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PL/NL Texas Hold'em >> Medium Stakes

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AJFenixModerator
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 07/16/05
Posts: 3815
Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long)
      #5615820 - 04/28/06 02:59 AM

Recently I have had some interesting discussions with a few regulars, and some interesting points were brought up from which I learned quite a bit, and I figured it might benefit players on here if I shared a little of what I learned and observed.

A lot of players seem to be stuck in a mode, whatever that mode may be. They have gotten to midstakes playing a particular way, and even though they may have somewhat adjusted to the different dynamic of this game, they are still unwilling to open their game up whether they recognize it or not, and/or its simply hard for them to do certain things differently as it has all become routine. This generalization encompasses a lot of solid midstakes players, and it is whom I am directing this post towards.

These players may have pretty big leaks in their game (that may very well be unknown to them, and really not that big of a deal to them at this point in time as far as the games they are playing in go) and still be winning players or even be doing very well, simply because the vast majority of their opponents are not exploiting their leaks, and also have much bigger leaks themselves. As these solid players move up, they encounter more players that are capable of exploiting their leaks and that also possess fewer themselves. Just as the solid grinder is preying on the fish to pay off his big hand, the 30/20 in the 10/20 Party game is preying on the solid grinder's leaks. I don't think people realize how crazy the dynamic at a game like the 10/20 6max on party can be, and after all, midstakes are (hopefully) only a gateway for you, getting you ready for the next level. I will touch on this game dynamic within the next few parts.

1) Reraising Preflop

Many midstakes players have a very tight reraising range. They will reraise their big hands, and even though their range is so slim, they still make far more money on these hands than they should be making, given how well defined their hands tend to be in certain spots. These same players are content to just call preflop with certain hands, and even though their decision to call may be +EV, they don't even consider their third option, which is to reraise. In certain spots calling may even be your worst option. When you are on the SB facing a button raise or even button facing a CO raise, what do you accomplish cold calling a raise with the majority of your hands?

Sure, calling may be +EV in some of those situations but many don't even consider the +EV situation a reraise would set up for them and how much greater that EV would be than that of calling (the same thing often applies in many spots as far as raising vs overlimping, where both may be +EV but raising may be a much better option). You likely have a +EV situation right there preflop, and if you get called you will often have another +EV situation postflop, even disregarding your actual hand. By reraising you gain momentum, you overrepresent your hand and force them to make a hand, and your reraising range obviously increases, both decreasing the implied odds of your opponents calling and trying to crack your big hand, and increasing your action on your big hands as observant players will realize that you are capable of reraising light. The higher up in stakes you go, the more observant players you encounter.

As far as calling, with clunkier hands like KQ/AJ you will often be folding the best hand when you miss (which will be most of the time), and even when you do get a favorable top pair flop, you will often be unsure of your hand if you are facing a lot of pressure in certain spots. Your hand carries reverse implied odds. With more deceptive hands your actual implied odds to call the LP preflop raise are generally very poor, as LP's raising ranges tend to be very wide. You are also going to be missing the majority of the time, or getting forced off of your more marginal hands (which will often be the best hand) by aggressive players. In both cases you also lack initiative. You have to ask yourself what you are really accomplishing by calling with some these hands.

Just about all of the biggest winners in the 10/20 game on Party have a very "opened up" game. To be even more specific, I believe 4 of the top 5 have close to 30/20 stats, and one is an amazing 47/29. They are awesome post-flop players, and their analysis of situations is dead-on the majority of the time. One other thing that they are very good at doing is spotting and setting up profitable situations preflop. Over and over and over and over. The reraising ranges of some of these top players are astounding. These players are squeezing each other left and right, and have absolutely no problem reraising/rereraising light. You will see full stacks go in with relative garbage. If you didn't know any better, you may chock it up as donk-on-donk violence, when the hand may have just went down between the 2 biggest winners in that game. And believe me, fireworks do fly when they are at the table together. And they aren't the only ones you will see this kind of action from, either. Their preflop game is so much different than what the average midstakes player is used to that it can really be amazing. Their variance shoots up, but the number of +EV situations they are involved in does too, and of course their profits do as well.

2) Firing the Second Barrel

Everyone knows and loves the continuation bet. Far fewer people fully appreciate the value of his big brother, the second barrel. They make use of him from time to time, but far less than they should. The continuation bet is a transparent play that tends to work often enough on its own merit, even though everyone is fully expecting you to bet at almost any flop with any hand you came in raising with. If you are raising a fairly wide range of hands, and betting at a lot of flops, someone might actually put 2 and 2 together (!!!) and realize//exploit the fact that you don't have anything on the flop a good amount of the time you are betting. If you run into a player that is playing back at you light, and you simply give up on the turn the majority of the time when you get called on the flop and you don't have anything, you are begging him to keep running you over and you are throwing money away if you yourself are coming in light and then playing bad postflop. If you would be giving up the pot by checking, but you realize that firing the turn will probably get him to fold often enough to be +EV disregarding any outs you may or may not have, there really isn't a decision to be made as far as what your play should be.

Not only is the situation itself +EV, but future implications are there as well. When your opponent realizes that he has to expect a turn bet from you a high percent of the time and you aren't just giving up whenever he calls you and you don't have a very good hand, he is going to be much less inclined to contest pots against you with weak holdings. Now your continuation bets are going to be getting more respect from this player, and you are further bettering your overall situation. This also leads to forcing your opponents into making mistakes, and also leads to you getting more overall information in various subsequent situations and reading hands better. Everything leads to you making more money, though.

That being said, I am not advocating players to fire the second barrel without considering all of the important factors, and firing again will be lightning money on fire in many spots (as their hand will already be well defined as unfavorable for you after their flop call in a particular spot and/or the situation is not a profitable one for other reasons). I am simply pointing out that this is a very common spot in which players are passing up on clearly profitable situations and are really hurting themselves in the long run. They can become much stronger players by utilizing these situations.

Going back to the discussion of higher stakes games, the top high stakes players are generally firing that second barrel at a drastically higher rate than the solid regulars at mid stakes, and there isn't any hesitation. That isn't to say they are just brainlessly firing away, although some spots are so clear that it really doesn't require much thought. They simply play very well postflop, and playing very well postflop indicates that they are good at spotting +EV situations, which the turn brings very often. The second barrel is really just the tip of the iceberg, though.


3) Giving Yourself a Bigger Cushion

I have observed the bankroll discussions on this forum and have a few comments on the subject. If you asked me a couple months ago whether I could have a 10 buyin downswing playing my normal game without any real tilt in there, I really doubt I could foresee it happening. Now 10 buyin downswings are not only a possibility, but they are expected/inevitable, as are long breakeven stretches. Poker is very good at painting an illusion because of how deceptive and subtle variance in poker can be, and how many small things go into running bad and running good that you do not pay attention to. Swings are inevitable over the long run. This is obvious and everyone thinks they realize this, but people don't fully grasp it. Swings become exponentially more violent as you move up and your winrate drops.

Some people are perfectly fine with giving themselves a small cushion, and have no problem hopping up and down in limits at a crazy pace on the whim of their latest upswing or downswing. Others give themselves a small cushion without knowing what can possibly happen. A 2p2 regular who is a consistent winner at 5/10NL moves up to 10/20 with 30-40 buyins, and gets crunched for 10 buyins. That can seriously be devastating to that person. To give a point of reference, the biggest winner in one particular game was apparently recorded as to having TWO 25 buyin downswings last month alone. More than one very good player has been known to run at almost breakeven for 100k hands.

Some posters have said that your "move up" shouldn't be a big event. You should gradually move up, and be willing to play multiple levels as your bankroll allows whenever you spot a good game. You can't really argue with that, but most people do have a "regular" limit for them where they put in the bulk of their hands. When they make the next level their "regular" game, some people do not give themselves enough cushion because they do not realize that a big downswing near the beginning of their move up is very well within the realm of possibility. The players who were moving up from 100NL to 200NL and from 200NL to 400NL very quickly as soon as they attained 25 buyins for the next level probably have never experienced a decent sized downswing, and they think that if they drop 5 buyins at 5/10NL it will prove to them that they are not ready for that level. As I have been pointing out, they can lose far more than that and still have evidence of absolutely nothing if they do not analyze their situation properly.

