Hello all, welcome to my online poker blog.

I've been playing on and off for a decade after being introduced by a friend.

I played regularly for a few years during the poker boom and had a decent record at the micros, particularly Rush and Zoom No Limit Hold'em games (here's one of my graphs).

Around 2012 I began a new career which involved immersing myself completely in study in my spare time, so I had little to no time for poker. However recently this burden has eased and so I have been gradually dipping back in.

I'm an amateur player who still hopes to some day beat the rake.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

New Years Resolutions - A Plan for the Coming Year

New Pokerstars VIP system
I like the improvements, it gives better rakeback value to microstakes players. However I've done a few calculations based on game parameters that are relevant to me and the games I play. Based on achieving and mantaining silver star VIP status and taking into account the new Stellar Rewards I think the equivalent rakeback I can earn this year is roughly around 20-22%. This is assuming we use the fpps wisely when purchasing from the site shop. This is much better than the sub 15% that micros players used to have to put up with but still meagre compared to the 27% I'm getting from Absolute. So to confirm an earlier post, I shall stay with Absolute until I can equalise the rakeback value. This will likely take some time since I'd have to either play super volume (by multitabling) or up stakes, neither of which I'm ready for yet. I'd quite like to play at Stars given the lovely software, security and such but for now I need the added value so that I can continue bankroll growth. This leads me on to next subject.
I Must Not Withdraw, I Must Not Withdraw, I...
This year I have made a decent bit of money from the game but when I moved over to Absolute I cashed out a few hundred dollars accross the various sites and only uploaded $50. It was nice to have a couple hundred quid to spend but my goal from here onwards is to grow a small sum into a (hopefully) large sum of money. In order to maximise this growth this means from now on... I cannot withdraw any money from the bankroll. It currently sits around $200 and I'm not going to handicap my chance to make a decent sum by taking money from it. If, some day, I can look up at a few K and know that I've reached a ceiling in poker ability at some given stake, then maybe I'll cash out and invest elsewhere. But for the immediate future, I will never withdraw money from my poker bankroll again until I'm done with the game.
Monthly Investment Target
I intend to try and play a minimum number of tournaments/hands every month this coming year but I haven't decided on any figures yet. It's still early days in my HUSNG learning curve so I don't want to set anything unrealistic. Remember I'm still only one tabling currently to try and maximise my learning potential while I'm a member of HUSNG.com until March. Afterwards I'll prob start multitabling to up my game volume which is quite important.
Bankroll Structure
The first part of the year at least will be in heads up sngs. But I can certainly invisage me playing other games, cash or tournaments or both. My golden rule for the next year will be "up to 5%". What I mean is that I'll invest up to a maximum of 5% of the bankroll at any one time. At the moment this means I'm at the threshold of moving up to $10 HUSNGs since $10 is 5% of $200.
Right, so that was a lot of talk and not many resolutions to be honest. My plan can essentially be summarised as a desire to play as many games as possible within strict bankroll growth guidelines while withdrawing no money from the bankroll itself. Simpleshk.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Played a few more games at last...

Played fairly well tonight I think, I was working on the stuff I've learned recently from the HUSNG videos; basically playing abc and occasionally running multi - street bluffs on boards I thought were good for it. Most of it worked out but made one loose shove over a very aggressive player who called with AKo - it was very early in the game and although villain had been super aggro so far I think the AJs all - in four bet shove might have been a little loose. Another hand getting 3/2 to call I had top pair on a dodgy 822 board. Villain had been pretty passive and only betting with made hands as far as I'd made out. So putting him on any 8 or 2 I think I should have folded my 98o getting those odds. Still, otherwise, I think my game and thinking is definitely improved to a solid enough level to crush these games so hopefully it won't be too long until I reach my weird 21 buy in threshold and move up to the 10 buck games. My game feels good, I'm still learning loads, and I shall try and get through a ton of games this coming year. I'll stay with Absolute for now, and see how we get on. If you're interested in tracking the sharkscope graph look for Battered_Sod @ absolute. I'm hoping (very much) that my general intuition that I'm good enough to beat these games is correct but sharky will "out me" either way. Good luck :)
note taking
just thought I'd add this... Have been advised to develop good note taking in heads up games early on so that once we regularly play the same players our skills are good enough for it to be of benefit. The gist is that if we wait until we grind the 50s or higher and regularly come across certain players it's better if our note taking skills are well refined. The reason is because: bad notes < no notes < good notes. So tonight I practised this skill and it does feel a little alien, I need to develop a good shorthand to make it easier.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Value of Playing HU Poker

Once upon a time there was a program on some obscure sky back channel called poker night live. One of the pros that used to commentate there once said that he did not truly learn to master poker until he'd played heads up. Three years later and I finally agree with him. If only I'd taken that initial advice and started playing HU sooner... Ah well, better late than never I guess. The point is - If you truly want to master this game you need to become an EXPERT post flop player. If you don't, you may be able to table select well and follow the typical raise preflop c-bet any flop strategy but sit at a table with players better than your "weak passives" and you'll get crushed. So, if you want to get better at poker play heads up games. I am astonished at how much I screw up when playing HU but every time I seem to learn something. And since I've been playing these games, I've been able to sit at 6max/full ring and really feel like I can compete postflop. On some tables, it feels like easy money. Just thought I'd post this on the off chance that I can help someone to take a big step to profitability quicker than I did.

Stars 30k/11k

Played these tonight, busted in both well short of the money. Felt I played really well though, I play these super aggressively as most of the villains are Harrington clones and play really passively. A semi lag style is great for building a stack. However, it requires you to run well because people get it in light against you. For example:

My strategy for mtts in general is - I want chips and I want them quickly. I'll never fold my way into the bubble, I'd rather go out on a two street bluff trying to build enough chips to get to the f table. As I said in a previous post, we cannot concentrate on finishing position; only on winning chips.
Next hand, we have a shorty in the small blind but we cannot tighten up our raising range based on the fear of a shove. Getting 2/1+ it was easy call:

I play these tournaments for fun really, they have so many runners our chances to make decent money are small. For that reason I take the buy - ins out of my bank rather than use bankroll moneyz.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Life Bad Beat #1

Got in from work today to find the dog had decided to shit himself. Out of all the space in the house though, unfortunately he did it in the square foot that was also occupied by various christmas presents for relatives. Sigh.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Big Pot Mistakes

big pot mistakes
Still making too many of these, this one being an example. Villain was very aggressive and I decided to rep a very strong hand. I hadn't - again - considered if I even had any fold equity and now I'm not sure. He'd called several large reraises already so I actually think I made a gross error in this hand. I aggressively finished off the game after this. I see some players start to play passively after a big suckout like this, out of some sort of guilt maybe? We cannot let this affect our play and I'm glad I played ruthlessly afterwards. The hand:

It's important I try and cut these mistakes out of my game. On the plus side, I feel I'm learning loads currently from the new set of videos I am watching (husng.com) in particular multi street planning. I'll post about that in future but for now, I'm loving these games despite only breaking even over the last 30 or so. Any time I get thin value from a hand or make a well planned bluff it's like awesome. I wish I'd started playing heads up sooner to be honest. Obv there's so much money to be made in the fuller games, but I've missed out on so much post flop play. That's where I get the most enjoyment. Anyway enough said, good luck on your play over Christmas. Hope you win f*loads

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Improving My Perception of Poker

When I was young I was a big chess fan - almost obsessively so at times. But I hated losing, and always set myself the unrealistic goal of winning every game. One handicap chess has given me since I've moved over to poker is that when I play tournaments and in particular heads up matches I am overly concerned with whether we win or lose these matches. This is the wrong way to think about poker. The very best HUSNG players don't tend to win more than 60% of their games, even against much weaker opposition. So they actually lose quite often. You'll notice that in previous posts I have talked about game results regularly. Well, husng profit is entirely based on how many chips you win compared to how many you lose. The best players know how to use all the possible stack sizes and situations to make sure they win more chips than they lose. It's this simple. The bigger the difference, the more husngs they win. So we should stop thinking about winning and losing games altogether - it is irrelevant. We just need to think about making the best possible decision at the time; the one that makes the most chips. We could lose twenty games in a row but as long as our decision making is correct it shouldn't bloody matter. So the challenge for me is to set aside this obsession with winning games; it's simpler than that. Win more chips than we lose.

Monday, 14 December 2009

I bit the bullet

and joined HUSNG.com for three months. Going to put in some hours with their videos now and really try and improve my understanding of post flop poker. At the end of it all I am hoping that I'll have a good understanding of where we are in a hand and what our equity is likely to be on a huge variety of flops. I've also found a few e-books that look really interesting but are rather expensive. I'll prob buy 1 or 2 of the cheapest ones after my membership to HUSNG expires around March time and see what I can learn. These books are for 6 max and have juicy chapters on continuation betting and equities that I just want to read, like, now. Oh well, patience Simon... Let's learn as much as we can from the current resource first. One e-book in particular written for NLHE players who want to move to PLO looks really interesting. It looks extremely thorough (from the chapter titles + segments). I'd prefer to stick to NL since I've learned so much about it already but edges between the better players and fish are bigger in that game which adds up to two/three ptbb/100. This can add up to a lot of extra hourly earn. But that's for next summer or beyond. For now, I'm learning to play HUSNGs. I'll try not to waffle too much for a bit, and post some results + hand histories along with my (developing, hopefully) thought processes.
Where should I play?
Not sure I posted this but my full tilt rakeback request was rejected. I think I signed up through pocket fives so they have my 27% every month. MEH - shan't play there any more then! LOL unless they do a great deal like that take 2 promotion I guess. Anyway, I'll continue to take advantage of my 30% deal from Absolute until I move up in stakes. Apparently pokerstars rakeback equivalent is not really worth it unless you move above $50 buy - in games and I'm not bankrolled or skilled enough for them yet. So for now, Absolute is my game. Hopefully move over to stars next year at some point and grind out some profit. GL

