Friday, July 15, 2011

Hustler - Recent Results +$686

Let the bracelet accumulation / live game money commence.

Location:  Hustler Casino (Gardena) 
Stakes:  2/5 NL 
Time: 4:30pm - 7:00pm 
Buyin: 240$ 
Rebuy: 0
Cashout: 926$
Profit/Loss:  +$686 

After picking up the Tigre (GF) from CSULB I stopped by Hustler to start the accumulation.  Had a great session today, and could of stayed longer, but opted to leave as I didn't want to hold Sareena up horribly long, and wanted to go enjoy the night out still being Friday.

Pregame.  In the car, I reviewed a few notes on reads/tells I had taken, and notes from The Poker Blue Print. I then listened to half of a 22 min hypnotic session on winning in general.    
I'm in seat 3, seat 1 is hyper aggressive, bluffing and raising the majority of pots.  His VPIP is probably around 75% with PFR around 45%.  Rest of the table is fairly standard except seat 8 who seems to be more willingly mixing it up with seat 1.   I opt to play my normal game of laying low and figuring out the table for a cycle or two around before loosening up and playing more based on position, players/tells/reads, and chipstacks. 

Session went fairly smooth.  Being happy hour, Sareena and I opted to have a couple gin and tonics :) while I retained focus on the game and she read University Of Success (Og Mandino).  Table dynamic were a bit looser with the loose aggressive seat 1, and other players adapting a bit..  Bigger raises preflop.  

I made larger than normal raises on average, and adapted a more aggressive stance this game -Mixing raising with draws and made TP/overpair type hands or other hands that figured to be good based on available info.

Two key hands.  I made a small raise in position to 15$ with 8cTc after one of the tighter players at the table limped in early position.  He called, which with his reaction made me fairly confident he wasn't limping in with any big pairs.   The board came out Qd7d9h and I watched his reaction to the flop and sensed confidence which scared me a bit even though I hit TP on a pretty clean board.  

Although he looked strong, he checked and I cbet 20$ or just over half pot.  He called relatively quickly.  I thought to myself 6, and sure enough a black 6 hits the turn. He checks and I bet 60$ in a sloppy aggressive somewhat pot splashy fashion intentionally trying to give off false strength..  and stared at the cards..   *More standard/semi-knowledgeable players might take both the pot splashing as a sign of weakness (the standard strong means weak, etc..) and looking at flop cards is often a sign of not hitting the flop - Players tend to look away from the flop when stronger more often... 

The river was another 7, and after seeing him hesitantly the turn, I was confident he didn't have a set or two pair... I opted to more aggressively bet 100$ on the river in one stack.  He thought again and called, and asked if he made a bad call.  "Probably so" I replied although I knew I was ahead.  He showed QJ for TP, Jack Kicker.

We'll keep these a bit shorter... I have QdKd in small blind after several limpers and opt to just limp in also.  flop is 9c2d5d, and check, check, bet 30$ (pot was probably 35ish) fold fold... call and I thought for a bit, and was putting the original raiser on a 9 by the way he bet to me it felt more like a protective bet.  The latter position was a little more creative... new to the table, but from what I've seen he seemed to be a good player that would mix it up in position.  I thought his most likely hand was also top pair, 34 or a weaker flush draw, once in awhile with ace high flush draw...  

..and made it 100$ to go.  He has about 250 in front of him left, and raises all in, which I of course call with the odds even if he has a set I would have too at this point... 

He flips over 55 for the set, and I nail a 3 of diamonds on the turn. My hand holds up and I take a nice pot. 

Another hand I caught a tighter player bluffing when I held top pair, marginal kicker and he bet 100$ on the river and I thought for awhile, intending to fold, but something ... just felt aloft. I called and he had a weaker pocket pair and was more or less bluffing... 

Towards the end I nailed an open ended straight flush draw  w/5c6c on flop.  Bet flop strong when checked too, got two callers, bet turn, one caller.. never connected, but bet river anyways on a very draw heavy board when checked too again (another flush/straight draw came on turn) and took it down.  

Cheers guys!  Time to go have some drinks.  Only 2.5 hours and +686$ so far.  Need to work in a minimum of 8 this weekend so I'll be back soon.. Stay tuned for some additional video's and charts after I get a few more sessions in! 

~Richard West

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reawakening my blog - Taking it Conscious.

New Direction for Blog:  
  • WSOP 2012 DOMINATION / How to Build A Bankroll for the 2012 WSOP - Follow Me as I plan and record my trail to winning a bracelet next year.  Will be shifting from online play to brick and mortar play and documenting a plan from fairly lower stakes NL (100NL) up to the higher stakes towards the end of the year.  Should have a general outline up within the week with more details. 
  • THE MENTAL GAME OF POKER - Will be posting many vid's, tips and tricks on the lesser talked about mental game of poker.  Secrets to keep you winning and loving life.  Enjoy.  Here's a first quick tip -  Workout before you play.

Need something to workout too?  Try George St Pierre's killer new DVD Workout GSP RushFit

GSP Rushfit Review

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

WSOP Event #3 2010 - and Vegas Trip Report

Aww.. it's been a little while.

I have started to record some video's and will record more, and see what I can do about posting - I know I mentioned that earlier.

So Vegas! aww yes, good ol Vegas. So I took a week off work and went to Vegas for my birthday (May 29th) and to try out my first WSOP Event - Event #3 $1,000 NL.

So we get to Vegas late Thursday night, and basically just crash out (or so I tried, but didn't sleep very well).. was 1am or so and I don't want to do much partying at all as it's a "business first" sort of trip... Ok, so who's we? Heather, Kahleena, and myself - two lesbian ex-girlfriends (I'm not gonna go into too much of why or what happened, but regardless of what your thinking if you oddly happen to be in this same spot - DO NOT COME TO VEGAS WITH TWO EX-GF's of any sort :)).

