January 31, 2008

Real-time cash game discussion...

dude, i'm getting poned today
blackchips: what are you pryaing?
bluechips: nl100, down 230
blackchips: 2 bi's? dude that's nada
bluechips: meh it's been a while since i've been down this much in a sesh
blackchips: then you were due. i THINK most winners onry win rike 55% of sesh's
bluechips: i think it's adjustment to daytime pray. i'mgetting 3bet a rot, not getting ANY folds
blackchips: 4 bet shove, that's my solution
bluechips: yea i haven't gotten to that point yet
blackchips: are you ballz deep in a sesh?
bluechips: this is so fawking annyoing, yes. i raised with A5 bluechips: frop 422, two spades, i cbet got craised. Wwyd?
blackchips: frat it depending on the CR. But that's a GREAT frop not to C bet...but to raise a lot of donk turn
bluechips: well there were two callers
blackchips: bc your C won't fold out many hands
bluechips: so i bet 10, got raised to 30. he had like 30 behind
blackchips: pitch it
bluechips: yea i def should have checked behind frop
blackchips: you think he's folding an overpair? NEVER
bluechips: no
blackchips: 55-88
bluechips: maybe spades, which i'm ahead of
blackchips: he's going all the way
bluechips: i just folded it
blackchips: ya dude on paired gross frops rike that...i'm cautious with my cbetting bc sometimes poeple won't even fold out 22 on a 886 boardwhich is TERRRRRIBLE. But yer going to have either make him fold or hit her hand
bluechips: yea
blackchips: and people LOVEEEE to CR those frops. So disapoint them by NOT c betting
bluechips: i sometimes have trouble adjusting when the raise-c-bet strategy isn't working
blackchips: give me an example. for you to get a fold with a cbet on a 422 frop vs TWO opp...that's rare. very unrikery
bluechips: ya. i don't know why i did it. donk pray
blackchips: and whire its ghey/passive/weak whatever not c bet in general, sometimes the board texture doesn't warrant it...esp since in this case you have a gutter, and you can't handle a CRsometimes i ask myself before making a c bet, can i handle a CR? and ww i do if he does CR.(the answer more often than not is prettysimple, SHOVE, ROR!)
bluechips: ugh i just made a terrible play AGAIN his play is probably worse, but i rewarded it with terrible play
blackchips: show me your donkish waysdid you see that email I sent you?
bluechips: no dude i'm praying 6 tabres on one monitor i don't have time for emairs. Dude. ZERO folds today. ZERO. i'm getting called on the frop and raised on the turn EVERY time (for the record bluechips prays too many fawking tabres on his tiny ass screen...he's definitery needs to upgrade his system!)
blackchips: ROR. prorry don't have room for a gchat window either. get the fawk off 6 tabres dildo. i'm going to post this chat on the brog. ROR
bluechips: ROR werr i just won a coupre of decent pots


New Srut

Loyal readers may have noticed that we have chosen a new maternal slut to make fun of. As it turns out, the rady whose mom we used to mention doesn't enjoy being toyed with as much as her mom does. So instead we'll be discussing the loose morals of Tiffany's mom. I think you will be truly dazzled with how huge a slut she is. Let's just say you could probably finance several hours of preasure with the change in your couch. Good times.


January 29, 2008

Punishing Limpers...

$2/$4 (9-handed)
*** HOLE CARDS ***
UTG ($1,101) - call
BLACKCHIPS ($408) raises to $22 from CO with (Js 8s) - (a double gapper with two SPADES from the CO, pretty much a no brainer raise!)
UTG - calls $22

*** FLOP *** (Qh Tc 9s) - (I fropped the second nuts, let's take this to valuetown!)
UTG - check
BLACKCHIPS - bet $46
UTG - call- (not exactly sure what he limped here, maybe JT?)

*** TURN *** (Qh Tc 9s) (6h) - (LOVING this turn card)
UTG - check
BLACKCHIPS - bet $118 - (no need to slowplay, gotta bet again)
UTG - calls $118 - (if he's check calling with JT, that's just terrible, could he have fropped the nuts with KJ?)

