I wanted to ask you about some practical applications of MDF. How do you get your frequencies right in game when defending? It seems like you need to know your range fairly exact and being off by just a few % means villains bluff will make too much money.
Sept. 14, 2020 | 8:30 p.m.
I enjoyed the video and liked the mindset talk in the beginning.I have one question regarding your betsizings. What is the reasoning behind not rounding you betsizings? So for example 74% instead of 75%, 2.45x instead of 2.5x
Sept. 4, 2020 | 11:09 a.m.
Pausing this journal
So I realise there is so much EV to be captured in every node of the game tree. The bottleneck right now in my carreer is to effectively improving every single node of the game tree. So my plan to improve my strategy is pretty simple. Becoming more efficient and optimizing my PIO work and sim a lot of hands. RIO is I think a good place to learn that since it is very theory and PIO oriented.
I don't have anything to really share since it is just a matter of puttin in some time and effort, so I will pause this journal. And also I don't really need it anymore.
Good luck to everyone with their carreers!
Aug. 31, 2020 | 8:49 p.m.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the EV of a lot of decisions are similar because it won't get counter exploited and villain makes your hands indifferent. So is it an educated guess that you can group your low Ax together and having the frequencies of those correct? What about grouping Weak Kx and Qx?
What I am trying to ask is. How do you determine the impact of making a mistake in practice?
Aug. 26, 2020 | 12:23 p.m.
How do you prioritize your study work? I find it hard to estimate what has the biggest impact on the winrate. Bigger pots are having a bigger impact, but smaller pots that happen more frequently add up as well.
Aug. 20, 2020 | 12:26 p.m.
I can't remember the timestamp, so I'll describe the spot. It was a BvB spot against Squa1l. You were in the SB. You decided to RFI A3o, was this an error? Because in the sims I have seen A3o is a limp. But than again there are a lot of differences in models that have been set up, how do you deal with differences in different models?
Aug. 19, 2020 | 12:27 p.m.
At the beginning of the video you mentioned the limping strategy with 99. I have seen some solutions with the limp strategy and tried implementing it into my own game. The issue I ran into was that I couldn't make sense with all the mixing, even spending a lot of time I still make a lot of mistakes. Worried about messing it up and costing EV over just have a RFI only strategy, I decided to disregard it for the time being.
So that leads me to the following question, since most of the strategies requires a lot of mixing.
Do you mix all your hands with the right frequencies? If so, how did you do that?
Thanks in advance!
Aug. 19, 2020 | 3:12 a.m.
Regress to progress
So I decided to use more accurate betsizings and frequencies into my strategy. It might not seems to be a big deal, but the complexity is drastically increased with it. And with the added complexity my efficiency of playing a good strategy decreases and so does my winrate. I do believe that it will be worth it in the long run. Being efficient in a very simple strategy has the downside that the growth is capped. This means a change of plan, I am going to focus on studying and practicing. Until I am efficient enough to have a positive winrate at the tables.
See you at the tables!
Aug. 18, 2020 | 9:16 p.m.
Playing GTO and playing a max EV strategy is the same.
So I went deep into the lab to learn a deeper understanding of the game. One thing I learned is that playing 'GTO' and playing maximum exploitative poker is the same thing. It's just that people making bad plays for the sake of balance that gives GTO a bad rep. I realized I would be an absolute whale if I would jump into the highstakes pool at this point a time. It hurt a bit, but was very freeing to see how many 1-5bb/100 mistakes I made. And even an occusional bigger punt from time to time. I realized that the regs in my pool are doing the same and more. With some exception with the top regs of the pool. And the recreational players are obviously still making a lot of losing plays very frequently, which stays the same across the stakes.
The insecurities start to fade away and I believe that I can become a professional player. I got all the tools I need, I can ask for help if I need it. Now it's just a matter of putting in the time and effort to make it.
Aug. 17, 2020 | 3:47 p.m.
That's a huge difference to go from volume to focusing on plugging leaks.
The goal is to get better, at the time I felt that putting in volume was necessary. Now that I know that I can improve by studying I am going to do that.
Which leaks did you find? How are you planning on fixing them? What will you study to do so?
Not any specific strategic leaks, but I got the sense that my frequencies are off in a lot of spot. My plan is to study sims, compare how the pool play against it and how to adjust. And using Simple gto trainer to practice these spot. When a sim make sense than I'll throw it in a gto trainer and drill it into my subconscious.
Aug. 12, 2020 | 9:16 p.m.
Day 10: Recognizing skill level
So I feel like I got most out of my volume challenge. It exposes a lot of mental leaks and strategic leaks. Mental leaks I could address directly, but strategic leaks are mainly some tresholding hands. But will add up if I misplay a lot of thresholding hands. So a change of plan, I am going to drop down to 1 table and focusing on plugging as many leaks as I can. Until I can beat 50z pool during daytime (toughest time of the day). And will continue this as I move up.
