32Red Poker interviews muffty

 

muffty in action at the 32Red Poker tables

muffty in action at the 32Red Poker tables


32Red:
 So where/how did you originally hear about 32Red Poker?

muffty: Ive been a 32Red player for many years now but I am sure I opened my account via a banner ad on a poker forum.

32Red: Did you have any problems registering your poker account?
muffty: The only issue I had was the MPN ruling of only one network alias however the excellent customer support team liaised with security and sorted it. Read more

ABC or Autopilot? Don’t Forget to Think

March 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

Of course there’s nothing wrong with playing good old so-called ABC, common sense poker, as long as we allow ourselves to actually think about what we’re doing.

If we get to a point where – even if we’re doing well – we’re making this or that play without being aware why, then, if nothing else, we certainly can’t be learning much.

It’s vital that we back up what we do with some kind of logical reasoning and purposeful thought, and there is a danger – thanks to the convenience of online poker – that we neglect this area of the game, either by being distracted (deliberately or otherwise) by TV, surfing the web and so on, or by what some see as an ‘obligation’ to increase output (and hopefully profit) by multi-tabling.

Again, opening up two or more tables definitely works for some, but not others, and there is something to be said (for the vast majority of players) for minimising the number of tables in order to maximise focus.

An immediate result from concentrating on just one table is no longer making automatic plays – a bad habit indeed. Even better, by forcing ourselves to appreciate that poker might well require a modicum of thought, we deny ourselves the ‘luxury’ of using the automatic ‘check’ and ‘check/fold’ facilities. A would-be convenient tool for the multi-tabler, this is usually a simple tell (not that multi-tablers are too bothered about who knows they don’t have much interest in a pot) but, with this in mind, and with enough time to analyse what’s happening, we can use the lazy button to our advantage.

The ‘check’ button is so ‘obvious’ a tell nowadays that it’s worth using occasionally when very strong (ideally with a big made hand) to induce action from elsewhere. It might sound like a rather simplistic tactic but, perhaps surprisingly, it can be an effective one!

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

Punishing Tight(er) Players (Part 2: In for the Kill)

February 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

Having covered general bullying in Part One, now we turn to digging a hole big enough to catch these players for the maximum payout. After continued bullying, raising both their limps and their attempts at pre-flop raising, we should be succeeding as time goes by in ruffling their feathers. Note that sometimes this strategy results in intimidating a player to such an extent that they withdraw into severe passivity or even stop playing altogether – this is by no means a disaster because we’ve managed to steal their money along the way.

At some point, most likely after venturing as far as the flop (and paying for the privilege by calling our [re]raise) and being bet into, they will be really struggling with the fact that we can’t have caught enough of the flop every time. It’s only human nature for the constant bullying to have a cumulatively negative effect and, inevitably, there comes a point at which they’ll snap or, quite feasibly, decide to punish us.

As we gain experience we learn to recognise this tipping point, and at this stage we need to adjust our strategy so that at the next opportunity (and subsequent spots thereafter, should they not bite – during which time we’re still collecting their money) we raise with a big hand. In the meantime it’s worth stepping back a little when they limp and raise so as to add to the tension while narrowing down our range…

Ultimately we’re hoping that the two worlds that are the opposition’s frustration (and consequent poor decision making) and our finding strong hole cards collide in an all-in situation. This might arise via our reraising pre-flop, betting to their check and them pushing all-in, or a raising war pre-flop.

Of course this won’t always work – and there’s no guarantee we’ll win the big pot – but such a strategy against the right kind of player can be profitable over time regardless of whether it reaps maximum reward.

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

Representing a Made Draw

February 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

Given that drawing possibilities crop up so often in No Limit, we really need a trick or two up our sleeve, and one such is exploiting a potentially profitable situations that arises when the draw hits the board.

