Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another strong night....

+4.5 buy-ins again tonight. Also mixed in a 25NL game and got coolered AK vs AJ on AKJJx brd (I should have folded and even said so but didn't follow through on my read). Eventually made that buy-in back at 25NL by beating up some shortstackers.

Anyways, almost fully rolled for 25NL finally. Looking forward to continuing to cruise through the micros.

Here's my graph at 10NL on AP since I started this HEM database early this year. Approx 71k+ hands at a clip of 5.76BB/100 (not bb/100, for bb/100 essentially double my BB/100 i.e 10.4bb/100). Not bad. Take out a breakeven/bad play stretch in there and I'll take it.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ended the streak....

Ended the streak of 4 straight sessions of instantly dropping 2-3 buy-ins and then working my way back to a positive session.

Instead, I just played well the entire session for a nice 2.5 buy-in win.

I like it when I play well.

Here's a sample of the notes I've been taking on videos I've been watching. This note taking I believe is critical to really actually "learning" what I'm observing

I don't expect you to really make heads or tails of these notes, but enjoy anyways!

top 3 leaks at micros:
1) not vbetting enough
2) not folding enough on trn or rvr when raised
3) not folding enough to 3bets

In order to call PFR, need 2 of 3:
1) skill advantage (3principles: get value, don't bluff, don't pay off)
2) card advantage
3) position advantage

Moving Up:
-Theoretically wrong to play the same game when you move up limits
-see someone 3bet a suited connector, call IP and it wil be profitable -> allows you to creep back towards looseness
-can't be an outlier if you are not playing loose; you can be a winner playing tightly, but you can't be a massive winner

-image doesn't matter as bad players don't adjust/acknowledge
--we do need to adjust how loose we are based on how others are playing

-Lean towards being tight until you know it's a good idea to lean towards loose

(The Coaching Tree - Episode One)
-bet bet bet bet for value and fold if they raise
-at 25NL, you are not making most of your money bluff-catching, you make most of your money through value betting: morale of the story: FOLD MORE OFTEN
-you make your money by valuebetting not by calling
-people aren't bluffing as much as we think they are
-a bad players mistake is they call too much, they will get to showdown a lot. (need big cards pre against this type of player)
-if tricky, hard players (fold hands like A8, k6, etc as they aren't going to make big hands against someone who is decent at applying pressure)
-anytime you think you can get called by worse, you should bet for value; keep betting and fold if they raise
-if you have a problem paying off all the time, WORK ONIT!.45

(The Coaching Tree - Episode Two)
-play tighter against good players and looser against bad players
---1) skill advantage (3principles: get value, don't bluff, don't pay off)
2) card advantage
3) position advantage
-Pot management
-big cards are great against bad players

(The Coaching Tree - Episode Three)
-can control ability to cooler by choice of cards (king hgh flush as opposed to T hgh flush)
-double barrell with increase in pot equity and fold equity? Look for those spots. why he prefers T8o vs A6o; the semi-connected allows for str of hand to improve with multiple cards vs A6 only looking for A and still may not be good
-each individual situation is unique
-what types of strength does my hand have, what sorts of things make my hand more powerful (T9s - more money behind relative to pot, someone with a looser range preflop -> able to bluff more often)
-while he may call less often when we shove, the extra money we make

(The Coaching Tree - Episode 4)
-FR can fold to aggression when lacking the nuts
-player identification - easier to call down aggressive opponents than against passive opponents
-take notes on patterns (min raise, min3bet, etc) and then take specific notes when pattern is broken
-stats vs observed hands - observing one hand will tell you the world more than any stat

-against bad plyers should be betting for value more often
-nver wnt to pay off a passive player or a person with a tight range
-you cannot play good poker until you understand equity (66 on 2A2 brd w FD, 66 may be best hand but has terrible equity against overcards and FD
-can beat aggressive players by calling, beat passive players by betting
-low cards are worst against loose players

(ROAD TO ROBUSTO - Episode 5)
-as the stacks get deeper, opponents stack off
-deeper stacks benefit more in position

