The importance of a solid understanding when it comes to play from Blinds

  • The importance of a solid understanding when it comes to play from Blinds

    Posted by Funnybunny H on September 6, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Hi all,

    it’s been a while since I posted on the forum, mainly because I wasn’t that invested in the game for the 1st half of the year (burn out, negative variance..), but recently I step up studying with the Trainer again.

    One part of the preflop-tree that I think might be very undervalued by most (even regulars-myself included), is playing correctly from the Blinds.

    I think I don’t reveal any new info by saying, that most players under-defend their BB a lot, especially vs a B/SB steal. There are also quite a few players (mainly recreationals), who over-defend, which can be very costly vs B (given the capped range, and being out of position)..

    Identifying these “leaks” and adjusting to them is very important, because there are quite big edges to be gained (something that even I wasn’t that familiar with until recently).


    When I started to train/improve my ranges from blinds, I was quite shocked to see how much value there is left on the table, especially in SBvBB situations.

    For reference, the solver between the PLO50-PLO200 limits plays their BB vs a SB open around 65-66% of the times (they fold around 34-35%). Most players, even winning regulars (myself included) fold anywhere between 40-60% when facing an SB open. That is about a 15% deviation from GTO on average. Obviously it’s difficult for such specific stat to reach a reliable sample, but the deviation is there for sure.


    Why it’s significant:

    The easiest to demonstrate it, is to open the trainer and do a random 50-100 hand training as BB vs a SB open. Once you did it, check out the value difference between the deviation from your action and the solver recommended action in when it comes to “mistakes”.

    Just a few interesting hands from a 50 sample I just did:

    – Folding a hand even as trashy as AT83s with an 8high suit, has a 0.11 EV/100 difference. That means if you repeat the same mistake over 100 hands, you are losing 11bb in the process. Now we can say, this is probably a bit overestimated, because average population tends to under-steal from SB. That being said, most decent regulars do have a reasonably high SB-steal frequency (because they know that population overfolds from BB).

    – Folding AQJ2 monotone has a 0.62 EV/100 difference. If you trained this spot for a while, you probably don’t make this one as a mistake , but I am pretty sure not many people expect this hand to have such difference in value between the fold/call action. (You might see a tighter player open from SB, and think yourself, “I will be dominated a lot, this guy only RFI from SB around 1/5 of the times, even from B he doesn’t really steal that much, let’s just fold and reduce variance”). Obviously vs a tighter player the EV of the call will be less than vs Solver, but you can still expect to lose quite a few $s, if you just auto-fold this spot because you expect the SB to open tight.

    – Choosing to call instead of raising with a hand such as K764$ds has 0.15 EV/100 diff. While calling is a winning play for sure, by choosing the correct option, you increase your winnings with 15bb over 100 hands. (Once again, the value can vary based on the opponent, but the EV to be gained is still there).


    These are just a very few examples, but if you invest in this spot a bit, you probably see some very big mistakes when it comes to call/fold decisions, and even call/raise decisions (especially with these weaker, double-suited hands).

    I thought this is a very interesting spot to invest some training in, because even some extremely trashy hands have very high EV difference, and so do some of these mediocre double suited hands. And then we haven’t even touched the “spicy” hands such as AQ22$ss or AT84$ss and how the solver plays them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Funnybunny H replied 2 months, 3 weeks ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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