NL HU Challenge (NL50+)

    • ains21
      ains21
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2011 Posts: 303
      Hey guys!

      How's it going? Hope poker is treating everyone well and you're all crushing (except on my tables). I've decided to start another blog (I already had one before tracking my progress from NL10-100 SH) in an attempt to force myself to learn, once and for all, how to play no limit heads up. Though I've played a fair bit already, I've never really been a great player: I often spew and find myself in a lot of spots where I don't really know what I'm doing.

      No more! A bit of history: I started playing properly (i.e. more than donking around) in June at NL10 SH and swiftly (and fortunately) made my way up the stakes to my latest attempt at a NL100 shot. That shot was taken at 25BI and peaked at 34BI, before suddenly dropping back down to 20 (my stop loss). This dramatic drop was exacerbated today by my playing HU while tilted and spewing off about 5-6 BI (my actually NL100 6max graph is about break even I think). So, following in the footsteps of many I'm sure, I've decided to cut my tilty losing streak short in and through blog creation (yeah, right).

      Stop! Here's something I need to post here to remind myself: I didn't shoot up the limits because I'm a great cash game player, but because I won a lot of MTTs. I still need to learn how to crush, and there is no substitute for hard work. I need to get over myself and work harder at my game.

      So how will this blog work? I'm going to be learning to play HU using three simple steps:

      (1) Watching every HU video under the sun and making notes/discussing hands.

      (2) Performing meticulous hand and session reviews in the mornings before playing. Not just looking at big losses but at entire sessions thinking: why did this guy have an edge on me? How could I reduce that edge?

      (3) Playing HU, of course! I will be opening a ton of NL50 tables and playing whoever comes, be it reg or fish (most days). Other days I will try and find regs to play against to further my game as much as possible (though most just bum hunt these days). Will also start 6max games vs. regs and leave when they fill (unless delicious).

      Hopefully there will be a good mixture of play against fish and regs; and I can make a decent amount of money over the year. As noted, I'm starting at NL50 and hope to make it to NL200+ by the end of the year. The year after that? I'm taking durrr down, no doubt.

      Will keep this blog updated with thoughts and feelings about the transition from 6max to HU; as well as with general poker content and so on. AND I'M ACTUALLY GOING TO DO IT THIS TIME (yeah, right).

      Question of the day: why do I hardly ever 4b bluff HU but all the fucking time SH?



      EDIT: Starting BR of 40BI at NL50.

      EDIT 2: Just thought, is it unlikely I'll get enough action at one room? Should I really be spreading my roll accross two? Or is this just if I wanted to bum hunt? If any HU reg could advise that'd be helpful.

      EDIT 3: Don't be thrown by the diamond status. Even I don't know how I got that. I'm a total donk. Seriously.
  • 19 replies
    • nokifpp
      nokifpp
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.02.2012 Posts: 123
      Nice post! Will be following. Good luck! :)
    • jmackenzie
      jmackenzie
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2008 Posts: 1,241
      Originally posted by ains21
      EDIT 2: Just thought, is it unlikely I'll get enough action at one room? Should I really be spreading my roll accross two? Or is this just if I wanted to bum hunt? If any HU reg could advise that'd be helpful.
      .
      Id say 2+ sites for 50nl
      4+ 100nl
      8+ 200nl
      every poker site you can for anything higher
    • acceleration123
      acceleration123
      Silver
      Joined: 11.12.2010 Posts: 5,311
      On Stars NL50 there´s still plenty of action, should be more than enough.
    • ains21
      ains21
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2011 Posts: 303
      Thanks for the posts guys. I think I'm going to start with just one site to get used to playing a lot of HU and see how it goes from there. I'll probably start including others when things are going OK.

      Video notes/roundup #1

      I started with the following video today: Playing weak hands in 3bet pots (basic).

      I figure that I'm going to use this blog partially to type up the notes I make while watching videos, and furthermore to discuss what I take to be the most important ideas/messages they promote.


      1. Take care of your fish

      One of the first ideas that Gordon discusses -- one that I hadn't really thought about since it rarely arises in SH play -- is trying to play low variance poker against your fish. Since in HU games, you'll often get fish joining with the aim to double up and leave, we want to ensure for the most part that we keep high variance all-ins to a minimum.

      I suppose the reasoning for this is as follows: we almost always have a significant edge over fish when we're playing HU, which means that we're going to be making a lot of our money exploiting their bad play. This bad play is something that is going to occur playing post-flop for the most part: we're going to be value-betting the right spots, and not paying them off/bluffing at the right times. Since we know it is likely that the fish is going to leave when he wins a double up, we want to avoid coin-flip situations where edge rarely comes into play (i.e. AI PF with hands that aren't complete monsters). Rather, we want to keep them at the table as long as possible and exploit their bad play, keeping variance to a minimum and encouraging the fish to chase their losses.

