# Orca206

57 points

8/6/24 GTOW Trainer Session #18

Today the focus of my trainer work was a little more memory intensive than my usual simple drilling. Sure, I wanted to get the answer "correct" for the specific hand I was playing, but I was far more concerned with whether or not I could predict the global frequency for that texture and which sizes GTOW was primarily splitting between. That's a lot harder to do.

For each hand, I would make my best guess and then refer to the table below to see how close I was. I made that table a long time ago when I first started studying with solvers. Referencing it so frequently meant that I only got through about 150 flops in the ~60-75 minutes that I had available to study this. Still, I think clarified my understanding about a few textures and that was the goal. A lot more work will be needed over the coming years to fully memorize all of this stuff. Every day I put in the work makes me a little better and that is all that matters.

I've added my usual randomly selected full hand drill into my session warm-up routine now. In that time slot, it still serves to keep my fundamentals sharp while simultaneously getting my head into the right poker space before I start playing for real.

I desperately need a break to let my batteries recharge. I'll be back sometime this evening with my session results.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 6, 2024 | 7:37 p.m.

8/6/24 RIO Video Study Session #18

1) Flop Heuristics by Henry Lister
a) Average C-Bet Frequency is 68% across all textures
b) Rainbow: Bet frequency increases
c) Gutshot>OESD>Straight Present: frequency decreases in this order (lower cards are generally better for BB)
d) Tripled: 25-33% range (sometimes bigger)
e) Paired RB: T-A 33b Range, 3-8 paired 33b 50%
f) Monotone: Bet frequency drops drastically (55% median)
g) A standalone is neutral, both players have lots of Ax
h) K-T: bet frequency increases for aggressor
i) 3-9 cards: bet frequency decreases when 2+ present (especially when connected)
j) Disconnected boards are significantly better for IP aggressor (eg K62 or Q73)

2) Flop C Bet Strategy by Tyler Forrester
a) Low Connected Boards: BB is supposed to lead far more than they actually do. As a result, you can afford to check back more than you do in the solver sims. The BB range will be stronger than it “should be”.
b) Monotone boards: you’re even checking back flopped flush draws because if you always fast play the flush, any time you check, and these boards are often highly mixed, you’re extremely capped. Villain can just blast off with any flush and flush draw.
c) AQ-AKx: best to bet big because real villains don’t check-raise enough. This means you simply won’t get enough money in with your good hands if you go small.
d) JT9fd – the relative strength of hands on this board is so strong that players often misplay them. Two-pair is closer to the relative value of top pair on K72 rainbow board. The solver even folds 87 at some frequency once money starts piling in on this board.
e) If you’re going to split your range on any board, you need to know the accompanying bluffs that go with the value hands. Otherwise, you’re going to end up far too value heavy and you become easily exploitable: villain just folds when you’re using the bigger sizes.

Note to self: bigger flop bets make sense against recreationals who won’t fold pairs. You’re just going to barrel off sizes around pot on most runouts. They won’t fold most second pairs and sometimes even 3rd pairs.

Time to drill some flop c-bet action in the GTOW Trainer!

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 6, 2024 | 6:18 p.m.

8/6/24 Morning-After Session Review #19

This review isn't going to be sexy because when I analyzed today's hands, there were only two things that really stood out and they are fundamental in nature...

Unlucky Preflop or Something Else?
First, I got stacked six times in this session. All six of those times that I lost a full stack were hands where the money went in preflop.

Now, I can't do anything about these two:

If you get your Aces cracked, just swallow it and move on. The end. You also can't be mad about losing a flip where you're the favorite when you have TT vs AK. That's a good call and you need to run that same scenario as often as you can find it.

And the two after those, well, this is just the price you sometimes pay when you 4bet jam AKo for protection:

I don't worry about these in the long run because those "protection" jams often win tons of smaller pots for every time you run yourself into KK+.

However, these next two, while completely standard on the surface, belie one of the biggest problems in my game -- I currently don't use HUD statistics while playing.

I know full well that some players have 4bet stats that are so nitty that you can really only continue with KK+. Others are at least far away enough from optimal that you have to at least start reconsidering AKo. Had I been using a HUD, it could have potentially swayed me towards a fold -- especially with that AQs hand. At some point, I will have to make it a priority to learn proper HUD use and integrate it into my game. I don't need a HUD to beat 10nl or probably 25nl, but I need to start using one BEFORE I need it to win and not after.

Missing Standard Cbets in SRPs vs BB
I have greatly reduced the amount of drilling I'm doing on the fundamental spots because I'm trying to plug leaks. In so doing, I've noticed that my cbet game is slipping a bit. I'm missing some fairly standard, texture based cbets with air-ish hands.

Like these:

For today, I'm going to focus on RIO videos that cover flop c-bet heuristics in SRPs against a BB defend. I'm going to drill at least 420 flops (not full hands) focusing specifically on recognizing high frequency textures. My goal is to try and internalize global frequencies rather than just intuit what my hand wants to do. I'm very good at the latter, but having a strong grasp on the actual concepts behind the intuition is incredibly important for reducing the rate of unforced errors.

Well, that's all for today folks! I'll be back later in the day with RIO video notes and the results of my GTOW Trainer session.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 6, 2024 | 4:39 p.m.

8/5/24 ACR 10NL Session #6

+17bb in 2785 hands

I mean, does this even count as a winning session? lol.

Super, super annoying session. I got stacked like at least six times in preflop situations and that's very hard to recover from when you're not on the winning end of your fair share. It what it is.

Look at this... 0.61bb/100 and 16.1bb/100 all-in adjusted, lol.

I still have very little doubt that I'll rack up the 20-25 buy-ins I need at this stake to move up to 25NL in short order.

I'll be back tomorrow morning to analyze the session, but I think, when I look at it, the main takeaway is going to be that I need to start using a HUD so I can avoid shoving AK into players that only 4 bet QQ+.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 6, 2024 | 2:14 a.m.

8/5/24 GTOW Trainer Session #18

Today's work was 420 hands starting on the flop in SRPs where BB donks 33% pot into the BTN. BTN has to defend. I only played the flop. I wanted to get a better idea of how wide to defend and, more importantly, which hands to raise and how often. I think microstakes villains have far too strong of a donking range in general, and floating quite as wide as you do against the solver doesn't make sense, but it probably VERY GOOD sense to increase the rate at which you raise the hands that already raise in GTO. I have a much better sense of how to defend against donks now thanks to both Hunter Cichy's video discussed above and due to this training session. Having synergy between the study content and trainer reps greatly improves the rate at which I seem to learn.

Anyways, time to take a little break at the dog park with the hounds and my wife. I'll be back in ~5+ hours to report the results of this evening's session.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 5, 2024 | 8:08 p.m.

8/5/24 RIO Video Study Session #18

1) Exploitative Poker: Profiling Recreational Players and Making Adjustments
Core Principles:

a) A very aggressive, exploitative style is going to perform way better against recreational players. Their mistakes revolve around playing very wide ranges and overvaluing their hands. Therefore, protecting our ranges make us lose EV in practice
b) Fastplaying strong, but vulnerable hands and strong draws performs much better than going for mixed strategies typical of the GTO approach
c) Recreational players will struggle to put you on strong hands if you took a passive line on previous streets. Except for some slow plays, these runouts are terrible to bluff, but extremely profitable to thin value bet with very large sizes.
d) We don’t have to worry about balancing our ranges. We can counter exploit regulars that try to isolate the weaker players in spots where we have the range advantage.
e) When playing hyper aggressive opponents that will float and raise our bets extremely aggressively, and bet very frequently against a check, we can Cbet hands which we don’t mind bet-folding and hands which have very strong equity to continue against raises on most turns. We can check-raise more vulnerable hands to put all the money in on one or two streets and benefit from protection/equity realization,
Note to self: watch out for spots where fish donk the river for ~1/2 pot on missed flush draw boards. This is very often thin value / missed flush. I see this action at least once a session and it usually stumps me.

2) Hyper-Exploitative Ideas (Part 2)
Check-raise more often when…
a) Villain uses B33 (70+) on boards that should be B67 (50-) – check raise % can go as high as 20%+ when the global frequency is normally 13%
b) Villain snap folds a lot of solver approved floats
c) Villain has a lot of great turn barrels against your hand (65cc on Qc Js 6h)

Raise donk leads more often when…
a) You’ll have to call a turn jam anyway (eg 87hh on Qd Th 9h)
b) Villain is merged and vulnerable on many runouts (65cc on 9s 4c 2c)
c) You’re nutted and you don’t block anything important (AsAc on Qd 8s 2d)

Double barrel more often with…
a) Robust equity + great triple barrel candidate (65ss on 8d 3c 2s Tc)
b) Robust equity + top end blockers (KThh on Qc 3h 2c Ad)
c) Robust equity + meh blocks + unblock river folds (Ks8d on Ad 6d 4h 5c)

Note to self: it is time to start thinking more about equity denial. I am not raising donks enough. Many 10NL villains are donking with crappy top pairs and middle pairs. They are too merged. They benefit from seeing more cards and realizing their equity.

