Trikkur 12 – 200NL at Red Star Poker

by trikkur

Trikkur 12 is another training video for the intermediate poker players that are looking to improve their win rate. I cover some important concepts about merging your range and how to mix up your play. I also do a hand range analysis and debate the line I should take in order to extract the most value. I recorded this session at Red Star Poker while playing 200NL. Red Star was my favorite poker site to play at and they recently just reopened to US players so now everyone can sign up for 33% Red Star Poker rakeback through PokerTrikz.

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Merging Your Range

Merging your range is an important theory to understand once you start playing against thinking opponents. In a few different scenarios (preflop 4-bets, turn check/raises, triple barrels) most people will only bet if they have the nuts as a value bet or nothing as a bluff. This is called a Polarized Range and is very easy to take advantage of by calling with any hand that has showdown value. You can profitably call river bets with 2nd or 3rd pair if your opponent has a polarized range because you will always lose to the nuts and always beat their bluffs.

You can counteract having a polarized range yourself by doing something called merging your range. This means you start betting with hands you would normally check with (top pair weak kicker or 2nd pair with a good kicker). This makes your opponent unable to call with his weak made hands as a bluff catcher because he will be getting value bet too often. This in turn, allows you to start running more bluffs in these spots because your opponent will be less likely to call.

Mixing Up Your Play

When you start playing against good thinking opponents, you must realize they will be watching your every move and probably taking good poker notes. Your play will become very exploitable (See Exploitable vs. Unexploitable) if you always play your similar hands the same way. If you always bet/bet/bet with your monsters, then your opponent’s know they should folding to your triple barrels. On the other hand, if you bet/bet/bet 75% of the time and c-bet into check/raise all in on the turn 25% of time, you will become very difficult to exploit.

Mixing up how you play your draws should also be high on your priorities. Some players will always check the turn if they have a flush or straight draw, which is quickly exploited by someone paying attention. Once this habit “becomes known” to the other players marks the perfect time to start betting or check/raising with good draws. This mixing up of your play will lead to a ton of fold equity because opponents will think you have a made hand instead of the draw.

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