May 30, 2008

Art of the Min Raise (Part 8)

In addition to the donk method of playing a big pocket pair that has been well detailed in this space, I am now beginning to see more and more the donk method of playing AK. Just as with the donk method of playing a big pocket pair, this involves min re-raising preflop and then going broke when you're outflopped. However, it almost always involves check-calling or betting small, rather than betting huge as with the donk method of playing the big pairs. Here's an example:

UTG ($80)
HERO (CO-1) ($424.90)
UTG posts $2 (First thing to note - guy buys in for $80 and posts UTG...I'm salivating)

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to HERO [Ac Jc]
UTG checks, folds to me...
HERO raises to $10 (As if I would need any extra encouragement to raise this donk's post, it's folded to me and I have brainer raise)
folded back around to UTG....
UTG raises to $18 (Donk method alert! Could he have a big pp? Yes...but given that I have an A, it's more likely KK than I have position and he's a moron. Still, it he had bought in for $40 rather than $80, I'd fold)
HERO calls $8

*** FLOP *** [Jh 3c 4d]

UTG checks (If he had made a big bet here, I'd have kind of a tough decision, since his play would be consistent with the donk method of AA-KK. But since he checks, it's gotta be the donk method of AK. I want to bet a small amount, so that he won't be able to resist, but enough so that I can get his stack in on the turn with a bet that again seems very small relative to the pot)
HERO bets $20
UTG calls $20 (When he just calls, I'm almost positive he has AK)

*** TURN *** [Jh 3c 4d] [8c]

UTG checks
HERO bets $42 (Great turn card, giving me more outs in case he does have AA-KK. I can now put him all-in with a bet that's only about half-pot)
UTG calls $42, and is all in
HERO shows [Ac Jc]
UTG shows [As Ks]

*** RIVER *** [Jh 3c 4d 8c] [6s]

Ship it over this way!!!


May 29, 2008

Deep Stacked Play - Part 3, final comments

So there has been some interest in this hand...I think Bruechips did a great job in breaking down the math along with villain's ranges at a very granular level. For some of you - this might be a bit too much, but I highly suggest those of you who are serious about your game to at least attempt to understand it...I can assure you this kind of detailed analysis is not easy to come by.

As for the results of the hand - see below...

So I luckboxed my way into a monsterpotten...not a bad thing. My thoughts on my flop ship were as follows:

a) BB is folding about EVERY time, AKdd MIGHT call...but calling off a 200bb stack with two overs a NFD is a little fishy. BB is a very tight player...definitely capable of making a laydown.
b) A large part of my reasoning for shipping was that I incorrectly thought I had 10 clean outs vs MP.
c) MP was largely unknown and while he's obviously not folding 9T (which makes up a fraction of his range), I felt that he could fold most two pair combinations, JJ-QQ, diamond draws, and possibly even 666.
d) I did not have much information on MP, and despite being in position vs him, if I just call...there are plenty of turn cards that will either kill the action, or make my decision very tough on the turn. I really did not think I could play further streets optimally.
e) Finally - since in my mind folding/shipping were the only two options...i felt that folding was a bit ghey. I try to keep that adjective out of my arsenal when it comes to my poker play.

Well this ended up being a mini series on deepstacked play...hope ya'll enjoyed it!


Arso, for those of you out there wondering, Brackchips def does NOT keep gheyness out of his arsenar away from the fert. Seriousry, he rikes it in the butt more than any other dude I know. Not as much as Tiffany's mom rikes it though. She wirr actuarry beg for it.


May 28, 2008

Deep Stacked Play - Part 3, cont.

Well, since there hasn't been too much response on the hand (do you guys not like to read math and whatnot?), I figure I'll just make a couple more comments and be done with it. I think I pretty well established that shoving is better than folding, and that calling is at least as good as folding. The two remaining questions are: is it better to raise less than all-in, and can calling be better than raising?

Let's go with the second question first. We considered our play and our expected winnings for 17 of the 45 possible turn cards (45 because we had a very strong belief about BB's holdings, in particular that they never include a T,9,5,4,3 or deuce...we could maybe even make this stronger using our assumptions about what MP1 holds). These plays got us an EV of around -70, or the same as folding. The EV of shoving is somewhere between -35 and 110, depending on what MP has. There are 28/45 cards left in the deck. To make calling as good as shoving, I'd have to find an average of somewhere between 45/28*(35) = 56 and 45/28*(180) = 289. In the first case, I'd need another 9 or 10 turn cards where I'd get check-folded to. That's tough, but not impossible. I think pretty much any ace would be a good card to bet when checked to, especially the ace of diamonds. Kings aren't bad either. The reason is that the BB is going to bet again if he makes a set on the turn, and MP will bet those cards if he's got either a set on the flop or a diamond draw that turned a pair. If MP turns a flush, I think he'd certainly bet it, since our call on the flop looks like it could be a set. Also, if he turns a J-high flush, he'd want to protect it, since the BB could have the K or A of diamonds.

I think there is enough possibility for profit on the turn that calling is a reasonable option, especially if you feel very confident in your reads on the other players and your ability to exploit them. But overall shoving is probably better, and you avoid sticky situations like if the Ad comes, it's checked to you, you bet, and one of the other players shoves. That's a gross spot. Shoving eliminates tough decisions later in the hand, which might be slightly less +EV if you're able to play perfectly on the turn, but given that none of us is perfect, sticking it all in on the flop is fine. Whereas my first instinct was that calling would end up being pretty clearly superior to shoving, it turns out you've got to play the turn very well (and your opponents have to play it somewhat poorly) to make calling better.