I really have a lot more studying that I need to do on exploitative play.

Time to put in some reps on the GTOW Trainer.

Have a good one,
~Orca

### Aug. 5, 2024 | 7:06 p.m.

This may be a bit straight forward, but my best strategy for combating fatigue that gets in the way of studying is to study before you even get fatigued. I don't know exactly how your schedule works out playing MTTs, but I generally play all cash games at night after most U.S. recreational players have gotten off of work (after 5:30pm or so). I don't even try to study after I finish playing. I study first thing the next morning after a full night of sleep and a cup of coffee. It is hard to be too tired to study when you've just woken up and had a little caffeine.

If that isn't possible due to scheduling issues, I think SOME kind of relaxation-based break is close to mandatory. I don't think many people are going to get in quality study immediately after playing unless their sessions are quite short. That sounds unrealistic for someone playing MTTs.

I don't imagine this to be any different than any other sport. Imagine an American football player going to lift weights immediately after a real game where they've just been bashed around for three hours. The periodization just doesn't make sense. After a long study session, I usually go to the gym, take my dogs to the park, and sometimes I even take an actual nap before I get on with my evening session of cash games.

In my opinion, physical and mental energy are both finite resources that have to be managed. No one can sustain peak mental performance nonstop. When you have someone who is clearly motivated, as you are, and they are directly speaking of energy issues when it is time to study, that is probably because they have actual energy issues rather than some sort of discipline issue. Moving things around a bit, like the thirty-minute break you mentioned, to include a recharge period before you study sounds like the right move to me.

### Aug. 5, 2024 | 7:04 p.m.

8/5/24 Morning-After Review Session #18

There are two main themes that jumped out at me from today's review and, unsurprisingly, both are areas that cannot be directly looked at in a solver.

Single-Raised Isolation Pots against Limpers
Area #1, which I won't dig into too deeply, is playing ISO pots against fish who have limped. These players fit into different categories and you have to be sure to stereotype them correctly. One version of these limpers that I encounter very often is the extreme calling station -- especially on both the flop and the turn. They'll call with anything. They pretty much just don't fold.

Because these types of Villains just don't fold the flop and turn, you either need to be prepared to fire some high variance triple barrels on the river or you just don't bluff:

And, as a direct follow-up, when you have ANYTHING, and I do mean just about anything, go thinner than you think is correct for value:

I've finally come to truly understand that the single biggest boost that I can possibly make to my win rate is going to come in the form of efficiently exploiting fish. Trying to get the best of regs for 1-3bb/100 is not how you win big. Beating fish for 10-20+bb/100 is how you win big. Period. Here, in this area, I need to become far more efficient and far more ruthless in ensuring I maximize the number of pots I play against these players. I need to be far more liberal in using both single-raise and 3 bet isolation bets. I need to incentivize them to enter pots when they are left to act behind by calling certain holdings that I might normally 3bet. Get these players in the pot and take their money. That is the true essence of professional poker. Unless you're a high stakes reg going against a line-up that has virtually no real weak players, grinding out half a bb in EV is not how you become a crusher. Beat the hell out of the fish.

Poor Multiway Pot Play
The second area is multiway pot play. I'm extremely dissatisfied with my performance here. I think far often I'm playing passively in most spots:

Here, a reg attempts to isolate a fish who limps UTG. I call behind because I want the fish to stay in the pot. I flop top pair on a flush board and bet big primarily looking to end the hand or, ideally, to get called by the fish and push the reg out. The opposite happens. The reg calls and the fish folds. The 8 completes two straights which are completely irrelevant because a reg wouldn't isolate with 97 or 74 from the HJ. The only realistic two pair is 65 and sets are certainly possible, but most villains raise flop with both of those holdings a very large chunk of the time on a texture this dynamic. I think Villain's range consists very heavily of double broadway flush draws. Checking back here for pot control is certainly an option, but so is overbetting turn to ensure flushes don't have good odds to call. When the flush hits, I have to give up, but most times it won't and that's how I maximize my money with this holding... I think. I can't check any of this in a solver.

Again, repeatedly throughout the session, I kept playing too passively on turns or using sizes that encouraged Villains to keep drawing on dynamic boards:

Every single one of these needs to be an overbet and, likely, quite a BIG overbet in the 175% region. There is no reason to give Villains a good price to draw here. If they want to play against the odds and call anyway, most of the time they're going to miss. When they hit, I just give up and live knowing that this is a profitable decision. When I actually give them the correct odds to draw, I'm going to lose over the long run. Mixing in these smaller sizes isn't necessarily worth it to "stay balanced" especially if I'm not in an all-reg multiway pot (which rarely happens).

While the following mistakes weren't part of a specific type of multiway pot mistake, they are multiway mistakes nonetheless.

I can't fold this:

I have an open ender + flush draw + pair. I'm drawing to the stone cold nuts if the 7h hits. Even against the 175% bet, this must be a call. As an aside, this is a good testament to how effective these big turn bets could be when I'm the one making them.

Further, the one time you don't want to be aggressive is when your hand is nearly invulnerable:

There is very little upside to raising here. If they have nothing, they may continue to bluff on later streets. They may catch up and continue to bet. If they have a pocket pair, they may continue to try and bet thin for value. You can't be afraid to get set over set on a board where you're this invulnerable. This is an obvious slow play. The rest above? Those weren't slow plays. Those were dynamic boards. This isn't.

Well, that's all for today's review folks. If I can, I'm going to try and find some RIO content on multiway pots. If I can't find anything like that, I'll look for videos on exploiting common types of fish. With this being on the forefront of my mind after this morning's review, I think I'm primed to absorb a higher percentage of any information that is presented on these two topics. I think it makes sense to capitalize on that priming by focusing on these subjects today.

I'll be back later with the results of my studies.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 5, 2024 | 3:29 p.m.

8/4/24 ACR 10NL Session #5

+371bb in 2653 hands

This could've been another monster session for the 'ole win rate, but I had just about the worst luck of entire life with pocket aces today. Got cracked four times and another two preflop all-ins ended up as chops. The pool was super, super weak today. The ratio of fish to regs was just amazing, but there weren't that many people playing overall which was the only drawback. I had to settle for 6-7 tables for a good chunk of the session.

All in all, another win booked so I guess I'll shut up and count my blessings.

I'm currently up 13 buy-ins in my first five sessions at 10NL (13k hands). If I hit +20-25 buy-ins well before the 50k hand mark, I may have to consider breaking my self-imposed rule on that. If I can learn faster by playing 25NL, why wait?

I'll be back tomorrow with analysis of the session as usual.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 5, 2024 | 2:18 a.m.

8/4/24 GTOW Trainer Session #17

I was able to drill about 400 3bet pot flops to hopefully improve my check-raising frequency. My main conclusion is that I'm typically missing check-raises with decent draws. I'm finding the rest of them. I have a tendency to just call and hope I hit my draw. That's the one spot I really need to turn up the aggression. I also have a tendency to do that in SRPs so this was a very productive session and a meaningful realization to have.

I also did my usual 420 full hands from start randomly selected from 100bb, 150bb, 200bb, 2.5x open, GTO open, GTO 3 bet size, and smaller 3 bet sizes. I'll continue to do a round of that daily to ensure my fundamentals in common spots stay sharp. The bulk of my training, though, will focus on a specific problem or a specific spot. I think I'm starting to get past the point where my game benefits a ton from just throwing massive amounts of randomly drilled spots in there. I really need to see the same spots over and over to develop my heuristics further and further refine my understanding of the nuances.

Anyways, I'm going to take a brief break to take care of my hounds and then I'll get going on my evening session.

Have a good one,
Orca

### Aug. 4, 2024 | 9:12 p.m.

8/4/24 RIO Video Study Session #17

1) Check-Raising the Flop from the BB
Remember, at low stakes, the more often Villain has to find bluffs with low pocket pairs and other natural bluffs, the more you should likely overfold that node. The easier it is to find intuitive bluffs, like blocker-based bluffs on a board where a straight completes, the more often you’ll have to find a way to call down.

2) Check-Raising in 3 Bet Pots
In this video, the analysis focuses on a single Pio solve to a specific hand. However, the key takeaway is that when you face a villain who is range-betting the flop for a small size, or just c-betting more frequently as an exploit versus the pool, you must increase your check-raise frequency. I know that I am not checking-raising enough which is why this has been my focus area for study today.

