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    • philhellmutt
      Joined: 16.02.2011 Posts: 226

      Introducing myself; my name is Gez, 39 years old (no jokes about the elderly please) and i live in Australia.

      Been playing poker for about 12 months now after discovering poker on facebook (lol), then started playing recreationally on 2NL and 5NL after finding PS. Have also played some SNG's and found it's probably the form of poker i'm best at - seemed to have good instincts in this. But i found SNG's sooooo boring.... poker is most fun post-flop IMO.

      My love is for cash games, and i want to take things more seriously now since i have more time to devote to poker. Work was crazy busy in 2011, but 2012 is shaping as a bigger year of poker. Also had some back injuries last year which prevented me from sitting in front of the computer for too long, so this did NOT help my poker career... ;) Doing pilates has helped a lot....

      My ambition in poker is fairly modest really - i'd like to move up to 10NL by the end of the year. No dreams of being a 200NL grinder by July!
  • 8 replies
    • philhellmutt
      Joined: 16.02.2011 Posts: 226
      Not sure if i need approval before doing the 1st homework, but i'm keen to get going... ;)

      Question 1: What is your motivation for playing poker?

      I wanna make money!

      Nah, seriously, i always enjoyed strategy games like chess, Sid Meier's Civilization etc, and i see poker as an extension of this, but with a more 'human' angle, with emotions/psychology such a crucial aspect of the game. I studied psychology, so a game with strategy and psychology is the ultimate game IMO.

      Maybe this is pretentious, but I also feel poker has given me great lessons in patience and growing more as a person even though this is an individual game.

      The friendly community here is also quite motivating.

      Question 2: What are your weaknesses when playing poker?

      I have been too focused on results in the past, and letting bad beats affect my enthusiasm. I've learned to welcome bad beats, because you need fish playing poorly to pay you off.

      Sometimes i fold too much. Although that's far better, and cheaper, than going to showdown with 3rd pair against most players, there are times when i should be prepared to c/c against maniacs who constantly bet pure air for example.

      Also, i've been way too nitty until recently, where i was playing an 8/6 style in 2NL FR last year. This gave me a solid winrate of ~7bb/100, but i know this can be improved with more TAG like stats. Recently been playing 12/10, and feel my game is improving. To make it in 5NL and 10NL, i need this.

      I don't think i tilt much at all, but would be interested to know if i tilt in a more subtle way.

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

      To be selective about starting hands generally. But more importantly, it's about controlled aggression, choosing the correct situations and opponents to take an aggressive line. A good TAG also knows when to slow down, and this is what experience can provide.

      TAG strategy is particularly focused on using position to pressure opponents. It's clever aggression.
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Welcome to the Course and Best of Luck. Good job! Homework #1 Done!

      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.

      That's true that playing 8/6 is a bit tight but well, if you are earning with it money and learning enough with time you will adjust your game anyways yourself, don't worry about it. :) As you said, recently you play 12/10 -> from here we see that you already adjusting your game and that will happen also in the future.

      I am pretty sure a lot of people tilt and even if you think you are anti-tilt then most likely at some point it will happen anyways. For example:
      Easiest way to fight against tilt is to set up stop-loss technique. Which means if you for example have lost more than 3BIs for a session then you just stop the session for some time. The BI amount is set up from your own results. Some may put it higher, some lower. Also after the stop you can spend some time with evaluation part to become better.

      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.
    • philhellmutt
      Joined: 16.02.2011 Posts: 226
      Question 1: What do you think you could play differently than suggested in the BSS Starting Hands Chart and why? (Are there any hands you would play differently? Do you have a problem or question about how a specific hand or hands should be played?)

      The most obvious one would be raising a bit looser from LP than the SHC when confronted with the tightest of tight players in the blinds. Against a 3/3 and 8/8 for example, almost ATC will be worth an open raise from the BTN.

      Also, if you're opening from the CO against the 2 above players AND another nit on the BTN, you can easily open your normal BTN range from the CO. However, it's not too often you get three tight players to your left in the micros!

      A common situation at the micros is everyone's favourite - the maniac. We really do need to adjust our pf calling ranges here against a player who literally shoves 2 in 3 hands! If we wait for QQ+ and AK, then we miss many +EV situations, since they'll have busted within the next orbit.... ;) I've read some ppl suggest 66+ and A9+ should be more than okay to call. I guess it depends on our tolerance for variance that determines how wide our calling range is here, and we could go wider than this even.

      What I'm trying to say (in my long-winded way), is that the SHC is a general guide for most typical situations, but there are times we need to think for ourselves and use a bit of common-sense and intuition. Although it may lead to the odd mistake, putting ourselves in new situations can be a good learning experience if we don't do anything too silly.

