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Productive Break From Live Play

By: RockerguyAA @ 12:22 (EDT) / 304 / Comment ( 0 )

Last time I updated my blog I wrote about how I decided to take a break from playing $1/2 NL live for at least a week or two to work on my game.  Work on theory and get back into 10NL 6-max online.  The majority of my time has been spent on college stuff, but I have managed to spend some time on poker as well.

I started re-reading Applications of No-Limit Hold'em by Matthew Janda.  It is currently the highest quality poker book I own, containing a lot of advanced topics.  The main issue I am having with this book is it largely addresses poker from a higher stakes perspective.  Some parts such as suggested hand ranges need to be modified slightly to better fit my current microstakes limit of 10NL, in my opinion anyways.  My feeling is that while I should look for some balance in my hand ranges and try to be as aggressive as possible, overall I should have more value heavy ranges to exploit the weaknesses of microstakes players better (call too often, make insane huge bluffs sometimes).  Besides a couple of regulars I have run into so far, I don't think anyone else is even paying attention to my stats so it is OK to play a bit more straightforward as most of the players are just paying attention to their own cards.

I looked over a lot of information and constructed my customized opening ranges and call/3-bet ranges vs various PFR ranges.  I put a lot of work into it and it should be interesting how it works out.  I have played a couple of sessions so far while referring to it and things have gone pretty well.  I think it could use some more thought and work though.  I will try and work on that today.  Something interesting has come up during these sessions, my stats seem to be turning out tighter than expected.  I'm not really sure why this is happening at the moment.  It is possible I am missing some opportunities to 3-bet pre-flop both for value and light as a semi-bluff.   I am going to see how the next session or two go and if the problem persists I will have to look over my hands in HM2 to see if these types of issues do exist.  It is possible that my hand ranges are just tighter than I realized, which might be totally fine.  

One of the greatest aspects of working on some theory is I am finally starting to understand how to analyze hands away from the table.  For years I've heard that looking over hands away from the table is necassary, but exactly what your supposed to do has been a bit of a mystery to me.  While constructing my pre-flop hand ranges I was utilizing Equilab for the first time (similar to PSO's Odd's Calculator).  After reading over material and getting an idea for hand ranges I started entering them into Equilab and looking how the overall ranges and individual segments of the ranges (3-bet value, calls, 3-bet light) compared with the hypothetical ranges they were designed to play against.  I mean, designing hand ranges has a lot more to do with than just equities, but it is a very important consideration.  After doing all of this I understand now that I can take a trouble hand, load up my pre-flop range and estimate villain's pre-flop range and play out the hand street by street.  At each point comparing our ranges and deciding what parts of my range should be continuing and which parts should be folding.  Looking for balance and keeping my overall range stronger than my opponents while defending/attacking as often as I can.  It is really interesting and you could easily go over hands and various situations forever.  There is no shortage of the work that can be done.

I also spent a couple hours this week watching some PSO videos in the library.  A couple where xflixx is getting coached by Nanonoko and Ike Haxton (amazing) and a few from xflixx himself playing live sessions.  Really great stuff, a good way to spend some of my time.

So for the moment I am going to continue to focus on theory and 10NL online play for at least another week.  There is still a lot of work to be done. 

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