Archive for March, 2013

Old, old hands

I have an uncanny ability to remember specific hands from ages ago.  Im sure thats quite common in the poker world, we seem to have the best memories.

I remember a hand about 6 years ago, before I was even good at poker.  It was superbowl sunday and there was a scheduled tournament at a bar in a small town in Manitoba.  It was a rare thing, I dont think theres ever been another.  It must have been a 20 dollar buy in.  My Dad and I both played in it.

The only hand I remember, I had AKoffsuit.  I raised before the flop.  Some old lady called me.  The flop was KKx.  I checked and the lady bet.  Im sure it was minimum bet.  I raised her pretty decent.  She called, and the turn was another junk card.  The board looked something like KK35 and I had AK.  I dont know who acted first but at this point money starting going into the pot.  Trying to remember if I was all in or not, but that lady stuck around for the river.

The river was a 7 and we were both all in for sure now.  She turned over her cards, bloody 77 for the full house.

I remember shaking my head in disgust at the fact she chased that so expensively, and the guy next to me was like “Dude, you played that great, she had no business winning that hand”   I still had chips left but not for long.  My dad made it to the final table but we both ended up leaving empty handed.

Online, about 4 years ago.  I remember this one hand I had 55.  I had a read on this girl, for some reason I was really sure she had a poket pair too.  I think it was because she limped in, in early position.  The flop was 5A6.  Sitting on three 5’s I bet small to keep her in it.  The next card was an Ace and I had a boat.  Oh yeah, I went all in.  I didnt have too many chips, I recall and it was late in the tourney.  She took a while and callled.

She had 99.  I was pretty happy about that until the river came.  It was another Ace.  Giving her 99AAA.  And now my 555AA became 55AAA, and I was out.  Sick, hey?  Ill never forget that.

About 3 years ago, another sit n go tourney online.  There were three people left and top two paid.  I had 72suited 🙂

Somebody raised my big blind, and one of the rarest moments of my poker life I reraised him huge on a stone cold bluff.  I dont think ive ever done this again.  He called, and the flop came 772 😀  He went all in.  I was kind of a dick, I waited about 20 seconds and called.  He had AA.  I won the hand and the tournament after that.   I dont think either of us will ever forget that hand, it was donk perfection!

There was an unforgetable hand I played on facebook poker one time.  They had this thing called the weekly tournament, you get so many chips, and you just play anytime you log in and it lasts all week.  You either run out of chips or keep getting more.

This chick was being a real bitch in the chat box,  just calling people names and bragging about how she was so good at poker and we were just a bunch of chumps.  The chip amounts were ridiculous, I think I had about 400 000.  She had about 200 000 and the blinds were like 400/800 LOL.

I had 77 in the hole.  I remember raising pretty large, and getting reraised.  Her and I and one other guy were going to see a flop.   When it came, it was 2 hearts and 7!   She was betting huge of course and I was calling and the other guy was folding.  All the while, bickering in the chat box.

The turn came and it was another 7.  What a great feeling that is, cause it was also a heart,  and this chick bet enormous like she had a flush or something.  There was probably 40k in the pot and she bet something like 60k.  I went all in whatever I had left, hundreds of thousands, and she snapcalled, turning over ace-deuce of hearts.  7777 baby. I called her a little bitch as her whole stack slid towards my pile 🙂  Im never mean at the tables, I barely chat ever, but it really bothers me when people are so arrogant at the table calling people names and just trash talking filth.  If that goes on I try to stay out of it unless im targeted in the name calling, then ill get nasty right back.

Soon after that game on facebook, I had over a million chips.  And soon after that I had like 10 million.  I remember my friends being like “how the fuck did you get so many chips?”   Then one day I got a message to my inbox, it was some kind of spam thing, but i opened the message and read it and deleted it.  The very next day I logged into facebook poker and my 10 million chips were gone, and I had like 800k left.

Im pretty sure that message was some kind of hacker deal and because I opened it, I enabled someone to hack just about all of my chips.  I sent Zynga an email about it and they pretty much told me I had to prove that I had 10 million chips, sure like I had a photograph of it or something.  What a joke.  And what a joke if you spend your time trying to hack peoples facebook accounts to steal their play-money.  Bunch of clowns.  I made it back up to 4 or 5 million and then never played again.

About 2 years ago, maybe 3, I remember it was shortly after I moved out here to what I call the forest  🙂  My co-worker Ben invited me to a home game with some locals.  I didnt really know anybody but that was ok.  It was a pretty decent game, everyone took it serious.  They even had two decks of cards, so when a hand ended the next deck was already shuffled and ready to go, and old deck was collected and shuffled by the next dealer.  Id never seen that before, I thought it was quite cool.

I dont remeber many hands, except the time I had AA.  People were doing a lot of raising it was a pretty lose game.  So I limped in expecting someone to raise, and sure enough, they did.  Bunch of callers too, so the pot was healthy and thats when I just went all in.   Everyone folded except Ben.  He called me and turned over Q9off! The flop came and he ended up wining with three Q’s.  Grrrrrr!  We joked for a bit after that I remember him saying he loves busting people out with hands like that when they have monsters!

Ya, me too 🙂

Anyways, not a very exciting post.  Just bored.  Im sure I can think of 25 more hands from years ago.  But these were the most memorable.  And now theyre documented so now I will surely not ever forget them.  Anybody ever watch hands on youtube?  like the 4 aces vs royal flush? Or that one where 7 people had pocket pairs?  I think the guy with KK folded before the flop to AA, and everyone else ended up folding their hands too, like JJ and maybe a 33, actually I think a guy with 77 called.  Anyways, there was a king on the flop and KK wouldve won.

Or this hand where television invites a nobody to come and play with Negraneau and Hansen and Laak and those boys.  Everybody was raising this one hand and the nobody guy had AA, and he actually folded before the flop.  I think it was good for him because somebody had pocket 4’s or something and hit a set.  Crazy.

