Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back from holidays and poker ready, armed with theory

I wonder if the term 'poker ready' actually makes sense or if anyone actually uses it....

Anyways the week away was actually quite refreshing and made me raring to go in hitting the tables again. I ended up just reading through the Borer book which I actually found quite different from the last time I read it around six months ago.

Most of the example hands I generally come up with the best option which is quite reassuring, or I can at least understand the logic of any hands where I come up with a different answer. The first time I read through i'm sure there were quite a number where i'd come up with completely the wrong answer, or just couldn't seem to understand the logic of their explanations.

It is interesting to revisit the book though as I do think i've uncovered a couple leaks in my game. Mainly around not value betting enough, and often not playing draws aggressively enough.

In terms of value betting I think i've become a little too passive on later streets and am taking the check weakish hands on the river in the hope to induce a bluff a little too far. The key concept around value betting that I noticed was that checking a somewhat scary river when out of position with a medium strength hand often allows your opponent to play perfectly. ie they can just check behind when they are behind, and can bet out confidently when ahead. In this situation you are losing value from anyone who would make a crying call versus your bet, and often you won't get reraised by someone hitting the one scare card.

That being said often inducing a bluff will be the best play, but I guess its just a matter of being aware of board texture, your opponent's tendencies (the more aggro the more likely to induce), and when someone will make a bluff versus when you should value bet.

For playing draws more aggressively I found it a very interesting concept. Often lately i've fallen into the trap of just calling when I have pot odds, and betting out when I think their are enough runners in the pot to create the pot odds. What I hadn't really considered is that by playing more aggressively you can get a number of better hands to fold even if you miss. For example if you have a flush draw with say A2s with three runners on the turn, and the first player bets out, if you raise and the third player will then be faced with 2 bets to call. If they are on a small pair the may fold here when they are in front. Also if they have say a naked AK and fold here for 2 bets, then you have cleaned up your three A outs assuming the first player was betting with a single pair. The other benefit is your hand can look like a made hand.

I played a couple hours over the weekend and was hoping to find some examples but didn't get time to go through my database in any detail. Here's one though that does sort of illustrate the concept .. but I did whiff completely in the end:

$2/$4 Limit Holdem • 6 Players
UTG $171.25 (average tag, although WTSD of 30% is a little low .. but small sample)
UTG+1 $65.00
CO $58.12
BTN $53.64 (huge fish)
SB $42.88 (fishy)
Hero $100.00
Pre-Flop (1.5 SB, 6 players) Hero is BB with Ks2s

UTG raises, 2 folds, BTN calls, 1 fold, Hero calls (with the button tagging along i'm calling here, otherwise i'd fold in this spot)
Flop (6.5 SB, 3 players)

3s5sJd (okay i've got my flush draw and thats about it)

Hero checks, UTG bets, BTN calls, Hero raises, UTG calls, BTN calls (Check with intent to checkraise. Button tagging along helps my odds. No reraise from UTG though which is promising)
Turn (6.2 BB, 3 players)

9d okay now the board is quite draw heavy ... 2 diamonds, 2 spades and J9

Hero bets, UTG calls, BTN folds Bet out here and hope to take the pot. The one fold is handy in case I miss - he could easily have been in front of me)
River (8.2 BB, 2 players)

6c (damn .. whiffed .. although 356 is now on the board which might scare an UTG raiser a bit .. but probably not ...)

Hero bets, UTG folds (okay well, i'm fairly sure i'm not winning if I check here, and I can easily fold to a raise, so I think raising is the best option. I check/raised the flop and bet the turn so i've only shown strength so far in this hand. In his whole range of AA-66, AKs-QTs, AKo-KJo i'm actually behind every single hand except QTs, although he could potentially fold any hand where he doesn't have a pair if I bet. So ... AK, AQ, AT, KQ, KT are a chance and even maybe 77, 88, all of which add up to quite a big part of his range.)
Final Pot: 8.2 BB
Hero wins 8.9 BB ( won +4.9 BB )

I ended up doing okay for the session, and even had a slight heater on the Bodog tables, where i'm now only running at -0.5BB/100. My interpoker is even running slightly better than negative 2BB/100 which is a big improvement over the slaughtering i've been getting there.

Current bankroll: $14,100

1 comment:

TiocfaidhArLa said...

Good to have you back and sharing those plugged leaks.