devwil's avatar


379 points

Having a wonderful week, to be honest.

Sometimes poker is very easy.

PL Omaha $1.00(BB)
HERO ($117.24)
BB ($275.21) [VPIP: 96.1% | PFR: 36.5% | AGG: 24.9% | 3-Bet: 14.8% | Hands: 311]
UTG ($105.08) [VPIP: 25.5% | PFR: 14.1% | AGG: 18.3% | 3-Bet: 5.2% | Hands: 1561]
HJ ($242.93) [VPIP: 32.7% | PFR: 20% | AGG: 33.1% | 3-Bet: 8.6% | Hands: 1563]
CO ($153.23) [VPIP: 25.1% | PFR: 10.7% | AGG: 22.4% | 3-Bet: 2.2% | Hands: 2928]
BTN ($77.40) [VPIP: 44.1% | PFR: 3.9% | AGG: 21.1% | 3-Bet: 0% | Hands: 102]

Dealt to Hero: 2s Tc Ac Ad

UTG Folds, HJ Folds, CO Raises To $3.50, BTN Calls $3.50, HERO Raises To $15, BB Calls $14, CO Calls $11.50, BTN Calls $11.50

Hero SPR on Flop: [1.04 effective]
Flop ($60.00): Kc Jc Qc
HERO Checks, BB Checks, CO Bets $20 (Rem. Stack: 118.23), BTN Raises To $62.40 (allin), HERO Calls $62.40 (Rem. Stack: 39.84), BB Folds, CO Folds

Turn ($204.80): Kc Jc Qc Ah

River ($204.80): Kc Jc Qc Ah Qd

BTN shows: 2c Jd Kd 6s

HERO wins: $201.80

Jan. 22, 2020 | 6:38 a.m.

I can't believe how many times I'm flopping the nuts and losing in NLH. It's just absurd.

In PLO, that's one thing. That's fairly normal.

But the runner-runner horror shows I'm seeing are just infuriating.

Jan. 17, 2020 | midnight

I think I just cut my lifetime StarsPA NL200 EV bb/100 in half in less than three hours.

Just such a miserable session. I just kept being put in situations where I had no choice but to play a big pot and then—one way or the other—I ended up unable or unlikely to win it.

Thank God I've been running way over EV this month. It's really rescued my results and helped buoy my spirits a bit, but—as I said in my last post—I'd just really like a strong EV bb/100 and a bb/100 that's pretty close to it. I'm glad to have the resources that running over EV brings, but I honestly feel very unsettled by it.

Yeah, I'm beating NLH/PLO at 7.23 bb/100 this month and that's kind of nice (it was nicer when it was even better, three hours ago), but my EV bb/100 is really not great (negative now) due to situations that have me at a 38.81 W$WSF this month.

Like, no thanks: I'm not going to call a nit's river bet despite flopping the nuts when there's now four to a flush/straight and I don't have it. This has been happening to me MULTIPLE TIMES per session lately! (Even in the winning sessions!!)

Just absolute nightmare runouts super regularly, and I'm just having a real tough time in reraised pots.

Jan. 13, 2020 | 6:31 a.m.

Whoa, three weeks since I posted.

Makes sense. Spent a couple weeks traveling for the holidays and I've slowly been getting back into the game(s).

Having a really weird experience to start 2020, results-wise.

Just really disparate results from one game/stake to the next and, fortunately for my bankroll, my bad results are actually inversely correlated with stakes.

I'm having the worst time at PLO50 in every way, meanwhile my EV WR and WR are both superb at NL200 (and, to a lesser extent, PLO100).

And I'm way above $EV at the moment. (Not that my $EV is negative!)

For someone whose 2019 was plagued by frustrations over his winnings being far below his EV winnings, 2020 has just been a strange contrast to that so far.

It's just made for some very awkward-feeling sessions to be dropping $50 PLO stacks over and over on one table, while I sit on some of the biggest stacks of my online career at NL200 tables.

I suppose it's a good problem to have? (But ultimately I'd just like a healthy EV bb/100 for each game and a bb/100 that follows it closely.)

Jan. 9, 2020 | 6:39 a.m.

Okay, well, I don't know what to do at this point. Like I don't know how I'm supposed to feel.

My dollars under EV in 2019 represents significantly more than half of my bankroll.

Literally unfair.

Dec. 19, 2019 | 5:18 a.m.

I use conservative bankroll management but somehow every ~six weeks I lose like 20% of my bankroll. (Yet somehow I haven't had a losing month since May, a month in which I didn't even spend 20 hours at the tables.)

It's extremely demoralizing, especially as I play more and more NLH (which has far lower variance than PLO, obviously).

As I've said: thank God I've run okay on Global. Because now with almost 107k hands of cash this year, my bb/100 and EV bb/100 are on different sides of zero, on trackable (non-Global) sites.

The number of dollars I am below EV this year represents more than 48% of my current bankroll. (Again, conservative bankroll management.)

