Mar 17 2007

1K review – 1st of many for ’07

Published by at 11:22 pm under Poker

I’ve got no reason for the things I do
The dealer deals and then the deal is screwed
You throw your cards up on the playing table
My name is Cain and I am now un-able
– Cowboy Mouth

Well, it only took me two and a half months to finally hit 1000 hands for hold ‘em. Pretty pathetic for anyone taking poker seriously, but for the first two months, I really hadn’t been. This is especially the case when I you assume that I get in about 200-250 hands per hour playing. But I haven’t been multitabling a lot, I’ve been playing a lot more tourneys lately and also I spent a good portion of that time still trying to figure out how to be profitable playing omaha at Stars. That last one is actually the thing that brought me back to hold ‘em.Any way, I thought it would be a good time for a gut check. Since making the deposit for the PPA bonus, I had made a concerted effort to get back to my “A game” or as close of a facsimile I have to an “A game” back when I was doing well and poker room still recognized me a valued player on their site. When I moved to Full Tilt, I noticed the games were actually tougher. I assume this has a great deal to do with the existence of the “Bet Pot” button on Full Tilt. Even the biggest donk can get a some what reasonable bet out by clicking the button. Stars, it seems, was more to the level I was used to at poker room. So instead of banging my head against the wall at losing a crapload of 60% favorite situations, I decided to head back to the old standby I had cut my teeth on.

Up until the PPA bonus, I had a mere 200+ hands playing HE on the year. The remainder has come in 3 sessions that I’ve done since coming back. Still no staggering numbers, but my pathetic amounts of poker I have been getting in, isn’t the point of this post. If you ignore the inconsequentially few hands I had at limit hold em (a few hands while playing limit horse), I ran an almost eerily 6.66 ptbb/100 over 1043 hands. I don’t include the limit hands for several reasons.

  1. I suck at limit.
  2. I only had 1 session where I had hands and only had a total of 30 hands.
  3. I ran bad over those 30 hands, thanks to Andy Bloch and his luck sack ways (and I mean that in the most respectful way possible, Mr. Bloch).
  4. A wise man once said “Limit is for donks”. And I use the word wise in the loosest sense of the term to describe Mr. Matusow.

If we ignore the bad omen that was my win rate, I think I did fairly well for not playing the game more than in home games, tourneys and the occasional donk session since probably early August. I actually expected it to take me about another half a week before I started to feel comfortable playing the game again, but I think I got back pretty close to my peak (which still isn’t much to brag about) relatively quickly. In the last week, I only have two hands where I can think back and think “God, WTF was I thinking there?” And fortunately for me, only one of those hands was for a stack. Actually, the biggest thing I think I’m lacking in my game is a lack of aggression. I’ve been doing some reading to try and catch up to some people who in the very least, represent themselves as good, winning players ;)

I know as I realized it early that it could be an issue, I really tried to put myself into situations more where I was being aggressive. That also contributing to one of the “WTF was that” hands. I’ll post it here so you can see just how fucking stupid it was. As I’ve said before, I am all about admitting and publicly putting my bonehead plays out there for any and all to see.

FullTiltPoker Game #2005862883: Table Meissner (6 max) – $0.25/$0.50 – No Limit Hold’em – 2:33:18 ET – 2007/03/17
Seat 1: mf500 ($73.85)
Seat 2: Rat Baztard ($56.15)
Seat 3: MF28 ($126.75)
Seat 4: TecnoDreamer ($49.55)
Seat 5: kjg92260 ($37.50)
Seat 6: MacAnthony ($46.25)
TecnoDreamer posts the small blind of $0.25
kjg92260 posts the big blind of $0.50
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to MacAnthony [A♣ K♠]
TecnoDreamer: holas amigos
MacAnthony calls $0.50
mf500 calls $0.50
Rat Baztard folds
MF28 raises to $3
TecnoDreamer: how are yal weekends so far
TecnoDreamer folds
kjg92260 folds
MacAnthony calls $2.50
mf500 folds
*** FLOP *** [7♦ 8♦ K♦]
MacAnthony checks
MF28 bets $6
MacAnthony raises to $15
MF28 raises to $123.75, and is all in
MacAnthony has 15 seconds left to act
MacAnthony calls $28.25, and is all in
MF28 shows [A♦ 5♦]
MacAnthony shows [A♣ K♠]
TecnoDreamer: ive been up now down so boring…
Uncalled bet of $80.50 returned to MF28
*** TURN *** [7♦ 8♦ K♦] [Q♠]
MF28: nh
*** RIVER *** [7♦ 8♦ K♦ Q♠] [5♥]
MF28 shows a flush, Ace high
MacAnthony shows a pair of Kings
MF28 wins the pot ($90.75) with a flush, Ace high
MacAnthony is sitting out

