Can you help with my poker strategy?

    • Webbybear
      Webbybear
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      Joined: 17.02.2014 Posts: 20
      Hi guys, hope you're well.

      I've been playing a few years now fairly constantly; a couple of longish breaks due to motivation but I've always kept my paws in ;)

      I am a ''mature'' student so I don't have much dosh to ply in to poker but I think I have a pretty sound strategy and I'd like to discuss this.

      Firstly my choice of battle ground is the Double your Money sng's between the £0.60 to £5.00 buy-in range.

      Observing my opponents it's very clear that clever plays are wasted here (most of the time). So I stick to an ABC style unless I feel an opportunity presents itself to be more ''creative'' e.g. I'm up against a couple of real tighties.

      Generally speaking though I play pocket pairs from AA to 88 and AK, AQ, AJ with a big raise as I want to get rid of donks calling. I then tend to limp in with pocket pairs 77 to 22 trying to hit a disguised set. if I do, great. if I end up beating the highest card on the board i'll bet aggressively but am prepared to fold these if I feel someone's stronger than me.

      In LP I will call with Ax suited and Kx suited and raise with AT, A9.... but I don't like to play AxOS as I think that if I hit the Ace I'm in the clouds as to whether my kicker's any good.

      In terms of odds knowledge, I'm going to tell you now.... I know the very basics. I know that if I have a flush/straight draw post flop then I times my outs by 4 and this is roughly the percentage of my chance of winning. if I'm on the same draw after the turn I times my outs by 2, giving me the expected ''hit'' percentage. I also know that I should link this to pot odds. SO. for example if I have an A high flush draw after the flop and my opponent bets 20% of the pot I should call as my hit percentage is more than the amount I'm being asked to put in.

      I'm doing fairly well. I mainly stick to those rules but part of the enjoyment is to occasionally be a bit flamboyant. and if I feel like calling more than the pot odds give me then ill do it. but as said most of the time god, solid, awareness poker. I can say with confidence that I mostly cash and am pleased with that. if I do get beat I do like the satisfaction of knowing that I was ahead pre-flop (if we end up both all in for instance). but of course I'm only human and of course sometimes I make mistakes..some small, some catastrophic.

      The whole purpose of this thread is two-fold (no pun). 1.) to discuss the above strategy and see what you guys as enthusiasts and i presume experts think and 2.) is to discuss approaches to the tables. I've seen a lot of threads (on here and other forums) where guys are obsessed with hand evaluations and the like. I take a kind of relaxed approach and if I get beat, it happens. I dust myself off and remind myself it's a fun game and that with my strategy I believe I am winning long term.... not to say the donks don't get to me at times.

      Anyway, look forward to your replies, hints and tips where possible :) cheers. steve.
  • 12 replies
    • Webbybear
      Webbybear
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      Joined: 17.02.2014 Posts: 20
      Ooooh, just done the quiz.... 61% lol not great but not bad either :) Clearly some things I don't understand ;)
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,164
      Hey Steve,

      Welcome to PokerStrategy.com :)

      1) Certainly nothing wrong with the ranges you play. The main point is understanding WHY you play them, what the ramifications are and being able to drop hands when you have to. I do a lot of what you do. I like to limp small pps and suited Aces for high implied value. I try to avoid off suited weak Aces for exactly the same reason as you (but remember they become better hands to play the more short handed the table gets).

      2) The reason for the "obsession" with Hand Evaluations is to check whether you have made the right decision in a particular spot. If you make the correct +Ev (positive expected value meaning that if you played this same hand over and over again, your long term position will be profit) every time, you would be guaranteed to be a long term winner.

      3) As for the quiz, just keep doing it until you get it right. We don't want to send people into battle with our free money unless they have some chance of keeping and building on it. :f_biggrin:

      If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

      Cheers

      Laz
    • Webbybear
      Webbybear
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2014 Posts: 20
      Originally posted by Lazza61
      Hey Steve,

      Welcome to PokerStrategy.com :)

      1) Certainly nothing wrong with the ranges you play. The main point is understanding WHY you play them, what the ramifications are and being able to drop hands when you have to. I do a lot of what you do. I like to limp small pps and suited Aces for high implied value. I try to avoid off suited weak Aces for exactly the same reason as you (but remember they become better hands to play the more short handed the table gets).

      2) The reason for the "obsession" with Hand Evaluations is to check whether you have made the right decision in a particular spot. If you make the correct +Ev (positive expected value meaning that if you played this same hand over and over again, your long term position will be profit) every time, you would be guaranteed to be a long term winner.

      3) As for the quiz, just keep doing it until you get it right. We don't want to send people into battle with our free money unless they have some chance of keeping and building on it. :f_biggrin:

      If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

      Cheers

      Laz
      Thanks Laz for the kind welcome! :)

      Yeah, sorry didn't mean to sound patronising when I said people were obsessed.

