How not to be aggressive

Well, Ok. I apologize for misinterpreting your initial response to my post. I thought you were following me from the other thread to make a rude comment, insinuating that my post was too long.

Which it was, but if you don’t want to read it, don’t bother commenting. Contribute something useful to the thread, or don’t bother.

Be that as it may, your last post was fine.

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Here’s a couple of hands.

I just sat in at a 9-seat ring, 500/1k, buying in for 200k.

I don’t know anyone at the table, only player who’s name I recognize is farolito, but I have no notes on him. I’m playing these hands pretty straightforward in other words.

First thing I see is a lot of limping. That’s what you usually see at these tables. OK.

Hand 1:

I fold my first five hands, until I wake up with KK, on the button. Table limps around, a total of 4 limpers. I put up 10k to open, the entire table folds.

I would have liked to isolate, but I over-bet what anyone was willing to call with here, and take a lousy 5500 chips. I guess it’s better than losing 200k when the one hand that calls is AA.

So that’s one way how not to be aggressive. Come in too strong, and you chill the action at the table so now everyone’s a nit, and all you do is win min pots or face nut monster hands.

You could well reason: but the nut monsters are super rare, surely I can get out of their way, while reaping so many min pots that I’ll profit long-run!

Eh, I guess. On the other hand, if you’re wrong even once and lose a big pot, it can end up equaling the losses.

Hold-em Poker is a 5-street game, and if you’re only winning hands pre-flop, something’s not right about that. Pots are built over the course of the hand, you don’t need to worry about getting it all in preflop just because you’ve got some nice big pair.

Sometimes you do. But rarely if ever as your way of introducing yourself to a table.

Do I regret being over-aggressive? Nah, not really. It’s a lost opportunity, but it’s just a hand. You never really know how these table are going to be. I’ve seen em where EVERYONE wants to see a pot no matter how expensive you make it, and you can raise to 6BB, and get 5-6 limpers all decide they’re calling, and then you’re looking at no better odds, and a much larger pot where someone’s bound to have hit the board better than you did. I didn’t want that to happen with my KK, and I wasn’t calibrated for this table yet as it was only the 6th hand, so I shot a little big.

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/617432330

Hand 2:

Fast forward 5-6 hands later. I’m dealt KQs in the BB seat. More limping ensues; 6 limpers altogether and it comes around to me, button and SB the only ones who fold. I’m in early position, not too crazy about opening.

Factoring in that 10k was a little too large for the previous hand, but that I have a few more limpers this time, plus I don’t have position on anyone in this hand, I decide to open pretty big again, but this time I make it just 8k.

The first two limpers call, then the next player folds, the player behind him raises to 15k, and the next behind him calls, the player behind him folds. I decide to call, then UTG and UTG+1 both fold, so we’re, what, four-way to see the flop with about 80k in the middle.

Flop hits me decent, K96. I’m looking at 4 players to beat. From early position, I could keep it cool and check-raise, and get even more chips in the middle, but I don’t want anyone to get committed here, and all things being equal I guess I’d rather blindly fire in with top pair and a pretty good kicker, and let all the 99 66 and AA in the world beat me.

Having seen this much interest in the pot preflop, I’m not about to go small and expect to see 2-3 folds, so I pot it. 77k to play. Everyone’s out at this point except for farolito, who calls.

The turn, 4c,doesn’t help me, I imagine it doesn’t help him any, but it does put two clubs on the board. Farolito only has 26.5k left in his stack, so I say he’s about committed here, whatever he’s holding. I bet it’s AK, and I’m about to light the rest of my stack on fire because that’s how my luck runs.

On the plus side, if he’s all-in on the turn, he can’t jam me with a river bet and force me to re-think the hand. Which, is nonsense, backwards justification. But I like the idea of putting him all-in to see the next card with two more to go. He does call.

He flips up… AA.

I river a King to suck out, trip KKKs over AAKK, and pull down 285k.

So did aggression work for me? I suppose so. Did it win me the hand? No, it didn’t. Luck won me the hand. Aggression got me a nice big pot for it, and I like that about it, but man I sure got lucky there.

I didn’t intimidate AA into laying down. I didn’t trap AA with a better made hand. I flat out rushed headlong into certain death and rivered a 6-out miracle, despite my suicidal instinct.

