Monday, April 23, 2007

Further musings on aggression

I have been trying to do some analysis of the successful aggressive game I played last night. I know the sample size is too small at the minute but here is a nice graph showing what % of the time I raised pre flop if first to act and from what position.

The series at the left that has no label shows the % of times I won the pot when raising from that position. Note that actual starting hands here are irrelevant.

What this shows is that button raises were way less successful than late middle position raises. I think this is for a couple of reasons.

  1. On the button the number of times you are first in is much reduced.
  2. Everyone expects the button to steal.
Not only was I unable to make as many moves from the button but they were only successful 25% of the time compared to 34.5% from 3 off the button and 31.25% in the cut off. Weirdly the hijack had a really low success rate of 18% of course this is just one game so its wrong to read too much into it just yet.

Back in the saddle.

So after coming home dejected I decided to not play any poker and just watch TV and have some beers.

That lasted till 11pm when I got to thinking about my game and why I went out of the tournament. After watching the eventual winner play and JJ and Tony Dobson i realised that I could probably be a bit more aggressive so I decided to have a little practice in a cheapy tournament.

The only thing available was the $4000 guaranteed (yes dollars not pounds) for a buy in of $25. Cheap enough given the exchange rate.

I sat down and proceeded to raise with any 2 if folded to me 3 off the button or closer. I also played suited aces, medium connectors and Face-x if x was > than 7.

If there was action before me I would either get out of there, or re-raise with position.

I managed to hit a few flops and pretty soon was chip leader with a massive stack of 8k by level 3! hmm.

I continued to play it hard. By now of course the other players were aware of my aggression and had started to call my bets pre-flop a fair bit. But with my stack I could put them to the test as soon as they showed any weakness.

I replayed the game through poker tracker this morning and I had very few legitimate big hands for most of the game. When I did get them I got zero respect and took down big pots.

By 3am I was the victor and $1500 (again dollars unfortunately) better off.

Looking at the game I did manage to connect early on and build a stack quickly so I thought I would try it again. The 1:15 2k beckoned (I love "working" at home) and I used the same strategy.

This time I hit fewer flops early but continued to push and soon was in the top ten. The break saw me back down below average after being unable to call a few all in re-raises but I pushed through the bubble and made the final table.

I was a bit unlucky to go out in 3rd place after battling hard on the final table but a top 3 finish is not a terrible result.

Of course I find it much more difficult to be so aggressive live. I will have to steel my nerves and give it a shot later this week. I think the £30 deep and steep will be the perfect game for a little tester.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

So I managed to bubble the Gutshot Open. Out in 12th with 9 paid.

I can't be upset about the way I played it however the final call was pretty much forced given the stack in front of me and the blinds.

Day one was a rollercoaster. I had decided to play it a bit loose early on and try to get a stack going and moving into level 3 I was sitting pretty on 18k after some of my connecting hands had hit.

A beauty was when I limped into the pot from the hijack (blinds 100/200) with 64 and saw a flop of A23 rainbow checked to me so I check along. The button puts out a bet of 400 into the 800 pot and its passed back to me and I call.

The turn brings the 5 and I check again. The button puts out 600. I smooth call.

The river is a brick, 9 or something and I dwell a little before betting 2000 into the 2800 pot hoping the button has an Ace and puts me on the steal.

The button dwells before calling and flipping 45 for the flopped nuts and the now second nuts.

However the medium unsuited connectors that gave me the stack started to take it away as I misplayed a couple of key hands when I should have got out of dodge.

Going into level 5 I was down to just over 3000 and in big trouble, in need of a minor miracle. It came in the guise of AQ in middle position and an easy push to the UTG limp. UTG starts to dwell and counts the pot and counts his chips and counts the pot again. Finally he calls and shows AKs. What the fuck was he thinking about?

So now I am crushed with a dominated hand, but the flop gives me a pretty queen and a much needed double up. Back in business.

