In this Labor Day Q&A, I answer 5 questions from Poker Forge Members and give recommendations for videos within the Forge that address each question.
Listen to the Q&A Episode as you follow along below:
#1: Filtering for Hands Played Outside of Your Ranges
Question from Ian: I would like to filter my database to show all hands where I diverted from the default range for each position to ensure that my diverting isn’t unprofitable.
Answer: Here’s what you do in 3 steps (the video below demonstrates these 3 steps):
- Create and save the hand range in PokerTracker 4 as a quick filter (for example, the BTN raising first in range of 31%). Filtering for this will show you the results of being dealt one of the 31% hands.
- Pull up that quick filter and add to it Raised First In. This will show you all the hands in the range that you played accordingly.
- Edit the filter by highlighting the hand range and selecting NOT. This will show you all the hands you raised first in that were NOT in the 31% range (so, the 69% of hands NOT in the range).
Forge Video Recommendation: Quick Wins Gameplans Module 1 – Using Preflop Ranges
- Strategy: Use the KISS Cash Game Ranges
- Take Action #1: Open-raising Ranges
#2: What’s the Ultimate Study Time?
Question from Glen: What do you feel is the ultimate study time?
Answer: I think the ultimate study time is a two-day, 4 actions repeatable cycle:
Day 1, #1: Study Session
- Watch/read/listen to some strategy content around a leak you want to plug or skills you want to build.
- Review your database for related hands to learn from how you play this spot already. Take notes on mistakes made and what you should do differently based on what you learned from the strategy content you studied.
- Do 1 or 2 full hand reading exercises (more if you want) on hands related hands that went to showdown.
Day 1, #2: Play Session
- Play with focus around the strategies you studied in #1.
- Find every opportunity to use the strategies you studied.
- When not involved in a hand, imagine you’re one of the players still involved and still focus on imaginary execution of the strategy.
- Tag important hands.
Day 2, #3: Study Session
- Review tagged hands and the entire #2 play session.
- Do 1 or 2 full hand reading exercises.
Day 2, #4 Play Session
- Play again with focus just like #2 above.
Forge Video Recommendations: Smart Learning
- I Am Your Poker Coach
- Do As You Consume
- Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed
- Time Management
- Maximum Efficiency Note Taking
#3: Calling a 3bet Squeeze with AQs
Question from Rick: I was playing 2-3-5 NL, I opened under the gun with a raise to $20 with A-Q Clubs, got one call and the button (solid player) made it $75, I thought a long time and mucked, the other player called. Flop came with 3 clubs. The first player checked, the preflop 3bettor said “Let’s play for it all” and the other player mucked. The 3bettor showed K clubs, which means I would basically would have had him drawing dead. Should I have called him pre-flop?
This was a great 3bet squeezing opportunity for the solid player on the BTN, so he has a really wide range here. Maybe he doesn’t truly have a wide range, but when you say “solid player” that means he’s capable of recognizing the great bluffing opportunity this is.
I’m not a fan of calling here. You’re putting yourself OOP as a caller in a 3-way, 3bet pot vs a solid player and another one with position on you.
This is a 4bet or fold spot for me. You’re in EP, so an open/4bet would look very strong, like QQ+ maybe (I don’t know the game you play, but for most live players, an EP open/4bet looks like ultimate strength). If you think the two players involved would put you on such a strong range and are likely to fold, 4bet bluff here. In case you get called, you have good equity vs 99, TT and JJ and any other AX hand they have (other than AK).
If you’re ever unsure, just fold.
If you think they won’t fold vs a 4bet, just fold and watch the action.
You can see from my answer above that the flop cards don’t factor into my preflop decision. You can’t know what cards will come so you can’t really use them when analyzing your preflop decision. And, he showed the Kc so he could’ve very easily had AK or KK, which preflop both crush your AQ.
And, if you think he could’ve had KcQs or KcJc when he 3bet, all the more reason to 4bet preflop to re-bluff him off his $75 3bet.
Forge Video Recommendation: Preflop Hand Selection Course – Strategy: Preflop 3bet Defense
#4: Improving the Blue Line – Money Won with Showdown
Question from Mark: How can I raise the blue line? (graph in pt4, money won with showdown) Is there a course in the Poker Forge?
Answer: You need to do these two things more often at showdown:
- Make better river calls so you win more at showdown as the caller (and good decisions on earlier streets to win more as a caller or to cut your SD calling losses)
- Make more/bigger river value bets to win more from calling opponents (and more value bets on earlier streets to win more at SD)
It’s easier said than done, but the Finding the Fold Course is a great start. There are 3 videos to focus on:
Forge Video Recommendations: Finding the Fold Course strategy videos:
- Listen to What They’re Telling You
- History Opens Your Eyes
- You Have Options
#5: Stealing Affects My Image, Should I Care?
Question from Ross: When I have players who fold a lot to my steals I have to steal right?! However, that then affects my image at the table as my VPIP and PFR start to rise, is this okay?
Answer: Absolutely, the goal of poker IS NOT to have perfect stats.
The goal is to exploit your opponents at every opportunity and just let your stats fall where they may. Don’t worry about your VPIP and PFR and ATS increasing.
If this makes you appear to be a LAG, like with a temporary and uncharacteristic jump to 28/24 or something similar, that might work in your favor. You’re a TAG player (I presume) so the ones who use HUD’s might think you’re a LAG, but your TAG style will have you playing stronger ranges so you’ll be able to defend against their 3bets more frequently and you’ll get to the flop with better holdings than they do when they call.
In the long run, your stats will naturally converge to your player type.
Forge Video Recommendation: POKER MATH COURSE – Strategy #4: Stealing & 3bet Restealing