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/617433040

And although it’s rude to go south after taking a ginormous pot like that, it’s also late, and I don’t see myself getting that lucky again in another 6 hands, so I cash out.

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@puggywug

Not at all. Your post was funny & entertaining. As soon as I read it I felt you were taking digs at me but that’s just poker. I like the banter. My posts are way too long & so are yours. That’s a fact. I wish mine were shorter & I wish yours were too. We could both save each other some time. lol

That said I’ll often just ignore posts that don’t contribute to the topic/theme when I create a post. Players do it frequently with mindless hippie dad joke rambling. I’ll almost never report a RP contributor or complain regarding their post despite not just being off topic but almost completely meaningless. I like a laugh but there are other sections of the FORUMs to talk meaningless Seinfields about nothing.

My original posts were not mean to be personal attacks, but I apologise if they came across as such. I also made them short so as not to unnecessarily waste readers time.

If your honest I think you would probably admit that this post was a small dig at me. This kind of entertaining banter behaviour is common in high stakes games between friends. Again I’ll apologise if my comments were out of line but I 99% felt you were taking the Mick.

Getting back to the theme tho: How not to be aggressive? maybe next time you could offer a short summary. Some bullet points etc.

I am always happy to support & contribute to a post even if what I offer is wrong & has no value. I offered my 2 cents worth as to NBA strategy. Yes slow play is great too. What else you got?

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I really was trying to get a topic on the overrating of aggressive play, without my advocacy for it drowning out the otherwise good and on-topic posts in your thread. I didn’t come here to take a dig at anyone, and wouldn’t have except I was pretty annoyed by the first 3 replies.

When I say aggressive play is overrated, I do NOT mean that aggression is bad. I’ve probably said that enough times now, but it bears repeating before my next most important point, which is:

I do NOT mean that slow play is the only other option.

Slow play is useful in a lot of situations where it can get you a much bigger pot, but it also can get you into trouble and cost you. I could write a whole other thread on pros and cons of slow play, when it’s a good idea, when not to do it.

What else could I, did I mean, then?

I mean pot control. I mean offering opponents holding worse hands bets that they can call so you can be beating them while taking a bigger pot. I mean not pricing the pot so that only nut hands can call, so that every time you end up with a showdown, it’s against your worst nightmare.

It’s not all about pricing out drawing hands. On wet boards it is important to give your opponents a bad price to call. On dry boards you will earn a bigger pot if you are able to keep worse hands calling than if you try to stack them.

It’s also about keeping your opponent guessing, off balance, and not knowing what to expect from you so they don’t know how to play an effective strategy against you.

Aggression is an important part of poker strategy, but the other things I mentioned are often overlooked, yet they compliment aggression better than another helping of aggression.

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@puggywug

What you see in one hand varies drastically on these tables.

I used to play 2 9MAX 500/1K a lot, so I’m seeing a lot of hands. Most players are generally preflop calling stations. I play fairly tight on 9MAX. I’ll fold a lot, limp some & try & raise a few hands strong. Generally 4.5 - 7BB will work ok but it varies a lot. That said I find it difficult to raise & isolate on these tables. I’ve raised 12BB & got 4 customers or more many times. Its really frustrating. I’ve raised modestly to 5BB semi regularly & got folds on some tables but these weak folding players are rare 500/1K.

Table image means a lot on these tables from my experience. Keep in mind you can play on the same table often with many of the same players for over an hour. I tend to get a lot of respect after time & winning some chips. This means you can adjust your hand range & bet sizes plus also increase bluff frequency.

If Im not getting hands I will raise semi garbage depending on the table & in the right position maybe 3.5-5BB. I don’t want the players view me as a nit only raising AA etc. This is the old poker philosophy give action get action.

GL in the rings

@puggywug

I was actually going to mention this. I struggle to think of many good aspects of not being aggressive. OFC strategic, intelligent discretion is necessary. The problem is aggression is label as “bingo player” & not being aggressive, passive play & nit also have many negative connotations. I’m naturally an aggressive player. I played bad aggressive poker against players that were just as bad or worse with very little aggression & won often whilst learning to play poker. It was obvious to me it was profitable & worked well despite the fact I didn’t really know how to play.

