December 01, 2009
Whatâ€™s up Degens?
First, check out these songs:
Jay Z, Scarface and Kanye â€“ Guess Whoâ€™s Back
*Really sick beat by Kanye.
Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck â€“ Renaissance Rap (Remix)
MGMT â€“ Electric Feel
Iâ€™ll try to get IRL stuff out of the way first, but the majority of this post is going to be poker related.
Last week I finally signed a six month lease to a pretty sick condo out in Vegas with my best friend. The place is walking distance to the Venetian, and seems to have a bunch of other young people living there, so Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll have some pretty hilarious stories to share with everyone in the upcoming months. If you live out here or are coming out to visit, shoot me a PM so we can meet up!
Right now Iâ€™m in Denver, but am catching a flight back to LV in a few hours. Thanksgiving was pretty sick. My parents bought 1350 acres outside of Steamboat Springs last year, so we decided to have all ten of us come up there for Thanksgiving this year to celebrate. One thing I love about my family is how dynamic we are; my three siblings and I literally couldnâ€™t be any different. My sister used to work in politics, but is now a homemaker and involved really heavily with her church back home. My oldest brother is literally a genius. He skipped two grades and scored a 1550 on the SAT, and used to be the VP of Marketing for Celestial Seasonings in Boulder. My other oldest brother works on my parents ranch, and is like your typical outdoorsy agriculture guy.. Loves to kill things, drink beer, and chew Cope. I love it! Anyway, he killed our turkey with his bear hands the day before Thanksgiving, which meant is was super fresh! The rest of the night was spent drinking JD and watching Broncos kick the shit out of the Giants, which made Thanksgiving 10x better than if they got smoked like they did by the Chargers. On a sidenote, where the fuck have you been the last few weeks Broncos? Where the hell did that performance come from!? Either way, Iâ€™m stoked we still have a solid shot at the postseason.
Since my last post, poker has been going pretty awesome until today. My first weekend in LV started off pretty rocky. I had a couple of winning NLHE sessions, but then convinced myself to play in a 2/5 uncapped PLO game at Venetian. Most people are probably thinking to themselves â€œdonâ€™t you coach PLO.. You should be able to crush live, right?â€. Honestly, Iâ€™ve had similar thoughts in the past, but thereâ€™s many reasons why I despise live PLO. First, if youâ€™re an online player, and you find yourself getting frustrated by the slow pace of online play, then try live PLO someday; youâ€™ll think live NLHE is moving lightning fast. I would approximate that you only see 12-14 hands an hour during an average live PLO session, and possibly less. There are many reasons for this. First, dealing 4 cards instead of two obviously extends each hand a significant amount. Second, itâ€™s FR PLO in the casinos, which means NOBODY EVER FOLDS NO MATTER WHAT! Every pot is at a minimum 3 way, but more often than not itâ€™s 5 way, and practically each hand goes to the river. Additionally, pots get quite large, especially in raised and 3b pots, so people take awhile to think through decisions. All things said, if you nit it up and get hit in the face, youâ€™ll probably be rich because everyone plays terribly, but if youâ€™re like me and you want to actually ENJOY playing poker, then I recommend you donâ€™t play live PLO in the casino unless itâ€™s shorthanded.
As a result of my bad play and running bad, I lost $2k the first night playing PLO, but was fortunate enough to get it back the next day playing NLHE. During the past few days, Iâ€™ve done a lot of thinking about my game and where I want to take it from where I am now. Iâ€™d like to take a moment and talk about what my biggest leaks and weaknesses are, and how Iâ€™m going to fill them.
1. Lop up the C Game: I seriously need to just not play when I donâ€™t have the ambition, time, or patience to do so. Iâ€™ve mentioned this before in previous posts, but honestly itâ€™s pathetic how much better my winrate would be if I didnâ€™t play when I was tired or bored.
