"This is the greatest game in the world!" - CheckBop at NLSH

    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      :diamond: CheckBop :diamond:


      I'm an 18 year student from England. I have just finished college and will hopefully be starting university in London in September to study Economics. Out side of poker I enjoy a lot of sports and played football to a relatively high standard and competed nationally at athletics and cross country. I currently play Futsal (A fantastic 5-a-side game growing rapidly in the UK) in the English National League and also recently broke a World Record for the longest ever Futsal match - we played for 36 hours straight!


      :heart: Poker Beginnings :heart:


      Well I started playing poker when I was 15 firstly playing freerolls or play money etc. I managed to squeak past ID checks and make a $30 deposit. After a few months of donking around learning minimal strategy although my role seemed to grow fairly gradual I didn't go very far.

      I then decided to take poker semi-seriously and studied LHE. I took great interest in the structure of the game and enjoyed exploring the theory of the game as much as I did playing. I studied to a level where I felt quite competent at the game having worked through the micros from ~10c/20c FLFR to $1/$2 FLSH building my first deposit from the initial $30 to ~$1200.

      At this time I was 16 and in RL not having two pennies to rub together this was a huge amount of money. Given that I had put a lot of time into playing and studying poker, I felt like rewarding myself and cashing out a small proportion to spend. This is where I got too impatient as an attempted cash-out was blocked by asking for proof of identification, which off course at 16 I could not provide. My account was blocked and the $1200 I had work so hard for, irretrievable. O hands -600BB, Worst downswing ever!?

      No more poker for nearly 2 years X(



      :club: Starting Fresh :club:


      Eventually being 18 and allowed to play poker legally I was keen to get back involved in the game. The question is where to start? I figured the game I would be best qualified for would still be FL. However, with nearly two years out I would be significantly rusty and the thought or rereading and learning all the stuff I learned before to grind through the same stakes I have already beaten did not much appeal to me much.

      I decided to give NL a try. Although I have played it previously like everyone else, I hadn't studied it in any detail. I know the bob basics tight is right and general poker concepts such as odds, EV, equity and such but specific NL knowledge is minimal.

      I deposited another $30 and have increased it to $100 playing various games before now settling on NL cash games. I shall start at NL5 and play BSS mixing in FR and SH.


      :spade: The Plan :spade:


      I am going to employ a relatively aggressive bankroll management of 20BI for NL5 and NL10, with a 4BI shots - i.e. when I make 20BI for NL10 I will play this limit until I lose 4BI and then move back to NL5 is this is required. I may or may not move to a 25BI - 5BI shot rule for NL25 depending on how I feel at the time and will defiantly look at at least 30BI for NL50 but these are both a long way off so we can reevaluate when necessary. I think this is appropriate for the micros.

      Study! Initially we will not see a great deal of volume as I feel I need to study the game significantly so that I have an basic understanding and are comfortable in standard NL cash game situations. I have a bunch of material to get through and there is so much to learn which is quite exciting. Hopefully if I'm not providing much playing content this blog can be a place for discussion of strategy and more experienced players can help guide me through things. I may find interesting hands or concepts to discuss whether played by myself or found elsewhere.

      Sorry long intro! Lets freshen it up with a music video as I also love House/Club/Trance music etc so please feel free to reply with more good music! ( Oh but please - strictly no dubstep - Obviosuly! )


      To start us off - a bit of old school LaidbackLuke! :heart:


  • 71 replies
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Some crazy action last night... not poker but a night out in Newcastle. For people from the UK who are familiar with Geordie Shore, a show on MTV we were mingling with half the people from show on the dance floors of TigerTiger!

      Set me back a few BI's but very good night and I acquired a XL 'wet floor' sign from the train station on the way home - that should be useful!

      Today's Music: Seen these guys at Cream @ Amnesia in Ibiza this summer. A bit special right?

    • tcs35
      tcs35
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.01.2009 Posts: 3,583
      which university? my guess is ucl or lse :)
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Good Guess - LSE ;)

      Are you from London? whats the live poker scene like?
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      i would have used photoshop to edit the age of my scanned ID card :D
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Originally posted by mbml
      i would have used photoshop to edit the age of my scanned ID card :D
      Yer i know right, seems the obvious line there but at the time i guess i panicked a little and by the time I try to do something about my account was blocked so I couldn't.
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Today is a good day! :heart:

      A-Level results day and they went very well for me, confirmed my place at LSE and can't wait to get to London, train booked for September 25th.