What it comes down to is realizing what goes into variance and what it is capable of, and adjusting according to what you are willing to accept. If you like the rollercoaster thats up to you and its your choice. But if your goal is a nice steady ride up the money hill with a few bumps that aren't going to wreck your ride in more ways than one, then you may want to consider giving yourself a bigger cushion.

4) Conclusion

Hopefully this post helps people realize whats in store for them at the higher limits, helps some people become more willing to open their game up and attempt changing their thinking a little and getting better, as its really going to be necessary if they want to continue moving up in stakes and doing well in the higher games, and hopefully those players that aren't trying to ride a rollercoaster both emotionally and bankroll-wise have a slightly better grasp of the capabilities of variance. I also want to add that I am nowhere near the skill/experience level of some of the players discussed here at this point in time. I am simply relaying my thoughts and observations.


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psyduck
2007 WSOP MVP


Reged: 01/21/05
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5615830 - 04/28/06 03:00 AM

Awesome, bump.

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spacetime
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: psyduck]
      #5615861 - 04/28/06 03:03 AM

Printed to re-read tomorrow. nice.

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xcrack999
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: spacetime]
      #5615933 - 04/28/06 03:12 AM

Very nice post. I've recently moved up to NL600, and boy am I glad I read this.

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mperich
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/25/04
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5615959 - 04/28/06 03:14 AM

Please delete this post before the nits get ahold of it.

Very nice one

-Mike


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JKratzer
not KRANTZ


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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5615979 - 04/28/06 03:18 AM

thank you for the insightful, well thought out post AJF. i particularly enjoyed your insights regarding the differences between the good midstakes players and the good high stakes players. i play mainly 3/6 but have dabbled in 5/10 & 10/20. i don't know the higher stakes well enough to draw any conclusions but your thoughts seem to vibe with my experiences. i would personally love to see a thread exclusively addressing these differences and the reasons behind them.

good post,
jkratzer


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McShove
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: JKratzer]
      #5616010 - 04/28/06 03:23 AM

Ugh...why post this? AJ if you have such a firm grasp on the game, as it seems you do from this post...why post it for free for anyone to read? I know i sound selfish, but really!

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Anonymous
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Post deleted by Mat Sklansky [Re: AJFenix]
      #5616018 - 04/28/06 03:24 AM



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JKratzer
not KRANTZ


Reged: 10/27/03
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5616083 - 04/28/06 03:31 AM

Quote:


Ugh...why post this? AJ if you have such a firm grasp on the game, as it seems you do from this post...why post it for free for anyone to read? I know i sound selfish, but really!




seems to be consistent with EVERY OTHER POST ON 2+2. i admit this was better than most, but this is a forum where everybody collaborates to become better. don't worry too much, the # of people that will read this post is almost certainly <1% of your opponents lifetime.


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frozzor
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: JKratzer]
      #5616119 - 04/28/06 03:36 AM

awesome post man
i completely agree with everything u said, and at this very moment am making the transition from a nit to a crazy LAGTARD


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McShove
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: JKratzer]
      #5616135 - 04/28/06 03:37 AM

Quote:

Quote:


Ugh...why post this? AJ if you have such a firm grasp on the game, as it seems you do from this post...why post it for free for anyone to read? I know i sound selfish, but really!




seems to be consistent with EVERY OTHER POST ON 2+2. i admit this was better than most, but this is a forum where everybody collaborates to become better. don't worry too much, the # of people that will read this post is almost certainly <1% of your opponents lifetime.




i disagree. less than 1 %? Nearly every 3/6 table i look at has 1 or 2 regulars, half of whom I KNOW read this forum. I love 2+2...but this specific advice...Kratzer, Fenix..this only hurts us.


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Karak567
Carpal \'Tunnel


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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5616188 - 04/28/06 03:44 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Ugh...why post this? AJ if you have such a firm grasp on the game, as it seems you do from this post...why post it for free for anyone to read? I know i sound selfish, but really!




seems to be consistent with EVERY OTHER POST ON 2+2. i admit this was better than most, but this is a forum where everybody collaborates to become better. don't worry too much, the # of people that will read this post is almost certainly <1% of your opponents lifetime.




i disagree. less than 1 %? Nearly every 3/6 table i look at has 1 or 2 regulars, half of whom I KNOW read this forum. I love 2+2...but this specific advice...Kratzer, Fenix..this only hurts us.




Go away.



Great post, I will definitely be looking to use the second barrel more often, as it is a play I rarely use now.


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DJ Sensei
mad 5k octagons yo


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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5616204 - 04/28/06 03:46 AM

jesus, AJ... thats a hell of a post. much respect.

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McShove
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Karak567]
      #5616330 - 04/28/06 04:09 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Ugh...why post this? AJ if you have such a firm grasp on the game, as it seems you do from this post...why post it for free for anyone to read? I know i sound selfish, but really!




seems to be consistent with EVERY OTHER POST ON 2+2. i admit this was better than most, but this is a forum where everybody collaborates to become better. don't worry too much, the # of people that will read this post is almost certainly <1% of your opponents lifetime.




i disagree. less than 1 %? Nearly every 3/6 table i look at has 1 or 2 regulars, half of whom I KNOW read this forum. I love 2+2...but this specific advice...Kratzer, Fenix..this only hurts us.




Go away.



Great post, I will definitely be looking to use the second barrel more often, as it is a play I rarely use now.




go away says the man who desperately needs the advice.

of course.


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mperich
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/25/04
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5616364 - 04/28/06 04:18 AM

Quote:

i disagree. less than 1 %? Nearly every 3/6 table i look at has 1 or 2 regulars, half of whom I KNOW read this forum. I love 2+2...but this specific advice...Kratzer, Fenix..this only hurts us.




Meh, a lot of players dont have the situational reading skills to use this advice without losing a lot of money as compared to their normal games. Another group doesnt have the bankroll, or the stomach to use this advice. (and trust me the bankroll req's are enormous, hence why a lot of ppl say 25 buyins is good for midstakes games, but for higher games you need 50ish.

Third and finally, most of the good midstakers who meet these criteria already play like this. At least in the upper midstakes games where ppl actually fold and this post is applicable. Sooooo...AJ posting this isnt the end of the world and you shouldnt complain, cuz it IS very good advice and this forum IS about learning.

-Mike


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McShove
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: mperich]
      #5616382 - 04/28/06 04:21 AM

"Third and finally, most of the good midstakers who meet these criteria already play like this"

While I agree with much of your post, I really don't think most of the decent midstakers realize what AJ has posted. Sure, they are winning players, but now mediocre winning players like Karak are gonna be two-barrelling, thus cutting down a few of our winrates.

I realize this forum is about learning, and perhaps I was out of line with this whole line of posts.


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Kilillan
Six Seconds


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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5616410 - 04/28/06 04:28 AM

Wow.

You're acting like he released some huge poker secrets.

Though the concepts he talks about are solid, good advice, they're very basic advice.


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McShove
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Kilillan]
      #5616435 - 04/28/06 04:33 AM

Quote:

Wow.

You're acting like he released some huge poker secrets.

Though the concepts he talks about are solid, good advice, they're very basic advice.




If they are so basic, then why all the "great post" , "i'll start doing that more" , "wonderful advice" comments?

Obviously I am fighting a battle I will not win here. Keep posting away.


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Kilillan
Six Seconds


Reged: 12/21/05
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5616444 - 04/28/06 04:35 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Wow.

You're acting like he released some huge poker secrets.

Though the concepts he talks about are solid, good advice, they're very basic advice.




If they are so basic, then why all the "great post" , "i'll start doing that more" , "wonderful advice" comments?

