January 31, 2010

Accidental Thinness, and a Derty River X-back

Been grinding pretty hard at the Rush tables these days, and overall things have gone well. Unfortunately HEM came up with a way to send stats to your notes, so Rush poker is no longer HUD-less. I say unfortunate because I think I had more of an edge when nobody had any HUD stats. Oh well. Anyway here are a couple of hands I played tonight:

Hand 1:

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - http://www.thehandconverter.com/hands/510913
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Hero (BTN): $192.15
SB: $42.80
BB: $89.50
UTG: $106.10
UTG+1: $217.85
UTG+2: $201.85
MP1: $113.90
MP2: $68.75
CO: $56.20

Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is BTN with Td Th
UTG raises to $3, 5 folds, Hero calls $3, 2 folds

Flop: ($7.50) 4c 6d 9c (2 players)
UTG bets $8, Hero calls $8

Turn: ($23.50) 4d (2 players)
UTG bets $8, Hero calls $8

River: ($39.50) 5d (2 players)
UTG bets $12, Hero raises to $37, UTG calls $25

Final Pot: $113.50
Hero shows Td Th (two pair, Tens and Fours)
UTG mucks 8d 8s
Hero wins $110.50
(Rake: $3.00)

I wish I could say I was raising the river for value, but I thought I was doing it as a bluff to get him off a bigger overpair, since the straight gets there, plus I could have been slowplaying a set on earlier streets, especially with the turn pairing. That plan was obviously terrible, but two wrongs ended up making a right for me as he pretty much instacalled me with pocket eights. Which I did NOT expect ROR.

Here's a somewhat similar hand where my plan also didn't work, and this time it cost me:

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - http://www.thehandconverter.com/hands/510914
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

UTG: $128.60
UTG+1: $216.50
Hero (UTG+2): $133.45
MP1: $58.30
MP2: $100.00
CO: $86.40
BTN: $89.30
SB: $33.80
BB: $40.00

Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is UTG+2 with Th As
2 folds, Hero raises to $3.50, 1 fold, MP2 calls $3.50, 4 folds

Flop: ($8.50) 5d 9c Ah (2 players)
Hero bets $5, MP2 calls $5

Turn: ($18.50) 2s (2 players)
Hero checks, MP2 checks

River: ($18.50) 7s (2 players)
Hero checks, MP2 bets $12, Hero raises to $37, MP2 calls $25

Final Pot: $92.50
Hero shows Th As (a pair of Aces)
MP2 shows Kd Ac (a pair of Aces)
MP2 wins $89.50
(Rake: $3.00)

When he bets the river after calling pre-flop and on the flop and then checking the turn, I pretty much know he has an ace, and any reasonable ace is going to beat me. I don't think he would bet, say, Ad8d on the river. And even if he does, there are so many aces that beat me that I don't think I can call. So I decided to turn my hand into a bluff and try to get him to fold some of the aces that beat me. AK is pretty much the top of his range, so I'm not too upset about getting called by that. If he folds AQ and AJ, then my play is good. I'm risking 37 to win 30ish, so if he's folding 2/3 of the time, then I'm golden. Granted, I'm not repping too much on the river, but I could conceivably have A7, 77, even the occasional 68s or 22. But really I'm just banking on most players at this limit folding to a river check-raise when they have one pair. Unfortunately this time he had the nut one pair. Oh well. I did manage river check which worked out pretty well:

Full Tilt Poker $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - http://www.thehandconverter.com/hands/510918
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Hero (UTG+2): $160.65
MP1: $91.05
MP2: $85.90
CO: $100.00
BTN: $68.40
SB: $247.95
BB: $160.85
UTG: $151.65
UTG+1: $96.05

Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is UTG+2 with Qc Qd
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $4.05, Hero calls $4.05, 6 folds

Flop: ($9.60) 7d Qs 6c (2 players)
UTG+1 bets $8, Hero calls $8

Turn: ($25.60) 5s (2 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $14, UTG+1 calls $14

River: ($53.60) As (2 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero checks

