March 17, 2011
Very often our emotions flood our brains in times of pressure, suspense, or stress. Often we can make a decision so fast while multitabling, that we don't even realize what we did until after things calm down, or upon the evening's review. It's a psychological breaking point, where the level of sanity fever pitches beyond rational thought, flirting with whimsical process and murky logic. At first we're like....
And then we're like....
We can avoid all of this though, at least most of the time. If we take a logical approach to swimming through the oceans of a hand. If we're constantly evaluating variables based on the entire traffic of information we're presented with, we're less likely to drown in the switching tide.
FUCK THE FUCK YES
It's SO true
It's HIGHLY likely
mmm, it's very likely
it's kinda unlikely
it's very unlikely
it's HIGHLY unlikely
Never in a million
NO WAY ASSWIPE!
When you're thinking about variables in poker, you can assign them a likelihood, and without better or more pure information, put all of your likely/unlikely variables together to arrive at the best decision you can make with the info you have. It's not like you put all that shit in a hat and VOILA! You weigh it like a scale. You bake it like a cake. You sex it like a Bilo. HE GET IT!
It's a fucking labyrinth, and the more you jog it, the easier it is to find your way home. Bluffs, value bets, value bluffs, value calls, 911 emergency calls, xxx calls, psychic advisor (rigged? rabbit hunt? hittin' that flush bitch?) If you think, if YOU THINK (read it again) IF YOU THINK!!!!
You can process the information before making your decision. I know this sounds simple, and I know it sounds simple, but lets be completely honest here, THINK MCFLY, THINK!
Is he more likely to be bluffing or value betting? What hands does he represent? Would he have played those hands this way based on what I know about him? DOES HE EVEN HAVE THAT IN HIS RANGE??? When beginners and ssnl guys start to get better at hand reading they always look at a board texture and have all possible hands in their opponents range. Board could be like Kd 6h 3c and they'll have 45s in a TAG opponent's range, after he flatcalled a button open in the sb. THIS IS RIDICULOUS. The VAST majority of the time that hand is being 3b or folded, and mostly folded. Likewise on that same board if you know your opponent would 3b AK, KQ, KJs and the like, and rarely flat w/o a good reason (IE fish in the blinds behind) he doesn't hit this board very often, so when he plays back at you that should tell you something. You tell me what that should tell you. So yeah, just because a hand is present on the board, doesn't mean THIS opponent has it in his range, doesn't mean THIS opponent would have played it this way if he did have it, doesn't mean you should make wild and zany adjustments or freak out.
I know a lot of what I'm saying lately in vids or blogs is supporting not very fancy, kinda straightforwardish play. I'm not saying that's the whole of the law so mote it be, I'm saying that's the basis, that's your doorway, which hall you walk down is up to you.
OK so despite all these sweet ass pics and stuff I kinda feel like I MAY be beating a dead horse. Or maybe I've hit the lost focus part of my rambling. NEXT!
Pay attention to what your opponents show down. Pay attention when you're not in hands. Focus on what hands they call or 3b with from what positions, what hands they flat with OOP and show down, basically do w/e the fuck you can to get a good feel for THIS player's preflop game. This is going to help you read his hands postflop. Everyone is different, so if you're going to adjust rather quickly you need to feel your opponent's out some, get an idea of how they think, what they like, their favorite cologne or lipstick (yeah a lot of your opponents wear lipstick, you guess why :D). Every piece of information you get, is actually a stepping stone to more information. If he does X with X part of his range, X line from him is gaining or lacking X. If you cbet 732r vs. a flatcaller OOP, and you bet a K turn and check back a 3 river, if he shows up with 88, or KQ, or 77, you've received a lot of information. If he had 88 he calls again with pairs when he thinks you're just barreling. What does this mean? It means when you get to the river vs. this player on boards similar to this, his range is much weaker than you probably perceive it, and you should probably fire a 3rd barrel with both bluffs, obv value bets, and thin value bets. Pretend the river was a T and not a 3, and you had AT. Do you check back because you have showdown value? Do you value bet? If you bet do you fold or call vs. a raise? There are so many path's and directions a hand can play out, you HAVE to prepare earlier in the hand, you have to prepare with reads and possible adjustments, if you want to have an edge. Do you want an edge? Do you see all the posts where guys at 5NL are wondering about 4b bluffs? What the fuck does that tell you about where those games are headed? So back to the AT example, if you know your opponent would fold his 88 7x type of hands (if he even has 7x, see preflop info!) and gives you credit when you bet that K turn, that strengthens his range on the river, and you may just be value betting into Kx floats or slowplayed sets. If he calls again on the turn and is not a believer, depending on board texture, he's going to have a lot of pairs that are left wondering if you have it or if you're just triple barreling. If it was a board where he would have worse Tx hands that were draws it becomes an even easier value bet. If he's a fish that has way more straight draw and bad 7x pairs in his range, it becomes an even easier value bet. If you bet your T for value and get shoved on, well now you have variables to look at. How does he perceive your range? Does he think you're weak or strong when you take this line? Does he think you are capable of folding 1 pair hands to a shove? How would he have played the hands he's repping with this line? Does he even have all of the sets on board? Would he have improved to a better hand in another way, like a backdoor flush etc. This is just the icing on the thoughtcake but you see what I'm saying. Instead of just being like OH FUCK WHAT DO I DO?!?!?!?! or FUCK IT I CALL, or FUCK IT I FOLD, think diligently, weigh the variables, bake that fucking variable cake, and see what you come up with. If he has KQ or 77 you get more info, but I'm too lazy atm to go through the entirety of all that jazz. You feel me knockin'? Well lemme in!
OK I'm done for now, prob ship more later :)
OH and um, shout out to the Magic card Brainstorm, OG style. :DÂ