March 31, 2009

High Stakes Poker Recap, S5Ep05

Episode 5 has arrived.

At some point you gotta start feeling bad for Daniel Negreanu. He's down what, 600k now? He's definitely not playing his best poker. I'm sure he knows he should probably quit, but maybe doesn't want to since it's for TV and all. While I thought his play with JJ was potentially defensible, I don't see any way his play with Tc9c could be good. He opens preflop and Eli squeeze from the blinds with AA. The frop comes Qc2c4h and Eli bets ~$17k into a pot of ~$35k. Stacks are about $250k, so Daniel is getting very good odds to just call this bet. I don't completely hate his raise, as Eli might be convinced to lay down AK or AJ, but it's not a great spot for a raise since there's not much Daniel can represent as a monster hand. It's really only 42s, 22, or 44. Furthermore, Daniel has shown a tendency to slowplay his big hands on dry boards, as in the J2s hand vs. Eastgate. What else would he be raising for value here besides those rare hands? KQ/AQ? JJ? Seems a little thin. If his intent was to take Eli off a Q or better, he's certainly drawing dead on that. In any case, Eli certainly isn't going to be laying down aces and raises to $119k. It should be clear to Daniel that he has no fold equity. Maybe he thinks he can get Eli off A3 or 77? I don't know...maybe in some fantasy land Eli does play those hands like this and folds to a shove. But he's going to be getting very good odds to call Daniel's shove (the shove is for 100k more, he's getting 3.8:1). Eli folding anything, especially given the odds that Daniel is on a flush draw, is pretty unlikely. So Daniel basically put in $180k more knowing he's at best 35% to win the hand. I just don't see the point. 

The other big hand of note also involved Eli. Barry Greenstein raises 6d5d in early position and gets called by Eli on the button with A2o (a very loose call IMHO), Ziigimund with JhTh, and Eastgate with 32s. The frop comes AdKcJd, giving Barry a flush draw and Eli top pair no kicker. Barry c-bets $7k into $16k, and Eli raises to $19k. Here's another raise I don't really see the point of. It so happens that Barry does have a flush draw and Eli has the best hand, but why does he want to build the pot with such a weak hand on this board? The range of hands that Barry is continuing with PWNS A2o. And even when Eli does have the best hand, he will often get pwnd later because Barry's range is so much stronger than his, and therefore Barry can bluff effectively. There's really one hand that Eli can represent that he'd be willing to put in his stack with: QT. MAYBE KdQd or KdTd. Barry could have these hands as well, plus he could have AA, KK, JJ, and AK. 

I might like Eli's bet if he were using it as a form of pot control. Basically, make a small raise now, check back the turn, and hope to get a cheap showdown on the river. But even so I don't think his hand has enough showdown value to do that, combined with the fact that there are many turns and rivers he will not want to see. In any case Eli does not take that line as he makes a near pot-sized bet of $45k on an 8c turn. Barry thinks for a bit and makes a VERY nice raise to $200k. As I said, this really forces Eli to fold everything but QT. It seems like Eli gets attached to these one-pair-no-kicker hands and loses a lot on them quite often. The only problem with Barry's raise is that he's forced to fold if Eli shoves. I think stacks are around $500k, and he can't really call getting 3:1 on a 6-high flush draw with one card to come.  Putting in $200k and then folding would be pretty gross, but he might need to raise that much, seemingly committing himself to the hand, in order to convince Eli to fold. Eli might read a smaller raise to $160k or so as weak since it does leave Barry room to fold a hand as good as AK or AJ. 


March 29, 2009

Charrenge Pwnd

The charrenge is over and I have won it. The $750 version, at least. I think my brain is too pwnd to try and go for 1k. I've played 26 hours of poker since Friday at 5, 11-tabling most of the way. That's 15,107 hands, and $760.70 in winnings. Above is the gross gross HEM graph. 

As you can see, Saturday started off with a gross 11 buy-in downswing, which was pretty much the most soul-crushing 3 hours of my life. But I pressed on, not willing to give up even though I was down $300 at one point 7k hands into the challenge. My luck started to change as I grinded through Saturday afternoon. Saturday night I broke through and got to a high point of +440 or so. I told myself I'd try and grind it up to 500 or so, then leave the rest for Sunday. Unfortunately another 3-4 bi downswing came next, and I had to grind deep into the night just to get back over 400 again.

I woke up today at around 9:30, took a shower, went out to get some coffee, and came back to what I anticipated would be a long day grinding in the hopes of winning $350 before midnight. Fortunately I had some big pots go my way. This was a big one that got me to about the $700 mark:

SB: $54.40
Hero (BB): $62.05
UTG: $50.00
UTG+1: $38.00
MP: $79.65
CO: $13.25
BTN: $14.40

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BB with 2h Ah
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $1.50, MP calls $1.50, CO calls $1.50, 2 folds, Hero calls $1

Flop: ($6.25) Qh 2s Kh (4 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 checks, MP bets $0.50, CO calls $0.50, Hero calls $0.50, UTG+1 calls $0.50

Turn: ($8.25) 8h (4 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 checks, MP bets $4.10, CO folds, Hero raises to $20.55, UTG+1 requests TIME, UTG+1 calls $20.55, MP calls $16.45

River: ($69.90) Ad (3 players)
Hero bets $39.50 all in, UTG+1 calls $15.45 all in, MP calls $39.50

Final Pot: $164.35
Hero shows 2h Ah (a flush, Ace high)
UTG+1 mucks 8s 8d
MP mucks Kd Kc
Hero wins $48.10
Hero wins $113.25

If that board had paired on the river I might have cried. So close to getting to 750 and so braindead, I decided to tighten up, play a low variance game, and just grind away the last $50. Then this hand came to finally put me over the edge:

SB: $64.50
BB: $29.95
Hero (UTG): $161.60
UTG+1: $50.00
UTG+2: $50.05
MP1: $49.25
MP2: $21.70
CO: $30.90
BTN: $19.25

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is UTG with 9h 9s
Hero raises to $1.75, 6 folds, SB calls $1.50, BB calls $1.25

Flop: ($5.25) 7s 9d 6h (3 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $4.50, SB raises to $12, BB folds, Hero raises to $41.25, SB calls $29.25

Turn: ($87.75) Qs (2 players)
SB bets $21.50 all in, Hero calls $21.50

River: ($130.75) 4d (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $130.75
SB shows 5c 4h (a pair of Fours)
Hero shows 9h 9s (three of a kind, Nines)
Hero wins $127.75

Whew...ok...GO HEELS!!!



Soul-crushing day yesterday. Current status: 12735 hands, +410.90. Gonna need a heater today!


March 28, 2009

Challenge Update

Short post since my brain is mushy after 8 hours of poker playing, but here is where the challenge stands so far:

4115 hands, $292.30 in winnings. 

Biggest stack I managed to accumulate was $250, but had to leave the table and take a break to get dinner and pick friend up from airport. Hopefully I can run up a monster stack tomorrow...oh, and GO HEELS!!!


