Thoughts on poker and more
Just posting an update as its been several months. I started this year trying to get back into the swing of poker after having a some time off. This year has been busy – I was due to be getting married this month but the wedding is delayed due to coronavirus and I work in mental health, which has been increasingly busy recently. I’ve been trying to keep to a routine, going for runs and eating healthier which has been even more important.
Poker has been going pretty well. Disregarding results, I’ve been happy with my work ethic and have been building in regular study as well as days off. I’ve also started taking last few days off each month to have a mental break which I think has helped reduce burnout. I don’t want to speak too soon, but I’m feeling like I’m getting a bit closer to being more balanced with regards to life. I’ve thought a lot about where I want to be in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years from now and family life and work is always going to take priority there. That’s not to say though that I want to start splashing around at the tables and I’ve always enjoyed the challenges in poker and the way its taught me to think about situations logically.
I’m still setting myself goals, but perhaps not as ambitious as before and I don’t want to get hung up on putting in x amount of hands or making y amount of money. For me, the challenge is enough and getting better and playing higher would be a real achievement.
No post would be complete without a graph and this is the year to date. Most of the volume played at 25z.
Thanks and GL
June 29, 2020 | 8:53 p.m.
Did CO limp call? If so, betting smaller on the flop seems better. X/f on river seems fine as you'd be calling with A high where you block his FDs and some straight draws that he'd be bluffing with. This isn't really going to be an overbluffed river and you've already exploited population by betting flop and turn where you expect them to overfold.
Jan. 9, 2020 | 10:56 p.m.
Sorry i should have said it seems inconsistent with your line to raise him as you think he has few bluffs. You are raising into an uncapped range in a spot where you think villain doesn't bluff. I get that you think he will x/f a ton on the river but your exploit should be to bet when he checks, not raise when he bets
Jan. 9, 2020 | 10:39 p.m.
Floated, felt villan under bluffs river a ton when the baord pairs as I'm not folding Tx so i can bet river small when he checks and exploit him
Seems inconsistent with your line on the river to raise him because you think hes bluffing. Your hand has a lot of show down value and actually works quite well as a bluff catcher. Would be more inclined to raise pure value exploitative here for a size that they will call
Jan. 9, 2020 | 6:40 p.m.
First of all depends who the CO is and if they are an unknown/reg or a recreational player as that will heavily influence what line will be most profitable. Against a regular, I'm going to be considering my overall range in this spot much more, what their range is and how it interacts with this board. You'll probably find that checking your full range becomes the easiest way to play these wet connected boards and could go either x/c or x/r. With diamonds you reduce villains flushes/flush draws and aren't worried about as many turn cards so might be better as a x/c.
Against a recreational player however, I'd be much more inclined to take a more exploitative approach and either bet large, x/c or x/r depending on what kind of player it is.
Jan. 8, 2020 | 6:52 p.m.
As others have said, shoving river yourself would be simpler and shouldn't affect his calling range. It also saves you this weird spot where he can min X/shove. I'd still call though as he can do this with worse Ax once in a while as likely a weaker player
Jan. 8, 2020 | 1:58 p.m.
Preflop with 2 weaker players here, I think calling is going to be +EV and it is somewhat unlikely that CO will backraise here. Flop call seems fine and folding turn as people aren't going to find enough bluffs to justify calling down this wide and TT isn't even that high in your range.
Jan. 7, 2020 | 12:32 a.m.
I'd be tempted to just fold the flop vs that sizing given its 3 way and population underbluffs this spot. SB's cold call range has a lot of Ax and mid pocket pairs so is less likely that BTN has AK/AA but this seems less important as he has other value and strong draws . Suspect that turn is quite marginal as a call when considering the flop line. Difficult to know what the half pot sizing means exactly but he's probably just trying to get stacks in by the river.
Jan. 7, 2020 | 12:17 a.m.
