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  1. PLO Postflop Theory Video # 1: Introduction By Tom “LearnedfromTV” Chambers ttest

  2. Series Contents Video 1: Introduction to Postflop Theory Video 2: Betting the Flop Video 3: Facing Flop Bets Video 4: The Flop-Turn Transition Video 5: Using Holdem Manager Video 6: Turn Texture Video 7: Betting the Turn Video 8: Facing Turn Bets Video 9: The Turn-River Transition Video 10: Introduction to Game Theory Video 11: River Play Out of Position Video 12: River Play In Position ttest

  3. The Parameters of a Postflop Situation #1 – Number of Players #2 - Position #3 – Stack to Pot Ratio (SPR) #4 – Initiative and Leverage #5 – Board Texture #6 – Opponent Tendencies #7 – Image These aren’t listed in order of importance, but from most quantifiable to least quantifiable. Generally, it is easiest to define broad classes of postflop situation based on the first three, the first five can be used together to build default strategies for specific common situations, and the final two determine how to adjust default strategies to account for table dynamic. The next seven slides cover basic generalizations about how each parameter provides context to understand hand strengths, ranges, and strategic options. ttest

  4. Number of Players - Average VPIP in mid-stakes 6-max online PLO games (2/4-10/20) is roughly 35% • Approximately half of all pots that see the flop are heads-up. The majority of the rest are three-way, but there are a non-negligible number of pots with four or more players. In single-raised pots, the balance is weighted more towards multi-way action; a higher percentage of three-bet and four-bet pots are heads-up. - The action in heads-up pots is centered on the middle and upper-middle of ranges. Having nutty hands and hands that are very strong on their best flops is not as important as having hands that hit a lot of flops moderately well. Most of the time, the postflop action will begin with the preflop raiser continuation betting. • The action in pots with 4+ players is centered around the very top of ranges. Nuttiness is very important and a lot of profit comes from domination scenarios - having the nuts against the near-nuts and having the good end of 55/45s between strong ranges. Betting as a bluff is almost always a bad idea. Preflop initiative is relatively unimportant; position and overall aggressiveness is a much better indicator of which player is most likely to bet the flop than who raised preflop. - Three-way pots are the intermediate case. The chance that two of three players hit a flop fairly hard is high enough that the chance of dominating someone or being dominated is a major factor, so nuttiness is very valuable. On the other hand, near-nut hands (especially multi-component near-nut hands, like top pair + non-nut flush draw + nut gut-shot) are much more likely to get action from hands they dominate than they would be in a four- or five-way pot. Whether to continuation bet with air or a light semi-bluff is often a very close decision, especially on medium-textured boards like Jc7h4s. So is whether to check to the raiser with a strong hand or lead. ttest

  5. Position - When out of position, it is extremely important to build polarized ranges when a pot will have significant money behind for the turn and river. The combination of positional disadvantage and having a range full of non-nut hands is an easy way to bleed money. - When in position, it is much easier to profitably play hands with multiple non-nut pieces of equity. For example, it is almost always profitable to call heads-up in position with JcTh9c6h on Jh5s4c (top pair, gut-shot + backdoor straight draws, two backdoor flush draws), but almost always unprofitable to check-call out of position. • In multi-way pots on the flop when in a middle position, it is very important to pay attention to the likelihood of being in or out of position on the turn and river. For example, there is a big difference between being second or third in a four-way pot – the person third to act can bet knowing the one person who could have position on him on later streets has to worry about two possible check-raises; the person second to act has to get through two people who could have position on him on the turn and river. When second to act in a three way pot, which player is looser/which player bet can often sway a close decision one way or the other. - ttest

