Thank you. That's a great point. No snark detected. I tried to adjust for that actuality in my analysis: part of the reason that my "hit the board" deviates from Flopzilla's "hit the board," but even so, I agree this analysis is of limited value and a small part of the big picture, but still helpful for me as an exercise to go through and really get a sense of what percentage of combos would V potentially continue with here, as a starting point, thinking in terms of fold equity primarily. And yes, absolutely needs to be measured against sensitivity to board texture and weight of hands in Villain's range. Working on it! Happy New Year! And thank you for all you contribute here!
Dec. 30, 2020 | 4:20 p.m.
Yes, of course. Just posted to highlight how soft the pool is right now, (as an indication of what's possible.) My win rate over 20,000 hands is much lower, around 18bb/100, but, I understand that even that sample size is too small to draw any conclusions. My only point was just that there is a lot of bad play out there right now which can be taken advantage of. Happy New Year to you, as well!
Dec. 30, 2020 | 4:10 p.m.
I hope everyone is grinding a lot of volume! The pool seems incredibly soft right now. I have averaged 88bbs/100 over the last five days and I am NOT that good. One adjustment I have made because of the general terribleness of opposition is calling a little wider on the river. It seems counter-intuitive, but, if I go through the pre-flop/post flop sequence, and I can't range Villain necessarily on the nuts, I have called down a few times successfully where normally I would exploitatively over fold to V jamming or over betting out of nowhere. Twice V had air. Once second pair. Once my worse set lost to V's better set. So, won 3 out of 4. I'll take it. VERY villain dependent, of course. I am talking players with VPIP/PFRs as crazy as, in one case, 88/12. Yeah. Is anyone else seeing this trend over the holidays? It's a lot of fun.
Dec. 29, 2020 | 7:43 p.m.
Dec. 29, 2020 | 12:29 a.m.
I have just completed a long project of creating matrices of the percentage amount standard open ranges from each full ring position hits every possible rainbow flop. Although most of the value is probably from doing the work myself, I will attach the final product here, if anyone is interested. I am clear about my assumptions regarding what a "standard" opening range is and what constitutes "hitting the flop," both spelled out in the preamble. I am also realistic about the possibility of errors in my calculations. But, I think it is okay for drawing general conclusions. I paste a sample of one of the matrices below so you can see what I am talking about. The alignment on the actual matrices is not reflected below.
Jack High Boards
UG 9% 120 Combos AA-77, AKs-ATs, KQs-KTs, QJs-QTs, JTs, T9s, 98s, AKo-AQo
J 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
T 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
9 x 65% 65% 65% 65% 65% 65% 65%
8 x x 58% 58% 58% 58% 58% 58%
7 x x x 58% 58% 58% 58% 58%
6 x x x x 58% 59% 58% 58%
5 x x x x x 50% 50% 50%
4 x x x x x x 50% 50%
3 x x x x x x x 50%
GOOD JACK HIGH BOARDS v UTG: J98(or less)
Dec. 28, 2020 | 8:43 p.m.
Hey, I have made enough money in my first four months playing (ever) to withdraw some money I have on deposit with Ignition. I gather BitCoin is the way to go, but I have never transacted in BitCoin. Can anyone, 1) recommend a "wallet" provider; and 2) walk me through the process? I see that PayPal has a Bitcoin feature now. Do I need to set up a BitCoin account on PayPal, then transfer the portion of my winnings I want to withdraw from Ignition into that account? Not looking for financial advice. Just a general sense of how the system operates. And, btw, yay for me! (Lots of good variance.ti A little bit of solid play here and there.)
Dec. 28, 2020 | 5:44 p.m.
For sure. Just amused by V's play coinciding exactly with Hawkswin's comment above: "Fun players just don't get the concept. They open some Ax suited UTG [check] and get 3b by IP player [check], they call [check], SPR is between 4-5 [check], they simply don't have a) hand playability and b) implied odds (unless they catch the miracle 2 pair+ on the flop) [and check]."
