Saturday, December 15, 2007

Post GC Comments

Well, I'm back. I'm pretty wiped out, but I'll get down what I can remember.

I played for 4.5 hours and lost 185. Which isn't too bad, because at one point I was down over $300 (then I got back up to down only 140 or so, then I lost missed a few draws).

Overall, I think I played ok, but I think I wasn't nearly as aggressive as I should be and was on the losing side of some big pots. I'm not going to blame only bad beats though -- I made my share of mistakes. I finally left around 10:30 when I couldn't really spot any fish at my table... there were one or two guys that played too many hands, but everybody was pretty tight. To put it in perspective, we chopped blinds maybe 3 times a round, and maybe once we had more than three to the flop each 9 hands. I thought Saturday was when all the party people are supposed to be there!

Focus Items:

  1. Pay attention to the table and trust my reads. I feel like I did this pretty well. I knew who was solid and who wasn't, and who was tight and who wasn't. There was one maniac that was raising 80% of his hands that really kind of tightened everybody up. I made some folds on the turn when I thought I was beat, and sometimes on the flop. Yet, I know I was folding too much (more later). I'll give myself a B-.
  2. Don't chicken out on turn and river value bets. This was a tough one today because I didn't really have that many situations where I had clear river value bets. Usually, I was obviously way in the lead, or obviously behind. Give myself a B? The corollary to this was I was chickening out on a lot of other raises -- raising in position, raising KQ preflop, etc. Maybe I should give myself a C- instead.
  3. Respect raises. This I give myself a C-. Not because I didn't respect raises, but I respected them too much. See the chickening out part on #2. The part I did well was thinking about their range when I was raised, but often I felt like I still needed to call based on the odds I was getting.
A few topics I should mention from the night:

The Maniac:

I have never seen someone run a limit table like this guy. He really did raise 80% of his hands and bet down to the river. The crazy part was he kept hitting two pair, straights, flushes, etc. and got paid off, so he had $800+ stacked in front of him. Typical action would go limp, limp, maniac raise, I fold K2o, cold call, cold call, call, call so we'd get these jacked up pots with 5 players in them. Then he'd fire on the flop, turn and river unless someone raised him. If he had a piece or draw, he'd call down, and occasionally he'd fold.

I tried to adapt since I had position on him and look for places to three-bet him to isolate, but my best hands were K9o (should I isolate him with those? I'm more worried about having the others call or raise me with better hands...). Seriously, I got Q2 and 84o so many times it isn't even funny. I did finally three-bet him with 99 in position, flopped an overpair (774 board), filled up on the turn, and he paid me off to the river. Did I mention all my luck wasn't bad tonight?

Bad Beats:

I had a few MONSTER pots where I took beats in, all of them related to trip 9s:

Hand 1. Early in the session, I hold AJo and raise in late position and get 4-5 callers. Flop comes J94 with two suits. Guy in mid position bets, I raise, and pretty much everyone else folds (someone may have gone along for the ride, but they don't matter). He calls. He is one of the fishier guys at the table, playing 50% of the hands and doing a lot of calling. His lead bet concerns me a little, but not after he just calls. I figure I most likely have the best hand here.

Turn comes an ace, he checks to me, I bet, and he insta-calls. At this point I love my hand -- if he has two pair, I'm beating him. I still think to myself "Ace or Jack, ace or jack." Because now there's a flush draw out.

River comes a blank, he checks, I value bet and he tries to beat me to the pot again with his call. I figure he has top pair at this point, so I roll my hand over and say "Top two." He rolls over 99 for the set. Wha? How does he not three-bet me on the flop? In a way, I think I lost the minimum on this hand. All he could say was "I was afraid you had pocket aces." Ok then, sir. Good luck getting value for your hands.

Hand 2. Later on, in mid-early position I limp behind the maniac with A9o (yeah, sometimes he doesn't raise). I didn't feel like I could raise it at that point. Flop comes 965 or 965. I bet, three-four players call. Not wild about my hand right now, especially if any over cards come off. Turn is a 9, putting a flush draw out there. Checks to me, I bet, and I lose everyone but the big blind and the maniac. At this point, I'm positive I have the best hand. Then, the river is a 7 and the maniac leads into me. Crap -- I know he has it, but I have to pay him off (can I really be 10:1 sure? No...). The BB hems and haws, flips over QQ, and finally convinces himself to call too. Maniac rolls over suited 84 (not the flush draw) and rakes the pot. So I sucked out on the turn, then the maniac re-sucked on the river!

