Brevvy2190

    • Brevvy2190
      Brevvy2190
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.02.2011 Posts: 28
      Hi everyone! I'm Kyle and I'm here to try and shore up my game and improve my discipline - but hopefully also learn a few new things along the way!

      I've been playing poker live since January 2010, mostly through the form of 20 to 30 man tournaments with my university poker society, and informal one table sit-and-gos with my mates. Overall I've probably broken about even in my live history, I think I have the potential to do better than this.

      My online poker adventure started February 2011 when I was introduced by a friend to PokerStrategy.com and I passed the BSS quiz to gain a $50 bankroll on Party Poker. I played about 10,000 NL2 hands over the course of a month on BSS, initially I was fairly successful, managing to bump my bankroll upto $65.

      My play then became looser and more confident, and I foolishly switched to multi-tabling NL4, resulting in massive swings, sometimes due to bad beats but often due to mindless over-agression. I reached a high of $85 but there was no consistency in my results and as I started to lose more big hands, my play suffered and my self-discipline failed. Ultimately I tilted too much and later lost most of my bankroll trying to play tournaments out of my reach in the hope of a big win. I rarely play on Party Poker any more, except occasionally to play the $3 deepstack which I enjoy and seem to be quite successful in.

      I went through a phase of playing $1 Rush On Demand tournaments at Full Tilt, with some success early on (best finish was 3rd) but I didn't win big often enough and my bankroll there dwindled too. So I stayed out of online poker until last month, when I took up the PokerStrategy offer of a new bankroll on Titan Poker. I'm determined to get things right this time playing NL2 BSS, and I have some awareness of where my weaknesses are, I hope to work on them through this course and become a consistently winning player so I can build my bankroll and make something out of my enjoyment of the game.
  • 6 replies
    • Huckebein
      Huckebein
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.09.2007 Posts: 1,136
      Welcome Kyle! You will enjoy the course and improve your game :)
    • Brevvy2190
      Brevvy2190
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.02.2011 Posts: 28
      Thanks :)

      To elaborate a little, I think my biggest problem is recognising when a big hand is beaten by an even bigger hand - and then having the discipline to lay it down. In live poker I'm more able to lay down a monster, but for whatever reason when playing online I don't think so much about what might beat my bottom set or small flush when an opponent shoves his 60bb all-in; I just end up rolling with it and hope the guy's a donkey - sometimes he is, often times he has the nut flush or bigger set and I lose my whole stack.

      (I am the sort of player who has no issue with folding AK to a 4-bet preflop.)
    • Brevvy2190
      Brevvy2190
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.02.2011 Posts: 28
      Homework time!

      Question 1: What is your motivation for playing poker? (Be as vague or specific as you want with this one, but try to think of all the reasons and elaborate on them.)

      The first and main reason I play poker is because it's a fun hobby! It's an involving, thinking-man's game that's easy to play (and to get others involved in it) but constantly challenges the players. It has the right balance of a game of chance and a game of decision-making to keep me on the edge of my seat.

      Second, it's nice to compete, and to win of course. I've never been of the physical build to compete well in sports like football or rugby, so poker (and other pub games like snooker/pool and darts) helps me get my competitive hit. Obviously I strive to win, but I want also to win well and not just through luck, which gives me another reason to play - because I want to gain experience and play better, i.e. improve.

      Finally, there is of course a financial element - I want to be good enough to earn money out of this game, and why not? Poker is something I've gained great pleasure out of since I started playing 18 months ago, and they always say the job you love is the job you will do best. Although being a professional is just a dream for now, I want to keep improving so that one day I could be in a position to give it a go.


      Question 2: What are your weaknesses when playing poker? (What are the mistakes you know you are doing during your games? Are you playing while tired? Are you tilting easily? Want to see the showdown too much? Write as many as you think are affecting you.)

      I have completely different sets of weaknesses live than I do online; I'll talk about live briefly before talking more about online, because I think my online play needs more work.

