So everyone who reads and posts in this forum knows how to evaluate a HH, knows about preflop, knows about continuation betting and knows something about hand values and hand ranges. Perhaps the most important thing about poker though, and why some "bad" players make money is by adjusting correctly to their opponents where some of us with more solid fundamentals may not… And I haven’t made a long post in awhile so here it goes…
So I’m gonna give 4 common (or at least instructive) scenarios where we notice a tendency in our opponent that exploits our fundamental game. The quiz is to consider AT LEAST two specific adjustments we can make (the most profitable you can think of), and gauge the probable effect of each adjustment. Also, if you feel like it, imagine what our opponent’s likely counter adjustment might be once he sees we are adjusting. All examples will be with 100 BB stacks playing 100nl to make math easy. If you need more specific information on the villain I will respond, but only within reason.
1. We are a TAG playing our normal 19/15 game. To our left is a LAG who has decided to 3bet 100% of our UTG+1 and CO opens with any two cards, as well as 3bet our button opens with any two cards. Right now we are calling his reraises with TT or better and AQ or better and going all in with AK and AA, KK, but we are getting frustrated as we still don’t seem to be making money off him and are getting run over. Our approximate opening ranges are as follows currently:
UTG+1- 22-AA, AJo-AKo, KQo, 98s-AKs, QTs- KJs
CO- add ATo, QTo-KJo, 54s-87s, 86s- J9s, A7s+
BTN- add A8o-A9o, T9o-JTo, T8o-J9o, 43s, A2s+, K8s+, 57s+, 69s+
Note: this is a lot harder to answer without pokerstove and you will definitely be less specific without it.
2. We are a TAG playing our normal game with the same opening ranges as above. A donk is sitting to our left running 30/5. When he decides to play he is min-raising our continuation bet on any flop, and we have been continuation betting 100% of the time when we are HU with him as is our standard practice. We folded to the first 3 of his minraises, then raise in the CO with 88 and he calls. The flop comes down K73 r and we bet and he minraises. We call and call 1/2 pot bets on the turn and river and he shows K5s. We reload and need a plan.
3. We are a TAG playing our same 19/15ish game. We have a TAG to our left who does two things which we have started to pick up on and that are beginning to annoy us. He is playing a little looser, like 24/15, and is NEVER folding the flop to our continuation bets on two types of board textures. The first is when it comes with two suited middle range cards- like 9s 8s 4c or Qd 9d 7h. Each time we continuation bet here he calls and bets any turn, occasionally checking behind the turn and invariably showing up with a hand like mid pair, bottom pair, or a medium pocket pair. One time we checked to him and he bet $5 into $7 and we folded.
The second is when the board comes down really uncoordinated and paired: 8 8 4 r, J J 7 r, things like that. On this board he has raised our $5 continuation bet to $16 each time and we have folded. Except on the JJ7, we called with 55, and the turn came down a K. It went check/check. The river was a 7. It went check/check again and he showed KQ. What next?
4. Now we are in the blinds and a LAG is playing on the button/CO, running about 30/23 total (have to extrapolate his btn/co range). We are still playing TAG and have been calling his $4 raise with all of our pocket pairs 22-JJ and folding everything else except for re-raising with AQ, AK and QQ-AA. The last four times we have called to hit our set we have felt like we are being pushed around. We didn’t flop a set once yet and each time we didn’t we check called his $8 flop bet and folded to his $18 turn bet. Once we got to showdown we had 99 on a K J 4 4 8 board, and after getting fed up with his latest $18 knee-jerk turn bet and he flipped up AJ after checking behind on the river…
There are many solutions to all these problems. Just keep in mind our opponents are ALWAYS or ALMOST ALWAYS taking a certain line/action. Answer all of them or just one or just speculate, but I think thinking about slightly more abstract problems like these will help the 50nl player move up to 200nl or the 200nl up to 600nl. And the recurring theme is of course dealing with different forms aggression, and dealing with this kind of aggression would not even be possible without gathering information and observing our opponents tendencies carefully…