Gargamel trip reports

Bright Days of Vegas, Part VII

The arrival of my longtime poker pal, Gargamel, caused me to extend my stay in Las Vegas. I was not eager to leave, after all, and the extra bed for me at the curious and uneponymous Mandalay Bay was a great excuse to swallow an airline flight change fee. Live at the Bike, despite my having played relatively poorly, worn out by the five hour trip and lost in the production lights, had been kind to me. The days had been fruitful, fun and uplifting.

The Red Chippers themselves gathered one more time at the Nugget, but soon it was just me, working on my deepstack game at low cost. I would ultimately end up taking a low stress 20 bbs/hr out of these games, making me rethink just what and where I need to be to survive and carry out my projects.

The dead of night, my time, on the patio of the Club de Soleil, could have gone on forever. Inevitably Steve had to leave, and after tossing most of his groceries and several six packs of Corona into the dumpster, we made our farewells.

To what chilled city was I returning? Couldn’t I just stay here, jump out of the car, miss my flight? What exactly is keeping me tied down?

How free am I, exactly?

Why didn’t I know the answer?

Gargamel, chief villain of the Village, slayer of Smurfs, has recently reached a crossroads of his poker career. Look around the local rooms… he’s no where to be seen.

No familiar berating of players, no careful tanking, no slamming of doors. When he does wander out and put in a rare session, it’s all complaints, like a girlfriend at the end of a relationship.

What’s he up to?

Is Gargamel breaking up with poker?

(Oh, and that Village all-star team they have been going on about? Not a single mention of Gargamel. Don’t let the screen door hit ya.)

It’s taken many, many years, but he seems to be worn out by the endless hours, the bad beats, and the general callousness of game itself, which respects no one, not even its winners.

And, naturally, not its villains.

While we cash game players often laugh at the tournament scene and its participants, the ring games themselves are not unlike an escalator that never ends. A tournament, at least, provides closure. It’s an elevator that dumps off only a few at the top- then everyone rushes down the stairs and starts over: f’ing tournaments.

An escalator disguises its cyclical, limitless nature. The cash game winner slowly moves along, maybe skipping a step or two if particularly energetic. Many of my friends have been spit out by poker, the challenge too great, the reward too little, the horizon too endless.

I get on, look around but don’t recognize anyone on the escalator.

More and more, I find myself at the casino alone, with new players I don’t know. My edge, especially in the small cap games, declines somewhat as my interest in circus poker plummets. I find myself on my phone more and more, incurious about the flow of the game and overconfident in my ability to function at eighty-percent.

If I am going to make this happen, I need to move on in every way.

However, for Gargamel, the answer is not so obvious. With a house and a life, he cannot simply pull the plug. Worse, he expects profits and results, like a prize or a reward, but that escalator has grown too long and too slow for him. We’re constantly arguing over how to get him through, but the question as to why do you play never seems to be answered. We’ll see. He texts me about the games while I am there-but does not come.

Does a villain exist without his victims? Does Skeletor do yoga and water his plants while He-Man visits his family in Schenectady? What is Gargamel without unhappy 3/5 players?

What, in other words, does all this time spent in poker mean to us? What does poker give to us? What credits have we earned from the Goddess and do they spend well anywhere else?

One of the easy answers to a fading interest in poker is to play bigger.

The two of us met at the Nugget, of course. I am always pitching its virtues, like a drunk at an empty bistro barking at the passerbyes. Come on in, it’s great. Sit down, you’ll love it! He’ll accept it, the first time, of course.

Gargamel checks out the board. Always a little flashy in dress (an East Coaster at heart), if you saw him in your game you might think he was a nightclubber looking for cheap thrills after a dry outing.

Noticing the 5/5 on the Nugget’s board, Gargamel perked up: Big pots are what he loves best. Pulling in and reassembling that mess of chips so large the dealer needs two or three swipes to get right. Maybe one or two greens end up near another player, whose heart starts racing, greedily and absurdly: don’t touch my &*^%$ chip!

