April 30, 2009

Thanks for Not Stacking Me, Bro! (Parts 14 and 15)

We almost need a new category for how bad this donk played this hand. This guy seems to play pretty often, but he's just fawking TERRIBLE. All his pre-frop 3bs are min raises, and post frop he typically bets about 1/6th pot. Here's an earlier hand I played against him (this is not even the best one):

CO: $54.85
Hero (BTN): $50.00
SB: $48.40
BB: $21.45
UTG: $5.65
UTG+1: $54.10
UTG+2: $41.20
MP1: $46.80
MP2: $32.40

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BTN with 8h Qh
6 folds, Hero raises to $1.75, SB raises to $3, 1 fold, Hero calls $1.25 (Standard I think...I have position, I know his hand is strong, we're deep enough that I can get enough value when I flop the better hand often enough that I can call pre-flop given the odds he's giving me.)

Flop: ($6.50) 8c Ac Qd (2 players)
SB bets $1.50, Hero calls $1.50 (OK, I flop bottom two, but this isn't really that great of a board to have two pair on given the preflop action because of the ace out there. If he's min 3-betting with only top 3 hands - AA, KK, QQ - I am ahead of only 60% of his range, since there are 3 AA combos, 6 KK combos, and 1 QQ combo possible. Also if I raise he'll fold KK. So I decide I'm just going to call down. I may be missing some value if he has AK, but I'm not sure if that's in his min 3-betting range at this point, and also I can valuetown the turn and river if he checks to me, indicating he doesn't have AA or QQ.)

Turn: ($9.50) 2h (2 players)
SB bets $2.50, Hero calls $2.50 (He's still betting small, I'll continue to call down with basically a bluffcatcher, if you consider him to be bluffing if he's betting KK.)

River: ($14.50) 7c (2 players)
SB bets $7.25, Hero calls $7.25 (1/2 pot bet...at this point I really felt like he might have AK given his smallish bets but I resisted the urge to raise and just called.)

Final Pot: $29.00
Hero mucks 8h Qh
SB shows Qs Qc (three of a kind, Queens) (Yep, that'll win...)

Then later at a different hand I played this hand with the same dude:

UTG: $66.65
UTG+1: $19.50
MP1: $50.00
MP2: $27.20
Hero (CO): $159.70
BTN: $35.25
SB: $27.20
BB: $26.05

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is CO with Jc Ac
1 fold, UTG+1 calls $0.50, 2 folds, Hero raises to $2.25, BTN raises to $4, 3 folds, Hero calls $1.75 (This call is a little thinner since I'm out of position and he's shallower. But I am suited so there's frush possibility...plus by this point I had seen him min 3b a little more so I thought his range could be a little wider, giving me more equity, and plus he's shown himself to be such a terrible value bettor that I don't stand to lose too much when I frop a second best hand.)

Flop: ($9.25) As 4c Ad (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN checks (Gin!! I thought about leading three times here and hoping he'd call down with KK-JJ, but I decided to go for a check/call and then lead the river if the turn checked through.)

Turn: ($9.25) 2d (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN checks (OK, he checked the frop...I should probably bet here but I decided that check/calling again and leading the river would be the best way to get value from KK-JJ. Not sure about that one.)

River: ($9.25) 5d (2 players)
Hero bets $7, BTN calls $7 (OK, he checked the turn too, can't wait any more, gotta try and get at least one bet from his pocket pairs...)

Final Pot: $23.25
Hero shows Jc Ac (three of a kind, Aces)
BTN shows Kd Ah (three of a kind, Aces)
BTN wins $22.10 (ROR!!! That has to be the top TfNSM hand in spritpot history...At reast IMHO. How do you frop nut trips in a 3b pot and win ONE bet vs. an opponent with worse trips? And HE's the one who makes the bet?? All I can say is...thanks for that $25 you saved me, dude. You're the best)


April 29, 2009

High Stakes Poker Recap, Season 5 Episode 9

Sorry for being a little late on the post this week, despite having the episode posted last Monday on YouTube. In any case, durrrr did not disappoint in his return to the HSP tables, turning a very derty 6-outter vs. Howard "I guess we chop" Lederer.

But before that, we finally saw the hand that was released as this season's teaser before episode 1 ever aired. Patrik Antonius starts the action with a straddle. One thing you absolutely can't deny after watching this season: the straddle creates ridiculous action. I used to think that straddling can't possibly be +EV since you're forcing yourself to put in $$ in the worst position at the table, but if you are a poker god like this guy or this guy, the additional action the straddle creates is probably +EV. In any case, Phil Laak finds AJo and pops it up to $6k, getting a call from Howard Lederer with 88 and Antonius with Ts4s (PA def been reading spritpot and understands the power of spades). The frop comes 4h3s2h. Antonius checks to Laak, who bets $16k. Lederer folds the best hand for about the 86th time in his HSP run. It comes back to Antonius, who calls with top pair and a backdoor spade draw. It would have been pretty interesting to see what would have happened had Lederer stuck around...Antonius might have raised, he might have folded, he might still have called...I have no idea. And I don't know what would have happened on the turn either. In any case, Antonius calls because he probably thinks Laak is going to be c-betting any A, any hearts, and also probably will not be able to extract that much value on later streets if he has a weakish overpair like TT-55. 

