There is no way I could play this hand, with both P6 and P7 getting all-in before the flop, but still…
I posted this hand from my previous blog entry on the Two Plus Two forums. In these forums, hand histories are posted up to the trouble spot, usually without the ending shown, so others can put themselves in your shoes and comment on how they would play or analyze each situation.
First I posted it the way I played it. Here is the link to the forum with various replies and comments. This is pretty straightforward.
Then I posted again in a different section of Two Plus Two, with the roles reversed. Here I claimed to be the Villain, expecting the feedback to be pretty harsh. And it was. Here is the link for that thread.
I know I’m not supposed to be results oriented, but I’m still pretty pissed about this one.
Breathe. Relax. Let go. Ohmmmmmmmmmmm. Ohmmmmmmmmm.
One day later…
And this happens: I am in the cutoff seat and raise to $9 over an early position limper. Villain (P3) is the small blind and flat calls. The limper folds.
Looking back on this, why would he call my raise from the SB and not 3-bet? He’s going to have to play the rest of the hand out of position, and any flop with an ace will kill his action. If I have an ace, bad for him. If I don’t have an ace, no more $$ is going into the pot.
The flop is beautiful for me, and he leads out with a bet of $22 — basically a pot-sized bet. I debate raising vs. calling, trying to figure the best way to get all my money in by the river. Since I have position, I can call and push the action on later streets. A call will make the pot $66. If he checks the turn, I can bet around 70% of the pot on both turn and river to get in all in without over-betting. I call. Again looking back, had I raised the flop there is a good chance he would have folded with the ace on the board.
But no! He binks the turn and now checks. With the double flush draw and very connected board, I must bet. I still think I have the best hand. I bet $47, and suddenly he goes all-in. Well gosh-darnit, I flopped a set of jacks and I’m not about to be bullied around here. He could have AK or AJ or KJ, all of which fit his pre-flop and flop play and now he is value-owning himself thinking he’s setting a trap for me.
For the record, the river card was the Ks, giving him quad Kings. There goes another $394 pot.
Year-to-date online results: +97
Month-to-date online results: $218
Just finished a brutal session of $1-2 NL online.
First this: I open raise to $9 and villain – an solid, aggressive pre-flop player (VPIP = 27, PFR = 21) 3-bets to $32. I pause a few seconds and ship it all in. He insta-calls, so I’m fearing he has AA, then thrilled to see AK offsuit. Until the turn… There goes a $444 pot. After the flop, my equity in this hand is over 85%.
Then this: First, read my prior post about the need to bluff less. Villain has only been at the table for a couple of hands, so no meaningful reads yet. I raise to $7 and he calls from the big blind. Then he calls my c-bet on a really dry flop. When the ace hits on the turn, I figure I can get him off the pot with a big second barrel, now representing an ace of my own. He calls again. #@$%! I’m pretty sure this bluff was induced by the tilt induced by hand #1. But really, he called $13 on the flop here with an ugly double gutter? I’ve got “squadoosh” and he take the $111 pot with top pair and ugly kicker.
Then this: It seems like I’m just losing small pots and folding. A few hands before this one, another player made a strange looking donk shove on a random river card. I had A-T and the board was Ac Qh 3c 4c 3s. He had limp-called pre-flop, check-called the flop and we both checked the turn. Then he bombed the river and I folded. Anyway, my stack is shrinking and I get QJ suited and open raise. The villain is the same villain from the first hand above, who rarely flat calls pre-flop and that’s exactly what he does here. Now he has $811 and that alone pisses me off. I love this flop and c-bet. He raises and I get mad and ship it. At that point, with my flush draw / gut-shot straight draw combo again his flopped set, I have 33% equity. Of course, the 4th nine doesn’t help me… and there goes a $283 pot.
Then this: I am the big blind. Everyone folds to the small blind, who raises to $6. He has played 21 hands so far with VPIP = 33 and PFR = 14. I call. On the flop he bets $8 on his top pair and I raise to $28, which induces him to ship it all in. I have 72% equity, until the river cards pairs the turn card, counterfeiting my lower two pair. Seriously? Can this all be happening on the same table in one session? There goes another $126 pot.
