"The mission of the BQ Digest is to inform and entertain our readers"
"Mikes007, BumbleBee99, WhyDoWe_Fall, PapaPyrite, Bona"
Welcome to the BQ Digest. We hope you find useful information and some entertainment in this issue. Whether you like the digest or not we solicit your feedback. We are most likely to improve if you ask us to.
Leroy_Jenkins is our poster of the month. The Digest is challenging (Doc) Mcneese72 to expand his horizons, and we are inviting our readers to play along. We are grateful to have an article from down under, ala OziBattler. Thanks for your contribution Ozi.
In this issue Mike discusses blind defense, Auntie WDW_F suggests if we want to succeed we might have to work at it !! Bee has a few comments about his slacking off for the month and the Olympic games in his home town. PapaPyrite, Wafflehouse1, and Bona contribute their experience with home games. All in all a good issue we think and we hope you will enjoy it.
We are pleased to introduce POTM Leroy_Jenkins45. Leroy introduces himself in his own words.
BQ Digest Poster of the Month;Leroy_Jenkins45
I was asked to be poster of the month. I am honored. I do think there are a lot better posters than me , but they must be busy lol. So I'll take it.
I started playing poker only 2 years ago or so. I just kind of stumbled into it. I was instantly hooked. I knew I sucked , but I also knew that this was a game that could be beat. I just didn't know how to beat it.
That's how I found 2+2. I still sucked for about another year lol. Struggling to beat 2nl.
I will come back to /\ in a moment. I am very much a recreational player. I have a well paying job , and can afford to deposit enough to play around 50nl or so. I have not done this because I have always said that if I am good enough to play that game , then I am good enough to get there on my own. I just didn't know it would take so long. Haha. Poker is not an easy way to make money. There are a lot of good players out there.
Anyhow...struggling at the 2nl
I posted a hail Mary to decide my fate. I asked if there was hope. Bumblebee99 and Spacebat told me to chin up and get back in there. They gave me a few threads to read. I did exactly as I was told and started winning
. I made enough to move up to 5nl. I was winning there for about a month , then bam... Black Friday
. I still wanted to play , so I put $20 on merge and have been there since. I have rolled my $20 up to around $800. Better than that , I have made a lot of really cool poker friends. However I am still playing 10nl due to hiring a coach and buying action that didn't quite return on my money. Gg bros
. Anyhow, I am far from where I would like to be , but also far from being a fish
. I am tough enough to see when someone better than me is at the table lol and that's a big step imo. Lately I have not put in much volume at all because of work and family obligations. It will probably have to wait until winter before I can really get back into the grind again.
That's about the extent of my pokering. I know. Cool story Bro. Lol. Not very exciting , but I would still call it a success. Merge games are tough. I honestly feel that the guys at merge are the toughest micro players in the world. So if you really want to test out your skills , come there. I'll see you at the tables
The editors have chosen to to challenge a regular poster to step out of his comfort zone in August.
THE DIGEST CHALLENGE:
Your Digest editors are challenging MCNeese72 aka "Doc" to play NLHE in the month of August. Many of you know Doc as a LHE hustler and notorious sandbagger. He is a perennial winner in SHENANIGANS and, we think he may be laughing up his sleeve at the unlimited pokers. Wipe that smile off Doc, and respond to our challenge in this thread.
Your challenge is to commit to a specific number of hands of NLHE played in the month of August. You pick the number above 2000 hands. To succeed at the challenge you must profit over the number of hands selected by at least one bb. Not 1bb/100, just one bb/the whole month. Finally, you must win more than our stalking horse, measured in bb/100. We have selected a top secret stalking horse who will play the same number of hands as you do with results to be compared at the end of the month.
The stakes you play are up to you but cannot be play money or be less than 4NL. The same goes for the stalking horse.
If you are successful at this two step challenge you will win a prize donated by our seriously deluded, strange, yet generous friends, Jughead and Archie, at OuijaPoker.com. Appropriate we think for your first serious venture into the dark side of poker. If you are not successful we will make many jokes at your expense. We may even award the prize to the secret stalking horse so long as you have not learned his identity before September 1st.
Doc: Please post in this thread the number of hands you are going to play. The hands considered in the challenge will be the first hands you play at 4nl or higher NLHE tables of that number. Example: if you commit to 2000 but play 2500, only the results of your first 2000 hands will count for the challenge.
Good luck Doc, on your journey through the dark side.
Play Along With Doc Activity:
Challenge yourself to play along with Doc. Play the same number of hands that Doc commits to and see if you can beat his results. Post your graph and results in the Digest thread. The poster who, following the same rules and restrictions as Doc, beats Doc's results by the most bb/100 will win 4 weeks entry into SHANOOBIGANS tourneys. And by the way, please feel free to join Doc at his tables. He wants your chips.
Well the ‘lads’ and ladies of the digest asked me to put some words together for the digest.
