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Old 10-08-2017, 12:39 PM   #1
Submerged
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Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

I have been tracking my poker play in casinos since 2003. When I started, the rake was $4. The rake table was 10% and when the pot got to $40 no more $ was coming out of the pot.

In 2017, in the casino that I play at now the rake is capped at $7 with $4 out at $20 and the next three at $30, $40, & $50 (full disclosure is that this casino does do bad beat / high hands but I see it all as rake).

I do not have a problem with the casino's charging that as rake. I know that it is their business and up to us as consumers to decide if we want to pay what they are charging to play the poker game. I am just trying to find the best way to adapt to the increasing $$ I have to pay to play poker.

I have played $2-5 and actually have pretty good results, but I do not like the swings as a rec player where losses can routinely be what I make in a week paycheck. I also think that when I sit down at a $2-5 game I am usually around the 4th - 5th best player at the table trying to avoid the Pro's / better players to feast on the fish whereas at a lower stakes tables the better players are usually better than me just due to the fact that they are so nitty pre-flop.

My adaptation is to significantly tighten up my pre-flop starting hand requirements. I probably was around 30% at one point which is obviously LOL at this point but was actually profitable in the past. Now I am certainly in the teens somewhere. I have pretty much ditched any flatting in position with the lower suited gappers that I used to call all the time (think 79ss) unless there has already been callers of the raise in the pot. I am also 3 betting significantly more. It is much easier to win a pot with initiative and the one thing that hasn't changed over the years is that $1/2 and $1/3 players are still very passive and will let you know if you don't have them beat with their untimed aggression and/or LOL bet sizing.

The other thing that I do that I think a lot of other players don't do is size my bets in limped pots so that if they are called the pot will be below the next rake threshold (so in a 5 way limped pot in a $1/3 game with $16 in the pot if the small blind folded if I lead on the flop I will bet $11 instead of $12 because if I get called in one spot the pot will be $38 instead of $40 & that the next $1 does not come out. If the pot is raised pre, that goes out the window and all my bets are sized in increments of $5 because it actually tilts me when someone bets $22 in to a $30 pot on the flop. What is the difference, just be $20 or $35.

This may be controversial because mentioning tipping in the forums always is, but if I see a dealer take an extra $ in a pot that I win as rake I just don't tip them a $. I don't mention it because then you call attention to rake to the fish and I think it is bad for the table atmosphere. I am talking about an error in this case. You might think that it does't happen a lot, but it does. I also now tip about 1/2 the time on those pots that I raise pre and get one caller that folds to a c-bet on the flop instead of all the time.

Done with wall of text......what have you guys done to adjust to the increasing rake?
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:11 PM   #2
Garick
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

How much is rake and how much promo? Promo is EV neutral and brings in bad players, so it is not just "all rake."
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:18 PM   #3
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

Not ev neutral if you don't play the hands that others play for high hand potential, but I see your point. It's not really relevant to the conversation though. Just looking for adjustments to higher rake and better players at LLSNL.


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Old 10-08-2017, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

Play better. Seriously, what else can you do to beat better players and higher rake? You're going to need to start plugging all of your leaks and squeezing out the thinnest value you can find. The process doesn't really have an end to it.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:33 PM   #5
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

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Originally Posted by Garick View Post
How much is rake and how much promo? Promo is EV neutral and brings in bad players, so it is not just "all rake."
the casino takes a fee out of the promo not EV neutral. read the fine print.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:41 PM   #6
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

Dumb fish play differently for HH promos. I think when you put it all together it's still EV-neutral, too. I've seen some dumb calls for high hand potential, especially in 1/2 or 1/3.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:15 PM   #7
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

The higher the relative rake, the tighter you should play. You want to win a few big pots, not a lot of little pots.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:38 PM   #8
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

That doesnt seem to be super high rake to me. Where I play, the rake is max $5 plus $2 for high hand promos. Its the same at 1/2...2/5..5/10 or any stakes.

Lots of the 2/5 players think you cant beat 1/2 because of the rake which started a prop bet for me last year which I won regarding beating 1/2 for a certain win rate.

Basically the answer is this: 1/2 can still be crushed even with the same rake as higher stakes because the players are some much worse than they are at higher stakes.