The turn brings the Ks and Laak bets $37k into $52k. You can't blame Laak for barreling again, given that he can rep AK. However we've seen Phil Laak check back top pair and overpairs on boards like these earlier in the show, so at the very least his bet here probably takes QQ-55 out of his range, and perhaps even questions the credibility of him having AK. We've also seen him limp AK earlier, and while that hand didn't go to showdown, maybe Antonius has seen him limp AK in the past. Without QQ-55, Laak's vb'ing range is down to A5s, sets, and maybe AA/KQ/AK. His bluffing range is Ax, and any hearts. And, since we've got the straddle on, there's also total air like QJo. So Antonius decides to call. Why not raise with pair+fd? The reason is that Laak is probably not folding a K or better, he's certainly not folding a straight or a set, and he's not calling with any worse hand (POSSIBLE very rare exception of a single hand, Ah3h). When Laak polarizes his betting range by checking back his medium-strength hands like QQ-55, Antonius is better off calling than raising. 

After Antonius calls, the river brings a Qd. Antonius checks again. You really can't blame Laak for betting here. Antonius' hand looks very weak, and although Laak has the nut no-pair, Antonius could have a weak hand that beats him...he could have rivered a Q with a Q-high heart draw, he could have a 3hxh hand, or say...Ts4s. Antonius just levels him and takes advantage of how polarized Laak's range is. He would almost definitely check back AK or AA on the river. His value betting range is pretty much limited to A5s, sets, and KQ (and that only some of the time). Just not quite wide enough a range for him to rep given the pot odds Antonius is getting on a call and how weak Antonius's hand looks. Well played by both players, just a little bit better by Antonius. Note to Phil Laak: if the river is a J, can you make the same bet? I'd say no...which makes Patrik's call good.

The other great hand, just for pure comedic value, was the last hand of the show, where Tom Dwan 5-bets preflop with 86o, gets called by Howard Lederer, who then has probably 100k or so left in his stack with 130k in the pot, and they check down a Q3289 board, shipping durrrr a monsterpotten with 3rd pair no kicker. Howard, you really want to take a flop out of position against the best Hold 'Em player in the world? You have the nuts vs. his range preflop (this is a guy that has shipped in 200k preflop with Js2s before), shove and get it in!! Really rough show for Howard...this hand, folding the 88 earlier, and getting bluffed off the best hand by Cassavetes, one of the only non-pros at the table (just ask this guy, never fold presto!). It's still a small sample size, but the theme of this season has been that the young guns (Antonius, durrrr) have really outshone the older pros (Lederer, Negreanu).


April 24, 2009


Wonka posted recently asking some questions about floating. First off, if you want a floating primer, start with Foucault's 2p2 article from a few months ago. But I thought I would elaborate with a few generalized situations where floating is good or bad, in all situations assume that you have called a pre-flop raise in position:

vs. a tight-passive opponent - I'm talking a pre-flop raise percentage of 5-6 or less and vpip below 15. I like floating low card boards with gutshots or crappy one pair, but not as much just overcards. The reason is that the overcards you're floating are probably of the KQ or AJ variety, maybe AQ (if you're like me, you're more likely to 3-b preflop with AK and maybe AQ), and floating the flop here has all the same problems as calling preflop: you don't know if you're ahead if you do hit your hand. Furthermore, players like these have a tendency to just get passive and pot control whenever they're called on the frop and they don't have the absolute nuts. So you'll run into situations where frop is 863r, you call a c-bet in position with AJ, turn 2, he checks, you bet, river 3 or some other random card, it checks down, and he shows TT to win. Or the river is a J, you try to value bet and he calls you down with QQ. I'd much rather float T9 or 67s in that situation, where I can still take a stab, and I have some possibility of hitting a hand that beats an overpair and getting much more value. 

Floating A- or K-high boards is much more profitable vs. these players, especially when you've got a gutshot or at least some backdoor equity. The reason is that you're much more likely to get a fold from their turn checking range. In the first example on the low card board, the nits are check/folding AK or AQ to you on the turn, but check/calling with overpairs, because they are afraid of sets or straights. On the A- or K-high board, usually they will keep betting TPTK to try and get value from top pair worse kicker, and sets are less likely, since there's at least one high card on the frop that you wouldn't make a set with, and they assume that you would raise a  set on the frop since they "obviously" have AK. However they will still check/fold JJ/TT/missed AQ if frop is K-high, which even the nittiest players raise with preflop and c-bet on A- and K-high dry boards. 

Vs. aggressive opponents: Here I'm talking about opponents with a PFR%>10. Floating A-high on the raggy board is much more profitable here, because you'll have to best hand a higher % of the time, and you'll be able to get more value out of a turned or rivered pair, as your opponent will continue to barrel when you improve, since he thinks he can rep the A as well. The problem is you will often face second and third barrels when you don't improve, and will sometimes have to fold the best hand. So floating will work best against players who slow down when called on the flop. Most of these players will continue to value bet even weaker overpairs on raggy boards, so a turn check from them represents a much weaker range than the nit's turn check. Your bet therefore gets more folds (assuming you don't get check-raised by air).

Vs. most aggro players, I think froating a frop with one or two high cards is less profitable, because they will see your flop call as weakness, insist that they can rep top pair and push you off what they think is middle pair, and force you to fold. You won't hit gutshots often enough to counter that, so you'll have to start either shoving turns, or floating again on the turn and trying to steal on the river (Example: K86r board, you call with T9. Turn 6. You'll be facing a barrel from aggressive players very often, as your pre-frop calling range contains almost nothing that can beat AK, and they think you will fold you A8/99 by the river). 

