gaucho2121's avatar


23 points

I’m strongly considering signing up for the course but I think I struggle with a set of issues that is likely specific to me. Do you still think this would be a better option than simply signing up for an individual session with you? (I’ve read all the info on the master class and can’t find anything on discounts for 1 on 1 time or any 1 on 1 time). Which would you recommend and why? Really excited either way. Thanks so much for putting this together.

April 30, 2019 | 12:23 a.m.

Great response Hawks appreciate it. I’ve definitely played large parts of my career opening a fringe hand (say, 108s utg1) near 100% of the time when realistically I should be opened maybe 25% max. Without a randomization method too much would be left up to feel. The examples you gave of low SCs and low PPs are clear examples.

What I struggle with is deeper, in the hand, lets say if I want to bet a particular turn 75% of the time. How would I come up with when checking?

April 25, 2019 | 1:05 a.m.

Hey guys,
Was just curious if anyone uses a randomization method in live cash (or tournies) and how it works functionally and if you think it’s worthwhile.

For instance I could see picking two random suits at the beginning of each session, let’s say hearts and diamonds, and if you’re in a spot where, say AQs is supposed to be 3b at 50%, if you have hearts or diamonds 3b and otherwise flat.

Unfortunately you can’t just use your phone in the middle of a hand and use the RAND function on your iPhone calculator.

Anyways, you could also make the argument that live factors are overwhelmingly valuable and should trump randomization methods, meaning it would be much less useful than online.

In any case I was curious about people’s approaches and metholdology when it comes to using randomization techniques for live play. It’s not a topic I see widely discussed.

Thank you,

April 25, 2019 | 12:07 a.m.

Hand History | gaucho2121 posted in NLHE: 100z Tricky spot with AQ sb v btn 100BB
Blinds: $0.50/$1.00 (6 Players) BN: $567.92
SB: $102.50 (Hero)
BB: $197.80
UTG: $103.20
MP: $79.24
CO: $274.19
Preflop ($1.50) Hero is SB with Q A
3 folds, BN raises to $3.00, Hero raises to $12.00, BB folds, BN calls $9.00
Flop ($25.00) T A 9
Hero bets $16.00, BN raises to $45.55, Hero raises to $90.50 and is all in, BN calls $44.95

Nov. 26, 2018 | 2:05 a.m.

This hand is from the Bellagio $10,400 WPT Main. Extremely high value tournament with significant number of non-true elite pros for this size buy-in. Unlimited reentry until the the start of Level 10.

This hand occurred Level 8 (300/600/75, 30k SS), meaning this is the second to last level before the re-entry period closes. This may have some consideration for the hand.

Start hand with 70k, villain 1 (very good cash game reg) covers, and villain 2 (experienced recreational seeming player) has 36k (60BB).

I open AKo utg to 1500 (sizing certainly up for debate this deep but this was my standard open), villain1 utg+1 flats, and villain2 3b Btn to 6500 (he started hand with 36k, or 60BB). Pertinent history is that villain1 is a very strong deepstack NLH player, has 3b me twice before (I folded both times), and villain2 specifically made a point to explain how he knows I have strong results in live MTTs. He does not seem like a true elite pro, he's a middle aged guy but he has 3b a number of times, and called 4bets as well, he had probably bled down half of his stack that he started the day with. He seems to get a tad out of line pre but not post.

The counter-considerations are that he hasn't 3b EP opens from what I have seen, and 3b an utg open and an utg+1 flat seems like it would require quite a tight range to do so profitably, and he probably is aware of this.

The question then becomes, what is the right play: Fold (I don't think this is unreasonable this deep, this good of a structured tournament, folding will leave me over 100BB in basically a dream tourney), call (seems quite reasonable--the villain2 sizing is large, however V1 is very likely to flat which will leave me OOP vs. two players), or 4b.

And if I 4b, I think there are a wide variety of sizings to choose from, with shove even being a potential option. If 4b, what is the best sizing?