My attraction to the uncapped 1/2, a crossroads of the future of poker and Vegas and America, was a mystery to Gargamel that he would merely tolerate.

He said he’d check it out, this happy-surprise big game. I’d convinced him to play with me, but his heart was not in it. I put my name on the 5/5 list as well, and we railed the game for a bit.

Emphasis on surprise, it turns out: this was anything but a 5/5 game. There was easily a 100k on the table, most of it in bricks of cash. I recognized several players from television and poker news outlets. I realized the perfect atmosphere of the Nugget had not gone unnoticed by true big bet professionals, who saw an opportunity to run an uncapped game the way they wanted it – including some worthwhile novelties.

I’m a bankroll manager, so I had to reluctantly pass when my name was called, but Gargamel flew up from his small stakes seat when his name was called. I had given him a little report on the game, noting a few players, including one extremely lovely one I could only name later – Sophia Lundgren. Beautiful people are rare in poker and it was strange to see her doe eyes and creamy figure, upright and elegant, in the G-nug. She pushed grungy chips with her delicate hands, touching them just a little less than you or I.

While I wondered how the big game was treating Gargamel, I was busy making hay. An ex-football player, probably a few years out of college sat down at my table, sporting a full rack of over 400 bbs, almost matching my stack.  He had clearly kept up his physique and seemed to take pride in it. However, I immediately decided much of this was for show, and that his dedication to being the biggest man in the room was built out of certain insecurities, so I decided he could make a mistake.

It didn’t take long for me to find the spot. He opened large from EP. I immediately read him for strength, so to speak, because of the false casualness of bet. He picked up some calls (that kind of game, of course, and a lot of chips at the table), and I found the A2hh.

When I saw the 753hh I decided Musclehead was never going to win this hand.

He found a cbet into four people. Only I made the call. The turn brought an offsuit six.

Musclehead checked. I bet three quarter pot, and he called.

The river was a nine. I have ace high, but things are looking grim for Musclehead. I pile in $400, a 200 bb bet, and wait for him to fold.

Musclehead stares at his cards, the board, and me.

None of them tell him anything helpful.

In the middle of his game, Gargamel drops by. He’s a little excited. The big game, it seems, isn’t quite what it was advertised as, or even as we observed from a distance. See, they are requiring a twenty-five dollar straddle, and there is an ante of $5 each hand. That’s eighty dead.

The game is bigger than straight 25/50! There’s more, though. On the dealer change, the table participates in “bomb pots,” where everyone foists in $100 pre, and they go straight to flop, essentially playing a nine-handed pot with $955 in the middle.

Gargamel didn’t even bring enough to Vegas to properly play this game, I’d imagine. When he sits down, he gets the inevitable grumbles from the pros, who don’t want a short stack at the game.

Worse for them, Gargamel cracks AA with JJ right off the bat. Grumbles.

Then he wins a bomb pot. Hello, top trips!

In a only a few downs, he’s quadrupled up.

Gargamel has always had a knack for showing up with the right hand at the right time. Back when I was first learning poker by way of the home game circuit, I found a particularly affordable, sitngo style tournament not far from home. It might have been $10 for a seat. I ended up taking it down, but I got short stacked early on, thanks to Gargamel.

I had opened 88 from early position, picking up a single player on the button. He was of average build and was wearing a black leather jacket. I wasn’t able to correlate my ability to understand people into poker terms in those days; in fact, I often fell for the now obvious ham acting that seems to plague our people. I had no idea of what he was up to, and could be calling with any two cards, as far as I knew. I did notice the badboy leather jacket though, so I was onto one thing.

This guy was a little bit of trouble and liked it that way.

The flop came queen high, and I continued, almost all of us did in those days, just firing away like it was required. This fellow made the call. I remember giving him an evaluating look, and he returned this dopey smile, like I was supposed to be in on something and whatever it was happened to be a little under par.