The problem for me at this point in time is that I know myself well enough to know that at this point in time I’m not really the best person to write any in depth poker strategy related posts so I wasn’t sure what to write about. Then it dawned on me, instead of doing a poker strategy related post I could do a poker FORUM strategy related post. Nothing earth shattering, but important stuff none the less for those who want to maximize the time they spend on 2p2.
But first, why don’t I think I’m a great candidate to wow you with poker expertise? It is because I’m not. I consider myself to be a pretty solid player at the low limits but I have reached that stage that many people inevitable get to where they are jaded, burned out and/or just not able to take poker as seriously as they used it. I have also jumped around the games in the last year or so after quite a few years of limit holdem. Reached this somewhat cynical and jaded state as a result of a few things….
Firstly I’ve been playing poker since very late 2004. That’s a pretty long time playing poker really. I was a full ring Limit holdem guy and I ground a $50 deposit via my VISA card (yes, in 2004/2005 that worked!) all the way up from 2c/4c full ring limit and at my peak I was a Pokerstars SuperNova playing as high as playing 24 tables up to and including $3/6 and I had the bankroll to be playing higher if I wanted to. Things were going alright I was supernova – life was grand
But then around 09/10 the worm started to turn. Limit holdem full ring had and continued to get progressive tougher. The small fish pond of limit continued to shrink. My green line started to dip as I had run bad and way more play bad than I care to admit. Then with little warning, Stars killed off the sweet spot (1/2 FR used to get a kick ass deal wrt vpp earn rate) and that meant I had to play more than I was comfortable to be a supernova which of course leads to less playing my A game. The hit was a double whammy as that initial change in VPP rates (Im not talking about the one that just happened at end of 2011) also accelerated the decline in game quality of Full Ring Limit to the point where it wasn’t worth my time playing it for $$ anymore. I lost some coin before figuring all this out and realising that I was losing due to runbad – I realised I wasn’t +EV anymore in my supernova chase so I gave up. Only the very best players made money in those games and apparently I wasn’t one of them anymore.
So I started playing experimenting with other games but mainly PLO. Did okay then got my ass kicked as i tried to push my edges too far. Played whilst drinking and that isn’t a good idea and the swings are insane. Most of mine were down. Doh.
About this time I then realised that I was effectively playing with long term tilt and playing for the wrong reasons. I was chasing money that over the last 6 months to a year (I don’t know how much, at least a few grand or more) year or so which was of course worsened the problem. Scared money is almost always lost money. I also found it pretty hard to play long sessions of poker to win $20 or so when previously I was playing for way more than that. I realised that I needed a total reset. A mulligan. Start Over. Yada yada yada.
Don’t get me wrong and don’t feel sorry for me, I had taken $50 and profited in the range of $15k in terms of winnings and thousands of dollars worth of rewards from the stars store and then gave some of it back to teh poker community as my edge in the game eroded as the other players got better. Other would well have dusted their entire roll in my spot but I withdrew and gave my bank account a nice boost. I enjoyed the good times and was made money from this ‘serious hobby’ that we call poker. I have a great real life job that dwarves any amount I could win or lose at poker)…… but the facts remain that I was clearly tilted, playing drunk too much and burned out and getting outplayed by players who continued to improve whilst I wasn’t. I needed a break and I took it.
So last year I cashed out most of my role and left myself with about $500 of a poker bankroll to play with. I also started playing Battlefield 3 on my PS3 and discovered that its way more fun that poker – that game rocks and I’d rather jeep C4 jihad tanks or take peoples dogtags than checkraise some random on the river with the nuts or air (don’t know what Im talking about – well know you know how all your non-poker friends feel when you talk poker. Hehe). Of course, like poker I can only play BF3 when my kids are tucked in to bed and the wife is happy that I’ve done any household jobs
But yes, I still play poker WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT AND THAT LETS ME ENJOY THE PURITY OF THE GAME AND IS MORE ENJOYABLE NOW because I’m locked into to meeting the requirements of a reward system that is deliberately designed to keep you playing. See, the final and current piece of this little ramble before I get to the point of this post is that Stars then rolled out ZOOM on Android in Australia. This has breathed some life into poker for me and gives me an outlet to relieve boredom during my daily work commute as well as to start at the bottom and work the basics. So every day on my half hour train ride I can 4 table ZOOM NL 6max without a HUD and it feels kinda pure to be HUDLESS. I play on the train because, poker is still more fun for me than listening to idiots talk crap on the train and I’m working a personal challenge – a challenge Im winning btw - to beat ZOOM NL HUDLESS and move up the stakes. This in itself is a potential thread if I can be stuffed writing it. Hehe.
What was my point? Oh it is that, I don’t feel like doing a poker strategy post because I’ve downed tools and getting back into poker starting at the bottom…..but I will to dish some salient advice on poker forum strategy because I know these forums pretty damn well.
HOW TO BE A GOOD POSTER*?
