Simple Heads-up Poker - Part 2

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In the second part of "Simple Heads-up" from Raskolnikov, we are further familiarized with the theory & are taken through some practical examples for the purpose of discussion.


heads headsup series Session Review Simple up

Comments (70)

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  • EuanM


    Enjoy part two from Raskolnikov, we look forward to hearing your feedback and comments!
  • dukkke


    I cant tell u how long I waited for this video :} GREAT!!!!11
  • thcfugii


    yes finally... YEESSSS !!!!!
  • markydave


    great match!
  • Aik777


  • Wolf87


    FINALLY !!!
  • Wolf87


    min 12:30 what is the weakest hand you 3bet for value in this spot? I would 3bet QJo as well, but i think because he opens just 65% I would not 3bet TJo here. For 100bb i def. would do it.

    Please do some live vids or session reviews where we see every hand. :)

    nice vid!
  • Falco35


    Cool vid, bro! I like your selfcritical way of analyzing. If you made a bad play vs this special Opponent you tell it. English isnt my language so I hope everybody understand what I mean?! I like the "Ehrlichkeit und die Fähigkeit Fehler einzugestehen"
    Nice Vid
  • passauf


    and i think he folded. oh no, wait! he called with second pair! i'm such an idiot bluffing this fool... :D

    nice concepts! good video!
  • Solinero


    Excellent video. However i do not understand why you call with QK. vs shove. yes there is money in the pot but you are still not given that good pot odds. if he does this with 15% or less you are even losing money. and lets say for some reason you know he has a pair < QQ, you are still slightly behind which makes it something like a breakeven call which i would avoid in order to decrease variance.
  • Solinero


    I really like your way of reasoning, you make it easy to follow your though process and i think you focus on some of the most important concepts.
  • Syzzzurp


    K4 on A3KT4 hand 56:58mins do you value bet your hand OTR if you don't make 2 pair here?
  • cashrules


    moarrrrrrrrrrr! 6max please
  • allbusiness


    hi gordon, excelent video, =), would definetely like to see some live play video at 6max tables. thumbs up to the way u analize and recognize ur own mistakes, great videos (as i never commented on the previous one) keep it up! =)
  • sido222


    good video, but the sound really gets out of sync at the end
  • Qwertz321


    4 months between part 1 and 2... are you serious? you recorded the session back in april 2011 before black friday... come on, dude! Get somme more effort and actuality in your videos!

    maybe you should make a series together with KTU... would be headexplosion poker
  • Zekor2k


    Rasko this is awesome, its also a very good mindset video. I enjoyed part 1 already and part 2 even more. Hopefully I can ever get you as a coach or something. This "thinking you are smarter than the average guy" thing ist just something which hold me back since 2+ years. 1. Flaming, 2. tilting, 3. burning my roll -> 4. restarting 5. crushing until 1.
    So now I moved up to nl10 again and Im comfortable that I will move up to at least nl50 finally, because I worked hard on my mindset and this video is also a very good advice.
  • Zekor2k


    Your talking after the ATs Hand of your opponent makes me laugh so much because I know it so well :D
  • thcfugii


    what are u repping vs the AT hand?

    i mean do u really bet a Q for value on that board? or 2pair?

    i mean ure line makes not that much sense..

    except u have the flush or the made str8.. maybe QT oder some random 5
  • v3rc3tt1


    Thank you for the great vid sir.
    I have some questions about defending vs 3bets.
    I can see you fold 57% to 3b and open 90+. But in prev video you fold 45s, Kxs to 3b etc. In this vid with the ATo example you make it a little more clear but still if you fold all those hands you can't end up folding just 57% of any2opening range!
    So does it mean in the beginning of a match we have to defend tight against 3b and loosen up our calling range after we get more information on his 3b range/postflop tendencies?
    What is your opinion on minraising strategies vs villains who 3b most of their defending range.
    When would minr be better than 3xing vs aggro 3bettor?