*** RIVER *** (Qh Tc 9s 6h) (8h) - (not the greatest river card, backdoor hearts got there, and and now we are chopping if he has any J)
UTG - check
BLACKCHIPS - bet $223.30 - (he has check called 2 streets, I'm fawking clueless as to his holdings...time to SHOVE. If he has KJ...so be it)
UTG - calls $223.30

*** SUMMARY ***
UTG - mucked (As Ad) - a pair of Aces - (WTF?!?!?!?)
BLACKCHIPS - wins the pot ($823.60) with a straight, Queen high

Obviously this game can be pretty easy when you flop the second nuts, but the focus here is not so much the end result, I wanted to hit on 2 things - the virrain's terrible pray and bet sizing.

Virrain's terrible pray - the AA UTG limp is fine. However, for whatever reason he decides to get super tricky and not re-raise me when I raise from the CO. WTF? Does he not know that I open roughly 143% of the time from the CO? Onto the frop, which is just GROSS for an overpair...and I don't blame him for not folding to my c-bet. However, as the hand progressed and he continued to check call, he never defined the strength of his hand. By the river, he could only beat a bruff and AQ, KQ, KK. I think for whatever reason he got so attached to holding the A of SPADES that he couldn't fold, ROR! Little did he know that I had TWO spades in my hand, and two is always better than one! PWND!

Bet sizing - the ability to extract MAX value in hands can be the difference between a winning/losing player. It goes without saying that the object of NLHE is to win the most MONIESSSS. That means winning big pots and getting as much your stack in the middle when you have the best of it. Could I have slowplayed the flop when I flopped gin? Sure, but there's NO WAY I would have been able to get my entire stack in the middle by the river without some weird overbet on the turn/river. I started with an effective 100bb stack (virrain had me covered) and by making two BIG bets (80%+ of pot) on the frop and turn, I left myself with a potish-sized bet river bet that he chose to donkishly call. If I had decided to check anyone of those streets, I LOSE the ENORMOUS value from missing the river bet of $223.30. Folks - get max value out of your big hands with proper bet sizing...it will help you sleep better at night.


He's pretty much gotta call the river...I mean you're also shoving 85o there rike every time...for varue!


Betting When Only Better Hands Call

I'm posting this hand for 3 reasons:

1) It shows how chat can sometimes be useful to get a virrain to show
2) This virrain played his hand particularly poorly, and:
3) The virrain didn't understand why his play was so bad, because his analysis was too results-based.

Seat 1: Villain 1 ($119.35)
Seat 2: Villain 2 ($53.40)

Seat 3: Villain 3 ($18.50)

Seat 4:
Hero ($127.50) -
Seat 5: Villain 4 ($17.50) -

Seat 6: Villain 5 ($100) -

Seat 7: Villain 6 ($40) Sitting Out

Seat 8: Villain 7 ($162.55)

Seat 9: Villain 8 ($104.85)


Villain 4
posts small blind $0.50
Villain 5
posts BIG blind $1
Dealt To: Hero

FOLD Villain 7

CALL Villain 8 ($1)

FOLD Villain 1

CALL Villain 2
FOLD Villain 3

($4.50) - (pretty standard raise with AJo on the button)
FOLD Villain 4

FOLD Villain 5
CALL Villain 8 ($3.50) - (I'm definitely not unhappy with this call. It's a profitable situation for me to be in the betting lead and in position.)
FOLD Villain 2

Pot: $11.5
CHECK Villain 8

BET Hero
($8) - (Scary looking board and I hit none of it. Virrain could definitely have been limp-calling with a small pocket pair and have just hit a set. But my hand has very little showdown value, and I'd hate to let him end up winning the pot with AQ-high, A4s, or some crap like that. So I'll go ahead and bet and see if he's interested in the pot.)
CALL Villain 8
($8) - (Looks like he is.)
Pot: $27.5
CHECK Villain 8

