Saturday, June 27, 2009

Laying down KK?

I can't help but think that my last month of bad runs "helped" me lay this monster pot down. How can I call an all in shove from a RR'ed Button who is a 16/15/0.3 (121 hands) player. He's tight PF, weak post flop, clearly. I was afraid of the 3bet button from the start and told myself I would play it very safe. In fact, I even CONSIDERED laying down pre-flop. WTF? These are some TERRIBLE players.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (8 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

UTG+1 ($1.88)
MP1 ($16.72)
MP2 ($1.40)
CO ($4)
Button ($11.95)
SB ($10.36)
Hero (BB) ($16.81)
UTG ($2.13)

Preflop: Hero is BB with Kh, Kd
3 folds, MP2 bets $0.40, CO calls $0.30, Button raises to $1.60, 1 fold, Hero calls $1.50, MP2 calls $1 (All-In), CO calls $1.20

Flop: ($6.25) 7d, 6s, 9c (4 players, 1 all-in)
Hero checks, CO bets $2.40 (All-In), Button raises to $10.35 (All-In), Hero folds
Very dangerous board; the button shove says clearly AA and all the actions prior says sets, straights, etc.
Turn: ($11.05) 4s (3 players, 3 all-in)

River: ($11.05) 10h (3 players, 3 all-in)

Total pot: $11.05 | Rake: $0.73

Button had Kc, Ac (high card, Ace).
MP2 had Jd, Js (one pair, Jacks).
CO had Ad, 10s (one pair, tens).
Outcome: MP2 won $5.28, CO won $5.04
Very surprising play. Terrible laydown by me. WTF, though? Terrible play by the rest of the players; worked on me, though.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I will be taking a vacation until Sunday, June 28. I will be playing live Thursday night, so I may have some live hand histories to post, but shy of that, I don't expect to play online. I guess, given the way I've been running, this is the humane thing to do. Therefore, there will likely be no new posts until Sunday night or later. At that rate, though, I don't know how much more my bankroll can handle. I'm down to around $55. I'm living [online] off of the rakeback that I get.

If this is the life of the poker player, I don't think I could ever live like this. I am so happy that I have an education, and a solid job to fall back on. I work as an engineer, in a job where I can readily advance and am given ample opportunities to do so. It also provides more than enough income for my family of 5 to live on. Thank God poker is a recreation for me, and not an income source I depend on. Therefore, all of these complaints are merely a drop in the bucket with regard to lifelong luck; I am very fortunate to lead the life I live.

That said, all of this brings up the crossroads in my head: what do I do here? I flop sets 1 out of 14 times, when the statistical mean is 1 out of 8. I lose 50/50 coin flips like it's my job. Heck, I even lose 80/20 flips of JJ vs. 99 or AA vs AK (I'll have to post that one if I find it! It's amusing - AIPF of course). So, with a net positive of $15 from my original buy in of $40, plus the rakeback that I'm expecting to amount to another $5-8 for this week, what should I do? Do I continue to play through this rough spell? I'm hoping the Thursday poker game will help clear my head and luck of all the negativity that I've been experiencing. Perhaps I can shake off that jinx that's been put upon me, and come back to online with better luck. It's funny - I'm the first to say poker is a game of skill, and not luck. Yet, here I am, with each and every post lately, proving the contrary.

I realize that I have [only] ~27K of hand histories to fall back on as a gauge to my play. However, things are very difficult when you have a minuscule bank roll that can't take constant bad beats and suckouts. It is become increasingly difficult to maneuver on the tables when every flop I see, I look for the worst and assume the worst. Not only do I not get maximum payout when I'm far ahead and being paranoid, but I become a bit of a calling station just to prove my paranoia correct.

Monday, June 22, 2009

But that's not all, folks....

