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Old 02-23-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
mpethybridge
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9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

You have a winning image; deal with it:

A few weeks ago, a guy my age sat down at the table two seats to my left. I said “hi,” and then went back to watching the game. I didn't play any hands for the next 10 or so. I was just sitting there sipping coffee, watching. After an orbit or an orbit and a half of folding, the guy turns to me and says, “so, how long have you been playing for a living?” I said, “uh, live, only a few months. But I haven't played a hand since you sat—how could you have known?” He said, “it's obvious—you are just sitting there, but you look like you are in charge.”

A few weeks before that, a drunk guy sat down at my table two seats to my right. I played a couple of pots in that time, nothing significant. Around the end of his third orbit at the table, the drunk and the guy to my right got into a conversation about keeping track of other players' actions after the drunk called a player's winning hand. The guy to my immediate right says something like, “well, this is $1/$2, you don't have to worry about people being able to do that.” The drunk guy says, “wrong. That guy on your left can tell you every action every player at the table has made in the last orbit.” He looks at me and says “right?” I denied it, but the drunk just laughed and said, “yeah, ok, I shouldn't have blown your cover. Sorry.”

Not bragging, there is a lesson here it took me these two dramatic episodes to learn: Almost everybody at your table has you pegged as a winning player. They see you riffling chips. They see you expertly cut out that $50 bet. They see your card cap and how you have a routine for looking at your cards in turn, capping them if you're going to play, and then making your bet. They can even tell just by looking at you whether you seem comfortable at the table. I get asked out of the blue 3 times a week, minimum, whether I am a local (this is the clever way that vacationers try to trap you into admitting you're a pro ), or outright whether I'm a pro player. (Do what you want, I won't lie about it).

Your job is to adjust correctly to it. As I said, I won't lie about what I do for a living, so it is fairly common for me to be playing a session where my end of the table knows that I coach and play for a living. It increases my fold equity dramatically, and against most players, it narrows their ranges against me to make a bet. Every now and then, someone will want to make a play on me because they want to outplay the pro—I even had one guy whip out the Rounder's quote: “Ha! Look at that. I got ****. I bluffed the big ringer.”

Assume people will play differently against you than they will against the other people at the table, because most of them really do notice that you know what you're doing. The reason for this is simple:

Most of the “fish” are smarter than you.

So after I answered the guy who asked me how long I had been playing professionally, he and I got into a nice conversation, and he turned out to be a great guy. He is a mover and shaker in Democratic politics in his state, went to Harvard undergrad and Harvard law, and his hobby is researching and writing a history of FDR's presidency.

He was a terrible poker player. But that doesn't mean that he wasn't the smartest guy in the room, or that he turned off his brain to play poker. He was still dazzlingly smart, and proved it with his powers of observation. His poker leak was simply that he didn't know what to apply all of that brain power to thinking about. If he did know what to think about, he'd quickly learn to crush any game he chose to play.

Recently, the consumer electronics show was in Vegas. The average quality of the games went up significantly—not because all the electronics geeks were terrific poker players, just that they were way above average in intelligence, and, everything else being equal, a smart novice will make fewer and smaller mistakes than a less smart novice.

While the show was in town, I kept telling the dealer to enforce the English only rule when those guys got to talking about cloud networks and code and all sorts of stuff that sounded like ancient Sumerian to me.

Most tourists who come to Vegas to play poker are smart, above average income, white collar guys who, allowing for their youth, are experts in their field. Their field happens not to be poker. In fact, we are fortunate that:

Recreational players play poker for different reasons than we do.

If you haven't read “The Psychology of Poker,” by Alan Schoonamaker a half dozen times, then you have a major leak in your game. This book is the first and last word on the psychology behind different playing styles. Understanding its content is a major step toward improving the way you play against recreational poker players.

The fact of the matter is that most people who play recreationally these days have a clue. It's very rare today in Vegas to find someone at the table who has never played before, or who is drunkenly spewing off chips in stack size increments. The most commonly consumed beverage at my tables recently is Red Bull, with green tea or water being a close second. The mistakes people make are more marginal than they were a year ago when I was here auditioning for life as a live grinder, and the mistakes they were making a year ago were more marginal than they were in the 4 years before that, when I was coming to town annually for poker vacations.

