Sunday, September 28, 2008

Phase 2

I upgraded my PC a few days ago, which actually also was quite funny to do (well, not the assembly, but the buying of the parts I needed). I walked into a computer store, across the place I work at myself, and asked them if they had the Q9300 processor. They answered no, so I thanked them for their time and walked outside. So I went into the next store, where they answered 'yes' to my question, and followed by asking me if that was all I needed. So I answered I also needed an asus mainboard but wanted to see their boxes (and made my pick after seeing them choosing the only one with the P45 chipset), 4GB of ram, an LG or Nec DVD burner, a SATA harddisk of 250gb (have enough external drives lying around) and a 550w power supply from Coolermaster or Antec.

Somewhere along the line they asked me what I was going to use the PC for, I believe it was when I informed them that the memory they were trying to sell me wasn't much better than the memory which was only 1/3rd of it's price (which was the only thing I bought where I even bothered to inform about the price, which also probably surprised them). I still remember the looks on their faces when I answered 'Poker' to their question.

So after finally bothering to put my PC together a few days later and reinstalling everything I decided it would be interesting to start with a complete clean database, and even not import my .dat file from Full Tilt which contains all the notes I have about players.

The reason for doing so was something I realized after my trip to Barcelona. I played a few days online and ran/played pretty bad, losing about 6 buyins or something. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I was getting less and less satisfied with my overall game. Further, my notes on players were cluttered with examples about hands that were way too specific, yet failed to describe the kind of players they were.

My NL2 winnings were something about 3.5ptBB/100 or something longterm, and that is not something to brag at, especially when I consider myself a decent player who invests a lot of time doing his homework, and who does not play too many tables.

I've been doing an extensive review of my old pokertracker database the last few days and came to the conclusion I missed out on quite some important things while playing my normal game, which was something that used to be a large part of my game before: Pure mathematics.

Here are a few examples to describe what I mean:

$1/$2 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at

UTG billyk38139 ($406.00)
UTG+1 YRRLYZL ($237.00)
CO blinnd ($336.10)
BTN Hero ($216.85)
SB ChungBuck87 ($311.50)
BB Klaus47 ($54.25)

Pre-flop: ($3, 6 players) Hero is BTN

2 folds, blinnd raises to $7, Hero raises to $24, 2 folds, blinnd folds

Final Pot: $17

Hero wins $34 ( won +$10 )
blinnd lost -$7.00

Villain in this spot is a solid regular. He plays 23/19 attempt to steal 36% with 28% attempt to steal from cutoff. His fold to 3bet is 61%, but this is obviously weighted based on position, history etc. His continuation bet % is only 61%.

So here, even while it does not look that bad to just call, I do not think I can exploit him that much with his low cbet %, and I may get in a tough spot with an easily dominated hand like KJo.

My old standard was to polarize my range here vs players like these with QQ+, AK and suited one-gappers which exclude a T. That part of my range is still the same vs him, but KJo has some great preflop bonuses in this spot:

If he opens with 28% of his hands, and even with the history between us which makes me believe he will defend somewhat lighter vs my 3bets, I still only expect him to continue with hands like 99-AA, AJ+, KQ and JQs/JTs. That is 8.1% of the total hands which he could be opening with, and it's about 29% of his total CO opening range. Assuming I will get owned badly if called, or won't put a chip in postflop, when seen as a total bluff this needs to succeed 24/34=70,6% of the time while he will generally fold 71% of that range. Even while that seems miniscule +EV, there are still two people sitting behind me who may wake up with aces.

Yet if I add the card removal bonuses for having KJo here, his range shifts. Before he would be continuing with 29% of his total CO range, but if I calculate the odds for him to hold a hand he can continue with when I hold blockers to some of those hands, things shift drastically.

So what seems a likely 28% cutoff opening range? Assume something like this, which is actually 28,5%: 22+,A2s+,K8s+,Q8s+,J8s+,T8s+,98s,A7o+,K9o+,Q9o+,J9o+

That leads to 13 pocket pairs (78 combinations), A2s+(48 c.), K8s+(20), Q8s+(16), T8s+(8), 98s(4), A7o+(112), K9o+(64), Q9o+(48), J9o+(32).

