Strategic considerations and illuminating concepts....

Chris FChris F Red Chipper Posts: 155 ✭✭
edited October 2017 in General Concepts
I feel im starting to glimpse the outer edges of the bigger picture.

In war the general who can take the enemy off of his game and out of his element is the one who will be victorious. The winning general strives to force the other side to abandon their strategy and become reactive to his.

Most of the 1/2 players in my local player pool are donks and easy to steamroll, however, there exist a small handful of players who operate on a deeper level. Some of these players are a regular at the 2/5 tables but can be found playing the lower limits while waiting for a table. Others have the skills to play higher but due to either bankroll requirements or some other limitation they stay at 1/2. These players have a strategy and I know that like the winning general, I need to force them to abandon it. I need them to be reactive to me, always trying to figure me out.

I know this, I just don't know how to yet accomplish it. Deep thoughts will be given to this...


"Plan your hand."

A phrase I first heard back in June of this year when I was still a baby donk (now an infant donk) taking my first poker steps. The sentence made sense to me on a surface level...

"If they check I'll bet. If they bet I'll fold and pick a better spot unless I have the nuts!"

Vast ignorance on my part obviously.

Now here again I start to see a glimmer of light. To plan effectively one must start with the end in mind. They must know the goal and the objective. Makes sense!

Now I start by looking at the river first and planning backwards. I ask myself, "What would I like to happen? What do I want my opponent to do? What actions do I take to induce him down the path I want?"

Again, I have yet to fully answer my own question.

Opinions? Thoughts? Comments?

Comments

  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    Huge step. Plan from the river backwards. Sometimes I used to fire a c-bet when checked to and be like....wait...they didn't fold. I got a Q high...THEY CANT POSSIBLY STAND UP TO 3 BARRELS! And it works...kinda. In the same way shooting in the dark hits targets...occasionally.

    Here's my poor mans guide to my pre-flop and flop/turn.
    1. What is the goal with my hand? Do I want callers? How can I win this hand? WHY AM I CALLING? I hate just calling. It's my least favorite option.
    2. Who is my customer? Using the goal of my hand, correlate it to who my customer/customers are. If it's a donk who never folds I'm raising AA to $20 cause I know he's gonna call and I wanna extract value with a hand that can stand up to pressure in bloated pots. If I have K5s I'm not raising to $20 to try to steal his limp cause I know he's not going anywhere if he hit's the flop and firing 3 shells could be an unnecessarily expensive mistake.
    3. Based on the initial raise (goal), my customer, and the flop, what do I want to happen for the rest of the hand? Do I want to make it to showdown? Do I want to bet to get him to put money in with a worse hand? Am I trying to set up a bluff? Did I just miss and need to give up?
    4. Finally....if someone bets into me, I always think...will there be better spots and or is my hand good enough to call and or do they bluff enough? I am always very wary of anyone who bet's into me. Like I said, I always prefer to drive because non-showdown value is so real. It's the cornerstone of my game. Therefore, because I focus on non-showdown value the fact is I don't like to arrive at the river often. If someone is betting or if I am betting, I most likely want the hand to end (generally on the flop or preflop). It's my 2:1 bluffs to value preflop and flop ratio. Other people play other ways. It's just my game. Find your own game.
  • Chris FChris F Red Chipper Posts: 155 ✭✭
    edited October 2017
    Sounds like a legit way to plan a hand and a legit strategy.

    I have a strategy, and am getting better at hand planning and knowing what I would like to do... the big thing I'm putting a lot of thought in is how to get other thinking players (who have their own strategy) to be on the defensive.

    I'm always trying to find ways to give them dilemmas while putting them in a bad spot. If they have to abandon their strategy, and are facing a hard dilemma, they will be out of their element and make costly mistakes.

    Some of these players are decently solid and by letting them play their own game they won't usually make big mistakes. By constantly taking my opponent out of his element and making sure he always faces dilemmas when facing me he will become frustrated and irritated. This will lead to costly mistakes for him (which means more money for me) or for him to leave the table and to be likely replaced by someone of lesser skill (again more money for me).

    Some other thoughts and considerations I've been contemplating on:

    - Setting up a certain image at the table and then exploiting opponents as they try to adjust to that false image.

    - Exposing false leaks in my game and exploiting my opponent as he tries to exploit a leak that isn't really there.

    - Using the science of Psychological Priming to try and influence an opponent's actions. Works better if I can get them slightly irritated/tilted at first.