That's not to say the games are hard. They are not. In fact, they are still pretty easy. What I think of as ABC poker still gets the money. But the average player is much better and makes smaller mistakes on average. Against these better players, you have to look to their psychology and understand why they are playing in order to understand the type of mistakes they are prone to make in order to maximize your earn against them.

In future posts in this thread, I'll be addressing a variety of situations where I think ABC poker is insufficient to maximize your earn in today's Vegas strip games. I'll be discussing ABCD poker—nothing terribly complex, but adding an additional element to your ABC game.

In addition, I'll be answering your questions, so if you have a situation you want me to address, feel free to post a request ITT.

3 Betting live

To get us started, I am going to say a word about 3 betting. I was planning to write an amusing 9999th post; however, in recent days as I was composing, I saw a few really terrible posts that made me reluctant to waste this opportunity to hold forth. One of them was on 3 betting, so I am going to start with that.

As a general rule, we should be reluctant to 3 bet light at live low stakes. The reason is simply that we have less fold equity in general. However, there are opportunities to be 3 betting light that can pad your win rate a little bit.

First, a word of caution. This is a thin value spot. You will play big and medium size pots for an overall addition to your win rate that hardly seems worth all the drama. How much can you make? I dunno. What I do know is that online winning regulars at all stakes are making maybe 1.2 big blinds per light 3 bet. If you extrapolate that out to live low stakes, where win rates are higher, it works out to maybe a reasonable expectation of 3 or 4 big blinds per light 3 bet.

Think about that online win rate of 1.2 big blinds per light 3 bet. That is less than the original raiser's preflop raise. When an online player raises to 3 bb and is 3 bet to 10 bb, the pot is 13 or 15 bb, and the average winning reg is pulling a 1 bb profit that represents maybe 6-8% of the pot size. THIN. When he 3 bets to 10bb and gets called, the pot is 20bb, and his 1 bb profit represents 5% of the pot. VERY THIN, and we haven't even seen a continuation bet yet.

I mention how thin the situation is to point out that you have to be very careful and confident of your read to make a light 3 bet, because even one error in a small sample will wreck your light 3 betting win rate and it will take a long time to recover.

OK, onto the basics of light 3 betting. I'll cover the complexities and nuances in future responses ITT, and I hope I'll get some help from the best of the forum regs.

There are three distinct forms of light 3 betting:

Light value: This is the least clear of the three types. It is when you have the opponent on a fairly wide range, your hand rates to be at the top of his range, and you expect him to call with a range that you are ahead of, but not necessarily crushing. An example would be raising AJ against a Lag's button steal, when you expect him to call with medium and small pockets, broadway and some decent suited connectors. I mention the light value 3 bet first because, unlike the other types of light 3 bets, when we make this 3 bet, we are hoping for a call.

Semi-bluff 3 bets: These are hands that we 3 bet expecting a fold, but it's not the end of the world if we get called, because our hand will flop reasonably well reasonably often. An excellent example of a good semi-bluff 3 bet is if it is folded to the cut off, a decent Tag, who raises, and we 3 bet from the button with A5s or K7s. Here we have blockers to the hands that dominate us, we'll fold some of them out, but if he calls, we're ok because we can flop a pair we can try to get to showdown, or a flush draw that we can continue semi-bluffing (or that may flop as a slight equity favorite).

Bluff 3 bets: These are 3 bets with trash hands we would otherwise quickly fold, such as 95o or J7o. We should only make bluff 3 bets when we are supremely confident that the raiser will fold, or, in extremely rare cases, we expect to call preflop and then fold the flop. You WILL lose money when you see the flop with a bluff 3 bet. This is completely normal. But if you see very many flops with them, you are screwing up badly in estimating the raiser's calling range, and should stop making them. You need something in the neighborhood of a 70% success rate (where the villain folds preflop according to plan) just to break even with these 3 bets. So you better have a damn good read before you make one.

Conveniently for the existence of light 3 bets, all players, no matter what their usual playing style, can be broken down into three groups in how they react to a 3 bet:

Those that usually call,
Those that usually fold, and
Those who sometimes call.