This is not 100% correct off course, since I do not know his complete range, but it's a close estimate. Further, it's much more likely that hands like 56s are in his CO opening range than K9o when I am sitting behind him, but I'll leave it at this range for now.

So what this tells us is that he opens 430 different combinations, and he can continue with 29% of that range if I had no blockers, which are about 125 combinations. Me holding KJ gives me some blockers on his hand distribution if I look at what hands he'll continue with, which I described as 99-AA, AJ+, KQ and JQs/JTs. Holding KJ reduces the probability of him holding AJ+ with 8 combinations, KQ with 5, JQs/JTs with 2, 99+ with 6.

This sums up that while normally he could continue with 125 of his possible combinations, he can now only continue with 104. Me holding KJ has a significant impact on the chance I get called here, and while it's incorrect to say he will now only continue with 24% of his hands and will fold 76% of the time (since me having two blockers to hands he will continue with also reduces the chance he opened from that spot in the first place) it does have some noticeable impact.

This is an extremely marginal situation, but in this spot, combined with his low cbet % and some lunatics sitting behind me who could do something stupid like squeeze with A7o even without knowing how to spell that word, I figured 3betting was better in that spot than calling.

Hand 2:

$1/$2 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at

UTG FIVETHREE53 ($82.40)
UTG+1 zer_cool ($227.75)
CO Hero ($230.70)
BTN Neffer2 ($76.20)
SB clopper lover ($110.00)
BB basouli ($438.75)

Pre-flop: ($3, 6 players) Hero is CO

2 folds, Hero raises to $7, Neffer2 calls $7, 1 fold, basouli raises to $29, Hero calls $22, Neffer2 folds

Villain in this hand played quite sporadically. He ran at 40/31 with a 3bet % of 8.8%, and I already made a note about him in earlier observed hands which made me think he was extremely squeezy-happy. So right here, I again have to fix a little mathematical dilemma.

I probably open about 25 or 30% from the CO on this table, and this player is going to 3bet tons and is definitely going to use most squeezy opportunities. If I fold almost any hand vs him except a widened value based range, he is going to exploit me tremendously preflop. This is why I need to continue with about half the hands I open from this spot to not be exploitable preflop, either by calling or 4betting for value/as bluff. 9Ts in position is definitely playable, so I call.

($66, 2 players)
basouli bets $45, Hero calls $45

In a normal raised pot I rarely float with just a gutshot and backdoor flushdraw and prefer a bluffraise (though on this board texture, I prefer a float), but in a 3bet pot the stack sizes become a bit too small to raise here. Further, I cannot represent much if I raise since I would not raise a hand like AJ either. His large cbet makes me quite comfortable about my options later on, so I decide to float here.

($156, 2 players)
basouli checks, Hero bets $63, basouli folds

Standard after floating flop. vs tighter players I would take the free card, but the chance of him having a made hand is so small that I prefer to take the pot down on the turn, cheaply.

Final Pot:

Hero wins $216 ( won +$79 )
Neffer2 lost -$7.00
basouli lost -$74.00

Hand 3:
$1/$2 No Limit Holdem
5 players
Converted at

UTG Big0308 ($541.60)
CO Hero ($401.10)
BTN blinnd ($197.00)
SB sorry_its_me ($121.75)
BB easyway777 ($352.45)

Pre-flop: ($3, 5 players) Hero is CO

Big0308 raises to $7, Hero calls $7, blinnd raises to $31, 2 folds, Big0308 folds, Hero raises to $66, blinnd calls $35

A 35/17 fish opened UTG, so I just flatted, since I do not really like raising with AQo in this spot much. It becomes more interesting though when someone who plays 23/19 with a 3bet % of 7.5% decides to squeeze. Yet again this person made some plays earlier which made me think that he pounds on preflop weakness a lot, so I assumed he was quite capable of squeezing here. I do not mind a call, but I figured AQ was ahead of his range, and since I will be playing AA/KK/QQ/AK the same in this preflop situation, I put in a tiny 4bet. Villain obliged by calling.

