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Author Topic: Ornery U: Learning Poker
Paladine
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Mind elaborating on that question a little? There are a few ways I can take it, to all of which the answer starts with a "yes". I'm not sure if you're asking how we should play against someone who sees more flops, how many we should be seeing ourselves, or something else.
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RickyB
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More how many we should be seeing ourselves.
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Paladine
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Absentee professor indeed! [Frown]

Sorry for forgetting about you, Ricky. Deciding how many flops to see is a tricky question. There are a lot of books out there with starting hand charts suggesting what one might play from a given position. Some (probably lower quality stuff) is available online: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Poker+starting+hand+charts&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=

If you have a question about a specific hand (or set of hands and situations) I'll be happy to answer.

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I had a good run this afternoon playing micro-limit hold-em on pokerstars and I have a few questions about how to better play some hands. Overall I felt more aware while playing and I feel like I played some of my best poker even though it was at the lowest stakes I have ever played. I don't have pretty printouts of specific hands but some situations cropped up often enough that I am going recreate some hands from memory.

Pre-flop questions:
1.) I'm in the small blind with 94s and 4 people have limped. My odds to call are great (11:1) and I certainly have a better chance than that of winning my hand if no more bets are put in. At these stakes the big blind rarely raises so I'm not too worried about that. When I started out the session I would call from the small blind with basically anything but I noticed that I don't make money on these hands. If I hit mid-pair I'm often offered good odds to draw to a two-pair and even top-pair is easily outdrawn with many people calling flop and bets with overcards. At the end of the session I was folding junk hands like these and really only playing suited connectors and up. I suspect this play is a little too tight from the small blind and is definitely at odds with what Jennifer Harman recommends in Super System 2 (she basically says that the pot odds from the small blind generally dictate calling). Is it good for me to fold hands like this? If so, is it because they are actually garbage or because I'm just not skilled enough to manipulate them after the flop (I'll accept either option [Smile] )?

2.) I'm in later position with AJs. First position limped, fourth position raised, and fifth position called. I'm tempted to raise here to isolate the player in fourth position but I noticed that people are fairly liberal in calling 3-bets pre-flop. There is a good chance that either the big blind or the first limper will call and it is almost certain that fourth and fifth position will call. Flops like QJ7 which would be decent heads up are now tougher to play. Raise, limp, or fold?

3.) Should I 3-bet AK suited or unsuited from any position?

4.) If I'm in late position and there is already a 3-bet then should I fold AK?

5.) I'm on the button with AQs. There are two early position limpers and the cut-off raises. Now is it a good time to isolate?

Post-flop questions:
1.) I'm in the big blind with K7o. There are 3 limpers including the small blind. The flop comes 467 with the 6 and 7 suited. I bet and get 2 callers. The turn comes a 9 with the same suit as the 6 and 7. I check, player after me bets, other player calls, and I fold. They both check down the river and the initial bettor turns over 93 and wins. If the 9 were unsuited should I have still folded? Should I have tried to check-raise the flop?

2.) I have 10,10 in late position. Two players call in front of me and I raise. The big blind calls as do the two players. The flop comes QJx and I fold to a raise. Since more people call to the flop in limit, 10,10 seems like it is more in line with 7s,8s, or 9s rather than with Jacks (it's more speculative). Should I tend to limp with 10,10 and only raise if there are a few players in the pot?

That's all I remember for now.

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Wow my phrasing was pretty poor >.<
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JoshuaD
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threads:

Preflop Questions:

1) In the microlimits online (up to about 1/2) you can limp any two suited in the small blind. However, never open-limp (limp with no callers in front of you) in the small blind, and if there's only one or two callers in front of you, you can fold the worse suited hands.

2) Easy raise. All your thoughts about isolating one player are good and it's nice that you're thinking about that, but in this case it's simply for value. We're on the button with a very strong hand. If it goes 2 or 3 handed we like our hand. If everyone comes along for a 5-6 handed pot, we still really like our spot. Just raise and smile as they give you free money.

3) Absolutely. You should cap AK from any position.

4.) Caparoo.

5) Right. Don't get too caught up in this idea of isolation in the microlimits. Players don't fold when they should. This is just a nice value raise. It's good if you raise and they all call; you've got a big pot with a strong hand against (probably) weak holdings. It's also good if you sucessfully isolate; you've probably got the better hand, with position, the lead, and a big overlay from all the folders. Just raise and take the free money.

quote:
1.) I'm in the big blind with K7o. There are 3 limpers including the small blind. The flop comes 467 with the 6 and 7 suited. I bet and get 2 callers. The turn comes a 9 with the same suit as the 6 and 7. I check, player after me bets, other player calls, and I fold. They both check down the river and the initial bettor turns over 93 and wins. If the 9 were unsuited should I have still folded? Should I have tried to check-raise the flop?