    Thanks in advance
  • filipetheman


    do a live session for sure. you want to teach a simple strategy, i feel that session reviews are better for in dept analysis
  • Gustl55


    13.00 -16.00
    I think the betsize on the turn is interesting. I agree shoving against a week player is good. but if you bet 76 against a good player, your plan is to shove any river, right? The problem here is if he calls the turn, he will call any river, because your holding makes a draw very unlikely and he will call a K, a 10, and probably even 77-99, because of the good pot odds.
    So, wouldn't it then be better to bet a little smaller to still have some FE on the river?
    Nice Vid!
  • LuciusFortega


    i like
  • Traderbench


    Wauh, great video !!!!

    Can you PLEASE make a 6MAX video like the way you make the Heads Up video ? Great content !!
    I believe there're many people interesting in a 6max vid from u :)

  • Raskolnikov


    #7 Yeah, the worst hand for value would be something like 9Ts . If i hadn´t 3bet in a while that probably as loose as i´d go.

    You´re right, he doesn´t open much, i´d still reraise any broadway combo though, because he is also floaty, which means more value when we hit
  • Raskolnikov


    Thanks for the compliments!

    As a plug for myself: I do offer private coaching as well if you are looking to work more intense on your game.
  • Raskolnikov


    @ #10: Yes/No

    Your reasons are correct. Why we agree that this spot is +- oEV, i do prefer calling there, because my edge on many villains is playing calm, even when down a couple buyins, while most villains have a propensity to play reaaaly bad when down 2-3 buyins.

    => If you´re psychologically strong, put in a bit more "gamble" as variance works in your favor
  • Raskolnikov


    #12: Its a very thin vbet, cuz i have no idea what he could call with.

    Then again, he loves calling, so it probably is correct to throw out 1/3 to half psb here.

    Vs most i´m not betting there.
  • Raskolnikov


    #17: Thanks a lot! Yeah, the more i coach and study successful people (outside of poker as well), it becomes more and more apparent that in the big picture its about improving as a person and getting rid of traits/habit that prohibit success.

    In Poker, as it has been said many times , you gotta learn how to control and use your ego "correctly".

    Imo, being smart certainly helps, but other qualities rank higher in order to become successful at poker.
  • Raskolnikov



    "Your line makes no sense".

    How would i play 2pr, set, straight, AQ (if i know villain doesnt slowplay overpairs) ?

    Try to think " your line makes sense , IF you´re trying to rep xyxxyxyy"

    "You´re not repping much".

    Despite nits often not repping much besides one nut combo, they still tend to show up with that exact combo every time.

    So what you´re doing here is confusing combinatorics with frequencies.

    it comes down to how often villain thinks i´m bluffing, which he obv thinks is very high ;))))
  • Raskolnikov



    Hello, thanks for the compliment, and very good question sir!

    The ONLY thing i´m concerned in ANY moment in EVERY action is MY OPPONENT !

    => Against some i will fold 5% to 3bets, against others i will fold 80% to 3bets.

    It has little to do with "beginning of match".

    Moreso with the exact numbers HOW OFTEN my opponent 3bets.

    No he changed the 3bet frequency during the match, which is the reason why i adjusted in the ways explained.

    Now in a video with 20 hands, you only see a tiny fraction/ little sample.
    Especially in this match i just didn´t get any hands to defend vs a 3bet.
    Whenever he 3bet me, i pretty much always had complete crap.

    let me know if that answered your questions.
  • Raskolnikov


    #20: Thanks!

    I only look at my opponents 3bet numbers. So depending on what he does, i´ll adjust towards that.

    Some Villains require me to fold 80%, because they 3b so tight, others to defend very loose.

    In this match he changed frequencies, so i had to adapt as well.

    I ran "bad" in terms of getting hands when he 3bet me.
  • Raskolnikov



    Most "good" players will never call my turn bet, because of the akward stack sizes.

