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!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

More Hypers

Good afternoon, what a lovely day.

I've played a few more hypers, after running poorly to begin with and dropping several buy-ins I have placed in a few now to bring me nearly back to even. To be honest if I can get through all of my T$ at about break-even the exercise will have worked out exactly as I hoped as I'll be building a decent micro 'roll again at that point.

I'm really happy with my play overall, I've played pretty well and only found a few small ICM mistakes - and I've seen opponents make plenty so I actually think these are probably beatable.

When I've got through my T$ I'll post a bit more about results and see if there are any semi-instructive hands to go through.

I'm tempted after a few more of these to up the number of tables and try to get a bit of volume in. I think I'm probably making fewer ICM mistakes than others at this limit so hopefully can make a small return, though I'd need to do work at higher buy-ins to remain a winner I expect.

Update (edited with corrections):
Just made my biggest ICM mistake, so going to post it so that - hopefully - I learn from it!

 PokerStars Hand #156942445770: Tournament #1637170203, $6.71+$0.29 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level V (40/80) - 2016/08/06 18:31:00 WET [2016/08/06 13:31:00 ET]
Table '1637170203 1' 6-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 4: TexassRanger (990 in chips)
Seat 5: Me (1214 in chips)
Seat 6: Karganeth (796 in chips)
TexassRanger: posts the ante 8
Me: posts the ante 8
Karganeth: posts the ante 8
TexassRanger: posts small blind 40
Me: posts big blind 80
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Me [Qc Js]
Karganeth: raises 708 to 788 and is all-in
TexassRanger: folds
Me: calls 708
*** FLOP *** [7d 2d 6c]
*** TURN *** [7d 2d 6c] [9d]
*** RIVER *** [7d 2d 6c 9d] [3d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Me: shows [Qc Js] (high card Queen)
Karganeth: shows [Tc Th] (a pair of Tens)
Karganeth collected 1640 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 1640 | Rake 0
Board [7d 2d 6c 9d 3d]
Seat 4: TexassRanger (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: Me (big blind) showed [Qc Js] and lost with high card Queen
Seat 6: Karganeth (button) showed [Tc Th] and won (1640) with a pair of Tens

I have both players covered, but my pot odds are terrible so this should be a fold all day. Against the smallest stack I wouldn't expect my bubble factor to be huge here, it's just those pot odds.

Analysis:
Bubble factor against player 1 is ~ 1.3.
Pot odds / bubble factor = 1.18/1  /  1.3 = 0.91/1 so I need equity of ~53% required.

My opponent needs to be shoving 65% or more of his hands here for that to be true, and I don't think that is the case.

Lesson learned: Just because villain is relatively loose, and the bubble factor is low doesn't mean I can simply ignore pot odds!

More Hypers

Good afternoon, what a lovely day.

I've played a few more hypers, after running poorly to begin with and dropping several buy-ins I have placed in a few now to bring me nearly back to even. To be honest if I can get through all of my T$ at about break-even the exercise will have worked out exactly as I hoped as I'll be building a decent micro 'roll again at that point.

I'm really happy with my play overall, I've played pretty well and only found a few small ICM mistakes - and I've seen opponents make plenty so I actually think these are probably beatable.

When I've got through my T$ I'll post a bit more about results and see if there are any semi-instructive hands to go through.

I'm tempted after a few more of these to up the number of tables and try to get a bit of volume in. I think I'm probably making fewer ICM mistakes than others at this limit so hopefully can make a small return, though I'd need to do work at higher buy-ins to remain a winner I expect.

Update:
Just made my biggest ICM mistake, so going to post it so that - hopefully - I learn from it!

 PokerStars Hand #156942445770: Tournament #1637170203, $6.71+$0.29 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level V (40/80) - 2016/08/06 18:31:00 WET [2016/08/06 13:31:00 ET]
Table '1637170203 1' 6-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 4: TexassRanger (990 in chips)
Seat 5: Me (1214 in chips)
Seat 6: Karganeth (796 in chips)
TexassRanger: posts the ante 8
Me: posts the ante 8
Karganeth: posts the ante 8
TexassRanger: posts small blind 40
Me: posts big blind 80
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Me [Qc Js]
Karganeth: raises 708 to 788 and is all-in
TexassRanger: folds
Me: calls 708
*** FLOP *** [7d 2d 6c]
*** TURN *** [7d 2d 6c] [9d]
*** RIVER *** [7d 2d 6c 9d] [3d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Me: shows [Qc Js] (high card Queen)
Karganeth: shows [Tc Th] (a pair of Tens)
Karganeth collected 1640 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 1640 | Rake 0
Board [7d 2d 6c 9d 3d]
Seat 4: TexassRanger (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: Me (big blind) showed [Qc Js] and lost with high card Queen
Seat 6: Karganeth (button) showed [Tc Th] and won (1640) with a pair of Tens

I have both players covered, but my pot odds are terrible so this should be a fold all day. Against the smallest stack I wouldn't expect my bubble factor to be huge here, it's just those pot odds.