Button had been fairly tight. Here, I'm putting him on a premium pocket pair. With my luck (WTF was I thinking), I figured T8s plays well against high PP's. I flop good.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (8 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

MP2 ($13.68)
CO ($2)
Button ($9.37)
Hero (SB) ($7.79)
BB ($11.70)
UTG ($2.33)
UTG+1 ($2.32)
MP1 ($5.40)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 8s, 10s
5 folds, Button bets $0.30, Hero calls $0.25, 1 fold

Flop: ($0.70) 10h, 8h, 9h (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $0.60, Hero raises to $2, Button calls $1.40
His smooth to my check raise confirms the AA/KK/QQ/JJ suspicion.

Turn: ($4.70) Ah (2 players)
Hero checks, Button checks
Can it get any worse for me? Come on - not only a heart, but my bet is that he just set himself. If I bet out here, I don't think his set is going anywhere.

River: ($4.70) As (2 players)
Hero checks, Button checks
Well now, he either just quaded up or has two pair (top two that is) - OR HAS A MONSTER flush. WTF are you calling a flop c/r with but checking down the river?
Total pot: $4.70 | Rake: $0.31

Button had 7h, 7s (flush, Ace high).
Hero had 8s, 10s (two pair, Aces and tens).
Outcome: Button won $4.39
Once again, WTF? Check raised and you smooth the flop? WTF?!?!?!??!?!?! Oh yeah! You had the 7 of hearts and waited for running hearts! Oh yeah! Silly me! I'm going to puke.

I don't know whether a bet on the turn would have forced a fold, but my logic by not betting is this: If he has a stubborn AK, KK, or QQ (even JJ), then chances are he now holds a pretty good one card flush - if not a set. He's not laying down. The running ace further cements me into a check / check because I'm certain he has me crushed and is calling any river bet. I think this hand highlights the importance of position; had I had position over him, I could have evaluated his checks and taken a stab. As such, I am unable to act while out of position.

With cards like, who needs to play anymore?

I may as well just shove over on every flop with no cards, because that works just about the same.... Thanks for a $-26 night, Full Tilt! Holy shit... I just can't believe I run THIS bad:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (9 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

CO ($10.08)
Button ($4.69)
SB ($10.47)
Hero (BB) ($8)
UTG ($4.03)
UTG+1 ($10.31)
MP1 ($6.06)
MP2 ($10)
MP3 ($0.80)

Preflop: Hero is BB with Ac, As
5 folds, CO calls $0.10, 1 fold, SB bets $0.50, Hero calls $0.40, CO calls $0.40
SB is uncharacteristically betting 5x out of the SB! CO is a bit of a donkey, and this hand confirms that suspicion. Armed with that knowledge, I smooth PF, not wanting to scare away the CO fish. I know where I stand with the SB - AA(much less likely)/KK/QQ/JJ/TT

Flop: ($1.50) 2c, 2h, Ks (3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, CO bets $1.50, SB calls $1.50, Hero calls $1.50
SB check makes me want to throw up; SB's call makes me puke even further. Really, should I be folding here? I don't give a crap what CO has, because I'm positive SB has KK. This is my folly; I know what SB has, so I should be laying down the AA, right? I just don't believe that SB is calling with anything less than AK/KK - and based on the PF raise, I have to believe KK. However, this terrible run of the past 2 MONTHS (YES MONTHS) has my head fucked; is it really possible that I've been outflopped for the hundredth time?

Turn: ($6) 4s (3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, CO checks
Well, at least I get a free card!

River: ($6) 7c (3 players)
SB bets $2, Hero calls $2, CO calls $2
Here's another chance to get away from it, but I can't bring myself to fold such a dry fucking board. WTF.

Total pot: $12 | Rake: $0.80

SB had Kh, Kd (full house, Kings over twos).
Hero had Ac, As (two pair, Aces and twos).
CO had Kc, 10c (two pair, Kings and twos).
Outcome: SB won $11.20
OF COURSE! The CASE KING!?!?!?!??! OF COURSE!!! Well, I wonder where the Ten was! Hey, why not run tens as well to real fuck with me? Come on; boat him up and leave me holding the bag!

