Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fractured Fibula

Well, it turns out that the aftermath of me going into the boards skates first was a fractured right ankle. I was hoping that it was just a sprain but after going in for x-rays it was proven to be worse :( I waited around the hospital for a while and was calm until the doctors casually mentioned that I might need a screw in my ankle, depending on how the x-rays came back. The thought of the screw being drilled into my foot and all the time that it would take to heal was not a pleasant thought but fortunately the x-rays came back kind in the end.

I'm now in a full walking boot and am basically supposed to wear it as a cast (ie. at all times, except when showering) and I also picked up some crutches to keep my weight off of my foot. I'm not sure how long that I'll be off my ankle for but I'd assume at least a month. I've got a first appointment in about a week to see how things are healing. I've never broken anything before, or at least have been aware of it, and I'm quickly learning how much it sucks. Especially breaking an ankle, I'm pretty much unable to go anywhere or do anything. Little things become difficult tasks, such as walking to the kitchen, couch, bathroom etc. and short walks become epic journeys. So far I've made it to the nearby coffee shop a couple of times and a small grocery store several blocks away...that was awful. I'm going to do my best to not become depressed or go crazy from being trapped in my apartment but it's going to be hard. Crossfit, hockey...exercise in general has become such a big part of my life that this is really going to suck!

On the bright side, February should be a very productive month at the tables! I've literally got nothing else to do than play poker and get fat so in the spirit of SNE I expect a heavy grind in February. Because of all of these distractions I'm going to fall well short of my 40K VPP target for January and am now looking to finish around 25k. The month was short anyways though and I was never counting on January for many VPPs. There can be no exceptions in February, however, as I'll need nothing short of 60K to keep me in the race. 2K a day should be doable, especially with the ankle situation and quite frankly I'm ready to get started on my first full grind-month!

As for how things have been going in January...well, I've continued to run poorly overall with the exception of a couple of sessions that just might be holding my month together for me. I haven't checked my results for the most part but have been glancing at a few. I did manage to check a $1,000ish day a couple of days ago so despite being out thousands in EV, I'm hoping to pocket a profit before the month is over pre-rakeback. I feel like I've been playing much, much better as the month has unfolded. I haven't updated the "mistake" thread at all...there have been a few poorly played hands for sure but not really enough hands where it's worth my time to reflect upon them all in the blog. Anyways, It looks like there will be 2 more heavy days on the grind so big swings are still a possibility before the month is over. Tune back in in a couple of days for the monthly review and my results summary...

gl at the tables!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Frosty's "Think Out Loud" Mistake Thread

I wanted to make this thread because I've been making far too many mistakes at the tables so far this year. I don't know how long I'll keep updating it but until I feel like I've got things under control in terms of playing "correctly," I'd like to use this space to post hand histories and try to figure out how I could have played each spot better.

I've been getting torched in EV this month and aside from the bad beats, I've ran AK into AA enough times against shorties that I should prob consider folding at some point but won't :) Anyways, I can't control the EV side of things but I can control my play! Looking over my sessions today, I did play EV positive but lost a few buyins in reality and a lot of money could have been saved had I simply played better. I want to work towards playing "flawlessly" in my own mind. I'd like to end a session, or better yet a day, thinking that I made no major mistakes and didn't leave much money out there. I'm not saying that I'm aiming to play absolutely perfect or that I'm going to start thinking that I'm the best player in the world or anything...just like I said, I'd like to play what I would consider mistake free poker or at least close to it. Feel free to chime in on any/every hand if you have your own opinions...even if you don't play these stakes it really doesn't matter :)

Jan 23

1. PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (7 handed)

Hero (CO) ($100)
Button ($40)
SB ($42.21)
BB ($40)
UTG ($98.50)
MP1 ($106.30)
MP2 ($102.46)

Preflop: Hero is CO with Q, Q
2 folds, MP2 raises to $3, Hero raises to $9.50, 3 folds, MP2 raises to $22, Hero raises to $100 (All-In), MP2 calls $78

Flop: ($201.50) 2, 10, 5 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: ($201.50) J (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($201.50) 6 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $201.50 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
MP2 had K, K (one pair, Kings).
Hero had Q, Q (one pair, Queens).
Outcome: MP2 won $198.70