March 26, 2009

Prop Bet Charrenge

My gf decided to go home and visit her family for the wknd, so that reaves me open to pwn a monster sesh this weekend. So monstrous, that Brackchips and I have decided to prop bet it. Here are the details:

-All hands to be played at .25/.50 NL or PL tables between Friday 5 pm and Sunday midnight California time
-$25 even money if I play at least 11k hands and win at least $750 (got $50 of action with smokkee on this one too) UPDATE: Got $50 of action from Pinky as well!
-$20 3:1 if I play at least 11k hands and win at least $1k
-$10 if I run any stack up to $325 or more

It'll be pretty sick if I can get it done. I've never put in this much volume before, so my game may deteriorate as the sessions get extended. Generally my long sessions have been when I get stuck a bit, get tilted, and try to get it back (rarely works out too well), but hopefully that won't be the reason I'm playing long seshes this wknd! Anyway, wish me ruck, bruechips fans...


March 25, 2009

Pwnd by the River Varue Bet

Well, I had a masterful plan in this hand, which was working out great until the river. This is the only time I can recall slowplaying A-high for three streets of varue. It should go without saying that the villain in this hand was a complete moron:

SB: $41.90
BB: $64.30
UTG: $15.50
UTG+1: $50.00
MP1: $65.05
Hero (MP2): $64.70
CO: $62.95
BTN: $55.10

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is MP2 with Ts As
2 folds, MP1 calls $0.50, Hero raises to $2.25, 4 folds, MP1 calls $1.75 (Standard isolation raise with the nut suit)

Flop: ($5.25) 9d 9h 8d (2 players)
MP1 bets $2.50, Hero calls $2.50 (Ordinarily right here, I'd just raise and get it over with so he'll fold whatever retard hand he has. But I decided to give him a lot of rope and just call down, since I thought he'd keep barreling air. We know he doesn't have a 9, and I doubt he can bet an 8 three times for value. And he's bluffing at this middle-card paired frops many a time.)

Turn: ($10.25) 9c (2 players)
MP1 bets $8, Hero calls $8 (The 9 makes him more likely to value bet an 8, but I'm still ahead of everything else.)

River: ($26.25) 2h (2 players)
MP1 bets $12, Hero calls $12 (Complete blank, I follow my plan and instacall)

Final Pot: $50.25
MP1 shows 2d Qs (a full house, Nines full of Twos) (GHEY!!!)
Hero mucks Ts As

Well, that's the downside of slowplaying A-high. It doesn't matter what they have, they've got at least 6 outs. But I do think he's going to fire that river no matter what comes (although perhaps with a larger bet, which makes me calling no matter what even more profitable), so in the long term I think I'm pwning him pretty hard in this hand. Luckily I didn't have to wait too long as these two hands came up against the same donk later:

UTG+1: $49.25
UTG+2: $62.80
MP1: $50.00
MP2: $61.20
CO: $86.05
BTN: $50.00
Hero (SB): $61.10
BB: $64.45
UTG: $56.35

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is SB with 7c 6h
5 folds, CO calls $0.50, 1 fold, Hero calls $0.25, BB checks

Flop: ($1.50) 9c 8s 4d (3 players)
Hero checks, BB bets $0.50, CO calls $0.50, Hero calls $0.50

Turn: ($3.00) Tc (3 players)
Hero bets $2, BB calls $2, CO raises to $4, Hero raises to $17, BB folds, CO calls $13

River: ($39.00) 9s (2 players)
Hero requests TIME, Hero bets $20, CO calls $20

Final Pot: $79.00
CO mucks Th 3d
Hero shows 7c 6h (a straight, Ten high)

UTG+2: $50.80
MP1: $69.60
MP2: $50.00
CO: $64.60
BTN: $22.90
SB: $50.00
Hero (BB): $101.85
UTG: $74.35
UTG+1: $55.60

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BB with Ac As
6 folds, BTN raises to $1.75, 1 fold, Hero raises to $5.50, BTN calls $3.75

Flop: ($11.25) Ks 8d 5s (2 players)
Hero bets $6, BTN raises to $17.40 all in, Hero calls $11.40

Turn: ($46.05) 7d (2 players - 1 is all in)

River: ($46.05) Td (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $46.05
BTN shows 9s 8c (a pair of Eights)
Hero shows Ac As (a pair of Aces)


March 22, 2009

High Stakes Poker Recap, S5Ep04

Not quite as many exciting hands in this episode (full vid here), but still a good amount of action to sort through. Daniel Negreanu rebought and laid low for the most part, Tom Dwan tried to get some value by slowplaying a few hands, while Ziigimund showed some aggression, although he didn't follow through enough on later streets. 

The biggest pot of the night was played between Barry Greenstein and Tom Dwan, with Peter Eastgate playing and instrumental role once again. Eastgate opened with Q8o, and Barry made a light re-raise to 12k from the button with Jh9h. Durrrr woke up with AA in the SB and raised it another 20k. Eastgate instafolded, bringing the action back to Barry. 

With effective stacks at around 275k, it is quite tempting for Barry to take a flop in position for another 20k. Also, Barry had just gotten bruffed in the now-famous QT vs. 42. vs. AA hand. Finally, Barry surely realizes that durrrr knows that Peter Eastgate doesn't want to get into a huge pot without the nuts, which makes three-betting him in position a really profitable play. Durrrr is aaaabsolutely capable of having any two cards in this situation....and for that reason, he's going to get action when he has a monster hand. 

Barry does indeed call and the frop comes JdTc3h, giving Barry top pair. Durrrr bets 48kish into the pot of 60k, putting Barry in a tough spot. He still has almost 250k in his stack, but he's got only top pair with no kicker. I'm not really sure what durrrr's c-betting range is here. It's certainly overpairs and sets. With KJ or AT, I'm not sure what he would do. We have seen him check weakish one-pair hands for pot control in these kinds of situations before. I think he'd probably c-bet AQ,AK, and KQ as well. Let's say it's AA-TT, JT, 99, 88, AK, AQ, KQ. In that case, Barry has 51% equity vs. that range (the runner-runner straight and flush draws do help...if he had J7o his range would drop to 48%) . The problem is that durrrr is going to fold those 99/88/AQ+ hands to a raise. His range for stacking off is probably AA-TT, JT and KQ (and I'm not even sure about KQ), against which Barry has 32.5% equity.

For Barry's play to be good, durrrr has to be bet/folding better hands, or at least hands with significant equity, a pretty good percentage of the time. Those hands might include AT+,KJ+, QJ, and 89. That's really not too many hands, to me, given the amount Barry is risking and how often he will get it in as a 2:1 dog vs. durrrr's range. And, of course, we don't know that durrrr would fold QJ even. 

One other option for Barry would be to just call this bet. It's kinda gross because there aren't too many cards he wants to see on the turn, and his equity vs the parts of Dwan's range he's behind goes way down if he doesn't improve. But when durrrr is out of position it minimizes his ability to make big bluffs on later streets, so Barry could get to showdown cheaper, and maybe even profitably bet the turn if checked to and fold out hands that could river him with an overcard or inside straight draw. 

Given that he called preflop, I don't think Barry can really just fold once he flops top pair. He called thinking that durrrr was making a move, and that shouldn't change much once durrrr c-bets this flop. I think Barry just decided he didn't want to get himself in a tough spot on the turn, and would rather take his chances on the flop, force durrrr to give up his bluffs immediately, and hope to suck out if he had to stick it in.  So Barry commits himself with a raise to 150k, durrrr shoves it in without too much deliberation, and of course Barry calls off given how little he has left. So THAT's how you get in over 200bbs on a J-high frop with top pair no kicker! A 9 does bink off on the turn, so Barry does get shipped the pot, despite being soul-owned by Tom Dwan once again. 

