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3059 points

LOL I thought so. Haha.

Because if you actually run the sims with rake there are meaningful differences.

Aug. 10, 2021 | 7:21 a.m.

Have you actually done the work and checked these ideas?

Aug. 10, 2021 | 6:13 a.m.

I would recommend leaning large on sites without preflop rake and with a cap of more than like 1bb or something. Large I mean around 3.5x IP and 5x OOP. Many more sizes are viable once the rake cap is so small that you don't even pay 5% on the flop. People tend to miss 4bet shoves and are a bit call happy against 3bet in the higher-raked games, making the bigger one a good adjustment on average.

Aug. 9, 2021 | 3:39 p.m.

I have a couple of questions about the hand around 20min with QQ on A623J calling down.
1. In this spot a large proportion of value hands contain the A or is a low set, so the board pairs should be higher EV. How much weight do you put on hand selection and blockers in spots you think people overbluff?
2. How much value do you think there is in exploiting in less obvious ways like for example calling all Ax and folding the pocket pairs?

July 24, 2021 | 9:28 a.m.

Excellent format. That extra little part of making the viewers think for themselves are so valuable.

@Rio Staff: This more active content is what should be the norm.

July 24, 2021 | 9:11 a.m.

Comment | Kalupso commented on Principles

Nice one! Jam packed with great ideas.

July 23, 2021 | 2:52 p.m.

Nice video! It's been interesting to follow your progression over the years.

July 22, 2021 | 8:14 p.m.

I've been enjoying your videos about studying. This one and the 4bet one were both great.

Good job and it would be nice if you continue the theme.

July 22, 2021 | 8:13 p.m.

July 22, 2021 | 7:08 p.m.

July 22, 2021 | 6:59 p.m.

Comment | Kalupso commented on How do I upload a GIF?

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July 19, 2021 | 5:42 p.m.

Qing Yang. Look at his video here and his coaching package. Quality stuff is difficult to find in poker even if paid. His RIO videos as a whole are worth many times the $100 elite sub. There are some essential ones too.

As for playing solution, the free stuff is only promo stuff and not worth spending too much time on. There are packs for very reasonable prices. Simple GTO trainer, GTO sensei, Postflop+ are all a bit cheaper alternatives. GTO wizard is more expensive I think.

If you want to become good, then investing early on is important. Don't waste time to save a few bucks IMO.

July 16, 2021 | 1:03 p.m.


Should still be beatable with table selection or pool selection for zoom. GG has around 1,5x rake of stars and is beatable.

How are MTTs affected? Is it true this is only really bad for cash games?

July 6, 2021 | 8:28 a.m.

zache86 I found your story and journey with what meditation has been for you interesting. I also started in similar ways. A bit of Elliot Roe mp3s and following breath. What you said about mediation and ego was quite insightful, but just wanted to let you know you already had found the thing. No need to look further than meditation but maybe let it progress as the potential goes way beyond what western pop culture makes it out to be.

Well done and good luck for what comes next!

July 1, 2021 | 8:16 p.m.

zache86 Funny that you write "meditation" it in quotation marks. Means different things to different people fore sure. During Corona pandemic I switched all the time I used to spend going to the gym to meditation and learned a huge amount about it and the mind. Mediation goes so much deeper and there are so many more layers than most people think, but in the end the most advanced are the simplest forms.

The reason I posted was that you seemed to have found the "cause" and the "cure", but didn't see that the meditation is the "cure".

Seems like you have found something you like to do which is so important to be able to do it regularly, but there are schools that go a lot further than just using breath to calm the mind and the body that can eventually free you from the stories and problems from ego.

July 1, 2021 | 9:27 a.m.

Nice post!

I'd like to attack my ego even more than with meditation but haven't found anything yet.

Insight meditation, vipashyana or vipassana or what you want to call it is more or less exactly that. Examining mind and cutting away ego until is no longer taking over. Meditation should be the right thing but there are many different schools and approaches.

What kind of meditation have you tried or are doing regularly? For a long time and regularly?

June 28, 2021 | 10 p.m.

Variance is brutal with less than 3-4bb/100. Games are beatable for a lot more than most people think. 7bb/100 at 100z is not even that hard if you know the overall exploits and can think a bit about ranges while playing.

I'd aim for a 30-50k sample of 4bb/100 or more before moving up. Lower than that, it's a good idea to find more exploits and improve fundamentals. Variance could make you stop playing and a bit unlikely to stick the landing at the next stake.