Another note: x/r frequency tends to go up on dynamic boards and one reason is that you want to get the money in with your strongest holdings before scare cards come that allow your opponent to potentially get off their overpairs

I'm going to take a short rest and then get on to the main study work of the day: drilling 3-bet pot flop check-raise opportunities in GTOW.

Have a good one,
~Orca

### Aug. 4, 2024 | 6:29 p.m.

8/4/24 Morning-After Session Review #17

I'm beginning to see that keeping these reviews to only two hours is probably not realistic nor ideal. The little bit of time I save isn't worth the sacrifice of deep learning that can occur when I allow myself to spend as much time as I want on a spot. That said, I think 2.5 hours is fair and quite doable.

While reviewing my 2500+ hand sample today, the one theme that kept jumping out at me was that my check-raise and general raising strategy is very far off. I kept 1) missing check-raises in 3 bet pots and 2) I kept using a 50% raise size in SRP when the preferred size is overwhelmingly 100% in many instances.

I want to take a look at both errors:

Missed X/R in 3b Pot #1:

CO is a recreational player who leads into me for 50% pot which Villain is never supposed to do. I default to calling when the preferred strategy here is raising at least 70% of the time. The additional flush equity allows me to play this quite aggressively and potentially fold out a significant amount of better Ax holdings.

Missed X/R in 3b Pot #2:

Here a reg fires a 75% c-bet into my flush draw + gutter. The 33% raise here is supposed to fold out Ax below AJ, double broadways without at least back door flush draws, and a variety of pocket pairs.

I think this may be an overdefended spot when I look at how the solver plays it, but, still, I want to acknowledge even the potential XR opportunities I missed because there were so many in this session. I need to find these more often otherwise I'm allowing my opponents to realize their equity too easily.

Missed X/R in 3b Pot #3:

Here, I have a K high flush and I am supposed to raise this lead over 80% of the time. It is clear to me that my habitual bias is to trap in every single situation like this. I am not playing aggressively enough and I'm winning some smaller pots as a result.

Missed X/R in 3b Pot #4:

Again, I flop a set on a texture where Villain is very likely to have a piece of the board. While just calling is the taken line ~50% of the time, I think I do it 100% of the time. Raising here allows me to take control of the betting action. While Villain may simply have folded to the raise, if they call, I am now in a position to make sure the turn doesn't go x/x which makes it infinitely easier to get all the money in by the river. Here, I only got one street of value.

Missed X/R in 3b Pot #5:

This particular villain is a recreational maniac. Trapping versus this particular player is often a great plan. However, again, I still want to acknowledge this opportunity. Given that Villain has KJo here, he probably will not be able to find a fold to a turn check-min-raise. Allowing the initiative to stay in Villain's hands means a missed river bet where, even if Villain ultimately folded, they would've been in a very tough spot.

Missed X/R in 3b Pot #6:

Again, here I have two overs, a flush draw, and a gut shot. The preferred XR frequency is 90%. I am just missing too many of these.

X/R Sizing Errors in SRPs
The other error I mentioned was continually using 50% pot XR sizings when the board called for 100%. I am realizing that I default to 50% pot XRs in SRP the majority of the time. I tend to only use 100% on very dynamic boards and usually only ones with flush draws. That's not a good heuristic. 100% is used way more often than that.

5 Examples of Failing to X/R 100% Pot

I'm not going to address each of these individually. I just wanted to point out this error because I found it so often during my review. I think, in this case, simple awareness can be curative. I need to use that bigger 100% sizing way more often.

In effort to guide my studies in a more directed way that translates into better play, I'm going to spend my time each day focusing on whatever the theme I undercovered during my morning review was. So, today, that means I'm going to watch RIO videos about check-raises and I'm going to focus my training time entirely on X/R opportunities on the flop in 3 bet pots. I think having a narrower, specific focus will translate into far faster integration while actually playing.

That's all for now, folks! I'll be back later with my notes on two RIO check-raise videos.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 4, 2024 | 2:53 p.m.

8/3/24 ACR 10NL Session #4

+1186bb in 2651 hands

How's that for a bounce back session? lol.

Today was my first attempt at eight-tabling. As expected, I didn't notice any huge difference in the efficiency of my play. However, I will say that during this session there were a few moments that I did feel rushed when I was involved in 3-4 hands simultaneously. I can't recall that ever happening while 6-7 tabling. So, for now, I think I'm going to cap the final number at eight tables unless my brain somehow gets faster in the next few months. Seems unlikely for an old man like me, ha.

What am I supposed to say about a session like this? This is my biggest win ever. I've never won over \$100 in a single session before. My initial deposit is up from \$300 to nearly \$700.

I'll be back tomorrow with a much SHORTER morning-after review tomorrow focusing on a single lesson rather than a 5,000 word essay. Well, it still might be 2000 words, lol. I can't stop myself from writing a lot.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 4, 2024 | 2:30 a.m.

Today, I couldn't shake the feeling that my daily scheduling needed a bit of an audit:

I know that is difficult to see, but it essentially looks like this:

07:30am: Wake Up, Morning Routine
08:00am: Walk Dogs
08:30am: Meditate
09:00am: Morning-After Session Review
11:00am: Gym
12:00pm: Post-Gym Activities: Eat, Shower, Change, Etc.
12:30pm: Walk Dogs
01:00pm: Run It Once Video Training
02:00pm: GTOW Trainer: post-flop, specific spot, eg UTG vs BTN SRP
03:30pm: GTOW Trainer: 420 full hands from start randomly selected
04:00pm: Dog Park /w Wife
05:00pm: Dinner /w Wife
05:30pm: Pre-Session Warm-Up
06:00pm: Play Session
10:00pm: Walk Dogs
10:30pm: Relax /w Wife
11:30pm: Sleep

Most of these activities don't break down into perfect 30 minute intervals (dog walks are more like 15-20 minutes), but this is close enough.

The main changes I want to make here are to spend a little less time each day doing my morning-after reviews. I'm still going to look through each hand, but I'm only going to write about ONE thing in the interest of saving time. I will endeavor to make that topic the single most important takeaway from my study session. That might be a theme across a few hands or it might just break down a single hand in great depth. I will stop doing the ultra long reviews where I look at 10+ hands, though.

Secondly, I want more structure in my GTOW trainer routine. Ideally, I will pick the "focus" spot based on the RIO video content I watched that day. I will still do one round of 420 hands randomly selected from 100-200bb deep, different open sizes, different 3 bet sizes, and from all positions to ensure I don't going backwards in areas that I am not focusing on. My hope is that this will be akin to a basketball player still practicing their free throws after doing more advanced skill work.

Long-term, I will definitely begin to take at least one full day off per week. I will coincide this with my wife's working schedule. She's currently working seven days a week so it is convenient for me to do the same at the moment.

I'll be back later tonight with my session results.

Best,
Orca

### Aug. 3, 2024 | 8:50 p.m.

8/3/24 RIO Video Study Session #16

1) GTO Training: Blinds vs Blinds 3b Pots (Live Play)
It is always interesting to hear more skilled players explain their thought process while making decisions over a large sample of hands. However, I think this particular content type typically goes a little above my head. I find it hard to follow when people just rattle off their strategy’s approach to different textures. I need to do more work on developing my own heuristics.

2) Exploiting Different Player Profiles in 3bet Pots
This video takes a look at how extreme nodelocking can affect the optimal strategy on a given texture.
a) In the first example, we take a look at the equilibrium game tree to get an idea of what optimal actually looks like.
b) Then, we take a look at what happens if the 3-bettor never responds to a check-raise with a 3 bet. The result is that it becomes profitable, in a vacuum, to raise with all of your bluffs. However, when they make it to the turn, they now have a much stronger range and all turn bluffs become -EV.
c) Against a villain who pure ranges checks the flop, the IP defender must be way more careful with betting. When the OOP 3 bettor continues after a flop bet from IP, turn bets must also be very small and carefully selected because the range that arrives to the turn is so much stronger
d) Against an OOP 3 bettor who is range c-betting for a small size, the correct response is a massive increase in check-raise frequency

3) Studying
I've grown unsure about my study process. Typically, I spend 2.5-3 hours per day reviewing my previous session. I'll then spend an hour watching RIO videos followed by 1-1.5 hours in the GTOW Trainer. I'm not sure if I should be narrowing my focus of study. At my stage of development, is it better to drill many common spots for a high volume? Or is it better to say, for example, spend an hour specifically on CO vs BTN in 3 bet pots? I decided to start going through some of the RIO study videos to see if I could find an example of someone who is playing higher stakes to see exactly what their process is or what they recommend. Currently, my instinct is that I'm spending too much time on session review and my GTOW Trainer reps should be on very specific spots rather than randomly selected ones. This video was more about studying in general, but I'm hoping there are some videos in the study section that get more into specific about the best way to study for Poker.

I'm going to take a break and then put in some reps on the GTOW Trainer.

