Toteatoo

• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Hi everybody!
Let me introduce myself. My name is Tomas (my nick on pokerstrategy is toteatoo) and I am 24 years old. I am completely new to poker, I have just signed up on pokerstrategy.com and partypoker.com last week. I work as a private teacher of mathematics, physics and statistics - I want to fully leverage my knowledge of math, especially statistics and probability.

I have completed the test on pokerstrategy.com and received starting capital. I was too busy since then, so I have only tried some freerolls with BSS and have won my first money.

I am from Czech republic and pokerstrategy.com does not have structured course like this in Czech language, therefore I have browsed english version of pokerstrategy.com and have found this course. So it's time to begin...
• 24 replies
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Question 1: What is your motivation for playing poker?

First of all I want to discover theory, probability and statistics behind poker - as I have written in my first post, I teach math, probability and statistics and I find poker very interesting as subject of inquiry. I have calculated some basic probabilities of some hands and draws, but then I have read some articles about poker and found that there are different hand ranges in different positions and it was very interesting. When I am teaching, I need good examples and probabilities in poker are the best exercises for my students.

I must admit, that also decent money in poker might be strong motivation for future progress. When I have read in news that Martin Staszko (also from Czech republic) was second on WSOP I was curios, if this is only coincidence (Czech republic is small) of if it is possible to have edge. So I have started reading some articles about poker and found out that it is really possible to be statistically better than other players.

Question 2: What are your weaknesses when playing poker?

I have tried only a few free-rolls (I was too busy last week), so it's hard to say what my weaknesses are. This week I want to try real cash games. I am a little afraid of losing my money, but this is required risk :-) I want to read a few more articles, I don't want to play randomly. I think that I can't learn good habits in free-rolls, because when people don't risk their money, they don't make reasonable decisions, for example they risk their whole stack with very weak hand.

I think that I am not able to make plans for future streets in advance and also have some problems with estimating opponents ranges. But I think this will be better by studying, watching videos, attending coachings and playing.

Question 3: What does it mean to play tight aggressive?

It is style of playing, highly recommended by pokerstrategy.com, at least to beginners. Tight means that you carefully select which hands you wil play and which you will fold. This depends also on your position. It is better to play less hands but strongly than every hand which seems good. It is important to decide according statistics, not by your feelings.

Agressive means to play your carefully selected hands strongly, especially when you are in position. So you don't call, you raise good hands and even 3bet the strongest. You control the game and put your opponents under pressure.
• Black
Joined: 20.07.2008
Welcome to the Course and Best of Luck. Good job! Homework #1 Done!

Wow, so you already have a huge advantage in math. Which is very important for poker of course. Cool you have with us and hopefully you enjoy the community so far.

If you are following the bankroll management and not going over the limit then you should do fine. NL2 should be the limit where you should start and most likely full-ring.

I would strongly recommend printing out the Starting Hand Chart, so you would get the understanding how and why you should play specific hands preflop & postflop.

Most of the weakness you wrote can easily be fixed by posting hands (analyzing your session). We will start writing feedback to your play. Usually negative feedback will put you into thinking phase and trying to fix all those leaks. It's almost the same as you lose money, you will remember it more than winning part. By this situation it's gonna be that negative feedback you gonna remember and try to avoid them next time.

Also I am pretty sure that we gonna have to take a look at further game in the future. Since I also guess you gonna have problems with tilt and such factors.

Tight style is usually called playing selected hands. Like following the Starting Hand Chart. Aggressive should be also pretty clear that already the word says how you should be playing. But the problem playing aggressively is that you have to watch that you don't play too aggressive. Find good spots, find good targets. About The tight-aggressive strategy you can read in this article: "What is the Big Stack Strategy?"

Hopefully you will enjoy the Course. Some points earned.
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Hi Veriz, thank you for your tips and advices! Here is my second homework:

Question 1: What do you think you could play differently than suggested in the BSS Starting Hands Chart and why?
The BSS SHC does not take into account style of play of your opponents, your exact position, opponent's stack size and other specific situations such as blindsteeling. Sometimes it may be EV positive, if you call one half of the big blind for example if you have suited one gappers. But on the other hand if some rock with PFR less than 5 bets before me, AK may not be sufficient as we can see in the task no. 3. If he has even smaller PFR, it could be much worse. There are many other situations, but I am beginer, so I will play more hands differently in the future, after I gain more experience.

