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Daniel Clemente

Comment | Daniel Clemente commented on Latest Offer

Yes!

Jan. 12, 2020 | 5:46 p.m.

This sounds like a good approach. I was thinking some form of looking at aggregated reports, but the spreadsheet + test yourself strategy is a good structure that seems less overwhelming/more effective. Time to get to work!(/stop being lazy :P)

Thanks for the response!

Dec. 16, 2019 | 4:53 p.m.

Hi Ben,

Thanks for doing this! This is awesome.

In your estimation, if I had an hour a day to study poker, how should I structure that time? (Particularly for me NLHE cash, but general advice works too).

If with PIOsolver, what steps are most useful? I tend to tag hands, run sims, look at solutions and try to identify patterns. But definitely feels inefficient and with complex results I struggle with converting them into real strategies.

Best of luck at the tables, and thanks for the great content over the years :)

Dec. 16, 2019 | 1:28 p.m.

Hey Juan.

Great video! The limp strategy is a very interesting one. I can imagine many players making mistakes against it.

At 3:30 was an interesting hand for me. BvB is an area I struggle with and the K8o looked like quite a wide defend to me, but you say it's an easy one- seems i may be a nit. :P Out of curiosity, are you defending all King high hands here, or is the bdsd equity that's appealing here?

Also, what is the software you have that allows you to see the action sequence above player names? e.g. R3|B33|X

April 8, 2019 | 6:56 a.m.

Let's go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feb. 5, 2019 | 9:05 p.m.

Hey everyone :)

Update Number 5

So I managed to get a reasonable session in last night of ~700 hands and we're back on track! we made $18.97 to bring the roll to $238.53. One worry I have as I write this would be to think too much about these short term results. I have had cases in the past of focusing too much on being "up" in a session, when really that's meaningless. Poker is a game of the long run, with each hand being one small part of a lifelong session. But for now I'll keep you guys updated on the daily swings, but I reserve the right to ditch that idea if I feel it is affecting my play.

Hand Analysis

I have an interesting hand that I can jump into.

Hand 1

PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players

BTN: 96.4 BB (VPIP: 36.36, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 35)
Hero (BB): 101.5 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 5s 9s
fold, fold, fold, BTN calls 1 BB, fold, Hero checks

Flop : (2.5 BB, 2 players) 4s 7s 6c
Hero checks, BTN bets 2 BB, Hero raises to 7 BB, BTN calls 5 BB

Turn : (16.5 BB, 2 players) 7c
Hero checks, BTN bets 7.9 BB, Hero raises to 29.1 BB, BTN calls 21.2 BB

River : (74.7 BB, 2 players) 6s
Hero checks, BTN checks

Hero shows 5s 9s (Flush, Nine High)
(Pre 19%, Flop 56%, Turn 32%)

BTN mucks Jd Jc (Two Pair, Jacks and Sevens)
(Pre 81%, Flop 44%, Turn 68%)

Hero wins 71.3 BB

So this hand was a cool one I thought, as a double check-raise is not a move I make very often. So let's see if I like it.... :P

Preflop the button limps and SB folds. I think in this spot I will of course have a raising range that is quite wide. I don't really have a large enough sample to make any concrete judgements on what villains limping range looks like, but overall at these stakes I expect to see a limp-call, with a chunk of limp folds and rarely re-raises. Given I think I'll be seeing a flop a high % of the time, and I expect a button VPiP range to be quite wide I think a mostly merged strategy will perform well here, raising strong hands such as (77+,A9s+,KTs+,QTs+,JTs,T9s,98s,ATo+,KQo), and mixing in lower cards for board coverage and maximise the money I make from those limp-folds (something like 87s,73s+,63s+,53s+,43s,32s,76o). And with the lower end of my range I tend to focus on suited and at least semi-connected cards to This makes for an overall raise range of around 17% of hands, of which 12% is value which I think is OK. If I were to get limp re-raised (say for example I make it 5BB as a raise, and villain raises to 15BB), I would need to defend 70% of my hands to deny him to bluff with any two cards, and if I defend with just my "value" raises I would defend 72%. Looking at this now, given my read on population that they are not re-raising often, and therefore that range will be quite strong, I think i can likely overfold that spot slightly, so as a strategic adjustment it would be worth considering widening the bluff part of my raise vs limp range to maximise fold equity, perhaps to ~7.5% as opposed to 5%. For the hand I have here, I think even with a wider raise range I would still have this in my check range however, as it's not quite far down enough in my range imo. So I check.

Flop is obviously good for my hand, and I believe ok for my range here. Again i'm not sure what villain decides to limp preflop, but given there's a chance he'd open raise with overpairs, and fold middling to low cards I would say his range has missed this board quite often. I on the other hand have many value combos in my range. I have sets 66 and 44, and a bunch of offsuit two pair/straight combos. My hand itself I believe is a strong enough draw to raise or call facing a bet, but against the larger size I'm inclined to raise more often as I'm being laid a worse price.

Turn I believe is a bad card for me. It cuts down on my two-pair combos and counterfeits 64, and where I won't be raising 7x very often, villain can have a lot of 7x that bet/call. So I think this is a spot to check my entire range. When he bets half pot I think I can discount 7x to some degree as I would expect a larger size. Facing this bet I am definitely going to want to have a raise range though and allow me to get value from boats and straights. Given that reasonably narrow value range I think I want to use a large size to allow me as many bluffs as possible, and I think I can possibly overbluff here due to my bluff combos being high-equity, and the capped range from villain. I think the hand I have here is an ideal bluff raise combo as I don't have showdown value, yet I have a lot of equity. The only problem with raising this combo is that it would suck to fold. I'd have ~31% equity vs a jamming range, which is sore to not realise. But given my estimations on villains range and population tendencies I think this is a rare line.

