June 30, 2009

June 2009 review

Another weird month, where I continued to experiment with aspects of my game, and for the first time since turning to cash game, tried out 6max in place of full ring.

With regards to full ring, the line is too up and down for my liking, due to I think my pushing spots too much, due to a little impatience. At these stakes and game type, it's just a case of waiting patiently, as folks WILL gladly give you their stacks. But as with all aspects of poker, just because you know the right play, it doesn't mean you actually take it.

Anyway here is the FR graph

Definitely beginning to tire of full ring, at this limit at least. I think to take full advantage of the slowness of it, 16-24 tabling is definitely the answer for me, and I just don’t want to play poker like a robot. I have already questioned the motivation for short stacking, and I am beginning to think that FR multi-tabling beyond 6-8 tables is a similarly bland way to eke out a crust, which loses all the dimensions of no-limit I find enjoyable.
I also think these monthly graphs are not much use, reading the grinders blogs who can go through +100k hands break even stretches, for me a yearly graph showing 350k hands would be able to even out variance and show my correct win rate. But even that is on the thin side, where 1million hands seems to be the sample to note.
I assume that the higher stakes you play, and the deeper stacks you also play, the less hands you need to play as the skill level increases. I think??
Onward to 6max and although a smallish sample I found it more suited to my style of play.
There seem to be more spots to bluff and represent, whereas at FR these guys always have what I ‘ m repping.

And here is the 6max graph.

As you can see, it's been an enjoyable foray.

In summary, for both FR and 6max, for under £30k hands it’s a decent little profit for both games, before rakeback, but for the upcoming month I intend to remain around the 50 or 100nl to continue to learn 6max and check out how the variance might bite.

June 28, 2009

Adventure into 6max

Thanks to a conversation with "havin a laff" I decided to have a go at 6max towards the end of this month. A couple of reasons for this:

-I have never tried it seriously before

-I am getting reeeeally bored sitting watching the set miners at FR and find I start stealing with trashier hands each orbit.

-As many have read in previous posts, I hate the short stackers that populate the FR tables, but I guess their "strategy" doesn't work for 6max as there appears to be far fewer of them.

To do this I dropped down a level to 50nl and am mucking around with 4 tabling at present. I have no idea whether the rakeback is better or is cancelled out by paying more blinds, but I am sure I will find out. So far I have played around 300o hands.

June 26, 2009

Ulimate Bet advice wanted, and Scum at the tables

Don’t know if there is anyone out there who could advise me on whether it is worth making the switch to Ultimate Bet from Fulltilt, but I am interested in their bonuses and have heard that the 100nl games are ok, although there are not many of them. Any comments greatly appreciated.

One other thing, I had the misfortune to sit at a table with one of the most repulsive individuals I have ever seen at FT the other day. This guy squeezed with trash, and then berated a guy who busted him playing perfectly decent poker in my view. Calling him all the names under the sun. He proceeded to pick on the guy 3betting him relentlessly and finally they got it all in with 2 high pairs preflop, his KK holding up against the others JJ (I think).

He proceeded to laugh in the chat box, and be a general piece of shit, after busting a player.

I looked him up and he's a big grinder, he had moved down from 400nl so clearly thought he was slumming it, above us micro players, and that the bet sizing wasn’t as important, due to the move down. He should know better.

It depresses me so much to see these classless lowlife hiding behind their keyboards thinking they can behave like trash. I would love to give his screen name out, but have decided against it. He was from Germany though. Most online players are pretty cool, but these scum ruin it.

Is it worth turning off the chat box, as others suggest? Up till now I have followed it because I think there are so many tells from fish people babbling away.

June 17, 2009

Notes on isolating

Seen it in videos, forums etc etc. that’s the way you play poker right??? You know the story, loosie call station limps, you look down at KJ in late position and raise, folds round to limper who calls. Flop comes 67T, he checks, you bet and he calls. Turn is a brick, he checks, you check, river is an ace, he bets pot you fold, and start moaning about the fish.

I have read so many blogs of people complaining about how they can’t beat the “donks” who keep calling them down light. If you’re gonna take this line, I think you have to take it on fully. The only way you can make it work for you, in my view, is if your prepared to play a very aggressive game. KJ is a weak holding, especially in full ring. BUT ITS NOT CARDS THAT MATTER. It’s position.

Which means using your position, and being prepared to triple barrel if necessary. And with that, being prepared for a high variance/up-and-down graph. But certainly not checking the turn (in the example above)

I was 3bet by someone today holding AKs, and they didn’t fire on the flop, nor the turn, nor the river. With my button J9s I caught a 9 on a Q69 board to win the checked board. But he only needed to fire 1 shell to make me fold (I am playing the J9s to bust the guy, not to pick up a pair). But he didn’t, and instead mouthed off to me in the chat box about how loose and lucky I was and shouldn’t have called his 3bet (he's the big blind), and how he could never beat “the donks”, of which I was one.