Making bets or raises based on how much the pot is going to be is just way overthinking everything. Honestly you have much more to think about during a hand than $1 or $2 extra rake if the pot gets too big. The bigger the pot, the more you win.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:19 PM   #9
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

$7 rake ($5+2) is high, and im dealing with the same in MD area, but the rakeback is huge. The easiest way to combat it is to show up to the rakeback events. MGM ran a lucky tale promo, the whole table won $500, once per hr. It was going 9:15 AM-4:15 PM ri and sat, so there were about 15 tables eligible at 9:15, and about 30-35 by the night's end. If we estimate about 25 tables on average eligible, we are looking at $20/hr in rakeback.

Typical estimation is 30 hands per hour, you divide by 10 players, youd win 3 per hour, so even if all of your hands are max raked youre looking at $1/hr in rake.

Ignoring this straight EV calculation, youre looking at fish being handed $500 of "free money" which IS gonna go on the table, and youre looking at bad players buying back in when they typically wouldnt so they can make it to the next drawing.

This was an abnormally good promo, and there is some lost value in playing during promo times, but with the $2/hand promo drop, being vigilant with getting your $2 back is going to show a big value.

Playing really tight is dumb, the goal isnt to minimize $$ going from your pocket to the casinos, its to maximize profit going to your pocket. If at this exact moment, the casino decided to take $1000 from a random other person, pocket $999, and give $1 to you, you wouldnt say "no youre taking too much", youd just take your free dollar. Same thing here, if you can on average expect to make $8 pre rake, its worth it for you to gain $1 in EV and casino to gain $7, otherwise casino still takes the $7 but someone else gets the $1

if you think the players are good... i dont know, get better, they arent good.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:15 PM   #10
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

I hate saying it, and dont want to derail the thread. But since higher rake like this has become standard i tip way less.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:39 PM   #11
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

I too play in a $5+$2 raked casino. It used to be $6+$1, so at least now an extra dollar goes into the promo fund. No flop no drop, and it's 10% up to $5 max. That's higher rake than most of us feel is fair, but that's just how it is when you live in an area without much market competition. I really don't know what can be said as far as beating the rake other than you just need to be a good enough player to do so.

I have spent a little bit of time at home figuring out PF and flop bet sizing to try to keep the pot just under the next $10 increment to avoid the next dollar of rake depending on how many limpers are in front of me. This can save you a buck here and there but overall it's pretty insubstantial, especially when you consider that a lot of your raised pots are going to reach max rake anyways. If your vigilant about this then it might add $1-$1.50 to your hourly over the long run. So it's not "nothing" , but it's also not something that in itself will beat the rake in these games.

I'll also echo what someone else said, I don't tip very much. I still tip $1 for pretty much every pot that isn't just a PF raise and take it down, but most of the time I don't tip more than that unless it's a 125+ bb pot. I will tip a red bird here and there if I win a big pot and I like the dealer, but anything under a $400 pot it's $1 or occasionally $2 if I like the dealer. Oh well if they don't like it, at least I'm not one of the regs that only tip if the chip accidentally falls out of their hand and rolls towards the dealer.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:24 PM   #12
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

Pot raked games are the nut low. All players should be charged a seat fee, i.e. time rake.

It would discourage nits from nut-peddling, and stop penalizing aggressive players.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:50 PM   #13
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

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Pot raked games are the nut low. All players should be charged a seat fee, i.e. time rake.

It would discourage nits from nut-peddling, and stop penalizing aggressive players.
I wish time charge was the standard. I play with a 5 or 6 flat drop +1jackpot. Dude from Texas was playing in our game & was complaining how new card rooms in tx are charging $10/hr. I told him how he's likely paying double that in the game were in & his mind was blown.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:17 AM   #14
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

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I wish time charge was the standard. I play with a 5 or 6 flat drop +1jackpot. Dude from Texas was playing in our game & was complaining how new card rooms in tx are charging $10/hr. I told him how he's likely paying double that in the game were in & his mind was blown.
Those must be underground rooms because poker is illegal in Texas. $10/hr is super cheap and even more so for an underground room...or so Ive been told.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:18 AM   #15
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

^^^He was complaining about paying $10 per hour?!? That's one way to identify a fish.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:21 AM   #16
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

I believe OP is talking about a rake structure like that which is found in Northern Florida.
@ Jacksonville, they play 2/2NL.
Now let's say everyone folds to the Button who raises to $8 & everyone folds.
The house takes $1 rake, because they take the 1st $1 at $5.

They take another $1 @ $10 & another at $20 to a max of $5.
I don't remember when the $2 is raked for BBJ.