I have two more questions:
I think, that for example AQs is much more stronger than ATo, but these hands are in the same part of the table. Is it possible, to play AQs differently preflop?
If there are two raises before me, I should according strategy articles raise only with KK+, but what if I have other pocket pair and the rule call 20 is satisfied. Is it better to call or to fold? I have been thinking and cannot decide - for example if first player raises to 4BB, the second to 12 BB, me and opponent should have 240 BB in stacks - it is very much, but possible winning may be worth of risking 24 BB.

My posted hand

Question 3: What is the equity of AKo against the top 5% range? 5% means 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo.
According to equilab

Equity Win Tie Hand range
53.68% 45.27% 8.41% 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo
46.32% 37.91% 8.41% AKo
• Black
Joined: 20.07.2008
Good job! Homework #2 Done!

Totally agree with you about the stealing ranges. They can be very easily be balanced with even wider range. Depending on the opponent you can as well put a wider stealing range. Against some tight opponents who give up their blinds either preflop or postflop, why not to adjust? Against some shorties you can even steal with smaller raise, for example 3xBB. But don't overdo the stealing situations. Sometimes you might just put yourself into too many difficult spots if opening with marginal hands.

Sometimes it may be EV positive, if you call one half of the big blind for example if you have suited one gappers.

Well, it's really dependent on your postflop skills. I'd rather for the beginning wouldn't advice to do that.

I think, that for example AQs is much more stronger than ATo, but these hands are in the same part of the table. Is it possible, to play AQs differently preflop?

Yes, of course. ATo is often rather squeezed since people may overplay their TP type of hands. But while if you not gonna overplay it then AQs hands can easily even be played in multiway pot since we are able to hit flushes with them.

If there are two raises before me, I should according strategy articles raise only with KK+, but what if I have other pocket pair and the rule call 20 is satisfied. Is it better to call or to fold?

Well, usually it would depend a lot on the situation/hand/opponents. I would strongly advice you to try posting some hands and find it out. If I am going to write when you can raise and when not then it's gonna take long time and very long story since it's really based on a lot of factors.

I have been thinking and cannot decide - for example if first player raises to 4BB, the second to 12 BB, me and opponent should have 240 BB in stacks - it is very much, but possible winning may be worth of risking 24 BB.

Didn't really understand that part. You mean you want to 4bet to 24BB?

Equity     Win     Tie
UTG    46.32%  37.92%   8.41% { AKo }
UTG+1  53.68%  45.27%   8.41% { 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo }

Hopefully you enjoy the School so far. Some more points earned.
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Thank you very much for your feedback.

Didn't really understand that part. You mean you want to 4bet to 24BB?

Sorry, my mistake, it's typing error. I wanted to write "possible winning may be worth of risking 12 BB" - calling that bet - setmining.
• Black
Joined: 20.07.2008
Originally posted by toteatoo
Thank you very much for your feedback.

Didn't really understand that part. You mean you want to 4bet to 24BB?

Sorry, my mistake, it's typing error. I wanted to write "possible winning may be worth of risking 12 BB" - calling that bet - setmining.
If we are deeper then of course we can set mine. But most likely for just 100BB we wont be able to.
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Hi Veriz!

Done

Question 1: You are holding KQ. What is your preflop equity against an opponent who has 33? How does the equity change on this flop: J53?

Equilab gives us these results:
preflop:

Equity     Win     Tie
MP1    49.22%  48.84%   0.38% { 3d3c }
CO     50.78%  50.40%   0.38% { KsQs }

flop:

Board: J 5 3
Equity     Win     Tie
MP1    73.54%  73.54%   0.00% { 3d3c }
CO     26.46%  26.46%   0.00% { KsQs }

It means that before flop it is a coinflip, but after this flop villain has much stronger hand.

Question 2: What would you do in the following hand? (text is longer, so I wont copy the whole hand)

I don't have made hand, only flush draw, therefore I will decide according to pot odds/implied pot odds.