Obviously I am fighting a battle I will not win here. Keep posting away.




what? Reraising more preflop, firing 2 barrels, and having a bigger bankroll?

These should be part of a winning NL short-handed players aresenal. As well as overbetting, changing gears, squeeze plays, etcetera.


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chisness
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/14/05
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5616463 - 04/28/06 04:39 AM

McShove,

CR all turn 2nd barrels and 4bet pre!


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ace_in_the_hole
resumed whining


Reged: 10/08/04
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5616477 - 04/28/06 04:41 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Wow.

You're acting like he released some huge poker secrets.

Though the concepts he talks about are solid, good advice, they're very basic advice.




If they are so basic, then why all the "great post" , "i'll start doing that more" , "wonderful advice" comments?

Obviously I am fighting a battle I will not win here. Keep posting away.




You must have been one of those kids who never shared their toys.


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UOPokerPlayer
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5616616 - 04/28/06 05:03 AM

AJ, this is one of the better things i've read on this forum. I think you get it.

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boondockst
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ace_in_the_hole]
      #5616623 - 04/28/06 05:04 AM

For those of you who are worrying about this gold: While everyone can read this, how many have the discicpline to apply it correctly?

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Bigmoney
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5616643 - 04/28/06 05:10 AM

really cool post

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NaobisDad
addict


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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: chisness]
      #5616650 - 04/28/06 05:11 AM

I find that good explanation of basic concepts often make for great posts. This is such a post.

A lot of value comes from explaining to people WHY they are doing what they are doing alone. Additional value from introducing people to things they should be doing.

You go, AJ.


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Rick305
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ]
      #5616698 - 04/28/06 05:19 AM

Quote:

Awesome post. Thank you.

How successful do you think the 'open' game would be in the mid stakes Party games? Meaning, would it work as well versus more fishy players?




Does anybody think this post would apply to a game like NL200 6max on party?


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Parlay Slow
MSNL's F_V


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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Rick305]
      #5616904 - 04/28/06 06:24 AM

get ready for me to start 4 betting you light b*tches

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ginko
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Parlay Slow]
      #5616977 - 04/28/06 06:46 AM

Awesome post, but simply reading it will not improve players. They need to understand and apply it properly for it to work. And if all winning players started doing this, then the weak players will get sucked into playing our game of LAGginess. It sucks seeing a total donk playing tight because he observes 4 nits in the game.

Plus its more fun.


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psyduck
2007 WSOP MVP


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Posts: 3149
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ginko]
      #5617058 - 04/28/06 07:06 AM

Seriously McShove, you sound like a whiny selfish brat. In this case, since we know that you're obviously not going to contribute anything useful to this forum, we should ban you right now.

Haven't you learned a lot from this forum? Don't you feel selfish in not giving back?


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Grimstarr
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: psyduck]
      #5617189 - 04/28/06 07:43 AM

great post

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roo400
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Grimstarr]
      #5617512 - 04/28/06 08:57 AM

Awesome post AJ. McShove, if you run into a player that you know is 3-betting light and firing 2nd barrels a lot, doesn't that becomes an advantage to you????

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IRV
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Grimstarr]
      #5617610 - 04/28/06 09:16 AM

AJ good post and thanks for sharing.

I would like to add that position is VERY important as well and sometimes much more important than your hand value. Everyone will encounter a foe who has better postflop skills so to counteract that or EVEN the playing field if you will, is to only tangle with your stronger opponents when you have a fav position on them. There will be times you are forced to play OOP but I believe you should keep it to a min against these very good players. I think this alone will make you a much tougher opponent in their eyes.

Once again AJ, u da man!


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Tomcat01
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: IRV]
      #5617733 - 04/28/06 09:36 AM

very nice post

thank you


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Karak567
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5618017 - 04/28/06 10:14 AM

McShove has made it clear he should be banned, as he is just a leech and does not plan on helping the forums at all.

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junkmail3
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: psyduck]
      #5618032 - 04/28/06 10:17 AM

Quote:

Seriously McShove ...

Haven't you learned a lot from this forum?




Maybe not this forum, but in the STT forum he sure did. When I used to play him at the 55s, he made some pretty atroucious plays, especially around the bubble. So, that forum at least, has helped him quite a bit.

But yes, every time he posts he seems more and more like a bigger dick.


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ahnuld
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Adding to #2 [Re: Karak567]
      #5618106 - 04/28/06 10:27 AM

Good post. Something I just wanna add is if you've been at the table for a bit and people are noticing you often give up after cbetting and getting called, a good line to take it either 2 barrel bluff (which im not crazy about cause I often play for pot control when OOP and check the turn with many good hands) or go for the CR. The opponent jumps on your weakness, bets pot which should be 20bb and this point, and allows you to CR him allin. If you have an overpair on a 262 board or a good hand that your willing to go broke with (and often you should against someone whos calling to float), this play works amazing becuase it makes them afraid to float you if you not only fire second barrels, but have the balls to CR their asses allin. Do this play with the goods most often, and sometimes just whiffed AK hands, and thell lay off.

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JMP300z
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Parlay Slow]
      #5618192 - 04/28/06 10:37 AM

Quote:

get ready for me to start 4 betting you light b*tches




Holla.

-JP


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junkmail3
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: JMP300z]
      #5618213 - 04/28/06 10:39 AM

Quote:

Quote:

get ready for me to start 4 betting you light b*tches




Holla.

-JP




Get ready for me to start 5-bet pushing you light batches.


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Grimstarr
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: junkmail3]
      #5618266 - 04/28/06 10:45 AM

All in with 7 highi

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junkmail3
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Grimstarr]
      #5618280 - 04/28/06 10:47 AM

Booya!

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lilsewon
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: junkmail3]
      #5618371 - 04/28/06 10:57 AM

I'd imagine this "open" style is not very effective at 200NL?

But it was a brilliant post...


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pzhon
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5618473 - 04/28/06 11:08 AM

Quote:


1) Reraising Preflop

Many midstakes players have a very tight reraising range. They will reraise their big hands, and even though their range is so slim, they still make far more money on these hands than they should be making, given how well defined their hands tend to be in certain spots. These same players are content to just call preflop with certain hands, and even though their decision to call may be +EV, they don't even consider their third option, which is to reraise.



Reraising definitely should be considered. Here is some advice from the HU/SH limit forum to think (but probably not to use preflop): "If you are not sure whether to call or fold, raise!"

It's also good to think about why so many MSNL players do not reraise lightly. One reason is that we're used to playing against SSNL players who are too passive for their own good, who are not raising lightly. It doesn't make sense to open up your reraising range against someone who is only raising JJ+ and AK, and who will not fold to a reraise. When someone raises with A8, 55, and T9, then you can profitably reraise with many more hands.


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Triumph36
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5618488 - 04/28/06 11:09 AM

The first two seem to be strategies against other 2+2ers - should create action for all of us in the next few days. There'll be a few more 4-bets with 65o in the future.

I agree 100% about bankroll considerations - the standard of 20 is way too light for anyone who is a pro or semi-pro and without other significant sources of income to replenish that; a player will go broke or have to drop multiple levels eventually. I'm willing to play 3/6 or 5/10 when my buddy list finds a fish there (I'm 92PTBB/100 at 5/10 over my first 14 hands, no less), but I'm not moving up until I experience the downswing I know is coming.

I've already begun re-raising light out of the blinds and taking it down pre-flop or with a c-bet 90% of the time. I do it mostly because I'm upset that these people keep stealing my blinds time after time -

BTW, the retards (or, I suppose, in homage to AJFenix, downies) who keep saying brown trout or asking me if I'm a 2+2er - do people just completely ignore screen names here? - ah well, separate complaint I guess.


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JMP300z
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Triumph36]
      #5618580 - 04/28/06 11:20 AM

Quote:

The first two seem to be strategies against other 2+2ers - should create action for all of us in the next few days. There'll be a few more 4-bets with 65o in the future.