Let’s say we’re up against a player who, thus far, has been pretty solid and not prone to anything too imaginative. The board is Qc 6c 2s, and we have Ac 9c, with a juicy nut flush maybe waiting for us. Our opponent bets and we call, and the turn brings the 7c . Bingo. Our opponent checks, we bet €6 into the €16 pot in the hope of either inducing a raise or at least extracting some value with our nut flush. Instead we’re met with a fold. Is that bad news? Not really, because what we missed in the €6 we’d have made from getting a call we gained in the form of information – our opponent appears to surrender to (what they perceive to be) made draws.

With this in mind, we need to approach future drawing boards with the intention of giving them the chance to continue in this same cautious mode. And, of course, the crucial point here is that it doesn’t at all matter what we have, rather that we represent having the draw. We see on TV and in films about ‘playing the people, not the cards’ and sometimes it seems like an exaggeration, or at least something that we’re afraid is too difficult to pull off. But if we can’t bring ourselves – once we have recognised a weakness such as the one in this example – to make the most of these situations, then we’re just not getting enough money out of the game.

Keeping in mind what our opponents could well be thinking – which of course includes what hands they put us on – should eventually be second nature as we gain in experience, and clearly this ability opens up considerably more options than being restricted to making decisions based only our hand and how it might relate to the board.

Note that any kind of feasible looking out on the river is going to be enough to engineer a scenario – usually through a show of strength on the turn – in which we can induce a fold when the out appears (which isn’t to say we should necessarily put the brakes on if it doesn’t, given the opposition’s propensity to believe).

It should go without saying that we can also find ourselves on the other side of this kind of play, which means keeping a lookout for those players capable of setting up this kind of bluff, and letting them do so when we have a hand.

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

Online Tells and Chat

January 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

Those new to online poker could be forgiven for thinking the whole subject of so-called ‘tells’ makes little sense when we can’t actually see our opponents physical behaviour. Why should a comment in the chat box be indicative of how someone is feeling or of what kind of hand they hold? Does it really matter how long a player takes to act? Should we allow ourselves to react when abuse is directed at us?

In fact each of these questions is quite relevant and, while it’s far from an exact science (and we must be bear in mind that, whatever our perceptions are, others will be aware of them and attempt a bit of psychological trickery), there are certain aspects of chat and timing that we learn to recognise as pretty reliable tells, particularly at the lower limits.

The key is to already have a decent read on a player in order to better interpret their behaviour. For example, if an opponent has routinely checked through a hand until the river, at which point distinct hesitation precedes a big bet, then this could be either a lesser experienced player who has caught the magic card and is busy thinking how big a bet to make or, conversely, an experienced player who wants us to believe they have hit when they’re really bluffing to steal the pot. Both scenarios are plausible, so it boils down to how they have been playing thus far.

A more obvious and very common online tell is the use of the ‘check/fold’ facility to save time, especially ‘useful’ for multi-table fans. Once we have established who does this it’s not too difficult to recognise the times when their aggressive play does indeed indicate a strong hand – sometimes it is that obvious and easy.

In terms of chat, when the incessant chatterbox suddenly goes quiet, or the chat continues but the tone changes, this usually means either a strong hand or the preparation of a bluff – again a certain level of history makes a big difference in determining which it might be.

Generally, while it’s wise to avoid chatting because there’s a danger that in trying to distract other players we’re doing more damage to our own game (it’s impossible to keep shifting our gaze from the chat box to the table and maintain proper observation and concentration levels), it’s worth keeping chat switched on in order to gradually learn which players use it, and in what way.

Finally, as well as being wary of how we interpret tells, we should also use our own to mislead others…

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

Wise Guys Results (14th – 20th Jan)

January 21, 2013 by  
Filed under News

WISE GUYS, Exclusive to 32Red Poker

WISE GUYS, Exclusive to 32Red Poker

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Congratulations to last week’s prize winners…

32Red’s Wise Guys

Deputy & Sheriff WiseGuys Winners!

Deputy & Sheriff WiseGuys Winners!

32Red Poker rewards loyalty, and winners – so if you’re a winning player, don’t be shy and try out our Wise Guys weekly competition. Have fun at the tables and good luck this week!

