Thursday, July 31, 2008

Not Much To Say

I am a firm believer in not playing big games when you are tired or feeling unwell. When you are not bringing your 'A' game then don't put too much money on the line.

I have my first largish game tonight with the boys i used to play with before I went to Australia. £200 buy in cash game. £1/£2 ($2/$4 for the yanks) NL 7 players.

I am as hungover as hell. Vodka vapour is seeping out of every pore on my body it seems and i feel like I have a second heartbeat in my head.

I have 12 hours to cure myself if I want to win some cash tonight.

I've got a few post ideas lined up and im collecting hand histories for examples. I was going to write up a post showing guidelines on how to play against certain types of players that you will come across but I dont think I could write it any better than the gnome's recent post, so I wont try this time. Take a read of that.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Degenerate Flippers

Take a look at this post. $100,000 pots 5 players flippin $20,000 at a time in PLO.



You sir deserve a place on my blog list.

The Good & The Bad

The Good
$0.5/$1 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at

UTG ($103.90)
UTG+1 ($89.00)
CO ($73.10)
BTN ($99.15)
SB ($19.50)
Hero ($103.65)

Pre-flop: ($1.50, 6 players) Hero is BB

3 folds, BTN calls $1, 1 fold, Hero checks
(Villain's first mistake. Never repeat, Never open limp on the button)

Flop: ($2.50, 2 players)
Hero bets $2, BTN calls $2
(Bingo Bango. Such a dry flop, I continue with my aggro post flop play and bet out.)

Turn: ($6.50, 2 players)
Hero bets $4, BTN raises to $10, Hero calls $6
(I pull a muscle while i fist pump the air. I make another bet to try and build a pot. If he put me on a Jack then im now behind to any K. his small reraise seems like hes testing the water. Now with 2 flush draws on the table I call. This should send the message to him that ive not made my hand yet and im still chasing.)

River: ($26.50, 2 players)
Hero bets $90.65, BTN goes all-in $86.15
(This is the perfect card for me. It helps no-one. It misses all draws I may have had. I pushed rather quickly trying to act like a missed flush draw. He almost timed out while thinking then called with his paired King.)

Final Pot: $200.30
BTN shows:
Hero shows:

Hero wins $200.30 ( won +$96.65 )
BTN lost -$99.15

This ovebetting for value works when you have repped a flushdraw and missed yet have a higher hand. It also helps when you have players like this numpty who open limp on the button with K9o. If you take anything from my blog please take this. DO NOT OPEN LIMP FROM THE BUTTON EVER. Thanks

The Bad

$0.5/$1 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at

Hero ($97.50)
UTG+1 ($108.95)
CO ($19.50)
BTN ($136.90)
SB ($19.50)
BB ($97.54)

Pre-flop: ($1.50, 6 players) Hero is UTG

Hero raises to $4, UTG+1 calls $4, 4 folds
(Villain is playing 11 $vpip 7 pfr over 52 hands. Ive been reasonably active.)

Flop: ($9.50, 2 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 checks
(great flop. no flush draw. I go for a check raise without looking at his flop aggression. he checks)

Turn: ($9.50, 2 players)
Hero bets $6, UTG+1 raises to $16, Hero raises to $47, UTG+1 goes all-in $104.95, Hero goes all-in $52.50
(I start to build the pot. yuck!)

River: ($229.95, 2 players)

Final Pot: $204.95
Hero shows:
UTG+1 shows:

UTG+1 wins $204.95 ( won +$80.00 )
Hero lost -$103.50

Well played villian. My first thought on this was fair enough. big hand vs big hand. Just a cooler. But lets look at the picture here. The first thing is that he is 11/7. He is Tighty McNuts. When i rereraise him and he pushes all in what am i beating. He is saying he has a boat or a Qx.

Hands that fit in that I am losing to are 22, TT, AQ, QT.
Hands that fit in that I am beating are QJ
Hands that split pot KQ


The sizes of the rereraise is not enough to be a bluff.