As far as raising less than all-in, certainly you're not going to be raising and then folding, so the question is really how raising less than all-in affects the range of cards MP will fold (he'd probably never just call a raise on the flop, he'd either shove or fold). He might be a little more likely to shove over the top with AdKd or JdTd or even TT than he would be to call a shove with them, since you have given him the illusion of fold equity. And you do want these hands to fold. So I think if you're going to raise, you should probably just go ahead and make it an all-in raise.


May 25, 2008

Deep Stacked Play - Part 3

Below is a partial HH from a deep NL600 game that I played recently...I had quite a bit of discussion with Bruechips regarding this hand and the most optimal line to take in this spot considering the all the factors - stack sizes, board texture, virrains, etc. I think Bruechips is going to chime in a bit about his thoughts on the hand...but WTF would you do in this spot?

My reads are as follows...

MP1 - relatively unknown, but has been playing tight in the limited action I have seen from him
BB - ULTRA tight, his range consists of overpairs to the board

Full Tilt Poker, $3/$6 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 9 Players

UTG+1: $720.95
UTG+2: $1,200
MP1: $1,367.60
MP2: $642.45
CO: $298.80
Hero (BTN): $1,545.90
SB: $290.10
BB: $1,200
UTG: $1,433

Pre-Flop: dealt to Hero (BTN)
3 folds, MP1 raises to $14, 2 folds, Hero calls $14, SB folds, BB raises to $70, MP1 calls $56, Hero calls $56

Flop: ($213) (3 Players)
BB bets $150, MP1 calls $150, Hero ???

Thoughts? Comments from anyone other than FUEL55?


OK, here are my thoughts about the hand: I'm pretty sure BB is done with this hand once MP1 calls. He's folding if you raise every time (he MIGHT play for stacks with AdKd, but such a small part of his range, I'd just ignore it). He's also check-folding the turn. I'll be making that assumption for all that follows. The question is what MP1 has. Let's start off by assuming NOTHING about what MP1 has, and just let some letters serve as placeholders for what he'd do with his range. Let's also assume you've got three options available: shoving, calling, or folding (that is, I'm not considering a raise less than all-in, back to that later). My initial reaction was to call, but here's some math I've been doing on it (for those of you who aren't into this sort of thing, I aporogize).

If you fold, your EV is obviously -70 (you lose the $70 you put in pre-flop). Nothing fancy to calculate there.

Now let's figure out the EV of shoving. Let f be the probability that MP1 folds. Let q be your equity GIVEN that he calls. The EV of shoving is then:

f (143+300) + (1-f) (q (1367 + 220) - (1-q) (1367))

Now set this equal to -70 and solve for f (because I think q is easier to pin down than f). I get:

f = (1297 - 2954q)/(1810 - 2954q)

Now let's come up with a value for q, our equity vs. MP's calling range. MP's calling range definitely includes sets. 99's equity vs. just sets is 34.5%. (In case you're wondering, the diamond helps out a lot. 9s9c would have an equity of 31.8%). Add in T9s and we're down to 30.5%. Add in JdTd and we're back up to 32.5% . Add in AdQd and AdKd and we're back up to 35.3%. Add in 87s and you get up to 37.2%. It's hard to know without much of a history here whether MP would be calling the re-raise deep here with T9s, or whether he would 4-bet with the big diamond hands, or whether he'd be calling off 200bbs on the draw. But I think 33% or so is a pretty reasonable estimate for equity when called. f then comes out to be 38.6%.

Let's say you think his calling range for calling the 3-b and floating the flop is T9s, QQ-66, JdTd, AdQd, AdKd, 87s, and 67s (I'm open to other suggestions). 88-66, T9s, JdTd (which would give the 33% we assumed before) is only 32.5% of this range. The other 67.5% of the time he's folding. That's way more than we need to make a shove better than a fold. A huge amount of this is QQ-TT. If he just folds QQ and JJ to the BB's c-bet, then the fold % is only 53%, but still plenty profitable. If he calls your shove with 87s, AdQd and AdKd, then fold % is still 42.8%. So a shove is going to be better than a call pretty much all the time. With f at 42.8% and q at 33%, the EV of shoving is -$35. Bump f up to 60% and it's $109.

What about calling? Say you are willing to get it all-in whenever you hit one of your 8 non-diamond outs - any 9, any T, any 5. Say if a 9 comes you get it in vs. the undersets, TT,T9s,and JdTd. Your equity vs. this range is 58.5%. If a non-diamond T comes, you get it in vs. TT-66, JdTd, and T9s. In this case your equity is 72%. If a non-diamond 5 comes, you're in vs. 99-66 and T9s. You've got 61% equity here. Those are 8 non-diamond outs. Whenever you win, you win MP1's stack plus BB's dead money, for a total of 1567. When you lose, you lose the amount of MP1's stack, 1347. So here's your EV, GIVEN that you hit one of your outs:

2/8*(.585*1567-.415*1347)+3/8*(.72*1567-.28*1347)+3/8*(.61*1567-.39*1347) = $533

You get one of your 8 cards 8/45 of the time (let's assume that we know enough about the BB's range that he never has any T,9, or 5 in his hand). 533*(8/45) = 95.

The question is, what happens when a blank comes? Can you make a play in these cases? Also, what happens if a diamond comes? Let's assume for the time being that MP1 will check-fold most of the range he'd be folding to your shove on the flop if a non-diamond undercard to the board comes. That's 9 cards (offsuit fours, threes, and deuces). I'm pretty confident if you get checked to on a turn like that, you can bet 500 and win the pot pretty much every time. In this case, you win 443 (the preflop pot minus the 70 you put in, plus the 300 BB and MP1 put in on the flop). Then given a non-diamond undercard, you get f 443. For an f of .60, that's 266. You get this (9/45) of the time, and (9/45)*266 = 53.

