Sextonhardcastle's avatar


11 points

Running good making a alot of deep runs last couple days. Final tabled the $25 monster stack as chip leader but immediately got kk in vs AK and lost vs 2nd place stack and got knocked out in 8th couple hands later. Also final tabled the $150 monster stack and won it for $5500. Final tabled a $25 on ACR but got knocked out in 9th. Then Final tabled the $88 15k guarantee. was chip leader with 4 left when I 3b AK sbvbtn and bb (2nd in chips) 4b shove all in for 45bb. I had 55bb. the other two players had 10bb and 20bb. 2nd place hadnt been aggressively 3betting or shoving. In the moment it really felt like Im supposed to fold from an ICM point of view but i ended up calling and losing a flip vs QQ. few hands later lose a8v a7 for 7bb all in and out in 4th. Don't feel great about that one. I ran the hand in holem resource calculator and Im supposed to fold AK everytime. Even if i think hes shoving AJ/AQ its still an icm fold according to the calc. And I think he probably just calls my 3b with those pretty often. Moving on, will try not to make the same mistake next time.

June 18, 2019 | 7:18 a.m.

In a situation like this I would rather shove any 2 vs a bb thats calling too tight. I would want something with better equity and blockers to shove from this spot. Ax K5s Q7s JTo etc. In my experience you will often have much more fold equity at smaller stack sizes live than you will online. You can drop down to 4-5bb and still get way too many folds for certain players who will look down at k5s or q8o and just auto fold to a 4bb shove

June 17, 2019 | 10:05 p.m.

Final tabled sunday warmup on ACR. Decent win but very aggravating. Was chip leader most the time from about 80 players left. With 13 left I lost a flip vs a short stack. Few hands later I defended 95sx in bb. Guy with very high cbet % cbet 1/4 pot on 873sss I c/raised he called. Turn Tx I bet 2/3 pot and had to call off vs a shove for not much more and was dead vs A6ss. Still had a decent stack and was stealing a bit then raise called off 99 vs 16bb shv from someone who had 3b shoved a few times and ran into AA. Build back up and was chip leader at final table and shoved A9s 13bb effective with 3 ppl left to act and a6bb stack who had already folded. Got snapped by AK and lose. Never got traction afterwards.

Really not sure if min raising the A9 is better than the shove. Also, not sure about c/riase vs c/call on the 95 hand and if i should bet big call off turn or check or bet small. Certainly got lucky a few times earlier in the tourney to get to where i got but always hurts not making top 3.

At same time I got knocked out in 20th in the $300 buy in on ig. Shoved JTs 20bb bb v btn riase. Also, not sure if flat or shove was better here. Theres a lot of value in just staying alive on ignition and due to the structure everyone was under 30bb. So made two deep runs and missing out on the big money in both doesn't feel great. Back at it tomorrow.

June 17, 2019 | 4:03 a.m.

Played 4 of the 5 days i planned. I had been running kind of bad this month, running into top of players ranges with strong hands and getting big pairs cracked all in pre. Finally made a couple deep runs. Got all in with best hand on ignition and got beat as a shorter stack early on at final table. However, I managed to get 2nd on ACR in their 40k guarantee $66 for $5500-6000(cant remember exact payout). Nice win to dig me out of the hole that had benn this month so far. Up about $2k on the month now. Will start playing again sunday.

June 14, 2019 | 8:21 p.m.

Basically yes. If you're sure both players are recreational and call a wider range you can bet bigger with your strong value hands and hands like KQ that dominate a lot of their calls.

June 13, 2019 | 12:09 a.m.

Comment | Sextonhardcastle commented on focus!

nice! keep it up

June 9, 2019 | 9:36 p.m.

Once a week I'm going to try and figure out where I feel the weakest in my game and focus on fixing that. Right now I've been studying 15-25bb opening/shoving ranges. I'm going to start incorporating a limp strategy in late position 14-20bb effective and see how ppl react. Also, going to open shv less in late position with 18bb+ in the smaller and mid stakes games as I think 2x-2.3x raise is going to be more profitable than the slightly profitable shove.

