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Sam's Poker Blog - Leak Busting Edition

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Sam's Poker Blog - Leak Busting Edition - Sun May 06, 2012, 06:48 PM
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UPDATE This thread starts off really slow ... to skip to the good parts, click here!: Leak Busting at 5nl


Hi! So I've been playing poker for a little over a year and a half now, and have been blogging about all the fun/interesting things I've encountered since last October, when I decided it was high time I start trying to actually turn a profit at this hobby ... or at least try to stop losing money ... so much

I used to play the leagues, and found to be an awesome way to learn and practice solid TAG poker against quality opponents, and sometimes even make some nice money to boot.

Then I switched focus to $1.50 STT's (regular speed), after hearing a lot of profitable players say that picking one game to play is key to winning money over the long haul, and found that to be very true! I blogged about that experience here:

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
- 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!!




So the $1.50 STT's wound up turning out pretty good - made something like $75 over 200+ games. But then I got bored and went in search of something new, and wound up deciding to give cash games a go. After continuing on with 2nl (6max), I then moved over to 2nl (6max) ZOOM, and have been having lots of fun, but am finding myself at best break-even in terms of the money. I blog about that experience here:

March +
- discovered that loose passives seem to be easier to make money off of than maniacs and solid TAGS
- discovered that bluffing could be very costly at 2nl
- found some articles on how to use certain HUD stats to better tell who's likely to call and who's likely to fold
- noticed some key differences between cash game play and SNG play (deeper stacks, need for stack to pot ratio awarenes moreso than relative stack sizes of opponents and stack size relative to blinds, blinds stealing and blind defense)
- learned about how to better table select to find those loose passives
- started noticing leaks in my game (staying too long in pots, not raising enough to protect my hands, chasing draws, etc.)


May 2012+ (Leak Busting Edition)
Goal: To try and become profitable at cash games
- bought a Leak Busters program to analyze my play and very quicky became profitable
- The three big changes I made to my game in the switch to 100bb play:
- 1. The deeper stacks allow all of us to play more speculative holdings like pocket pairs and suited connectors, that make big hands (like sets, straights, flushes, boats), so I had to adjust TAG ranging (especially continuing ranges) to include other stuff and not just TPTK
- 2. Found out the hard way that there's FAR less fold equity on the flop than in SNGs ... and that if you continue to barrel all the way to the river, the pot gets huge when people are 100bbs deep – ie bluffing can be very costly, especially at 2nl!
- 3. Deeper stacks makes it more costly to chase draws, since it's more common for opponents to fire another big barrel on the turn – and with rarely more than 27% equity, it's rarely +EV to continue – I still struggle with this actually LOL!!
- became profitable at 2nl with a winrate of something like 6bb/100
- my blog starts getting more interesting at this point
- moved up to 5nl
- participated in a full-ring vs 6max challenge where my shifted my blogging to this thread, along with the rest of team 6max: Challenge Thread
- have been profitable at 5nl, with a winrate of about 6bb/100 here as well
- started grinding like crazy and became a Silver Star
- but I've got a TON of leaks - there's still lots of recreational players at 5nl. But people are a lot better at this level than they were at 2nl, so there's less room for error



Cliffs Notes Version: Been playing about a year and a half, am wanting to learn to be profitable at cash games, but there seem to be leaks in my game that are costing me money. And so the need for for some leak-busting ... will see how it goes!


Sam

Last edited by TrustySam; Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:47 PM.. Reason: Fixed the color
 
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Sun May 06, 2012, 06:56 PM
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Last edited by TrustySam; Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:54 PM..
 
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Sun May 06, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Mon May 07, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Thanks Sam it's very informative.

Good luck at the tables.
 
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Tue May 08, 2012, 01:07 AM
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Hopefully it'll seem even better once I get better stuff posted ... still trying to get everything organized, but I keep getting distracted by poker - so addictive hehe!!

Saw more nice cashes in your blog - wow, you're on a roll!! Nice!!


ARCHIVE #1
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ARCHIVE #2
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Last edited by TrustySam; Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 05:55 AM.. Reason: Doing a little spring cleaning :)
 
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Tue May 08, 2012, 05:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post
Hopefully it'll seem even better once I get better stuff posted ... still trying to get everything organized, but I keep getting distracted by poker - so addictive hehe!!

Saw more nice cashes in your blog - wow, you're on a roll!! Nice!!
thanks Sam

hope the run continues and i am able to build a decent BR before the variance hits

I'm keeping the $109 ticket intact and see if i can find time to play it.

Good Luck at the table to both of us.
 
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Tue May 08, 2012, 11:24 PM
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Hey thx for the good luck wishes ... need all the help I can get!!

GL GL to 2 too!!



10nl Stuff
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.

Last edited by TrustySam; Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:18 PM..
 
