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Treating my Poker Hobby as a Business from the Ground Up Treating my Poker Hobby as a Business from the Ground Up

01-06-2022 , 07:01 AM
Hey guys! European long term rec player here that wants to start treating his poker hobby more seriously. A bit about me: 30+ year old running my own successful small business with my wife, no kids, and have been playing poker since I was 18 or so. On and off, always recreationally although I've been putting in more and more attention to it the last few years with moderate success in MTTs. I've been a (small, not big amounts) winning player for the last 4 years playing a few live tournaments per year at my local casino and small stakes tournaments online, mostly on Stars. Before that I was definitely a losing player: it all changed when I started taking it a bit more serious and started learning. I invested into a few courses, books, etc and my game took off.

Last year our small business also took off and had its record year of sales. As we were crazy busy, I couldn't play much - big online tournaments are always on Sundays and whenever I make a deep run I end up barely sleeping. That turns Monday mornings into hell, waking up late and really tired, with headaches, etc which has a big ripple effect throughout the week. And whenever I want to play a big live tournament I sometimes have to choose to do that or have or spend the weekend with friends/wife.. whenever we have 0 plans it's fine, but otherwise really disrupts your weekend.

So, I've made a New Year's resolution: starting 2022, I'll switch to cash (because I can play for just 1h and continue with my day, I can play anytime, etc) and only sporadicly play a big tournament whenever I can fit it in my schedule, and only if it doesn't interfere with other personal plans. I won't include these in the journal (unless some big bink), as I'll be buying into those separately from the cash bankroll. The idea is to play more regularly every week, around an hour per day - a bit more whenever possible.

I've recently read Jared Tendler's 'The Mental Game of Poker' as I really wanted to work on some tilt issues after losing a big flip deep into a tournament, and that in turn led me to read after it Dusty Schmidt's 'Treat Your Poker Like a Business'. Both books have massively inspired me into taking this personal challenge, and thus the title of the thread. Here's my plan:
  • Start at NL2 and diligently work my way up in stakes
  • Every session matters: no autopiloting; take constant notes of villains & mark hands for further review
  • 80/20 split of my time between playing and studying
  • Implement a Warm-Up and Cool-Down routine, and focus on improving my mental game
  • Journal here after every session; make it a habit to post and analyze interesting hands and keep track of learning & playing goals

Let's see where it takes us.. I'm really pumped! I'll also share with you my long-term goal: Take a big trip to Vegas and play the WSOP's Main Event 100% from poker winnings. I'd like poker to pass from a break-even / small winning side hobby to a profitable side gig, while keeping my love for the game intact.

As for my learning, I'll try to use many of the concepts of The Mental Game of Poker and only move up to new subjects/topics until I've mastered the current learning topic by reaching the 'Unconscious Competence' (UC from now on) level. I don't want to assume I know things just because I've been playing MTTs for a long time, so I'll start truly from the ground up both in terms of my learning and in stakes. I'll also try to use the 'inchworm' method and both focus on learning new things/concepts to implement in my play, while also keep track of my mistakes and keep correcting them to improve my C and B game.

Warm-Up Routine

1. Minimize distractions: phone on silent; no Twitch/YouTube while playing & tell wife I'm taking an hour of focused playing to not be disturbed
2. Quick reminder of my long-term goal and why this session is important towards it. Setting short-term goals for the session.
3. Quick review of what I'm currently learning to focus on it. Quick review of mental game notes, my 'Injecting Logic' statements and 'Strategic Reminders'.
4. A few deep breaths & visualization to help enter 'the zone'.

Session Goals

1. Focus a lot on Opening Ranges & Make a habit of first looking who is on SB, BB and BU before opening
2. Identify the meta of the stake, tendencies, etc & take many notes on villains while marking interesting hands.
3. Quickly inject logic when a bad beat / cooler happens to prevent tilt from causing any damage

Cool-Down Routine

1. Evaluate the success of the session by reviewing the warm-up goals, not only winnings.
2. Evaluate tactical play: any notable mistakes? Any weaknesses improved? Learnt something new? How well did I apply what I'm currently learning?
3. Evaluate mental play: vent if needed to prevent emotion/tilt accumulation, check how well the logic statements & strategic reminders worked, focus on what caused tilt and work on it
4. Review a few of the most interesting & harder decision hands
5. Assess how much variance affected results (positive or negative)

Session 1: 700 hands

Very happy with the first session. I only did a couple of mistakes in my opening ranges (in both cases being a bit too loose as I'm following quite tight OR), and despite a few moments of auto-piloting I focused on looking first who was at the blinds and BU before opening, making slight adjustments of opening a bit wider if I saw a player already marked as weak; or seeing someone with an odd stack below 100bb which usually means it's a fun player. I had 2 big coolers (flush over flush and full house on a flopped set vs higher set) and I was able to control the frustration/tilt after them by injecting logic immediately after - on both cases I reminded myself that variance is what makes the game profitable, but I can't control it. I can only control how well I play. But overall I have to acknowledge I'm running very well - I won all my 7 All-Ins, although I was only a slight dog in one of them:



It's important to keep it in mind to avoid 'injustice tilt' whenever I'll lose a big flip, or one of these 70% EQ AI. So far everything held and I'm running nicely above EV.

Tendencies spotted: It surprised me I got donked into several times, and it seems to be a rather common practice flopping either a draw or some medium strength pair. I also took notes on the almost 0 need of bluffing in this stake: there are many juicy spots to win entire stacks with 80%+ equities, so I need to tone down a bit my bluffing tendencies from MTTs. Also people here hardly ever fold a 2nd pair so it's good to value bet thinly.

Interesting hands

Big River Bluff to take a 122bb Pot

Winamax - 0.02 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

SB: 183.5 BB
BB: 104.5 BB
UTG: 93 BB
MP: 177 BB
CO: 187 BB
Hero (BTN): 201 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 8 T

fold, fold, CO calls 1 BB, Hero raises to 3 BB, SB raises to 5 BB, BB calls 4 BB, fold, Hero calls 2 BB

Flop: (16 BB, 3 players) 6 7 7
SB bets 16 BB, BB calls 16 BB, Hero calls 16 BB

Turn: (64 BB, 3 players) 5
SB bets 19.5 BB, BB calls 19.5 BB, Hero calls 19.5 BB

River: (122.5 BB, 3 players) 2
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets 160.5 BB and is all-in, fold, fold

Hero wins 270.5 BB

Pre-Flop I completely ignored the limper and went with my standard x3 open (I didn't want to ROL with the bottom of my range) and had this very weird 3Bet to 5bb which I thought it'd probably be something like a medium strength pocket pair. The SB donk on the Flop was weird and I thought he either had a SD or a pair of 6s. I'd peel one for the implied odds and to see what he does in the T anyway, and with BB calling I think it's a must call. The T is great as we open a FD and we're now open-ended, and I noticed that SB slowed down significantly only betting 1/3 this time, probably unsure of what to do next. I think a made straight against 2 players would bet larger to extract more value of trips and to also protect better your made hand; and it feels like my initial read of the 3Bettor is right and probably has some overpair of 88-JJ most probably. When they both X on such a blank River - especially the BB having only 64bb behind on a pot 2x its stack - I know they are both weak and/or scared that someone has the 7, and I know I can't win with T-high so I thought it was a great spot for shoving also considering I have the best possible blocker having an 8. I don't think anyway the SB would X expecting to X/R a made straight, I think he would try to value bet it so I'm definitely putting him on a 6.

