Monday, March 03, 2008

Odd Things

Each of my last three sessions had something notable about it:

  • On 2/26, there were four women at my table. When the dealer was female, us men were actually outnumbered!
  • On 3/1, I went all 90 minutes in 6/12 without winning a hand.
  • On 3/2, I found my aggression. It had been hiding behind my right ear.
Of course, just finding my aggression doesn't mean I won big. I won a little ($58) last night and lost a medium amount ($166 at 6/12, $69 at 3-100 spread) the day before.

And I'm going back tonight...

The main way I knew I found my aggression was I started to occasionally get raised out of pots sometimes was called down to lose. You can't win all your value bets. But I wasn't getting over-aggressive, and all of my bets were made for a reason. I still have yet to bluff anyone out at the river though, and I have trouble spotting situations where a single bet (or bluff raise) can take the pot. Although sometimes I can spot them after the fact...

So, time to grade myself on my goals for the last two sessions and set some goals for tonight, starting with the old goals:
  1. No fancy play syndrome. Didn't have a problem with this, although the 3/1 session I never got a good enough hand to make that mistake :( Well, I guess one hand on 3/2 I did a 'fancier' play, but it worked and it was appropriate: ...four players in to the turn which completed my flush, I checked after the SB, pre-flop raiser (who I put on a big pair, he was relatively inexperienced) fired, two calls to me, and I put in my raise (at which point everybody folded!??!). B+
  2. Aggressive, aggressive, aggressive. Like I said, I got it back. In one hand, I fired a double barrel bluff on an ace turn after a semi-steal from the cut-off with K9o (sadly, the small blind cold-called my raise with A6o...). But that is a high percentage play, especially when the scary ace hits. Still, though, I'm not spotting many bluffing opportunities when I don't have the lead in the hand, which I believe is a huge area of hidden profit in 6/12 (probably one pot a session on average). B+
  3. In any close decision, spend five seconds looking at my opponent. I'm still horrible at this. To be honest, I think I'm afraid of making eye contact. I occasionally remember to look at my opponents in a hand, but not nearly enough. D-

So, some new (and more specific) goals:
  1. Maintain aggression. Keep firing, but keep firing intelligently.
  2. Avoid loose river calls against obvious strength. In my first hand on 3/2 (first position), I had A9o on a turn board of TT49 with two spades. It had checked around pre-flop so I bet the turn and two players called, including the BB. The river was a 4, so I bet (thinking I'd get value against another 9). The big blind raised, it folded back to me, and I thought a little (I didn't look at him though!) and called. I think this is the type of call that I can stop making and avoid -EV. Studying his face could also tell me that he wasn't bluffing, but that's a hard spot to bluff raise in anyway, with that board. Note: this is not making big lay downs... this is not making loose calls when I am unlikely to have the best hand!
  3. Look for bluffing opportunities late in hands. Specifically, look for places I can bluff at scary boards (i.e. four to a straight when no one has shown much strength) against players who might lay it down. And look for opportunities to bluff-raise (or semi-bluff raise) the turn and river against tighter players who I've got read pretty well. I'd rather overdo these bluffs tonight (like maybe 2-3 times an hour instead of the 1-2 an hour I expect would be optimal) and learn the boundaries than be too conservative (like usual).
  4. Study my opponents. This means: look left before I act to figure out who's folding. Watch an opponent every time the flop, turn, or river comes out. And EVERY TIME I have a close decision, look at my opponent.
  5. Take notes. I've been lax on this, but I need to take notes when I experiment with bluffing or avoiding bad call-downs. Even if I don't bother typing them all here (which is really a chore sometimes), I should take the notes anyway.


Anonymous said...

I don't think river bluffs at 6/12 are done in isolation... they need to be set up on the turn. At least, that's how I view 90% of them. An example, would be the CR turn (semi) bluff you and I talk about. You always have to follow up on the river no matter what... so you can call that a river bluff if you want. I forgot... but on my last session (short 90 min), I pulled a bluff on the turn/river. I think the board had paired or was already paired on the flop. I knew (hoped) my 1 or 2 opp. didn't have the hand I wanted to represent. I think it worked bc I was very tight up to that point and everyone at the table did read me for the monster hand (which I didn't have).

Perhaps... think of it as a learning experience... spend some money to see if the bluffs will work for you and some of them should.

Sean said...

I agree with all your points.

I need to get more aggressive with bluffing/semi bluffing across multiple streets.