Saturday, 27 September 2008

Longest Session. Ever.

Just finished a marathon 8 hour session 18 tabling 25NL full ring for 7 of those and 6 tabling for a sweat session with another 2p2er. Time flies. Just under 6k hands.

I was up just over 10 buyins after 5 hours. Then I went on a downswing and lost 3 all in pots, 2 when my set got outdrawn and 1 where my million out draw didn't hit. This resulted in me spewing 2 more buyins. Took a washroom break and came back un-tilted to finish up a total of 7 buyins.

I'm not tired of poker yet amazingly, so I'm off to play some 6 max. I need 60 more VPPs to get back to Platinum - Yeah!

Friday, 26 September 2008

Grinding 25NL for the rest of the month

I'm going to pad my bankroll playing 25NL again for the rest of the month and perhaps the first week of October. Then I am going to take another shot at 50NL. I would ideally like to work with a 40 buyin minimum which I am sitting at right now for 50NL.

Today and last night went quite well. 4 buyins last night in 3 hours, 5 buyins today in 1 hour. I was surprised to finish up for the session last night after starting out getting dealt 3 monster draws that I shoved on the flop and bricked 6 cards in a row with 45-60% equity each time. I have nearly recovered from my epic failure at 50NL at the beginning of the week. I'm at work, so I'll post some HHs in this post from today when I get home.

10NL video is going to have to wait until next week when I'm on day shift. I can play quite well in the mornings and there's lots of tables going, but putting my thoughts into words when I'm still kind of half asleep in terms of motor skills isn't the best idea.

Some hands from this afternoon's session:

I think this hand is a good example of pot control. Villain was 15/10/2 and I put him on a pocket pair or a flush draw - but I reduced the chance of the flush draw since I have Ah. I obviously lose value on the turn if he has a flush draw, but the thought of getting check-raised there makes me sick. I could have bet $6 on the turn and gotten c/r by a set or c/c by a pocket pair. But that pocket pair is folding the river anyways but he will probably c/c $6 on the river if I check behind the turn. So I save my stack when I'm behind and I make the same amount when I'm ahead.

By checking here we accomplish several objectives:
1) We keep the pot smaller with a small hand.
2) We still win ~$6 when we have the best hand.
3) We keep most of our stack when we're behind.
4) We induce a river bluff.
5) We get to see a showdown for $6 and a chance of winning instead of paying $6 on the turn and possibly not getting to showdown.

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 7 players
The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+1: $24.30
Hero (MP): $25.00
CO: $10.55
BTN: $25.40
SB: $22.40
BB: $25.00
UTG: $65.15

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is MP with A A
UTG calls $0.25, 1 fold, Hero raises to $1.25, 2 folds, SB calls $1.15, 1 fold, UTG calls $1

Flop: ($4.00) 4 2 9 (3 players)
SB checks, UTG checks, Hero bets $2.75, SB calls $2.75, UTG folds

Turn: ($9.50) 3 (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks

River: ($9.50) 8 (2 players)
SB bets $6, Hero calls $6

Final Pot: $21.50
Hero mucks A A
SB shows 2 2 (three of a kind, Deuces)
SB wins $20.45
(Rake: $1.05)

This hand is against a 70/20/4 drooler. limp/call preflop and 1/2 PSB donk on the flop is just asking "Am I good?" I just call to say "Yes." Turn is a brick and safe to raise for value here and before he knows it he's called a small reraise and he's committed. River is kind of a sick card but his range is really wide and he'll have a lot of Jx besides just QJ.

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official Hand History Converter

SB: $24.25
BB: $24.40
UTG: $22.20
UTG+1: $25.20
Hero (MP1): $25.50
MP2: $32.75
CO: $4.30
BTN: $24.65

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is MP1 with A A
UTG calls $0.25, 1 fold, Hero raises to $1.25, 3 folds, SB calls $1.15, 1 fold, UTG calls $1

Flop: ($4.00) 4 J 6 (3 players)
SB checks, UTG bets $1.75, Hero calls $1.75, SB folds

Turn: ($7.50) 7 (2 players)
UTG bets $2.50, Hero raises to $6.50, UTG calls $4

River: ($20.50) Q (2 players)
UTG bets $3.75, Hero raises to $16 all in, UTG calls $8.95 all in

Final Pot: $45.90
UTG mucks J K
Hero shows A A (a pair of Aces)
Hero wins $43.70
(Rake: $2.20)

I really debated folding the turn here. I just kept thinking this has to be AhQx and I also induced a bluff from any Ahxx hand though so I made the call. Unlucky river for him. I don't know what's up with everyone at 25NL cold calling QQ preflop making it multiway. Not smart.

