Thursday, July 19, 2012

posts in a 2p2 thread asking about common spots in FR NLHE

here are my thoughts on a reg's thread in which he asked for answers to a bunch of very close spots in FR NLHE.  In general I think OP's thought process is very illustrative of why some players get stuck playing micro and small stakes and can't work their way higher or raise their winrates.  I think as games continually get tougher at all levels if you can't get past a very basic rote strategy and start thinking about the theory and reasons behind every decision you'll find yourself left in the dust.

A Thread asking about how to approach very close spots at small full ring NLHE game:
 the posts in this thread are great. instead of posting on 2p2 and trying to get formulaic answers for close spots, why don't you think about the reason why you would make a given play with each hand against the given opponent with all available information at hand (who's left to act, their stack sizes, etc).

lol at thinking that all regs playing 16/12 play the same both pre and post, and lol at thinking that just because it's the same hand in the same spot and the opener is a reg that the situation is the same.

train your brain to start taking in all available information, analyze that info, and make the best decision and you'll continue to be a profitable player for years to come. try to find easier answers that allow you to autopilot against regs while mass tabling and you might as well start looking for other jobs.

 after the OP replied asking additional similar questions that really have no definitive answer:
i love how you know I'm going to say "it depends" but don't want me to say it. you know why? Because it implies that there are more difficult questions you need to ask and answer. And learning to ask and correctly answer these questions very quickly in the moment is what will make you a lot of money in online poker. The learning process however is much more difficult than you'd probably like. It's very likely that at some point your attempts at study and learning in poker have plateaued, and similarly your rise up the stakes or your win-rate has stagnated or dropped. I know this has happened to me multiple times over my 5 year professional career.

The only thing I can say is that by asking more questions you're at least taking the right steps towards figuring out how to improve your game. However the next step is to get out of the FR 2009 mentality of your opening/3 betting ranges at every position and start thinking about why you would make any play in any given scenario. you're asking lots of questions about close spots, but the same analytical approach can be given to super common spots. And when you ask and answer those questions (questions you already know the answer to but you may not have put words to) you'll understand the same process that you should be using to evaluate these closer and more difficult spots.

don't forget, you're a human playing against (hopefully) other humans at a game of imperfect information. Your goal is to understand how they play and exploit their tendencies, not to develop a wrote play that will win the most/lose the least if you have no information. If you desire to play that style of game you should consider playing anonymous tables on those networks that have them, and limit your sessions to a few hundred hands at a time.

I'm not going to give more detailed answers because 1) it's not in my best interest to do so, 2) Some people pay me a considerable amount of money to be more specific and 3) it's better to teach a man to fish than to give a man a fish.

please don't take any of the above as criticism as every thing I wrote I could have applied to myself or wish I had known or thought about at various portions of my career. I'm far from a perfect player or high stakes crusher, but I feel confident that everything written above is key to making the leap as a player.

 My last post in the thread when OP asked me if he was framing the questions wrong:

no you're not framing it wrong you're just asking pointless questions. The answers to your questions don't matter. The only thing that matters is understanding the OTHER questions that you should be asking to get the available information needed to provide a best answer for those questions. And then understanding how to apply that analytical process to all hands in all spots against all opponents.

No one is going to spend hours trying to address every close hypothetical spot you can come up with in this thread. It isn't worth our time and likely won't greatly improve your game.

Last thing I'll say, the biggest leak I see in your thought process now is that you keep suggesting that most regs don't have identifiable leaks either pre or post. Rarely is this the case. Instead of trying to figure out how to combat the perfect unknown player, why don't you focus on your information gathering at the table. You might be surprised at what you see.

It's 2012 and the poker knowledge base continues to advance and grow every day.  Everyone else is working to get better, you better step up your game or get left behind.

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