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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 03-26-2014, 11:23 PM   #1
King Fish
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Confessions of a Spewtard

I suppose this is long overdue. Been burying my results in the winrates thread because I was worried about locals gaining insight into my play, and generally like keeping a somewhat aggro fishy image.

I realize now it doesn't really matter all that much. I suppose if some regs stumble across it, to the good, thinking regs (those more likely to visit 2p2) none of this will come as a big surprise. I'm not really exposing any "secrets" about my play, and truth be told even if I do need to make adjustments based on what I write here, well that will just assist me in improving my game.

In short, I am writing this thread for me. Going over my play, forcing myself to think about situations, be if critical about my play and accepting criticism (or rejecting it! Nyah Nyah I can't hear u!!) will only serve in the long run to make me a better player.

For every 2 hours on the felt, I like to spend an hour off evaluating my play, going over hands, and analyzing situations. Even after 15++ years of playing, millions on online hands and god knows how many live hours, I still love this silly stupid 2-card game.

99% of this blog will be written on a smartphone, so I apologize in advance for any typos.

My goal here is to by year's end elevate my game and hopefully give myself good enough reason to begin making the 90+ minute trip to bigger and better games. While I think my hourly at 2/5 is currently maxed out, that is unfortunately the largest consistent game at my local casino.

I'll start with some background, and repost the 1000-hour update I made in the winrate thread, including typos and all:


Just about hit the 1000 hour mark with PokerJournal. Didn't think early w/r was sustainable, but have been averaging a pretty consistent 15bb/hr at 2/5.

Granted my local casino is a bit behind the times when it comes to poker theorists and innovative minds, so not fully sure if results would be similar in Vegas/AC (granted I wouldn't be playing 2/5 if there was a bigger option, but still...)

Anyway, here are some quick screen grabs of data.










Answers to questions asked:


I usually only play 1/2 while waiting on a 2/5 seat, and this is the softest 1/2 I have ever played. Hands are played fairly face up.

Also I am quite aggro in general in 2/5 (as the SD seems to show), and players just assume I play the same game every day no adjustments. In truth I know the players well enough now to tailor my game to specific tables, players, instances etc.

At 1/2 I generally just build lots of small pots IP, abandon as needed, then jam and get called (because of false image) when I have the nuts. A decent number of players fear me because they know every confrontation could be playing for stacks and they let me walk over them. Others use that perception to try to get it all in with me light as they think I'll just call everything with any pair or draw.

Truth is the room is in a bit of a poker time warp and the players think they are exploiting my tendencies when in fact it is the other way around. I even get bumhunted sometimes by absolutely awful players who just don't grasp or understand what I am doing and how I manage to be so consistently "lucky."

I do what I can to give each player the desired image of me he/she wants. But reality and perception have no real correlation to each other. I consider this "marketing."

While I don't think the WR is sustainable over a significant sample, I do think $50/hr is doable AT THIS PARTICULAR CASINO.

It really is like playing them with their cards exposed. It takes a decent amount of bad luck to lose at 1/2 there, IMO.


---

Here is my theory: The deeper you get into a hand, the more skill becomes a factor. With 2 cards, the decision process is rather simple: Do I have a good hand? If yes raise, if not fold. If I think my hand is really good then let's get as much money in the pot as possible!
Anyone can do this. It doesn't take much skill, just basic poker knowledge and little if any hand-reading analysis. Everyone gets cards pre flop. This is a standard situation to most players. The difference in skill from the best player in the game to an average player will not be very large.

On the flop again decisions are relatively simple. Do I have a good hand? Do I have a good draw? How many outs do I have if I think in behind and am I priced in to draw? Will he fold if I bet?

When a pot is blown up preflop, especially in a 100 BB game, then many of these decisions have already been made for the player, and math can dictate what to do. An average player with basic comprehension may make mistakes here, but they generally won't be egregious especially if math tells him how he should proceed. Again, these is a situation many poker players are familiar with at all levels. Often, this is where the hand ends.

The turn is where generally people don't have as much experience. Especially at lower levels. If the pot here is large then well it can really be simple math what to do. But if the pot was kept small, and stacks are significant, this is where a more experienced player can force average/bad players to make mistakes. It's unfamiliar territory for many. Pair plus flush draw on the turn in a 20 BB pot with 100BB effective stack sizes or TPTK similar Scenario facing sudden pressure what do u do? The answer I find most often is "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO HERE OMG I DONT KNOW HERE IS SOME SPAZZ PLAY GO AHEAD LEAVE ME ALONE NOW!!

