whiteshark's avatar


11 points

Is online poker illegal in Belgium? Can't be, right? Or is it just that people within your specific profession should not play online? The story that you are telling seems pretty outrageous to me to be honest.

Jan. 20, 2021 | 9:49 a.m.

As the PFR, you in turn profit from dry boards (which preserve the range advantage of your uncapped range) and high cards (which connect welll with the upper part of range and increase your range advantage). On such kind of boards, your c-bet frequencies should go up.

Jan. 18, 2021 | 5:11 a.m.

I agree with A7o being a pure fold from MP. In general, even with a reasonable opening range from MP, this is a flop that you want to check with a very high frequency vs. a BB call. The BB 3bets his premium holdings (AA-JJ, AK, AQs), folds his trash, and calls a lot of marginal hands for thin value and pot odds like (AJo, KQo, KJs, QJs, JTs, T9s). You can see that, as a rule of thumb, middling cards are good for the BB and this flop actually completely smashes his calling range. On the flop and turn, this is simply a give up.

Jan. 18, 2021 | 5:08 a.m.

Blinds: $0.01/$0.02 (6 Players) BN: $3.54
SB: $0.65
BB: $1.46
UTG: $3.08 (Hero)
MP: $2.04
CO: $3.19
Preflop ($0.03) Hero is UTG with J J
Hero raises to $0.06, 2 folds, BN calls $0.06, SB calls $0.05, BB folds
Flop ($0.20) 4 2 3
SB checks, Hero checks, BN bets $0.07, SB folds, Hero raises to $0.22, BN calls $0.15
Turn ($0.64) 4 2 3 7
Hero bets $0.39, BN calls $0.39
River ($1.42) 4 2 3 7 A
Hero bets $0.34, BN raises to $1.37, Hero folds

Jan. 17, 2021 | 2:04 p.m.

I could understand your feelings in a tough game where some solid regs battle each other whith no big edges and coolers dominating short- and even mid-term results. My impression is however that on almost all stakes, there are quite some weaker players against which winrates are not generated by coolers and getting coolered.

I guess your question tabs a bit deeper though and feels like it's of existential nature. In the end, we're playing a card game here, yes. But it's a card game that created a whole culture, if not world, with thousands of people in it that I appreciate having on my mind and around me and that keeps amazing people for centuries. So I'm completely fine with coolering and getting coolered :-)

Jan. 15, 2021 | 8:15 a.m.

RaoulFlush what would be your approach here on the flop where AKo misses?

Jan. 15, 2021 | 8:09 a.m.

Hand History | whiteshark posted in NLHE: AKo called 3bet oop, missed flop
Blinds: $0.01/$0.02 (6 Players) BN: $9.66
SB: $2.19
BB: $2.09
UTG: $3.10 (Hero)
MP: $2.00
CO: $2.03
Preflop ($0.03) Hero is UTG with A K
Hero raises to $0.06, 2 folds, BN raises to $0.18, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.12
Flop ($0.39) 3 T 9
Hero checks, BN bets $0.21, Hero folds

Jan. 15, 2021 | 6:33 a.m.

Alright, these reasons are lined out really well and all make sense to me. I will get into the solver within the next 1-2 days and get back to this thread with a response.

Jan. 12, 2021 | 8:23 a.m.

Hi guys, I recently came across Episode 9 on polarized flop raising. The episode is great but it raised a rather particular question for me regarding the role of our nut flush draws when constructing polarized raising ranges oop.

So Peter begins right with the first hand example, where we hit a nut flush draw BB vs. BU on 8h7h2h. He then lines out that our value range wants value here right away, which is why we construct a raising range that we back up with some bluffs and that the nut FD would be a nice candidate. Honestly, this very much confuses me as I would regard Ah5s as a much too strong hand here to c/r bluff with. We have 9 outs to the flush, 3 outs to top pair and several outs for BDSDs plus at least slight SDV.

Actually, in the Grinder's Manual he himself lines out that one crucial factor for bluff candidates in polarized raising ranges needs to be that they can easily fold to a 3-bet without having much equity denied. If we raise our nut flush draws and get 3-bet, I would characterize this as a disaster. I dislike going broke here and folding out such a chunk of equity seems tremendous.