If you've got thoughts, too, feel free to add them in the comments section. A couple of announcements:

1) Loyal spritpot readers know that I enjoy boxing. The next two weekends feature some nice matchups. This Saturday on Showtime, we've got Jermain Taylor vs. Carl Froch. I've always liked JT - his first fight vs. Kelly Pavlik was the first fight I ever saw live, and although he lost, he was very impressive early on in the fight, and it was such an exciting event that I haven't missed any of either guy's subsequent fights. I hope he lays a massive beatdown on Froch. Then next weekend, we've got Pacquiao/Hatton in Vegas, the biggest fight of the summer. Some buddies and I are going to Vegas just to soak up the atmosphere and put some money down on the fight (on PacMan, obviously). Tickets are too tough to get and expensive, so we'll just watch in a sportsbook or on CCTV somewhere. Anyway, both fight cards should be worth watching, so I encourage everyone to tune in.

2) I've done a little bit of coaching in the past for friends/acquaintances, so I figure I might as well open it up to spritpot readers. I charge $50/hr for coaching, which might seem like a lot, but I think is quite reasonable given the amount of additional money you make when your win rate increases, and the amount that other coaches charge. My blog posts should give you a sense of what my general approach is and whether you'd benefit from coaching by me. Coaching can entail reviewing your hands, reviewing specific situations or strategies (like if you asked me about floating, you'd get something like this post - so consider this one a freebie!), how to use stats, me looking at your stats to try and find leaks, or anything else you suggest. So if you're interested in setting something up, just email spritpot at gmail dot com. If you've got an "LOL .25/.50 donk trying to give lessons," please just keep it to yourself. I'm not trying to claim I'm the best player in the world, but I have been a consistent winner at every game I've played in, which extends up to 1/2, and I think I can help others at those stakes become consistent winners themselves, or improve their win rates if they're already winning some.


April 22, 2009

A Well-Played Hand at the End of a Bad Sesh

Monday night's sesh did NOT go well for yours truly, as I managed to 1) run KK into AA for 250bbs vs. an 85/55 spewtard 2) Get in 200 bbs with KK vs. QQ on a J-high frop, only to have my opponent river a Q, 3) get in 100 bbs prefrop with AK vs. AQ...A-high frop, river Q, and 4) get in 100 bbs on the turn with 88 vs. 33 on a 7654r  board, river 8 for a chop. Throw in a spewy bruff here and there, it turned out not to be a good night. 

However I did manage to play one hand well, and it's kind of the other side of the coin of Brackchips's river crai post - if you're able to recognize a thin value bet and raise it as a bruff, you have to protect those bruffs by check-raising for value sometimes too. It's pretty rare to check/raise one pair for value successfully on the river, but I managed to pull it off here:

Virrain in the hand seemed somewhat competent up to this point, but wasn't a fan of folding and I had seen him make a thin, small value bet in one previous hand.

UTG: $100.75
UTG+1: $50.75
UTG+2: $54.60
MP1: $103.85
MP2: $38.40
CO: $72.00
BTN: $50.45
Hero (SB): $100.00
BB: $67.35

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is SB with As Ah
7 folds, Hero raises to $1.50, BB calls $1 

Flop: ($3.00) 3h 2d Th (2 players)
Hero bets $2, BB raises to $4, Hero calls $2 (Often I'd re-raise and just try to get as much value as possible from a T, but his range is so much wider than that that I think I miss value from his complete air hands by raising...so I just call. The fact that I have the Ah in my hand makes me less afraid of hearts. Also two aces means that I hold some of 45's outs, and even if an A comes to give that hand a straight, I can fill up on the river.)

Turn: ($11.00) 4d (2 players)
Hero bets $6, BB calls $6 (I led again here because 1) why would the four help me? It seems like a weird spot for me to lead, so I think I could get him to spazz out and raise a large amount - at least I would do that if I were him at least some of the time 2) I don't want him to check back 45 or hearts or 88 or any ace or any number of random hands that catch some piece of this board)

River: ($23.00) 8c (2 players)
Hero checks, BB bets $6, Hero raises to $16, BB calls $10 (He folds too often if I bet, but he's likely to bet missed draws as a bluff, and since I had seen him do it before, I think he'd value bet any four or better. He bets small, indicating he is trying to squeeze some value out of one pair. I raise an amount that I think one pair will call - I think I maybe should have raised more, as I'm not sure he'd fold anything, given the weird way the hand played out. Villains of his type usually think they induce a lot of bruffs by making these small river bets - and perhaps they are right - and therefore call down with anything at all. Here, he could easily think I have just A-high or some hearts or something. He called the extra $10 without timing down too much, so I think I should have made it $21 or so instead, also because that's the amount I would make it if I were bluffing.)

Final Pot: $55.00
Hero shows As Ah (a pair of Aces)
BB mucks 6h 8d
Hero wins $52.25


April 21, 2009

High Stakes Poker Recap, S5Ep08

The best thing I can say about episode 8: it looks like durrrr will be back in episode 9.

Daniel got a little bit back into the swing of things, winning a couple of decent-sized pots off Patrik Antonius, although some of his plays continues to confuse me.

In his first hand, Daniel raised preflop with 6s5s and was called by Antonius in position with AdTc. The frop comes 8h4d3c, Daniel c-bets, and Antonius floats him with A-high. I think I might do a post entirely devoted to froating soon, but I think this is a good call by Antonius because 1. he is ahead a significant % of the time, 2. Daniel doesn't seem to run too many huge multi-barrel bluffs out of position, so there's a good chance he can get to showdown fairly cheaply with the best hand, and 3. Daniel will call down light in situations where the other guy is put in a good bluffing spot. So say a Td comes on the turn, Antonius could get some nice value from Daniel if Daniel had a lower T, pocket sevens, A4s, something of that variety.

