Sunday, January 29, 2006

out in 3rd, lost 2/3rds of my chip stack calling an all in bet with Ks10s, the pusher had AJ and neither of us improved. Ended up going out when my Ah9h lost to KsQc when a king hit on the flop.

Overall, +$111 to the bankroll

down to 3
blinds stay at: 2000/4000
Chips: 75,000
M: 12.5
players: 3/247 (currently 2nd)
table: loose/aggressive
my image: tight/aggressive
my best hand this level: N/A
flops seen %: 22%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 0/3
mistake of level: calling a short stack instead of putting him all in, calling two all ins with ace high

down to 4
blinds stay at: 2000/4000
Chips: 129,105.16
M: 15
players: 4/247 (currently 1st)
table: loose/aggressive
my image: tight/aggressive
my best hand this level: 10hkc, flopped quad 10s, result + 24,000
flops seen %: 22%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 3/3, starting to bull people
mistake of level: n/a

End of level 15 (in the money, final table)
next level blinds: 2000/4000
Chips: 96,663
M: 16
players: 6/247 (currently 1st)
table: loose/aggressive
my image: tight/aggressive
my best hand this level: 97 off in big blind, flopped straight draw, checked, hit straight on turn, value bet, he moved allin on river when a king hit, insta called, + 50,000
flops seen %: 22%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 0/0
mistake of level: not playing chip bully

End of level 14 (in the money, 1 table)
next level blinds: 1500/3000
Chips: 40,990
M: 9
players: 7/247 (currently 4th)
table: final table, 5 new players
my image: loose/aggressive got caught in two bluffs last level, raising a lot
my best hand this level: AK, called an all in raise, chip leader also called, moved all in after I floped a K, chip leader called also had AK, split pot, +52,900
flops seen %: 23%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 1/1, bet 8000 at a pot with 98 off suite when an ace hit the board, +16000
mistake of level: called an all in bet with JdQd, another person went all in after me for less then the original bet, original all in player had AA, -14,000

End of level 13 (in the money, 1 table)
next level blinds: 1000/2000
Chips: 44,585
M: 14
players: 9/247 (currently 2nd)
table: tight/aggressive
my image: loose/aggressive got caught in two bluffs, raising a lot
my best hand this level: 7s7c, called a all in raise with 1 other caller, checked to the river when didnt improve, result + 21,000
flops seen %: 23%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 1/3 KcQc raised 6000 preflop 1 caller, flop came 2d3d4d, bet 6000 caller folded, +19,000
raised to 6000 with A2 off, 2nd in chips pushed all in, i folded, -6000
mistake of level: only calling with QJ, letting opponent push me off flop when nothing hit because I did not have information on them

End of level 12, 2nd break (in the money, two tables)
next level blinds: 750/1500
Chips: 37,745
M: 16
players: 16/247 (currently 2nd)
table: new table at begginning of level
my image: loose/aggressive
my best hand this level: 8sAd raised 3500 1 caller, all in after 8 hit the flop, caller folded, +9600
10sKd, hit broadway on the flop, took out someone with pair queens and 9500 chips, +19000
AdKd, raised 5k, folded to me, +6500
flops seen %: 22%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 1/1 - a6 off suite, nothing hit the flop bet pot size, no callers
mistake of level: not pushing with 7s7c after chip leader bet 10k on flop full of spades A103, would have made flush and taken him out

End of level 11 (in the money)
next level blinds: 500/1000
Chips: 20,690
M: 13
players: 20/247 (currently 4th)
table: new table at begginning of level
my image: N/A
my best hand this level: 4Joff, raised to 2400, 1 caller, continued on a king high flop
to put him all in, he folded, result +6000
JJ, lost to AdKd, put him all in after his raise, result -4000
A3, caught runner runner 3 to put A6 all in, result + 9000
flops seen %: 24%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 1/1
mistake of level: N/A

End of level 10 (in the money)
next level blinds: 400/800
Chips: 17,315
M: 14
players: 26/247
table: loose/aggressive
my image: tight/aggressive
my best hand this level: Q9off, flop 9k2, called 1800 bet, turn 10 checked, river 4 checked, beat A8off, result +8000
AA, raised 1800 no callers, +3000
flops seen %: 25%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 1/1
mistake of level: not betting out my Q9 off suite, both of us where commited to the pot but we were only 3 from money

End of level 9
next level blinds: 300/600
Chips: 9815
M: 10
players: 34/247
table: new table (twice)
my image: n/a
my best hand this level: 4s4d, busted pocket aces when 4 spades hit, result +4400
flops seen %: 25%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 1/1
mistake of level: not continuing to bet with AQoff when I missed the flop and my contiuation bet was called by a big stack, he had 44 we checked to river

End of level 8
next level blinds: 200/400
Chips: 10,500
M: 17.5
players: 48/247
table: tight/aggressive (i am now table chip leader,3rd overall in chips)
my image: tight/aggressive, shows down quality cards, raises are getting a lot of respect
my best hand this level:77 raised to 1200, folded to my bet, result +1650
flops seen %: 26%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 1/1
mistake of level: not raising with second pair when chip leader made a very small bet at the pot after the river, not bluffing more

End of level 7
next level blinds: 150/300
Chips: 7650
M: 17
players: 69/247
table: tight/aggressive, 1 large chip stack
my image: n/a
my best hand this level:AK off raised 800 preflop, 1 caller, flop 343, all in, big chip stack called with a4, caught a king on the river, result +4800
flops seen %: 30%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 1/1
mistake of level: calling 400 raise with 9q off in big blind

End of level 6, first break
next level blinds: 100/200
Chips: 2400
M: 8
players: 90/247
table: moved to new table
my image: n/a at new table
my best hand this level: 6hAs, flop 9c3d9d folded to my 1/3 pot bet after flop, result +600
flops seen %: 32%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 0/1
mistake of round: feeling table was going to fold to me when i raised to 500 preflop on the button with 10hJh, 1 caller, continued the bet on a AcKs9s flop, other person just called, checked the river and turn, lost to AJ, result -1000