Dec. 25, 2020 | 11:08 p.m.
I tank deceptively all the time at 5NL, btw, if I have the absolute nuts. It works really well. Pretty much the only way I can get V to call an overbet for value. lol
Dec. 25, 2020 | 4:11 p.m.
I recently got my KK all in Pre Flop v A5o. A5o! Flop came xAA; but I still felt good about it. Had to laugh and shake my head in wonderment. Who calls a 5bet shove with A5o? Well, this villain, apparently. Lol.
Dec. 25, 2020 | 12:17 a.m.
On an earlier post, one of the pros remined me not to forget SPR as an essential NLH concept. Like most people who don't really know anything, I responded along the lines of "Of course, SPR. But what I was saying was..." One of my study routines is to dedicate each week to a single topic. This week the topic is SPR. SPR is my new best friend. I had no idea how useful for me a better understanding of the implications of SPR is. I had assigned this topic to mostly tournament play. I am not there yet. I play low stakes cash games. Nonetheless, a better understanding of SPR might just plug my biggest newbie/fish/drooler/donkey/punter leak: holding on too tightly to big Pocket Pairs. So far, and it has only been a couple days, by reading (and sometimes manipulating) SPR properly, I have been much better at estimating relative hand strength on a given flop. To simplify, BIG SPR/BIG PP=SDV Hand. SMALL SPR/BIG PP=Premium Hand. I know there is more nuance to this strategy. But for me, at this stage of my development, it's a revelation. We'll see if I can consistently execute. Happy Holidays, everyone.
Dec. 24, 2020 | 4:06 p.m.
I have had the exact same experience. I do a little practice every day, but when it come to live action, I have a much harder time. I did see one video where the pro said, "Actual counting of combos is easier on the turn and easiest on the river, where Villain's bluffs are more recognizable and Villain's value hands more obvious and both fewer in number. On the flop, off table practice just gives us mostly a general sense of how Villain's range connects with the board and what we need to be on the lookout for." This perspective accords with how I hear most pros talk about board textures when they are live tabling. For the most part, a pro will say something like, "he's got all the aces, king jack, queen jack, etc, and the Broadway tens in his range as well as medium pairs." Until the hand gets to the river, and then sometimes will get more precise. "He's only got nine combos of ace x which beat me." Or :"He could be bluffing any ace x here, which comes to 24 combos, given Villain didn't 4bet." I think that at this stage and the stakes I play just working on it and trying to implement as much as I can gives me an edge over pool.
Dec. 23, 2020 | 8:33 p.m.
Yesterday was exactly four months of playing poker for me! I have been running "card dead" for about four weeks now. I don't think it's dystopic recall. My VPIP/PFR for that period is half what it normally is. And my 3bet % about one third. I am not complaining. I have actually made money over that period by playing patiently and doing my best to extract as much value as I can when I have an opportunity. The only times when I have not done well have been when impatience tilt set in. No, I can't be beat again! I have three aces! Ha! One nice feature of folding hand after hand, however, is getting to watch bad players run well...until they don't. Variance is real. Patience is a virtue. Something to continue to work on.
I almost forgot my reason for mentioning this trend: the biggest lessons I have learned from being card dead for about a month are: 1. On an anonymous site, don't be too categorical about a player's VPIP stats for the session. I played 150 hands today. My VPIP/PFR for the day was 9/6! I am not a NiT!. I swear. 2. But I can use that impression to my advantage. I picked up some small pots by stealing with napkins (judiciously).At hand 145 or so, I got dealt QcTc in the Big Blind. Two limpers. I check. Flop comes 47Tr. SB x, I x, UTG bets .75. pot. SB c, I c. Turn is a T. (Trips). SB x, I x. UTG, thinking they can push me off, bets .75 pot again, you know, because I am a NIT. SB f, I raise. UTG shoves. (Bad play) Cha-ching.
