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March Poker Blog

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April Poker Blog (March cont'd) - Sat Mar 03, 2012, 08:33 PM
(#1)
TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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Kind of found it helpful to post about stuff that was happening on the tables the last couple of months as part of the Cowboy's Challenge, so I thought maybe I'd keep it going for things that come up.

Here's my old threads:

October +

Goal: To try and turn a profit
- went in search of one game I could commit to and learn the ins and outs of
- started record-keeping (+/-$ per game)
- bought a good HUD (pokertracker)
- started playing $1.50 regular speed STT's
- started and stopped playing 5nl
- encountered variance, tilt, downswings
- encountered some tricky hands

February +

Goal: To try and up my volume of play to 100 games for the month
- worked on bubble play (push/fold and ICM calcs, etc)
- encountered fatigue (push/fold of a different kind I guess ... haha :/ )
- tried to think of ways to pick up and keep chips during a downswing
- encountered tilt and burnout, and wound up taking a break from my STT's
- started playing 2nl
- got to play against 2 pros in WBCOOP which was really scary, but so so exciting!!


And now some stuff I'll probably talk about in this blog:

- I'd love to be able to play more than one game at a time
- which might be easier if I switch to $1.50 6-max turbo STTs
- but every time I try, I start to get tired :/
- also, still playing 2nl
- have some tricky hands that have been on my mind
- and have been reading some interesting books and articles

Will see what comes up

Sam

Last edited by TrustySam; Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 11:54 AM.. Reason: Tried to change the title of the blog, but it didn't work :/
 
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Sat Mar 03, 2012, 09:02 PM
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royalraise85's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 26,032
(Community Coordinator)
It's great to keep a record like this and it's sure to help you in the long run.

There's a lot of points there that you made i can relate to.

Keep up the good work!

Raiser


Moderator

Bracelet Winner


 
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Sat Mar 03, 2012, 09:06 PM
(#3)
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Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Tricky Hands

Flush draws on the Flop (Raising to Get Others to Fold or Call?)


Okay, so here's something that's been on my mind - sometimes when there's like two to a flush on the flop, aren't we supposed to be raising to try and keep people IN the pot? But yet, who here does the opposite, and bets to try and get people to fold so we won't get drawn out?

You think that's a beginner thing, that maybe a lot of us do, because the lower stakes people keep calling? Like with this hand:



villain's pot odds: 4%
needed to call: like, 50%

(didn't put 'sean' on the spade draw )

But then, I got a similar hand in the WBCOOP game against Andre Akkari, and got all nervous and wound up making my 'usual' raise - and then he folded:





Was I only supposed to raise like maybe 50% of the pot, to maintain a little 'mystery'?


I think I screwed that up because it looks like I have KK, AK, or AA

Last edited by TrustySam; Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:38 PM.. Reason: Trying to add some organization to this blog with headings :/
 
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Sat Mar 03, 2012, 09:08 PM
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Posts: 8,291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royalraise85 View Post
It's great to keep a record like this and it's sure to help you in the long run.

There's a lot of points there that you made i can relate to.

Keep up the good work!

Raiser

Hey, thx raiser!!

Are you doing the Cowboy Challenge again this month? Will keep an eye out for your thread
 
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Sat Mar 03, 2012, 09:47 PM
(#5)
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Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Tricky Hands

Flush draws on the Flop (Cont'd)

You know what can get tricky about those 2-to-a-flush flops though ... sometimes even when you make top pair, you're not the favorite.

Like with this hand:



I was playing super nitty because it was an Open League game - needed those points! But it turns out the pot odds post-flop were as follows:

ivo: 46%
me: 37%
jjrl: 16%


You know what else can get tricky though, is like, you don't know what the villain has - like, with the JJ hand ... they only had 4% pot odds, but they could have had 9cTc, which would have put them as high as 40%. So maybe it's okay to assume the worst-case scenario?

I don't know ... still trying to figure stuff out ...


My blog's not off to a very organized start, eh ?

Last edited by TrustySam; Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:39 PM..
 