River is interesting. I'm really not sure on my strategy here. I think villain can have 7x boats, as well as quite a few flushes, particularly nut flushes as they would be strong enough draws to bet/call the turn. But I think vilain could have some overpairs here too. If he was limping all overpairs preflop and would call most of them, then I have an easy jam. But I think that's quite unlikely. From playing around with some equilab ranges I think it would be a slightly unprofitable jam so i'm happy with my check here. I think it's probably close to even call a bet against this player type, but it wouldn't take him bluffing too often with hands like 89 or Axcc to make it a profitable call.

But we check down and win a nice pot in quite an interesting hand :)

See you next time!

#Gratitude

Dec. 5, 2018 | 5:59 a.m.

Hey everyone :)

Update Number 5

So I managed to get a reasonable session in last night of ~700 hands and we're back on track! we made $18.97 to bring the roll to $238.53. One worry I have as I write this would be to think too much about these short term results. I have had cases in the past of focusing too much on being "up" in a session, when really that's meaningless. Poker is a game of the long run, with each hand being one small part of a lifelong session. But for now I'll keep you guys updated on the daily swings, but I reserve the right to ditch that idea if I feel it is affecting my play.

Hand Analysis

I have an interesting hand that I can jump into.

Hand 1

PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players

BTN: 96.4 BB (VPIP: 36.36, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 35)
Hero (BB): 101.5 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 5s 9s
fold, fold, fold, BTN calls 1 BB, fold, Hero checks

Flop : (2.5 BB, 2 players) 4s 7s 6c
Hero checks, BTN bets 2 BB, Hero raises to 7 BB, BTN calls 5 BB

Turn : (16.5 BB, 2 players) 7c
Hero checks, BTN bets 7.9 BB, Hero raises to 29.1 BB, BTN calls 21.2 BB

River : (74.7 BB, 2 players) 6s
Hero checks, BTN checks

Hero shows 5s 9s (Flush, Nine High)
(Pre 19%, Flop 56%, Turn 32%)

BTN mucks Jd Jc (Two Pair, Jacks and Sevens)
(Pre 81%, Flop 44%, Turn 68%)

Hero wins 71.3 BB

So this hand was a cool one I thought, as a double check-raise is not a move I make very often. So let's see if I like it.... :P

Preflop the button limps and SB folds. I think in this spot I will of course have a raising range that is quite wide. I don't really have a large enough sample to make any concrete judgements on what villains limping range looks like, but overall at these stakes I expect to see a limp-call, with a chunk of limp folds and rarely re-raises. Given I think I'll be seeing a flop a high % of the time, and I expect a button VPiP range to be quite wide I think a mostly merged strategy will perform well here, raising strong hands such as (77+,A9s+,KTs+,QTs+,JTs,T9s,98s,ATo+,KQo), and mixing in lower cards for board coverage and maximise the money I make from those limp-folds (something like 87s,73s+,63s+,53s+,43s,32s,76o). And with the lower end of my range I tend to focus on suited and at least semi-connected cards to This makes for an overall raise range of around 17% of hands, of which 12% is value which I think is OK. If I were to get limp re-raised (say for example I make it 5BB as a raise, and villain raises to 15BB), I would need to defend 70% of my hands to deny him to bluff with any two cards, and if I defend with just my "value" raises I would defend 72%. Looking at this now, given my read on population that they are not re-raising often, and therefore that range will be quite strong, I think i can likely overfold that spot slightly, so as a strategic adjustment it would be worth considering widening the bluff part of my raise vs limp range to maximise fold equity, perhaps to ~7.5% as opposed to 5%. For the hand I have here, I think even with a wider raise range I would still have this in my check range however, as it's not quite far down enough in my range imo. So I check.

Flop is obviously good for my hand, and I believe ok for my range here. Again i'm not sure what villain decides to limp preflop, but given there's a chance he'd open raise with overpairs, and fold middling to low cards I would say his range has missed this board quite often. I on the other hand have many value combos in my range. I have sets 66 and 44, and a bunch of offsuit two pair/straight combos. My hand itself I believe is a strong enough draw to raise or call facing a bet, but against the larger size I'm inclined to raise more often as I'm being laid a worse price.

Turn I believe is a bad card for me. It cuts down on my two-pair combos and counterfeits 64, and where I won't be raising 7x very often, villain can have a lot of 7x that bet/call. So I think this is a spot to check my entire range. When he bets half pot I think I can discount 7x to some degree as I would expect a larger size. Facing this bet I am definitely going to want to have a raise range though and allow me to get value from boats and straights. Given that reasonably narrow value range I think I want to use a large size to allow me as many bluffs as possible, and I think I can possibly overbluff here due to my bluff combos being high-equity, and the capped range from villain. I think the hand I have here is an ideal bluff raise combo as I don't have showdown value, yet I have a lot of equity. The only problem with raising this combo is that it would suck to fold. I'd have ~31% equity vs a jamming range, which is sore to not realise. But given my estimations on villains range and population tendencies I think this is a rare line.