That is so immensely frustrating and it's just so hard to experience it and feel like nobody in my social circles (I don't interact with many poker players) could understand how unfortunate it is without a boring explanation of it.

Honestly, I just wish it didn't feel so personal. It feels like despite all of my aptitude and study and so on that I'm cursed to fail (or at least absurdly underachieve) as a poker player.

30k hands this month. bb/100 is basically a third of my EV bb/100. My dollars below EV is more than 26% of my current bankroll. (Again, conservative BRM. I just run so, so, so, so bad. It frankly just hurts.)

Thank God PokerStars has real (if imperfect) rakeback. It's an increasingly important part of my income despite, quite frankly, having a really healthy EV winrate in both NLHE and PLO.

Double digit EV bb/100 this month in PLO.

And, shockingly, my bb/100 in PLO is not that much lower than my EV bb/100 (though the former is in single digits).

It's NLHE that's being the all-in variance monster.

To briefly step back: I was fortunate to be able to wade into NL200 at my leisure due to the bankroll I've built otherwise; I played more NL100 than I needed to in order to warm up as I re-learned the game.

And in more than 11k hands this month, my EV bb/100 at NL200 is in the double digits. I'm frankly very proud of that and I think I've gotten up to speed with NLHE theory and practice quite quickly (in no small part due to using Janda's NLHE4AP as an unexpected PLO theory bible for 2019 and grokking insights from GTO+ fairly quickly). Even in a ring-fenced market, I don't take low stakes NLHE lightly and I know that many of my opponents are competent (if, in my opinion, beatable).

But my bb/100 this month at NL200 is in the low single digits. I'm more than 10 BI below EV... at HOLD EM! On a site with run it twice!

But it's hardly surprising. I've played 29k hands of NLHE cash this year (on trackable sites, though I barely played NLHE on Global): EV bb/100 of almost 8, bb/100 of less than 3.

This is to say nothing of my stretch playing a lot of NLHE MTTs in which my EV big blinds and actual big blinds won were super far apart.

This is to say nothing of my still-running cashless streak of live MTTs (not counting satellites).

Point is, I just feel like running bad is normal for me. And it's a terrible feeling. And I don't just want it to stop; I need it to stop in order to fully succeed at this profitable thing I'm good at.

I don't actually believe that I am cursed, but I certainly feel cursed regularly. It's just absurd.

And considering I'm still not making a proper living just from playing poker and I don't have a proper full-time pro bankroll (though I was basically there for a portion of this month)... it's just so hard to constantly feel like I'm being held back by what's out of my control when I'm honestly doing SO WELL with what IS in my control.

My mental game, while not perfect, is above average. I'm emotional about the game, for sure: I steam a bit sometimes and occasionally sit at my desk gobsmacked when I can't seem to win for hundreds of hands at a time, but I am so rarely like "eff it" and punt a stack or deviate especially far from my normal gameplan.

Again, my bankroll management is really good. I really like my approach of mixing stakes in order to move up efficiently, and I think I have good buy-in guidelines. I never, ever chase losses and I stick to my management rules. (I even feel a little uncomfortable when I'm technically playing a little higher than I "should" due to rounding in my spreadsheet. Feels like cheating!)

And when it comes to on-the-felt activities... I HAVE A SUPER STRONG WINRATE! Taking my StarsPA data to be representative of my most current, strongest game: I've got more than 28k hands of PLO at a very high single-digit EV bb/100 and, after about 24k hands of NLHE I'm showing an EV bb/100 that's barely lower than my PLO EV winrate (mostly NL200!)!(!)

But I am so EXTREMELY underachieving due to bad luck all-in.

Again... this year, the dollars I am under EV represents ALMOST HALF of my current bankroll!!!!


Like... I'm very good at poker! And that's a nice thing to feel confidently in and of itself, but I'd sure like the deck to catch up with my skill even a LITTLE bit more than it has.

Just this month, my result for December would be more than THREE TIMES what it actually is if I could just have every EV dollar I've "earned".

That sucks SO EFFING BADLY. Especially when my actual result and my $EV result are the difference between me playing only PLO100/NL200+ versus mixing in lower stakes. I just want to play those games at a baseline and slowly take shots at higher levels... I'm not asking that much!

So, yeah... I'm very frustrated right now. And I'm really just hoping I don't keep sliding downward for the rest of (an abbreviated) December. I'm probably only going to play about ~12 more hours this month due to holiday travel, and I hope they go MUCH better than my past ~14 hours (about 7 BI below EV; -7.48 bb/100 versus 4.42 EV bb/100; 48.48% won money at showdown; river call efficiency below 1; most of my runbad being in my biggest games).

I'm just very aware of the possibility that I could end up in the red (or at least disappointed) this month, and I don't want that. But booking a win with less than 75 hours at the tables, even accounting for December holiday travel, just seems a bit lazy to me.

Dec. 18, 2019 | 8:56 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on PLO kills me

15/10 is very, very tight for 6max.