I check-raise this flop. You expect the bet to come from later, and this is very much a hand where you'd like to put everyone to 2-bets.

This would really change the way you play the rest of the hand. You would tend to lead out on the turn and fold to a raise.

With the line you took I don't hate your turn play. It's a bit of a difficult spot. I'm leaning towards bet/folding it, but the pot is very small, so I don't mind the way you played it.

I would be less inclined to fold if it was HU when the action came back to me, and this is the main reason I want to bet/fold instead of checking. You get into a few difficult to play spots when you check.

quote:
2.) I have 10,10 in late position. Two players call in front of me and I raise. The big blind calls as do the two players. The flop comes QJx and I fold to a raise. Since more people call to the flop in limit, 10,10 seems like it is more in line with 7s,8s, or 9s rather than with Jacks (it's more speculative). Should I tend to limp with 10,10 and only raise if there are a few players in the pot?
No. TT is very strong (as are 77, 88, and 99). It's simply a value raise. It also makes the rest of the hand much clearer and easier to extract full value.

In the hand you described, I'll raise TT 99, and 88 everytime and even 77 sometimes. Having the lead postflop is very nice, as is folding out the blinds and getting their money for free. You're almost always even money or better against the limpers, so raise.

The trick to these low limit games is just to put money in when you've got an equity edge. You make a lot of profit preflop and on the flop in these games. You can't afford to give up an equity edge when 4-5 people are willing to pay it on the abstract notion that a hand is "more speculative."

[ October 22, 2008, 04:03 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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It's been awhile but I read Small Stakes Hold'em all the way through and have recently started playing 0.50/1 limit (with a little nudging from Paladine). I've only played 3 sessions and am slight +cash but that isn't a good sample size. I know that I still make a bunch of mistakes when I play so I picked a few sample hands that I played for critique. Rather than just dump them on you guys, I've have made an effort to analyze each hand and critique myself. I tried to definitive statements in my critiques so any misconceptions I have can be quickly shot down. I posted some hands that I think that I played correctly but have doubts. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Poker Stars $0.50/$1.00 Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked.com

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is UTG+2 with Jc Kd
1 fold, UTG+1 calls, Hero calls, 2 folds, CO calls, 2 folds, BB checks

Flop: (4.5 SB) Qd 8d 5d (4 players)
BB checks, UTG+1 bets, Hero calls, CO calls, BB folds

Turn: (3.75 BB) 4c (3 players)
UTG+1 bets, Hero calls, CO raises, UTG+1 calls, Hero calls

River: (9.75 BB) 6c (3 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero checks, CO bets, UTG+1 folds, Hero folds

I would rate my hand as medium/strong. I have a flush draw to the second-nuts, an overcard (albeit not an ace), and a two-gap backdoor straight draw. I think I played this hand correctly. My hand is too strong to fold to one bet and the pot is small so the flop call seems preferable to a raise. The turn is messy but I easily have the odds to call the first bet and have the odds to call the raise even assuming that the raiser has a made flush. River fold is easy. I do, however, have two main concerns with this hand. While my play was dictated by odds, I was at a loss for what ranges to put my opponents on so I didn't feel comfortable with my moves. I'm also wondering if I should have raised the flop (no particular reason, just that I felt uncomfortable while playing the hand so perhaps I am missing something).


Poker Stars $0.50/$1.00 Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked.com

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is BB with 7c 6s
7 folds, SB calls, Hero checks

Flop: (2 SB) 9d 6c 8c (2 players)
SB bets, Hero raises, SB calls

Turn: (3 BB) 2d (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, SB calls

River: (5 BB) 4s (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks

Final Pot: 5 BB
Hero mucks 7c 6s
SB shows As 8d (a pair of Eights)
SB wins 4.8 BB
(Rake: $0.20)

I have around 10 outs on the flop (8 from the straight, 2 from the remaining 6 sizes, possibly 1 or 1.5 can be counted from the 3 sevens but that's iffy) which isn't terribly great heads up. The small blind limped so he could have basically anything and the bet represents that he connected with the flop. Furthermore, my pot equity is poor against almost any hand he wants to stick in with so I'm pretty sure that my raise was a mistake. However, I do have the odds to call (5:1) so I should've stuck in until the turn. The turn I should've check/folded.