(EDIT: I forgot to include this in the original post, but don't forget to go here if you want to take part in Barry's "Math is Idiotic" fund raiser!)

Durrrr then got to show down a set that he slowplayed on an extremely draw-heavy flop (99 on QT9 all spades), roping two bets out of Eli Elezra, who had AsJc but bricked the turn and river. I think he might have been using the image from showing down that hand later when he got involved with T8o. Durrrr raises preflop with Tc8c and gets calls from David Benyamine with Qd8d and Doyle from the blinds with Jh9h (the hand of the night for beating Dwan). The frop comes an action-packed Qh8c6h. It checks around to Benyamine, who bets 7800 into the 13k pot. Doyle calls with his straight and flush draws. I kind of expected durrrr to fold here, given that if he hits two pair it completes two straights, as well as a potential better two pair for QT, but I think he gets convinced by the price and his runner-runner straight and heart draws (neither to the nuts or close to it). 

The turn is the 9s, which gives Doyle a pair to go with his draws, and gives Dwan a double-belly-buster (either a J or a 7 makes him a straight, and it turns out they would both make him the best hand). Doyle makes a pot-sized bet of 35k. I think he does a pretty convincing job of repping JT or 75, or perhaps Q9/98. If he had those hands, he would want to protect them, and in a three-way pot, you'd think at least one player could give him some action with a QJ/QT type hand, heart draw, T8o (ROR!). 

I think durrrr does put Doyle on a pretty big hand, and that's why he decides to call, thinking he can get a big value bet on the river with a straight, or maybe bluff a heart. Benyamine calls as well since he has two pair, and I think that foils durrrr's plans to bluff the river once the heart does come and Doyle checks. There's too big a chance that Benyamine was drawing to hearts on the turn and hit the river himself. As a result it checks all the way around, and Doyle takes down the pot with a J-high frush.

The other hand that interested me was Ziigimund bluff-raising the turn on a KdQd7h3h board. In particular, I was shocked that Ziig didn't put in 80k or so when checked to on the diamond turn. I guess he had Elezra read correctly for a draw on the turn and didn't want to bet once one of the draws came in? Elezra does get pretty sticky with weak one-pair hands sometimes...I could see him calling down there with KJo...but Ziig just giving up on the river with T-high...a little weak. If it were durrrr, who is more capable of going for a check-raise there with the nuts, and also capable of check/raise bluffing with a missed draw, then maybe. But as I recall Elezra's game, I think he'd bet for value there if he rivered the diamond flush. It seems like Ziig often does take one shot at pots and then give up. That saved him money in past episodes, raising only the flop and then checking the turn and river vs. durrrr's bottom set, and checking back third pair vs Barry's JJ, but cost him some pots this time, both in this hand vs. Eli, and not firing a c-bet vs. Eastgate when Eastgate was holding the second nut low.

All in all, another highly entertaining episode of HSP. From the looks of the Episode 5 preview, we'll see more of durrrr pwning the table next week.


March 20, 2009

Foul Trouble Substitutions in Basketball

It's that time of the year: March Madness is upon us, which brings me to occasional ruminations on strategy while I'm cheering for my Heels. It's a pretty common occurence in basketball games that some star player picks up two personal fouls within the first few minutes of the game, and then sits the rest of the first half so that he won't pick up a third. 

It's never been clear to me why this is a good idea. After thinking about it a little more, I'm pretty sure it's not. Suppose 10 minutes in, your star player already picked up two fouls. You're worried that if you keep him in the game, he will get to 5 fouls before the end of the game. You can either take him out now, reducing his minutes for sure, or keep him in, which incurs some probability that you'll have to remove him from the game due to disqualification later. If this strategy is to have ANY validity at all, you'd have to think i) points now are less valuable than points at the end of the game (obviously not true), ii) the difference between your team with and without your star player is larger at the end of the game than at the beginning (perhaps true). 

Yet even if (ii) is valid, the difference-in-difference would have to be pretty large to offset the chance that you leave your player in the game, get the benefit of him playing more now, and he doesn't foul further, so that you also get the benefit of him playing at the end of the game. Also, you could at least leave him in until he gets his third or fourth foul before really limiting his playing time so that you're sure to have him in the last five minutes of crunch time. Yet it seems to be some part of coaching orthodoxy in college to never let your best player get his third foul in the first half. Can somebody explain to me why?


P.S.: Is it really that hard to referee a basketball game? I kind of want to try it just to see. It seems like the refereeing couldn't possibly be any worse than it is right now, but maybe I don't fully appreciate how difficult the task is.


We all effing hate the shortstackers who ruin the game for everyone else…they increase variance and cause all kinds of unnecessary gheyness.  I love seeing tables where there are 5+ of them sitting the same table – they are too stuck on autopilot to realize that the table they are sitting at is horrendously –EV.  Most of these shovemonkeys are TERRIBLE at poker and have difficulty spelling out “frop” let alone “turn”, or “river”.  It’s a preflop shove fest for these clowns who are trying to grind out a a measly .09 bb/100 winrate.  Needless to say, they could prolly be making more working at the local 7/11.  These guys aren’t particularly skilled at anything, so for me to expect them to figure this out on their own is way beyond them.  Here’s a recent spot that came up which got a nice loud ROR…

3/6 NLE
SB brackchips ($717)
B: gheyshortie ($129.60)
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to brackhips [Qh Qs]
5 folds
gheyshortie raises raises to $15
Brackchips raises to $66
BB folds
gheyshortie has 15 seconds left to act ßtanking
gheyshortie has requested TIME ßmore tanking along with pokerstoving equities
gheyshortie has pwnd his timebank down to 10 seconds
gheyshortie folds – ROR, ship the timebank stretch & the 15 buckaroos!

You really tanked and stretched your timebank that thin after a B raise?   Seriously dude?  Is it that hard to think about the REMOTE possibility of one of the blinds reshoving over your button open and how you will respond?  Relax dude, we are obviously not going to the flop or anything – your decision shouldn’t be THAT hard.  You have 20bbs, reship or fold…here, I’ve already eliminated the call decision from your repoirtoire. 

C’mon gheyshortie - Stop eating boring tuna, stop having a boring life

Translation – stop having boring prefrop shoving matches – learn postflop poker.  Your win rate and bankroll will thank me later.  

March 18, 2009

Thanks For Not Stacking Me, Bro! (Parts 12 and 13)

How do these donkeys ever hope to make money if they don't stack players when they cooler them? I have no idea...but I saved about 150 bbs or so in these two hands due to their slowplaying, value-minimizing ways:

Hand 1:

Hero (CO): $58.70
BTN: $32.50
SB: $11.50
BB: $10.00
UTG: $30.00
UTG+1: $122.05
MP: $12.60

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is CO with As Ah
3 folds, Hero raises to $1.75, BTN calls $1.75, 2 folds

Flop: ($4.25) 2d Qc Js (2 players)
Hero bets $2.75, BTN calls $2.75 (Standard up to here...)