What is the right play, and why? Thanks,

Dec. 13, 2016 | 9:20 p.m.

thank you very much for the commentary. agree with you about this hand pretty much, especially the part about his range widening because of the weaker player, thinking I should have sacked up and called, obv. I don't beat his value range but it's perhaps too big of a fold against this type of villain.

hand 2: I debated heavily about betting this turn as a sort of showdown/protection play, and perhaps that's the best route, I just kind of wanted to get to showdown and given I have an A I felt less scared about protection (for instance betting J10 on the turn as a showdown/protection play maybe makes more sense than betting KJ/AJ.

On the river that's actually a very good point, what do I expect to get called by. To be honest not much, maybe 1010 or 99 or even AK high putting me on missed clubs, but perhaps that's far too ambitious. It's just that this river bet didn't feel particularly "thin" given how high up in my range I am (certainly near top), but there isn't much I hope to get called by either. Checking seems so weak here but perhaps it's best.

thx for the insight.

Nov. 3, 2014 | 7:21 p.m.

Thanks for the feedback ralphy.

This particular villain is definitely the most Laggy player I play against on a regular basis, but I don't see him getting particularly out of line against me OOP. Fwiw, we played a hand a few weeks back, where I rz btn and he defended BB. I had KQ and board came out Q85 villain c/c, turn was like a 10 went check check, and river was a brick and he checked raised me and I paid off his AQ (I didn't think I was good per se it was an almost information type call). So I know he can take a river c/r range with a thin value hand in hand 2 with QQ/KK (he would always expect to be good--I almost jammed AJ here as a bluff, that was a consideration, as well).

Nov. 3, 2014 | 1:17 p.m.

Two hands from 5/10 NL played recently. Villain is a very good LAG (for sure on the tougher end of opponents at this particular location), definitely the loosest player at the table pre, very capable in all regards. He probably views me as a competent opponent. The second hand happened an hour or so after the first hand, so if there is any psychological factor (such as perhaps he would be less likely to try and bluff me given I folded on hand 1, that would be relevant, as well).

Hand 1: 5/10 NL, effective ~$1900

(120 in pot) I open 5 handed utg with 87cc to 40 (my standard sizing), weak player flats utg+1, and villain flats btn. Flop is 2c86, I couldn't decide what is best here between checking and betting, I mix it up certainly, but I decided this time to bet 100, other player folds and villain raises to 275. I can't see other options being good here besides calling (if I'm wrong please correct me) so I called.

(670 in pot). Turn 8h backdoor hearts now available. Board is 6h828h. I check? (certainly leading is an option here) villain bets 325 with ~1150 behind. I decide to call.

(1320 in pot). River is 4h. Board is now 6h288h4h. I check villain gathers his chips, puts them in a stack, and pushes them to the middle. He has me just covered, so bet is effectively $1150. I tank and fold (I actually tabled my hand to get a reaction physically before I folded, in case I got a read he was bluffing, but every physical tell seemed to indicate he wasn't bluffing in this particular spot). I decided to fold. It's really gross to fold here game theory wise, but maybe it's not as gross as it appears just because he can easily have 22, 66, 86, backdoor hearts with a gutty. I block 97 somewhat, so 97 and 910 would be presumably the majority of his bluff combos unless he has 45 and turns it into a bluff.

What do you guys think? Advice on all streets appreciated.

Hand 2: ~4000 effective. This hand happened an hour or so afterwards, one notable hand in between both of those hands. He rz 40 from MP, rec player flats, I flat btn. Flop was 935r. Checks to me I bet 100 both call. Turn 4d backdoor diamonds now available, he leads 235, rec player folds, I make it 610 with 1500 behind and villain folded.

~4k effective.

I rz MP AJdd to 40 8 handed, folds to villain in BB and he makes it 140, I flat? 4-betting is certainly an option this deep and maybe is slightly preferable but flatting isn't bad I don't think, correct if wrong.

