random thoughts and some hands.

So my post the other day shocked and amazed the crap out of me for two reasons -- the first being that after sitting down and reminiscing, I sure have spent a lot of time playing poker, so much, in fact, that I am appalled at my lack of focus at the tables and high frequency of donking off my stack as of late. The second thing that blew my mind was how easy it was for me to get carried away and bust out a 72 page novel that I should have titled 'The Chronicles of Moniquer' (coming soon to a theater near you). I remember how brutally painful writing anything school-related was, and was shocked at the relative ease at which I cranked out that monstrosity. I'm not going to promise that I'll keep the posts short, because I probably won't. Once I get rolling, I'm unstoppable... much like Wesley Snipes (remember kids, always bet on black). Anyway, I'm probably going to interject a lot of randomness into this blog, whether it be life related, my views on current events, some cool new gadgetry that I've recently heard about (read: iPhone -- how friggin' sweet is this bad boy?), or other fun things that I want to post about. It's my damn party, and you'll just have to deal with it, okay? For those of you who are just interested in the poker stuff though, I'll commit right now to always posting the important stuff after my ramblings. Feel free to skip to that if you couldn't care less about my silly movie references and links to cool shit. However, as before, if you fall into this category I hope you choked on your Christmas ham and run poorly in your next session. (Not really, but I kinda do...)

Anyway, a friend recently pointed me towards the the writing of Chuck Klosterman. While I haven't actually read any of his stuff yet, I was shown an excerpt from his book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto entitled "23 Questions I Ask Everybody I Meet in Order to Decide if I Can Really Love Them." Absolute hilarity, in my opinion. While I don't want to ruin everyone's inevitable Google search of this topic, I will, however, leave you all with one of the questions for you to ponder and answer. I might post some more later, you never know. You'll have to wait and find out... (oooooh, the suspense must be agonizing):

Your best friend is taking a nap on the floor of your living room. Suddenly, you are faced with a bizarre existential problem: This friend is going to die unless you kick them (as hard as you can) in the rib cage. If you don’t kick them while they slumber, they will never wake up. However, you can never explain this to your friend; if you later inform them that you did this to save their life, they will also die from that. So you have to kick a sleeping friend in the ribs, and you can’t tell them why.

Since you cannot tell your friend the truth, what excuse will you fabricate to explain this (seemingly inexplicable) attack?

----- Poker Stuff ------

If you read my behemoth post the other day, and actually got through it all, you may have noticed that I decided to start the year playing strictly $25NL with a bankroll of $1000. Since making this executive decision, I've hit the tables fairly hard, playing three days so far this week with sessions of about 1000 hands each. This is a fairly normal session for me, since I work 9-5 (at least) and am currently only 6 tabling at FullTilt. As I get more comfortable, I might increase the number of tables I play, since I don't plan on jumping stakes until I hit my goal of +40 buyins at the level (at present, my setup is dual monitor, a 24" widescreen lcd and a 17" lcd, so 10 tables on FullTilt or PokerStars is definitely possible with some overlap).

I think that for the most part, I've been playing pretty solid poker, running at around a VPIP of 18, PFR 15, and Agg 5. While I think my VPIP might be a little low, it seems as though at these stakes on FT that the more often I'm coming in for raises preflop, the more animosity I generate towards myself. While this is certainly a great thing when I'm hitting hands, I also tend to be losing a good deal of medium sized pots due to continuation bets running into tons of resistance. I'd be interested in hearing everyone's thoughts on c-betting with bottom pair, mid pair, and more importantly, air, in isolated pots in position and out of position at this level. In any case, I was up around 2.5 buyins until last night's session, where i dropped 2 back on a mixture of bad situations and suspect play on my own part. I'll post a few of the hands I'd like some input on, with a little bit of background on each. I really value any and all input, so don't be shy!

Hand 1:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
5 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is SB with 9♣ T♣
UTG folds, CO calls, Button calls, Hero calls, BB checks.
Flop: 8♣ 5♣ 7♦ ($1, 4 players)
Hero bets $0.75, BB raises to $1.5, CO calls, Button folds, Hero raises to $7.75, BB raises all-in $23.45, CO folds, Hero calls.
Turn: Q♦ ($49.4, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $49.4)
River: 2♣ ($49.4, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $49.4)
Results:
Final pot: $49.4
Hero showed 9c Tc
BB showed 9s 6h

Villain in this hand is 46/23/3, so I wasn't really sure what he was on. What do you think about the aggressive nature of the play at these limits against such a LAG player? I figured to be ahead of almost anything on the flop and didn't mind getting it all in right then and there. He actually had typed into the chat box before he shoved that he had flopped the nuts, but since I was 6 tabling I didn't see it until after the hand. Unfortunate for him... not like that would have stopped me at that point.


