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PL/NL Texas Hold'em >> Micro Stakes

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Sean Fraley
old hand


Reged: 08/26/06
Posts: 974
Loc: Ohio, United States
PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP
      #11843692 - 08/27/07 06:10 PM

The threads not up by 6 PM, so I thought that I'd get it started.

No Limit is a game of information and manipulation, and position is the key to having the most of both of these. In position you get to see what your opponents do before you have to act, and have the most capability of taking the course of action that directs the flow of the hand in the direction you want it to take both on this round of betting and on subsequent rounds of betting. The ability to call, raise, or check behind lets you control the size of the pot. Bluffs and semi-bluffs become much more successful when you have a chance to see what your opponents want to do with their hands.

Basically, when in position I look for the course of action that will make the most out of my hand. Out of position I start looking for reasons to be out of the hand entirely.



EDIT FROM SUNNY: Thanks for posting this Sean - I guess Matt and I both have had busy days. Let's use this thread to discuss Position as well as the Hand Reading and Fundamentals In Practice chapters, and use it as a general wrap-up for the Fundamentals section before starting on REM in maybe like the middle of the week.

Edited by Sunny Mehta (08/27/07 06:39 PM)


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boardertj
journeyman


Reged: 08/01/06
Posts: 69
Re: PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP [Re: Sean Fraley]
      #11847988 - 08/28/07 12:38 AM

I don't have any questions in particular but I dont want to see this thread die so I thought I would bump it up.

Hand reading is one part of my game that I feel is extremely weak and am eager to hear some disscussion on the subject.


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Sean Fraley
old hand


Reged: 08/26/06
Posts: 974
Loc: Ohio, United States
Re: PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP [Re: boardertj]
      #11848083 - 08/28/07 12:46 AM

Quote:

I don't have any questions in particular but I dont want to see this thread die so I thought I would bump it up.

Hand reading is one part of my game that I feel is extremely weak and am eager to hear some disscussion on the subject.




In the micros I've found hand reading to be pretty difficult. If you are table selecting well you will be in a lot of pots with players who will play almost any two and call down with some very questionable cards. In general though you can find some distinct patterns as you get some hands in with people. Look at the cards at showdown and take notes of what they will call with (two overcards, an ace, straight draws, the nuts, etc), what they like to bet hard (draws, TP, middle pair). Pay very close attention to the two betting extremes: minbets and all-in. Normally there isn't a middle ground here. Either it is a weak hand or draw, or (at least in there mind) a very strong hand.


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spigge
member


Reged: 02/07/05
Posts: 109
Re: PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP [Re: Sean Fraley]
      #11850093 - 08/28/07 05:22 AM

I have problem in pre-flop when I raise in middle position first in with hand like JJ AQs etc. and someone re-raises in button to put him in hand. Is he raising with uber hand or just to be able to steal pot in flop?

How you see 3-bet range to be in button against middle raiser? TA opponent vs. LAG players? I am thinking mainly NL25 and NL50 limits (6max)?

How often they have AA,KK,AKs?


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jeffnc
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/18/04
Posts: 1631
Re: PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP [Re: Sean Fraley]
      #11851485 - 08/28/07 09:42 AM

Two comments. First, against bad players, it's true you lose some advantages. For example, if you're an excellent bluffer, you lose a good deal of that advantage. If you're an excellent hand reader, you lose a good deal of that advantage. However, you more than make up for that by simply playing better cards on average and stronger hands on average. I always laugh when I hear about players who call themselves "good" but then claim a table full of bad players can't be beaten. If you can't adjust, then you really have a limited skill set.

Regarding position, the majority of players, both good and bad, do not understand it that well. Bad players make the bigger mistake - they don't understand how being "in position" can be a big advantage. Some good players who have read some books make a smaller mistake. They overrate the importance of position in the sense that they think it's always a big advantage to be "in position". For one thing, they sometimes play cards that are too weak or try to make too many plays "in position". But the more common mistake is to forget that being first to act is often a big advantage, not the huge disadvantage that all the poker authors try to tell us it is. Usually, but not always, it's better to act late. Sometimes, probably more often than some people think, it's better to act first. Comments?

Edited by jeffnc (08/28/07 09:43 AM)


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jeffnc
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/18/04
Posts: 1631
Re: PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP [Re: spigge]
      #11851553 - 08/28/07 09:49 AM

Quote:

I have problem in pre-flop when I raise in middle position first in with hand like JJ AQs etc. and someone re-raises in button to put him in hand. Is he raising with uber hand or just to be able to steal pot in flop?

How you see 3-bet range to be in button against middle raiser? TA opponent vs. LAG players? I am thinking mainly NL25 and NL50 limits (6max)?

How often they have AA,KK,AKs?




I don't know, but I can tell you this. I've been keeping track of my reraising stats. This is for online play at .5/$1, $1/2 and $2/4. When I reraise a raiser by betting 3x his bet amount, I am getting folds at the rate of approximately 3:1. In other words, it's profitable to raise with any 2 cards. Of course, it's not profitable to raise any time you have 2 cards. Frequency is obviously important. But as long as you are not noticed to be reraising significantly more than you can be expected to actually get good cards, then raising with 72o is profitable for me. I wouldn't raise with that because why should I? I'll just wait until I get 22 or 43s or some other weak hand that has additional profit from higher potential of winning a showdown.

So to answer your question, I doubt I'm the only one who's figured this out. Sometimes you're getting screwed. But which times? (I reraise with premium hands also.)