Have a good one,
Orca

### Aug. 3, 2024 | 4:48 p.m.

8/3/24 RIO Video Study Session #16

1) GTO Training: Blinds vs Blinds 3b Pots (Live Play)
It is always interesting to hear more skilled players explain their thought process while making decisions over a large sample of hands. However, I think this particular content type typically goes a little above my head. I find it hard to follow when people just rattle off their strategy’s approach to different textures. I need to do more work on developing my own heuristics.

2) Exploiting Different Player Profiles in 3bet Pots
This video takes a look at how extreme nodelocking can affect the optimal strategy on a given texture.
a) In the first example, we take a look at the equilibrium game tree to get an idea of what optimal actually looks like.
b) Then, we take a look at what happens if the 3-bettor never responds to a check-raise with a 3 bet. The result is that it becomes profitable, in a vacuum, to raise with all of your bluffs. However, when they make it to the turn, they now have a much stronger range and all turn bluffs become -EV.
c) Against a villain who pure ranges checks the flop, the IP defender must be way more careful with betting. When the OOP 3 bettor continues after a flop bet from IP, turn bets must also be very small and carefully selected because the range that arrives to the turn is so much stronger
d) Against an OOP 3 bettor who is range c-betting for a small size, the correct response is a massive increase in check-raise frequency

I'm going to take a break and then put in some reps on the GTOW Trainer.

Have a good one,
Orca

### Aug. 3, 2024 | 4:05 p.m.

8/3/24 Morning-After Session Review #16

When doing these reviews, I think it is often very tempting and very intuitive to focus on the most difficult spots in the biggest pots. While I absolutely think that has merit, and I'll continue to do that type of review on a regular basis, at my current level, I think the more productive area of focus is to zone in on are simple, unforced errors. Blunders. I fritter away more than a buy-in every single session on mistakes that I shouldn't be making. While these are errors are "rare" in the context of a 2500 hand sample, it isn't that difficult to push these errors closer to zero frequency because they shouldn't require any thinking. Rather than digging deep to find new exploits, right now, I'm going to challenge myself to dig deep to stop making simple errors. I think that is more than enough to beat 10NL.

E1: 3betting KTo from SB 150bb Deep

This is never done when 150bb deep. It is very rarely done 100bb deep. The simple error here is not checking stack depth. This is a 25bb mistake.

E2: Floating Back Door Flush + Over in 3bet Pot

This kind of float is really only done in SRP in favorable rake environments on textures where you face range bets. It is not done in 3 bet pots -- even BvB. I compound this mistake with an all-advised river bet. This is a 32bb mistake.

E3: Poor River Call Down

In the first one, When Villain double-barrels the completed flush, I can't call down on this river without a flush card when there is an over to my pocket pair. Again, this is isn't sexy to point out, but it is an obvious 5bb mistake. In the second one, we see a very similar scenario: the flush has completed and there is an over to my pocket pair. These aren't calls.

E4: Calling A Fish's River Raise

I have no regrets whatsoever about value betting this river when my straight completes even though there is now a flush on the board. The HJ limper is a bonafide fish. However, the sizing here should be aiming to get a call from Ax which means 75% and not 150%. Once that overbet is raised, you are 100% beat vs. most fish. Some fish are maniacs. This one wasn't. This was an anger call down. This was me being mad I lost to the fish. This mistake cost me 24bb between the sizing error and the more important call down error.

E5: Flop Sizing on J High FD Board, BvB 4b Pot

Neither my range nor my holding prefer to use a 25% sizing here:

I need to be polarized on this board because my range is composed primarily of unsuited broadways, premiums, and Axs. I mostly miss this texture:

BB's 4bet calling range is dominated by suited connectors and suited broadways, so this flop smacks Villain's range:

On this type of texture, with this type of hand, I either need to play 50% flop and turn jam when I pickup equity/bluff equity or I just check/fold. Instead, I lose over 60bb in this pot.

E6: Missed River Jam in 3b Pot

While you can occasionally check back KQ in these situations, especially because AQs makes up a huge portion of the calling range, you wouldn't do it in this exact scenario when you're blocking the flush draws that might be enticed to bluff-jam the river:

E7: Overdefending Multiway

There is really no need to call a 7.5bb turn bet here. Sure, Villain has flushes in his range. Even if he bricks, are you really going to call down A high multiway versus a river bet? While making a play like this can occasionally make sense heads-up in a SRP, it doesn't make any sense here. It's just a ~8bb donation.

E8: FPS with a Set

When you drill a set in a 3 bet pot, it can be very tempting to always let them try and catchup. However, it is important to remember that sometimes the only opportunity you have to charge draws is on the flop and river. Many players are going to pass on the opportunity to bluff on the river when they miss. They will, however, pay to see the river if you bet the turn.

And then there was this Villain who declined to bet turn/river even when they... hit???

I supposed this is why you often see the solver lead 50% on turns where an A/K hits when you've got a set. Villain has often hit on those types of turns and they're in a position where they have to call. You then set up an easy river shove.

E9: Passive Play with Combo Draws

I do seem to recall that I had super low RnG on both streets, but, still, it never hurts to remind myself that trapping is NOT the preferred line with these types of hands. The preferred line is to start piling money in to maximize both fold equity and the size of the pot when you hit.

E10: Missed River Bluff-Jam 3b Pot

When Villain checks back the turn, he caps his range. Yes, there are certainly some traps there, but the turn is a mandatory stab. You have to follow through with the jam because his range contains many Ax holdings that float the 20% turn stab:

As you can see, you're even folding out some 8x and TT-JJ. The solver calls villains 87ss 100% of the time, but does Villain really do that? Hard to say. Regardless, when you see the range composition here, and realize that you're actually losing to many missed Ax flush draws that are autofolds, you have to jam.

E11: Just Because They Limp...

It doesn't automatically mean they're going to play horribly post flop and just roll over for you. Don't overplay your hand against limpers. It is easy to get burned.

E12: 3-Bet Overcallers

In the microstakes, you'll often run into people who overcall 3 bets in spots where they aren't supposed to have an overcall range. Typically, they are almost always set mining. When you get jammed on in a spot that seemingly makes no sense, you're almost always beat. I know folding here would never be a GTO approved play, but it is hard to ignore the pattern. Sure, maybe they have QT or maybe 54 wants to play this way in a rec's mind. Realistically, though, they've usually binked a set. In this case, it was trapped AA. I don't know if I can get away from KJ here but it would sure do a lot for my win rate to avoid even a few of these borderline "coolers". As always, these villains just don't have enough bluffs. Your bluff catchers never do as well as they do in GTO land.

That's all for this one, folks. I think the main lessons of the day were: 1) don't overplay hands versus fish and always remember they don't have enough river bluffs, 2) avoid fancy-play with your sets in 3 bet pots; don't miss value bets, 3) call down tighter on flush complete boards, and 4) do your best to avoid simple mistakes with and against flop c-bets in 3bet/4bet pots; they can be very, very costly if you continue to compound the mistakes on later streets.

Reviewing this session helped ease a little of my frustration, but certainly not all. It is never fun reliving the bad beats the next day. I'll spare everyone the details as I'm quite sure no one cares about online bad beat stories at microstakes.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 3, 2024 | 2:30 p.m.

8/2/24 ACR 10NL Session #3

-151bb in 2599 hands

Really frustrated by this session. I was well on my way to bouncing back and booking a solid win and then the session unraveled in the last 500 hands. I lost a bunch of all-in pots in absurd ways to fishy players. I've realized that when that happens it triggers some kind of entitlement tilt (as if I am not allowed to lose pots to bad players -- lol).

I really don't have much to say. This one left a real bad taste in my mouth. I'll be back at it tomorrow.

Have a good one,
~Orca

### Aug. 3, 2024 | 1:55 a.m.

8/2/24 GTOW Trainer Session #15

I cut training short again today to take another nap.

All I managed was 420 full hands from start randomly selected from 200/150/100bb deep. I need at least some daily exposure to 150bb/200bb pots because it is clear I don't really know what I'm doing in 3 bet spots when that deep. If I had to put my finger on it... it's like they play a lot like SRPs but with 3 bet ranges. The dynamic is interesting due to the SRP.

As per usual, I'll be starting my evening session in a bit here and I'll be back in ~5+ hours with the results.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 2, 2024 | 9:09 p.m.

8/2/24 RIO Video Study Session #15

I ended up deciding to go through these RIO videos in reverse chronological order. I'm going to watch everything from 2024 then everything from 2023 and so on and so forth. I've found that the videos that have come out after the popularization of GTOW and Pio are simply more helpful and applicable to the current game. I think I can maximize my time investment by first focusing on those videos and then carefully picking and choosing videos from before that area if they address a particular area of concern. If today was any indication, I think this was the correct choice. The newer videos simply have more valuable content.