Flop I think checking with your range against unknowns makes a lot of sense, especially 3 way. If one of them is a recreational player though I like betting more. Turn can go either way but betting seems better as you're pushing so much equity you want to get money in the pot and you're less likely to get raised given that villain just called flop and you block straights. Just calling the turn raise seems standard as you've got implied odds
Jan. 7, 2020 | 12:04 a.m.
Think I would be folding or 4betting pre with this hand OOP. Overbet turn seems good as villain seems capped but river is a spot I wouldn't expect many more folds. He is probably folding unpaired hands on the turn and you block flush draws that are calling turn to fold river.
Jan. 2, 2020 | 12:57 p.m.
I like the x/r on the flop with bottom set as you don't block any of his value and people will call a flop x/r much more readily than on later streets. Turn would just make it smaller than pot as like you say, population overfolds to overbets and you can still get it in by the river anyways.
Jan. 2, 2020 | 12:52 p.m.
So I realise that I haven't updated this in almost a year. I guess life got in the way and poker had to take a bit of a back seat. I started playing again recently though and its feeling good. I'm thinking goals for next year will be to put in less volume and focus more on studying and developing more exploitative lines. Also I'm committing to not checking results until the end of the month as its definitely something that influences me.
Dec. 3, 2019 | 11:20 p.m.
Just call down most runnouts and depending on sizing. Villain is a weaker player most likely given stack size so can show up with all sorts with this line. Also think i would prefer a smaller size on this flop multiway
Jan. 21, 2019 | 7:11 p.m.
When you bet the flop you should have a plan for later streets and also consider your range. You don't have many hands that want to bet 3 streets for value so checking full range in this spot makes sense and makes your range easier to play on future streets. Also with your sizing, you don't get more fold equity with your bluffs and you fold out hands that you crush so it doesn't make sense. If you're betting (which I probably wouldn't suggest anyway) a smaller sizing works better for your range
Jan. 21, 2019 | 7:08 p.m.
54dd has a bit too much equity to be X/r here imo. If you had a hand like A2hh or K2 I could get behind this more. Also his sizing isn't so small that you should have a huge X/r range, maybe if he makes it 1/3pot on the flop this becomes more acceptable. Ripping it in isn't a mistake most likely but your reasoning for doing it is questionable - you say that villain might think you're raising him light but this automatically assumes that villain is operating from that level of thinking which most likely is not the case
Jan. 21, 2019 | 7:05 p.m.
Would just call the flop raise and go from there. It's a bit hard for him to have bluffs when you have the Ah but you can never exclude random button clicking and Vs those players I prefer to keep their ranges wider instead of shoving and isolating against a stronger range. Getting it in is probably fine too though
Jan. 21, 2019 | 2:56 p.m.
Imo you shouldn't really have ended up on this river in the first place as flop is a clear fold facing this action. Also as said above, I would be looking to check this flop very often and your sizing when betting is way too large. You say you have better odds when BB cold calls the raise but that just means that there is one more player with a strong range and you have very little outs to improve. River I'd either check or block bet as you still get raised by boats and he might fold a flush Vs this sizing. As played there's no way getting away from it, you have top boat
Jan. 21, 2019 | 2:49 p.m.
Would bet larger on the turn for sure and river isnt great but prefer block bet/fold as he's never folding a flush and will probably only raise Kx. Not too many random air floats either on the turn that will bluff raise as most of them are likely A high that will mostly call or fold.
Jan. 21, 2019 | 12:17 p.m.
Tbh I think I'd prefer just to check back the flop, especially 3 way. You say SBs continuing range is strong after calling flop but you try and bluff him off this strong range at a limit where people love to just call down so theres some inconsistencies in your thought process.
Jan. 19, 2019 | 6:30 p.m.
Mid month update and thoughts on mindset
Posting a mid month update really just to vent more than anything. Month has been quite swingy so far. Dropped a quite a few buyins over the past week and although there were some coolers and set ups, definitely was a large chunk of poor play and spew. For a couple of sessions, I stayed on far longer than I usually do and played 3 tables (normally play 2 tables for max 30 mins at a time) and think my play definitely deteriorated. Because of all this, ended up dropping down a limit to try and regain some confidence and try and put some focus back to playing solid.
