Monday, April 26, 2010

"case #1"

Ok, so let's give this a try. The hand I originally wanted to post was just retarded, as i just scared playing for stacks at a 200 no limit table. So after searching through my database, here's a hand that may be interesting:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

Button ($101)

SB ($100)

BB ($110.15)

UTG ($73.70)

UTG+1 ($116.55)

MP1 ($100)

MP2 ($70.25)

Hero (MP3) ($143)

CO ($100)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with Q, K

3 folds, MP2 calls $1, Hero bets $5, 1 fold, Button calls $5, 3 folds

Flop: ($12.50) A, J, 7 (2 players)

Hero bets $8, Button raises to $26, Hero raises to $44, Button raises to $96 (All-In), Hero calls $52

Turn: ($204.50) Q (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($204.50) 10 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $204.50 | Rake: $3


Button had J, A (two pair, Aces and Jacks).

Hero had Q, K (flush, Ace high).

Outcome: Hero won $201.50

Some background:

The player who limped was a fish, he was playing about 1/3 of hands, and limped each time. My raise was trying to isolate him. The button is a competent tight aggressive regular. The fish folds, and i'm heads up out of position against the reg. His preflop calling range of my raise consists of: 22-QQ, AJo+, A10s+. He will most likely only raise AA, KK, and occasionally AK and QQ.

On the flop: Gin! Flopped the nuts... So how do we get villians stack? On a monotone flop like this, I would typically lead out with any ace, face card flush draw, and pair with flush draw, AJ, sets, and some air (bluff). So my continuation bet doesn't necessarily scream monster.

He raises. Yea! So this villian is definitely capable of raising this flop light, but i think mostly he has a decent hand. I'll assign a range of AA,JJ,77, a smaller flush like J10dd, AJs, A7s, and some air (say 42spades, and 42clubs). Let's pokerstove it:

KdQd has 90% equity against this range, and he's crushed. My pot odds are I have to call 18 to win 46.5, or 2.58:1 So the question is whether to raise or call. If I raise here, it's obviously for value. I expect villian to call or raise (this is his continuance range) with sets, AJs, and A7s only. Ok, so this is where i have trouble... villians range at this point is about 2.2% of hands. His continuance range is 1.1% of hands. So he continues with 50% of his range (don't know about this math). So if he's calling/raising with about half of his range, it's seems more profitable to raise since there are many cards on the turn which will kill some action (any diamond will slow down any sets, and any A,J,or 7 will put any sets and some two pairs ahead). So there's 8 diamonds, 3 aces, 3 jacks, and 3 sevens that are theoretically out there for a total of 17 cards of the remaining 45 or about 38% of the deck is bad...

So I elect to raise and in this instance, one of the hands in his range (AJo) decides to play for stacks...

Ok, that was long...

stackin away

So i've learned how to stack 12 tables on top of each other on my laptop, and will most likely feel comfortable stacking 14-16 relatively soon. The past few sessions have been successful, and i'm almost out of the hole, but my volume thus far has been pitiful.

I cashed out some of my Frequent player points for a $1,000CAN gift card to future shop, which finally came in the mail today. Said card was immediately spent by myself and my spouse which went towards a TV stand and dishwasher... We spent $400 on a tv stand, which i find to be rediculous, but what can you do. It's wood with glass doors in the front. So hopefully by the end of the week we'll have the appliances in order, with the stove coming in a few days.

So i want to post a hand from yesterday's session on the two plus two forum. that's a big step for me, as i've just been a lurker. hopefully tonight i'll put up my analysis of the hand and see if it's really worth posting, or if i'll just get roasted for bad play...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

play higher, less tables?

So to try and get out of the funk i've been in, and since i only have my laptop here at the new house, i decided to 6 table 200 no limit. The fish were out tonight, and I had some of the biggest pots i've won to date. Here's two of the highlights.

Villian in this hand is a tight aggressive regular,very positionally aware. The turn was either a great or sucky card, and i breathed a big sigh of relief at seeing AK.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (8 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

UTG ($395.65)

UTG+1 ($193.20)

MP1 ($200)

MP2 ($231.45)

Hero (CO) ($206)

Button ($200)

SB ($200)

BB ($177.90)

Preflop: Hero is CO with Q, Q

4 folds, Hero bets $6, 1 fold, SB raises to $20, 1 fold, Hero calls $14

Flop: ($42) Q, 5, 6 (2 players)

SB bets $22, Hero calls $22

Turn: ($86) K (2 players)

SB checks, Hero bets $50, SB calls $50

River: ($186) 6 (2 players)

SB bets $108 (All-In), Hero calls $108

Total pot: $402 | Rake: $3


SB had K, A (two pair, Kings and sixes).

