Monday, September 25, 2006

Up And Down

It's funny how up and down poker can be. The first week of September was very up for me. I was playing pretty good poker, wasn't tilting, and making some money. The the next week everything went south. I wasn't hitting any big hands, I was getting sucked out on, and then I tilted a little bit. That week was probably my worst week of playing poker ever.

Then I took a short break, and came back and played over at BoDog. From Tuesday through Friday, I was doing awesome. I was hitting some big hands, and there were many donks waiting to pay me off. All the hands that I was supposed to win held up. In those four days, I was up over $1100.

And then this weekend, it was like the flip of a switch (Thankfully I am still up for the weekend, only about $100 though). I was still playing good poker, but the donks started to get lucky. There were three huge pots I lost this weekend, where if I won those, I would be up $900 for the weekend. Those three hands consisted of two 4-outers, and one 2-outer, all on the river, and all of them coming when all the money got in prior to that river card.

I didn't go on tilt when these hands happened. I would play them the exact same way every time. I WANTED my opponent to call all those bets. To get their money in with the worst of it. That's all I have to care about. I think that is one thing that I am improving in my poker game. Don't be results oriented. Just make sure you are making the correct decisions and forcing your opponents to make mistakes.

Those four and two outer are going to happen 9% and 5% of the time. Kind of like the Minnesota Vikings offense. They only have a 5% change of scoring a Touchdown, but it will happen every once in a while.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Where the Hell is PokerFool?

No, I'm not dead. I was just taking a break. It first started out as a voluntary break, and turned into a little bit longer involuntary break.

I ended up playing some MTTs on Friday night. I played my usual nightly MTTs: Full Tilts 20k, Party 40k, Stars $10 Rebuy, and a few $20/180 person MTTs. I started out pretty well in most of them. But just got brutalized by the donks. I had pretty decent stacks in the Full Tilt and Party MTTs. I was in the top 10% during the first hour. I busted out of both of them when I had bet PF, flopped top set, and then still lost to runner-runners.

To top it off, later that night I busted out of Sun Poker at a 200NL table. There were 3 limpers, and I raise PF with pocket Jacks, and got 3 callers (pot at $60). Flop was all unders (like 2, 4, 9 rainbow). Donk bets like 1/3 pot, I push the rest of my 3/4 stack in and he calls with 8's.... 8 on turn. Nice play dude.

So I decided to take a little bit of a break. Then on Sunday my hard drive on my computer took a crap. So that extended my poker break for a couple more days. I could just get a new hard drive, but decided it was time for an upgrade. So my new system will be here in the beginning of Oct. I do have a crappy old laptop that I've played poker on the last few days. I haven't played much, but I've been doing pretty well over at BoDog. I love this site. There are always full ring games there that have Flop % of greater than 40%. Some even over 50%!!!

I definitely hate playing poker on a laptop though. Especially an old one. Not enough overlap on the tables. Playing more than two tables at once is -EV.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Re-Stealing in MTTs

The last couple days have been none too exciting. I haven't won much, I haven't lost much. Probably down about 50-100. I did try out the HORSE games over at PokerStars for the first time. I sat down at a 1/2 table, and was greeted with an awesome first hand. It was Stud Hi/lo, and my first five cards were AATTT. Won a nice $25 pot there. Bu then I gave most of it back on the first hand of Razz when I made an 8 low, but my opponents first five cards were A2345. Ya, the nuts. Must be nice.

I also played a couple SNGs this morning. I didn't place in a $30 speed SNG, but got 2nd in a $20 Speed SNG for a whopping profit of $5!

The NL cash games have been un-exciting. I won a nice pot with pocket Queens when a half stack dude at 200NL went to the rail with TP (jacks) and a straight draw. But of course, I lost a huge pot with Queens were I flopped top trips and Mr. Donk hit his Inside straight draw on the river. Yippee.

I plan on having a night of MTTs one of these next couple evenings.


So I ran across this post over at twoplustwo on re-stealing in MTTs, and it is so good, I have to share it here. The post was made by some dude named Ansky. I think he is a top MTT player online.


Resteals are about a number of important factors, and very often the least of which is the quality of your hand. The thing with resteals, is that all they REALLY are about though, is risk-reward. If someone with 80bbs opens and you shove for 80 behind him, obviously this is a bad play.

