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Old 08-02-2010, 08:31 AM   #126
citizenwind
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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Originally Posted by _JerryD_ View Post

I guess that's exactly where I'm at and was meaning in my criticism, I'm no super LAG nowadays either, but I have been through the 18/16 ABC poker with value hands. I have played SSNL/MSNL since the beginning of 2007, and to me some of the things citizenwind was referring in the original post (don't get me wrong, it's a nice post) are sort of like I would be forced to go back in the learning curve.
obviously if you're a very experienced MSNL player with excellent sense of pre- and post-flop edges, this post isn't meant for you?
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:25 PM   #127
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

If you a TAG there are two ways of dealing with LAG's who get too active to ignore (usually when they have position on you).

One is to outplay them at their own game.
One is to nit it up and just them bluff themselves to death when you make value bets/calls.

Actually option three is to leave the table but it's not easy to find another without semi-competent LAG's nowadays.

3 years ago everyone just nitted up (at least as high as the 200 tables)

Nowadays the tables just seem to go ape**** with wannabee LAG's 4 bet bluffing 97s and calling off shoves with 77 pre and needing double and often triple barrels to let go of any raised pot in position. Everyone but the nits get it in light and the inter-player adjustments are crazy sometimes.

But when I pull up my HEM its only the nits and the very best LAG's who make the $.

If the table is getting wilder and wilder simply nitting it up is a perfectly rational, the easiest and often most profitable response.

If Mr. 20% 3b from button vs LP raise thinks your steal range is 35%, just how badly will he valuetown himself if you drop it to 15% against him? He keeps thinking he is unluckily running into the top end of your range but you've just nitted up etc...

Why open raise all pairs from EP when you know half the time you get 3 bet and the other half the time you get flatted in LP by guys that need double barrels at least to drop out? Ditch the small pairs and SC's etc and just play premium hands UTG for a bit..

But as an option it's looked on with disdain.
The only option seems to be to LAG it up with them until you become the best LAG at the table - any else is pussy poker apparently etc.

This might be true at MSNL (though I am suspicious) but at SSNL it's just bollox.

Sure in theory you will be a better poker player when you beat the LAG's at their own game. In theory there is no preferred personal style and the good players' 'styles' are all infinitely adjustable with gameflow etc.

Back in the real world of $100 6 max NL, I just think it's often going to be very expensive for a lot of TAG's to get involved in 3 and 4 bet wars and light stacking off so far out of their comfort zone. Especially as they would turn a tidy profit (and could play more tables) by just dropping from 22/18 to 16/14 or whatever when the LAgfests start..

I'm too old to get involved in dick-waving contests. Over 100k hands whatever brings home the $$$ is good poker and whatever loses the $$$ is bad poker IMHO...the rest is vanity...
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:02 PM   #128
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

above post seems to be angry at players who are apparently spewing stacks off? im confused.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:21 PM   #129
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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i think you need to build more on the specific idea of passing up on marginal early street decisions in order to avoid spots where potential miscalculations in strategy will be magnified on further streets. this is a subject a lot of midstakes players like myself already instinctively understand but don't really know how to verbalize.
I don't remember which video it is but one of the CR folks can probably elaborate. I remember there was an entire video devoted mostly to "don't check/call just bet or c/f instead because you'll play guessing games OPP if you check/call"
I strongly disagreed with it but I can also see how it can be extremly valuable at times

I think this approach kind of falls into that category and I mentally associated it with the OP because it was from CR :P
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:28 PM   #130
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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I don't remember which video it is but one of the CR folks can probably elaborate. I remember there was an entire video devoted mostly to "don't check/call just bet or c/f instead because you'll play guessing games OPP if you check/call"
I strongly disagreed with it but I can also see how it can be extremly valuable at times

I think this approach kind of falls into that category and I mentally associated it with the OP because it was from CR :P
You completely mis-represented the spirit of that.

It's Nutedawg's Where Da Gold At. He recommends betting instead of check/guessing in spots where you have no information about your opponent, and/or if you're not very talented post-flop. Which is tremendous advice. You'll get much more information against an unknown by forcing them to respond to your aggression, rather than passivity.

If you're playing with good reads, then it's not check/guessing, it's check/calling confidently.
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:35 PM   #131
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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obviously if you're a very experienced MSNL player with excellent sense of pre- and post-flop edges, this post isn't meant for you?
Well I'm experienced, dunno 'bout the other points

Anyways, even though I can't disagree with you that trying to be the new durrr and cool & LAG etc. just for the sake of it is very stupid, but there is this fundamental thing which makes me disagree here.
If I use two beginning nl10 players as example. Other one is really tight, in some ways "solid" - in some ways "tagfishy" - plays ABC poker. Other one is a very bad LAG who is very aggro but doesn't really know what he is doing. So if I had to choose one from these players to coach I would always choose the LAG.

