Finding and Plugging Leaks; An Interview with Andreas Froehli | #177

I interview Andreas Froehli and we discuss lots of leak finding and plugging techniques.

In episode 176, I discussed playing LIVE low buy-in tourneys, tracking those LIVE hands and the meaning of life.

Interview with Andreas Froehli (3:55)

This episode kicks off an entirely new series of podcasts about finding and plugging leaks. This is what every coach helps their students with, and we’ve got an expert leak plugger on today’s show.
Andreas Froehli is an MTT player and coach. He’s on Twitch as “tvtotaliwin” and has been hooked on MTT’s after winning the 3rd, 4th and 5th tournaments he had ever played.

Poker Origins (6:00)

Andreas started playing in Australia while he was studying English and French with the plan of being a language teacher.  He luck-boxed a few freerolls tourneys that he played in the evenings after schooling.

With poker, he noticed how strategy is such a big component of poker like some of the other games he enjoyed.  He was hooked and also found success in the psychological, player reading aspects as well.

He ended up teaching English and French a bit, but decided to give it up to play and teach poker.  If you want to really push up the limits and make a real go of poker, you’ve got to dedicate lots of time to it, which makes for little time for another career.

Coaching (9:00)

www.AndreasFroehli.com for details and a contact form to learn more.

Andreas’ coaching starts with a free book he wrote called ‘The Fundamentals of Poker Success’.  (I read it, it’s great stuff, very informative and helpful).  His students read it before the first lesson to give Andreas a foundation from which to work.

This process is called “pre-knowledge” and gives the student some insight into what to expect from his coaching.  This preparation saves time and his students get more out of their sessions.

For his play schedule, he plays 50,000 online hands and travels around playing LIVE tourneys and $5/$10 cash games.  We may see him at the WSOP this year.  He played cash games there last year, and recommends some of the bigger casinos for some great $2/5 and $5/10 games.

The online skills you develop should really help you play in the LIVE settings.

Andreas has studied PLO with the PLO Lab from UpswingPoker.com (https://www.upswingpoker.com/plo-lab-pot-limit-omaha-coaching/) and he’s also had one-on-one coaching in the game that’s really paid off.

Coaches help you through the steps of finding and fixing leaks, and eventually you’ll learn to become an independent learner and can do this stuff on your own.

Leak Plugging (16:00)

Pre-flop hand selection leak

  • Use your poker tracking software to look at your win rate by position (EV BB/100 hands) outside of the blinds. If it’s low in any position, you’re probably choosing some weak hands.  Hands like JJ+ are going to be making you money, but if you choose lots of hands that lose lots of chips, this will bring your win rate down.
  • If you open/fold hands too often (you play too many hands and opponents charge you for this by 3betting a lot), you’re losing possibly 2.5-3bb per hand, or -250 to -300bb/100 hands.
  • Don’t be concerned with your “nit” image. Play strong hands and make the maximum amount of money per hand played.
  • You can start opening your hand range up in the CO (be concerned with the BTN and BB players especially). Before that position, the more players your bet needs to get through.
  • The weakest parts of your range are tough to play when IP players call your open raises. Watch out for how often your IP opponents call 2bets pre-flop, and look at how sticky they are post-flop as well.

Opening too wide in the EP

  • Filter for the hands you “should” be opening in that position. So, if your EP range is 12%, create a filter for that and run the filter.  If the filtered win rate in that position is now higher, then you’re losing money with the hands you’re playing outside of the opening range you’ve set for yourself.
  • Run various filters to see where money is getting lost
  • He had a great idea of creating the “inverse” filter as well, so a filter with the other 88% of hands you shouldn’t play and seeing how negative the win rate is with these hands.

Losses in the blinds

  • The goal is to cut your losses as much as possible.
  • You must determine the hands you’re VPIP’ing with in the blinds and narrow it down to find the inflection point where your losses start to increase.
  • For example, filter for a tight range in the BB when defending vs an EP open. Gradually increase the range and see where the losses (in bb/100 hands win rate) starts to increase dramatically.  This is the point where you need to focus your blind leak plugging.

Getting Beyond the “It’s MY Blind!” Mentality (29:10)

They’ve got to be taught that this is an incorrect mindset.  The mindset to have is an EV mindset where every decision you make is weighed on an EV scale of + to -.

Mental leaks like this are more damaging if you don’t know better.  If on tilt and you don’t know what’s right, you’re going to be making some major mistake.

When you don’t know the correct strategies, tilt and emotions will cause you to make many mistakes.

Leak of Over-folding

  • Utilize Equilab (or Flopzilla) and the opponent’s HUD stats to get a sense of how often the opponent actually hits the board.
  • Use their range and the board to guess what hands they’re cbetting (if it’s 80% cbet, then figure out which hands comprise this 80% cbetting rate).
  • This is “pen and paper work” that we all must do to understand range and board connecting.
  • Tag hands where you want to call or raise but fold instead. These are great hands to review after the fact.

When you begin studying, start with all the free software available.  Over time and as your skills improve and you want to dive deeper, you’ll maybe want to go with solvers like PIOsolver and other software programs.

For LIVE players, online is a training platform for the LIVE realm.  It’s great when you plug a leak online, then get back to LIVE and see all of your opponents with that leak.  Now you know how to take advantage of them.  You want to have a positive experience when learning online, so play at 5nl or 10nl.  Have a good experience, train up your skills and improve while you’re earning some money or losing just very little at these micro stakes.

When playing online you should always use a HUD.  You want to develop reads on your opponents LIVE and online, and the HUD is perfect for this.  Keep the stats to a minimum, but the skills you learn when reading your opponent’s stats will also translate to your LIVE game.

Big post-flop leak: not knowing where you are in your range

  • If you 3bet/call with TT and the board comes 72235, your TT is at the bottom of your pre-flop 3bet/calling range. You’re probably dead to your opponent’s triple-barrel 4betting range.

Not understanding blockers

  • This happens a lot in PLO
  • In NLHE, if you’ve got AK on a KT752, this could sometimes be better to value bet with instead of AA b/c the AK blocks combos of KT and even K7s that your opponent can have.
  • On a flop of 445, you having A5s is better than 99. Your A5s blocks combos of 55 and A4s your opponent can have.

Contact Andreas and learn more:

Learn more about MTT’s from this interview with a WCOOP winner Ned-Bg.  

Support the Show

Herbert and Wayne Quint each purchased the Smart HUD for PokerTracker 4.  If you know either of these two, watch out for them!  Get the Smart HUD here.

Greg Pajak is working on the most important poker skill, hand reading, and he’s doing so by studying my Expert Hand Reading Webinar.  Get ’em, Greg!  Pick up your own copy of the webinar here.

Sky Matsuhashi