Turn: ($9.75) 4c (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN checks (I checked here because his stack size is perfect for me to check/raise him all-in to stack a KQ/KT/JcTc type hand...And to punish a float from a hand that will just fold to a second barrel like AT or 88. I was pretty disappointed when he checked behind.)

River: ($9.75) 3h (2 players)
Hero bets $6.50 (I have to bet for value here. My line looks fishy, he could easily check behind a J or 88 that would call a river bet. I can't really count on him to bluff KTo and get value that way.)
BTN raises to $14
Hero calls $7.50 (This is a pretty thin call and I timed down a while before making it. It's pretty tough for the 3 to have helped his hand, unless he floated me on the frop with A5 or 33 or something. Either he slowplayed a fropped monster, or he's bluffing with KT or T9, hoping I will lay down AK. I ended up deciding to call since I'm towards the top of my range for taking this line.)

BTN shows JcJh (OK, so he took a tricky line, and got me to call a bet on the river somewhat thin. But remember that my plan was to check/raise the turn, at which point he stacks me. Really, any time you have 60 bbs and you flop a set vs. an overpair, especially on a non-gross board like this, and you DON'T get all the money in, you have to be pretty disappointed.)

But even that wasn't as bad as this:

MP: $57.95
CO: $56.75
BTN: $95.55
SB: $46.30
Hero (BB): $99.75
UTG: $58.20
UTG+1: $123.65

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BB with 2d 2c
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $1.50, 4 folds, Hero calls $1

Flop: ($3.25) Ad Jc 2s (2 players)
Hero checks
UTG+1 bets $1.50
Hero raises to $5 (Standard set-mining pre-flop, check-raising to build a pot and hope to get max value from AK-AJ. With the A and J on board, I'm definitely aware of the potential for a set-over-set situation, particularly given the size of his c-bet, but I'm not folding any time soon. AK-AJ make up 33 combos, whereas AA and JJ make up only 6 combos, so even if he only stacks off with AK-AJ 1/5 of the time, I'm still ahead of his range.)
UTG+1 calls $3.50

Turn: ($13.25) 6c (2 players)
Hero bets $8.75, UTG+1 calls $8.75 (Looks like I am indeed taking him to value town)

River: ($30.75) Kc (2 players)
Hero bets $26, UTG+1 calls $26 (Good river card for me b/c AK now makes two pair as well. If he shoved I wouldn't feel great about it because of AA/JJ/Acxc potential. I'm actually not sure what I would have done, but I think I'd probably call vs. this random NL50 donk. When he just calls, I thought for sure he had an A and the pot would be coming my way.)

Final Pot: $82.75
Hero shows 2d 2c (three of a kind, Twos)
UTG+1 shows Jd Jh (three of a kind, Jacks)! Thanks for not stacking me, bro! 200 bbs deep, you frop set-over-set and you only win 80 bbs??? I don't know if he's afraid of AA or what, but that is just terrible value minimization right there.
P.S. - Some funny stuff I've seen recently: Sucko showed me this, and I saw this on BustedJJ's brog...

March 16, 2009

High Stakes Poker Recap, S5Ep3

Since my last recap seemed to generate some interest, I figured I'd keep going until somebody tells me "Stop!" The show this week didn't feature anything quite as spectacular as durrrr's performance in episode 2, but there were still some interesting hands.

But first, as a completely irrelevant aside, can I say that I'm confused by all the concern about money given to AIG being paid to other banks? The whole reason to bail out AIG was concern of "contaigon", i.e., they can't pay off obligations, which bankrupts other important players in the financial system. Now that they are indeed using the money to pay off their obligations to other important players in the financial system that's....shocking? bad? I don't get it. If you want to get mad about the money going out the door in the form of bonuses, fine. But some of the money had Goldman's name on it the minute the government started writing checks.

OK, moving on...I was hoping Negreanu might step up his game a little bit as the session went along. Ehh...I think we can so far say:

[ ] Negreanu pwns HSP

I mean...when you're first doing leakfinding with a friend who's new to NLHE, what's like the first thing you explain to them to improve profitability? Probably something like...stop open limp-calling marginal hands? Stop check/calling the flop with marginal hands? Especially vs. good players? Who is Daniel trying to pwn post-frop by open limping As8s? Anyway, that's what he decides to do, and Barry raises him from the button with JTo. Of course the flop comes Q98 with two diamonds and one spade, giving Barry the nut straight.

Daniel check/calls a heftily sized c-bet. I think he would probably be folding this if it weren't for the one spade on board. If he were in position, so that he'd have much more freedom to operate on the turn and river, it's a more defensible call. But here, even if Barry does have AK/AJ or an underpair so that Daniel is often is Daniel going to get to showdown? If Daniel does nail the turn with an 8 or an A, how often does he have the best hand when a bunch of money goes in?

Well, we're about to find out because an offsuit A peels off on the turn. This gives Daniel aces up and pretty much guarantees that he's going to lose a bunch of money in the hand. His check/call on the turn is pretty standard. He might consider raising to protect his hands against diamonds, but given their stack sizes, he can't really raise enough to protect his hands without committing himself vs. all the hands that pwn him, like AQ, QQ, 99, JT, etc...and I don't think Barry is going to go nutso and lose a whole bunch of money with AK on that board.

The river comes an offsuit K, a bad card for Daniel. He now loses to AK and KK, which he was beating before. He makes kind of a crying call of a very hefty river value bet from Barry. Maybe he thinks Barry would value bet KQ that strong, hoping that Daniel had an A-high flush draw that ended up with just a pair of aces? Or Barry could turn QJ into a bluff on the river? Daniel played the hand so passively that he does induce some 3-barrel bluffs from Barry on a gross board like this, but in this hand he got pwnd pretty hard. And those are just the kind of tough situations you get yourself into when you limp/call and then check/call twice.

The other big hand of the night also involved Negreanu. He opened with a 2.8x raise holding JJ, and got called by Eastgate holding 33 on the button, Benyamine holding 44 in the SB, and Eli Elezra with 32ss from the BB. The flop comes 742 with two diamonds. Looks safe enough for JJ, so Daniel fires out 8k when checked to. Eastgate floats him with 33, and Benyamine raises to 41k with his set, prompting an instafold from Elezra.

I think Eastgate's call really pwns Daniel here. He's thinking that Benyamine is reading Eastgate's hand well, and hoping that Daniel is c-betting with air as he normally would, and hoping to take it down (as he did with 9h6h on a dry paired board earlier in the show...he got called by Doyle slowplaying KK and Elezra raised and lost a bunch of money bluffing with A-high). Benyamine is definitely capable of making such a play with even a marginal draw such as 86 or A3. Certainly he would be doing it with big diamond draws and straight flush draws quite often. It's also unlikely that Benyamine would flat call a smallish raise preflop with AA-QQ this deep, with Eastgate having called already and Elezra virtually guaranteed to call in the BB. So the only hands Daniel needs to worry about are sets and maybe 24s or 74s. He decides to call, making the pot just over 100k going to the turn.

The turn is an offsuit 4, a very bad card for Daniel. None of the hands Daniel beat on the frop are helped by that card, unless Benyamine were making a move with 45 or A4. Moreover, it reduces the number of 44 combinations DB could have from 3 to 1, and the number of 42s combinations from 3 to 2. That makes 11 combos total that now make a full house or better. Not very many compared to the flush and straight draw combos. If Daniel liked his hand on the frop, he can only like it more on the turn.