Despite the fact I am naturally aggressive I don’t play SnGs “aggressively” enough even now. The reason is I don’t play or practice them enough. I play reasonable well in SnGs but a more aggressive player would beat me often. I still win often bc other players are weaker, not aggressive enough & don’t know how to counter aggression.

Get me on a table with an aggressive LAG or maniac and I’m now possibly the biggest nit at the table.

I’ll still keep playing aggressively for the most part bc players are way too passive & weak.

Sorry to keep gong on about aggression but do keep in mind the Title: "How not to be aggressive"

Generally speaking though poker player talk about switching gears. I would say adapting to players, possibly more importantly adjusting & responding appropriately to a situation. Pot Control as you mention is extremely important.

Another point for this thread should be defensive bets. I won’t go into detail but both pot control & defensive bets are great additions to out poker skills.

For sure you can win a lot playing a few hands aggressively but just as easily lose it very quickly playing “badly”.

100% agree. I think this was most of the disagreement & debate. Just bc Villain is aggressive doesn’t mean they cant play defensive & intelligent poker.

Good players can switch gears with varying degrees of aggression when necessary.

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Some more examples.

The two biggest hands of my most recent heads-up SNG win.

Hand #1:

I flop a K-high flush, holding K3 diamonds. Preflop, I’d raised it to 2BB. Probably not a great open, maybe questionable to play a suited King here, but the blinds are only 20/40 and I decide to speculate.

Obviously on a board like this, you are pretty comfortable and don’t want to scare your opponent. I’m still vulnerable to suited Ace-diamonds, Ad-offsuit if a fourth heart falls, and if the board pairs there’s always the possibility for full house or quads. Other than that, I’m on the likely nuts, and the only way my hand is improving is if the Ah hits the board to guarantee me the best flush.

A lot of the time, v isn’t going to put another chip in the pot on a board like this. The flush board is too scary for most players.

Once in a while though, they’re going to have a pair here and if you check, they have to see if they can bluff you with the scary flush board, not knowing that you actually have the hand a bluff would represent. Especially if you’re folding a lot and your opponent has been taking advantage and betting into you with any pair or any time you check to them.

I bet pot at them, they’ve been calling pretty wide lately, and getting lucky, and have caught me bluffing a few times, and they call. Now, I play like it was another bluff, and check to him on the Turn. He puts a pot-sized bet back at me, which is very common when you put in what looks like a c-bet on the flop, and then check the turn, I flat it, and then donk-bet the river, shoving, it’s all-in for them to call, and they fold.

Really, the shove is a very poor move here. The only hand calling is the nut flush, or if they really think I’m bluffing. I didn’t want to risk them just checking back on the river and not getting any value, and I thought based on their bets that they might have a lesser flush and be willing to call with it, but evidently not. But maybe they 3-barrel to a 3rd check, and hope that I finally drop the hand. Or maybe a weak-looking bet could induce them to raise, or at least call, and get a little more value out of the hand.

As it is I get a pot of 1440 chips, which isn’t bad, but by turning suddenly aggressive on the River after sleeping flopped flush, I spoil my chance of getting a bigger pot.

When you have the absolute nuts, or near it, it’s a good opportunity to consider laying low and let other players on the hand think they might have it or can steal a pot.

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/617745587

Hand 2:

Final hand of this game. I have AKo on the Button/SB seat, and raise 3BB, and get a call. V is holding A8s, flop is AK5-rainbow, v has top pair + backdoor flush.

I’m first to act, and just check it, expecting V will either fold if I bet and he has nothing, and if he doesn’t have anything, he’s going to pounce on my weakness and try to take the hand if he doesn’t have anything, and if he does anything, I’m beating everything but sets, and I’m partially blocking two of the three possible sets.

V bets pot, 600, to make it 1200, I raise him back pot, to 1500. I figure this will back him down, and if he calls, awesome, but to my surprise he shoves. Some people just can’t handle being raised off of top pair, I guess. Or maybe he felt there was no point just calling here because the Turn is likely to put him all-in regardless, and he’s not being backed down off of top pair. It’s +1100 more give or take to call the re-raise, and of course I call; He shows the Ad8d, he’s drawing very thin, needing 2 diamonds for a backdoor flush or two more 88s for a full house. As soon as the turn lands a brick he’s done, drawing dead.

