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ryanspicer

181 points

Nov 11-15
Did we meet our target? Yes -
*Were we focused? Yes. We did get irritable at times, but we did a good job reframing our mind and taking breaks. -
where did we do well?
We game selected very well. We hopped into higher stakes when the games were extra good. We applied pressure when we thought it was good, and even bluffed our entire stack! (Successfully 😚) -
where can we improve? Really taking to heart that Poker is a game of frequencies. A “good call” may lose in the moment you make it, but that doesn’t change your good call into a bad call. It’s all risk/reward ratios, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. We are playing “poker”, not “I win”. -
what did we learn? The early bird gets the worm. A lot of “regulars” show up in the late morning and early afternoon. As a result the games that start later tend to be tighter with less spots. Often too, the spots will bust before the regulars do, so if you are waiting on a seat in the main game, often times it’s a spots seat you are filling, meaning the game just got tighter. This isn’t always the case, but being there early, you get priority to choose, and if the next game that runs is really good, you can just hop on over. Being there early gives you access and priority to the best opportunities.

Nov. 20, 2019 | 9:28 p.m.

thats what i was thinking :p

Nov. 14, 2019 | 3:46 p.m.

Nov 4-8
Did we meet our target? Yes

Were we focused? Mostly; we gave it our utmost, but it was a little challenging this week due to distracting thoughts of insecurity,loneliness, mild anxiety & depression.

Where did we do well?
We kept it simple. There’s definitely an insecurity that we should be doing more. This insecurity has held me back for a long time. It makes me believe that what I’m doing is inadequate or that I can be doing so much more. It’s a false siren that tempts you to overextend yourself, leading to burnout. You recognized this, and kept it simple. You understand that honoring your system, your plan, is what gives you power.

Where can we improve? Simplifying what we give our attention to. There’s a lot to keep in mind playing live poker, from pot size, to ranges, to action, to player type, and then having to be mindful of all this while formulating a plan. Simplifying our strategy, the pot size, etc, frees up our mind to focus on the most important aspects of a hand.

What did we learn? If you have good reasoning to deviate from “normal play”, then I think you should trust yourself to make the adjustment. Win or lose, write down the details and your reasoning for the adjustment and then get feedback from people you respect and see what they think.
I was also reminded that Poker is not about “winning”. It’s about understanding dynamics and understanding how to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. And it’s a game of limited information, and sometimes people will get you, and you are capable of making mistakes. And it’s all okay.

Stress is a creativity killer. It’s good to care and have desire to win, but don’t dwell on things that are out of your control.
You have good reason to trust yourself. This doesn’t make you infallible, but you are capable and can allow yourself the luxury of confidence and let go of harboring so much insecurity.

Nov. 11, 2019 | 6:17 p.m.

yeah thats what I did, and upon reflection thought it was a reasonable action to take. Was just gross when someone at the table said "show the bluff" and he flipped over KTo lol.

As far as going bigger, I kind of want players to continue. If i was to make it say $75, I Think we might make them play more correctly. I could make it like $65-$70 for sure though. ATM since season is just starting to get underway, the player pool is pretty consistently the same fish as well, so I try to keep my sizings in line so I can implement a strategy that allows me to isolate people without giving away the strength of my hands. For example, against weak overly aggro fish, I like to use a 2.5-2.8x (referring to 3bets) sizings with a wide range to get them heads up more often. But I dont want to just use a small size with my weaker hands and bigger with premiums because even a spot will catch on eventually if you play with him for months on end

Nov. 11, 2019 | 6:14 p.m.

What kind of situation are you wondering?

against recreationals, I think you can be quite exploitative in live; if you are facing people who are putting in more thought, I think small bets/checking makes alot of sense just depending.

Nov. 8, 2019 | 1:38 a.m.

I think I would size up on flop and jam turn against a recreational. You could also use your size on flop and then bet more like $250-300 on turn and then leave a small river shove. Think he will have hard time folding KQ on turn, and then leave a small bet for him to call on the river.

Preflop, I think your sizing is a little big. I'd prob go closer to $90. Seems excessively big to make it 24bb, even being deep.

Nov. 8, 2019 | 12:45 a.m.

Villain is a splashy recreational player who has bought in a couple times for 50bb or so. He is VPIPing super wide with limps and pretty splashy postflop. Haven't played with him too long, maybe an hour or two at this point, but haven't seem him showdown any raised hands or seen him raise much yet.

