March 31, 2009

March 2009 Review

After continuing to run bad through the start of March, I kept discipline and didn’t spew, as I think I did in February. By the second week my results improved and at the end of week 2 I decided to try 4 tabling 100nl. I played very conservatively as I am a bit soft, but by the end of the month, 8 tabling comfortably, I have found the increased level to suit my style.

I only managed 20k hands for some reason (last month I played 27k). I played 10k hands at 50nl for 6.2ptbb/100 and 10k hands at 100nl for 5.9ptbb/100. I tightened up my game considerably (4% less VPIP) and increased my agression factor.

Here is my graph….

I hope I ran reasonably average although I only had 1 flush over flush and 1 set over set coolers at 100nl. My aces held up against kings, and I made 3 terrible calls where I was busted by a)set v my AA deep-stacked on flop b)quads v my flush c)made stupid play where I had 97s v set in a 3 bet pot with me in position.

winnings $1862

rakeback $250

Overall $2012

Looking beck at what I said at last months review;I exceeded my goal of 3ptbb/100 for 50nl, although I did not do a whole month at that level.

Goals for April

I shall try Pokerstars 100nl in April. Add 2-4 new tables for 10-12 tabling and integrate AHK. 4ptbb/100 hands. (is 6pt/100 sustainable? Or have I just been lucky?)

March 29, 2009

Adjusting To Player Types

There are some things I do against certain players that changes with others. Thought I would give an example here, in a fairly bizarre hand played the other day.

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 9 Players

Poker Tools by Stoxpoker - Hand Details

UTG+2: $109.70 (109.7 bb)
MP1: $56 (56 bb)
Hero (MP2): $229.85 (229.9 bb)
MP3: $215.25 (215.3 bb)
CO: $152.15 (152.2 bb)
BTN: $143.20 (143.2 bb)
SB: $43.65 (43.7 bb)
BB: $115.05 (115.1 bb)
UTG+1: $104.60 (104.6 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is MP2 with Q of diamonds A of spades

UTG+1 folds, UTG+2 folds, MP1 folds, Hero raises to $3.50, MP3 folds, CO folds, BTN folds, SB calls $3, BB calls $2.50

I am not happy about being called in 2 places here. AQ in a 3 way pot is not great, although I am last to act on all streets.

Flop: ($10.50) 6 of diamonds A of diamonds 3 of diamonds (3 players)

SB bets $7, BB calls $7, Hero calls $7

Decent flop for me as I have top pair with decent kicker. I also have the second to nut flush draw. SB donk bets and BB flat calls. Now here is where the adjustment is made, depending on the player types. Almost always here I am raising a significant amount, as against any decent players, I am looking at a set, and a flush draw, and possibly, from the SB by their betting, having flat called a preflop raise, AK or AJ. With a 4bet all in to my raise I am given a tough decision between a set and a flush draw with straight potential. Possibily even a reluctant fold.
However the player types here are 2 weak players. SB is a maniac 73/10 over 54hands and BB is a calling station 23/7 over 330 hands. So I decide to flat call, as I have simply no idea where I am at, and I want to pot control as well as observe the next streets betting as I have position

Turn: ($31.50) 2 of spades (3 players)

SB bets $5, BB calls $5, Hero calls $5
An extremely weird bet confirms SB is on either a draw or weak holding, and BB is on weak ace, draw, or complete monster slow play. I flat call again, as I have no idea

River: ($46.50) 4 of hearts (3 players)
SB bets $10, BB calls $10, Hero calls $10

SB bets around fifth pot and BB flat calls. I feel sick, as I am sure I am beat (by SB) but have odds of 7-1 to call. Just like in a limit situation its almost impossible to fold. I know I have BB call station beat as by now I am sure he has a weak ace. But the SB superdonk, well he could have 2 pair, the straight or ……?

Results: $76.50 pot ($3 rake)

Hero showed Q of diamonds A of spades (a pair of Aces) and won $73.50 ($48 net)

SB showed T of hearts 9 of hearts (high card Ace) and lost (-$25.50 net)
BB showed A of clubs 8 of diamonds (a pair of Aces) and lost (-$25.50 net)

So in this situation I made an assessment of the situation on the flop and decided to stick with it based on the type of players in the pot. I decided I was in a way ahead way behind situation and just called the hand down on all streets in position. Something I would never ever do against stronger or aggressive opponents. As a foot note SB bet out on all streets 3 way with no draw and no pair with both his opponents calling. Quite amazing really.

March 26, 2009

Approach to Multi-tabling

I think of myself as a winning person. I am confident about the majority of the things I do. I am not arrogant, I just believe in my abilities, and I work hard at things I put my mind to. I think everyone should have this ethic. My approach to poker typifies this. I think I am able to win. So if I am not winning, for whatever reason, I go crazy and work my ass of to figure out how that is, and do something about it. I certainly don’t put it down to bad luck, as we all have equal doses of good and bad luck.