It sounds like you may be taking tight-aggressive play to a somewhat uncritical extreme.

Dec. 17, 2019 | 5:46 p.m.

Comment | devwil commented on PLO kills me

This is extremely general, what you're asking.

However, I do have one suspicion: you may be playing too many hands and therefore paying too much rake. Realizing that I was playing both against rake and against my opponents was an important turning point for me.

Because if you've worked half as hard as you've claimed to, your postflop leaks probably shouldn't be as expensive as your results indicate.

But I'm really, really guessing.

Dec. 17, 2019 | 9:01 a.m.

Had the honor of losing both runs of a 250bb preflop all-in KK < QQ. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

No straight or flush, just a Q appearing both times.

Dec. 17, 2019 | 6:36 a.m.

Blinds: $1.00/$2.00 (6 Players) BN: $200.00
SB: $188.10
BB: $326.23 (Hero)
UTG: $112.57
MP: $202.85
CO: $95.96
Less than 100 hands on BTN, but they seem TAG if anything (22/15, low agg/3bet but high cbet in a very small sample). UTG seems like a loose-passive recreational player in less than 50 hands.
Preflop ($3.00) Hero is BB with T K
UTG calls $2.00, 2 folds, BN raises to $7.00, SB folds, Hero calls $5.00, UTG calls $5.00
I don't want to squeeze a suited king this wide, especially against how tight BTN's range rates to be. Feels standard to me here.
Flop ($22.00) T 7 2
Hero checks, UTG checks, BN bets $10.00, Hero calls $10.00, UTG calls $10.00
I feel like raising is an option, but I don't want to inflate the pot and strengthen not only PFR's range but UTG's range too. Obviously there are draws we might want to protect against, but we may not have the best hand. Call seems sensible, if arguable.
Turn ($52.00) T 7 2 T
Hero checks, UTG checks, BN bets $18.00, Hero calls $18.00, UTG raises to $95.57 and is all in, BN calls $77.57, Hero
I simply called BTN's bet because, again, we don't always have the best hand here but folding to $18 into $52 isn't sensible to my mind.

How do we react here with one card to come when villains each have at least a ten or, like, As?

Dec. 14, 2019 | 5:10 p.m.

I've had very few coolers (some: tough one today!), but boy it sure feels like I know what I'm doing at NLHE, at least against the StarsPA opposition:

Here's the absurd thing: for PLO on StarsPA, not only are my bb/100 and EV bb/100 still each on the opposite side of zero (in the "good" way), but my EV bb/100 in PLO is significantly lower (while still, I think, being quite good: not double digits but let's just say it rounds to ten and not zero, haha) than my EV bb/100 in NLHE.

Part of this is a lot of situational bad luck I've had in PLO. (And yes: I know the difference between a NLHE cooler and PLO cooler. On top of that, just lots of miserable runouts and pots I 3bet preflop and absolutely cannot responsibly get to showdown for. Given how little fold equity I have preflop against the recs on StarsPA, I'm considering a lot of pretty radical departures from standard preflop strategy but that seems perhaps foolish.)

And the sample sizes between the games (though not apples-to-apples to begin with) are starting to get closer, as I'm tending to play 4 tables of NLHE and 2 of PLO these days (and NLHE plays faster; fewer flops).

It's such a strange situation: I really do firmly believe that I'm significantly better at PLO than I am at NLHE in relation to both the poker world in general and the people I play either game against.

But PLO's variance is just really dulling the actual financial edge I can find in PLO. Not only is poor play rescued more often (like, similar NLHE vs PLO spew offers ~20% versus ~35% equity, I'd say), but—due to this variance—I need to play at half the stakes I can play NLHE at.

Like, compared to NLHE:

My bb winrate is cut in half (apparently; I'm probably exaggerating WRT what my WRs would look like with a much larger sample).

I see fewer hands per hour (PLO is slower; so my bb/hr is lower due to 100 hands taking longer to play).

The value of a bb is cut in half due to BRM requirements, also hurting my $/hr.

And it's all more stressful anyway due to the swings of PLO! (The std dev bb/100 is just objectively larger.)

It's confusing! I thought I was going to build my poker career on being a PLO specialist.

But this is the actual, concrete upside to being a well-rounded player: as long as the StarsPA NLHE cash games are still beatable, being (surprisingly) good at NLHE will serve me extremely well. And as long as I keep my PLO game sharp, the (seemingly always crushable) world of PLO will also be a profitable avenue for me.

But ultimately, I think my poker career in 2020 is going to be quite different than I expected in 2019.

More on that another time (soon).

Dec. 13, 2019 | 10:06 p.m.

Also, I'm frankly impressed with my instincts as I play through my first batch of solutions.

I spend a lot of time looking at PLO solutions as a part-time gig I have, but I also treat Janda's NLHE4AP as kind of a poker fundamentals bible. So I honestly think I have good intuitions for balanced play, and it's been translating into results so far.