2. Way Too Cally on the River: I really need to stop calling the river down so lightly; itâ€™s simply just not profitable in PLO to call down rivers lightly. Sure, against some opponents itâ€™s fine to do so, but at the 200 and 400plo levels, people just arenâ€™t bluffing the river nearly as much as you think they are, no matter what your image is or theirs. Their tendency to bluff is probably doubled when theyâ€™re in position, but as far as triple barreling or leading pot on the river as bluffs, the vast majority of players at 400plo and below simply arenâ€™t doing it very much. This ties into my next my next leak which is..
3. Cocky Spewy Syndrome": If youâ€™ve ever listened to anything by David DeAngelo, youâ€™re likely familiar with the term â€œCocky Funnyâ€. Basically he came up with this term to describe the optimal personality type for attracting women. Unfortunately for me, being Cocky Spewy at the tables isnâ€™t nearly as +ev as being cocky funny with a group of hot chicks, but I digress. The best way I can describe what CSS looks like, is to imagine the rich guy at the table whoâ€™s just spewing away because heâ€™s way richer than everyone else, and is just playing for entertainment purposes. Heâ€™s trying to pull cool bluffs, put bad beats on people, and obviously isnâ€™t concerned about playing good poker. You often see this happen when someone binks a tourney for a big score. They go to the lower stakes tables, and donk away a bunch of buy ins because, after all, they just won a ton of money, and who hasnâ€™t dreamed of pissing off all the regs at your old limit by playing ridiculous? I specifically recall playing PLO100 about a year ago, where 2 FTOPS winners (imabigkidnow) and someone else sat at my table. They were buying in deep stacked, and literally running it everyâ€¦single..time.. for 200bb each, or however much they had in front of them. When the dust settled, imabigkidnow won almost 5k off of the other FTOPS winnerâ€¦ I of course lost $600 somehow, but thatâ€™s besides the point, lol.
Iâ€™ve been a victim of CCS hundreds of time in my career up to this point, but I think Iâ€™ve only recently been able to recognize it, and acknowledge the fact that Iâ€™m doing it. Now I just need to focus on preventing it. The last couple of weeks Iâ€™ve had two terrible sessions that are completely due to me playing under the influence of CCS. For example, yesterday I had a good day online, and also won $2k from backing a friend who placed 5th in the 40k on FTP. With my newly padded bankroll, I sat down at the tables today and played CSS for proably two hours straight, and eliminated half of my profits for the weekend. UGH! I actually donâ€™t think I played particularly bad, but I just honestly was running it way too much, calling down too light on the river, and just not thinking through things whatsoever. I was playing like a fool, and itâ€™s irritating to think Iâ€™m capable of being so undisciplined.
Other than working on mindset stuff, Iâ€™ve been tackling Tomâ€™s book (www.plotheory.com), and trying to interpret the info as best as I can. Itâ€™s been somewhat challenging for me so far because Iâ€™m not a math guy by nature, and his book his very heavy in charts and data. Wading through all the information in search of the golden nuggets takes some time, but I can already tell that itâ€™ll be rewarding in the long run, which is all Iâ€™m concerned about.
Ok, first hereâ€™s a few winners from the weekend. The hand converter isnâ€™t working for some reason, so Iâ€™ll just have to post the url for the hands.
This hand is interesting, and I ended up winning it but honestly I think itâ€™s a 4b PF. His 3b was like 25% through 105 hands, and earlier I saw him stack off light with QQ**. I like 4bâ€™ing better given the stacks sizes because when I flat his 3b, the SB (LP fish) will always call, and thereâ€™s not going to be very many good boards for me to ship on or get value from in a 3 way pot. If we were deeper I like flatting more, but Iâ€™d rather get it in PF against this maniac, or get HU and have a good idea of what board textures I have decent equity to ship on rather than be concerned about the player behind me postflop. I think my thought process at the time was I wanted three people in the pot so if I hit a set I win a monster, but you donâ€™t flop a set very much and my relative position is bad postflop so Iâ€™m almost certain 4bâ€™ing is the right play against this opponent. Fortunately this is the best board I could ask for, and the rest is standard.
This hand is kind of interesting I suppose. He was playing somewhere around a 75/35, and overall just playing far too aggressively. We also had played three other pots, all of which he flatted my open, and then donked pot on the flop, so overall his range is going to be really wide here. A lot of people might look at a hand like this and think itâ€™s too light of a stack off, but against his range of all draws and 2prs, and the fact that itâ€™s a 3b pot, I think itâ€™s pretty standard to stack off against this opponent on this board.
