Daniel Rainey's avatar

Daniel Rainey

144 points

But like I said...you can make a lot crushing zoom up to 2-5 certainly 1-2 to the point where you will have plenty of people willing to play you awhile at higher stakes...it can be done. Good luck.

Dec. 30, 2014 | 8:24 p.m.

As Kevin said, getting action in the HU lobby is incredibly difficult for any sustained period of time. ZOOM however is doable w/ consistent volume for 2-5 and lower which can be enough to build a roll if you are good. Then the approach would necessitate taking shots at higher stakes and either quickly crushing or being crushed before people in the lobby will just refuse to play you. I'm not sure a long term high stakes hunl career (above say 5-10) is sustainable anymore. You either eventually beat everyone and nobody will play you or you just get beat yourself and move back down. Extreme nosebleeds seem to have a different dynamic, but that is sort of unrealistic to achieve without financial backing or an independent source of personal wealth. I've found it very difficult to organically build a roll to 50-100bb high stakes level starting from small stakes given how scarce action is and how high variance is. By definition, such an environment is mathmatically the steepest of challenges: High Variance - Low Sample Size.

ALSO becoming "good" is no easy task. HUNL is an incredibly technical game that requires quite a bit of work to succeed at nowadays. Often times, an edge to be had is something very subtle and infrequently occurring. Moreover, HU players (even mediocre ones) are not likely to remain unbalanced in the face of a drastic adjustment. This makes large exploitative profits difficult to achieve b/c you have to subtly and conservatively attack over a large amount of hands (assuming you can get the volume in). Thus, HUNL to me is a technical grind where the enjoyment comes from the away from the table work, patience/pride in enduring execution, and the hyper sensitive attention to detail one must have when focusing on their opponents style of play.

This is just my 2 cents. There are plenty of people who make good money doing it (such is a relative term), excel at the technical aspects, and have a lot of fun. You very well may be able to become one of those people...I know I love the game and don't really play or focus on any other form. Good Luck!

Dec. 25, 2014 | 4:26 a.m.

a little aggressive and doesn't really match the softer monochromatic theme the site currently employs. Just my humble opinion.

Oct. 31, 2014 | 12:02 a.m.

That's a good question. I am interested too...

Oct. 19, 2014 | 11:40 a.m.

Post | Daniel Rainey posted in Chatter: CREV Coach

Looking for a good CREV coach. Seems like so much functionality, I would love to pay an expert to help me get better at it. Anybody know of someone legit? Thanks. 

Oct. 18, 2014 | 8:03 p.m.

I'm having a hard time finding the software EDVisualizer. Where is this thing?

Oct. 18, 2014 | 8:02 p.m.

Poker, especially in live tournaments, has way too much variance for anyone to ever care. It would have been ridiculous for Coleman to stand up there and act like he was some sort of star or stud bc he won the One-Drop. He was on the right end of good variance. In any situation where you could be arguably the best in the world and go years without winning a tournament (which is the norm in live tourney poker) then I would say.... WHO CARES?  If I was him I would be jaded too about the celebration and ESPN trying to make it like poker is a sport or something where people out competed one another. Its a joke. Perhaps if people played HU for the whole year 200k hands or something then you could begin to appreciate what someone accomplished. I respect Coleman for providing a real response...a true response. 

Sept. 7, 2014 | 3:48 a.m.

The point is, the variance simulations that are often run for various win rates (as high as 4bb/100 winrate) show that even over the course of 1 million hands a player with a solid win rate could hypothetically lose money. 1M hands takes a very long time to play! Thus, it is possible to implement a winning strategy (i.e 4bb/100 which I would assume is in the top 5% in the world) and play for years and still lose money all because of variance. Therefore, in order to make money playing poker in a given year it is still a gamble even if you are one of the better players in the world. Tournament players understand this...but cash game players rarely speak about this, likely assuming the variance for cash is so much lower that it doesnt apply. I'm saying it does. 

Sept. 5, 2014 | 5:09 p.m.