Friday, 11 December 2009

Standard Deviation in HUSNGs

Well I decided to spend an hour looking back at some basic maths probability (it's been a few years since I looked at any) and decided to create a spreadsheet where I could calculate variance, standard deviation and some confidence intervals for HUSNGs. Here are some numbers and conclusions that will help me in the future.
Playing without knowing our ROI
Truly, noone really knows what their exact ROI is, but those professional players who play tens of thousands of games per year are fairly close to realising their expectation. This is obvious due to the somewhat linear curves that are displayed on sharkscope. So how do we go about ascertaining whether we can beat the games or not? Well, we can use elimination. If we have a winrate of 60% then after roughly 300 games it is 99.7% likely that we will not have lost any money. This means that if we HAVE lost money, we cannot reasonably consider that figure as our winrate. If we think our winrate is 55% then after about 2000 games we should not have lost money 99.7% of the time. Once again, if we have then we are likely a break even player at best. Ok, so we should just play and forget about it then? Well, this is where we must start making assumptions. In the games I've played so far (albeit small stakes) the players have been BAD. Few of them will know the maths like I do or will have the determination to improve to the level of play that I want to reach. So I will estimate that I should be able to beat the games at a winrate of about 55%.
Numbers assuming a 55% winrate
Let's say we play the $20 HUSNGs for a year on Absolute poker. We'll need to play over 2000 to guarantee some plus ROI 99.7% of the time. If we play ten a day for 300 days, then in those 3000 games we can expect our earn to be $3900+or-$3270 99.7% of the time. This is $630 < average < $7170. As you can see, there is alot of 'variance' in that range. Still, next year this should be the minimum that I should try to achieve since this a guaranteed profit of at least $630 providing our initial winrate assumption is reasonable. If we run good that's a few thousand quid - nothing to be sneered at.
Turning professional
Could we make a living playing $20 HUSNGs? Yes. Once again assuming a 55% winrate, if we played 100 games a day for 300 days of the year then we have 30000 games. Our earn would be $39000+or-$10340 so we would win (99.7% of the time) at least $29000.
It was about time that I did this work and got some idea about our expectations for these games. My first goal should be to learn as much as I can to beat the games, my second to play enough games such that I ride out the standard deviations from the average. If anyone thinks I'm about to jump ship and turn pro... Well tbh I'd love to give it a try. Maybe some day I will. But unfortunately it's a very big risk - too big a risk currently. My plan for the next year is just to learn, learn again, play some and then learn some more. I still enjoy playing and working stuff out - and being right some of the time - and I love the game theory and maths side to poker. It will probably just remain a firm hobby that might make me a bit on the side. But you never know, maybe some day.
If there's any maths that I fucked up - I'd give that a 99.7% chance of being true - please point it out. I deliberately typed in the equations in the spreadsheet instead of using the predefined functions so that I was using old skills almost forgotten. GL.

Implied Odds

In the last post I played a gutshot aggressively over two streets against a calling station - the lowest EV play IMO. At the time I thought that just check folding may have been best but I decided to put some hands into pokerazor to find a threshold for implied odds. I simplified the given hand and found that providing we could reliably make better than approx (20 x bet to call) on later streets then we could reasonably call to hit our gutshot. In other words if it costs less than 5% of the effective stacks. It's a long time since I studied any implied odds maths because in full ring it's generally best just to muck gutshot straight draws. But they are a hand we will get quite often and are seriously worth playing in heads up. So the little rule of thumb I'll use from now on is this 5% figure. Easy to stick to and shouldn't get us into much trouble. Of course for any additional outs we can increase this and use our intuition about how much it might be safe to call. We could also double this figure for flush draws and open ended straight draws ie if it costs less than 10% of effective stack size we call, otherwise fold. Really useful rules of thumb I think.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Road to Improvement

I clearly have much to learn. HUSNG.com is the next step I believe. I'll join for three months and devote much of that time to study. I'll try and play a minimum of two games per day and really work hard on watching as many videos as I can and create an organised folder full of notes and hands that I feel are important. One thing that's just occurred to me is that the best players seem to specialize in certain games and this is the approach I should take. I'm a decent all round poker player but not a very good one in any field. Well, it's my goal to become a very good heads - up player which should make me a very good poker player since my post flop play should excel as a result. Long term goal? To be able to beat games up to $100 and hold my own in $100+. If I can do this then there'll be a load of profit to be made. Beyond the HUSNG.com study, I may have to consider employing a coach. They cost a fair bit of money but it's basically an investment. Once I can prove that I can beat games at small/mid stakes I can then think about enrolling students of my own and getting that money back.

Brutal hour or so...

4 games, four losses. Despite being a 2/1 chip leader twice and getting it in with the best hand. Going to stop play since in the last game I got it in with JJ and ran into TT who insta outed a set. Ok, every single one of these players was calling like 80% out of the big blind. I felt I had a huge edge on all of them and played reasonably well but just didn't get the cards. Obv I don't expect to be a winner at HU yet - I am determined that I will beat these games - but I am sure that this was just bad variance. Every flip I seemed to lose and I made the mistake of getting the money in light with weak aces twice which didn't help tonight. Trouble is, with shortish blinds ATs is a clear call getting better than 2/1. I don't want to turn this into a bad beat post though so let's focus on the hands I played badly. I'll pick a couple and post below:

Ok this was immediately after the hand where we lost with JJ vs. TT. Basically I put villains range for donking as any part of the board but not a monster. I figured I could get second or bottom pair to fold and figured I had ten outs to the best hand meaning I'm only a 38% dog to be good by the river if we are called. Unfortunately he had one of my outs reducing my equity to 27%. And obv top pair which is prob never folding.

I think a problem I'm running into is that all these players have been very loose passive at various times throughout the match and I've made the mistake of giving myself too much fold equity in a pot. Here's another example:

My problem here is that by checking my blind preflop I'm representing a very small range by check raising the flop. Plus, villain is rarely folding to any flop aggression. Check folding is probably way better here. EDIT: What about check calling? If we hit we should have a really good hidden hand. And as we've seen, villain doesn't like folding top pair. It's a much less expensive line against this type of player. The problem is I've been so used to playing aggressively but against this type of player passive play is necessary with draws because we obv have NO fold equity. Become a station to beat a station. I'll continue to analyse my play over the coming weeks. These players are all big losers on sharkscope so I'm clearly 1/ either card dead or 2/ I am not exploiting these players in the best way. I think it's probably a mix of the two.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

A Better Way to Play a LPAS

The previous hand I posted I played a hand too aggressively with little fold equity. This situation was similar as villain had never folded to a raise after showing strength himself. We're a favourite over top pair with 15 or so outs but I decided to take a check call line and then value town if we hit one of our hands. It came on the river and we got our value. I wonder if we could check raise the flop as favourite and then check call the turn? This could lead to us winning his stack rather than a few hundred. Hmmm, not sure about that. If we'd bricked I suppose we're pretty crippled. Don't think it was a bad way to play our hand.

EDIT: Been thinking more about this hand, I think the check raise line is best after more thought. Surely any time you're favourite and can build the pot it's good, even if we brick the turn. If he's never folding the flop to our raise then we've added value while best. If the turn bricks we can check and call getting odds that are bound to be good (unless villain shoves...) and then either shove if we hit the river or check fold if we miss. This way I think we get the very most value from our big draw on the flop.

hand replayer

just updated the last post now using an online hand replayer. Unfortunately it means that my poor play is now there for the world to see on a public server. Serves me right ;) Basically I'll continue to out my mistakes and use the replayer. It's much easier on the eye than wading through hand history text. Going to try and play more HUSNGs in the next few weeks - more than I've been playing recently I mean.
Preflop play
So far I've been very aggressive from the button and big blind, and I'm pretty sure this is less than optimal against the weak loose passive opponents I've been facing. We raise to build a pot with a good hand and to sometimes win the blinds. If villain is never folding the BB to a raise, this kind of negates the need to raise with our weaker hands since we have no steal equity. So against this kind of opponent I'll start limping more of my range and only raising those hands that play well versus villain's range. The same applies to BB play, there's little point in 3 betting (weak hands) if villain is never folding. We are just building a big pot with a weak hand. Against a loose passive, we also need to realise that they are level one thinkers. They just play the cards in front of them so they will not adjust well to our raises/limps. So in other words we can quite comfortably play our hand face up and this is how we extract the most money from this opponent.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

God I suck sometimes...

but I should try and be positive. Other than this one big mistake I played pretty well in this game. Here's the hand and I'll go through it at the end:

Ok, villain wasn't too bad but pretty loose passive preflop and a little passive on the flop. I raise k9 suited standard but decide to call the small 3-bet. This is the first mistake. Villain had only 3-bet like 5 percent of the time so far so we are pretty crushed all the time. But I decided to take a board in position for the small extra investment. On the flop I plan to give up knowing that villain could easily be checking his entire range here. On the turn I pick up the double gutter so my options are obv 1. fold, 2. call, 3. ship. Folding is ok I think but I think there's enough implied odds to fish for one of the eight outs. I don't really have time at the moment but I think I'm getting villains stack every time when one of those cards hits. I'll do the maths at some point and update this post. Shoving though, while some opponents might muck second pair or such here I don't think such a tight 3-bet range will ever fold out so I made a huge mistake getting the money in 18% to improve with little fold equity. Shite. Had played pretty well until that point.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Played pretty well tonight I think...

