midori's avatar


1451 points

I'd check back flop.

River I'd just call when I'm also blocking Qd as well. Getting called by Add is cool and will add to your winrate, but you also open yourself for getting 3b. Also, when people pot on this river, their range is quite polar and I think nut flushes are actually at the bottom of the value region of that range. If not, Q high flushes but you block those..

Dec. 11, 2018 | 10:09 a.m.

Also a bit off-topic question: what are the specs of the server you are using for solver sims, and how much does it cost? I'm hesitating between buying a desktop for it and renting a server (AWS most likely).

You can PM me if you don't feel like posting a reply here.

Dec. 4, 2018 | 1:57 p.m.

A very nice vid, Richard. I watched it at least twice, and will watch it again at some point.

I have a question, or rather comments, about the first hand A986 (I wanted to attach a screenshot but failed; please go to around 13:50 for the reference).

This is not meant to be a nitpick, because I don't think it matters too much either way, but the solver seems to favour a bet with our actual hand -- this hand is both in the pot betting range as well as 1/3 psb range.

I haven't been able to check if this hand also shows up in the checking range, but it was quite interesting that solver puts it into the betting range when it checks about 80% of the time.

My guess is that having a straight blocker here is somewhat relevant, but also that OOP is (probably) supposed to bet again with lots of strong hands on the turn.

If you still have the sims results, could you please let me know:

a) How often OOP is barreling the turn;
b) If IP has a wide bet/folding range vs. OOP check;
c) What solver wants to do with our actual hand (i.e. does it check sometimes? do we bet/call or bet/fold?)

Cheers again, and please make more of these vids!

-- midori

Dec. 4, 2018 | 1:55 p.m.

Comment | midori commented on I Read Cards, Not Minds

Great update. Good to hear you had fun at home game!

Just curious, is it QeenOfDiamonds or QueenOfDiamonds?

Dec. 4, 2018 | 11:33 a.m.

Comment | midori commented on Third Ball

Okay, so.. I've been taking a break off poker for about 10 days now. I was busy traveling and dealing with people, but I can't be like this forever.

Let's start with this -- somehow this almost always worked for me.

December Goal

I'll keep it simple. I will close out this year by:

Putting in 180 hours of playing poker
Studying 30 hands thoroughly
Studying 1 hour of Polish every day
Writing 4 posts in this journal
Working out 3 times a week
Having fun in general

And I'll also try to:

Play more 5 card PLO variants
Achieve 8bb/100 winrate
Get lucky I guess?

Good luck to everyone in this month.

-- midori

Dec. 2, 2018 | 7:02 a.m.

Comment | midori commented on I Read Cards, Not Minds

You told me I have a gift for writing -- oh well, right back at you!

I'm glad that you are now cancer free, and I hope you keep riding the good side of the life variance from now on. Welcome to the site!

-- midori

Nov. 30, 2018 | 3:52 p.m.

A very interesting video, I really enjoyed watching it. Thanks!

I have two questions about the last hand (KJT7sss on J87cch 2h A board):

a) On the turn, do you think an average opponent pots here too often that this becomes a call? I think people tend to bluff less often with the obvious blockers (TT/99 here) when there are 2 FD's on the board, and lots of his draws have merits for checking back and realising equity, rather than betting twice and possibly getting jammed on.

If this is true, the remaining draws he pots here with will have a significant amount of equity against our 2p, and this will allow him to empty the clip on the river pretty often. There are very few "blanks" where we can even consider bluff catching again on the river, anyway.

A more general question would be, how should we approach the hands that are slightly ahead/way behind on very draw heavy boards?

b) On the river, you said your actual hand is rarely a (pure?) call and his top pair hands are rarely a bluff, and then you went on to explore the exploitative pair strategy.

That was quite impressive, but here I think you were specifically targeting his Ax (one pair) hands, and I just don't think they will make up a large part of his triple barreling range because of the constraints -- i.e. it shouldn't have a pair by the turn, it should usually have combo draws, etc.

If so, aren't we risking a bit too much on this call? I mean, if this is close to a 0EV call at equilibrium, he should significantly deviate from it for this to be a reasonably +EV call, and how he plays a narrow part of his range (Axxx) doesn't seem to be a very heavy factor to tip the scale.

Or, do you think everything adds up and should be considered when the decisions are close (=nearly 0EV at equilibrium), as you mentioned in the vid?

Once again, it was a very cool vid and I'm much looking forward to seeing more vids like this!

-- midori

Nov. 30, 2018 | 3:42 p.m.

Comment | midori commented on Third Ball

Thanks, man. And yes, I'm coming back!

Nov. 30, 2018 | 11:29 a.m.