** This is for beginners and similar strategy related forums** YMMV for other forums – being an ******* in some forums is standard but being ‘good at BBV’ isn’t what Im talking about in this post.
Ive been a mod on 2p2 ever since like 2006 (I can’t remember exactly when MrWookie recruited me for microstakes limit forum) and I’ve been modding beginners for a few years as well. I don’t do BBV, NVG, OOT or postcount++ in POG and so much so most of my thousands of posts are in the forums I moderate. And even though these forms are very tame when compared to BBV type forums I’ve seem lots of stuff go down. I’ve seen good posters, I’ve seem bad posters and I’ve seen posters who clearly have no idea about anything poker related. I’ve also seen new posters who’ve had less than stellar starts to their 2p2 adventures truly embrace the forums and go quickly from a noob to an awesome poster.
So what I do know is what makes a good poster and how to smell out a poster with a bad attitude.
ATTITUDE: This is HUGE. This for me is the most singularly important trait of the best posters here. A Good humble and receptive attitude is really key to getting the most out of beginners. If a poster demonstrates they are humble, willing to listen and learn, willing to take and give constructive criticism, willing to help others where they can then I don’t care if they suck at poker because they are trying and learning. I don’t care if they butcher a first hand post cos they can learn from it. I don’t care if they ask a noobie question. Because this is beginners and a starting point for new poker players. Basically you as a poster have a good attitude then you can be helped and this is a win win situation. You get better at poker and the forums becomes a better place if you stick around.
CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM: Related to the above. Good posters do this. Bad posters don’t and bad posters don’t receive constructive criticism well either. You don’t have to sugarcoat your posts but criticism should be constructive. Posting “You are a terrible player and you messed this hand on every street” is not helpful “ but saying “On the flop I your check is terrible because you should have bet the calling station for value etc etc” is better.
DON’T BE TOO THIN SKINNED: this is related to other points and essentially I mean that this is a poker forum, it isn’t ‘Nanna’s Knitting forum’ where if you don’t tell everyone else that that ugly brown jumper they just made is awesome then the mods will tell you to play nice (my wife uses a craft forum where people post what they made and it is expected that everyone else will say it looks great….which means that there will be a whole bunch of people with ugly crap in their houses because they don’t know any better and no one was allowed to tell them what they really thought). This is a poker forum and if you post a hand that you played bad then you should be told so and if you post some bad advice then you should be told so….for your own good and the good of the forum. Sometimes people won’t say stuff in the nicest possible way. Deal with it. Learn from it. Move on. Fighting fire with fire by responding to insults and abuse is not the best way to deal with it and can result in infractions and bans.
DON’T BE A WANKER TO OTHER POSTERS AND DON’T TROLL: Stating the obvious eh, well I need to state it because I’ve seen countless amount of posters deliberately trolling other posters with no useful content. To be blunt, just don’t troll in beginners. Period. No one expects you to blow smoke up the ass of other posters but name calling and other childish behaviour is not on here.
USE THE REPORTING FEATURE: 2p2 has a way that you can report posts, threads or posters that are downright offensive or breaking forum rules. Use it. Mods appreciate you notifying us of these sorts of things so we can deal with in in the appropriate manner. If you aren’t sure the report it and let mods decide. Here is a link on how to use the reporting feature: Link to reporting FAQ
READ THE STICKIES: You know those threads that are permanently stuck at the top of every forum? Read them. My point is probably redundant since if you read the digests you know what the stickies are but none the less, read them, know them and if you have what you think is a question that has been asked a mirrion times before then check the sticky to see if the answer is there. Also feel free to point noobs to the stickies.
WHEN YOU COMMENT IN A POKER STRATEGY THREAD SUCH AS A HAND POST, EXPLAIN YOURSELF: specifying a play without saying WHY you recommend it has very limited value. This applies even when you are the OP. Good posters use +1 infrequently. One way to spot bad posters is that most of their replies are one line responses that do little more than echo previous replies. I’m not saying that just because someone gives short answers that they aren’t awesome at poker but I am saying that explaining why you said shove the river adds more value than just saying ‘shove river make monies’.
POST RELEVANT INFO IN HAND THREADS: There is a bunch of information that are standard when posting a hand and the more info that you post the more likely it is that other posters will be able to give great responses. Sometimes you won’t know what is important and what isn’t but a more experienced player/poster may be able to but they can’t read your mind. So if you think it might be relevant then tell people when you post a hand.
I’m talking about things like give ALL the action, give stack sizes, give any reads or hud stats and…this is important…. POST YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHY YOU PLAYED THE HAND WAY YOU DID OR WHAT YOU WISH YOU DID. This is really important because it helps others identify errors in your thought process which is often where you really get the most value from a thread. Related to this is that when someone asks you something in a thread you start then do your best to reply to it. Oh and by posting your thoughts you might learn about a leak you didn’t realise you had so if you like money and want to win at poker then you;ll want to do this.
