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.

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.