40k is extremely small, yes. First of all, you can put in that much volume in less than a month (even on US sites). Second, below are the simulated downswings for a 5bb/100 winner:

As you can see, you'll break even for 30k or 50k hands about 34-47% of the time. I mean, you roll a dice and if it lands on a 1, you'll break even for 100k hands.

As such, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to look at one's result during 40k hands and say much about his/her game.

Anyways, I hope your WSOPc goes well, and try to play the cash games while you're there -- they tend to be very lucrative. Also, try the PLO event :)

-- midori

Nov. 21, 2018 | 6:15 p.m.

Not to belittle your effort into PLO games, and I know it's not easy to put in a ton of volume on American sites, but 40k hands in any form of poker are considered an extremely small sample. Just because you have a winrate of -10bb/100 or worse during those 40k hands doesn't mean you are actually a loser in the games.

I don't know anything about your current BR or financial needs, so take this with a grain of salt, but if your primary concern is to quickly build a stable roll, you have to be very selective about your game. This is often times way more important than working on your game itself, or putting in enough volume.

Try to play in the games where your hourly will be the highest, whether this means the highest bb/100 or the highest (bb/100 * # of hands). I'm not sure if live poker is an option where you live, but if it is, you should definitely try the low limit games too, like 1/2 NL.

I'd also avoid MTTs by all means. MTT variance is the worst of all, and it's not uncommon for the top pros to break even for 6+ months. Well, I guess you can still mix in mid-sized MTTs such as the ones on Ignition, because the field is softer and you can make it to FT way more often than you can in Sunday Millions, but still, MTT variance can be very sickening.

It's true that NLHE games tend to have lower variance (=smaller standard deviation) than PLO, but this usually comes at an expense of a smaller edge. And a smaller edge means more variance, so in the end these two factors kind of even out.

Just some food for thought.

-- midori

Nov. 20, 2018 | 2:46 a.m.

Comment | midori commented on Third Ball

Wow it's been so long I completely forgot about this thread.

I just read some of my old posts again and thought I should resume writing about poker.

So I'll do that from tomorrow on. Right now I'm a bit sleep deprived so I'll try to catch some sleep first.


Nov. 19, 2018 | 9:26 a.m.

I just found this thread. I'm a mid stakes PLO player too, so I'll drop by and post some random thoughts every now and then.

Good luck in your journey, man.

Nov. 18, 2018 | 9:30 a.m.

Also, one thing I didn't emphasise because I kind of forgot but is nonetheless important:

It's 50 PLO, you can't really rely on them folding out flushes often to our double barrel. Our bet-bet line might be "theoretically sound" if we choose the right sizing and put other hands into that range as well, but it can quickly turn into a very -EV play if we run into opponents that just don't fold often. And my guess is that these types of opponents aren't uncommon at 50 PLO, although I haven't really played 50 PLO in years.

Nov. 12, 2018 | 6:49 p.m.

Richard Gryko Sure, there are hands with SDV and Ad blocker that we want to bet in this spot. I was talking about this specific hand with which I don't see a compelling reason why to bet the turn. Let me elaborate a bit on this first.

Mostly, we block lots of non-flush hands with our top two and the Q, and his flop XC range will have lots of Kdd, Qdd type of hands, so in this exact spot with our exact hand, we are looking at a lot of high/mid flushes in BB's range. Sure, he can have hands like AKQT or KQJT without FD and it's nice to deny those hands of realising equity, but he will have more flushes than those (wraps are fewer combos than FD's in general anyway).

(Btw God_of_War said 1p hand can have 30% equity against us, but that's like the worst case scenario for us and I don't see him having many combos of those after flop XC.)

And if his range mostly consists of flushes, I guess we have to take either bet 2 streets or XB and see the river. Betting the turn and checking back river would be burning money if he doesn't have lots of non-flushes; on the other hand, betting 2 can be a pretty costly play against high flushes because we have little equity (10% ish) and need to mostly rely on FE, which we might or might not have on the river.

Checking back turn and getting bet into OTR kind of sucks but I don't think BB will bluff here often, let alone have enough air, so our decision shouldn't be too hard. Checking back and raising river is an option too, although most opponents will see it as so FOS and snap off with whatever flushes.

Okay, so now.. although our specific hand doesn't really gain much from betting the turn, there are hands that you still want to put in this range (bet turn bet river), and I mostly agree with Richard Gryko here. There are a few issues though.

One is the bet sizing on the turn which you briefly mentioned. I haven't done the work, but I wouldn't be surprised if you are supposed to split your sizings with different Ad blocker hands here -- for example, bet small with SDV + Ad hands, and bet large with not much SDV + Ad hands, etc. If this is the case, we'd need to do a lot of work constructing our ranges properly, and that is, well, a lot of work. And this likely means that we also need to split ranges with our actual flushes -- Add, Kdd, Qdd, etc etc.

