play bad rivers (another diamond or board pairing)?

I think something like KdXd would be a better raise since he will have more Ax in his range or a smaller flush.

So I guess, in short, I would prefer check (almost always) > min raise > larger raise.

June 5, 2021 | 5:54 p.m.

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