Just this strategy, having to fold any other turn, already has an EV of 95+53-70 (preflop call) - 150 (the flop call) = -72, which is about as good as folding the flop. I think there are many other turns where you get checked to and can either bet profitably or take a free card and profitably play the river if you catch a good one. I'll have to do some more work on whether I can find enough equity on later streets to make calling better than shoving, and I haven't even considered if making a raise smaller than all-in is worth doing. But hopefully this is enough to get the conversation started.


May 21, 2008

Stacking off with TPTK

Stacking off here on the surface may seem kinda ghey but I would really like to hear some input from any and all loyal readers.

Here some of my thoughts on the hand...

Preflop, I definitely played my hand aggressively vs a UTG raise...whether or not I opt to 3b an opponent's UTG open with AK is entirely player dependent. Some people only raise UTG with a range that has me crushed seven ways to sunday, others have a more balanced range, and suprisingly enough, others raise UTG more often than other spot on the table (this makes no fawking sense to me...and I absolutely LOVE squeezing them with ATC from LP.)

In this particular spot, the villain's range was a bit more balanced and decided to put a bit more pressure on him. When he calls OOP, I can be relatively certain he does not have a monster (otherwise it is HIGHLY probably I would have been faced with a 4b). I'm also loving the fact that I am going to be in position in a 3b pot.

After making a cbet on an A high board that is completely dry other than a crub draw - I get CRAI! WTF right?!?! I should be looking for ways to fold, TPTK is pretty ghey for full stax no?

Well wtf could he have here? I think the villain's range can be narrowed down to 3 combinations...

A) TTT (sets do not come around often enough)...444 unlikely bc this personally I did not see this villain's range to be wide enough to include fours.
B) Ax (i have every x crushed unless he has two pair)
C) Some kind of frush draw or a pair and a FD

Since the pot is already bloated preflop - I felt somewhat obligated to call - and got PWND...and couldn't suck out.

My question to the virrain is - WTF do you do when the frop is Axx and you miss two pair? Check fold? CRAI? Buddy, I will be putting max pressure on you many a time in position and have your range crushed more times than not...remember YOU raised UTG and I 3b you!

Thoughts on my play or if I butchered this hand?


I'd definitely be playing this hand the same way you did. His raise UTG/call 3-bet is very spewy IMHO. The crai is pretty scary, but he could have AQ or AJ if he's raise/calling AT. You're getting 5.4:3 on a call...he's got those weaker aces or even something like JdTd often enough that you've gotta call. Not calling here would be obscenely exploitable by any opponent willing to call all your 3-bets and crai on pretty much any flop.


May 20, 2008

Sprit Pot (Part 5)

I think one basic rule is: if you end up splitting a pot without all the money going in in a hand where you had position, you should feel vaginas growing all over your body, because you played it like a little girl. Here's one hand at full ring I played where I think the villain should be running out to the store for a box of tampons:

Button: ($216.15)
BB: bruechips ($458.30)
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [Ts Kc]
folds around to the button...
button raises to $5
bruechips raises to $16 (I thought his 2.5x raise from the button was just so ghey I am obligated to raise it.)
HybridTt calls $11 (He calls, I'm putting him on some mid-pp or some suited broadway cards)
*** FLOP *** [Kh Ah 8d] (This flop shouldn't hit him if he's got that range, so I bet)
bruechips bets $25
button calls $25
*** TURN *** [Kh Ah 8d] [8c]
bruechips checks (His call on the flop could absolutely be a float or a weak ace I could get him off with a turn bet, but I had never played with him before, and it seemed like he could be slow-playing some monster like aces full, so I check)
button checks (I think aces or kings full would check behind too)
*** RIVER *** [Kh Ah 8d 8c] [5d]
bruechips checks (If he bets, I'm not sure what I would do...I'd probably fold, since a 1/2 pot bet or so would kind of look like he has some weak ace like AT or A9 and I just don't want to pay it off)
button checks
*** SHOW DOWN ***
bruechips shows [Ts Kc] two pair, Kings and Eights
button shows [Kd Jc] two pair, Kings and Eights

I mean...if he's gonna float the flop with middle pair, doesn't he have to  bet either the turn or the river? He's hoping that I have like 99 and he just wants to show it down so I don't check-raise bluff him? He's scared I have AJ and doesn't want to value-own himself? I'm not really sure. If I have AJ and he bets the turn, it's definitely a tough spot for me.  I think he's just flat out gotta bet the turn, especially with the flush draw out there. But he played it like a little schoolgirl, gave me a free showdown, and half the pot.


May 19, 2008

The Hand to Go with 3-bet Post

Brogger is being gheyer than ever and won't cooperate with the hand is what happened in the hand I was describing in the post...

Full Tilt .25-.50 6-max

BB: ($116.35)

Button: bruechips ($55.05)

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to bruechips [9c Qd], and it folds to me....

bruechips raises to $1.75

BB raises to $5.50

bruechips calls $3.75

*** FLOP *** [Th Ad Ah]

BB bets $8

bruechips calls $8

*** TURN *** [Th Ad Ah] [2s]

BB bets $13

bruechips raises to $41.55, and is all in

BB folds

Exploiting Light 3-Bettors

Now that PT3 is out, I think 3-betting pre-flop will become even more common than it is now. Previously Holdem Manager was the only software with 3bet stats. Since most players were using Poker Tracker 2, which didn't have 3bet stats, it was hard to get data on how often other players were opening for a raise and then folding to a 3bet. Doing this too often is an extremely exploitable strategy. As Gnome mentioned recently, now that the numbers are out, if you are open-folding too often, you're gonna get pwnd. How often is too often?