      Obviously higher variance play vs. regs is fine, since we know often that we'll be playing with them frequently in the future and that there will be a ton more coin-flip situations where we're getting the right odds to call. These things even out in the end (though of course we hope to be +EV since sometimes they're also bluff 4b/5bing or something when we shove 99).

      The first pearl of wisdom gleaned from watching videos is thus as follows: Treat your fish nicely, and don't make high-variance plays that risk them doubling up and leaving. Keep your edge and take it post-flop.


      2. What does that mean? Find out for yourself

      Here's the second point Gordon made explicit: say we're in a 3bet pot (as BU) with some Qx hand and the board comes A55 and our villain doesn't cbet -- what do we do? The student in the video makes arguments for checking behind on the basis of the following premise: the only reason someone wouldn't cbet this board is because they have Ax.

      But where is the evidence for this?! This is levelling at its best: just because we would check over Ax there, doesn't mean that every villain does the same. Rather, let us try and compile some evidence in support of this conclusion: lets bet it ourselves and see how he reacts. Does he check/fold here? If he does (maybe unlikely), then we have a piece of hugely valuable information, namely: he CAN check/fold in 3bet pots as PFR.

      If he doesn't, lets see how it plays out and make a note on his check/calling range in this pot (maybe he likes to play his PP this way?). The thing in HU seems to be that you just have to gather as much information about your opponent as possible and compile some kind of character profile: are his check-backs always weak? Does he always cbet with bottom pair holdings on the flop? What about busted draws: does he barrel the river when he misses or check it and give up?

      There seems to be several questions that are more important in character profiling that others (at least, it seems to be that way to me):

      (1) What are his barreling tendencies (esp. river tendencies)? Is he going to bet all those busted draws? Does he only barrel on decent turn and river cards (i.e. completed draws/overcards) or does he also barrel blanks (i.e. deuces/pairing cards).

      (2) What is his checking range (3b pots) and checking-back range like? Does he in fact balance the latter (some TP hands) or is it always weak? Does he fold often to turn leads as PFR when he checks back flop? To turn leads and river bets (is it often Ahi?).

      And so on. I know this is all fairly basic stuff, but what this first video has highlighted for me is the need for a much more extensive profiling of individuals. We need to know how they play in common, exploitable situations (since for the most part, they're not going to be super adaptable at these limits). So to support this effort, I'm going to keep notepad open at all times while playing and try to construct/save character profiles of semi-decent+ HU players. This is something I've never really done in depth for SH play (though maybe I should have).

      3. Don't be lazy

      A third and final message that is certainly one I need to think about is the following: don't get lazy; fight for every pot. So often it is tempting to just let the pot get checked down to the river with our T9s or something only to find we're beaten by something like Jhi -- i.e. something that would have folded at any point to a bet.

      Really often I find myself thinking: well, if he keeps checking back he's probably got Ahigh or something and won't fold to a single stab anyway, so it's not even worth it; let's just get the hand over. Gordon points out that this is just lazy thinking: we're not trying to ever get villain to fold Ahi in these spots, just better trash than we have! And often these guys aren't even thinking: they'll fold their Khi- without a thought and we'll take the pot down. And HU these pots are going to accumulate. The more pots the win the better, and we shouldn't get complacent and wait for big hands. Even 4bb pots are worth it. Stab when you see weakness, but don't pretend you're going to get them off Ahi or a pair, here or on the river. I think that doing this will certainly increase my win rates.


      So there is a pretty basic run down of my first ideas gleaned concerning proper HU play. It's pretty exciting, if I'm honest. So often playing SH I just go into automatic: I know they're 3bing wide here so 4b with the intention of calling off against a pretty standard 5b jam range of TT+,AQs+,A2-5s etc. etc. And most of the time I just don't think through each hand and take note of each individual's character half as much as I should.

      Maybe that's just the temptation of internet play: I think we'd all love to find some automated method of playing 6+ tables whereby we never have to make really tough decisions or think too deeply, and rather simply print money according to this structured and formulaic way of playing different situations. Well ... I don't think that's possible in HU; and I'm fairly sure it's not possible in SH/FR and decent stakes. So time for me to stop being lazy and to start working hard.

      Good luck at the tables guys (i.e. those unfortunate enough to have waded through the above), crush it.
    • SneakyhanD
      SneakyhanD
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.10.2007 Posts: 700
      Smells like a great blog coming in our way readers !
    • moneycantbuyhappiness
      moneycantbuyhappiness
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.12.2012 Posts: 1
      how can i subscribe to this thread, new poster here need help !
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,376
      hey tom :D obviously following!

      we want nl50 HU hands please

      Originally posted by moneycantbuyhappiness
      how can i subscribe to this thread, new poster here need help !
      hey. at the top right of the page you'll see 2 buttons: 'reply post' and 'new thread'. above these there should be an option to "add thread to favourites". hope that helps!
    • ains21
      ains21
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2011 Posts: 303
      Hi guys thanks for the responses, and special hello to Lewis ofc.