I have 9 outs so my odds are (46-9)/9=4.1:1 rounded to 4:1. But there might be necessary to consider discounted odds, because he could have something like 3c4c or set, therefore it would be better to discount 1 or 2 outs. Discounted odds are from 4.75:1 to 5.57.
In the pot is \$0.91, I need to call \$0.22, therefore my pot odds are 4.14:1, so it EV+ to call. But if I consider discounted odds, I need to consider implied pot odds, he has to pay from \$0.15 to \$0.35 more on river. So the decision is more complex, it depends also on the type of opponent. But we should rather call.

Here are some of my posted hands:
hand1
hand2
hand3
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Question 1: Post a hand for evaluation in which you have the initiative postflop.
My hand

Question 2: Evaluate one of the hands submitted by other members.
Evaluated hand

Question 3: You are on the flop with KQ. The board cards are J, 9, 8, and your opponent holds 77. What is your equity in this spot?

Board: J 9 8
Equity     Win     Tie
CO     58.59%  58.59%   0.00% { 7h7c }
BU     41.41%  41.41%   0.00% { KsQd }

He is holding made hand (but only low pair). We both have gutshot straight draw (he also, because we must discount tens, which will complete my higher straight.) I have two overcards, which could beat his 77.

I have tried to estimate equity without equilab:
I have 6 outs for overcards and 4 outs for gutshot, 10 outs together.
There is 45 unknown cards, therefore approximate probability of my winning is 2*10/45=44%. This is estimation, because I am not calculating some of his backdoor fullhouses. I think it is useful to quickly estimate your equity without equilab - what do you think?
• Black
Joined: 20.07.2008
Good job! Homework #3 Done!

Preflop Equity:

Equity Win Tie
UTG 50.78% 50.40% 0.38% { KsQs }
UTG+1 49.22% 48.84% 0.38% { 3d3c }

Postflop Equity:

Board: J 5 3
Equity Win Tie
UTG 26.46% 26.46% 0.00% { KsQs }
UTG+1 73.54% 73.54% 0.00% { 3d3c }

There are several occasions on turn:
a) If we take just odds for the FD and we take into account that all our odds are clean. Which means:
Total Pot = \$0,91 ; We have to Call = \$0,22 -> According to that it means we are getting ~4,16:1 odds. For flushdraw we would need 4:1. Which tells us that we are getting perfect odds.
b) If we consider the opponent having sets here:
Which means we have to discount outs, for example 6 and also 3. Which means we have 7 clean outs so that means we need 6:1 odds. That tells us that we need ~\$0,41 on river to make it profitable. If we expect the opponent being loose enough and being able to pay us no-matter what then we can do the Call here properly.
c) We might even have overcards as outs or even 4 as a out:
Although this kind of situation ain't that likely. I'd rather discount that one and either pick a) or b). Most likely towards Call.

You are doing great progress, keep going!
• Black
Joined: 20.07.2008
Good job! Homework #4 Done!

This weeks homework was a bit easier. But the idea of that is to help you go through last weeks stuff if you didn't go through everything. Or either way maybe even read some more articles, watch some videos and of course attend in the coaching. What will also help for your game is the evaluation part of other members hands and of course posting your own hands.

If you have interests you could try calculating the equity with a formula which you can use even on tables(either playing online or live poker):
(Amount of outs x 4) – (Amount of outs – 8) = Your Equity

Board: J 9 8
Equity     Win     Tie
UTG    41.41%  41.41%   0.00% { KsQd }
UTG+1  58.59%  58.59%   0.00% { 7h7c }

Hopefully this wasn't too easy homework for you. Some more points earned.
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Question 1: Post a hand for evaluation where you have based your decisions on the stats of your opponents.
NL2 FR AK missed flop

Question 2: Evaluate one of the hands submitted by other members.
evaluated hand

Question3:
On turn has completed hero's flush, but since he has lower cards (6,7), hands like Adx, Kdx, Qdx threatens him. Also pair of 33 isn't good for him, because SB could have pair of JJ / fullhouse on turn. But our hand is too strong to fold, we have to either call or raise/call or raise/all-in - either pot control or protect his hand.

Question 4:
Biggest thread on this board could be straight 6-T, but it is not probable villain would 3bet preflop with 78s, although he is rather loose. Rainbow flop is also good for us, also lower cards, so hero is holding an overpair. I think it is possible to donkbet here and then it depends. It is possible he will raise with QQ, KK or AA, but also possible to raise with AK or pair of tens. Therefore hard to say if it would be better call or fold his eventual raise.
• Black
Joined: 20.07.2008
Good Job! Homework #5 Done!