Well, let's think about it from your opponent's point of view. Say you open for 4 bbs, which is pretty standard (if your standard open is a different amount, redoing the math for this amount is easy enough). Say the villain's 3bet size will be 12 bbs. If you fold to his 3bet (let's assume the other players left to act behind the villain, if any, are always folding. This is not that restrictive an assumption, as cold-calling a 3bet or 4-betting is pretty rare), he wins 5.5 bbs (your open, plus the blinds). His profit JUST from the 3bet is p*5.5 - (1-p)*12, where p is your fold-to-3bet percentage. In other words, if p>12/17.5=68.5%, he's making immediate profit on his 3-bet. This is his profit if the other 32% of the time you re-raise and he folds. Of course sometimes he'll have AA and shove when you re-raise and win a whole lot more, or maybe you will decide to set mine or something to his 3-bet and he will c-bet you out of the pot. So this is definitely a pretty loose upper bound on what your fold-to-3bet should be against an opponent who understands this sort of math. The right number will be lower than this, perhaps significantly so. Certainly if you find some villains with fold to 3-bet of 65%+, try to get on their left and 3-bet them until they figure it out.

The next question is, how do you defend against the villain's strategy? 4b light? Call and raise his c-bet with air? Slowplay monsters? Well, I'm experimenting myself. But here above is one line I took against this guy who had a 3bet % of 22. That's ridiculous. Some players would see this number, get a little timid, and think, "OK, I'll wait for the nuts and then 4bet him". But you're not going to get the nuts often enough to deter him from 3betting you, and when you 4bet the nuts, he will likely have nothing and fold. Basically, he will make more money stealing your opens than you will re-stealing his 3-bets. You could also tighten up your opening range, but you can't tighten it up too much at a 6-max table with the blinds coming around so often.

The problem with his strategy is that often he's going to have to put a LOT of chips in the pot with rags and fold later on in the hand. He had already bet me out of a couple of pots, so I decided to call his 3bet this time. I could have 4bet, but I'm pretty sure he would interpret it as me getting sick of his 3betting and 5bet shove a fairly wide range ROR. I thought this would look stronger. And, most importantly, I have position. Exploiting someone who's 3betting you from out of position is much easier than exploiting a button 3-bettor.

On the flop, he's c-betting his entire range. I decided to just call, because again I thought a raise from me wouldn't get much credit, and because his drawy hands have enough equity that he will shove them. On the turn, when he bets half pot, I'm positive he doesn't have an ace. He would bet more to protect against hearts, get full value from a T or JJ, etc., or he might check-raise. So I shoved, he folded, and I won a very nice sized pot without having to go to showdown.

This kind of play makes his EV from 3-betting light out of position go WAY WAY down, because when I call, he is going to lose chips bluffing and getting either re-bluffed or taken to value town a lot. The key was that I first observed his strategy, and then exploited it. Do NOT try this against some 16/12 nit with a sub-5 3-bet %. Even against this guy, he could show up with TT and I would look like a moron, and of course then I wouldn't be writing a post about it ROR. But I think I win this pot often enough for this to be a profitable play, and make him lay off me a bit in the future.


May 18, 2008

Art of the Min Raise (Part 7)

I have been trying to get into 6-max games a little recently, donking around at NL50. I have found that these games are actually not that soft - I have sat at many many a table full of 25/20 types with 3bet percentages above 7. The level of aggression, especially preflop, is unreal.

This definitely increases your variance, and can be pretty annoying. But I think there is a lot of value in learning how to play best in these kinds of games. I think it's some combination of 1) being VERY tight out of position, 2) Betting and stacking off for value a little lighter - these players are so eager to try and "outplay" people that you can really get a lot of thin value. Top pair with any sort of kicker is often good for a stack. 3) 4-bet bruffing in some good spots. The light 3-bet is now completely standard in these games, but it doesn't seem like there's yet been an adjustment to a whole lot of light 4-betting, so your 4-bets usually get credit. 4) A little bit of slowplaying, especially "slowplaying" a draw in position. Semi-bluffing is so standard in these games that if you check a draw behind, or even flat-call a check-raise with it, you get no credit for it later on if it hits.

And that's the part that relates to this hand. This villain is obviously pretty donkish, so I don't know if he's actually thinking "he would have 3-bet the flop with KJ, so he's probably just got a one-pair hand". But when he (basically) min check-raises this flop, I decided to just call and try to hit a hand. As far as his play calling out of position with 92s (although of spades) and then check-raising THIS flop, I think it's absolutely terrible. I'm going to have at least a little piece of this flop that I'm willing to continue to a MIN check-raise with a very very large percentage of the time. He might fold out my pocket pairs 99-33 or my ace-rag hands with no flush draw, but many of those I might just peel one off with here and not c-bet this board, which hits a lot of what I think his calling range is from the bb. More importantly, if I call, he's out of position for the rest of the hand, and we're deep, so a lot of gross stuff could happen, like me hitting a beautiful turn card which gives me the nuts and him bottom two pair.

Also I want to note how much having position helped me get value on the turn and river. If I'm out of position on the river, do I bet or try and induce a bluff from the missed flush draw? Very good chance I miss a lot of value. In position, once he checks, I've got an easy decision to shove. On the turn as well, I think I would have to bet out of position because I wouldn't want to allow him a free card, but that allows him to just call and control pot size, unless I want to overbet and fold out all the draws I could have gotten value from.


