Poker Study Application at the Tables - Friday Night

GGECKOGGECKO Washington, D.C.Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
I thought I would share some random thoughts of how the application of my studying affected my play, the first time at the poker table in quite awhile.

First of all, it was great to meet up with a fellow RCP student @Jordan Power at the NH MGM casino. We were lucky to get on the same table and get to know each other and later when we debriefed we could discuss hands and various people at the table. Hopefully, Jordan will jump on here and correct me if necessary.

The table we sat at was filled with players of varying abilities. There seemed to be a couple that had a good command of the game, but most were rather weak and played a simple fit or fold strategy. Here is what I focused on at the table and how I feel it ended up working out for me.

- Player awareness. I am just more aware of how the various people are playing at the table. The ABC players jump out like sore thumbs and I did use that info to make some well timed c-bets and barrels, when I really only had a weak holding. The vast majority of my plays like this were IP, but there were times I tried to pull these same plays OOP and towards the end of the evening I blew off about $275 against a new player trying to push him off a hand. I was OOP as well, so it was a costly mistake but one I won't forget. Sometimes it takes the poker table to show you "this is the mistake", after you have read it in the book.

- Bread and Butter plays. Using the first mission of Poker Plays You Can Use, I looked for B&B plays at the table. I didn't document them like the book says you could but I maintained my situational awareness so I was always looking for them even when I wasn't in a hand. More importantly, I came to realize when I could put myself in a B&B situation and this was the reason most of my c-bet and bluffing opportunities worked. The clarity gained by understanding what was going on, made me feel like I didn't know WTF I was doing before this session when I didn't know what a B&B was.

- 3 Betting. I three bet a number of times when I probably wouldn't have in the past and most times took down the pot preflop. When I had callers, a c-bet usually finished the job when they missed the flop...with the benefits of a nice pot.

- Hand Reading. Having some rudimentary skills at hand reading from off table study, I wanted to put them to use but honestly found myself completely unable to put them on a range. I found myself going back to the basic idea of "did their hand hit this flop?" by analyzing flop texture. This effort was stymied a bit because it was the first time trying this at the table (which I know will get better with practice), as well as the absolutely insane starting ranges some of my opponents were using. For instance, there was a woman who called on button who was 3-bet with K3o and won a nice pot with two pair. Also, the one player who I rated as being pretty competent, played 72o from UTG and also won a big pot. Shockingly, before he left the table he pulled two racks of chips from his bags that easily totaled 20k, as he moved off to another game - which was curious.

My big takeaway was this - I am not very good at this game because I haven't put in the playing time to start weaponizing the strategies and tactics I have been studying. Although I was monetarily stuck for the evening, I felt it was a win for me because I am starting to see The Matrix so much more than I had before. As long as I apply the lessons I learned from this session to the next, I feel that the skillsets I have learned will make me one of the better players at these games and the money will start flowing my way.

Not sure if this adds to any discussion here, but wanted to document how I felt this session went, as it could sound familiar to others on here.


  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 887 ✭✭✭
    First of all well done.

    The only comment I really have is on hand reading. IMO hand reading at low stakes starts 90% on the flop and beyond.

    Preflop ranges is mostly done at home to get a real feel for flop textures, and ratios of draws to made hands type thing on different flop textures to help with multi barrelling and some bluff catching.

    When I raise I just put everyone on a 25% calling range, and adjust a bit for tight players, and loose players. Its a range I know very well. I did develop a system for doing this and I can do flopzilla in my head often at the table, but it really much easier to take close hands home and reevaluate them.

    If your interested in my system I presented it here.

    After the flop you will get solid information as most players play too passive, and have very unbalanced ranges ( a few play too aggressive). If the nit raises you on the river, and the only hand that makes sense is he has 6 4 something he would never call your preflop raise with, guess what he probably has 6 4, its much more likely that he has some how called with 6 4 for $15 preflop then he decided to make a big bluff on the river.

    Really the only time preflop ranges matter in hand reading is when players play the diffrent parts of their range the same post flop, and most low stake players don't do that or do it so unbalanced or define which part of the range they have on the next street, that its just much more efficient to spend most of your time studying hand reading, post flop,
  • DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭

    You're speaking of the MGM in Springfield MA that was just built? I live just under 2 hours from there (if this is the casino you're referring to). Small world, I might run in to you guys!
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,159 ✭✭✭✭

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