Monday, January 24, 2011

Silly Things I Did Today

In a single ten (10) hour session of live 20/40 I achieved the following merit badges:

Expert Check Back and How'd You Lose That Hand

I don't remember the exact action of this hand, but it involves me calling a raise in the big blind with A6o, and seeing a flop 5 ways of:


I checked raised the field and the preflop raiser folded (damn you BJ one time could you just have something resembling a real hand and have to call me down for the jackpot equity) and I think someone else actually LOL folded and me and the small blind saw the turn peel off:


The SB checked and I insta-checked back. He has either an ace or a flush, and that's all there is to it. He leads the river 8 and I making a crying call to see his....K6hh. To recap:

[x] check/raise 5 people with trips
[x] correctly check back trips HUHU for free card at full house draw
[x] lose to K6 with A6 on flop with two aces.

Spew Cap

The action folds around to me in the HJ and I make raisy daisy with the Jack and the Nine of clubs. The CO 3 bets and the other three I put in the spew cap because whatever it's Jack Nine SOOOOTED and not capping Jack Ten soooted would be cause for convening a review board to impose sanctions against me. The flop comes:

9s 5s 3c

And to boot the BB donks into me. I raise, a couple people eat two cold, the BB 3 bets and for some reason I play bad and don't cap it, convincing myself I will raise the turn, which is a red ten. The big blind leads and I realize he's almost all in (only 3 chips left) and I sense something about his actions tells me not to raise, so I don't (this is bad...really bad....I need to not do stuff like this), and the two players behind me both call right along with their various over cards and gutshots and whatevers that are bound to crack my pair of nines. The river pairs the 3 and the BB bets his last 3 chips, I call, and the button....completes the bet to 8 chips. I fold, the button shows 32ss, and the big blind....mucks and claims "top pair and a spade draw" which probably means KT of spades. So to recap:

[x] cap J9s
[x] play like a donkey
[x] fold for 5/8ths of a bet closing the action on the river in a 16 big bet pot

....I started writing this post almost a week ago, then went to Boston for 5 days, and am now trying to finish it....I don't remember the hands that well, but will do my best to fill in the details:

Just Plain Spew

Again I somehow end up in a pot with A6o, this time holding the ace of clubs, and once again the pot was raised UTG and I called closing the action at something like 11 or 13 to one. The flop came off


And it was requested of me to call two bets cold in what was going to be a 3 to 4 way pot, not closing the action, getting immediate odds of about 9 to 1. So I called. The UTG preflop raiser three bet and the crazy gambling man (who spends his time telling people how to beat the commerce 1/2 game which is just lol-amazing) doesn't cap it and I get to call one more bet. Obviously the turn is the:


And here we sit. I have the ace of trump and a gut shot, and once again am obviously faced with two cold in a 14 or so big bet pot. I ponder, try to fold, then simply cannot and sling 80 more hopeless dollars into the pot. The UTG raiser now 3 bets and the 1/2 professor just calls and I...fold my hand. The river bricks of and UTG shows 88 to defeat the professor's flopped straight. So to recap:

[x] call 2 cold with 3 outs to a chop
[x] call 2 cold drawing stone dead
[x] eventually fold for 1 bet
[ ] see the river

Bluff 5/T Showdown Monkey

I'll probably get the board wrong here, but basically my best opponent by a substantial margin 3 bet my CO open and I called. I happened to be holding K9o, with no diamonds, and just called on the flop of:


I almost always check/raise here, but felt like I was a little too predictable and decided to change things up. He called, and the turn brought either the 8 or 6 of diamonds. I checked and resolved to raise his bet, which he made without much thought. My plan here is that he now has to call with all manner of cheese (hands as week as like 44 with a diamond) and will likely give me a bet I don't deserve on the river because "big pot has pear" theory will stifle his creativity. So as this is happening I resolve to bet river diamonds (which would put four on the board) as a pure bluff. And I get a gem:


I fire the last bet in rhythm and he folds what he later claimed was KT with no diamond. So to recap:

[x] make slow play with worst hand
[x] successfully bluff showdown monkey off top pair

Cap Preflop, Fold to Any Bet

This one wasn't even that interesting....Late position opens, SB 3 bets, I cap 99, both call. Board runs out AAK-T-A and I attempt to check/fold the flop, but nobody bets. The late position player bets the turn and gets called down by the SB, who eventually wins the pot with JJ (late position player had TT).

