What up RIO! Been a while. I’m on a very long drive from tennessee back to Maine at the moment: just returning from Bonnaroo music festival. My girlfriend just took over for a shift of driving so I figured I would fire an update on here.
Since my last post a lot has happened. I was accepted for CFP tryouts for Poker Detox (Nick Howard’s business) and got balls deep into the tryout period, but bailed before getting to sign a contract. I’m too damn busy with other stuff and wouldn’t have been able to give the dedication needed to that program. It made me really sad, but was the right decision. When I signed up, I genuinely felt that I could swing it with the time I had in my schedule - but then there were major changes at my job which resulted in a lot more responsibilities being put on my plate.
After that, I took about 6-7 weeks completely away from poker. No playing. No studying. ALMOST no thinking about the game and longing to play. During that time I was stripping my basement and prepping our apartment building for basement insulation and a new roof. I also started a side business selling items on Amazon, which has been going well and is a nice way to make a little extra money.
About 3 weeks ago I got back to my roots and have been playing a few online MTT sessions here and there. I started with around a $200 roll and am rebuilding. I shipped a $10 MTT last Sunday for like $600 before leaving for the Bonnaroo trip, which felt really nice. I can now play up to $25 MTTs with my bankroll guidelines and will continue to build the roll, playing mostly Sunday sessions only with the occasional Friday and Saturday. Weekdays will be for my day job and weeknights will be a mix of studying MTT strategy and around 10 hours per week dedicated to Amazon sales.
I’ll probably start posting on here a little bit more frequently now, but won’t force a post and will only do so when I feel like it.
I’ve also been reading a ton about personal finance and have learned a whole lot about how to invest in well diversified assets. If anyone is interested in that sort of stuff and would like to learn or chat about it feel free to post here or DM me!! I can give you some really good resources on how to make good, relatively safe investments and how to automate the process.
June 18, 2019 | 11:41 p.m.
A quick update
Just wanted to drop in here and say hello. For the past several weeks, I have been working a ton on my mindset and on auxiliary skills that will improve my life and poker. I have been very consistent with waking up early and doing yoga/meditation every morning, and I have stopped playing MTTs and have been focusing entirely on 6-max cash. I cashed out the majority of my roll (I think I mentioned that in my last post) and I am playing micro stakes and focusing on my inputs and study habits.
In order to battle negative self-talk and be mindful about my routines, I set up a couple of google forms. One to fill out any time I have negative self-talk in a session, and one I fill out at the end of each session with results, # tables played, general notes, and what I did to warm up. So far this has been really useful and prevents me from "going in cold" or playing when I probably shouldn't.
I have had several phases in the past where I do good things like this for a few weeks, then I have a few bad sessions and sabotage myself. I'm hoping this time is different, and right now it feels like it is. My goals and schedule for the immediate future look like this:
-1 hour of focused, relevant study every single day
-1 hour online cash session with a warm up routine and super focus every single day
-approximately 6AM wake time and morning yoga/meditation every single day
That's it. These are minimums, and on the weekends I will be playing and studying more than this, but I am a firm believer in the value of "Dailyness" and I think keeping things this simple will go a long way for mindset, motivation, and consistency.
For the first time in a while, I can say that I am not in a rush to have results and really believe myself when I say it. I am trying to approach poker as a platform for reflection, meditation, and self-improvement. Playing is an opportunity to learn more about both the game and myself, and it's a beautiful time to be a poker player. I'm really excited to see how this year unfolds and looking forward to sharing my successes and setbacks with the RIO community in this blog.
Thanks for reading!
Jan. 4, 2019 | 7:43 p.m.
In practice, how do you think we should adjust our play when playing 3000 - 4000 BB deep vs a pool of mostly fish and weak regs? Bovada has these silly structures running daily in games like the "lucky sevens" MTT where you start with 77,777 chips at 10/20 with 7 min levels.
I think we should be trying to see as many flops as possible early on. Losing small-medium pots in terms of BB's in early stages isn't really significant when you start with such a huge stack, and people will generally make massive mistakes getting too many chips in with hands that are too weak when they have 4k big blinds. Intuitively I would think that theory would tell us to increase our RFI sizings being this deep, but in practice I think it makes sense to simply minraise every position except for SB and to play very wide ranges. We can also do a lot of limping and over calling with any sort of connected hand in early stages.
