Cash Game Strategy Discussion.

Jagsti

Jagsti

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Ok, I'm hoping this thread will promote some quality discussion regarding a particular aspect of cash games, that most mediocre/average to losing players truly suck at. I include myself here :D.

It concerns non-showdown winnings. Now I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of folk in here who are serious losers in NSD winnings. This is quite possibly the most important aspect of cash game play. If you excel at NSD stuff then you should have a really decent winrate (obv there are exceptions, most notably calling stations will usually have decent nsd winnings). However, for the most part, improving this area of our games, will have a dramatic affect on our winrate imo. If you don't believe me regarding nsd winnings check out 'pokerev' and look at the graph that shows your nsd winnings. Look at where the green line is, if you get it anywhere near 0, then you will be good at post flop play.

So, post flop play is where it's at. If your a good post flop player, then you will have a host of tools in your armoury, 3-betting, 4-betting light, floating, semi-bluffing etc.

Overall my post flop play is generally quite poor. I have to make up for it with showdown winnings, but that's not always enough. So, if you have something to share us, lets discuss it and see if we can all improve our little green line :p.
 
ChuckTs

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Well this is a pretty general thread here - there are so many thing that make up postflop play.

One thing I think is a big problem for most struggling ring players is double barreling. Most people play that standard 'raise pf, c-bet the flop' style and it's really really exploitable. Double barreling both helps you take down a lot more pots UI and also balances your range nicely for when you actually have a big hand you want value for.

Ed Miller wrote an excellent article on it on his site here (When To Fire A Second Barrel In No-Limit Hold’em · Professional Texas Hold'em Tips and Strategy from Noted Poker Authority) which really helped me.
 
zachvac

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Is there anyone who wins long-term in NSD winnings? I figure we should be aiming to show down our winning hands. Obviously stealing is big but I don't think I've seen a single graph of more than a few hundred hands where a player had showdown winnings below total winnings (meaning a positive non-showdown winning number).
 
tenbob

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Is there anyone who wins long-term in NSD winnings? I figure we should be aiming to show down our winning hands. Obviously stealing is big but I don't think I've seen a single graph of more than a few hundred hands where a player had showdown winnings below total winnings (meaning a positive non-showdown winning number).

I tried a few days ago to get my piece of crap PC to run pokerev for 100K hands and it failed miserably.

Nice idea Jagsti, got a feeling that a "NL ring questions thread" for relatively new ring players to ask some basic stuff would go down better than a general discussion thread. I can see this thread having at most 5/6 contributors, and we all know who they are.
 
Jagsti

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BTW got my coloured lines mixed up. I'm working from PT3 now so the red line in PT3 shows your NSD winnings.

Yes Chuck it really is a general subject, and I know it depends on a lot of factors is villain dependent, your inmage etc etc. I must admit I fall into the category you describe, were I tend to lose my way after my cb is called and I haven't improved my hand. I have used double barelling to some degree, but not with a great deal of success.

I suppose great post flop play will include targetting specific individuals and using certain tactics against them. As most of you know I'm a multi tabler, so using these tactics against a particular villain is difficult. I suspect most multi tablers have a particular straight forward style of playing. Anyways, I think that there has to be some balance in ones play. If we want to learn and become more sophisticated players then multi tabling is probably not the best way to go. Something I may have to think about.
 
Jagsti

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Also I have been reading 'another forum' were certain uNL players claim to have decent nsd winnings, (ok lets make this clear nsd winnings in graph form will be usually -ve, anywhere near 0 is goot) probably approaching 0, some claim to be better ie +ve. Also usually a good post flop player will have a W$WSF at around 45% or better.
 
Jagsti

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Is there anyone who wins long-term in NSD winnings? I figure we should be aiming to show down our winning hands. Obviously stealing is big but I don't think I've seen a single graph of more than a few hundred hands where a player had showdown winnings below total winnings (meaning a positive non-showdown winning number).

Maybe not winning long term in NSD, but not spewing NSD pots is the key to a decent winrate. OK I know the blinds make up a huge amount of NSD pots.

But Zach we dont always want to go to showdown, because were raising a lot of pots pf from position. This is usually with mediocre holdings, so taking the pot on the flop or turn is a must.
 
C

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how big do u think the doubble barrel bet should be?
 
Jagsti

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how big do u think the doubble barrel bet should be?

