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Poker Strategy Discussion

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SpaceLord
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by SpaceLord »

The Meal:
City of Black Hawk
January 13, 2009 Election Results
Increase gaming limits to $100
Allow Craps and Roulette
Increase operating hours to 24 hours per day, 7 days per week
Yes - 54 votes
No - 6 votes
However:

The current Gaming Regulations for Colorado do not cap tournament entries as a multiple of the wager limit, they cap it at 500 dollars. Unless these regulations change, no big tournaments may be played in Colorado. :x
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by The Meal »

We knew what the vote would be. Bummer on the tournament cap, however. I thought the HPT did an interesting thing to get to a >$200,000 prize for their pool, with multiple levels of satellites required to make it to the final event. It's not ideal, but it actually would help to keep folks from out of the area from coming in and taking down the prizes (though, there was a dude from ND at the TV table of the last HPT CO event, so it doesn't guarantee that it's not possible).

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by SpaceLord »

Deciding to stay home and not go to the casino Sunday was a good decision!

http://www.pokerxfactor.com/HH179279/37 ... 31%7C37685

In the Sunday Million on Pokerstars, I finished 33/8260

:horse:

With an investment in a satellite of 24 bucks, a 2973.60 payday is not bad! :ninja:

With about 50 left, I shoved QQ, got called by 99, and he took over half my stack when he hit a 9 on the turn. In just a few hands, I battled back, but my run ended there. It took over 500 hands and 8 hours, but what a ride!
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Shinjin
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Shinjin »

Nice!

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by The Meal »

Congrats, Scott. Wonderful news! :)

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by SpaceLord »

Rise, poker thread!

Things have been interesting for me in the poker world lately.

4 Saturdays in a row, I final-tabled the Golden Gates Saturday noon tourney. I bubbled once, and chopped 3 times.

Two weeks ago Saturday, I had the following happen: During a 10-minute wait for the tourney to begin, I goofed off with video poker. I pushed "Bet Max", and this showed up immediately:

:Kd: :2c: :Kh: :Ks: :Kc:

:shock:

150 bucks

3rd hand:

:2c: :2s: :2d: :2h: :4s:

200 bucks

11th hand:

:Kc: :Jc: :Qc: :7s: :8d:

I held the face cards and saw:

:Ac:

:Tc:

And hit a 1500$ jackpot, plus the $50 high hand of the day. So, $1800 in 5 minutes of play. :mrgreen:

I've officially retired from Video Poker now. :P

On Saturday night, I took down the Fan Challenge at the Gilpin Casino for around 1500, and thus won a seat to the finals, where top prize is a 15k seat to the Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Tour event.

On Sunday, I chopped the Sunday noon at the Golden Gates for around 2200.

And on Friday, I fly to Vegas. I'll post pictures and a trip report. I'll also be updating my status on Twitter, if anyone cares.
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Vorret »

Pffft.... luckbox!


:)
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by The Meal »

Sweet. The WSOP updates have been the only thing to make me consider signing up for twitter. Not sure if it's blocked at work or not, though (and I'm out of town on a work trip for the rest of this week, so I won't bother until after I get back).

Break a leg!
~N

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Victoria Raverna
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Victoria Raverna »

Anyone know a free online resource or book available to learn strategy to play Texas Hold'Em?

Any advice about how to quickly calculate odds? What I need to remember? How to simplify the calculation to make it easier to do it.

I'm not interested in becoming tournament level players. I just want to be better than beginners.

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by The Meal »

VR, did you read this entire thread?

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Victoria Raverna
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Victoria Raverna »

The Meal wrote:VR, did you read this entire thread?
No. I am going to do that now. ;) I read this thread when it started but since I didn't have any interest in paying poker at the time, I didn't pay much attention.

After several of my facebook friends invited me to play Texas holdem (one of the Facebook games), I finally tried it last sunday. I won but mostly because I was lucky. I started with 15000 then lose 8000 of them before won all back and at the end I had over 30000. Then today I tried the weekly tournament and lost my 1000 chips in less than 30 minutes. :(

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by LordMortis »

Victoria Raverna wrote:Any advice about how to quickly calculate odds? What I need to remember? How to simplify the calculation to make it easier to do it.
Learn to fake math by playing a lot or have an extensive background in statistics? I'm a bad poker player that is getting worse over the years but I am still better than mathmaticians who can calculate odds at the drop of a hat but don't play card games. "Feeling" the game for me is way easier (for me anyway) than trying to play percentages at what my opponents could possibly have any time while comparing it to percentages based on pot to bet ratios. That just makes my head hurt and doing that kind of thinking would probably make my hand very easy to read. At the same time knowing that the guy across the table from you doesn't back down ever after the flop when has big slick is one simple fact that can make you a lot of money irrespective of the nitty gritty of the little odds around how often a K or A drops on the turn or river.