Some very smart and experienced guys say that it's easier to learn and improve playing reg tables. Easier to pick up on player patterns, exploit fish better and fish lose at a much higher rate there. Something to consider if you have thoughts about becoming a pro or want to move up quickly.

June 28, 2021 | 5:29 p.m.

My opinion is that this course isn't the easiest or best thing for those kinds of challenges. It's very hard to do on your own. Some kind of counseling is probably a better idea. I think Galfond had private sessions with Elliot but maybe got awareness from the course about it or got convinced it was worth working on? Or something completely different...

The course is great for becoming a more complete and professional player. Setting goals and creating vision. Creating a daily plan to accomplish the vision. Common things that separate successful and less successful players. How to improve. Performance cycle: prepare, warm up, play A game, cool down. Motivation when things get tough. A model for how tilt works and ways to break it. And many more topics.

A lot of useful stuff is covered but specific challenges like you face are usually not easily solved by a general course.

June 28, 2021 | 7:44 a.m.

"Pre is a standard defend."

I think standard is a dangerous word in poker. This is one of the more reasonable 3betting hands and probably overperforms compared to equilibrium:

I'd personally target his auto folds OTT with a 60% pot size, 22-88, Ax, Qx, weak 9x, Jx, etc (tons of hands), and go for the big bets on rivers to target weaker Kx, PP with a missed FD etc. That being said, this is one of those spots people play so badly until at least 500NL that you can get away with almost anything. If I were to go big with some hands, I'd pick a hand with a little more equity when called.

Something to be aware of is if you have the mindset of having to do something special when bluffing. I see some players at lower stakes try to do something special instead of just making the bet look like you hold your average good hand that bets. It's quite easy for an aware competent poker player to figure out your patterns if you try to accomplish special things with your sizes. You can do this against weaker players but as you start playing against better guys (think 200NL+ players that don't just autopilot and say standard call/fold) you might run into people being able to figure out what you are doing and then the play goes from maybe making a bit extra vs unaware guys to massively underperforming.

March 15, 2021 | 12:26 p.m.

Yup and we always compare EV between some 4bet size and call. With wide ranges AA tends to be the first slow play because it's so far ahead of everything. With narrow ranges and being IP KK is usually called more than AA because you aren't so far ahead when 4betting like you said.

I'd also recommend looking into solver ranges for the spot because low flops are often very good for the caller if you are playing like the prefloo solver. Exceptions being boards like 732 and 773, and especially the rainbow version.

March 9, 2021 | 8:02 a.m.

to protect our ranges?

It's never to protect but you can use it to conceptualize putting weaker and stronger hands together that way if you want to (I mean it's not what is happening but can be a useful shortcut or quick way to think about it). It's always about EV and sometimes you can flat hands that are far ahead of a raising range if it wins enough doing so. Full-range cbet strategies boost the EV of calling AA preflop because weaker hands put more money into the pot more often.

But if we are never flatting AA pre, we are super vulnerable on low boards.

Same here. If people put a ton of money in the pot with hands weaker than, AA then it can make sense to call it but do we really care about being "vulnerable" to aggression if people aren't aggressive?

March 8, 2021 | 5:27 p.m.

The analysis system in GTO+ is a bit cluncky and they made a few poor design decisions that might seem small but is actual very important. Therefore I prefer Pio interface together with Jesolver as the engine and some GTO trainer (I made my own but the two commercial ones seems fine).

GTO+ is probably better for just playing the solution than a Pio and trainer combo, but is worse when it comes to analysis. Maybe using GTO+ as the trainer and Pio for analysis is the best compromise?

I like the 6max/ Inner pack on GTO sensei and in Simple GTO trainer for single raised pots. It takes so much time to solve that large simulations that the extra convenience is worth it to me. For 3bet and 4bet pots I only play my own simulations and not mixing in cloud

March 7, 2021 | 10:16 p.m.

It's quite bad to focus on these things and blame circumstance as it takes away agency. Variance at small stakes Holdem cash games is very manageable if you have the proper soft skills and poker skills, so working towards that should be the focus and not looking for reasons or a story about what happened.

March 7, 2021 | 11 a.m.

These boards play quite unintuitively if you have a value and bluffing view of poker. You kind of just play the equity of the hand and try to make it as hard as possible for the other guy to play his hands in an efficient way. The benefit of folding out equity is at least as big as removing a chuck of the showdown value by betting. Every card between A and 7 changes the strength of K9, so you are left with 20 cards that don't. The probability of none of those coming by the river is 1-(27/47)*(26/46)=33%, so 2/3rd of the time you are going to improve or devalue your hand. The numbers aren't perfect because a JJ runout will lead to showdown properties being more important and the backdoor flush can come in. The implication of so few blank runouts is that the drawing properties are more important than the showdown properties of the hand. 9 can be seen as a trips draw rather than a 3rd pair, K kicker is a GS and 2pair draw (also backdoor full house draw), and the BDFD is a backdoor flush draw. The showdown properties still matter but typically comes in second after draw properties.

