devwil's avatar


318 points

Hey so I hope that folks won't find this in poor taste, but I legitimately think that anybody reading this could be interested:

I'm now streaming videogames and poker over on Twitch. (Pretty much just for fun; I have virtually zero expectations for it.)

On the poker side, this afternoon was my first foray into it and I just played 8-game, but I think it produced some interesting hands! This is one of my favorite clips from the session.

Here's a link to the collection of poker highlights. My channel is

I'm planning on streaming Snowie and probably real money eventually, as well as doing some surprising things that I think will be fun.

Oh, and I play a lot of Hitman 2016 during the week. 11:30p-1a EST Sunday through Thursday, I'm going through and playing the "escalation" missions on every map. I just finished Sapienza the other day, though I hadn't done Paris yet so that's what I'm up to now.

And just for some quick, additional links if folks want to follow along outside of Twitch: I put select highlights on YouTube... I also put clips on Facebook and Twitter, where I give heads-up announcements like ~10 minutes before I go live. I also have an Instagram for all of this, but I don't expect to be QUITE as active over there.

March 8, 2019 | 9:13 p.m.

I feel myself slowly recovering from my snakebit feelings, though I'm not feeling enormously motivated to play.

I think I'll keep a NL50/PLO25 bankroll on Ignition but cash out everything else.

March 6, 2019 | 7:30 p.m.

Popping back in with some additional reflections.

A lot of my disappointment and disenchantment at the moment has to do with my poker goals.

My poker goals were very vulnerable to unsustainability, and I don't know that I ever spent enough time thinking critically about that.

One dimension of this is ego.

The relationship between my ego and my poker is funny, because in some ways I'm egomaniacal about poker and in some ways I'm completely not.

For example, my ego is not excited by the prospect of playing nosebleed cash online or live high roller tournaments. If my bankroll allowed (or rather, dictated) it and I felt I had an edge, I would play these games just as a matter of course. Moving up in stakes and playing tougher games really only ever felt like a means to an end to me, and I'd frankly rather play the most profitable games I can beat than play the toughest games I can beat. I don't feel a need to beat good players; I'm totally content beating worse players.

This means that I'm really not as competitive about poker as I could be. I think that it's a potentially healthy direction to err in as one will be less prone to certain forms of tilt, but it also removes a motivating fire that a more competitive player would have.

Where my ego does get in the way, however, is a more vague sense of self and achievement. Going back to my introduction to it as a teenager, I've always kind of romanticized poker as this strange, somewhat "nostalgic" hybrid of semi-sophisticated intellectual sport and vulgar gambling. Being good at it—and consequently being able to make money at it—has just always been appealing to me as a validation of some kind of intellect.

In short, I've always felt like it would feel good to be good at poker.

And while money is obviously a primary measure of being good at poker, I have to admit that I'm a sucker for other markers of poker success.

I really wanted some kind of poker trophy. A bracelet, a ring, a little statue of the Wynn, whatever.

Building my bankroll online honestly was only ever a means to being able to play live MTTs and collect trophies. I mean, sure: making a compelling hourly online to justify spending so much time on poker is its own reward as well, and being able to sincerely identify as a professional poker player would have been its own ego stroke and it would have paid the bills.

But what I really wanted was to build a WSOP-ready bankroll.

And, sadly, I'm very far from that goal now. It's stupidly results-oriented and it's bound up in an irrational lust for recognition, but the fact is that I'm really not closer to this goal today than I was this time last year. I'm actually further from it.

And this is a big part of why I'm so demotivated and disappointed. I think I sincerely worked very hard towards my various poker goals, but whatever insufficient mix of skill and luck I brought to the tables has led me to where I am today. And my ego is frankly pretty bruised over it. I thought I could do better than this, and I didn't.

And I'm not currently finding the patience or passion to keep at it, due to having already spent so many months dedicated to it without finding anything resembling the rewards I sought.

March 4, 2019 | 8:31 p.m.

As much as I feel like this blog's narrative has already been the slow strangling of optimism and ambition under the weight of disappointing results, I need to admit a modicum of defeat beyond what I've already accepted in previous posts.

