LHE the fun way to play poker

    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
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      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      The first quarter of 2014 is in .. I'm running good and feeling good. My year goal is completed so starting a new goal, lets blog about LHE, my game and grinding US poker.

      Hopefully some good info as the year rolls by .. goal is to post 2 to 3 times a week and give some info and improve my game a bit more. Lets start with a quick little bio as I have to do that.

      US player started on a whim in June 2009, to much ESPN watching and started at Stars. I knew I couldn't play NL, so put my $150 on with matching bonus, and started at .25/.50 FR LHE.

      First task get some education, searched the web and stumbled to some basic info. Very dated and couldn't find it if I looked today, but got me stared with pot odds, starting hand charts, basic strategy and such.

      Games were easier, bonus at stars cleared quickly at least I remember it cleared in a month. I was net loser but the bonus kept me going. Ran good enough to pull my starting $150 and I was playing on house money. In august my first run bad hit and down I went but I held on to $50 of house money and I discovered 2+2. FR was to frustrating, too slow and hands had to be too strong for my game, to get paid. Switched to 6 max in Sept. of 2009. This marked my birth into playing poker.
  • 15 replies
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
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      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      LHE 6max early days of my career .. Sept. 2009 - Jan. 2010 ..

      Session review .. on 2+2 micro forum you can session review each month back then there were more LHE US players and easy to hook up. This was for sure the first big step up. I played pretty well for a .25/.5 player 1BB/100 winner. Started process of learning what I didn't know.

      If your starting no better way to get better than doing a session review with another player. The only way to find leaks you don't know about is to follow this process. Any level any time do it just to review and give back.

      I still review about once a quarter, not much I ever find in my game, but looking at your hands is always a good process and reviewing others and explain plays is always +EV.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Why you should be playing LHE a shout into the wind.

      http://www.nolandalla.com/mason-malmuth-limit-vs-no-limit-holdem/

      Very good points about LHE, much better for the newbie than NL.

      "LHE players only sheer the sheep, NL players slaughter the lambs" .. from Malmuth and article.

      LHE is more fun, you can learn and lose less. But be sure you will be clipped to the skin, if you venture in higher limits of LHE.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
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      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Time for more bio ... from sep to nov played from .10/.20 to .25/.50 bouncing up and down. Big challenge here was c-betting correctly. I had open raising and never cold calling tucked away. I was working on opening range but that is just following the chart at this point.

      I finally ran my bankroll up to 120. I could take shots since my life roll could easily pay for another deposit. I remember the first games of .5/1 .. it seemed like everyone was shooting at me. I'd 3bet from the SB and get raised on the flop and have to fold. The games were much more aggressive. I didn't know a player on a table and they all seemed better than me.

      Quickly lost 40 BB and back down to .25/.50 ..

      Well that is the story of every step of my limit career, from .10/.20 to my current 4/8. Each time up just get smacked and back down you go. Well that is how the game is learned. Much of what you know just become second hand and you play better and win. Move up and you find out what you don't know. Variance kicks in and you fall back.

      However, over time you finally stick at the higher game and you can then table select at that limit. You adjust to the change of aggression and it comes easier and easier. Then your up to the next limit and you have to do it again. What is hard is knowing that your improving as your always trying to move up and always hitting a wall.

      On top of that variance is pushing your roll up and down and you kind of forget that your roll is growing.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
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      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Well to wrap up this beginning and move to present day. I grinded 2010 up and down to 1/2 shots and even some 2/4, 3/6 when black friday happened. I was on stars so my money came quick and I restarted on merge.

      Merge rake was brutal at the start over 4BB/100 but rake back mitigated it some though the winrate was at or slightly below 0BB/100. However I could stay in the .5/1 to 2/4 ranges and win at least after rake back a decent amount per month for my little hobby.

      Merge reduced their rake to even with Stars killed out some of the rake back and finally killed it all together but the LHE community was pretty good and games were running and soft enough to continue.

      Then merge segregated the player pool and the games were killed. I moved to Bovada in Sept 2013, the games are very good and I've maintained a 2BB/100 winrate for 60k hands. My game has improved steadily and I've moved up to from 1/2, 2/4 to my current 3/6, 4/8. I use my roll to aggressive shot take, moving up at 200BB to next level and falling back when below 150BB. With improved play I'm now rolled easily to 4/8. 5/10 games don't run often, 8/16 I'm waiting for 250BB has I feel I might have reached my ceiling at this point.

      My goal for the year was to reach 3/6, 4/8 as my main stakes. So at the start of Apr I have reached my goal. For April I would like to stay steady at these stakes or higher and consolidate my position.

      I have not faced a bad downswing since Feb, I went down 260BB and recovered to break even by the end of the month. However, I may be due for a 100-200BB downswing shortly and need to ride that out and then consolidate back to 3/6, 4/8 to complete the move to the higher stake.