      Poker-wise I haven't played too much but been learning a fair amount as planned. Been reading some content from Veneer's twoplustwo posts and its pretty impressive stuff. His explanations of pre-flop play are about the best I've seen for a basic level, detailing what TYPES of hands to play in different situations against different opponent types. If any of you uNL noobs like myself haven't read it I suggest you check it out.

      I think his Simplified approach to the game is right on the ball for the micro's and although I knew this to some extent he has enlightened me to see how easy you can make it for yourself.

      He also provokes interesting discussion to make you think about your own thought process, the following is one such exercise which I would be interested to hear the thoughts of pokerstratgists;

      A Postflop Line Exercise (Part 1)

      I want to do a couple of these, so we'll start out easy. Take a few minutes to come up with a situation in
      which you would take the following postflop line:

      1. Bet/Bet/Check-call
      2. Bet/Bet/Check-raise
      3. Bet/Bet/Check-fold
      4. Bet/Bet/Bet-fold
      5. Bet/Bet/Bet-call

      Please post your thoughts :)

    • tcs35
      tcs35
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.01.2009 Posts: 3,583
      Yeah I'm at KCL, I will be moving to SE1 soon, anywhere near where you will be living?
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Originally posted by TobyCS
      Yeah I'm at KCL, I will be moving to SE1 soon, anywhere near where you will be living?
      Not so much. I'm the other side of the river, clerkenwell i think, just south of Islington
    • tcs35
      tcs35
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.01.2009 Posts: 3,583
      Originally posted by CheckBop
      Originally posted by TobyCS
      Yeah I'm at KCL, I will be moving to SE1 soon, anywhere near where you will be living?
      Not so much. I'm the other side of the river, clerkenwell i think, just south of Islington
      Ah ok, well hopefully you'll be at EPT London even if it's only for a drink!
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Originally posted by TobyCS
      Originally posted by CheckBop
      Originally posted by TobyCS
      Yeah I'm at KCL, I will be moving to SE1 soon, anywhere near where you will be living?
      Not so much. I'm the other side of the river, clerkenwell i think, just south of Islington
      Ah ok, well hopefully you'll be at EPT London even if it's only for a drink!
      Hadn't even thought of that but I definitely but interested to have a look.

      What do you study at kings? Have you played much live poker in London?
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      First significant poker session since opening of the blog, went fairly well. Played 450 hands and ended up 2BI's at NL5 SH. Felt like I played fairly well and think I should comfortably beat the limit.

      Played like a bit of a rude boy at 28/24/9/4.8 due to both good starting hands and having some good 3betting spots IP vs. LAGs.

      I got a little i self conscious when applying some of the stuff I read from verneer about being dramatically unbalanced in terms bet sizing at the micros (i.e. Bet big (75%pot+) with for value with strong hands, bet small (1/2 pot) with bluffs eg/cbet after missing flop). It seems so so so exploitable but he argues that with the high player fluctuations at the micros and poor regs it won't be exploited and you profit from fish not being able to get away from their pairs.

      Would it maybe be wiser to then unbalance bet-sizes vs fish, but balance vs regs/TAGs? What do you think of this concept in general?

      One Hand that I imediatly felt I played badly;


      Known players:
      Position:
      Stack
      SB:
      $9.22
      Hero:
      $7.26
      MP3:
      $3.7
      CO:
      $4.58

      0.02/0.05 No-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Elephant 0.90 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is BB with A:club: , Q:club:
      MP2 folds, MP3 raises to $0.20, CO calls $0.20, BU folds, SB calls $0.18, Hero raises to $0.90, MP3 raises to $3.70 (All-In), 2 folds, Hero calls $2.80.


      The 3bet is standard but when he shoves I saw he wasn't fully stacked so only needed 35% to call, and thought meh! he's a fish - call!