May 16, 2008

Art of the Min Raise - Part 6

This hand speaks for itself...

I would like to thank the villain for the following...

-putting the least amount money in the pot preflop with the second best possible hand in position with deep stacks
-not narrowing down my distribution with his min 3b.


Brack is Beautiful! (Part 7)

If there's one thing we here at Spritpot love even more than Fuel loves Clay Aiken, it is SPADES. Even in PLO, spades are gold. I'm just learning PLO, so my commentary won't exactly be expert, but here goes. First, I'm playing .10-.25, since I'm in the nascent stages of learning this game. And the play at this level is often abominable.

Seat 1: bruechips ($27.95)
Seat 2: button ($5.95)
Seat 3: SB ($14.25)
Seat 4: BB ($1.55)
Seat 5: UTG ($47.80)
Seat 6: MP ($27.20)
SB posts the small blind of $0.10
BB posts the big blind of $0.25
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [Ks 2c 5s Kh]
UTG calls $0.25
MP raises to $1.10
bruechips calls $1.10 (No reason to re-raise at all. Very good chance the raiser has aces. I'm calling mainly for set value, as I had seen this player stack off with top pair and a backdoor frush draw earlier, so I thought I could get all his money if I flopped big. The button being short and unable to put in a re-raise that would allow the original raiser to re-raise is good, too.)
button calls $1.10
SB folds
BB raises to $1.55, and is all in
UTG calls $1.30
MP calls $0.45
bruechips calls $0.45
button calls $0.45 (We've got a 5-way raised pot. VERY standard in .10-.25 PLO ROR!!)
*** FLOP *** [8s As Ts] (Nuts!! Spades are gold!)
UTG checks
MP checks
bruechips bets $3.90 (Bet to protect my hand vs. a full house)
button raises to $4.40, and is all in
UTG folds
MP calls $4.40 (Confirms that MP does in fact have aces)
bruechips calls $0.50
*** TURN *** [8s As Ts] [6c]
MP checks
bruechips bets $21.05
MP raises to $21.25, and is all in (If you're a hold 'em player, his call here with top set looks completely standard and it's just a cooler, but in PLO I think this call is terrible. I'm going to have a flush every single time. I'm never going to have middle set. I can't have a flush draw because you have to play two cards out of your hole cards in Omaha, so if I have just the Ks, I don't have a flush draw. If the turn had paired, I would have folded)
bruechips calls $0.20
MP shows [Jd Ah Ad Ac] (Him having another A in his hand makes it an even worse call)
bruechips shows [Ks 2c 5s Kh]
button shows [2s 6s 6h 5h]
BB shows [Th 4c Kc Qs]
*** RIVER *** [8s As Ts 6c] [Qd]
bruechips wins side pot #2 ($40.55) with a flush, Ace high
bruechips wins side pot #1 ($12.50) with a flush, Ace high
bruechips wins the main pot ($7.50) with a flush, Ace high

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!! Ship the monsterpotten my way! Too bad there were a couple of shortstackers there....


May 14, 2008

Poker Prop Bets

We’ve recentry come up with some interesting prop bets that will hopefully improve one another’s overarr game.

Bruechips must pray 50k hands a month during his time off from school this summer. He has an excerrent poker mind and has the ability to become a very successfurr prayer, but only by grinding out the hands will be achieve his furr potentiar. Let’s see if he can put in the hours on the cyberfelt…

Brackchips must learn a tone down his LAG style and learn to play a bit more TAGish. I think this is going to be beneficial to my game in the long term because while most players have the ability to change gears and nit it up, these same players do not have as much experience playing LAGish. The parameters for this prop are as follows (10k hands) - VPIP<20.5, UTG VPIP <11.5, ATTS<42. Granted the average FR prayer might think these stats are a bit loose, but they are DEF a bit on the tight side for me.

Good ruck to us both…ROR!


Sick As a Dog

I promised a derty theory-oriented post last weekend which never materialized. Or at least, it hasn't materialized yet. But it will soon. Unfortunately I haven't been able to do much of anything over the past few days because of a cold which has owned my soul. Last night I literally wanted to die. But I'm starting to feel better now.

The computer saga has continued. Geek Squad still has my computer. No idea when it's coming back. Finally last weekend I went ahead and just bought a laptop, which I had been meaning to do anyway. Since I didn't have my PT database anyway, I decided to pray some row-rimit 6max and use Holdem Manager, an alternative to Poker Tracker + PAHUD.

Dear readers, believe me when I tell you, Holdem Manager dominates Poker Tracker. I have a vision of Holdem Manager bending Poker Tracker over and giving it to PT in the rear. Advantages of Holdem Manager:

1) Integrated HUD
2) HUD includes more stats, including each stat BY position
3) MUCH faster and easier importing
4) MANY more stats, including 3-bet percentages, and fold-to-3-bet percentages
5) Better replayer, plus you can copy a HH to an email or whatever at just a click of a button, as opposed to opening up the text file, selecting all, and copying as in PT

The gap will be closed somewhat when PT3 comes out. But I've used a beta version of PT3, and it's still miles behind Holdem Manager. So from now on, I will be using Holdem Manager. As soon as I get my computer back.


May 9, 2008

Monkey Tilt Part 2 & How to butcher AK

Similar to bruechips, I'm going through a little monkey tilt as well. Poker has literally owned my soul today. I was raped for many many a buyin's today - not bc of shitty play, but just ran like ass...for anyone of you who don't use POKEREV to measure how you are running, I highly suggest downloading a copy. It is SOOO fawking hard to not be entirely results oriented in poker...this software can help ease the pyschological pain when you are playing well and still losing.