Shit My Dad Says

As many of you already know, Danielle is a huge Packer's fan, and this morning my father decided he would try to play peace broker between us and provide a jumping off point for breaking down the match ups in the upcoming battle of titans. Here then I give you just the most recent shit my dad says:

I am going to act as Jesse's surrogate in this because I don't want this to lead to domestic discord between the 2 of you. I have big shoulders and can take as much as you give. I assume Tyson is for the Stillers. The furry guy for the Packers. The cat is oblivious to everything. The snake I will not comment on.

First I have been cyphering and have calculated that:

The force of (4.026) x (pi) x 1 Cheesehead = The force of 1 Terrible Towel. There will be a lot of Terrible towels in Dallas.

Also. The Force of Myron and the Chief will be with us.

As to the 12th man. Packer fans are great but Stiller fans are the best in the world. Knock, Knock, Knockin on 7ins Door.

Actually I think it will be a very close game. Probably decided by a turn over or lucky play Something like 28 - 27. I don't think it will be low scoring.

At QB. Rogers is the most accurate QB I have ever seen. He escapes the pocket like Houdini. He runs as fast as a white RB. He is 3 times smarter than Favre. He grows a nice beard. Big Ben (The Polar Bear) just gets it done. He has already won 2 Super Bowls. He has realized it's the team not him. His beard is a little below standards. Slight advantage Packers unless the Stillers get to Rogers and start knocking him down. Getting to Ben will not affect him.

Wide receivers. Packers are tremendous. Jennings is a superstar. Driver is a tuff dude who does not drop passes. Jordy is a great possession WR. Jones is great if he does not drop it. Wallace is a future superstar. He beat Reavis but Ben under threw him. Hines is just Hines. He never drops a pass and makes it on 3rd downs. The youngins Brown and Sanders just get better every week. Advantage Packers. Randel will throw and complete a big pass.

Tight ends. Quarless has potential but he is not there yet. He was always in JoPas doghouse till he found Jesus. Miller is very, very good, both blocking and catching. Spaeth is OK. Johnson is now the fullback. I will discuss later. Big advantage Stillers.

OF Line. Both are suspect. If Pouncey plays I rate them even. If not advantage Packers. (Maybe Ligurski can grow some arms).

Running Game. Sorry but even though the Packers have Shippensburg Kuhn, they suck. They will not gain 70 yards and the Stillers will not have to put 8 in the box. Stillers will be able to run it. Mendenhall ran like never before last week. But in the 1st half they did have TE Johnson playing FB. He cracked many defenders really well. Big advantage Stillers.

Def Line. Stillers are good but big advantage Packers even if Smith plays.

LBs Packers are good but Stillers 4 are the best in the league. Harrison or Woodly + Rogers = fumble or Rogers carted off the field. Big advantage Stillers.

Def Backs. Rating all 4 the Packers are better. But the Stillers have Troy. Slight advantage Packers.

Special teams. PSU Kapinos is OK but nowhwere near Sepulvada. Suisham has been good and is the equal of Crosby. No great return people on either team except maybe Jonathon Brown for the Stillers. Rate it even.

Ass Coaches. Both Lebau and Capers worked together under Cower to develop 3-4 zone blitze. Even as I see it.

Head Coach. Both deserve consideration for coach of the year. Packers lost like 17 guys to IR. Stillers had Ben suspended for 4 games, lost both starting OF tackles, lost Arron Smith, Troy out 2 games and probably not at 100% for many more. I did not like Tomlin at first cause I thought he made dumb decisions and sometimes I think he still does. But he gets them to play. Advantage Stillers.

When I say 28-27 I am sure it will be Stillers 28 Packers 27. Stillers don't go to the Super Bowl to lose.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's Getting Hard to Keep Up

I don't know why, but lately I've been finding it harder and harder to be motivated to type up a blog post. Lots of interesting things have happened that I could spin into an interesting post (like yesterday when I got completely coolered by three opponents who all played their hands exceptionally poorly, and still only lost about a rack on the day), but I just haven't had the motivation. So I guess again I'm just going to ramble.

First of all today is football day. Danielle and I are just settling in for our second such Packers and Steelers...(knock knock knock Danielle's dad is here and we just spent 9 hours watching football and eating brats).

OK and we're back.....I can't believe the Steelers almost blew that game. Like, what on Earth were they trying to do in the second half? What changed on defense? Why did they continue to try to run the ball into a 8 and 9 man fronts? Anyway, now we have to decide how we are going to handle what will very likely be the only Packers Steelers Superbowl of our entire lives. Part of me really wants to just say fuck it and drop the $4-5K or whatever it would cost to go to the game (crappy tickets are selling for $2300 a piece, so likely I could get it done for under $4K), but the rest of me (the rational me) is pretty sure that's a spectacularly stupid idea. Most likely we'll end up just watching the game at home, in our apartment, in relative peace.