Final Pot: $53.60
Hero shows Qc Qd (three of a kind, Queens)
UTG+1 shows Ac Ah (three of a kind, Aces)
UTG+1 wins $50.95
(Rake: $2.65)

Usually I am pretty obsessed with getting river value and loathe checking back big hands like this one, but here, there's just not that much value in a bet. When he check/calls the turn, he usually has an overpair, and occasionally has AQ or spades. The oversized early position raise pre-flop had me thinking big pocket pair from the start, so I was mostly discounting spades (esp with the river spade being the ace) and AQ. Even if all AQ combos are possible AND he's calling with all of them, AND he never has spades (or a straight, etc.), then I'm just breaking even on a river bet, with there being 3 combos of AQ and the same number of AA combos possible. KK he's never calling. A lower set, I think he bets turn. So I ended up checking back, ready to vomit all over myself if he had shown top two, but the decision saved me probably $35 or so.


January 25, 2010

Rush Strategy

I have been pwning Rush for pretty much all of my sessions recently...it's just so nice not too have to worry about table-selecting to avoid shorties and bad tables (although the recent move to raise the min buy-in makes this easier). And just not having to worry about tables breaking all the time, not having to keep track of 14 tables open at once...I've been able to 4-table Rush without too much of a problem, which puts me well over 1,000 hands/hour. Sick. Verneer had a pretty nice Rush poker video up on CardRunners if you're a CR member, I found it quite useful.

The change in the game is that you're essentially trying to play against a population-average player all the time, and other players are trying to do this too. You can't use a HUD and the game goes too fast to take notes if you're 4-tabling (more on this later). So unless you recognize somebody as a regular by their screenname, you just have to assume that they're some random donkey and play like the average player. They have to do the same thing for you (if you recognize somebody as a reg, chances are they recognize too, so usually you're either both unknown to each other or you both realize that you're regs).

In any case, I don't want to give away too many secrets...and Verneer covers them pretty well in his video, but here's a list of some things that average players at .5/1 don't do that often, that are wildly profitable to do vs. players who assume that their opponents don't do them very often:

1) 3-betting
2) In particular, 3-betting and squeezing early position raisers. Ranges are tighter for early position raisers than LP raisers and everyone realizes that. But most people don't realize that EP raising ranges aren't so tight that 3-betting isn't really profitable when you get folds from everything but QQ+, whereas when you 3-bet a button raiser you're getting a fold out of KQo and JTs pretty rarely these days.
3) Raising c-bets. Raising c-bets in position, deep, with two overs and a backdoor draw, for instance, is pure gold.

These are all strategies that should be employed in normal games too, but to a lesser extent, because opponents can adjust and start giving your raises less respect. But in Rush, they won't adjust unless 1) you do it so much that people start making notes on you, 2) you post on your blog that you'll be doing it, or 3) the entire pool of players starts doing these things, in which case you have to figure out how to adjust yourself and exploit players who are best responding to this new norm.


January 20, 2010

Rush Poker

Whoa dagg....loooooooooooong time no post. I really apologize. At first traveling for nearly a month around Christmas was keeping me away from posting, and then I ran bad in life for a while, which has limited my productivity in many spheres. Both professionally and personally, the last month or so has been probably the toughest of my life. But I'm working through it, and hope to come out of it a much better person, no matter how things turn out. That vague enough for you guys?

Anyway, a mitigating factor that really has me looking on the bright side of life is Rush Poker, the new gimmick at Full Tilt. I tried it out for the first time tonight and God is it awesome. The deal is, you're basically place at a new table with a random group of players every hand. Whereas when multi-tabling, if you click the auto-fold button, you have to wait for the hand to finish to get dealt a new hand, in Rush Poker, you can 'Quick Fold' and just get insta-dealt a new hand at a new table. The pros:

1) You can still multi-table it. It looks like 4 is about the most Rush tables anyone is playing right now, which I think might get you over 1,000 hands an hour. I was playing two tables just to get the hang of it and managed to get in 413 hands in 41 minutes. You'd have to be playing really sick numbers of non-Rush tables to get this many hands/hour.

