December 08, 2009

Caved And Bought a Mac

What’s up Degens?

As always, here’s a few songs that I think everyone should check out if they’re a fan of rap/hip hop (both old school and new stuff)

Raekwon – Incarcerated Scarfaces (sickest Rza beat ever)
Raekwon ft. Nas – Verbal Intercourse
Notorious BIG – Kick In the Door (ridic lyrics imo. if you don’t like this song, you don’t like BIG or east coast rap in general)
Notorious BIG ft. Funkmaster Flex – Wickedest
GZA – Liquid Swords (Another sick RZA beat, and his lyrics are unreal)

So IRL stuff has been pretty ridiculous this past week, both good and bad, but I’ll start off with the bad. Last week I got pulled over because my plates were expired (guess I spaced renewing them), and to make matters worse I didn’t have an updated insurance card in my wallet, so I got double ticketed and have to appear in court in January to prove that I actually had insurance at the time I was pulled over. This isn’t really a big deal, just more annoying than anything.

Next, I got hammered pretty well at the tables all weekend. Did fine at NLHE, but got crushed playing live PLO again, of course. Luckily I didn’t break my promise of never playing FR Live PLO again, and they were sitting shorthanded, but I honestly am having trouble winning a pot in that game. Oh well, I love a challenge! Running good would help, I think.

Lastly, the technical issues in regards to the internet and my laptop have been really frustrating this past week. Beyond the obvious needles of not being able to get online without stealing someone else’s super slow internet, which as a result means my lessons are choppy and spotty play at the tables, not having internet just makes you an irritable person overall. I think most people who are involved in either gaming, gambling, or business ventures online will agree that if you don’t have a solid internet connection, it can put you in a sour mood faster than you ever thought possible. I’m quite certain that both my roommate and I are fully addicted to the internet. Does anyone know if they’ve defined a medical term for this?

The dumb thing is even if I wanted to get on the internet, I couldn’t because my computer got a really bad virus, causing it to slowwwwww. Let’s backtrack a couple of years. When I first bought a Sony Vaio, I got the accidental warranty coverage at Best Buy in case I dropped it or something happened to it (I get the feeling this is going to turn into a Best Buy rant). They fuck you pretty good because not only do they get you to sign up for the warranty, but they loop you into the geek squad coverage so you can supposedly bring it in when the computer is messing up so they can fix it for ‘free’, instead of paying a bunch when you actually have to bring it in (which inevitably seems to happen). Well, when the first computer got messed up, I brought it in, but obviously they wanted to charge me a bunch of money to diagnose and fix the problems it had, and also to make me wait like 3-4 weeks for them to process everything.

So instead of waiting, I decided to let my roommate at the time take a T-Ball bat to it instead. I dropped it off the second floor into his strike zone on the floor below, and we made a pretty good time out of hacking everything to hell. I happily took my computer into BB, where they handed me a brand new Sony Vaio, and all was well. I of course bought the accidental coverage again, and figured I’d just keep repeating this process until I somehow couldn’t get a brand new computer every year or two for just a few hundred bucks in warranty coverage.

Well, that someday was today, except for this time I just threw the laptop into the ground repeatedly until it was shattered into like 50 pieces. I took it into BB, and to my dismay, they apparently have a stipulation in the contract now that says if the computer is in more than 2 pieces, the accidental coverage won’t cover the damages. Because I’ve been fed up with my last three computers that were PC’s, I decided to give a Mac a shot. I settled on the MacBook Pro, and so far it seems pretty awesome. My only complaint right now is that I can’t get HEM, Camtasia, or Pamela on it. But I’ve been talking to a few of the DC guys and there’s obviously ways around it. If anyone out there can give me some tips on how to make the process go smoother, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Otherwise everything has been great. My coach Tom was in town with a friend this weekend, so it was cool to meet him IRL and shoot the shit for a bit. He’s a really big sports fan too, so we had fun drinking beer and sweating the games in the sportsbook. It’s always fun to meet cardplayers in person, particularly guys like him who are pretty in touch with the poker world and who share the same views as I do on a variety of topics like business, life etc.

I wish I had more to report about poker, but honestly I haven’t been able to play because of all my technical issues. I haven’t played since my bad day (which I blogged about last time), but plan on getting back in there once I can get my data restored on my computer. I’ve been doing lessons from my roommates computer, and they’ve been going really well. I just picked up a bunch of new students this week, and I’m really excited to start with them because they seem very enthusiastic about improving their games. I always get pumped up when I get new students because I’ve learned something cool from everyone I’ve coached, so it’s fun getting into discussion with other poker minds.

For anyone that’s interested, I highly recommend checking out Mozy for all your backup stuff, it really is the nuts. It’s like $5/mo or something, and it automatically backs up all your shit without you even knowing about it. Scope it out.

I’m heading back to Denver for the holidays on Friday, and will be there through NYE, so if anyone’s out there and wants to meet up shoot me a PM!

Anyway, of course this turned out longer than I intended, but so it goes. Next time I’d like to include some strategy content like I’ve done before, so if anyone is interested in having me write about something specific let me know.

I hope everyone is running well!

GL,

John

Posted By KasinoKrime at 07:16 AM

40 Comments

December 01, 2009

Cocky Spewy Syndrome

What’s up Degens?

First, check out these songs:

Jay Z, Scarface and Kanye – Guess Who’s Back
*Really sick beat by Kanye.
Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck – Renaissance Rap (Remix)
MGMT – Electric Feel

I’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 I’m sure I’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 I’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 couldn’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, I’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 “don’t you coach PLO.. You should be able to crush live, right?”. Honestly, I’ve had similar thoughts in the past, but there’s many reasons why I despise live PLO. First, if you’re an online player, and you find yourself getting frustrated by the slow pace of online play, then try live PLO someday; you’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, it’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 it’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, you’ll probably be rich because everyone plays terribly, but if you’re like me and you want to actually ENJOY playing poker, then I recommend you don’t play live PLO in the casino unless it’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, I’ve done a lot of thinking about my game and where I want to take it from where I am now. I’d like to take a moment and talk about what my biggest leaks and weaknesses are, and how I’m going to fill them.

1. Lop up the C Game: I seriously need to just not play when I don’t have the ambition, time, or patience to do so. I’ve mentioned this before in previous posts, but honestly it’s pathetic how much better my winrate would be if I didn’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; it’s simply just not profitable in PLO to call down rivers lightly. Sure, against some opponents it’s fine to do so, but at the 200 and 400plo levels, people just aren’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 they’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 aren’t doing it very much. This ties into my next my next leak which is..
3. Cocky Spewy Syndrome": If you’ve ever listened to anything by David DeAngelo, you’re likely familiar with the term “Cocky Funny”. 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 isn’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 who’s just spewing away because he’s way richer than everyone else, and is just playing for entertainment purposes. He’s trying to pull cool bluffs, put bad beats on people, and obviously isn’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 hasn’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 every…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 winner… I of course lost $600 somehow, but that’s besides the point, lol.

I’ve been a victim of CCS hundreds of time in my career up to this point, but I think I’ve only recently been able to recognize it, and acknowledge the fact that I’m doing it. Now I just need to focus on preventing it. The last couple of weeks I’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 don’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 it’s irritating to think I’m capable of being so undisciplined.

Other than working on mindset stuff, I’ve been tackling Tom’s book (www.plotheory.com), and trying to interpret the info as best as I can. It’s been somewhat challenging for me so far because I’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 it’ll be rewarding in the long run, which is all I’m concerned about.

Ok, first here’s a few winners from the weekend. The hand converter isn’t working for some reason, so I’ll just have to post the url for the hands.

#1

This hand is interesting, and I ended up winning it but honestly I think it’s a 4b PF. His 3b was like 25% through 105 hands, and earlier I saw him stack off light with QQ**. I like 4b’ing better given the stacks sizes because when I flat his 3b, the SB (LP fish) will always call, and there’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 I’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 don’t flop a set very much and my relative position is bad postflop so I’m almost certain 4b’ing is the right play against this opponent. Fortunately this is the best board I could ask for, and the rest is standard.