In fact Antonius does improve on the turn with the As (prettiest card in the deck!), giving him top pair and Daniel a frush draw to go with his straight draw. Daniel fires another 2/3 pot bet, which Antonius calls again. As Gabe Kaplan says in the commentary, it would take a huge raise to get Daniel to fold, and the group of hands Antonius can get value from with a raise is somewhat limited. it's basically spade draws and straight draws. Furthermore, there's very little chance of Daniel folding a hand better than AT. So the raise would have to be purely for value. And there's always the chance Daniel could put in another raise with a big draw, forcing Antonius to fold the best hand, since there are some big hands Daniel can represent (52s, 43s, aces up, sets).

The river comes a 4s (was there ever any doubt that spades would get there), giving Daniel the best hand with a frush. I have no idea why Daniel checks his frush here. Is he afraid of a full house? Seems kind of unreasonable as you'd expect Antonius to put in a raise on either the frop or turn with two pair or a set. Is he afraid of Antonius having ALSO runner-runner'ed a frush that's better than his? Again seems pretty unlikely...maybe he thinks Antonius could have a missed straight draw himself and bet as a bluff when checked to? I don't know...but I'm pretty sure Antonius calls off $27k on the river if Daniel bets again. Instead Daniel checks, Antonius makes a pretty good value bet of $18k (good value bet because Daniel is a payoff wizard), and Negreanu just calls to rake the pot.

The other hand between the two started with Antonius raising pocket sevens from what looked to be early position (note to HSP producers: your show is awesome, but you could make it way more awesome if next to the hole cards graphics you showed the players' position and stack size...the hand isn't complete without these things), and gets called by Daniel in the big blind with KcJc. Daniel frops gin as it comes JJ2 rainbow. Antonius makes a standard cbet of $5500 into the $9k pot. This might seem kind of like a pointless bet as no better hand will fold and only a few worse hands will call (actually Daniel probably calls with a good A-high here, so maybe it is a good value bet), but there are a lot of hands that Antonius wants to fold even though they're behind, such as a hand like QTs. Daniel probably instafolds these to a bet on the frop, but if he pairs on the turn or river, it'll be hard to get it out of hands. So you might as well bet now and take the pot down.

In any case, Daniel certainly isn't folding trips, and raises to $17,500. Antonius decides to float again. I think his reasoning here is: Daniel does not normally make thin value bets like this, and the only real hands out there are deuces full and trip jacks. Since these hands are rare, and the rest of Daniel's range is total air like 65s, he can continue with the hand, especially since he has position.

The turn brings an ace and Daniel checks. Gabe Kaplan criticizes, but I kind of like this check by Daniel. Antonius is probably floating with ace-high on the frop a fair amount of the time, and knows that Daniels knows that, and therefore thinks he can represent an ace on the turn by betting when Daniel checks. Daniel calls the $27k bet from Patrik, perhaps trying to represent an ace himself or something of the TT/QQ variety.

The river brings a nine of hearts, compeleting a runner-runner flush. Daniel checks again, hoping to induce another bluff from Antonius, who doesn't bite. Daniel rakes in a nice pot, managing to squeeze some pretty good value from a mediocre hand.


April 20, 2009

My range is better than yours!

I've recently been really trying to make an attempt to focus on my hand range while playing in an effort to open up my game and PWN more!  

Ducks UTG+1 is a bit roose...but the game was pretty nitty and I felt comfortable opening with them at this table.  

The frop comes down SUPER wet and I was faced with a decision as to whether I should c bet into 3 other players.  While I don't LOVE my cbet here, I felt like because of my position...I would be able to rep a tighter range with my c bet, I opened in EP and I led into 3 people.  Unfortunately I only get 2 folds, and we head to the turn HU.  At this point I think we can eliminate certain hands from his range - set's and 2 pairs...the villain is a regular TAG and when someone UTG+1 opens and then makes a cbet...you are OFTEN going to raise that frop in position hoping he has an Ax hand that you pwn.  

The turn is a blank and I decided to check - I will probably mix up my turn decisions with my monsters - betting maybe 60% time and checking 40% of the time.  When the villain x's the turn back its very clear that he has either a club draw or some type of Ax hand.  

The river completes JTcc, but I'm not that worried about that hand bc I feel that he would of either raised the frop or bet the turn with that hand.  I decide to check again...and the villain bets out.  I debating calling because I beat his busted draws but chose to XRAI instead in the event that he was value betting an A.  I felt that my range in the situation crushed his and thus I would get folds often enough for it to be profitable.  

6th pair FTW!

April 17, 2009

Questionable Laydown...

Let's get right into the action...

Me folding the second nuts - lil strange huh?  Let me get into my thoughts on the hand...

When I bet and get raised, and then min 3b - I'm really in a tough spot vs 2 players here.  I don't have any reason to think either of this players are making a move on me.  Both player's raise c bet percentage were incredibly low which led me to believe they were strong (while technically this was not a c bet, I treated it the same in my mind.)  If this were a HU pot, I would simply be insta getting the money in (if get pwnd by an overset or a mega draw gets there, I would just chalk it up to a cooler.)  I had a good idea of my equity vs a single player whose range is 88, 22, A5ss, 45ss.  Both villain's were on the tight side and I really did not think that there were any two two pair combinations that fell into their preflop calling range.  

I ended up simply allowing myself to time out - usually when faced with a tough decision with a hand as big as this, I will just tiltship.  I also pondered a flatting the 3b and trying to fade a spade/quad up/boat up - but the B could easily 4b all in. 

So obviously folding the second nuts on this frop is EXTREMELY nittish (something I'm definitely not known for) but I was so thrown off by the situation I had to go back and stove it.  

Suprisingly I made a good fold given the ranges vs TWO players.  Again - had this been a HU pot my moolah goes insta in the middle.  

