Saturday, 2 August 2008

Weekend variance finally going MY way

I started rebuilding confidence today. Had a nice little heater during a 4 hour session for 13 buyins at 25NL. Yeah, I know: Why can't every day be like today? I guess Stars wanted to give me a do-over after the dismal start to August that I had yesterday, so I'm back on the positive side of the graph for this month.

I keep a binder with the most influential posts I've found on 2p2 and printed them out as well as a group of my own theories and notes I've made to remember the little nuggets of gold I find reading strat books.

Reading through some of these today kick-started my brain again. I think I had been autopiloting off my HUD for a bit there, and re-reading Pokey's post on how to use my HUD was really helpful. I think I'm also starting to trust my instincts more and I'm starting to relegate my HUD to a guideline as to how I want to plan a hand.

One thing I've found particularly helpful is checking WtSD and W$SD stats as soon as someone cold calls my raise or if I'm considering calling a raise. This gives me a couple extra seconds to figure out what I'm going to do on the flop in terms of whether to cbet or float, and also my bet sizing.

I'm also starting to get that feel for when peoples' lines don't make sense and I can bluff raise them to steal a pot with air. This is quite rare - and I'm not making hero calls or retarded bluffs, but every once in a while you can pick off a nice pot. That and I can start to figure out if my set or better is good or not. I'm not laying them down often - so far I think I've folded about 3 sets in the past week in hands which were not obvious flush draws that made it, and I am almost positive I've saved myself 3 stacks in those cases. That being said: "never fold a set!" =)

In most cases you can't lay down a huge hand like this. The general advice is that if you can beat AA, you are committed. But there are a few very rare times where you have bottom set and alarm bells are going off because villain's line really looks like a set - then you check the stats and he's a TAGfish with something like WtSD 15% and W$SD 65% and he wants to get the money in and you get that intuition that you are no good.

I say trust your reads, and don't ever ask anyone if you should fold a set, because they don't have those reads and they can't help you. They will just say "never fold a set" and if you go with that, you will be +EV in the long run anyways, and there's no shame in that.


  1. Hey, i just found your blog today and had lots of fun reading it the whole way through. Mainly cause i'm kinda in the same situation that you started in a few months wise of course, only 21 so no family :). Feel free to read my blog if you want. It's a lot less interesting than yours, but I try.

    Was just wondering if you were open to some discussion about the micro stakes. Maybe offer up a few pearls of wisdom that might help a fellow grinder. Let me know. Maybe we could strike up some good chat.


    P.s. Don't worry, I'm a FT reg so don't think i'll take your action :)

  2. Hey mate i was just comparing my current stats with you stats when you were playing nl5 & nl10 and noticed they were very similar (vpip/pfr almost identical). How have you changed your game from these levels to nl25? In the past i have found that i struggle at this level.



  3. gamblegamble: Good to hear that people are reading! Until people started posting comments, I thought I might be all alone here, lol. Glad to hear you enjoy it.

    You can definately discuss anything poker with me, I'll see if I can update my info to contact me on AIM.

    behhh: iirc I was playing a somewhat tight/passive game preflop and would basically nut peddle and set mine a lot. Which works at 10NL and down and to some degree at 25NL as well, because people think top pair and overpairs are the nuts.

    It took me a long time to make 25NL my new home. I played scared money and tightened up too much. Making my game more aggressive preflop and postflop has definately helped, and I need to do even more to move up to 50NL. Not necessarily open up my range, but rather become more aggressive with the range I'm already using.

    The biggest thing for me was to think about ranges more, even though I still suck at it, it sure has helped. I also read a bunch of books that really helped me get my head around the game.

    I thought I was an awesome player at the beginning of the year, but now I realize how little I still know and how much I have to learn.

    If you haven't read these, definately get them:

    Theory of Poker
    Harrington on Cash
    Professional No-Limit Hold 'Em (ZOMG SPR!)
    NL: Theory and Practice (currently waiting for this to arrive, heard it's the best)