I didn’t like it. We’re not in this together, bub.

I think we checked it down from there, or maybe I called a bet on the river. Either way, he turned over Q10 and dragged the pot.

I had no idea that I’d be losing money to this guy for the better part of the next decade.

Later on, as I moved out of tournaments, encouraged to play cash by another friend, I would regularly risk monumental sums to play .25/.25 cash in monthly game. A few of these players I still hosted at my own game only a few years ago and saw in the casino. Only two have stuck around.

One of the guys was Q10: Gargamel.

Without exaggeration or even a trace of poker player revisionism, I very rarely have the best hand by the river with Gargamel. It’s difficult to explain, like a seat, that well, really is hot. It’s just one of those twists of our game and the endless possibilities of probability.

At the .25/.25 game, hosted by one of those rather uptight people who live a carefree existence on the surface, Gargamel was three betting me quite a bit. I couldn’t believe he always had it, and eventually I took a stand putting in my very first live 4bet with A10o, and of course losing a whole $25 bullet to his pair of queens.

Put me in a hand with him, and it’s never good. I don’t think he was even half-joking when he told me once that he gets excited if I open at his table, wondering what treasure was on the other side of his two cards backs.

Fucking Gargamel.

After enough action at the deceptive 5/5 game, he decided to pull his money off the table. Gargamel’s always been very wise to results- possibly driven by them over all other factors in poker. Ripping out the cost of his trip over just a few downs of poker had, not surprisingly, put him in a great mood.

Then he sat down at my deep but essentially tiny 1/2 game, and proceeded to outplay the table.

Fucking Gargamel.

We left to celebrate with a meal. He was sharp, his senses and mood heightened by the big game.

However, it wasn’t just adrenaline, it turned out. He had a little information to share with me.

Gargamel was partaking in a little experiment: he was on Adderall.

This drug, commonly used in the poker scene, apparently takes a long time to wear off, because after dinner, he wanted to see Russell Westbrook at the Wynn playing in a giant PLO game. I didn’t see the appeal, but okay. This turned out to be exceedingly dull, as all the German pros sitting with him were just as interested in the soccer match as talking with the NBA star. He was dressed in those warm up clothes –essentially a glorified sweat suit- that cost a buy in at a 10/25 game.

Adderall-high Gargamel is a restless fellow. Tiring of the NBA star, he soon joined me at a PLO table, not far from where Joey Ingram, the frenetic, pretty, and ridiculous Pokerlife star, who would later make a few cloying comments. The Poker Toy was looking a tad depressed. (What gives, Papi?) Not much went our way at first, but Gargamel did get a chance to be himself, in additon to doubling. When a dumpy, silent Korean kid, one of those guys who looks like his breath stinks and no one unpaid has touched in years, wearing a backback sat down, Gargamel ridiculed him mercilessly, calling him out as a grinder.

“That’s right, take your chips out of the backpack.”

He did.

“You have a lunch in there?”

The witless kid moved slowly and sullenly, a miffed poker tortoise determined to win the race that mattered.

“Could you be more obvious? Could you add less to the game? No response?”

Gargamel went on and on with his always heavy-on-the-nose insults.

I was beginning to like the affect Adderall had on him. The old villainous spirit, the fourteen-hour-session-just-to-stack-someone-you-can’t-stand, die-so-you-can-live attitude.

rob-3What really changes? After the .25/.25 home game one time, Gargamel and I agreed to share a ride to a casino. While I’d played some 1/2 and 1/3, this place only had 2/5. I’d be risking extraordinary amounts of money, it seemed to me. Gargamel told me the story of losing with a flopped straight and walking around the casino in a daze after his opponent turned quads.

I would run badly, too, those early days, before I became Friday night regular, grinding out my mediocre wins, bad TAG style. When I went broke, I’d tell Gargamel, well, I’ll be at the bar. Sure, he’s say, let me finish this orbit.

