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On being carddead

TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
Foreword:
I assume you are familiar with concept of reciprocality in poker. If not read http://tommyangelo.com/articles/reciprocality/

I hear players often complain about being carddead for a prolonged periods of time. But does it make sense to be upset about it?
Let's say you limp/called pocket pair, flop a set and stacked an over-pair. Great success! Or is it? Would your average not brain-dead recreational player get different result? Quite probable that not. So have you really made any money here? No.
Same with Aces. You get them, you raise PF, you get few streets of value. Again anybody can do that. There's no money here.
Where we really make our money is by playing weak and marginal hands different from our opponents. We just fold them and rec players loose money with them over the long run.
So you make money by folding. If you play poker to make money then just be happy about folding. Every time you fold you make few cents. More opportunity you get to fold - more money you make. What's there to complain about?
Ok, you can argue that we also make money by value betting better then rec players. And I agree but how often do you get a chance to value bet? Not so often. And how big is the difference between your value bets and rec's value bets? Not huge. So majority of profit still comes from folding cause it happens way more often.
What is the point of this post? I believe this is the correct and logical way of thinking about being carddead. And if you embrace it you won't tilt cause tilt caused by conflict arising from lack of logic in your thought process. (See Jared Tendler's book for more on this.)

Comments

  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    I have always felt the money in NL is in the run of the mill tp type hands that you get multiple streats of value on. what is hard when you are card dead is part of why I think we play is to PLAY and when we are not getting cards we cant play.. That makes the game boring..

    How I deal with that is to just keep saying to myself that I would rather make MONEY rather than PLAY.. Playing rather than making money is for the rec player.. keep em happy playing and I will stick with trying to make money..

    that said it is still a process and since I am not a professional its always a struggle..

    ww
  • UntreatableFPS Posts: 1,004Subscriber
    If you flop a set and stack someone's OP, you win his stack. But when someone flops a set against you, you might only lose half your stack if you're capable of folding. Or maybe when the donk flops a set, he decides to slowplay it and wins the minimum when the board gets scary, but you wouldn't do that.

    When you have AA, you can push it hard for 3 streets of value. Recreational players will often check the river, which is the biggest street, because the board's scaring them.

    If I'm card dead in a game that's getting chopped every other hand or every time someone raises they just win the blinds, then I'm not upset at all.

    When card dead in a game filled with action and people donking off chips when they shouldn't, you don't get the opportunity to get value. The more value hands you play, the more opportunities you get to value bet your hand. It's downright painful to watch thousands of dollars get donked around the table while you're slowly bleeding chips from never hitting. Because you know how to maximize when you have the best hand, and these donks don't.
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    Claire said
    If you flop a set and stack someone's OP, you win his stack. But when someone flops a set against you, you might only lose half your stack if you're capable of folding.
    Exactly. And that's just another way of making money by folding.
    Or maybe when the donk flops a set, he decides to slowplay it and wins the minimum when the board gets scary, but you wouldn't do that.
    On the other hand you sometimes lose your stack by going for thing value. And flopping set situation happens very rarely, so it doesn't affect your winrate as much.
    When card dead in a game filled with action and people donking off chips when they shouldn't, you don't get the opportunity to get value. The more value hands you play, the more opportunities you get to value bet your hand. It's downright painful to watch thousands of dollars get donked around the table while you're slowly bleeding chips from never hitting. Because you know how to maximize when you have the best hand, and these donks don't.
    First, all players get the same amount of "value hands". :)
    You "don't get the opportunity to value bet" because it's rare. What you're constantly getting is opportunity to fold marginal hand. And you are making a ton of money by taking this opportunity when rec players don't. They love to be involved in "action" and they lose money this way. And money not lost exactly as valuable as money won.
  • UntreatableFPS Posts: 1,004Subscriber
    I'm saying when you have the chance to get involved, you win more with the best hand and lose less with the worst hand. So it's annoying when you don't have the opportunity ringer involved
  • PokerIsFrustrating Posts: 657Member
    I don't agree that you flop a set an automatically stack someone. How many times had you seen a fish slowplay a set for multile streets and underbet the river? Get scared on a flushing card or high card or we and check back or not raise the set? We should be getting close to max value from our big hands, as opposed to fish who often miss value with big hands by playing them badly.

