Sunday, April 22, 2012

Yet another dry spell?

dry spells

Did you every have one of those days when, after 500 hands you feel like you are not getting anything good?

I just had one such session this morning.

I had two all-in showdowns--and lost. The rest of the session felt like I was on auto check-fold. I was getting nothing. When I do get one pair and do a continuation bet, villain either donks me on the flop or check-raises.

Here's how it looks like...

dry spell

Variance, right? Also called dry spells. I wasn't spewing. I hardly do that...well, almost. I guess it's just one of those days. Frustrating if you ask me.

The best I can do here is to minimize my cost of doing business... or take a break. I was planning on doing 1,000 hand-sessions to make it to the next VIP level.

I'm taking a break.

Friday, April 20, 2012

April month-to-date

Average number of hands per day: +2,000 hands

Pocket rockets

pocket rockets

pocket rockets

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Loose aggressive strategy for pokerstars' zoom tables

pokerstars zoom tables

I'm seeing a number of poker websites saying that, to win in pokerstars' zoom tables, you need to play it tight.

The reason they give is that you don't have a good read on how your opponent plays unlike in regular cash games tables.

I have a different opinion.

I have been playing zoom tables since it came out a few weeks ago. Pokertracker 4 shows that I am playing 20/18/2 and winning at a rate of +6bb/100 over more than 50,000 hands.

loose aggressive play on pokerstars zoom

Read 'em like a book
As for getting a read on my opponent, it's not as easy to have them, but it's still possible. As you know, I use pokertracker 4. Their HUD works just as effective on zoom tables as they do on regular cash games tables.

If I have less than 100 hand history with villain on my HUD and they want a big pot and I have a small hand, I take their word for it... I fold.

But if my hand history with them is more than 100, and their HUD stats show that they have been taking a lot of pots without a showdown, I tend to play back at them.

Play smart
I'm not suggesting that you too, should play aggressively as well. Remember--Small hand, small pot. Big hand, big pot. But try to balance this by investing in your meta-game. Make them think that you play like a loose-goose every now and then. When you do find yourself with the nuts, they will call to river with their stack, thinking that you don't.

In short, play loose aggressive in these zoom tables, as you would in regular tables. Just make sure that you use pokertracker 4 to get a read on your opponents.

My observation so far is that there's more fish playing zoom tables than in regular tables. Some of these do not have poker tracking software. That's one clear advantage for you, and this can help improve your win-rate.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Auckland Sky City Casino

auckland sky city casino

I found myself in a casino last night... the Auckland sky city casino.

I liked it in there so much that I decided that I am going to start building up my bankroll so I can move part of my poker sessions there.

There so many people. Lots of beautiful women. It was lite there was a lot of interesting stories going on at the same time. I can see myself sitting in there for hours just watching all those people milling around.

I think we are going to have to move house and live in the city just so I am a short distance away from that. But that is going to be a different story.

We're going back to the sky city tonight. My wife has an old classmate in town and he's staying in that hotel. That was the reason why we went to visit the casino last night. We were about to say goodbye and the idea popped up that we should go in and take a look since we were already there.

I have only been to a casino once. That was more than ten years ago. My friend brought me along since we were both curious. I found myself playing black jack, and when the session was over, I lost a hundred bucks. I never got the chance to go in a casino until last night.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Three of a kind vs turn aggression

Villian is 20/0/0,5 agg over 10 hands only but he seems like a losing player on ptr.

CO: $61.64 (123.3 bb)
SB: $41.46 (82.9 bb)
BB: $50 (100 bb)
UTG: $18.45 (36.9 bb)
UTG+1: $129.76 (259.5 bb)
UTG+2: $44.97 (89.9 bb)
MP1: $63.52 (127 bb)
MP2: $111.14 (222.3 bb)
Hero (MP3): $50 (100 bb)
Preflop: Hero is MP3 with 9 9
5 folds, Hero raises to $1.50, CO folds, SB calls $1.25, BB folds
Flop: ($3.50) 9 6 J (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $2.70, SB calls $2.70
Turn: ($8.90) Q (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $6.30, SB raises to $26.50, Hero ?????

Can we ever fold here? What hands could he have? his play looks like a straight to me.

This is what I call an "oh shit" situation.

If I have less than 100 hand history on villain, I always assume that they have the goods.

At this spot, I could be drawing dead, but I could be wrong. There's a good chance that villain has the goods here. Or I hope with all my heart that I am wrong.

If I were you, I will invest on my meta-game by reraising villain, even if it means going all-in knowing I'm beat. Consider it as part of doing business. Almost everyone who plays online poker these days have poker tracking software. Everyone wants to see how you are going to respond to aggression on the turn.

The regs will take notice of how you played this big pot. Who knows, you might find yourself with an opportunity to use this in the future?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

month-to-date APRIL

Par for the course.

I hate it when this chart goes sideways... but what can I do? Tighten up of course. It's not everyday that it's christmas. But at least it's still pointing up.

How did you become a winning player?

swing lady

How did you become a winning player ?
What your way was ? What you did exactly ?

