Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What I'm up to lately - a quick status update

A few things I've been thinking about / doing lately:
  • Had a Leakfinder session with Mpethy.  I think it was very successful; he helped find a bunch of leaks which will likely increase my winrate.  A few of the holes:
    • Dump or limp 22-66 in UTG & EP positions instead of raising.  I have accordingly adjusted by limping small pocket pairs in those positions and folding to a raise.  Also, I am raising KQ and [sometimes] AJs.  Raising KQ makes sense: there are 5 hands that dominate KQ - 4 of which are usually 3 betting.  I actually really like and prefer limping the small pocket pairs from early position - a lot of the time, it acts as a delayed steal when it folds around to the SB / BB.  The flop can be any texture and betting $1.50 into a $2.85 pot usually is enough to take it down.  FWIW, I'm also limping suited connectors.
    • I was calling steals with small pocket pairs and decent hands that out-range a steal.  I should either be 3betting or folding to a steal in that spot rather than flat and play the rest of the hand out of position. 
    • I am leaking money from the CO by either calling too many 3 bets or cbetting too much.  I need to stop stealing as much from the CO; reduce my range to a smaller range than the BTN.  I also need to stop flatting 3bets in position.
  • Had a coaching session with SplitSuit.  A few things learned there in particular to specific hand situations.  Nothing earth-shattering or game changing.
    • One note that I had was raise-sizing.  I am playing around with changing my raise sizes; prior to now, I was raising 3.5x from EP & MP positions and 3x from CO & BTN.  I am now raising 3x from all positions.  He suggested raising even as low as 2x from EP such that I can profitably call a 3bet because the raise pot 3bet would raise to 8BBs or so, less than 10% stacks of a full 100BB stack.  There does not seem to be a discernible difference in calls / 3bets from 3.5x down to 3x.  It also makes the pot a bit easier to play OOP, post flop, because the pot size is a bit smaller.  FYI, I am still keeping to the formula of 4x + 1BB per limper for raised pots; therefore a raise after one limper would be to $5.
    • I am note-taking on showdown hands and off-normal behavior.  Prior to my coaching session, I was taking a note on overall play (i.e. tagging a player as green for LAG, making them easily identifiable prior to sitting down).  Now I am detailing their 3bets, what they're showing down, and what they're calling to my 3bets.
    • Try out 3betting an aggressive player (18/15, etc.) in position more, with lesser hands such as JTs and take a note on their reaction.  I haven't implemented this yet; I'm a bit scared to "random" 3bet a tight-ish player, but I leave it as room for growth.  FWIW, I tried 3betting in a random position last night and induced a fold.
  • I've been playing 100NL solely this month.  I'm currently finding it easier than 50NL.
    • There seems to be far more loose, aggressive players there - and when they try to make a "play," it usually does not make sense; i.e. they bluff in spots where they are so polarized to nuts / air with a heavy weighting towards air.
    • The aggression at 100NL is a step up from 50NL.
    • I'm getting squeezed FAR more often.  I emailed SplitSuit about this problem, and maybe the readers have an opinion.  There are two occasions where I'm squeezed:
      • I open with 77-JJ from the UTG, EP positions and get 1 or more callers.  A 10/7 or 8/8 -type player with a 3.5% 3bet always seems to 3bet my $3 open (with $7.5-$10 in the pot already after the 1 - 2 additional callers) to $15-$18 from the SB / BB spots.

        What am I expected to do here?  Is there something obvious I'm missing?  I've been opting to fold, but this seems like a HUGE profitable spot for SB / BB squeeze with literally any two cards.  I think the choice is to either 4bet or fold; I think flatting is bad, even with position.  By the time SB/BB 3bets, the pot is now about $35.  If I 4bet him, I'm 4betting to $25-30, but this seems HUGELY bluffy - declaring I don't have AA, KK, making a 5bet (bluff or not) shove very easy and profitable.  I feel like a 4bet is committing a TON of money with a marginal hand that could be dominated already.  Am I going through a weird stretch where these players are luckboxing with cards, or is this standard?
      • Similarly, I flat / set-mine with 22-TT from a later position to an EP's 3x open.  Whether or not there are additional callers, the SB / BB who is a 12/10 10/7, etc. with a 6%+ 3bet always seems to 3bet up to a similar $15-18.  I am asking the same questions as above, other than the fact that I am not the original aggressor.