Exciting times in my poker career (even if I actually had a really frustrating day today tbh: went pretty card dead in the PACOOP stud8 event, and I was just super unable to win pots at my PLO tables).

Dec. 12, 2019 | 7:44 a.m.

So, I hadn't bothered to update GTO+ in some time due to focusing almost exclusively on PLO, but I'm loving the new "Play against the solution" feature. It's so smart and exactly what I'd long hoped a solver dev would implement. (In fact, I was kind of thinking about doing some version of it myself, but it's not a simple project.)

This comes in the midst of me re-engaging with NLH and trying to figure out a workable study plan.

As I've been playing (and I often did this with PLO sessions too), I'd tag hands for review with my HUD, but it's honestly really hard to find time to go through all of them.

Instead, I think I'm going to try to spend ~20 minutes a day (or more) getting a random flop from and studying different situations on that flop: BTN vs BB (obviously; this is where our highest VPIPs are) as well as (rough) 3bet vs call-3-bet (as these are high-value pots).

The "play against the solution" feature really helps to not only make study very engaging, but put a number of turns and rivers into play.

(This totally sounds like an ad, but I'm honestly just feeling very enthusiastic.)

Dec. 12, 2019 | 7:41 a.m.

(I keep mentioning this, but until I feel like I don't need to: I'm relearning NLHE; take my advice with a grain of salt.)

I feel like we're checking range on flop, but I may be way off.

OOP on this flop we just rarely want to inflate the pot a bunch without trips, and if we're only betting combos like this then our checks become too weak, no? (Not simply a rhetorical question.) We also block continues to an extent that (to my mind) incentivizes a check.

However, I think flop is a pretty easy 3bet, as played. We only lose to KJ/AJ/88/J8, and—other than J8, which is not especially likely combinatorically—we can assume those are BB 3bets. Conversely, we unblock dd and many straight draws (though we welcome a Q obv) and I don't think we really want to get cute on this draw-heavy flop once villain's range is getting stronger.

(I realize this is philosophically somewhat at odds with checking range, but once we're betting trips and getting raised I think our situation is changing a lot.)

Re: your questions:

We can't fold this turn if we're not folding the flop. Nothing changed.

OTR: I think villain's range is so busted-draw-heavy that a value-check has a ton of merit. Not only that, but villain is going to have a hard time calling with worse unless they had AdXd (whch is also a 3bet for a lot of players).

Dec. 11, 2019 | 8:18 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on 3Bet Pot on 25NL

(Caveat: I'm re-learning NLHE, so take my advice with a grain of salt.)

This flop is so dry that I think we could be checking it back pretty often, no?

Otherwise we have a hard time getting value with 99-JJ, which I imagine we are 3betting often (if not always). AQ, KQ, and QQ+ can all check comfortably to get value on future streets. If we're 3betting 55/88 we have little reason to deny equity here, but villain could only continue so often.

Our range doesn't really smash this flop, and we don't have great semibluffs.

...I'm just finding a lot of reasons to check.

Dec. 11, 2019 | 7:57 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on Best Multi way solver

Monker is the only one I know of.

Beware that, to my knowledge, equilibrium strategies are theoretically significantly less sound once we exceed two players.

But I'm not a game theory expert; other folks may have a stronger understanding of the theoretical difference between 2 and 3+ players.

Dec. 11, 2019 | 7:51 a.m.

Apologies to OP for this sidetrack.

Congrats, God_of_War . You've done it. You've hacked my ego, and here I am again.

Your condescension just knows NO bounds. It's amazing.

I wanted to avoid this so badly, but I can't help myself, and I'm not saying it's a good thing.

I'm glad you're beating PLO20. Honestly, I am. That's great. It's not easy to win at poker.

But I'm beating a mix of PLO50-100 and NL100-200 at a double digit EV bb/100 over my past ~40k hands. I've been beating PLO for all of 2019, and I used to play NLHE semi-professionally while I was in undergrad.

I have significant tournament results in most forms of poker, including mixed games (both live and online).

I make 100% of my income through poker-related activities (mostly playing). I've been playing half-time or more since June and haven't had a losing month in this time despite constantly being absurdly below EV (around 50 BIs below, this year; about 40 BIs below, since June).

I only say any of this because apparently I have to prove that I'm not some random lurker who has know idea what I'm talking about.


So please just show a modicum of respect when, as far as I can tell, I've achieved more than you have in poker. I hate, hate, hate bringing it up, but you're just so effing condescending!

Yes, I know the difference between different forms of poker FFS. I've studied stud8 and omaha8 more than most poker players under 40 have played either.

Let me try to impress upon you once more why I'm so irritated with you: I don't doubt that there are holes in my game and things for me to learn (always!), but when I spend a lot of time and energy discussing a grounded and reasonable (if arguable) rationale for my approach to the game to assist someone with their micro PLO strategy, that investment in itself demands a degree of respect that you have flat-out refused to give.

I appeal to Janda, so you say my knowledge is irrelevant.