Plan is to play my standard sun-thurs schedule about 9-10 hrs avg each day and see how I feel about my opening adjustments

June 9, 2019 | 12:38 a.m.

With only the winner get paid there is no icm. There will be some ppl who will be overly fearful of getting knocked out, but for the most part big stacks dont have the ability to push people around as much. This should be kind of like a cash game with antes. That generally will mean its better to play laggy (antes add a lot making stealing much more profitable). I'm not sure there are any videos where someone is playing a cash game with antes but in general you're going to want to widen your preflop range a little bit and dont be afraid of getting knocked out. last wins the same amount as 2nd.

June 7, 2019 | 3:34 p.m.

Generally I wouldnt size this big preflop vs EP. I would tend to just 3x but besides that I think checking down is pretty reasonable here.

June 7, 2019 | 6:09 a.m.

Sure, we want to get the max from those hands but those are not the only hands in villains range. So lets see what happens when we give villains a range I think is reasonable for a rec here. 56s+ 86s+ all suited aces all pairs 22-TT with some JJ. 2/3 AQ 1/4 AK all broadways Q9s K9s J8s K8s A9o. If you run a sim 3 ways KJ has 51% equity. pretty good for a 3 way pot. But there are a lot of hands that fold to any size bet. So lets see what ranges look like when you bet small and they continue. Villain will continue with 147combos of 219 hands or 67% of hands. This is assuming he doesnt fold AJ A9 98 t8 87 etc vs a small cbet.

If both villains call with a similar range of hands your equity looks like this

KhJs 39% equity vs 30.5% vs 30.5% KJdd 36v32v32
KhQs 44% vs 28% vs 28%. KQdd 41 v 29.5 v 29,5
AK no spade 37% v 31% v 31% AKsx 41v29v29 AA no spade you have 35v32v32
AA with a spade 39.5v30v30 KT 49v25.5v25.5

If only button calls
KhJs 61v39 KJdd 58.5v41.5 KhQs 64.5v35.5 KQdd 62v38
AKdd 58v42 AKsx 61v39 AAdh 56v44 AAsd 59v41 KT 67v33

Now lets have villain fold out a few more hands vs a big bet. hands like a9 98 97 and just a few combos of AJ that have no heart or spade. Now villain is calling 130 combos or 59%

If both villains call, your equity with various hands looks like this
KJhs 36% v 32 v32 KhJd 33v33v33 KhQs 41v30v30 KQdd 38v31v31
AKdd 35v32.5v32.5 AsKd 39v31v31 KT 47v26v26 AdAh 33v33v33 AdAs 37v31v31

If only button calls your equity looks like this
KJhs 58.5 v 41.5 KhJd 56v44 KhQs 62.5v37.5 KQdd 60v40
AKdd 56v44 AsKd 58v42 KT 65v35 AdAh 55v45 AsAd 57v43

Immediate take aways from looking at this : Having the As Qs Js greatly increases your equity by giving you a backdoor flush draw but more importantly blocking high equity draws like nut flush draws and straight + flush draws from opponent. KQ is significantly stronger than KJ AA AK

Smaller size vs bigger size : When both villains call you have around 3% higher equity in the pot with the smaller size. When one villain calls you have about 2.5% more equity in the smaller bet pots.

You can go in and really math it out and find out the overall chip ev difference between the 2 bets given your equity in the pot and the frequency difference in calling and that will tell you which bet size is better if there were no future bets allowed to go in. But since we have to play turn and will be oop is button calls lets focus more on that.

A smaller size lets us comfortably barrel turn for a small to med size and keep getting calls from weaker hands we dominate. It also allows us to check call cards like spades, Jx, Qx, Ax, 9x, Tx with a wider part of our range without risking a huge portion of out stack. It also allows us to call a raise from villain where a bigger bet getting raised is often going to leave us in a really crappy spot where we dont want to call but really dont want to fold either.