Twenty minutes later, I’d come back to the room. The button had passed him.

I’d go back to the bar. Another half hour.

Back to the poker room. There he was, in a hand. Tap on the shoulder.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

“I’m almost even.”

Back to the bar.

Here at the Wynn, Gargamel on Adderall was more himself than ever, but so was I. Around midnight, as is typical, I ran out of steam and gave up my seat.

Sure, Gargamel told me, let me finish a few more hands.

Sure. My night consisted of sonamublating the Wynn, sweating hands, sitting intermittently at hold’em, and finally, a long writing session at an audaciously overpriced bar. We dare you to pay this much. Any takers?

We left at five a.m.

I woke up, dead tired, to some rustling around 7:30 a.m.. What’s going on? His girlfriend, a conventioneering queen on a convenient work trip, lay dead asleep, buried in blankets, but Gargamel was upright and dressed and on the phone.

“What games are you running?”

Adderall works.

Soon after, the hotel door shut strongly with that familiar metal on metal brush I went back to sleep. I luxuriated in the cool, wide bed, resting beautifully, long after the room was mine alone.

At 3:30 p.m. Gargamel returned. When I, refreshed and comfortable, looked at him, I knew something was wrong.

Usually Gargamel is a pale, sunless tint. Now, he was actually green. I had look twice. It was the color Maugham described in Of Human Bondage. He looked like a ghost in a pneumonia ward, waiting for his pills.

I started to ask, but I knew better: Gargamel, man of results, had not run well.

Like so many times before, I took him out for steak and listened to his session. Pro tip: Medium rare cures poker pneumonia.

Lately, it’s been too much for him, these bouts of losing. The big game at the Nugget had not been a coincidence. This low stakes warrior, one time slayer of Smurfs, has needed bigger games to excite him for a while now. The stress and frustration of losing in high variance but unrewarding crapshoots no longer is appealing. The losses hurt more than the wins. He needs the score, the heaps, the piles, the chips, to console him. His obsession with maintaining streaks and winrates and technical knockouts, which sustained him and pushed him to poker victory in the most dry of circumstances, is no longer enough.

We’ve discussed his quitting before, but for once, after a thousand wolf cries, I believe this particular howl.

As I face the future, I see an era closing for myself. Many of my good friends have left poker, but none have been more stalwart than Gargamel. He was the scourge of the Village, a player all the donks feared would sallow up their stack given one misstep. Our endless email chains of strategy, resting peaceably in a server somewhere, attest to our commitment to win and deep distraction, the rabbit hole that even low stakes poker at your local cardroom can be.

So used to seeing the future, these days I am confused by my lack of direction. I left the beaten path, and though I saw a glimpse, for one night, of how I might rescue and redeem my life, I am more out of position than ever before.

Nevertheless: If this is the end for Gargamel, I salute him. If it’s just a needed sabbatical, he’s earned it.

It turned out, we were in this together, bub.

 

Our conclusion: The end, the future, and, oh yeah, a little Doug Hull.

This post was shared on Alec Torelli’s Best of Poker Series

9 Comments

  1. That was fantastic. I loved the drawing and the writing was riveting. I the way you are merging historical context with current struggle. I even loved the drawing.

    Simply the best Adderall abuse PSA I’ve seen in weeks.

    “We were in this together, bub”. I teared up.

  2. “Does Skeletor do yoga and water his plants while He-Man visits his family in Schenectady?”

    I can’t even.

    Gargamel sounds like a cool guy. “You have a lunch in there?” LOL

    These keep getting better can’t wait for the book.

  3. Good work here. Except for the erudite M. Somerset Maugham reference, more accessible than much of your blog. In a good way. What motivates us to continue in this game? The theme permeates your blog, and keeps your characters interesting. I’m in on the Kickstarter when you self-publish.

