Monday, 28 March 2011

That's a Fact

After a lot of deliberation I have decided to take the plunge and switch to six max. I found the lack of action at the HU tables quite frustrating and not a good use of my time given how little I play, so being able to jump into a few tables, play for an hour or so and then jump out without any of the bullshit about hit and running etc. makes for a nice change. Over a whopping sample size of 1,500 hands I am up around $500 at $50nl. Obviously I run sick good, so long may that continue.

My initial observations comments (I have been playing on the fast tables on Stars) are as follows:

1) Whilst rakeback is nice, boy do you pay a ton less rake on Stars, and you get to play a lot more hands and benefit from a bigger player pool.

2) My natural game is really quite LAG pre-flop.

3) People suck and I have been the recipient of a couple of massive spews in deepish pots (including flopping the nut flush in a limped pot 180bb deep and somehow managing to get my entire stack in vs. a flopped overcard and 9 hi flush draw which turned third pair and rivered two pair).

4) I find hand reading and range analysis a lot easier than I did HU. 5) Regulars generally tend to play fairly straightforward and as a result I think it is generally easy to make a disciplined fold a lot of the time when the action gets hot. I have also found it easier to control tilt, although having not been coolered or outdrawn very often (in fact hardly at all) then this is a lot easier.

I basically jumped in without doing any learning at all, but over the weekend I read a large chunk of Baluga Whale's "Easy Game". I spent most of it thinking "I'm going to need to read this again" - this isn't a bad thing, more that there is a lot of information in there (which many regular 6m players will probably find standard but I don't) and that I really haven't got enough game time under my belt to have a lot of practical examples to apply it to.

The whole Sebok/UB thing rumbles on over on 2+2. For me, it's clear that Joe doesn't have any of the answers and UB has had ample time to send a rep over there (which really needs to be Leggett) to start providing some proper answers. Given that they haven't done so in the last three years, I can't imagine they'll change their mind now. Joe clearly likes whatever UB are paying him, but he's an asshat for taking it and can't really be annoyed with all the grief he gets. I saw his "I tried…" on Twitter - Joe, you might have tried, but it was a dismal effort and all the unanswered questions are still there. If you don't know the answers to most of the questions yourself then you can't trust your employers, and either way you should stop making out like it's 2+2 that's in the wrong here and not UB.

I have had a couple of pretty decent weekends, watching West Ham play out a thrilling 0-0 at Spurs last Saturday, which had everything but a goal. Whilst Spurs had plenty of chances I thought our defending was outstanding (Jacobsen and Bridge were immense) whilst Rob Green pulled off a world class save to tip Bale's free kick onto the bar. We also had three or four very good chances ourselves. This is the first time this season I have seen us dig in for 90 minutes and battle, which leaves me feeling a little more optimistic, despite our difficult run in.

This weekend I was in Paris. The weather was awesome, the city is amazing and even the Parisians were a lot more tolerable than I have found them before. My French was pretty shit, natch, but we managed to get by. Some things were disappointing (the Sacre Couer is an amazing building but the hordes of people trying to flog you shit outside there drove me nuts and was better when we went before when it was quieter). Lots of the city also smells of piss. Le Louvre was amazing, although totally overwhelming in both the size and amount of stuff in there (it would apparently take 9 months to see every bit of art in the museum).

Anyway, enough of all this shiz, good luck at the tables.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Before A Fall

Having been so happy with how things were going, I moved up to the $/£/€ 100nl tables. This proved not to be the best move from me, and I have run like total AIDS. I'm down $1,600 for the month, around $1k below AIEV. I'm not overly concerned by my play, but I could have done without getting God moded. The most fun experience was at the end of a stinking session getting AA in against KQ 200bb deep at €100nl on a QTx r flop and losing against a retarded that couldn't fold top pair if his life depended on it. Still, enough moaning, I'm not overly downhearted about the situation, I just need to get on with it and I have played nearly 7,000 hands this month.

There has been some awesome poker gossip going on of late, principally:
1) Sebok doesn't like it when people are nasty about UB.
2) Poker isn't fun when you suspect people of playing on each other's accounts according to Prahlad.
3) Pocket money discussions could get interesting.

For anyone that knows Wayne (Wonderflop), he has had a bit of a difficult time in recent months. Anyway, he is now playing for a living, and things seem to have started off well enough. Good on him, he deserves a break, and he should probably ship me half of his manies for the good luck wishes.

West Ham got beaten by Stoke in the FA Cup quarter final. I think the best side one, although Mike Jones clearly got intimidated at half time by Pulis and fell for a lot of their snide tactics. They're a set of cunts and nothing would please me more than to see Pulis, his nonce cap and his horrible, ugly side get relegated. I can't see it happening though.

