I think checking the flop created unnecessary problems on the turn.
I think that folding the turn is fine, but this is a flop bet for sure for me.
You have the best hand OTF a lot of the time, but it's not so good that you can get cute and not worry about protecting or denying equity.
Villains have plenty of calls with worse and I'm not happy to give a free card.
Dec. 10, 2018 | 10:34 p.m.
It's going to be difficult to play the turn and river if villain calls. Lots of bad cards for you, in a pot that you decided to make bigger with TPWK.
I like to check/raise flops too, but you need to think about how many calls villain can have and how many good runouts there can be for you.
On this flop, you unblock a bunch of high-equity draws that are somewhat unlikely to fold. JJ+ sticks around due to how many semibluffs you can have, and you may be valuetowning yourself against higher Tx.
So, OTF, I just don't want to make this pot bigger than PFR's dictating here. (Definitely not folding, though.)
Okay, all that said: turn is pretty unambiguously good for you imo. As played, bet is good, a slightly larger bet is probably better. You want to protect against the aforementioned high equity draws, and you're deceptively strong (you have plenty of said draws in your range, as semibluffs, that villain can continue with way worse than T8 against... and you've now improved versus a lot of their stronger hands on the flop: better Tx and JJ+).
On the river, I like a value check. My intuition is that villain is going to have a lot more bluffs and thin(ish) value bets in their range by now than calls.
Dec. 10, 2018 | 10:29 p.m.
Cashed 0/21 MTTs today.
So annoyed. Not mad, just annoyed. It just felt impossible to win chips today; non-stop coolers, lost flips, and bad beats.
It's frustrating to have more than erased the nice run I had in the latter half of last week, but oh well. Sundays tend to swing hard in one direction or another.
Hopefully I can put together some winning sessions this week to make up for this.
Dec. 10, 2018 | 1:52 a.m.
ATs isn't the worst hand for a multiway pot against players that you may be able to flush-over-flush for a big pot, but that's more PLO-style strategy than NLHE-style strategy imo. You also need to consider the reverse implied odds of wanting to take a middling ace to showdown if you flop an ace. (Arguably, see: this hand.)
In NLHE a big part of our winrate comes from non-showdown winnings, so denying equity with aggression whenever possible is especially valuable.
Dec. 9, 2018 | 6:17 p.m.
First, thanks for the note!
Yes, I know 5k hands is a drop in the bucket and 10k is merely two drops.
But I'm frankly very overrolled for NL50, so there's a pretty strong argument for moving up re: opportunity cost.
It's more about getting minimally comfortable and confident playing NLHE cash again than establishing a winrate over a substantial sample. I just want to put in 10k hands that I'm happy with before I play NL100, which is probably what I "should" be playing (even by pretty conservative BRM).
Dec. 9, 2018 | 6:10 p.m.
Calling down with TT here is very loose of villain and worth taking a note on, if possible.
I'm not sure that shoving the river accomplishes much, though.
The board has changed very little, so villain has little reason to stop calling unless they've missed a draw.
But if they've missed a draw and have no showdown value (if one of these things is likely, then both will tend to be), you have the best hand.
Given the SPR and the action so far, I don't think you can count on a free showdown, but checking can induce them to shove with worse (say, AhQh) when they've missed. (Not that I think they shove with worse super often.)
But when you shove, they're extremely unlikely to fold a better hand (any pair+ that's made it this far), which is effectively the point of bluffing (especially on the river).
Dec. 8, 2018 | 4:36 a.m.
Just want to lend some support to Jeff_ on the 3bet/fold point here.
Flatting 3.5x in the SB is likely to be a losing proposition in the long run.
With a capped range OOP in a relatively large pot, it's just going to be tough to make money.
Dec. 8, 2018 | 4:25 a.m.
A first thought on hand 1: you may want to consider putting ATs in your SB 3betting range, especially against an open that's as loose as you paint CO's tendencies to be. Having an ace in your hand reduces the AX combos they can call with, so they should be folding somewhat often and—failing that—you see a flop with a pretty playable hand and an uncapped range.
As played, keep in mind that their range is uncapped the whole way and you're not a slam dunk favorite to win at showdown.
I don't have a super duper confident recommendation beyond the above feedback, though.
I think some of this just becomes a math problem, though.
Dec. 8, 2018 | 4:22 a.m.