In general, the hands with many ways to improve bet more often and the more nutted they improve is also better. The checking range tends to take the "Moneyball approach". I mean in terms of having hands that only do one thing well as they did with baseball players that were good at one part of the game in Moneyball. For example, 2pair draws to much fewer full houses than a set so is better used as a check to have some more good showdown hands in the check line. A Q-high without a BDFD will give enough coverage on a K turn, so we can just bet the better ones with a backdoor. AA doesn't have a draw and doesn't block good hands so more likely to check to have some good 1 pair hands than KK and QQ.

Feb. 14, 2021 | 3:31 p.m.

Obviously the flop call is losing quite a bit.

I ran the sim myself with a smaller XR like in the hand history and his exact combo was right around 0EV and calling more often than folding. JsTh was folding or mostly folding, so for sure a cusp hand with Jh.

Feb. 13, 2021 | 10:53 a.m.

Lot's of cool ideas in these hands!

The suits seems very important in the second hand. I looked at the equities for AKo against a few different hands and a range of them. Against a range of 1 combo of Ah6h, 1 combo of Th9h, 3 combos of 77, and 20% of AQ with a heart (Qh or Ah) I get these numbers:

  • We are actually behind Ah6h with 48% equity when we don't hold a heart, but is doing 51% with the heart. So a little over 3% equity added from the blocking effect.
  • Against AQ there is a double effect where we both take the backdoor outs away and get the value from having them, so the difference is as big as 4,5% for AK with a single heart against AsQh. Blocking one backdoor FD out against AhQ is worth around 1% equity.
  • Against 77 the backdoor adds in the usual 4% equity bringing it up from 24,5% to 28,5%.
  • The Ah I think just skews the SB range more towards the low pairs that BB are doing much worse against. Maybe there is some turn and river play-ability effect that improves the EV of call too.

How it's doing vs a lower FD is a big difference here. Should be a combination of blockers and redrawing. Equities against Th9h:

Feb. 13, 2021 | 10:48 a.m.

Comment | Kalupso commented on Spew?

Yeah, agree with zinom1 that it's not good to check sets here. They don't block anything and need to go for stacks. We check sets on some other boards but here we can so easily check back some AQ or whatever and protect the checking range. AQ is behind AK, 2pair and his sets which can be as much as 15% of his range so it's not like we can just go for stacks with AQ. The benefit of protection on this board is also zilch for top pair making it even less appealing to bet the,.

Feb. 12, 2021 | 4:10 p.m.

Comment | Kalupso commented on Bluff the river?

Yeah, all in is an important like here as you have a lot of AK+ and even AK has like 95% equity. Might have to overbet turn to shove AK OTR.

Population ranges from database and what I see in practice calls 98s and 87s. Doesn't matter if monker doesn't like it if people call it in practice. I think even monker calls some of them.

Feb. 12, 2021 | 12:33 p.m.

Comment | Kalupso commented on Bluff the river?

Turn is clear overbet spot with AQ+. Can't really bet many more hands for 75% than 133% pot or something anyway.

4 combos is not a small amount when ranges are as tight as here. I wouldn't mind using this as an overbet bluff but I don't like it as a 75% pot bluff. He should mostly or always fold QJ without a FD on the turn and is for the most part capped two a few AT, A5 combos and the odd slowplayed 55.

Feb. 12, 2021 | 12:25 p.m.

Comment | Kalupso commented on Spew?

I am not 100% sure about ranges here, but it seems to me you beat too much to bluff and there are many more hands in your range that should bluff before this (more SDV requires higher fold frequency). Turn is not a spot you should really check back nutted hands as it's natural to check back some Ax and don't need to strengthen range more than that vs guys attacking checking ranges. I still think overbet can be fine as an exploit on the river but make sure to not keep doing it too often against same guy purely to get folds as it can get quite obvious to the observant player.

The guys who uses these small sub optimal 3bet sizes OOP tends to not fold a lot in 3bet pots either. I think it's just a sign on fishy tendencies and they tend to underfold in 3bet pots. Maybe you've found one of those spots you can bluff them off a lot of hands?

Feb. 12, 2021 | 12:13 p.m.

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