Benyamine leads on the turn with quads with a small bet of $35k. He probably thinks Daniel has either an overpair or a flush draw, and wants to extract value from both. The pairing of the board means that Daniel would be more reluctant to try and see the river with a draw. Benyamine also might think he can represent a draw that doesn't want to put the rest of the money in because the board pairs, and therefore get Daniel to shove some weak draws, or overpairs that wouldn't want any draws to see the river given how big the pot has now gotten.

At first I thought a bigger bet would work better since Daniel won't call a small bet with draws anyway, and a big bet is probably how Benyamine would play a draw himself (and therefore be more likely to action from Daniel with an overpair). But actually I think that the small bet works well because it would give Daniel the idea that he could shove and get a fold if he himself had a draw. With about $156k left in Daniel's stack, if DB bets $80k or more, Daniel will realize that he has no fold equity. But if DB bets $35k and Daniel is sitting on Ad8d or 8d6d, he might think, "paired board, I have reverse implied odds, so I can't really call this bet. But since the board is paired and I can force DB to call off another $121k with a shove, I can shove my draw and win the pot that way unless DB has a boat. Since there are only 11 possible boat-or-better combos and many plausible draws, I should ship it in."

Benyamine should realize that his own range is polarized to draws/complete air and boats (or maybe I'm way off and he would play A7 like this, but I kinda doubt it). I don't know his game well enough to know how he would play an A-high diamond draw in this situation. If he does something other than bet $35k, he sets himself up to be exploited a bit, but Daniel might have been tilted enough at this point to not realize that the small bet was designed to induce action and that Benyamine wouldn't have a draw in that spot.

In the end, Daniel looks pretty bad stuffing in 200bbs drawing stone cold dead with an overpair. But I think this hand is a little more excusable than the As8s hand, because the range Benyamine is betting for value is so narrow, and Eastgate's flop call put Benyamine in a perfect bluffing spot.

In other tidbits from the show, it looks like Doyle is determined to slowplay all his monsters and make big bets with his bluffs and semi-bluffs. This is pretty much the same pattern he showed at the Poker After Dark cash game. The other players are definitely starting to notice, so he probably needs to change gears soon. This does make David Benefield's fold of trip sixes on PAD look a lot better, if you thought it was a bad play the first time you saw it.

From the clips at the end of the show, it looked like durrrr and Barry will play another big pot next episode...can't wait to see that one!


March 15, 2009

The all important forgotten street of NLHE...the turn

Preflop play in NLHE with 100bb stax is pretty simple these days...everyone seems to have a decent grasp of an optimal preflop strategy.  The flop and effective usage of c-bets are also pretty easy to figure out...provided you have a good understand of board texture/villain's ranges/tendencies/postion.  The turn is where you likely will encounter most of your toughest decisions.  You need to choose a path as to whether to continue to the river and a potential showdown, or whether to pitch your hand right there.  If you do chose the path towards the river - how will you get there?  Btw - for those of you who are already experts on the turn and don't give a rat's ass on what I have to say about the turn...feel free and skip ahead to Bruechips solid writeup on the river.

You have just raised two black queens from EP in a NL200 game with 100bb stax and get a lone caller from the button.  Flop is J74ss.  You cbet 75% pot and get called.  Turn is a Ks - now what? Do you continue betting in hopes of getting value from 56, QJ, JT?  Could the villain have made a frush with spades?  Are you now pwnd hard and up against KJ?  How does he play his draws?  Does he call EP raises with speculative hands like sooted connectors or his is ranged weighted more towards pocket pairs?  Does your villain have the propensity to float flops with weakish hands and attempt to steal the pot on a later street by leveraging their position?  You really need to ask yourself all these questions and more when deciding whether to check or bet the turn.  If you bet - are you folding to a raise?  If you check - are you folding, calling, or check raising (as a bluff or for value?).  

The reason players freeze up and play the turn so badly is that not nearly as many hands go to the flop and the turn has the potential to change the entire board texture.  Who here has every been the victim of a "backdoor flush"?  Um yes please...I get pwnd by them many a time.   It's much more disguised than the standard frush draw on the flop that ends up hitting on the river.  I recently played a hand where I 3b a CO raiser OTB with 8Tdd.  He donked a Kh7h3d and I raised small.  He donked again when the sicko 9d peels on the turn...I shove and he calls it off with TT and I bricked out.  My equity on the turn went up more than 4 fold compared to my flop equity when I binked a the best non pair card possible in the deck.  

I will try and post some more thoughts about the turn later this week...


I think there are other reasons the turn is difficult...first, with 100 bb stacks or less it's often the point of no return in a raised pot. That is, by the time you have raised pre-flop, bet the flop and bet the turn, you'll be getting great odds to stack off to a raise or a river bet. Second, to really play the turn correctly, you have to think about lots of combinations of cards and actions, AND you have to combine analysis of betting on earlier streets (pre-frop and frop) with analysis of what both you and your opponent are GOING to do on different types of river cards. 

However returns to playing the turn correctly are huge. Hand values do not run as close as they do on the frop (e.g., a made hand is now a much bigger favorite than on the frop when there are still two cards to come), and bets are bigger, since pots are bigger after the first two rounds of betting. Of course this is even more true of the river, since equity at that point is either 0 or 100 (unless you've got some ghey spritpot situation), and pots are as big as they're going to get. But by the time the river comes you'll usually have a pretty decent idea of your opponent's range, and you don't have to factor any future rounds of betting into your decision on the best play.


March 13, 2009

Trying to Exploit a Small Mistake Can be a Mistake

I made a comment in a recent post in comparing exploitative play and equilibrium play that sometimes being slightly wrong about an opponent's strategy that you're trying to exploit will lead to loss in profitability, and open you up to counter-exploitation, particularly when your best response function is discontinous. I thought I'd expand on that a little bit with an example.

Consider again the Shortstack Game (yes, Pinky, this is more shameless intrablog pimpage). Recall that in the equilibrium we found, player 2 reshoves over player 1's open 1/3 of the time. Say you're player 1 and you think that player 2 is reshoving only 25% of the time (just for fun, we'll make it the top 25% as defined by PokerStove), whereas in actuality he is playing equilibrium and shoving 1/3 of the time. You exploit this by best responding to the strategy you think player 2 is employing, i.e., reshoving 25% of the time. In Part 3 of the Shortstack Game we found that if player 2 is folding more than 2/3 of the time, player 1 should raise every time. This is the discontinuity of player 1's best response function. If player 2 folds exactly 2/3 of the time, player 1 opens 56% of the time. Anything more and he opens 100% of the time.

This miscalculation leads to a large loss in expected payoff for player 1. In equilibrium (i.e., when he is best responding to player 2's equilibrium strategy), his expected payoff is .42. When he opens 100% of the time and calls shoves only when he has the required 40.9% equity against top 25% hands. This represents only 26% of all hands. Player 1's expected payoff from this strategy is then (2/3)(1.5) + (1/3)(.74*(-3) + .26*(.509*21.5-.491*20)) = .36. Less than equilibrium strategy, but not too bad.