BET Hero ($20) -
(This is just too good a card to bluff for me to check behind on it. He'd have to fold his pair-and-straight-draw hands, here like 77 or 76s. The fact that it was the 4 on the flop that was a non-spade means he's pretty unlikely to have had a pair and a flush draw and now made a flush, unless he started with A4ss, which is unlikely just because it's one exact hand. He'd have to fold 88-QQ as well. So I'm betting this card pretty much every time. If he calls here, I'm probably done putting money into the pot.)
CALL Villain 8
($20) - (Looks like he's gonna win this hand.)
Pot: $67.5
BET Villain 8
($72.35) - (Obviously I'm folding. I have nothing. But this is a really weird play. His shove is very weak. I don't see him open shoving with AA and the A of spades. It's pretty hard to see him getting to the river with AK and the A of spades or QQ and the Q of spades. I think he probably flopped a set or made a low flush on the turn, and is now just frustrated about the fourth spade on the board. But I don't want him to think that I was just bs'ing the whole way down, so I tank for a little bit, and chat in "nice catch" before folding. I usually really try to stay away from the chat box because it's a recipe for tilt, but often in these kinds of situations you can goad your opponent into showing by intimating that he luck-boxed into a good hand on the river. He will be dying to show you that he actually had you the whole way, and you'll get information about his play that you wouldn't have otherwise had.)

UNCALLED Villain 8
Villain 8:

Villain 8 collected $64.5 from main pot

As you can see, he did in fact show after I folded, and it turns out he turned a set of Kings after slowplaying before and on the flop. I'm not a huge fan of his slowplays on earlier streets, but I guess you could make an argument for it. His shove on the river, however, is unequivocally a really bad play.

When you bet, particularly on the river, you want to be either folding out hands that are better than yours, or getting called by hands that are worse. I MIGHT fold a pair of sevens or eights with a spade included here, and I could have had the same flop and turn actions with those hands. I would definitely fold the nut straight here, but I wouldn't always be raising with 78 preflop. It would have to be suited for sure, so that's only 4 hands. So there are a few hands that he's losing to that he'd fold out. But not many. I'd certainly be calling here with the nuts, which I could easily have, certainly with QQ and the Q of Spades, probably even if I had the J of spades, because, as I said, I felt his shove was weak. But he's DEFINITELY not going to get called by a worse hand, since I'm not calling without a flush. I'm folding all lower sets, AK, AA, anything that could lose to him.

Basically, he decided that he wasn't folding the hand, so in order to deter me from bluffing and putting him to a tough decision, he decided to just shove it all in. Deciding not to fold isn't necessarily a terrible decision, but if you're gonna get it in, you might as well try and get it in against the hands you beat, as well as the hands you lose to. By shoving, he gets it in ONLY against the hands he's losing to. If he checks, I probably check back, and he wins the EXACT same amount as when he shoves and I fold. He also doesn't get to see that I was bluffing the whole way, which should be of some value. I might even check down some hands that I would have called his shove with, like JJ with the J of spades. In that case, he loses less than he does when he shoves and I call.

I MIGHT try a big bluff on the river. He's scared of this happening, and that's why he shoves. But if he calls that bet EVERY time, he's doing better than if he shoves every time, because some of the times that I bet, he'll win. Whereas if he shoves and I call, he loses every time. So the next time you're in a situation where you know your hand is marginal, but you know you're not going to fold it, check and call rather than open shove. You'll get it in vs. the nuts just as often, but you'll get it in vs. air more often, which is what you want.

The last thing I want to talk about is the way he analyzed the hand. Of course after he showed KK I gave him an "lol" for making such a dumb bet. He explained his rationale as, "I knew you didn't have anything, so I just shoved. It was obviously the right play, since you folded." First of all, he doesn't know I didn't have anything, since I could easily have AA with the A of spades, QQ with Q of spades, Ax with A of spades, or any number of other hands with a big spade in them. Second of all, the fact that I folded doesn't mean it was the right play to shove. Again, if he checks and I check, he wins the exact same amount as when he shoves and I fold. The way to evaluate a play isn't to look at whether you won the hand or not. I could open shove preflop every hand and probably win 75% of them. Doesn't mean it's a good idea. The way to evaluate a strategy is to figure out what its EV is, given the range of hands that your opponent could have. On those terms, this virrain's pray is pretty much the nut low.


