Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Ok, I'll admit it. I've been tied up with life. (And fallout) but I've always been a fan of the X's and O's of the NFL. I was reading a rather large and complex article breaking down a SINGLE PLAY and it dawns on me that poker is getting close to this. You cant "solve" and MTT (although there are claims of SnGs being solved), but you can put together a master playbook based on the NFL equivalent of "package plays". As a matter of fact, these decision trees are already what most pros use when explaining poker to students. But the student has to absorb it through playing hours. Video and other article studying help, but that is much slower than a playbook.

I think my new goal needs to be playbook oriented if I want to make that final leap forward.

Just like with "downs" and "to go" you have stack sizes that tell you what you need to accomplish with your next hand. Deep, 20 BB, or Shallow along with field size (not a universal consensus on this attribute) and position for the hand. I theory, I could construct ranges for these scenarios, then have route tree action denoted. For example only:

I have 20 BB and I am UtG+1 with a fold from UtG. I have KQs. This is a really tough spot. Many just throw it away, other say to play it (confident in their post play ability they will state). But you could have a "package play" for this scenario. I can min raise open, taking me to 18 BB. But if I am three bet to 4 BB and I call, I have 16 BB left and I am OOP. But let's say for the sake of the example I want KQs in my range here. Ok, what are my post flop options. Yes, there are close to an infinite flop combinations. BUT, not infinite TYPES of flops. There is an Ace board, hitting the K or Q coordinated or uncoordinated making top pair, 3 under cards, 0-3 diamonds, and paired combos like 55J. If you could construct actions for each of these, it seems easy to modify them for the majority of the remaining flops. If I have 16 BB left, I dont really want to go broke on a bluff, but if I open EP and get a 55J flop, should I be ready to go to the wall? (Yes, I know it depends on the opponent, but bear with me.) So my C-bet is 3BB (75%) and I get called. So the pot is 14 BB and I have 13 BB behind. I can check turn shove river, or I can shove turn, or I can check fold. In a package play, it would depend on the read of the defense, but in this case, you would be readying the turn card and the overall board/hand to date. Does a blank help me? What does the call mean? Really hard to know... You are repping some pocket pair if you bet a blank turn. You are repping getting lucky if the turn is a broadway card.

I think the more credible play is shoving the blank? And yes, if opponents stack size is 1000 BB, I get called. Sure. But MOST of the time, its going to be in a similar range size.