Hi, Yiazmat. I think it’s great that you put in all this effort to try and help others improve their game. I can tell that you have a lot of enthusiasm for the game and are eager to get better and aid others along the way. From your guide, it seems as if you put a lot of emphasis on intangibles, such as “player image” and “reading the player”. While these factors should impact your decision making in marginal spots, the core determinant should be how the equity of your range fares against the equity of your opponent’s range. Of course, you meant the guide as a quick intro to replay, but I can also see why other forumers have expressed the sentiment that you are not qualified to give such advice. While I’m sure you have many strengths as a player, I do believe there are areas where you can improve. After reviewing the hands that constituted the largest portion of your recent downswing, I have come to the conclusion that your play is more at fault, rather than poor bankroll management.
Let’s first review this hand: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/307954371
Facing a minraise with A7o, you have 3 choices: call, fold, or raise. You only need 25% equity against his button raising range to make a profitable call, and A7o easily has that (probably even is ahead), so calling is a decent option. Folding is out of the question for obvious reasons. A raise is a reasonable option, but must be done for the right reasons. The main purposes of a 3bet are to deny the villain’s equity when they fold and to extract value when you have premiums. Moreover, playing postflop with the betting lead allows for more ways to win the pot without having a hand. Thus, if your opponent was raising the button at a 100% frequency and folding to most of your 3bets, then it is profitable to 3bet any two cards, and I can get behind your 3bet. However, A7o is not strong enough to be 3betting for value. Against a 3bet calling range, A7o is not far ahead enough equity wise to outweigh the lack of playability (not suited or connected), possible reverse implied odds when an ace comes, and the fact that you are playing out of position.
Once you face a 3x 4bet, you need 33% equity against his range to continue. Assuming a 4bet range of [99+, AQ+], you do not have enough equity to call the 4bet. Hence, your best option would be to fold. You could consider a 5bet, but almost no players at 20/40k have a single 4bet bluff, so I would highly recommend against this. You could have easily saved your stack simply by folding facing the 4bet.
Once the flop comes 7 high and your opponent bets the size of the pot, I think it is an easy fold even though you have top pair. Given the preflop action, it is highly likely he has an overpair. Furthermore, you block 8 combos of his most likely bluffs (AK and AQ) since you hold an ace in your hand. You decided to raise and call his 3bet allin, which I believe is just throwing chips away. Of course, all this could be prevented by just folding preflop.
Next is this hand: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/307954067
Your call preflop with Q8o is good. It is too strong to fold to a minraise and too weak to raise for value. When the flop came 458 with two spades, your opponent cbet a large size and you decided to raise. While a raise for value can be good in some spots, I do not think this is a marginal hand to do it with. You have nutted hands like sets, 2 pairs, and straights that can raise for value on that flop. You probably thought were trying to “protect” your hand against the straight draw and flush draw on the board, but if you are going to raise thin with 1 pair hands, it is better to do it with a hand like A8 no spade, since with Q8 there are still 1 pair hands that beat you. Once your opponent 3bets the flop, I think you have an easy fold. You are almost dead to sets and straights, and drawing thin against 2 pair. I have never seen a player at 20/40k 3bet a flop as a bluff, and even against the most likely bluffs (combo draws), you are flipping. When the turn comes a blank, you should not lead out. Sure, he can have a combo draw and you can extract value, but against the majority of his flop 3bet range, you are simply putting in money with the worst hand. When he raises your lead on the turn, it becomes an even easier fold. Combo draws will likely just call and hope to hit on the river. I think the key takeaway from this hand is trying to think about your opponent’s range, rather than putting him on a specific holding. From the way you played it, it seemed as if you thought he had exactly a flush draw and no other possible holdings. If you had considered the other possible hands in his range, I think you could have found a fold on the flop and saved your stack yet again.
I think your call of the 3bet with A6o is too loose. Against 20/40k players who usually have nutted 3bet ranges, A6o is simply too weak to call (similar reasons why A7o is too weak to call a 4bet). When you cbet the 6 high flop with top pair, your opponent raised, you 3bet him all in, and he snap called with pocket Aces. I assume you put him on a hand like a flush draw again, or possibly overcards, and that’s why you 3bet him all in. You forgot to consider that he could easily have hands like sets, plus a lot of overpairs, since those will constitute a large portion of his 3bet range. Against a flush draw with 2 overs, you are a slight underdog. Against an overpair, you are drawing to 5 outs. Against a set, you are almost dead. Therefore, I think the best play would be to flat his raise and evaluate the turn. Alternatively, you could exploitatively fold the flop, understanding that his range is so strong. Again, I think your issue had to do with putting him on an exact hand rather than considering all the possibilities. Judging by the way you played the aforementioned 3 hands, you also tend to overplay top pair hands. It’s easy to say you were just coolered and chalk it up to bad luck, when in reality, you could have easily only taken a relatively miniscule loss in all 3 hands.
Facing a minraise with J3s, I do not think a 3b makes much sense. You certainly are not 3bing for value, and as shown by the fact that your opponent flatted your 3b with K4s, he is not overfolding to your 3bs and is actually calling them relatively light. You have better hands to work in as “bluffs” aka suited hands that are more connected. I do not mind a fold if you are very uncomfortable playing out of position and you are facing a superior opponent who likes to barrel postflop. As a default, I believe you can just flat his open getting those odds. When the flop comes K63 with two clubs, you decided to make a continuation bet. This is a reasonable play. As the 3bettor, you have strong hands like AA, AK, KQ in your range and can deny the equity of hands like 9T that have overcards to your pair of 3s and reasonable equity, but cannot continue facing a bet. You can also consider checking this flop with some frequency since you do have showdown value. Your opponent decided to minraise you, and getting those odds, it is very reasonable to call. The turn came another 3, giving you trips. You decided to check it over, and your opponent bet half pot. At this point, you should be narrowing down his holdings to hands like 45 (open ended straight draw), a flush draw, possibly a set of 6s, and 2 pair hands. Facing that bet and considering your stack size, you should have shoved. You are well ahead of his range in that spot with trips, and since you are oop, you want to give him incorrect odds to call with his draws, as well as get value from 2 pair hands. However, you decided to minraise, giving him direct odds to call with all his draws. When the turn came the 7 of clubs, completing both the flush and straight draws. You led by going all in. This was a huge mistake. The only hands that are calling you there are hands that have you beat (straight, flush, boats). Of course, you might get a naked king to call, but your opponent would have to be really bad. Plus, that is only a small part of his range, and you should only be betting for value when you beat over half of the hands that will call. If you checked the river, a king would likely check back, and only flushes/straights/boats would bet. From there, you could make a decision whether you want to hero call or not, depending on how bluff heavy your opponent is and whether they are bad enough to shove a naked king. However, your biggest mistake was not raising allin on the turn. Sure, he would have hit his flush this time, but in the long term, you will be profiting off his call since he is not getting the direct odds to call with his draws.
Overall, I think you will improve your game drastically by trying to put your opponent on a range of hands and making your decisions based on how your equity fares against that range, rather than putting him/her on a specific hand and playing as if he has that exact hand. Aside from that, try to stop overplaying top pair hands and gain a deeper understanding of the reasons behind the relative strengths of starting hands. I’m sure you take your game to the next level if you keep working at it, and I hope you will continue having such passion for the game