Anyways, Villain of interest raises to $15 in the HJ and has a $260 stack
CO is a splashy recreational as well and cold call with a $200 stack
Hero is on Button with QcQh and makes it $60
HJ calls, CO folds

Flop is ATx rainbow with $130 in middle
HJ leads into Hero for $75 and has $125 behind; he has his chips stacked on his cards, kinda seeming like he is willing to get the rest in.(don't know how much we can really read into this. First time playing with this guy)

Anyways, against random guy we haven't really played much against, what do you think about our flop play?

Also, how would you construct his leading range?

As you can see below, I was trying to imagine estimates and frequencies for what he may do with different parts of his range, but that quickly gets very messy. Do you think that in a 3B pot against an overly aggro recreational, his leads will tend to be on the loose side or made hand side? Do you think there's a chance this is very mergey and not very top pair+ oriented? Is there a way you would deconstruct what you think he will lead top pair and better with at a given frequency?

If we do continue flop, are we planning to call a turn jam as well?

EDIT: Giving this a little more thought, I suppose there's no way to know precisely what an unknown splashy player is doing. So I suppose the best thing for us to fall back on is MDF. Since he is risking around a 57% bet, we can defend around 60% of our range and make adujustments from there. QQ seems to be right on the cusp.

Nov. 8, 2019 | 12:14 a.m.

10/28-11/1 Week Review

Did we meet our target? Yes. We even played an additional hour.

Were we focused? Yes. 80-90%. Wearing headphones really helped block out distractions.

Where did we do well? We kept it simple. We showed up. We were on time. We paid attention to the action. We took notes. We trusted ourself. And towards the end of the week when we experienced rough water and experienced doubt, we stuck to the plan, showed up, and reminded ourself “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t trust myself”. It’s really easy to question the validity of your thoughts when you get undesired results. But we did a good job keeping our cool, taking time to settle the mind through yoga, meditation, massage, and talking about our uncertainty with trusted friends. We did a good job reaffirming our faith and placing our focus back to where it matters, on what we can control.
We also stuck to our method, taking breaks to stretch, get fresh air and mindfully walking to reestablish mind body awareness.
We also identified when games were abnormally profitable at higher stakes and allowed ourself to take on additional risk in order to capitalize on the opportunity.

Where can we improve? Letting go of any attachment for results. I noticed the times I hesitate to pull the trigger or when I’m not thinking things through fully, it’s usually because I’m distracted by wanting a session to go a certain way. Maybe this means avoiding a bluff or taking a passive line preflop because we don’t want to experience variance in attempt to have a “winning session”.
Or maybe we are up already and our session is about to be over, so we play tighter, or make a tight fold when we really should be calling.
Bottom line, this is emotional based thinking designed to avoid discomfort. They are distractions from the task at hand.

What did we learn? Breaking down our plan into digestible pieces allows us to perform better. Instead of feeling overwhelmed about the big picture, we break our schedule into 2 hour chunks, really focus and block out distractions.(hello airplane mode)This allows for adequate rest, enhancing performance, and increasing enjoyment from playing because we play better and more thoughtfully.

Nov. 5, 2019 | 2:13 p.m.

11/1/19 Morning After

I got beat up a little yesterday in the poker game. So last night and this morning I’ve been un-pretzeling my mind and seeing if there was anywhere I could’ve done better. Nothing is glaringly obvious; I’m sure there were spots here and there I could’ve played better or taken a different line, but overall my plan seems like it was mostly solid and I’m confident in myself overall.

This can be a challenge to keep sight of when nothing seems to be going your way. But downs are part of the process of being a professional poker player.(and life) It comes with the journey.

Spending some time writing this morning, I’m reminding myself that first of all, the worst case scenario is never that bad. If I one day woke up and became a losing player, there’s a job waiting for me. And that ain’t so bad. Especially given I’m fortunate enough to live in the USA where opportunity is bountiful and every possible need is met and taken care of. I can, on any given day, start waking a new path and find success. I’m truly blessed to be an American. And this is also something to be mindful of when carving a path for yourself. The worst case scenario really isn’t that bad. It may hurt your ego, but that’s about the only damage.(so long you’re learning and not becoming bitter)

What I’m appreciating today, is that a temporary downswing is merely circumstance. It may sting a bit, but it’s only a portion of my life, temporary, and will soon pass. It is however an opportunity to practice what I so easily tell myself on the majority of days I’m ahead. A chance to walk the walk “Circumstance will not dictate my character”. To smile, keep an eye on the bigger picture, and be grateful for even having opportunity to struggle in the first place.