  6. Stack to Pot Ratio (SPR) - The flop SPR is influenced by the number of players to see the flop, whether there were limpers before the first raise, and the effective stack sizes, but the main factor that determines it is the number of preflop raises. The three main cases are single-raised pots, three-bet pots, and four-bet pots - Assuming effective stacks close to 100bb, the SPR in single-raised pots usually ranges from ~9-15. SPR = 13 is the number at which it takes three streets of pot-sized bets to get stacks in. The heavy action in single-raised pots usually centers around the top of ranges (top 10%-20%); i.e. nut and near-nut hands – sets, nut flushes, nut straights, nut combo draws. The main way to win stacks in these pots is with nut versus near-nut domination situations. The main way to lose stacks is to overplay near-nut hands. - Assuming effective stacks close to 100bb, the SPR in three-bet pots usually ranges from ~2-5. SPR = 4 is the number at which it takes two streets of pot-sized bets to get stacks in. The heavy action in three-bet pots usually centers around the middle and upper-middle of ranges (top 30%-40%), with the hierarchy of pair + draw and decent combo draws playing a key role. The main way to win stacks in these pots is to have pair + draw hands that dominate other pair + draw hands and have decent equity against nut hands. For example, AsQsJcTc on Js9h6c. - Assuming effective stacks close to 100bb, the SPR in four-bet pots usually ranges from 0.5-1.5. SPR = 1 is (obviously) the number at which it takes one streets of pot-sized bets to get stacks in, and these pots will very rarely play out over multiple streets. The heavy action in four-bet pots usually centers around the lower-middle and middle of ranges (top 50%-60%). Generally, flopping anything (a pair, an open-ender with backdoors) is enough to call or shove. With SPR closer to 2 there is a little more maneuverability and required hand strengths adjust (bare AA** is much different with SPR = 2 than SPR = 1.5), but for the most part the money made in four-bet pots is made with the preflop decisions to four-bet or call a 4-bet. ttest

  7. Initiative and Leverage - Initiative is simply a statement of who was the last aggressor on the previous street. We want to evaluate how initiative impacts the action on the current street. - Leverage is a reflection of how the current street action (particularly who the aggressor is) impacts the anticipated action on future streets, particularly in cases where one player has the opportunity to use his range to make a relatively small bet backed by a much larger implied threat of future bets. - Preflop initiative does not generally have as much impact on postflop action in PLO as it does in NLHE. The cases where it is most relevant who raised preflop are heads-up pots, where the action will usually begin with the preflop caller deferring to the preflop raiser to make the first bet. In three-way pots, the raiser is substantially more likely to be first bettor, but the other two players will often have a close decision between leading and checking with a good hand, and leading is not rare in the way it is in heads-up pots. In 4+-way pots, the preflop initiative is largely irrelevant as a reason to bet, although it may be beneficial in that people are a bit more likely to check their big hands when they weren’t the raiser, which gives us a chance to check behind with hands that want to see a turn, like JcTs8h7c on 9c5s4s. - On polarized, static-equity boards (where the nuts is a full house, flush, or invulnerable straight like JT** on AcKdQh6s), the leverage advantage lies with the person with a nuttier range. The fewer possible texture shifts, the scarier the threat of future street of betting that is implied by a flop or turn bet. Often the most heavily leveraged bets are well-sized turn bets on flush and paired boards. - On smooth, dynamic-equity boards (where the nuts is a straight or set and there are multiple possible draws), the leverage advantage lies with the person who has more balanced coverage of the many future street contingencies. ttest

  8. Board Texture - Two-Axis System for categorizing the texture of unpaired flops. One, a spectrum from dry to wet, reflecting how draw-heavy a board is. Two, a spectrum from heavy to light, reflecting how hard people’s ranges hit the top of the possible hands on a given texture. Straight free Board Examples: Dry/Heavy – AK9r, AJ5r Dry/Light – J62r, T52r Wet/Heavy – KQ7s, JT6s Wet/Light – 963s, 752s Straight Board Examples: Dry/Heavy – KQJr, 987r Dry/Light – 542r, 632r Wet/Heavy – QJ8s, KJ9s Wet/Light – 864s, 652s • Generally, the straight boards are heavier (and more polarizing when dry) than the straight-free boards. This is because the nuts is much more likely when it is an unpaired two card combination (7.2% chance a random hand has JT** on 987) than when it is a pocket pair (1.5% chance a random hand has QQ** on QT2) ttest