1) Studying 3 Bet Pots the RIGHT Way
When you discover a node where the defense against an action is likely misplayed by your opposition, you have to consider the implications. For example, in a 3 bet pot: flop is 8s 6s 4h and goes check/check. Turn is 2d. You’re often supposed to overbet value here for 125% pot because you’ve missed a chance to build the pot with the flop check (among other reasons). Villain is supposed to defend much wider than you’d think against this bet including defending double-broadways with no draws. That just doesn’t really happen. If Villain is overfolding this node, it means you can take a step back and now overbluff using the overbet with hands that weren’t included in the solver’s bluffing range originally. You can identify these opportunities by looking at bluffs that barely lose any EV compared to the checking line. If you’re losing 1-2% EV compared to optimal, that is easily made up for by real world conditions that don’t mimic equilibrium (in this case, an overfolded node).

Note to self: a) When doing solver trainer work, or any other solver work, take special note of situations where you’re defending way wider or way narrower than you expected. These spots offer clear exploit potential as other human players are likely to interpret these spots the same way as you did initially. b) When you see spots that are very close in the solver in terms of EV, just remember that that is a hand that can be swung either way by only a smidgen of overfolding or overcalling. A bluff-catching hand that is a +0.5 EV call and called 100% of the time is not a good call down on an underbluffed runout (imagine one where all the draws hit). C) Opponents will tend to play closer to their absolute hand strength than their relative hand strength on most boards. If you find spots where there are big gaps between relative hand strength and absolute hand strength, exploits are likely.

2) 4-Bet Pots BTN vs CO and BvB: Differences and Similarities (flop strategy)
A high: when both connected and flush draw present, you can’t range bet. Size up and start mixing. A low low when rainbow and not connected are often just range bets for 25%.

K high: much better board for 4 bettor. You’ll often range bet a larger size.

Q high: still using a larger bet size, but frequency isn’t quite as high. However, when you use 25% range bet, the opponent is only supposed to fold 8% and they are likely folding way more than that. BvB is quite different with much more mixing than BTN vs CO.

J High: BvB the defense on J high disconnected against a 25% range bet is to not fold anything.

T high: the smaller 25% bet doesn’t accomplish as much and you need protection from many two-over holdings. The larger sizing tends to make more sense and works better.

In general, there will be more raising versus merged/linear ranges than versus polarized ranges. That is why IP has more raising as part of its defense BTN vs CO compared to BvB.

SB 4 bets far fewer double broadway flush draws so the range construction is significantly different and it impacts strategy on flush draw boards.
The less connected and the drier the boards, the more often you can bet. The more connected they are, and if there are flush draws, you have to mix more and protect the check back range.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 2, 2024 | 7:02 p.m.

8/2/24 Morning-After Session Review #15

So, as it turns out, I didn't make a ton of mistakes in this session, but I made some big ones in high leverage situations and that contributed to the enormity of the final loss on the day.

Facing 100% Check-Raise 200bb Deep

Preflop: Villain raises on the BTN to 2bb. Hero raises from the BB to 11bb. Villain calls. Effective stack sizes are 168bb.

I got taken into deep waters on this one and I ended up sinking. First of all, I know QJo is a dubious 3bet here when you're somewhere between 150-200bb deep. I will fully admit that I autopiloted here and put the raise in without checking stack depths. DOH!. However, as it turns out, that's still something GTOW does from time to time:

Being right for the wrong reason isn't much comfort though.

Flop: Ks Ts 5d. Villain checks. Hero bets 50% pot. Villain raises 100% pot. Hero calls.

As far as my flop c-bet, there's nothing too interesting here in my opinion:

Range vs Range, I have 55% equity here. My range is using a variety of sizes because of how deep we are. 50% is a perfectly reasonable way to c-bet this flop with both my range and this holding.

Now, the hand completely goes off the rails once Villain check-raises 100% pot. It is important to note that the solver doesn't use this size so that immediately makes further analysis using GTOW a little less accurate:

First, I will admit that I didn't stop to calculate the % of his raise before I called. A 100% raise here gives bad odds for draws to continue. I'm 168bb deep here so I'm going to look at both the 150bb and 200b solves.

When he raises to this size, his range has become extremely polarized. I'm putting him on sets, strong draws, and maybe two-pair.

The solver agrees and only ever uses this sizing with slivers of AQs, AJs, TT, 55, and 44. A human is certainly not doing this with 44, but they might have trapped KK this deep.

150bb deep, my range is played as raise/fold and this holding is a pure fold:

I think, realistically, I should've folded right here and the hand should be over. I'm blocking both flush draws (a little) and straight draws (a lot) making it likely that Villain is raising with value. In fact, it's a little hard to see this line with anything other than a set.

That said, 200bb deep there is more maneuverability in the solver:

Still, the calling range is extremely small and my range is still mostly played as raise/fold. Again, considering 168 is closer to 150 than 200, this just needs to be a fold. I don't have the pot odds to call a 100% raise especially considering blocker effects. Poker 101. You can't afford to forget this stuff while playing.

I'm not going to analyze the rest of the hand as I think the key takeaway comes right here on the flop: don't forget pot odds while playing deep. I could've saved myself 100bb with a fold here.

Value or Bluff-Catcher?

I'm not going to do a deep analysis here but I want to acknowledge this hand because the river raise was a 30bb mistake. On a board where a straight and a flush have completed, especially against a BTN cold-call range, two pair with the flush blocker is nothing more than excellent bluff catcher. While the line Villain took here was extremely weird, my hand still isn't good enough to raise river here. This is just a bluff-catcher.

AK vs KK: Is this EVER not a Trap?

Again, I don't want to do a deep analysis here, but I do want to think this through logically. Villain is a tight reg who is a bit of a nut-peddler. He checks back an AKx flop. That is never supposed to be done. This is a range bet texture and most regs know that. That should immediately set off red flags.

However, there's still the chance that Villain is just making an error here and playing his holding instead of his range. I bet 20% pot looking expecting to get a lot folds, but, ideally, hoping to get Villain to continue with some marginal holdings that may have checked back. Villain calls.

The turn brings a 9c. Hero bets 75% pot. Villain jams. Once Villain jams here, I'm in a world of hurt. When you just look at the texture, this is an obvious call. There are straight draws and flush draws on this board. That said, does a reg EVER check back a strong draw on the flop on an AKx texture? That just rarely happens.

In my mind, I'm almost certainly looking at a set. Considering I'm heavily blocking AA/KK, I'm thinking 7s or 9s are likely here. With the 75% pot turn bet, I'm now pot-committed. Even against 99 or 77, I might still have four outs. There is still the small possibility Villain has played a draw this way. I feel as if I have to make the call.

The solver agrees, but this is a -55 EV call to stay "balanced":

This is one of those weird spots where I wonder if Villain has just turned his hand face up by checking the flop and jamming the turn. As the title says, is this EVER not a trap?

A5s on 5 High Flop

Preflop: Hero opens UTG to 2.5bb. Villain raises on the BTN to 7.3bb. Action folds back to Hero. Hero re-raises to 20bb. Effective stacks are 112.5bb.

Flop: 5h 4s 2s, Hero bets 50% pot. Villain calls.

While the 50% pot bet is used sometimes, the solver prefers a flop jam here:

Villain's response is to call with every single flush draw, straight draw, pair with a gutshot, and QQ+. You get folds from tons of double broadways and even some TT-JJ:

In the future, I will definitely look for these flop-jam opportunities in 4 bet pots. As played...

Turn: 5h 4s 2s, Ts. Hero checks. Villain bets 50% pot. Hero calls.

The solver prefers a much more aggressive turn approach here, too, electing to jam about 70% of the time and check back 30%.

I'm not going to show it, but Villain's folding range is very similar to the flop against this turn jam.

As played, Villain bets 50% pot. We're a little deeper than 100bb so this sizing makes more sense. 100bb deep this would just leave 9bb. Here, it leaves behind 30 or so. Nevertheless, let's look at what the response would be to a 25% pot bet because that's the closest option available:

Have you noticed the pattern here? I simply didn't play this hand aggressively enough. I didn't play my range aggressively enough. The SPR is extremely low here and I need to stack off more lightly than I would in 3 bet or squeeze pots.

River: 5h 4s 2s Ts, 9s. Hero lead jams 31% pot. Villain calls. Villain wins with Q high flush.

I'm never supposed to lead jam here as it is a -17 EV play:

I knew I was effed here and I tried to bluff my way out of it. Not smart. Desperate. I got picked off easily and deservedly so. I am supposed to check/fold to a river jam. I could've saved 30bb here as well.

Pot Odds and Equity with Draws

Okay, again, Poker 101 here... When you get check-raised on that flop multiway, you don't have the odds to call a turn overbet even when it is 105%. You certainly don't have the equity against the range that takes that line either -- especially multiway. If you bink the flush draw, you likely don't get another bet. The implied odds aren't great either. This was another 30bb donation that didn't need to happen here.

