Wednesday, 30 April 2008


I'm totally beginning to hate QQ though:

played at "Kampala" for USD TC from 2008-04-29 21:50 until 2008-04-29 21:51
Seat 1: oruga2000 ($1,470 in chips)
Seat 2: Koo23 ($1,340 in chips)
Seat 3: sniperr ($1,250 in chips)
Seat 4: Dr Zen ($3,280 in chips)
Seat 5: peter-klaus ($1,060 in chips)
Seat 6: mizmik1 ($1,630 in chips)
Seat 8: cigar202 ($1,450 in chips)
Seat 9: dyonisos40 ($2,060 in chips)
Seat 10: Hugotheboss1 ($1,460 in chips)
peter-klaus posts blind ($10), mizmik1 posts blind ($20).

cigar202 folds, dyonisos40 calls $20, Hugotheboss1 folds, oruga2000 folds, Koo23 calls $20, sniperr folds, Dr Zen bets $100, peter-klaus folds, mizmik1 folds, dyonisos40 folds, Koo23 calls $80.

FLOP [board cards: JD JC 6D ]
Koo23 checks, Dr Zen bets $200, Koo23 bets $1,240 and is all-in, Dr Zen calls $1,040.

He has KJ.

I mean, WTF?

BTW, Father Luke, if you're reading this, don't ever fold to his push on the flop. Yeah, this time he has the jack. But a lot of the time he doesn't.


I'm having a shitting morning this morning. I pushed over five limpers at t50 with JJ, got called by AK and he sucked out.

I am card dead for a whole other tourney, chip up with some nice shortstack play, then hit two pair on the flop and get it in with a flush draw. Which made.

Sigh. Some days, no matter what you do, you lose.


No sooner had I posted that than it got worse.

I raise 200 over a limper at t50. I have KK. SB calls, limper calls. Flop comes J97. I bet 400 into the 600 pot.

SB calls. I know he has a straight draw. It's obvious.

Turn T. I should just give it up. But obv. I don't. I push, he shows A8s.

I mean, wtf? He called a raise pre with a raggy ace. Then a big bet on the flop with a gutshot and an overcard.

Poker gods, punish these idiots. Don't send them their straight cards.

If you must, send me the queen that resucks on them. For fuck's sake, it's just not right that all my big pairs get cracked so much and by such bad players.


The poker gods are cruel, and the cruellest thing they do is not to punish idiots. I find that the hardest thing in poker. Not so much the bad beat, but that the other player was just so stupid.

Example follows.

TEXAS_HOLDEM, NO_LIMIT, T4-66568958-14
played at "Kabul" for USD TC from 2008-04-29 20:14 until 2008-04-29 20:15
Seat 1: Dr Zen ($1,320 in chips)
Seat 2: triops ($1,445 in chips)
Seat 3: mc stepper ($2,305 in chips)
Seat 4: doc drool ($450 in chips)
Seat 5: frozenman76 ($1,815 in chips)
Seat 6: grippenlake1 ($1,290 in chips)
Seat 7: RecTimer ($1,770 in chips)
Seat 8: RassRodz ($1,205 in chips)
Seat 9: washington6 ($1,760 in chips)
Seat 10: jeepers113 ($1,640 in chips)
frozenman76 posts blind ($15), grippenlake1 posts blind ($30).

I have QQ.

RecTimer folds, RassRodz calls $30, washington6 folds, jeepers113 folds, Dr Zen bets $150, triops folds, mc stepper folds, doc drool folds, frozenman76 folds, grippenlake1 folds, RassRodz calls $120.

I have a bad feeling. QQ is close to the losingmost hand for me. I'd be running a lot better if it just occasionally won me a decent pot.

FLOP [board cards: JC 5D TS ]
RassRodz bets $200, Dr Zen bets $1,170 and is all-in, RassRodz calls $855 and is all-in.

So I'm not all that scared of his bet. He can have JT or a set, obv. but I'm never folding QQ on an undercard flop.

His call of my push is atrocious though. He has KsJs. How can he think he's good there? He is only beating the bluff. Why put me on a bluff though? Leaving aside that I'm never bluffing in that spot, why would he even think I was?

Well, obviously he doesn't think at all.

TURN [board cards: JC 5D TS 6S ]
RIVER [board cards: JC 5D TS 6S 3S ]

Believe it or not, this guy gave me shit after this hand. He felt like a genius.

Maybe he is. Because it seems to me that the right play against me is to get it in with absolutely any shit you have, because you are going to suck out way more than expectation.

UPDATE: Still, I finished third, which means I took that guy's buyin. Yes, I came back from 115 chips. It's always worth fighting.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

A bad bluff

This is an interesting hand, which is illustrative of a principle that can save you quite a lot of heartache and chips in poker.

I am familiar with Flutterbies, but I'm not in this hand. What we've seen in this tourney is that she called a raise with TT, then pushed a flop with a T on it that looked like it might have hit the raiser. It had, and that's why she has 2.7K.

I just played Orezza and I know that he's a LAGgy type who seems able to understand what's going on most of the time. He made a couple of insane calls on the bubble though. He's been reasonably quiet in this tourney. He becomes aggressive when he has a stack; I know that much.

TEXAS_HOLDEM, NO_LIMIT, T4-66286044-27
played at "Dayton" for USD TC from 2008-04-25 21:52 until 2008-04-25 21:53
Seat 2: Flutterbies ($2,722 in chips)
Seat 3: Dr Zen ($1,525 in chips)
Seat 4: sgruno ($1,470 in chips)
Seat 5: grippenlake1 ($2,765 in chips)
Seat 6: vaktis100 ($1,710 in chips)
Seat 7: XXstevencXX ($1,365 in chips)
Seat 8: rumram ($375 in chips)
Seat 10: orezza2B ($3,068 in chips)
Dr Zen posts blind ($25), sgruno posts blind ($50).

grippenlake1 folds, vaktis100 calls $50, XXstevencXX folds, rumram folds, orezza2B bets $300, Flutterbies calls $300

So we note that she has called a decent raise. She's not as tight as she should be, but she has played tightly this tourney, and has not been involved much. No reason to think that Orezza doesn't have at least some sort of hand here.

Dr Zen folds, sgruno folds, vaktis100 folds.

I have rags and fold.

FLOP [board cards: 7C 8C QH ]
orezza2B checks, Flutterbies checks.

TURN [board cards: 7C 8C QH TH ]
orezza2B bets $100, Flutterbies calls $100.

RIVER [board cards: 7C 8C QH TH 8D ]
orezza2B checks, Flutterbies bets $900, orezza2B calls $900.

When they turn over their cards Orezza shows Ah7h and Flutterbies AK. She blows up at him for his call. What a donkey! But is he?

No. His call is reasonable and her bluff is not. This is why. Bluffs are stories. The story you are telling must be credible. What is Flutterbies' story here: "I have an 8 "? "I have QT and slowplayed it"? "I trapped you with J9"?

None is very credible. She's a tight player and called in the blinds. There aren't many 8s in her range. A8s maybe, but that was a big raise to call with that. And can an 8 call on the turn? If she played a straight or QT slow from fear of folding him out with a raise on the turn, why put in such a big bet now?