I'm just a simple farmer chasing squirrels.  

Sept. 4, 2014 | 5:27 p.m.

I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm just typing random words. 

Sept. 3, 2014 | 3:07 p.m.

Day 1: "If your opponent is so good he has you counting combos either before, during, or after your session.... He's probably beating you." 

Day 2: "It is possible to be a winning player w/ your strategy but lose for years...playing poker to make money is a big gamble even if you are in the top 5% of players in the world."

Day 3: "In HUNL, it is incredibly important to know how many gutshots you have when constructing your bluff/value betting frequencies and ranges. Memorizing this for different board textures is good."

Day 4: "Poker players often don't speak of or consider the concept of Risk Adjusted Return, instead they push most edges they see regardless of volatility. In fact, one needs to consider how often a scenario will occur against an opponent over the entire volume of hands against him/her to decide if its a good edge to push. Additionally, there may be less volatile edges to push that yield a more certain profit given the uncertainty of future action. Different bankrolls, the deepness of stacks, the street of the mistake, and availability of other edges all factor into which mistakes I will even seek to exploit against an opponent."

Day 5: "It is very very difficult to remain balanced on dry turn and river cards that follow dry flops in HUNL as the Continuation Bettor. This is because most of the time people have a hard time double or tripple barreling hands that aren't traditional semi bluffs and on dry flops there just arent that many available. Thus you gotta bluff some complete non drawey air. I prefer hands that block his value calls and can hit pairs higher than second pair (these are tough to see b/c most of the time they are broadway type hands that feel a little too strong to bluff on traditional boards). It takes a lot of work away from the tables to build such a range as opposed to other more intuitive spots. Ironically dry boards occur way more often than wet/drawey boards by definition so a lot of EV can be added to one's game by focusing on such spots."

Day 6: "If someone is running hot and crushing you, there will likely be an illusion that you are being run over and that they are being a little more aggressive than what seems optimal. However, this is precisely the best situation to OVER FOLD. Very few players bluff enough after a stretch where they are up a lot of money and have been running well, thus, if they bet they likely have a value hand."

Sept. 2, 2014 | 2:33 a.m.


At 25 Min when he CBET/3b the 83 hand and the turn checks through. I really don't see why you wouldn't think leading would be the best play even if you didn't know he was merging his flop 3b that hard. When he doesn't bet turn he is pretty much representing that he wants to get to showdown so its not really likely he is trying to build a cbet/3bet/check then Bluff river range. I think ya gotta lead 1/3 pot there with most hands and bank on his bluffs check raising in that spot more than betting river when you check to them. Just a thought. 

Aug. 29, 2014 | 11:31 p.m.

Elegantly put. 

Aug. 11, 2014 | 7:01 p.m.


re: 99 cbet with smaller stack sizes...

Except that you block his most likely bluffing hands which can have a significant effect on the hands he calls you with that do not beat you. In this situation I think 8x with decent kicker would be a better candidate. I don't mean to nit pick but I think its a solid point to keep in mind when CBETing a non top pair+ hand for value (even at lower stack sizes). You really want his possible draws that he calls with to remain available b/c that is where a lot of your value comes from. 

Aug. 6, 2014 | 4:41 p.m.

Id say this is your best most "forefront" type video so far. Its a topic that still isn't discussed as much today. Not much room for questions though, pretty self explanatory so maybe that is a downside. BUT I STILL PREFER IT (and I only play HUNL). 

I mean its cool or whatever to watch you play HU, but really there isn't much value at mistakes IMO bc the situations aren't that tough and the series/sessions aren't long enough to matter. I vote for theory videos OR like a 5-6 part HU series released 2x a week for a month. 

July 26, 2014 | 1 a.m.

Not too shabby. 

July 25, 2014 | 9:55 p.m.


