Friday, May 30, 2008
Back to the original play, this is where paying attention to stack sizes is important. I have too many chips to be calling this big of a raise. At best, I'm looking at a 60/40 or a straight up coin flip. Just not worth it at this point in the tourney when I have plenty of chips to play with. A couple positional steals and I'm back to where I was before this hand started.
Thanks for the input guys!!
FT: ~$35 (going to play 10NL FR and be nit to rebuild a bit here)
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I did have one interesting situation I'm looking for input on. I played in a 180 seat $2 tourney on FullTilt. Once again, I was in decent but not great shape once the bubble burst at 18 remaining.
I have about 12k in front of me (good for 9th out of 16 remaining) with blinds w/antes at 200/400. I raise to 1150 holding 88. A shorter stack immediately to my left pushes all in for 7.5k total. I have no read on him as this is a new table. Folds back around to me.
Do you fold or call?
EDIT: Mike Maloney brought up an important point. Position! I looked over lunch break. I was UTG, villian was UTG+1.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The good news is that I have implemented some temporary stop losses to prevent myself from going insane and decimating my bankroll while I figure it out. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know. Here is what I'm doing:
1) One table of 10NL at a time. Yes, it is very slow going with only one table. However it is obvious I need to be working on table reads and position.
2) If I lose a buy-in at 10NL, take a break. Come back and play 5NL to get back up to $300+. (I am still crushing 5NL at a pace of 48BB/hour over 10k hands.)
As far as my actual game goes, I have identified the following areas to work on:
1) Cbets - when to do them and when not too. There are a lot of callstations at these micro levels. Some will fold to cbets. Some never will.
2) Position plays - Less play from UTG and UTG+1. More play from CO and Button.
3) 3bets - Highly profitable at this level when done correctly. I haven't been doing it correctly very often.
There is a lot more I can be working on but I'm going to try to specifically concentrate on those three areas for now.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Look at the Red Line vs the Blue Line and Green (overall line). Is it supposed to look like that?
As I tightened up, the red line dropped, the green and blue lines went up. I'm going to play with the graphs see if I can get something that reflects aggression over time vs results.
also proceeded to get knocked out of two tournaments in 10 minutes on 2 outters with the money going in POST flop. Just terrible decisions by the villians and the seemingly obligatory suckout. I had a good stack going in both and would have been chip leader in both if I don't get sucked out on. Such is my luck recently.
At least I was able to control myself again and only ended down 1/3 BI after 45 minutes by playing solid poker on my other table.
Friday, May 23, 2008
UPDATE: For what it's worth, I didn't let this hand tilt me. I believe I played it optimally and that's the best I can hope for. As a result of avoiding tilt, I went on to end up nearly 5 buy-ins while 2 and 3 tabling. The guy that placed this beat on me. He was up 7 BIs before he left by making donkey call after donkey call and overplaying top pair. Quite amazing to see.
Also - figured out my rakeback situation on FullTilt. I have the distinct advantage of being born a III (as in the third son with the same name). Therefore, a new account has been created at FullTilt reflecting my full name. You will now see me under the name "ProBubbler." Stupid name? Definitely, but it's all I could come up with. Hopefully it will be a name of irony (as in "never bubbles").
In order to keep my FullTilt bankroll afloat, I played in their 10NL $3CAP games. Talk about soft. Wow.
Finished 14th in a 180s $2 tourney. I really like these tourneys as they are great practice and can have a decent payday for the investment ($92 for 1st on a $2 investment). I played the tourney very well but then had the CO limp into my BB when I held K-8. Board comes K-2-2-10-x. Only hands that beat me are AA, AK, KK, KQ, KJ, K10. Some combination with a 2 (not likely). All the chips go in and my opponent destroyed me with AK.
What do you think of his play with AK just after the bubble burst? Do you see that big of a hand slow-played in late position often? His stack was only about 14k (I had 8k to start the hand). Is it a play that you suggest working into my game?
Also - thanks to all for the comments! I've been trying to figure out how to best respond to them. How do you all handle comments?
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
As for now, I'm going to looking over my HH and studying exactly what went wrong tonight.
Thanks for your help,
UPDATE: After taking a break and then reviewing my HH (was playing way too loose from early position and way too passive from late position), I sat back down for an hour before bed. Won 2.5 buy-ins in 30 minutes and shut 'er down for the night. Net loss for the day: $0.30.
