- This guy was Mr. Weak-Tight. In the three+ hours I'd played with him he hadn't raised pre-flop more than once, and whenever he limped in he had a very sullen, expecting-the-worst look on his face that was the antithesis of confidence. If his limp was raised, he'd fold. The guy had only really been involved in one memorable hand in all this time, which was my next consideration.
- About an hour previously, I'd watched this guy *agonize* over calling all-in on the turn with top two pair vs. a loose player. With K8s he'd hit K86 with two clubs, and when a non-club undercard (I think a J or a 3) came on the turn, a loose girl had put him all in. He'd expected a set, and announced "I guess I'm going to regret this" before calling. She had K6.
- Given this guy's weak style of play and expectation of the worst, the calm with which he immediately 4bet me was very noticeable. He didn't stop to think, or consider his course of action. He didn't have to. He said the word "Raise," immediately, and was utterly calm and collected in sliding more chips out. I tried to imagine him doing this with AK or QQ, and couldn't. He was just too confident.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Having the basic tools to make money beating the fish at the low stakes games has retarded my development and probably made me a worse player in some ways, because thinking critically at 100% focus is not necessary. I can play a very straightforward, ABC game, even relatively passively, and still make money, and as a result my focus and ability to think through every hand in a logical way has atrophied.
For example, I often don't even bother assigning ranges to my opponents when they call my 3bets pre-flop, because so many of them with literally call with 100% of their opening range. While I get a somewhat clearer idea of their possible holdings after the flop, the ranges for loose low-stakes players are often so wide as to be of questionable use in the decision-making process. This has led me to play more instinctively, using board texture, coupled with my opponent's general style, calling frequency, and displays of strength or weakness to judge whether or not I have the best hand at the moment (e.g. he has an underpair or a draw; this is second pair or a float with overs, etc), rather than my hand's equity vs his possible range of hands. I also tend to have a relatively tight raising range and straightforward style based mostly on hand strength, because I play so many loose cannons and calling stations that don't know how to fold. I'm usually thinking on levels 1 and 2, and often on 3, but rarely on level 4 or higher. Again, this is enough to beat the fish, but I question whether this style would serve at stakes much higher than those I play.
I'm not sure if I've explained my concerns entirely or even coherently, but my point is that my default style is definitely exploitable, and I'm not sure I'm ready to adjust correctly to a tough, perceptive, and aggressive opponent. I've seen several training videos for higher stakes HU SNGs, and though I understand the logic and reasoning as they are explained by psimalive and PrimordialAA, I'm not used to employing it in-game, and am unsure if I'm even capable of thinking and calculating through a hand with the speed and accuracy of such professionals.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I also got a new (to me) car, with help from my parents. Its a 2003 Honda Civic with a book value of $8,220, for which I paid $4,800 at a small dealership in a nearby town. Or, I should say, my parents paid, whom I now have to pay back.
Which should be pretty easy at this point, thanks to a massive score in a $33 MTT I played yesterday. The 14th was my 26th birthday, and as it turned out, my mom needed a ride to the airport for an early flight, so I got up at 5:45 (!) to take her there. Not having anything to do until about 5pm, and not being able to resume sleeping due to my caffeine intake, I had planned on playing the $22 Deep Stack at 8:15am (birthday tournament!), but (as fortune would have it) I was one minute late to register upon my return to my dad's apartment. Disappointed, I browsed the other tournaments running that morning, looking for one with a nice, slow structure, and it seemed the next best option was the $33 500-cap $10K GTD, so I registered for that and began play at 9:20.