      Today I played a little HU, but only around 600-700 hands. Hopefully I'll get some more in later tonight (got to wrap presents/make xmas card as well .. totally boring). I started by playing a couple of HU regs that sit at ~10 tables each and rarely play anyone other than fish. Since I'm pretty bad, they stuck around for awhile instead of sitting out.

      The first guy dominated me pretty badly: a ton of the time he was putting me in difficult spots with his shoves and generally kind of tilting me. One thing it did make me realise is that after losing so much recently I am still playing kind of scared money (i.e. I can't help but feel like I don't want to lose even more). This means I'm inadvertently playing more conservative with my bluffs, and not re-raising/shoving spots where I'm pretty sure the villain can't call hands that beat my own.

      I did get super tilted because I kept getting 3b and didn't know how to react, and ended up losing a stack with the following hand (that I'm too embarrassed to show really, but it'll do me good):

      Party, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 2 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      BB: $150.08 (300.2 bb)
      Hero (SB): $53.05 (106.1 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with Q 9
      Hero raises to $1, BB raises to $4.50, Hero calls $3.50

      Flop: ($9) 9 T 7 (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $5.45, BB raises to $145.58 and is all-in, Hero calls $43.10 and is all-in

      Turn: ($106.10) T (2 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($106.10) 4 (2 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results:
      $106.10 pot ($1 rake)
      Final Board: 9 T 7 T 4
      BB showed J J and won $105.10 ($52.05 net)
      Hero showed Q 9 and lost (-$53.05 net)


      I don't have his stats since it was anonymous but I remember at the time his 3bet% was like super high (>30%) and I just thought: it looks so much like some kind of crappy draw ... he wants me to fold so much (esp. since my bet was so small there, looks so weak). I didn't imagine he'd pull such a move with made hands since he had no reason to believe I'd even bet there when checked to (though I guess I would often).

      But this is the problem I have and I think its super exploitable: regs realise that I fold too often to 3bs early on, or that I play pretty badly post-flop in those spots, and they start 3bing me really wide. I always end up tilt-calling and just convincing myself: he can't have it ... he literally does this every time .. I CALL MY SECOND PAIR AI ... shit.

      I need to adapt: take a stand and start calling lighter in 3b pots and/or narrowing my opening range when I start getting 3bet too much. The former seems better: I mean, I'm the one with the positional advantage right? I should be loving it if they 3bet wide since it's more money in the pot when I've got position and (supposedly) a fairly strong calling range.

      The main transitional problem is going to be (at least at the start) playing more 3bet pots with much weaker hands than I'm used to.

      Here's another play I made that was pretty terrible and cost me another stack:

      Party, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 2 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $50 (100 bb)
      Hero (BB): $52.90 (105.8 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 3 A
      SB raises to $1.50, Hero calls $1

      Flop: ($3) Q 3 6 (2 players)
      Hero checks, SB bets $2, Hero raises to $6, SB raises to $16.50, Hero raises to $51.40 and is all-in, SB calls $32 and is all-in

      Turn: ($100) 9 (2 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($100) 2 (2 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results:
      $100 pot ($1.00 rake)
      Final Board: Q 3 6 9 2
      SB showed 3 3 and won $99 ($49 net)
      Hero showed 3 A and won $0.00 (-$50 net)


      Again, kind of tilty and just wanting to make some money. I just know that I looked at this flop and said to myself: I want to go all in right here, right now. But when the villain 3bets like this, what does he really have that doesn't have us crushed? I mean, I was thinking I've got outs on the ace and another 3 (so 6 extra outs), but that's only vs. KK and Qx which are a small part of his overall range; and even his AQ means our ace outs are no good .. god damn! We're not doing great against his 3bet/calling range:


      Board: Q:heart: 3:club: 6:heart:
             Equity     Win     Tie
      MP2    43.10%  43.09%   0.01% { Ah3h }
      MP3    56.90%  56.89%   0.01% { QQ+, 66, 33, AQs, Q6s, 5h4h, AQo, Q6o }



      But of course, tilty me has given myself the odds so shoves it and loses another stack. Note to self: take time to think about it. I mean its not awful but very high variance and could easily be played better. I mean, I don't know why I didn't even 3bet pre there? I usually would A3s in BB.