I'm surprised by the river bet, which you didn't really talk about. Villain's going to have a really hard time calling with worse given the action thus far, and I don't know that we want to turn our hand into a bluff. I think a value check is in order.
As played, I think we really need to fold to the raise and barely think twice about it. This is really unlikely to be a bluff, even though you block the nuts.
This just screams "two pair plus", and you don't beat that.
Dec. 8, 2018 | 4:11 a.m.
Preflop and flop are fine by me.
Bet the turn again, imo. If you were getting value from flush draws/etc on the flop, you shouldn't change that idea on the turn when you should still bet for value and protection/denial, right? That turn 9s is going to newly put some of villain's range in the lead, but realistically it rarely changes who's ahead.
As played or after a turn bet, river check back is fine on pretty much every card imo. It's just too hard for them for them to call another bet with worse, I think.
But when the turn is still so draw-heavy with only one broadway card/overcard on board, I think going for another street of value/denial is more than reasonable.
Dec. 7, 2018 | 9:29 p.m.
I think the turn check is pretty questionable. BvB, villain can be calling preflop and flop with a lot of worse aces as well as sticky cc or Kx hands, which you don't really want to give a free card to, imo.
As played, my gut is that I think you need to check/call turn and river.
Dec. 7, 2018 | 9:24 p.m.
Totally bricked a bunch of MTTs today, but NLHE cash continues to go amazingly well. Been really fortunate to play in some easily crushable games lately (and get big hands at opportune times).
Dec. 7, 2018 | 9:08 p.m.
Encouraging results continue! Even with some horrible luck all-in across the ~dozen MTTs I played tonight, I cashed a few more of them, including Ignition's Thousandaire Maker (a quasi-mega-satellite MTT which I "binked" for the full top prize of, you guessed it: $1,000).
I mention these successes mostly for the same major reason I keep this public journal: to show the ups and downs of poker when embarking on full-time play... and to show how one can be rewarded by staying in the game, both mentally and bankroll-wise.
...even if I A) showed some indiscipline in playing WSOPc ring events without the conventionally-recommended bankroll for them and B) showed some mental game spew by publicly declaring that I was quitting poker due to my frustrations over a specific form of it.
Dec. 7, 2018 | 8:27 a.m.
At risk of posting altogether too often: I just wanted to check in after another encouraging session, given how low I was feeling about poker the other day.
Cashed 2 of the 3 tournaments I played this afternoon, for one thing!
First: Ignition's $22 6max, which I merely mincashed after open shoving just over 7bbs on the button with Th8h into BB's KcTc. Didn't get there. Shrug. This is a tournament that I've really wanted to bink for a while though, and I just haven't really gotten close (nor have I played it every day, to be fair... I think I'll play it more often now; it's got a modest guarantee at $2k but the field is usually under 200 and, despite comfy 15 minute levels, it's not something that will take up my whole day if I go deep in it).
Second: after really just sneaking my way into the money and then laddering with uncalled shoves and one AJo vs villain A8s AIPF win, I just missed the final table in an ACR $55 when—with 15bb—I 3bet shoved my button with ATo after the loosest player (and biggest stack) at the table min-opened the HJ. Said HJ folded... to SB's reshove with KK. J68 flop, 9 turn for a decent sweat, but river 5 and I was done. Shame.
I also played some NL50 (non-zone, if only because I was playing 1-3 tournament tables at the same time), which went pretty nicely apart from some lost coinflips and coolers: won just under a buy-in in 809 hands.
Overall, while totally modest volume-wise for a variety of reasons (Cherokee, PLO, MTTs), in the past couple of months I've achieved 5.42 EV bb/100 over about 5600 hands of online NLHE cash. Super early going, but obviously encouraging stuff. I think I'll stay at NL50 for at least 5000 more hands, but after that I don't think it would be unreasonable in the slightest to move up to NL100 (my old stomping grounds!).
And despite the WSOP Circuit's repeated insistence otherwise... it turns out that I am still totally capable of cashing MTTs!
Dec. 6, 2018 | 10:26 p.m.
Thankfully an encouraging (re)start: won more than 2 BIs at NL50z.
I'm really unclear on where exactly I should be starting with NLHE, though. NL50z, NL50, and NL100 on Ignition all seem similarly beatable and within responsible BRM.
I like playing NL50z because you can get away with some more LAG-y tendencies pretty easily, with anonymous fast-fold.