The call at the end was $52.50 into a $177 pot. just over 3-1. I think I need 5-1 here to call, maybe more with such a tight player.

I consider myself a student at this game still when I cannot lay down this hand. We can all play our good cards but to make real cash at this game I need to be able to lay down BIG hands like this byt hinking what am I beating and taking into account their style and tightness of their game.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blue Square (iPoker) Software

This blog is about being honest with myself and last night I played like a fish. I luckily only dropped 2 buyins at $100nl but I did manage to get $10 of bonus cleared. Nice return on my money!

BlueSquares' (iPoker) software gives me the shits. Its average to say the least and I cant get comfortable using it. I think software usability goes a long way with the end user. I say now that I could honestly design a better user interface than a lot of sites out there. Its almost as though the GUI designers have never played online poker themselves.

The time bank at BlueSquare (BS) is quick and the buttons/input boxes fiddly. I have made more misclicks and betting errors in the 1000 hands at BS than I have had in the 33k hands at AP.

The main lobby has lag. the games that say 5/6 players are full when you open them. the $vpip of some 6max games show 5%. The overall feeling is shoddy.

On the flip side. I am very impressed with Pokertracker3. It is bad that they released a product that wasnt completely finished but, from what I see at the sites it works at, I am impressed. The HUD is good and easily configured. The auto hand import is great and the numbers update after every hand is recorded. There is a wealth of information in PT3 and if you are not using it you are at a severe disadvantage to most online cash players. The downside of this though is it again increases the level of skill of the general poker playing public. Before, pt was harder to configure, pahud was tricky to set up and you needed pokergrapher to show your graphs. Now its all in one tidy package and it is very well presented.

Im hoping to get back into the swing of things again soon and start some good sessions online again. I am expecting to see my cashout from AP very soon after finally clearing their security dept.

Until then I leave you with some pictures of my new car to drool over. Have a look at this 400bhp beast. For all the US readers that have never seen one of these it is a UK made TVR Sagaris. Only 152 approx of these ever made before TVR closed their factory.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stacking AA

I need to get back to working on my goals. Its been a little hard to concentrate on online poker recently with moving my house half way across the world. As mentioned in my previous post I have requested a cashout from AP. I cant really call it profit yet as I havent received it. As this is my first cash out AP are being over cautious and have asked for verification of address, proof of id and a copy of my bank card. With fraudalant activity in todays banking I can understand a need for increased security but I think AP are doing this to stall things. The reason I say this is that I am requesting my cash back on the same VISA that I deposited with. The money cannot be fraudalant as it is already in the banking system. I faxed details over yesterday but my card came out to dark. Maybe I am being paranoid but can you blame me with AP at the moment ? I guess this was always my risk at playing somewhere like AP.

I have managed to play just over 700 hands at $0.25/$0.50 and $.50/$1 on iPoker for a total profit of around $70. As you can see from the graph below its not been easy going.

It felt like it took me a whlie to get used to the software and players there. The graph shows a downtrend albeit only over a short amount of hands but hopefully this is not going to continue. I dont see the players at this site and level to be any difficult than other sites. Im still seeing the loose tight players, im still seeing the weak limpers and still seeing the outrageous bluffs and the players who dont know how to fold overpairs.

So with that I have a hand for discussion from my small sample.

There are different levels of players in poker.
Level1 - What cards you have
Level2 - What cards you think villain has
Level3 - What cards you think villain thinks you have
Level4 - What cards you think villain thinks you think he has.