      I looked at it equity-wise and think its not as bad as I first thought but still a bad call. Our equity vs villain ranges are as follows;

      28.6% vs. AK, QQ+
      32.1% vs. AK, JJ+
      34.4% vs. AK, TT+
      35.6% vs. AKo, AQs+, TT+

      35.6% still isn't quite enough to break-even (we need 35.9%), and although this isn't an unreasonable range considering we have quite an aggressive image I would fold in hindsight unless we have a specific read that villain gets out of line in this spot, which we don't.
    • mongomob
      mongomob
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.03.2011 Posts: 156
      where is this article about bet sizes on micros, i have been flirting with the idea myself, am trying to grind back up from nothing on stars now... can you provide a link?
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Originally posted by mongomob
      where is this article about bet sizes on micros, i have been flirting with the idea myself, am trying to grind back up from nothing on stars now... can you provide a link?
      Its from a thread from twoplustwo all about verneer a cardrunners coach who committed a year to building a bankroll, starting from $100 through the micro's and documented his experiences and micro stakes strategy in the thread.

      Not sure if I'm allowed to post the link and besides, its a 2p2 thread therefore pretty hefty hard to sift through. I came across it by a pdf file collected all the key startegy posts ~86pages. All pretty good stuff and specific to uNL.

      If you message me via, community tool or add me on skype - joshpjp - and ill see if I can send it too you.
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Okay, Two weeks without an update, not the best start to the blog but I have been on holiday so I can be forgiven - To Spain with family and friends, was fun but ready to come home in the end.

      Now really looking forward to moving to London and starting Uni and of course playing some more poker. Unfortunately two weeks off has left the little I had started to pick-up before going away a shade rusty. Therefore may have a few more relatively inactive days playing-wise while I regain my bearings. Don't worry I will start playing some volume eventually even though I don't seem to be getting far since the start of the blog, but ah well so much to learn.

      To add another video to the blog even if no but myself is interested in them I will introduce a song played repeatably in clubs in Spain and although Initially I though "WTF?" (Funny, right?) it sort of grew on me and is quite cool despite mildly annoying.




      I'm fairly sure this isn't the actual version they played but about the best I can find. If any of you European members known euro house tunes that I wouldn't be aware of would be interested in hearing them?

      Check.
    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      I am writing this post to make two very simple and obvious yet significant pledges to my poker game. They are as follows;

      1. Have a very concious understanding of the play you are making and why you are making it at every juncture.

      2. Only begin a session when your concentration and motivation is at a level which will allow you to play successfully.


      These thoughts came about from the following hand I played yesterday;


      Known players:
      Position:
      Stack
      BB:
      $5.35
      Hero:
      $5.32

      0.02/0.05 No-Limit Hold'em (5 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Elephant 0.90 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is MP3 with K:diamond: , K:club:
      Hero raises to $0.20, 3 folds, BB calls $0.15.

      Flop: ($0.42) 9:diamond: , 5:heart: , 3:spade: (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.33, BB calls $0.33.

      Turn: ($1.08) 3:heart: (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.77, BB calls $0.77.

      River: ($2.62) T:club: (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $2.08, BB raises to $4.05 (All-In), Hero calls $1.94 (All-In), BB gets uncalled bet back (All-In).

      Final Pot: $10.66

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows (Kd Kc)
      BB shows a full-house, tens full of threes (Ts Td)

      BB wins with a full-house, tens full of threes (Ts Td)

      Despite preferring a bigger bet sizing possibly on the flop and definitely on the turn, calling off on the river is just burning money. The worst thing is - I know this. If I saw this hand in a hand eval. forum or whatever I would say the river is an easy fold and imagine hero is clearly not a thinking player if he is calling of in this situation.

      My point is, that poker is a becoming a game of smaller edges and becoming harder to beat. Therefore, if you can't even play to the best of your ability how do you expect to beat it? I am wasting my time reading and learning if I am not going to put myself in a position where I will apply this knowledge effectively. Application of knowledge is what separates us from the fish, else we are no better than they are.

      On another note, I derived some wisdom from something TwiceT mention in his blog, the phrase that got me was; "you have to be the boss you hate". I think this is true if you want to succeed in something like poker. Sometimes it is easier to sit and do something completely unproductive rather than read, watch a coaching vid and work on your game. If you had a boss in poker, he would be on your back making sure you do things you maybe don't like to do or wouldn't do otherwise. Making myself do these things is something I'm going to work on moving forward.