Poker is so hard. The AQ hand where you had a real great strategy that would be effective 90% of the time but for when he turns two-pair. Your strategy is advanced and a little complicated in the sense that it became tough to fold AQ in game. I'm not sure it was a mistake, given your strategy was to lower your value range threshold to over bet in order to exploit the opponent. I guess it depends on whether or not you think what you are trying to exploit there is his tendency to call OB turns too light or that he will reshove a too bluff heavy polarized range as a spazzy response. Oh well,   50bb down the drain. Luckily, he made more than 50bb worth of mistakes going forward, but it goes to show that as the better player you can be put into tougher spots where you make more mistakes relative to your opponent based on the run outs. IOW, you could almost be playing two different games. 

IMO, I like over-betting the flop as opposed to the turn in that scenario. 

Anyways, take care and of course I like your videos. 

July 13, 2014 | 11:37 a.m.

the A2 hand towards the end at 40ish min mark...

I like leading w his range there on river OP bc you most likely dont have 89 and not many 8x compared to him. his 6x is not really as show downable as it appears and you have a lot of Ax and weak pairs. Leading for him becomes especially important if he calls w j high on turn there. What do you think?

June 28, 2014 | 2:04 p.m.

Okay, i never get comments like this...If you say you don't have to be balanced or use correct frequencies at lower stakes...you are essentially saying that more exploitative plays are profitable and you should do those. In order to know how to exploit someone in that way YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE CORRECT frequencies in the first place. So what you really mean is that you don't have to know them as well...b/c other people play so wildly away from optimal that you can easily error to one side of equilibrium and therefore have an easier decision. Right?

June 10, 2014 | 10:37 p.m.

Well...so, yes obviously we all tend to agree that raising is bad (as I said in the above post). Reopening the betting shouldn't happen with these range distributions from villain's perspective. Agreed.  BUT if you do raise (which is the assumption for discussion) and do so with a CAPPED RANGE and HARDLY ANY BLUFFS, then a large size is mathematically a disaster. You bet bigger when your range is more nuttier uncapped AND you will be bluffing more. 101 bet sizing is to always bet smaller with the weaker range and/or with less bluffs unless you are adopting some sort of explo adjustment.  

I can go into the math if you want, but its been done so many times ad nauseum on this site I don't want to be redundant. 

June 8, 2014 | 12:13 p.m.


11:15 9c5c when your opponent (I am Bobbie) puts in the small raise on river (which I wouldn't do often for the record)...I guess Im thinking about it differently. If I was him I would keep it small w/ a raise for the following reasons:

-He is capped and his value hands are beat almost too much to raise. 

-If I were in your shoes I would 3b this spot relatively a lot b/c you can have the nuts and he can't. THUS, If he's "thin" and  you can check raise often... he  should use a smaller size. 

What do you think?

June 7, 2014 | 4:47 p.m.

122/170 isn't that big...is it? I mean i like 1/2 pot perhaps but his sizing is close enough to get the idea. Probably just execution error no?

June 7, 2014 | 4:24 p.m.

Hey Kevin its a little off topic but on topic enough!......

I generally feel the same way, but my 4b strategy changes not so much on how polarized  they are but rather their sizing and how they respond to 4b's. Thus, I'm thinking once they get above 22% 3b, Im looking to 4b a lot more...if they are polarized and 5b shove as a response I'm obv doing it with different hands than if they just flat all my 4b. Its also tough to get a read on such things so you kind of have to guess early on...and so perhaps in support of your point a polarized aggro 3ber is likely to 5b or fold as opposed to a merged aggro 3b is likely to flat. Sizings will also change of course depending on the above.  

My point in saying all this is that pre flop is incredibly complex and at some point you have to decide where you want to battle, pre or post right? B/c strategies can get pretty extreme and "in the streets" otherwise which can be okay, but I'm not sure it is always the best VARIANCE ADJUSTED EV play (which should be important to a poker player) to choose to respond by adjusting pre-flop. IMO not enough people talk about the real choice that exists when selecting an equal or slightly lower EV exploitative option that happens to be less variant as well. In the investing/trading world i come from such considerations are paramount. HU poker has so much variance that even a winning player can lose over hundreds of thousands of hands...who can put up with that? Add potential stress, tilt, or even a "B" game to the mix and its definitely something to think about. 