I really tried to play solidly tonight after my shocker yesterday. I think, overall, I played well. I was reading villain's play quite well and adjusting to their adjustments. My hand reading was reasonably good and I managed to extract some extra value by using a couple of reverse tells on appropriate boards and bet sizing correctly - in one pot in particular. Happy today. Still tons of leaks in my game though so hopefully the study I put in when I join HUSNG will help with that. Not sure I'll ever be able to go back to full ring any more, I won't be seeing enough flops lol. It's amazing how different I'm beginning to see the game now I am seeing so much 'later street' play. It's so much fun... and for the first time - against certain opponents - you really do feel like you are a good player. I've never felt that before in any poker game. Right to finish up here's a hand I played tonight. I'd labelled villain as semi tight passive. I'm not honestly sure if I played the hand optimally but I certainly won a big pot. The river danger card was a good one for me to check raise since it's obv a good card to bluff and it's also difficult for villain to put those draws in my range. It looks bluffy in other words. But when someone I've labelled as passive four bets I was shit scared. But I just couldn't see any hand that would play this way so decided to call. Was right but not sure if I was correct to call. So Decide for yourselves:
Stage #2036446262 Tourney ID 4974977 Holdem Single Tournament No Limit 40 - 2009-12-04 23:16:29 (ET)
Table: 33011080 (Real Money) Seat #4 is the dealer
Seat 4 - WANWEST (1,435 in chips)
Seat 6 - BATTERED_SOD (1,565 in chips)
WANWEST - Posts small blind 20
BATTERED_SOD - Posts big blind 40
Dealt to BATTERED_SOD [9c Ks]
WANWEST - Raises 60 to 80
*** FLOP *** [8h Kd Kh]
WANWEST - Bets 40
BATTERED_SOD - Raises 120 to 120
WANWEST - Calls 80
*** TURN *** [8h Kd Kh] [Jd]
WANWEST - Checks
*** RIVER *** [8h Kd Kh Jd] [10d]
WANWEST - Bets 40
BATTERED_SOD - Raises 200 to 200
WANWEST - Raises 960 to 1,000
BATTERED_SOD - Calls 800
*** SHOW DOWN ***
WANWEST - Shows [5c 5s] (Two Pair, kings and fives)
BATTERED_SOD - Shows [9c Ks] (Three of a kind, kings)
BATTERED_SOD Collects 2,400 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot(2,400)
Board [8h Kd Kh Jd 10d]
Seat 4: WANWEST (dealer) (small blind) HI:lost with Two Pair, kings and fives [5c 5s - B:Kh,B:Kd,P:5s,P:5c,B:Jd]
Seat 6: BATTERED_SOD (big blind) won Total (2,400) HI:(2,400) with Three of a kind, kings [9c Ks - P:Ks,B:Kh,B:Kd,B:Jd,B:10d]

I guess the hand he's representing is a set. But I think 88 would rereaise the flop often since it looks like I might have a king. 88 or JJ would surely try and get some money in on the turn given that I might have a king. That leaves only one possible hand with three combinations in TT. AQ or any other draw can reasonably be discounted because there was no betting on the turn. I've also used those reverse tells and so there's a good chance he might put me on a busted flush draw and try to bluff raise me. So given that his range is so polarized I believe the call to be correct. One last point - could we not have shipped the stack in? Would he not feel obliged to call for a hundred chips more with any two? Maybe not.

Looking at a big online winner

If you get a minute, go to sharkscope and look up this player. His curve shows a pretty perfect model of how to build a bankroll. With profit currently hovering somewhere near a million dollars over 25000 games you can see how it grew exponentially over time. It also demonstrates how variance increases at higher stakes games. I picked out this player as I know this was achieved mainly in heads up sit n goes. From reading his posts and thoughts on hand histories it is clear that he is an exceptional hand reader with a thorough knowledge of equities and metagame strategy. Reading forums and such, it seems to be general consensus that anybody can beat the games up to $110 for a healthy ROI and obv profit. Only the exceptional players move beyond these levels and remain winners. I can honestly say I don't think I'll ever have the ability to challenge in the $500+ games. Still, I don't think I'm so bad that I cannot make some money playing beneath this level. To this end, I'm seriously considering joining HUSNG.com and getting a load of their videos and doing some hard study over the coming months. It has been really good being a member of cardrunners and I've learned alot from them. But they do not do many HUSNG videos which is a shame - therefore I'll likely finish my full membership there until such time as I return to the 6 - max, full ring cash games.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

just played awfully

played a match and just wanted to berate myself on here...
Started well, I built a 5/1 chip lead and then instead of being PATIENT, I gambled after I'd let the lead slip back to 2/1. Basically I turned a second pair hand into a bluff. Now villain had been folding alot to reraises so I figured the best options were to fold or make the hand a bluff. Any passive play on my part was meeting alot of aggression from villain. So I really didn't think I could get to showdown cheaply enough. So I shipped in with second pair and got insta called by top pair decent kicker. After that I was a little tilted and ended up losing a little too easily. this is something I'll really have to learn how to control better in future. Just play each hand on it's merits and in an isolated manner and forget about previous mistakes. In this game I just gave away equity towards the end because my head wasn't in the right place. Slap on wrist. I think the fact that I'm tired is not helping me tonight. I know we shouldn't play when we are suffering from fatigue but I must if I want to play since my job demands crappy hours. Sigh. Ok, deep breath, next game.
the final bankroll strategy
Recently I've talked about a host of different approaches for bankrolling. Right now my bank is about $200 after the last game. I think I'm going to approach the problem like this. Until I reach $210 I'll keep playing $5 buy - ins. Once (if, lol) I reach $210 I'll play a $10 game and use that benchmark as my cross over point. In other words 20 + 1 buy ins for any stake. This means that I have 40 buy-ins for the 5 dollar games which I should never feasibly lose at these stakes unless I play like I did in the last game... Lol. There shouldn't be a need to ever increase this leverage since if we were to get to $420 at some point that would give us 42 buy - ins at the $5 stakes plus 22 buy - ins at $10 which is 64 and this would increase with every level we play. We just need to ensure that we move up and down at the correct time which I've always been disciplined enough to do. That is my strategy and every now and then I'll post a little summary of my recent results and current bankroll. The bankroll begins at $200...
On second thoughts I don't think I'll play any more tonight I'm really not thinking very clearly due to being awake for 16 hours. GOD, 5/1 chiplead to loser...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Lol at last post...

I did quite well considering I'd had a few pints lol. Still, the approach I was thinking about has some merit. Of course those decisions are not discrete as I was suggesting, but generally we can consider hands with low equity as if we have none and those where we have a bit more as if we have some etc. Deciding exactly whether we have any showdown value is a critical skill and one I hope to master.
Flop equities
are something I intend to study in equal measure with my games in order to figure out when I should be mucking about on flops etc. One thing I didn't realise was that in heads up pots equity drops massively if you don't have an ace in your hand against a tightish range. For example, on a J75 rainbow board, AQ has 38% equity against a top 10% villain range compared to only 25% with KQ. I have been looking at things like this quite alot recently - in particular boards where we don't pair. I intend to write a study on the subject at some point for my own benefit and reference. Once this knowledge is second nature it should help my hand reading skills immensely. I already feel more comfortable playing flops from the short time I've been working to this end.
Just played a match
against a very loose player, who was playing 80% of hands but then fairly ABC other than that. I don't think I quite adjusted well enough to a tendency he had to fold to continuation bets too often. He also played too many pots imo out of position. Never the less he should actually have won the game other than when I hit a two outer with QQ against his flopped trips on an x88 board. Funniest thing he turned a boat but I sucked out on the river lol. The most interesting hand was this one (analysis at end):
Stage #2032451801 Tourney ID 4819729 Holdem Single Tournament No Limit 10 - 2009-12-02 18:20:15 (ET)
Table: 32970839 (Real Money) Seat #4 is the dealer
Seat 4 - LEESA41 (1,395 in chips)
Seat 6 - BATTERED_SOD (1,605 in chips)
LEESA41 - Posts small blind 5
BATTERED_SOD - Posts big blind 10
Dealt to BATTERED_SOD [8s 7c]
LEESA41 - Calls 5
*** FLOP *** [4c 9h 6s]
LEESA41 - Bets 20
BATTERED_SOD - Raises 60 to 60
LEESA41 - Raises 180 to 200
BATTERED_SOD - All-In(Raise) 1,535 to 1,595
LEESA41 - All-In 1,185
BATTERED_SOD - returned (210) : not called
*** TURN *** [4c 9h 6s] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [4c 9h 6s 6h] [Kc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
LEESA41 - Shows [6c 5s] (Three of a kind, sixes)
BATTERED_SOD - Shows [8s 7c] (One pair, sixes)
LEESA41 Collects 2,790 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot(2,790)
Board [4c 9h 6s 6h Kc]
Seat 4: LEESA41 (dealer) (small blind) won Total (2,790) All-In HI:(2,790) with Three of a kind, sixes [6c 5s - B:6s,B:6h,P:6c,B:Kc,B:9h]
Seat 6: BATTERED_SOD (big blind) HI:lost with One pair, sixes [8s 7c - B:6s,B:6h,B:Kc,B:9h,P:8s]

Ok, not sure this was the best play for me. Thing is, I discounted anything other than top pair or two pair in which case I don't have alot of fold equity. At the time I thought he may have some weak top pair hand that would have a difficult time calling my shove. I'm basically repping two pair. Anyway let's put those hands into stove and decide how I played it. Let's include the hands he's calling with based on the above decision so second pair +. My equity is forty percent if we are called by any of those hands. I guess this counts the 87 as overcards those times he calls with second pair. I cannot justify his call though thinking about it. If I'm only doing this with this hand and two pair I think we crush his range. So thinking like that we probably get enough folds to make this +ev against most players. Another thing to note was a timing tell I picked up. Most of the time he/she (just noticed the name) was betting quickly and consistently. But sometimes (s)he'd think for a bit then check. I was betting every time after seeing this tell and getting a fold every time. That research I did paid off a little at last :)

Friday, 27 November 2009

Decision Tree

Ok, I'm a little drunk and been playing about with what I talked about in the last post. I feel the simplest way to do this is a tree with two branches, each with it's own two branches giving us four conclusions.
Do we have showdown equity?
If we do not this is the simplest route to follow. the next question on this branch is:
(No) Do we have enough steal equity to make betting profitable?
Bluff mathematics is straight forward. When we bet we are laying ourselves odds. We just need our bet to work a certain amount of the time for it to be right. Typically, this is maximised when we can represent a hand on a certain board and make a stronger hand fold.
(No).(No) : Generally fold.
(No).(Yes) : Generally bet.

