Saturday, 2 November 2013
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Seat 1: Hero (755 in chips)
Seat 2: Player 1 (1718 in chips)
Seat 4: Villain (3952 in chips)
Seat 5: Player 2 (740 in chips)
Seat 6: Player 3 (1835 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind 50
Player 1: posts big blind 100
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Qd As]
Villain: raises 200 to 300
Player 2: folds
Player 3: folds
Hero: raises 400 to 700
Player 1: folds
Villain: calls 400
*** FLOP *** [Th 3d 5c]
Hero: bets 55 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (55) returned to Hero
Hero collected 1500 from pot
Hero: doesn't show hand
In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from the article:
Saturday, 12 October 2013
Hand played on Pokerstars
Seat 1: Player 1 (1340 in chips)
Seat 2: Player 2 (1680 in chips)
Seat 3: Player 3 (1010 in chips)
Seat 4: Player 4 (1700 in chips)
Seat 5: Hero (1800 in chips)
Seat 6: Villain (1470 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind 15
Villain: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [8d Ah]
Player 1: folds
Player 2: folds
Player 3: folds
Player 4: folds
Hero: raises 60 to 90
Villain: calls 60
*** FLOP *** [Ac Qh 8c]
Hero: bets 125
Villain: calls 125
*** TURN *** [Ac Qh 8c] [9h]
Hero: bets 235
Villain: calls 235
*** RIVER *** [Ac Qh 8c 9h] [2c]
Hero: bets 289
Villain: raises 731 to 1020 and is all-in
Hero has timed out
Uncalled bet (731) returned to Villain
Hero is sitting out
Villain collected 1478 from pot
Villain: shows [Qd Jd] (a pair of Queens)
So it’s folded round to me in the SB and I’m dealt A-8o. It’s early on in the tournament so I’m not gunning to play a big pot with this hand out of position but against a regular who is likely to attack passivity I see no other option than to make my standard 3x raise. This is preferred to 2.5xn since will lay him slightly inferior odds and at a positional disadvantage I would have no problem in ending the hand right here. My opponent calls however, and we’re off to a flop.
So, it’s pretty much as good a flop as I could have hoped for – we flop top and bottom pair and it’s time to build a pot. You’ll often see weak players check here because they want to “slowplay” their hand and get more value in the remaining betting streets. Not only is that flawed since if your opponent has a piece they may be willing to call a bet now meaning the bets going in on the end will be bigger, but you’re also allowing draws the option of a free card and so further missing out on value. Besides, if betting out is usually what you do when you miss then it only makes sense you c-bet when you hit – this is most likely to get action from your opponent’s entire range, and is the least suspicious way to play it since you would typically be betting missed hands on this board since it would appear to solidly hit your range.
I elect for an almost ¾ pot bet and my opponent calls. Even though we’ve flopped a very strong hand, there’s a range of flush draws/straight draws out there so this bet is preferred to around half pot and really anything up to 150 would be fine. At this point, his range is fairly open, he could have a pair of As, a Q (K-Q/Q-J/Q-10 most likely), J-10 for a double gut-shot and a flush draw. It’s possible he may float with air to attack passivity on the turn, although this particular opponent folds to flop bets 78% of the time so it’s more than likely he doesn’t have complete air as a float, especially on this board since it would appear to solidly connect with my range. Nonetheless, we can evaluate on the turn since it’s unlikely an opponent with such a high fold to flop bet would elect to float the turn to bluff on the river, especially this early on when excessive risks aren’t needed as such.
So, the turn is a 9 of hearts which is a decent enough card. There’s not many hands that we were ahead of on the flop but aren’t ahead of now – J-10 and A-9 would appear to be the only obvious ones. It’s more than likely he would 3bet pre-flop with a hand as strong as A-Q and he would most certainly 3bet any pocket pair that’s hit a set on this board, so the chances are we still have the best hand. Instead, it’s more likely he’s holding a pair of As, a Q or a flush draw (perhaps a flush/gut-shot combination like K-J/K-10 of clubs) so with this in mind it would seem like a good spot to bet again. As far as I can see, there’s 0 value to checking and giving draws the option of taking a free card, especially on this turn which brings a series of gut-shots for hands he may be holding like A-10/Q-J/Q-10. Besides, it’s tough to know what to do on the river if we check-call the turn and go on to face a big river bet – it’s usually much easier to know where you’re at/put your opponent on a range when you’re the aggressor so will make the hand easier to play for most part.
So, the river brings the 2c completing any flush draw so isn’t my favourite card. This leaves us in a rather awkward situation with 900 in the pot and stacks of just over 1k behind. We reasoned on the turn that we were ahead of a single pair of As and Qs so that remains true on the river whilst we’re now behind flushes as well as the J-10 straight. It therefore doesn’t seem very clear cut as to what's the best move between betting and checking, and if betting, the question remains, how much? Let’s think about the pro’s and cons of each move:
My opponent stacks all-in, and I have to stick to my plan on folding vs a shove, and my opponent reveals Q-J for second pair turned into a bluff. Somebody got owned!