I agree 100% about bankroll considerations - the standard of 20 is way too light for anyone who is a pro or semi-pro and without other significant sources of income to replenish that; a player will go broke or have to drop multiple levels eventually. I'm willing to play 3/6 or 5/10 when my buddy list finds a fish there (I'm 92PTBB/100 at 5/10 over my first 14 hands, no less), but I'm not moving up until I experience the downswing I know is coming.

I've already begun re-raising light out of the blinds and taking it down pre-flop or with a c-bet 90% of the time. I do it mostly because I'm upset that these people keep stealing my blinds time after time -

BTW, the retards (or, I suppose, in homage to AJFenix, downies) who keep saying brown trout or asking me if I'm a 2+2er - do people just completely ignore screen names here? - ah well, separate complaint I guess.




I think i was ar your table when some downie kept askin some other guy..... guess we had 4 2+2ers.....

-JP


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Melchiades
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Triumph36]
      #5618602 - 04/28/06 11:24 AM

I see McShove is being himself here. perfectly fine with reading and learning. Gets his nickers in a twist when he fears someone else might learn something he thought he had monopoly on.

Reminds me of a thread in STT a week or so ago about what skills you need to move from STT to NL cash. McShove being his usual helpful self:

Quote:

B-wig. I don't really want to post the exact things you do to make the switch, but you've helped me in the past at SNGs.

PM me if you want help, i'll be glad to PM you back.

I meant B-wig, my bad.



Quote:

wtf? um i offered advice to b-wig not you.




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Gregg777
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5618626 - 04/28/06 11:26 AM

Excellent post.

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g-p
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Triumph36]
      #5618627 - 04/28/06 11:26 AM

Quote:

The first two seem to be strategies against other 2+2ers - should create action for all of us in the next few days. There'll be a few more 4-bets with 65o in the future.




awesome, i'm ahead of the learning curve!!


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Triumph36
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5618635 - 04/28/06 11:27 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Ugh...why post this? AJ if you have such a firm grasp on the game, as it seems you do from this post...why post it for free for anyone to read? I know i sound selfish, but really!




seems to be consistent with EVERY OTHER POST ON 2+2. i admit this was better than most, but this is a forum where everybody collaborates to become better. don't worry too much, the # of people that will read this post is almost certainly <1% of your opponents lifetime.




i disagree. less than 1 %? Nearly every 3/6 table i look at has 1 or 2 regulars, half of whom I KNOW read this forum. I love 2+2...but this specific advice...Kratzer, Fenix..this only hurts us.




Good idea, McShove.

For anyone who wants, I'm hosting a 2+2 book burning in the NYC area. Our message is simple: no one should be allowed to tell anyone anything about poker. I'll even play that book burning music from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade the whole time - it'll be fun.


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amoeba
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: g-p]
      #5618650 - 04/28/06 11:29 AM

Quote:

Quote:

The first two seem to be strategies against other 2+2ers - should create action for all of us in the next few days. There'll be a few more 4-bets with 65o in the future.




awesome, i'm ahead of the learning curve!!




btw gp, I found nothing wrong with your preflop play in that other thread and I thought alot of people were being overly critical of what I thought was a good move preflop.


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DMBFan23
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5618655 - 04/28/06 11:30 AM

Quote:

You are now ignoring this user. You will no longer see the body of any of their posts.




glad I could get this out of the way before I move up and start posting here.

BTW, Awesome stuff, AJ


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amoeba
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5618847 - 04/28/06 11:52 AM

damn it AJ.

I don't need every body reraising light on me.


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ahnuld
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: amoeba]
      #5618925 - 04/28/06 12:00 PM

Mcshove is right, this will only hurt us, but the whole point of this forum is to teach and share knowledge, and if people were concerned about sharing knowledge when I first strated posting I would me a much worse player than I am today.

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Morrek
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ahnuld]
      #5619015 - 04/28/06 12:11 PM

Quote:

if people were concerned about sharing knowledge when I first strated posting I would me a much worse player than I am today.




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McShove
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ahnuld]
      #5619027 - 04/28/06 12:12 PM

Hey guys,

I was drunk and my posts were out of line last night.
My apologies to the forum, and in particular, AJ and Karak.


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junglewarfare
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ahnuld]
      #5619063 - 04/28/06 12:16 PM

For everyone who thinks that a post like this will give too much away and will cost them a lot of money, it really won't. Although it is a really good post, the concepts brought up are not revolutionary. All the thinking mhnl players basically know this stuff, but don't do it because putting it into practice is a whole not tougher than knowing it. That is why poker is a such a great game.

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MrShmoo
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: junglewarfare]
      #5619214 - 04/28/06 12:36 PM

Quote:

For everyone who thinks that a post like this will give too much away and will cost them a lot of money, it really won't. Although it is a really good post, the concepts brought up are not revolutionary. All the thinking mhnl players basically know this stuff, but don't do it because putting it into practice is a whole not tougher than knowing it. That is why poker is a such a great game.




Completely agree. I knew all this stuff in the back of my mind but it didn't really click until I got owned at 5/10 and now I'm trying to work it into my game at 3/6. Great post AJ.


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orange
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: MrShmoo]
      #5619258 - 04/28/06 12:43 PM

good post AJ.

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TheWorstPlayer
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: orange]
      #5619477 - 04/28/06 01:05 PM

the whole catch behind all this is WHY OP is not as good a player as the people he talked to. I mean, think about: he now knows all of these ideas so why can't he use them as well as they can? the answer is HAND READING. and you can't really teach that just by making a 'deep' post on a message board. and that's why there is no harm is sharing strategic info on a forum. even if i talked strategy with one person all day and all night, when i played against them i would still feel that it is possible to have an advantage because of the way I mix up my play to be unreadable and the way i can read their play.

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psyduck
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5619783 - 04/28/06 01:33 PM

Quote:

Hey guys,

I was drunk and my posts were out of line last night.
My apologies to the forum, and in particular, AJ and Karak.




I dunno man, a lot of the replies you made seemed totally well-thought out and rationally expressed. You only seem to be 'apologizing' now because your opinions were met with total outrage from everyone.
Should McShove's title become 'selfish brat'?
You may choose only one
Yes
No


Votes accepted from (04/28/06 01:30 PM) to (No end specified)
View the results of this poll



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AJFenixModerator
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5619806 - 04/28/06 01:35 PM

Quote:

putting it into practice is a whole lot tougher than knowing it.




This is very true. Like I said, it can be very hard to change certain things once they have been a routine for so long. On the other hand, being worried about me giving too much away is a bit ridiculous for a number of reasons. The relative number of people who are going to be reading this post is very small compared to that of the actual player pool at midstakes. An even smaller % is going to be getting something new out of what I said or adjusting their game in any way that may negatively affect your current situation, assuming you even play with any of those people on a regular basis, and you should be able to find a slew of good tables regardless. If you are worried that its going to negatively affect you when the player pool condenses at higher stakes, the fact is that those players you are worried about are already going to have the knowledge of everything that was brought up, and much more. Either way, its fairly selfish, as this forum is here to teach. From the right perspective, these things are very basic. You still need to play and put in the time and effort yourself, and build off of these basics and deal the situations they bring up.

I was a bit off on my stats on the top Party players and figured I would clarify (although another friend is still insisting that one of the following should be 27/22). They are more along the lines of: 24/13, 23/18, 20/16, 47/29 (which I did get right ). I don't think this changes anything that was said, though. As far as other games, one of the "BOW"'s is 27/19 and his biggest competitor runs close to that as well, as far as stats a friend had on UB. Thanks to Gregg for getting back to me with the Party stats, though.

TWP, for me personally a better word would probably be experience, or lack thereof, which obviously ties into hand reading. These players have been doing what they do for a much longer time, over a gigantic number of hands. I haven't even begun doing some of the things they do. Experience develops that better hand reading, makes you accustomed to the various situations that your plays put you in and teaches you how to deal with them profitably, and everything else that ties in. Of course some people may play and play and never address certain leaks or learn to deal with certain situations, but I think for me personally the lack of experience is key.