In online terms, I categorize players as usually folding if they fold 70% of the time or more, sometimes calling if they call between 55% and 69% and usually calling if they call around 50% or more of the time.

Each category of player should be light 3 bet differently:

Those that fold most of the time should be 3 bet with your bluffing range. You'll make an automatic profit for every fold above 70%, so there is no reason to worry about having to have a hand that can flop well. Any hand that you would normally fold to that player's raise is a potential 3 bet. This may, but need not, include hands that qualify as semi-bluffing hands.

Those that sometimes call should only be light 3 bet with semi-bluffing hands that can flop well. Their calling tendency means that you won't make a profit just from their folds, and you have to win money on average post flop in order to play your light 3 bets for a profit.

Those that usually call should be 3 bet for light value only. Expert online players will disagree with this statement, and note that they often semi-bluff 3 bet the very top of their folding range against these players. While doing so can be profitable, it is a very advanced play that is well beyond the ABCD scope of this post.

Players move in and out of the calling a 3 bet categories above based on a variety of factors, including relative position and table dynamics. A bad Lag who raised 97s who will call a 3 bet from the blinds in position will fold it if he open raised it from the cut off and gets 3 bet from the button.

OK, that should get us started. Next up: Showing cards for fun and profit.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Wow, keep up the posts like these! I'm jealous where Micro FR have all these posts which are somewhat applicable, but since online is so different from live, adjustments have to be made. Nice work!
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Great post.

About being pegged a "pro" or "winner" by the other players:

The guys at my 1/2 - 2/5 home game know I play 5/10 when I'm at AC and mock me sometimes by referring to me as "the Grinder" or stuff along those lines. Interestingly, these guys don't avoid pots with me despite knowing I take my game seriously; instead, they try to get involved with me and try to outplay me so they can show down a big bluff and celebrate. I don't know how I would react to people in a casino if they asked how often I play, but I think my experience is a good example of a Hero's strong image NOT necessarily being -EV.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Great thread! I've also agreed the games are getting a lot harder also here in the detroit area even from a year ago. There is no money here as our economy is bad. My winrate is $1/hour more than it was in '09 and I am a much better player now than I was then. Anyways onto the context of the thread.

I think your 3 categories are spot on. I would argue 3betting crappy hands as weak as AxOffsuit is good when you have an origional raiser who folds to 3bets a high % of the time and there is a loose passive cold caller in between that will also fold to a 3 bet, particularly when we are on Button or CO. The cold caller that fits the bill are the bad regs that telegraph their hand very well. Sure the suited Aces add equity overall but the ace high trash adds showdown value. I really can't add much more as you are spot on. Its also good to know I mentally go by these concepts when I am playing and imagine these things as I plot out ways to exploit tougher tables especially.

At my games having a strong image is -ev unfortunately, in contrast to diskoteque's experience
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:33 PM   #5
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Awesome post, except that I would counter that for the small subset of villains that actually pay enough attention so that we have to take into account our image, a decent number of them will fall for any number of image-ruining tricks. Obviously the really good players will see right through it, but there have been countless times when I'll be playing with at the same casino as a good buddy of mine, and we have a very similar style except he is moderately more aggressive on turn semi-bluffs and stone cold river bluffs.

But he quietly goes about his business at the table, where I make a conscious effort to do things like agree w/ donk when he says some retarded poker belief, or even worse, I will agree and ADD to it, like "of course you are right, you had to call there, not only [his bad poker theory], but [equally bad related poker theory]!"

It's amazing how simple saying something like that, enough times over a given night, combined with general social/conversational behavior, will kill any image issues for a sizable number of people who actually try to figure out such things.

Last edited by FlatTireSuited; 02-23-2012 at 10:38 PM. Reason: And this is under the belief we WANT a bad image.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:51 PM   #6
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Nice post.

Seems like bluff three bets should never be used.

Edit: I mean this using OP's definition of a bluff three bet. Should be using semi 100% instead.

Last edited by Bluegrassplayer; 02-23-2012 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:56 PM   #7
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Nice start.