(290 in pot) Flop J2cc6. He bets 180 I flat, seems like the most logical play.

(650) Turn 6, so board is J26cc6. Chk check. Betting here is certainly viable, and I definitely mix it up here, but I didn't really feel like folding my hand if c/r and I didn't feel comfortable playing for full stacks so I checked.

(650). River 8 flush draw misses so board is J2668. He checks. At this point I debate between betting and checking, and if to bet how much, and what was my plan if c/r. I felt my hand was a little too strong to check (although then again, against a villain more likely to turn pairs into bluff, and such rather than call down, perhaps it's not terrible). I decided to bet 325, he cr to 1225. At this point is 900 more to me. I have like 3k behind. I thought about shoving all in, then I thought about calling, then I thought about folding. Eventually decided to fold.

Advice on all streets appreciated, and any advice to help combat this type of player type in a live setting much appreciated. Thanks guys,

Oct. 28, 2014 | 7:50 p.m.

Can you link the treadmill desk you used? Seems like a great investment in yourself. ty. Nice video. 

May 31, 2014 | 4:26 a.m.

I agree with a lot of what has been said, it's clearly an exploitable fold, but it's not necessarily clear that the villain will know or take advantage of that. It seems sick to fold to the 3bet but it's probably the best play.  I am not so sure what people think about the flat pre, but I assume it's the best option given description, if not somewhat negated by the BB coming in. 

To answer another question, yes I would play QQ in the same manner. 

May 24, 2014 | 11:49 p.m.

UTG1: 16928
LJ: 15895
HJ: 56788
CO: 61674
BN: 8336
SB: 22084 (Hero)
BB: 17114
UTG: 12080
UTG+1 is a world-class pro, plays extremely well. He had been playing very tight in the 50 or so hands we had been at this table, but this is probably more of a function of his hand distribution than anything else. Am not familiar with BB but I assume he is a competent reg.
Preflop (600) (8 Players)
Hero was dealt J J
UTG folds, UTG1 raises to 1000, LJ folds, HJ folds, CO folds, BN folds, Hero calls 800, BB raises to 3296, UTG1 folds, Hero raises to 6475, BB raises to 17064, and is all in
As they say, there is no right way to play Jacks (or there's 3 ways to play Jacks, and they're all wrong). In any case, the reason I did not 3bet pre was because of the UTG+1's tightness thus far, and I felt JJ was too strong to fold to a 4bet, and I would not be doing well against his range if we went 5-bets. The downside to playing the hand in such a manner is the tendency to playing a hand this strong to effectively show down, and also laying the BB a very strong price to peel. Other problem is now I am theoretically "underrepped" (whatever that even means), and if I flat once UTG+1 folds I might get outplayed and fold the best hand quite often depending on the BB's squeezing frequencies.

My questions are as follows:
1) what do we prefer given reads initially, 3bet or flat, and why?
2) once we flat and are squeezed and UTG+1 folds, what line do we prefer taking, and why?

Felt like this hand could have gone a lot of different ways. Thanks a lot,

May 20, 2014 | 7:45 p.m.

Ty guys on the congrats, @Simon those would be the obvious choice but I'd be happy to do it with others. I def. think it would be a very instructive/interesting video. 

Oct. 3, 2013 | 2:04 p.m.


My name is Gaucho2121, I am a member of this site. I recently won the PLO HU $320 WCOOP 2nd chance for 14k. I would be willing to share my HH in the tournament for the chance to work with one of the pros to analyze my play in this tournament (7500 starting chips, 25/50 blinds to start--so get a range of stack sizes) in a video.  If any pro would be interested in working with me on a collaborative video please let me know.  I am trying to work hard on improving my PLO game and I played a lot of interesting spots in the course of the tournament so there would be a lot of good discussion generated I believe--which would obviously benefit the members of this site.  Please let me know, I think it would make great content. 

gaucho2121 (david)

Oct. 3, 2013 | 2:36 a.m.