River is interesting. I'm really not sure on my strategy here. I think villain can have 7x boats, as well as quite a few flushes, particularly nut flushes as they would be strong enough draws to bet/call the turn. But I think vilain could have some overpairs here too. If he was limping all overpairs preflop and would call most of them, then I have an easy jam. But I think that's quite unlikely. From playing around with some equilab ranges I think it would be a slightly unprofitable jam so i'm happy with my check here. I think it's probably close to even call a bet against this player type, but it wouldn't take him bluffing too often with hands like 89 or Axcc to make it a profitable call.

But we check down and win a nice pot in quite an interesting hand :)

#Gratitude

Dec. 5, 2018 | 5:59 a.m.

Hey Everyone! 😃

Update Number 4

Again, apologies for the delayed response. I will address this further as a goal in a moment, but these weekly posts can be quite lengthy and can take some time to put together so apologies for that. I did also make the mistake of scheduling to make this post on a Friday evening which is not "GTO" as Joe Ingram would put it.

Speaking of Joey, I had the pleasure of watching his podcast with Phil on Friday evening which was a treat! I always love when we at Run It Once Poker get to share what we're working on with the community, and Phil does a great job getting the word out about our vision. To hear Joeys enthusiasm for the project, and to read the comments and ideas coming from everyone in the live chat was an awesome experience, and we're excited to share more information very soon. If you've not checked out the pod yet I definitely recommend you do here. Joey is a hilarious host and the entertainment value is top notch. #MELA

Back to the poker. We set some goals last update to achieve between the last post and last Friday, so let's check how we did.

  • Play at least 7000 hands.

Unfortunately we didn't quite hit this, playing 5062 hands in that window.

  • Play every day.

We did! We did manage to put in an online poker grind every day. Including on Saturday and Sunday when I was also playing some live poker most of the day at the local casino (outside of this challenge. Did not cash the 2 tournaments I played though ☹ ).

  • For every session make sure the session lasts at least 1hr30m

Counting this as a fail too. Although all my sessions did last over an hour, there were at least a couple sessions only an hour long. I can take some solace in the fact we didn't play any 15 minute late night sessions that were costing us previously.

  • Use a random number generator every session as I play, with the goal of reducing the frequency of bluff combos.

Yes! With this one I definitely still have to learn to make better use of this, but it definitely did help in terms of reducing my bluff frequency.

So unfortunately we failed to achieve all the goals we set out to do, but there were some lessons to be learned. Results were also bad news: the bankroll now stands at $219.56 for a loss of $64.32 since last update. I'll talk more about what went wrong and more goals in a little bit, but first lets jump into some hands.

Hand Analysis

Hand 1

To start off with a fun one, (and keeping with the Chicago Joey theme) we can talk about the most out of line hand I played in this time period, and possibly in my life...

PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 5 players

CO: 75 BB (VPIP: 12.50, PFR: 12.50, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 8)
Hero (BTN): 103 BB
SB: 414.2 BB (VPIP: 56.67, PFR: 6.67, 3Bet Preflop: 7.69, Hands: 33)

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 7d Ad
fold, CO raises to 3 BB, Hero raises to 9 BB, SB calls 8.5 BB, fold, CO calls 6 BB

Flop : (28 BB, 3 players) 8s 7c 8c
SB checks, CO checks, Hero bets 8 BB, SB calls 8 BB, fold

Turn : (44 BB, 2 players) 5c
SB bets 3 BB, Hero calls 3 BB

River : (50 BB, 2 players) Ac
SB bets 47 BB, Hero raises to 83 BB and is all-in, fold

Hero wins 137.5 BB

So of course this hand is on the crazier side of things. But I also think there are a lot of interesting decision points along the way that could be useful to look into.

Preflop I'm unsure about. I've talked in previous updates about my urge to 3bet at these stakes due to low 4bet frequencies in population and high rake, but I'm not sure about this one. I do want to have a call range here. currently in my strategy I would be calling AJs/ATs and probably A9s as well. in terms of suited Aces that I 3bet I obviously raise strong ones like AK/AQ, and I also tend to chose the wheel ones A2s-A5s. They give some nice board coverage as well as their obvious equity vs calling range/blocker value. There's a good chance I have that strategy backwards and I should be choosing the higher ones to 3bet, and lower to call. I'm honestly unsure. But the bottom line here was that I thought it was too strong to fold, and I thought a bit too weak to call, so I settled on a 3bet, though I definitely think this could lead me to having too many of these types of hands in my 3bet range. I'd be interested to hear any thoughts here on overall strategy.

Flop is also a spot I feel is close. When I've faced a cold call and a call from the original raiser the ranges are going to be quite strong, and this board does interact with those ranges with villains picking up flush/straight draws quite often. However my hand could use some protection, and by betting small (I do think I like my size here if I am going to bet this hand) I put particularly the SB in a tough spot to continue with his overcard hands. I don't think I would bet my entire 3bet range here as I might in some heads up spots, but I will mix up with a variety of holdings. I ran this hand by a poker pro friend of mine and he really liked his bet, I'm a little unsure and can totally get behind checking also.

Turn I think there's no other option than call. Villains turn size is obviously quite strange and indicative of a weaker player here. If I were to hazard a guess as to what this bet size does to his range I would assume it more likely indicates weakness than strength. The reason being that I imagine with a flush he would bet bigger or check-raise, and with trips/boat he would likely do the same, or raise the flop. This size looks to me more like a weak pair or a draw that's looking to see a cheap river/showdown. I would want to raise against this size a lot I think, particularly with strongish pairs e.g JJ/QQ that need some protection from his high club hands, and some bluffs, but I would also be calling a lot with strong hands, draws, and middle pairs like the one I have that have showdown value, as well as the required equity to improve given this small size.