Standard
Easy Game
3b Pot

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 it’s too light of a stack off, but against his range of all draws and 2prs, and the fact that it’s a 3b pot, I think it’s pretty standard to stack off against this opponent on this board.

Thin Value

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 I’m also a little concerned with the player behind me, so I’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. It’s obvious he doesn’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.

Bad River Play

I’m pretty sure I can actually c/f this river. First, this guy doesn’t 3b light, so he’s going to have a lot of broadways and single suited AA** combos in his 3b’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 don’t see a ton of worse hands that call me on the river given his PF 3b’ing range, since he never has like low or even medium wrappy hands that he’s 3b’ing with, the only hand I can really put him on for the turn is the NFD, I thought about c/f’ing, but then again, I’m a CSS’ing bastard.

Terrible River Call

This is a pretty terrible river call, but I’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 didn’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 he’s never bluffing, and I simply don’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..

Value-Owning Myself

I’m basically trying to squeeze some thin value here on the river, because I thought I would’ve heard from QQQ, KKK, or QK by now, but oh well.

Games Are Good

Cooler for him…NOT

Run Goooot

Top Set FTW

Yummy

This one’s standard, and I like my line, but fwiw I’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.

Ick

Hard to have a profitable day if you lose a lot of these.

Tilt Call

This is another atrocious river call, and it’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 SD’s. An argument can certainly be made for checking the turn, but I thought that if he didn’t have a SD, that he has to fold his K*** now, so it’s a pretty easy b/f spot. I planned on shipping most rivers I didn’t improve on that weren’t a King and didn’t complete the straight, but ended up making a really terrible call on the river. This is terrible for several reasons. First, he’s never bluffing here on the river.. Like literally.. Ever… Given what we said about his flop calling range of SD’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, he’s never bluffing here, there’s no real draws he could’ve missed, I’m just terrible apparently. Need to use my brain and not tilt and play CSS!

Cooler..

Pretty terrible turn for me

Seriously? Nice 3b sir

Get There!

vul I guess.

Kudos to those who actually looked at any of the hands. Please comment on them and tell me how bad I suck! I’ll probably write more later when I land in LV, but for now I have to catch a plane. GL everyone!

John

Posted By KasinoKrime at 12:35 AM

22 Comments

November 19, 2009

Back in Vegas, Epic Blog Post

What’s up Degens?

I’m pretty stoked to be back in Vegas right now… The weather is amazing! I can’t wait to go golfing tomorrow, and then grind the live scene for the weekend.

Once again, this is going to be a shorter post than normal because I don’t feel like typing up something long while sitting in the coffee shop, but I just read a pretty awesome blog post from former DC coach DogIsHead that I think everyone should check out, both for entertainment value and for the purpose of absorbing is writing style a bit.

http://blogs.cardrunners.com/BLAG/an-unstoppable-force-meets-1258491260

I hope everyone is seeing some nh’s!

JB

Posted By KasinoKrime at 11:28 PM

11 Comments

November 17, 2009

PLO Group Coaching With DJ Sensei!

What’s up Guys?

Several people have shown interest in DJ and I’s group coaching program this fall/winter, so I wanted to let everyone know that we’re officially taking applications from people looking to improve their game. If you want more information on this, check out the official link in the forums…

http://www.deucescracked.com/forums/27-Pot-Limit-Omaha/topics/32710-PLO-Group-Coaching-with-D

I’m a little disappointed in myself for not writing anything in the last couple of weeks, but overall I’ve been pretty busy both poker-wise and IRL stuff, but I plan on getting back in the swing of things in the next couple of days. I hope everyone is running well and enjoying life!

GL,

John

PS – Fuckin’ Broncos dude….Ugh.

Posted By KasinoKrime at 04:35 AM

12 Comments

November 04, 2009

PLO Variance Tastes Kinda Tangy

What’s up Degens?

So the last few days have been pretty brutal at the tables for me, which is to be expected because I’ve been on a pretty nice winning streak the past few weeks so I was kind of waiting for it to end anyway. Although it’s not a huge sample, my last 1400 hands (which is about 3 days for me) has me running 8 buy ins below expectation. Anyway, it’s not a huge deal, but slightly aggravating, which consequently gives me a good reason to take a couple of days off. I read an interview with David Benyamine awhile ago where he said if he has a winning session, he always plays the next day until he loses. But if he has a losing session, he takes a day or two off and doesn’t play.

A lot of my students ask me how to deal with variance, or what kind of steps they can take to avoid tilt while minimizing downswings, both of which are integral to being a successful poker player, and particularly PLO. I normally tell them to do a few different things.

1. Take some time off from the game. Many people convince themselves they’re still playing ‘good’ poker, and that the variance will even yourself out, but trust me, you’re probably not playing as good as you think you are. Running bad effects more than the immediate equity from hand to hand, it spills over into all of the hands where stacks don’t go in as well. You’ll find yourself either spewing around more liberally in an effort to get unstuck, or you might play timidly in spots you normally would bet aggressively because you’re afraid they ‘have it’, or that they’ll call your bluff.
2. Devote more time to studying and improving. Watch videos, read books, and troll the forums during your down time. If you have the desire to partake in something poker related the day after a big loss, watch a couple of videos and take good notes. Actively watch the pros or students play in the videos and see how they’re approaching the game and what sort of things they’re doing differently than you are. Get in the habit of forming a good thought process, and make sure you’re constantly asking yourself questions about your game and theirs. How would you exploit them? What would you do differently? Studying videos and reading some content not only gives you relief from separating yourself from the stresses of playing, but it also gives you more confidence in your game the next time you play. Like anything else, you’re going to have much more confidence in your abilities if you put in the hours away from the table learning about the game and honing your skills. Instead of playing immediately after a bad session in an ominous and pessimistic mindset, your thoughts will be replaced with the new information you’ve been absorbing the last few days, and you’ll find yourself much more focused and prepared than you would have if you arrogantly hopped back into the games without improving your skills.
3. Have a friend or coach review your hands. Someone else’s eyes need to look at the hands you’ve played to make sure your losses really are a result of run bad instead of excessive bad play. Like I mentioned in my last blog, there’s many different types of run bad, but certain types are exacerbated by you putting yourself in marginal or bad situations you never would have if you were playing solid poker. A good example of this if when you call 3b’s with a bad paired hand, and then get frustrated when someone flops a better set than you. Having someone else look at your hands also serves as a placebo effect for your confidence, and whether or not they directly improve your play, anything to boost your confidence is worth trying, artificial or not.

I’ll probably be doing all of these things for the next few days. Truthfully I’m ok with losing a little money right now, because I’m about to get LearnvedFromTV’s ebook in the next couple of days, so being on a downswing gives me a good reason to buckle down and take in all the new information, and then return to the tables clear minded and motivated to play my A game. I’ll probably also catch up on my video watching; I’ve been slacking the last couple of weeks.

For those interested, here’s a few of the hands I’ve played in the last few days.

Full Tilt Poker $400.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 4 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

CO: $400.00
BTN: $400.00
Hero (SB): $539.90
BB: $398.80

Pre Flop: ($6.00) Hero is SB with 7 Club A Heart J Heart A Spade
2 folds, Hero raises to $12, BB calls $8

Flop: ($24.00) 2 Club K Diamond A Club (2 players)
Hero bets $24.00, BB calls $24

Turn: ($72.00) 5 Club (2 players)
Hero bets $36.00, BB calls $36

River: ($144.00) K Club (2 players)
Hero bets $144.00, BB raises to $326.80, Hero calls $182.80

Final Pot: $797.60
Hero mucks 7 Club A Heart J Heart A Spade
BB shows 2 Diamond K Spade K Heart 3 Heart
BB wins $795.60
(Rake: $2.00)

Villain in this hand is a huge fish, playing a 75/33. PF and flop are standard, and I like my turn bet a lot for a couple of reasons. I actually don’t see him showing up with a flush here very much, maybe 25% of the time or something. By betting half pot, I get him to keep calling me with a super wide range like he does on the flop (25% fold to cb), so he’ll raise me with hands that are dominating me, or he’ll flat bad 2pr’s, bad SD’s etc. Then, depending on the river card, I can get a ton of value if he “improves” his hand, whereas if I bombed the turn he might fold those mediocre hands/draws. If he raises me, I can comfortably fold, because he was really passive post flop, so it’s always a flush imo. I thought the river was gin for me, but apparently not.