What about the opposite thought experiment - what if an equilibrium player ran into a non-equilibrium player and didn't know it? What if player 1 thought player 2 were shoving 1/3 of the time as he should in equilibrium, but in actuality he's only shoving 25% of the time? Well we know that player 1 makes .42  in equilibrium, and we know that this is a zero-sum game. That is, any loss for player 2 is a gain for player 1. Finally, player 2 shoving 25% of the time instead of 1/3 of the time as he should results in a lower expected payoff (otherwise shoving 1/3 of the time couldn't be an equilibrium strategy). So player 1 makes even MORE than .42 against this player (it turns out to be around .5). If player 1 were playing exploitively vs. player 2, he would make .65 on average. Definitely a big improvement over the equilibrium strategy.

But what if player 2 notices that you are raising every time now, instead of 56% as equilibrium would dictate, and starts reshoving 50% of the time, instead of 25%? It would likely take you a while to realize this (longer than it would take your opponent to realize you are raising 100% instead of 56%). And in the meantime, your expected payoff would plummet all the way to .08. Dagger.

Obviously, this is a somewhat contrived example. There are situations where an opponent is clearly making a mistake that would be foolish not to exploit. But there are many situations in poker where best responses are discontinous (e.g., a small change in bluffing frequency for an opponent changes the best response from mixing between calling and folding to always calling or always folding). But in situations where you don't have a large enough sample to have a good idea of an opponent's strategy, going with an equilibrium strategy is usually best.


March 10, 2009

High Stakes Poker Season 5 Recap, Episodes 1-2

Well, we're only two episodes into season 5 of High Stakes Poker on GSN, and so far it's been the Tom Dwan Show. The guy is unreal. How is it that everybody turns into a donkey when they're playing against durrrr? Peter Eastgate puts in zero raises when his trips outkick Dwan's. David Benyamine gets one street of value when his JT flops top two against Dwan's KJ. Ziigimund loses of nearly 100 bbs with A3o on a AcJcTd7c5s board. Eli Elezra cold calls 3 bets out of position with AJo, then check-calls a decent sized turn bet with A-high no pair no draw. If God crapped out a poker player, it would be Tom Dwan.

The most breathtaking hand of the second episode came at the end. Barry Greenstein opens from UTG with pocket aces and gets approximately 87 callers, including durrrr (I think UTG+1) with QcTc and Peter Eastgate in the SB with 24o. The flop comes Td2c2s, giving Greenstein an overpair, Eastgate trip deuces, and durrrr top pair third kicker.

The pot has about $21k in it, and the blinds check to Greenstein, who bets $10k. With the stacks this deep (not sure about Barry, but apparently Eastgate has $500k on the table and Dwan probably has him covered), durrrr can really put a lot of pressure on Barry, since durrrr could have TT or a deuce, and Barry can only have TT. Since durrrr has a T in his hand, he knows it's even more unlikely Barry would have top boat. And he's pretty sure that with anything less than that, Barry will not want to put in $500k. I think he likes the T in his hand not for its value, although I guess it does give him a two-outter, but because it reduces the TT combos Barry could have from 3 to 1.

Of course it's possible that someone else has a deuce but durrrr is willing to take that risk in order to start building a pot now and get heads up with Barry for later streets. So he raises to $37k, I'm sure hoping it folds back to Barry. I almost think durrrr is hoping Barry calls so he can win an even juicier pot when he shoves his stack in on the river and Barry folds, but he wouldn't mind a fold either. What he didn't want was a call or raise from some other player. Unless that player was Peter Eastgate calling from the SB. It was pretty apparent from Eastgate's relative tightness preflop, his flat call on the river with nut trips and his fold to Daniel Negreanu's river raise (turned out to be a good fold) earlier in the session that Eastgate was somewhat scared money. Also durrrr has position on Eastgate, whereas he wouldn't if he had gotten a call from Ziigimund or Negreanu. So when it folds to Eastgate, he calls, and Barry calls, durrrr knows exactly what they both have. Eastgate is not calling there with a better T or even JJ. And if he had a better deuce, he'd probably re-raise. Why Barry calls I have no idea. It's pretty obvious at least Eastgate has him pwnd, if durrrr doesn't. And even if he has the best hand, what's his plan for later streets? He's hoping that something OTHER than durrrr putting in $100k on the turn will happen? Uhhhh....Barry, lemme introduce you to this guy Tom Dwan. Who knows that your UTG raise and bet/call on a T22r board means overpair and overpair only. Pay attention, because he is about to rape you.

After they all call, the turn is a 7d. Eastgate and Greenstein both check. Dwan bets $104k into the $133k pot. Both players probably realize that $300-400k more is coming on the river. Dwan scares out the scared money as Eastgate pitches the best hand. Barry folds the second best hand since he realizes durrrr knows what he has and he has no idea what durrrr has. Dwan mucks the third best hand and rakes the monsterpotten.

(Update: Barry Greenstein discusses the hand in his pokerroad radio show here. I think his comments are pretty consistent with mine. He talks about both his flop call and his turn fold in depth. Definitely worth a listen.)

While durrrr has dominated, I've been pretty unimpressed with Daniel Negreanu's cash game. With the disclaimer that he has way more experience and success playing poker than I ever is he doing limp/calling Q4s and J2s??? I know it's a deep cash game...but it's not like he's playing a bunch of donkeys he can just pwn post-flop every hand. He's got Tom Dwan somewhere to his left, who will absolutely murder him if he keeps up the limping donkery. Even when he did open limp/call the button with Jh2h (apparently he's been taking lessons from every NL50 donk out there) and got the miracle flop of K22 vs. AK, he won basically the minimum by slowplaying. He seemed to have gotten the picture a little bit by the end of the second episode. It'll be interesting to see how he adapts.

Ziigimund has gotten pwnd so far, but I don't think he has played terribly. He raised durrrr's c-bet on a Q32r board with 63o...not a bad play necessarily, but he happened to run into bottom set. His calldown with 99 on a AsJc6c4hJs board looks pretty bad, but he was probably thinking that Eastgate wouldn't be good enough to value bet a J on the turn or an A on the river, which leaves a full house (and even then he probably raises AJ or 66 on this flop) and missed flush draws, which means Ziig can call with 99 there. I think a better play (easy for me to say, seeing the hands) would be to check-raise the turn. I think Eastgate would bet/fold a weaker ace there like AT, maybe his flush draws, and it looks like his jacks. I doubt he'd call a raise to 70 or so with his JTs. Since they are plenty deep, he might call with his flush draws, but I don't think he'd re-raise them. Ziig can easily represent all the sets on board himself. He also lost a bunch of money when he 3-b durrrr's KQs with A3o. Durrrr flopped Broadway and incredibly checked three times, and then raised the river, even with three clubs on board. How can he know that Ziig checked top pair on the flop and turn and will call down on the river?? While it seems like Ziig should be tempted to call here, since durrrr could be bluffing just based on the fact that Ziig checked the flop and turn, I think Ziig's checks represent more of a hand than a bet would. On a board like that, he could easily have AQ or AK and be checking for pot control, whereas if he had pocket fours he's probably going to take a stab on the flop since he can rep some monsters.

Anyway, this post has gotten plenty long already so I'll wrap it up...but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the rest of the episodes this season.


Ok now its my turn to jump on durrr's nuts.  I think Brue pointed out all the earlier hands where either max valued with big hands or lost the minimum with medium stength hands.  