Hand 2:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
5 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is Button with T♠ A♠
UTG folds, CO raises to $0.85, Hero raises to $2.9, 2 folds, CO calls.
Flop: K♠ Q♠ A♣ ($6.15, 2 players)
CO checks, Hero checks.
Turn: J♥ ($6.15, 2 players)
CO bets $3.75, Hero calls.
River: 5♦ ($13.65, 2 players)
CO bets $8.25, Hero raises all-in $24.8, CO folds.
Uncalled bets: $16.55 returned to Hero.
Results:
Final pot: $30.15

Villain is 15/10/inf over a relatively small subset of hands, although I hadn't been getting involved with him at all. I don't know if checking the flop was a smart move, but I figured that he hit it pretty hard since he was so aggressive in the past but checked this flop for me. Obviously the turn was a huge card for me, and I still had a great chance of improving to a flush on the river. I called behind on the turn in hopes that he would lead out on the river, and I could get him all in. I'd like to hear thoughts on how you would go about maximizing the amount you think I could extract from the villain on this particular hand. I don't really see any other line on the river, but a raise on the turn might be warranted. Thoughts? Oh, and any comments on 3betting the ATs preflop in position would be nice as well. I like to mix it up and would probably only be doing this 15-20% of the time, with a higher probability if I was out of position and feeling frisky.


Hand 3:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
5 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is Button with 9♥ Q♠
UTG calls, CO folds, Hero raises to $1.1, SB folds, BB calls, UTG folds.
Flop: K♣ J♥ T♣ ($2.55, 2 players)
BB bets $1.25, Hero raises to $5, BB calls.
Turn: 8♠ ($12.55, 2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $8.5, BB folds.
Uncalled bets: $8.5 returned to Hero.
Results:
Final pot: $12.55

Villain is 28/11/5. Basically, what I'm looking for here is advice on the optimal line to take for maximizing EV when you flop quite a strong hand on a scary board. I think the reraise on the flop might have been slightly low, but does the turn bet look reasonable? I was contemplating a check-raise to fool an aggressive player into thinking I missed the flush draw, but hadn't played enough hands with him to know if he would take the free card a majority of the time.


Hand 4:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
5 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is Button with A♣ A♦
2 folds, Hero raises to $0.85, SB calls, BB calls.
Flop: K♥ 8♠ 4♦ ($2.55, 3 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $2, SB calls, BB folds.
Turn: 9♠ ($6.55, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $5.75, SB raises all-in $16.35, Hero calls.
River: 2♠ ($39.25, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $39.25)
Results:
Final pot: $39.25
Hero showed Ac Ad
SB showed 9c 8d

Villain is 72/2.5/0.8 over a decent subset of hand. I don't think that I can get away from this hand here, seeing as though I'm getting almost 3:1 on my money, but I'm interested to see any thoughts and/or additional lines that you all may have taken. I'm really quite interested in this hand, because I feel as though playing big hands against these super loose passive players at this limit is quite difficult for me. I tend to have too much confidence in my overpairs and TPTK than I should against them, which I would classify as a major leak in my game right now.


Hand 5:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
6 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is SB with K♦ K♠
UTG raises to $0.85, 2 folds, Button raises to $2, Hero raises to $6.5, 2 folds, Button calls.
Flop: 5♦ A♠ 9♥ ($14.1, 2 players)
Hero bets $8.5, Button raises all-in $19.6, Hero calls all-in $10.1.
Uncalled bets: $1 returned to Button.
Turn: T♥ ($51.3, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $51.3)
River: 2♠ ($51.3, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $51.3)
Results:
Final pot: $51.3
Button showed Ac Qh
Hero showed Kd Ks

Villain is 17/10/4 over quite a few hands. Basically, this is a classic overplaying of KK when the A hits in my mind, but I'm just wondering how often you guys are leading out into this flop after aggressively raising preflop, and when you do, how much. Since I'm getting almost 4:1 after he shoves with the line I took, I think I almost have to call on the river, but I really did put myself into a bad spot.


Hand 6:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
6 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is CO with K♥ J♣
2 folds, Hero raises to $0.85, 2 folds, BB calls.
Flop: K♣ 2♥ Q♦ ($1.8, 2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $1.5, BB calls.
Turn: J♠ ($4.8, 2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $3, BB calls.
River: 8♥ ($10.8, 2 players)
BB bets $7, Hero folds.
Uncalled bets: $7 returned to BB.
Results:
Final pot: $10.8

Villain is 13/9/1.1 and seemed be playing a pretty solid, yet solid, game. The two check / calls, followed by a big bet into the relatively blank river screamed KQ or set to me, but I was wondering how often you all are laying down two pair here. It seemed like a pretty nit move at the time, and I really kinda struggled to let the hand go, but upon further review I really think it was probably the correct play.

i amM0NIKER at 5:20 PM  

2 comments:

Smaptastic said... January 23, 2007 at 5:48 PM  

Hey man - thanks for the comment. I'm trying to learn to deal with the coolers and suckouts, and doing better every day at limiting my losses. I've adopted a bit more of a positional LAG style recently and it's been working wonders, it just takes a lot more caution.

Anyway, hope everything is going well. Take it easy :)

Colin said... April 12, 2007 at 11:45 AM  

Hand 1:

I love it from a purely mathematical basis. OESFD, chance to stack a loose guy....great play. Plus it sets you up to exploit big cards later.

Hand 2:

I love the 3-bet in position. His call (naturally) makes me think of a pocket pair, maybe even a high pocket pair. The turn indicates QQ/JJ, but it's possible he had AA/KK. A 4bet by him PF would have sealed that.

Hand 5:

Ugly. Shove or fold that flop (80/20), with that much pf action.
I don't like a reraise on the turn. It's possibly he had a big pocket pair, but also 88-TT. Calling on the turn gave him some hope that his hand was good and let him lead on the river, as you represented a possibly flush draw.

nh

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