Missed River Value Bet

Winamax - 0.02 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

Hero (SB): 182.5 BB
BB: 60 BB
UTG: 76.5 BB
MP: 103.5 BB
CO: 143.5 BB
BTN: 108.5 BB

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J J

fold, MP calls 1 BB, fold, fold, Hero raises to 5 BB, fold, MP calls 4 BB

Flop: (11 BB, 2 players) 2 Q 2
Hero bets 4 BB, MP calls 4 BB

Turn: (19 BB, 2 players) 4
Hero bets 8 BB, MP calls 8 BB

River: (35 BB, 2 players) 5
Hero checks, MP checks

MP shows 6 6 (Two Pair, Sixes and Twos)
(Pre 19%, Flop 9%, Turn 5%)
Hero shows J J (Two Pair, Jacks and Twos)
(Pre 81%, Flop 91%, Turn 95%)
Hero wins 31.5 BB

Pre is a standard ROL, and even though I'd often X a second-pair to control the pot, vs a limper that calls the ROL I think it's better to build the pot and go 1/3 pot. On the T I feel I could have gone a bit bigger, around 2/3 pot but I think the sizing is fine to also not get into a tough River decision. On the R I do think I missed a bet - my gut was putting him on some sort of small to medium pocket pair, so i definitely missed value by betting again 1/3 to 1/2 pot, which he would have called. As I mentioned I think it'll be very important value betting thinly 2nd pairs, weak top pairs, etc in these stakes to make the maximum out of calling stations. I took notes and now I know he limp/calls small pocket pairs and refuses to let go even with 2 barrels.

Missed Flop Raise & Failed Turn Bluff

Winamax - 0.02 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

SB: 219.5 BB
BB: 104.5 BB
UTG: 117.5 BB
MP: 238.5 BB
Hero (CO): 227 BB
BTN: 234 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J J

fold, MP raises to 4 BB, Hero raises to 12 BB, fold, fold, fold, MP calls 8 BB

Flop: (25.5 BB, 2 players) T 3 2
MP bets 13 BB, Hero calls 13 BB

Turn: (51.5 BB, 2 players) K
MP checks, Hero bets 21.5 BB, MP calls 21.5 BB

River: (94.5 BB, 2 players) A
MP bets 192 BB and is all-in, fold

MP wins 277 BB

Pre is standard, only notable is that he opened to 4x but it was my first hand against him so no idea if he always opens to that, or perhaps he was opening larger because he was deep stacked. I think the Flop 1/2 pot donk really surprised me on a 3Bet pot and I should have realized that his most probable range to do that with is Tx. So I don't like my call here, I think this was a perfect spot to raise big to 35-40bb total and most likely take down the pot. I think being both deep also played a factor here to be scared to play a 400bb pot. On the Turn and after he X I think my bluff attempt on a 'scare card' is fine, but again the sizing was wrong - If I wanted to make him fold a T, I don't accomplish that with a 21bb bet on a 51bb pot. I should have either X back and pot control, or truly go for it and bet 2/3 or 3/4 pot I believe. His River shove I think almost proves that he had AT.


That's it for today, I hope you'll have fun following my journey. I'll also keep posting what I'm currently focusing on learning and please, I'd welcome so much feedback about the hands played. If you spot mistakes on my play or my reasoning, I'd love to hear about them. Another goal I have is to find some poker buddies as none of my friends play, as I know this will also help my game by having someone to discuss hands with and improve together.
01-06-2022 , 04:01 PM
Session 2: 1300 hands

Today was a holiday here so used the day to put a bit of volume. Brutal session variance-wise: I started running very well, and ran into a series of difficult coolers to avoid. I keep reducing the mistakes in my opening ranges - I do believe I might even tighten em' up a bit further - and during this session I focused on my SB opening range as that's the one I have less competence in. I keep trying to remind myself as well of the no need to overbluff, to just be patient and find better spots when I have marginal decisions such as hero calls, calling a 4B pre with a playable hand, etc. That's an area of improvement for sure and I'll make it my next session goal. My current stats over 2000 hands are 26/19/10

Interesting hands

Winamax - 0.02 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

SB: 127 BB
Hero (BB): 208.5 BB
UTG: 82 BB
MP: 106.5 BB
CO: 270 BB
BTN: 121.5 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has K A

UTG calls 1 BB, fold, fold, fold, SB raises to 2 BB, Hero raises to 8 BB, UTG calls 7 BB, SB calls 6 BB

Flop: (24 BB, 3 players) 7 A 2
SB bets 1 BB, Hero calls 1 BB, UTG calls 1 BB

Turn: (27 BB, 3 players) 2
SB bets 1 BB, Hero raises to 15 BB, fold, SB raises to 29 BB, Hero raises to 199.5 BB and is all-in, SB calls 89 BB and is all-in

River: (263 BB, 2 players) 3

SB shows A A (Full House, Aces full of Twos)
(Pre 88%, Flop 72%, Turn 100%)
Hero shows K A (Flush, Ace High)
(Pre 12%, Flop 28%, Turn 0%)
SB wins 236.5 BB
Hero wins 81.5 BB

This hand is so bizarre - why would you not put in a 4B with AA on BU when SB 3Bets you 4x and BB flats? And then just bet 1bb flopping top set with a FD on board. I wanted to raise there but I thought.. I literally have everything, top pair top kicker, and the nut FD so opted to just call to see what BB would do if he'd put in a raise then I'd raise further. With the Turn blank and him again just betting 1bb was time to put in a raise and I was so confused by his 2x re-raise again. I thought I'm most likely going up against some sort of middle pair that doesn't know what to do, or perhaps some AT-AQ type of hand, so seemed good to just shove and get max value of those type of hands. I was certainly not expecting AA there lol...

Winamax - 0.02 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

SB: 45.5 BB
BB: 65 BB
UTG: 215.5 BB
MP: 151.5 BB
Hero (CO): 114 BB
BTN: 223 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has K J

fold, MP raises to 3 BB, Hero raises to 9 BB, fold, fold, fold, MP raises to 21.5 BB, Hero calls 12.5 BB

Flop: (44.5 BB, 2 players) K 4 4
MP bets 14.5 BB, Hero calls 14.5 BB

Turn: (73.5 BB, 2 players) J
MP bets 52.5 BB, Hero raises to 78 BB and is all-in, MP calls 25.5 BB

River: (229.5 BB, 2 players) 2

Hero shows K J (Two Pair, Kings and Jacks)
(Pre 18%, Flop 9%, Turn 9%)
MP shows A A (Two Pair, Aces and Fours)
(Pre 82%, Flop 91%, Turn 91%)
MP wins 206.5 BB

I haven't yet focused on 3B ranges but I think KJs is an OK 3B from CO vs MP. I could have folded to his 4B - there's just no need to get into this marginal spots in this stake, so definitely a mistake here on my part, as nobody is 4B bluffing. Flop is standard for a 4B pot and it's just a very unfortunate Turn as I'm never calling/shoving to such a bet unless I have improved to 2-pair or trips. I think it's very straightforward from there as I could be going up against AK as well. But the mistake is pre-flop here, no need to get into that spot.