Poker Stars $0.50/$1.00 Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked.com

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is MP2 with 9h 9s
4 folds, Hero raises, 1 fold, BTN calls, SB calls, BB calls

Flop: (8 SB) 4h Td 3s (4 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets, BTN folds, SB calls, BB calls

Turn: (5.5 BB) 5c (3 players)
SB checks, BB bets, Hero calls, SB folds

River: (7.5 BB) 9d (2 players)
BB bets, Hero raises, BB 3-bets, Hero calls

Final Pot: 13.5 BB
BB shows Ah 2d (a straight, Ace to Five)
Hero mucks 9h 9s
BB wins 13 BB
(Rake: $0.50)

I don't have too much of an issue with how I played this hand but am confused as to how to correctly play the turn and river. I wasn't scared by the ten on the flop but I found the turn bet by the BB very confusing. It looked a lot like a made straight because the only hands that the 5 hits are pocket fives and some crappy gutshots flop, but it seems rather ridiculous to fold on the basis of putting my opponent on a made gutshot. I think raising the turn would have been a good idea because I could easily fold to a reraise and lose 2 bets instead of 4. On the flip side, if he only called the turn raise I would have lose 5 bets instead of 4. Raising the river seems automatic since it extracts value from sets and any crappy hand he might be donking with.

Poker Stars $0.50/$1.00 Limit Hold'em - 8 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked.com

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is MP1 with 6h Ah
UTG calls, 1 fold, Hero raises, MP2 calls, 2 folds, SB calls, 1 fold, UTG calls

Flop: (9 SB) 4c 9h 5h: (4 players)
SB bets, UTG folds, Hero raises, MP2 calls, SB 3-bets, Hero caps!, MP2 calls, SB calls

Turn: (10.5 BB) As (3 players)
SB bets, Hero calls, MP2 calls

River: (13.5 BB) Ad (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, MP2 calls, SB calls

Final Pot: 16.5 BB
Hero shows 6h Ah (three of a kind, Aces)
MP2 mucks 9s Qh
SB mucks Ks Kh
Hero wins 16 BB
(Rake: $0.50)

This was an interesting hand. I'm not entirely sure why I raised from middle position with A6 suited but the table was 8 handed instead of 10 and maybe it was tight (this was a few nights ago so I don't remember). Anyways, my hand after the flop is strong. I have the nut flush draw, an overcard, and a backdoor straight draw. The flop is pretty harmless so I gave myself 12 outs to start with. My decision to cap may seem strange but I think both the initial raise and cap were for value. I have >33% pot equity unless one of my opponents has a set and even then the raises aren't a huge mistake as my equity is still around 28% or so. I figured MP2 would call a cap since he cold-called a raise. I decided not to raise the turn because a heart didn't come and I didn't think top pair was good because of the flop cap. Given the player's hole-cards, I clearly should have raised but I don't know if that's a great move in general. Are their hole-cards a good representative of what to expect in situations like this?

I would have posted more hands but it was taking longer than I expected. Maybe later.

[ February 25, 2009, 01:16 AM: Message edited by: threads ]

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JoshuaD
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Hand 1 (KJo): Fold preflop. An argument can be made for raising, but a fold is better. A call is terrible.

Since you called preflop, I raise the flop. You have 30-50% equity here, and raising does all sorts of good things for you. You fold out weaker pairs, you could clean up some of your outs, and most importantly, you can check behind the turn if you miss.

Hand 2 (blind war): This is fine. As you go up the levels and your opponents get more aggressive, you should raise here preflop sometimes. But for now this is fine.

Hand 3 (99): The river is noxious chip spew. [Smile] The raise is very bad, but if you misclick or something, once he 3-bets you simply have to fold.

I probably just fold the turn here. All sorts of ugly stuff happens, and at the low limits they don't seem to donk without the goods.

Otherwise a call down is fine. It seems pretty close to me either way. A read on the player could certainly have me calling down rather than folding.

Hand 4 (A6s): Fold preflop.

The post-flop action looks fine. I'm not a huge fan of the flop cap, but at this level MP2's coming for the ride most of the time, so this is fine.

[ February 25, 2009, 02:00 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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KnightEnder
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quote:
Originally posted by Paladine:
Not an absentee professor, just giving anyone else who might care to hop in a little longer. I guess you two are it for now though, so here goes. [Wink]

quote:
You're playing $2/$5 No-Limit Hold 'Em at a major casino in Atlantic City. Your original buyin was $500, and you've managed to work your way up to $1200. Observant opponents have noticed that you're generally a tight, solid player.

1) Four people fold, and an old gentleman in middle position raises to $15. He seems to be a competent player, rarely entering pots and playing aggressively when he does so. He has about $1000 in chips. The remainder of the players (except the blinds) fold to you on the dealer button. Looking down, you see a pair of black tens. You re-raise to $45. The blinds fold. The older gentleman thinks for a moment, and then calls $30 more.

