Monday, February 28, 2005

The New Me?

I have a new strategy. The hell with my stupid chasing everything, playing a lot of different games, losing multiple buyins every night. I lost down to $278 from $400 the other night. I have decided I need to stop this shit if I am ever going to be a serious Poker player. So here is my latest attempt at discipline. I shall play no more than 3 hours a night. However many nights I want. I will be an NL specialist. Only 25/NL. I will only risk one buyin a night. We shall see how long this lasts. Tonight was easy. I won $100 playing NL and was more than happy to leave.

Now to the bad move that paid off for the night. I would like some constructive feedback on this. I do not think it was a horrible play.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em, $ BB (10 handed) converter

MP2 ($54.3)
MP3 ($24.5)
CO ($58.42)
Hero ($104.61)
SB ($29.45)
BB ($54.9)
UTG ($51.7)
UTG+1 ($81.03)
UTG+2 ($31.9)
MP1 ($27.29)

Preflop:

Hero is Button with J:heart:, A:club:.
SB posts a blind of $0.25.
1 fold,
UTG+1 raises to $1
3 folds
MP3 calls $1,
CO calls $1,
Hero calls $1
BB calls $0.50.

Flop: ($5.25) 5:heart:, K:heart:, T:heart:
(5 players)
BB checks,
UTG+1 checks,
MP3 bets $5
CO folds
Hero raises to $20
BB folds,
UTG+1 folds,
MP3 raises $3.50 (MP3 All in)
Hero calls $3.50.

Turn: ($33.75) J:spade (2 players)

River: ($33.75) 3:heart: (2 players)

Final Pot: $33.75

Hero Wins $33.75 with a K high flush

I felt really bad because this was against a fellow blogger. I did suckout somewhat. I do not think I played this horribly and here is my thinking behind the hand. I get bet five bucks after the flop. I have many outs for my straight, Ace overcard and flush draw (14.5 outs maybe). Not incredible amount of outs but enough that I could expect to win ┬╝th of the time I think.

I have a HUGE stack. In NL I believe this is an advantage. If I lose 25 bucks I will be sad but I can pack it in with 3x my buyin and then some. I will have made a profit for the day and that is all one can ask.

So I am looking at the board. I do not think someone with a flush would bet five bucks into the pot. If he has a flush, especially the nut flush, I am dead and we would not be talking about this. So with the five dollar bet I put him on TP something. I sort of can rule out AK because he did not raise pre-flop. I would *think* he would have jacked it to a few bucks pre-flop if he had AK. So I decide to put the pressure on. I raise him his entire stack. If he has TP then he SHOULD fold it. I could have trips, two pair, something good, or even a baby flush maybe. He goes into the tank and considers all of the possibilities. He decides (I assume) that I am trying to steal and calls me. I end up spiking my flush on the river and win the hand.

In checking out the odds converters, if I knew his hand, which would make Holdem a lot easier, then I was something between a 54-58% favorite pre-flop. I think my thinking was sound for a change. I did get a little bit lucky but that is part of the game. Perhaps I will do alright in the NL world. Either that or go broke faster.

18 Comments:

Blogger Drizztdj said...

That's a big gamble since you're not drawing to the nuts.

You left yourself only 3 outs to the straight should the bettor have the A of hearts.

Personally, I would have folded unless I had a definitive read on the bettor

5:41 AM

 
Blogger Slayre said...

Looks to be like you bet to 'put him to the test', and had a decent chance on drawing a decent hand...

I am guessing you did not want him to call, but it wouldn't bother you too terribly much if he did...

I would have done the same thing in the same circumstance.. prolly would not have tho, if just close to my buy in....

5:50 AM

 
Blogger Slayre said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:52 AM

 
Blogger Slayre said...