But I also like finding and exploiting tendencies, which is only possible at non-zone tables. And 2-tabling zone (which is the max) versus playing as many normal 6max tables as I comfortably can seems roughly comparable, volume-wise.
And there's no NL100z but NL100 doesn't seem significantly tougher than NL50 in my limited experience with both.
Dec. 5, 2018 | 8:38 p.m.
After a pretty emotional day (as you can see) and a real resolution to quit poker altogether, I realized I was missing the forest for the trees.
The trees are online 6max cash PLO, which I am completely swearing off. I'll watch whatever Galfond does with the hands I sent for entertainment and I hope the video is edifying for others, but I just can't play online cash PLO anymore.
My bankroll would be about 50% larger today if I'd never played online cash PLO, and that's a hard fact to build hopes in opposition to.
If I'm playing abstractly/theoretically winning PLO and these are standard results over six months of play, I'm just not interested in weathering the swings. It's just too hard, and I can't take it anymore. Call me a coward; I don't care even a little bit. It's not your money or time; it's mine.
If I'm not yet playing winning PLO, I'm still not interested in persisting. If this is what I deserve after all of the work I've put in, then I just don't care and I'm not investing anything more into this particular game.
I'll still play PLO live when it's available (and not absurdly risky re: BRM) and I'll still play PLO tournaments, but I'm just emotionally completely done with online PLO cash. Completely. It's objectively not been profitable, and it's gotten to the point that I only expect pain when sitting at an online PLO cash table. So I'm not sitting at them ever again. I see no point to it.
And as someone who has successfully completely cut certain things out of his real diet without any "relapses" or significant temptations... having committed to never playing another hand of PLO cash online, I think I can stick to this dietary restriction in my poker life.
Because here's the thing: the frustrations that online PLO cash brought me almost killed my love for poker in general, a passion that I felt tugging at me yesterday in the hours after I initiated my cashouts from the sites I play at. I felt this passion tugging at me as I considered MTT-free Sundays and no summer Vegas visit and never finishing the poker books I have on my shelf.
And I felt this passion tugging at me when I considered the potential that I was throwing away.
Overall, I'm still a winning MTT and NLHE cash player. Outside of online cash PLO, I have a lot of evidence to suggest that poker is a profitable pursuit for me.
And I let my dismal PLO results completely intoxicate my view of that.
My frustration is also amplified by the live MTT failures that I've talked about here. Similar to online cash PLO, if I'd never played the WSOP Circuit stops I visited, my bankroll would be about 50% larger than it is now (even if I'd played PLO).
So as someone who has lost half of their bankroll in the past ~5 weeks, it's important to keep these different games' results in context. If not for online PLO cash and live MTTs, my bankroll would be twice what it is today (that is, twice what it started as in June). And just like how I said my online PLO cash results are a hard fact to build hopes in opposition to, the successes I've had (both this year and lifetime) outside of these two specific, high variance games is a hard fact to feel hopeless in opposition to.
And I really do love poker. From everything I've seen, the poker players with the most sustained success long-term are people who have a sincere, pure love for the game, so I want to give myself another chance.
I say "pure" to distinguish this love from a love for something that is virtually inextricable from poker: money.
I really don't care much about money. While there are some things I would spend more money on if I had more of it, my tastes and lifestyle are both pretty modest. If I cared more about money, the real dollar value of what I've lost in the past ~5 weeks would drive me crazy.
The part of this downswing that hurts me the most is how it's distanced me from my medium- and long-term poker goals, including the ability to play poker in a way that sustains both itself (that is, at least breaking even) and my lifestyle (that is, generating significant income).
So, after thinking about it more, I decided that giving up on poker altogether was premature. I really like playing poker. My WSOPc results have been horribly frustrating, but I really do just enjoy being at the table live. I also enjoy studying the game and making decisions during the game.
And I like that it's something I've tended to be successful at. It's nice to do well at things.
But I haven't done well at PLO cash games online, and they've dragged down my overall poker results significantly. So they're out.
And even though I noted a similar effect with live MTTs and the 0-for-12 streak I have at the WSOPc (in ring events), it's a much different situation. Online this year, I've both gone 0-for-12 at least once (I think I went like 0-for-25 not that long ago) as well as generated a healthy ROI.
