Wednesday, 31 December 2008

December results

No matter how often I remind myself that playing low volume means you don't get to be excited by good results or upset by bad ones, I still get excited by good results and upset by bad ones. It was a mixed month, as far as that goes. I did okay at the $10 regulars, but I'm not sure whether I am successfully multitabling them (I had positive ROI 20-tabling but not so much that I was happy with it: but I only did maybe five sessions, which is far too few to draw conclusions).

So I played 220 11s at 13.1%, 12 12s at -100% (yes, that means I lost every buyin!), 8 16s at 5.5% (all the fun of STTs in two sets of four: ran hot for four, out of the money in the other four), 9 22s at -36% (I mixed a few in but ran like shit--I think I am able to beat them but I don't feel ready to move up to them permanently). I think I was happier with the notion of playing a decent sample at each level before moving up. I played 1K $5s, and I think I should play at least 1K $10s too (I'm somewhere around 800), and maybe the full 1K at the 6.5s

So all in all I played 249 at 3.7%. If I hadn't played at all on Tilt, I would have had a fine month--I have now lost 31 of my last 33 buyins there. I don't think I'm playing particularly well, and although I ran quite well in the first half of the month, I felt like I wasn't getting the run of it in the second half. It's hard to know though. Maybe playing too many tables of the $10s is enough to destroy my ROI? It doesn't feel like that was it, so I think I'll keep doing it, and reevaluate at the end of January maybe.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Let's gamboooooooool

Having said that, what about this?

Poker Stars $10+$1 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t100/t200 Blinds - 3 players

The Official Hand History Converter

SB: t5435

BB: t1755

Hero (BTN): t6310

Pre Flop: (t300) Hero is BTN with T T

Hero raises to t500

Standard raise.

SB raises to t1600

I'm unhappy about that obviously, but I pause and do not turbofold. I consider shoving but this is why I did what I did:

First, his hand selection has been off, but he's got it in when he's been very strong. I'd expect hands that were actually better than mine to get it in straight away. With AA/KK, this kind of player tends to flat to trap you or raise small, not to lose you. So I don't think he has a big pair here.

Second, I'm flipping with the range I expect him to have. He probably flats smaller pairs, so I think he has AJ-AK a lot.

So I could shove, but there's a lot at stake. It seems like a good idea in this spot to flatcall, and then play undercard flops and those without aces fast for the most part.

1 fold, Hero calls t1100

So I call.

Flop: (t3400) 2 T K (2 players)

Which looks like a genius play when I hit my set. But tbh, I'd be content with a K92 flop here, and would play it the same the way the action goes.

SB bets t1000, Hero raises to t4710 all in, SB calls t2835 all in

Easy shove for me. Unbelievably, this clown has AJs. I suppose he could argue that he has a thin call vs top pair, with 8 outs, but if I have top pair, I have to be taking some of his outs.

So it's just the usual terrible, unthinking stuff.

Turn: (t11070) Q (2 players - 2 are all in)

And yet again, I go down to a 5/1 shot.

waaaat and goals

Here's my month in one hand. I've built a decent stack, played really well and now this:

Poker Stars $10+$1 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t75/t150 Blinds - 4 players

The Official Hand History Converter

BB: t5047

CO: t1410

BTN: t3788

Hero (SB): t3255

Pre Flop: (t225) Hero is SB with A A

1 fold, BTN calls t150

This guy has been very fishy all tourney, playing about 30% of his hands, rarely raising.

He should not limp anything here, but obviously if these fools never did anything wrong, we'd have no hope of making money.

Not that we have much hope anyway, it seems.

Hero raises to t600

A standard raise. I expect him to call, but with AA, I don't really want a fold.

1 fold, BTN calls t450

I'll tell you right now that his hand is 55. He is not getting even close to the odds he needs to call here, and should fold. Not calling raises with pairs is one of the "skills" you need to acquire to win this sort of poker.

Flop: (t1350) 2 3 7 (2 players)

Hero bets t750, BTN calls t750

I suppose he might think I have AK here and his pair is good but he should still fold. Even if your pair is good here, it's likely you'll be overtaken. Looking back, you might consider that it would have been better to bet more, so that I didn't look like I was cbetting. But I don't want to fold out 55! He's worse than 20/1 to improve on the turn, and I am quite happy at this point because I can shove the turn and hopefully get paid. If he then calls, he will be 20/1 to hit the river.