Here are my Poker Goals for 2021:
- Continue to Practice Quickly Calculating Possible Combos of Nutted Hands discounted by Blockers; 2. Continue to Practice Quickly Calculating Possible Combos of Bluffs discounted by Blockers; 3. Develop Default Strategies for C-betting/Defending IP and OOP on 12 Standard Flops versus Pool; 4. Improve Bluffing/Calling Frequencies Based on Combos/Pool Frequencies; 5. Investigate and Adapt FTR Strategies to Pool.
Happy Holidays Everyone. Take advantage of the fishier pool! Thank you so much for welcoming me into your community. Run well.
Dec. 17, 2020 | 5:50 p.m.
PT4. I assume some of the difference here is variance, some because my pool is the smallest stake. Yeah. Thanks. I weight AA, KK, the same, pretty much, in my off table study. (I love the Flopzilla range v range capability, especially with the hotness matrix.) Crazy how often Villain slow plays both AA and KK at these stakes.
Dec. 16, 2020 | 10:15 p.m.
Sample size is small, but after 15,000 hands, I ran a population report on PT4. Still, some interesting takeaways, I think. First and foremost, Villain is folding only around 30% on average to 3Bet, whether Villain has opened with 2bet or limp called. This low fold percentage is not the result of tight opening ranges. Average VPIP/PFR is around 26/14. So, Hero has below average fold equity generally and should probably 3bet a tighter range for value in most cases. This frequency recommendation, of course, needs to be balanced against rake considerations. The low fold percentage might also influence Hero's strategies for isolating and squeezing too. The average fold percentage for isolating and squeezing is better, around 55%, but when one multiplies .55 x .55, worse. I have had mixed success with increasing bet sizes. Villain seems generally inelastic. Also interesting is the fact (why I ran the report in the first place) that Villain is completely positionally unaware. Except for small blind and big blind, both of which also yield surprising results, the numbers are almost identical for every other position. So, Hero can assume that Villains on average open 26% of hands from UTG and BTN. Villain is open raising, however, only around 14% of hands, another reason to 3bet tighter and more for value, even from SB and BB. Speaking of SB and BB, Villain seems to have strategies confused for these two positions. Villain is only defending BB on average about 25% of the time but, mostly because of a a tendency to limp behind, defending the SB closer to 40% of the time. Anyway, these were the main takeaways. As I said, I am aware the sample size is small, but given the density of the sample, "8" players v 1, worth thinking about at least. Thought I would share for anyone who plays low stakes online. I haven't played enough ACR to do a report there yet; but my impression is that the pool is not as passive, so I wouldn't extrapolate.
Dec. 16, 2020 | 8:37 p.m.
Yes! That was stupid of me. (I guess I was thinking about GTO strategy in general.) But ten minutes after I posted, I had the same thought, "Wait. We're talking preflop. Indifference doesn't matter." Otherwise, thank you so much for taking the time to confirm and refine my thinking here. I don't know about anyone else, but I truly appreciate your presence here, your willingness to participate and help those of us who are just starting out. It means a lot. Thank you
Dec. 12, 2020 | 5:11 p.m.
It may seem like a lot of work but it is also excellent practice for just the sort of skill which will give you an edge post flop: being able to count combos quickly in your head to get a sense of your equity versus the range of your opponent, i.e., looking at a flop and figuring how many sets, two pair, top pair Villain might have. Best of luck in any case. I hope you find what you are looking for.
Dec. 12, 2020 | 8:23 a.m.