What’s particularly interesting about this river is if I check my opponent will most likely check since he’s ahead of all of my bluffs and can’t know I’m not planning a check-call, so for most part the action should go check-check and I should scoop the pot. Instead, I've bet and ended up not only conceding the money in the pot but also another bet to go along with it.
As we've addressed, when I’ve bet small against this type of opponent, he’s reasoned he’s behind but correctly interpreted the bet as weak/scared of the board run out and has turned a bluff catching hand into a stone cold bluff, so my mistake was betting so weak into a tight-aggressive regular who is thinking about what bet sizing’s mean and is capable of making moves when the situation presents itself. The mistake isn't necessarily betting but the bet sizing in this case. The bet of 289 really does appear weak and even if we made it 389 (adding on only an extra 100 chips) this may have dissuaded him from making a move as it appears that much stronger (it is conceivable we could bet this amount with a flush) and he would appear to have less fold equity on a shove.
So, the question remains: To bet or to check?
Of course, betting small does do well if he has a hand like A-J/A-10 or even A7< as he's unlikely to turn those hands into a bluff and instead pay me off, whilst loses the minimum to straights/flushes assuming we're still bet-folding so there is definitely a good argument for betting in this spot. Truth be told, the EV of betting and checking must be pretty close and it may well be betting is more +EV against mass tabling regs who are unlikely to turn their worse hands into bluffs and play more straightforward in this spot, whereas checking may be more +EV against a creative player with less tables who has more time to think through the situation. The bottom line is, if electing to bet you must ensure it's not so small that it appears really weak and defensive otherwise you're just leaving your opponent room for a move and you would be playing a guessing game calling off.
There is no doubt blocker betting against a loose-passive player who is very
likely to pay this bet off with any worse hand and super unlikely to raise as a
bluff would be the best move, and perhaps even against a tight player with no finesse moves. That more or less guarantees us value when we’re
ahead and we can be fairly comfortable bet-folding knowing where we’re at – the same can't be said for when we're up against a creative, thinking reg. As
it was, in the actual situation, I was unfortunate to run into that small part of my
opponent's range that could be turned into bluffs, and was unfortunate my
opponent made what in my opinion was an excellent shove. Of course, this wasn't helped by my super small bet which was a crying sign of weakness and so all I can do is kick myself and congratulate my opponent on a nicely timed move.
Live long and prosper
Thursday, 26 September 2013
Seat 4: Hero (4868 in chips)
Seat 6: Villain (4132 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind 75
Villain: posts big blind 150
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Tc 3c]
Hero: calls 75
*** FLOP *** [4c Td 9d]
Hero: bets 180
Villain: raises 330 to 510
Hero: calls 330
*** TURN *** [4c Td 9d] [Ah]
Villain: bets 690
Hero: calls 690
*** RIVER *** [4c Td 9d Ah] [Qs]
Villain: bets 2782 and is all-in
Hero: calls 2782
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Villain: shows [6d 8c] (high card Ace)
Hero: shows [Tc 3c] (a pair of Tens)
Hero collected 8264 from pot
So, I’ve got 10-3 suited and getting 3 to 1 this is definitely worth a limp. I’ve hammered on about this in previous posts so won’t go into too much detail: 10-3 suited has exactly 45.7% equity against a random hand and with 3 to 1 odds all we will need is anything >25% equity to make limping profitable assuming we see the 5 card community board. This makes limping preferred to folding.
It’s also worth strongly taking into consideration the speed of his jam: he jammed instantly and even a hand as strong as 2 pair should give some consideration to checking or at least take more time to plan out the most +EV move since our range should be full of missed draws. This makes it all the likelier that he is indeed bluffing. All this combined with the fact that my opponent’s aggressive, I’m getting 2 to 1 and he’s not really repping anything that believable meant I took about 2 seconds to call the fuck off, and my opponent indeed tabled 8-6o for a busted straight draw.
Live long and prosper
Wednesday, 18 September 2013
And what do you know...
We can only call off with 5% in this spot and it loses money to call with A-Qo. It's not uncommon to see players snap call with A-Qo and even much wider and to do so is simply throwing your money away. Calling off with A-8 suited for instance costs more than 1% of the prize pool which is pretty criminal but something you'll observe fairly often. And remember, this is against a big stack who knows ICM and elects to shove almost any two cards here; if you were up against a tight BTN or a player who didn't know ICM and the power of their big stack then they would be pushing way tighter than this range which in turn means the hero's range for calling off would be tighter.
That’s all for now folks!