I think it's much more easy to finesse over-aggressive lines into good poker than a tight nit to play good poker. As a somewhat harsh generalization. I mean, it's not impossible either way and ofc it isn't this black and white, but I think being "too" aggro and splashy and making mistakes & learning from the mistakes is fundamentally a lot better background to become a good poker player.

I think 90% of the really good poker players are habitual spazz monkeys, because without the little spazz in you, you just don't have what it takes to be a real player.

Last edited by _JerryD_; 08-02-2010 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:34 PM   #132
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

I think I'm just frustrated as I can't seem to discipline myself to get my ViP below 22% or cold calls into single figures no matter how many tables I play (and I've been playing for many years).

I win overall but winrate is poor and I suffer massive swings and think that I'm sometimes just levelling myself with all the fancy plays I get into. At $200 and up maybe this is the way you have to play, but I think the LAG's below that are just not that good and it would be better just to TAG em to death....and in opening up to catch the LAGs you often play into the hands of TAG's (so tightening up makes life easier against them too)
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:40 PM   #133
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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He recommends betting instead of check/guessing in spots where you have no information about your opponent, and/or if you're not very talented post-flop.
I think check/calling is perfectly fine with certain chunks of your range vs an unknown. Guessing games aren't horrible if you can guess fairly accurately. You can have decent assumptions about a typical unknown's range and never have "no information". It's mostly a matter of playing certain limits/timeslots over a big enough a sample (getting a "feel" for unknowns)

Quote:
You'll get much more information against an unknown by forcing them to respond to your aggression, rather than passivity.
I'm not sure I could argue this point in either direction tbh
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:04 PM   #134
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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Originally Posted by clowntable View Post
I think check/calling is perfectly fine with certain chunks of your range vs an unknown. Guessing games aren't horrible if you can guess fairly accurately. You can have decent assumptions about a typical unknown's range and never have "no information". It's mostly a matter of playing certain limits/timeslots over a big enough a sample (getting a "feel" for unknowns)


I'm not sure I could argue this point in either direction tbh
Wanted to say good OP to begin with, and add in a few cents of my own.

Since I've coached for over 5+ years now (no I do not currently take students, and this is not a post to advertise my coaching services - ahhh, 2+2), I pretty much deal with a lot of consistent players that have beat say 100nl, but start to struggle at 200 and can't win at 400nl. It's typically a lot of the same bad habits over and over. A lot of it is similar things to what was in OP.

A lot of people have incorrectly applied things they've seen (sometimes not explained very well) in higher stake videos, or at their stakes, but by players that usually play higher. They are pushing very little edges w/o enough information, bluff raising in spots w/ little equity, and not generally understanding why they are betting/raising, etc...

A long with that is not understanding when to check / call, which is an increasingly valuable line. I heard that term (check / guess from a student a while back), and I was basically... wtf are you talking about? You're not checking and guessing. You assign a range to your opponent and decide if most of that range includes second best hands that will call, or if most of that range is stronger than yours, but weak enough to bluff. If you're check guessing, then you need to put more work on understanding equity and hand ranges (which I think OP mentioned - you need post flop work).

I don't like putting my 200NL and below winrates up here, but I won at an insane rate at these stakes by using opponents online aggression against them, while maintaining a pretty balanced aggression level myself. It's so much easier to bluff online than it is live.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:06 PM   #135
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

if jacob is from lost he will def win more.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:39 PM   #136
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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Originally Posted by FreakDaddy View Post
Wanted to say good OP to begin with, and add in a few cents of my own.

Since I've coached for over 5+ years now (no I do not currently take students, and this is not a post to advertise my coaching services - ahhh, 2+2), I pretty much deal with a lot of consistent players that have beat say 100nl, but start to struggle at 200 and can't win at 400nl. It's typically a lot of the same bad habits over and over. A lot of it is similar things to what was in OP.

A lot of people have incorrectly applied things they've seen (sometimes not explained very well) in higher stake videos, or at their stakes, but by players that usually play higher. They are pushing very little edges w/o enough information, bluff raising in spots w/ little equity, and not generally understanding why they are betting/raising, etc...

