Playing Unpredictably (Day 22 Course Discussion)

Katie Dozier

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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.
So true that one needs to be willing and able to change gears and simultaneously avoid the common pitfall of overdoing it!
 
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Tux97

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This is a fascinating subject to learn! I feel this is the chapter of the book where I start learning about more advanced topics in poker so thank you for making it so accessible.

In situations like hand 22-1, the big risk of not shoving or betting bigger is the possibility of villain making a stronger hand on later streets but I guess that's just part of the game! Am I correct in understanding that what you meant in the analysis of this hand that sometimes we should indeed shove with AA or 22 to keep villain guessing?

I have a question about the hypothetical situation you mentioned around 7:20 in the video Collin. You said a hand like A9o would not be an ideal candidate for a light 3-bet, but in the book ATo is regarded as such in hand 22-2. Is that because hero is defending the BB in the video?

Also, can limping be added to our 'arsenal' of unpredictable play or should we just adhere to what we learned earlier in the course and almost always bet/raise/fold unless we are defending the blinds or set mining?

Thanks again!
 
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Collin Moshman

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This is a fascinating subject to learn! I feel this is the chapter of the book where I start learning about more advanced topics in poker so thank you for making it so accessible.

In situations like hand 22-1, the big risk of not shoving or betting bigger is the possibility of villain making a stronger hand on later streets but I guess that's just part of the game! Am I correct in understanding that what you meant in the analysis of this hand that sometimes we should indeed shove with AA or 22 to keep villain guessing?

I have a question about the hypothetical situation you mentioned around 7:20 in the video Collin. You said a hand like A9o would not be an ideal candidate for a light 3-bet, but in the book ATo is regarded as such in hand 22-2. Is that because hero is defending the BB in the video?

Also, can limping be added to our 'arsenal' of unpredictable play or should we just adhere to what we learned earlier in the course and almost always bet/raise/fold unless we are defending the blinds or set mining?

Thanks again!

Glad you enjoyed this Day of the course!

I would shove 22 here against almost any opponent. With AA, I would shove against a good player to keep him guessing, exactly like you're saying -- the problem is that a small 3-bet would likely look too strong because I'd only be making that play with monster hands. So it's better to be unpredictable against someone who understands that a small 3-bet here represents a lot of strength.

A9o 3-bet: As a general rule, if you have a hand that is more than strong enough to call a raise, but you wouldn't want your opponent to 4-bet you, then you shouldn't make a light 3-bet. With that A9o, it's not quite strong enough to continue facing a 4-bet against most opponents, but also too strong to want to fold. So it all comes down to the specific for which hands you pick. A9o might make a great light 3-bet if you can easily fold it facing a 4-bet, but blind-vs-blind it's too strong to normally use in that way.

Limping. There are definitely good players who incorporate open-limping (when first in) into their strategy from different positions, but I recommend only doing it from the small blind. Stay aggressive and give yourself a chance to win the pot pre-flop :)

Great questions and I hope this helps!
 
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Tux97

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Glad you enjoyed this Day of the course!

I would shove 22 here against almost any opponent. With AA, I would shove against a good player to keep him guessing, exactly like you're saying -- the problem is that a small 3-bet would likely look too strong because I'd only be making that play with monster hands. So it's better to be unpredictable against someone who understands that a small 3-bet here represents a lot of strength.

A9o 3-bet: As a general rule, if you have a hand that is more than strong enough to call a raise, but you wouldn't want your opponent to 4-bet you, then you shouldn't make a light 3-bet. With that A9o, it's not quite strong enough to continue facing a 4-bet against most opponents, but also too strong to want to fold. So it all comes down to the specific for which hands you pick. A9o might make a great light 3-bet if you can easily fold it facing a 4-bet, but blind-vs-blind it's too strong to normally use in that way.

Limping. There are definitely good players who incorporate open-limping (when first in) into their strategy from different positions, but I recommend only doing it from the small blind. Stay aggressive and give yourself a chance to win the pot pre-flop :)

Great questions and I hope this helps!
Thank you very much Collin for clarifying all that. Much appreciated [emoji106]
 
johnnylawford

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I find this is most important blind vs blind. You can make a lot of profit by having a mixed limping range where your opponent will raise/jam over your small blind limps late in a tournament with weak hands if they think a limp always means weakness.
 