-ck-call and then donk trn with strong hands on dry boards is a good line
-making right choices pre makes post flop game easy
-against shorties: playing aggressively when they raise, play really tight when they shove

(The COACHING TREE - Episode 7)
-a lot of players are incapable of overbetting without the nuts or very near nuts
-if getting 3bet a lot by good players in the blinds, raise smaller pre???
-shortstackers make there money not by squeezing lightly, they make their money by stealing blinds and having you call lightly when they have a tight range

(Road to Robusto - Episode 5)

(Baby Steps - Episode 1)
-UTG range @ 25NL: all PP, suited aces to AT, offsuit AJ, KQo, some suited connectors
-cbets: player types and flop types
-raise loose from button but not against shortstacks

(Baby Steps - Episode 2)

(Baby Steps - Episode 4)

(CardRunners - The Biggest Difference - Episode 1 of 4)
-think not only about improving your game, but also self-mgmt to put in more hands and make more money
-set aspirations with a certain kind of goal in mind
---be honest with yourself where you stand on the grand ladder of poker plyers
-watch high stakes and identify weakness in the worse players
---examine unexpected plays
-watch your own stakes and observe top winners, why are the constantly winning at high winrates?
--table selection? mimic their reads?
-Figure everything out, make sure to understand WHY something is good or bad
--be careful with forums, instead consult with good players
-Put in Better Hands
--don't just sit down at 6 random tables, prob filled with regs
--find the soft games! pick games better than your opponents
--spread bankroll around
--don't let ego get in the way of your profitability, you're an idiot and you should just check-fold your whole life
--play your best
--diversify the way you grind, miss out on value if don't check out other limits such as lower stake that offer a huge fish, look at FR games or HU games if identify fish
-Practice Hand Reading
--use excel
--play 1-2 tables and think about what opponents range is through every street
-verbalize, speak it aloud
-Get your logic straight
--EV is most important, not comfort (ie avoiding tough spots)
--EV is most important, not pride

(BalugaWhale - Ghost)
-Don't choose how loose or tight based on your position, need to choose based on where are the bad players, where are tehy at and how deep are we?
-bigger mistake to stack off lightly vs passive plyer than loose aggressive player
-general philosophies run throughout poker
--getting value is important, not paying off is important

(Parralells - Episode 1)

(CardRunners - The Biggest Difference - Episode 2 of 4)
You are your biggest responsiblity - you are in complete control of yourself.
-Be Honest.
-Observe, observe, observe. View from a completely OJBECTIVE standpoint.
-->DON'T SPECULATE when you are making reads on people, deciding what people might do, how the game might change around you based on dyanmics and history
----->for example, I've raised 4 times, he is 3betting lightly because he is annoyed - where are the facts that support this???
----->don't follow blindly (forums for example)
----->make sure to understand WHY someone is saying what they say and evaluate from there