Of course the river is a bad card. All those random high clubs in villains range now have a flush, and when he pots it it looks immensely strong. I don't expect this player to be bluffing much at all here. However I do think he could have non-nut flushes here for sure. Given we think he's a weaker player we could say he's less likely to fold those flushes to a jam. So I would definitely be jamming Kc+ for value here. Given the strength of villain's range it could be argued we should exploitatively never bluff here. But that's not really my style as you all know by now :P And although this bluff jam is crazy, I think this is my best bluff hand? I block the full houses that would definitely call. You could possibly argue that a hand like 8x is better here, but I think I prefer this hand as I think a weirdly played AA is more likely than A8 or 78 (I think they take a different turn line). So overall I still don't hate this play, and of course I only have 3 combos here of A7s compared to my nut hands so I think it's reasonably balanced, but perhaps too fancy a play for 10NL.

Hand 2

I'll try to be a bit more concise here... 😛

PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players

Hero (MP): 110.9 BB
CO: 100 BB (VPIP: 20.00, PFR: 10.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 21)

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 5h 5d
fold, Hero raises to 2.5 BB, CO calls 2.5 BB, fold, fold, fold

Flop : (6.5 BB, 2 players) 4s 5c 8c
Hero bets 4.2 BB, CO calls 4.2 BB

Turn : (14.9 BB, 2 players) 2c
Hero bets 12 BB, CO calls 12 BB

River : (38.9 BB, 2 players) 4h
Hero bets 16.7 BB, CO calls 16.7 BB

Hero shows 5h 5d (Full House, Fives full of Fours)
(Pre 51%, Flop 74%, Turn 23%)

CO mucks Ac Jc (Flush, Ace High)
(Pre 49%, Flop 26%, Turn 77%)

Hero wins 69 BB

I found this hand quite interesting, particularly on turn/river.

Flop I feel is standard. I think both players can have good hands here, but I'm pretty sure I have the range advantage here. Villain can have sets like 88, but I think 55/44 could possibly fold to the open whereas I will always have those hands in my range, plus of course I have the advantage of having all the overpairs in my range whereas villain is likely to 3bet his stronger ones. My range will have more hands that completely miss the board though so it's not a spot to go too wide with betting imo, so I like a less merged flop strategy here so I use this larger cbet size, with this hand obviously being a value bet the vast majority of the time. I think if I was going to check-call with a set I'd rather choose 88 as in that situation I block more of his range that would call a cbet.

Turn is where things get fuzzy for me. Villain will have a flush more often in this spot I think as his range was more condensed on flop so in that sense it is a bad card for me. But I still would have an overall range advantage with lots of hands I think I would like to continue betting for value (sets, flushes, TT+ etc.). Villain shouldn't really pick up any extra 2pairs or straights here, so I think I'm ok to continue betting fairly aggressively here. Though I'm unsure as I think my overpairs will find it tough to get 3 streets of value here, so perhaps checking this street more often is a viable play out of position, with the intention of calling down on favourable rivers. I think my size is fine but perhaps a little too thin with a hand like TT for example.

River is for sure a good card for my range. It's now less likely villain has a set, and if he had called pre with a hand like 85s (which I do think is wildly unlikely) he now is counterfeited by my overpairs. Also if he had been floating with a hand like AQ with a club he's missed his flush. So definitely a spot I want to have a bet range on. The question here now is what range/size to use. I'm still not sure if betting a hand like TT/JJ with a club here is too thin. In the moment I think I thought I would bet those hands, hence the smaller size. But I also think its reasonable to go large here instead, or even split sizes. I think it's even reasonable to simply go all-in here. As I should have the nut advantage here with boats and more nut flush combos, balancing out with some nut flush blocker hands like AcQx. Interested again to hear thoughts here. Overall I like my line, but I think there are a few other viable options here.

Summary/Goals

So overall since last update, it's been a rough time poker-wise. I lost most of my losses since last update in one session where I was off focus. That session was also toward the end of the week when I'd played many nights of poker in a row. So I think the solution moving forward will be to accept that I simply won't be able to dedicate a massive amount of time to poker play/study, so I should try to focus on getting the most out of those sessions while I do play. I also struggled to find time to write this post in it's current format. With all of that in mind I'm going to set the following goals for the rest of this week.

  • For every day I play (will try and maintain at least 5 days a week), don't play until I've done some study beforehand.

  • This study will likely consist of me making a post on this thread (but shorter) of hand analysis from hands the previous days. This will help me get into the correct mindset of thinking about poker before each session, as well as getting more frequent updates for you guys.

