• Dhoni347
      Joined: 08.11.2013 Posts: 13
      Hi everybody,

      I am Dhoni347 from Belgium and this will be my thread on the beginners' course.
      I started playing poker about 4 years ago in a local freeroll club but it's only since a year that I am taking poker more seriously. Therefore I believe I can still learn a lot from these courses and discussions on the forum.


      Dhoni :s_cool:
  • 12 replies
    • Dhoni347
      Joined: 08.11.2013 Posts: 13
      Time for some homework, the first 4 questions:

      Question 1: What is your motivation for playing poker?
      My main motivation when starting to play poker was as a hobby and it turned out to be a really fun one. Before this (and also during the first year of playing poker) I was a chess player, but gradually my interest changed from chess to poker. The biggest reason was that chess was too exact for me: at virtually any moment there would be one move better than all the others and if you don't find it, you will probably lose the game. Of course in poker there are also certain 'moves' which are more profitable than others, but this time your opponent does play a role and you might not even have enough information to be 100% sure this move is the best. Secondly I got fascinated by the fact that there is so much more to poker than just a game of luck (as most people still think of it). Especially that there is quite a lot of mathematics behind it (which is good, as I am a mathematician :) )

      Question 2: What are your weaknesses when playing poker?
      I am afraid this section is way to small for me state all my weaknesses. Moreover I am aware that I am probably not aware of all my weaknesses :rolleyes:

      The ones I am aware of are mostly the following:

      I have trouble figuring out correct bet sizes on turn or river.

      I often have trouble interpreting raises from fishy opponents on seemingly unimportant later streets. Even more if the hands I should be afraid of are hands the opponent could not have continued with on earlier streets if he played decently (which he does not seem to do)

      I am not yet good at figuring out hand ranges for opponents

      In general I think my preflop game is okay, but I still have a lot of leaks postflop.

      Question 3: What does it mean to play tight aggressive?
      The question contains two words: tight and aggressive.

      Playing tight concerns your selection of preflop starting range: you need to be selective and avoid marginal hands that will put you in difficult situations. You also rather play in late position than in early position.

      Playing aggressive means that whenever you play a hand, you want to be the aggressor, the person dictating the action. By playing aggressive you put your opponents under pressure and make them have difficult decisions in stead of the other way arround.

      At the tables I tend/try to be a TAG myself. Especially at the lower limits where most opponents play too many hands and take them too far, this should be the best way to make money.
    • BogdanPS
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Hello Dhoni347,

      Welcome to the course.

      For more information on each lesson please visit this link: Welcome to the No Limit Beginners Course Forums

      Great work with the first homework. It's very detailed !!!

      Best of luck and keep up the good work.

    • Dhoni347
      Joined: 08.11.2013 Posts: 13
      It's been a while since I last posted something at this thread.
      A quick update: I've started playing nl5 recently (for the moment still sort of break even. Actually even a small loss but EV-adjusted it is a small gain, I'm running pretty bad lately :( )

      For the second homework:

      Question 1: What do you think you could play differently than suggested in the BSS Starting Hands Chart and why?

      Actually I do not use the Starting Hands Chart, but it seems like for the most part my play agrees with it.
      Some of the differences:

      Against players who open a lot I do not fold hands like KQs or AQ, but rather call them because I often dominate his range and get good value when we both hit but he has an inferior kicker.

      Against limpers who fold enough hands I will raise hands like KQs or 99

      I only play 45s, 56s against opponents that will likely pay off when I hit a straight. When making a flush, this hand is vulnerable for domination by higher flushes or even redraws by A or K of that suit so I usually play more cautious. For this reason I sometimes just fold them preflop.

      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 have a hard time spotting situations where 3betting lighter is profitable. For example 3betting JJ or KQs. ?(

      I really regret the fact that bronze members were refused from the hand discussion forum lately. I usually play at pokerstars but made an account on it before I knew pokerstrategy. I can only gain points with my second account (on Coral Poker) but have a smaller BR there. :(

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

      If I did not make a mistake at Equilab you are a small underdog with just 46% equity
    • BogdanPS
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Hi Dhoni347

      Welcome back with your new homework.

      3-betting JJ or KQ is definitely lighter but in a lot of cases it's done for thin value. For example vs fish that like to min raise or raise and call many 3-bets.

