Polarised range at micro stakes

    • decentplayer
      decentplayer
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      I've recently seen Boomer's videos and he talks a lot about the problems of a polarised range. Although I see the point and the problems that a polarised range could cause you if you're up against good players, I really don't see the point in de-polarising your range vs the average 5/10c, 10/20c or 25/50c players. I really think that at micro stakes the vast majority of the players will think of what their hand is and not put a lot of thought on the moves their adversaries are making.

      So, what do you think? Am I wrong or horrible wrong? :)
  • 24 replies
    • Boomer2k10
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      tbh at micros it's unlikely you're going to run into too many players who can take advantage of a polarised range, unless you're in a PS homegame or we've just decided to invade the micro stakes because we're bored one Friday night or something...

      hmmm coaching idea :)

      However the vast majority of my videos/coaching assume that you can already crush terrible players, which is basically what ABC poker is designed to do. What I aim to do is elevate you beyond that and also understanding WHY things are good and bad.

      To be honest even my model is somewhat exploitative and exploitable because it contains pure strategies, it just turns out that those pure strategies beat ABC poker. The next step is to go beyond balance and into the GTO realm.....that could take a while
    • decentplayer
      decentplayer
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      thanks Boomer! I was beginning to think that I should be paranoid even at microstakes and try to balance vs everybody. I know that your videos are not for people who are asking why they lost with their 88 vs KQ on AAJJ board :P but I really had to ask.

      By the way...great videos :f_thumbsup:
    • floaty
      floaty
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      I think there are players even at micros that could take advantage of you for having polarised ranges, I play micros and I consider myself a fairly good range reader, so changing strategies from different apponents isnt a bad thing, and good practice for later limits if you plan to advance. And its more fun :f_grin:
    • Boomer2k10
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      No doubt there are some but I don't think any of the players I was up against, for example, last night would qualify :)

      Plus you should be playing higher, but BR and bad runs and all that :)
    • decentplayer
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      Originally posted by floaty
      I think there are players even at micros that could take advantage of you for having polarised ranges, I play micros and I consider myself a fairly good range reader, so changing strategies from different apponents isnt a bad thing, and good practice for later limits if you plan to advance. And its more fun :f_grin:
      I'm not saying that there aren't players even at micros that can read ranges...all I was saying is that at these stakes, giving too much credit to your opponent and trying to play fancy could damage your winnings.(the OP was actually after in one video Boomer was playing with a 72/15 player and he was like: I should balance my range,etc. I doubt that such a player thinks in terms of ranges :) )

      I agree that is good to try to play accordingly to the opponent especially if you try to get to higher stakes, but at really micros(5/10,10/20c) where everybody is trying to build a bankroll, I think ABC poker is the best.

      PS Boomer's videos made miracles with my aggression and my valuebetting :s_biggrin:
    • Avataren
      Avataren
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      Originally posted by decentplayer
      Originally posted by floaty
      I think there are players even at micros that could take advantage of you for having polarised ranges, I play micros and I consider myself a fairly good range reader, so changing strategies from different apponents isnt a bad thing, and good practice for later limits if you plan to advance. And its more fun :f_grin:
      I'm not saying that there aren't players even at micros that can read ranges...all I was saying is that at these stakes, giving too much credit to your opponent and trying to play fancy could damage your winnings.(the OP was actually after in one video Boomer was playing with a 72/15 player and he was like: I should balance my range,etc. I doubt that such a player thinks in terms of ranges :) )

      I agree that is good to try to play accordingly to the opponent especially if you try to get to higher stakes, but at really micros(5/10,10/20c) where everybody is trying to build a bankroll, I think ABC poker is the best.

      PS Boomer's videos made miracles with my aggression and my valuebetting :s_biggrin:
      at 5/Tc (my specialty sadly) having 30/20/10 stats will net you a solid 3BB/100 winrate over a big sample. and im almost inclined to say it doesnt matter how bad you play postflop. as long as preflop is okay your winning player. take my word for it, I have 2.6BB/100 over 150k hands at 5/Tc with 2500BB net won.
    • decentplayer
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      At 5/10c I have 42/22/13 but the result is the same as yours...3BB/100h. Now I am playing at 10/20c and test the waters at 25/50. At 10/20 I have a ridiculous 21BB/100h over a 35k sample but at 25/50 I am slightly losing in 5k hands, so it seems that I have to study more for higher limits and I think I must have something like 1000BB br to play comfortably. I still can't tell if 25/50c is noticeable tougher or I can't play well because I am not used with the size of the bets.
    • Avataren
      Avataren
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      Originally posted by decentplayer
      At 5/10c I have 42/22/13 but the result is the same as yours...3BB/100h. Now I am playing at 10/20c and test the waters at 25/50. At 10/20 I have a ridiculous 21BB/100h over a 35k sample but at 25/50 I am slightly losing in 5k hands, so it seems that I have to study more for higher limits and I think I must have something like 1000BB br to play comfortably. I still can't tell if 25/50c is noticeable tougher or I can't play well because I am not used with the size of the bets.
      the regs are better at 25/50c .. watch out for guys like Rorr Dzirr, Manipur, vistomsk, nordgir, slimfast.. Im not saying these guys are pros but they will just give you a bigger headache than if you avoided them. They are all winning players (vistomsk im so surprised that hes a winning player lol)