End of level 5
next level blinds: 50/100
Chips: 3000
M: 20
players: 104/247
table: loose/aggressive
my image: tight/aggressive, raises with quality hands, shows down quality cards
my best hand this level: 10hQh in big blind, folded to me
flops seen %: 35%
successfull bluffs/attempted bluffs: 0/0

End of level 4
next level blinds (sorry i forgot this): 40/80
Chips: 3900
M: 32.5
players: 128/247
table: loose/aggressive
my best hand this level: AdJd raised 240 preflop, 2 callers, flop 5h8cJh, all in after flop, 1 caller, Kc on turn, 7s on river, caller had 9J off result +2705
flops seen %: 39%

End of level 3
Chips: 2115
M: 23
players: 156/247
table: loose/aggressive
my best hand this level: JJ one off the button, 4 callers before me, I raised to 200, 1 caller, flop 298, bet 500, fold from caller, result +1020
flops seen %: 43%

End of level 2
Chips: 1315
M: 21
players: 192/247
table: loose/aggressive
my best hand this level: 10d8d, flop gave flush draw, call 20 on turn,river brought flush, result +920
flops seen %: 50

End of level 1
Chips: 800
M: 26
players: 231/247
table: loose/aggressive
my best hand this level: 6d7d in big blind, flop gave open-ended, folded to big bet on turn
flops seen %: 50

Busted out in 80th place. Got my M up to 11, was dealt KK on the button, made a small raise with 2 callers before me. 1 of the two called my raise.

Flop came

I bet, he called


I checked, he bet, I moved all in preparing to see him turn over a 4, but instead he turned over QQ and I was done.

Sorry about the little bit of detail, im preparing for my next MTT.

I will blog updates.

Started grinding it out yesterday. Beginning bankroll of $20, playing at the .02/.04 level. First of all let me say, there are some horrible players there. Through 3 sessions I am at 26.59, not horrible, but could be a lot better. I need to not play so many hands, but I like the idea seeing more flops and outplaying the people at this level after the flop. This wont fly once I start moving further up, but for now it is +EV. Im going to MTT it today a little. Playing in the $3 + .30 MTT right now, sitting 90th with an M score of just over 7. I need to get ready to make a move. Also registered for another $3 MTT later tonight. I will keep everyone posted.

Here are some stats for my 3 sessions:

results = +$6.59
results/hour = +$1.62
seeing flop = ~60%

I should bring the flop % down to about 30% for my next 3 sessions and compare results. I still think at this level 60% is not horrible because I have not run into many people who play at a consistantly good level. My next level is .05/.10 but it will be a while before I get there since I am committing some money to the MTT's tonight, enless of course I cash in one.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I will admit when I was wrong. Thanks Klopzi for pointing it out to me. For a while now I have worked under the 100bb rule for bankroll. Meaning that if you have a bankroll of $1000 you are good for 5/10, or if you have 100 you are good for .50/1. I was wrong. I did some gooooooogling today and found several (more then several) people who have said 300bb is the right rule. Here is what I found for anyone else interested:

Ring Games: Bankroll of 300bb
SnG: 20-30 buy-ins

This being said I probably play above my bankroll, and I need to change that. In fact I need to change my whole bankroll management strategy. I do not manage my bankroll effectively. I cash-out. I redeposit. In fact I often do one after the other. I play above my head. I go on tilt and donkey off my entire bankroll in no-limit, then deposit more to start over. This is annoying. I have said it before, but this time I am for real. I am going to begin to manage my bankroll better. I will post my results here so you all can watch over me, that way if I start to drift you can punch me in the gut and tell me to start managing my bankroll better. Deal?

Anyway, I will start this the next time I play. This may not be for a while though, but as soon as I start you will know about it.

falstaff had an interesting comment on my bluffing rules.

6) Don't bother. - For me anyway, at the limits I play, a pure bluff is almost pointless. That's not to ever understate the value of the semi-bluff, betting out on your draws and the continuation bet bluff, but a pure bluff rarely works online at any level I've been able to play at.

But that's me, and my experience. Now a lot of opponents online at the lower limits will consider your semi-bluffs the same as pure bluffs, and give you the same level of action without considering the thought processes behind them.

I semi-agree with this. Playing online in small limits makes it difficult to bluff. The problem you run into there is the experience factor of the players you are playing against. They often don't know enough to think they are beat. You can not bluff someone who doesn't know how to play, and it is as simple as that. A lot of inexperienced players will call to the river with Ace high. This is a good thing though. You can gain the extra bets you are looking for by simply playing your smaller hands that normally you would fold. What are we really accomplishing by bluffing? We are getting that extra 1-2 hands an hour. You can do this by simply outplaying the weaker opponents who are not aware enough to fold in certain situations. However, if you have a want to move up limits and start playing against tougher opponents you have to start utilizing the bluff, even if only a little bit. Tougher opponents don't call down to the river, they raise that make you make a tough decision you don't want to make. You have to do this back to them. I think if you learn how to utilize it correctly, you can even start applying it to weak opponents, just have to adapt it a bit and not use it as nearly as much. Here are some key situations where a weak opponent is not supsectable to a bluff:

A forth flush card comes down. Often they will call with any card of that suite. If they have a two of diamonds and the forth diamond comes down, even if you have been representing a flush the entire time they think that have you beat. They don't have enough experience to pick up that you have a flush card. Use this to your advantage. Don't bluff here, but when a situation arises that you have the flush make them pay more to call it down. Same situation arises for 4 card straights. A good bluff that seems to work on weak players however is when the bottom or mid card of the flop pairs. You have to be careful with this however because they might just be holding that card.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Example of a bad bluff

vilian #1 (23,231.52) (sb $50): XX
vilian #2 (33,055.24) (bb $100): XX
Hero (10,548.00) (button): 2h4d

Hero Raise to $800
V1: call
v2: Raise 2200
Hero: call
V1: call

Pot 6600

V1: check
v2: bet $2200
Hero: All In $9048
V1: Fold
V2: Call 6,348.00



Hero wins $22,595 with straight
V2 shows Kc9s

Lets discuss this hand a bit.

