More Vlogs Revealed

If someone doesn’t like what you are doing, you just ignore them! It’s a novel approach to life, positivity, really. So new, in fact, that the word itself doesn’t even register in the secondary dictionary which red-lines for this word processor.

However, it would be a mistake to read much into this- I don’t think the software I write in has ever liked a single post I’ve created. It’s the whole “write for 8th graders” thing, I suspect. Stay on point. Be the brand. Don’t use a compelling word when a dull one will do.

So then, it only makes sense that the common humanity that binds us together – our all too similar dreams and crosses, don’t generally matter until someone needs what they need. If you have a thought I don’t like, keep it to yourself. Oh, I now need that thought; where are you now?

The word we have for people of this type is an old-fashioned one that doesn’t do nearly as much work as it used to: fool. An old, old word it seems, one going back to the French and Latin for follie, perhaps follis, but possibly also to something, apparently, for bag. What did they mean, I wonder: there are usually no coincidences.

A lot of bags out there.

For those who remember it, quality is usually complex. It can be frustrating, and certainly even dark. There are things behind it you don’t understand and don’t even know to question. It isn’t what you came for, but keeps you there anyway. For instance, when I think of a Martin Amis novel, I have to feel bad for the editor – who is even capable of offering a critique? “Well maybe a comma here would really change everything…”

Nevertheless, if we really do care too much about what people think, our common tie with them really can become an inhibition. So where is the balancing point? Got a GIF for that?

Let’s look at some goddamn poker vlogs.

Johnnie Vibes

Possibly the most well-rounded vlog of the entire circle is that of Johnnie Vibes. Johnnie is not the best at any one aspect of the video blog medium, nor is he the most popular, but overall, Vibes delivers on point after point.

Firstly, and perhaps more of interest to those who read this blog than the average player, Johnnie is one of the best if not actual best player among the current vloggers. Of course, I’m not talking about such made men or women as Dorian Negreanu, big names who have personal “brands” that need no expansion; these types are basically taking up space. The Negreanus have no presently compelling story, given that they are gathering rather than building. The amateur aspect of the vlog lends itself to the low stakes, not the high. That’s coherence of theme and medium in action, and a powerful clue as to why some vlogs succeed and others, no matter how good, fail to capture attention.

In other words, Vibes still cares and so we care, because there is something at stake. That matters. In fact, while he is presently sucking it up through a 2/5 challenge, it’s not a total novelty for him. As in real poker, when you’re not bought in by your sponsor, you tend to humbly find that every dollar counts more than you imagined. You can see Johnnie’s disappointment and agitation at not bringing home the bacon in games he freely admitted he thought he would destroy.

Vibes starts the vlog at what he describes as a “crossroads.” He’s trying to move into some poker fashion sales, and admits up front he’s losing money. It’s not just a lark, either: he describes his games “drying up.” This is something many of us have dealt with, a universal human theme, not to mention entirely relevant in poker circa 2019. For those who still play in berry patches, that experience should still be of converse interest. So, the stage is set: yes, he’s doing the vlog basically to sell clothes, but he will go on to deliver everything one wants, including worthy play, tourism, real effort at the editing, decent narration, a hint of a story line and an amenable protagonist.

Over and over again, Vibes reveals poker strategy decisions that are a cut above the genre’s field. He’s frank enough to talk about tells and honest enough to use racial profiling, as a seasoned live player might. While he shares many examples of good play over now sixty plus episodes, one simple hand in vlog 3 should get a viewer’s attention: compare his reasoning for checking flop as PFR, against the usual commentary from the faithful but dull value hound Neeme, bag-eyed king of the vloggers. What’s interesting of course is that the viewer can tell that Vibes understands he could continue for value and protection, but takes the deviation confidently, sure of how his opponent will respond. Right or wrong is not really the important thing here; rather, the ability to take the different line, to think beyond poker tropes, to be present in the game, and to publish in his video diary how it didn’t work out, all help one see that Johnnie really can handle the cards. This ability is, of course, contrasted against the natural state of the low-stakes player and his love of the game which brought this genre to conception. In other words, we should see a lot of bad play in the vlogosphere and no one should have a problem with it – so it’s odd and interesting to have that expectation disappointed here.

Vibes does many other favors for the vlog fan. Johnnie mercifully spares everyone, at least from what I’ve seen, footage of his sedan ripping through traffic at 25 mph to the beat of faux excitement. Instead, he uses his allotted sped-up footage time to zip us along through some of his familiar walks and hangs, including along the strip and inside the casino complexes the poker grinder community is chained to, rather than march slowly through the reminders of its hellishness. Johnnie is both young and aloof enough to carry off his musical choices, separating himself from the copycat impression even if it could be a meaningless coincidence. He introduces loved ones without awkwardness or fanfare and takes the eye of the camera everywhere he seems to go. Key to a solid presentation, most of his episodes feature only a very brief opening sequence, moving things along deftly. (At some point later he explains he does get some professional video help, so there is that…)

In sum, despite the goofy name, and the potential for the vlog to travel down some insincere lanes, Vibes instead normalizes both poker and himself, winning the viewer over to both. While it’s actually not necessary to like someone in order to find them engaging, Johnnie negotiates this particular path well. Overall, seems like a big success to me – but is he selling them hoodies?

Detroit Poker

It’s rough when the most exciting part of your vlog is the copied-for-the-millionth-time-roll-up-to-the-casino-with-the-canned-dance-music. Unfortunately for the Detroit Poker Vlog, that’s about the most thrilling thing that happens in my first encounter, because whatever studio track Youtube borrowed for this one and lent to DPV, it moves. Don’t overpromise, though: unfortunately, there’s more.

