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Old 09-12-2021, 03:13 AM   #1
5th Suit
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Question blocking/unblocking

sorry i don't know where this goes, not even sure what kind of answers i'll get. learning modern poker theory and i am curious if there is any school of thought that believes there is too much emphasis on blocking and unblocking villain?

Thank you for your time,
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Old 09-12-2021, 08:02 AM   #2
sixfour
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Re: blocking/unblocking

I don't think anyone's ever thought of it as a major thing at any point, only as a way to break ties in close decisions where you're not going to be wrong by much one way or another
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Old 09-12-2021, 12:24 PM   #3
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Re: blocking/unblocking

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Originally Posted by sixfour View Post
only as a way to break ties in close decisions
agree
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Old 09-12-2021, 01:00 PM   #4
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Re: blocking/unblocking

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I don't think anyone's ever thought of it as a major thing at any point, only as a way to break ties in close decisions where you're not going to be wrong by much one way or another
Sometimes it can make that big dollar difference, tho.

Exhibit A: Final hand of Partypoker millions by Isildur
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCyv3RQ7kuo
(I think he would have folded with any other king in his hand)

I guess when you're playing at that level then particularly making those close calls better than your opponent is what tips the scales.
Coolers are just moving money around because they happen to everyone the same number of times and there's very little you can do about it.

Last edited by antialias; 09-12-2021 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 09-12-2021, 05:58 PM   #5
sixfour
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Re: blocking/unblocking

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Originally Posted by antialias View Post
Sometimes it can make that big dollar difference, tho.

Exhibit A: Final hand of Partypoker millions by Isildur
I'm sorry, I must have missed how that had anything to do with blockers
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:49 AM   #6
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Re: blocking/unblocking

Is this the right place to post? Yes .. and No ..

Although the use of exposed cards to make decisions can be useful you also do need a willing 'partner' at times as well. Beginners can sometimes be impossible to range, which can make it more difficult to apply blockers to your thought process in those specific hands. Against more experienced V where you can 'rely' on some semblance of ranging it may become more useful.

While I believe 'blocking' has a much better application in PLO, I'm starting to see/hear more comments where application in NL works more often as well.

My most common use of blockers, although I didn't call them that at the time, is when you have a pocket pair and you're making a Flop float decision with a paired or two-flush Board. If one of your set outs makes the flush .. fold. But if you 'unblock' a flush draw on a paired Board and you can make a FH (and them a flush), then you can consider calling.

If you want some good blocking chat .. Try to watch the Poker Masters on PokerGo (Event 2?). And especially the last hand of HU when Asmus played an excellent hand (including the Turn sizing) but still got called by Perry. GL
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:59 AM   #7
antialias
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Re: blocking/unblocking

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Originally Posted by sixfour View Post
I'm sorry, I must have missed how that had anything to do with blockers
Isildur's Kh blocks Pavel from having King high flushes. Which pretty much eliminates half the flushes he would have shoved here for value from Pavel's range (i.e. skewing Pavel's range towards bluffs)
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Old 09-13-2021, 02:48 PM   #8
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Re: blocking/unblocking

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Originally Posted by antialias View Post
Isildur's Kh blocks Pavel from having King high flushes. Which pretty much eliminates half the flushes he would have shoved here for value from Pavel's range (i.e. skewing Pavel's range towards bluffs)
Is there a difference between blocking (holding opponents outs and therefore reducing his likelihood of making his draw) and hand removal(holding cards, like an A or K of a suit, that remove those hands from an opponents range)? Do we play both concepts the same way?
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Old 09-13-2021, 03:43 PM   #9
antialias
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Re: blocking/unblocking

I'll just quote Upswing on this:
Quote:
Removal (aka blockers) is when a player holds a specific card which ‘blocks’ their opponents from having combinations of that same card.
https://upswingpoker.com/glossary/removal/
Though I prefer the term blocking because that makes it - to me - more intuitive what unblocking is. (of course that also would work with 'not card removal')
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:58 PM   #10
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Re: blocking/unblocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by antialias View Post
I'll just quote Upswing on this:

https://upswingpoker.com/glossary/removal/
Though I prefer the term blocking because that makes it - to me - more intuitive what unblocking is. (of course that also would work with 'not card removal')
OK, so I have been misunderstanding the term 'blocker'. Is there a different term for referring to the reduction in equity of a villains draw when you hold one or more of their outs?
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:16 AM   #11
Duncelanas
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Re: blocking/unblocking

You would just say "blocking their flush outs," there isn't a different term for these different types of blocking afaik.
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:28 PM   #12
antialias
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Re: blocking/unblocking

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Originally Posted by SpewingIsMyMove View Post
OK, so I have been misunderstanding the term 'blocker'. Is there a different term for referring to the reduction in equity of a villains draw when you hold one or more of their outs?
I dunno. But since a reduction in his equity is an increase in your equity: why would you try to see this from his POV an not from yours?

Since villain can't really know what you're blocking in a particular hand he can't make decisions based on his reduced equity on a case by case basis. It seems really hard to play a hand in a way so that someon can guess the exact card(s) you're holding (in which case an equity calculation becomes moot, anyhow, since villain can then make a perfect decision)

He can only make decisions based on how often you will hold a blocker/some of his outs based on his estimate of your current range by reducing his own average equity in a hand.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:56 PM   #13
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Re: blocking/unblocking

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Originally Posted by antialias View Post
I dunno. But since a reduction in his equity is an increase in your equity: why would you try to see this from his POV an not from yours?

...

It's not that simple.

Blocking villain's flush draw outs increases your equity against those draws. But at the same time, removing some of those draws from their range can increase the likelihood that they hold value hands. It's two conflicting effects caused by the same card removal.

--

Here's an example. HJ open, BB call. KcJd5d. HJ bets 1/3, BB raises pot. 7s. BB overbets 125% pot. Action on HJ.

ranges

If we take a look at BB's flush draws, we can see that removing a diamond from the deck certainly devalues those draws:




However, removing the 9d also removes many draws from BB's range like gutshots and flushdraws, which skews them more towards 2pair+ value hands:




The overall effect is actually good for the BB's range, which explains why the HJ folds the Ad9d draw facing the overbet:



Here's the equity of HJ's flush draws facing the overbet:




Quote:
Originally Posted by 5th Suit View Post
sorry i don't know where this goes, not even sure what kind of answers i'll get. learning modern poker theory and i am curious if there is any school of thought that believes there is too much emphasis on blocking and unblocking villain?
I think the general consensus is that blockers hardly matter in a lot of spots, but blockers can become quite significant when ranges narrow.

Last edited by tombos21; 09-18-2021 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 09-18-2021, 08:46 PM   #14
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Re: blocking/unblocking

At this point HJ is holding ace high against a pot size and an overbet ... and getting nowhere near odds to go to the river with this draw and an overcard (which likely isn't good even if it hits).

Would you really consider blocking to be a factor in the decision to fold Ad9d here?
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