In my experience, these fields tend to be very soft and I know several pros/serious players myself who avoid regging these simply because of the "dumb structure". I think in addition to the preflop adjustments I mentioned above, we can also float more often with speculative draws because of implied odds, but it's also easy to go too far with this generic advice.
Any thoughts on some other adjustments?
Dec. 17, 2018 | 10:27 p.m.
IMURMOMMY yes and yes. Hack Reactor was awesome. I am now working for a large software company full time. It's a long commute, but I work remote every Monday and Friday- and there is a great mountain bike trail next to the office so in the Summer I bring my bike to work and hit that quite often.
Dec. 14, 2018 | 5:52 p.m.
Cold Weather Problems & Mindset Training
Since my last post, I started to go on a pretty severe downswing. I recognized some indicators of a familiar pattern of self-sabotage, so I decided to cash out a large chunk of my roll and take it easy for a bit. A few months ago I had $50 to play with. I recently cashed out nearly $3k and left myself with ~$600 online to run up. Taking some time off around the holidays seems to be a repeating trend for me, and I decided it would be best to embrace it rather than to try to fight it and force volume, especially with life being very busy at the moment. This cash-out combined with selling off some peer-to-peer loan investments I made a few years back is going to allow me to pay off the $7k in credit card debt I amassed in order to go to school for software engineering and be unemployed for 16 weeks last year. Paying off and closing that card before the 0% APR runs out is going to feel really fucking good.
My current schedule is work all day, come home, eat something, work on my apartment building until I go to sleep. We mortgaged a nearly 200 year old building, and we are starting to feel it's age in the form of cold weather problems. Our water and heat pipes have been freezing quite often recently, resulting in costly visits from HVAC professionals to fix the issues. Because of this, I have invested a fair amount of time and money into insulating our building. Every night lately, I am up in our attic installing new insulation or in the basement wrapping pipes with foam to prevent further issues. It's not my favorite way to spend my time, but it's all worth it and should be done this week!!
In addition to full-time work and working on our building, I am currently enrolled in the pilot program of Elliot Roe's A-Game Masterclass- a 6-week structured program for working on mindset and mental game. We are in week 2 now, and I am committed to completing all of the training and doing all of the homework every week. This leaves little time for playing, and I suspect I will only study during the week and play as many MTTs as I can each Sunday for the next several weeks. In the past I have felt pretty shitty whenever I am in a low-volume phase, but right now I feel pretty good. I know I am doing good work that will improve my life and my poker game. Between paying off crushing debt and working hard on mindset, I feel like I am setting myself up to have a great 2019 with reduced stress and improved clarity.
PS- Lately I have also been taking a very deep dive into personal finance. I read the book "You Need a Budget" and bought the software (www.ynab.com). I am now reading the revised 2018 edition of "Your Money or Your Life", which is another amazing book on personal finance. If anyone happens to read this and also is interested in working on personal finance, I VERY STRONGLY recommend reading these 2 books. I would start with YMOYL and then move to the YNAB book, and then get the 34 day free trial of the YNAB software. I have been budgeting with this software for a few weeks now, and it has already reduced my financial stress a ton. I feel like this system is one that would work well for poker professionals who have inconsistent incomes as well.
Thx and TTYL!
Dec. 12, 2018 | 3:26 p.m.
TY This intuitively makes a lot of sense.
Dec. 12, 2018 | 3:10 p.m.
Sorry mods, meant to post this in High Stakes MTT
Nov. 5, 2018 | 9:35 p.m.
Mid stages, not close to mincash.
We start the hand with about 27bb in UTG+1. UTG limps (unknown player), we 3x with QQ
BB call UTG Call
Flop 9TJcc - X, X, we cbet 2215 into 5150 - both players call
Turn - 5c - BB leads out 6397 into 11,795 - we fold:
I'm not really sure if we have enough equity to jam turn. I think BB has a lot of the 2 pairs, straights, and flushes given preflop pot odds and fact that UTG fish limps. Don't know if they have much stuff like J5o, but def have all 9T, TJ, J9, 78, and some of flushes (K9, K8, 67, 56, 64 etc)- though I would expect nut flushes to be checked at a very high frequency.
I also don't think BB can have many bluffs here at all and leading one pair Jx seems bad... though maybe it happens more than I think.
I'm pretty sure I made a mistake with my PF sizing and it should be 1800 or something (3.5bb+) after UTG limps. Also not sure how I feel on flop sizing and am probably better off sizing slightly bigger?