The check-raise is a different form of aggression, and holding a strong hand in early position, you’re often getting better value from hands if you employ a check-raise. But initially you’re looking passive and weak. So there’s a blend of aggression happening. You do run the risk of letting V see a free card and outdraw you, but on a board like this that’s highly unlikely.

Or, they check back, and nobody puts in another chip into the middle by the river, or you eventually put in a bet to see if he calls and you get a fold; in which case you already got your best value from the hand, and that was all you were going to get.

Conversely, if I bet into A8 here, maybe he calls, probably he calls, but even if I pot it at him and he calls, he’s less likely to raise back on the flop, meaning he has another chance to decide to give up on the Turn, and if I were to shove at him on the Turn, it’s a lot harder for him to call that bet than it is for him to take the initiative and be the aggressor, since that’s What You’re Supposed To Do in poker. If I put him all in, and he’s any good, he’s able to find the fold button.

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/617748786

@puggywug

Summary:

  • Watch your hand a few times first before you post it.
  • A) Either post the RP hand first. B) Give a more accurate hand description (action, position etc) C) Give more specifics & related history, like how many hands & perception of V D) Both A, B & C.

You can guess the right answer.

Turn: I like a min raise here bc you get value from Ad* nut flush draw. You also build the pot making a river shove bluff from V more enticing adding tons of value, especially having position/button. If you want to donk shove it on the turn. You get called draws & hero calls.

Donk betting the river isn’t “aggression” its donk see, donk do, donk hope for the best. I’ve played like this many times but I won’t blame aggression. I’ll blame poor judgement, emotions & tilt first & then bad luck and bad play that couldn’t extract value. I don’t expect very good value from most players donk shove river betting.

Rriver: I like a small value bet bc its much more +EV. Only the most crossbred donkeys will call this donk shove river bet profitably with a minority of drunk good players making mistakes. Your getting called by the nut flush - which is rare, but possible - and never ever get called by marginal hands, called by a few big PPs or getting value from bluffs. Essential the river bet is a bluff. Instead value bet it to get value & call bluffs.

I’ll rate out of 10 your play for donkey manure & giggles:

preflop: 7.5 (this is an A+ good play, HU Button, good cards)

Flop: 5.5 (not great but I like a bet for value & to build pot, though size is too large, broadcasting hand value)

Turn: 5 (Calling doesn’t accomplish anything really but is OK for SP, I would prefer a min raise to get value from a Ah nut draw, build pot, entice a river shove bluff, generally get more value.)

River: 3.5 (I should rate this lower, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that V is donk calling your bluff more often than I think or getting very unlucky & you got a “tell” which is almost never, in positions its bad IMO)

K3s raise is a standard raise HU. You didn’t mention position though. On the button you can raise it as you did 2x - 2.5BB. This is not questionable or speculative at all. Its good standard aggressive HU poker. The button gives a significant advantage. With the button: raise a wider range of hands with a small size, & make adjustment as you play or if you know the player. If your OP then raise with a tighter range that will often have Vbutton beat, but raise stronger 3x-4xBB to combat the positional disadvantage & make em pay.

If Im out of position I don’t mind checking & defending sometimes however I would prefer to raise often against most players - bc it works. Players that almost never fold the button I’m more inclined to check or against good HU players that might 3bet sometimes I will also often defend - I want a hand I can call a 3bet or 4bet with Vs good players. Players that will fold the button sometimes, & will fold to cbets or turn bets often enough etc are candidates for OP raise bc statistically its profitable. The difference in choice of action is: against most players aggression is ABC poker easy/very profitable, whilst against the other stronger players its marginally profitable at best but much more risky. Im talking specifically about this hand K3s, which obviously isn’t a great hand but HU it is at least good+, especially against RP players.

Think of poker in a logical & simple way. You both get any 2 random cards. K3s very often beats Villains random holdings so make em pay or steal. RP players will often call with worse until maybe they make adjustments & play a little tighter.

The fact you raised preflop (Aggression) makes it more likely you get paid. This is the benefit of aggression bc its less likely you have a flush & suited diamonds. You can limp with a lot of random suited dieamonds, but raising decreases possibilities/range. This in part is the value of aggression. Players psychologically are less likely to believe you raised preflop & got a lucky flop. This does make sense statistically but its important not to get trapped in this mindset both as the Hero or Villain, but traps work - against Villain & Hero (you/me/us).