Turn: (t2850) 5 (2 players)

But that's the story of my month.

This shit happens. Poker involves up and downs. This, I suppose, is why the mental game is so important. I tend to think I'm decent when I'm winning and terrible when I'm losing. My overall results are okay: a lot of people would be very content with them. But they don't inspire confidence.

So my overall goal for 2009 is going to have to be to chill out, to make the amount of work I do and games I play match the desire I have to succeed. And I will have to trust that I am able to achieve that success. I should be. I'm not an idiot, and the pond is full of people who are.

Part of that has to be to be happier about what I do well, so I'm going to post more about that. I mean, I did well in this hand. It's how it should be played. I'm confident of that. I could have bet more on the flop to make a flush draw pay but I didn't offer a good price to anything he could realistically hold. So meh. But bad beats are not really instructive, except in case you need reminding that poker is a cruel game.

So my goal is to write about the good things about poker. There are some!

Sunday, 28 December 2008


I fucking hate Full Tilt. They totally have the doomswitch on me. I fucking hate Omaha too.

Check this out:

Full Tilt Poker Game #9726699027: $5 + $0.50 Tournament (73953868), Table 6 - 15/30 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi - 6:24:43 ET - 2008/12/28
Seat 1: mishmear1 (2,385)
Seat 2: Highlaender (4,050)
Seat 3: JacqueTheRipper (2,910)
Seat 4: basatagirl (2,910)
Seat 5: todds18p (1,140)
Seat 6: Buttonraiser (2,670)
Seat 7: dileris69 (3,795)
Seat 8: rufuslynx (3,000)
Seat 9: Laurie960 (2,940)
Laurie960 posts the small blind of 15
mishmear1 posts the big blind of 30
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to basatagirl [2s Ah Ad Qs]
Highlaender folds
JacqueTheRipper folds
basatagirl raises to 90

I have a strongish hand, although it's easy to overplay AAxx in Omaha.

todds18p has 15 seconds left to act
todds18p calls 90
Buttonraiser has 15 seconds left to act
Buttonraiser folds
dileris69 folds
Laurie960 calls 75
mishmear1 folds
*** FLOP *** [8h Js As]

That's a great flop for me. I have a set of aces, and the second nut flush draw.

Laurie960 checks
basatagirl bets 150

I don't make a huge bet. I don't really want folds here. There are straight draws out there, but they are paying too much on this board.

todds18p calls 150
Laurie960 calls 150
*** TURN *** [8h Js As] [Tc]
Laurie960 bets 750

So I figure this fish has hit a straight of some sort. But they can also have two pair, or a set of jacks. I have a ton of outs: 1 ace for quads, 3 Ts, 3 Js, 3 8s, 7 spades. Possibly just calling is better, but I'm pretty unlikely to fold the river, so meh.

basatagirl raises to 2,670, and is all in

So I shove and hope for the best.

todds18p folds
Laurie960 calls 1,920
basatagirl shows [2s Ah Ad Qs]
Laurie960 shows [Ks 7h Jc Qh]

WTF. This retard called preflop with a trash hand and called on the flop with a gutshot. So horrible. But of course he hit it.

*** RIVER *** [8h Js As Tc] [6d]

I miss everything, of course.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

January goal

I am having the mother of torrid times on Tilt. I have cashed twice out of my last 32 games. So that sucks.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure about multitabling the 10ers. I'm winning but not much. I think I've just been running bad, but I can't be sure. I expect lower ROI at the

So I'm going to set goals for January and see how I go. 500 games at the 10 regulars, 20-24 tabling, 30 hours of SNG Wizard. Any more than that will be a bonus. I won't look at my results until the month is over. That should settle whether I can mass-multitable the 10ers. If I'm finding it easy enough, I'll step it up to 30 for February, and see what that brings.

I don't set monetary goals because I can't control that. I can set volume goals and just do my best. I'd like to run at 12% but who wouldn't?