Of course I'm simplifying the above, but you get my gist. My standard opening raise (and again I do adjust to tables) is 3 BB from ep, and 3-4BB mid position. I want callers, I invite callers. I'm cool with making a horribad fold/call with AA OOP in a small pot on an uncoordinated board if I have to. (That again is built into my game. I afford myself lots of small mistakes.) On the flop, in position, I will often price in the flush draws. 20 BB pot, 2 spades, I have an OP? 9bb bet. Here u go I invite you to hit. (This is where a lot of my variance comes in but that is built into my game).

I just gave him appropriate odds (sort of, more on that another time). I want to get him relaxed and comfortable so I can take him out of his element on the later streets. I am a very good hand/person reader and usually know where I am at in a hand, so this affords me that luxury. I play to my strengths and skills. (If those don't happen to be your skill set, playing this type of game is suicide... Stick to math and fundamentals, u won't go wrong.)

I like to keep pots small, watch and observe, the go for the killshot when the time is right. This also means I make lots of bad folds and lots of bad calls. Again, it is built into my game. When I truly don't know where I am in a hand, my default becomes "screw it, jam and let the other guy figure it out." (Or when pot is small fold and eff it.)

If the pot is small and I am OOP, I'll often fold to marginal pressure an "let" the other player walk all over me. Or at least let him think I am his weak tight post-flop *****.

I often let good hands in bad spots go preflop when OOP (ie I rarely call OOP 3 bets with AJs even with good odds, same with mid pairs... Much more likely to call with 56s if I think my call will induce a waterfall effect. Somewhat standard I think but ppl assume I call anything with any two. "You would have called with this hand!" Is something I hear a lot. And quite frankly it couldn't be farther than the truth.

I also show my cards when it suite me. As I said earlier I do what I can to give the players and table the image of me they want me to have. But I show only what I want you to see.

These moves generally don't work in higher games generally when people are more experienced post flop, and people are able to see thru my bull****. And online you will absolutely get crushed (obv.)

Also to my advantage is that if u never played with me and were to profile me, you would assume I was a goofy spewy fish just waiting to give his money away. So that gives me another slight EV edge. Watch my game and my bet sizing without paying careful attention and yup, I'm a fish.

Sorry for rambling and for all the typos that are likely to be above. Writing this on a cell phone while waiting for someone and my mind isn't a very linear place in general.

---

Don't want to derail this into a strat thread, so to some it up I'll just say this (my actual answer that I started to post was well over 1000 words, and ain't nobody got time for that):

I raise smaller earlier because of my style and preference for multiway action. I am an information junkie, one of my biggest poker strengths is hand reading, and I prefer to see how a hand develops. And because of this style, the main reason I keep early opens small is I would rather not play inflated pots OOP.

The result is that yes, I "spew" quite a bit speculating and don't get optimal early value from monster hands OOP. I lose lots of sklansky bucks and value with big hands in ep, but I do gain it back in volume.

I will post more in a different section why this works for me (and why I tell every student/poker protégée I've ever mentored NOT to play my style or try to replicate it). The short answer is : I have near photographic recall of all hands opponents have played. IOW, I'm lucky enough to have a HUD in my head. It lets me get creative.

And yes, there are times when I vary my opening size but they involve table dynamics and other variables (generally) not associated with hand strength. But generally the 3BB EP opening works well for me. And not just over the 1k hours tracked with poker journal. Have had success with it for many years (live not online necc.).

My VPIP for a full ring low limit NL game is probably somewhere around 35-40%. Fish on a heater.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:28 PM   #2
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Sorry for the long, rambling OP, but even on poker forums, I can't help but spew just a bit.

Anyway, I hope I actually keep up with this thread. It's so easy to get lazy and use a busy life as an excuse, but really in the end that is all it is.

I won't give away all of my thoughts and approaches, but I will try to be as open and forthcoming as I can.

And hopefully, I'll become a fixture at the "big boys" table by this time next year.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:36 AM   #3
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Subscribed---thanks for the inspiring thread OP. Looking forward to moar!
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:18 AM   #4
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

In
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:27 AM   #5
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

not sure what the difference between limping and opening 3bb in a 1/2 live game is, if anything youd want to limp coz it keeps the spr lower + you can play a wider range and you can use your sicko soul-reading skills ott/otr

nyways gl kingfish regardless of what you just wrote i remember you helping me out in BQ when i was a newb, keep crushing dem livefish with your awkward strategy :P
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:13 AM   #6
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

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not sure what the difference between limping and opening 3bb in a 1/2 live game is, if anything youd want to limp coz it keeps the spr lower + you can play a wider range and you can use your sicko soul-reading skills ott/otr

nyways gl kingfish regardless of what you just wrote i remember you helping me out in BQ when i was a newb, keep crushing dem livefish with your awkward strategy :P
Above is mostly for 2/5, 5/5, and some 5/10 games. My 1/2 game is very different. At 1/2 I do open limp more, and my standard open raise is between 3.5-6 bb depending on table. I also play 1/2 much tighter than 2/5, but that is an adjustment made to this particular casino.

