Solid video as usual. At 7:30 the call against 3b with KTo seems really ambitious to me, does he really not make it sufficiently big enough with his over 3x 3b here for you to fold? Are you calling because you think he'll flat most non-nutted dominating hands (KJ KQ AT), and 3b a polarizing range of lots of worse kings, so that your implied/reverse implied odds aren't looking that bad in this spot that is terrible for you ICM-wise? I was really curious about this one, don't mean to hate, just genuinely was puzzled. Thanks and keep up the good work!
June 30, 2015 | 12:56 a.m.
RIO seems to downsize the images but if you press ctrl + 3 times (windows) you should be able to see the numbers. I also uploaded them here:
Upper image http://i59.tinypic.com/5vujxf.jpg
Lower image http://i60.tinypic.com/mafekm.jpg
June 10, 2015 | 12:01 p.m.
CO: 44,418 (Hero)
June 10, 2015 | 11:58 a.m.
Sorry if this is a very easy spot, FLHE is by far my worst game despite being an avid 8-gamer/HORSEster and I generally just try to avoid blowing up majorly minimizing my losses during the FLHE orbits. So anyway this is the FTP 215 HORSE FTOPS a few days back, I play on FTP like 3 times a year so I'd be an unknown, Villain is a random scandi unknown to me. Haven't played any games with him before except for the last 18 hands of FLHE in this tournament. During this time he's opened 2 times and won the blinds (CO and SB), and once flatted SB with about 5 big bets vs LAG BTN and checkfolded 3way on Qxx board. I have opened twice during the same time frame and won both pots pre. So neither of us has played a hand postflop really and thus 0 reads both ways.
We are ITM, 10 ppl left, 9-10 both get $520 and 8th $690, was 8-9k first so no point trying to get payjumps. I'm 8/10 before the hand, almost tied between 8th and 10th, and everyone else has at least double my stack so again I think we need to try to double up instead of nitting in general.
1200/2500 (no antes obv), before the hand V has 17k and I have 18500 (16k+ BB). BTN is very LAG with a big stack, I'm readless on SB but he's a bigstacked Russian also, so I assume he's opening tightish here. Please comment all 3 decisions.
Villain opens CO (5k), BTN and SB folds, I have Jh9d in BB and flat.
Check, he bets 2500, I call?
Turn 7c, we have exactly 10k behind.
Check, he bets 5000, I?
Since he's a total random with no reads this is what I was thinking:
Basically do we want to have a C/R range on this flop? As I said I'm terrible at this game but my thinking was that we don't, because since we have exactly 3 streets of bets left post (12500 on the flop) we don't need to cr flop when we flop huge to get in, and while at first glance it would seem we need to protect vs overs, the only bad cards are KQT and if he hits one of those, wouldn't he check back the turn often to let us see the river? And if checks a KQT ott and river bricks we could just checkfold because it's a pretty unlikely bluff line unless two of the overcards roll? If I cr flop I get value from very few worse hands and no better hand ever folds and it's hard for me to come up with a c/r range. So basically plan was to c-call, checkshove most turns with range, trying to exploit what I assume is a spot people overbluff a bit on the turn in a donkament with these stacks, because it's such a crucial spot for both of us as we both really need to win the pot quite bad and my range looks pretty weak. So if he has Ax+ idk how often I'm getting out of the hand anyway, but this way we'd get to charge bluffbarrels and make good decisions on bad turn cards?
Like I said I'm horrible at this game so idk if that made any sense, but I'd love for someone to correct my thinking here (more interested in thought process than the correct action really). Thanks!
Dec. 13, 2014 | 3:22 p.m.
Hey James and thanks for getting back to me!
Re: Yips, this is something I hadn't actually thought of but I think it makes sense. I'm going to tell a little backstory: as a junior I did tennis for a few years with a coach and got pretty good. I eventually quit at maybe 15 years old. Anyway, so I had this friend who never had a coach and never really cared for it, but is somehow naturally really good at it - I think if he'd have gotten coaching from a young kid he could have done extremely well on a national scale at it. Me and this friend started playing together once a month or so a few years after I'd quit, when we were 18 or so, and we'd always have these insanely tough matches. Literally every time we'd be at 2-2, 4-4 or something and then I'd get the yips and he'd win. This went on for like 3 years without me ever winning, but coming close every time. Often I'd lead like 2-0, 3-0 or something and then go on to lose. He never cared at all and never gave me much shit about it when I lost, but I always wanted to win (being a fiercely competitive person) so bad and generated heaps of pressure for myself.
