March 21, 2010

Forthcoming book review and…. Don’t Tilt because I’m coming after you if you do…

First off, I am just finishing off the latest from Aaron Davis, "The Poker Blueprint" which is a rare book in that it includes thoughts about microstakes online cash poker, and I will post shortly my review of it on this blog.

2nd , and I make no apologies for stating the complete and utter obvious, and because it’s such a huuuuuuuge big thing, please please avoid tilting if you possibly can. I tend to avoid prescriptive advice in this blog, (happy to leave that to others) and keep any advice here more as descriptive.. Except for tilt.

Because tilt, it’s the biggest killer of bankrolls, even more destructive than plain ole baaaad play for all but the very worst players, so a) don’t do it, and b) so I’m gonna talk about it a bit more.

Tilt is like an addiction….no matter how bad it is, no matter how bad you know you have it, no matter what people tell you, you can only fix it if you actually want to do it yourself. Until you make that step, doom will ensue. Tilt isn’t like not being able to fold AA on a 678 non rainbow 4 way flop facing a reraise. After a certain amount of hands, a little bit of reading, and a smidgeon of common sense, only the aforementioned uber baaad players continue to get it in with that.

No...Tilt is a red mist that affects otherwise talented and knowledgeable players, and raises its head at you as you think you begin to realise all the injustices of the universe, and how they point themselves toward your sorry little poker world. Your boat was cracked by quads 1 time too many matey, and now its time to fucking whine. And since no one can hear this whining, its time to do it through the bad beat jackpot scenario of simply proving your own thesis by example (eg 3 betting any two cards). The illogic of it is irrelevant, because you are gorging on the drug of tiiiiiiilt. And with one bad beat after another, the pure fix of it spurs you on to more and more horrendous plays, pronounced even more in the unforgiving NL environment that we play.

Now I have said before here, and I will repeat, no one can help you with this addiction, so forget about watching fancy vids, finding some formulaic book or whining in the forums. Just like any self-abuse, therapy begins with your own secret soul, the place where no one else goes, and thus only you can fix. That first step, the hardest, the most intimate, the least understood, only your solitary naked self, without your mum, your friends, or doctor, can make it with you.

Now the purpose of my post is not to help you manage your crappy tilt problems, because, as I said above, I CANT DO THAT, ONLY YOU CAN.

No, the purpose of this post, and the beauty of the mercenary, selfish, cruel world of poker, is to help you to take advantage of others’ tilt, and thus take their money.

Example of tilt coming up. 1st hand I am just observing, having folded, but mister big time nit playing 12/9 over 200 hands gets had by a loose fish who calls his 3bet with AJ and sucks out v said ubernit's AK….loose fish proceeds to leave the table to a torrent of abuse by stacked ubernit. We were only 3 handed and now we are heads up, me and the angry ubernit. Seems like someone might want to do some chip donating....

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 2 Players
Hero (BTN): $134.15 (134.2 bb)
BB: $94.55 (94.6 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is BTN with 6 of hearts K of spades
I am raising any 2 against this guy.
Hero raises to $3, BB raises to $10, Hero calls $7
Ubernit insta 3bets. Its only the second time he's done it in 87 hands. It's got tilt written all over it and I know he wants to extract revenge on me, the git that's been stealing his small blind for 15 orbits. K6o would be thrown away quickly v an uberbit even with my button, and heads up. Normally I would let his likely AK have it and carry on stealing. But it looks like he is tilted, probably with a weaker holding, and frankly, my cards no longer matter, but my being in position after the flop is everything.
Flop: ($20) J of diamonds 7 of spades 8 of spades (2 players)
BB bets $15, Hero raises to $124.15 and is all-in, BB folds
Great flop for me. No broadway cards.Tilted nit insta bets, no pause, no thought, just click. But I think his range is in fact any 2 cards from his timing tell. And facing an all in bet, there are only 3 hands he can have in my view that he can continue with, AJ, QQ, KK and AA. Even tilted nits don't make spite all-in calls with bottom or middle pair in 3 bet pots, and my shove is going to show a nice profit in the long run against an opponent cursing in the chat box about his terrible opponents.
Results: $50 pot ($0.50 rake)
Final Board: J of diamonds 7 of spades 8 of spades
Hero mucked 6 of hearts K of spades (high card King) and won $49.50 ($24.50 net)
Happy days..

March 09, 2010

Reconstructing my game, and "calling to re-evaluate"

These last few weeks I have not wanted to grind at poker. I have hardly played at all. One of my resolutions as I went into the new year was to try to re-structure some things (read leaks) in my game in preparation of moving up a level. That has been my current motivation, and firing up 6 tables everyday just hasn't been there. When I have done it, things haven't gone well, and all my own fault, which is not cool.

One of the things I have been looking at is making a decision on a hand, based on reads and sticking with that. The dreaded “Calling to re-evaluate” to be avoided at all costs.

So when facing a raise on the flop after cbetting with a strong hand, if you are going to call, and the inevitable scare card comes on the turn, you should already know what you are going to do in said scenario.

Here I raise with 88 and a decent aggro reg (33/27/18%3bet) floats my raise on the button. Now its worth noting here that mr aggro reg 3bets a massive 28% from the button over 296 hands. And he calls a raise on the button with 20% of his hands. So thats 48%......half his hands ,he plays from the button. That is simply spewtastic and we can begin to think about his range there. Any ace, any broadway with a king, and suited connectors and gappers are a 3bet I think. Why did I choose that range, and not, say, pocket pairs? Maybe you can guess yourself.

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Poker Tools by Stoxpoker - Hand Details

BTN: $116.20 (116.2 bb)
SB: $117.40 (117.4 bb)
BB: $100 (100 bb)
UTG: $71.35 (71.4 bb)
Hero (MP): $106.25 (106.3 bb)
CO: $100 (100 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is MP with 8 of hearts 8 of clubs
UTG folds, Hero raises to $3.50, CO folds, BTN calls $3.50, SB folds, BB folds

Flop: ($8.50) 2 of spades 7 of spades 8 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets $5, BTN raises to $14, Hero calls $9
Now I am raised on a drawy flop when I hit my set. I need to decide now whether I think he has the FD or a set, or some combo, or just a pure bluff. Do I shove with the current nuts, or call, or what???..............Well..........Ax of spades I think would 3bet preflop 100pc of the time based on my read. So I need to decide if this guy would raise a naked draw here, there being straight and flush possibilities on board, and one which he wouldn’t have 3bet on his button. And I can’t see it. I just can’t.
Turn: ($36.50) 5 of spades (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $20, Hero raises to $88.75 and is all-in, BTN folds
So when the nasty 3rd spade comes, I have already decided what to do, because I still believe I have the near nuts to his range. So my check is for value - to induce his bet, and the check raise all in is to eliminate him sucking out with any silly flush on the river.
Results: $76.50 pot ($3 rake)
Final Board: 2 of spades 7 of spades 8 of diamonds 5 of spades
Hero mucked 8 of hearts 8 of clubs (three of a kind, Eights) and won $73.50 ($36 net)
And finally, sure my read could sometimes be wrong (actually you should be able to deduce from my thinking he actually has a very narrow range), but I still have 23% EV on the turn against any flush which got there, plus a decent amount of fold equity against a straight and a thinking player.