June 03, 2016

My Biggest Poker Study Regret

Hey

Let's pretend you're transitioning from NL to PLO... Or you're completely starting from scratch. 

If you only had 90 days to learn the fundamentals and become a winning player... What would be the path you choose? 

What would be the best use of your time for learning off the felt? 

My Biggest Poker Study Regret

The biggest mistake that I regret, and that I STILL see 100's of players making today is spending far too much time watching videos and reading poker books than on actually playing poker. 

It sounds ridiculous, right? After all, I'm a PLO instructor.. And I own a PLO training site!

So why am I telling you to watch fewer videos than you are now? 

Hear me out. 

Conventional wisdom suggests that the more information you have, the more accurate your decisions will ultimately be, and therefore the faster you'll improve and the sooner you can start winning money playing this game... right? 

False. More information doesn't necessarily mean more wisdom, and what I've found holds players back is the desire to constantly seek out new tactics and magic bullets of poker knowledge. 

Many new or transitioning players feel like they SHOULD be doing something, so they try to do EVERYTHING, including subscribing to sites with videos they'll never watch, buying books they'll never read (how many poker books are sitting on top of your toilet right now?), and distracting themselves from actually achieving their poker goals.


In this video, I'll tell you why focusing on consuming less poker training will actually help you in the long run (yes it's costing me money telling you this), and exactly what to spend your time on instead of watching more vids and buying more training. 



My Biggest Poker Study Regret

With the WSOP beginning next week, I'll be posting strategy updates, hand histories, and photos from poker's biggest stage. I'm also going to be giving away pieces of myself to only players on my email list this summer - so keep your eyes peeled beginning next week for how to freeroll your way into the summer of sweats. LFG!!


GLGL

John "KasinoKrime" Beauprez
The PLO PhD

Posted By KasinoKrime at 01:57 PM

79 Comments

Tags: pot limit omaha kasinokrime PLO QuickPro PLO tips plo guides

March 25, 2016

3 tips for winning money against maniacs in PLO

I have a confession to make. I used to have an EPIC TILT problem.

In fact, here’s a short highlight reel of the most entertaining (and costly) moments from my tilting career.

  1. After bubbling a $5 satellite to a $50 MTT in college (baller status), I angrily sprinted onto the porch and chucked my brand new iPhone into a pool 50 yards away. IT WAS THE PHONE’S FAULT!
  2. Six months later, after getting two outed in a $10 STT by a guy playing OUT OF HIS MIND, I marched out to the same pool and threw my laptop like a frisbee into the center of that very same pool (ok this one really hurt - now I couldn’t grind anymore!)
  3. Several years ago while playing a late night session at the Aria, a crazy old guy got SUPER tilted from getting felted for his 10th buy in. Amazingly, he proceeded to grab his hand off the table, rip the cards in half with his teeth and throw them back at the dealer. The best part is I admiringly looked him in the eyes and told him “I know how you feel man - I’ve been wanting to do that for YEARS but never had the courage!”

As a recovering sore loser, I can officially say that although I don’t recommend taking your anger out on your belongings (why are the most expensive things so soothing to destroy?), I’ve discovered the source for much of my anger - and I imagine it’s yours too:

Getting stacked by aggro maniacs.

Here’s the thing...

Often the first step in a player’s development is learning how to filet the schools of passive fish that frequent the low/micro stakes tables. You can become a consistent winner pretty quickly by feeding off these straightforward players, but typically I’ve found one of the biggest obstacles to players moving up in stakes is their ability to combat the aggressiveness of midstakes+ games.

Realistically, aggressive players are just as easy to beat if you know what to look for - you just have to gain some experience and success against them. That’s why I recorded this short video outlining a few tips you can use in your next session to profit off of maniacs in both live and online play.

User Uploaded Image

Specifically you’ll learn:

  • Which bet sizing tells give off the most information about your opponent's hand - so you can take down pots even without a good hand
  • Why you don’t always want direct position on the maniac - can you think of why?
  • The board textures maniacs hate to get raised on - and when to apply pressure in single-raised pots
  • How to choose which hands to play preflop based off of VPIP/PFR - so you can avoid spewing off chips with weak hands

I love creating these short videos for you - but I want to hammer on the topics you want to hear about. So visit PLO QuickPro and drop a comment with any requests you have (consider me your PLO DJ!).

My goal this year is to connect with as many players who are as passionate about PLO as I am - is that you?

I look forward to helping you achieve your goals in PLO.

