kaz-news.info Authorized torrent preview of. Playing The Player. Moving Beyond ABC Poker. To Dominate Your Opponents. Ed Miller. this book, write to Ed Miller, South Maryland Parkway,. Suite A-5, Box vast majority of poker players misunderstand which skills are. “fundamental” to. Playing The Player: Moving Beyond ABC Poker To Dominate Your Opponents Paperback – May 21, Ask any poker player with a little bit of experience, and they’ll tell you poker is a game of people, not of cards. Ed Miller is an MIT graduate and an acclaimed author of numerous.
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Images of and information about all casino games found in online casinos such as Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Poker, Craps, Slots, live dealer games. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Ed Miller South Eastern Avenue Suite A Henderson, NV Hold 'em Poker for Advanced Players by David Sklansky and Mason Small Stakes Hold'em: Winning Big With Expert Play by Ed Miller, David Sklansky.
If he sometimes limps and sometimes raises, you can often divide his total pre-flop range into limping hands and raising hands. Again, how do you make money at this game? You bet and raise when you catch your opponents playing too many hands. And you get out of the way when your opponents are marked with strong hands. When the same player limps in, you attack with bets and raises, because the limping hands are weak, and the ones they play too often. In other words, by separating raising hands from limping hands, your opponent is giving you reliable cues about when to attack and when to back off.
Raises in other situations are less telling. Some players raise every time they enter a pot. While raising every time you enter a pot is good strategy, these players also usually play too many hands, so you should again feel free to attack with bets and raises either by reraising pre-flop or by calling with the intention of being aggressive post-flop.
Other players vary their raising standards significantly by position. If they are one of the first few players to act, they will limp most hands and raise only the best ones.
Again, it is fine to attack these raises either with pre- flop reraises or post-flop aggression. In a game, when tight opponents reraise a. This is a critical time to get out of the way.
Even better, the vast majority of players put more money into the pot than they should pre-flop. After the flop, strategies diverge. These players are easy to bully on the flop and turn. But by the time the big money starts flying on the river, it may be time to cut your losses. Some players deal with their extra hands by calling down too often on too many streets.
You hope to make hands against these players and bet them at every opportunity. Some players deal with their extra hands by trying to steal pots with aggressive bets and raises. These players are trickiest to beat. But you can win just as much money off them as the other two player types. Once your opponent has the habit of putting too much money into the pot with too many hands, you can win that money as long as you choose the correct post-flop strategy.
Your opponents build a nice big green for you by playing too many hands pre-flop. You have to take the paths that your opponents leave open to you. Each table you play—each hole, continuing the golf analogy—will be different. One table might demand that you make a lot of medium-sized flop and turn bets to get people to fold out bad hands. Another table might require you to plan your actions around inducing and calling large bluff bets from your opponents. The trick is to play the course as it comes to you, rather than try to impose your will upon it.
This process begins pre-flop. As I said, your pre-flop strategy has two parts. Two, you want to position yourself to best-leverage and exploit the money your opponents make available to you by playing too many hands. You do this by choosing the right types of hands. Besides pocket pairs, you want hands that will have equity-when-called on a wide range of boards should you bluff.
Suitedness is the most important feature to protect your equity-when-called. Suitedness is so important that the vast majority of valuable, playable non-pair hands are suited. Also important are big cards and connectedness. A suited hand with one of these two features e. But one with neither of them e. You also execute a sound pre-flop strategy by consistently raising if no one has raised ahead of you.
Raising punishes your opponents for playing too many hands. This is a situation to avoid, not to attempt to attack. For the record, these percentages are a bit arbitrary.
So no one knows what those perfect percentages are. Instead, I want to talk about frequencies that I know will help you become a winning player. The first four positions are the big blind, the small blind, the button, and the cutoff the seat one to the right of the button. In a 6-handed game, this is two seats.
In a 9-handed game, this is five seats, and so on. Theoretically there is some difference in how you should play from each of these seats. But the difference is small enough that I like to simplify things and treat them the same way. From this position, if no one has raised in front of you, I recommend you play roughly 14 percent of hands.
The hands I recommend playing are all pocket pairs, all suited aces, any two suited cards ten and higher i. In different game environments, you would tweak this list by taking out some of the weakest hands and including other hands with different features. For example, you would prefer AJo to A6s or 76s in many situations.
The specific weakest hands I chose for this list i. By definition, some hand has to be the weakest on the list. The main point is the overall frequency—just 14 percent. My recommendations are designed to be simple and effective. But I believe you can win a lot of money playing live games with these recommendations. And this is the first standard for anything I write—will these ideas help you win?