Mistake: 3bet/5bet shoving pre
Solution: 3bet/fold or flat pre
Why: This was against a 22/12 regfish villain that has a reasonably small 4-bet in MP but an overall low fold to 3bet across the board. I think that 3betting is fine since this villain will call OOP with a lot of hands that I beat but probably has a 4bet/calling range of QQ+/AK, heavily weighted towards AA and KK. Even Though they're in the HJ and I'm in the cutoff, I think stacking with QQ is a little too light against this type of player and in fact, I told myself to fold and then clicked the call button. You know how it is. If we were both one position to the left (ie CO vs. BTN), this would be an auto-stackoff pre and but it is, flatting pre is probably best to avoid being 4-bet bluffed (not likely here) and to more importantly keep his worse hands in play.
Badness Scale (1-10): 3. This one really is a borderline cooler even with the above mentioned explanation. The villain's 4bet wasn't completely small and AK should always be in their range, possibly along with JJ so I won't lose too much sleep over it but overall I think flatting is probably best.

2. PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed)

UTG ($100)
UTG+1 ($100)
MP1 ($101.44)
MP2 ($103.62)
MP3 ($56.13)
CO ($101.08)
Hero (Button) ($100)
SB ($42)
BB ($105.28)

Preflop: Hero is Button with 4, 4
5 folds, CO raises to $3, Hero calls $3, 2 folds

Flop: ($7.50) 4, K, 9 (2 players)
CO bets $4, Hero raises to $14, CO raises to $49, Hero raises to $97 (All-In), CO calls $48

Turn: ($201.50) Q (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($201.50) A (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $201.50 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Hero had 4, 4 (three of a kind, fours).
CO had 8, A (flush, Ace high).
Outcome: CO won $198.70

Mistake: Raising the flop and stacking off
Solution: Call flop
Why: This was against a 26/18 unknown, assumed fishier player. I think that with top set, or even middle set, I can get the money in feeling pretty good here. Even with bottom set I think it's very close, as it's hard to know what kind of unknown we're playing against here...if it's the kind that stacks off with top pair every time, we're going to be printing money. However, straight up fish don't usually have such aggressive stats, which leads me to think villain is sort of a reg-fish or at least has an idea about how to play the game. Against a range of any reasonable player that wants to get the money in here, we're pretty much alwasy up against a flush, or worse a bigger set, or the Asx, with the range weighted heavily towards flushes I would say. If we're up against a flush, we still have a decent amount of equity but we're pretty much toast to KK/99. We also make a ton of hands that we beat fold to a flop raise that might otherwise double or triple barrel. On this runout I'm still losing a bunch of money since I doubt that I would fold by the river but I think against an overall Cbetting range and considering the range of hands that the villain will get the money in with here, flatting serves me better.
Badness Scale (1-10): 2. Especially readless, this is basically a cooler but as I stated, I think that I like flatting more than raising/getting it in. Even if the board does pair, I doubt the villain ever slows down with the flush so I doubt we lose much/if any value.

3. PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, €2.00 BB (9 handed)

Button (€200)
Hero (SB) (€200)
BB (€200)
UTG (€200)
UTG+1 (€123.35)
MP1 (€221.88)
MP2 (€200)
MP3 (€203)
CO (€92.11)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 7, 7
5 folds, CO raises to €5, 1 fold, Hero raises to €14, 1 fold, CO calls €9

Flop: (€30) 9, 4, 9 (2 players)
Hero bets €16, CO raises to €78.11 (All-In), Hero calls €62.11

Turn: (€186.22) 9 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (€186.22) A (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: €186.22 | Rake: €2.15

Results below:
Hero had 7, 7 (full house, nines over sevens).
CO had A, A (full house, Aces over nines).
Outcome: CO won €184.07

Mistake: 3bet shoving the flop
Solution: bet-fold flop
Why: Again, another borderline cooler spot and all of these hands might seem super nitty but that's just how the games seem to play. I think that a 3bet pre is good here against a typical short-stacker, even though their CO steal was only 19%. I could probably even find a fold if they jammed pre-flop but I think that calling would be fine too. As played though, I really don't think there are enough hands in the villains range that I fact I'm really struggling to think of any besides flush draws and even those have great equity against my hand. I think that I do need to Cbet, as the villain could be flatting lots of suited broadway hands/suited aces and I want to deny equity and take the pot down right there. Also, for balancing reasoning it makes a lot of sense as I would Cbet this flop with my entire range most of the time. I think that I just need to fold to their jam and be pretty happy about it. I don't even need to worry about being exploited because lots of the time I will have a hand strong enough to call with (ie TT+).
Badness Scale (1-10): 5. It's no secret that shorties like to trap pre-flop in position, especially with AA. In reality, basically nobody seems to straight up bluff these spots with air or underpairs and if they do, they will get crushed when I have a stronger portion of my range. Fold!

4. PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (8 handed)

BB ($192.86)
UTG ($128)
UTG+1 ($88.96)
MP1 ($80)
MP2 ($208.68)
CO ($203)
Hero (Button) ($241.67)
SB ($83.50)

Preflop: Hero is Button with A, A
5 folds, Hero raises to $4.56, 1 fold, BB calls $2.56

Flop: ($10.12) Q, 4, 2 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $5.76, BB raises to $14, Hero calls $8.24

Turn: ($38.12) 8 (2 players)
BB bets $19, Hero calls $19

River: ($76.12) J (2 players)
BB bets $46, Hero calls $46

Total pot: $168.12 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Hero didn't show A, A (one pair, Aces).
BB had 4, 4 (three of a kind, fours).
Outcome: BB won $165.32

Mistake: Calling River
Solution: Fold or shove river, consider folding earlier too
Why: This is against another shorty that ran up a stack I think. The flop is so dry that there really isn't much merit to raising...I think we fold out everything we beat and there aren't many scare cards to come. I think that folding is too weak at this point, I'd hope that villain is c/ring a Q for value or maybe turning a mid-pair into a bluff. Hard to put QQ in their range but I guess 44/22 are out there. Not much changes on the turn and since we have the Ah, we could potentially bluff a heart river so I still think that I need to call. Sizing is fairly small as well. On the river, QJ got there, some backdoor flush got there and sets still beat us. I'm not sure if the villain would keep firing with Qx here but I doubt it. I think that it's probably a losing call in this spot. I really wanted to shove but I was concerned that the villain wasn't quite deep enough or even capable of folding a set. The shove would be a bit of a merge because we could have the best hand if the villain did have Qx or got tricky with KK but mostly it would be a bluff trying to rep the nut flush and get them to fold a set, 2pair or straight. In hindsight, I don't think there are enough players capable of folding sets, especially not with a lot of money left behind and I should just fold the river.
Badness Scale (1-10): 6. I think the river call is pretty bad. I just don't see this being a bluff hardly ever. It might seem stupid to call the flop c/r and the river bet then fold when we still have an overpair to the board but there are a bunch of different situations that could have played out on the river. For example, the river could have bricked off, villain could have checked and weighted his range more heavily towards Qx and we could have value-bet our hand.

There are a few more hands that I think that I misplayed a bit today but they're all even more minor than those so I think that I'll leave it at that. Month:

Despite all the pots that I've been losing there have been a lot of well played ones as well. My EV line is actually trending upwards and that's not even taking into account most of these hands that I've posted where I've had little to no EV at all lol. Hopefully I can start playing more solidly and post some better results by the end of Jan because there's still a bunch of poker left to be played. I'll have a lot of poker over the next little while too because I messed up my ankle at ice hockey tonight. I was heading in on a partial break-away as I just edged out their player for the puck. He was right behind me as I was skating down the left side of the ice towards their net...I went to cut in to my right and tossed a backhand on net but their player was right on me and he didn't push me or anything but my feet came out from under me and I started sliding towards the boards at full speed. My skates were first to hit the board and my ankle buckled right in...I'm not sure how serious it is but it feels like a sprain. Took this pic as I was icing it in the locker room:
You can see how swollen it looks. Not sure how long it will take to heal up, hopefully not long but right now I can't really put any pressure on it. Could be glued to my desk for a little while :( Am having people over tomorrow too, oh well. That's it for now,
gl at the tables!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Early Goings from the SNE Grind 2014

Well, I dove right into the thick of things when I returned from the PCA and have been playing about as much as I can everyday. I can already tell that this is going to be a long, incredibly difficult task for me to accomplish and much, much different than 2010. Back when I first got SNE, I didn't have a very strict schedule in place...I pretty much just played randomly when I felt like it and at one point in the summer I was going to bed at 7am and waking up at 3-5pm. I also checked my results constantly. I didn't map out any sort of VPP plan, although I was well aware of what I needed to hit as a minimum to keep pace. As a result, I ended up having to do a massive 155K VPP cram at the end of the year but really at no point did I believe that I was not going to make it.