Brian, the host of DPV, arrives in the parking lot of the Jack in Cincinnati, narrating in what is no less than a dying voice, the last horn of the soldier shorn of life. It’s possible that he might be ill or circling the drain.; my apologies if this is the case. However, if these are his final months, it’s clear Brian wants to spend his remaining days discussing poker hands. Brian is very, very serious about hand histories, even naming how many there will be in his vlog subtitles, which makes me wonder: is that him or his audience? Troubling.

In this particular episode, we see him make some dubious choices. Immediately, Brian “waits for a better spot.” Ok, fair, but let’s keep an eye on that. He then grasps that the game is loose and asserts a plan to slow it down. So of course he immediately isolates out of the small with ax9x. He three-bets qd9d for no clear reason and has to fold to a four bet; a little much to take if he is going to be labeling another player a “spazoid,” in a curiously astronomical description that keeps my attention while the vlog goes deeper and deeper into black space. In closing the session, Brian claims to have played seventy-five percent of his hands! Clearly he’s not actually counting. This is what we call unreliable narration – seventy-five percent of hands would mean he’s vpiping every combination of jx2x – a wonderful tool in the right hands but just strange here.

In fact, it would certainly be fun if this vlog were a joke or a bit of a send up of itself, like the Old Man Coffee Vlog. Indeed, somehow the DPV, whose market is true live low-stakes players, has surpassed the confrontational (and now disappeared) Mark Ari and several other competitor aspirants by nearly a thousand subscribers. Many seem to like Brian and specifically, his poker advice, but I’m not sure why he would be so inspiring. He demonstrates positional cluelessness by limping js9s and trapping himself into a call against the blinds and the straddle. He creates a low-SPR pot which he tries to solve by mashing, getting snapped off by ace high. Brutal, spazoid stuff, and that’s just the recap material. However, by examining Brian critically, it turns out I am on the wrong track.

Detroit Poker vlog is built around a series for absolute novice 1/2 players – this is where Brian finds himself as a vlogger and finds his audience as well. Now it all comes together: I have been too hard on him – this vlog is for beginning players.

With a better frame of reference, I try out episode 8, preflop raise sizing, and episode 5 as well. It’s not the worst stuff if we’re fair, as Brian offers sound tactics that a new or absolutely terrible player can start with in order not to go broke. All of a sudden, Brian is the 7th grade teacher many need, unintimidating, and that deathly pacing I complained about before is maybe just the right thing: kindly, slow, free(ish) of jargon. An approach that a newb may need in order to stay in the the game for a few hours.

Interestingly, while explaining that he will just open larger and larger until the bubble bursts, a light sort of goes on for Brian when he indicates that he “value owns” himself at some point – the intrusion of poker theory into his Poker for Dummies breakdown keeps me awake. It’s a little uneven in the sense that players at this level don’t know what a “LAG” and such will be, but for the most part Brian doesn’t lose his audience.

Well, good luck to Detroit Poker, I’m not going further, for good or bad. “What separates the winners from the losers is the downswings,” Brian announces in some curious wording in the later mental game video. Seems fair, but I am far too much of a sumbitch to handle this channel.

Adam Rude

It’s amusing that Adam Rude actually picks his nose to kick off this vlog, and humor is the theme of this fun dude’s work. “Big chick” he calls out in a tone, and a well-told hand history rolls from there. Adam, a round, well-adjusted dude you’ll see at the game, the bar, and the poker table, doesn’t denigrate his opponents and seems to have a great attitude. He mixes it up in what might have become a purely formulaic vlog (ratty music, intro, black hand history template to explore some donkery) by doing visual, live hand histories over some music.  In one example, (half) country music is a good touch and shows, at the very least, a little independence. If one were to imagine a great vlog, as with any filmic experience, that work would certainly match the manifold musics of the world better with the visual pattern of the moving images; we’re far away from that skill here in the vloggerverse.

As important as that might be, there are more essential things for the poker vlogger. The real issue and problem for all in vlogging and beyond, even in streaming or for-profit television poker coverage, of course, is that the game actually takes place in the mind, not on the table. There is, in a sense, no difference between what a vlogger with a camera phone and Mori Eskandari with a studio set must do. The successful vlogger, in other words, must provide either compelling thought or substitute it with some distracting interest – every single successful vlog wrestles and overcomes this. Adam’s novelties seem to help, but can he carry through to the other side?

Underneath the device of carrying interest through music, Adam strikes some good notes. He starts by choosing a very wide screen format which works better with the on-the-table camera angle. Then in the latest episodes, he changes to an excellent presentation style for his narration-less hands, right down to the very fonts, and a transparent background for them which emphasizes the wide angle. Compellingly, the blur of the lights coming from the ring alongside the checkered speed cloth of his private games’ unique table is a strong and compelling image, a far more persuasive tableau than almost any I have seen captured in the genre. (This could just be the luck of the draw, I’ll have to watch more episodes to know – photography is an opportunistic art form.) Overall, in a genre replete with ugly hand history templates and pointless imagery, Adam is a relief.

More good news: Adam isn’t done offering new looks for vloggers. His introduction to the vlog in episode 1 promises to include his family, listing them as characters. Later on, in episode 8, Mr. Rude makes good, taking his family traveling with him, helping us depart from the lonely loser trope many vloggers want to be a part of. The poker strategy asides aren’t particularly interesting, but that probably can’t be helped to much. In fact, there may be something of a lesson here for other vloggers, who probably should heed the old adage about when to keep your mouth shut. Overall, this vlog is easy watching and should gain subscribers as Adam becomes even better at providing visual interest while finding ways to engage the audience a bit more.


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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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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”.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Loose aggressive player type. Generally overused and inaccurate.

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

He knows that I know that he knows I know.

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.

Limp First In

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.

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).

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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."

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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

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.

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”.

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.

“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.

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.