January 28, 2008

Sub-Optimal Play

Last night I got PWND at the tables BIG TIME. The night was pretty much –EV all around, I played like ass – no excuses. Bad bluffs, missed value, and did a terrible job adjusting to my tables/villains. Could you put together any better recipe for disaster? I got stuck a few buyins (6 to be exact), and simply could not resist urge to play until I got recouped my losses. I started around midnight and didn’t finish up until SIX fawking AM. Oh and let’s not forget I have a normal 9-5 job that I had to be at…

Why shouldn’t I have been playing such a long marathon session?

a) I was too tired. Never play tired…this should be a pretty basic rule (one which I routinely violate.) Obviously as the night wore on and on, I grew more tired and played even worse (and of course, jumped up to a bigger game in an effort to recoup my losses.) Your brain simply does not process decisions with the speed and precision that it does when you are well rested….and this game is predicated primarily on what? Oh ya, decision making. Fawk me.
b) Tilt. Regardless of your ability to control tilt (I have decent tilt control, but I’m not immune to it) it is still difficult to completely isolate your emotions. We’re gambling here ladies and gentlemen, for real hard currency…the almighty devalued AMERICAN DOLLAR! When someone is continually 3-betting yer ass, you start taking that shit personally and make bad decisions, which can QUICKLY spiral out of control. One villain last night absolutely gang raped me for 2+ buyins. By the end of the night I honestly thought he could see my hole cards.
c) Finally – I had a guest staying at my apartment. More specifically, a rovery rady. Maybe I should have been working on my other “game.” ROR.

You might be wondering if I was able to make a comeback and breakeven (or then again maybe you don’t give a shite) – but it doesn’t matter…the lesson to be learned here is to be a fawking man, set a stop loss, and just QUIT. I’ve been telling myself this now for quite sometime, maybe now that I have it in writing I will have the control for future sessions!


Also, the fact that you're down is a signal (albeit a noisy one) that you're not playing well, or that you're playing at a tough table. On the other hand, if you're up, it's a signal that you're playing well or playing with donks. So why would you play longer when you're down? Seems to not make any sense. You should want to play more when you have an edge, and quit early when you don't.

The reason most people (including BrackChips and myself) play longer when behind than ahead is because they have what economists call "reference dependent utility".

As a poker player playing for relatively small stakes (relative to your lifetime income, for instance), you should be "risk-neutral", which means that your utility of money function, u(x), where x is some amount of money, is linear (i.e., u(x) = a*x+b for some constants a and b, with a>0). Then your EXPECTED utility is just P_1*u(x_1) + P_2*u(x_2) + ... + P_n*u(x_n), where {x_1,...,x_n} are all the possible payoffs and {P_1,...P_n} are their respective probabilities. You can see how, if you substitute in the utility function u(x)=a*x+b, you get a*(P_1*x_1 + ... + P_n*x_n) + b, or a*E[X] + b. In other words, your utility is an increasing function of expected value, so in order to maximize it, you just maximize expected value.

What happens if instead you weigh small gains and losses relative to a reference point very heavily, and larger gains and losses only slightly more heavily (e.g., losing $100 hurts bad, losing $200 hurts only a little worse, and winning $100 rocks, but winning $200 is only a little bit more awesome). In rough terms, you care more about whether you're a winner or a loser than how much you win or lose. Now think about being down $100. Say your utility at this point is -10. You're facing a $100 bet that you think you only have a 40% chance of winning. If you lose, you'll be down 200, but this isn't twice as bad as losing 100, so your utility at that point is -15. If you win the bet, you'll get back to even, where your utility is zero. The expected value of this bet is .4*(100) + .6*(-100) = -20. Obviously not good. But what's the expected utility of taking this bet? If you win, you gain 10 utils (the unit of measurement of utility in economist-jargon), whereas if you lose, you go down to -15 utils, a loss of 5 utils. So the expected utility gain from the bet is .4*(10) + .6*(-5) = 10. So it's positive expected utility.

