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ibavly's picture
Beating HUSNG "Recs" Charity Video Pack

Beating Recs by ibavly

If reg battles are the romance of poker, then grinding vs recs is the preparation for the date. It's not the most exciting topic, but it's where most of the money is made and it's what propels your bankroll to be ready to play higher stakes.

Ibavly makes his video coaching debut, bringing his fresh take on how to approach the most lucrative side of husng poker, playing against recreationals. In this live play video you will get to see ibavly play against recreationals at the 60s and 100s while he comments on his plays and strategies. This is a valuable opportunity to peer into a 200s reg’s mind and see how he approaches these games. A bonus section is included where ibavly introduces some theoretical concepts specific to recreational games that are rarely discussed publicly. This short pack won’t make you a crusher on its own, but it will give you tools and ideas to help propel your game to the next level. It’s a no brainer value pack and goes to help a good cause.

All revenue from this pack will go to help Toronto charities. 50% will go to a local community services provider, and 50% will go towards building a new state-of-the-art surgical suite at a major hospital.


About ibavly

ibavly has been playing husngs since mid 2012. He started at the 7s and quickly worked his way up to the 100s. After moving around in the stakes, he eventually settled on a spot in the 200s when the divisions were formed. He has had good results in reg battles at 200s and against 300s regs. He also plays up to 25/50 CAP, spin'n'gos, and 10/20 8-game. He is a well rounded player but his biggest strength relative to the competition is in playing vs recs. Below are graphs of his recent play at 60s and 100s, where most of his play is against recreationals.

7% evROI at 60s:

6% evROI at 100s:


About the pack

Theory (8m 30s):

• Differences between reg and rec play
• Analysis v Intuition

 Live Play (31m):

• One table against unknown players with running commentary and thought processes


Price: $20 (Discounts available for stables and other bulk purchases)

Length: 39 minutes

Size: 291 MB

Format: .mp4



lindridgeben's picture
Will be purchasing this

Will be purchasing this tomorrow, very cheap and to worth while causes. Well done ibavly. :) 

poisonlolz's picture
Hi iBavly, Just bought and

Hi iBavly,

Just bought and watched your video. I'm surprised that your vs. rec game is based heavily on intuition rather than analysis. My own rec game is based on knowing population tendencies of almost every spot and scaling them up/down based on board runout. For example if the population was barreling turns 60%, but a good barrel card on the turn comes I would put them on a barrel frequency of 70-75%. I adjust my perception of their frequencies using a bayesian approach. Obviously you have a much higher winrate vs. recs than I do, so could you point out the pitfalls in my approach?

ibavly's picture
Hi Poisonlolz, Thanks for

Hi Poisonlolz,

Thanks for watching the video. Perhaps I was a bit presumptuous in the video, I didn't mean to imply that studying population tendencies, capture factors, and board textures isn't extremely important in becoming a strong player. I simply focused on the intuition part because I think a lot of successful players focus only on the other topics posted above, while in reality your intuition is an extremely valuable tool that can not simply be replaced by study.

To explain, consider your example of a population barrel of 60% and a bayesian adjustment to 70%. We have a lot of assumption and flaws in this model:

- First of all the population tendencies calculated in pt4 are in fact misleading. A weighted average of many frequencies does not mean that it is optimal to assume that frequency readless. If you have one guy who barrels 100% and another guy who barrels 0%, your population tendency is 50%, but in fact you should be playing readless as if your opponent is barrelling 100%. Do you see why?

- The bayesian adjustment is not going to be particularly precise. In fact you are counting in large part on your gut to determine this adjustment, so while you can do a complex draining mathematical calculation based on your gut or choose a play based on picking the intuitive option and stress testing it. It's impossible to prove that one option is better than the other, and in fact my whole point is that in many cases the latter option is better.

- Even if you've established your opponents strategy in this spot, you still don't know how to play unless you know his strategy on all runouts, and also what sort of hands he is doing this with.

- Even if you know his entire strategy (or are going for a minimally exploitative strategy) you still need to figure out the actual correct play. This is not trivial and turns out to be even more difficult in games against unpredictable and exploitable players than against strong players where you are aiming to be unexploitable.


So in summary I am not saying that your study isn't valuable, it is incredibly valuable and anyone who spends all their play just relying on their intuition is doomed to be stuck as a weak player forever. But the analytical tools we have available to us are not enough to maximize our return in these games, and the concept I am trying to establish is that poker (and specifically rec games) is a game that is especially well suited towards developing an intuition that will make correct decisions.