A long with that is not understanding when to check / call, which is an increasingly valuable line. I heard that term (check / guess from a student a while back), and I was basically... wtf are you talking about? You're not checking and guessing. You assign a range to your opponent and decide if most of that range includes second best hands that will call, or if most of that range is stronger than yours, but weak enough to bluff. If you're check guessing, then you need to put more work on understanding equity and hand ranges (which I think OP mentioned - you need post flop work).

I don't like putting my 200NL and below winrates up here, but I won at an insane rate at these stakes by using opponents online aggression against them, while maintaining a pretty balanced aggression level myself. It's so much easier to bluff online than it is live.
nice post freakdaddy, can you please expand this statement.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:52 PM   #137
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

Fantastic thread. Thank you.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:57 AM   #138
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

Grunching:

The greater your skill edge, the more hands you can get away with playing profitably. The reason many lags are breakeven is they don't have the skill edge to get away with playing a weaker range, but they do it because thats what the cool kids like Durrr are doing.

The very best players at a limit should be playing a much wider range to maximise their winrate since their skill edge is so high. So optimal for the absolute best 200NL reg in the world to maximise his winrate, without getting into all the other good points you mentioned wrt variance, tilt etc, will be LAGGY as hell. He will be soul owning everyone all over the place so he wants to put himself in as many pots as possible.

The thing is, this is SSNL. People don't have huge skill edges in todays reg infested games in general. There are no guys as good as aejones grinding out the 200NL 6 max games. So playing a tighter PF game will maximise the winrate for a lot, if not the vast majority of regs, since they don't have the skill edge to play more hands. The reason there aren't really good LAG's at most limits, or that they are outnumbered by the TAGs making the manies, or they are small winners/breakeven is because the good ones generally move up so fast they aren't in your games for long.

Those that don't become legends of their limit. Like I think Dr_Giggy at 400NL winning at like 8PTBB/100 every single month for ages and everyone being like WTF DR GIGGY?

Going to go back to read the thread now. Nice post overall citizenwind. Just thought I'd mention the thing that struck me that was missing from your explanation of PF tendencies wrt overall edges and winrates.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:13 AM   #139
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

So........ the solid player you're talking about. What would his 6max stats look like ? 18/15 5% 3bet%?
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:26 AM   #140
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

Where is Bella in this story?

PD: btw, nice post.

Last edited by BanZaY; 08-04-2010 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:31 AM   #141
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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So........ the solid player you're talking about. What would his 6max stats look like ? 18/15 5% 3bet%?
Eh, probably anywhere from 18/15 to 24/19, depending on the opponents at the table.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:44 PM   #142
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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or suspected my opponents of being sophisticated enough to turn 77 into a bluff on Q64KJ when I triple barrel. Of course, people ARE doing this, but those players fall into such a minority that I do not let it dictate my overall play (I'm also convinced most of those players aren't big winners).
why are you convinced of that?
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:50 PM   #143
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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why are you convinced of that?
because none of them have great winrates, and they make bluffs in obvious spots to turn their hands into bluffs. like c/r huge shoving flush rivers when they never can have a flush or play it like that.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:54 PM   #144
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

I read the OP and only the OP and it's very meh to me. Couple good points in there about tilt control with laggy play and laggy players often not being very good and don't have the edge they think they do (but poker is built on delusion, so this is nothing new).

But really everything else seems pretty terrible. Learn how to play well at poker. The better you are relative to your opponents, the more likely you are to develop into a laggier player. And when I say "learn to play well," I mean really well. Not just the standard crap; experiment and, even though I hate this phrase, think outside the box. Developing instinctual reads takes time, but autopiloting a nitty style prevents one from developing that pivotal skill. Poker is about situations, and OP seems to be completely ignoring that. I mean, I respect what you're saying about the majority of durrr wannabes not being profitable, but simply saying that playing nitty/tight is the solution to that is just stupid imo because there are just as many nitty players that are losing as well.

And yeah, OP, you're never going to beat any games past 2/4, but it appears that you have no desire to do so. I also would probably want to shoot myself if I did this day in and day out.

Basically, one should learn to play good in their own style, learn about your own tilt issues and other x-factors. There is no universal answer such as OP's just play 18/14 for 50 hours a week and laugh at the lags.

To note, I play 3/6 to 25/50 with some smaller stakes thrown in (and occasional bigger if there's a fish), and basically I have to be more in line in those games. When I play small stakes, I play like a maniac and most players have no clue how to properly counteract besides call and pray or spazz shove in weird spots. My guess, OP, is that you're the former, and you simply don't realize how exploitable you are. But that's ok because, hey, you're grinding out that nl100 with no ambition to do anything else.

edit: and what is "big hand big pot." It's all relative to your oppenents range. Third pair for stacks is the right play depending on the situation. Folding the second nuts is the right play in another situation. If the "big hand big pot" rule work, PTR would show a lot more winners, lol. It seems like you have a lot of universal rules, nearly all of which seem bad to me. In fact, I hate the idea of having rules, period. And they are probably what prevents you from being a larger winner and moving up to beat bigger games.

