MrSneeze's avatar


903 points

Would you say that your systemic vision is about letting natural drive(s) expresses itself naturally through and by us?
Or at the contrary letting ourselves go to were the situation naturally leads us? Is it actually a 'natural' process?

Sept. 5, 2016 | 10 a.m.

there's a certain futility in our current model of disempowerment

Could you extend on what you mean here? I think I agree, but unsure what you refer to.

Aug. 23, 2016 | 12:40 p.m.

Imagine the momentum we would gain as a civilization if we each gave ourselves fully to a dream, instead of justifying all the reasons we can't.

This is full of dangers actually. Most of the problems on earth come from people thinking their view of the world is more accurate than their neighbour. Most of the problems also come from people trying to make the world a better place, because they end up fighting fiercely for their view.

So I wouldn't generalize your point from the spectrum of 'an individual in a sphere of performance' to our whole civilization. Because civilization is full of violence and mischief, and surely transferring our performance-based realisations to a 'way of living', is bound to make us even more hyper-competitive and devouring one another.

This is a very dangerous turn our 'civilization' is taking, where war is a way of living.

Don't get carried away too much by 'the power of individuals' or 'realized people'. Realization is a perpetual process of learning. You've probably get that more than most. But don't think for a moment that this gonna solve the world, because EVERYTHING has two sides.

Big dreams have also their nightmares versions. When an individual starts thinking too much that he's special (and he is! each living thing is a unique version of life...), he also starts feeding on others. That's a dangerous process, to exist.

And although the poker vocabulary you're using here (going all-in with decisions, being an underdog, etc) is pretty inspiring, I really doubt that giving oneself fully to a dream is really sound. It can be, maybe for you, maybe for some people, but only sometimes.
Other times, giving oneself to an idea mostly creates fascism in all its subtle variations and manifestations (at the micro level, in a couple, for instance).

Budha was saying that all thought or statement is as true as it is false. I feel that way about your above statement. Yet, by all means, continue to write.

Aug. 22, 2016 | 6:40 a.m.

I guess by overfolding the river I didn't mean specifically the tendencies of the opponent, but more the ICM situation. I think in that spot people call early streets because they have a good enough hand, and suddenly on the river they realize they don't want to put that much money into the pot (or at least they're very unsure): this is what I meant by overfolding. It's more about lacking plan in this case.

We overfold because we don't want to commit too many chips at this stage. Obv if we're facing a vilain and a situation where bluffs are super rare, we don't overfold. But here we're likely to do so, independently of the opponent almost.
We have to understand this is a guessing game situation, and that's never enjoyable. That's still part of the game!

Aug. 13, 2016 | 1:02 p.m.

I'm not letting that guy get away with raising me on this flop texture, when he can't rep a strong enough range ever. I'm probably check-raising flop actually. As played I cb/3B (shove's fine, click back too).

As played on later streets, I find the turn bet sizing a bit worrying. There his line looks way more nuts-heavy I'd say. And not enough players will ever use tricky sizings at this stage if it's not for inducing...
We might have to make a decision here, and the decision could be folding if all that's gonna happen in the river is us being lost and fold by default.

Aug. 11, 2016 | 5:47 p.m.

For sure that is a bluff. He considers his opponent is capped and will not be willing to stack off. He might also considers his opponent will bluff often if checked to on the river, which makes the 'bluff' better (although versus bluffs he can obviously check/call): but here he checks, probably excpects to win if UTG checks back ; when he bets, he assumes he'll fold often enough.

Key factors here are: how wide UTG bets river, and how likely he is to call it off. Easily put, Kanit considered UTG would bet/fold too much, and therefore the option of check-raising all-in was better than betting for value (or check-calling for that matter). I like the move. He's definitely repping enough value hands, where it's more likely UTG doesn't have a nut hand.

In the end, it's read-dependent. If Kanit didn't have a read of some sort, he would pull off that move so liberally.

Aug. 11, 2016 | 5:44 p.m.

and with icm and 4 lower stacks at ur table, its looks like a easy fold.

Then shall we really play our hand this way in the first place? Shall we really become a passive player overfolding the river because of ICM?
It's more of a dialectical dynamic IMO: since there is ICM, we have reasons to fold more often, but since there is ICM and our opponent has ICM on his side, we have reasons to call more. Definitely I see many MTT players suddenly play SOOOO weak when ICM is involved, and I just don't understand it. You should adjust to ICM for sure, but if that only implies playing loose-weak, I think it's pretty bad, and ends up just giving ton of chips to the chip leaders applying pressure (when their agressivity should give US some chips, because their ranges are too wide).

