MatoStar's avatar


63 points


Hello everyone,

Back again, after 3 weeks, since I had a trip, but also took some time off to actually re-manage my weekly schedule, work-life balance, choose my own values, to basically avoid some fast burnouts, but also adequately evaluate my capabilities, because for me it is really important to persist this long journey:)
Finally I have had a weekly/daily schedule. However, it is not strict since I am still a student, I have to prioritize some school stuff if necessary and some family needs as well. It does not mean that I will not be playing poker for a week, but it may have an impact on my volume when it occurs.
The conclusion in terms of poker is that I would start with 30 hours spending on the poker a week (incl. podcast, videos+notes, hand review, forum and obviously grinding).
My goal is to play at least 20hours and study 10hours.
However, I think there might be still some weeks when it will be much more beneficial to study more or grind more, but generally I would like to stick with the primary goals.

Getting to the point, last week I started playing as I mentioned at the beginning of this journal, I started with NL2, but my results were not very good, actually they were kinda bad around -5bi or so. I think the main reason is that I was playing after such a long break, I mean it is always hard to establish when you are playing after some time off.
Even if the results are still not great, I have stuck with my game, not making many changes, because it would be too soon and also assumptive. Usually I play with at least 2 fishy players which gives me enough confidence to still believe in my own game style.
I also have to keep in mind that I usually play 2-4 reg tables (paying attention on the table selection) which means around 200 hands/hour = ~4k/week -16k/month. (My goal is to play at least 15k hands a week). That being said after 1week/4k hands there is a decent probability that I just got an unlucky. Especially when last week it was only 3k hands-15h (did not accomplish since I prioritized studying over playing, because I felt I need to get back to the game and actually studied for 15h which makes in total targeted 30hours:))
Luckily yesterday I had my first winning session so far. I hope that I will stick with the luck:)
Now I am gonna post my first hand related to my actual topic which is playing 3bet pots from SB as an aggressor (now vs BTN).
Overall in NL2 at this site I am still slightly profitable since I was playing some hands last month already (not sure if I should take it into a consideration, but I will probably do) around 7k.
About posting my graphs, well I am gonna post probably just one at the end of the month. Next post I am going to write probably next week, just to summarize and point out the biggest struggles and obstacles which will occur during this week. Till then I wish you good luck at the tables (except of mine:P).

Cheers guys:)

Nov. 12, 2019 | 10:52 a.m.

I would just 3bet shove on the turn, villain can raise with worse sets which I really doubt that he would fold.. even some pair+draw hands are still in his range.. plus the fact that some rivers are kinda scary for our hand such as Q,A,9 and flush completing rivers as well

Nov. 12, 2019 | 7:46 a.m.

Thanks guys:)
I called and he showed up with 22, so probably just sth random.. I think he is not gonna value bet with this sizing with Qx often enough. Maybe next time I can take into a consideration explo folding...

Btw would you rather call this river against a reg or vs a fish?

To be honest I would slightly prefer to call vs a fishy player since I can imagine more bluffs, I mean regs are in general really tight when it comes to bluffing on the river. Also another reason is that I think fishy players will not bet all the flush draws on the turn compared with regs who are stabbing the turn pretty blindly with plenty of bluffs.

Nov. 11, 2019 | 4:17 p.m.

Hi guys,

I decided to post this hand to ask what do you think that villain is overbetting on the river

I think villain barely has some slowplay sets- since he has got an opportunity to either raise the flop or stab on the turn.
He possibly can have some random collected twopairs such as Q2s,92s,62s, but with the first mentioned I would expect him to stab the turn some of the time and the rest I doubt he is calling preflop. possibly slowplayed 96s, Q9s and Q6s. At the end he could hit the set on the river. .

That being said I think we can say that villain is going to have approximately 10value hands - even probably less than that
So the question is if villain is capable of bluffing with at least 4 or 5 combos? I would say yes even though he is probably betting most of his bluffs on the turn.. my range looks so weak and he has still some Ax or weaker hands which he could x back on the turn and fire the river.

However, he can have some Qx, cant he? I would expect him to be stabbing the turn or choose a smaller sizing on the river, (And also raising the flop sometimes) but still hands like Qjo,QTo could possibly take this line (maybe even KQo or Q8s).

Then the question is that what type of hands do we want to call? Well ideally those which do block his value or at least are not blocking his bluffs. It would be nice to block Qx, but we barely have some Qx in this line, Maybe A2s,J9s,T9s.JJ,TT.. any thoughts?