Sunday, 21 December 2008


Whenever I get excited about poker, I get bitten by a downswing. It's uncanny. If I have a good couple of days, I don't just have a moderate couple to follow. I get absolutely crushed. So I was enjoying multitabling the 10s, and then I lose 20 BIs. Today, in a set of 17, I lost 80 bucks, seven BIs.

I was going to post the bad beats but what's the point? I shove over limpaholics with AJ and run into big pairs; I shove BvB and get caught by monsters; I have KK cracked when I call a shove on a T63 flop and he has A6 -- obv. he scores his ace; I have QQ cracked when I raise pre, get called by T9 and the flop comes TTx; every time I shove a pair, and I'm not kidding, every single time, I run into a bigger one.

It just sucks. I don't think I'm playing badly. I know STTs have downswings and I know that more volume is the answer. But when you don't play much, it's really hard to bear the variance, and it really makes you question whether you have any clue at all.

Well, can't give up. Best do another set and hope to have better things to say in 90 minutes.


Well, it didn't get much better. I won $40 back without ever winning a race, and somehow, every time I got it in with a pair, running into a bigger pair.

I don't think I'm playing badly, and I certainly don't think the games were tough. I don't think it hurts much to multitable. I probably am going to lose a few points of ROI, but I think the decisionmaking is straightforward enough in most games that it won't hurt all that much. I played 24 tables without too much stress, bar one time where I sat out on six tables or so and my program kept stealing focus to sit me in.

But what's hurting the ROI is having my big hands cracked. The style I play depends on making value with AA-QQ, but if every time you get it in with AA, some guy hits his set, and every time you get in with KK, you run into AA or an A hits on the flop, that's going to hurt. It doesn't help to keep having AK < AJ/QJ/QT/T9 and losing races or being really badly outflopped (it's a real killer to have AK vs 66 on a K63 flop because you're never getting away from it, and I think it's worse when you're threehanded vs a total fish and have AQ on a A64 flop when he has A4).

The problem for me now is, I can't see a way forward. I think I should keep on multitabling the 10 regulars, until I've played at least 1K of them, and then have a look at it. I'm actually running well at them this month (lower than my overall ROI in them but better than the lowest I'd hope for), which is more than can be said for other games (0 for 12 in Tilt 12s, and losing a bit at 20s (can't get a pair to hold up in them either)). But it's not progressive for me. I'm a bit scared to move up to the 20s, although I think I should beat them, because almost every time I move up, I get crushed at the new level. You can keep telling yourself it's just variance, but it does seem I'm not good enough to play higher than I do now.

Mind you, looking at my record this month, it does stand out that when I'm in the money, I'm running 8.5%/17.5%/17.5%. I'm not sure why that is but I haven't had any more luck in the money than I have out of it. This really does eat into your ROI, because 43% ITM is okay, but only winning 8.5% of the time is terrible. It's not even par!

So I suppose I can put some down to running bad, and look at my play threehanded to try to see whether I'm pissing away money there. Also, pushing pairs into bigger pairs is something I need to look at. It might be that I'm pushing too wide, or it might just be one of those things. I also need more work on ICM because I don't think I am doing much right at push/fold at all.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

An easier pair of hooks

A similar but much easier spot. Again I have JJ.

Poker Stars $20+$2 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t25/t50 Blinds - 9 players

The Official Hand History Converter

UTG: t1945

UTG+1: t1130

UTG+2: t3275

MP1: t1125

MP2: t2200

CO: t755

BTN: t745

Hero (SB): t1315

BB: t1010

Pre Flop: (t75) Hero is SB with J J

UTG raises to t200

This is quite a big bet, but often players will 4x the weaker end of their range UTG. So I don't necessarily expect to see a big hand here.

5 folds, BTN raises to t745 all in

This guy is superbad. He doesn't have to have a decent hand here. He lost a fair few chips raising 75 pre and then betting it when he hit bottom pair on the flop. So I'm obviously wanting to play with him. I doubt UTG will call unless he actually does have a monster, but as usual, he has more unpaired than paired hands in his range, and he might well share outs with the other guy.