    But I totally agree with the card dead thing. Its a skill to just keep folding and not have the urge to randomly raise crap bc we are bored or annoyed. Still, I think a lot of our edge is geting max value when we have the best hands.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber
    This is a great discussion and really shows the difference between us and them.

    When we have a best hand and bet for value that can be in terms of absolute value a one pair hand all the way to a straight flush.. Since the one pair hands happen so much more often then the straight flushes thats why we in the long run will win when your avg joe player wont.

    You just dont get straight flushes that often.. but since we hand read and know our opponents ranges we can still get value when we are better but not that much better..

    Being card dead is a relative term .. it just means we arent getting better than our opponents ranges.. and when this happens we should fold. I am relearning this most important skill.. I have had to fold so many times in the last couple of sessions.. but wait .. I am only losing 50 bucks a session when a month ago I would have lost a buy in..

    its hard to fold but fold we must when our opponents tell us by their actions that our hand does NOT beat their range..

    ww
  • RecreationalRogerRecreationalRoger Posts: 789Subscriber
    I think TDF is making a great point.

    It's something I'm trying to get better at.

    I always felt at limit poker, I had very little control about how much I won, but a TON of control over how much I lost. I just played tighter than everyone else at limit holdem and was a consistent winner.

    NL can suck you in when you win big pots by playing loose, but play too loose and you can get sucked down the drain quick. So thanks TDF for bringing home a point I've been trying to bash into my head since losing 3 BI's at 1-2 last Saturday by getting absolutely caught up in a crazy rammin jammin game with a bunch of donks. Too much FPS on my part.

    And the sad part is I'm a nit at heart. My proudest moment in holdem is when I folded 60 straight hands at 3-6 limit at the Taj (yes, that's 6 orbits, about an hour and a half), and then proceeded to win 2 of the next 3 pots for about $150 total.

    Back to nitting it up.

    Roger
  • iiZenoii Posts: 5Member
    Interesting perspective but I feel it may be simplifying the complex dynamics that occur at a poker table. I disagree with the notion that its trivial to fold for 1+ hours then expect your flopped set to stack an overpair or TPTK consistently. Any halfway decent opponent may sniff you out and pot control/fold, and our image will likely drive away almost all action from weaker holdings.

    I would like your assertion better if it was slightly modified to include position:
    Where we really make our money is by playing weak and marginal hands different from our opponents. We pay attention, pick good spots, and play these hands in position. Rec players loose money with them over the long run because they play them way too often from arbitrary position and and don't read/bet well enough to win the pot when they miss.

    I do see what you are saying though but feel it is only one of the many ways a skilled player actualized their edge over an less-skilled player. I like Thehammah's mantra and I've used something similar when I find myself feeling the seduction of ill-informed FPS caused by card-dead tilt. My version is "I'd rather Fold than Spew!"
  • staaaaalin Posts: 42Member
    Can't have a 'where does money come from?' thread w/o linking to Shania:

    http://archives2.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=533592&page=&view=&sb=5&o=&fpart=all&vc=1
  • BlochNessMonster Posts: 11Member
    In a typical 2/5 or 5/10 game, when we are sitting 300bbs deep and it folds to us in the cutoff what's the worst hand we are opening? Assuming there aren't any syko's behind us and we have a good image? I mean there is a lot of equity big-little suited and A- rag, right? Does this kind of thinking make me money or should I fold these too?
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    Sorry for my terrible English, but nowhere in my OP I said that you should fold more (or less for that matter).
    All I said is if you think that folding is the best play be happy that you're capable of recognizing and executing the best play in this situation cause it makes you money.
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    BlochNessMonster said
    In a typical 2/5 or 5/10 game, when we are sitting 300bbs deep and it folds to us in the cutoff what's the worst hand we are opening?
    It depends on your skills advantage over remaining players. Bigger it is - wider you can open cause your skills and positional advantage will help you to overcame you cards disadvantage (when their calling range is stronger than your opening range).
    My opponents and usually pretty bad so very often I find myself in situation when I think opening ATC here is profitable.
  • PokerIsFrustrating Posts: 657Member
    It also depends on the blinds. If they're tight (especially postflop) we can open wider because they're folding a lot, and when they call we can barrel them off a lot. If they're really loose and stationy we actually don't want to open too much horrible trash (IMO) because we end up having to try to barrel them off a lot and they don't like to fold. We want to make a hand vs those guys, so I'd lean towards things that can make good hands at least.
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