And actually, if I count the $1700 seat I won in Cherokee, I still have a BARELY BARELY BARELY positive ROI in live MTTs this year. And my 2018 live ITM% is in tolerable territory, even if it's unfortunately only been dragged down by 12 ring events and 1 bracelet event.
So tournaments aren't out. I don't have an utterly conclusive sample with online MTTs, but my success in those (multiple wins and even more final tables) and the low volume I've put in with live MTTs suggests to me that I have no reason to give up on them. I do want to be a little more careful with live MTT BRM though: I was playing Cherokee pretty under-rolled (even if I was LESS under-rolled when I made my travel plans... grumble), and I'm going to have a somewhat stricter "floor" even for taking shots at live MTTs.
So here's the plan: I'm going to keep going, just without PLO online cash games. It's really annoying that I put so much work into that discipline but—hey—it will just make me more competitive in PLO tournaments, and I actually think it helped my postflop NLHE game too. Speaking of, I'm going to see where I can fit in with NLHE online cash games. As someone who's spent zero time with solvers, I know that there are players out there ready to crush me even at NL100... so I'm going to try to ease my way into it regardless of what I can afford to play. But that's what I'm going to spend most of my time on now, day-in and day-out. Finally, I'm going to put in as much MTT volume as I can stand, using pretty conservative BRM for the most part.
(Additional wrinkle to include as a postscript: so, I gravely misunderstood the damage of the afternoon session I played yesterday. After every session, I plug the balances I have on various sites into a new row of spreadsheet that I keep. I plugged in my Ignition balance without hitting the "refresh" button on their software, and the out-of-date balance shown did not include what I'd just had in play. So I thought I had a much worse session than I did, and—as you can imagine—this contributed somewhat to my initial freak-out and my subsequent calming down. But I did have a -9 BI PLO session: I checked that in my tracking software, as I was playing PLO on multiple sites and had one Ignition NLHE table open too.)
Dec. 5, 2018 | 5:58 p.m.
I'm deciding to quit.
There's no reason I can't change my mind in 24 hours, 2 weeks, or 2 months and return to the game.
But I'm done and I'm not planning on this being a temporary break.
I think I should spend my time on something else.
Almost anything else.
Dec. 4, 2018 | 9:25 p.m.
I've just lost so much progress in the past four and a half weeks.
Even without thinking of it in terms of what the money could have bought outside of a poker bankroll (this being a compartmentalization that I'm shockingly good at right now given how horrible I feel; I'm 99% exclusively seeing this downswing in terms of an abstracted bankroll figure or even a "scorecard" sort of thing), I just can't believe how badly it's gone.
So little of it can be attributed to tilt in hindsight. I really, really don't think I've been prone to more than like 2-3 extremely limited moments of emotionally-charged spew.
I just feel completely helpless, and I feel totally powerless at the table at this point.
It's been a month since I've had two consecutive winning sessions.
I don't think I'd be so frustrated if this wasn't so atypical feeling for me within poker. This is by no means the first time I've spent a lot of time on poker. Back in undergrad, I was able to steadily (with some hiccups, of course!) build a bankroll. In two completely different episodes after that (one post-BF), I was able to grow a modest bankroll into a larger one before running out of time in my life for poker and cashing out.
Effectively breaking even (worse, after expenses) after six months is just not what I'm used to experiencing, and this downswing is just feeling more and more insurmountable and intolerable.
There's no reason that I shouldn't be a better player now than at any point in the past. I've worked so hard away from the tables.
Yet my results have been so much worse.
Are the games tougher? Sure. Especially at NLHE.
But these PLO cash games online... I'm telling you, I know how to beat them but I just CAN'T. I'm not getting value hands often enough against the recs or call-happy regs, and the more solid regs are just always at the top of their range against me and my bluffcatchers are never good. I feel like I'm always on the wrong side of coolers, and opponents of all skill levels draw out on me constantly.
I just can't describe how frustrated I am. And these past four and a half weeks have just been so hard, and to get back to my online grind today and last night and post two losing sessions is just not encouraging at all. (Last night was also extremely frustrating as my internet went out mid-session and mid-big-hand TWICE... my internet has usually been so reliable...)
It's just feeling impossible. I just can't get any momentum going at all.