    - For something less moral: constantly point out a good players strategy and techniques to the other players at the table. This would likely cause opponent to become tilted and get less action leading to him hopefully changing tables and being replaced by a less skilled player. This is a dick move and I doubt it something I would actually do but its an interesting thought none the less.

    - Along the same lines of moral "grayness" I could befriend the good player, start to talk strategy with him away from the table and feed him misleading info about mine while I use my knowledge of his to exploit him in the future sessions. Again this is a dick move and I would likely be more +EV to just befriend the guy and learn from him.

    Just some thoughts I have running through my mind at the moment. Will be thinking deeply about these and other ideas for a while.
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    Chris F wrote: »
    Sounds like a legit way to plan a hand and a legit strategy.

    I have a strategy, and am getting better at hand planning and knowing what I would like to do... the big thing I'm putting a lot of thought in is how to get other thinking players (who have their own strategy) to be on the defensive.

    I'm always trying to find ways to give them dilemmas while putting them in a bad spot. If they have to abandon their strategy, and are facing a hard dilemma, they will be out of their element and make costly mistakes.

    Some of these players are decently solid and by letting them play their own game they won't usually make big mistakes. By constantly taking my opponent out of his element and making sure he always faces dilemmas when facing me he will become frustrated and irritated. This will lead to costly mistakes for him (which means more money for me) or for him to leave the table and to be likely replaced by someone of lesser skill (again more money for me).

    Some other thoughts and considerations I've been contemplating on:

    - Setting up a certain image at the table and then exploiting opponents as they try to adjust to that false image.

    - Exposing false leaks in my game and exploiting my opponent as he tries to exploit a leak that isn't really there.

    - Using the science of Psychological Priming to try and influence an opponent's actions. Works better if I can get them slightly irritated/tilted at first.

    - For something less moral: constantly point out a good players strategy and techniques to the other players at the table. This would likely cause opponent to become tilted and get less action leading to him hopefully changing tables and being replaced by a less skilled player. This is a dick move and I doubt it something I would actually do but its an interesting thought none the less.

    - Along the same lines of moral "grayness" I could befriend the good player, start to talk strategy with him away from the table and feed him misleading info about mine while I use my knowledge of his to exploit him in the future sessions. Again this is a dick move and I would likely be more +EV to just befriend the guy and learn from him.

    Just some thoughts I have running through my mind at the moment. Will be thinking deeply about these and other ideas for a while.

    I'd suggesting focusing first on your A-game. These are all deception tactics, but they only have a [small] chance of working if you have mastered your A-game.
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    1. Don't comment on your strategy unless you are "misleading" them. I don't go out of my way to expose other players strategy, no need for that IMO. The less people think you are a "thinking" player or whatever the better, depending on what you are trying to do. But say for example I 3-bet on the BU with I dunno J10s flop come K 8 6 BDSDFD he checks I C-bet and he says "ah way to hit your king on AK" I say "of course...come on man you know what time it is." Let them think I would only 3-bet AK, AA KK or QQ. More power to MY strategy of attacking during the pre-flop and flop stages.
    2. Careful about "taking them out of their element". I assume you mean larger sizing, more 3-bets, over bets, ect. They aren't used to this. But are you? My strategy is by no means refined, but when I first came across the concept of non-showdown value, I assumed that V's just simply couldn't stand up to my pressure. Hint: there will come a time when they do. And you'll have spent 3 hours building up +$200 to run a triple barrel bluff and have them eventually call you down and now your stuck $100...-$300. That's a big mistake by you (me), winning a lot of $40, $35, $70 pots due to aggression, but eventually if you get too out of line, you will get you. Finding balance is hard.
    3. Sometimes at Live (I've noticed you play there), the best strategy at $1-2....is just a boring TAG. I mean, I hate it, but I've blown my first $200 buy-in there in the 1st 2 orbits trying to push people off top pair a few times now. In fact, recently I like to adopt a kind of boring TAG strategy the first hour or two while I develop profiles of players and the table. Then, I may deviate my strategy, or start ramping up the pressure. And sometimes, you just don't have to. People are just gonna pay you when you open to $12, C-bet $12, $20, $25 rivers with AK and they just couldnt' fold KJ. That's a nice little $70~ pot, you turn a one or two of those an hours, ayyy your crushing the game. The best players can come in and break the game, and sometimes I do that, but sometimes I give away 2 buy-ins in less than an hours doing that.
  • Adam WheelerAdam Wheeler Red Chipper Posts: 2,654 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2017
    "Plan your range" and how you want him to be on Turn and River(If you want to land on river with stacks at play).

    By doing so you'll always know where your "hand" stand as part of the whole.

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