Archive for September, 2013

Yes, I write a poker blog!

OK. Have you ever heard of me? I dont think so, unless were friends in real life. Im not some poker know it all, Im not a professional, I dont even make that much money off it. Just so were clear! I work for a living. Poker is my hobby. I am trying to get good enough to be able to make lots of money from it. And I am climbing!
I didnt realize you had to be a professional to write a blog! Apparently this one chick in England thinks that. She couldnt belive it when I told her I write a blog about poker. And thats fine. No, I am not a professional poker player. And no I dont have any crazy results and no my stats are not the best and im sure theres atleast 10, or 11 people better suited to write a blog 😛

She thought I was a Pure Fucking Donk! So hey, my plan is working right?
I sat down at a 6 seater, sit n go tournament . Low stakes, right, cause that what I play. She sat a couple seats to my right and the tourney began.
Much like my last blog entries, I found myself down to about 6000 chips from 10k, you know, 15 or 20 minutes in. But this time it wasnt because I was limping in with J4suited or whatever. I wasnt opening with A8 or KT. But I saw a few flops, chased a couple of cheap draws that bricked, and missed a couple of my pocket pairs. But anyways there I was at 6000 chips. One guy already doubled up.

So im on the big blind with 76off. Two or three limpers and I check. The flop comes 457. It becomes my turn, and I bet small, but decent. Something like 600 into a 1600 pot. One caller, the small blind. The next card comes and its an 8. Ive got a straight. There were 3 diamonds on the board now, and buddy bet like 1600 into a 2800 pot. Im just estimating cause I cant remeber exactly what the blinds were, but trust me its was pretty close to these guesses.
Maybe my mistake here was calling but I wasnt very confident of my hand and his bet just threw me off, got me thinking. I was thinking he may have had 69 for some reason, for a higher straight. I know, I know, thats a bit ridiculous to think but like I said it threw me off. Plus I just took a huge bong rip so who knows where my train of thoughts went. And the flush too of course, maybe he had two diamonds and hit on the turn. He was repping something strong anyways, or trying to get a cheap river by taking over the betting. So I just called.

The river dropped another 5, hearts or something. so it was 45785, 3 diamonds, and i had 67off. The guy waited like 30 seconds, and then bet like 3 quarters of the pot. I hated that 5 as soon as I saw it. Now theres a straight higher than mine, a flush, and a full house possibly. I was disgusted. And I guess I shouldve folded considering all of that stuff but sometimes I just cant help but pay to see, What a huge cost tho, just silly. I called and he showed 88. For a full house 8’s over 5’s. Limped in with that.

So I wonder in reterospect if I hadda raised the turn or went all in would he have called? Set of 8’s with a clear straight on board? Its hard to say. But If I went all in and he called me, I wouldve been out. Instead I had like 1600 chips left. blind were still small like 200/400 or maybe 300/600. I was in trouble tho, but I still had my chair.

So I manage to double up. I think it may have been KQ suited that i went all in with and won. Ten minutes later I had 9000 chips. So this English chick that I mentioned earlier, Im watching her and shes raising and betting small on the flop. She gets called by another guy and she had like Q9offsuit or something, and the flop was A2J. So Im just observing her betting patterns. Shes not scared to throw a continuation bet on the flop. And she checks the turn and river. Pretty straight forward. She lost the hand.

Then she raises my big blind, min raise of course. I call with J8suited. The flop comes 8TA. I bet, a few hundred dollars higher than min bet, and she min raises me. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it was a 3 spade board, I had clubs. So its a pretty easy fold here, but after watching that last hand she was in I just had a feeling. My mouse was on the fold button. “Just click it man! Theres 3 spades and an ace, throw the hand away.” But I couldnt.

So I called. The turn was another spade. sigh. But she checked after 15 seconds, and so did I. Maybe wouldve been able to steal the pot there, but I felt I was already pushing my luck in this spot.