Basically, Orezza only needs to think "the 8 didn't improve her and she played the hand really weakly, so mostly this is a bluff" and he can call with his pair. I think I would call too in his spot, against this player.

One thing that might have tipped Flutterbies off that bluffing was not a good idea was that the guy put in such a big raise pre. This is not a sign that he's tight, and if he's not tight, he's not folding anything on the riv. The principle here is: make sure your bluff tells a credible story. What's credible varies, depending on the opponent, but if you can only really be bluffing, most villains will call.

For me the tourney ended in the money. I busted pushing A8 into Orezza. He called with 76s, which I suppose is not as bad as it could be (I had 1.3K and he had over 8K), and he turned and rivered 7s.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Lesson: domination

Sadly not chicks with whips, which would be fun, but an important concept in poker, which it's worth understanding before moving on to starting hands.

There are two reasons that we start with understanding hands you can end up with, rather than with hands you begin with. One is that not knowing what beats what is such a severe handicap that you must rectify it. The other is that understanding that hand values are relative is important in poker.

AA is the best starting hand. Everything else is drawing to beat it preflop. But when the flop comes three of a black suit, you have red aces, and half the table is going nuts with betting, your AA is junk. Even before the flop, the relative value of hands depends a lot on what hands they can make. (Even more so in games such as Omaha, where starting values are closer but how well your hand will play postflop is crucial.)

You'd often rather be in a hand with QJs than with K7o. Okay, the king high hand has greater starting value. But QJs makes many more straights and flushes. Importantly -- and we noted this in the lesson about hand rankings -- using both cards to make a hand will tend to make your hands stronger. On a TKAr board, QJs makes the nuts, and no one else is likely to have it. On a 9TJQr board, K7 does not make the nuts (AK does), and anyone else with a K at least "chops" (splits the pot) with you. On a 5689r board though, you are only beaten by T7, which is on the whole an unlikely hand for anyone outside the blinds to have. The point is, hand value is relative: if others are unlikely to have hands that beat you, your hand is strong.

Now imagine you have AJ. This is a reasonably good starting hand (not as good as most donkeys think though). Why? Not because it can make some strong straights, because it rarely will. But because if you flop top pair with it, you will either have TPTK or TP with a jack kicker, which will often be best.

But imagine that the guy in the hand with you has AQ. Now if you flop an ace, you have dogshit. You must hit your jack to beat the guy. You have three "outs" to do that (there are three jacks in the deck that will make two pair for you and beat his TPQK). AQ dominates AJ. Formally, if you have fewer than three outs preflop against another hand, that hand dominates you.

(For simplicity's sake, we might write that AQ > AJ. The greater than sign just means "beats". There isn't a symbol for "dominates".)

Some hands are very prone to domination. KJ is a good example. It's a hand many beginners overrate, but think. When you hit your hand, and someone gives you action, are you going to be winning or losing? Well, sometimes they will have hands you dominate, like QJ/KT. But if the action is heavy, you are often up against KQ/AK/AJ, all hands people like to play. You are also dominated by JJ and KK, and of course by AA, which dominates all other starting hands. Note that bigger pairs dominate smaller pairs because the smaller pair has only two outs to beat the bigger one. That puts you in terrible "shape" (we say you're in bad shape if your hand is "way behind" another hand or range; in good shape if you are "way ahead" of another hand or range).

Note that although AK beats 72, it doesn't dominate it. 72 can win against AK by hitting one of six cards in the deck. Indeed, you are better off having 72 vs AK than you are having AQ! You'd generally consider AQ a strong hand, but do you see how that changes depending on what the other guy has?

Try to avoid domination. How? Don't call raises with hands that can be "easily dominated". If an early raiser is "tight" (does not play many hands), do not call with AJ. His "range" (the cards he is likely to have) includes AK-AQ, but not hands you in turn dominate like AT-. You don't want to play AJ against this range, because you have to get lucky to beat him. Against some players, you could "outplay" them postflop (use your superior skills and handreading ability to bluff them off their better hand) but there's not much scope for that in STTs. Don't call large raises with small pairs. You will sometimes be ahead, but not much. And when you're behind, you're dominated, and will rarely catch up.

Having understood that hand strength is relative and changes on each street, and that position in a list is not the whole story, we can move onto starting hands.


Actually, quick note about another phenomenon to be aware of (I will write more about it when we discuss implied odds and reverse implied odds): reverse domination. Imagine that you hold AQ and the flop comes 963r. Someone bets small. You might call. You have six outs to beat top pair (three aces and three queens) and often they'll be "good" (will actually make you the best hand; outs do not always make you a winner, and sometimes you must discount them for various reasons: we'll talk about that later, but not in great detail, because, frankly, you could play STTs at a low limit without ever calculating pot odds). But what is the other guy has Q9 or A9. Now you have only three outs, but do not know it! You had the guy dominated before the flop, but now he dominates you. This is reverse domination. It's one good reason not to call small bets with "overcards" (cards bigger than the flop). Some of the time, the other guy will have paired his rag kicker but will have a big card to go with it. This is particularly true with aces. More usually, the flop would be A93r, so you have TPQK, a decent hand, but are reverse dominated by A9/A3. There's nothing to be done in those cases. Against most players, you are "going broke" (putting all your chips in and risking getting busted) in this spot.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Lesson: hand rankings

This is how the hands rank, from lowest to highest:

1/ The worst hand in holdem is 75432. Seven high.
2/ All unpaired hands come next, ranked by the order of their highest card A6432 beats KQJ32. (Note that A5432 is actually a straight, known as a "wheel" or a "bike".)
3/ Pairs are next. They rank from 22 up to AA. When we say "top pair", we mean the best possible pair on the flop. On a flop of K32, top pair is a pair of kings. If you and your opponent both have the same pair, they are distinguished by the highest side card, or kicker. On that flop, if you hold AK, you have "top pair, top kicker", known as "TPTK". If you have second kicker (a queen in this instance), you have TP2K. If you have a small card, or "rag", you have TPNK. N = "no". TPMK is "top pair, meh kicker". That generally means one you don't think beats your opponent's.
4/ Two pair is next. They rank from 3322 up to AAKK. Note that it's only the bigger pair that counts unless you both have the same bigger pair. AA33 beats KKQQ, and AAQQ beats AA33. If you both have AAQQ, your kicker will play. Say the board is AQQ3 and you have A9. Your hand now reads "AAQQ9". You would beat A8, but you are "behind" AT. We say we are "ahead of" hands or "ranges" that we are beating, and "behind" ones we are losing to. Why ranges? Well, we don't know what the others have, but we can put them on ranges. We know the kinds of hands they play, so we figure they have a range. Our hand can be beating that range, or some of that range. Even if you are only beating some of what he might have, you can be "ahead of his range". This is an important concept in poker and particularly in STTs.
5/ Next is three of a kind. If this is made with two in your hand (known as a "pocket pair" or "PP", because your two "downcards" are your "pocket cards" or "hole cards"), this is usually called a "set"; if only with one in your hand, usually "trips". But people mix this up a lot and a lot of people call sets trips. Doesn't matter. What does matter is that you grasp that a set is much stronger than trips on the whole. A set is a very strong hand, nearly always. Trips not always.
6/ Next is a straight, any five cards in consecutive order. Straights rank from A2345 (the wheel is the lowest straight even though aces are the highest cards, you'll note), up to TJQKA. 56789 is a straight. TJQKA is called "Broadway" and the cards that make it up are often called "Broadways". KT is a Broadway hand. Sometimes we'll say a player is calling with "any two Broadways". Couple of things to note with straights. They are much stronger when they are made with both your holecards. If you hold AK on a QJT board, you have a very strong hand. If you have 62 on a 4578 board, you have a straight but it's not so strong. Also, you can have different ends of the straight. If you hold T7 and the board is J98, you are beaten by QT. If you hold 73 and the board is 89TJ, you do not always have a strong hand, even though you have a straight, because any Q has a bigger hand.
7/ Next is a flush. Five cards of the same suit. Again, they rank from seven high up to an ace, and what counts is your highest card.
8/ Next is a full house or a "full boat" or just "boat". Sometimes when you're drawing and make your hand, we'll say you "filled up" or "filled your straight" or "boated up". It all means you made your draw. A full house is three of one rank, a pair of another. Only the top rank counts when you compare fulls, unless you have the same, then the pair plays. On a TTT37 board, 88 beats 87, although both have fulls. It's always worth bearing in mind that the other guy can be holding a pocket pair that makes him a bigger boat, even though you've boated up.
9/ Next is quads, four of a kind. Sometimes, your kicker will play here, but only when there are four of a kind on the board, obviously. If you have quads using your hole cards, no one else can have it!
10/ Next is a straight flush, which is a flush made from consecutive cards. You'll rarely see these, and they're nearly always well hidden.
11/ Best of all is a royal flush, which is a Broadway straight flush. If you have one, try not to pee your pants.