As far as 'The New Me'.. heh.. the only time I play anything other than NL, is if it is an accident.. occasionally I accidently sign myself up to a O8 or Limit HE freeroll on Absolute.. play a few hands... brain starts to hurt.. quit..if I can ever master NL, I might branch out.. :)

5:53 AM

 
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

You have it perfectly Slayre.

A. I had the cash to waste on a draw. I probably could not have put the pressure on if I had say $50 or $25.

B. I was trying to apply so much pressure that my opponent would crack and not call me. My objective was to have him fold, however if he did not I had a good enough draw to possibly win. I honestly did not expect to get the call.

The more I think about it the more I like the play. However I am a limit guy and that probably influences my thinking.

7:03 AM

 
Blogger Sean said...

Well I hadn't planned to comment but I will anyway.

After running a few sims, you were a 52-48 favorite after the flop, so technically it was the correct play. You still, however, had to draw out on me to win the hand. You did. Congrats.

That being said, honestly, saying that you have "cash to waste on a draw" is probably the worst thing you've ever written. Considering your BR status, however, I guess it's not that far from your true attitude. It's terribly dangerous, though. Tournament NL is much more about stack size than cash games, where reloading is possible.

I really hope that you figure these things out before you go bust again...

(Note: I'm not saying these things to be an ass. I would like to see you succeed, but based on what you've been writing recently, I can't help but think that another bustout is right around the corner.)

7:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fold Pre-Flop unless he's a real LAG.

Also, you had 3 outs to hit your straight. You weren't drawing to the nuts if the 4th heart hit. You can't really count those as outs.

BTW, what did he have?

7:47 AM

 
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I had to think alot about even posting this hand. The more I thought about it the more I liked my play though. Stack size does factor into NL play in my opinion. If you have a smaller stack your more likely to be careful about it. I know you can rebuy, but most people do not have that attitude.

Take for instance the one hand I had against two $13 stacks. I raise pre-flop with A2o to $2 just to mix it up a little, miss the flop totally, I bet the pot ($6) with nothing. If either of them had a larger stack I might have gotten a call.

I probably said it incorrectly "I had cash to waste..", but the basic point was I had a nice profit locked in and was willing to take a risk to make more. I do not think that is wrong.

I also think "Considering your BR status.." is not a possability. If I play differently because I only have a few hundred bucks on Party then screw me, I do not deserve to win. I would rather bust out.

Anyway, am I a little reckless in my NL play, probably. Do I have alot to learn. yes. Was the play right factoring in everything involved. I think so. I would have been happy with either result, a win or loss, which makes me think I did what was right for me.

8:02 AM

 
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Anonymous: I can count the flush as at least partial outs. If he has the A or Q I am dead, but thats 2 out of 52 cards. You cannot count the hand as only having three outs.

He called a small pre-flop raise (by a 3rd party) with K3, and called my all in with a pair of Kings bad kicker, no hearts. He happened to be ahead. I made my draw.

8:05 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um. Is this 2+2?

8:23 AM

 
Blogger ScurvyDog said...

Ugh.

I think you have to either fold or raise that hand pre-flop. You really don't want to be playing AJo with four others, even on the button.

When the flop misses you (and it did), you really need to be looking for ways to get away from the hand. You've only invested $1 so far. You have A high and absolutely no read on what anyone might have, on a suited flop that you don't have the nut draw to.

If it were heads-up between you and MP3, raising is a decent play. But he's already committed so I hope you weren't really thinking he might lay it down. He's never going to lay that down in that situation.

In the actual hand, I think raising on the flop is a pretty bad play. You're not drawing to the nuts and you have A high, with a J kicker. You're assuming that you'll be able to get it heads-up with MP3, due to BB and UTG+1 checking.

That's a really, really dangerous assumption on a board like that. Especially when players waiting to act have decent stacks. What would you do if UTG+1 check raised and came over the top, pushing his +$80 stack in? From the rationale you posted, it sounds like you'd have called, based on thinking you had 14.5 outs. And more likely than not he'd break you in two.