We're away at Tottenham tomorrow. I can't see us getting anything, but I'm looking forward to going to the game, it is only a short bus ride away. I'm not a fan of lunchtime kick-offs, but this one suits me as I am around at a friend's house that night (sadly he is a Spurs fan).

The stag do in Liverpool was fun, and featured one person being kicked out of a bar, one person getting knocked out and three people so ill after the first night that they didn't make the second. Classy.

I'm off to Paris with her indoors next week - I'm such a romantic. I quite like Paris, it is wasted on the French, but fucking expensive. I hope they have resolved the dog shit problem there too.

Good luck at the tables.

P.S. I watched the excellent Hoop Dreams on DVD on Sunday. For those that haven't heard of it, this is a documentary following two young American basketball hopefulls in Chicago. It is a fascinating insight into inner city life and the American education system, as well as a gripping story where you find yourself really rooting for the two subjects of the documentary (who both come across as genuinely decent kids). It's quite sad watching William speaking to the camera and saying "People always say to me, ‘when you get to the NBA, don’t forget about me’. Well, I should’ve said back, ‘if I don’t make it to the NBA, don’t you forget about me’." If you can get your hands on a copy I'd recommend taking the three hours to watch it, it certainly beats the crap out of X-Factor on a Saturday night.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Dissecting an Opponent

After very little play during February, a week into March and I have already played 4,500 hands, for a gargantuan profit of $20 (although I think I’m due around $150 in rakeback). My sick level of run hot seems to have disappeared (if anyone finds it, please contact me so I can collect it), having been set over setted in a 200bb pot by a pretty terrible villain, which is bollocks as I should be set over setting people, always. I was down around $600 at one point, however thanks to one villain, I’m now back to even.

I sat in yesterday at a few tables and it is pretty hard finding fish on a weekday morning. Having struggled to find any regs to play, I stumbled across a guy that I had played before. He is a winning player but pretty awful as I remembered, so I sat in and three tabled him. His playing style is as follows:

In position:
1) Open around 85% of buttons.
2) Only c-bet around 40% (this appears to be the top 40% of his hands).
3) Often two barrelling (c. 60%), which makes sense given that he seems to be mainly c-betting his strong hands, so he is often going to follow up.
4) Folds to three bets around 60% of the time, but isn’t massively tricky in three bet pots.

This isn’t terrible, but obviously it is massively exploitable and he folds to lots of turn bets when the flop checks through.

Out of position:
1) He plays around 40% of hands, three betting around 12% (this goes up when he’s tilted and is lower a lot of the time).
2) Folds to c-bets around 40% of the time and to second barrels around 60%.
3) Check raises around 10% (this is really low, for most regs this will be 15%-20%).

Overall, his pre-flop game isn’t awful but he’s really passive and massively exploitable. When I look at my stats against him, I’m playing really aggressively (three betting often and c-betting a lot of flops in three bet pots, because I get folds so often), two barrelling quite a lot in single raised pots when good barrel cards arrives (if you simply do the maths, this is really profitable given how often he folds to c-bets and second barrels) and folding anything but very strong hands when he check raises. He also gets very stubborn with top pair, which isn’t unusual at these limits.

He dumped off a good amount to me yesterday over two sessions, which is awesome. The lesson is that you can be as exploitable as you like, as long as you aren’t actually being exploited, and to always be able to adapt when you’re getting worked over (and if you can’t adapt, quit). This probably applies to heads-up way more than any other form of poker because villain’s playing styles can vary so widely.

This guy has now become my second most profitable opponent in my database. At some point he’s going to stop giving me action (which might be the next time I sit him), however guys like this don’t come around too often and people should be lining up around the block to play him (I’d imagine that most people see his PTR and give him a miss).

I should be able to play a good bit more poker this week – my wife is out for part of tonight, tomorrow and Thursday (fistpump.jpg), so I’d like to get in at least another 1,000 – 1,500 hands. My cash bankroll is now at nearly $12k, so I need to be less of a wuss and play more $100nl.

Elsewhere in poker, there are lots more UB shenanigans (shame on you Joe Sebok), suspicious UB player xblink is now taking on all-comers on Full Tilt, Erik Seidel crushes live souls in 2011 by winning the heads-up donkament on top of lots of other things and probably lots of other stuff that I can’t think of right now.

I went up to Liverpool for a stag weekend and missed West Ham beating Stoke 3-0. We’re right on form at the moment, and given how the league is shaping up we’ll need to keep this going until the end of the season. I’ll give the Scousers credit (which is a first), they were a pretty decent bunch. We take on Stoke again next week, this time away in the FA Cup. It is something of a distraction but hopefully we can keep the run going and book a semi-final at Wembley.

Good luck at the tables.