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Coaching/Training >> Stoxpoker.com

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The BryceModerator
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: GSykes]
      #12693876 - 10/27/07 03:15 PM

Quote:

first....etc.

poker story?




Uh, this would be kind of a long one to answer in full, so I'll have to give you the cliff notes version I started playing online poker in early '05 (had a roomate who dealt at a local casino and at that point a lot of MTG players were jumping over to poker) read the basic literature and got a good start on the basics through a Vancouver-based website (www.604poker.com). By late summer I was propping 5/10 LHE on prima and making a fair bit more money doing that than at my dayjob, and since I didn't care for my dayjob much (was a tedious machining job I took when I was 18 with the idea of banking money for university) I decided to drop it in favor of taking on poker full time (this was done a few months prematurely in retrospect). That sort of went on for about a year of propping on Prima, Crypto and AP, and while I was making something like 1.5BB/100 in rakeback over that period I was always frustrated that I wasn't actually producing a pokertracker winrate in these tougher games (despite having made just over 100k on the year). Towards I began to run some 20/40 (or equivalent in GPB) stuff and in the summer of '06 I decided that AP 5/10 was harder that party-poker 20/40 and pulled the majority of my funds off the propping sites and ran PP 15/30-30/60 for a few months (there was a 3 week period or so in here where I would often 5 or 6 table these games, which was a good lesson in just how expensive common, inattentive mistakes can be).

At this point "black October" jumped in with the UIGEA and PP imploded, and in the week before the legislation became effective I spent some time datamining and surfing around the other major sites. One of the things you do a lot as a prop is wait around trying to start up empty tables, and I had always played a bit of HU here and there as a result (and had enjoyed it). When I noticed that FT had heads-up cash games I thought I would give it a go, and thought it would be interesting to see what sort of money, if any, could be made by playing these games on a regular basis. I found the HU play to be much more engaging that 6handed. By the end of the year I was running 50/100 and spending at least a half hour each day watching recordings of my own play, taking notes and doing whatever I could to break things down mathematically (I had earlier come to the conclusion that the ability to get an accurate idea of what your opponent's are doing is just something you build up through experience, so the mathematics was the important stuff to focus on). The stuff between that point and now was largely much of the same: state assumptions about opponent, find best line based off assumptions, repeat.

Quote:

what is your game you prfer the most as in stakes and amt of players?? Do you prefer one site over the other?? Who have you taken poker lessons from in the past?? Will you be coming out with a book or dvd's?? Thanks Bryce




HU LHE. I just play wherever I can get action (wiring some money into Stars shortly) though I do like the FT interface and they've always been good about processing wires. I summer '06 I asked Nate tha' Great to coach me for a bit when I was playing mid-limits, he agreed and I was extremely happy with the experience. I've actually been compiling a lot of data in the powerpoint presentations I've been doing at Stoxpoker, so producing a book at some point is not out of the question, though unlikely.

Quote:

1) Do you feel that you are approaching a place in the limit game where one could be described as virtually unexploitable?

2) I imagine you feel as though your intellectual approach to limit poker is the optimal one, however are there ways of thinking about/playing the game that you have not taken the time, or at least enough time, to explore?




1) The thing with playing with perfect balance is that you don't win any money by doing it. I do spend a lot of time figuring out the balancing points for different situations, though, just so that I understand how much I have to let my opponents get away with, when I need to key up defense etc, or so that I can engage balanced EV neutral play in areas where my opponents play extremely well.

2) That's kind of a catch 22 in that if I thought there was something very important that I was not doing I probably would be doing it. That being said, there probably is something When I was getting started with watching a lot of my own play and doing more pen and paper work I had a lot of surplus time to leverage, but these days I'm quite a bit busier with poker / stoxpoker / other projects and just the daily non-table poker stuff that I already do. You can always do more, but now I do have to be somewhat economical about how I use my time.


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The BryceModerator
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: DeathDonkey]
      #12694159 - 10/27/07 03:42 PM

Quote:

What adjustments do you make preflop (HU) vs a tough player who is 3 betting out of the BB with a bit too wide a range (or do you think there is no such thing as too wide if you tailor your game around that style) - an 80/60 type guy who plays fairly well postflop.

There are a ton of HU pros who bounce between like 10/20 and 50/100 on Full Tilt. What are they doing wrong or what is exploitable in their play that is keeping them from HU superstardom. (if that's too broad I'm trying to categorize the player type who is clearly decent at HU, winning for the most part, but not quite able to be the next Freedom25 - what's holding them back?)

Thanks,
DeathDonkey




Well, backing down and contesting less pots isn't the right answer. It's important to remember that you can really leverage your position to bump up your implied the times you do flop a hand, and it's basically impossible for your opponent to "exploit" you by 3 betting a lot unless you roll over and die. Keep an eye open for spots where you can win pots UI post-flop start capping light as a semi-bluff if you think that's an appropriate counter.