--->Bankroll affects tilt to extreme degree; solution: play with a larger bankroll relative to the stakes you play
----->mathematics of 20BIs is sound but account for fact that very slight amount of losing momentum on short bankroll can cause unbelievably long and enduring cylce of bad play due to general stress, lack of confidence and tilt; one bad session leads to bad week to bad month to bad year
----->finance swing, stress swings, level of happiness swings, understnding of game swings, current swing factors into tilt
---->Manifestations of tilt
------->FPS - Fancy Play Syndrome
------->Any deviation from your top play
-Techniquies for tilt control
-->If stop less is less than 5 buy-ins, probably stressing bankroll too much
---->drop down to a lower limit to allow to be more comfortable with swings, hit stop loss less often
------>Trailing stop-loss, i.e. up 10 buy-ins, then lose 3 back; quit at that time.
-->Change stakes, play easier games to regain confidence; helps get your head in right place to avoid those hefty downward spirals.
-->Talk to yourself; say things aloud, ask yourself questions. Results in your awareness increasing, becomes much more personal, introspective, allows you to focus on your mistakes; sounds silly but is INCREDIBLY helpful
-->Building on increasing credibility and recognizing own mistakes, reflect with a friend
-->play over-rolled (50 buy-ins)
-->Find minor distractions (for example, Bejewelled) to help clear your head, refocus, allow some tilt to wash away
-->NEVER FORGET TILT'S IMPACT (tilt being less than your best, if you tilt off one buy-in every 10k hands = 1/2 BB/100 from overall winrate; if winrate is 2BB/100 that is 25% cut of your winrate; several months delay of moving up.)
MOMENTUM CONTROL - one of biggest factors in success
-->Quit when losing seperates the people who have had success vs those who burnout and quit
-->NEVER quit when winning
----->Play too much when losing and not enough when winning
-->Stop splashing
-->CHANGE TABLES, look for better games
----treat each table like it's own mini-session, if getting crushed on one, LEAVE IT!
--->takes 2 minutes, don't be lazy!
--->find non-regulars, under 100BB
--->don't avoid shortstacks, these are BAD plyers, take advantage of it
--->Scan other stakes for good games (above AND below)
->First: better play
-->Time of day, focus, games, etc
->Second: more volume
--1-table in the background
--random, short sessions; these add up significantly over time
--set financial goals???
---not goals like I want to make $5k, but rather something tangible; like i want to pay for a trip, can't take trip until $XXXX.
->Taking shots
--NOT a full-time jump
--preserve confidence
--prepare for changes
--SET YOUR EGO ASIDE, end result is $$ not pride
-Short study, EVERY DAY
-Ask yourself
--what's his range?
--how about an alternative? do you understand or just regurgitating?
--can i do the math?

(CR - Krush - SSNL pt 1 of 2)

(Road to Robusto - Ep 7)
-Unconscious incompetence - Mistake?
-Conscious incompetence - Learn to stop making them
-Conscious Competence - Learn to exploit others
-Unconscious competence - Learn to let others to exploit themselves

(CR - The Big Difference Pt 3 of 4)
-2 part decisions
--1) Make a read
----->need a read in order to justify an action (not just "I have a good hand")
--2) Use it
-Data loss throughout the course of a hand
-->someone will see a flop, draw flop comes and people add a hand to someones range (3h4h)
-BIG difference (hand reading mistakes is the BIGGEST difference)
-be the best self-corrector
->Projection = people think that their opponents would do what they themselves would do
--> you do not equal your opponents
---->cannot factor in their information, variable valuation, and emotional state
->Absolute Strength
--avoid changing their "range" due to data loss (opponent always 3bets 99 but you put him on a set of 9s after flop on 9 hgh brd)
->Exotic tells
->Legitimate tells
--->Timing, for example -quick call is showdownable/weak made hand
----->Planning (insta shve rvr probably had plan to shve before rvr even came)
----->Ease (example: easier decision, faster action)
--->Bet sizing
----->Round numbers
-->"Most" (most of the time, this happens)
-->Information exchange
-->Simple and certain
->Showdowns (immensely important to developing reads)
-->Pay Attention!
-->Avoid fanciness
-->No set of rules
--->No simple answers
--->Never, always, etc.
-->Four part process
---->1) Make a read
---->2) Consider all plays
---->3) Calculate EV
---->4) Press the button

(DC - Parallels, Ep 8)
-against bad aggro players, don't play back with them with bluffs because they don't fold weak made hands while good players may fold those hands
-don't want to call semibluffs, we want to play into them

(King for a Day - Episode 1)
-player with less than full stack is typically a weaker player
-don't want to be forced to call w draws

(NuteDawg 100NL 1)
-identify those players that think you are getting out of line and then play tighter against them and let them hang themselves.
-betting a flop with intention of betting the turn
-->think about what kinds of cards you want to barrell and what is their calling range on the flop; you want to be thinking about this on the flop before you make your cbet
-biggest flaw - don't think deeply enough about what their opponents ranges are and how they will react to all the different plays at your disposal

(vitalMyth Leakfinder)
-auto pilot bets & raises
-->cbetting w any sort of equity, discount opponents range (Qjx brd w AT), they are never folding a huge part of their range)
-->Value from worse?
-->Fold out better?
-Raising to gamble
-->Will money go in??
-Raising big hands
-->Beaten if called??
Suited Aces OOP
-Implied odds
-Strong draw flops often
--Shows gamble
--Get folds
-Need credibility
--C/R a lot
-->Not thinking about protecting against anything, value from worse, etc.