The flop comes Ah 3c 3h. Your opponent checks. How do you proceed on the flop, and what's your plan for the turn? Explain why you're doing what you're doing.

We actually have a few pieces of information to consider before we do our thing here. First off, the fact that that our opponent is old (when I use this in poker I mean over 50 or so) means that he's most likely a conservative, unimaginative player. It's not an iron law, but most older folks tend to consider that raising is only something that shouldn't be done without a significant holding. The fact that he's been playing conservatively reinforces this view.

Another thing worth noting is his position. The earlier your position is, the less information you have, and the more things there are that can happen behind you. I need a stronger hand to play in earlier position, because I don't know what the people behind me are holding and I'm going to be at a disadvantage for the rest of the hand, since they can see what I do before they act. An older guy playing at these stakes isn't likely to be more than dimly aware of this, but he is likely to understand that his chances of picking up the blinds with a raise from that early are very slim. If he were on the button raising against the blinds, I could widen the range of hands he's likely to be on considerably.

As it is, we're probably looking at something like
AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, QQ, JJ, (TT), 99, or less likely something like a suited QJ KJ. Little pairs and suited connectors are less likely with this opponent than most for reasons described above. AA and KK are less likely than usual too, as he probably would have re-raised us with these holdings.

Since we have a pretty strong hand and position on our opponent, we re-raised. That helped to define his hand a bit, and eliminated people who may have called behind if we had only called. Eliminating people from the hand greatly increases our chances to win. Then we saw the flop and he checked.

This doesn't really give us too much more information, since the proper play when raised before the flop is generally to check to the raiser. If you have a weak holding you can get out of the way without putting more money in the pot. If you're strong, you check with the knowledge that he's probably going to continue to bet, in which case you can either raise or call profitably.

Less creative players tend to bet out when they make a hand even when the raiser has position on them, figuring "Well, I've got top pair, may as well bet it." The fact that our opponent is very likely the sort to do this and didn't should lean his range slightly away from the aces and towards the other stuff. It's still possible that we're being check-raised or that he's checked planning to call since he's afraid of a bigger hand. Passivity and pessimism are hallmarks of weak players.

If we bet and our opponent has an ace, he is almost certainly going to either call or raise us. If he raises, we throw our hand away without giving it a second thought. We're almost certainly beat, and there are still 2 more rounds of betting for our opponent to continue to put pressure on us. Calling down is an expensive, unprofitable proposition.

If he calls on the flop, we're left with him probably has either an ace or a flush draw. This should be skewed fairly heavily towards him having an ace. Look at the list of hands we gave him in the beginning and think about how many combinations of those cards make a pair of aces as opposed to a flush draw. Moreover, even if he does have a flush draw, it probably involves 2 "over-cards" to our hand, cards that can come and make a bigger pair. So even if he's drawing, he's drawing with 14 outs twice, which makes him a little better than even money to win the hand. All things considered, we're in bad shape if he raises or calls.

The good news is that he can't raise or call with a large part of his range, and has to give us this pot on the flop most of the time. If he's holding a hand like KQ or even a pair of queens, he's in a very bad spot. An ace figures prominently into the range of things we're likely to have. He's not going to improve his hand the vast majority of the time on the turn, and he certainly can't afford to call down if we keep betting.

So if we bet the flop and he calls, we're going to fold the turn if he bets and check behind if he checks. Unless we catch another ten, we don't want to be putting any more money in this pot. But we can count on taking it down a good amount of the time right here.

On the other hand, if we check behind things get a lot murkier. If a king, queen, jack, or heart come on the turn, hands which weren't beating us before are beating us now, and even hands which don't have us beat have better chances of improving. He could still have an ace, in which case he'll bet out. But we'll have a hard time just folding if the turn blanks and he leads out because he very well may do that with nothing since we've essentially shown him that we don't have an ace.

Betting is more profitable and serves to make the situation much more clear. So how much to bet?

In order to determine that, we need to also think about what we've done in the past and what we're going to do in the future. Most of the time when we're the preflop aggressor against one opponent, we should continue to show strength on the flop. In general, we want to bet enough that he can't profitably call a turn without something of a hand, but not so much that he makes a killing off of us when he flops a bigger hand. We want to keep our bet of similar size whether we make a hand on the flop or not so as to prevent him from being able to easily tell where we're at. Given all of that, we probably want to bet somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 the pot. I tend to bet a bit towards the higher end of this range. So a bet somewhere in the neighborhood of $50-60.