Text results appended to pokerstove.txt

 326,239,452  games     0.375 secs   869,971,872  games/sec


equity win tie      pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 26.505%   26.09% 00.41%      85122024  1348562.00   { 3c3s }
Hand 1: 36.747%   35.39% 01.36%     115457253  4427180.00   { 88, 22, AsQs, AsJs, As5s, As4s, 6s5s, 5s4s }
Hand 2: 36.747%   35.39% 01.36%     115457253  4427180.00   { 88, 22, AsQs, AsJs, As5s, As4s, 6s5s, 5s4s }


April 16, 2009

THIN! (Part 14)

I managed to score a seat two to the left of a 40/20/3 LAGtard last night. It took a while, but I eventually won a big pot off of him with some razor thin value:

MP: $10.00
Hero (CO): $72.45
BTN: $15.40
SB: $9.50
BB: $33.90
UTG: $141.55

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is CO with Ks Qd
UTG calls $0.50, MP calls $0.50, Hero raises to $2.75, 3 folds, UTG calls $2.25, 1 fold (Standard rimper punishment)

Flop: ($6.75) 9d Qh 6s (2 players)
UTG checks, Hero bets $4.25, UTG raises to $8.50, Hero calls $4.25 (It's tempting to check behind here and control pot size with a good-but-not-great hand, but against an overly aggressive player, this hand is good enough to go to the felt with, and I want to give him an opportunity to make a big mistake. Against a tight player, getting check/raised here would mean 99, 66, maybe even QQ. The other hands you might expect check/raises from - JTs, 87s - wouldn't be limped UTG. But with this guy, I think he'd raise QQ/99/66/AQ preflop, and he'd definitely be limping all sorts of hands that hit this frop in a marginal way: any 9, any Q, A6o, 78, JT, KJ, KT...so let's start getting some money in. Once he raises, I could re-raise, but I think even he would figure out that I'm committed to the hand, JT has no fold equity, and second pair is probably no good. I'd rather call and give him an opportunity to commit himself on the turn.)

Turn: ($23.75) 2s (2 players)
UTG bets $23.75, Hero raises to $61.20 all in, UTG requests TIME, UTG calls $37.45
(2s is the blankiest blank in the blank. He full pots it, which probably means he wants me to fold, and I shove. He tanks for a while before finally deciding QJo should be gold for 140bbs. Turns out it's not. But KQo is! Ship it!)

River: ($146.15) 3h (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $146.15
Hero shows Ks Qd (a pair of Queens)
UTG shows Qc Jh (a pair of Queens)
Hero wins $143.15

One more note: to encourage more commenting, we will be linking anyone who's in our top 5 commenters (see widget on right sidebar). Thanks to all who comment on our brog!


April 15, 2009

Brog as Weapon

Since LJ is using her brog as a conscription tool, I am forced to do the same. If you haven't created a Brute yet, or hell, even if you have, create one here and be one of my discipiles. I will need all the experience points I can get to overtake LJ and take my rightful place at the top of Brutedom.


April 14, 2009

High Stakes Poker Recap, S5Ep07

Well, it's just not the same without durrrr. But there were a couple of interesting hands in this week's show. First of all, let's say that Joe Hachem played extremely well, redeeming himself from his recent bad fold.

In fact, he exploited a similar mistake made by Howard Lederer. I promise this hand happened because I saw it when I first watched the show, although for some reason I can't find it on the current YouTube videos available, so my recap of the details of the hand is only approximate. In any case, Howard opens from early position with TT (one of his T's is a spade). Hachem calls in position with JJ (no spades). The frop comes K76 all spades. Howard bets, Hachem calls. The turn is an 8s, Howard checks, Hachem bets about half-pot, Howard puts in a big raise, Hachem 3-bets, and Howard folds. Howard's check/raise/fold on the turn is a big mistake IMHO. To review, the main two reasons for raising are: 1) getting value from a worse hand, 2) getting a fold from a better hand. I can't imagine Howard would really expect to get a fold from a better hand here. MAYBE Hachem folds JJ/QQ/KJ/KQ with one spade...but it would be a pretty tight fold. And moreover, he would probably be raising those hands on the frop pretty often. It's pretty thin to put in that much money as a bluff right there.

Getting value from a worse hand is an even more desperate proposition. I don't think Hachem would be bet/calling there with a straight,set, or two-pair. Or a lower flush. And then as if the raise wasn't bad enough, Howard also folds to a re-raise, meaning that even when he induces a "mistake" by Hachem, he can't capitalize because he folds. Some people might call Howard's raise a "raise for information", but that is some pretty goddamn expensive info. I can't imagine this could possibly be better than check/calling twice, which would be the more standard play. Check/calling the turn and bet/calling the river would be less standard but almost surely better than check/raise/folding the turn. Anyway, Hachem soul-owns him by three-betting and getting him to lay down the better hand. Maybe Hachem has seen Howard either check/call, check/raise smaller, or lead out again with a flush or other monster in a similar situation, I don't know, but his read was good in this hand.

The other big hand featured the first donkey squeal I can remember on any HSP show. Daniel Negreanu started the action by limping Q7s in early position (not making this up...Daniel still limping crappy suited hands like it's his job). Antonius limps behind in middle position with 96o, giving Phil "Unabomber" Laak the opportunity to punish them, raising to $6300 from the cutoff with Ts2s (obviously an expert...he knows the power of spades). Sam Simon makes a good read that Phil is isolating limpers and 4-bets. But he gheys it by MIN 3-betting. 200 bbs deep and out of position against a better player, this is never a good idea, and particularly not with T4o. In any case, it folds around to Laak, who makes the easy call of $5500 into an over $20k pot. The frop comes J98 with two diamonds. Simon makes his second mistake of the hand by overbetting the pot, $30k into $27k. If small bets are "please call me" bets, this is a "please fold to me" bet. A player as good as Phil Laak is not going to fold on this flop with anything at all, including an open-ended straight draw (the same one that Sam Simon has), because he has position, a big stack to threaten with, and a lot of scare cards that can come to give him good bluffing opportunities.