Then, after maybe three years I decided to order some books on tennis and golf mental game. Conveniently we had a longer break from our games there and during that couple of months I studied maybe 6 books on the subject... and the next game we played, I won him for the first time ever, and I never lost to him since (he eventually quit playing me altogether).
We never played for a cent of money, these results were never posted anywhere so there was really no audience, no glory, no money involved, which is why I never thought / realized it may be the yips with live poker as well. It feels different because with tennis I always worried about screwing up, you know the feeling when you have a match point and you're already visualising in your head screwing it up before you even serve and then you double fault, whereas with live poker I really don't care if I do something dumb and "lose my face". But, maybe it comes down to being worried about being a tellbox which sure is one way to screw up in live poker as well, and since it comes down to situations when I have a premium hand, maybe it could be a "fear of winning" in the same sense as with tennis? Like, when you're so close to winning (a match in tennis / getting a big double-up in a tournament), and you know all you have to do is to just do your thing and nothing extra, and all of a sudden doing that thing becomes a lot harder? One of the situations in live poker I actually hate the most is something like when I flop a set against some massive spastic, call a check-raise on the flop leaving PSB, and on a brick turn I wait in position for him to shove which I think he's doing 95% of the time. This should obviously be one of your favourite things ever, just sitting there grinning inside waiting to get the donation, but I often find myself so nervous and worried and my heart races and pulse 5x:s in these spots and I'm like "please don't look at me, please let's just get this over with".
Re: national remedies, if you have any at home would you mind checking what are the ingredients in adaptan (somehow their website doesn't give this information nor does google?), it seems to be an aussie product which I can't order to the other side of the world, but I could probably find the same ingredients in a different form. Regarding 5-HTP, how do you take it? When I've been googling these things on and off over the years it's popped up every now and then but I've never given it a try. It seems to be recommended to take it at night because it also makes you a bit sleepy, so do you just take it regularly once a day for an overall better/calmer mood, or do you take it with caffeine or something for a special boost before a big tournament?
My blood sugar levels are fine, I just went to a doctor for something else and had that checked. I definitely am stressed about 9/10 (10 being the most stressed), but then again it's been that way for years - I'm about as big a stresser naturally as they come and playing poker for a living doesn't exactly help with that. Overall I'm pretty healthy, I'd say 8/10 - I exercise regularly, eat pretty well and don't have any diseases or so.
I also contemplated seeing a mindfulness coach, in my country it's still a new thing but I found a guy who seems great and who's been studying it abroad for years. I think that might help - I've been trying to practice it on my own on and off for ages with youtube vids and so on, but my mind always feels way to ADHD to really get results so I feel like maybe I need a professional to give me that first kick and get me on the right track.
Sorry for tldr, that was a lot of rambling
Nov. 14, 2014 | 4:07 p.m.
Hey Phil, and thanks for the insightful (as always) post!
I think that balancing it with just being shaky and kind of all over the place isn't a bad idea at all to be honest. I thought of something like this actually - I'm really sensitive to caffeine and get shaky / hyper from that really easily, so I was thinking of experimenting with getting overloaded with that and just being super shaky/hyper all the time. I think something like that will work out for not having my live tells exploited pretty well.
However, and I probably didn't stress this enough in the OP, it doesn't really affect the key problem of being uncomfortable. I'm pretty sure that having these attacks also affects my thought processes at least to some extent (even if not directly as in making huge mistakes, but just taking mental energy I could otherwise use to catch some tiny thing, etc). And it dramatically affects my table presence, because of this I don't really want to lean forward on the table and stare at my opponents.
If you look at van Hoof for example right now in this ME coverage, he's super intimidating, and playing live HU against him would just be so tough because of his presence. I understand that we can't all be naturally like that, but I'd like to be able to have at least a some kind of dominating / intimidating presence and to be able to stare my opponents down in key moments if I feel like it, but instead I'm the guy covering myself in a hoodie and sunglasses passively staring at the board.
I'm not saying you can't win at live poker even if you just stare at your cards/board with zero interaction and look like a scared nerd all the time, but it really feels to me that the presence adds up to your winrate in a way. And same goes for being comfortable at the table, even if I feel like my mind is relatively clear and I'm not butchering things badly strategy-wise despite being anxious, I'm pretty sure there's just no way I can be playing as well in actuality as I'd be online at the comfort of my own home not having all these extra worries.
So to be able to even practice having that presence feels like I'd have to get over quite a lot of things first, because how am I going to be the guy who always gives people the stare in pots we play against each other when I'm spending all my energy masking my anxiety or balancing it with faking more anxiety?
Nov. 12, 2014 | 4:48 a.m.
