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Crush Live Poker Video No. 282: "Balance"

BartBart Posts: 5,926AdministratorLeadPro
This week Alex Torelli discusses balance through his detailed review of two $25-$50NL spots from a recent Poker Night in America game.



  • tryingtoimprove Posts: 8Subscriber
    A lot of this stuff went over my head even though you explain it so clearly. Is it possible to think on such a deep level during the hand since you only have like a minute to process all this information?
  • BartBart Posts: 5,926AdministratorLeadPro
    tryingtoimprove said:
    A lot of this stuff went over my head even though you explain it so clearly. Is it possible to think on such a deep level during the hand since you only have like a minute to process all this information?
    I think what a lot of the players that play lower stakes can take away from this video is that if you are playing against observant opponents (and when you move up in stakes) it is important to recognize the concept of balance and also understand that in certain situations you might make an action because you would always do so with some of the weaker parts of your range. Thus, you are inherently "protecting" your range.

    If you can achieve this you are not being overly transparent and can be exploited less. With that being said, most of the money that we make has to do with exploiting the unbalancedness of others and the fact that our opponents will not exploit our unbalancedness. If you can wrap your head around that you are way ahead of the game.

    A lot of my teaching has to do with common pattern recognition and deriving this lack of balance. However, many here have rightly pointed out that understanding a balanced approach and then extrapolating from that "baseline" will make you a much better player @stayinschool @ominouscow


  • tryingtoimprove Posts: 8Subscriber
    Thanks for the response Bart. I only play 1-2NL now but obviously aspire to move up eventually. I know how to calculate hand combinations and my bet sizing is pretty good but I still struggle in certain range vs range situations like the one Alec previewed on the last hand. It's so interesting to me that a certain hand can be played sub optimally but can "work out" for a player because multiple opponents hands were unlikely holdings, for instance when Gross bet his FD and a weaker FD called only to have the AQ fold. I'm going to have to view this video multiple times to even try to grasp this concept. Talk to you soon
  • OminousCowOminousCow Posts: 702Subscriber

    A lot of conversations around what is 'optimal' get confusing because folks mean different things when they use the term. Taken in one way, making exploitative plays (i.e. counting on an opponent to misplay a certain situation and then take advantage of it) is not 'optimal' in that such plays would be losing plays against a perfect opponent. They are 'optimal' against the right opponent since they make the most money if the villain does in fact play the way you think they do.

    In other words, 'optimal' can mean unexploitable or 'optimal' can mean maximally exploitable depending on who is writing.

    In the particular example you cite however, I think it's mostly just dumb luck that things worked out. I'm not sure if there's a deeper lesson to be learned there.

    I'm not sure if this clarifies anything, but I hope it does...
  • maphacks Posts: 2,009Subscriber
    edited February 2017
    hey alec,

    you make some good points for leading with the JJ hand. I just wonder how to play certain turns when we lead the flop. I feel like we are often times giving away the strength of our hand on many turns. we will oftentimes end up check/calling on straighting or flush turns and good opponents will recognize it and barrell us off by turning AA,KK,Qx or whatever into a bluff.

    I really like leading against bad opponents but not sure if it's a good strategy against good players.

    I don't think check/calling is totally out of case. It will make your life a bit easier on a lot of turns.
  • BartBart Posts: 5,926AdministratorLeadPro
    Test-- Bart
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