I am pretty new, but I was just thinking about opening ranges and looking at PokerSnowie, so I will chime in. Go easy on me. For me, some knowledge of why GTO opening ranges are constructed the way they are constructed is essential; blockers, board coverage, sufficient "bluffs". By "bluffs" I mean hands which will generally fold to a 3bet but may sometimes be used as a light 4bet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but, from a GTO perspective, it is my understanding that the point of GTO range construction is to make Villain indifferent to continuing or folding, given our opening bet size. I have taken a hybrid approach between GTO and, for lack of a better word, an equity/ev approach to craft a dynamic sense of what to open from where. Each range is a rough sketch to which I will make adjustments at the margins , depending on the frequencies of the players behind. I don't have as much Axs as GTO suggests from EP, but I have some, understanding their value, and I can add more if appropriate. Same with small PPs. I don't open 55 until MP, understanding that 55 and lower blocks a weaker part of CO, BTN's calling range, but will, if both are weaker players with wider calling ranges who won't 3bet. But is also essential for me at this point to be comfortable with my opening ranges and by comfortable I mean knowing how I will defend them against 3bets and how I will play them post flop, especially if I am OOP.
Dec. 12, 2020 | 12:33 a.m.
Flopzilla will, of course, give you all the combos in a range which contain an ace. (You will have to add them together. But that's easy.) If you take the number of combos which contain an ace and add six for AA (which has two aces), then I think that gives you the number you are looking for? For example, QQ+, AQ+ has 38 combos which contain an ace, add six, and you get 44, the "number" of aces in that range. Does that help?
Dec. 11, 2020 | 11:38 p.m.
Yes, I totally agree. I wasn't worried about my play as much as wanting to highlight this recent frequency jump of Villains taking this exact line, wondering if anyone else playing low stakes had noticed this trend. Might just be coincidence, but I have seen it around ten times in just the last few days. I randomize AA to protect my checking range, but you make a good point. On this flop, checking AA would be closer to 10% than 25%, but I rolled a 4. I am happy with the way it turned out, however, getting stacks in, in any case.
Dec. 9, 2020 | 5:37 p.m.
I would rank myself as a pretty dedicated beginner, approaching my 15,000 hands mark. I started playing August 15. Before that, I studied for three months. Now I play about 50-150 hands a day. I also study about two-three hours day. I try to focus my study with a single topic/problem area each week which I then try to implement into my play each day, experimenting with new concepts and strategies on the virtual felt. During my long pre-play preparation period, I organized the information I got from diverse resources by taking notes and then folding those notes into Strategy White Papers which I can reference if I need. I rarely find the need. Often just the process of doing the work oneself serves the twin goals of building a basic theoretical foundation and getting some confidence, before having the audacity to put some chips in the middle. I do, however, continue to keep a Study Journal. Along with watching a video or two and reading a book chapter or maybe an online blog or article each day, I also have a couple long term projects into which I put a little daily work. For example, I am working through Split’s Post-Flop Math Workbook now. I am also building my own set of matrices of how standard opening ranges hit every possible flop, i.e., nine matrices for every permutation of Ace high rainbow, nine for King high rainbow, etc.; (I am almost done with rainbow unpaired flops.) I have GTO+ and Poker Snowie and sometimes employ them for session or hand analysis, but I am holding off getting too deep into solver land until I feel my general post flop play is more reliable and experienced. I want to have a real solid sense of what the theory is addressing in my game before I get too wrapped up in the game theory.
But the great advantage I have, I think, is that I don’t have unrealistic expectations. I am doing this for fun first and foremost. My life took an unexpected turn a few years ago, not an excellent one, and now I have a lot of time on my hands. I am never going to be a professional poker player. But I love poker. It suits me. I am a math geek but also a former civil litigator. I am extremely analytical but also can “throw a punch.” One of the things I love about poker, besides how much of an enjoyable distraction it is for me in my current situation, is how inexhaustibly challenging it is. I love that, after hours and hours of study and work, I am still just a novice.