Hero raises to t1315 all in, 2 folds

He has KQ, which is probably at the top end of his range. I really wouldn't have been
at all surprised to see this idiot show K2.

Flop: (t1740) Q T 7 (2 players - 2 are all in)

Well, that's unfortunate, but I'm happy with the play. You can't help the suckouts but you can help whether you get your money in good.

Turn: (t1740) T (2 players - 2 are all in)

River: (t1740) 6 (2 players - 2 are all in)


Later in the tourney I make a mistake though that costs me my equity.

Poker Stars $20+$2 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t50/t100 Blinds - 8 players

The Official Hand History Converter

BB: t1595

UTG: t4080

UTG+1: t1450

MP1: t2700

MP2: t680

CO: t1590

Hero (BTN): t720

SB: t685

Pre Flop: (t150) Hero is BTN with Q A

I'd obviously like to get it in with a hand this strong.

UTG raises to t450

This guy is playing 55/0 over whatever it is, 35 hands. He has a big stack but I should fold. These guys really don't raise with anything AQ is ahead of.

But I tilted and refused to fold my strong hand. It's a bad leak in my game, which luckily I do not have the opportunity to indulge too often. But one of the reasons I win at STTs is that I am not married to big hands, and can get away when I'm clearly beaten. Except on the odd occasion that the tilt takes over and makes me say fuck it.

4 folds, Hero raises to t720 all in, 2 folds, UTG calls t270

He has KK of course, and IGH.

Dunno, dunno, OH YEAH!

Here's a moderately interesting spot.

Poker Stars $10+$1 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t50/t100 Blinds - 8 players

The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+1: t1345

MP1: t1635

MP2: t3540

Hero (CO): t1320

BTN: t2040

SB: t820

BB: t1770

UTG: t1030

Pre Flop: (t150) Hero is CO with J J

1 fold, UTG+1 raises to t200,

This guy has played very tight and is in EP. But the minraise is ultra fishy. So I'm not really sure what to do. I'm not sure that I'm ahead here, given how tight he is, but obv. even a tight raiser has more unpaired cards in his range than paired. I figure I will call and if the flop doesn't seem to have hit him, get it in there.

2 folds, Hero calls t200

So I flatcall. I would only rarely do this. This kind of spot really is push/fold, but I just felt I would rather not give up the value of my hand by folding, but I'd be happier to get it in on a raggy board than preflop. This doesn't mean I'd fold on all boards with overcards. I'd definitely need to evaluate it on the flop.

1 fold, SB raises to t820 all in

But this changes things! I don't necessarily put the small blind on a particularly tight range, but now I will have my decision made for me by the first raiser. If he shoves, I pretty much have to fold imo, but if he folds, I call, and if he calls, I will then shove, figuring my hand is best and getting great overlay in a multiway pot.

1 fold, UTG+1 calls t620, Hero raises to t1320 all in

I think he has to be shoving with any hand that beats JJ, so I'm best here. I'm often going to end up losing the hand, but if I lose to SB, I can still stack UTG+1 and have 1K, and when I win, I win big.

UTG+1 calls t500

And they show 88 and KQs. I don't like UTG+1's raise with KQs. I mean, I don't like a minraise at any time, but KQs is a relatively weak hand, so you don't want to get shoved over, and you don't want to invite others to see the flop, even if your hand will start favourite against most. STTs are not about seeing flops at the high blinds, but about making people fold. So if you're playing it, and I don't think you should, you're shoving it.

Flop: (t3560) 5 A 4 (3 players - 2 are all in)

Turn: (t3560) 4 (3 players - 2 are all in)

River: (t3560) 6 (3 players - 2 are all in)

So all good for me. Not sure about my first call, but the second time around, I had no doubts about what to do.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Beating the micros

I'm going to post this here because I think it's pretty sound and maybe someone who's struggling will stumble on it.
It's my answer to the question, what is the best way to approach micro stakes cash games online? I know, I don't play cash, but still, I know how I'd do it if I did.


