peterbirks: (Default)
I dabbled at some PLO last night. Because there were a number of deep stacks for much of the time, the game played differently, as one would expect. Here's a hand where nothing much seems to happen, but I was pleased with the way it worked out.

(blinds $0.25/$0.50) Pot Limit Omaha Hi
Table "Namur" (real money) -- Seat 4 is the button
Seat 1: D-man ($44.50 in chips)
Seat 2: IU_Runner31 ($65.25 in chips)
Button: Birks ($58.50 in chips)
Seat 5: jc0607 ($7.00 in chips)
Seat 6: lwb718 ($47.00 in chips)
Seat 7: River26 ($93.00 in chips)
Seat 8: BruuD_NL ($185.25 in chips)
Seat 9: adepts ($32.00 in chips)
jc0607 : Post Small Blind ($0.25)
lwb718 : Post Big Blind ($0.50)

Dealt to Birks 8s Ks 9c Ac

River26 : Call ($0.50)
IU_Runner31: Raise ($2.25)
Birks : Call ($2.25)
lwb718 : Call ($1.75)
River26 : Call ($1.75)

I'm happy to call here. My flush chances are not excessively vulnerable and my straight opportunities are, to be blunt, shite.

*** FLOP *** : [ 8d 4c 9h ]
lwb718 : Check
River26 : Check
IU_Runner31: Bet ($4)
Birks : Call ($4)
lwb718 : Fold
River26 : Fold

The trap is laid.

*** TURN *** : [ 8d 4c 9h ] [ Js ]
IU_Runner31: Check
Birks : Bet ($11)
IU_Runner31: Fold
Birks : Winner -- doesn't show cards

Maybe my middle-two-pair are winning here, but it doesn't really matter. If I hit a nine or an eight, I have the guy in big trouble, whereas if a 5, 6, 7, T or Q comes, and he checks, I can bet the pot to represent the straight. Opponent would have to be very brave to check with the nut straight, because he is probably giving me a free card if I am on a draw. And if he flat calls me with, say 44, he knows that I am likely to bet the pot at him again on the river if the board does not pair. Finally, note the importance of the rainbow flop and then the über-rainbow turn. These cut out any chance of him having a "back-up" call, and probably make him less suspicious that I am betting anything but the straight.

*** SUMMARY ***
Pot: $16.50 | Rake: $0.75
Board: [ 8d 4c 9h Js ]
D-man didn't bet (folded)
IU_Runner31 lost $6.25 (folded)
plucker didn't bet
Birks bet $17.25, collected $27.50, net +$10.25 [ 8s Ks 9c Ac ] (two pair, nines and eights)
jc0607 lost $0.25 (folded)
lwb718 lost $2.25 (folded)
River26 lost $2.25 (folded)
BruuD_NL didn't bet (folded)
adepts didn't bet (folded)


An entertaining Limit Hand

There was a 93% fish at the table tonight on Party. He lost $600, and not only did I not get a penny of it, but this hand helped ensure that I finished up $150 down. I suppose that I can get away from it, but I'd like to see anyone manage it without the benfit of that powerful weapon hindsight. Sure, I have a bad feeling. But I've satuyed in with hands like this before and won. I print it here because, well, basically it's hilarious. It would have been nicer if I won, though.

$5/$10 Texas Hold'em - Tuesday, August 16,
Table Table 13070 (Real Money)
Seat 3 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 5: LilAlvin ( $54.50 )
Seat 10: Birks ( $378.50 )
Seat 2: ffredd ( $71 )
Seat 9: bmth11 ( $357.25 )
Seat 1: Sancho555 ( $353 )
Seat 6: RoastBeans ( $345.50 )
Seat 8: Lunacy00 ( $242.50 )
Seat 3: MazaA ( $281.50 )
Seat 7: foldequity ( $250 )
Button: sharples ( $150 )
LilAlvin posts small blind [$2].
RoastBeans posts big blind [$5].

** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Birks [ Kd Kc ]

Lunacy00 folds.
bmth11 calls [$5].
Birks raises [$10].
Sancho555 raises [$15]
ffredd folds.
MazaA folds.
LilAlvin calls [$13].
RoastBeans folds.
bmth11 calls [$10].
Birks raises [$10].

Heads up I would be tempted to flat call here, but with this number of players, I decided that building the pot had a better EV. Subtlety had little place.

Sancho555 calls [$5].
LilAlvin calls [$5].
bmth11 calls [$5].

$82 in the pot now, btw

** Dealing Flop ** [ 7c, Js, 2h ]
LilAlvin checks.
bmth11 bets [$5].
Birks raises [$10].
Sancho555 raises [$15].

LilAlvin calls [$15].
bmth11 calls [$10].
Birks calls [$5].

At this point I'm wondering whether Sancho has Aces or Jacks. But he might have Ace-Jack suited, or Queens. The other two players could be in on any pair, to be frank.

** Dealing Turn ** [ 7s ]
That puts two sevens on board. Lil Alvin might have something like 87.

LilAlvin checks.
bmth11 bets [$10].
Birks calls [$10].
Sancho555 calls [$10].
LilAlvin is all-In.
bmth11 calls [$9.50].
Birks raises [$19.50].

With Sancho's call, I really think that I am up against Ace-Jack here, possibly twice. I reckon if I raise and am not reraised by either, there is definitely no seven out and no JJ out.

Sancho555 calls [$19.50].
bmth11 calls [$10].

** Dealing River ** [ 4d ]

bmth11 checks.
Birks checks.
There are limits to how far you can bet for value.
Sancho555 bets [$10].
bmth11 calls [$10].
Birks calls [$10].

I feel like shit now, but I cannot fold, especially since I am last to bet.

Sancho555 shows [ Ks, Kh ] two pairs, kings and sevens.
LilAlvin doesn't show [ Qd, Qc ] two pairs, queens and sevens.
bmth11 shows [ As, Ah ] two pairs, aces and sevens.
Birks doesn't show [ Kd, Kc ] two pairs, kings and sevens.
bmth11 wins $60 from side pot #1 with two pairs, aces and sevens.
bmth11 wins $220 from the main pot with two pairs, aces and sevens.

Well, obvious, really, when you think about it. AA, KK, KK, and QQ. How could I have missed that combination? And BMTH played it well.
peterbirks: (Default)
It was an odd month. despite my cracking profit at 15-30 for the last 10 days of June, I was not comfortable at that level, so I switched back to double-tabling at $5-$10. This would have paid an "expected" profit had it not been for the last couple of days of the month, when the world tried to royally screw me. But 2-tabling at Party is still generating about $10 to $12 an hour, which I can live with at the moment. For the future, I want more, and I must try to summon up the courage to move up in stakes. I just played a bit of $10-$20, but the game was bad (reminiscent of Stars $3-$6), and I missed a bet at the end with AKs, which would have been called by AJ. This was a bad miss and I was annoyed with myself. That's not a good attitude to have when playing poker, so I ducked and ran with my hundred bucks profit. besides, I have a lot of stuff to do, such as this!

The data describing the games could be better phrased. Basically if it's a single number (such as the $60) then that's a tourney entry fee. All of the others describe the betting levels in limit or the blinds in pot-limit.

As I wrote, it was a strange month. From being $500 up after a couple of days, I sank and sank until the 19th, when I found myself about $600 down. Then I zoomed back up the rankings to about $600 up, only for the last weekend to dent the figures somewhat.

In fact it was a losing month, because in this profit is hidden $340 in bonuses. Now, $100 of this was from Ultimate, where I spent most of the month throwing money on the fire (at least, I did when I played limit). Pot Limit Omaha once again proved a friend, despite the low stakes. It's all strange, because I don't think I am any good at the game. I just have to assume that the other players are worse, or that I have been stonkingly lucky. However, that said, yesterday on Paradise I finally felt "in the zone" at PLO. Which is very nice, because I haven't been able to win a twisted groat on that site for about 15 months.