The river is a spade, and we both checked pretty quick. She had A9 suited, clubs too. Split pot. phew!

SO then it begins. She calls me a callstation. fair enough, maybe it was a bad call on my part, but a callstation? I fold 70 percent of my hands! So I sais to her, I sais, “Look at your betting patterns, your giving me reasons not to believe you” She comes back with “whatever, youre just a donk. I can tell you dont even know how to play”

? LOL really? I dont usually get fired up but this made me a bit irritated. So I bickered with her a little, and she just kept saying I dont know the game. haha.

This one hand I had K8suited, and the flop had 2 of my diamonds on it. I was on big blind obviously. The flop was a little intimidating, even for a king high flush draw. Something like 9 Jack Ace. I had lots of chips now but so did she, we were the only two in the hand. She min bet again lol. I thought she might have had the ace here this time. I didnt want to get too crazy because I could foresee myself getting all inn’d and having to chase a bloody flush and lose to her, so I just called. The next card was a 3 or something, she min bet, i think it was 800 now. I called again, playing it safe. The river was a king. So no flush. And she checked. Hmm, chasing a flush too? Am I gonna get sandbagged if I bet here? Maybe she didnt have the ace after all. So I decided to bet. twice the min bet for 1600. She called.

She ended up mucking her hand, I guess she had the jack or something. But man, words started appearing in the chat box I had to scroll up to keep up, lol. They ended up saying stuff like ‘see, I dont know how to play, the correct play there was to checkraise her bet, raise before the flop, be aggressive.’ oh yeah..
Going on about how Im just a donk and I dont know this game, and I should quit now or whatever.
Im just sitting there thinking, youre an idiot. Yeah maybe I shouldve checkraised her or been more aggressive, but are you telling me that its standard to overplay my draw here, in this game in this particular hand? Thats what I shouldve done? Thats what I should always do? And if I dont, then I dont know the game well? LOL

Has she considered my table image? or my bluff attempts earlier? Or my observations of her? Or what I thought she was holding? What she seemed to be holding? Shes got this idea that I should be playing a certain way in every scenario with that hand and that draw against any opponent from any position. Interesting. There were a lot of factors involved and I made my decisions. Its not to say that I wouldnt have played my next flush draw way more aggressive, everything depends on everything, right? And Im always changing it up. That what is successful for me. And the proof is in the pudding right there! She said I shouldve raised her on the flop? Yeah, then what, you fold and I win your 1600 chips? Well, my way I ended up taking a pot for almost 5000. Half crippled her! I think I played it fine!

But shes just relentless, and theres something in the way she is talking, I mean, its obvious shes no rookie to poker, she seems to know the game half decent, and shes spewing out all the terminlogy and yada yada. And Im just reading her shit, and eventually in deffence I just said “Trust me, I know the game, I write a fucking poker blog!

She typed something like this :
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

She went on about how the fuck I could write a poker blog when I dont even know how to play! Donks leading the donks! lol, I thought that was a funny comment, But for real, I could tell she was just unable to listen to reason. Her next attack was about my style and how it was not effective. My response was “My style is exactly what I want you to believe it is! dont forget that!

And its true. My table image for that particular game was limp in weak, call bad calls, fold a hell of a lot and win 3 or 4 giant pots. worked like a charm.

While we’re chatting here, she keeps raisng my blinds now 3x, every time around. I kept folding. Now she starts talking about my stats. ok, ok, fair enough. My stats arent the greatest, but theres a reason for that. Well get to that after.

For now, Ill talk about the next few hands. There were three of us left. The guy between us was pretty tight but won a few uncontested pots to keep up with us. And by now my responses are like “If Im such a donk, take my chips.”

I took her for another 6000 chips shortly after that, I floped a king and I had KT or something, and I checked the flop and bet the turn when it was a Q. She must have had it, because she called the river bet too but couldnt beat my King. She was running low.