My question is also would you expect from a regular to be balanced/underbluffing/overbluffing on the river?

P.S. maybe there is also an option to block bet really small on this river, but still it is not a solution in general, because we are still going to have some checking range on the river

Nov. 9, 2019 | 8:12 a.m.

Thanks man! :)

Oct. 25, 2019 | 9:24 a.m.

Hmm I see.. I mean we probably don't have enough confidence to make such an explo fold against unknown reg..
However, I found a fold :)

Btw can we think of bluffcatching this river with some other hands? (except of Kx)

Oct. 20, 2019 | 8:27 a.m.

What kind of bluffs would you expect from villain?
I mean, ofc this is a theory call, but I think villain isn't capable of turning pocket pairs into a bluff with an optimal frequency.
Then I see Ax type of hands which might x back OTT or just give up on the river. And all of his A2-A5s are either paired or nutted
Also I would say he is barely calling Q-high type of hands OTF.

Oct. 20, 2019 | 5:43 a.m.

Hi Guys

During the session I played this interesting hand. Preflop and flop is pretty standard.

On the turn we have to decide, but since we barely have 3streets, I decided to just pot control and check call. (planned to go b/x/b). I would do this with KJ and some KQ combos probably as well

Maybe betting turn with 1/2 and river 1/3-1/2 to get some thin value from pocket pairs might be an option as well.

Anyway I check/call turn and he shoves the river (sth like 55% of the pot).
What would you do and why?

(V:25/20 3b 15 (104))

Oct. 19, 2019 | 8:04 p.m.

Post | MatoStar posted in Chatter: From Micro to Highstakes :)

Hi everyone :)

My name is Martin, I am 19 years old guy from Slovakia and I have been playing poker for 2 years (mostly 6max CG), but have had some breaks, because of school, friends, my free time activities etc. I decided to start this journal (hopefully) as a journey from a micro to a highstakes player. I would like to keep posting probably once a week, just to point out the crucial moments which will occur. I hope it will be helpful also in the future, to basically see what were the crucial stages where I made the biggest mistakes, how I dealt with that, at which part I was more/less confident and also what had the major impact on my mental game and obviously learn from it :)

Living conditions
Given the fact that I have been living in the same room with my two brothers it has been really difficult to avoid some distraction (especially during ssn and study time). However, next week we are gonna move with my family to a new bigger flat which means that I am finally going to have my own room. So now I am really looking forward to a new stage of my life :)

Short-term plans/goals
Well I would like to put as much effort as possible. To give more weight to my goals I am writing it here as well. Since it is much easier to lie to myself with some bullshit excuses than to the whole forum. So about my weekly volume, I would say 30h of playing+15h of studying. Now I know that it will be really challenging, but to be honest I want to challenge myself so I am looking forward :)
Play: I would like to start with 2 reg tables, focus on every single detail (place for adding 1-2 tables). Starting with NL2 (despite the fact that I was beating nl10 with a solid winrate) and hopefully moving up through stakes once I will have a sample size over 20k hands with a winrate over 10bb/100 (or 40k with winrate 5bb+)

Study Plan
I think this is really important to actually know what to study or basically to have a study plan. In my case I am gonna start with 3bet pots OOP (firstly from SB and then move to BB). This is gonna be my weekly/monthly topic. (not sure about the amount of time.. it will be dependent on my level of confidence which I gain through the learning process). Marking, analyzing and posting those hands would be the whole process. Also I would like to hear 1 podcast per day by Elliot Roe.

Long-term plans
Well my passion for poker is indescribable.. I was thinking a lot about my future, since I have been studying on a grammar school and this is my last year, most of the people expect that I will continue to study at university. However, I do not want to be determined by the environment. I wanna do what I want, because it is my life not theirs :) So my plan is to take a gap-year and try to build my poker career. However, if anything happens, I have got also a plan B which is going to uni after a year off and study business management.

Daily routines
Besides of poker I would like to set up the time for going to bed (9-9:30pm) and getting up (5-5:30am). Every morning have a cold shower+do some exercise (20-60minutes) and at least twice a week go climbing to the climbing centre. Also I would like to continue practicing swimming in a cold water twice a week (with my bf). Last but not least is healthy eating what I have been practicing more than 1 year.

That is all for now, looking forward to some comments, thoughts, advice or whatever :)


Oct. 19, 2019 | 2:31 p.m.