Ive yet to reach level 4. Here is a beautiful example of Level3

$0.5/$1 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at

UTG ($98.85)
UTG+1 ($158.76)
Hero ($116.70)
BTN ($140.10)
SB ($113.15)
BB ($95.60)

Pre-flop: ($1.50, 6 players) Hero is CO

1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $4, Hero calls $4, 3 folds
(A speculative call. Im looking for straight draws, flush draws or 2 pairs. villain is playing reasonably TAG so his range is quiet small here. I dont want to reraise here as I cannot call a 4bet/shove)

Flop: ($9.50, 2 players)
UTG+1 bets $7, Hero calls $7
(Villain bets out. This could have hit a lot of his range. AK, KK, TT, KQs. AA will still be here. All these hands will bet out to protect against a flush draw. I cant see him having a flush draw himself apart from AQs but small part of his range here. Now his bet and my call. What does he put me on here ? He has to put me on a flushdraw here right ? or a very weak straight draw like JQ. Any other hand like a set or AK,KT,KQ wold reraise him here due to the flush draw. Now i know the odds of the next card being a spade are roughly 1 in 5. I take this chance to let him think i am flushing in hope the next card is not a spade and I can extract the most money from him.)

Turn: ($23.50, 2 players)
UTG+1 bets $20, Hero raises to $63, UTG+1 raises to $126, Hero goes all-in $42.70
(This card is a perfect card for me. In villains eyes this doesnt improve my hand at all. To him I am chasing a weak straight or a spade f/d. To me it gives me a diamond f/d. His bet shows he likes his hand still as nothing has changed. My reraise to $63 here gives him a call of $43 into a pot of $106.50. His call would mean he would be committed if i bet my last $42.70 so he reraises for the small bit of fold equity if any.)

River: ($255.20, 2 players)

Final Pot: $232.20
UTG+1 shows:
Hero shows:

UTG+1 wins $0.30 ( lost -$136.70 )
Hero wins $231.90 ( won +$115.20 )

The added part to this hand is if the spade did come on the turn then I could have played it like my flush hit and maybe made him lay down his AA.

Anyone disagree with the above hand ?

I have a few others to talk about but ill save those for the next post.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UB Scandal is too much - Im out of AP

I wrote a post last week about morals in poker. My current issue is whether or not to play on Absolute Poker in the face of the UB scandal. I have been aware of the problems up until the beginning of June and posted before that I wanted to take my cash out from the site. In the month that I had travelling and resetting up home the scandal at UB has got worse.

Thankyou to gnome for the comment in my previous post. He has posted before about the dangers and concerns felt by the poker community regarding the blatant cheating at UB.

I cannot comment with any real depth about the cheating as I havent had time to really study the recent developments. All I can tell you is that its fucked up!
So, with that little nudge I removed all my $ from AP last night. I have 'supposedly' 5 days delay until it hits my account via VISA. fingers crossed this money comes back. I deposited $500 in Feb and requested $5500 cashout.
Here are my final AP Graphs and PT Stats.

Homeless in the poker world i'm searching out a new home. I need somewhere that I can use Pokertracker3 - HUD setup, somewhere with rakeback and where the competition is not too tough i.e. Full Tilt. While Pokertracker3 gets itself aligned with some more sites I am limited. So until then I have signed up with BlueSq, an iPoker skin. This is a UK site with links to the Grosvenor Tour in London and other UK live tournaments. As far as I can see there are no rakeback offers for iPoker skins anymore so I will clear the $500 bonus and reevaluate from there. Rakeback is so important to long term income when playing cash games.

So BlueSq loaded up, I decided to play the $0.25/$0.50 to get used to the software. I set up Pokertracker3 to auto import and adjusted the HUD to show my usual numbers. Played around 150 and run into this beauty. Mr McShove has no reason to feel he is beat here.

Nice Start.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Be Nice to Fish

I managed to squeeze in a thousand hands this weekend ending up around $400 profit. The bad beat jackpot got hit on a $1/$2 table while I was playing. Take a look at this beauty of a payout.

Yep $200,000 for the loser and $100,000 for the winner. And as expected there was a barrage of beggers knocking on the door in the chat asking for a mere $50. Lowlife scum.

I played one hand which I think worthy of noting. The pot was small but its the chat that registered with me.