      With the quiz. it's a really good tool. thing with it is most of the time my option wasn't there! haha e.g. you have KK in mid position, you raise (£0.40 in the example) and get re-raised. I'd be at least 6X betting with the amount of donks on sites.... even them you find they stll call you with J4OS Haha

      one thing I stand by is that I'm not afraid to shove my stack...in the right circs of course. it kinda doesn't bother me if im the short stack and theres one place left to cash cos I can guarantee the low-mid stacks wont risk their game without a great opening hand. therefore I go all in to take the blinds which are usually quite hefty.

      one thing I do as well is try and let others play it out while I'm playing texas fold 'em. if I can let them slog it out, great. but if not sometimes you have to take charge and get your stack in... especially like you say...you got like 4 players and your hand choice has been increased. :)
    • Webbybear
      Webbybear
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2014 Posts: 20
      ps, just so I get this right from a learning perspective.....

      +EV....... meaning forget what the actual result was (say someone donked you) but have a note of whether your play was ''correct'' then that should equal profit over a long period?
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,164
      Originally posted by Webbybear
      ps, just so I get this right from a learning perspective.....

      +EV....... meaning forget what the actual result was (say someone donked you) but have a note of whether your play was ''correct'' then that should equal profit over a long period?
      That's exactly it Steve :)

      In cash games you can't lose long term if you continue to make +Ev plays. In tourneys or SnGs, you will sometimes fold out of a +Ev situation because it may be more advantageous to ensuring your survival.
    • Webbybear
      Webbybear
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      Joined: 17.02.2014 Posts: 20
      Thanks mate :)
    • Webbybear
      Webbybear
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2014 Posts: 20
      By the way I thought I'd add a few thoughts on betting and continuing the theme of keeping it simple I only follow a couple of guide lines...

      It's really interesting how you can glean info from sizes of bets people make. The position I try to put myself is from the opponents point of view from two angles when they're betting:

      1.) Would I have bet that amount if I was holding a good hand to try and extract value?
      2.) Would I have bet that amount if I was holding rubbish and trying to put the opponent off?

      Again very simplistic but that's how I like it so as not to confuse myself....

      E.g. one raise which you call. Pot is $400. Flop comes AK8. Previously opponent has showed down some rubbish. Opponent bets $500. Immediately I'm trying to put him on a card... why would I bet that amount.... would I bet that amount if I had AK? Unless he was trying to disguise and make it look like a continuation bet.... no, based on previous info. Ax???? Knowing that donks love their AxOS this is a possibility but I'm thinking not because he would genuinely think this was a good hand so again I THINK that's too much. K? Perhaps. 8? Perhaps. Trying to put me off? Most likely based on his actions.

      So the point of the above example is that I think he's trying to put me off based on his overbet.

      Conversely if an opponent bets a half size bet and smaller I'm going to put him on something as I see this as a bet where he's trying to get money with a good hand.

      Of course this isn't always correct but in my opinion not a bad way of gaining info from bets :)
    • Webbybear
      Webbybear
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2014 Posts: 20
      ....Well there's two +EV's to add to my tally. All in with KT (with a T the top pair) against someone with JT.... and he hits a J! LOL

      Then AJs against KQos...... thanks Q LOL
    • Webbybear
      Webbybear
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2014 Posts: 20
      Apologies for banging on lol

      What's the best way to check your +EV's? Is it of every hand or just the ones you got beat in and lost your stack you check like my examples above? :)
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,164
      Hey Steve,

      What you are referring to now is 'All in Ev'. I generally check mine at the end of a session.

      What it will tell me is how I ran in all in hands where the money went in before the river.

      This tells me if I was unlucky (or lucky). It will also tell me if maybe I'm shoving or calling shoves too light.

      Outside of that, I don't consider it an important stat. It is merely a measure of variance and there is very little we can do about it.

      Cheers

      Laz
    • Webbybear
      Webbybear
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2014 Posts: 20
      Thanks Laz.

      I got confused then cos I assumed it meant all in and seeing if you were ahead or not....either way I'm thinking the principle still works in that if you're both all in and showing down, in the long term the one ahead should win.

      So if it's more than all in EVs you look at..... do you evaluate every hand by looking at hand history on your poker site?

      Cheers for all your help mate... just trying to understand :)
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,164
      Hey Steve,

      In a way it shows if you were ahead when the money went in. I'll give you a simple example.

      You are in the 1st hand of a regular SnG in the BB with AA. Everyone folds to the SB who shoves. You naturally call with your AA and SB turns over KK. Now assuming for simplicity sake that you are an 80-20 favourite (you are probably close to 85, but I'm just keeping the numbers simple).

      There are 3000 chips in the middle so your Ev is 3000 x 80% or .8 which equals 2400. So everytime your AA holds up you have an Ev gain of 600 chips and everytime they lose you have an Ev loss of 2400 chips.

      I only evaluate hands I feel I played incorrectly or situations where I was unsure if I was making the right play. Having tracking software like PokerTracker 4 or Holdem Manager 2 is very helpful in reviewing tricky hands.

      God, my brain hurts now. :f_biggrin:

      Cheers

      Laz