The next branch is trickier...
We have some showdown equity. Now the branch becomes:
(Yes) Can we get value from a weaker hand (including draws) calling?
Now we must obv consider opponents' range and hands that might call us if we bet.
If weaker hands will often call we should bet. Otherwise we should either try to see a showdown cheaply, or, given the right situation - turn our hand into a bluff. So the remaining options are now:
(Yes).(No) : Generally showdown if we can or turn hand into bluff
(Yes).(Yes) : Generally bet to extract value from weaker hands.

This is a grossly simplified way of thinking about poker decision making but I think it will help if I use this simple decision tree every time I am considering a move. If I can make this process second nature I am convinced it will make me considerably stronger. I think I do these things most of the time, but my mistakes are made when I deviate...

Good Evening

played three games just now, all three players were exploitable but I didn't play spectacularly well, I made two errors by running bluffs that didn't really represent anything and got called by the best hand; I made a semi loose call with a gutshot royal flush draw after Villain shoved giving me 1.4:1 and bricked. Another game I managed to correctly read V for a draw and slow played top pair to get the chips in but lost to the rivered flush. This last game, I played a pretty aggressive preflop player and decided to flat the button with KK and on a safish board the money went in he had AA :( that was pretty gross as that's pretty much top of his range given the board we had. Never mind. Recently I've posted about various bankrolling approaches, but it's pretty foolish since I might be a losing player... Based on this evenings play where I made a few mistakes I think I need to play a few hundred of these to get some idea of my winrate before I start with one of these strategies. So for now I'm just going to play one table at a time; concentrate on 1/ hand ranges 2/ timing tells 3/ making plays on boards where Villain might believe me... lol. After a couple hundred games I'll have a better idea where I am. Despite all this - and who knows I might only be a break even player :( - I'm absolutely loving the post flop play. It really is where the fun lies. Even if I eventually move back to 6 max, when I do I'll be so much better for this experience.
Challenge up to Christmas
I'll try and play 100 husngs at $10 between now and christmas. I'll analyse the big pots afterwards and see where I think my game is.
Full Tilt Rakeback Update
I never heard anything from the first site I tried, but the nice people at rakebacknation.com are checking my account to see if I can get it. Every finger is crossed. Although their games are tough, they often do promotions that would make it very worthwhile to play there. With rakeback on top of that it would be money in the pocket.
Simple Decision Tree
I'm going on, I know; I just had an idea to use a simple decision tree so that I'm never making goofy plays. In other words so that I'm always thinking about whether I have showdown equity, steal equity and other things that might help me make the best decision available. Hmmm I'll think about this. The goal would be to make this process second nature while I play. At the moment I kind of stumble about and sometimes make plays and think - oh hold on that was crap because... - learning this process would help eliminate those mistakes.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Growing Some Coin - Taking the High Risk Line

Using poker as a high risk investment
I have a pretty safe monthly income which doesn't pay that well but gets the bills paid. I have long been thinking that I need to take more risks with poker to try and make a few thousand dollars extra per year. HUSNGs seem the best investment currently and I've been looking at how to aggressively move through the limits to try and maximise the potential earning. In other words I think that there are faster ways to grow money than taking the strict 100 buy in route. I am quite comfortable moving up and down stakes. The strategy I am considering using is a strict 10% investment. My bankroll on absolute is currently $230. If we invest a maximum of 10% at a time we can currently play the $20.7 HUSNGs. Should we increase this figure to over $300 we can then move up to the next stakes. If however we were then to suffer a downswing and our roll fall below $300 again we instantly move back down to the $20, and if it continues through this part of our roll we move back to the tens etc. I've seen this approach written about before. There is no guarantee we will not lose our entire bankroll. There is some risk of ruin there. But this isn't my job, it's just an investment. It's also possible that we could go on some insane heater and make a few hundred pretty quickly. Also, I can supplement this approach with part of my monthly income. If we ever finish the month down on the initial $200 I can top up again. Anyway, if this is what I decide to do I'll let you know. The players who rise quickly to the nosebleeds must have taken significant risks early on.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Haven't played much obv for a bit but just getting some (computer) gaming out of my system and then I'll be back amongst the husng games. I really should start to take these things more seriously as it's coin in the pocket, really.
Free Poker Training Website, O rly?!
Found this one just now while doing a google search for timing tells. http://www.tagpoker.co.uk/
Haven't spent long here or watched any vids yet but wtf it looks really good! I'll post a little review on here once I've done some watching and learning. I'll start with the series of vids focusing on building a bankroll from 50 to 500 dollars (in HUSNGs) as this is a good start for my game.
Those timing tells, huh?
Yeah, another thing I'll be concentrating on more during this period where I'm just playing one table to improve is timing tells. At the stakes I'll be playing for some time yet I'm sure there will be alot of situations that I've previously overlooked where my knowledge of timing tells is bad. Might also post about that on here at some point too. That's where I'm at currently.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Played two Stars MTTs

Didn't play that great, was ok until I made a pretty loose call with top two pair.
Basically I needed to think I was good about half the time to be able to call. The player had been playing most hands over a small sample passively preflop but super aggressively postflop. So I decided that he was probably shoving a big draw in other words any offsuit broadways with a club in which case my call is good. When he shows his set I puke, if he's only shoving his best hands I am crushed so still not sure how good my call is. If I put a mix of draws and big hands the call is still ok but nevermind this was the end of my tourney.
Here's the hand:
PokerStars Game #35704859462: Tournament #229010497, $10+$1 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level II (15/30) - 2009/11/22 19:12:34 WET [2009/11/22 14:12:34 ET]
Table '229010497 478' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: udaff13 (2830 in chips)
Seat 2: Tommy C 06 (2945 in chips)
Seat 3: bycha (3020 in chips)
Seat 4: PKRisMYstar (2940 in chips)
Seat 5: Lili_Gee (2890 in chips)
Seat 6: wurmeliene (3510 in chips)
Seat 7: BigSixx34 (2065 in chips)
Seat 8: BankoBet (3630 in chips)
Seat 9: perlikano (3260 in chips)
bycha: posts small blind 15
PKRisMYstar: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BankoBet [Td Ad]
Lili_Gee: folds
wurmeliene: folds
BigSixx34: folds
BankoBet: raises 60 to 90
perlikano: folds
udaff13: calls 90
Tommy C 06: folds
bycha: folds
PKRisMYstar: calls 60
*** FLOP *** [7c Ac Tc]
PKRisMYstar: checks
BankoBet: bets 215
udaff13: folds
PKRisMYstar: raises 2635 to 2850 and is all-in
BankoBet: calls 2635
*** TURN *** [7c Ac Tc] [5h]
*** RIVER *** [7c Ac Tc 5h] [8d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
PKRisMYstar: shows [7d 7s] (three of a kind, Sevens)
BankoBet: shows [Td Ad] (two pair, Aces and Tens)
PKRisMYstar collected 5985 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 5985 | Rake 0
Board [7c Ac Tc 5h 8d]
Seat 1: udaff13 folded on the Flop
Seat 2: Tommy C 06 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: bycha (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: PKRisMYstar (big blind) showed [7d 7s] and won (5985) with three of a kind, Sevens
Seat 5: Lili_Gee folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: wurmeliene folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: BigSixx34 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: BankoBet showed [Td Ad] and lost with two pair, Aces and Tens
Seat 9: perlikano folded before Flop (didn't bet)

The other tourney went pretty terribly, I made a good read on a flop when someone shoved over my c-bet and I had the best hand but got sucked out on. Meh.
Pokerstars are running qualifiers for the UK and Ireland Poker Tour events so I'm going to try and qualify for live events in Manchester and Nottingham. The buy-ins for these events are 500 quid each so I'll try to invest up to 200 in the sattelites and see if I can get to play for cheap. I'd just like to have some fun in a live tournament and mix with good players. Will let you know if I play.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Heads Up Gaming Thoughts