Obviously, A5s is a bluff. The addition of A5s fits the bill in this circumstance. Note how these recommendations dovetail with the overarching principle. When our opponents are playing too many hands, we attack them with bets and raises with both good and bad hands. When our opponents have strong, narrow ranges, we back off.
Against a raise we think is strong, we reraise only the strongest hands and a single bluff hand, A5s. Against a raise that represents too loose a range of hands, we reraise more. Here are my final recommendations for early position. If no one has raised yet, raise: These hands are all pocket pairs, all suited aces, suited kings down to K7s, any two suited cards nine or higher e. The vast majority of unsuited hands roughly 92 percent of them we still consider unplayable.
Here, your opponent is likely playing a narrow range of strong hands. This is a signal to stay away from the pot. Against a raise from a loose player, or someone who raises every hand, from the cutoff you should 3-bet the hands I suggested in the early-position section.
You could also 3-bet pocket jacks and a couple other bluffing hands, like maybe 54s or A7s to balance your range and hide your hand strength. You should call with the remaining hands on the list, though you might fold the weakest suited and offsuit hands e. The exact hand choices—i. You should play most frequently from this seat.
These hands include any pocket pair, any suited ace, any suited king, suited queens Q5s or better, suited jacks J7s or better, suited connectors down to 43s, suited one-gap connectors down to 53s, suited two-gap connectors down to 96s, offsuit aces A7o and better, offsuit kings K9o and better, and any two cards ten or higher e.
This range looks like: Again, note the strong emphasis on the value of suited hands, even from the best possible table position. But it sets you up well to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves after the flop. While theoretically you can play a bit more adventurously against a tight raise when you have the button, unlocking the value of added weak hands requires a fairly complete set of no-limit skills.
Once you have read this book and mastered most of the skills through at least the end of the section, feel free to revisit the hand ranges I recommend here and tweak them. This understanding will give you the tools to write your own ranges.
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So avoid it. Raising ranges—even loose ones—typically include the monster hands like A-A and K-K, while limping ranges often exclude these hands. Also, the emphasis in the 3-betting ranges from this position has shifted from premium hands and bluffs i. Both the small and big blind have quite a bit in common. Yet, the blinds also differ a lot. But the differences between the two positions come to more prominence in tougher, higher-stakes games. Sorting out the details of higher-stakes play is beyond the scope of this book.
I want to keep things clear and workable. In limped pots, you have the option to fold the small blind, but not the big blind. The difference in expected outcome between completing and folding some of these marginal hands at lower stakes is counted in pennies. And it would take a whole lot of complicated math to estimate how many pennies and with which hands.
In limped pots, where one or more players will tend to call a raise, just raise the good hands. This looks roughly like the following range: But this range is fine. Choose suited hands that have either high card or connected strength. Blind play becomes a little trickier when someone has raised ahead of you. Blind play in tournaments is very different because there are often antes, and raise sizes tend to be small most of the time.
Against a raise, play your blinds with the same principles you use in the rest of your positions. Attack weakness. Avoid strength. Against tight raises, you can play from the blinds roughly the same hands you play from early position. For reference, here are the recommendations from above on early-position hands. A loose raise from early position is still likely to indicate a reasonably strong hand unless the player is truly wild.
Against this sort of raise, you can use the recommendations from early position against a loose raise. Reraise with: Typically, this is a raise made by the button, and sometimes by the cutoff. This sort of raise is made nearly without regard to the merits of the hand. Instead, the player who raises is trying to steal the pot either immediately, or with a flop bet.
The prototypical steal raise is when everyone folds to a button raise. Not every button in a game will raise very loosely in this situation, but most will. Also, if one or two players limp, and an aggressive player on the button raises, this raise as well may often be treated as a steal raise.
Steal raises are made with weak, wide ranges. Therefore, they should be attacked. You should be much more inclined to reraise a potential steal raise than any other type of pre-flop raise from any other position. Blind steal raises have their own terms. Again, I want to emphasize this is the hand set I recommend 3-betting against the player you think is raising as a steal. How comfortable do you think your opponent is trying to play a hand like T-6 suited against an opponent who reraised pre-flop?
Typical players have no ability to navigate these situations accurately. Since smaller-stakes players generally play looser pre-flop, usually many players will have limped, or someone in an earlier position will have raised before the action gets to the player on the button. So when the situation does come up to challenge a steal raise, just do it and gain the experience competing in these kinds of dynamics.
Enough pep talk. Reraise those hands. In addition to all the reraising, against a steal raise you can call with lots of hands. These frequencies will protect your blinds from steal raises satisfactorily from through games and beyond. And the math gets complicated.