Of course this happens within the first 15 minutes of my session so now I have to spend the rest of the session trying to just get back to even...
UPDATE: tilted off 2.5 buy-ins as atrocious beat after atrocious beat. Flopped set beat by bigger set on river. AA < 8T AIPF. And then KK ran into AA when deepstacked.
Anyways, as per the previous post, I was able to control my frustration. As a result, my fortunes reversed and I was able to finish positive 2 buy-ins against the maniac. But not before I saw not one, not two, but THREE people lose full buy-ins to the maniac through a combination of bad luck and poor play. Battling preflop aggression with preflop aggression is not a good idea folks. Why take a 60-40 when you can have a 80-20 postflop?
Here's some ideas I gathered from the session on how to play against a maniac:
1) If maniac is over a full buy-in, make sure you have a full buy-in on the table at all times. RELOAD RELOAD RELOAD. When we get our hand, we want max value.
2) Don't get into a preflop raise war without AA or KK. QQ is a possibility but be fully aware that you may get stacked by Ace-rag and King-rag hands.
3) Get to the flop cheaply. Maniacs tend to raise 4-5x BB. Be prepared for this.
Outplay the maniac POST flop, not PREFLOP. What does this mean exactly? Keep the pot small preflop with your Ace-Face hands and 88-JJ. He is going to either call or raise you anyways and your AJo doesn't look nearly as good on a K73 board.
4) Don't be afraid to fold postflop. Yes, it's a very real possibility that the maniac has nothing. But is your missed hand any better? Take comfort in knowing that when you do hit, you will get paid off in full.
5) Be aware of bet sizes and timing tells. From my short experience, these are easier to spot in maniacs. Exploit these to your full advantage.
Be patient. Control your emotions. Enjoy the profits.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
After reading/studying bubble and satellite play over the last couple weeks, I was prepared for the following situation. 4 players left. 2nd gets $10. 1st gets the token. I am in 4th place with about 2k chips (about even with 3rd and only slightly behind 2nd place as well) and am on the button. Chipleader with about 5.5k chips or so is in the SB. I've been aggressive and raise once again from the button with Ks3s. SB calls. Flop comes 7 high with two spades. SB leads out for a little over 1/2 pot. If I push, there should be no way he can possibly call without an absolutely huge hand or the nut flush draw (even that would be terrible). He would be calling off half his stack when he is positioned perfectly to get to HU for the token. Only a donk would call here.
He calls. HEEEEEEEEEEE HAAAAAAAAWWWWWWW!
With 88. No spades. Turn gives me the spade I need. River another spade just to rub it in and now I am the huge chipleader.
Then 3rd place calls me a donk. The 2nd place guy goes nuts as well. 3rd place guy says how can I play K3? 2nd place is amazed I would push with an over and the flush draw. I don't offer to teach but only sit back and laugh.
12 hands later I've elminated all my opponents and secure the token.
Anyways, back to the MATH....
Played a GREAT first hour. In control of my table for the most part and was chipleader for the tourney or right there at it when first break hit.
And then things fell apart. QQ < AK AIPF (it's a race, it happens. My opponent, slightly shortstacked, played his cards exactly as I would have). A couple hands later, I get distracted (fiance and wedding plans + poker tourney DO NOT go together) and I somehow lose half my stack with Kh6h. I truly have no idea what happened, but apparently I hit the call button. 4 or 5 hands later I get crippled when I call a PFR with KcQc. Flop comes Q high and I'm up against the only opponent that has really offered me much resistance. So naturally I think his cbet is exactly that, just a cbet. I push over the top. insta-call with AQ. I manage to double a couple times before running 5h7h into the big blinds KK and blanking my OPES Flush Draw on the turn and river.
Ahhh well. At least I know I can play at a high level for at least one hour. Next time fellow bloggers beware. No distractions!
Friday, May 16, 2008
To be honest and not rakeback or to be greedy and rakeback? That is the question.
My account on FullTilt, DubsPoke, does not have Rakeback. This could be huge as I continue to move up the ranks.