Winamax - 0.02 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

Hero (SB): 184 BB
BB: 132 BB
UTG: 100 BB
MP: 94.5 BB
CO: 100.5 BB
BTN: 100.5 BB

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Q Q

fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 4 BB, Hero raises to 12 BB, fold, BTN calls 8 BB

Flop: (25 BB, 2 players) 5 9 3
Hero bets 14 BB, BTN calls 14 BB

Turn: (53 BB, 2 players) 2
Hero bets 26.5 BB, BTN calls 26.5 BB

River: (106 BB, 2 players) T
Hero bets 70 BB, BTN calls 48 BB and is all-in

Hero shows Q Q (One Pair, Queens)
(Pre 18%, Flop 8%, Turn 5%)
BTN shows K K (One Pair, Kings)
(Pre 82%, Flop 92%, Turn 95%)
Hero wins 22 BB
BTN wins 182 BB

I'm actually angry about this one for 2 reasons: first, I should have been super careful with him as for 80 hands he was a 16/10/3 so a nit. But secondly, after he calls my 1/2 pot bet on the flop, my gut was screaming at me: "he has AA or KK". I guess the 2 Turn convinced me he could also have some sticky AK that knows now has some extra outs to make a wheel.. but once he calls again my Turn bet I think River should have been a clear X back if my gut is telling me I'm beat. Against a looser player or a random I'm always shoving to get his last 50bb as I expect hands like JJ and even 77-88 and some A-highs to sometimes call there just feeling committed. But I know from The Mental Game of Poker that I should pay attention to my gut, as it's often our UC level competence telling us that we know something we're not even fully aware of. In this case, that there was a big chance I was beat and he was just letting me hang myself. So I've made a note to listen more to it in the future.

Another thing I'm considering is closing the table when I'm 200+ bb deep, and just opening another table instead. I'm not used to play this deep - I'm much more used to short stack play coming from MTTs - but on the other hand I know there's the potential there to catch a big fish and win a massive 400bb pot. So not really sure what to do, I'll decide after a few thousand more hands.


Graph so far is not pretty, but we just got started and I knew it'd be a ton of work:

01-08-2022 , 06:39 AM


Great session yesterday night, although I'm bittersweet about it as I should have quit playing around the 1200 hands - Without being results oriented, it was late already, I was tired but I was winning big so I thought I should push. Then this hand happened and my play really deteriorated over the next few hundred hands:

Hero (SB): 192.5 BB
BB: 21.5 BB
UTG: 22 BB
MP: 23.5 BB
CO: 274.5 BB
BTN: 114 BB

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has K K

fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 19 BB, Hero raises to 192.5 BB and is all-in, fold, BTN calls 95 BB and is all-in

Flop: (229 BB, 2 players) 2 9 T

Turn: (229 BB, 2 players) 3

River: (229 BB, 2 players) Q

Hero shows K K (One Pair, Kings)
(Pre 82%, Flop 93%, Turn 23%)
BTN shows 3 3 (Three of a Kind, Threes)
(Pre 18%, Flop 7%, Turn 77%)
Hero wins 78.5 BB
BTN wins 206 BB

Of course it's tilting, losing vs a drunk idiot/gambler and I tried a lot to not let it affect my play but I wasn't successful enough. Now after the session and when I look at the graph, merely my variance was auto-correcting itself it seems At that point I was running almost 100bb above EV, and that bad beat was like a 'reset'. I know it doesn't work like that but it's a good reminder to keep 'injecting logic' whenever these things happen: 'You should be happy such players exist, they make the game extremely profitable'; 'Be like a casino: you lost today so that the customer can come back and lose money to you long-term'; and just 'It's variance, you can't control it. You only control how well you play'.

What I failed to do was my 'strategic reminder' - to stop for just a minute, look again at my opening ranges to focus, and keep playing. I started playing more loose/aggressive after it, and then I overplayed this hand:

SB: 170 BB
BB: 106.5 BB
UTG: 173 BB
MP: 365 BB
Hero (CO): 205.5 BB
BTN: 100 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 8 7

UTG raises to 3 BB, fold, Hero raises to 9 BB, BTN calls 9 BB, fold, fold, fold

Flop: (22.5 BB, 2 players) A J 4
Hero bets 11.5 BB, BTN calls 11.5 BB

Turn: (45.5 BB, 2 players) K
Hero bets 82 BB, BTN calls 79.5 BB and is all-in

River: (204.5 BB, 2 players) 4

Hero shows 8 7 (One Pair, Fours)
(Pre 40%, Flop 8%, Turn 18%)
BTN shows A Q (Two Pair, Aces and Fours)
(Pre 60%, Flop 92%, Turn 82%)
Hero wins 2.5 BB
BTN wins 184 BB

I'm really not proud of this one. I haven't yet focused on Flatting/3Betting ranges, but there's absolutely no need to 3B an UTG open on the CO with 78s. BTN cold calling range there has some 88, 99, TT, QQ that I can get to fold with a 1/2 pot bet, but once he calls my T overbet shove is ridiculous. I'm never shoving there AK, AJ or KK so what exactly do I represent 2x shoving pot? Nothing, plus he has the Q blocker giving him extra confidence I didn't just binked a QTs type of hand on the T. This hand is clearly not thinking straight, and just being overly aggro. I took a break after it, and came back playing better after it.

Other interesting hands from the session

SB: 362.5 BB
Hero (BB): 165 BB
UTG: 65.5 BB
MP: 100 BB
CO: 178 BB
BTN: 107.5 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J J

fold, fold, CO raises to 3 BB, fold, fold, Hero raises to 9 BB, CO calls 6 BB

Flop: (18.5 BB, 2 players) 7 5 8
Hero bets 10 BB, CO calls 10 BB

Turn: (38.5 BB, 2 players) 6
Hero bets 14.5 BB, CO raises to 48.5 BB, Hero calls 34 BB

River: (135.5 BB, 2 players) J
Hero bets 97.5 BB and is all-in, CO raises to 110.5 BB and is all-in

Hero shows J J (Three of a Kind, Jacks)
(Pre 82%, Flop 77%, Turn 2%)
CO shows 9 9 (Straight, Nine High)
(Pre 18%, Flop 23%, Turn 98%)
CO wins 310.5 BB

I'm not sure about this one - I think I should have just folded to his T raise and look for better spots, as it was a big raise. He's representing of course 99, but also a set and QQ-AA there. I guess you can also play aggressively a FD there as we're quite deep and he could think of my T sizing that I don't have much (maybe I'm barreling again an AK type of hand). I'm really only beating semi-bluffs and TT there, so I think I should just let it go. River is very, very unfortunate as I can't fold anymore - beating all his sets and overpairs now, which are a considerable part of his range. River is a cooler but it's a mistake IMO my T call.

SB: 12.5 BB
BB: 506 BB
UTG: 100 BB
MP: 50 BB
CO: 100 BB
Hero (BTN): 153 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has A 2

fold, fold, CO raises to 2.5 BB, Hero raises to 7.5 BB, fold, fold, CO calls 5 BB

Flop: (16.5 BB, 2 players) 6 K 7
CO checks, Hero bets 8.5 BB, CO calls 8.5 BB

Turn: (33.5 BB, 2 players) K
CO bets 20 BB, Hero calls 20 BB

River: (73.5 BB, 2 players) 6
CO bets 64 BB and is all-in, Hero calls 64 BB

CO shows 3 A (Two Pair, Kings and Sixes)
(Pre 53%, Flop 48%, Turn 39%)
Hero shows A 2 (Flush, Ace High)
(Pre 47%, Flop 52%, Turn 61%)
Hero wins 181.5 BB

I really like this one - one of my session goals today was to trust more my gut, and I went with it here. Pre is loose - I usually only 3B from BTN vs CO A4-A5s, but I don't think it's terrible. Flop I think it's fine, I'd always bet on the larger size with my AK and KQ on a wet board. Once he donks for 2/3 pot on the T, combined with how long it took him to make the decision, is when my intuition kicked in and I felt this was total bs or a draw. If he has a 6 or 7 or even the K, why bet so large? If he has 88-JJ, same thing - you'd rather X/C there than lead for 2/3 pot. My plan was to call and jam any non heart, 5 or T that can give him the flush or straight if he's on a 89 type of hand. I didn't even take a min calling his river jam, I was 100% sure to win this one.