This can improve the thread quality and shows you are willing to engage and not just ‘suck knowledge’. It also shows you value peoples responses and just by replying you often will effectively be thanking them for their time.
POST IN THREADS YOU DIDN’T START: Nothing grates some regs and mods more than posters who come off as selfish who are all ‘take’ and no ‘give’. You know the type, the ones who start threads, only ever post in threads they OPed, never help anyone else out and whine and moan because they aren’t doing very well at poker all the while being unthankful, refusing to admit they are wrong and getting all mad cos they can’t win. Don’t’ be like these guys – these guys don’t last long here because eventually people ‘give up’ on them and start trolling them or ignoring them so they either leave quietly or go out with a bang whilst being utterly convinced that 2p2 sucks. In other words, if all you do is TAKE TAKE TAKE and don’t give back the community then don’t be surprised or angry when people realise this and give you the cold shoulder.
Oh and by posting in other threads you just might learn about a leak you didn’t realise you had so if you like money and want to win at poker then you’ll want to do this.
GET TO KNOW YOUR REGS: By this I mean that if you can figure out who are the good posters then you can know who to ‘trust’ when it comes to posts. There are some posters who are great at poker. Figure out who they are and use this knowledge.
DO YOUR OWN DAMN STUDY: Yes that is right. Other posters can help you but if you aren’t prepared to do some hard yards then you have no right to expect others to do them for you. Studying can include anything that will help you get better at poker. What is right for me is not necessarily right for you. Study at the very least should include reading books, posting in the forums, analysing your own hand histories and maybe even subscribing to a coaching site.
There will always be a place in beginners for people to ask basic questions.That is fine, but by the same token please don’t start be lazy and start threads that a simple internet or forum search engine can find the answer for you if you take a few minutes to read the results. Don’t ‘ask for the keys to the poker kingdom’ by asking questions that are akin to trying to connect a LAN cable between your’s and Phil Ivey’s brain so that you can download all his poker awesomeness. You’ll get shotdown quickly and possibly butthurt.
Oh and a bonus – I rambled about my evolution so….here is my take on the Evolution of a 2p2 Beginners Mod
– What a great name eh? Our greenest green and our newb mod (well not really but he’s as close to a newb as we have on the mod roster. Sry bro) who rose to the lofty heights of modding during the infamous ‘beginners modding sucks’ dramabomb of xmas 2011 – don’t worry we mods forgive you (you know who you are) and its all worked out for the best did it!
The Bat is possibly the most well liked of all the mods here. He’s enthusiastic, works the crowd, posts in threads, mods in a friendly yet firmhanded manner. Is also an excellent poker player an excellent poster which is a huge part of the reason he got recruited – he is also online a lot – probably due to all the cold whether he has to deal with in his country. [x] Confirmed English
– our absent friend is absent. A casualty of blackfriday afaik. The one that got away. Wish he was here more bro.
– a mod in his prime. Was recruited at the same time as Lego05. He’s been chiseled and does his job well and efficiently. Is learning the art of ‘more is less’ when it comes to modding (after you’ve dealt with the same mod issue dozens of times a mod tends to get straight to the point, pull the trigger or whatever). Has evolved to the stage where he can snap ban regs in the LC thread who ‘buzz’ him and make them enjoy the ban. Spam doesn’t stand a chance when Ice has the reigns.
– the cat among the pigeons who like ASB rose to BQ forum power during the great modding debate of xmas 2011 however he came to us from other forums and offered his services. We accepted and the rest is history. He’s an no non-sense silent enforcer who gets the job done without fanfare. A mod warrior and dedicated to the greater good that is 2p2. Go team!
– the jaded veteran. Used to be very lenient (except when wielding a drunkern banhammer on his forum friends) but over the years has become more terse and to the point. Hails from the land downunder and specialises in patrolling the dark hallways whilst people of far away lands sleep off their drunkern slumber. He’s never far away from 2p2 so even if he isn’t posting it doesn’t mean he didn’t see what you did there. Some would argue that you aren’t a real LC/NC thread poster unless he’s snap banned you because you pressed his buttons whilst he’s downing a few tasty Coopers Pale Ales.
– If he were a super hero then when this orange coloured mod blows **** up he wouldn’t even look at the explosion. He’s jaded enough to not care what any whiney kid on a poker forum thinks of him or his majestic beard. He can use a few words or a wall of words to smash less experienced posters into oblivion. Some would argue that he is too harsh at times but it comes with the territory and means you can’t call his bluff. He’s an enforcer. Also has forum wide modding powers and rumour has it that his expert level beard has the powers to see into your soul and see all your gimmicks. Basically his forum wide powers combined with him not caring if you like him or hate him means that if you are playing with fire if you step into the ring with him. Is also our mod teams SNG expert (well at least last time I checked) and a fountain of knowledge if you demonstrate you have a good attitude.
