Playing Unpredictably (Day 22 Course Discussion)

Debi

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You should be Playing Unpredictably against solid players - you really don't need to do this agains weak players who are likely not paying enough attention to how you play.

If you have not yet read Day 22 and watched the video for Day 22 - take a few minutes now to do that and then come back here to discuss it:

Playing Unpredictably

I love the definition that Collin gives for blockers - "Cards you hold that are significant ONLY because your opponents can't be holding onto them." Let's dicuss unpredictable play with Collin and Katie here in this thread.

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Polytarp

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This will be a money maker/leak stopper if I can master the points in this video, especially the bluff catching. When playing snooker, I would look at the possibilities of making my best shot as well as balancing the value of creating the worst shot for my opponent and this goes to the offense/defense "blocker" considerations. Some good (and older) poker players I knew were also champion snooker players.
In the example game w/ 2AK with you holding the A8, you hit the last card which gave you the win. If I were the donk bettor I would probably have entered here only with suited cards or unsuited mid-high connectors as my worst cards. In today's PStars spin free roll, I was literally seeing "stars" because of one player who kept hitting his out on the river, counterfeiting me or the board made the best hand despite my leading all the way. This made me wonder why the player was in these hands to begin with.. I made it into the "cash" only because I tempered my aggressive (assertive?) play by checking more and was able to rebuild my decimated stack several times with some chancy all-ins and bluffs.
The only practice poker software I ever used was Wilson Software "Side-Winder Sid" and they have been out of business for years. Is there a simulator and/or game playing software that can highlight bluff making/catching situations? Years ago (again) I would read the papers published by the University of Alberta Poker Research Group (Darse Billings..etc..). They have since changed their name and evolved but along these lines is there affordable poker AI software that can be played against and can learn? [Pluribus/Libratus...?]
 

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acidburnfx

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Interesting concepts talking about that it depends on your opponents and i was thinking about a counterpoint of who is on the other side doing the live broadcast on television and/or the internet (as a presenter/commentator) and how everything seems to be easier in a certain way, showing what would be the best way to make your decision.
 
Debi

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This will be a money maker/leak stopper if I can master the points in this video, especially the bluff catching. When playing snooker, I would look at the possibilities of making my best shot as well as balancing the value of creating the worst shot for my opponent and this goes to the offense/defense "blocker" considerations. Some good (and older) poker players I knew were also champion snooker players.
In the example game w/ 2AK with you holding the A8, you hit the last card which gave you the win. If I were the donk bettor I would probably have entered here only with suited cards or unsuited mid-high connectors as my worst cards. In today's PStars spin free roll, I was literally seeing "stars" because of one player who kept hitting his out on the river, counterfeiting me or the board made the best hand despite my leading all the way. This made me wonder why the player was in these hands to begin with.. I made it into the "cash" only because I tempered my aggressive (assertive?) play by checking more and was able to rebuild my decimated stack several times with some chancy all-ins and bluffs.
The only practice poker software I ever used was Wilson Software "Side-Winder Sid" and they have been out of business for years. Is there a simulator and/or game playing software that can highlight bluff making/catching situations? Years ago (again) I would read the papers published by the University of Alberta Poker Research Group (Darse Billings..etc..). They have since changed their name and evolved but along these lines is there affordable poker AI software that can be played against and can learn? [Pluribus/Libratus...?]

Nice analogy on the snooker - I play pool too. As a matter of fact I had a fun night playing with Collin, Katie and a few friends one time years ago!
 
Collin Moshman

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Acidburn, that's a good way to look at it.

Poly, I'd recommend checking out Poker Snowie for those types of situations.
I remember that night well Debi, it was a lot of fun!
 
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What I like about playing unpredictably is that it makes poker tracking software useless. I imagine players shocked when they watch statistics.
 