I remember playing cards growing up and being able to name every card played in a hand of whatever game we were playing becuase that is just what you did to play games. There was no training or trying, that was just part of the game. That's why we always considered Eukre as Spades for Childern. Playing for the position of 20 cards isn't nearly as interesting as playing for the position of 52 cards. And that's what we did. We didn't play to win hands, we played to put cards on position.

Nowadays the thought of remembering the position of 20 cards seems impossible and 52 insane.

Maybe I should learn the math. :D

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by SpaceLord »

Quick Vegas Trip Report:

The trip to and from Vegas was uneventful, no delays, and my room was very nice at the Riv.

Friday, Noon, Venetian Deep Stack 560$ tournament, ~600 entries. Rounds were 40 minutes long.

During this tourney, I probably had 15 small pocket pairs. I only flopped a set once, Kings, and then turned 4 kings. :shock: The other guy in the hand had Aces, and was forced to pay me off when I bet small on the river. After first break, I had a run of around 6 pocket pairs. If the blinds are, say, 100/200/25, raising or calling 600 to try to hit a set can get expensive. I'd estimate I lost 4000 of my 18k trying, and not hitting a set. Finally, with blinds at 400/800/50, an aggressive, loose, and bad player raised from UTG, and I pushed around 8.5k with 77. I was OK to see he was raising KQo, but unhappy to see a King on the turn, and I busted.

During my 4 Venetian DeepStack tourneys, I have never won a race of a pocket pair versus overcards.

I play in the 160$ 7PM "Second Chance" at Caesar's, with 40 minute levels. I bust after 2nd break when I run JJ from the Button into the bad, aggressive BB's AA.

Saturday, World Series day! I make my trip to the Rio. My table is pretty bad passive/loose, and with C-bets, I chip up to around 6000 from my starting 4500. After 2nd break, I get :8h: :8s: . I raise, and the semi-short SB calls. The flop comes :8d: :9h: :Kc: and I bet. The SB calls, and leads the turn which is a offsuit 3. Of course, I raise, and he re-raises. I'm hoping he has AK, but he rolls over :9d: :9s:, and I drop to around 1200 chips. A couple of hands later, I double up to around 3300 when I go all-in with TT, and get called by 66 by a big stack. A few hands later, I get 99, and raise, hoping someone re-raises so I can 3-bet all-in. I get 1 caller, and the flop comes 9J4. I push, and he calls instantly, showing JJ. Busto.

On Saturday *and* Sunday, during the Second Chance Caesar's tourney, I bubble by losing a race. During the 3 days of tourneys, I lose 6 of 6 races, only holding the overcards(45%) once.

Ticked off, I enter a 10k guaranteed on PokerStars, and get 1-outtered on the final table bubble to bust.

I love this game.
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SpaceLord
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by SpaceLord »

Other poker stuff:

For a bit, I watched Mike Matusow and Scotty Nguyen play in the 10k Omaha tourney right next to each other. I saw a huge crowd on the rail, and saw they were railing Negreanu in the 2k limit event. He was laughing and joking with his fans. I watched the final table of the Stud tournament, with Doyle Brunson, but he busted in 7th after I left.

I saw that, in the hallways of the Rio, they had set up PokerPro heads-up tables, for 5$, you could play heads=up. I actually played against:

Image

Kelly Kim, who final tabled the Main Event last year and won a bit over 1M. Nice guy, even though I *crushed* him during our match, probably because I always had better cards when we got to a flop. :mrgreen:

Teddy "Iceman" Monroe:

Image

as there, as always. The guy should just get a booth, and charge for pictures. It seemed everyone but me wanted their picture with him.

I never saw the Poker Brat, who I always hear is much more friendly when cameras aren't rolling. I did see lots of mid-range pros, not household names, like Brandon Cantu, David "The Big Dragon" Pham, Eskimo Clark, and others.

Now, to try to win a last-minute seat in the ME!!!

:horse:
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Zork
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Zork »

Thanks for the updates SpaceLord. One of my life goals is to play in the WSOP. Right now, I'm content to live vicariously through your adventures.

I hope this doesn't come out the wrong way, but it's comforting to see that no one is immune from running bad (especially someone who is better than me).

I hit a month-long stretch on FTP where I kept losing to 3-2, 3-1 and 4-1 dogs. It always seemed to happen on or close to the bubble during the more expensive games ($76 SnGs). I know it's a part of poker, but it doesn't make it any easier to take.

Good luck and keep the updates coming! :)

-Zork

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by The Meal »

Experiences like that can make one understand why Phil Hellmuth would utter his famous "If it wasn't for luck..." quote.

Cam
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Cam »

To Victoria (and anyone else interested in a good poker book for beginners to intermediate play.

Get Phil Gordon's Little Green Book. Some great insight and math (including the rule of 2's and 4's). It's a great start in my opinion.
"You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves."
-President Andrew Jackson

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Zork
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Zork »

Cam wrote:To Victoria (and anyone else interested in a good poker book for beginners to intermediate play.