SB: 100 BB
Hero (BB): 284.5 BB
UTG: 182.5 BB
MP: 16 BB
CO: 200 BB
BTN: 125 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J T

UTG raises to 3 BB, fold, fold, fold, fold, Hero calls 2 BB

Flop: (6.5 BB, 2 players) 9 3 8
Hero checks, UTG checks

Turn: (6.5 BB, 2 players) Q
Hero checks, UTG bets 3.5 BB, Hero raises to 14 BB, UTG calls 10.5 BB

River: (34.5 BB, 2 players) 9
Hero bets 22 BB, UTG raises to 62 BB, Hero calls 40 BB

UTG shows J K (One Pair, Nines)
(Pre 68%, Flop 59%, Turn 7%)
Hero shows J T (Straight, Queen High)
(Pre 32%, Flop 41%, Turn 93%)
Hero wins 142.5 BB

Very happy with this one as well, my slowplay paid off nicely. I think my T X/R looks very bluffy which was the intention. I really like villain's river bluff - he knows there's a big chance I'm on a FD and he won't win the hand with K-high. It really made me pause and go over the hand a few times before calling and realizing he has no 9s in his range that would X flop; he's also never ever X back a set (unless top set sometimes for trapping) and those would re-raise my T raise most likely on such a wet board. After considering that I was putting him a busted FD and sometimes some AQ that thinks its good there and can extract value from KQ, QJ type of hands.

Session goals for tonight

1. Take an obligatory break if there's a big bad beat vs an idiot, take a few breaths, inject logic and continue playing after it only.
2. Realize faster when my game has dropped to B or C-level and take a break or stop playing all together. Indicators: Deviating from opening ranges; 3Betting too much or marginal hands; calling small pairs to set mine from not ideal positions.
3. If playing a session over 1000 hands, take an obligatory break around that mark and analyze how my play is vs how it was when I started the session. Only continue if it's the same or better.
01-08-2022 , 02:30 PM



Break-even session today but I'm super happy about it. Not because I unstuck the loss and ended up flat, but because despite a really bad start losing many big pots, I was able to just take a few seconds off, a few deep breaths and it didn't deteriorate my play at all. Getting better at the mental game is just so +EV.

Lost Pots at the beginning of the session

Hero (SB): 100 BB
BB: 274.5 BB
UTG: 189 BB
MP: 154.5 BB
CO: 171 BB
BTN: 187 BB

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Q T

fold, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, BB raises to 9 BB, Hero calls 6 BB

Flop: (18 BB, 2 players) 6 Q 5
Hero checks, BB bets 11 BB, Hero raises to 27 BB, BB calls 16 BB

Turn: (72 BB, 2 players) J
Hero bets 64 BB and is all-in, BB calls 64 BB

River: (200 BB, 2 players) 4

Hero shows Q T (One Pair, Queens)
(Pre 33%, Flop 87%, Turn 0%)
BB shows J J (Three of a Kind, Jacks)
(Pre 67%, Flop 13%, Turn 100%)
BB wins 180 BB

When reviewing it I see that my Turn raise should have been a bit larger, but still how do you continue there with JJ? I had him marked already as a loose-aggro player so that's why the raise and the Turn jam. But I guess it is one of those marginal spots that I simply don't need to get myself into at these stakes. What is difficult is that you see some players here that will call you down with AK or a FD to such play, which makes it extremely profitable.

SB: 101 BB
BB: 95.5 BB
UTG: 104 BB
MP: 155.5 BB
Hero (CO): 117.5 BB
BTN: 56.5 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 5 5

fold, fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, BTN calls 3 BB, SB calls 2.5 BB, fold

Flop: (10 BB, 3 players) 8 6 5
SB bets 98 BB and is all-in, Hero calls 98 BB, BTN calls 53.5 BB and is all-in

Turn: (259.5 BB, 3 players) 9

River: (259.5 BB, 3 players) A

SB shows 8 T (One Pair, Eights)

Main Pot [170.5 BB]: (Pre 39%, Flop 7%, Turn 7%)
Side Pot#1 [89 BB]: (Pre 51%, Flop 8%, Turn 9%)

Hero shows 5 5 (Three of a Kind, Fives)

Main Pot [170.5 BB]: (Pre 30%, Flop 30%, Turn 19%)
Side Pot#1 [89 BB]: (Pre 49%, Flop 92%, Turn 91%)

BTN shows 7 9 (Straight, Nine High)

Main Pot [170.5 BB]: (Pre 32%, Flop 63%, Turn 74%)

Hero wins 80 BB
BTN wins 153.5 BB

You gotta love the 'ol 98bb donk jam into a 10bb pot with just top pair, and a weak kicker to a possible runner-runner straight. It was annoying that SB had flopped nuts and we didn't improve, but at least we got the side pot and didn't lose a ton as SB was short.

SB: 455.5 BB
BB: 100 BB
UTG: 98.5 BB
MP: 176.5 BB
CO: 121 BB
Hero (BTN): 102 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Q A

UTG calls 1 BB, fold, fold, Hero raises to 5 BB, fold, fold, UTG calls 4 BB

Flop: (11.5 BB, 2 players) 9 6 2
UTG bets 6 BB, Hero calls 6 BB

Turn: (23.5 BB, 2 players) A
UTG bets 11.5 BB, Hero calls 11.5 BB

River: (46.5 BB, 2 players) 7
UTG bets 23.5 BB, Hero calls 23.5 BB

Hero shows Q A (One Pair, Aces)
(Pre 66%, Flop 6%, Turn 18%)
UTG shows 6 9 (Two Pair, Nines and Sixes)
(Pre 34%, Flop 94%, Turn 82%)
UTG wins 84 BB

I'm not sure about this one - villain is a 67/0 that just limp/calls into pots. Yes he can have a flush when he bets again the Turn, but I thought he could be doing the same with a hand like 78, some 9x, and even a weaker A than mine. I should have folded River I think as B/B/B is very strong and all three times 1/2 pot, but it's hard to fold TP with a good kicker against such players. it's good to know though that he's limp/calling 69s and that will take this line when flopping a good hand. I think it's the type of player would probably call and AI from me on River if I have a made flush.

After these ones also lost a pre-flop flip JJ < AK for 50bb. After that took a break and re-focused again, reminding that in days like this you just need to keep playing your best and try to lose the minimum if variance is against you.

Interesting hands

Hero (SB): 112.5 BB
BB: 118 BB
UTG: 72.5 BB
MP: 144.5 BB
CO: 167 BB
BTN: 57 BB

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 6 9

fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 2 BB, Hero calls 1.5 BB, BB calls 1 BB

Flop: (6 BB, 3 players) 3 9 Q
Hero checks, BB bets 3 BB, BTN calls 3 BB, Hero calls 3 BB

Turn: (15 BB, 3 players) 4
Hero checks, BB checks, BTN checks

River: (15 BB, 3 players) 7
Hero checks, BB bets 7.5 BB, fold, Hero raises to 26 BB, fold

Hero wins 45.5 BB

With so many busted draws (two FD, possibly a JT as well) and having the 6 that blocks the nut straight, this felt like a great spot for a river bluff. I think sizing is great and happy it worked out.