Ok, so next day, have breakfast and head up to the RIO for some satellites. They have 65$, 125$, 3xx and 5xx satellites. I jump in a 125$ as it looks like it will begin soon, and I don't want to risk a lot on my first attempt, etc.. Feel out the field first.. Guy to my right draws dealer button, and I start in SB with JJ first hand. I call UTG's raise which is to 125 from 25/25 blinds. A large raise from an under the gun player is a little bit scary, especially without feeling out the table dynamics, and how other games here have been running, I give him credit for a standard/strong raising hand, but still like my jacks enough to call and see the flop. The flop comes out disconnected rags, and I bet out fairly strong 250.. I should know this, lol, but I believe our starting stacks were 1k. UTG Raiser pushes all-in, but something doesn't feel right, and I feel I'm already commited, or otherwise at least it's first hand and I can jump in another - It really just 'felt' like he was on a bluff here. If he was really strong with Aces or Kings, I think he's calling here more often... So I thought for a little bit and called, and he fails to connect with his AK and I double up.

Continue a standard tight/aggressive SNG style, battling back and fourth with one other guy to my left that picks up his aggression when we get down to 4-way play... I raise all in on him one hand SB vs BB w/around 12bb, and he calls me with A8 I believe and spikes his 8 or rag... he had around 8-9BB so I'm very short at this point, and push all in my next hand on the button, and blinds fold. I push all in the next hand again, and it's folded, and the more aggressive guy shows me an Ace that he folded which I'm thinking I would of probably called.

Now I go through my blinds, and I think I get walked, or folded too if I remember correctly in the BB and give up my SB. Now in the button I have 98 suited, a little more chips, but still feel a bit short, and this is a 'winner-take-all' event, so I push yet again and get called by the only other person playing fairly aggressively and they show AJ and were off to the races.. A 10-6-x flop gives me some extra outs as I think 7 in my head and watch the 7 hit the turn w/a little love from the poker gods. Now a few hands later I'm back to chip lead and knock out the shortest guy in fourth.

The other aggressive guy takes steals our blinds, and then gets in a confrontation with current third place guy and ends up knocking him out. Now were heads up I have about 6k he has a little over 4k, and I ended up agreeing to chop, since he was a fairly good player and there's a lot more luck involved now. The prize pool is two 500$ chips, and 120$. I agree as long as gives me the extra cash.. he says some comment about me trying to cheat him, and I say that looks more than fair to me being that I have about 2k more chips, and he agrees and ask if he could at least keep the extra 20$ and I agree.. If he wanted an even chop I would of definitely played.. I talked to him a bit, and that's all he was doing was playing the satellites for extra money.

For some reason I decide to leave after this instead of playing some more.. My sort of subconscious objective was just to make enough for my 1k buyin the next day (and this wasn't but.. oh well)... So I end up at a cash game at the Bellagio (a girl from high school I knew mentioned on facebook that she worked here as a hostess now, and suggested I look for her..) .. I make about 180$ in NL a cash game after about an hour or so and due to previously mentioned girl drama, and other factors, opt to leave... I had a nice conversation about a particular hand we played, where I flopped top set with Jacks and check raised preflop (which shows almost too much strength, but I put the player on an overpair.. he thought for a long while and folded, and he said to me that he thought I maybe had top pair at the most but he thought I was pretty weak.. I talked about how I thought he was very strong, and so was basically just trying to start a raising war off the bat.. the board did also have a flush draw, and a possible straight draw, but I didn't think he was likely drawing to the straight -- either way there was a bit of defense in the play too. He was a good player so he could of got tricky with some semi-suited connector, etc.. I think I flat called his reraise of another player preflop if I remember correctly and check raised the flop when I hit top set..

So far so good. Now I go and try and get some sleep, and I think I don't sleep very good again with the event coming up the next day. I start off at a table which I'm only at for about 10 min. I do play a couple hands (something like AQ in late position - hit a queen, and get no further action when I cbet flop) and 88 which I raised from mid/late position, button calls, and I check/call the 10-9-5ish flop, turn is a brick, I'm a little uncomfortable with either decision, but don't wanna give up chips early, so I check/fold when he bets almost pot on the blank turn.

Next table I'm at for the rest of the day (from like 12:20pm to 2am). To my right is a good asian player who seems to be good friends with John Phan as they chat several times across the tables (john's sitting directly behind us)... Were both playing a pretty similar game, but he chips up a bit more than me.. I'm sort of just staying above average, playing tight/aggressive, coming in very little, and just trying to find good spots w/big hands or in position etc.. Another player across the table is racking up a nice stack being very aggressive, but then slows down when he gets more actions/more calls after an hour or so of him probably tripling up through well-timed and frequent aggression being in most pots. Fortunately I win the majority of my confrontations with him, calling him down looser than average definitely... He loses quite a bit back after the whole table begins to adjust, and then he slows down and builds up (but a bit more slowly this time).

It's getting closer to the end of the day, and I'm sort of just floating along with an average stack probably now... I do lose one hand (I can't remember the exact details unfortunately) and am left with around 20 BB. I decide I need to find a good 3bet all in spot soon, to build up a little and maintain a healthy stack.. when..

I look down at A6suited and when it's folded all the way around to good asian guy to my right who makes a standard raise. I decide he's been getting a little too aggressive lately although he's generally fairly solid/tight, and although I think there's other tighter/worse players less likely to call 3bets, I decide his range is pretty wide, while he's only calling me with a very thin range, and go for the resteal all in of course wanting to see a fold. He unfortunately doesn't oblige me and does think for a bit and then calls with QQ, ouch - but I flop an inside draw, and now have 7 outs w/the Aces and 8's I believe interestingly enough, and hit the beautiful Ace on the turn, and think Barry just got it all wrong w/the river. I apologize to the guy as I take his chips, but that's poker.. I know he's not calling me there with almost anything less, while is range is very wide, and I needed chips, so made the move and it worked out..

