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Month Old Review - An Attempt to Move Up Stakes

By: Christxof @ 01:40 (EDT) / 307 / Comment ( 0 )

Because my bankroll recently increased to previously unknown heights, I decided to try something about a month ago - for a few sessions, I moved up to 5nl to check the action. After two sessions of about 120 hands total and ending only slightly above even, I decided to drop back down for the time being - the 5nl games are DEFINITELY beatable, but I got bad table choices and cards, and I'm not ready for the swings yet.

Although it's been a month, I still have the sessions on my Holdem Manager database, so I can check some of the key hands.

In session 1, which lasted 79 hands, I keep getting owned by the fish directly to my right - a 51/12 player who loves limping with his Aces preflop and being over-aggressive postflop.

But that comes later - one of the first hands I play, I raise utg with QQ and get called by a rock (15/5) and the fish I mentioned - pot is 47c, and the flop is 529 two clubs. The fish donks out for the minimum, I raise to 35c, and the seat 7 rock cold over-shoves for his whole 47bb stack! Despite this SCREAMING that I'm behind, I tank call (BAD PLAY, Chris!) and he has middle set. So already I'm down $2.50.

I rebuy back to a full 100bb stack, but it still seems like nothing's going to go my way - I'm getting almost no cards. But then, about 40 hands in, I make a LAG play due to lots of players being fairly tight - I raise KJo utg. And I get two callers - a fairly tight 11/7 guy in seat 6, and the seat 1 fish! But the flop is KT3 two spades (I don't have a spade), and once again, the fish donks out for the minimum. I raise to 35c again, and the tight guy calls my raise, although the fish folds. The turn is the 9d, which isn't the greatest card - QJ got there - but I continue with a bet of slightly less than half pot, planning on folding if I'm raised. However, the tight guy just calls again. The river is a complete blank, but because I'm overly cautious and I think that I can't get a worse hand to call if I fire one more time (NOTHING I can beat will call me here), I check, intending on calling a small bet and folding to anything more than 1/3 pot. But he checks back - he had a busted combo draw with AQs, and I take down a decent pot.

And of course, I screw it up by calling a raise two hands later out of position with 66 and getting creative by check-raising a flop of all overcards with it. The moment the c-bettor calls, I realize I've made a mistake and check-fold the blank turn.

And a couple of orbits later, I get into another hand with the fish. Seat 9 (TAG 17/13 guy) raises in the hijack, the fish calls him, and I squeeze on the button to 60c. The TAG folds but the fish calls. The flop is 5Q8 two hearts. He checks, I c-bet, and he check-raise overshoves on me. Although it screams a semi-bluff to me, I have no equity and have to fold.

Everything else for a while is just no cards or having to fold after making a c-bet, because almost noone folds postflop anymore. But then a new fish at seat 9 (31/ limps utg, and because the table is short, I raise with A5o. I get calls by the TAG seat 7 and the fish, and the flop has an A - but all spades. But it's checked to me, so I make a c-bet anyways. Everyone folds, and I take down the pot, but I'm unsure if this was the best way to play it.

A few hands later, though, one of my moves actually works. Another player in seat 6 (25/10) limps in middle position, as does the fish in the small blind, and I check my option with T3o. The flop is 542 rainbow, giving me an open-ended straight draw. The limper overbets 20c into 15c, and this screams weakness to me. The fish folds, and I decide to raise-semi-bluff with my straight draw to 60c, which works. I pick up a decent pot for that.

My last two hands of the night are AQo and TT, which I take down with a C-bet and an utg raise respectively, but I end the night with a $3.26 deficit.

The next session is actually two shorter sessions, but played on the same day as each other. Combined, they lasted 45 hands. This works out a lot better, as the players at this new table are weaker - they're slightly easier to push off of hands. But there's nothing too noteworthy at first - taking down an all-diamonds KQT board with bottom set, or having an A overcard with KK and still getting 3 players to fold on the turn. But the second half of the session is more interesting, as I start off getting dealt QQ. However, there's a raise and a 3-bet in front of me, so I just cold-call the 3-bet. The initial raiser folds, and the flop is T-high. However the 3-bettor (38/38 lag) does NOT c-bet, and so I take it down on a blank turn.

My very next hand is AKo, and the same 3-bettor raises, and I 3-bet to take it down preflop. And the hand immediately afterward is AJo! This time I just flat a raise from what would turn out to be a nit (4/4 over 28 hands), and flop top two pair. Because the board is dry, I just smooth-call the 2/3 pot c-bet with my top-two. When the turn pairs the 3 and makes a backdoor flush draw possible, I bet, and take it down.

And three hands later, guess what? AQs! I raise utg+1 8-handed and get called by a somewhat TAG player and a 39/4 fish who has less than 18bb left. The flop is AJ5 two clubs, I c-bet, and the fish shoves on me. Because he's short-stacked, though, I feel he's trying to do something to get more money. So I call, and he turns over 22! LOL. I stack him and am up to $7 this session.

Next hand, a 45/0 fish limps utg and I check my BB with K7 of spades. The flop is TT3 two spades and I semi-bluff for 2/3 pot with my flush draw, which is called. The turn gives me a 7, but I still think he can call with 99 or 88 or a T, so I check it, and he checks back. The river is a blank, we both check, and he turns over QJ of spades, letting me take down a small pot. I steal the blinds with KJo next hand, and 99 a few hands later.

I misplay A2s later, when I call several limps out of the small blind AND a raise with it, but I should have folded to the raise. But then I lose more when I call a raise with KQhh. The flop is 83A two hearts, but the A isn't a heart. The 13/13 player c-bets 2/3 pot, and I call ONLY because I plan on semi-bluffing if the turn blanks and he doesn't continue. Unfortunately, he does continue with another 2/3 pot bet on a blank, and I instantly feel he has an A - I fold my flush draw because I don't have the right pot-odds or implied-odds anymore.

I get one last pot in when I 3-bet AJo against the same player in position, get called, and then take it down with a c-bet on a QTX flop. So I end the two-session session with $3.30 in profit, meaning I am up 4c from all 124 hands at 5nl.

However, because actual fish were less common at these stakes, I chose to drop back down to handle the swings more easily. But it was a good experiment to see what higher stakes are like.

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