Nonetheless, as a human being, I find myself constant prey to all sorts of mental and emotional nonsense. That’s why I also love the “mental game” aspect of poker. I was doing a lot of work to maintain a good attitude before picking up poker, including journaling and a meditation practice, and many recommendations from the poker community dovetail nicely with these practices. The one cornerstone of my psychological practice, however, the one which does me the most good in the long run, is always trying to be helpful to and considerate of others. Along those lines, I have a few geeky friends who didn’t know how to play poker and wanted to learn, so I started a weekly class. (I know, the blind leading the blind.) But it has been a blast. And it has really improved my play, I think. Made me much more conscious of why I am doing what I am doing at every step. I also love communities like this one where I can post interesting spots and engage in thoughtful discussion about the minutiae which only crazy maniacs like myself could care so much about. So, thank you for your honesty, the work and thought you put into these videos, and, most of all, your generosity. It means a lot.
Dec. 8, 2020 | 11:04 p.m.
I have noticed this “new” line, coming from a lot of quarters, in the last week. It’s almost as if, wherever it is that “old man coffee” congregates, they all got together and decided to show the young whippersnappers a thing or two. Surprise. Surprise, It’s a slow play. But particularly confounding. I have seen variations of this exact play maybe ten times in three days. The hand below is the second hand in a week where I have been ensnared, this time for all my chips. Given the line, I never put V on two Kings. To my shame. Be advised.
Online .02/.05 5NL
Hero (SB): 137.8 bb AdAc
BB: 30 bb
UTG: 168.8 bb
MP: 120 bb
Villain CO: 144.2 bb
BTN: 69 bb
PreFlop: folds to Villain CO who raises to 3 bb, folds to Hero SB who raises to 9 bb, folds to Villain CO who calls 6 bb
Flop (19 bb, 2 players): Ks 5h 3s
Hero bets 6 bb, Villain CO calls 6 bb
Turn (31 bb, 2 players) 9d
Hero checks, Villain CO bets 29.6 bb, Hero raises to 122.8 BB and is all-in, CO calls 93.2 bb
River 276.6 bb, 2 players) 2h
Villain CO shows Kh Kc (Three of a Kind, Kings)
Villain CO wins 262.8 bb
Dec. 8, 2020 | 8:39 p.m.
When I called the PF 4Bet with AsQS in MP, I was looking at the pot odds (11%). But, in hindsight, I wonder if I should have thought more about the ranges of Villains. With this many players entering a big pot, what are the chances that one of them has AA, AK, QQ, putting OOP Hero in a terrible spot, no matter what the odds?
Online .02/.5 5NL
UTG: 22.8 bb
UTG+1: 108.8 bb
Hero (MP): 89.4 bb AsQs
MP+1: 50 bb
CO: 260.8 bb
BTN: 137 bb
SB: 18.4 bb
BB: 59 bb
UTG calls 1 bb
UTG+1 raises to 4 bb
Hero raises to 13 bb
CO calls 13 bb,
BB calls 12 bb
UTG raises to 22.8 bb and is all-in
UTG+1 calls 18.8 bb
Hero calls 9.8 bb
CO calls 9.8 bb
BB calls 9.8 BB
Flop: (114.4 BB, 5 players): Ad 6d 2d
UTG+1 bets 86 bb and is all-in
Turn: (114.4 BB, 2 players) 8d
River: (114.4 BB, 2 players) 2c
UTG shows Ts Tc (Two Pair, Tens and Twos)
UTG+1 shows Ac Kh (Two Pair, Aces and Twos)
UTG+1[ wins 108.8 BB
Dec. 7, 2020 | 5:23 p.m.
Thanks. Yeah, I considered my 5bet more of a 4bet, wanting to get value in position v a weak player who won't fold, which is weird, I know, but the betting line was weird. Original raise of 2x (small for this stake, given rake and pool who under 3bet,) came not from Villain but from weak MP. When Villain 3bet, I suspected V was 3betting light (SB, small size, history of it,) to steal pot or just because he's an aggro fish and that's what he does. I wanted to keep him in hand and outplay post flop if I could, but get some more $ in. If it had been my open and he had raised me from the SB, I would have done the same, which was how I conceptualized it.
Dec. 6, 2020 | 5:47 p.m.