It's a very close decision: does protection or pot control weigh heavier here? Do you want to protect against hands like 3x or A:dx and K:dx? Or do you want to control the pot size and try to induce a bluff on the river in case there is no T, no J and no additional ?

Raise/fold is out of question - with the given pot size and the good made hand you have, it can't even be considered.

In case you decide to go broke, you can't really be blamed either. It's not a sign of weakness that the rather tight small blind decides to bet into two people here, though. I would say a call is to be slightly favored, while the many outs against you are annoying. The big blind who calls rather loosely speaks in favor of a raise/broke again. Both options are finally considered equal, which shows - all things considered - how close and full of variance these spots really are.

You've called pre-flop and then hit a good board. You basically have two choices now: either you assume that your opponent will go broke loosely or puts you on a bluff often and you thus check/raise - or you play check/call in the spirit of way ahead / way behind. The problem with the latter is that there are a lot of cards you don't want to see in the later course of the hand. All in all, it depends on your balancing as both lines make sense under certain circumstances.

A check/fold would be really pointless, of course. It's hard to say whether you should donk-bet here; donk/fold can be discarded as that would turn your hand into a pure bluff and your opponent would interpret this as weakness and start raising you out of flops with hands like AK/AQ/air. So, if you want to donk-bet, it has to be a donk/3-bet.

Good luck on tables and with the Course. Some more points earned.
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Hi Veriz,
I wasn't continuing in my homeworks for a long time (sorry for that), but as you said many times, it doesn't matter when we will complete them. I have finished all three remaining homeworks. But before I post them, I want to thank you for you great coachings, they really helped me to improve my play (still I have many leaks, but I am trying to work on them). Also thanks to you I have moved to higher limits, now I play NL25 regularely and recently I have reached bankroll big enough for shooting one table on NL50 together with NL25 tables.

Homework #6:
Question 1: Post a hand for evaluation where you have either a) freeplay, b) slowplay, or c) multi-way pot situation.
6Jo freeplay from BB

Question 2: Evaluate one of the hands submitted by other members.
nl2 hero 66

Question 3:
Since BB - calling station, a passive opponent - is leading 4way OOP, I would put him on stronger hands like 33,JJ, AJ,AQ,AK,KT and maybe some draws (AT, KQ or FDs). In this situations I would prefer to potcontrol with showdown value. He is only betting 1/2 of the pot, but I don't want to play for a big pot with middle two pairs.
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Question 1: Post a hand for evaluation where you have played on a 6-max table (short-handed)
NL4 SH QQ on DHB 3way

Question 2: Evaluate one of the hands submitted by other members
nl2 hero 22

Question 3
First of all, let't look how much equity we need: \$8.4/\$30.4=27.6%
we have this equity even against the strongest possible range:

Board: 3 2 Q
Equity     Win     Tie
CO     16.48%  16.48%   0.01% { QQ+, 33-22 }
BU     45.89%  45.88%   0.01% { QQ, 33-22, AhKh }
BB     37.62%  37.62%   0.00% { 5h4h }

The worst case would be against CO holding QQ and BU AhKh as he would hold our outs and set would crush us, but obviously, we have to consider also "weaker" hands in their ranges like AA,KK. I think BU would 3bet with AA, KK, but QQ could be only calling (we don't know the opponents), therefore call.

Question 4
The toughest think on this situation is the 4way pot. With which hands he would donk? We don't know the opponents, he could donk with 44,45,A4 (not much probable), but also with Ax or even with blufs. I think the second category of his hands is bigger, but if we raise him, he will probably (we don't know him) fold most of the hands that we beat. Therefore the best play would by in my opinion call and play WA/WB.
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Question 1: Post a hand for evaluation
NL25 FR QQ 3bet vs BU

Question 2: Evaluate one of the hands submitted by other members
JJ Was I overconfident?

Question 3:
On this board I would definitely bet for value and protection against sets and stronger heart cards (my flush isn't the strongest). Even if he ch/r me on turn, I would go all in because he is very aggressive and could easily bluf on this board.

