100BB and Beyond

  1. 2008-04-22 11:32:52

    Dealing with huge downswing

    A good player must be able to handle failure and learn from mistakes. He/she must be able to analyze the mistakes made and avoid making them in the future.

    I have been playing well in No limit cash game until last month. I played 25NL. I was winning at 4PTBB/100.
    In the next weeks I lost several buy-ins. I ran bad in some occasions and played bad in some.
    My bankroll is only 50% of what it was at the start of the downswing.
    I am taking a much needed break right now.
    Though there were many coolers (set over set, etc) and bad beats, I played bad in some spots.
    I learnt many lessons during this stretch.

    1. Do NOT try too many new things especially when they are not suitable to the limits you play at. I incorporated too many aggressive moves into my game because they are +ev if opponent fold a decent percentage of time. But at these limits the players are not capable of folding.

    2. Playing high volume while trying new moves is not good. I was able to put in lot of volume but all my plays failed because I was not able to get good reads.

    3. Not thinking enough before I put in a big part of my stack. I should be thinking about the hands I can beat and the hands that beat me constantly.

    4. I should be protecting my stack and not the pot. I was committing my stack with mediocre hands even after the opponent showed aggression. I was trusting SPR too much instead of accurate hand reading.

    5. I tend to lose concentration around 1 hour. I should stop playing immediately and take a break. I made some horrible plays at the end of some sessions.

    6. Playing to cover losses.

    7. I should also stop paying off to see the showdown. I would pay 20BB with middle pair into 40Bb pot on the river because it is only 5$. These crying calls quickly add up.

    8. I should stop being overambitious. All I need is 2$ profit (8BB/100 or 4 PTBB/100) on each 25$ table after 1 hour session (~100hands) to show a good win rate. Of course there will be variance from table to table.

    But there are some things I improved my play.

    1. 3-betting. My non showdown winnings improved tremendously.

    2. I tightened up preflop. This avoided some bad spots I used to find myself.

    3. I also stopped calling raises with speculative hands like suited connectors.

    4. I stole a lot of blinds and small pots.

    5. I stopped playing out of position.

    I want to start fresh after the break.
    Having Omaha as a side game will help me enjoy playing and reduce my variance.
    I plan to reduce number of tables to 2.
    I also want reduce the number of bluff/semi bluff moves.
    I want to put in enough volume but at the same time make sure I am playing good poker.

    I hope to play next 10k hands with complete focus and see if I can win in poker again.

    Posted by Krishna at 2008-04-22 11:32:52 | permalink | Discuss (6 comments)

  2. 2008-04-07 03:34:00

    Omaha High lo tournament

    I have recently picked up playing Omaha in all forms.
    I was playing cash but this weekend I saw this tournaments with entry fee of $2 and wanted to give it a try.
    But they are pot limit unlike the fixed limit I have played till now.
    Also the tournament dynamics are different.

    Tournament 1:

    There were 530 players.
    I started out slow and had low stack.
    I got lucky when I doubled up even though opponent had me dominated with AA hand.
    After that I started playing well. I found out as long as you have average stack you are one double up away from a huge stack.
    I had third biggest stack but played bad one hand and doubled up a medium stack good player. He placed 3rd.
    So I played patiently and reached final table.
    There were 5 players left and 3 of them had huge stacks and one had slightly less than mine.
    I decided to play for win than playing for 4th place.
    The blinds forced me to gamble and lost my stack when I had a set on the flop. I know a middle set is nothing on the flop in Omaha but this was short handed with the pot being equal to my stack. So I put in the rest of the stack and the opponent caught his flush on the river.

    I finished 5th out of 530.

    I am starting to love Omaha 8 because it has low variance.

    Tournament 2:

    Busted early. No excuses. Just played horribly.