      In live play my style is very much tight-aggressive. I have no problem folding strings of hands in a row if they're mediocre, which has led to many identifying me as more of a rock (I use that image to steal a little more loosely). A weakness I would identify is that I tend to get trappy with my monster hands in live play; sometimes the situation calls for it, sometimes I get myself into trouble attempting to play for stacks. I also don't make enough effort to play in position live, I tend to play the cards more than the positions or players.

      Online I have a different style and different leaks arise as a result. I play a lot faster online, that's for certain - it means I rush some decisions, and therefore I don't always make the right ones. In live play I would think a while about calling my QQ all-in against a 4-bet; online I often can't help but snap-call it. This morning, for example, it ran into KK. I may have folded it live, depends on the reads.

      Even though the hands come faster online, I get bored more easily. I look down at a trash hand such as 53s in the HJ (ie MP3, middle position!) and see opportunity whereas at a real poker table I would fold without a second thought! I think my focus is not enough on winning, but more on making myself feel like I've played "better" than the faceless opponents. Truly playing better would be to fold the 53s, but it's more of an adrenalin hit to then bluff them out on a KT2 flop to claim the [small] pot.

      Basically, in live play I'm particularly patient. In online play I'm too impatient. I play hands that are too weak because I delude myself that I have an "edge" on NL2. I 5-bet all-in with JJ because JJ is "good" and I can't wait for a better spot. I 4-bet bluff with A5s because I think (for no particular reason) the opponent might be out of line. Recently I've also developed an annoying habit of flat-calling with mediocre suited hands in position with no intention other than to outplay the opponent post-flop and force him to fold.

      When I do hit a monster hand, I get attached to it. I make a small flush, but when the opponent shoves 80 BB in ahead of me, I snap-call because in my ideal world his range contains only straights and sets. 200BB deep I hit bottom set, by the turn there's been three raises, there's 120BB in the pot and villain is shoving his remaining ~140BB in and all I can think is "he must have TPTK or some sort of two pair/flush draw". None of these are snap-calls I would make in live play, but in online play I don't have the discipline to slow down and think about it.

      After I lose such hands (which I rationalise as "coolers") I make more rash decisions trying to make the money back, thinking it's only fair that because I got "coolered" some other donkey will have to end up donating his chips to me to equalise the balance. Sometimes it works but I often lose more money.

      All the above comes down to discipline. I don't have it when I'm at my computer, so I need to learn it or else I won't ever become a winning player.


      Question 3: What does it mean to play tight-aggressive? (Describe in your own words what playing tight aggressive is, and why does it work.)

      To play tight-aggressive is to 1) carefully select the starting hands you voluntarily invest money into, 2) raise the majority of these selected hands (and to have a plan if not raising), and 3) to bet strongly your made hands and monster draws to extract maximum value from opponents with weaker hands. It is to make action when there is a reason to, and to stay silent at all other times.
    • veriz
      veriz
      Black
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Hello Brevvy2190,

      Seems that you have the patience to play live poker but kinda having trouble behind the PC. Most like you have too much distraction while playing? Maybe try closing some things. Or even if you feel that it's way too boring then try adding few tables if you do good with multitabling.

      Also seems that you are trying to play way too many hands which definitely puts yourself into marginal spots. If you don't have a great postflop skill then will loose a lot money there, like overplaying TP vs a fish and etc.

      In online the easiest wait to fight against tilt is to set up stop-loss technique. Which means if you for example have lost more than 3BIs for a session then you just stop the session for some time. The BI amount is set up from your own wanting. Some may put it higher, some lower. And after the stop you can easily just spend some time with evaluating your play.

      Or other option would be even to try set a plan for online gaming, like 1h per day on specific time. So you would be ready for it and concentrate more on your play rather than just some random hands play. Also of course you have to force yourself that you ain't there for just having fun but as well trying to make some money and become better.

      Good luck in the Course. Earned your first points.
    • Brevvy2190
      Brevvy2190
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.02.2011 Posts: 28
      Lesson 2 Homework!