      Here's another spot where I have a feeling that a river shove is in order vs. his range:

      Party, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 2 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      BB: $83.89 (167.8 bb)
      Hero (SB): $55.91 (111.8 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with T T
      Hero raises to $1, BB raises to $3.50, Hero calls $2.50

      Flop: ($7) 4 3 9 (2 players)
      BB bets $4.50, Hero calls $4.50

      Turn: ($16) 7 (2 players)
      BB bets $10.25, Hero calls $10.25

      River: ($36.50) 8 (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero checks

      Results:
      $36.50 pot ($1 rake)
      Final Board: 4 3 9 7 8
      BB showed K Q and lost (-$18.25 net)
      Hero showed T T and won $35.50 ($17.25 net)


      So we just flat pre since he's been 3betting a lot and there haven't been any 4bets yet: we don't want him to just fold all that trash we know he is at least going to cbet once. At the time his 3bet was around 16-20%, his cbet frequency 100% over smallish sample, and his cbet turn in 3bet pots around 60% over a very small sample. So he clearly likes to fire each time, and sometimes bet the turn on the right boards.

      It's a lovely board for us and I'm happy to just check/call and let him try and represent any overs that come without being too scared about being barreled off my hand (I think in most cases he is unlikely to barrel an ace or king high turn AND river without it since it'll be the first time I call down in spots like this). Turn is beautiful and he bets again which makes me a tiny bit worried: he reps only overpairs of course or maybe something like J9s, K9o etc. But I'm still happy to flat here since now I think raising is only going to narrow myself against that value range.

      On the river (gorgeous) he checks and I ... checked behind?! Why no shove? Let's count combos:

      JJ+ is 24 combos (is he really checking those here?)

      Some random 9x he's checking calling with (MAYBE) .. lets say A9/K9/J9s/T9s, which is 28 combos already.

      I just think I should shove this spot, since so often he's not even checking behind overpairs; nor is he those sets he happened to 3bet pre. Though most of the time we see him folding a ton, occasionally we get called by his 9x crap right (though I don't see why he'd call, not many busted draws etc)? I think so.

      But then I'm a donk, so what do I know.

      Anyway: there's some embarrassing hands. I'm no good at this self-analysis stuff .. I don't know about you guys but I find it kind of hard to post my own hands online. I'm always worried someone is going to tell me I played like a complete idiot. Guess I got to get over it though.

      Hope you're all doing good and will post some more video notes tomorrow hopefully.

      Peace and fucking yeah?

    • jmackenzie
      jmackenzie
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2008 Posts: 1,241
      Hi I play headsup also but seeing your hands you've got alot to learn i dont even know where to start.

      I can suggest a headsup video producer and watch their videos. If you havnt already then i think you should check out gordon gekko's headsup videos here on this site. I think his coaching name is raskolnikov.

      Also stop playing regs for 2 reasons. Rake is waay too high under nl200 and 2, you can learn alot from fishes still infact with fish you learn to adjust and crush them alot more

      GL!
    • ains21
      ains21
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2011 Posts: 303
      Originally posted by jmackenzie
      Hi I play headsup also but seeing your hands you've got alot to learn i dont even know where to start.

      I can suggest a headsup video producer and watch their videos. If you havnt already then i think you should check out gordon gekko's headsup videos here on this site. I think his coaching name is raskolnikov.

      Also stop playing regs for 2 reasons. Rake is waay too high under nl200 and 2, you can learn alot from fishes still infact with fish you learn to adjust and crush them alot more

      GL!
      Hey man thanks for your advice. Yeah I've got a ton to learn I realise .. I just lost another 2.5 BIs trying to play semi-decent guys. It's just such a different game to normal poker. Going to keep practicising and see how it all goes though. Gordon's last video did seem brilliant so will check out the rest.

      Maybe I should be playing HU SNGs first and save myself some money? Anyway: losing more and more money and feeling pretty bad man.

      Good luck everyone.
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,376
      im planning to learn this awesome game myself. only problem for me is i dont have the bankroll/balls to play nl50+ HU so i will be learning HU sngs. will start putting in some study myself and maybe we can discuss some stuff on skype.
    • filipetheman
      filipetheman
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.05.2009 Posts: 6,364
      Originally posted by ains21
      Hi guys thanks for the responses, and special hello to Lewis ofc.

      Today I played a little HU, but only around 600-700 hands. Hopefully I'll get some more in later tonight (got to wrap presents/make xmas card as well .. totally boring). I started by playing a couple of HU regs that sit at ~10 tables each and rarely play anyone other than fish. Since I'm pretty bad, they stuck around for awhile instead of sitting out.

      The first guy dominated me pretty badly: a ton of the time he was putting me in difficult spots with his shoves and generally kind of tilting me. One thing it did make me realise is that after losing so much recently I am still playing kind of scared money (i.e. I can't help but feel like I don't want to lose even more). This means I'm inadvertently playing more conservative with my bluffs, and not re-raising/shoving spots where I'm pretty sure the villain can't call hands that beat my own.