A couple of things to note. Pocket pairs are great starting hands because pairs beat all unpaired hands, and unpaired hands make most of the outcomes that your holecards can expect.

We often contrast "made" hands with "draws". A made hand is one that beats an unpaired hand. Often it just means a pair. A draw is usually a hand that currently cannot beat a made hand but could if it "improved".

On this board, KT9, K3 is a made hand. It is a pair of kings. Your kicker is awful though, so you have TPNK. On the same board, AQ is "drawing". Draws are often to strong hands like straights, but note that if these two hands are against each other, an ace will make AQ the better hand. If the turn is an ace, AQ has "caught up". If the turn is a jack, AQ has "drawn out" on K3. Because there is now no card on the river that can make K3 better than AQ, K3 is "drawing dead". If you have some, but little, chance of drawing out, we might say you're "drawing slim".

Some more terminology. We use capitals for the Broadway cards, numbers for the "rags". We sometimes use "s" "h" "c" "d" for the suits. Note though that As7s is different from A7s. The first is precisely ace of spades, seven of spades. The second is Ac7c/Ad7d/Ah7h/As7s. We call it a "suited ace".

If the flop is KsTs3s, it's "monotone". As7s is the strongest possible hand. It's the "nut flush".

If the flop is KsTs3d, it's "twosuited". KK is the strongest holding in the pocket here, making a set of kings. KT is also very strong, making two pair. QJ has a draw that will be filled at either end by an A or a 9. We call this an "openended straight draw", or OESD. Q9 will make a straight if a J comes. The J is not at the end of the straight but "inside" it, so Q9 has an "inside straight draw" or a "gutshot straight draw", or gutshot, gutter, gutty, GS. Q3 has another weak draw, which is called a "backdoor straight draw". It will need to "catch perfect" on the turn and river to make a straight. That doesn't often happen. On this flop, As7s has a draw to a flush. Any spade will make a flush, and because it would be the best flush if it made, it's the "nut flush draw".

If the flop is Ks7h3d, it's "rainbow". We might write that K73r. This flop is "dry" because there are not many draws possible. 65/54 have gutshots but that's it. On this board, the best possible hand in the pocket is KK, and 77/33 are very strong. You would rarely lose with any of those. K7 and K3 would also be very strong. K7 would make "top two". 73 makes "bottom two". It's not as strong because any king can easily "draw out" by "hitting its kicker", IOW, by pairing the sidecard. Note that if the turn and river paired, any K now beats 73. This is very frustrating and happens a lot.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


When I first started to learn to play STTs, I said that I would play a thousand $5 games and if I was going well, I'd believe I could win at them. I moved up before I'd done a thousand, but I still play them from time to time when I'm working.

I have finally made the thousand mark and, whatever happens to me in poker, I will know that I made at least one goal, which was to win at the $5s.

So I do. I can be certain of that. In 1K games, I have made 34.7% ROI. Given that I mostly play these while I'm doing other things, rarely playing any attention, it's pretty decent.

I've won 169 of them (tenhanded, which most have been, par is 100) and placed in 422 (par is 300; if I only played regulars or paid more attention, I daresay I'd make the money a bit more often, but I don't, and this is still mroe than respectable). It was thrilling to win the first and I still love to win. Sadly, I didn't win the 1Kth. I made a bad play and came second. But I have learned a lot in playing them, and from all the sources I use to improve. I have ups and downs but I take comfort in knowing that I am at least winning at poker. The $20 I deposited way back when is still in the game, still increasing bit by bit.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Snapping off the blu... oh shit

Here's something I hate.

TEXAS_HOLDEM, NO_LIMIT, T4-65984467-41
played at "Palembang" for USD TC from 2008-04-21 21:21 until 2008-04-21 21:22
Seat 5: rabidbunny2 ($915 in chips)
Seat 6: cashmomma19 ($2,380 in chips)
Seat 8: protools775 ($3,215 in chips)
Seat 9: Dr Zen ($3,585 in chips)
Seat 10: rand23 ($4,905 in chips)
protools775 posts blind ($75), Dr Zen posts blind ($150).

rand23 folds, rabidbunny2 folds, cashmomma19 folds, protools775 calls $75, Dr Zen checks.

I have K8. Not worth raising. Villain is a bit loose so he can have quite a wide range here.

FLOP [board cards: 4C TD JC ]
protools775 checks, Dr Zen bets $200, protools775 calls $200.

Both missed, so I bet out. I'd expect villain to bet if he hit the J or T and he might fold a 4. When he calls, his most likely hand is a flush draw, but some players like to get cute if they think you're aggro, so he can have a made hand some of the time.

TURN [board cards: 4C TD JC 2S ]
protools775 checks, Dr Zen checks.

I check behind because I had my stab and I don't mind taking a free card.

RIVER [board cards: 4C TD JC 2S JH ]
protools775 bets $150, Dr Zen calls $150.

Easy call. This is nearly always a bluff from the missed draw. And it was in this instance too. Sadly, the other guy had Ac9c.

His play makes no sense. He's strong enough to raise pre. Maybe he was "trapping". Doing that against a big stack is a bit dumb, but if there were no dumb players, I'd never make a cent.

On the flop, betting is good for him. If I had limped, it's the kind of flop I might have hit, but I probably missed with a random hand and will fold.