SB: 117.5 BB
BB: 92.5 BB
UTG: 414.5 BB
MP: 115.5 BB
Hero (CO): 181.5 BB
BTN: 132.5 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 9 A

fold, fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, BTN calls 3 BB, SB calls 2.5 BB, fold

Flop: (10 BB, 3 players) 5 8 6
SB checks, Hero checks, BTN bets 6.5 BB, SB calls 6.5 BB, Hero calls 6.5 BB

Turn: (29.5 BB, 3 players) 7
SB checks, Hero checks, BTN bets 10 BB, SB calls 10 BB, Hero raises to 49.5 BB, fold, SB raises to 108 BB and is all-in, Hero calls 58.5 BB

River: (255.5 BB, 2 players) Q

SB shows 3 T (High Card, Queen)
(Pre 41%, Flop 54%, Turn 25%)
Hero shows 9 A (Straight, Nine High)
(Pre 59%, Flop 46%, Turn 75%)
Hero wins 230 BB

More of these on my tables please... what an animal. Thanks to him we got out of the hole for the session

SB: 124 BB
BB: 101 BB
UTG: 199 BB
MP: 131.5 BB
Hero (CO): 199.5 BB
BTN: 111 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J J

fold, MP raises to 2.5 BB, Hero raises to 10 BB, fold, fold, fold, MP calls 7.5 BB

Flop: (21.5 BB, 2 players) Q T 6
MP checks, Hero bets 7 BB, MP raises to 24 BB, fold

MP wins 49 BB

Is it too tight to fold Flop here? I think leading is fine with the Js. They just LOVE draws at NL2 so I wouldn't be surprised at all if he's doing this with just the A of spades. I folded to look for better spots following my rule to avoid marginal spots, plus he had over 100bb so if I'm calling I could be at a very dicy spot on the Turn/River.

SB: 348.5 BB
BB: 113 BB
UTG: 100 BB
Hero (MP): 288 BB
CO: 115 BB
BTN: 41 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has A 4

UTG calls 1 BB, Hero raises to 5 BB, CO calls 5 BB, fold, fold, fold, fold

Flop: (12.5 BB, 2 players) 7 6 2
Hero bets 6.5 BB, CO calls 6.5 BB

Turn: (25.5 BB, 2 players) 3
Hero checks, CO checks

River: (25.5 BB, 2 players) 8
Hero bets 19 BB, CO calls 19 BB

Hero shows A 4 (High Card, Ace)
(Pre 50%, Flop 66%, Turn 50%)
CO shows 4 A (High Card, Ace)
(Pre 50%, Flop 34%, Turn 50%)
Hero wins 28.5 BB
CO wins 28.5 BB

Speechless at his River call - what exactly is he beating? He's only beating a non-A FD. I think his hand for hero calling is as bad as it gets right? He's even blocking one of the two FD, and blocking 45 is pointless as I'm never having it in my range after my ROL pre. Marked him as a station for now.

Tomorrow got plans and it's unlikely I'll be able to put in a session. I have some free time in the morning which I'll dedicate to study a subject I'm a bit embarrassed that after so many years I've never focused to learnt: odds, outs & equity calculations. I've always used a 'feel' approach to these based on experience, and I'd like to be more methodical and be able to calculate on the fly the equity I need to make a call vs the outs I have of hitting. I have a couple of articles I saved sometime ago from a player I follow, and it's time to take it serious and focus on this now. It'll be the focus of the next sessions until I feel I calculate fast these things and accurately.

After this, the next study target will be my HUD - another thing I've had for so long but besides the main basic stats of VPIP, PFR, 3B and Flop CBet, I barely utilize anything else. I found a cheap course I like about this that comes with a custom HUD for PT4, so I'll be purchasing this and dedicating a few weeks on mastering the use of the HUD to exploit better players and increase my reading skills from villains.
01-09-2022 , 09:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PVM Treating my Poker Hobby as a Business from the Ground Up
Session 2: 1300 hands
Spoiler:

Winamax - 0.02 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

SB: 45.5 BB
BB: 65 BB
UTG: 215.5 BB
MP: 151.5 BB
Hero (CO): 114 BB
BTN: 223 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has K J

fold, MP raises to 3 BB, Hero raises to 9 BB, fold, fold, fold, MP raises to 21.5 BB, Hero calls 12.5 BB

Flop: (44.5 BB, 2 players) K 4 4
MP bets 14.5 BB, Hero calls 14.5 BB

Turn: (73.5 BB, 2 players) J
MP bets 52.5 BB, Hero raises to 78 BB and is all-in, MP calls 25.5 BB

River: (229.5 BB, 2 players) 2

Hero shows K J (Two Pair, Kings and Jacks)
(Pre 18%, Flop 9%, Turn 9%)
MP shows A A (Two Pair, Aces and Fours)
(Pre 82%, Flop 91%, Turn 91%)
MP wins 206.5 BB


I haven't yet focused on 3B ranges but I think KJs is an OK 3B from CO vs MP. I could have folded to his 4B - there's just no need to get into this marginal spots in this stake, so definitely a mistake here on my part, as nobody is 4B bluffing. Flop is standard for a 4B pot and it's just a very unfortunate Turn as I'm never calling/shoving to such a bet unless I have improved to 2-pair or trips. I think it's very straightforward from there as I could be going up against AK as well. But the mistake is pre-flop here, no need to get into that spot.
Agree with you. At these limits, we can have an overfold against 4bets. This is how we exploit our opponents' tight 4bet ranges.
01-09-2022 , 09:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PVM Treating my Poker Hobby as a Business from the Ground Up
Session 2: 1300 hands

Spoiler:
Winamax - 0.02 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

Hero (SB): 184 BB
BB: 132 BB
UTG: 100 BB
MP: 94.5 BB
CO: 100.5 BB
BTN: 100.5 BB

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Q Q

fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 4 BB, Hero raises to 12 BB, fold, BTN calls 8 BB

Flop: (25 BB, 2 players) 5 9 3
Hero bets 14 BB, BTN calls 14 BB

Turn: (53 BB, 2 players) 2
Hero bets 26.5 BB, BTN calls 26.5 BB

River: (106 BB, 2 players) T
Hero bets 70 BB, BTN calls 48 BB and is all-in

Hero shows Q Q (One Pair, Queens)
(Pre 18%, Flop 8%, Turn 5%)
BTN shows K K (One Pair, Kings)
(Pre 82%, Flop 92%, Turn 95%)
Hero wins 22 BB
BTN wins 182 BB


I'm actually angry about this one for 2 reasons: first, I should have been super careful with him as for 80 hands he was a 16/10/3 so a nit. But secondly, after he calls my 1/2 pot bet on the flop, my gut was screaming at me: "he has AA or KK". I guess the 2 Turn convinced me he could also have some sticky AK that knows now has some extra outs to make a wheel.. but once he calls again my Turn bet I think River should have been a clear X back if my gut is telling me I'm beat. Against a looser player or a random I'm always shoving to get his last 50bb as I expect hands like JJ and even 77-88 and some A-highs to sometimes call there just feeling committed. But I know from The Mental Game of Poker that I should pay attention to my gut, as it's often our UC level competence telling us that we know something we're not even fully aware of. In this case, that there was a big chance I was beat and he was just letting me hang myself. So I've made a note to listen more to it in the future.
I think you shouldn't get very angry about this hand. Even nit players will be more likely to shove their nuts preflop. And we can partially exclude them from the calling range.
I would choose to check on the river because we beat only JJ in the opponent's calling range and lose to TT, 99 and parts AA, KK these opponent didn't shove preflop.

