Luke.... Luke.... I am your father!!


i feel like I have made some mistakes recently that have led me from the light side of the force, being uber tight and getting it in when we own all and the dark side if the force full of quick chip ups and easy double ups.


basically... Having gone from NIT towards TAG and overshot hitting LAG (or Tag-Fish if you like)


Dont get me wrong, aggressive play is good, you can get opponents to lay down middle pair to your missed AK with double barrel attacks, you can push a stealer off his position raise. However if this aggression isn't metered by intelligence then you end up putting yourself in positions where you price yourself in to any action regardless of if you are behind or not.

i want my mistakes to be based on good-play-bad-result rather than just-bad-play

The one thing that all of the mistakes I made recently came down to is following through with a squeeze play or similar attack to push an early position better off his hand. This is a great play but when you get a 3-bet back to you and you aren't deep enough to take the hit, making a 4-bet or calling a 5-bet is often a lot worse than just giving up as whilst that opponent might be a wild 99-bet re-raise type with rags, the odds are that any aggressive opponent is a lot more likely to have a hand in that spot than not, since even those guys can fold when their play didn't work.


An example, we have KJ on the button, we have position on an early position raiser who made it 2.5x with his 2-bet. We have 30bb at this point and he has around the same. We 3-bet him to twice that to 5x, great play and if he folds, it's a quick win, if he calls then we have cards that can flop well.

Instead he 4-bets us back making it 10bb to call.

if we call we are committing since a 3rd of our stack is going in and KJ is going to rely on a nice flop, worse still if we call then we aren't the aggressor so even though we have position, our fold equity vs our opponent if we don't hit is weaker than his vs us.

What do we do if he fires out straight away?

What do we do if he checks, do we c-bet? And if we do, what do we do on a check-raise?

In this spot we have priced ourselves into anything, if J-Q-x comes then we have a piece of it and that middle pair is going to look like gold because of the spot we have painted ourselves into, regardless of our opponent holding something potentially better.


i am finding that the question I SHOULD have asked myself is, can you re-raise?

if you can't re-raise to the next bet preflop, your hand isn't strong enough to continue to the flop with all of this action. If it is strong enough then you are only calling to trap and it's going in regardless of what comes on the board... Such a hand like AA/KK


So if i can't re-raise, regardless of the 5 blinds I wasted on the play, I should fold because I am likely to loose a LOT more unless I get lucky, and if all I care about is using luck instead of skill then I should just be shoving every hand.... But that is obviously stupid, and so is this.

Now, if I was deeper, say 100bb, then it's a different story as I might be able to call, conditional of course because I still have chips to get away from my hand and there is a lot more likelihood as well that my opponent is weaker because a big factor in the previous example is that due to the bets committed vs the stack sizes, my opponents hand value is a lot bigger than it would be with the same play at 100bb.... Now if at 100bb it was 5-6bet then you are closer to the first example... Plainly put, it is rare for Fish to stack off with nothing or commit themselves to a huge portion of their stack with a weak hand... Give them a big stack and they will spew 10bb like  no problem.

So, that's the first leak sorted, not calling a re-raise that over commits us without a strong chance of being able to continue strong.. Ideally the move would be another bet, and if we aren't strong enough to make another bet we certainly aren't strong enough to call and trap.

.... Thinking back one move... If we know we are going to have to fold to a 4-bet, should we have 3-bet. This is read dependant, if we know our opponent is willing to open often and 4-bet often, it is unlikely he had it EVERY time so the times he didn't he is willing to bluff a 4-bet and that isn't the kind of opponent we want to target.. Leave him be, focus on the other 7 players. If however we know he ALWAYS folds to a 3-bet in that spot, or only pops it on the occasion he has a hand, then this is a great target for us. The rest are going to be trial and error and ideally we want to be taking a note of who is opening early, how they react to 3-bets and hopefuly get to see what holding they are 4-betting with. 

The 3-bet is powerful but it is as wasted in someone who will 4-bet you on reflex as you would play with a triple barrel 1/2 pot string of bluffs into the calling station is with their pair of 22s!


i don't have any results to post today, I didn't play well and have a fellow PSO member helping me with coaching and they kindly went over my booms and reminded me if the areas I was going wrong.


In conclusion I need to ask myself something

Am I ready to play the aggressive game and can I be prepared to make smart lay downs when 3-bet OP or 4-bet?

if the answer is yes, great, I need to start bloody doing it

if the answer is no, well then I need to revert to being a NIT and know that my success will be at much lower ROI and I will be stuck playing in low levels because as a NIT I will fail to get paid off by anyone who can spot my patterns.