Now, number 2 isn't quite as complicated as number 1, but give it another try, with a little deeper analysis and explanation of thought process. One thing you should notice in my explanation is that I'm inside my opponent's head, thinking about his cards and how he perceives my actions, and using those perceptions to form my actions. As your opponents become more sophisticated, the problems become increasingly complex. Try and take a little of that to your problem solving, and to your game when you start playing.

As to me, I'm hiding in shame. Circumstances intervened and didn't allow me to play the tournament. [Frown] I have had a decent week in cash games though, so I suppose I can't complain *too* much.

Just got around to reading this, I don't know why since I called Paladine and asked for advice when my house was on the line. You'd think I'd take advantage of free advice here. All I can say is life has been busy.

I put the Old Guy on and Ace, Ace King, Ace Queen, but an Ace, so when the Ace hits on the Flop I would check behind him and if a Ten didn't hit on the turn I'd get out of this hand. I agree that Paladine's advice to "take it down right then" or find out where you are at (narrow down his hand and find out that he has an Ace when he check-raises us) is an excellent idea. But being as this guy is tight and old I put him on an Ace and slow-playing after the flop to get an extra bet out of us when he check raises. If I did what Pal did and he called I would think he didn't have a big Ace and was worried we had him out kicked, or he's on a Flush draw. Then see what he does on the Turn (the importance of position) and if bets I've got a decision to make, if he Checks again I definitely bet big enough to push him off a Flush draw or a Weak Ace.

KQ

I think this one is more difficult. I'm going to go back and read what Pal says, but here it goes. He has position on us, right? And he is a young online player? So, I would put him on a small pair or nothing and would call him or reraise him. If he doesn't have a monster he either calls or folds. But also I'm taking into account 'what he thinks about me'. I'm a lot older than him and play pretty tight so coming over the top of him out of position is going to indicate to him that I have a big hand and was just trying to narrow the field with my initial raise. If I'd been playing loose or had been caught bluffing earlier in the game I might call or lay it down. Probably call. (Now I'm going to see what Pal said. [Smile] )

KE

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KnightEnder
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Great stuff, Pal.

Give us another quiz or two.

KE

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Thinking more about what you've said, Pal, I think one of my major flaws/leaks is that I care too much about how people see me. Whether they think I'm good or not. I think all those years of baseball have trained me to involve my ego in the game. Which is a problem at poker. I should treat it more like sales and not take it so personally. I also need to look at the big picture rather than how I did that night. I swear I try very hard to be happy I laid down a questionable hand out of position even when I would have flopped the Nuts. [Smile] But on losing nights it is frustrating.

KE

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What's the "rake" online? And what's a decent rake for live games at casinos? (So I can compare it to the underground games here.)

Also, what do you think of "Rounders"? Now that I play I notice a lot of flaws in it. Of course I'm sure they had to do stuff like pass the deal around instead of having a 'dealer' like real poker rooms do. I only have one game on Tuesday nights that passes the deal around. And that is because that place doesn't have a rake. But those places in Rounders would have should have had a rake. I love Ed Norton and Matt Damon, and I appreciate what that movie and that luck fat **** Moneymaker did for the game, but there were definitely some flaws in that movie. Like Damon's explanation for "TELLING TEDDY KGB THAT HE SPOTTED A TELL! How crazy is that.

For those of you that don't play or are new, if you spot a movement or expression that your opponents do that gives their cards away, you NEVER tell them! But that's just what Damon did in the movie. [Roll Eyes] He said he did it to put KGB on "Tilt". But that is just stupid. You spot a tell like that and that guy is like your own personal ATM. One time at a casino when I was playing Limit Hold'em this lady said very loudly and frustratedly "He (me) ALWAYS hits the Flush! When I go for it I never hit it but he ALWAYS hits it!" From then on anytime three cards of the same suit were on the board I'd raise her out of the pot. I did that until she ran out of money. I might have taken it a little easier if she was part of a regular game or something. Like Amarillo Slim said; "You can only slaughter a sheep once. But you can sheer him over and over again." Or something to that effect. [Smile] Well, Damon slaughtered KGB instead of sheering him over and over again.

"Lays down a monster?!!! He should have paid me off??!!!" John Malkovich is one heck of an actor.

KE

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Paladine
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quote:
Thinking more about what you've said, Pal, I think one of my major flaws/leaks is that I care too much about how people see me. Whether they think I'm good or not. I think all those years of baseball have trained me to involve my ego in the game.
Another thing you might want to consider is that there are tremendous advantages to being misunderstood or underestimated. Imagine for a second that you're clearly better than a group of fairly competent players in your area. Would you want them to know it? Under a lot of circumstances, the answer is "no". Think about how much less action you're likely to get from weaker players than if they think that *they* have the edge against *you*.