  4. I’d humbly submit that possibly, Gargamel’s angst may be the product of a realization that poker is, in the long run, not a reasonable occupation for people with “normal” family lives or even simply “normal lives”. Or maybe I’m on the wrong tangent and it’s only that the adrenaline fix is no longer what it was. As a (much worse) rec player, I get that fix from every cash game or tourney, and think how wonderful it would be to have the freedom to play daily. But this post gives me pause.

    1. I will agree with you. You either have the bug, some level of it, or are on the quest to be better. These things sustain you in the game. Routine and life will wear the poker out of some of us.

Leave a Reply

The OOP Lexicon is a user-developed poker glossary.

Absolute Position
Being last to act (e.g. closest to the button) postflop.

Advancing Leverage
Aggressive actions intended to shift the leverage point closer to the current street.

Analog
A bluff or value hand which is a natural candidate for balancing another hand because of their shared qualities, such as AA and AK; usually helps planning range splitting and line construction.

Auto profit threshold (APT)
A bluff made with positive expectation resulting from the opponent under defending vis-a-vis bet sizing. The inverse of MDF.

Balance
Choosing to support either value bets or bluffs with their converse.

Bet
A bet is a proposition.  It’s the first offer on the pot with regard to the outcome of the game. Each player, in turn, has the opportunity to lay or change the price on the pot to the rest of the players. “The language of poker.” The bet, as opposed to the raise, is most often and most easily allied to the merged pricing construction.

Block
To remove combinations of hands from a range based on cards in your hand or on the board.

Blockers
Cards which influence our combinatorial assumptions. Ex: We face resistance on T76ss while we hold As7d. Both our cards act as blockers. Our ace of spades blocks (limits) a number of flush draws our opponent could hold, while our seven blocks a number of two pair and sets our opponent could hold. *See also Block and Unblock

Blocker Bet
A small bet made by an out-of-position player.

Board Texture
The available community cards and the set of conditions which inform its relationship to a logical range.

Bottom
The worst hands in a betting range.  Depending on context this could be the worst hand in a value bet range or the bluffing section of polarized range.

Bounded
A range descriptor indicating a range shape with a specific high or low boundary.  A range bounded high won't contain some number of the best linear hands ranked from the top down.  This is equivalent to a "capped" range.  A range bounded low won't contain some number of the worst linear hands ranked from the bottom up.  This is often useful to describe a range that doesn't include any air or very weak hands.

Capitalization
A strategic mode in which a player is attempting to deny their opponent(s) equity share of the pot through aggression. Often referred to as “denying equity” or “buying up equity”.

Capped
A range is capped when it represents little to no nutted combinations as confirmed by prior action.

Cbet
A continuation bet. A bet made by the player with initiative as a continuation of their initiative on a prior street.

Clarity
The ability to accurately range an opponent based on all available information at a decision point.  An understanding of your hands exact equity.

Closing Action
Acting last where no subsequent action is possible behind you.  For example calling a UTG raise in the BB or calling in position postflop with no players behind.

Cold Call/Cold Bet
An action is considered “cold” when it comes from a player entering into the pot has not previously put chips voluntarily in the pot. Ex: the UTG opens, the BTN 3bets. If the SB were to call or raise, it would be a cold-call or a cold-4bet.

Combinatorics
The branch of mathematics the deals with finite number sets. Used in poker in determining the amount of combinations of certain hands in a range.

Complete
When a blind that is not the biggest blind calls the amount of the biggest blind. Ex: At $2/$5, action folds around to the SB and the SB completes. Meaning they just call. The BB can complete when there is a straddle.

Condensed
A capped range that contains only middling value hands. A range without the polarized portion.

Construction
Logical advancement of combinations across streets.

Dark Side of the Deck
The large swath of hands, often off-suit, that fall outside of conventional playable recommendations. Counter-equity hands.