And it's starting to look like a really bad use of my time. Without two specific tournament results, I'd be pretty much broke by now. And I just can't wrap my head around it. I've focused so much of my energy (on and off the table) on cash games, but they've just been a slow drain on me financially. I've studied and gotten coaching and it seems like I can think through other players' hands on the forums totally fine, but my own results are just completely terrible over—yes—a significant (but not necessarily conclusive) sample.
And because my current bankroll's existence is predicated mostly on two specific tournament results ($7700 NLHE bink; ~$5k PLO 2nd), it's so easy to feel like those results are the flukes and the rest of the failures are what's real.
But I don't understand! I just don't get it! I feel like I know what I'm doing. I play beatable games and know what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.
It's just not working! And I don't know if I can take it anymore.
To have put so much effort into this and to not have any idea of where I stand is just so hard to digest and I don't know what to do. The ambiguity of having practically broken even after hundreds and hundreds of hours is just excruciating when I'm seeing so few encouraging results day to day.
And my personal situation is such that, without revealing too much, I'm in a really awkward place professionally. I don't feel like I have a lot of career options, and poker—which is something that I've (still) historically had success at—seemed like an interesting option that nobody could gatekeep me out of.
Back in June, I figured I would give full-time poker a shot and I wasn't sure that it would work but I was sure I wanted to try it. I had a uniquely fortunate amount of time and money to put towards poker, and I figured that I would be able to tell if it could work before too long.
But that's one of the most infuriating things: I can't tell anything after six months! I've averaged a little more than $100/month before any expenses I've incurred (playing stakes for which that is by no means a sign of success), which tells me almost nothing.
Dec. 4, 2018 | 8:34 p.m.
I'm so fed up.
In my return to online cash PLO, I was greeted by a 9 BI losing session.
I was optimistic in my last post, but I'm not now.
I was optimistic at the beginning of November, but I'm not now.
Dec. 4, 2018 | 7:43 p.m.
Especially because of the effective stack depth, I don't like the preflop 3bet almost regardless of cards. BTN just has too much easily-utilized leverage postflop, which is what we see unfolding here.
It's just going to be really hard to win this pot after the flop unless we get pretty lucky. So I'm not interested in making the pot way bigger (or accepting villain's invitation to an even bigger pot via their 4bet).
Keep in mind that we don't really have the right price to set mine, either.
Dec. 4, 2018 | 12:01 a.m.
Oh, one last quick thing I meant to mention:
When I busted the final tournament of the weekend to take my ring event record to 0-12 (no cashes whatsoever), I looked back on my decisions to visit the WSOP Circuit in Hammond and Cherokee.
And I felt very stupid.
It was really discouraging for a little while to think about how deciding to play these games has really distorted my poker results overall... and also how they've created a significant pile of expenses that I'll need to pay off. (I haven't taken on irresponsible debt; don't worry.)
It was hard not to focus on how I'd be in much better shape financially if I'd never played these games.
But... if these games had gone better, I could have been in even better shape. Dramatically better shape!
So, on balance, I do believe it was a set of reasonable risks to take, if I'm honest with myself. They just didn't work out, unfortunately.
And I'm far from broke. Without begging anybody for anything, I've got more than enough cash to try to rebuild with, and history is littered with poker players who took aggressive shots and couldn't say the same afterwards.
So, with everything in perspective, I'm feeling much better about moving forward than I was immediately after losing my AIPF coinflip a few hours ago.
That mental game clickback... or something?
Things could be much worse for me, and I have solid reasons to keep working at this. Here's hoping the next few months go way better than the past 4 weeks or so have.
Dec. 3, 2018 | 6:46 a.m.
This final Cherokee weekend simply extended my cashless streak in non-satellite live tournaments. 0 for 12 in ring events now. Entirely within realistic MTT variance, but completely frustrating too.
This past weekend, twice I lost more than half my stack making a very reasonable and credible river bluff bet in position, but into basically the absolute top of my opponent's checking range (which did not fold). That didn't help things.
Other than that, I just feel like I've been absurdly card-dead.
Thankfully (but "irritatingly", for the extreme contrast), in both Hammond and Cherokee... during cash games, I've been able to get good starting hands and make profitable plays (or at least some decisions!) postflop.
My positive cash results at these stops (four figures in the black) have fortunately mitigated (but not nullified) my MTT-fueled losses, and they've helped my confidence a bit, frankly.
