[The conclusion of Mpethybridge's Guest Post continued from last week. He is a principal contributor/moderator to the SSFR Stats Thread and is a Poker Coach specializing in database analysis.]
Here are two of the really big leaks I see in the way people play specific hands from the blinds. Both of these leaks relate back to the cold calling from the blinds discussion:
1. A call too far.
All solid players have internalized the flop check/call as the standard line on the flop to exploit the field's tendency to bet their air on the flop. It is very common for players to turn off their brains and go into check/call mode. This leads them to make calls on two streets where only one is justified by the villain's tendencies, to call three streets where only two are justified, or, maybe worst of all, to make only two calls when three are justified.
2. Never leading into the pre-flop raiser.
I'm not a big fan of donking in general, but every play has its time and its place.
Remember that the theoretical justification for check/calling is that you are trying to get value from the villain's air, in addition to his second best value. If you can't get value from the villain's air by check/calling, then there is no reason for you to check/call. Two spots in which you likely will not get value from the villain's air are:
a. Facing a good player on a wet board. Most solid players do not c-bet air on wet boards as a matter of routine. This is especially true when they respect your game, because they know they'll face a play a high percentage of the time. If he won't c-bet his air, then there is no value in checking--you're just giving him a free card on a wet board.
You have to read your opponent, the board texture and meta-game considerations; but checking here is not automatically the best play.
b. Facing any player with a low turn c-bet stat. At FR, tons of players have a flop c-bet in the 70s and a turn c-bet in the 40s. Stats like these indicate a player against whom check/calling the flop is clearly the best play, but the turn is actually much closer. He checks back a huge number of turns with marginal showdown value that might call a bet from you.
Again, evaluate the specific villain's tendencies, the board texture and any meta-game considerations before auto-checking again on the turn to a player with a low turn c-bet stat.
The way most players play (in auto-check/call mode) winds up being a leak. In a big sample of hands where you flop, say, second pair: because you are in check/call mode, you wind up calling, say, 1.8 streets on average when you lose, and 1.3 streets when you win. Not incidentally, by going into and staying in check/call mode, you are allowing the villain to realize all of his air's equity, too.
You'll probably laugh at the idea, but this long article is really just a very brief summary of the work that goes into analyzing a blind play leak. In most database reviews I do, I spend half the 4 hours just identifying the various blind leaks, and assigning the client "homework" hand history reviews to work on plugging the leak.
This post really only skims the basics, but should get you started on finding and plugging what is usually the biggest leak players have.
[Thanks for the awesome Guest posts Mpethy!]