      Question 2: Do you have questions about your preflop play? Post your hand for evaluation. ( Post your hand in the Hand evaluation forums and provide a link to your hand in your private thread in the Locker Room.)

      I included this hand, where I actually folded AK PF, which doesn't happen too much.

      2NL - AKo - Tight fold pre

      Thanks again Veriz for your advice, helpful as always.

      Question 3: What is the equity of AKo against the top 5% range? 5% means 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo. ( You can either calculate this yourself or use an equity calculator such as the Equilab.)

      According to the Stove, we have 46.442% equity:


      equity win tie pots won pots tied
      Hand 0: 46.442% 37.38% 09.07% 384008184 93133374.00 { AKo }
      Hand 1: 53.558% 44.49% 09.07% 457107468 93133374.00 { 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo }

      Of course, I knew that to the exact percentage without the calculator... ;)
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      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.

      I've read some ppl suggest 66+ and A9+ should be more than okay to call. I guess it depends on our tolerance for variance that determines how wide our calling range is here, and we could go wider than this even.

      Usually I would still advice just to wait for a hand unless he is shorty or something. :) Practically you are just flipping with them. And without really good reads you wont play that profitable.

      About Question #3:

             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 Course so far.
    • philhellmutt
      Joined: 16.02.2011 Posts: 226
      Yes, definitely enjoying the course Veriz. I've learnt quite a few things there in Lesson 3, with your equity calculations. I can see some more of the mathematics behind some of the 'standard' and more difficult situations.

      Also tried a bit of 6-max recently, and although it's harder in some ways since there's greater variance and you can't just wait for monsters all day, some aspects make it easier IMO.

      Firstly, I really believe a 6-max fish is much worse than a FR fish. I was shocked at how bad they are! I've hardly had any preflop action with AA and KK recently in FR, but in 6-max there's more 90/60 maniacs willing to 4-bet ATo or K9, and it feels like my big hands almost always get paid.

      Secondly, it sometimes feels difficult in FR to raise a more marginal hand like a small pp in EP or MP and have 3 or 4 callers every time. In 6-max, I find myself HU more often after raising pre, which makes c-betting easier.

      Thirdly, in FR you're always having to fold decent hands like KQo in LP when someone in EP raises in front of you. This happens less frequently in 6-max, so it feels like I can be more involved and getting more post-flop experience.

      And anyways, playing 19/16 is much more fun being a 10/8 nit in nitring!
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Well, whatever suits for you the best. :) Just stick to it. FR is really easy to beat meanwhile SH will be a lot more difficult. Cause you wont be playing only straight forward play but you also have to adjust to the opponents, boards and etc stuff.
    • philhellmutt
      Joined: 16.02.2011 Posts: 226
      Question 1: You are holding KsQs. What is your preflop equity against an opponent who has 3d3c? How does the equity change on this flop: Js5d3s?

      Preflop, we have 50.78%* equity.

      On this flop we're not faring too well, with only 26.465%* equity.

      This is interesting, because it appears to be a pretty looking flop for KQs.

      I think a lot of beginners overvalue flush draws, but what this proves is that sets are our biggest profit-makers.

      * Source - Pokerstove

      Question 2: What would you do in the following hand?

      Well, we face a min-raise and we have 9 outs if we're talking about completing the flush draw. If the villain has a set though, we need to discount 6c and 3c, so it may be only 7 clean outs if we're being safe.

      It seems unlikely that he has a set on the flop, because he had a great opportunity to bet the flop IP. If he has a set, this is more likely 55, or he holds a 4x or 44 and now has a straight.

      If he has the straight, then we have 4 to 1 to call (9 outs). Nice odds to call, since we have 4.14 to 1 to call.

      If he has a set, our pot odds will be 6 to 1 (7 outs), so that means we do not have the pot odds to call this. However, the implied odds should ensure this call is profitable if we think the villain will pay us on the river.

      So even worst case scenario we can call this min-raise on the turn.

      If he made a proper pot-sized raise then it may be best to fold. This hand shows why min-raising is so dangerous.

      Question 3: Do you have questions about your postflop play? Post your hand for evaluation.

      This is a trickier hand from my FR days in a 3-bet pot. Now that I think about it, a check on the river may have been the better play, as Veriz said.

      2NL - QQ 3-bet pot
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Good job! Homework #3 Done!

      About Question #1:
      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:spade: 5:diamond: 3:spade:
      Equity Win Tie
      UTG 26.46% 26.46% 0.00% { KsQs }
      UTG+1 73.54% 73.54% 0.00% { 3d3c }

      About Question #2:
      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!