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, 13 October 2011

First $50NL Full Ring Session, plus Hands

So I played the first session this afternoon. I'm going to stick to playing at those stakes when I'm not feeling tired and when other outside influences are not involved (alcohol, noisy house, bad mood e.t.c). The rest of the time I'll still be at 25NL so this will be a gradual move which I think should enable it to go more smoothly. There were plenty of fish that I found at my tables, so with a little selection I'm really confident that I can make it work there.

I'm going to try very hard to ignore my results. I have enough 'roll that I should never need to reload so I just plan to play a bunch and just look at individual hands and try and find mistakes and improve my play including bet sizing and overall hand reading ability. I will keep half an eye on my overall bankroll balance because I plan to move up if I reach $5k. I don't imagine that will happen until the spring at the very best though (if it even happens at all). So consequently I'll do a lot of hand discussion on this blog but there won't be any results until I have a meaningful sample.

Some Hands

NL Holdem $0.50(BB) Replayer Game#68911228241

uneedwater ($50)
petka000 ($40)
tenyente ($50.25)
Sh1ft0r ($54.30)
Hero ($51)
Argon81 ($39.25)
B__hnemaker ($50)

uneedwater posts (SB) $0.25
petka000 posts (BB) $0.50

Dealt to Hero Jh Jd
fold, fold,
Hero raises to $1.50
Argon81 calls $1.50
fold, fold, fold,
FLOP ($3.75) Ah Th As
Hero bets $2.50

Villain was not playing fully stacked and although I didn't have any stats in the HUD I assumed he'd be a weaker player as a result. When out of position on the flop I prefer to bet a merged range, even though this bet doesn't fit the typical value betting axiom. There are still Tx hands plus draws that could call though.

Argon81 calls $2.50
TURN ($8.75) Ah Th As 6d
Hero checks

I think betting has now become too thin, and check calling would likely be a better play which is what I had planned.

Argon81 checks
RIVER ($8.75) Ah Th As 6d 8d
Hero checks
Argon81 bets $8.50

Now I think I make a mistake. I'd expect most players to bet trips on the turn, but some would 'trap'. The bet sizing indicates a big hand, although there are plenty of aggro villains that would bet big to try and make me fold. Given that I knew nothing of villain (who later turned out to be loose passive) and that he'd checked back the turn I don't hate my call, but I think I prefer a fold.

Hero calls $8.50
Hero shows Jh Jd
(Pre 71%, Flop 12.5%, Turn 0.0%)

Argon81 shows Ac 6s
(Pre 29%, Flop 87.5%, Turn 100.0%)

Argon81 wins $24.50

NL Holdem $0.50(BB) Replayer Game#68914382385

Guliver1983 ($20.25)
funex700 ($50)
Kuzya85 ($55.15)
dosases ($40.85)
mecha0117 ($50)
Katochek88 ($19.25)
Sappuku ($92.05)
Hero ($123)

Guliver1983 posts (SB) $0.25
funex700 posts (BB) $0.50

Dealt to Hero Ad Ts
dosases calls $0.50
fold, fold, fold,
Hero raises to $2

villain is loose passive, so this is pretty standard isolation raise in my opinion.

fold, fold,
dosases calls $1.50
FLOP ($4.75) 4d 6c 3d
dosases checks
Hero bets $3

At this stage villain had folded to bets on the flop every time he'd seen one so far, so I thought that betting was going to be immediately profitable.

dosases calls $3
TURN ($10.75) 4d 6c 3d Kc
dosases checks
Hero bets $7

A good scare card to double barrel, even against a loose passive player.

dosases calls $7
RIVER ($24.75) 4d 6c 3d Kc Kh
dosases checks
Hero checks

I think that I should bet this river again. Against a player who knows combinations theory (in other words a good reg) this would not be a great third barrel card as they'd consider it unlikely that I actually had a king in my hand now that the second one has appeared on the board. However against a loose passive player who is likely to have plenty of random draws in his range I think that it would have made an excellent card to bet again. I'm certain that it's profitable, and I'm also certain that it would have worked in this hand too.

dosases shows 2s 2d
(Pre 51%, Flop 71.8%, Turn 86.4%)

Hero shows Ad Ts
(Pre 49%, Flop 28.2%, Turn 13.6%)

dosases wins $23.55

Final interesting hand, I'm very pleased with the way I played it. I extracted every last ounce of value. Again, villain is loose passive.

NL Holdem $0.50(BB) Replayer Game#68913143058

sven1969 ($65.80)
Hero ($75.65)
RigaStyle ($52.55)
Kanycmo4ka ($15.85)
KotSk8er ($19.25)
witka10 ($52.80)
Kobern ($24.95)
Japaneko ($34.75)
89rhino89 ($50.80)

sven1969 posts (SB) $0.25
Hero posts (BB) $0.50

Dealt to Hero 7d 7h
Kanycmo4ka raises to $1.50
fold, fold, fold, fold, fold,
sven1969 calls $1.25
Hero calls $1

Calling seemed correct given the weaker player in the hand. If he had not called in the small blind, I'd have folded 77 here.

FLOP ($4.50) 7s 8c 8h
sven1969 checks
Hero checks

BAAAAAM! That's the way to smash a flop. I think checking is OK, I'm targeting the times that the pre flop raiser has an over pair and will likely call a check raise. If I lead, I might induce a raise from the pre flop raiser if he has a good over pair (QQ+) but otherwise he might call with 99-JJ, and fold all else. I think that getting 99+ and air to bet first (plus the small blind calling with a wide range) gets me more money in the long run.

Kanycmo4ka checks
TURN ($4.50) 7s 8c 8h Kd
sven1969 bets $3

Unfortunately the flop gets checked through, but a great result when the loose passive player bets. There are plenty of 8x and Kx combinations that I'd expect him to have so raising is mandatory. The pre flop raiser has so little money behind that I don't expect a raise here to scare away any hand he might have with a King in it so I don't think calling has any merit at all in this situation.

Hero raises to $11.50

I think that I should perhaps bet a little more here, maybe $13 - $14. It makes it easier to extract value on the river.

Kanycmo4ka folds
sven1969 calls $8.50
RIVER ($27.50) 7s 8c 8h Kd 3s
sven1969 checks
Hero bets $62.65 (AI)

My best play of the night. Villain's stats are 40/10 pre flop, so he likes calling to see flops. On the flop he only folds to c-bets 30% of the time, and he never folds to 3-bets after raising pre. In other words, he loves calling. So I maximise expected value on this river by betting all-in, even though it's a huge over bet.

sven1969 calls $52.80 (AI)
sven1969 shows 4s 8s
(Pre 33%, Flop 23.0%, Turn 15.9%)

Hero shows 7d 7h
(Pre 67%, Flop 77.0%, Turn 84.1%)

Hero wins $130

I think this hand shows how important bet sizing can be. If I'd have taken a standard 3/4 pot bet size, I'd have missed out on half a buy-in. This makes a huge difference in the grand scheme of things and it's the area that I'm working on improving the most at the moment.

Right, so a good start so far and my play is improving steadily. I think that I'll end up beating this limit, but to be sure I need volume. Will post some more hand histories once I've played another session or two. GL

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