I could go on talking about this for days so I'll end the post here, but if there's anything I brushed over or you would like me to expand on I'd be more than happy.

poisonlolz's picture
Thanks for the detailed

Thanks for the detailed reply, I will definitely try to use a incorporate a more intuitive approach in my next few thousand games. I'm guessing you've played chess in the past as the Intuit followed by stress-test is how many competitive chess players decide their moves :P

currrr14's picture
Great idea!

Great idea!

Dartagnan's picture
Hello Ibavly, I'm sure your

Hello Ibavly,

I'm sure your pack is very useful and valuable:)

Speaking in the subject "Recs", how do you think is the ratio Reg vs Fish nowadays? Is shrinking every year as most people said?

In my opinion, i don't agree fully with that statement because Recs will emerge and appear every day..even with Spin'n'gos now which could affect the traffic at HU Hypers (and the other formats), there is still worthwhile play this format. Like HU Turbos, when hypers appears and menaced seriously dry the turbo format, the players (like Adonis112 for example) who still play those continue to be heavily profitable.

It's normal when you climb the limits, the traffic is more slower and the level of quality of  the players grow, in general. So i think is pretty standard that the higher stake you play, the low are the ratio reg/rec play. Like everything in life, the things are still and poker is not exception!


So i'm happy very with your release pack about a subject who people often claims that is disappear day by day.

Anyway, i'd like your opinion about that.

Thanks in advance

ibavly's picture
Hi Dartagnan, Certainly the

Hi Dartagnan,

Certainly the ratio of regs to fish has gotten worse over the past years. However, that simply means that we need to work harder to get what we want.  A few years ago, if you could get 3% against fish you were basically an end boss. Primo has a prop bet on 2p2 where he won a ton of money by attaining a 3% evROI. But now if our hard work and study gets us to a 5 or 6% evROI, even if we're only getting half the number of games we're still making the same amount of money. The decrease in action doesn't mean that this flow of money has ended, simply that study is more important than ever, since you can't leave any money on the table. The most profitable player in 2014 at midstakes is somebody who is generally considered quite weak in reg battles, but he completely annihilated fish and played massive volume so he ended up outearning everyone else by a significant margin. The opportunity is still there for people who develop their skills and work hard. Of course if you want to be successful being good at reg battles is important too, but seemingly all the content these days is focused on that so I wanted to create something a bit different.

And if it's very important to be playing a higher % of fish, there is also spin'n'gos. I play them without spinwiz and get 2 fish at my table more often than not. The contents of this pack, while not directly focused on spins, give useful tools for anyone who plays spins as well.

Dartagnan's picture
Thank you very much for your

Thank you very much for your reply, Ibavly.

I understand all you said and your point of view. I think we both agree that, with more increase or decrease action at the tables, the money always will be there  over the years. It's just a question of adapt to the circumstances of the moment, studying and hard work (work ethic).

Once again, thanks for your feedback.

All the good to you.





Kid Cld's picture
Spin and gos

You mentioned you play some spin and gos, what are the main differences in your button strategy when playing these, are you still limping a healthy percentage or a more standard raise or fold (open jam some pairs)?

Also loved the content, little nuggets of gold in there.

ibavly's picture
the heads up portion of spins

the heads up portion of spins will be pretty much the same as hu hypers, except you often have some more reads going into hu in spins. If you're talking about my 3 handed strategy, I might end up making another video/pack at some point and I would cover it there

Kid Cld's picture
I was talking about 3 handed,

I was talking about 3 handed, theres very little content out there currently (outside of coffeeyay) so I am sure a video pack will be of value to this community.

ibavly's picture
Thanks for the feedback. I

Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely consider this for the future.

CHOPPA's picture
Hey Ibavly, Just wanted to

Hey Ibavly,

Just wanted to start by saying I really enjoyed the series. Certainly gave me food for thought & all for a good cause, so thanks for that & well done :)

With the Q8s hand (37:14) a few questions if I may?

1. I was wondering why you min raised this hand, as opposed to limping it pre, which was preached throughout most of the vid?

2. Would we be not better flatting vs his small donk of t20? You mention his range is made up primarily of weak pairs & flush draws which I agree with for the most part (maybe the occasional weak Ax at that stack depth too), so if that's the case I'm struggling to see what raising the flop accomplishes in this spot?