A majority of my bankroll is on PokerStars which doesn't even offer a rakeback program. At 10NL, PokerStar's rake is cheaper than FullTilt even with FT rakeback. If all goes well, I'll be bankrolled for 25NL by the end of the month (have began to crush 10NL as I have made an adjustment to account for 100bb stacks).
Once I reach 25NL, I have a big decision to make. A while back, an account was created under my fiance's name at FullTilt that does have rakeback. Should I move my entire roll at that point to that account and play exclusively under her name? What type of issues can I expect to run into? Would future regulations affect my ability to play there?
I emailed FullTilt a while back about their implementing rakeback programs for current accounts. Received an email back saying they were in beta testing of the program and would add my name to the list for possible inclusion in future batches. I certainly don't play the limits that would move me up this list so it may be a while before that opportunity actually exists.
So what do you all think I should do? Keep my rolls seperated at their sites for the methods I am using them (SNG/MTTs on FullTilt and Cash on Pokerstars? Combine them? Play exclusively under the rakeback account?
2nd Question: Offer from BoDog
Bodog PR department is in high gear. Recently received an email asking me to provide a link for them on this little ol' blog. They are willing to provide compensation either through a deposit at their site or a direct deposit. They did not mention any amounts and, more or less, left it open-ended in that regards. Good idea, bad idea? How much would be considered fair compensation? Is there a rakeback program I should utilize with Bodog if I decide to proceed with the offer?
PokerStars: ~$321 (10NL is so easy....up 1.5BIs yesterday with little risk and in only 35 minutes of play)
FullTilt: ~$65 ($2 18 seat SNGs are major +ROI for me and GREAT practice for me in regards to learning how to play on an extended bubble. Also working on learning how to beat micro stake turbo SNGs. For you cardrunners members, look up ActionJeff's videos on turbo SNG strategies. Excellent excellent insight.)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Thanks for your help!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Blinds are at 40/80. I raise 3xBB with QQ UTG leaving myself 860 behind. Folds around to BB. BB pushes all in for a little over 1/3 of his stack, leaving himself approx 1600 behind. His power hand A8o to make this, what I believe, ill-conceived push. He immediately flops an ace and IGH. His excuse for the push, I was shortstacked. Uhm...then why would you want to push against an UTG raise from a "Shortstack" with a hand that is easily dominated for over 1/3rd of your stack?
Let's examine further for this blogger's benefit. He knows I was a bit disgruntled with him at the time. (And please note it was a heat of the moment deal and I apologize sincerely if it upset him or caused him any ill-will). I hope that this blogger just learns a little bit more. After all, that is why we are in this community, to grow and become better poker players. At least that is why I am. Sorry for the ramble, back to the point.
What exactly would the UTG range for raising be? JJ+, AK, AQs, perhaps as weak as AQo or AJs. In any case, A8o is easily dominated by most of that range. A fold is more than reasonable and only costs the BB his 80 chips. Calling is an option although a weak one (out of position, still don't know if you're good even if an ace doesn't happen to flop. Raising is an option, although as discussed, A8o is WAY behind most of the UTG raisers range. An exploratory raise could be an option if the BB really thinks the UTG is weak, say half the BB remaining stack. This allows the BB to get away from the hand with minimal loss if the UTG 3bets push (another indication that A8o is way behind and should be folded, the UTG is likely to make that push due to having jsut 10BBs left and the blinds on top of him, making any raise pretty redonkulous with A8o).
Or am I completely thinking about this wrong and the BB push was the "correct" play?
EDIT: After much thought, I got what I wanted which is getting my money in as a 70% favorite. It's just unfortunate that the results weren't there. Either way, I hope the discussion helps this blogger learn from what I believe is a terrible leak. With ~3k chips early in a MTT, you have time to choose your spots. Pushing against an UTG raiser that has committed himself to the hand with A8o is NOT one of those spots. Not being able to spot and think through these circumstances will not bode well for MTT success. And I apologize for the comment regarding "enjoy bubbling once again." That was classless and I hope you forgive me!
