Back to the Ring: still running hot in RUSH NL5! (+$101,75)

    • ProlinePoker
      ProlinePoker
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.10.2009 Posts: 53
      About this blog
      I’ve been a member of PS since I started playing poker and this is actually my 2nd attempt in trying to keep an updated blog! In my first one I wanted to write about my performance in HU SnG (you can find that post somewhere around here…), I didn’t manage to dominate the game but at least I didn’t bust, I actually turned my $100 investment in $265, basically thanks to rakeback and the 100% first time deposit bonus at Full Tilt, as my HU game was basically at 3% ROI.
      When I was done clearing my first deposit bonus at Full Tilt I invested $25 in learning material for HU games, I transferred $90 to PokerStars and I left $150 at Full Tilt. My idea was to focus in HU SnG again, but I didn’t felt comfortable playing $2 games with a bank of just $90, after some badbeats and consequent tilting I dropped quickly to $60,07.

      Going back to the ring
      This 33% drop in my cashier at PokerStars made me stop to think. I know that my HU game is improving but I know I can’t afford to loose more. Although the majority of HU SnGoers feel comfortable with a 20BI (or less…) to play these games, when I played at Full Tilt I sticked with a 100BI BRM and at least I felt comfortable with that. So I decided I won’t play HU SnG again until I have $220. How do I intend to do this? I intend to go back to the NL2 “aquarium”, it’s a limit I once beat and now, with improved HU skills, I know that my cash game probably improved as well, mainly concerning reading flop textures, putting villains in ranges, spotting bluffs or traps. With these new skills I learned at HU SnG I hope I’m able to grind my way up…

      My plan
      With a $60.07 BR I will start playing at NL2 FR. I’ll use a 25BI BRM for these microlimits, which means I’ll only play NL5 once I reach $125 and NL10 when I got to $250. Once I reach this mark I’ll then decide whether I’ll go back to HU SnG or stick with cash games, or probably do both. Money earned from bonus will be put aside and therefore will not be used to climb the limits faster, the reason is simple, I want to beat the limits with my own skills only, if I can’t do that I’ll probably loose that bonus money fast. Once my $90 deposit bonus is clear I might move my remaining $150 at Full Tilt to get the most out of the bonus but for now I’ll leave it there.

      My goals
      I feel comfortable playing up to 20 tables at the same time, which means I expect a volume of 600 hands per hour. For NL2 I intend to beat this limit at least at 5BB/100 (I won’t be more optimistic due to high volume of hands, which means less reads) so in order to make the remaining $65 that will take me to NL5 I’ll need to grind 65k hands at NL2, which sounds some crazy 108 hrs of play. I prefer to stick with realistic goals, I have no rush I going up the limits, I intend to learn (again) cash games in the process.

      What can you expect from this blog
      As I said earlier, this is the second time I try to write a blog, but this time I’ll demand more commitment from myself. In the end of the day I plan on posting a couple of hands for debate, and this is where I expect PS community to participate. I hope I can learn from experienced cash players and I also wish that players that are new to the game could learn something from this debate. In the meanwhile you’ll follow my progress through graphs and updated data, hopefully in a daily basis.


      NL2, here I am…
  • 11 replies
    • RunDownKing
      RunDownKing
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.08.2010 Posts: 10
      is headsup SNG profitable?? wouldnt HU Cash be better, since it allows you to reload and learn your opponent better?

      i too have problems with BRM and tend to tilt off easily, i found a decent way to avoid tilt, just stop everything, go to pokertracker/elephant/hem review the hand and see ur equity in the pot. and when u see that if your behind or not youll feel better.
    • ProlinePoker
      ProlinePoker
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.10.2009 Posts: 53
      Originally posted by RunDownKing
      is headsup SNG profitable?? wouldnt HU Cash be better, since it allows you to reload and learn your opponent better?

      i too have problems with BRM and tend to tilt off easily, i found a decent way to avoid tilt, just stop everything, go to pokertracker/elephant/hem review the hand and see ur equity in the pot. and when u see that if your behind or not youll feel better.
      From what I've read so far HU SnG are surely profitable, at least at the low stakes up to $50. I'm part of a study group and you don't imagine the mistakes people usually do, it's amazing. Starting at $50 they can also be profitable, but one must accurate HU skills, with time and dedication I think you can go up in stakes with more or less trouble...