I then proceed to go on the rampage stealing pots and blinds and soon get my stack back up to 14k. It is then that I get moved and to my horror it is to the "seat of death", Table A seat 1. Seven players had been knocked out from that seat, all holding overpairs.

I sat down muttering a mantra of "there is no such thing as an unlucky seat" over and over and it wasnt long before I realised why it was so "unlucky".

To my right were the 2 current chip leaders. Aggressive players who were involved in almost every hand with a raise or a re-raise. The had the chips to play like deep stack cash game and were hitting draws and pushing people off pots.

I decided to play it cute a bit and be passive two thirds of the time and put in a re-steal one third of the time. It did me ok and I got my stack up a bit.

Then I get my first (and as it turns out my only) big pair of the tournament. KK in the SB. The chip leader makes his customary raise and I flat call not wanting to get in a pissing match with him just yet. The flop is Ten high 2 hearts and I make a bet. He raises me and I push all in. The amounts escape my memory. He dwells for ages before passing and saying "I had a pair". I tell him I had a pair too.

Up to 30k now.

I then take down a 27k pot with AK. I raised the UTG limper from 2nd position and it folds back to him and he makes the call. Flop is AT2 with 2 clubs. He checks and I put out a 2/3 pot bet (around 6k). He dwells before thumping his stack into the middle for 11k more.

I mutter "oh dear" as I am not sure that I am ahead. AA re-raises me pre flop, but could he have got involved with AT or even TT?

Its not much of a decision and I make the call. He shows AJ and I get my stack up over 40k

I take down some more pots with position bets and occasional pre-flop steals and at the last break I am up to 52.5k sweet!

The last hour and a half is a real battle as I go card dead and dont get too many chances to re-steal against the big stacks on my right. By the end of the day I have what feels like a mediocre 44.5k

Going into day 2 I am surprised to find that I am 5th out of 23. However that is about all the good news for the day and I remain card dead for the first 2 levels and battle to keep my stack where it is.

I then get a couple of steals picked off by the re-raise and one where both the blinds come in and get busy on the flop.

with blinds at 1200/2400 and a 400 ante I have a tiny stack of 24.5k. On my BB I have decided before the cards come that I am pushing to any raise if I think I have fold equity. Middle position player moves all in and I am ready to muck them when I find AK.

It only takes me a second or 2 to call, Its a no brainer with that stack. He flips Jacks, hits one on the turn and its game over.

So close. The guy who took my chips only just had me covered and went on to 2nd place and £8000. Bastard.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Got My Game On


1st place in the WillHill 12k guaranteed. Nice £3460 pay day!

Was a fairly straight forward game. My big hands stood up, I got the best of a couple of races and I guess getting Aces 3 times and Kings 4 times and only having the Aces cracked once early for not a lot of chips helped too.

That brings this months profit up over the £4k mark and gives me loads of confidence ahead of the weekend's big games.

Bring it on!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Seeing as its renaissance week at the Gutshot I figured I may as well give the blog a resurrection. (again).

So what has happened since November?

Well I had a good run in the Monday night WSOP sats and got together a total of 4 tickets. Unfortunately I didn't manage to spin any of them up into an actual ticket to Vegas. Came close a couple of times, but no cigar.

I won the Saturday night £100 for a nice pay day of £2500 which boosted my bankroll and live profits.

Also had some decent successes online and cashed out some profit there.

But what does the future hold?

This Friday there is a nice event, the Gutshot Mammoth. Its a non direct buy in game with a prize pool fed only by daily £10 re-buy satellites. The Gutshot website has added some money to the prize pool and a big TV too.

I got there last night after busting out of the live sat - pocket tens no good against pocket sevens, silly me - by winning the consolation freeroll. woot!

I have bought into the £500 main event on Saturday after cashing out some profit from WillHill this last week. Ill play a sat for that too on Friday.

Big weekend ahead.

Gutshot Results

Oddly it seems that mostly if I make the money at the Gutshot at all then I win. Mind you the 1st places in the freeroll sats stopped playing when we got to the money and all get called 1st. I really need to play more games that aren't sats to bigger games at the club.