2) Another factor that adds to your hands/hour is that you don't have to wait for a seat to open up at a table, and you don't have to worry about tables breaking. Also you don't wait to get to your big blind at the end of a session, when you might be down to playing just 2-3 tables at the tail end of a session. With Rush tables you're up to your peak hands/hour rate right when you sit down, and you never slow down until you decide to end the session. By the same token, it's much easier to take a bathroom or snack break.

3) Much easier on the eyes. Four-tabling Rush tables gets you sick hands/hour without having to try and read the small numbers and fonts and whatnot if you're instead trying to 12- or 16-table traditional tables.

A few cons:

1) You can't use a HUD, because the tables are changing every hand. This does matter, but if you know your game well, then you know who the solid regulars are and you can pretty much assume everybody else is likely to be a weaker player, although you don't know if they're just weak/tight or loose/passive or a monkey or what. But hey, that's what notes are for!

2) You can't table select. Everybody gets the same chance of getting a whack at the donks in the player pool, which is good if you would otherwise be sitting on an 8-person waitlist hoping to get the Jesus seat on a 89/12 fish, but bad if you would otherwise already have that seat and four others like it because you are a derty table selector. If a lot of your profitability comes from game selection and you can't beat the slightly-better-than-average player at your stakes, Rush might be worse for you.

3) You are taken to a new table as soon as you fold, so you can't get reads on players by watching hands where they show down against players other than you. Full Tilt still downloads the entire hand history so you can look at it later in HEM or whatever program you use, but then you'll have to look at it there and somehow go back and find any player you want to make notes on, which is annoying.

4) By the same token, you can't build up a particular dynamic with a specific player or the entire table where you steal a few times and then tighten up and hope to get a big hand to get paid off with. This can be good or bad...if you use this strategy successfully a lot, then obviously Rush takes it away from you. But if you're bad at this type of leveling war, no worries, Rush to the rescue.

5) Availability. Right now they have only up to $.5/1, but I'd imagine that will change soon.

Hope to be posting more in the future. Good luck at the tables!


January 14, 2010

Poker after Dark

LOLLL - be sure to check out this weeks episodes...so so lineup but it is definitely worth its weight in GOLD as far as entertainment. Catch episodes from earlier this week on pokertube.com.

Watching helmuth donk around with these guys is just epic stuff. He moans, whines, complains NON STOP with his UB cap, shorts, and WSOP bracelet...how GHEY is that?

Here's a question...if this guy played HU with an ANTE vs any competent HU player - how long would it take for him to be completely bankrupt? ROR.

January 9, 2010

PLO Brag

I played a PRO hand that I felt was rather brag worthy. In PLO, given the fact that equities run SO effing tight...the nature of the game provides "gamblers" an artificial edge given the fact that they are willing to stick their money in light. Its pretty rare to ever be a HUGE dog pre or postfrop as it is in NLHE...yer often going to be in a bunch of 60/40s...on one side of the other, and provided you can run well...you'll prolly have the illusion that you are gods given to PRO.

AnyWHO...provided you can get yourself on the CORRECT side of those 60/40s...you will be printing money, provided you don't get raped by the RNG. Now I don't craim to be an expert/winner at PLO by any means...but I'm going to review a HH below and provide some analysis on a hand which I thought was particularly interesting. Given that equities run so tight...it's pretty very difficurt to play a hand optimally.


Full Tilt Poker $2/$4 Pot Limit Omaha Hi - 6 players - http://www.thehandconverter.com/hands/466160

The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

CO: $715.00 BTN: $400.00 SB: $275.00 Hero (BB): $599.20 UTG: $551.40 MP: $80.00

Pre Flop: ($6.00) Hero is BB with Qd 9h Kh Kc

1 fold, MP calls $4, CO calls $4, BTN raises to $22, 1 fold, Hero requests TIME, Hero raises to $76, 2 folds, BTN calls $54

Flop: ($162.00) 6c 7d 3d (2 players)

Hero checks, BTN bets $88, Hero requests TIME, Hero calls $88
Turn: ($338.00) Js (2 players)

Hero bets $338, BTN calls $236 all in

River: ($810.00) 7s (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $810.00