And I love this gem! This was the same table, though different player.

2 hands later:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (9 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

MP2 ($6.08)
MP3 ($4.39)
CO ($17.67)
Hero (Button) ($3.95)
SB ($4.38)
BB ($10.31)
UTG ($6.06)
UTG+1 ($10)
MP1 ($0.80)

Preflop: Hero is Button with Jc, Jh
UTG bets $0.30, 3 folds, MP3 calls $0.30, 1 fold, Hero raises to $3.95 (All-In), 2 folds, UTG raises to $6.06 (All-In), 1 fold
So UTG sees me show down crack Aces 2 hands ago. He has to believe that I'm steaming. In addition, I have a bit of history on him where he plays far too many hands / raises far too many hands in or out of position. I shove here, making him believe that I'm steaming & I get the call I want. After all, a call here will even me up for the table and wipe out the bad memories of KK > AA > KT, right?

Flop: ($8.35) 3d, 8h, 7s (2 players, 2 all-in)

Turn: ($8.35) 9s (2 players, 2 all-in)
WRONG!!!! Come on, really? 80/20 favorite? Really? Where is God? Why does he continue to hate me?

River: ($8.35) 8c (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $8.35 | Rake: $0.55

Hero had Jc, Jh (two pair, Jacks and eights).
UTG had 9h, 9d (full house, nines over eights).
Outcome: UTG won $7.80


Set over set over set

After much cynicism, I am actually surprised to not be on the bottom of this set over set over set situation. There is nothing very interesting about this hand, other than the fact that we each hit our sets. Fortunately (for once) I came out on top and my Aces [finally] held.

I was looking in my 25K hand history and found that I flop sets about 1 in 14, when the statistical mean for flopping a set is 1 in 8. Oh dear, I do run bad... and now I have data to back it up. Regardless, I played about 800 hands last night, and am happy with the result.

Full Tilt Pot-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (8 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

MP1 ($18.43)
MP2 ($2)
Hero (CO) ($9.84)
Button ($4.89)
SB ($4.56)
BB ($5.17)
UTG ($3.35)
UTG+1 ($3.51)

Preflop: Hero is CO with Ad, As
1 fold, UTG calls $0.10, 3 folds, Hero bets $0.30, 1 fold, SB calls $0.20, UTG calls $0.20

Both players have been tight in about 40-50 hands of history. I don't put SB on 10's but in retrospect, I am surprised that there wasn't a RR PF. I am happy, though, because UTG's 44 would have likely folded to an RR.

Flop: ($0.90) 4h, Ac, Qd (3 players)
SB checks, UTG bets $0.10, Hero calls $0.10, SB calls $0.10

Turn: ($1.20) 7s (3 players)
SB checks, UTG bets $0.60, Hero calls $0.60, SB calls $0.60

River: ($3) 10s (3 players)
SB bets $3, UTG calls $2.35 (All-In), Hero raises to $8.84 (All-In), SB calls $0.56 (All-In)

Total pot: $12.47 | Rake: $0.83

SB had 10h, 10d (three of a kind, tens).
UTG had 4d, 4c (three of a kind, fours).
Hero had Ad, As (three of a kind, Aces).
Outcome: Hero won $11.64
I feel for the UTG who flopped the set. SB should lose his entire bankroll for this one. What an ass! He bets out on the turn losing to any Ace or Queen? Oh, you're representing! Oh yeah! Well, pal, you got caught, you idiot. You get what you deserve; you think you sucked out on me. Well, every other time you and your friends may do that, but not this time pal. Not this time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summing up my night last night

Why not RR pre flop and get it in? Are you waiting to see an undercard flop? If you think you're good PF, why not push PF? You're pushing the flop and nothing has changed from PF to flop. Just get it over with, MP1. Oh, and BTW, good push with deuces, BB. Really? You're flipping against SIGNFICANT resistance with deuces? I hope you do that EVERY TIME. But come on poker GODS, can't you at least let me win ONE hand where I'm a significant favorite? Just ONE HAND?