Also, resteals are a pretty straight foward mathematical decision. If you are shoving T9s for example with 15 bbs, into a lp raiser, there is a definite % that he needs to fold in order for it to be profitable. Assuming no antes, if you are in the bb with a hand that is 2-1 on average against a normal calling range, and you have 15 bbs behind your blind, your opponent raises to 3 bbs, sb folds and you shove, you are risking 15 bbs to win 4.5. When you are called you will lose roughly 5 bbs on average. Thus if you are called 60% of the time, 6/10 times you lose 5, 4/10 you gain 4.5, for an avg loss of 1.2 bbs I think. btw I am not a math person, I am just sort of improvising.

Ok, so in that example 60% is too high for it to be profitable. If he calls 40% of the time, you win 4.5 60% of the time, you gain 7/10 bbs. Hmmm, so somewhere in the middle is the % he needs to fold for it to be profitable.

Ok, but how do you determine that magical % threashhold that will tell you how often he calls? Well that's what reading players is all about. If it's Gobboboy raising your blind, you have huge folding equity, because he's a maniac and likely has crap. If it's rizen, you have much less folding equity because he is a fairly tight player, and doesn't auto raise the button like some others. If it's Comeonphish, don't try it at all because he will insta call with A4o (seriously).

Ok, so it's essentially a very intuitive and mathematical question of hand ranges and folding equity, and risk-reward.

The reason I used 15 bbs as a number, is because that is prime restealing territory for effective stacks. Realize that I say effective stacks-- if you are a big stack and a 15 bb stack raises your blind-- shove it in there pretty light obviously. Like I said it's about risk reward, so that's why 15 bbs is very often a good number. The villain will not be priced in with air, so you have folding equity against hands like a8o and KT, etc, but at the same time you aren't risking TOO much.

There are a few common mistakes that people will make though, (including myself) regarding interpreting folding equity.

1) They pick the wrong player to pick on. 12 left in the stars 150, comeonphish raises from the sb to 3x, i shove 14x with Q8, he INSTAcalls with A4o. There are certain people who just won't fold. They protect their raises so that people won't resteal on them, and it makes it nearly impossible to effectively resteal with air.

2) They push when no matter what they have no folding equity. If you are hovering aroung 10 bbs with an ante, you have very little folding equity. But at the same time this means you need to readjust what hands you are pushing. If for example you have A7o and someone raises your blind, you do have at least a little folding equity, and if you determine that you are neutral EV with the overlay versus his range, you should obviously push with any folding equity. That's where so much EV comes from late in tournaments of course- pushing those small edges when you are shortstacked. So as I was saying, when you are short and shoving with little folding equity, you need to be sure you are going to be ok against his calling/raising range. Very often you have more folding equity than you should however. The day Rizen won the 1m, I was also relatively deep. People who were watching might remember how often I restole from the idiot pansy 2 to my right. One round he raised my blind, I shove for 9 bbs with A6o and he folds getting around 2-1. Next round he raises again, I shove K4o for around 10 bbs this time (blinds went up and I stole a few times), and he folds again. Schaefar then writes in the chatbox "Welcome to pwntown. Population, you." ty schaefar. So clearly if you are restealing from the right people, what they "should" be doing isn't what they will be doing- in both senses. You need to realize when you have either increased or decreased folding equity.

3) Shoving for way too much. If someone who covers you opens your blind, and you have something like A9o and 25 bbs, it's ok to fold. You are ahead of his range likely, but that doesn't make it right to raise. Typically if you reraise but don't push you are comitted to a push, so for math purposes it is the same risk/reward. If you are shoving 25x he really needs to fold a huuuge % of the time, or be a total monkey and call with A2o and KQ.

There are certain situations which will affect your folding equity in huuuuuuuuuge ways obviously. Any bubble, money, final table, anything- will typically increase folding equity. Very obvious, but people don't resteal enough when it's just so easy to on the bubbles. The reasons are two-fold. 1) You will have increased folding equity against the weak tighties good hands, because they don't want to risk their precious "tournament life" and all that crap. And 2) The smart aggro players are going to be raising any 2 in position, and therefore you fold out a huge % of their range, and pick up the free mobneys.