In poker news things are going extremely well. I've only logged 3 losing sessions this entire month (including the very first of the new year) and am so far up a stunning 10 racks in just a shade under 100 hours of play. I'm also crushing it online (I have a chance at a $2K month in less than 10K hands), thanks in part I think to a conscious decision to focus on playing only in good games when I'm feeling on top of my game (thanks to DougL and others for that piece of golden advice) and in part just because I get to run like Jesus. Live poker has been more of the same, with me actually getting to drag large pots, such as the time last week when I flopped a set of aces on :


And the guy just called the flop. LOL he's always raising the turn...always. So he does and I three bet after what apparently was the correct amount of hollywooding because he insta-4bet. At this point I stare out at the felt to ensure that there is in fact no straight possible on A82-9 and 5 bet. The guy promptly flips his shit but is unable to make what at some level should be the easiest lay down of all time....or at least as easy of a 4-bet/fold as you could ever find. Like, I raised the SB...I don't have 22. Anyway, that's been nice, and now I'm exhausted (a state I'm finding myself in more and more frequently) and need to get to sleep. Maybe I'll write something interesting from Boston next week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm Not Calling

So my first software project for the Big Potato has wrapped up and today it was time to get paid a little. The general agreement we have is that I'll code shit up for him, and in return he will coach me up on the limited texas hold them so that someday I can be like him and feel somewhat secure in my ability to make real dollars playing this game. The basic play for today was for him to sweat me Asian girlfriend style in the Commerce 20 for as long as we could get away with slash I was comfortable and then share a meal and discuss my various blunderings. The sweating part wasn't that interesting since I didn't get involved in too many hands, but he basically told me what I figured he'd tell me (and what he figured he'd tell me). His main critique (which admittedly was based on exactly two hands of interest) was that I need to a touch more "combative" in the pots I choose to play. Under normal circumstances I'd discuss this in more depth, regaling you with my folding of (gasp) a pair on the flop for a single bet, and my failure to check and raise second pair three ways against an under the gun raiser. But today I was at Commerce, and that pretty much means something terrible had to happen.

So before potato could even roll up I was there and helped start the 3rd 20/40 game. We literally had not been at it for even an entire orbit yet and as usual the floor men were trying to concurrently start a 40/80 game. Three players from my game were hemming and hawing saying "is it going to go?" and "do you have a game" and eventually Marcel came over and said "full game I'm taking a nickel and locking you up" and promptly grabbed a $5 chip from seats 4, 5, and 6 and walked them over to the new 40 game. Never mind that this is going to leave our 6 minute old must move game 5 handed. That is of no concern to Marcel; he just works there, and his job description is just to start games and keep customers happy. So anyway while this is happening a hand comes off the deck and seat 4 folds and picks up his chips, seat 5 follows suite, and seat 6 raises and says "I'll be right there". I am in the cutoff and behold the AQo and make it three bets. The small blind, who is a glittering, pristine example of all that is wonderful and awful about Commerce takes all the bets cold, as is his custom, and probably starts thinking about how he's going to berate the dealer after he once again fails to triumph with his ground breaking check/call, check/call, check/fold strategy. The opener calls and we see a flop.

All I remember about this flop is that it had and an ace in it. Hours later he and I decided it was A84r, but neither of us can be sure there was no flush draw, and we aren't exactly sure on the cards beside the ace. Of that, we are decidedly certain. So the small blind checks (because that is the first step in his above stated 6 part strategy) and the raiser...donks. No need to get fancy here, I has it, and the second part of the SBs strategy is "call" and the number of bets is of little concern to him, so it is in my best interest to to make that number as large a possible. Nearly nothing is going through my head as the SB calls both bets (phase 2 complete) and the donker just calls. I do a little work trying to hand read, but honestly at this point I'm betting til they raise me, at which point I'm calling down, and really there is nothing more to think about in this hand. The turn card pairs the ace, and this is the point where something in my brain could have (or maybe even should have) alerted me to the possibility that something was perhaps amiss. But I must confess not even a flicker of thought ran through my brain beyond "you both check? I have three aces I will bet". That is it. So the SB checks, and the donker who is now completely racked up and ready to leave for the 40/80 says "I'm not calling" and picks his cards up off the table. Nothing registers beyond sheer confusion. I decide he must think we are heads up and is informing me that the hand is over out of courtesy (lol, this would be the first such act in the history of the Commerce casino, were it true) and simply respond "But he might" and motion towards the small blind, who obligingly calls the bet, completeling the fourth leg of his six part journey. The donker is a little agitated and says "I said I wouldn't call" and folds pocket jacks in a "flashy" way, basically picking them up backs toward himself and folding them forward in a grand sweeping motion. Still in my brain....there is nothing. I even say to the small blind, out of courtesy "I saw two picture cards, probably jacks" and their owner seems a little confused himself. "Yes, jacks" he responds (lol donk/call check/fold jacks? well played sir). The dealer burns and turns....the case ace. And it hits me like a ton of bricks. The speech, the confusion, the agitation....the man was trying to tell me that he wasn't going to call a bet and if I wanted my chance to hit the jackpot I needed to just check. The small blind checks, I bet, and he folds QJhh face up (which at some point did in fact have a flush draw....perhaps not until the turn, or at least that's what me and the other guy decided hours later) and everyone looks at me longingly. Do I have it? I am stunned and can do nothing but nod....they push me the pot....I turn my cards over to prove my claim, as if anyone in his right mind would possibly lie in such a situation. The table is in awe; we just missed a $33K bad beat jack pot ($6600 of which would have been mine) because the guy folded on the turn. He personally would have won nearly $20K (meaning he was getting about 500:1 on the call). And I swear on all I keep holy (which to frank isn't very much) that it didn't even occur to me until I saw all three of those pretty aces on the board after the river fell.

