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Sam's Blog - Tournament Edition - Sat Jul 21, 2012, 10:27 PM
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Hey, so back in June when there was the Half-Price Sunday Storm, I watched two ChewMe videos from the library to try to pick up some tips on how to better play (See Appendix A at the end of this post). And there were great tips for how to play:

1. When Card Dead, With a Short-Stack, and
2. When You've Managed to Win Some Pots, With an Average-Sized Stack




And then so, those two videos were so helpful, I went and watched another the other day ( $4.50 180 Replayer - Middle and Late Stage Play ), and apparently there's a '#3'.

3. How to Play With a Big Stack



There's a #3 ... there were more details fleshed out for #2 in the video, which appears to require considering quite a few factors to execute successfully ... and #3 is even more complex

Like for example - when should you call a short-stack's all-in? What's more important - chip preservation or chip accumulation? There was a pretty interesting discussion that Sandtrap started in the HA section that touches on these ideas found here: http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...02-For-ChewMe1



Or, as this writer notes (Managing Stacks, by Alex Martin):

Quote:
Every poker player worth his salt knows how to handle a short stack, yet very few know about correct strategy for big-stack versus big-stack confrontation. And fewer still know how to handle playing a medium stack in the middle and late stages of a tournament.

Knowing the battles to pick, the players and stack sizes to attack and understanding the complex balance of risk and reward is something a game theorist could probably spend a lifetime studying.


So like okay ... there's the luck component of games. Then there's the TAG hand selection and post-flop hand-reading and ranging and stuff that we were able to learn about and practice through PSO Leagues. Which is still a bit of a work in progress for me (as you'll see in some of the hands I post below). But it also seems like there's still some room to learn about new stuff, and like there might be some small opportunities here and there to start trying to practice some of these more advanced concepts?

Thought it would be interesting to give it a try anyways - just baby steps for now, along with some post-game assessment. Ought to be interesting to see how it goes!



So some of the topics for this blog will be beginner level:

Stack Management
Blinds Stealing
Restealing
Defending Blinds




And the format I'll probably try to follow will be something like:


Why these moves are considered EV (when properly executed)
The Pros/Cons of opening up versus playing tight
Sample Hands
My Practice Attempts
Post-Game Analysis
Lessons Learned and Stuff to Try Next Time




Will see how it goes!



Appendix A - Tips from ChewMe's Videos

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post

Well, so I managed to get to 2 ... which is 2 more than I'd have gotten to if I hadn't stated publicly that I was going to try to get to some vids. So 2 is better than zero I suppose!

I wanted to watch some because, anbody else ever found themselves in the middle stages of a tournament, like maybe an hour and a half or two in, sitting on about 30bb's and card dead, watching all the looser peoples stacks gradually increasing in size as yours starts to dwindle? And then have you ever sort of felt like maybe people know things that you don't, and so you look around the 'net and just can't seem to find info on what that 'something' is that other people know that you suspect you don't?

I feel like ChewMe's videos answered some key questions.

I'm trying to think of how best to share the info in a way that's easy to apply, so I'm taking a bit of 'creative license' in applying ChewMe's general tips to the Sunday Storm specifically ... hopefully it reads easy, and things don't get mixed up in the translation :/


So, for the Sunday Storm, with those big increases in blinds (amount-wise, if not time-wise), the tourney's going to have the following phases:

Sunday Storm - Critical Phases

A. If You're Card-Dead

Early Stage - First Hour
If you're card-dead and don't play a hand the first 60 minutes, you should still have around 4000 chips going into the 2nd hour with blinds hitting 200/100, and antes kicking in. So there's some time to be patient.

Second Hour - The Resteal (*New concept to some of us)
But if you've been card-dead and are now down to 20bbs, Chewme would be looking for a resteal opportunity in late-position with the following hands: 99+, AQ+ . If somebody before you to act raises, chewme says it's better to shove than call, since the raise/blinds/antes will add up to quite a bit (eg 600+300+180 = like a 25% increase in stack). And if called, you ought to have good equity.

ChewMe says that yes, while it's nerve-wracking, avoid the temptation to just call and see the flop.

For the Storm, there'll be about 30 minutes to try to find a resteal opportunity

One and a Half Hours in - Push/Fold
So if you've been totally card-dead for the first 90 minutes, with a stack size of about 10bb's that's generally considered push/fold mode, eh? Here's Grayson Physioc's Charts (Spacegravy) - since I didn't get around to watching ChewMe's other videos, I didn't have much chance to see how his range differs frorm Graysons. But they both emphasize that ranges are fluid, and that you have to also be aware of stack sizes, position, and peoples' calling ranges.