  • Any pair worst than an 8 can't continue (which he may decide to over-value on the turn or decide to turn into a bluff if he perceives your flat calling range to be be weak i.e. very little Ax when you call such a small bet)
  • Ax is never folding
  • We fold out 56,76 which are drawing slim & may decide to barrel the turn.
  • We fold out all his his air
  • His flush draws (which have decent equity vs us) are almost never folding
  • Suppose we may fold out a pocket pair through to maybe JJ? But that's about all I can think of? I just think flatting and letting him make mistakes with such a weak range on the turn may be a better line?

3. Once he calls the flop, you mention on the turn that if he does have something he's unlikely to be folding, so we want to go for a bigger sizing? What worst is calling a bet of 120 at this point? I think his most likely calling range on the flop is Ax, flush draws, and gut shots between the 4&8, 57 got there on the turn, 76, 56 made a pair which will most likely fold to 120, Ax is never folding to 120 and do we think 120 is too big when he's drawing super slim to his spade draw on the river, of course there's always worst 8x, but this is a super slim part of his range considering there's only 2 left in the deck. So my point is, as played should our sizing on the turn be smaller to target the majority of his (weak) range at this point & lose the minimum when he has us crushed with Ax

Your feedback would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,


"If you can find a path with no obstacles it probably doesn't lead anywhere"

ibavly's picture
Hi, Thanks for the positive


Thanks for the positive feedback.

1. Like most middling hands, raising and limping are both legitimate options. Given that we are suited and somewhat connected its a hand that is slightly preferable to be raised (the more likely we are to make a big hand, the more likely we want the pot to be big. The deeper we are the more developed of a mr range we want as well. The key is to have some small raising frequency with a wide range of middling/weak hands so that we can play various different types of hands on every board. Playing a purely exploitative strat where we only mr very strong hands and limp everything else is not ideal, even bad opponents will pick up on it eventually, and the minor early gain will result in getting massively exploited later on. You should definitely have awell developed mr range, it just doesn't need to be a high frequency.

2. I think you are massively overestimating his folding range, he is not folding any pairs even bottom pair on the flop. It is purely a value raise, if you are calling you're leaving money on the table. As you say yourself the only better hands are the rare Ax hands, so when you have a vulnerable hand where so many turn cards make your life difficult (anything except for a 2/3/8/Q/A, and even for those it can't complete a flush draw) where will for sure value bet you big and can get away with a ton of bluffs. You're not going to benefit from counting on him making a mistake as the aggressor, you don't want to turn your hand into a bluffcatcher.

If you bet smaller on the turn he is not making a mistake by simply calling all of his flush draws. Its a thin bet in that he can have a decent amount of hands that beat us, but I don't have the intention of folding so I lose a lot more by betting small vs his weak hands than I do by betting small vs his strong hands that will stack me a decent amount of the time anyways. Again I think you overestimate the average fish who do not like to fold any piece of the board.

bAdJQKe10's picture
Hey, interesting concept. I

Hey, interesting concept. I have one question though.

How exactly do we translate a 5%ROI / edge to factor into our calling decision? Do we convert the 5% ROI into chips and then use that as our break-even point for our calling range in a program like CoffeeCalcs?

For example, let's say that we are winning 35 chips / game VS a recreational player and our A8o call (vs what we assume is his 3Bet shove range) is +10 chips comparing to folding and A9o is +43 chips. Do we fold A8o even if it's a plus chipEV call and only call A9o?

Is this what you are saying and if yes what formula do we use to convert a 5% edge into chips? Can we also convert the edge into BB's ?

Thank you.

ibavly's picture
You're on the right track,

You're on the right track, but keep in mind that you have to look at the WR starting from next hand, not just your average WR. So for example if you're down to 10bb you might only give yourself a .5% edge or whatever. This makes it a fairly inexact science, so you need to learn how to make judgement calls on how much risk you want to take at any point in the tournament.


The conversion depends on rake, better to just filter your pt4 graph for chips by tournament which is much more useful.

tkgrove312's picture
How to watch the video

I downloaded it but nothign seems to able to play it

RyPac13's picture
Did you unzip it first? You

Did you unzip it first? You need to unzip it with something like 7zip or winrar first. Then play it, I'd recommend using the free VLC media player, it's better than quicktime or windows media player.

tkgrove312's picture
Perfect thanks!

Perfect thanks!

noxplode3's picture
About a hand

Hi ibavly,

Great video. 

