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Old 10-22-2017, 07:12 PM   #126
OnTheRail15
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Re: A pre-flop spot

I’m not trolling about that being a great book, no.


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Old 10-22-2017, 07:39 PM   #127
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Re: A pre-flop spot

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
When playing poker, and this applies to virtually all gambling, even though my degrees are in math; I try to think statistically and not mathematically (perhaps because when I had a real job many years ago I worked much more as a statistician than mathematician). There are differences (and I explore this idea some in my Gambling Theory book under the topic of "Non-Self Weighting Strategies") and thinking this way can bring you to some unusual conclusions.

Specifically, this essay is less about image than you might think but more about how certain decisions can impact and warp statistical distributions at a later time. If you were just thinking mathematically, you would view these decisions as being more independent from each other than I do.

Best wishes,
Mason
What I mean to say is yes I realize when we do something like check AJ preflop there is some inherent value there; however I think you don't give enough credit to the amount of equity we are sacrificing pre-flop and are consistently advocating inferior lines.

I also think you use examples of how villians will play vs us that is somehwat unreaslistic and uncommon to support some of your positions.

Examples would be we should check AJ in the BB because when the button open limps 45o and the flop comes AJK we can check call 3 times and let him triple barrel off.

Or we should not 3 bet JJ 5 ways pre-flop because when we lead the T34 flop the UTG raises is going to raise all his random 2 overcard hands and clear the field for us
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:57 PM   #128
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Re: A pre-flop spot

As for your examples, I iwll try to adress them on a case by case basis

Example No. 1: You opponent thinks you play tight. You should now be inclined to just call. The reason for this is that if small cards hit and you raised, your opponent may be encouraged to try to steal from you when he does not make a hand. He might bet if you check, he might raise if you bet, and in no-limit he might float your continuation bet. Ironically, if you do just call, win the pot, and show your hand, you will confirm to your opponent that you are a tight, unimaginative player.

(1) well our opponent sucks and clearly isn't going to have anything close to a GRO bluffing frequency so who cares if he tries to steal the pot from us. Thankfully we are allowed to call with AJ hi when he bluffs to often. Now we gain the equity postflop and we ake money when he bluffs to often postflop. Not to mention that he sucks he's likely to bluff in jsut terrible ad straightforward spots that are very easy to adapt to.

Example No. 2: Your opponent thinks you play loose. This is actually a very tough situation to be in. The reason for this is that hold ’em is a game where you often prefer a tight image, and a loose image will not allow you to maneuver your opponent when you are out of position. Specifically, if you check on a later street your opponent won’t be afraid that you might be trying for a check-raise since you usually have a weak holding. This means that calling is probably the best strategy against most but not all your opponents.

(2) Well if your assunption is we can't raise pre-flop because our oppents will jsut bet with inpunity when checked to because they don't fear out checkraise (lol) we can raise preflop and then just (a) bet later streets or (b) check raise later streets. If we are able to both raise pre-flop and check raise big streets at a high freuqnecy this doesn't seem like a determent to raising pre-flop but rather a bonus.

Example No. 4: your raise will now accomplish is to get more money into the pot (with the best hand)....

Let just stop here for a second and think it over....

and it won’t have any of the other good psychological effects. Your opponent won’t fear your holding, and if a big card flops that does not hit your hand and he makes a small pair, he will stay with you. And if he makes a hand of moderate strength, he should be quick to raise you on a later street.

so whats your plan when we check pre-flop and get the same flop vs our oppoent. It comes Q66 and we check fold, it comes K24 and we check fold....

Who really cares if he fears our holding when we have a good hand and he has some piece of **** that he open limped the button with. Sure sometimes he calls down the QT5 flop with 56 but certainly hes calling down the JT5 flop as well.
- my point is hes liekly going to play his range the same on most board vs an agressive action by us whether he raised pre-flop or not, and if thats true then sacraficing the pre-flop equity advrangtge is just stupid....

Which brings us to the origional premise that you can make that up in spots where we don't take an agressive action. Yes we make some money when we flop and A or J but a high eprcentage of the time we are going to flop nothing and have to play the hand oop which will be extermely tough to do.

on lots of baord textures we will have close to 50% equity at best vs a button open limp range and have a very hard time realizing our equity. our opponent will be able to play bear perfectly on several flop textures once we check it to him
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:05 PM   #129
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Re: A pre-flop spot

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Originally Posted by Jon_locke View Post
What I mean to say is yes I realize when we do something like check AJ preflop there is some inherent value there; however I think you don't give enough credit to the amount of equity we are sacrificing pre-flop and are consistently advocating inferior lines.
Shame on you for writing something like this. I do not consistently advocate inferior lines. The opportunity to make most of these unusual plays only comes up occasionally and just because the opportunity occurs, it doesn't mean that the play is then correct to do.

