Tuesday, 27 May 2014

I'm Back and...Bluffing Weak Players!!

    Hello fellow grinders! Sorry for have been away, I just got a lot of stuff going on right now, but I'll  definitely keep things going on here.
     As I talked about in a previous post I wanna show some bluffing opportunities to use against weak players. Usually those comming from the micros are used to the say "dont bluff weak players". What I'll try to do here is kind of a quick guide on: Who, When and How to bluff.

   Who to Bluff

   First and foremost who are we bluffing? Certainly not the 80/60 maniac, or the clueless 70/20 with 50% WTSD, actually WTSD is key here. Overall if the guy has a low WTSD he is a good target to bluff and his VPIP doenst actually matter that much, I have seen guys playing about 60% of the hands pre flop and fold on over 60% of flops, not that comum but you will find those guys.
  So if the guy is just throwing chips around the table it is not a good a idea to bluff him, but if he is the type who likes to see flops and try to hit something, then we might consider bluff him on some good spots.

  When to Bluff

   Usually the earlier in the session the better to bluff, people tilt, get anxious, specially after losing a big pot, and fish are are particularly susceptible to tilt. So if a fish just lost a big pot, either at show down or folding on a big pot, please dont try to bluff him.
  You should also not try to bluff a fish over and over again, well some guys have kind of a discipline, the truth is that they are actually more like a very bad reg then a random recreational player. Against total recreational players you should not be doing a lot of bluffs in a short sucession of hands.

  How to Bluff

   Yeah you waited for it! The fun part begins! 
   I'll try to describe a few lines that I have seen that work more often, and since I dont want it to be too long I'll only talk about river bluffs, considering the lines most often used by fish.

   The Turn and River Small Bets

  An exemple, let's say hero has any two cards and the board runs like Td8d2c5cKs. Hero is IP and decided not to cbet the flop, on the turn the fish villain made a small bet, something around 1/4 pot, hero calls, and on the river fish again bets 1/4 pot. Here in my experience if hero makes a sizeble raise, about pot, villain will fold over 80% of the time. When a fish takes this like of small bet on turn and river, he usually dont have anything decent. 
 A few notes: if the board gets really scary with lots of midle cards on it, or multiple draws come in, the spots turn horrible to bluff, on an A high board it usually works less often too.

   The OOP Float

   We all have donne that, we cbet the flop IP, fish calls, turn goes x/x, fish bets and we fold. What if we raise the river bet? When done in the right situation this play works really well. The right situation would be something like you have a guy who has a high VPIP (40%), low fold to flop bet (30%), high river bet frequency (50%), and somewhat high fold to river bet (50%). When those criteria match and the board isent really all that scary, like draws brick on the river, if the fish bets something like 1/4 to 1/2 pot a raise here will take the pot down super often. As for size make it something like his bet plus what was in the pot before his bet, this way you will need it to suceed 50% of the time to break even and it will suceed way more often than that.
    This line works well both in raised pots as well as in 3b pots, actually I have noticed that it usually works even better at 3b pots., in which case the river raise will more often than not be a shove, yes you will need some extra courage to fire those!

   Call, Call, Chek on wet Boards

   Lets say we have some kind of draw like an oesd. We bet the flop and get called, bet the turn and he calls again, if the river bricks it is an excellent oportunity to go for a third barrel. We need to talk about what we are making the villain fold out here, it is usually non pair hands, draws mostly, that beat us at the showdown. If we wanna fold busted draws then a small bet is enought, I like to make it about 1/3 pot, sometimes even 1/4. The price you get on the bluff is great and against a guy full of busted draws that has a tendency to fold at least some percentage of the time by the river this river bluff will be quite profitable.

   Final Thoughts

   Yes we can, and if we want to improve our winrate we should bluff some kind of fish, just dont go overboard with it and simple look for spots to do so, those are in the kind of plays that can quickly go from profitable to spew. Just the next time you are in a hand without a pair consider those bluffing lines as a valid option.

   Good luck at the tables,

   Willian "KhalDragon" Mates.


Thursday, 15 May 2014


   Yesterday was a great day to me! I saw an interview that I made to Nathan "BlackRain" Williams, published on his web site. Looks like ages when I bought his book Crushing the Micro Stakes and posted a lot on his forum. Just want to keep u guys update, you can see the interview here. Once again thank you Nathan for the oportunity to talk about my history.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

1-2 and Live Poker


     I had my first 1-2 session! I made it at a weekend, always a good idea to move up at weekends, and it felt really good. I found a decent amount of games as expected and regs play pretty much as they do at 0,5-1, found a few super nova elite (SNE) players, they are for sure sick grinders and a guy which a vip status this high pretty much always will have a deep understand of the game.

     That is the graph of this first session, pretty small I know, and also mixed with 0,5-1 games. Overall I like the shape and specially the fact that I still can have a positive blue line AND a positive (or at least break even) red line, that is key.


     For now I'll keep playing my regular game and see how it can perform at this new level.


   I played a live tournament yesterday. Not something that I plan to do on a regular basis, but definitely will do once in a while. 
   To be honest I was kind of surprised with the quality of some players, overall the player pool has a very poor understanting of the game, but at least two guys knew what they were doing, and that my frineds to a live enviroment is huge. It was very small, only 16 players, but 3 decent players in a field of 16 is something that draws attention, the majority of the players felt somewhere between fish and wanna be reg, but at least 4 players were really awfull.
   I always have fun when I play live, people like to discuss strategy, openly talk about their thoughts and the lines they like to use on each spot. I found those pieces of information incredibly usefull, not only in a particular live session, but also ,and even of more relevancy, as a way to better understand the thought process of some fish. That is something that hugely contributed to incress my profit at poker, this desire to better understand how fish think, why they play this game, why they use certain lines. Try to better understand fish and you will fry them like never before...

   Never Bluff The Fish

   We all know that, fish cant be bluffed. Is that true? Is it always -ev to try to bluff fish? I'll try to discuss this in deep on my next post, for now I'll let an interesting hand that I played recently.


Monday, 5 May 2014

So, I'm finally having a blog after all!

      Hello everyone!

      After a long time people have sugested me to make a blog. I relucted, mainly because I like to make my life private, never liked to show others what I'm planning to do, how much money I'm making, or who I'm dating.
      Some people have said that I'm starting to have an interesting history in regard of poker, so I decided to write down about it, my career so far and also my plans, projects, so u can follow me.
      First and foremost I'm Brazilian, so be used to see some english mistakes.
      I'm currently playing 0,5-1 on PokerStars. Have plaied a ton of hands on nl25 and nl50, and after a very good run at nl100 this next weekend I'm looking foward to test my skills at 1-2 for the very first time!
      I'm not going to post lots of graphs on this blog, but just for the curious guys out there I'll start posting two graphs, one of the beggining of the year, playing mainly nl50 and another from this April playing almost only nl100.



     Hope u are still with me! In the next few days I'll be posting some new informations about my poker career and also some articles about strategy, mainly what I think most small stakes regs are missing.

     Best Regards,

   Willian Mates