I have a question about the hand at 14:44. I am questioning why are you not shoving the river (assuming that you are willing to call at least)? If you just call and lose, then afterwards its essentially an any-two-cards call-jam for you, due to your 2BB left. Plus you get a change to get his extra 105 chips with his Ax, Jx, 5x. Plus, if he has air and he folds to your jam, he never gets the chance to see your hand. If he has the nuts, then great for him, what can you do. I think that (without knowing his hand at showdown) you either lost another 105 of pure value from marginal hands or you lost the bluffcatching opportuntity to not show your hand in a non-showdown scenario, thus keeping him in the dark. Let me say that calling is a perfect option as well.

What is you opinion?

Thanks again for the video.

coffeeyay's picture
I'm going to jump in and

I'm going to jump in and weigh in on the spot :)

First off, calling and losing isn't nearly as bad as you make it out to be. Yes we only have 2bb left, but that still represents 2bb out of a total of 20bb at play--ie 10%. This corresponds to still at least 10% win-rate since even in push-fold you will have edge due to having a stronger push/fold strategy than the average villain who will often make fairly big mistakes--and if win a flip or two stacks will be deeper and we can go back to exerting our post-flop skill edge. 10% winrate may not feel like a lot, but this is worth 0.2 buy-ins. Treating it as nothing is a mistake in analysis, plain and simple.

All that being said let's think about the correct reasoning behind shoving or calling. The math here is pretty clear--with value hands, we do better shoving than calling if and only one criteria is true--we have >50% equity versus villain's calling range. To put more simply, we need to beat more hands in his calling range than we lose to (we can ignore hands we chop with entirely). That's the only thing that matters. How often he folds makes no difference unless we're bluffing. So in this spot raising will be better if we believe villain calls our shove with more Ax Jx or other bluff catchers than he calls with J7, 75 and A7. Because we are so shallow we can remove most Ax from his range, discounting the Ax bet/calls as well as A7. Jx can be discounted a bit because it would need to call the flop--so it either needs to be a strong J like KJ QJ or JT (which we can discount some because villain checked back pre) or else a backdoor flush draw (which can be discounted because weak players tend to under-value backdoor flush draws and over-fold them on flops). 5x Is even more discounted for these reasons (though K5 is a possibility). 5x is also a bit discounted because it's a very thin hand to over-bet lead for value on the river. This means that all of this bet/call range is fairly rare--and the 5x and Jx part might even bet/fold! It's mostly weighted towards Ax, but by my estimates these are only around 3% of villain's pre-flop check back range--and the A on the board lowers this probability further. Certainly it will be a higher weight after villain calls the flop (though some Ax x/r) just because he folds over half his range (so the relative frequency of having an A is higher after he calls) but it's still a very small part of his range. On the other hand, 75 and J7 are both hands that check back almost 100% of the time and so those two combos are a larger fraction of his check back range (by a little amount) than Ax (though they are blocked by the board a little more). Plus we expect them x/call the flop almost always (compared to Ax or random Jhigh or 5x hands that might x/r) and to be part of a river over-bet range (Jx and 5x and even Ax are all significantly less likely to over-bet the river). Overall, while close, it likely means that villain's calling range is slightly weighted towards full houses over the rest of his hands and therefore we will have less than 50% equity when called and therefore should call rather than shove.

In this case with 2bb left after flatting maximizing our win-rate is a much smaller factor. However, even with only 2bb left we still should expect to win >10% of the time (but not by very much), and this effect actually changes the math in our call slightly. We end up needing a little more than 50% equity when called because our stack is worth a little more proportional win-rate (that is the difference between (ourchips/chips in play) versus our estimated win-rate with our skill edge incorporated) when we call and lose and have 2bb than if we shove and lose and end with 0bb (since we have no skill-edge left with 0bb), and also more proportional win-rate when we call and win and end with 665 than if we shoved and won and ended with 770 since we are deeper stacked with 665. It's this effect that creates the desire to "wait and see better spots" and creates a difference between the chipEV of actions and the winrateEV of actions. In this situation, in order for shoving to be better than calling we need >50% equity to make shoving better in chipEV, but actually we need even more equity (likely around 51% in this case, but often higher if stacks were deeper) to make shoving better than calling in terms of maximizing our probability of winning the tournament.

All-in all shoving will likely not be that much worse. But if you're looking to squeeze out as much win-rate as you can calling seems to be a little bit better when we examine the situation in detail and combine the math with an estimate of ranges.

Hope this helps!

noxplode3's picture
Great answer, thanks!

Great answer, thanks!