For the first few hours, my tournament was uneventful. I didn't see many playable hands, and didn't get much action when I did play. When the bubble drew close, I had just enough chips to squeeze into the money, which I decided to do, as $50 would be a nice bonus to the morning's entertainment, and I had so few chips that a double-up would accomplish little. When the bubble finally burst at 54 players I was in the dead zone, with about $6k (2.5 BBs) left. I managed to put some chips together though, and around 45 players doubled through to a respectable stack of around $30K (M~9). A turning point hand came again when I made the nut flush in a 3-way pot, and with ~80K the final table was now a very real possibility. I continued to nit it up, playing only solid values and preserving my place around the average stack (my nittiness meant that I got very little action when I did raise, and was usually ahead when I got a call). The field played down to the final table surprisingly quickly, and before I knew it I was 6th of 9 remaining and guaranteed at least $250 for my morning's fun. As a medium stack I decided to continue to play conservatively and allow a few shorter stacks to bust before making any big moves. To my delight, they obliged me, as did a few of the other medium stacks.
Suddenly we were 4-handed, and I was guaranteed $1,200, by far my biggest tournament score to date. Here the play became tougher and much more tense, as I was forced to play hands and fight to hang on. I had become the short stack by a large measure, having between 100K and 150K out of the 1.5M on the table. The bigger stacks fluctuated somewhat, but for quite awhile even the second shortest had more than double my chips. As the blinds went up, I took to jamming any pair, bigger aces, and some broadway hands, and took a few pots by limping my SB and betting the turn. After what seemed like at least an hour, I had managed to build up to 350K after winning a flip and also being fortunate enough to pick up AQ against an opponent's AJ. An altercation between two of the other players soon left one at 180K, after his TP lost to a flush draw. This guy's stack shrunk further after he raised 1/3 of it preflop, then folded when I jammed (A6s) from the BB. The next hand he jammed 33 but ran into the BBs KK, and suddenly there were three. At this point I had begun to get walks in the BB, which helped to keep me alive as the other, larger stacks tangled. Eventually one of them was brought down to about 200K, at which point the chip leader began to apply the pressure with his 1M stack. This was the real endgame, and at 300K I had a choice; I could play back at the chip leader, risk busting in 3rd, and hope to double through to have a chance at playing HU with a 2:1 chip deficit, or I could allow the short stack to take the gamble first, and hope to make 2nd with a larger deficit. I opted for the latter, and soon the short stack's QTo lost to A5o to put me heads up, but behind 5 to 1 in chips. I pulled out my Nash table, but a streak of unplayable hands soon put me out in 2nd as my jammed J8o ran into the chip leader's AK and lost out. I took 2nd for $2,137.50. Sick!
All in all this was an excellent way to spend my birthday. Though I was very lucky, and won several flips, I only really got my money in bad one time, when I jammed T8s and managed to win out over KK. So, seeing as how I'm a total MTT fish, I'm pretty satisfied with how I played.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I also played a couple SNGs for fun after tiring of HU, and went 3/18 and 1/27, which, along with Pokerstars' 4000 and 5000 VPP milestone credits ($10 + $50), boosted my total profit nicely.
Total Games: 365
Heads Up Profit: $696
Hourly rate: $8.01
Other profit: $61
Total profit: $815
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The Cons of Being a Pro
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Interestingly, my ROI is weighted down by poor performance in the $10 regular speed games, in which I broke nearly even. In the $11 turbos and up, I did much better.
Total Games: 126
Total Profit: $345
Hourly Rate: $8.70
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
This hand came up in my last game of today's session, a $20 regular speed game.
Reads: Opponent is solid, tight-aggressive player who raises almost every button and folds almost every BB so far. Most hands don't see a flop.
Preflop: Hero is SB with ,
Hero bets t90, Villain calls t60
I raise to take his blind, as he's folding 90% of the time with very little 3-betting.
Flop: (t180) , , (2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets t90, Villain calls t90
Here I consider checking behind, but venture a cautious bet as I believe this flop has missed a good portion of his calling range (which I'm thinking of as mostly A7-AT, K9+, QT+).
Turn: (t360) (2 players)
Villain checks, Hero checks
After he calls the flop, I don't plan on betting again. Picking up a straight draw on the turn gives me all the more reason to check behind, as I don't want to get check-raised off a hand that now has more potential.