The guy between us went all in later on and she called him and took him out and so we were heads up, me and her. I had 40k she had 20k. ish.

She went all in a few times and raised my blinds a few times and eventually she had like 32000 and I was down to 28000. Blinds were 1000/2000 now.

I limped in a few times and she just goes all in, and so I fold. Well, thats one of my favorite traps. I keep limping in and shes beginning to learn that I just fold no matter what. Im sure she did it with Q3offsuit a few times. But thats the thing about this trap, its easy to lose even when you call with a good hand, Q3 could beat AQsuited and there wont be a damn thing you can do about it because were both committed to the river. And limping in with mediocre hand with the purpose of folding them to an all in, to give yourself a weak image, gets expensive, and at 1k/2k you run out pretty fast.

But I managed to get back above 30000 with a couple of nice raises. So I was the chip leader again, and when I was dealt ATsuited on the button, I limped in with the intentions of going all the way if need be. And it worked, she went all in like 21k or something and I called. She at least had A7suited, which kind of surprised me, but Im sure she was surprised to see she was dominated and called and in trouble.

There were a couple of scare-cards on the flop like 68J, but my hand held up and I won first place. I said something to her like ‘The donk wins again! something cheesy anyways. She didnt say anything. I waited a solid minute after the tourney to see if she was gonna say something but she didnt. So I left.

And then I played a game of heads up and won. Then I played another 6 man SNG tourney, and I got first place 🙂 I must be doing something right! This is a typical day!

But apparently I am not good enough to write a blog because of my stats. Well, lets analyze my stats.

p1

This is part 1.  It began in 2008.   As you can see, its horrible.  You see at the top left Is my 50 dollar deposit that I spoke about in my introduction here – https://frozenblooded.wordpress.com/  –  So I deposited, lost a bit, I was probably playing 6 dollar games with a 50 dollar bankroll!  Looks like I won a few games and climbed back up.  The large spikes indicate that I was certainly playing expensive games for a 50 dollar bankroll.  And then the spikes turn into a downward spiral, right to the bottom.   There is one jump back up, I remember thats from a tournament I played, I think I won a ticket, and I ended up getting second place for like 95 dollars or something.  Then i lost it all again and as you can see at the bottom right, I just plateaued.  Well, thats when I started learning more about poker.  you know, the “what was I doing wrong” voice.

here is part 2

p2

The bottom left continues from my plateau.  Now it starts to go up.  And BOY, let me tell you!  Needling those fucking 1 dollar games for months and months.  I was coming back from like 3 dollars.  It looks like I played an expensive couple of games at the start there after finally having some results, and I must have lost cause I ended up back at the bottom.  But then I got a little bit of discipline and as you can see started climbing.   This was when I started to read books and search everything I could and play within my bankroll.  And for the next several months to a year I continuously climb. Theres a large spike downward at the top right, its hard to say what that is, I think I had a really, really shitty month or two.  But I prevailed.  And climbed up again.

Now part 3 is a bit different.  Now I was confident.  Id been climbing out of a hole where I started at 3 bloody dollars.  Now I had hundreds.  Pretty big feat I think anyone could admit.  Id had a few books under my belt and I was into a lot of deep information about learning poker well.   I was very confident.  But I had one HUGE mistake.

p3

Playing drunk

I kept climbing for a couple of months and it was a regular habit of mine to sit here and play and drink beers.  Aggression is key right?  Well, what better thing to help aggression that a little bit of alcohol?  And by a little bit I mean a lot.  Im no rookie when it comes to drinking.  There were days Id sit here and play for 6 hours and drink 16 beers, or a whole bottle of vodka.

Mixed with my confidence, and being sick of playing low stakes, one fine day I got very drunk and played heads up all night.  I remember doing well, and for that reason I decided to take a shot.  I played 50 dollar heads up which is way past my bankroll, I only had like 300 dollars.  If you look closely, you can see the first spike on the left goes straight down, well, thats me losing.  But the next one goes straight up, almost twice as high as where I lost from.  Well, thats me winning 100 dollar heads up!  The next little scuffle is probably more like 20 dollar heads up, and I won a few, lost a few.