B. If You've Built Up A Decent-Sized Stack

Middle Stages - Active Blinds Stealing (*New concept to some of us)

Once antes kicks in, ChewMe starts opening up his range. Even with like 40bb's, while there's time to be patient and wait for good cards, ChewMe urges us to give it a try because blinds and antes are worth a lot, and it will help maintain your stack in a way that you might otherwise not be able to without a good run of cards. For example, in video #2 @47:40, ChewMe went from a decent-sized stack to short in about 20 minutes, and that was with active blinds stealing attempts (but there was an active player to chewme's right who kept raising every hand)

If everybody folds to you in the button or sb, Chewme likes to raise 2.bb (he says 3xbb is too large a risk/leak) with hands with good flop potential:
- pocket pairs
- suited connectors
- any 2 broadway
- ChewMe's not crazy about Arag
- really doesn't like those junk hands like Q3o

EXCEPTIONS:
1. If one or both of the blinds are short (like 12bb's) - need to raise with a real hand you would be willing to call a shove with, since you get less credit for raising from the blinds

2. You have like a 16bb stack (not big but not small), and a mediocre hand like T4s - the hand's not good enough to call a raise, and folding would be too much of a leak, so we need a better hand.

3. The people in the blinds are super tight - then you can widen your range to stuff like K8o because there's so little chance they'll call

4. You've stolen blinds like the last 3 orbits, and you're hand's not good like J3o - best to give it a rest ever couple of orbits.

- also, 2.bb with antes means you only have to succeed 1 out of every 2 times to be profitable because blinds+antes>2.bb ... will probably be better than that because even loose players have to play tighter out of position


Middle Stages - Reraising With A Larger Stack

Still AQo+

* * * * * * * * *


I've never tried resteals or blinds stealing with 40bb's - usually I just sit and hope for better cards. And I'm not feeling very lucky, so I'm not sure if tomorrow there'll be many chances to try this stuff out, but GL to anybody else who's playing! I feel like I didn't do ChewMe's videos justice, so I hope these summaries have gotten people interested in maybe checking them out for more detail - like since I'd never heard about resteals, and was never stealing blinds with a decent sized stack, they were game-altering for me ... perhaps for other people too?

Appendix B - Push/Fold/Call Charts

Pushing Ranges
Calling Ranges

Last edited by TrustySam; Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 04:59 PM..
 
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Sat Aug 04, 2012, 04:46 PM
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Hey, so it's been a while since I made an entry ... something interesting I've noticed is that some of these concepts like blind stealing and restealing seem to have a tendency to cause a certain level of discomfort with a lot of us. Like take a look at some of the mixed feelings that have been expressed on the following pages by some very good players:

http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/art...ng-Over-Blinds (in the comments section)
http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...dvise-(ChewMe1
http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...02-For-ChewMe1


Probably we've all found through experience that TAG play has been the key to winning - and then so when we later on hear stuff about it being good to open up our ranges (with blind stealing, restealing, etc), it seems like it could be kind of risky, eh?

With everything I've read and seen about these more 'LAG' plays like blinds stealing, and restealing, I guess my assessment so far is that these other moves aren't a contradiction to TAG play - it's more that TAG play is the basic fundamental core of solid poker, and these other moves with a wider range are supplements of added value?

Like, I guess most of the time, most of our chips will likely come from playing strong starting hands, and then trying to extract value when we hit (with solid TAG play). And then in addition, there's also some additional value to be made by playing the player?


Like, my ideal scenario where I'd feel the most safe to open up my range might be in this type of situation:

1. On the button after everybodys already folded
2. With a big stack of like 60bbs+
3. Raising into blinds that aren't big enough to feel like they can afford to call, that also aren't little enough to feel desperate enough to shove ... with like a stack of around 22bbs
4. With both blinds playing at around a VPIP of 10, AF of 1
5. who never defends their blinds
6. on the bubble
7. With a decent hand like ATs
8. And pretty extensive reads of the players in the blinds in case we get called



In other words, I guess there's certain criteria which help offset the risk of opening up one's range? Like by having:

1. Position
2. A stack like 3-4x as big as your opponents, since they can go bust, but losing 1/4 of one's stack wouldn't be fatal
3. An opponent who doesn't have enough chips to call and see a flop and then fold, whose choices are then reduced to push/fold
4. The people left to act be super tight and super passive
5. and easy to read post-flop
6. with them eager to make ITM before they play any more?



But apparently we don't need to have all that stuff in place to get away with picking up chips ... like if we're only willing to raise into the blinds when all those factors are in place, we might be losing value?