One of those scare cards is the Ad, which peels off on the turn. Simon checks to Laak, who bets $50k, forcing Simon to fold his half of the pot over to Laak. Just shows you how important position is when it's combined with a player who has balls to use it fully. If you're up against such a player, it really pays to try to end hands early. Having made his read that Laak was weak, Simon really needs to raise to $18-20k instead of making this min raise that Laak is sure to call, because Laak will pwn him with position so often.


The one hand that I would like to discuss is the hand where Daniel opened in LP with 89dd to 2,500 and PA 3b’s to 11,000 OTB.  I really like his bet sizing here…considering all the antes and the original open size by Daniel – they are deep and he wants to start applying maximum pressure IP. 

The frop comes down KsTd3d and they both whiff.  However, this board texture hits PA’s 3b’ing range much better than it does Daniel’s 3b calling range.  Throughout the season, Daniel has shown a propensity to play a pretty wide range of cards to 3b’s.  Daniel checks, PA sticks in a 17k bet into 24k with his J high and two backdoor draws, and Daniel calls.  The turn is the 5h and Daniel checks again.  I REALLY would have liked to see PA fire again here (and I am VERY surprised that he didn’t) – his hand has zero showdown value and two obvious draws (QJ and diamonds) have bricked off.  A bet here will also probably fold out any pair of Tens or worse.  The river brings an off soot Q and Daniel, realizing he can not win at showdown correctly bets 26k and gets a fold from PA.  


April 11, 2009

PWND for value!

Just returned from an extended vacation in Istanbul - thus the lack of posts on my behalf.  I had planned on keeping my game fresh by playing on my laptop - but when I fired up FT - I received an error message that blocked access to FT.  PWNDDD!

I had no idea that online poker was banned in Turkey...dagger!  

Oh well, maybe not the worst thing in the world.  I haven't gone this long without poker in - IDK how long.  However just because I didn't play doesn't mean that I didn't think about the game, LOL.  Definitely eager to get back on the tables and back to PWNING!


April 10, 2009

A "Standard" Froat

As far as brave and daring plays go, this one is fairly conventional, but here goes:

SB: $100.00
BB: $29.75
UTG: $25.50
Hero (UTG+1): $114.90
MP1: $51.00
MP2: $51.40
CO: $25.00
BTN: $73.45

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is UTG+1 with Jh Th
UTG calls $0.50, Hero raises to $2.25, 4 folds, SB calls $2, 2 folds (Isolation raise of the UTG limper. The SB is a pretty aggressive player, running at about 27/21 in over 1k hands.)

Flop: ($5.50) 3d Kh 3s (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $3.50, SB raises to $9, Hero requests TIME, Hero calls $5.50 (I c-bet this frop like I would do every time. When the SB raises me, it's really tough to put him on a hand that he'd be willing to put in 200 bbs with. Although this spot is standard enough that I'd probably call here even 100 bbs deep. He's basically repping A3s or 34s. He'd 3-bet AK or KK pre-flop every time, and I don't think he really wants to go broke with KQ or KJ. He's going to be either bluffing or value-raising something other than a 3 often enough that I don't want to give up here, since I can rep AA,KK, or more frequently, AK. The question is whether I should raise or call. I think if I 3-bet it looks too bluffy 200 bbs deep, because if I had AK or AA I would probably just call. So the only hands I'd be raising preflop and then  3-betting for value on this frop would be KK, 33, and A3s, which is too narrow a range to represent. If I call, though, I can represent AA and AK later in the hand, as well as perhaps a slowplayed KK or 33 (For those in the know, I'm applying the Yeti Theorem). As an added bonus, I have backdoor frush and straight draws, but I don't need them to be making this play.)

Turn: ($23.50) 8c (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $14.50, SB says "wow AK", SB folds (He gives up his bluff and checks the turn, and I put in a bet that looks a lot like a value bet, which I would be making with AK or AA. I could also check here and bet the river, but I think he gets a little too tempted to call with 77 or KT. By betting the turn instead, I'm also threatening a big bet on the river. By his chat, I can tell that my line worked in convincing him that I did have AK and he folds.)

Final Pot: $23.50
Hero wins $22.35
(Rake: $1.15)


April 8, 2009

Yer Gonna Rove My Nuts! (Part 2)

I played with this guy last night I can't classify as anything but a complete nutjob. He loved min-raising complete trash, calling 3-bets, then potting every street. Exemplary hand:

MP1: $101.50
MP2: $9.35
CO: $57.65
BTN: $71.55
SB: $50.00
Hero (BB): $91.25
UTG: $111.65
UTG+1: $34.80
UTG+2: $9.25

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BB with Qc Qs
4 folds, MP2 calls $0.50, 2 folds, SB raises to $1, Hero raises to $3.50, 1 fold, SB calls $2.50

Flop: ($7.50) Ah Ts Js (2 players)
SB bets $7.50, Hero calls $7.50 (Vs. this guy, I have basically the nuts. If he flopped JT or A2o, then so be it. I'm not folding. I'm also not raising, because he has absolutely nothing so often and I want him to put in another big bet on the turn to commit himself.)

Turn: ($22.50) 4d (2 players)
SB bets $22.50, Hero raises to $80.25 all in, SB calls $16.50 all in (Beautiful blank. Clear shove situation.)