Dude, after months of intensely studying PLO-exclusive materials and not getting the results I wanted, reading Janda's NLHE4AP was the thing that revolutionized my winrate in combination with some light (and I do mean light) solver study. (And guess what: everything I see from solvers tends to align with the foundational and far more practical knowledge I learned from Janda. It's not coincidence: Janda is very theory-guided.)

So, yeah: Janda's NLHE book can help with PLO. I think it's the best PLO book on the market despite being written for NLHE. And the things I apply to PLO from it are EXPLICITLY through the lens of appreciating the differences between PLO and NLHE.

And considering that, as far as I can tell, I'm the only one of the two of us who has read it... I'd ask that you pump the brakes on performing any kind of expertise about it.

First off all... We will still have pot bets in multiway spots(no doubt about that)- PLO is a extremly equity driven game compared to NLHE- in alot of spots you should just pot it even tho your hand is very faceup- equity runs way clooser and you just have to maximize your EV by denying equity- giving opponents the whorst price to suckout on you.

I feel like my counterarguments are all above in significant detail (not in this comment; in others), but I do have more because—despite GoW's assumptions—I've actually thought an awful lot about PLO strategy.

In short, we can't offer the wrong price to the hands with the most valuable equity to deny, and—simultaneously—we are less likely to win the pot against those continues than against weaker ranges (which all continues will be if we bet smaller).

In multiway, draw-heavy flops in PLO, our fold equity and pot equity are both significantly lower than in similar situations in NLHE. Again, we are therefore disincentivized from being exactly as aggressive if Janda is correct (and some ITT insist he's worthless; whatever).

I don't think this means we become more passive; I think it means we refrain from inflating multiway pots OTF (at least for the first bet). (We still want to deploy betting ranges with a modicum of balance with the goals of building pots for if we win them and denying equity.)

And here's a point I haven't shared: a big reason I size down multiway is that I think it's hard to design a good, balanced, equity-driven potting range multiway. If we need to balance a PSB, I think we open ourselves up to risking too much money too often with combos that have too little fold equity and too little pot equity, especially among hypercurious microstakes opposition.

As you say, we become somewhat face-up. I don't think that's a good thing. If we only pot a range that nobody will want to raise, then we're becoming exploited, no? Instead, half-potting these combos to entice a raise and allow our 3-bet can become more profitable, perhaps. (I have no sophisticated, calculated proof for this, but it makes sense, yes?)

Otherwise, we end up with a paucity of bet/folds and bet/calls OTF. And everyone can just explo fold to us unless they have so much equity that we're only ever flipping in these pots.

This is my (not un-studied!) intuition, at least.

And please note that one of Janda's key concepts for denying equity is that "denying equity" doesn't only mean "denying equity on this street". By betting smaller MW as a rule, we can bet more often while keeping our range uncapped, and we can size up on future streets to deny equity far more effectively (due to already weaker ranges having less equity than they did on the flop, unless they've outdrawn us).

I'm sure you know how this works in NLHE. Overbetting turns after keeping a villain's range wide OTF is a really key piece of modern NLHE strategy. (That is, if Janda is to be believed. And I trust that citing Janda here will draw far less criticism...)

We can't quite overbet in PLO (darn rules; it's right in the name), but we can give the wrong price to any combo whose pot equity is under 33%.

That's far more likely on the turn, especially if we don't strengthen our opponents' ranges to the point that we become significantly less likely to win the (now bigger) pot.

Okay, I'm really super going to try to have this be my last word in this thread. I just feel like I'm being really thorough and it's not impressing anybody, so I need to respect my own time at some point.

Dec. 11, 2019 | 7:48 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on NL25z J9o BBvsSB

Grunching. (I'm re-learning NLHE, take my advice with a grain of salt.)

I dunno, it's tough. I think it's all fine up through the turn (though I think sizing up is an option, too). Betting river is probably fine too.

At first glance (before I scrolled far enough to see a result; hide that, btw), I thought calling the raise was too optimistic.

If I'm not mistaken, we need 38.7% equity to breakeven on a call.

Against a reasonable range that can nevertheless be doing this fairly wide, it's easy to find 42%+ equity. Against a much tighter range, we're down to less than 15%.

Given what little I know about villain, I might err on the side of folding, assuming their range is more likely to be what we have 15% against. But I think calling is defensible.

Dec. 11, 2019 | 12:44 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on NL25z A4s OOP 4bet pot

Grunching. (I'm re-learning NLHE, so take my advice with a grain of salt.)

Preflop is fine.

Flop is a really good opportunity to check-raise big. We block (that is to say, have) Ax of hearts, meaning their better aces are just going to have a hard time calling. Making those hands fold is a big win, and we'll succeed at it fairly often.

For QQ+, they may not want to play a big pot here, so they may fold as well, but even if they don't, we have more than 44% pot equity.

As played, check-raising the turn really doesn't accomplish much.

Dec. 11, 2019 | 12:32 a.m.

