BigZebula

    • BigZebula
      BigZebula
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.01.2012 Posts: 11
      Hiya,

      My name is Steve, and I am 42 years old. I was born in South Africa, but moved to Scotland in 1990. I currently live up north in the Highlands near Inverness.

      I like the fact that many people still see poker as a bit ‘underground’, even though it gets so much coverage. I love the old-school stories of, for example, Doyle Brunson who would travel to play in small hick-towns unsure of whether he would get out with his winnings, or even his life at times!

      I was first attracted to the game around the late-1990’s after reading “Big Deal” by Anthony Holden. But I never found a place/people to play with. So it was only relatively recently with the boom in internet poker that I began to play.
  • 4 replies
    • BigZebula
      BigZebula
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.01.2012 Posts: 11
      Lesson #1 Homework:

      Question 1: What is your motivation for playing poker?
      It’s thrilling for me. There’s expectation every time you get dealt a hand, and when you get that pair of aces there is a shot of adrenalin that goes right through me. And when you win, it’s an awesome feeling.
      It’s challenging in the sense that it is simple to learn the basic rules of poker, but to be consistently good at the game, requires lots of hard work, both learning and playing.
      Earning money is obviously good, but at this stage (i.e. beginner) as long as I can keep winning enough, so it doesn’t cost me to play – that would be great.

      Question 2: What are your weaknesses when playing poker?
      I definitely play hands to the end too much (calling that last raise) when I know that I am probably beat and so should give up on them. I tend to want to make a stand, like “You can’t push me around.”
      I also play too many hands. Like I would never have considered folding AJ in early position, as advocated by the BSS Starting Hand Chart.
      Also, I wasn’t betting strongly enough, playing for value. For example, if I was dealt KK, and a K came on the flop, I would always check, to try and trap, I would never have bet!
      My stats were VPIP% = 24 and PFR = 4 – clearly this is a little loose pre-flop, and not a good ratio of betting! More of a loose’ish-passive style – which is not a good combination for winning poker – particularly at micro-stakes.
      I take losing quite badly - whether through my own mistakes, or another players’ loose play. One time in a smallish (about 30 starters) local live tournament, I was knocked out one place before the final table with a decent stack, when I had AK and another player with a huge stack went all-in in front of me pre-flop with K3. I sensed weakness and called, and he made a straight with his 3 to knock me out. I was so hurt, I stopped playing poker completely for about 3 months!
      Interestingly, on these points, veriz has already helped me a lot in the live-coaching for Lesson #1 last night. His words about ‘just let the pot go’, ‘be patient’, ‘it’s all about the long-term’, ‘don’t take it personally’. BRILIANT. This is definitely what I needed to hear!

      Question 3: What does it mean to play tight aggressive?
      Playing ‘tight’ means only getting involved with a minority of hands that are higher-value overall, and basing the decision primarily on your position at the table. So almost always folding useless hands like J3o, and then playing relatively stronger hands e.g. AJ only in-position (i.e. later in the betting rounds after others have acted), and assuming there has not been a strong raise.
      The ‘aggressive’ element, is when you have these stronger hands in-position, you need to bet them for value, and not check loosely.
      This system works, primarily because you don’t leak loads of money on long-shots, and you avoid many difficult marginal decisions during the session.
    • veriz
      veriz
      Black
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Welcome to the Course and Best of Luck. Good job! Homework #1 Done!

      Most of the weakness you wrote can easily be fixed by posting hands (analyzing your session). We will start writing feedback to your play. Usually negative feedback will put you into thinking phase and trying to fix all those leaks. It's almost the same as you lose money, you will remember it more than winning part. By this situation it's gonna be that negative feedback you gonna remember and try to avoid them next time.

      Easiest way 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 results. Some may put it higher, some lower. Also after the stop you can spend some time with evaluation part to become better.