River: (t360) (2 players)
Villain bets t240, Hero raises to t750, Villain calls t510
Gin. He bets 2/3 pot, and I shake with glee as I am convinced that he likes his hand enough to call a raise. How much can I raise in order to elicit a call from top pair? I settle on a relatively small raise instead of a push as I feel that he simply wont call a shove on such a dangerous-looking board with only top pair. He tanks for 15 seconds for so and makes the call.
Total pot: t1860
Later in the match Villain asked me if, since this was "obviously going to be our last match", I would tell him if I would have raised A3 or A5 on that river. The question apparently had influenced his call on the end. I told him probably not, but I'm still not sure if that's true.
I thought this hand was interesting because I was offered this window into my opponent's thought process, and it made me consider the hand from his point of view again. Would you call here with the A9? Does this look like some pathetic river bluff by a worse hand (as I was thinking it might at the time)? Would you raise here with 2 pair? Shove? Thoughts/comments appreciated.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Total Games: 251
Total Profit: $519
Hourly Rate: $7.81
Sunday, June 13, 2010
By the way, Lorin Yelle recently wrote me an open letter on his blog, in which he expressed his concern over my use of the online EV calculator at pokerluckmeter.com. He made some interesting points; I suggest you check it out.
One thing that I believe has helped smooth out the luck factor has been a renewed effort to play small-ball poker, chiefly by keeping pots small early and by stabbing out at a lot of small pots when I feel I have a good chance of picking them up. By playing out more streets I'm better able to control pot size, avoid paying off draws, and get away from hands that were strong on the flop but clearly losers by the river.
I have started to notice a link between my level of aggression and that shown by some of my weaker opponents at the low stakes; the more aggressive I get, the more aggressive they get. These opponents usually start off playing passively (loose- or tight-passive), but begin to play back and get aggressive when I turn my own aggression up (they don't want to feel "pushed around" or "run over"). This has the effect of making them harder to play against, and of bloating many pots early on (the result of 3betting, as well as raising 3-4x instead of 2-2.5x) -- exactly what I'm trying to avoid. By making smaller raises and widening my limping range I accomplish two things against these players; a) I create more small pots (in position) that are easier and less risky to steal, and b) I preserve their passivity, which, whether loose or tight, makes for an easier opponent.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
My last entry was kind of funny; haha, I broke the luck meter. But that was only ~900 hands; this is ~5,000, which adds up to a lot more lost buy-ins. On top of the fact that, well, seriously... 1,927.4:1 against. Seriously.
I know that downswings like this come with the game, and I don't mean to complain as if I'm the only guy who's ever gotten unlucky; indeed, it could certainly be worse. However, I'm starting to think that, on top of everything else that's happening in my life right now, I can't really deal with this, and certainly not for much longer. It's been a hard month for personal reasons, and as I've mentioned before I'm leaving this town pretty soon, I have a lot of things to figure out, and I just don't need the added emotional burden of Lady Luck shitting on my head. It might soon be time to cash in my chips, at least for a little while.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
On a related note, I gave my manager my two weeks notice a few days ago. Every time I go back to the coffee shop I'm reminded of what a waste of time it is working there for minimum wage, and how crushing it would be to go back to that grind even part time. So I quit. I have a financial cushion of about six hundred dollars plus my current bankroll (~$1,800). Wish me luck!
Total games*: 430
Total profit: $1,097
Hourly rate**: $9.60
*From this month on 'Total games' will refer to HU games only.
**Derived from records of total session length, not simply time spent in-game.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
"- check 77 in BB after button limp; call down on Jxxx"
This guy was fairly passive, a little past the point of being just trappy. Shortly after the hand where he checked 77 in the BB, I saw him do a similar thing with 88, checking in the BB after I limped and flat calling on an A42 flop (I had Q4, and made trips on the river, which might have taught him his lesson). I'd also observed him limping middling aces on the button. So I had made a mental note that this guy liked to slowplay fairly strong hands preflop.