GLGL

John “KasinoKrime” Beauprez
PLO PhD

(Note: Looking for the best PLO strategy & tips online? Click here to visit PLOQUICKPRO.com for your personalized PLO curriculum today) 

Posted By KasinoKrime at 10:43 AM

80 Comments

Tags: omaha kasinokrime PLO tips PLO Strategy PLOQUICKPRO.com

April 28, 2015

Building The Perfect HUD

Hey!
I just recorded this video that will help you build a HUD from scratch, or optimize the HUD you already have (efficiency FTW). 


Specifically, you're going to learn:

  • Why a PokerTracker Expert believes the HUD to be the most overvalued part of the software
  • Why LOW Stakes players gain the most value from HUD's
  • The optimal learning/grinding ratio, and where to devote your time post-session
  • Which stats are "must-haves" in today's games, and how to do the "earn-test" for your HUD
  • The biggest HUD MYTH poker players believe

I also included a link where you can download the HUD I use. Click to the next page, and scroll to the bottom to check it out. 


As always, I'd love to hear what you think! Write comments here if you have any questions. glgl!

John

www.ploquickpro.com

 


 

Posted By KasinoKrime at 12:15 AM

165 Comments

Tags: hud omaha Cash games Poker Video

February 06, 2015

Ten Poker Commandments

Hey guys,

Lately I’ve been taking on a bunch of new students, and a lot of questions revolve around general poker advice.. So I felt inspired to write out a few constants in poker that are necessary to be a long-term winner. And although I can’t flow like this guy…


… I did write what I call the Ten Poker Commandments. Frankly I had 25 or so written jotted down, so perhaps I’ll do another blog in the future with the others.. What do you think of the list? From your experience, what would be your 10 poker commandments?

1.     Play MORE when you’re winning, and LESS when you’re losing.

·      From my experience, both winning and losing are habits. In a perfect universe, we would be able to play our A game under any circumstances, but realistically I’ve never come across any player that’s unaffected by tilt, downswings, or fatigue. Booking several winnings sessions in a row undoubtedly builds confidence. Likewise, stringing together 10 consecutive losing sessions wears you down. And confidence, I’ve found, is the #1 factor in playing successful poker. Confident players just win. Period.

·      Resist evaluating your performance on monetary results. Instead, create specific “process” goals that lead to collecting more EV. For example, my process goal each session is to practice being an “excellent decision maker” and to “avoid hesitation, and trust my instincts at each decision point”. Therefore, after the session, I grade myself on how well I performed both of these tasks, rather than how my bottom line looks. Away from the table, I look for ways to eliminate barriers that induce hesitation. If my instincts lead me to a wrong decision, that’s a sign that my intuition is misaligned, and I need to work on that given area.  

·      This approach also helps focus the brain RAM solely on things within your control. A byproduct is that it reduces tilt, and encourages an objective approach that’s conducive to playing winning poker

2.     Beat the rake.

·      Of course, it’s practically impossible to find unraked games, or receive 100% rakeback nowadays (when sites first launched, it was common to have “props”). Regardless, how profitable you are in the long run depends heavily on how much rake you pay. I would go as far to say that at levels below 100PLO it’s practically impossible to make a living without significant rakeback to supplement your winrate. It’s fairly standard even at the lowest limits to accumulate $50/hour on rakeback alone. Nowadays it’s easy to find rakeback deals in the 60%+ range (I could even hook you up with this if interested).

·      If I had to start over again, I’d grind iPoker at the low stakes to build a bankroll, and then move to a bigger site like PokerStars/FTP once I made it to mid/high stakes and needed better table selection. At the low/micros I think table selection is of less importance (much bigger player pool, greater # of weaker players).

3.     Practice sharp observational skills.

·      How often does this happen to you. Sitting at the table, you suddenly look up and a massive pot is going on between two players. You have no idea what the action is, and although there was valuable information to be gained, you have no idea how to interpret it because you can’t figure out WTF has gone down. This is a cardinal sin in live poker.

·      In even the closest spots, the “correct” answer is almost always hidden somewhere.. In a game centered around piecing together incomplete information, it’s important to know where to look for valuable clues. I’ve found a direct correlation with how closely I can focus for long periods of time, and the amount of money I win. The difference maker in thin spots (and there are increasingly more as you continue to move up in stakes) boils down to the ability to size up opponents, and weigh tendencies that aren’t clearly revealed by HUD statistics. Particularly for live players, having the ability to focus intently for extended periods of time can be a massive edge. The people distracted by their phones / iPads don’t have the luxury to click the “last hand” replayer, or pick up on a big physical tell.