On the turn, it's okay to check I suppose, but on the river, the bet is terrible. It's just so obviously a bluff. He presumably didn't bet the turn because he thought I had a pair, and I'm never folding a pair to a minbet. A J bets more because it fears losing value, and I can be fairly certain he doesn't have one anyway, given that he didn't raise the flop or bet the turn.

In the end I played the guy heads up. But he way outstacked me and had the rub of the green. Oh well.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Stop and oh fuck

You don't see the stopngo all that often at the low levels. Sometimes when someone is short, they'll call a raise pre and push the rest on any flop. But you don't often see it deeper. I don't know whether this guy had the intention of doing it preflop. His call is pretty atrocious if he didn't.

Seat 1: VasilisSk ($1,961 in chips)
Seat 2: Thorgal xxx ($2,177 in chips)
Seat 3: Pavlicker ($2,420 in chips)
Seat 5: nazca x ($2,322 in chips)
Seat 7: tbear16 ($1,635 in chips)
Seat 10: Dr Zen ($4,485 in chips)
Thorgal xxx posts blind ($75), Pavlicker posts blind ($150).

I have A9o. Not a monster but still worth a raise to steal the blinds.

nazca x folds, tbear16 folds, Dr Zen bets $400, VasilisSk folds, Thorgal xxx folds, Pavlicker calls $250.

FLOP [board cards: 5C 9H 6C ]
Pavlicker bets $2,020 and is all-in, Dr Zen calls $2,020.

I snapcall with TPTK and he shows QJ. I knew he couldn't have a hand as good as pair+FD because I had the 9c.

Would I have folded on a board I missed? Probably, although I guess I might just call on a twoflush board.

Anyway, he didn't help any and that ended his tourney. Frankly, folding preflop is the best move in his spot. Even if you flop a pair, I have you dominated often, and if you don't, you have to hope I didn't already have one and am prepared to give up when you bet. I think it's a bit of a parlay. Not the worst spot for it, but meh. With a pair, maybe okay, but still, he's a bit deep, so reshoving might be better if he wants to make a play.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Head's fucked

Now this would have to be the unluckiest HU ever:

Seat 4: mandolinchen ($2,860 in chips)
Seat 9: Dr Zen ($12,140 in chips)

mandolinchen is a very bad player, with a specific flaw in her game. She's way too aggressive when she hits the flop.

But there's not much flopping in this HU.

First hand, I have 86s and push. mandolinchen is a fairly tight player so I expect her to fold nearly everything. Wrong. She calls with J8s and doubles up. That's pretty bad, but fair enough. Her call is good vs ATC, which is what I'm shoving there. Not that she knows that, but that was accidentally good.

So we trade blinds a couple of hands, then:

Seat 4: mandolinchen ($5,420 in chips)
Seat 9: Dr Zen ($9,580 in chips)
Dr Zen posts blind ($150), mandolinchen posts blind ($300).

I have 99. I've raised a couple of times, so I don't have to have a great hand here, but there's no reason to think I don't have some sort of values.

Dr Zen bets $600, mandolinchen bets $5,120 and is all-in


Dr Zen calls $4,670.

Given that she called with J8s, I don't think she necessarily has a hand, so I snapcall. I am obviously good against her range.

She shows K5. I hate her play. I'm probably calling with a lot of the hands I raised with, and she isn't beating much that calls. Well, nothing at all, actually.

FLOP [board cards: AS 7H 3H ]

TURN [board cards: AS 7H 3H 4C ]

RIVER [board cards: AS 7H 3H 4C KD ]


Oh well. I can still beat her, right? I'll just forget that she now outstacks me because she made a very loose call with a hand that she couldn't expect to be better than mine and made a horrible push and sucked out when a 25/75 dog.

So for a few hands I have nothing at all, which is not helping, then I pick up AJ and push:

TEXAS_HOLDEM, NO_LIMIT, T4-65068792-79
played at "Innsbruck" for USD TC from 2008-04-10 01:47 until 2008-04-10 01:48
Seat 4: mandolinchen ($11,440 in chips)
Seat 9: Dr Zen ($3,560 in chips)
Dr Zen posts blind ($150), mandolinchen posts blind ($300).

Dr Zen bets $3,410 and is all-in, mandolinchen calls with Ad4c.

Her call is okay. I'm shoving pretty wide there, so calling with an ace is fine. But I'm delighted because I have her dominated.

But do you think domination will be enough. Relive the board with me and enjoy watching one of those truly painful suckouts that I have been on the receiving end of so many times lately.

FLOP [board cards: 3C 5C 8D ]

I know I will lose. She has a gutshot and a backdoor flush draw.

TURN [board cards: 3C 5C 8D 9C ]

Now it's certain. She has the flush draw.

RIVER [board cards: 3C 5C 8D 9C JC ]

Yes, PokerRoom's random number generator has a sense of humour too, providing me with a pair on the river.

more wtf

Okay, so I played this badly, but wtf?

TEXAS_HOLDEM, NO_LIMIT, T4-65066560-30
played at "Stettin" for USD TC from 2008-04-09 23:02 until 2008-04-09 23:04
Seat 2: psychoberger ($5,540 in chips)
Seat 4: Du_baralho ($1,540 in chips)
Seat 7: rodfantini ($1,860 in chips)
Seat 9: Dr Zen ($2,550 in chips)
Seat 10: watt.1000 ($3,510 in chips)
Dr Zen posts blind ($50), watt.1000 posts blind ($100).

psychoberger calls $100, Du_baralho folds, rodfantini folds, Dr Zen calls $50, watt.1000 checks.

I have KQs, so I'll see a flop.

FLOP [board cards: 8S 8H KS ]
Dr Zen checks, watt.1000 checks, psychoberger bets $300, Dr Zen calls $300, watt.1000 folds.

He's most likely bluffing, but raising could put me in a tough spot. My hand will be good a lot if I show it down, so that's what I will do. He could also have KJ, but I don't want to gamble.

Probably should have done though.

TURN [board cards: 8S 8H KS 9H ]
Dr Zen checks, psychoberger checks.

Okay. I hoped he would bet again, but that's okay.

RIVER [board cards: 8S 8H KS 9H JH ]
Dr Zen checks, psychoberger bets $500, Dr Zen calls $500.

I am scared that he has KJ, but he can have nothing at all, KT, J9, all of which I beat...

psychoberger shows [ QC TC ]

... or he can have made a runner runner straight.

I mean wtf? I am running out of bizarre ways to lose money.


Sometimes, you get the feeling that the world just hates you.

played at "Nzerekore" for USD TC from 2008-04-09 22:23 until 2008-04-09 22:24
Seat 1: Doum_Toup ($1,545 in chips)
Seat 2: nightdoctor ($1,270 in chips)
Seat 3: Dr Zen ($1,480 in chips)
Seat 4: Ms Croft ($255 in chips)
Seat 5: marsblazin ($1,480 in chips)
Seat 6: dimah1983 ($1,310 in chips)
Seat 7: NCarrick ($1,650 in chips)
Seat 8: zoidbear ($1,380 in chips)
Seat 9: hairli777 ($1,760 in chips)
Seat 10: token x ($2,870 in chips)
nightdoctor posts blind ($15), Dr Zen posts blind ($30).

I have 8h7h.