Decision Making on the Turn (Part 3: Strong hands)

January 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

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Part 3: Strong hands

Strong hands are obviously very much welcome as the cards are dealt around the virtual baize, but of course they don’t necessarily play themselves. As well as being able to get us into trouble if we don’t show due care and attention, it’s also important that we learn how to extract the most of them. Either way, as with any hand that we could get involved with, we need to grow used to planning ahead, post-flop.

While we should try to avoid serious trouble with other hand categories that might not justify full commitment, genuinely strong hands can be handled much more confidently (although we’re not bullet-proof regardless of our holding, remember).

Examples of a strong flopped hand would range from delights such as a full house, flush and straight to others we’d still be quite excited about, like three of a kind and top two pair. Often a monster could simply prove too far ahead of the opposition’s best holdings to tempt others into the pot, and many players are unsure of how best to continue when the flop indeed seems too good to be true. There is a tendency to automatically slow-play through fear of scaring opponents off with the slightest hint of aggression. Of course there is a case for the tricky, trappy slow-play – for example when out of position against a lone, aggressive opponent who we believe will take the bait when checked to.

But it is surprising how effective a more ‘normal’ approach can be. With my chess pro hat on, the advice that ‘obvious is often best’ can be met with confusion because aspiring players run the risk of believing that the ‘clever’ aspect of chess means nothing is ever simple – in looking for unnecessarily complex, convoluted solutions they can’t see the wood for the trees.

The same goes for poker – if we want to get into the habit of winning big pots with big hands, we need to get to grips with the poker truth that big pots tend to be made by betting (and raising) rather than waiting for someone else to do the pot-building for us.

Indeed striking while the iron is hot, when we flop a strong hand, is what ‘value’ is all about. The opportunity to win a juicy pot is too big a chance to spoil by trying to be too clever. If we’re given a speedboat we don’t want to break it up to make a raft…

Scared opponents are likely to be scared on the last two betting streets if they won’t play ball on the flop, so we should just go ahead and get the ball rolling with betting and raising. Obviously we’re not talking enormous bets, rather betting for value with the simple and effective aim of inducing the opposition into coming along for the ride when they’re behind.

I hope that this series of articles has helped players better put into perspective how to assess their chances on the flop and, subsequently, lock on to an appropriate plan of action by contemplating how play might pan out over the rest of the hand.

As with everything, experience helps, but it will soon became evident that incorporating this key form of analysis into our game is much easier and natural than we might imagine.

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

Decision Making on the Turn (Part 2: Decent hands and Draws)

January 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

Part 2: Decent hands and Draws

Having considered how we should treat both poor and less than average marginal hands with a healthy dose of caution when contemplating the potential efficacy of a battle plan from the flop to the turn/river, we can now put our minds to dealing with genuinely good hands on the flop (for strong hands see Part 3).

Remember the fact that we have connected with the flop to the extent that further action looks justified means being careful to not get too carried away, so interpreting actions with a degree of accuracy is imperative.

Typical hands that fall into this category of essentially being too good to routinely surrender without a fight, but not big enough to throw the kitchen sink in with are, for example, top pair with a good kicker, bottom two pair and as yet unmade but potential winners in the form of strong flush and straight draws. Of course we should automatically take into account such things as stack sizes and position (very important!), while flop texture is obviously going to have an influence on our actions depending on what kind of hand we have. With a made hand and possible draws in play we need to accordingly hike up the price for others to stay in contention.

It gets a little more complex when we have the draw as position assumes maximum significance. The more information the better because, as well as being better able to determine the right pot odds for the draw, having good position affords us semi-bluffing possibilities under the right circumstances. Typically situational, much will depend on others’ actions (including previous history) because such a tactic can backfire. Has the opposition shown signs of being more than just an unimaginative ABC type player? Are they likely to be slowplaying a monster? Without overcards we might well have only eight outs, and so on. With poor position it’s essential to tread very carefully indeed but there is still room for manoeuvre. For example if we raised preflop and now have a strong draw, a bet that represents a made hand both gives us a chance of remaining in the driving seat and sets us up perfectly in the case of hitting (especially against those players prone to bluffing).