      As for HU cash, the problem is not every room offers HU at low stakes, the only one I know for sure to have is Titan (but I'm not client of many sites yet...), at Titan Poker you can find HU cash starting at NL2...
    • ProlinePoker
      ProlinePoker
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.10.2009 Posts: 53
      Today's summary:

      # sessions: 3
      Hands: 2863
      Time: 4,51 hrs
      Hands/hr: 634
      $USD: +$2.15
      $USD EV: +$1,82
      BB/100: 3,75

      Well, not a bad start, but a really bad call in the end of the last session made me loose an stack, something I could easily avoid. Now, let's go check a couple of interesting hands:



      Hand #1: Hero call with AJ
      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.01/$0.02 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)

      Known players:
      MP2:
      $6.57
      MP3:
      $5.49
      CO (Hero):
      $2.00
      BU:
      $3.00
      SB:
      $2.05
      BB:
      $2.00
      UTG2:
      $2.00
      MP1:
      $5.01


      Preflop: Hero is CO with A, J.
      UTG2 folds, MP1 calls $0.02, MP2 calls $0.02, MP3 folds, Hero raises to $0.14, 4 folds, MP2 calls $0.12.

      Flop: ($0.33) 5, A, 7 (2 players)
      MP2 checks, Hero raises to $0.72, MP2 folds, Hero calls $1.14(All-In).

      Turn: ($2.19) 2 (1 players)
      gets uncalled bet back.

      River: ($2.19) 6 (1 players)
      gets uncalled bet back.

      Final Pot: $1.05.

      The preflop is pretty standard, now let's see how I played post-flop. My reads on the villain are 64/24/6,5/31 (VPIP/PFR/AgF/#hands) and that justified my action. Having top pair, when I saw his donk bet I knew I had two options, calling behind or re-raising. Since he donk bets, I'm putting him in a flush draw, Ax, or straight draw. I didn't believe he had 55 or 77 as if I did, he would probably check-raise my eventual cbet in this flop. But by looking at his stats, although with just 31 hands, I think he's definitely in flush draw or OESD, so I opt to reraise him to make him give up. Surprisingly he immediately ships all-in and now here's my tough decision, shall I call his all in or not? Usually I fold, I don't pay all-ins in the flop with just top pair, but again his stats are telling me that he's reckless and probably is gambling with OESD or flush draw. I decided to call and I was actually right, he was in a OESD and I was ahead. Was this a TAG player and hadn't he made that donk bet in the flop I would immediately fold in the flop but this time I trusted my instincts. Anyway, a fold would probably be the best move...


      Hand #2: Set over set
      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.01/$0.02 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)

      Known players:
      MP2:
      $4.59
      MP3:
      $2.20
      CO:
      $2.00
      BU (Hero):
      $2.08
      SB:
      $2.00
      BB:
      $1.20
      UTG2:
      $2.12
      MP1:
      $2.76


      Preflop: Hero is BU with Q, Q.
      5 folds, Hero raises to $0.08, SB calls $0.07, BB calls $0.06.

      Flop: ($0.24) Q, 3, T (3 players)
      SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $0.16, SB calls $0.16, BB calls $0.16.

      Turn: ($0.72) 5 (3 players)
      SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $0.56, SB raises to $1.29, BB folds, Hero raises to $1.84, SB calls $0.47(All-In).

      River: ($4.32) 8 (2 players)


      Final Pot: $4.32.
      Results follow:

      SB shows three of a kind, threes(3 3).
      Hero shows three of a kind, queens(Q Q).

      Hero wins with three of a kind, queens(Q Q).

      I decided to post this hand not because I had a difficult decision, because I didn't, but because I wanted to analyze it the villain's perspective, I mean, if I were the villain, would I play the same way? Well, set over sets do happen and I think I would play exactly as the villain did, but I'm interested in knowing if you guys would ever fold here. So, the villain is TAG (13/7/2.0/#150) and the preflop is pretty standard for both of us. Now, let's see the flop: everyone checks and I probably could have checked as well to slowplays my set of queens, but I opted to bet, I'm facing two more opponents and there are several cards I wouldn't want to see in the turn, namely Jacks, Nines or Kings. They all check behind and with two players checking behind I'm putting one of them in a 33 or TT and the other one probably in a straight draw. Actually, I give more credit to the TAG villain, with his check I was certain he had a set. He checks the turn again, probably expecting me to fire again. I think he was putting me in AQ or probably KQ, JQ, QT, Q9, as I raised from the button and could be raising looser with a high queen. I fire the turn again, he reraises me and then I knew for sure I was with 33 or TT. I shove all-in and he calls and he shows his 33. The interesting thing from this hand is how easy it was to put villain in a set, had I another holding like AQ or other Qx I would check/fold the turn and the river, that call to my cbet in the flop rang like a set...