  • Continue to use a randomiser during play

I think these goals should help us to get the most out of these sessions. Also i wanted to share a technique that's worked for me to improve focus. It was inspired by the great youtube vlogger Casey Neistat in his vlog here. He discusses with a Navy Seal about the benefits of waking up early, then takes us through a routine of his day. They make a lot of good points in the video, but there was one in particular that really resonated with me, which was that the hours of ~10pm - 1am are pretty useless. Casey calls them "Netflix and Chill" hours. I feel like quite often I've lazed around at the time, tired from the rest of the work day, watching youtube videos, and not been very productive at all overall. Any poker playing that happens in that time is also not going to be optimal as I'm too tired to play my A-game. So I may as well just get to bed early instead, swapping those useless hours to early morning hours where I'm fully rested and productive. So I've done that a few times (not as extreme as Casey, I'll tend to get up between 5:30 and 6) and I think it's been working well. I can get some chores done round my flat, and I still have a couple of hours to do a bit of poker study, and play for a while before work, all whilst being well rested. It's been effective so far. But the discipline required to not ignore the alarm is real! :P

Thanks again guys for reading. I'm enjoying the grind and looking forward to getting some more frequent updates :)

#Gratitude

Dec. 4, 2018 | 8:47 a.m.

Hi everyone!

Update Number 3

Apologies for the delayed update. For whatever reason I've not been playing too much poker recently. With getting back into the work grind after our holiday, as well as some general life chores I've not had as much energy to put in as many hands as I would have liked to.

However we did manage some! In the immediate days following the trip the rust was quite clear as we lost 3.5 buyins or so at the tables. There was definitely some run-bad no doubt, but I definitely made some mistakes along the way. One of my worst habits in my poker game is definitely overconfidence. I, particularly if I'm rusty, lean too far on the side of bluffing too often, perhaps trying too hard to "run over the table" or "prove" I'm better than my opponents by trying to win too many hands. This is silly. While of course it's important to mix bluffs into your game, if you start taking EVERY semi-reasonable bluffing spot, you'll find yourself getting out of line very quickly. To give an example hand:

BB: 61.3 BB
Hero (CO): 100 BB
SB: 78 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 4s 5s
fold, fold, Hero raises to 2.5 BB, fold, SB raises to 8.5 BB, BB calls 7.5 BB, Hero raises to 21 BB, SB raises to 78 BB and is all-in, fold, fold

SB wins 50.5 BB

I don't remember playing this hand, my mindset, or the table dynamics here. But I can say with 95%+ confidence that this was a bad play. I definitely like to mix small suited connectors into my 4bet range quite often when in position. They add some board coverage and help to balance out the times when I'll want to 4bet QQ+/AK. But this should not be done often! If took every hand that I felt could be a reasonable 4bet bluff candidate, and bluffed with them 100% of the time, it would be ridiculous. Hands like A5s, 56s, 57s, AJo, KQo. All make some sense to be part of a bluff 4bet range, but make for a huge amount of combinations if taken as a whole. I'm not saying my range contained all of those hands in that instance, but I'm almost certain I was imbalanced here toward bluffing too much. So this is an area of my game I will definitely be addressing. Do let me know if any of you reading experience this form of tilt. (And I will call it tilt, even if I'm not raging and breaking things).

But back to the challenge as a whole. Since those initial days, we were able to put in several shorter sessions and overall make money since the last update. Our bankroll now sits at $283.88. However we only put in 5161 hands over several small sessions which is definitely under where I'd like to be. With that in mind, I'd let to set some goals for the next update, which I'll schedule for Friday the 30th (just over a week from when I write this).

  1. Play at least 7000 hands in that time.
  2. Play every day.
  3. For every session make sure the session lasts at least 1hr30m. I feel the short sessions I've been playing are not as conducive to me playing well and developing a strong mental game.
  4. Use a random number generator every time I play, with the goal of reducing needless bluffs/keeping my frequencies in check. This is something I feel has helped my game tremendously, but something I'm notoriously lazy with.

I'll update then with results and some more hand analysis. But i'm overall excited with playing poker atm and ready to kick this challenge into gear.

See you next time.

#Gratitude

Nov. 23, 2018 | 8:10 a.m.

Hi James!

Thanks so much for the tip! Really pleased to see you suggest this as database analysis is an area of study I still find I can be quite lazy with. I still see you as the guru of tracker analysis after your videos back in the day ;)

Looking at this spot in particular I added filters in pokertracker:

"player is hero", "player position -> preflop -> between 0 and 1" (BTN or CO), "Hole Cards Range Selection = JJ, TT", "raised first in", "Position of 3Bettor exactly 9" (SB), and "Any 4bet preflop"

Shown here:

This does result in there only being 10 instances this year of this situation at 5NL or 10NL 6max, with an all-in-equity-adjusted bb/100 result of +510BBs. If I widen the filters to where any 4bet occured when I was BTN or CO I get 18 occurrences and these hands seemed to win even more (915.56 AIEV BB/100). I then looked at samples where I called a 3bet BTN or CO with these hands, it showed a losing sample of 8 hands at -1193 AIEV BB/100. Obviously these samples are very small but its seeming to me that 4betting may be the superior play as a whole (of course still adjusting based on the villain). Also one point here; correct me if I'm wrong, but when looking at these stats I believe for a hand to be profitable under a 3bet situation it would have to be above ~ -250BB/100 as I've already made the raise? I think I'd be losing at that rate (assuming a 2.5x open) if I folded to the 3bet, so any improvement on that loss indicates a profitable decision.

Please let me know if I've made any mistakes here.

I'll keep an eye on these occasions and pay attention to stats going forward. It's very valuable in poker to not get stuck in a rut of making losing decisions if possible!

Thanks again man.

Nov. 13, 2018 | 6:14 a.m.

Hey hey all!

Update number 2

We've been very busy at RIO this month with Phil joining us to work in the Malta office, as you'll know if you follow our Instagram @RunItOnceOfficial. So that combined with a short weekend holiday to Amsterdam...

means there hasn't been a lot of poker played.

