December 19, 2010

This year's poker, and is it getting harder?

This is normally the time to be publishing my thoughts on my years poker, and putting up a nice graph. This is where I was last year, see here. I had really high ambitions this time last year for a successful year, and to move up stakes. I was playing between 30 to 40k hands minimum per month last year, but this year its been 3 or 4k!!! This has been due to becoming very busy in my own business, which in turn has stopped my ability to spend a couple of hours each day playing. So there really is no point in doing a review of my year because of that. It's been disappointing, as I really would have liked to take a shot. Maybe 2011?

This year I have read a lot of posts on others' blogs about how the games are getting harder. Lots of moaning from established players who maybe made a lot through the "party" years as they call it, when the online boom started, who say its all drying up, and everyone knows what they are doing at the tables now . ...Seems a lot of sour grapes to me. Some of these dudes think they have some kind of right to other peoples money. Maybe they are just average players after all.

I don't think the games are getting harder per say, but I do think they are getting stupidly aggressive. Like super stupid. Many competent players at 6max in blind v blind, or 3betting v button will now be content to get into raising wars and all in pre with just baby pocket pairs, and other such their stupid obsession with fold equity giving them no option but to call a shove once they have built up a large pot pre and the odds they are offered. Post flop there is just a ton of non believing going on, which is shifting down from higher stakes I guess. All of these things combined make it harder to dip in and out of the games, as the aggressive dynamic takes some getting used to. The alternative is to move down stakes. My own strategy has been to reduce my bluffing and increase my value betting, as well as just 3betting for value, and just forget about 3bet bluffing.

I just haven't played enough to know how I am doing myself, but one thing I have noticed at 100nl is how the many of the regular players seem utterly incapable of folding. There is definitely a time for making bluffs at these limits, but aside from the "stab-and-give-up-pots", you need to be prepared to barrel your whole stack by the river to get a fold, and it's not my favourite situation.

Here is a hand to sum up, which contains all of the points above, where I am playing a competent experienced player , and where so much value lies. - Hand History Converter

UTG: $252.10
Hero (BTN): $282.95
SB: $100.50
BB: $77.25

Pre-Flop: 8 8 dealt to Hero (BTN)
UTG folds, Hero raises to $2.50, SB raises to $9, BB folds, Hero calls $6.50
Standard Reg stats with 11% 3bet , most of it in the blinds. I would actually fold sometimes in this spot, but not against an 11% range and the now fashionable double barrelling stats, with me in position. I can play quite close to optimally with my position. (Folding to any broadway, bet folding all other flops, or check/calling/folding, depending on the usual stuff)

Flop: ($19) 8 5 4 (2 Players)
SB bets $10, Hero calls $10
I flop the set. All the decision making now is about how to extract his stack.

Turn: ($39) 6 (2 Players)
SB bets $22, Hero calls $22
Villian repping the overpair.

River: ($83) 3 (2 Players)
SB checks, Hero bets $241.95 and is All-In, SB calls $59.50 and is All-In
The only likely 7 he can have here is pocket 7s (I was going busto to 67s no matter what happened), so he either has a hand like AK which will check fold, or the overpair, which might call a shove, and will certainly call a smaller value bet. Having done the maths on how often you need to get a call on the river with an overbet to make it profitable, (the equation hinges on how often you think your opponent with call you ...X%...) the x% calling range has become so high now at 6max, that its a no contest to jam the pot here.
Results: $202 Pot ($2 Rake)
Hero showed 8 8 and WON $200 (+$99.50 NET)
SB mucked 9 9 and LOST (-$100 NET)

1 comment:

  1. I've hardly played this year but plan to in 2011, though I do write a lot about poker.

    The general train of thought is the games are becoming harder but the way I read it is there are tons of players who play a "training site" style where they basically learn from videos, learn the terminology and grind away.

    I still think there is a lot of money to be won at poker, just you need to think of other ways to get at it now, much like the shove in your post. NH sir