So now my image is probably a little tarnished, but I'm back to my solid tight aggressive play.. The same asian guy does build back up quite a bit which is fortunate for me as I end up taking him out with Kings about an hour later. Actually he does lose some chips back, and has around 10 bigs or so and I believe just raises all in pre, and I decide to just call just in case anyone wants to get frisky and try to isolate, etc.. nobody else joins us and he turns AQ, and my Kings hold up..

I manage to build up some more chips, until Troy comes to our table and takes the place of a guy to my left.. By this time it's later, and I notice the board says something like 450 out of 3900 people left, and I ask someone -- there's only that many people left? and they say yes.. I'm still a little confused whether that's for both days or just today, and I figure out later as the 3900 keeps climbing that that's entrants for both days.. our day1 had 2701 players.

So back to Troy. A good player that I talk to a bit after we get in a hand confrontation or two. He keeps check of my chipstack and others.. He 3 bets me just over minimum several times towards the end of the night which is very annoying being that It feels like I really need a big hand to continue as the blinds are getting up there w/me having somewhere around 25.. and I'll be out of position the rest of the hand.. One time I have AK, and SB who's a good tight/solid player with a lot of chips also calls. I like this spot to just push, but at the same time it's my first event, and these are like the two biggest stacks at the table and although I'm going for first definitely, I don't want to go home just before the money at the end of the night.. Flop is Queen high, and SB checks, I decide to check although I could of fired out a bet.. This was the 2nd time he 3bet me. If it was the third I probably would have figuring his range was wide. This time, I thought one of the two Very likely had a Queen in their range if not pocket queens, etc.. but revisiting I like a bet here. I just thought SB could be trapping too. Troy bets a little under half pot and we both fold.

They announce 4 hands left before the end of the night and I'm in SB I believe.. Anyways I fold two hands and then get kings again. This guy that is fairly new to the table, came in sat down and got a massage, and like quadrupled up while getting the massage on several all in confrontations and big pots raises two spots to my right. This is another spot that I reflected on later, and played non-optimally. Kings of course is an awesome hand. Subconsciously thinking I'll be in the money soon, and want to ensure I'm in day two, I make the defensive aggressive move of pushing all in. The guy thinks for awhile so I know he has a pretty big hand.. I'm thinking 99's-Jacks or AJ/AQ and folds. If I replayed this I would of made a standard 3bet, or smaller 3bet.. looking to get maximum value. I believe I had around 25 BB's. The very next and last hand of the night I get KQs in the cutoff and raise when it's folded to me, a newer but player who seemed to good/aggressive in the BB w/a similar stack reraised me all in, and I folded.

Saturday night / Sunday (day 1b of tourney) --

So I get sunday off. Saturday night ITS MY BIRTHDAY! and I'm in Vegas, and I'm sticking around for Day 2 of my first WSOP event, while having the next day off, so naturally I wanna party at least a little! but the one girl I'm with is still grumpy, and the other one is tired too, they had both been drinking and smoking (the green stuff) throughout the day and wanted to crash.. So I said f that, and went out on my own and got a drink.. I get one drink in my hotel and hit the streets.. Catch up with two drunk girls trying to direct traffic w/the long colorful vegas souvenir drinking cups who look like fun and ask one for a smoke (I smoked much more than usual on this particular trip being as I don't really smoke any more unless I'm drinking around other smokers, but mainly just needed something to open with and wasn't drunk enough yet to just say anything comfortably..) She ask me if I have a light, eh.. basically I stroll with them for a little while and find it's ones 21st birthday. We come to some short ugly looking dude and a big tall dude both wearing HUGE party beads w/colorful balls, and the girls start touching and rubbing them saying "oh my god I love your balls" lol.. and ask if they can have it.. I'm surprised they turn him down when he offers to give it away for a flash.. I offer to flash, but get no takers.. the girl thinks about it for a bit lifting her shirt up half way but doesn't.. Some 21st bday jeez. lol.. Anyways another couple of girls come up wanting to touch his balls! and I think to myself I definitely need to find a pair.. Anyways.. were talking, and there saying something about getting a little tired... they go into the bathroom, and come out and decide there going back to their room, so whatever, I get a drink in the MGM right there, and come out next to some dude that slightly stumbles up the stairs with a full cup.

I start up a conversation with this guy as were walking the same way and he seems alright aside from being pretty drunk.. He's a 22 year old firefighter, talking about how he lost all his buddies somewhere, and was trying to get back to his room. I'm telling him about the WSOP and what not and he says his firefighter friends play on pokerstars all the time at work, but he doesn't know poker well himself. Anyways.. Were both walking back in the direction of where he's going to the monte carlo, and see a few girls on the way and offer if he wants to see if we can't meet w/a couple..

I'm feeling good myself.. confident.. He says yea, but right away starts talking about how vegas isn't like the movies, you can't really just hook up with girls here, and kinda starts being a burden, and I'm already rethinking my asking him to join.. Of course your not gonna have any fun if you don't think you are heh.. So we walk by a couple girls, and I say hello and kind of smile to one group while were walking by and one looks back and smiles, but there walking the opposite way.. We get across the bridge and he and I see a black girl a little off, and he says oh damn check out that girl.. and I notice she's black.. and well has a nice body. He apparently didn't notice that yet, as we get closer when he says something like, "oh nevermind, she's black... what I was looking at?".. lol I keep quiet, but I'm like oh great..