In case it was a bit unclear my main symptoms would be:
-Shaky hands / stiff body / non-relaxed muscles (so I fumble chips more etc)
-Uncontrollable breathing, when these start I seem to intuitively hold me breathe for some reason, and then I start running short of breathe and as a result start breathing harder and faster and then can't stop it at all
-Redness in the face/cheeks
Nov. 12, 2014 | 3:17 a.m.
Background: I've played poker for a living for 7 years and probably ~5M hands during that time, and I've had some live tournament success as well including a 6 fig live MTT score and some smaller wins, I've played like 98% online volume-wise but have always kinda enjoyed live poker more. I'm pretty strictly an MTT player but occasionally play cash both online and live as well. I think I'm about average in social situations, I'm not scared of talking to random people, am not introverted and probably am actually a bit more social than your average poker player.
I'm sure many people suffer from these feelings, but I'd love to hear any solutions besides "you need to play more live poker". Basically, whenever I play live poker regardless of the stakes, I get really anxious on and off. Sometimes I get in the "zone" and I'm completely fine for a couple of hours, and then some hand comes and I snap out and I get shaky.
This seems to happen by far the most often when I have a big hand (but not necessarily a big pot or a big money situation). I played a live 2k some time ago where I had aces on the first level infinite BBs deep (so a spot that's not really going to be that huge for me really) and just upon seeing my hand preflop I became incredibly shaky, my pulse started racing super fast and I couldn't control my breath at all like the worst type of live fish. I think it was pretty obvious to everyone in the room I had a huge hand.
For some reason, whenever I run a big bluff I don't seem to get anywhere near that shaky, I'd say my visible live tell giving range is like 90% strong hands and 10% bluffs. I'd guess for a lot of people the anxiety comes more when they are bluffing, because of the fear of being caught doing something silly, for me it seems to be the opposite but probably the same process in the brains.
I'ts noteworthy that I'm 100% sure that this doesn't have anything to do with the amounts of money involved. It seemed like a logical thing to do to try playing some meaningless stakes so I actually went and logged 20 hours in a local 1/1 game where winning/losing the biggest of pots wouldn't matter to me in the slightest $-wise. And it was exactly the same... I've been in situations with 100k on the line and I was (due to being in the zone I guess) much less shaky than I was in the 1/1 game today having KK and an overpair in a $8 pot.
Today in my "experiment game" playing the live micro cash I tried to follow and listen to my thoughts and feelings really closely when the attacks came and virtually all the time it was the same - I'd get just a tiny bit nervous and maybe have a slightly shaky hands throwing chips into the pot, and then I'd start thinking about "damn I hope it doesn't get worse or they might notice", and then it obviously gets worse, and I'm thinking "oh shit they must see this now, THEY KNOW", and then I can't stop it at all. I also tried taking a really long time with an easy decision trying to let me breath settle, talking to myself in my head like "it's a $35 pot, you know what do with 100% certainty, what the hell are you nervous about?", and I just couldn't stop it at all.
This does seem to be directly related to being in the spotlight in some way, because for example if I have some really tough call situation where my opponent shoves the river and it's for actually a lot of money I don't really get anxious at all. But it's weird because I really don't have any kind of performance anxiety, I could go ahead and give a speech to 1000 people right now without having my heart race more than the next guy.
So, how do people deal with these things? As I write this I'm watching the WSOP ME ft live stream and it makes me want to cry trying to imagine myself in there under all the spotlight. There's been a couple of live poker related videos here at RIO and it'd be cool to hear feedback from people like Chidwick, how did you transform from online grinders to live crushers in this sense?
It's noteworthy that in my home country weed and all prescription meds you could probably get for this in the USA are virtually inaccessible. Are there any herbs or natural remedies or something like that that could possibly help? I recently started meditating and I'm really hoping it'll make a difference, anything else?
All advice is welcome.
Nov. 12, 2014 | 3 a.m.
I think you have waaaaayyy too many tables in these live vids, I have given up mid-way with both of these parts because it's too tilting to watch, same with some of your previous vids (whereas I've really liked your vids with less tables). I think 6 should be the absolute maximum for any video at a time and the optimal for a live vid is around 4. It's impossible to watch any more than 6 tables on an ipad, and even on a 27'' it's so annoying to spend half the mental energy to figure out which table you're talking about and leaning your head back and forth trying to see hud stats, stack sizes, bet sizes etc.
Nov. 8, 2014 | 5:14 p.m.