For example, the other day in the 150, there were 60 or so left and 45 paid. I was at a pretty good table, no big names, and it was playing pretty tight. I had a decent stack of around 25 bbs. The 3-4 players to my left ALL had around 12-18 bbs, very good territory for restealing my raises, but they were all weak tight bitches so I was raising almost every button, CO, and hijack. These guys were literally passing up free chips because they have to realize my range is so wide that not pushing is giving up serious +EV.

There are situations (like above) which in my opinion are horrible if you aren't restealing. Back when ZeeJustin won the stars 500, I was watching with a friend, and there were 11 people left--(FT bubble...) and ZJ had a massive chip lead with around 3 million. Blinds were 25/50k and a guy with around 800k opens to 150k on the button. ZJ is in the small blind. I immediatly say to my friend "I'd bet any amount of money that ZJ resteals w/ any 2 here." sure enough he put the guy all in and he folded. Unless you have a very specific read on why it's a bad spot, a situation like that is perfect. The guy is a few places from more money than he has ever seen probably, and has just been put to a test for all of his chips. Obviously he isn't going to call off with marginal holdings there.

The value of your hand-

Despite what people say sbout your hand being irellevent, it isn't totally the case. Clearly there is a point at which if you have 20% equity versus a reasonable calling range, versus 40%, if you shove 20% with x folding equity it will be -cEV, but if you ahve 40% equity with that same x folding equity, it becomes +EV. The reason however that people will say things like "your cards don't matter" is because a lot of the time you are so clearly +EV to shove 42o or whatever if he's opening 100% and calling with 10%.

It's obviously a sliding scale, the later they open from, the wider their raising range is, but also the wider their calling range is. If you shove over an ep raise 10 handed, you better have a hand because people obviously will have a tight opening range here. But in late position, people are raising comparatively much wider and calling off with a smaller % of their opening range to a reraise. However, know the player- just because someone opens from the button DOESN'T mean they have A2o. People get real hands on the button as well.



Tuesday, September 12, 2006

...And The Carnage Continues

Lost another couple buy-ins. Maybe I should start playing really really really bad. That way, my play will be rewarded like all the other donks out there.

Or maybe I just need to take another break.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I Usually Do Good On Weekends

Not this past weekend.

Just your typical bad side of variance stuff. None of my draws were coming in. I couldn't get people to fold for the life of me, except of course those times I flopped a set (only four in about 1500 hands). I only got aces twice. I had people calling my 3/4 to pot size flop bets with gutshot straight draws, and then hitting on the turn. On two of those, I held two of the card that they needed, meaning, my pocket pair turned into three of a kind on the turn, but that card gave my opponent his straight (Two outer). That was tons of fun.

Then I went on aggressive monkey tilt and lost half a buy-in at 200NL and two buy-ins at 100NL (Ok, ok, some of it was bad play by me). I couldn't get anyone to fold!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Running Good

September is still going good. Other than Sunday, I've posted a profit every day. I think I am up just over one grand, including bonus, so far. *knocks on wood*

I thought I'd post a few hands from the last week and discuss them. Some I played good. Others I played bad.

I'll start with the Ugly, so that by the end of this post, you won't think I'm a donk.


The First three hands are all from the same session across two tables (all happening within 20 minutes of each other). I was playing really bad, and I was distracted.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $2 BB (9 handed)

UTG ($330.95)
UTG+1 ($103.70)
MP1 ($198.00)
MP2 ($275.80)
MP3 ($235.35)
CO ($194.10)
Button ($41.40)
SB ($200.00)
HERO ($214.15)

Preflop: HERO is BB with Js, Jh. SB posts a blind of $1.
UTG Calls $2, 1 folds, MP1 raises to $9, 5 folds, HERO calls $7, UTG calls $7.

UTG was a pretty solid player. WIth his Limp, then call, I figured some kind of pair 9's and below. I didn't have much information on MP1. His stats were 20/0 (20% VP$IP, 0% Pre-flop Raise %), but that was after only 15 or so hands. I could have easily raised here with my Jacks. But the MP1 hadn't raised before in the 15 hands I had on him, so I figured he could have a big pocket pair. I'm not sure what I would have done if I would have re-raised, and then he come back over the top.