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 3 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BTN: $184.85
SB: $166.30
Hero (BB): $586.20

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BB with A Heart 4 Diamond 5 Spade 6 Heart
BTN raises to $7, SB calls $6, Hero calls $5

Flop: ($21.00) 4 Club 5 Club A Diamond (3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, BTN bets $12.00, SB calls $12, Hero raises to $69, BTN folds, SB raises to $159.30, Hero calls $90.30

Turn: ($351.60) 8 Club (2 players)

River: ($351.60) T Spade (2 players)

Final Pot: $351.60
SB shows 2 Club A Club 9 Club 2 Heart
Hero shows A Heart 4 Diamond 5 Spade 6 Heart
SB wins $350.60
(Rake: $1.00)

I feel like this hand is standard but figured I’d post it anyway. I like my call PF because my relative position post flop is outstanding. The SB is a very loose fish, and I’ll be able to see what the pre flop raiser does before I act on the flop. Once the BTN cb’s 12 into 21, I know he never really has a hand here, and when the SB flats the 12, I thought not only do I basically always have the ‘best’ hand here, but I should get a ton of folds, and with the dead money out there it’s definitely worth re-raising here. Some people would argue that flatting is best, but I completely disagree. There’s just too many bad turns for me 3way, so I’d rather just put the money in when I know I have at the very least 40-50% equity, in addition to a ton of fold equity most of the time.

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 2 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Hero (BB): $262.95
BTN/SB: $215.20

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BB with A Heart J Heart J Club A Club
BTN/SB calls $1, Hero raises to $6, BTN/SB raises to $10, Hero raises to $30, BTN/SB calls $20

Flop: ($60.00) 4 Spade T Club 5 Diamond (2 players)
Hero bets $60.00, BTN/SB raises to $120, Hero raises to $232.95, BTN/SB calls $65.20 all in

Turn: ($430.40) 5 Heart (2 players – 1 is all in)

River: ($430.40) 5 Club (2 players – 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $430.40
Hero shows A Heart J Heart J Club A Club
BTN/SB shows T Spade T Diamond 6 Heart A Diamond
BTN/SB wins $429.90
(Rake: $0.50)

This is a really odd hand. I initially thought he was an ok player, but after a few hands I realized he’s incredibly passive pre flop. He literally was playing like a 75/5 or something, so when he limp 3b me, I figured him for a big hand or big draw, but it could also be him just getting kind of tricky. Can’t really fold the flop when the SPR is only 3 and he could have a lot of combo draws that I’m getting odds against. Pretty unfortunate.

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 5 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

UTG: $513.20
CO: $518.45
BTN: $1445.30
SB: $191.25
Hero (BB): $200.00

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BB with A Club 2 Club A Diamond 9 Diamond
1 fold, CO raises to $8.50, 1 fold, SB calls $7.50, Hero raises to $35.50, CO calls $27, 1 fold

Flop: ($79.50) 9 Spade A Heart K Spade (2 players)
Hero bets $81.00, CO raises to $202.50, Hero calls $83.50 all in

Turn: ($408.50) 2 Heart (2 players – 1 is all in)

River: ($408.50) Q Heart (2 players – 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $408.50
CO shows J Heart 7 Heart J Spade 7 Spade
Hero shows A Club 2 Club A Diamond 9 Diamond
CO wins $406.40
(Rake: $1.80)

Standard, I guess… Not really winning these lately.

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 4 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

SB: $330.45
BB: $89.95
CO: $675.40
Hero (BTN): $279.75

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BTN with 9 Heart A Heart 8 Spade 5 Club
CO raises to $8.20, Hero raises to $28.80, SB calls $27.80, 1 fold, CO calls $20.60

Flop: ($88.40) 7 Heart 9 Spade 6 Club (3 players)
SB checks, CO bets $89.60, Hero raises to $250.65, SB folds, CO calls $161.05

Turn: ($589.70) 7 Spade (2 players)

River: ($589.70) 6 Diamond (2 players)

Final Pot: $589.70
CO shows 6 Heart 3 Club 3 Diamond 6 Spade
Hero shows 9 Heart A Heart 8 Spade 5 Club
CO wins $588.90
(Rake: $0.80)

Good turn for him in 290bb pot.

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 5 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

CO: $943.40
BTN: $702.25
SB: $96.25
Hero (BB): $200.00
UTG: $479.60

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BB with 4 Club 6 Club T Diamond 9 Diamond
UTG calls $2, 3 folds, Hero checks

Flop: ($5.00) 7 Heart 2 Club 8 Club (2 players)
Hero bets $6.00, UTG calls $6

Turn: ($17.00) K Spade (2 players)
Hero bets $14.00, UTG calls $14

River: ($45.00) 7 Diamond (2 players)
Hero bets $31.45, UTG calls $31.45

Final Pot: $107.90
Hero shows 4 Club 6 Club T Diamond 9 Diamond
UTG shows 3 Diamond A Club A Spade J Heart
UTG wins $106.40
(Rake: $1.50)

How’d I miss?

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 2 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BTN/SB: $83.50
Hero (BB): $217.50

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BB with 9 Diamond 6 Diamond T Club Q Club
BTN/SB calls $1, Hero raises to $6, BTN/SB raises to $12, Hero calls $6

Flop: ($24.00) J Diamond 3 Club A Club (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN/SB bets $12.00, Hero raises to $60, BTN/SB calls $48

Turn: ($144.00) 8 Heart (2 players)
Hero bets $72.00, BTN/SB calls $11.50 all in

River: ($167.00) A Spade (2 players – 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $167.00
BTN/SB shows 8 Club K Club 6 Heart K Heart
Hero shows 9 Diamond 6 Diamond T Club Q Club
BTN/SB wins $166.50
(Rake: $0.50)

Don’t really expect to be a big underdog here very much, but so it goes lol.

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 2 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BB: $284.50
Hero (BTN/SB): $243.70

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BTN/SB with 7 Heart 3 Heart 7 Diamond K Spade
Hero raises to $6, BB calls $4

Flop: ($12.00) J Diamond 7 Spade 6 Heart (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $12.00, BB calls $12

Turn: ($36.00) A Diamond (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $36.00, BB raises to $144, Hero raises to $225.70, BB calls $81.70

River: ($487.40) J Club (2 players)

Final Pot: $487.40
BB shows J Heart Q Heart 6 Diamond A Club
Hero shows 7 Heart 3 Heart 7 Diamond K Spade
BB wins $486.90
(Rake: $0.50)

Nice river for him in 250bb pot with 10% equity.

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 6 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

CO: $66.60
BTN: $427.05
Hero (SB): $214.80
BB: $200.00
UTG: $227.75
MP: $517.75

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is SB with 8 Spade 9 Club Q Diamond J Club
1 fold, MP raises to $4, CO raises to $15, BTN calls $15, Hero calls $14, 1 fold, MP calls $11

Flop: ($62.00) T Heart 9 Diamond 3 Club (4 players)
Hero checks, MP checks, CO bets $40.00, BTN folds, Hero raises to $182, MP folds, CO calls $11.60 all in

Turn: ($165.20) 3 Diamond (2 players – 1 is all in)

River: ($165.20) 5 Heart (2 players – 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $165.20
CO shows 3 Heart 5 Diamond A Diamond 4 Spade
Hero shows 8 Spade 9 Club Q Diamond J Club
CO wins $162.20
(Rake: $3.00)

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 5 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BB: $200.00
UTG: $79.75
CO: $396.50
BTN: $901.95
Hero (SB): $200.00

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is SB with A Diamond J Diamond A Heart Q Spade
UTG calls $2, CO calls $2, BTN raises to $12.50, Hero raises to $45, 3 folds, BTN calls $32.50

Flop: ($96.00) T Diamond Q Club Q Heart (2 players)
Hero bets $31.00, BTN raises to $62, Hero raises to $154.70, BTN calls $92.70

Turn: ($405.40) 5 Spade (2 players)

River: ($405.40) J Spade (2 players)

Final Pot: $405.40
BTN shows 9 Spade J Heart Q Diamond J Club
Hero shows A Diamond J Diamond A Heart Q Spade
Hero wins $201.95
BTN wins $201.95
(Rake: $1.50)

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 2 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BTN/SB: $194.00
Hero (BB): $261.35

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BB with 9 Spade 7 Diamond 8 Heart 6 Spade
BTN/SB raises to $6, Hero raises to $18, BTN/SB raises to $54, Hero calls $36

Flop: ($108.00) T Heart 7 Spade 4 Heart (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN/SB bets $108.00, Hero raises to $207.35, BTN/SB calls $32 all in

Turn: ($388.00) T Club (2 players – 1 is all in)

River: ($388.00) 4 Club (2 players – 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $388.00
BTN/SB shows K Spade K Diamond K Heart A Diamond
Hero shows 9 Spade 7 Diamond 8 Heart 6 Spade
BTN/SB wins $387.50
(Rake: $0.50)

I hope everyone is running better than I am. I’ll try to write something in the next couple of days.