Dead Money
Money in the pot that is not being fought for.  A passive player creates dead money when they call a bet preflop and looking to play fit-or-fold postflop. Dead Money is often confused with the money in the pot.

Delayed Cbet
A cbet made on the turn by the preflop raiser when the flop checked through.

Delaying Leverage
Passive actions intended to maintain a likely late street leverage point, or possibly to avoid a leverage point entirely.

Deviation
A strategic break from one’s standard construction as an exploit of a particular player’s profile or construction.

Diminishing Medium Value Category
A Seidman concept in which when one’s middling value hand range is too small and transparent to our opponent and thus either that range should be shifted into the top of a polarized range or the nutted portion should be shifted into the medium value range. Ex: AQo or TT being 3bet preflop.

Downbet
A cbet that is less than the preflop raise. Ex: BTN opens to $25, we 3bet to $90 from the SB, BTN calls. On the flop we cbet $70.

Dry Board
A board texture that yields relatively few logical hands value. Often containing one medium or high card and disconnected low cards. Ex: Q53r, T622r.

Dual Mentalities
A Seidman concept in which when we decide to go postflop with a weak hand against a nutted range, we should either be looking to out flop it or steal the pot away. We base our decision against the player type we are up against and never go post with both mentalities at once.

Dynamic Board
A flop texture in which the runout is very likely to change the order of top ranking hands. Ex: 954tt, 742r.

Effective Stack
The smallest stack to VPIP in a given hand. Their stack decides the amount of money that can be played for or threatened before an all-in.

Effective nuts
A value hand that can be played for stacks as if it were the actual nuts.  This is a relative hand ranking based on range assumptions and opponent type.

Efficiency
A measure of how well the equity of a hand is deployed. Efficiency can also be used as a measure of what is risked vs what is gained for a given bet size.

Either/Or Philosophy
A Seidman concept in which a particular street can be a very good spot for value, meaning our opponent is never folding, or a very good spot to bluff, meaning our opponent is never calling, but that those spots cannot be concurrent.

Elasticity
Borrowed from economics, a measure of the sensitivity of a range or hand relative to the price offered.  Ranges (or hands) described as elastic will narrow, sometimes quickly, in response to increases in price.  Those described as inelastic will not.

Equity
The percent pot share of a holding or range on any given street if the hand were to go to showdown with no further betting action.

Equity Pusher
A analytic approach to the game in which a player views the correct actions only through the lens of their hands equity vs. their opponent’s range. Often this player type has a lack of understanding of overall strategy and plays their range face up with few bluffs.

Expected Value
The mathematical formula for how much a player’s action is expected to make with their hand vs. their opponent’s range. EV = ($towin * %ofwin) - ($tolose * %ofloss)

Face Up
A player is playing their range “face up” when their actions directly correspond with their desired outcome. Ex: A player bets half-pot three streets with a range that has no bluffs. A player 3bets to 7x with JJ.

False Polarization
Otherwise known as Faux-Po; a polarizing action taken with a merged range.

Felted
The result of losing your entire table stakes. All the way down to the felt.

Float
A call of a cbet with a weak holding with the likely intention of taking the pot away when the opponent shuts down. Often done by an in position preflop caller.

Formation
The convergence of positions, stack depths, and preceding actions at a given decision point.

G-Bucks
A mathematical formula developed by Phil Galfond for calculating the expected value of one’s range construction vs. an opponent’s holding.

GIGO
A computer programming term that means "garbage in, garbage out" which also applies to poker forums when a poster seeks an in-depth conversation about a hand, but fail to provide pertinent information such as stack sizes, bets sizes, table dynamics and player tendencies.

Game Theory
The applied science of combining mathematical models with logic to craft winning poker strategies.

Game Theory Optimal
A set of strategies is GTO if no player can unilaterally deviate and increase his average profit. ~ Will Tipton.  GTO does not mean best possible response, highest EV, or maximally exploitative play.

