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  #1  
Old 01-27-08, 09:35 AM
Wes Wes is offline
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Default Balancing Ranges or Exploitable because people don't adjust

So, I'm slumming it at 2/4 gaining back confidence after a 20 buyin downer. And it makes me realize one thing. The thing that I completely emphasize at 5/10 and 10/20 is that I have to have a balanced range to be effective. Like I HAVE to check/raise and stack off on a K83 two spade flop with KQ since I am going to be bluff raising this board a lot and people at 10/20 know I do, so they play back at me with worse and stack off with worse.

But, at 2/4, I CANNOT stack off with KQ on a K83 flop without initiative against most people to be profitable because people don't think past what their own hand is and how that relates to the strongest hand I am repping (top pair+, sets, etc.). So, they only play back at me when they have a better hand, making stacking off with KQ on that board a big mistake.

Basically all I am saying is that people that are having trouble moving up, you guys need to bluff MORE. Which contradicts a lot of what is written here. Many people say, "well, its .5/1, people are dumb and stack off with a lot of garbage". But, that is not how these games play any more. Sure, that is how they played pre-UIGEA PAARRRRTYYYY POKER, but now that people play better, they just fold too much.

You don't need to balance ranges, you just need to find that tag (and there are plenty, don't bluff calling station fish of course) that cbets too much, bets too much on the turn, and bluff/semi-bluff him more often than you already do.

A lot of what I see on this board is people that play a TAG style preflop, but sort of passive player postflop if they don't have the initiative. Which is not what I would suggest to win the most. I want you to be a TAG style preflop, but a person that is completely active postflop trying to take away every pot possible. No more auto-pilot. You try to win every pot until you think that this person or table will adjust to YOU. Then, you wait for a hand. Not before like others are suggesting.

And then once you start playing 5/10, we can go back to that balancing ranges. Poker is a fun mind game.
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Old 01-27-08, 11:49 AM
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Default

nice post BL. I have played like shit this month and decided to move down from $1/2 to $0.5/1 to work on my postflop game. I think you are absolutely correct in this regard, TAG preflop and active, contesting every pot, postflop. The only thing I would add is that those folks that are used to making withdraws from their poker account on a monthly schedule should be playing with a 50 buyin minimun.

Part of my problem this month was that I was for a few months I have been maintaining a 30-40 buyin BR. With that little BR coverage I just didn't feel comfortable playing the style I knew I should at $1/2. I couldn't help but be results orientated on every hand. So I made a larger than normal withdraw today (the best cure for when you are feeling bad about your game) and won't move back up to $1/2 until I get back to a 50 buyin BR.

I guess this is a long way of saying that I think BR management the foundation that allows you to play correctly.
  #3  
Old 01-27-08, 01:30 PM
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Default

Two good posts.

I need to think about Storm's more, but it makes sense. At least for the people playing in the 1/2 and 2/4 and 3/6 NL range. Does it make sense below that? I'm not sure. I mean, yeah, against a known TAG type player, certainly, but against the average donk that you have no read on, I don't think so - you'll make the big bluff CR and he'll call and stack you with second pair. Ouch. I still think pure ABC is the way to go at anything from $100 NL and down, barring good reads.

But yeah, for the people stuck in those mid-stakes (by our terms) games, bluffing more postflop is probably a great way to move up.

For me personally, it's a tough spot. My style is probably not the best to crush the 5/10 and higher games, for example... but it works at 1/2 and 2/4. So the question is, do I really WANT to move up again? I beat 3/6 regularly for a pretty long time (post UIGEA) and I did well at 5/10 for a while too... but I just didn't like the swings. Losing a few $1400 or $2200 pots in a session bothers me and affects my game, and the big downswings REALLY do (did someone just say -20 Buy Ins?). The swings at the $200 tables don't really bother me at all. So I dunno.

I guess I'm taking it slowly, and while I won't say I never want to play about 2/4 again, I will say I'm not in a big hurry. So given that, does it make sense for a guy like me to start contesting for every pot, or should I stick with what works pretty well?

I'm asking. I don't know.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-08, 02:07 PM
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This is one of the most game-changing threads we have had on this site. I think your question TP boils down to goals, no? Do you want to move up or are you happy grinding?

As for the tag business storm was talking about, do you think that bluffing more postflop before you move up is all about loosening your trigger to get you prepared for the next level? Because I agree with TP that I don't think there are enough instances at .50/1 and below where you can play a very aggressive style postflop without a hand and come out a winner just because of the landscape of those levels.

However, I occasionally find myself pulling the trigger on a bluff in a marginal situation simply because I feel like I need to prove to myself I can do it and prevent locking up at the next opportunity. I understand the need to demonstrate the ability to bluff at the higher levels you play at, as that is the only way to get any action. However, what is the best method to prepare for the next level?

I read in Supersystem (I think), or somewhere where Doyle talked about the whole state of Texas knowing who he was and no one really wanted to play with him. However, he said he basically had to start at games by giving lots of action and throwing away one buyin just so he could get action on the other end...Is this kinda what you were getting at? If so, isn't it best to prepare for the next level by jumping up to teh next level knowing you need to pull the trigger more often? I always thought that's how JD moved up so quickly...

This definitely rambled on, and I am not sure what my point was but I have always felt I am capable of getting to the upper echelon of play but due to time constraints and the need for my BR funds I have never been able to put a run together so I guess I am trying to get an insight into how to move up effectively.
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Old 01-27-08, 02:31 PM
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I'm playing the NL100 game on FTP and the type of play described above is something I rarely, if ever, see.

Sadly, I BARELY play poker anymore. I've been trying to get back into it lately, but lack of great results (i.e. breakeven since last June) and my career taking on a greater meaning have made me lose desire to play. Forcing myself to play for the money was a bad, bad idea.

Anyway, like BL said, the games are just not like that anymore. I agree. I've found a need to be MUCH more creative.

However, in examining my own play recently, I started to wonder if the fact the I seemed to be "contesting every pot" was my downfall. Now, I'm just confused.

WTF?
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  #6  
Old 01-27-08, 06:53 PM
melioris melioris is offline
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if you are playing a 6-max game I think the skill lays in understanding how the board on flops and turns play against hand ranges of standard TAGs. My understanding of the OP is that the AG of TAG is particularly important postflop and a lot of advice here is not geared to working that part of the game. The problem with this type of thinking is that is requires more complete HH posting, like recent history as well as stats on villains when posting in the HH section.
  #7  
Old 01-27-08, 08:24 PM
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*Official request for new video illustrating the style of play you are advocating, Storm*

Thank you.
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  #8  
Old 01-28-08, 05:24 PM
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I second that because, and we can write this off as me being slow, I'm having a hard time grasping all of what BL wrote (for example how do you reconcile paragraph 2 with paragraph 5?). No intent whatsoever of being critical, just would really like to have a complete understanding of what you're saying because I think you're posting some very ++EV (and ++$) advice that is very important. These "playing the player" concepts are what makes this game interesting and is an area I'm trying to focus on more and more.
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