Collin Moshman

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Cheeeer this absolutely is helpful for making opponents get confused, that's a great point. Tracking software can still be useful against unpredictable opponents, for example in knowing that they play a lot of hands, but it only goes so far just like you're saying.
 
azforlife

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This is one of the reasons why I usually employ the turn shove for value & occasionally, as a bluff.
The fact is that your strategy will always be evident in your playing style & you shouldn't deviate too much from it to show the opps that you're the superior player or you'll fall into fancy playing syndrome
 
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Tracking software can still be useful against unpredictable opponents, for example in knowing that they play a lot of hands, but it only goes so far just like you're saying.
Can we know more details? Um, yeah I thought maybe to analyze size of bets.
 
topcatbrazil

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Perhaps they could put sometime between the moment they give the quiz and the moment they give the answer. That way people could see if they got it quickly enough.
 
Collin Moshman

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Can we know more details? Um, yeah I thought maybe to analyze size of bets.

Yes, I mean that if someone does something like overbet shove many times the pot with a stone bluff on the first hand of a cash game session, your HUD might read 100/0/0 (VPIP/PFR/3bet) whereas observation would tell you much more than this.

Perhaps they could put sometime between the moment they give the quiz and the moment they give the answer. That way people could see if they got it quickly enough.

Thanks for this feedback. You can pause the video, but I think you're right we should have made it easier for people by inserting a longer pause -- sorry about that!
 
cferdi

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As usual, another great lesson. And I can see the value of it when I think back to some of the hands I've played where I've 3Bet what I suspect are reg's or have notes that they are at least decent. Those that have noticed my play as tight in a tourney, for example (as it usually is early on beause of the types I am playing these days), will fold to my reraise, even seemingly reluctantly fold to my raise (if their hesitation means anything). But it doesn't work against the myriad of loose maniacs or calling stations, of course.

But something to seriously consider actually planning to use in future.:idea:
 
mt2lhd

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I think many players will predict your play style due to your table image, as an online player never found a solid way for exploiting my table image for being unpredictable, what is your advice for this pit?
 
Collin Moshman

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Mt2, exploiting your image is a very good idea. The best way is just to act counter to what your opponents likely believe. For example, if you've been very tight your first 3 orbits at the table because you're card-dead, then more actively looking for light 3-bet spots because you'll get more credit.
 
Phoenix Wright

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Solid explanation into which hands are good light 3-bet candidates. I knew to mix up my range before, but I think sometimes I was 3-betting a bit too much with hands without much post-flop potential. There is a point in that we are inducing a fold, but it is no guarantee that we'll get it and we don't want a junk hand into a pot we just built up.
 
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Day 22- Playing Unpredictably

I'm going from tight to aggressive player during this course and in fact I'm already unpredictable too much ahahaha:D:D:D

The problem I turned a little looser because I also started to think that almost everything is bluff or semi-bluff, or second pairs while I have the first.

Well, I really have to use these mini raises very rarely because I don't know how to use them (either I make bigger raises or everyone pays and then I fold or I want to make a bigger raise to keep the villains out and I do badly).
 
Luvart

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Finished Days #21+22.

The Day #22 is one of the most interesting chapters of this course.

I liked the way the concept of unpredictability was explained, and I studied again the concept of "light 3betting". At the micros a solid ABC strategy, coupled with good bankroll management and emotional control is enough to, at least, not being a breakeven poker player.

From there begins the experiment and the tricky play.

I takes some practice too.

Tomorrow with Day #23.
 
Collin Moshman

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Finished Days #21+22.

The Day #22 is one of the most interesting chapters of this course.

I liked the way the concept of unpredictability was explained, and I studied again the concept of "light 3betting". At the micros a solid ABC strategy, coupled with good bankroll management and emotional control is enough to, at least, not being a breakeven poker player.

From there begins the experiment and the tricky play.

I takes some practice too.

Tomorrow with Day #23.

Glad you liked it Luvart, and nice work with the progress!
 
redboy23

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Hi CCers,

I agree with the concept of being unpredictable at the table. It is important to note that a seemingly normal play can be unpredictable as well, in a sense that the cards you are holding is disguised in the range and position.

Response to video question:


Not knowing anything about the opponent is never a good spot to get crafty.

Looking at the position, I would say no to it being a good spot to 3-bet since you are first to act on each subsequent round of betting. Q4o not my cup of tea here.

If I had to choose between Q8o and J9 suited for a light C-bet, I would choose Q8 to to do it and limp with J9 suited since it has good draws and I may want to control the pot a little.

