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Old 03-06-2017, 08:31 AM   #1
genio27
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Am I doing this wrong?

Hi all, first time posting here. I've been playing a lot more on Pokerstars recently, normally at the 0.02/0.05 stakes and I've been having a tough time. I must have deposited $20 into the account 5 or 6 times over the past two weeks and I just can't seem to get ahead. Even when I feel like I'm making the right decisions I end up losing my money, usually when I go all-in when I think I have the best hand.

The most recent example is this one:

PokerStars - $0.05 NL - Holdem - 8 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com

Hero (BB): 65.6 BB
UTG: 102.4 BB (VPIP: 21.43, PFR: 14.29, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 14)
UTG+1: 61 BB (VPIP: 13.33, PFR: 10.00, 3Bet Preflop: 6.67, Hands: 30)
MP: 122.2 BB (VPIP: 12.70, PFR: 8.73, 3Bet Preflop: 6.00, Hands: 252)
MP+1: 131.2 BB (VPIP: 23.08, PFR: 23.08, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 14)
CO: 124.8 BB (VPIP: 7.69, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 14)
BTN: 144 BB (VPIP: 30.43, PFR: 21.74, 3Bet Preflop: 11.11, Hands: 23)
SB: 124.2 BB (VPIP: 13.33, PFR: 10.00, 3Bet Preflop: 8.33, Hands: 30)

SB posts SB 0.4 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.4 BB) Hero has Ah 9h
fold, fold, fold, MP+1 raises to 3 BB, fold, fold, fold, Hero calls 2 BB

Flop : (6.4 BB, 2 players) As 4c 5s
Hero checks, MP+1 bets 4.2 BB, Hero calls 4.2 BB

Turn : (14.8 BB, 2 players) 9d
Hero checks, MP+1 bets 10.6 BB, Hero raises to 21.2 BB, MP+1 calls 10.6 BB

River : (57.2 BB, 2 players) 8s
Hero bets 37.2 BB and is all-in, MP+1 calls 37.2 BB

Hero shows Ah 9h (Two Pair, Aces and Nines)
(Pre 63%, Flop 66%, Turn 82%)

MP+1 shows 7h 6h (Straight, Nine High)
(Pre 37%, Flop 34%, Turn 18%)

MP+1 wins 126.2 BB


I feel like I just keep making these similar kinds of mistakes, or getting unlucky. Probably a combination of the two. Anyway, based on the hand above what would you say I did right/wrong? I'm desperate to learn more about the game and find a way to get ahead, but lately I'm banging my head against the wall.

Thanks,

Genio
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Old 03-06-2017, 09:28 AM   #2
Odin_ZA
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

No need to post the results. It only makes us biased towards results oriented thinking. =)

I would fold pre-flop or light 3 bet depending on your read on the villain. A9s plays alright post-flop (but not very well), but being out of position is a factor to consider. That's why I lean more towards folding because given the stats you provided there aren't enough hands to decide if villain is opening too wide of a range.
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Old 03-06-2017, 10:29 AM   #3
oc33rF
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

if you play poker to catch hands, you are not playing poker (looks like that btw how you play this hand).

the turn reraise is weak, doesn't look for value to me. what is your intention here? you are not denying pot odds and because of your style villains will think they have all implied odds in the world.

after the given pot odds, a bad river comes and you go all in again what is the intention?, what do you think is gonna call you here? what is your opponent range here?.

first stop thinking in how do you "feel" about a hand and actually evaluate your hand as a part of a whole and think if you are making any money in the long run playing this line. think what other hands do you play with this same flop in this same situation, how and how many times you bluff here.

i'm with Odin about 3betting light or folding pre, but sometimes is fine to defend A9s if you know what are you going to do postflop, if you know your opponents range, overall if you have a plan. but here seems like your plan is to catch a hand thats EV- since most of the times you won't catch a hand.

best advice is to drop a level, play atleast 50k hands and evaluate what are the hands and the lines that you are playing EV+ if you really want to improve your game.
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:00 PM   #4
genio27
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

Thank you for the detailed response. I really do appreciate it.