This hand was the culmination of a night of JJ < J8o, KK < 56o (both were back to back hands), AK < 75o, and a whole host of out flopped pocket pairs and missed draws. I remember one point in the night, somehow getting it all in on the flop with 7s9s vs. 33 or 22 (can't remember) where the board was 6s3s8d. Really? Any 7 or 9? Any spade? Any 5 or T? Come on. 21 outs - HALF THE DECK - and I miss?

I pray for a NICE run tonight to recapture the 4 buy ins I'm down from last night. I pray for the same donkey that calls J8o to a 5x PF raise, or 56o to a 4x PF raise. I pray for cards that will hold up in value. I prey on donkeys.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (8 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

UTG ($13.14)
UTG+1 ($10)
MP1 ($4.73)
MP2 ($7.36)
Hero (CO) ($6.87)
Button ($4.32)
SB ($7.91)
BB ($3.50)

Preflop: Hero is CO with Ks, Kc
2 folds, MP1 calls $0.10, 1 fold, Hero bets $0.40, 1 fold, SB raises to $0.70, BB calls $0.60, 1 fold, Hero raises to $2.50, SB calls $1.80, BB raises to $3.50 (All-In), Hero calls $1, SB calls $1

Flop: ($10.60) 6d, 7s, 6s (3 players, 1 all-in)
SB bets $1.50, Hero raises to $3.37 (All-In), SB calls $1.87

Turn: ($17.34) Qs (3 players, 2 all-in)
As expected; like clockwork. Did you expect yours truly to hit his King? NO WAY! Once again, I get in with the best, and out with the worst. Too bad the BB donkey didn't hit his duece. That would have been truly classic!

River: ($17.34) 10h (3 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $17.34 | Rake: $1.15

SB had Qh, Qc (full house, Queens over sixes).
BB had 2h, 2d (two pair, sixes and twos).
Hero had Ks, Kc (two pair, Kings and sixes).
Outcome: SB won $16.19

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thanks for the stack, donk!

This was the first hand sitting down at this table. I felt like this guy was getting out of line - and I was right. He was trying to steal; I caught him red handed.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (8 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

UTG ($11.41)
UTG+1 ($9.85)
MP1 ($3.50)
MP2 ($7.94)
CO ($4)
Button ($8.44)
SB ($3.87)
Hero (BB) ($10)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 10s, Qd
UTG bets $0.20, 6 folds, Hero calls $0.10

Flop: ($0.45) 10d, 3s, Qh (2 players)
Hero checks, UTG bets $1, Hero raises to $3, UTG calls $2
Flopped top two! Not laying this down. If UTG is betting into me, well, I'm going to raise it up. Based on his call, perhaps he actually has a legitimate hand of an overpair which I cracked.

Turn: ($6.45) 9c (2 players)
Hero bets $4.50, UTG raises to $8.21 (All-In), Hero calls $2.30 (All-In)
This 9 changes nothing, and I don't want him to hit is potential overpair without paying for it. He commits his stack and the rest is history.

River: ($20.05) Ac (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $20.05 | Rake: $1.33

Hero had 10s, Qd (two pair, Queens and tens).
UTG had 6d, Qc (one pair, Queens).

REALLY? There's nothing that beats a Q6o in this spot? COME ON DONK! You can do better than that!! Shall I go down the list of all holdings that beat your Q6o? All overpairs, AQ,KQ, QJ, QT, Q9, Q8, Q7, any set, any T3... What are you looking for to commit your entire stack?