Which I guess raises that question of how much less than the ideal situation for opening up one's range can exist before it starts to become more -EV rather than +EV? Like how loose a range could we open up if the blinds are both super-tight? Or as big stack, how far away from the button could we raise with say 78s if everybody left to act only has about 22bb's and we're on the bubble?

I guess the only way to get a better feel for this sort of stuff is with practice, eh? Which does feel a little big scary since it's so new. But if stealing blinds can buy an extra orbit of time, etc ... like maybe it's worth the shot?


Still thinking things through ...


Sam

Last edited by TrustySam; Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 05:01 PM..
 
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Sun Apr 07, 2013, 01:36 PM
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Just kicking up this old post of mine about playing the Sunday Storm. Wish I'd watched more than 3 videos on tourneys ... Chewme's vids are great, and so was Ahar's class that I attended for MM week. If anybody's interested in continuing the thread, that'd be awesome!!

Not feeling too lucky today - my internet keeps cutting out and I used up all my run-good the other day on a $2 tourney, but hopefully somebody at PSO can take it down
 
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Tue Apr 16, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post
I've been a fan of Andre and Katerina since they started doing those videos during his Micro Millions challenge, and acoimbra posted this modified push/fold chart from that book 'Kill Everyone'. The ranges seem more or less the same as Spacegravy's, but this one includes shoving with stacks that are a little larger than 10bbs (I think? Is an M of 8 usually more than 10bbs?), and it also includes a shoving range for the sb if it's been folded to us, so that's different too.





acoimbra's blog (English): http://acoimbra.com/2013/02/100k-day-21/ (hope it's okay for me to post that since he's a member of Team PokerStars?)

And some explanations of the chart from his blog:

Quote:
Some people that watched my videos asked me about the spreadsheets that I use for all-ins far away from the money.

The top part represent the equilibrium solution for going all-in when everyone folded before us.

The spreadsheet has on the top the positions where we are and on the side the M (Effective Stack / BB+SB+Antes*#players).

You should keep in mind that overall people tend to call more than they should from the early positions and less than they should from the late positions, so it’s fundamental to adjust.

Ex.: You should shove less than equilibrium from UTG and more from the SB.

Was thinking of giving it a try tonight, but I signed up 55 minutes late for a Zoom tourney and only lasted 2 hands, so my plans have been foiled

Guess these ought to work for 6-max and full-ring hyper-turbos too? And so many satties are 6-max hyper-turbos ... will have to find another time to give these a try

Last edited by TrustySam; Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:01 AM.. Reason: Forgot to add the title
 
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Tue Apr 16, 2013, 09:42 PM
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So I added the 'M' stat to my HUD, and stuck to the chart and shoved when my M was 7 and I had A3s in the cut-off:



I guess an M of 7 was 16bbs here? Everybody seemed a bit stunned when I shoved loloollol!! Just because nobody else was shoving with that large a stack (it was a $1 rebuy though, so maybe most of us don't know about these charts?) But it packed a lot of nice fold equity, so that felt good to be able to pick up almost 1/6 of my stack uncontested. If I had just min-raised, the two loose players in the blinds probably would have called.

I lil bit scary tho, shoving so much with what felt like a 'light' hand. Guess it's gonna take some getting used to these new ranges, but it'll be worth a try because it's always felt like I was playing too tight in the later stages of tourneys? Will see how it goes

Last edited by TrustySam; Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 09:49 PM..
 
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Wed Apr 17, 2013, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post
I was reading the discussion in HA about the 35s hand, and found it super helpful to see almost all of you agree that the decision of whether to call or fold was a close one. I haven't been able to find too much on the internet about calling ranges - not anything like Spacegravy's push/fold charts anyways, so getting to see hands like that has been awesome

Yesterday I posted that in Marvin's Time Vault thread. Then today I went and e-flipped through the copy of 'Kill Everyone' that I bought *a year ago but never read*!!

There's a chart in the back for calling ranges too!!


It helps a TON to simplify their charts the way Andre Coimbra did though, so maybe I'll try to get that done tonight and post it here later.
 
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Wed Apr 17, 2013, 11:41 PM
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Wow ... had no idea combining the charts from 'Kill Everyone' into one would take all night - and that's with having acoimbra's chart as a guide

Have to believe though that if it was so painstaking to look over the data from the 8 different charts (there were actually 15) while away from the table, then having a more simplified chart to use ought to help make applying the info faster during an actual game? Like *hopefully* it was time well spent?