Analysis:
Bubble factor against player 1 is ~ 1.24.
Pot odds / bubble factor = 1.32/1  /  1.24 = 1.06/1 so I need equity of 48.4% required.

My opponent needed to be shoving 45% or more of his hands here for that to be true, and I don't think that was the case.

Lesson learned: Just because villain is relatively loose, and the bubble factor is low doesn't mean I can simply ignore pot odds!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Some hyper-turbo fun

I have some tournament $ I'd like to try and transfer into cash to boost my bankroll, so I've been hitting the 6-max hyper turbos at the $7 limit (this gives me plenty of buy-ins to allow for some variance).

So far my decision making has been reasonable, though I haven't run very well and only cashed once so far.

It's basically a game of ICM, and I'm not sure there's any profit in it - but if I come out close to break-even then I'll be pleased.

It's quite nice to be able to burn through a few tournaments in an evening, so I may investigate if these games can be beaten. If I find that they can be, and if I can build a degree of competence, then I could potentially multi-table... But we'll see.

If you have any experience with these, let me know!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

SNGs

Just a short post as had an hour of spare time tonight, played a couple of nine player turbo SNGs. Just at the $7 level as I'm very rusty.

Any of you know what win rates are possible in these? Play seemed weak (though I got knocked out early in both).

Summary of my play, lots of folding followed by two unsuccessful reshoves.

I had 99 in the SB and shoved my stack in the face of a button raiser who snapped with KJo and I lost the race; and I had 66 in the BB and shoved over a small blind raise and was called by KK. Standard tournament fare.


The 99 hand might be worth looking at as I need the practise and we were 6-handed so a small amount of bubble factor/ICM tax should come into play.

For simplicity I'll assume this is a call decision and that the BB folds, and given the horrendous hand he called with let's assign a range of {22+, any suited broadway, ATo+ and KTo+; 15%}. With 99 I have 54.7% equity against that range.

Using this ICM calculator my bubble factor against the villain in question is roughly:
9.86/(18.03-9.86) = 1.21.

The pot odds I would have received facing a shove would have been 1345/1125 = 1.2/1, and dividing by 1.21 we want roughly even equity or better which we have with 99 as disclosed above.

In the real hand I had fold equity on top of this, though that's offset by the small chance of the BB waking up with a good hand but even so I think it's a no-brainer, as I had suspected at the time.
The more I work through examples like this the more intuitive the decisions will become.


Why have I turned to tournaments given I've played a million micro cash game hands as a small winner? Not entirely sure, I go through phases and at the moment it's tournaments. I definitely feel that I'm a fish in tournaments and it's a bit of motivation for me to get better - much as I used to strive to improve my cash game skills back in the day.

I suppose really I just want to sit in whichever games I fancy playing and be somewhat competent, as I no longer harbour any dreams of making serious money from the game.

Right ramble over, good luck at the tables.

Simon.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Poker

Hello internet. After a long hiatus I feel like I'd like to put in some hours again.

My personal life has stabilised and spare time has been somewhat freed by completion of a qualification that I'd been working towards for the past four years. So with increased spare time brings opportunity to play poker!

I sat in the PokerStars Sunday Storm a couple of weeks back, and it made me realise just how much I'd forgotten, and how rusty my play was. I defaulted to super-nit mode (my general reaction when feeling out of depth in a poker game).

An example, I raised in MP with AcTc and WCGRider shoved back with about 9BB. I was getting about 2:1 from the pot, but I was LOST in terms of how I should react. A player as skilled as that could be shoving with anything there, though given his limited fold equity I should probably assume a decent hand. We weren't significantly close to the bubble that the ICM Tax was too great, but I folded.

Actually let's analyse the hand while I'm thinking about it.