It's really about what mode we think our opponent is at this particular moment. Still without reads I'm okay check-folding river.

Aug. 11, 2016 | 5:33 p.m.

Of course, live tells and impressions are of first importance. That said, it's often pretty difficult ingame to find the balance between feel and cold reasoning (easy to mix the two, level oneself, etc).
The more confident you are with your live reads, the more you can use it.

July 18, 2016 | 4:47 p.m.

It's an investment decision based on your aversion to risk and your bankroll at a given time.
I'd say there's no way you can master a strategy only by working away from the table: at some point you have to confront your ideas to reality, and you're bound to make mistakes (those mistakes will slowly make you sharper). So you'll put yourself at risk one way or another. That's an investment.

By experimenting and playing non-standard, you have to be ready to play worse than your potential at a given time. But if you're honest with your learning process and dedicated to improving, it'll pay very interesting dividends later on, when you'll be good enough in situations very few people are comfortable with, for instance.

Isn't poker about being better than your opponents? At some point, if one wants to survive, one has to fight and evolve. Otherwise, you'll die you know.

PS: I see that I have indeed improved in marginal situations considering several posts in this thread say 'A5o has poor playability postflop'. For me A5o has great playability postflop in a limped pot versus one or both blinds. If one blind raises, we usually have a decision between folding and jamming with our stack. Seems pretty easy to play IMO. But that might only be because I'm more used to those situations than others, precisely.

June 23, 2016 | 5:26 p.m.

Raising strategies do simplify the game tree, but mostly because everybody is more used to those than limping strategies. The only simplification therefore comes from experience in this case, I'd assume.

Poker is a complicated game, and one needs to dig quite a bit to find strong edges. I certainly don't think I've mastered tournament strategy. But I know I like to go around the standards to maximize my edges.

Overall anyway, there are many ways to be a good tournament player.

June 22, 2016 | 4:10 a.m.

Port cities are good for travelers :).

June 8, 2016 | 4:30 p.m.

I moved to Amsterdam a few months ago :). And yearly pilgrimage to Vegas.

June 6, 2016 | 10:59 a.m.

Comment | MrSneeze commented on Checking Dark

Ah of course. I understand that point.

But man when you're playing live you're not playing sauce, esp at 5/10 haha. You have the right to try and play your most inexploitable poker. But the concept you're talking about, do you have any idea what percentage of players at 5/10 will think in those terms?

I would add that even the players thinking about that concept will usually be players constantly levelling themselves in a live set up.

So it's just not relevant here. If you think it is, then you think poker is uniform, when clearly the environment is very diverse, and optimal strategies are just what works best in a given sub-environment....
You just don't (and should not) play the same at 50/100 HU online, or at 200zoom, or at 5/10 live.

June 2, 2016 | 4:10 p.m.

Learn how to quit. Take breaks. With poker and with yourself (images of yourself as well).

Quit the game regularly, quit the game especially when it seems hard and it seems you're just in a midle of a storm not controlling anything (the storm is basically your emotions).

Variance in the game is pretty low as compared to variance in our emotions, confidence, quality of play. We think we always play the same, or at least good enough, and it's absolutely untrue. Only the best of the best, more experienced players, have learnt not to be carried away with themselves. But the emotional impact of the game is real. Getting stubborn and embracing this 'indifference attitude' where 'it's just variance, keep grinding, doesn't matter'.... leads to vicious circles of losing and eroded confidence. This is volume wasted, more often than most players want to admit to themselves.

Being good at poker is very demanding. I rejoin Tyler's comment about 'yesterday', and would add a grain of salt though, by saying that what we proved yesterday, doesn't prove anything for today. Being good yesterday doesn't imply we're always good, and we can get attached to this idea, therefore being blind to what we do wrongly, right now.

So take a break for a while, cut your relationship to the game, let it cool down totally. And go back in crushing again. This act of going out / going in (the game), is like breathing. Probably something Tommy Angelo could say. You need to breath out the accumulated tilt, that's that easy. Regain joy and confidence in other aspects of your life maybe.
Treat your confidence like a vital aspect of your success. Don't think you're immune to your results (or to your mistakes, which in a way would be considered as 'variance in the quality of your play'). You're not. Even after years of experience, most humans remain pretty vulnerable to the crazyness of poker, I'm very sure of it.

June 1, 2016 | 2:24 p.m.

