Friday, March 07, 2008

March 4th Results and Analysis

Tuesday night was a night of tilt of many forms. I think I did a pretty good job of maintaining my play, but I was definitely fighting tilt at different points. It was one of those sessions that was a bit of a roller coaster but I learned a lot. Overall, I won $101, which is pretty great considering I was down $200 an hour in.

More on that in a bit, for now, I'm going to start by grading my previous goals. Oddly enough, most of these are related to tilt in one way or another.

1. Maintain aggression. At first I was doing well, but I got nailed by a check-raise and later missed a few value bets on the river (I was a little gun shy, which I didn't realize until later). B.

Here's the hand in question, at least what I can remember of it. I had K9s in LP and limped in, getting 6 total players for one bet. Flop comes K96 rainbow. Someone in MP bets, two callers to me, I raise, and Funny White Guy (he's older, plays quite well, but is a touch loose) calls after a bit. He and I had been chatting a bit (he was razzing me because I drove a non-American Honda although he admitted later his wife drives a Honda) were going back and forth at this point. He had just switched seats so I was telling him he left a good seat. Two other players call too. Right before the dealer flips the turn he yells, "Club!". And the 3 of clubs comes out, putting two clubs on the board. He checks, a guy in MP leads out, the other folds, and I think for a bit then raise (the guy who leads was playing pretty erratically so I felt that I had him). FWG calls, MP calls, and the turn is another club, something like the Jc. It checks to me, I think, then fire. FWG raises! Damn it, I walked right into that one, but I paid him off and he did have clubs with a pair...

That hand tilted me a bit because I had plenty of tells to know the he had clubs there and I should have saved the two bets. I was getting 16:1 on the final call so I had to with two pair. More importantly, he had clammed up on the river and that alone should tell me that something is going on.

Later, I missed a couple of value bets on the river (in one, I had JT on a Jxx x x board and I just didn't think I could beat enough hands on the end -- he had third pair). In the second, there were very few draws on the raggy board and an ace came on the river, so I checked behind thinking a value bet would be too risky. He had 33... In hindsight, I think the check-raise on the one board made me fear the CR on those later hands, which is, of course, a form of tilt.

This hand was earlier in the session, and at one point I went for a walk when I was down $200. When I got back, things turned around and I got back above even in less than 20 minutes.

2. Avoid loose river calls against obvious strength. I took this too far and got nailed. C. I've got a different theory (which actually evolved since Tuesday night) which I'll share later. Some folds I think were decent, one fold was horrible. Let's start with that one.

The guy to my left (I'll call him Cold Fish, since I figured he was a fish and he didn't win many hands). It seemed like he wasn't a very good player and he was a short stack most of the night (including when he got all-in and cracked my KK on the river with a gutshot). In this hand, I had Q9s in late position and CF had the button. We got 6 limpers to the flop of J94 with two hearts (not my suit). It checked to me, I bet, CF raises, guy to my right (a loose-passive fishy older guy) calls, and I call. Turn is an offsuit 8. FOG checks, I check, CF bets, FOG calls, and I think for a while. I counted the pot (8 big bets) and called since I figured I had somewhere between 5 and 9 outs. I figured CF for at least a jack, and FOG was probably on a draw or a pair weaker than mine. The river was a low blank, we both checked, CF bets, FOG folds (damn, I wanted him to call), and it was on me. I thought for quite a while, getting 10:1, but finally folded. I just couldn't see CF not having me beat. CF promptly shows Ah2h (a 2 hit the river) and racks up his chips. Crap.

Folding in that spot based on my read is reasonable. But I was disappointed that I neither noticed the flush draw on the board nor actually looked at him on the turn or river. One look might have given me a better read. I will admit that I thought him incapable of a three-barrel bluff but I didn't consider he was getting very short (nearly all-in on the river) and that makes large bluffs more likely. So, yeah, I was a bit disappointed in myself.