      Or versus someone that opens wide on the BTN and call a lot of 3-bet.

      "I really regret the fact that bronze members were refused from the hand discussion forum lately. I usually play at pokerstars but made an account on it before I knew pokerstrategy. I can only gain points with my second account (on Coral Poker) but have a smaller BR there. "

      Unfortunately I do not think this will change. If you do not play tracked there's an option to purchase silver level at an affordable price. The decision was made at the highest levels of PS.
    • Dhoni347
      Joined: 08.11.2013 Posts: 13
      First of all: happy new year to all of you!
      Hopefully this will be a good year for the bankroll :)

      For the moment I am playing nl5, 6max. I started this limit a while ago, in the beginning it went well for 15k hand but then I had quite a downswing for 18BI and I had to drop to 2nl. As there were so many whales, it didn't take me long to go back to nl5 (I went back with 26BI, which is a bit more than the previous time when I went up with 24BI) and that's where I am today. I haven't yet played enough hands to tell whether I'm doing better than at the previous shot.

      Anyway, I went through lesson 3 of the beginners course and this is my homework:
      Question 1: You are holding K:spade: Q:spade: . What is your preflop equity against an opponent who has 3:diamond: 3:club: ? How does the equity change on this flop: J:spade: 5:diamond: 3:spade: ?
      Preflop this is a coin flip (50.78% to be exact)
      Once the flop is dealt you are in a bad shape (26.46%). The big problem is that even though you are drawing to a flush, your opponent can make a full house or quads and beat you. So the 3:spade: is no good and if the x:diamond: comes on the turn/river you still lose to a x:spade: , x:club: or x:heart: on the river/turn. Therefore you have less than 36% (which you would roughly expect only taking into account 9 outs to a flush)

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

      No Limit hold'em $2 (9-handed)

      Players and stacks:
      UTG: $2.00
      UTG+1: $2.08
      MP1: $1.92
      MP2: $1.00
      MP3: $3.06
      CO: (Hero) $2.08
      BU: $2.00
      SB: $2.00
      BB: $1.24

      Preflop: Hero is CO with A:club: J:club:
      5 folds, Hero raises to $0.08, BU calls $0.08, SB folds, BB calls $0.06.

      Flop: ($0.25) 2:club: 6:diamond: 3:diamond: (3 players)
      BB checks, Hero checks, BU checks.

      Turn: ($0.25) 5:club: (3 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.22, BU raises to $0.44, BB folds, Hero...?

      I should honestly admit that I have pretty pour handing reading skills and that I am still getting used to putting players on ranges but I'll give it a go anyway.

      Preflop the button calls a raise from 1 player. So put his range on:
      low to middle pocket pairs (22, ... , TT)
      suited aces (A2s, ..., ATs)
      some broadways which are vulnarable to domination: AT, KJ, KT, QT, QJ, JT
      suited connectors (23s, ..., QJs) (although if you knew some stats on this player you might eliminate 23s, 34s, 45s out of this range)

      I think he would have reraised JJ+, KQs+, AJs+ so I excluded these.

      On the flop he checks behind, eliminating 77+, 23s, 45s.
      But I think there is a chance he might slowplay sets on the flop. Depending on the players stats I would expect him to bet quite some A:diamond: x:diamond: on the flop. But as we were given no stats (moreover once we know the turn play, these probably aren't in his range anyway)

      On the turn we get raised. This makes me think he either has a straight (34s, 44, A4s), slowplayed a set (22, 33, 66), made a set on the turn (55) or made two pair on the turn (56s). But the two pair seems less likely.
      Obviously shoving does not make sense as we do not have enough equity against any of these hands to do so. We have 8 outs to complete the flush (often the opponent has one of our outs to make a full house) and 2 up to 4 outs to chop the pot (any 4). So we have about 18% equity.
      This is a little less than what we need to justify the call purely based on pot odds (19.8%) but the implied pot odds make the call profitable. As his range mostly consists of made hands, we will probably be paid when we river the flush (especially as it was a runner-runner draw).

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

      I often have trouble deciding if in a given situation it is best to aggressively or passively play a draw. I also do not know what texture, position or opponents should make me choose either one of the options.
      Here is an example in which I chose to play it aggressively. But once the turn pairs the board I'm no longer sure if I should continue fastplaying it. I don't think bluffing the river makes sense?