Therefore, I tend to think it is a good idea to maybe not change your pre flop strategy and instead thing about how this person's pre range can be exploited post flop given its makeup on various board textures. 

June 7, 2014 | 12:25 a.m.

A friend of mine once said that 6max players brag about their hero folds, while HU players brag about their calls. So true. 

June 3, 2014 | 10:39 p.m.

Gotcha. Well, thats interesting....can you elaborate in an interesting/useful way at all on your thinking?  If not its cool, but if you can add would love to hear. 

June 2, 2014 | 6:30 p.m.

Post | Daniel Rainey posted in Chatter: Suggestion for RIO APP

So heres how this could be cool....access to forums and posts and the ability to post WITH ALERTS THAT AUTO ALERT YOUR PHONE when someone posts/responds/answers/likes etc. Thats how most social media works it seems. 

May 31, 2014 | 9:20 p.m.

Okay, well what was difficult for me to understand was that so many of the hands are tough to categorize as bluff or value when betting whole range, whereas if a bet is polarized, I clearly know what is bluff, what is value and THEREFORE how to go about BET SIZING. In this case since there is so much thin value mixed with nuts, air, and low equity type hands (middling) I'm not sure what sizing would be correct so I get confused.

For Example: If I lead 1 combo of nuts on turn I know generally I can lead 1 combo of air (gross oversimplification I know but just an example). HOWEVER, If I lead 1 combo of nuts, 1 combo of middle value, and 1 combo of air....I feel less sure about a sizing. Obviously it should be smaller but the situation seems MUCH more difficult to get precise. In fact, I would say that its tough to think of a situation that would be more complicated to size right (early/middle street whole range action bet sizing).

I VERY WELL MAY BE MISSING SOMETHING...b/c hey hey, everybody is doing it. Do you follow my question?

May 31, 2014 | 9:14 p.m.

Agreed. And moreover, being a member of a training site is not really enough. Its sort of like just hearing and talking about stuff but never doing your homework...with something as complex as poker you just won't be able to execute or apply any of it. And it takes a really really long time to know if you are good or not ...sometimes never. 

Interestingly, I saw a variance study for poker that said even if you are a 4bb winner in a 6 max game with average variance you still have a chance to be DOWN MONEY after 200k hands. And that doesn't even include tilting...I mean if you were down after 100k hands do you think you would play better the next 100k hands??? Or even continue to play? Exactly. 

May 31, 2014 | 12:58 a.m.

Yes. Not even close to feeling that even HU is dried up...so 6 max certainly not. I mean maybe running a roll from 1k to 1M in one year is next to impossible nowadays but making a good amount to live on is def not.

What is often not talked about is what attracts people to poker in the first place: It's a fun challenging game where you can just try to be smarter than someone else in real time (key word being REAL-TIME). Especially at small-mid stakes the game just doesn't attract enough people who actually put in lots of time and money and effort doing homework and learning the game and applying it. The people who are very very good at doing such things can make way more money doing other things than poker. Thus, its a lot like US Soccer....most of the best athletes play other sports so the state of the game is not as competitive with other countries. YES, people talk GTO and getting better all the time but most don't apply it or even care to put in the hours away from the table to get better. Its just not who they are...

May 31, 2014 | 12:16 a.m.


So I'm just not sure about the blocker bets (or bet in this case) in which you are attempting to deny equity/free card...it seems the small sizing is going to be very difficult to balance (you're doing this with your whole range right?). It just seems impossible to know at all if the sizing is even kind of close to correct. HOWEVER, if you are not doing it with your whole range then I retract my question. Just reminds me of the paired board small lead thing that is popular now which I don't think is good (Yes, I saw the thread). But maybe I'm wrong....Idk?

May 31, 2014 | 12:09 a.m.

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