Anyways this guy starts talking about how crappy the strip clubs are in vegas, and then goes on to tell me about how he went to one that was supposedly the best (I actually haven't been to a vegas strip club myself) but he was so disappointed in it yet, lol and then goes on to tell me about how he dropped 900$ there lol while there was like only 1 or 2 girls worth a dance at all. Anyways while he's saying this some black dude in a tux with cards, gives us some strip joint cards and ask us if we'd like to get a limo ride there.. Sounds kinda awkward to me for a min, anyways.. the guy's doing all the talking and wants to go, but I'm just not really feeling it. So we don't.. and go in the Monte Carlo.. Really I'm just kinda thinking about how I can ditch him now, but eh.. So anyways I'm starting to talk about how I'm really getting kinda tired (lol when I met him I had told him I was ready to party, that I just started drinking, etc..) .. but we see two ok-pretty girls at the bar, one definitely cuter than the other, and he says he'll follow my lead, so I do just that..

I actually go up to the girl that I'm not interested in first, and talk to her.. I can't remember what I said, I think one was playing poker at the bar on the electronic machines, and I asked how she was doing.. and started talking about just playing in the WSOP event.. Anyways, I introduced the other dude who's name I forget now, and slipped over next to the other girl while he proceeded to talk to her.. We all talked, and had a drink together for awhile.. about 40 min to an hour or so.. and during that time, lol they wanted to test my poker skills.. THe girl I was talking to carried a deck in her purse.. So here I am saying, well one hand could lead virtually anywhere, but she deals me aces, and I'm thinking .. did you just base-deal this, I'm like.. she carries a deck in her purse.. lol.. and told her you know your cheating for me.. she acts innocent, and I don't know.. we see a flop of like 5-6-10, and we pretend to get it all in with me and her friend, who has 5-6.. lol and she wins are imaginary all in. Lol. I just wonder if it's setup, but she continues to acts innocent, so who knows...

They start talking about going up to their room while were both kind of walking with them. They're staying at the newer Aria hotel. The other dude looks like he's falling asleep walking and decides to walk back to his room. I'm feeling a little bit awkward now, while still walking with them, and they're going back to their room and I say something like, do you guys mind me walking with you still or? and they kind of shrug like ok, whatever.. So we go through Aria, looks pretty nice, chatting a bit still, get lost a little in there then all the way up their elevators, and all the way up to their room when they say alright Rich! thanks for walking us up, have a good night. boo! lol. I let them go, and trek back to my room.. Anyways gonna skip some of all this and get back to the poker as I got wrap this up.

So I basically don't sleep at all that night or like an hour (I think it was close to 7am when I got back to my room, and sort of slept an hour or so)

The next day I have a drink or so in the morning, get into an argument w/the one girl telling me and the other girl to get the f away from her when we were all calm talking about a pool party for a bit. She had some other girl rubbing her back while she was playing blackjack that she met who was their with her boyfriend, and she starts telling her bf that she likes his girl heh and try's to rub it in the other girls face a bit (who she was upset because of a new gf that she was talking to on the phone during the trip.. bleh.. trying to not talk much about all that..) So anyways.. after taking a lot of verbal abuse, me and the other girl head out on our own to our own pool party (she was getting in the MGM wet republic which I wanted to check out but not worth all that drama..) We end up at planet hollywood, I pay a small cover, she gets in for free, and looks to be a pretty nice array of hot looking girls here still, and so we head out to find a spot at one pool, and there is none, so we goto the other pool, and there is none (there's plenty in between, but we look more towards the pool) ..

So we go get drinks, and then come back and find a nice spot in the middle that just opened up of one of the pools.. Ok I'm skipping this right. Basically we had fun, got very drunk, invited to bachelor party w/a group of people (my black toes from basketball - long story killed my game a bit) kahleena met a lot of girls there, and took pictures w/3 black girls, danced with some other girls, and by the end of the day, we jumped in the other pools hot tub w/two girls sitting next to eachother, I grabbed one and put her on my lap while kahleena was already making out with the other.. lol.. anyways one left, and the other started being a bitch after awhile so we talked crap back to her and left back to the other pool.. two cute girls, I liked the one more on the left were sitting at the pool.. She sat next to the one on the right and I sat next to the one on the left and we both started up a conversation.. Other people came over and they were all talking a lot about the upcoming Lakers/Boston game (kahleena being a very big celtics fan..).. Anyways the girl I was sitting next to started talking about wanting to go get a bottle in her room, which I was down for but everyone else kind of got distracted about the whole basketball thing and was really into it and I don't know.. she finally just left after everyone kept talking about that..

Day 2! - w/2009 player of the year

Anyways, I started to think finally.. WTF am I doing? It's my first WSOP event and I've been doing pretty well so far, have an above average stack with like 12% of the field left. I bought some sleeping pills and with the help of that and herb, I passed out nicely until 9ish am finally getting some good sleep, and felt a little better... Other girl was still very moody and so me and kahleena went and got breakfast together, and I read a little bit of a Game Theory book there (I read a bit of the end of PearlJammer's, Rizen's and Apestyles 2nd book the night before, and that morning..

So I get to the tournament a little late actually right in time for my big blind, and do I get a better spot this time? No! get seated directly to the right of 2009 player of the year Eric Baldwin. Great lol. Funny thing is, I don't recognize him at all even after he tells me his name -- the player to my right acts shocked, and says 2009 player of the year, you don't recognize him??? lol.. I've been playing so much online, and although I used to frequently pickup card players (magazine) it's really been AWHILE since I've even looked at one (I actually kept intending to stop by a casino and pick on up the prior month or so but never did). That same player I find out recently took down a big sunday online tournament and although he looks to be just under 10 bb's here and just pushed his last hand all in and got it folded.

