Jun 092010

Sat down for another session of 6 max no-limit hold’em last night intent on applying some of the advice I gave myself in my last post by playing solid poker, not getting out of line and being patient and guess what? It worked! I walked away from the tables up 5 buy-ins.

Here’s a happy graph from Poker Tracker 3:

Yes it’s a very, very small sample. Yes it’s an unmaintainable win rate. Yes I ran into some juicy fishies. And yes it’s micro stakes but who cares? It feels good to put a plan into practice.

If I had to pick one hand that defines how I played differently last night than I have in the recent past it wouldn’t be one of those big double ups, it would be this one:

On a full table of 6 players, with 100BB effective stacks I’m UTG and am dealt:

: :

Good enough for a raise in the 6 handed game, especially with a couple of tight players to my left. So raise it I do making it 3x to go.

It folds around to the button, who has been fairly loose/passive in the 25 hands or so I’ve seen him play, who calls as does the big blind who is brand new to the table. We see a flop:

: : :

The BB checks and I see no reason not to continuation bet here in the hope of getting a call from a hand like A8s or A7s both of which are in the button players range. I bet 2/3 of the pot and the button folds but the unknown BB player calls. The turn is:


The BB checks again and I decide to bet in order to extract some more value from his extremely wide range. I bet 2/3 pot again and he raises me 3 times that again.

I stop, think about it and fold.

In the past I might have shoved here, justifying the play by saying that he’s obviously bluffing trying to push his weight around or a fish overplaying a king with a weak kicker and on rare occasions I might have been right but the truth is that the line he took by calling the flop continuation bet and check raising the turn shows huge strength and the most likely truth is that he flopped a monster or turned the straight. I don’t need to pay another 75BB or so to find out how he beats me so folding is the best option.

It might not sound like much but this is something I’ve been struggling to do up until now and it’s cost me big time. I don’t see that pot as a 25BB loss, I see it as a 75BB win.

Jan 192008

It’s the old $4+$0.40 180 player no-limit hold’em SNG over on PokerStars. I have an above average stack of around 20K, blinds are 300/600 with a 50 chip ante.

It’s the bubble.

Now like most of these tournaments there’s no real money on offer until the final table and even then not until around 5th place. Places 10-18 pay only $8.64 which is hardly worth the time you invest into one of these. Given that information, when you’re dealt:

: :

In the big blind and the small blind player who’s just recently joined the table and has you covered with about 33K in chips raises it up to 3000 after one limper what do you do?

I went through the options:

  1. Fold. This seems weak but will almost guarantee me at least some money. My thinking though is this isn’t the kind of play that’s going to get me into that top 5 at the final table.
  2. Call. Nah, I don’t want to put myself into any tricky situations post flop this hand.
  3. Raise. Sounds logical, how much? Well, I want to get rid of that other caller (though the action so far has probably taken care of that). I’m thinking up to about 9000. That only leaves me with 11K behind though in what would be a 18K pot plus ante’s. I’m probably going to be all-in this hand if I do this. So…
  4. All-In? Sounds good, I can take down an already decent sized pot right here and if he calls he’s way behind.

So I push and am very surprised when he calls and then very happy when he shows:

: :

then very mad when the flop is:

: : :

I don’t improve and I go out in 19th.

So, tell me. Do you bubble here too? Even if I don’t push pre-flop I don’t see myself getting away from that pot with that hand on that flop. I don’t even think I’m supposed to be able to… Am I?