– A Blue who knows what to do when it needs to be done on the rare time that the rest of us aren’t here. Bobo rose to mod-dom via Internet Bonuses poker at a time when internet bonuses actually existed and quickly rose to blue status from there. In short, don’t mess with him.
– He’s a red and when a red posts in beginners then you must listen. Ray has been known to drop into beginners during his daily ‘walks’ around the 2p2 forums and gives nuggets of information in threads that interest him. If he posts in your thread, feel honoured.
Defending the blinds in NL Holdem
Everyone knows that you should be stealing the blinds quite liberally, particularly when the action folds to your button. The other side of the coin is defending your blinds. In this article, I would like to explain and explore some ideas pertaining to blind defense.
Idea #1 – Being in the blinds sucks and it will still suck no matter what you do
In the blinds, you will be forced to put money in the pot blind, while being in the worst positions at the table. These are huge disadvantages, and there is no way to totally overcome them. I have seen a few threads where OP questions whether he will be able to make a profit in the blinds. The answer is a resounding and unequivocal “NO!” Nobody makes a profit while in the blinds, the best they can do is minimize their losses. In my opinion, if you are making back half the amount you posted in the blinds, you are doing ok. If you are making back 2/3 of the amount you posted, then you are doing very well indeed. Or, in other words, if you are losing 50bb/100 in the BB and 25bb/100 in the SB, you are doing ok; if you are losing 33 bb/100 in the BB and 17bb/100 in the SB, you are doing well. If you are losing much more than 50bb/100 in the BB or 25bb/100 in the SB, then you likely have some leaks in your blind play.
Idea #2 – Because being in the blinds sucks, you should fold
It is tempting, when in the BB facing a 2.5bb open from a loose stealer, to consider that you are getting over 2.5-1 odds to call, and to therefore conclude that you can play almost any two cards. This line of reasoning neglects the fact that you will be out of position without initiative for the remainder of the hand. If the stealer is competent at all, he will be able to use his positional advantage to great effect, and you will not be able to realize your equity in the pot postflop. Therefore, you should play a range which is tighter than the late-position opener's range, notwithstanding the favorable pot-odds being offered to you. An exception may be made in the event of a min-raise from the stealer; in this case, the pot-odds are so favorable that you can probably play fit-or-fold on the flop and still do well with a wide range. Yet even in this case, I don't think you can play anywhere near any two cards.
Idea #3 – You should fold more in the SB than in the BB
Due to the worse pot-odds being offered in the SB, as well as the fact that the SB can almost never close the preflop action, you should be defending your SB tighter than you would your BB. When you cold-call in the SB, the BB can squeeze, which can put you in a bad spot with a marginal holding. In the BB, you can often cold-call and close the preflop action. And if the SB has already called before you, then you are getting even better pot-odds than usual, and you will at least have position on the SB postflop. A particularly favorable spot to defend your BB is when it folds around to the SB who opens. In this spot, not only are you getting pot-odds, but you have no positional disadvantage at all; rather it is the SB who has bad position. In this situation, I defend my blind over 50% of the time.
Idea #4 – Cold-call hands which play well postflop and can make top pair or a strong draw
Due to the fact that ranges are wide in stealing positions, you will usually have some ability to semi-bluff postflop, or take 1-pair to showdown and be good. Conversely, however, you might find it difficult to get paid on your monsters. So, the hands which you will be considering cold-calling are things like 99, KQo, QJs, A3s – hands which can make top pair, or can make strong draws, and can sometimes make a monster. But hands like 33, A7o, 76s are much more difficult to play, as they really need to hit the flop well in order for you to be able to continue profitably past the flop out of position and don't flop many draws which you can bluff-raise profitably. Of course, this is all very opponent-dependent, and you will have to adjust your ranges according to his tendencies. If your opponent is very competent, you will want to cold-call a pretty tight range. If on the other hand your opponent doesn't cbet enough, or folds his cbet to a raise very often, or fails to barrel the turn enough, then you can widen your ranges a bit, as you will gain some equity when he allows you to see free or cheap cards, or when you can bluff him off of the best hand. And you surely can cold-call a bit wider in the BB than in the SB, due to the factors listed above under “Idea #3”
Idea #5 – If you can't cold-call, consider 3betting
If you have a hand in the blinds, facing a steal, which you think is just slightly too weak to cold-call, consider 3betting with it. You will need to tailor your 3betting to your villain. If he calls 3bets way too often, then 3bet with a value range which is wider than normal, but don't 3bet-bluff him. So against this type of player, you might 3bet KQo or 99, rather than cold-calling with it. If, on the other hand, your opponent folds to some 3bets, but yet calls sometimes, then you can 3bet some semi-bluffy hands like A9s or JTs. You are relying on the combination of preflop folds with postflop pot equity and fold equity to make these 3bets profitable. The final category of players to take advantage of are people who fold their open to a 3bet way too often, 65% of the time or more. Against these players, I think it is good to have a 3betting range which is unbalanced and is bluff-heavy. Also, I think that having blockers in your hand is more important than being able to flop well, since you will actually see a flop rarely; so against these players, hands like A4o or K9s become fine hands to 3bet as a bluff. As always, opponent tendencies are paramount when deciding when to 3bet. Villains at actual tables are not neatly divided into these 3 nice categories, and you will have to consider things like 4betting tendencies and postflop “fit-or-foldiness” when deciding how much you think you can get away with versus specific opponents.
