Welcome

Hello, and welcome to my online poker blog. I've been playing for a couple of years after being introduced by a friend, and since then I have grown a keen interest. I'm an amateur player currently attempting to improve and perhaps some day beat the rake!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Victoria Coren Mitchell EPT win

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-27101216

Congratulations to Victoria Coren Mitchell on winning her second EPT Poker Tour title.

This is such a terrific result, not just for her but for Poker as a whole. To have such a credible and likeable personality achieve a feat such as this can only be a shot in the arm for our much-maligned pastime.

Well played, very well played.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Hand histories

So to get back into the swing of things, a couple of hand histories.

The first demonstrates my rustiness, and the second is much more standard. I will post the history and then a little discussion afterwards. If you hate my play, please comment below!

PokerStars Zoom Hand #114013817064:  Hold'em No Limit ($0.10/$0.25) - 2014/03/29 18:26:57 WET [2014/03/29 14:26:57 ET]
Table 'Whirlpool' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: yanoji ($36.68 in chips)
Seat 2: izmailov13 ($24.75 in chips)
Seat 3: gabi_igna ($76.80 in chips)
Seat 4: J@sonB0urne* ($14.35 in chips)
Seat 5: ho8888 ($26.76 in chips)
Seat 6: Hero ($25.70 in chips)
Seat 7: dellbono ($10.08 in chips)
Seat 8: Infoc ($17.77 in chips)
Seat 9: donald543210 ($26.79 in chips)
izmailov13: posts small blind $0.10
gabi_igna: posts big blind $0.25
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Qh Ah]
J@sonB0urne*: folds
ho8888: folds
Hero: raises $0.50 to $0.75
dellbono: calls $0.75
Infoc: folds
donald543210: folds
yanoji: calls $0.75
izmailov13: folds
gabi_igna: folds
*** FLOP *** [Jc Ts 9h]
Hero: bets $1.50
dellbono: folds
yanoji: calls $1.50
*** TURN *** [Jc Ts 9h] [8h]
Hero: bets $4.25
yanoji: raises $6 to $10.25
Hero: calls $6
*** RIVER *** [Jc Ts 9h 8h] [Qc]
Hero: checks
yanoji: bets $17.45
Hero: calls $13.20 and is all-in
Uncalled bet ($4.25) returned to yanoji
*** SHOW DOWN ***
yanoji: shows [Kd Qd] (a straight, Nine to King)
Hero: shows [Qh Ah] (a straight, Eight to Queen)
yanoji collected $50.50 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $52.50 | Rake $2
Board [Jc Ts 9h 8h Qc]
Seat 1: yanoji (button) showed [Kd Qd] and won ($50.50) with a straight, Nine to King
Seat 2: izmailov13 (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: gabi_igna (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: J@sonB0urne* folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: ho8888 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Hero showed [Qh Ah] and lost with a straight, Eight to Queen
Seat 7: dellbono folded on the Flop
Seat 8: Infoc folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: donald543210 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

I don't mind the c-bet, I don't expect much to fold but I have plenty of equity myself against most ranges. 
The turn is where I question my play. I think I'm getting good odds to call, because I assume I'm chopping some of the time, plus I have flush outs. Would you give a villain such a wide range in this spot?

The problem with calling though is that I end up pot-stuck, and getting 3/1 on the river against an unknown opponent I didn't feel that I could then fold. 

I guess I'm wondering whether I should just have shipped on the turn if I was never folding the river anyway. If I assume he's never folding to a turn shove, I think I need to be good around 40% of the time or more for it to be OK. I think that that's probably true (unless the games have improved so much that opponents are only ever raising the nuts here). If this was against a known competent opponent I could have called the turn and then folded the river I think, but I just didn't know enough to get away this time.

PokerStars Zoom Hand #114012447626:  Hold'em No Limit ($0.10/$0.25) - 2014/03/29 18:01:22 WET [2014/03/29 14:01:22 ET]
Table 'Whirlpool' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: gepapar2823 ($5.21 in chips)
Seat 2: fasarias ($25.39 in chips)
Seat 3: GrijzeWolf38 ($21.17 in chips)
Seat 4: sturm14 ($28.05 in chips)
Seat 5: Schneider028 ($47.88 in chips)
Seat 6: Sharckogogo ($36.68 in chips)
Seat 7: UnBent022 ($30.26 in chips)
Seat 8: damobookie ($29.64 in chips)
Seat 9: Hero ($25.78 in chips)
fasarias: posts small blind $0.10
GrijzeWolf38: posts big blind $0.25
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Qs Js]
sturm14: folds
Schneider028: folds
Sharckogogo: folds
UnBent022: folds
damobookie: folds
Hero: raises $0.50 to $0.75
gepapar2823: folds
fasarias: folds
GrijzeWolf38: calls $0.50
*** FLOP *** [Qc Jd 3d]
GrijzeWolf38: bets $1.50
Hero: raises $4 to $5.50
GrijzeWolf38: raises $14.92 to $20.42 and is all-in
Hero: calls $14.92
*** TURN *** [Qc Jd 3d] [8s]
*** RIVER *** [Qc Jd 3d 8s] [2h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
GrijzeWolf38: shows [5d 4d] (high card Queen)
Hero: shows [Qs Js] (two pair, Queens and Jacks)
Hero collected $40.53 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $42.44 | Rake $1.91
Board [Qc Jd 3d 8s 2h]
Seat 1: gepapar2823 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: fasarias (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: GrijzeWolf38 (big blind) showed [5d 4d] and lost with high card Queen
Seat 4: sturm14 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: Schneider028 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Sharckogogo folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: UnBent022 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: damobookie folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: Hero showed [Qs Js] and won ($40.53) with two pair, Queens and Jacks