God_of_War Janda says himself in one of the chapters that his ideas should apply to PLO as well. I know because I'm currently re-reading the book as I re-learn NLHE to add to my PLO tables. And I don't know why you think poker knowledge is so game-specific when, in a lot of cases, (especially when we're going from one big-bet flop game to another) big concepts retain.

And you're confusing the matter entirely re: vagueness/specificity. Almost to the point that it feels intentional.

You're still not appealing to any specific Jnandez materials. Obviously we are talking about the specifics of OP's hand. Like, what do you think I'm referring to?? I was simply making a contrast between HU pots and MW pots and how, yes, potting here HU is completely reasonable. MW, I think that changes. And I appealed to major poker book's core game-agnostic concepts for my reasoning and you rejected these ideas out of hand.

If I wanted to argue against you the way you're arguing against me, I could literally tell you "Galfond and literally every RIO PLO coach would never bet more than half-pot multiway here". And then when you asked me to prove it, I'd provide nothing and claim victory.

And by the way: for this PLO20 pot, I'd be interested in what a multiway multi-size solve would say (which is probably what Jnandez materials would use), but I don't think it's the beginning and end of the conversation.

But you're obviously only interested in the end of any conversation and your domination of it, which I'll just cede to you because this is all super obnoxious and I don't care anymore.

I know that I made good if debatable arguments about this hand, and you are just coming at me with such disingenuous, disrespectful non-debate that I have no reason to say anything more.

Dec. 11, 2019 | 12:08 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on KKQT on AK3tt IP 3-way

Disagree with 3betting. Three of a suit, no A. I don't want to get 4bet with this combo and it plays perfectly fine MW.

But we've disagreed about reraising so-so KK preflop before, so go ahead and attack me again if you must.

Dec. 10, 2019 | 8:18 p.m.


My god, you're exhausting.

I would bet SO MUCH MONEY that if Jnandez is advocating betting big in this situation, it is in a HEADS-UP POT, which is a RADICALLY different situation than multiway.

A MAJOR factor of my argument this whole time is that we're talking about a multiway pot. I play this combo on this flop in a SRP much different HU vs MW. BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT SITUATIONS.

Jfc, GoW. I'm just trying to be constructive and you're just trying to be condescending at every possible turn. You have single-handedly kept this from being a productive/civil disagreement. Congrats.

Dec. 10, 2019 | 8:12 p.m.

I think that our 3betting range should probably only be potting or checking this flop. Sort of a get-it-in or GTFO spot. (This isn't to say that we should become face-up: I think we have a lot of strong checks possible here that have a lot of equity but aren't afraid to see more cards and may not have much fold equity.)

In this case, I greatly prefer pot/calling (all-in). Unless villain is only going to re-pot a set, we're fine, I'm pretty sure. And only re-potting sets on this texture strikes me as very unlikely, even if we block some of their best combo draws holding Ad.

We maximize fold equity with a PSB (which is good because I don't really want more cards here), we should have a lot of viable PSBs on this flop after 3betting (for balance), and I don't think we're doing poorly enough against a realistic raising range to fold.

If villain just calls flop (and if I haven't made any embarrassing mistakes)...

17.8% of the time we turn the nuts (8 non-T diamonds/45 unseen cards), and we could theoretically probably mix checking and betting. Not too tough, but a pairing river could be a problem.

26.7% of the time, the turn is a blank (non-d 2-5, 4 ranks x 3 suits is 12/45 unseen) and so I'm potting anyway to deny equity against draws that didn't immediately hit. Against a range of KT/K8/T8 (not necessarily realistic, but just for the sake of argument), we still have 37% equity.

4.4% of the time, we spike top set, but not the nuts. But we have more than 33% equity versus QJ with the SPR just under 1, so we can't make a mistake putting more chips in.

The rest of the time, villain may have turned a straight (we have ~20% equity) or FH+ (dead). So that's not great.

But I don't think that's enough disincentive to keep me from potting the flop.

Dec. 10, 2019 | 7:44 p.m.

Comment | devwil commented on KKQT on AK3tt IP 3-way

Preflop seems about as standard as it gets.

I like the raise.

For our own equity, CO is unlikely to have AA and I don't think UTG is slow-playing AA. We block AAK and especially AA+NFD with additional blockers to AA+SD, so I think UTG's AA range is compelled to cbet far more often than not.

We block the NFD, but UTG may have dd anyway. Happy to make them fold.

Getting opponents to fold in PLO is extremely underrated. When our opponents fold, we win. That's good.

Sometimes we can win more if they don't fold, but quite often it's not worth the risk. Flopping AAK with AK? Yeah, we shouldn't try to make our opponents fold. But that's a pretty exceptional situation: more often than not, we're happy to deny equity. Getting action is overrated unless we have all the good cards and we're basically invulnerable on future streets. (That's not the case here.)