Looking at the equities of these hands here I think its reasonable to have both a large and small size on the flop. I think hands like AA AK no spade really want to go for the smaller size because they dont have a huge equity advantage and there are a lot of bad turn cards where you will have a bloated pot and no idea what to do vs a bet. I think a hand like KQ can go for the bigger bet size because it has such a big equity advantage when called for the bigger size and less bad turn cards than a hand like AA. KJ with a spade can probably go big vs recs as well. KJ no spade I would put with smaller size and exploitably probably bet QJ the big size vs recs

However, if button is a semi competent player and is calling a tighter range preflop and calling a tighter range on the flop (folding k8s A9o J8s QTo JTo KTo preflop vs big iso raise, folding t8 vs a big bet 3 ways folding AJ/AQ no spade etc)

Now your equity looks like this hu v btn when called
KJxs 53v47 KJ no spade 50v50 KQxs 59v41 KQ no spade 56v44
AA with spade 53v47 AA no spade 52v48 AK spade 54v46 AK no spade 52.5v 47.5
KT 62v38

If we say btn folds QJo half the time your equity increase by about 2.5%.

As you can see, vs a semi-competent/tighter button your equities runs much closer together and you're oop which means you will typically under realize your equity. I can see an argument vs two rec players with wide preflop ranges that going with the bigger sizing is better. However, if you are not sure that one of the players is a rec or have very little hands/reads on villains OR you know button is a solid player I think you should go with the smaller sizing.

In summary : So my default vs population is I would go a smaller sizing. Vs two recs I think exploitably going a bigger sizing with KJxs KQ KT QJ 99 etc probably makes more money and I would follow up barreling brick turns 60-75% pot and folding to a raise frequently. Then checking river pretty frequently with one pair hands as I dont think you get called by worse often enough once the board bricks out and villain doesnt call anymore with J9 QT etc. Or block betting like 10-15% pot. But I wouldnt take this line vs a good player.

June 6, 2019 | 6:54 p.m.

I have a to do list of things that I need to get done that I create the night before. Stuff like do the dishes, go for a walk, go to the doctors etc. A few hours after I wake up I knock out that list before I start playing poker and my mind feels clear and ready to play. I feel completely unorganized and my mind is not focused if I dont knock out that list and I play worse as a result.

June 6, 2019 | 2:38 a.m.

Playing on ignition where the mtts dont have the best structures. You end up sub 25bb quite a bit. As Im playing today I realize I really just need to memorize a solid 15-25bb open range as I know I cant open as wide as when I'm deep but I see myself staring at K9s mp or A3s ep that I typically open deep and I just really don't know exactly what I should be opening and that seems like a pretty easy problem to fix.

June 6, 2019 | 2:28 a.m.

Yeah that sounds about right. These are the spots that when you win and build a big stack you can make some deep runs which is where yo make all the money in mtts.

June 6, 2019 | 1:50 a.m.

Definitely jam. I wouldnt be worried about getting knocked out at this stage of the tournament at all. There is also so much dead money in the middle that you are printing money just when you're in a coin flip here and you'll typically just be ahead of the shovers range. Also, at this buy in level its much less likely someone flatted AA/KK vs the pfr and more likely they are calling hands like j8s that should be folding. There's also a higher than nromal chance the shover is shoving with something random cause of all the money in the pot.

June 5, 2019 | 9:02 p.m.

Btn has an SPR of around 2 once bb calls. Thats going to make it hard to realize your equity. In addition he's on the tighter side. Suited connectors are really nice when you have fold equity postflop for semibluffs, which I just dont think youre going to have much of here. The bb cold calling really hurts as he can have bigger spades and even hands like 75s 76s 86s 85s A5o etc all which dominate you. You also dont have a hand that can flop a draw with overcards. A hand like JTs or QTs could flop a flush or straight draw and dominate the bbs smaller draw or have a draw +overcards on for example 984 vs the bbs 97/A9.