Straight forward I think. He's not playing with a full stack so I assume he's a weaker player.

I'd expect most villains to 3-bet at least QQ and maybe JJ, and then probably check any sets back to me a large proportion of the time. So ruling the really strong hands out I'm probably either facing the same hand, or some kind of draw so I raise the flop lead happy to play for stacks.

To conclude, I think I'm going to make posts like this more often. To just play a few hundred hands and post the larger pots - if only to keep this blog going which has now got a fair bit of history.

Anyway, good luck at the tables all!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Update 2014

Hello internet.

Studying takes up a large part of my time these days so I've hardly played Poker recently. I've also been playing some Chess which was a hobby of mine when I was a little younger. I think I'm probably about as strong as I was before at that game now (which isn't to say particularly strong, probably average club standard - chess.com rates me about 1850 ELO in correspondence games). However I'm enjoying the ride, so I will likely continue to use some spare time for Chess.

So where does this leave Poker?

A large reason why I've been reluctant to put in the hours is the time commitment required to put in a sufficient volume of hands. Additionally I just haven't felt much like playing. There's no doubt that Poker affects me emotionally sometimes and I find that to be quite wearing.

When I do play, I find that I'm only ever a little ring rusty and my knowledge remains intact. I also enjoy playing more when I approach Poker casually without putting pressure on my performance, so I'm going to endeavour to start to put in some more hours again but I'll really try to avoid taking it too seriously.

Perhaps I will play an occasional session for the sole purpose of updating this blog with a few cool hands and thoughts on the state of the games.

I hope that those of you who still put in a lot of volume are all running well!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

SNGs

Full Tilt have been offering discounts on SNG and tournament tickets this week so I've cashed in all of my FPPs for 44 x $10  tickets. Ill probably play the 9-man SNGs and with average luck should bag around $450 for my troubles.

I've always been interested in the 9-man SNGs, they were the first game I ever really played (before HUSNG and then later full ring cash).

Back then I was a very poor player; I remember reading an article recommending folding anything below AK and JJ before the bubble which I took as gospel. But even when I got to the bubble I'd often play it too tightly and get blinded out.

So it will be nice to play a few and see what the standard is like these days. Ill post a graph of my results when finished. 


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Hands of the Day

Thought I might start sharing more hand histories because:
1/ I don't care what anyone thinks about my play any more
2/ It will very probably make my blog more interesting reading!

Number #1 : Making a nitty fold

PokerStars Zoom Hand #100973187172:  Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2013/07/04 21:43:19 WET [2013/07/04 16:43:19 ET]
Table 'Arp' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: Little_Watz ($43 in chips)
Seat 2: BeppoSon ($58.71 in chips)
Seat 3: Harry_Lion ($52.68 in chips)
Seat 4: kadianika ($37.81 in chips)
Seat 5: tanfoglio107 ($50 in chips)
Seat 6: Misteriouz66 ($60.98 in chips)
Seat 7: Yi1688 ($43.87 in chips)
Seat 8: FrancoViola ($59.14 in chips)
Seat 9: BankoBet ($55.62 in chips)
BeppoSon: posts small blind $0.25
Harry_Lion: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BankoBet [Qs Jd]
kadianika: calls $0.50
tanfoglio107: folds
Misteriouz66: folds
Yi1688: folds
FrancoViola: folds
BankoBet: raises $1.50 to $2
Little_Watz: folds
BeppoSon: folds
Harry_Lion: folds
kadianika: calls $1.50
*** FLOP *** [7s 7d Qc]
kadianika: bets $4.50
BankoBet: calls $4.50

This is the decision I wanted to show, and weak/tight/nitty as it sounds I think I should have folded immediately here. My opponent has demonstrated very passive tendencies so far and while passive-pre-flop/aggro-monkey-post-flop players do exist they are definitely in the minority. The pot sized bet tells me he likes his hand and it's likely to cost me much more than four fiddy to see a showdown with top pair third best kicker.