My favorite is the Jenifer Harman with QQ.  Just brutal.  Ill post it in the comment box.

Cheers.

Advertisements

Just some more bad beat stories!

Not a very good day.

I just played a couple games.  They were retarded.  and by that I mean mentally challenged.  Nothing against real-life handicaps, but its pretty frowned upon in the poker world.  The first game was like this:

Two super aggressive donks to my right.  Blinds at 50/100, 10k starting stack.  they were raising to 900 and reraising to 3200.  like every hand.  They traded chips a few times and got caught being asses.  But eventually they were both the chip leaders.  I didnt play many hands but one hand I was on the big blind, and donk#2 raised my 200 to 1200.   Im sure he had 62off, and I had AKoff, so I just went all in.  Now the funny part here is the guy to my left, he was playing tight the whole game, hed taken a few of the donks chips and had about 17000.   I was at about 9300.  He snap-called and I was like oh fuck.  Of course the donk folded and it was me and the tight guy.  Sure enough he showed QQ.

Well, The ace came and I was saved.  No queen, no straight, I double up.  Now the next hand, I was small blind and everyone folded I limped in quickly, I had AKsuited this time 🙂  Just like I imagined, he was mad at that loss and he just clicked all in fast as he could.  I called.  He had A8suited which actually surprised me, but sure enough the flop brought me two kings, and he was gone.  2 hands and the whole game is changed.  gotta love that.  I think I had about 27000 after all the commotion.

So I let these jack-offs try and bluff eachother out of there own t-shirts for about twenty minutes. Plus I was really getting shitty cards.  Fuck were they dim-wits.  Theyre last hand ended like this: Donk#1, raise to 3000.  Donk #2, raise to 8000.  Donk#1 raise to 16000, donk#2 all in, call.

Donk #1 shows k5off, donk #2 shows q8off.  Nobody hit anything and king high took it.  I think I wouldve won with my j3off.  But now it was me vs donk #1.

He starts off by going all in.  I think I had around 28000 and he must have had about 32000.  I folded, but raised the next hand quite a bit as to show hey buddy, that shit isnt gonna fly.  He folded.  It boiled down to him raising me to 2500, and I raised him to 8000.  I had AQs.  He snap-called.   The flop was J2Q, I bet he raised, I raised he went all in, in a matter of 2.5 seconds.  Sweet I thought.  He shows T7offsuit. Well, the turn was a king and the river was a nine, and he had a straight.   I lasted about 15 more minutes with this dipshit and doubled up again, but I lost when I had A9off and hit a nine and went all in.  He had AJsuited and caught a jack on the river of course.

I cant figure out why shitty players are so well rewarded by the gods of luck when they just make horrible decision after horrible decision.  Makes me angry.  I shouldve won that.   Fuck you to whomever is responsible for letting him reraise me with ten7off and catch runner runner for the straight.  Fuck you.

So I joined a new sng.  First hand, K9 suited. I raise to open the betting.  One caller.  flop comes and I have 4 diamonds.  I bet small of course and he calls.  no Diamond, but I bet again, he calls.  no flush so i check.  This guy minbets 100 so I call and he has a4off, Ace high.  The next hand I get J8suited, so I open again, and sure enough I hit nothing.  Someone else takes the pot.

Third hand I get KQsuited.  I think I was on the big blind this time and yes, I raised these limpers.  Bunch of bricks on the flop, everyone checks it to me and I bet, and I get reraised pretty big so I throw the hand away.

NEXT hand I get AA.  cards are coming.  small blind, I raise, nothing out of the ordinary, I get one caller.  The flop comes 832.  I bet small like I always do.  They fold.  !!!  fuck.

You wont believe this but next hand I get JJ.  Everyone folds.  Im on the button now, I JUST CALL.  Small blind folds.  Big blind goes disconnected!!!!!

what a joke.  45 seconds later he auto checks.  The flop is like AK9, so I bet and he auto folds.

K9suited.  KQsuited.  J8suited.  AA.  JJ.  What have I got to show?  Im about 300 chips more than I started with.  UnFuckingReal.

I swear to God, for the REST of the tournament, I did not get one decent hand.  I folded everything.  k5off, 73off, J2s, 85off, 94off, a2off, 104s, 36off, q7off.  I was being blinded to death in the third round.  The guy to my left was a player I play a lot, and he always check on the BB, always.  So i limped in whenever I could and hit nothing every time.

Everntually I had q8off on the button, and I had about 6400 left. I raised to 1800 cause this was getting sick and I was running out of time.  and what happens?  The rock to my left goes all in 9k.  What a joke.  I had to fold.  He must have had TT.

So i get blinded out some more, and eventually Im small blind with 2000 left and 500 invested.  J6suited.  Best hand Ive seen in 42 hands.  Some other guy goes all in and I call.  He has ATs, same suit. Neither of us hit anything and Ace high takes it.  Disgusting.

Next game (yes, I tried again) Fold a bunch of crap.  Then Im dealt 66.  I raise to 1500 (blinds are 300/600) I get reraised to 3300.  One other person calls.  I call.  The flop is 655.  The guy goes all in, girl folds, I call, he has AA.  He goes home.  Ive got 24000 chips.

This bitch to my left is raising everything.  Then going all in at the flop.  I observed her the entire time, she was just an idiot trying to give her chips away.  Then one hand, I was big blind.  She min raised, and the other girl called, and the next girl called (it was all girls after I took that dudes chips)  I had K8 suited, and it was a minraise to call and close the action and see a flop, so I call.  The flop was 842rainbow.  I bet. The bitch calls, and the other two ladies fold.  The turn was an 8.  Now Ive got a set of 8s king high.  seems decent enough.

