Friday, 28 August 2009

A case of runbad: false alarms imo

Swongs are fun. First you can not win a hand if your life depended on it. Then someone flips a switch and you can't lose a hand.

Last night my life was pretty miserable at 50NL 6max with people consistently drawing to 2 pair vs my top pair, sets on wet boards seeing the grossest all-draw-completing turn and river cards. My line seemed to be b/f, b/f, c/f every time I attempted to valuebet. And every single coinflip was lost after getting my money in first on every single one of them. Ship the 5.5 BI below equity in 2k hands.

I am now able to keep this in perspective though and I can confidently say I did not tilt at all during that stretch. I actually made notes on those hands and created counter-strategies to pwn these donks. I felt really good about my play of that session after reviewing.

3 hours later this morning, I fire up some tables again. Every session, every hand = a fresh start. 20 minutes later (and after starting off down another buyin) I make it all back. Didn't change my strat. Didn't think I must be doing something wrong. There's an enormous amount of luck in the short term, but absolutely none in the long term and I'm confident that my game is a long term winner. I think people are too quick to change what they're doing when they're downswinging and can do some permanent damage, or at least some damage that is very hard to undo and will probably cause them to take longer to recover.

Some inspiration for the people that are downswonging right now, it can change just like that if you stick to your winning strat:

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

About Me (About Time)

I realized I've never really done anything about who I am in the year or 2 since I started this blog. There was a thread similar to this and I posted so I might as well post the pics here too now that I have them online.

I graduated from university a few years back with a Bachelor of Arts, major in geography and minor in history. Planned to continue into the Education program but, lol, I only found out in the last semester of year 3 that there were 1500 applications for 300 spots. And about 90% of geography students had the same plan as me and they only need so many geography teachers. The next year backlogged as I graduated from highschool the same year as Ontario stopped teaching grade 13 and had 2 graduation classes. My province was the only one accepting students from outside the province so we get an influx of people from everywhere while no one else accepts anyone resulting in 5000 applications for 300 spots. gg education.

On to a regular job. It is about the highest paying + complete benefits for a non-education-requirement job (global corporation FTW) in the area so I can't really complain although it gets super boring and it's shift work.

I live in a small town of about 10k people with a neighbouring town of about 12k. Nice and quiet and a lot of people know each other - that whole small town thing. Here's some pics of my house, cat, daughter, town etc.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Getting smacked by the deck

I've been running good and bad at the same time. Weird contradiction. I'm getting smacked by the deck in terms of cards where I can valuebet postflop, but at the same time pocket pairs are only hitting sets 3% of flops and I am not holding in all-in situations nearly as often as I should be - down 6 BI in all-in equity over the last 15k hands. Also running into random 2 pairs in 4bet pots is a little annoying (AA vs K8o ???).

That said, I am getting dealt a ton of value by the deck and getting a ton of flop and turn cbets called when I actually have it which seems like all the time and this has turned out to double my average winrate for 50NL and 100NL this week despite my run-bad in terms of all-in and sets.

I've also almost completely stopped big spews, no more I-know-I'm-beat-spite-calls and me being as tilt-free as I've been in a very long time. Just solid range/equity thought process 99% of the time. I hope I can stay in this state of mind. Taking notes on donks when I get sucked out on again sure beats thinking about how am I going to "outplay" him next time - read: spew.

I used to spew a buyin for every beat I took which leads to some unnecessary downswings. A lot of the magnitude of those swings can be diminished if I can think grind grind grind grind beat... and then choose grind again instead of spew since spew usually leads to more spew.

10k more VPPs to go to retain Supernova for the year. I've been playing mostly 50NL and 100NL FR to finish this up and haven't played 6 max much in the past week. I'm half way to finishing up 50NL there if I'm sticking with the 10k hands + good winrate rule.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

24 ptBB/100 Sustainable?

I ordered The Poker Mindset from the VIP store last Tuesday and got an email saying "... will ship in 4-6 weeks." It showed up at my door yesterday. I could probably get it cheaper on Amazon but I miss out on the thrill of having it personally delivered like I'm a VIP when I have to walk 150 feet to the mailbox. I'm about 1/4 done already and should probably start doing some book reviews on here sometime.