This is a spot where sometimes I will bluff with a very small bet with complete air. If I have no flush draw and a hand that cant or shouldn’t value, and has litlle/no showdown ill bet/bluff I’ll try & steal. It cost very little, works often enough etc, & if it fails i’ll check it down & lose a small pot, NP.

I’ll also do this with the nuts too. It will often entice a bluff or call & is a little deceptive & gets value. No reason to price out V but I’d like to get a little value.

I replayed the hand. Please add it at the start or give a better more accurate description? Position? which I now know. It makes it difficult bc I have to guess & run two different scenarios. A lot of my analysis is speculative & unnecessary bc I’m guessing or your description is wrong. Waste of both our time really & annoying.

Don’t worry too much, or be affected by: once in a while or scared players. Take action that’s best & logical with some small/occasional changes for deception etc but better yet use exploitative play Vs Villain. If your donk river bet can get paid by a bigger donkey than great, otherwise value bet.

Thinking more logically though, on the turn, what could Villain have? Nut flush is possible but unlikely statistically despite the aggression tho I certainly wouldn’t rule it out. Its very possible Villain has it but also very possible they have Ah* nut draw. I would tank a little & mine raise for value. Tank is pretending to think. There is little to think about. Can you fold 2nd nuts on river with another heart? If you can than your better than the telepathic mind reader Hellmuth & Red Barron invincible SnG player combined.

But you didn’t check the turn? Bc you had position, the button. You called the turn bet by… I stpped after realising your analysis was wrong etc.

Try & make sure its correct so you can make an intelligent analysis.

The hearts was supposed to be a diamonds guess? Whats hearts got to do? I give up.

I don’t know what happened with this. I went back after I posted it initially, re-watched the hand, and realized I had badly mis-remembered parts of it, went back and edited it to correct those mistakes. I guess I’d played too many hands and they blurred together more than I realized. At this point, I can’t edit it anymore, because the time window for that is over. I don’t know if your reply is to the original version of the post or the edited version. I don’t know if I still had errors in the edited version, but I thought I had caught and corrected everything so that it’s accurate now. If it’s not, I’m not going to back again and try to re-write it at this point.

I appreciate you trying to provide feedback/analysis on the hand anyway.

A point about the river shove: I have gotten called and broken by shoving busted draws so many times that I just expect people will call me with whatever so they can win the hand.

I could have bet small and would have been more likely to get a call from reasonable hands, and I admit I went big because I got greedy.

But I kindof figured, he must have something pretty good. Like, he could have also flopped a flush, maybe if I’m really unlucky the nut flush. He did call my pot-size bet on the flop after all, and then potted it back at me on the Turn. I assume he thought my flop bet was a bluff, and checking on the Turn sold that story to him, he bought it hook, line and sinker, and potted back at me for the Turn. He only does that if he thinks I bluffed absolute air at him, or he has something pretty good, like a set that could conceivably draw out against a flopped flush, or a nut flush draw.

But I think if he had made a flush on the flop, he would have been raising/re-raising rather than calling, which is why I was willing to put all-in with the K-high flush here.

I was hoping that the shove would look like a bad bluff, and not make sense, my line would look more like a flush draw that failed to fill, and so he’d call, but in retrospect I do think a small, weak-looking river bet could have worked better, either getting called or raised, which would have gotten me a bigger pot.

I was more afraid he’d just check back the river than i was afraid he wouldn’t call the shove.

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probably you comment on too many hands. Pick a hand. Pick it to pieces & understand it. Yor analysis makes little sense otherwise.

To some degree I think this is how your playing poker.

I’ve lost hands & been pretty Pizzeria Dofferd. But if you can watch them objectively you learn much more than copy & paste for Hellmuth tilt rants.

You will never improve if your only interested in sympathy.

Maybe i’ll read it later. I’m not an English teacher proof-reading your Essay tho. My own post have enough incorrect Donkey Dung to bother shuffling yours.

1 Like

@puggywug

Your still forgetting or not bothering to watch your replay bc? you have position, you have the button, your always last to act. Again this post doesn’t make sense in many places. As I said, replay your hand several times. Also Consider what could Villain possibly have based on action on every street & preflop?