Reg Checks back K High Flop in 3bet Pot

This was the biggest blunder of the entire session. Again, when a reg checks back a K high flop, there is a super high chance you're being trapped. This one is also paired so this is a range bet texture and virtually every reg knows that. What was I thinking calling that river bet!? Horrible. 50bb donation.

I want to just make a brief mental note of this hand. This particular Villain is the other reg besides me who plays every single table. I've already picked up that this is a pet line of his. I've only played for two days and I've seen him take this line half a dozen times. He bets flop huge and then overbet jams the turn in 3 bet pots on flush draw boards. I've folded to it each time I've come against it, but I saw a showdown in this session where he took this line with a bluff. He's definitely doing this with flush draws and made hands. I need to call these down when it makes sense. I cannot, against this reg, overfold this line. And, because he plays every table, I will come against this again... soon.

Failed Hero Call

In the interest of saving time, I'm going to zoom to the spots in this hand that I felt warranted further analysis.

Preflop: Hero opens QJss from the CO to 2.5bb. Villain calls in the SB. Effective stacks are 100bb.

Flop: Qd Th 9s. Villain checks. Hero bets 50% pot. Villain calls.

Turn: Qd Th 9s, 2d. Villain checks. Hero bets 75% pot. Villain raises 50% pot. Hero calls.

Okay, first, I will acknowledge that I am generally supposed to check back top pair + straight draw in these situations. You don't want to unnecessarily build a huge pot for a marginal holding. That said, this was a recreational villain who wasn't using proper sizing and seemed to be overcalling. Against these players, I often go thinner for value.

Here's the solver's approach:

When I face the check-raise on the turn, I'm largely thinking that Villain has a flush draw. Now, of course, SB can have TT, 99, and especially 22 in this situation. TT and 99 3bet probably the majority of the time, but you never know with a rec. 22s are a real, real possibility but that's a small part of his range. KJ is the current nuts and I do block that. There are plenty of two-pair combos that villain has also. If Villain is fast playing a holding that is scared of a flush draw, wouldn't they use a larger sizing? 50% gives any flush draw perfectly fine odds to call here.

Here's the solver's raising range:

As you can see, it is raising sets, straights, flush draws, and jacks which is exactly what I thought.

I make the rather easy call:

River: Qd Th 9s 2d, 9h. Villain bets 100% pot. Hero calls. Villain wins with three of a kind 9s.

Okay, so what the hell is Villain doing here? If Villain has a nutted hand like TT, KJ, 99, or 22, why would they leave 20bb behind? Sure, some recreationals might be afraid they won't get the call if they shove. More realistically, Villain doesn't have a nutted hand.

With the board now paired, I no longer lose to two pairs. I'm discounting sets. What value do I lose to? 9s. However, the only 9s that make sense are flush draws that contained a 9: K9dd, A9dd, J9dd, T9dd, 98dd, etc. Does villain have those in his range? Yes. Does villain also take this line with missed flush draws or missed straight draws on occasion? Yes. I think so.

Ultimately, I put in the call and Villain does end up having a 9. Of course, he has A9cc which makes zero sense whatsoever, but that's what you're up against when you play recreationals. Calling these big river bets is always a huge gamble and you're likely to be wrong far more often than you're right because of population tendencies.

I don't hate my call here even after analysis. I can't select for a pot sized bet on the river, but, using the 60% option which is the biggest non-all-in option, the solver seems to agree that this is an indifferent holding:

I've said it a million times but I suppose it is worth saying one more time:
Microstakes villains don't have enough river bluffs

Okay, that's all for today's review. I'll be back later today with more training and study updates.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 2, 2024 | 3:42 p.m.

Poker Book Review #2:
The 100 Biggest Mistakes That Poker Players Make

by Alexander Fitzgerald

First things first, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found the content extremely helpful and applicable. Let's talk about what this book is and what the book is not.

What This Book IS

This book IS a no nonsense guide to increase your profitability in poker. The author, Alexander Fitzgerald, has been a professional Poker player for over fifteen years and has relied upon Poker income to pay his bills since he was 18 years old. The book IS written in a conversational tone and the content is heavily driven by anecdote. While that may not be ideal for sitting down to hardcore study, it is absolutely ideal for casual listening while driving, brushing your teeth, walking your dogs, and other low effort, menial tasks. For me, that's perfect because that is the only time I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. The book IS useful for live players, online players, and both cash and tournament players. The examples and anecdotes used cover situations that occur in all game types.

If I had to put it succinctly, this book is like having a twelve hour conversation with a grizzled Poker veteran about what they'd do differently if they had to start all over again, what actually makes the difference between winning and losing, and a few key strategies that can make a big difference to your bottom line -- particularly against recreational players who are vulnerable to exploits. All in all, I felt like listening to this audiobook was equivalent to downloading key pieces of "street Poker" wisdom without having to sit at the tables for fifteen years myself.

What This Book ISN'T

Here's what the book is not... It is NOT a hardcore, GTO-driven strategy guide. It is NOT an extremely deep discussion on the technical nuances of poker. It is NOT meant for those already playing high stakes. It is also NOT: boring, impossible to listen to without sitting down to take notes, a high-minded poker lecture.

Again, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think this book was tailor made for individuals at my level who are still solidifying their fundamentals and plugging the most common leaks on and off the table. If you're looking for in-depth discussions about where the pool falls short of proper check-raise frequencies by 3% in particular nodes, you're not going to get what you're looking for from this book. If you're looking for insight on how to increase your general table sense, how to get into the mind of the average recreational player, some common, highly profitable exploits, and no bullshit advice on how best to manage yourself away from the table to maximize your play on it, then this is the book for you.

I think most novice and intermediate players will receive a ton of value from this book even when they're hearing about mistakes "they already know" about. Repetition is the mother of skill and if you hear something one more time and, this time, it actually makes you take action towards implementation, then the entire process of listening has been worth it.

Next Up:

This one has a ~7 hour run-time so I'll be back with a review sometime next week.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 2, 2024 | 12:31 p.m.

8/1/24 ACR 10NL Session #2

-682bb in 2470 hands

I got beat up today!

Just a horrible, horrible day in terms of variance here. I'm quite confident that when I upload these hands to the GTOW Analyzer that it will show I actually played better than yesterday.

There was one concerning trend though: today there were only 7-8 tables going for most of the session. Because I was on nearly all of them, I saw the distribution of regs to fish. Besides me, there was another reg who was also on every single table. I would say, on average, each table averaged 5 regs for the duration of the session. There weren't as many recreationals at all today for whatever reason. If that's going to be a trend that continues, 10NL will certainly be much harder than 5NL. Even though I'd say the regs aren't much better here so far, if there is a much greater ratio of regs to recs on a consistent basis, that makes it much harder to win.

Overall, I know that losing 7 buy-ins in one session is pretty brutal, but I've had it happen plenty of times. This time, I handled it like an absolute champion. I never got upset at any point. I never broke my focus to check the daily results. I never allowed any significant amount of tilt to build. I recognized the beginnings of each time and quickly dissipated the emotion with breath work and general presence.

I'm undeterred and unbothered by this. I'll be back tomorrow with more study and more play, as always.

Have a good one!
Orca

### Aug. 2, 2024 | 1:54 a.m.

8/1/31 GTOW Trainer Session #14

I decided to focus entirely on responding to flop jams in 4 bet pots.
It looked like this:

4 Bet Pot:
CO vs BTN: 50% Bet, Jam, Call/Fold? - 100 Hands
CO vs BTN: 25% Bet, Jam, Call/Fold? - 50 Hands
UTG vs BTN: 50% Bet, Jam, Call/Fold? - 50 Hands
UTG vs BTN: 25% Bet, Jam, Call/Fold? - 50 Hands
SB vs BB: 50% Bet, Jam, Call/Fold? - 50 Hands
SB vs BB: 25% Bet, Jam, Call/Fold? - 50 Hands
SB vs BB: Check, 50% Bet, Jam, Call/Fold? - 50 Hands
SB vs BB: Check, 25% Bet, Jam, Call/Fold? - 50 Hand

Takeaways:
1) These spots are extremely intuitive for the most part. I just got unlucky running into a few tough spots here lately. Until you get to Blind vs Blind situations, you're not stacking off unless you have at least top pair, a flush draw, or a pair + straight draw outs.

2) The only tricky hand class is AKo/AKs. That technically isn't really a "hand class", but it is one of the main types of hands that is actually indifferent in many of these scenarios. Sometimes you have to bluff catch. Sometimes you don't. The more draws that are possible, the more you lean towards having to bluff catch with AK to stay balanced.