    Tournament 3:

    I am typing this live...
    This started with 730 players.
    I got many AAxx hands this tournament but I got no action.
    Overall my play is mediocre. I had below average average stack through out the tournament.
    I need to improve my push/fold in tournament. I have no idea of hand strength in all in situations.
    I am 25/28 with 6 BB stack.
    I picked up AA84 in SB and pushed. No callers. I pick up limped in money.
    I pick up AA2J next hand. Pushed and doubled up when some one called with KKxx.
    I just went up to 7th from 25th in these two hands. Chip leader has only double my stack.
    The blinds are very high at 1500/300 and chip leader has only 40 BB.
    It is going slow now because only good players are left and the pots are being split.
    I am 11/19 now after being card dead.
    8/15 and now 10/14 .... 11/12.... 9/12 ....6/10....
    Made the final table!! 2 out of 3 is not bad huh!
    Blinds are 5k/10k.
    I finished after pushing A3xx and the big stack called. I was only a small favorite and lost.

    I finished 9th.

    There was another player with same stack size as mine who finished 2nd because chip leader destroyed everyone else. Of course he played well enough not to get blinded out.
    This proves that you don't have to get super aggressive with short stack on final table.
    If your opponents fight you move up one place.
    I wish I can play with such patience.

    Posted by Krishna at 2008-04-07 03:34:00 | permalink | Discuss (7 comments)

  3. 2008-04-02 02:05:30

    Why play with 2 cards when you can play with 4?

    So I wanted to try this new game called Omaha.
    I have played the pot limit omaha version online which has lot of action.
    But I did not play the hi-lo version.
    So I decided I will try the game using a portion of my Hold'em profits.

    So I sit down at 4/8 limit Omaha Hi-Lo table.
    This game also had half kill which means if a player scoops whole pot he/she will post blind of 6$.
    This is a game with lot of regulars and generally there are only one or two tables.
    I sit down with only 20BB which is more than enough for a limit game if you do not spew playing trash.

    I play very tight but blinds eat me up for few rotations.
    I was taking time to read the flop and the regulars were calling time.
    I told them they need fish like me to donate.
    I pick up few hands and win small pots.
    I have hard time remembering my holdem hands.
    So I do not remember any of the hands.

    I played good hands, played only strong draws.
    I even folded a small full house on the turn because this is omaha.
    Quads were shown several times and straight flush twice.

    I won a lot of lo hands with nut lo.
    People would play second best hands to the river.

    The fish had no chance in this game.
    They would sit in with 50 bleed slow and go allin with no idea how strong their hand is.

    But what I also noticed is even for a good player, playing loose just does not work.
    I saw huge stacks going bust just trying to see one card after another.

    Even when I started to limp in with good hands not hitting the flop or paying to see the turn can bleed your chips away.
    I missed some huge combo draws and I had some horrible river beat when my 2 got counterfeited.
    When I had AA23 double suited I 4bet preflop only to miss the flop completely when it came KKT. LOL.

    I played till the table broke late in the night and left.
    I did not make expert plays or well timed bluffs. Some times I went too far with the draws. Inspite of that I was able to double my stack because I played premium hands.
    Omaha 8 anyone??

    Posted by Krishna at 2008-04-02 02:05:30 | permalink | Discuss (6 comments)

  4. 2008-03-31 23:21:34

    NL 1/2 Live session

    After several losing and break even sessions, I was wondering if I can even play live.
    But wanting to get some experience I headed down to LC.
    I wanted to play 4/8 Omaha 8 but the table was super busy so I sat in NL hoping I will catch some cards.
    I sat down with 50BB.

    Hand 1

    I just sat down and was praying I get to good start instead of being card dead for an hour.
    I pick up in UTG+1 and raise to 10 and get 3 callers.
    Flop comes . Great flop but with three opponents I could still lose. I figured I was ahead of these loose opponents and decided to get my money in.
    I checked, one opponent UTG+2 bets pot (40). Others fold and I go all in. he called feeling he is pot committed. He said he has T and my hand is good after turn and river.
    Why limp raise KK when the loose table will call your UTG+1 raise?? :-)

    I folded lot of hands after this and I was very very patient.

    Hand 2

    I was in SB or BB. 3 limpers and a tight button (Stack 60) raises to 20.
    I pick up .
    I should have just folded it right there with all the limpers behind.
    In the whole session I think that is the only mistake I made.
    I call and everyone calls!!
    Flop comes 9 high. I check because I knew I was beat.
    Three guys go all in and I fold obviously. A flopped set got busted by straight and flush draw and the original raiser was upset and left. He probably had AA, KK.