BTN shows 8s Kd 9d Th (a pair of Sevens) Hero shows Qd 9h Kh Kc (two pair, Kings and Sevens) Hero wins $807.00
(Rake: $3.00)


Pre - virrain is SUPER tag...as in nitty unlike Tiffany's mom's vag. Rike 19/15 in PLO...I honestly can NOT believe that styre can be profitabre in PLO...given that IMO its far too tight for a 6M NLHE game. W/E. I 3b the SB for value and get fratted - the key thing to take way from this frat is that his range now does NOT included AAxx. Also, I don't think his 3b calling range will include many pairs...unless they are of the well connected double paired variety. I expect him to pitch junk like AK99 (which he may actually open fold anyway). Frop - There is one three letter phrase that comes to my mind when this comes down. FML. Times 100x. I instantly considered xf'ing given how GROSS this board is and that I have zero draws/backdoor draws...and that I'm almost NEVER going to get it in on this frop as a favorite. It also is BURRIED in his 3b calling range that is weighted towards sooted connectors. While debating the xf option...I just go ahead and check and evaluate. Sorta ghey, but I'm out of position with a naked overpair (full stax vs a competent player) and literally want to jump off a bridge. Virrain goes ahead and bets a rather ghey amount...VERY enticing for a xrai, but I opt for a variation of the patented Bruechips Fade and Go. My plan is xc, shove ANY non diamond that does not complete 89 on the turn. Granted its a HUGE chunk of the deck...but I felt that given his range, it was a better play than to bet fold, bet call, or xf. Turn -BINKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK. J of spades...an excellent card for me. Ipot donk it into him and booya, he calls it off as he should with a big timey wrap with a FD which I'm able to fade on the river. Villain was prolly thinking (HOW THE F DO I NOT BINK FTW?!?!?!) instead of realizing that he got ooooooowwwwwnnnnddddd! For all you math geeks out there - here are the equities street by street.

PREF - 69/31 FROP - 34/66 TURN - 58/43

Ship it.


January 3, 2010

Brackchips 1, Bruechips 0

That's the blog tally as we start the new decade...WORD!!! (My guess is this may be the only point during the year when I will have more blog posts so I need to make a point to rub it in.)

I've been completely off the blog radar the past few months lately...just haven't felt much like blogging. Poker has been pretty brutal lately - I made the random decision at the end of October to switch over to PLO after playing in a home game...and I've caught the bug for sure. However, it has decimated my roll, ROR! I really enjoy the game much more than NLHE - it really makes you think significantly more compared to NLHE...but the variance/swings can bebrutal for sure.

The consensus from what I have heard is the variance is something like 2x NLHE. I'd be curious to figure out an actual way to measure the differences in variance. What other ways can you compare the relative variance other than your all in frequencies? My guess right now is that it is probably more than that assuming you are playing a relatively aggressive game at tables that are not completely infested with passive fish.

Contributing to my downswing has been the nonstop crap I've encountered with my computers/hem/windows. Pretty much everything in the world has gone wrong and I really haven't been playing on my main setup sans problems for well over a month. I've seriously spent at least 50+ hours tweaking/fixing/troubleshooting my machine. I've finally went ahead and upgraded both my machines to SSD hard drives, both running Win 7, and it looks like HEM is FINALLY cooperating. So I'm looking forward to getting back on my desktop with my timey monitor sans distractions. Now if I could only have FT email me all the hh's I am constantly requesting.

Bruechips was in town for about a week during the horidays and we were able to mix in a good amount of HU action of a PLO/NLHE mix. I ran like god because I had the advantage of homefield but credit must be given where it's due - brue prayed rike a beast and I'm suprised I didn't quit poker altogether when he 4b the turn in a hand of NLHE with a 3rd pair no kicker which was good vs my 4th p+SFD (spade frush draw aka the nuts). Thankfurry I rivered a SPADE ftw...SHIP IT!

BTW - for any of you with an iphone/ipod touch - I HIGHLY recomend downloading a free game called "Imobsters." You won't regret it, trust me.