Clicking on the picture'll take you to a bigger one (that was powerdegre's idea - genius!! )

EDIT: Think I'm going to read the chapter on calling ranges first before trying to use this chart, because some of the ranges seem too wide, given the expected ranges of the shovers?

Click to show hidden text


Some of these ranges are A LOT WIDER than anything I've ever called with - suspect that sticking to these ranges is liable to result in me getting some of those 'bingo player' type comments in the chat box Will have to see how it goes


PS Now that the SCOOP schedule's been finalized, I was able to have my $55 SCOOP ticket from the WBCOOP split into 2-$11 SCOOP tickets, and 1-$27 SCOOP ticket. Was hoping for T$55, but am thrilled to at least get 3 out of the one. Don't think anywhere near ready to play a $55 tourney yet. So, that was great news - thanks so much to support for being so flexible!!

EDIT: ooh, have to add this fast! Since these pushing and calling ranges only rely on player position and M, they're only intended to be used far from the money. Close to the money we're supposed to rely on ICM calculations, which rely on prize distribution and relative stack size.

Last edited by TrustySam; Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 05:43 PM.. Reason: Added title, added disclaimer
 
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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:56 AM
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how were you able to do that? I was told if there is an available buy-in, it won't be changed or refunded.
 
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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 07:47 AM
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Yeah the wording they gave was a little ambiguous, but I'm like 95% sure that if people ask to have their tickets split or applied to a higher buy-in, they're now granting those requests?

Do you still have two $5.50 tickets evoke? If you ask to have them changed to one $11, it sounds like they're now willing to do that?
 
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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 08:56 AM
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Thanks for putting together the calling chart, Sam. I've been doing well with my push chart, but calling ranges is something I'm still working on. At the stakes I play, villains aren't often shoving particularly light, so I've been calling with a very tight range, but I need to cruch some numbers while looking at this chart in order to be more confident.


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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 05:52 PM
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Yeah arty, it took all of last night to put the chart together, so I'm only looking at the actual data in the charts right now. And I'm kind of getting the same sense that some of these ranges seem awfully wide on their face.

Like if somebody's shoving from utg with an M of 8, then wouldn't that person be expected to have a shoving range of about 8%? So are we ever really going to want to call behind with an 11% range (with an M of 3), or would it be better to fold and try to shove ourselves with a 15%-43% range (depending on our position). Seems like maybe we should always prefer shoving unless we're sure to get a call?

Seems like there must be a ton of conditions that attach to the usage of this chart - guess I'll have to read the book and see if they list any ... oh yeah, I don't tend to read books from front to back, so I started with the chart and am working backwards Will have to do that tonight
 
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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post
Like if somebody's shoving from utg with an M of 8, then wouldn't that person be expected to have a shoving range of about 8%? So are we ever really going to want to call behind with an 11% range (with an M of 3), or would it be better to fold and try to shove ourselves with a 15%-43% range (depending on our position). Seems like maybe we should always prefer shoving unless we're sure to get a call?
Exactly. When we're in the big blind, we have a bit of an overlay, because our price is not the full size of the shove. (If villain is shoving 10bb, then we only need to call 9bb in the BB, plus there's also the small blind and antes to give us decent pot odds).
I tend to look at a villain's PFR on my HUD. If he's only raising 8% of the time, I'm generally only calling a 10bb shove with the top 5% of hands, or something like that, because I feel sick when I get it in really bad and lose most of my stack.
But like I said, I need to crunch some numbers, by putting ranges into Equilab/Pokerstove and seeing exactly how much equity I need for particular pot-sizes.


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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 08:21 PM
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Don't forget the suck-out factor, the best hand doesn't always win.

 
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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post


After making the spreadsheet for the calling range, it only wound up taking an extra 10 minutes to make a copy of the shoving ranges ... go figure

Just going to add it because it's bigger and has a higher resolution, so it should easier to read:

(clicking on the photo will show a bigger one)

 
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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 10:58 PM
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Thanks for all your hard work, Sam. Great guidelines!!

 
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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 11:08 PM
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@Arty - I went and read the corresponding chapter in the book, and they describe their methodology for arriving at their figures, the assumptions they made, and a couple of other factors. But they didn't go into detail per se as to why the calling ranges are sometimes wider than the shoving ranges.

So I put a couple into pokerstove and got some interesting results ... versus an utg shover with an M of 8 who's presumed to have a range of about 8%, calling in later position with an M of 3 and an OVERALL range of 11% gives the following odds:



And they mention in the book that they believe most of us tend to call too tight, so that made me feel like maybe they were onto something with these wider ranges.