Get Phil Gordon's Little Green Book. Some great insight and math (including the rule of 2's and 4's). It's a great start in my opinion.
I'll throw in a second vote for Phil Gordon's Little Green Book. The rule of 2s and 4s make the math a lot easier. I also like his philosophy of being the first person to raise a pot.

I just picked up Daniel Negreanu's Power Hold'em Strategy. I am particularly interested in his "small ball" strategy that many people in this thread have commented on.

-Zork

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Zork »

Victoria Raverna wrote:Anyone know a free online resource or book available to learn strategy to play Texas Hold'Em?

Any advice about how to quickly calculate odds? What I need to remember? How to simplify the calculation to make it easier to do it.

I'm not interested in becoming tournament level players. I just want to be better than beginners.
The "quick-and-dirty" way to calculate your odds, is to use the rule of 4s and 2s:

After the flop (two cards to be shown), multiply the number of outs you think you have by four and that is a rough approximation of your chance of winning.

After the turn (only one card left to be shown), multiply the number of outs you think you have by two.

Hope that helps...

-Zork

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by SpaceLord »

I love the WSOP Main Event:
PokerNews wrote:A huge pot just went down on Blue #30. It was raised preflop from early position by Fernando Gordo to 56,000. Bertrand Grospellier, Scott Cook and Don Tran all called the raise, creating a 4-way pot with more than 225,000 chips in it before a single community card came down.

The flop was :3h: :5d: :Ks:. Gordo, the preflop raiser, had to act first. He bet 155,000 and got calls from Grospellier and Cook both. Only Tran folded.

The turn :3d: paired the board. Gordo fired another 250,000 into the middle. Again Grospellier and Cook both called, creating a gigantic pot of almost 1.5 million chips heading into the river :8d:.

Gordo, perhaps sensing something amiss, finally slowed down. He checked. Grospellier also checkd, bringing the action to Cook.

"I can't do it," Cook said after a few moments. He also checked, taking us to showdown.

Gordo: :Ad: :Kc: - two pair, aces and threes
Grospellier: :Ac: :Kd: - two pair, aces and threes
Cook: :5c: :5h: - a full house, fives ful of threes

Cook dragged the pot to increase his count to about 3 million.
What a frickin' wimp.

In other ME news, my poker buddy Brent Catalano is still alive. He asked me if I wanted to stake him, and I didn't. I'd be getting about 4:1 on my money, and he plays a 40BB stack as well as anyone I know. Oh well.

Go Brent go!
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Vorret »

wow... like someone would check quads or a better full house there...
unbeleivable.
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by SpaceLord »

My buddy busted after shoving 1M over a late position raise with AJ, and ran into QQ. He finished 76th for 68,979.

Good job Brent!
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Vorret »

SpaceLord wrote:My buddy busted after shoving 1M over a late position raise with AJ, and ran into QQ. He finished 76th for 68,979.

Good job Brent!
curious... what were the blinds?
Isgrimnur wrote:
His name makes me think of a small, burrowing rodent anyway.

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by SpaceLord »

Vorret wrote:
SpaceLord wrote:My buddy busted after shoving 1M over a late position raise with AJ, and ran into QQ. He finished 76th for 68,979.

Good job Brent!
curious... what were the blinds?
Blinds: 20000/40000 Ante: 5000. So each orbit was costing 105000.
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by Vorret »

kk
good move then :)
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by paulbaxter »

SpaceLord wrote:I love the WSOP Main Event:
PokerNews wrote:A huge pot just went down on Blue #30. It was raised preflop from early position by Fernando Gordo to 56,000. Bertrand Grospellier, Scott Cook and Don Tran all called the raise, creating a 4-way pot with more than 225,000 chips in it before a single community card came down.

The flop was :3h: :5d: :Ks:. Gordo, the preflop raiser, had to act first. He bet 155,000 and got calls from Grospellier and Cook both. Only Tran folded.

The turn :3d: paired the board. Gordo fired another 250,000 into the middle. Again Grospellier and Cook both called, creating a gigantic pot of almost 1.5 million chips heading into the river :8d:.

Gordo, perhaps sensing something amiss, finally slowed down. He checked. Grospellier also checkd, bringing the action to Cook.

"I can't do it," Cook said after a few moments. He also checked, taking us to showdown.

Gordo: :Ad: :Kc: - two pair, aces and threes
Grospellier: :Ac: :Kd: - two pair, aces and threes
Cook: :5c: :5h: - a full house, fives ful of threes

Cook dragged the pot to increase his count to about 3 million.
What a frickin' wimp.

In other ME news, my poker buddy Brent Catalano is still alive. He asked me if I wanted to stake him, and I didn't. I'd be getting about 4:1 on my money, and he plays a 40BB stack as well as anyone I know. Oh well.

Go Brent go!
He must have been in panic mode there or something. The odds of being behind are not even worth considering, so ANY size bet would have been an improvement. Even an all-in shove might have been taken as a sign of desperation and made quite a bit. Plus he should have at least been hoping that someone made a flush.
No sig, must scream, etc.