My thought process:
Preflop, I have a tight table image and have only raised with premium cards to this point. I have a good bluffing hand, no-one has shown strength to this point and I am on the button so I throw in a large raise.

If I am representing AK, AA, or KK I love that flop, however there is action in front of me. It looks like a small contiuation bet. What could he have?

Based on preflop betting:
AK: he wouldnt reraise that much with AK
AA: this is possible, but again I doubt the reraise would be that much
KK: see AA

These three hands don't make sense to me.

Small Pocket Pair: This makes sense, he would push right back at me wanting a weak call or me to fold immediatly.

Based on flop betting:
He bet 1/3 of the pot with a check in front of him. The person in front of him would not have checked in the king hit them and there were two hearts on the board. In fact the person in front of him is probably very weak, they cold called raises preflop and check after the flop. Either they have the moster or they are weak. What I have seen from them thus far leaves me to believe they are weak. Assuming he knows this, the bet is aimed at me. I showed aggression preflop but he ultimitally took the lead with the reraise. His bet is either 1) wanting a call or 2) a contiuation bet of his reraise. If he knows anything about pot odds 2200 makes no sense to me, enless he has AhKh he doesnt want action in this hand. If he has KK he is giving me the odds to suckout a flush on him, dido that for top pair. A small pair still makes sense to me, because he can take it down right now with another bet if I missed the flop. Im putting him on either AhKh or a small pair, and based on his preflop play im putting him on that small pair. With a small pair he cant call a raise here so I either give up on my bluff or move all in. I should give my bluff up, but I dont think he will call an all in bet here

He calls, and I am almost certain I am dead... but wait .... revenge is mine, I suckout a straight on him... this has happenend to me sooo many times that I dont feel bad doing this to him

I titled this post "bad bluff" because I think he was bluffing badly. The reraise preflop is not warranted with 9k off. His story didnt make sense. He was trying to represent a strong king but it wasnt working because he didnt playit as such. One of three things is the case in this hand

a: He isnt a strong player
b: He misplayed a bad bluff
c: He is an excellent player and was making me believe he was bluffing, hense enticing my call with something he had beat

I am leaning towards a

(BTW This was play money, and I would have never made the all in move with real money in that same situation, I am not that ballsy yet)


Bluffing is probably the biggest area of my game I need to work on right now. I get too behind in tournaments when the blind structure goes up and the ante's go in because I do not bluff enough. So that is the area that I am going to be concentrating on in my next couple tournaments. Before then I want to discuss it a little to make sure that I am not out in left field when I start increasing my bluffing. Here are some ideas, in no real order

1) Bluffs must tell a story (adapted from Howard Lederer). : I could not agree with him more. When you are bluffing you must decide prior to the hand what type of hand you are going to represent and sell it that way the entire hand. If you are representing a strong ace and an ace hits the board, bet it like so. When you start to change tunes midway through the hand your story doesnt make sense. If your story doesnt make sense then you are more likely to be called down.

2) Know when to walk away : You must have a feeling for your opponent. If his past tells you that he is seeing this hand down to the end get out. If his past says that he is going to test you but will back off if you fire back, keep it coming. It sounds simple but it isn't and can get you in a lot of trouble if you are not careful.

3) Make sure your opponent is not against the wall : This one catches me way too much. I mean way way too much. If your opponent is short stacked he is more likely to push with less then the nuts. If you are trying to push him off a pot with a hand like A3o it is likely he will push right back at you for all his chips with A5o. If you are going to bluff with a short stack be prepared for him to push all in.

4) Dont bluff unless you have a bad hand : Dont bluff with hands like A10, Q10, KJ, etc. This is a common mistake. These hands will kill you. If you are bluffing with A10 and you hit the ace you are more likely to run into a better hand then if you were bluffing with 72 and hit the 2. Same holds true if you have Q10. If you bluff and hit the 10, then what do? You are put in a position where it makes it hard to walk away from it. You are also dead if someone is playing K10, A10. These situations come up more then you would think because in order for someone else to be calling your raise preflop they must have a playable starting hand. Not to beat this point dead, but lets take an example

blinds 250/500
Hero (22k) 8s,4c: bets 2k
Vilian (20k) Ac,Kc: calls 2k

Hero bets 5k
Vilian calls 5k

Hero is all in for 15k
Vilian folds

Now look at a different hand
Hero (22k) KsJs: bets 2k
Vilian (20k) AcKc: calls 2k


Hero bets 5k
Vilian raises all in for 18k

What are you going to do here?
A) Fold you lost your bluff and 7k on a bad bluff.
b) Call you lost all but 2k of your chips on a bad bluff.

You dont want either situation.

5) Be aware of your table presence (adapted from Dan Harrington) : This is huge. If you are going to bluff make sure you are not seen as a loose player. Loose players get called more often. People are concerned when tight players raise. This can be moved into the "story" point. If you are a loose player your story is less believable, if you are a tight player it is more believable. If you are seen as a loose player time your bluffs. Make sure they come after you have shown down a couple strong hands. Regardless of your overall table image, the most recent events will stick in other players minds the most.

Thats all for now, feel free to leave some more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Here are the point values from the quiz I posted. Add them up and see where you stand

45+: You are on top of your game (fundamentally)
40-45: Keep working you are almost there
30-40: You are about average, but you still make two many mistakes
15-30: You can make good plays, but make more mistakes and loose in the long run
less then 15: You are a true donkey.