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Tue Mar 06, 2012, 07:55 PM
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TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Status Update

Been donking around lately, and have been kind of all over the map ... in search of something, not sure what

Been experimenting with

1) Cash games
2) $1.50 STT turbos
3) Multitabling at $1.50 STT turbos
4) $3.50 STT turbos

With pretty mixed results
 
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Tue Mar 06, 2012, 08:03 PM
(#7)
TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Status Update

Cash Games

Seems like there's 4 basic kinds of players at the 2nl cash tables that I've encountered:
1. loose passives
2. tight value betters
3. blinds stealers, and
4. maniacs

And most of my profits seem to be coming from the loose passives (despite all the river suckouts)

The value betters are a wash.
The blinds stealers are always raising with marginal hands, which drives me nuts, and eventually makes me want to play back out of position the way people play back when I try to steal blinds
The maniacs also pump up the pot with marginal hands, which tilts me.

I guess I'm having problems pot controlling and show restraint at the cash tables the way I would at STT's?

Here's my graph of 2nl so far: kind of a roller coaster!



ASSESSMENT: Thinking of trying to better table select, and tighten up ... also be more patient. I'm optimistic that'll help!

Sam

Last edited by TrustySam; Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 08:08 PM..
 
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Tue Mar 06, 2012, 08:42 PM
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Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Tricky Player

Micro Stakes Maniacs

Okay, so here's a taste of the kind of players that have been compromising my bottom line:



The caller looks like they might have had a read, but they were just as reckless. I used to think we were supposed to stay at tables like these and thank our lucky stars for all the money spews. But sometimes these gamblers wind up with monster hands like a straight with a flop that comes 356 rainbow, and then there's like no way of knowing if you're KK is still good or what, eh?

Maybe there's just more variance involved, but it's still profitable to play against them, not sure ... this time, I got up and left and found a softer table
 
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Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:53 PM
(#9)
TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Status Update

Cash Games - Yikes, My Graph Looks Like the Swiss Alps!



Ay yay yay ... so I've been trying to tone things down, but gosh ... I guess the results pretty much speak for themselves, eh?

Will keep plugging away ... I guess my biggest leaks are:

1. Raising too much with what I think is the best hand, which turns out to not be,
2. Staying too long at tables where people pump up pots when I know they don't have anything, and then we wind up playing big pots with thin value, and
3. Trying to bluff people out of pots that I've invested more than I meant to.

I think I haven't quite gotten used to watching my stack, and realizing how much I've invested in a pot. Like stack management - it took me a while to learn that in tournaments and STT's (in relation to blinds, other people, the payouts, etc). Will have to check the library and see if I see something that clicks - hope I find something!
 
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Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:01 PM
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TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Beginner Mistake

Incomplete Ranging of Players In The Blinds

So gosh, blind v blind has been a thorn in my side since I don't know how long.

I did say I was going to try to tone things down, but I felt like my two pair was probably good against maybe a Q with a bad kicker, and that I could probably get good value from such a hand because my 2pr was so well-masked in the blinds. Like who would ever put me on 84?



D'oh ... who would ever put the small-blind on 85? It was so well-masked

At least I didn't shove my whole stack on the river, so I suppose that's a small sign of progress?

Sam

Last edited by TrustySam; Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 09:45 PM.. Reason: Got the hands wrong ... d'oh! :p
 
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Wed Mar 21, 2012, 10:12 PM
(#11)
marvinsytan's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,453
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post
TOPIC: Beginner Mistake

Incomplete Ranging of Players In The Blinds

So gosh, blind v blind has been a thorn in my side since I don't know how long.

I did say I was going to try to tone things down, but I felt like my two pair was probably good against maybe a Q with a bad kicker, and that I could probably get good value from such a hand because my 2pr was so well-masked in the blinds. Like who would ever put me on 84?



D'oh ... who would ever put the small-blind on 85? It was so well-masked

At least I didn't shove my whole stack on the river, so I suppose that's a small sign of progress?

Sam
yes your right it's good enough that you didn't lose all your stack. If this was me I'm broke.
well done Sam, funny hand though but unlucky
 
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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 04:10 AM
(#12)
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Since: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,962
I noticed that in October that you talked about finding one game that you could commit to but that does not seem to have happened to date.

Why don't you open up a staking thread for a new format? I have actually found that playing with a staker's money makes me much more disciplined and concentrated and I am slowly bringing that into my own game as well.

I am sure you would get backers no problem

Cheers,

TC
 
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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:28 PM
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TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvinsytan View Post
yes your right it's good enough that you didn't lose all your stack. If this was me I'm broke.
well done Sam, funny hand though but unlucky


It looks like I really saved myself a bunch of chips there ... but then there was the hand before, where I had a flush but the board was paired, but I still thought I had the best hand, and yet I didn't shove. And it turned out I did, and wound up losing value. So maybe it evens out over time.