Hero had Q, Q (full house, Queens over sixes).

Outcome: Hero won $399

Hand 2:

The big blind is this hand is a megadonk. He had been playing 100% of his hands, and saw a showdown a whopping 47% of the time! The player in middle position was a somewhat loose passive player who was positionally aware.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

Hero (MP3) ($245.35)

CO ($216.25)

Button ($200)

SB ($200)

BB ($206.90)

UTG ($220.55)

UTG+1 ($169.10)

MP1 ($200)

MP2 ($256.70)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with 3, 3

2 folds, MP1 bets $11, 1 fold, Hero calls $11, 3 folds, BB raises to $20, MP1 calls $9, Hero calls $9

Flop: ($61) 9, 3, 4 (3 players)

BB checks, MP1 checks, Hero bets $30, BB raises to $60, 1 fold, Hero raises to $90, BB calls $30

Turn: ($241) 3 (2 players)

BB checks, Hero bets $30, BB calls $30

River: ($301) 4 (2 players)

BB bets $10, Hero raises to $105.35 (All-In), BB calls $56.90 (All-In)

Total pot: $434.80 | Rake: $3


BB had A, A (two pair, Aces and fours).

Hero had 3, 3 (four of a kind, threes).

Outcome: Hero won $434.80

So after thinking about my game for awhile, I realized one thing: i simply haven't put in enough effort lately, and my progress has stagnated. so i've resolved to do a few things. There's a few key skills that i know i need to improve on, and that are so fundamental to good poker. So at least twice per month, as a "homework assignment," i will do what those in harvard law do, which is to learn by analyzing cases. There's a few questions that i want to focus on when i'm doing these "case studies."

1. What is villians range during all stages of the hand?
2. What equity do I need to make a bet or fold break even?
3. If I bet or raise for value, what hands am I trying to get villian to call?
4. If I bet or raise as a bluff, what better hands do i want to fold?
5. At any point in a hand, what is the optimal play against villian's range?

I think these are fundamental questions that I need to delve into. To be honest, I hate doing this type of analysis, it's hard work! Well i've been slacking off and it's time to get better...

Friday, April 23, 2010

need to re-evaluate

Ugh, the past few session i've played really poorly. I haven't been in a good frame of mind with all of these changes in my life, and have just not made good decisions at the tables.

I think I'll take a few days to review some sessions and see where i'm going wrong. I'm definitely on pace to have a losing month, so we'll see if a little time away will help.

On the plus side, I do have the next 10 days off as I'm in between jobs. I'll be busy though, especially on the weekends, so i guess it's not too much of a vacation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

guys night out

So last night I went out with a few friends who work for the same company I do. It was a great time out with just the guys, went to dinner then hit the bowling alley.

It was especially nice to be able to vent about stuff in our lives without coming across as complaining. Need more nights like that!

Tonight I will try to get in a decent session. Pokerstars has changed their buy in structure, and i'm still trying to get used to it. For me, it's pretty much the same except for the 250 big blind tables with an ante. Before, 100 big blinds was the max you could buy in for. 250bb definitely leaves more room for play, and I haven't quite figured out how to adjust yet, so I may stay clear of these tables for the time being.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

not enough time

This month so far has been filled with non stop things to do. I've given my two week notice at my current job, and will take a few weeks off to get some balance back in my life.

Things are going well at the new home, although someone forgot to install a screen in laundry vent and some birds have decided to make a home there. It's fun to start the fan and hear them freak out.

Poker wise i've only put in 14k hands in and i'm down about 3 buy ins (300 dollars). I don't feel like i'm making very good decisions right now, and need to examine where some leaks may be happening. One obvious leak is that i'm calling too much on the turn and river.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

how not to play aces: part deux

Here's a hand that turned my session from a 5BI win to a 1.5BI win...

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

whiterice197 (MP2) ($200.95)

MP3 ($132.95)

CO ($136.50)

Button ($193)

SB ($101.20)

BB ($160)

UTG ($97)

UTG+1 ($106.30)

MP1 ($100)

Preflop: whiterice197 is MP2 with A, A

3 folds, whiterice197 bets $4, MP3 calls $4, 1 fold, Button raises to $16, 2 folds, whiterice197 raises to $28, 1 fold, Button calls $12

Flop: ($61.50) 4, 8, K (2 players)

whiterice197 bets $30, Button raises to $72, whiterice197 raises to $172.95 (All-In), Button calls $93 (All-In)

Turn: ($391.50) J (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: ($391.50) 7 (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $391.50 | Rake: $3


Button had K, K (three of a kind, Kings).

whiterice197 had A, A (one pair, Aces).

Outcome: Button won $388.50