It was a pretty clear case of overplaying AK out of position. Completely ridiculous and I’m almost to ashamed to even pretend there is something defendable about that situation. I’m not defending it, but I’m gonna explain the thought process behind this anyway. Under the gun, I decided I was gonna try and limp/reraise preflop and take it down. When the deep stack was the raiser, I thought about waiting for the raise for another street to try and extract a bit more our of him and ended up calling him. Then I hit. The diamonds worried me a bit, but decided to go through with it. I don’t necessarily think my play there was bad, but leading out might have been a better choice to better see the raisers actions. But me posting this hand isn’t about what would have been rational, it was about how I looked like a monkey fucking a football in this hand. I got caught up trying to think of what kind of odds I was getting when he shoved, but was messed up by his whole stack being in there. I knew it would be about 3:1 since I had half my stack in there and figured he may have KQd or well… ok… I wasn’t really thinking. But if you look at the hand history, I took my time to do something. I really wish I could blame this one on porn, but sadly, no. I left the table after that just cause I was upset with how I played it and I didn’t want to try and chase down my money at the table. So many times I’ve gotten into trouble doing that in the past, I figured it was better for me to get up and find another table. I did that and still ended up for the evening, so I’ll count that as likely the only good decision with that hand.

I’m not exactly weak tight at the tables, but I’m not typically the one that bowls over the tables though. My total aggression factor after the flop is a 1.77. Pretty skimpy compared to a lot of the numbers I posted earlier, but while I know I need to be more aggressive in certain situations, I don’t know if I need to overhaul my numbers. I would like to prepare myself for the games at stars and as I said before, they seem to be closer to the games I remembered at poker room. At poker room, I only had a total aggression factor of 1.84 and ran at 8.16 ptbb/100. And was running at 9.39 ptbb/100 at the $100 games, which I would like to get back to again here shortly which could be possible by the time I clear the PPA bonus (I’m not holding my breath though).

So what situations would I like to try and exploit?

  • Betting/raising draws in position – especially in heads up situations. This could get me into some situations that would get expensive, but I think I this can work a lot of the time. By the way, I have a hand to represent the “get expensive” situation that I will have to post in the near future.
  • Continuation bet more. I missed a few situations that I got scared at that missed an opportunity. A good example of this was I raised QJs on the button after 1 person limped. One blind and the limper called. The flop came an unfriendly AKx and was checked down on the flop and turn (turn was a blank). I finally make a bet to try and take down the flop on the river and the blind called after much deliberation with 33 and the other limper folded. Clearly this is a situation that I need to work on, but if I can try and identify those situations better, I could have pots on the flop like this one. I doubt I get a caller if I continuation bet there.
  • Even though I see a lot more realistic bets, for some reason, I still see a lot of weak bets like min bets on flops and turns by some players. When I played PLO, I got very good at identifying who would do this to take stabs at any pot with min or half pot bets. I need to work on that in hold ‘em and take a few more chances with bluffs in situations that I think people are weak. It could cost me a bet a few times, but if I mix it up enough, I think it will help me in later levels. As it is now, I don’t bluff a lot on any streets other than preflop and the river.

I think those are probably enough situations to work on over the next 1500 hands until I evaluate again. Not sure what a good interval will be to keep doing this, but for now, I think every couple of weeks is a good start.


3 responses so far

3 Responses to “1K review – 1st of many for ’07”

  1. Royon 19 Mar 2007 at 3:07 am

    Sounds like you have some good goals to work on which is always good.

