Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tilting and a recap

I never really thought of myself as a tilter, but I suppose I am.  Tilting comes in all forms - and I guess we're all prone to it, but never want to acknowledge it.  My form of tilt comes in two forms: entitlement and watching others' unbelievably poor play.

I started out winning the very first pot I played - limping T8o from late position and flopping 8 8 3 - two spades.  I led, got a caller.  Called a $25 bet on the offsuit K turn from the BB who thought he could rep 8's - figuring that I raise here, I likely blow him off of his hand.  River comes a T and he leads for $40(?) and I raise all in.  He fold rather quickly, leading me to believe that he either floated the flop or was drawing spades.  Good start to the night.

Bit later, I get 74o in the BB and check my option.  Flop comes a beautiful 3 5 6 - two hearts.  I immediately lead for $15 into the world of limpers and get called by the guy to my left.  Turn is an 8, giving the board 2 hearts and 2 diamonds, and I lead again, for $35.  He calls.  River: 9 diamonds and I lead for $50.  He flats and shows the nut straight: T7o - I get runner runnered by a gutter turned open ended.  There goes my nice start.  Just pisses me off that I put $50 in bad there, but I can't see myself ever checking the 4 straight; there's so much he can have that doesn't include the nut straight there...  Perhaps I should re-adjust thought?  Bet less?

Few orbits later, I limp T9o (this table was continually limping monsters, looking to limp / raise which inevitably no one ever did (raise to allow the limp / raise, that is).  I usually don't limp so frequently, but it was worth it getting involved with guys trying to "slow play" their AA, AK, etc.  So we see a flop of Q T 9 - rainbow.  Tight tight BB leads for $10 into $12 and gets called by a terrible player - black woman who was clearly out of her element.  I opt to raise to $35 because she's always calling with a J, and I think most of the players there are going to do so as well (see tilt #2 - poor play; do they really think I'm going to pay off a 4 straight board????).  Tight BB folds and woman calls once again into the limp pot.  Anyway, we see a 4 on the turn, putting 2 hearts - you see where I'm going with this?  She checks to me and I lead for $50(?).  She snaps it.  River is a third random heart and she checks.  I check through and am shown AhKh for the runner runner flush, once again from a gutter.  At least I didn't put out a big bet on the river.

I fish $100 out of my pocket to top up; in the hole for $100 now.  I would go on to become the angst of the table - I was virtually the only one raising in an otherwise passive table, and the 3 curmudgeonly older gentlemen were more than happy to stick with their small pocket pairs through my overcard raises and cbets.  I don't know why, but it took me awhile to figure out that they'll call me down extremely light just because they're stations.

Anyway, the last hand of note involved a $5 straddled pot where I raise AJo from late position - first in - to $15.  Folds to the UTG straddler who insta-calls.  Let me give a little description of this guy: 30-40 years old, dark sunglasses; looks like a brown-haired, fatter version of Andrew Brokos.
A picture of the incredible Andrew Brokos, for reference
Clearly fancies himself a serious poker player.  Trying to make moves, play tough, look tough.  Flop comes T 8 3 - 2 clubs.  Checks to me and I cbet $20.  He calls.  Check through blank turn / river and he shows T6o.  LOLWUT?  I think this tilt is a mix of entitlement and bad play tilt.  Villain clearly thinks he's the man and knows what he's doing, but yet gets $20 of value from a stupid hand that he chooses to defend his straddle?  I just don't get it - calling $15 with T6?  I shouldn't expect to win with AJ, but show me T9, JT, something reasonable to call 7.5BBs.  Shame on me for cbetting a blank flop.  Hope you make money with that, dude.

Regardless, I came out of a 4 session slump with a solid W last night.  I just need to continue my run.  I have a running bet with a buddy of mine, where whichever of us has the higher earn rate for the year gets a free dinner from the other.  I'm rooting for him to come in a penny per hour under where I end the year, though his last night's session really boosted up his earn rate.  Hopefully, free dinner at Prime Rib!

P.S. I've been playing a bit of PLO online lately.  I'm loving the game.  I did a bit of analysis on my hand histories, though, and found that I'm a huge loser at the game (huge being relative to the stakes I'm playing).  If I want to get better, I had better read about the game; I'm discovering that I have a vague idea of what hands I should be playing, but no solid footing for certain.  I started reading Pot Limit Omaha by Jeff Hwang and have found it's tremendously helpful.

