02-10-06 [poker] - 6

02-10-06 [poker]

I found a very cool old thread at 2+2 about a hand with Mahatma/SpiritRock (aka Prahlad Friedman). There's a bunch of junk posts but also some very good thoughts on his style in general. You also see just how much fear and confusion it creates. The big problem is the idea that Prahlad is good at reading hands, so when he pushes and you've defined your hand as good, he can't be bluffing right? Well, then of course he'll bluff in exactly that spot since he knows you know that. More generally, Prahlad often severely overbets. This might seem like a donk play, but what it does is greatly increase his value. The reason is that he pushes with a range which is +EV vs. any reasonable range you can have for calling. He pushes with some bluffs, and that gets him action, but he mainly pushes with premium draws and very good hands. He also can read you well, so he doesn't push when you're likely to have something very good, he pushes when you're in a tough spot. If his equity is 55%, by overbetting he wins 55% of the huge overbet instead of 55% of the smaller pot size bet. Prahlad also counts on you calling with hands like top two when he pushes, because he's a big bluffer, you have to call with top two right? He makes his money because you fold hands like top pair weak-kicker. The correct way to decide on calling him is how your actual hand strength compares to the range that he puts you on. I'm still not sure what the right answer is to that hand in the thread; it's pretty easy to talk yourself into either decision.

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old rants