Sam--he will call with almost entire range against my turn raise here, given how extraordinarily bluffly I look (there is no shot 77+,6x, or even AsX folds to any turn raise.  That was the entire point of my flop check--to risk giving a free card when I am extremely likely to get action on my hand on the turn (no one is folding if their pair or high spade or gut+overs). Worst case scenario what happens happens it gets checked through (and mind you, I had a read that btn was more likely to stab than normal) and I have high probability of getting turn action.  

Lucas: checking "back" usually implies I'm last to act--there is the btn yet to act in this hand.  Having this play in my arsenal also makes me extremely hard to play when I am in a natural squeeze spot in a multiway pot (for balance purposes).  But obv. ~90% the time I am betting here. 

Sept. 24, 2013 | 1:55 a.m.

Thank you overbet56--that was a great analysis--does the fact that if I call and am wrong that I will still have a rubber match factor into your decisionmaking (or should it??) in this spot? I feel in the moment I ignored this. This would i imagine argue for shoving and x/ca

Sept. 24, 2013 | 1:50 a.m.

Last 3 hands of night.  I have around 80k to start the hand Christian (charder30) covers.  I had been relatively quiet in general, but had 3b Christian twice during the day (he had been opening frequently), one hand I double barreled K22ddQcc, and another hand I checked down J78hhQJ and lost to 75dd.  He saw my hand neither time.  

I rz 44 utg at 250/500/50 to 1200 btn defends charder defends BB.  Flop 664ss, chks through. Reasons for checking this flop was because I thought btn was likely to fire given his style of play and my perception of his range.  I also thought I induce a lot of action on various turn cards.  Turn 2s, so 35ss is the nuts.  6642sss. 

Charder donks 2500 I make it 7500 he calls.  River 2 he leads 13.5k.  What is the best play and why?  

Thank you,


Sept. 16, 2013 | 3:40 a.m.

I'm not very experienced in HU sngs but I have played a ton of HU cash lifetime.  Please tell me what the right thing to do is. 64 entrants, we are down to the final 2, my opponent is Kevin Saul (belowabove online), a well known tourney pro.  Each match is best of 3, and in this match I am up 1-0. 

For ICM Purposes, we are not chopping.  1st is 37k, 2nd is 18k (big difference).  

History of match is that 1st match was he was up at first, I grinded him down and finished him off when he jammed A5o into my 88.  I had been 3betting what I'd imagine would be a reasonable frequency for HU SnGs obv. I don't have a HUD for live, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary.  He had been defending I'd guess somewhere in the range of 50-70% of his opens to my 3bs (could be slightly off on this).  

40k chips in play, blinds are 150/300. I start the hand with 15k to his 25k. 

He opens 650, I 3b A5dd to 1700 he flats. Flop is 1053sss.  I bet 1800 he calls. Turn K I bet 3100 he calls.  River 9. 

What is the best option and why among a) bluff shove, b) check/call, and c) c/f, and possibly d) bet as a bluff but smaller than a shove. 

I think I could make a case for all 4 options.  I think if anything my double barrel frequency was slightly less than what might be considered standard so perhaps he views my range on the turn as slightly more polarized.  

Thank you,


Sept. 16, 2013 | 3:33 a.m.

~110 people left, 45 cash. Just got moved to table about 3 orbits ago, had only shown down one hand, which was defending BB in a 3way pot with A824ds and chk/calling turn and chk chk river on J352ddAd board and winning.  

I am probably 2nd or 3rd in chips at the table behind chipleader at the time, Russian player Alexey Rybin.  Hate to be too stereotypical about Russian plo players, but well, he seemed to fit the mold. 