GG Commerce. Good. Fucking. Game.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Confirm Fair to Middling

I took the day "off" today to work on that software project for/with the big potato. It only took me half a day or so, and I got 99% of the answer he wanted to his question. He seems a satisfied customer, anyway. I spent the other half of the day donking around on Full Tilt, and was treated to more glorious run good. To date on the year I have done basically nothing but win online, which is probably due to a combination of running well, advanced comfort with the games, and scaling back the hours and numbers of tables I'm playing. Here are the highlights from today's session:

Full Tilt Poker $2/$4 Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter By DeucesCracked Poker Videos

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is CO with T 9
2 folds, MP1 calls, MP2 raises, Hero 3-bets, 5 folds

Final Pot: 3.25 BB
Hero wins 3.25 BB

Full Tilt Poker $5/$10 Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter By DeucesCracked Poker Videos

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is BB with K 2
UTG raises, UTG+1 calls, UTG+2 calls, MP1 calls, MP2 calls, 2 folds, SB calls, 1 fold

Flop: (13 SB) J 4 4 (6 players)
SB bets, UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, UTG+2 calls, MP1 raises, MP2 folds, SB folds, UTG+2 calls

Turn: (9 BB) 4 (2 players)
UTG+2 checks, MP1 bets, UTG+2 folds

Final Pot: 9 BB
MP1 wins 8.7 BB
(Rake: $3.00)

Full Tilt Poker $5/$10 Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter By DeucesCracked Poker Videos

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is UTG+1 with K K
UTG calls, Hero raises, 2 folds, CO calls, 3 folds, UTG calls

Flop: (7.5 SB) 5 8 4 (3 players)
UTG bets, Hero raises, CO folds, UTG calls

Turn: (5.75 BB) 6 (2 players)
UTG bets, Hero calls

River: (7.75 BB) 7 (2 players)
UTG bets, Hero calls

Final Pot: 9.75 BB
UTG shows 3 3 (a straight, Eight high)
Hero shows K K (a straight, Eight high)
UTG wins 4.75 BB
Hero wins 4.7 BB
(Rake: $3.00)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I typed up that last post on my phone and probably didn't give it the full justice I should have. On the river, the action went sort of like this:

Guy with straight: "Shit the board is paired, I check"
Me: "Yahoo! You have a straight and I have a full house, I bet!"
Guy with trips: "Trip eights is a good hand. I raise"
Guy with straight: "That retard could do this with just an 8. Wow, I guess I have to call, even though Jesse knows I have a straight. At least he should know."
Jesse: "Wow. Guy with straight thinks his straight still has a chance. That means he thinks that idiot might only have an eight. I am a wimp I will just call."
Guy with trips: "See look at my pretty trips"
Jesse: "Wow you are dumb"
Guy with straight: "Wow you both are dumb"

I've gone back over it a few times, and there really is no justifiable reason for me not 3 betting, simply because the guy with trip 8s cannot possibly have me beat because he didn't raise the turn (which would have required him to simply call with either 86 or 66). So I suck. Moving along to other rambling and somewhat related points (in that they all at least happened to me).

I'm going to go ahead and call out Professor Ben for being an idiot. Admittedly I'm not the one actually doing the calling out, as he posted the thread himself, but JFC man what were you thinking? Best of luck to you, sir.