So first hand I get involved in with Eric is before I realize he's well himself is I raise just before cutoff with pocket 7's. He thinks for a bit and calls behind (first hand I've raised so far). We get it heads up and the flop is QhJh2x and I think for a bit and fire a continuation bet (this is actually a bad flop for a continuation bet, but even though I don't know he's player of the year, I did pick up that he's a strong player - and as such I think he may call me with quite a range in late position here.) He calls my continuation bet which I hate, cause I feel I have to give up the hand (although I think he could be doing this to take it away on the turn figuring I'm continuation betting most hands). The turn is a beautiful 7! Gin! .. Now.. I stop and think for awhile. If I check-raise, it's basically to where I might as well check raise all in - I figure it prob looks more suspicious if I check raise small, and anyways there's plenty of draws on the board. Now I start thinking more about the draws. QhJh and think a lot of the time he has a creative type hand here.. suited or semi-suited connector. I think he has a queen or jack enough too and with a queen he'll call another bet.. with a jack maybe also.. not sure what he's picking up by my thinking. Finally I decide to just bet, and sort of drop an extra chip in as I'm betting.. and bet about 2/3s of the pot.. He thinks for awhile, and fakie shifts a stack of chips in a couple of times, I try to slightly act nervous, etc.. but finally he folds, and rethinking, I wish I would of check-raised all in and got a little more value. Not sure what he had, but I think he's betting almost anything if I check. I just would of hated to see check check followed by a heart, or worse yet a heart/straight connecting card... So I take down the pot none-the-less.

Next hand I raise.. is I think 66 in late position and this time he thinks for awhile again and opts to make a good size 3-bet, and this time I can't call and toss my hand. I like his philosophy of just focusing on each individual hand rather than the long term results...

So anyways, a big hand at this table that I probably double up on.. I have AA (my first of the tourney), and what looks to be a good player in UTG raises, then right behind him an older guy that just showed 3 hands after raises in the last 6 hands or so (AK, KK, and JJ) reraises behind him, it's folded around to me with Aces... I think a squeeze would be beautiful here, but I don't think the first guy's reraising much at all to the guy who has shown only premium hands and last said ok he's now only playing aces or kings... I still think for awhile, and reraise from 6k (I think the reraise was minimum raise.) to 16k.. while I'm thinking (I was in a conversation prior, which continued fluently while I looked at my cards w/one of the guys next to me..) I say something along the lines of your that big again?.. and stop and think for awhile longer.. posturing.. and finally say I raise fairly aggressively and make it 16k. UTG guy folds, and old/tight guy looks flustered (I still have more chips than him..) and thinks for awhile, and finally say alright I'm all in, and obviously I snap call, and double up over his Kings.

A little while later I get reseated to another table, and kinda awkward positioning again -- all the mid/shorter stacks are in a kind of difficult position to pick on w/out getting in trouble from the other two bigger stacks along with me..

Ok I gotta go so make the end short unfortunately..

This cute serious (absence of a better word) looking asian girl w/her hoodie hood up, and an interesting flower/lotus tattoo up her neck is the big stack sitting across the table from me. I'm in seat one and she's in seat four or five.. seat 8 I believe doubles up over someone and picks up his aggression, while the girl doesn't play much and nor do I although I want too, I just can't find good spots, and am pretty card dead.. . Anyways She steals my blind once, and hard to call when she's in early position.. again she raises, but a little larger than normal and I have JJ... rethinking this now.. I think I gave her a little too much credit, but she basically put me at a decision for all my chips.. The awkward "normal" 3x raise to 6k from early position kinda made me think she had something that strong, but that she kind of wanted to protect, but that's common thinking, so who knows really.. I still put her on a very strong range, and just called with my jacks from SB. The flop came 5-8-10 and I bet 7500 (just over half pot - I could of bet stronger perhaps.. or check/called might of been better, but I don't want to see an ace or king come down there either...) She fairly quickly raised me to 20k. I have around 50k chips, and so she's basically putting me all in because I mean it's the point of commitment here.. I though for a bit and I don't know.. I kept putting her on 10's or better here.. I didn't think she'd make the move w/a lower pair, and ahh but then after I think 8's or better too.. either way. 88, or 10-10 got there.. if she had 9's I'm of course ahead.. JJ (very unlikely) we tie, and any other hand in that range aside from a bluff I'm way behind... so I told her.. I have an over pair (giving her a lot of info, but just trying to get a reaction.. she didn't flinch.. I said "you know what I have right?" .. no reaction... bleh.. I finally folded, and was still like .. upset a little not knowing where I was at in the hand and if I was correct or not..)..

Two hands later I'm in cutoff with AJ and make a standard raise after it's folded to me.. BB who recently doubled up stop and thinks for a bit, and I see him thinking heh, and he raises all in. He recently doubled up and he seemed like a fairly good player.. He still had (6k) less chips than me. I was still a little flustered from a couple hands prior.. And told him -- "My range is huge right?" knowing he knew I raised the last couple of times in late position it was folded to me... and also knowing he just saw me make a very big fold. I muttered I call, I call., and he flipped Q-10.. I was still just in a bad feeling/state, and didn't really want to get in a spot like this just yet, but knew it was correct if I wanted to win this thing, and I knew I needed to keep chipping up and this table had been slow... So I flop two pair.. AQJ flop... turn is the King, crushing me and leaving me with only 3 bb. Next hand I go all in w/K9 and it folds around, I fold like 9-4, and another trash hand, and in UTG I push with 6-7 and it folds all the way around to the button who calls with KQ and sends me home. :/.. 207th. I collect 2854$ and out.

