Edgewater casino poker in Vancouver decent. Recently, a friend of mine was in town and we decided to hit up the Edgewater Casino to play some $1/2 NLHE for entertainment. Both of us are online professionals and routinely play for very large pots, so we weren’t terribly concerned about our monetary results. Every time I end up at a live game something entertaining generally happens. There are always several interesting characters around the table and this night was no exception. Have you ever been to a casino and met the “smug nit” or “table regular” or “resident station” or “Mr. Know it all” or “The Educator” or “I Live to Crack AA”. Well, if you have played enough live, I am sure you have met all of these people and many more – its not a unique Edgewater casino poker thing
Vancouver has to be close to the perfect city to play poker in. I was recently reading some blogs written by poker players overseas and I realized just how fortunate I am to live and work in Vancouver. If you are considering playing poker professionally in Vancouver, I’ve put together some information you should know.
In this article I warned you about the dangers of anonymous poker tables. Now lets talk about how you can avoid being cheated.
Many professional poker players assume they play an role in the poker industry, and that poker operators want them to succeed. This assumption might be more accurate if both operators and professional players benefited solely from volume. However, professional poker players need a weaker player/players at the table to overcome the rake taken by the house. Also, many poker operators have no real interest in poker. They would rather have all of their gamblers spend their money in the sportsbook (PS is obviously an exception). Generally, poker players are seen as taking money away from them. Unlike gamblers professional poker players actually cash out and don’t lose it all back to the house. So while poker operators focus on driving their players back to the sportsbook while barely tolerating poker, professional poker players need a mix of volume and fishiness to create success. Unfortunately, what little attention poker operators place toward poker is focused solely on increasing volume and boosting their revenues. Not enough money has been spent trying to attract new and recreational poker players to the game. Unfortunately, this is reducing the earning potential of professional poker players.
Learning how to construct a proper 3 betting range is one of the most important skills an aspiring poker player can learn. We’ll take a look at the % of hands we should be 3 betting with as well as the types of hands that go into making up those ranges. I’ve previously posted about 3betting in poker as well so be sure to check out that post.
Before we delve further into detail I want to make available to you some of my other posts that discuss 3betting, 4betting, and 5 betting which are all important preflop concepts for players.
Below is a graph that shows you the different styles of play when it comes to 3 betting, I favor the LAG approach. However, far more important than the actual percentage of hand that you 3 bet is the types of hands that you use to create that range.
Polarized 3 Betting Range: When players are constructing a polarized 3 betting range this means they are 3 betting the top of their range and the bottom of their range. This is a strategy most commonly employed against other regulars. It can be especially effective against fit or fold regulars. The big advantage of this strategy is it allows us to “save” our relatively strong hands to call with and realize the equity of the weaker part of our range by creating fold equity. A polarized 3betting range of 11% might look something like this. As you can see we are not 3 betting hands like Aq, Aqs, Aj, Ajs, etc. Why? One of the big problems with these hands is they do not play well all-in preflop and 3betting them makes you vulnerable to aggressive 4 bettors. As a result it may be easier to achieve a greater expected value with these hands with calls rather than 3bets against regulars. In reality you will want to mix it up and there may be times that AQs is like the nuts. In particular I have found 3betting AQs to be quite effective in the bilnds because players will shove some very weak hands if you are an aggressive 3 bettor. Notice that I also included a couple of small pocket pairs in the 3 betting range. Note: these hands don’t play well in a passive manner because it is difficult to tell where you are with the inevitable 3 overcards. Realizing equity in a aggressive manner with these hands is generally the best policy.
Linear 3 Betting Range: A linear 3 betting range is simply one that is composed of the highest value hands. So, it will be heavy on the high cards. It is often a fairly good policy to 3 bet a linear range against maniacs or other weak opponents. Basically, you want to be 3 betting the top of your range to build the pot versus a weaker range and allow for the weak Villain to make huge postflop mistakes.
Against regulars who frequently call your 3 bets you will likely have to move more toward a linear 3 betting range and away from a polarized range. Why? One good reason is that it allows you to extract value from light calls of 3 bets with hands like QJ, Q10, KQ, etc. Unless you have some AJ and AQ type hands in your 3 betting range your opponent will be ok with these light calls. One of the first things you should think about when playing against another regular is how are they constructing their 4bet and calling of 3bet ranges. Preflop play is extremely important in NLHE and its importance should not be underestimated.
Value Only 3 Betting Range: A value only range will vary dramatically depending on the opponent. Versus other regulars this would be extremely tight and an ill advised way to 3bet. Ex. QQ+ and AK+ is only 2.56% of hands, and you probably don’t want to get it in much wider than that (especially if your numbers are this tight). 3 betting in this way is highly ill advised and means you are leaving a ton of money on the table. Your opponents will know exactly what you have every time that you 3 bet and it will be excruciatingly difficult to get paid off with your hands. Many live players fall victim to 3 betting only hands like this.
Keep in mind that a value only range will be much wider versus weaker opponents. This will vary wildly depending on the opponent that you are up against. Versus a maniac a value only range could exceed 10% of all hands. In some cases at higher stakes you will see players 3betting extremely thin for value in the 15-20% range. I
This could look like anything. If you took out the AA, AKs, Ako, KK, QQ, JJ, 1010 from the above hand range you could be looking at a bluff only 3 bet range. I don’t know that I have ever seen a player do this and it is highly ill advised. When you have strong hands in poker it is important to put pressure on your opponents and attempt to build the pot. The only time I use a bluff only range is against players that massively overfold to 3 bets. In these cases you probably want to save your stronger hands to play in postflop pots against them and just take advantage of their tightness with bluff 3bets.
Be sure to check out my book exploitive no limit holdem where I talk at length about these concepts and many more!
Humans are reactionary and emotional. We have a tendency to base our decision-making on recent events that affect us emotionally, rather than sticking to logic to form the best policies.The vast majority of us consistently take very negative expected value lines in our everyday lives, and unfortunately, our political system is no different. Most people handle risk poorly because they do not understand expected value. In my opinion, understanding expected value is the most valuable lesson learned in poker that can be carried over in everyday life. Think about a couple of major events that occurred in the past 15 years and ask yourself two questions:
Expected Value or EV is one of the most important concepts in poker. Once you understand the concept and its implications it will change the way you think about poker. It is a basic part of human nature to be results oriented. We want to see positive results for our efforts and attempt to minimize negative outcomes. Unfortunately, sometimes our very nature works against us, especially in games of chance like poker. Many players will play good poker until they suffer a “bad beat” that throws them off their game. Why? Because they were results oriented and more focused on winning the hand than on winning expected value. In order to be successful poker player in the long term it is critically important to focus on expected vlaue.