Ms Croft folds, marsblazin calls $30, dimah1983 calls $30, NCarrick folds, zoidbear folds, hairli777 folds, token x bets $90, Doum_Toup folds, nightdoctor folds, Dr Zen calls $60, marsblazin folds, dimah1983 calls $60.

I should just fold, but the raiser clearly doesn't have a clue (didn't bet enough) and both limpers will probably call. And I'm feeling frisky.

FLOP [board cards: 5H 2H 5S ]
Dr Zen checks, dimah1983 bets $150, token x folds, Dr Zen calls $150.

Hard to know what dimah has here. Maybe a pair?

Anyway, he didn't bet enough for me to fold my flush draw.

TURN [board cards: 5H 2H 5S 8S ]
Dr Zen checks, dimah1983 bets $225, Dr Zen calls $225.

I pick up a pair too, so I'm definitely not folding.

RIVER [board cards: 5H 2H 5S 8S 9H ]


Dr Zen bets $1,015 and is all-in, dimah1983 calls $845 and is all-in.

Don't tell me he was betting all along with a flush draw!

Dr Zen shows [ 8H 7H ]
dimah1983 shows [ 5C 9C ]

Sweet fucking Jesus.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Why not call with A4s?

Just in case anyone stumbles on this blog who doesn't understand poker too well and is confused why I think it is bad that a guy calls a raise with A4s, this is why.

We were at t100. I had 2500 chips. I raised to 300. The most you can win from me if you get lucky is 2500 chips. So you are at best taking 2650/200 (my stack 2500 plus blinds of 150 vs your call) odds that Ah4h ends up the best hand against whatever I had.

Let's assume that you know nothing about me. You haven't been paying attention and you just have to assume I'm a standard donk. I don't have a huge stack but it was folded to me in the cutoff. Most players will not raise too wide a range, maybe 55+, A9+, KJ+. That's a bit wider than I'd raise, as it happens.

I can have bigger aces 12 ways, the king high hands 16 ways and pairs 6 ways.

If we flop it ace high, I'll probably cbet KQ/KJ and you can call that, planning to trap me for more bets later in the hand. But I won't bet again and you'll fold me out on the river. Same with pairs. My cbet is likely to be about 300. I won't always make it, particularly with better pairs because they have showdown value.

So let's say I cbet with 55-99, KQ and KJ. That's 62 hands that make you 300 chips each.

But I'll also bet all my ace-high hands. I have 60 of those. Oh dear. And you are getting stacked by them unless you have flopped A4. You'll do that about 1.5 per cent of the time (because I hold one of your "outs"). Some small amount of the time, I will outredraw you. If you're not stacked on A high flops, you're going to lose at least 300.

You'll flop a flush less than another percent.

About 11 per cent of the time you flop a flush draw. But you only make it one in three times and you'll pay to do it. You won't have much in the way of implied odds, because with pairs I'm not going to pay you off too often when I let you draw to the river.

The rest of the time you're going to fold. You can continue to chase your ace if you like. Some players will float the flop and bet any turn, hoping that they catch out a cbettor. This is rare though, but I will usually bet a bit more than the books tell you to when I cbet (and cbet a bit less often) so that my cbets are not so obvious that a bold LAGgy type can pick them off. I also tend to bet the same amount with a made hand. Not that they're paying attention, but it helps me not to get into a groove.

Add all those figures up and you're losing most of that 300 when you call. Now the guy had me covered by quite a bit, and probably felt he was gambling, trying to bust me. A lot of players, that's their attitude. Call with hands that can make huge hands and win huge pots. But I just don't have enough chips for that. I don't have a 100BB stack even, so your implied odds are fairly small. As I said, 8 to 1 at best. And to stack me I have to hit when you do. I just won't all that often. How often when you flop that flush do I hit my kicker? (I can't hit my ace obv.) My ability at probability is not sufficient to work it out, but the answer has to be "not often".

So the reason is that I'm not deep enough. He actually has an easy fold. He is dominated about half the time, and will miss the flop most of the rest of the time. For himself, the rewards are not great enough for the risk he takes. But isn't busting someone good for him?

Well yes, but not all that good. He will take my chips but he doesn't get my equity. He hands a portion of that to everyone else who didn't call, but watched him do it. In fact, he cannot even consider his call to pay 13/1 because it might do that in chips, but it doesn't in dollars. I guess recreational players are not so interested in the dollars though.

Of course, he is not even getting 13/1. This is not 54s or 66, hands with which you will make your hand and win a stack possibly or just fold the flop. This is A4s. When you're figuring what your chances are, you have to take into account that if you are dumb enough to call a 3x raise with ace rag, you are going to be dumb enough to stack off with it when we flop it ace high.

Lesson to learn

This sort of thing is infuriating, and you can imagine that it chips away at your ROI.

I don't know the villain in this hand, but I suspect he's not very good.

TEXAS_HOLDEM, NO_LIMIT, T4-64904151-25
played at "Erlangen" for USD TC from 2008-04-07 23:00 until 2008-04-07 23:01
Seat 2: jpa313 ($2,155 in chips)
Seat 3: Dr Zen ($1,360 in chips)
Seat 4: xKyyx ($1,926 in chips)
Seat 5: morillon23 ($2,231 in chips)
Seat 6: carlosher ($4,673 in chips)
Seat 7: scrjuergen ($1,325 in chips)
Seat 10: BROWN.ACE ($1,330 in chips)
jpa313 posts blind ($25), Dr Zen posts blind ($50).

xKyyx folds, morillon23 folds, carlosher folds, scrjuergen folds, BROWN.ACE folds, jpa313 calls $25, Dr Zen checks.

I have JTo. That's a decent enough hand for the BB, and should be ahead if I flop top pair.

FLOP [board cards: 2H TH 9D ]
jpa313 checks, Dr Zen bets $60, jpa313 calls $60.

Which I do. I bet about 2/3 pot. A flush draw won't fold and I guess most straight draws won't either, but you don't want to put too much more in with a marginal hand.

TURN [board cards: 2H TH 9D 8C ]
jpa313 checks, Dr Zen bets $100, jpa313 calls $100.

The turn improves my hand slightly. I'm putting this guy on a heart draw at this point. I bet enough that he should fold it.

RIVER [board cards: 2H TH 9D 8C AH ]
jpa313 checks, Dr Zen checks.

So the draw just came in. I'm glad to check behind.

Basically, if he had the flush draw, I get out cheaply. If he has paired or started with a low pair, I'm going to be ahead but I don't fancy the value bet (even though flushes usually bet here, afraid you will check behind). I suppose QT may not have raised, but generally TP with a decent kicker is going to put more money in somewhere in that hand.

jpa313 shows [ AD JD ]


Dr Zen mucks cards [ JC TS ]
jpa313 wins $420.

That's how it goes, I suppose. His play is atrocious on every street. I don't like his limp preflop, his call on the flop is bad and the one on the turn worse. To compound matters, he didn't even put in a bet when he made his hand.

See, this guy will lose money at poker. I guarantee it. No matter what he plays, what stakes, what game, he will lose. This is how I know. On the turn, he is 6.7 to 1 to hit his OCs. He doesn't know I have a jack. Assume I don't. Assume his outs will make his hand good. There is 320 in the pot and he has to call 100 to win it. He's being offered 3.2 to 1.