I included specific hand ranges in the discussion so you have some concrete, practical guidelines to help you get going.
But the specific hands I chose for each situation—particularly the marginal ones—are not important. The truth is, no one can say with certainty that K-6 suited is profitable, but K-5 suited is unprofitable in a given situation.
This game is way too complicated, and every situation comes with way too many variables to get precision like that. Play tight. Your opponents will give you far too much information about their hand strength, and that information begins with pre-flop play. If someone rarely raises, but they raise this hand, assume they are strong and react accordingly. Your opponents play too many hands pre-flop. This tendency forms the base of why you can win money at this game. When you suspect your opponents are in with the weak hands, you should attack them with raises.
Making trips and straights and flushes is not how you win. Choose hands that have equity-when-called. A hand like suited is better in this game than a hand like A-4 off.
This is true with typical cash game stack sizes. The real value of suited is that it hits a wide range of flops, ensuring that you often have equity. A hand like this will be one of your best bluffing options. Defend blinds against steals, not strong raises. A common feature of small-stakes games is players who are in way too many hands pre-flop. This tendency creates pots where four-to-six players see most of the flops.
When so many see the flop, it makes it more likely one of them has hit the board. It often feels like opponents in these games will never fold. When so many see a flop and refuse to fold post-flop, it can present a unique challenge to a lot of players early in their careers.
So for the first few skills, I will specifically discuss how the ideas apply to these sorts of games. In general, too many players tilt in these games and let the dynamic get into their heads.
They get frustrated. And they flail around trying to find the winning formula. If you learn the skills I cover in this book, and you incorporate the notes at the end of each chapter, you should do just fine.
There are in fact two types of loose games pre-flop. For instance, in this sort of game, typically four players limp, and the blinds call and check for a six-way flop.
In this type of game, raise bigger. Since players are limping with so many hands, these limps represent extremely wide and weak ranges. The other type of loose games requires some adjustment. Here, players are loose and limp too much. On one level, this can feel scary. Yet, in fact this is an ideal situation in which to make money with stronger hands, because so many players are willing to risk so much money with weak hands. This game style creates artificially shallow stacks. The blinds fold, and the limpers call.
So, the SPR is below 2. When the SPR is so small, you essentially must decide whether to commit your stack on the flop. When faced with playing for stacks on the flop, the relative value of pre-flop hand features gets reconfigured a bit. When I introduced these features, I said that suitedness was the most important, with big-card value and connectedness close behind.
So a hand like K-T suited will perform much better than suited. You might even prefer offsuit big card hands like A-J or K-Q to smaller suited connectors. You might even consider limping with them. I did say earlier in the book you could argue limping exceptions to me, and this might be one of them. Many amateurs make the mistake of taking their experiences from one game or a few games to an extreme. Amusingly, some amateurs will hold all three of these viewpoints simultaneously.
Their opponents never pay them off when they have a hand, but always call their bluffs. This is obviously nonsense.
Either your opponents call a lot or fold a lot. In games where players tend to fold a lot post-flop, there are still plenty of situations where you can get paid off with good hands. And in games where players tend to call down a lot, there are plenty of situations where you can get a bluff through.
This is true almost regardless of the extremes you feel your games are playing. Always keep an open mind and seek out information that challenges your reads. The bottom line here? And be less willing to play hands like suited connectors that take time to develop as the board runs out.
Skill 2. At and even at and 5- 10 , the main idea of pre-flop play is playing tight. You should play tighter against raises, and raise a lot yourself. The other main thing is avoiding offsuit hands. Your first post-flop skill is actually a folding skill. Consider this example. Two players call behind, as do the blinds. A player behind you calls, and the small blind calls. The small blind moves all-in.
Most players would hem and haw on this decision. They might fold. They might call. If your opponent held A-Q, would she make this bet? For the vast majority of players, the answer is clearly no. With any of these hands, your opponent would be just as concerned about the turn card as you are. She could have a flush.
She could have a straight. The other option, of course, is that your opponent is bluffing. You have top pair. This is the conclusion we came to in our previous example. If you call, you win only if your opponent is bluffing. How often does your opponent have to be bluffing to justify the call? Therefore, if you catch your opponent bluffing one-third of the time, you break even.
You can lose twice for every time you win. If you suspect your opponent is bluffing more than one-third of the time, you should call every time. If you suspect your opponent is bluffing less than one-third of the time, you should fold every time.
That one-third frequency is the magic number. In small-stakes games, you should nearly always assume that your opponents are bluffing less frequently than that key percentage. Therefore, you should always fold whenever your hand cannot beat any of the hands your opponent is representing with the bet.
