Welcome

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, 18 May 2017

Updates

Going to try something a little different, and instead of spouting over a number of individual blog posts, I'll collate my small uninteresting updates into a single blog between the more detailed ones.

Early Zoom Thoughts 18/05/2017

It feels like the games have changed in some ways since my days as a regular a few years back, but there is definitely enough poor play on show to feel that I can win with a little practise.

I have encountered a lot of pre-flop aggression and fewer loose passive players which is a shame, as this cuts down on available post flop value. I can't really comment on the standard of the regulars at this stage as I have too few hands, but one or two players look competent. It also seems that there are fewer short stackers - which is good news for someone who likes to play 100bb.

Early results? I'm two buy-ins down, KK v AA in one pot and then variance.

It looks like I'm controlling the 'red line' or non-showdown winnings well, so it remains to be seen if I can still craft enough value in the big pots to make up the difference and earn some profit.

Another point to note is the card match feature, which adds a nice little side game while you play.

Overall I've been enjoying playing some post flop poker again. GL!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

50 Tournament Update


If you have not been following my blog recently, I have been playing 6 man Sit n’ Go tournaments at Poker Stars because I had some tournament currency on the site that I wanted to convert to actual $ that I could take to cash games, which are historically my strongest area. To anyone unfamiliar with Poker Stars, tournament currency is earned by qualifying through satellites but then unregistering from the tournament in question (a way of ensuring that the value is returned to Poker Stars).  

As mentioned, SNGs are not my strongest area because they require knowledge of the Independent Chip Model to play short stacked poker well and my ICM is limited. There are plenty of resources out there for those that wish to get to grips with ICM and tournament poker maths but I’d recommend beginning with the excellent book ‘Kill Everyone’ by Nelson, Streib and Lee. So my objective wasn’t really to beat the games, but to break even.


Happily, I can report that I have more or less achieved that goal; that my T$ are all converted and that I didn’t lose a great deal in the process, and I have a bankroll of a few hundred $ to play cash games. I intend to continue to play these tournaments now and again as I have learned a little ICM through the process and it would be foolish to waste an opportunity to gain an additional string to the poker bow.

 

The Results

 

First, sample size. This is a woefully inadequate number of tournaments to glean a meaningful insight into if I’m doing anything right or wrong. Still, I feel that I play better than the average player in the early stages of these games and I probably do well enough at short stacked play, though I believe I could have done better.
 
One of the main reasons why the graph doesn’t look positive is that I’ve lost most of the heads-up battles I’ve played, so this is definitely an area where I need to improve. Having said that, variance is very likely to be playing a part and I’ve only felt out of depth against a single opponent – who happens also to be on a certain SNG leader board!

 
I had planned to go into more detail with specific stats, but to be honest I have such a small sample size that it seems like a waste of time at this stage. Perhaps I’ll do so once I have more games to look at. My basic numbers are:
VPIP  28%
PFR   28% (I seem to be calling a very low % of the time which looks like a leak, though it could reflect in part the lower average pre-flop implied odds, will talk more if this trend continues).
Total AF 3.30 (Nice and high, influenced by the second stat above)

 BB/100 -0.5 (All-in Adjusted 1.2, primarily down to my poor record when heads-up though I'm probably not beating the games in reality)

Bad Beat Corner

Finally a bit of fun, everyone loves a bad beat story so from time to time I’ll divulge the sickest hand from my recent database history. Here I’m a huge favourite on flop and turn but villain catches a minor miracle on the river. Enjoy my misery!
http://www.pokerhandreplays.com/view.php/id/8278524 

Future Plans

So now it’s back to cash / Zoom poker. I intend to play a few thousand hands at Full Ring Zoom 25NL in the near future so I’ll see how that goes. It’s easy to forget how quickly the hands accumulate and patterns begin to emerge, so perhaps I can reassess if I’m still in front of the field. I have databases that suggest I beat Zoom at 10NL/25NL at a low rate over several hundred thousand hands but the hands were played a number of years ago when the games were probably juicier.

 

Good luck at the tables!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Zoom Poker hand (any thoughts?)

Don't worry, I still intend to write a long post about my SNG results but in the meantime I thought I'd share a large pot I played in Zoom which I may have misplayed. My thoughts are below the hand history but feel free to add yours to the comments.




Hand Information
Game: No Limit
Blind: $0.10/ $0.25
Hand History converter courtesy of pokerhandreplays.com

Table Information
Seat1:   Player 1   ($24.65)Dealer
Seat2:   Player 2   ($47.10)Small Blind
Seat3:   Player 3   ($37.31)Big Blind
Seat4:   Player 4   ($28.47)
Seat5:   Player 5   ($27.36)
Seat6:   Player 6   ($23.80)
Seat7:   Player 7   ($32.29)
Seat8:   Player 8   ($12.50)
Seat9:   Hero   ($51.03)
Dealt to Hero

Preflop (Pot:0.35)
Player 4   FOLD    
Player 5   RAISE    $0.62
Player 6   CALL    $0.62
Player 7   FOLD    
Player 8   FOLD    
Hero   CALL    $0.62
Player 1   FOLD    
Player 2   CALL    $0.52
Player 3   CALL    $0.37

Flop   (Pot: $3.10)

Player 2   CHECK    
Player 3   CHECK    
Player 5   CHECK    
Player 6   CHECK    
Hero   BET    $1.98
Player 2   RAISE    $4.50
Player 3   CALL    $4.50
Player 5   FOLD    
Player 6   FOLD    
Hero   CALL    $2.52

Turn   (Pot: $16.60)

Player 2   BET    $13
Player 3   FOLD    
Hero   CALL    $13

River   (Pot: $42.60)

Player 2   ALL-IN    $28.98
Hero   CALL    $28.98

Showdown:

Player 2  SHOWS
Hero  SHOWS
Hero  wins the pot: $42.60

I'm sitting on a 204BB stack w 44, so I think the pre-flop call is fine.

Hand is checked around to me and I bet for value, but the check raise into multiple players shows huge strength from my opponent. I have removed KK from the villain's range as most players would usually 3-bet that hand pre-flop so I'm staring down 88 or a good flush or maybe a strong draw. With his bet sizing though, I have enough direct odds to call and hope the board pairs on the turn beating the larger portion of his range. The board pairs about 18% of the time on the turn and about 25% of the time on the river, or 38% over both streets. I'm getting 18% from the pot plus some implied odds so I think calling is OK.

On the turn though I'm getting 31% from his bet sizing so I need sufficient implied odds to make up the gap from 25% (% of the time board pairs on the river). However the water is muddied because I could quite easily be behind to two combinations of 88.

My opponent has about $29 behind so I'm getting 18% from an implied perspective but taking into account the times I lose I need my opponent to have a flush at least 18%/25% (% of time I need to win to make call profitable divided by odds of river pairing the board) = 72% of the time. If this doesn't make sense think of it another way, 72% x 25% = 18% so if opponent has a flush more than 72% of the time we'll win more than 18% of the time and our call is OK. Now, there are 2 combinations of 88 in his range so there must be at least 6 combinations of flushes. I think it's reasonable to consider that this might be the case (AQs, AJs, ATs, QJs, QTs, JTs, etc.).

The biggest question mark in this hand is probably my river play. Villain very quickly shoves all-in. I know for a fact some opponents would check-call here with a flush but would also almost always shove 88. Given this kind of weighting and I'm getting 29% from the pot what do you think of the call?

If I was my opponent against an unknown (we have no history) I might light value bet the river with a good flush expecting some kings to call. Again it comes down to combinations, I need my opponents on average to have at least 1 flush combination for the call to be profitable. The $50 question!