Moving Up To Where They Respect My Raises

    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Right, so my name's Zac and I am a newly graduated student from New Zealand. I have been playing poker for almost exactly a year now.

      Live poker:

      I've had some decent success in live poker, I got second in my first ever $5 BI tourney for $90 after reading Harrington on Hold'em (great book) and over a year turned that into 1.2k from live tourneys, biggest win was 2nd place of 90 in a deepstack freezeout. However I have never won a live tourney. So many second places, usually a bad beat as I feel like I play my strongest game HU which many live tourney players are terrible at.


      Online:


      Ever since I started out, I just want to play HU cash games. But this is not an option at my stake level as I keep my live and online rolls separate.

      Over 150k hands at NL2-10 FR (dunno why I start out FR) I turned $50 to $300, however lost $200 of that in NL50 HU cash when I got impatient. It was stupid because even though I was better than the few opponents I played, 6BI brm simply does not work :f_biggrin: I lost a $100 pot AA vs 69o in a 4bet pot vs major fish, all in on turn of 3246....river 9. :rage: Needless to say I have learned my lesson the hard way.

      I decided I was a bit too aggressive for FR and moved to 6max about 2 weeks ago, played 10k hands. Haven't been running great but I feel like it suits me a lot more, and my EV line looks alright. This is mainly due to a fantastic ebook called Building A Bankroll by Verneer.



      Will try to move up the SH stakes (currently at NL5 SH using 20BI brm), until my BR is 1k. Then I will use some money from my live BR for coaching, and try to play NL50HU the right way. If anyone has a better suggestion of when to take a shot at NL50HU, please say so.



      Goals


      2013:

      [x] Complete Coursera Game Theory Course (completed but failed w 68%)
      [x]Beat NL5SH
      [x] Beat NL10SH
      [] Beat NL25SH
      [] Beat NL50SH
      [] Beat NL50HU
      [] Beat NL100HU
      [] Beat NL200 HU
      [] Win a live tournament
      [] Play in the Sunday Million
      [] Submit at least 7 hands/week to Hand Evaluation forum
      [x] Get some private coaching



      Beyond:

      [] Play in the ANZPT $2.9k Main Event in Queenstown
      [] Play in WSOP Main Event




      That's it for me, I will try my best to keep it from being a self indulgent results/bad beats/"sick" plays blog.

      What I want to do in this blog is simple. I want to present and discuss concepts. Whenever something happens which causes me to learn a specific or broad concept, I will post it, possibly with a hand, in the hopes that it will

      a) Cement it better in my head, or at least make it available to see later
      b) Help other people with their game, or at least not do the opposite :f_ugly:

      I am still a bit of a fish in the scheme of things but I think my conceptual thinking and problem solving is pretty good, and there may be some scraps of usefulness here eventually :f_biggrin:

      "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."

      - Confucius


      To be continued...
  • 69 replies
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,913
      I will always respect your raises Zac. :D

      Welcome to the blogging section!

      It looks like you have things well in hand.

      Are those goals for this year, or do you plan to stretch it out a bit?

      Hope to hear more as time goes on...
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      :diamond: Variance :diamond:

      A note on variance and why sample size isn't actually as big as it seems.

      Lets say you have 100,000 hands. You'd think that is a lot of hands, but ~80% of these hands are irrelevant since we are now folding them preflop and thus they are inconsequential.

      Already, in terms of actual variance, this sample is only 1/5 of its original size.

      Then we whistle that down to the amount of times you're playing a decent sized pot. This number is going to be really low, possibly only a few thousand. The amount of times I raised all in preflop from a 160k hand FR sample was only 775. Unless pokertracker is making mistakes that's really a tiny tiny sample.

      So, the long run REALLY means the LOOOOOOOOOONG run.

      Probably obvious to some but thought I'd point it out anyway. :f_biggrin:
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,913
      That.
      And of course, in the time it takes you to play those 100K hands, your game has changed substantially -- as has that of every villain you've ever encountered.

      So when you pop up the HUD's big window, and see he folds to 3Bet 75% (6/8) times, there is no way to know that he played like this 8 months ago, and he is better and wiser now.
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Ok, now every poker player experiences downswings but I think I've been desensitized to them now, which I guess is both a good and bad thing. Coming from FR where I played 200k hands with $200 below EV from NL2-10 I am pretty familiar with downswings. (and unfortunately not upswings so lets add another goal for this year [] learn what it feels like to be above the EV line)

      Coming into 6max I've played 20k hands now with EV $65 but have lost $25 which is a little rough. The two lines just don't want to be friends. :f_biggrin: All I can do is hope that FT's RNG is legit and power on and get in that volume. Actually not feeling too bad though, one thing that I read here on PS that helps (can't remember who said it but whatever):

      "One day you will run worse than you ever thought possible"

      Oh, boy is this true. My whole 220k hands of poker feels like a perma-downswing at 60BI below EV total, but if this is true then the opposite must be true:

      "One day you will run better than you ever thought possible"

      I wanna believe that eventually these lines must even out, which means I will go on massive upswing later on :f_biggrin: I've run pretty good live though, and for much more than I play for online, so I can't complain.

