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.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Attempting more Exploitation

So I've learned a lot over the last 6 months about balancing play and how ranges need protection against exploitation. This is true, and I've begun to attempt to fix my largest preflop leak that is the gap between hands that I raise and hands that I four bet with. However I think that I've begun to deviate too much from exploitative strategy which is where most of our money comes from.

Example hand

NL Holdem $0.25(BB) Replayer Game#31159316078

bysnake ($25.35)
foleq ($25)
ParalyzerBS ($25)
Katherine1992 ($25.15)
Biarum ($25.10)
Predator2211 ($26.13)
Zplan ($24.64)
Skogen2513 ($24.64)
Hero ($33.30)

bysnake posts (SB) $0.10
foleq posts (BB) $0.25

Dealt to Hero Kd Kc
ParalyzerBS raises to $1
fold, fold, fold, fold, fold,
Hero calls $1
fold, fold,
FLOP ($2.35) 3c 9d 2h
ParalyzerBS bets $1.50
Hero calls $1.50
TURN ($5.35) 3c 9d 2h 4d
ParalyzerBS bets $2
Hero calls $2
RIVER ($9.35) 3c 9d 2h 4d 3h
ParalyzerBS bets $3
Hero raises to $7.25
ParalyzerBS calls $4.25
Hero shows Kd Kc
(Pre 81%, Flop 91.6%, Turn 95.5%)

ParalyzerBS shows Ts Td
(Pre 19%, Flop 8.4%, Turn 4.5%)

Hero wins $22.66

Now for a good while I've just been auto 3-betting big hands here because I don't want my 3-bet ranges to become imbalanced. But in this case my opponent was folding to the vast majority of 3-bets but also barrelling pretty lightly post flop over multiple streets. So from an EV perspective (and forgetting playing optimally) it is a far superior play against this opponent to flat preflop and let him bet three streets with a wide range. Occasionally we'll lose where villain makes a better hand. But far more often we'll keep a ton of his bluffs in and make much more than we would had we got him to fold out 90% of his range. We need a bluff heavy 3-bet range and a value heavy calling range.

While I'm pleased with the things I've learned recently about game theory and optimal play, I have deviated too far from the way I used to play before I moved to 25NL. I used to treat each situation and each villain based upon my perception of his range and his situational tendencies. Trying to play more optimally has taken my exploitative profit away. I'm certainly a more knowledgeable player now that I've learned the new theory, but to return to winning ways I am going to stop trying to play in a certain way unless it's to prevent a good opponent exploiting me. Currently that means I just need to four bet back enough against liberal 3-bettors.

One last point about this is that the games are super weak since Black Friday. There isn't a single regular that I can currently think of that isn't weak in some way and there are tons of loose passive fish. So I've really been emphasising value lately and it's beginning to pay off imo. I have been going to showdown a lot less often and winning at showdown a lot more often while only sacrificing a little of my no showdown winnings. In the long run, I'm pretty sure that I'll converge upon a decent win rate again. GL

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