Flop: ($28.00) 8d, 5d, 3s(3 players)
HERO checks, UTG checks, MP1 bets $24,

That is a pretty good flop for me (assuming MP1 doesn't have AA-QQ). I checked with the intention of check-raising, so I can see if MP1 does have one of those top 3 hands. And sure enough he bet, so I tripled his bet

HERO raises to $72,

Now there is $124 in the pot. This is where it gets scary. UTG FLAT CALLS. And then MP1 pushes the rest of his chips in!

UTG calls $72, MP1 re-raises to $189 and is all in,

Obviously I am beat here. So I type in "lol, you got aces, and you got 8's" and then fold

HERO folds, UTG calls $117

Turn: ($475.00) Jd (2 players)

River: ($475.00) Ts (2 players)

Final Pot: $475.00

MP1 has Kd, Qd (flush, King high).
UTG has 8h 8c (three of a kind, Eights).
Outcome: MP1 wins $475.00.

So there you have it. It was so obvious that UTG had a set. I thought for sure MP1 had Aces, but he had Kd, Qd for a flush draw. Good thing I raised there instead of call to see where I stood, cause that jack on the turn would have given me top trips, and I would have had a hard time believing MP1 had a flush. I probably would have lost my whole stack. This hand was just sick. I think I played this hand ok. The other two guys played it not so good. I mean, UTG has got to know that his flat call screams monster. It turns out MP1 is a total donk, as you will see in the next hand.

Same table, about 15 mins later.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $2 BB (8 handed)

UTG ($244.80)
UTG+1 ($226.60)
MP1 ($154.75)
MP2 ($434.70)
HERO ($138.30)
Button ($194.95)
SB ($55.45)
BB DONK ($264.35) <----- see, 15 mins later, and he went from having 475 to 264 Preflop: HERO is CO with Ac, 4d. SB posts a blind of $1.
4 folds, HERO raises to $8, Button calls $8, SB calls $7, DONK calls $6.

Great, I was just trying to steal some blinds, and then EVERYONE CALLS! Here is mistake #1 for me. I should have just pitched this hand.

Flop: ($32.00) Kh, Tc, 4c(4 players)
SB checks, DONK checks, HERO checks, Button checks.

ok, so I obviously don't want to put any more in this pot. Sure, I flop bottom pair, but I am probably behind.

Turn: ($32.00) 7c (4 players)
SB checks, DONK bets $32,

So now the donk leads out for a full pot bet here. For some reason I think he is just trying to steal this pot. The full pot bet looks fishy to me. Plus, I have the nut flush draw, and it is definitely possible that an Ace will also give me the best hand. So I figure I could have 11 outs here. I don't have the odds, but for some reason, I think my implied odds are better. I think that if I hit one of my 11 outs, I can double up ( I have $100 left and the pot has $96 in it now when I call)

HERO calls $32, Button folds, SB folds.

River: ($96.00) 6c (2 players)
DONK bets $224 and is all-in, HERO calls $98.

Sweet, a club came on the river. I have the nut flush. And he bet into me! Oh this is great!!!!

Final Pot: $290.00

DONK has 8c, 5c (straight flush, Eight high).
HERO has Ac, 4d (flush, Ace high).
Outcome: DONK wins $296.00.

As the end of this hand was going on, the following hand was going on, so I had hit the call button on this table, knowing that the chips would be sliding my way. I then went to the other table, so I didn't see the hands being turned up and the money sliding his way. When I went back to this table, I noticed I was sitting out with $0. I was completely shocked to see that. I had the nuts I thought! Then I opened up the hand history, and noticed the chat.

Sure, it wasn't a suckout, because I was behind after the turn. And I really only had five outs, not the 11 that I originally thought. But it sucks to go thinking that you won a hand, and then go and see that you lost to a straight flush. Especially to someone who called your PF raise with 85s.