      I did get super tilted because I kept getting 3b and didn't know how to react, and ended up losing a stack with the following hand (that I'm too embarrassed to show really, but it'll do me good):

      Party, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 2 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      BB: $150.08 (300.2 bb)
      Hero (SB): $53.05 (106.1 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with Q 9
      Hero raises to $1, BB raises to $4.50, Hero calls $3.50

      Flop: ($9) 9 T 7 (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $5.45, BB raises to $145.58 and is all-in, Hero calls $43.10 and is all-in

      Turn: ($106.10) T (2 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($106.10) 4 (2 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results:
      $106.10 pot ($1 rake)
      Final Board: 9 T 7 T 4
      BB showed J J and won $105.10 ($52.05 net)
      Hero showed Q 9 and lost (-$53.05 net)


      I don't have his stats since it was anonymous but I remember at the time his 3bet% was like super high (>30%) and I just thought: it looks so much like some kind of crappy draw ... he wants me to fold so much (esp. since my bet was so small there, looks so weak). I didn't imagine he'd pull such a move with made hands since he had no reason to believe I'd even bet there when checked to (though I guess I would often).

      But this is the problem I have and I think its super exploitable: regs realise that I fold too often to 3bs early on, or that I play pretty badly post-flop in those spots, and they start 3bing me really wide. I always end up tilt-calling and just convincing myself: he can't have it ... he literally does this every time .. I CALL MY SECOND PAIR AI ... shit.

      I need to adapt: take a stand and start calling lighter in 3b pots and/or narrowing my opening range when I start getting 3bet too much. The former seems better: I mean, I'm the one with the positional advantage right? I should be loving it if they 3bet wide since it's more money in the pot when I've got position and (supposedly) a fairly strong calling range.

      The main transitional problem is going to be (at least at the start) playing more 3bet pots with much weaker hands than I'm used to.

      Here's another play I made that was pretty terrible and cost me another stack:

      Party, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 2 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $50 (100 bb)
      Hero (BB): $52.90 (105.8 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 3 A
      SB raises to $1.50, Hero calls $1

      Flop: ($3) Q 3 6 (2 players)
      Hero checks, SB bets $2, Hero raises to $6, SB raises to $16.50, Hero raises to $51.40 and is all-in, SB calls $32 and is all-in

      Turn: ($100) 9 (2 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($100) 2 (2 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results:
      $100 pot ($1.00 rake)
      Final Board: Q 3 6 9 2
      SB showed 3 3 and won $99 ($49 net)
      Hero showed 3 A and won $0.00 (-$50 net)


      Again, kind of tilty and just wanting to make some money. I just know that I looked at this flop and said to myself: I want to go all in right here, right now. But when the villain 3bets like this, what does he really have that doesn't have us crushed? I mean, I was thinking I've got outs on the ace and another 3 (so 6 extra outs), but that's only vs. KK and Qx which are a small part of his overall range; and even his AQ means our ace outs are no good .. god damn! We're not doing great against his 3bet/calling range:


      Board: Q:heart: 3:club: 6:heart:
             Equity     Win     Tie
      MP2    43.10%  43.09%   0.01% { Ah3h }
      MP3    56.90%  56.89%   0.01% { QQ+, 66, 33, AQs, Q6s, 5h4h, AQo, Q6o }



      But of course, tilty me has given myself the odds so shoves it and loses another stack. Note to self: take time to think about it. I mean its not awful but very high variance and could easily be played better. I mean, I don't know why I didn't even 3bet pre there? I usually would A3s in BB.

      Here's another spot where I have a feeling that a river shove is in order vs. his range:

      Party, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 2 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      BB: $83.89 (167.8 bb)
      Hero (SB): $55.91 (111.8 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with T T
      Hero raises to $1, BB raises to $3.50, Hero calls $2.50

      Flop: ($7) 4 3 9 (2 players)
      BB bets $4.50, Hero calls $4.50

      Turn: ($16) 7 (2 players)
      BB bets $10.25, Hero calls $10.25

      River: ($36.50) 8 (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero checks

      Results:
      $36.50 pot ($1 rake)
      Final Board: 4 3 9 7 8
      BB showed K Q and lost (-$18.25 net)
      Hero showed T T and won $35.50 ($17.25 net)


      So we just flat pre since he's been 3betting a lot and there haven't been any 4bets yet: we don't want him to just fold all that trash we know he is at least going to cbet once. At the time his 3bet was around 16-20%, his cbet frequency 100% over smallish sample, and his cbet turn in 3bet pots around 60% over a very small sample. So he clearly likes to fire each time, and sometimes bet the turn on the right boards.