A little out of my comfort zone here and look forward to the discussion.
 
PsychoVas

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This will be a money maker/leak stopper if I can master the points in this video, especially the bluff catching. When playing snooker, I would look at the possibilities of making my best shot as well as balancing the value of creating the worst shot for my opponent and this goes to the offense/defense "blocker" considerations. Some good (and older) poker players I knew were also champion snooker players.
In the example game w/ 2AK with you holding the A8, you hit the last card which gave you the win. If I were the donk bettor I would probably have entered here only with suited cards or unsuited mid-high connectors as my worst cards. In today's PStars spin free roll, I was literally seeing "stars" because of one player who kept hitting his out on the river, counterfeiting me or the board made the best hand despite my leading all the way. This made me wonder why the player was in these hands to begin with.. I made it into the "cash" only because I tempered my aggressive (assertive?) play by checking more and was able to rebuild my decimated stack several times with some chancy all-ins and bluffs.
The only practice poker software I ever used was Wilson Software "Side-Winder Sid" and they have been out of business for years. Is there a simulator and/or game playing software that can highlight bluff making/catching situations? Years ago (again) I would read the papers published by the University of Alberta Poker Research Group (Darse Billings..etc..). They have since changed their name and evolved but along these lines is there affordable poker AI software that can be played against and can learn? [Pluribus/Libratus...?]

Nice analogy on the snooker - I play pool too. As a matter of fact I had a fun night playing with Collin, Katie and a few friends one time years ago!

True. A successful pre-flop jam sometimes feels like a potted 9 in an 9-ball game!

As for being unpredictable, appart from being a psycho, I think that most people I play regularly with know I'm a nit. Sometimes I do make the unexpected move, but it rarely clicks...
 
Katie Dozier

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Hi CCers,

I agree with the concept of being unpredictable at the table. It is important to note that a seemingly normal play can be unpredictable as well, in a sense that the cards you are holding is disguised in the range and position.

Response to video question:


Not knowing anything about the opponent is never a good spot to get crafty.

Looking at the position, I would say no to it being a good spot to 3-bet since you are first to act on each subsequent round of betting. Q4o not my cup of tea here.

If I had to choose between Q8o and J9 suited for a light C-bet, I would choose Q8 to to do it and limp with J9 suited since it has good draws and I may want to control the pot a little.

A little out of my comfort zone here and look forward to the discussion.


Great job completing Day 22 and I can relate--Q4o is almost never my cup of tea :D
 
Bozovicdj

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I feel there should have been more talk on the frequency of unpredictable plays. Make them too often and they become predictable = exploitable.

A beginner would have a hard time finding that silver lining and just the right amount of hands to get frisky with.

Also, there should be more mention as to when NOT to do it. I can think of numerous MTT spots where all you stated applies, but is still not a moment where we should re-raise small from SB with 83s
 
freddydr87

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This is key in poker, thats way non off the top player only 3bet or 4bet his premiun hands. They had frequensies off flat calling or just calling a 4bet with AA when every one spect them to 5bet/shove them. No days frequensies is everything, you wanth to make it the hardest tham you can to your oponent, that way you will forse him to make mistakes and there is were the money lais. Maiking humans make humans mistakes. Iff you have a linear strategy with no valance and no frequensies you can make (the leasson 20 readings) it easier to the vilain to narrowing your rangue and take out hands off the ultimate desition call/fold.
 
Andrew Popov

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Interesting topic. Probably at low limits, as well as in tournaments where there are a lot of random players and no one has statistics on opponents - unexpected decisions can be confusing. A good bluff to steal widely.

But in a regular game, one should rather adhere to a clearer strategy, allowing oneself to deviate only occasionally, for in a suitable position and with an interesting hand in the later streets.
 
Debi

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I feel there should have been more talk on the frequency of unpredictable plays. Make them too often and they become predictable = exploitable.

A beginner would have a hard time finding that silver lining and just the right amount of hands to get frisky with.

Also, there should be more mention as to when NOT to do it. I can think of numerous MTT spots where all you stated applies, but is still not a moment where we should re-raise small from SB with 83s


Very good point!
 
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