If you have top pair with a good kicker, generally bet and keep betting until you have their money or they have yours. Sometimes you will have to fold when it's painfully obv. you are beat, but this means "when the fishy guy who has not taken the betting lead for three hours checkraises you on the turn" not "when the aggrotard shoves over your lead on a flop showing a flush draw". Be willing to slow down against players who fold weak hands though. You'll know who they are. Be very unwilling to fold TPTK though, because at the micros, you'll come across tons of guys who will bet TP of any kind on all three streets. It's okay to check to them if you fear you are beaten, but don't fold if you can help it.
If you have an overpair or stronger, bet and keep betting until you have their money or they have yours. Don't get into the habit of making "great laydowns" of strong hands.
Remember that in limped pots, you will come across more bizarre hands than in raised pots. Try to ensure that most, if not all, pots you enter outside the blinds are raised. You want them to pay to try to make flushes with 83s.
If you have no pair, mostly fold, don't chase unless it's extremely cheap and mostly only when you close the betting or are decently sure that the fishy guy behind you will just call along.
Do not often slowplay. They love to call so you need to fall in love with betting.
Do not bluff players who love to call. Do bluff players who are looking for excuses to fold.

Basically, their wide range is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they will hit ridiculous strong hands that you cannot read them for because they can have so many other hands, but on the other, they will hit lots of weak hands that you also cannot read them for because you just won't believe they found them strong enough to call with. There are many more ways to have a bad hand than a good one, so on the whole, betting hands that are better than most will make money. And when we say bet, we mean bet hard. If they are calling big bets with middle pair, bet big when you have top pair. If they are calling pot with draws, bet the pot at them. Bet more if they insist on chasing for more.

This is how you win at gambling: wager as much as the other guy is willing to wager when you are a favourite, and wager as little as you can when you are not. (This doesn't mean stick your stack in every time you are ahead, because the other guy won't often wager that much with you.)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

A round dozen.

Make that 12 buyins.

I cannot fucking believe this.

I get in ahead, I lose. I push a decent hand, I run into not one but two bigger ones. A9 < A4, AJ < KT, blah blah. The last game, on the bubble, I call a desperation shove from shorty. He has 65. I have Q4.

Jeezus fuck. That's 150 bucks in about half an hour. I really need Tilt to switch off the doomswitch. I've now lost 19/20 in the 12s. My ROI has crashed through the floor.

This makes you think you're just not good enough. And maybe I'm not, hey?


So I've been practising 16-tabling the 10ers. It's not too difficult. I think it's gone well, but it's early days. The first time, I cashed 13 out of 16 times and made 89% ROI. The second, I broke even, but I ran like shit. I ran KK into AA three times, AK into AA another, rarely caught a break, and in the money got my money in to win the tourney a couple of times and the other guy caught the big suckout. Twice I outflopped a pair with overcards, only for the other guy to hit a straight on the river, had a set cracked by a guy who called two huge bets with a bare flush draw, and AA cracked by some suited shit that hit a runner flush after calling allin with nothing much on the flop. So the usual, but that could easily have been $50 better, which is 24%. The key thing is that I don't feel I played badly, so I won't stress over the money.

I don't find the decisionmaking too rushed, and I started three fresh tourneys as I was still playing, to see what it's like to play continuously (I would have opened more but I haven't set up the software I plan to use properly yet). I have hotkeys set up for betting and stuff, but I didn't use them. It's easiest to stack tables and just hover near the fold button. It would be harder to do this with turbos, but I'm working on getting the setup right first, before I worry about getting up to speed. I'm not playing turbos just now anyway, because I need to work on ICM. I have very poor knowledge of it, and it's holding me back, because to beat the 16s/24s, I need to be at least competent. It's just laziness has prevented me from putting in the hours, and of course fear.

Fear of what? Fear that I will not, cannot learn. Which is not rational, because when I do time with SNG Wizard, I find I often have "lightbulb" moments (you know, when that little bulb above your head lights up because you get something you didn't before.


Sadly, the turbos are going just the same. I'm supposed to be taking a month off, but I couldn't resist playing a few, so I fired four up.

After this hand the fish says "I'm not a fish. I called your hand.

What? You put me exactly on AQs?

Well, maybe you should have folded then?

