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NLHE Foundations Course Supplement A: How to Use This Course

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  1. #1
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Video NLHE Foundations Course Supplement A: How to Use This Course

    More full-fledged lessons are coming in the NLHE Foundations Course. However, I made this supplement to the course to explain how you can get the most from it and what you can do on your own to get better at poker really quickly.

    Please post your thoughts here.
    Last edited by spoonitnow; 10-01-2015 at 09:50 AM.
  2. #2
    Thanks, Spoon! I've done the HW for lessons 1 - 6, and I'm totally like one of my whiny students at the university:

    "The HW's really HARD."

    "I'm too tired for this."

    "My computer crashed and I just lost 40 minutes worth of analysis." (21st century version of "the dog ate my HW.")

    "I have to make lots of assumptions - how do I know I'm right?"

    I haven't troubled you with any whiny excuses, however, because each lesson really works wonders. I learn stuff, and it pays off the very next session I play.

    I've been taking trouble spots and going through HH's on my op thread. Example, what do you do with 88/99 type hands in the BB when the BTN steals? We have a ton of equity, but flat it? 3bet? I found a representative hand vs. a villain that's reasonably typical. I ran through a full analysis as best I could, then tried to generalize. I've been getting through about one trouble spot per week.

    I really appreciated your straightforward breakdown of course goals because it lets me know I'm on the right track with extra HW I've assigned myself.

    Questions.

    If we do a HH analysis that's not related to a specific lesson, where should we post it? Should we put it in the Beginner's Forum? The small stakes forum? Should we reference the NHLE Foundations course?

    Would you like to see more of us putting up posts like this? I haven't seen many HH posts lately where the OP gives complete details about his thoughts for ranges on every street and EV calculations. (I also work on this stuff late at night, when too tired for actually playing, and I sometimes make embarrassing typos and even math mistakes.) But I would post things for people to look at, if you thought that would be good for a specific forum.

    Thanks again for a free course with tons of valuable insights.
  3. #3
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    Great post Spoon!

    Now we have general approach for improving our thoughts.

    But there's one thing I'm still missing: How can we apply our learned knowledge to the table?

    We should also build some groundwork first, some "standard" lines. And if that foundation is strong and only then I think we're ready to adapt to different opponents.
    Don't get me wrong Spoon, I really enjoy working through your lesson and find them very useful but I can not implement the things in my actual play as of yet.
  4. #4
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErnieohneBert View Post
    But there's one thing I'm still missing: How can we apply our learned knowledge to the table?
    It'll largely happen on its own. If you see a 25/18 with a 69% cbet and a 51% fold to cbet, you fire a cbet with AcQc on Ks8h7h, then the Qd comes on the turn, you need to know if you can profitably barrel the turn. Your ability to have an instant feel for his range will depend on the study that you're doing in this course because it's forcing your brain to make connections and patterns about reading players that you wouldn't have available to you before.
  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow View Post
    It'll largely happen on its own. If you see a 25/18 with a 69% cbet and a 51% fold to cbet, you fire a cbet with AcQc on Ks8h7h, then the Qd comes on the turn, you need to know if you can profitably barrel the turn. Your ability to have an instant feel for his range will depend on the study that you're doing in this course because it's forcing your brain to make connections and patterns about reading players that you wouldn't have available to you before.
    What's the solution? I'd think it's a good spot to double barrel because we got the equity for the bet without considering any fold equity.

    Villains calling range is probably [JJ-22,AKo-ATo,KQo-KJo,AQs-A2s,KQs-K9s,QJs-Q9s,JTs-J9s,T9s] if not wider.
    cbet percentage is about average so he calls with his draws, middle pair + and maybe ace high.
  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ErnieohneBert View Post
    I can not implement the things in my actual play as of yet.
    Really? I'm finding tons of things to use at the tables. In the last HW assignment, I found:
    1. An overbet tell.
    2. A flop bet sizing read on another player I wasn't analyzing.
    3. A leak - cold calls too many low pp's oop, and auto-floats them.