Well do you think that villain is folding his AsXx unpaired hands with one spade OTR?
Isn't it like a really good hand for a bluffcatching for him or even raising?

(Maybe if the board is not paired it will become better bluffcatching/bluffraising canditate.)

But still it's pretty decent or do you think it's blocking much more hero bluffs than value?

Aug. 23, 2019 | 4:44 p.m.

Hi again,

After analyzing this hand in my own, I feel like it was not a bad play at all.

Flop standard cbet, turn card is not ideal since he picked up some trips, but still there is some fold equity from weak twopairs, weak one spade hands etc.

And the river.. well best bluffing candidates are undoubtedly AsXx, but if I bluff only with these combos I will end up with underbluffing which I do not think in this particular spot is necessary. The rest of my unpaired bluffs are Jx hands.

Is my value betting and bluffing range constructed correctly on the river? (Maybe some low flushes are a bit thin, but at micros I do expect much more calling with AsXx than bluff raising especially against big sizing and also much more nonsense calls)

Thanks for advices :)

Aug. 22, 2019 | 2:15 p.m.

He showed up with QQ :)

Aug. 22, 2019 | 1:31 p.m.

Hi guys,

Decided to post this hand, cause I am not sure about Villains range OTR.
After he checked I would cut his range into 3 categories:

  1. give ups: busted FDs, SDs and gutters (maybe an argument for a small sizing like 1/4pot or so)

  2. 9hXh type of hands which may call against a smaller sizing.

  3. strong Tx, but not all the time since Tx might just call the flop or check the turn, so probably only AT is a real canditate and rarely some boats and overpairs - only from these hands I would expect some resistance

Is the majority of his hands in category 1 and 2 or not?
Am I missing some hands which he can potentially have?

Villain is unknown

Aug. 21, 2019 | 1:04 p.m.

Post | MatoStar posted in MTT: Pot odds software?

Hello guys,

I decided to move from cash game to MTTs... but

Currently I can not found some pot odds/equity software which will show me these relevant numbers during the whole game

Previously I was using PartyCaption/StarsCaption, but I doubt that it is working even on winamax.

Also would be grateful for some decent free video content on SNG/MTTs.

Thanks in advance :)

Aug. 13, 2019 | 10:11 a.m.

Post | MatoStar posted in NLHE: Discord link study group

Hey everyone, I had some discord groups, but most of them are already dead, you know.

But I trust that still exists some which are pretty active. So please if you are in some, just let me know the link or so, I would be really glad, thanks =)

Mostly playing cash game 6max nl10-nl25.
Prefer calls or deep discussions


April 3, 2019 | 8:10 a.m.

Some info on villain? It looks like he is a shortstacker, which might be a sign that he is a weaker player (if you haven't reads on him), so then I would call it off. Otherwise against reg I would fold the turn, since on the flop there is still some probability that he is trying to raise your smaller sizing with something silly.

March 17, 2019 | 3:56 p.m.

The other stats would be pretty important if you have 3,7k hands on him.
Otherwise yeah tight fold, but probably the best option. Respect if you found such a big fold like this.

March 16, 2019 | 2:33 p.m.

What do you think about his bluffing frequency on the river? Because I see clearly zero bluffs + that low underbluffed sizing. So I think he is almost never bluffing.
Then what's the bottom of his value betting range? I think since we are dealing with some reg, we can assume that villain is perceiving our range (after we checked the turn) on AK,AA,KQ,QQ and rarely some boats. That being said even KQ would be pretty ambitious value bet from his side. So then the question is if the split equity from AK is enough to justify a call? I would say no, because some of them he just jams preflop and even with some of them he might just check the river (people don't value bet thin enough)

All in all if your 4bet range is somewhat tight AQs+,JJ+, AKo and some amount of bluffs (A4s,A5s or so) which is against the current environment pretty fine imo, then folding some AK in this spot isn't a huge inbalance.

March 15, 2019 | 7:08 p.m.

Yeah, clear bet fold on the flop. I like cbetting our range with that sizing, but the QQ is one of the worst hand in our range so it's a mandatory fold against a raise (our range is so uncapped, no worries about it)

March 15, 2019 | 6:08 p.m.

I don't agree that betting small = we are let's say capped on a thin value. Just imagine the situation when we have KK in this spot. I think it's a good example when I would use a 1/3 sizing on the turn as well, since villains range is pretty weak mainly Jx and worse pocket pairs (which he would call pretty often against the small sizing). So I think the fear that villain would perceive our range as capped and start raising us is pretty assumptive, especially on a board like this when we have all nutted hands in our range.

