Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Variance Continues

The sick variance continues on Party Poker. It must be me. I don't know what has gotten into people lately but I wish I could cash in on it. They're out there chasing the idiot end of a gutshot straight with an underpair to my pot sized bets - and hitting. All sorts of garbage like that. I really need to start value betting harder and maybe overbetting pots, but it is so tough when you feel like you're behind when you're 70% ahead.

At least today finished on the positive side. Barely. Sigh. So frustrating. Off to work now. fjdskal;f

Monday, 21 January 2008

Monkey Tilt on Stars

Stars has doomswitched me for the last 2 days, so I cashed out now from there. Probably go play at Party for a bit. My sets and overpairs just were not holding out today - my money made off of sets was actually way in the negative today, which is not supposed to happen that much.

I cashed out before I tilted it away. Already down 3 buyins from my sets not holding. Lost with KK on KdTd5d board after a guy with 8d6d 3bet me preflop. Next hand I lost with KK after limp reraising to 50BB preflop and a fish (70/0/0.5) calls all in on the turn J957with 44 and hits his 2 outer on the river. I really don't understand the thought process here, I don't think there is one. Sigh, so frustrating, and on top of that I couldn't hit a flop if my life depended on it. I don't know what happened but I am getting 3bet left right and centre and I'm really tired of it. I'm going to take a break now.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Moved Back Down...

... but only for this morning. I got home and the 25nl tables were really dead and they had 1 guy on basically every tables waiting list and I didn't feel like hanging around waiting. 10nl was very busy so I jumped down there to splash around a bit. The difference in play is amazing now that I've played so many hands at 25nl.

I started crushing 8 tables, so I bumped it up to 16 and ran at 16ptBB/100 for 2500 hands over the course of 2.5 hours (I'm going to start typing in terms of ptBB/100 again, people will think I'm playing limit otherwise). As I said, I'm rereading Sklanksky's Theory of Poker and there is one major part of the game that I was never paying attention to, and why my aggression factor was always so low - and that is the art of semi-bluffing. It is now a healthy 2.8.


This is a wonderful play because of several factors:

1. You take the initiative in the hand and allow your opponents the chance to fold.
2. You disguise your hand, which is very important against expert hand readers.
3. You can get yourself a free card often enough.
4. There is virtually no defence against it.
5. It is mathematically +EV compared to check-calling which is -EV.

As Sklansky says, you gain from having a combination of fold equity and the odds that you will hit your hand. For example, there is $100 in a heads up pot and you are drawing with 3:1 odds, and you know your opponent is going to make a $75 bet if checked to. If your hand is worth a call, your hand is worth making that bet yourself. If you add in that he might fold, say, 20% of the time then this is what you get:

EV of check-calling = (0.25 x 175) - (0.75 x 75) = -$12.50

EV of betting $75 = 0.2 (1 x 100) + 0.8 ((0.25 x 175) - (0.75 x 75)) = +$10

Your positive expectation comes from both the chances of hitting your hand AND having fold equity. That's why you don't semi-bluff calling stations with no fold equity, because then you are right back to the same as check-calling, which is -EV.

Consider this, if your opponent is semi-bluffing, how are you going to defend. If you figure that he's semi-bluffing 55% of the time then the obvious answer is to raise, right? Wrong. Out of that 55% he will hit is draw often enough that he will win more than half the hands he does this with. You have to commit a large number of chips to find out if he is semi-bluffing or not, and this lets him get away cheaply win he is, and costs you a lot when he's not. That's why this play is so powerful.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Another Awesome Day at 25nl now served with 6 max

I played about 1000 hands of 25nl full ring today and ran pretty well pulling in just over 3 buyins in 2 hours. 700 of these were normal full ring no limit, but the other 300 were actually pot limit. I didn't realize what kind of tables I opened and I was playing on 3 pot limit tables and wondering what was wrong with the slider and why my preflop raises were only $0.85, lol. I only figured it out after about 250 hands when I opened up Poker Tracker ring game stats and wondered why there were PL hands being imported. 300 hands later I'm up 1.5 buyins at pot limit.