We play with 100BB+ for a reason, chips are a weapon. If someone’s going to call three streets on a weak holding then its tough, but if you take the isolate or 3bet bluff line, at least you have to be prepared for a bit of double or treble barrelling. Put them to the test, smash them over the head with your chips and make them let go. Otherwise ignore those cool Stox/cardunners sharks, play ABC and stop moaning.

June 10, 2009

More notes on Short stacking betting strategy at 100nl

I haven’t seen a great deal of strategy articles about how to tackle the push bot short stackers, and I haven’t been that inclined to experiment with them until recently. By the way I’ve still to hear a convincing argument for trying it, but, as many have said, its here to stay and we cant ignore it.

The fact is, the juiciest tables remain the normal buyin tables (as opposed to a minimum 50bb tables, populated by many regs) and its silly of me to ignore the easier play there.

Up till recently I have been a religious follower of raising the same amount every time from all positions. In that way, no one can ever know what hand you are holding. And I would play 67s utg post flop the same way as if I had AA. (I don’t always raise 67s utg by the way)

On the tables populated by 20bb push bots and 20bb fish, this may be a losing strategy. (in fact I don’t think its optimal full stop at 100nl and below, because I don’t think people care what you might have or are representing). The push bot guy is gonna shove whether you have put in 2bb or 4bb with his AQ/66+ or whatever it is that these guys love, and the fish are gonna call regardless. So it gives an initial pot control and lets you get away easy from the push. Mixing up 2bb AA with 2bb 65s and 4bb AA and 4bb 65s is fine, although you need players to hang around the table for at least 200 hands to get into that line.

I have also spent a lot more time considering continuation bets, both my own, and others. Its clear to me players with 90%+ cont bet are very exploitable. Perhaps at 25nl and below, the fit fold line they take makes c-betting 100% of the time really profitable, but I think the dynamic has definetly changed at 50nl+, where good players have woken up to it as a straightforward betting line. Another area where BB can be saved/gained. All the books I read religiously preached about the cont bet, but because of that precisely, the straightforward player makes himself very predictable. Betting strategy related to board texture is far more profitable (bet value, bet bluff, check for pot contol, check to induce, etc etc), rather than bet bet bet.

June 07, 2009

May 2009 graph

Enclosed graph shows my limited play during last month. The lighter line shows my all-in EV and the heavy line shows my actual. Getting all in consistently as the favourite is all I can do. Happy with my play, just not sure if I am doing anything wrong. I would say this is not a load of AK v TT type of all ins, its my top set v J2s flush draws, rivered with quads type of bad beats. A difficult month, however, and my first ever losing month since starting playing online poker.
In general I didn't play great poker, making a few too many river calls when knowing I was likely beat, and I will focus on laydowns in June.

June 06, 2009

How not to play Poker

You may have noticed from previous posts that I think I am a hot shot poker player.

Well, when playing deepstacks, and OOP, (that's out of position for you "non experts" unlike me) I thought I would share this example of car crash decision making (from me), so obviously I am not the expert I think I am. I honestly have no excuse for such horrendous play....

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

Poker Tools by Stoxpoker - Hand Details

BTN: $103.05 (103.1 bb)
SB: $199.55 (199.6 bb)
BB: $156 (156 bb)
Hero (UTG+1): $198.50 (198.5 bb)
UTG+2: $123.15 (123.2 bb)
MP1: $105.40 (105.4 bb)
MP2: $221.25 (221.3 bb)
MP3: $100 (100 bb)
CO: $50 (50 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is UTG+1 with K of hearts Q of hearts

Hero raises to $3, 2 folds, MP2 calls $3, 3 folds, SB calls $2.50, BB calls $2

Flop: ($12) J of spades T of clubs K of diamonds (4 players)

SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $7, MP2 raises to $24, 2 folds, Hero calls $17

Turn: ($60) 9 of clubs (2 players)

Hero checks, MP2 bets $60, Hero raises to $120, MP2 raises to $194.25 and is all-in, Hero calls $51.50 and is all-in

River: ($403) 5 of diamonds (2 players, 2 are all-in)

Results: $403 pot ($3 rake)

Hero showed K of hearts Q of hearts (a straight, Nine to King) and lost (-$198.50 net)

MP2 showed Q of diamonds A of spades (a straight, Ten to Ace) and won $400 ($201.50 net)

what can I say. He is probably writing in his blog about what a superdonk I am.

and he's right.