In any case, I was extremely disappointed. I was really looking forward to playing this tourney. My fiance is out of town so I was able to play without distraction. I also have some confidence in my tourney game based on recent successes of going deep often. Instead I don't even make it to the first break and was effectively put on tilt, thereby having to shutdown my comp for the night before I tilted off several $2 BIs for no good reason. (EDIT: Which I wasn't able to do. Negativity feeds on negativity as I saw AQ < AJ. TT < 97o. And my favorite, all the money goes in after flop as bully chipleader made huge overpush with air. I flopped top set and was beaten by turn giving villian a gutter and the river filling it for him. I was 3rd in chips and villian was chipleader in a 180s tourney. This resulted in me bubbling the $$. I finally ended my night after that.
Well, I don't think i will be playing any more mooks for a while. I won't be subjecting my limited FullTilt bankroll to the $11 buy-in unless I am properly rolled for it. Going to be a while at this rate.
Dominated a 18seat tourney the 3rd level on for a 1st place finish. Got 3rd in a single table tourney and finished ITM in a 180seat tourney. Running about 44% ITM over 14 of these deals, a very small sample size. They are proving to be a good practice ground against very bad opponents. My late stage MTT play still needs a lot of work as I'm doing a terrible job of knowing when to steal/push/fold against various stack sizes. Going to be studying some Cardrunners videos concerning this topic. Will take any suggestions and/or links to articles as well!
My other 2 tables were dedicated to 5NL on PokerStars. After losing 3/4 a buy-in on my lunch break when my flopped set of 7s, turned FH was no good when the river put trip 8s on the board and gave my opponent a better FH with his pocket kings. So I was a little nervous about what the night would bring.
Implemented a TAG image that apparently appeared loose to my opponents as I was getting called down lightly although I routinely showed up with two pair or better. I crushed the two tables for 4 buy-ins in less than two hours. I am now properly bankrolled for 10NL and will hopefully learn how to play without being deepstacked. (What I mean is that at 2NL and 5NL, you can buy-in for 250bb and 200bb. At 10NL, you can only sit down with 100bb. How do you think this change effects the flow of the game?)
I will be flying to Indianapolis for my fiance's sister's wedding so won't be getting much time on the virtual tables after Thursday. Should be a good time and am looking forward to it.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
However, I am choosing not to specialzie in one type of game for the following reasons:
1) Self-indulgence. More specifically, I really like the "I Win, I am better than you" feeling as you take down a SNG or MTT (espeically MTTs).
2) MTT wins provide very nice influxes of cash to your bankroll relative to the buy-in when you place in the top 5.
3) I want to be the best overall player that I can be.
4) I believe skills learned in SNGs and MTTs can be intertwined with the cash game. For example, hand reading vs stack size is especially important situational skill in both.
5) Helps prevent burnout. The grind in cash games can be exactly that at times, a grind.
6) Time. Sometimes I will have sufficient time for a SNG or an MTT. Oten times I will not. Being good at cash games can fill the spots where I only have an hour or two.
Those are just a few of the reasons. I believe it is pertinent to always be reviewing why you do something. This is a short-list of why I will continue to play both MTTs and SNGs.
PS: ~$280 (haven't grinded too many hands here recently but when I have it's been good.)
FT: ~$85. (Love variance that SNGs and MTTs provide. Shooting for a 25% ITM rate for my $2 buy-in MTTs. Still examining what is a good stat in SNGs for ITM.)
Friday, May 9, 2008
I have so many ideas running through my head that I am having a hard time getting them sorted out and completed.
Posts that are currently sitting in my Draft box:
-What I've Learned Series - Notes from an Examination of a Successful Online MTT Player
-What Defines a Successful MTT Player
-Building an early stack
-The Middle Stages
-The Late Stages
-Q&A with a Successful MTT Player
-Full Ring vs 6max
-Beating the 70/30 MicroDonk
-Position & Table Dynamics
Obviously, unless you are a newcomer here, you know that I am NOT a player qualified to be offering much advice. These posts are to gather my thoughts on the topics as well as promote discussion on the topics.
Just giving you a preview of what to look forward to over the next few weeks.
"Clear thinking begins when we make explicit the assumptions we were not aware we were making."
Essentially it relates to that "gut feeling" we get when trying to make a decision. Here's an example from early in the Mookie on Wednesday evening. I'll try to post the HandReplayer copy when I get home. Long story short:
It's in the first couple orbits of the Mookie. From what I remember somebody limps in front of me. I come along from MP with 5h7h. Classic example of a small suited gapper that flops very well and can destroy a lot of one pair hands like AJo etc. Believe the button limps as well and the BB checks his option.
