Monday, April 18, 2011

No Comment

I'm sure that almost everyone that reads this blog is now aware of the current online poker developments taking place in the US. If you're not, the gist of what happened is that the US government banned their own citizens from playing online poker for real money on any of the major poker sites on Friday, April 15th. The situation still remains very muddy and PokerStars has understandably requested that I do not make any comments on the issue. To be honest, I don't know anything more than the information that's been made public anyways, although I do have my own opinions on the matter at hand/the future of online poker that I'm sure I'll be able to express in a short period of time. For now, I would recommend watching a good interview with Ryan "The__D__RY" on PokerTube, as he rationalizes the irrational situation very well (should be easy to find on the front page).

My volume is once again lacking a little bit this month, not because of the frenzy that took place on April 15th but because my days have often been cut short due to the NHL playoffs!! The Canucks are on fire right now and took a 3-0 lead in the series last night against the former Stanley Cup champions the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks are no match this year as their team was decimated by the salary cap and they've lost 1/3rd of their squad from last year. Before the series started I predicted that the 'Nucks would win in 5 games but at this point I think a sweep tomorrow night is more probable given how good the team is playing. However, the Canucks have a bit of a bad habit of making it to round 2 every year and then losing so the true test will come next round...if the 'Nucks make it to round 3 they will undoubtedly experience a huge confidence boost after shaking the monkey off their back and will have a very legitimate shot at the Cup. Let's just take it one step at a time.

Like my hockey team, I've been unbeatable at the tables so far this month, as my heater has continued. I haven't had a single losing day after playing about 14 days this month and have almost averaged winning $1K a day even before rakeback. As is often the case when I'm running well, my volume usually decreases. I haven't played over 6K hands on any given day and the average number of hands has probably been around 3.5K (currently sitting around 28K VPP's). Now that I've made this post, I fully expect things to take a drastic turn for the worse but I'll hope for the best!

Here's an interesting hand from yesterday where I make a non-standard call pre-flop hoping to win a big pot with the button involved, who had already shown signs of being a weaker player (61/35). Thoughts on the hand can be found below:

No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (9 handed)
UTG+1 ($270)
MP1 ($205.85)
MP2 ($217.65)
MP3 ($362.70)
CO ($200)
Button ($300.30)
Hero (SB) ($201)
BB ($53)
UTG ($100)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 3, 5
3 folds, MP2 bets $6, 2 folds, Button calls $6, Hero calls $5, 1 fold

Flop: ($20) 4, A, Q (3 players)
Hero checks, MP2 checks, Button bets $9, Hero raises $28, 1 fold, Button calls $19

Turn: ($76) 5 (2 players)
Hero bets $48, Button calls $48

River: ($172) 4 (2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $75, Hero calls $75

Total pot: $322

Button had 7, J (one pair, fours).
Hero had 3, 5 (two pair, fives and fours).
Outcome: Hero won $319

I didn't have to think too long before calling the river bet with 3rd pair given that there are many draws in his range and more importantly there are very few hands that would just call the flop/turn and then value bet the river. If he had a hand like A4+ he would very likely just go with it on the flop, or at the very least the turn. I think that AK or 4x would be pretty much the only hands that would take the line of call-call-bet in this spot and given the pre-flop action I think that AK needs to be discounted because even some recreational players know to 3bet AK.

So, what was my plan for the hand? Well, with my flush draw + gutshot I check-raised the flop with the intention of stacking off. Given his call pre-flop and his loose style, his flop bet is going to be weighted to a lot of pretty bad hands (ie. a naked 4, a Q with a decent kicker, medium pocket pairs, Ax, broadway cards that have a gutshot). I'm happy to take the pot down right there with my C/R and even if he has a real hand we still have a decent amount of equity assuming we're not up against bigger spades.

After he calls my small check-raise (my sizing was poor and likely done in a hurry due to being on many tables) I'm left in a bit of an awkward spot with $167 behind and $76 in the pot. I decide to try and use my fold equity again and bet out $48 because I think that he is going to call the flop with a bad ace a lot of the time and now hopefully fold, given that my check-raise on the flop was so small. Even though I have spades, I have to now start to seriously consider that he might have a bigger spade draw since that is the most obvious hand that will be flat calling flop check-raises. The good news is that we've now made a pair and are ahead of every flush draw except the nut flush draw (and that may likely 3bet the flop) and we are almost never going to get raised on the turn given the action unless he has A5. Even if the villain shoves, we're still calling and are going to have some equity in the pot.