IMO the shove is good if its player specific, however if that’s a tendency or philosophy IMO its just bad almost always. The player needs to be an agro hero calling station to make this move +EV. Yes 100% you need to consider bluffing a missed draw. If you don’t bluff you will almost always lose unless you also have showdown value too. This is why intelligent, strategic aggression is +EV. Over pot river shoves look like bluffs & often are in general.

So your probably getting called with broken draws bc shoves look like bluffs. It’s reasonably simple. It does require Villain Dark Hero Balls to call but its gunna happen.

Some points to consider: A river shove is better if your the aggressor which you relinquished on the turn by only calling. Your call was lickety split instant too. Tank. Insta calls can be good. IMO insta calls say I have something & Im calling your next bet bc it shows confidence. I might insta call if I want to get to showdown with a reasonable hand & stop Villain bluffing & reduce their tendancy to try & value bet. Otherwise generally insta calls are not good. As Mr Negreanu says: “Everything you do at the table…”

I would guess he had the Ad drawing to the nut flush. That’s pretty good but it missed the river hence . He called flop bc he is drawing to the nuts. He bets the turn bc he missed & is defensively trying to make a stand. He checked the river bc he had nothing. This is my guess but any number of scenarios are possible.

It was impossible for you to slow play the turn & check it bc you had position, the button & were last to act. Villain donk bet, tried to take the lead, bet first out of position. V did not bet your check or imaginary slow play.

He can’t “check back” the river out of position, bc he acts fist & checked first. Your line of reasoning makes no sense bc you havent bothered to watching the hand and have no idea what position you have.

I stopped writing my response, midway through, after I again realised your analysis is completely wrong.

At this point I have to ask if your trolling and just having a laugh or lazy, not bothering to replay & watch the hand & figure out what is actually happening? Its hard to take you seriously if you can’t be bothered to.

I guess I’m just an idiot. I can’t keep track from one minute to the next what is happening. A hand plays one way on the felt and completely differently in my mind. You can confront me with evidence of this, but I won’t learn from it. I’ve lost my mind just about completely.

@puggywug

Seems your on tilt. I usually replay a significant hands several times and after that i’ll try & construct a picture of what actually happened. OFC my interpretation & read on Villain could be still way off but I know for a fact its much more accurate than my emotionally cloudy judgement after a big loss.

Many times I’ve blamed bad luck and the stupidity of Villains play & getting lucky for losing a hand but after replaying the hand I’ve come to realise I played the flop or turn bad. Either checking or betting to small. Basically slow playing to try & get value. Also possibly maybe making a bad river call, bad value bet or bluff. It’s rare I haven’t done something a little wrong in a tilting loss.

This player made this comment about what has helped improve their poker the most: ownership. Once you have learnt all the basics of how to play poker, you will need to continuously replay & analyse your hand and you played. Even the best professional players will do this or they would never improve.

Thanks for the fun discussion & strange topic. I’m leaving this discussion as I think we have both exhausted everything we can out of it.

GL on the tables & don’t forget the ABCs.

How many of the hands have I posted (go ahead and write a computer program to spider the forums and perform hand analysis, I’ll wait) where I’ve gotten in good, which is to say, ahead of an opponent holding inferior cards and also behind me, only to have them flip it on me by the showdown and beat me?

How does one “own the mistake” of playing this type of hand? You’re supposed to bet big to keep people off of draws, and yet all it does is serve to entice them. It’s as though shoving is too great a temptation, or like it’s a big plate of chips that says “free chips”.

It’s B-S-. Every decision you make at the table is meaningless. The cards do what they do. The chips are an illusion. None of it matters.

Of course I’m on tilt, thanks doctor, you can send the bill to my insurance. I’ll find my way to the door.

1 Like

Might as well go play video poker or slots then? You can still win big & lose big without worry about the fact your more skilled than opponent & still losing!

Why? All you are “supposed to do” is give an incorrect price, not always force folds. Also, there are some instances where you cannot bet enough to force the better draws to fold. In these cases, don’t try. Shift to pot controlling mode, especially on the flop. Multiway, this is even more critical. You don’t have to swing for the fences all the time. Not every pot needs to be life or death. Try playing more small-ball, both for your success rate and for your emotional health.