Nov. 5, 2018 | 9:27 p.m.
If you just plug in the stacks and run a sim, this is going to give you chipEV results. Generally with 16 left it is reasonable to go with chipEV ranges as often pay jumps are very small or sometimes even nonexistent from 16-10th, however if payjumps are significant you would be better off setting up an MTT ICM sim.
Also, if you just run the sim HRC is going to give the BTN opponent optimal ranges for opening and calling your jams, and this is almost never the case in practice. You should alter the RFI range HRC gives BTN based on reads/HUD stats and run the sim with a custom range.
In terms of edge passing (passing on thin spots) that is definitely a thing and if the jam makes 0.4bb in my personal opinion it's really close and slightly too thin. If it's a spot where you only risk 1/2 your stack then it becomes more reasonable to take a +0.4bb spot, but when there's uncertainty about villain's range and youre risking your whole stack, be more conservative IMO.
Nov. 5, 2018 | 8:56 p.m.
Given your reads on the opponent, I think this seems like a great spot to value bet river for a sizing around 1/2 pot, folding to a check/jam. If you have high confidence this villain is not overbluffing a lot, it is likely we get value from TP worse kicker, and very unlikely hands like KJ would check/jam river as a bluff. If you don't feel comfortable bet/folding river then just check back. You didn't say whether villain was in SB or BB, and I think that matters. If the 3b came from SB I would expect it to likely contain more Jx broadways and from BB it's more likely to be more polarized in general
Oct. 30, 2018 | 8:40 p.m.
IMO the turn decision is as simple as this:
We are very near the top of our range with nut trips combo. Our perceived range can include several Ax and UTG can easily be value betting plenty of worse hands in this spot. The only hands we really worry about that beat us are AA, A3, A4. That is 15 combos and AK alone is 12 combos, which to me is enough to say this is a jam.
Preflop I think the call is somewhat close, and rake structure would have some impact- but I don't think the call is going to be very -EV especially in a live 1/2 game where your equity realization is likely higher than average.
Oct. 30, 2018 | 8:30 p.m.
Just trying to chill
Just wrapping up a short Sunday session. Only played about 4 hours or so and netted around $650 profit. I went out and partied with friends last night for Halloween and mostly just relaxed/recovered today. I was feeling pretty good and got a nap in, so I decided to late reg the Sunday Major on Bovada and fire a few cash tables on the side. I binked 17th in the major for all the profits.
This past week, I started to focus entirely on building healthy routines- which for me means making sure I exercise, meditate, and get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. The sleep thing has been really bad in the past for me, and I have gone through stretches where I routinely get 6 or less hours of sleep every night. I feel like this change has already made me feel a lot better, and I've had a lot less back pain recently.
For the next 12 weeks, my primary focus is going to be on these healthy habits. I picked up Shawn Stevenson's book Sleep Smarter, and reading that has helped me to understand how important it is to consistently get a good night's rest. I will be grinding a short cash session every night (1-2 hours) and also playing MTTs on Sunday when I can, and I need to study regularly as well (still hoping for about 7h per week), but my priorities are on these habits. If I had to choose between getting to sleep on time and giving up playing and/or studying for that night, I'm gonna go for the sleep.
My bankroll is still moving in the right direction, and I feel like I'm seeing a lot of progress in cash games just from getting my mental game and health a bit more in order. Looking forward to closing this year strong!
Oct. 29, 2018 | 2:37 a.m.
Sunday Meh Day
Sunday grind was roughly breakeven this week. Lost some in cash, won some in MTTs. Bubbled the FT of a 1k GTD 6max, took 2nd in in a 5k GTD, and mincashed the 100k GTD Sunday Major.
I made the mistake of playing some more 200NL zone. I don't know why I keep hopping in those games even though I have good evidence I am not winning in them. Maybe I just like the challenge. Something on a subconscious level keeps pulling me back into those games. Had I just focused on MTTs yesterday, I probably would have had a nice +$400-500 day.
I also felt like I was on my B-game yesterday even in MTTs. It's strange, because I got a lot of good study done over the week, exercised, meditated, did yoga, ate healthy on Sunday. Seems that there is some variance in terms of my level of focus and execution even when I feel like I did everything right to prep for the grind.
