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A brief notion about range adaptation

A brief notion about range adaptation
Daniel Dornelles made a short educational article for the Academy. Be sure to read!
by Academia   |   comments 0

A common mistake, made by most novice and inexperienced players, is certainly how to adapt ranges according to position and opponents. Such a subject could yield a wide debate and study but, in the most succinct way possible, I will try to exemplify how I believe it is the best way to think about adapting ranges.

First of all, poker is a game about people using cards and chips. Inevitably, in the long run, the best and most prepared players will have the biggest gains, this is uncontroversial. I'm not considering downswings, bad runs, bad beats in big pots, etc ...

Based on this assumption, we have an evident concept of poker in front of us: the money does not come from good players, but from those weaker than us. So, although it sounds obvious, it doesn't hurt to stress that we should play more hands against weaker players and less hands against stronger players. Therefore, something that weak, novice or inexperienced players do not realize, is that the same hands that they should play against other weak players, should fold without hesitation against competent players.

What I see, every day at the tables, are bad players playing hands that they shouldn't have against good players. It is as if they had in mind that it is standard to call any raise, from anyone, from whichever position in which it opened, disregarding the stacks and history among themselves, with that AQo. This is awful and costs a lot of money in the long run.

This article will not go over a hand chart to facilitate the adaptation of ranges according to the opponent and other factors, but aims to open the reader's head to a very simple and crucial point for success in this sport: playing more caped ranges, according to the skill of the opponent(s) you are facing. In other words, we must keep in mind to play only the best hands, the better and more competent our opponent is. And, if we think he's very good and we don't feel comfortable with most of our range, it's simple: we fold and move on to the next hand. Remember: poker is also a game of trust! Obviously, we must be careful not to become exploitable, but this will be addressed more specifically in a future article.

Even after five years of playing cash games professionally, I can't get enough of folding big hands pre-flop against good players. I often say that poker, among many other things, is about not putting yourself in difficult and complex situations. They will already appear naturally, inevitably. And, be sure, all of this goes through correct selection and adaptation of pre-flop ranges.

So, to conclude, keep in mind in your next sessions to have an increasingly caped range against good players, at the same time that you open the range against the weakest. Don't be a robot: think of ranges, make the right adaptations and start to profit more by playing hands that you feel comfortable with.

Daniel Dornelles