Ultra Turbos
Well, having played a few more of these now, some patterns are emerging. Bear in mind I've only been playing 5 buck games so far so the standard of opposition is bound to be weak. I aim to have improved my knowledge of equities and shove fold maths to a high level by the new year where I'll jump into some meaty games for more money. Right, for those patterns...
1. There is very little real poker, we may have chance to make one or two good plays based on good hand reading. This probably adds up to less than a percent of possible ROI unless you get a complete fish who hands you chips. Hyper aggression is essential early on, every bit of chip equity we can gain will help us in the nash stage. Here's an example of a hand I played earlier where I was able to get some chips where villain's line didn't make much sense. It's not a huge pot, but hand reading is one area where I'm trying to improve and I felt I played this hand well.
Stage #2007408486 Tourney ID 4819699 Holdem Single Tournament No Limit 20 - 2009-11-19 18:54:48 (ET)
Table: 32717250 (Real Money) Seat #6 is the dealer
Seat 4 - EDDDI (390 in chips)
Seat 6 - BATTERED_SOD (610 in chips)
BATTERED_SOD - Posts small blind 10
EDDDI - Posts big blind 20
Dealt to BATTERED_SOD [4c 6c]
EDDDI - Checks
*** FLOP *** [3c 7d 3d]
EDDDI - Checks
EDDDI - Raises 40 to 40
*** TURN *** [3c 7d 3d] [3h]
EDDDI - Checks
*** RIVER *** [3c 7d 3d 3h] [2h]
EDDDI - Bets 60
BATTERED_SOD - Raises 220 to 220
EDDDI - Folds
BATTERED_SOD - returned (160) : not called
*** SHOW DOWN ***
BATTERED_SOD - Does not show
BATTERED_SOD Collects 240 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot(240)
Board [3c 7d 3d 3h 2h]
Seat 4: EDDDI (big blind) Folded on the RIVER
Seat 6: BATTERED_SOD (dealer) (small blind) collected Total (240) HI:(240) [Does not show]

also... versus a strong player my line would not make any sense either and I'd expect some chips in my face... lol. I just felt my abc opponent would fold a huge amount of the time.
2. Players seem super tight in the big blind so far once we get to the 20/40 jam/fold stage. Shoving every small blind is correct against players who do not call as loosely as they should. After several hands doing this we might back off a little and start folding the very worst of our range. In short, while I do want to learn the equilibrium tables and certainly will at some point for now just making common sense calls from the BB and shoving most SBs at this stage will prob make enough chips at these stakes to make a profit. Not much of one, but maybe 3-4% ROI.
SB reraise calling with pot odds
There are tables that give the correct calling ranges given a villain's range and the pot odds we are getting. I intend to memorise these so that I can really piss people off by calling in position with a wider range than I do currently. More hard work - but by doing all this boring learning stuff I'll be able to hold my own up to serious stakes. And judging by the sharkscope leaderboards headsup is big, big money currently. Probably for the reasons I've listed in previous posts.
Headsup in general and one tabling to improve learning
I've really come to start enjoying playing heads up. It is, essentially, post flop poker. That's where the fun in this game is in all it's intricacy. So for better or worse, I'll now specialise in these games. I'll focus on becoming a HU expert within the next two years or so, and then maybe try and make some serious money from the game finally. There are players earning three times what I earn in a year who's average tournament buy in is less than thirty dollars. That is alot of return for not alot of risk. I'd be making a life mistake by not taking this road should my knowledge get where I want it to be. Wish me luck :) Finally, I'm just playing one table at the moment and it's creating good habits in my thought processes. Such as playing less "fit or fold"/"hit or miss" poker and thinking on higher levels than I have ever done before. I'll continue with this habit and eventually begin adding tables once I feel that good habits have become second nature. Post finally over, good luck at the tables!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Ultra Turbos

Tried these out tonight, I have no idea whether there is any profit in them but each game was over in such a short time, if there was any profit at all you could play hundreds of these very quickly. I picked the 500 chip starting stack (there is two minute blinds). I'll need to research I suppose to test the waters. The average time per game was about five minutes, so that's obv 12 per hour just one tabling and if we play say four at a time we can 48 game every hour which is so fucking sick. Since in heads up poker it's possible to work out whether the games can make money pretty quickly it might be worth taking a few hours this weekend and play a couple hundred and try and work it out. There were plenty of mistakes I spotted in these games (I made loads too lol). Also, towards the end when I was playing nash jam fold the opposition was folding way too much. Early days but I think maybe 3% ROI could be achieved which isn't spectacular but since we can get through so many so quickly we can annihilate the variance without too much work I suppose.
Some mathematics with my estimated ROI
Ok, so suppose we four table these games and can actually achieve 3% ROI. It would take only 200 hours to play approx 10000 games. So if we treat 10000 as a target, what could we earn playing 5/10/20 bucks? 10000*5.25*0.03=1575; 3150 or 6300. The 10/20 returns per hour are better than my actual income and are obv tax free. Once again, pretty fucking sick. Of course these games are so quick there might actually be no profit with the rake so I guess until I read otherwise on forums etc I will just need to experiment.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Investment Portfolios

Structured Poker Investment
Was looking at ways to make some moneys from investment and read about portfolios. It seemed like a good way to structure a monthly investment in poker. We split our money into three groups - high / medium / low risk. For example, if we wanted to invest $200 a month we could play one $30 game (high risk), three $20 games (med risk) and eleven $10 games. Now, this is only fifteen games and we'd obv like to play more than this, so we'd have to reinvest with whatever money we have left. If we make profit on the first $200 we can rinse/repeat or take bigger risks perhaps. If we lose some money we can take the cautious line to ensure we don't lose our entire investment. I quite like this 15/30/55 split between the risks so each time we reinvest we could use this guideline for splitting up our money. I like the sound of this approach. I don't think it's going to guarantee any extra ROI but it's a good way of allowing us to take some risks without getting carried away.
Bankroll management
We could also apply this thinking to bankroll management. Instead of taking the "hundred buyins minimum" line which is obv a safe way of growing money - we could certainly allow some of this total to be used at higher stakes. I've heard many coaches preach that you should never take shots, and some that think you should. I don't see why you shouldn't providing it's done in a structured way.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Played a little tonight.

Sharkscope searching - well I bought a load of sharky searches a while back and thought I'd use some and try and table select well tonight. Was able to start one game against a regular loser and won easily when I flopped trips and he stacked off straightforwardly. But other than that I used up about 30 searches and every player seemed a winner. This made me scratch my head and start thinking... in my usual over analyzing way. Well, since good players should practice table selection... Does this therefore mean that the "table - joining" pool of players contains, on average, more fish than the "already - seated" pool of players? It does seem that many good players sit first. Well after that mini epiphany I sat at a table and was instantly joined by a big losing player. Statistical fluke? Or does my theory hold some truth? It would certainly explain how the big heads up winners can table select so easily.
New personal staking plan.
Basically I'm going to - for better or worse - play any heads up sit no gos up to about $30 buy - in, and use a 200 buck stop loss each month to decide when to quit if I'm on a losing streak. I am convinced my knowledge for this game is such that I should at LEAST be able to break even with the rakeback I'm getting. If I'm any fraction better than that I might start making some moneys. I just decided it's time - given my knowledge - that I should add a little risk to my investment instead of always taking the uber cautious line. So I'm making a thin value bet. I think that in the long run I'll play enough losers to make me a small edge. The truth will only be found in the results. What ever happens I'll certainly be a much better hold'em player at the end of the road. Wish me luck :)

Friday, 13 November 2009

Is the heads-up bug catching on...

I didn't play any more tonight but watched an instructional video as I thought it might be helpful. Well, since I get so much pleasure from playing post flop poker well, it is a natural migration to start playing these games I suppose. Overall since I'm going to read so many more flops per hour etc I'll become a good postflop player much more quickly. The video was done by a player called croixdawg who is an exceptional player. The skills that he demonstrated to me that need mastery are:
1. Hand Reading - pretty obvious really, but his commentary really demonstrated his knowledge of pot odds, implied odds, and opponents' likely range. Every reevaluation on each street used all of the information gained so far. I was suprised by the loose calls with things like overs and gutshots. But then while watching it seemed to make sense as he obv had a good plan of how to make up the steal equity that's obv required to make calling profitable.
2. Timing Tells - since he was playing a microstakes video he was using timing tells as a large part of (1.) - in other words using multiple street bet timing to help decipher hand ranges.
3. Bet sizing - He was bet sizing pretty transparently. In other words min raising marginals and 3x raising good hands. I suppose at these stakes that's good strategy and since this player is earning half a million dollars + each year I'm guessing he mixes it up a little at higher stakes.
In conclusion it's great to watch and listen to a true sick poker earner and his thought processes and game style. I think I should become a heads up player. The more I think about it the more it makes sense. One last point... In full ring games the best players blunt their edges over fish by playing their silly 3-bet games with each other... it shuts out alot of the profit. As well as this I guess the table profit is shared around - as I've said before. So while full ring games are prob still profitable, heads-up (at least in NLHE) looks by far like the best investment. Rant over, good night.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

HU SNG games

These games are really quite enjoyable when you get going. I'm just playing one table at a time - it will take time and practise as well as study to play more tables - and really thinking through hand ranges and stuff. I still fuck up though as this next hand shows. Still, whenever you can flop quads to dig yourself out a hole it's a good "skill" to have. I don't know how I called getting roughly evens here. This player was limping so many hands on the button, a limp shove has got to be the near nuts right? I just called to gamble basically which is BAD POKER.
Stage #1993452570 Tourney ID 4820288 Holdem Single Tournament No Limit 10 - 2009-11-12 20:10:05 (ET)
Table: 32571448 (Real Money) Seat #6 is the dealer
Seat 4 - BATTERED_SOD (1,670 in chips)
Seat 6 - DWEB03 (1,330 in chips)
DWEB03 - Posts small blind 5
BATTERED_SOD - Posts big blind 10
Dealt to BATTERED_SOD [9h 9c]
DWEB03 - Calls 5
BATTERED_SOD - Raises 30 to 40
DWEB03 - All-In(Raise) 1,320 to 1,330
BATTERED_SOD - Calls 1,290
*** FLOP *** [3d 9d 9s]
*** TURN *** [3d 9d 9s] [Qc]
*** RIVER *** [3d 9d 9s Qc] [8s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
BATTERED_SOD - Shows [9h 9c] (Four of a kind, nines)
DWEB03 - Shows [Ks Kc] (Two Pair, kings and nines)
BATTERED_SOD Collects 2,660 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot(2,660)
Board [3d 9d 9s Qc 8s]
Seat 4: BATTERED_SOD (big blind) won Total (2,660) HI:(2,660) with Four of a kind, nines [9h 9c - B:9s,P:9h,B:9d,P:9c,B:Qc]
Seat 6: DWEB03 (dealer) (small blind) HI:lost with Two Pair, kings and nines [Ks Kc - P:Ks,P:Kc,B:9s,B:9d,B:Qc]

Effective stacks are so important, that's one thing that intrigues me. None of the players so far (except one sharkscope silver star player I'm trying to avoid) have adjusted correctly to stack sizes. This must be where the profit is made in these games. Like I said, against good players even my game isn't going to be that bad... but in heads up games the fish cannot school together like in full ring and dampen their mistakes. Therefore every game we get a fish, it's just easy money. The games against good players should more or less even themselves out. It's just a case of playing enough games to play through the variance. Like flopping quads.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Just Might...