      So here's today's hands, I wanted to post some more, including some pots I lost, but I though these were among the most interesting ones. I'm looking forward for your comments on whether you would fold in hand #1 and whether you'd play hand #2 in a different way in case you were the villain...

      All right, it's all for today... See you guys soon...
    • RunDownKing
      RunDownKing
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.08.2010 Posts: 10
      in the first hand against the 64/24 guy. The same was 30ish right?
      I think its still an easy call there since i would not fold AJ to 64/24 range even if its over 30 hands because the difference between the vpip and pfr is still big which usually means they are a fish.

      AJ vs fish = gold

      Although, i guess against a normal player you would have to consider if the stacks were larger and that players Check raise % was really low Or their flop aggression was low you could consider folding incase you think they have a set.

      but then again 64/24 i wont fold
    • ProlinePoker
      ProlinePoker
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.10.2009 Posts: 53
      NL2 summary:
      Hands: 5699
      Time: 9,14 hrs
      Hands/hr: 623,5
      $USD: -$0,72
      $USD EV: -$2,42
      BB/100: -0,63

      It's kind of disappointing to play more than 5k hands at NL2 and registering a small loss. That's mainly due to a a really bad session today, where I lost lots of BB with KK. Well, I lost three stacks where I couldn't do anything about it, in the three cases I managed to be all-in preflop and I lost twice against AA and another time against AK. I didn't tilt much because I know it's pure variance but loosing three stacks in a matter of minutes when you meet AA and another one when a lucky fish that loves going all-in with AK can be tilting. But my loss due to KK didn't stop here, I made two lay downs with them, in one of them I think I did the right thing but the other one I think I should have shoved... and these are the hands I bring for today's debate!


      Hand #3: Laying down KK in a great spot to shove
      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.01/$0.02 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)

      Known players:
      UTG2:
      $2.00
      MP1:
      $2.01
      MP2:
      $1.05
      MP3:
      $0.82
      CO:
      $2.18
      BU (Hero):
      $2.00
      SB:
      $1.98
      BB:
      $1.98


      Preflop: Hero is BU with K, K.
      5 folds, Hero raises to $0.08, SB folds, BB calls $0.06.

      Flop: ($0.17) 8, 7, 7 (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.12, BB raises to $0.24, Hero folds, BB gets uncalled bet back.

      Final Pot: $0.29.


      Here is the case I regret laying down my KK. Villain is 13/3/2.2/#901 and his check-raise made me fold, which I did, but I actually regret it. Villain is a competent player and he clearly set-mined in there. Now, the question is, with which hands did he set mine with? Probably with anything but 88 or 77. I mean, had he a full-house he would slow-play, even the fishiest player in the world would do that. He probably had TT or JJ, hit his overpair and check-raised me to protect against the flush, just in case I was raising with Ax suited for example. I folded, I definitely screwed up, I should have re-raised him again...


      Hand #4: Laying down KK against eventual set
      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.01/$0.02 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)

      Known players:
      BB:
      $3.97
      UTG2:
      $1.16
      MP1:
      $1.81
      MP2:
      $0.84
      MP3:
      $2.95
      CO:
      $2.44
      BU:
      $2.53
      SB (Hero):
      $3.80


      Preflop: Hero is SB with K, K.
      5 folds, BU raises to $0.08, Hero raises to $0.26, BB folds, BU calls $0.18.

      Flop: ($0.54) 8, 3, J (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.36, BU raises to $2.27, Hero folds, BU gets uncalled bet back.

      Final Pot: $0.9.

      Well, here I think I did the right thing, anyway, I played it safe. Villain is 18/6/1.8/#116, reraises from the button (probably on 77+, AT+, given his PFR), I reraise and he calls (given the call, I exclude AA from his range right away). In that dry board I don't hesitate in firing my bet, but the guy puts me all-in. Given his low PFR and low aggression I'm sure he has something, and something strong. AJ doesn't make much sense as he called my reraise preflop and I doubt he would reraise in the flop with that hand. I'm giving him 88 or JJ, he could have QQ in his range as well but that's the only hand I would be beating, so I had no trouble in laying down my KK.
    • ProlinePoker
      ProlinePoker
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.10.2009 Posts: 53
      Due to the recent $100 bonus I got on Full Tilt, I'll suspend this for a while and go back to Full Tilt, where I still have 25 BI to play Rush NL5. Hopefully I'll clear the bonus soon.
    • peche025
      peche025
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.12.2008 Posts: 1,387
      Proline poker, I think that you are making too nitty poker. FE as a general rule, over pair in 3b pot = nuts, so the KK hand on J83 I am getting it in every time, he can easily have AJ, QQ which you crush. People usually don't have the correct implied odds to call 3b to set mine. AA could also be in his range, people do it sometimes to trap.