1) You are dealt pocket aces in the big blind, there are 4 callers to you, your move
a) -3
b) -3
c) 3
d) 1

2) You hold AhKh with 1 other person in the hand. You are in position on him. The flop comes 6h5hQc. The pot before the flop was 2500 because you raised to 1000 and he called for an extra 800. He pot bets 2500 representing 1/5 of your stack, and 1/6 of his you:
a) -3
b) 3
c) -1
d) -3

3) Someone just beat you by catching runner runner heart to knock out your set. You had them all in after the flop with top set and he had two lower connected cards. The flop produced two hearts, with a heart on the turn and river to give him a low flush and double up. Next hand you are dealt Jh5c, he raises before you and the action is folded to you, your move:
a) -3
b) -6
c) 1
d) 3

4) You are playing 5/10 limit hold'em, there are 4 raises ahead of you. You hold KK
a) 1
b) -3
c) 3
d) 1

5) I know what poker tracker is:
a) 3
b) -1

6) I use poker track (or similar)
a) 3
b) -1

7) Early on in a tournament, everyone is about even. You are on the chip and dealt 55. Before you can act, one person has raise 3x time bb, another person raised 2x his raise and a third has called. What do you do?
a) -6
b) -1
c) 3
d) -12

8) According to Dan Harrington, there is a ____% chance that a player is bluffing on any given hand
a) 0
b) 5
c) 0
d) -5

9) I have read ____ number of poker books
a) give yourself 3 free points for this one

10) Which of these players is not a pro
give yourself 3 free points for this one

11) You have a bankroll of $200, which limit game would appropriate for you
a) 3
b) -1
c) 1
d) -3

12) What does this structure mean, 10+1 SnG
a) 3
b) -3
c) -3

13) I wear sunglasses at the table to:
a) -1
b) 3
c) 1
d) -3

14) You are heads up in a pot against an older man. He raised preflop, and with KK you reraised. He simply called your reraise. The flop came 2h9c10s. He checked, you bet, he called. The turn brought a 3c. He checked, you bet, he called. The river brought a Jc. He moved the rest of his chips in the pot, but as he did so you noticed his hands where shaky. You should:
a) 3
b) -3
c) 1
d) -1

15) I can shuffle chips
a) 3
b) -1

Monday, January 23, 2006

Played in a freeroll tonight at PokerRoom, finished 398 because I folded when I thought someone four flushed my broadway, and he held top two pair. I played the hand badly by checking the turn when it produced the third suited card thinking he was on a flush draw, when in reality he was holding top two pair... oh well 398 out of 4000 usually makes the money... It got me thinking though because I saw obvious differences in players ability... How skilled are you at poker? I thought of a sample quiz to give all you amateur poker stars a gut check

Ok this quiz isn't really that hard, but should be fun...

Write down your answers and I will provide scoring later...


1) You are dealt pocket aces in the big blind, there are 4 callers to you, your move
a) check, I don't want to scare these callers out of my hand
b) min raise, let me get these callers to put some more money in my hand
c) raise 3-5 times the big blind, hoping to go to the flop with only one of the 4
d) go all in, this is a perfect time to double up

2) You hold AhKh with 1 other person in the hand. You are in position on him. The flop comes 6h5hQc. The pot before the flop was 2500 because you raised to 1000 and he called for an extra 800. He pot bets 2500 representing 1/5 of your stack, and 1/6 of his you:
a) push now, go all in and hope he was bluffing, if not you still have an over card and a flush draw
b) fold, you don't have the odds and he can make you put the rest of your chips in at any time
c) raise to 5000, if he has a made hand he will move all in and you can fold
d) call, you have the odds to make a correct call here

3) Someone just beat you by catching runner runner heart to knock out your set. You had them all in after the flop with top set and he had two lower connected cards. The flop produced two hearts, with a heart on the turn and river to give him a low flush and double up. Next hand you are dealt Jh5c, he raises before you and the action is folded to you, your move:
a) call him, you are a better poker player and you will show him your skill, after all he cant get lucky forever
b) push all in over top of him. Let him know you are mad about his play and you wont back down from him
c) fold, go get a drink of water and come back to the table
d) fold, but stay hoping that someone will call him so you can gain information

4) You are playing 5/10 limit hold'em, there are 4 raises ahead of you. You hold KK
a) call the maxed out bet
b) raise again
c) fold, Phil Gordon says the 4th raise means aces
d) call, you know 4th raise means aces but you have to see for yourself

5) I know what poker tracker is:
a) true
b) false

6) I use poker track (or similar)
a) true
b) false

7) Early on in a tournament, everyone is about even. You are on the chip and dealt 55. Before you can act, one person has raise 3x time bb, another person raised 2x his raise and a third has called. What do you do?
a) push all in, your fives are at least 50% right?
b) call, you will get your 7.5x if you hit your set
c) fold, you are sandwiched
d) announce I have pocket 5s and I am laying them down.

8) According to Dan Harrington, there is a ____% chance that a player is bluffing on any given hand
a) 3%
b) 10%
c) 20%
d) 50%

9) I have read ____ number of poker books
a) <> 10

10) Which of these players is not a pro
a) Phil Gordon
b) Annie Duke
c) Gavin Smith
d) Doyle Brunson

11) You have a bankroll of $200, which limit game would appropriate for you
a) .50/1
b) 2/4
c) .02/.04
d) 10/20

12) What does this structure mean, 10+1 SnG
a) 10 towards the pot 1 towards the house, no rebuys no add-ons
b) 10 towards the pot 1 rebuy, 1 add on
c) 10 towards the pot rebuys for 1st round, add on after 1st round

13) I wear sunglasses at the table to:
a) look cool
b) hide what I am looking at
c) keep other people from looking into my eyes
d) make myself look like I belong

14) You are heads up in a pot against an older man. He raised preflop, and with KK you reraised. He simply called your reraise. The flop came 2h9c10s. He checked, you bet, he called. The turn brought a 3c. He checked, you bet, he called. The river brought a Jc. He moved the rest of his chips in the pot, but as he did so you noticed his hands where shaky. You should:
a) fold he just completed his monster
b) call, he must have just the jack
c) fold he could have just hit either a straight or a flush or two pair
d) call because you want to know what his shaky hands mean

15) I can shuffle chips
a) true
b) false

Congrats to Ryan (Absinthesparks) for winning over 100k at the LA Poker Classic.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Misplayed Aces AGAIN

So now I am out. I am sitting with Ah10h in the big blind. 2 callers to me, I push a small raise, one person calls.

Flop comes Kh7h3h

First person checks, I 1/4 pot- bet he calls

Turn comes Ks

First person checks, I pot-bet he calls

River comes Ad

First person checks, I throw the rest of my chips in, he insta-calls and flips over aces


I guess I can not say he misplayed the aces since I misplayed my hand from the start by raising... but how do you not re-raise preflop, raise my 1/4 pot flop bet, and throw up when the second king hits the board and I pot bet?