4.     Play tight against unknowns.

·      As a rule of thumb, play tight and give bets (especially large ones) respect against unknown players. Several years ago, I had a well known live pro in Vegas tell me that he always does whatever he can to make sure that the first hand he shows down is the winner. He reasoned that playing with a good image is significantly easier than playing with a bad one. Therefore, he made a point to establish himself as a tight player in the minds of his opponents early, so he could get away with bluffs later on. This same concept can be applied both live and online. As a default, play tight early and aggressive later. There are of course exceptions, but as a general rule this is great advice for most players.  

5.     If you have bet one street, continue betting the next street.

·      This is a general rule of thumb I picked up from Ed Miller in his “1%” book. More than anything, this illustrates an important point about any poker variant: aggressive poker wins. Good players are consistently searching for ways to bet, and bad players look for reasons to check. Hand reading is easier with the initiative, because it’s clearer which hand you represent. Applying pressure, and utilizing fundamentally sound bet sizing techniques is the foundation for profitable play in any big bet game.

6.     The easiest way to lose money in poker is to build up big pots and give up on them.

·      This is the antithesis to commandment #5. This is why playing against a traditional loose/passive player is so clearly +EV. Their wide preflop ranges are unable to withstand postflop aggression, and therefore are forced to check/fold flops and turns too often to show a profit. Particularly in PLO, where the equities run so closely together, it’s important to avoid check/calling OOP with medium strength hands or draws.

7.     Learn to PLAY poker, not speak poker.

·      There is really only two areas of your game you can work on: theory, and application of that theory. Knowing all the theory in the world doesn’t mean shit unless you use it to actually play better poker.

·      The thing we want to avoid the most is being the guy in the poker forums who knows the GTO play in every hand… Is a wizard with Odds Oracle, CREV, HEM, and PokerJuice… But struggles to beat the micros (there are tons of these nowadays). 

·      Personally, I pride myself on being able to pull the trigger in big spots. When I buy pieces of people in tournaments, or evaluate a caliber of player, this is all I really care about. Does he have the courage to come through in a big spot? Is he going to tilt when things go awry (they typically do)? These are the hidden areas that nobody wants to talk about, because it challenges your character. Saying you can’t play well when something important is on the line questions your core. It’s easier to focus on crunching numbers and perfecting theory, because it’s more finite and measurable. But trust me, the psyche part has massive benefits, and will open the door to actually implement the theory knowledge in heated situations.

8.     If you never get caught bluffing, you are not bluffing enough.

·      Likewise, if you never value own yourself, then you aren’t value-betting thinly enough. The value in most poker games comes from value betting, NOT bluffing. Most players like to focus on bluffing more often, but realistically they should be looking for more spots to get thinner value.

9.     Most players are straightforward on the river.

·      In both NL and PLO, ranges are least polarized on the flop, and most polarized on the river. You are significantly more likely to make money by bluffing rivers than you are by calling them. From my experience, particularly at the lower levels (but even at the higher ones), large river bets are heavily weighted towards value hands. In river bluff catching scenarios, do realize that bluffing frequencies are generally much higher IP than OOP. The most likely bluffing spot for any given player is when IP in a small or medium sized pot, while the reverse is also true; the least likely place for most players to bluff is in big reraised pots OOP.

10.  Don’t try to make people fold big hands. Profit comes from attacking your opponents air, and medium strength ranges.

·      In NL, this can be equated to trying to make someone fold an overpair on a short board. When people imagine a professional poker player, they think of constant aggression. They picture risky, highly complex all-in river bluffs with 72o for massive piles of chips. But the truth is that most “big-bluffs” are carefully planned, and typically involve more than just sheer courage. During Dan Colman’s massive tourney run last year, I had the pleasure of sweating all the live stream final tables he played. Watching him destroy the competition was both fun and educational, but you know something I noticed? Dan very rarely bluffed with napkins (postflop anyway). He never tried to make his opponent fold a big hand. When he did bluff (meaning he made a better hand fold), he always had some semi-bluff equity or other blocker variant, otherwise he surrendered pretty easily. He has mastered using selective aggression, and this is what the very best know how to do. Top players relentlessly apply pressure when they sense weakness, and cleverly sidestep dangerous spots. Every time he bluffed or made a thin aggressive play, he had 2 of the following 3 things:

·      Blockers: this could be nut blockers (Ac on Qc5c3c) or blockers to value betting hands (Q987 on AQ6). 

·      Equity: (some type of pot equity greatly increases the EV of your bluffs. Especially in PLO semi-bluffing is the nuts).

·      Clear opponent read: (bet sizing tell, tendency, history)

·      Good players certainly bluff, but they rarely bluff just for the sake of bluffing. If you have 2 of the items listed above in any given hand then you have a highly profitable bluff. Only one of them and you could potentially have a good bluffing spot. None of the above, and you should probably just check/give up.