But let's jump right into THE 24/AA/QT hand.  That hand was EPIC in every sense of the word.  durrr had a plan from the start - to make Barry fold an overpair.  He was going to put apply max pressure in position and convince him that he either had a deuce or ten's full.  I think his raise sizing was pretty allowed him to determine if someone had a deuce SUPER CHEAP and verify that Barry's holdings were indeed an overpair.  When Eastgate gets in the way of durrr's original plan, he simply thinks another level ahead - and uses Barry's knowledge of Eastgate's holdings against him.  On the turn, he basically uses Eastgate as a pawn against Barry.  He knows Eastgate has a weakish deuce and Barry should know this...durrr knows that Barry knows that he knows.  So he knows the move is PWN with a 104k bet on the turn and make Barry fold.  SHIP IT.  

I've watched the clip numerous times now and a few things I've noticed...

- postflop, both Barry and Eastgate appear to be on autopilot...none of their decisions take more than 10 seconds other than when Barry finally folds.  Seriously guys...are you kidding me?  Did you just insta give up when durrr raised the frop?  I know you guys are pretty effing rich but still...this ain't chump change ya'll are playing with.  C'mon.  Durrr spends about 40 seconds carefully planning his strategy when he puts in his frop raise.  I'm pretty sure he figured out all the potential actions and how he was going to react vs them depending on the player/situation/etc.  
- Eastgate definitely bought in for too much and was uncomfortable playing that deep.  Barry mentions in his audio commentary that online players are uncomfortably playing super deep and he's correct.  Durrr recognized this in a previous hand when he missed a river value raise with trips when he had durrr outkicked.  I honestly don't know what cash game stakes Eastgate plays online, but I'm pretty sure he's not a high stakes regular.  Granted he just won many a mirrions of dollars...but i wouldn't go sit with 500k at a table with some of the best players in the world.  
- Barry mentioned in his clip that he had only played a few times with durrr about a year ago and knew he was very loose but was not sure if he had changed much since then.  No offense to Barry cuz he's the man, but dude you might want to chat with yer boy Ivey who plays him pretty regularly.  Its not a freak occurence for them to dust off north of 500k in a day.  Dusting off 500k+ and TAG do not exactly fit into the same sentence, ROR.  
- The commentators during the show mention a Stu Unger reference in regards to the move that durrr puts on in this hand...boy that woulda been a sick matchup.  

What I would have LIKED to have seen...was for another player to realize what durrr was doing and to subsequently 3b the flop.  Regardless of who it was or what cards they had...surely they would have gotten folds around and raked a TASTY pot without a showdown.  


March 9, 2009

Would you ever make a -EV play in equilibrium?

There are essentially two (not necessarily mutually exclusive) ways of thinking about poker. One is to try and play exploitively, attempting to maximize your earnings by best-responding to your opponent's play (for a review of concepts and vocab, see here). The other is to try and play a Nash equilibrium strategy, which means that you cannot be exploited, so that if your opponent is playing any non-Nash equilibrium strategy, you make money.

The first method by definition is more +EV than the second, given that your opponents are making some mistakes. However it requires accurate knowledge of your opponent's strategies, and small errors in your beliefs about their strategy can lead to you being exploited in turn. Sometimes this can lead to large mistakes on your part. The beauty of the second strategy is that it requires zero knowledge about your opponent. No matter how he chooses to play, he cannot beat you. Unless he plays perfectly himself, he will lose over time.

This leads me to a couple of recent posts by gnome. The question is, "is it ever a good idea to make a -EV play?" If you're trying to play exploitively, the answer is potentially yes. For instance, raising small pocket pairs in early position maybe lose money, but opponents in late position may over-react to your high raise % in early position by giving you a lot of action when you have a monster hand.

If you're trying to play an equilibrium strategy, however, the answer is no. Recall that equilibrium means that neither player can improve his payout by changing his strategy, keeping his opponent's strategy fixed. In order for your -EV in a given hand to good, you have to be able to induce some more +EV spot in the future. Since poker is a zero-sum game, a more +EV spot for you means a more -EV spot for your opponent. But this could not be an equilibrium, because your opponent could deviate to the less -EV play*. The basic intuition is, your -EV play being +EV in the metagame requires that your small mistake in the current hand induces a big mistake from your opponent later. But in equilibrium there are no "mistakes", so this is impossible.


*Really arcane side note for those that know something about repeated game theory or are interested in learning more: I think it might be possible that you could get an equilibrium with -EV plays in given hands if the two players had different discount factors. Basically, you could keep trading your current small mistakes for his big mistakes in the future because you care about future payoffs a lot more than he does. If this were the case, the repeated game would no longer be zero-sum. In poker, this doesn't seem to apply since usually you're hoping to incur a big mistake within the same session or at least at a different session in the near future, so discount rates shouldn't be high for either player.

March 8, 2009

Sick Fakies

Brackchips and I met up with a bunch of other dudes for a few spring training ball games around Tampa Bay this weekend. Let me tell you, this weekend was epic. We learned several things, including:

1) Our friend Bobby would do a dude under the right circumstances
2) I'm like 8x better than Brackchips at predicting people's scores on the boxer game at the bar
3) Neither one of us can break 65 mph on the gun at the ballpark
4) We already knew this, but Phillies phans are disgusting 
5) Tampa has a ridiculously high percentage of surgically enhanced breasts

Much like last year, this year's trip featured some pretty thin eating decisions. Here was the weekend menu for me:

-1 Bojangles chicken biscuit meal
-3 Philly cheese steaks
-2 cheeseburgers and fries
-2 McDonald's sausage biscuits
-2 Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches
-2 rarge srices of pepperoni and sausage pizza
-many buffalo wings

Crushed it all. We also got in some action at the casino Friday night. Unfortunately, due to some ghey Florida state law, you can't buy into any poker game for more than $100. Doesn't matter if blinds are 1/2, 2/5, 5/10...$100 is the max. So we played some 1/2 for a while since at least there we could have 50 bbs as opposed to 20 or 10 at the other games. Brackchips won some money, I rost as a result of what I'd say was mediocre but not terrible play by me and some bad ruck.

I didn't have a bad time, but it definitely confirmed my belief that playing online is much better. First of all, the rake at the 1/2 game is 10% of the pot, capped at $5, which is nutso. I think at Full Tilt it's 5% capped at $3 or something. Plus you've got to burn a dollar or two tipping the dealer any time you win a decent pot. Then you've got to deal with all the retarded table talk. I had one hand where I raised a loose limper with JJ, got a call on the button from a standard but somewhat loose player, and then a call from a tight player in the big blind. Flop came 952r and I got check-raised all-in by the tight player. Even with my 50 bb stack, I ended up folding. I probably would have folded anyway, but after I had been thinking for a few seconds, he started saying things like, "what you got, K9 over there? pocket eights?", at which point I instamucked. He hemmed and hawed a little more after the hand and told Brackchips that he had pocket deuces. I told him what I had, but he wouldn't believe me. He was firm in his belief that I had "nothing". When I asked him why he raised given that he thought I had nothing, he just got kind of a dumb look on his face. 