Lets see, 3 hearts to a flush on the board
2 paired cards on the board
and someone who has not played many hands up to this point betting into you, what do you do?

Guess I shoulda been worried when he didnt fold after my pot bet. But what am I to do that that point? Check and fold to his all-in, leaving myself with about 600 chips? Make a small bet and fold to his raise, leaving me with like 500 chips? I know it was bad luck, but did I misplay this hand?

Oh well, ill hit the SnG later on and hopefully patch up that wound..

BTW in case you are keeping track with that suckout my found $20 is down to $17.85.

Misplayed Aces

Im playing in a two table sit and go on NoblePoker right now, and have wittnessed some horrible play up to this point that I felt the need to share.

Three hands ago

10/20 blinds
Initial raise to 40
Two folds, then a reraise to 120
one caller, thent he initial raiser calls

Flop comes 6dJh4h

First spot opens with a $20 bet
Original first raiser raises to $80
Third (cold-caller) raises all in for $1170
Two other guys call

The first spot shows 88
The second spot shows 44
The cold caller shows AA

The set of 4s holds up.

(sidenote had to pause to see my big blind hit two pair and have someone else push all in with top pair after i bet the pot NICE)

So how many errors can you find in the above hand?
MISPLAYED ACES, why on earth do you just call a reraise preflop

Now he probably couldnt have had a different outcome, because the ppl with 4s and 8s probably would not have folded after watching them play a bit.

By the way I have also seen a women at my table check a boat on the river and only call a small bet with a boat, now I know she probably didnt want to scare anyone away, but who cares you either win the pot now or you win more when someone makes a mistake of calling you..

more to come later, btw im in 5th with 12 left

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I have to give some pimpage to Alan. I added him to my blogroll a couple weeks back, so anyone who checks that this is nothing new. I have been reading this posts and I think he is going to rise quickly as a great poker blogger.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Finally fixed the annoying bug in my blog that caused my sidebar to go to the bottom of the page in IE.

I decided to join the Frappr crew today and make my own map, see how cool I am.

Feel Free to sign it so I can see where everyone is from!

Klopzi has a post worth reading on his blog about the stages of a poker blogger. I am not sure yet where I fall, but I will do some investigation tonight and see if I can pinpoint which stage I am in.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Demonstration of Christy Factor

Found $20 I had forgot about in my Nobel Poker account today! Decided to use it to build the online bankroll back up. Starting out easy, .25/.50 limit to build it back up a bit before I move up. Ended +11.55 for the session, here are my stats:

Hands Dealt: 101
Flops Seen: 41 (40%)
Big Blinds Seen: 13 (12%)
Hands Won: 21 (20%) (15 flop/ 4 big blind)

Initially, I was playing tight, then loosened up a bit in the last 20 or so hands. Subtracting the blinds from the flops, I called or raised 28 hands in 101 dealt, a little less then 30%.

Out of the 41 flops seen:

folded after the flop: 6
folded after the turn: 4
folded after the river: 5
didnt fold: 32

Out of the 32 I didnt fold:
won preflop: 6
won after flop: 7
won after turn: 2
won after river: 0
won at showdown: 6
lost at showdown: 11

Remember my formulas..

LV = (BB*HFAF) + (2 * BB * HFAT) + (4 * BB * HFAR) + (6 * BB * HLAS) * 1.1
WP = LV + AW

Ok here goes nothing..

LV = (.50*6) + (2 * .50 * 4) + (4 * .50 * 5) + (6*.50*11) * 1.1
LV = $58.30
AW = $31.55 - $20.00
AW = $11.55
WP = $58.30 + $11.55
WP = $69.85
CF = $11.55/$69.85
CF = 16.53%

What does that mean? Right now, absolutely nothing. But after I have a handful of sessions I can see If my CF is increasing or decreasing, and have something other then money to show whether or not my game is improving. This should neutralize a run of bad cards. If you get 10-4 off suite 102141234123142 hands in a row folding them all, then get AA and win the pot, your CF would be 100% despite the fact that you have only won 1 hand in 102141234123143 hands.

This formula may be useless to a lot of you, but I thought I would share it. Hope it helps someone.

Also, I need to advance it a bit, adding in a more precise number to account for called raises. It also does not take into account luck (i.e someone called down to the river with 1 out and got the case card to beat you). In fact that situation would take away from your christy factor. No worries, the law of averages should eventually work in your favor and round the CF back up.

Anyone who can help me take these situations into account can have the honor of having their name somehow attatched to this formula..

Allow me to introduce my new poker statistic: The Christy Factor. Ok, the name is lame, but until someone gives me a better name and I attatching my name to my theory. Its a set of simple calculations to tell you how good you are actually playing...

Here goes nothing...

Lost Value
I do not know if anyone has coined a term for this concept yet or not (surely someone has) but if not I am coining it lost value. When I talk about lost value, I am referring to the money that you would have in your bankroll if you had not put money in the pot in a loosing hand. A simple calculation comes up with a rough estimate:

LV = (BB*HFAF) + (2 * BB * HFAT) + (4 * BB * HFAR) + (6 * BB * HLAS)
LV = Lost Value
BB = Big Blind
HLAS = Hands Lost At Showdown
HFAF = Hands Folded After Flop
HFAT = Hands Folded After Turn
HFAR = Hands Folded After River

This calculation assumes that you fold to a bet and do not call a raise then fold to a reraise, and that you have only called standard bets prior to folding (i.e. you did not call a raise preflop and fold after the flop). We all know that this is not true, so to get a more accurate value, we should probably adjust this value by 10% (just trust me on the 10% for now). So a more accurate calculation would look like:

LV = (BB*HFAF) + (2 * BB * HFAT) + (4 * BB * HFAR) + (6 * BB * HLAS) * 1.1

You can then subtract add LV to your winnings to see what you winning potential was for that session:
WP = Winning Potential
LV = Lost Value
BAF = Bankroll After Session
BBS = Bankroll Before Session

Simplify this by pulling out your amount won (AW)
to get
WP = LV + AW

Then one more calculation gives you my new statistic, which we will call the Christy Factory:


This shows you how good of a session you actually had, or in more accurate terms, how much of your potential did you reach for that session.