And, finally, if I'm not mistaken (I haven't carefully looked at the math, forgive me): raising CO here means that we basically can't make a mistake on the turn (unless we fold). (I mean, an ace OTT isn't great, but the SPR is so extremely low OTT that it's just, like, whatever. I'm not hero-folding kings full to a maniac.)

Dec. 10, 2019 | 6:59 p.m.

Before I complain too much about this, I want to admit that I just haven't thought very hard about preflop sizing in MTTs and I'm just generally fairly ignorant re: MTT preflop ranges regardless of game.

But boy am I annoyed at how I stone-bubbled the PACOOP PLO HR satellite just now.

So, WRT to PLO MTT strategy, one thing I do know is that, as stacks get shallower, you REALLY want to emphasize high cards in your VPIPs. As we have fewer and fewer big blinds to start with, our VPIPs are just extremely broadway-heavy.

So, even being 4th/4 in chips with 3 paid (2 seats; 2+ BI consolation for 3rd), I was being patient. (No antes and not being far behind 3rd, also pluses.)

All that said, I think I played okay preflop. But I'm not sure.

In PLO MTTs, I size down preflop because equities just run so close preflop and flops are easily unfriendly and PLO MTT players just don't fold pre enough that we have high fold equity. Vaguely applying ICM principles just makes me more conservative in general.


200/400 blinds. I have about 3400 (again, shortest).

I'm dealt Kd9dJc7h OTB. I expect this is an RFI, but I'm not sure.

Either way, I need to find some steals, even without antes.

So when CO folds, I 2.5x to 1k. SB folds, BB (very loose passive, but folding to steals some) calls.

Flop (2200, SPR a hair over 1): Td8dTh.

Not bad. 2NFD and a wrap, with trips proximity blockers (which are surprisingly significant from solver stuff I've seen).

SPR being what it is, I didn't see much point to checking or betting less than pot. So I bet pot, leaving me with less than a SB behind.

BB raises. Obviously, I can't fold, but given how passive they'd been I was pretty unhappy about this.

I call. They turn over As8h8c3c. I don't hit my <1%.

I hate PLO sometimes.

Dec. 9, 2019 | 10 p.m.

These are a lot of pretty vague appeals.

I mean, I laid out my reasoning pretty explicitly and thoroughly. Don't really know what you want me to say.

Dec. 9, 2019 | 5:58 a.m.

denying equity with this combo is super important.

But also super impossible against the hands we want to fold the most.

97ss has more than 46% equity against us. We literally cannot price them out. And if we can't price out the combos we want to fold the most because they have so much equity, I don't want to inflate the pot unnecessarily, because our chance of winning it is that much lower.

Other hands (that we still want to fold) will fold for cheaper, and—with this smaller sizing—we can still either 3bet (if raised) or play a higher SPR pot against continues (retaining our positional advantage).

Again, sorry to have the temerity to appeal to Matthew Janda, but we're aggressive for two reasons: to deny equity and/or to build a pot for if we win it.

We always want to deny equity as efficiently as possible. Otherwise, we're unnecessarily risking chips or allowing too much of our opponent's range to continue.

It is not efficient to size up when the hands with the most equity just absolutely cannot fold to any sizing we choose. And if we fail to deny our opponents' equity on this flop (which is not that unlikely), it means they often hold something that has a lot of pot equity. This decreases our chance of winning the pot.

So, according to Janda, we've failed on both criteria once a villain calls a big bet. If they raise and we reraise, that's different: getting all-in with the nuts OTF is a much different scenario than making decisions on later streets in an inflated pot when we have a lot of difficult runouts.

And hey: if a villain is raising our PSB, they're at least as likely (quite probably MORE likely) to raise a HP bet. We get to 3bet either way, and we also get to bet a much wider range on the flop profitably because we're always giving ourselves a better price WRT both fold equity and pot equity.

Dec. 9, 2019 | 1:34 a.m.

oh hey maybe tournaments aren't so bad he says as he cashes both of the PACOOP events he played today.

Went pretty deep in the $100 marathon on one bullet and was unfortunately outkicked BB (me) vs CO with top pair on a pretty innocuous board. I don't think I made a mistake XRAI'ing with my dwindling stack.

Fired two bullets at the 8max $100 PLO and made the first pay jump. Had AAK9. K98cc flop. SPR just over 1. I pot. Off-suit queen OTT. Get the rest in against JTcc and don't catch up. Oh well. Thought about checking the flop, but I figured the SPR was too low for me not to try to protect my hand, as I end up needing to do unenviable guesswork later if I don't.

Also killed my cash games I played on the side.

Really, really nice day at the tables, even if it's disappointing to not have final-tabled either PACOOP event when I was really doing quite well in both, especially the Marathon. After getting ITM, I was in the top 50% in chips for a really long time. Then some raised steals and a conservatively played (folded) overpair later, I didn't have so many chips left.

I can't complain though. Really big result for the day, and I just had so few difficult decisions throughout the Marathon. Just a breeze until said folded overpair and a spot where I groan/folded AQo preflop to a resteal shove that was just too many chips.