Flop comes 5-6-6. I've hit bottom pair. Now what do I do. Check it through. Turn brings an 8 I believe and the BB opens for a small raise. Felt weird so I called. River is another rag. BB makes a decent sized bet at it. Again something just didn't feel right about the play. Granted he is BB so he could have essentially anything. But it just didn't feel right. I called and won the pot with my pair of 5s. BB had 10-2o. Complete air.
Someone then made a comment about the last time a bluff worked in a blogger game was in 2002.
Was my play correct? I don't necessarily think so but something told me I was ahead so I made the call and, indeed, I was ahead. It was that gut feeling that I've been ignoring so much.
I was watching Lucko go deep in yet another tourney last night (believe it was the 35k $5r guarantee on PokerStars). The bubble had already burst and Lucko was at the top of the leaderboard but on what I consider an interesting table. Immediately to his left was the 3rd or 4th in chips with the rest of the table ranging from the 50k-250k mark (Lucko and the other player had at least 1 mil chips). Anyways, Lucko made his standard raise and the BB pushed all-in for 150-200kish I believe. Lucko made the call with A9o. BB flipped up I believe Jh9h and didn't improve. That type of intuition and knowledge of table dynamics is what I need to learn.
You learn that by studying and experience.
I have a long road ahead of me. But with my gut and my desire, I will succeed.
PS: $266 (only 1 table for a half-hour last night for a couple bucks profit)
FT: $68 (I suck at early stages of MTTs. But I love playing them so will keep at it. I just don't seem to be able to build a stack early. There's got to be a reason guys like Lucko are so consistent. I just have to find out how. Any suggestions are much appreciated.)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I'm going to try to build a bankroll at FT by moving up through limits using SNGs and MTTs. I'll start off with $75 and build through $1 and $2 SNGs and $5 MTTs and less.
Only exception will be for the Mookie on Wednesday nights. I'm looking to challenge myself and become a better overall player. Mixing it up with the fishes should be an interesting and challenging...well challenge.
Wish me continued luck.
FT: $68.95 (already registerd for tonight's mookie at $11)
I'm also banning myself from the girlie chat on my cash game tables. That should help my concentration level. I'm actually going to turn off the chat completely.
and FINALLY, I'm going to exude positivity!
A lot of the poker blogosphere that I read on a regular basis (myself included) has been relatively negative (Lucko withstanding, the dude is ON FIRE! Just wish he posted more on his general strategy, especially in the early stages).
So I plan on posting more success stories, less bad beats and frustration. A good read for any inspiring player: Doughnutz intro (Part 1 and Part 2) on stoxpoker.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Serious tilt that will probably take a couple days to get off of.
Sad part is that I feel like I have been playing extremely well with no results to speak of.
man i'm fuckin' pissed.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Just had these 3 hands in succession cost me 2\ buy-ins.
-AhKh. Flop top pair with the flush draw against a very aggressive opponent. Great to slow play. He bets. I call. Turn Q. he bets, I call. River Q of course and I lose the pot. 2 outer.
-Raise PRE with 33 from UTG. Get called by late position. Flop is 253 with two diamonds. I bet my set. Get reraised. I re-pot. Get it all in. He flips over 64o. Genius.
-Flop top two with A-10. Get it all in. Villian has AJ. Jack on the river.
So I'm done for a few hours. Gonna make some grub and relax. Come back in a better state of mind hopefully.
Bankroll down to $263 again. OH well...it'll be back up soon enough.
And then it struck me. The "variance" in my poker game is tilt. I get pissed off when my AQ loses to 73o in preraised flops. When these hands happen (which is often at the microlimits), I tend to lose a little bit of control. And these build up. I'm on tilt.
My project for May is to work on tilt control. I'm going to stick with 5NL and 10NL and just work on dealing with situations that detrimentally affect my play. I have to be able to master tilt control before I will ever be able to reach my long-term goals.
For those that are interested, this article at 2+2 provides interesting tidbits on tilt and tilt control that may help you. Enjoy.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I'm happy to report that since I'm above 25 buy-ins at 10NL, I have started taking a couple shots there with some good success. I will continue to play 1 table 5NL and 1 table 10NL until I have a full 30 buyins at 10NL. That is approx ~$17 away.