BONUS Question 4:
In this hand I would consider:
beeing almost 200 bb deep with other two players (thanks to this factor it is possible call his 3bet preflop)
type of my opponents - they both are TAGs, therefore I don't expect them to be often bluffing in this 3bet 3way spot. I think with almost every weaker hand on river CO would fold or call, but would't raise AI in such a deep play. KK and QQ are definitely in his range, he could slowplay them (or played them WAWB). I don't think he could play like this w AK or KQ, therefore I would decide for hero fold.
• Black
Joined: 20.07.2008
Good Job! Homework #6 Done!

Great to see you doing such huge progress, keep the chin up and continue the same way! Feels really great also to be part of it. What's your future plans? Do you plan to switch to SH? How did you like it by the way?

Oh and by the way nice shiny avatar, have you watched some Platinum videos yet? There are pretty good ones, although not FR but still would give you some idea of overall play-styles. Are you looking for some specific content?

Also I have seen you playing pretty decent on your tables, as long I have like 2-3 students playing with you similar limits. Your style is pretty good and seems to be working, so just keep whatever you are doing but don't forget improving.

Two lines can quickly be discarded here: fold and raise/fold; your hand is simply too strong for those alternatives.

It's hard to assess whether you should put in a raise here. When a rather passive player decides to bet into three players while being out of position, it does look strong. It's more likely an indication of a made hand than that of a draw.

A raise naturally protects, but you run the risk of isolating yourself against very strong range. Which weaker hands could your opponent possibly continue playing here?

The deciding factor finally comes in the size of the pot. This tiny pot simply isn't worth putting yourself into a tough spot where you could potentially end up risking your entire stack. A raise would be overplayed here and pot control takes the precedent over protection.

Best of Luck on the tables and with the Course.
• Black
Joined: 20.07.2008
Good Job! Homework #7 Done!

In this case, you decided to bet out yourself and two players behind you go all-in. You would have to invest \$8.40 in order to participate in a \$22 pot, which corresponds to an equity of 27.63%.

Board: Q 3 2

Equity Win DrawLoss Hand
Player 1: 38.538% 38.538% 0.000% 61.462% 5h4h
Player 2: 14.540% 14.540% 0.000% 85.460% QQ+
Player 3: 46.921% 46.921% 0.000% 53.079% 22-33

You get the required odds even when you're exclusively up against very strong hands!

Top pair / top kicker has been and will always be a hand that's tough to play, especially in a multi-way pot. In this case, you've hit a nice flop, but you're up against 3 opponents on a dry board which doesn't allow for any dangerous draws.

A fold on this board is, of course, too weak. You can't really hit much better and there might be worse Ax hands willing to pay you off.

If you think that your opponent(s) is/are often willing to go broke on the flop with worse hands, raising might not be the worst of choices. But one thing is clear: if you raise, you have to go all-in on the flop! Raise/fold with your top pair is absolutely out of question.

Even though this might leave a bitter aftertaste in a 4-way pot, you should play this like a way ahead / way behind spot here - by playing it passive, you will extract the maximum from weaker hands and bluffs while avoiding big losses against stronger hands.

Best of Luck on the Tables.
• Black
Joined: 20.07.2008
Good Job! Homework #8 Done!

In this case, the right answer is quite obvious. Both AF and WTS speak in favor of a check behind for bluff induce. But your hand is too strong here, so you want to get it all-in on the turn. There are a lot of hands you still have to protect against, too. Playing for bluff induce or pot control would simply be too weak and dangerous.

About preflop play I'd say that it's still doable while we even are a bit deeper. I expect the hero to play solid postflop play. So Calling is definitely fine here with having 2 opponents in the hand and getting great implied odds. But for more beginners it's definitely a very close spot while they ain't gonna be able to lay down weak hands.

As we have the information that CO is a TAG player. Therefore, we expect him to have a strong 3bet range. Unless we have some other information like he has a wide 3bet range. But while we don’t have that, we basically consider his range to be something QQ+, AK or sometimes even tighter.

So now you have to ask yourself what kind of hands would play like this on river? KK may slowplay like this. QQ definitely is as well in his range. AK/AA he wouldn’t play this way since he know himself as well that he isn’t going to get Called by worse hands. So basically it’s up to the nuts most often. You only beat bluff there and I don’t expect the opponent to bluff in this case unless we know the table dynamics better.

Best of Luck in The Exam!
• Gold
Joined: 15.11.2011
Hi Veriz,
thanks for fast evaluation, now I can do the exam.