But at tournament tables, I've just felt cursed in terms of starting hands. The medium-to-deep-stacked preflop ranges I've designed are really not that tight, but more often than not I feel like I end up looking really nitty due to how often I'm folding K4o, Q3o, 95o, 82s... just tons of garbage that I really can't take to a flop.
As I complained after Hammond, I feel like my preflop VPIP% in practice in these events has been like half of what it is in theory. It just makes it very hard to win pots with or without showdown when that's the case.
Due to how dismal my WSOP Circuit results have been, it's valuable to put everything in context to keep my head straight. And I think it's worth zooming out to share some details on how my year has gone.
Despite these WSOPc results, I remain fairly confident in my MTT game. Not only are the fields super beatable in most games, but I've had a lot of encouraging results this year.
Shockingly, I still have a (barely) positive ROI in live MTTs this year and a solid ITM%, if I include the value of the seat I won into Cherokee's main event. This is mostly due to final-tabling two of the four tournaments I played on a trip to Vegas during the WSOP this past summer. Neither was in the WSOP proper, but it all encouraged me to reconnect with poker in a more sustained way.
More importantly (that is, over a larger sample), I've just been able to make a good number of deep runs in online MTTs. I've won a handful of MTTs outright and I've final tabled a few more, so my ROI online is pretty healthy.
So unlike with playing PLO cash games online (more on that in a moment), I haven't become utterly discouraged from MTTs.
But I'm pretty sure I won't be taking my previously planned trip to Biloxi for the WSOPc stop there.
I haven't 100% decided yet, but I think I should just stay home and spend that time rebuilding my bankroll online, which I knew I was going to need to do anyway if Cherokee (and Biloxi) didn't go well.
I just don't really have the bankroll to be playing $400 MTTs so frequently, even by a relatively aggressive bankroll management scheme.
It's tough. At the beginning of November, I had an aggressive but reasonable number of buy-ins for the WSOPc. But a lot changed in November for me bankroll-wise (in the negative), and—while I wasn't willing to forego Cherokee entirely—I ended up needing to approach Cherokee quite differently than I expected to (and booked lodging for). So I've learned the hard way that making plans for poker travel is a pretty unique challenge.
But, regarding Biloxi in particular, I don't think I should be taking on the additional (thankfully mostly refundable) expenses of going there, however modest.
Because I'm sort of back at square one (or worse). Just in terms of strict results, I'm still in the black since deciding to pursue full-time poker in June, but it's for a much more modest hourly rate than if I hadn't taken these expensively unsuccessful WSOPc trips. And in all honesty, my expenses this year take me into the red.
These unsuccessful, high-variance shots impacting my results so significantly helps me to believe that this isn't a hopeless pursuit overall (my hourly would be above minimum wage without my WSOPc failures), but I think I need to be more conservative with my bankroll than a trip to Biloxi allows, for the foreseeable future.
Remember my "more on that in a moment" regarding PLO? Well...
Especially since I should be getting some really edifying feedback from Galfond on my PLO game soon, I've decided to jump back into online PLO cash games. This is also because I had a really successful run at the 1/2 PLO tables in Cherokee, so I've just got some PLO swagger back and I'm eager to jump back in online.
Not without some... diversification, though.
I've decided to try a slightly different schedule for myself.
What's not changing is that I'm going to play a Sunday MTT schedule every week. But I'm going to add a Wednesday night MTT session, which I'd already started dabbling in.
The main difference in my cash play from before is that I'm not going to force the issue with PLO in my afternoon sessions. Rather that sit at empty PLO tables or start/sit tables with almost entirely regs, I'm going to put in NLHE cash volume where there will be more games to select from. Then, in my late night sessions, I'll try to focus on PLO volume, as the games seem to be more plentiful and profitable during those hours.
So, I'm driving home tomorrow and I'll probably start this new schedule as early as tomorrow afternoon, but I may wait until Galfond goes over the hands I shared with him. We'll see.
I'm very much in rebuilding mode, having just over half the bankroll that I had on November 1st... so hopefully I can string together some successes in December to get things moving back in the right direction.
Dec. 3, 2018 | 6:20 a.m.
Phil Galfond Shouldn't we fold preflop to the 3bet if we're check/folding a FD+GS flop, though? This was part of my unstated reasoning for emphasizing folding the second time we get a chance.
Like, this isn't the best flop for KsTs9c5c, but it strikes me as far better than average. But we're retreating in no small part due to reverse implied odds, despite flopping one of our stronger possible draws. (OESD/wrap would be better, of course.)