I have made some deposits on various poker rooms and it never worked. Every time in downswing and every time I loose my money and I need to recharge my bankroll. I think there could be more players like me who become a winning player at a specified moment. Maybe their advices would help me to change me from a losing player to a winning one too.

Thank you in advance !

PS: I know it is funny but I don't have money for coaching.

If I remember correctly, I opened my first poker account with full tilt poker back in 2010. After playing a few hands, I joined one of their first deposit freeroll and finished in the money, winning $150.

I immediately invested a third of that on poker tracking software--one of the best investment decisions I've made.

Unfortunately, four months after winning the money, I went on a losing streak. I was following the big stack strategy that I learned from Obviously, it did not work for me.

During all this time, I was going over the day's hand history on my poker tracking software. I'd go over the big pots that went to showdown, making notes on the players--their actions on each street and what it meant.

One day, while reading Heads Up No Limit Hold'em, something just clicked in my head.

I decided to play more aggressive poker.

Also, every now and then, I head over to 2p2 and read up on the strategy forum. I ask questions, read the threads, search the archives. Read, ask, learn.

The thing is, what worked for me, may or may not work for you. You have to walk your own path. I never had money for coaching myself. When I find a situation that I am having problems with, I fire up pokertracker4 and look it up.

  • go over your hand history on your poker tracking software everyday
  • Small hand, small pot. Big hand, big pot
  • Go to 2p2, read, ask questions, participate in the discussions

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

AA on wet board, villain went all-in

Villain is 17/9/2.3 3betSB 3% over large sample size. He sees me as a nit.

Hero antes $0.10
SB antes $0.10
BB antes $0.10

Dealt to Hero A A
Hero raises to $1.50, SB calls $1.25, fold
FLOP ($3.80) 3 9 6
SB checks, Hero bets $3, SB calls $3
TURN ($9.80) 3 9 6 5
SB checks, Hero checks
RIVER ($9.80) 3 9 6 5 3

SB bets $5.77, Hero ?

Assuming you have more than 100 hand history on villain, a 17/9/3 tells me villain is tight aggressive. But these stats are not enough. It doesn't give me more information as to how aggressive he/she is postflop.

Some of the stats that I have on my pokertracker4 HUD are the following:
  • check raise
  • donk bet
  • Turn Af
  • WTSD, W$SF, W$SD

You making a big preflop raise tells everyone that you have pocket rockets--no doubt. If I were to call your preflop raise, I need hands that will beat yours on the flop, or at least get a flush draw.

Since villain is still there on the flop, I'd start implementing pot control, which you did. You checked on the turn.

River wasn't good for you. Villain is still there with a wet board. It is possible that villain made the flush on the turn, but probably did not have the nuts.

One other scenario is that villain made a set on the flop, got scared of the flush card on the turn, then made full house on the river, hence going all-in.

Beyond flop, I would never give up my stack with TPTK. It's best to fold at this point, wait for a better spot.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Autohotkey - automatically launch poker apps

autohotkey system tray icon

I made some changes to the autohotkey script to open my poker apps.

Instead of assigning a hotkey, I simply double-click on the ahk icon sitting on my desktop and the script will automatically open all my poker apps, one after the other.

Here's the script...
; --- This script will open all poker applications after you doubleclick the ahk icon on desktop ---

; --- open joy2key ---
; Run C:\Users\jim\My Documents\jtk374en\JoyToKey.exe
Click 34, 44
Sleep 100
Click 34, 44
Sleep 2000

; --- runs pokerstars up to enter pin ---

Run C:\Program Files (x86)\PokerStars\PokerStars.exe
WinWaitActive PokerStars Lobby
    Send ^l ; ctrl L to log-in/enter password
    Sleep 800
    Send "MyPassword"
    Sleep 100
    Send {ENTER}
    Sleep 2000

; --- runs pokertracker4 ---

Run E:\Program Files (x86)\PokerTracker 4\PokerTracker4.exe
Sleep 100

Monday, April 9, 2012

Message for FaceCap from The Warrior Forum


Thank you for your message.

Unfortunately, I do not have enough posts on the forum, and the system does not allow me to reply to your message at the moment.

To answer your question, I made a few changes to the blogger template that I am using. You will find these tweaks using google, or if you want, ask me specific questions about the tutorials that I used using the comment box below.

Have a nice day!


Tableninja vs Pokerstars' built-in hotkeys

Tableninja settings interface
Tableninja settings interface

Pokerstars built-in hotkeys settings interface
Pokerstars built-in hotkeys settings interface

I have used both in the past. I multi-table 24-tables with pokerstars. They gave me permission to play 28 a few weeks back, but I have to open the extra 4 tables manually--which is a big hassle for me (that's a different blog update, so stay tuned for that).

In the past tableninja was simply awesome. Everything that I needed to play multiple tables, they had it. But lately, tableninja has been buggy. When I changed my table theme to that of nova, I was having problems.

First, switching tables became slow... there was a lag in the response as well. A few months back, I started having problems with pot calculations. I'd bet 75% pot, but tableninja will only bet one big blind. It took a few days before tableninja support came up with a fix for this.