Start to mix in some heads up sng tournaments with my cash games. They are really useful for honing post flop play and they are usually full of fish. So I'll let you know if I do. The one thing that interests me about them is that if you look at the winners on the online tracking databases the profit curves are very linear over a shortish sample size, which suggests less long term variance than typical poker games. Of course this could be immense super table selection... but I've yet to find an efficient way to table select sngs other than on sites where games don't take off too quickly. Of course, I guess playing headsup against a fish is better than on a table full of regs who share your profit so it could be that headsup poker is just a better game than full ring for this reason. My heads up game (and post flop play) is really dreadful so I suspect I will number amongst the losers at first but maybe after a year or two and further hard study I might actually be getting somewhere with my game - Who knows? All I do know is that it's a struggle to make ends meet and any extra money from anywhere is going to be very fucking welcome. GL

Sunday, 8 November 2009

3-betting and lack of play this weekend

Have posted a little about this before. 3-betting is better understood these days than ever, and yet it is still rare to find someone who will aggressively do it in position against loose raisers. We usually just find someone doing it with the top of thier range. If we can find someone opening 20 - 30 percent of hands from middle position or the cutoff and raise every ace (will come back to why in a sec) plus JJ+ we can get a huge number of folds from players who will not play speculative hands out of position. I picked all the ace hands due to a current convention to focus on the hands that remove big cards from opponents range. If we reraise with the aces we are most likely to run into hands villain cannot continue with. In other words, we need to aggressively defend our button or cutoff since this is immediate profit without worrying about the immense standard deviation involved in post flop poker. So another thing I'll be doing much more of is this loose 3-betting. By the way, at these stakes what this will also achieve hopefully is people calling when I 3-bet my strong range from the blinds. They'll assume I'm still doing it loosely and hopefully this will result in some dominating all - in spots.
Not played much this weekend as felt like a short break from the game. Will get back to work some time this week for sure. GL

Friday, 6 November 2009

Big Pot Rake and the Cap Limit

Ok, so was reading someones' thoughts on playing heads up NL and they play higher stakes due to the rake cap. Now, I had never considered this, and obv since heads up pots are so large on average it is certainly very wise to play higher limits so the rake does not crush your edge. I drew up a graph for big pots (defined as two buy-ins) and the rake imposed on these pots. At micro (10NL and 20NL) - and if we include rakeback - the rake in these big pots is 3.5%. Higher than this it diminishes quite quickly - 50NL is 2%, 100NL is 1% and then the graph gradually curves towards zero. This is all due to the cap on rake taken from pots. So there are good reasons to play at a higher limit. The 100NL deal looks the best to me, but I don't think those games will be within my reach for a long time yet. However I could possibly bankroll myself for 50NL by the middle of next year so that should be my target, getting the best of both bankroll safety and paying less rake on average.

The Danger of One Dimensional Thinking (TDOODT... umm)

I'm going to play a few thousand hands more before Christmas but I'm feeling like experimenting. Basically, the way that most hands are played are done so for a good reason... Pot control, value, implied odds, fold equity etc etc. Alot of regs practise this style (succesfully) but are basically pretty robotic one dimensional grinders. Did you ever notice how very little flop c-bets are 3-bet? This is because most hands fall into one pair hands which like calling over raising. How about turn check raises? River check raises? I'm not saying these lines are better than the calling ones... But with a little time spent with pokerazor I'm going to have some fun and play around with these uncommon betting patterns and see how I get on. I have a feeling bet sizing is going to be very important (it's amazing how the equities change very quickly to just a small change in a bet size). It could be that I spew some money and I'll know from first hand experience why no idiot in their right mind would do these things. Or, there's a small chance I'll find a significant edge in certain rare situations and I'll have one over on the regs because they've never even thought to try the play. We'll see how things go...

Thursday, 5 November 2009


What I've been doing today pokerwise
Been playing around with a postflop line with AQo. We bet half pot on every flop out of position against a button caller. Those times we get floated we check raise top pair + on the turn hopefully shutting out the draws and getting the extra bets worth of value from weak hands. Right, I'm not going to go into the ups or downs of this play - it's profitability depends alot (obv) on villains range but it's not a bad way of playing a strong hand like AQo post flop out of position.
Is post flop poker just a super elaborate battle for the blind money?
When we look at each individual post flop action we can (with the use of pokerazor) find it's average equity. As the hand proceeds along the decision tree the equities get larger and larger but the percentage of time that these actions occur overall gets smaller and smaller... So where do we find the overall global EV of playing a line this way? Well, at the top of the tree. Right? If we go back to the preflop EVs they are always very small with respect to the stacks. So post flop poker is really just a super elaborate battle for very small edges. Easy to forget in the heat of a situation. One thing I realised tonight was the importance of dead money in the pot. If the blinds are always folding and there are weak limpers donating money preflop, once the real battles commence pf the dead money can make many overall losing plays profitable still. Make the most of dead money!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Didn't play well this evening.

Evening summary
Basically, was giving up on too many pots. It didn't finish terribly, I was probably about ten bucks down after four bet calling with QQ against a loose three bettor. Standard stack vs. stack all-in. So overall QQ hand aside I was break-even. But my non showdown winnings is creeping down too low again. I basically know more or less where I am letting myself down in this regard... not raising enough limped pots, and not contesting pots enough when played back at when it's clear villain is full of shite. This can work since other players then start to bet at me which adds alot of value to my slow plays but I'd rather improve my skill at fighting for pots now. So, more equity study and experimenting. This will probably result in my profitability going down but I'm going to learn an awful lot. I seem to play better when I have a plan on the flop and then reassess throughout the rest of the hand. Helps me to deal with villains better rather than "sigh, I give up again.". So what I will do is pick a few hands from this evening and put them through pokerazor and try and find good lines to take against the villains and their approximate ranges.
Thinking in terms of lines
This is a big difference between weak players and the very best. They have a good grasp of post flop equities and can choose the betting line (over several streets) that maximises their equity. This is where I want to get to. There was one spot tonight where I did just this. Anticipating a float (call in position) I bet pot and then check raised the turn when I had top pair. Until I have a solid - multi street - post flop strategy I will not be good enough to beat games higher than the micros where to be honest, the 130 odd dollars I've won this month have basically been donated to me, lol.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The "I'm a nit and fold flushes on rivers" hand.

There's a general truth in poker; that is when you have shown extreme strength throughout a hand and your opponent raises it is nearly never a bluff. The way the hand panned out, I just felt that Villain had the flush. He never showed me so I'll never know. I put the entire hand through pokerazor (-again, if you like cash you need to get this tool it makes hand analysis much easier) and if I am right and he always has a flush here, even one weaker than mine sometimes it is correct to fold and save approx $2 on average to calling. However, put any goofy hands in his range (and remember he is likely to assume we do not have a flush given the way the hand panned out) and we have made a mistake. On the villain, he'd not been at the table long and was playing nearly half the hands. Of course I didn't attatch much weight to this as it was such a small sample. Later in the session I started seeing this player do some crazy things so I'm a little less sure now. At the time though I just thought he must have it. He didn't seem the sort of player to think of my range first before raising, more of a bet the hand in front of him type of villain. I think I made the right decision, I'll let you decide if you agree with me. Here's the hand - and I was actually getting 3/1 to call on the river. I'm a nit, I am.

Stage #1722069001: Holdem No Limit $0.10 - 2009-11-01 19:14:36 (ET)
Table: AMY'S AVE (Real Money) Seat #6 is the dealer
Seat 6 - BATTERED_SOD ($20.27 in chips)
Seat 1 - GIZZYROCK ($7.53 in chips)
Seat 3 - CRAZYDAVE01 ($11.47 in chips)
Seat 4 - KROKIRO ($20.12 in chips)
Seat 5 - JOHNBOY0603 ($3.45 in chips)
GIZZYROCK - Posts small blind $0.05
CRAZYDAVE01 - Posts big blind $0.10
Dealt to BATTERED_SOD [7c 6c]
JOHNBOY0603 - Folds
BATTERED_SOD - Raises $0.35 to $0.35
GIZZYROCK - Calls $0.30
CRAZYDAVE01 - Calls $0.25
*** FLOP *** [8c Ac 9d]
CRAZYDAVE01 - Checks
BATTERED_SOD - Bets $0.62
CRAZYDAVE01 - Calls $0.62
*** TURN *** [8c Ac 9d] [10s]
CRAZYDAVE01 - Checks
BATTERED_SOD - Bets $1.94
CRAZYDAVE01 - Calls $1.94
*** RIVER *** [8c Ac 9d 10s] [2c]
CRAZYDAVE01 - Checks
BATTERED_SOD - Bets $2.68
CRAZYDAVE01 - All-In(Raise) $8.56 to $8.56
CRAZYDAVE01 - returned ($5.88) : not called
*** SHOW DOWN ***
CRAZYDAVE01 - Does not show
CRAZYDAVE01 Collects $10.96 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot($11.53) | Rake ($0.57)
Board [8c Ac 9d 10s 2c]
Seat 1: GIZZYROCK (small blind) Folded on the FLOP
Seat 3: CRAZYDAVE01 (big blind) collected Total ($10.96) All-In HI:($10.96) [Does not show]
Seat 4: KROKIRO Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 5: JOHNBOY0603 Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 6: BATTERED_SOD (dealer) Folded on the RIVER

... by the way, I ended up getting the money back anyway. After seeing this player make some dubious moves I shipped the money in with two overcards and a flush draw figuring I'd likely have fifteen outs and I was right, he called with an underpair to the entire board and I sucked out. Maybe he didn't have that flush...