3) As is always the case, you have to stack way, way wider blind vs blind including occasionally getting it all in on a K high flop when you're holding something as weak JJ. Those spots are trickier and warrant further study, but, for the most part, these spots are still fairly ABC. Considering most microstakes players have a stronger 4bet range than what is supposed to happen at equilibrium, folding when you've got a close call is never too big of a mistake.

I took a nice long nap after this. I'm back from the park and I'm about to start my pregame routine. I'll be back in ~5 hours with tonight's results.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 1, 2024 | 9:16 p.m.

8/1/24 RIO Video Study Session #14

I have finished the preflop section!

I'm a little conflicted as to whether or not I want to skip videos made before roughly ~2018. I know Pio was released in 2015ish and became widespread a year or two later. Many of the videos before that date are often about how people did all the stuff that solvers now do by hand. I ALWAYS get some value out of it but the ratio of useful information to mere interesting discussion is pretty low compared to the videos made in ~2018-2020+. For now, I guess I'll go for completion and do my best to go through everything. At ~2 videos per day, it'll still take me less than a year to watch them all so that's really nothing in the grand scheme of things.

1) Building A Strategy: Preflop and Flop Play
Good reminder here that many microstakes players call 3bets too much and don’t 3 bet enough themselves. This incentivizes a stronger, more linear 3 bet range and it incentives overfolding against 3 bets – especially speculative hands. Many 4 bet ranges are even worse in terms of how tight they are. Against low 4 bet % players, you’re probably only continuing AA and KK in many spots.

Uri Peleg Heuristic: most players are risk averse! If in doubt about whether you should bluff, lean towards bluff. A risk averse opponent overfolds. If in doubt about whether you should bluff catch, fold. A risk averse opponent under bluffs.

2) Three Types of 3 Bet Ranges, Part II
This video covers one of my biggest weaknesses: using the HUD to influence strategy decisions. In particular, this video covers how to use HUD stats to decide whether to flat or 3 bet. I still don’t even use a HUD (outside of an RNG #) so I’m filing this information away for later use.

Still feeling physically tired today so I'm very likely to substitute some GTOW Trainer time for a nap. The plan is to work very specifically on this situation in GTOW:

4 bet preflop: Hero 50% pot bet, villain jams, call/fold? The solver doesn't take that line a lot, but humans do. I see it every single session.

Until next time...

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 1, 2024 | 6:16 p.m.

Thank you! Apologies in advance because this will be quite long, but I think to answer that truthfully I have to admit a few things...

First, to some extent, I was born this way. I have an extremely obsessive personality. Even as an adolescent, there were times where I would find a video game I'd like and, during school breaks, I'd play those games for 12-14 hours a day. I would only take breaks when my family would make me or I needed to go to the bathroom. I'd let every other area of my life fall to complete pieces. I can't really take any credit for that, offer anyone any advice on how to be that way, or, hell, even recommend trying to be that way.

In many respects, being so obsessive had a very large negative impact on my life until I learned how to direct it towards positive ambitions. For example, when I first discovered alcohol and MDMA, I went on insane benders and wasted tens of thousands of dollars in my early 20s. Eventually, I learned that when I applied the same obsessive, compulsive energy towards business, fitness, or social goals, my biggest weakness could be turned into a strength... to an extent.

However, it hasn't been until the last ~5 years or so, when I met my now-wife, that I managed to fully integrate this part of my personality in a healthy way. Before I met her, I just traded unhealthy and unproductive addictions for outwardly productive and healthy ones. I still completely neglected every aspect of my social life, spiritual/philosophical development, and basically anything that wasn't directly related to my sports and business goals.

This led to predictable and cyclical depression. Everyone has baseline needs for socialization and having some kind of general "fun" from time to time. Because I would completely ignore these aspects of my life, I would build up a kind of "debt" where I'd then feel the need to drop everything I was doing and focus solely on socializing and having fun. During these periods, I'd set myself so far back on my goals that I would have to spend months just getting back to where I was.

I know "balance" is a bit of an overused buzz word, but I was completely unbalanced in the truest sense of that term.

I think the reason that I am able to push so hard now is that I have a firm grasp on where my boundaries are. I have achieved my version of "balance". Due to my wife and my two dogs, as well as a few close few friends, I never let that "social debt" build up. I never allow myself to get so lonely that I can't stand it. Every single day, my wife and I take our dogs to the dog park and we chat for an hour while we play them. It seems so mundane, but I swear that nothing else I do has as profound of a long-term impact on my mental health as simply connecting to another human being for some amount of time every single day.

I don't deprive myself of basic fun any more, either. We plan, in advance, at least one fun activity to do every month so that we have something to look forward to. This month, my wife's brother is getting married so we are both flying back home to attend and catch up with old friends. It isn't always something that eventful. Many times, it'll just be taking the dogs to off-leash area where they can swim (they are Labrador retrievers and LOVE swimming).

Further, due to the nearly fifteen years I spent obsessing about diet and training trying to become a professional bodybuilder, I learned, the hard way, how much to eat, what to eat, and when to eat in the best possible manner for my individual body and mind. I cannot understate how big of a difference this makes for me, personally. Many self-development devotees try to combine playing poker with losing weight, and while I think that is awesome, I can tell you right now that few things will sap your ability to work for long hours faster than restricting your caloric intake and being hungry.

Last, but not least, I had problems with my sleep for years. I finally saw a sleep specialist and I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Getting a CPAP was completely life changing. For the first time, I got restorative sleep and felt re-energized each time I'd wake up in the morning. PSA: if you're male, and you snore, you have a greater than 25%+ chance of having some level of sleep apnea.

I have pushed myself into legitimate burnout more times than I can count. I know where the lines are. I know how much closer that line moves when I don't have good sleep, when I don't have meaningful relationships, when I eat poorly, and when I do nothing to cultivate a philosophy of life which encourages gratitude and a positive way of relating to all that is.

So, let me tie all of this together in a way that is perhaps useful for another entirely unique human being, to function at your highest capacity, in my opinion, you have to accept that, on some level, you are a biological machine. You need certain ingredients, in certain amounts, at certain times or else the machine begins to break down and malfunction. Even if you absolutely perfect the processing of caring for this machine, it still has limitations. If you attempt to exceed those limitations by working for too long, too often, even with perfect nutrition and sleep, you'll still burn out.

Sustainability is not something we should care about just because we'll be happier people in the long run; we should also care about sustainability because that's flat out how you get the most out of yourself. If you constantly toggle between unsustainable outputs and then huge down periods because you're so mentally, physically and spiritually fatigued, you'll actually accomplish less while feeling worse the whole time. You physically cannot work as hard or as long when you aren't fully well mentally.

To put it simply, find out the level of output your body and mind is capable of sustaining without beginning to crack. Then... respect those limitations! Respect the warning signs. Take days off when needed. Refuel properly by ingesting motivating content, nutritious food, uplifting social conversations, and all of the other things we both need and crave as humans. Doing so will allow you to work longer and harder than you otherwise would. Taking holistic are of ourselves is not optional if we want sustained, peak performance.

This is not at all to say that I have "mastered" this in anyway. I am still very much learning the best way to go about all of this as it pertains to poker. It is quite possible that I'm currently doing too much. If that starts to seem true, I'll respect the warning signs. I'll start adding in scheduled off days or more breaks throughout the day. I'll treat it like an equation that must remain balanced. If I seem to be weighted too far to one side, I'll drop some weight from that side to get back to center. Over time, you can find YOUR center with trial and error.

On a completely separate note, I am an extremely competitive person. I hate to lose. I want to win at every thing I do. I want to provide for my family. I want to be the reason that no one in my family ever has to worry about money ever again. I feel obligated to everyone who has ever believed in me or encouraged me. I feel obligated to succeed. I want to be a great poker player. I want it badly. Very, very badly.

If anything that I do, or anything about the way I am, is motivating to someone else, I consider that the greatest compliment possible. I also consider it my responsibility to sustain myself so that I may continue to serve in that role for others. I can imagine no greater accomplishment than somehow becoming a source of motivation and inspiration for a community that I belong to.

I don't know if these motivations are entirely healthy... probably not. However, they are there. I cannot deny them. I am very far from free of ego.

### Aug. 1, 2024 | 4:31 p.m.

8/1/24 Morning-After Session Review #14

There is one hand in here where the GTOW Analyzer says I lost like 5000 EV, which isn't even possible. When you look at the hand, it's clear there's just a malfunction in the code so I'm just going to ignore that, lol.

Bluff-Catching 4bet Check-Raise Jams

Preflop: Hero opens A5cc UTG to 2.5bb. Villains raises from the CO to 7.5bb. The action folds back to Hero who re-raises to 20bb. Villain calls.
Flop: 6d 5s 3d, Hero bets 25% pot. Villain jams for 112% pot. Hero folds.

