Full disclosure. I edited Hole Card Confessions. I must have read every sentence five times or more. In the process, I could actually, literally, truly, feel myself improving as a card player. Here's a snippet of the work. - JDW
IMAGINE A SEXY ILLUSTRATION HERE!- jdw
The Bell-Shape Range
We already discussed what the bell-shaped range is all about. Our opponent's range is almost completely comprised of what he perceives to be marginal hands with little to no weak or strong hands. Let's look at the bell-shaped range verses different player types.
As I've discussed, you'll have higher steal equity against players who like their money and need a good hand when the pots get large. These players are normally the nits and the TAGS. These types allow us to quickly identify a bell-shaped range. Most of the time when these players have a bell-shaped range, they are going to be playing quite passively. The exception would be if the stack to pot ratio is very small; in that case, many players will play aggressively with marginal hands. Outside of that exception, most of these players are trying to control the size of the pot by keeping bets smaller, checking on a street or two. Generally, they hope to show the hand down and perhaps get a little bit of value from their marginal hand. They're trying their best to follow the mantra "Big pots for big hands and small pots for small hands." This is even more reliable on very wet boards since most players want to charge draws, and build pots quickly with very strong hands on wet boards. So, when they're playing more passively on wet boards, it's even easier to identify their range as bell-shaped. Let's look at a couple examples of identifying a bell-shaped range and how to respond.
It's a $1$2 NLHE game and everyone has $200. A nit player opens from early position, and you decide to call on the button with 7♦8♦. The flop is Q♠7♠6♦. Your opponent checks the flop, so you decide to bet $10 into the $14 pot. He calls. The turn is the 5♣, and he checks. You decide to check as well. The river is the 2♥, and he checks again. Let's pause for a moment and shape his range.
Without even going street by street and chiseling his range, it's easy to see he's not proud of his hand. As I told you, nits like to get the money in quick with their big hands, especially when the board has draws like this. They wait and wait for the monster hands and they do their best to get paid when they have one. He's done nothing but check, check, check. He did check/call your flop bet out of position, so it's likely he has some sort of hand. These types rarely raise in early position with suited hands like T9s, so he really has very few flush draws. Most of the time, you'll see a nit take this line with pairs somewhere between the 7 and Q. I'd bet he has a hand like 88-JJ.
Now, stop and think about your hand.
Inexperienced players look at their hand here and think, "Well, I have a pair; let's check and see if it's good." Let me save you the suspense. It's not. Of course, sometimes you'll check and be surprised this player went outside his normally tendencies and check/called the flop with something like AJ. However, that will certainly be the exception and not the rule. The point is, your hand is trash against virtually his entire range.
What should you do?
The answer is to bluff. Yes, turn your pair into a bluff.
How much should you bluff is the next question. Well, the pot is $34 right now, and you both have about $180 left. How about a $20 bluff? He'd need to fold to your bet about 40% of the time. Will he do it? Maybe, maybe not. But, let's dig further. Here's what his hole cards are confessing.
"Dear opponent. I really want to show this hand down. I like it, but not that much. I'll go ahead and play a small pot. Please, let's just play nice, keep the pot small and turn the cards over to see who has the best hand."
This should be your reply.
"Dear opponent. I appreciate the fact you're out of position and have a marginal hand. That is always a tough spot. I also appreciate you want to just keep the pot small and see a showdown. However, that's just not going to happen. This is going to get very expensive for you, if you want to see a showdown."
How about betting $100 into the $34 pot? That sounds about right to me. That's the way you attack a bell-shaped range that’s begging you to keep the pot small. Use your stack like a weapon and crush their hopes of getting to showdown cheaply. The nit will likely fold 100% of his range to this bet. You can run the math as long as you like, but it's hard to beat having your opponent fold 100% of the time. In these situations, I would say your $20 bluff is a losing bluff. The hand has really played out just the way he would like it. Only two streets were bet and the bets weren't that large. You're probably going to get called by a hand like TT quite often, especially if you're viewed as an aggressive player.