Outcome: Hero won $18.72

KQs against a 9/6 tighty

I think his 9VPIP / 6 PFR range beats my 20/10 range; therefore I conclude that he has one of 2 hands: AA, AK, less likely KK. Problem is that I don't get the river bet, which is the questionable laydown by me. I guess, on this kind of board, which has a bunch of draws to it, I would expect him to check / check the river. Is he really going for value with a pot sized bet on the river?

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (9 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

Button ($3.68)
SB ($13.33)
BB ($2.18)
UTG ($10.03)
UTG+1 ($12.79)
MP1 ($1.75)
MP2 ($10.04)
Hero (MP3) ($11.31)
CO ($9.15)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with Ks, Qs
UTG bets $0.40, 3 folds, Hero calls $0.40, 4 folds

Flop: ($0.95) 3s, Kh, 9h (2 players)
UTG bets $0.70, Hero calls $0.70

Turn: ($2.35) 6s (2 players)
UTG bets $1.90, Hero calls $1.90
From the amount of pressure he's shown, what can I really expect here? He's got one of 3 hands: AA, KK, or AK - all of which beat me. I call because of my spade draw, and spade draw alone.

River: ($6.15) 3c (2 players)
UTG bets $4.80, Hero folds

Total pot: $6.15 | Rake: $0.41

UTG didn't show
Outcome: UTG won $5.74

So is an ultra tight player betting near pot on the river? Is this a river value bet? I am fairly certain I am beat by the river and therefore lay down, licking my ~$3 wounds from this little expedition.

I just LOVE donkeys...

My range is better than his range - AND HE KNOWS IT!

MP2 is running VPIP (voluntary put into pot) 88 / PFR (pre flop raise) 24 in about 50 hands. I'm not going to let him or the SB float me with overs. I think at this point there are around 4 cards (any A, K, Q, J maybe T) that hurt me. I don't want to have to make a decision for my stack when an overcard rivers and they bet out as a bluff or made hand.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (8 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

Button ($2.09)
SB ($8.06)
BB ($2)
Hero (UTG) ($9.27)
UTG+1 ($9.72)
MP1 ($10)
MP2 ($8.80)
CO ($1.85)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with 5h, 5s
Hero calls $0.10, 2 folds, MP2 calls $0.10, 1 fold, Button bets $0.60, SB calls $0.55, 1 fold, Hero calls $0.50, MP2 calls $0.50

Flop: ($2.50) 6d, 8c, 3d (4 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $1.49, MP2 calls $1.49, 1 fold, SB calls $1.49

Turn: ($6.97) 2c (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $7.18 (All-In), 2 folds
If these two are on diamond draws, I want them to pay dearly. At this point, the pot is out of control. I'm fairly certain I'm ahead, and they're fishing with potentially their two overs + flush draws (9 outs to the flush + let's say ~8 over card outs = 17; roughly 34% of cards remaining will hurt me. I do not want to have to showdown a weak pair of 5's to a river shove. Therefore, I take initiative, while they're giving me credit for a hand, and shove myself.

Total pot: $6.97 | Rake: $0.46
From a pair of 5's, I can attest that I'm happpy with the results. I had 3 clean outs to the 4, and 1 out to the set of 5's (the 5d would have been dirty, making at least one of the other two players flush).

Set over set situation, deep stacked

This is my first hand history in a long time. This is an example where I was set mining, hit my set, but got coolered with a better set. The only question I have is am I wrong to call, OOP, when UTG clearly has a monster hand? I think I have an issue with the re-raise PF, but the UTG raiser was deep stacked as well, so I want more money comitted to the pot. Unfortunately, things do not work according to my plan...