If this flop isn't good enough for our combo to continue (and I tend to agree there), it feels to me like we're only continuing on pretty specific flops (for example... 2-3 spades with As on board; QJ; KK with a FH+ or at least live nut outs). At that point, I just feel like we're being extremely speculative in a -EV manner, but my reasoning is somewhat impressionistic on this point.
Dec. 1, 2018 | 2:12 a.m.
Fold preflop in one of your two opportunities to do so, especially the second.
Regarding the flop, this is one of those situations where two preflop mistakes caused the flop confusion, so I'm just going to emphasize again how crucial it is not to play this combo from HJ, especially after a 3bet.
Between this and the previous hand you've posted, I'd strongly recommend that you work on studying preflop PLO play. (RIO has no shortage of material.)
If you keep seeing flops with troublemaker combos, you're going to have an unnecessarily difficult (and frankly probably expensive) time learning the postflop game.
Nov. 30, 2018 | 5:17 p.m.
That, and we lose less when we need to bet/fold.
And even in a 5-way pot, I think it's valuable to have a bet/fold range, which will probably be blocker-driven. (Weak Axxx, let's say.)
Otherwise, betting out five ways into anybody who's paying any attention is just too strong, I think.
All that said, obviously once 5 people see a flop, you want to be very judicious about what you're putting any more money in with. I just don't think that AK or even A8 should be the bottom of our betting range on this flop, and—if that's true—I think we need to "protect" the weaker parts with a smaller sizing.
Putting it another way (though I'm assuming a pretty high degree of competence from our opponents): if the worst we're betting is AK on this flop (and we're betting it this big), A8 has a lot of reasons to fold despite being pretty high in their range.
All of this may be unnecessary leveling for Global PLO50, but even if we're not really thinking about balance, the fact that we have AK on AK8r means that folks will have a hard time calling (due to blocking their small range of continues), so sizing down exploitatively also makes sense.
Another reason to size down, btw: seeing the flop five ways increases the chance that someone does have a set. Despite being so high in our range, I'm really not excited to bet/GII here. So we're sizing down out of caution too, imo. Because when we get action, it's really tough to know where we're at. Against a range of AA, KK, 88, AK, A8, K8, QJT (which is kind of the entirety of reasonable villain flop continues, imo), we're really not in amazing shape. We're winning, but not in slam dunk territory (even after card removal is accounted for).
Nov. 30, 2018 | 5:10 p.m.
So, side note first after reading a few of your threads, Chris Bowling: I'm a little uneasy that seemingly all of your opponents are getting labeled as recs. Global is indeed very rec-heavy in my limited experience, but just be careful that you're not making too many slapdash "entitlement tilt"-y assumptions.
Also, if these recs are all just "recs" and you're not differentiating their tendencies at all, then you don't actually have any especially significant reads on them.
Poker players aren't monolithic ATMs, right?
All that said: grunching the hand.
Preflop iso seems fine if ever-so-slightly loose.
Bet smaller on the flop, imo ($3-4). You block folks' continues hard on a dry flop, and you want to have a somewhat balanced MW cbetting range that doesn't size transparently according to hand strength, which becomes expensive overall (imo) if you don't size down when you're strong like you are here.
Nov. 29, 2018 | 6:11 p.m.
On the flop, without backup really I decided to check 3-way and go for
a c/r if IP bet.
I really, really don't like this.
This flop is somewhat dry, but not completely. (By the way: you have backdoor hearts; that isn't nothing.) You know this because you got confused on the turn, as the nuts changed.
Here's the main thing: you can see three queens between your hole cards and the flop.
What do you think BTN is going to be betting? Top two? Top and bottom? Super unlikely; there are only four queens in the deck.
Going for a x/r as PFR here is extremely wishful thinking, and you're really lucky that BTN bet (and even more so that BB called said bet).
Not only is going for a x/r here wishful thinking, but your opponents' highest-equity continues on this flop (straight draws) are completely unblocked and you don't want to be giving free cards to them! Against JT9 you have less than 60% equity (HU); don't get cute!
As played, the SPR is so low on the turn that I don't think it matters a ton what you do as long as you don't check/fold.
There's a discussion to be had re: the turn, but I just think it's extremely important to not be checking this flop, even if it actually honestly worked out okay.