Blog crosspost: NL Lesson #1 - I Have Fold Equity

F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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I haven't made blog crossposts for awhile, because generally speaking I don't think they're needed. Those who are interested in the blog read it and those who aren't don't have to. The reason I made crossposts early on was to remind those with short attention spans of the blog's existence, but hopefully we're past that by now.

However!

Today I'm making a brief comeback to the crosspost arena, because I'm looking for feedback, and people tend to respond more generously in the forums than in the comments section of the blog. So:

[dead link]BD2

I decided two days ago that I'd start playing NL more seriously, and I've also decided to make regular updates on the blog about the major differences I notice between limit and no-limit games. It's sort of a track list of stuff I learn, I suppose you could say.

Comments and input on the blog post linked above are more than welcome! Am I correct in my assessment? Am I overestimating how likely it is that people fold the flop to a half-pot or pot-sized bet? Etc.
 
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ChuckTs

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I completely agree with you.
That's the key to 'aggressive playing' - you're the aggressor, and basically you're taking down all those pots where people haven't hit. Sure, most of the time you haven't hit either, but your opponents can't call down an ace-rag high in your example unless they are REALLY ballsy.

I agree with your assessment aswell (based on my experiences). Continuation bets of 1/2pot size to full pot size are very effective. One thing to keep in mind though, is how much you do this. Your opponents, if observant enough, will catch on and pull some check-call, check-raise type stuff on you if you're not careful, and that turn card second-bullet C-bet can be really costly sometimes. He'll also start to value second pair-type strength hands more, so that's definitely something to keep in mind (value bets aswell as cautious bluffing).
I found this out the hard way - lost a big chunk of my BR thinking that the C-bet would work more often than it did. You have to pick your spots and make sure you're doing this to the right opponents.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Thanks, Chuck - good advice.

Do you play shorthanded tables? If so, what's your VP$IP there? Is preflop open-limping as much of a no-no in NL as it is in limit?
 
ChuckTs

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I do play 6-handed, and usually (unless you have a really passive table), limping is a no-no. In my eyes, it's all about dominating the table @ 6-handed ring games - all board representation, as usually neither of you hit, so basically the most aggressive player wins the hand.
It's also great because when you really do hit a hand (say a set), top pair will pay you off for most or all of his stack.
As for VP$IP - i have no idea...still in the process of getting PT (i still don't even know all the terms yet :eek:)
 
Effexor

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Good article but I disagree with one point:

4. Someone did hit a pair or has an ace, but (incorrectly) fold to my flop bet and I take the pot down.

Someone playing say Ax suited in the BB, very well may have called the PF raise getting more than 4-1 pot odds, that isn't unreasonable. But calling a bet after the flop with no real flush other than runner runner maybe, or trying for an Ace with a bad kicker is a terrible play. Also if they had hit bottom pair, or middle pair it's also not unreasonable to check / fold. Same with if they had small pocket pair, like 5's. It's good +EV to call from the SB. You may lose a lot of small pots, but when it hits you can get paid off big.

In this situation you were the PF better, so people will be wary of what you have, and unless they hit the flop with a good hand expect people to check to the better.

My point is the statement that the folds are incorrect is wrong in my opinion.
 
ChuckTs

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I think what Fredrik means by calling incorrectly, is that the PF raiser is probably betting with nothing, and getting the player who is actually ahead (say he has a small pocket pair, or paired his x from an Ax hand) to fold the better hand.
I agree with you though, i would hardly ever call down a small pair in a cash game if someone is putting heat on me with overcards on the board, and it probably is an 'incorrect' play in the long run, but fredrik means it is incorrect because he is folding the better hand.
 