MM
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:44 AM   #130
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Re: A pre-flop spot

I set mine here. 3 betting is folding no one and any overcard you are sunk.

Calling hides the strength of you hand which makes you a ton when you flop a jack. And allows you to easily fold on most boards that miss you.

5 way action? Totally silly to reraise even if you think your hand is best.

You can also represent a lot of different boards by just calling. 4-4-7, you can check raise. or lead out.

Calling gives you more fun ways to play certain flops.

It is okay to donk bet on certain flops with 5 way action. Limits the field a lot. 4-9-J, if I have 6's in the blind and cold called, I might just donk a bet. See what happens.

Last edited by pokerchris; 10-23-2017 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:15 PM   #131
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Re: A pre-flop spot

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Shame on you for writing something like this. I do not consistently advocate inferior lines. The opportunity to make most of these unusual plays only comes up occasionally and just because the opportunity occurs, it doesn't mean that the play is then correct to do.

MM
I guess we are just going to disagree. I don't think it is ever correct to check QQ 7+ ways for example. I don't care if its a very unusual or rare spot, I don't think its ever correct and I think when new players come on here trying to get better at poker its going to do them quite a disservice.

I don't think its almost ever correct to not 3 bet JJ (unless UTG only opens like QQ+ or something). I think just calling 5 ways vs a bunch of bad players and weak ranges is clearly an inferior line (as does every other poster on here). Also, I'm probably right

I don't think its ever correct to check AJo preflop when the button open limps and the sb folds despite what examples you give. In fact, I even recall somebody asking Phillip Newall (who I assume you respect quite a lot, ((also good book)) if he can think of a situation where he would check AJo in that spot and he said no. So at least in that instance he's wrong or you are....
I'm curious which one you think it is?

I don't mean any disrespect or anything, we just disagree on several spots and ideas as we are both very stubborn people. Also I'm probably right.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:32 PM   #132
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A pre-flop spot

7 way limped pots are all alike; every heads up pot is heads up in its own way.


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Old 10-23-2017, 07:18 PM   #133
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Re: A pre-flop spot

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7 way limped pots are all alike; every heads up pot is heads up in its own way.


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This thread makes me want to throw myself under a train.
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:51 AM   #134
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Heart Re: A pre-flop spot

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I don't mean any disrespect or anything, we just disagree on several spots and ideas as we are both very stubborn people. Also I'm probably right.


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Old 10-27-2017, 03:31 PM   #135
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Re: A pre-flop spot

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This thread makes me want to throw myself under a train.
I just happened to wander through the LHE forums for the first time in a long while. I don't plan on making that mistake again soon. It was good to see some old school posters though.
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Old 10-28-2017, 02:44 PM   #136
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Re: A pre-flop spot

I’m down with going for exploitive value on the margin in short handed spots particularly on the late streets in heads up pots. I don’t consider AJo preflop heads up vs a single limper to be marginal. Maybe you could talk me into checking A5o but probably not A9o.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:25 PM   #137
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Re: A pre-flop spot

Fundamental theorem of poker. If you reraise pre flop any reasonable hand should continue no matter what you have. Gave most two card combinations correct odds to play. Now slow playing hand a bit and executing correct check raises you allow opponents to make mistakes.
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Old 10-29-2017, 05:27 AM   #138
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Re: A pre-flop spot

When pots regularly go 5 ways,

Ur gonna make money alotta when you cold call your good hands
Ur gonna make money alotta when you 3b your good hands

We all win
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Old 10-29-2017, 05:38 AM   #139
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Re: A pre-flop spot

Also in the event where the ev diff between 2 lines are unclear (which is very true for mw pots), I rather take the most intuitive line because I assume that is the line most players take.

I want to take the line least deviated because then I'd know there's more symmetry when other players are in my spot, and thus there is no difference in our ev for that exact spot.

I'm sure if we take a poll, 3betting would be the preferred line.

So in the world where raising is better,
If I raise, I breakeven
If I call, I lose (everyone else is raising)

In the world where calling is better,
If I raise, I breakeven
If I call, I win

I rather breakeven by always raising as opposed to being right in one world and wrong in the other

(Maybe there's a fallacy or mistake in my logic, but no risk < risk where the ev diff between the deviation is unclear)

Last edited by tiger415; 10-29-2017 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 11-04-2017, 08:58 AM   #140
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Re: A pre-flop spot

This thread is hilarious.
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:16 AM   #141
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Re: A pre-flop spot

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
If you knew more about our history, you would know that many people, some of who were quite well known at the time, have stated that we were incorrect and didn't know what we were saying. Most of them are broke now.

Mason
holy crap, this thread is hilarious. never realized what I was missing when I stopped reading this forums.