I bet huge, I think my bet wouldve left her 2000 chips if she called, and call she did.  The river came and it was a 6.  She goes all in.  LOL.  ok.   I call, she has pocket sixes for a full house.  Can you believe that! Well I guess I took the pot with pocket sixes earlier with a full house vs AA, but all I did was call a preflop reraise twice what I already had in there.  If I didnt hit that 6, I was gone.   Now this woman is facing a bet, then a HUGE bet for all but her last couple of blinds, and she chases it right down, a two outer.  And hits.  Where do these people come from!!

I cant catch a 12 outer to save my life and these people are betting on two outers and catching them.  Again, Fuck you to whoever is behind this.

You know how I lost another tourney earlier, I was short stacked  against 2 tight players, and I played a real solid game.  They knew I didnt fuck around.  I had 6k left, and blinds were 600-1200.  I had A2 suited and I went all in on the button.  The last time I went all in I had AQ on the button.  The smart guy folds.  The woman..  She thinks and thinks and thinks.  Thinks some more.  requests more time.  Takes about 35 seconds and calls.  she has 34clubs.  Seriously, wow.  Was that your big pot-odds call, you fucking fool.  CAll 5000 to win 7000 when you only have 12k left.  With 34.

well, why dont you guess the flop.  No it wasnt 334.  It was actualy A210.  I had two pair.  But the ten was a club, and so was the next card, and so was the next card, giving her a flush.  What other outcome is there!

stab stab stab.

smash-and-break-computer-pc-monitor-with-keyboard12

Expected Value

Part of me feels like a traitor, like Im giving away secrets or something.  But the fact is, if theres a fish out there that found his way here, he obviously had enough determination to seek opinion, and if he didnt find it here, he would probably keep looking until he found it elsewhere.  And Im all for people getting better at poker.  Fish are great money, and theres tonnes of them, and I mean tonnes.. But often you lose a big pot to a fish where you wouldve won against a good player who had the same cards the fish did.  I almost prefer to play an average player to a fish because they know when to fold, they can be bluffed, most fish cant.   Average players may take notes on you and chances are theyre good notes.  Fish dont bother, or maybe they mark you down as one word : DONK  cause last time you played them you took them out with 87suited when they were bluffing ace king down three streets.

You know, pot odds and outs, fractions and ratio’s, all this isnt very NEW to me, Ive known about this stuff since I first started taking this game a bit more serious a couple years ago.  Ive read a few books.   I never mastered all the math, and I wouldnt even say I know it well.  But ive got the gist and I do apply it whenever I can.   I was reading a forum around christmas time, and I came across people referring to +EV, and I had no idea what it was.

I searched youtube and watched a couple of videos on it.  Again, I got the gist, but it was pretty greek.

EV started coming up more and more in front of me whenever I read anything.  I dont like being the guy who doesnt know something that other people know.   So I searched harder.  I read another book.  Its funny, Ive read 1, 2, 3, 4, … 5.  About 5 whole books on poker, and about 4 half books on top of that, and I have never come across EV

But Ive learned about it enough since then, and I am going to talk about it today.

We know about outs.  If I have 2 spades and theres two spades and a club on the flop, any spade will likely win the hand for me.  Since theres 13 spades in a deck of cards, and I can see four of them in my hand and on the flop, that means theres 9 spades left in the deck.  So that can be counted as 9 outs.  Maybe I have AK of spades and the flop is 4s 8s 9c.  So at this point I can count my A and my K as outs too, cause if I get one of those cards chances are I will have the best hand.   So I can add the 3 remaining aces and the 3 remaining kings to my outs, giving me 15 outs.

We know about pot odds.  If somebody bets 400 into a 1200 pot, the pot becomes 1600.  Now Im facing a bet of 400 to win 1600.  This is 4:1 pot odds, meaning it will cost me one unit to win 4 units.   Seems like a good deal right?  Well it depends on what your cards are 😉

Well if youve read a book, you know that to determine if the call is right or not, you compare the pot odds to the odds of getting or improving your hand.   If the chances of getting your hand are 3:1 and the pot odds are 5:1, the call is good.  Technically.  If the chances of getting your hand are 3:1 and the pot odds are 2:1, youre not getting a very good financial deal to play it out.

It seems pretty simple, but I still have trouble applying it when im under pressure, or when its a tricky situation and the clock is ticking.  I think about a lot of things during a hand, and sometimes theres just not enough time for math.   I want badly to incorporate this knowledge into more of my decisions.  So I researched and made myself a chart to stick on the wall behind my computer screen.

Basically it converts outs into percentages and ratios.  Its rounded off where it needs to be, but its basically this : if I have One out after the flop, Im 2% to make my out on the turn (46:1)  Another 2% to make it on the river(45:1).  Or if I went all in after the flop and guaranteed to see the turn and river, I would be 4% to make it, or 22.5:1

Now If I had 12 outs after the flop, I would be 26% to make it on the turn, or 3:1.  I would also be 26% to make it on the river, or 2.75:1.  Both turn and river together would be 45% and 1.25:1

My chart, I just slide down the left where the outs are, and then follow that row across to see my odds.  Finding out what your outs are is the easy part, as long as you remember not to count cards twice (like if your counting 9 spades, and any jack can help you too, be aware if youve already counted one of the jacks as a spade)

Thats what I would do first in a hand.  Count my outs after the flop.  Now it gets tricky when you face bets.  Lets assume you dont have my chart 😛  You know you have 9 outs, but how do you compare it to the pot odds?  Well, I dont know, a bunch of complicated math.  What I do know is this.  A quick way to figure out the percentage of making your hand is to multiply your number of outs by 2, and then add one.  Like if you had 9 outs, 9×2= 18.  18+1=19.  So you have a 19 percent chance of making your hand on the NEXT card.  Its not 100 percent accurate but its close enough.  Really.

Thats nice and everything, but your facing a bet of 600 into a pot that is 2000.  Now what?  Well, theres two ways to do this.   If you have a calculator, 2000/600 = 3.3  –  meaning your getting 3.3:1 pot odds.  If you dont have a calculator, try and break it down.  2000 to 600 can be 1000 to 300 right?  500 to 150.   250 to 75.  Thats about where I get stuck and round it off to 300 to 100 or 3:1  and as you can see 3.3:1 and 3:1  are slightly different.  If anyone has better advice Im all ears.