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Tue May 08, 2012, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post
Hey thx for the good luck wishes ... need all the help I can get!!

GL GL to 2 too!!
your very welcome

tnx for the GL GL
 
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Tue May 08, 2012, 11:41 PM
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Leak Busting

Hey, so I went pouring over the details of my book 'Small Stakes Hold'em', trying to apply their advice to my hand histories, but basically their advice boils down to this:

1. Making TP, 2pr, or 3pr is great. BUT TP is very vulnerable when the board's paired, there's 2 to a flush or the board, or 3 to a straight.

2. Having overcards as well as a flush draw or straight draw can sometimes be as good as TP (unless the board is paired, there's 2 to a flush or 3 to a straight for somebody else and not you)

Like it was pretty straightfoward info ...



So I can't decide if hands like this one were misplayed and in what way:



(This is a zoom hand against an unknown opponent)



So, dry board, no flush draws, no straight draws unless they have A4, A5, 45, which seemed unlikely.

You think I should have:
a) Bet more on the turn to try and get them to fold, instead of trying to get one more street of betting?
b) Or you think it was a decent gamble, BUT if I try to get 'fancy' I need to be prepared to fold on the river to any pushback?
(Odds - Preflop:45%, Flop:91%, Turn:95%, River:0%)



I confused myself because I wasn't sure if they knew how strong I was, and they thought they were better off than they were or what ... maybe just wishful thinking?

Maybe for people without my calling station tendencies, option b is the most EV way of playing over time. But for somebody like me, I shouldn't have pushed my luck if I was going to have problems folding on the river? Oh, and then I not only had problems folding ... I went and RERAISED!! I guess that might have been a titch optimistic, eh?


I've got a similar hand where I made an even lamer call for an even bigger shove :/

Last edited by TrustySam; Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:54 PM..
 
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Wed May 09, 2012, 11:32 PM
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Leak Busting - Plan B

Screw the book - got myself some software instead!




I'm optimistic it's gonna help tame that little donkey inside me that's always wanting to come out and play

 
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Thu May 10, 2012, 12:28 PM
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i'm bad at cash game but as per MTT, anyone limping UTG you must put him in any pair, AsJs+. When he call your 3Bet. a decent pair of at least 99+. AsQs+

flop , turn, half pot bet is good as your ahead. but at the river you must bet half the pot in case he has under pair and he thinks your bluffing and you still have a chance to fold if he shove or call on his reraise if you read it as a bluff saving chips and your not out of the tourney.

Just my 2 cents

Hope it helps

Last edited by PINOY_HITMAN; Thu May 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM..
 
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Thu May 10, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrustySam View Post
Leak Busting - Plan B

Screw the book - got myself some software instead!

I did get it and it helped me a lot.
I don't regret it
 
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Thu May 10, 2012, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PINOY_HITMAN View Post
i'm bad at cash game but as per MTT, anyone limping UTG you must put him in any pair, AsJs+. When he call your 3Bet. a decent pair of at least 99+. AsQs+

flop , turn, half pot bet is good as your ahead. but at the river you must bet half the pot in case he has under pair and he thinks your bluffing and you still have a chance to fold if he shove or call on his reraise if you read it as a bluff saving chips and your not out of the tourney.

Just my 2 cents

Hope it helps

Hey, Hitman, that's an awesome tip about half-betting the river too - that never even occurred to me. I should have been more careful about the possibility that they might have had something like 89s, or 88, or then the 99 - and then if they check-raised me I could either make a smaller call or fold. And then even if they only had AQ or A8 or 77, etc, I'd be getting more by betting half anyways then if I made a whole pot-sized bet and they folded.

This whole process of spotting leaks and trying to find solutions has been pretty interesting overall - like a puzzle or something. But I must say it's been at times confusing too - I can understand how people could become discouraged with poker. Like spotting leaks is one thing. But then knowing how to fix them can be another.

I used to sometimes raise too much on dry boards to try and chase people out of pots to avoid getting drawn out, then I decided to try betting less to keep people in as a way to extract more value, but then this happened. If you hadn't suggested that 3rd way of continuing to bet half, I'd have probably gone back to my old ways of betting more to get people to fold, which doesn't sound like it's the right way to be playing AK on a dry board. So thanks so much for guidance - it helps a lot!!!
 
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Thu May 10, 2012, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandtrap777 View Post
I did get it and it helped me a lot.
I don't regret it
Oooh, that makes me feel even better about buying this software - seeing as you're on fire in SCOOP!! Yes!!!

My whole leak busting thing has been so all over the map and lacking in direction, with me trying a little bit of this and a little bit of that in hopes that something would stick and make a difference. So buying this software was just another attempt to try something else. But I must say, the software's way better than I could have imagined.

For people who aren't familiar with it, it analyzes your hand histories and compares them with stats/results of winning players and then spots pattern where you don't measure up and offers concrete suggestions on how to improve.

