My take on the 25% uncapped range

AkashicAkashic Red Chipper Posts: 100 ✭✭
So, I decided to look into understanding and utilizing a “25% uncapped range” after re-watching a webinar that Fausto presented. I am currently working through the range construction and wanted to share my thoughts while creating it. Open discussion about this is welcome. I did a quick scan of the forum for past topics but didn’t see one. Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere.

I wanted to lay the groundwork as to why a 25% uncapped range is to be used (actually 24% to be more accurate). This is being used as an exploitative range against live players. The goal is to allow us to connect with more board types from all positions and to skew our perceived image as potentially maniac thus changing table dynamics in some way. To account for changes, we will require at least two different variations for the opening ranges (polarized and merged) to deal with how opponents adapt to us. Keep in mind that our bet sizing will tend to lean towards the larger end to aid in changing table dynamics and altering the comfort of other players. As a result, our range will favor equity over playability as a default (assuming 100bb stack size). Additional hands will be added along the edges of our range to compensate for player types and stack depth changes, but will be ignored for now (except for BB later on). This also assumes a 9-handed table.
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This range will cover our OR, 3-bet, and CC ranges for now. This means that if we raise 9% of this range, we call with the other 15% of the remaining range. I have not yet assigned squeeze, 4-bet, and 5-bet ranges but plan on doing so in the near future.

From my understanding, traditionally, it would be preferred to have different 3-bet and CC frequencies for each position we are at. However, because we are focusing so much on specific players, then we should shift our defense against the type of player. Just because we are opting into an uncapped 25% range doesn’t mean that logic flies out the window. Normally, our CC frequencies will be higher against earlier positions and will decrease as we near the button as a default while the reverse will be true for 3-bet frequencies. I am thinking we can somewhat stick to this until we get more info on our opponent. That or just assume they are loose until proven otherwise.

Range Construction:

Should I really be focusing so much on player style instead of position? Well, if the goal is to adapt to the players, then… yes. I am currently leaning towards player type. This would also allow us to simplify our ranges which is a very good thing. If we assigned by position, we would have multiple 3-bet/CC ranges and would have to adjust these based on our opponent anyways.

Here is an example that I created. This is a default representation against a looser player and could be expanded along the poles as needed. This will also be my default against rec players, but may use the vs semi-loose range if needed. Green = Value 3-bet (42 combos), Red = Bluff 3-bet (88 combos), Blue = CC (204 combos). 3-bet / CC frequencies = 9.8% / 15.4%.
zk6ik1x76qu0.jpg

Here is an example of a semi-loose player. Some recs are a bit tighter, but you could use the vs loose range. This may not even be needed. Green = Value 3-bet (26 combos), Red = Bluff 3-bet (52 combos), Blue = CC (240 combos). 3-bet / CC frequencies = 5.88% / 18.1%.
tive7ry4t36b.jpg

Here is an example for a rock. I wasn’t sure if I preferred including QQs or not. I felt that by leaving QQ, it was too close to the semi-loose category, so I removed them from the 3-bet range. I also am only raising half of JTo to keep the number of bluffs down. I chose to 3-bet JTo that did not contain a heart. Green = Value 3-bet (16 combos), Red + yellow = Bluff 3-bet (34 combos), Blue + yellow = CC (284 combos). 3-bet / CC frequencies = 3.8% / 21.4%. (yellow means 50% combo for either range)
ln8r788hgy8w.jpg

Blinds:

When committing to a 25% uncapped from EVERY position, we need to create a strategy for the blinds. I gotta admit that this is tough when thinking about the blinds because we will not have a large CC range. I am currently heavily leaning towards deviating from the 25% range while in BB vs SB. We could easily open for 75%-100% depending on sizing from SB. I am curious as to your thoughts on this. I know it breaks the spirit, but not doing this seems more like a leak.

So, let’s take a look at the SB first.

Right off the bat, I can say that I am not as sharp as I’d like to be when choosing which method to use out of the SB. Initially, I claimed we would be focusing on polarized only, but the SB is a special case. We will likely not have separate polarized and depolarized ranges (like the other seats). The thing that is not sitting right with me is that if we are using ranges based on opponent type, then we won’t have a “vs steal” range. I have to think more on what if the player is tight and opens from early position. I mean, I guess I can just use the “vs tight” range, but tweak the 3-bet bluffs to favor playability instead of equity as we will be dominated more often anyways.
Thinking about 3-betting only out of the SB seems a little much at 25%, if I did implement it, I would be ok with trimming off the edges a bit to tighten it up. Then again it goes against the spirit of this and may reflect an attempt to be a bit more passive. It could also be fun to try.
Alternatively, we can create a very slim CC range of TT-66 and 3-bet the rest of the range. This would drop our 3-bet frequency to 22.9% and a CC frequency of 2.26%. In the picture, you can use assume that the yellow is the CC range and the rest would be a 3-bet.
2mmf51bz6qnn.jpg

Now, let’s look at BB

I have only done work so far on BB OOP. I am waiting to hear opinions on altering the BB vs SB matchup. I think my BB oop is pretty standard (aside from the # of combos), but feedback welcome.
sgb0muzv7a6x.jpg


Thank you for taking the time to read this and it was fun to work on. I am pretty committed to adopting this so I plan on continuing to work on this. I also appreciate any feedback. I do not recommend newer players adopt this until you have done significant off table work to improve your game. I found it rather funny that I ended up borrowing from The Course.