      Question 1: What do you think you could play differently than how it is in the BSS Starting Hands Chart, and why? (Are there any hands you would play differently? Do you have a problem or question about how a specific hand or hands are to be played?)

      Well first of all I think the starting hands chart is a great place to start, especially for players totally new to the game, and I can appreciate the underlying purpose, to avoid marginal situations while still allowing for profitable game. As I've gained a bit more experience on the tables, I've tweaked a few bits from it for use in certain situations.

      Starting from the top: turning Jacks into a set-mining exercise versus a single raise seems weak, though it will of course depend on where the raise comes from. If I'm in position against a raiser MP1 or later, I'll probably 3-bet/fold. From the blinds (out of position post-flop) it will depend on the opponent as to whether a call or 3-bet/fold (ideally to take it down pre-flop) is the preferred line. If I take the 3-bet line OoP I'd probably also do the same in the same situation with TT; in both cases playing extremely cautiously post-flop if I get called, unless I make my set.

      In EP I'm probably not folding 99-77. I might even raise these as a fairly strong-looking semi-bluff, depending on the table. But they are being folded to resistance, unless a small raise comes from the blinds and it matches up with the call15 3-bet rule. I can agree with laying down 22-66 here though.

      The medium-strong aces are an interesting scenario. Out of position I'll certainly lay them down to a raise, and AT will be mucked to a raise no matter what. AQ and AJ will be played situationally versus a raise. I'm unlikely to flat-call unless they're suited or I'm looking likely to be heads-up in position (in which case I hope to seize initiative on the flop or turn if the board suits). Against loose opponents I may well 3-bet in position. But without reads or tempting pot/implied odds with nut suited cards in a multi-way pot, the standard option is a fold. AQ vs AK is not a nice spot.

      I also don't mind calling a raise, especially if there's already been a caller of the raise in front, with the suited Broadway cards, mostly chasing implied odds here. I know not to fall in love with top pair in these multi-way pots, but I know many opponents will - and that many of the cards that give opponents pairs will make me nut straights. Although there are potentially reverse implied odds involved in making two-pairs (for the same reason) and even trips.

      Question 2: Post a hand for evaluation where you have a question regarding your pre-flop play. ( Post your hand in the Handevaluation forums, and provide a link to your hand in your private thread in the Locker Room.)

      NL2 FR AKo BU open raise, 3-bet from SB, Hero?


      Question 3: What is the equity of AKo against the top 5% range? 5% means: 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo? ( You can either calculate this yourself or use an equity calculator such as the PokerStrategy.com Equilab)

      http://www.pokerstrategy.com
      Equity Win Tie
      SB 46.32% 37.92% 8.41% { AKo }
      BB 53.68% 45.27% 8.41% { 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo }

      Equity is a bit less than 50%, mostly because we are on the wrong side of coin flips against 88-QQ, we only dominate AJ, AQ, and the much smaller appearance of KQs, and of course we're about 1 in 3 versus KK and in terrible shape against AA.
    • veriz
      veriz
      Black
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Good job! Homework #2 Done!

      About TT-JJ it's really depending on the situation. But I do agree that there are spots where we might even 3bet/Fold, especially from the blinds.

      Playing PPs can be in long run actually be very profitable, we could even say that you earn the most money with them. You can always try out either you play them profitable or not by check the programs either you are doing great on early position with PPs or not and base according to that.

      Those medium strong aces are often times very good to do as 3bet-Bluff. :) Since you have blockers and obviously you don't have always to do them for value. Also playing those AXs hands are very good in mutliway pot. While off-suited ones ain't the best for them and therefore rather 3bet or squeeze with them and mostly just for fold equity. People do way too often mistakes by playing them as for just TPTK.

      Not only suited broadways but I'd advice sometimes even to Call vs some raise+caller situations even SCs. They have very good implied odds postflop.

      Hopefully you enjoy the School so far. Some more points earned.