The above idea is gold. When your opponents make big bets on late streets in small-stakes games, they nearly always have it, and are bluffing less frequently than they should.
This idea comes into play most on the turn and river when your opponents make large, or stack- committing, bets.
A bet is stack-committing if you cannot imagine your opponent folding after making the bet. Big bets on the flop are sometimes bluffs. With two cards to come, many players are willing to gamble for stacks with hands like naked flush and straight draws. Once the turn bricks, however, few players want to shove a stack with these hands.
And once the river bricks, very few players are willing to make large bets on a cold bluff. Do not assume all players have the goods just because they throw a few chips out on the flop—even if they raise your bet.
Even if you suspect your opponent might bluff sometimes, very few small-stakes players bluff frequently enough i. You cannot call and be wrong 85 to 90 percent of the time. You just have to let it go. This can be hard. Then turn or river cards put straights or flushes on board. And someone represents one of these hands with a big bet.
I see players all the time unwilling to accept that an opponent drew out. And then, the vast majority of the time, they see it.
And they lose. I promise you. So what. If you cannot beat the hand your opponent is representing with that large bet or raise on the turn or river, you should fold. Consider a few wrinkles to this concept. First, if the big bet or raise in question comes on the turn, there is a card yet to come and you may have outs. You call on the button.
The big blind calls. The big blind calls, the pre- flop raiser folds, and the other player calls. The next player folds. You should call.
Yes, your opponent is representing a hand that beats you a flush or straight. But you have ten outs to beat those hands any king, queen, jack, or four. But say you make the call, the river bricks, and your opponent shoves all-in.
Now you should probably fold. The above example shows exactly why that advice is so bad. On the turn, you had multiple ways to win, including that your opponent was overplaying his hand and your hand was still best.
By the river, most of the ways to win had evaporated. Your chance to draw out on a better hand is gone. And, beyond that, your opponent committed a final time to playing his hand for stacks.
When he bet the turn, he could have held two pair. When he shoved the river, however, two pair became significantly less likely. Never feel like you have to call the river because you called the turn. Maybe your turn call was justified.
Maybe it was optimistic. Either way, the river is a brand-new decision point. Another reason to call on the turn is maybe you can beat some of the hands your opponent is representing, but not others.
This reason arose in the last example as well. The turn bet most easily represents a flush or straight. But some players would feel threatened holding a big two-pair hand, and decide they had to bet the hand.
If you can beat only one or two represented hands, your best and safest action is still folding. Again, this analysis can change between the turn and river. When your opponent bets the turn, you might decide he could be betting hands you beat, so you call.
Now you fold. This is a completely legitimate thought process. Here, players rarely 3-bet pre-flop and even more rarely 4-bet. When they do 3-bet, they typically have very strong hands like aces, kings, and ace-king. This is one of the many ways you will be different from your opponents.
When you raise pre-flop, and you get 3-bet by an opponent who rarely makes this play, you should usually fold. In a word, small-stakes players rarely bluff. In particular, they rarely bluff for big money on the turn or river. And they rarely bluff with 3-bets and 4-bets pre-flop. Whenever you can fairly assume your opponent is not bluffing, and you can only beat a bluff, you should fold.
Unless the player is atypical, the bettor will usually have at least a queen. In general, flop bets in games that are significantly bigger than half the pot, and that are made into three or more opponents, tend to be weighted heavily toward good made hands and strong draws.
These bets are a signal you should likely let go of marginal hands as strong as top pair with a poor kicker. The cutoff folds. The bet is fairly small, and there are few enough players in the pot that the pre-flop raiser might just be making a standard continuation bet. Your pair of aces could easily be the best hand. The bettor is far more likely to have a strong ace with this action than in the previous action.
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The extra players in the hand and the bigger betting and size of the pot encourage your opponent to play straighter, meaning betting good hands and checking the misses.
The caller in-between seals it. This is a low- probability parlay.
Many players in loose games will assume that bluffing is completely pointless. If you pick your spots, you can still bluff in these games. Skill 3.
The first two skills we talked about are primarily folding skills. First, you tighten up, and fold most of your hands before the flop. Second, you fold whenever an opponent bets big, especially on the turn or river. These folding skills are critical to becoming a winning player because they protect you from losing money in spots where most players lose.
In order to win, you need to take positive actions. This skill helps you do just that. Say you flop top pair. How much is that hand worth? There are so many unknowns. If you bet, how many opponents will call? Of the ones who call, how often will one of them draw out on you? And is your top pair even the best hand to begin with?
And what about bet sizing? Do your choices change the value of your hand? You should ask yourself these questions every time you see a flop.