All that being said, glad people enjoyed the post. Hope it served its purpose.


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g-p
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5619895 - 04/28/06 01:45 PM

cut mcshove a break, drunk people like arguing

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mason55
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: g-p]
      #5620053 - 04/28/06 01:58 PM

uhm so i guess what i was going to say has been said but...

for people who can apply this stuff, this post is a just a reminder. for people who don't understand it or can't apply it correctly, it's going to make the games better. imagine a whole table full of BAD lags? I'm salivating.


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AJFenixModerator
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: mason55]
      #5620098 - 04/28/06 02:03 PM

Quote:

for people who don't understand it or can't apply it correctly, it's going to make the games better.




This is true, although obviously not my intention. People incorrectly applying the information, and/or putting themselves into situations that they do not know how to deal with properly and subsequently making big mistakes is going to cost them money. Experience and analyzing your play properly is the cure.


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Tornado69
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: JKratzer]
      #5620117 - 04/28/06 02:04 PM

Great post, have to say ...

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matrix
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Tornado69]
      #5620197 - 04/28/06 02:10 PM

another great MSNL post bookmarked for future reference by a mediocre SSNL player who's gonna make it up here soon....

thanks lots.


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mason55
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5620242 - 04/28/06 02:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:

for people who don't understand it or can't apply it correctly, it's going to make the games better.




This is true, although obviously not my intention. People incorrectly applying the information, and/or putting themselves into situations that they do not know how to deal with properly and subsequently making big mistakes is going to cost them money. Experience and analyzing your play properly is the cure.




aj -
obv it wasn't your intention. just trying to calm down the people going crazy about this post.

vn btw. now, are you ever going to actually PLAY poker again?


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Mercman572
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5620298 - 04/28/06 02:17 PM

best post I've ever read here. Thanks alot

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SamG
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5620477 - 04/28/06 02:32 PM

AJ, about raising light: Do you find yourself doing this more with good but not great hands like AJ or KQ, or would you rather put in the second raise with hands like 87s or 55? I guess my problem with the first group is that if you get called, you're likely dominated or a coin flip at best. With the second group of hands, you have the chance to hit a big/concealed hand, and they have just as much "bluffing equity" when you miss the flop.

Btw, if you throw in a few examples, this would make a great 2+2 magazine article.


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junglewarfare
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: mason55]
      #5620575 - 04/28/06 02:40 PM

Quote:

uhm so i guess what i was going to say has been said but...

for people who can apply this stuff, this post is a just a reminder. for people who don't understand it or can't apply it correctly, it's going to make the games better. imagine a whole table full of BAD lags? I'm salivating.




While I agree that a post like this isn't going to change the games or anything, I have a hard time seeing a bunch of weak night semi nits turn into bad chip spewing air pushing lags.


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beset
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: SamG]
      #5620618 - 04/28/06 02:43 PM

Nice post.

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mason55
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: beset]
      #5620662 - 04/28/06 02:46 PM

Quote:

weak night semi nits turn into bad chip spewing air pushing lags.




I agree partially. But remember, if a nit had any hand reading skills then he wouldn't be as nitty. This post might give him the idea that he will become a better plyaer JUST by playing crazier. Either way, as someone said earlier, the bad players are still going to play bad. Unless you can read hands well, it doesn't matter how much advice and strategy you read and talk about, youll never progress beyond being a mediocre player.


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Melchiades
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: g-p]
      #5620699 - 04/28/06 02:49 PM

Quote:

cut mcshove a break, drunk people like arguing



Except anyone who has read the STT forum for a while knows this is how he feel. Not just drunken arguing. He is probably one of the best regulars of STTF to more or less never post any usefull help to anyone playing above the 11's.


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AJFenixModerator
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: SamG]
      #5620831 - 04/28/06 02:59 PM

Sam,

There are times when it would could be appropriate to do so with any of those hands.
With KQ and AJ, being dominated isn't nearly as bad as you may think it is when you are have that momentum. You can't only consider absolute hand value in this situation. Lets say you have KQ on the button facing a CO raise and you reraise. Lets say he calls you with AQ or AK. Both of you will be whiffing the flop completely the majority of the time, but you are going to be the one putting pressure on him, forcing him to make a hand, and pushing him off of the best hand. Some players may even opt to pitch these hands against you preflop, given they will be OOP for one. Same thing goes for when he has a small pocket pair trying to crack your perceived "big pair". He whiffs and folds his hand, which was actually good unimproved. You cut his implied odds drastically, and make calling a mistake for him in many of those spots. You are forcing your opponent to make decisions, and when he is forced to make decisions he is given the opportunity to make mistakes.

Talking about the other hands, something like 55 on the small blind facing a button raise is going to have pretty bad implied odds as his raising range is so wide and its going to be pretty rare that he is actually going to have something big when you have something bigger, and on top of that you are going to be playing OOP where its much harder to get paid off when you do hit. You are also going to end up folding the best hand a ton, even if you aren't necessarily check/folding every flop you don't spike a set on. Reraising = you are forcing him to make his hand, you are putting him at a decision and therefor letting him make mistakes, and you create more profitable situations for yourself while bettering your overall situation.

Also, I wanted to comment that "opening up" doesn't mean you have to drastically increase your VPIP and try to play maniac/LAG. Players that have "opened up" are willing to reraise more preflop, spot and make use of a larger amount of profitable situations (which ties into preflop), are capable of taking unconventional lines with hands that other players wouldn't consider, remain deceptive and creative, and do a better job of factoring in all the details when it comes into their decisions, among other things. Players that are going to start reraising light without taking into consideration the important factors, and/or making mistakes in the situations they get themselves into are going to be costing themselves a lot of money.


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wiggs73
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5621085 - 04/28/06 03:22 PM

Quote:

Ugh...why post this? AJ if you have such a firm grasp on the game, as it seems you do from this post...why post it for free for anyone to read? I know i sound selfish, but really!




McShove,

Have you ever read anything on 2+2 that helped you? If not, please stop posting, as it is a waste of time for you to spend time on these forums. If so, please pay everyone who has posted something that helped you.

AJ, great post. Definitely some good food for thought. Thank you.


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psyduck
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: wiggs73]
      #5621176 - 04/28/06 03:27 PM

I wish we could move this whole McShove mess to a different thread because I don't want to take away from the PURE QUALITY of AJ's post. At the same time, I want to express my displeasure at having to share 2+2 with leeches like McShove. There's no other word for it.

I hope that poll gets a 100 votes and that some mod comes and at least changes his title. Spite call this ass.


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Ansky
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: psyduck]
      #5621436 - 04/28/06 03:46 PM

Good stuff AJ, very good stuff.

McShove, just stop.


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goodguy_1
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Re: Adding to #2 [Re: ahnuld]
      #5621477 - 04/28/06 03:49 PM

Quote:

Good post. Something I just wanna add is if you've been at the table for a bit and people are noticing you often give up after cbetting and getting called, a good line to take it either 2 barrel bluff (which im not crazy about cause I often play for pot control when OOP and check the turn with many good hands) or go for the CR. The opponent jumps on your weakness, bets pot which should be 20bb and this point, and allows you to CR him allin. If you have an overpair on a 262 board or a good hand that your willing to go broke with (and often you should against someone whos calling to float), this play works amazing becuase it makes them afraid to float you if you not only fire second barrels, but have the balls to CR their asses allin. Do this play with the goods most often, and sometimes just whiffed AK hands, and thell lay off.



ahnuld this is good stuff!

AJ thanks for sharing-your strategy posts are always worthwile reading but you put alot of effort into this one-very helpful to see in print because I know my game suffers from many of the defiencies you refer to in your post.

You can make good money up to $200's and $400's without these adjustments but to go beyond that you need to open up-if you dont you are just too easy to read and you will be punished like a little bitch.