My goal for this week is to just study MTTs all week. I will only play Sunday and/or next Monday, MTTs only on Bovada. I have to go see my girlfriend's father this weekend for his birthday, so I will get home late on Sunday and will have to start grinding late and miss some of the events I would normally play. Next Monday is Mad Monday on Bovada, so I may just play that instead of Sunday (schedule is great), or play both.
Study focus for this week will be preflop vs. RFI - flatting and 3betting range constructions. I will also be reviewing all marked hands from my Sunday grind, which contain a mixed bag of situations.
Looking ahead a bit, I would like to finish up on preflop study over the next 2 weeks so I can move on to postflop and start grinding the pio sims after that. My long-term goal is to get in about 105 hours of study in over the next ~15 weeks (moving to 7 hours per week) of study- 10 is too much with my busy schedule.
If I can get in at least 100 hours I will be rewarding myself by purchasing a 1-year RIO Elite sub and also diversifying my roll onto ACR for better Sunday game selection. It would be nice to start off Q1 2019 with that move and would help to set me up for grinding enough of a roll to make some live trips next year.
Until next time!
Oct. 1, 2018 | 2:31 p.m.
Slow the fuck down
It's been a while since I've posted in here. I have recently been reading Miika Antonnen's book series "Once a Gambler", and that has inspired me to post an update. I finished the first book and am about 90% through the second, and I am very surprised how eerily similar my path is to Miika's so far. At least in terms of bankroll fluctuations and self-sabotage. I don't ever play table games or totally spew off money, but I sure do know how to sabotage myself every time my bankroll is approaching the 20k mark, just like Miika(SP?).
Long story short, I have been extremely busy since my last post and poker has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Since 6 months ago, I got staked to play on the chinese apps, having good success at first. I played the smaller stakes deep ante cash games and won right away. Then I moved up to higher stakes, went into makeup, moved back down, and had enough winning weeks to cash out around 1.3k in profit, with my backer getting the other half. After a few weeks of cashing out, I went on a downswing. At the same time, the two softest clubs I was playing in scammed us and I had to leave them. My backer decided he did not want to stake me anymore, but graciously offered to let me play with my own money through him. That's actually a great result, as I would much rather play on my own dime anyway.
I decided to step away from the chinese apps for a bit to focus on MTTs, where I have had the most consistent success throughout my time in poker thus far. Due to a series of unfortunate events, my "bankroll" technically got down to about $50 2 weeks ago. I decided to focus on MTTs and played some very small events 2 sundays ago. I won a $5 4k, and had some other cashes. The next Sunday, I final tabled another tournament, and my roll was at about $1100. After that, I blew around $300 playing 200NL ZONE on Bovada (lost a 2-outer right off the bat getting QQ in on 764Q vs KK). I quickly sat out and haven't hopped back into those games again.
Last night I final tabled a $25k GTD, but executed a pretty bad ICM punt with a set vs a better set and got 5th. My bankroll is now at $2k. Plenty of money to play a bunch of MTTs on Bovada.
I think a major problem that has held me back lately is that I am in way too much of a hurry to have big results/success. For the last few weeks, I have been doing a really good job of taking a long-term mindset and I have been studying poker harder than I ever have in the past. I am very confident that I have the skillset to really crush MTTs. At least at small - mid stakes, and at least on the soft US sites. I'm trying to stick to a goal of 10 hours of deliberate practice every week now, and I plan to mostly only play on the weekends.
One thing is for sure. For better or worse, I won't give up on the poker dream. Despite my lack of professionalism and inability to stop sabotaging myself in the past, I am more optimistic than ever. I can see my edge in most games I play, and I am very grateful that good poker games still exist both online and live in 2018. I'm going to do everything I can to capitalize on that for as long as it continues. Let's do this!!
Sept. 28, 2018 | 11:58 p.m.
Hey Tyler, really enjoyed these videos. I saw yesterday that Ignition has added 500NL Zone games, would be awesome to see some content covering those games and maybe discussing how pool tendencies differ from 200NL :)
April 29, 2018 | 2:35 a.m.
This video was great! Really loved how much of your personality shows with talking into the camera and the eye contact. Music was a nice touch too. Looking forward to working through the rest of your videos
April 14, 2018 | 10 p.m.
OK Poker Week, GTO Life Week
Last week was solid on the life front. I meditated every day, stuck to my exercise schedule, had good balance and took a really fun day off on Saturday. I also had a reasonably good week at work and got essentially as much done as I had hoped for. The one thing I didn't do well with was eating well/nutrition.