Works doneeee.. peaaace.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Strategy: Alternative Spots to Check Behind and Float

The Check-Behind Trap. (CBT)

I wanted to discuss what I'll call CBT w/o having searched around extensively, but from what I've found, I haven't seen this discussed a whole lot really while I use it effectively often. This is a variation of the usual situation in which you might check behind a player on the turn while you had continuation bet the flop with a mediocre hand and got called - planning to call a river bet and keep the pot small. There are of course several other spots..

The CBT is checking behind or in front of another player on the flop (or extended to even the turn in some specific cases) with a strong or mediocre hand intending to get more value from an either immediate bluff attempt (when out of position) or a later street bluff attempt (both in and out of position), or when someone connects with a worse hand they think is good in part because of your check. This is definitely most effective in heads up or sometimes 3 way confrontation's, and usually should be thrown out the window when facing any more players (or actually could be employed for different reasons [ie. pot control], although I'd usually bet out and take control in these more multiway spots).

As an example of a bit more borderline scenario you could do this in - Say your heads up with Q8 and the flop comes out Q-9-4 Rainbow and you are checked too. You could bet out and take the hand in position here or check behind aiming to create value later in the hand weighted against the additional small risk of your single opponent drawing out on you with a Kx, Ax, or even 8-10 type hand when a jack comes (Note: that this risk is heavily increased w/even one more player involved). Here, I argue that depending on the player's aggressivity and situation this will generally lead to more overall value than simply betting the flop in which case you will usually take it down there on the flop (the safer/secure standard route, but were considering overall value weighted against risk here.) Checking behind will often encourage additional action on the turn in which the opponent will either bet trying to steal the pot from you on a complete bluff, or may think his lower pair is now good. You can now call behind allowing him to bet the river, or raise it here. Generally, although very read dependant - I'd recommend the safer route of calling. If the opponent checks, you can now fire a bet on the turn, and they may call with Ace high or a low pair thinking your trying to take the pot. I will often do this with middle pair's even, and play defensively post flop just trying to maximize or squeeze additional value out of the hand.

Now for more optimal scenarios: This move is best applied when you have a Ax, or Kx and hit your top pair on the flop w/no overcards in the case of a king. Say you have 1 or 2 opponents before you. you either limped or raised with A4s, A5, A7.. Anything along those lines preflop and had two callers. Now the flop comes 2 T A rainbow. Both players check to you. If you feel confident in your reads check behind. If you bet - only players with an Ace, or that have you beat will generally call. Otherwise someone with something like K-10 may later lead into you on the the turn when a lower card then ten hits eliminating the Ace from his perceived range of your hands. There is a small danger of someone pulling out an inside straight (w/QJ, KJ, KQ) or two pair on you which is being measured against the value of you getting additional money in on later streets when someone try's to bluff at the pot, or thinks there mediocre hand is good. This may not seem worthwhile, but I promise with experience and being able to identify good spots it can be used quite valuably.

However, I think and have seen a number of times, while letting time dwindle down a bit like I'm thinking of the hand and then calling the turn - more aggressive players (in specifically 20$ or less SNG's or Tourney's) will often just push an absolute bluff on the river trying to take you off of a hand thinking your scared of the ace or thinking your just floating them since it was checked on the flop. Either way you can value bet the river if they check to you and maybe make an additional bit on both the turn and the river now whereas they would of just folded to your more standard C-Bet (continuation bet) on the flop. Against your tricky opponent, they may just check raise you all-in if they overthink the hand.

Does this work 'Out of Position?'

Yes - An example from a recent live tourney at the Bike's mini-series of poker deepstack event where I doubled up once and used two other times effectively:

First hand was with KK and preflop play was very standard against a poorer LAG (loose-aggressive player). I had seen this guy make a large raise twice so far the first 40 min in position after several limpers were in other hands bet and then bet aggressively when checked too. Preflop from the SB I reraised his 5x bb raise after one limper to 1500 from SB. (*MLT Tip: It's a good idea to note players styles that stick out as very aggressive or very tight as they often have a tendancy to assume other players are thinking and acting the same way as themselves when making moves. Before betting, raising, or checking against such a player - ask yourself what a bet, raise, or check coming from that player in your position would mean. Consider this prior to making the move and use it. ) The player pretty quickly called me in this case. The flop came out J 5 2 with two spades I believe. The only hand I'm really worried about here is JJ - but I'm definitely getting all my money in against this specific player minus the appearance of an Ace.

-- Here now I have two primary options; bet and protect my hand and probably take down the 3250 ish pot, or check behind. We still each have around 4k in chips behind and well 8250 just sounds a little more juicy too me than 3250.

I opt to check behind, but not only check behind - live - I reach for my chips kinda quick look up for a second and make a subtle smirk. I stop and sit and think for a little while (this is almost all act and based on particular players and my feel of their corresponding reads and views on me. Generally - try to have your whole hand planned out preflop - if the players bets/checks, etc, what will you do? but giving yourself time to make decisions is always wise when unsure. Think of how to maximize hand value) and finally check. He fairly quickly leads out for an almost pot sized bet of 2800 commiting almost 3/4's of his remaining stack. I didn't wait any longer and just moved in here at this point thinking he was commited and calling anything he made this bet with. He shows 88, and my Kings hold to take the 8350 ish pot. Admittedly, players this LAG-donkish (as not to be mistaken for a good LAG player) may call on the flop depending on bet size, acting, etc.. but it is much less likely in scenario's like this than simply checking to them...

Another hand was smaller but another example... I had flopped two pair in a 3 way pot and opted to check behind in last position. The turn goes player 1: check, player 2: bet pot, and I thought and called. First position folds. River is a blank and player 2 checks, and I decide to make a 1/3ish pot value bet as it now looks like he entirely bluffed the turn or is weak. He seemingly frustrated folds showing that it was a complete bluff on the turn and I collect what would of almost for sure have been double what I would have otherwise collected by betting the flop.