This was a very tough spot for me. I almost used my entire time bank. It is important to note that I am in this pot versus someone I have identified as a good reg. Obviously, I have nothing more than a bluff-catcher here on a board where there can be quite a few bluffs. Against a more recreational player, you might have an easier fold. Versus a villain who can easily be semi-bluffing with suited connectors or double-broadway flush draws, the situation is different.

Before I get into any of my reasoning, it is important to acknowledge that 50% is by far the preferred size for my range here:

Due to both the connectivity, the 6 being the high card, and the flush being present, I think polarizing with a big flop bet makes a good deal of sense.

What is villain jamming here? I'm putting him on vulnerable overpairs like TT-QQ, double-broadway flush draws, and low suited connectors with straight and flush draws. The solver uses a narrower jamming range here against the 25% pot bet:

Against the 50% sizing that is more typically used by my range, the shoving range looks more realistic:

As played, Hero is supposed to call 100% of the time:

The EV of the call here is 0.81. That means, realistically, if villain is even slightly unbalanced towards value in this line, this is not a call. If villain is slightly unbalanced towards the semi-bluffs, it becomes an automatic call.

Ultimately, I think I am okay with my fold here. As is clear from the solver data, this would be a very high variance call down. This is close. The overbet shove, in my mind, against a human, is more likely to swing towards vulnerable overpairs than draws. The 25% pot bet, against a human, gives them a good price to see another card with those draws. I think a reg is calling at least some of the time to see the next card with that price. As such, I'm discounting a bit of the semi-bluffs and weighting towards overpairs.

Even if it isn't overpairs, most of the semi-bluffs have tons of outs. Even 87s not only has a straight draw and a potential flush draw depending on suits, but it also has two overs. The same goes for any double-broadway shove. Villain has a shit load of outs. If I need them, I only have five.

Again, this was a high variance spot and I ultimately opted for the fold. I just need to make sure that I don't ALWAYS fold these spots to regulars because they very well could notice and develop exploits.

Passive Turn Play with Strong Draws

No deep analysis here. I have a bad habit of passive turn play with relatively strong draws. I need to raise the turn more often.

Dominated Straight Draws

Again, no deep analysis; these are just obvious blunders.

In Hand #1, If a K comes, Ax is a big part of Villain's range. Even if an 8 comes, the AK straight is already complete and villain has more of that in his range. Even if I peel a J, I may still lose to the AK straight. This was a 50bb donation. You can't make donations that big. This is a mistake I make too frequently with dominated straights.

In Hand #2, if the T comes, the AK straight completes which Villain has at full frequency in his range and I don't. Additionally, the Ts may be a dead out on the flush texture. This isn't a draw worth calling a single bet.

Another Missed River Fold

I just couldn't let go of the set, could I? This Villain just may be the most fun of all the fun players in the pool. This is already a 100% fold, but, against this villain, it is a 200% fold. I will continue to highlight every time I make dumb decisions like this on the river until I stop doing it.

Bluffed Off The Pot?

Preflop: Hero opens JTss on the BTN to 2.5bb. Villain in the SB raises to 10bb. Hero calls.

Flop: Jc 6c 4h. Villain checks. Hero bets 50% pot. Villain raises 50% pot. Hero calls.

Villain should be 3betting a fairly wide, linear range when they use this sizing:

His checking range, theoretically, is fairly polar and quite well-defended with many traps as shown above. Because of that polarity, I am incentivized to stab small and wide with my range in order to generate folds a good price while paying less when I take the trap-bait:

I knew the correct sizing here, but I made the mistake of playing my hand instead of my range thinking I could generate more folds with this size and get protection for my vulnerable top pair. Instead, I face a fairly big 50% check-raise. The solver check-raises the following range:

The 50% size is not really used, but, when it is, the main holdings are overpairs without a club, AJx without a club, and Axs nut flush draws where the second card is low.

Even against the big raise, Hero is supposed to call:

Turn: Jc 6c 4h, Qs. Villain shoves all-in for 64% pot. Hero folds.

I found this to be a tough spot. As I mentioned above, this big check-raise line is mainly taken with flush draws and overpairs by the solver. Is a human doing something super different? My intuition says... no. I think human play and solver play probably align here.

Here's what the solver is shoving turn with:

We can see that the main candidates are: AK, AJ/KJ, nut flush draws, and overpairs. However, do we do think that a human villain is so liberally shoving Jx holdings after a queen turn? They might do it sometimes, but I don't think it will be as frequently as 70% of the time which is what the solver is doing here -- especially KJ. To me, against a human, this range is even more polarized. To me, the holdings that make sense are AK, KK-AA, and nut flush draws. QQ-JJ are also possibilities, but those hands have outs to the nuts and are going to use non-shove sizing at least some of the time on the turn.

Against the solver's range, this is a call 95% of the time. At ~+3.3EV, in a 200 chip pot, this is still a very high variance call down, but it is borderline mandatory. If the range is even more polarized than the solver's, which I think is very likely for reasons discussed above, I'm not sure how that changes the picture.

I decided to do a custom AI solve where the Jx holdings were largely taken out of the shoving range:

Here, I have Villain shoving strong Qx, overpairs, all flush draws, and sets. Against this stronger, more polarized range, JT becomes a very clear fold:

Now, it is possible I gave far too wide of a shoving range there and that would certainly impact the outcome of the solve. However, I think what is clear here is that JTss is a pure bluff-catcher. You're hoping for AK or a flush draw with that shove and both of those holdings still have outs. You're behind any real value including stronger Jx. I think this is likely another high variance spot and I don't feel too bad about mucking this one.

Folding the Nut Flush!?

We can't consult the solver for this one without making a ton of assumptions and doing some nodelocking. BB is never supposed to lead here so the solves aren't useful because the ranges that arrive to the river make no sense.

Typically, I assume that players who are leading are doing so with an extremely unbalanced, value heavy range at these stakes. I make this assumption until proven otherwise due to my experience and seeing a bunch of show downs. When Villain continues to barrel with the overbet on the turn, after leading a flop that doesn't favor his range, I'm largely putting them on value heavy holdings like 44 and QT. I can see this line with something KJss as well, but I'm heavily discounting gutshots that don't have at least one spade. When the river brings another queen and pairs the board, and villain snap shoves for 260% pot, I can't fully discount either QTo or 44. What bluffs would take this line? Maybe a missed gutshot that holds the K of spades? Villain can't be making a nut flush blocker bluff because I hold the nut flush. I just couldn't find enough draws to make this range balanced and I went ahead and mucked the nut flush. In this same situation, with this same line, I think I'd do it again.

That's all for today, folks! I'm going to take a short break to trot the hounds and then I'll be back with RIO Training Video notes for the day.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 1, 2024 | 3:38 p.m.

Live_your_dreams85 good to know! Thanks. I thought there was a pretty big jump in skill from 2NL to 5NL, but maybe that's just because 2NL is literally the smallest stake and there are too many people there just messing around.

### Aug. 1, 2024 | 11:03 a.m.

7/31/24 10NL on ACR Session #1

+558bb in 2543 hands across exactly 4 hours of play (7-tables)

Is That It???
My first impression of 10NL... is that all you've got? This felt no harder than 5NL. I saw a few less people limping, but the play seemed to be exactly the same level as 5NL. I didn't notice any increase in difficulty. There were a few solid regs who I've already identified, but there were a few of those at 5NL, too. In fact, I recognized many of the user names from my days in 2NL and 5NL! There were way, way more tables going which was awesome, but I can't say there is much difference in the skill of the pool... so far. Maybe I'm speaking too soon.

Other Notes
At times, it felt like this session was just dragging on because all the spots I was getting into were so simple. I was fighting against autopilot during the 2nd to 3rd hour because the pace of play was actually a little slow compared to what I prefer. I'm going to stick to my plan of playing seven tables for at least a week before I make the jump to eight-tabling, but I really don't think it is going to be a challenge.

I'm struggling to get quality sleep lately for some reason and I felt the fatigue coming on towards the end of this session. In the last 45 minutes, I actually yawned several times from sleepiness. I'll need to further reduce my caffeine use and maybe take a day off here to get back on the right side of the fatigue ledger. Tired play is not optimal play. I know that much.

I wouldn't really call this "shot taking" 10NL, but I would call it a successful first session! I'm feeling optimistic about my chances to beat this stake in an efficient manner.

I'll be back tomorrow with some hand histories from this session.

Have a good one!
~Orca

### Aug. 1, 2024 | 1:11 a.m.

Yeah, that's a great point. I typically divide all my daily sessions with other activities. For example, I'll review the previous night's session in the morning and then walk my dogs and go to the gym. After I watch training content and use the training, I go to the dog park with my wife and dogs for about an hour. When I get back, I usually meditate/listen to a Primed Mind audio and then play. Do you think I should be taking more time than that between study and play?