Hand reading vs Fish

Greg_the_EngineerGreg_the_Engineer Red Chipper Posts: 12 ✭✭
So, i'm working on my hand reading skills, and something came up last night.

I don't want to discuss the actual hand, just using this as an example:
We play 1/3, effective stacks are about $500. My friend had KK on the button. UTG limps, MP bets $10, HJ calls, he bets $75 (Alot I know, but you have to understand the game dynamics, just assume this is the only way to isolate), MP calls, the rest all fold. Flop was Q96r. MP bets to $100. Moving to the end of the hand, KK eventually lost his stack on the river as it bricked out and MP turned over Q6o.

Question is, how do you ever do any hand reading post game analysis when you have players like this? The first step in hand reading is to put your opponent on a range of possible hands he would have, but no where in reality can you have Q6o in his range, but there it was. Moving forward in other situations, how can I handle this extreme type of player and actually make off table work realistic? Hoe can you start this process, and how can you proceed with any degree of precision?

Comments

  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 915 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 9
    Hand reading against very loose players who have erratic large preflop ranges starts on the flop. The funnel approach of starting with a range and cutting parts off it, does not work very well at most low stakes poker. When its all you have yes use it.

    But most players play so passively, and/or play different parts of their range so differently, that the information on the flop turn and river...so out ways information preflop.

    Sure in many situation all you can go with is preflop information...you raise he calls, you cbet...as here he will either check his entire range or he acts after you, you have to go with some loose guess as to what his preflop range looks like.

    But once he donks, or raises you or calls your cbet...you have somewhat reliable information. In some cases absolute information.

    My point here is not to ignore preflop action except in the most extreme case (as against a fish who never folds preflop)....but give much more credence to later action.



    So against very loose or very agro players you just have to exploit their loose range, raise big made hands like KK very large...as you friend did, and then hang on. Tend to play hands the flop top pair good kicker (second pair top kicker), more then hands that flop equtiy and depend on fold equity to be profitable.

    But think about it this guy donk out 100, into a 150 pot thats a lot of information, you can't go back and say well he can't have Q6 because he can, you just have to say, this means XYZ to you here.....if you watch this guy and he donks big with 2 pair+ but check calls, AQ type hand, and draws....you might be able to find the fold. Note it would be one hell of a read with this strong a hand...but the idea is there.

    Put it another way, in the book Easy Game, Andrew Seidman says hand reading is easy....if they are passive, you fold when they raise, if they are aggressive, you call with a hand when they raise. Easy game.



  • Greg_the_EngineerGreg_the_Engineer Red Chipper Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Thanks @Eazzy , very good reply. So the question to me now is, does it mess you up somewhat if you are trying to improve your hand reading skills and range an opponent PF, when their range PF is basically the entire board, on some players? Trying to wrap my head around the balance between the theoretical hand reading skills and the practical application at low stakes.
    I would be worried about narrowing my opponents range too much PF and then it messes up the entire analysis as the hand progresses. Get in a spot where you discount a hand and get popped because you've removed it incorrectly.
    Or is it basically kind of ignoring a PF starting range (for some players) and starting to narrow post flop instead.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭
    To complete @Eazzy : pay attention how (bet sizing, range, board, position) and when (PFR, c-bet, raise, stab, donkbet) players show aggression. This will give a tremendous amount of information about V's range.

    In your example, V donkbets. But some will donk smart taking advantage or their range and board; some will donk with bad hands to see where they are at; some will donk with a hand they like "for value" (even if it's TPnK); some will donk - aka raise whatever their position - but only with a monster.
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    Why do you think that jacking up your pre-flop 3betting amount is the answer against this type of fish?
  • Greg_the_EngineerGreg_the_Engineer Red Chipper Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Why do you think that jacking up your pre-flop 3betting amount is the answer against this type of fish?