Dec. 9, 2019 | 1:08 a.m.

I'm very surprised by something, and wondering if I need to radically re-prioritize things:

After 22348 PLO hands on Stars PA, my PLO EV bb/100 is 8.67.

After 10328 NLH hands on Stars PA, my NLH EV bb/100 is 15.52.

Obviously 10k hands is not conclusive for NLH (nor is 22k for PLO), but this is obviously enough data to make me wonder if I should transition into playing less and less PLO.

The truth is, I just don't find NLH as interesting. I do like it, but a few things keep me away from it.

First, I just have not studied it half as hard as I have PLO. There are still situations in NLH where I'm really not confident about what to do. In PLO, I'm very rarely confused or unsure.

Second, it's just not as complex, so situations start to feel extremely familiar much faster. This difference in "game space breadth" (if you will) is partly why PLO variance is not limited to all-in luck: you can just go hundreds of hands not having many good reasons to go as far as the turn. So many starting hand combos means you can see a bunch of utter trash for an extended stretch rather easily. (Live PLO is so horribly boring for me sometimes due to this.)

Finally, there's an ego element: I think I'm a far better PLO player than I am a NLH player. I've been aspiring to be the best PLO player I can be for quite some time now, and I think I've come a long away. This is immodest, but—in moving up in stakes through now PLO100 on Global and now StarsPA—I've yet to doubt that I'm the best PLO player in my games. (I don't count Ignition due to the anonymous tables not giving me a clear idea of the regs.)

I'm not saying I'm one of the best PLO players in the world; I just haven't sat with anywhere near the best to start believing that. But I think that being one of the best PLO players in the world is a possibility for me, and that's kind of exciting (if egomaniacal).

Conversely, I am not even confident that I could become one of the best NLH players. It's just such a more popular game that the skill floor is so much higher on, and people who have been playing it professionally have been studying and playing for SO long.

But—even if I feel my poker identity is so bound up in PLO—because I do play poker for profit rather than pleasure or pride, if the skill edge I have in PLO is just lessened so much by the closer equities/etc, that reality (of NLH maybe being more profitable than PLO) is something I need to be mindful of.

So, while I'm not majorly changing anything right now, I'm going to keep a close eye on my NLH winrate. And if it becomes apparent that I simply make more money at NLH due to a variety of factors (and make that money more regularly due to lessened variance compared to PLO), then maybe I need to mostly play NLH... or even ONLY play NLH (but that's absurd, right?!).

And the variance thing is important. Obviously, in the long run, the PLO player who is more typically a favorite in 55/45s and 60/40s is going to profit over the person who is regularly the underdog. But right now, my bankroll is still not where I want it to be, so variance-driven setbacks are still quite stressful when I'm not winning my flips. In NLH, all-ins usually aren't this close other than pair vs overcards preflop, and there is a lot more fold equity in growing pots (so you're just racing less in general).

And as I start playing less for bankroll-building and more for bill-paying, it's not like having less variance-prone results would be unwelcome.

We'll see.

Oh, and a somewhat explosive thought to end this post on: more and more I'm wondering if my tournament aspirations are just flying out the window. Failing 80%+ of the time may just be unbearable to me in general as a mental game weakness, and as I move up in stakes for my cash play, fewer and fewer tournaments are worth my time (especially online). To this end... I'm starting to wonder if I'll want to go to Vegas next summer at all. I think a lot of my enjoyment of going to Vegas was the sheer volume of poker games available—and while I know I'd still appreciate the poker festival atmosphere of the World Series—moving from Atlanta to Philadelphia has just created such a huge shift in perspective. Not only can I play mixed games from home now due to StarsPA (I played three 8-game satellites last night!), but there are just so many cardrooms here, especially compared to Atlanta.

This past summer, I half-joked to a tablemate that it was easier to get to Las Vegas from Atlanta than it was to get to Harrah's Cherokee. I really want to emphasize the half-joke part, because it's not that far from the truth. I could get to the Las Vegas strip from my Atlanta apartment without personally driving and easily sleep within walking distance of a decent cardroom. Conversely, to play at Cherokee, I basically needed to both use and keep a car.

Now, living in Philadelphia, I can just drive to Parx on the weekend and spend the day there and come back and then REALLY gamble on South Philly parking.

And I've only been to Parx and Harrah's Philadelphia so far. Being anxious to get back to Vegas when I haven't even exhausted Philly's cardrooms or taken a trip to Atlantic City seems kind of silly. And, if we're just talking about taking advantage of tournament opportunities or mid-high stakes cash games, there are plenty in the area... so (as much as I sincerely like Vegas) I just think I have way fewer incentives to travel out west these days.

We'll see. It's hard not to get the WSOP itch when the schedule starts emerging.

Dec. 7, 2019 | 7:20 p.m.

EV winrate and actual winrate on Stars are at least both on the same side of zero now.

Dec. 5, 2019 | 7:17 a.m.

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