This year, as I mentioned, things are completely different. I've been setting my alarm everyday (730am-830am), have a target VPP quota to hit and while I will check my results periodically, I can go weeks (sometimes months) without looking. With that said, I really can't say with a lot of confidence that I'm going to reach SNE this year! The reality of the matter is that I earn less VPPs/hand then I did back in 2010 and the mid-stakes games also don't seem to run as much as they used to. Still, you know what, I'm stoked for the challenge! The games seem good, I'm confident enough in my game and it feels awesome to get back into grind mode again. So I might have to try moving up stakes, or playing 6-max games, or maybe 1-2 months of Omaha or fixed limit for those extra VPPs...I feel like if I can at least keep things close for most of the year and give myself a shot to reach the 1,000,000 VPP milestone over the last few months then I just might be able to pull it off.

The start to the year has gone alright at the tables. I had a brutal day today where I played basically EV+ but ran about $800 under expectation:

, sevens over threes). Hero had 4♥, A♥ (stright, five high). Outcome: BB won $208.70

Here are a couple of the biggest EV discrepancies from today, although the first one is standard against a reg (fish in BB) and the 2nd is just a fish being a fish. You can't get too upset :)

1. PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (8 handed)

UTG+1 ($33.50)
MP1 ($175.59)
Hero (MP2) ($102)
CO ($118.82)
Button ($158.43)
SB ($40)
BB ($130.35)
UTG ($59.23)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with 4, A
UTG raises to $2, 2 folds, Hero calls $2, 3 folds, BB calls $1

Flop: ($6.50) 2, 7, 5 (3 players)
BB checks, UTG bets $1, Hero calls $1, BB raises to $5, UTG calls $4, Hero calls $4

Turn: ($21.50) 3 (3 players)
BB bets $13, 1 fold, Hero raises to $44, BB raises to $123.35 (All-In), Hero calls $51 (All-In)

River: ($211.50) 3 (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $211.50 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
BB had 7, 7 (full house, sevens over threes).
Hero had 4, A (straight, five high).
Outcome: BB won $208.70

2. PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed)

MP2 ($103.73)
MP3 ($100)
CO ($117.50)
Button ($100)
SB ($106.43)
BB ($104.48)
UTG ($105.50)
UTG+1 ($136.95)
Hero (MP1) ($222.08)

Preflop: Hero is MP1 with J, J
2 folds, Hero raises to $2.28, 4 folds, SB calls $1.78, BB calls $1.28

Flop: ($6.84) 8, 7, 3 (3 players)
SB bets $6.50, 1 fold, Hero raises to $20.17, SB calls $13.67

Turn: ($47.18) 4 (2 players)
SB bets $83.98 (All-In), Hero calls $83.98

River: ($215.14) 9 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $215.14 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
SB had 8, 9 (two pair, nines and eights).
Hero didn't show J, J (one pair, Jacks).
Outcome: SB won $212.34

Despite the poor session today, the month has been alright otherwise and I'm currently up a bit:

I feel like I'm pretty rusty at the moment but am slowly shaking it off. I think that I'm playing fairly well overall but am making a lot of calls in spots where I have really strong hands but am being shown even better hands and I should be able to fold. I'm talking about borderline cooler spots but I should probably be a little less ambitious and start making more laydowns...for example:

The plan was to XR/fold the river but since I did backdoor it I convinced myself that villain could be shoving sets/straight/2pair and worse flushes but given how little money was invested until the river, I don't like my call in hindsight.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (9 handed)

MP2 ($249.50)
MP3 ($208.70)
CO ($212.19)
Button ($77)
Hero (SB) ($200)
BB ($211)
UTG ($84.84)
UTG+1 ($208.32)
MP1 ($256.34)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 10, 7
2 folds, MP1 calls $2, 4 folds, Hero calls $1, BB checks

Flop: ($6) 7, A, 5 (3 players)
Hero checks, BB checks, MP1 bets $2, Hero calls $2, 1 fold

Turn: ($10) 8 (2 players)
Hero checks, MP1 bets $4, Hero calls $4

River: ($18) J (2 players)
Hero checks, MP1 bets $18, Hero raises to $48, MP1 raises to $248.34 (All-In), Hero calls $144 (All-In)

Total pot: $402 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Hero had 10, 7 (flush, Jack high).
MP1 had 2, A (flush, Ace high).
Outcome: MP1 won $399.20

I could post a bunch of losing river calls that I've made this month, a lot more suspect then that one of course. Anyways, I'll try to keep the mistakes to a minimum-something that becomes increasingly more difficult as the volume remains high.

Alright, I'm off to bed and probably won't update until the end of January. I've got to balance what's left of the month between poker, hockey, crossfit, a dentist appointment and a couple of parties on the weekend. Time to get up early!

gl at the tables!