April 27, 2010

Formula @6max = Being Humble!

I am not sure if there is an easy formula for beating the low stakes online game, but it is true there is a lot to be made if you follow one path in particular. If we can avoid Fancy Play Syndrome, and stay disciplined, and most importantly......we avoid being bothered about being bluffed. I would call this being humble, where you take the ego out of the situation (but not the player, as I think ego is important in poker). I don’t see how you can make at least modest money out of the game at these stakes following this mantra. And perhaps that is the formula.

I played a pot the other day which I thought illustrated just how even supposedly knowledgeable players sometimes just cannot bring themselves to fold in big pots (in small pots, often they will give up, that’s why stabbing at the pot is so profitable if you know which ones to go for) . The thought of being bluffed, even semi bluffed, where they even probably know deep down they are either crushed, or flipping a coin for the remainder of their stacks, is just too much for them. It's important to note these players, as these are the ones where the very over-rated concept of implied odds actually does come into play. And they exist in abundance at 100nl.

Here we have an UTG raiser who I have a note as to being a bit of a regfish, who offers good implied odds when he has a hand such as Aces, and he runs at 17/14 with 73% cont bet.

Mr Rock calls in mid position, running at 14/12 with a 5% 3bet. Probably set mining….

My trash K4s suddenly starts to offer great odds, as we think about how easy it is to play post flop with this, and yet how well concealed it is against these two.

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Poker Tools by Stoxpoker - Hand Details
BTN: $132.20 (132.2 bb)
Hero (SB): $122.85 (122.9 bb)
BB: $101.25 (101.3 bb)
UTG: $123.65 (123.7 bb)
MP: $100 (100 bb)
CO: $103.95 (104 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is SB with 3 of diamonds K of diamonds
UTG raises to $3, MP folds, CO calls $3, BTN calls $3, Hero calls $2.50, BB calls $2

Flop: ($15) 9 of diamonds J of diamonds 3 of clubs (5 players)
Flop comes down giving me a pair and a flush draw. I am not in love with getting it in with these type of hands, but when Mr rock calls the continuation bet, I don’t think he has a set. Looks to me like some kind of draw, or maybe a weak Jack, say JTs. I think if I can rep a set here, I can get 2 folds much of the time, and if not at least heads up with Mr UTG holding at least a big pair where I have 47% EV.

Hero checks, BB checks, UTG bets $10, CO calls $10, BTN folds, Hero raises to $55, BB folds, UTG raises to $120.65 and is all-in, CO calls $90.95 and is all-in, Hero calls $64.85 and is all-in.

I make a small mistake, however.....my check raise is too big, thanks to Full Tilt's Pot button, as I nearly time out from playing other tables and press it quickly.

Then...BANG..... first one, then the next shoves all in, and with 25% equity versus what I presume are their likely sets, or 1 set/overpair and 1 nut flush draw, with pot odds of 18%, I have no choice but to call off the remainder of my stack.

: ($355.65) 3 of spades (3 players, 3 are all-in)
River: ($355.65) K of spades (3 players, 3 are all-in)
Results: $355.65 pot ($3.00 rake)
Final Board: 9 of diamonds J of diamonds 3 of clubs 3 of spades K of spades
Hero showed 3 of diamonds K of diamonds (a full house, Threes full of Kings) and won $352.65 ($229.80 net)
UTG showed K of hearts J of hearts (two pairs, Kings and Jacks) and lost (-$122.85 net)
CO showed Q of hearts T of hearts (a straight, Nine to King) and lost (-$103.95 net)

And here is the point of my post. What we see when the cards turn over on the flop is my actually having a huge 44% equity against some retarded plays. The lack of discipline that sees players who clearly know the game, and yet continue to shove their money in with terrible equity on the tiny premise that they might be being bluffed (although I have to question sanity of the QTs rock overcaller who must realise he has at best only 6 outs with the diamond draw on the flop) makes these games entirely beatable…… provided you maintain discipline when you are put in the same spots.

If you can mentally calculate your equity in these bigger pots, you just cannot go wrong.


  1. Hi Microstakes Bankroll Builder,

    I've been following your blog for a long time and I would like to thank you for giving us a great resource!

    I would really like to know your in-hand thought process; do you take your time or do you automatically know what to do in most spots? What DO you use to calculate your equity in these huge pots?

    Also, what did you think about The Poker Blueprint? I want to buy it as I think it will help out my game but I'm not sure about the $37 price...do you think it's worth it?

    Again, thanks for the very insightful posts!

  2. You hit the nail on the head here mate. I think to much moneys lost at these stakes in not believing and hero calls. By players watching to much high stakes poker and thinking everyones playing like Dwan. :o)

    Maybe I exagerate a little, but solid ABC poker with clear reads is profitable simples and making semi difficult folds has to be standard play and not let it frustrate, when the likelyhood is you are beat.

    You ventured onto raise the river yet?

  3. I would be interested in your opinion.
    I seem to be stuck and sliding just a bit.(so I backed off playing just a little)
    You Can check my OPR (snyder321).You can leave a comment on my blog
    I tried looking at yours ,couldn't find it.
    Hero is the name ?
    Love the blog
    Good Luck

  4. Will post review of Blueprint soon
    Hey vegas, yes I visited raise the river, good resourec
    5Challenge, from what i can see, you just dont have enough volume yet to accurately assimilate whether you are playing badly or just on the wrong side of variance. you need at least 50k hands to start to build a picture.
    bets thing you can do is focus on specific hands in the meantime, where you think you may have made a mistake, and figure out why.
    initially, your preflop style in cash games is important to get right, and later you can begine to focus on post play, once pre comes easy

  5. Great post and solid reasoning on the hand.

    "The lack of discipline that sees players who clearly know the game, and yet continue to shove their money in with terrible equity on the tiny premise that they might be being bluffed makes these games entirely beatable…… provided you maintain discipline when you are put in the same spots."

    This is the take-away quote for me. A couple rather tilty hands of mine recently show me that I need to think about this when I'm put into tough spots. I should post these words up on my laptop or something...