I evaluated a similar flop 9d6d2d BU vs. BB in GTO+. While it does develop a polarized raising range on this flop, it would also largely play nut flush draws as a call.

Regarding the initial hand example of Peter Clarke: My approach would be to raise sets and 87s for value here and weaker FDs (Jx and lower) with the aim to fold to a 3bet. What are your thoughts here? In essence: Where do nut flush draws go in polarized c/r ranges?

Jan. 11, 2021 | 4:37 p.m.

Hi all, together with a study partner I am currently studying overall c-betting frequencies from a variety of positions (in position and oop). On quite some boards, the in position open raiser (and to a lesser extent oop) is supposed to range bet his entire range with the solver c-betting 99% of all holdings in theory.

We are asking ourselves what the lowest betting frequency should be that we simplify to a range c-bet in our own summaries. Currently, we simplify to a range bet if we are supposed to bet >85% in theory. Does this cutoff value seem appropriate? How do you guys approach this?

Jan. 11, 2021 | 3:43 p.m.

Just keep in mind that the rakeback at Party is calculated per week and really only relevant for high volume grinders. If you're playing regular tables, especially if you grind NL2-NL10, be sure to inform yourself how much hands you need to put in within a week to qualify for rakeback.

Jan. 11, 2021 | 2:09 p.m.

Nice. Be sure to inform us once it's up and at which channel we can watch it ;-)

Jan. 11, 2021 | 8:53 a.m.

Will the stream be available later on as well? Or do we have to watch live?

Jan. 11, 2021 | 8:39 a.m.

Regarding OP's question: I think there are quite some reasons why you should or shouldn't play on certain sites vs. others and I can elaborate on my personal decision. So I guess the very first question is whether you want to play Zoom tables or not. Since I am going for Zoom currently, a couple of sites actually drop out for me:

iPoker network: Only offers their Zoom variant at NL20 with limited action at times.

Party Poker: Doesn't allow players from my country to download their hand histories. Since this is crucial for developing my game, it drops out as well.

GGPoker/Natural 8: The only two sites I know that take preflop rake even for 3bet pots without a flop. Amounts to quite some rake paid and should also reflect in your preflop gameplan (less 3betting, hgiher incentive structure to develop flatting ranges)

888Poker: Sadly rather few traffic on the Zoom tables.

After evaluating all this I, ironically, came to the conclusion that the best thing for me currently is just staying on Stars.

Jan. 11, 2021 | 8:15 a.m.

Comment | whiteshark commented on A Stoic's Journal

Nice, good luck mate! What are your goals besides moving up stakes? What are you studying to develop your game? Cheers.

Jan. 5, 2021 | 6:39 p.m.

What's the reasoning behind your flop sizing? Multiway on this board I will bet very selective as it connects well with both of Villains' ranges and I'd go with a rather big sizing. Why less than 1/3 pot?

Jan. 2, 2021 | 10:42 a.m.

Yep I looked into this a bit closer with a buddy of mine. We studied 149 flops and a more extensive game tree and we also found quite some boards on which the BU is incentivized to bet >85% of hands. So yes, I do think that my initial results were also just due to my simplification of the game tree.

Dec. 28, 2020 | 8:42 p.m.

Thanks a lot for clarifying this!

Dec. 25, 2020 | 1:04 p.m.

To put this reasoning into practice: On a flop like 8d6d2s when playing BU vs. BB, as the BU we don't have a strong nut advantage neither is this flop particularly dry, however we will have a lot of 6x and 2x that profit from making the BB fold a hell lot of overcards.

So here although there is no strong nut advantage and this flop is rather wet, we go for a range c-bet as determined by the incentive of our marginal hands to c-bet.

Dec. 25, 2020 | 1:02 p.m.