Comments

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,669 -
    I'd suggest one of the most important points you make is that newer players should avoid this until they fully understand it and have developed superior postflop skills.

    I'd add that my only source of income for over a decade was from playing poker, and I never developed the postflop skills necessary to use this approach.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • AkashicAkashic Red Chipper Posts: 100 ✭✭
    edited June 5
    hahaha, this is probably over my head. I still think it was very good practice considering I did this because of an internet outage in my area. There are a lot of subtleties I had to consider and probably missed most of them
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,669 -
    Oh I commend you on your work. This is how we improve. There is an additional element, however, which is rarely discussed, that concerns how you want to play poker.

    To give a specific example, Phil Hellmuth is often the butt of jokes from poker savants because some of his fundamentals are weak. I prefer to look at it by saying he's one of the greatest poker tournament players of all time despite those weaknesses.

    So how does he achieve such success? Part of it is he reads people really well. He also selects tournaments superbly. But he also intimidates the crap out of recreational players. He's physically a large man (who makes himself larger like a cat by standing and puffing himself up), and we all know about his mouth. And if you're someone who usually plays in a bar league, you're not gonna put a play on Phil or make a light call, because of the shame you'll experience when he explains to the world how you screwed up. (It's true there are some that take shots precisely so they have the "I bluffed Phil" story, but honestly he reads so well that doesn't really dent him.)

    What we might conclude from this is that physical and verbal intimidation is an effective way of improving your tournament results. Hmmm. And then we have a choice.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,507 ✭✭✭✭
    Akashic wrote: »
    When committing to a 25% uncapped from EVERY position, we need to create a strategy for the blinds.

    I only gave a quick skim of what you wrote but there are so many problems.

    There is no good reason to try to play 25% from all positions. POSITION MATTERS! If you open 25% from EP in FR game you are WAY too wide, and if you only open 25% from the BTN or SB you are WAY too tight.

    Also polarizing all of your 3B ranges, and cold calling so wide is also a big mistake.

    If you spend any time looking at solved ranges, snowie/Pluribus ranges, large database of online pros, or even watch how the best players actually play - It will look very different than what you are describing.
  • AkashicAkashic Red Chipper Posts: 100 ✭✭
    edited June 7
    I am aware of the extremes in the OR/3-bet/CC frequencies from different positions. Don't get me wrong, I completely agree and I use a different range who's frequencies are very position based.

    The point of this one was to see what I would do if I subscribed to the whole 25% uncapped range from all positions. The biggest issues I had were how low the frequencies were from later positions + blinds. I also expressed this in the very next few lines after the quote lol

    Having said that, I am still very much interested in this experiment. This range (I assume) isn't meant to be anywhere near theory.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,669 -
    Akashic wrote: »
    I am aware of the extremes in the OR/3-bet/CC frequencies from different positions. Don't get me wrong, I completely agree and I use a different range who's frequencies are very position based.

    The point of this one was to see what I would do if I subscribed to the whole 25% uncapped range from all positions. The biggest issues I had were how low the frequencies were from later positions + blinds. I also expressed this in the very next few lines after the quote lol

    Having said that, I am still very much interested in this experiment. This range (I assume) isn't meant to be anywhere near theory.

    If so, that essentially tells you we're dealing with a highly-exploitative approach that can itself be exploited. The originators of the idea, I suspect, will point out that most people don't know how to defend themselves.

    As I touched upon in my earlier post, I think some of this boils down to how you want to approach poker.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • AkashicAkashic Red Chipper Posts: 100 ✭✭
    For sure, this is heavily skewed towards an exploitative approach. The higher 3-bet frequencies are likely in place because of the lack of 3-betting the average low stakes player is exposed to.

    I'm more in tune with an aggro approach, which is why I am really interested in this. I also think it is very valuable to have the ability to swap between play styles when needed,
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,867 -
    So, why do you want to subscribe to this?

    It has been a while since I saw this video, so I am just speaking without reference to it.

    I have swung my personal pendulum from too nitty, to too loose, to a little nitty, to a little loose. I am currently swinging towards tight again.

    Before the Rona I was playing live in the Philippines and the games are good. Very good. They also make me sad. Tighter is righter in these games. It felt like the same lesson I have to learn at the WSOP almost every year: "People are not here to fold"

    All the elaborate study, and theory just kind of collapse to a much simpler exploit: "They call too much with weak hands."