200kish deep at 1/2k. Alexey opens lojack 5100 I have AKQ5hhcc with nut hearts on btn. I 3b to 16k (I would actually love to hear thoughts about general philosophy with this type of stack size/tourney stack preservation considerations, etc.) At the time my rationale for the 3b is that I want to 3b in position with some hands, and this is pretty damn high up in my range, plus I have good 4bet blockers and I feel this is the type of player that will always call here. 

 Blinds folds he calls. Flop K89hh. He checks. What is the right play here and why?  I bet 25k he calls. 

Turn 3d he leads 59k I have 90kish back if i call.

Advice on all streets appreciated as well as general PLO tournament theory appreciated. 


July 7, 2013 | 9:33 a.m.

If we 3b turn probably will go to around 1700. If we flat, the fish in between will be getting a sick price to call with almost anything, he might fold 1pr only type hands but maybe not (he was a fish). Definitely not folding any draws.

As the hand played out, I called and v1 (the fish) called. River was the Jh.

April 2, 2013 | 11:16 p.m.

Q2o guy (the fish) is the guy in between. Guy making the turn raise in the hand in question is the competent live pro. Sry about that.

April 2, 2013 | 11:13 p.m.

Q2o guy is the guy in the middle in this hand. One raising the turn in the hand in question is the competent pro. Sorry for the confusion.

April 2, 2013 | 11:13 p.m.

all his bluffs will be semi-bluffs that have been 8-15 outs, so i think depending on what my sizing is he can definitely be compelled to call b/c he will feel he will have implied odds+ other potential bluff cards. he has almost zero stone bluffs with this sizing i think.

March 28, 2013 | 1:54 p.m.

Live 5/10 game very straddly (50% of people were straddling I'd estimate), 10 handed. Late night, most people are over 300-400bb deep.

I am in the BB and the player to my left straddles. Villain 1 limps from EP, one other limp, villain 2 limps from HJ, I complete extra 10 from BB w/ A8o and straddle checks option. I am assuming completing here is the best play would rather not delve too deeply into other options here.

History with villain 1 is that we played a hand earlier where I raised his straddle over a few limpers with KQo, flop checks through and I check back on 1065hh turn Q, v2 checks, one of the limpers bets 200 I call v2 c/r to 650, limper calls and I fold. Non-heart blank river goes c/c and v2 wins with Q2o (so he is capable of playing value hands aggressively).

No real history w/ v2 other than that he knows who I am/probably views me as laggy.

V2 is a competent pro. Both v1 and v2 in the hand are over 6k+ deep so over 300bb.

Flop: J8dd2h. I donk 75. Obv. this is questionable but I will say in my defense this is towards the bottom of my non-semibluff ie value-oriented donking range. V1 calls V2 calls.

Turn: J8dd2hAh. This is where the hand gets quite complicated. What do people like here in general? V1 has the widest range in this spot I would imagine, v2 probably cannot have sets other than 88/22, and even AJ is not that likely given he would probably want to iso v1 a decent % of the time.

I lead 200. V1 flats, V2 650 total (slightly smaller size on the raise). What is best play here and why? If I decide to 3b the turn here, what are my intentions/what am I hoping to accomplish? The reasons I like 3b the turn here is because if I flat v1 will always flat here unless he is ultra light, so I will be playing the river 3-ways with no real idea of what cards are clean. I am probably still ahead of v2's range given there are so many semi-bluffs in his range, and I only lose to a very small subset of value hands.

Disadvantage of 3betting the turn is that I will wind up playing OOP on the river in a bloated pot against someone who will play extremely well and bluff with appropriate frequencies on various heart/diamond/straightening river cards. I will be put in a terrible spot on many rivers. Additionally, if I flat and v1 flats (which is def. the most likely scenario if I flat), then v2 might play the rivers more straightforward b/c he might be worried about having to deal with two people's hands instead of one.

Thoughts on turn/river play, and best course of action for both? I would also love to see a range breakdown if anyone cares to do it of v2, and what my course of action against that range should be on the river.

Thanks a lot in advance for the responses.