I would much rather have every player paying $5 every 1/2 hr in a 1/2 game. Some people would think they have to play more hands to make up for the $5 they're forking over every 30 minutes. If that would be the case, I'd be ok with $6 every 30 minutes.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:24 AM   #17
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

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I believe OP is talking about a rake structure like that which is found in Northern Florida.
@ Jacksonville, they play 2/2NL.
Now let's say everyone folds to the Button who raises to $8 & everyone folds.
The house takes $1 rake, because they take the 1st $1 at $5.

They take another $1 @ $10 & another at $20 to a max of $5.
I don't remember when the $2 is raked for BBJ.

I would much rather have every player paying $5 every 1/2 hr in a 1/2 game. Some people would think they have to play more hands to make up for the $5 they're forking over every 30 minutes. If that would be the case, I'd be ok with $6 every 30 minutes.
The time raked games Ive played in Florida are $7 / half hour
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:38 AM   #18
Garick
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

Let's stop the derail about Texas card rooms, please. If you are interested in the new "members-only" Texas card rooms that are operating openly in what they think is a loophole in Texas law, but are facing legal challenges in some jurisdictions, the thread for them is here.

Clifffs: They are not underground, but not exactly legal either. Poker is not illegal in Texas, the house making a profit on it is. These clubs argue that they don't make money off of the game, they make money off the membership fees, including a "seat rental" while you're playing. Some counties seem to think this is fine. Others are shutting them down.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:34 AM   #19
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

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Originally Posted by CHICKSDIGLONGBALL View Post
I hate saying it, and dont want to derail the thread. But since higher rake like this has become standard i tip way less.


I used to tip $1 (even if it was just the blinds preflight) to up to $5 sometimes on bigger pots in 1/2 when rake was $4 ($3 on flop, extra $1 at $40) plus $1. Raked jumped up to $5 plus $2. I tip $1 sometimes $2 on larger pots. I don’t tip small pots anymore.


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Old 10-09-2017, 06:31 PM   #20
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

Stop thinking about the rake, it isn't going to do you any favors in the long run. Just adjust your play according to the table and try to win the most money as you can.

But yes if you are really worried about it just don't tip as much, over the weekend in my 2/5 game this guy tipped a green chip after winning a 500 dollar pot like really?

It's good that you are thinking about the hands you are calling with preflop and what range of hands you are opening but the rake should not be a big factor IF AT ALL in your decisions

Last edited by flopturntree; 10-09-2017 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:02 PM   #21
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

Our 1/3 NL game used to be raked $1 for every $10, up to a maximum rake of $5, with a BBJ drop at $20 (or is it $16, I'm not sure). No flop, no rake is taken. In the last two years, the maximum rake has gone up $1 each year, so now the maximum that can be taken on each hand is $7 + $1 + tip (I'm not going to get into the tipping debate).

My guess is that each of the $1 increases in rake subtracts almost a bb/hr from your winrate. My game plays (a) very loose preflop with big raises (multiway pots for 7x+ raises are super standard) and (b) very aggro preflop (twice as many pots are raised preflop as limped), so reaching $70 (the maximum rake) is trivial. If a tight player at a 10 handed table wins 2 pots per hour, that's typically $2 per $1 rake increase coming out of his winnings (in this case $4/hr). And then of course when you eventually stack on one of the loose fish you also have to take into account how much their stack has been devastated by the rake over that time. I would argue that ~2 bb/hr has come off my winrate just due to rake increases alone.

My conclusion is that playing *much* tighter is the answer, plus taking down pots preflop (and thus unraked) is the ~nuts (especially huge dead money in limp/reraised pots).

My guess is that if the rake maximum in our game goes up a couple of more dollars that it would likely be unbeatable for anything more than trivial lol $/hr.

Gunderestimatetheaffectofrakeatyourownperil,imoG
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:42 PM   #22
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

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Our 1/3 NL game used to be raked $1 for every $10, up to a maximum rake of $5, with a BBJ drop at $20 (or is it $16, I'm not sure). No flop, no rake is taken. In the last two years, the maximum rake has gone up $1 each year, so now the maximum that can be taken on each hand is $7 + $1 + tip (I'm not going to get into the tipping debate).

My guess is that each of the $1 increases in rake subtracts almost a bb/hr from your winrate. My game plays (a) very loose preflop with big raises (multiway pots for 7x+ raises are super standard) and (b) very aggro preflop (twice as many pots are raised preflop as limped), so reaching $70 (the maximum rake) is trivial. If a tight player at a 10 handed table wins 2 pots per hour, that's typically $2 per $1 rake increase coming out of his winnings (in this case $4/hr). And then of course when you eventually stack on one of the loose fish you also have to take into account how much their stack has been devastated by the rake over that time. I would argue that ~2 bb/hr has come off my winrate just due to rake increases alone.