Implied Odds
Additional value likely to be accrued if you make your hand on a later street.

Initiative
Sometimes referred to as the betting lead, a common situation in which the passive player yields to the aggressive player postflop, or the last aggressor continues betting on subsequent streets.

Isolate
A bet or raise intended to force out the rest of the field in order to play heads up against a weaker opponent who has entered the pot through limping, raising, or posting the blinds.

LAG
Loose aggressive player type. Generally overused and inaccurate.

Lead
A bet made from out of position after a passive action. Often referred to as a donk bet on the flop.

Leveling
He knows that I know that he knows I know.

Leverage
A bet or raise that signals the hand will be played for stacks.  Within reason, it is accomplished by betting with a sizing that will create RSP equal to 1 on the following street.

LFI
Limp First In

Linear
A consecutive range of hands decreasing in strength from top to bottom; generally meaning value hands. Equivalent to "merged."

Lockdown Board
A board on which the nuts have often already been made.  More prevalent in PLO but sometimes useful in no-limit, for example on monotone flops and boards with available common straights e.g. JT9, T98, 987, etc.

Merge
1) A range of hands that includes both strong and medium value; 2) in reference to medium value; 3) the merged construction describes the natural representation of a wide range through a bet.

Mini Stop-N-Go
A Seidman concept, a line taken by a OOP PFR where flop is check/called and turn is lead.

Minimum Defense Frequency (MDF)
The necessary defending (calling/raising) frequency to prevent an opponent from auto-profiting.  The inverse of APT.

Natural Action
A check, bet, or raise which is exactly suited to a player's range and situation (e.g. a pfr's continuation bet on AK2r).

Nit
A player who will not put chips into the pot without a very strong and sometimes only nutted hand.

Nuts
The best possible hand.

Nuts-To-Air Ratio (NAR)
In a polarized betting line, the ratio of value to bluff.  As used by Seidman, not limited to polarization but sometimes used to label general opponent tendency of value to bluff.

OMC
Old Man Coffee. Typically an older, retired player that likes to play bingo with ATC, but will only continue with the nuts.

Open
The first voluntary action. The first action or bet to voluntarily enter the pot.

Overbet
A bet that is more than the size of the pot.

Perceived Range
Refers to the range of hands that your opponent thinks you could have in a certain playing situation. This can be interpreted and thus misinterpreted from your playing style and position at the table.

Polarized
A range consisting of very strong and very weak hands.

Post Oak Bluff
A small bluff on a late street that has little chance of winning the pot.  Generally interpreted as “gutless” in the past but now fulfilling certain functions as betting efficiencies are understood.

Positional Protection
When the strength of a range is perceived to be capped or uncapped based on which position an action is taken from.

Protected
When an action or player is perceived to have strong hands in its range.

Protection Bet
A wager which denies equity to hands which will only give action if they significantly improve; "a value bet which does not want a call."

Raise
The rejection of the offered price and the laying of a new higher price.  Raises represent a more narrow range of hands and trend towards polarization.

Range Advantage
Implementation or study tool that refers to 1) most basically, equity measurement of one range against another; 2) or also including a combination of further factors including availability of nutted hands, the nuances of the runout, and positional protection.

Range Manipulation
Deliberate line work/bet sizing made to narrow a range or keep a range wide.

Range Switch
A deliberate change in range composition made to thwart a player who is reading our range too accurately in any spot.  Reduces transparency, fights assumptions, and wins the leveling war if implemented correctly.

Ratio of Stack To Pot
RSP. The stack to pot ratio at any point in a hand, generally used post-flop as opposed to Stack to Pot Ratio.

Realization
Taking a hand to showdown and realizing its full equity.  Generally used with regard to passive actions.

Reciprocity
The mutual exchange of chips resulting from similar play and ideas.  Reciprocity is a common bi-product of group-think.  A true edge by definition cannot be reciprocal.