8:23 AM

 
Blogger doubleas said...

Sir,

As long as you admit that you were making a move, I guess it can't be too bad. If you're making a move, then you can't really be faulted in my book. At least you weren't calling.

My thoughts in the hand would have been much different, but not the only way to play it. The min-raise by UTG+1 would make me cringe. First of all, it is retarded to min-raise in NL and second of all some people deem it necessary to do this with aces. There are 2 callers when it gets to you. I'd strongly consider folding or raising here. The pot is growing and you'll have no idea where you stand unless you flop top 2 or better.

That flop is scary for everyone in the hand, not just you. A $5 bet would suggest to me that they have a strong hand...baby flush, set, KT perhaps. It would mean either a strong hand or a strong draw like yours. Any draw that they have might be better than yours like AhQc or QhJs.

You also mention that stack size is important in NL. I would wholeheartedly agree, but at Party where one only has 50 big blinds, stack sizes are mostly irrelevent.

You see, stack size only matters when you can threaten them for all their chips with a smaller bet. Your reraise only threatens to take his last $20 or so. It doesn't matter if you have $1000 at the table if he only has $25. If you were both around $75, then your $20 raise would threaten all $75 because he can expect a big bet on the turn and river. This hand was over on the flop, which is why I always argue that Party stacks makes you play with handcuffs on. The important part here is that there isn't an implied threat on this hand because you're basically putting him all-in on the flop. Stack sizes are only important as the smallest stack, and his was small to begin with.

You mentioned that you were 54-58% favorite preflop, but only $1 each went in preflop. You were about 44% when all the money went in.

Generally, I'd try to stay away from these situations. I'd have to have a strong feeling that he'd fold to my reraise here and at 25NL, not many people fold after they've put in $5.

BTW, I saw your comment about your move being based on your success that night. Saw slayre mention that he agreed....Bad mentality guys. Play the hand you're in. It isn't a tournament where you can try knocking someone out. This is money. The same amount of money, whether you're up $500 for the night or down $500 for the night. It is one long session, remember?

10:16 AM

 
Blogger doubleas said...

Sir,

As long as you admit that you were making a move, I guess it can't be too bad. If you're making a move, then you can't really be faulted in my book. At least you weren't calling.

My thoughts in the hand would have been much different, but not the only way to play it. The min-raise by UTG+1 would make me cringe. First of all, it is retarded to min-raise in NL and second of all some people deem it necessary to do this with aces. There are 2 callers when it gets to you. I'd strongly consider folding or raising here. The pot is growing and you'll have no idea where you stand unless you flop top 2 or better.

That flop is scary for everyone in the hand, not just you. A $5 bet would suggest to me that they have a strong hand...baby flush, set, KT perhaps. It would mean either a strong hand or a strong draw like yours. Any draw that they have might be better than yours like AhQc or QhJs.

You also mention that stack size is important in NL. I would wholeheartedly agree, but at Party where one only has 50 big blinds, stack sizes are mostly irrelevent.

You see, stack size only matters when you can threaten them for all their chips with a smaller bet. Your reraise only threatens to take his last $20 or so. It doesn't matter if you have $1000 at the table if he only has $25. If you were both around $75, then your $20 raise would threaten all $75 because he can expect a big bet on the turn and river. This hand was over on the flop, which is why I always argue that Party stacks makes you play with handcuffs on. The important part here is that there isn't an implied threat on this hand because you're basically putting him all-in on the flop. Stack sizes are only important as the smallest stack, and his was small to begin with.

You mentioned that you were 54-58% favorite preflop, but only $1 each went in preflop. You were about 44% when all the money went in.

Generally, I'd try to stay away from these situations. I'd have to have a strong feeling that he'd fold to my reraise here and at 25NL, not many people fold after they've put in $5.