Like it knew about me calling too much on the river (LOL! How did it know? ) But then it also noticed other things, like that I'm treating hands like ATo and KQs like it's AK. And this was really interesting - it said that if you haven't made at least a pair to go with your flush draw by the turn, then you're usually just have about a 20% chance of making a hand by the river, so it's a waste to continue.

Their recommendations seem solid, so I going to try to play the way they suggest and see how it goes ... it would seem like it ought to help
 
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Thu May 10, 2012, 09:05 PM
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Hot off the presses!



That turn card setting up the flush draw was kind of scary - I was tempted to make a bigger bet to chase them out of the pot, but it turned out okay. No call on the river this time, but it felt good to make the half bet
 
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Fri May 11, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Glad to be able to help.

Good Luck at the tables
 
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Fri May 11, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PINOY_HITMAN View Post
Glad to be able to help.

Good Luck at the tables
<-- Big thumbs up!!
 
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Fri May 11, 2012, 09:14 PM
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Leak Busting

Applying the Software Program's Recommendations


Well, old habits take a while to change, but it feels good to have that checklist of things to be on the watch for - here are my two biggest losses today. The software tips have me seeing hands like these in a whole new light ...

Hand 1 - 2 Broadways (AT, KQ, QJ, etc)

Leak Busters gave me the tips to:
- be a little more cautious with hands like KQs ... it's good, but it's not AA, KK, or AK
- that one's pre-flop calling range generally needs to be tighter than one's raising range



My HUD had the utg raiser's VPIP and PFR stats as borderline maniacal (called 3bets with KQo and made a straight against KK, etc), but I hadn't been making notes on what position those raises were coming from or for how much, and if those were varying. And when I went back to check my HUD, his standard raise was $0.06.

So maybe people who raise larger than $0.06 might be something to make a note of, since it tends to be unusual?

And then the bigger problem - ugh, once I made that TP I couldn't get away from the hand. I had the Leak Buster recommendations on my mind, and by the flop I was already thinking they must have AA, KK or AK and I was behind. If I had made my pre-flop calling range tighter like they suggested, I'd have never wound up in that awkward spot in the first place, so maybe KQ is a hand that's fine for raising with on the button if everybody's folded to us. But to call with - I'm eager to try out Leak Buster's suggestions, so I'm going to try to stick to what they said


Hand 2 - Middle Pocket Pairs (66-99)


This next hand is so 2nl ... 4 of us putting money in the pot wanting to see the flop LOL!!

Leak Buster also gave me the tip:
- that I'm leaking a lot of money on middling pocket pairs like 66-99)



Wow, so when I got reraised on the turn ... who would do that except JK, J8 or 99, you figure? Which means my call of the reraise might have been a little questionable, eh?

Maybe with 4 people still in the pot, with the board cards so close together, this might have been a better hand to make a full pot-sized bet with to deny people on draws pot odds?

The underbetting to keep people in the hand has been working pretty well, but I guess it's not meant for every situation, eh?


PS A 3rd big leak that Leak Buster spotted - calling too wide in the bb :/


Work in progress!

Last edited by TrustySam; Sun May 13, 2012 at 11:44 PM..
 
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Fri May 11, 2012, 10:08 PM
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Hand #3 - Folding Top Pair on Wet Boards (3 to a flush and/or straight, paired board, etc)

One side-effect to embracing this Leak Buster advice is that I've had to stop calling so much ... so I guess folding the best hand was bound to happen




Incidentally, when I was calling anything and everything, the number of times I was behind far, far outweighed the number of times I was bluffed. So with 3 to a straight and the board paired, for a pot-sized bet in a multi-way pot, out of position, and two people having called my raise on the turn, I guess a fold was better than a call, eh?


Last edited by TrustySam; Sun May 13, 2012 at 11:45 PM..
 
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Sat May 12, 2012, 06:20 PM
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Status Update

Well, so I'm up about $10 since getting that great tip from Hitman, and getting those tips from the Leak Buster software, and things are feeling good, but it'll be interesting to see how I do when the variance isn't going my way (hands not connecting, pre-flop favorites getting cracked, strong hands all dominated, etc.).


Today I can't seem to do anything wrong, but that can't last. Am enjoying it while I can though!



And am looking foward to the challenge of facing those trickier hands that really put us to the test, that might aren't so great for our bankrolls in the short-term, but that seem to teach us so much more than we could ever learn when things our going our way?


EDIT: Ugh, my internet's so crappy today . On second thought - that Q4s blinds steal might be a little leaky. This Leak Buster program priortizes leaks in terms of urgency, and there's like 50 tips they've given. Will have to check and see if raising too light in the sb is one of them :/

Last edited by TrustySam; Sat May 12, 2012 at 06:55 PM..
 

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