    Hand 3

    I was in BB and checked my
    Flop comes
    I bet 10. UTG player who doubled me up calls.
    Turn is blank. He was loose so I thought he had Ax or pocket pair. So I bet turn 20. He called again.
    Now the third club comes on the river.
    Now I knew I was ahead on flop and turn.
    Here I had plenty of chips behind and wanting to pot control and let him bluff I check called 40.
    He showed A8 offsuit.
    He was upset but did not say anything.
    Another medium pot and I am rolling.

    Hand 4

    I was in BB and checked my into 2 limpers.
    Flop comes . I bet 10 get 2 callers.
    Turn is .
    A check would look suspicious here and would make me no money.
    I bet 30 and take it down.
    Would you slow play this?

    I am starting to like jacks now. ;-)

    Hand 5

    I was on button and I open limped with
    Only one opponent.
    Flop comes . he checks I bet 10.
    Turn comes a
    He leads 10 and I thought and called.
    River (blank) gets checked and he said "Good call" and mucked.
    I discussed this hand with another buddy and he told me I should raise the turn for various reasons.

    1. Value from 33,44.
    2. Fold out made hands like 77,9x.
    3. Charge a single big club and straight draws or even two high cards.

    I thought I played well but this hand told me how much I need to develop my skills.
    A lot of us want to show down cheaply and avoid huge risks.
    Pot control is on our minds and we stop thinking what is the right play.
    If you look at that hand my 66 was very susceptible and I should have raised the turn.
    Instead I turned into a calling station and some how won the pot.
    Any feedback on this hand?

    !Hand 6 - Nice flop!
    I was on button and I limped with
    Flop comes
    One opponent bets 15 another raises allin to 50.
    I wanted more callers into my nuts so I do my act and call.
    No one fell for that. LOL.
    The allin showed for a flopped set.
    The turn and river blanked.
    I said "Sorry man" and I meant it.
    I know how much it hurts when you flop a set and lose the hand.
    Finally - my luck is turning around.

    After this hand I had quadrupled my buyin. I had never sat with so many chips at the table.
    My name was called for Omaha and I had cut short this nice little session.
    I took my chips cashed out most and took few to Omaha game. I will post that session in a different post.

    Session summary:

    1. Only one big mistake.
    2. Never lost a showdown
    3. Good reads on everyone.
    4. Stayed out of trouble and kept pots small out of position.
    5. Ran hot.
    6. Ace magnets held up.
    7. Made biggest profit ever in one session which covered my 100BB loss with top set QQQ.
    8. I have a live bankroll now although very small.

    Posted by Krishna at 2008-03-31 23:21:34 | permalink | Discuss (4 comments)

  5. 2008-03-21 22:20:33

    BRAG : Won my first MTT

    I won my first 45 man MTT yesterday online.
    In fact I won two in succession and cashed in one more.
    BEAT: It is only micro stakes ($1) and so I made a tiny profit.
    I also know most of you have won much bigger tournaments but this is a good start for me.

    I won a lot of 9 man SNGs and cashed in MTTs but never won anything in MTTs.

    With these wins I cashed 3 out of the 5 I was playing simultaneously after not cashing in 6 straight.
    One word - variance!

    But it was good to make right decisions and of course I got lucky!

    Overall I think I play well in MTTs but the variance is hard to take.
    But ROI of 100% is what keeps me motivated.
    I know if I play enough volume I will win enough.

    I am not bankrolled for low stakes so I will stay in micro stakes even though I am ready.

    Posted by Krishna at 2008-03-21 22:20:33 | permalink | Discuss (3 comments)

  6. 2008-03-21 21:52:00

    Do you like mid pairs?

    After the recent experiences I was getting comfortable with live play.
    So I tried 1/1/2 NL at LC.
    Started with 50BB.
    Played few hands, did not catch anything and was down to 80$ stack.
    Then this hand happened.

