January 25, 2011

Folding KK Pre flop

Our poker education is never ending, but I know there are many who think folding Kings pre is a complete joke.

At 6max it's harder to ever fold 1oobb deep (200+bb deep it's a different story), although when a nit running at 14/12 UTG raises and you 3bet in the SB, and he shoves, there is only 3 hands he can have. KK, AK and AA. KK performs 39% to that range, factoring in card elimation. We are crushed. He is never bluffing.

If we include a wider range of QQ, (where flatting is the norm) we are 54%. So calling a jam is so very very likely for us to be way behind. And we think we have an edge in the game???? So let the flip go.

When we get to full ring the fold is even easier, and when we get deep stacked, it's a no brainer. The following example shows how easy it could be 250bb deep to stack even "competent" players, who will never ever ever fold KK pre.

Poker Stars NL Hold'em Cash Game, 9 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

UTG+2: 263.40 BB
MP1: 141.20 BB
MP2: 257 BB
CO: 48.80 BB
Hero (BTN): 250 BB
SB: 100.40 BB
BB: 107.60 BB
UTG: 51.80 BB
UTG+1: 258.40 BB

Pre-Flop: K K dealt to Hero (BTN)
UTG raises to 3BB, 3 folds, MP2 raises to 10BB, CO folds, Hero calls 10BB,
(utg is an unknown, 52bb deep, 3bettor is running 19/13 over 75 hands with no 3bets and 257bb deep. Its an easy cold call of the 3 bet. I want to keep in UTG assuming he is behind, and I do not want to fold out 3bettors hands I am ahead of.)

2 folds, UTG raises to 51.8BB and is All-In, MP2 raises to 257BB and is All-In, Hero folds
(I am certain at least one of these players, if not both, have AA.)

Flop: (115BB) 3 Q 3 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Turn: (115BB) Q (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
River: (115BB) 9 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)
Results: 115BB Pot (5.6BB Rake)
MP2 mucked K K and LOST (-51.8BB NET)
UTG showed A A and WON 109.4BB (+57.6BB NET)

Had I had AA on the button, I was winning the entire stack of my deep stacked friend. I mean, how much more obvious does it need to be when UTG shoves after a 3bet and a cold call???

What about the LAGS, what about the retards.....blah blah. I think you need a very good reason to call an all in in this spot, and that would include reads on 4betting and shoves over 300+ hands. In absence of that info......

January 15, 2011

Thoughts on bluffing and "history"

You have to bluff.

If you don't, its likely you can only be a break even player at the tables, unless you are consistently lucky, which I am not. Bluffing works best when you play deep stacked. 100bb deep or less, and they are usually OK about getting it in with TPGK. Most of you reading this will no doubt be content getting it all in pre flop with AK on a coin flip. I have blogged about this previously in detail if you care to look. I find it bizarre that everyone is delighted to be getting it in with 47% equity preflop, but nevertheless, that's the way it seems to be. Why not just play roulette and stick it all on red?

So making big bluffs at 100bb deep is risky, you are usually getting called.

Here I lose a big pot making a bluff 250bb deep, but bluffing at deep stacked poker carries investment value that can pay us off later on.

NL Hold'em Cash Game, 5 Players

LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

BB: 100 BB
UTG: 215.20 BB
Hero (CO): 263.20 BB
BTN: 101 BB
SB: 255.40 BB

Pre-Flop: 6 3 dealt to Hero (CO)
UTG raises to 4BB, Hero calls 4BB, 3 folds
UTG is a tight nit 17/14 who only cbets when he has something.

Flop: (9.4BB) 2 5 J (2 Players)
UTG bets 6BB, Hero raises to 19BB, UTG calls 13BB
With my gutshot, and such a dry board, with is both deep, I make my mind up to bluff. I am aiming to get AJ+ to fold by the river. I do have a tiny amount of implied odds should I hit my gutshot, plus a decent amount of fold equity from AK/AQ, and mid pocket pairs.