River: ($100.50) 6d (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $100.50
SB shows 4h 8s (a pair of Fours)
Hero shows Qc Qs (a pair of Queens)
Hero wins $97.50

ROR!!! Bottom pair NO GOOD dude! You are gonna rove these nuts! If only I could find a table full of these nut jobs....


April 7, 2009

High Stakes Poker Recap, S5Ep06

It looks like this week's episode will be the end of Tom Dwan's run of dominance, as next week we'll have new players. This makes me sad, as this was quite an interesting table.

Daniel Negreanu made an early exit from the show after going through yet another buy-in. I think he dropped $700k total? Which brings his total losses on High Stakes Poker to...some fantastically large number. I dare not even venture a guess.

In any case, there were a couple of pretty interesting hands in this show. My favorite one again involved durrrr. Eli Elezra limped QTs UTG (standard stuff for Eli...probably not a winning play at this table), Ziigimund raised him to $4500 with 77, getting calls from Eli and Tom Dwan in the small blind with 63s (for me personally this is a fold, but since Dwan is so unreal postflop and he knows Eli is going to call, he can make this call). The flop comes Ac5sTc, giving Eli the lead, and it checks around. This part is fairly standard. I think Ziig c-bets here sometimes, but he's certainly never getting either Dwan or Eli to fold a T or better. He will probably get raised by frush draws (and as we know, fading crubs is pretty tough), maybe even KQ or 34. The only hands he beats that he might get a fold from are 88 and 99. He could also get called by a T which he could then bluff out on the turn. But Eli and Dwan are probably the two least bluffable players at the table besides Ziig himself, so deciding against a multi-barrel bluff in an attempt to fold out second pair isn't a bad decision. The turn brings the Jh, which no player can really like and it checks around again. The river is the Ad, and Dwan starts tanking for a bit. The pot was around $21k. I remember thinking at this point, "If durrrr bets $15k, Eli will definitely call," hoping that he would realize that it's tough for him to represent anything but some very rare hands (maybe a set of fives or A5), and just check/fold his six-high. Then Dwan comes up with the absolutely genius plan: overbet the pot. In this spot, with Eli and Ziig having checked the frop and turn, it's very likely that they have something, but not much. As in, hands that where at least one of them will call $15k but none of them will want to call oh, say, $52k. Which is exactly what durrrr puts in, getting quick folds from both. This may look like a "riskier" play since Dwan is risking more to win the same amount, but the probability of getting folds goes up by so much that he trades a -EV play (risking $15k to win $21k probably 25% of the time or less) to a +EV play (risking $50k to win $21k probably north of 80% of the time). Absolute genius. Once again, durrrr takes down a three-way pot with the third-best hand, with a bet that no other player at the table would make.

In a much bigger but also much less interesting hand, durrrr got it all in on the flop with a monster draw vs. Barry's AA. Barry three-bet Eastgate's open (which he has done frequently) with AA and Dwan called in the small blind with KsQs (spades are gold!!). A loose call to be sure, but Dwan flops the world as it comes Q42 with two spades. Durrrr leads and they get it all in on the flop, with durrrr winning the coinflip as another Q comes on the turn. I think Barry would probably be better off just calling on the flop instead of raising, since if Dwan continues, he has either a set or a monster draw (Qsxs, As3s, As5s) where Barry is flipping at best. Maybe Dwan also plays AsJs or AsKs the same way, in which case Barry is farther ahead, but when you consider the set possibilities, I don't think Barry has more than 50% equity against Dwan's range for continuing. He also folds out hands that he might get more value from later on, like an AQ or KQ with no spades. If he waits until a blank turn to commit himself, Fade-N-Go style, he increases his equity significantly, although he will occasionally get bluffed.

The only interesting part of the hand was when durrrr refused to pull back $200k from the frip. This adds to Dwan's intimidation factor, I think. He's telling the rest of the table and anybody watching on TV, "don't get involved in a hand with me unless you're ready to risk your entire stack." After his performance on this series, I can't imagine anybody wants to get involved in hands with this guy. No wonder he has to give odds to get action.

The two biggest non-durrrr pots of the night both involved Peter Eastgate. In the first, he got valuetowned by David Benyamine. Eastgate opened the action with Js9s, gets called by Dwan with Ad3d in the small blind, then raised to $16k by Benyamine with 99 in the big bind. Both Eastgate and durrrr call, bringing the pot to $49k prefrop. The frop comes QQ9, giving Eastgate two pair and Benyamine a boat. The turn and river come 6h, 8c, and Benyamine gets three streets of value out of Eastgate, for a total of $141k. While it seems pretty donkish for Eastgate to be calling off nearly 150 bbs with second pair, I can definitely see the reasoning. There aren't that many Q's that are in Benyamine's three-betting range prefrop. Also, boats are unlikely since we've already seen Benyamine just call in similar spots preflop (like when he made quads with 44 vs. Negreanu's JJ), and since Eastgate has a 9 in his hand, there are only two nines left in the deck for Benyamine to have. If Benyamine were not value betting three streets with all the pocket pairs that beat Eastgate (JJ,TT,AA,KK), then Eastgate probably should be calling down, even with JT getting there on the river, since Benyamine is capable of firing three barrels as a bruff with A-high or KJs or something. Even if you put AQ, JTs and KQs in Benya's range, you've got 8+3+2+1=14 combos of hands that Eastgate is behind. Don't need Benyamine to be bluffing too often to make the call-down good. Again, this is IF Benyamine is not value-betting pocket pairs, which I'm not sure is the case.