      It's a lovely board for us and I'm happy to just check/call and let him try and represent any overs that come without being too scared about being barreled off my hand (I think in most cases he is unlikely to barrel an ace or king high turn AND river without it since it'll be the first time I call down in spots like this). Turn is beautiful and he bets again which makes me a tiny bit worried: he reps only overpairs of course or maybe something like J9s, K9o etc. But I'm still happy to flat here since now I think raising is only going to narrow myself against that value range.

      On the river (gorgeous) he checks and I ... checked behind?! Why no shove? Let's count combos:

      JJ+ is 24 combos (is he really checking those here?)

      Some random 9x he's checking calling with (MAYBE) .. lets say A9/K9/J9s/T9s, which is 28 combos already.

      I just think I should shove this spot, since so often he's not even checking behind overpairs; nor is he those sets he happened to 3bet pre. Though most of the time we see him folding a ton, occasionally we get called by his 9x crap right (though I don't see why he'd call, not many busted draws etc)? I think so.

      But then I'm a donk, so what do I know.

      Anyway: there's some embarrassing hands. I'm no good at this self-analysis stuff .. I don't know about you guys but I find it kind of hard to post my own hands online. I'm always worried someone is going to tell me I played like a complete idiot. Guess I got to get over it though.

      Hope you're all doing good and will post some more video notes tomorrow hopefully.

      Peace and fucking yeah?


      1st hand- pre standard vs large 3betting frequency, flop bet bigger, and fold to shove, if hes bluffing its a very strong draw, its not that big of a frequency he´s doing that, and you show up with a lot of stronger hnds that "protect your range", your not getting exploited by folding theire

      2nd hand after check-raising its ok getting it in. c/c would also be fine, especialy if he barrels a lot.

      3rd hand just 4bet/get it in pre, stack 99 88 colect dead money just very standard.

      as played easy jam turn. lot of draws and 9x tha you get value way more then JJ+. also hyou colect dead money from overcards that wont realize theire equity, plus people just dont 3barrel much as bluff so its not getting you much value from his air flatting. just jam get value colect dead money ez game

      river its a must jam. you get surprised by how wide you get called by people, plus you have the best hand like 100% of the time when he checks.
    • ains21
      ains21
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.06.2011 Posts: 303
      Originally posted by filipetheman
      1st hand- pre standard vs large 3betting frequency, flop bet bigger, and fold to shove, if hes bluffing its a very strong draw, its not that big of a frequency he´s doing that, and you show up with a lot of stronger hnds that "protect your range", your not getting exploited by folding theire

      2nd hand after check-raising its ok getting it in. c/c would also be fine, especialy if he barrels a lot.

      3rd hand just 4bet/get it in pre, stack 99 88 colect dead money just very standard.

      as played easy jam turn. lot of draws and 9x tha you get value way more then JJ+. also hyou colect dead money from overcards that wont realize theire equity, plus people just dont 3barrel much as bluff so its not getting you much value from his air flatting. just jam get value colect dead money ez game

      river its a must jam. you get surprised by how wide you get called by people, plus you have the best hand like 100% of the time when he checks.
      Appreciate the points and agree entirely. For the most part it's getting used to playing HU, esp. the last hand. I'm so used to people check/calling JJ/QQ in these spots in ring games (well, sometimes) that I just panicked and clicked check hah.

      Anyway: I feel like my HU game is coming along and I'm not making these kind of elementary mistakes anymore. I'm starting to play a lot more HU SNGs to get in practice when there is no decent cash games (though it's only 50bb starting stacks), which at my stakes are still fairly soft.

      I've been watching videos and started reading a fantastic HU book too. I'll post more in detail tomorrow: this is just a brief interlude before the 'look what I learned' shit-storm that is to come. HU is just a fantastic game and I hope to keep learning more and more.

      Played a little live play today at a local casino with my friend ... played kind of bad, too. Really felt under pressure and nervous making decisions with everyone watching/waiting, and inevitably didn't play my best. Oh well: it happens, and it's something to overcome.

      Big post to come tomorrow, hopefully.

      Happy Christmas everyone! Hope you had a good one x
    • AskMyDiaRy
      AskMyDiaRy
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2007 Posts: 1,750
      subscribed, think we played some 100NL 6max at Party in the past :)

      good luck with HU though!
    • yoshiwa
      yoshiwa
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.02.2009 Posts: 8,454
      Hi , I'm a HU player from NL section ,played up to nl400 , mostly playing nl50-200 bcoz of actions.
      Ill surely follow this blog and try to help u around.
      U can add me on skype aswell if u'd like

      Ps: im 'stephan' from the 3bet pots vid ;)
    • yoshiwa
      yoshiwa
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.02.2009 Posts: 8,454
      Originally posted by ains21
      Hi guys thanks for the responses, and special hello to Lewis ofc.

