So heads up, eh?   Man I play a lot of heads up.  You know, talking about bad beats and all that, I have to say, with accurate fucking honesty, that when I play heads up, I win 65% of the time.  And I lose to bad beats 15% of the time.  And I lose to people who outplay me 5% of the time.  for real!  and the last 15% ?  That is lost to people who are callstations who have some ridiculous hand.  Let me explain: 


Lets say I have J9suited on the button and I raise.  The guy calls.  The flop comes 45J.  He checks, I bet, he calls.  The turn is my 9.  I bet and he calls.  The river is a Q and he checks and I bet again and he raises me.  At this point I look at what can beat me.  I obviously know they are a donk because weve played a few handfulls of hands so far.  45J9Q.   I guess TK is a reasonable guess for the straight, but I really doubt it.  8T would be more likely, but would they really call a follow-through bet on the flop with that?  I doubt it.  Probably just Q6 or Q8.  Maybe 95 or even 94.  I make the call and they show Q4offsuit for the two higher pair. 


Thats 15% of my losses, and I cant really call them bad beats.  I would definitely not admit that to getting outplayed.  Its a class of its own and it needs a name.   There are a few things to point out here.  Calling a preflop raise with Q4 is questionable, but I get it.  Im aggressive in heads up and I raise just about every hand, even from the big blind position.   People need to play shitty hands against me because I dont let them see free flops.  So I get it.    But its still questionable.   When you are against an opponent like me, it is suggested that they are supposed to tighten up and play better hands and trap me or whatever.   When people play loose you play tight.  When people play tight you play loose.  Thats the common advice from many pros.   Now after a flop like J54, having a Q and a 4 here, its not the worst position in the world to be in, but its by no means, great. 


The flop is a place where people stab.  Im a stabbing kind of guy and Ill always try to buy the pot immediately after the flop.  Most people know that about me, and people who havent played me can probably just tell, thats the kind of thing I do.  So when I bet on a flop of J45, and they have a 4, its a reasonable assumption to think they may have the better hand.  The turn is a funny place.   This is where bluffers and follow up betters have more important decisions to make.  Its expected that people will bet on the flop if they raised before it, but now that theres another card and the guy called, if the continuation bet was a bluff, you must ask yourself if your willing to continue putting more money in to the pot.  And at this point you have a way better preview of what your hand will end up being worth at the end.  I guess what Im saying is that it takes a bit of guts to make a second bet if you are completely bluffing.  


Dont get me wrong, it happens all the time, but it just takes a little more guts than a flop bet.  Sometimes you have the Ace high guy making another bet on the turn or sometimes you think that hes calling with ace high after a flop so you bet again to ask if they really want to showdown with ace high.   But with a board like J459 –  and Im betting again, and they have Q4, this is the point of the hand where they must think their beaten and throw it away.  There is no straight draws for them, there is no flush draws, and the only thing they can beat is Ace high, or 33!  And its not like Im betting like a little girl, I got top two pair man, Im betting 3/4 of the pot size!  Basically by calling they think I have ace high or some draw.  And its a very very risky call.  But they called and were rewarded with a queen on the river.   I cant call that a bad beat.  Its more of a horrible couple of calls that fished out at the end.  Lets call it a fish beat!   Yeah, I like it. 


So 15% of my heads up losses are bad beats, and another 15% of them are fishbeats.  Thats thirty percent.  I win 60-65% of my games, legit.  And I lose 30% illegitimately.  Thats a fucking huge number, and I cannot figure out how to reduce it.  Ive played tight, Ive played loose.  Ive went all in at the flop, ive seen the river for cheap.   Ive checkraised and slowplayed.  I cannot avoid losing this way, no matter what.  Sometimes I even question the honesty of the site and its random number generator, but thats a different thought.   And I need to figure out how to eliminate these bad losses.   I imagine myself winning 75, 85, 90 percent of heads up, and the thought of it makes me happy and excited, because the truth is I only get legitimately beaten by people with better hands 5-10% of the time!  The fucking crazy part here is that I am good enough to acheive this, I just cant ditch these fucking fishbeats.  It happens at 1 dollar, it happens at 6 dollar, it happens at 20 dollar, and it happens at 50 dollar.   I cant avoid it and worse, I cant wrap my head around what the FUCK 30 percent of these idiots are thinking? 


But I guess Ill talk about heads up now, in a strategy type form.   Ill say this first – The hands I play are simple.  Any two cards that can make a straight.  23, 46, 7T, J8.  etc.  Any two cards that I can make a flush with.   83diamonds.   K2hearts.  J5spades.   I dont play 92offsuit.  I dont play J6off.  I dont play Qfucking4.     And sometimes I wont even play some of the hands I mentioned first like T7 unless it was suited.  And depends on how long the match has gone so far.   But I raise.