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KickerNotch
newbie


Reged: 06/30/07
Posts: 25
Re: PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP [Re: jeffnc]
      #11852029 - 08/28/07 10:43 AM

Here is a scenario where I find myself stacking off all too often but especially OOP, and that's hitting trips on a connected flop with multiple players (3+). In this paticular situation it's the first hand I'm dealt so I have no table reads. When flopping a strong hand on a coordinated flop, how much does being OOP devalue the hand or is this simply a situation in which a lot of money is going to be lost when behind or someone catches up regardless?

I've been trying to keep the pot small becuase I've been burned many times with these flops but I feel like I am now playing them too weakly and try to justify it by saying to myself, "it will set up slow plays in later hands," but I know at micro that's usually wishful thinking.


Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.05/$0.10
6 players
Converter

Stack sizes:
UTG: $16.20
UTG+1: $10.20
CO: $9.85
Button: $14.35
SB: $9.20
Hero: $10

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with 7 K
UTG calls, 2 folds, Button calls, SB calls, Hero checks.

Flop: K K Q ($0.4, 4 players)


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GtrHtr
Trained Killer


Reged: 02/22/05
Posts: 3729
Re: PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP [Re: KickerNotch]
      #11852193 - 08/28/07 11:03 AM

keeping the pot small often provides the correct odds for draws to stay in the hand. That being said, at micro's players often tell themselves "zomg, I have a flushdraw" and call you down. That is were value betting them to death increases your winrate a lot at these levels. Often though, on later streets you need to recognize the situations where you should c/f or b/f if a draw hits based on the players.

In the hand you posted, you should def bet the flop (pot) or raise the flop if sb opens. Re-eval the options once the flop action developes more from there and you can begin to narrow ranges. A reraise from utg or button on the flop would more likely be a stronger K and not a FD.


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wallenborn
addict


Reged: 10/27/06
Posts: 478
Re: PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP [Re: Sean Fraley]
      #11852451 - 08/28/07 11:28 AM

Quote:

In the micros I've found hand reading to be pretty difficult. If you are table selecting well you will be in a lot of pots with players who will play almost any two and call down with some very questionable cards.




There are a few things working in your favour, though. Remember Bayes' Theorem: you need estimates on 1. your opponents' initial distribution (what hands they play) and 2. their conditional probabilities (how they play them). If the latter information is precise and accurate, i.e. if you opponent is a straightforward player, then usually it doesn't matter much whether you get 1. right.

Fortunately, most players in the micros are either straightforward or crazy (which is actually straightforward in a weird way). So you're not making a big mistake assuming the prior distribution to be uniform (they play any two cards), and then just listen to what they tell you with their actions.

Furthermore, if they call you down with a lot of bad hands: fine! That means you'll make money against them by winning more pots than losing. now all you have to do is make sure the pots you lose are not substantially bigger on average than the pots you win. So use pot control techniques to keep your losing pots from getting too big, and you're there.


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QTip
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 09/23/04
Posts: 6131
Loc: OH
Re: PNL Study Group Day 6: Position/Hand Reading/FIP [Re: Sean Fraley]
      #11852508 - 08/28/07 11:34 AM

OK. I do have several things I'd like to bring up/ask in these sections.

1. I think position plays a key role in how good your implied odds are. In a later section of the book (top of page 126), factors that increase implied odds are listed (in what I'm sure wasn't designed to be an exhaustive list) as:

1. Money behind
2. Loose opponents
3. Disguised draw
4. Draw to the nuts

I think position plays a key role there too, and I just wanted to point that out and make sure I'm thinking correctly as well.

2. Top of page 80 you say that position has more value as the stacks get deeper. You give the “easiest to grasp” as control over the last (generally the largest) bet. I’d be interested in hearing some of the reasons that are considered harder to grasp.

3. Hand # 7 in fundamentals in practice. I FINALLY found where this was in the book! “You might delay a round if a large # of cards could ruin your hand, provided you could still get all in on the turn or river. In this hand, only a few cards were really bad, so reraising the flop was the right idea.”

OK. This is a concept I know has caused a lot of confusion in quite a few posts I’ve seen. It reminds me very much of SSHE concept of waiting for the turn to raise confusion that happened a # of years ago. At any rate, I posted this hand a couple weeks ago . Where I was trying to apply this concept. I also remember reading another thread some time back (which I can't seem to locate atm) where someone had top two against 4 opponents showing interesting (something like a red 56 on a monotone black 456 board) where much discussion was had between waiting and pushing it on the flop. I'd really like to get some more details on this concept. Perhaps we could see an example of when to wait until the turn when a large # of cards can hurt you. Matt was kind enough to reply in my 99 hand I posted and said:

"QTip you've got to raise that flop big. too many cards can hurt you, you have good equity now but may be sussed if a diamond or straight card hits, and there's a lot of money already in the pot relative to the remaining money."

Here's what I gather from that:

raise flop big = I'm committed to the pot right now. I think this may be different than top two since my hand is quite a bit stronger (Man...I wish I could find that other old post. I remember seeing grunch replying in it and so forth....)

too many cards can hurt you = That's what we're talking about here.

There's a lot of money already in the pot relative to remaining money - ok...that's a big factor

Also, people were talking about how there were too many opponents to wait. To me this is a double edged sword..cuz the more opponents in the hand, the more likely someone is to already have a big hand (QJ or whatever..there are a ton of hands that are better than mine already). However, also the more opponents there are, the more likely we are to have someone drawing...so, there's a bit of an oxymoron or whatever there.

At any rate, I'd love to see a couple examples of when to wait vs. when to push it on the flop.

4. Hand #10 We have AQo and raise, the co calls and the button reraises, we fold. Which I think is a good play. However, I'm wondering if you change this if the co folded and only the tag button has raised you. Are you calling then?


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