Aug. 12, 2020 | 7:17 p.m.
Week 2: Day 8 and 9
So on monday I had the worst session so far. Every bet got raised and ran into the top of villains range more than I could count. I thought I was prepared for a bad stretch of cards, but I did not getting hit that hard by variance. So I needed some time off to recollect my thoughts.
My thought process in most of the spots were accurate, up until a point where shit hits the fan and I made calls I shouldn't because I was sick of needing to fold every hand. Even than I expect my winrate to be around -10bb/100 at my absolute worst. Which is not that bad if I put it into perspective.
This experience was an opportunity to reframe how I think about winning and losing in poker. What you win and lose at the poker tables doesn't translate to your actual income. What do I mean with that? Let's say you had a good run of cards and won 5 buyins at 50z over 2k hands. That is 250$, not a bad day huh? But this 250$ isn't what you have actually earned, the income is based on your EV edge over the field. Which might be something in the realm of 5bb/100. 5200.5$= 50$ is what you have actually earned. So even if you have won or lost 250$ in this stretch of 2k hands. You EV income is 50$ regardless of the outcome of session. Given you have maintain your thought process. So my biggest mistake is thinking that the money I won was mine and the money I lost is gone forever. But in reality they are an investment tool and the actual income is based on my winrate over the field. Which can be paid out at any random time of the day.
Aug. 12, 2020 | 1:09 p.m.
Taking days off is hard for me. I think a lot of players have the same, it doesn't seem like a big issue. Since we live in a hard working culture, not relaxing and taking days off might seem like a good thing. I actually think it is, I also think taking breaks is a very productive thing to do in the long run. Recharching your batteries so you can play your A-game again, letting your mind rest on unconsciously connect ideas and coming up with new creative insight to the game will happen you take your mind off the game.
It isn't necessarily an easy thing to do, believe it or not. I realised I am still learning on how to relax. How strange that might sound. Taking days off also has the benefit of building up a desire to play.
Aug. 9, 2020 | 11:16 a.m.
Starting to get more comfortable putting in volume at 50z. Started to add more tables as well. Regulars are more creative and defend better overall than 25z. Nice wrap up of the week, I am going to take the weekend off and start grinding again on monday. Probably won't reach the volume goal, but I will be able to clear the rb challenge given by stars, but I will reach the underlying goal and that is to expose as many leaks as I can.
So the biggest hurd of moving up is fear. Because the players are better, leaks in your game will cost more than on lower stakes. There is also the factor of more money at stake that affected my mental game in the beginning of moving up, but that fades away as I play more and start thinking in big blinds instead of the $ amount of the blind.
Day volume: 2024/4000 Hands
Week volume: 11k
Aug. 7, 2020 | 4:16 p.m.
I felt a bit burnout and took some time off to process the whole experience so far. I felt like the intensity in which 25z exposes my mental or strategic leaks got down quite a bit. I tried a session back at 50z and the mental leaks I had before start caming back. I got more affected by winning a pot and losing a pot hurt more. At 25z I wouldn't even bat an eye on some of the spots that occured at 50z. Logically speaking the difference in skill level is not too much different. Recreationals play the stake they feel like, so it doesn't represent there skill level. Weak regulars will be weak regulars regardless of the stakes. The only difference is that the top regs at 25z will be the average reg at 50z. So the skill level of the winning regulars will be higher. This can be a great opportunity to test my own skills, since the regs at 25z aren't giving me as much issue as the 50z regs. I can always move down if needed, but the purpose of the challenge was to expose mental and strategic leaks and at this point playing higher will do that. I do risk not reaching my volume goal and the poker rakeback challenge given by stars. But in the long run this will help me grow the most.
Aug. 7, 2020 | 8:36 a.m.
Kamator123 I have read his blog and I completely agree with his approach. It's that in my situation playing high volume is going to make me play better than playing less tables. FWIW I don't autopilot, but playing a high volume does force me to only take in the most important information, not dwell on certain outcomes. Because I simply have another decision to make.
This is a temporary challenge to get myself going, after this month I will reevaluate and see what is next.
lIlCitanul Actually playing more volume get's me into this macro perspective on my strategy, for some reason I get deeper insights into my strategy. Playing too few hands feels like I get caught in the chaos. I have been studying poker for a while now, so it's not as if I don't know what I am doing. And if I had to give myself advice from a few years back, I would definitely not play more than 2 tables.
Aug. 5, 2020 | 7:29 p.m.
I am Yungda, 23 years old from the Netherlands.