I think it's pretty easy to balance. We can play all the AQ combos this way, and we can have some AK. It's also a line we can employ with some of our draws, and it's still very hard for our opponent to call. I just think we can construct a shoving range with many hands in this situation, and find enough fold equity (just the way the stacks are, plus vilain's line). Actually sometimes vilain will weirdly call with KK and we're crushing him.

This is absolutely not a default line nor necessarilly the best line IMO. But I just consider it because I never think it's so bad (we have solid outs when called, we have probable decent fold equity). Especially it prevents us from the possibility of making mistakes river, just the way we are here by calling turn / guessing river (by playing 'blind', without reads or particular reasons).

I also think this kind of line is very strong for our image and momentum, whatever happens (vilains folds or calls). Checking back flop and raising turn instantly creates a tricky / tough image.

June 1, 2016 | 11:57 a.m.

Comment | MrSneeze commented on Checking Dark

It is better if it provokes weird stuff. See my rambling above XD.
But, more importantly, you have to realize that people give off a lot of tells when they check and when they bet (and how obv). I personnally get a lot of strong reads based on how my opponents check the flop to me. Someone checking dark kinda cancel the tells he could give me (with the speed of the check, or the way he checks).

Also, when you're the one checking in the dark, it allows you to absolutely focus / stare your opponent and his flop reaction, therefore getting some strong reads as well. That is definitely what Phil Helmuth does. He checks dark and focus entirely on his opponent and not on the flop or anything. He gave up the strategic option of donking to maximize the information he collects on the flop.
So yeah, getting better reads (if you know what you're doing).

June 1, 2016 | 11:49 a.m.

Comment | MrSneeze commented on Checking Dark

If they're idiots, then yes. I guess OP's question is about the effectiveness of a 'idiot' play when performed by a tough / good player.
Clearly, what you say might be sound on some level, versus weak players that just check dark to look like Phil Helmuth. But when the good player does that, you make 2 mistakes:
- thinking he's more fishy than he really is, which is great for him. Usually our opinion of people is vastly determined by our first impressions. If a good player lures you into thinking he's bad, well it's as if he's sucking your blood already and you don't even know it.
- you make the mistake of snap-reacting (the bet in the dark) by putting money into the pot automatically for no real reason except the guy tilted you. I let you consider how bad it is versus a good player.

I personnally have made mucho money last year in Vegas with ultra-unorthodox play and behavior. I was flabbergasted how stupid people are as soon as you do something weird. It's like they stop thinking. You see it in how they look at you: they have a decisive opinion about you, and you can see it, but they don't realize you're one step ahead, or actually miles ahead.

June 1, 2016 | 11:41 a.m.

Comment | MrSneeze commented on Checking Dark

Well remember that most games you play you're not gonna see the players ever again. Or just a few, maybe once in a while. Most of them don't pay attention. And those who do usually don't pay attention correctly and will over-emphasize some impressions they have of you.

If you're smart about it, I don't see how you gonna get exploited ever. The confusion / image it creates (that is, the psychological impact of our general demeanor at the table) can have a strong impact versus some players though.

Obv this kind of consideration is not the trend of learning in the evolution of the community. But I'm becoming very confident in my live game, and IMO image is really really underrated. If you know what you're doing (or not doing), the game becomes so different: you start to understand that the environment is not playing rationally, but rather is getting over-influenced by some stimuli.
People are definitely playing other players depending of what they think of their face, or attitude.

For the guy you describe checking dark regularly, as I said I imagine if he has a good table presence (he doesn't seem impressed / scared) + some sticky tendencies, it will provoke very extreme reactions for many players: either spew against that guy, trying to bluff him although he clearly shows he's not going anywhere. Or at the contrary being very shy with this guy. In the guy's shoes, it is bound to create good exploitative situations.

June 1, 2016 | 11:33 a.m.

Limping is fine. But it's more important to know what to do postflop. It's incredible the number of hands posted here where the only problem is: there is no plan. We just 'react'.
Here facing a good player, we just react in a passive way. Pretty easy for him to keep crushing when people give off so much dead money to him (= playing paralysed).

We can't just limp and then be lost. If we do that, by all means it's better to raise.

OP: you don't have bad reasoning on any street. But concretely you don't know what's going on in this hand. You assume things, but how do you know they're true? How do you know vilain is not abusing the situation and being pretty far from having a 'balanced range'? If you don't know anything by the way, you're doing something wrong :).