      Poker Stars $5.00 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players

      BTN: $7.89 - VPIP: 22, PFR: 19, 3B: 8, AF: 4,0, Hands: 72
      Hero (SB): $5.79 - VPIP: 19, PFR: 13, 3B: 5, AF: 2,5, Hands: 135405
      BB: $4.00 - VPIP: 17, PFR: 9, 3B: 3, AF: 1,3, Hands: 607
      UTG: $5.04 - VPIP: 35, PFR: 1, 3B: 0, AF: 1,3, Hands: 72
      CO: $5.81 - VPIP: 24, PFR: 16, 3B: 0, AF: 2,7, Hands: 91

      Pre Flop: ($0.07) Hero is SB with A:heart: K:club:
      UTG raises to $0.10, 2 folds, Hero raises to $0.35, 1 fold, UTG calls $0.25

      Flop: ($0.75) T:heart: 5:heart: Q:heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.46, UTG calls $0.46

      Turn: ($1.67) 5:club: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.76, UTG calls $0.76

      River: ($3.19) T:spade: (2 players)
      Hero checks, UTG checks

      UTG shows Q:spade: J:club: and wins pot
    • BogdanPS
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Happy new year to you as well.

      Good job with lesson 3, it is complete !!!


      As long as you are the preflop aggressor it's almost always correct to play your draws aggressively without information on the opponent.

      So betting flop is definitely fine but I'd make it 50c. Once the turn pairs the board and no pair is really scared you can bet small like you do (sort of block bet to avoid calling a bigger one) or just check/call. But since our draw is a combo draw and A/K could be outs betting is fine.

      The river is definitely a ck/fold.
    • Dhoni347
      Joined: 08.11.2013 Posts: 13
      Homework 4:

      Question 1: Post a hand for evaluation in which you have the initiative postflop.

      As a bronze member I can't post any hands in the forum, so here is one where I have initiative with a pocket pair. The flop gives only one overcard and the turn pairs this card. This seemed like a good situation to 2-barrel.
      Especially as the opponent can float the flop with a lot of overcards that miss the turn. The river was quite a blank, but I decided to check with the intention of calling a smallish bet, but folding to a big one. Once the opponent bets more than pot, I have to fold.
      (note: I'm not quite sure if I should have bet bigger on the turn)

      $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players -

      Hero (UTG): $6.88
      MP: $6.86
      CO: $5.00
      BTN: $5.45
      SB: $3.60
      BB: $4.15

      Pre Flop: ($0.07) Hero is UTG with 7 :diamond: 7 :heart:
      Hero raises to $0.15, 2 folds, BTN calls $0.15, 2 folds

      Flop: ($0.37) 8 :heart: 6 :spade: 3 :club: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.20, BTN calls $0.20

      Turn: ($0.77) 8 :spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.34, BTN calls $0.34

      River: ($1.45) 2 :diamond: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $2.66, Hero folds

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

      I tried to evaluate some hands that had not yet been evaluated or where the explanation was too short in my opinion. It seemed like the coaches are on fire however, as I could not find a lot of hands that I could add something to.

      Anyway, this is one where I did give an explanation that contained more details than what had been said before:
      Nl5 SH- trips with KT difficult turn/river bets.

      Question 3: You are on the flop with K:spade: Q:diamond: . The board cards are J:spade: , 9:club: , 8:heart: , and your opponent holds 7:club: 7:heart: . What is your equity in this spot?

      We can win the hand if a K, Q or T comes at the turn or the river. This gives us 10 outs. So I expect to have around 40% equity. (40 = 4 x 10)

      Equilab tells me the exact equity is 41.41%
    • BogdanPS
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Hey Dhoni,

      Feel free to respond to hands even if they are evaluated. Discussions are always welcome (and you can ignore the evaluators response until you make yours).

      As far as your hand goes I think that your turn bet is pretty marginal unless you can expect him to call hands like Ax on the turn.

      As played the river is definitely a check/fold. An overbet at these limits is the nuts almost always.
    • Dhoni347
      Joined: 08.11.2013 Posts: 13
      Question 1: Post a hand for evaluation where you have based your decisions on the stats of your opponents.