I went to a Chili / Chowder challenge thing on Saturday and ate way more fucking chili than anyone should ever eat. There was this one chili that was made with Ghost peppers and a friend told me he couldn't get past 2 bites, so naturally I took on that challenge and ate a whole bowl. I'm a huge fish so I didn't secure a prop bet first. After the first few bites I thought I might pass out. I got through it by treating it as a stoic experiment- intentionally induced suffering and all that.
Poker was OK, I made a small profit on the week. I came in just a hair short on my volume and study goals this week. For next week I will be shifting to tracking #hands rather than #hours, and do not have Live play as a part of my weekly goal.
This Weeks Goals
This week is going to be challenging to reach my goals, since I have a birthday party on Friday and another event on Saturday to attend.
Volume: 6k hands online (no live)
Study: 6 hours
Med: every day
Exercise: 3x/wk + daily small exercises/yoga
March 26, 2018 | 2:37 p.m.
@Saulo- I think this is pretty good evidence that I am likely assigning too narrow a range to villain's 5bet in this spot. Thank you for sharing!!
Having said that, It would be interesting to see what you get if you looked at all hands and filtered for effective stacks 85-120bb and 5b size between minraise and some amount slightly larger than minraise. I would expect the sample you linked to probably has some 150 or 200bb + effective spots in it, and would also include hands where villain does something silly like raises to almost all in leaving himself with 1bb (which of course is very rare but could happen with > 0 frequency).
March 23, 2018 | 1:22 a.m.
@Saulo, I definitely have mental game leaks and my technical game needs tons of work too, but I don't tilt in this spot because I ran KK into AA. I tilt because I had a gut feeling about what I should do and went against it. If villain had 5b jammed rather than clicking it back, I would snap call here and would also happily snap call with AK and would not care at all about the results. If i run into AA that's just a hand in villain's range and it doesn't matter. I'm absolutely open to the idea that I am way off about what villain's range looks like in this spot given the action, but based just on instincts and what I think the average range looks like here i do think it is a fold (either pre or OTF). I dont have hundreds of thousands of hands to do db analysis and prove it. On top of that this is a rare enough spot that it would take a massive sample to get enough data to "prove" anything about villain's range.
Basically I had what I thought was a reasonable thought process in-game for folding this hand either pre or on the flop and I didn't fold. I didn't have a "reason" to stack off other than the surface level thinking of "I have KK sb vs bb lets get it in".
March 22, 2018 | 11:59 p.m.
I love the notepad idea. I've actually thought of doing something very similar but instead of using a notepad i was thinking of just using a whiteboard next to my desk that I keep a tally on. One nice benefit of this site is that I can get HHs 24 hours or so after a hand is played and can see villain's hole cards, so I can actually confirm whether or not my instincts are on. One downside though, is that there is no way to mark hands in session. HUDs don't work and it becomes a little tricky to find the exact HH I want to confirm. I guess the best I can do is to just use the tally idea and also write down a timestamp for when the hand was played, then 24-48 hours later I can filter and find the hand with a little minor searching. Actually I think this is the only way I'm going to correct my biases and fix this problem. Thanks!
March 22, 2018 | 11:50 p.m.
Thanks for the feedback. You made several good points but there are some things I strongly disagree with. The main thing is the example you used folding some of our strongest bluff catchers but not all because we open the door for mass exploits from villain. This will never happen in these games and it isn’t something we should worry about in these games. Every single hand, our opponents have 0 sample on us. The best they can do is to attempt to exploit the overall tendencies of the pool. They cannot ever know if we are folding all bluffcatchers in a spot and I actually think it makes sense for us to make massive explorative plays such as folding all bluffcatchers in certain spots.
I agree that I’m most likely suffering from confirmation bias and this exact spot is probably a pretty bad example of the issue im struggling with. However, not trusting my instincts feels like it’s a pretty consistent leak. I know that confidence comes with proficiency, but I feel like there are lots of spots where I instinctively know a correct exploit but I go with the More “standard” or “theory driven” play for whatever reason. I would really like to get over this and trust myself much more in game. Its almost like I’m worried about what successful players would think and how they would critique my play in these highly exploitative spots if they were analyzed “in a vacuum” — which is really silly because I play on my own $ Andrew shouldn’t have any pressure. I don’t need to impress anyone and I’m not sure why I cant just trust myself
March 22, 2018 | 9:19 p.m.