(VitalMyth - The Big Difference pt 4 of 4)
-Recall 4 steps
---1) Make a read of opp hand's range 1st thing always!
---2) Consider all plays (minbet, 2x pot, 1/2 pot, check, lead, etc.)
---3) Calculate EV
---4) Press the button
-Best Players
---Have a very very good understanding of equity
---Understand all options and understand consequences of all options
-Make Life Easy is COMPLETE BS!
---Avoid tough spots
---Polarized ranges
---Fold marginal hands
----->Doing this prevents you from becoming good!
----->Instead make tough spots easy
----->Push small edges
-Don't PANIC
---I can't...can I?
---->Fold big CAN fold big hands, is it the best strategy?, calm down and think, the pain of making the mistake is worse than the pain of folding; because at the end of the day you are playing for money, not ego
----->Define your edge, "i get value from this guy because he overvlues TP", "i get value from this guy because he folds too much."
----->Fold despite long odds; you don't have to call getting 6:1 for example
---Won't they start...?
----->No, they won't
----->They're STILL stupid
---What does he have?
----->All-in I guess.... <- this is BAD!
--stop call-folding!
--Review all sessions
--Be honest with yourself
--Get in control
--It's not easy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Playing super well....

Here's how I know.

Past two night sessions, go down 2-3 buy-ins within the first 10 minutes of each session. Mostly because of a coolers or bad beats but 2 of them (one in each session) due to my own bad play.

And I didn't tilt. Instead I recognized the losses for what they were, especially the losses due to bad play. Made a note to help develop my reads on the villains.

And then went on to crush. First night was the 3 buy-in downer. I swung it back to +2 buyin session.

Tonight instantly down 2 buy-ins when semi-coolered with a flush over flush and then a terrible play in a 3bet pot w AK when I tried to push a bad player (even had dbag in his screen name) off a Q high flop when I pushed over his re-raise and he snap called w JJ and I bricked out. I recognized my mistakes in the hands. As a result, I didn't tilt. Made my notes to develop reads on both players and moved on.

Moved on to a +5.5 buy-in session over 2 hours.

Oh yeah, final VPIP/PFR of 30.1/23.2. Not exactly nitting it up.

Uhm.....make that a +7.5 buy-in session. Just turned quads and got check-raised. I flatted; he snaps shove river and I win a $40 pot at 10NL. So I guess you can say I run pretty well too.

Anyways, the other example of playing well:

Absolute Poker $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold'em - 4 players - View hand 341566

The Official Hand History Converter

BB: $19.91

Hero (CO): $18.33

BTN: $33.46

SB: $10.40

Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero is CO with 3 of diamonds 3 of clubs

Hero raises to $0.30, BTN raises to $1.05, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.75

Flop: ($2.25) 2 of spades K of spades Q of spades (2 players)

Hero bets $0.80, BTN raises to $1.60, Hero raises to $3.80, BTN calls $2.20

Turn: ($9.85) J of diamonds (2 players)

Hero checks, BTN checks

River: ($9.85) A of spades (2 players)

Hero bets $6.45, BTN folds

EDIT: Important note is that we are playing relatively deep with effective stacks of 180bbs. This gives me much more room to maneuver and apply pressure as you see in the following analysis.

I have a very strong read on this player. I know that his 3bet is JJ+ based on the 1.2k+ hands I have played with him. On this flop, I have a particular plan against him so I donk into him expecting the re-raise from AA, KK, QQ, and AKo and AKs. He probably flats with a small chance of fold JJ (chance of fold increases if missing Js). I put in the 3bet (notice this size is considered relatively large for this particular table, this is important at it puts a good deal of pressure on him) to gather more information as I'm about 70% positive that he'll give me a free river with anything less than a set here. He will be shoving QQ and KK, AA with Aspade. 50/50 on him flatting w AKo with Ace spades. This means I can make a move on the river if it is a spade. He obliges and flats the 3bet and gives me the info I need to play this hand perfectly.

