Jordan's Learning Achievements

JordanH

JordanH

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Hi boys and girls! I came across this section of Cardschat and immediately thought that's for me! Something to help me keep my learning goals on track.

This will be where I'll record all my poker learning experiences. I don't win very often so I won't both recording those, yet.

I hope this works. I'm really excited to see where it takes me and most importantly whether it helps with my game!
 
JordanH

JordanH

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Why Poker Starting Range Charts are Garbage

Okay, so here goes. My first real poker learning activity since joining Cardschat. Just a reminder, these are only my notes. I'm not trying to teach anything, but I'm more than happy to discuss my interpretations of the learning materials that I mention here.

I was picking through the different Cardschat sections, reading the stickies when I came across "Ask Evan Jarvis Anything About Learning Poker!" I want to improve my game so I read deeper. Evan had a link to his YouTube site "Gripsed Poker Training".

I don't remember exactly how or why, but I found one particular video that I ended up watching "Why Poker Starting Range Charts are Garbage | How to Move Beyond Them" by Alex Fitzgerald aka Assassinato. Maybe it was the cute name, ha ha!


Alex's big points seemed to be that most of us (95%) are losing players because we don't pay enough attention to our pre-flop game. "The open is everything." We let ourselves get drawn into flat-calling bets out of position, miss the flop, and then get bluffed out of the hand.

He asks how often do you do this till you get to the point where you HAVE to play and win a flip in order to stay alive? I thought, HEY that's me! The answer is "all the time!"

Getting heads-up with the big blind after getting him or her to call a 3.1X bet or better is a big money maker! How many of us think we NEED to defend the big blind? They're the targets. He wants them to put a ton of money in the middle with too many hands so he can steal it later.

But he also makes the point that most of us don't really vary our play. If you answer a question like "How often do you open with this hand (pick a hand)? 40% or 60% or some set percentage of the time, you're probably lying to yourself. Most of us really open that hand (whatever hand it may be) either all the time or none of the time. The answer SHOULD be "you open here with this hand if it's unlikely you're going to get 3-bet. That's it." Hence the title, "Poker Starting Range Charts are Garbage". Monsters aside I guess.

He mentions GTO play and points out that only really works with very good players at very high stakes. That's not me and it's probably not you.

Anyway that video so fascinated me that I'm going to watch the other two in the same playlist today.
 
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Martin

Martin

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Hi Jordan I moved this thread to learning poker, we have an amazing learnign poker course which is easy to follow with some great advice for new and old players, please check it out when you have time CardsChat Has a New ebook/Training Course!

Good luck hope to see you at the tables soon!
 
terryk

terryk

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Hey Jordan! :wavey: Welcome to CC and i wish you well on your poker journey,,, :beer:
 
JordanH

JordanH

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Hi Jordan I moved this thread to learning poker, we have an amazing learnign poker course which is easy to follow with some great advice for new and old players, please check it out when you have time CardsChat Has a New ebook/Training Course!

Good luck hope to see you at the tables soon!
Thank-you Martin! This definitely seems a more appropriate place for my thread.

I completed the 2nd and 3rd videos in the playlist. All very highly recommended!

Alex really stresses the importance of raising and 3-betting "in position" when you're not likely to get 3-bet or 4-bet back. Maybe you hit, probably you don't. But you have the advantage of momentum, not sure that's the right word, so with the right flop you can bluff villain out of the hand. And of course being in position puts you in the driver's seat, a very comfortable place to be. :) vroom :) vroom :)

I particularly like his statement that "no one flats 3-bets out of position profitability." Maybe 5% make a profit doing that.

Lots more to add, but he does a much better job of explaining it than I can.

I've now moved on to his free ($60 value) 4 hour "You flat too much" video.

Once I'm finished with Alex's site I plan to head back to Evan's YouTube page for more!
 
JordanH

JordanH

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Tournament Observations

I've been playing a lot of tournaments lately and have noticed a few things.

1) Many hands get to showdown that probably never should have been played in the first place.
2) Calling any kind of shove at any point is usually a bad idea. Not that the shover necessarily has a better hand. It just becomes a coin toss once the post flop skill of the players is removed from the equation.
3) Most hands that aren't all-in pre-flop are won or lost without ever seeing the winner's cards. So, a lot of flops that are unlikely to have hit either/any player's hand almost certainly didn't. Whoever tells the best story is going to be the winner most of the time. That story doesn't have to be true, just sort of believable.
4) Most players telegraph their really strong hands. It's almost like the cards are being played face up sometimes. The difficulty usually is that even though you know what the other player has you still have to decide whether or not to risk your tournament life on a draw. This is where the REAL skill comes into play! Some players can be bet off top pair, most cannot be bet off any pair. The trick is knowing who's who.
5) Speaking of draws, many, many players really overvalue flush draws, like a LOT! This includes suited connectors but a lot of players don't really care about connectivity, just suitedness.
6) Many, many players overvalue small Ax hands.
7) Many, many players overvalue pairs. Not the AA, KK kind, but the 77, 88 kind.