Well it depends I suppose. My AHK betpot script is set at 66% of pot. But whatever gets the job done. Double barrelling needs to be used with caution, it is very much villain dependent, so don't go doing it willy nilly expecting to achieve instant results :D.
 
ChuckTs

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how big do u think the doubble barrel bet should be?

Ideal size against someone who isn't observant is basically the smallest you can get it while still getting fold equity. If a half-pot bet will do the trick often enough, then use a 1/2 pot bet. If you're up against someone observant you're going to have to make your double barrel bluffs the same size you would double barrel your good hands.

Then by that logic, you might want to make your normal turn bet 2/3 pot to both get good value & protect your good hands, and also to have enough FE to make bluffing effective. I bet somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 the pot, sometimes more, sometimes less, but usually in between there.
 
c9h13no3

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Three biggest things that help my postflop play are:

1) Reads on bet sizing. This is especially important at micro stakes, where players vary their bet sizes so much. When they have a big hand, they usually just quickly slap the "Bet Pot" button. However, when bluffing, they'll put out a much weaker bet. Obviously, this will vary player by player. Maniacs are usually the opposite (quickly bet pot when they want you out, ect.). But the key is figuring out the differences between when your opponent bets pot & 3/4ths of the pot. I bluff raise a lot of my opponent's cbets when I think I have a read on their bet sizing.

2) Learning when & what cards to two barrel on. Chuck's article is really good for that. Lots of players at micro limits just don't want to give up, and will call you with just about any part of the flop. A good stiff turn bet will usually, however, do the trick. I'm usually the most aggressive player at the table though, so my cbets tend to get less respect.

3) Playing 2-3 tables at a time. Playing more really takes away your ability to take good reads & good notes. And if you're playing a laggier style like me, you MUST have excellent reads on your opponent or you will get broke in a hurry.

Oh, and in general:

-Floating & betting the turn is generally cheaper & better than check/raising what you think is a c-bet. Lots of players will call check/raises simply because they do not want to look like they were bluffing.

-On the river, stop. Think of the *exact* hands that you can beat. Can you beat AK? AQ? KJ? If you can list enough of those hands that fit with villain's betting, then you can consider betting the river. Knowing when to value bet the river has saved me a lot of money.

-Set up your postflop play by making good reads preflop. If they limp & then call your raise, don't c-bet a flop of 89T with a flush draw as it NAILS their limping range, and you're probably getting called. Don't play your drawing hands (SC's, suited aces) out of position, since its much easier to check behind on the draw than it is to get your opponent to check after you.

-Don't c-bet flops where you could turn a truckload of outs. If you're holding AsKs and the flop is Ts6d7c, a face card spade could really boost your equity in the pot (giving you 13 outs). And these runner runner outs are a hell of a lot harder to see coming.
 
B

bustme

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If you want to fix the NSD you have to become super aggressive preflop and on the flop.
 
Jagsti

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If you want to fix the NSD you have to become super aggressive preflop and on the flop.

Yep, your right to a degree. I was looking at some stats last night from a well respected 50nl FR player on 2+2. He played 10k hands over 2 days, 18 tabling. Now wait for this.... his stats were something like this:

16/14/5, Flop Agg = 8 Turn Agg=5 River Agg = 1.8 His WTSD was like 18-19% W$SD = 60% and his W$WSF = 43%.

I find these figures quite remarkable considering he plays so many tables. He must bet/r-raise evry flop and double barrel every hand. As you can see from he doesnt get to the river very often and when he does he doesn't bet it too often. Now obv this sample is a hot streak. But even so I think these type of stats are certainly conducive to good aggro post flop play.
 
B

bustme

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It is one bad thing with starting to play hyper aggressive.

You will get bigger variance....Because you will be facing hard decisions all the time when you bluff Tags.
 
Jagsti

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OK, I'd like to bump this thread and talk about Big combo draws in cash games. I was interested to see a HA of a hand I posted recently where ppl were taking a more passive line than I would normally take. Maybe this is based on my 6max background were aggression is normal with these type of hands. So I would be interested to hear comments on how you generally approach these hands based on our relative position with our villain, and how it changes ( if at all ) our decision making.

Lets say we have JhTh

I would like to discuss how you guys play this hand in certain scenario's.

1# - full ring, folded to you in mid position, you raise 4xbb and get caller on the button.

2# full ring, folded to you in mid position, you raise 4xbb and get caller on the BB.

