Hand Reading and Building Ranges for Very Amateur Home Games: Is there merit in doing so?

Jake SJake S Red Chipper Posts: 4 ✭✭
Setting the scene: I just recently had a 4 hour discussion with one of my roommates, with whom I play 4-handed poker regularly at our apartment with two of our friends. I also play micro stakes online and study regularly, but I am always willing to play these home games against my friends who play for fun only and do not study the game at all.

The argument that we had was that my roommate thinks that there is no point in analyzing hands that we are playing because we are amateurs and play so volatile that it is extremely inaccurate to do so by assigning ranges based on hand actions, player types, etc.

My argument is obviously that no matter how amateur someone is there can still be information gathered by the way they play and ranges can be assigned based on their frequencies and other information like shown hands at showdown and the play that took place before said showdown.

His response was that we don't play enough hands to gather that kind of information (we play long games averaging 4 hours at 4-handed - if that gives any perspective on how many hands we play). He also said that what if one time I am playing "seriously" and then the next I am intoxicated and not caring as much and playing with a different style? How can your "range" for me be accurate in the slightest?

I explained that you can adjust ranges based on what you're seeing as the game goes on and information you gather as the session goes on. Also, I do understand, and told him, that if people are amateur and playing crazy that their ranges will be harder to construct. However, I still think that it is possible to get semi-accurate ranges and that there is merit in trying to do so in terms of playing most optimally.

FINAL QUESTION: Is there any possibility that I am wrong in this argument? If so, please tell. If not, how do I explain this to him in a way that he can understand (he is a smart individual who works full-time as a developer at Microsoft; this is why I am so confused how he does not understand this concept -- assuming I am correct obviously)

Comments

  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Jake S wrote: »
    FINAL QUESTION: Is there any possibility that I am wrong in this argument? If so, please tell.

    It's always possible, but i'm with you in this one. If you can't adjust in game, are you really much of a player? I think we should call these guys Coders moving forward.

  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,184 ✭✭✭✭
    I’m with you as well. It sounds like Mr. Microsoft is just playing his hand and hoping he can make a hand that appears high up on his Poker Hand Ranking chart. All jokes aside, I assume this player is decent enough to at least consider what his opponent is betting and calling with. Therefore, what information is he using? He’s going to need some sort of baseline that can be adjusted based on his opponent’s current mental state. Maybe having him dig into the decision making process, thinking like a programmer, will help him understand that he’s likely using ranges in some fashion. Either way, it sounds like you’re sitting in a good game. Do you have room for a 5th? And I’m not talking about alcohol.
  • Jake SJake S Red Chipper Posts: 4 ✭✭
    bigburge10 wrote: »
    Therefore, what information is he using? He’s going to need some sort of baseline that can be adjusted based on his opponent’s current mental state. Maybe having him dig into the decision making process, thinking like a programmer, will help him understand that he’s likely using ranges in some fashion. Either way, it sounds like you’re sitting in a good game. Do you have room for a 5th? And I’m not talking about alcohol.

    That's a good idea. I'll see where that gets me. If it doesn't work I will just agree to disagree and continue to win in these games. As for having room for a 5th, the more the merrier!
  • Easy GEasy G Red Chipper Posts: 13 ✭✭
    he has a point but i agree with you more. i think he's right in that it's harder to hand read or assign ranges to amateurs, but it still helps to try :)
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Let's suppose for a moment that it makes sense for you guys to call them amateurs or recreationals or whatever: what kind of a professional wouldn't assign them ranges and work to beat them?

    Well one that is also having fun at this game, for starters.
  • needaglassofmilkneedaglassofmilk Red Chipper Posts: 43 ✭✭
    I think you should just let it go and range the hell out of them. The more you play with them the better you should get at it. Eventually your argument will prove itself.
  • Faustovaldez123Faustovaldez123 Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 596 ✭✭✭
    this is why people fall into playing only balanced or so called "GTO" cause they don't have a framework to help them range people down.

    So I'm with you @Jake S through frequencies and patterns people unfold their strategy and then you can adjust based on that.
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  • tripletiretripletire Red Chipper Posts: 229 ✭✭✭
    this is why people fall into playing only balanced or so called "GTO" cause they don't have a framework to help them range people down.

    I've always thought GTO was a fearful approach. Fear of not being able to read situations well, fear of not being able to learn how to. Memorizing instead how to protect their own ranges since it's easier.