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (7 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

MP1 ($10)
MP2 ($2.38)
CO ($4.01)
Button ($11.81)
SB ($11.51)
Hero (BB) ($17.83)
UTG ($14.90)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 8s, 8c
UTG bets $0.30, 2 folds, CO calls $0.30, Button calls $0.30, 1 fold, Hero raises to $1.20, UTG raises to $4, 2 folds, Hero calls $2.80

Clearly, UTG has a monster here. He has a VPIP of ~22, PFR 17. He's tight & raising the top 17%. A limp UTG->4bet clearly shows strength. With $15 effective stack sizes, he's comitting a ~third of his stack. I'm going to shove if I hit, because he's got AA, KK. It's a clearly delineated range in my opinion. My question is this: (obv results oriented, I should have folded) Is this an incorrect call, OOP, PF, with deep stacks? Unfortunately, I was getting to my last hands of the night, so this kinda put a major damper on things. Opinons?

Flop: ($8.65) Qc, 8h, 3h (2 players)
Hero bets $13.83 (All-In), UTG calls $10.90 (All-In)

I do NOT have a problem with the shove. I think it's going all in no matter what happens. I don't think this player is good enough to lay down a naked AA, KK. Opinions?

Turn: ($30.45) Jd (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: ($30.45) As (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $30.45 | Rake: $2

Hero had 8s, 8c (three of a kind, eights).
UTG had Qh, Qd (three of a kind, Queens).
Outcome: UTG won $28.45

A long time...

It has been a long time since my last post; I never stopped playing, though, with the help of a friend, realized I was playing the wrong way. For the longest time, I could never figure out why I can win - if not CRUSH live poker, but get killed in online poker. The reason is summed up very neatly: boredom. I was playing FAR too loose, in a single table game.

I had a friend come over last Friday - a player who continuously wins at the .5/$1 level - show me how to get it done. He showed me 3 tables and how to approach the game. Even though it is fundamental poker, I realized that I am raising FAR too wide out of position. I realized I am playing FAR too many hands. I realized I am calling FAR too many raises.

In addition, I changed my site from the Cake Poker network ( to Full Tilt at the end of March. This change enabled me to begin using Poker Tracker 3; the client does not support sportsfanatik. The results out of Poker Tracker showed me immediately that I was playing FAR too loose of a game at sportsfanatik. I'd imagine my VPIP (voluntary put into pot) was around 50 on a regular basis. At the .1/.25 or even .05/.1 games, I was getting crushed continually.

Prior to Friday, I realized the target for VPIP was around 30 (to not become a total maniac), yet I was still having trouble keeping my VPIP at those levels. Simply stated, you CANNOT play every KT / KJ / AT / etc. type hand in every position. You cannot - and SHOULD NOT. I know this is basic poker strategy; a look at Sklansky & Lederer's basic starting hand charts would tell me this. However, I never "got it."

Well, now I "get it." A single table is going to kill me; I need to play Sklansky's / Lederer's strategies (actually my own derived strategy with the help of my friend) while playing upwards of 3 tables. Since Friday, I moved down in stakes from .1/.25, where I was breaking even after rakeback agreements and such, to .05/.10 where my bankroll can fully support the 3-4x $10 required as buy in for each of the tables. I have been averaging a 5BB win rate thus far (I know my data is limited to 4 days), but this method of play just feels better. I am a LOT more confident, and opponents give me A LOT more credit when I am betting. On c-bets (continuation bets when raised pre flop), the range my opponents put me on is credible (i.e. they give me credit for the hand), and where they see me show down, I have good to great hands every time - when I choose to go to showdown. Obviously, I realize I'm going to have bad runs, and a bad run is what prompted this change, but my game is much tighter and simpler. I will continue to pad by bankroll and move back to the .1/.25 stakes when my bankroll reaches $250-300. I think I can support 3-4x $25 with a $300 roll. FYI: currently, my bankroll stands at $150. I project that within 2 months I will be moving up.

As a result of my newly found tight play, I am actively seeking out loose tables with high percentages of players seeing flops, whereas, in the past, I would look for extremely tight tables, which would match my aggressive, wide range. It's very interesting how things turn 180 practically overnight!

Look forward for me to start posting hand histories.

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