First, you are right. My general approach to the game is to 'catch hands'... My line of thinking on this particular hand was firstly defending the BB with an OK hand (A9 suited). When I flopped top pair I thought I was in the lead, when I turned the 9 I had two pair which made me think that I was well ahead... I realise now that I should have bet a lot bigger on the turn.

Going all-in on the river was stupid. I don't know what I was doing there now that I think about it.

I'm going to play 50,000 hands at 0.01/0.02 and do a lot of study along the way. I definitely have a lot to learn. What sources of material would you suggest getting into more thoroughly for a relatively inexperienced player like myself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oc33rF View Post
if you play poker to catch hands, you are not playing poker (looks like that btw how you play this hand).

the turn reraise is weak, doesn't look for value to me. what is your intention here? you are not denying pot odds and because of your style villains will think they have all implied odds in the world.

after the given pot odds, a bad river comes and you go all in again what is the intention?, what do you think is gonna call you here? what is your opponent range here?.

first stop thinking in how do you "feel" about a hand and actually evaluate your hand as a part of a whole and think if you are making any money in the long run playing this line. think what other hands do you play with this same flop in this same situation, how and how many times you bluff here.

i'm with Odin about 3betting light or folding pre, but sometimes is fine to defend A9s if you know what are you going to do postflop, if you know your opponents range, overall if you have a plan. but here seems like your plan is to catch a hand thats EV- since most of the times you won't catch a hand.

best advice is to drop a level, play atleast 50k hands and evaluate what are the hands and the lines that you are playing EV+ if you really want to improve your game.
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:17 PM   #5
Odin_ZA
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

The Grinders Manual is one of the best poker books ever in my opinion.

Reading it and possibly writing brief summaries on each chapter, along with practice, will take your game to the next level. Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:56 PM   #6
oc33rF
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by genio27 View Post
What sources of material would you suggest getting into more thoroughly for a relatively inexperienced player like myself?
np, we are all learning from each other mistakes i really like the poker bank channel on youtube is simple and give a more theorical approach to the game, watch his playlist of concepts.

also study the hands you lose every session, and post the hands you have no clue what your opponent range is or what is going on.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:49 AM   #7
TDB
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

Fold pre.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:36 AM   #8
HotChips
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

+1 for fold pre. We could 3 bet light here but I would need to have a bit more info on villain before completely exploiting his opens. If villain was CO or BTN then definitely 3 bet.

As played, the turn check raise is meh.. i think if we just flat the pot is 35bb on the river. All the draws get there and you turn a hand with showdown value into a bluff..
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:56 AM   #9
kokoCliff
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotChips View Post
+1 for fold pre. We could 3 bet light here but I would need to have a bit more info on villain before completely exploiting his opens. If villain was CO or BTN then definitely 3 bet.

As played, the turn check raise is meh.. i think if we just flat the pot is 35bb on the river. All the draws get there and you turn a hand with showdown value into a bluff..
Could you explain why you think its the best line to fold A9 from the sb? What hands are we playing from the SB if we fold hands like A9? And why do we only 3bet if we want to see a flop?

I feel like the BTN OR range is so big that we are most likely ahead of his with a A9. Would you only play PP, SC and AT+ here?
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:13 AM   #10
pokerforumposter
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kokoCliff View Post
Could you explain why you think its the best line to fold A9 from the sb? What hands are we playing from the SB if we fold hands like A9? And why do we only 3bet if we want to see a flop?

