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.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Game of Skill? + Other Stuff

French Tribunal Ruling

In my opinion it is essential for the long term future of NLHE that it is recognised as a game of skill rather than chance. This is only a single court ruling that may well be overturned by the Supreme Court. But this article gives me optimism that given the correct presentation of evidence, the message can get through to the people that matter. UK Gov, I hope you are listening.

So the cash games on Stars are even juicier at the moment; the VIP club promotion seems to be drawing in the recreational players trying to earn their 'Platinum Star' badge. For this month at least, I expect it to get a little easier to go to showdown with the best hand.

As far as my results go, I had a short down swing which has now corrected; the long and short of it is that I've made no more money over the last 6k hands or so. My red line, or the money I win without seeing a show down remains break even after 21k hands. This has surprised me to be honest but it kind of makes sense now that I've had chance to digest it. I'm raising more hands and therefore stand to win more dead money on average, both preflop when I win the blinds and post flop when I win the loose passive limp money by c-betting. The flip side is that I go to showdown with a weaker range than before which should hurt my showdown winnings a little. So my profitability is going to come down to getting the showdown winnings rising as steeply as possible.

Yesterday I made two mistakes that affected my showdown curve. It's critical that I make as few as possible and this is what I'll be focussing on for the foreseeable future. Here are the hands:

NL Holdem $0.25(BB) Replayer Game#65475513084

Hero ($25.60)
mudzin85 ($25)
2_Twink_2 ($25.35)
Strannik rus ($9.95)
kalmuka ($40.93)

Hero posts (SB) $0.10
mudzin85 posts (BB) $0.25

Dealt to Hero 5d Ad
Strannik rus raises to $0.50
Hero calls $0.40

Good pot odds with a playable hand versus an erratic player.

FLOP ($1.25) 2c Td As
Hero checks
Strannik rus bets $0.25
Hero raises to $0.75
Strannik rus calls $0.50

I decided to raise small to get his tens to call. If I raise much more his tens will begin to fold some of the time and I'd be value cutting myself versus better aces.

TURN ($2.75) 2c Td As Ah
Hero checks

Now that my fold equity has sky rocketed (unless he has another ace) I think I have to let him bluff with what ever his range is. If I check raise this causes problems because I don't think I'd get called by worse. So I have to check call.

Strannik rus bets $0.50
Hero calls $0.50
RIVER ($3.75) 2c Td As Ah 9s
Hero checks
Strannik rus bets $3.57

At this stage I neglected to notice that my opponent only had around $4 left. Convinced that I was facing either a complete bluff (that would fold to any raise) or a hand better than my own I quickly called. However, with so little money left behind I'm certain that he'd have called some % of the time with his Tx and 9x hands. For this reason I'm pretty sure I missed out on clear value by not raising all in in this spot.

Hero calls $3.57
Strannik rus shows Kh 9h
(Pre 42%, Flop 2.9%, Turn 0.0%)

Hero shows 5d Ad
(Pre 58%, Flop 97.1%, Turn 100.0%)

Hero wins $10.36

OK that was likely a pretty small mistake in the grand scheme of things, the next hand was a bigger error.

NL Holdem $0.25(BB) Replayer Game#65475102488

Hero ($25)
patiq12 ($19.14)
Maladou_89 ($22.74)
dipolis ($21.82)
zickzack73 ($23.25)
cuba7676 ($16.11)
registr24 ($22.40)

Hero posts (SB) $0.10
patiq12 posts (BB) $0.25

Dealt to Hero Th Qd
fold, fold, fold, fold, fold,
Hero raises to $0.75
patiq12 calls $0.50
FLOP ($1.50) 8s Td 9d
Hero bets $0.92
patiq12 calls $0.92
TURN ($3.34) 8s Td 9d 6c
Hero bets $2
patiq12 calls $2
RIVER ($7.34) 8s Td 9d 6c Qs

This river brings up the concept of relative hand strength. All play so far in the hand is standard in my opinion, betting my hand for value against ranges that include draws. The river card gives me two pair. It also completes the vast bulk of my opponent's draws. So while my absolute hand strength has improved, all I have on this river is a bluff catcher: My river two pair is weaker than my turn top pair good kicker. So I'm definitely 100% checking this river. The question is whether to call a bet or not.

Hero checks
patiq12 bets $5.75

There are 16 combinations of KJ and 16 combinations of AJ my opponent could have. Given the pot odds my hand must be good 30.5% of the time. So I need to put at least 14 combinations of bluffs in villain's river betting range to call. My opponent was pretty passive, and I can't think of enough missed flush draws that might bet here. In my opinion this is a clear fold. In reality though, I called.

Hero calls $5.75
Hero shows Th Qd
(Pre 39%, Flop 65.7%, Turn 77.3%)

patiq12 shows Js Ah
(Pre 61%, Flop 34.3%, Turn 22.7%)

patiq12 wins $17.92

Going to play a mix of cash and tournaments this afternoon. Hopefully I can play well and win some $.

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