And now this is the last hand of the session, over on a 100NL table.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $1 BB (9 handed)

UTG ($88.90)
UTG+1 ($76.80)
MP1 ($160.05)
MP2 ($341.20)
HERO ($112.10)
CO ($78.55)
Button ($29.20)
SB ($95.70)
HERO ($100.00)

Preflop: HERO is MP3 with Qc, Qd. SB posts a blind of $0.50.
3 folds, MP2 calls $1, HERO raises to $4.50, 4 folds, MP2 re-raises to $8.00, HERO re-raises to $25.50,

So I get pocket Queens, and I make a pot size bet. It folds around to the big stack limper who min-raises me! I'll have no part of that, so I raise pot again.

MP2 re-raises to $78.00,

He re-raises me back pot. For some reason, I just can't put him on Aces. I mean, who limps/re-raises with Aces from middle position? Sure, people do it all the time from UTG. But from MP?!?!!?!?! I suppose he could have had kings...

So I re-raise all-in, and he calls. And then he shows his Aces and I lose a $220 pot. blah blah blah. I guess it is true. No matter what position you are in, if you are 4-bet, it means Aces. 99% of the time. I should have folded after his 4 bet. Oh well. At least my other table is going good! I just won a huge pot with the nut flus...... WTF!!!!!!?!?!!


So lets get to some hands that I think I played good.

Over at Sun Poker at a 200NL table.

Sun No-Limit Hold'em, $2 BB (9 handed)

UTG ($392.00)
UTG+1 ($21.00)
HERO ($309.00)
MP2 ($137.50)
MP3 ($195.00)
CO ($91.99)
Button ($170.75)
SB ($176.63)
BB ($177.00)

Preflop: HERO is MP1 with Ac, Kh. SB posts a blind of $1.
3 folds, HERO raises to $8, 3 folds, Button calls $8, 2 folds.

Flop: ($19.00) 2h, 4h, Jh(2 players)
HERO checks, Button bets $15, HERO calls $15.

Turn: ($49.00) Kd (2 players)
HERO checks, Button bets $40, HERO raises to $286 and is all-in, Button folds.

Final Pot: $126.00

HERO doesn't show hand
Outcome: HERO wins $126.00.

I think I played this hand pretty well. I raise with my AKo, and get called by the button. The flop comes all hearts, and I decide not to continutation bet this. (Plus, I am out of position). I do have two over cards and the 2nd nut flush draw. I could have definitely raised on the flop, but I decided that I would re-evaluate after the turn.

The turn gave me TPTK and I still have the 2nd nut flush draw. This time I check-raise all-in. I suppose I could have just called again and maybe induce a bluff. But I was happy to take down the pot there.


Same table as the previous hand at Sun 200NL. This hand actually happened before the one above.

Sun No-Limit Hold'em, $2 BB (10 handed)

UTG ($188.75)
UTG+1 ($196.63)
MP1 ($79.50)
MP2 ($392.00)
MP3 ($21.00)
HERO ($209.00)
CO (137.50)
Button ($185.25)
SB ($196.00)
BB ($256.24)

Preflop: HERO is LP with Ks, Kc. SB posts a blind of $1.
1 folds, UTG+1 calls $2, 3 folds, HERO raises to $9, 3 folds, BB calls $7, UTG+1 calls $7.

Flop: ($28.00) Js, Jc, 3h(3 players)
BB checks, UTG+1 checks, HERO bets $16, BB calls $16, UTG+1 folds.

Turn: ($60.00) 4c (2 players)
BB bets $23, HERO calls $23.

River: ($106.00) 9d (2 players)
BB bets $45, HERO calls $45.

Final Pot: $196.00

BB has 7h, 7d (two pair, Jacks and Sevens).
HERO has Ks, Kc (two pair, Kings and Jacks).
Outcome: DONK wins $296.00.

Hmmmm, should I have rasied anywhere here? I was worried about the two Jacks, so I told myself I would just check/call until he showed weakness. I guess his less than half pot bets could have been taken as weekness. And now that I think about it, I doubt he calls any of my raises.

What do you think?


I have some other ones I could post, but I guess they aren't all that difficult. My opponents made dumb plays and I had the nuts, so they weren't hard decisions to make.

For example, I raise on the button with T9o after one limper. Limper is the only caller. Flop is AKJ rainbow. He checks, I Continuation bet, he calls. River is a Q completing the rainbow and giving me the nuts. He checks, I bet again, and he calls. River is a blank and he leads into me all-in. I call thinking we'll split with both of us having a Ten. Nope. He has AK.