All things considered I think folding is best and when you call you just end up in tough spots not knowing what to do. Suited broadways pocket pairs KQ etc are all going to perform a lot better in this spot than small-med suit connectors.

June 5, 2019 | 5:38 p.m.

Betting that small can sometimes induce bluffs(not often enough that I would call a c/raise). General rule of thumb is you dont want to bet less than 1/2 pot on river in position, though I exploitably will do this vs some players where i think they either have a draw and are folding to any bet or calling any size with a made hand. Or when I think they are just very weak and wont call much.

In this situation I think you should still bet 1/2 pot as its less likely you get bluff raised and villain has a decent stack, there's no icm or pressure of being knocked out of tourney. And I think they will call 50-60%% with close to the same amount of hands as a smaller size. Like I just don't think Jx is folding when the board bricked out and you never made a big bet like 80%+ of pot. Also you Tx/8x making Jx their most likely holding. If you had a hand like JJ maybe smaller size would be better because your mainly trying to get Tx or 8x to hero call.

June 5, 2019 | 5:27 p.m.

If I plug in a range for you in equilab of all AXss, flush draws, QJ KJ KQ AK AA and sets. JT QT J9 Q9 has around 29% equity. So they do have enough equity to call this bet but oop will under realize their equity just being oop. Also flush cards and cards that make them two pair have a good chance of hitting someone else. So its really not a great spot for them to be in.

Against specifically KJ/KQ they have 19-20% equity. And against a range of only your value hands they have 21%. And against your bluffs those hands are going to have a tough time calling down and generally under realize their equity. So I wouldnt be worrying that theyre getting too good of a price.

June 5, 2019 | 5:18 p.m.

I've been a poker pro the last 10 years. I mainly played live the first 7 years of my career but due to health issues I mostly play mid and high stakes mtts fulltime on ACR and Ignition. I plan to use this thread to post updates on my goals and progress in trying to get to the highest stakes mtts, as well as stories I want to write up on how I got into poker and being a live pro for many years. Also, if you have any mtt questions I'm trying to respond to every post in the mtt section of the forums.

Now : Will post monthly results updates
Since 2017 according to sharkscope I have a 40% ROI with an avg buy in of $53 on ACR
My ROI on mtts $10-$30 116% with avg buy in of $26 over 2400 mtts
ROI on $31-99 is 34% with a $65 avg buy in over 1700 mtts
ROI on $100+ -22% with avg buy in of $165 over 400 mtts.

Now I know Im a winner at the high stakes MTTs on ignition (No re rentry and worse players). But I also dont have great records to figure out my roi and havent had any good software till recently to track it. On ACR Over half my losses at the high stakes MTTs were from shot taking in 2017 after a big score where I was definitely not a winner in the games. I've been game selecting in 2019 for the high stakes mtts, only playing the large field MTTs as the smaller field ones have a much higher concentration of winning players in them. I think my skill level is such that I should be a winner in these games, but I also know I need to get better. Mainly I think I'm getting crushed by the good players when we get to sub 25bb and Im just playing too loose preflop, theyre calling 3b shoves properly and 3b shoving vs me way more often than players at lower and mid stakes. So thats the main thing Im working on right now. By the end of the year I want to get my mid stakes ROI above 50% and the high stakes roi above 15% With a longer term goal of 30%+


My First Time
My dad would have friends over to play poker once a month. I was 11 years old and for some reason he decided I could play with them. They played nickel, dime, quarter stakes. He gave me $5 to play with (assuming I'd lose it) to learn a lesson about gambling. I truly had very little idea what I was doing. They played a lot of 7 card stud variants with wild cards. A game with dice. Something called "In between" and "7 card no peek". I just looked at my cards and tried to make what I though were good hands. By the time my mom made me leave the game and go to bed I had won $12! A fortune in my mind. I remember one of the guys, a former marine with the nickname of "Mad Dog", (who played like a maniacal lag) shouting I wasn't allowed to leave, I still had all his money.