    I could go on, but as I look through the HH's, I'm seeing tons of stuff I missed while playing that immediately help me at the tables. And the understanding of ranges is incredibly helpful.
  7. #7
    I have found this course very valuable in my first attempt into studying poker after play rather than just playing and reading books on general play. As to commenting more on what others have posted my basic knowledge at this point leaves me intimidated as to posting my beginners thoughts but suppose the only way to learn more is to make mistakes.

    i have started trying to do more work and put more thought into the "homework", in stead of just posting the work and moving onto the next piece. I have decided to pick the one player i see the most and try to break down further how that one player plays. my first thread on this will be in the beginners circle shortly
  8. #8
    As an advert, I took Spoon's suggestions to the next step. I looked at every showdown hand from one reg, noting ranges and tendencies throughout hands. I played this villain tonight on several tables. In 33 hands we faced off in, I won 17, lost 16, was up 40BB. Here's why.

    I knew his ranges - he plays consistently: RFI =20% from EP/MP/CO, RFI = 28% BTN. He 3bets 4%. And I realized his value line (TPTK+) was bet 2/3 pot flop and turn, then 2/3-ish river depending upon board and how strong his hand was. He bets the same pattern with any A-high or K-high (naked) flush draw. With 2nd pair and worse, he cbets flop 2/3, checks turn. (He does c/r flops oop for value, usually with big hands.)

    Hand 1

    CO: 129 BB
    Hero (BTN): 149.5 BB
    SB: 136 BB
    BB: 114 BB
    UTG: 100.5 BB
    MP: 318 BB (VPIP: 22.14, PFR: 15.51, 3Bet Preflop: 7.24, Hands: 2,470)

    Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 9 J

    fold, MP raises to 4 BB, fold, Hero calls 4 BB, fold, fold

    Flop: (9.5 BB, 2 players) 4 6 J
    MP bets 6 BB, Hero calls 6 BB

    Turn: (21.5 BB, 2 players) 3
    MP checks, Hero bets 10 BB, fold,

    As he checks turn, we're almost certain he doesn't have top pair or an overpair. He bets his sets using same value line, too. So we're not too concerned. We bet 2/3 pot, he folds.

    Hand 2

    BTN: 111 BB
    SB: 248 BB
    BB: 165 BB
    UTG: 174 BB
    MP: 102.5 BB (VPIP: 22.11, PFR: 15.40, 3Bet Preflop: 7.26, Hands: 2,424)
    Hero (CO): 150.5 BB

    Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J J

    fold, MP raises to 4 BB, Hero calls 4 BB, fold, fold, BB calls 3 BB

    Flop: (12.5 BB, 3 players) 3 8 A
    BB checks, MP bets 8 BB, Hero calls 8 BB, fold

    Turn: (28.5 BB, 2 players) 8
    MP checks, Hero bets 10 BB, MP calls 10 BB

    River: (48.5 BB, 2 players) A
    MP checks, Hero checks

    This was a tough spot after the board double-paired, at least against someone who we don't have a definitive read on. But we discount 8x hands preflop as his MP RFI range is:

    A9+, A2s+, 66+, any Broadway hand and other suited 9xs/87s type hands.

    The majority of the 8's in his range are A8 which he would have value bet flop and turn. Same for Ax, and Ax can be ruled out completely on the river since he would certainly vbet the river. He can't have 33 as he doesn't open them in MP and, if he did have it, he would have value bet.

    I'm not saying I played it perfectly, but an 8 was unlikely and an Ace impossible. There aren't draws. So what could he have?

    66+

    That's it. I don't think he's paying off my river vbet with 66,77, or 99, maybe he'd called with TT. So I check behind (to avoid folding out all the hands I beat), and I take down a nice pot that against anyone else would have put me to several tough decisions.

    I'm off to do more Spoony-poker HW. This is great stuff!
  9. #9
    Cobra_1878's Avatar
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    I just wanna comment on the enthusiasm from players who are doing this course - I know as I started doing it I really felt that love of playing poker again and it's great to see that it seems to be the same for numerous other players.

    I haven't had much time for playing in the past week or so but I'm hoping to get back to it and start posting some more hands on the forums for people to look at and discuss. I cannot emphasize how important this part is - especially if it links into something you have been studying. Post the hand, post your thoughts and find out what other people think.
    Currently grinding live cash games. Life is good.
  10. #10
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    @Robb, something that's important to note here is that it's not all about prepping for individual players (though that does become a license to print money, much like what you've described above).

