Stealing Pots – Advanced Strategies
Stealing a hand in poker needs to work a fair amount to be profitable. When bluffing, 3bets, 4bets, over pot bets etc. generally need to work (that is get your opponent to fold) more than half the time to be profitable. If these bets will work is down to your interpretation of your opponents range and how he will play it. Below I’ll show you some +++EV, low risk strategies that will have you stealing the blinds, stealing on the Flop and evaluating your stealing opportunities with ease! In my concept I call APS – Advanced Pot Stealing I am going to show some situations where you don’t even need to look at your cards. All that’s required is hawk-like attention from you. Let’s dig in…
Poker bluffing is one of the most misunderstood parts of poker. Some players are obsessed with showdown value. You see this a lot with fish who give up on poker bluffing at just the wrong moment. For example, when they river 5th pair they decide now is the time to be conservative and just check. Weak players are not alone in making mistakes bluffing. In fact, many weak regs share similar behaviours with fish when it comes to bluffing. You’ll often see a weak reg checking back at just the wrong moment, or they give up on semi-bluffs because they Turned or Rivered something ‘showdownable’. Turning their ‘made hand’ into a bluff is unnecessary they say. These players fail to realize: It doesn’t matter if you have showdown value if your hand cannot win at showdown! Let’s run through a few scenarios where these situations tend to crop up.
A lot of players get wrapped up in their own hand strength; they can’t do this or that because of their own hand. I would say this applies to a lot of players who have a terrible redline, they don’t fight for nearly enough pots, they don’t over-represent their range. Your hand matters not if you can convince your opponent of your perceived holding; that is what they think you might have. You just have to tell a believable story. Let’s run through a few common spots that you may have been passing up.
Poker leaks are expensive some more so than others of course. We have betting mistakes, calling leaks, passive leaks, aggressive leaks and of course tilt leaks. Whichever leak you have, poker leaks are costly. After years of talking to others players, coaches and having several thorough database analysis’s done, I’ve come up with my top 3 poker leaks. They are big blind spew at its finest and could be the reason the money you are winning is being lost in these common but not so obvious spots, resulting in a break even type of winrate. Most everyone who struggles to win at poker will likely have these following attributes:
Donk Betting has somewhat of a bad reputation. This is likely because donk betting is commonly associated with fish. Fish do this because they don’t know any better, but a smart regular uses it as part of his arsenal. However, the donk betting bluff can be extremely effective, as is done betting to induce a raise and donking to price your own draws. Dealing with players who are frequently done betting can be tricky too, so as always, we tailor our bets/raises to the individual for maximum +EV results.
The ‘Donk’ you shall no longer associate with stupidity, idiocy or numb-headedness. The Donk will now be your ally, another string in the bow… you get the idea : )
Poker Check-raising – revisited
Check-raising in Poker has become an increasingly sophisticated beast, both as the raiser and the recipient. The Flop check-raise semi-bluff is the most common you will have used and encountered, but adjusting to your opponent and disguising your draws is no longer a simple task. We also have value raising, air-raising, and information-raising to apply and contend with. They all have their place in the right situations, so let’s delve into the pros and cons in a few common scenarios and our likely responses.
Key: I’ll refer to a ‘check-raise’ as ‘CR’ from this point on – it’s shorter to write and read : )
CR with no made hand/draw as the Preflop caller
We were taught back in the day to always CR our draws on the Flop and while I check-raise a lot I don’t ‘auto’ CR my draws like many do. I like a CR when I figure to have good Fold Equity either outright or later.
If you read my HUD configuration from last time, you’ll see where I’m headed with this Pop up configuration article. The HUD Popup comes into play with larger samples and is fully customizable. That’s why I have a custom pop-up for every stat in my HUD. You might be asking at this point: ‘If your HUD is so full of key data why do you need a pop-up?’
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have spent weeks on end configuring your HUD. The best HUD setup is being able to using it quickly, effectively and without fuss. With so much data available though it’s hard to know which HUD stats to choose. We’ve all needed Poker HUD help from time to time so here’s my contribution in helping you understand your poker HUD.
I presume most people reading this are either HEM2 or PT4 users. However, I still use some stats you may not have come across before. The definitions for all are here: Hem2Definitions and PT4Defintions.
Most of our Poker energy is spent finding and devouring the recreational players. The trouble is, other regs’ like you are doing just the same. You’ve likely got into these ‘raising wars’ in the process, kind of ‘who has the last bet’ scenarios. Sometimes the only way to get a great read on these troublesome regs’ is to do a poker player analysis. Discovering how they construct their hand ranges and creating player notes, will have you beating the regs and picking you up a nice boost to your winrate.
You have probably heard the saying, ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ and this is no truer than in poker. Your poker pregame routine and preparation to grind are vital for your progress and plugging poker leaks. If you’re skipping the poker warm up, or never doing it at all, you’re doing yourself a huge dis-service in doing so. Let’s look at a few factors you may have overlooked.