Full Tilt Poker Game #9465551550: $11 + $1 Sit & Go (Turbo) (72269547), Table 1 - 40/80 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:05:27 ET - 2008/12/13
Seat 2: MCavalc (955)
Seat 3: moneyOVERhos (2,210), is sitting out
Seat 4: basatagirl (1,320)
Seat 6: swat77 (3,545)
Seat 8: PRFECT8 (2,815)
Seat 9: Dunkster01 (2,655)
swat77 posts the small blind of 40
PRFECT8 posts the big blind of 80
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to basatagirl [Qh Ah]
Dunkster01 folds
MCavalc raises to 160
moneyOVERhos folds
basatagirl raises to 1,320, and is all in
swat77 folds
PRFECT8 folds
MCavalc has 15 seconds left to act
MCavalc has requested TIME
MCavalc calls 795, and is all in
basatagirl shows [Qh Ah]
MCavalc shows [2c 2s]
Uncalled bet of 365 returned to basatagirl
*** FLOP *** [Ts 8c 4s]
*** TURN *** [Ts 8c 4s] [2h]

Maybe not. So the next hand I do the hail Mary shove.

Full Tilt Poker Game #9465570450: $11 + $1 Sit & Go (Turbo) (72269547), Table 1 - 40/80 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:06:45 ET - 2008/12/13
Seat 2: MCavalc (2,030)
Seat 3: moneyOVERhos (2,210), is sitting out
Seat 4: basatagirl (365)
Seat 6: swat77 (3,505)
Seat 8: PRFECT8 (2,655)
Seat 9: Dunkster01 (2,735)
Dunkster01 posts the small blind of 40
MCavalc posts the big blind of 80
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to basatagirl [Ad 2c]
moneyOVERhos folds
basatagirl raises to 365, and is all in
swat77 folds
PRFECT8 has 15 seconds left to act
PRFECT8 calls 365
Dunkster01 folds
MCavalc folds
basatagirl shows [Ad 2c]
PRFECT8 shows [4s 4h]
*** FLOP *** [Th 3h 7h]
*** TURN *** [Th 3h 7h] [As]

Looking good.

*** RIVER *** [Th 3h 7h As] [4c]


And at table 2, I raise to 250 with 1.5K with AKs and of course a fish flats. The flop comes Q high and that looks reasonable to cbet, although I prefer to check mostly. Fish shoves over. OMG. So I fold that and bust out shortly after, shoving over something fishy with KQ. I'm called with 55 and of course I hit nothing. At table 3, I shove TT with 11BB and a tighty snapcalls me. He has AQs. Naturally, the ace comes on the river. I chip back up a bit, but what really sucks is that some cunt limps my blind at t200. I shove 750 with Q7 and I find that this clown limped KQ. Terrible. Why let me see a free flop with that, you fuckwit? On table 4, I shove Q2 with 6BB on the button into two very tight blinds, and one of them wakes up with AT. I then chip up and run AQ into JJ and AK! WTF? I mean, I really fucking need Full Tilt to turn off my doomswitch tbh, because this is getting monotonous. Four games, four buyins down. It's not much but it's 11 out of the last 12 now, and obviously the 24s are fucking terrible for me.

Anyway, have fired up eight more and I hope to run a bit better. I am definitely good enough to beat the 12s, and probably should be beating the 24s too. But luck plays a huge part in this game, and if you have none, you cannot hope to beat any sort of turbo.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Eight games of hell

Some days you need reserves of insouciance when you play poker. You get AK in on a K high flop, the other guy has K7 and rivers a 7. You get K3 in on a K3Q9 board, and the other guy has KQ. You shove over a limp at t100 with 650 chips with A7 and the limper's QJs catches. You shove AQ and some guy who has played 80% of his hands picks up AK. You shove A9 over the guy with the huge stack who's playing every hand, raising wide, and you run into QQ. Some retard shoves over your open with AQ with A7 and he flops a 7. You misclick/call with AQ, hit a Q high flop, bet pot, guy calls and pairs his kicker on the turn, busting you. Blind vs blind, you run A8s into AJ, hit your 8 and watch him river the J. In the end, you are left asking how many sick, horrible ways to lose there actually are. Well, obviously, the answer is going to be more than you could ever imagine.