Poker has been going sort of OK like for me. I have been playing online a little every day (usually for an hour, sometimes two) and things have been going pretty good. I've only booked 3K hands so far for the month (which is what happens when you play for an hour a day most days), but have been winning comfortably, even at my nemesis stake, 3/6. I'm also clearing my end of the year Ironman bonus (which was something like $450 woo hoo) and am going to have to devote one or two days to online play at some point just to finish it off. I also received an email from Bodog promising to close my account if I don't log in and make some gambool, so if you see some idiot sit down at like an 8/16 table with ten bets that is me free rolling the $164.51 I forgot about. The MitchL theory of online poker accounts demands that you never completely busto any account, leaving a few dollars here and there that you can occasionally try to run up to millions isildur1 style, with plays like this. However I think I'm already at that point with Bodog, so I'll probably just busto it, and if I don't hurray for me I'll have like $1K and have to try to figure out how to get the money out of there. As an aside...anybody want $164 on Bodog?

Live poker has been going pretty well also. I'm winning, and managing to handle the douchebaggery pretty much OK. I did have a dream last night where I stood up and berated Mr. Lee for showing three deuce off on back to back river bluffs against me, and then managed to flop two pair (jacks and fives), turn a flush (curiously impossible) and river quads (my hole cards managed to change to pocket fives in super cool fashion...I was totally expecting to see J5 when I turned them over, but instead it was pocket fives for the stone nut quadzilla. Don't ask me how I had a flush on the turn). It feels like I have been winning handily, but upon inspecting my sheet the statistics are kind of bizarre:

Days Played: 9
Winning Days: 7
Total Won: 1500
Hours Played: 65

That's really not very good, but I guess it's tough to post much better when you have a two rack loser once a week. Nearly all of my sessions have been following the same basic pattern of me lighting two (or in one case four) racks on fire in the first few hours, then eventually leaving up a few hundred bucks at quittin' time. In fact I did exactly that for five out of six sessions in the middle, with the lone exception involving me simply winning three racks without the cliff diving prelude. Of course none of these numbers actually mean anything except for the 65 hours part. That's pretty good for 9 days of play during which I begged out early at least three times (twice because I was tired/game wasn't good and once to watch the BCS game and talk shop with the Big Potato, with whom I have entered a symbiotic relationship involving him making me less bad at poker and me running computer simulations for him that I hack up in Java), although today I was definitely showing signs of wear. Tuesday and Wednesday were 9 and 10 hour days respectively, and it's just hard to put in that much play and not have it wear down on your tilt repellent. So tomorrow I am taking the day off, staying home and in general catching up on shit (and coding up some badugi stuff for the potato).

The hand reviews continue, and in general I'm finding the theme is that I'm not being careful enough with my thought processes in hands. I've picked up some good bits of wisdom, such as "in tight range spots, ABC play is often the best course of action" and "whenever I bluff, the thesis is never to get them to fold a pair. They will simply shrug and call because they have a pair. I try to get them to fold king high". I've also been posting some hands on two plus two, like:

The truth of the matter is that I still louse up hands all the time and need to stay diligent to make sure I am on point and focused for as much of my session as possible. I guess that's about it for now, but to close I will relate some absurd hands from the last few days:

5 handed and I open UTG/HJ. Mr. Lee three balls the SB, a poor player calls the BB, I cap it because I have AK, both call, and we flop:


I even have the Ks. They check, I bet, and Mr. Lee check/raises. We both call. To make a long story short the board pairs, he bets we call, then pairs again, he bets, BB folds, and I call. Mr. Lee says "good call" and shows me AQ, which sucked out for half the pot when the board paired the second time. I can only laugh and confirm with Pete that the guys play is somewhere between atrocious and bad.

Another gem involved the game's biggest fish open limping in like the CO to let me and the SB see the flop for super cheap. It comes dowh J65dd and I bet because I have 87. I know it's going to take three barrels to get the fish to fold and that he's going to have to brick out, but I have an open ender what the heck. The turn is a small diamond or something and I bet and he just calls. On the river I make my straight and bet once more. He calls and shows me a queen high flush.....I am in awe.

