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Matt Strays Off Course

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  • Matt Strays Off Course

    I'm not a big fan when some of the coaches stray to far off of what I'm trying to learn.

    For example in quiz 766 Matt 3-bets a hand that isn't even really borderline. He doesn't give a terrible score for folding but if we are trying to learn the ranges, how to play those ranges ect
    stuff like this makes it more confusing rather than reinforcing. From the Co we don't 3-bet EP opens with any KXs other than KQs easy to remember. When we get to the HJ will fill in all of
    the Axs and the J9s Q9s K9s. This gets fairly easy to remember after a period of time. So when he takes a combo that is just outside of our calling range and 3-bets it that makes it hard for
    me anyway to memorize these charts through repetitive actions.

    What I like to do with these quizzes to help me nail down our ranges is answer the pre-flop action in my head and then refer to the charts to see if I'm correct or not before selecting my answer.
    I realize there will always be some borderline spots so I will use any information they give us about the V's to make my decision.

    That said if this is a borderline hand I would see it as a call (but that's kind of horrible unless we hit the flop decently) not a 3-bet.

    If we 3-bet K9s won't that start giving us to many bluffs? Meaning if we are going to 3-bet K9s shouldn't we also be 3-betting A6s-A9s ATo KJo (that's 40 combos not including K9s) or
    do we just leave K9s sticking out like a sore thumb in our range composition?

    I'm not trying to kill Matt, he's one of my favorite coaches I'm just trying to wrap my head around this.

    When doing our homework assignments I don't think JL would like this -

    or this - which is what I think our range will look like if not even a bit looser.
    I would say this is a LAG which isn't bad if they have post flop chops but I think this would end up being a considerable leak for me.

  • #2
    I tend to agree with you about his quizzes. I've only taken maybe 100 quizzes since joining but know that I have scored the worst on his compared to other coaches. It seems to me that he's a bit inconsistent with his reasoning from 1 quiz to the next, and I have to wonder if some of his answers and scores are results-oriented.


    • LondonImp
      LondonImp commented
      Editing a comment
      "I have to wonder if some of his answers and scores are results-oriented."

      I've suspected this myself...

  • #3
    I've had issues with some of the quizzes not providing enough context to deviate from "standard" play (as defined by the charts) but in this one I think Matt gave most of the crucial elements necessary to do so. I don't want to put words into the mouth of someone far better at this game than I am so I'll just stick to what he has said here and elsewhere on the site.

    1) The LJ open was from someone described as a recreational player. As such, I think it is reasonable to assume he is likely opening ranges he cannot properly defend. He will either open/fold too tight or he will continue overly wide OOP with a capped range. This is not where you want to be vs a professional. Isolating this type of player in position is how to build your stack. He likely does not have a 4-bet bluffing range so if he does 4-bet you, you have a trivial fold.

    2) Matt talked about clearing equity. K9s is a great hand as a 3-bet bluff here because it will likely fold out many of the hands that dominate you. If you open KTs or KJo, how happy are you to continue vs a 3-bet out of position? Even KQo should fold most of the time. Same thing with A9. So, by 3-betting this hand, you are freeing up your pairs to be good almost always. All of the K's that dominate you and can continue are likely 4-bets (AK and KK). There are only 3 KQs left and that's just something we have to deal with.

    3) K9s is not a hand you want to play multiway. If you call, you will invite the BTN to take position from you or 3-bet and force you out. For this reason, calling seems like the worst option. The 3-bet makes it very difficult for the BTN to do much of anything other than fold, unless they have a big hand. The blinds are less relevant because their ranges will have to be even tighter. If anyone cold 4-bets you, you can fold easily.

    4) K9s has tons of equity vs his flatting range, including all pairs. So, if you are called, you are in great shape vs villains entire range and you are in position.

    So, if you want to attack the recreational player, K9s is a great hand to do it with. Choose hands just below your calling range as your 3-bet bluffs, especially when they have good blocking properties and you can clear out the hands that dominate you. Force the players left to act to dump their equity as well. Now you have a player with a capped range at a positional disadvantage all to yourself. If he 4-bets, you are done. If he folds, you have a great pickup with no variance. If he calls, you use your postflop edge to take the pot a large % of the time.