2 Likes

When I small ball, I get blown off of pots by buffers who are sure I don’t have it.

If I check, I invite a pot size bet. If I bet small, I invite a raise or shove. If I shove, they call. Betting is supposed to give you more ways to win the pot. All it does is give me more ways to lose more chips. No matter what play I make, it’s always the worst thing to do in the situation one street later.

It’s like this for my hole cards and the board as well. I raise AK, flop comes in 7 high, and someone either hits bottom pair with Ace suited or rag connectors and will not fold no matter what, believing that overpairs are a myth, and I blank the board. Then I will play 89s on the next hand and the flop will be AAK. It’s all just to screw with me. Mind you, if I ever have AK and flop a boat with it, it’s when I limped, there is only one passive player in the hand, they’re only there because they’re the BB, probably holding 63o, and they’ll fold to a min bet.

And you can’t figure out how to exploit that?

And you can’t figure out how to exploit that?

So the devs wrote special code just to mess with you. I see. Why would they bother to do that? Maybe they think your endless pity party posts are amusing, and they need a laugh?

Endless whining isn’t a poker strategy. This is the “Poker Strategy” section. not the “Woe Is Me” section.

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I can exploit it, sure. I can re-raise, and see that they really did have some incredible nut hand.

Or I can wait and wait and wait and wait and wait until the day finally comes when I’m the one with the nut hand, call, and win that one pot out of 1000.

It’s only whining if you hear whining in your head as you read it. I can’t help you there.

I will add: you’re not helpful. You post some really good advice on other people’s posts, but when it comes to me all you do is come to point and laugh. “Figure it out” isn’t advice.

I think the problem you are having comes from betting too big with medium strength hands (eg weak pairs).

You should bet small (half pot or a bit less) or check with a medium strength hand. This avoids inflating the pot, and allows your opponent to call with weaker hands. Betting big folds out all of your opponents weaker hands, leaving them with only hands which beat you.

If you want to bet big (pot size or bigger), you need to do it with a polarised range. i.e. only raise with a smaller number of hands with a range of just the very best hands (the value end of the range) with a few of the very worst hands (hopefully with draw equity) at the other end to balance out your range (the bluffs).

That way, when your opponent plays back at you, you have a simple choice. Continue with the very strong hands, and fold your bluffs.

When you find yourself betting big then facing aggression with medium strength hands, you get yourself into trouble. What do you do with that one pair now you’ve just been check raised for half your stack?

To go through a few of the hand examples you gave:

Starting from the top
Hand 1 - You had a flush, which is obviously good, but as you said, you could be beaten by a better flush. However, your comment that you wanted him to fold doesn’t make any sense. You’ve got a flush. You should bet small here, hoping to get called by some two pairs and the like. If you bet big, who is going to play back at you? People with better flushes. And, apparently, people with 86 off. (your opponent didn’t play this hand well, but if he’d played it the same way with the A it would have been fine as a bluff line)

Hand 2 - You have top pair with a weak kicker. This is a medium strength hand which is vulnerable to over cards on later streets. You should bet small to fold out the over card type hands, but hoping to get called by weaker pairs and flush draws. A pot sized bet should only really get called by stronger hands. Your opponent should not be check-raising here with bottom pair. He should probably fold to a pot size bet, but call is an option if he thinks you over use the pot size flop bet. He should be reserving his check-raising to sets and strong draws, such as 4c5c. He has the hand you want to be calling you when you make your small bet.

Hand 3 - Flop play was fine. I’d probably just call the lead on the turn. He’s just check-raised you after all. He could have a set or straight which are likely to re-raise you. However, if you know your opponent plays this way with a lot of bluffs and one pairs (i.e. he’s the same opponent as in the above two hands) then raising is fine. Check-raising generally is a polarising play. You should only do it with a select few very strong hands (two pair is very strong in a lot of situations in heads-up). Therefore, you should bet big. It’s hard to tell how big you raised in the example because you didn’t give the pot size, but a raise of around pot size is good. I don’t understand your comment saying that you want to raise to make him fold his one pair hands. You’re beating one pair. You’re hoping he’s playing this way with one pair. The river is a definite call. Two pair is too strong to fold, and raising is just going to make him fold his bluffs and shove with his straights.

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