I fired up a bunch of 100NL FR last night and decided I was going to play 1 hour/1k hands and try to put into practice the authors' suggestions on desensitizing yourself to money. Worked out pretty well I think! I was making river valuebets where I'd normally check behind, turn value shoves on scary boards against fishy players, and all sorts of valuebets that I would normally miss at 100NL+.

Results are looking good and if I attribute all of my success to the 1/4 of the book that I've read so far: $483 / ($24.95 * 0.25) = what I've read has paid for itself 77 times over. I better read the rest of it today if that's the case =)

Monday, 17 August 2009

Fix Your Redline: It's not what you think!

You load up your blueline/redline graph and what do you see? You’re winning money at showdown valuetowning those donkeys left and right. But your redline looks like it’s 2000 and late and you’re about to beg for a bailout.

All together now: “There has to be a solution to this!” and we commence with a million threads asking “How do I fix my redline?” and 5 million responses of “if you’re greenline is positive you’re doing it right.” Are greenline results all that matter?

Let’s look at where redline comes from. It’s non-showdown pots. Winning non-showdown money requires playing an aggressive game and getting people to fold. This is what everyone is obsessed with. It is also difficult to achieve, and most people will just ignore it if what they are already playing is a winning game at their stakes.

But the flip side to non-showdown money is often overlooked and is rarely given as advice even though it is extremely easy to fix – a lot easier to fix than becoming more aggressive. It’s not flashy and aggressive like winning non-showdown money. A huge leak for a lot of microstakes grinders is losing redline money.

Think about it. Winning redline money requires getting your opponent to fold. Losing redline money requires your opponent to make you fold. And no, I’m obviously not saying don’t ever fold. I’m suggesting quite the contrary.

Those big downhill toboggan runs are not the result of a lack of aggression. They are caused by the presence of passivity. Poker is not a binary passive calling/aggressive raising game where you are either passive or aggressive at any given time. You have to remember that you have a 3rd option. You can check and/or fold, which are neither passive nor aggressive but quite simply nothing.

Let’s break down the fundamental theory of poker into its basic correct/incorrect functions for a second. You should bet and raise when you can get a better hand to fold or when a worse hand will call. You should check and/or fold when villain will or has bet with a better hand that he will not fold. So where does that leave calling? Poker is a game of incomplete information. We won’t always know whether to bet/raise or check/fold. As a result, people use calling as a crutch when they don’t have a plan and don’t know what to do.

This is the crux of perpetual redline downswings. The majority of your redline losses are going to come from taking lines like call and re-evaluate or any other passive line that should more accurately be called bloat/fold. If you want to catch up on the correct application of the re-evaluate and call line, check out I vi ii V7’s PSA or the Call and Re-eval article on my blog. Or just think about Baluga Theorem.

Calling does have its purposes and if you are planning your hand, they should all go into the deception column. You can re-evaluate and call to manipulate ranges. You can call to slowplay to win more on a later street. You can call to float and manipulate ranges to bluff the next card. Calling because you don’t know what to do is never acceptable. Every time you do call without a plan, you are taking the bloat/fold line and contributing to your redline downswing.

So to help fix your redline, increase your aggression factor. I didn’t say increase your aggression. Just decrease your unplanned passivity. In fact, just start calling it your “Passivity Factor.”

You can’t lose redline money if you don’t put it in the pot in the first place.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Interesting 50NL FR Hand

* xposted from the uFR forum

Villain is 10/8 and running 6/6 in EP over 2500. Rate my river (and the rest of my reasoning). Good bluff? Spew? Only thing I'm sure about is FPS.

Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By

UTG+2: $49.25
MP1: $50.00
MP2: $9.25
CO: $68.15
BTN: $16.80
Hero (SB): $50.00
BB: $11.35
UTG: $14.70
UTG+1: $66.00

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is SB with Q Q
2 folds, UTG+2 raises to $2, 4 folds, Hero calls $1.75, 1 fold

Keep his range as wide as possible ldo.

Flop: ($4.50) 9 7 J (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG+2 bets $3, Hero calls $3

imo his range is PPs so this is WA/WB. I'm only worried about A's and K's peeling off for his whiffed AK at which point I plan to c/f so I don't really see a point in c/r since I'm crushed if he calls or raises.