Quote:
Another thing I'm considering is closing the table when I'm 200+ bb deep, and just opening another table instead.
This is a cool opportunity that fast tables give us and should definitely be used if you feel insecure in deep stacks (as well as most of the players, even at high stakes).
01-09-2022 , 10:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PVM Treating my Poker Hobby as a Business from the Ground Up
Spoiler:
Hero (SB): 100 BB
BB: 274.5 BB
UTG: 189 BB
MP: 154.5 BB
CO: 171 BB
BTN: 187 BB

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Q T

fold, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, BB raises to 9 BB, Hero calls 6 BB

Flop: (18 BB, 2 players) 6 Q 5
Hero checks, BB bets 11 BB, Hero raises to 27 BB, BB calls 16 BB

Turn: (72 BB, 2 players) J
Hero bets 64 BB and is all-in, BB calls 64 BB

River: (200 BB, 2 players) 4

Hero shows Q T (One Pair, Queens)
(Pre 33%, Flop 87%, Turn 0%)
BB shows J J (Three of a Kind, Jacks)
(Pre 67%, Flop 13%, Turn 100%)
BB wins 180 BB

When reviewing it I see that my Turn raise should have been a bit larger, but still how do you continue there with JJ? I had him marked already as a loose-aggro player so that's why the raise and the Turn jam. But I guess it is one of those marginal spots that I simply don't need to get myself into at these stakes. What is difficult is that you see some players here that will call you down with AK or a FD to such play, which makes it extremely profitable.
If you have reads that he can stack with the second pair or less, then we should shove our weak Top Pair as quickly as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PVM Treating my Poker Hobby as a Business from the Ground Up
Spoiler:
SB: 124 BB
BB: 101 BB
UTG: 199 BB
MP: 131.5 BB
Hero (CO): 199.5 BB
BTN: 111 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J J

fold, MP raises to 2.5 BB, Hero raises to 10 BB, fold, fold, fold, MP calls 7.5 BB

Flop: (21.5 BB, 2 players) Q T 6
MP checks, Hero bets 7 BB, MP raises to 24 BB, fold

MP wins 49 BB


Is it too tight to fold Flop here? I think leading is fine with the Js. They just LOVE draws at NL2 so I wouldn't be surprised at all if he's doing this with just the A of spades. I folded to look for better spots following my rule to avoid marginal spots, plus he had over 100bb so if I'm calling I could be at a very dicy spot on the Turn/River.
It's fine leading on the flop. We can leading with 100% frequency.
By default, this is a Bet/Call with JJ, but folding is a good exploit based on pool tendencies.

Quote:
But I guess it is one of those marginal spots that I simply don't need to get myself into at these stakes
I will gladly raise a glass of wine to these golden words!

Cool blog.
I read all the messages and I can say with confidence that I did not waste my time.
Players can find a lot of helpful information about how to play and study effectively.

Subbed.
GL!
01-09-2022 , 04:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by slyless Treating my Poker Hobby as a Business from the Ground Up
If you have reads that he can stack with the second pair or less, then we should shove our weak Top Pair as quickly as possible.



It's fine leading on the flop. We can leading with 100% frequency.
By default, this is a Bet/Call with JJ, but folding is a good exploit based on pool tendencies.


I will gladly raise a glass of wine to these golden words!

Cool blog.
I read all the messages and I can say with confidence that I did not waste my time.
Players can find a lot of helpful information about how to play and study effectively.

Subbed.
GL!
Thank you so much for all the replies and your comments on the hands, I really appreciate it! Haha so true about the marginal spots - it really takes a lot of discipline to fold some, especially coming from MTTs at higher levels in which I know players could be bluffing on a scare card, have good blockers, etc but it's just so rare in micros that you can exploit by just overfolding. They have it on 90%+.

I was going to study today.. but then I thought it's Sunday, when most fish play, so I'll rather be doing the work out of the tables during the week when anyway due to work I'm to busy to put on a good session. I'm glad I did:



Not many tough spots to be honest, I felt very much in control and took many aggressive lines that paid off nicely. Red line looking sexy today

Interesting Hands

SB: 329 BB
BB: 113 BB
UTG: 132.5 BB
MP: 184 BB
CO: 89 BB
Hero (BTN): 103.5 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has T 9

UTG raises to 2 BB, fold, fold, Hero raises to 6 BB, fold, BB calls 5 BB, fold

Flop: (14.5 BB, 2 players) 7 8 8
BB checks, Hero bets 7 BB, BB calls 7 BB

Turn: (28.5 BB, 2 players) 3
BB checks, Hero bets 14 BB, BB calls 14 BB

River: (56.5 BB, 2 players) 9
BB bets 56.5 BB, Hero calls 56.5 BB

Hero shows T 9 (Two Pair, Nines and Eights)
(Pre 30%, Flop 31%, Turn 16%)
BB shows T J (Straight, Jack High)
(Pre 70%, Flop 69%, Turn 84%)
BB wins 152.5 BB

Such a ridiculous hand, I was sure that my R call was a winning one. I could have gone bigger on T, like 2/3 or close to pot bet as I was sensing (correctly) he was on a draw or perhaps some sticky small pocket pair that thinks I'm on the draw, so when the 9 hits the river I'm super happy I know beat all his FD (only losing to TJdd and A9dd; I don't think any 56s calls pre) and pocket pairs. Placed a 'station' note on him and moved on.

SB: 143.5 BB
BB: 165.5 BB
UTG: 79.5 BB
MP: 25 BB
CO: 23.5 BB
Hero (BTN): 118 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J A

UTG calls 1 BB, fold, CO calls 1 BB, Hero raises to 5 BB, fold, BB calls 4 BB, UTG calls 4 BB, fold

Flop: (16.5 BB, 3 players) 5 T 7
BB checks, UTG bets 1 BB, Hero raises to 5 BB, fold, UTG calls 4 BB

Turn: (26.5 BB, 2 players) 2
UTG checks, Hero bets 13.5 BB, UTG calls 13.5 BB

River: (53.5 BB, 2 players) 4
UTG checks, Hero bets 94.5 BB and is all-in, fold

Hero wins 142.5 BB

Purely exploitative R jam as I've noticed when they donk 1bb it's always either a draw or 2nd/3rd pair that doesn't know what to do. I don't love blocking the main FD, but he can certainly have many lower FD and 89 also missed, plus it's likely he's just called us down T with a 5, a 7 or a very weak 10. I think this is one of those GTO spots where I'm shoving the worst possible hand blocking the Ad and also some 8J/9J hands that could also float, but well.. it's NL2 and the 1bb donk gives you much more info about his hand

SB: 161 BB
Hero (BB): 107.5 BB
UTG: 189 BB
MP: 106 BB
CO: 177 BB
BTN: 27.5 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Q 7

fold, fold, CO raises to 2.5 BB, fold, fold, Hero calls 1.5 BB

Flop: (5.5 BB, 2 players) 3 7 J
Hero checks, CO bets 2 BB, Hero raises to 5 BB, CO calls 3 BB

Turn: (15.5 BB, 2 players) 9
Hero checks, CO checks

River: (15.5 BB, 2 players) 7
Hero bets 15.5 BB, CO calls 15.5 BB

CO shows K K (Two Pair, Kings and Sevens)
(Pre 83%, Flop 77%, Turn 89%)
Hero shows Q 7 (Three of a Kind, Sevens)
(Pre 17%, Flop 23%, Turn 11%)
Hero wins 42 BB

I'm trying to raise more Flops as I've seen it's a stat I have very low (I typically just float all my draws, weak TP and 2nd pairs if they bet). I should have raised higher, that was a mistake - at least 7bb. But despite that I think it's an OK X/R as having the Q we block QJ, plus we have a backdoor FD to go along our semi-bluff that we can continue barrelling on any T spade. As I didn't raise too big and the T is not great (he still has all his Jx hands that will call again a T bet; 8Ts hit the straight; and some floats like 9T made a higher pair) X seems like the best option, also to pot control. R is fantastic and I even thought to overbet but honestly I have had 0 success overbetting - they always fold - so went with just a pot bet. Surprised to see KK there.. so marked him as a veeery passive player for the future.