It is possible that we can gain a lot of EV by putting in this work and splitting the ranges accordingly, but I kind of doubt that. More realistically, it is quite possible that we can get carried away with overdoing this and costing ourselves quite some EV.

Another is that we can still have flushes in our turn XB range, so it's not like he can attack a lot OTR and auto profit or anything. If we wanted to, we can even put the nut flushes into turn XB range (I'd pick the ones that block a lot, say AKdd with pair blockers, etc.) and raise river. And if we do this properly, we might not have to bet too much with SDV + Ad hands.

Also, if we are concerned about being able to have boats/quads on board pairing rivers, we can just pick sets over 2p and bet with them on the turn, with or without Ad blockers. Sets still need protection against SD, but they have more equity when our bet gets called.

-- midori

Nov. 12, 2018 | 7:32 a.m.

"After calling the turn a flush is very likely" and "check-back and realise SD value against his 2p, busted SD, and OP" are almost contradicting each other.

By the way, how can villain have OP and busted SD when we take this line?

Nov. 12, 2018 | 6:52 a.m.

The last paragraph is self-contradicting.

Nov. 11, 2018 | 9:07 a.m.

I don't see a compelling reason to bet the turn. Ask this to yourself: is he x/folding a lot on the turn? If so, do you really want to fold out those hands? And if not, do you really want to turn your hand into a bluff on the river?

Tbh this looks like a spot where we end up overbluffing and getting snapped off by K high and sometimes Q high flushes on the river.

Nov. 11, 2018 | 9:05 a.m.

Nick Johnson has written a nice post and I have little to add.

I'd probably just check here though because splitting your range in a MW pot (let alone a HU pot) can be pretty tedious and, like you said, you don't really want to get called here especially by IP. But if you bet this small he might just shrug and call with hand like A754 + bdf or whatever. And if he does, SB is now getting a sick price on a call so he might just call with any piece of the board. Worse yet he might even try to raise with some hands, at least with some frequency.

On the other hand, when you check here IP won't stab as often as he will call your bet. I think he'll be pretty happy to check back and see the turn, and that in turn benefits us sometimes. Boards like J65r is not super dangerous, it actually looks pretty innocuous so far but things really start happening on the turn, so getting there without having to pay too much is a good thing for all of us. Much better for the IP player, but still good for OOP as well.

-- midori

Nov. 9, 2018 | 7:46 a.m.

Comment | midori commented on 1-2,PLO 5 card

It's cool that you won this pot, but I don't see much of a reason to do this with your actual hand. Now that I think about it, it's actually one of the worst hands to do this with.

I'd just check/call and see the turn.

Nov. 9, 2018 | 7:35 a.m.

Comment | midori commented on [PLO1000] AA 3bp

Depends on when he won the WSOP main I think.

Flop is tough and in theory this is probably a check, but like Sauce said I don't hate pot/calling it off (any other size than pot OTF would be a mistake imo). Blocking 8 kind of helps too.

One problem with checking is that he can stab a ton here with a somewhat polar range and make your life tough, while checking back the middling hands. And when he checks back, there aren't too many "blank" turns -- but having backdoor NF is crucial here and we will do just fine when he checks back. When he bets, on the other hand, we will have to unhappily call sometimes and fold other times, also unhappily.

-- midori

Nov. 9, 2018 | 7:30 a.m.

Very interesting video and I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks!

A somewhat off-topic question: in your book you wrote that buying a desktop to run Solver is better than renting a cloud server. Can you give me a reasonable spec setup for running Solver sims and the estimated price? For example, if you can share with us what you are using right now, that'd be a good reference.

-- midori

Nov. 7, 2018 | 5:57 p.m.

You mean, they are an overestimate?

Oct. 25, 2018 | 5:28 p.m.

Hello All,

I'm a PLO cash player for the most part, but I used to play lots of MTT's in the past and I think I can pick it up again pretty soon.

Recently I've been thinking of adding live MTT's to my grind, mostly the ones with good structures with $500-$3k buy ins, along with lots of WSOP events.

My question is, what would be a reasonable ROI in these? Also, less importantly, what would be a reasonable ITM%? I think it should be higher than in online MTT's, so maybe 30-40 ROI and 20-25% ITM, but it's just a wild guess.

Thanks a lot in advance. :)

-- midori

Oct. 24, 2018 | 7:26 p.m.

Comment | midori commented on Live PLO question

You bring up a legit point, OP. A few things you might want to consider are:

a) Do you become more conservative when stacks get deeper? There's nothing wrong with this, it's just human nature (risk aversion) and a lot of people play more conservatively when deeper stacked. However, if you are overdoing this and costing yourself some EV, you should think twice about playing deeper.

b) Do you adjust your play as stacks get deeper? Especially, do you adjust your IP/OOP 3betting range, 4b range, IP/OOP 3b calling range, etc.? This is important.