      It does not often happen that I make a decision purely based on the stats of my opponent, therefore I did not take the time to search my database for such a hand. I can however give some examples in which case the stats help me decide what to do:

      If my opponent is a calling station or aggressive player who is willing to invest a lot of money with medium strength hands I will be playing more small pockets pairs against them. Whereas against a tight or ABC player I will fold more pocket pairs that I cannot play profitably for set value. A similar story holds for suited connectors.

      I will 3bet/4bet lighter against opponents who open/3bet a lot preflop.

      Question 2: Evaluate one of the hands submitted by other members.
      Today I reviewed: NL2 TT in position MSS
      Last week I evaluated this hand: NL2 pocket 8s hit on flop

      Question 3: Consider the following situation: $10 NL Hold'em (7-handed)
      Stacks & Stats:
      UTG ($10)
      MP ($8)
      MP2 ($9)
      CO ($10)
      SB ($10) (17/13/2.6/24/1212) [VPIP/PFR/AF/WTS/Hands]
      BB ($10) (27/9/2.0/29/333) [VPIP/PFR/AF/WTS/Hands]
      Preflop: Hero is BU with 6:diamond: , 7:diamond:
      4 folds, Hero raises to $0.40, SB calls $0.40, BB calls $0.40
      Flop: ($1.20) 3:diamond: , 3:heart: , T:diamond: (3 players)
      SB checks, BB checks, Hero checks
      Turn: ($1.20) J:diamond: (3 players)
      SB bets $1.00, BB calls $1.00, Hero...
      What action would you take, and why?

      I must admit that I was not sure of my answer for this or the following question. I'll try to explain how I would play this and why:

      First of all I would have probably cbet the flop. This often does not often hit our opponents ranges so we could possibly have ended the hand there.

      As played I would raise the turn to about $3 or $3.50.
      SB will often have a decent hand as his line seems quite strong: preflop he calls OP, his check on the flop doesn't mean anything and once he bets the turn it seems like he wants to get some value with his hand. I guess he has like AJ, KJ, QJs, AT with A :diamond: , KQ with K:diamond: or Q :diamond: , ...

      The BB took a much weaker line, I think he will most likely have a draw allthough I have difficulties figuring out his range.

      Anyway: SB and or BB will often have a redraw, either a A :diamond: , K :diamond: or a set or 2 pair. Quite a lot of these hands can give us extra value. I don't think we are often behind on their range, unless they reraise all in on us, in which case we have to fold.

      Question 4: Consider the following situation:
      $10 NL Hold'em (8-handed)
      Stacks & Stats
      UTG ($8)
      MP ($10)
      MP2 ($9)
      MP3 ($6)
      Hero ($10)
      BU ($10) (25/21/3.8/26/1250) [VPIP/PFR/AF/WTS/Hands]
      SB ($10)
      BB ($10)
      Preflop: Hero is CO with J:heart: , J:spade:
      4 folds, Hero raises to $0.40, BU 3-bets to $1.30, 2 folds, Hero calls $1.30
      Flop: ($2.75) 6:heart: , 9:spade: , T:club: (2 players)
      Hero... What action would you take, and why?

      As we opened from the CO and villain has position on us, his range will be decent but not super strong. Moreover he plays quite aggressive for a FR table. We were not given his cbet%. This would influence my decision quite a lot. If he were to cbet a lot, I would go for a check-raise and might get all in on flop or turn. If not, I would donk about $1.60 but should fold if he shoves on us. After all this flop is pretty good for us, but if he were to go all in, he can easily have a set or two pair.
    • BogdanPS
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Good job with the latest homework.

      For Q4 why would you consider donking and then folding to a raise?

      If villain is aggro aren't we possibly folding the best hand?
    • Dhoni347
      Joined: 08.11.2013 Posts: 13
      For Q4 I tend to get in difficult situations if I call his raise so I sort of protect myself against making bigger mistakes.

      Suppose we call a raise, what line should we take if the turn is a blank? Check/call for pot control?
      And what if the turn gives an A? Use it as a scare card and bet it?
    • BogdanPS
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Always look at the reasons behind your actions.

      What would the donk achieve, especially if you fold?

      You can't really get value from worse and better doesn't fold (And you induce raises).

      So checking to let him fire a cbet (with a wide range) is best.