ChuckTs

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p.s. to Freddy:
Just wanted to know that i check up on the blogs every chance i get - they are not forgotten, my swedish friend! :)
I'm sure that plenty of other people read the blog regularly too, but probably don't really know where to comment on it, and are too lazy to make their own comment thread
didn't know there was a comment option (as i'm sure most didn't either), i'll start using that more often - some great blog posts in there, fredrik :D
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Effexor said:
Good article but I disagree with one point:

4. Someone did hit a pair or has an ace, but (incorrectly) fold to my flop bet and I take the pot down.

Someone playing say Ax suited in the BB, very well may have called the PF raise getting more than 4-1 pot odds, that isn't unreasonable. But calling a bet after the flop with no real flush other than runner runner maybe, or trying for an Ace with a bad kicker is a terrible play. Also if they had hit bottom pair, or middle pair it's also not unreasonable to check / fold. Same with if they had small pocket pair, like 5's. It's good +EV to call from the SB. You may lose a lot of small pots, but when it hits you can get paid off big.

In this situation you were the PF better, so people will be wary of what you have, and unless they hit the flop with a good hand expect people to check to the better.

My point is the statement that the folds are incorrect is wrong in my opinion.
When I say that he folds "incorrectly" I refer to the Sklansky definition of incorrect: He plays the hand differently than he would have if he knew what I had. Anyone with an ace in their hand has a better hand than me on that flop, and is therefore wrong to fold.

If I were in the BB with a naked ace, I'd fold to a flop bet, too - it's the correct play if you're not sure what the other guy has. But that's my point: By betting the flop I make a better hand fold, which is as good as, and sometimes even better than, getting a worse hand to fold.
 
Alon Ipser

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I am going to have to disagree here. I think at the limits you are starting off at , FP, you can't get too complicated in strategy. Your strategy works for Chuck because he playing at limits where players usually understand what a pot sized bet means. At the lower limits I think you need to stay solid and keep it simple.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Alon Ipser said:
I am going to have to disagree here. I think at the limits you are starting off at , FP, you can't get too complicated in strategy. Your strategy works for Chuck because he playing at limits where players usually understand what a pot sized bet means. At the lower limits I think you need to stay solid and keep it simple.
Well, it depends on what you read into it; all I'm really noticing is that people tend to fold more often on the flop (in the face of a continuation bet) than they normally would in limit. Of course, this is presuming that they haven't hit the flop in any way, shape or form, but often they don't.

But point taken - and also experienced - at the micro levels of NL, trying to pull more complex maneuvers is probably not as profitable. Still, I think continuation betting with a K-high hand may be good, as it may fold hands that are weak, but technically beat you.
 
ChuckTs

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What stakes are you playing at for NL, FP?
I agree with you, AI, to an extent - people will chase just about anything at the micros, but where is the drawing line?
I mean there are still donkeys at the 1/2 that i play that will chase a flush draw for all their chips, and i'm sure there are donkeys at 10/20 aswell.
ex:https://www.cardschat.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=901&d=1149358270
(^^^i know he had a bunch of outs, but he had no business calling the even the flop bet, and all in on the turn card while still drawing is never a good play)
Overall it is definitely a +EV play, making your opponent fold the best hand, even if it is less likely to happen at the micros (where it still works, but just not as well IMO)
All you have to be careful of is when you get called - you have to reassess the situation, decide whether he's drawing (alot of the time i'll fire out a second bullet if he's passive enough) or if he really has a hand, and decide how much he's willing to call; at the micros you probably won't be able to push someone off of 2nd pair unless they're fairly passive and you put out a real strong bet.
As for a comparison between NLH and LHE, continuation bets definitely work best at NL.

EDIT:
At the lower limits I think you need to stay solid and keep it simple.
This is key, though.
The more complex you get with simple players, the less you'll profit. I know you know this FP, but the simpler the player you're up against, the simpler you should make your play.
 
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Lo-Dog

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With my tiny BR I am only playing 10c\25c NLHE and continuation bets work quite well even at that level. Of course you can have people that will call all the time, but for the most part I take down many pots when I am the bettor and make a continuation bet on the flop when I have missed it completely.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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As a sidenote, an opponent's willingness to "peel loosely on the flop" is one of the first things I try to look for when picking up reads on players in limit. Great help in narrowing down ranges on players; so I tend to seek out that information in NL as well.
 
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