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

Post by The Meal »

ARISE! (If you play in my/our weekly/monthly homegame, feel free to go find something sparkly to distract yourself! :lol: )
SpaceLord, in the Original Post, wrote:This is a thread regarding strategy and poker styles.
I'm going to begin a new conversation. I'm not sure there's a point to what I'm doing, though I'd love to hear what the random firing of other folks' neurons would have to discuss on this topic (i.e., don't censor yourself).

I've spent a bit of time playing live poker (I live in the US) this spring and summer, and have naturally gravitated towards multi-table tournaments. I gave the $2-$100 cash game a try in the spring and while I think I ended up getting fairly unlucky (on a short bankroll), I also never got the feeling that I had a massive advantage in that game. So I've moved on. (Were I able to play on large online sites, I think I'd be able to leverage my math analysis background into a consistent, if-not-small, winner. But that's a different topic for a different hypothetical time.)

As the summer progressed, I played in a local card room that regularly runs $60-$100 buy-in tournaments. Blinds progress at 20 minute increments, at a reasonable progression... to a point. From my memory, the structure is (T8000 in starting chips):
T25/50
50/100
100/200
(break, T25 chips removed)
T200/400
300/600
600/1200
(break, T100 and T500s removed, beginning of silly season)
1000/2000
1500/3000
3000/6000 (the huge jump!)
...and pretty irrelevant after this point.

For 90% of my summer, that was the structure. It's been (meaningfully) modified since then, but for the sake of this conversation I'm going to ignore that for now.

Games have run from 1-table through 5-tables, with a pretty heavy emphasis on 3-4 tables. I've probably played in 15 of these tournaments of late. I've made it to the final table no fewer than 11 of those 15 times. Typically the payout structure is that for each table you start with, one player will get paid, with no fewer than three folks getting paid. So 1-table, 2-tables, or 3-tables begin = 3 payouts; 4-tables = 4 payouts, and 5-tables = 5 payouts. Additionally, it's not uncommon (75% of the time) for the folks at the tables to make a side agreement that whomever would bust out just outside the money payments (so the person who came in 4th in a 3-table tournament), would get money out of the prize pool covering their buy-in.

Of those eleven times I've made the final table, I've been that "bubble boy" twice, and I've finished one spot better (4th in a 4-table tournament) once. The other 8 times I've finished one-off the bubble six times, and have finished worse the other two times. The TL;DR version is that I'm going very deep in tournaments but have not even been close to profitable in terms of results.

I've had my share of "bad beats" (me being the favorite when all the chips go into the pot, but not winning the hand), but I'm not going to recount those. There have been a few doozies. I've made some mathematically justifiable plays which haven't worked out (i.e., I had a hand that the math says was likely to be the favorite, but then have happened to run into an even bigger hand) on a couple of occasions. I have come into the final table short stacked and been forced to play "faster" (taking aggressive actions with cards worse than desired based on my tenuous position vs. the rising structure) than I'd like, though that was more an issue earlier in the spring/summer than of late.

I'm pretty convinced that I've been unlucky. Getting unlucky is certainly within the realm of possibility for this sample size. Of course, just about any analytically-minded poker player in a similar situation is going to say the same thing. I have not felt outclassed at the tournament tables (far far far from it), but have arrived at the conclusion that at the point where the game turns into that of "a bingo card," (in the local parlance) I've not had my numbers come up in the hopper. During the more skillful segments of the tournaments, my performance speaks for itself (I generally finish around 15%th when the top 10% gets paid).

But despite that, there's no reason for me to not brush up on my preflop all-in skills (which is what the game turns into when you are deep and the structure dominates your decisions). This is the time of a poker tournament when quality mathematical decisions dominates the thinking process. Don't take that as me thinking the people-skills and reading abilities are not important, it's just that they are reduced in importance compared to earlier in the tournament when you will be playing hands for more bets after the flop has come out. When you're at the shove-or-fold stage, you've basically got one decision to make each hand rather than upwards of ten per hand when the tournament is first starting out.

I've got a tool which helps perform these sorts of analyses, called "PkrCruncher." Given inputs in terms of specific hands or hand ranges, the tool generates your winning percentage. (It does much more than this, but those are outside the realm of the shove-or-fold game.)

Best to show the power of the tool given an example. I'll underline the inputs I've dumped into the analysis tool.