      Of course there are actually many positives to downswing
      :club: Prepares you mentally for poker (unless you let it break you)
      :club: Forces you to work on your game since you now can't afford to have any leaks

      For now I extend my sympathy to anyone else who is running like dog turd and ask them to join me in chugging along through it with the magic potion that is solid, tiltless play and volume volume volume.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,913
      Originally posted by metza
      For now I extend my sympathy to anyone else who is running like dog turd and ask them to join me in chugging along through it with the magic potion that is solid, tiltless play and volume volume volume.
      Hi Metza!
      I like the chugging part.

      Another beer, please barkeep!

      > solid, tiltless play and volume volume volume

      I had coffee running out my nose I was laughing so hard.
      Then I looked and saw the first "L" in "tiltless"

      And now back to our regular programme...
      --VS
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Originally posted by VorpalF2F
      Originally posted by metza
      For now I extend my sympathy to anyone else who is running like dog turd and ask them to join me in chugging along through it with the magic potion that is solid, tiltless play and volume volume volume.
      Hi Metza!
      I like the chugging part.

      Another beer, please barkeep!

      > solid, tiltless play and volume volume volume

      I had coffee running out my nose I was laughing so hard.
      Then I looked and saw the first "L" in "tiltless"

      And now back to our regular programme...
      --VS
      Haha, I actually did type it without the L but I noticed before I submitted the post. :f_biggrin:


      While I'm gonna refrain from posting results etc for the most part and try to put only useful stuff I just gotta do this one rant:





      :diamond: People who limp/raise with AA are so annoying.

      Some midstacker did it to me when I had KK and I just think to myself "you absolute dickhead". The money is going all in preflop anyway so its just pointless and of course very -EV if nobody else raises. I know sometimes it can be a valid play if you want to limp other hands and someone will always attack your limps, but at NL5 it's just stupid. When I have KK and someone does this to me it feels like a borderline slowroll and I close the table because it makes me want to win their stack too much to play A-game. :f_mad:
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      :diamond: Coaching :diamond:

      I would definitely recommend coaching to anyone who thinks that there is something not quite right with their game, or that they are not playing their A-Game etc. There's always stuff that is just so much easier to spot from the outside and of course the coach is playing at a higher level than you as well, so you get insights as to how much better players than you will think about things. It is also very good to learn what your plays look like to someone else because this is how your opponents perceive you, and usually it differs a decent amount from how you think your opponents think.

      I just had a session with Bierbaer/Phil and it was really good. Have moved up to NL10 and been doing pretty well since then. I would recommend him for any player looking to get coaching, he is a great coach.
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      :spade: NL5 -> NL10 SH: Main Differences :spade:

      Been at NL10, up 10BI so far, need another 20BI before NL25, but maybe will wait a bit longer than that since First Deposit Bonus/Edge Rakeback is boosting my bankroll a decent amount. But have played enough hands at NL10 to notice some differences:

      :spade: A lot more regs who are willing to 3bet light (but very few who do it well)
      :spade: As a consequence, 3bets get a lot less respect
      :spade: Regs at NL10 who just fold to every 3bet until one time they snap and 4bet shove you with KTo :f_love:
      :spade: People's postflop skills aren't any better than NL5. Regs might even be worse.
      :spade: Possibly even more fish, but the fish get stacked quicker
      :spade: Some full stacked regs who call all ins with JJ and AQ. Never saw this at NL5.
      :spade: Regs "adjusting" to your plays. Very few of them do it correctly, and many regs start 4betting me with 42s and calling 3bets with J9s, and making random spastic plays that usually you only see from fish at NL5


      This may be specific to Full Tilt but this is what I've noticed moving up
    • feursturm
      feursturm
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.04.2011 Posts: 31
      Hey metza,

      Nice start to your blog. Some interesting stuff to open with so hope you keep posting.