SB: 24 BB
Hero (BB): 148.5 BB
UTG: 231 BB
MP: 100 BB
CO: 215 BB
BTN: 111.5 BB

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 9 K

fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 2.5 BB, fold, Hero calls 1.5 BB

Flop: (5.5 BB, 2 players) J 8 T
Hero checks, BTN bets 3 BB, Hero raises to 9 BB, BTN calls 6 BB

Turn: (23.5 BB, 2 players) K
Hero checks, BTN checks

River: (23.5 BB, 2 players) 6
Hero bets 18 BB, fold

Hero wins 39 BB

And another Flop X/R, this time raising better although again perhaps I can even go a bit larger? I need to study these at some point. Unsure on what to do on T, ended up X but I think again this is a good spot for an overbet perhaps? I have a very sneaky TP, he still perceives my range as draw heavy and if I get called I can still improve with the SD. At the very least I should have probably bet large like 2/3 or 3/4 pot IMO. River I think it's fine as he'll call me down a lot of times with any Tx and Jx thinking I have a busted draw so happy with my sizing there.

Probably won't be able to play much during the week, tomorrow will be an insane day at work so will try to use some breaks to follow my study plan.
01-10-2022 , 07:41 AM
Quote:

I'm trying to raise more Flops as I've seen it's a stat I have very low (I typically just float all my draws, weak TP and 2nd pairs if they bet). I should have raised higher, that was a mistake - at least 7bb. But despite that I think it's an OK X/R as having the Q we block QJ, plus we have a backdoor FD to go along our semi-bluff that we can continue barrelling on any T spade. As I didn't raise too big and the T is not great (he still has all his Jx hands that will call again a T bet; 8Ts hit the straight; and some floats like 9T made a higher pair) X seems like the best option, also to pot control. R is fantastic and I even thought to overbet but honestly I have had 0 success overbetting - they always fold - so went with just a pot bet. Surprised to see KK there.. so marked him as a veeery passive player for the future.
Usually, second and bottom pairs are used to raise with a weak kicker (76s-74s) and with a high kicker goes into the calling range.
We need to fill our raising range so that we have strong hands on any runouts on the turn.
To do this, we use strong backdoors with broadway (KTs-JTs) and weak pairs with a low kicker, which we will most likely fold to the second barrel.
Spoiler:


Default raise sizing is x3. But we can change it depending on bet size, position and reads.

You also can post your hands in the discussion thread and our discord server.
01-10-2022 , 12:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by slyless Treating my Poker Hobby as a Business from the Ground Up
Usually, second and bottom pairs are used to raise with a weak kicker (76s-74s) and with a high kicker goes into the calling range.
We need to fill our raising range so that we have strong hands on any runouts on the turn.
To do this, we use strong backdoors with broadway (KTs-JTs) and weak pairs with a low kicker, which we will most likely fold to the second barrel.
Spoiler:


Default raise sizing is x3. But we can change it depending on bet size, position and reads.

You also can post your hands in the discussion thread and our discord server.
Thank you so much for the detailed analysis and info on X/R! I'm definitely taking notes on this. Can I ask which solver is this one you're using? Seems super intuitive to use and with a great UI.
01-10-2022 , 08:55 PM
more than a decade ago one of the first poker related books i read was
Dusty Schmidt
Treat Your Poker Like a Business

glhf
01-12-2022 , 12:48 AM
Hi PVM and welcome to 2+2😄

What I'm about to say next is my subjective opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt, people do mistakes in judgment all the time and I'm no exception😄 Jared Tendler is a physiologist and his advice on how to deal with tilt or some psychological aspects of poker might be good, but if he advises this: "80/20 split of my time between playing and studying" then ask yourself, how did he come with those numbers?
Did Jared obtain substantial statistics on poker players and the way they spend their time between playing and studying? I think there is a big chance he pulled this number out of thin air.

I would recommend for beginners to spend at least 50% on studying. In fact, I think you should study as much as you can at the beginning of your poker career, and if you can study 80% of the time and play 20% that would be even better. Obviously, I don't have any statistics and I'm giving this advice based on my own experience.

Last edited by Max; 01-12-2022 at 12:54 AM.
01-12-2022 , 12:52 AM
i think 80/20 suggested is reasonable avarage across population.

sure beginner should study more when just starting out and gradually gameplay increases naturally thus study time decreases.

but at the end of the day, each and every one of us has to figure out the approach and find individual golden spot.
01-12-2022 , 04:59 AM
New subscriber. Thanks PVM for your informative hand histories. I'm back to poker after a 3 years away from the game.

What I found in your hand histories is that you have a really logical way of explaining & thinking out your spots, and working out the story of the check, call, bet, re-raise & folds. This kind of analysis goes a long was when you diagnose what ranges, draws and hands your opponent is playing / representing, and the image that it builds them up towards.


This is an area I'd like to cultivate for myself. I'm going to subscribe now because I feel I can learn a lot from your HH analysis.

Good luck on the tables and looking forward to studying your journey.
01-12-2022 , 08:39 AM
Thank you everyone for the comments! It really motivates me to keep going

I'm not addicted to GTO Wizard what a discovery! Whenever I'm not busy I'm going to the practice tab and I keep playing typical scenarios like BU vs BB; SB vs BB, etc and I keep seeing how I'm doing vs the optimal play. I'm really learning a lot and seeing how many mistakes I make, especially when it comes to sizing my bets. I'll start analyzing some key hands also using it, seeing it from a GTO perspective.

And connected to that I've made a very big change in my strategy: I've left NL2 and I'll start playing NL25. I know it's a big raise in stakes but boiling it down to two reasons mostly:

1) NL2 is boring. It doesn't stimulate me mentally having to basically erase my 4B/5B bluffing range; never being able to call vs a 4B because it's always premium, etc. I think it only takes discipline to beat those super micro levels. As I stated on previous entries, just don't get into marginal spots; value bet thinly and bet big when you have it and you'll be beating the level at a high bb/100.

2) If I truly want to treat poker as a business, then I should go for max $/h on the limited time as a recreational player I can dedicate to it. Then it makes sense to be more aggressive in my BRM (although I'm OK-ish rolled for NL25 as I have slightly above 50 BI for the level) and try to beat higher levels that will bring more money.

But truly the main reason is No1, it was just not challenging enough and I don't want to be thousands of hands playing against fish.

Quote:
I would recommend for beginners to spend at least 50% on studying. In fact, I think you should study as much as you can at the beginning of your poker career, and if you can study 80% of the time and play 20% that would be even better. Obviously, I don't have any statistics and I'm giving this advice based on my own experience.
Actually it was from Dusty's book I believe the 80/20 'rule' but he also said that if you're a total beginner or you feel you're lacking many important technical concepts, then by all means you should study more than play or at least 50-50. He's just a big proponent of learning by doing, and he made the analogy of trying to learn golf by spending 80% of your time on the practice range. Sure, you'll learn your swing but until you play thousands of hours and try to hit the ball from different terrains, levels, etc you won't truly learn playing well. But thank you for your input

Quote:
What I found in your hand histories is that you have a really logical way of explaining & thinking out your spots, and working out the story of the check, call, bet, re-raise & folds. This kind of analysis goes a long was when you diagnose what ranges, draws and hands your opponent is playing / representing, and the image that it builds them up towards.
Great! I'll only try to make them better and better as we move on - now that I've discovered GTO Wizard I'll try to also see it from the GTO views At NL2 it made 0 sense and I think you should be 100% exploitative and don't ever even think about being balanced, but at NL25 I'll have to start implementing it for sure. GL on your journey also after coming back to poker



Work has been a bit slow and I got so pumped after spending some time learning on GTO Wizard that I couldn't resist myself and I fired up a couple of sessions at NL25. Things are going great, and I immediately saw I'll enjoy MUCH more this level than NL2. I called a 5B bluff jam from SB with KK vs his A5s (loved to see players with a 5B bluffing range); got several times X/R on the flop with gutshot + backdoor FD type of hands.. now that's poker

Interesting hands

BTN: 113.28 BB
SB: 100 BB
BB: 141.88 BB
UTG: 80 BB
MP: 69.12 BB
Hero (CO): 182.56 BB

SB posts SB 0.4 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.4 BB) Hero has 8 9

fold, fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, fold, SB raises to 10 BB, fold, Hero calls 7 BB

