Friday, May 30, 2008

After the flop

Postflop play is where a lot of the money is made in poker. Not coincidentally, it isn't easy to learn.

This isn't a post where I'm going to try to write out my thoughts on how to play postflop, because I don't really know how to play postflop. All I do is try to reason through every previous action of my opponents, set a loose hand range and try to make the most of my equity. If I have an edge or pot odds, I'll bet and raise. If not, I'll fold or evaluate my implied odds.

I wish there were a good book on postflop play for no limit hold 'em. But I wonder if there are too many variables to really develop a framework. So much of postflop play seems to occur on a hand-by-hand basis.

Here's what I know:

_ The key to postflop play is establishing accurate hand ranges.

_ Hand reading online is a an important and acquired skill.

_ Playing out of position postflop is extremely difficult for me.

_ If you don't know where you stand, folding isn't a bad option.

_ Preflop betting patterns go a long way toward narrowing opponents' hand ranges.

_ Solid, straightforward poker wins money.

I'd really like to hear comments from anyone who knows a way to improve hand reading skills beyond experience and deductive reason. Any help is appreciated.


I will attempt to reclaim my rightful place as Pineapple Maze champion today. Wish me luck.


Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Watch out Jason Bernard.

spritpot said...

Hand reading and evaluating an opponent's range is obviously key to playing well, but knowing what to do once you've settled on a range is also pretty non-trivial.

Ankenman and Chen's 'Math of Poker' starts out with several examples of what proper strategy is when the cards are face-up, and it's often pretty difficult and time-consuming to figure out what the optimal actions for each player are.


RaisingCayne said...

I think it's worth repeating that: "Solid, straightforward poker wins money." I never cease to be amazed by the frequency of players getting paid off when holding monsters, despite their play clearly illustrating that villains are beat!

And going a step further on a similar thought, I've always found it profitable to conclude that if something just seems fishy, it probably is! While straightforward, solid poker wins money, the opposite is also an effective means of losing money! The way in which a hand plays out has to tell a believable story, and when certain post-flop actions seem to just be wacky... they probably are, and likely represent villains' making a flawed move against you.

Weak Player said...

I won't speak to strategy, but I can say that one focus of my report set that I am working on will be previous known hands vs betting action....I think that will help for villians that one has a lot of data on.

Strategy wise, I still love NLHE T&P; It is my fav. poker book.