Sunday, 1 November 2009

oh yeah...

almost forgot, during the session talked about in the previous post, I folded a not-nut flush on the river (unpaired board) and Im pretty sure I was getting better than 2 to 1 for stacks. Lol. This is obv a huge hand and I'll do a big analysis tomorrow when I review the session after work. Looking back, I still think that my fold wasn't terrible even though I was playing against a very loose player. It's ok to fold big hands sometimes... I don't care what anyone says. Anyway I'll dedicate an entire post to that hand and post the HH as well. Gd night

weird session

Don't think I was at the top of my game tonight. I don't think I played my best in a few hands but was saved by winning two big pots. One huge pot with a set where it was clear my two opponents had made trip jacks on the river managed to win about 45 bucks on one hand which is pretty cool... lol. Table conditions didn't seem great for stealing and consequently my graph shows I lost nearly 20 bucks in non - showdown winnings. Really disappointing. But I was able to extract showdown value by slow playing alot of hands and letting the loose aggressives make my value bets for me. One hand in particular I managed to slow play and get someones stack in as a big favourite on the turn with KK versus top pair AQ on Qxx and got sucked out on. So despite that ended the session ten dollars up. The biggest weakness tonight was that I wasn't very aggressive in many pots. I think I was giving up too easily. But there were quite a few multiway pots, hmmm. Every time I make a decision it is closely based on table conditions and the players left in the pot. Maybe I just didn't have many good stealing spots tonight. I won't complain... I made money! Will analyze the session tomorrow and if I notice anything I'll post here.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Benefits of a LAG image part II

Just played a short session, but you know the player who had seen me play very loose and got it in with JJ overpair against my aces? Played another hand with him tonight. I'm not going to upload the HH as I don't want to be nasty since overall his game seems ok other than spewy post flop tendencies. He obv likes to get the money in light, unless he just sees me as a superfish. Anyway, standard raise from the cutoff; I have 99 and get called from villain in the small blind. The board comes A98 and he leads into the pot. Obv that is good from my perspective and I was unsure what to do. I decided to play my hand weird - my usual line would be to call. I raised a little less than pot where he then minraised me. That usually means that someone wants to play for stacks so I pumped fist and thought lets get this shit going! Well, the money went in and V had AQo. This guy must be seriously pissed at me now. I expect to see an awful lot more of him too since he has been on here every night that I have. Unfortunately I played a little tighter this evening so he may start adjusting. But now I should have more fold equity so might try taking one of these lines as a bluff. What I am doing though, as you should too, is mix up my play. On the AAvJJ hand, I actually checked behind on the baby flop hoping to get action from his range and did. So he might have labelled me as a slow player and immediately thought that my raise in this hand must be bluffy... Anyway, confuse the regs and they'll spew. Fact.
EDIT: Just been checking over my history with this player, I'd got him to fold in alot of big pots that I couldn't remember through multitabling memory loss. He really must have viewed a pair of aces as the nuts against me. This is the HUGE benefit of image and must be why the loose players make so much money.

Overall in the session we finished about 33 dollars up as I took down some more pots aggressively on the other tables. All that for not alot of work...

Thursday, 29 October 2009

ok ok ok

we didn't have a great day, finished a buy-in down. wierd day, hit loads of hands, got a fold every time. Every time I felt I had good bluff equity, they didn't go away and played back. Sigh, it happens. Never the less, I actually made money from non showdown winnings, so once again I'm doing things the right way in terms of stealing. The hands I lost were mainly where I had the favourite on the flop and turn and the loose players got there on the river. I also made two loose calls but blah nevermind. I just need to get some hands paid off and our graph should start to climb again nicely. For the first time on any site, there is a few regulars that I have got several hundred hands on. None of them are super aggressive but a couple look like they're reasonable and there's two or three bad regs too. So I'll try and take notes on these players and try and pick up their tendencies and exploit exploit exploit. GG

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Latest News

The benefit of a maniacal image
Sat at a table with one of the players who I'd been playing with when I'd been raising nearly half the hands as the table had been so tight. It's not often that I believe it's profitable to play like that - that was just one of those times. Anyway he'd obviously remembered because he called a four-bet when I had AA and got in a 200bb stack with an overpair of JJ. That's the great thing about playing in this way, the players assume you are a spewtard on every street. Not just the first one ;)
I have a day off and want to put in a long session. Plan on spending a couple more hours on flop combinations first (since my hand reading seems to be improving immensely by doing it)and then get stuck in. I'm a bit unsure how to proceed at the moment. Playing as much as I can while the games are this soft is just a given, but do I play as many tables as I can to maximise hourly or concentrate on playing four really well? This may be one of those situations where more tables might just be better. The play is so bad and one dimensional that the tricky spots don't come along much. I think two buy-ins per 1000 hands is easily achievable at this site at these stakes - and that's without taking into account rakeback. So hopefully I'll win around 50 bucks tomorrow. Will strongly consider moving up stakes very soon also but will try and finish my combinations work first so that multitabling decisions become easier.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Just had to say it

I am so glad hardly anyone reads this blog. Absolute games are so soft I really cannot quite believe it. Even at fishy microstakes, I've never known games like it. I played a few hundred hands on two tables tonight. One of them was nit city - no player was playing more than 15% of hands. So I was playing like 40% and raking in pot after pot after pot. The other table was the opposite. Players seeing like 60% of flops and folding every time to a c-bet unless they had the nuts. Crazy, easy money. I have seen maybe two players that looked like they knew what they were doing in nearly 3000 hands. Jees, I guess the scandal really did put the regs off. Oh well, let them have their tough stars games. I'm going to be enjoying making alot of money!

A Common Hand Reading Mistake

This is certainly a weakness in my own game that I am currently addressing. Here's what happens: We get to the river and all of a sudden our opponent shows strength. Say the board is 4682J. We suddenly think, "oh no our AJ cannot be good he must have a suited one gapper for the straight". But actually, since the player is only playing 15% of hands preflop over a sample of a few hundred hands and has played his hand from under the gun we cannot reasonably include any low one gap hands in his range. We are acting on the river in a general sense without thinking about all the information we have. I was made aware of this mistake by poker pro/coach [vital]Myth from the cardrunners videos. He's a great coach and I highly recommend listening to what he has to say, you'll learn alot. Anyway, what this advice has led me to do is to create some rules of thumb for general play.
A player who plays less than 12% of hands will usually not have any suited connectors in his range. This is why good players often call in position against these "nits" since if we flop top pair on a 652 board, we'll have the best hand most of the time; or we can take the pot away if low cards flop.
A player who plays between 12% and 20% of hands will usually only be playing suited connectors without a gap in. So on the first board we can pretty safely rule out straights when making our decision.
A player playing more than 20% of hands can usually have any suited connector and many Ax suited hands so nothing can really be discounted. This is part of the reason why most of the top professionals play 25-30% of hands. It is hard for most opponents to figure out their hand.
edit: A player who plays over 30% of hands will actually have quite a large percentage of bluffs in their range and so we can safely start to call more lightly and give them less credit for having it, despite it being within their range.
Important Note
Unless the hand sample size is really large, these rules should only be used lightly. It may just be that someone has been dealt 73o 50 times in a row.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

No play today

But I haven't been idle. Spent the day looking at combinatorics and poker... Basically I feel that I need to improve my hand reading. So I have studied some maths and numbers that should help me in this regard. Basically if you can give someone a hand range in a certain situation, then for the pot odds calculations it would be a huge bonus if you could estimate the percentage of villain's range that is likely to be a bluff. Right now it's just a guess for me. It's likely not a bad guess, but if I can do this more accurately it will allow my decision making to improve which is what we are striving to achieve, is it not?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Loose aggressive play

Well, I have been given some advice to loosen up a bit since the low stakes players mostly play so straightforwardly or badly after the flop. Back to the Steal and Showdown concept - maybe I am underestimating how much equity I have with certain marginal hands against weak opposition. So today I played considerably looser than I normally would and managed to get paid off when players started adjusting badly to my image. When we can get 5 people to play a big pot when we have QQ+ it has to be a good thing. Anyway after 2k hands at Absolute I can confirm that the play at these stakes is much fishier than other sites I've played. Added to the rakeback which is accumulating nicely I think winrates of 10 PTBB/100 are certainly achievable. That's two buy-ins per 1000 hands to those who don't know what I'm talking about. After 2k hands my non showdown winnings is still in the profit - which is awesome! My increased and selective aggression is paying off. Although of course against weaker opponents this was bound to be the case even with previously more passive play. So, things going well. If I keep up the good work I should be ready to move to the higher limit by the end of November. My ultimate goal currently is to be able to win a buy-in every thousand hands at 50NL which could earn me $18250 in a year if I played 1000 hands a day. Money that certainly shouldn't be laughed at. Providing there isn't a huge leap in skill between the current limit and there, sometime next year I hope to have achieved this goal. Onwards and upwards, as they say.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


The 20/4 rule
No, this isn't some statistic about my game you'll be sad to hear but a rule that I read about at www.flopturnriver.com. Basically, over 20k hands you should beat a game at better than 4PTBB/100 before considering moving up in stakes. Over roughly that sample during the summer I was not beating the micro games for that much which is disappointing. But I kind of know where my leaks are and I'm currently working on fixing them. The long and short of it... I'll stay at deep stacked 0.05/0.10 until I can achieve this win rate before moving up to the deep stacked 0.1/0.2. Aspects of my game that need improving include bet sizing and hand reading. Once I'm at the higher limit and bankroll permitting I'll use this same guideline before moving into the more - serious stakes at 0.25/0.50 and higher where I'll hopefully be able to supplement my regular income with a tidy poker side income.

