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Practical Blind Play

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Practical Blind Play

  1. 1. PRACTICAL BLIND PLAY Ed Mi l ler GET THE VIDEO AT
  2. 2. WHAT’S THE GOAL OF BLIND PLAY?  Always focus first on the big picture  Play from outside the bl inds is focused on identifying exploitable oppor tunities  Play from the bl inds has a dual focus  Defending  Identifying exploitable opportunities
  3. 3.  Many ye ar s ag o I u s e d to t h i nk of “ b l ind d e fens e” as a f al l ac y.  The blind money is a sunk cost.  Is the hand +EV?  Don’t “defend” a -EV hand.  Old logic not wrong, but I embrace the idea of defense more now. IS DEFENDING REAL?
  4. 4.  The most ef fective way to defend a bl ind is to 3-bet it.  Strong, mathematically -rooted preflop strategies 3-bet a lot against potential steal -raises.  So, yes, defend your bl inds. By 3-betting a lot. (And cal l ing too. ) DEFENSE ENCOURAGES PROPER AGGRESSION
  5. 5. WHAT EXPLOITABLE OPPORTUNITIES  People of ten try to steal with wide ranges.  Pe o p le s u c k a t p l ay ing wi d e ra ng es wh e re t h ey d o n’ t h i t t h e flop hard very of ten.  Al lows you to overdefend your bl inds (both 3-bets and cal ls) beyond the mathematical ranges.
  6. 6. ED, YOU’RE TELLING ME TO PLAY OOP?  Yes I am.  But this is a special situation.  In most cases where people are playing OOP, they are up against relatively strong ranges.  They limp and get raised behind.  They raise and get 3-bet behind.  With many $2-$5 opponents, these actions rep strong preflop ranges.  Steal raise ranges are completely dif ferent.
  7. 7. POSTFLOP CONCEPTS  As always, the postflop concepts are more impor tant than specific preflop range construction.  Errors we are trying to exploit  Too narrow two- and three-barreling ranges (I.e., too much “giving up”)  Too much fit-or-fold against a 3-bet  Not enough 4-betting preflop
  8. 8. HOW TO EXPLOIT THESE ERRORS?  Not enough 4-betting preflop  3-bet more!  Too much fit -or-fold against a 3-bet  3-bet more!  C-bet and bet turn a lot  Check, defend against a bet (call or check-raise), and bet at least once
  9. 9. HOW TO EXPLOIT THESE ERRORS? (CONT.)  Too narrow two- and three-barreling ranges  Call more preflop.  Don’t fold to the first bet often.  Give few free showdowns
  10. 10. THREE SIMPLE RULES  Don’ t b e af rai d to fol d you r b l i nd s i n c as h g ame s. Wi t hout antes, and with big (e.g. , 4x or more) preflop ra i s es , i t ’ s ra re ly a big mistake to fold. (Tournaments are very dif ferent. )  Against non-steal raises, adopt a defensive outlook.  Against steal raises, when you decide to play, be an enormous pain in the ass.
  11. 11. BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS – PART 1  Make them show you twice.  One l imp. Aggro button makes it $25. You cal l with QsJs. Limper folds.  Possible flops: Kd7d7s. 7d3s2c. Td8s2c. AhTh4c. Ts7h2d.  On al l these flops, you are going to be a pain in the ass.  Check-call flop. Check turn and respond. To a big bet size, consider folding. To a check, auto-bet river. To a smal l bet, consider a check-raise.  I f t h ey b et t u rn b i g , t h ey h ave “ s h own yo u twi c e . ” Ot h e r wis e, i t ’ s a g re e n l i g ht to s te a l.
  12. 12. BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS – PART 1 (CONT.)  Why does this work?  Stealing ranges are very wide, which means on any flop type, the range will be weak.  Most people at the level play too passively and fold too much in these steal vs. blind situations.  Therefore, most opponents will assume that your range is strong when you play back.  This assumption, plus their wide range to begin with, will give them folding ranges that are large enough to attack in most board runouts.
  13. 13. WHEN NOT TO BE A PAIN IN THE ASS  Some flops wi l l be par ticularly terrible for your hand. Th9h on AsKs3c. QsJs on 8h7h5h.  Feel free to give up on these flops. Assuming your cal ling range preflop i s g o o d , yo u wo n’ t g et to o ma ny o f t h e s e dreadful flops.  You want at least some equity if cal led. An overcard, a gutshot , b a c kdo o r d raws… s omet h ing. Hav i ng 10% ex t ra equity is huge.
  14. 14. BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS – PART 2  You cal l preflop and check the flop. Against one or two opponents, it gets checked back/around.  Bet turn, bet river.  I bel ieve—at least in Vegas $2-$5 games—this is automatic profit on most boards. I f someone steal -raises and then checks back the flop, they simply wi l l not cal l down turn and river bets of ten enough to prevent an auto-profit.