One warning: Keep in mind the added danger of potentially getting outdrawn on and use this move as a double edged sword, keeping a defensive stance, while maximizing value - not blindly pushing aggressively on the turn/river. Of course, with improved hands (two pair+;) consider raises, particularly on safer (non flushy/straight type boards). Consider ways to get max value by raising while putting your opponent on specific ranges and guesstimating what they'd call, or just pushing in spots where they lead into you and you have within 2.5-3x the total pot or less of your chips leftover with two pair (one being top pair on a non flushy/straight board). This will look like a bluff enough to a lot of opponents to get called just about as much as a normal value raise which actually looks stronger to a lot of players. (I'd say use this more in 30$ online or less, or 200$ live or less SNG/Tourney's while considering value raising more depending on your opponent in larger buy-ins) Once in a great while your opponent may have picked up a set here, but overall you will be yielding much more value from this play in the rare cases this happens.

This move can be used effectively in many situations - experiment with it a little if you haven't used it already. Let me know how it works for you.

Upcoming for the Blog.

I plan on re-investing some more time into this blog into the future. Bringing it back from the dead if you will. Here's a brief overview of some quick ideas:

More tips/strategy. Multi-tabling, quick tips, and guides, and site/product reviews and Video's. I definitely want to start throwing some video's in the mix identifying tips/strategies being discussed and intend to shortly.

Particularly, I plan on covering more multitabling strategies, ideas, and tools to maximize profit as I've recently been multitabling 12 tables much more frequently and successfully. You can do a sharkscope search for akashra777 at anytime to see my progress. As I improve my game I aim to help you improve yours.

Also, I will cover the usual thoughts/flow of tournaments I particupate in as in the past. Guiding you through Tournament situations and thought process firsthand as I play both live and online.

Also, I welcome any ideas, and/or anything anyone reading would like to see or have answered - feel free to ask.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Wow a new blog...

It's been awhile.. since I've written anything here.
That's partially due to the fact that I had been on such a bad run I' had stopped playing for a little and refocused on some other things. Actually was researching various internet-based income ideas, marketing, affiliates, seo, ppcmm, etc.. etc..

Ok enough of that.. back to POKER.. that is what this blog's supposed to be about right. Anyways.. Seem to be getting back on track finally. About fing time. ; ) .. I played 4 tournaments over the last week. One FPP Satellite to the 200$ Sunday event on PS (I donked away all my money as mentioned above) .. I placed in this tourney and got a seat in the 200$ event which I bubbled out on.. So nothing great there.. I was just happy w/the play, and flow, and no insanely ridiculous streaks of river BB's driving me crazy : ) ..

Anyways.. I finally got sick of not having any money in my poker accounts for the first time in a long while, and threw in an extra 50 bucks.. Played a 10$ Stud H/L tourney w/95 particupants that night (a few nights ago) on Full Tilt and finished 2nd for $190... Which was pretty disapointing going in HU since early on HU I took a 109k to 36k chiplead. Blinds were huge though, and the first hand I had a nice low + flush draw turned to midpair w/no low or flush.. Opponent is showing crap and i'm in position calling him down through most of the hand, as he's been picking up his aggression recently... Anyways he ends up with a concealed set as he raises me on the river and my hand never improved beyond a pair from a flush/low draw on fourth.. I held chiplead through most of the tournament, and was my first stud h/l MTT actually I think ever... Could be wrong.. At least anytime since I've had any decent set of skills : ) ..

Yesterday, I played in a 24$ DS 615 Entrant NL Tourney also on Full Tilt. My 2nd hand I double up w/AK w/top pair against someone w/a lower kicker.. K10 I believe he had.. Worried a bit he had hit a set or something similiar, but play dictated otherwise for the most part, and either way at least it was the 2nd hand in and I wouldn't of had to waste my time getting eliminated several hours in.

Shortly after this.. within the next half hour or so.. I played decent.. but what I felt was like shit honestly when I had two nice opportunities to knock people off their whole stacks if played better. one came up 3 way w/Jack high on the flop. I' flopped a set of deuces against two oponents - BB in with J3, and MP+2 in with JQs, while I'm sitting on the button with a set of deuces on 2 diamond board though. One of my deuces is a diamond. EP bets small amount.. MP raises min, and for some reason I reraised min here... Not sure why... Figured the original better would call down.. Hoping he had two small pair, or a flush draw and would call down or reraise, while I put the MP on something along the lines of KJ/QJ/J10/AJ, etc.. The 2 diamonds partially created the minraise which is still silly, .. I should through in some more value in the pot if i was a bit concerned there.. Anyways.. MP calls. turns random unsuited 7 or something similar.. he bets out half pot, and i min raise again. meh. river is another jack.. He puts out an amount similar to his last half pot, but like less than a quarter or so of the current pot. I min raise again. wtf.
Anyways I picked up a decent pot.. Just thought I could of took more from the both of them if played differently. Another similar situation came up a couple hands later in which if played better I think I could have taken them off their stack... No wonder I've been doing so bad lately -- Anyways.. now since I'm seeing how lucky I seem to be today, I kick everyone out of my room that's buggin the shiet outta me and go back to poker .. A while later I f myself royally off of over half my stack with a horribly played AK on a QJ2 bored. Sickly played..

hah.. ok . . So noww... I slow down a bit until this hand comes up: I make a min raise from MP+2 w/89s preflop.. Call a small flop bet w/a flush draw, turn the flush, and at the same time villain hits his Ace high straight with Ace of spades.. (he was holding As10x ..) I check raise villain on the turn AI and he hesitates for awhile and finally calls, to turn over the straight w/nut flush draw. -- He doesn't hit and i'm doubled up again... and back to a little below where I was after the 2nd hand of the tourney. I change my game up and play an aggressive game trying to sneak in a lot of pots from position w/random hands I think I can make due w/when the price is right and build myself back up to 10k pretty quickly. I lose most of my stack again when someone calling w/a non highcard (didn't beat the boards highpair) PP (after seeing me turn up the aggression for a bit -- I had top two pair in this case) rivers a set.. i'm down to 3.5k and change up my game again to tight - conservative, waiting the right opportunities to double up again. ..