Maybe vilain realizes that his stack offers him good leverage to use the line he used, and he can do that very wide. On the contrary, maybe vilain is in cautious / tight mode with his stack at this point. Either way, what I'm trying to say is that we need to get some relevance somewhere, and maybe the key factor is stack size. Or maybe it's something else.
Sometimes, we truly don't know. Surely we don't want to make stupid guess. But poker still is a game of information, and for that reason I find it bad to get involved in situations where we're lost information-wise. Which is, at the end of the day, probably why most people just openraise that hand (makes the hand easier to play in general I'm sure).

May 31, 2016 | 9:49 a.m.

Comment | MrSneeze commented on Checking Dark

I use it sometimes as well.
OK, first of all, it's possible (and easily good) to build solid strategies where you check often OOP. That's important, because otherwise checking dark would hardly be justified. This is because we can check as a defaut in some situations that we can check dark.

Drawbacks of checking dark: we give up the opportunity to bet ourselves, meaning we reduce our strategic options, at least on one street. But that's not necessary bad to reduce your options on one given street if it reinforces your options on later streets.
Also, we might expose ourselves pretty badly with hand strengh if we, for instance, only check dark with some kind of hands and not with others (just an example of people doing it badly would be to check dark with Ahi hands specifically).

I think that the merits of checking dark appear clearly when you become a good live player and understand all at the table is an information interaction (what you give off, what you get). There is a lot of information given off in how people check (how they react to the flop, how quick they check, and how they move when they check, do they say something?). So checking dark allows to diminish the information we might leak.

But more importantly, I think the guy himself who's using it, actually uses it to get more information himself. Since he gave up on the 'act' of checking, and he routinely does so, he can just stare his opponent and observe information in the betting patterns / speed, etc.

Adding to that, on a psychological note: many 'regs' will instantly view you as more fishy than you are if you start checking dark (most players won't ever consider that kind of thing since it's removing some of their playability options...). This can be a useful image to have, if you know what to d with it.
I think this kind of 'attitude' at the table also tilts people. Especially if you combine checking dark often and being sticky in general. People will get annoyed by that and either will back off / play straightforward OR will on the contrary tend to barrel with little sense. I'd assume that guy found out it was strategically good for him to play that way for all those reasons: has merits in information-gathering and information-concealing, has merits for our image, if we know how to use it!

May 31, 2016 | 9:39 a.m.

Agreed with that, we can't assume so much from the preflop sizing. Agreed also that it's close preflop between call, 4b, and fold. Most players usually call without thinking in this situation, and I think it's bad because this is the line for which we need the most postflop reads to maximize our EV (or postflop edges, ability to anticipate what our opponent will do).

In general though, SB will have a rather solid range (because he can just fold or flat pre, his position makes him very exposed as soon as he starts 3betting too much... unless he believes you're isolating the limper dementially wild). But with 150bb eff stack, 4B provides a strong leverage. In live 5/10 and vs given opponent though, we're likely to be played back some if we 4b. But in general good stacks to do so IMO.
And fold is reasonable.

What is very interesting in this hand, and comments, is that Hero clearly has no clue of what to do postflop. Which is why we need to consider more our preflop options instead of getting involved in this big pot in a very defensive way (our plan is to hit and call when we hit... wait :) ).
Since we decided to play the hand readless, I'd say our best line might be to jam turn. Definitely a line that decreases our rate of river mistakes.

As played, with no info, call or fold river is a gamble. In fact, comments here disagree, some call, some fold. I don't know enough about vilain to know what he's capable of. But his line once we get to the river looks pretty strong. I think we risk donating a lot of money too often if we start overcalling this spot. True, we have good blockers, etc, but what hands does vilain bluff with in this situation? Is it common for him to make elaborate tricky plays (bluffs)? For some players, depending on their preflop ranges and tendencies, we can almost remove all bluffs from this line (the river sizing).
And obv some other players will abuse this kind of delay cbet / big sizings line (online I've seen some players check a lot flop OOP after 3B, only to overbet turns pretty often).

But if we don't want to level ourselves and play marginal to bad guessing games, I think we ought to play the hand in a more efficient way considering we didn't build enough good reads.
Either we:
- 4b or fold pre
- bet flop exploitatively to maximize our chances of going to showdown
- shove turn (pretty hard for this line to be bad ever)
- call turn / fold river when we miss

My opinion is that we should fold that river. But I see good arguments for calling. Point is for me; this is live, and live is all about information and exploitation: you want to get in pots where you know what's going on. Not in pots where you defend and end up guessing (IMO one of the area in which most players, even good regs, make the biggest mistakes in live => because when they end up guessing, they also end up making more subconscious decision, and call just because they don't like your face. Or fold because the bet is too big. Which is basically, in both instances, becoming a fish. It's also pretty easy to anticipate, because you'll see when someone doesn't like you, and you'll see when someone doesn't like to call it off).