March 27, 2013 | 8:40 p.m.

Would be really awesome as I feel that's a glaring weakness at a lot of sites (a modern day, winning mix game player). Just a suggestion. I guess specifically for 8-game/10-game type mix games. The mix games are also becoming increasing more popular as the nlhe/plo live games dry up. For example the biggest games you can find any given weekend at my local casinos are 150/3 BOTE, and similar for Parx, Borgata, etc. on the east coast. Most commonly asked games would be HORSE + T + B I'd imagine. Thx in advance!

Dec. 18, 2012 | 8:48 p.m.

Thanks for the comments guys. I would up calling the turn/river essentially for pot odds. The turn I think is a clear call. The river is debatable between fold/call. I really do not think raising is ever good here against this type of villain, just because of the obviousness of the flush (ie he SEES the flush b/c he cr flop he is looking for the flush, it comes, yet he still bets w/o fear). Pot odds was definitely the biggest consideration which made me call the river, not sure if this is enough, but the pot odds were compelling. RESULTS: V2 had a J hi flush, and V1 had a Q hi flush.

Dec. 18, 2012 | 5:12 p.m.

I didn't really consider 3b fold just b/c of my absolute hand strength and my equity even when called against her 4b range. I guess if she's super straightforward it's fine, but I didn't think she was, and I thought she'd have a 4b range more akin to the average online player (maybe slightly tighter). I could have been wrong on this assumption, though, not entirely sure. Thanks guys for the comments, really appreciated and makes me excited for this forum/site. RESULTS: obv she had them kangs.

Dec. 18, 2012 | 5:09 p.m.

Thanks for the responses guys. I think there is a natural tendency for cash game players to feel pressured when they fall below a certain stack depth (say 40bb), and go into tourney mode, where in fact 35bb is actually quite deep, especially for a late stage tournament, and there is the possibility of using postflop skills to your advantage. I think this was one of the scenarios where I should have more strongly considered the merits of flatting preflop for exactly the reasons Jason stated. Of course there is nothing terribly "wrong" with stacking off for 35bb with AJo 4 handed, but it's not exactly a massively +EV play, even if it might be marginally so.
Am excited about these forums, so far the responses have been excellent.

Dec. 11, 2012 | 10:30 p.m.

Also should note that BB in the hand was v. straightforward and I was going to fold if he did anything. One of the downsides to flatting is that I think he'd be likely to peel with a wide portion of his range.

Dec. 11, 2012 | 1:50 a.m.

4 handed. Payouts 29k, 18, 10, 8.

Blinds 8/16k. Nesrine Kuordourli (reads on her is that she is the girlfriend of one of my friends, seems competent/plays well, saw her rz stuff like a7o from the CO and call btn shoves correctly, when we were 8 or 9 handed) is the villain in the hand.

History: Only other history we had is when she had raised pre earlier at the FT from EP when we were 9 or 10 handed, I had flatted 99 and I raised got it in on 109x against her AA and got the full double.

I have 650k to start hand (again, 4 handed), Nesrine rz to 32k with 550k to start from btn I am in SB with AJo. One guy has 600k, another almost 1M for ICM purposes. I feel I am the strongest player left in the tournament but I am relatively new to tournies so am not sure how much I can leverage my perceived postflop advantage given our stack depths.

Best play and reasons why? I decided to rr to 80k, with plans to 5b shove if she 4b. Is this flawed reasoning? I also considered flatting pre. I think flatting pre, 5b over her 4b, and flatting the 4b are all viable options. Merits to each?

I 3b to 80k, she clicks to 130k, and I jammed...



Dec. 11, 2012 | 1:49 a.m.

I don't know who is support, but I have a weird issue where when I try and play a video, it hides dock at the bottom without me wanting it to. Anyone else having this issue? Weird technical glitch I guess but maybe there is some reason for it? Thx in advance,

Dec. 10, 2012 | 11:36 p.m.

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