Hey James, any chance you could make more 8game videos? I really enjoyed the cash game one where you 2-tabled midstakes 8-game but I'd absolutely love to see more of the same. Essentially I'd pay the monthly fee just to watch you with hole cards and hear your thoughts on every hand / game, and a replay of some WCOOP/SCOOP 8game or the weekly 8game would be a wet dream :)
Oct. 29, 2014 | 3:04 p.m.
Enjoyed this video heaps, like all of your stuff. What exactly was the practicioner's occupation you saw for the adrenal levels etc? You said the word once but I didn't quite catch it (not a native English speaker, I'd like to google if they exist in my country). Also, since you said he gave you supplements, care to share your "superfood diet" (I assume this was more like natural medicine than medicine medicine, right?). I know this sounds kind of past the point, as in looking for a "quick fix", but I've been battling the same problems tremendously lately and this vid really struck a chord with me.
Oct. 14, 2014 | 6:09 p.m.
UTG3: bemyguestbud: 27060
LJ: BoysDontCRAI: 20478
HJ: $oro-winner is sitting out: 19100
CO: LarsMoorman1: 11675
BN: JohnH1: 23403
SB: thebalnave: 31569
BB: Heroinher0n: 18920
UTG: rim-k13 is sitting out: 19130
UTG1: junkygirl760: 24921
Jon Doe folds, junkygirl760 folds, bemyguestbud folds, BoysDontCRAI raises to 240, Jon Doe folds, LarsMoorman1 calls 240, JohnH1 folds, thebalnave folds, Heroinher0n calls 160
April 14, 2014 | 12:43 a.m.
CO: Shark_utier: 226758
BN: shaq-1337: 147433
SB: good3bet: 218876
BB: 113 Gros: 337167
UTG: HyaKuu: 233899
April 14, 2014 | 12:28 a.m.
Hey, sorry this doesn't let me respond to your comment directly. My bad - I watched the vid on my ipad earlier and then forgot about your exact stack as I commented a day later without checking - for some reason I thought you had double starting stack there in which case I think my estimation of your avg bounties would be close to true (?).
Anyway I think the future bounty EV is something that's nearly impossible to quantify but I'd give it at least a little bit of consideration because it's definitely something the direct math regarding X spot doesn't take into account. I like these tournaments a lot since they are such mindfucks, heh. Definitely seems like the only way to really screw it up is to play nitty and never be the covering one.
And yeah fair enough about the legitimacy of the 4b spot - you didn't elaborate that so much in the video and made it sound like it's automatic which is why I think so many people commented on the same hand, if you had been a bit more throughout on why you think you'll also get folds a lot I think people would've been less inclined to argue about the hand. Anyway good stuff, I always enjoy your vids :)
April 7, 2014 | 4:38 p.m.
I think that 64s hand is just massive spew. Yes we know that the bounty is worth 3000 chips, yes once you are faced with the 5b shove you're getting odds to call, this much can be proven by math. But unless you somehow think that specific spot is great for cold 4b (as in getting heaps of folds as well) it's just got to be terrible to put yourself in that spot in the first place. I mean, you can 3bet 99% of your stack with 72o in a normal tournament as well and when the guy shoves you can shrug it off going "yeah I'm getting 100:1 here so obv I gotta call, unlucky me that he has a hand".
I feel like the part you're missing out on in your analysis is the EV for all future bounties as a covering stack. I know this is impossible to quantify precisely (and I'm not a math guy), but with your stack before the 64 hand takes place what's the average amount of bounties you're going to get in that tournament? Like ~3-4 I'd say? But when you get that in and lose which happens most of the time once you go to the races, your future "bounty EV" goes down to like 0,2, not to mention your tournament EV. I know this isn't the correct way to begin to calculate it because the bounty value decreases as blinds go up and thus most future bounties are going to be less valuable than the current one you are chasing, but still I just feel like there's going to be wayyyyyy better spots opening themselves up for you in the near future that you can ditch that without thought.
(In case it was left unclear I'm not arguing against your last call against 5b which is standard once you get there... but you shouldn't get in that spot in the first place imo)
April 5, 2014 | 11:23 p.m.
I'd like to see some hardcore numbercrunching using different programs for pushfold stuff. Being a bit of a button clicky guy who's lazy to do math I don't even know how to use these things. There are so many softwares out there I'd love to see how people who actually beat Stars HS turbos in 2014 review spots
March 28, 2014 | 3:23 a.m.
This was a very nice series. I always enjoy your videos in general - you are like the voice of reason I wish I had sitting next to me when I'm doing stupid things clicking buttons. You explain things very rationally and take the perfect amount of time (for my liking) for each hand - always in-depth but not too much rambling.
March 12, 2014 | 5:18 p.m.
5555/fold riv, ez game