I'm already forcing myself to open up..its very difficult because I've done well at every nlhe 6max level i've played. I'm raising hands in early position I formerly limped with,I'm re-raising more out of the blinds and floating more..its quite difficult because all of a sudden I'm in unfamiliar territory often out-of position which I'm not used to one bit. Playing in unfamiliar territory over and over forces you to think about the game(at least if you want to survive)and thus becoming a better hand reader and that's what this is all about-better post-flop play.

It seems to me that the better players may have adapted more easily to this natural necesary progression almost seamlessly but most of us will have to work at it..and even then many just will not get it to work. This is where the really excellent hand-readers are separated from just the very good hand-readers...if you cant make this leap ie the peter principal you may not be able to play much higher.

I think many players who only make money off fish are only endowed with average or slightly above average hand-reading skills vis-a-vis their opponents and they will fail miserably at attempting to open up all at once...it most be a gradual process except for the natural allstars.

In other words I think most players would do better if they slowly moved more towards this style ie maybe this progression 20/10,20/15,25/15,25/20,30/20 or some such and tweaking it to their own prefernces.

With great game selection maybe a 20/10 can work.. but all these games are getting tougher and in most of the games bigger than $3-6 I see that I datamine most of the biggest earners play with 30/20ish-type stats.
I'm referring to 6/5 max NLHE play.


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DJ Sensei
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: wiggs73]
      #5621479 - 04/28/06 03:49 PM

Recently I was thinking about reraising preflop. While I've been very successful with my TAG style lately, I think I still am generally a tight reraiser, and soon enough my opponents will realize it (Especially as I move up to 3/6 tables where I run into more regulars and 2+2ers).

So, I figured I needed to expand my reraising range, and was considering posting to request ideas on the best way to go about it. Well, I think I just about have it figured out now thanks to this post/thread. Opening up your range isnt just about "ok, now i'll reraise with TT and AQ now too". Its about seeing profitable situations where your cards, your opponents, and the table situation as a whole are set up just right for a profitable reraise. And when that profitable reraise can get you more action later too... bonus!

Now, this is a concept that I essentially was aware of, but it hadn't sunk in quite as clearly until i read aj's post. Opening up a little more preflop is the next step in my game, and I'm glad to have had it so clearly expounded upon.


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mason55
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: DJ Sensei]
      #5621560 - 04/28/06 03:57 PM

For those that are playing 400NL+ (only because this stuff won't work if you get too low) and want to practice, move down a level to try it. The concepts should be the same but you can learn for half price. Then go back to your regular game and try it. You should immediately find your regular game a lot easier.

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yvesaint
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: mason55]
      #5621583 - 04/28/06 03:58 PM

standard

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Ness
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: TheWorstPlayer]
      #5621662 - 04/28/06 04:05 PM

Quote:

the whole catch behind all this is WHY OP is not as good a player as the people he talked to. I mean, think about: he now knows all of these ideas so why can't he use them as well as they can? the answer is HAND READING. and you can't really teach that just by making a 'deep' post on a message board. and that's why there is no harm is sharing strategic info on a forum. even if i talked strategy with one person all day and all night, when i played against them i would still feel that it is possible to have an advantage because of the way I mix up my play to be unreadable and the way i can read their play.




Yeah, I sort of skimmed through this thread, but I am surprised you were the first one to mention this.

The reason players like Samoleus and Building Sweaters are successful with their style is becuase they are also excellent hand readers.

From my personal experience, I have found the only way to improve on hand reading skills is repetition.

Not only playing many hands (as some of you know i probably play less than half the hands many of you do), but by playing close attention when you are not in the action, attempting to put those involved in the pot on a range of hands.



regards,

ness


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Marlow
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5621819 - 04/28/06 04:16 PM

There's a great concept in educational psychology/philosophy that is directly related to this issue. It is called the "zone of proximal development." Basically, the "zone" is the mental place that is outside of a person's expertise, but close enough that it's within his or her grasp. What's important to note here is that if a player isn't ready (or in this "zone"), then they won't be able to learn the skill. It's just too far beyond what they are already capable of. However, if a person is ready, they can obtain the new skills with good instruction and lots of practice.

In this case, what does it mean to be "ready"? Well, it means being able to read hands really well. It means having confidence in your game. It means understanding and being able to psychologically withstand higher varience. If you can't do these things and lots more, AJP's advice is nice to read, but not applicable to you right now (of course, once these prerequisites are met, it's a different story). In fact, I will go so far to say that if people want to learn to reraise more PF, as well as fire more 2nd barrels, it will be crucial that you learn the better post-flop play before you start firing away on the flop. The learning sequence here is really important. Making better bets PF is predicated on knowing how to handle yourself after the flop.

Paying attention to the order in which you address your leaks is just as important as determining what they are. Simply put, this will drastically shorten your learning curve (and be much easier on your BR).

Basically my point here is that people here will be able to assimilate these "high-limit" skills into their arsenal only if they are ready. Therefore this information will be useless for some, and a major "ah ha" for others. And the bottom line is that the individual has no control over their present state of readiness. This is simply a basic cognitive function that we all share.

Here's some more info if you're interested:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_of_Proximal_Development

Edit: Looks like Mason and others have basically identified these concepts as well. But it never hurts to have a formal theory there to guide and formalize your thinking and memory.

Edited by Marlow (04/28/06 04:20 PM)


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T-God
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Marlow]
      #5621915 - 04/28/06 04:23 PM

VN Marlow

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NapoleonDolemite
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Karak567]
      #5622464 - 04/28/06 05:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Ugh...why post this? AJ if you have such a firm grasp on the game, as it seems you do from this post...why post it for free for anyone to read? I know i sound selfish, but really!




seems to be consistent with EVERY OTHER POST ON 2+2. i admit this was better than most, but this is a forum where everybody collaborates to become better. don't worry too much, the # of people that will read this post is almost certainly <1% of your opponents lifetime.




i disagree. less than 1 %? Nearly every 3/6 table i look at has 1 or 2 regulars, half of whom I KNOW read this forum. I love 2+2...but this specific advice...Kratzer, Fenix..this only hurts us.




Go away.



Great post, I will definitely be looking to use the second barrel more often, as it is a play I rarely use now.




In all fairness to the original post (which was very good), this advice doesn't "hurt us". He is basically saying: make sure you are very comfortably rolled, re-raise more pre-flop, and fire second barrels.

If you notice that your opponents suddenly start firing second barrels and re-raising more frequently pre-flop, well, there is a solution to that, just like there is to ANY style of play. Figure out what it is (and don't tell anybody).


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Jamougha
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: mason55]
      #5622803 - 04/28/06 05:42 PM

Oh cheers mason, telling a bunch of 400NL'ers to move into my game and start 3-betting and firing second barrels. Just what I need. Time to open up that 4-betting range...

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AJFenixModerator
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5622912 - 04/28/06 05:51 PM

Gregg let me know that the VPIP numbers I got from him were only for 5 and 6 handed, not factoring in any HU/3/4handed that those players have played. The biggest winner in the 10/20 game on party is running at 25/21 over 200k+ hands. Either way, it isn't really important and is more of a small side note for the curious than a main point of this discussion, but I figured I should specify since I brought it up.

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BlackRain
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5623037 - 04/28/06 06:05 PM

Posts like this really underline why 2+2 is such a great forum. nh AJ.

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Cesaro
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Kilillan]
      #5623184 - 04/28/06 06:21 PM

Quote:

Wow.

You're acting like he released some huge poker secrets.

Though the concepts he talks about are solid, good advice, they're very basic advice.




i agree, this is basic information that every solid 5/10 regular and up knows and I used to see it a decent amount at 3/6 as well. that being said though, they are still crucial concepts that need to be grasped and UNDERSTOOD by lower and middle players.