My favorite perhaps has gotten a little fuzzy, but basically I have aces and raise and we see a flop 3 ways. Three bets go in on the flop, with the BB check/raising me, me three betting, and the late position prop-fish calling all the way. On the turn the board reads something like T85-7 with two flush draws and I get check/raised again, with the prop again calling both bets one at a time. I call hoping to be up against just two pair or maybe a set and blessedly don't have to make a tough river decision as I spike an ace. The BB bets and I just call, assuming maybe I can get an overcall or something (and not really sure I'm not facing a nut straight) and the BB declares "one lonely pair" and I courtesy fast roll cause he's a nice guy. He claims he was open-ended with one of the nut flush draws on the turn, which I tend to believe. And boy would it have been sick if I had kings. I learned a lot about him in that hand, that basically he is capable of fast playing big draws and even putting in aggression multiway on the turn with large enough ones. This is odd because the same player decided to call preflop, check/call, check/call, and donk the river with pocket kings on like jack high board against me. Which as you can see is just absurd.

And the last one...well it's just a bad beat. The flop is AT2r and I have raised the AQcc on the button like 5 or 6 ways. I get some callers on the flop, and like 2 or 3 more on the turn 4, which puts up a spade draw. The river is the ace of spades and they again all check. I bet, and everybody folds back to the fish from the first hand who calmly calls. I turn over my hand and almost tip the dealer, but then he rolls the 98ss for the back doored flush. Once again...awe.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

But He Knows That I Know

I played a monstrous pot recently that I felt presented several interesting decisions. A few players limped in and the HJ raised. I think the button called, the uber nit post flop SB called and I took a flyer on pocket 3s from the big blind. We saw the flop 6 ways, and the preflop raiser had only blue ($1) chips remaining. These chips only play in $5 clumps, and it appeared that he had $10 worth. This is important because of my ignorance; I'm only 80% sure I can check/raise a 2 chip bet. The rule is typically "half a bet" can be raised, but sometimes it's "more than half a bet", and I simply don't know which is in play here. So I quickly decide that 6 ways I'm going to donk if I flop the stealth bomb set. Completely exploitable, but probably the way to go here.


Bink. SB checks, I donk, one of the limpers raises, the PFR shrug-calls for 2 chips, another limper calls somewhere, the SB insta-calls (which means he's probably not drawing dead), I 3 bet, the raiser calls, other caller now kamikaze caps all in, and the SB eats two more and we start work on the second side pot 3 ways.


SB checks, I bet, flop raiser calls, the all in players hope, and the uber nit SB....raises. This is 54s like every single time, except when he has 88 and decided to make expert slowplay which I guess is actually pretty often. I can also justify 86s, and call the bet, unsure if I want the board to pair as it might just cost me 2 more bets.


SB....checks! Victory is mine! I bet and the third player....raises! The SB tanks for what feels like 2 full minutes and I can see the thought balloons popping over his head.

"I have a straight"

"Surely he knows that"

"But he didn't raise the turn. He cannot possible beat a straight"

Etc, etc. Eventually he talks himself into a call and I make my most bone-headed play of the day and just call. This is idiotic; unless the player really figured out that my donk/3 is a set every single time AND managed to trust his gut when he turned top two. Anyway....I just call and get shown A8 ( You are just so terrible) and of course 54hh. I drag the monster and immediately start torturing myself for missing the river 3 bet.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dead Money

As a prelude I would like to make a distinction. In his videos on DC, BigBadBabar refers to posts as "dead money", and I think this usage is confusing. The money being posted plays for the poster as a bet and is therefore not dead. My definition of dead money is not the big blind sized post that you get when a new player enters a game, but the small blind sized money a player with a missed blind button must put into the pot which does not play for him. Minor point, but it's my blog so I'm free to be as on point or pointless as I like.

In this game sometimes you do everything right and get absolutely shit on for it. Other times you do something completely ridiculous and come out smelling like a rose. It's just the nature of the beast, and I had a 10 minute sequence today which illustrated the principle perfectly. For the first hand the action folded to me in the lowjack (for the record on all this jacking...first there was just the button and the cutoff. Then according to legend Tommy Angelo brought into being the highjack, one seat before the cutoff. The next logical progression was to call the seat before that, which is actually under the gun in a six max game, the lowjack. Professor Ben, in his decidedly finite wisdom, has suggested that we call the next seat the farjack, but that hasn't really caught on yet) and I pick up the King and the Ten of spades. I go for my chips, start cutting them, then glance left (more Tommy Angelo) and realize the passive fish on my left in seat 8 has eight chips in his hand and is preparing to raise. I muck my cards and only seat 9, a long time pro with whom I've become friendly, notices. Seat 8 gets some action from the button and one of the blinds, and the final board runs out as such:


Seat 8 bets the flop and is raised, donks the turn and is once again raised, then check/folds the river muttering something about "ace no good" or some such. Note that my KTss made the stone cold nuts, and could not have been pried from my cold dead hands with a crow bar. Looking left just cost me a huge pot. I did everything right, astutely noticing that I was going to be playing the pot out of position against a premium hand, and managed to avoid a bad spot. Yay for me.