Stage #xxxxxxxx: Holdem No Limit $0.50 (ET)
Table: B Seat #3 is the dealer
Seat 3 - RYVERRAT ($118.20 in chips)
Seat 4 - I ($21.36 in chips)
Seat 5 - D ($52.35 in chips)
Seat 6 - X ($11.95 in chips)
Seat 1 - P ($105.19 in chips)
Seat 2 - W ($32.32 in chips)
I - Posts small blind $0.25
D- Posts big blind $0.50
Dealt to RYVERRAT [Qd Js]
X - Calls $0.50
P - Folds
W - Calls $0.50
RYVERRAT - Calls $0.50
I - Folds
D - Checks
*** FLOP *** [Jc Jd 10h]
D - Checks
X- Checks
W - Checks
*** TURN *** [Jc Jd 10h] [7c]
D - Bets $1.75
X - Folds
W - Calls $1.75
RYVERRAT - Raises $6 to $6
D - Folds
W - Folds
RYVERRAT - returned ($4.25) : not called
*** SHOW DOWN ***
RYVERRAT - Does not show
RYVERRAT Collects $7.15 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total Pot($7.50) Rake ($0.35)
Board [Jc Jd 10h 7c]
Seat 1: P Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 2: W Folded on the TURN
Seat 3: RYVERRAT (dealer) collected Total ($7.15) HI:($7.15) [Does not show]
Seat 4: I (small blind) Folded on the POCKET CARDS
Seat 5: D (big blind) Folded on the TURN
Seat 6: X Folded on the TURN

D: 89 is good
RYVERRAT: hey can you see my cards ?
X wins ($1.70 chips).
D: calculated guess
D: folded my trips jack
D: ty
RYVERRAT: most players couldnt fold that wp
P: wins ($7.15) with (Two Pair, queens and jacks).
D: i know, ty

Player was playing a 16/10 and this highlighted the fact to me that I could push him off hands. He may have been lying about his trip Jacks but his stats reinforced his comments. I then spent the next hour or so pushing him around and making him fold most hands. Information like this is key. We are all playing a game of untruths and guesswork. There is no reason to let your competition know that you can lay down a big hand. Fold the hand and dont say a word.

I could have also berated the guy saying he was weak for folding a Jack. I could have called him all sorts of names for getting my hand wrong but I find its easier to take money off of people when you are nice to them. It keeps the game respectful and they will reload as they are enjoying the game more.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Poker and Morals

To set the scene a little, I played a £50 buy in game last night. Blinds were £0.25/£0.50 and walked away with £350 profit. 7 buyins in the space of 4 hours. I think that works out to roughly 175bb/hour. It was a very slow game, probably 25 hands per hour so only 100hands played. This equates to 700bb/100. The game was funny with open raises of £10 into a £0.75 pot. Ill have me some of this.

It was a 9 person game with some regular players and one really drunk bad player. Heres my first moral dilemma.

Picture this guy. The dealer tells him its £14 to call. "£14... ?" (stares blankly for a few secs) "So how much is that then?". Another hand sees him calling all in and putting his cards in the middle rather than his chips. He calls all in on a gutshot straight draw and says "£50? Thats like 8 pence to me." This said not in a show off way but a drunk who has no idea of the value of this money to other people. He is showing his cards accidently to the guys sitting near him. He is smashed.

Now this guy is not a friend. He is a colleague of a friend. He is a real nice guy, not an ass. He just loves to gamble it up and play the social game of poker than we love. But he does it with complete disregard for money and without any thought of strategy.

It is so easy to take money from this guy, its like taking candy from a child. He is completely defenceless to any poker player with a little skill. But is it right to continue?

The poker player in me is trying to get a seat to his left, trying to isolate him in pots and wanting him to rebuy. Im wanting to invite him to bigger games and really take advantage of the huge differential in skill. A huge whale waiting to spew his chips.