On to AK part of the post...see the below HH on a TEXTBOOK lesson on how to butcher the most coveted non paired hand.

PF my raise is pretty standard...I'm not one to fawk around with AA pf in cash game - for one reason...its bad KARMA! ROR.

SB (an excellent TAG prayer) repops me and the BB smooth calls...WTF!??!! Seeing as I have the best hand, I might as werr put more monies in the pot. When the BB smooth calls the 4 b OOP, his hand range here SHOULLLLD be in the neighborhood of TT-QQ...but for personally, I would be instafolding these hands with these stack sizes.

Despite the fact that I ended up maximizing value in this hand by playing it passively...I feel as if made two mistakes.

1) Raise more PF. While I feel as my raise size was adequate, in retrospect, it was not sufficent. With the stax this deep, I want to jam as much money in the pot PF as possible in the even that the virrain is set mining or praying some ghey sooted connector. A raise to 420-450 would have been ideal.

2) Bet the frop!!! I accidently timed out here...I was mulling over whether I could just ship it in with an overbet get a called from TT-QQ.

Oh and note to villain, a bet of 40% pot on the river is going to get many folds from my range here - if he ships I'd might throw up and call...or throw up/timeout/fold.

Moral of the story, fold AK pf to intense heat when deep stacked. ESPECIALLY when out of position!


May 8, 2008

On Monkey Tirt

First of all, warning that this is not a poker post. This is almost an exclusively poker content brog, because we don't rearry care about much erse, and we doubt our royar reader(s?) care about the rest of our rives. But indurge me this once. Or come back rater when we have a new poker post up.

Anyway, it's a good thing I don't have access to my computer right now (more on that soon), because I am on such rife tirt I would probabry hit the tabres and shove off a buy-in or seven. First of all, following up on Brackchips's post from yesterday, here's a brief rundown of a few of my possessions that have stopped working in the last couple of weeks, in order:

1) my $90 mouse
2) my $1,000 espresso maker
3) my garbage disposal
4) my air conditioner, and finally...
5) my $2,000 computer.

When my computer finally went down for the count yesterday (it had been running ridiculously slow for a while, finally the keyboard stopped working...and it wasn't because of something wrong with the keyboard), that alone would be enough to make me go crazy with rage. But just for fun, ret's go through all of the bad beats and coolers I got dealt yesterday:

First, the night before, I fell asleep at like 7:30 watching the Mets-Dodgers game (which the Mets tried very hard to lose, finally succeeding). I wake up early yesterday morning to see a text message from the royar frush of a rady I have been hanging out with recently, sent about 9 the night before, asking if I wanted to hang out. This was like holding quads on the river, getting checked to, getting disconnected and having to autocheck, and the virrain shows the overfull. Huge missed varue. That was bad beat number 1.

Then I have crass at 8 am. Bad beat in itself. At least I was well rested after getting about 19 hours of sreep since I went to bed so fawking early the night before. Of course I attempt checking my email before leaving my apt. Except me no typy. Keyboard completely disfunctional. I hope it's the keyboard. So I'm thinking, OK, I'll come back after crass, go to Best Buy, get a new keyboard, and have plenty of time to get back up to campus for my 2:00 office hours for the undergrads that are taking a midterm that night.

I got home at around 11 and raced to Best Buy, bought a new keyboard (I thought $20 was a decent bargain), got back home at rike 12 (hey, prenty of time to get in a sesh before going back to campus!), prugged in the new dice. Me still no typy. Dagger. I decided I might as well just take my computer into Best Buy and have them look at it. It's only noon, should be plenty of time to just drop it off so they can look at it, right?

Ha! The Geek Squad at Best Buy is not the most efficient operation on the planet. They basically fawk with my computer (and my head) right in front of me for about two hours and then tell me I need to leave it there, along with $200. Fine. They say it will take 4-5 days. Lame. But what am I gonna do, say no and take my broken worthless doorstop of a computer back to my apartment? So basically I just bent over and let them jam it in me. Hopefully this will at least result in a much faster computer once I get it back. Although I kinda have my doubts.

Anyway at this point it's already 1:45 and the next bus leaving from my apt towards campus is at 2, so I have to call my officemate and tell him to put up a sticky telling all the undergrad fawkers to wait a half-hour and I'll be there at 2:30. I get home at like 1:55, sprint towards the bus stop, I'm within like 150 feet at 1:58, and the fawker starts pulling away!! WTF?!?!?! I run around the corner to try and catch it, and the guy won't open the door at the stop sign to let me on. I'm yelling at him, "you left early, you moron!!" (might result in me not being able to ride this bus anymore), but he just keeps on rolling. What a bastard. So this means I will have to drive to campus, which entails $6 in parking fees, plus gas, which at current prices costs approximately 79 Euros (or 5,618 US american dollars) for the 15 minute-drive there and back. At least I caught up to the bus on the highway and got to flick off the driver a few more times.

I got to campus at 2:20, pulled up to the parking machine to get my ticket. I tried my AMEX. Doesn't read card. I tried my Visa. Doesn't read card. It takes ones and fives. I have twenties, and a single single. I give it the single, which gives me an hour, which means I will have to come back and buy another ticket in an hour. What a waste of life.

