Saturday, July 19, 2014

How to have large wins playing poker. 1. straddle 2. play way too loose. 3. get lucky

i set a record for my longest session here in reno, todays session was 9+ hours, and resulted in a win of $252. Which keeps my hourly at $17, as i pass the 221st hour. and now i really am good and tired, too tired to play on Bovada even with the remaining $39.

when i first arrived, there was no seat open in the $1-2, so i sat a short while in the $3-5 NL while i waited, (and where im not tracking play to avoid mixing up the rate). bought in $200 minimum, (thank God its not $300), and on the 2nd or 3rd orbit got dealt 99 when the button makes it $25. i call, one other guy calls. flop comes 458 and im first to act. i shove into a $80 pot for $160, and thankfully no one calls. then my seat opens and i quit up $50. maybe i should play $3-5 more.

i sit in that game for hours, and its a rather poor game, not much action, and many good players. eventually im down to my last $60 of $270 worth of buyins total after about 4 hours. one big pot i lost i flopped the nut straight, a guy shoves allin for over $100 with 2 pair, and runner runners the flush to beat me. that table sucked.

so finally, since nothing else was working, and id seen a guy win a big pot with 25 offsuit in his blind (the only guy id been able to bluff more than once) and a fairly tight player, i straddled UTG for $5. 3 people limped, looked down and saw 25 offsuit, shoved hoping no one would call, and one guy fairly new to the table called.

flop comes 8TJ spades and i feel im done for, T on the turn, 5 on the river, and i won the pot. he must of had ak or something.

a few hands later, same guy, and he made it $13 and i call with KT clubs. flop comes A45 with 2 clubs, and i tell him ur gonna hate me if a 2 3 or 5 comes. he bets $20 and i call. turn comes 5, i shove, he folds 77, and i show the bluff.

and from then on i couldnt lose. eventually i cashed out $522, which happened to be the high water mark of the day. changed tables once for a better action game, and thats where the last $150 or so of the winnings came. the new table i also got action for raising 52 offsuit first hand of someones straddle and showing it. But truthfully i was much tighter than the players at the new table. I just appeared to be loose.


  1. You mentioned you should play$3/$5 more since you won $50.... Can you explain your thinking on that 99 hand? Especially post flop.

    1. i felt like he had 2 overcards, and i didnt want to give a free card. if he has me beat, he bets anyway and i have to call, so might as well shove.

    2. try maximizing value for a change

    3. How did you know neither play had TT-AA?

      What hands do you expect them to call your shove with? Anything less than 99? Do you think they might fold any hand better than 99? If not you are pretty much turning your hand into a bluff with only two outs to improve?

      Why not check? If you think the OR will make a c-bet? You could then check/raise all in. You still are way behind if you get called anyways but at least you get more value or chips for the times you are ahead.

      If they both also check them you could bet most turns. If someone raises you all in on the turn you are almost certainly beat and you can fold.

      If you don't think anyone is going to bet then you could lead out with a smaller bet. If someone raises you all in then you can fold. If someone calls you then you can prob should reeval turn and slow down.

      You might as well have 52o again if you are going to lead over shove the pot. You've turned your hand into a bluff.

      You would have been better off turning 3betting preflop. Calling and then over shoving a flop like this gives your opponents a chance to hit their hand on the flop when behind and call when they are already ahead.

      I do think short stacking is better for you. Not as many post flop decisions to get you in trouble.

    4. terrible logic as usual
      he's gonna bet his overs or his pair
      by shoving he's calling with his pair and folding his overs
      by check shoving he's betting his overs and folding,so you get another bet out of him

      also hilarious how you stuff with 9s as an overpair and the flush draw but are scared of your own shadow with monsters.

      and btw your awful table talk isn't why he folded 7s. he folded 7s bc he had 7s with an ace out.

    5. 1. Ideally when you bet, you want better hands to fold and worse hands to call. Can you list for us what hands he has worse than your 9-9 that will call a $160 shove into an $80 pot?

      2. On what basis did you conclude that he had unpaired overcards instead of a bigger pair? How confident were you in that conclusion, on a percentage basis? Put another way, what was his range here, given the pre-flop action as your only information?

    6. i dont want worse hands calling unless theyre drawing dead or nearly dead, otherwise they hit most of the time, they even hit most of the time when the odds are they wont. expecting the worst to happen keeps me out of a lot of bad situations.