Don't have an concrete answer to your second question, since I'm not really familiar with those players. One thing that I find is pretty common with a lot of players, however, is that their ideas of how poker works basically amount to educated guessing. You can always use mathematics to find the best possible line based off what you assume your opponent will do, so if you can't draw a straight line from your assumptions to the best possible actions you're going to want to seek out those gaps in your thinking and fill them in to make sure you have accurate data.

Quote:

Is your foray into HU NL going to have any chance of being your main game at some point, or are you going to stick with limit primarily and just make this your "project"?




It's a largely academic project at this point, but I do find it quite interesting. One thing that is interesting is that after you get over that first bit of the learning curve where you have to take things like implied odds and bet-sizing into account NL is in many ways a much simpler game than limit, since there are generally far fewer actions per hand.

Quote:

Hi The Bryce. Thanks for going into The Well.

What are the biggest BB downswings you have had at a couple limits? How did you feel about them?

Who do you think are the best limit hold 'em players in the world? HU and in longer versions of the game. Online and live.

What do you believe are the best poker books ever written? Which helped your game the most? Have you read Mathematics of Poker? If so, what did you think of it? Did it improve your game?

Do high stakes players take advantage of reload bonuses at the online sites? For example, do they bother with the Stars or FTP 125 dollar bonus every 5 months or whatever? If yes, and they don't appear to have received their bonus, do they bother e-mailing support to find out why?

You are hosting a poker game. You may pick the number of seats and the stakes. You can choose to invite absolutely any person ever living or deceased and they will accept. Who do you invite and what stakes will you play?





I know when I was propping I had a downswing of something like 700BB (note that dollar-wise it would have been a pretty marginal loss) and playing HU I don't think I've ever had a swing of more than 250BB. In the case of the first one I had a pretty depreciating attitude about it, but in the case of more recent swings swinging one way or the other is kind of low-impact psychologically. Not just because the downswings are smaller, but because at this point my mathematical fundamentals are strong enough that I can more or less see where the money is going, and am just happy to get it in good / worry about the quality of my play.

Live I can't say. Online I can't say out of everyone, but out of the people who play regularly and who I have experience with I would say either Hoss or myself for HU (note that I haven't had a chance to play against TLK). For 6max I play so seldom these days that I can't really say.

I recently bought The Mathematics of Poker, but have yet to sit down and give it some attention. In terms of other poker books the issue I have with them is that they mostly focus on teaching exploitative strategy based off certain assumptions of what people are likely to do. When the game conditions change most of the advice given in them isn't all that useful, and even though they usually do include information on under what conditions you might vary your play they don't really do a very good job of teaching the student how to understand how the game actually works. These sorts of books are still necessary material for beginner and amateur players, however, since a more mathematical approach to poker would be an extremely steep learning curve to conquer at the beginning. When reading "Theory and Practice" however, I did think that David did a much better job of focusing on fundamentals and the mechanics of the game than in any other book I'd read to date.

I just settle for rakeback.

Well, I think one of the important parts of gaming is being able to decline action, so grabbing a guy off the street and having him play 3000/6000 HU isn't really something I'd be up for, but basically I'd want a HU LHE game with huge stakes and the softest opponent possible.

Quote:

What do you charge for coaching?

If you had to start over what would your bankroll plan be?




Currently I charge $600/hr and give Stoxpoker members a $500/hr discount. Note that I am currently not accepting new students due to increasing demands on my time (no PMs, please).

At micro-limits I would probably start with ring LHE and then would switch it over to HU LHE around the 2/4 level.


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Heisenb3rg
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: The Bryce]
      #12696023 - 10/27/07 06:29 PM

Ive been told you like to calculate the best strategy in a lot of sitautions away from the table.

Do you find by putting in this work youve come to a lot of valuable insights that couldn't have been found any other way?

I did a calculation for an article im currently writing for the two plus two magazine. I was blown away by how long it took to do the math. The math consisted of enumerating all hand combinations for every possible turn card.. About 7 pages of work in total. The time invested didnt seem worth the result.

Is there any techinques/methods youve been using to speed up the calculation process?


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Sushiglutton
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: The Bryce]
      #12696042 - 10/27/07 06:31 PM

Limit holdem

Suppose you defend the BB agaisnt a raise from BTN. If you miss and rags fall you need to try to steal some of the time by CR? How do you decide how often you need to do this?


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The BryceModerator
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: Sushiglutton]
      #12697244 - 10/27/07 08:49 PM

Quote:

Ive been told you like to calculate the best strategy in a lot of sitautions away from the table.

Do you find by putting in this work youve come to a lot of valuable insights that couldn't have been found any other way?

I did a calculation for an article im currently writing for the two plus two magazine. I was blown away by how long it took to do the math. The math consisted of enumerating all hand combinations for every possible turn card.. About 7 pages of work in total. The time invested didnt seem worth the result.

Is there any techinques/methods youve been using to speed up the calculation process?




While I'm sure a lot of the stuff I've come up with isn't unique to just myself I would say I've discovered a lot of uncommon points / methods I can leverage for "solving" hands (based on what I assume my opponent is likely to do).