I run up to my office to find a half-dozen undergrads waiting with questions. I spend the next hour explaining the same question to them 6 different times. Fine. Whatever. Now it's 3:30, I have to go back to the parking lot with the fiver I borrowed from my officemate, which means I will be late to the 3:30 seminar I was excited about. I run back to the machine, and guess what: it doesn't take the new fives. Guess what kind of five I got from my officemate? There you go. The machine really slowplayed me on that one. I thought I had caught up on the turn, but the machine had the nuts the whole way. So I run to the next parking lot over, on the off-chance it will take one of my cards. Put in the Visa. Declined (no fawking crue why, I have many many hours worth of parking in that account). Put in the AMEX. Finally, success!!! This was like taking down a 10 bb pot with a c-bet after getting stacked 4 hands in a row.

I walk into the seminar 15 minutes late looking like a complete asshole. 15 minutes later, one thing is clear: this seminar is terrible. I will have to spend the next hour wondering why I thought this lecture would be good, and what else I could have done with this time.

When it's finally over, I have to kill two hours before going to proctor the undergrad midterm. Getting dinner seemed like a good idea. Even getting dinner at the university cafeteria seemed like a good idea. In fact, it was not. Note to self: If you get chicken piccata at a university cafeteria, you are probably going to be sick within the next hour.

I won't even go on. There's no point. Hopefully by the time I get my computer back I will have recovered to the point where I won't be playing a scout315-esque game (if you play or watch the higher stakes games on Full Tilt, you know what I'm talking about). At least the Mets won yesterday.


P.S. - In the meantime, be on the lookout for a lengthy theory-oriented post this weekend, since I will have no hand histories to post.

May 7, 2008

PWND for Value!

I was chatting earlier with bruechips about some hands via email and during the course of our conversation he mentioned this...

"Everything I own is now ceasing to function. I think I gotta just take the computer into best buy. I wirr get poned for a rarge varue bet, but I don't see another option."



May 5, 2008

THIN! (Parts 2 and 3)

Werr, Brackchips has certainry thrown down the gauntret in terms of charrenging me to get some thin varue. Nothing makes me happier than getting RAZOR thin varue from short-stacking megadonks.

Thin varue #1 -

Full Tilt Poker, $1/$2 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 8 Players - Hand History Converter

BTN: $76.65
SB: $205.80
Hero (BB): $315.95
UTG: $58
UTG+1: $293.45
MP1: $287.10
MP2: $42.05
CO: $76.40

Pre-Flop: dealt to Hero (BB)
UTG calls $2, 6 folds, Hero checks (Rimper is a massive donk. His carr UTG narrows his range down to about 40% of arr hands. ROR!)

Flop: ($5) (2 Players)
Hero bets $4, UTG calls $4 (Two things make me want to fire: 1) his range is massive, he wirr probabry throw away something rike A3o...arthough I guess it's possibre he might not, and more importantry, 2) The chances of him raising are very very row. He's a station, not a maniac. So basicarry, I wirr get to see the turn card for the $4 I'm putting out there, which is not a bad dear with two overs and a gutter, prus there's the chance he wirr ford some dogcrap Q-high hand that is ahead of me right now)

Turn: ($13) (2 Players)
Hero checks, UTG bets $8, Hero raises to $50, UTG raises to $52 and is All-In, Hero calls $2 (Top pair, vs. a donk this sharrow, is GORD. I check to arrow him to bet something rike A7 or some other one-pair that I beat, then raise arr-in to get some derty razor thin varue!!!)

River: ($117) (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $117 Pot ($3 Rake)
Hero showed (two pair, Nines and Sevens) and WON $114 (+$56 NET)
UTG showed (two pair, Nines and Sevens) and LOST (-$58 NET)

If you're a donk out there reading this, PREASE continue to rimp 89o UTG with 30bb behind. It is an excerrent NRHE pray.

Thin varue #2 -

This donk tried to rep the donk method of praying a big pp, but when he checked the frop, I was ress convinced. When the turn comes out, I don't know what he has, but I am just gonna ship it on in, maybe he fords AK or some smarr pp. Or I get varue out of Q-high!! I did have quite a sweat on the river...but crubs never get there, A-high takes this down every time. If I had naired this with K-high, I think we could just end this series right here. But getting varue out of second-nut no-pair for 25bbs isn't the nut thin varue quite yet.

Full Tilt Poker, $1/$2 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 7 Players - Hand History Converter

UTG+1: $49.70
MP: $204.15
CO: $40
BTN: $135.60
SB: $204.75
BB: $123.85
Hero (UTG): $204

Pre-Flop: dealt to Hero (UTG)
Hero raises to $8, UTG+1 raises to $14, 5 folds, Hero calls $6

Flop: ($31) (2 Players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 checks

Turn: ($31) (2 Players)
Hero bets $36, UTG+1 calls $35.70 and is All-In

River: ($102.40) (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $102.40 Pot ($3 Rake)
UTG+1 showed (Queen Jack high) and LOST (-$49.70 NET)
Hero showed (Ace Queen high) and WON $99.40 (+$49.70 NET)


May 2, 2008

Playing Out of Position 2

First of all, many thanks to Fuel and Gnome for mentioning us in recent posts. Arways nice to get some rove from excerrent prayers. I want to kind of respond to Gnome's recent post on check-raising, which was in turn a response to my earlier posts on check-raising.

First, I agree with Gnome that you don't have many weapons out of position, but I think this is more an argument for avoiding playing out of position as much as possible, for instance by not defending your blinds as much, than it is a case for employing all of the weapons you have. But I disagree that the call is not a "weapon". Often against an aggressive player, calling down somewhat light is much better than check-raising. You might lose less if you are behind, win more if you are ahead, and are perhaps less likely to get bluffed off the best hand, if your opponent is able to read your check-raise as an information bet.