Quote:
For instance, suppose you have two kings or two queens in the big blind. The player under the gun raises, and six people call. Our preferred way to play this hand is to not reraise
pretty sure this advice is contrary to the ed miller book winning in loose games.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:39 AM   #142
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Re: A pre-flop spot

Horse has been stabbed beaten and turned into glue.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:14 AM   #143
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Re: A pre-flop spot

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi jdr0317:

I agree with your estimate of 0.5 small bets more of value.

But suppose you don't three-bet preflop but are able to increase your probability of winning the pot by 5 percent. Since there will be ten small bets in the pot preflop, isn't 5 percent of ten small bets also 0.5 small bets. And even though you're out of position, I think in many of these situations you'll be able to make adjustments in your strategy that will gain you that five percent, and you'll do this mainly by being able to knock people out where this would tougher to do if you made it three bets before the flop.

On the other hand, if you knew that the hand would be played exactly the same whether or not you made it three bets with the pair of jacks, then taking it to three bets is certainly correct.

Best wishes,
Mason

Semi-grunching (I read the first 100 posts), but to me, this is the crux of the Mason just-call argument preflop. Real hard to prove one way or another whether just calling pre does in fact present frequent enough of opportunities to increase our chances of winning the pot.... But the logic in the above post does make sense, and is a credible defense to just calling.

That said, throw me in the 3-bet preflop camp. I think the immediate equity advantage gain will out weigh the chances we catch the correct flops with the right people flopping the right thing in the right position to be able to help us get to knock out overcards or whatever else might be out there that may be able to make a hand better than jacks and will decide to fold for 2-bets in this smaller pot...
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:03 PM   #144
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Re: A pre-flop spot

statistician here and this whole discussion hurts me deeply lol. first, obviously mason is right in the example provided.

similarly, and just as obviously, mason can be wrong depending on a vast number of unobserved variables.

in a perfect world, we'd simply simulate the whole thing with every single assumption agreed upon and every single decision point varied step by step to compare the overall ev of each outcome.

but, we don't live in a perfect world. we don't have an ability to execute this simulation properly given how quickly the tree explodes. it would take years to do it right and the gain is minimal, so nobody will do it.

also, only mason is truly acknowledging how difficult it is to juggle N changing variables in your head with varying assumption values at once. he's also not trying to do it, himself. he's simply pointing out how a given example works out "his way" in the hopes of others being able to apply that simplified logic in a similar situation. many people apply it too readily or don't fully understand the application and thus make mistakes.

the worse news is that it's hard to even gauge by how much mason is wrong when he is wrong b/c that whole hand is unobserved and has too many variables at stake anyways. and by the same token, it's hard to gauge how often mason's simplified situation will come to pass and how much it would cost to apply it wrongly when it looks like it has come to pass but actually hasn't (b/c the rest of the hand plays out differently). we simply can't know all this.

but the good news is that we can whittle down tons of variables to a few of the most important ones if we isolate a given situation:
- will the bb raise if you simply complete the sb?
- will the bb raise the flop if bet into when he holds only overcards?

those are the simplest, but there's lots of others to take into account (if we check instead of betting, will a later agro player raise the bb's bet allowing us to 3b/OR can we depend on this later player to bet the turn allowing us to k/r | the various cards that can come on the turn that change our mind w/ this strategy).

the bottom line is that limit poker is exceedingly complex and anybody in this thread who says mason is dead wrong or dead right is almost surely wrong. there's lots of shades of right and wrong here and the degree of each depends on a ludicrous number of variables and an even ludicrousier number of values that those variables can take in an optimal simulation.

so please remember that nobody here can really be dead right or dead wrong imo.

and my favorite post in this whole thread by far is David's!!!! WTG DS!!!
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:29 PM   #145
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Re: Bellagio 20-40: Jacks in the Small Blind with Multiway Raised Action

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I wasn't planning to post this hand from last weekend. But, it's very appropriate to this thread. The hand is from the 20-40 Bellagio game and was playing typical (somewhat loose and aggressive)

The hand:

UTG (a mid-stakes mixed game player) limps in.

There's one fold and the next player raises. He's new to the game and brought several large denomination chips. That suggests to me he's a NLHE player (possibly 10-20 or higher).

A loose player calls. A 20-40 reg (possibly over-aggressive) calls. Chau Giang(!) calls (he's been playing mid-stakes games since the WSOP). The Button folds.

I'm in the small blind with JJ and consider the situation. With only the Big Blind (very loose) and the UTG limp as players I could possibly knock out, I elect to call.

The Big Blind called.

UTG (a mid-stakes mixed game player) looks up from his phone and reassess the situation. He decides to three-bet. I was certain at the time that his decision to three-bet was made at that moment (based on body language and playing with him in the 20-40 O/8 game where he often jams with draws). In fact, it wasn't until after the hand that I realized that I didn't really consider that he limp-reraised with AA/KK.