Idea #6 – Before cold-calling preflop, consider what you want to do on the flop
We certainly should try to think ahead and have a plan for different board cards anytime we put money in the pot. This is especially important when you cold-call in the blinds, as you will find yourself playing some marginal cards in a bad position, without the preflop initiative. You usually cannot just play the value of your cards, as playing fit-or-fold on the flop will not allow you to recoup your preflop investment. Thus, you will need to make some pretty light bluffs or floats postflop. Look at your opponent's tendencies to decide what kind of plays you can make. Does he cbet too often, but shuts down on the turn? Then you can float him light, and see if he bets the turn. If he checks back the turn, you can lead the river sometimes when you miss. Does your villain bet too often on all streets? Then you can bluff-raise him sometimes on either the flop or turn, and slowplay your strong hands more often than you usually do. Is your villain fit-or-fold on the flop? Bluff-checkraise his cbet, with as little as a gutshot and an overcard, or overcards and a back-door flush draw. Does your opponent cbet infrequently? Consider how he reacts to donk bets and lead out on the flop accordingly with bluffs, semi-bluffs and value hands. And try to check it down when you would benefit from free cards. The more exploitable tendencies you can identify in your opponent, the wider of a range you can cold-call against him in the blinds.
Idea #7 – Don't worry about being exploited by someone who is not exploiting you
All of the ideas mentioned in this article pertain to defending your blinds against someone who is aware enough to open liberally when it folds to him in the CO, BTN, or SB. But there are some players who play an almost static range, and who steal with that same range, which is usually a tight range. They are positionally unaware, and probably just have a set of hands which they like to play and another group of hands which they don't like and will fold preflop. Against such players, you should resist the temptation to apply some of the concepts described earlier in this article. You will have to tighten up and not try to make some of the fancy plays which rely on fold equity to be profitable. You will not usually have enough fold equity to make some of the light preflop 3bets or flop check-raise bluffs against these guys. Against these players, you should play almost the same as you would against their open in any other position, except that you might tighten up a bit in some spots due to being out of position, and might loosen up a tad if the pot odds you are getting are especially favorable. Don't worry; you are still exploiting them. Or another way of looking at it is that they are exploiting themselves by folding so many cutoffs and buttons. All the equity they are passing up on is redistributed to the blinds when they fold. Don't make their nitty play correct by paying them off when they raise and thereby announce that they have a good hand.
As you can see, being in the blinds in generally an unfavorable situation, but is unfortunately a situation which cannot be avoided. By folding to a steal most of the time and carefully choosing spots to play based upon favorable hole cards and identifiable opponent tendencies, a skilled player can make back most of the dead money that they post in the blinds, thus improving their results accordingly.
Very Important Opportunity:
Verneer study group thread
Lee Jones FAQ thread about PokerStars and Full Tilt
Poker Stars announcement
PPA Players Repayment Resource Center
Part 5 of Diamond Dog Series includes links tprvious parts
Beginners tools thread
Link to Micros Limit Library
Link to BQ forum FAQ
Read the FAQ
Bellatrix on huhu
Beginners path to solid play (from LHE forum but concepts transfer) A milestone post
LINKS TO PREVIOUS DIGESTS:
BQ Digest July, 2012
BQ Digest May and June 2012
Comcept of the week anthology from FR micros forum. Lotd of concepts covered
LHE discussion of C betting by solid LHE players
QQ raised on a drawy board
Owning a player who over plays his position. Some good advice in this thread
Are you getting dependable reads as quickly as possible?
Some MTT strat from MTT forum
Starting hands chart for PLO, from PLO forum
Discussion of training sites
Continuation play with AA
Milestone posts, wells, fun posts:
Queen6suited 2K post
As children, we are told that we are good, great, amazing at everything.
Look at how good you are at walking! Look at the great way you colored within the lines! Look at how amazingly you rode that tricycle!
We are conditioned to believe that we cannot only anything, but that we are the best at doing that thing; it is an instillation of self-confidence that our parents thought would help us in all aspects of our lives.
They were sort of correct?
I am going to very blunt and mean right now: you are not fantastic at everything you do, at least not right away. Unless you work at it, you will not understand advanced chemistry. Unless you work at it, you will not be a phenomenal basketball player. Unless you work at it, you cannot write the next great American novel, become a master chef, or code beautiful, beautiful software.
And unless you put some effort into it, you will not be the world’s best poker player.