Probably my leaks are coming from somewhere else - my curiousity calls on the river, playing too lose, etc.

Yeah, just one of those unlucky hands - and yeah, at least it was funny, the way I was practically counting my winnings, and then I got beat at my own game
 
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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 05:35 PM
(#14)
TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topthecat View Post
I noticed that in October that you talked about finding one game that you could commit to but that does not seem to have happened to date.

Why don't you open up a staking thread for a new format? I have actually found that playing with a staker's money makes me much more disciplined and concentrated and I am slowly bringing that into my own game as well.

I am sure you would get backers no problem

Cheers,

TC
Thx everybody for stopping by to say hi

I wasn't sure if anybody was reading my stuff ... mostly I've been using it as like a scratch-pad for all my random poker thoughts, but I was trying to avoid making it a dumping ground for anything and everything and instead try to limit the content to stuff that maybe others could relate to.

But yeah, so I didn't bother to clarify my goals at the beginning of the thread - but probably I should have

I'll add a new post below
 
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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:15 PM
(#15)
TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Status Update

Whatever happened to the STT's? And Setting a New Poker Goal

Okay, so 6 months ago, decided to try and commit to figuring out how to stop losing money (LOL!!). And since everybody who's profitable was saying that the people who are profitable generally tend to just stick to one game, I decided to try that too.

And so things wound up turning out okay - here's the graph of the $1.50 STT's (regular speed) that I was playing:



But you know what, I started to get bored - not because of the pace of things, or because of the repetition, but just because there's certain situations that come up again and again. And the types of players you tend to get that play these entry-level games tend to all fall into general patterns.

So I was really thirsting for a new set of challenges.

And I couldn't decide between trying cash games again, or trying out STT Turbos, or trying to move up a level, or moving to 6max. So I decided to experiment with everything, and I've wound up at the cash tables for now.

Like my goal is still to try and turn a profit - I've just refined it by trying to turn that profit at the cash tables instead?

So that's where I'm at ... I've been playing a couple of tournaments here and there, but probably I should try and cut that out and just stay focused on the cash tables and try to commit to playing something like 5000 hands to start, and see where that leaves me?

Okay, so wait ... I guess my adjusted, adjusted goal will be to try and play 5,000 hands, and turn a profit!

Work in progress

Last edited by TrustySam; Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:57 PM.. Reason: Added some detail :)
 
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Sat Mar 24, 2012, 01:02 PM
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Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Beginner HUD Usage

Am I Missing Some Key Stats? Sometimes I Wonder ...

So, 6 months ago, I upgraded my HUD from Tournament Indicator to Poker Tracker 3 because my beginner HUD didn't give VPIP by position, so you couldn't tell how often people were raising mostly from the button or from all over the place.

But wow, my old HUD just had like 6 stats, and PT must have at least 200 to choose from.

Hard to know if a beginner should be using less ... or more?




Here's what my old HUD looked like (Tournament Indicator):


Mostly I've just stuck with using the same basic stats - VPIP, PFR, AGG, then went and added a couple more - it's mostly related to those late position raises (steal percent from late position, steal percent from the sb, fold percent to steal attempts, also 3-bet % and fold to 3-bet % ... but I don't seem to use these that often):





I guess what got me wondering about other stats, is just discussion in the forums and other people mentioning stats that they use that I don't. And also this sample HUD setting that came with PT4 called 'Inspired By Harrington', that includes Cbet stats, and aggression by street, as well as showdown stats:


That makes me feel like those must be important - but I had those stats on my old HUD (Tournament Indicator), and I hardly ever looked at them. Not sure if that's because I don't know what I should be looking at them for, or if that's because they're not all that useful (lol!).




Anyways ... so picking custom stats has kind of been on my mind, and when I'm card-dead, sometimes I surf the net for interesting articles and found something interesting that somebody wrote in a blog (Setting Up Your Poker HUD Stats):

Quote:
a HUD is personal. Different player types will use different stats. I tend to LAG and you will notice lots of my stats revolve around knowing how often a player is going to fold to a play that I make. If you play TAG, you may want to consider stats that revolve around how often your opponent will call with worse hands. Experiment with stats that work well for you and use the information that allows you to optimize your time at the tables.
I'm still reading the article, but it looks interesting so far
 
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Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:16 PM
(#17)
TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
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TOPIC: Status Update

Cash Games - My Two Cents



Intro

So I've got this little pattern going of making a little bit of money, hitting some variance, losing the money I've made so far, and then starting the process all over again

On the one hand, it's gotten me a little frustrated with myself because I see leaks that are so totally obvious, and am not winning any money.