Since becoming involved with poker once again last June, it's been an emotional roller coaster. I started way up by final-tabling two small-stakes tournaments in Vegas during the WSOP; I dipped as I lost buy-in after buy-in trying to learn the ropes of PLO cash; I went back up as I binked my biggest online MTT ever; I was really put through the wringer in the following weeks as I seemed utterly unable to win (including expensive trips to the WSOP Circuit), and my early optimism for 2019 was crushed by winning-yet-under-EV cash results and yet another expensive 0-for trip to the WSOP Circuit.

The truth is, both before and especially after expenses, I've lost money over this period of time. A ton of it is attributable to the PLO cash learning curve and then excruciatingly unsuccessful shots at live MTTs, but even with my healthy online ROI I've also run very far below expectation in online MTT big blinds during this time, which—as you can imagine—has limited my potential success quite a bit.

It all has me feeling extremely snake-bitten, and I honestly don't have the stomach for any more of it right now.

Consequently, I'm going to take an indefinite break from playing poker. I have some things keeping me tied to the game in productive ways, but I honestly couldn't stomach losing another coinflip right now (except maybe against Snowie, but even then...).

It's too painful and I'm not so proud to act like my mental game is strong enough to push through it all, when it isn't.

I'm also getting very close to the point that I arguably can't afford to lose any more money on poker, and if I can't afford to lose then I can't afford to play responsibly.

My limited 2019 volume suggests that I'm a winning cash player at this point and my online MTT record shows a healthy ROI, but I don't feel like a winner in my gut and I have about nine months' worth of overall (if modest) losses that have me feeling pretty discouraged.

Right now I just have too many viscerally negative associations with playing the game, so I'm stepping away with no real plans to return to playing.

I'd already booked my summer WSOP trip and I'm not canceling it just yet... if nothing else, I'd hate to change my mind and then lose the primo hotel rate I got.

But right now poker is just bound up in too much frustration for me.

Some resentment too, if I'm honest. There just seemed to be a lack of correlation between the effort I put into the game and the results I got out of it, and whatever my shortcomings as a player are, I really feel like I deserved somewhat better than I got.

But it just goes to show that nothing is guaranteed in poker. Failing (or just "not succeeding", however you want to spin it) is always distinctly possible, even if you're a careful student of the game.

Obviously, I wish more than anybody that things had gone even slightly better for me (and I certainly had my sparks of rungood from time to time), but I just can't bring myself to take on another 60/40 without being a nervous wreck... and I'm just so emotionally exhausted by losing at this point that I need a break from the swings, and I've already taken what I think is my longest break from playing since last June. I'm just not bouncing back mentally like I often have.

Hopefully it's just a refreshing and temporary break, because deep down I think I love the game and I know how much I've invested in it. I still want poker success for myself, and I still believe it's possible for me in the abstract (that is, bankroll and mental game permitting).

But, in a variety of ways, I just can't currently accept the risks that are necessary for that success. I'm too beaten down by disappointment for right now.

So... talk to you later?

March 2, 2019 | 10:21 p.m.

Overdue update. Going to be brief.

Went to Vegas. Got sick. Ran like garbage and still haven't cashed a single WSOPc ring event, which has been extremely expensive for me in both buy-ins and expenses (despite trying to be quite frugal).

Exhaustingly disappointing results combined with illness have me feeling very down lately, honestly.

March 1, 2019 | 8:22 p.m.

Comment | devwil commented on AAJ9 on T75tt OOP

OTF I think this might be a better check/call OOP, but I'm not sure. I don't think bet/folding is absurd, though.

As played, I think your turn and river actions are reasonable.

Feb. 15, 2019 | 6:26 p.m.

T-high flush draw? This is a 9-high flush draw, friend!

T-high is insta shove obv ;p

Feb. 15, 2019 | 6:41 a.m.

Did you just do a new coat of paint on this hand? :P

My main reaction is similar: I don't think you can call this turn and then fold this river. Not only can villain have bluffs on this river but they can have worse value bets. You only lose to AJ, which—while possible—is not an overwhelming portion of villain's range imo.

(This is just the turn and river though; I think flop should probably be a fold? Not sure. SPR is pretty high and the reverse implied odds are pretty real.)

Feb. 15, 2019 | 1:34 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on Wrap and a pair PLO 25

If you have both BDFDs, I'd assume you can be pretty aggressive on this flop.