*** TURN *** [7s 7d Qc] [5c]
kadianika: bets $5
BankoBet: folds
Uncalled bet ($5) returned to kadianika
kadianika collected $13.13 from pot
kadianika: doesn't show hand
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $13.75 | Rake $0.62
Board [7s 7d Qc 5c]
Seat 1: Little_Watz (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: BeppoSon (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: Harry_Lion (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: kadianika collected ($13.13)
Seat 5: tanfoglio107 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Misteriouz66 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: Yi1688 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: FrancoViola folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: BankoBet folded on the Turn

Number #2 : Second nut draw against passive aggression

PokerStars Zoom Hand #100973585458:  Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2013/07/04 21:50:56 WET [2013/07/04 16:50:56 ET]
Table 'Arp' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: dída ($39.62 in chips)
Seat 2: hahaChina ($22.25 in chips)
Seat 3: ieatRollz ($50.08 in chips)
Seat 4: Ogel1 ($49.75 in chips)
Seat 5: BankoBet ($50 in chips)
Seat 6: mirjam91 ($37.35 in chips)
Seat 7: kadianika ($47.95 in chips)
Seat 8: Vermont VII ($60.04 in chips)
Seat 9: bschwarz56 ($18.48 in chips)
hahaChina: posts small blind $0.25
ieatRollz: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BankoBet [Jd Jh]
Ogel1: raises $1.50 to $2
BankoBet: calls $2

I don't call with many hands in early position to early position raises but JJ is one of them. Actually on this subject, I think my early/middle position strategy facing a raise is seriously flawed. I play a very face up range and at 50NL it might not matter but if I ever move higher then it surely will. 

mirjam91: folds
kadianika: calls $2
Vermont VII: folds
bschwarz56: folds
dída: folds
hahaChina: folds
ieatRollz: folds
*** FLOP *** [Ah Qh 3h]
Ogel1: checks
BankoBet: checks

I think I should bet here.

kadianika: bets $3.50
Ogel1: folds
BankoBet: calls $3.50

Opponent is loose passive over a very small sample but this situation is why I think it was better to bet first. Do I call and draw to the second nuts? Check raise bluffing a passive player is not generally good strategy. Still, I don't think it's a huge mistake - after all I was getting ~33% from the pot with some implied odds if I hit. 

*** TURN *** [Ah Qh 3h] [4d]
BankoBet: checks
kadianika: bets $6.50
BankoBet: folds

Falling implied odds versus a range that's looking stronger by the second lead me to ditch my draw. 

Uncalled bet ($6.50) returned to kadianika
kadianika collected $13.13 from pot
kadianika: doesn't show hand
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $13.75 | Rake $0.62
Board [Ah Qh 3h 4d]
Seat 1: dída (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: hahaChina (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: ieatRollz (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: Ogel1 folded on the Flop
Seat 5: BankoBet folded on the Turn
Seat 6: mirjam91 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: kadianika collected ($13.13)
Seat 8: Vermont VII folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: bschwarz56 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Number #3 : Another nitty fold

PokerStars Zoom Hand #100972232620:  Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2013/07/04 21:25:52 WET [2013/07/04 16:25:52 ET]
Table 'Arp' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: vladibeest ($40.80 in chips)
Seat 2: JoooooooooJ ($57.52 in chips)
Seat 3: iLikeSnow ($46.25 in chips)
Seat 4: BankoBet ($50 in chips)
Seat 5: Cisko555 ($59.71 in chips)
Seat 6: Bossi22 ($51.61 in chips)
Seat 7: ozazello ($52.13 in chips)
Seat 8: mlnrrbrt ($101.98 in chips)
Seat 9: Kayvorle1 ($21.83 in chips)
JoooooooooJ: posts small blind $0.25
iLikeSnow: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BankoBet [Qh Ah]
BankoBet: raises $1 to $1.50
Cisko555: folds
Bossi22: folds
ozazello: folds
mlnrrbrt: calls $1.50
Kayvorle1: folds
vladibeest: calls $1.50
JoooooooooJ: folds
iLikeSnow: folds
*** FLOP *** [9c 3c Qd]
BankoBet: bets $3
mlnrrbrt: calls $3
vladibeest: folds
*** TURN *** [9c 3c Qd] [4c]

Villain is a semi-loose but solid regular. 

BankoBet: checks
mlnrrbrt: bets $5.50

This is the interesting bit. Against a fairly tight flop calling range - and assuming TT and JJ are checking back this turn pretty often - my equity makes a call here around break even (if I've done the maths right). So assuming check folding and check calling are even, is it profitable to turn AQ into a bluff? {Either by c-betting again or check raising}. I will need to do some working out to answer this question and I don't have time right now. Perhaps someone else can answer and post a comment below. 