 

John “KasinoKrime” Beauprez has been a professional PLO player since ’08. As the founder of PLOQuickPro.com, John has coached more than 200 students, including transitioning Nl players, beginners, high-stakes cash game players and bracelet winners. As a player, he won the 1500NL Six-Max Championship at the WSOP in 2013.

 

Posted By KasinoKrime at 05:35 AM

84 Comments

Tags: poker plo Blog kasinokrime

August 08, 2014

Persuasive Decision Making..

Hey guys,

I've been listening to a ton of business oriented podcasts lately.. Such as Entrepreneur on Fire, and Get Altitude by Eben Pagan. I've learned a ton, and something I've always appreciated about working on my poker game.. Is that the skills learned, or used to win more gold on the felt would help me get to where I want to be IRL. 

I was so compelled by what he said, that I did a video blog about it. Give it a view, read below, and then let's talk about it in the comments section :)


One of those main concepts revolves around poker's ability to analyze your decisions from an unbiased perspective.. The players at the top must be able to separate their emotions from how their decisions, and see things as black and white. But realistically this is impossible, and in this podcast episode, I think Eben does a great job of breaking it all down, and analyzing human behavior so we can better understand our peers.. And if you're a poker player, help understand yourself, and win more money as a result. 


Here's the podcast. It's episode 44. If you get a chance to listen to it (15 mins), please write in the comments so we can discuss. How do you think what he says relates to poker? 

John

 

Posted By KasinoKrime at 09:33 PM

91 Comments

Tags: poker plo kasinokrime John Beauprez

May 21, 2014

WSOP Video Blog

Hey guys, 

What are the three things required to do well at the WSOP? Learn by watching this video blog! Give it a watch and let me know what you think. 

KK

 

Posted By KasinoKrime at 03:13 PM

295 Comments

Tags: wsop kasinokrime success World Series of Poker Quickpro video blog

April 15, 2014

Check-Raising Lightly: Part 2

In Part 1, we highlighted a few unconventional situations, and the underlying logic behind check/raising lightly on a few different board textures.

Today, I’ll continue that discussion, and help you peer into the thought process behind correctly applying aggression in single raised pots, OOP, without the initiative. If you haven’t read Part 1 of this pot limit omaha strategy series yet, I highly recommend you do so!

C) Villain Will Play Passively With His Bluff-Catchers

$2/$4 Pot Limit Omaha Hi

Stacks:

UTG  $508 127bb

CO  $682.47 171bb

BTN  $506 127bb

SB  $400 100bb

Hero (BB)  $400 100bb

Pre-Flop: ($6, 5 players) Hero is BB 5h 6c 9c Kh

2 folds, BTN raises to $10, 1 fold, Hero calls $6 

Flop: Js Ac 7c ($22, 2 players)

Hero checks, BTN bets $17.60, Hero raises to $56

Facing a 2.5x raise from the BTN, I typically peel any double-suited hand. Against very skilled opponents I can find a fold with the worst double-suited hands, like J642ds, but in general how widely I peel from the BB is directly correlated with the size of the open. In general, I play significantly tighter facing a min open than when facing a pot-sized open, with some exceptions.

There are a few things at work here. In some cases I can see an argument for check/calling. After all, most of the time our FD will be clean (although flush draw domination is certainly a concern), and if we check/raise and our opponent three-bets, we will be forced to fold our “equity” in the hand.

But how much value does a 9 high FD have anyway? Frankly, not very much. A queen high FD would be worth a lot more, but here with a 9 high FD and no pair / straight-draw, I prefer check/raising. But if we have, say, a gutshot with our FD (T8** with clubs), I’d be more likely to consider a check/call because the cost of getting re-raised out of the pot is more severe.

It should be noted that most of the time, my excuse for peeling an open from the BB doesn’t have much to do with my actual hand. It has more to do with how investing some bb’s into the pot allows me to purchase the opportunity to check/raise the flop.

In general, I’ve always felt that good players are constantly searching for reasons to bet.. While weak players are constantly searching for reasons to check. While we will occasionally have to check/raise and fold (I’d say 15% of the time), I believe that not only do we get many folds (Ace high boards, even the dynamic ones, get c-bet with the widest of ranges, so expect more folds), I believe that even the hands our opponent may get suspicious with will play passively. Hands as strong as AJ will look for a clean turn, and play straightforwardly on flush completing runouts. With the SPR this high, most competent players aren’t happily jamming in AJ** with no redraw (although the stronger pieces of the AJ** range will happily play for stacks, that is less likely when facing a wide button opener). Therefore, check/raising allows us to:

a)   get immediate fold equity
b)   realize equity against the range that beats us

In short, be willing to semi-bluff lighter when villain will allow you to get to SD, and play passively with his bluff catchers.