    When you study a few players, you'll start to notice patterns based on their stats and a couple of distinctive things about their play. Once you start seeing these patterns, you'll start playing much better against a ton of different opponents, even people you've only played against a couple of times, and that's the goal of the series.
  11. #11
    OK so I wanted to look at some tendencies for a reggy player at my stakes, and see what I could generalise from patterns I'd identify from hands in my DB.

    Our subject is 20/16 with a 7% 3bet and is positionally aware.

    Here villain is in the SB, he sees the flop against the CO only:

    SB: $26.03 (104.1 bb)
    CO: $13.88 (55.5 bb)

    CO raises to $0.50, SB raises to $1.87, CO calls $1.37

    He makes this quite big, I would speculate because he's isolating a minraise - I also change my sizing here, I'm not expecting the kind of player he's isolating to notice, but it's something _I_ could notice to exploit his isolations.

    Flop: ($3.99) T 3 K (2 players)
    SB bets $1.71, CO calls $1.71

    He makes a small cbet, especially following the really big preflop sizing. Perhaps he'd make this bigger if it was for value - I don't know, but again I'm going to guesstimate that his reasoning here might be that, again the kind of player he is trying to isolate, he is up against an inelastic range - they will call or fold much the same range vs. different sizings, therefore he may be betting smaller with bluffs and semibluffs and bigger for value.

    Turn: ($7.41) 2 (2 players)
    SB checks, CO checks

    River: ($7.41) Q (2 players)
    SB bets $3.18, CO raises to $10.30 and is all-in, SB calls $7.12

    Results: $28.01 pot ($1.25 rake)
    Final Board: T 3 K 2 Q
    SB showed A J and won $13.38 (-$0.50 net)
    CO showed A J and won $13.38 (-$0.50 net)

    Considering what was shown down here, I like his river sizing - he will get value here from hands that couldn't call a bigger bet, say QJ, weak Kx etc. and he gives hands like QT a chance to raise and value town themselves. There's not much the CO can check back the turn with that's able to call a bigger river bet. Perhaps this speculation kind of goes against my earlier idea of him thinking the CO has an inelastic range, but while I think that applies to the flop, I don't think it's so much the case on the river.

    In the next hand, villain is again in the SB, this time going to the flop with the BTN:

    SB: $12.50 (50 bb)
    BTN: $25 (100 bb)

    BTN raises to $0.75, SB raises to $2.15, BB folds, BTN calls $1.40

    Flop: ($4.55) K Q 3 (2 players)
    SB bets $2.25, BTN calls $2.25

    Turn: ($9.05) 4 (2 players)
    SB checks, BTN checks

    River: ($9.05) 8 (2 players)
    SB checks, BTN checks

    Results: $9.05 pot ($0.41 rake)
    Final Board: K Q 3 4 8
    SB showed K T and won $8.64 ($4.24 net)
    BTN mucked A T and lost (-$4.40 net)

    Here he 3bets a pretty weak hand from the SB, this is a pointer for me to look at his overall 3bet %age from the SB, which turns out to be 6% - it may be he's 3betting from the SB much wider than this given the hands I've seen shown down here, and that my sample size on him isn't big enough for the stats to have converged yet. It also may be that there's a wide positional variation and that he's 3betting from the SB much wider against late position opens, that seems more likely. Given that tendency, if I'm opening from later positions against this kind of player, and I get 3bet from the SB holding a premium hand, it seems sensible to flat more often than 4bet to keep the weaker parts of his 3betting range in. It also seems sensible to 4bet bluff more often, particularly when I hold blockers to the stronger parts of his 3bet range.
  12. #12
    i had my cousin call me up and offer to stake me for some live games a while back, on the proviso that i be part of his study group, and... prove myself to him basically...
    after dealing with his attitude, piss poor people management, complete lack of anything resembling a structure, and a massive ego barrier preventing him from looking at his own play objectively - i had to turn him down. found this course the very next day and it was put together in such a straightforward way - it was exactly what i needed

    so i guess im trying to say i really appreciate the work you've put in and the way this course has been structured.
    like most here i feel like ive turned a corner, is probably the most succinct way to put it.

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