And then to show up the next day, and continue working towards the bigger picture I have for myself, executing the system that I’ve created, small step by step

Nov. 1, 2019 | 12:41 p.m.

Oct 21-25 Poker Week In Review

Did we meet our target? Yes

Were we focused? 70-80%, yes

Where did we do well?
* engaging the other players in the game, creating a friendlier environment and helping me personally to not be so anxious

  • we executed our plan almost to perfection. We were on time, we stayed, we took breaks, we lost with good nature

Where can we improve?
* our postflop thought process. Prioritizing the most important/relevant aspects of a scenario; specifically, against a non-regular, having an exploitative mindset first and foremost.

  • there were many situations this week where my first thought was “what does my range want here?” And then I would act based on that. I think this is not the most important factor in really any game. It’s more of a distracting thought.

A better first thought would be “what does my opponents range look like, and what are his likely tendencies?” If this isn’t immediately apparent, we then can fall back on the thought, “what does my range want to do here against his likely range?”. Either way, range awareness is going to be the most helpful thing to think about when determining the best way to maximally exploit our opponent, and also in making better decisions consistently.

  • I’ve grown accustomed to playing against passive players in a live setting, so when a player in a live setting starts getting aggressive, my mind automatically begins to give them a lot of credit for having a very strong range, out of habit(not a bad heuristic, but not always in line with reality). I can do a better job identifying if a player is likely to be getting out of line based on bet sizing tells, and history, and then be willing to adjust and play in more marginal situations when appropriate.

What did we learn?
Setting goals is important for achieving a sense of accomplishment and integrity. It also fortifies us against the constant storm of excuses.

Primary goal: becoming the kind of person who sticks to his plan, acting with integrity, and who smiles regardless of circumstance.

Oct. 26, 2019 | 1:39 p.m.

I’d snap fold preflop to the 4b!

In my experience, people way underbluff here. I may even fold a hand as strong as AKo in my games I play at 1-3 and 2-5. Many many players will have a 4b range of KK+, a lot of live players won even 4! AK. Plus you are deep so I think it’s even more unlikely.

I think the turn is interesting, but even they still don’t have enough bluffs, I think we don’t have enough equity to call unless we plan to turn our hand into a bluff on some rivers. Raising then might be interesting to fold out AK, but even then, because of my preflop assumptions, I don’t think they even have much of that.

I’d fold river as played. I’d probably fold turn as played, and I would def fold preflop.

Oct. 21, 2019 | 1:11 p.m.

Something I’ve been experimenting with lately has been really opening my range with recreationals in the blinds, and I’m curious how far some of y’all take this.

If the rec is in the Bb rather than the SB, I will go harder, and if there are two in the blinds, I will go hardest trying to isolate them.

This may mean opening K8s/K7s from MP. Typically sticking to hands like this, but not going with the lower ones like K3s basically thinking having a 3 in hand isn’t that great.

I play mostly 300-500nl live, and 50nl online currently. I make this adjustment quite a lot online, and maybe it’s good because I don’t think people 3b me enough online(maybe I’m wrong).

In live however, I don’t typically open this wide, even though people aren’t 3betting much at all(literally in my games they 3b like JJ+, no AK)... but they do cold call a lot even vs 5-6x opens, so in this case I mostly just play pretty nitty and wait for big hands to bomb it and get loads of action.

I’m not really sure if I’m overdoing it by opening this wide, or if this would be considered standard by some.

I know this is super broad topic, but I guess the premise of my question is, how far do you push trying to isolate recreationals? Especially in games with a lot of regs, where most of your profit is coming from said recreationals.

Oct. 19, 2019 | 12:24 p.m.

Online I would basically always call because, as you said, people do do occasionally show up with a bluff here; in a live setting, I really do think it's much closer, and think a lot of the time my hand looks like what it is and people will value bet the small size and not bluff the small size.....

That being said, the bluff here does happen sometimes, just not convinced enough.

However, a friend of mine pointed out, that since it's so close, it may be worth calling regardless because depending on what they show up with, it may give us a lot of information that we can use in future hands...( let's say he shows up with J2s or something very wide, then we have this info later on and can exploit value bet thinner, cbet more, bluff more etc.)

Oct. 15, 2019 | 10:16 p.m.

1-3

SB calls and seems to be a loose passive kind of player, and prob calling pretty wide overall
Hero is on BB w AQo no hearts, and the bttn is a bad aggro straddle

Hero raises the BB to $28 folds to SB who calls and has $160 or so

Flop J85r one heart
I check behind
turn 2 heart
he bets $25
We call

River 8
He bets $20 into $100

We need him to bluff 1/7 times for us to call and at least break even. From your experience, do you think people use a bluff for this sizing often enough to justify a call?