      Cool that you liked the coaching, I am just talking from my experience and what I have gone through and tough times. Everyone of us had them or has now that's just a case how we adjust to it. Best of course it to talk about it with a friend of yours or either even use the Locker Room to talk about it. :)

      Tight style is usually called playing selected hands. Like following the Starting Hand Chart. Aggressive should be also pretty clear that already the word says how you should be playing. But the problem playing aggressively is that you have to watch that you don't play too aggressive. Find good spots, find good targets. About The tight-aggressive strategy you can read in this article: "What is the Big Stack Strategy?"

      Hopefully you will enjoy the Course.
    • BigZebula
      BigZebula
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.01.2012 Posts: 11
      Lesson 2 Homework:

      Unfortunately I missed the Live coaching last Tuesday. I was there and trying to log on, but there was no coaching session showing for me to link to. I thought veris must have a hot-date for Valentine’s and had cancelled his session! Do you know if anyone else had problems that night?

      Question 1: What do you think you could play differently than suggested in the BSS Starting Hands Chart and why?
      I would consider:
      - Raising with 99 and 88 in MP if folded to me. Just think these are strong-ish hands and can open up my range to disguise them. Semi-bluff?
      - Calling or Raising with AQ + AJ in MP after a call – same reason as above.
      - Calling with A9o and A8o in LP/SB in a table where people aren’t re-raising aggressively.
      Also possibly calling a few raises from the CO/SB when I’m BB with hands like AQ, AJ, AT, KQ, QJ – because I feel people are reading me too easily and raising from these positions too often.
      What do you think?

      Question 2: Do you have questions about your preflop play? Post your hand for evaluation.
      Am I crazy, but I am seriously wondering whether there is any value in just limp/calling with KK on occasion! So far of the 3167 hands I’ve played NL4, I’ve been dealt pocket KK 23 times. Of these, 17 times everyone folded pre-flop after my raise (12 times only winning the blinds)! I folded once (losing 0.36), so total nett winnings from these 23 pocket KK hands = $3.35!! Is this normal?

      In this hand today, I had QQ, the villain had KK and limped/called and won $1.41 off me.
      Should I just keep with the BSS SHC on this?

      NL4 - QQ underplayed/overplayed?

      Question 3: What is the equity of AKo against the top 5% range?
      Is it 46% {MP2 vs. MP3 on Equilab}
    • veriz
      veriz
      Black
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Good job! Homework #2 Done!

      Yes, veriz cancelled the coachings on Tuesday. But they are back now. :)

      - Raising with 99 and 88 in MP if folded to me. Just think these are strong-ish hands and can open up my range to disguise them. Semi-bluff?

      Totally agree, they ain't even semi-bluff hands but rather you raising even for value. You can get called from a lot worse hands.

      - Calling or Raising with AQ + AJ in MP after a call – same reason as above.

      Calling with those hands isn't the greatest, unless they are suited. Usually rather raise/3bet with them and try to gain fold equity cause there are too many people behind you who could join into the pot which we don't want.

      - Calling with A9o and A8o in LP/SB in a table where people aren’t re-raising aggressively.Also possibly calling a few raises from the CO/SB when I’m BB with hands like AQ, AJ, AT, KQ, QJ – because I feel people are reading me too easily and raising from these positions too often.

      Definitely there is no point to limp with those hands. Either isolate/raise or just don't play them them. On SB we could argue about that but from LP definitely raise and steal!

      Am I crazy, but I am seriously wondering whether there is any value in just limp/calling with KK on occasion!

      Limping is the biggest mistake you could make! You want to get value with your hand, if everyone folds then they likely didn't have anything. ;) But if you limp in then you let them hit something really strong and then you overplaying your overpair. Which is really bad, so raise up!

      About Question #3:

             Equity     Win     Tie
      UTG    46.32%  37.92%   8.41% { AKo }
      UTG+1  53.68%  45.27%   8.41% { 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo }

      Hopefully you enjoy the Course so far.