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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Great Poker

I'm really playing the best poker of my life in the past couple of weeks. I'm even scheming about moving up and taking shots again. I can't even remember the last time I did that.

I've regained my confidence and am playing full stack again. And it's true about the things I've said in the past, I can't play as many tables (dropped down to 6 from 8) and my rakeback is much lower, but I'm winning more money. There is a place for mid stacking and I would recommend it, but if there are fish out there, deep stacking is the way to go. Playing mid stack also has helped me know how to exactly play against anyone with a 40-65 bbs too. It has given me 2-3 months of experience playing at those stacks.

Since rejoining the full stack I've won 23 bb/100. Sure, it's only been 7.5k hands, but I'm not even running hot (only 1.5 buy ins above expected value). I just feel that I'm manipulating pots in position very well and getting people to do what I want them to.

I've just put together all the things I've learned in the past year and combined it all (from videos and my experiements and my theories) and it works! I am so surprised that it really does work.


Bet larger OOP

I had a theory before, which I wrote in an earlier post about raising more in early position than on the button. This came from my hearing and learning that if you 3bet from the blinds you should be 3betting higher since you're at a positional disadvantage. Well if it's true for blind 3betting situations, it should apply to early and later position opens.

I open to 4BB UTG and UTG+1. I raise to 3 in CO and BTN. I will raise to 2.5 on BTN if the person has 30BB or less. (the strength of my hand is never revealed even though I vary my bet sizes, it's based on position, not card strength).

I also have made a new theory since that one worked out very well. The deeper you are the more you should 3bet OOP.

Again, this is to counteract their positional advantage. Compare being 90BBs deep to 150BBs deep. If the button raises your SB to 3.5BB, I would 3bet it to 12.5 to 13BBs and that's real tough for him to call, even with position if he doesn't have much. However if we are 150BBs deep, he has a little bit of an easier call, therefore you must raise it up even more, to say 14BB. Looks crazy, sounds crazy, but I truly believe this is how you should play it. (Against good regs you'll have to balance your range and do this with your best hands too, but vs weaker players I might do 14 with my 2nd tier hands and 13 with say AA).

Bet sizing

Boy, I can write so much about bet-sizing. I've learned a ton. Everything is so situation specific, but I'll try to give some generalities.

Big cbets - I would do this with so-so draws things that don't have much show down value. You can hit something later or you can take it down.

ie, 237 and you have 56. pot is 6. I would follow up my open with a cbet of 5. If you get reraised you can easily fold it without any worry. If you get called you still have fours as outs or even perhaps your 5 or 6. You can't make a half assed size bet b/c they might call with just overcards. The line also makes sense because if i have an overpair i could very easily play it this way as well.

I also do slightly larger cbets with players who are bigger calling stations. This should be obvious. I will also do more dbl barrels vs these players if the turn card is suddenly an A, K or Q.

I will also do larger cbets if I have a lock hand and the board is fit or fold.

ie, AK8 and I have KK. Obviously people are not going to take this board lightly. They need a very strong hand or draw to continue. If the pot is 7 I would bet something like 5.75 and pray they have an ace, 88, or a flush draw. Betting 5.75, 5, or 4 makes no difference with the hands they will call with. If they are calling (or raising) they'll do it with any of those 3 numbers, so build the pot.

but do you see how having AA on AK8 compltely changes things? I would be very reluctant to bet big now. You've basically killed all chances of top pair, which is usually the most likely holdings. If you crush someone's top pair ranges then you can't expect them to continue. In this case I would either check or make a really tiny inducer bet to hope that they reraise it. If the pot was 7, I'd bet 3 or I'd check it. Perhaps check if they are not very aggressive and induce bet if they are.

Betting small, obv. when the board is dry, or the person has a high fold to cbet number. On ace flops people generally play more regular so your bets don't have to be as large, but I find that I will still have to be semi large against calling stations.

Putting people on ranges and sticking to it

This is the one thing that has helped my OOP play a ton. Position helps you so much that people people on ranges is not as important. Once you lose that positional crutch, putting someone on a range is so important. You need to put people on a range in order to make the tighter EV plays.

For example today I had AQ in early and raised to my standard 4 UTG and got a MP caller. MP was loose preflop and also called my opens pretty loosely. The BB also called.

The flop was AXX all hearts. A scary flop that is a mixed blessing. I have top pair, 2nd best kicker, but on a very scary board, multiway.

Blind checked, I checked, MP bet around 11.50 into 12 and BB folded. Time to put hands on him.

AK, AX, Flush draw, some monster hand (2p, trips or the flush). Okay, so he is loose so he almost never has AK, he has AX way more often. I also do not think multiway he would bet pot if he has the made flush (even low ones, or 2p).

Versus a normal player I wouldn't be able to take AK out of the equation and this would make a very tough decision (AK calling in position is a regular move), but because I was able to take that out, it made his bet size and the possibility of trips such a remote possibility that I was able to reraise him to 36 and he found a fold.

Table selection

All tables that have lower than 24 average VPIP get filtered out.
All tables that have smaller than 5BB average pot get filtered out.

Table continuation

If someone continually has my number (caught me in big bluffs, constantly catching me opening lightly, winning a few flips) I leave.

If the table falls under 20VPIP average without a fish at the table I leave.

If the table drops to 4 handed, I leave.

If there are two top 25 regulars at my table, I leave.

posted by joe | permalink | 1 comments


At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Marko said...

however, some pros advise not to play big OOP. They say they bet more when in position and less (for about 1 BB) OOP, because they don't like to play big pots out of position.


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