People start playing poker with money symbols in their eyes like in the cartoons, expecting to make large amounts of money in short amounts of time with very minimal work. They have heard the stories of the professionals who deposited $50 once and climbed up to the nosebleed stakes with ease, forgetting that there were millions more who have struggled to break even. They see winners of tournaments on television sitting behind the towers of cash bricks and ignore the fact that so many more people bought into that tournament and did not win a dime back.
They ignore all of the losing aspects of poker because their mother once told them that they could do anything correctly the first time, and your mother is always right. Right?
Poker takes time to learn. This learning process can be measured in number of hands spent at the table, or it can be measured in hours spent studying by reading books or watching videos or reviewing sessions. It can even be measured in time spent with your head in your hands, wondering what you are doing wrong because you just cannot win.
All of it adds up.
With all of that time, practice, and dedication, one day you can indeed make your mother proud (or, you know, not, depending on your upbringing, BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT I AM MAKING) and succeed at poker. But do not expect for people to simply hand their money over without a fight, because, after all, their mothers once told them that they were special snowflakes too.
One of the most enjoyable things in life has to be inviting some friends over for a night of poker. It's a great way to socialize, catch up with friends, all while you play cards - and maybe as a bonus even make a little money, too.
If you've never played in a home game, or are looking to host a home poker game for the first time, keep reading as my friends and I explain some home game basics. There are a few things you'll need to plan, and a couple decisions to make, before you start sending out emails or making phone calls to invite people to your poker game.
First decide if you want to have an informal gathering of friends and play casual dealer's choice poker, where each player gets to choose the game played each hand. Or many home games play only one game, like Hold'em, for the entire night.
If you're going to play dealer's choice, it's best to only invite a small group of to 5-7 people, since some games like 7 card stud you can't have more than 7 players at the table. However, if you're playing just Hold'em you should look to invite between 6-10 players.
Once you have decided on the game(s) to be played, you should decide on the stakes and structure. It's important to make it clear how much money your friends should bring to play. Home games can be fun whether it's $10 or $100 (or more), but it should be enough so the money matters. However, don't make it so much that anyone is going to miss paying their rent or utility bills if they lose! A good rule of thumb is to make the buy in about equal to the cost of a nice evening out for members in your group.
Next, choose the betting structure, taking into consideration the players you want to invite and their experience level. Many older groups will be more comfortable with a spread-limit or fixed-limit, while younger groups tend to be more familiar with no-limit. Also, set the minimum and maximum bets for the games and make sure all this is included in your invitations.
And finally, you need to make sure you have all the supplies to play. And have some food and drink on hand which is always appreciated by your guests!
Essential Poker Supplies:
Two decks of cards
A poker table, folding table or dining table
A dealer button
Finger Foods: Chips, pretzels, popcorn - or even wings and pizza for some groups
Beverages: Beer, wine, soda, water
Now all you have to do is pick a date, and start inviting people by email or social media! I have asked two of my friends, both regs here in BQ, to share their home game thoughts. Both wafflehouse1 and Bona have a poker table, and occasionally have run home games. Each of these guys is from a different generation, which will provide a glimpse of both "old school" and "new school" home poker.
My poker table is really nothing too special. While it isn't the low tier type table you will find available at a sporting goods store, it is very far from top of the line. I received it as a gift from my long time girlfriend, as I had to have one when I purchased my first house. At that time, poker was still booming, online was still hopping, and all my friends were wanting a game. We used to play at least once per week, usually 50NL, or just NL with a .25 ante. You could buy in as much as you wanted, so long as you bought in $20 min. With our group, we regularly had games where by the end of the session, there would be upwards of $800 on the table. Was actually quite sick as most would buy in for $20 a pop, $50 if someone got deep. Many a paycheck was lost in those games.
Now days, the demand for games has dropped significantly. The friends have wives and children, or are just too busy with life in general to find 5-10 hours for a good game. The only games I really have now are timed. We will get together on a Saturday afternoon and play 100NL. Start with $200. You can buy in once for $50-$100, and if bust you may rebuy once for $50 to $150. (Basically whatever out of your initial 200 you have left and are willing to spend.) We play for 4 hours max, and quit at once. This makes the game very fish friendly as they have a "way out" if they are winning. (They aren't
Recently, I did just host a party where interest came up for a game. We played 25NL with a min buy in of $10 max $20 and it was great success. With 10 players total, we managed to get 300-350 on the table at any one point, and the game got fairly wild. I was fortunate enough to double up my very first hand when I flopped top 2 with AK only to get paid off by 2 pair Aces and 9's. He promptly rebought and we resumed. The game broke as we were all fairly inebriated and were finished with passing chips around.
To sum this all up, when looking for a home poker table/chips, assess your needs before proceeding any farther. If you have a bunch of drunk friends that will spill on the table, spend a little more for something with a stainblock/repellant on the felt. That is of course if you are playing for more than pennies. There are many variables to look at, explore all your options.