Just my observations.
 
Vilgeoforc

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I've been playing a lot of tournaments lately and have noticed a few things.

1) Many hands get to showdown that probably never should have been played in the first place.
2) Calling any kind of shove at any point is usually a bad idea. Not that the shover necessarily has a better hand. It just becomes a coin toss once the post flop skill of the players is removed from the equation.
3) Most hands that aren't all-in pre-flop are won or lost without ever seeing the winner's cards. So, a lot of flops that are unlikely to have hit either/any player's hand almost certainly didn't. Whoever tells the best story is going to be the winner most of the time. That story doesn't have to be true, just sort of believable.
4) Most players telegraph their really strong hands. It's almost like the cards are being played face up sometimes. The difficulty usually is that even though you know what the other player has you still have to decide whether or not to risk your tournament life on a draw. This is where the REAL skill comes into play! Some players can be bet off top pair, most cannot be bet off any pair. The trick is knowing who's who.
5) Speaking of draws, many, many players really overvalue flush draws, like a LOT! This includes suited connectors but a lot of players don't really care about connectivity, just suitedness.
6) Many, many players overvalue small Ax hands.
7) Many, many players overvalue pairs. Not the AA, KK kind, but the 77, 88 kind.

Just my observations.
All seven statements are correct. And yes, many people overestimate their pocket pairs. And AA, KK as well.
 
B

badluckbox

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I've been playing a lot of tournaments lately and have noticed a few things.

1) Many hands get to showdown that probably never should have been played in the first place.
2) Calling any kind of shove at any point is usually a bad idea. Not that the shover necessarily has a better hand. It just becomes a coin toss once the post flop skill of the players is removed from the equation.
3) Most hands that aren't all-in pre-flop are won or lost without ever seeing the winner's cards. So, a lot of flops that are unlikely to have hit either/any player's hand almost certainly didn't. Whoever tells the best story is going to be the winner most of the time. That story doesn't have to be true, just sort of believable.
4) Most players telegraph their really strong hands. It's almost like the cards are being played face up sometimes. The difficulty usually is that even though you know what the other player has you still have to decide whether or not to risk your tournament life on a draw. This is where the REAL skill comes into play! Some players can be bet off top pair, most cannot be bet off any pair. The trick is knowing who's who.
5) Speaking of draws, many, many players really overvalue flush draws, like a LOT! This includes suited connectors but a lot of players don't really care about connectivity, just suitedness.
6) Many, many players overvalue small Ax hands.
7) Many, many players overvalue pairs. Not the AA, KK kind, but the 77, 88 kind.

Just my observations.
These are just my observations for a mediocre microstakes player. I'm always looking to learn and improve and I'm sure some of my thoughts, views, observations, etc could be a bit off. If so, hopefully more knowledgeable members can correct me.

1) This is a good thing as it shows what players are willing to call down light or even lead out light. In the micros, a lot of bad players are willing to get to the river with any piece of the board and will only fold if they completely miss. Keep in mind that most bad players aren't playing weak hands or calling raises light just to hit something and fold.

2) It's not a coinflip unless in a a pair vs 2 overs situation. In a specific hand vs hand situation, it's going to be your equity vs opponent's equity. It might seem like it's a toss up because you have no control of the out come, but the hand with the higher equity is winning more often in the long run. On top of that, it's important to look at your hand vs your opponent shoving range as they're not just shoving a specific hand and the question you have to ask is 'does your hand give you an edge over their range?' Lets say you have JJ on the big blind, btn open jams for 10 big blinds, and you think they're open jamming 20% of hands in this position. JJ has 65% equity against this range, so you'll be winning 65% of time. 35% of the time you'll lose to a worse hand or you'll run into a better pair and that can be expected because it's all within the range of hands they're playing and the preflop equity. What if they only shove 5% of hands? Then you're breakeven with a call and this might not be a spot where you feel like you should call. What if you have 18 bbs and you're on the final table bubble and there is a player with only 1 bb. Do you want to risk more than 50% of stack on a breakeven spot with an opponent who is jamming QQ+ as easily as are 1010? You wouldn't snap call 55 in this spot because your equity would be way below their shoving range. So, there is some skill involved with calling all-ins. Some bad players might not show that because they're not thinking in terms of ranges. They might see suited ace or 10J and think it's good but, if you want to be a better player, you have to think about these things.

3) True. 2/3 times you completely miss the flop and so does your opponent. The person that is the aggressor will often have the advantage because aggression gives you 2 chances win: opponent folds or you have the best hand in the end.

4) Exactly. Just by simply observing the table and paying attention, you can tell who hasn't been active in a hand and if you've seen then fold 4 or 5 rotations and they suddenly open up with a raise, they probably have something. I see this all the time: when a super short stack, say 5 bbs, get a big hand, they always try to trap with it. They'll min raise instead of jamming and 99% of the time it's KK+. Thi is even more evident if you've observed them open jamming with a bigger stack like 8 bbs in which they're probably jamming their smaller pairs, mediocre aces, and KJ+ suited.