Now, some players get concerned here and say "But, what are we really representing?!" My response is this. When a nit gives you his story, you don't need one. He just loves his stack too much to make a huge call with his bell-shaped range. He'll fold and wait until he has the nuts next time. Only thing he doesn't realize is we know he never has the nuts in that situation.
Note: This is a guest post from Vincent of Health Money Success
Successful people and winners fascinate me. I always wonder what makes them so different from others. Therefore, I read books about successful people and try to observe what are the winning habits that they have. Here are the five of them that I had discovered.
1. They have an end in mind.
You feel lost when you do not have a destination to move towards. People who achieved great success have an end in mind. They know what they want and they commit themselves to achieve it.
When you have a goal, you have something to focus on. If you do not have a goal, you will be wandering around feeling lost. Having an end in mind can help guide you towards your destination.
2. Have a reason.
Having an end in mind is only one part of the story. Winners have a reason behind their goals. They know their purpose behind achieving their goals.
The journey towards your goals is full of obstacles. Most people gave up half way because they lack reasons behind their goals. However, those who have strong reasons behind their goals have higher chances to move past those obstacles.
The likelihood of giving up is drastically higher if you do not have reasons behind your goals. If you have a goal to lose 20 lbs but lack reasons behind it, you will find it hard to achieve this goal. However, if you have a strong reason such as you want to lose 20 lbs in 3 months time because you want to look your best during your wedding ceremony, the likelihood of losing weight is much higher.
When you have a compelling reason to support your goals, you drastically increase the possibility of achieving it.
3. Have a support group
It is easy to give up when you are alone on this journey. Form a support or mastermind group to help you along the way.
To form your own support group, find like-minded people who want to achieve similar goals. Keep your group small with only two to six people. You need to choose your members carefully. Choose members who are positive, goal oriented and are pursuing similar goals to yours.
If you do not know where you can find your own support group, try out MeetUp.com or related forums to what you are doing (fitness forums, personal development forums etc).
4. They are particular about how they spend their time
If you do not know how you spend your time, you will waste most of your time away. Time is one of our most precious resources. You can waste your money and still manage to earn it back but there isn’t any way for you to get back your time if you waste it away.
You have to be aware of how you spent your time. If you want to achieve your goals but you are spending 70 percent of your time watching TV and hanging out with friends, most likely you will not reach your goals.
Keep a time log. There are many mobile and web-based applications that can help you track where you are spending your time. Rescue Time is a great web-based app that can help you track what you are doing on the computer and how much time you spent on each different site.
Use your preferred time log to get a clear picture of how you are spending your time and make the necessary adjustments. If you are serious about changing your life and achieving your goals, spend more time on the essential tasks instead of time wasters.
5. Try fast, fail fast, keep trying and never give up
It is hard to hit the target with your first try. This is why winners try fast, fail fast, keep trying and never give up. There are many things that you don’t know how to do it and trial and error is one of the ways to help you pick up new stuff.
You can learn faster by trying faster and failing more times in a shorter period. You learn at a slower pace when you are too slow to take action. When you take action to try fast, you will learn at a faster rate and know what things work and what don’t.
You can make the necessary adjustments along the way to make things right and move closer to your goals. If you are slow to take action, you jeopardize the whole process and slow down your progress.
You may face many frustrations during your learning process. However, don’t give up. Keep on trying out new ideas that you had picked up. Keep doing those that work and kick away ideas that don’t work.
There is a short cut to this process. Get yourself a mentor or a coach. Whether you want to lose weight or start your own online business, a mentor who has been there can help you move faster towards your goal.
Since they had already reached where you want to be, they will know about the challenges that you will face and what will work for you. Borrow their knowledge and you will achieve your goals in a much shorter amount of time.