As it turns out, we were in pretty much the worst case scenario had the money gone in on the flop. Thankfully, this is what happens when you're on a heater.

I'm going to hope that things continue to go well at the tables for the rest of the month and hope that the American players can run better off of the tables. Obviously this situation affects every poker player but I truly feel sorry for those that have had their livelihood affected immediately. Hopefully things will unfold favourably and in a timely manner and work out for the best. Aside from that, I have no further comments for now.

gl at the tables.


  1. Fun hand. Keep up the good work.

  2. NH.. quick question. Given your line would it not be better to bomb the turn closer to pot to juice our FE and give us a better price on calling a shove since that is our plan anyway? Or do you think that we get the same amount of fold equity with your betsize and maybe save a bit of $ the times he peels and we give up on brick rivers (assuming you give up on brick rivers)?

  3. And as a Vancouverite,, Bring out the broom tonight in Chicago.. Go Nucks!

  4. I miss playing!

    Frosty, I was just wondering your take on the games in the past week. I know you are on a sick heater, but would you say that they look softer since Friday?

  5. Thanks K.C.

    RR: Yeah I think that betting the pot on the turn here is also a fine line to take. It's hard to say if betting pot is necessarily better than betting 2/3rds, I think it depends on how much of a station we this our villain you said, I basically bet smaller because I assumed that I would have around the same amount of fold equity whether I bet 2/3rd or pot. In my experience, some recreational players will never fold a flush draw, even if I shoved the turn, and others will give it up to modest turn bets. I didn't really have a read on this particular player so I just fired my standard size turn bet (given my poor c/r sizing on the flop).

    I think that betting pot on the turn in this situation has some pros and cons. Seeing how I was never planning on shoving the river if I missed, you definitely have a good point about trying to maximize our fold equity on the turn knowing that we're going to miss more often than not. On the other hand, by betting smaller we now kind of open the door a little bit more for our villain to put in a river bluff (because if we bet pot on turn, they may not even try to bluff thinking that we've already committed ourself to the pot with most of our stack in there).

    I'd be interested to hear some other people's thoughts about this spot but the way I see it is that you can't really go wrong either way and it happened to work out for the best in this situation by betting 2/3rds.

    live: Sucks man, I feel for you.

    I haven't played a heck of a lot since Friday so I think it's a bit early to tell what the game quality is like. Over my small sample I'd say the games look just fine. I think the general consensus amongst most regs is that the games are slightly better now but who knows, time will tell.


  7. Soooo what the fuck Vancouver????
    Hope they close it up tonight.

  8. Were you playing drunk that hand when turning SDV into a bluff multiway with a fish yet to act, bombing the blank turn and checking behind when you actually make your hand that is always the nuts and always getting called?

  9. Here's the hand for those who may be interested with comments below (was too big to fit into 1 comment lol):

    ***** Hand History for Game 61448706884 ***** (Poker Stars)
    $200.00 USD NL Texas Hold'em
    Table Hibbs VIII (Real Money)
    Seat 1 is the button
    Seat 1: AB_Poker_12 ( $253.90 USD )
    Seat 2: fish ( $148.80 USD )
    Seat 3: PuglieseA ( $238.40 USD )
    Seat 4: fabpianiste ( $200.00 USD )
    Seat 5: Ronfar3 ( $203.00 USD )
    Seat 6: Rennwurm ( $200.00 USD )
    Seat 7: frosty012 ( $222.00 USD )
    Seat 9: walter1953 ( $193.00 USD )
    fish posts small blind [$1.00 USD].
    PuglieseA posts big blind [$2.00 USD].
    ** Dealing down cards **
    Dealt to frosty012 [ Td Jd ]
    fabpianiste folds
    Ronfar3 raises [$6.00 USD]
    Rennwurm folds
    frosty012 calls [$6.00 USD]
    walter1953 folds
    AB_Poker_12 folds
    fish calls [$5.00 USD]
    PuglieseA calls [$4.00 USD]
    ** Dealing Flop ** [ Qd, 3d, Jc ]
    fish checks
    PuglieseA checks
    Ronfar3 bets [$15.00 USD]
    frosty012 raises [$46.00 USD]
    fish folds
    PuglieseA folds
    Ronfar3 calls [$31.00 USD]
    ** Dealing Turn ** [ 8c ]
    Ronfar3 checks
    frosty012 bets [$80.00 USD]
    Ronfar3 calls [$80.00 USD]
    ** Dealing River ** [ 5d ]
    Ronfar3 checks
    frosty012 checks
    Ronfar3 shows [3h, 3s ]
    frosty012 shows [Td, Jd ]
    frosty012 wins $273.00 USD from main pot

  10. Hahaha no I wasn't drunk but I had been playing for more than 8 hours...I'm glad that you brought this hand up actually because I thought about it for a while after the fact and am still happy with my line.