I personally like to act like a fish and build a donk image, but that's because it goes well with my style. A winning, solid image can be just as useful to the right kind of player.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:09 PM   #8
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Very good post. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpethybridge View Post
You have a winning image; deal with it:
The reason why I don't like the fact that the dealers know my name is that I don't like being pegged as a regular, because:

1) The default assumption is that regulars know what they're doing. In most cases, I would prefer that the other players form no opinion whatsoever about my level of proficiency.

2) I don't like a lot of the things I see regulars do. They take liberties that other players wouldn't get away with (such as speculating).

However, I can see the benefit of people thinking you're good. At the stakes I'm playing, I'd say an increase in fold equity far outweighs the possible downside of someone trying to put a move on "the ringer." Once in a while, there might be a loose cannon who feels like he needs to prove a point against the person he perceives to be his toughest opponent. In 1-2 though, I don't see a lot of it. I'm not Johnny Chan. Nobody is going to have a great story just by outplaying me.

I try to be personable. For one, it makes the game a lot more enjoyable. Of course the other benefit is that people are naturally less inclined to be bothered by giving chips to a happy person who is joking around and being pleasant to everyone.

Quote:
Most of the “fish” are smarter than you.
Many, but not most. If the majority of people I'm playing 1-2 with are actually smarter than me, then I need to hit the books.

Your underlying point about not assuming that someone is an idiot because he's no good at poker is an important one though. It's easy to develop a sense of disdain for players you feel are inferior, but taking people lightly can have harmful results.

Quote:
3 Betting live
My primary concern with 3-betting is that it's probably pretty easy to put me on a range of hands at this point, because I'm rarely doing it without the goods. This leads me to believe that I should open my 3-betting range at least slightly.

Quote:
Next up: Showing cards for fun and profit.
I'm looking forward to this one. Right now, I never show. Ever. Without fully understanding the psychology behind showing cards, my belief is that giving away as little information as possible is the way to go. I'll be glad to rethink this philosophy if you make a convincing argument, as I assume you will.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:40 PM   #9
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywade View Post

Your underlying point about not assuming that someone is an idiot because he's no good at poker is an important one though. It's easy to develop a sense of disdain for players you feel are inferior, but taking people lightly can have harmful results.
The thing that stands out to me is that for the smart in real life, but dumb in poker group is that its precisely because they are smart that they end up sucking at poker.

Most "smart" people, and here I merely mean well educated, will respond to any new topic they take an interest to by trying to learn about it - that's how they got their MBA in the first place.

So they will do the entirely reasonable thing and go to a book store, and although they could choose a 2p2 book, they also could purchase Phil Hellmuth's book. For better or worse, Hellmuth is the most known face in poker, so odds are they will buy his book. I'm sure it's got some value, and it probably also has entire sections that just blow. Or they make sure to listen to the commentary on ESPN - the stuff where they ask pros to analyze a hand....up until this year, that meant getting Dennis Phillips' "insights".

Or this year, they got the FBI guy, so they probably, and reasonably, concluded that said tells were a huge part of the game, after all, ESPN spent 10 minutes of a 60 minute show on it!"

Yeah, that knowledge certainly isn't horrible, but it also typically is very exploitable and also struggles to handle the GAMBOOOOL wild aggro guys at all (since Hellmuth most certainly would say fold to that level of aggression and not point out what happens when a guy turned the aggro up to 11).

That, combined with the fact that the biggest talkers at any non-tourist caino's poker room are the older regs who are, let's face it, typically stink, and can only play everyday because they are retired or are independently wealthy, but to a new player, it would be reasonable to conclude they are pros who grind every day, particularly because if you ask them, they will absolutely claim as such.



I know this because I used to be one. I fit the "educated" bill you described to a T. Ivy league undergrad, ivy league law degree. When I first started playing, I instantly wanted to learn more since I loved it, so I bought a couple of poker books. I listened to the ESPN commentary. I also spoke to the guys I saw playing every day at the casinos, particularly those who always had a deep stack (forgetting that they could easily be in for 6 buy-ins). My entirely reasonable theory was everyday player + always has a lot of chips + claims to play for living and seems to know poker = MUST LEARN FROM. The result was my first improvements made my game worse as they all fell into the same lol-live-poker stupidity that most live guys do. Thankfully I kept trying to learn more, and google brought me here, where I probably learned more useful knowledge in one day than I did from all previous endeavors to learn about poker combined.