This explains why BrackChips (and I, for that matter) keep playing when we're losing, but stop sooner when we're ahead. All that math I did just formalizes the intuition that it hurts to book a loss, whereas booking a bigger loss isn't that much more painful. So when losing we might be more inclined to gamble and, say, ship it all in with AQss pf.

The economist Richard Thaler has tested this hypothesis at the horse races (check out Chapter 10 of his book "The Winner's Curse"). Because of the rake that the track takes, by the end of the day, bettors are on average pretty good-sized losers. So in an effort to get even, they bet on longshots on the last race of the day. As a result, longshots in the last race of the day are systematically over-priced.

If you remember that it's all one long session, and booking a loss in a particular night is just an arbitrary way of grouping the hands you've played, you'll find it much easier to stop when you're behind and not playing werr.

Incidentarry, you should never stop when you're behind...Tiffany's mom. If you do, she gets rearry mad.


January 24, 2008

Greetings Cyberdonks

...And welcome to our blog, your one-stop shop for poker discussion and entertainment. We talk about poker all the time. We finally realized that some of the material we were coming up with was so genius, so golden, that we couldn't keep it from the world any longer. So we, BlueChips and BlackChips, have come together to create this site, SpritPot.

(One note: You may be offended by the fact that occasionarry we might misperr some words using our Engrish accents. To that we say: Risten. Carm down. It's not our probrem certain individuars can't pronounce certain syrrabres.)

We are cash game WHORES (tournaments are for lucksacks and donkeys).
We primarily play full ring games.
We do NOT play the same style. ROR!

BlueChips started up his online carer in Spring 2006 at the NL50 level. Inspired by a prop bet that challenged his manhood and ability to maintain a respectable win rate over cyberdonkeys, he made a jump up to NL100 - where he is slowly learning the art of sucking out, min-raising 16 limpers from the smarr brind, and the fact that some people just don't fold 4th pair. Plays a tight aggro style (oh WTF, everyone plays aggressive these days...except Full Tilt Pro Rino Mathis...more on that later....) and mixes in his fithy math skills to PWN villains. He can also occsionally be found donating multiple buyins at the HU cash tabres.

BlackChips has been playing online since 2005. After donking away several online deposits, by some miracle he found his niche at NL400 in December 2006. Of all the regulars at the 400 game, this guy is one of the few true LAGs at the NL400 game. Pretty much any two cards will do for this guy. His UTG PFR range include cards that are cards that are better geared towards winning in RAZZ. After spending much of 2007 grinding the NL400-NL1000 levels, RedChips has scaled back his multi tabling donkery grinding and is looking to figure out ways to play looser. Stay tuned to see if that's even possible.

Two and a half years ago, we found ourselves in a casino one night. How we got there isn't important. It might have been to hit on the 58-year old cocktail waitresses. One of them might have been Tiffany's mom. But whatever, that doesn't matter for our purposes here. The point is, at the time, BlackChips played poker, but was a huge donkey. Like, even worse than he is now. So he asked BlueChips if he wanted to head over to the card room. BlueChips had never played before, so due to the huge vagina growing on his forehead, clouding his vision and judgement, he refused, and played blackjack instead (won $50! poned!).

Fast forward to present day, BlueChips is willing to play BlackChips HU for rolls any time. OK, maybe not rolls. Maybe $50. Many HU matches and poker discussions later, we have decided to start this blog together. Maybe the co-blogging thing is a little ghey. But don't worry, we won't be having any anal sex or giving each other rusty trombones or anything like that. But if you think it's a little fruity that two guys would have a blog together, whatever, we're ok with that. This way you get twice the content, twice the fun, twice the ACTION (although if you want like 8-10 times the action, lmk and I can give you Tiffany's mom's number).

That's about it. Poker. Engrish. Jokes about Tiffany's mom (she's a huge slut, you wouldn't even believe it). Check back soon as we wirr update frequentry.

BlackChips and BlueChips