I have a problem trusting my gut/instincts in-game in spots where I feel I should deviate heavily from GTO play, especially when the deviation should be in the direction of over folding. I also think this is one of the biggest tilt triggers for me. When I decide not to go with my gut instinct in these spots and the result is bad, that is a huge tilt trigger and I end up thinking about the spot and keep coming back to it in my mind for the rest of my session. Here's a specific spot that just came up in a session:
$1/2 Zone (Fast Fold) Anonymous poker on Bovada
Folds to me in SB, I open KK to 6 (100bb effective)
BB 3bets to 16
I 4bet to 40
BB clicks it back with a 5b to 66 after thinking a few seconds
Pot right now is 106, if I call it will be 132 and its 20 for me to call. Those are insane pot odds.
My instincts are SCREAMING that this is a clear spot for an exploitative fold pre. I do my best to take Nick Howard's approach of using range confidence intervals in my decision process, but in this pool vs. this action I can't feel good about giving villain a range wider than:
100% of AA
70-100% of the 1 combo of KK
10-25% of AK, QQ
Against this range we are absolutely crushed, and we can't really call to setmine with the low SPR. I had a moment in my thought process in this hand where I felt very strongly I should fold. Then I second guessed myself, and called cause "pot odds".
Flop Jxx rainbow 130$
I check, villain Jams remaining 150.
Again, this should be a clear fold IMO. Even if villain jams his entire range here, They just don't get to the flop with enough hands we are doing well against to make this a call. Also I think it's possible that some amount of the time the villain type that 5b clicks AK pre will be occasionally checking it back here.
I don't think calling pre or on the flop are justified here. I also think that if I can find a fold in this spot pre that is a massive edge I can have in the pool.
How can I learn to consistently trust my instincts in game???
March 22, 2018 | 11:05 a.m.
Thanks, glad to hear it! That schedule didn’t work out so well :) I woke up at 4am for about a week and then gave up on it. I’m now pretty consistently waking up at 6am and I just try to meditate and do a little yoga each morning before work.
Regarding packing a lot into a day- I think a life leak that I have is to over plan and under accomplish. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better at this over the past 1-2 years, but it’s still a work in progress.
March 20, 2018 | 10:51 p.m.
Thanks for the feedback. Are you talking about running a script across a subset of flops and Just using the same sizings and lines for all flops first?
March 20, 2018 | 10:41 p.m.
Long Overdue Update
What's up RIO! I have some time to spare and decided it's time to update this thread!
I graduated from Hack Reactor about 7 months ago and have been working as a Software Engineer for about 6 months. I'm still very interested in and dedicated to poker, and play as much as I can. I have joined Elliot Roe's PMCA (Poker Mind Coach Academy) and love the community and content available there.
I've been very consistently journaling every day and my meditation and yoga games have improved. I've been going through a lot of frustration with online poker, bouncing between MTTs and Cash and have been playing a lot of 200NL Zone on Bovada under-rolled. It's been very swingy and lately I have been getting a bit more into playing Live Cash. I've decided that playing MTTs is just not gonna be possible with a full-time day job that is quite demanding. I can only play MTTs on Sunday, and I am really interested in becoming primarily a cash game player and moving up to high stakes eventually. I am planning to play live at least once/week, mostly playing NLHE at 1/3, 2/4, and 2/5.
I am also interested in taking some shots at other live games, and am actually trying to lock a seat for a private PLO8 game tonight. I've only played PLO8 a few times for fun and don't know too much about proper strategy, but I've heard this game is absolutely insane and I feel pretty confident that I can do some quick fundamental study and go in and beat that game for a good winrate.
I drove to the casino this past Friday after work and played in a 1/3 NL game with lots of action, and thought it would be fun to post some hands here.
Hand #1: The turning point
I brought 2 buy-ins ($600) with me to the casino, and if I lost it I was planning to leave. When this hand went down I was in for all 600 and had a stack of around 280 in front of me (300 cap buy in). I opened A7 spades in LP and got called twice. Both players who called are sticky postflop, but one is competent and the other is just bad passive. Flop 22J 2 spades I cbet and both call, bringing the pot size close to my remaining effective stack (this was a $10 straddle pot and my PF open was around $45). Turn was a brick like a 5d or something, both check to me, and I decided to jam as a bluff with NFD + A overcard. My thinking here was that both of these players are going to be calling my cbet way too wide with hands that cannot hold up to continued aggression, so I felt that the bluff would work often enough to produce immediate profit. When it doesn't work, we still have 18-20%. I got called by the more competent player who got to the flop with K2o. I did not give this opponent a wide enough 2x range in this spot. River came a spade and we doubled.