With that in mind I am faced with an interesting choice. I am certainly good enough I think to aim for a 24 tabling rakeback pro approach to the game which will net me a safe income over the next year if I choose to go that way. (At present I play 800 hands per day after I finish working. I work for myself by the way, and the aim would be to up this to 2400 hands and ultimately 4800 by playing 4 hours per day, 2hours very early in the morning v USAdonks, 2hours in evening v Eurodonks)

I also believe however I am good enough to go beyond the 200nl ceiling (eventually) and play at 1000nl and beyond. (note I have never even played beyond 100nl so I am happy to have someone enlighten me)

But I do not think I can do both. In order to reach 1000nl, HUDS AHK and all the other little tools we use become more and more redundant as the thinking becomes more advanced. To 24 table, you have to have a robotic approach to the game, which certainly plateaus at 200nl in my view.

So I am not sure over these coming months to aim for a 24 table unambitious but (I hope) relatively safe approach to the game as I take it more seriously, or continue to 6-8 table and learn my game and the players more thoroughly, and move through the levels and take shots.

The danger of setting up for supernova et al is, having read other’s blogs, it appears to become a kind of obsession, be it 24 tabling, achieving bonuses, or bigger and bigger hand volumes. But are these guys getting better?

Food for thought…….

March 24, 2009

Moving to 100nl

So I have played around 6k hands at 100nl, starting at 4 tables and now at 8. I am playing a nitty game, around 13/10, as opposed to my previous stats at 50nl of 16 or 17/11. I am just a wee bit of a scaredy cat when I move up.

As for the play, it seems to suit my game a little better. Things appear more polarized, and I find it easier to find out where I am.

I have been running ok, and have not so far run into any huge coolers. I think my aces have held up, and I sucked out once with KK v AA.

The most encouraging thing however is how many truly awful players there are. Splashing their money around, usually 1 or 2 per table.

March 18, 2009

2plus2 community - nasty?

I read quite an unusual strategy in the 2plus2 forum for playing a tight passive game at the micros, 50nl and below. What interested me was not the post itself, although there were some honest and somewhat original ideas, but the sheer nastiness of some of the replies to the poster, who, to his credit, continually stuck to his guns to defend the strategy.

As a winning player (so far anyway), I couldn’t see anything so bad about some of the concepts, and I was interested in another point of view. There was a hint it could be a joke, but I am not so sure, as the poster keeps coming back for more.

There’s an unpleasant arrogance to some in the poker community, especially regs who post a lot and think their super ace TAG strategy that they have read in all the books and videos (so it must be right) is the nuts. Most of them are break-even rakeback superstars I will wager. Not sure I belong there.

You can read the post and thread here.

March 11, 2009

Thinking about Moving Up

My 3bet experiment over (see this post), and I am calling their 3bets like a maniac. Actually I am calling certain players like a maniac, regs and the odd donkey. Regs who I have a history with, I will call light with speculative holdings like JTs as well as monsters. So far its been profitable, with the exception of calling one fish’s 3bet instead of 4betting him with my KK. He flops the nut flush and ends up busting me with us playing deep. Annoying thing is he proceeds to donk the whole $260 to the rest of the table over the next 100 or so hands.

I have also been experimenting with my own 3betting, as I want to take a shot at 100nl this month, now that my bankroll is more than adequate for it. Without being comfortable or having some kind of 3betting approach to the game, I do not think it’s sensible to move up, as the aggression surely increases up the levels. That said I did my first quick session at 100nl this morning with 4 tables. I couldn’t really see a huge difference with 50nl, as the usual 50/6/2, 45/29/8 and 16/1/0.5’s were scattered around each table. I also was surprised to see how many notes I had on lots of players, most of which, over my database sample were losing players. Seems I have been slow to move up??

I am running at 4ptbb/100 this month for 50nl, and that is including an awful series of coolers at the start of the month, so i am happy with my play. Last month was 2ptbb/100. I really would like to do the whole month at 50nl to achieve this win rate for the whole month, but this is probably a pride thing on my part. Better to move up sooner, if there isn’t much difference and I am comfortable and rolled.

March 02, 2009

February 2009 Review

Well after a terrible run of 10 buy-ins down, as a result of part horrible bad luck and part bad play, I examined the bad play part mid way through the month and came to the conclusion I was making way too many river crying calls. I was also overplaying my overpairs. Finally I was not 3 betting.

The latter part of the month saw me recouping all the losses, and ending the month scraping by on just below 2ptbb/100 over 30k hands. Not great considering how big a heater I started off the month with.

My lessons for the month, all of which an ongoing learning process continues of course:

Learning to smell sets from nits (don’t know how I am going to do it with the calling stations and fish however)
Learning to let river bets by opponents have the benefit of the doubt if I have a weak holding
Learning to 3bet profitably as a bluff (as opposed to value)
Learning to value bet on river correctly
Learning to let TPTK and overpairs go when my instinct tells me I am beat
Raise more often, call less.

For March I hope to make 3ptbb/100 at 50nl and have at least a shot at 100nl. At the end of March I hope to have at least investigated moving to Pokerstars or UB and substituting rakeback for FPPs. Although rakeback at fulltilt seems good, maybe I should stay there, I made $250 in rakeback this month before any winnings are accounted for.