Scenario 1:
Number of players: five
Player One: hand range bottom 85% (not: AA-77, AKs-A7s, KQs-K9s, QJs-QTs, JTs, AKo-ATo, KQo-KTo, QJo), action: fold
Player Two: hand range top 20% (AA-66, AKs-A4s, KQs-K8s, QJs-Q9s, JTs-J9s, T9s, AKo-A9o, KQo-KTo, QJo-QTo, JTo), action: shove all-in
Player Three: hand range bottom 90% (not: AA-77, AKs-ATs, KQs, AKo-AJo, KQo), action: fold
Player Four: hero (see below)
Player Five: hand range: any two random cards

The scenario is meant to look at what two cards the person in the SB would need to call an all-in from the player one off the button. A big part of that equation would be ICM (explained upwards in this thread) which would incorporate how many chips you have compared to the other players at the table, and the specifics of the payouts. I'm going to ignore that here in this post, but instead just talk in terms of your chances of winning the hand at showdown. (Mine doesn't answer the ultimate question of "is it profitable to call?" but gets us meaningfully closer to the answer to that question.)

Obviously the hand ranges, above, are totally arbitrary. The Player Two all-in is not someone who's shoving every hand trying to dominate a bunch of weakies at the table, but a more reasoned player that I find to be more typical at the final table. The Player One and Player Three folds are also my reasoned ranges of typical players in this spot. (I could argue that Player Three isn't quite tight enough, but those ranges are entered into the simulator merely for card-removal effects, which are admittedly pretty minor.) Dealing with Player Five is a bit trickier, as you'd almost rather run two separate simulation scenarios: one where you enter the range of hands with which she'd overcall, and one with the opposite of that range. But for now I'm going to simplify things and assume she plays perfectly (or perfectly random) and that she's only in the hand were she to ultimately win.

So my first question is "what's my gut feeling for hands which'd be >50% to win at showdown" in this scenario. Note that 50% is super arbitrary as the amount of money in the blinds, the sizes of the relative stacks, and the details of the prize pool would all be necessary to decide whether calling would be a profitably play, but mostly I'm doing this to try to get a better gut feeling for how good are certain hands under these conditions.

Without running numbers, I'd guess that 99+, AJs+, KQs, AQo+ would be >50% in this scenario. How'd I do?

99: 55.5%
AJs: 51.4%
KQs: 35.9% (whoops -- I was way off)
AQo: 47.7% (again, whoops)

ATs is 41.1% (so I got that breakpoint correct), and it turns out that 88 is 52.3% while 77 is 49.0% (so my guess of 99 was close). AKo is also good at 51.5%.

Turns out that AA is 90.0%, 72o is 16.4%, and that 32o is 16.0%.

Sort of an interesting experiment in my mind.

One thing that is important when it comes to ranges is that for a tight range (typically tighter than Player Two's top 20%), the presence of all-pairs vs. more high-cards when making that definition. A Top 10% of AA-77, AKs-A9s, KQs-KTs, QJs-QTs, AKo-AJo, KQo performs differently than a top 10% of AA-22, AKs-ATs, KQs, AKo-AQo, KQo, even though they basically have the same number of random cards. This isn't my discovery but something to keep in mind when working with tight ranges and these sorts of analyses. At the top-20% the two ranges (high-card heavy vs. pair-heavy) isn't nearly as important.

Anyway, I expect that I'm going to be running a sequence of numbers like these over the days ahead and was interested in seeing if a discussion of such would give me any additional insights. I'm not committing to sharing anything here in the forums, but would be more likely to do so if there's a back-and-forth conversation taking place.

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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Figured this was the best place for it.

On Sept 1st, I decided to give the Chris Ferguson challenge a go to see what would happen. I'd been putting in 20$ here and there over the last couple of months but always broke out within a couple of days. I made the mistake a lot of players make and gambled my bankroll instead of building a solid foundation and working my way up.

The main rule (as I am playing mostly ring games and very few tournaments) is you buy in for 5% of your bankroll and if you get to 10% invested in a table, you leave when the blinds come around. Simple as pie but the execution can, at times, be maddening. It is so very tempting to move up the ladder quicker than you should and even this time around I did it a couple of times. It bit me once or twice but thankfully not too much. I am just about there where I am not tempted to jump steps.

So how did it go...

(the empty columns are due to non activity, not busted bankroll)
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First week started off fine. Multi tabling the micros, I steadily increased by really being tight. In the micro levels, under .10-.25, there is such a turnaround at tables that no one will notice you being super super tight. They'll call left right and center while you only call with proper hands thus tilting the table in your favour. Can you get unlucky, sure, but the best we can hope for is to put the odds in our favour.

A week in and I was down to 10$ after a series of bad beats. This actually was a blessing in disguise. I went back down to the micros (.80$ buy in) and worked my way back up. Over the next four days, I made it back to 50$ and broke 100$ for the first time a week after that. This was mostly done with the 5%-10% rule with one splurge in there that netted me about 20$.

At the 100$ mark, we're talking 5$ buy in and .05-.10 blinds. Still see some stupid plays but again, tight tight tight and no one notices. The payoff is nice. Broke 150$ a week later and while I've had a couple bad days in there, the progress has been rather steady to the current total of 267$.

I am currently buying in for 13$ at the .10-.25 blind tables. The play is definitely more normal at this level (with a few exceptions) but even with flops seen rates below 10%, I still manage to reach my 10% bankroll much more often than not. I then gently go away and come back with my 5% buy-in. A couple of times I've bought in for 10% trying to go to 20% but it feels wrong now so I am more committed than ever to sticking to the plan.