But you can estimate the answer using all the available information to give you an idea of what your hand is worth. From that point on, your goal is to try to get as much value out of the hand as possible without pushing it too far. Before we answer these questions, I want to dispel a huge misconception most players have about playing value hands.
You want to get the hand to showdown.
And, along the way, you want your opponents to pay you. Regrettably, this thinking has fatal flaws. Two players and the blinds call behind. This is exactly the wrong idea. What value does a good hand have in poker? Just this: If no one can beat your hand, you win the pot.
It comes only at showdown. If there were no showdowns, all hands would be equally valuable. So why would you want to take a hand that has special showdown value and play it in a way designed to avoid a showdown at all costs?
If this makes no sense to you, good. Which hands should avoid a showdown? You want to avoid showdowns with the hands that will lose if you get to showdown.
Bad hands hate showdowns. Not good ones. Good ones like showdowns. Not complicated. Yes, you have a hand that has special value only at showdown.
And you can see showdown only if you first see turn and river cards. Therefore, in order to play good hands optimally, you must embrace the turn and river cards so you can get to a showdown that actually gives your hand value and pays you off. Say you can flop one of two hands. One hand is top pair. The other is ten-high. You get to pick one hand to bet, and one hand not to bet and therefore check down to showdown.
You have to pick one for betting and one for checking. Playing The Player: Ships from and sold by site. FREE Shipping. The Course: Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Ed Miller. Applications of No-Limit Hold em. Matthew Janda. Small Stakes No-Limit Hold'em.
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Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified download. As usual, Ed Miller gives you great information and explains it well.
Typos, grammatical errors, wrong pot sizes and once he's even telling you a hand he played at and he makes a straight flush on the river, which he says is the worst card for him could be if he thinks it hurts his chances of getting paid off but doesn't explain, then later he says he would have folded it to a raise, so you know it was another error in the text.
When you don't understand something, you wonder if it's because you don't understand it or if it's because of yet another error. There's a great example he gives of two hands with the same board but that run out in a different order and how it changes the dynamic against a LAG. The organization of the book is poor as well. It's a collection of various exploitable situations and common betting lines or player tendencies he's observed. It lacks the usual flow and theoretical underpinning we're accustomed to from Miller.
He even plugs his other book a couple times and at one point says jokingly but you get the sense mostly serious you'll have to download his next book for further explanation. But come on Ed, if you're reading this review, take a look at how flawless Winning Small Stakes was written and compare it to this one. I think you know you've slipped and I just hope you put more effort and concern in to your next book, which I'll probably download even if you don't.
In today's game, at least at the casinos I infest, you don't see the same players so frequently that you can take your time figuring out what they do wrong. These tactics work well when you know what errors your opponent is likely to make. In the live game, you won't have stats on a headsup display. So it may seem difficult to implement these ideas. You have to watch hands in which you are not involved.
You have to watch them carefully. Before you figure someone out, you can follow the advice that Miller gives in his book about the one percent or whatever your usual tactics are. By the way, it would be useful if Miller would advise us about the order in which to read his books. The more you train, the more sharply accurate the message from your brain. Hand reading and frequency work are very difficult to do in the heat of the moment, so off-the-felt work is necessary to develop an intuitive feel for how to approach differing situations.
My 3 Favorite Strategies and Action Steps 1. In the study session following this one, filter in your database for hands where you called a preflop raise.
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Finally, in your 3rd study session, filter for open-raising hands. Think about their style of play if you are a LIVE player and try to draw their frequency pyramids for both betting and calling. And if you are an online player, pull up their stats in your database and utilize those to draw their pyramids. Where do they have obvious frequency issues? How can you exploit them? Draw the pyramid in your poker journal and list out your exploits so you can use it the next time you play a session with this player.
Now, pay attention to the action and if you enter a pot with them, look at your list of exploits and figure out which ones you could potentially use right now.
Also, try to put yourself into situations where you can use the exploits you came up with.Another table might require you to plan your actions around inducing and calling large bluff bets from your opponents. But wait. Excellent players might double these win rates. I included specific hand ranges in the discussion so you have some concrete, practical guidelines to help you get going. You have to flop two pair or better to wring more streets of value out of it.
If no one has raised yet, raise: You should play tighter against raises, and raise a lot yourself. How to get the nits and rocks to let you win pot after pot after pot How to gain the upper hand against tight-aggressive regulars How to use loose players' aggression against them How to systematically profile opponents, spot their weaknesses, and attack Playing The Player will have you thinking about and playing poker in a whole new way.
This is how you should measure success—not by money won or lost, but by whether you continue to improve day after day.
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