($142, 2 players)
Hero checks, blinnd checks

I hated this flop kinda, since even while I rarely ever cbet in a 4bet pot OOP on dry boards, I do not expect to get much action. I took the same line with the rest of the hand as I would with KK in this spot.

($142, 2 players)
Hero bets $69, blinnd folds

Final Pot: $142

Hero wins $208 ( won +$73 )
blinnd lost -$66.00
Big0308 lost -$7.00

Hand 4:

This is a hand I misplayed terribly, but I do not mind my play if I had something like KJ or A9o, since then I would at least have some blockers.

$1/$2 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at

UTG shxlfxm ($281.80)
UTG+1 doktore4 ($158.55)
CO 2michael8 ($173.60)
BTN Hero ($207.85)
SB Bule Gila ($691.40)
BB Boodabor ($219.00)

Pre-flop: ($3, 6 players) Hero is BTN

1 fold, doktore4 calls $2, 1 fold, Hero raises to $10, Bule Gila raises to $28, 1 fold, doktore4 folds, Hero raises to $52, Bule Gila goes all-in $691.40, Hero folds

Villain in this hand is quite solid, played 21/16 after 1.2k hands, and had been owning me constantly at this table. Him sitting there would be a reason to actually leave the table, but since I want to get ready for 2/4, I do not mind some tough opposition at times.

What was interesting is that the villain in this spot 3bet me, while he generally used to just call my isolation raises in position when a fish was in the pot, even with hands like QQ+.

Because of that, I had to assume that he was probably more likely to be making a total bluff, compared to having an actual hand, since I did expect him to just call with all his playable and premium hands in this spot to keep the fish in, especially in position.

Sadly, I was wrong, and he told me after the hand that I made a good laydown, claiming he had AA, which translates into him saying he had 99 or something and just leveled me...

Final Pot:

Bule Gila wins $747.40 ( won +$56 )
doktore4 lost -$2.00
Hero lost -$52.00

Hand 5:

This has nothing to do with the point I'm trying to get across, but it was an interesting hand vs the same villain as in hand 2, and I am quite happy about the way I played it.

$1/$2 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at

UTG Neffer2 ($233.45)
UTG+1 clopper lover ($171.60)
CO basouli ($269.40)
BTN FIVETHREE53 ($35.70)
SB zer_cool ($195.00)
BB Hero ($388.80)

Pre-flop: ($3, 6 players) Hero is BB

2 folds, basouli raises to $7, 2 folds, Hero calls $5

Again the 40/31 player opens, 52% steal, and I hold crappy-connectors in the big blind. Generally this is a fold, but slightly over 100BB deep vs a bad player who may be tilting a bit after the last hands, I could not find the fold button.

($15, 2 players)
Hero checks, basouli bets $12, Hero raises to $32, basouli raises to $102, Hero calls $70

I flop the nuts or cooler, and vs people who don't cbet too bloody often I just lead here. Vs him, a CR is more optimal.

After his 3bet on the flop, I consider my options, and I decide that if I get my money in now I will get it in as a decent favorite, but if I just lead the turn when it's safe, I'll probably have better equity overall. So I stick to that plan.

($219, 2 players)
Hero bets $61, basouli goes all-in $160.40, Hero calls $99.40

River: ($539.80, 2 players)

With the history between us, I expect him to shove a turn lead extremely light, and I manage to get the rest of my money in pretty well. Obviously a shove would accomplish the same vs his set, but I do not think he would play a bare Ad or even Kd that different vs me.

Final Pot:
Hero shows:
basouli shows:

Hero wins $536.80 ( won +$267.40 )
basouli lost -$269.40

Overall, even while it does not show that much from these examples, I am going to to focus a bit more on mathematical edges when I can find them, and will probably tighten up quite a bit in spots which are extremely marginal vs non-regulars. Though vs regulars, I will probably still continue to do a bunch of crazy stuff for 2+ buyins when I think it's breakeven+, but that's good for metagame and image anyways.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why even bother to try to buy at Mycom?? Can't you get better stuff online and have it delivered on your doorstep? With a bankroll like yours the postal fees shouldn't be a problem, right?

Verder leipe shit ouwe!! ;)

5:34 PM  

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