Finally, some retard limped UTG and I shoved over with AQ. He has K8s and snapcalls. The loser is out, pretty much, because he covers me by 100 chips. His play is unbearably retarded. He did it because I told him to fuck off because he typed "is that your only move?" when I shoved over a limper. The flop is AK9, so not too bad. Turn and river are both 8s. I'd really like Stars to turn off the doomswitch because I just can't play much better than I am right now, but that was an eight-table session that cost me 50 bucks, more than four buyins.

Friday, 5 December 2008

You called with what though?

Why are the $10 games so beatable, Dr Zen?

Well, let me show you.

PokerStars Game #22632892190: Tournament #124960302, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level III (25/50) - 2008/12/04 23:23:39 ET
Table '124960302 1' 9-max Seat #9 is the button
Seat 1: lsprice (265 in chips)
Seat 2: Ethos_Kid (1145 in chips)
Seat 3: undoface (1130 in chips)
Seat 4: supabaked (3845 in chips)
Seat 6: FR Vessant (1510 in chips)
Seat 8: El_Viejito (2515 in chips)
Seat 9: Tiagostuve (3090 in chips)
lsprice: posts small blind 25
Ethos_Kid: posts big blind 50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to FR Vessant [Kh Qh]
undoface: folds
supabaked: folds
FR Vessant: raises 100 to 150

Standard open raise. Some players will fold this but that's a bit too tight. No one has been insanely loose so far and tiagostuve and El Viejito have been reasonably tight. I've played with tiaogstuve before, actually, and I don't recall him doing much insane ever, so I'm pretty safe here. This would be the bottom end for me though, and I might not raise it on a table that was a bit wilder.

El_Viejito: folds
Tiagostuve: folds
lsprice: folds
Ethos_Kid: calls 100
*** FLOP *** [4c 5h 4h]

Not the best flop, but if I'm behind a pair, I'm still in decent shape.

Ethos_Kid: checks
FR Vessant: bets 250

So I cbet fairly confidently.

Ethos_Kid: raises 745 to 995 and is all-in

Okay. He has to have a pair, surely? That's his most likely hand preflop. It's a bad call preflop (actually, there aren't many hands that would be good to call with preflop). So if he has been fucking with me with AA/KK, I have eight or nine outs to suck out, and if he has any other pair, I have 15 outs, so I'm a decent favourite. So I'm obviously not folding.

FR Vessant: calls 745

He has 74s.

WTF? Okay, once in a blue moon, you're going to stack a player like me by calling with your suited shit, but there are at least two bad things that can happen to you.

The first bad thing is that you just miss the flop. Then I bet, you fold.
The next bad thing is that you hit the flop. You flop a flush draw and two out of three times you get stacked. That's assuming that I don't have two of the same suit, in which case you get stacked every time. Worse can happen even. You might hit a pair of 7s. On a board like T73, that looks good to go. But say I have a big pair, which I will a decent amount of the time (I don't raise much at t50, and my range for the raise from the hijack is still pretty tight) or even, as I do here, a hand with enough equity vs your pair to make me favourite.

So yeah, sometimes you are going to get very lucky. But you're paying 100 of your 1100 chips to do it. And even when you are, as here, very lucky, you're still getting stacked sometimes.

Well, not this time. He rivered a fourth 4, which shows that the guy who controls the doomswitch has a nice sense of humour.

So these things happen, but Ethos_Kid will be a donator in his time at the $10s, and you can't get that pissed off that people will do rubbish things like that. If they didn't, it would be that much harder to win.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

A cautionary tale

I don't often get tricky, preferring the straightforward value game that works well at the low stakes, but here I took a line that mostly would have been better, if I wasn't doomswitched permanently at Stars.

PokerStars Game #22601595008: Tournament #124735199, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20) - 2008/12/03 21:36:27 ET
Table '124735199 1' 9-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: Doctor Roy (1130 in chips)
Seat 2: Tinman161 (1460 in chips)
Seat 3: Royal4000 (1450 in chips)
Seat 4: Lowery44 (1840 in chips)
Seat 5: dprickards (2080 in chips)
Seat 6: Merrillk25 (1460 in chips)
Seat 7: FR Vessant (1500 in chips)
Seat 8: Cheeks420 (1080 in chips)
Seat 9: mjs200x (1500 in chips)
dprickards: posts small blind 10
Merrillk25: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to FR Vessant [Ac Ks]
FR Vessant: raises 40 to 60

Straightforward raise.