I dont think people have to worry about advice like this "ruining" the games. Casino owners worried that card counting would ruin black jack games back in the day too. All the new information did though was psych people up to convince themselves that they knew how to play, causing them to play more and thus, lose more money.

In the end, the only players who will benefit are the ones who really take concepts like these to heart and actively try to properly incorporate them into their games. These players have the drive to get good anyway, regardless of whether they saw AJ's post.

well done sir


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Rotating Rabbit
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5623287 - 04/28/06 06:30 PM

Well said AJ

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gergery
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: McShove]
      #5623707 - 04/28/06 07:20 PM

Quote:

Ugh...why post this? AJ if you have such a firm grasp on the game, as it seems you do from this post...why post it for free for anyone to read? I know i sound selfish, but really!




No offense to AJ who laid out some nice thoughts, but if my opponents are the kind of players who will get vast improvement from reading about re-raising light and firing 2 barrels, then those are the kind of opponents i want at my table.

the trick is not in knowing about it -- the trick is in implementing it.

-g


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gergery
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5623778 - 04/28/06 07:28 PM

I like what you wrote, but I'd be careful about causality --
the winningest players have a loose style because they are very good poker players and make good decisions. Their ability lets them play loose.

Your post seems to imply that playing loose is what you need to do to be a top player.

The reality is that most people play the style that their skills let them play and when they go further they get into trouble.

-g

Edited by gergery (04/28/06 07:30 PM)


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AJFenixModerator
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: gergery]
      #5624007 - 04/28/06 07:53 PM

Gergery,

Quote:


Also, I wanted to comment that "opening up" doesn't mean you have to drastically increase your VPIP and try to play maniac/LAG. Players that have "opened up" are willing to reraise more preflop, spot and make use of a larger amount of profitable situations (which ties into preflop), are capable of taking unconventional lines with hands that other players wouldn't consider, remain deceptive and creative, and do a better job of factoring in all the details when it comes into their decisions, among other things. Players that are going to start reraising light without taking into consideration the important factors, and/or making mistakes in the situations they get themselves into are going to be costing themselves a lot of money.




I imply that playing well is what you need to do to be a top player. That means many things, including being open to changing your game to maximize profitability, realizing + making use of more profitable situations, and doing a better job analyzing situations, interpreting all of the information present, and therefor reading hands better, etc. Yes, as it has been pointed out, many people play a static "style" that they are accustomed to and they aren't really willing to change certain things as this is what they are used to doing and what has been working for them. They get into trouble when they go further because they have no experience dealing with the situations "going further" brings, and this is obviously discouraging and part of the reason why they are "stuck".

People aren't willing to put themselves into uncomfortable situations by nature, and these situations are uncomfortable because they are new and the player doesn't have any experience in dealing with them.
In order to have experience with those situations, you have to be willing to put yourself into them, but I also don't mean jumping in blind as far as situations that you have no clue how to deal with and that will cost you money due to mistakes you will be setting yourself up for making. Prioritizing is key, and you have to know and understand how to deal with A and B before you can fully profit from C.


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soah
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Re: Adding to #2 [Re: goodguy_1]
      #5624125 - 04/28/06 08:09 PM

Quote:

...

I'm raising hands in early position I formerly limped with,I'm re-raising more out of the blinds and floating more..its quite difficult because all of a sudden I'm in unfamiliar territory often out-of position which I'm not used to one bit. Playing in unfamiliar territory over and over forces you to think about the game(at least if you want to survive)and thus becoming a better hand reader and that's what this is all about-better post-flop play.

...

This is where the really excellent hand-readers are separated from just the very good hand-readers...if you cant make this leap ie the peter principal you may not be able to play much higher.

I think many players who only make money off fish are only endowed with average or slightly above average hand-reading skills vis-a-vis their opponents and they will fail miserably at attempting to open up all at once...it most be a gradual process except for the natural allstars.

...




I have to disagree a bit with what you are saying (it's not just you, but it's easiest just to focus on a single post). Loosening up will require better hand reading because you will flop more marginal hands, and you will end up in more spots where you can only win by bluffing. However, increasing your aggression level does not require better hand reading. In fact, it requires less. Successful passive play requires superior hand reading because you must interpret your opponents bets and then correctly compare your hand's strength to theirs. However, when playing aggressively, you don't have to worry too much about your opponent's hand -- you win if they fold.

If a TAG raises and you choose to call on the button, you are going to be on the defensive. You will frequently have one pair on the flop, which may or may not be the best hand. Now you need to have a good idea of your opponent's range, whether they will fold better hands to a raise, and what hands they will fire a second barrel with. On the other hand, if you reraise preflop and bet strong on the flop, the TAG is going to let you have the pot most of the time unless they have flopped better than one pair, or a very good draw. Since the hand that you will hold on the flop is usually much weaker than what you're representing (like, you have unimproved 77 while representing AA-QQ), you have a very easy decision if your opponent stays in the pot with you. The only hand reading that is required here is that you must know that your opponent is raising with a wide range preflop, most of which will not play a huge pot barring a great flop. When your opponent does choose to play a big pot, all you need to know is that your opponent has a very strong hand. This is sufficient for our purposes, but it is NOT hand reading.


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Rick305
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Rick305]
      #5624182 - 04/28/06 08:18 PM

Quote:

Awesome post. Thank you.

How successful do you think the 'open' game would be in the mid stakes Party games? Meaning, would it work as well versus more fishy players?




Does anybody think this post would apply to a game like NL200 6max on party??


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CamelZoo
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Rick305]
      #5624364 - 04/28/06 08:40 PM

it's strat posts like this by AJ that have helped me develop as a poker player, and he writes well on top of it. thanks, and well done man. i think the strategies outlined can be applied in pretty much any NL game, esp shorthanded. id say that most winning players employ a great deal of its aspects. vn post AJ, im glad you are a mod too.

and to mcshove, he was already man enough to apologize so no need to comment any more on him.


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Anonymous
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Post deleted by Mat Sklansky [Re: AJFenix]
      #5624369 - 04/28/06 08:41 PM



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mason55
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ]
      #5624403 - 04/28/06 08:45 PM

i think you hit a 2 outer

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Big_JimModerator
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #5624435 - 04/28/06 08:48 PM

tl;dr

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Anonymous
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Post deleted by Mat Sklansky [Re: mason55]
      #5624462 - 04/28/06 08:51 PM



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soah
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ]
      #5624524 - 04/28/06 08:58 PM

I think you need to work on your hand reading. =(

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mason55
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: soah]
      #5624551 - 04/28/06 09:02 PM

Quote:

I think you need to work on your hand reading. =(




Much more gentle than I could have put it.


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junglewarfare
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ]
      #5624976 - 04/28/06 09:54 PM

Quote:



Party Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $2/$4
4 players
Converter

Pre-flop: (4 players) Hero is BB with J T
UTG folds, Button raises to $8, SB folds, Hero calls.

Flop: 4 2 7 ($18, 2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $10, [Hero raises to $35, Button calls.

Turn: 7 ($88, 2 players)
Hero bets $100, Button folds.
Uncalled bets: $100 returned to Hero.

Results:
Final pot: $88




Expert preflop and flop play.


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Anonymous
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Post deleted by Mat Sklansky [Re: junglewarfare]
      #5625016 - 04/28/06 09:59 PM



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Parlay Slow
MSNL's F_V


Reged: 11/03/03
Posts: 3869
Loc: Proud to be Polish!
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ]
      #5625078 - 04/28/06 10:06 PM

Degen,

That's accurate


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Parlay Slow
MSNL's F_V


Reged: 11/03/03
Posts: 3869
Loc: Proud to be Polish!
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Parlay Slow]
      #5625124 - 04/28/06 10:11 PM

Also, if any of you guys try to "catch me riding dirty", it will cost you

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mason55
THE Dirk Diggler


Reged: 09/27/04
Posts: 10530
Loc: televisiphonernetting
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Parlay Slow]
      #5625221 - 04/28/06 10:20 PM

Quote:

Also, if any of you guys try to "catch me riding dirty", it will cost you




Rollin... They hatin... Patrollin...