Hand 3. In the small blind I cold call a raise with 97 of hearts. Again, the maniac raises, and I'm sure we'll get 6 players to the flop. The flop is QJ9. The guy in the AJo hand (who at this point I know will generally not bet without a good hand) leads out, a few callers, and I almost throw away my hand but then call to see if I can hit. Turn is another 9-bingo. Checks to the flop bettor, he bets again, I check-raise, and he looks at his hand and clearly isn't happy. At this point I know I have him. Until the ten hits the river, and he leads out quickly. And I pay him off (he had AKs... what? -- what was he doing betting?). I was so positive he had me beat, but the chance of two-pair made it so I had to call.

Big Pairs:

I had KK hold up at least once (against a real solid guy who had either top pair jacks or QQ) and a few other pairs work out. But I also took my share of beats.

Hand 1. AA in late position. I raise, there's 6 of us to the flop of KJ8 or something like that. Checks to me, I bet, three or so call. So far so good. The turn is a semi-blank (didn't complete any flushes or straights that I could tell), checks to me, I bet, and solid guy across the table check-raises me. I think I'm screwed, and he has either a set or two pair. But I call, because I can't lay down aces and I know I have 2 outs plus whatever outs two-pair gives me. The river is a beautiful ace, he checks, I bet, he looks sick... and calls. I think I sucked out on his set, but I can't be sure. Definitely, I don't have the will-power to fold an overpair to a single opponent. And I can't say I didn't get lucky sometimes in the session.

Hand 2. JJ in late position. New player to my right (replaced the maniac) bets, I three-bet him, and we get 2-3 callers before he just calls. Flop comes 457 with two spades, and while I hate the flop, I bet when it checks to me since I don't want to wimp out. The big blind raises me (the QQ guy in the earlier hand). At this point, I'm positive he has me beat. But, for whatever reason, I don't feel like it is a straight. Either a set or two pair, and I'm hoping for two-pair so I have some outs. But maybe I shouldn't make this call, but it feels so weak to fold to a check-raise on the flop. So I call, and the turn brings a 6, which is a pretty decent card for me, since it gives me more outs against two pair, and open-ended straight draw chop outs. He bets, I call. Turn pairs the 4, he bets, I call, and he rolls over 55.

In hindsight, I think I should have dumped the jacks on the turn here. He obviously had me beat, but I couldn't get past the chance I might have the right odds and the size of the pot since it was three-bet five-ways pre-flop. Is it always right to call down with an overpair in decent pots against one opponent?

Wimping out:

I definitely wimped out in a number of hands and really regretted it after the fact.

Hand 1. There's a ton of limpers, maniac bumps it on the button, and I call in the small blind with AJ of spades (I decided not to three-bet because I was out of position and wasn't wild about getting some people to fold... that was probably a mistake). Flop comes J65 all hearts to my horror, so I turn tail and check. Mid position bets (relatively solid guy), maniac raises, and I fold when it gets to me because I didn't like the spot I was in. I would have definitely called for one bet, but not two. Long story short, no more hearts hit the board, and maniac wins a nice pot with a J8o. Crud.

Hand 2. I limp K9o in mid-position against four opponents including the button (should I be raising this against three opponents and no raise? I don't think so). Flop comes A9x with no real draws, and I bet when it checks to me, but the old asian guy on the button (relatively tight) calls along with the maniac. On the turn, a low card comes, but I slow down and check, and old asian guy bets. At this point I'm nearly positive he has an ace, probably a weak ace since I figure he'd check behind with anything less. Maniac calls, I fold. Turn is a blank, and turns out the old asian guy had 94 suited. Crap!

I don't think this was a huge mistake because it was a pretty small pot, but still. I think I should be betting again there, since I can beat all second pairs and nobody has done anything to make me think that I don't have them beat.

Anyway, that's it for tonight. I'm tired...


Thuan said...

I'm glad you're keeping track of your progress. That must've been one heck of a wild table. Wish I could've been there. Here are my comments:

1) The Maniac. I don't think I've ever played against a wild maniac at B&M. It's tough in a loose game especially if isolation isn't going to work if people routinely call your raises anyway. The one thing I noticed that was missing from your post were suited connector hands (except for 97s). Did you dump them PF because of the raises? If so, I would encourage you to play them even for 3 bets if you know that you will routinely get 6+ players to the flop.

2) Bad beats. Yup they happen. On hand #2, I would've tried to isolate the Maniac w/A9o. He would've beat you anyway, but that's the better play I think esp. if this was the period where people were tightening up.