But then I went and picked a specific hand that would have domination issues versus that 8% range, like A9s, and the odds versus that ACTUAL hand from that OVERALL range went way down:



Although the smaller pocket pairs like 55 versus that same 8% range fared a little better, coming in at 40/60?

So ... not sure what to think - maybe it was more of a theoretical idea on their part, but in practice maybe your idea of double-checking all the specific hands'll be necessarily to do first, or something?

Will have to 'save' that rainy-day project for the next time I hit my stop-loss


@Joy - hey Joy!!

I'm still cringing over your luck in that A6s hand that you posted in HA - ouch!!

http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/for...369#post408369

One of my goals with practicing ranging in my Time Vault thread was to try and not be so surprised to see some of the hands that wind up winning at showdown against me - like, even if it's a long-shot, shouldn't I still be considering it if my ranging's thorough? Work in progress I guess

How are things going at the tables? Anything fun and/or exciting happen lately?

Last edited by TrustySam; Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 11:11 PM..
 
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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 11:22 PM
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Hey Sam. I didn't really have a problem with the hand, just wasn't sure I played it right. I'm still grinding away, I guess my best day lately was when I made two final tables in the Spring Fling one day. They're a very small part of my BR, but there's the prestige factor to consider, I'm always very proud of results in PSO games since the competition is so tough.

The games there are really interesring, lots of very good players.

 
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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 11:44 PM
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That was fun when they gave out those virtual bracelets for the PSOWSOP. I tried so hard, but you know what they say about if you look around the table and can't spot the fish it's you ... so very true, unfortunately

Really enjoyed watching you play the Big Bang against all the top PSOers last month - towards the end there, you were on the ropes three, four, five times, and kept bouncing back and getting right back into it by picking really good spots. That was like an all-star table there with Marvin, etc

Am looking forward to hearing the big announcement for the Red Spade Open promotion - guess RoyalRaiser said it would be on the 20th?
 
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Fri Apr 19, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post
So I put a couple into pokerstove and got some interesting results ... versus an utg shover with an M of 8 who's presumed to have a range of about 8%, calling in later position with an M of 3 and an OVERALL range of 11% gives the following odds:
...
And they mention in the book that they believe most of us tend to call too tight, so that made me feel like maybe they were onto something with these wider ranges.
...
But then I went and picked a specific hand that would have domination issues versus that 8% range, like A9s, and the odds versus that ACTUAL hand from that OVERALL range went way down:
Indeed. This is where the problems come in and why I need to spend some time crunching numbers and looking at hand histories.
When I'm shoving in late position, I'm often doing it with hands like T9s or K8s. If a villain in the BB calls with A4 (something I'd almost never do), he's not making a mistake against my range, because his one overcard gives him a slight equity edge.
But when I'm in the big blind, most of my (bad) opponents aren't shoving hands like T9s and K8s (like they should be doing). They are mostly shoving pairs and decent aces. I might be flipping if I call with K8s vs an underpair, but if I was to call with A4, I'm definitely getting it in bad and I'm often crushed by a bigger ace.

Since I'm often behind if I'm in the blinds facing a shove by a tight player, I'm usually pretty careful and will only call with hands like ATs+, AJ and 88+. I'll make a tight fold of hands like A8/A7s, because I think I can make more money by being a frequent shover and an occasional caller.

At higher stakes against better players that know how to shove light (with 98s, J9s etc), you can widen your calling range to include all aces and big kings, but in the micros I think it's a mistake to be making "loose" calls with these hands.


Bracelet Winner

Last edited by ArtySmokesPS; Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:15 AM..
 
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Fri Apr 19, 2013, 06:06 PM
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Yeah, I think we're on the same page with calling ranges. I'm totally open to entertaining the idea that a lot of us might be calling too tight. But these ranges are WAY wider than where I am now, so ... maybe opening up calling ranges might be something to experiment with in baby steps?

Right now that's pretty much what I'm doing - looking at peoples' VPIP to try and guess their shoving range. And then I'll subtract like 5% off of that to come up with what I think ought to be a +EV calling range?

And the chart's does that for the higher M's (eg if the c/o is shoving with a range of 23%, then KE recommends calling in the bb with a range of 17%). So it's not so *out there* for those - guess it's just the lower ones where they widen up more?

But yeah, maybe people at the microstakes aren't even pushing from the c/o with a 23% range, so then calling with 17% would be way too wide because of that.

Hmmm ... well, interesting to look over the book's suggestions for ideas anyways - always fun to entertain new ways of doing things. Thanks for stopping by to share all your thoughts on everything Arty - lots of fantastic points you made
 

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