Tell Me Something I Don't Know
One of the best ways of learning new things is through discussion; even if neither party has a valid point the verbal analysis of a subject can be very enlightening. Personally I'm really dumb and slow witted, but I learn ridiculously fast when I manage to trick people smarter than me into talking to me, so I like intelligent discussion and that's what this thread is here for.
It's not that there's a shortage of that here, it's just that I think it can be taken further. So I put forward the challenge to anyone who's willing: can you tell me something I don't know?
It doesn't even have to be me, it can be anyone, all I want you to do is to think about some aspect of poker that you understand better than most. Odds
, BRM/risk taking, tells
, psychology, game theory, whatever. A lot of people think they're god's gift to poker or have put in the work to get good, so show us what makes you good.
It's only right that in asking for contributions, I give a little first. So even though there are a handful of you guys who're too good to learn anything from me, I'll do my best, and I'll cover a couple of topics to try to be helpful to a diverse audience.
Did you know...
That the vast majority of people are using the wrong pre-flop raise size? 3bb and 4bb are good, and are both effective raise sizes but their effectiveness is dictated by your VPIP which should change depending on your opponents and position. A loose range works better with smaller bets, a wider range works better with bigger bets. Consider if a 12/12 player is a nit and a 36/30 a LAG, the former is better off with 4bb and the latter with 3bb. Now consider what type of player you are by position, if you look up your stats by position in PT/HEM and you're not losing money overall then there's a very good chance you play as a nit and a LAG at the same table.
Now, what if we don't confine ourselves to 3bb or 4bb, what if we consider 2bb and 5bb, 6bb even. Could the kind of ranges we could play with these raise sizes be profitable? Think about it, adjust it, adjust it 30 times over, thank me when you make more money (or lose less).
Did you know...
20 max buy ins IS adequate to withstand the swings of poker over a reasonable timeline, if you always move down in stakes. Even just hanging around CC, you'll see that the better players will all say the same thing "I'm a bankroll nit" and they don't mean 20BI, they mean 30, 40, 50 or 100.
20BI is substantial enough to handle the swings if you always move down.
But 20BI is very risky.
BRM is about more than sustaining the variance from your winrate. You play better when you're not emotionally attached to a buy in, the only way this isn't true is if you play truly terribly the rest of the time (and that should be what you're fixing). Secondly, you wonít always move down, you're human and when that megafish bad beats you for 200bb and drops your BR down to 19BI, unless you're Chris Ferguson you're not leaving your seat, hang around long enough and your roll can go down the toilet really, really fast. Check the brags, bad beats and variance section for horror stories.
Final thought, at 20BI or 100BI, your probability of going broke is 100% given enough time, your only job is to increase the timeline between now and then and the easiest way of doing that is to add a few more buy ins of padding.
I am not saying any set BRM is best, I am saying that you should intelligently think about a few things: Are you okay with losing your BR? Are you 100% tilt free, and since you're not, how bad can you tilt? Double the amount of BI you think you can lose and you get a more realistic number. Decide on your own bankroll requirements, but know this is simply a matter of managing a very legitimate risk.
Did you know...
Ok, this one is for the newest of you because everyone else knows already, but itís common enough that Iím adding it anyway.
Deeper stacks favour the more skilled player. Simply put the closer the stacks get to the size of the blinds the more correct it becomes for both players to push their stacks in. It becomes harder for your opponent to make mistakes since their favourite one (calling) is better than folding, when short stacked.
Also rake is capped, that means when you go all in 100bb against 100bb, you pay the same, or near the same amount of rake as when you go all in 20bb against 20bb. Rake adds up really, really fast.
Also, short buy ins donít mean you need a smaller bankroll, you need at least the same size bankroll to buy in at 20bb as 100bb.
Ok, so I think Iíve now covered a lot of stuff that most people donít know, but I think thereís quite a few of you who havenít learned much/anything yet. As much of a challenge as that may be, Iíll make an attempt.
Have you ever thought about...
The biggest single bet is on the river (but pre-flop and flop bet sizes may be worth more in total, given their frequency), have you ever put much thought into how draws get to value bet or fold here. Getting value and avoiding giving value, when it really counts. Made hands however give value against bigger hands and get value only from smaller made hands.
As much of a fan as I am of value betting really thin, this does indicate that your value betting range against anyone whoís not a calling station, should be weighted towards the stronger end of your made hands range and you should check back more of the middle/bottom of your range.
Did you know that you fold/call too easy on the river?
A lot of otherwise good players fold to 3rd barrels of pot size or less, because despite the odds that youíre getting ďomg, he bet 3 streets, he must have it!Ē yeah, he probably does, but donít get blinded to the pot odds
. The pot odds heavily
favour being a calling station on the river, when faced with pot size or less. Most otherwise decent players forget this.
Whilst people fold too easily to pot size or smaller bets they call too light against overbets (this bit Iím not sure about). The problem with overbetting is that it lets the other guy fold out all of his rags and call with just the very top of his range, make sure youíre doing this.
Your range should be drastically different when faced with a 100% pot bet and a 200% pot bet, and you should almost never fold to a 20% pot bet (against an unknown, your mouse clicking finger should be itching above the call button with A high here). Donít determine your calling/folding range as heavily on whether you think he has it or not, make sure youíre considering the pot odds and call small bets a lot lighter than most of you do.
Continuing on from that...
Did you know that you should fold easily on early streets?
Yes, you did. But I need to clarify anyway. You can call river bets because it ends the action, on earlier streets youíre not calling just a percentage of the pot but youíre actively accepting to continue playing in a pot of increasing size, this is bad with marginal hands (not bad as in you shouldnít do it, bad as in undesirable).
So after this extremely long post.
I issue my challenge again, which may well go ignored but who knows, maybe Iíll inspire a little more intelligent discussion.
What do you know that the rest of us donít?