The next level doesn't come until my bankroll is above 400$ and I am in no rush. I want to keep this steady progression going. I'll update sometime in the future if things continue to progress properly.

I know this won't be of much use to most of you (in the States anyways) but I wanted to share my poker happenings.

Goodnight.
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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Fantastic! I was on the verge of becoming a "set miner" at the micros (seemed more lucrative than mining bitcoins!) when they shut down the games here in the States. I was (and sort of still am) sad that I wasn't able to give it a go.

I have been playing live (mostly tournaments) a decent amount. Part of today's to-do list was to transfer my pen-and-paper journal into something electronic to look at the numbers, but I've only been keeping tabs since the beginning of September. Since you posted your update, I'll try to do the same.

Game on at our place this weekend (though only one seat left). PM for details! :D

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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Stop teasing me with your home games! LOL

I look forward to your results.
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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Where are you playing?
Used to play on Stars... is it wise to play there now?
Isgrimnur wrote:
His name makes me think of a small, burrowing rodent anyway.

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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Alright... not a brag.

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My notes: Started logging live games on September 1st. It's only a coincidence (honest!) that things started off on a positive note ( ;) — I think 99% of all poker "trackings" begin on a positive note — 'tis the nature of the beast, I suppose). Actually that date came about as my post from mid-August got me to refocus on my game (and memorize the appropriate end-game tables from Kill Everyone which address the issue I was having at the time). Good choice on my part...

All 29 entries are live results (of course, I live in the US of A, home of the free and land of the casinos).

Speaking of which, of the 29 entries, 23 are from local casinos. Six are from home games (five in our basement, and one to which we were invited). Four of the 29 entries are for cash games (always $1/$2-$100 games: $1 small blind, $2 big blind, and $100 max bet/raise which is the state law, so not technically no-limit games, but close), and one was a super-satellite attempt into a local Heartland Poker Tour event (which coincides with the biggest dip on the graph, it was a $370 entry). The other 24 are tournaments, 1 a multi-table tournament (MTT) free roll, 5 of the sort we play in our basement, 15 were standard MTTs, and 3 were sit-and-gos (SNGs) only because not enough people showed up to turn them into MTTs. Our in-home games are a lot like SNGs, but we play with the rules a bit from tournament to tournament, so I'm tracking them separately.

Only looking at the 18 non-Super Satellite casino tournament entries now:
The average buy-in price was $74.44. On top of that number, I averaged spending $10/tournament in rebuy fees (a total of 14 rebuys, though only 12 of the 18 tournaments allowed rebuys), and $4.72 per tournament in add-on fees. Combined, the average outlay for playing, then, was just shy of $90 per tournament.

Of those 18 tournaments, I netted positive 7 times, and negative 11 times (never breaking exactly even).

Losses averaged $80.91 on any given tournament when I busted out before the money. Of those tournaments, on average 49% of my opponents finished ahead of me (ranging from 90% when I came in 45th of 50, to 19% when I came in 6th of 27).

Conversely, on my seven net-positive tournaments, I averaged taking home $283.57 per tournament (after a total of $225 went out to the dealers as tips: netting $315.71 per tournament before taking out tips). On average 7% of my opponents finished ahead of me during those tournaments. It's pretty typical for folks to "chop" the prize pool when it gets down to the end: rarely are they played to first place. My best win was a net of $485, and my most meager win was a net of $110. My Return On Investment (ROI) in my wins was 278% (309% if I pretended that I never tipped).

On average for all the tournaments, 32% of my opponents finished ahead of me, and my ROI was 68% (82% without tips!).

A chart (not shown) of just these 18 events would show that my longest winning streak was 2 and my longest losing streak was 6 (early on in September).

More break down (yeah, by now I realized that I'm doing this more for me than for you — sorry about that). I played in two venues, we'll call them The Beaver Home, and the Auric Arches. I much prefer the Beaver Home (12 tournaments) even though the fields tend to be smaller (averaged 26.83 entries per tournament). At the Auric Arches, I played in six tournaments which averaged 49 players per tournament.

My results back up my preferences, I averaged netting +$36.33 (ROI: 55%) in the Auric Arches' tournaments while my performance at The Beaver Home was an average net of +$73.08 (ROI: 73%). I definitely sense a different strength of field between the typical player at each place, and I have to admit that I much prefer the tournament structure (not in terms of blind levels and clock times, which are identical between the two — or as near as makes no difference, but in terms of rebuys and add-ons which I think benefit stronger players: The Beaver Home allows both, the Auric Arches doesn't allow either). In addition the vibe in the room and the competence of the dealers and floor persons at The Beaver Home is off-the-charts better than over at the Auric Arches, which leads to a much better comfort level on my part.