I realize this sounds harsh, and it's not all intended to be personal (I have no clue who you are), but it just seems bad to me.

Last edited by fds; 08-04-2010 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:15 PM   #145
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

Re read his post. it's truly amazing to me, how people can read OP, then completely miss the point.

Never did he give any absolutes. never did he say to play nitty. Never did he say to stop thinking and going with reads.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:15 PM   #146
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

fds, I think what he means is too many people who actually aren't that good at poker try to be lags. He thinks they should play nittier and win as at a certain skill level playing nitty is correct since you can't profitably play a wider range. I can see his point. You do see some really donkish lags who aren't even 'experimenting' or learning or improving in fact they end up having to move down.

Your right it does not show that much desire to move up the limits and the 'solid' tight guys at higher limits are good hand readers/aggressive in the right spots otherwise they'd bleed to death blind by blind but at the same time I think you missed the point of his OP a bit.

Cliffs of OP as I understood it: If you are an SSNL reg and want to make manies there is nothing wrong with being tight and ABC and if you aren't that good then playing LAG will kill your winrate.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:25 PM   #147
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

Yeah I guess I get that. So basically, if I'm not that good poker, just play tight ABC and you can make some monies. I get that. And if that's your goal (and I have no problem with that...beats a low-paying deadend job), then fine.

But it is far from a method of actually getting good at poker and moving up and making good monies.

And I'm not denying that there are numerous lag donks who are just mindlessing clicking buttons, but there are just many total mindless nits that are just clicking buttons. Both groups are losing players. Neither are going to become winners until they actually put thought into their game, obviously.

And, like I said, poker is completely about delusion. Those terribad lagtards aren't going to change because they have upswong days once in a while. If OP wants to laugh at them and be proud of himself for being solid, that's fine.

And there is nothing wrong with starting off with OP's abc style, but solely accepting that as one's fait seems bad. You need to experiment to get better, and that involves making some mistakes along the way.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:29 PM   #148
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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Yeah I guess I get that. So basically, if I'm not that good poker, just play tight ABC and you can make some monies. I get that. And if that's your goal (and I have no problem with that...beats a low-paying deadend job), then fine.

But it is far from a method of actually getting good at poker and moving up and making good monies.

And I'm not denying that there are numerous lag donks who are just mindlessing clicking buttons, but there are just many total mindless nits that are just clicking buttons. Both groups are losing players. Neither are going to become winners until they actually put thought into their game, obviously.

And, like I said, poker is completely about delusion. Those terribad lagtards aren't going to change because they have upswong days once in a while. If OP wants to laugh at them and be proud of himself for being solid, that's fine.

And there is nothing wrong with starting off with OP's abc style, but solely accepting that as one's fait seems bad. You need to experiment to get better, and that involves making some mistakes along the way.
Your first post + this is exactly what I was talking about in my posts a couple pages ago. Could't agree more.

I was talking about going back in the learning curve to go "abc" and this:

Quote:
You need to experiment to get better, and that involves making some mistakes along the way
is exactly what I was getting to. You play, you learn. You become a better player and know how to play those marginal spots, but those are the edges that make you in the end a better player than all the other TAG's.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:46 PM   #149
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

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1. Play big pots with big hands. When the pot's 50bb's or more, you should usually have a hand that compares very favorably against your opponent's. Against nits, that means you're near the very top of your range, and against fish, you've got top pair with a moderate kicker.

2. Run bluffs with equity. When deciding to raise a K84 flop as a bluff, it's MUCH better to do so with 76s or A4s than it is to do so with JT. Against KQ, 76s has 22% equity and draws to the stone nuts. JT has 6%, and sometimes when you backdoor two pair, you'll be paying off better two pair. This concept goes for both bluff-raising and floating. When double barreling, without a specific read, I'm barreling when A) my equity increases on the turn (I pick up a draw or had a premium draw to start) B) the card pooped on my opponent's flop calling range (aka usually an overcard to top or 2nd pair). At SSNL, I'm almost barreling with the sole intent to get someone off of TPGK.

3. Don't try to simplify poker into a pre-flop battle, trying to push tiny 3-4% edges. If you're getting in AQ or 99 pre-flop standardly in late position, you're not necessarily doing something wrong, but you're exposing yourself to significant trouble against perceptive or tricky opponents.