So like two hands later I have to pee and am going to get up and hopefully just miss one hand, but the player on my right gets up for a walk also and I decide meh I could use a lap off so I take an out button as well and leisurely use the restroom, buy a diet coke (these things are related obviously) and meander back to the table. When I get there the button is on my immediate left, in seat 8, and I resolve not to post into the game. I'm OK with buying the button (making up both blinds in the small blind position, with 4 chips playing and 2 chips being dead money) but think that you give up too much posting in the cutoff with the dead money. I could be wrong on this, but that's not really the point. The point is that it's my custom in such a situation to wait to take my natural blind. But what happens? Seat 6, the player on my right who was out for a walk, shows up and posts himself, dead money and all. Now that changes everything, if I'm not mistaken, and probably makes not posting a mistake. If it's even close before, having the highjack post must make it the right call. So anyway I post and UTG declares "look at all that dead money!" and I say "come and get it" and limps. One or two other players limp, me and the other poster check, and to boot I have the Q5 suited, which to be honest is a fine hand to be the 4th person to enter a pot with anyway. The small blind, (the pro in seat 9 who noticed my KT shenanigans and asked me about it when I apparently cringed on the river) however, declares "Some idiot has to raise this one" and does just that. We all call, the pot is hudge, and away we go:


He bets, there's a call or two, and I of course take one off.


I raise and he calls.


He check/calls and I sheepishly turn over my hand. UTG declares "can't win with good hands you so you gotta play that?", having already forgotten I posted, to which I reply "like you said....dead money"

Monday, January 3, 2011

This One is Too Much

I don't post naked hands much anymore, but this one is too good to pass up.

Two players limp in MP and the CO and the SB, who just finished turning $100 in $5 bills into chips calls. I raise the JTss in the BB cause it is pretty. They call obviously.


SB checks and I consider checking since I have airmailed everything, but bet because maybe they will all actually fold 9 high no draw. They all call and I am done with the hand; how they all have deuces is beyond me, but at least one of them does.


SB checks I check MP bets CO raises SB turbo calls all in I lol and fold MP 3 bets CO calls.


Bet call and MP proudly displays 32dd. "No Good!" comes the declaration from CO, who produces....32ss. For the chop.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chronicles: Part 3

Here are some more hands from my recent reviews.

Good Turn IMO

Live 20, EP limps, HJ raises, SB calls, I 3 ball black kings in the BB all call 4 ways.

SB is a big fish, range very wide. EP limper is not great either, but can be aggro with made one pair hands post flop. Range also wider than optimal, both in that too many weak hands are there, and too many big ones he wouldnt raise. HJ is actually pretty decent except he seems incapable of folding to turn raises with any pair.

J 5 3 SSS

SB checks I bet EP calls HJ folds SB calls. And on cue:


SB checks.....go


Bet/call and fold river UI if raised (only flush that improves you), that street
is not important, they won't raise pair of Aces, because *gasp* there's a flush
out there. I don't see live players raising As x, sometimes they do, but not
really, because you might have them "outkicked" (I mean EP and HJ's ranges are a
little bit different and I'd need to know how often he ol as opposed to just
opens, but not that important), so they are only raising monsters, slowplayed
sets or flushes. You still have to bet for value / your equity in the pot.

The interesting question is more you get one caller and it's a blank river. I
think you have to b/f if EP is the caller, because otherwise you give them the
opportunity to bet their Aces at you when he has them and checking when he
doesn't and playing as a bluffcatcher lets them play perfectly. I don't really
expect to fold out Aces, but sometimes he might look you up with something like
QsJ, 9s9 or something like that to make the bet on the river profitable. If it's
HJ calling, I don't know, maybe I'm mubsy and check back. If it's two callers, I
c/f depends a little bit on river card, but yeah, if somebody bets at scary
board with Ace, he deserves the pot if he's bluffing me out of Kings.


Thanks for the thoughts. I think I might disagree with you on bet/call the turn, even though that's what I ended up doing. Aren't aces just going to make up a massive portion of their ranges? And isn't another large part going to be slow played hands that beat me? I dunno, I'm not sure I have enough equity to bet and call.

Also I don't think I can value bet the river either, regardless of who calls (the EP player or the SB). I just don't see myself as a favorite when called.


I agree that we're behind 100% if we get raised on the turn. Still, getting 10.5 to 1, you have to call for the flush draw alone, yes, it is discounted, because he might have the As, yes he might already have the flush, yes the As pairs the board, so we might have some RIO, but even if we discount and only give ourselves 4 outs for the flush, we still have the odds to call. Once the river blanks (no spade), c/f and shrug.