Collin Moshman

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I find this is most important blind vs blind. You can make a lot of profit by having a mixed limping range where your opponent will raise/jam over your small blind limps late in a tournament with weak hands if they think a limp always means weakness.


Definitely, in blind battles vs regs you need to be unpredictable with your SB open-limping range. Strong but playable hands like ATs can make great ones to limp into regs.
 
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fundiver199

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Definitely, in blind battles vs regs you need to be unpredictable with your SB open-limping range. Strong but playable hands like ATs can make great ones to limp into regs.

If I limp from small blind, I typically do it with my entire range, because this is easy and not exploitable. The alternative is to put the strongest hands like JJ+ and AK into your limping range and jam less playable hands like rag aces and small pairs as explained in the course.

I have noticed a tendency among regs on 888 Poker to use very large raise sizes against small blind limps. 4BB, 5BB or even 6BB is common. Personally I dont really get the rationale behind this, because big blind has position, so he dont need to give small blind such bad odds to generate folds.

If the player to my left does this, or if he raise all my limps, then my next limp will be a trap, and there BOOM I am with a limp-reraise. This also tend to shut down that kind of action :D
 
Collin Moshman

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If I limp from small blind, I typically do it with my entire range, because this is easy and not exploitable. The alternative is to put the strongest hands like JJ+ and AK into your limping range and jam less playable hands like rag aces and small pairs as explained in the course.

I have noticed a tendency among regs on 888 Poker to use very large raise sizes against small blind limps. 4BB, 5BB or even 6BB is common. Personally I dont really get the rationale behind this, because big blind has position, so he dont need to give small blind such bad odds to generate folds.

If the player to my left does this, or if he raise all my limps, then my next limp will be a trap, and there BOOM I am with a limp-reraise. This also tend to shut down that kind of action :D

Open-limping 100% of your VPIP range from the small blind definitely qualifies as unpredictable, and I agree that raising 5+bb to attack a SB limp from the BB doesn't make a lot of sense :D

Nothing more satisfying than limp-raising an over-aggro opponent!
 
Good Man

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To make it harder for the OPPS to adapt to me, they will have to change their style of play from time to time. This is done when other players are used to my style and try to counteract it. And at the moment when I finally confused one of our opponents, there is one less oppa at the table — now he will only play against me with monsters.
As in any business, creating an unpredictable image will require some investment. At the same time, it is very important not to play too much and calculate how many chips I can afford to lose, so that this does not affect my overall standings.

I convince the opponent that I am a loser by playing a couple of garbage hands at the very beginning, or I will play a few times in a HA call on the preflop, look at the actions of our oppa and prepare a trap for him — there are a lot of options.

Creating an unpredictable image at the table is not easy, but it is profitable. Experienced players can imagine how to play against tight, autocollers, loose and nits, but how to play against someone whose style of play can not be classified?

I think that a good poker player always adheres to certain rules, and the ideal player comes up with and plays according to their own!




Life is a game , play beautiful
 
Collin Moshman

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To make it harder for the OPPS to adapt to me, they will have to change their style of play from time to time. This is done when other players are used to my style and try to counteract it. And at the moment when I finally confused one of our opponents, there is one less oppa at the table — now he will only play against me with monsters.
As in any business, creating an unpredictable image will require some investment. At the same time, it is very important not to play too much and calculate how many chips I can afford to lose, so that this does not affect my overall standings.

I convince the opponent that I am a loser by playing a couple of garbage hands at the very beginning, or I will play a few times in a HA call on the preflop, look at the actions of our oppa and prepare a trap for him — there are a lot of options.

Creating an unpredictable image at the table is not easy, but it is profitable. Experienced players can imagine how to play against tight, autocollers, loose and nits, but how to play against someone whose style of play can not be classified?

I think that a good poker player always adheres to certain rules, and the ideal player comes up with and plays according to their own!




Life is a game , play beautiful

Good question, and that's one of the reasons why beginners (with no patterns to their play) can be tougher to play against than players who have a little experience and clearly defined leaks in their game.