Monday, 19 October 2009

My thoughts on how to win at poker

Last post I kind of said some things that were a bit hazy and general about this game; I'm going to post here some more thoughts. The more I play the more I feel that I'm thinking along the right lines, although obviously I expect many people to disagree. Anyway here goes.

Winning Poker
I have done a fair amount of analysis of poker and one concept that was introduced me by the Small Stakes NLHE e-book was that overall equity was the sum of steal equity and showdown equity. Steal equity is the money you make from getting your opponent to fold. Showdown equity is the money you make from getting your opponent to showdown with a weaker hand. In order for any particular play to be good we want to maximise equity. If we have aces our showdown equity makes this hand profitable on it's own. But playing suited connectors, for example, relies on significant steal equity to be profitable. In other words, we need our opponents to fold a large amount of the time to make them playable. This is the simple truth that the e-book taught me. But we can generalise this.

Table Strategy
One thing you often see players do is open suited connectors with players behind who rarely fold. It is my opinion that this is often a big mistake. Since you have little steal equity you must rely on showdown value to make the hands profitable to play. Now and then you'll flop a hidden monster but this is very rare. Unless the stacks are super deep and you really feel your opponents can fold at some point in the hand it is better to fold. Another situation it is bad to open suited connectors is when you are being reraised liberally. You'd be suprised at how much steal equity you lose overall if you are often reraised and have to fold (although you could always reraise again sometimes and regain the initiative). So when approaching a game, it is no good printing off hand charts and playing the same way as you are never getting the best of your equities by doing this. When you sit at a table the hands you play should be dependent on the table dynamics. This is the beauty of poker and what the very best players do. If they are raising K2o it is because they believe their opponent will fold a significant amount of the time. We can generalise again.

Table Selection
Doing some research at pokertableratings and looking at the big winners, often the message boxes are spammed with people who slate these players and call them derogatory things such as 'bumhunter' and the like. They see table selection as a weakness; think that these players are not good enough to mix with the best. The logic here is terrible. When sat at any table we try to make the best decision; the one that maximises our equity at the time. So why when making the decision to sit at a table in the first place are we not equally concerned about maximising our equity? If we sit at a table where our ability is equal to every other player, we have negative equity due to the rake. We must maximise our equity by choosing a table where we can overcome the opponents plus the rake. This is how we should approach table selection. Going back to the Steal + Showdown concept, often we can find a table where we can pound it to death giving us good enough steal equity to show a profit. Other times we might find a table with players willing to call down 3 bets with 33 and obv now our showdown equity is good. Whenever you are sat at a table, ask yourself where your equity is coming from. If you cannot answer, and the table is too tough, leave.

The overall point is that the Steal + Showdown concept has really opened my eyes as to the mechanics of poker. For some reason everything makes so much more sense since I learned this simple truth. Every single decision in the game can be analysed using it. I happen to believe rather pessimistically that the games are drying up and poker may not be a good investment in a year or twos time. So while we can still find tables where that steal plus showdown equity is good we should still play. When it is no longer possible to do this, our best equity decision will be the neutral one - stop playing altogether.

Low Stakes Advice
If you are just coming into cash I strongly advise that you find tables where both your equities are good. In other words try and sit with tight players to your left, and get the fishy players to your right. If you do this and play a solid game, you'll make shit loads of money. In other words, bumhunt. I am a bumhunter, make sure you are too.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Evening of play

Played a brief 500 hands and made $30. Basically, poker boils down to two things. Money you win from getting people to fold, and money you win from people putting money in the pot with a weaker hand. So every decision you make whether it be table selection or betting the turn depends on these two factors. Tonight, while playing on Absolute I felt that the table conditions were really favourable for both of them. When playing on Full Tilt last month, many hands were contested and not easily won - so non showdown equity or money won to folds was poor - but there was still some value to be had from showdown winnings. On Poker Stars, typically the play is more passive and you can win money from bluffing. But I've never in recent times played on a site where it felt that we could make money from both. Towards the end of play people started adjusting to my aggression so the profit from non showdown winnings tailed off, but I still made $10 there. And a couple of spots players just donated me money when I had the best hand on turn and river. In other words, I think that this site could be hugely profitable and I'm certainly going to continue playing on here until I get fed up etc. Good luck at the tables

Further thoughts

Two things really. The first is something I've noticed in the videos I've been studying is that the very first thing that good players do is not look at their own relative hands strength but they consider the villain's range. Then they look at their hand and estimate equity before making their decision. I've read about this process before, it has been called the REM process - or range, equity, maximise. I'll really try and bring this simple analysis technique to my game.
The second thing is an idea for bankrolling. Basically, the recommended bankroll for any limit is 100 buy-ins. But this assumes that you are not going to move from a limit at any time. Due to certain stock market theories specifically kelly investments you should be able to play on a much smaller 'roll providing you adhere to a strict structure where you grade your investment according to your bankroll at the time. I might incorporate a strategy like this into my play so that I can get into the higher limits and make some money before the games get too tough. Will post more thoughts on this in the next few weeks I suspect.


I want to continue playing at pokerheaven, but I decided to sign up for a rakeback account with Absolute Poker and to give them a go. The main reason for this is that when I checked the www.pokertableratings.com table finder, there was always a large percentage of absolute tables that showed up. Now, due to the cheating scandal that this network endured I know there are alot of good players who no longer trust the site. However, I found some huge plusses during the short time I have just played there.
1> Rakeback - crucial for me trying to make some money from this game
2> The cash games are deepstacked - postflop edges against weak players are magnified
3> Weak play - albeit over a very small sample size I was able to win a high number of pots without showdown
4> Software is better than pheaven for multitabling
Sooooo.... I will give this site a go for a while and let you know my findings. I guess a large part of good table selection is good site selection too. The higher the percentage of fish overall at a site the more good tables there are likely to be and therefore more money to be made. Will try and do 5k hands this week 4 tabling 0.1/0.2 with a $20 stack and post my results at the end.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Today's play

Got 2k hands done, will try for this number every day off from now on and really try and move through the limits with supplements from my disposable income helping to top up bankroll every month enabling me to do this quicker. Am also studying cardrunners vids again - I did this for a time last year but now I'm making detailed notes. This has always helped me to absorb things better and I think I'm picking up good habits from the pros there. Some figures from the session, lost about $31 dollars but all to preflop flips. Really not hitting many hands either so feel I'm not getting much luck. However, whether it's the play being weaker here or that I've opened up with aggression on later streets but my $ won without showdown was exactly break even - a target I've set myself. Then, providing we play good cards and solid poker the showdown winnings should grant us our profit. It's an improvement anyway. Will let you know if it continues...

Monday, 12 October 2009


Ok, let's cut to the chase. First hand simple, got in a fight with some player with QQ and ran into AA - fair enough. Next hand this...

BossMedia Game #1814357524: Table Table TH 1560 - €0.12/€0.25 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:55:09 - 2009/10/12
Seat 1: Jossarian (€25.55)
Seat 3: __robin__ (€52.51)
Seat 4: BankOrBet (€25.77)
Seat 2: Chyenne (€24.23)
Seat 5: d1amonds (€34.50)
Jossarian posts the small blind of €0.12
Chyenne posts the big blind of €0.25
d1amonds is the button
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BankOrBet [Js Kc]
__robin__ folds
BankOrBet raises €1.00
d1amonds folds
Jossarian calls €1.00
Chyenne folds
*** FLOP *** [As Jc Kd]
Jossarian checks
BankOrBet bets €1.75
Jossarian calls €1.75
*** TURN *** [As Jc Kd] [Jd]
Jossarian checks
BankOrBet bets €4.31
Jossarian calls €4.31
*** RIVER *** [As Jc Kd Jd] [2c]
Jossarian goes all-in with €18.49
BankOrBet calls €18.49
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot €48.80 | Rake €2.55
Board: [As Jc Kd Jd 2c]
BankOrBet won (€0.00), mucks
Jossarian won (€48.80), showed [Ah Jh]
Chyenne won (€0.00), mucks
__robin__ won (€0.00), mucks
d1amonds won (€0.00), mucks

I puke. Can I get away? Well let's be hyper critical. I have no info. For this to be bad we need to put villain on better or equal full houses ONLY. {JJ, KK, AA, AJ, KJ} covers it. I haven't included 22 since I find it very unlikely that two barrels will be called with it. How can we fold a full fucking house??? I need to forget this hand, right now, it's a cooler straight up, right? Ok lets add in some other hands... Straights. If opp has a straight, what's our equity? Well now we're near 80% favourite over that range. What about AK? Now we're just slightly bad. Add in a bluff or two I really don't think we ever fold. Otherwise we'll get Pwned, surely. Nevermind. On to the next one...

Sunday, 11 October 2009

ok... some newz

well I hadn't intended to post again today but felt compelled to do so since my play and the reaction of the table to my play seemed to radically change to what I'm used to. Basically I decided that any flop that I c-bet I was going to follow up (hit/miss) with a bet on the turn. I was seriously suprised at how often players would call a flop bet then give up when the second barrel went in. And as a result of this increased aggression, I found that often I was getting played back at when I actually had a hand. So I guess the old argument "exchange small mistakes for big ones" holds true. I didn't end the session in profit unfortunately, I slow played aces against a couple of short stackers and got setstacked. The credit for this change in strategy goes to Alvin Lau - a cardrunner pro - who gave some stats in a video that showed me that my turn aggression was WAY too low. I need to be careful that I don't become exploitable though. Anyway, it's enjoyable changing styles. Never sure what might happen... I'm happy if I spew a few hundred quid if it helps me to become a better player.