If you decide to make a difference to your life, I challenge you to take action now. Start planning for your goals. Make this year your best year ever. Will you take up the challenge?
Vincent teaches you how to Unleash Your Maximum Potential and live life on your own terms. He blogs at HealthMoneysuccess.com and you can visit him and find out more information on how to wake sleeping genius within you.
Change The Route. -
Every morning, I walk the dog. We sniff every bush, every mailbox, every pole and we pee on almost all of them. Actually, the dog does. We greet every creature we come upon. And as is natural, he also takes a dump, usually two. He's huge and he's regular. Being a responsible dog owner, I pick up after him. It's the right thing to do.
One morning, this big, ugly, fat, loud, possibly crazy woman comes out of the house, yelling at us. She was possibly drunk; I know I'd start downing the sauce upon waking, if I was her.
Despite the fact I am holding two plastic bags of dog shit, she accused me of never picking up after my dog. She claimed to speak for all her neighbors, we weren't welcome on her street.
Well, I checked with her neighbors. Turns out they like my dog better than they like her. No surprise there.
Because I know people who know people, I asked a judge about a restraining order. I'll show that bitch, I'm thinking.
"Jack, Jack, Jack," he sighs, like he has more important legal matters to attend to, like a capital murder case or fixing his golf buddies' parking tickets.
"Change your route."
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Victor Frankl
Think Carefully Before You Change Something That's Working.
We have four aquariums. Well, my wife does. A couple of these nautical environments are devoted to gold fish. We didn't give much thought to the fact they poop in the water. Then there's the algae. Suffice to say, the water gets, ummm, cloudy.
Finally, the woman can't take it any more. We spend - again - far too much money on new equipment and trappings. She sequesters the fish to a holding tank, spends the afternoon carefully reconstructing their home and it looks great. Sparkling even.
The next morning. All the fish are dead. All but one, that is. The biggest fish - Bob - isn't feeling so good, but at least he's not floating on the surface. Like Carol and Alice and Adolf. Yes, they have names. And, in case you're wondering, Adolf had a little black spot on his upper lip.
You can do everything correctly and end up worse off than you were before.
All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward. ~Ellen Glasgow
Watch For Changes.
The more things remain the same, the more they are likely to change sometime soon. And you want to be ready, you want to be able to deal with the results of those changes. Ideally, you want to be able to anticipate change in order to guide the results in a positive direction.
The current revolution in Egypt comes to mind. Mubarak is an autocrat in power for 30 years. He's 80-some years old, there are food shortages, a wave of independence is sweeping the Middle East. Do the math.
Just because you don't want something to change doesn't mean it won't. Change happens.
Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. ~Bertold Brecht
Change for The Future.
The Green Bay Packers are the new Super Bowl champions. And Aaron Rodgers was the game's MVP. This victory - and Rodger's accomplishments - would never have been possible if the team's management had not decided to jettison Brett Favre.
Quite often, the changes you make today to prepare for the future are far easier than the result if you defer change until it is inevitable and mandatory. Then change is often too late. If you have to time your change, like timing the stock market, you will be better off changing too early rather than too late.
Too late and, in truth, the changes will be made for you.
Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. ~Pauline R. Kezer
If you are not improving, you are getting worse. When you stop trying, you are dieing. If your first change doesn't work, change it.
The aquariums are now crystal clear. No more goldfish. Water is now heated and Lennie & Squiggy and Crimson & Clover are doing just fine. The wife is happy.
Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly. ~Francis Bacon
Change happens: don't deny it. If you are fortunate, every day you are older. That's a change. Then one day you are not. Another change.
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over after you know it won't work. One definition of stupidity might be doing the same thing over and over thinking it will always work.
If it ain't broke, you don't have to fix it...now. But keep your tools handy
If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit
Change Is Not Always Progess.
Sometimes the results might not be what you expected or hoped for. Beware the ripple effects. What changes does change make?
It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. ~W. Edwards Deming