Fun exercise! Thanks for giving me an opportunity to go through all this. Best luck in your future games. :D

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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Vorret wrote:Where are you playing?
Used to play on Stars... is it wise to play there now?
Shit, missed your post, sorry! Yes, pokerstars. Why would it not be wise or have ever not be wise to play there? UltimateBet and Absolute Poker had the superuser issue, not P*. Unless you mean something else that I am aware of. If you have the discipline, try the chris ferguson challenge.

Nice going Meal. While I am sure you miss the online portion of the game, I wish I had the live portion of the game. I have no friends that really play, the casinos here don't allow playing against others so the only option is on the reserve (which is fine and safe) but it's a long ride from where I live and even when I was closer, I never could muster the balls to go alone.
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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On Wednesday this week I sat next to a guy who had obviously never played in a casino. He knew how to play (online + home games) but didn't know some very basic procedures (chip races/color-ups, what to do during breaks, the roles of the various floor persons, etc.). It was cool helping him out. We run our home game in a manner that if someone ever wanted to hitch a ride to the casino (which is about 90 minutes from where we live), they'd feel right at home. It makes us a bit anal in the eyes of most (especially considering our largest ever tournaments have a $20 buy-in and more typical are $5 and $10 tournaments), but it does protect us when anomalous situations come up (as we always know how to handle things without giving preferential treatment to any one person). And of all the home games I've ever attended, we do have the best by far (though I'm a bit biased). We've got a technical writer friend who claims our website is the most organized, anal set of documentation she's ever run across (I'll take full credit for that!) including tips for newbies.

Putting your foot in the door that first time is intimidating. I was there not too many years ago. But if they're doing it right (The Beaver Home) then the next time you come back you'll feel welcome and before too long you'll feel right at home. The Auric Arches do not foster that attitude (though they do have one Tournament Director who does a kick-ass job; I only wish all the floor persons would behave the same way), which sucks as that tends to drive away folks new to the game at the casino poker room level. Anything to bring more folks in is a positive, IMO.

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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Played in an 18-person tournament yesterday. The tournament is set up to have a buy in amount (B dollars), up to two rebuys (R dollars each), and one add-on (A dollars). R is six times smaller than B, and A is one tenth of B. B gets you T10,000 chips, R gets you T10,000 chips, and A gets you T5000 chips so obviously if you're in a position to take R and A, they are imperative (under normal your-house-isn't-discovered-to-be-on-fire conditions). The conditions are that you can purchase any rebuys during the first six levels, and that you take the add-on at the end of the third level. All B's go to the prize pool (so prizes were 18 x B in this case), all R's go to the casino, and all A's go directly to the dealers.

But that's all pretty irrelevant background detail. :)

I probably had my most obviously lucky day ever at the casino. (I say most obvious, as there is sometimes not-so-obvious luck at work, such as when you get AA in the SB and the BB wakes up with KK and calls -- that's a little worse than a 1% chance that your opponent would wake up with such a strong hand that you dominate.) The first three levels were hellish, and I ran my original T10,000 down to T4500. I paid A for the add-on (so I was back up to T9500), but I was in 9th place of nine players at my table. Then for the next three levels I had very similar luck (at one point I had taken my AA up against the player to my right's AQs, and managed to avoid a huge trap he was laying by checking behind on the river when his flush card came, though I did lose about 50% of my stack in the hand as I was betting enough to not give him the odds to try to see his flush card). With about five minutes to go in the sixth level I was looking for any opportunity to get my stub of a stack involved so that I could drop low enough to rebuy and have some chips to work with, but I never saw any cards. I finished the sixth level at T5100 chips (the table average was in the neighborhood of T27,000 chips) and I was by far the shortest stack. The older gentleman sitting to my left was also low in chips (maybe around T17,000) and was lamenting our poor luck with cards. (At the time, I was pep-talking myself with an "at least I didn't have to make any rebuys" speech.)

Not long into the seventh level, I found pocket 4's and shoved my paltry stack into the middle. My neighbor to the left immediately called my bet and I was hoping to be in a race (my pocket pair vs. two over cards) but fearful that he had a better pair. He ended up having AA, and I was 18% to win the hand. Flop was safe for him, but I got my 4 on the turn and it held on the river. Yay me! I wasn't very excited (and never outwardly excited) as I had turned what amounted to a belly-lint sized stack of chips into 2x as much belly lint, but staying in is better than busting out, and I'm pretty good at not being self-defeatist so I kept plugging away...