So I take a break and decide to try out the 6 max tables with the intentions of leaving if I encounter some really aggro players or lose 1/2 a buyin. I was just getting ready to leave when the following 300+ BB hand took place:

Poker Stars, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

MP: $31.45
CO: $24.60
BTN: $24.45
SB: $5
Hero (BB): $24.25
UTG: $24.65

Pre-Flop: A Q dealt to Hero (BB)
UTG folds, MP calls $0.25, CO folds, BTN raises to $1, SB calls $0.90, Hero calls $0.75, MP calls $0.75

Flop: ($4) J T K (4 Players)
SB checks, Hero checks, MP bets $1.75, BTN calls $1.75, SB calls $1.75, Hero raises to $12, MP calls $10.25, BTN raises to $23.45 and is All-In, SB calls $2.25 and is All-In, Hero calls $11.25 and is All-In, MP calls $11.45

Turn: ($78.15) 4 (4 Players - 1 is All-In)

River: ($78.15) 7 (4 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $78.15 Pot ($3 Rake)

MP showed 9 8 (a straight, Seven to Jack) and WON $0.40 (-$24.05 NET)
BTN mucked K T and LOST (-$24.45 NET)
SB mucked J A and LOST (-$5 NET)
Hero showed A Q (a straight, Ten to Ace) and WON $74.75 (+$50.50 NET)

My hand held and amazingly no one was on the flush draw. This is probably in my top 5 favorite hands I have ever played. After that I decided I am not ready for this kind of agression so I am going to stay at the full ring tables for a while now. I think I would be safer in my 6 max endeavors if I stay a buyin below where I am at in full ring. They play for stacks WAY to easily at these tables, imo. But I'm a nit.

Overall, another very successful day! Maybe this night shift thing helps me play in the mornings because I feel very awake until about 11:00 AM local time after work.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Up and Down Day

Today was just gross. I went on a heater this morning winning 5 buyins. I take a break for lunch and come back and take a 3.5 buyin loss within the first hour. Set over set 3 times in a row, flush over flush 3 times in a row, 74o flopping 2 pair in a 3bet pot. Just can not finish the trip to value town without variance throwing in a little detour. AHHHHHHH!

Enough of my ranting, as you can tell I'm on night shift. Currently re-reading Sklansky's Theory of Poker over night and taking notes this time. It sure makes a lot more sense the 3rd time through. I highly recommend it even though it is kind of dry and reminds me of those high school textbooks. Very helpful concepts and theories though, so it's a must read.

I plan to be at 50nl sometime next month at this rate. I'm still finding 25nl easier to beat than 10nl because there are so many more reasonable players that it's easier to put them on a hand rather than the random 2 pair trash hands in multiway pots that the people at 10nl seems be involved in. For my style of play it works much better because cbets are folded to a lot more by the fish here because I find them more weak-tight than weak-passive at this level. The fish here seem to be much more exploitable as I am guaranteed to have less of them in the hand and I'm finding it easier to isolate them - less gambling and more poker is to my advantage.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

First $100 Day

I finally hit my first $100 day, which is 4 buyins at 25nl obviously. I've hit 6 buyins at 10nl before but this felt like much more of an accomplishment. I started the day off pretty shaky, dropping a buyin just from preflop and c-bets when I couldn't hit a single flop on tables with aggro players. Took a short break and a few hours later I find myself up 5 buyins from where I left off.

I pretty much managed to avoid my overpairs getting cracked by sets which was nice and I stacked a couple of players with sets of my own. I made a couple of really bad plays where I just couldn't make myself fold even though I couldn't beat anything, and I would have been up probably another 1-2 buyins if not for those.

So far I have almost 13k hands in this month, 5k of those have been at 25nl with about 1/2 of my profits coming from that and the other half from the 5nl 6max tables I've been trying out. 7 BB/100 for 25nl in my first official week of playing it isn't too bad I don't think. At this rate I'd like to get in about 20k total hands at 25nl for the month and if I continue at my current rate that would leave me up about 30 buyins for 25nl for the month and I would be bankrolled with about 25 buyins for 50nl. But I definitely want to get in at least 20k hands at 25nl before I even consider moving up again.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Getting used to 25NL

I'm getting more and more positive that I am going to be able to keep playing well at 25NL. From what I've seen so far it's not that much different 10NL. I'm up about 3.5 buyins in 600 hands over the last couple of days so that's pretty good for me.