GL,

John

Posted By KasinoKrime at 08:15 AM

20 Comments

November 02, 2009

Who's Trying to Kill Me?

What’s up Degens?

As always, I’ll get all of the non-poker stuff out of the way…

Halloween is definitely one of my favorite holidays of the year, mostly because it’s one of those weekends where everyone seems to have a good excuse to act like a fool, and get drunk for the entire weekend. Also, the girls dress unbelievably whorish, which consequently makes them behave whorishly as well; definitely a plus for all involved!

Since we’re on the topic, I need to mention how unbelievably hot the women in Denver are; I’m really impressed. I think I wrote somewhere else about how disappointed I was with the crop of attractive women in Santa Cruz, so it’s refreshing to be around a ton of good looking women everywhere. Chicks in Denver seem to be more down to Earth as well; probably because they’re more outdoorsy and they don’t live close to LA, Vegas, or NY so being a hot chick doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a model or an ‘entertainer’.

Anyway, so for Halloween my two roommates and I went to Wal Mart and bought some shitty seat suits to make costumes out of. We got stencils, and made these “International Muff Diving” costumes, equipped with belts holding female deodorant, shavers, mouthwash, condoms, and hand sanitizer, while also wearing some goggles and a beanie. It was pretty funny for sure, but my costume got pretty nasty after wearing it for a couple of nights.

The first night we drove down to Colorado Springs to meet up with some girls we know for a house party. One of my roommates ended up getting too wasted and beating up somebody dressed as Toad, so needless to say we got kicked out of the party, but up to that point it was pretty awesome. The next night we hit the bars in Denver, which ended up being really sick because daylight savings added an hour onto the closing time for the bars, so everyone got extra shitfaced.

The following events is where it gets a little interesting… My roommate took home a chick from the bar, and had to give her a ride home around 5am. He woke me up on the way out, but then came back inside after just a couple of minutes and was like “hey man, I don’t want to be the one to tell you this, but somebody shot up your car really bad. There’s bullet holes all through your car. You should probably go check it out.” I decided that being drunk and wandering around the streets at 5am wasn’t the best idea, so I figured I’d wait to check it out until the morning.

Sure enough when I went out to the car, I found about ten bullet holes that basically ruined the driver side door/window of my car. It’s pretty scary because it wasn’t like someone drove by and shot a gun at my car randomly. You can tell very clearly that someone drove up on the car, and fired all the shots intentionally into the driver’s side door to kill whoever was in there, or to send a really violent message to the owner of the car. The bullets shattered my windshield, ruined my door, and the seats in my car because the bullets made it through the door and glass obviously.

This is pretty alarming for a couple of reasons besides the obvious. First off, I’m not a violent person, nor do I know any violent people. I also don’t live in a violent neighborhood. In fact, I don’t even know anyone who owns a gun, much less involve myself with people who would do this sort of thing as a joke. My hunch is that whomever shot up my car was after someone else who drives the same car (I drive a Cadillac CTS), and mistook my vehicle for theirs. Nonetheless, I’m not risking getting shot, so after my car gets fixed I’m going to go buy something else. If anybody has any recommendations for me, I’d love to hear it. I’m looking to spend about 15-20k, and need an AWD car since I go to the mountains a lot. I’ve heard good things about Audi’s and Toyotas, but will probably end up getting a Volvo.

In other news, everything else has been pretty spectacular the last couple of weeks. Poker has been going pretty well, and I’ve been able to log some hands each day since I moved in and got internet. I used to always play at least four tables, and many times I’d play six or more. In the last six weeks since I started playing again, I’ve been playing a maximum of three tables, and I can’t begin to tell you how much it’s improved my game. To be honest, unless you’re opponents are brain dead, it’s going to be difficult for the majority of people to play optimal poker on more than four tables; there’s just too much to think about/consider for each decision in my opinion. It’s funny, because now that I’m trying my best to play optimally on 2-3 tables, I feel like four tables would just be way too much to handle. It’s amazing how many mistakes I start to make when I finally add one or two tables. I think you can do it on the weekends when the tables are the softest, but otherwise if you’re playing anyone reasonable you probably need to focus a lot. It boggles my mind when you see those high stakes guys playing 4 HU tables at once; I just don’t know how they can do it!

This is something else I’ve been meaning to write about, and it’s a question I get a lot from my students. Often times I’m asked about the “EV” stat on HEM in regards to its accuracy. I’m a really big opponent of even having that stat on your display to be honest, and to be honest I don’t even pay attention to it whatsoever. If you know your game and the tendencies of your opponents, you should be able to tell if you’re running bad or not. Additionally, there’s many types of running bad, not just the bad beat kind of bad. There’s situational run bad, cooler running bad, and bad beat running bad, most of which HEM can’t account for. The biggest one it doesn’t account for is when you’re coolered repeatedly. For example, hands like this

Full Tilt Poker $400.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 2 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

BB: $399.20
Hero (BTN/SB): $400.00

Pre Flop: ($6.00) Hero is BTN/SB with 5 Diamond 9 Diamond 6 Club Q Club
Hero raises to $12, BB calls $8

Flop: ($24.00) 7 Club J Club 8 Heart (2 players)
BB checks, Hero checks

Turn: ($24.00) A Club (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $23.00, BB raises to $93, Hero calls $70

River: ($210.00) 5 Heart (2 players)
BB bets $210.00, Hero calls $210

Final Pot: $630.00
BB shows 5 Club A Heart K Club Q Diamond
Hero mucks 5 Diamond 9 Diamond 6 Club Q Club
BB wins $629.50
(Rake: $0.50)

Or this

Full Tilt Poker $200.00 Pot Limit Omaha Hi – 5 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

UTG: $170.50
CO: $111.70
Hero (BTN): $206.70
SB: $214.50
BB: $200.00

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BTN with 8 Spade A Heart 9 Club A Spade
UTG calls $2, 1 fold, Hero raises to $9, 2 folds, UTG calls $7

Flop: ($21.00) J Spade T Diamond A Diamond (2 players)
UTG checks, Hero checks

Turn: ($21.00) T Club (2 players)
UTG bets $10.50, Hero raises to $46, UTG raises to $82, Hero calls $36

River: ($185.00) 2 Diamond (2 players)
UTG bets $79.50, Hero calls $79.50

Final Pot: $344.00
UTG shows T Spade T Heart 7 Spade Q Club
Hero mucks 8 Spade A Heart 9 Club A Spade
UTG wins $341.00
(Rake: $3.00)

I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s just too much to account for, making that stat unreliable. In addition, it could even be -ev for you if you have a tendency to tilt when you run bad. Having the EV stat staring you in the face before and after each session will remind you of how bad you’re running, when truthfully you should be focusing that energy on more productive things that will help you win more money. Besides, you can’t control it anyway, so what’s the point of having it? Like Baluga says, to get better and win more money, you should focus on being a “learner” instead of a “winner”. Take care of the process, and the results will take care of themselves, I promise! It’s easy to fall into the trap of being results oriented in poker (especially in PLO), but you really just have to LET IT GO.