I feel like the BTN OR range is so big that we are most likely ahead of his with a A9. Would you only play PP, SC and AT+ here?
MP raised, not btn, otherwise would be different. Axs get a lot of their value from playing in position, otherwise you are basically trying to hit your flush. Pair of aces with bad kicker is also much harder to play oop. Versus mp raise just play mostly pp and strong broadways. Versus loose buttons you can play any of the top 15%-30% depending on how loose they are, just be aware that a lot of players do not open their range that much from the button so you will just own yourself if you call too wide.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:21 AM   #11
druid_br
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

Don't play shortstacked also (except if u have a decent strategy for this style). Otherwise always play fullstacked.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:42 AM   #12
Hugh Horace
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

if you sat with a full stack calling with A9s is 100% fine from the BB. 3betting this hand is so so bad. folding this hand is also really bad.

flop play is fine

the turn click back bet is really bad. its a coordinated board you should xr for value v. Ax's and overplayed PP's and to protect your hand v. draws.

are you a short stacker cause you have just started playing cash having played mainly tournaments b4?
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:10 AM   #13
AntonioQuina
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

I agree with folding pre vs an MP open for the reasons mentioned by pokerforumposter. I greatly disagree with Hugh. Calling and playing OOP with this hand is the terrible option in my opinion.

As played, flop is ok.

As others mentioned, turn re-raise should have been bigger to deny odds. There are few cases where min-reraising make sense (eg: Villain is drawing dead and wouldn't put more money in the pot).

River is interesting. After such a small turn re-raise and the most terrible card in the deck comes, I think checking is the superior play. The problem is what to do if they bet the river. Precisely because it's such a terrible river, check/folding is probably ok especially if the river bet is big.

Now, suppose you had re-raised to a bigger amount on the turn. In that case, the pot would be closer to 74BB and you'd have 27BB behind. Given the same river card, would you really fold to less than a half pot bet if you check to Villain? I find these spots where you feel pot committed pretty difficult. I mean, some Villains will bluff the river when they sense weakness and given the dangerous board.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:41 AM   #14
Hugh Horace
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

if your folding A9s v. a HIJ open what hands do you call with?? AA and KK only. folding pre is so nitty. your getting a discounted price to call with a hand that is significantly ahead of a large portion of villains range.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:06 AM   #15
AntonioQuina
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Horace View Post
if your folding A9s v. a HIJ open what hands do you call with?? AA and KK only. folding pre is so nitty. your getting a discounted price to call with a hand that is significantly ahead of a large portion of villains range.
We should probably be more worried about playing correct poker rather than how many hands we are going to call with from an unprofitable position.

In fact, the blinds are where you lose the most money from and the reason is you are always OOP and are forced to invest money. Optimal blind play is to play tight in general to minimize the loss you will inevitably make. It's perfectly fine to play "nitty" from the blinds versus opens from EP/MP. What hands we would call with vs MP open? Not that many. Pocket pairs that are not big enough to warrant a 3bet. A stronger Ax which you don't want to 3bet (AJs-AQo depending on what you 3bet).

Versus CO/BTN because they have such a wider range (depending on Villain) then 3-betting this hand makes more sense especially versus Villains who steal a lot from LP. In blind vs blind it also makes sense to loosen up. Versus LP you will also open up your calling range because even hands like KJ-KQ will like be dominating hands they raise with - which doesn't happen when they open from MP if they are half decent players.

Think about it this way: if you are tight from UTG why wouldn't you be even tighter from a worse position?

Sure, if you are facing a min-bet then I'd agree that you may want to call a bit wider given the odds but facing a regular bet, an easily dominated hand and being OOP you will just be bleeding chips.

If you still disagree, I suggest you check your stats from the blinds and see your BB/100 across a high number of hands. If you are close to optimal values then keep doing what you are doing.

Edit: Also note this is NL5 full ring.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:30 PM   #16
Hugh Horace
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

A9s is a value call v. a HIJ range that is why it is bad to 3bet. By 3betting this hand your removing value from your calling range and essentially turning your hand into a bluff. 3betting this hand is burning money.

why are you afraid to play this hand OOP? are you afraid your going to stack off with top pair with a weak kicker? its an easy 2 street hand. you hit an ace call 2 barrels fold to a third. As Axx boards are profitable to cbet I would imagine you are going to call a flop cbet allot face a turn check and opponent dependant you decide if you want to value bet or x call off a bluff on the river. If you drawing to the flush then your more willing to play for stacks depending on the board texture.

the brand of poker your describing is straight from the old text books. "Play tight and stay away from spots that will get you into trouble, value will come playing big hands correctly". unfortunately this is no longer enough to beat the games with a high win rate. It will let you B/E at best.