    And if they did call, it would be absolutely insane to bluff the river, giving Villain insane odds, with his holding being most likely at least 10x.

    So no, definitely not bluffing on the river.
  • Raskolnikov


    Regarding Video Styles:

    From what i read the requests are:

    * Live Video
    * 6max Video with the "simple style"

    I´m looking to include members in the next videos, so please tell me in which subforum i should make a request where you all can offer to participate.
  • filipetheman


    at 16:25 you make a 2nd barrel with OESD on the KT4r and K turn, against him it would be bad to 3barrel, but against a typical player who has his range kinda capped like him, what river would you barrel as a bluff? cos it seems like a good 3barreling spot. ( i still think this is simple poker since you look very strong and him very weak :P)
  • filipetheman


    damn noticed better the stack size, no fold equity :( but if your slighty deeper then
  • AskMyDiaRy


    Really nice video.

    I would also like to see a 6max vid or a live HU match. But a session review (where you see every played hand, not just filtered ones) would be cool as well.
  • JurassicDaniel


    Excellent video. Best coach in teaching difficult things.

    I would be interesting to see a Live HU-Video in which you can show how you thing, to analyse and how you thinking process works (planing a hand, street projection, etc.).
  • v3rc3tt1


    Thanks for the answer.
    You didn't answer my question about minraising. Do stack sizes matter?
    How would you adjust to a fish w 40-60bb stack 3b his entire range like 50-60%? Minr 2.5x still 3x?
  • Traderbench


    * 6max Video with the "simple style" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Padde


    great vid!

    a 6max vid would be great yeah
  • Syzzzurp


    a live play vid of you playing a 5/10+ HU match would be my vote for your next video :~)
  • Raskolnikov



    Vs him it seems pretty terrible if we´re deeper.

    If you´ve watched the video, you´ve seen me try it in a way better spot and failing ;)

    Besides that you´re asking for general imput. Well, if i know my opponent has at least Tx when calling the turn, i wouldn´t bluff there.
  • Raskolnikov



    Missed the question, thanks for following up.

    Minraising: do vs frequent 3bettors. If they 3bet alot , obviously fold more buttons.
    Its a very general question, answering this in detail is material for many videos.
    General idea is the smaller the stacksizes, the more minraise.
  • Raskolnikov



    Its kinda interesting to me why you wanna see all hands. I actually filtered them out to not bore you to death when i´m folding 4To to a preflop raise ;)
  • EuanM


    I agree with #38, it would be fantastic to see a livesession!
  • EuanM


    52:00 Liverecordings ^^
  • Raskolnikov



    That´s in a course i made and it would be easy to reproduce, but that wouldn´t be fair and against my deal with

    But yeah, i get the idea.

    What about i make a live session with one user where we practise simple HU Poker ? I think that would be cool and most beneficial.
  • Syzzzurp


    have really turned my game around since i watched these video's wanna say thanks very much - am winning at a good rate now - only playing the lowest limits though - my redline has also improved (is now almost always positive vs regs)but i have played a bunch of maniac's who really affect it negatively by bluff jamming there entire range OTT/R - i guess thats to be expected though. Gordon if you want a guinea pig for the live play vid let me know i'll be keen (PM me)
  • Raskolnikov


    anybody interested in recording the next video with me please send me an email to

    Write "Pokerstrategy Video recording"
  • Raskolnikov



    Thanks syzz, thats great to hear! You´ll have a good chance at the spot.

    If there are other good applications, i will consider making more vids like that.