However we did manage to squeeze in a few hands this month so far, and happy to report I've hit a serious heater. I'm talking a nine-buyins-above-EV heater...

It seems the boss' influence may be rubbing off ;)

So here's a few of the large or interesting pots that I saw throughout this heat wave...

Hand 1

PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players

UTG: 131.8 BB (VPIP: 61.02, PFR: 1.69, 3Bet Preflop: 3.33, Hands: 60)
Hero (MP): 155.1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Kh Ks
UTG calls 1 BB, Hero raises to 4 BB, fold, fold, fold, fold, UTG calls 3 BB

Flop : (9.5 BB, 2 players) Tc 9h Qh
UTG checks, Hero bets 4.1 BB, UTG raises to 24 BB, Hero calls 19.9 BB

Turn : (57.5 BB, 2 players) Kd
UTG bets 28 BB, Hero calls 28 BB

River : (113.5 BB, 2 players) 2c
UTG bets 75 BB, Hero calls 75 BB

UTG shows Qd 9c (Two Pair, Queens and Nines)
(Pre 14%, Flop 59%, Turn 5%)

Hero shows Kh Ks (Three of a Kind, Kings)
(Pre 86%, Flop 41%, Turn 95%)

Hero wins 251.6 BB

This hand, although seeming like a cooler (set > two pair), definitely has some interesting elements to it IMO.

Preflop is pretty straightforward, isolating a limper with KK as I would with all my hands that continue (which I would say is still a fairly tight range- suited/strong broadways, high suited connectors and pairs 66+ for example). I think there is some argument for having a limping range, particularly if in tougher games, or if I had a strong read the player was limp-reraising often, but I think at these stakes were the rake is quite high, taking the pot down preflop and pre-rake has lots of value, so I like to do a lot of isolating and 3betting as a general strategy as opposed to calling. Also at these stakes players who limp tend to be weaker players (the stats for this particular Villain back this up) so simply isolating these players in a larger pot in position is very valuable of course. Furthermore, I'm not expecting as much aggression from players behind as I would in higher stakes games. You could argue with going for a larger isolation size exploitatively than I have done here but I think this is a fine size.

Flop is where things get interesting. This is a scary board as, although I likely have the equity/nut advantage, it's a board UTG will connect with a lot. I can't say for sure what a UTG limp-call range looks like, but I imagine he'll have all the suited 2-pairs in his range, 99/TT, possibly even QQ. And if he's a recreational player he may even have some offsuit combos as well. So when he checks to me I think checking behind is a very viable play to see what he does on later streets. Also by having 2 Kings I block his one pair hands/straight draws, and with the Kh I also block flush draws. Ultimately I decide to make the cbet anyway with the thought that there will still be enough 1-pair hands that call me (AQ,ATs, QJs, JTs, J9s, maybe Q8s etc.) But I feel it's close, with checking probably being the optimal play. Although when I do bet, I choose to bet 41c into a 95c pot. I feel this bet is too small. Given this hand is on the edge of my value range, I'm representing only a few very strong made hands by betting here (sets/two-pairs), so i would prefer to go a larger size which would allow me to bet more of my flush/straight draws. So if I could go back I think I'd bet something in the region of 60-70c here (I think this may be a spot to consider a flop overbet actually. That's not something I've studied too much but I will definitely look into that). Obviously I'm more unhappy with the decision I made when I face a pot-sized raise. Check-raise frequencies at these stakes are notoriously low so I'm expecting a very strong range here. I think there is actually an argument for folding the flop here, as crazy as that sounds with an overpair. I'd rather call with a hand like KQ where my two pair outs add equity, or QJs where I'd have an open-ender. But equally, I'd rather call this hand (with the bdfd and gutshot) than a hand like AcAs I think, so that's what I decide to do. Though again I think folding is a serious option here.

The rest of the hand I feel is reasonably standard, binking a set on the turn and calling down. I think there is an argument for folding the river as villain could definitely have some straights here. But I think given he check-raised the flop I think it's less likely. The main straight hand he would have raised would be KJ, which, if suited, is now only one combo, 4 total if he has KJo in his range (less likely given the positions/actions preflop). He could definitely have raised straight draws that got there. But given I think he could be value betting worse sets, and in general I feel flop check raises contain less draws than at other stakes I elected to make the call and won a nice pot :) Note: he showed Q9o here so confirming my rec-player suspicions and likely adds merit to a strategy of frequent flop c-bets in future gainst him as I'd likely gain value from a lot of offsuit one-pairs with thin value bets, and make protection bets and bluffs gain EV by having him fold a lot of offsuit garbage.

Whew! So lots of potential mistakes there and already lots to talk about. On to the next one...