Then the guy to my left had to give a running commentary on each hand, interspersed with tales of his bad beats from earlier in the night, as well as how many millions of dollars his friend had made playing tourneys online. Whatever. Maybe his beats were bad, and maybe his friend does pwn online. I just couldn't care less. Despite me giving off ZERO vibe of wanting to hear more, out it came. 

Towards the end of the session I raised the same roose rimper with KTo, got called by the chatty guy on my left, and Brackchips re-raised from the button. I briefly considered a move but laid it down since my ghey stack would have required him to call my shove with any two. Then Chatty goes into the tank, after a while turns up his cards - 99. He's got like a $120 stack, Brackchips had re-raised my $10 bet to $25, so I'm pretty sure showing his cards that early in the hand is not optimal. Finally he folds and grumbles to me, "he had at least two overcards, I mean he's not gonna re-raise you and me with nothing...", and I'm have no idea... My favorite part was early on Chatty asked if Brack would show if he forded. Brack said he'd do it for $5. Then later after showing his nines he asked again and Brack said, "price has gone up, now it's $6!!" Unfortunately the donk folded and did not cough up the dough for the show.


March 6, 2009

Disecting a monster - street by street, Deep Stacked Play Part 6

I recently came across a tasty deep stacked HH that I discussed quite a bit with Bruechips...I was really trying to figure out the best way to MAX out EV with my monster.  The beauty of this game is despite there only being 3 postfrop decisions - there are always so many different lines you can take for an individual hand.  Just yesterday I found a particular line that I have used 3x in 150k hands (you can prolly figured it out if you think about it...hint, i essentially had the nuts each time).    

This hand in particular got me thinking because by myself and the villain were ~300bb deep...and while the hand played out, my main focus was stacking him, obviously no easy feat unless you both hold monsters.  

Let's check it out...

Full Tilt Poker $3/$6 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official Hand History Converter

BB: $686.00
UTG: $1206.25
UTG+1: $526.50
MP1: $1111.20
MP2: $600.00
Hero (CO): $1729.20
BTN: $2417.05
SB: $600.00

Pre Flop: ($9.00) Hero is CO with 88 of spades 88 of hearts
UTG calls $6, 3 folds, Hero raises to $24, BTN calls $24, 2 folds, UTG calls $18
(Folks - we have a donk alert...UTG limper.  Let's stuff some money in the pot while we are in position and make a standard raise with snowmen.  B does UTG.  My read at the time was that UTG is a donk and the B is a pretty tight reg.  My image at the table is definitely on the looser side as usual - althought I haven't been showing down much.  

Flop: ($81.00) 88 of diamonds AA of clubs 66 of spades (3 players)
UTG checks, Hero bets $60, BTN calls $60, UTG folds
Make a standard C bet here, with this board texture (board is nice and dry, unlike tiffany's mom's vagina on two for tuesdays!)  given with 3 way action - I'm making a cbet somewhere in the hood of 90% of the time.  Once UTG folds out and I am left out of position vs the button...I know that I have the NUTS and that the villain is VERY likely to have a Ax type hand.  He would have 3b AA this deep for sure.  79, 57 are the only draw combinations - and despite being deep, I don't think the villain would call with these types of hands.  

Turn: ($201.00) 33 of spades (2 players)
Hero requests TIME, Hero bets $168, BTN calls $168
Clearly the 3 is literally the best card in the deck for me that doesn't improve my hand.  I really REALLY debated overbetting the turn here in order to get more money in the pot.  

River: ($537.00) KK of diamonds (2 players)
Hero requests TIME, Hero bets $477, BTN requests TIME, BTN calls $477
Clearly another big bet is in order, I still have the effective nuts...BTN tanks it HARD and finally calls it off with top 2.  

Final Pot: $1491.00
Hero shows 88 of spades 88 of hearts (three of a kind, Eights)
BTN mucks KK of spades AA of spades
Hero wins $1488.00

Where was the turning point in this hand?  It was ALL about the turn baby.  I COULD have opted for a turn XR here in an effort to setup a river shove given the stax...but as Bruechips mentioned during our discussion - this is CRIMINAL.  Two major league bad things can happen here, you can xr him off a strong hand you have him drawing dead with or the nightmare scenario...HE CHECKS behind.  If he checks behind and then put in a river bet, we play a 550 dollar pot vs the 1500 one we played.  Super ghey.

My other alternative was turn overbet.  Given his hand...I'm not sure him or anyone else would just fold there.  Granted I didn't know he backdoored the NFD...but still, how often do you see someone overbet the turn?  I'm pretty sure he peels even without the FD.  If I am able to dump like 250 in on the ends up allowing me to play a pot that is roughly 25% larger than the pot size as played.  

This guy sure is lucky he didn't 3b his AK here...surely I go minining this deep and we DEFINITELY would have played a nice lil monsterpotten.  

March 4, 2009

Kicking off a New Series: Yer Gonna Rove My Nuts! (Part 1)

We've decided to start a new series which will feature hands where we get villains to spaz out and bet big into the nuts. In honor of Vince the Srap Chop/ShamWow guy, how could it be called anything but, "Yer gonna rove my nuts!"?? To kick things off, here are a couple of hands vs. PL50 donks:

Hand 1:

Seat 1: bruechips (SB) ($50)
Seat 2: BB ($16.50)
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [Ts Qh]
bruechips raises to $1.50 (folds to me, pretty standard open)
BB calls $1
*** FLOP *** [Th Qs Td]
bruechips bets $2.25 (Frop a boat, no big deal...since we're brind vs. brind and it's a paired board, I think betting here and inducing some bruff raise or froat is best. If I check/call or check/raise I think he might smerr monster.)
BB calls $2.25
*** TURN *** [Th Qs Td] [Ah]
bruechips checks (Big time scare card. If we were deeper and I had some history with an aggro villain, I might bet again because I would bluff that card with my entire range, so he should rebluff sometimes. But with only one bet left, any hand this guy is willing to call with on the turn, plus a whole lot more, is gonna bet the turn if I check.)
BB bets $7.50
bruechips raises to $30
BB calls $5.25, and is all in
bruechips shows [Ts Qh]
BB shows [8h 3h] (Uhh...yea dude...that's no good. Good frop for 8-high though!) 

Hand 2:

Seat 4: MP1 ($46.35)
Seat 5: MP2 ($11.55)
Seat 9: bruechips (UTG+1) ($50)
MP1 posts a dead small blind of $0.25
MP1 posts $0.50 (Donk alert!!!)
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to bruechips [Qh Qc]
bruechips raises to $2.50
MP1 calls $2
MP2 calls $2.50
*** FLOP *** [3s Qd 4c]
bruechips bets $6 (Pretty good frop again and hope someone thinks I have AK...)
MP1 raises to $16.50
MP2 folds
bruechips calls $10.50 (Roving the raise...after this there's one pot-sized bet reft. He could have 56 or A5 and have some outs against me, but I think it's more +EV against his entire range to srowpray this one. Maybe he'll try to make me fold TT on the turn.)
*** TURN *** [3s Qd 4c] [6c]
bruechips checks
MP1 bets $27.10, and is all in
bruechips calls $27.10 (Hopefurry he doesn't have 57...obviousry I'm not considering folding)
MP1 shows [Td 9c] (Hrmm...that doesn't look like 57...that looks more like...drawing dead!)
bruechips shows [Qh Qc]