The bet is a losing proposition for him unless he can make up some value on the river. But if he doesn't bet when he hits, he just won't do that.

He doesn't know any of that, of course. He just thinks "I have overcards and I'll win if I hit them". The fun of the game for him is trying to get ITM in the STTs that he plays, fairly rarely probably. To me, not wanting to win, and not wanting to have the tools to win, even in the most rudimentary way, is inexplicable.

And you know, I should win money in poker. I mean, I am winning money, but I should continue to do so. Because I understand what he did wrong and I don't make that same mistake. I make others, but this guy wouldn't even understand why they are mistakes.

I made one later in the tourney. I double up when I raise 3x with QQ and some guy calls, pairs on the flop and then calls a push.

But I lose it all in a very tough hand.

I have AT and raise to 3x. A player who has me covered but I'm not sure I've seen do anything calls.

The flop comes T high, three hearts. He checks, I bet a decent amount, enough that I can push the turn. He calls.

His call doesn't mean anything much. His most likely hands are a pair and Ahx. He might have both for the combo draw. The turn is a blank and I push.

You know, it's not that some guy who called a suited ace-rag hit his flush. It's that I hit the flop fairly decently too.

I know he can have a flush. Against a better player, I'd expect him to have it more often, because other hands that I put in his range would likely get it in on the flop, hoping to use their fold equity to make them a decent favourite in the hand. When he calls on the flop, his range is not just flushes or anything like it, but I bet decently to define my hand, and I think that I should have read the oracle. The key concept that I ignored was that if you make an action for a purpose, you should not just ignore the outcome if you have no other information. I was betting for value, but at the top end of the range I'd consider betting because I felt that it should allow me to have a better idea of what I was up against. Curiously, as soon as he called, I was thinking "JJ". And I still pushed the turn! (Clearly, I figure Ahx will call the push, particularly if it has paired its kicker.) Checking behind on the turn would have forced him to bet out on the river though, and that would have allowed me to stay in the tourney. (If he bet small, I call but I keep some of my stack; if he bet big, I can get away from it.) Okay, I give a free card to flush draws, but in retrospect, that's probably not such a bad idea because they'll likely put money in on the river if they miss/have only a pair. (Which is why I call small bets on the river.)

This is what tilt does. I can see clearly how I played the hand wrongly, but I couldn't slow down when actually playing it and think it through. To be fair to myself, I don't think I've been playing all that badly. I really have been getting big hands cracked and losing when I'm ahead an awful lot. And I do make mistakes anyway, of course.

Oh well, it's another lesson, I suppose.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Four outs

So I limp in with 87s on the button. I flop the flush. Some guy bets into me and I raise pretty big.

The turn pairs.

You know, I just know he will have it. He'd need AT or T9.

Yeah, he has T9. It's unreal. Just four fucking outs on the turn.

Four outs. You'd think they'd just occasionally miss!


Mind you, a minute later, on another table, I have 77. The flop comes T87. Some guy bets big. I know he has J9. I can't fold though.

Still, turn and river are both aces, so all's well that ends well.


So I've been card dead, and on the bubble I gamble and push with KT. Luckily, some tard calls with T9. EZ money, right?

Wrong. Flop is 998.


So I raise with KK and some guy pushes over. I snapcall. He has AK. Flop is A high, three hearts and I have the K of hearts. I am less of an underdog than he was before the flop.


At the moment, it doesn't really matter whether I'm a favourite, I lose anyway.

This is killing me. There was no alternative play there. No way to play that differently. I raised and some guy pushed. I either call or fold. If he had turned his hand face up, I would have snapcalled. So what can you do?


I guess you need those things to go your way if you also make bad plays. On another table, I took a risky push with 22. Called in two spots, both pairs. Sigh.

At another, on the bubble, I raise with 77. Some guy reraises. It's odd that he doesn't push. It means one of two things. Either he thinks I'm stealing, because I've raised a fair bit, and is going for a cheap resteal. Or he has a big hand and doesn't want me to fold.

This puts me in a terrible spot. I don't want to fold, because I'm probably ahead, but if I push, everything calls, and I'm probably only ahead in a coinflip at best, and some of the time, I'm miles behind to a bigger hand.

But folding seems far too weak here. I push then and he shows KK. GG me.

I hate poker

So I win one tourney and I'm feeling good this AM. I sign up for another and I recognise some of the names. They are some of the worst LAGtards you've ever played against. Somehow three of them contrive to get stacks, so I get to the bubble at t200 with 10BB. Nearly every pot is going to be raised, so I'll have to pick a spot.

One particularly bad idiot limps on the button. I'm in the BB with JJ. This is an easy shove, so I push.

He calls and shows QTs. You can't justify his call. Even though he has a bigger stack than I do, it's terrible. He's calling 9BB with a hand that's almost certainly behind.

Well, yeah, it's behind but you just know that it'll catch up.

I hate this. This guy is limping a wide range, most of which I dominate, let alone beat. He can have hands like 97, all smaller pairs (he'd be raising anything bigger than 66 I should think), crappy broadway hands like the one he showed, K7 maybe. He might be trapping, but even if he is, I only fear three hands.

The flop comes KJ8. So basically, even if I limped, he would have called a push or bet on the flop. Note that I have a set. This is the exquisite torture that PokerRoom enjoys inflicting on you.

Still, I'm a redhot favourite to win on the flop, right? He's 2 to 1 to hit his straight, but if he does, I have ten outs to redraw.

Turn is an A, of course, river a 3.

This guy has done this to me maybe four out of five times we've been in this spot. The same guy. He must think he's a genius.

Thursday, 3 April 2008


I am going to take some time off. I feel so crushed that I can't play poker any more. It's making me tilt, so I'm not even sure I'm playing well any more. I know I shouldn't give in, but I was hoping this would be my way out. Instead, it is just more bars on the cage.


Next up, I have KK and about 3K in chips at t200. Some guy raises to 500. I raise it to 1K to keep him in. He calls. The flop is J high and he pushes. I snapcall.

He has AJ. Turn J, river A.

Then some guy rivers a straight vs my AA. He was miles behind throughout the hand but he'd flopped top pair, so no way was he folding. In that same tourney, I had turned a straight against another player, who then sucked out to a two-outer to the exact same straight. Gawd.

A couple of cashes, then I accidentally limp with KK in the small blind. The big stack pushes. I snapcall. He has AT. This is getting beyond a joke. I am a huge favourite there, so I really should win those occasionally, right?

Two minutes later, I have a decent stack fourhanded at t200. Button raises to 500. I have him covered and push with QQ. He should fold, but he doesn't. Why would he when he holds AT? That hand's unbeatable against me.


Maybe they really have thrown a doomswitch on me.

It's t20. I have KK. One guy has limped. I raise to 100. This guy and one other call.

The flop comes T97. Not too dangerous. The guy who limped pushes. WTF? I snapcall. He has 86. Yes, he called a 5BB raise OOP with 86.


On my next table, I'm card dead. I push KTs. One guy calls. Of course he has KQ. I am always dominated. Always.