Later on, I made another borderline fold which I thought was good. I limped in the SB with Q9s (one EP limper) and the BB made it two bets. Actually, to be honest, this is what I think happened -- at the time, I couldn't figure out who raised, but now I realized it had to be the BB if this is the action. I know I was in the SB. Unless I have other details wrong... EP and I called to see a flop of Q94 all hearts. BB leads out, EP raises, and I three-bet (not screwing around at this point with three hearts out there). BB calls pretty quickly, and EP calls. At this point, I'm thinking 'No heart, no heart!' when the 6 of hearts pops off. I check, BB bets quickly, EP folds, and it is on me getting 8:1. At this point, I have EP solidly on a large pair with at least one heart (I don't think he can cold-call and then lead the flop like that without the Ah or Kh). BTW, he was a middle-aged asian player who I've played with a little before. Maybe slightly loose, but Tuesday he was playing very solidly and I don't remember him raising pre-flop much. My check on the turn was to gain information, and I pretty solidly thought he had me beat. But I called since my quick pot count told me I had the odds (which, now, I think I barely didn't even counting the river bet). Anyway, the river blanked, I checked, and he bet. I thought quite a while, getting 10:1, and finally folded. During the time I turned to him and asked, "I can't remember -- was it you who raised pre-flop?" and he stone-faced me looking down. I'm pretty positive he had it.

There were a few more laydowns that I might not normally make but I can't remember them (see #5).

3. Look for bluffing opportunities late in hands. These situations never really materialized, or maybe, more accurately, I never recognized them. My method of play pretty much requires I have something (be it a hand or draw) to simply get to the turn or river. I think I'm not seeing the opportunities when they are out there, and like Thuan said in a previous comment, most good bluffs start on the turn anyway and require two bets.

4. Study my opponents. I'm doing much better at this and have started asking questions sometimes to get a read. I'm still forgetting to do it in some spots (like the bad laydown) but I'm getting much better about remembering. B. One thing I need to do is lean toward calling if only to put the data next to my read a little more often (whenever I'm not sure). Likewise, I should also do the same process (looking at my opponent, maybe asking a question) even when I'm 100% going to call or raise, just for the information. I think reading people is one huge edge I'm not using enough.

Here's a quiz: In one spot, I had a medium strength hand (like top pair crappy kicker, or second pair) and a guy bet into me on the turn. I gave him a look and we made eye contact. He then looked down, but a smile was at the corners of his mouth. What should I do?

5. Take notes. I actually did a good job of this Tuesday night. A! Of course, I neglected to bring them to work where I planned to type this up, F!

Well, I've got more, but I'm going to wait until later for the rest.

Back to work!


Thuan said...

So... I thought I'd describe some good bluffing opps. Way back... I was in EP w/JTs. PF, it gets raised by MP and 4 or 5 see the flop. The flop gives me a flush draw, so I call the flop bet from the original raiser. The turn adds a gutshot to my outs (and also makes a straight possible). Again I check. The original raiser bets and gets 1 caller. So, I'm really only afraid of the the caller making his draw, but there's a reasonable chance that he's calling w/much less. The LP caller actually folds here, so I'm heads up. Here's where you CR w/the intention of betting the river on any card. Perhaps this is more of a semi-bluff, but it becomes a bona fide bluff on the river if you miss. The OR called saying that he only has a PP, so I even figure that it's not a big PP. The river blanks me... I fire and get a fold.

I think the key to bluffing is being consistent w/the way you've played the hand up to that point. For example, if you're calling w/middle pair and an A hits the river, does leading out on a bluff make sense? Well it depends... did you raise PF? Are you in the BB? If you've been calling all the way up to this point, being in the BB doesn't help you. Being the PF raiser adds some credibility. What if the A also completes a flush draw... now your bluff attempt is really solid bc you have so many more potential ways to beat your opp. So when you think of what your opp. has, also think of what range of hands beat him. The larger that range and the better the player, the more successful your bluffs will be esp. if your play fits a lot of those scary hands.

Sean said...

I drafted a response, but I think I'll put it into a separate post.