Thanks a lot lllCitanul for taking the time to elaborate. The point that range c-bets are driven by the incentive of marginal made hands to bet is interesting. I am trying to make sense of why the incentive of marginal hands to bet should drive our decision to range c-bet:

In the Upswing poker lab, Doug Polk categorizes all hands into four types. 1) Value hands, 2) Marginal hands, 3) Good Air/Draws, 4) Weak air.

  1. So in general, as the PFR, we have an uncapped range and hence on almost every flop we have some portion of value hands (Category 1) that we want to bet with (given that we don't completely block Villains' calling range e.g. with top set on a dry flop where we check back our whole range).
  2. We usually back up these value c-bets with some good air/draws like overcards, (back door) flush and straight draws (Category 3). Up until here we have a standard polarized betting strategy.
  3. Now if we aim to bet strong hands and good bluffs on flops where we want to develop a c-betting range in the first place, then basically what we do with marginal made hands determines the overall strategy with almost all of our holdings. If our marginal made hands have an incentive to bet (as on A84r), we now already bet everything from Category 1 to Category 3 and turn this into a range bet with all our holdings. If our marginal made hands don't have an incentive to bet (e.g. on AK4r), then we are only left with bets from Category1/Category3 hands and are polarized.

Summary: So since we always c-bet value hands and good bluffs (given that we don't check back our entire range), it is the strategy of marginal made hands that determines whether we range bet or not.

Is this reasoning right? Or are there other reasons for placing the decision over selective vs. unselective betting on our marginal hands?

Dec. 25, 2020 | 12:57 p.m.

Sent you a PM.

Dec. 25, 2020 | 6:27 a.m.

I am currently studying Episode 7 on selective vs. unselective c-betting of the From the Ground Up course. I loved the episode and I do feel like I aquired an understanding of when to range c-bet as BU vs. BB in SRPs and when to go for a selective/polarized strategy. The general idea that Peter Clarke outlines is that the BB (preflop caller, capped) starts with an equity disadvantage vs. the BU's uncapped opening range and seeks for any kind of flop that has equalization potential.

So BU prefers:
1. high card flops that interconnect well with opening range (increasing range advantage)
2. dry flops that leave little room for the BB to catch up (preserving range advantage)

The BB in turn prefers middling cards and connected boards on which he can equalize Hero's value hands, most often of the one pair type, through a lot of two pair combos and flush/straight draws.

Peter Clarke's take on high card/dry flops:
On favorable flops for the BU where we have equity and nut advantage such as Q73r or AK3r, Peter Clarke advocates for a range c-bet of 1/3 potsize with all of BU's holdings. He even explicitly states that "a solver would endorse these strategies".

I ran these flops in Pio in order to train myself in when to range c-bet vs. when to go for selective betting. The issue is that basically no matter what kind of flop texture I insert (even the most favorable boards for the BU such as HHLr), Pio chooses a selective strategy, never goes for a range c-bet, and checks back up to 40% of the opening range. This pattern is robust for different boards, range widths, and allowed bet sizes (only 33%, 33% and 67%).

My best take on this is that we humans need to simplify and go for range bets even with wide ranges when the spot is favorable while a solver has no reason to simplify. Still, that seems to contradict the episode of FTGU. What's your take on this? Here's a solution for a AK3r flop.

Dec. 24, 2020 | 1:36 p.m.

Blinds: $0.01/$0.02 (6 Players) BN: $3.59
SB: $1.65
BB: $3.35
UTG: $2.00
MP: $4.08
CO: $2.20 (Hero)
Preflop ($0.03) Hero is CO with 3 A
UTG folds, MP calls $0.02, Hero raises to $0.08, 3 folds, MP raises to $0.14, Hero calls $0.06
Flop ($0.31) 4 J 9
MP bets $0.30, Hero calls $0.30
Turn ($0.91) 4 J 9 5
MP bets $0.88, Hero calls $0.88
River ($2.67) 4 J 9 5 4
MP checks, Hero checks

Dec. 24, 2020 | 1:01 p.m.

Thanks! Good point that ATdd might not fold out much better here, maybe some AK-AJ with no spades. As played would you barell turn and river or c/c?

Dec. 24, 2020 | 8:16 a.m.

