Help me develop my game

    • Schnitzelfisch
      Joined: 08.11.2008 Posts: 4,952

      So firstly, a little about myself. I've been playing FL for some time now, was an english FL voluntary hand judge a year or so ago, but then took a break from poker and came back to climb the stakes. I've had no problems beating 0.5/1 and 1/2, I'll be moving to 2/4 in the next few days. Whereas I am sure that I could beat the 2/4 and probably even 3/6 using mostly the pokerstrategy learning material, I am not sure if this would maximize my winrate at these limits.

      While on the lower limits, the valuetowning with good hands was probably the easiest way of making profit, this probably changes now. The regs will be a bit better and will probably balance their lines etc., I can also expect more agression. I would firstly like to know how to exploit this TAG style? If we have the information that villain c/r with draws and made hands and sometimes pure bluffs on the flop or perhaps calls flop, raises turn with a hand or just for a free SD, how do we adjust to him? On the other hand, I would like to develop a style that is rather agressive and not very exploitable itself. It is probably more LAG like, but I do not want to become a spewy LAG, I actually want to develop a game that will be more +EV than the standard TAG. From what I've seen so far at 2/4, people do give some more respect to raises and tend to fold more, so I should abuse that. So let's see some of my ideas about the game:


      Implementing deception caps with some pocket pairs, suited connectors etc. to mess up my table image and percieved ranges. Along with that, I was thinking about loosening up especially on BU (and perhaps a bit on CO if there isn't a loose BU behind me) and then mostly make the oponents fold postflop. Another concept would be to try and isolate and isolate 3-bet weak players as much as possible, preventing the regs from being able to enter the hand and just outplaying the fish postflop.


      3-bet the check/raises more often, also 3-bet the call flop raise turn more often with medium pairs etc., use c/r and call flop raise turn myself more often. Implementing 3-barrelling more often in my game (I really need some help with this as I'm not sure when I can 3-barrel and when I can't). Attack the multiway pots where noone seems to have the interest in the pot more often.

      Now, the problem that I see with all of these concepts is, that every time someone would have a hand, I would get valuetowned. And every time someone would come to showdown with me, they would get a read on me and might be able to exploit my game. Now the question is, when should I stop being agressive and just give up? When people with low AF will go crazy, I will of course be able to give up the hand, but when regs go crazy, they could still very well be on a draw or a made hand. Of course the board texture plays big part in this, but if the regs are good enough to make deception caps/3-bets preflop, then everything gets very complicated postflop. The solution that I see is to mix up the LAG game with the TAG game - this way, When I feel that people have seen too many of my bluffs, I would focus more on playing premium hands, get less respect and get payed off by worse hands. When they adjust to this, switch back to LAG and abuse them again, making my game more unexploitable?

      Please post your thoughts!

  • 2 replies
    • firsttsunami
      Joined: 23.01.2006 Posts: 32,999
      Question 1)

      How to adapt to the TAG-Style (which is more well balanced as you said)

      this is a question which is not being able to be answered in a general way. you have to detect leaks from every single opponent. in order to do that, you should use hold'em-manager and certain stats that have been neccessary. fold to flopbet and continuation-bet to give an example. or to figure how likely it is that he's running on a bluff, you take his checkraise-flop -Value. with all this stats, you have to figure individually, from opponent to opponent, where a weakspot is that's worth to attack.

      furthermore you can create patterns about your opponents game where stats can't really help you. some opponent just checkraise on certain board-structures. you have to recognize that when it comes to a battle.

      the combination of understanding the correlation of stats-values and to create individual patterns is the way to go. at least for me. :)

      really important: use the note-function! the better your profile about your opponent gets, the better you can narrow down his range from the current to the next action.

      Question 2)

      Can i play an aggressive style without getting exploitet myself?

      that is somehow a contradiction in itself. not getting exploitet means playing GTO-Strategy. and GTO-strategy chooses a more passive approach of playing.


      according to your aggressive style, you would probably always checkraise middle pair and lowpair with good kicker. but that is exploitable in itself because it means that when you play c/c, your hand must be very weak.

      GTO would very often dictate to play check/call the flop, to keep your c/r-range and you c/c-range well balanced.

      GTO doesn't exploit anything but on the other side you can't exploitet.

      to play an exploitive strategy does always have to consequence that you can exploitet yourself.

      Preflop - Deception Caps

      that's a good approach to confuse your opponents and to make yourself more unpredictable. against some opponents it is very helpful to get value from their marginal hands, assuming again that there is any suited connector left that you could bluff with. a few opponent adapt very badly to deception-caps.

      3-bet In Position and 3-barreling

      you don't neccesarily include the 3bet Flop strategy into your game. some players like it more to focus their action on the flop and other ones like it more to keep it on the turn. basically you just have to adapt to your opponent when you recognize him playing check/raise flop, check. but that line is not really often used by opponent and the majority does rather stick to the fixed-betting-sequence and consequently bet the turn.

      3barreling is very good when a dangerous overcards appears on the turn and lets say the board is T75. If a Queen comes up on the flop and you bet the turn again, it's likely that a big part of his range consists of 7 and 5 and assumed that a K or A comes up on the river, it's worth to fire again with a hand like 89 or 86. if just blanks turn up, you should rather c/F the river or c/f the turn but whether it's worth to 3barrel or not does, as always, depend on the board development and on how high your opponents wts is and how likely he is to even call a pair of 5's and 7's.

      you could collect some hands out of your sessions you've played and then post them in the handevaluations-forums. to give basic advices ir somehow difficult.

      playing a certain style - dynamic of your table-image

      it's basically wrong to stick to one particular style of playing since due to the showdowns that have been seen, your image changes and that of your opponents as well. when your opponents think you play tight and when you've been playing very tightly the last 30 minutes, start playing aggressively and try to attack some flops by checkraising etc.

      when you've shown to be a very loose player, you should play tightly. actually always the opposite style that has been perceived by your opponents.

      but for sure you will always ask yourself whether your opponent is now really capable of adapting to your image or does he continue on his abc-general-tag-style.

      you will catch yourself in spots where you recognize that you have misred your opponent completely wrong but that is normal. you can't take a look into your opponents mind and you can't always figure out how clever he now really is and on which level he is thinking.

      i'm looking to your hands in the handevaluation-forums.

      i hope i could help you anyhow. :)
    • Schnitzelfisch
      Joined: 08.11.2008 Posts: 4,952

      Thank you very much for your detailed answer, I shall start applying some of these concepts in my game and see how it goes :) . I'll post the hands in the evaluation section as well to give you some work to do ;) .