Anyway, I’m going to write more later or tomorrow, but for now I’m heading to the gym. I hope everyone is running well, and if you’d like to add me on facebook to check out the pics of my bullet-ridden car, then holler at me on facebook. I’m too lazy to add all of the images right now, lol.

http://www.facebook.com/john.beauprez?ref=profile

GL,

John

Posted By KasinoKrime at 04:52 AM

37 Comments

October 25, 2009

3b'ing in PLO

3b’ing

I wrote in a previous blog that I want to start including some strategy content in each blog, so I think what I’ll do from now on is pick a random area where I think people are making a ton of mistakes and basically give my overall take on it. Please, let me know if you guys want me to write about something specific and I’ll do my best to come through. Consider it a free coaching lesson :).

Today I’ll pick 3b’ing, mostly because I see a ton of general discussions about 3b’ing in the forums and from my students, but also because it’s something I struggled with greatly when I began playing. You’ll often hear good players and coaches describe 3b’ing as one of the most powerful tools at your disposal in PLO, but where the disconnect seems to lie is in regards to how to widen our 3b’ing range beyond the premium pairs and rundowns.

Before we begin breaking down a 3b’ing strategy, I think it’s important to address the kind of thought process you need for making the most optimal decision at any point in a hand. I’ve mentioned before how I used to be a live degen, and while you won’t find me making a ton of live/online or even PLO/NLHE comparisons, I think it’s worth sprinkling a few analogies into our discussion based on most players understanding of ‘correct’ NLHE play.

Anyway, one of the first things to notice in live play is how the players who look at their cards immediately after they’re dealt are usually weaker players. The better players at all levels always wait until it’s their turn to make a decision. The reason players do this is to get in the habit of considering position, table dynamics, game flow, and several other factors before adding in the final variable to the equation; their cards.

While this is obviously impossible to do for online play, I think the concept is certainly relevant when searching for the optimal decision making process in poker. Before you insta-muck As4sKd8h, or auto 3b 9dTdJhQh, take a moment to consider all of the options available to you. If you have ever spent some time surfing the PLO forums, you’ve undoubtedly seen a player ask the open ended question of, “I want to increase my 3b percentage because it’s only 2.5 at the moment, what types of *hands *can I 3b besides premium rundowns and big pairs?”.

The simple answer is several things. A glaring mistake I see many PLO players make is focusing too much on *which *hands to 3b, when in reality they should be focusing on *who *they can 3b more often profitably. So before we discuss what to do with specific hand categories, I think it’s better to spend some time considering the factors extrinsic to your hand. I heard Vanessa say in a video a long time ago that one of the biggest improvements you can make in your game starts with thinking about your opponents range before you think about your cards. This will dramatically increase your game, I promise!

Although there are many factors capable of pushing our decision one way or the other, the two key factors to consider when you have the option to 3b your opponent is their PFR and his play in 3b pots, or more specifically, how he reacts to a c-bet in 3b pots. The ideal situation for us occurs when we have a player on our right who opens too much and plays fit or fold post flop. Against these type of players, any type of hand capable of flopping some reasonable equity should be considered for a 3b, particularly as we get closer to the BTN, where an aggressive player will be opening 40% of hands or more.

Many players are familiar with the concept of domination theory in NLHE, but are confused with its application to PLO. In NLHE, the goal of preflop play is to dominate your opponent without letting them dominate you. This is accomplished by looking at their PFR and using a general understanding of frequencies to figure out how often your kicker or pair is dominated, because if you’re dominated pre flop, it’s likely you’ll be dominated in terms of equity post flop as well.

In PLO, thinking in terms of domination is more applicable to post flop dynamics rather than pre flop play. Even novice players are aware of the fact that pre flop equities run next to each other in PLO, so if we can’t dominate them pre flop, then we must dominate them postflop by choosing hands that flop a piece of equity more frequently, and also pick up equity on later streets while blocking their equity as well.

Here’s a useful analogy for you. Say you’re playing NLHE, and you’re against an opponent who’s PFR is 8%. Now, most players understand the logic for why it would be atrocious to 3b a player like this with a hand like AJo, especially when they’re opening in early position. If we change the PFR of our villain to 35%, you’ll quickly realize that our hand now dominates a significant part of their opening range. Now imagine that our opponents opening range is the same as their 3b calling range, how would you adjust your play? Our best adjustment would be to widen our value 3b’ing range, since they’re never folding and the the majority of their 3b calling range is dominated by our 3b’ing range.

What I’m trying to get you to notice is the correlation between someones opening range, and their 3b calling range. In any form of hold ‘em poker, it’s not about what their opening range is, but more important, what their *continuing *range is. If someone has a PFR of 25% but is only continuing with 5% of these hands, then bluff 3b’ing them will be insanely profitable. Likewise, if their PFR is 25 and they’re calling 23% of 3b’s, then widening our 3b’ing range will be insanely profitable as well.

If you’ve played any reasonable amount of PLO at the lower stakes, you’ll quickly notice that people simply don’t fold to 3b’s nearly as much as they should, so how should we adjust? Although there isn’t a program like PokerStove that’s available for PLO starting hand combos yet, we can use propokertools to make generalizations about the overall strength and playability of our opponents starting hands based on their PFR.

For example, someone with a PFR of 10 opens premium pairs, rundowns, and the stronger two pair starting hands. In addition, the majority of these holdings will be either single suited or double suited. These are the *worst *players to widen your 3b’ing range against, because you will rarely dominate them postflop, and you’ll often find yourself getting 4b by hands that are greater than yours. Against these types of opponents, you should only 3b premium hands for the purpose of pushing our immediate equity advantage, and because these types of hands play very well postflop.

Now let’s change our Villain’s PFR to 20, what changes? The odds of them having a suited or double suited hand drop significantly. In addition, the cards become gappier, and the high card value of their starting hand decreases significantly as well. For the sake of examples, let’s increase the PFR 10 points more, what changes now? An opponent with a PFR of 30 will rarely have hands premium enough to 4b, and many times will have to either fold to your 3b, c/f flops they missed, or get the money in post flop with dominated draws.

The overarching theme that I’m trying to get across here is that if someone’s opening range is the same as their 3b calling range, then we should be 3b’ing for either isolation, or for value. If you can meet both of these requirements, then a strong argument should be made in your head for 3b’ing. In addition, when we’re talking about looking for opponents with high PFR’s, it’s important not only to look for opponents with high _average _PFR’s, but opponents who are opening a lot in specific situations. For example, someone playing a 18/16 seems nitty at first glance, but they probably still open 30% of hands in the CO when it’s folded to them. So, if you know they play fit or fold post flop, this can be a great situation for you to 3b them in a spot you otherwise wouldn’t.

Positional Considerations:
As we move closer to the button, we can begin to widen our 3b’ing range against opponents with a high steal percentage. Even players with tighter PFR’s will open 30-50% of hands in LP, so 3b’ing BTN vs. CO with a wide range of hands will give us the opportunity to take advantage of the opponents who call 3b’s too lightly, and have to end up c/f’ing too many flops when they miss (there are many of these, and fwiw, it’s ok to fold to a 3b!).

On the other hand, it’s important to consider the UTG and EP opening ranges of even the more aggressive opponents, because even someone with a PFR of 25 will still be opening a reasonably tight range in EP, so our strategy of 3b’ing less nutty hands will end up backfiring because we’ll be getting the money in postflop with dominated draws or made hands.

Who’s behind us?
Beyond PFR considerations and post flop tendencies, it’s important to look at who else is left to act in the hand. Remember, the key for any pre flop decision is not to necessarily think about your immediate equity, but to consider what the most profitable situation for yourself is postflop. Constantly be asking yourself questions like:

Does my hand play better HU or Multi-Way?
What are the stack sizes of the blinds? The Opener?
What player types are in the blinds? How likely are they to come along if I flat?
What will my relative position be postflop?

For example, let’s say a solid reg with a 35% steal opens pot in the CO, and I have a hand on the BTN like AsTs8d9d. Normally this would be an easy 3b IP against someone who’s opening a ton in that spot, but a situation where I’d call would be if there’s a loose-passive player in the blinds who will almost certainly call if I don’t 3b. Remember, it’s all about dominating your opponents post flop, and in this case it’s certainly more profitable to play a single raised pot in position against a regular and a fish with a hand that can dominate many draws/re-draws post flop, as opposed to 3b’ing someone who plays well post flop, won’t pay you as much when you hit, and who may even fold to your 3b. The worst case scenario being that you miss the flop and someone else wins the pot, or the LP in the blinds happens to fold and you play a single raised pot HU in position against the reg. I’ll take the former over the latter anytime.