Eastgate fared better in the other big pot he played, getting a straddle special when he turned a full house and got all of Eli's money when he rivered a straight. A good slowplay on the turn by Eastgate.

And that wraps it up for this table on HSP. My five favorite (as in, "I wish I were good enough to think of that and execute it") plays of the first 6 shows:

5. Durrrr cold 4-bets with 44 and takes it down with a c-bet on an AQx board vs. Eastgates' JJ
4. Durrrr flops a straight with KQ vs. Ziig's top pair no kicker, checks all three streets before raising the river to get some sick value.
3. Durrrr overbets the river with 6-high
2. Barry check-raises the turn with 6-high to take Elezra off top pair
1. What else could it be? Durrrr's QTs bluff of Barry's AA and Eastgate's trip deuces

Oh, and one final note: da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da (to the tune of Heels fight song) GO TAR HEELS!!!


April 5, 2009

MLB Props 2009

Just like rast year, we drafted up some props for this year's baseball season. Although steroids seem to be as big an issue as ever, the US failed yet again to reach the finals of the World Baseball Classic, and here in San Diego the Padres appear poised to stink on ice, once the players are on the field and the ump yells "Play Ball!", to me it's impossible not to love the game and be excited about the season. So without further ado, here are this year's props, each bet for five American dollars:


Big Papi
Miggy Cabrera

Big Z

Criff Ree (Pedroia, Rincecum...Brackchips is apparentry a sucker for repeats)
Roy Harraday
Ferix Hernandez
Josh Beckett
Matt Garza

NL HR King

AL HR King
Miggy Cabrera

AL K Reader
Ferix Hernandez

NL K Reader
Dan Haren

NL Pennant

AL Pennant
Red Sox

WS Winner
Red Sox
Mets (That's right, Brackchips refused to take any team other than the Mets. So if the Amazins win it, I'll ship him $15)

Other Props
Bruechips has UNDER 101.5 most wins for any team and OVER 101.5 most rosses for any team
Bruechips has OVER 390 A-Rod ABs on the year

April 3, 2009

THIN! (Part 13) - Trying to Range-Balance in a 3b pot

First of all, big ups to Vizer and his buddies for pwning San Diego last night. It was fun to hang out with you guys; sorry I suck so hard at pool.

Anyway, with all the prop betting and HSP-recapping around here recently there hasn't been too much hand analysis, so here's one I played recently that was interesting because both of us were in pretty rare parts of our range:

CO: $106.10
BTN: $97.25
SB: $112.05
BB: $101.35
UTG: $49.25
UTG+1: $21.85
UTG+2: $53.15
MP1: $94.15
Hero (MP2): $100.00

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is MP2 with Ts Th
1 fold, UTG+1 calls $0.50, 2 folds, Hero raises to $2.25, 3 folds, BB raises to $7.50, 1 fold, Hero calls $5.25 (Fairly standard call in position 200 bbs deep. I only had 120ish hands or so on this guy, in which his VPIP/PFR stats were pretty nitty - 11/11 - but his 3b% was fairly high - 11 as well. I've posted about this a bit before, but in those situations, I give more credence to the VPIP/PFR, since the player faces those decisions in every hand, whereas he only faces the decision of 3b/not 3b in a small subset of hands. So the effective sample size is much larger for the VPIP/PFR stats. Therefore I put him on a fairly strong range when 3b'ing my raise of the EP limper, even though the limper was a donk and my range for raising him is fairly wide.)

Flop: ($15.75) 9s Jc 5c (2 players)
BB bets $9, Hero requests TIME, Hero calls $9 (Usually I would fold right here. But I decided this would be a good time to balance my range and try to rep a big hand. Since he was the 3-bettor pre-flop, he's not supposed to have many of the draws on this board. This means that I could plausibly slow-play a set. It also means that I can represent draws if a club or a Q, 7, 8, or K comes (which also actually give me some straight outs). I could also be floating him with JsTs or the like, so if a J or T comes, those could plausibly help me as well (the T actually does, obviously). Basically, there are lots of cards that should help my range more than his on the turn, therefore putting me in a profitable bluffing situation. So depending on what comes in on the turn, I have a lot of options available to me.) 

Turn: ($33.75) 8s (2 players)
BB bets $33.75, Hero raises to $83.50 all in (This is one of the cards I was looking for, and I go ahead and follow my plan of shoving it all-in, hoping that he would fold AA-QQ, and call with AcKc or AcQc. Since I have a reasonable number of outs if called by the overpairs, he doesn't even have to fold that often for me to be making money here. If he folds half the time and I have 23% equity when called, my EV here is $19. If he folds only 1/4 of the time, my EV is -$5. Given that occasionally he'll have random bluffs or even weaker hands that still beat me but would be likely to fold such as KJs, I think I've got pretty significant fold equity.)

BB requests TIME, BB calls $49.75 (He timed down for a while before making this call, which I think means he believed my story somewhat, although it's hard to say given what he showed up with, he's really just figuring out equity vs. pot odds)

River: ($200.75) 3d (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $200.75
BB shows Tc 9c (a pair of Nines)
Hero shows Ts Th (a pair of Tens)
Hero wins $197.75

THIN!! Somewhat accidentally....but that's the cool thing about this shove on the turn, is that often I will get calls from worse hands (I thought A-high flush draws, but in this case an even huger draw), and folds from better hands. Anyway I'm still not totally sure how much I like my play in this hand, but comments are welcome. I think in general I am a little bit too nitty when deep and don't put stacks light enough, so I've been trying to look for spots to go crazy recently, and this was one of them. Fortunately it worked out this time...but I'd be really interested to know if he or other villains would call with AA-QQ.