To be honest, I think I was feeling quite burnt out and looking through HEM, I don’t think I’ve been having enough days off from the tables. Downswings also bring out some of the negative thoughts that are masked when we are upswinging, such as doubts whether we are playing solidly and whether we are even winning at all. I’ve been trying to challenge these thoughts but also need to accept that this is all a learning process and even if I’m not winning, that’s OK too and is why I’m working on fixing some of my leaks.
So plan is to take a small break, consolidate some of the studying I’ve been doing and come back with a fresh mindset in a few days. GL
Jan. 17, 2019 | 12:45 p.m.
Don't think raising makes much sense with your range as you don't have nut or equity advantage and you rep very narrow. Would probably just opt to pure call, especially vs this sizing unless you know that he only uses this sizing with value, in which case shoving seems OK to stack him before the board gets too wet.
Jan. 8, 2019 | 9:26 p.m.
Just raise the flop because hes cbetting mw so his range should be stronger and therefore less likely to fold. As played would probably bet a bit larger on the turn and calling the x/r to hit a boat . Seems quite optimistic on the river to assume he's x/r AcX into a range that is quite strong. I don't think this line gets bluffed too often either and this guy is a tight reg. You also get here with a lot of flushes so wouldn't mind just folding this hand although it is exploitable (but you're also exploiting population underbluffing this spot)
Jan. 6, 2019 | 1:56 p.m.
You're not that high up in your range depending on your cbet strategy. You're going to have two pairs, sets and flush draws which all make better calls than this so this looks like a pretty easy fold on the turn.
Jan. 3, 2019 | 11:43 a.m.
Don't really like the idea of range betting this flop as you don't have nut advantage and equity advantage isn't going to be huge. Cbet is fine but sizing up. Turn would either bet or x/sh. You get middling pairs to fold and have plenty of equity when called. You also block villains strongest Tx. Would also expect villain to be slightly capped as hes probably raising a lot of sets on the flop. Can X/sh with some overpairs and 7x too. X/c is probably ok but seems a bit weak.
Jan. 3, 2019 | 11:38 a.m.
Think betting smaller on flop might be better as keep his range wider and can check back turns to realise quity. Betting big on the flop also makes the turn spr quite weird if he calls. Not sure but checking back might also be fine 3 way so don't really think the EV between all 3 options will be that different when you flop so strong
Jan. 2, 2019 | 3:17 p.m.
2019 and onwards
Wrapping up another year and there’s a lot to think about poker-wise. Looking back, I started the year with the aim of trying to move up in stakes and to improve my game. To those ends, I feel as though I’ve achieved what I set out to do and have definitely put in a decent amount of study. On reflection though, things could have been better and I feel as though there are some areas of my game where I am leaking heavily. Graph for December:
Just looking at the past month for example, I found at least 7 buyins worth of pure spew where I didn’t consider my whole range and was being way too assumptive in my thinking. This is the sort of thing I’m keen to cut out of my game and to do that I’m going to be putting a lot of effort into playing my A game and not going into autopilot. I would like this year to be one I can look back and say I’ve given my best into trying to get better and if things don’t go to plan then I’ll find a way to overcome that. The fear of failure is something that’s constantly plagued me, not only in poker but my own life and sometimes by holding something back, there is less disappointment when we don’t hit our goals.
This year, I’d like to set myself goals that I believe are possible but also challenging. The reason I started playing poker was because it was fun and I liked the learning curve so keeping it enjoyable is key.
Goals for the year
1. Put aside dedicated time to study every week and vary study schedule enough to break through plateaus
2. Aim to have a few days off every now and then to consolidate and to avoid burnout
3. Aim to be playing 200z by the end of the year
Thanks and best of luck for 2019