Turn: (47.4BB) 6 (2 Players)
UTG checks, Hero bets 32BB, UTG calls 32BB
One could check here, as the 6 hits my hand for showdown value, but I am still sure I am beat, and think a big barrel can get a fold. It's clear he has a single pair hand, as a set is not check calling that turn usually.

River: (111.4BB) 2 (2 Players)
UTG checks, Hero bets 92BB, UTG calls 92BB
In for a penny.......

Results: 295.4BB Pot (14.4BB Rake)
UTG showed Q Q and WON 281BB (+134BB NET)
Hero showed 6 3 and LOST (-147BB NET)
I know, I know, he's a station, but man, how can you call there with QQ, I scream at the screen. Deep down, though, I think I am just an idiot.

So that was the bluffing bit, now to the "history" bit........

NL Hold'em Cash Game, 5 Players
LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter

SB: 125 BB
BB: 62.50 BB
UTG: 434.75 BB
Hero (CO): 319.50 BB
BTN: 317 BB

Pre-Flop: 8 6 dealt to Hero (CO)
UTG raises to 5BB, Hero calls 5BB, BTN calls 5BB, 2 folds
So same scenario as before, I float off the aforementioned Mr Nit calling stations dumb UTG over-raise, with a hand just right for such an occasion, cracking his big pairs and getting paid off with his handsome stack.

Flop: (16.75BB) 7 A 9 (3 Players)
UTG bets 11BB, Hero calls 11BB, BTN folds
I have 34% against his range here, plus the implied odds, which are huge, so an easy call.

Turn: (38.75BB) 2 (2 Players)
UTG bets 25.75BB, Hero calls 25.75BB
I pick up the flush draw, to give me 9 more outs, and I am up against at least AK, AQ, AAA, 999, 777. I have 30% against this range, so it's an ok call, but I am really only calling this bet, because of my image as a bluffer.

River: (90.25BB) T (2 Players)
UTG bets 60BB, Hero raises to 277.75BB and is All-In, UTG calls 217.75BB
Oh beautiful Ten, the nut card. Station bets 2/3 pot, and my bluffing from our previous encounter now pays dividends, as I overshove jam the pot in a pretty bluffy way, very much expecting a call from his second best hands.

Results: 645.75BB Pot (32BB Rake)
UTG showed K A and LOST (-319.5BB NET)
Hero showed 8 6 and WON 613.75BB (+294.25BB NET)
In the previous bluff, I lost 147bb repping a set which he was incable of believing, here I rep a straight, and he is equally as non believing, and I make win a 645bb pot, and make a profit from my bluffing investment of 176bb. On a side note, really scary that someone would pay a bet like that off. Guy called me a moron in the chat.

Guess I'm not an idiot after all.

January 13, 2011

Pokerstars Microstakes

I transferred all my money off Pokerstars 18 months ago after a failed attempt at full ring mass tabling. Out of sheer boredom one evening before going to bed I had a look at the site and checked out some of the Isilder1 stuff. Then I noticed I have 30k of FPPs just sitting there. So I go and buy a $20 bonus token and fire up 2 tables of 200bb 6max 5nl tables.

I forgot just how great the software is there and had a blast playing these stakes for an hour. Crazy plays, 5 way pots, calling all-ins with bottom pairs v maniacs, all good.

So I think I will have some fun with this on my tiny laptop in front of the telly or whatever, and see if I can grind it up. I haven’t really blogged about stakes below 50nl but I think I can actually learn a lot there, which I hope to share here. I intend to use it for experimenting with different formats, providing I don’t busto. 20bi and I move up, if I get as far as 25nl I need 50bi, and anymore is wishful thinking. To make it worthwhile, I will only be playing the deep tables, preferable with antes, for 250bb.

Meanwhile I hope to get something organised where I can play my regular stakes at FTP within the next week or so. I really want to make a serious attempt at poker this year, and to do that, I need to get away from variance, and therefore I need to get closer to 50k months, and I am nowhere near that.