3) Big Pairs. You must call down w/your AA against one opponent.

4) Hand 2. Tough... I don't think I'm capable of this laydown either.

5) Wimping out. Yeah... you need to work on this. Especially after I just read your other post on missing value bets.

HAND 1: You said there's a ton of limpers, so I'm guessing 7 to the flop? With AJs, you will win more than 1/7 of the hands esp. against most limping hands and a maniac. Your pot equity is probably 25%+ and you're only putting in 1/7 of the bets. Hell yes reraise! The flop play is very tough. I'd have to say though that the maniac raise can't mean anything at all and the original bettor might only have the nut flush draw. I'm assuming the pot is giving you around 9-1 to call. I can't fault a fold here... you've only invested 2 small bets and you'd have to pay at least 3 big bets to find out that you're drawing dead. The only thing is that if you had 3-bet PF, the pot might have so big that you'd be forced to call down to the river.

Last hand. It's tough for me to say since I wasn't there reading this old asian guy. But if it's only 3 of you and one of them is the maniac... I'm not slowing down with middle pair until I get raised. Checking and folding because you read him for an Ace? Well, that's a very strong read. But small pot, so not a huge mistake.

Based on your hand stories (which probably isn't the whole picture), I'm getting the sense that you are much too passive.

I have some questions:

1) Are you winning pots w/o the best hand? This might've been tough at this table, but I bluff enough to win these pots.

2) Against the maniac... you have to test him... (re)raise him w/over cards for example.

3) Are you playing suited connectors and gappers?

4) Are you losing hands because you bet and get called by a better hand? If the answer is no, then you're not being aggressive enough.

Sean said...

It was a weird table. I thought Saturday night would be loose but I thought the players were better than the other time I played. At my table there were 3-4 pretty good players (tight aggressive) 2-3 slightly too loose guys, and then one or two fish (and the maniac).

We started out quite passive and tight. Then the maniac came and I've never seen someone run a limit table like he did. He got so many turn and river folds yet he hit when he needed to. Then, after he took some hits (including my full house) he tightened way up. After that, the table would alternate between 4-5 to the flop and chopping the blinds (I personally chopped blinds 5-6 times). I'm not sure Saturday night is a good night (from the number of other people asking for table changes, it seems like the other tables were bad too). It could also be the holidays.

1) I really didn't have much to three-bet him with. A7o, K9o, the 99, etc. I had some big hands later in the night, but I was super card dead during his reign of terror.

1a) Suited connectors. I would have absolutely called with suited connectors, down to no gappers to 54s, one-gappers to 75s, and two gappers to maybe T7s. With 5-6 players, they'd do super well in those pots. Also any suited ace, any suited king, and I was playing suited queens when I shouldn't. But I really didn't have many suited connectors last night that hit (although I won a pot with 85s later on -- I think I cold called a raise in the SB with it). For that matter, I didn't have many suited high cards other than AJs that one time.

5) Hand 1. In the AJs I counted 6 players total. The main reason I didn't raise was I didn't want to chase any of the limpers out (the maniac to my right had raised). It probably didn't matter too much either way, but if I had raised, I would have seen the river.

Hand x (K9 hand). Yeah, this was my biggest mistake of the night IMO. I should have bet the turn and river. If I'm going to call someone down, I gotta be willing to bet it down. At least 50% of the time I'll have the best hand, and sure, sometimes I'll lose to a weak ace, but I'll win enough it is worth it.

Although I made another mistake with KQ (which I'll make a new post about).


1) Are you winning pots w/o the best hand? No, I'd say. Never. Only once or twice did everyone fold before showdown and I had it in that spot. Sign #1 I'm not betting enough.

2) Against the maniac... you have to test him... (re)raise him w/over cards for example. That's the sucky part. I never had overcards or a reasonable hand with him. Except KQo which I'll post about.

3) Are you playing suited connectors and gappers? Absolutely. I might be slightly too tight in some criteria, and slightly too loose in others, but I'm definitely playing them. This isn't a hole in my play.

4) Are you losing hands because you bet and get called by a better hand? If the answer is no, then you're not being aggressive enough.

Yes, but not in a good way. I lost top two w/ AJ against a set, etc.

I think this is absolutely my biggest leak. I have to be willing to bet down top pair weak kicker and second pair if nobody raises me (like the K9 hand), and I'm not doing that. Purely scared poker, and against a loose and passive table, not good.