Hope someone finds this handy, and that my abbreviations did not confuse anyone.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Yes, my football picks this week were horrible. Yes, my football picks have been horrible all year long. So why do I even continue to try to predict the outcome of this weeks games? So I can show you how little I really know about football. All kidding aside, that was a decent week of football. The Steelers manhandled the Colts, and it should not have been that close. I really really really hate to say it, but I think I have to pick them this week. I have picked against them two weeks in a row, and can't do it a third time. I just do not think the Broncos are that good. So here are my Championship weekend picks...

Pittsburgh at Denver
Carolina at Seattle

With the way I have been picking, the super bowl will probably be Car and Den..

More poker to come...

This is great news brought to us from Bob Pajich on CardPlayer
Hopefully ESPN picks up at least the final table of this tournament, because you are sure to have the best of the best at the final table.

Harrah’s Entertainment made two major announcements concerning its popular World Series of Poker franchise today.

The company added a $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E event to the 2006 WSOP, which is the first time an event with a buy-in of more than $10,000 will take place at the WSOP. A date hasn’t been set yet. The 2006 WSOP will be made up of 45 poker tournaments that take place between June 25 and Aug. 10 at the Rio in Las Vegas.

H.O.R.S.E is considered one of the toughest tournament games because players take turns playing five different kinds of poker during the event: hold’em, Omaha, razz, stud, and stud 8-or-better.

The second announcement shows that Harrah’s officials agree that players should have a voice when it comes to its poker tournaments.

Half a dozen of the most recognizable tournament pros have joined a player advisory panel created by Harrah’s to help guide and improve players’ experiences at WSOP events.

WSOP main event champions Chris “Jesus” Ferguson” and Scotty Nguyen will join bracelet winners Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, and Robert Williamson III in accepting a one-year post on a player advisory council that will work with Harrah’s executives to help enhance player experience at WSOP events.

The panel will meet regularly with Jeffrey Pollack, WSOP commissioner and vice president of sports and entertainment marketing for Harrah’s, and other Harrah’s executives to provide their opinions and suggestions about WSOP.

According to Pollack, Harrah’s goal in creating the panel is to have a clear communications process between players in which a wide-range of issues can be aired.

The panel will soon add one nonprofessional player.

Negreanu is optimistic that the move will be good for the WSOP and the players who play in its events.

“Now that players have a voice, I believe we’ll see changes that will be in their best interests as a whole,” he said in a press release. “Harrah’s determination to listen to players who love this game will help protect the tournaments’ integrity while continuing to increase the popularity of the World Series of Poker.”

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pocket Pairs

I think pocket pairs are the most misplayed cards in poker. Often with AA,KK,QQ players will try to slow play their pocket pair and get a lot of people involved in the pot. I got news for you, this is a bad bad idea. With JJ-22 people overbet them preflop and get themselves into bad situations.

Consider this.
You are on the button with 6k, blinds of 25/50.
Third to act raises to 300.
Person to your left raises to 1200.
You have 6d6c.
What do you do?

If you said all-in, you misplayed your hand.
If you said call, you misplayed your hand.
If you said fold, you are right on the money.

Lets look at each situation.

Yes, you are applying pressure to the first two betters. Yes, quiet frequently you are making hands fold. The hands that fold are usually hands you can beat though (AK,AQ). You are going to get called by AA,KK,QQ. You will probably get called by JJ,1010. With a raise and a reraise to your left you usually assume two things
1) the first raiser had a premium Ace
2) the second raiser had a pocket pair.

Now, you need to decide how big that pocket pair was, and what they are likely to do with it. If you think they sit on a mid pair and they will not put their tournament on the line, then go ahead by all means take the chance, just know that if you are wrong you are a 85-15 underdog to win the hand.

Calling is not as horrible as all-in. You can still miss the flop and get away from the hand. There are two troubles here:
1) When did you miss the flop?
This is hard to tell. Typically a flop like 244 you would say you hit. It is highly unlikely someone was holding either a 2 or a 4 and called these raises. But in this situation this may not be a great flop for you. Again, someone who calls these raises in more then likely holding a good pair. These pairs are thinking they hit the flop just as much as you are, and you will be in trouble. A flop like AK7 you can say you missed and fold.
You are in even more trouble with a flop like AK6. Yes you hit your set. But what is the other guy betting at? Did he hit AK for two pair? Did he hit a set of K's or A's, or is he holding QJ and semi-bluffing at the pot? This is a very hard read. Bottom line there are way to many ways for you to goof up here to make this a valuable play.

2) There is still someone left to act after you make your call, so you are not in the hand for the 1200 because they could be holding that premium pair and move all-in.

This leaves you with 1 play and that is to fold. You will kick yourself when two people are all in and show down 33,55 but how often will that happen? More then likely you will be thanking me when two people show down AQ,KK.

Just my opinion, feel free to hassle me for it!

Monday, January 09, 2006

From TaoOfPoker...

Nominate The Tao of Poker for Best Blog of the Year

Hey everyone,

Nominations for the 2006 blog awards are due on Tuesday, January 10, 2006. I vote that we all nominate Pauly's blog "Tao of Poker" for Best American Blog, Best Entertainment Blog, Best Writing in a Blog, and Best Weblog of the Year. The site you need to pull up to get the nomination form is

Anyway, I ask you all to do two things:
1. Go to and nominate the shit out of Pauly's Tao of Poker Blog. Do this by Tuesday, Jan. 10...the deadline!!!

2. Leave a message on 2-3 other blogs with this same message. If even a few of us do this, eventually our message will reach a wide enough audience that we can get enough votes to make Pauly a real contender.
Thanks so much,

Lady F.

As Promised back to Poker....