People will also play against you differently if they think you're a skilled player as opposed to someone who sucks but gets lucky occasionally. Their underestimation of you will lead them to make mistakes which they otherwise wouldn't.

A lot of people play poker with an eye towards stroking their ego and proving how good they are. To be honest, I'm guilty of this from time to time myself. What you (and I) need to understand is that feeding your ego can eat significantly into your bottom line.

quote:
What's the "rake" online? And what's a decent rake for live games at casinos? (So I can compare it to the underground games here.)
Rake varies by site and by stakes, and schedules are posted on the respective websites. For full ring games, at low stakes it will tend to be something like 5% up to $3. Shorthanded games will tend to be raked less.

Live casinos in Atlantic City rake 10% to $4 for any limit game up to 10/20 and any no limit game up to 5/10. At higher stakes a "time charge", ranging from $5/half hour to about $11/half hour (the higher end of that being at some of the biggest games they ever spread, 200/400 etc.)

Rake at underground games will tend to be slightly more oppressive than the live schedules, and can render those games unprofitable over the long term even given a significant player edge.

quote:

Also, what do you think of "Rounders"?

I enjoyed it. [Smile]

Edited to Add:

On Wednesday I'll be leaving for Europe for a few weeks to visit my best friend and play in the European Poker Tour, so I probably won't be responsive to any questions for a bit. I expect that y'all will behave in my absence and not give OM *too* many headaches. [Smile]

[ April 10, 2009, 09:26 PM: Message edited by: Paladine ]

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KnightEnder
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Good luck, Pal. [Smile] If you're ever on television you will let us know, neh?

Edited to add: This can wait until you get back.) The best rake in this whole city is 10% up to $10. And that's at a $1-$2 game. [Frown] Everything else is much more oppressive. Given the 10 to 10 game can that still be profitable? (Sucks because the 10-10 place though the closest to my home is not my favorite place to play. However, my favorite place has the highest rake and between the high quality of players and the rake become prohibitive.)

KE

[ April 11, 2009, 08:30 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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RickyB
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He probably has been and we just never knew it. Am I right? [Smile]
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Paladine
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Nah, haven't been on TV yet. I've mostly played cash games rather than tournaments until recently, and they don't tend to televise those much. Today, however, I am in the final 14 of a $10,000+300 buyin tournament on PokerStars. 1st is $960,000, so wish me luck.
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Kuato
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Tell me where to invest in "Paladine" I think you might be a good stock to own.
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threads
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Okay, so I finally decided to review my hands again. I picked a number of hands from one table that I was sitting at yesterday to post here but I think that I’ll only post one at a time so we can focus our discussion. I picked hands from this table because it was pretty loose for $0.50/$1.00 (I would say 4-5 players per flop on average) and play was pretty passive (meaning my strategy needs to be different then at a TAG table). I also have notes on some of the players so that should make it easier to give specific advice.

Poker Stars $0.50/$1.00 Limit Hold'em - 10 players The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked.com
Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is BTN with Kh Ah
UTG calls, 4 folds, MP3 raises, CO calls, Hero 3-bets, 2 folds, UTG calls, MP3 calls, CO calls
Flop: (13.5 SB) 8c8s4h (4 players) UTG checks, MP3 checks, CO checks, Hero bets, UTG calls, MP3 calls, CO calls
Turn: (8.75 BB) Jc (4 players) UTG checks, MP3 checks, CO checks, Hero bets, UTG calls, MP3 calls, CO calls
River: (12.75 BB) Qc (4 players) UTG checks, MP3 checks, CO checks, Hero checks

My notes: UTG and CO limp and cold-call a lot of hands. UTG peels a lot of flops and calls down on any pair. I haven’t seen him raise ever. I don’t have any notes on CO’s flop, turn, or river play. MP3 is very aggressive preflop and raises a few hands each rotation. He raised JTo from MP once before. He c-bets if checked too and has repeatedly donked against a preflop 3-better.

My reasoning at the time: Preflop is ABC. The flop didn’t hit me but also probably didn’t hit anyone else. There’s a gutshot draw out there but that’s about it. I c-bet because I could have the best hand and my 6 outs are probably good if I don’t (I figure that I’m more likely up against a pocket pair or pair of 4's than trip 8's if I am behind). I also expect lower overcards or even one overcard to peel this flop so I expect to have to bet the turn again. MP3 probably did not hit anything. The turn Jc isn’t a great card because it hits some overcard hands that might have peeled the flop and puts a flush draw out there (lowering my fold equity) but I continue on with my plan and bet with the intention of folding to a raise. The river Qc is a very bad card in combination with the turn as many overcard hands now have at least a pair and there are potential straights and flushes on the board. Also, the fact that nobody folded to my turn bet means I’m almost certainly beat.