      The fish is the same. and the size of the stakes can be a minor factor but without knowing much about your style play etc i could think theres a bit of the being afraid of higher stakes. But play and get used to it and im sure you will beat it soon. BRM depends solely on your state of mind. If you need 1000BB to play comfortable then so be it. If you need 300BB then so be it. :)
    • YohanN7
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      If anywhere, it is at the micros that you can and should play exploitatively because that's where people have most the most exploitable tendencies. Sure, you can have 3BB/100 playing ABC, but you can get so much more. It's logically pretty obvious I think. The difference at slightly higher stakes (still with high rake) is that you must exploit when you get the (perhaps rare) opportunity - or the rake might kill you.

      ABC poker has an element of exploitation. You probably bluff a little less than balance would dictate. I think this is overall sound at the smaller micros. At the micros, players might think "I'll call down with any A", but at higher stakes, they think "On this board, I'll call down with AJ and better". Check-raises are rare because you never get the opportunity, so that semi-bluffs tend to be lead bets with draws in multi-way pots where you might be very close to have the equity to bet for value anyway.
    • decentplayer
      decentplayer
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      Originally posted by YohanN7
      Sure, you can have 3BB/100 playing ABC, but you can get so much more.
      probably you could quite easy win 4-5BB/100h at 5/10c. I have 3BB/100h overall and that includes huge tilting sessions with 200-300BB lost


      Originally posted by YohanN7 ABC poker has an element of exploitation. You probably bluff a little less than balance would dictate.
      Personally I don't think I bluff less than I should because although you can definitely bluff profitably a fit or fold empty seat, bluffing at 5/10c can't be profitable against calling stations which represent the vast majority of the players (imo)
    • YohanN7
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      Originally posted by decentplayer

      Originally posted by YohanN7 ABC poker has an element of exploitation. You probably bluff a little less than balance would dictate.
      Personally I don't think I bluff less than I should because although you can definitely bluff profitably a fit or fold empty seat, bluffing at 5/10c can't be profitable against calling stations which represent the vast majority of the players (imo)
      Precisely. I think you'd bluff too much on average playing "balanced".

      Somewhat paradoxically, inducing bluffs works pretty well, but here it pays off to pick the right targets. Some fish (usually the marginally winning ones playing 40/10 or so) have the "bet-if-you-check" as a static part of their game plan.
    • Boomer2k10
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      Originally posted by YohanN7
      Precisely. I think you'd bluff too much on average playing "balanced".
      This is a total oxymoron and wrong.

      I'm guessing what you're trying to say is "don't bluff the calling station". I've already gone over why this is an oversimplification and not something which should be taken as gospel

      At micros it's MUCH more correct to overbluff becasue do you honestly think a micro stakes player is going to put you in more difficult situations when you're a bit too aggressive or a 2/4+ reg? Or who's going to be more sticky?

      Somewhat paradoxically, inducing bluffs works pretty well, but here it pays off to pick the right targets. Some fish (usually the marginally winning ones playing 40/10 or so) have the "bet-if-you-check" as a static part of their game plan.
      Then the correct adjustment to them is to check-raise the hell out of them with a larger %-age of your range. Along with taking many inducing lines in position. These types of players are super easy to win money off, especially with your weak showdown hands becasue you can turn your hand face up and they don't care.
    • YohanN7
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      I agree totally with your second paragraph.

      But, please explain, how do you exploit a player that calls when he should fold and calls when he should raise on all streets?

      By bluffing more or less than balance (or GTO) dictates?
      By value betting more or less than balance (or GTO) dictates?

      True enough, there will be few "tough spots" (flop, turn or river (re-)raises), but there will be plenty of showdowns (because he's calling). In a showdown you'll need to have the best hand in order to win. You seem to argue that if you barrel persistently enough, he will give in sooner or later. He won't (because calling is what calling stations do). Value bet more (1), bluff less (2) versus this player. Both (1) and (2) automatically lowers your bluffing frequency versus a calling station.

      Just because "don't bluff a calling station" wasn't invented in the last two years by Polaris, it doesn't mean it's wrong.