Flop: (21 BB, 2 players) Q A 2
SB checks, Hero checks

Turn: (21 BB, 2 players) 7
SB bets 7 BB, Hero raises to 21 BB, SB calls 14 BB

River: (63 BB, 2 players) A
SB checks, Hero bets 90 BB, SB calls 69 BB and is all-in

Hero shows 8 9 (Flush, Ace High)
(Pre 32%, Flop 6%, Turn 20%)
SB shows A 9 (Three of a Kind, Aces)
(Pre 68%, Flop 94%, Turn 80%)
Hero wins 190.96 BB

As you can see from the graph above, I've been working on my red line and this is a great hand to illustrate. Pre I think it's standard, the solver is 53-47 favoring calling vs folding and I think I'm actually never folding this: we're IP, our hand has great playability, and we're never crushed as we have a decent equity vs even overpairs. The turn is already interesting:



I was very pleased to see the best EV decision was to raise big, although again I see that my sizing is maybe not enough and I should go for close to pot bet instead of simply 3x his bet. I'd have loved to analyze better this spot and see which draws he favors raising big vs simply calling, but I think to stay balanced there we raise either our worst FD and our top ones that could also win the hand other ways (i.e. TJhh, KJhh and KThh) and surely any A-high FD that has the TP to go along with the flush. Perhaps 89 being a somehow middle FD could have just called there, but yet again solver says it's fine so that's cool with me.

R is fantastic and was happy to see jamming is 100% what the solver does. In these spots in the past I always wanted to at least make sure I extract some value, and I was betting like max 1/2 pot to make sure the weak A would call. I'm correcting this.

BTN: 95.6 BB
SB: 112.76 BB
Hero (BB): 279.52 BB
UTG: 180.88 BB
MP: 100 BB
CO: 287.52 BB

SB posts SB 0.4 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.4 BB) Hero has 5 A

fold, fold, fold, fold, SB raises to 2 BB, Hero calls 1 BB

Flop: (4 BB, 2 players) 4 2 7
SB bets 2.84 BB, Hero raises to 9 BB, SB calls 6.16 BB

Turn: (22 BB, 2 players) K
SB checks, Hero bets 17 BB, SB calls 17 BB

River: (56 BB, 2 players) Q
SB checks, Hero bets 126 BB, SB calls 84.76 BB and is all-in

Hero shows 5 A (High Card, Ace)
(Pre 33%, Flop 28%, Turn 16%)
SB shows 5 5 (One Pair, Fives)
(Pre 67%, Flop 72%, Turn 84%)
SB wins 214.24 BB

This one is super interesting IMO. Pre is fine, solver only raises it 22% and the EV is the same of calling vs raising. Not a big fan of raising offsuit anyway. F is already interesting and it's a mistake on my part being too aggressive - the solver is calling 92% of the times and only raising it around 8% our concrete holding. When looking at the whole range, the solver likes raising 2-pair (esp. if also having a backdoor FD); 22 (only raising 44 around 25% - that surprised me as I'd always raise there with middle set with many possible SD) and then to balance it prefers the worst possible FD like T5, J5 and 95. And then ofc a significant portion of A7o and A7s for value as well.

This kind of analysis is just so great for me to do, to choose better my X/R hands and start seeing patterns into how to choose them and balance my range.

After he calls, the solver basically gives up and X around 95% of the times and only bets large as I did around 3%. Within the bluffs, A5o is actually one of the hands that continue the most bluffing but it prefers much more a 1/3 pot bet than a large sizing. I think in these situations I get caught up into the "I must continue representing my very strong hand" and I need to correct that. Even sets just prefer X or betting small according to the solver.

But once we do, and analyzing the hand also from villain's perspective, I think his call is absolutely atrocious. He's basically blocking my 2 main bluffs: 56 and 35. So what is he putting me on? This would be his GTO range:



55 and 66 are some of the worst possible calls you can make there.. but well.

R is pretty much a blank as the FD and all the SD miss, so considering we represented so far a big holding, I don't think shoving is terrible? We also block having a 5 a possible SD on villain's range, but I think our line is just so aggressive that it makes perfect sense. We'd play the same any made set, flopped two pair, and any type of K7 or Q7 that improved. I think again his R call is terrible and too much hero, so took a note to not bluff this villain and go for max value when we hit. The solver doesn't love shoving but when looking at the actual hands it shoves, my actual holding is a shove. Not entirely sure why there, will need to understand better how GTO works



Wanted to put a couple more interesting hands but I'm running out of time so next post
01-12-2022 , 03:06 PM
High-quality work!
Keep in mind that GTO Wiz is building a strategy against the same balanced opponent. Therefore, late streets results are not always applicable. For example, our opponent is unlikely to defend as widely against X / R as the solver, and this can significantly change our strategy on the turn.

By the way, having hands like A2o-A5o, T2s-T4s, etc. (with a low frequency like 15-25%) in the 3bet BBvsSB bluff range is a good approach.
This way we increase our 3bet and our opponents won't steal our blind widely.
Likewise, we strengthen the calling range by excluding some of the weak hands from it.
01-12-2022 , 04:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by slyless Treating my Poker Hobby as a Business from the Ground Up
High-quality work!
Keep in mind that GTO Wiz is building a strategy against the same balanced opponent. Therefore, late streets results are not always applicable. For example, our opponent is unlikely to defend as widely against X / R as the solver, and this can significantly change our strategy on the turn.

By the way, having hands like A2o-A5o, T2s-T4s, etc. (with a low frequency like 15-25%) in the 3bet BBvsSB bluff range is a good approach.
This way we increase our 3bet and our opponents won't steal our blind widely.
Likewise, we strengthen the calling range by excluding some of the weak hands from it.
Really good points as always About the BB defend & 3B range: I'll need to work on it, that's for sure. I have good notes as I did sometime ago the Raise Your Edge 6-max course, so I have good ranges vs every position on BB defense but I always forget (or rather, as I don't know how to play them well postflop I never do it) to 3B bluff the K7-K8o, Q8-J8-T8o (50%), A2-A6o, and the J2-T2 - J6-T5s type of hands as you mentioned around 25%. I'll make it a small goal next sessions to identify these hands on SBvsBB and try it out



Short session today, still running hot at NL25

BTN: 134.56 BB
SB: 100 BB
Hero (BB): 213.8 BB
UTG: 101.8 BB
MP: 154.76 BB
CO: 120.48 BB

SB posts SB 0.4 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.4 BB) Hero has 3 6

fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 2.4 BB, fold, Hero calls 1.4 BB

Flop: (5.2 BB, 2 players) J 9 3
Hero checks, BTN bets 1.6 BB, Hero raises to 9 BB, BTN calls 7.4 BB

Turn: (23.2 BB, 2 players) 3
Hero bets 8 BB, BTN calls 8 BB

River: (39.2 BB, 2 players) 3
Hero bets 194.4 BB and is all-in, fold

Hero wins 37.24 BB

I lost it at River, he almost exhausted his time bank to finally fold so I'm angry at my shove, I'd had made easily 40-80bb by betting full to 2x pot max. Got too greedy. I've used all my analysis hands at GTO Wiz but I believe my Flop X/R is fine with 3rd pair low kicker and no additional outs. Turn sizing I think it's fine, many times villain will auto-fold to a 1/3 pot bet when the FD completes and they have no draw but perhaps could have gone a bit bigger. And River as mentioned, just got too greedy.
01-14-2022 , 07:01 PM
GL, the hot run will stop and it’ll feel like you can’t even win one hand. How you deal with those times separates the winners from the losers.

      
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