    Also, will listen to the reviews to see if the video style is what you want.
  • Raskolnikov


    Anybody who wants to meet "in real life", can attend the party in Buenos Aires on Nov 24th.
  • Jonte89


  • pokerprons


    I'll be your guinea pig for 6max if you don't mind making a video of a nl25SH player ^^
  • McBurak


    awesome video, finally something interesting in hu section (since jungleman's videos... well, you know :) ). I like your "simple poker" attitude very much and also liked your reasoning in most spots. The only thing I was missing was some insight in game mechanics stuff, for example you obviously call 3bets with with much wider range when deepstacked, but you never mentioned it and never commented on how deepstack play differs from 100bb play. Anyway, good job and keep them coming :)
  • Raskolnikov



    Thanks for compliments.

    The reason i probably didnt mention it, because i didn`t call because it was deep, but

    because i would have called vs his 3b range ANYWAYS (even 100bb).
  • EverSteel


    Hello Gordon,

    Why should the opponent bet Kx in the last hand, regarding the board and reads?

  • Raskolnikov



    after one week of releasing the video, please email me questions as i rarely go back.

    That said, AK,KQ,KJ and KT are all easy valuebets on the river simply because of the fact that i called him twice with worse and *could* do a third time.

    and IF he check calls anyways, its better to bet, because i'm not gonna bet much worse for value and have close to 0 bluffs in my range.
  • DecMate


    thankyou gordan, i watched both your videos and found them very beneficial and i dont even play heads up. Thank you
  • nefarious26


    i watched both these videos and it pretty obvious that Raskolnikov is a fxxxing GENIUS!!! soooooo simple love it
  • FlexPlexicoausMexico


    where is part 1? i cant find it
  • Patsche09


    part one: enjoy it

    @raskalnikov ty for the nice video i enjoyed it really

    please make more HU vids
  • flamtom


    Hi Gordon,

    keep those HU videos coming, great stuff :)

    Now for the content: In the last hand, you are right that he should bet the river vaguely 1/2 pot with his AK (or any K) and fold to a raise.
    As played of course everything is just fine, but let's pretend he does bet the river 1/2 pot. You talked about raising with him Trips on the river, is that right ?

    Why not just call ? Ok, i agree that he pays off light, but that would have to be very light, plus you might catch an (unlikely) call/reshove from KK,55 or the flush(I think he has a few combos there) ?

    Let's say 1/2 is so obvious to us that Trips with 9 Kicker are the best hand here 99% of the time and we raise him (very small i guess). Would you raise if he made it more like 2/3 ?
  • misspookie


    19 min of video you said you bet 76 against good players this guy is not a good player. I would check shove the turn. If he checks back its ok we get a free river can get 8 outs if he bets we shove we win a bigger pot when he folds
  • misspookie


    40 min of video that board is way to wet to bet. Your not getting much to fold here. and your 200 bbs deep i would want to be careful here. Plus hes a calling station on top of it why build a big pot and bluff this guy. I would actually check back the flop and check fold the turn. Being that deep I would wait for a good spot against a fish. Maybe 100 bbs or reg its fine but 200 bbs I like to be more careful against these guys. But you made some good points about hes a pure calling station. I am surprised he still called their though.
  • misspookie


    45 min of video it a fold on the turn. 7 or q come off you might get a bet out of him but wont stack him off the boards just to scary. His bigger flop raise I think he strong too. I might even let the flop go. But would depend if hes raising to 36 from 8 a lot. Over 4x raise from fish usually is the nuts
  • misspookie


    Love the ship with ak
  • misspookie


    I just think your playing a little to loose aginst this guy. If this guy calls 200 bbs with pair of 10s and is calling boards iwth k high we dont need to steal blinds just play broad ways and big hands. Fold weak ace junk out of position fold small cards and soon as you hit top pair you can 3 barel him and stack him off with any pair. there is no need ot steal blinds or play with 6 9 suited against this guy. Hes pretty much not gona fold. This guy is very extreme to callign where we dont' even need to steal anymore. All our value will be post flop with made hands against his weaker made hands.
  • misspookie


    Great video. I like how you explain all the mistakes and how to adjust to them.
  • misspookie


    those forums are bs by the way. I put on my blog how i would play this guy