2 quick examples:

  • I wasn't aware that the particular cards I want to enter into a pot are top gappers rather than bottom gappers: 5 7 8 9 plays far better because of nut value than 5 6 7 9 or 6 7 8 T.  I'd imagine this was a huge leak to me because I was continually drawing to suck ends of draws.  There are other components: suited Ace with 3 straight cards, suited Ace with offsuit pairs, etc.  Point is: you want to be drawing to the nuts whenever you get involved in a pot, unless you have reason to otherwise do so.
  • I wasn't aware that unimprovable nut hands should proceed carefully - like flopped straights.  If I have a hand like A 4 5 6 and the board flops 2 3 5, I should not be intending to get it all in on the flop.  I have an hand that can't improve, and only set myself up for getting freerolled by the same 4 6 with a 7 and/or 8.  Backdoor draws are important there too; I'd be less cautious if my hand were double suited and the board had one of each suit, for example.

At any rate, if you get the motivation, my dear readers, come join me on Seals with Clubs.  If you let me know, I can work something out to throw you a few chips to get you started.  If nothing else, there's a few ways you can earn free chips: Seals has hourly freerolls where you can win a few chips to get you entry into some of the cash games, and there's a few websites which offer free bitcoins for inputting codes - one particular one I've been playing around in is Daily Bitcoins.  We're talking micro bitcoins here, but still, you can build up a minimal roll if you put in a little time clicking.


  1. Hey man, I'd love to explore SWC - Im jusy clieless about the whole bitcoin thing.

  2. You're right about Brokos -- he's incredible.

  3. Seems to me that your biggest mistake was the most fundamental one: table selection. I was shocked to read how often you limped as I did not even think that the word limp was in your vocabulary.

    I was just thinking how I enjoy playing at Bally's in Las Vegas, yet the play there would likely tilt you since it is so bad. Sometimes you make a quick fortune, other times you take horrendous beats.

    1. Limping was the name of the game last night. I raised my premiums and some of my off-premiums, but in general, guys were not folding any pairs. They were giving me no credit for a hand - so why not limp / see a flop for cheap, flop good against them, and value value value? I was just dumbstruck how often I got runner runnered by a player who had no idea how far behind he/she was in the hand...

      I agree with the comments about Bally's; the problem is exactly that - it may be laughably bad, but they're going to hit you at precisely the rate they should. In other words, their pair hand improves to 2 pair or better by the river vs. your pair or two pair at a 25% clip. Most "normal" players get the fact that they're behind and fold far before the bets get big. These people stick around and don't care that they're paying poor odds to "get there on you." So tilting, but so satisfying when you do get maximum value from your hand.

    2. See I think your thought process is exactly backward wrt to limping. I want to be the one raising pots with strong value hands and drawing hands...particularly in position. It's the old play the opposite of the table theory. They limp...we raise. They raise we play more passively. I almost never over-limp hands except for hands that might flop the nuts. Suited Aces, etc. IDK, if I know I am just going to play better than them post flop I'd rather do it in a bloated pot. I do know guys who play 1/2 and crush playing super limpy and passive but I still think they could play more optimally.

      On PLO the freeroll spots you describe are where the real $$ is made in PLO. Just the other night I was playing at MD Live. I flop nut straight with fl redraw and higher straight redraw. I had raised pre with like KJ89t. Flop 8TQ and dude can't wait to shovel it in for 200 BB with naked straight. I have a pretty huge edge here (maybe a bit under 2-1). In fact, there are a lot of spots, particularly when deep, where folding the nuts is totally standard and +EV.

    3. You know, I agree with you wrt to limping. However, it wasn't about the pressure put on these guys - particularly 5 players - that would get them to fold. They were more of a "I have a pair and I'm not folding - EVER" type players. I had seen 3 instances of limped AA - even overcalling with AA and going broke. I had never seen a check / raise other than when they had AA and were way behind. AK was also a popular one to raise. I had been burned a whole lot before I really caught on (ok - well not a "whole lot" but 2 or 3 times by cbetting and turn cbetting my AJ, AQ, AK when I missed only to see hands like 66 77 scoop with their crappy hands. I felt like I was burning money by raising at that point, so I opted to limp and bet big since they'd call anything.

      For the PLO, it's awesome - so much fun! I love playing it online; I have yet to check it out at the 2/2 spread at MDL though. I'll try it eventually.

  4. You mention playing PLO online. Where/how are you playing?

    1. @Dave M - I'm playing at Seals With Clubs. There's an affiliate link at the right of the blog. You can sign up there and play for Bitcoins, which transfer to USD. I posted a primer on Bitcoins / Seals with Clubs a while back - if you search for it, you can find it.


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