In order to excel, you must think on levels in poker starting with an understanding of the game, your card strength, your opponents cards and then what your opponent thinks of your cards. 250 Thank You Ticket Inside.
isnortbooze here with another edition of Tipsy Tips.
Still working on improving the quality, but there is def some useful info in this one.
Today's discussion will be about thinking and levels poker gameplay:
Level 0: I know the basic rules of poker
Level 1: I am thinking about what hand I have
Level 2: I am thinking about what hand he has
Level 3: I am thinking about what he is thinking about, I am thinking about.
Level 4: and so on
You always want to be one level above your opponents thinking.
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Arbitrary Play - Level 0: I know the basic rules & mechanics of Texas Hold'Em.
Knows: Basic rules & mechanics of poker, hand rankings, how action proceeds around table, when it's their turn to act, and so on. Understands basic bankroll management, but may not employ it. Grasphs fundamental realities of poker (e.g. poker is high-variance game; luck dominates in short-run, skill in the long-run; most players are long-term losers, etc.)
Doesn't Know: Strength of their own hand, when to enter a pot or when to fold. Doesn't know odds or how board texture affects hand strength. Doesn't have a strategy to win. Tilts easily.
Goal When Playing: Win every pot.
Example: I have a pair of fours. This looks like a good hand. Sweet! It's my turn, so I'm shoving all-in!
Straight-Forward Play - Level 1: I know the absolute strength of my own cards.
Knows: Level 0 skills, plus absolute strength of their own hand. Understands and uses basic concepts & skills like position, starting hand, pot odds, bet sizing, reading board texture and continuation betting. Understand basic villain types and selects good games to play in. Recognizes & avoids anger- and pain-related bad beat-type tilts.
Doesn't Know: What cards opponents are playing or their strategies.
Goal When Playing: Make a hand and get paid off.
Example: I have a pair of fours in late position. There's been a raise in front of me. I'm getting better than 15:1 implied odds. My starting hand chart says to call in this situation, so I will and hope to hit a set. If I miss, I'll fold if villain bets.
Straight-Forward Play - Level 2: I know what my opponent's card are and the relative strength of mine.
Knows: Level 1 skills, plus how to read opponents hand ranges & line. Knows strength of own cards relative to that range. Chooses line & varies bet sizes to maximize EV. Adjusts play as opponents adapt. Plays patients & focused. Keeps good records of their play and performs detailed reviews of hands and sessions afterwards. Plays with discipline.
Doesn't Know: What opponent thinks Hero's cards or intentions are.
Goal When Playing: Win hands via combination of Value and Bluff betting.
Example: I have 44 in CO. Only 3 players left to act; looks like they'll fold. My nit opponent raised UTG. He probably has ATs+ AQo+, 77+. Effective stack size is 100bb. I.O.=22:1 and V c-bets one-and-done when he misses flop. I'll call & set mine. If I miss and the board doesn't hit V's range, I'll float one street and try to take it away on turn.
Deceptive Play - Level 3+:I know what my opponent thinks my cards are and what my line is.
Knows: Level 2 skills, plus what opponent is thinking about hero's cards & strategies. Adapts & adjusts deceptively. Levels opponents & exploits meta-game, planning future hands. Mentally prepares before playing. Coaches others off-table. Is mentally & physically fit. Recognizes & avoids ego-related tilts. Plays with heart & class and is ambassador to game.
Doesn't Know: -
Goal When Playing: Maximize EV every hand.
Example: I have a small pair. Villain knows that I know he's in EP and has raised, so he thinks I think he's strong. From last three hands I played, he thinks I'm a weak-tight player. If I 3bet PF small as a bluff, he will likely give me a lot of respect and think I'm very strong. He should fold out the bottom of his range. If he 4bets, I can re-evaluate IOs. If he calls, I can c-bet semi-bluff and fire multiple barrels on turn and river. Therefore I'll raise 2.25x villain's bet & re-evaluate based on his reaction.
What level do you get to in your game?
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