  15. 15. BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS – PART 3  You can check-raise the flop.  I like to have a hand that can turn into a big hand >10% of the time to do this. A gutshot. Bottom pair and a backdoor flush draw.  Generally not naked overcards or an unimproved pocket pair.  You can donk bet.  WARNING: Donk betting is tricky. It’s hard to get your ranges right, and many people attack donk bets.
  16. 16. BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS – PART 4  3-bet Preflop!  I tend to do this with premiums, weak suited hands, a few of fsuit hands with card removal value, and some smal l pocket pairs.  Examples of hands I of ten 3-bet against steal raises: 99, AQo, K5s, Q8s, 54s, A9o, 44
  17. 17. BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS – PART 4 (CONT.)  Af ter your 3-bet gets cal led, you can either bet or check flop. I do both a lot.  Against fit -or-fold types, I just bet flop and usually turn.  Lots of people wi l l cal l the 3-bet wide, but then fit -or-fold real ly tight by the turn bet.  I f they are steal ing wide, cal ling the 3-bet wide, and fit -or-folding by the turn, you can just 3- b et , b et , b et a nd i t ’ s basically auto-profit.
  18. 18. BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS – PART 5  Against players who fold more to the 3-bet, or who are smar ter postflop, you need to check the flop a lot.  Check good hands (overpairs), bad hands (that you plan to fold) , and some of the hand types you check-called in the first par t.  Same options checking af ter a 3-bet you have as checking af ter cal l ing preflop.
  19. 19. SOME EXAMPLES  Al l $2-$5 with $1,000 stacks. Button opens for $20.  Smal l bl ind with 8h6h. 3-bet to $70. Button cal ls.  Flop Qh7d3s. Against fit -or-fold button, bet $80 on flop. I f c a l l ed, yo u ’ re p ro b a bl y u p a g a i nst a qu e e n o r u nimp roved pocket pair.  Bet $200 on turn into any overcard, hear t, or T-thru-8s and 6- thru-4s. Possibly bet other cards except for a queen.
  20. 20. OTHER LINES  8h6h on Qh7d3s board.  Check flop. I f checked back, bet turn ($80) and river ($200).  I f button bets, cal l . Check turn. I f button bets big, fold (except if you have legit draw). I f button checks back, bet river BIG ($300+). I f button bets smal l, consider check-raising overcards, hear ts, T-thru-8s and 6-thru-4s.  I f button is very tight against 3-bets ( i .e. , you are surprised he cal led), then consider check-folding flop.
  21. 21. ANOTHER EXAMPLE  KdJs in the big bl ind. Button opens $20. You cal l .  Flop AhTh5d. Check flop.  I f checked through, bet turn ($30) and river ($100, possibly $150+ if you can get him of f an ace with that bet) .  I f button bets, cal l . Check turn. I f checked through, bet river. Fold to a big bet, consider check-raising a smal l bet.
  22. 22.  Check-raise flop. OTHER LINES  Might get you into trouble if your opponent assumes you have a flush draw b/c few value hands that didn’t 3 -bet preflop want to check-raise.  Works fine against fit-or-fold types.  Donk bet.  Danger. This is exactly the strength of hand many people will expect to see if you donk bet.
  23. 23. ANOTHER EXAMPLE  Ks5s in the big bl ind. Button opens $20. You 3-bet to $65. He cal ls.  Flop Th9h7c.  Against fit -or-fold type, you can consider bet flop, bet turn. ( Bu t d o n’ t eve r b et fl o p a nd c h e c k t u rn. T h a t’ s b u rni ng mo ney on this flop. )  Against everyone else, check-fold.
  24. 24. SOME CAVEATS  Don’ t b ank on imp li ed od d s ag ains t a s te al rai s e. I t ’ s h ard to get steal raisers to real ly pay you of f because they so of ten brick of f.  Fold most of your bl inds. In cash games with no antes and big preflop raises, playing the bl inds is not very attractive. Fold most of the of fsuit hands and the total junk suited stuf f l ike 93s.  Be very careful against non-steal raises. Now you are out of position against a legit range. Bad spot.
  25. 25. STICK TO THE PLAN  Like with everything in poker, find the weakness, devise a plan, and stick to it.  I tend to try to exploit players steal ing with weak ranges who d o n’ t k now h ow to p l ay t h o s e ra ng e s postflop.  This leads me to try to get folds —par ticularly on the turn. My plan from the bl inds is to gather information and then steal as much as possible.
  26. 26. SCRATCHING THE SURFACE  T h i s v i d eo I h op e i s food for t h ou gh t, b u t obv i ou s ly i t ’ s j u s t the beginning.  Ask questions or post hands in the forum for more information about playing bl inds.

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