      The KK on 887, definately 77/88 are part of his range but villian could easily be raising a FD, TT-QQ in this spot, I'd be looking to get it in this spot, either with a 3b or raise on the turn.

      It's a great start to your blog though, keep up the hard work and you'll be crushing NL2 and moving to NL5rush I'm sure :)
    • Wriggers
      Wriggers
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.07.2009 Posts: 3,250
      I agree that i'm never folding that KK to a Check / min raise. The flop is pretty low and you said he's a TAG, so he's not likely to have a 7 in his hand. If he did the only hand he would have is 77, and he wouldn't be raising that he'd be slowplaying the hell out of it. So the only hand you have to be worried about is 88. This means hands that are raising here are 99,TT,JJ, QQ and you crush all of them. I'm never folding that.

      In general, good luck to you :D I've also worked myself up from NL2 in the past month and am currently halfway through NL10, only $150 more to reach NL25 :D
    • ProlinePoker
      ProlinePoker
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.10.2009 Posts: 53
      Thanks for the feedback guys! Yeah, I agree that I'm playing to nitty, I'm probably giving too much credit to my opponents and that's why my non-showdown winnings are way negative (but in opposite my showdown winnings are always climbing...)

      Anyway, as I said right now I'm grinding Rush Poker at NL5 due to the the $100 bonus I got, I have enough BI to play rush NL5 so I'm pretty comfortable with that. So far I'm happy doing 8BB/100 (5k hands) and later I'll post some stuff regarding my rush poker grind!

      See you guys later...
    • ProlinePoker
      ProlinePoker
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.10.2009 Posts: 53
      As I was saying, from the moment I got my $100 random bonus at Full Tilt I focused in this poker room solely. I will leave PokerStars and my NL2 grind for later, that is, until I clear this $100 bonus and transfer that money to PokerStars so I can get the best possible bonus at Stars (as I'm still eligible to make 2 additional deposits up to $600). Well, things couldn't be better! Although I know that my EV line tells me that I'm experiencing positive variance, I'm pretty happy with the results so far. Again, I will exclude every amount redeemed from my bonus to determine whether I should go up or down in stakes. Let's see what happens when the dark side of variance visits my cashier...

      One thing I notice is my negative-sick non-showdown winnings! I've read some stuff about this and people usually say that at micro-stakes is quite hard to keep this line positive as players call everything against all odds. Anyway, the slope of this line decreased a little bit in my last 5k hands as I'm putting an effort in decreasing my flop cbet frequency (which is still at 61%, pretty high I think), I'm sure this helps but if you guys have more recommendations I'll be happy to hear them all!

      I also have rakeback, but I didn't include that in the graph as my MGR will be affected by this random bonus...



      Stats:
      Hands: 8248
      Winnings: $56.93
      EV adjusted: $28.63
      bb/100: 13.80
      Bonus redeemed: $10 out of $100

    • ProlinePoker
      ProlinePoker
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.10.2009 Posts: 53
      My grind at Rush FR NL5 keeps up in a nice shape, honestly I never expected it to be that easy. I know that playing HU as improved my game but, again, I'm keeping my feet in the ground as I know what variance is and I won't just send rockets to the sky saying I'm crushing Rush NL5 as sooner or later I will taste negative variance, as I did before. Actually, yesterday I had a session that basically was a long journey in the desert, it seems that since touching the $100 profit milestone for the first time I would experience a big dowswing. That basically consisted in a single session, I suffered some bad beats, AA getting cracked by K8, 3-outer sucktouts in the river 3 or 4 times but I'm also aware that I didn't play well, there were a couple of situations that I should and I normally avoid getting it in but I did nevertheless.

      What matters is that it seems I came back from that ugly session, let's see what the future ones reserve. Initially, my goal was to turn a small profit playing Rush NL5 while clearing the bonus so everything is already beyond my initial expectations. My primary goal is still clearing the $100 bonus (30% of it is done) but I'll make a secondary objective right now: make $150 net profit playing Rush NL5 and jump to Rush NL10!



      Stats:
      Hands: 18372
      Winnings: $101.75
      EV adjusted: $65.82
      bb/100: 11.08
      Bonus redeemed: $30 out of $100