Hand 2

SB: 231.5 BB (VPIP: 26.77, PFR: 20.47, 3Bet Preflop: 6.12, Hands: 130)
MP: 193.4 BB (VPIP: 25.00, PFR: 25.00, 3Bet Preflop: 25.00, Hands: 4)
Hero (CO): 128.1 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 8c 9c
fold, MP raises to 2 BB, Hero raises to 9 BB, fold, SB calls 8.5 BB, fold, fold

Flop : (21 BB, 2 players) 8h 9h Ts
SB checks, Hero bets 13.3 BB, SB calls 13.3 BB

Turn : (47.6 BB, 2 players) Kc
SB checks, Hero bets 20.5 BB, SB raises to 209.2 BB and is all-in, Hero calls 85.3 BB and is all-in

River : (259.2 BB, 2 players) Ah

SB shows Qd Qc (One Pair, Queens)
(Pre 80%, Flop 39%, Turn 27%)

Hero shows 8c 9c (Two Pair, Nines and Eights)
(Pre 20%, Flop 61%, Turn 73%)

Hero wins 247.5 BB

This hand is a little more straightforward. Again preflop here you can see my preferred strategy of going for the 3bet to isolate. On the flop it's obviously an excellent board for villain where in general we want to be doing a lot of checking, and if we do bet, I like to use a larger size. As for which range this hand should go I'm a little unsure. In practice I have tended in the past to always bet these weaker 2-pair type hands. This is for a few reasons: we get immediate value, we don't block his top pair continues or draws, and we get protection from folding out overcards that have equity. However it seems modern high stakes players lean more and more towards checking these kind of hands and then more often betting the very strong value hands. It seems the solvers don't see protection as important and would rather get money in on later streets when equity advantage is more well defined, often using overbets to make up for the lost value on later streets. This is still something I'm experimenting with and would be interested in hearing opinions here.

As for the turn, again I'm not happy. In retrospect I think this should be a fold in theory. This board is getting increasingly worse for us and villain shouldn't really be jamming any worse value bets. Of course we're still ahead of villains draws, though they'll have a lot of equity. In game if I remember correctly he went deep into the tank, almost using his full timebank before jamming. I'm not usually the player who makes large deviations on timing tells, but in this spot which I felt would be fairly close either way, I think my read that when people take a long time to make a decision (when they haven't been doing so previously) it tends to indicate more marginal holdings (with quicker actions being more polarised). So I made the call. At the end of the day we need 33% equity here to show a profit, and if he was only jamming Kx, and two-pairs/sets then by my estimations, we'd have around 27% equity already, so it would only take him jamming a few draws/worse hands to show a profit here.

Hand 3

Hero (CO): 101.5 BB
SB: 111 BB (VPIP: 15.00, PFR: 12.50, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 40)

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 9c 9h
fold, fold, Hero raises to 2.5 BB, fold, SB raises to 11 BB, fold, Hero calls 8.5 BB

Flop : (23 BB, 2 players) 8s 4c 8d
SB bets 22 BB, Hero calls 22 BB

Turn : (67 BB, 2 players) 2d
SB bets 78 BB and is all-in, Hero calls 68.5 BB and is all-in

River : (204 BB, 2 players) 6c

SB shows Kc Kh (Two Pair, Kings and Eights)
(Pre 81%, Flop 92%, Turn 95%)

Hero shows 9c 9h (Two Pair, Nines and Eights)
(Pre 19%, Flop 8%, Turn 5%)

SB wins 194.8 BB

To mix it up I thought I'd show a hand that I actually lost (these were few and far between this month so far :P).

This is an unfortunate spot, where of course the villain is representing a very strong hand, but I chose to call down anyway.

Preflop against some more aggressive opponents I may elect to 4bet and GII CO vs SB with 99, but as a general strategy, particularly against a player such as this who has been playing quite tight so far, I will generally elect to call facing this 3bet. I do also expect 3bets here to be fairly wide and mostly linear. A lot of players at these stakes (myself included) play their entire range out of 3bet or fold SB vs LP opens to make up for the positional disadvantage of playing postflop, and again to overcome the rake. I think versus earlier positions, or in ante games it gets better to have a calling range (this is an area of preflop that I still struggle with) but in general I think a linear 3bet or fold strategy is totally reasonable. Not saying that's what this opponent was doing however, just an estimation of the current metagame.

Postflop is just really sad overall. He cbets for almost a pot-sized bet, then jams the bdfd turn for slightly more than pot. This definitely feels nutted. the reason I decide to call down is for a two reasons: Firstly, I'm toward the top of my range. I likely 4bet/GII with TT+, definitely JJ+, so I don't have those strong overpairs, I still need to find calls however (I should be calling around half my hands here on each street), and although I won't float too many overcard hands on the flop I will some of the time (Perhaps AQs with a bdfd) that will have to fold the turn, and by only calling when I have trips or 44 is not enough of the time I imagine. Secondly I think my particular hand is a good hand to call from a removal perspective. By having the 9c and 9h, I block all villains combinations of 98s, which is a value hand I think he could have almost always, I don't block flush draw bluffs, and I also think if villain himself had a hand like 99, he'd be more likely to play it aggressively, making 99 a better call here than e.g. 77 (obviously 99 is a better hand than 77 too, but just a point of comparison). So ultimately I decide to make the call down and villain has the overpair and we lose a large pot.

So this is an example where I think some players may make the exploitative read and fold here, but I decided to go with what I thought was the theoretically good play. So i'd be interested to hear you guys' opinion on this one for sure.

Hand 4

Hero (UTG): 116.2 BB
MP: 147.3 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Qs Ks
Hero raises to 2.5 BB, MP calls 2.5 BB, fold, fold, fold, fold

Flop : (6.5 BB, 2 players) 2d 4s 3c
Hero bets 1.9 BB, MP calls 1.9 BB

Turn : (10.3 BB, 2 players) 3h
Hero bets 19 BB, MP calls 19 BB

River : (48.3 BB, 2 players) 5h
Hero bets 13.8 BB, fold

Hero wins 46.1 BB

Thought I would leave you guys with a pretty spicy bluff as the final hand.