Turn: ($10.50) 5 (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG+2 bets $7, Hero calls $7

changes nothing. There aren't any draws in his range except for exactly
AK and gutshots.

River: ($24.50) 8 (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG+2 bets $13, Hero raises to $38 all in

Was going to give this up if he trippled it but then noticed small bet and 4 to a straight. My shove still gives him 3:1. I don't think I ever win if I c/c again. So I turn my hand into a bluff and rep the T which he really can't ever have unless he has TT. Do I fold out KK+ and sets often enough considering the mountain of dead money in the pot?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

10k hands of 25NL 6max

Pay no attention to my overly excessive brag graphic. I know I know. Small sample.

I had some setbacks with losing just about every coinflip when getting my money in first in the last 2k hands but I think my goal of crushing 25NL 6max over 10k hands has been accomplished. I'm going to go on to 50NL today and see if there's any differences in the games there.

It's a lot of fun so far! I do need to start working on my VPPs for this month too so I think I'll split today between 6max and FR 50NL and going to the local summer fair. It will be the first time I've been on the merry-go-round in about 23 years. Should be fun!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Email Me

Figured I'd set up an email if anyone wants to email me about anything so you'll find that on the right sidebar now. I've met some good people through this blog.

oh and a hand I played this morning just for fun: LOL deckcrushaments

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 222855
The Official Hand History Converter

CO: $25.00
Hero (BTN): $25.90
SB: $32.35
BB: $18.85
UTG: $8.15
MP: $19.30

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is BTN with 77 of diamonds 77 of spades
1 fold, MP calls $0.25, 1 fold, Hero raises to $1, 1 fold, BB raises to $1.75, MP calls $1.50, Hero calls $0.75

Flop: ($5.35) TT of diamonds 77 of clubs TT of clubs (3 players)
BB bets $3, MP raises to $6, Hero calls $6, BB calls $3

Turn: ($23.35) 88 of spades (3 players)
BB checks, MP bets $3, Hero calls $3, BB calls $3

River: ($32.35) AA of hearts (3 players)
BB checks, MP bets $3, Hero raises to $9, BB calls $8.10 all in, MP calls $5.55 all in

Final Pot: $57.55
Hero shows 77 of diamonds 77 of spades (a full house, Sevens full of Tens)
BB shows KK of clubs KK of hearts (two pair, Kings and Tens)
MP shows TT of hearts 99 of hearts (three of a kind, Tens)
Hero wins $0.85
Hero wins $53.90
(Rake: $2.80)

If you are villain in this hand:
a) learn how to 3bet
b) MP raising the flop should be setting off alarm bells
c) Me flatting MP's raise should send you into the bomb shelter

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Breakeven.... then... bing blang blaow.

Took me 1k hands to get out of the hole tonight. I lost a couple of coinflips early on in my session playing 6max again and waited forever to pick up a hand to stack these guys.

This hand got me off to a good start on the positive side of the graph at hand 1k:

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 221025
The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (BB): $72.25
UTG: $24.30
MP: $14.60
CO: $4.65
BTN: $10.00
SB: $25.00

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is BB with 77 of spades 77 of clubs
UTG calls $0.25, MP calls $0.25, CO calls $0.25, 1 fold, SB calls $0.15, Hero checks

Flop: ($1.25) 55 of diamonds 88 of hearts 77 of hearts (5 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $1, UTG calls $1, MP folds, CO calls $1, SB folds

Turn: ($4.25) 66 of spades (3 players)
Hero checks, UTG checks, CO checks

River: ($4.25) 66 of hearts (3 players)
Hero bets $71 all in, UTG calls $23.05 all in, CO calls $3.40 all in

Final Pot: $53.75
Hero shows 77 of spades 77 of clubs (a full house, Sevens full of Sixes)
UTG shows 99 of spades KK of diamonds (a straight, Five to Nine)
CO shows QQ of hearts TT of hearts (a flush, Queen high)
Hero wins $37.35
Hero wins $13.75
(Rake: $2.65)

I thought the turn was pretty much the 2nd grossest card in the deck and decided to c/c for implied odds to fill up. But people are dumb and slowplay their straights on extremely wet turns and don't know how to get any value at all. Then, the river is the best card ever (which would have been the grossest card ever if it came on the turn) so I do my thing and LOL quite a bit afterwards.