Hand History | whiteshark posted in NLHE: oop Flop c/r bluff turns into value hand
Blinds: $0.01/$0.02 (6 Players) BN: $0.83
SB: $2.15
BB: $2.00 (Hero)
UTG: $3.19
MP: $2.25
CO: $10.09
Preflop ($0.03) Hero is BB with A T
UTG folds, MP raises to $0.06, 3 folds, Hero calls $0.04
Flop ($0.13) 8 2 3
Hero checks, MP bets $0.07, Hero raises to $0.22, MP calls $0.15
Turn ($0.57) 8 2 3 A
Hero checks, MP bets $0.28, Hero calls $0.28
River ($1.13) 8 2 3 A 7
Hero checks, MP checks

Dec. 24, 2020 | 5:56 a.m.

Alright guys thanks for your input!

Dec. 18, 2020 | 12:19 p.m.

Post | whiteshark posted in NLHE: Zoom vs. regular tables

Hi everyone, I am currently wondering whether I should grind in the Zoom pool or rather play on regular tables.

I guess the decision between the two depends on several factors. Currently my main focus is really just to become better at the game and develop a theoretical understanding for as many spots as I can. I am not planning to build up a bankroll right now at NL2-NL10. Once I am beating a limit over a reasonable sample size, I just move up, potentially with an additional deposit.

My personal hunch is that for the learning process, Zoom tables should be preferable since I am playing way more hands and thus train myself in more diverse scenarios and spots as on regular tables. In terms of winrate (and building a bankroll), regular tables should be more profitable in order to target weaker players. I guess my preferred game type should be Zoom right now, but I'm eager to hear your opinion.

Are there any other notable differences between the two?

Dec. 18, 2020 | 7:51 a.m.

Hey man great to see that you are turning being card dead into something positive and don't get overwhelmed by it!

I very much like the way you are formulating goals. Many people make the mistake to formulate "wishes" rather than "goals" (e.g. I want to rise to limit X in 2021) which they cannot control due to variance. Their satisfaction that comes with realizing or not realizing their "goal" is thus governed by random factors that don't lie in their hands. Your goals are process-orientated, just how it's done ;-)

Enjoy the process!

Dec. 17, 2020 | 6:53 p.m.

Okay, it's actually a nice way to think about a light 3-better behind us the same way as if we would just sit in an earlier position. We still open the strong hands for value, but our semi-steals to win X+1.5BB basically just don't work that well since we're going to take the pot down less often. Naturally, a tighter range goes with a bigger sizing and hence our theoretical adaption would be to open tighter using a bigger sizing.

I do think that there are several possibilities for exploits here (e.g. the one you suggested where we tighten our range but use the same sizing OR the alternative line in the manual were the range is kept constant but the sizing is decreased). I will experiment a bit with both approaches, but I'll take your advice that the most straightforward adaption is probably just to tighten our range while not making immediatly obvious by simultaneously keeping our size constant.

Dec. 15, 2020 | 2:31 p.m.

So I worked through Episode 2 of the course today and the accompanying chapter in the Grinder's manual. I understand the reasons for how we construct our ranges in order to generate value, thin the field and (semi-) steal with hands that only have marginal equity against Villain's calling range but good playability.

One topic that didn't come up so much in the course but in the Grinder's manual is the kind of adjustments that we make against light 3betters behind us. In general, I think there are two types of adjustments:

  1. Open a tighter range. This range will be easier to defend against 3bets from regulars and in essence, we will need to fold a smaller portion of our opening range, making 3bets behind us less effective. In this adjustment: We open and then fold out less hands.
  2. Use a smaller sizing. In essence, a smaller sizing will need less fold equity to be profitable and we give our raise a better price. Here, we would open and fold out (against 3bets) the exact same hands as in our default range but for a lower sizing, making our folds cheaper.

Both adjustments seem solid. What I am asking myself is if there are any factors that determine when to choose what? When to reduce the range of hands we open? When to keep our opening range fixed but reduce our sizing? Do these adjustments go hand in hand?

Dec. 11, 2020 | 2:40 p.m.

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