Next month my dad let me play again. I won $15 this time! Mad dog again was not very happy when I left the table and I was banned from playing in the game after that. No lesson learned about gambling. From that moment on I held this illusion in mind that I was good at poker. That I had some special gift or talent, clearly not understanding what variance was. A few years later I watched the movie Maverick, starring Mel Gibson, who had some special ability to just magically know what card was coming off the deck and sticks all his money in on a 5 card draw hand knowing he has 2 outs to a straight/royal flush (and proceeds to slow roll the villain). Maybe I had that ability. As a senior in high school I started playing $5-10 sit n gos with friends and started buying a bunch of books. Caros Book of Tells. Super System. Caros Most profitable Holdem advice. Ace on the River. etc. I was terrible at poker, but just having the belief that I was good or that I had some weird inner talent or Mel Gibson magic led to me actually getting better at poker.

Here's that magical mel gibson scene

June 5, 2019 | 6:55 a.m.

Most people I know who are backed for live poker are backed for tournaments. Generally they have made friends with someone rich who really likes poker and they have shown years of being a good/professional player. Getting backed for live poker will make it even harder to build a roll as you're now paying out part of your winnings to someone else. There's not really a company or group you go and apply to to get backed for live cash games.

June 5, 2019 | 6:06 a.m.

Early position 3x tends to be a much stronger range than a min raise. Usually by a recreational player. Players also tend not to fold much when shoved on after the big open. Like if villain opens 3x with 88+ and AJ+ they usually call off everything when shoved on. But they are often opening tighter than that. At least on American sites I play on. Basically you dont have much fold equity which makes 3b shoving 77/88 type hands not very attractive. I would probably just fold 77 here. Even 88. I would fold AJs AQo call AQs shove AK JJ+ and likely flat 99/TT. I would fold QJs JTs type hands. This seems so tight but I spent a long time getting knocked out of tourneys here by 3b shoving or calling suited broadways and just constantly being dominated by AQ+ TT+.

June 5, 2019 | 4:39 a.m.

I would check the flop or bet 1/3 pot. I dont really want to bloat the pot here. Your hand is medium good but not great on this board multiways and I really dont want to be put in a position of making a tough call/fold on flop or turn with this hand. Likewise if a bunch of money goes into the pot with this hand you're usually not too happy about it. You dont really beat other Kx hands. Theres a big difference between KJ and KQ here but i would bet 1/3 with KQ as well.

I would really hate if villain bet 80% on river. Not sure what I do in that situation. Its just a situation where people in general way underbluff. As played I call river.

June 5, 2019 | 4:24 a.m.

My default here 42bb effective would be to call but not like it. If you have a hud having as little as 50-100 hands on a player can change how i view this situation greatly. Also how quickly btn shoved matters too. If you have no hands on opponent and they snap shove I think its less likely they have a hand like QQ+ and more likely they are doing something random but i wouldnt read too much into that. I think folding here is ok. The population on the sites I play are usually just calling AJ AJs 22-88 this deep with some spazzing on occasion cause they have Ax or something. But they generally tend to play on the tighter side. Also, villain is on button and people feel a lot more comfortable calling the 3bet knowing they have position as opposed to if this hand were bvb and villain was in sb. I would like the fold more if you had 3b from bb because people are more suspicious of sb 3bet. Another factor in favor of folding is there are not any antes yet so both your range and villains should be tighter preflop

folding here is a big mistake vs some players and calling is a mistake vs others. I think the spot is close and you didnt make some huge punt folding here but as I said having some sample of hands on opponent could greatly effect my thoughts on the situation

June 5, 2019 | 3:35 a.m.

I think shoving looks good here. I wouldnt get too carried away shoving these spots. Sb will call more often than you think. It really depends how wide the button is opening and how tight the sb is calling and how often he 3bets. If sb has a really low 3bet he can be flatting some pretty strong hands. If the sb is flatting vs button a lot then shoving is better. You really want to have pocket pairs or good blockers generally when you shove here but it all depends on how wide btn and sb are playing.