And then another where I call a small PF raise with ATs. Flop is two of my suit, he checks, and I bet 3/4 pot. The turn gives me my nut flush, and he leads into me for 1/3 pot and I call. River is a blank, and he leads into me all-in. I call with my nut flush. He has Jack high. Donk you very much!


That's it for now. Maybe I'll post some more tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

That Was An Easy $750

Hope you all had a good holiday weekend. Poker went pretty well over the weekend. So I've finally started off a month on the right foot. I think I am up a good $700 or $800 so far this month. The last couple months have started off bad, so it's nice to start off in the black.

I finished up my Party Poker reload bonus. I ended up about $100 or so after my 1000 raked hands were complete. I also cleared the hourly bonus over at Will Hill. The doubled their hourly bonus to 10 lbs per table hour (about $19). This bonus is just way too good to pass up. And I won a good amount playing the 100NL 6 max tables. I did so good in fact, I decided to reload over at SunPoker, which is part of the same network (Cryptologic). After 500 MPPs, I'll get a nice $100 bonus.

I started the weekend off well at Full Tilt, but ended up down there on Monday night. I lost a big pot at 200NL when I hit the nut flush, but my opponent rivered the straight flush. Add to the fact that he called my PF raise with 85s, I can say this was probably my worst beat. I was in another hand when this one was going on, and when the river card fell and gave me my nut flush, and then the dude bet into me (putting me all-in), I obviously hit the call button, and then went to the other table. I then went back to this table and noticed that I was sitting out now. I was really confused for a minute. I mean, I had the nut flush on a non-paired board! Why am I sitting out with no money!

At least I won a stack at another 200NL table later that night with Aces over Kings.


In reference to my title above, I finished up the sports bets needed to take advantage of the Mansion Sports bet going on. Good thing I waited too, since Pitts QB is out for this game due to some surgery he had this weekend. The line moved from Pitt +5 to even! If my math is correct, I will win either $750 or $758 from this. I found an affiliate that offers a $250 bonus if you sign up through them at SIA (SportsInterAction). See below

So I placed my two wagers. $1100 at Mansion on Pittsbugh (The line is now at 0 or Pick 'em). And then $500 (Plus $50 bonus) on Miami at SIA.

So if Pittsbugh wins, I win $1000 at Mansion, and lose the $500 at SIA for a profit of $500. If Miami wins, I get my $1100 back from Mansion, and I win $1008 at SIA for a profit of $508. Add the $250 bonus, and I am guaranteed at least $750! Wow. Unfortunately, it ties up $1500 of my bankroll, but that's ok for +EV of $750.

Here is a link to the affiliate that I went through. Hopefully everything works


Friday, September 01, 2006

Thank You Poker

I thought I'd put up a picture of my new TV that I got a few weeks ago.

Everything you see here was paid for from poker profits (TV, Entertainment Center, and Couch). I ended up getting the Panasonic 50" TH-50PX60U. I can't tell you how awesome it is to watch TV in high definition. Sports, and especially football, looks absolutely amazing in HD on a plasma. You can see every single blade of grass. It will be fun watching the Vikings win 9-6 every week on this thing.

If you are in the market for a TV, make sure you do a lot of shopping around and get some other price estimates. I was able to talk Best Buy down a couple hundred bucks off of their SALE price with some prices from other websites (Thanks Honey!).

So thank you poker! Thank you poker sites for your bonuses. And especially thank you to all the donks out there (especially you crazy Europeans)!


There's been a lot of talk about this Mansion Sportsbook promo going around. I am definitely going to do this, and also hedge my bet. Another thing that people might not be aware of, is that you can make an extra $180 off of this. You can sign up at Mansion through Pokersavvy, and get 900 savvy points ($90), and then you can hedge your bet over at BoDogs sportsbook after you sign up through PokerSourceOnline (9000 PSO points = $90). Both of those sites allows you to clear the bonus requirements through the sportsbook.

So that means if you have never signed up at Mansion or BoDog yet, you can make a guaranteed $640!

I'll post some more details later after I get this done myself.


Still looking for a Fantasy Football league. Let me know in the comments of this post if you have an opening in any of your leagues.