So I open UTG, get one caller and make what I feel to be a pretty standard small cbet. I have overcards and a backdoor flush draw on a board that villain will not have connected with too often. Sure villain could have some sets but I think this is less of a concern than on a more middling board as people will fold their lower pairs preflop more often. The turn is a spot where I could go both ways. In general when middle cards pair on the turn I often do a lot of checking, as usually the PFR would not cbet a middle pair on flop, but a PFC would almost always call a cbet with middle pair. However, on this particular turn I don't think villain would have called many 3x hands preflop (perhaps A3s, but not 100% of the time) so i think this card is more likely to have missed the opponent and simply makes his sets less likely. Given this I elect to overbet, which is a play I've often made on dry turns on dry boards in single raised pots as PFR. The logic is to put maximum pressure on villain's capped range. The reason I say it's capped is because I would have all the strong overpairs in my range that villain won't have as he didn't 3-bet preflop. And the large bet size puts villains bluffcatchers in more of a tough situation. The fact I'm using this hand specifically (very low equity) may mean I'm getting too out of line here with bluffing, but I think it's an exploitatively good play as I don't think players at these stakes are defending their range appropriately. The river I thought was quite a cool spot. I think villains range still contains mostly medium pocket pairs, and the occasional full house. I don't think villain should have a straight much here at all, except for perhaps 56s or A5s. I expect his A2s/A4s to fold the turn often. Whereas my range can have all sorts of good hands here. i could have been bluffing with Ax overcards that have now gotten there, I could have also flopped a straight or a set-turned-full house, I could even have 67s/56s myself. I just think this is a great card for my range, and I think a small bet performs very well here as I expect his middling pairs to be in a very tough spot and fold often, even to a small bet, and by betting small i save money on the occasion he does have a good hand. This could also allow me to go quite thin for value here. Betting my strong overpairs myself.

Thanks for reading. I'm eager to hear your opinions, both on my plays themselves and my thought process. I'm also interested in you guys' thoughts on how best to structure these updates. I realise the long hand analysis may be tough to digest so i think in future posts I'll post interesting hands on the NLHE forum as well as discord (join here: https://discord.gg/WphYcn9) so let me know what you think of that approach.

Happy to report the bankroll now stands at a tasty $265.02 Let's hope the rungood continues!

#Gratitude

Nov. 11, 2018 | 3:40 p.m.

Hi Nick! :D

And hi Run It Once community <3.

As Nick mentioned, I'm also a member of the fantastic Run It Once Poker Team here in Malta. I've been a poker enthusiast for around the last 3-4 years, first getting involved trough watching streams on twitch, then playing live, particularly as a member then president of the Poker Society at my university, and then through generating a side income through NLH cash games online and live. I love the game and hope we can all make use of this thread together as a way to grow and improve <3

As for the challenge so far....

Things are busy here in Malta as you can all imagine! So my play has been limited to a couple of hours here or there after work. My focus (as Nick touched on) has been on the 6max cash games on Pokerstars (although I'll probably throw in a couple of softer MTTs now and then). I've never been a mass-multitabler. I find cutting down on the table number a good way to improve your winrate and really hone your skills (although this is not a good strategy for completing 90k hands in a month :O Good Luck, Nick!).

So far throughout the challenge I've played ~49 sessions and have ran the bankroll from $100 -> $242.12 (with no reloads ;) ). A success for sure, but slow progress so far, with some bumps along the way...

We began at 5NL. And it seemed the adjustment to low stakes was a tough transition for me, with the 5NL sharks giving me a severe beating. It seemed for every win, there was a loss twice as hard. All in all, this resulted in a loss of ~$33 after 16 days.

But alas, my hope never faded. And with a dose of belief, plus a healthy serving of #gratitude, we knew we could fight our way back. And fight back we did, netting SEVENTEEN winning sessions in a row, sending our roll soaring to $353.69.

But as toasty as the heater was, the winter came, and was biting. We took a shot at the rail heaven that is 10NL, and came close to hitting the rail ourselves...

When the red sea eventually did part, we were left with $159.36 in the roll. A profit, sure, but the summit seemed as steep a climb as ever...

Since then the grind has continued. With some high highs, and a few low lows, rounding out our roll to the steady $242.12 it is today. Graph/stats from the challenge are shown below. I'll be jumping in the thread for updates and interesting hands every now and again and I encourage you all to jump in the fun: Berate my play, ask some questions, and share your own stories from the grind. I can't tell you how happy i am to be part of the team and community here at Run It Once, and when I hope to share the joy of reaching that $10,000 with you all as soon as possible.

#Gratitude

  • Dan

Nov. 5, 2018 | 10:43 p.m.

Hey KRab, Great video as always :)

Was wondering about the Th8c at 16:15. You say on that this hand doesn't make sense to bluff river. Which makes sense to me as you block missed hearts and have some SDV. But was wondering what hands you would choose to bluff river? Considering even 67 got there which would be a hand that I would expect as a reasonable triple barrel (say with a heart on heart rivers, and without on non-hearts) it seems like you'd have a ton of value here. Of course with your small flop size you have many more bluffs to choose from on turn, but would also have more value (e.g. 98 that may check flop if using a larger cbet strategy). Would you say you have enough river bluffs using just hands like KT/maybe AT? And also on river would you split sizes?

Thanks

Oct. 13, 2018 | 12:19 p.m.

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