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.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Re-evaluating my Game

For a significant while and over an increasingly significant sample of hands I have only made money through rake-back. I may have run under EV but it's looking increasingly likely that I have a close to break even strategy in these games. I think it's very important that I realise this and accept it, because otherwise I get quickly frustrated if a session does not go my way. I'm fortunate in that I don't become a crazy spew monkey when I tilt, but my game does deteriorate somewhat.

OK, so I'm a break even player. What steps can I now take to bring in an extra buy-in or two per thousand hands and become a winner again?
1/ Continue to actively challenge my strategy and look to fix leaks where possible.
* I believe my blind play has improved lately now that I'm being very careful with what I'm doing, but there have been several large pots where I've got most of the money in as favourite but not ended up winning. I'll review my blinds again after a couple hundred thousand hands to see if my win rate there has improved.
* I'm happy with the ranges I play from each position but there are two shady areas where I can work out a better playing strategy
- the button: This is where I still kind of make it up as I go along. I don't like this approach because it leads to inconsistencies and leaks of it's own. I think it's better to use fixed preflop ranges where possible as a default strategy and then deviate if you spot a clear leak in a villain's play.
- the big blind versus a small blind steal: This is another spot where I make it up as I go along. I think that I currently call too much where I should be 3-betting more often. Theoretically I think that we should be playing around 2/3 of hands versus the small blind (unless they have a very small playing range, maybe less than 10%).
2/ Analyse my post flop decisions critically. I do this sometimes for these blog posts but it's not something that I do after every session. I think I should be looking at every big pot that I play and find out what I did right/wrong. The more that I do this the better my decision making will get during play.

A hand that I butchered earlier (bye bye decent bb stats for the session, sigh.)
NL Holdem $0.25(BB) Replayer Game#30634649332

evgeniy1741 ($9.55)
Hero ($27.80)
Hoppel1980 ($26.30)
survan ($35.93)
CarminNegra ($74.04)
mclaud85 ($40.16)
Stannerz ($35.16)
The Mentalist 7 ($16.62)
affs80 ($32.23)

evgeniy1741 posts (SB) $0.10
Hero posts (BB) $0.25

Dealt to Hero Ac As
fold, fold,
CarminNegra raises to $0.90
fold, fold, fold, fold, fold,
Hero raises to $3
CarminNegra calls $2.10
FLOP ($6.10) 9h Qs 8s
Hero bets $3.75
CarminNegra calls $3.75
TURN ($13.60) 9h Qs 8s Jc
Hero bets $6.75
CarminNegra calls $6.75
RIVER ($27.10) 9h Qs 8s Jc Qh
Hero checks
CarminNegra bets $10
Hero calls $10
Hero shows Ac As
(Pre 88%, Flop 80.1%, Turn 79.5%)

CarminNegra shows Qc Ks
(Pre 12%, Flop 19.9%, Turn 20.5%)

CarminNegra wins $44.75

Ok so it was another example of doing everything right for most of the hand but I'm almost certain I should have folded on the river. Villain was a total fish, playing a huge range of hands from each position. The flop bet is standard (perhaps I should have over-bet/felted since so many turn cards are horrible for me?). On the turn I was going to bet fold. When he calls again I'm sure he has a pair but the river card kills me completely. I should be check folding to that card now IMO. I guess at the time I called due to the insane pot odds I was getting. I only needed to catch a bluff more than a quarter of the time but that's probably a bit thin given the four straight board. So I played it pretty well until villain sucked out, sigh. GL

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