Oct. 11, 2019 | 1:42 p.m.

What’s your hand?

You need like 40% here and I’d guess he’s very polar weighted towards value....

I’d just defend sets+ and fold two pair and worst.

Oct. 11, 2019 | 1 p.m.

It’s clear to me now that this was a pretty easy defend; however, I recognize this is somewhat a weak spot in my game and often do not know how to estimate these scenarios well.

How big of a raise could we actually call here with a hand like A2s.... if they made it $30(10bb), with the 2 cold callers, and then having some depth and likely dominated draws, should we still be overcalling?

Does anyone have a solid frame work for understanding this better?

Thanks

Oct. 10, 2019 | 2:11 p.m.

Unknown guy in mid 30's makes it $15 and has $45 after his initial raise from UTG 2
loose passive older guy w $200 calls in MP
Seemingly fishy passive guy calls in CO w $400 stack
Hero is on BB w A2cc covering

This is live 1-3
I think we just fold given the low SPR with the initial raiser, and him likely having a strong range that dominates us pretty bad? i mean we are getting 3:1. and the cold callers have some money behind. However, its going to be hard to make the SS guy fold when we flop a FD and he bets and gets called(making our fold equity poorer, so we actually have to make hands more often)

It's also hard to win when we flop an A or a 2. Had he made it slightly bigger id for sure fold preflop, but not sure at this sizing. My brain says just fold, not being sure how we are going to make back enough, but my guy just says call. I would prob call a 12-13$ raise, and then treat $14 at about the same as this. any bigger I would just pitch.

Oct. 7, 2019 | 11:37 p.m.

Comment | ryanspicer commented on Mobius Poker Blog

High Quality Blog

Sept. 21, 2019 | 2:41 p.m.

Call call clean rivers 🧼

Sept. 21, 2019 | 2:37 p.m.

Comment | ryanspicer commented on 1-3 am I nitty?

Haha, maybe in the past I was more observant of this kind of stuff, playing mostly online. Last year however, I’ve been playing almost exclusively live, and thus it’s all about identifying their range and doing whatever you think will max exploit them

Sept. 20, 2019 | 3:38 p.m.

Comment | ryanspicer commented on nl200z multiway

FWIW, I think I’d start with a flop bet having the recreational in the hand, but obviously with this strength of hand, and if you want some Tx in range for checking back, this one seems okay. I do think a hand like JT makes a better check back however as it get overcarded slightly less.

I think the fact that the Ad isn’t on board, makes it way less likely he is overbettimg a hand like Kd w blockers, right? And if he is overbettimg, he prob wants blockers in some way/be up against a capped range

So your range looks like some Axdx turn floats, maybe some 4/5x, some but few flush combos. I think you prob shouldn’t be checking back sets here with the rec involved.

I do think he can certainly be overbettimg a hand like KT as well, as your range looks quite capped.

Because our range looks capped and we hold trips, its really tempting for me to want to call. However, villain has so many valuecombos in range for being on the Bb, it makes me want to fold. He really chose a hard sizing to play against.

He has 20-24 nut/very strong combos(Kxdd+, boats, AT, maybe KT), so he needs 11/14 bluffs to be balanced for his sizing. What does he do with QdJx, KdJx, 7d6x, 8d7x. My initial reaction was to fold. But I think because A)our range is capped, this is one of the best combos we can call with outside of a few nut flushes, and because villain can show up with such a wide range, and is capable of bluffing too much(it’s very tempting to do so), id make the call.

Caveat, in MY games I’d fold because people are clearly underbluffing. So, it matters what your population is doing as well. I know you said population is underbluffing, so it could be a fold.

I just look at this, and I see myself being WAY out of wack bluff heavy, because I would look at my opponents capped range, and not really want to choose a smaller sizing and get snapped by Ax, I’d just overbet and expect a near 100% fold from everything but the nuts.

It’s def possible he’s overbluffing

I’m curious to see what some smarter players than me have to say :)

Sept. 20, 2019 | 2:27 p.m.

Comment | ryanspicer commented on 1-3 am I nitty?

Well, a 0ev play just takes you on a ride. I’d say there is psyche ev that is gained by not being in those situations. Ie, being able to play more/have better happiness ev.

I’m not saying overfold or whatever fwiw.

But yeah, adjusting ranges to not spew is obv a good idea, and feeling nitty or whatever isn’t helpful lol

Sept. 20, 2019 | 1:53 p.m.

Comment | ryanspicer commented on 1-3 am I nitty?

Lol, that doesn’t help. I’m still convinced it’s better to not three bet against this tight of a range

Sept. 20, 2019 | 3:35 a.m.

Post | ryanspicer posted in NLHE: 1-3 am I nitty?

So this is something that kinda comes up often in the live games I play, and it feel very tight, but I think it makes sense

Example 1
Guy in his 50’s who’s limped in a few times already makes it $13 on button w $250-$300 stack and a limper ahead(this is clearly bad preflop sizing for how the games play, and he’s been limping)....

Because he is limping, what I tend to see if a lot of people have stronger than average raising ranges, even from the button.(another thing too is people don’t want to be “chop blockers” and will fold rather than steal wide )

Anyways, hero has a hand like JTs in the sb. Usually this is a slam dunk 3b against a normal range, but if villain is opening like AJ+, KQ+, 88+, QJs+ mayyyybe just maybe QJo, it seems to me like the best thing is to just 3b a very tight linear range, something like AJs+, AQo+ etc, TT+

Example two
Younger guy, maybe 30’s, who’s been kinda tight, has limped, seems passive, makes it $17 on button w 2 limpers(earlier made it $12 w a limper w AJo). $200 stack

Again I interpret his range to be very strong. We have AJo on Bb and just fold pre, prob reraising like AQo, TT and better. Maybe AJs, but maybe also just a flat to keep the wide ranges in and not pump money into a tight range)

Am I being a straight up nit or is this appropriate? It seems fine to me(maybe in second example we still 3b AJs)

Sept. 20, 2019 | 12:09 a.m.

I just take the ratio and subtract then multiply by betsize

Example

We face half pot size bet 1:4
We have FD 1:5.5
5.5-4=1.5

1.5xbet size= amount I need to expect to make

Sept. 19, 2019 | 11:16 a.m.

What do you think about the flop?

A good friend of mine says he’d check flop(and I respect his opinion a lot here) says he’d check and go for a bet bet line on turn/river

If you did bet, what sizing do you choose and why?

Sept. 15, 2019 | 10:56 p.m.

Maybe, we can exploit overbluff here tho.

I think if we ship it, villain can fold things like AK, KJ KT missed draws, AQ. That’s a lot of combos, at least 14, but probably more. So we net like 7k plus(prob more), and only lose $750 when he has the top of his range T9/QQ/77 that get here, meaning we lose maybe 4K or less. I could see KQ maybe even folding sometimes. If he has more AK preflop, I think this would mostly fold as well.

So, maybe we can bluff all AT and JT, and could possibly get away w AJ if he is overfolding, this May be taking it too far tho.

Then could bet the blocker sizing with sets, twonpair, overpairs... TPTk

Sept. 14, 2019 | 6:30 p.m.

I’m really not sure about this sim tho practically. I think he shows up here with T9s at close to 100%. Maybe it gets turn raised some w the combo draw, but the non FD combos I think get flat on turn.

So when we overbet ship, that’s 3-4 but combos, so we can’t really go that thin. I’m not even sure 77 gets calls by really anything worse. There’s only 2 KQ combos, and 3 straights, plus potential slow play sets of QQ(but we can prob discount this)

Seems like maybe the only hand we want to overbet ship is like JThh JTcc, JTss, then ship T9s

Given our overbet size, we get like 1.5:1 value to bluff frequency.

Everything else, maybe the blocker bet works well for, using hands like A7, A9 that get here

Sept. 14, 2019 | 6:21 p.m.

Looking at your sim, I don’t have J9s in opening range, but do have all Axs. No ATo either.

Sept. 14, 2019 | 5:15 p.m.

I don’t think shoving is good here given we have 2x pot behind($750ish)and I think he can have 4 combos of T9ss.

I also think it’s quite reasonable he can flat at least some QQ here given positions and all fish behind. Think he can also slow play some sets to the river thinking I pitch top pair to a raise. So I’m hesitant to just be ripping that much in into an uncapped range

I also think the only bluff combos he’s really show up with is ATdd, AJdd, and JT, making 6 combos., so not sure about the c/c

I don’t see the point in the blocker bet w Aj either, could you explain that one?

I was kinda thinking a slight overbet not blocking the diamonds and blocking AK seemed reasonable. Maybe AT is better for this because it blocks T9 and AK. Something like $475 into $450.

Sept. 14, 2019 | 3:43 p.m.

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