PokerStars Hand #152065620950: Tournament #1489909215, $10+$1 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level XVI (400/800) - 2016/04/17 21:33:47 WET [2016/04/17 16:33:47 ET]
Table '1489909215 2488' 9-max Seat #8 is the button
Seat 1: 1Bentley123 (25511 in chips)
Seat 2: mathewholdem (8815 in chips)
Seat 3: badkali (13316 in chips)
Seat 4: tipchick95 (26392 in chips)
Seat 5: BankoBet (14180 in chips)
Seat 6: davini1972 (17614 in chips)
Seat 7: ircminator80 (25414 in chips)
Seat 8: ZoomathteTop (13337 in chips)
Seat 9: WCG|Rider (7398 in chips)
1Bentley123: posts the ante 80
mathewholdem: posts the ante 80
badkali: posts the ante 80
tipchick95: posts the ante 80
BankoBet: posts the ante 80
davini1972: posts the ante 80
ircminator80: posts the ante 80
ZoomathteTop: posts the ante 80
WCG|Rider: posts the ante 80
WCG|Rider: posts small blind 400
1Bentley123: posts big blind 800
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BankoBet [Tc Ac]
mathewholdem: folds
badkali: folds
tipchick95: folds
BankoBet: raises 1200 to 2000
davini1972: folds
ircminator80: folds
ZoomathteTop: folds
WCG|Rider: raises 5318 to 7318 and is all-in
1Bentley123: folds
BankoBet: folds
Uncalled bet (5318) returned to WCG|Rider
WCG|Rider collected 5520 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 5520 | Rake 0
Seat 1: 1Bentley123 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 2: mathewholdem folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: badkali folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: tipchick95 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: BankoBet folded before Flop
Seat 6: davini1972 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: ircminator80 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: ZoomathteTop (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: WCG|Rider (small blind) collected (5520)

Initial pot $1920, I bet an additional $2000, WCGRider shoved $7318 ($6918 additional) so pot size is $10,838 and I must call $5318. Pot odds are 10838/5318 so 2.04:1.

Let's introduce some ICM Tax, let's say 1.2 (this is just a guess because we're not that close to the money, I'd love to know if there is a way to accurately determine this figure for large field tournaments if any of you know without calculating ICM for thousands of players!). Now our odds are 2.04/1.2 so 1.7:1 which implies equity of 37% required by our hand against his range.

If he is shoving 88+, AJs+, AKo, KQs my equity is 35.7% so my fold is good. Any wider though, and I've made a mistake. So it looks like my decision was probably good, but it was pretty close.

The point though is that I had no idea during the tournament of whether I should have called, and I really need to brush up on this sort of thing now that I feel like playing again (working through examples like above should help).

In the end I finished ITM and tripled my buy-in so fairly please with the result though I'm certain I made pre-flop mistakes.

My goal over the next few weeks is to learn how the top hands fare against given ranges. There is an excellent table in the book 'Kill Everyone' by Nelson, Streib and Lee that gives these odds and I'll make that my starting point. Once this knowledge is learned it will just be a case of application at the tables and hopefully I can record some small-stakes tournament results.

I'll keep you posted, and hopefully get this blog running regularly again.

Simon.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

An evening of SNG play. [Updated]

Hi reader,

As ever my busy life has not allowed me much time for poker lately, but I will play a few $10 SNGs tonight as I have some tourney tickets to use. Hopefully I will cash a few and get a reasonably even return for the tournament dollars, though I think I'm at best break even in these games.

I have very little knowledge of the correct shove/call/fold ranges but I think I can probably come close to break even play as long as there are fish in the games, and I base my play around detailed player reads and cautious regard of stack sizes. In other words I'll do no more than two table!

I will post an update at the end. Probably once I've dropped several buy-ins....

Update:
Well, a little lame but I was distracted and only played one tournament in the end. But I did win it! I ran extremely well to be fair.

Notes about the $10 SNGs:
* They do contain players that play sub-optimally, of the usual kind:
             Loose passives
             Tight passives
             Loose aggressives
* I think there is value in these games if a player was dedicated enough to learn the late game ranges.

* I also think it's possible for an experienced cash game player to build regular early tournament chip leads with skilled play and then play reasonably solid in the late game and win money in the long term.

So in summary, I'll probably play a few more of these and use up my tickets.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Big pot... Didn't go my way. What do you think of my river shove?

video

OK, so just got out of a session and it was defined by one large pot.

My thinking for a typical opponent on the 4h6hKcJcKs river with trips is that most players would just shove their very best hands out of position here as they'd be afraid that I'd check back for showdown and therefore lose value where I'd also call a river bet. So I weighted his calling hands towards vulnerable trips types like KQ - which most villains at 25NL would probably call my river shove with.

So it was a thin value play which didn't go my way. I put a couple of ranges into Stove and it seems that there was value here if villain is calling with KQ, especially if I'm right and the river check was an unusual way for someone to play such a strong hand. It's just a shame it didn't go my way - but that's thin value bets for you. You lose the pots nearly half of the time.

So are there any better players out there who would have given different ranges here? Has play improved so much that regulars are snap folding KQ in this spot? Would love some input.

By the way, to justify my pre-flop call, it was just a stack size thing. I didn't want to get all-in with large effective stacks so decided to play a pot in position with a hand which probably dominates much of his 3-betting range.