    I'm sure there are other reasons for making this play but I wanted to stick to the information Matt gave in the video (at least through inference). Just to add my own take on your post - memorizing charts will only get you so far. Understanding why we are selecting the ranges is far more important. Forget whether K9s is a better fold or 3-bet because that isn't as important as knowing why it can be either, depending on the situation. I wouldn't worry about the score you get on a quiz. I would either 3-bet of fold K9s and it would all depend on my assessments of the initial opener and the players left to act (mostly the BTN). If I thought I could get the IR to myself most of the time, I'm taking this line. If I thought the players left to act behind me might sniff out my light isolation raise and 4-bet bluff me or flat, I probably fold. If all the players left to act were really weak and play fit-or-fold, I may even work in a call from time to time. The important part of this quiz was in trying to assess the properties of any given hand so that you have options at your disposal.
    Last edited by 1Warlock; 02-08-2020, 02:15 PM.


    • #4
      I think the thing to consider here is how our standard ranges were created. We know the GTO solutions actually have us taking certain action with certain holding a certain % of the time, as opposed to our implementable ranges where each holding is only assigned one action 100% of the time. In a few webinars JL has shown where the GTO solver might have 3 holdings each raising 33% of the time, and suggested that in creating an implementable strategy we might just pick one to be our raising hold as this is easier to execute, because randomizing is the most challenging part of trying to implement a perfect GTO strategy (IDR the exact numbers in the situation JL was discussing, but you get the idea.) What this means is that there are other holdings outside our standard raising ranges, that can reasonably raise. So we know our standard ranges are our starting point, if we are in a spot where we believe we should be loosening our raising range, where do we start? Well if K9s is a raise because it has some post-flop playability, isn't quite strong enough to call, and has K blocker, does K8 also have those things? It does so we can consider playing it that way, exploitatively.

      I agree sometimes it's tough to know based on the reads given on opponents and this can sometimes detract from our mechanical learning, but we have to remember ultimately we're going to be applying the mechanics in fluid in game spots.

      You can also kind of game the quizzes recognizing that we're not going to fold pre much in quizzes, although this is probably not good for learning, I think if you would fold you should pick fold and just listen closely to the explanations for each options validity, the score isn't intrinsically valuable....Also I know there's at least one JL quiz where fold pre is the 10 point answer, and he goes on to say, "butttt, we do this this time which is also sometimes valid, so what do you do now." lol


      • #5
        I can fully empathise with this but I find Assassinato much worse than Matt. Quite often it feels like he is just showing that he got a bluff through when his opponent must have had one of the TWO hands that would not cal. This doesn't feel like learning.

        The worst thing is that I find myself guessing 'what mood is he in today?' rather than what should I do. But my mind is blown because one day he will do one thing to show a bluff but the next day it will be 'if you did anything other than FOLD in this scenario then you are playing bad.

        Really confusing when trying to learn from the best.


        • Richlizard
          Richlizard commented
          Editing a comment
          Totally agree Eddie. Pretty much no chance of getting a read on my game, it's totally bipolar!

        • CrazyEddie Reloaded
          CrazyEddie Reloaded commented
          Editing a comment
          paranoid man ... who said anything about getting read on you ?

        • Richlizard
          Richlizard commented
          Editing a comment
          Always a pleasure chatting.

      • #6
        I don't think it is a game of memory... but see many people think they are ready to take on .. after memorizing the charts.

        In a way, these people can actually be easier to play against... provided that you also know the charts and know that is all they know.

        Last edited by CrazyEddie Reloaded; 02-15-2020, 10:01 PM.


        • #7
          I actually think the issue is the charts differ significantly from what a solver would recommend. Acevedo’s solved charts in Modern Poker Theory have us 3betting K9s in many configurations. If anything, maybe the standard charts need an update.