Sometimes the math can take a long time. One thing I've started doing a lot of, however (particularly as I fiddle more and more with HU NL) is to just input common calculations into an excel spredsheet, so that in the future I can just fill in a few fields and get the question answered in no time flat. I've also figured out a few ways to tinker with pokerstove and get it to output data types that it normally isn't used for (like weighting my opponent's range on the flop) and am currently looking at having a program written that will do a faster / more accurate job of this.

Quote:

Limit holdem

Suppose you defend the BB agaisnt a raise from BTN. If you miss and rags fall you need to try to steal some of the time by CR? How do you decide how often you need to do this?




One thing that comes up a lot in limit hold'em is that there are a lot of flops where your opponent won't have a "made" (including things like ace high) hand often enough to prevent you from showing a profit by bluffing if he just calls down. What happens, then, is that the constraint on how often you can bluff is (% make same action with "made" hand)x(opponent's price to re-bluff in relation to the pot size).

So let's say you have a 665 flop and you check-raise this with a hand that is going to showdown 30% of the time. Say on the turn your opponent's price to raise as a re-bluff is 5:2, meaning that it will need to succeed 28% (2/7) of the time to show a profit. What this basically means is that if your ratio of made hands to bluffs is 5:2 it doesn't matter whether your opponent calls or raises. If you're bluffing less he should fold, and if you're bluffing more he should raise, and if he fails to get it right it's money in your pocket. Another way to look at it is you should be bluffing the flop 9% of the time [30x(2/7)]. The more often you check-raise the flop with a made hand the more often you can bluff.

Note that all of that is about how things work in the theoretical sense, and when you're at the table it's important to tailor your play somewhat to how you expect your opponent to react, on average. It's often handy to know how these sorts of spots work, however, and to know at what point you have to start fighting back, how much "invincible" bluffing you can do, etc.


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ledfoot
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: Sushiglutton]
      #12697343 - 10/27/07 08:57 PM

What is your opinion of how well a person who is not as apparently intellectual or mathematically proficient can succeed at HU limit? Is a person of average intellect somewhat doomed to fail?

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scorer
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: ledfoot]
      #12697582 - 10/27/07 09:25 PM

Hey bryce, how many lessons does your avg student take from you and whats the highest your students or student plays now..again thanks

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The BryceModerator
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: scorer]
      #12697761 - 10/27/07 09:42 PM

Quote:

What is your opinion of how well a person who is not as apparently intellectual or mathematically proficient can succeed at HU limit? Is a person of average intellect somewhat doomed to fail?




Not at all. I'm not mathematician myself, and am strictly a + - / x guy when it comes to breaking the game down mathematically (no sigmas, please). Like most things with poker being able to do that sort of stuff in a quick and easy manner is a skill that you develop by using it. If people spent half as much time and energy trying to figure out how poker worked mathematically as they did worrying about what other people thought their opponent was likely to do or how well/bad they're running they would likely be very well off for it.

Also, some people who have played a ton of poker just have a freaky sense of how often certain things happen, and can combine that with a very strong sense what people are likely to do to produce a very strong game. Taking the mathematical route, however, is often quite a bit faster and much more powerful, which more or less explains a lot of the pros running around with extremely tough games that have a smattering of very weird leaks.

Quote:

Hey bryce, how many lessons does your avg student take from you and whats the highest your students or student plays now..again thanks




When I opened up for coaching for like a month I only worked with three students, all of who played in and around the mid-limits (about 10/20 to 50/100). I usually say that for any review I want a minimum hour of footage (I use recorded footage with commentary so that I can pause it and write up my points in full rather than do a live sweat session). Usually a review on an hour of video takes about 4. I also did a little bit of work with Fatal Fog a while back, but he's mostly developed his game independently of me. Who is FF is I won't say


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NNNNOOOOONAN
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: The Bryce]
      #12699890 - 10/28/07 02:28 AM

*grunch*

whenever i watch stox videos (which are great btw) i hear you guys talking about "having to work out the math of it" and what not, and i was just wondering what that means. like when you talk about doing stuff on excel, what exactly are you doing?

also whenever you guys say "it's close, but i think i'm going to fold" what is close? how do you figure out the right thing?

also, congrats on the awesome year LHE REPRESENT.


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The BryceModerator
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Re: Bryce is "In the Well" [Re: NNNNOOOOONAN]
      #12703906 - 10/28/07 01:33 PM

Quote:

whenever i watch stox videos (which are great btw) i hear you guys talking about "having to work out the math of it" and what not, and i was just wondering what that means. like when you talk about doing stuff on excel, what exactly are you doing?

also whenever you guys say "it's close, but i think i'm going to fold" what is close? how do you figure out the right thing?




The excel stuff is usually just having formulas written into excel so that you don't have to spend all that much time computing them yourself. When solving a hand mathematically you can always figure out what actions have what rate of return based on what you assume people will do, and can therefor find the best line (though in some situations like big multiway pots this can sometimes be a pretty big task).

A close decision is one where the expectation between two different decisions isn't drastically different.


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