      With you on the open limp/raise AA play..so obvious now it's irritating, especially if you search the guy and find they play multi tables..just show me your hand man!! I'll flat call sometimes just to hit that set/flush/straight and tilt the hell out of them (terrible I know but only do it the odd time)

      Anyway, best of luck to you and will follow with interest if you keep posting :)
    • acetbfish
      acetbfish
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.03.2011 Posts: 804
      How are things at fulltilt? I read that the players there are nitty a lot and that there are no donators like in other sites.

      Gl btw!
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      I used to think there weren't so many donators at FullTilt but that's not exactly true.

      There are not usually a lot of donators preflop. Especially not at NL5.

      Although sometimes at NL10 you can turn regs into donators by 3betting a lot and they respond by 4bet bluffing but they are not thinking about ranges and only thinking basic thoughts like "he's 3betting light so I will 4bet him with 64s because I want him to fold" or "he 3bets me 11% so I will 4bet shove KT because its 'ahead of his range'"


      Postflop on the other hand, for sure. A lot.

      Even without the First Deposit Bonus and Edge Rakeback, there are enough bad players for NL10 to be very beatable, I am not very good, still have a lot of leaks, but have been beating it so far. Not sure about higher limits though, maybe its a regfest. Strangely NL5 was not as easy on FT than Stars, but NL10 I'd say is easier on FT than Stars, or at least the same.

      :diamond: Table Selecting :diamond:

      This being said, I table-select quite a lot. I try to make sure the 4-6 tables I sit at are in the top 10 or so tables for Avg Pot and VPIP at my limit. If the table ends up being all regs I will leave as soon as I can replace it with a more profitable table. However, if you're not table selecting then yes, you can end up on some terribly nitty tables with the tightest regs, even if you find a good table and stay there, in 30 mins it can become a nitfest. If you put a bit of effort into table selecting though FT is good.

      :diamond: Start tables to get fish :diamond:

      I read this somewhere online, I can't remember where or if its already common knowledge, but starting up tables is probably the best way to find fish. Fish never use waiting lists, they want to play NOW so they will sit at a table where they can do this. This way the fish come to you rather than hopping on something ridiculous like 5 person waiting list etc.
    • acetbfish
      acetbfish
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      Joined: 11.03.2011 Posts: 804
      Thanks for the info!
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Hm, was a wee bit bad today.

      I had the 3rd day in a row just losing constantly without feeling like I made serious errors in range estimation, this time $40 under EV at NL10 including a shocker vs whale AQs vs 86s AIPF loss, and AA vs QQ vs 99 loss. I wasn't tilted, but just really disappointed, and my roll was at the point where I just had no motivation to play and didn't care about my roll.

      I decided to play some NL50 HU. Not because of tilt or chasing loss, because I felt like it, and I thought it would be fun, unlike playing bingo vs fish. And since I only play poker for fun, I thought why not?

      And it was! I ended up against someone not very good (the plan was to leave if I didn't feel I had an edge), used a lot of stuff that Bierbaer taught me in my coaching session about polarized ranges and put myself back in the black with constant aggression vs loose passive opponent who eventually decided he'd had enough when I flopped the nut straight and checkraised him. Got it all in w run it twice which was kinda lol since he was drawing dead on turn when we were all in.

      So my roll is looking healthy again, thanks to some degen HU4Rollz, but oh well I had a great time there, and its given me more motivation to get back to where I can play those stakes with decent BRM, since that's where I want to go anyway! Hopefully this kinda thing won't happen again...
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,913
      It sure does feel nice when it all comes your way.

      I've been getting run over lately too, but after checking my database, I realized that although I did lose a few big pots, the problem really lay in the fact that I wasn't getting the opportunities.

      Cheers,
      --VS
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Did a wee bit of study today, about 2 hours playing with equilab, posted this on the poker page for me and friends from uni who also play, thought it may be of some use to pokerstrategy members also :f_biggrin:

      :diamond: Tipping Points - 50% Equity vs Range :diamond:

      "Ok so I did about 240 equity calculations of hand vs range to see how the following hands compare in preflop equity vs certain ranges:

      AA,KK,QQ,AKs,AKo,JJ, AQs,TT,AQo,AJs,KQs,AJs,JTs,T9s,99,88,76s,66,44,22,32o

      The 240 equities are in a hand drawn table, can't be bothered digitizing them.

      Found some interesting things, main thing was that QQ is actually not as strong as I thought especially vs decent ranges. Against 5% of hands it is 60% favourite, against 8% of hands it is 64% favourite and against 15% of hands it is only 69% favourite. Also JJ being 56% vs a range of 8% was pretty surprising.