So now you know that you have a 19% chance of getting your card on the turn, and the pot is offering you 3.3:1 odds. You could even call it 3.5:1 odds.   Well 19 percent is an apple and 3.5:1 is an orange.  How do you make the connection?  Fucked if I know, but lets try.  Hey, Im learning too!

“The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.”  — Benjamin Disraeli

I dont know who that is but hes right, and the funny thing is I saw that quote here on wordpress after I published a post.

Well lets look at my chart.  9 outs = 19% on the turn to get your card.  Were looking to compare oranges, so beside my 19% is the numbers 4.25:1  Im not sure what to do with that, but heres something interesting.  The second column of 9 outs, is for the river card, and it sais 20% and 4:1

well theres a connection between 20% and 4:1  20 percent means I would win 20 times out of 100 and lose the other 80.  or I would win 10 times out of 50 and lose the other 40.    or I would win 1 time out of 5 and lose the other 4.

thats exactly what 4:1 is.  one win, 4 losses, in a total of 5.  Lots of people mix up ratio and fractions.  some people may think 4:1 can be written 1/4 .  actually its 1/5 .   Like if I was making a drink that was 4 parts cola, one part whiskey.  thats a total of 5 parts.  4:1

So ok.  Ive learned something already 🙂  the percentage of your outs need to be compared to 100.   For example, lets call it  X:1   the one represents your percentage, and X is the difference between your percentage and 100.

If I have a 25% chance, that leaves a 75% chance of losing.  If my 25% was ONE UNIT, the 75% is 3 UNITS, and together they equal 100.  So that is 3 times I will lose, one time I will win, making 4 games.  3+1.  or 3:1 or 1/4  🙂

Its a bit harder with something like 36% but the formula is there, So I m going to skip it.

So now everything is oranges.  Peachy!  For the hand in question, you have 9 outs which equals 19% on the turn, which is 4:25:1 odds to get your cards.   The bet youre facing is 600 to win 2000.  This equals 3.3:1 odds.  as you can see the odds of getting your cards are not very good compared to the pot odds.  You want the pot odds to be higher than your out-odds.  if the pot odds are 3.3:1, I would want a 3.2:1  chance of getting my hand in order to call properly.

I know, I know, Im sorry.  I titled this entry “Expected Value”  And I made you read all this shit you already knew 😉

Dont worry, weve arrived at expected value.  EV for short.   It is measured it plus or minus, or +EV, -EV

Much like pot odds, you want it to be in your favor, in other words, you want a +EV

Theres a lot of bullshit about rolling dice and buying beers when you search EV online.  I struggled with it for weeks before I understood it. Id like to thank my Girlfriend Anna for helping me understand the math, we broke it down over a few drinks together and I probably still wouldnt know very much about it without her.   I dont know why nobody recorded it in lamens terms, I guess cause they dont want to give away secrets? Well, Im going to make this easy.  Its quite simple.

Nevermind the bush, lets cut to the chase.  Youve got a good hand.  You have 12 outs.  The pot is 1500.  Buddy bets 500 and the action is to you.

If you look at 12 outs, you will see that it is about 25% to win.  My chart actually sais 26, but..  well go with 25.

Now when you break this down, simplistically, it means 25% of the time you will win the pot (2000)  and 75% of the time you will lose your calling bet (500)  remember your facing a decision to call 500 into a 2000 pot.

So lets do the math.  If you won the pot, $2000 25% of the time, 25 x 2000 = 50 000.

and if you lost your calling bet, $500, the other 75 percent of the time, you would lose 75 x 500 = 37 500

So if you played that scenario 100 times (always use 100 because percent is based on 100, right) you would win 50 000 and lose 37 500.  Grade 1 math will show you that thats a profit of $12 500.  Thus making it a +EV of 12,500

Pretty good EV in that situation.

Heres the formula :       Win % x Pot size = X        Lose % x Bet size = Y   If  X is a bigger number than Y, then the situation has a +EV.  The difference between X and Y will be your profit if that hand were played out 100 times.

Part of me is trying to believe that this method can replace pot odd fractions and ratios, cause that stuff is hard and confusing and time consuming.  With this method, ya its definitely one equasion to compare, and you likely need a calculator or atleast a scrap of paper or a PHD in math, but you dont need to piss around converting fractions and ratios and percentages.  And you dont even need a chart because I explained how easy it was to find your percentage – multiply your outs by two, and add one.

Pretty simple eh? Well theres one more thing I need to bring up regarding my chart.  You must have noticed that when I gave a percentage for an amount of outs, it was always for 1 card.  the turn card, or the river card.  And you can accurately ascertain a percentage by multiplying your outs and adding 1 for that one card.  But what if I wanted to know the percentage of both the turn and the river, like if I was contemplating going all in?

Well, Perusing down my chart I can see that the % of getting your card on the turn is almost exactly equal to the % of getting it on the river.  5 outs is 11 percent on the turn, and 11 percent on the river.  13 outs is 28 percent on the turn and 28 percent on the river.  Does this mean I can just add the percentages together to come up with the percentage of making my hand if I went all in after the flop with 2 cards to come?  no.  Why?  I dont know.  lets look.

For 2 outs, the turn is 4% and the river is 4%, and both turn and river is 8%, so that works here.

However, for 6 outs, I have 13% turn, 13% river, and 24% both.  Close, but no smoke.

10 outs.  21% turn, 21% river, 38% both.    14 outs.  30% T, 30% R, 51% both.

18 outs.  38%T, 39%R, 62%both.

So the first thing that comes to mind is multiplying my percentage times two, and subtracting.  But how much?  Well it seems the more outs I have, the more I subtract from the percentage.   For 6 outs, I take away 2.  For 10 outs I take away 3.  For 18 outs, I take away 15.  Well Im not sure of a pattern here, but luckily I have my chart 😉 

If you have input on this, lets hear it.  If you have input on anything here, speak up.  Remember, Im learning too, I could use some help!