    Wasn't me, was just using it as an example.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,618 ✭✭✭✭✭
    well, that 3 bet is pretty spectacular if q6 is calling
  • Greg_the_EngineerGreg_the_Engineer Red Chipper Posts: 12 ✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    well, that 3 bet is pretty spectacular if q6 is calling

    Again, didn't post the hand to discuss the strategy, just using it as an example of a real life hand and how to analyse off table to improve hand reading skills vs fish
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 13 ✭✭
    I agree with Eazzy that seeing your opponent table Q6o just plays into your learning and adjusting for the future. I have this very same problem about confusion and I think there is too much for me to think about when their range is infinite. But really, it just comes down to simplifications to make everything digestable. Simply, you can expect that his preflop range after facing re-aggression preflop is going to be nearly everything weak for a call. You now know this, and you can adjust your future hand reading to work with it. He can have 62s, A4o, he can have all those two pairs. And when he thinks you're very strong, he tries to get all the money in instantly with his nuts.
  • GGECKOGGECKO Washington, D.C.Red Chipper Posts: 110 ✭✭✭
    This post is coming at a great time, as myself and @Jordan Power have been running into these situations quite a bit over the past few weeks. Some of the LAGs have shown up at the river with 7-2 in a 3b pot to win the hand. Jordan even made the comment "ok, his range is 100%. Got it." We had a good laugh, but it was pretty accurate.

    My adjustment to start bringing my hand reading skills to the table (it's much different than off table study), is to focus on HR with the TAGs and ABC players, as they are much easier to ascertain. Then I've been focusing on understanding how the flop has hit their hand. Many times, I know right away it was a bad/good flop for them and act accordingly. I imagine with more work and playing it will become easier, and the better I get at HR the low hanging fruit of traditional players, I will be able to hone the skills for use on the more tricky players. The frustration is real though.

    @Eazzy comment that "HR starts OTF with these types of players" is great. Light bulb went off in my head.
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 230 ✭✭✭
    GGECKO wrote: »
    This post is coming at a great time, as myself and @Jordan Power have been running into these situations quite a bit over the past few weeks. Some of the LAGs have shown up at the river with 7-2 in a 3b pot to win the hand. Jordan even made the comment "ok, his range is 100%. Got it." We had a good laugh, but it was pretty accurate.

    My adjustment to start bringing my hand reading skills to the table (it's much different than off table study), is to focus on HR with the TAGs and ABC players, as they are much easier to ascertain. Then I've been focusing on understanding how the flop has hit their hand. Many times, I know right away it was a bad/good flop for them and act accordingly. I imagine with more work and playing it will become easier, and the better I get at HR the low hanging fruit of traditional players, I will be able to hone the skills for use on the more tricky players. The frustration is real though.

    @Eazzy comment that "HR starts OTF with these types of players" is great. Light bulb went off in my head.

    It was less funny when same villain flipped over 9-2, having called down 2/3 pots on 3 streets with a pair of dueces 9 kicker to invalidate my queens by catching a third 2 on the river haha. Although actually, it was sort of funny even then and my reaction to his nonsense actually I think kept him at the table longer because he was getting a lot of shit from the rest of the table.

    In all seriousness though, I had a lot more success with HR this weekend than previously by just asking myself three question on every hand:

    1) What did V do preflop? Did he limp and then call a raise? Or was he the raiser?
    2) Does V seem to be a thinking player? (If yes, I'll focus on assigning them a range like I normally would. If no, I'm going to proceed with a touch more caution)
    3) Has V shown up with anything crazy?