Poker Stars, $110,506.46 + $0.50 NL Hold'em Tournament, 15/30 Blinds, 2 Players
LeggoPoker.com - Hand History Converter
Hero (BTN): 1,480
Pre-Flop: (45) K A dealt to Hero (BTN)
Hero raises to 75, BB calls 45
Flop: (150) 6 6 T (2 Players)
BB checks, Hero bets 100, BB raises to 240, Hero calls 140
At this point I knew I was behind, but his very smallish raise intrigued me. I figured it meant one of two things: either he had a 6 or a very strong ten (or TT), or some other pair, 77-99 or JJ-QQ (AA & KK being less likely because of my AK). I did not consider a flush draw, as raising a draw was not congruent with this opponent's relatively tight/passive style. I also had the Ad, for whatever that was worth. So either he had the nuts, or I had outs, and given the odds his tiny raise laid, I decided to peel the turn.
Turn: (630) 3 (2 Players)
BB bets 240, Hero calls 240
I'm now pretty confident that he has some sort of pair, probably JJ+ since he doesn't seem afraid of the ten, and the turned diamond gave me the nut flush draw to go with my two overcards. Getting roughly 3.5 to 1, I call.
River: (1,110) T (2 Players)
BB bets 330, Hero raises to 925 and is All-In, BB folds
At first, this river looks like a brick for me. My flush draw is busted, my overs missed, and any ten just filled up. But the second ten on the board makes it less likely that my opponent holds a ten, and when he pauses and bets only about 1/3 of his stack/the pot, I consider my read up until this point and look at how my actions appeared to him; small preflop raise, bet/call on the flop, call on the turn. This doesn't look like a busted flush draw, and it certainly doesn't look like AK, because only a donk would play AK this way. It looks like a medium ten; T9, JT, QT, KT, and possibly AT. After about 1.5 seconds I decide to go with my read and stick it in. Opponent tanks off his entire 60 second time bank and folds.
Results: 1,770 Pot
Hero showed K A and WON 1,770 (+900 NET)
Thoughts, comments, and criticisms appreciated.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
PokerStars Game #43102880517: Tournament #265988233, $19420262.66+$23529420.30+$0.50 USD Hold'em No Limit - Match Round I, Level I (10/20) - 2010/04/23 21:02:54 CT [2010/04/23 22:02:54 ET]
Table '265988233 1' 2-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: AJPC79 (1450 in chips)
Seat 2: mistah kurtz (1550 in chips)
AJPC79: posts small blind 10
mistah kurtz: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to mistah kurtz [9h 9d]
AJPC79: raises 80 to 100
mistah kurtz: raises 200 to 300
AJPC79: raises 1150 to 1450 and is all-in
mistah kurtz: calls 1150
*** FLOP *** [Tc Th Kc]
*** TURN *** [Tc Th Kc] [Td]
*** RIVER *** [Tc Th Kc Td] [Ts]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
mistah kurtz: shows [9h 9d] (four of a kind, Tens)
AJPC79: shows [9s As] (four of a kind, Tens - Ace kicker)
AJPC79 collected 2900 from pot
mistah kurtz said, "sick"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2900 | Rake 0
Board [Tc Th Kc Td Ts]
Seat 1: AJPC79 (button) (small blind) showed [9s As] and won (2900) with four of a kind, Tens
Seat 2: mistah kurtz (big blind) showed [9h 9d] and lost with four of a kind, Tens
Friday, April 16, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I'm still a bit conflicted about playing on Stars, because they don't offer rakeback, which is even more significant now that I'm moving up in stakes ($1 fee per game at the 20s). However, the availability of games (and variety of opponents) is much better than at Cake, which means higher volume...
(BTW, let me just say that I would play at Full Tilt, but they suspended my account because it was associated, through fund transfers, with the account of a friend who owes them money... and who is probably never going to pay them... so FT is out for me for the foreseeable future :/ )