      If you replace "calling station" with "timid TAG", then I'll give you right. Usually you'll have a couple of both types at the table. This is why exploitation (as opposed to balance/GTO) is the superior tactics at the micros.
    • Boomer2k10
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      The whole "don't bluff a calling station" comes from confirmation bias when a guy doesn't let go of a hand on flop/turn and spikes a really unlikely card on the turn/river

      Does a calling station should up with weaker showdownable hands on average to a river bet than a good TAG does? I'd actually suggest the answer is no. Will you see an average 40/0 Calling station showing up with K-high on the river when it's actually correct to call? Most likely no because all they care about is the value of their own hand when it comes to showdown time and more often than not they think in absolutes.

      If the calling station in question is over-calling flop and turn only to MASSIVELY overfold the river (i.e. not even calling down A-Highs correctly) then bluffing less than balance is actually the OPPOSITE of what you want to be doing.

      In fact the calling station plays pretty much perfectly into the Stacking bluffs model because he DOESN'T raise you.

      What you shouldn't do on the river vs a calling station is value bet hyper thinly, because his calling range on previous streets, due to his passivity, which is going to call your river bet is way stronger than a TAGs would be. However he's also going to have a metric ton of river folds meaning that on average a bluuf bet is going to be +EV just due to autoprofit

      In fact the "truths" you hear so frequently about playing vs these guys only apply on flop and turn, on the river the reverse is actually the problem so the logical solution is as follows:

      Value bet thinly on flop and turn
      Bluff only with hands which have high equity for bluffs (i.e. big draws)
      Bet with weaker showdownable hands because you won't get punished for doing it

      On the river:
      Bet a polarised range, check your weaker value hands you may bet vs a normal TAG
      Follow through with the vast majority of your bluffs (overbluffing essentially)
    • Boomer2k10
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      And in reply to your final question no-one has ever said anything different

      If your opponent is making blatantly exploitable mistakes why would you try and play balanced?

      It doesn't mean it's not a good thing to know
    • YohanN7
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      We only disagree on the definition of a calling station and the distribution of player types at the micros.

      Your stations call (incorrectly) on the flop and turn and fold too much on the river (actually often correctly, their mistake is how they got to the river) - making your play optimal.

      My stations call on all streets, but they don't necessarily always spike a 2-outer on the river as you suggest; their unimproved unfoldable high card hand/mini-pair w/ no kicker often beats my busted draw. This makes it more profitable to just draw cheaper versus this type of station.

      The latter type is what I see the most, perhaps because I'm playing at the lower micros, not at $0.5/$1.0. What makes you think that the stations should turn rational on the river (and fold their weaker bluff catchers) when they have played irrationally on the flop and turn (proceeding with all potential bluff catchers/overcard pair draws)? I'm not sure you have very much experience from the lower micros (, and this is obviously not an insult, it's the other way around =) ).

      Another pretty important ingredient in this discussion is that pots are multiway more often than not. Bluffing out two stations very often (of whatever species) just isn't realistic.

      Having said that, I'm probably bluffing too little. I've become too lazy, just waiting for my BR to grow slowly and steadily enough for the next level.
    • Avataren
      Avataren
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      baka's
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
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      Originally posted by Avataren
      baka's
      It's baka if you mean only me, plural would be bakas, not baka's. Don't they teach the kids anything in school these days?
    • Boomer2k10
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      Originally posted by YohanN7
      My stations call on all streets, but they don't necessarily always spike a 2-outer on the river as you suggest; their unimproved unfoldable high card hand/mini-pair w/ no kicker often beats my busted draw. This makes it more profitable to just draw cheaper versus this type of station.
      And you think good TAGS do fold Pairs and High card hands?? Hint: They don't unless they're Nits.

      The latter type is what I see the most, perhaps because I'm playing at the lower micros, not at $0.5/$1.0. What makes you think that the stations should turn rational on the river (and fold their weaker bluff catchers) when they have played irrationally on the flop and turn (proceeding with all potential bluff catchers/overcard pair draws)? I'm not sure you have very much experience from the lower micros (, and this is obviously not an insult, it's the other way around =) ).
      They're not turning rational. They simply have too many awful hands in their range to call correctly. They're thinking about they're hand value and nothing more. Trust me, a good TAG is going to make your life MUCH more difficult

      Another pretty important ingredient in this discussion is that pots are multiway more often than not. Bluffing out two stations very often (of whatever species) just isn't realistic.

      Having said that, I'm probably bluffing too little. I've become too lazy, just waiting for my BR to grow slowly and steadily enough for the next level.
      THAT is the issue, "pure" or "weak-semi" bluffing loses a lot of value in multiway pots. The more players in a pot the more you simply play the value of your hand. In the HU situation you play vs the player, in Multiway pots there often a schooling effect when you simply have to play strong hands and draws the best you can and protect your hand if and when possible.
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