On the button early in heads up Ill raise with T7 off.  Its my plan to make it to a showdown if I cant win the pot, so he can see my T7off and that I raised with it, to give him a bit of an impression.   Now I kind of have a little list of rules.


You gotta get caught bluffing.  for cheap of course, and as early as possible. 

You gotta raise the button, to let them know you mean business. 

you gotta fold a few hands so they know theres a range of shitty cards that you wont play, in position or not. 

You gotta just call the button sometimes so they know that youre not just raising with junk every single hand, and that when you do raise, the hand has a bit of a value.   This will also be a bit of a relief to them cause they dont have to pay so much for a flop, and later in the game it will let you limp in with a hand that you might not want to raise with like 35suited.

You gotta raise when they limp in, often.  tonnes of them like to just limp in every hand and hope to see a cheap flop.  You gotta make them realize that even in position, its gonna cost them more to play 48 and Q6 and T3.    They should realize this and become more selective with their starting range. 

You have to establish that you are the loose one here.  Like I said, people like to play tight when someone plays loose, and people like to play loose when someone is tight.  Well, you dont want to be the tight one, you want to be the aggressor.  You have to raise them when they raise you.  Three-bet them.  If they raise the button, I usually raise 2.5 -4x right back at them.  If I raise the button, and they raise me, I fucking raise em again.  Be the aggressor.  Not the tight player.  Most people are idiots, dont ever forget that. 

once in a while you have to fold to a rerasie, so they know you have a bit of sense, and so they know that your range is not as wide as they think. 

You have to limp in with a monster once in a while.  Particularly when your up against someone who likes to raise the big blind to limpers, or someone who is going all in a lot.  

You have to bet the flop, even when you got nothing.  If you raise before the flop and your first to act after the flop, bet!  If you raise before the flop and then they check to you after the flop, bet!   If they raise before the flop and you call and act first after the flop, bet! 

Now, when its almost over, it gets tricky because you have 17500, and they have 2500, and the blinds will be 200/400.  They are looking to go all in with anything.  Fold before the flop your shitty hands.  Cut maybe a quarter off of your range.  Dont play 23suited. Dont play Q8. But you at this point have atleast 2 chances to win any hand.  Youve needled him for lots of small pots and blinds, so you can afford to call his all in twice with decent hands and lose, and still be the chip leader.  Maybe an 86suited call, or a 9Toff call.  Maybe an A4off call.  probably a J8 call.   I like to pick a hand and go for it.  If he wins he will double up to 5000.  He will likely go all in again very soon and you can make the call with one of those hands.  If you lose again, you will both be at 10k chips and it will be like starting again, so repeat the process!   But chances are, with a DECENT hand like 86suited, you will win one of two all ins, and thus win the heads up match. 


Lets say you lost both of them, and youre both back at 10 000 chips.  Blinds will be 300/600 now or maybe more.  The cats out of the bag, and you know what hes willing to bet all his chips on and he knows what you like to call with.  The first few hands might be slow, but eventually hes going to try and reraise you all in, or even all in when he is first to act (he or she of course, but forgive me cause Ill probably always just say he, for simplicity.)  This is where limping gets valuable.   You just about had the tourney in your hands and now stacks are even, so you should be tilted, and regretful, and sad, yada yada yada.    right?   wrong.   Your gonna seem cautious and seem like your out of sorts and giving him some credit now, and your not gonna raise every hand your gonna limp a few more instead, and he might try and take charge and become aggressive with his newly found confidence.  And hell go all in and youll fold.  And youll raise the next hand and hell go all in and youll fold.  And hell raise the next hand and youll fold.   Then youll get AToff and limp in and hell go all in again and youll snapcall, and he will have K8, or A3, or Q9, or even T5.  This is where 65% of the time youll win, or it will be one of the losses where he catches a better hand with his shitty cards.  


Most of the time you will win when he goes all in from his 2500 stack, or from his 5000 stack, but occasionally it will get to this and it will have to be a coin-toss.  Note:  Dont call with 86suited this time, not when you have near equal stacks.  No need for the hero call now, unless you know youll still have twice as many chips as him if he were to win.  You gotta pick high cards to call with now.  Or pairs.  


Thats my heads up strategy 😛  Its very successful for me, except for those damn fishbeats and badbeats.    I welcome any comments or suggestions or disagreements or advice or statements or you can even call me some names I dont mind. 


images    <—–  I googled fishbeats, and found this picture!  Somebodies got a blog named fishbeats 😛   I couldnt find much content in it, and I am sure its not about poker!  So Ive just stolen it, lets not tell him.  As far as were concerned, I just invented fishbeats.     Booya