Feb. 14, 2019 | 5:55 p.m.

I should have been more explicit: how are you playing on a "blanker" turn? Say, 7d? Facing a check, facing a bet?

Feb. 14, 2019 | 5:54 p.m.

What's the Kc turn looking like if it checks around?

Feb. 14, 2019 | 5:51 p.m.

I think this can be a 3bet preflop? This flop is a lot easier with an uncapped range and a lower SPR. Plus you have good blockers to 4bets and reasonable playability.

I basically agree about the flop, depending on your plan for the turn. 9h isn't one of the better cards for our holding; what ideas do you have about other cards?

Feb. 14, 2019 | 7:33 a.m.

Ungh. I just hate PLO runs like this. Multiple BIs below EV but it doesn't even matter because I'm running into extremely goofy combos from extremely high VPIP players, and my worst beats are happening when I'm a huge favorite on the flop/turn and then folding river isn't a reasonable option but I've lost.

My absolute least favorite thing is being an 85%+ favorite on the turn without being all in and then losing at showdown. And it just seems to happen to me in such streaky fashion; it's miserable.

And I lost to a set of 5s like 3-4 times in just over two hours of four-tabling! Absurd! And I got two-outered twice and just ugh ugh ugh.

My W$SD this week is 38.8% and it's just no fun at all. I'm losing most of my all-ins, and I'm getting AI ahead a vast majority of the time. It doesn't take that many whiffed 60/40s to make for a sustained downswing, and that's where I'm at.

All the cushion I had from two Sundays ago is wiped out now, and it's just so frustrating. I really wanted to go into my Circuit trip feeling like I had profit to burn if it all went poorly.

I'm actually far less emotional about it than all of this sounds, but it's definitely frustrating!

I'm glad to have a place to vent about it, honestly. And I'd be more frustrated if I didn't feel like I was constantly improving, or if my ego was more bound up in my results.

It's just that now that I'm not pursuing full-time professional play, I'd like the game to be a little more fun for me... and PLO runs like this are such the opposite. It's, like, exclusively painful!

And these past two sessions were ones where I almost didn't play, so there's that stupid part of me going "agh, if I'd just not played...!" Or, at least, tonight I almost played some NLH instead, which tends to be a less excruciating experience when losing.

Feb. 14, 2019 | 7:29 a.m.

By the way, in this solve we start to mix in some AAT5 flop bets if we block two BDNFDs. We check if we have any of the three BDNFDs though.

Feb. 14, 2019 | 1:53 a.m.

Okay, so here's what I'm seeing HU with SPR 5 and auto game tree (no donks):

We check this combo OTF 100%. :) I still don't understand why and I don't know how much we lose in translation between this solve and the actual scenario (especially since I forgot to change my rake setting from 0% from my last solve, FWIW). OTT we have a 60/40 bet/check mix... so everyone's right! ;p

No, I mean, this all suggests my intuition for the flop was wrong but these particular insights from my only vaguely representative solve must be taken with a bucket full of salt.

Feb. 14, 2019 | 1:51 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on Wrap and a pair PLO 25

This. You don't have enough equity or good enough blockers.

On this board I think you can do some range advantage check-raises as BB, but this isn't the spot for it.

Feb. 14, 2019 | 1:43 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on AA w fd on K96 spr 2.2

Ditto; I don't think there's really any other way to play this.

Feb. 14, 2019 | 1:40 a.m.

Echoing the "fold pre" sentiment. That 2 kills it and your position kills it extra dead.

Just take a card if checked to OTF. I'm also not 100% sure you should be calling the button raise.

Feb. 14, 2019 | 1:38 a.m.

My early Monker results (however compromised) are suggesting we bet more often without a FD than with, which is my intuition anyway: with a FD there are better runouts for us and less incentive to deny equity.


Feb. 14, 2019 | 12:47 a.m.

GasPanic So you're appealing to a solver and then being extremely non-specific...

Forgive me for not being convinced. And since we're just guessing out loud about what a solver MIGHT say: I'd be surprised if we're checking AA more that we're betting. We may have a low cbet% MW on this flop, but I'd be really surprised if AAT or AA!K makes for many checks.

