2/10/2006

02-10-06 [poker] - 5

02-10-06 [poker]

The biggest leaks of very good players are 1) not reraising enough preflop, and 2) picking play frequency based on hands, not based on situations. Lolo maximizes against #1. SpiritRock maximizes against #2. I'm not talking about individual leaks that people might have, such as being tilt-prone or whatever, I'm talking about game-theoretical leaks in their entire style of play. If you look at the way most people play "solid" NL hold'em, these are very common errors.

Lolo's strategy is to always open raise in late position, and always continuation bet. Then take it from there. In early position or behind a raise, lolo is actually very tight, but opening the pot late lolo can have literally any two cards. It would seem like this is easy to counter. Just call with decent hands, try to hit something. Even if you don't hit, lolo will usually have junk, so you can just check-raise and take his c-bet. That works great against bad LAG's, but not against lolo. Lolo will sometimes have a hand and reraise you all in. Lolo will sometimes reraise you all in on a bluff. Lolo will sometimes just call with a mediocre hand or draw. Lolo will sometimes just call with junk to see if you keep it up on the turn, then bomb the turn if you check.

Lolo's strategy is easy to counter, but no one wants to do it. The counter is to reraise big preflop with anything decent. It's not good enough to just reraise big with super-premium hands, you need to reraise with a lot of hands, down to things like K9 that most people just can't stand to reraise and possibly play for their whole stack. This is a lot like David Sklansky's "All in Hold'em" Casino game. The optimal way to play is to push huge bets with lots of hands, but no one is willing to risk that much variance in order to get an EV bonus. Against lolo, in a $1000 buy-in game you should be reraising preflop to $150 with a very wide range, which effectively puts you both on short stacks for post-flop play.

Prahlad's strategy is to bomb the pot when he has monsters and also when he has junk. The correct way to counter this is to call when Prahlad thinks you have junk. Let's say he can read you well and puts you on a correct hand range. If your hand range is all so good that he can expect you to call with anything in that range, then you should fold!!! Say for example he puts you on a range like { two pair, a set } and he then bombs it. You should fold!!! On the other hand, if he puts on a range that is mostly so weak that he expects a fold, then you should call with the upper end of that range. Say your range is { ace high, one pair, two pair }, and the board is scary with possible straights and flushes, then you should call with the two pair, because he expects you to fold most of your range but he's pushing anyway.

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