If you want a copy of my chart send me an email or something.  Thanks.

Fish

what even makes a fish?
Every time a hand is lost someone calls someone else a fish.  Are these really fish? In todays poker its my opinion that pot odds force people to make certain calls with weird hands. Its my opinion that every once in a while you must throw a curveball, by definition being something they dont expect in order to throw them off and gain their chips. Theres a few differences between true fish and playing a bad hand.  

Let me explain.  I get called a fish everyonce in a while.  I wonder to myself sometimes am I really being a fish or do these people not know what theyre talking about, or just not understand as well as me.  Or do I not understand as well as them?

So I spend hours thinking about it.  Many times it boils down to math.  A funny example will be from my 65suited.  I like this hand.  I raise with this hand moreso than not.  Its not really a fish hand not in my opinion.  Now if I get reraised and then someone else raises them and its back to me to call 6 times what I already put in, then its probably a fish call.  That needs to be folded in just about every case, unless you have monster stacks and got the people you are up against pegged.

But Im at this table MTT half way through.  I am doing well.  I am dealt 56hearts. I am on small blind.  One guy calls, then another, then another.  Theres 3 people called to me, I think it was 125 to call.  So I call. Big blind raises! minraise 250 LOL.  what does everybody do?  Call, call, call.  
All the way to me.  So thats like a 2000 pot, and it will cost me 250 more to see a flop. Once I click call, the action is closed and we see a flop.  So I call.  

Flop comes 4h 8s kc
I am first to act.  I dont like betting on gutshots especially in a pot with so many players.  But the fact is I have 456 8.  There had to be 2000 in this pot.  I maybe shouldhave bet here just to get some answers but I checked.  The big blind acted next and he bet minimum bet.  3 more people call.  so its 250 for me to call to potentially win a pot worth 3000+  And if I get the card I need, these people will never expect it.  IT WOULD BE STUPID TO FOLD HERE.  and I hope you agree.  

So I call and get my 7 on the turn and its a heart 🙂

45678, and 4 of them are hearts!  I check. We can argue about that until sunday but I checked.  My plan worked, the big blind bet minimum bet.  call call call 🙂
It gets to me and the pot is now 4000ish so I raise to something like 1600.  everyone folds except one guy who calls.  He was in mid position.  The river was a blank and now it was on me to act.  was he going for a flush?  I needed to get some money from him.  the pot should have been 7200.  I cant tell you how many chips I had but I ended up betting about 2500. He called and showed QQ.

So it was perfect.  I limped in the small blind because everyone did and I got a great deal with my hidden hand. Then on the flop I was last to act by letting the big blind do the betting.  So again I had a fantasic price to call and amazing implied odds to get a 7 and no one seen it coming.  Everyone thought they had a good hand so, it was perfect.  

Of course the guy got angry and started calling me a fish.  What pisses me off is that even someone else spoke up and said something about a fishy call.  Were these people serious? Had they not seen the odds I had?  Do they not see the beauty in hitting a straight like that with 65suited?  How could I possibly get called a fish here by two people?  One not even involved in the hand!!

And it just started making me think, you know, some people know a lot and their brains are odds calculators by nature, and some people just know how poker is played and they think they know everything.  Its like most people think youre automatically a fish if you win the hand with 48offsuit.  No ifs ands or butts, youre a god damned fish.  And they probably note you this way.  

Ive spent a lot of time wondering if I am a person who knows the game well or if I am still blinded to these esoteric secrets that leave me scratching at the wrong side of the fence.  Lots of times Im on top of my game and I am confident at everything I do.  Then there are times when people question my moves and I hit a losing streak and find myself intimidated at every table I sit at.  

But these are the facts.  If I raise to 300 and you raise to 900 and I raise to 3200, and you call with 53, thats pretty fishy.  If I bet all in after that and you call  with a flop A26, your a fish.  But if you limp in with great odds with a nice suited connector, or hey, even sometimes with 53, thats not so bad.  I dont think theres anything wrong with limping in with shitty hands as long as you see that the people at the table arent raising all the much.  It a funny thing about poker, if you raise with a hand and then bet, and win, you are not a fish.  But if you call a raise and call a bet and win, you get called a fish.  If I raise with 53hearts before the flop and bet on a blank flop and bet on a blank turn and win with a 3 on the river, its a good play.  But if someone raises me and I call with 53hearts and win with a 3 on the river that I chased, I would be a fish.  Dont make a habbit of 53, but once in a while its the curveball that just might help you.  And as for 56suited, I will keep raising with that I love those hands.  But maybe Im just on the wrong side of the fence 😉

Some good lessons here are these :  Fuck off with the minimum bet shit.  If you have QQ and the whole table limps to you, what do you think you will accomplish by raising one more big blind all the way around?  Lets say there are 6 people in the hand and the blinds are 50/100.  Everyone calls 100.  Theres 600 in the pot. The big blind has KK and he raises one big blind, to 200.  Everyone calls.  Now there is 1200 in the pot and he has a 1/6 chance  of winning the hand.  A better play would be to raise it to 500.  Theres 600 in the pot and a 500 raise makes it 1100.  not everyone will call 400 more, but 1 or 2 might.  Lets say 2 call.  Now the pot is 2100 instead of 1100, and you have a 1/3 chance of winning.  Building the pot is one thing, but you dont ever want to play against 6 people in a hand, not even with AA. 

Same goes for post flop.  You made a raise 3xbb before the flop and 2 people called.  The pot is now 900.  the flop comes and you bet 100 min bet?  Even if you have AA that is a stupid play.  Your just asking people to call and suck out a hand on the river, and then you will be calling him a fish on your way home wondering how he could make such a bad call with Q8off.  leave the minimum bets at home.  Small bets are ok, min bets are different, and they have a use but its rare.  If a pot is 1000, and 100 is the min bet, try betting 300 or 400 instead.  Anything but 100.