5) Suited hands are pretty to look at. I completely agree and this is going to be the opponents you should note as they're going to pay you off in the long run.

6) I think this depends on the situation. Yes, I've seen players over value weak suited aces in multiway flops with lots of pre-flop action. And I guess it's bad unless maybe stacks are super deep. I don't know, not going to get too into it. If someone is calling down with a weak ace when they paired the flop, yeah, they're over valuing and this ties in with #1. At the same time, lets say it's a heads up situation where btn opens and bb calls with A3. Is this over valuing a weak ace? Not necessarily. A3 is probably doing decently against an opening range from the btn and you have an ace blocker. But this will all depend on your opponent, stack size, raise size, etc.

7) I agree there are players just can't fold their pairs and, again, some players don't play poker to get dealt a pair and just fold. They've probably flopped trips a few times and busted out big pairs before, so it's going to happen again eventually, right? These are players that pay you off when you have better and there is skill in being able to fold weaker hands depending on the situation. Obviously it sucks when you fold and hit, but that is what separates you from the weaker players. The weak player mentality is: 'If I fold and I hit, it's a bad fold. If I fold and I hit, it's a good fold.' and then they're convince themselves to always over play their weak pairs because they don't want to risk another 'bad fold'.

Now, with all that said, there are times where you just need to go for it and hope for the best. If you have 20-30 bbs with 55 and there is a raise, 3bet, jam, cold-call before it gets to you and you don't the think the original raiser and/or 3better is going to fold, then it's an easy fold, regardless of results. But what if you only have 5 bbs and you're 98/100 players remaining, 50 players make the money. This is a spot to call. If you lose, you're out in 100th place, no biggie. You win, you pick up 25+ bbs. Is it over valuing your pair? No, you don't have a lot of options and this is a great chance at an opportunity to finish better in the tournament. Look at the risk vs reward.

Keep up with your observations.
 
L

LetterRip

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I've been playing a lot of tournaments lately and have noticed a few things.

1) Many hands get to showdown that probably never should have been played in the first place.
2) Calling any kind of shove at any point is usually a bad idea. Not that the shover necessarily has a better hand. It just becomes a coin toss once the post flop skill of the players is removed from the equation.
3) Most hands that aren't all-in pre-flop are won or lost without ever seeing the winner's cards. So, a lot of flops that are unlikely to have hit either/any player's hand almost certainly didn't. Whoever tells the best story is going to be the winner most of the time. That story doesn't have to be true, just sort of believable.
4) Most players telegraph their really strong hands. It's almost like the cards are being played face up sometimes. The difficulty usually is that even though you know what the other player has you still have to decide whether or not to risk your tournament life on a draw. This is where the REAL skill comes into play! Some players can be bet off top pair, most cannot be bet off any pair. The trick is knowing who's who.
5) Speaking of draws, many, many players really overvalue flush draws, like a LOT! This includes suited connectors but a lot of players don't really care about connectivity, just suitedness.
6) Many, many players overvalue small Ax hands.
7) Many, many players overvalue pairs. Not the AA, KK kind, but the 77, 88 kind.

Just my observations.


If you read "Poker Tournament Formula" by Snyder - he does player classification that is similar to these observations (5, 6) for small stakes tournaments.

Ace masters - play any hand with an ace and overvalue TPWK when they hit their ace.
Flush masters - play any suited hand and will call down light to hit their draws and will be readily all in with a dominated flush draw or flush.
Straight masters - play most connected and gapped hands and will call down light to hit their straight and be all in with a dominated straight.

I agree with most of your observations, but a few exceptions,

2) Calling any kind of shove at any point is usually a bad idea. Not that the shover necessarily has a better hand. It just becomes a coin toss once the post flop skill of the players is removed from the equation.

With no read - maybe. There are many shoves that I expect to be so far ahead of that a call is definitely correct and villain usually has about 12-20% equity. There are a lot of players that shove with a dominated TP, or even 2nd pair. There are lots of players who shove dominated flush draws. There are lots of players that shove GSDs. There are a few maniacs who shove anything if they think you are weak

Many, many players overvalue pairs. Not the AA, KK kind, but the 77, 88 kind.
Many players drastically overvalue AA/KK as well. A tight raiser UTG is quite often AA/KK, AK that is perfect to call against IP to stack them when we hit two pair or a set.

3) Most hands that aren't all-in pre-flop are won or lost without ever seeing the winner's cards. So, a lot of flops that are unlikely to have hit either/any player's hand almost certainly didn't. Whoever tells the best story is going to be the winner most of the time. That story doesn't have to be true, just sort of believable.
Yep - this is bluffing 101 - have a betting pattern that can represent a plausible hand.

Some players can be bet off top pair, most cannot be bet off any pair. The trick is knowing who's who.
Yep - this is hand reading 101. Nits might fold top pair, calling stations might not even fold bottom pair. Good players will call you down with bottom pair if you have been bluffing too much; and fold TP when you bet strong and haven't been bluffing enough.
 
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