Relative Position
A player’s position measured against the aggressor's position.  Generally this is used going to the flop.  For example, if UTG raises and several players call behind, calling in the big blind would give you the best relative position.  You will act after seeing how the field responds to a likely continuation from the preflop aggressor.  In the same scenario calling immediately after the preflop aggressor results in the worst relative position.  You will have to act immediately after a continuation without seeing how the remaining players will respond.  Strong relative position confers an information edge.

Retention
The ability of hand to maintain equity across streets against a betting range or as part of a betting range.

Reverse Implied Odds (RIO)
Hands that often win small pots or lose large pots suffer from reverse implied odds.

Robustness
Popularized by Mathew Janda, a descriptor for how well a hand retains equity over streets of play.  Hands described as robust have equity that does not suffer as an opponent's range becomes stronger.  Often these hands are currently both strong and invulnerable, or have the ability to become very strong by the river, relative to the opponent's range.

Runout
Fourth and Fifth Street cards following a given flop texture.

Scale of Protection
Poker theorem which states that the more protected or strong an opponent's range is, the higher the degree of denial or retention a counter will require.

Sklansky Bucks
Dollars won (or lost) in expected value regardless of actual hand result.

Smurf
Any one of many possible poker archetypes found at low stakes games.

Squeeze
A reraise made after a player has raised and one or more players has called in-between.

Static Board
A flop texture in which the runout is unlikely to change the order of top ranking hands. Ex: AK7r, KK4r.

Stop-N-Go
A passive action followed by an aggressive action, out of position.  For example, a call followed by a lead on the next street.

Streets of Value
A crude shorthand measurement for how much betting a hand can tolerate and still be best at showdown more often than not.

TAG
Tight aggressive opponent type. Generally overused and misapplied.

TAG's Dilemma
The paradox created by having a top-heavy range played so aggressively that it misuses equity vis-à-vis position and holding.

The Great Range Fantasy
The common idea that we know our opponent’s range and frequencies precisely; most commonly seen in post-hoc analysis to justify microedge decisions.

Thin Value
A bet that is only slightly more likely to be called by worse than by better. Associated with the merged pricing construction and bet-fold lines.

Three Fundamentals
The most fundamental variables for decision making: position, stack size, and community cards.

Top
The best hands in a given range.

Two-Way Bet
A bet that expects calls from worse hands and incorrect folds at the same time, a simultaneous value bet and bluff line.

Upstuck
The psychological effect of feeling like you’re losing because your stack size isn’t as large as it once was during a session, even though it’s more than what you’re in the game for.

(e.g. You bought in for $100, ran it up $450, but now only have $175 in front of you.)

Unblock
A hand that has no negative card removal effects on the target range.  Bottom set, for example, unblocks top pair top kicker.

Uncapped
A range that is perceived to contain the nuts in any given line.  Capped ranges may become uncapped during transitions for example from preflop to flop, or flop to turn.

Unicorn
A turned nut straight after raising flop with a gutter.

Value Owning
Making value bets with a hand that has less than 50% equity when called.

Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VPIP)
The frequency at which a player limps, calls, or raises preflop.

Volatile Board
A flop texture where equities will often shift on the turn and river.  See “dynamic”.

Warmer
An illusory cooler where one player makes a massive mistake equity mistake and loses his stack with a strong but second best hand; also known as a Jam Basket.

Wet Board
A board texture that allows for a lot of logical hands to continue. Often made up of medium rank connected cards. Ex: KT9tt, Tc8c6s-7c-Ac.

WIFSUWO
“Walk In, Fuck Shit Up, Walk Out” a hashtag used by instagram poker players.

Winning Player
A forum poster who offers reciprocal advice under the guise of questionable positive low stakes results. A weak player or fish, in general.

YMC
Young Man Coffee. Is very much an OMC, but younger.  They usually only continue with the nuts, often under the illusion of playing a GTO style.