1. Deuce Plays, Episode 5:
"If you do have Ace-King, four betting I don't think is going to show a profit, because it's very unlikely you're going to get it in against a range of honestly, Kings or Aces, and maybe Queens, so obviously that's a horrible range to get it in against." --Sean NolanThe reality is that in today's games, many players' preflop all-in range includes AA, KK, QQ and AK from any position. You can feel safe shoving or 4-betting AK preflop against that range for 100BB.
If you start calling or folding AK preflop out of position, you're probably losing money against most opponents. You should fold AK against a range of AA and KK, but realistically, even most nits are shoving and calling shoves with QQ and AK too.
As an aside, I have to give Nolan credit for another point he made about six minutes later into the podcast. He challenged anyone to show him that they're making money by playing 66-22 from early position in a full ring game over a large sample. I filtered my stats and found that he's right: in my case, I'm a slight loser in that situation.
2. Two Plus Two Publishing: Mason Malmuth rips Tommy Angelo's book, "Elements of Poker," in the most recent Two Plus Two Magazine. Then he locks a thread in the Two Plus Two forums ending discussion of his critique. Hard-Boiled Poker covered it Wednesday.
First of all, I loved reading "Elements of Poker." It gave new, refreshing insight into the game from a perspective that Two Plus Two's books fail to offer. The book may not be for everyone, but the job of a critic is to evaluate a work on its merits. Just because a poker book isn't grounded in statistics doesn't mean it has little value.
Secondly, I got more out of "Elements of Poker" than any Two Plus Two book I've read in recent memory. Honestly, Two Plus Two's offerings have mostly sucked over the last couple of years. "Harrington on Cash Games," "Heads-up No-limit Hold'em" and "Professional No-limit Hold'em" all fell far short of expectations and didn't do much to improve my game.
On top of those subpar offerings, Two Plus Two is coming out with Harrington books on shorthanded games. Harrington should stick to tournaments because his cash advice is piss poor. Applying it to today's 6-max online games would be a disaster.
Finally, Malmuth's thread lock seems to show a lack of openness toward other opinions.
3. Pope Ciaffone has a problem with the advice that "You've got to give action to get action":
"Now let's look at what many of the players are actually doing who use the expression, 'You have to give action to get action.' They raise up front with the 9 7, then bet the flop into four callers when it comes A-J-3. They call a raise out of the small blind when holding the J 8 when there are five opponents who limped in and the button raised. They reraise preflop with 9-9 because now they have a 'real hand.' The game plan was to look like a wild player and then play solidly afterward, but they unfortunately got stuck so much in their advertising mode that they were emotionally unable to stick to their game plan. To me, they look like they are auditioning for the poker version of Death Wish III."Ciaffone doesn't seem to understand what the phrase means. It's not that difficult. What it means is that if you play like a nit, no one will ever pay you off when you do hit a hand. His examples don't reflect that concept at all.