    I'm going to play devil's advocate to defend myself...

    Fast forward to the flop: Well first of all, obv I have no SDV with this hand against your Cbetting range into 3 people lol. By raising here, I should be able to easily take you off an overpair/top top since I can easily have JJ/QQ here and it's less likely that you can since I block JJ. Also, if the fish is going to be stubborn with top pair here, I'd rather build a big pot on the flop and try and get it in when I have at least 50% equity in the hand.

    On the turn: When you called my flop raise I thought that the most likely hands you could be holding would be some sort of Axd combo draw or maybe AA with the Ad blocking the NFD. I think that you 3bet the flop almost always with QQ (and JJ but since I have blockers to JJ it's less likely) and I wasn't even sure if 33 would be in your opening range from EP so didn't really put much weight on a set of threes (may have been a mistake on my part). With that in mind, I decided to bet big knowing that I was ahead of all flush draws and at least had some equity against a set if you decided to CRAI (turn also wasn't a complete blank, it gave me 3 more outs to the str8).

    On the river: As soon as I hit my flush, obviously my first instict is to shove. However, after thinking about my reasons for betting the turn I decided to check back for basically two reasons:

    1. I thought your range at this point was heavily weighted towards a bigger flush. I'm shocked that you didn't CRAI on the turn...this seems bad since you're almost always missing value from a big draw that will miss on most rivers (almost suicidal that I'd bluff this river since you're the one that looks like their chasing the draw unless I think you're being stubborn with an overpair and you're not a donk lol). I guess that you decided to just flat the turn to A) let me bluff if I've gone mental with 66 or something and B) hope that a diamond slows down the action and you don't get completely stacked if it happens to be set over set. I basically just thought that the likelyhood of you flatting the turn with a diamond combo draw was far more likely than you flatting the turn with a set.

    2. I didn't think that I'd get called by worse. I suppose that if I shove this river you can call hoping to see a bluff since I'm almost always checking back a set (which is going to be a major part of my range at this point)...but in reality you're rarely going to see a bluff in this spot since you do look pot committed and you beat absolutley nothing that I would shove for value.

    I'd really like to hear why you think my hand is always the nuts here and why I'm always getting called still have $71 behind and I think that you'd rarely stick it in here with 33 tbh.

    Anyways, hit me back if you want!

  11. I think flop is pretty bad because a decent reg is almost never raising a set with the fish left to act. Even with your hand, by flatting lots of good things can happen (fish flats 8d5d for example) and you can rep strong on the turn if the fish folds. Because of this I'm basically never 3betting the flop, except maybe with AKdd.

    With that in mind, turn becomes pretty suicidal though you're right in that it's not a complete blank, and actually completes one of the hands that might raise the flop with a fish left to act, T9.

    River is trivial against someone non-terrible as they wouldn't flat the turn with the FD in the first place, and wouldn't check the river if they got there. So you're good 100% and due to perceived flop dynamic and getting 5.5:1, never folding.

    Re: drunk comment, I figured you had been watching the Preds/Nucks and had thrown a bunch back during the nervous period when the Nucks should have been up 3-0 but Rinne kept it at zeros. Struck me as one weirdest lines I've seen from a reg this year because I'm pretty sure I'd play every street differently.

  12. Hahaha that's a fair assumption, although I caught game one sober!

    Nits will nit

  13. Comments on Game 2? As a Flames fan I obviously hate the Canucks with every ounce of my being, but Rinne godmode can't last forever and I really don't think Nashville has much of a chance. Two of those OT saves were downright ridiculous though, if 70% luck.

  14. I actually had to miss game 2 because I was on a flight to London. As soon as I landed I fired up on the iphone and saw the bad news. Nashville always seems to play well against the Canucks but yeah like you said the Nucks look pretty dominant and a hot goalie won't win it for you if there's no's time for you to put your rediculous Flames loyalty aside for the playoffs and jump on the Nucks bandwagon!!