Thats also why I tell people not to talk about 2p2, because the amount of abuse the pre-2p2 FTS would take from the post-2p2 would be epic.

Last edited by FlatTireSuited; 02-23-2012 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:53 PM   #10
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Mpethy,

Thanks for your post. I am never disappointed by a thread you start, and your concepts include the what and the WHY, which is crucial to understanding things that might take ages for me to discover on my own.

+1

BTW, suit icons for bullet points FTW.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:59 PM   #11
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpethybridge View Post

As a general rule, we should be reluctant to 3 bet light at live low stakes. The reason is simply that we have less fold equity in general. However, there are opportunities to be 3 betting light that can pad your win rate a little bit.
Thanks for a great post about table image. I wonder whether the "winning-image" persona works as well at 2/5, in terms of extra fold-equity. 1/2 players are probably more likely to be impressed by---and therefore respect---the poker pro. At 2/5 there would be a tendency to "beat-the-pro" more often, although it's probably easier to keep a lower profile at these limits.

I'm assuming you're advocating the light 3 bet for value only. This would mean you agree with the prevailing view that there's no need to balance your 3-betting range at live-low-stakes. If this is the case, then 3 betting light is not really an essential betting strategy, given how "thin" its value. Just to give me an idea, what, on average, would your light 3 betting frequency be during a 1/2 session? Do you sometimes not 3 bet light at all, for instance?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:06 AM   #12
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Excellent post agree with about everything you said. I wouldn't know if the avg game is harder than it was a year ago or four years ago as I just started playing live consistently 3 months ago (im a youngin). Like you said though the common player can pick out the tag/abc players at any table. I dont care what anyone says the basic Abc game isn't as profitable as everyone thinks or what it used to be. It is probably above break-even but not the most profitable.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:23 AM   #13
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

@mpethy

Great post....Enjoyed reading this and I will likely have to read through it a few times to digest it all.

But on first impression, I had two question:

1) How does position fare wrt the types of 3bet? Are you more likely to employ a bluff 3bet from the blinds while other types of 3bet in position?

2) Would limp/3betting be less or more credible than cold 3betting? My initial reaction would be to mostly give a limp/3better credit for AA, KK and (depending on the size of the 3bet) possibly AK
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:34 AM   #14
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Great start, mpethy. I wish we saw more posts like these today. I completely agree that the normal player can pick out the tighter players easily. But, often times it still doesn't matter. They call anyway. They just don't pay off in whole stacks like they used to.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:45 AM   #15
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Love the post, good writing style; a balance between appealing to the interest of the reader and providing information.

The first bit you wrote has something else to it as well. Table talk is so drastically important, it's unbelievable. I see guys wearing headphones and not engaging anybody in conversation, and that is fine, especially on tables where ABC auto-pilot is all it really calls for anyway. But, it's unbelievable how much information you truly learn just from listening to people speak. They give away their game plan, how they look at poker, why they bet, what they think of you (which is especially important), they will go easier on you if they like you, too. Depending how intuitive you are, you can assimilate so much indirect information from people. We do it anyways by people's appearances, but appearances can be deceiving, where I believe mannerisms and ways of speaking are more indicative of playing style.

Here's a few good recent(ish) examples of this working.

Drunken friday night, bought a guy a beer, we're talking back and fourth, and he looks at me and says "You're a great player, aren't you? I'm fairly new to the game and just do it for fun, but you always seem to know how much to bet. I just bet based on how good my hand is!" Now, obviously this could be a reverse psyche out, but that's where the character of him comes in to play. He was unbelievable honest at the table, always saying "I'll show if you fold" or "I had you" and turning up the nuts, and he bought me a drink as well. Anyways, this lead me to a hand I got in with the guy.

Folds to me in the cut-off with 67 and I raise to $10. He is the only caller in the BB. Flop comes 454, he checks and I check back. The turn is the 6 and he bets out $5 into the $20 pot, I raise him to $25 and he says "I had a feeling that would happen... Oh well, I call." The river comes a Q and he pauses and checks, and I go for thin value for $35. He says "Man, I had a feeling you would bet the river, I guess you know I only have A-high don't you? Ehh, you're a nice guy, I'll pay you off." and sure enough, he turns up AK. I bought him a drink after that pot, and we continued the friendly chat.