So first let's look at hand number 1 here, vs. a TAG, emphasis on the T:

Full Tilt Poker, $1/$2 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 9 Players - Hand History Converter

BB: $303
UTG: $200
UTG+1: $200
UTG+2: $158
MP1: $177.75
MP2: $95.15
CO: $177.15
BTN: $209
Hero (SB): $215

Pre-Flop: dealt to Hero (SB)
3 folds, MP1 calls $2, 2 folds, BTN raises to $10, Hero calls $9, BB folds, MP1 calls $8 (There's definitely an argument to be made for re-raising before the flop. But I thought the button was pretty tight, and my re-raise would be basically a raise for information, since if he puts more money into the pot, I'm probably crushed.)

Flop: ($32) (3 Players)
Hero checks, MP1 checks, BTN bets $16, Hero calls $16, MP1 folds (OK, here's a classic situation. There is NO REASON to check-raise here. I am either way ahead, with my opponent drawing to 6 outs or fewer, or way behind, and I need a J to catch up. However I could be slowplaying a 9 or deuces full, so I doubt that he will be betting three streets with aces or kings. I think I can check-call two bets, get value out of his ace-high hands, and avoid having to fold if I check-raise and he shoves over the top)

Turn: ($64) (2 Players)
Hero checks, BTN checks (This card is pretty much the definition of a blank. Him checking behind doesn't necessarily mean I have the best hand. He could be checking behind a bigger overpair for pot control)

River: ($64) (2 Players)
Hero checks, BTN checks (I COULD make an argument for check-raising big if he bets this card to try and get him to fold a bigger overpair. But check-calling a $50 bet is not bad either, as he might be making a last stab at the pot with A-high, even though I think the 8s would be a pretty bad card for him to do that on).

Results: $64 Pot ($3 Rake)
BTN showed (a pair of Nines) and LOST (-$26 NET)
Hero showed (two pair, Jacks and Nines) and WON $61 (+$35 NET)

OK, so I managed to take that one down. Granted, if I had called 55 on the river and he flipped pocket eights, I probably wouldn't be posting this. That's kind of the risk you take when you try to control pot size with a hand like a weak overpair. But I think that's better than check-raise-folding the flop, certainly better than check-raise-calling the flop vs. this villain.

Here's a different hand, this time where I was the pre-flop raiser and I got called behind. I've been experimenting with this kind of line more recently:

Full Tilt Poker, $1/$2 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 8 Players - Hand History Converter

Hero (CO): $326.60
BTN: $190
SB: $196.80
BB: $200
UTG: $315.75
UTG+1: $130
MP1: $199
MP2: $128.15

Pre-Flop: dealt to Hero (CO)
4 folds, Hero raises to $8, BTN calls $8, 2 folds (Standard)

Flop: ($19) (2 Players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $19, Hero calls $19 (There are very few hands that will put in much more money when I bet that I can beat. The best hand I can beat is QJ. He could call once with 77-JJ. 87 does make a straight draw. But if he calls behind on the frop, am I going to check-raise the turn? Fire a second barrel? I think I'd rather check-call here, to try and induce a bluff out of a hand that's drawing close to dead, which is what he probably has, but which he'll probably fold if I bet. Again, it doesn't matter for betting that I'm probably way ahead. It matters that I'm probably ahead CONDITIONAL on him calling or raising)

Turn: ($57) (2 Players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $22, Hero calls $22 (Not a great card, QT now ahead, JT, KJ, AT, AJ pick up some outs, but I will play it safe still. I don't really see much point in raising given this bet and these stack sizes. I could raise to price out the straight draw, but then I'm almost committed if the villain shoves, and I will probably be drawing extremely thin to dead if I call. If he does have KJ, he gets there with an A or a 9. An A isn't going to cost me much. A 9 I might pay him off. But if a K comes I might get some more money from him.)

River: ($101) (2 Players)
Hero checks, BTN checks (Total blank, I'm check calling again.)

Results: $101 Pot ($3 Rake)
Hero showed (two pair, Queens and Fives) and WON $98 (+$49 NET)
BTN showed (a pair of Fives) and LOST (-$49 NET)

The reason these hands are good for check-calling is that I'm probably winning given just my cards and the board and the fact that my opponent bets when checked to, but if I bet and get called or raised, there's a good chance that my hand is toast. In these situations, check-calling is a good "weapon" for extracting value out of worse hands.

As I said in my first post on check-raising, I think check-raising the turn is often a good play, but on the flop it rarely is. These two hands are good examples. There's no point in check-raising the flop on either one. In the first hand, I could see check-shoving the river as a bluff, and in the second hand, check-raising the turn for value would be OK, but not my favorite play.

You can also see a weakness of "information betting". Even if the information you get is completely accurate - that is, you never get 3b bruffed - and your opponent WOULD have extracted more value from you by three-barreling a better hand, you MISS value from worse hands by not allowing them to bruff on rater streets.


May 1, 2008

THIN! - Part 1

Here at spritpot...we LOVE the concept of getting THIN varue out of worse hands. Nothing provides us more joy than extracting thin value...and nothing enrages us more than missing out on value. Thus, we are introducing a new series titled THIN!

Check out the hand below where we flop the 3rd nut frush, and get it arr in on the turn with our opponent drawing STONE DEAD with the 4th nut frush. Granted our PF call from the brinds is definitely questionable, but NEVER EVER underestimate the power of spades. I have done some historical analysis on PT and when holding two spades PF, we frop a frush roughly 146% of the time, ROR!



Spade on spade crime!!! Can't we all just get along?