On the other hand, poker's become fun again - like, yes I've got a ton of leaks, but it's also an opportunity to learn new things and to try and find ways to improve. And I'm not losing any money either

I think cash games, even at 2nl are quite complex. Like when I first started practicing poker through the PSO leagues, they were great for learning straight ABC TAG poker and post-flop play. Then I branched out to those STT's, where late-stage short-stack push/fold was such an integral part of the game - which in a way kind of flies in the face of TAG poker, in that push/fold so often requires us to put our tournament life on the line with hands like KTs, A2o, etc. Now I'm giving cash games a try, and even with a $2 buy-in, that's a deeper stack than you usually get most of the time playing micro-stakes MTT's and STT's. So that's been new and frustrating and exciting all at the same time - like I find myself facing situations that maybe didn't come up in MTT's and STT's quite so much? So here's some stuff I've been working on at the cash tables, some things that have caught my eye that seem like maybe there's a better way?


Ongoing leak spotting and attempted improvement

1. Shoving with Top 10 hands pre-flop - fixed
So I mentioned before my habit of going nuts every time I made a top 10 hand. On the one hand it made for some big quick money. On the other hand it made for some huge quick losses. With 100bb's, sometimes you think maybe it's an advantage to be able to wait and see what happens post-flop before committing to an all-in? In theory I feel like maybe it should help one be able to maximize chips when one is a much larger favorite, and minimize chip losses when one winds up behind due to the board ... in practice I'm not there yet, but in theory, it would seem like maybe this is the way to go?


2. Triple barrel bluffing against a bluffy bluffer - fixed
I know that you have nothing, and I know that you know that I know that you have nothing. But I guess I didn't know that they know that I have nothing either, and so that's why they were willing to play for stacks with their pair of 2's with a 4 kicker. This got old really fast, so it was pretty easy to cut out the ridic ... just kind of embarrassing that it took as long as it did


3. Deep stacks and 'unlimited rebuys' = more room to maneuver post-flop perhaps? - ongoing issue
So I was doing some really silly reckless type bluffing against similarly silly people, which I've now stopped. But with those bigger stacks has seem to come more continuation betting and more people willing to pay to see later streets (both for better and for worse)? Are other people finding that?

I mentioned before that it seemed like most of my profits were coming from the loose passives, and so my way of trying to deal with what felt like more bluffing at cash tables was to try and find tables with mostly loose passives. But after finding that blog I mentioned in my last post, about how you can use your HUD to get a feel for who's likely to call with worse hands and who's likely to fold with better, I've decided to try adding more stats to my HUD to try and see if that helps.

Here's my summary of what SplitSuit said in his blog about how he uses his HUD to try and do that:

Quote:
CBET Stat (for post-flop play):
Situation 1: you got raised - should you call, fold, or even reraise?;
Situation 2: it's checked to us – should we just check as well, or should we raise (even if it's a bluff?)
Answer: depends on HUD stats which can help show what the villain's actions represent, and what they might do in response to ours
1. If their CBET Stat is Low – and they cbet – they probably have a good hand – fold
2. If their CBET Stat is High – and they cbet – they might have nothing – okay to call, even reraise
3. If their CBET Stat is Low – and they do not cbet – they probably have nothing – okay to bluff, but give up if they call
4. If their CBET Stat is High – and they don't cbet - it could be a trap - beware

FOLDS TO CBET Stat (for post-flop play):
1. If their FOLDS TO CBET Stat is High – they're a good person to bluff (with a cbet), as they will likely fold
2. If their FOLDS TO CBET Stat is Low – they're the classic 'station', and are a good person to value bet to the river (but they are a poor person to bluff as they will not fold)

WTSD Stat: Is it greater or less than 25%?
1. If their WTSD Stat is greater than 25%, the blogger considers that High IF it's combined with a high VPIP - he says it can be a sign of a 'station', so they tend not to be good people to bluff. He also says the stat is much less useful for TAGs, since they only play premium stuff to begin with, so their WTSD will naturally be higher
2. If their WTSD Stat is less than 25%, the blogger considers that Low – and since they only goes to showdown with strong stuff, he recommends that you try bluffing