4. Play JUST loose enough to get people to assume you're a goofball. 3-bet on the button. Occasionally C/R and bluff-raise obvious bluffing spots and then fold. Let your opponents assume you're capable of more than you actually are. In a recent session, a 13/9 regular 4-bet QT and then CALLED OFF against my 5-bet. To make that call correct, either I have to be 3-bet/5-betting a hand like 55, or I have to be 5-bet jamming a hand worse than Q-high-- neither of which I've done outside of extreme circumstances. But my opponents don't know that!

5. Have a folding range. In every situation, you need to have a folding range. Be it folding to 3-bets, folding to 4-bets, folding to cbets, turn bets, etc. Though folding guarantees you'll lose the hand, folding encourages your opponents to put in more money with bluffs to try and run you over. Now, this doesn't mean you should fold too often-- you should still have a W$WSF north of 45%-- but it does mean that you should be willing to give up in certain positions, even when you know your opponent is going to be firing 100% of his air range. For example, occasionally C/Fing Kxxr with the betting lead encourages opponents to take shots at you when you check, which you can later exploit.

6. Cold-call very tightly. As you get more proficient, you can call much more loosely, especially with fish to act. However, standardly calling open raises with very speculative hands and 100bb effective stacks just isn't going to be profitable. Hands like 98s and A2s are going to require multi-way pots to show a profit if you're not accurately fighting for small and medium pots, or if you're misjudging how often a fish comes along for the ride.

7. Don't attack strength, attack weakness. There are a surprising amount of threads where I see someone shove over a 4-bet, or a C/R and turn bet, or a 3-barrel on a bad board to fire on. Yeah, there are some spots where this is right, but this should certainly not be the norm! Don't attack people in spots where they are trying to put a ton of money into the pot, attack when they can't possibly have a strong hand. For example, if two players check around to you twice in a small pot, or a straightforward opponent doesn't lead after you check back the flop, those are times to pounce or run bigger-than-usual bluffs. Not only will your success rate in these spots be VERY high, but if you're caught, you get to develop a crazy image very cheaply.
1 and 5 can basically be boiled to the term "relative hand strength" and everything written here as a rule is just bad imo. "having a folding range" is no different than "having a calling range" or "having a raising range." It's just playing balanced poker based upon relative hand strength.

2 is obvious in that "hey I have to have a barreling range x% of the time otherwise my valuebets are exploitable so I might as well barrel the x% of the time I pick up some equity." This again just goes to my point of learning to simply be a good player.

3 is just silly because preflop battles are mandatory in certain situation. This just against boils to being good and balanced in preflop spots (or, in ssnl, unbalanced yet exploiting the opponent).

4 basically works if your opponent is braindead.

6 again is just basic poker strat and depends on opponents, gameflow, history, etc.

7. is a really bad of way of saying top of ones range v. the bottom of ones range. If I'm villain and the top of my range based on the way the hand played out is a weak holding (i.e., I can't have a super strong hand as played), then I'm going to realize this. So simply saying "villain is very weak, not strong, so I can attack it" is going to get you murdered by me or anybody that is decent. If you can get away with it, you're just playing someone bad and good for u. Again, relative hand strength.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:55 PM   #150
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Re: On Being Solid (very long)

Quote:
Originally Posted by fds View Post
1 and 5 can basically be boiled to the term "relative hand strength" and everything written here as a rule is just bad imo. "having a folding range" is no different than "having a calling range" or "having a raising range." It's just playing balanced poker based upon relative hand strength.

2 is obvious in that "hey I have to have a barreling range x% of the time otherwise my valuebets are exploitable so I might as well barrel the x% of the time I pick up some equity." This again just goes to my point of learning to simply be a good player.

3 is just silly because preflop battles are mandatory in certain situation. This just against boils to being good and balanced in preflop spots (or, in ssnl, unbalanced yet exploiting the opponent).

4 basically works if your opponent is braindead.

6 again is just basic poker strat and depends on opponents, gameflow, history, etc.

7. is a really bad of way of saying top of ones range v. the bottom of ones range. If I'm villain and the top of my range based on the way the hand played out is a weak holding (i.e., I can't have a super strong hand as played), then I'm going to realize this. So simply saying "villain is very weak, not strong, so I can attack it" is going to get you murdered by me or anybody that is decent. If you can get away with it, you're just playing someone bad and good for u. Again, relative hand strength.
Ok, so, can you write a long post that is better for us then, instead of these useless posts?
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