Contrastingly, if it was a weaker player who opened instead of the reg, I would 3b for obvious reasons regardless of how my hand plays postflop. Anytime you can get HU in position with a weaker player, I prefer erring on the side of aggression rather than passivity.

Hands:
We’ve made previous references about how PLO is intrinsically a post flop game, and how we need to constantly be thinking about incorporating a pre flop strategy that sets us up to play profitably postflop. I’m not going to discuss all of the factors involved in analyzing different hand combinations, but it’s important to mention that one of the most useful skills for becoming a successful PLO player is gaining an understanding about the differences between hands that play well multi-way, and hands that play better heads up.

The top 10% of hands can generally be played either way, and for the most part the fork in the road for whether to 3b our hand will be based on table dynamics and factors outside the actual structure of our hand so I’ll leave that discussion for another day. For now, I want to outline the main differences between hands that play well MW, and hands that are more suited for HU action. This should be useful for many players because hands that play better HU are generally played with a 3b or fold mindset.

Hands that play well MW are usually hands that do one thing really well (in terms of suitedness, connectedness, high card value) and that have a high nuttiness potential for obvious reasons. A hand that’s suited to the ace, and weak/medium AA** and KK** hands are good examples of this. They are unlikely to be a winner at showdown unimproved, and don’t flop good equity very often, but when they do connect with a flop, their equity against any hand is overall very good. A useful NLHE analogy can be made with low pocket pairs. For example, let’s say you pick up 44 on the BTN facing an EP open and a MP call. 3B’ing 44 in this situation would be terrible, because you don’t flop a set very much, and when you do flop a set, you want as many people to be in the pot since your equity is so great when you connect. Think of MW hands in PLO the same way.

This is pertinent for discussing 3b’ing because we don’t want to get ourselves into a situation where we 3b a hand that plays much better MW than it does HU.

Contrastingly, hands that play poorly MW will usually play better HU. Hands like KQ97ds and QJT8ss that don’t have a raw equity advantage pre flop but play well postflop are perfect candidates to 3b, particularly against someone with a high PFR because our FD’s are much more likely to be live in a HU pot, rather than in a MW pot where the odds that the nuts or a draw to it are greatly increased. In addition, these types of hands are good to 3b against opponents who are loose both pre flop and postflop because the pair + draw combos you flop will more often than not dominate the ranges the Villains are willing to stack off with.

As our opponents tendency to play poorly postflop increases, we can begin to include a wider 3b’ing range as well. Hands like 8876ss, 9864ds, and AK77ds are good examples of hands that play terribly in MW single raised pots, but play decently in 3b pots in position against opponents who play poorly postflop.

I think that’s all I can write for now, but I’ll write another post in the next few days to go a little more in depth about how different categories of hands play against a range of PFR’s, and I’ll also write about how our approach needs to change when we 3b OOP. If anyone wants me to cover something specific, please comment here. Thanks a lot! I

I hope everyone has a great week and is running well.

GL,

John

Posted By KasinoKrime at 08:32 PM

42 Comments

October 25, 2009

Hilarious Jerry Yang Encounter, Group Coaching with DJ Sensei!

What’s up Degens?

Before I start rambling, I wanted to let everyone know that DJ Sensei and I are going to be offering group coaching beginning in November. DJ and I have already put a lot of work into the program, and I think the students who participate will get a ton of value out of it. It’s cool because I learned a ton from DJ’s videos when I first started playing, so having the opportunity to coach with him will definitely be an enlightening experience. For the sake of laziness, I’ll just copy the overview of our program from DJ’s blog (www.senseipoker.com):

“I’ve only occasionally done group coaching sessions in the past, but I think that it offers a good opportunity to offer better value to students without losing much quality and individual attention. John and I have put in some work planning it out and I expect it to be awesome. We’re going to offer group coaching together, focusing on small to midstakes players who are looking to either add PLO to their skillset or take their game to the next level. There will likely be multiple levels of long-session groups (2 sessions of 2 hours each, hoping to cover a lot of ground and make significant progress fast) and a few more specific topic offerings (playing cap PLO, transitioning from NLHE to PLO, etc.) that we’ll offer as a single session. I think we’ll be set up and accepting students within the next few weeks, let me know if you’re interested!”

As always, here’s a few songs from my playlist right now. Check ‘em out! My Clipse station on Pandora is really sick, and I’ve heard a lot of new songs I really like. I think I’d be happy listening solely to Neptune and Primo beats the rest of my life; they really are the best in the bizz.

Jadakiss ft. Pharell – Stress Ya
Jay Z – Empire State of Mind
Method Man/Redman – A Yo

Also, I stumbled upon a couple of other really cool blog posts that I think people would be interested in. The first is from FoxWoodsFiend, and it’s a short post that’s from a G-Chat conversation between him and Krantz. This sounds ordinary, but if you take a look at it you’ll see what I mean… It’s crazy to put yourself in his shoes. The guy is about my age, is in Law School at Harvard, and sits in class running 20k bluffs, lol. You can find it here http://foxwoodsfiend.com/?p=523

The next post is from InternetPokers, which you can find here http://blogs.cardrunners.com/BLAG/its-all-luck-anyway-1256382638
I’ve said before how much I like his blog due to his insightful and well written philosophies on poker from the perspective of a high stakes player, but this one is about the nasty part of poker that people don’t really like to discuss very much. If you’ve ever seen any of his videos, you’ll know he’s a world class player, and is truly on another level. I have to say it’s a little disheartening/frightening to see a player of his caliber getting crushed. If it can happen to him, it can definitely happen to anyone else.

I’ve often pondered my long term goals poker goals, and the conclusions I come to generally depend on what kind of day you’ll ask me. If I’m crushing, I’ll tell you that I’m going to shot take at the high stakes games some day, but if I’m losing or breaking even, I’ll tell you my long term goal is to crush 400-1kplo. Reading an entry like his makes the shot taking side of me a little hesitant…

Sorry for the lack of updates the last few weeks, but things have been a little bit crazy, and if you’ve read any of my other entries, you’ll notice I don’t particularly like the writings to be short. Nevertheless, I have many things (both poker related and IRL) to spill out, so let’s get on with it.

First, if you’re reading this only for poker stuff, you can skip towards the bottom, but I know many people are interested in the non-degen stuff so I’ll start with that. Earlier in the week, I got a call from my Mom telling me that my Grandma wasn’t doing too well (she’s 89), and that I should come home to see her before she passes. Fortunately I was planning on driving back to CO from Santa Cruz in early November anyway, so the sudden change of plans wasn’t a huge deal. After I hung up the phone, I quickly threw together all my belongings and headed towards CO.

Since I driving 20 hours straight is not only boring but hazardous as well, I decided to make a stop in Vegas on the way to Denver in hopes of making some money and recharging a bit. I stayed at my uncles condo in southern Vegas, which was sweet because I didn’t have to worry about checking in etc.

I got into Vegas around 11pm, so my timing was pretty awesome for putting in a late night session. After dropping my stuff off at the condo, I headed to the Venetian to put in a quick session. On the way to the casino, I figured the games would be pretty crappy because it’s a Tuesday night, but in true Vegas style, what ended up transpiring was anything but ordinary..

I sat down in the 10 seat, and overheard the guys next to me saying that Jerry Yang was recently playing at the table. Being the live fish they are, this of course was one of the most magical moments of their lives (sad imo). Seriously, you would’ve thought the Beatles just played Yellow Submarine for them or something.

Anyway, a few minutes pass and they wouldn’t shut up about Jerry Yang being there. Observing my obvious disinterest, they point out that his wife is still sitting at the table seeing some hands to try to get me more jazzed up about the situation. At this point I’m just kind of shrugging it off, and trying to get in the zone to play poker.