WT$D Stat: Is it greater or less than <50%?
1. Combined with WTSD Stat, if less than 50% the blogger says that's Low – he says it's a sign of a 'station', so you should value bet them and not bluff

4. Curiosity calls, calling station express - ongoing issue
Yikes One thing that was great for learning poker about STT's is the structure and how what it means to win a game was so clearly defined. Like, you pay $1.50, and your goal was to outlast other people and make ITM to hopefully win your money back and then some. And with escalating blinds you just couldn't afford to stick around if things got dicey - it was better to just get out of a hand and wait for a new one?

So here's me making a laydown in a $1.50 STT when I was sure I was behind my neighbor. The only reason I called the 3bet on the flop in the first place was because the 3rd wheel decided to come along for the ride, and so I thought maybe i'd set mine.



Now contrast me at the cash tables, where that structure and those constraints that existed in my STT's are no longer there ... dang ...



How much did I stack off there after I was behind?

I've got to find a way to be okay with letting those 25 cents go, so I don't wind up throwing good money after bad ...


5. Blinds Stealing and Blind Defense - ongoing issue
This is another area that feels like it's more of an issue in cash games than STT's, I guess because in STT's the blinds are too little to care about half the time, and then the stacks get short and so everybody's in push/fold mode - so really, blind-stealing would only be an issue when blinds were like 100 and 150? Which is hardly at all.

So the whole button/sb/bb dynamic has been really new and unique - trying to figure out if somebody's raising because they have something, or if they're raising lighter because they have the advantage of having position. And then if you get raised and you're in the bb, what should you do? And then what about when you're in the button - sometimes people just assume you're raising light, when actually you have a hand, and then things get confusing. And then what if you are in fact raising light, and somebody plays back at you.

So many interesting wrinkles to it all ... especially if you look at my results by position


... not sure I've ever seen anybody who's least profitable position is the button! I think some of losses are because of all the crazy bluffing I was trying to do at first, and some of it is because I've been a big calling station when I actually had a hand but got out-flopped?

I guess maybe I'll try to stick to raising on the button with decent hands for now until I get back in the green?

On a more positive note, the blind defense seems to be coming along better than before I think. I opened some tables to watch the pros play, and tried out something I saw, and it worked pretty well, so that felt really good (probably I could have reraised on the turn, but hey at least I'm losing less than if I'd just folded every time I was in the sb, so that's an improvement from before)



Sam

Last edited by TrustySam; Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 11:44 PM.. Reason: Typos and stuff :)
 
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Wed Mar 28, 2012, 11:22 PM
(#18)
joy7108's Avatar
Since: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,287
Interesting post, Sam, I just downloaded PT4 and I'm looking forward to seeing some stats on my own game. I think this is an on-going process, you just figure something out and then the cards smack you in the face, either for the good or the bad.

I guess that's the attraction for some of us, there is no end to the learning process. You no sooner think you have it figured out when something entirely new happens to throw you for a loop. It's a never ending cycle of learning, you never know what those villians might be up to!!

 
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Thu Mar 29, 2012, 11:29 PM
(#19)
TrustySam's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,291
BronzeStar
Hi Joy!

So true And we're just at 2nl ... probably every time we move up a stake the learning process starts all over again, eh?

Pteridophyta during the member of the week promotion posted a link to somebody over at 2+2 who was doing some HUD graph analysis exercises ... it was part of a whole series of help articles on how to do well at cash games. There was so much text, that I got kind of lazy about reading too much but the stuff looked really good. Maybe there's more there about HUD analysis too, I'm not sure though, but here's the links that pteridophyta posted just in case you're interested:

Verneer's Thread (and Resources in Post #2)
Verneer uses HUD graphs to look for leaks

So many resources ... sometimes it can feel kind of overwhelming at times, but every time I watch a video or read an article or blog, they're so oftentimes so helpful ... I guess it takes a while to process all this stuff, eh? Ya, all part of the fun I guess
 
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Thu Mar 29, 2012, 11:56 PM
(#20)
joy7108's Avatar
Since: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,287
Thanks for the links, Sam. Anything that can help me with this HUD is great!!

 

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