    I start here and try to then assign a range and proceed to narrow it from there. It's not a perfect system but its A system lol
  • WannabeFarhaWannabeFarha Red Chipper Posts: 21 ✭✭
    Same thing in my $1/3 game. Like Jordan and others said narrow your ranges for each player at the table, i.e. limp vs pfr, thinking player or not etc and for the maniacs sure start with 100% and play their post-flop play for the read, they might call $75 pre-flop with nothing, but are they going to call that post flop with nothing with an A or K on the board, or are they going to raise you there with nothing, maybe, but probably not.
    At my session last weekend there was a guy that always plays K5 regardless of suit "because is his favorite hand" and sure enough shows up with a boat to crush trip K's. PFR was $50 with 4 callers and he played with K5o. I folded 57o oop and flop came 557 and I mentioned after the hand I would've flopped a boat and two people were like "you always gotta play those hands, they make you the big money". This game also had people 3-betting with 68s in the blinds to a $25 open UTG in a 5 way pot that still went 5-way to the flop so for a $1/3 game it was insane. Needless to say you couldn't rule out any hands for 75% of the people at that table and the 4 of us playing reasonable ranges hardly even played any hands because we kept loosing to ridiculous hands (I took a table change and did fine later but several people went on tilt trying to play that table because you couldn't see a flop for less than $50 and 5 players had $1000 behind effectively making the buy-in stacks the short stacks).

    You couldn't hand read, couldn't out aggro anyone, and even with a super tight pf range you'd get sucked into a boat or straight by a guy with 27o that 3-bet pre-flop to $50 in a $1/3 game. I'm sure on one hand you could crush the table eventually with the right strategy adjustments and it would've been super profitable in the long run but for a four hour session it was a money pit.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 1,268 -
    One of the ways of dealing with super wide ranges is to recognize that pretty much whenever you get into a hand with these characters you have range advantage. That's not a bad situation.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    One of the ways of dealing with super wide ranges is to recognize that pretty much whenever you get into a hand with these characters you have range advantage. That's not a bad situation.

    Yes...

    And....

    Range advantage isn't bad. But, it's only really helpful when your opponent has some recognition of it. Unless your opponent recognizes your range advantage and folds when you press your advantage, range advantage becomes nearly impotent. The power of playing range advantage is leveraging it to generate folds from middling hands that have you beaten based on the hole cards but are behind based on ranges.
  • GGECKOGGECKO Washington, D.C.Red Chipper Posts: 110 ✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    One of the ways of dealing with super wide ranges is to recognize that pretty much whenever you get into a hand with these characters you have range advantage. That's not a bad situation.

    Yes...

    And....

    Range advantage isn't bad. But, it's only really helpful when your opponent has some recognition of it. Unless your opponent recognizes your range advantage and folds when you press your advantage, range advantage becomes nearly impotent. The power of playing range advantage is leveraging it to generate folds from middling hands that have you beaten based on the hole cards but are behind based on ranges.

    I recognize the point you are trying to make and agree, but the primary value of range advantage is that statistically (over time), your cards will have more equity than villains whenever you get into a hand with someone playing a looser range. If I play 20% of hands and a villain plays 40%, mathematically I have the advantage because on average my cards will be stronger than his. I am folding out the worst half of his hands that he is willing to play with. This is why it's so important.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 1,268 -
    I'd say both points are important. I'd certainly agree when our opponent doesn't understand the concept of RA it neuters some of what we can do, particularly in terms of equity actualization. But if we think of it in terms of Ed's pyramids, something has to give.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 915 ✭✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    I'd say both points are important. I'd certainly agree when our opponent doesn't understand the concept of RA it neuters some of what we can do, particularly in terms of equity actualization. But if we think of it in terms of Ed's pyramids, something has to give.

    Range Advantage when used to imply certain flops hit your hand better then his goes out the door. All flops hit your wide but not insane range better then his huge range.

    Isolation theory is what you should be thinking about. You want to play lots of pots with him, and hu with him. HIs wide range hits flops too weekly and he as to get rid of all that junk. As Ed puts it he either has to call too much, fold too much, or bluff too much to get rid of all these week hands.

    any "reasonable" hand you play will often dominate his hands. So you can value bet when you hit. If he calls too much of his week range this becomes easy. J9o plays just fine against someone who plays J2 and 95....

    If he folds his weak hands by the river, well bluffing him works great as so much of his range will still be very week by the river.

    And if he bluffs to much (the maniac), way to many week hands in his range mean you can call him down light.

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