Hello all, welcome to my online poker blog.

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.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

To Bet or Not to Bet?

When I first started playing on-line poker, c-betting was all the rage. So I mimicked this habit and was probably betting around 100% of flops. Needless to say I did terribly. First came the epiphany that c-bets rarely worked in multi-way pots and so I adjusted to a value heavy range in those spots (or what I used to perceive as a value heavy range). In the middle of last year after watching a few videos and mucking about with EV software a little I started to understand the difference between value betting and bluffing a lot more. But this started causing me a problem, should we be betting JJ on a Q94r when the vast majority of times we are called we are beaten?

The last few months I have been polarizing my range on the flop. That is, I would c-bet my air (usually with some sort of equity) and also my big hands. I would check my mediocre hands (example above). This has been a moderately succesful approach for me, as most villains at this stake will play very straightforwardly giving me easy decisions on later streets. But if I begin to start playing against good hand readers (and this is my ambition obviously when I move up stakes) this approach is going to do dreadfully. I now think (despite it's disadvantages) that c-betting the whole of your continuing range plus bluffs (a merged range) on the flop is a better approach.

Firstly, if we check and call a hand like JJ on a Q94r against a decent player then we will likely face multiple barrels since our hand is face up at this point. So it's unclear whether that play will show a positive expectation. But against the vast majority of players c-betting on that board will definitely show positive EV no matter what our hand is. So it's a case of choosing the most reliable option. [Credit must go to Citizenwind for this point which he explained in one of the YouTube videos]. The second point is that once we begin to play two distinct subsets of hands in a different way in one spot we must face the problem of trying to balance those ranges so that we're not completely transparent.

This is probably all really obvious but I think that this approach will serve me better in the long run than my current one.

My double barrel frequency has never been as high as I'd have liked. I generally choose to continuation bet bluff on the flop with hands with equity and I have been reserving the double barrels for times when my equity has improved (i.e. a flush or straight draw turns). But this still puts my double barrel frequency at around 40% and I'd like it to be closer to 50%. But picking the right cards to bet again on is not easy and an area that I must do more work on in the next few weeks. I think generally I'm just going to double barrel if I think that I can get a decent amount of folds no matter my cards. Over time I should learn which are the better spots by experience.

GL at the tables.

No comments:

Post a Comment