Thoughts: I think the line I took is more likely to be successful in a tighter game where people are willing to fold trash hands. I still think my flop c-bet was good as my hand is still the best a good portion of the time but I probably should not have bet the turn. In the best-case scenario I just got peeled by 3 hands that are worse than mine which means that my opponents could have as many as 18 outs (collectively speaking). Since I have no idea as to what their hands are this means that almost any turn card except an A or K is bad. Perhaps I should bet really favorable turn cards like 2's and 3's check/fold the rest (the other low cards could make straights or make pairs with hands looking for a straight).

I'll post what hands the other players had later as two of them make an appearance in later hands that I have to post.

[ May 19, 2009, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: threads ]

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edgmatt
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The turn bet is bad. You're not folding them often enough, there's just too many of them.

Check behind the turn, and call some river bets when the situation is right. You get more value and you save bets.

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Paladine
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I'm not quite as critical of your turn play as Josh is. It's a pretty big pot and I have a hard time faulting you too much for maximizing your chances at winning it. That said, for reasons you and he have touched upon, in this particular hand the turn bet is probably a little inaccurate.

In short, while this particular application was a bit shaky, I like the "spirit" of the play: trying to maximize our chances at winning a big raised multiway pot.

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threads
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Thanks for the advice guys.

quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
Turn, and call some river bets when the situation is right. You get more value and you save bets.

What cards would you call on the river? I would have a hard time calling a bet on anything but an A, K, 2, or 3 and I wouldn't overcall on a 2 or 3. Perhaps I would call if a second jack came down since that would counterfeit low pocket pairs.
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LetterRip
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Rallan,

quote:
On the computer programs side of thing, it should be noted that nobody has ever written a bot that can kick ass at poker.
You are wrong - a typical bot of 'poki bot' caliber can make a hundred k a month on the online poker sites (and much more if the individual is willing to set up enough bots). The information to write a such a bot is readily available at UofA in their research papers.

quote:
Playing poker well doesn't just involve a knowledge of the odds (which any computer can handle) and a willingness to play sub-optimally for the occasional bluff (which you could get a computer to do by making its behavior a bit random now and then). It also involves being able to make accurate guesses about the behavior of the other players, and that's one thing a poker bot just can't do.
Even a basic NN using a very primitive state data can predict player actions quite well.

quote:
If you've been playing someone long enough, you can get a feel for when they're probably just bluffing, and for how much you can raise them without making them scared or suspicious. Computer programs just can't do this, and can be very easily beaten by experienced players (attempts to compensate for bluffing humans generally end up with a program that's either ridiculously cautious and easy to bluff, or completely random and easy to clean out whenever you get a good hand).
Are you familiar with any of the poker research?

quote:
Basically, online poker sites don't ban bots because they're worried about honest players being ripped off, they ban bots to maintain appearances. Whoever runs a bot is trying to cheat, and even though bots don't work, you can't just let cheaters sit around playing all day without consequences.
Ok you have zero knowledge of the topic. Even absolute crap bots that use static look up tables and don't do any opponent modeling can make a profit at lower limits. Good bots making use of the state of the art in opponent modeling make a very good profit at medium stakes limit and no limit.

Online sites don't like 'winning' bots, because they wipe out the easy players faster. They do like the crap bots, because they are another player contributing to the rake.

They also like having bots because they can confiscate the winnings.

However the countermeasures they use are fairly generic.

LetterRip

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LetterRip
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I'll toss my opinion on Rounders also [Smile] I enjoyed it, but clearly Mike was a gambling addict with severe issues (play a high stakes game risking his entire bankroll including rent money? play another high stakes game risking his life?)

Also I can't believe how poorly Worm was at cheating, he should have been dealing 'case' hands to the weakest player at the table not to Mike, that way it totally throws off the suspicion factor, and then Mike can take all of that money from the poor player with his superior skill. Also if they were both experienced at passing information (ie he mentioned 'playing the old 'best hand play'' in which only the 'best hand' amongst two players is played - which requires signalling the strength of your hand to the other player) which is pretty difficult to catch.

Anywho enjoyed it, but those aspects of it 'bugged' me [Smile]

LetterRip

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LetterRip
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My thoughts.

Preflop

By 3 betting preflop you are representing either a big pair, or two big overcards. Your opponents calls represent at least one of them probably has a big pair, although the others are potentially on drawing hands and going with the pot odds - at this point I'd guess one big suited connectors, maybe JTs, one medium suited connectors 87s, and a big pair - perhaps QQ. Another very likely possibility is someone staying in with AXs or AXo. A number of other pairs and connectors (or even gappers) are possible of course.

