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Monday, February 16, 2015

Presidents' Day Salute

P3 just got back from 3 days in Atlantic City.  I spent most of the weekend grinding sweet, sweet VP, in effort to take advantage of the Caesars' Tier Credit Bonus (50% bonus for points awarded prior to March 31st).  I'm currently at 5,250 credits and should easily be able to hit Diamond this year, mainly through grinding the $1/3 game at the Horseshoe from here on out.

For the second weekend in a row, the Double Double Bonus game was kind.  Between the past two weeks, I've hit quads 17 time, including AAAA five times.  When you run well, you run well.  Fun while it lasts.

Saturday night, I played the $5,000 guaranty tournament at Bally's Wild West. $75 buy-in.  $25,000 chips, 20 minute levels, no antes.  It was, in a word, boring.  There were 111 runners.  10 spots were paid.  And, tenth place paid $111.  In my mind, the money did not even become relevant until 4th place of so, which at least paid close to 5-1.  A five way chop would net about $750.  In short, a min-cash was nothing more than a waste of seven hours.  I played down to the final 28. I was up to $120,000 chips, which was somewhere just above average. But, with blinds at $6,000 / $12,000, it was still basically bingo.   I felt like I made a mistake on this hand:  I was in Big Blind.  Agro loud mouth min-raised to $27,000.  I just called $15,000 more with 88. The flop came down J T 4.  Agro shoved $100,000.  I folded, rather than put my tournament on the line.  But, as soon as it happened, I regretted the fold.  It was probably as good a spot as any to double up or go home.  And, the more I thought about it, a hand like AQ or KQ seemed more likely than a pocket pair that had me beat, given  villain's position and the pre flop min-raise.  Following that fold, I had a couple of hands that were playable -- KQ, AT, but I was forced to fold to raises and wait for a better spot.  It never came.  A bit later, a small stack, who had been shoving light, shoved about $30,000.  I jammed $120,000 or so with KJ from the cut-off, hoping to isolate.   But the agro-loud mouth called from the blinds and tabled KQ, and I was done.

Sunday night, I finally sat down at the $1/2 game at Harrah's.  My first hand: QQ.   A guy in late position made it $10, and I decided to just flat.  The big blind called $8 and we went three to the flop, which was 8 5 J.  The small blind checks, and raiser bet $15.  I called.  Blind called.  Turn was a 7.  Checked to the raiser, who bets $25.  I call again.  River is a 2.  Raiser bets $35.  I call.  Raiser tables 6-4 for the straight.  One hand in, I'm down $85.

Second hand was AQ.  I raise to $15 and get two calls.  Flop is J-high.  I fire $27.  Two callers.  I give up on the turn.   Down $130 two hands in.

From there, it was back to being card dead . . . again.  An hour or so of 94, T2, 83 . . .  I caught a couple of playable hands, like KJ, AT, but always in middle position and after an early position raise, so I folded.  I had a couple of pocket pairs which I set mined and missed.  And that was it.  In fact, I played two hours before I won a hand.  I opened AK diamonds to $15 from early position.  Short stack shoved $37 and got a call.  I considered a three-bet, but just called.   The flop was K Q 5. Kid, sitting on about $200, bet $55.  I raised to $135, and he folded.  That was basically it for the next two hours.  Literally nothing playable.  Meanwhile, the collection of mouth breathers around me were just stacking chips.  It was frustrating.  There was one older guy, who bluffed away a $1,200 stack over the course of 4 hours or so.  He always raised the button, and fired with nothing.  I knew what he was doing.  Near the end, he raised two limpers on his button to $15.  I had KJ in the big blind.  The small blind called.  Again, I thought about three betting light.  But, the way the table was playing, I'd likely get a few callers.  So, I just called, hoping to catch my hand or just outplay him on the flop.  But, of course, we ended up 5 handed, and I missed everything.  He fired, got called by the small blind (I folded), and two other spots.  Ultimately, he fired three barrels and just mucked when the small blind called him down.  I ended the session down $138 after 4 hours.  I just got to the point where I was too frustrated to play any longer.

On the year, I have 40 hours in, and I'm down exactly $400.  While I've definitely butchered a few hands, I really feel like I'm just running bad.  The few big hands I've had, have routinely been cracked (KK to QJ three weeks ago . . . JJ to AA twice two weeks ago . . . QQ to 6-4 this week).  I also had AA and KK last week, and couldn't even get a single caller . . .   And, beyond those few hands, I've basically had 97% unplayable crap, combined with 3% of some mediocre hands in spots I couldn't play.  And sure, some of the results may be on me -- I could have raised my JJ's, even in early position, instead of limp-calling . . . but being up against AA both times on 9 and T high boards seems like bad luck.  And, yeah, I could have three-bet QQ this week.  But, I figured going heads-up with the hand would be a good spot.  How many times is 6-4 going to beat me there?

Anyway, nothing to do but wait until next week and hope things turn around . . . 

16 comments:

  1. You should stick to the machines (skill game)... ;) I had my 2 1/2 months of that in the cash games - just ride it out, stay sound...

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  2. I just got to the point where I was too frustrated to play any longer.

    At least you quit when you got to that point. Sorry it didn't go better.

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    1. Thanks Mojo. No worries. Crappy sessions at the tables are still better than being in the office!

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  3. Quit when you're frustrated? Wait, that's not in the TBC playbook of how to win at 1/2.

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  4. Tooo passive

    Seriously not to be a debbie downer but with 10bb's in a turbo daily donkament I am shoving a pair over a minraise every single time....if he has me beat...he has me beat...i want him to guess....not me doing the guessing.

    on the QQ hand...just butchered IMO....3 bet pre with the intent of calling off.....near pot bet on low flop.....You LET 6-4 beat you by playing it so passively.