And I agree that the larger bet sizes after 1/3cbet are often the best ones, but not always. My idea was about this specific texture where I think he is also short on bluffs (cause mainly has at least A-high or better which in general people don't turn into a bluff often enough)

The range advantage is out of the question, because I am not talking about range bet, but betting 1/3 only with some value hands in our range. Okay, on smaller environment it's a bit risky, but still people usually play their own game and really not paying much attention on the other players, maybe like the top 20% of the playerpool or so are capable of that.

March 15, 2019 | 5:42 p.m.

I would probably size it down on the turn. We are blocking nut flushdraws and he has a lot of pocket pairs in his range, which he is folding against that large bet which you made. So I would make it like 1/3 (or a little bit bigger) to get a calls from those hands. The main point is that the hands which we are beating, has really few outs - Kx or Jx has 3 outs, pocket pairs has 2 outs, AQ has 4 outs and he shouldnt have that much draws, dont expect many calls from Q-high on the flop.
That being said I would bet the flop with the sizing as you did and the turn as well. Then we have a comfortable river value bet, but also would be cautious with the sizing, wouldnt make it more than half pot. (And ofc I would fold to a raise, since his range is mainly from hands with some showdown value which decreases his bluffing frequency)
All in all this would be an exploitable line, would be using it mostly against not well-known players only with our value hands.

March 15, 2019 | 2:18 p.m.

Well I think that 99 and TT would call the turn check raise, just because an additional draw equity. However with those hands he probably can find an explo fold on the river with some frequency. Even draws I doubt that he would fold to a check raise. And against a river bet it is an easy fold if he doesnt hit.

March 14, 2019 | 2:57 p.m.

Hi everyone,

this hand seems to be pretty standard, however I wonder if I choose the highest EV line, especially on the turn.
So his range there might be sth like overpairs, maybe half of the time 77 and 88, also some FDs and even some AK, AQ with backdoors.
With the vast majority of those hands he is calling the second turn barrel.
But then the river might be really tricky.. for instance on some 5,9,T,J,Q,A rivers we probably dont have a value bet.
That makes me thinking about choosing a different line. Concretely x/shove on the turn. But I am not sure if he is going to bet with most of his overpairs,FDs and then call a raise with them.
What do you think about it?

Btw he was tanking for like 20seconds and then he folded (could make a big fold with an overpair)
(And he had only 56.5bb behind on the river)

March 13, 2019 | 2:06 p.m.

Yeah the river is probably a call.. would be important to know how big is the rake at your site.

Anyway I would like to ask you if we would check the turn, (not with this exact hand, but in general with some range) would you expect somewhat balanced stabbing range from villain or some exploit numbers?

March 13, 2019 | 1:04 p.m.

Yeah, I agree, the EV might be similiar between stabbing and checking. But then we are supposed to bet the river as well, especially this one (we can easily make him fold his pockets, 8x and some splits)

March 11, 2019 | 7:51 a.m.

March 10, 2019 | 5:15 p.m.

Plenty of bluffs means that with the lower flop c-bet size, I expect wider range. After he checks turn, I see more bluffs and weaker hands in his range than Ax, since he should bet at least half of them for value.
Yeah, he might have some Kx, but would he value bet the river with them? (if yes, then he is definitely not overbluffing)

March 10, 2019 | 5:14 p.m.

I think the GTO solution is not as important as our perception of this hand..(whatever hand would we call here, we arent able to beat something from villains value betting range.)

Since most of the time players lean toward either overbluffing or underbluffing, I would like to hear from you, in which zone do you think villain is in this spot.

So my question is if villain is bluffing on this river more than he should to justify a call with almost any paired hand or not?

March 10, 2019 | 4:48 p.m.

March 10, 2019 | 9:52 a.m.

Comment | MatoStar commented on X

The solver pretty likes calling 3bet with these suited connectors like 87s-65s, I think mainly because the SB range is pretty tight and the villain doesnt expect that much hands like that in our range which might be an advantage on certain runouts... We can get his stack with our twopairs, straights,trips.. against his overpairs.

Btw well played. Would be calling this river with really tight range, even QQ would be really close call (because of his bluffing frequency)

March 9, 2019 | 9:15 p.m.

Load more uses cookies to give you the best experience. Learn more about our Cookie Policy