    Hand #1

    Picked up in UTG
    Being card dead for a long time, I was willing to gamble my buyin against two over cards.
    So if raise UTG I was afraid I will not get action. So I limped to to reraise someone.
    The table folded around and SB makes it 24.
    I called after making a commitment decision that with no over cards I would go allin.
    Flop comes . SB bets 20 into 48 and I go allin.
    He insta called and showed .
    Turn and river blanked and I was punished for overplaying medium pair.
    I am starting to think 88-JJ are like low pairs. I should try and play them like low pairs or play them in position ready to give up facing aggression.


    1. Not raising preflop - his raise can mean anything. If I had raised his actions would have given me more information. A small raise to 8 would have been enough.
    2. Playing like and . preflop. I should have been more disciplined. Being card dead sometimes makes you overplay exactly these types of hands.
    3. Reading opponent - I put his range on two overcards , and total steal but weighed it heavily against overcards and steal. He was a solid player and he will not bet 24 to just steal 6$. If he had small pair he would have called being out of position.
    4. His flop bet screams that he has a monster. if he had AQ, AK he would have checked or gone allin trying to steal. I took the bait so easily. Here is where I could have used information from preflop if I raised.

    Lessons learnt:

    • Bet early in streets to know where you are at even if that gives away your range of hands.
    • Do not overplay mediocre hands even if you are short stacked. Good opponents know that you are tight and will only play with hands that are ahead of your range.
    • Give credit to opponents who are playing solid.

    I took the rebuy for another 50BB.
    I did not catch any cards but took down small pots with cbets in position and preflop raises.
    I was getting tired and was unable to remember what happened on the flop and the turn when I was betting the river.

    So I ended the session down 60BB.

    Posted by Krishna at 2008-03-21 21:52:00 | permalink | Discuss (0 comments)

  7. 2008-03-15 16:29:15

    Live session - tiny profit

    Had a very long session at 1/2 at LC last night.

    Got there after dinner and sat down at a very easy table with 50BB. Only two other players was deep stacked and they were solid.

    Played tight initially. I only called with junk from blinds getting great pot odds. When I raise, I was not hitting the flop and I did not want to cbet into 3 callers.

    Hand #1

    Picked up at UTG+1. I raised to 10 and got one short stack(stack 45) caller. Flop comes
    I was pot committed so I checked to let him bet. I knew he would bet with no or showing. I was drawing too! I caught an 8 and took it down. He mucked. I doubt if he even had a pair.

    After this I was feeling confident and stacked up to 110BB. But I went card dead for the next hour and did not hit even one flop. I think I hit top pair one time in BB with and folded it to flop bet from button not knowing what other checkers would do.
    After one hour my stack was down to 70BB and it was just very very frustrating.
    But I knew hands come in bunches and waited patiently.
    I think this was one skill I improved during this session.

    Hand #2

    Picked up on the button. Lot of limpers and I called
    Flop comes giving me pair and flush draw which is a favorite against many many hands.
    However I was drawing slim against two pair or a set.
    One deep stack player bets - apparently with an .
    I raise to 40 and another stort stack calls. Original bettor folds.
    I hit a heart on the turn and took it down.
    I bet both of them had no idea I was the favorite.

    After this hand I was almost even.
    Some other hands

    1. I finally caught an A with AQ and bet on flop took it down.
    2. Had 77 on J high flop against a loose caller who plays any two cards. Cbet the flop, checked turn. River did not complete the flush so a bet took it down.
    3. Caught trip 8s with 85 from BB slow played it on draw heavy board to the river because players were short and took down a medium pot. I could have lost money letting them draw to flush but I was confident of my reading skills on these players. These were players who buyin for 10BB-30BB and are hoping for triple ups. They play big cards and don't draw as much. They see their pair on the flop and go allin. I have nothing against short stackers and I play short stack myself but 10BB is just ridiculous. They are not maximizing their profits when they hit and will blind out before they hit.

    *I had small pockets several times and did not catch a set even once.

    • Biggest hand was the Q high flush

    Cliff Notes:
    Patient session led to 20BB profit

    Posted by Krishna at 2008-03-15 16:29:15 | permalink | Discuss (1 comment)