    Do I just nit it up? No. But against an unknown I sure do. There are guys that can appreciate hand reading, 3-betting, etc. I love these guys because it wakes me from my slumber. There are occasional heads-up pots against reasonable opponents.

    So I ask, is 25% a good goal from all positions? The answer is almost certainly no.

    Are you doing this as an exercise to get yourself out of a too nitty pendulum swing? Are you in a typical Wednesday 11am local filled nitty Vegas game? Are you in a WSOP Friday night at 2am where 25% makes you the tight guy?

    I have had private students that were way too nitty and timid. We did a play together session where I did exactly this. It was the right table texture and with a little good fortune I dominated. It was what the student needed to witness right then to move his pendulum. It moved and I consider him a colleague at this point.

    I remember once playing with Ross, and within an hour we both had $60 in white chips because the game plan was "They limp, we raise, they fold" and the "limpin'" chips tend to accumulate. We moved to a different casino, caught the vibe there and both found ourselves nitting it up and winning just a few big pots instead of a ton of little ones.

    You should absolutely have a "25% Fuck all y'all" game, you should also have a "10% wake me up when I get a hand" game. And you most definitely should have the wisdom to know which to use.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,669 -
    Some of my most amusing convos with @Doug Hull were when his pendulum was teetering towards the maniacal and typically started off:

    "You open WHAT?"

    "You fold WHAT?"
    Moderation In Moderation
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,867 -
    For the record, I did have an answer for "You fold WHAT?" It was a very short answer, but it was a non-empty set of hands.

    Yeah, I have been there. It is interesting... If nothing else to see Kat's reaction...
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • AkashicAkashic Red Chipper Posts: 100 ✭✭
    edited June 7
    I am trying to build up my tool bag. I haven't actually played poker this year. When I did play, I was very much on the aggro side and didn't have a dedicated bankroll. I've been in school so far, so most of my time was spent there. However, at start of the year, I decided to actually build up a bankroll and study the game. Bankroll currently built...just in time for the Rona.

    I wanted to understand the logic regarding the reasons WHY we do things and the goal we are trying to achieve. So I started to focus on material done by Adam Jones; both from his material here and his personal site. Since March, I've been studying somewhere in the range of 2-4 hours a day.

    Currently, I am trying work on my overaggressive "style" (I always think of kung-fu styles) that I can use when I get back into live play. I'm very drawn to the idea of forcing our opponents our of their comfort zones. Thus I am studying a lot of Soto's older content (coaching Anton series is exceptionally good) as well as Fausto's. I am already used to making large bet sizings, so it is just a matter of knowing when to attack, how to attack, and when to chill.

    My "10% wake me up when I get a hand" style has been worked on, but now it is time to return to a more natural "25% Fuck all y'all" style.

    *Queue Wu-Tang music*
  • RussRuss Red Chipper Posts: 141 ✭✭
    Tl;dr - I was taught the 25% range and it was a disaster. It was the best coaching I ever received.

    Three years ago, I hired Fausto as my first coach. He taught me the 25% opening range, and some post flop strategy (as much as can be taught in 10 lessons). He taught me about finding that point of maximum pain for the opponent, and becoming the table captain. Prior to that I was a super nit who won in the old days of fit or fold poker with massive fishes. I needed to evolve.

    The results were an unmitigated disaster. I don’t have the makeup to play that high variance, hyper-aggressive style. More importantly, I don’t play in the right games to use that style. I punted by in after buy in. I won boatloads of tiny pots and lost a few pots, but those were generally larger in size and wiped out my session. When I was poker broke I went back to study.

    I developed my own opening ranges (with reference to ranges found on the internet), but this time with a personal reference of both nit range and too loose range. Thanks to my terrible experience of having a too wide opening range, this time I built my ranges with a plan of what to do post flop. Flopzilla taught me as much poker as my coach did.

    The 25% range taught me the value of having a plan before putting in the first chip. By being in spots that sucked constantly, I learned to navigate post flop positions that weren’t the absolute nuts. All I needed was to reduce those spots (not eliminate them).

    I’ve found that 25% range works pretty well in the virus age of low limit online games. It didn’t work at all at low stakes recreational live poker. It might work at higher stakes, but I won’t ever be there so I can put that range on the shelf.
  • AkashicAkashic Red Chipper Posts: 100 ✭✭
    Thanks for the input. No need for me to get adamant on this one. Was interesting, but there are other areas to sharpen.

    Onto studying range advantage on various board textures
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,507 ✭✭✭✭
    Russ wrote: »
    The results were an unmitigated disaster. I don’t have the makeup to play that high variance, hyper-aggressive style. More importantly, I don’t play in the right games to use that style.

    This was not your fault. Playing terrible ranges would cost anyone money in any game.

    Glad you have preflop and post-flop plans that work for you now.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,507 ✭✭✭✭
    Akashic wrote: »
    Onto studying range advantage on various board textures

    Cool, this should be a much better use of your time. I would also suggest you actually play some online poker to practice/test what you are learning.

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