From Bad to Worse.
Hey, it’s Ron. I’ve been working hard on the final touches for our new No Limit Cash Course we’re launching, but as I was editing the course, Rep kept bringing up the concepts of Hand Ranges and Stack to Pot Ratio (P). Any time a guy with three WSOP bracelets keeps emphasizing a concept, I try to pay attention. Rep was really emphasizing Ranges and P.
So I went back into my archive to show you how I started to fix my ranges.
Here’s what I did after talking with Rep one day. I found all the hand histories I had, and I opened up a spread sheet. I put all the positions down one axis, and I put the hands I opened with along the other axis for every hand I had. It took a really long time to do this.
Then I did another sheet for the times I three bet. If I had a big enough sample size, I could have added a third sheet for the times I four-bet.
Let’s take a look at two hands and think about the ranges. Both of these are NL cash and I’m on the button both times.
In this first example, I’m dealt Qh Kd, and there’s a raise in front of me. I choose to three bet. And I three bet pretty big. That’s how I played at the time. Super aggressive. I was always pushing the action. I would win a lot of small and medium pots, and lose a lot of big pots.
Should KQo be in my 3-betting range on the button? Maybe. It depends on the people at the table. But if I played this hand now, I’d most likely just call and be happy to see a flop.
But more importantly, this hand is very appropriate to play in this position. KQo is definitely a hand that is in the playable range on the button.
This next hand, not so much.
Here I am again, on the button. But this time I have Kd 5h. I choose to raise this hand to 3x the big blind. Why? What am I hoping will happen? I end up playing this hand horribly and still win the pot. We end up getting almost 5P into this pot by the end with a ridiculously stupid hand. King five? It’s embarrassing to even show you this hand. But I played it.
I was probably bored. I hadn’t seen a face card in a while, and I was on the button. So I just popped it up. This is a really bad habit to form on my part.
The takeaway for me once I filled out my spreadsheet is that I was playing WAY too many hands from all the positions. I was three-betting too loosely as well. It was just gamble-gamble. It was reckless. I might as well go play roulette or slot machines.
If you’ve never done an audit on the hands you actually play, not the hands you think you play, you should do it right away. The time you spend correcting this fundamental skill is money in the bank.
P.S. There’s a ton more on this concept in our new NL Cash Course. It’s worth your time and effort to really learn this stuff until it’s second nature for you.
Good luck on the felt!