Im not sure if it was te same day, or the next couple days but I did it again.  Not sure how it unfolded but It was definitely 100 dollar heads up and I was definitely wasted drunk, and after the smoke cleared, you can see that spike hits rock bottom.  I am Jacks’ busted bankroll.

26-10-09_1411

One guy.  Took me for like 300 dollars.   I remember playing super aggressive like a fucking wild donk on pcp.  Id raise with KQ hed call, the flop would be TEN 64 and I just go all in and hed call me with 6Qsuited and hed win.   It was completely my fault.  He made some horrible calls but they paid off and my bluffs did not.

So in a matter of 5 or 6 days I went from climbing back from 3 dollars to a sold 300 dollar bankroll, got drunk a few times and found myself back down to 2 or 3 dollars.  All that for naught.   I woke up the next morning and I was like Oh my god, did I dream that?  Please please let me have dreamed that.  Nope, it was real.  And I was back where I started, again.

You think about quitting poker.  You think about what ifs.  You think about quitting drinking.

But after a little break, I found myself back in front of the screen.  I think I withdrew 20 dollars from another site and deposited it into my account here.  Just to give me a boost.  Its so tough coming back.  Sure I can deposit 100 dollars or whatever but something just wont let me.   I loaded my 20 and began again with like 23 dollars.   And on the graph there, thats where you see the lines start to ascend again.  And today, Im still crawling out of this damn hole that I dug, but I am way up.  I could probably add a fourth image, but you get the picture, I just wanted to address the flaws. I am playing some of the best poker I have ever played, Im getting first place like 6 of every ten games I play, and a couple second places, and things are very good.  I am playing for higher stakes and though I still drink, I do not try to pull shit like that anymore.    I even have a few beers while I play, Im not THAT bitter, but its a rule now not to play anything dangerously high staked while I am drinking.   So far so good.

This has got to be the longest post ever.  But I just wanted to justify to myself that yes, maybe my stats have giant holes in them, but one of them was from my very first deposit when I didnt know how to play beyond level 1, and the other was from a drunken mistake.   And to the chick who thought I wasnt good enough to write a blog, suck rope you fucking wanker, if you cant see the giant spikes that hit the floor on my graph, and determine they were from 5 or 6 expensive games, you are blind.   It obviously sticks out but it should not stray your eyes from seeing the lengthy climb that takes up 70 percent of the graph.   I am actually getting judged on my drunken heads up binge that lasts 6 days and goes downhill, instead of my climb that lasts a year.   And for that interpretation, she assumed I was completely a donk, unable to understand the game, let alone write about it, and in the end I took all her chips.   I just think its hilarious.

I went and looked at her stats afterwards, and it wasnt anything special.  I had her beat on all of the other statistics including, winning days to losing days ratio, in the money percentage, top 10 percent finishing percentage, etc.  Her graph was a slow incline uphill, and she was doing ok, but I think it would take a week for water to trickle down that incline, it was pretty flat.  If I never had that drunken mishap, and we put my graph on top of hers, I dont think she wouldve said a thing to me.

If youre looking at peoples stats online, the one thing you should pay attention to is, are they climbing in the long run, or are the falling.  Even if they are 10 000 dollars in the hole, if you look at that graph and see a huge steady incline, it means they are winning consistently.  How they lost ten thousand surely has some story, be it they got drunk and played 100 dollar heads up, or maybe their friend logged in and played and lost all their money.  Maybe they were awful for 3 years and now theyre good.  Just have a closer look, or else you might find your self underestimating your opponents.  And thats a fast way to lose your chips.

So whether you think I am eligible to write this blog or not, I am doing it, and I am climbing, and I am playing great poker and winning, and if I can maintain the same discipline with alcohol as I can with my bankroll management, you will see, I will become wealthy from poker one day.