Interesting hand.

May 31, 2016 | 9:01 a.m.

They're both playing exploitatively towards one another in this hand (for metagame reasons we just don't know here). One is owning the other in this endeavor.

May 31, 2016 | 8:28 a.m.

Agreed with most of what you said, but TT seems like an easy 4b/stack off 100bb deep, way more than AQ, just because default 3b/5b ranges will usually be pocket pairs heavy and AK?
Like, with no histo, I see players 3b 88 and jam over a 4b all day every day. No?

BUT, an easy way to balance and be tough is to have no 4b range as SB, only a calling range and folding range versus a 3b. Obv we adjust if vilain adjusts strategy / 3b sizings.

May 31, 2016 | 8:25 a.m.

His 3b size is huge, isn't it? What do you make of it?

PS: once he makes it that big, you're very unlikely to have FE, so up to you to decide if you can shove 4 value or not.

April 6, 2016 | 11:18 a.m.

Comment | MrSneeze commented on 5/10 Live. 2k deep

Actually I'd bet smaller on a monotone board than on a two-tone board.

March 22, 2016 | 9:59 a.m.

Folding face up in this situation is pretty risky for your mental health.... But I understand, you want to show you're a sick player :). Sometimes you'll get owned by showing.... Ahhhh tournament poker ego.

All that said, I wonder why so few people slowplay their aces and just flat your 4b with position.... instead of playing kinda face up and lose value. So yeah, when opponent does 5b IP, he often has AA.

Side note: just flatting the 4b and playing postflop seem like a reasonable and good option. You have no reads. You don't know how to play postflop so deep in this situation so early in the tournament. Since you're planning on folding on a 5b (which is reasonable), I'm not convinced 4betting is necessarilly better than flatting at this stage and at this stack depth.

March 21, 2016 | 10:52 a.m.

Comment | MrSneeze commented on NL1k, bodog, 4b pot

Agreed, probably not the best hand to 4b with blind versus blind.... Or if it is, surely it's because we're facing an exploitable vilain (say, he 3b a ton but doesn't defend nearly enough versus 4b).

It doesn't seem you have reads on your opponents, nor a sound plan. For that reason, I don't see any reason to make a move with A8o here. You can just wait for better hands and / or better reads.

March 21, 2016 | 10:42 a.m.

Comment | MrSneeze commented on 5/10 Live. 2k deep

Preflop is perfectly fine. The crazier image you have for any reason, the more you should 3b, but you'd want to flat as much as possible from the BTN as well in this situation, and surely including QQ 200bb deep will create good situations for you.

Flop is monotone or has a flush draw? Not sure what you mean by Q57s. Unless it's a monotone board, I think you can and should bet bigger, you're so likely to get action multiway this deep.
Turn same thing, unless a flush is possible, I'd bet bigger turn.

As played, I would usually fold river, it's super easy for reg to have 8x, and you have some combos as well + all sets (don't think you're capped, don't think most regs would try to put pressure in this situation). But it's live and a very polarised situation, so personnally, I'd put a lot of emphasis on live reads.

March 21, 2016 | 10:39 a.m.

Yup, as played call river, but seriously work on your sizings. This is a serious professional mistake here : just see how you build the pot on every street... clearly not optimal and not well planned. Also you need to consider your perceived range: in this situation, you look very face up with your sizing, and also very strong, which I think is not great here (clearly you'll get a ton of mucks on the turn from hands you beat... some decent flush draws might stay there. But seriously, I think many players should (and will!) fold AQ or worse on this turn versus your line.

Anyway, I would first and foremost make it bigger preflop, as your 3b range from BB is surely strong anyway. Postflop, I do see merits in betting very big on the flop, because many hands will call now and fold later, and also it allows you to shove turn, making it a 2-street game (on this board texture, I kinda like this option). You can also 3 barrel, but please make it smaller flop and turn to get a better stack to pot ratio river...

March 17, 2016 | 11:34 a.m.

I felt you were french :). Who are you?

Nah not really playing on anymore, haven't played too much cash game online in 2015 and 2016 actually (more on and lately).
Moving to Amsterdam very soon and planning on focusing on live games! I love live poker way more than online now. Excited to play on .com websites though, will probably focus on heads up cash game and MTTs.

Sorry, out of thread discussion!

March 11, 2016 | 6:55 p.m.

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