      All the while each month I withdraw $400, that is my current monthly nut. I have a bottom point where I would skip the withdrawal but that doesn't seem to be an issue right now. After May if I can maintain my current stakes I will move this to $600.

      My new goal is to reach a monthly draw of $800. I can't really plan higher play as I'm about topped out on the regular running games.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Now that I'm up to the current time frame and my new goals are stated, let's see how the month is going. I'm mostly trying to play 4/8, but add a 3/6 game when only bad 4/8 games are running. Has usual 4/8 takes some getting used to, pots are bigger and all players are more aggressive.

      Passive fish are rare, but on Bovada plenty will limp and multi-way pots are common. I'm up slightly for the month winrate of about .75/100, however variance will swing this all over the place. However winning is always good no matter how little that actual amount. The grind continues though and the future is uncertain, but my game has improved and I expect the winning to come.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Continuing in the current month, have been doing pretty good at much higher levels than my usual play. 4/8 and 5/10 mostly. I've been single tabling almost all that is cutting my hand counts down. May only play 6k to 7k, however it is easier to focus on mistakes and only find good games.

      Table selection gets a bit harder at higher stakes and you can't position select in the Bovada world, so finding weaker regs and total rec players is about all you a player can do and try to adjust to playing villains in any position. Nice to continue the win streak after a big month, and posting new highs for the roll.

      3rd anniversary of Black Friday has come and gone, I think Cali online is about 2 years away from cards in the air. Next year is looking good to pass the bill. That will be an incredible profitable period but is far off. For now the grind goes on.

      My post flop play has improved dramatically in the last year. Effective bluffing on middling boards and allowing villains to bet there bluffs into a hand that I can showdown have moved my winrate up. As always getting on a good table you can profit, developing a quick set of reads (Bovada) and exploiting is always most important. Next getting some profit from tight regish players adds a bit more to the winrate and helps to build the roll.
    • Boomer2k10
      Boomer2k10
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      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      Hey man

      Glad to see you blogging and excited to see what you have in store for us

      I love that article and I believe Lee Jones said something similar recently. Whether we like it or not poker is a cannabilistic game, eventually you are left with nothing but predators, however if the rate of cannibalistation is slowed it gives enough time for new fish to be born/currently ones to be sheared a bit

      There are worries LHE's been "solved" but I don't think that's anything like the case. Sure HUHU LHE is pretty much there at high stakes but tbh I won't be sad to see HU Cash Games go either because personally I think they're also terrible for the poker economy.

      Getting the US back would be massive, I dunno if you're ever gonna allow worldwide play again but if the whole US legalised it I'd be on a plane to Vegas :)
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
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      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Thanks for your comments Boomer --

      A couple of thoughts on state of LHE.

      United States LHE is still alive, but it is a tough game. However, Bovada/Bodog (not available in Europe, but is in Canada) has some pretty soft games. The sports betting players provide a nice pool of weaker players.

      Even at 4/8 to 5/10 there can be multiway limping in pots quite often. However, Bovada is anonymous so no long term notes or seat selection. The games are quite good and point to a bright future in US poker if some states can move to legalize. It's slowly (very slowly) happening.

      I live in California, and the LHE live games still exist quite well here. In southern california there are 40+ tables of LHE going most of the time and more on weekends. Looking forward to playing those players online.

      I think the poker economy would clearly be helped by removing HUHU play, US sites have removed a lot of the higher stakes play, and the games are pretty dried up. SNG's don't exist on US sites.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
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      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      On another front, Limit books and training are very limited now, I wonder if this will soften the games. NL is not a good training ground for a limit player, without as many training resources will weaker players advance has easily in the future. Poker advancement is very hard and without videos, books and many sources of information maybe the state of the game will slow for the next few years.

      Computer research may advance, but the techniques of programs may not translate that well to human play. Solving multiway pots without exploitative play may not be the easiest task to solve.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
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      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      A last thought, I wish the poker sites themselves would promote limit play more for the recreational player. From my articles above, this would be a win - win, more rake for the site and longer, enjoyable play for the newbie. Why not provide an additional bonus for new signups to complete by playing limit. A few might find the play more fun and nothing is lost if the player wants to just play no limit.

      Plus, I hit a ROYAL FLUSH this weekend for a nice $200 bonus, sure was a nice addition during a painful $500 downswing .. Up $300 for month coming into the end of the period.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
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      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Closing in on the end of the month. So a couple of posts to make - little progress report here.

      Games are getting a bit tougher as summer starts to near and the rec players go far afield and don't show up as much on the tables. I started Bovada last year in Sept. when the sports betting rec. is starting to go full swing. That time frame is one of the most profitable for the regs., and the pickings will be a bit tougher now.

      I will have to improve my game vs the reg. I'm getting there a bit, I can get a read on some of them in <50 hands and they do stick in a game for quite a bit if fish can be found. So far only about one good reg is showing up on my table, with stats in the 36/30/3bet: 15 or so type of range. I've had to leave tables when to my right and just not enough fish to make it worth it.