You need to be taking smaller edges as it will pay off over large samples.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:23 AM   #17
AntonioQuina
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

Hi again This is an interesting discussion.

So, step by step. I can agree that you are ahead of a part of HIJ range so agree that if you are calling you are calling for value. Unfortunately, value isn't everything. Playability and profitability is also important.

Regarding playing the hand OOP, it's not about being afraid, it's about it not being profitable unless you are facing a Villain with specific stats. I'll explain why:

- You only hit the flop 33% of the time and don't always hit strong, in fact most of the times you don't hit strong (eg: a 9, a weak ace, a draw). Villain will c-bet most of the time and so you will have to fold about 66% of the time you don't hit the board in any way.

- If you were in position, you could potentially float some flops especially if Villain c-bet too wide and you have some sort of equity. Floating OOP is not an option for sure so you will play more in fit/fold OOP unless you want to start pulling fancy plays like bluff check-raising and floating (both not very good ideas).

- Calling 2 barrels vs a stronger Ace isn't something to be happy about if it can be avoided. You will be losing money in this case. Also, if you know for a fact you will always be folding to a third barrel, this can be exploited. What I mean, more importantly than that, is that lots of Villains will bet when checked to and you will be checking river almost all the time you've hit the A and you've called two barrels.

- If you hit the flush or 2 pair which is pretty much the best case scenario, it will be difficult to extract value from it. This is a well known fact and is true with many types of hands (eg: small pp). Since you are OOP you act first and have to reveal your hand strength giving the opponent a chance to make fewer mistakes. If Villain was first, you could raise but now you can only bet or check-raise (if they bet). I highly doubt you will be playing for stacks but this would be Villain dependent.

Absolutely agree with what you said that you need to take smaller edges but given these arguments am just not convinced this is one of those cases. Playing tight usually is right at least at the stake OP is playing in. Staying away from spots that will get you into trouble is a good, not bad, idea. Trouble spots are typically spots that are not profitable to be in, if you think about it.

As I mentioned before, against CO/BTN where their range is wider AND they'll be stealing more often this is an easy 3-bet with the A blocker, good equity if they call and an easy fold if they come over the top.

Calling with that hand I think would be profitable versus a specific opponent who:
- is fishy enough to stack off vs a flush on the board
- doesn't c-bet a lot (allowing you to get to showdown with A-high when no one hits)
- plays fits/fold which is similar to the above and means you can take the pot away on the turn after they check flop

Edit: Just had to add this.

Quote:
unfortunately this is no longer enough to beat the games with a high win rate. It will let you B/E at best.
I crushed NL2 at 10.81BB/100 not playing these hands from the blinds.

Last edited by AntonioQuina; 03-21-2017 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:31 AM   #18
crow27
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Re: Am I doing this wrong?

Grunch

Preflop call is MEH at best IMO.
FLOP....wet board c/c is best with no history

Quote:
Turn : (14.8 BB, 2 players) 9d
Hero checks, MP+1 bets 10.6 BB, Hero raises to 21.2 BB, MP+1 calls 10.6 BB
I don't like this min raise at all on this board. The raise needs to be 3x-4x here. Board is way too wet to just fluff it up like you did. V was completely right to call the min raise


Quote:
River : (57.2 BB, 2 players) 8s
Hero bets 37.2 BB and is all-in
Absolutely NOT the river to jam on against a V with no history. You are lighting money on fire. River should be a C/C AT BEST. ( I don't think I'd call a 1/2 PSB)

Over all, I think you butchered this hand and paid the price for it. I hope you were able to jot down V's MP1 OR range 76s is too wide for MP1. I see that and I start 3 betting immediately with position.

Last edited by crow27; 03-23-2017 at 04:50 AM.
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