Two hands later, the trappy player (he put down a great trap against me during the first level and got two extra streets of value because of his tricky play, which goes a long way towards why I was short stacked from the get-go) that was sitting two to my right put in a min-raise preflop from MP. I didn't give him much credit, but there wasn't a lot of conviction in my assumption for his hand strength. I called from the button with QTo, wanting to see a flop. It's a bad play on my part as I put out somewhere between 10% and 15% of my stack with a call with a weakish hand, but I justified it as 1) I had position, which is less incentive to shove all in or fold; 2) I had a good feeling for how this player played, figuring that ABC poker would work out against him in the long run; and 3) I wanted to win a pot against this guy after he outclassed me two hours earlier! (3 isn't very good justification, but it's honest!) Flop comes KJ4 rainbow, giving me an open-ended straight draw, holding a number of chips which is just slightly larger than the size of the pot. Seat 10 checked, I shoved, and he insta-called with... QQ. Again he was making a trappy play (and not a good one, IMO) and for whatever reason he made a questionable call on that board, though it turns out that it was correct. When all the chips went in, I was 35% to win the hand... Which I did, when the A came on the turn, giving me Broadway. Double up! And now I was in the ball park of the chip average in the tournament.

So, 18% x 35% = 6.3% chance of winning both hands.

The final piece of luck came about one orbit later. We had finally gotten the tournament down to 10 players, which meant redrawing for seats and moving to the final table. I got seated three to the right of the older gentleman from the first hand. I find myself in the cut-off (to the right of the dealer) with a pretty :Ac: :Jc: and looking at about T21,000 in my stack, blinds of T400/T800, my perception of the tightness of the three seats who come after me, I put in a decent raise (T2200). The button folds, the SB folds, and my buddy in the BB shoves all in for T7400. I didn't like my chances, but I reluctantly called (a questionable decision considering his probable range of hands vs. my holding). He flipped up :Ad: :Ah: and all I could say is "I owe you one." I owed him more than that when I caught my flush on the turn, knocking him out of the tournament. I was 13% to win that hand when the chips went in.

6.3% x 13% = 0.8% chance of me winning all three hands.

Of course all that luck wouldn't mean anything if I didn't outlast at least five of my remaining eight opponents at the final table (top prizes were 9x B, 5.4x B, and 3.6x B to the top three places). When we got to the final four, we agreed to donate 1/3rd B each to whomever came in fourth place ("paying the bubble"), and after playing a bit three handed, I convinced the other two guys at the table to take 5.5x B from the direct prize pool (leaving me 7x B for myself).

Bink!

It didn't have to work out that way, but it somewhat feels like this one made up for all those near-money finishes I was whining about back in August (about eight posts above this one).

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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Updating through the end of October. Just tournaments played in casinos here:
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I did really well in September and began October on a heater, but finished the month with a whimper. Tomorrow MHS and I will be playing in a $5k freeroll and are hopeful for a big score!

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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No more cards for me until December (where MHS and I will start out the month in Vegas!)

Casino Tournaments
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Home Games
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Running Total of every time I've sat down and played poker since I started keeping diligent notes
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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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No more cards for me until December (where MHS and I will start out the month in Vegas!)
That's got to be hard. Going a whole two days without cards.

I was debating Vegas in December. I decided to take my vacation days elsewhere though. Now I'm debating Vegas in January or February while Southwest still have $59 air fair when my vacation time resets. I've had the gambling bug pretty serious for a long time now.

Luck to you.

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Re: Poker Strategy Discussion

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:P I regularly go almost a whole week without playing!

Our Vegas trip doesn't promise to be too poker-conducive. We're both feeling pretty broke at the moment (for various reasons), and mostly this is a trip with other casual gamblers. I think there may be only one other person who's ever played casino poker attending, and I'm guessing he may be interested in trying to get in a $50 tournament or so. We will see.

~*~*~*~

Since this is turning into the de facto poker thread... I wanted to get some folks to pass their eyes over a proposal regarding our home poker game.

Right now we have folks over to our place about three times a month to play cards: one Saturday a month and every other week (either on Tuesday or Wednesday night). On the Saturdays that we play, we tend to run two tournaments, a warm-up tournament which lasts about an hour-and-a-half, and a main event (which rotates through a few different styles including ante-structured, bounty, and cheap-rebuys). Everything is hold'em, and it's not at all like dealer's choice games that you've played in the past. (Our weeknight games can turn into something more like that, however, with cash games being a frequent option.)

The details can be found on our website: Felt Club. We break up our weekend games into stretches called "Seasons" which last for months and months. December's game will conclude Season IV which began back in May.

For Season V, I'm thinking of trotting out a new idea. It would only affect players if they wanted to (it's an opt-in sort of thing), and casual players would still be able to drop in and play whenever it fit into their schedule. But it'd be a lot easier on Shannon and me if we managed to get a more regular group of attendees, and so we were thinking: a poker league! Folks in the league would pay a bit extra into the tournament kitty and that money would be set aside until the end of the Season when it would all be awarded in one gigantic prize pool. Depending on how well folks did leading up to that point, they'd earn more points which would then be translated into starting chips for that final tournament.

Since we call our regular games Felt Club, I thought I'd call this poker league Project Mayhem. If you're bored, curious, intrigued, or anything else, I'd love to have folks put their eyes over this proposal and give any potential feedback. I'm hoping to send the (completed) proposal out to the regular attendees in the days ahead.

Thanks!

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