I've been playing on and off for a decade after being introduced by a friend.
I played regularly for a few years during the poker boom and had a decent record at the micros, particularly Rush and Zoom No Limit Hold'em games (here's one of my graphs).
Around 2012 I began a new career which involved immersing myself completely in study in my spare time, so I had little to no time for poker. However recently this burden has eased and so I have been gradually dipping back in.
I'm an amateur player who still hopes to some day beat the rake.
Monday, 3 May 2010
Exploitation is at the core of winning poker. A pretty obvious statement, but in recent weeks I've begun to find a lot more vulnerabilities in opponent play. A vulnerability is the name I give to an exploitable imbalance in villain's strategy. For example a calling station that will call down with too much of his range. Or the opposite, a weak player who will fold all but the top of his range. In both of these instances we can exploit by polarizing our decisions in each situation. We value bet, or we bluff. These are the classic things that every player should know by now. But I've just recently begun spotting the more subtle weaknesses. A great trick in the micro stakes HUSNGs is to 3-bet shove circa 20BB deep with a wide range. Often opponents will raise to 3x with maybe 50% of hands and then fold all but the good hands. This is an old trick - and I hope you are using it - but I've not seen any player adapt well to it yet. They typically tighten up giving us tons of blind money, or don't adjust at all. They just wait for a hand and then go schizo when they finally call with 60% equity and we drill a trey to win at showdown. A less common leak is a player who will reraise (3-bet) you with a wide range but fold everything but the very best hands to a 4-bet shove. We could probably four bet our entire range against someone who is doing this. I think I finally understand how I should be making chips at poker. Of course doing it during play is trickier. Having a good database and HUD helps alot; to anyone out there that does not use poker tracker or hold 'em manager I think you're missing out on a crucial learning tool. Not only can you use it to help to find vulnerability in villain strategy, but also to fix weaknesses in your own game. Having poker tracker (and recently Hold 'em manager too due to the great apps developed to run with it) has easily improved my game by probably 100-200% and it paid for itself long ago. GL