 4 SITE STAKE  $15/$30 $5/$10 50c/$1(TD) $25  $3/$6 25c/50c $2/$4 $60 $5  50c/$1(PLO) Grand Total Avg/hr
 5  PTYWIN   $17.00   $51.50           $68.50  
 6  HOURS 1.50  41.75            43.25  $1.58 
 7  BetfairWIN   $77.00   $162.50     $60.00 $20.00   $199.50   
 8  HOURS  1.25    3.50     1.00  4.75    10.50  $19.00 
 9  UBWIN  $117.00      $6.00       $121.00   $33.00  $3.00         $20.00      $222.00  
10  HOURS  1.25  0.25    10.50  12.25  0.50     4.50  29.25  $7.59 
11  PS WIN  $76.00            $76.00  
12  HOURS  6.75            6.75  $11.26 
13  PP WIN       $94.90       $94.90  
14  HOURS       6.25       6.25  $15.18 
15  SJ WIN  $30.00            $30.00  
16  HOURS  0.75            0.75  $40.00 
17 WIN  $17.00   $117.50  $6.00  $162.50   $121.00  $127.90   $3.00  $60.00  $20.00   $20.00  $246.90  
18 HOURS  1.50   51.75  0.25  3.50   10.50  18.50  0.50   1.00  4.75  4.50   96.75  $2.55 
19  Avg/hr  $11.33   $2.27  $24.00  $46.43   $11.52  $6.91  $6.00   $60.00  $4.21  $4.44$2.55

After two great months, I really shouldn't complain. But, even so, it's perhaps a good idea to go back over hand histories and make notes, just in case something more fundamental than ordinary variance is at play. As I have said, I really must try to stop this hesitancy to bet on the river. I've overcome the fear of the check-raise on the turn, so now all I have to do is do the same on the river! It's simply a matter of saying to myself as I bet: "if he raises, I am folding/calling". Then I am not stuck with a decision when the rare check-raise occurs. Even at $5-$10, players seem reluctant to gamble on getting a check-raise when they have a good hand on the river. So the check represents something dubious at least 95% of the time.

Onwards and upwards!
peterbirks: (Default)
The vicissitudes of limit hold 'em will never be something that I can easily come to terms with. When I am winning, I wonder how long it will be before it comes to an end, while when I am losing, I get minorly irritated that things are not going right. Happily, unlike a number of players, I don't let this spill over into the chat box.

Having manfully got back from £300 down to nearly £400 up on the month at the start of yesterday morning, it took but a few hours yesterday and today for this to all disappear down the swannee river. Bad beats, some bad play (one irritating side effect of Game Time on Party is that you can sometimes miss the fact that the players in the 10 seat and the 1 seat still have cards) that probably cost me $60 or thereabouts over several hundred hands, and a general "oh god, things are not going right". I mean, it's not often that you get Aces back to back and two straight flushes in a session, and still finish significantly down.

I idled my way through a few blogs that were new to me. Although Pokergrub has some useful info on Las Vegas, we don't really share the same life view. Lord Genzikor on the Rhymes With Joker blog is really a fascinating read. It highlights much of the American way and one of the flaws particular to so many poker players -- refusing to play at levels within your bankroll. He's clearly a nice guy who is suffering in various ways with the modern world and, as is the American way, thinks that moving west will (or at least might) solve those problems. Then again, it's easy to preach when you aren't on the breadline. For anyone actually even contemplating an attempt at playing professionally, Genzikor's blog should be compulsory reading. This is what it's like when it goes wrong.

I'll probably put in a tournament or two and another couple of hours before the month is out, which at the moment is looking distinctly sub-average. One has to expect these things, as the long run in limit can be long indeed. I've not been outplayed, I've got away from some hands when my reads have been spot on, and I've even picked up a few river bets for value that I would not have done a few months ago (still missing some here and there, though! I must put a sign up on the wall behind the computer....)
peterbirks: (Default)
Winning a few bob at limit, losing a few bob at PLO, and can't win a place in the Stars FPP satellites for love nor money. Went down the tubes after an hour of careful play last night, building up to 2000 chips while the average stack zoomed to 3,200, and got K8 in the big blind (50-100). Limp UTG and passed round to SB, who completes. I check. Flop is K53 rainbow giving me pair of kings bad kicker. SB (who has 7500 in chips) checks, I check and UTG checks. Turn is a Jack, putting a potential flush draw out. I bet 300 into the 300 pot and get called by the small blind. River is another king. SB bets 1800 into the 900 pot, putting me all in if I call.