Lets say were both 100bb's deep, flop is

Qh, 8h, 3d

Discuss.
 
WVHillbilly

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I make my standard cbet in both cases and I'm not afraid to get all-in if our opp. ch/raises or reraises. Our equity is great against most ranges. I wouldn't mind ch/raising myself in the 1st scenario if our read on the button says that he will bet if checked to.

Also on the topic of the OP (which I guess I missed originally) my NSD winnings are positive. I'll post my graph here when I get home tonight.
 
ChuckTs

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Good equity - we want to build the pot to win bigger when we hit
+
Good fold equity - we can fold out better hands
=
bet

And I'm also prepared to get it AI against most opponents.
 
Jagsti

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Also on the topic of the OP (which I guess I missed originally) my NSD winnings are positive. I'll post my graph here when I get home tonight.

WV - I really look forward to that. Please teach me how :D.
 
WVHillbilly

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I use the force to make my opponents fold.
 
zachvac

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Good equity - we want to build the pot to win bigger when we hit
+
Good fold equity - we can fold out better hands
=
bet

And I'm also prepared to get it AI against most opponents.

Depending on how big our draw is, this is usually not the case. When they're like OESF draws, we're beating everything but sets. You really think a set is folding? On these kinds of draws I'm almost always over-betting or just shoving if we're short enough. I know I'm ahead (other than sets, and even there I still have decent equity), and the turn will either kill my action or lower my equity by a lot. If we get a fold we're usually picking up a pot more than the equity of the bigger pot we would have gotten (basically I'm saying villain probably had pot odds to call our shove or get it all in on the flop since he probably wasn't that huge of a dog, basically he made a mistake, which gives us profit).

The only problem with this is that if I am against an observant opponent they know exactly what I have in these situations (munchers called my shove with 44, an underpair to the board). So to make up for this we need to do this with hands like sets as well. So I like to take the overbet/shove if short enough line with sets as well as big combo draws. That line with a set helps as well giving them worse odds with a flush draw or something (when our equity is big) and gets money in the pots with the combo draws (when our equity is big). See the pattern? ;)

And there's no real way to beat this, other than that it gives opponents the information that when we overbet, their top pair is no good. Fortunately to most good opponents they know this is the case anyway and we weren't getting value if we hit and they weren't stacking to our set. And against bad opponents who over-value hands, it really doesn't matter they'll see top pair, go crazy, and either call the shove or shove to us.
 
ChuckTs

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Really not getting your points tbh zach,

Depending on how big our draw is, this is usually not the case. When they're like OESF draws, we're beating everything but sets. You really think a set is folding?

err there are plenty of other hands in his range aside from sets :/ Of course sets aren't folding, but we get folds from plenty of other hands better than ours, ie we have fold equity.


On these kinds of draws I'm almost always over-betting or just shoving if we're short enough. I know I'm ahead (other than sets, and even there I still have decent equity), and the turn will either kill my action or lower my equity by a lot. If we get a fold we're usually picking up a pot more than the equity of the bigger pot we would have gotten (basically I'm saying villain probably had pot odds to call our shove or get it all in on the flop since he probably wasn't that huge of a dog, basically he made a mistake, which gives us profit).

The only problem with this is that if I am against an observant opponent they know exactly what I have in these situations (munchers called my shove with 44, an underpair to the board). So to make up for this we need to do this with hands like sets as well. So I like to take the overbet/shove if short enough line with sets as well as big combo draws. That line with a set helps as well giving them worse odds with a flush draw or something (when our equity is big) and gets money in the pots with the combo draws (when our equity is big). See the pattern? ;)

And there's no real way to beat this, other than that it gives opponents the information that when we overbet, their top pair is no good. Fortunately to most good opponents they know this is the case anyway and we weren't getting value if we hit and they weren't stacking to our set. And against bad opponents who over-value hands, it really doesn't matter they'll see top pair, go crazy, and either call the shove or shove to us.

Why bother overbetting? That means you're narrowing your range of hands when you overbet to sets and big combo draws, and narrowing your range is never good. Just bet it as well as sets the same size that you would every other hand you're c-betting.

Of course when you get to the 3-bet or shove part of the hand, your range gets narrowed to sets and combo draws anyways, but I don't see the purpose of narrowing your range earlier in the hand.

Just bet your standard c-bet size and take it from there.
 