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official Hand History Converter

MP2: $18.90
CO: $7.90
BTN: $29.15
SB: $30.10
BB: $9.25
Hero (UTG): $24.80
UTG+1: $3.95
MP1: $24.10

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is UTG with K K
Hero raises to $1, 1 fold, MP1 calls $1, MP2 calls $1, 3 folds, BB calls $0.75

Flop: ($4.10) Q 6 4 (4 players)
BB bets $0.25, Hero raises to $3.50, MP1 folds, MP2 calls $3.50, BB folds

Turn: ($11.35) 7 (2 players)
Hero checks, MP2 bets $14.40 all in, Hero calls $14.40

River: ($40.15) J (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $40.15
MP2 mucks Q Q
Hero shows K K (a flush, King high)
Hero wins $38.20
(Rake: $1.95)

I'm kind of torn on how to play these hands where I have a very good top pair plus a very good flush draw. I think there is a fine line in that you definately want to keep them in because you're probably already holding the best hand and if you hit your draw you will be holding an even better best hand so your equity is huge. I suppose my thought process is that I might get 1/2 a stack with top pair, but if I can get them to hit a lower flush or if they have a set and I hit I get their whole stack. Ideally I get this in on the flop if at all possible but I would actually prefer to play the turn and river a lot of the time because I'm not scared of a whole lot of cards except for the fact that they can kill my action and I seem to be better at extracting value on the turn than on pushing the action on the flop with my style.

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+2: $5.00
MP1: $34.75
MP2: $26.05
CO: $15.00
BTN: $33.85
SB: $24.40
BB: $16.25
UTG: $22.55
Hero (UTG+1): $25.00

CO posts a big blind ($0.25)
Pre Flop: ($0.60) Hero is UTG+1 with Q K
1 fold, Hero raises to $1.25, 1 fold, MP1 calls $1.25, 3 folds, SB calls $1.15, BB calls $1

Flop: ($5.25) Q 7 2 (4 players)
SB checks, BB bets $1, Hero raises to $4, MP1 folds, SB folds, BB calls $3

Turn: ($13.25) T (2 players)
BB checks, Hero checks

River: ($13.25) 9 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $12.50, BB calls $11 all in

Final Pot: $35.25
BB mucks Q J
Hero shows Q K (a flush, King high)
Hero wins $33.55
(Rake: $1.70)

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Read some books

I finished NLTAP last week. Best. Book Ever. I am going to re-read it next week. And probably next month, too. I forced myself to skip one section: the turn and river bluffing section as per the warning saying Do Not Try This at Home Kids! since I play 25NL and people don't understand what they're seeing anyways.

I'm currently reading Schoonmaker's Your Best Poker Friend. I read his Your Own Worst Poker Enemy last month which I found thoroughly helpful to control my emotions. This one is more about exploiting your opponents, putting them on tilt, etc.

I also read an excellent book at work this week. Sun Tzu's The Art fo War. You can get all sorts of free public domain e-books like this one on Project Gutenberg's website. It's amazing how a 6th century B.C. book can address so many issues that not only still apply to modern warfare, but actually also apply directly to poker.

Some samples:

1. Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

2. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

3. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.

4. Hence the saying: One may know how to conquer without being able to do it.

5. Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.

6. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.

7. The general who is skilled in defense hides in the most secret recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven. Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves; on the other, a victory that is complete...

... 13. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

14. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.

15. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

16. The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is in his power to control success...

... 17. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.

18. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question of subdivision; concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes a fund of latent energy; masking strength with weakness is to be effected by tactical dispositions.

19. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch at it.

20. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him...

This was my favorite:

12. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general:
(1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction;
(2) cowardice, which leads to capture;
(3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
(4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame;
(5) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

My translation for the tables:

12. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a poker player:
(1) Recklessness, which leads to spewing;
(2) cowardice, which leads to weak-tight play;
(3) tilt, which can be provoked by insults;
(4) making plays to defend your ego, rather than +EV plays
(5) over-solicitude for his chips, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Took a shot - epic fail

I took a shot at 100NL today which went fairly well to start with. Then I started running into sets and setup hands. I got into my "they're playing back at me" mode and spewed a few buyins unfortunately.