I agree that the b/f against one caller on the river is a tough decision. c/c (in case he had a busted FD), just seems so weak. Once we're in posistion, I'm not betting it, checking it back, but OOP, we must b/f, imo, otherwise you give them the opportunity to play perfect. And, as I said, once 2 people are calling, we give up unless we hit the flush.


The reviewer here is Bellatrix, and to be honest this hand was just a disaster as far as I'm concerned. The rest of the action is that I bet/called the turn and check/folded the blank river and was drawing dead to two outs on the turn. Bella is kind of right here in that they aren't going to just raise naked aces here (they are too passive) which means that when I do get raised (and cold called by the SB lol he's sofa-king terrible I love that guy so much) I can actually fold. Of course I got shown the AsQs and two pair on the river (I didn't get to fold because nobody bet) but just wow. It was one of those live spots where I just sort of bet cause it's like "kings flush draws I has it all baby!" and really needed to pause and consider the fact that the turn card was horrendous.

LOL, Wheelaments

Live 20 fish limps, I raise the AQo, button calls, blinds defend, 5 ways one time dealah.


3 checks I check button bets. One of the blinds calls, I call. I have no hearts or spades.

Read on button: Standard slight losing reg. Too loose but not absurd, too passive but not absurd, older Indian man.


Blind checks, I donk planning to call down from a raise from either player. Any other options on any streets?


Flop, are we 4 ways or 5ways? Blinds plus button, plus us = 4, no?

In either case 5 times, definitely don't cbet, you've got no FE on low drawish
flop. 4ways is debatable, but I would check back.

Turn: Yes, donk! Don't worry about turning your hand face-up. This is the time
to extract value and fast against all the draws that are out there! If raised, I
would still 3bet, I still think we're in the regime, where we aren't
valuetowning ourselves yet. If you prefer to wait to a safe river (non pairing
board, no heart, no Ace) that's fine, too, to get in that extra big bet in. But
I feel that just calling down is missing a big bet somewhere.


It's 5 ways. Limper, me, cold caller, both blinds.

We are pretty far apart here; I think 3-betting would be legendary spew. I have the exact hand a donk represents and he's still raising. Do you really think he will raise a set here? I Think free rolling aces, lol 66 and lol 65s are a massive portion of his range and simply don't see how the value from sets offset that. Of course I can fold to a four bet I guess, but still. I think I'm way way behind when he raises.


I'm not 3betting because I think I got the raiser range crushed, I'm 3betting
because I've got the caller's range crushed. I can see a case for just calling
if it's me donking the BTN raising, blind folding, then it's closer decision.
But BTN could be raising the lone Ace like we got there, so if blind calls, we
need to punish him for whatever he's calling with there. Similarly, the other
way around. So okay, I concede if it's HU, it might be spew, but not legendary,
harumph! ;-)


OK, three way I can see an argument for 3-betting. What happened, however, was that the button raised and it was HU back to me. In this case I'd still make the claim that 3-betting is pretty bad.


The reviewer here was again Bellatrix, and I disagree with her assessment. The actual action of the hand was that after I donked the turn I was raised by the button and the action folded back to me HU. I called down the turn and a blank river and was show pocket 6s. I think that 3-betting the turn under any circumstances with my hand would be quite bad and actually think one could make a reasonable argument for (gasp) folding. I mean, I'm never winning the whole pot. Ever. Sometimes I'm getting free-rolled and the vast majority of the time I'm getting shown exactly the hand he had. I don't think I can fold, but I think that doing so is at most a very small mistake.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Just a quick note to wish everyone out there a happy and prosperous 2011. My mother's visit was a rousing success, and Danielle and I spent today watching silly events on television (her the Rose Parade, me the Winter Classic...curiously neither of us seem capable of remotely caring about college football) and un-decorating the apartment. I decided not to make any specific resolutions this year, but did manage to stay up to watch the ball drop (I am yet to miss one in my adult life). The big holiday, however, is tomorrow, with three (3) NFL games on the agenda. Both the Steelers and Green Bay games are on TV (god bless you LA and your embarrassing inability to support a local football team despite having over 20 million residents) and Danielle is claiming she wants to watch the NFC West title game in the evening, to which my response was basically "why not?"

I have re-commenced online operations and will be playing live again starting Monday. The current plan is still to generate enough money (without selling investments) to take a reasonable shot at the Commerce 40. Wish me luck. I also considered publishing my year end results, but have decided against it both for privacy reasons and because they were horrendous.