      I'm finding I can bluff more against a reg. has they will fold, and I try to play as balanced as I can if I find myself HU against a reg. I will only really play a table that will get a good share of multiway action. Basically looking for 45%+ VPIP, but I will stay on a table with poor players as long as I can. I don't get as much open limping, but cold calling is very common and is very profitable to the open raiser. Along with that not much 3betting and almost never light so that makes the game pretty comfortable.

      For the month up $200, got a $200 royal flush bonus, so a bit below my draw with 3 sessions to go. Nothing wrong with these results after my big run up last month. I had a 160BB swing and pushed it back up about 100 BB.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Improving your game: Learn to table start.

      I can game start fine and I'm a profitable HUHU player, just don't like the variance or the bum hunting game much so don't play it, but I can table start. Learning HUHU is very important, game starting gets you good position and can get tables with fish on them.

      Learn to play well HUHU once you have mastered 6max for your level. I don't suggest moving up and starting tables. You won't know a reg from a fish and the variance can burn up a roll and move you back down. You might want to play a level lower and game start for a while to get used to the play. Also, playing LHE HU SNG is a good way to work and improve your game while not risking bank roll. I learned mine from Deuces Cracked vids and playing in the old 2+2 HUHU LHE tournament. If you have a partner to learn, explore it using play money to grind against a reg. The 20 or so hours spent improving HUHU will expand your game, allow table starting, and improve your Blind Vs. Blind play.

      Remember to watch your aggressiveness as the game fills. HUHU is very aggressive and you can be a maniac/calling station. If your not adjusting once 4 or more are on the table.

      Also adjust your HUD so that it filters by number of players, so your stats are not mixed with games with < 4 players. VPIP/PFR will be greatly affected by number of players on the table.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
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      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Last of my posts: Status Poker in the US/California.

      A hearing was held in CA for legalizing/regulating poker only in the state.

      If your interested a good summary can be found: 24 Lessons

      The hearing was very informative and well done. If was very optimistic until Poker Stars upset the bunch bowl. Boom goes the dynamite

      If Poker Stars will be able to service games is Calif. is very much up for debate, but it is possible and they are trying very hard to get a seat at the table.

      However, including/excluding Stars is pretty much a big debate and most likely will postpone gaming in CA for another year. However, CA is getting closer but crossing the end line will be difficult and take a while longer to complete.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Finished up april on the upswing .. +600 and royal flush bonus added $200 to the roll for May. Withdrew my nut of $600. I will move this to $800 in June, and make my summer goal a month early. Subject to reasonable May results.

      Early, got a bit of the run bad going, but games have been good. Down $300 so far but really minor 50-75 BB loss. I seem to be sticking at 3/6-4/8 and that is the big achievement.

      Carbon is running a 2X points for LHE in may. This would be good except they removed points to cash and can only be used in limited tournaments. Trying to split my roll, stay higher and Carbon games are limited all add up to holding off on Carbon. If I run good and bump up some I might consider splitting my roll.

      My study level is down a bit with life interfering with my time, I'll push next week to visit some study time. My effort will likely be on playing regs and exploiting there play where I can. For now just grinding on.
    • dmyers1166
      dmyers1166
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.01.2012 Posts: 36
      Mid May report and some beating the rake commentary. Its a downswing .. 120BB for the month and running a bit bad. It happens, had a lot of up swing so just got to ride it through and fight back to even for the month. Putting a hurt on monthly 800 for June but will have to see how it goes. Did get $64 for points in Saturday tourney. Granddaughter gets a new dress.

      On 2+2 bovada thread the topic of beating Limit and PLO was brought up. No idea about PLO but the rake is brutal there, but I'm discussing Limit and beating the rake.

      Watching the coaching vids here on stars it looks like the micros on Stars are pretty tough. I'm not sure if it is table selection, coach can't switch mid stream or all tables are tough. Not much limping, and the play is ok, not great or anything but reasonable for micro players.

      Bovada, on the other hand is very soft. Rake at 1/2 is tough close the 4BB/100 but at 2/4 it drops to 2.7BB/100 and stays the same through 4/8. Not enough play at 5/10 to comment. Since the players are pretty bad, you get several hands with 3 or 4 limpers to a late position or sb chance to open or overlimp. You get 64/10 type players and even had a 98/90 player at 4/8 for a small time. There are always good games.

      1/2 is easy money .. must be about .25/.5 stars equal though the rake is brutal so that hurts the winrate overall it is money in the bank.

      2/4 is a sweet spot, poor play and passive with low rake. Reach this and you can stick and move up.

      3/6 hit and miss good 2/4 players move up and some live bad players play it.

      4/8 Much more aggressive but still 1-3 bad players on most tables and games can be beat.

      Overall, you have to play good poker. However, any of these games can be beat and turn a profit. I do it, and I'm not that special for sure. Table selection is key and on Stars seat selection is even more key. It was that way in 2011 and will be for all the future.