        First, should I be opting to 3bet the original EP raise instead of over-calling?  Second, this is a much different spot, where I cannot reasonably expect to 4bet because I would have 4bet prior to it getting to the would-be squeezer.
      •  Usually, in both cases, the original raiser will wind up folding and all others will drop like dominoes, resulting in a nice payday for the squeezer.  HELP!!!
    • Once I got over the fact that I'm playing a lot more money on the table, which was contributing to my weak play, I realize that I have a solid game at the 100NL level - I am definitely competitive.
    • I dropped from 9 tables (at 50NL) to 6 tables (at 100NL) - still more overall money on the table, but not double.  I don't know whether I will add tables in the future; the quality of my decisions seems to be a lot better than what I would be doing in a 9 table session.  I think the 6 table format reduces time pressures and allows me more time to make better decisions.
    • I am table selecting better, as a result of my more frequent note-taking.  With Full Tilt's auto-waitlist feature, where I can automatically add myself to every table and accept / decline the tables as they become available, I can hunt out tables where I either don't have a note / tag on the player or are marked green, and decline tables with "red" tags.
  • What else?  I'm building up a brick-n-mortar library.  I have a HUGE selection of ebooks, but very few tangible, paper books.  I've always thought the idea of having at least some of the classics is a cool idea, so I've been buying books on ebay as they come available.  A few of the books I've purchased so far on my "spree":
    • Super System Limited Edition (hard cover) - Doyle Brunson ($17.00 + free shipping)
    • Super System 2 Limited Edition (hard cover) - Doyle Brunson ($10.50 + free shipping)
    • Professional No-Limit Hold 'em: Volume I - Ed Miller, Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta ($7.53 + $3.38 s/h) - The best intermediate poker book on the market IMO.
    • Elements of Poker - Tommy Angelo ($12.50 + $4.00 s/h) - A great read on the game outside of the table.
    • Caro's Book of Poker Tells - Mike Caro ($12.51 + $4.00 s/h)
    • Ace on the River - Barry Greenstein ($10.01 + $2.00 s/h)
    • Check-Raising the Devil - Amy Calistri, Mike Matusow ($10.01 + $2.00 s/h)
    • The Mathematics of Poker - Bill Chen ($5.50 + $4.00 s/h)
    • Sit 'n Go Strategy - Colin Moshman ($10.01 + $2.95 s/h) - I'm currently reading this; I am told that this is the bible on SNG tournaments.  So far, so good.
    • Harrington on Hold'em Volume 1 - Dan Harrington, Bill Robertie ($7.03 + $2.25 s/h)
    • Harrington on Hold'em Volume 2 - Dan Harrington, Bill Robertie ($6.55 + $2.25 s/h)

      $140 in 9 books...  Why do I obsess about owning possessions like this?  Add to that a purchase of 1 year of Card Player magazine for $15, and I've spent more on indirect poker training this year than all other years combined.  WTF?
  •  That's all for now.  I'm hoping to get a few constructive comments on the squeeze issue that I'm running into.  I don't think I have a particularly high fold to 3bet or what, but it just seems like such a profitable play!  Figure that you're looking at a pot of $7-$10 and you risk $16-18 to win $7-10.  You need to win 2 out of 3 times to be profitable there, right?  From what I've seen, these squeezers are winning far more than 2 out of 3 times!
  • One final thing: is there a stat for displaying squeeze attempts?  I would like to add a squeeze % attempt to my HUD.  I think it would become useful for exploiting the times where there is a habitual squeezer to act and I flat AA, KK.
    Sorry for the long post!


      1. I am playing around with changing my raise sizes; prior to now, I was raising 3.5x from EP & MP positions and 3x from CO & BTN.

        I also generally raise 3X (tournaments), but am wondering if 2.5 from early isn't the way to go? Then 3X from later posn.

        Sorry for the long post!

        Good post. Worth it.

      2. It was actually recommended to raise 2.5x or 2x - I'm working on the confidence to do that. I have to really consider the impacts there. I just feel like it makes it too easy to overcall ATC for 2x where you wouldn't necessarily do that with a 3x bet. If I'm facing a 2x bet from the blinds with SCs, I'm absolutely calling there - overlimpers or no overlimpers... I know it's flawed to think of the other players calling ranges in terms of what I would do, but I can't help but think that way.

      3. raising 2 or 2.5x does induce wider calls from players, especially the blinds. That is a GOOD thing for you, however. That means he is playing a lot weaker range than you. What you need to figure out is what they are calling with and then play hands that dominate those. (i.e. if they will call any ace, then only raise A8 or better). That is obviously very positional, but it should give some direction.

      4. Interesting comment from Anonymous... Do I really want a player in there with QJ, for example, against my AK... or AJ vs. my TT? I definitely want to fold out the latter - AJ vs. my TT - but I mostly want folds from QJ as well; with a 60/40 "flip." I'd rather take down the pot PF than see a bad flop. I guess, though, this is where strength in post flop play comes into effect; if I can out-maneuver the wider caller, then I've made an additional $1-2 that I wouldn't have had. However, it's going to cost me when I cbet into a Q high board with my AK... I don't know what I'm trying to say. I need to think about your comment.

      5. Why wouldn't you want QJ to call you when you have AK? Of course you want that. Especially if you can have position.

        I guess it comes down to this. If you feel you have a bigger edge post flop than you do preflop, then, keep the pot small pre and out play them post flop.

      6. What do your VP/PFR/Fold 3Bet stats look like when you're getting squeezed from UTG/EP?


      7. "What do your VP/PFR/Fold 3Bet stats look like when you're getting squeezed from UTG/EP?"

        This is WAY beyond my HEM filtering knowledge. Can you tell me what to filter on? I would love to know my facing squeeze stats; how many times I was squeezed when I was the PFR or when I was a overcaller of a PFR.


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