After another five minutes, an Asian guy dressed in a light jacket and cap sits down next to the Asian lady whom the guys next to me claimed to be Jerry’s wife. Once I saw the guy, I was pretty unconvinced of his proclaimed identity, so I expressed my skepticism to the guy next to me (who at this point I couldn’t tell if he was an idiot, or just extremely wasted). The guy on my right furthered my skepticism by agreeing that he didn’t think it was Jerry Yang either. I can’t really put my finger on what it was, but somehow I just couldn’t believe that Jerry Yang would be playing 2/5NL on a Tuesday night in Vegas, in addition to the fact that the guy seemed too tall to be Jerry, and just seemed like too much of a ‘regular guy’ to qualify as Jerry.

Anyway, so the guy on my left wouldn’t shut up about it, and being in a casino at the table, the obvious proposition arises “I’ll bet you money that he’s really Jerry Yang”. I try to shut him up by overbetting, and tell him I’ll bet him $500 that it isn’t Jerry Yang (at this point I’m about 80% sure it isn’t him). Before I could even finish the sentence, the guy quick calls my bet, so I got kind of nervous about it. Like wtf is this guy so sure he’s Jerry Yang?

Haha, as a sidenote, the guy says “Look man, it’s not even about the money for me. If I win the bet, I’ll give the money to Jerry”. And I’m of course thinking “wtf, the guy won $9MM, wtf would he want $100 bucks?”.

In any case, we agreed to bet $100 on the bet, and I ask him how we’re going to prove it. He explains that he’ll just go ask him for his ID, which seems ok since I don’t have to suffer through the awkwardness of telling this guy we’re betting on his physical appearance matching up with some degen we’ve seen on TV.

So the guy goes over there, asks ‘Jerry’ for his ID, and they’re talking/pointing at me, which is standard at this point. Then after a few seconds, the two of them walk over, and ‘Jerry’ says “hey man, your friend told me about the bet, so I think I have to show you this”. He of course pulls out his wallet, and sure enough it really is Jerry Yang, lolol. So anyway at this point I’m just like wtf, I can’t believe I lost $100 to this asshole, but at the same time, I don’t really know how to act because I kind of hate Jerry Yang for the simple fact that he ran super hot and binked a big tourney when in reality he’s a terrible player.

Ok, to make it even worse, Jerry says to me “stick with your dreams kid, I’m living proof that dreams come true”. I’m like ummm…. what?

Then he says to me “Also, I wanted to let you know, that the money you lost to your friend here is being donated to the Ronald McDonald House, because I’m all about that kind of stuff. That’s what I’m all about”…

I’m just like wtf is going on here, this is SOOO awkward! He was basically acting like I was this huge fan of his, when in reality I think he’s just this big tool hahahah. Anyway, then the guy who I lost the bet to says “hey man, do you want your picture with Jerry Yang?”, and I of course say “no, that’s ok I’m good”, and then Jerry (with his hand on my shoulder at this point) further tries to coax me into a picture, saying he wants to use it to give to the Ronald McDonald foundation… Oh yes, this is all true, and yes, it gets better..

So then as we’re discussing taking this picture, the dealer says “sir it’s on you”, and I of course look at my hand, which is obviously KK. So I’m just completely thrown off now, thinking holy shit I have a monster and Jerry Yang won’t leave me alone!

I open to 25, and as the guy is taking the picture on his phone, you can see my eyes looking towards the table because I’m trying to follow the action, hahah, I was literally completely uninterested in getting my picture taken with the “world champ”.

So as I’m playing the KK hand, Jerry is standing right behind me, and I end up losing a stack when I got AI on the flop against A5dd on 4TKdd with Jerry fuckin’ Yang standing right behind me! I’m kind of tilted now because he’s still trying to get attention from me, and I just want to scream at him to go sit the fuck down because he’s tilting me so bad!
So I reload, and then a few hands later it folds to me in MP w/KTcc. I raise 4x to 20, Jerry’s wife calls me on the BTN (she was pretty LP, I only saw her 3b once and it was AA) and so do both of the blinds. Flop is 8c9cQx, checks to me and I bet 60 into 80. Jerry’s wife calls me, and so does the BB. Turn is a 5, and it checks to me again. Everyone’s ranges are super wide on the flop, and we’re deep now (I reloaded to 1k), so I figure I can bet and take it down a lot, plus if someone raises I have good implied odds depending on how much they raise given how deep we are, and I don’t expect them to have 67 here very much. So I bet 150 into 200, and get called only by Jerry’s wife. Ok at this point, I’m thinking she has to have a combo draw similar to mine, bottom two that she doesn’t know what to do with, or QK that she doesn’t want to fold or something. Surely a stronger hand would raise to protect on a board like that, right? Anyway, river is 6h, so I’m thinking there’s enough money out there where I have to bet, and given what I said about her raising me with any kind of made hand I think I can take it down here a lot by betting, and obv can’t win at showdown. I bet 250 into 500, and she of course shoves… wtf did she have? Hahaha, anyway, she shows a set of 9’s, and scoops a nice pot from me… And of course Jerry has the most bush league smile on his face the whole time. I’m soooo tilted about Jerry at this point, that I just get up and leave to go play at the Wynn, lol.

Hmmmm… What else… Ahh yes, the Broncos are 6-0 bitches! WTF are you kidding me? It’s cool being back in Denver to watch the games, and it’s pretty hilarious how the success of a sports team can improve your overall level of happiness in daily life. I’m so pissed they have a bye today, because I’ve really enjoyed watching them play this year, especially since they’ve been a buzzkill the last few years. They always seemed to have a promising start and then fizzle towards the end of the year.

A funny sidenote is that in June a bunch of my friends and I went to Brewfest up in Fort Collins, and we got in a heated discussion about the state of the team when we were wasted. I think there were six of us, and we were pretty divided on how the future of the Broncos was going to pan out. I believed we’d be ok, and I was pretty pissed at how Culter acted on the way out. My friends strongly disagreed, and thought Cutler was God’s gift to football teams blah blah blah. Since we were wasted, this obviously led to betting, and I ended up betting three of my friends $100 each that the Broncos would win more than 6 games… Needless to say I’ve been talking soooo much shit on them the last few weeks, so it’s been extra sweet watching the Broncos spit in the face of the haters.

I have some poker content to write about, but I think I’ll make this into two blogs because this one is already long enough.

Posted By KasinoKrime at 08:06 PM

28 Comments

October 01, 2009

What Makes a Poker Player?

What’s up Degens?

The last few days have been pretty sick. My desire to play is the strongest that it’s been in a long time, and it feels good to finally log some hands. It’s really cool how much and quickly you learn when you’re playing a bunch of hands.I’m enjoying it because the more I play, the more situations I find in my game that need some improvement. For example, I s find myself spew-calling way too much on rivers where it’s very obvious my opponent has me beat, but out of frustration I call them anyway. I’ve also noticed myself taking the lazy route too much (just mentally timing out and mindlessly checking because it’s easy to do without making considerations for the actions before me). Like pretty much all other players, I think my turn game needs some work as well. Overall though, I’m satisfied with my play, and look forward to taking it to another level in the next few months.

While setting up Google Reader today, I noticed that I’ve been reading way more poker blogs lately than I’m used to. Maybe it’s the result of looking for interesting ideas for topics I can use in my own, but if you get a chance I think there’s a few you should definitely check, especially if you like reading about poker strategy and the life of a professional gambler. Here’s a few of my favorites:

Taylor Caby’s Blog http://blogs.cardrunners.com/taylor
Phil Galfond’s Blog http://www.bluefirepoker.com/blog.aspx?blogid=25
Wilt on Tilt’s Blog http://www.plusevpoker.com/blog/
Krantz’ Blog http://www.dangerlion.com
Brian Townsend http://blogs.cardrunners.com/brian
Haseeb Qureshi http://blogs.cardrunners.com/BLAG
Brian Hastings http://blogs.cardrunners.com/Stinger885

Ok there’s a bunch, but I don’t really want to copy paste anymore of the links, lol. But fwiw, you should check out Negreanu’s blog, Alec Torellis blog, and Tony Dunst’ too.