I remain shortstacked like this for the next 2-3 hours.. around half way from nothing to average the whole time, until it starts to get in the money w/63 players... Can't remember the exact hands, but now over the next hour in one hand I trippled up, and than with more chips knocked out another player -- Still keeping to a more tight/conservative style of play now, waiting for the right moments to attack though... I manage to move up to 4th place overall with about 20 people left.. with 13 i'm still in 4th place... Gets to the final table, and I haven't played anything since about 13th place as I haven't gotten anything and now i'm about 7th place. Basically.. I knock the first guy out at the final table with pocket jacks against his AK on a AJ5 (all spade flop -- neither of us had any) .. (wtf.. i really needa save HH's .. would be so much easier.) .. anyways somehow i end up hurting again in 7th place or so after a few hands.. oh i recall.. I had J8o on something like a QhJh5 flop HU against a non-raised SB (i'm in bb) AQ and getting rope-a-doped until the river when I checked behind. Thought he might of been on a draw or just hit jacks, or 5's .. etc, but slowed down when i made a decent turn bet and he called again..

Anyways... I haden't played anything for awhile again... In the meantime there's somethin ridiculous like 5 split pot all-in's in a row... Everytime it seems like someones gonna get knocked out the river creates a split pot.. Seriously ridiculous... Anyways finally I have the best hand on I've seen in three rotations.. Ducks! .. wo0t. pocket 2's.. lol.. I still have 95k w/5-10k blinds, 1k ante's... and get one mid position caller.. So here goes' my tight, strong, leaks finally plugged (prior to early on in the tourney that is..) game, and I push.. which in my mind wasn't too bad.. I had been being shown respect for awhile as I had been barely playing any hands.. Last two shown down was AK against AJ, and JJ against AK ... which I had won both... I haden't played any hands now in at least 3 rotations and was on the button with one limper and 2 mid-low stack blinds.. The problem here is that I didn't bother to note the limper was the chipleader by a comfortable margin, and thought about it for maybe 7-8 seconds and called. He flips QK and flops a queen. Sure I could of waited a bit longer for something better than deuces here, but I was more disapointed with my negligence in not paying attention to the stack size of the limper -- I already had the blinds sizes and their past play (and most recent play noted in my head - and was thinking of pushing minus any raises pre when it got to me) but (w/o paying close attention to his stack size) believe he was to weak to call my AI -- which I imagine would of held up to be true with almost any other stack at the table particularly since the action at this point for the most part is just folding around the table... I actually dont' mind my push their that much - the stack size leak.

Sorry for the lack of HH. I'll fix it. !

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

PS Bloggers Championship

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 2237452

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sigh... Can't seem to catch a break.

..First was $3.2k here (1222 starting players)... These are the last 2 hands I played one right after the other... A little after 5 hours, IGH in 43rd for 48 bucks. GG.

******* Hand 1 ********

Poker Stars
No Limit Holdem Tournament
Blinds: t8000/t16000
(Ante: t800)
9 players
Stack sizes:
AJKHoosier1: t178424
UTG+1: t266458
MP1: t224704
MP2: t128424
MP3: t155296
pocaine: t137603
akashra777: t239715
SB: t175464
BB: t185994

Pre-flop: (9 players) akashra777 is Button with J♣ J♠

5 folds, pocaine raises all-in t136803, akashra777 calls t136803 (pot was t160803), 2 folds.

AJKHoosier1 said, "oops"

Flop: 7♥ 6♣ T♥ (t304806, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: t304806)

Turn: 2♠ (t304806, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: t304806)

River: A♥ (t304806, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: t304806)


Final pot: t304806

*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 304806 | Rake 0
Board [7h 6c Th 2s Ah]
Seat 2: pocaine showed [Ad 5d] and won (304806) with a pair of Aces
Seat 3: akashra777 (button) showed [Jc Js] and lost with a pair of Jacks

AJKHoosier1 said, "OOPS"

******* Hand 2 ********

Poker Stars
No Limit Holdem Tournament
Blinds: t8000/t16000
(Ante: t800)
9 players
Stack sizes:
UTG: t265658
UTG+1: t223904
Fallan44: t127624
MP2: t154496
pocaine: t304806
akashra777: t102112
Button: t166664
GenghisCM: t169194
AJKHoosier1: t177624

AJKHoosier1 said, "FILTHY"

Pre-flop: (9 players) akashra777 is CO with J♦ A♦

5 folds, akashra777 raises all-in t101312, 2 folds,
akashra777 said, "..that JJ kinda hurt."
AJKHoosier1 calls t85312 (pot was t125312).

Flop: 6♣ 8♠ 4♣ (t217824, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: t217824)

Turn: T♥ (t217824, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: t217824)

GenghisCM said, "oh no"
Fallan44 said, "no way"

River: Q♦ (t217824, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: t217824)


Fallan44 said, "omg"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
AJKHoosier1: shows [4d Kh] (a pair of Fours)
akashra777: shows [Jd Ad] (high card Ace)
akashra777 said, "c'mon guys"
AJKHoosier1 collected 217824 from pot
pocaine said, "see ya"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 217824 | Rake 0
Board [6c 8s 4c Th Qd]
Seat 3: akashra777 showed [Jd Ad] and lost with high card Ace
Seat 6: AJKHoosier1 (big blind) showed [4d Kh] and won (217824) with a pair of Fours