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Dan BRIGHT
Ban Dright


Reged: 07/26/05
Posts: 9999
Loc: v-town
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: mason55]
      #5625881 - 04/28/06 11:45 PM

the 3rd barrel is the new second barrel, shhhhhhhhh

btw exclnt post


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Ansky
Not ACTUALLY Canadian


Reged: 04/09/04
Posts: 13541
Loc: pokersavvyplus.com!
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Dan BRIGHT]
      #5626335 - 04/29/06 12:43 AM

All,

I'm VERY drunk. I just wanted to say that as someone who has experienced the difference at the higher levels, that this post is extremely important. AJ knows his [censored], and we should all keep an open ear. Ok, back to annoying girls on AIM. gl.


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Melchiades
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 05/31/05
Posts: 5040
Loc: Norway (London currently)
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Ansky]
      #5626635 - 04/29/06 01:19 AM

Shhhhhhhhhhh Ansy. Don't share the great big secret of every succesful MSNL player. Annoying girls.

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DJ Sensei
mad 5k octagons yo


Reged: 04/12/05
Posts: 7419
Loc: pushing it to the limit
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: mason55]
      #5627597 - 04/29/06 03:55 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Also, if any of you guys try to "catch me riding dirty", it will cost you




Rollin... They hatin... Patrollin...




the key is to avoid pimping hoes and slamming cadillac doors. then you're in good shape.


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jjb108
addict


Reged: 08/29/04
Posts: 652
Loc: calling with 8 high on the riv...
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Dan BRIGHT]
      #5639764 - 04/30/06 02:18 PM

Yes the progression.

C-bet - response - float.

Float - response - second barrel...

3rd barrel and multi-street floats are inevitable - for and against good thinking players. I'll stick to the donkey's who still haven't figured out the c-bet response and continue taking their money.


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nation
Indian Nightmare


Reged: 12/10/05
Posts: 6242
Loc: actually grinding now
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: ]
      #6782346 - 08/03/06 01:00 PM

AJ,

Recently, I was asking some of the higher stakes players about the differences between higher limits and small-medium stakes. I was basically wondering whether my tight style would work at higher levels, and how much I would have to change to beat the highest limits if and when I move up. Unfortunately, I didnt get much info, either intentionally or because it was tough to put into words.

This post answered a lot of what I was asking, mainly preflop standards for reraising and aggressiveness postflop. Great post, you've helped me a ton before I've even played a hand at the higher limits.

Thanks.


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DJ Sensei
mad 5k octagons yo


Reged: 04/12/05
Posts: 7419
Loc: pushing it to the limit
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: nation]
      #6782510 - 08/03/06 01:13 PM

dude, don't bump this. all the new lurkers will read it now and get good... LAME!

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Exitonly
EPT All-Star (Candyman)


Reged: 12/30/04
Posts: 9482
Loc: There's treasure everywhere.
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: DJ Sensei]
      #6782555 - 08/03/06 01:17 PM

AJ, did you start posting on 2+2 in the mtt forums? i definitely remember you name with not manyposts around the mtt forum like a year ago, and not that you weren't a good poster, but this absolutely blew me away, and i'm very impressed with how far you've come. Seriously sick post, very happy someone just bumped this.

- Ray


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Dan Bitel
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 05/26/05
Posts: 11164
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Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Grimstarr]
      #7358561 - 09/20/06 08:13 AM

Quote:

All in with 7 highi




O RLY?


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uminchu
veteran


Reged: 02/04/06
Posts: 1482
Loc: missing value bets
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #7371528 - 09/21/06 05:54 AM

nice posts OP thank you sir

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Reef
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 07/31/04
Posts: 13198
Loc: PCPforums
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: uminchu]
      #7371753 - 09/21/06 07:13 AM

ZOMG NOW I WILL HAVE ALL THE MONIES!!!!

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danped
journeyman


Reged: 02/20/06
Posts: 62
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Reef]
      #7371852 - 09/21/06 07:42 AM

Just to clarify the stats quoted - I've always assumed this till now - When you quote x/y

x = VP$ip %
y = Raised preflop

Is that right?


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feesjah
old hand


Reged: 08/18/06
Posts: 715
Loc: yes please
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: danped]
      #7642658 - 10/12/06 07:50 PM

yes.

great post


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Casper0
member


Reged: 01/02/07
Posts: 160
Loc: North of the T DOT
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: feesjah]
      #9102819 - 02/08/07 01:27 PM

Now I can puke when I spew away all my monies WHILST saying but AJ said so.

Thank you AJ for an enlightening and extremely well written Post.

free bump too


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NoahL
addict


Reged: 07/29/06
Posts: 503
Loc: Treading the waters of the bus...
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: Casper0]
      #9110781 - 02/08/07 10:40 PM

"For those that are playing 400NL+ (only because this stuff won't work if you get too low) and want to practice, move down a level to try it. The concepts should be the same but you can learn for half price. Then go back to your regular game and try it. You should immediately find your regular game a lot easier. "

I think this is key to AJ's post. Last year I moved up to the 3/6 nl on party without sufficient buy ins, and nearly killed my roll. Nevertheless, I've gone into uber mode using AJ's advice from my regular 2/4 to 1/2, and I think it is excellent. I'm very pleased. I can't wait to try it out more at 2/4.


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AJFenixModerator
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 07/16/05
Posts: 3815
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: NoahL]
      #9110974 - 02/08/07 10:58 PM

Since this thread has been bumped and new people are stumbling on it, here is an updated view on what I wrote back then. As said there, all of this will still work like a charm vs the right people and in the right games. However, in other games this is very common knowledge and to beat the players stuck in this mode and not thinking past it you have to be a step or two ahead of them. Thinking (on the right level and about the right things, and actually applying) is a player's best weapon at this point, as so few players actually choose to do it while playing their fairly autopilot styles.

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heresjohnny
enthusiast


Reged: 03/02/06
Posts: 289
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #9147097 - 02/12/07 04:44 AM

Nice post.

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The Pokeratician
newbie


Reged: 08/06/05
Posts: 44
Re: [Re: heresjohnny]
      #9149244 - 02/12/07 11:23 AM

Thanks for the update.

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PacketPuppy
stranger


Reged: 12/29/04
Posts: 16
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #9530447 - 03/12/07 05:46 PM

Subscribed.

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jalexand42
Hypothetical Ubermonkey


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 1139
Loc: Open Pushing my range
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: PacketPuppy]
      #9530621 - 03/12/07 05:55 PM

Quote:

Subscribed.




Can someone just lock this POS post? I swear it's like those birthday cake candles that won't go out....


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Quebecker
member


Reged: 10/30/06
Posts: 148
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: jalexand42]
      #9859878 - 04/05/07 07:19 PM

Nice Post

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fxwz
stranger


Reged: 11/13/06
Posts: 24
Loc: Norway
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: AJFenix]
      #11760648 - 08/21/07 10:14 AM

Thank you for making me a better player, this is exactly what I was looking for. This post really opened my eyes!
Thanks again.


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wrkingtobegreat
old hand


Reged: 03/07/07
Posts: 1008
Loc: changing
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: spacetime]
      #12239858 - 09/25/07 10:53 PM

Great post man. Thanks.

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PrimogenitoX
old hand


Reged: 03/06/06
Posts: 732
Loc: Republic of Texas
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: wrkingtobegreat]
      #12245085 - 09/26/07 10:42 AM

"bump"

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guitarizt
addict


Reged: 12/15/05
Posts: 505
Loc: Michigan
Re: Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (very long) [Re: PrimogenitoX]
      #12381572 - 10/05/07 11:26 PM

OMG this so needs a bump. I was getting caught in the same rut, basically playing super straightforwards weak tight. After reading this I started playing good poker again and made 2 buyins in about 80 hands. I am certain if I didn't read this I would only be up 1 buyin at the most if not down money.

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