      Today I played a little HU, but only around 600-700 hands. Hopefully I'll get some more in later tonight (got to wrap presents/make xmas card as well .. totally boring). I started by playing a couple of HU regs that sit at ~10 tables each and rarely play anyone other than fish. Since I'm pretty bad, they stuck around for awhile instead of sitting out.

      The first guy dominated me pretty badly: a ton of the time he was putting me in difficult spots with his shoves and generally kind of tilting me. One thing it did make me realise is that after losing so much recently I am still playing kind of scared money (i.e. I can't help but feel like I don't want to lose even more). This means I'm inadvertently playing more conservative with my bluffs, and not re-raising/shoving spots where I'm pretty sure the villain can't call hands that beat my own.

      I did get super tilted because I kept getting 3b and didn't know how to react, and ended up losing a stack with the following hand (that I'm too embarrassed to show really, but it'll do me good):

      Party, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 2 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      BB: $150.08 (300.2 bb)
      Hero (SB): $53.05 (106.1 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with Q 9
      Hero raises to $1, BB raises to $4.50, Hero calls $3.50

      Flop: ($9) 9 T 7 (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $5.45, BB raises to $145.58 and is all-in, Hero calls $43.10 and is all-in

      Turn: ($106.10) T (2 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($106.10) 4 (2 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results:
      $106.10 pot ($1 rake)
      Final Board: 9 T 7 T 4
      BB showed J J and won $105.10 ($52.05 net)
      Hero showed Q 9 and lost (-$53.05 net)


      I don't have his stats since it was anonymous but I remember at the time his 3bet% was like super high (>30%) and I just thought: it looks so much like some kind of crappy draw ... he wants me to fold so much (esp. since my bet was so small there, looks so weak). I didn't imagine he'd pull such a move with made hands since he had no reason to believe I'd even bet there when checked to (though I guess I would often).

      But this is the problem I have and I think its super exploitable: regs realise that I fold too often to 3bs early on, or that I play pretty badly post-flop in those spots, and they start 3bing me really wide. I always end up tilt-calling and just convincing myself: he can't have it ... he literally does this every time .. I CALL MY SECOND PAIR AI ... shit.

      I need to adapt: take a stand and start calling lighter in 3b pots and/or narrowing my opening range when I start getting 3bet too much. The former seems better: I mean, I'm the one with the positional advantage right? I should be loving it if they 3bet wide since it's more money in the pot when I've got position and (supposedly) a fairly strong calling range.

      The main transitional problem is going to be (at least at the start) playing more 3bet pots with much weaker hands than I'm used to.

      Nice conclusions , now , can u summarise what mistakes u actually made in this hand?
      What information contained in this hand can you use to exploit him? (i see one huge leak already )
    • yoshiwa
      yoshiwa
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.02.2009 Posts: 8,454
      Originally posted by ains21

      Here's another play I made that was pretty terrible and cost me another stack:

      Party, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 2 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $50 (100 bb)
      Hero (BB): $52.90 (105.8 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 3 A
      SB raises to $1.50, Hero calls $1

      Flop: ($3) Q 3 6 (2 players)
      Hero checks, SB bets $2, Hero raises to $6, SB raises to $16.50, Hero raises to $51.40 and is all-in, SB calls $32 and is all-in

      Turn: ($100) 9 (2 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($100) 2 (2 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results:
      $100 pot ($1.00 rake)
      Final Board: Q 3 6 9 2
      SB showed 3 3 and won $99 ($49 net)
      Hero showed 3 A and won $0.00 (-$50 net)


      Again, kind of tilty and just wanting to make some money. I just know that I looked at this flop and said to myself: I want to go all in right here, right now. But when the villain 3bets like this, what does he really have that doesn't have us crushed? I mean, I was thinking I've got outs on the ace and another 3 (so 6 extra outs), but that's only vs. KK and Qx which are a small part of his overall range; and even his AQ means our ace outs are no good .. god damn! We're not doing great against his 3bet/calling range:


      Board: Q:heart: 3:club: 6:heart:
             Equity     Win     Tie
      MP2    43.10%  43.09%   0.01% { Ah3h }
      MP3    56.90%  56.89%   0.01% { QQ+, 66, 33, AQs, Q6s, 5h4h, AQo, Q6o }



      But of course, tilty me has given myself the odds so shoves it and loses another stack. Note to self: take time to think about it. I mean its not awful but very high variance and could easily be played better. I mean, I don't know why I didn't even 3bet pre there? I usually would A3s in BB.