  9. Board Texture, continued - On dry/heavy boards like AK9r nothing has good equity against {AK+}, the four hands in {AK+} all have dominating relationships among each other, and the board texture is relatively unlikely to change on the turn and river. The play dynamic usually falls into one of two categories – a) shutdown/showdown mode where typical players try to play for one or two streets with their marginal hands; b) an aggressive leveraged polarized-range game, where strong players use the fact that everything worse than {AK+} can’t play for stacks without risking getting it in really bad to apply pressure with bluff raises and second and third barrels • On wet/heavy boards like JT6s, a ton of hands have good equity against the current nuts, and the top slice of hands of different types (sets, combo draws, pair + draw) all have good hand versus range equity against each other. It is important to build ranges for multiple contingencies and to be cautious with dominated draws and bare made hands. These boards are very good for semi-bluffing and it is relatively easy to adjust to an opponent who is too passive, too aggressive, or unbalanced on them. • There are three main differences between dry/light boards like J62r and dry/heavy boards. One, the one pair hierarchy is much more relevant because sets are a smaller part of people’s range. Two, overpairs are a major part of that hierarchy. Three, none of the one pair/two pair hands are invulnerable, unlike top two on AK9r. This all means that even without any draws, equities run closer together nearer to the top of ranges. Nothing has good equity against JJ **, but the overall infrequency of sets means that the equity relationships among hands like {AA54, KQJT, KKJ2, AJ98, 6543} are important. • - The main difference between wet/light boards (like 863s and 753s) and wet/heavy boards is that the wet/light boards allow for semi-bluffing wider; that is, semi-bluffing with hands that are (in absolute terms) weaker than the hands good to enough to semi-bluff on a board like QJ7s. ttest

  10. Opponent Tendencies - Generalizations about opponent tendencies fall into two basic categories. One, there are a handful of action frequencies for which we can have a large sample size and that converge rather quickly. These include the key preflop and flop stats, such as vpip, pfr, 3-bet%, steal %, SB/BB fold to steal %s, continuation bet %, and fold/call/raise continuation bet %s. Two, there are many tendencies, primarily later street tendencies, that are much more difficult to quantify for several reasons, including sample size and differences in the action sequences and board texture development that lead to a certain decision point. • To properly interpret the statistics that converge quickly, it is still necessary to identify a few ways that the other parameters cause an opponent’s strategy to vary in different conditions. Preflop vpip/pfr/3b% need to be placed in the context of his positional awareness, either by looking at position-by-position data or by observing the types of hands he shows down from different positions. One 25/15/5 opponent may range from 15/15/0 UTG to 45/25/15 from the button, while another has a much narrower difference. Similarly, flop statistics represent an averaging over a range of board textures, numbers of opponents, and SPRs. • - Most of the useful turn and river data (aggression frequencies, showdown frequencies) is more about determining the general shape of opponent strategies than the specific tendencies they have in individual situations. We can’t practically look at something like “turn check-raise frequency after c-betting a three-way flop on a medium-wet board where the turn completes a flush draw,” both for sample size reasons and because there are so many possible scenarios. ttest

  11. Opponent Tendencies, continued • - Another approach to analyzing opponent tendencies in these low sample-size situations is to look for events that can be extrapolated to indicate an aspect of his thought process that has a major impact on his overall range. It particularly makes sense to look for events that are unusual, either in comparison to the standard line you would take or the standard line you would expect from an opponent with his general profile (preflop + flop statistics, overall aggression, etc). • For example, if someone shows down JJ74 and T885 after calling 3-bets, it is likelier that he will fold to flop continuation bets in 3-bet pots. • Another example: over a session you observe that someone checks behind the turn (with SPR ~4 on a wet board) once with top two pair and a couple times with a strong combo hand (a draw with showdown value on blanks) that he could profitably double-barrel. Such an opponent’s betting range has more air than the average opponent with the same turn aggression stats and can be check-raised lighter. ttest

  12. Image • - Image of the fuzziest of the seven parameters, because it involves interpreting the meaning of a wide range of actions and tendencies with the handicap of two degrees of imperfect information. One, our opponent’s are trying to determine our overall strategy from isolated examples. Two, we have imperfect information about how they do this – which things they look for, which things they notice. • - The first step toward understanding our image is to ignore the second difficulty and assess our own strategy as our opponents should if they had perfect information • - The second step is to use what we know about their tendencies to analyze their thought process, which in turn allows us to estimate what parts of our strategy they will notice and how they interpret them. - The third step is to use steps one and two to make our opponents think what we want them to think. ttest