I have made a journal in the past that I quit after a while. It was named 'making dreams come true'. It's a bit of a naive mindset look back. Now that I have matured more I don't believe in dreams anymore. I believe in goals and having a solid plan to achieve it, hence the name. The purpose of this journal is to keep progress on my development as a poker player. Since I believe a lot of you are going through the same journey so there might be things you can relate to.
Why do I play poker?
I am fortunate enough to be born in a first world country, financially speaking I there are way better opportunities than poker. That being said I want to use poker as a self-development tool, overcoming childhood traumas and becoming a better person through the process.
What are my current goals?
I am in a challenge where my goal is to be able to put in 4k hand volume a day or 80k hands in the month. Keeping my hours what you would consider normal working hours, since a balanced approach is going to be the most fruitful in the longrun. The amount of volume is very challenging for me and this week I am working to the 4k hands a day. But so far the volume has exposed a lot of mental and strategic leaks. Overcoming these are part of the first week's goal, so I will be able to consistently put in the volume.
Volume goal august: 70k hands
Daily volume goal: 4k hands
Study goal: Maintaining study routine
What can you expect from the journal?
I will be doing this at 25z. This is lower than I normally play, but I am going outside of my comfort zone and expect a lot mental/strategic leaks that I have been avoiding. There probably won't be any graphs, maybe at the end of the month to keep the journal focused on the process rather than the 'sick graphs with the sick red lines'. Also this journal is going to focus on the mental part of poker instead of the strategic part. Also the discussion will be kept to a macro level.
Enjoy the read!
The first mental leak was exposed when firing 4 tables of zoom. Anxiety came up, because when playing so many hands it is impossible to completely think through a hand. In the past I played 2 tables, I overthought my decision. The underlying belief was that if I have considered every possibilty I won't make mistakes. But the reality is that my thought process is always evolving and making mistakes is part of the process. It doesn't mean I am bad at the game or that I am unworthy as a person. Afterwards the session went pretty well and didn't encounter any new obstacles. I ran out of the timeframe I gave myself in a day unfortunately, so I did not reach my volume goal.
Results day 1: 1587/4000 hands
Learning from my mistakes from the first day I started earlier with the grind. The first two sessions went well without any issue. I got in around 2k hands and the morning hasn't even ended yet. I did not wanted to neglect my studying, so I got a good study session in as well. But then I got hit by a wave of fatigue. With effort I got in another 500 hands, but I did not felt good about it. My thoughtprocess was non- existent during that last session, so I ended it there and reflected on what happened. After the reflection I was happy it happened. Because the tiredness exposed weaknesses in my game. I have been really focused on getting better and better, completely neglecting that what I have learned I also need to practice. So not only do I need to work on improving my thought process. I also need to become efficient in my thought process. If you are wondering what I mean with thought process. It's what I refer to everything that goes on in your head when making a decision at the poker table.
Results day 2: 2608/4000 Hands
Aug. 4, 2020 | 9:25 p.m.
Enjoyed another theory videos.
14:40 How did you go from the EV difference of 0.256 to the amount of bb/100 gained?
Also how does this bb/100 relate to your overall winrate. Let's say your winrate is 6bb/100 overall, how big is the impact of this 5bb/100 gain?
June 12, 2020 | 7:42 p.m.
Hi Ben Sulsky . From what I can tell you're a big advocate for GTO play. I have noticed that learning from you my plays against other regulars have improved. But not so much against recreationals. Since recreational players tend to do things that are not GTO and put me in spots that aren't occuring very frequently in solver land. How do you deal with this?
June 2, 2020 | 10:52 a.m.
May 22, 2020 | 8:49 a.m.
Hi Ben Sulsky ! I got a ton of question, I hope you don't mind answering them.
Why did you minraise on every position, especially on the SB isn't minraising here bad. Because BB basically can defend nearly anything profitably?
2:00 It might be a very simple question, but why is KJo a fold here? I know the solver suggest a fold COvsBU. But KJo BUvsSB is a low freq 4bet, what differs?
2:44 How do you act in situations where your opponent isn't supposed to do something, based on an theoretical understanding? My thinking tend to shutdown, out of confusion and I feels like my opponent makes money making a weird play.
3:00 What do you mean by playing 'solid'? Do you mean GTO approximating, without trying to actively exploit any leaks?
9:24 HJvsUTG coldcall, is this a specific exploit against argentin75?, if so when coldcalling exploiting how much weight do you put into the squeezing tendencies of the players left behind?
10:30 Could elaborate on why you said that you can bluff some times?
As last, I have been practing mixing my strategy to approximate GTO better, but I mess up the frequency of specific combo's a lot. So what can I ask myself to understand better how a hand wants to be played?