The next hand we get involved in together is a 3-way pot where it was raised preflop by the third player in the hand, I do not remember the exact preflop action, but post-flop I was OTB with 78 and the flop was KJ3r. It was checked around and I elected to check. The turn was a 7 and it was checked around again, and I decided to check it back after deliberating a while. The river was an 8, and it got checked around to me again. I bet of course, and it folds to the nice drunken guy who c/raises huge. The line makes no sense, but knowing this guy is a) an amateur, b) seemingly bets based on the strength of his hand, and c) is being extra friendly with me leaves me to believe I'm beat. I said "I'm probably going to fold." and before I even released my hand he turns up his hand and says "You should, I have it!" and turns up K8.

Both of these hands are a direct result of me listening to things, engaging in friendly banter, and basing close decisions based on "character tells". If I had been sitting there with my ipod in, this dynamic would not exist, I would not have learned the things I did about his playing style or what he thought of me. That's probably about $100 made just by listening. And there are hundreds of examples of this, this is just the one that came to my mind.

This leads into another point that I'll probably get into later because this is already getting tl;dr, but that's about not underestimating low stakes opponents (like you touched on Mpethy). I think that's one of the biggest misconceptions we have as the top percentile of players in the live low stakes pool.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:52 AM   #16
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

you need to post more canoodles, like pre 2012
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:00 AM   #17
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Mpethy - great post - I read the first part, skimmed the second and plan on coming back tomorrow and reading the rest carefully (too tired now).

A couple of questions (forgive me if they are too forward, no offense intended):

1. Why would anyone think that someone playing 1/2NL is a pro per your story?
2. Given all your technical knowledge of the game, why are you playing 1/2 and not 5/10? Is it BR? Seems like a waste of your time unless you are trying to collect data/do some kind of an experiment/etc.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:06 AM   #18
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

You didn't discuss stack depth at all in your 3-bet discussion. I know your background is online (= mostly 100bbs) and you are a data driven guy (again, your data being probably mostly 100bb data), but have you thought through 3-betting adjustments IP/OOP with stacks of 150bbs? 200bbs+? Maybe that's ABCDE, but would be curious on your thoughts =).
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:13 AM   #19
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

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Originally Posted by Setsy View Post
Mpethy - great post - I read the first part, skimmed the second and plan on coming back tomorrow and reading the rest carefully (too tired now).

A couple of questions (forgive me if they are too forward, no offense intended):

1. Why would anyone think that someone playing 1/2NL is a pro per your story?
2. Given all your technical knowledge of the game, why are you playing 1/2 and not 5/10? Is it BR? Seems like a waste of your time unless you are trying to collect data/do some kind of an experiment/etc.
Regarding #1, I hear fellow players discussing all of the "pros" they encounter at 1/2 all of the time. I honestly think some consider a pro anyone who plays a lot and is a winner, rather than using the definition that we would use.
Just my observation.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:15 AM   #20
Setsy
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

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Originally Posted by BigSkip View Post
Regarding #1, I hear fellow players discussing all of the "pros" they encounter at 1/2 all of the time. I honestly think some consider a pro anyone who plays a lot and is a winner, rather than using the definition that we would use.
Just my observation.
Don't want to hijack. Was mostly curious why mpethy plays 1/2. Been meaning to ask as it has come through several of his posts. Have a hard time to believe it's skill or BR, so am tempted to think he wants to observe the beasts in their natural habitat or something like that ;-).

As for people thinking 'are you a pro?' - it's mostly because they want to go home and tell their wives/friends/etc that when they lost they didn't lose it to a bunch of guys like themselves, they lost it to the big, bad 1/2NL pros, and isn't it cool that they got to play with the real deal even if they lost? Makes them feel better imo.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:57 AM   #21
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

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Originally Posted by Setsy View Post
Don't want to hijack. Was mostly curious why mpethy plays 1/2. Been meaning to ask as it has come through several of his posts. Have a hard time to believe it's skill or BR, so am tempted to think he wants to observe the beasts in their natural habitat or something like that ;-).