      Important thing to consider is that these ranges are constructed exclusively in terms of (my assumed) order preflop equity, they are not polarized and therefore do not represent equity vs 8% polarized range which is going to be much higher since half of it includes weaker hands than the given 8% range. Also I am not totally accurate in my ranking of hands from best to worst as it goes along the scale.

      However, I wanted to find "tipping points", the earliest point against which they first reach 50% equity, and came up with the following.

      Hand (Range vs which 50% equity is had) Range

      AA (0.45%) AA

      KK (1.36%) QQ+

      QQ (4.22%) JJ+,AQs+,AQo+

      AKs (4.22%) JJ+,AQs+,AQo+

      AKo (4.22%) JJ+,AQs+,AQo+

      JJ (5.43%) 99+,AJs+,AQo+

      TT (8.30%) 88+,ATs+,KQs+,ATo+

      AQs (8.75%) 77+,ATs+,KQs+,ATo+

      AQo (10.71%) 66+,A9s+,KJs+,ATo+,KQo

      99 (10.71%) 66+,A9s+,KJs+,ATo+,KQo

      88 (11.92%) 44+,A9s+,KTs+,ATo+,KQo

      AJs (14.93%) 22+,A9s+,KTs+,QJs+,A9o+,KJo+

      66 (21.27%) 22+,A7s+,KTs+,QTs+,A6o+,KTo+,QJo,JTo

      KQs (26.41%) 22+,A2s+,K8s+,Q9s+,J9s+,T9s+,A5o+,KTo+,QTo+,JTo

      44 (34.54%) 22+,A2s+,K3s+,Q8s+,J9s+,T9s+,A2o+,K7o+,Q9o+,JTo

      JTs (58.97%) 22+,A2s+,K2s+,Q2s+,J2s+,T5s+,95s+,85s+,75s+,64s+,54s,A2o+,K3o+,Q5o+,J7o+,T7o+,97o+,87o

      T9s (78.88%)
      22+,A2s+,K2s+,Q2s+,J2s+,T2s+,92s+,82s+,73s+,63s+,52s+,43s,A2o+,K2o+,Q2o+,J3o+,T5o+,95o+,85o+,75o+,65o+

      22 (96.38%) Everything but 52-32 both suited and unsuited.

      Median line (Hands that have >50% equity vs 100% range)

      Q5o,J8o,T9o,J6s,T7s,98s

      Of course no two ranges are ever the same so of course these numbers are rough, but may still be useful to know.

      I am planning to do more poker study in future and will post it here if I think it will help you guys."
    • zumpar
      zumpar
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.02.2012 Posts: 1,185
      love the blog title :D
    • vuciitis
      vuciitis
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.02.2011 Posts: 1,314
      seems awesome blog, will follow for sure :)

      I play 6max hypers and mixing in little bit of FR zoom atm, so not really the same game type. But the way you analyse information and make your own conclusions totally makes this blog worth reading despite of the game differences. I think that success in poker comes from developing the way of thinking in poker ("growing some poker brain") not just trying to master some type of a game.

      Wish you all the best ;)
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,913
      KK (1.36%) QQ+
      I'm not sure what this table is showing.
      In Equilab, there is a hand range calculator under tools,

      If I set the slider to 50% I get different ranges.

      I the one I showed above, QQ has a lot lower than 50% equity against KK -- or am I reading your table wrong?

      --VS
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Originally posted by VorpalF2F
      KK (1.36%) QQ+
      I'm not sure what this table is showing.
      In Equilab, there is a hand range calculator under tools,

      If I set the slider to 50% I get different ranges.

      I the one I showed above, QQ has a lot lower than 50% equity against KK -- or am I reading your table wrong?

      --VS
      For the table, you take the hand in bold, eg KK
      the table will tell us against what range KK first has 50% equity
      This range is QQ+, which according to equilab has exactly 50% equity vs KK

      I tried using that hand range calculator, but it didn't seem to work that well. I put in KK, then asked for a range with minimum 50% equity and it gave KK+? But that has 77% equity against KK. I then tried 49% min equity and 45% min equity and it still gave KK+ as the range. So either I'm doing something wrong or it doesn't work properly.

      One thing to bear in mind is that I input these ranges myself, so a 12% range for example would be my estimation of the strongest 12% of hands. This is of course flawed, but I felt that the slider in Equilab was even worse, since it took ages before the lower pocket pairs show up in a range (I think it was something like 60% VPIP before you're playing 22, which just clearly isn't true). I valued pocket pairs, on and offsuit aces, suited kings a bit more than Equilab, but in this table I give the range that I used so as long as that's known it should be fine, and if anyone wants to tweak it for themselves they can do so easily since the range is given there.