Just because you're 200bb deep doesn't mean you are at the risk of getting stacked (or stacking someone) every time you play a hand. Actually, in a single raised pot, the maximum you can win/lose is usually right around 100 bb. But, the chances go significantly up when you get involved in 3b+ pots, and if your 3b+ ranges are weak or suboptimal, this can cost you a lot of money.

c) In live poker, people often overlook the seat selection. True, often times they'll just tell you to go to Table 5 Seat 4 and you won't be able to pick a seat, but sometimes a seat will open up at your table and you have an option of moving around. Anyways, having a deep stack is not a problem at all by and of itself; it all boils down to who else is sitting where with how much money.

If you can, avoid having a good reg with deeper stack to your left. Even having an aggro fish to your left can be pretty bad for your winrate, although most people might not think this way. There's absolutely no shame in quitting with a 200bb stack if the guys to your left are making your miserable by flatting and 3betting a ton.

Staying at the table with a deep stack, instead of quitting, is a decision that you keep making at every moment. That's fine, but you just have to realise that you are also tacitly agreeing that you can lose it all at any moment.

There might be a few more factors, but the bottom line is that your play should change along with the (effective) stack depth, and that includes a lot of things such as preflop ranges, seat selection, mindset, etc.

-- midori

Oct. 24, 2018 | 7:18 p.m.

Comment | midori commented on Live PLO question

You might find this hard to believe, but most 2/5 PLO live games are insanely soft that you can actually achieve the winrate of 30bb/100, if not higher.

Oct. 24, 2018 | 7:02 p.m.

QQ/88 will sometimes raise on the flop, especially QQ.

That said, his range on turn is weighed more towards draws and you're correct that you don't block them much. But most draws don't have a good equity anyway -- turn is almost a complete blank and the best draws he can have are combo draws like 9 card wrap + FD. And some of this would have X/R'ed on flop as well.

This leaves him with lots of weaker draws, and while charging his draws is usually important in PLO, I don't think you have a good reason to pot here. His equity vs. you on the turn should be 20-25% in most cases, sometimes far less. You don't want to pot away and fold those hands out.

On the other hand, if you have QQ instead of AA with the same side cards, potting here will make a lot of sense.

In other words, you don't need to worry too much about balancing your range and just picking a single bet sizing on the turn. It's completely fine to bet different sizings with different hands, and you can still balance those ranges if you want. But poker is not about balancing your ranges, it's just about maximising your EV.

-- midori

Oct. 23, 2018 | 6:34 p.m.

Potting the turn seems a bit strange to me when you are significantly blocking his continuing range. I'd go with 60-70% of the pot.

On the river we have a clear value bet if he checks to us. When he donks it's close but I'll call because we block 0 diamonds. Against certain opponents though, you probably have to fold.

Oct. 22, 2018 | 8:18 p.m.

Two things to consider:

a) Phil mentioned this in the PAD vids and I'm just parroting what he said, but straddle can actually make the game a bit tighter. Let's say UTG and UTG+1 straddles, then the raising ranges can/will become tighter than usual, because each player has to get through 2 more players than usual. For example, BTN only has to get through 2 players when there's no straddle, but 4 players in this double straddle game. This is probably not good for the game.

b) Now you might say "hell no, nobody tightens up when there are 2 straddles, they open everything." Well, then what's happening is that the straddle is just lowering the SPR for postflop scenarios, and you have to adjust preflop and postflop ranges correctly. In my experience, few live players do this very well, so yes, you can gain some edge there.

Also, in practice, be aware of limp/3bettors when straddles kick in. It can be a lot more profitable to call the 2nd straddle and then back raise over an isolation bet, than calling the big blind (or bring in) -> back raising. Of course, this means you'll sometimes go all-in 5+ way preflop with your Aces..

-- midori

Oct. 19, 2018 | 9:18 p.m.

(avec notre piètre accent, cela s’entend toujours :-p ). :-)

Comme "wifi" avec l'accent Francais? =)

Au fait, j'ai une question simple sur ces termes.. Je pense que je peux dire "tapis" pour dicter l'action "all-in," mais est-ce que je peux le dire aussi pour l'etat "all-in?" Par exemple, comment dire "I was all in by the turn" ou "He's already all-in?"

Merci par avance :)

Oct. 19, 2018 | 9:09 p.m.

Hi James,

I can view the vid on my laptop, but for some reason I couldn't play it on my Android.

Oct. 18, 2018 | 3:46 a.m.

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