    7. VOOK--i dont really feel like i played that hand the best, id have rather had a stack size of $100. but im afraid if i 3 bet them type of hands ill either be 4 bet every time i have the worst of it, or be 4bet bluffed off my hand. thats why id rather be able to shove preflop or fold.

      and since i expect the worst--i feel like if i dont get this money in NOW--an overcard will hit the turn and my hand will either be no good, or ill be forced into a difficult decision on the turn. truthfully i was so happy to see small cards on the board, i didnt realize how big an overbet i was making at the time i shoved til i started reading all the blog comments.

    8. The most important words in that explanation are these: "I'm afraid."

      You can never play good poker when fear is your dominant emotion.

    9. What precisely is the mechanism that causes overcards to come off the deck at a higher frequency than that dictated by probability theory?

    10. lmao@ i dont want them calling drawing almost dead
      6th grade math shows us you do

      it's amazing a guy can be afraid to get his money in as an 80 pct fav in poker but travels the country to play negative ev machines and table games

      also amazing with a set of 8s vs an idiot you're afraid of the one unlikely hand that beats you,but youll jam 99 when you can easily be beat, and nobody who is ahead folds and jam 5 2 preflop

      the flawed logic explains why you've been broke for so long

    11. who said i didnt want them calling when drawing dead? i said i dont want them calling when they have about a 45-55 chance to win, and are slightly behind. when my EV is much greater taking down a huge amount of dead money--this is where Grump isnt seeing the big picture. Grump does want them to call and i dont.

    12. Overall out of all his choices I think shoving on the flop is Ok.

      3-5 Game TBC buys in for $200. Max buy in most likely $1,000

      Starts this hand with $185 dollars in his short stack.
      TBC has only been playing for a short time and has no clue how these people play.

      PREFLOP: Button bets $25 dollars, TBC in the small blind calls, big blind folds, last player calls. There is now $80 in the pot.

      FLOP: 854 - Overall this is a good flop for 99. Most likely the two other players in the hand have over cards or a draw and with this flop TBC should be ahead most of the time.

      By shoving all in on the flop when he is ahead he is not giving anyone with over cards or some kind of draw the correct odds to call and suck out on him.

      If they do call with just over cards or a draw then it was really a bad decision on there part even if they do get lucky and hit there hand on the turn or river.

      Most of the time he should get a fold here and take down the pot. It is possible that they could have a higher pocket pair then him but most of the time they won't.

      One of the keys to successful short stack play is that when you believe that your ahead in the hand push your short stack all in. This makes it really difficult for deep stacks to play back at you and you have decent fold equity.

      Sometimes the big stacks call because you don't have too much money or they think you may be bluffing / trying to steal the pot. This improves your chance of doubling up.

    13. You think 99 on that board is only a 55/45 favorite against overcards?

    14. show us an example of a 44-55 percent chance hand.

      for the 99 hand we are talking about a more polarized range where you are either way ahead or way behind. Way ahead is facing two over cards. that is about 6 outs twice or 24% chance to hit. that is way ahead. way behind is if they actually have your overpair beat already.

      grump's statement is a general one that you want people to call when you are ahead and fold if you are behind. when he is talking about having them call when you are ahead there is an implied assumption that ahead includes their percentage of hitting on top of the equity in the pot. Of course, you don't want them to call when there is dead money and you are a slight favorite.

      now, you said you didn't feel like you played the hand well. You mentioned you lost track of the SPR (stack to pot ratio) and prob would not have shoved had you realized. That happens. Hopefully, you are soaking in the reasons for playing the hand on the flop differently that have been suggested.

      good luck

    15. nothing on that board that folds is 45-55 pct to win the hand

    16. it actually makes it extremely easy for deep stacks to play when he makes absolutely nothing when they're 20 pct to win the hand and gets stacked when he's 10 pct to win the hand

  2. i cashed out $522, which happened to be the high water mark of the day

    Good timing!

    You asked about Bovada -- it is one of the online poker sites that doesn't allow player to player transfer of money.

  3. Hi Tony, I played poker with you once at the Venetian a couple months ago. I've been reading your blog for awhile now and find it very interesting. I think you're a good person, though I often disagree with some of your thoughts and actions. One thing that amazes me is that you share the lows as well as the highs with us. You know you will be criticized by the haters, but you give us the raw truth of what happened and how you feel, and I think that is a big part of why you have so many followers.

    It's great that you are tracking your results (at least at 1-2), and awesome that you are doing so well. Keep being honest with yourself and keep up the good work.

    1. glad to hear from u, and feel free to post anytime.

  4. From what I hear from Pros; it is nearly impossible to overcome the rake and variance playing 1-2 NL poker.