Its pretty easy to spot fish these days.  Just look for the people who call you a fish. 

Beginners

OK

Strategy..   Something for the beginners.  Let me just talk about basic strategy and the way I play.

Im going to really condense this entry.   Basically the first thing I look at is my position.  It determines the hands I will play.  The dealer is the best position because after the flop, this person is last to act.   You get to see how everyone reacts to the flop, whether they check or bet, it reveals a lot of information about their hand, among other things.  So when Im in the dealer position, or late position (one or two spots to the right of the dealer) I loosen my starting hand requirements.  I may call a raise before the flop with 87offsuit.    Now if I was in early or middle position, I probably wouldnt call, or open the betting with this hand.

Basically, If your in early position (small blind, big blind, and the next one to the left) You want to be careful of what hands you play.  You will be among the first to act after the flop, and the way you act will teach the players who act after you a thing or two about your hand and the way you play poker.  It can be intimidating and pressure-some.   Theres a time and a place to limp in, or bluff, and early position is less ideal for this.  You want to have a strong hand to play from here, or atleast be at a tight table of players that you may be able to steal pots from.

After I look at my position, I look at my cards.  If I was in early position, I fold most hands, including a6off, QToffsuit, K9 offsuit.   these may look strong but they are junk.  If you have 5 or more other players at the table and you are in early position with these hands, a fold will do you better.  I may make a small raise with A9suited, but not much WORSE than that.   But if Im going to play a hand from this position and I am first to act at the pot, before the flop, I will raise.

I usually raise 2.5 -4 x big blind whenever I open a pot.  Now later positions, I still fold alot, Im not as loose as some people, but Ive been known to raise with 23suited on the dealer button.  I wont usually play hands as loose as j4off, or k6off, there needs to be something extra in it for me to play unconnected junk.  What I mean by that is it needs to be suited, or it needs to be atleast 2 cards that can make a straight.  If theres lots of people in the pot, and theres a couple raisers, I may even fold A8suited.  I dont always play aces on the button.  They say to do that, but I go with my gut.

You gotta take notes on players.  You need to have as much information on people as you can to help you in the future.  Youd be surprised how many people you play against regularly.  its a lot of work to take notes on everyone all the time, maybe try and single out a few people, quality, not quantity right.  Look for the people who enter lots of pots.  or consistently bet.   When someone shows KK, note how he entered the pot did he call did he raise, what was his position.  Look for the guy who opens the pot with a raise with a3offsuit.  This guy will probably give you easy money when you have a hand.

You cant always wait for a great hand.  Be patient, but dont be a rock.  Rocks wait for AA and fold everything else.  Dont confuse tight with selective.  Be selective about your cards.  You got 87suited?  raise!  you have J9suited?  raise!  You have A6offsuit?  fold.  get it?  Dont get kicked cause the people who call you will be people with AQ and AJ.  I try and never get involved in a hand with a weak ace unless its suited or I can limp in on the small blind to a full table of limpers.  Remember things like A2 suited is better than A7suited, because you can get a straight with A2.  And believe me, when you play an ace 2, you are not hoping for an ace on the flop, you are hoping for 2’s, or 345.

They say aggression is key.  I constantly  go back and forth from tight to loose, but its always with aggression.  Once you have the tables attention, you can raise every hand or two, and follow through with a small bet.  If they call, play with caution, dont get married to your hand if you miss the flop.  But get them in the habit of raising your bets because they think your bluffing.  And fold the ones you miss.  I like small bet poker, its really effective for me.  blinds are 50/100, I raise to 250. 2 people call call the pot is 750.  I bet 300.  If I get reraised I fold and do it again.  If I get called I look at my hand and see if I have anything and play accordingly.  Eventually ill have JJJ and ill bet 300, and some one will raise me and thats when I get my money.   I like to intentionally call bad hands in the first few minutes and show I had 93off and I raised before the flop.  Unless they have notes onn me they will think Im a donk, and the next time I do it Ill have AK 🙂

Check raise is a powerful move but I prefer to bet outright. If I have a hand, even if its bottom pair, I will bet.  I wont necessarily continue betting or see it right to the river, but I will bet, and this works for me.  Too often you see people limp in to a big pot with QQ and the flop comes 10 6 J.  the guy with qq checks and the guy with the jack bets.  I call because I have T9 suited.  The turn comes 9 and QQ checks, I bet big and QQ checkraise me all in.  I call and he goes home.  Dont let people have too many free cards.  You got a hand, bet.  Its a great habit to get into and its the best way to make your money.  By doing this you are asking questions to the other people in the hand if they have something some reason to call a bet.  Do they call?  do they raise?  This is all valuable information to learn how they play.

Some other tips are about stack size.  If you are running out of chips and the blinds are getting big, dont piss around calling every hand with 56hearts.  wait for the right hand and go all in.  Stack sizes are measured by big blinds.  If the blinds are 200/400, and you have 4000 chips, you have 10 BB (big blinds.)  This would be a short stack.  They say if you have 8-12 BB left, then that is a short stack.  They also say if you raise 4xbb, and that amount is more than one third of your chips, just go all in instead.  When your short stacked, look at whos on the big blind.  look for someone who you think will fold, (or call if you have KK) and go all in.  This is called going out with a fight.  Otherwise you will get blinded to death and find yourself all in with 96off with 2 BB left.

Back to 56hearts.  Its a hand i play more than I fold.  Many people pick up on these suited connectors and their true hidden value.   One thing they dont understand is that it is a hidden hand.  Its not an all in hand.  its not a call an all in hand either.  Its meant to limp in for cheap, or to put a raise in with when you have good position or an idea what someone else is playing.  Many times I find myself running out of chips and I find a spot to go all in and my hand is J10suited.  Fucking heros making the big call for 1/3 of their stack with 67spades thinking its some sly play.  They heard good things about 67suited and think its a cointoss.  Well when the flop comes A49 K2, and I win with Jack high, they must feel like asses.  But they dont, cause they dont know the difference.  67 is a great hand, but its hidden.  It wont fair well against 2 overcards in an all in, they are meant to see cheap flops and catch hidden straights.   Do not call my all ins with hidden hands.  call them with strong hands.