Got a few overpair vs overpair to hold and ended the session up 4 BI over 1600 hands which is becoming standard and managed to salvage the winrate which was starting to look dismal at first. Love this game. 2500 to go. Probably 2-3 days and start taking 50NL 6max shots on the weekend.

2 things I've noticed so far:

1) People play less tables ldo and have too much time on their hands. 50% of the tables running have the chat boxes lighting up pretty much every other hand. I get berated for stuff they don't understand. I ATS with 76s in the SB. BB (55/19) flats my cbets on flop and turn on 753x 2 tone with JTss and berates me when I c/c his PSB on a blank river. I get an offer for HU4ROLLZ from some donk that apparently normally plays 400NL but is drunk tonight nearly every session.

2) People always ask what's the difference between 6max and FR? And people always answer: 3 seats. I have to disagree, at least somewhat. The whole dynamic is different since you're basically playing positional pots 75%+ of the time. It's always CO vs BTN or CO/BTN vs SB/BB and ranges are completely different and a lot wider than the way hands play out even in positional pots at FR. I think it takes a little bit of a different mindset: you have to rely a ton more on hand reading than on card strength imo.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

1/2 Done

Wow it takes a long time to put in volume at 6max. I've been alternating back and forth between 6-tabling that and 18-tabling the full ring game on Stars for the past week or so playing 6max whenever the full ring games are reg-infested.

5k hands is a pretty laughable sample but I'm extremely happy with my results so far. The apparently scary 6max variance monster has remained silent so far and I'm 45 degree-ing my graph for a total of 14 buyins and 14 ptBB/100 without really having to think beyond cbetting, value and the fastest way to get stacks in.

Admittedly today was probably my toughest session variance wise and I got set over setted and outdrawn more than my share but still managed to rake in 8 ptBB/100. At the risk of sounding overconfident and obnoxious (and activating the doomswitch), this is going to be a huge confidence boost by the time I reach 10k hands since I now know I can easily beat the money printing levels any time I just want to go to the ATM if I'm running/playing bad elsewhere. Even over such a small sample, I think I've played enough poker to realize when I'm on a heater and I have to say that I am running very close to expectation right now in that game so there is really no other way to classify it other than as an ATM.

I've gained a new appreciation for all the 6max videos out there as well. I mean, I always got little nuggets of gold out of them before but I'm finding them so much more useful now. Lately I've been watching a lot of Ed Miller and Leatherass and I'm looking for more recommended videos. I admit, I am a Baluga fanboy, so if you have seen anything in the format of Coaching Tree (pause table-play and lecture about theory) or anything that measures up to the mindblowing events that are Baluga dissertations please leave a comment.


I put in another 1k hands tonight after posting the above for another +4 BI. I got into one interesting spot with what I assume is a reg (22/19). He had been folding a ton to my 3bets on a couple of other tables so I thought I'd just continue with that success here. I'm not really a fan of playing draws OOP against decent players so I thought this hand was basically 3bet/fold preflop:

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players - View hand 219437
The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (BB): $25.35
UTG: $17.60
CO: $59.30
BTN: $25.00
SB: $39.05

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is BB with 77 of hearts 88 of hearts
2 folds, BTN raises to $1, 1 fold, Hero raises to $3.50, BTN calls $2.50

Flop: ($7.10) 99 of hearts 22 of diamonds 22 of spades (2 players)
Hero bets $4.50, BTN calls $4.50

Turn: ($16.10) 66 of hearts (2 players)
Hero bets $17.35 all in, BTN calls $17 all in

River: ($50.10) 55 of diamonds (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $50.10
Hero shows 77 of hearts 88 of hearts (a straight, Five to Nine)
BTN shows TT of spades 99 of spades (two pair, Nines and Deuces)
Hero wins $48.10
(Rake: $2.00)

Thinly veiled brag: I hit a draw!
Variance: Reg is obviously tired of me 3betting him.