(Edit/note: I posted this comment with the thread being open without your "I am running a sim" comment visible to me yet. I also have Monker open right now, but I don't have enough RAM to run it 3 ways at this SPR, so I'm investigating HU.)

Feb. 14, 2019 | 12:33 a.m.

I'm open to being wrong, but I strongly disagree. Checking here is allowing villain to realize too much equity too easily and we're just giving up way too much value.

We often have the best hand and we block top two and middle set on a rainbow flop. We unblock worse calls (Kx, QJ). I frankly don't see how we can't bet.

Feb. 13, 2019 | 6:20 p.m.

Learn at the lowest stakes available to you. PLO mistakes are expensive and often subtle.

Feb. 13, 2019 | 5:28 a.m.

Flop sizing is slightly big for my tastes, but other than that I don't see anything loathesome preflop or flop.

Turn bet is questionable, though. It's really only effective in getting QJ or backdoor cc (which we block the nutted variety of) to fold, because worse is hardly ever calling. And even those folds are only small victories because QJ just has reverse implied odds on an ace and you're not denying THAT much equity.

Feb. 13, 2019 | 5:26 a.m.

What a miserable 83 minutes of PLO I just played.

Reminded me really acutely of how I felt not that long ago: just felt impossible to win. Ran well below EV and had a miserable W$SD%, especially early in the session.

Blech. Need to put it behind me.

It sapped about a third of what I'd made so far this year, though. Stinks, especially heading into my Vegas trip. I'd really prefer to go into it feeling like I have a nice cushion.

Feb. 13, 2019 | 5:21 a.m.

Eh? My post got cut off!


It wasn't super long, at least.

tl;dr: lost less than a BI at PLO the other day. Heading to Vegas for the WSOP Circuit and probably some cash games, starting Sunday. Playing the NLH 6max, PLO, and HORSE ring events at least. Hoping to end my cashless streak of being 0 for 13 in ring/bracelet events.

Feb. 12, 2019 | 6:08 p.m.

I've actually had very little time to play lately, just due to a variety of factors. Sometimes real life sneaks up on you!

I've only played once since my last post: a

Feb. 12, 2019 | 6:08 p.m.

KingKongIgor Because of rake, at least. And T987ds is, like, literally a league above Tx9y8z7y. It's not an absurd fold, to my understanding.

Feb. 11, 2019 | 5:24 a.m.


Preflop: I don't really like this as a multiway hand. I don't love squeezing without better blockers... but I think this is a better 3bet than a call. But I think it's an underrated fold, tbh. More and more, I'm finding that single-suited middle rundowns are overrated. I'm not sure what the theoretically correct play is here, but my gut is fold >> 3bet >>>> call.

Flop, yeah just call. You don't want to strengthen your opponents' ranges here.

Turn is close between call and raise because it's increasingly hard for villain to call with worse.

Folding river doesn't make sense to me. The nuts haven't changed at all, and you have the third nuts, which you called on the turn already.

I'd really like for more people to see that—in my strong opinion—making "exploitative" plays is a deceptive phrasing. These spots are better characterized as "exploitable". Because, for example, if you fold this river, you are extremely exploitable to OOP triple barreling.

The third nuts in PLO is not always a slam-dunk call, but when it's not even a pot-sized bet, I think folding is way too tight in this situation. Villain has a natural cc bluff and worse Tx in their range.

Feb. 11, 2019 | 5:22 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on PLO5 KKxx 4bet

The sample size is still going to be noisy enough that you can't be super sure, but it's probably showing you something.

If this line is a mistake, I don't think it's a big one against this particular opponent, but I'm not 100% sure.

I think it's fine to just call their 3bet, though. With position and a pretty playable combo (though, to be clear: really not the best KK), we can take a flop fairly comfortably, imo.

Feb. 7, 2019 | 5:27 a.m.

Comment | devwil commented on Aces double suited

Well, 77 is prohibitively unlikely, as you have a 7.

With an unknown villain, I don't want to look too much into their sizing just yet.

Long story short, I'm crunching the hand with PPT sims and I'm having a hard time coming up with a river betting range for villain that we need to fold to.

Don't forget that they would have continued pretty wide on the flop due to how innocuous it was. They can pot turn with worse when you check; ditto river imo.

Feb. 6, 2019 | 10:11 p.m.

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