The other part of me is thinking that this degrades the skill of the game and its as easy as clubbing a baby seal. This doesnt make me feel like a great player. It doesnt use any brain matter. It is just a padding to my bankroll. These people are friends and friends of friends, they are not random guys at a card club or casino. They are all part of a regular game.

He is happy playing.

He can afford to play like this.

But is it morally right to let him ?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

On Your Marks, Get Set, ........

Im finally back online. After almost a month of no online poker playing and a 2 week break I am ready to pick up where I left off and start making some decent money.

I played for about 15 mins last night on AP $0.50/$1 to get my feet wet again and was happy to see that nothing much had changed. Its damn easy to spot a good table right off the bat. Open limpers = profit. Let me say that again. Open limpers = profit. AP was full of them last night in the short time I played. I made a quick $60 and left. I hate leaving money on the table but I am still unpacking boxes from the move.

The f*ckers at the real job have banned access to 2p2. This is a huge dent for me. 2p2 has been a great site for me to browse and comment on. They have left the door open for me at pocketfives so I can atleast keep up a little reading throughout the day.

Playing a live game tonight at a club where I used to run a poker school. I will be organising weekly games down there to start increasing my live roll.

My next post will have some proper poker content back with graphs, analysis and stats. $15k by year end is still my goal for my online roll.

Oh btw, bought a new car. For anyone interested, google TVR Sagaris. Got one in black and it shifts!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Vegas trip. Beaten by the Missus.

Im now back to my home of England. I have my broadband ordered for next week so will be back on the tables soon.

My 2 week fly drive around California was great. Vegas was obviously the highlight for me. We stayed at the MGM for 3 nights and I think I only managed to play around 7 hours of poker. Vegas with the missus does not equal much table time. Turn back the clocks to last year when I spent almost 2 weeks in Vegas on my own and I played more poker than I slept but when you are with the missus its hard to break away to a table and leave her standing there. Itching to get to the tables I started to show her a few table games with the plan to break away when she was comfortable. Table games are -ev obv but I saw it as an increased rake added to the poker rake that I needed to beat. The poker games are so easy at the MGM this had to be a good move.

Missus +$750 on 3 card poker
Me -$18 on the $2/$5 (7 hours)

Can you believe the above. She ends up hitting a straight flush paying 40-1 on a $10 ante. This and a few other lucky hands puts her to a nice profit and more shoes/handbags purchased. Me, I played twice, buying in for the max $500 and getting it all in ahead at the beginning of both sessions and losing. I then spent the next few hours on both sessions clawing my way back to even. Not the profitable session I was expecting.

The MGM were only running $1/$2 NL and $2/$5 NL so I couldnt get involved in anything higher. I could have headed to another casino but with the missus comfortable and me in a seat I didnt feel like moving. The $2/$5 games were full of regs with not many limped pots. There were a few bad players and I tried mybest to LAG it up. I made one noticable mistake calling a $200 bet into a $900 pot with a made straight on a paired board 3 way. I was up against an obvious full house and an unobvious quad kings.

I did manage to play for an hour at the Mirage. We were there for the Cirque du Soleil Beatles show which was fantastic. I sat at a $2/$5 NL table that was a feeder table for the main $2/$5 table. The table broke pretty quickly and I was left playing Heads Up with a guy wearing a 2p2 shirt. I asked him if he posts there and he told me he owned it. I was sitting next to Mason Malmuth. I had a great conversation with him regarding his views on Absolute & UB scandals and also his views on poker and 2p2 in general. A very interesting chat that I may wrote up in another post soon.

The other highlight to my trip was seeing Jenna Jameson at a UFC fight. Dont pretend you dont know who she is. Ive seen more of her bits than my own missus.

Im heading over to a club where I used to run my poker school this afternoon. This will hopefully be my cash cow for live games. I made a ton of cash there before and hope to do the same in the next 6 months.

8th of July is my return to the online tables. I feel refreshed but out of practice. I think I will start at the lower levels for a few thousand hands to get back into the swing of things.

Until then......