Flop

Your c-bet doesn't really give any information that wasn't already known. Everyone expects a c-bet these days.

In fact it happens so often I might have just checked it here.

The check call of the other players doesn't tell us much. Everyone can be fairly confident you don't have the eight, so they aren't up against trips from you. One of the three could be playing 98s 87s T8s. Or a slight possibility someone stayed in with 44 and hit the boat or real slight that someone held 88 and hit quads and are slow playing with a check call. Most of the speculative hands just went in the toilet as far as value. This leaves us with the players having an overpair, or two overcards, or AX.

Your cbet with 3 callers almost certainly confirms that one of them has an overpair to the board. On the other hand, the pot odds are good enough for most players to stay in with Ax, or even Kx. At this point the opponent likely hands are AX (maybe AQ-A9), QQ-99, and any two overcards.

Turn

Since you were already likely beat with an overpair your only hope was to hit one of your six outs. The Jack hit AJ, KJ, QJ, JJ, JT, J9, who may or may not believe you have QQ, KK, AA, and might stay even if they do believe so. The player with AX or KX will probably stay for this bet too, since they are hoping to hit their 3 outer still to beat your presumed overpair. I'd take the free card. Since there is no fold equity here.

River

You didn't hit here. I don't have a problem with you not tossing in one more bet, since you are sure to be called. Although if you are beat by TT or 99 and the other players were hoping to hit overcards and miraculously missed the Q and J there is still a slight possibility for a win with putting in a bet. I might have done it anyway though so that when you have a hand you will get your river bets paid off more often.

Since no one else bet, I'm guessing the hands are TT, JX, AX. Of course KQ, QT are also possible.

LetterRip

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threads
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The consensus of the good posters on microstakes limit on twoplustwo forums (the ones who play up to 5/10 and win) is that a LAGTAG* style is ultimately necessary to successfully play at higher stakes (as opposed to a TAG style) thus a LAGTAG style should be played in higher level microstakes games (0.5/1 and up, 6-max and full ring). The idea is that people should get comfortable with a LAGTAG style before they move up to a limit where it is necessary (you'd like to move up to a limit and start out as a winner rather than start out as a loser and struggle). The caveats are that a LAGTAG style increases variance and that poor postflop skills (that may have worked for a TAG style) will make you broke.

I was wondering if some of the better players here had any thoughts on this? I currently play around 66% 0.5/1 and 33% 1/2 full ring and have been actively looking to improve my skills rather than just grind up my bankroll. I would like to learn LAGTAG (provided that it is a good style to learn) and was wondering what's the best way to approach it. I don't really want to hurt my bankroll by just switching to LAGTAG in my normal games and possibly getting crushed so I was thinking that I should move down to 6-max 0.25/0.50 (6-max because the LAGTAG style is standard there and I can adapt it to full ring after I learn it).

An example of a LAGTAG opening range in middle position (3 players have folded to you) versus "standard" (yea right) players is:
55+,A7s+,K9s+,QTs+,JTs,ATo+,KTo+,QJo+,QTo+.

This is ~16% of starting hands with the lower pocket pairs swapped for high cards with lower kickers.

Is this a good range? Too loose? I don't actively consult a starting range chart anymore but I would probably need to make one if I were to shift into playing looser preflop.

* LAGTAG is loose aggressive, TAG is tight aggressive. I don't know why they use LAGTAG instead of LAG but that's the standard on 2+2

[ September 03, 2009, 10:06 AM: Message edited by: threads ]

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threads
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I just took a look at my stats and it seems like I've been playing 21/16 for the past few months anyways so I don't have much adjusting to do in that respect. The reason some of the opening ranges appear looser to me is because they are much more position dependent than how I currently play (tighter under the gun but they loosen up more with each additional position). I think I need to change my opening strategy in this regard because my range doesn't change very much until I get to the hijack seat which means that I'm probably opening too loose in early position. Looking at my stats for the past few months, I raise around 12% UTG which is basically ATo+, KJo+, QJs+, and all pocket pairs. These aren't the top 12% hands because I included pocket pairs as opposed to higher cards with weaker kickers. My range actually isn't quite so loose now since I've recently decided to ax all pocket pairs 66 or less. I'll open 77 and 88 in tight tables at 1/2 but I'll generally fold them at 0.5/1 because the tables are looser and don't play well against 3+ opponents OOP. I also don't think that I raise QJs anymore but I don't really follow strict rules so that may not be true.

[ September 04, 2009, 09:49 PM: Message edited by: threads ]

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JoshuaD
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Threads: If that's 10 handed, 21/16 is probably a little too loose. 18/13-15 is probably a bit better.
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