My next article to be published on the ICMIZER site will be covering some of the features of ICMIZER and evaluating it with similar tools such as SNG Wizard, so keep your eyes peeled!
Monday, 9 September 2013
|Front window of apartment|
As you can see from a few of the photos I’ve uploaded (more at the bottom of page), we were staying in a super old school Portuguese style 2 bedroom apartment. Having been born in 1989 I’ve never lived in 1955 but fuck, it sort of felt like it with the tacky wall and floor design – I would never choose to live in an apartment like that but given we didn’t have a place to stay the day before jetting out we weren’t left with much options! It was also pretty compact in size; ideally I would have rather moved into an apartment with an extra room to set up a grind room and have a separate main living room but beggars can’t be choosers and I was just delighted we had an apartment to stay in before flying out.
These drawbacks however were more than made up for in apartment price and location. The rent cost 600 euros a month including bills which isn’t bad at all split 2 ways. The location was nothing short of pure vomit whitey sick: we were living less than a minute’s walk away from Albufeira Square/bar street which is where everything’s going on in the old town and a further 1-2 minute walk to the beach.
The square and bar street are just packed with loads of restaurants, bars and disco bars – most of which stay open till 4am and sometimes later if there were any events on. There were a few solid live music bars in the Square, most notably Vertigo and Rock Café which had some cover bands belting out the likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Whilst classic 60s/70s rock isn’t my thing, I was impressed with a few of the bands and the live music scene in general in Albufeira. If you wanted to keep partying till 6am/7am you could easily jump in a cab and head to the new town – that cost around 5-6 euros from the square and was only a couple of minutes away in a taxi so wasn’t bad at all!
It was also pretty convenient living so close to the beach given our usual wake up time was anywhere tween 2.30pm and 5pm (standard!!) so allowed us to quickly swoop down and soak up some sun. Standard bed time was anywhere between 6am and 9am before you call me lazy!
|Beach at 6am, walking home after night out in new town|
The costs of living were all round pretty decent too. There were enough markets to shop from and the cost of food probably worked out at a similar price to the UK. One downside was the prices of drinks in the disco bars, although this is probably no different from any other tourist resort. You were typically looking at 5 euros for a vodka mix, and there was even a place in bar street that had the arrogance to charge 8 euros, maaaaaad!
Needless to say, we made sure to spend some good quality time pre-bevving at the apartment to ensure we got hammered. Most pre-bevving took place between 12am-2am, and it became the norm to head out around 2am. In Glasgow, your night’s pretty much finished by then so will be pretty weird adjusting to that and just the fact the area where I live in Glasgow is so quiet at night. Wish me luck!
|Dancing in the apartment. You can make out some of my poker charts on the wall!|
Things to do:
In terms of activities, there’s plenty to do! We took a day out to hit up the waterpark “Slide n Splash” and hired a pedalo for a couple of hours another day which was fun. Besides that, there’s plenty of other activities running that you can take part in like pub crawls, booze cruises whilst paragliding seemed to be one of the most popular outdoor activities. We probably should have spent more time doing more of the outdoor activities that were on offer, although I think we needed the beach on too many days to cure the inevitable hangover!
|Tattoo place right round the corner from us. Luckily for us we didn't start drinking till night when it's closed!|
From 11th August onwards there wasn’t a day where we didn’t have at least one friend over visiting, or exploiting our accommodation for free should I say! This meant from August 11th to September 4th, there was rarely a day where I wasn’t consuming alcohol – can’t say us Glaswegians don’t know how to drink!
As depressing as it may be to be back in Glasgow for various reasons, I’m actually pleased I’m giving my body some time to recover – my liver really did take a pounding out there and I’d be slightly concerned for my health doing another month out there at the same rate! Unfortunately, this basically meant in the final month poker was pretty much non-existent. I am back in Glasgow however, the nights are starting to draw in and I aim to get serious again volume wise in the final few months of the year.
|Ring of fire drinking game. Not quite poker, but just as good!|
Next year I’ll be moving away with my stakee to grind poker for a year, and at the moment it looks like there’s a great chance we’ll end up in Budapest in January. I’m also thinking about abandoning the idea of an SNE chase in 2014, and instead getting into the coaching side of things and balance that with playing. I am currently undecided and will trial the pace of SNE regardless in October and take things from there. More on that in the coming weeks!
Oh, and if you didn’t see my last post, I’m writing articles exclusively for the official ICMIZER website which can be found at http://www.pokericmcalculator.com
|Chillin' on a pedalo!|
|Just off the main square in old town!|
|My buddy playing guitar in the streets!|
|Getting up to no good at the waterpark!|
|Lil bit tipsy anyone?!|
|Smoking a fag. I don't even smoke!|
|Close up of TV in living room. Shame it was limited to Portuguese channels.|
|Apartment living room looking into the bedrooms|