June 5, 2019 | 12:01 a.m.

In general I would check. The Ace should hit his range more than it should hit yours. If you bet all his bluffs fold. But he also shouldnt have very many bluffs here. You block backdoor hearts. AT/A9 make a pair on river. KT made a straight. AQ beats you. 8x beats you but he shouldnt have much 8x in his range. 99/TT look like the only hands that he has as bluffs (and the random total airball if hes real spazzy). Writing things out I think I like a block bet on the river where you lead for about 15-20% pot. This should get you calls from a lot of hands I think end up checking back like A9 AT QJ KQ KK and I think you end up doing better than checking and calling a shv/big bet where people are usually under bluffing.

June 4, 2019 | 11:03 p.m.

I would bet around 1/2 pot. Given mp limp called. I think we can assume he's likely a rec player. He can have a lot of pair plus draw type hands that play this way. Because you raised preflop he can definitely hero call because he thinks you have KQ AK AQ and missed the flush/straight. I think he's also very unlikely to turn his hand into a bluff if you bet. I think you get called by Jx or Tx when you bet often enough that i'd want to go for the thin value and auto fold to a raise.

June 4, 2019 | 6:37 p.m.

The shorter you are the wider you can defend. The wider the pfr raising range the wider you can defend. The smaller the raise the wider you can defend.
1. If you’re short stacked you have very low reverse implied odds. You’re not worried about flopping a pair and being out kicked for your stack.
2. The wider pfr raises the wider you can defend. The reason for this is your hand, even a junky one, has much better equity vs a wide range than a tight one because the tight one is so pair and big card heavy.
3. The smaller the raise the better direct odds you have to call. When there’s antes and blinds you have such great odds to call from bb that you can call any 2 vs a min raise from a wide raise.

One of the situations where you actually want to fold a lot more is when there’s an open and call and you have a hand that plays poorly multi-way and has poor visibility. With J2 there’s a good chance preflop someone has a better J and or someone has a pair. In this situation you have to flop two pair+ or strong draw to want to put money in the pot.

June 1, 2019 | 11:26 p.m.

Early and mid stages icm shouldn’t be a consideration in decision making. You’re really playing chip ev. If you’re playing in an extremely soft mtt that you can’t re enter you can fold the close spots where you think it might be slightly chip ev to call just to preserve your tourney life because you’re going to get massively +ev spots in the future. But one of the ways you make a lot of money in mtts is building a big stack to run over ppl on bbl and deep in mtt where you get so many great spots because ppl don’t want to bust. Part of how you get stacks like that is embracing variance early on in mtts. In Reality I’m pretty happen to be in a flip for my stack in the early mid stages of most tourneys cause I know It Will lead to better future spots with a big stack.

June 1, 2019 | 11:14 p.m.

I’d call I suspect with the amount of outs you have you have the raw equity needed to call vs his range. You’ll win sometimes when it checks down on river unimproved. I think flop check call is standard turn check is right way to play so far. There is some argument to folding cause you could be drawing to chop or be up against kJ type hand and I don’t think most villains just barrel here with air. Also if you fold you maintain a stack that can 3b shv with fold equity which is pretty important. So I think it’s close either way.

May 31, 2019 | 4:58 p.m.

When looking at your bb/100 in mtts be sure youre looking at different effective stack sizes. For example I play on bodog that has a few tournaments that start you off with 1000 bbs and ppl play real spewy early on. This inflates my bb/100 to ridiculous levels. If i narrow it down to 50 or 100 bb effective in pokertracker i get a more realistic number.

BB/100 also doesnt do a good job of telling you how well you're playing late in mtts where everyone is relatively shorter. If you make a bunch of shove and icm mistakes at under 20bb you might be close to break even even if you're bb/100 is high.

I'm not sure what a good bb/100 win rate is considered for mtts but anywhere from 3-10 is reasonable depending on how well you play short stacked and how deep you start most mtts.

April 24, 2019 | 3:38 p.m.

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