I think if I had been introduced to poker in my teens, I might have attempted to be a professional poker player. I always loved and exceled at games, including Gin Rummy and Hearts and Bridge, which is what our family played. I was good at reading people. My mother was a vicious alcoholic and my siblings and I had to know where one stood before one opened one's mouth. I was very good at math. I took college level calculus in high school and got an 790 on my math SAT. This all sounds braggy but I don't care. I am dying of cancer and that gives me a certain license, IMO. I just want to give the relevant details. Even though I came from an upper-middle class family, I always haunted the fringes of society. That's where I felt most at home. My own alcoholism and drug addiction, (I have been sober almost thirty years,) had a hand in that predilection. I have a lot of good stories.
In any case, a little over three years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. I spent a month in a hospital, getting a autologous stem cell transplant, and receive chemotherapy monthly to this day. I am very fortunate. I tolerate chemo well, for the most part. My cancer and the chemo are currently maintaining a precarious equilibrium. The cancer, unfortunately, before it was diagnosed did a number on my spine, (the blood factory,). I am disabled as a result. No jogging. Sitting in a chair longer than 45 minutes creates problems. But that's the worst of it. My mind is dulled by pain and chemo a bit but not as much as I pretend when it suits me. I have health insurance. We aren't rich. But we have always been careful with money. And between social security, savings, and my wife's income, we will survive. Most importantly, I have a beautiful, brilliant, sweet, loving wife and a beautiful, brilliant, sweet, loving daughter who look after me with a kind of quiet courage which I can only admire in awe.
My main enemy is boredom. I can't stand television, for the most part. I am not a sports junkie. Reading is hard. My vision is a little blurry. And to be honest, I have read a lot of books in my life, perhaps my fill. After getting sober, I was a college professor, then a civil litigator. But I am at core a poet. I have published two books. (Actual books.) And my work has appeared in lots of journals and magazines. I did try my hand at writing a novel when i was quarantined for six months out of the hospital. I landed a good agent. A small publisher is considering my manuscript. But I don't expect they will publish it. It has been two years and no one had picked it up yet. Not giving up but not nurturing unrealistic expectations.
That's where poker comes in. About nine months ago, I made a list of things I always wanted to learn. French was number one. I had learned to read French in Graduate School but not speak it. After three months, I could do a passable job. Second on my list was poker. I was too busy representing assholes during the poker boom to be swept up but I wasn't oblivious. I always wanted to learn. So, about six months ago, I started studying. I studied for three months without playing an actual hand. I did buy a membership with APT so that I could progress against robots. (I might eventually do a blog post about my experience at APT.) A little over three months ago, I set aside a bankroll of $400, deposited $100 of that money with Ignition, and played my first hand of (.02/.05)5NL.
It has been great, A blast. I have been lucky. I am still playing on my first $5 buy-in. More importantly, I love how hard poker is. How much I don't know and how much I have to learn. I still study quite a bit. I would say my day is split evenly between off table work and practice on the felt. I love the mental game. There is so much about having the right attitude about poker which, I think, applies to having the right attitude about life. Poker entertains me, keeps me busy, gives me something to think about, and presents challenge after challenge, I don't think it is too much of an exaggeration to say that poker helps to keep me alive. I am a super organized dude. It is nice to have something to put in the schedule blocks.
So, thank you poker. Thank you, poker players. For the most part, the poker community has been kind, generous, and honest with me. I truly appreciate that. I don't want pity. Sorry. That's too easy for both sides. Life is life. Everyone has shit they have to deal with. I am one of the lucky ones. I do want to give a special thanks to RIO, however. I heard Peter Clarke on an archived episode of Smart Poker Study and thought, "Hmmm...he seems like a reasonable and articulate guy. Not sentimental. But not an asshole either, And, to be honest, I really liked the price of FTGU too. So, I took the course. So helpful. Really solidified a lot of stuff I hadn't quite grasped yet and introduced me to a lot of stuff I look forward to working on more. Forward into the breach!