He checks behind Jd trn which eliminates JJ from his range. I now put him on AK.

So in order to avoid any "data loss" (concept that we add hands to villain's range after the flop that we said he couldn't have before the flop - Cardrunner video by Vital Myth as part of "The Big Difference" series. HIGHLY RECOMMEND), I put villian on JJ, QQ, KK, AK, AKs due to his 3bet. After flop, I am able to eliminate As from his range based on the action. Qs and Ks is already out there so he cant have those either.

The river is the absolute perfect card to bluff at against this particular villain as I 100% KNOW that he does not have a spade. I am also 100% positive that he is a thinking enough player that he will fold to a largish raise.

Against a bad player, this is a much much closer play as they will not be willing to fold two pair or stronger on this river. (EDIT: actually against a bad aggressive or even bad passive player, I am check-folding this flop texture.)

Anyways, just thought I'd share my thoughts on an interesting hand. I've made some great strides recently in my poker playing based on changing HOW I am studying the game and, as a result, how I'm approaching the game when I'm on the tables.

See you at the felt,


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Turning a corner

Been playing without a HUD for the past few days after watching a video by BalugaWhale and Tubasteve on DeucesCracked (the first Coaching Tree episode).

By not using a HUD, I'm having to develop reads and really think through hands as they are played. As a result, I think I'm turning a corner in my poker development. Time will tell.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm a tilt monkey...

and i'll never play above 25NL unless I fix myself.

enough said.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Love this quote...

From one of my favorite CardRunners instructors vitalmyth:

In reference to players not game selecting because of ego:

You're an idiot and you should just check-fold your life.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Impressed by DeucesCracked

Seriously very impressed. If you weren't aware, DeucesCracked has a promotion going through Oct. 4 where everyone can view all of their videos in their flash format.

I've been checking out their small/micro stakes vids. check out "Road to Robusto" by tubasteve and "uNL looseness" by BalugaWhale. Especially Episode 4 of Road to Robusto where it is purely a HEM review. More specifically, how to use filters in HEM.

Sounds boring, right? Far from it. It is filled with gems and actually shows you the impact of your leaks. Such as calling turn raises.

Here's some gems I jotted down in notepad while listening:

top 3 leaks at micros:
1) not vbetting enough
2) not folding enough on trn or rvr when raised
3) not folding enough to 3bets

In order to call PFR, need 2 of 3:
1) skill advantage (3 principles: get value, don't bluff, don't pay off)
2) card advantage
3) position advantage

Moving Up:
-Theoretically wrong to play the same game when you move up limits
-see someone 3bet a suited connector, call IP and it wil be profitable -> allows you to creep back towards

-can't be an outlier if you are not playing loose; you can be a winner playing tightly, but you can't be a massive winner

-image doesn't matter as bad players don't adjust/acknowledge
--we do need to adjust how loose we are based on how others are playing which is different than adjusting based on our image

-Lean towards being tight until you know it's a good idea to lean towards loose

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The dangers of "reverse tilt"

If you are not a decent HU player.

Story is short. I erupt after having my AA cracked by 74s for 100bbs, all in the flop when he just had the naked FD (i had A of diamonds too). Damn river.

Anyways, I erupt and talk some $hit to the guy and I reload my 100bbs. He gives me crap about being a pussy and not loading to the 200bb option that is available on AP.

He continues to chatter and eventually challenges me to a HU battle. I had already calmed down, recognized the error of my ways, and de-tilted. He more or less went on reverse tilt.

My read on this foe is that he was pretty much a nit/slight TAG player. In other words, get him in a HU battle and he will be lost most of the time.

I accepted his challenge. And took 3 buy-ins from him in 180 hands through solid HU play, recognizing his leaks and exploiting the hell out of him.

And life is good today.