So when I got back from work I fired up 24 tables of 25NL and got back $100+ in a couple hours. Apparently this evening's session was hot for me as HEM says my total profit is $103 but my $EV is -$30 lol. This is mostly due to these 3 hands where I got money in terribly bad:

Hand #1 Is standard dont fold KK PF. I dont like my bet sizing at all, but it worked out for once with me winning when the board goes to 4 flush.
Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 7 players
The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (SB): $24.75
BB: $15.00
UTG: $14.00
UTG+1: $21.15
MP: $8.95
CO: $24.50
BTN: $14.65

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is SB with K K
UTG raises to $0.50, UTG+1 raises to $1.50, 3 folds, Hero raises to $5, 1 fold, UTG calls $4.50, UTG+1 raises to $21.15 all in, Hero calls $16.15, UTG calls $9 all in

Flop: ($56.55) J 6 2 (3 players - 2 are all in)

Turn: ($56.55) 9 (3 players - 2 are all in)

River: ($56.55) 9 (3 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $56.55
Hero shows K K (a flush, King high)
UTG mucks T T
UTG+1 mucks A A
Hero wins $13.60
Hero wins $40.15
(Rake: $2.80)

Hand #2 This hand was pretty lol. This guy was an aggro donk and I actually put him on complete air. 3 outer is good!
Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official Hand History Converter

MP1: $25.00
MP2: $22.45
CO: $5.85
Hero (BTN): $23.90
SB: $28.50
BB: $10.75
UTG: $14.25
UTG+1: $18.90

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is BTN with T 8
2 folds, MP1 calls $0.25, 2 folds, Hero raises to $1.25, 2 folds, MP1 calls $1

Flop: ($2.85) 8 5 2 (2 players)
MP1 checks, Hero bets $2, MP1 raises to $5, Hero calls $3

Turn: ($12.85) J (2 players)
MP1 bets $18.75 all in, Hero calls $17.65 all in

River: ($48.15) 8 (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $48.15
MP1 shows Q Q (two pair, Queens and Eights)
Hero shows T 8 (three of a kind, Eights)
Hero wins $45.80
(Rake: $2.35)

Hand #3 Decided to go with my combo draw after he gave me nice odds preflop. Im 43% on the flop against any 1 pair hand so with the money in the pot, this is an easy shove.
Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official Hand History Converter

UTG: $31.60
UTG+1: $22.20
UTG+2: $11.90
MP1: $31.95
MP2: $25.50
Hero (CO): $26.85
BTN: $14.70
SB: $28.20
BB: $9.65

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is CO with 9 T
5 folds, Hero raises to $1, 2 folds, BB raises to $2, Hero calls $1

Flop: ($4.10) 8 6 K (2 players)
BB bets $3, Hero raises to $12.75, BB calls $4.65 all in

Turn: ($19.40) 4 (2 players - 1 is all in)

River: ($19.40) 7 (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $19.40
Hero shows 9 T (a flush, King high)
BB shows A A (a pair of Aces)
Hero wins $18.45
(Rake: $0.95)

I wish I got home a bit earlier, the games really dry up after 1:00 EST. At least I'm finally comfortable running the max number of tables on Stars. I'll have 1 or 2 tables time out occasionally if I have a bit of a decision somewhere else but otherwise I can keep them all going. And that will get me very close to Supernova if I can do it for the rest of the year.

I think I am going to make that my goal and forget about really moving up until next year. I won't be able to really work on my game at all 24 tabling, so it's a choice between that and just making auto-pilot money and getting the 3.5x multiplier for next year, which I think will be worth a lot to me. I would hate to have to start over in January and wait until May or June to move up the VIP ladder.

Racked my brain at work to figure out what to do. I decided to add WtSD to my HUD so that I can see who I can push around and who I can't and who is going to pay off my spec hands. I had only been using fold to flop cbet and fold to turn cbet until now. WtSD converges fairly slowly, but I think I get an idea of how the player is playing at least in the shortrun on the current table and I used it to push a few guys off of likely top pair hands.

Aggression. This is what I need to work on. And applying it at the right time to avoid spewing.

The poll results for which concept or theory is most valuable to your game are:
Pot Control - 4 (66%)
Baluga Theorem - 1 (16%)
Other - 1 (16%) no comment left
Zeebo - 0
SPR - 0

Im quite surprised that SPR did not get any votes. I know its tough to use it in 100BB games, but I still find it helpful. Pot control and Baluga are definately 2 of my favorites and have saved me a lot of money.

* Some of the text in this post is messed up in terms of grammar and punctuation. My keyboard still likes to switch to Spanish once in a while so instead of an apostrophe, I get a รจ.