Four players call the three-bet and the action was on me.

At this point, I'm certain Jacks are the best hand since the initial raiser didn't four-bet and nobody else has shown strength. But, I elected to call. The Big Blind called to close the action. If I had four-bet, I'm extremely confident the UTG player would have five-bet for the same reasons he three-bet.

Seven players saw the flop with 21 small bets in the pot.

The flop is: T52

I checked. Big Blind checked.

UTG checked (largely confirming he doesn't have AA/KK). The initial pre-flop raiser checked. Loose player checked.

The 20-40 reg (possibly over-aggressive) bet. Chau Giang called.

The action is back on me and I raise.

The Big Blind who had calling chips in his hand says "Thanks!" and folds. UTG calls two bets cold (confirming he didn't flop a set since he'll surely choose to jam with it).

Initial pre-flop raiser folds. Loose player folds.

The 20-40 reg three-bets. Chau Giang folds.

I call and UTG calls.

Three players see the turn with 15.5 big bets in the pot.

The turn is: T524

I check. UTG checks.

The 20-40 reg bets. I raise.

UTG briefly considers while gathering chips and says "Everyone's going to wonder how I got there if I win this pot." (yeah, that's a big tell and not an act)

The 20-40 reg calls.

Three players see the river with 21.5 big bets in the pot.

The river is: T524Q

I bet. UTG folds quickly. The 20-40 reg calls.
I thought this was a good hand, and expertly played. I wonder what other posters think about this one.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:57 PM   #146
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Re: A pre-flop spot

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Originally Posted by pokerchris View Post
Fundamental theorem of poker. If you reraise pre flop any reasonable hand should continue no matter what you have. Gave most two card combinations correct odds to play. Now slow playing hand a bit and executing correct check raises you allow opponents to make mistakes.
The FToP is not valid in multiway pots. See "Morton's Theorem" (q.v.).
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:17 PM   #147
Mason Malmuth
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Re: A pre-flop spot

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Originally Posted by UpHillBothWays View Post
statistician here and this whole discussion hurts me deeply lol. first, obviously mason is right in the example provided.

similarly, and just as obviously, mason can be wrong depending on a vast number of unobserved variables.

in a perfect world, we'd simply simulate the whole thing with every single assumption agreed upon and every single decision point varied step by step to compare the overall ev of each outcome.

but, we don't live in a perfect world. we don't have an ability to execute this simulation properly given how quickly the tree explodes. it would take years to do it right and the gain is minimal, so nobody will do it.

also, only mason is truly acknowledging how difficult it is to juggle N changing variables in your head with varying assumption values at once. he's also not trying to do it, himself. he's simply pointing out how a given example works out "his way" in the hopes of others being able to apply that simplified logic in a similar situation. many people apply it too readily or don't fully understand the application and thus make mistakes.

the worse news is that it's hard to even gauge by how much mason is wrong when he is wrong b/c that whole hand is unobserved and has too many variables at stake anyways. and by the same token, it's hard to gauge how often mason's simplified situation will come to pass and how much it would cost to apply it wrongly when it looks like it has come to pass but actually hasn't (b/c the rest of the hand plays out differently). we simply can't know all this.

but the good news is that we can whittle down tons of variables to a few of the most important ones if we isolate a given situation:
- will the bb raise if you simply complete the sb?
- will the bb raise the flop if bet into when he holds only overcards?

those are the simplest, but there's lots of others to take into account (if we check instead of betting, will a later agro player raise the bb's bet allowing us to 3b/OR can we depend on this later player to bet the turn allowing us to k/r | the various cards that can come on the turn that change our mind w/ this strategy).

the bottom line is that limit poker is exceedingly complex and anybody in this thread who says mason is dead wrong or dead right is almost surely wrong. there's lots of shades of right and wrong here and the degree of each depends on a ludicrous number of variables and an even ludicrousier number of values that those variables can take in an optimal simulation.

so please remember that nobody here can really be dead right or dead wrong imo.

and my favorite post in this whole thread by far is David's!!!! WTG DS!!!
Hi UpHillBothWays:

Thanks for an excellent post.

I just want to point out that in these situations another very important variable is the size of the pot.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:01 PM   #148
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Re: A pre-flop spot

Ty Mason, and yes ofc, pot size is a major determinant.

i also should have stated what my personal opinion is and for that, i turn to schneids b/c he nailed it head on: i'm in the 3b pf camp as when playing live i err on a simpler and more straightforward game. i've found that gets the money. sure sometimes i would have wished i played it differently (as i would have in the hand mason outlined); however, more often than not i believe straightforward play (i.e. taking large equity edges when offered) in these spots gets the most money, and if not, it's not by a lot.
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