Singerly FD tourney was Saturday, and as I had planned I ended up 2 month vacation from live tournament play to enter. About 80 people showed up, making it worthwhile. Got seated at a fairly easy table starting off. Didn't know anyone at the table (which usually means they are new to poker or somehow stumbled upon this tournament because I know pretty much all of the regulars). A lady and a guy who was at the table kept talking about last months tournament (which I missed) and it was mentioned that she made the final table (last month they had about 95). The guy she was talking to a couple people called "Queens" which I did not know the story behind. The other 6 at the table were typical newbies, shaky play, call a lot, hold on to hands down to the river.

I got involved in my first 4 hands, not on purpose but because I started in the big blind, then was dealt good cards the next 3 hands.
I started in the big blind, and saw the flop for free with my Q2o, check/folded after a AK6 flop.
Next hand A7o in small blind. Not much action in front of me, 2 limper's so I raised to get a feel for the table. Both players called. Flop came Ah7s3c. Made a small bet with one caller.
Turn came 9h, made another small bet. Villian called again. River gave me a boat, at which time the river folded to my final bet.
Next hand get dealt pocket kings. I raise again in the dealer position and get 1 caller. He chases me all the way down to the river to fold. I was starting to gain a little bit of momentum, but also looking like a table bully. I folded about the next 4 hands before "Queens" got in a hand with the lady at the table.

He raised, She called.
Flop came 2h5c8h
He bet, She raised, He called.
Turn came 9d.
He bet, She moved all in.
At this point he was pretty much pot committed with only about 600 chips left and about 4k in the pot. She said something interesting when she moved all in,

Her - "I'm sorry, I hate to do this to you"
Him - "Yes, but it looks like I have to call"
Her - "I hate to put you out this early"

She seemed to be telling the truth, and I think she might have talked me out of calling if I was him.

He called and flipped over QQ
She flipped over 88
The river didn't help his queens and he was done.

How ironic, "Queens" lost with pocket queens. Later I found out that he has been knocked out of the last 3 tournaments with QQ and lost a big chunk of change in a couple others, hense the name "Queens".

Quickly after that my table was broken down. I hated to see that happen because I was slowly accumulating a good stack of chips from the rook's at the table.

I was seated in the big blind at my new table.
First hand I folded my blind when there was 2 raises.
Second hand I folded my small blind when there was a raise.
Third hand I folded a limping hand with 2 raises.
I quickly realized this was a very aggressive table. I tightened up and decided my best chance was to hang around and fold until I could isolate someone.

I finally got that chance when I was in the small blind, and the guy in the big blind had been playing very loose. It had folded around to me with AhJh when I raised his blind 3 times the bb. He called.
Flop came 235 rainbow.
I bet out, figured that could not have helped him, he called.
Turn came 10.
I bet again, he called.
River came 7
This time I checked realizing that I was probably beat, and he wasn't scared of what I had.
He turned over A2off, and I was beat.

Bad luck, 0h well, didn't loose too much on the hand.

Folded a few more hands, raised with AdKd only to fold to a JJ8 flop with a lot of action.
Raised with 1010 only to fold to AK4 flop with a lot of action.

I was not getting much to play with, and wasnt going to bluff at this table because they were quick to get money into the pot and call big bets.

The table broke down a little while later, when my stack was starting to dwindle due to lack of being able to do about anything.

I get at a new table, again seated in the big blind with KJo
Not knowing the table I made a small raise with 4 callers in front of me to see where the action was.
A guy 2 seats to my left calls, everyone else folds.
Flop comes AQ5
I make a solid bet, wanting to represent the Ace, when he moves all in.

He had me clearly covered and I had no right calling this for all my chips, even though I still feel it was a bluff. He could have held A5, but I don't think he had a strong ace or even a strong queen. He had a pretty decent stack of chips, which meant he was either a decent player or had gotten lucky a few times. Also this meant it was nothing for him to push my chips in the pot and loose. I weighed the option and mucked my hand.

A couple more hands go buy my stack is down to 1700 with 50/100 blinds. Not horrible, but not great. Blinds next hand were going up to 100/200 with 25 ante. Starting to get to a little ancy.

I look down at A8off. 5 limper's to me, I cant afford to raise enough to knock them out and not go all in post flop, my best hope here is to limp and cross my fingers after the flop. I think this is a weak play (any comments??) but I dont think I have much of a choice either. I can either...
a) muck my hand with the thought that my ace is not strong enough
b) limp in and hope A8,8 high flop, or something decent
c) raise about $500 and try to get heads up with someone, then push my $1200 post flop, at which point if he got any part of the flop he will almost have to call because there would be about $2700 in the pot.

I limped.

Flop came Ah8h4c.
I know someone is either ...sitting on two hearts,or sitting on an ace, hopefully a strong ace.
First to act bets $300, and all 3 other guys involved call the $300
Pot contains $1700 in chips

Do I have any other option then to go all in here with a pot sized raise?
1) I can not simply call the bet and let the hearts or bigger ace stay in for free
2) I can not raise without committing myself to play it the rest of the way out


First 3 to my left fold, and I am starting to think I just doubled my chips up, or better if the last guy calls.

He thinks for a bit, then finally says, "I'll call"
Flips over Kh2h

I guess everyone knows what is next right?

10h on the turn, and I dont fill up on the river, so my tourny is over.

What a horrible call, or was it?

1) If he puts me on the Ace , he has 9 outs assuming I have no hearts. (about 20%)
2) If he puts me on a flush draw, he is a huge favorite beings he has the nut flush draw (probably 80%)
3) If he puts me on mid pair, he has 12 outs (25%)
4) If he puts me on two pair, he has 7 outs (15%)

What % of chance did he need to think I had each of those hands to call with?
The pot had $3400, so he was getting 2-1 on his call. So you would have to at least think you were 51% to win the hand to make the call.

I would assume
1) 40%
2) 20%
3) 5%
4) 25%
5) bluff - 10%

So that would make it about 8%+16%+1%+3%+10% = 38% chance that I am ahead.
Yup, I have to fold that hand.

Oh well, time to get in the cash game.

Bought in for $50 in a 1-2 nl (most ppl by in for $40-$50).
7 ppl at the table
Second hand 77, raised preflop, folded to a big bet with a 10Q5 flop
Third hand KK, re raised preflop, 2 callers, all in after the flop produced 2 diamonds, both callers stayed.. Lost to AdKd when he hit a flush on the turn. (side note: the other guy four flushed on the river)

Flush on the Turn. That was the story of my day.