    Some comments on that AK hand: Limp/re-raising with AK is generally not a good idea. You’re basically over representing your hand (a lot of people will think you have AA/KK) and therefore will get people to fold the kinds of hands you want IN the pot. Hands like KQ, KJ, AQ, AJ, AT, etc. Sure you may win more pots, but the pots you win will be smaller. If you limp and the pot gets limped around, you’re now playing AKo OOP in a multi-way pot, ugh. It’s not a case of you’re going to lose a lot of money (I doubt you’re ever going broke there with say just one pair facing a lot of heat) but I think of it as a case of missed opportunity. You had a chance to take control and win a decent sized pot with AK if you raised first in, but now you’ll probably end up check/folding when you miss (or losing a bit of money to some janky two-pair hand when you flop TPTK).

    Limp-calling with AK the way you did is not good either. LRR’ing at least gives you the option of taking the pot down with a CB since you’re in control of the hand – if you limp-call then you’ll be check/folding the majority of flops. Also, when you DO hit a pair, it’ll be hard to extract money from a weaker hand. Say your opponent has TT and the flop comes K76 and you check-raise, he’s almost never calling so all you win is his continuation bet. If he has 77 however, you’re probably going to lose a big chunk of your stack. It’s a case of ‘you can win a little or lose a lot’ generally.

    On the flop I would prefer a line that waits for a safe turn card before putting the money in. Say check-call his bet, and if the turn is a brick, lead for a full pot bet. This gives him completely incorrect odds to call with any sort of draw and thus protects your hand, but it’s also weird enough to get value out of a hand like KJ if your opponent has it as a lot of them won’t believe you’d lead with a good hand so they’ll call you down. It also means that if he has a hand like the bare Ace of Diamonds and the money goes in on the turn, he’s a 4-1 dog, as opposed to if it goes in on the flop he’s only a 2-1 dog.

    Just some food for thought.

  2. Wayneon 19 Mar 2007 at 4:37 pm

    I am a big donk, so my advice is pretty useless, but here is what I do.

    If I am first in the pot preflop, I always am first in or raise it after the flop. With exceptions. Like say someone pushes on the flop and I got no outs, I let them take it. If I got outs, especially if I can flop the nuts with a single card, but even if I can flop a hand with one card and the nuts with runner runner .. I tend to push with them.

    As for AK, I play it like AA or KK preflop, then adjust to the flop. I don’t limp with it, if anything I overplay it preflop. With 3 diamonds out there, I would of tried a value bet, maybe 1/2 or 3/4 the pot. I am not a fan of check raises though. He is most likely just gonna call you there, then you throw out a pot bet on the turn. This is pretty much saying I think I got you and most likely when he is gonna push, thinking he could get a call at this point. But since the turn was blank, can most likely put him on the flush. Even if you are drawing the nut flush, would be hard to call the pot bet. If he just calls or pushes, you got another card to cut your losses.

    As for the set .. if he has the set, and you come out betting with those diamonds on the board, good chance of his laying them down. I don’t think you push all in with 7s when there is 3 diamonds on the board and the guy is betting at you. That is how I always get my sets busted is by calling in to someone who is drawing for the flush. Assuming you make it to the river without another diamond before the guy with the set folds .. then you could be in a lose situation.

    Why I don’t like check-raises, especially on the flop.
    When ever I check-raise, the other guy usually pushes if he has any sort of a hand. He has 2 cards and is usually getting good odds to call depending on the pot size and his commitment. If someone check-raises me on the flop, I am more likely to push if I have an out than any other time when I play. Check raise to me always means, “kinda semi strong hand here, but there is some stuff on the board that scares me, or maybe I got the nuts” .. in my experience, when I push to a check-raise I am usually beat by a very thin margin or up against another drawing hand. I will take a coin flip for all your chips pretty much any day of the week, but that is just my play style.

  3. Snow Blind » 3K Reviewon 22 Apr 2007 at 10:40 pm

    [...] month, I haven’t really gotten any further with it. But this will be my evaluation since my 1k review. Since my first 1k hands, I made some changes in my game. I switched to 4 tables and raised my [...]

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