D) Readless = Nit it up, With Reads = LAG it up

$0.50/$1  Pot Limit Omaha Hi

Stacks:

UTG  $138.70 139bb

CO  $163.70 164bb

BTN  $151.24 151bb

SB  $220.70 221bb

Hero (BB)  $100 100bb 

Pre-Flop: ($1.50, 5 players) Hero is BB Ac 5d 7h Tc

2 folds, BTN raises to $2, 1 fold, Hero calls $1

Flop: 2h Qs 6s ($4.50, 2 players)

Hero checks, BTN bets $3.15, Hero raises to $10, BTN raises to $24.15, Hero folds

I showed the results in this hand to prove a point. Although this board is a good candidate to insert a light check/raise, I would prefer to check/raise against an opponent with a read, or at least with a blocker. In general, on these types of boards, my decision for check/raising or not (when I hold nothing) boils down to two things:

a)    Player Reads: how well do I know this player? Does he c-bet his air? Is there a deviation from his standard sizing? What was his timing? What’s the bottom of his bet/folding range? What is my image? Most of the time without an answer to these questions, I default to straightforward play.

b)   Blockers: As discussed in other HH’s, blockers to hands that can retaliate against your aggression greatly enhances the profitability, and likelihood of success in check/raising scenarios. For example, change my hand to AsTx7x5x then I don’t mind check/raising.. We decrease the likelihood opponent has a hand capable of peeling, and also provide ourselves the opportunity to barrel flush completing runouts.

To summarize, without holding either of these things, folding is clearly the best option. In situations where you hold an abundance of either one of these things, feel free to apply pressure. And if you happen to run into a hand, chalk it up to variance and continue to fire away in the future.

E) Choose Your Board Texture Battles Wisely

 $1/$2  Pot Limit Omaha Hi

Stacks:

UTG  $373.35 187bb

UTG+1  $266.45 133bb

CO  $172.28 86bb

BTN  $200 100bb

SB  $369.70 185bb

Hero (BB)  $197 99bb

Pre-Flop: ($3, 6 players) Hero is BB Js Ts 7s 8d

UTG raises to $6, 4 folds, Hero calls $4

Flop: 4d 8c 3h ($13, 2 players)

Hero checks, UTG bets $10, Hero raises to $28

I’ve alluded to this already, but it’s important to recognize that how aggressively you can attack boards is directly correlated with the opening ranges of your opponents.  Here’s a few quick tips:

a)    the heavier (high ranking cards, think KQ8),  a board is, the less you should attack it when facing a tight opening range.

b)   Contrastingly, the heavier a board is (higher ranking, think KQ8), the more you should attack wide ranges. In general, I like attacking KQx and other heavy boards, because most players nowadays have all KK and QQ combos in their peeling ranges from the blinds. Therefore, when you check/raise, you will get more credit for having a value hand.. Whereas on lighter boards, such as 834, opponents will put us on more complete bluffs and light semi-bluffs, and will therefore be more likely to peel in position or ship it in light. Furthermore, K and Q high boards get c-bet almost as frequently as A high boards do nowadays, so the mantra of attacking high c-bet spots applies here.

c)    When facing light boards (think 752), you should attack tight preflop ranges more, either by floating or bluff-raising.

d)   When facing light boards, understand that wide preflop ranges connect more with these. So for example, BTN opening ranges will actually connect more with a light board than with a heavy one. That’s why I prefer many times to apply aggression against wide ranges on heavy boards, and play straightforwardly on light boards.

In this hand, I think there are many valid flop options. Villain was playing tight, a 23/14 overall, with of course, a nitty UTG opening range. In general, I peel quite wide when villain has a well defined preflop range. In PLO, even the strongest hands connect less than 40% of the time, so having knowledge of someone’s preflop range can give you a great amount of postflop power.

In NL, it can be difficult to steal pots postflop against someone with a very tight opening range, because hand values are more static, and strong hands preflop have a greater likelihood of getting to showdown as the best hand. In other words, getting someone to fold big pairs, or TPTK can be difficult in NL. But in PLO, players get more credit on disconnected and paired boards, so against competent and non-straightforward opponents, it’s important to have good board coverage.. Or at least awareness of what level your opponents are on, so you can be cognizant of where they might try to attack your preflop weaknesses.