Some techniques I like to do myself are these:  Theres the squeeze play.  when two people limp into a hand you throw in a raise to try and narrow the feild down to 2 instead of 3 people.  After all, if theres three people in a hand, you have a 1 in 3 chance of winning right?  So lets cut that to 50/50 if you think some one is limping in weak.  it aslo takes control of the hand.  Meaning youre representing strength, and people will likely check it to you after the flop.

The button steal.  Youre in late position with a mediocre hand.  two people have called the blinds.  you want to play the hand but youd prefer it if you acted last after the flop.  Raise and just maybe the person on the dealer button will fold and when action happens after the flop, you will go last instead of second or third-last. 

The committed chase.  You have KJsuited.  The flop is A910.  You need a queen.  You dont want to call bets all night like a fish, but you think the guy betting has only the 10, or a draw.  He has not many chips left and you have lots.  Fuck it go all in.  or put him all in.  Why beat around the bush, if its only you two in the pot and hes short stacked, put your money in.  If he doesnt have the ace, hell probably fold.  If he has the ace, you can get a Q or even runner runner kings etc.  If he has the 10, you can still beat him with a jack or a king.  and you dont risk to lose a lot of money.  If I think I am behind in a hand, but I dont belive the guy ahead of me is very strong, and I find myself struggling with a decision to make, if I have outs I will bet enough chips to commit me to the pot so a call wont be so frowned upon.  Its like a semi bluff.   If the pot is 6000 and I want to see the river and I have outs and even a back up hand, but i dont want to make a bad CALL, I will bet like half the pot or more so that at this point its a bluff that can win the pot then and there, or else Ill be committed enough into the pot that it will make the call worth it for me. 

If people start bullying you for your chips, dont get frustrated.  fold the shitty hands and then take a hand and put the fucker all in.  Now remember, dont do this with 89suited cause thats a hidden hand.  Do it with KQ, or A10, or 88.  J9suited would do.  It was Doyle Brunson who said as soon as people start to bully his chips, well, its only a matter of time were fixing to play a pot!  Take a stand.  Thats the only way to stop a bully. 

If youre losing.  Stop playing.  or play for lesser stakes.  Do NOT play for more money, longer and longer trying to win it back.  This will fail.  If your winning, DONT stop!  keep going until you lose.  Think about a higher stake.  The cards are coming for you now, the last thing you want to do is not be there when theyre knocking at your door. 

Dont play drunk.  Well, i love having a few drinks, I may not know when to stop drinking at the bar, but I can sure pace myself when Im playing poker.   If your going to drink and play, play for smaller stakes than normal, or else your head might not be the only crippled thing in the morning.

This concludes my basic tips entry for beginners or people who just arent that big into strategy.  Im sure people have different advice and disagree with me on certain things and maybe even think im a total donk, and thats fine 🙂  Id like to hear about it below.

Site-Hopping

Today I want to talk about sites.  I currently have money in 6 poker sites.  I only use 3, and the other 3 are dormant, sitting on 4 or 6 dollars in each.  Every once in a while Ill go and see if I can win a game in a dormant site when I just can not catch any cards, and usually I lose one or 2 of the few dollars I have on these.  I guess I have believed up until now that when your luck is bad, its bad no matter where you go.   Makes sense right?  Its a force that is not biased to certain games or certain casinos or certain websites.

Let me tell you about my week.  The week before ended horribly.  I was playing heads up mostly for larger money than I usually do, and I was getting thrown around and taking some big losses.  I gave it a break for a day and opened this week with some tourneys.   My first game was a freeroll.  why not, it was a special invitation for me and I happened to stumble onto it when I logged on, and it was just beginning.

I havent played an MTT in months.  I did fantastic!  Played a bit tight, took a couple monster pots with monster hands, and after that people would give me there blinds if I entered a pot.  There were over 1100 people in this tournament.  The bubble unfolded with me picking up a few lucky hands like JJ, and KQsuited, and I showed them both down and took decent pots.  After that my next hand was K4diamonds, and first to act I raised to tell them Im still on a run here.  The guy to my left was getting frustrated as he was the chip leader for the entire time I was at his table, and now he was down to 20 big blinds.  He raised my raise.  Everyone folded and the flop came 234, rainbow flop.  I had top pair 🙂 I wanted to make it look like a bluff, I dont think he hit anything, but Im sure he had a good drawing hand.  😉

I bet just under half the pot, and he snap-raised me all in.  I called cause I had him covered and I was deeply invested at this point, and he shows AQsuited.  My 4 took the pot and he left crying.

I went on for the next 45 minutes or so playing tight again as I was in the money.  The tables got more aggressive and it was hard to justify playing some of the hands I got in some of the positions I was in, and these were all new faces.  My stack didnt seem so large anymore when it was down to the last 2 tables, and this guy with like, 150 000 chips was seated across from me, and he took pots left and right.

The cards were just not there anymore and there was no opportunity to steal blinds as each hand saw  a tonne of action.  When I finally saw the best hand Id seen in an hour it was AJ suited, and I had 5 or 6 big blinds left in my stack, I pushed all in right away and rich guy was on the BB and he called me with 93off suit and took me out when he hit a 3.

Not the best ending, but I finished in 16th place of 1100+, and that was the first game of my week!  So I was happy, and already with a head start on making up for my poor week prior.

The day was good, my girlfriend came over, and she usually isnt very happy when I play poker while shes here, but she was interested in playing scrabble on her phone, so it worked out.  By the end of the day, I had taken all the money back Id lost the week before, and made 30 bucks on top of that.  Mostly heads up.  At one point Id won 8 games in a row.