If someone is very unpredictable, you can usually still categorize them as basically tight or loose. If they're loose, then make value betting the core of your strategy. If they're tight, then give them more credit and stay less involved until you have a better read on their play.
 
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Phyrrura

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Second time here, and I'm now unpredictably winning money

I didn't realize how often people would fold to your small raises until I started trying this. Often you can get away without trouble, sometimes you lose it but it's still profitable, and a little less usual you gonna hit hard the flop with some marginal hands and get a lot of money from it.
 
imnoobpoker

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Thank you for day 22. It is an advantage lesson today, however trial and error will be the leading way to master this skill. Playing different hands, in different positions and sometimes try to 3B or re-raise is only achievable by play time. Thank you for day 22, gonna try it in my plays tonight.

Let's go to day 23.
 
xOneCoolHandx

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Quiz

1. No. Wait until you have some reads or stats on opponent
2. J9s...much better playability if you get called.
 
barbados

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Playing unpredictably and successfully is what I strive for. So far, it turns out to play only unpredictably.
 
mariussica88

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Finished Day 22...8 to go

I definitely am a predictable player to play against and I found out that some time ago...when I was playing a live tournament. It was a tournament with multiple day 1 entry and when I was talking to one of my opponents at the table after he bust me out, he explain to me that I play to predictable and I do not get out of my comfort zone. Took note of that and managed to qualify to Day 2 at that tournament, now I need to be more unpredictable at online tables too.
GG nice lesson this one.:)
 
Oranaro

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Thank you for the lesson, I usually don't 3bet because I don't know when I should. Happens for me to 3 bet when I have a very good hand and facing a 2bet + a call or more. I usually prefer to play the post flop, and not risk it pre flop, and I'm aware about the fact that it makes me passive, but I compensate it with agressive post flop, now I'll try to implement it, and hope I'll get better on my preflop play!
 
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I agree with you 100 percent miss Debi. That's why I do my limp call strategy most of the time you usually avoid mistakes and gaining more value with your strong hands. You're also able to get away from any hand cheap recover your losses in another spot. My only problem is channel my inner tilt due to lack of cards or I get hit can't recover fast enough. Or they call me behind they win sucking out you see the suckout coming lol.
 
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convince the opponent that I am a loser by playing a couple of garbage hands at the very beginning, or I will play a few times in a HA call on the preflop, look at the actions of our oppa and prepare a trap for him — there are a lot of options.

Creating an unpredictable image at the table is not easy, but it is profitable. Experienced players can imagine how to play against tight, autocollers, loose and nits, but how to play against someone whose style of play can not be classified?

I think that a good poker player always adheres to certain rules, and the ideal player comes up with and plays according to their own!
 
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The strategy of re-raising 75s Pre-Flop - this was a very interesting lesson. I've actually tried some of this already. Whether or not it's going to work seems to depend on the state of the tournament, how deep I am and how spring-loaded my opponents are. The beginning of most tournaments seems to be when risk aversion goes out the window and most folks are okay with playing weak hands quite strongly. Later on as many folks are spring loaded at 10 - 20 big blinds I'd rather focus on strong hands period. I notice though that you get into periods when nobody wants to play and many hands get checked all the way around. That's when I like to mix it up and go into unpredictable mode.
 
Atararo14

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Finished day 22

Thanks for this lesson.

The quiz answers :

1. 3-bet light is not a good decision in this spot because we are in the small blind position, we act first and we have no information on our villain who raised.

2. J9s is a decent hand to 3-bet light compared to Q8 or Q4o.
 
Eduard0Felipe

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Playing unpredictably, look there, another beautiful and excellent class, a more complex theme, but definitely something that should be applied when you are playing, in moderation of course, but 3 bet light is very important, both to prevent your opponent opens a lot on top of you and also, when you have really strong hands and are 3-betting for value, to get your opponents to call. Just imagine, you 3 bet light and on the next hand you receive AA, KK, someone opens, you 3 bet again, but notice, on the previous hand it was light, on this one, it's for value, very important to have that in your range.

22/30.
 
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