So, in this hand, I prefer calling with a wide range because I have a good read on which boards connect for my opponent, and which ones I can attack. Postflop, my main consideration for check/raising (although check/calling is an option), is with regards to:

a)  Runouts: how many runouts are good for my check/calling range, and for my opponent? In this case, against his high-card heavy range, there are few runouts where he can comfortably call me down. I could certainly have a variety of merged value hands and semi-bluffs in my check/raising range, so calling makes him vulnerable on any straight completing, non-broadway runout.

b)  Semi-bluff: Regardless of what he holds, his hand certainly has equity against us, so forcing him to fold is good for us.

c)  Barreling Tendencies: I’m not aware of his barreling tendencies, but if he bets the flop and doesn’t barrel many turns, we will make it easy for him to get to showdown with his hand. Facing a barrel-happy opponent and holding a stronger hand (sets or 2pr+) I may take a c/c flop c/r turn. But we don’t know that here, so I’d prefer to just check/raise the flop

That’s all I have for today guys, thanks for reading! I love poker, but even more, I love talking about PLO. It’s by far my favorite game, and because you’re here, I assume you love it too. Let me know what you think of this content, and what you want me to write about in the future so I can get to work on it. Thanks a lot, and GL!

KK
www.PLOQuickPro.com


Posted By KasinoKrime at 07:17 PM

70 Comments

Tags: omaha plo aggression kasinokrime Check Raise

March 29, 2014

What Do You Want To Learn?

Hey guys,

Writing a new blog in the next couple of days, and have a few topics to write about. Which one(s) sound the most appealing to you?

- Check/raising lightly, part 2

- Steps I'm taking to prepare for the WSOP, and what I recommend players do to gain the most profit from this poker holiday

- Review of Haseeb Qureshi's (DOGISHEAD) book

Posted By KasinoKrime at 03:59 PM

197 Comments

February 28, 2014

Check-Raising in SRP: Part 1

I can’t help but notice that a lot of discussion nowadays revolves around playing looser from the blinds. It makes sense though, doesn’t it? Conventional poker knowledge encourages us to open as widely as possible from the button, which suggests that defending ranges from the blinds should widen as well. After all, nothing feels more helpless than constantly allowing some regular to relentlessly min-open from the button and steal the blinds without facing at least some degree of resistance. After all, we came here to play poker.. So let’s get in there and battle!!

Except that there’s one caveat here.. Defending a wider range from the blinds when facing a wide button open would be immediately profitable, if the action ceased there. But it rarely does. One of the marked differences between PLO and NL is the postflop equity distributions: the nuts change more often on each street… And although playing OOP in NL is certainly more difficult than playing IP, playing OOP in PLO is unquestionably more troublesome due to the fact that there are way fewer way ahead/way behind situations. (NL is a polarized game, PLO is a merged game, inherently, but that’s a topic for another day).

Seeing as how everyone is trying to play as wide as possible from the BB, it felt appropriate to spit out my thoughts on which factors to consider when check/raising postflop… Because as you can imagine, widening your OOP peeling range becomes an expensive habit when employed incorrectly.. And if ever you notice yourself lacking plan postflop and “pair/draw mining”, then it’s time to creep back into your hole and tighten up until you gain better reads or a wiser laid strategy for countering late-position stealers. 

The following is a list of things I consider when plotting a check/raise in a single-raised pot. Hopefully the insight will help you leverage aggression OOP against those pesky late position stealers. Tread carefully, my friends :)

A) When we hold blockers to value hands, or blockers to hands that can fight back

Stacks: 

UTG  $107.16 107bb 

CO  $113.20 113bb 

BTN  $222.14 222bb 

SB  $147.67 148bb 

Hero (BB)  $101.50 102bb  

Pre-Flop: ($1.50, 5 players) Hero is BB 4c 7h Qh Jc 

2 folds, BTN raises to $2.50, 1 fold, Hero calls $1.50 

 Flop: Jd Kd 5s ($5.50, 2 players)  

Hero checks, BTN bets $4.40, Hero raises to $13

Most players think blockers are only useful when they block the stone-cold nuts (i.e., NF blocker on a monotone board). The truth, is that there are all kinds of blockers that are relevant in a hand.. From flush-draw blockers, to straight-draw blockers, blockers that induce thinner value bets, and blockers that block.. well.. blockers! Most importantly to understand though, is that blockers are very useful in check-raising scenarios when you hold a blocker to any part of villains value range, or to their range that can confidently fight back against your aggression. 

