Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Long overdue update

The thing about a blog is that it's now a bit dated. But I still think that by recording your thoughts, you get to ruminate over them and further process them. To that end, here are a few updates on poker progress...

First off, I skipped the WSOP this year. I felt like I was not playing well, and my league results reflected this. I didn't finish in the top 10 in either league. I cant say I am overly disappointed as I DETEST re-entry/re-buy MTTs and that seems to be all the rage in Vegas now (I suspect because they can rake over and over again per player. To me, this is the beginning of the end, but that is how it goes). But my important take away was that I still needed to improve my game. Something was amiss.

So, what did I do? I took Japanese I with my daughter. Ok, those are not technically related. I wanted to do this with her and not going to Vegas meant I was home for those 8 weeks in summer and was able to do this with her. I am really glad I took this class because it taught me something. I have NOT been studying poker worth a damn. I mean, I had to pour hours into studying each week just to keep up in class and I thought to myself how much harder I was studying Japanese than I was studying poker... and yet, I somehow thought my poker study was good enough. It was NOT. I now understand how hard I have to study to improve vs. just going through material and hands.

Cue "crossed paths"...

Last year, I played in a WSOP event (we were ITM by now) and I got moved to a table with Mike Sexton and Ryan Laplante. Mike was very serious and I could tell was bemused when people (including me) looked at phones, or talked about things other than poker. As a contrast, Ryan was gregarious and talkative. I found it interesting that you could almost see him processing information at some incredible rate. I started talking with him (I didn't know he was a pro when I landed at the table.) and was very impressed by his poker acumen. Quickly his pro status become quote evident... Then I found out he did coaching. Now I have a coach and I doubted I could afford Ryan, but started following him on Twitter (@protentialmn). He posts these interesting spots which I could compare to what I was learning to see what the thinking gap was. (Over simplifying, I am not playing my value RANGE strong enough.) Anyway, when he opened a training site, I jumped on the change to get in early. The videos are really detailed and broken down into logical chunks. I have watch the first dozen twice already, taking notes and comparing to how I would play without the insight. The gap was intimidating. But that means I came to the right place. These lessons were going to be incredible valuable. If you are also interested, its over at Learn Poker Pro.

Lastly, to complete this set of thoughts, I also gave myself way too much credit for understanding GTO. There is an expression, "Explain to me like I'm 5". Simply stated, walk me through something slowly and don't assume I know anything (much less what I say I know). Then I saw that Andrew Brokos (@thinkingpoker) published his teaching (he is/was a teacher by trade) GTO book. At first I thought it was at too simple of a read... Then I realized that I was picking up all sorts of new information. The book is Playing Optimal Poker, and I highly recommend it for today's game. It lays out not just how GTO works, but how to apply it. Seems easy? Well, I was surprised how much context I was missing in terms of applying GTO to playing a hand.

(In neither case do I post this for any considerations or compensations other than passing on a couple of impressive resources.)

Next up for me is to digest this material and become a better player in this upcoming 2019-2020 season.

(I'll try and post more updates)

Monday, January 28, 2019

$250 MTT revisited

$250 MTT, (123 runners at the start)

early levels strategy: Plan to stay away from EP and big pots with pairs.

AQo, called button 3bet. checked gutter. did not bluff turn.

min raise AJo intending to not call 3 bet... cbet vs BB

JTo call raise OOP, check-fold.

in the BB with 77, folded when button 3 bet MP.

KJs button with UTG limp, raise. flop st8... (no action)

min raise A7s, will fold to 3bet. flop A, EP check calls. pot turn on two flush board draw board. EP folds.

min raise AJs UTG intending to fold to 3bet. BB calls. cbet and call... turn str8 with nut flush draw. I bet he folds.

88 cutoff, raised by hijack... 3 bet to 825 in cutoff. villain folds.

BREAK (20K, I am 100th/295 runners)

UTG 3x raise, fold A6s

66 raise 2.5x utg+1, 3 callers. MEANT to cbet dryish flop, but missclick checked, folded to bet and calls.

folded to me in cutoff and I fold 5dTd. I must be card dead as I considered playing it.

125/250/25 @ 18880... just not getting hands.... so KJo in BB looks better than it is... utg+1 min raise. so, I 3 bet to 1500.
I then c-bet 9high board and take it down.

next hand, QJo in SB and folded to button who raises. this time call, which is debatable and BB comes too. I check middle pair on flop, might be able to call bet? checks through, then ACE. UGH, so BET and hope to take it down here. Who has Ace here,right??? Villain folds.

9Ts in hijack, open raise. BB calls. flop 2 hearts, so cbet.

I fold 98o in the BB to some std open.

back to card dead... 22 on button vs utg raise. folded. could have 3 bet here, but was worried about stack size, namely mine. But I really should have considered it longer. If it was MP, I like it better.

BREAK 250/500/50 @ $21k - I am 169th/339 (pay 90)

44 in cutoff, open raise. folded to 3x 3bet. Was larger sizing and I have small pair. ugh.

55 in BB w/30BB. I call min raise, then bet out T high flop (with clear range advantage). villain folds.

again fold A6s vs open? (turns out fold was way good)

JTo in utg+1 (folded)

I have KJs in SB... 25BB... But choose to fold to opener.

Open KJo in hijack, but button flats, BB calls. T88 and decide not to C-bet. checks through??? Turn is a 9 and now I have a draw. I call a bet. bingo on river. he bets, I shove just over pot. too much? Villain folds.

A5s cutoff open 2x. folds through.

A9o in SB, Hero 3-bet button raise. button folds.

AJs utg+2, I open 2.2x, 3bet by BB...again fold... I really took note here... was I just shutting down? Should I at least CALL here with position??? I think I should have, YES.

I raised A5s from hijack. SB called. Flop 9JQ rainbow. I c-bet despite knowing almost any hand will call with something. Turn gave 4 to str8 (T) and I eventually folded to a large river bet.

Now 19 BB...deep also made a note that the cutoff raised my BB for second time...
BREAK 177th/238. $21k, $37 is avg. 800/1600/160, pay 99

K9s in SB with just 11 BB... folds to button who shoves... I re-shove as I cant fold this good of a hand to a button shove. Villain hits flop and holds.
finish 193rd/486

I played way too conservative when I got under 40BB?

Monday, January 07, 2019

Frustrated in the New Year's $250 MTT

I played a big $250 online MTT that racked up over 400 runners... Never had I folded so many hands in my life. I recorded the entire thing with notes, thinking there would be some great hands to go through... Instead I paid $250 to fold cards for 3 hours. So, how bad was it? (In 3 hours, never a pair higher than 88 and not a single AK)

I am going to do some processing on Wednesday and review with the coach and see if there was any escape. I dont see it. I think I played as close to mistake free as ever and have zero (-$250) to show for it.