As for people thinking 'are you a pro?' - it's mostly because they want to go home and tell their wives/friends/etc that when they lost they didn't lose it to a bunch of guys like themselves, they lost it to the big, bad 1/2NL pros, and isn't it cool that they got to play with the real deal even if they lost? Makes them feel better imo.
I guarantee the explanation as to how they lost, as told to their wife, friends, and probably non-friends too has nothing to do with whether they lost to a big, bad pro or their friendly neighbor. Their explanation to their wife will start and end with the world "unlucky". Further explanation will either be about how they played great but just had coolers (biggest pot lost was to a player they respect; so to them it was two good players dealt a cooler-situation) or donkey-idiot made a horrible call against him and sucked out (biggest pot lost was to a player they don't respect).
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:10 AM   #22
Setsy
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSkip View Post
Regarding #1, I hear fellow players discussing all of the "pros" they encounter at 1/2 all of the time. I honestly think some consider a pro anyone who plays a lot and is a winner, rather than using the definition that we would use.
Just my observation.
I would just go with plays a lot =). They have no way of knowing who is a winner.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:18 AM   #23
CoolhandLuke88
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

mpethy great post, very well thought out and explained.

I'm really looking forward to the next post on showing hands, it seems like an interesting topic. I used to "strategically" show hands a lot, but have recently been sort of conflicted on it and now never ever show...

I think if you're game plan is to play ABC it makes more sense not to show as the unknown drives the casual player crazy. They always think they are being bluffed. Given that the ABC strategy dictates that most of our bets will be for value don't we greatly benefit from not showing our hands?

I am interested to hear your input given I've been so conflicted on this topic myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatTireSuited View Post
Awesome post, except that I would counter that for the small subset of villains that actually pay enough attention so that we have to take into account our image, a decent number of them will fall for any number of image-ruining tricks. Obviously the really good players will see right through it, but there have been countless times when I'll be playing with at the same casino as a good buddy of mine, and we have a very similar style except he is moderately more aggressive on turn semi-bluffs and stone cold river bluffs.

But he quietly goes about his business at the table, where I make a conscious effort to do things like agree w/ donk when he says some retarded poker belief, or even worse, I will agree and ADD to it, like "of course you are right, you had to call there, not only [his bad poker theory], but [equally bad related poker theory]!"

It's amazing how simple saying something like that, enough times over a given night, combined with general social/conversational behavior, will kill any image issues for a sizable number of people who actually try to figure out such things.
Also I'd like to hear your input and others on what flattire discusses in this post.

How many of you guys actually do the whole "acting like a donkey" act. Does this work, are other tactics more effective? Like how mpethy mentioned that people knowing he's a pro gets him more fold equity.

Would we rather have people think we are a donk or that we are a pro?
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:43 AM   #24
PokahBlows
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Wow great post, I feel like such a nit. I hardly ever get hands when someone raises. So I pretty much 3bet 2/3 times a week, roughly about 25-40hrs a week depends on run good.

As for the winning image. I use this vs the regs. I realized this year most regs try to stay away from players like me. I usually bluff them postflop. But now I can remember times I could have used the semi bluff 3bet. Especially when they change their bet sizing.

Check out this hand vs a reg. I should have 3bet semi bluff pre.

Reg raises 25$ he raises 35$ when he has a big hand. Hero calls otb with K J
HU

Flop 683

Reg checks because he knows I'm a tight player and don't fool around. Hero checks.

Turn 10

Reg bets 45$, I call lol.

River 2x. Reg checks and I bet 85$, reg folds.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:44 AM   #25
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Re: 9999th Post: Beyond Basics; Playing ABCD Poker

Love the post, mpethy.

I have a few comments.

I read in another thread someone mentioned; I'm usually good at figuring out what my opponent has, but not what he will do with it. followed by a barrage of agreement. This relates back to underestimating our opponents.

I think your post is a good read for the average 2+2 reader/grinder that is an up-and-comer. A lot of the new grinders out there assume fish are stupid because they don't play +EV. This particularly bothers me when a grinder acts in a condescending manner to the fish for not making the obvious +EV decision. A lot of winning players don't understand that they are not playing poker to win money, but rather for other reasons. As you touched on, the psychology of poker is dedicated to answering such questions.

Looking forward to more!
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