Since I couldn't wait for software updates, I had to make an autohotkey script that enabled me to click on pokerstars' bet sliders. As you know, you can set defaults for pokerstars' bet sliders. All that the script needed to do was autoclick on one of the slider buttons.

That got rid of the pot calculation problem for good.

One by one, I was able to substitute almost all of the tableninja functions over to the pokerstars built-in hotkeys in combination with autohotkey scripts.

The only thing that doesn't work as expected for me is the previous table button.

When I am playing 4 zoom tables, it's flawless. I know how many tables back to look for a showdown table. But with 24 tables, it doesn't work the way I think it would.

I tried playing with tableninja every now and then, but I have noticed a lag in the system. I can't tell if it's a tableninja problem, or the pokerstars client. It's definitely a problem with a slow pc. The lag only shows when tableninja is running.

I paid for the combo version of tableninja--pokerstars and full tilt poker. I'd still keep it and use it if it starts to work again. But in the meantime, I am happy with the pokerstars built-in hotkeys and autohotkey combination.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I am also using joy2key. This app lets me use a gamepad instead of controlling the game through the keyboard.

Wanna see how these tools are helping?

This is my win chart for the month of april, 2012...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Finally, breakout

I ran through variance last night playing at ZOOM 2NL. This morning, I decided to cool off at the regular tables. I got back half my losses then, switched back to zoom and got a string of winners.

I am thinking of moving up to 5NL ZOOM...

I'd probably keep to 2NL until my bankroll reaches $400, then move up to 5NL. I think I am adequately rolled to play 5NL, also skill-wise... but emotionally, I'm not sure I'm ready just yet.

Some people will call me a "nit."

So be it. But it's all business for me. Limit the expense and the profit will take care of itself.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Flush on the flop - failed to control pot

Villain is 27/17/0 over 70 hands. When I flop the nuts oop I have to check to him to let him drive the action. I c/c hoping to be able to c/r the turn but when it's the 6d it really narrows my c/r range to the nuts but also now gives me only the second nuts so if I c/r and get shoved over what's my decision?

BTN: $22.59 (225.9 bb)
SB: $10.78 (107.8 bb)
BB: $14.76 (147.6 bb)
UTG: $7.25 (72.5 bb)
Hero (MP): $15.66 (156.6 bb)
CO: $9.08 (90.8 bb)

Preflop: Hero is MP with J A
UTG folds, Hero raises to $0.35, CO folds, BTN calls $0.35, 2 folds

Flop: ($0.85) 2 4 3 (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $0.40, Hero calls $0.40

Turn: ($1.65) 6 (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $0.50, Hero calls $0.50

River: ($2.65) 8 (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN checks

Don't make it too fancy.

If you are the aggressor preflop, cbet on the flop, unless it's a multi-way pot.

Again, your intention is to give villain an opportunity to fold. If you do not make a bid for that pot, you are giving them a free card.

Flop, villain donks half pot. In this case, villain's bid for the pot was weak. That should tell you that villain doesn't have something for you to be afraid of.

I suspect villain was trying to scare you off trying to represent a flush draw. It's still a weak attempt. It should have been 2/3pot donk bet to be believable. You could have reraised villain here to find out what he/she is hiding.

Turn, same thing... weak bet. Again, this is a perfect opportunity to make the pot bigger or get them to fold.

Some players might have reservations... "what if villain has the high card?"

So what?

That's poker. Some days, they get lucky. But if you play consistently well, in the long term, you will come out ahead.

Morning tilt

morning tilt

5am - I have a flu and couldn't sleep well so I decided to play poker.

Within one hour I had two suckouts.

First hand, everyone limps in preflop. I flopped a straight, bet pot, villain on my left called.

Turn - I find a pair on the board, bad news. Villain bets all in. What else can I do? No on raised preflop. I'm thinking why would villain have full house, so I called.

Villain limped in preflop with a pair of four, and showed full house.

Next hand, I had QQ preflop. Someone raised, I call.

Flop, I get my third queen, I bet all in. Aggressor calls with KK.

River he gets his set.

I tilt, and decide to log out.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Top set on the flop - what's next?

Preflop villain 3better is a superfish (53-26-1),...and the button man is reasonable at 13-11-3...

BB: $24.30
UTG: $35.08
UTG+1: $70.27
MP: $25.00
Hero (CO): $32.20
BTN: $25.00
SB: $20.00

SB posts SB $0.10, BB posts BB $0.25

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero has J J

UTG raises to $0.55, UTG+1 raises to $0.85, MP calls $0.85, Hero calls $0.85, BTN calls $0.85, fold, fold, UTG calls $0.30

Flop: ($4.60, 5 players) J 3 6
UTG checks, UTG+1 bets $4.50, fold, Hero calls $4.50, BTN calls $4.50, fold

Turn: ($18.10, 3 players) 8
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $12.00, BTN calls $12.00, fold

River: ($42.10, 2 players) Q
Hero bets $14.85 and is all-in, BTN calls $7.65 and is all-in

Flop, you had the nuts, why didn't you raise?

The thing is, you always want to give villain the opportunity to fold their hand. You can only do this when you bet/raise. If you check/call, you are not giving them the chance to fold.