I will not stop.

Small Blind

You know, lately Im noticing that Im usually behind in the first half of a SNG. We’ll start with 10k and really, half an hour in Im always at like 6 or maybe 7k left.  I end up winning or getting second place more often than not, but I always, always notice that Im playing from behind for a large portion of most games.  Ya sometimes you hit those streaks where you double up, or triple up in the first 10 minutes, but they arent very common for me.

So I find myself thinking “why?” Why am I playing from behind most of the time.  If I win alot of the games where I have to come back from a deficit, surely, if I never fell behind in the first place, would I win that many more games!?

So Im aware, and trying to get to the bottom of why I am behind. Ive seen that I was inclined to limp in on the small blind a lot with any suited cards, like 83 or J4. I think its kind of a bad habit of mine but it does pay off sometimes.  But maybe not as well, or as much as I thought.  It certainly contributes to me slowly chipping my stack lower.

And also opening when im first to act right when the cards are dealt.  I love 67suited but its not helping me so much these days when I open with it under the gun pre flop. Too many people left to act and I often get reraised and then someone raises that again.  Too much to call with, and the times I do call I miss the flop.  And next thing you know, I am sitting at 5 or 6k. I think I am going to try and discipline my opening card selection a little, and at least wait until mid position to open with 67suited.  Same goes for AJoffsuit or A7 suited. etc.  Its just not paying off so early in a tournament.  Take out a few players and that story changes big-time, but if theres a full table then its just not seeming worth it.

So when I am under the gun pre flop, I am now folding AToff, 78s, even KQoff.  I mean, it depends on the table right? If its a really tight table then I would probably open with this stuff, but it seems lately that more and more people are playing aggressive.  If you teach everyone Spanish, slowly but surely, everyone will speak Spanish at similar levels.  Well I think with the hundreds of books out there, anyone who takes poker more seriously than XBox will have sought out the knowledge that they sense is lacking, and as a result more and more people I play on a daily basis are proving to be a little more skillful than say, the average fish to shark ratio per table, 2 years ago.

So you have to adapt right? Dont get me wrong, theres millions of fish everywhere. I just happen to think that larger handfuls each year are taking their game a little further.  And the tables I play at lately are, I dont want to say callstations, but more inclined to hold a wider range of hands, and therefor, opening so early with mediocre hands like QJoff can be costly on many levels. I am tightening my early-pre flop range and its helping me keep from having to come back from a deficit midway through a sng.

But here is another theory of mine. Folding on the small blind. I just finished explaining that limping in with 85suited and Q8off on the small blind is costing me more than I am earning with it.  Well, what if you KNEW that the big blind would check, and close the action?

I always take notes on people who check the big blind pre flop every time. This is where I am convinced limping in with anything is ok. 93off! sure. If you know he wont raise it, and the other people at the table are in too, the pot odds are great, the flop will be cheap and pretty much guaranteed, and if you hit a monster, someone is bound to call or bet to you. Sure, you will miss more often than not, and you can throw away the hand as soon as it misses.  But when it hits, chances are you will win back what you lost and take a huge chunk of one or two other players’ stacks. I fold most small blinds, but if I know for a fact that big blind will check, and Im getting 4 or 5:1 on my money, I think the call is good with just about anything. Unless of course you are running out of chips.

This post is more for myself, to actually read what I am thinking so it might help me remember to be more disciplined with my opening range from early position, and my limp habits from small blind.  And the summary is this : 

If you KNOW for a fact that big blind will CHECK, AND there are at least 3 players including yourself in the hand, then go ahead and limp in from small blind with ANYTHING.   As long as you are not short-stacked.

and

If you are first to act pre-flop, and you are making a decision to enter the pot, release a lot of your favorite hands and tighten your range up a whole lot.  also depending on the table..  If you are viewed as ‘tight’ and you have folded many hands and showed down good hands earlier, then disregard all this.  But in an unpredictable game, fold the 67suiteds’ and the A8suiteds, and especially the KToffs and even KJoffs.   If someone acts before you pre-flop, and he calls, you have some breathing room here to limp in or even raise with those hands, this rule i invented here only applies if you are first to act after just receiving your cards. 