Down $175 for the day, and remembering why I took my vacation from poker.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Well I was 2-2 in my wildcard predictions, getting both saturday games right and both sunday games wrong. I thought I was on my way to 3-1 but in the second half of the steelers-bengals game John Kitna remembered that he was John Kitna and the rest is history. As a huge raven fan it was hard for me to route for either team in that game, but as a huge raven fan I had to route against the steelers and for marvin lewis. I felt really bad for cinnci after loosing Palmer early, as much as you hate a team you never want to see a QB tear two ligaments in his first ever postseason pass, albeit a 60+ yard completion. I will ask the question that no doubt a lot of people are asking tonight, how would the game have turned out if Palmer didnt go down early. Such is football. Next week I see Indy, NE, Chicago, and Seattle winning. As a sidenote, if Mark Brunell gets hot at all the redskins could be tough.... another side note I would hate to see a Colts-Redskins SB, I might not even watch it, that would be almost as bad as last years Philly-NE game, that being said I will end the list with my 5 least favorite football teams

1) Colts - should have never left....
2) Steelers - this is almost by default because I am a raven fan
3) Redskins - try living within 45 minutes of DC and not hating the redskins
4) Eagles - see my reason for #3
5) Patriots - I just got plain old sick of the dynasty talk, yes I was routing for them to beat St. Louis, but I wanted them to loose to Carolina, and I only wanted them to win last year because the Eagles are #4 on my list.
RU - Tampa Bay

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Here are my 2005 NFL Playoff Predictions...

Wild Card Round
Jacksonville at New England 8:00 p.m. ABC
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 4:30 p.m. CBS

Washington at Tampa Bay 4:30 p.m. ABC
Carolina at N.Y. Giants 1:00 p.m. FOX

Divisional Round
Cincinnati at Denver
New England at Indy

Washington at Seattle
Giants at Chicago

Cincinnati at Indy
Chicago at Seattle

Chicago vs Indy

Yes as much as I hate to say it, I think the colts will win their first sb since leaving Baltimore

The NFL Regular Season is Over :( It was a very disappointing year for my ravens, but I look forward to the Draft and next year, before I can look forward, let me recap my pics and see how I did:

4 teams out of 6 in the AFC, being DEAD wrong about the Jets and Ravens, and having the Pats as a WC not division champ...

2 team out of 6 in the NFC (how horrible is that!). I was DEAD wrong about the packers and eagles, slightly off about the cowboys, and somewhere in between about the falcons...

Here are my fearless predictions for 2005

East - New York Jets (3)
North - Baltimore Ravens (bye)
South - Indy Colts (bye hfa)
West - Denver Broncos (4)
WC1 - New England (5)
WC2- Jacksonville (6)

East - Philly Eagles (bye hfa)
North - Green Bay Packers (3)
South - Atlanta Falcons (bye)
West - Seattle Seahawks (4)
WC1 - Dallas Cowboys (5)
WC2 - Carolina Panthers (6)

Playoff Predictions to come..

Monday, January 02, 2006

So I guess when I posted saying that I would post again soon, I didnt see myself being swamped around the hollidays, sorry about that.. Anyway things are winding down and I should begin posting again regularly. Here is something to get started, this edition of Tips from the Pros from Full Tilt (from Gavin Smith) is a good read, and I 100% agree with it...

Most poker literature warns of the dangers of becoming a calling station. Common wisdom has it that when you're playing a hand, you should be betting, raising or folding. Calling is usually considered the worst thing you can do.
I disagree. When I play in No-Limit Hold 'em tournaments, I find a lot of situations where calling is the best available option. A strategic call might keep me from going broke in a hand where I hold a good, but second-best hand. Or, a well-timed call might allow me to pick up a pot with a hand that wouldn't win at showdown. Take a look at the following examples. I think you'll see that the call is a powerful and underutilized weapon.
Say you're in the middle stages of a tournament and you have a stack that is slightly above average. A tight player opens in early position for a raise of three times the big blind. You look at your cards and see pocket Tens. You probably don't want to fold Tens. It might be as good a hand as you've seen in a long while, and it may very well be the best hand at that moment. Many people would say that, in this situation, you should throw in a large re-raise.
But the re-raise can be dangerous. Depending on the size of your stack, you could end up committed to the pot and have no choice but to call if your opponent moves all-in. If that happens, you're probably up against a higher pair or, at best, A-K. You never want to commit all your chips when you're either a small favorite or a big underdog. If, however, you just call the open-raise, you'll have a far better opportunity to make a good decision after the flop. The flop might come A-Q-7, at which point, you can fold to any bet, knowing there's essentially no chance your hand is best. Should you see a flop of 4-4-6 and your opponent bets, you can raise. Most opponents holding only A-K would fold at that point. If your opponent then moves all-in, you can be pretty sure that your Tens are no good. You can fold, having preserved a good portion of your stack.
However the hand plays out, you're sure to have a lot more information to work with if you just call the pre-flop raise. You'll get to see three of the five community cards before you commit the bulk of your stack. You'll also force your opponent to react to the flop. His action – his bet or check - is sure to help you determine the strength of his hand.
Here's another situation where calling pre-flop has great advantages. Say you're in late position with pocket 7s and a player from middle position open-raises. For the sake of this example, assume that the opponent holds pocket Jacks. The flop comes A-K-4. It's nearly impossible for the player with Jacks to continue with the hand. A good percentage of the time, this player will check. When that happens, you can bet representing the Ace, which will probably force a fold. You'll have earned a pot by outplaying your opponent. There's no better feeling in poker.
These are just a couple of simple examples, but I want to make the larger point. A lot of beginners seem eager to make all of their plays before the flop. On any decent hand, they're raising and re-raising, doing their best to get all-in. I believe that playing after the flop opens up opportunities for tough lay downs and good bluffs that aren't available pre-flop. Playing post-flop is actually a lot of fun. In your next tournament, try some calls in spots where you might have re-raised. I think you'll enjoy the experience.

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