A common mistake made by beginners is to view all board textures the same, regardless of preflop context. One of my big “aha” moments in poker is credited to my first NL coach. It’s pretty simple. Preflop VPIP = Postflop Equity. In other words, the wider a preflop range, the smaller amount of postflop equity our opponents have. This flop texture connects well with tight preflop ranges, but when we hold a blocker to KJ** and JJ**, as well as QJT* type hands, the frequency in which our opponent has both a value hand strong enough to put in a flop 3b, or for that matter, peel our check/raise is diminished greatly. Furthermore, it’s common knowledge in today’s games to apply aggression on dry boards, but few players attack wet boards in fear of running into the nuts or big draws more often. Therefore, re-raises on these boards are perceived as genuine strength moreso than on boards such as A72r, 885s, and T53m. 

What’s more our hand is too weak to call a c-bet with. Our two-pair hands have reverse-implied odds, and typically a profitable strategy I employ as much as possible is to avoid being the one calling and folding to bets on later streets. As a rule of thumb when OOP, if you can’t call one more bet with your hand on a later street, then you should either c/r or fold.   

Stacks: 

UTG  $628.39 314bb 

UTG+1  $362.60 181bb 

CO  $993.94 497bb 

BTN  $653.62 327bb 

SB  $176.15 88bb 

Hero (BB)  $204.60 102bb 

Pre-Flop: ($5.40, 6 players) Hero is BB 8c Jc Tc 7s 

2 folds, CO raises to $9.40, 2 folds, Hero calls $7.40 

Flop: Kc 5h Ts ($22.20, 2 players) 

Hero checks, CO bets $15.54, Hero raises to $40

This hand is an extension of the previous one, except this board is slightly different. Again, here we see that our hand blocks KT**, KQJ*, and TT** type combos that villain can hold. Most importantly, it’s important to note that our check-raise here is best suited against players with wide preflop ranges. I would be hesitant to attempt this same line against an UTG open, but villain in this hand had a high “raise-first in” stat from the CO. Therefore, knowing he was wide preflop and likely to c-bet this board a high % of the time (the “heavy”, high card boards get c-bet quite often by the players with initiative), my line is credible and our opponent is unlikely to fight back without a genuine hand.

A common question I receive from players is, “I never know when I should bluff in poker. It seems like whenever I bluff, I run into the nuts.” Here’s a good rule of thumb that’s worked for me. If you have blockers bluff more, if you hold no blockers then play tight, and be ok with it. Avoid getting out of line without a blocker to some piece of the opponent's range that can retaliate against you. More simply, with no reads and no blockers, don't bluff. With a blocker(s) and some relevant info, look for an excuse to fire away. 

b) We hold blockers to draws

Stacks: 

UTG  $293.85 73bb 

CO  $400 100bb 

BTN  $350 88bb 

SB  $580.60 145bb 

Hero (BB)  $400 100bb 

 Pre-Flop: ($6, 5 players) Hero is BB Kh 7s 9h 9s 

2 folds, BTN raises to $12, 1 fold, Hero calls $8  

Flop: 8d 2h Jc ($26, 2 players) 

Hero checks, BTN bets $18.20, Hero raises to $48 

Student’s often laugh when I say my reasoning for check/raising here is because we have “blockers to blockers”, but really that’s how I feel! There’s a lot going for us here that encourage a check/raise. Let’s run through the list.

a)     we have a gut-shot, back-door flush-draw, and likely live set outs, so even when called, we can suck out (not to mention needle the Hell out of the guy with J8 or a naked overpair)

b)    the # of combinations of “peelable” draws is reduced because we hold two 9’s

c)     with this hand, there aren’t enough turns capable of bluff-catching unimproved. If the action stopped after the flop we might be able to profitably call a bet (depending on his sizing), but against someone competent we will call and fold too often to make peeling profitable

d)    some players would argue for an OOP float with the intention of leading straight completing turns, but I don’t like it. In general, when OOP, I lean towards taking aggressive lines when it’s a grey area, because playing OOP without the initiative is too hard in PLO, and when we take passive lines, from my experience, players rarely give you credit for having a hand.

e)     On a board texture this dry, there are few hands willing to put in a flop 3b. Therefore, even when we get looked up, we still get to realize our equity (even villain’s bluff catchers will play passively facing our raise), therefore we can realize our equity, get fold-equity from our semi-bluff, and:

f)     With our “blockers to blockers”, we can barrel straight completing cards and credibly rep a flop check/raise with 9T**, QJT* type hands (very common line in today’s games.)