      End of rant so to speak.

      My favorite tune of the moment;

    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Finally a good poker session to reflect upon!

      Played a lot today getting in around 1200 , 4 tabling. Ended up about 3.5 BI's. Felt like I was playing fairly well, although posted 3 hands to the hand eval. forum and veriz berated each one of them! Ha, not hating just learning.

      I played a bit too aggro. i think at 28/24/12/4.7 and it's not as though I was raining monsters pre-flop either illustrated by the fact i 4bet 0%. I think i'm a little too eager to jump at any reason to 3bet, bet or raise and obviously aggression is good but needs to be toned down a little especially for NL5.

      A few more hands, opinons are encouraged!



      Known players:
      Position:
      Stack
      SB:
      $5
      Hero:
      $5

      0.02/0.05 No-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Elephant 0.90 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is BB with T:club: , 9:diamond:
      4 folds, SB raises to $0.15, Hero calls $0.10.

      Flop: ($0.30) J:club: , 4:diamond: , 3:heart: (2 players)
      SB bets $0.2, Hero calls $0.20.

      Turn: ($0.70) 7:club: (2 players)
      SB bets $0.4, Hero raises to $1.25, SB folds, Hero gets uncalled bet back.

      Final Pot: $1.50




      Known players:
      Position:
      Stack
      Hero:
      $8.13
      BU:
      $3.82

      0.02/0.05 No-Limit Hold'em (5 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Elephant 0.90 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is SB with J:diamond: , T:diamond:
      2 folds, BU raises to $0.15, Hero raises to $0.49, BB folds, BU calls $0.34.

      Flop: ($1.03) Q:heart: , 8:club: , 5:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.55, BU calls $0.55.

      Turn: ($2.13) 6:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.22, BU folds, Hero gets uncalled bet back.

      Final Pot: $2.13
    • amplifyd
      amplifyd
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.08.2009 Posts: 1,769
      Top hand I prefer to 3bet pre.

      Postflop is ok if you think he can barrel with a wide range there OR is capable of folding overpairs (neither is really ever a good assumption to make about a nl5 player :D )

      2nd hand - call or fold pre i'll near always call though, you have great playability and there is just no need to 3bet - it plays so well postflop (plus you also open yourself to him 4bing and you losing implieds vs that part of his range)

      postflop i would just cbet/give up

      Oh and also that KK hand you have above imo is quite an easy bet/fold though I would bet less (like 1.7$)

      You like gareth emery?

    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Hey Amplified, welcome to my blog!

      Thanks for sharing, yer I like emery, but more keen on the non/less vocal stuff (exposure?).

      As far as the hands I'd say I pretty much agree with you now I've had time to reflect, It was generally getting a little carried away with a aggression in that session.

      Today I'm going to watch a strat. video and try to pay attention to areas where I would of been playing aggressively and the coach is taking a different line. Then, see if I can get some good volume in again.

      I feel I need to be a little more creative in selecting my music videos, but at the same time it would be rude not to share this...

    • CheckBop
      CheckBop
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.11.2010 Posts: 313
      Okay another reasonably good day, 1300 hands up 3 BI's so far. On a break will play for another 1hour-2hours tonight.

      Found I have struggled in a few post flop situations and ending up just clicking buttons which is much what I vouched not to do. In all honesty I think the struggle has come from concentrating on playing less aggressively and have been coldcallig more often as appose to 3betting with hands like JTs, QJs, KTs and such on the button. Even in position I am having it hard to play these hands strongly without the initiative, if I don't hit a pair or a strong draw I can't see what to do but check/fold. I feel very weak.

      This leads me to move more back to playing more aggressively in a LAG style preflop. I understand that it takes greater post flop skills to play this way but that i am willing to work on and at the moment it is the way I feel most comfortable playing.

      I feel that although it will be exploitable at the micros I wouldn't expect many people to be able to do this, and indeed by putting weak players under pressure by raising and playing with the initiative they will make more and bigger mistakes than I will even if I miss play some hands pre/post flop.

      We will see how it goes and I'm going to play close attention to hhs to monitor the progress...

      Check.