With these hands we need to plan constructively but realistically, with a view to maintaining a level of pot control. Position is often crucial, which should serve as a reminder to generally respect this would-be golden rule, especially when we don’t hold strong hands, which will be the subject of Part 3.

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

No Limit: The Semi-Bluff

June 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

While bluffing too much can be a serious weakness, semi-bluffing is a different animal entirely. The advantages of semi-bluffing revolve around actual equity, which doesn’t exist in the case of a pure bluff (which features only fold equity). By raising with a nut-flush draw, for example, then as well as inviting the opposition to fold we’re also in with a genuine chance of winning the pot based on the strength of our hand should we hit on the turn or river.

With varying degrees of equity (depending on the odds of improving), some semi-bluffs are more promising than others. Assuming that we meet with calls, then clearly we’re in a healthier position to contest the pot the more equity we have – thus the point of the semi-bluff is that we’re not praying for a fold because we remain in contention to emerge on top. Note, too, that in the event of our having a hat full of outs we can be favourites to win a pot even if, on the flop, we’re still behind – in this case we don’t want to be bluffing and instead should be looking to make value bets that we clearly would prefer to be called.

Semi-bluffing also allows us to disguise our hand by appearing to be betting a made hand. Then, when we hit our draw, we can (over-)bet in the guise of a bluff!

Of course I’m not recommending that we eliminate ‘total’ bluffs from our armoury as there are often instances when bluffing is indeed the best play. But by selectively incorporating semi-bluffs into our game rather than slipping into the habit of automatically calling (or worse – folding) with draws, we can better appreciate how combining aggression, bluffing, odds/equity and the initiative is an effective weapon.

With this in mind, semi-bluffing helps us adopt a more effective playing style by utilising other (positive) aspects of the game with which it overlaps. Instead of checking, we bet. Instead of settling for passivity we’re being uncompromising, striving to wrest control of the pot away from an opponent.

As usual we need to balance our play, but semi-bluffing is a powerful tool.

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

No Limit: Pocket Pairs – how low should we go?

December 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

While it’s true that low pocket pairs are supposed to be relatively easy to play we obviously need to put some thought into it (including thinking about the subject when we’re not playing) and learn from experience.

There isn’t a hard and fast rule as to whether very low pairs should be ditched automatically – indeed if we get the right flop our very strong hand will be better disguised if we hold 44 than 99 on a flop of 942, for example, especially if we raised pre-flop.

Taking pocket fours as a typical low pair scenario, it does actually become easier to play than eights or nines. This is because a mixed flop that includes an overcard to our eights, for instance, leaves us needing to find out somehow where we stand, whether we’re ahead with an underpair or someone caught the high end of the flop. Even if for the time being we hold an overpair, the rest of the hand is no easy ride if we’re up against two overcards. With a pair as low as fours, on the other hand, not only are we going to see overcards to our pair almost every time, but without catching a set we’re vulnerable at each round of betting. Decisions, therefore, are easier.

In early and mid position, when most of the time if we want to get involved with a low pair we will be limping, chances are we might have to give up the chase. Note that we limp here in order to invite others into the pot so that we maximise our return when hitting a set.

If we step up a gear in late position in an unraised pot (a play that shouldn’t be automatic, rather a decision based on relevant factors such as table image, dynamics and individual player habits etc.), then missing the flop is much less of a problem as we are usually going to follow up with a continuation bet, although it becomes rather awkward should someone come along for the ride as any kind of made hand is trouble. (While we would c-bet a low, raggedy flop, doing so with a flop of AK9 – particularly against a couple of callers – tends to be more trouble than it’s worth).

The advantage of raising in late position with a low pocket pair is that we are looking to quickly win a small pot, and win big with a better disguised hand when the flop obliges. This approach also helps keep the opposition guessing as to what we’re raising with pre-flop.

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the 32Red tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador



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