I like my line on this hand a lot. An argument could be made for raising the flop and making 9T fold or something, but I feel like I can make those hands fold on later streets anyway, and Iâ€™m also a little concerned with the player behind me, so Iâ€™m ok with flatting the flop here. In addition, if the board pairs, I can get a ton of value from people who stack off lightly with bad boats. The turn is standard, but on the river, a mistake many players would make is bombing the river for no reason. Itâ€™s obvious he doesnâ€™t have broadway, so betting small here to suck at least some value instead of no value is the only play imo. I might have been able to bet slightly bigger, but overall I think I got the most out of it.
Iâ€™m pretty sure I can actually c/f this river. First, this guy doesnâ€™t 3b light, so heâ€™s going to have a lot of broadways and single suited AA** combos in his 3bâ€™ing range. My plan was to c/r the flop originally, but he bet so small, I thought I could take it away on later streets on several turn cards anyway. When he flats the turn, I think this is basically always the NFD, what else could he really have? I donâ€™t see a ton of worse hands that call me on the river given his PF 3bâ€™ing range, since he never has like low or even medium wrappy hands that heâ€™s 3bâ€™ing with, the only hand I can really put him on for the turn is the NFD, I thought about c/fâ€™ing, but then again, Iâ€™m a CSSâ€™ing bastard.
This is a pretty terrible river call, but Iâ€™ll go over my thought process anyway. First, let me preface this by saying I had a student sweating me, and when he bet the river, we talked about it for a sec, and I think I may normally fold this, but part of me almost wanted to call for educational value (which is obviously a terrible idea). I definitely need to go with my first instinct, which was to fold. I talked myself into calling because he was a pretty passive player, so I figured he raised out of the SB pre flop with AA** and KK** hands. I thought he would always cb a set of KK, I didnâ€™t think he could have turned a set with 99**, and the odds he has 89** are fairly small as well, so I ended up calling. The overarching theme here is mostly that heâ€™s never bluffing, and I simply donâ€™t beat his value range, so this is a very easy fold. I of course tried to talk myself into thinking he was leveling me, or that he was getting carried away with AA**, but obv not..
Iâ€™m basically trying to squeeze some thin value here on the river, because I thought I wouldâ€™ve heard from QQQ, KKK, or QK by now, but oh well.
This oneâ€™s standard, and I like my line, but fwiw Iâ€™m not betting in his spot, and I think he folds a reasonable amount of the time. With the money out there, this is a pretty profitable play on my end.
Hard to have a profitable day if you lose a lot of these.
This is another atrocious river call, and itâ€™s mostly due to both CSS and me tilting my balls off at this point from getting hammered on my other tables. Additionally, he had a high river aggression, so that made me want to call as well, which is one reason STATS FUCKING SUCK! Villain is LP 51/3, but can be pretty aggro postflop in certain spots. That being said, I felt like his calling range on the flop is K*** and SDâ€™s. An argument can certainly be made for checking the turn, but I thought that if he didnâ€™t have a SD, that he has to fold his K*** now, so itâ€™s a pretty easy b/f spot. I planned on shipping most rivers I didnâ€™t improve on that werenâ€™t a King and didnâ€™t complete the straight, but ended up making a really terrible call on the river. This is terrible for several reasons. First, heâ€™s never bluffing here on the river.. Like literally.. Everâ€¦ Given what we said about his flop calling range of SDâ€™s and K***, what could he really have at this point? He would pretty much never donk a dry king, and if he had a SD on the flop it got there on the turn, so this is basically the worst card ever, heâ€™s never bluffing here, thereâ€™s no real draws he couldâ€™ve missed, Iâ€™m just terrible apparently. Need to use my brain and not tilt and play CSS!
Kudos to those who actually looked at any of the hands. Please comment on them and tell me how bad I suck! Iâ€™ll probably write more later when I land in LV, but for now I have to catch a plane. GL everyone!