My conclusion is that playing *much* tighter is the answer, plus taking down pots preflop (and thus unraked) is the ~nuts (especially huge dead money in limp/reraised pots).

My guess is that if the rake maximum in our game goes up a couple of more dollars that it would likely be unbeatable for anything more than trivial lol $/hr.

Gunderestimatetheaffectofrakeatyourownperil,imoG
The more you tighten up, the less big pots you will win because people just fold as soon you show interest in the hand or make a big bet. Winning very few large pots because people wont pay you off is going to hurt your win rate a lot more than a rake increase will.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:06 PM   #23
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

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The more you tighten up, the less big pots you will win because people just fold as soon you show interest in the hand or make a big bet. Winning very few large pots because people wont pay you off is going to hurt your win rate a lot more than a rake increase will.
I don't want the thread to become about me, but I often get multiple callers preflop when I limp/reraise big hands that could easily be face up on the table; I get all the action I want (and sometimes moreso) in these preflop spots. That is simply the way my table plays.

Postflop, you are correct: people aren't paying me off nearly as much. But it isn't that they aren't paying off *me* directly; it's that people in general aren't paying off others in general postflop. The game in general simply isn't as good postflop as it once was.

So with regards to the rake, our skill level over other players has to be *much* greater due to the amount of rake being taken out. Here is an example that illustrates this: Folds to me on Button, I $15, the guy who bought the BB calls HU. I bet $20 into $30 on the flop, he calls. I bet $40 into $70 on the turn, he folds. I drag a $70 pot. But not quite. It's actually $70 - $7 - $1 (and -$1 if I tip) = $61. And $35 of that was what I put in. So of the $35 I won off my opponent, I actually only got $26, for a rake of TWENTY SIX PERCENT of my profits. I'm simply not that much better than most of my opponents to be outrunning that sorta rake in lots of little pots. ETA: Also keep in mind that with the previous maximum rake of $5, the rake on my profits in this example would only be twenty percent; in a game where we are pushing small edges, a 6 percent difference in this particular example (i.e. a ~1/3rd increase) is a fairly large one.

You need to honestly assess your skill level advantage over the table. If you're a poker god, and everyone else is a retard, you can probably play a huge percentage of hands and still be profitable against this field even as the rake increases bit by bit. Most table conditions aren't like that, especially for those of us who have accurately concluded that we aren't poker gods.

GcluelessrakenoobG
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:19 PM   #24
degi11
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

How bad is 5% cap 12e on 1/2 and how to adjust game according that?
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:25 AM   #25
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Re: Combating the rake $1-2 / $1-3 as a rec player

Quote:
Originally Posted by gobbledygeek View Post
I don't want the thread to become about me, but I often get multiple callers preflop when I limp/reraise big hands that could easily be face up on the table; I get all the action I want (and sometimes moreso) in these preflop spots. That is simply the way my table plays.

Postflop, you are correct: people aren't paying me off nearly as much. But it isn't that they aren't paying off *me* directly; it's that people in general aren't paying off others in general postflop. The game in general simply isn't as good postflop as it once was.

So with regards to the rake, our skill level over other players has to be *much* greater due to the amount of rake being taken out. Here is an example that illustrates this: Folds to me on Button, I $15, the guy who bought the BB calls HU. I bet $20 into $30 on the flop, he calls. I bet $40 into $70 on the turn, he folds. I drag a $70 pot. But not quite. It's actually $70 - $7 - $1 (and -$1 if I tip) = $61. And $35 of that was what I put in. So of the $35 I won off my opponent, I actually only got $26, for a rake of TWENTY SIX PERCENT of my profits. I'm simply not that much better than most of my opponents to be outrunning that sorta rake in lots of little pots. ETA: Also keep in mind that with the previous maximum rake of $5, the rake on my profits in this example would only be twenty percent; in a game where we are pushing small edges, a 6 percent difference in this particular example (i.e. a ~1/3rd increase) is a fairly large one.

You need to honestly assess your skill level advantage over the table. If you're a poker god, and everyone else is a retard, you can probably play a huge percentage of hands and still be profitable against this field even as the rake increases bit by bit. Most table conditions aren't like that, especially for those of us who have accurately concluded that we aren't poker gods.

GcluelessrakenoobG
Ive been reading your posts for a couple of years now. You are one of the very few that had done his homework so well.

In terms of strategy but also in terms of how you carry yourself in the convo and are objective about your skill and weaknesses.

Tip of the hat to you GG. Run well
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