I think and think. He has the stack to be able to risk that money, and players who have accumulated a fair amount early on tend to be punters. Could he be trying it on with Jack-Ten, something like that. He might even have King-small and my 8 kicker would play. I call, and he turns over a pair of threes. So it goes. I still can't decide if I should have folded or called. I know that I have called in similar situations in the past and have won, but I can't for the life of me remember if I am ahead or behind in the long run.


Similar lack of experience hit me in a PLO hand (my last of the night). I picked up AQJ9 (Ace-Jack were suited) UTG and limped for 50c. It was raised a dollar by a very aggressive player on the button. I called.

Flop came T75 rainbow (one of my AJ suit). I check and it's checked round to the button, who bets $4 into a $12 pot. I think that I should fold here, but it was my last hand, so I called. Everyone else folded.

Turn brings a King of the fourth suit. I check, Button bets $8 into a $20 pot.

I can now hit a lock with an Ace, a Queen, a Jack, a nine or an eight. If I put my opponent on something like AAKT, I am a 35% shot, so I'm getting 3.5 to 1 on a 2-to-1 bet, even assuming opponent folds.

On the downside, if opponent has something like AAQJ, I might be shooting for just half the pot in most cases. All things considered, I think that a call is right (we are both fairly deep-stacked, BTW).

Anyway, the river brings a 6. Now, I COULD bet $36 here, staking a claim to an 89. But I don't. I check and fold to opponent's bet.

A myriad of different things that I could have done, with the best probably being folding to the extra dollar pre flop! But, hell what lessons would I have learnt from that?


To lunch this week at 24, the restaurant on the 24th floor of Tower 42 (the old Nat West Tower, to you and me), to discuss the current state of the European Insurance Market. Yeah, man, I pick the fun topics.

Disappointing food, to be frank, with the lamb particularly sub-standard. It's all very well trying nouvelle cuisine stuff, but if your supplier lets you down on quality, the faults are just magnified. And this lamb just wasn't good enough to be cooked at a high heat for about 3 minutes and then left in the oven for 25 minutes for the heat to seep through into the virtually raw inner sanctum. You need lean meat for that, and one with a marble of fat running through it will be just chewy. And this one was. Oh, and the taste wasn't that great, either. I'm hopeful that the regular chef was on a day off, because it's worrying if he lets dishes like that out of the kitchen. Actually, it's worrying if he allows meat like that into the kitchen in the first place. New supplier, 24!


I seem to have damaged the top of my shin at the gym. Curious, because I didn't increase the weights on the machine which might have caused the pain, although I did increase the number of reps from two sets of 12 to three sets of twelve. The pain only came alive when I got home yesterday evening. It's now just very sore. My major fear with this weights machine has been damage to the cartilage rather than to the bit where the shin attaches to the knee. I wonder if I might have pulled something on the rowing machine. Damn, I need a book of anatomy!


On the limit front, the Stars bonus is in play and I'm having a nice run there at the $5-$10. This is curious, given the problems that I had at $3-$6! Without any particularly spectacular cards, I've been getting away from losers and creaming in the winners. Here's one example. I got JJ on the button. MP1 raised and MP3 called. I pitched the hand through gritted teeth. Why? Because I rated that flat call as being a monster. And it was (KK). But there was another reason. I've gone back to the "only enter a pot pre-flop that you intend to win - pitch hands that appear to offer 'value'" strategy. At Stars the Ace-x suiteds on the button or one off the button, with a couple of limpers in front of you, seem to be seriously minus EV.

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