I hate minraisers. Passionately. Particularly when you're shorter than they are. You start believing they have noticed you fold, and are stealing every time. So a guy who has a monster stack raises in the SB. I have 77 in the BB. I push over. He calls. He has AQ.

Well, even at that, I am a fav... well, who am I kidding? As sure as night follows day, the ace flops.


Next a guy raises to 3x. First hand of the tourney. I have AK. Two guys call and it's to me. I push. One of the callers calls me. He has KK.

I mean, wtf? If he played anything like correctly, I would have been able to get away from my hand. It really hurts that you suffer from bad play more than they do.

In all but the KTs hand, the villains played badly, atrociously. My play is standard in each case. But I have lost $40 and that's the first hour of my day.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Games today

1. I get a succession of pairs, call a couple of raises, get raised behind once and call that. I call a bet with one on the flop but the guy rivers his ace and now I'm down t400. I then don't see a card over seven for about 30 hands. Eventually at t150, I push with KT and the cardrack in the BB shows AA. This is the third time in the tourney he's shown AA and obv. I don't beat it. -$11
2. I get AA in the second hand. I raise a limper to 100, next guy reraises to 180, fourth guy calls, limper reraises all in. I call, threebettor pushes over, fourth guy calls that too, LRRer calls. Note that the fourth guy called a raise and reraise and then a push that a guy had already called. Now he had a decent hand, JJ, but his calls on each occasion are atrocious. He cannot expect to be ahead. Still, maybe he knew that the first guy had Q7 (!!) and the second guy something like K9 (!!!!!). Obv. the guy with JJ rivers a J. I also had AA cracked in a 4/180 this morning. I raised big with it, and a guy called with 33. He didn't have the odds to setmine, but never mind, he felt like a pokering genius anyway when he stacked me when he hit his 3 on a wettish board. -$11
3. I pick up 77 at t50. There's one limper UTG and the BB checks. The flop comes 988. That should be fairly decent for my hand. BB and limper check, I check behind. Turn is another 8. Both check and I put in a small bet. Limper minraises. I put him on a steal, which is reasonable because you can't really put an 8 or 9 in his hand UTG. River he checks, I check behind, because he's not calling with OCs, and I'm just going to lose money to bigger pairs or whatever else. I am tearing out my hair when he shows Q8s. I mean, he had a big stack, but that's just throwing money away. Unless you're playing Dr Zen. Then you will get paid. I think my play is okay. I didn't lose very much and mostly I would win that pot. It's worth charging OCs to draw, I think. His play is atrocious. He can't expect me to bet at the river, and sandbagging there is just ridiculous. I make it back up to 1600 by flopping lucky in the BB (yes, it happens; the difference is that I don't call huge raises and then get lucky) and winning a bunch of chips, and then making value from a pair against a guy chasing a straight draw BvB. It's lucky he didn't bluff on the river, because there were two OCs to my pair on the board, and I might well have folded the best hand. This was the minraisingest table I've ever been on: a sure sign that you're among retards. But it doesn't help that the other players are idiots if you do not get dealt playable cards. Still, at last, I picked up AA. A retard had minraised UTG. I had t1240 at t150 blinds, so I generally would shove over. But I raised instead, to t750, figuring that he would probably call that with hands he might not call the shove with. I would shove any flop. The flop came KJx. Imagine my joy to see he held KJ. The turn was another K, just to rub it in. But mirabile dictu, I rivered an ace. I stayed competitive at t200 by pushing every time I was in the SB. I then doubled up again with AA. A tard made it 500 to go from the button. Again, I raised rather than pushing. He called. I shoved the Q high flop, and he called. He had a flush draw but this time the poker gods smiled. But not for long. BvB I shoved 86 into a guy who I thought should call fairly tightly. He had 7BB. But no. He thought K8 was good enough and took a huge chunk out of my stack. I had folded a couple of blinds, so I was mystified by this terrible call. Still, I did suck out with KQ vs 99 to double back up. He had his revenge when very short, his A7 outsucking my 33 when I was BB. I actually hate calling with small pairs in the blind, but getting 2 to 1, you can't fold. Finally, I shoved over a minraiser with T6s, he called with K9 and I busted. I absolutely despair. The same guy had two hands earlier minraised and folded to a shove that offered him 2 to 1. I had more chips than the other shover, so this guy wasn't even getting a good price. His hand was a dog too, clearly just something he thought he could steal a blind with. Why he decided to make his stand against me, I don't know. -$11
4. So we are down to four players at t30. These people just thoroughly hate money. I love it, but it hates me. The best was the sixth guy to go. He had Qh9h. He limped on the button. The BB raised to 330 (!!). Button called. The flop came Axx with two hearts and button pushed. BB had an ace, and called. He turned his kicker but button rivered a heart. Sadly for button, it was also BB's kicker. I then watch him hand his stack to the other players with a series of terrible plays. I got a small piece, calling a minraise with QT and a tiny bet with the straight draw, straightening on the turn. Sadly, the river paired aces, so I just called another tiny bet. The chances that he had AJ or even A3 and had boated up were too great to raise for value. I then busted him when I standard raised KK at t100 and he pushed over with A8. For once, my cowboys held up. Sadly, I lost a few chips threehanded, raising with AT. The bigstack reraised, but I didn't feel I could fold getting 2 to 1. He pushed the flop, which I missed. So you're thinking, this is going well, right? Yeah. So the shorty, who is not so short, limps his button. I raise big with AQs and he pushes. He has K8s. I mean, jeezus. He flops a king obviously, and even though I flopped a straight flush draw, I still lost. This is what I'm talking about. That's a terrible move on his part: first of all, calling is terrible, he should raise or fold; second, he should just fold to the raise--pushing 16BB is not just bad, it's insane: I just won't have a hand that he beats, so he's always trying to get lucky; third, I snapcalled his push, obviously, but really, can I not win these occasionally? This is why I'm having such a bad run. It's like no matter how bad your hand is, get it in with Dr Zen. You will win way more than your share. I bust shortly afterwards, pushing QcJc with about 8BB. The BB has me dominated. This also happens all the time. I don't even have live cards when I'm short, and you just don't seem to suck out all that often in that spot. +$9
5. Card dead. Had AK BvB at t20 but other guy folded to 3x raise. Pushed A5s. Called by AQ obviously. -$11