I've cut way down on tables so that I can concentrate on the action and take more notes so right now I'm starting off with 4 tables and when those seem to be going well, I add another 4. I'm getting the hands in a lot slower than when I was playing 12-16 tables at 10NL and lower, but I think my quality of play really makes up for that.

The really nice thing about 25NL so far is being able to earn FPPs at a decent rate. At Stars, the pot needs to reach $8.00 for a $0.40 rake to earn an FPP. This was quite rare at 10NL, the rake was usually between $0.10-0.30 - just under the limit, but it is quite common at 25NL and virtually every 3bet pot earns an FPP. I hope to hit Silver VIP for the first time this month.

I'll see if I can get a video together for FR 10NL soon, considering that I've been playing well/running hot lately. I had been holding off on making one since I was in a bit of a slump through December.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Moving Up to 25NL

I officially decided to move up to 25NL today - I think. I had been trying to convince myself for the past couple of weeks and decided I would have to do it sooner or later. My confidence in my game is pretty high right now so I thought that this would be as perfect a time as any.

I was up just over 2 buyins, then lost 1/2 a buyin on a stupid play I made trying to push a guy off his hand as he had been floating me a lot; unluckily for me he flopped quads. Reminder to myself not to invest too much OOP with overs when I get heavy resistance. I didn't even run that well to begin with and was nitting it up at about 10/7/1 but then caught a good run and finished up $34 at 9.4BB/100 over 700 hands and improved my agression to about 11/8/5.

I am going to stick to my bankroll management and move down if I drop below 19 buyins for 25nl and keep taking shots at it as soon as I am over 20. Hopefully my days at 10nl are over now. I am currently sitting at 24 buyins for 25nl.

First Impression of 25NL

1. People do not stack off with top pair as easily. Of course there are still the 53/5/1 fish that will, there are just fewer of them.

2. People float a lot more, or at least appear to. I think there are more players that understand how to float a cbet with overcards here so that means there are at least a few 2nd level thinkers here.

3. Play is not that much tougher than 10NL. I actually found hands easier to play as people were a lot easier to put on a hand than the crazy ATC players at 10NL and below. There are also players that are 3betting 99-JJ and AQs+ preflop here, which you see almost none of at 10NL and below so that widened range needs to be taken into account against some players.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Happy New Year - Graphs and Such

Time for a graph update. This graph is from the start of this blog on November 1st to today. I only made about $140 mostly at 5nl and 10nl - FR and 6 max - in December due to it being such a busy month and I didn't really feel like playing much. The last 22k hands are from December.

I wanted to be playing 25nl by now but I took a couple of shots with some bad results. I will be moving up to 25nl in January as I currently have 20 buyins for that level - probably once I have 25 buyins.

I also had this hand today which put me on major tilt, I considered cashing out because I run so bad on this site for some reason, but thought twice about it and decided to stay since the games are so loose. I'll keep plugging away at it. Managed to get my money back about 100 hands later from the same guy. The appearance of tilt after it's gone can sometimes work amazingly well - ie. shoving AA the next hand after a bad beat, there is a huge chance you will be called by 99+/AJ+.

Full Tilt Poker, $0.05/$0.10 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 4 Players
LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

BB: $20.35
Hero (UTG): $15.50
BTN: $9.95
SB: $4.30

Pre-Flop: T T dealt to Hero (UTG)
Hero raises to $0.35, BTN calls $0.35, SB calls $0.30, BB calls $0.25

Flop: ($1.40) A 8 T (4 Players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $1, 2 folds, BB raises to $3, Hero calls $2

Turn: ($7.40) 6 (2 Players)
BB bets $4.20, Hero raises to $12.15 and is All-In, BB calls $7.95

River: ($31.70) 8 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $31.70 Pot ($1 Rake)
BB showed 8 8 (four of a kind, Eights) and WON $30.70 (+$15.20 NET)
Hero showed T T (a full house, Tens full of Eights) and LOST (-$15.50 NET)