After reading all the writings of these poker players, I got into a discussion with my roommate Kai about what it takes to be a successful poker player. We were talking more about longevity than anything, but nevertheless, I think it’s a topic that’s worth discussing.

First, one thing I’d forgotten about but was reminded of while putting in a ton of volume this week were the “little things” the good players do to gain an edge over the competition. I think there’s a ton of people who have really solid fundamentals in poker, but are seriously lacking in many other categories that are equally important to being profitable in today’s game. To be more specific, I’m talking about things that don’t directly involve poker strategy, such characteristics unique to playing online as opposed to live. For example, if you took a live pro who never played online, he may be able to deconstruct a poker hand based on range analysis, but he won’t know the little tricks you can use to increase your win rate.

I’ll try to be more descriptive. Since I started living with Kai, I’ve been able to pick up on the skills and tricks he uses to find the weaker players. Whenever he’s out of a hand at his table, he’s constantly scanning the lobby looking for good or better games to play in. In addition to this, he’s also an amazing note taker, so it’s no coincidence he crushes the MSNL games so hard.

I often times see this with my students. By looking at their HUD, I can tell they’ve played thousands of hands with their opponents, and yet there’s not one word in their note box about the opponents game. If nothing else, you should be writing down what that player probably thinks of YOU if you’re unable to notice any glaring tendencies in his game beyond the obvious inferences from his HUD stats. One small nugget of information can help you solve other parts of his game. Doe he c/c big draws? Did he see you fold to his barrel in a 3b pot? What’d he c/r with? What does he donk with? How many tables is he playing? USE ANYTHING! A particle of information is better than none, so do your best to absorb what you can and make an educated guess.

Inside the game, there’s several qualities in a successful poker that are commonly overlooked. The ability to play your A-B game on a consistent basis is the first that comes to mind, simply because I believe most poker players who take the game relatively serious are capable of playing at a very high level when they’re under favorable circumstances. The main challenge stems from trying to balance playing a high volume of hands with accompanying high level of play. These are the qualities that are vital to the success of all poker players.

I know dozens of profitable poker players ranging from micro to high stakes, and truthfully if you gave each of them a hand to analyze, there’s a solid chance you wouldn’t be able to tell which response played at a higher level than another. I’ve found most devoted poker players have the knowledge to break hands down very well, but a lot of them have trouble at actually being a poker player. For me personally, I’m confident I can bring my A game to a coaching lesson, but for whatever reason I still struggle with consistently playing my best poker. Laziness, boredom, complacency, and impatience often contribute to my decreased level of play, but it could be anything really. Observing Kai has given me a better perspective on what it takes to be a “professional” in this game.

Now that I’ve learned some of the tertiary skills of being good at this game, I’m excited to learn even more when I start lessons with Tom next week. I’m still waiting on his ebook, but it’s supposed to be here within the next couple of days so I’m sure you’ll catch some feedback here.

Last time I said I’d post some hands, so I suppose I’ll do that now.

Haha, it’s a beautiful thing. http://weaktight.com/1552300

This one’s pretty funny. Check the flop hoping the short stack would ship and the fish would call. Nice riv haha http://weaktight.com/1552277

If anyone can guess the equity correct on their first try I’ll ship them $5. http://weaktight.com/1551768

Games are goooooot http://weaktight.com/1542114

http://weaktight.com/1541505 I’m pretty embarrassed about my line here, but I want to go over it anyway. Flop is std, but the turn is where it starts to get interesting. I felt like an 8 was a big part of his range, but I feel like I kind of suck at spots where it’s difficult to act like you’re a huge hand. I wasn’t sure how strong his 8 was, but I figured there’s a change it was A8xx or Q8xx because he limped UTG, and he hadn’t been super loose up to this point, so he probably has an above average limping range. I felt like c/c’ing the turn was the best line, mostly because it looks like I have AAxx and am not convinced, and if he’s a competent player (which I thought was the case), then he’s going to try and build a pot to get paid on the river.

The river is where I think I lost value. My thought process at the time was that he would never fold a boat, but he could easily check back with a weaker 8, but if I bet pot it might look bluffy, in which case he’ll always call with an 8 (which like I said previously, composed a significant percentage of his range). In retrospect, I think betting half pot or a little more is perfect because his boats will probably ship, but his 8 will almost always call. I’m not sure though, I don’t think shipping can be all that bad. He tanked forever before he folded.

http://weaktight.com/1552299 Haha lost three of these lately in a pretty similar fashion, but whatcha gonna do.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with minraising, and I think it has a lot of benefits at many of the tables at the lower stakes. I think the table it works best at is a table with a couple of TAGish regs, and then 1 or two very big fish. Let’s say you’re dealt a hand like TTJ8ds UTG, or even something like AdKs6d8s, and hand that can play ok MW, but also plays well HU, but doesn’t necessarily play fantastic in a 3b pot. By min raising this PF, you deter the regs from isolating you (because they want to keep the fish in), so if they play they only call, and the fish are either calling or folding anyway, so you’re not changing much there. Also if a reg 3b’s you and all the fish do fold, then you can fold comfortably as well if you aren’t in the mood to play a 3b pot OOP. On the other hand, if both fish call, you now can play a big pot in position on the fish in the blinds. This can be an awesome scenario if you have a hand like JJ88, JTT9ds, or something like that. Doesn’t sound too bad eh?

If you get called and need want to cb bluff, you now don’t need to bluff as large an amount since the pot will be smaller postflop than if you had raised full pot PF. What you’re basically creating here is a situation where you can see the flop cheaply, while also keeping in weaker opponents. In addition, min raising a hand you would consider limping makes your HUD stats look better to regs, so it will look like you’re playing laggier than you might be.

Anyhow, ya I have problem with long posts. I hope everyone is well!

Posted By KasinoKrime at 06:22 AM

92 Comments

September 30, 2009

Volume!

What’s up Degens?

This entry won’t be too long, because I just finished playing the most hands I’ve played in a long time (2300 hands today!). Nevertheless, it’s been a few days since I did an entry, so I wanted to throw something down.

I’ve mostly been playing on Stars lately, and it’s really interesting to see the differences between the PLO games on FTP. In the past, I’ve frequently been asked by students if there’s a difference between the games, but I never had much experience on PS to go by, but now I feel a little more qualified to give a more reliable answer.

I think at the 400PLO levels and below, the games are probably equally as good on both sites. I definitely like the software on FTP much better (it’s easier to table select because of the colored player notes, aesthetically pleasing, PS doesn’t have a pot button, wtf?). Also, PS doesn’t have deep/ante tables like FTP, which is definitely a drag. Also, I don’t like the fast tables too much, although I can see how fish like this a lot. Overall though, I think both sites play pretty similarly, but PS seems to have more short stackers and just big droolers who will sit with you HU, but overall I could play on either site I think. I played for like a week straight to get Platinum status so I could get some rb on Stars, but if you didn’t have rb it would really suck, particularly for low stakes PLO players. If I’m a low stakes PLO player, I’d go anywhere that I got the best rake.

In the end, I think I’ll end up going back to FTP. It’s kind of tedious getting to know all the new players and become accustomed to the new software. Oh well, so it goes.

One of the reasons I put in so much volume the last couple of days was because of a back injury I got from P90x. It actually wasn’t during the workout, but when I was doing yoga afterwards, lol. So hopefully it gets better, because I’m planning on making a Vegas trip this weekend, but in this condition I probably can’t go because I can barely sit up.

Besides degening, not a lot has gone on. I’m a little dissapointed with my level of play (which I always seem to be), but I’m continuing to improve and plug some leaks I have. I’m mainly trying to avoid making terrible bluffs with no equity, while also looking for good spots to put heat on the players when I know they have to have weak/marginal hands. I’m getting better at donking into players with a balanced range, which is fun to experiment with as well. I played a ton of interesting hands, but am going to wait to post them until tomorrow because I want to provide some analysis with the HH.

Also, I’ve got my own blog up now, which you can find at www.plohero.com. I’ll continue to post here, but I’ll be writing/posting more training materials at my blog site, so be sure to check me out there!

I hope everyone’s doing well. Hopefully I can write about some hands tomorrow. GL!

John

Posted By KasinoKrime at 09:33 AM

11 Comments


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