6. I raise to 100 with KK at t30, and three call. A guy raises to 430 and I shove. He has QQ. MHIG. Tough hand in the BB followed. I have 8d3d. Flop comes 8 high with two diamonds. I could bet here, but I check and call a small bet, along with three others. Turn is another diamond. A completely retarded player bets 2000. This is very tough because he can easily have Adx and have paired his kicker, or even be bluffing completely, but he can also have the flush. Normally, I go broke here, because it's nearly always just the ace, but I decide to retain the equity I have in the tourney and fold. The guy put 2000 chips into a pot with about 300 chips in it, if that. I think it was a good fold. Maybe I wouldn't have made it but for the past three or four flushes I've scored -- flopping two of them -- I've been beaten by bigger flushes. At t150, some guy pushes 4BB and all fold. The other, you'll be pleased to know, scooped me a tiny pot when no one showed any interest at all. Next hand, he goes again, with 5BB. I'm in the BB with A9 and snapcall. He has A6. A split pot is a real possibility with that kind of setup, and when it flops 883, his hopes rise. But I turn a 9 and he's busted. I'm not sure what range you should call with in that spot but he's got to be pushing pretty wide, so probably quite a lot. I've been trying to loosen up a bit in those spots, because I think I call far too tight. Next time in the BB, an old "friend", Rabidbunny2, raises from UTG. He is trying to steal my blind, and I've noticed he does this often against me. It could be coincidence though, because Bunny's greatest failing is that he's too tight short and although he raises a bit more when he's big stack, he plays far too weakly. He has improved though, because he used to be losing a bit, and now he wins at 5 per cent or so. I enjoy playing against him (and the other weaktighties who infest the 5s and 10s) except when he's deep on the bubble, because he has no idea to pwn, which favours the weak passive types. However, Bunny has now started pushing or stealing with a wide range from UTG, and that leads him to get it in behind an awful lot. So he's traded one leak for another, pretty much. I net another 2K when some guy raises to 2.5x at t200 when I have JJ in the SB. I could push over, but I call to see a flop. He bets small on a K high flop and I'm pretty sure it didn't hit him. I call. Turn is a brick and he checks. I check behind to induce a bluff on the river or to set up a value bet. It's another blank and he checks it to me. I bet 1K and he calls with TT. I'm not sure about how I played that but I think he is folding to a raise on the flop or a bet on the turn, and possibly to a shove preflop. I obviously am not minimising my losses playing like that, because I'm not likely to fold to bets on the turn or riv, because I think I'm good most of the time. Next up, I make what I suppose is a weak push, A6 from the button. I am chip leader and the BB has 12ish big blinds. The SB snapcalls with JJ. Oh dear. I flop AA8. Hooray! So ITM I double up one shorty when I can't overtake 33, and knock out the other when I beat 22 with A5. I crush the remaining guy heads up. +$39
7. So success and failure are equal impostors, right? Well, I treat success that way sometimes, but it's nice to get a win after a long run of disappointing results. Now I notice I'm up against a couple of players whose names I recognise, and I'm wishing I took better notes. When you play at work though, you don't always pay that much, or any, attention. I recognise one of the guys from the previous game. He's terrible, prone to minraising with awful hands. He's the flush guy from game 6. I had the pleasure of busting him out of that game in the end. The other guys are, I think, just standard bad players. I seem to recall that one of them is fairly tight, but the others are willing to play too many hands. On one hand a guy minraises one limper, and is also called by the small blind. The flop is TT7 and checks through. I don't need a note to tell me the minraiser is terrible. Maybe my luck is looking up: I call with QcJc on the button. There are three others in the pot. The flop checks through and the turn brings a second club. I call a minbet. The river is a K and I fold to a bet but some other guy calls. How lucky was I! They held Ac3c and Kc2c. Many players urge folding hands like QJs at low blinds, and they cite this kind of hand, but frankly, you are not taking much risk with it, so long as you are able not to overvalue TP. It may be -EV all in all, but I think folding hands on the button that I would raise in loose games of other types is a bit too much. So everyone in this game has been terrible, bar one tightish guy, but it doesn't matter how terrible they are if you don't have cards to play with them. They trade the chips among themselves, and you get blinded down. And weep a bit when you see a guy limping in with T7s. And gnash your teeth to pulp when you see yet another UTG minraise from a player who last folded to a shove in the twentieth century. The mad thing is that halfway through t150, these clowns have still not knocked each other out. We are sixhanded. I am staying alive by pushing BvB one orbit, and pushing when the SB completes on the next. The next hand I judiciously fold. 87 is not faring well if I'm called, and now the BB outstacks me, so he might open up a fair bit. I pick up AQs and shove. All fold. Now we're at t200, still sixhanded. This is going to be tough. I have JT in the BB. The flop comes Q94, two spades. The button bets when checked to. Do I have fold equity here? Maybe against a nine or a flush draw, but not against Qs3s. This is how bad these players are. They limp Q3s. Sadly, I do not hit my draw and that's me done. -$11
8. Should I have folded to that bet? Possibly. It's easy to think you should when you see that he had TP. But this guy is terrible, has been betting and folding to raises before, and would definitely bet a 9 or a draw. Against 98 or something like that, I have 14 outs, 11 against J9/T9 and 8 against the bare queen. He's never folding the queen, but the others I must have some FE against, and if he doesn't fold, I'm a favourite against any 9 that doesn't come with a Q, J or T. So meh. So here we are; another QJs hand. I limp it again from the BTN. Flop is AT3. Checked round. I check too. The chances are way too strong that one of the other four players has an ace. Which one does. I call a minbet on the turn, getting 7.5 to 1 and it's checked through on the river. The guy with A9 took it. Given how tamely he played it, I don't think you can consider him an ace master. An orgy of minbetting then breaks out. The best is a TJQK turn with three clubs. One guy bets t20, the next raises to t50 and the original bettor smacks it up to t80. Well, do him credit, he at least put in t200 on the river. The other guy called and played the board, because a 9 had come. The first guy had 9c2c. There's a retort for those of us who think that that is not good enough to limp from the CO. So at t150, I finally play another hand. I push AK with 1200 or so chips. I'm called by JJ, but I hit both A and K to knock him out. The next hand I get it all in with K4s vs a very shortstack who limped the button. In the BB, I put him in for his remaining 250 and catch a king on flop and turn. I think I'm okay against his range, which has to be pretty wide, but you could make a case for seeing the flop before pushing. So that makes it five at t150 and I have just shy of 3K. It's no wonder these guys aren't knocking each other out. It's all minbets and ridiculously weak raises. One guy hilariously traps another with QQ. He limps it and checks a raggy flop. The other guy pushes. He has made bottom pair with A2. Oh dear. It would have been nice for him to flop an ace, because the guy who limped QQ thoroughly deserved that. Still, I bubble. It's just fucking incredible. I have JJ and raise in the small blind. The BB pushes, and has me covered. I call. He has ATs. But being a 68-32 favourite is not enough. I've had enough for this afternoon. I am down $18 in eight games. I have been playing some of the worst players I've ever encountered, but I can't win. In the past week playing the $10s, I have not beaten the rake. I was on the verge of moving up permanently to the $20s but I'm worried that this run is indicative of where I'm at, and I had been running very hot previously. It didn't feel like I was, and I don't feel like I'm playing badly, but it's hard to feel you are really a winning player when you don't win.



Third or fourth hand of a 4/180. I pick up AK in the small blind. There are five limpers. I raise it to 200. Four of them call. That's right, four players who didn't feel their hands were worth a raise put in 9BB more to see a flop.

The flop comes JT9, all spades. I have the king of spades and I push. One guy calls. He has J9o. I am slightly behind but at the odds, it's a good bet.

But wtf? The guy called a 10BB raise with J9o.

The poker gods hate me at the moment obv. because they did not give me a queen or a spade. They gave me blanks and I was busted.

This is how it's going for me. It doesn't matter how retarded other players are, I get no benefit from it. It's all very well saying, you want them to be bad, that's how you profit, but right now, it's how I lose.