SavagePenguin

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The stuff you've posted on double-barreling, which is something I pretty much never did without A/A or K/K, has really improved my game.
I tried to read the article but I get "All articles older than 30 days have been made temporarily unavailable. This article will be available again soon as premium content."

NSD winnings... are those winnings without a showdown ("No Show Down?)? Because I think I'm positive in that regard (40k hands) and just assumed that everyone else was. Maybe just another anomaly to go along with my SB winnings? I posted a PM to Zach to look at my data, as I might be totally misinterpreting everything and want to make sure I'm not a (complete) idiot before posting any details.
 
WVHillbilly

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The stuff you've posted on double-barreling, which is something I pretty much never did without A/A or K/K, has really improved my game.
I tried to read the article but I get "All articles older than 30 days have been made temporarily unavailable. This article will be available again soon as premium content."

NSD winnings... are those winnings without a showdown ("No Show Down?)? Because I think I'm positive in that regard (40k hands) and just assumed that everyone else was. Maybe just another anomaly to go along with my SB winnings? I posted a PM to Zach to look at my data, as I might be totally misinterpreting everything and want to make sure I'm not a (complete) idiot before posting any details.

If you're using PT3 there is a standard graph that shows NSD, SD, and total winnings. If not I think you need PokerEV to generate that graph.
 
zachvac

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Really not getting your points tbh zach,



err there are plenty of other hands in his range aside from sets :/ Of course sets aren't folding, but we get folds from plenty of other hands better than ours, ie we have fold equity.
If we have a big combo draw like an OESFD we are AHEAD of everything but sets. At this point our hand is better than all pairs, and we're not getting sets to fold. We're probably not getting 2 pairs to fold either. So please give me a list of hands that would fold to our bet that is better than ours. I can't find a single one, since without sets and 2-pair, we currently have the best hand.



Why bother overbetting? That means you're narrowing your range of hands when you overbet to sets and big combo draws, and narrowing your range is never good. Just bet it as well as sets the same size that you would every other hand you're c-betting.
1. Mostly because most players currently aren't that observant
2. You say narrowing your range is never good, but look at it from the other side. If you can narrow my range down to sets/combo draws, how do you handle this? What advantage do you gain? I look at it similar to not cbetting marginal hands. When we cbet it's usually a good hand (top pair or better) or a bad hand (usually no pair, under pair, maybe bottom pair). So our opponent can narrow our range down, but that doesn't help him. He knows we have a very good or a very bad hand. Against one you want to fold, other you want to call/raise. Although I'll admit this is somewhat different because they know they're either slightly behind or way behind (or they have a set, in which case it's set over set or else we're behind like 60/40), and they should fold most of the time. I guess the reason I do it is because I still get calls from hands like top pair/overpairs which as mentioned I'm either slightly ahead of or way ahead of. Maybe this is something I'll have to consider changing as I move up and get to more observant opponents.

Of course when you get to the 3-bet or shove part of the hand, your range gets narrowed to sets and combo draws anyways, but I don't see the purpose of narrowing your range earlier in the hand.

Just bet your standard c-bet size and take it from there.


Again, we need to look at what the narrower range can be used for. What's our opponent going to do to exploit that? If the answer is nothing, it's not a problem. What line would you take against an opponent like that with certain hands? The correct play would be to fold all but the sets right? Hell even bottom set may be unprofitable in that situation because they're only slightly ahead when we have a combo draw and drawing to 1 out (and we have a 1 out redraw if he hits) if we have a higher set.

And although folding out top pair type hands isn't great, since we just got a worse hand to fold, the problem comes in that most likely he's going to value bet the turn, especially if we're oop, if we miss it since the flush draw at least is visible, and if we do end up hitting we're not getting his stack. So although it's not very profitable in neutral terms, I still think this shove move may be the best ev move overall, because I'm pretty sure the flat call or getting in an extra bet on the flop is -ev because of the betting round on the turn.
 
BelgoSuisse

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It concerns non-showdown winnings. Now I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of folk in here who are serious losers in NSD winnings.

I guess your discussion does not really apply to the lowest stakes, but at 10NL, I have +2.5 BB/100 of non-showdown winnings. It's only over 6000 hands, but that's all I have at 10NL since I decided to move from SNGs to cash games.

At 25NL I'm about break-even at non showdown winnings, though, but the sample size is even smaller.
 
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