And that just might be the difference between getting first place 62% of the time and 66% percent of the time.  Or something.

Thank you, come again.

Big Blind

Big blind.  Some people just dont recognize how silly they seem from this position. Let me explain.

We get our cards, the first 2 people fold. The next guy calls and I call with T9off on the button. small blind limps in and big blind checks. The flop is 3hearts, 5hearts, 8clubs. Everyone checks to me, I check too. The next card is a 9hearts.

Small blind checks, big blind decides he wants to take a stab so he min bets, maybe hoping for a fourth heart. The other guy folds, I call, and small blind folds too. The river comes ace of spades.

Big blind has a feeling that I was hoping for a heart and probably puts me on a Q or K of hearts, or maybe I had bottom pair. But now, on the river, he bets huge, like 7/8 of the pot.

Does he expect me to believe that he had the ace the whole time? or maybe he had two hearts and hit his flush on the turn? After all, he is the only one who didnt have a choice to play his hand before the flop, his money was already in the pot and his cards were his cards and thats that.  I am on the button so if I had an ace, chances are I wouldve raised earlier.  So he can at least assume I dont have an ace, and wants to make me believe he does.
The other two people in the hand, small blind probably just had junk and the other caller might have had the ace but it surely wasnt a heart, and thats what he probably folded last round – the ace of clubs or something.  Chances are the big blind doesnt have two hearts in his hand because if he was at all decent, he probably wouldve bet on the flop to at least get a few answers.  At best, if this is an honest bet he may have two pair like 59.  if he had 58, he’d have two pair on the flop and would want to chase out any flush draws, right?  So I call bullshit, and I call just to be safe.  He shows the Q of hearts and the 3 of diamonds, pair of 3’s with a busted Q flush draw.  I take the pot and laugh to myself.

Think about what you are doing if you are trying to bluff from the big blind position, cause if you are a good poker player, you will probably raise with a good hand before the flop, even from big blind.  And if you flop a decent hand like top pair or flush draw, you will probably bet on that as soon as possible.

Now take this logic and reverse it for a second.  I often like to defy myself from big blind.  Once in a while I will be dealt AJsuited on the big blind, and if there are 3 or 4 people in the pot already, I will check.  Once people have money invested, it is hard for them to fold.  So for me to raise, I have to raise pretty big, and I dont like to raise huge out of position (big blind) with a medium-strong hand like AJs.

QQ? for sure. AKoff? likely.  But in a pot with four or more players trying to see a flop, I will check this hand 9 out of 10 times from the big blind position.

Now the flop comes A57.  check check check check.  No i wont bet because this is part of my trap.  No one else bets so it feels pretty safe.  I can probably bet half the pot or more on the next card no matter what it is.  And I hope its a king. or a jack I guess. 

So its a king, and buddy checks.  I am second to act and I throw out a decent bet after waiting a second.  The guy with the king calls and the guy with JTcalls.  the turn is a jack.  The guy with the jack checks cause he knows someone has at least a king here.  I am representing the king so I take a long time to pretend like I am convincing myself that no one has an ace, and I bet just under half the pot.  The guy with the king is hoping for a split pot at best and he calls, and the guy with the jack has to fold.

Boom, I win, two pair.

Its a tricky position, and if you watch closely at the person who is on big blind, you can tell quickly if they are half decent or tricky, or just a hungry fish looking to bite on anything that moves.

Big blind is a great position to trap people if you have a nice hand, and its also a good position to watch other people in because they feel the pot was theirs to begin with, and often try to bluff from there if there’s not much action.

Test it out!

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