But heres the wrench!  The next day I could not win a hand.  It was amazing! I show 77, he shows 99.  I have A10, he has AJ.  I have Q8Q8, he has Q10Q10, I have trip 5`s, they have trip jacks.   45678, they have 678910.  It was like magic out to smash me.

I shut it off after 2 games and this was 11 in the morning! I wasnt going to play again until the next day..

YA RIGHT.  an hour later I was propped back up, changing seats, changing buy ins, hell I even changed my clothes.  Sure enough I was hammered down 4 times in a row.   I just bought a new mouse so I turned it off again before I broke it.

a few hours passed before I succumbed to opening one of my other sites.  Expecting it to be no different, I played for only a dollar.  And by golly I got first place in a 6 man SNG.  I tried again, first place.  I tried again, FIRST PLACE.  What was going on!  A few hours ago I couldnt see a flop with a hand better than Q high, and now I couldnt lose on a different site!  I continued playing, for higher stakes of course, and I didnt lose once.  6 first places in a row.  I was baffled.

The scientist in me decided to take another run at my normal site, which Id been losing all day from, and lone behold, all the 62`s I folded ended up painting the board with their numbers.  All the AQ`s I played saw 783 flops, and a subsequent all in from my opponents.  I ended up in 4th place, and turned it off.

OK the night was getting darker, Id done the chores I had to do around my house, and regained my patience.  One last crack at it.  If I can win 6 times in a row here, and lose 5 times in a row there, something doesnt make sense, and thus engendered my new mission to interfere with this fate of my day of cards.  I logged back in to the site Id been losing, and sat down at a table 3 times my normal buy in :O What was I thinking!

Was this tilt?  I pulled all the distractions away, including light itself, and sat down determined as an angry judge.  The hands were trash to begin, I had to fold for 2 levels of blind increases.  But I got a good look at who was who.  When I played a hand, it was J8spades.

I opened with my first raise.  There were two hesitant callers, but that was ok because the flop revealed Aspades, 8hearts and 10spades.  One caller fired 150 into the pot of 200 or so, and the next player called, and I made it 450.  Im sure I wouldve folded to a reraise big enough with 3 people in this pot, but the first guy called and the second guy thought for a moment and folded.  The turn was a 3spades, PERFECT I thought, excellently executed.  Now there was 3 spades on board and I had my flush, but they think I have an ace.  They bet small, like 200 into a 1200 pot.  I was protecting my ace 😉 so I raised it so they couldnt hit there 4th spade.  600.  They call.  Now most of my chips are in this pot from my first hand played, and this other dudes chips are in it too.  The river brought us a 2clubs, so the only thing left to do was go all in and hope they had a strong ace.  AJ was their hand, and Im sure they kicked themselves in the ass on the way out.  

And there I was, back where Im comfortable, one hand, one showdown, one sucker and one double up.  The table has seen what I can do, and if they have payed no attention to me yet, they certainly are now.   few hands later, the guy whos a bit of a donk raises my big blind, but I have QQ.  Lets run with this.

I call and theres another player in the hand who calls.  The flop was perfect.  10 2 5.  All different suits.  He bets huge as to protect his A6 probably.  I call, and other guy folds.  Why the call?  well sometimes I do this, and it can be ascribed to many of my losses, and Ill write about that in the future, but for now, I just call.  The turn is a 7.  He goes all in instantly.  I calmly call and have a look at his A7 suited.  The river is another 2 and I double up again and he is left with 2 or 300 chips.  This table thinks I am a god at this point.  I raise, they fold.  I call, they fold.  Thats how I like it.   I fold 5 hands in a row and then three-bet a raiser on the sixth hand with 67clubs, and everyone folds.  Too easy.

Now, the miracle hand.  I was chip leader by only a few hundred.  There were three of us left and top two pay.  I folded a few hands to keep my tight on, and then decided on the big blind out of the blue to raise instead of check as everyone limped in.  I had 8hearts 6hearts.

The dealer folded and the small blind reraised me twice what I put in.  His stack was quite small to mine, and I thought it was a bad move to call but my hand clicked before my brain thought.  I called.  Now the flop comes 7hearts, 9hearts, and Adiamonds.  Im really on a nice draw here.  hes got only a few chips left, just under half the pot, and Ive got about 4 times what he has left.  He lets his clock run down until it checks automatically.  I have to bet here, even if it costs me all my chips, even if he has AK or 99, cause if I check and the turn doesnt bring a heart, I will be pretty vulnerable.  I bet almost half the pot, almost what he has left, to show him I am committed, and he instantly goes all in.  AK.  the ace of hearts, and the king of hearts.  Limped in with AK suited from the small stack, reraised me and managed to get my chips in the middle with a drawing hand like this, and he has a monster.  

I felt like such a wanker.  The turn was the jack of hearts 😦  He probably exhaled for the first time in a solid minute.  He sat back and waited to collect my chips with his ace high nut flush, but then the river came, and as you probably have predicted, it was the 10hearts  !  Straight flush for yours truly, and AK flush goes home 😀

what a crazy hand, he had some shit to say on his way out, and it was very unfortunate for him, but if he had raised my big blind from the start, 6 times out of 10 I will fold 86 suited.  so, when the smoke clears.. his bad.

I went on to win the tournament and put an end to my horrible day at that site.  And because I played for larger stakes, Im in a lot better shape than Ive been lately!

And it goes to show, sometimes when you feel like youre on a run of weak cards, try another site.  Make a couple changes.  Do your pile of dishes and have a shower.  Put on a new pair of pants.  Maybe rearrange something in the vicinity, and try again.  I feel like I took a bite out of Mrs. Variances ass today.  She had me tagged to lose, and I tricked her by going to another site, and persevering until I felt good about my cards again.  In the end, I am up, and shes moved on for the week.  Everything feels good, and now its onward and upward!

%d bloggers like this: