sirin's avatar


115 points

Cool video. Would love to see more BvB stuff OOP, its the most difficult situation for me, and there's hardly any videos on it. Specifically situations where we c/r and get called on dynamic boards.

July 18, 2019 | 5:20 p.m.

I reran the sim with a 33% river sizing, and I see that AA is pretty much always bet, and in fact the larger sizing isn't used.

What I'm not quite clear about is how 75% is a polar sizing when the turn checks through. We have an overpair in a relatively small pot vs a villain's range that contains a lot of bluffcatchers compared to nutty combos.

For example, lets imagine the runout is different, and we bet the flop and get called, and the turn is a total brick.

In this scenario, AA bets for a large sizing always.

Going back to the original hand, villain has checked twice, so surely his range should be even weaker than when we bet the turn on a brick?

In other words, I'm struggling to see exactly why AA is so much weaker on a Qs9x7x 8s 2x runout where the only bet was 1/3 pot on the flop, than on a Q97r2 turn.

I suppose its because villain is going for a check/raise a lot on the river, but I don't fully understand this either - when we check back turn we mostly have give ups and showdown value, so with his nutty hands I would expect him to lead river for a large sizing to charge our A9s/QJs type hands.

July 18, 2019 | 2:41 p.m.

Thanks for the replies. I gave OOP the option to lead river for 33% and 90% in the original sim.

So if I'm understanding correctly, the idea is that OOP is supposed to lead his good but not great hands very often, and so when he checks he has give ups and check/raises, which is why we don't want to always vbet AA?

July 18, 2019 | 2:35 p.m.

I just ran a sim for a BTN vs CO 3bet pot. The button cbets AA on Q97r, and mostly checks it back on an 8 turn which brings a flush draw. On an offsuit 2 river, PIO sometimes checks and sometimes bets AA, and I can't understand why.

Especially the way the hand played out, I would have thought it would be well above our value threshold.

Is it that in theory if we bet all our potential value bets we don't have enough bluffs, and therefore villain should always fold his bluffcatchers?

If so, can we safely ignore this vs humans?

Here is the output for the river. To recap - we 3bet BTN vs CO, cbet 1/3 on flop, check back turn, and are now deciding whether or not to bet river for 75% pot.

July 17, 2019 | 1:42 p.m.

Thanks for the great replies. I sometimes find it difficult to take a step back when looking at PIO output because the results are so complex, but I'm starting to understand it more.

It seems like this board, as PrankCall said, is one we want to be polar on, which makes a lot of sense - SDV type hands don't want to bloat the pot when the board is going to change so often on the turn or the river, and so we c/r strong hands and hands that give us nutty hands on various runouts.

On this board it looks like we c/r 13% or so, but its pretty much all TPTK + and draws.

And from looking through some sims I've run previously, it seems like PIO isn't c/ring bottom pair nearly as often as I thought - I think when you first find out about it its so different to the way poker used to be played that instances of c/ring bottom pair stand out in your memory because they are so unusual, so I suspect I that notice their presence far more than their absence, which is an interesting cognitive bias!

July 16, 2019 | 4:06 p.m.

Is the reason for betting Q2 specifically that the 2 doesn't block any of his obvious continues - Tx, 7x, 65, KJ, 98, etc, making it a better stab than say Q8?

Also, I've been trying to think more about how to study PIO in the way you suggest by understanding combo choice, but often I end up just seeing that "Sometimes PIO does X, other times in situations that look similar, it does Y".

I posted a thread about it here, if you have a chance to have a look and have any tips that'd be great.

July 13, 2019 | 3:42 p.m.

Post | sirin posted in NLHE: Understanding PIO combo selection.

I often have trouble understanding nuances in PIO's strategy.

For example, I just looked at the following simple situation:

Button opens, I defend BB with Ac5d.

Flop comes Jd9d5s.

Button bets 1/3.

Now I know from other spots I've looked at in PIO that it often likes to check/raise bottom pairs, especially vs a smaller sizing.

And I felt in game like having a diamond would make it a little bit more of a check/raise than not having one, since it gives us a small bit more equity, and blocks a few more of his continues.

But when I ran the sim, I see that A5o, with or without a diamond, is never a check/raise on this board.

So now I'm struggling to see how to apply this to my game.

Sometimes PIO check/raises bottom pair vs a small cbet, sometimes it doesn't. Its hard to know what to do with this information in game.

I'm curious to hear how people go about understanding these situations.

July 13, 2019 | 3:39 p.m.

Yeah for sure of course I adjust based on exploitable reads, and I understand that GTO is only a framework for understanding the game theoretically, based on which we deviate when facing real opponents.

What I find interesting about the chess analogy is that even in a game which has been as extensively studied an analysed as chess, there are still opportunities for massive deviations from optimal play while playing against the best players in the world.

Much of the conventional wisdom around exploits in poker revolves around understanding the equilibrium and then deviating slightly based on our reads, so if we think someone is a little hesitant to pull the trigger, we fold a few extra combos of bluffcatchers on the river, that sort of thing. Or maybe we defend a few extra % in the BB vs someone who we expect to let us get to showdown too often.

But it sounds like the chess thing is more along the lines of what Nuno mentioned - having a limp only strategy at six max. IE making plays PIO makes 0% of the time, because we have thought about the implications of this and villain won't have.

July 9, 2019 | 1:49 p.m.

My post inspired by the musings:

July 7, 2019 | 2:35 a.m.

Apologies for posting in the HSNL forum, but I thought this was interesting in the light of the latest Uri Peleg video.

Uri talks about how at HSNL there is much more raising in 3bet pots than PIO would suggest, and I read the link below just after, and thought it seems relevant.

Apparently Magus Carlsen is better than ever after studying the chess equivalent of PIO and using it not to perfect a GTO style, but to do the opposite. If I understand it correctly he is sacrificing a large % of his EV in order to bring opponents into a situation he has studied which they haven't, because it deviates wildly from "GTO".

Would love to hear some thoughts about how this applies to poker.

July 7, 2019 | 2:35 a.m.

At 12.20, you mention the possibility of raising QJ7r when we call a 3bet BTN vs SB and face a 1/3 pot bet. From what I can see PIO never takes this line (less than 1%).

Of course PIO isn't everything and there could be good reasons for raising, I'm just curious how you would go about adding a raising range and why?

FWIW PIO has SB cbetting 1/3 over 95%, so the raise isn't going to be likely to exploit overcbetting. Is it that that you expect him to underdefend vs the raise, or that our value hands should be able to get more money into the pot by raising?

June 29, 2019 | 6:11 p.m.

Comment | sirin commented on Showdown Value Bluffs

No more videos?

June 8, 2019 | 5:57 p.m.

Interesting, I presume you mean vs 3x raise?

May 23, 2019 | 11:32 a.m.

Thanks, I actually missed that it was SB vs CO, which is interesting. But actually I'm more interested in studying more common spots so I probably would have changed it to BB defence anyway!

May 22, 2019 | 10:06 p.m.

Interesting, thanks for that. I usually try to stick to one sizing so that I don't get halfway through studying a spot only to find that actually half of his range is in the other size and I have to start over again, so I try to pick a reasonable size.

Do you always use two sizes? Maybe 4x is big enough that it would work as a sort of compromise between 3x and 5x.

May 22, 2019 | 7:27 p.m.

Cool thanks for the reply, I know there's lots of cards that improve the flop check/raiser's betting frequency, I've just never seen anywhere near as high as 98!

May 22, 2019 | 7:25 p.m.

May 22, 2019 | 2:13 p.m.

I feel like I must have made a mistake in the setup but I can't see what it is.

I'm looking at a hand that was posted in the HSNL thread on two plus two, hand is here if anyone is curious

So basically CO opens, BB defends, flop is T32 two tone, and BB c/r vs a 1/3 pot cbet.

BTN calls.

Turn is a 4, so obviously a good card for the BB. But in my SIM PIO is barreling almost 100% of the time, which makes me think I've done something wrong, but I can't see what.

Are there situations where we check/raise flop and barrel almost 100% of our range on certain turns? Its not something I've seen before.

May 22, 2019 | 2:12 p.m.

When you defend T5o BvB vs a 3x - I notice the player didn't have a full stack, did you call because he is likely to be a weaker player, or are you calling this vs an unknown with a full stack too?

April 24, 2019 | 2:39 p.m.

Comment | sirin commented on Equity Distribution

Great video, but I'm a bit confused about another situation - when both players have the same nut combos, but one player has more equity.

So for example on 842 rainbow, BB vs BTN.

If we are BB, we don't have a nut advantage, since both of us have all the sets, and we don't have an equity advantage, since BTN has all the overpairs.

Does this mean we should not be check/raising our sets?

Typically when I check/raise as the BB, I think "I am polar here so I should use a large sizing", and so I check/raise my sets and try to balance them with strong backdoor draws, but what I'm seeing from this video, if I understand correctly, is that its not enough to be polar, we also need our opponent to be capped.

I also don't really understand the more merged check/raise from this point of view. Like, I understand why we want to check/raise A8, for protection/value, but why are we "allowed" to do it when we have neither an equity or a nut advantage?

April 22, 2019 | 6:26 p.m.

Yeah that makes a lot of sense. I'm new to PIO so it can be a bit overwhelming, thanks for the reply.

April 19, 2019 | 12:09 a.m.

Comment | sirin commented on Showdown Value Bluffs

Hey man, I've posted a thread about a review I was doing that's sort of inspired by this video, just in case you have time to have a look.

April 18, 2019 | 10:25 p.m.

Post | sirin posted in NLHE: Hand selection in PIO, BvB.

Inspired by Uri Peleg's excellent first video, I've been trying to understand more of PIO's hand selection choices, and I've found one I can't explain.

The set up is BvB when we open, check, and face a bet. I've given BB two sizing options - 30% and 75%. The board is T94s.

What I notice is that when he bets large, we pretty much always check/raise J4s, and the other 4x combos are mostly a check.

But when he bets small, A4s becomes the most check/raised 4x, and J4s is a check/call much more often.

Could the reason be something to do with not wanting to raise J4s vs a smaller sizing because the SPR will be more difficult?

Here are the relevant nodes:

April 18, 2019 | 10:25 p.m.

Comment | sirin commented on Showdown Value Bluffs

"having your turn calling range be 95% bluffcatchers and 5% draws is not the best idea. At some point having more bluffcatchers becomes a bit useless."

  • That's a lightbulb moment for me, thanks!

April 13, 2019 | 9:16 a.m.

Comment | sirin commented on Showdown Value Bluffs

Really great video, it was really interesting to see you go into detail on the reasoning behind things - you are correct that most people gloss over stuff like the reason for betting bottom pairs as PFR, I've seen other video makers mention it, and either they said or I presumed that the reason was to triple barrel bluff blocking sets.

One question - at 27.00, we are looking at your decision as IP when villain has bet twice and checked river on AJ39rQ. I see that we have 54o about half the time, and that we generally just give up with it.

I don't think I ever get to the river with it, but if I do I'm always bluffing, because it would feel weak and pointless to call twice with 5 high and give up (I'm aware that this is not solid reasoning of course!)

I'm guessing that the reason we check back is because the Q is so good for his bluffs, and that we would in fact bluff it on more bricky rivers?

In general I struggle to see how to apply these situations to my own game, because when I see stuff like "PIO calls twice with the nut low gutshot IP" I presume a lot of the reason is for board coverage so that we can have the nuts on certain runouts, or to balance super advanced bluffs that PIO does vs itself that I don't need to worry about.

From a practical point of view in small to midstakes games, am I giving up too much by just folding turn in these spots, and shrugging when I see them in review?

April 12, 2019 | 7:07 p.m.

11.36 - SB opens A4s, checks every st on KJQJ3. You say you like checking down 77, especially vs a pool that doesn't find a bluff with A4s. I thought that paired boards in BvB changed the thresholds for thin valuebetting and strong bluffing, since its harder for us to have a pair when there's only 4 cards on the board we could have hit instead of 5, so I would usually check all A highs here because we have lots of worse hands that can bluff. I also feel like we're not folding out anything worse unless we bet huge - pairs will just call, so our A high bluffs really just fold out hands we are ahead of. Is this too nitty an approach?

March 8, 2019 | 6:04 p.m.

At 6.30 we open BTN and BB defends, flop is J32s, you say this is a relatively low EV board for us, which surprised me. Is it that he has more two pairs combos? Even so, we have all the overpairs and TPTK, and we have more flush draws than him.

I know there are some narrow range spots where BB having the two pairs is really important (UTG open vs BB defend for example), but I had presumed that this wasn't as relevant BTN vs BB where ranges are so wide, so I've been betting this board 100% for a small size. Is this a mistake?

March 8, 2019 | 5:56 p.m.

Comment | sirin commented on Monotone Boards

Thanks maybe I'll contact you in future but I'm not looking for a coach at the moment I was just trying to figure out if I was using the program right.

March 6, 2019 | 11:54 p.m.

Comment | sirin commented on Monotone Boards

Hey John, nice video. I'm new to PIO and trying to learn by running the same sims myself, but using my own ranges/sizings. In this one, I used my SB vs BTN 3bet range for 100bb cash games, with no ante, and the results I got were very different - OOP cbetting about 45% of the time.

Obviously I made some changes to the setup, tighter ranges, only one (small) betsize, but it still seems like a huge discrepancy. It would be great if you could take a look at the setup and see if I've done something wrong. (The only other difference is that I have it set to round strategies to 1/10 to make it easier to look at)

March 6, 2019 | 5:24 p.m.

Really enjoying these videos, but I have a beginners PIO question - I'm trying to follow along at home and run the same spots. At 20.32, I can see how you have set up the sim for the spot where we 3bet from the SB and are deciding whether to bet. But in your sim, unless I misunderstood, you have OOP and IP mixed up - OOP (the SB 3bettor) has no bet sizes on the flop, only raises, and its IP which has bets and raises. Does it not matter, or am I misunderstanding something?

March 3, 2019 | 4:11 p.m.

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