Stacks: 

UTG  $177.55 178bb 

CO  $92.70 93bb 

BTN  $114.40 114bb 

Hero (SB)  $100 100bb 

BB  $355.62 356bb 

Pre-Flop: ($2.50, 5 players) Hero is SB Td 5h Th 9d 

2 folds, BTN raises to $3, Hero calls $2.50, 1 fold  

Flop: 7c 6d 2h ($8, 2 players) 

Hero checks, BTN bets $5.60, Hero raises to $18

Facing a bigger open from the CO, or even from the BTN for that matter, I don’t mind folding. But with the antes, a small button open, and a straightforward BB I decided to make the call.

Middling paired hands get a bad rap, and typically they are trouble hands.. But there are situations where they’re useful. For example, getting a good price preflop, combined with the fact that TT** and JJ** type hands have oversetting potential against wide ranges, and perhaps most importantly, the straight-blocker potential that these hands have postflop make peeling preflop for a competent player enticing. Readless though, I certainly don’t mind a fold preflop. 

As played though.. here’s my thought process. Similar to before, our hand certainly isn’t strong enough to bluff catch on very many runouts.. But, there are a few considerations that make check/raising an attractive option:

a)     we know villain has a wide stealing range, and we assume he c-bets wide as well. Therefore, given what we mentioned earlier (wide VPIP = less postflop equity), we can assume that although this board is actually heavy on a wide stealing range, he will still whiff the flop more than 65% of the time.

b)    Hands that bluff catch us will play passively, and are unlikely to three-bet the flop.

c)     Perhaps most importantly, when we do get called by overpairs and other pair+sidecard type hands, we have good barreling opportunities on straight completing cards. Moreover, when those straight completing cards do fill, we don’t to bet very large to get folds from bluff catching hands that beat us, but that can’t beat a straight. As mentioned earlier, something I try to avoid is creating the dead money to surrender later.. And in this situation, we are actually reversing the role: encouraging our opponent to call a bet on one street, only to give up on a high percentage of turns.

That’s all I have for now, but I will expand on everything here in part 2 (and potentially a part 3). Let me know if you like this stuff, and what kind of things you want me to write about in the future. The more I learn about PLO, the more I LOVE this game! So expect to see more content like this in the future, whether you like it or not J 

GL,

KK

PS - Make sure to check out www.PLOQuickPro.com for more content! 

 

Posted By KasinoKrime at 03:47 PM

187 Comments

Tags: omaha plo aggression kasinokrime Check Raise

February 15, 2014

HPT Main Event HH's

Here’s a few hands I played in the HPT main event the other day. Starting stack was 30k, ended with 148k which is right around average. Day 2 is on Sunday, so I’ll try to save some hands then and write another blog after it’s over! Check out PQP for more NL tourney strategy coming soon!

Hand 1:

 

First level of the day. It’s the 2

nd

orbit. Only reads I have is that table is very passive and general the players are pretty weak overall. Effective stacks for this hand are 30k. 

 

I have J4o in the BB. CO and BTN limp. SB folds and I check the option. Flop is Jc7x3c. I lead 400 into 700. CO min-raises to 800. BTN cold calls, I call too. (folding may be best but I’m being laid a good price and have relative position on the turn to make a better decision. Folding is certainly fine though, and is recommended imo).

Turn is 4x. I check, CO bets 1750, BTN folds and I call. Our hand is strong here but I believe check/raising at this stage of the tournament would be overplaying our hand. 

River is Jx. I check, and villain bets 2300. Assuming you check/raise here, what’s the best sizing, and why? 

Hand 2: 

I open to 1800 from UTG+1 with ATo at 400/800/100 and get called by a very tight player in the HJ.  Flop comes Td4h2h. I check, thinking that I won’t get more than 1 street from underpairs, and can induce stabs from high cards. Flop checks through, turn is Jd. I check call 2800. River is 6d. I check, he pretty quickly bets 8000. Call or fold?

Hand 3:

Two limpers in for 800 in front, I limp QJo in the HJ, CO limps. 5 handed to the flop. It comes Qd9x6d. Three checks, I bet 3200 and CO calls. She’s sitting on a big stack, but is quite loose passive pre, but has shown a fair amount of aggression postflop. Saw her c-bet ship 75k into a 6k pot in a 4-way hand where she showed top set on 852r. But also saw her stab small’ish on KQ6s with top pair.  Has a very high bet vs missed c-bet, but all in single raised pots so far. If I had to say something else about this player, it’s that her bet sizing = hand strength. Medium bets = medium hands, small bets = weak’ish hands etc.

Anyhow, turn is 4x, I check, she bets 4000, I call. River is 8 (no flush), I check, and after slight deliberation bets 11.8k (mixed stack of denominations). Call or fold?

 

 

 

Posted By KasinoKrime at 12:37 AM

167 Comments

Tags: tournaments kasinokrime donkaments HPT Crushaments Go Fight Win


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