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, 4 July 2011

Mixed Session. Calling Elasticity

Just played a meh session. To begin with I was being too aggressive I think, I spewed in a couple of spots where I probably had inadequate fold equity. I also played a pot where my opponent clearly had a strong hand on the river and I didn't make the most of an opportunity to over-bet, but more on that in a second.

The more I play the more I think that playing a very value heavy strategy is key in these games. There seems to be a lot less fold equity than I used to have in Rush. Sure, there are still the loose passive 'see a flop and fold if I don't hit de nutz' fish but in most situations, bluffing just doesn't seem to work often enough. I'm thinking of deliberately adopting a strategy where I raise and c-bet on the usual flop textures but then completely shutting down unless I have a clear value betting opportunity. There doesn't seem to be enough regs that would exploit me to be honest. Anyway as I continue to adapt I'll add further comment in this regard.

Calling Elasticity
As I mentioned, there was a spot where I rivered a full house and the flush also came in. I bet, my opponent raised and I made a 3x reraise over the top. I believe that I should have instead jammed all-in, a significant overbet. The reason being that all of his bluffs are going to fold to any bet size, but if he has a flush I think he'll still be calling very often.

This got me thinking about how I could begin to focus on improving my bet sizing which is an area where I still think I am pretty weak.

In an ideal world, as we bet larger and larger our opponents should be folding out an increasing % of their hands in a linear pattern. But often they do not do this. There are two extremes:
1/ Villain has a totally inelastic calling range.
- When we value bet we should bet as large as possible (go all - in)
2/ Villain has a totally elastic calling range.
- When we value bet we should bet as much as we can without making him fold.

The second situation comes up very often. We have a good hand on the river and suspect villain has a second best hand but will not call a significant bet, so we bet like 1/3 pot which is a bet he'd likely call almost always. Villain's calling range is very elastic in this case. A small bet will almost always be called, a big bet will almost never be called.

The first situation comes up rarely, but usually when you and your opponent both have very strong hands and you are at the top end of the scale - as in my example. As far as bet sizing was concerned, I made a very fundamental bet sizing error - typical of my play. In a situation where my opponent had a very inelastic calling range I did not maximise my expectation because I didn't shove all-in.

For the foreseeable future I'm going to really think about range elasticity when I get to similar situations and try and get some extra value from my opponents.

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