Hand #2: Sick bluff spot
In this hand we were around $500 effective with the villain on my immediate right. I had been 3betting this player very often. I had 3bet their opens far more than I had 3bet everyone else's opens combined. I had strong hands every time and it just happened to work out this way, but my opponent had mumbled a few things like "one of these times I'm gonna have it" in previous pots where I 3bet. We had AJo in a $5 straddle pot, 2 players flat and I raise to ~35. 2 calls including the player to my right.
Flop 234 rainbow, checks to me and I cbet around 50$. Fold, Villain on my right check raises to 150. Based on the dynamic as well as a strong feeling I had in the spot, I decided villain was just fed up with me and was doing this very light (this board does not connect at all with his call/call preflop range either). So I decided to 3bet shove flop as a bluff. Worst case if Villain does have like 77 and decides not to fold we still have 10 outs too. Villain thinks for a minute and says "Alright, I'll gamble with ya." He calls. Turn and river brick out. I announce "A hi" and turn over my hand. Villain looks a bit disgusted and announces "I have A hi as well" before turning over ATo!! The table erupts and we scoop a 1k pot.
Hand #3: She has to have a flush, right?
This was a fun hand. We are UTG and straddle for $5 with a >1k stack. We get 3 limpers and I look down at QQ. I raise to 40 and get 2 calls. One caller was a female player to my direct right who had sat about 1-2 orbits ago. She already lost 1 rather large pot where she barreled twice with top 2 and stacked off when the obvious flush came in on river. She seemed a little steamed after this. We are ~1k effective.
Flop Q9x all clubs. checks to me, I cbet 100, female player check/raises me to 225. I think for a minute and call.
Turn brick of diamonds - pot is around 550 and she bets 175. I call thinking that she probably has a flush but if board pairs I have great implied odds to potentially win a massive pot.
River Th so some straights complete - she bets again 175 into ~900. I tanked for a long time here. I almost folded. At first I was thinking "she just has to have the flopped flush here right?" But then I started to think about the pot odds I'm getting and also thought that this sizing didn't make much sense unless she has a very weak flush. I call and she turns over Q9 for flopped top 2 pair. We scoop another large pot and go home an orbit later.
I am now journaling daily specifically about poker and have set some well-defined goals:
Meditation: 1x every day 10+ mins
Yoga: 1x every day 10+ minutes
Exercise: 3x per week 30+ mins
Study: 6+ hrs/week
Volume: 14+ hrs/week with 1 live session
Sleep: Wake up at 6am every morning, strive to be in bed by 11PM (won't always happen)
March 19, 2018 | 3:18 p.m.
@Saulo that's a good point. Yes of course I understand they are GTO and that GTO is very often mixed. I don't think GTO preflop is optimal for Zone (or most any onine game), but the discussion/quizzes got me thinking that even if we take an exploitative approach to range construction preflop that mixing might be important for gaining highest winrates. I am quite happy to continue using pure strategies and actually I think the simplification is very valuable.
March 10, 2018 | 1:10 p.m.
I actually don't want to mix. I currently play pure in every spot pre and post. It's just that reading through some of the talk in the above posts after the preflop solve was released got me thinking that mixing preflop might be necessary for reaching maximum win rates. I guess the main thing I feel I am losing by not mixing is average equity across all flops with all ranges (e.g. if I tend to move all my suited wheel Ax in a given spot to a 3b or 4b then when I flat my RvsR equity is significantly worse on low boards).
Avoiding getting exploited by regs is of no concern and will never happen in these games, and there's probably a really good chance that I gain way more value in having a very simple strategy than I would gain by mixing. I just get caught in the trap of worrying that I am doing pio sims that are just going to become somewhat irrelevant if I dramatically alter my PF range for the spot.
March 9, 2018 | 11:43 p.m.
I am trying to take simplification of strategy as far as I can since I play in 200NLz games with 15s time for each decision. I currently play pure strategies for all preflop decisions. If you had to choose between being able to use mixed strategies for preflop only or postflop only, which do you think is most important for achieving maximum winrate? After reading through the quizzes above it seems like playing mixed preflop is far more important??