Home games are fun. I have played in many types of "Home games". I define home game as any loosely organized game played outside of a casino or legal poker room environment.
At age 14 a few of us teenagers started a traveling game that played once a week or more in one of our parent's basement. Some had parents who were not hostile to the idea, some did not, so not everyone who played could host. We usually played .05-1.00 spread limit dealers choice. (for reference, a loaf of white bread was a dime, a pack of cigarettes was a quarter, and gas was usually about .29 per gallon),
Dealer could specify the game and the stakes within that limitation. Numbers games like 7/27 or 7 1/2/28 were popular, stud and draw games were played as was lowball ( a razz form). Acey-Duecey (also called red-dog) was allowed. Sometimes we got into some really wild pot building games. 7 card no peek was one and a few multiple draw/roll 'em back games were played. The only rake in these games was enough to pay for 2 decks of cards, a case of soft drinks, and some pretzels or chips etc. Total rake for the session was about $.50 per person iirc and was sometimes just paid as a fee instead of rake.
After high school these games broke up as people went away to school, others moved away etc. But they were some of the good times of my youth.
I went to a small teachers college, mostly women, and didn't get to play much poker for several years. During that time I did play a lot of Hearts, Euchre, and some other card games in the student union of a large nearby university. Playing pool and hearts helped me keep a little spending money but poker games were rare.
During my working career I was transferred around the country a lot and sometimes found games im country clubs or in acquaintances homes. Occasionally it would be a weekly game for a while and each was a bit different in structure. I have seen and played a lot of different structures.
By today's standards the players in those games were soft and did not play well at all. I did very well over all by playing a tight, risk averse style.
I met my late wife in a weekly poker game. Her then boyfriend hosted the game in his insurance office. I was also playing in a tougher, higher limit game at the country club along with playing gin rummy and golf with some tough players at that same club.
For the last ten years or so my home games have been much lower profile. Consisting of a family get together on Saturday or Sunday with dinner and a couple of $5 SnG style games. Here is a picture of one of those family games at my wife's brother's house.
I really didn't run into stiff competition at poker very much until I started playing on line and playing with 2+2ers. My poker skills have always been rudimentary but sufficient to the situations I was in.
Poker "home games" have been one of the fun hobbies of my life. It is interesting to me that in my younger years poker was considered an old man's game and now that I am old, it is a young person's game. Go figure
As a footnote I am adding a picture of my set of "heirloom" chips. These were acquired on a trip to Las Vegas in the '70s, at which time I decided to rathole some winnings by overpaying for some custom made chips. These are 14 gram clay chips with gold leaf monogram. The monogram is selected to survive me because on one side is my initials (also one of my son's) and the other side is my wife's initials (also my other son's).
This is a set of 500 chips in 5 colors. You can buy a good quality set of 500 chips, slightly lighter in weight but with no monogram for about 15% of what I paid for these. Also: notice the white ones are different. That is bacause a few years ago I decided the chips needed cleaning and proceeded to wash the white ones in the dishwasher. That is when I learned clay chips are not kiln fired. That would be ceramic.
So the replacements are a bit different than the others. Pro Tip: Do not wash your clay chips in a dishwasher or with high heat, chemicals, or prolonged immersion. That is all.
It’s been quiet on the poker front in the Hive during July. Except for the Saturday SHANOOBIGANS
Forum games I don’t think I’ve played any poker at all. Oh, except for the Horse event in the Micro Millions series on Poker Stars which was a forgettable game.
It would have been good to play some of the other events, particularly the Badugi, but a lot of the non-hold em events were during the working day.
I haven’t missed playing poker much though. Work is exceptionally busy so I am bushed at the end of the day, and it’s pointless even opening a table when you are too tired to play properly. Even for the micro stakes donk that I am, it’s literally throwing money away.
It’s been good to completely forget about poker, and catch up on some of my favorite TV shows, read a few more books and spend time with Mrs Bee. As usual with breaks, whether enforced or if they just happen, the poker itch needs scratching so no doubt I’ll be back at the tables soon.
In other news, the Olympics has finally started and being the cynical bee that I am I paid it literally no attention, other than having to put up with the crowding on my daily Tube journey, the stupid road lanes and general aggravation it would no doubt cause.
But, as the kick-off got nearer London got busier with so many people from all the place descending on us, and being a sucker I have bought in to it now! The opening ceremony was very enjoyable, bar Paul McCartney who frankly should have been taken out by a sniper, and I bet even the most anti-royalists (that means you AlienSpaceBat
) must have smirked at her Majesty cavorting with James Bond. I hope it’s a memorable games for all the right reasons.
The Olympics has given me an idea for a Fish-fry type event in Beginners Questions Forum so keep an eye out for the BQ Poker Pentathlon interest thread in the next few days.
August Crossword puzzle
Thanks for reading the Digest. Please post any comments, critiques, or suggestions in this thread. Play in forum games, SHANOOBIGANS
, and any impromptu games that are posted.