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.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Improving My Understanding

Having a great month so far, it's great to wipe out a downswing and make a few buy-ins on top in just a few days of play. A while ago I wondered about the profitability of Zoom poker but I think that I'd just encountered some rough variance because at the moment it just seems like fish want to play pots with me.

I believe that I've managed to increase my winning margin by increasing my 3-betting frequency. Back when I played Rush poker on Full Tilt I had a small frequency, somewhere around 3%. The reason that it converged to such a small number is because I was actually using a specific range of bluff hands that balanced the value hands quite nicely. The problem with this approach though is that you ignore too many profitable spots. The opposite approach would be to 3-bet with a random hand any time you find yourself in a profitable spot. But I don't think this is optimal either because you'd end up re-raising too much in my opinion. The compromise that I've come to is to have a bluffing range of hands that include blockers and equity when called but it's much wider than the old set of hands that I used. The last few sessions on average I've 3-bet more like 5.5 - 6.0% of the time which has allowed me to win more dead money than before, perhaps as much as a bb/100 extra. Hopefully this will continue.

I've also corrected what I believe was an error in my thinking. When calculating hands that I can reasonably 3-bet for value I've always used absolute equity versus a calling range. What I hadn't been accounting for is future equity or skill equity. In other words say I've got ATs and a really loose fish has raised before me. My default play would have been to always call in the past, simply because even against the looser calling ranges AT is not usually an absolute favourite. But it doesn't need to be if I'm making that equity back on average by playing better post flop! So I could perhaps be re-raising hands with 45% equity for value in this spot. The recent change in thinking has had me 3-betting much thinner for value in the games as well as my extra bluffing so it has balanced itself nicely.

This month I've also faced a load of implied odds decisions and I've made a couple of mistakes so this has allowed me to refresh my knowledge of that side of things nicely. So many players at these limits don't size their bets large enough. They want to 'suck you in' and then when you are sucked in and suck out, they pay you off anyway. It's great!

Right, that post was quite technical and probably a little boring but I haven't put anything up for ages so I thought I would. Next post will be better, I promise. GL

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