      I think ure abit results oriented here :)
      It all depends on his stats/your image , but this hand might be quite ok.
      The times u get it in vs worse Fd are hugely in your advantage , if he has TP ull flip , its only vs sets ure fucked.
      I do however think ure chr is too small.
      If this guy barrels alot ch-calling is fine aswell, and you might get the plan to ch-r the turn , since if he is like barreling 75 /75 % his range is so weak there , and he will feel commited with worse draws ,and will fold everything weaker than tp (count it out , your FE on the T willbe huge)
      Any comments on the ch-c F ch-R turn line guys ?
    • yoshiwa
      yoshiwa
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.02.2009 Posts: 8,454
      Originally posted by filipetheman

      Here's another spot where I have a feeling that a river shove is in order vs. his range:

      Party, $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 2 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      BB: $83.89 (167.8 bb)
      Hero (SB): $55.91 (111.8 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with T T
      Hero raises to $1, BB raises to $3.50, Hero calls $2.50

      Flop: ($7) 4 3 9 (2 players)
      BB bets $4.50, Hero calls $4.50

      Turn: ($16) 7 (2 players)
      BB bets $10.25, Hero calls $10.25

      River: ($36.50) 8 (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero checks

      Results:
      $36.50 pot ($1 rake)
      Final Board: 4 3 9 7 8
      BB showed K Q and lost (-$18.25 net)
      Hero showed T T and won $35.50 ($17.25 net)


      So we just flat pre since he's been 3betting a lot and there haven't been any 4bets yet: we don't want him to just fold all that trash we know he is at least going to cbet once. At the time his 3bet was around 16-20%, his cbet frequency 100% over smallish sample, and his cbet turn in 3bet pots around 60% over a very small sample. So he clearly likes to fire each time, and sometimes bet the turn on the right boards.

      It's a lovely board for us and I'm happy to just check/call and let him try and represent any overs that come without being too scared about being barreled off my hand (I think in most cases he is unlikely to barrel an ace or king high turn AND river without it since it'll be the first time I call down in spots like this). Turn is beautiful and he bets again which makes me a tiny bit worried: he reps only overpairs of course or maybe something like J9s, K9o etc. But I'm still happy to flat here since now I think raising is only going to narrow myself against that value range.

      On the river (gorgeous) he checks and I ... checked behind?! Why no shove? Let's count combos:

      JJ+ is 24 combos (is he really checking those here?)

      Some random 9x he's checking calling with (MAYBE) .. lets say A9/K9/J9s/T9s, which is 28 combos already.

      I just think I should shove this spot, since so often he's not even checking behind overpairs; nor is he those sets he happened to 3bet pre. Though most of the time we see him folding a ton, occasionally we get called by his 9x crap right (though I don't see why he'd call, not many busted draws etc)? I think so.

      But then I'm a donk, so what do I know.

      Anyway: there's some embarrassing hands. I'm no good at this self-analysis stuff .. I don't know about you guys but I find it kind of hard to post my own hands online. I'm always worried someone is going to tell me I played like a complete idiot. Guess I got to get over it though.

      Hope you're all doing good and will post some more video notes tomorrow hopefully.

      Peace and fucking yeah?




      1st hand- pre standard vs large 3betting frequency, flop bet bigger, and fold to shove, if hes bluffing its a very strong draw, its not that big of a frequency he´s doing that, and you show up with a lot of stronger hnds that "protect your range", your not getting exploited by folding theire

      2nd hand after check-raising its ok getting it in. c/c would also be fine, especialy if he barrels a lot.

      3rd hand just 4bet/get it in pre, stack 99 88 colect dead money just very standard.

      as played easy jam turn. lot of draws and 9x tha you get value way more then JJ+. also hyou colect dead money from overcards that wont realize theire equity, plus people just dont 3barrel much as bluff so its not getting you much value from his air flatting. just jam get value colect dead money ez game

      river its a must jam. you get surprised by how wide you get called by people, plus you have the best hand like 100% of the time when he checks.
      I would 4bet this , but i wouldnt 4bet QQ+ .
      Reason is with ure TT too many overs will come which will give u a hard time.
      As played call F std , the shove T line is actually quite interesting , since i would not concider it.
      I would as OP states call T and then call any R , but shoving T is actually quite nice since he will indeed have a hard time folding 9x + he doesnt realize equity with overs+ he can have alot of draws.
      River I see another option ,but maybe just me getting into leveling too much , and that is betting like 10$ , getting him to call light and spewshove over it.
      Point is I would consider him folding 9x to a shove ,so vbetting this thin is max EV , but maybe I just overestimate his folding% with 9x , and I hugely missing value since obv his range is weighted towards 9x.

      Any toughts on the 10$vbet play compared to shove option ?
    • muumionu
      muumionu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.07.2012 Posts: 816

      I've been watching videos and started reading a fantastic HU book too. I'll post more in detail tomorrow: this is just a brief interlude before the 'look what I learned' shit-storm that is to come. HU is just a fantastic game and I hope to keep learning more and more.
      Nice blog! What is the book called?