    You need to be in situations where your opponent is making mistakes by calling by creating -EV with your bet sizing.....check calling in that hand was probably the 2nd worst line you could have taken next to folding

    Sorry if that all sounds harsh.....but reading it that is really my take on it

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    1. Bill, don't apologize for giving constructive criticism! A couple follow up toughest/questions on the QQ hand:

      (1) Are we always 3-betting QQ? I often do. But, my thoughts here, in this instance, were (a) it's my first hand; (b) let's got heads up to the flop (of course, the blind came along, but . . .), and (c) if over cards come, I can get away from it cheap, and (d), if there's a good flop, I might get paid. Of course, it was my first hand and I had no way to know this guy would raise 6-4.

      Which leads me to this: Assume I just call the $10. On the flop (8 5 J), are you leading / check-raising? I don;t see the merit of leading. So, that leaves calling or check-raising. And, isn't this a spot where, if I check raise, I'm only getting called by better hands? I actually thought calling was decent in this spot. Obviously, the turn coordinates the board. But, again, against a pre-flop raiser, I'm not too concerned about the straight here. And, villain's bets were on the small side. If I'm up against KK-AA, I'm pretty happy losing <$100 on the hand. I thought my queens were good, frankly. So, how do you approach the hand assuming you don't three-bet pre?

      Thanks, Pete

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    2. If you want to get heads up to the flop then why not 3 bet and force the bb to have a hand or make a bad call?

      In a typical loose 1-2 game I am almost always 3b QQ and calling off...you are worried about 2 hands out of a possible 189 combos that have you crushed and one hand you are flipping with...many hands you will be 70-30 or 80-20....if you have a very specific read that villain is a total rock...then maybe we call and set mine...but this was your 1st hand.

      Quit playing scared and trying to flop the world....exploit those edges....don't leave that profit on the table.

      Not to be results oriented but what likely happens in this case if you 3b?

      Scenario 1: bb folds Raiser folds his rags and we win a crisp $10 bill...on to the next hand

      Scenario 2.: bb folds raiser gers stubborn and calls not getting a price (huge mistake)..amd flops a gutter....now you bet near pot....he calls getting horrible odds and hits his 4 outer....lets say you get away from your overpair when he raises rhe turn....even though you lose $50 you forced your opponent to make two massive mistakes in one hand with correct bet sizing.....do that over 10000 hands and I promise you that you will win the money.

      Scenario 3: bb folds raiser calls....flops a gutter and does the math realizing he has 4 outs twice and isnt getting a price and folds...you win a crisp $10 and a crisp $20 and on to the next hand.

      I wouldn't be calling flop...but for the sake of argument....I would probably check raise....with the intent of calling off...he is going to cbet 90% of flops...with air....top pair...and the few hands that have you crushed (AA KK JJ 88 and 55) ....out of that entire range you are smashing him.

      IMO you just can't worry about 5 hands on that flop....I would assume I am ahead here and charge him to draw to whatever ha might have....lets say he has AK....he is about 25% to run you down .....You make a pot size bet...he is getting 2-1 on true odds of 3-1....and if he misses the turn he knows he is facing another sizable bet....if he calls that's a big mistake

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    3. Over 10,000 hands, QQ is crushing 6 4 most of the time anyway. Just very unfortunate that it played out that way, no matter how you got there. That you keep thinking about your game and working on it is where you're going to come out ahead. The very same reason that anonymous people (from that previous post) coming here to criticize you is moronic...

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    4. I echo Bill's comments. You played the hand like an old man plays AA. Call a raise, expect to win by the river. You need to value value value bet those premium pairs...

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    5. PM - curious for your POV. Again, assuming you flat the $10 pre (I know, I know . . .), what's your line on the flop and turn? Seems like you usually advocate for a call on the flop with an overpair like TT-QQ, on the theory that a raise will only get called by better. Different result here because of board texture?

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  5. Question Pete: What type of strategy do you utilize while grinding VP? I sometimes play between poker sessions but usually just to harvest free drinks and don't know that I have much of a goal except to try to hit straight flushes and quads...

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    1. Ha! Not sure how much "strategy" there is besides just get lucky.

      Obviously, you need to play correct strategy (you can download a VP strategy App to practice on). Aside from that . . . always play max bet to maximize your wins if you get lucky. That's really it. I know people who play seriously will hunt for "full pay" machines or machines that are close. I don't even do that, since MOST machines these days have (relatively) terrible odds. I believe the DDB machines at Harrah's were 8/5. My only exception is that I won't play a machine that requires more than 5 coins to win win 4000/1 for the Royal (a handful of bar top games in AC are like this - you have to play like 10 coins to win the full royal. That's fucken absurd)

      My impression is the game goes on runs. Machines seem to stay bad for a while, and then get hot for a while. The past two weeks, I've been hitting quads quickly and often. Makes in an easy game.

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  6. In the tournament hand 88 is pretty much always a 3b jam pre. Not deep enough to set mine and while we are ahead of a lot of hands we don't mind them folding out whatever equity they do have with KJo, AT, etc. Playing 10bb poker post flop is almost impossible.

    QQ is an auto 3b particularly from a LP raiser. It is mostly always a 3b but against certain players flatting can be ok. But that is a rare spot. As played I think calling down is "normal" depending on the texture since the check raising only really targets TT-JJ.

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  7. Overall, looking at the hands presented, you need to up your aggression. It may have to do with your streak of bad luck that is getting in the way of your normal game. Regardless, aggression is lacking in the hands presented and could've helped you turn the session around.

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    1. Agreed. My goal is to ramp it up this weekend! Thanks, Jordan

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