And finally this: Villain limps, and I check to see a free flop, which turns out to be a dream flop for me. We both check and I make a pot-sized $5 bet on the turn, which he calls not very quickly. The river card is scary as it completes some straights and a heart flush, but I still should have the best hand. “Should.” I bet about 3/4 pot on the river and he ships. With my stack now super short (again!), I call. I actually had him outkicked until the river, although he had some outs for a chop (any A, K, Q, J or T). Still, my equity after the turn was 73%. There goes another $129 pot. I’m done. Cooked. Toast. Totally F’ing Pissed. Impoverished. Flabbergasted.
The total of these five pots was $1,141 (after subtracting the rake). So I calculated my “Sklansky Dollars.” David Sklansky is the author of “The Theory of Poker” and other excellent books, and has one of the all-time greatest mathematical poker minds. To calculate Sklansky Dollars, you take your equity % in the pot at the time all the money went in, times the final pot size. This is your theoretical equity $ amount. Then subtract the amount you bet (i.e., invested) on that round. If you went all-in as the shorter stack, you invested your entire stack. But if you had the villain covered, then you only subtract the amount you put in.
Over a large sample size, your Sklansky Dollars and your actual dollars should be equal. But on an individual hand basis, the only time the Sklansky Dollars and actual dollars will be equal is when either you or the villain is already drawing dead when the money goes in. Otherwise, you will lose hands where you were the prohibitive favorite, and wins some hands via embarrassing suck outs. For the five hands above, I calculated my Sklansky dollars using my equity on the round where all the money went in (or in the case of #2, the last round that any money went in). My actual loss on these five hands was ($568), most of which… $527… went in on the last round of betting. My Sklansky Dollars was actually a gain of $7.
Year-to-date online results: + $181
Month-to-date online results: + $301
It seems like most of my bad plays lately – esp. online – have involved too much bluffing. I have watched some “Poker After Dark” episodes on YouTube and see the likes of Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey and others playing high level poker, with lots of bluffs and re-bluffs. I watch some World Poker Tour on TV and tons of bluffing there too. I played in some live cash games and watch some players just run over the table with naked aggression and yet the other players (including myself) continuously fold to what appears to be obvious multi-barrel bluffs.
In a live tournament I watched a couple of players execute amazing 3-barrel bluffs, then show their cards at the end.
But when I bluff, too much of the time it turns out that A) there must be some signal to the Villains that my bluffs are obvious, or B) the Villain has an actual hand.
Semi-bluffs, multi-barrel bluffs after dry flops, bluffs at scare cards, continuation bets after being the pre-flop aggressor, bluffs after missed draws where the Villain appears to be giving up, bluffs where I don’t even know why I’m bluffing or what I’m representing, tilt-induced bluffs…
Gotta stop this.
In January, I switched my online play from full ring tables to 6-max tables. At 6-max, two-thirds of all hands are played from a blind defending or blind stealing position. This leads to lots of stealing, bluffing and re-stealing. It is important to mix it up more in these games, or the blind stealers will eat you alive. On the other hand, the bluff-catchers are eating me alive.
Which leads to more tilt.
Which leads to more bad bluffs.
Somehow — as my daughter likes to say — one has to prevent the first domino from falling.
But how can I do that?
Will a haiku help?
Bluffing is worse than folding
Nah… a limerick should do much better.
The old man doth too much bluff
Thinks he’s onto tricky stuff
’til he goes on tilt
Losses lead to guilt
Straightforward play works enough!
Quick note on a missed opportunity: playing $1-2 NL online last night and had 7h 5h in the hijack seat. Thought about trying to get to a cheap flop and thought better of it. Aren’t these the types of hands the keep getting me in trouble? So I fold. The cutoff raises to $6 and the button calls. Flop comes 6h 4h 3h and the cutoff immediately moves all-in. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHH!
Year-to-date online results: + $408
Month-to-date online results: + $529