BTW, I saw your comment about your move being based on your success that night. Saw slayre mention that he agreed....Bad mentality guys. Play the hand you're in. It isn't a tournament where you can try knocking someone out. This is money. The same amount of money, whether you're up $500 for the night or down $500 for the night. It is one long session, remember?

10:16 AM

 
Blogger doubleas said...

One more thing...on your A2 play.

If anything a smaller stack by an opponent means they'll be more likely to call you. They are only risking $13. They can reload and keep playing cheap.

The mentality you mention is better suited for tournaments when they're trying to survive, but this is a ring game.

Patient TIGHT/AGGRESSIVE play will win the money at $25NL, not loose/aggressive. LAGs lose money in the long run from my experience because players at $25NL call more.

10:20 AM

 
Blogger doubleas said...

Just read my comment and had a couple followup items. What if an ace hits on the flop? You're going to get milked by a better hand or win a small pot. This is more reason to raise or fold (most likely fold). AJ and KQ are the worst hands for NL players. You're often dominated by anyone willing to put money in. You're betting thin when you hit top pair.

The other thing is that you were semi-bluffing. The important part of that compound word is the latter part. You've got to believe that he'll fold most of the time for this to be profitable over the long run. Did you believe that he'd fold to a pot-sized reraise after he bet the pot on a scary board? If you did, then good play. Semi-bluffs are bluffs. You don't want to get called.

10:33 AM

 
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

DA:

I actually did think he would fold. That was my best case scenerio. That was absolutly what I was shooting for. I really do not like the racing of my heart that much. If I was just trying to suck out my J high flush I would at least have wanted an Ace, and I would have called his fiver instead of raising him all in. In addition I also hoped it would isolate us. If I was reraised my entire stack I would not have been able to call. I would have folded.

I like your analysis of the hand alot. I definitely play certain hands like a limit player: I.E. AJ, KQ. Although if you can limp with these are they not worth seeing if the flop hits you?

Your analysis gives me alot to think about. I.E. How come a medium-sized bet (I.E. The Pot was bet nothing more nothing less) at this position means strength and not weakness? How come it means TPTK in one situation and more strength in another? When is it ok to semi-bluff? Why would it not be with a decent backup draw? Why do small stacks not get bullied by big stacks in cash games? I know I feel the pressure when someone puts 5 bucks in when I have 25, as opposed to when I have $125. I know "great" players know they can buy back in but I do not see much of that mentality in the games I have been playing. From a playing standpoint I do have to agree though. If I am not willing to do it with $25 stack why would I with more?

I guess I have alot to re-learn going over to the NL dark side from limit land.

So many questions so little time. So basically you are in trouble now as I will incessantly bother you from now until you stop answering my questions.

11:16 AM

 
Blogger F-Train said...

I think part of the problem is that you think you have a decent draw. You don't. You generally want to avoid drawing to non-nut hands. Drawing to a jack-high flush, even with one of the flush overcards on board, is a mistake. And in NLHE, mistakes are usually compounded. In limit, making this mistake might only cost you an extra two big bets. In no limit, it can cost you your entire stack.

You simply can't rely on your flush outs in this situation, and I'm not so keen on the straight outs either. There's a good chance you're drawing dead here, and even if you're not, you may be drawing at the same hand as the initial bettor, only he may be holding the Qh or Ah.

Picking your battles is a critical skill to becoming a good no limit player, IMO, and this is one you're better off avoiding unless you have a dead read that you have as many outs as you think you have.

2:09 PM

 
Blogger -EV said...

For the reasons doublas and others have laid out, I'm folding either pre-flop or on the flop here. Your investment is minimal, and you're far from a certain winner.

Baby NL games are notorious for one thing: the ability to get it all in with far the best of it, regularly. Wait for these situations, where you're the bettor, and you'll profit nicely. Calling, "making moves," and the like are probably better suited for deeper stacked games. Felicia said it best in a 2+2 post: wait for the nuts, get it all in, rinse and repeat.

7:25 PM

 

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