Friday, January 11, 2008

GC 1/4: Putting it to Bed

Time to summarize the 1/4 session and move on (especially since it is a week later). First, I'd like to address Thuan's comments:

Just a note on my PF hand quiz. A lot of the marginal hands where I say fold/limp, etc... really depend on the game situation. Have I been showing down strong hands? Is the table tight? What's my image? Who's in the BB? Have I been raising a lot lately? Have I been out of the action a while? At your level, I think you can benefit from being flexible with your starting hand strategy.

Also... a couple of times you mentioned that you folded a hand PF bc the table was tight... for example JTo in 1 away from the CO. I said limp... but if the table is tight and it folded to you, you should raise if the table has been tight. (You didn't mention if players had entered in front, so I assumed not).

As far as middle unsuited connectors go... I think you'll be fine if you avoid them, but you are passing up opportunities to hit some big hands. I'm also not advocating always playing them...
The main difference between Thuan's hand selection and mine is he plays the weak aces strongly in position (which I should be doing -- obviously not A2o, but A8o in position is a good hand to raise, and suited aces too), plays middle unsuited connectors period (which is definitely against SSHE's suggestions, and I'm not wild about it), and essential steal-raises with marginal hands in late position (which I agree with).

I'd say this is a decent leak for me -- I'm not playing as many hands in +EV situations. I need to be more situational when I decide to play or not, and especially consider position. Again, I don't think I'm giving up a lot of EV in each situation, but since the situations come up quite a bit, it ends up being a decent amount of money. Ed Miller has a nice post on Taking the Training Wheels Off that relates to this.

As far as the insta-call tell... I thought we talked about this... they are obviously saying, I have a hand that I wouldn't bet, but will call. You will also see players in front of you pretend to bet and check to make you think they'll call. If you have anything, you should bet when you see these tells.
That's the thing -- I keep getting nailed by this because they aren't pretending... They just want to get their money in to see the turn card as soon as possible. I just need to realize that they'll do that, and bet my hand anyway. If I really want to distinguish between the tell and them betting out of turn, hesitate for a second, and they'll throw their money in if they are trying to bet. I feel like an idiot falling for it so often (about once every other session).
I think you played well, but I'd like to see you take more shots at pots... (though admittedly, I didn't see any decent opportunities from your hand history) and take the initiative PF and on the flop more.
I agree, although lately, I haven't seen so many openings. The worse the players are, the less you can pick up pots.

I do need to open up my game a bit more, both pre-flop and post-flop, and give myself permission to mix it up a little more in spots. Maybe, that's just a matter of realizing that I know I'll make some mistakes, record every hand I play so I can reevaluate it later, and chalk any -EV up to learning. Honestly, I have always been a conservative player, so opening it up really won't hurt my earn rate that much...

So that's my one goal for the next session:

I have permission to open up my game a bit.

Other observations from my notes (I'll ignore 3/6 and focus on 6/12 now):
  • The table was pretty good, with about pretty bad players on it at one time, plus some medicre players, and nobody I was really scared of.
  • I had relatively bad luck with some good mixed in. I had:
    • large wins: 45o, ATs, AQs, AA
    • small wins: 44, KK
    • small losses: AJo, QJo (bluffed), A2s
    • large losses: 99, KK, AA, K9s
    • I had premium pairs (QQ+) 4 times and won 2 of them. One of the two I won was just the blinds.
    • I flopped a set 2 times and won 0 of them. At least I flopped a few sets though!
    • I won 6 hands out of 94. That seems low. Ten hands would be my fair share, but you've gotta figured I'll win less just because I play tight. It still seems 1-2 hands low for my average, but, all but two were pretty big pots.
  • As far as mistakes go, I can only think of a few (Thuan, feel free to chip in a few too):
    • Missed bet on the turn against the lady when she tried to insta-call me.
    • Hmmm... I feel like there were more, but I can't find them. It was a pretty straightforward session, honestly. Probably my biggest mistake was not playing a few more hands.

As far the goals for 1/4:

1. Take notes to give me a hand-history. A+. I took notes the whole time, and learned a lot from them.

2. Lead out more. I did lead out a few times, and even got away from hands in certain cases. B, just because I'm sure I could have been more aggressive.

3. Loosen up a little in late position, raise more, and open-raise more. Other than QJo, I really didn't do this. This goal needs to carry over to the next session. D+.

4. Early on in the session, don't assume everyone is bluffing me. Near the end of the session, don't tighten up to protect my stack. I didn't slack at the end of the session, but the 3/6 session I felt pretty disjoint and made some mistakes. Not horrible ones, but mistakes. B-.

1 comment:

Thuan said...

I think you summarized things well. Here's 2 comments:

1) In your last post, you wrote that you thought raising PF w/A6s is too loose. Here's why I advocate it if there's 3/4+ seeing the flop. This hand has enormous potential to make a flush. It's also a hand that you can play strongly (in position) if you flop 2 of your suit. On the other hand, this hand is also relatively easy to lay down if you miss the flop. Of course, you will give yourself fits, if an Ace hits and nothing else, but these are situations where you have to lay down your hand to resistance. In short, I like the raise because it can hit big and is an easy lay down if you miss. Raising with this hand will also help disguise your other hands as I think we're agreed that you can be more aggressive overall. You don't have to raise every single time, but I urge you to do it at least 1/3 of the time.

2) We've talked about taking the initiative more... I think one opp. that you missed was when you had 44 in the SB in a 3-way pot. The flop was like J2x. It checked around and your turn bet won the pot, but IMO, this is an excellent opp. to take the lead on the flop. You are in the blind and can easily have a J and odds are good that neither of your 2 opponents have anything esp. since the pot was unraised.

3) FYI... I do not play always play unsuited connectors. Just like most connectors (suited or not), they do not play well agaisnt small fields where high card strength is much more valuable. I advocate them as an occasional play when you can be reasonably sure that many players will see the flop. Again, like A6s, you need some discipline on the flop in laying it down if you connect weakly. If you can't do that, then it is much better to avoid playing it. (Truth be told... I probably play T9o way too much).

4) The point of the insta-call. It's true that they will call you, but that is not the point. The point is that if they had a stronger hand, they would not be doing it. If you bet, they may think that your hand is stronger than it is... so use this gimmick against them.

5) You mentioned a few times that you were scared, but you bet the river anyway. That's good. Just realize that most GC players will raise you on the turn, so if you get to the river your top pair is usually good.