BankoBet: folds
Uncalled bet ($5.50) returned to mlnrrbrt
mlnrrbrt collected $10.74 from pot
mlnrrbrt: doesn't show hand
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $11.25 | Rake $0.51
Board [9c 3c Qd 4c]
Seat 1: vladibeest (button) folded on the Flop
Seat 2: JoooooooooJ (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: iLikeSnow (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: BankoBet folded on the Turn
Seat 5: Cisko555 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Bossi22 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: ozazello folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: mlnrrbrt collected ($10.74)
Seat 9: Kayvorle1 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

There were a few other hands that I mis-played and one or two that I played well too but I think that's enough for one night. 

Some of these decisions might seem completely trivial, but I'm not a great player and I find range dissection interesting. I love the way that in poker a hand can be bet for value on one street and then as a bluff on the next. That's where poker's beauty lies in my humble opinion. 

GL! 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Hand History

Just had a so so session, you know one of those where nothing goes right. It's very easy to tilt when it happens but when you've played close to a million hands it's easier to manage your emotions in those situations.

So I was pleased with the way I played other than one hand which I'll share:

PokerStars Zoom Hand #100929348436:  Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2013/07/03 21:57:23 WET [2013/07/03 16:57:23 ET]
Table 'Arp' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: monnemma ($25.06 in chips)
Seat 2: dbubll ($23.25 in chips)
Seat 3: ira5000 ($32.42 in chips)
Seat 4: BankoBet ($55.78 in chips)
Seat 5: hassofass000 ($67.67 in chips)
Seat 6: konn84 ($63.54 in chips)
Seat 7: ZEROPOSITIV ($40.90 in chips)
Seat 8: prelop_me ($141.46 in chips)
Seat 9: plesko ($99.01 in chips)
dbubll: posts small blind $0.25
ira5000: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to BankoBet [9d 9s]

BankoBet: raises $1 to $1.50
hassofass000: folds
konn84: folds
ZEROPOSITIV: folds
prelop_me: calls $1.50
plesko: folds
monnemma: folds
dbubll: folds
ira5000: raises $1 to $2.50
BankoBet: calls $1
prelop_me: calls $1
*** FLOP *** [8h Kc 9c]

BAZINGA!

ira5000: bets $2.50
BankoBet: calls $2.50

This is where the decision tree gets interesting. I don't think that calling was the right play given that there is evidence that ira5000 is an inexperienced player. Historically I've always done better by playing good hands fast against players like this. How would you have proceeded?

prelop_me: calls $2.50
*** TURN *** [8h Kc 9c] [Th]
ira5000: checks
BankoBet: bets $9.50
prelop_me: calls $9.50
ira5000: raises $9.50 to $19
BankoBet: raises $31.78 to $50.78 and is all-in

Given the evidence we've got so far about ira5000 I'm not too worried by this check raise. I've seen enough players like this overplaying AA and AK post flop to shit myself about KK - although it's obviously in his range. The question again is whether I took the right line by raising rather than calling. I can definitely see merits in calling. Again, what do you think?

prelop_me: folds
ira5000: calls $8.42 and is all-in
Uncalled bet ($23.36) returned to BankoBet
*** RIVER *** [8h Kc 9c Th] [Ah]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
ira5000: shows [Qc Jc] (a straight, Ten to Ace)
BankoBet: shows [9d 9s] (three of a kind, Nines)
ira5000 collected $77.09 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $79.59 | Rake $2.50
Board [8h Kc 9c Th Ah]
Seat 1: monnemma (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: dbubll (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: ira5000 (big blind) showed [Qc Jc] and won ($77.09) with a straight, Ten to Ace
Seat 4: BankoBet showed [9d 9s] and lost with three of a kind, Nines
Seat 5: hassofass000 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: konn84 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: ZEROPOSITIV folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: prelop_me folded on the Turn
Seat 9: plesko folded before Flop (didn't bet)

You might wonder why I posted this hand, but my instincts are telling me that I got it wrong and I wanted to hear some other points of view. Looking back I can understand why I took the line that I did but it still feels wrong somehow.

Right, time to head in. GL

Monday, 1 July 2013

Quick Update

All hands are 50NL Zoom poker on PokerStars

My play has been much improved lately which has coincided with an upturn in fortunes. I'm not naive enough to believe that the upswing is all down to better play but I am certainly making far fewer mistakes now that I've got hands under my belt.

When I first started playing again after last year's break I was being overly aggressive and not giving up in enough pots; I was playing too suspiciously by bluff catching too often and I was hand reading poorly. But since the 10k hand mark I've felt really sharp again so hopefully winning ways will continue.

There are definitely a few areas that still need work; I think I've missed value in several large pots in the last few thousand hands so I'll be looking to rectify that in the next.

Overall though I'm happy with my game, I haven't forgotten everything and I'm still competitive at these stakes in my opinion. GL!