Cheeks420: folds
mjs200x: folds
Doctor Roy: raises 140 to 200

Oh dear. I look the guy up though to see why he lost chips, and he looks pretty bad, but I'm not sure. Often, I'd just shove here, but I'm willing to see a flop and if it looks good, get it in.

Tinman161: folds
Royal4000: folds
Lowery44: folds
dprickards: folds
Merrillk25: folds
FR Vessant: calls 140
*** FLOP *** [9d 5h Ad]

That's a good flop. I think it's best to check here, because worse aces will all bet, but other hands might too.

FR Vessant: checks
Doctor Roy: checks


*** TURN *** [9d 5h Ad] [9h]
FR Vessant: bets 200

So I bet, but that's a bit cute, and in retrospect I should have bet more. Still, I'm wanting to be called by the hand he actually has.

Doctor Roy: calls 200
*** RIVER *** [9d 5h Ad 9h] [Jh]
FR Vessant: bets 200

Arguably, this is bad, because he won't call with his mid pairs, but I'm hoping he will find it irresistible with AQ. Not sure about my reasoning there, and probably check/call is better.

Doctor Roy: raises 530 to 730 and is all-in
FR Vessant: calls 530

I obviously won't fold in this spot.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Doctor Roy: shows [Jc Jd] (a full house, Jacks full of Nines)

Jeezus. Well, he called with two outs on the turn, but you can't really blame him. These players are quite straightforward, and not betting the flop sort of says I don't have an ace (that's the point of it, of course), so it's possible his jacks are ahead.


Think I'm exaggerating about the doomswitch?

Think again:

PokerStars Game #22601984343: Tournament #124735652, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level II (15/30) - 2008/12/03 21:52:00 ET
Table '124735652 1' 9-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: Omaha_RK (1805 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 2: thawdgharp (1640 in chips)
Seat 3: 9idiotwind (1690 in chips)
Seat 4: Rancklor (1330 in chips)
Seat 5: mcdramfan (625 in chips)
Seat 6: FR Vessant (1490 in chips)
Seat 7: Ryanbankn (660 in chips)
Seat 8: charitypro (2435 in chips)
Seat 9: TruePhoenix4 (1825 in chips)
mcdramfan: posts small blind 15
FR Vessant: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to FR Vessant [Kd Jd]
Ryanbankn: raises 30 to 60
charitypro: folds
TruePhoenix4: folds
Omaha_RK: folds
thawdgharp: folds
9idiotwind: folds
Rancklor: folds
mcdramfan: calls 45
FR Vessant: calls 30

I call because I would limp this on the button and this guy is super bad.

*** FLOP *** [Jc 8d 6d]


mcdramfan: checks
FR Vessant: bets 90

I bet, hoping to get action. I will obviously get it in with my pair, overcard and flush draw.

Ryanbankn: raises 510 to 600 and is all-in


He has KQ. His play is just awful, on both streets. First, he should not even play KQ, let alone minraise it. Second, he should fold on the flop. He only has six outs vs top pair, and he's never going to make the average $10 player fold top pair with a push.

So he's dead to a queen.

mcdramfan: folds
FR Vessant: calls 510
*** TURN *** [Jc 8d 6d] [Ac]

Add two tens (not Td) to his outs and he's still a longshot...

*** RIVER *** [Jc 8d 6d Ac] [Ts]


Monday, 1 December 2008

November results

So I didn't play much in November for one reason or another. I did 19 10ers at 46%. It would have been more, but I bubbled 17, 18 and 19, running into AA twice.

That's one of the more frustrating things in STTs actually. Some guy limps 30ish percent of his range, and you have no reason to believe he has any awareness of the need to be aggressive as blinds rise, so he limps and you shove over him. This time he has aces.

I'm not planning to play much in December either. Doing lots of study instead, to try finally to get some sort of clue in ICM. What's that they say about the road to hell...?