At 2/5 you still build small pots and also give others something worth "stealing." I want money in the pot, I just prefer to control when and how it goes in (don't we all ).

In a 1/2 game tho you are right, I rarely open raise 3bb. My bluffing frequency is also far less.

I realize in essence I am playing a "reverse game" than is standard. And if the player pool was better, I do not think it would be as successful. The strategy I highlighted is also a reason I still get bumhunted. It appears fishy as hell, it shouldn't work, and in general it goes against convention.

I adjust my style against better players. I'm not giving a skilled player the same odds to reach later streets. That would put me in far more difficult situations (particularly OOP) and I really hate being lost in a hand against a good player.

Fish on a heater or poker super genius? Probably somewhere in between.
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Decided to donkament it up today. Running bad and playing bad. You'd think they'd cancel each other out. Funnily enough, they don't.

Down to 5k from a 15k starting stack. Level 5.

Off to look up funnily to see if it's a word.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:52 PM   #8
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

so you play PLO?
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Good read,

sick WR and earnings per hour man
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:03 PM   #10
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Out AQ < QQ on AQxHH flop. Re-entree time. Flight 1B awaits.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:01 PM   #11
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Fish View Post
.....
Here is my theory: The deeper you get into a hand, the more skill becomes a factor. ....

On the flop again decisions are relatively simple. Do I have a good hand? Do I have a good draw? How many outs do I have if I think in behind and am I priced in to draw? Will he fold if I bet?

When a pot is blown up preflop, especially in a 100 BB game, then many of these decisions have already been made for the player, and math can dictate what to do. An average player with basic comprehension may make mistakes here, but they generally won't be egregious especially if math tells him how he should proceed. Again, these is a situation many poker players are familiar with at all levels. Often, this is where the hand ends.

The turn is where generally people don't have as much experience. Especially at lower levels. If the pot here is large then well it can really be simple math what to do. But if the pot was kept small, and stacks are significant, this is where a more experienced player can force average/bad players to make mistakes. It's unfamiliar territory for many. Pair plus flush draw on the turn in a 20 BB pot with 100BB effective stack sizes or TPTK similar Scenario facing sudden pressure what do u do? The answer I find most often is "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO HERE OMG I DONT KNOW HERE IS SOME SPAZZ PLAY GO AHEAD LEAVE ME ALONE NOW!!
.
I've come to similar conclusions, but have a slightly different take on it.

I include the "complexity" of the situation as well. The more complex a situation is, the more skill becomes a factor.

My winrate skyrockets when I'm at tables full of fish when effective stacks are 200bb+ and I get an absolute iron hard woodie at tables where eff stacks between me and some fish are 400bb+ deep

What tends to happen is the fish continue to play their basic game and don't know how to adjust to being deep.

A fish will limp/re-raise with AA because hey, he's a fish and that is how he plays AA. He will l/rr from EP, MP, even yes even LP or the CO.

I raise $25 from LP, one caller, fish l/rr blasts the pot for $125 because at $500 (100bb) that means if called he can shove the flop and not be terribly wrong doing so...

But what about when we are 400bb deep? In that same situation now I actually have correct odds to set mine or even call with something like 98s. Conversely, when I call his l/rr and the flop is X Y Z he doesn't quite know what to do. Its one thing to shove $375 into a $250 pot, but its a quite a different animal shoving $2k into a $250 pot. So quite often they just bet $150 - $200 and then we can make the decision to call or raise or fold.

the beauty in the above situation is that majority of fish just can never lay down AA. Doesn't matter how the board runs out, hell, even if the board runs out 4 to a flush and they don't have the suit they will still call a decent sized value bet half the time

So, I can set mine, draw to 2 pair or a straight or a flush, hit, and then extract $1k+ of value against an opponent whose cards are 100% face up.

Another of my favorite fish scenarios is when there is a flush draw on the board and fish has TPGK. For some reason, fish feel the need to "get the drawers out" and no matter what line you take, fish will put you on a flush draw. So you can blast the pot and they will call down light because they put you on a draw or you can let the fish blast the pot light because they put you on a draw and when you push back they still put you on a draw...

And last but not least is my favorite fish think of "I put you on AK"...

Anyways, not to clutter up this thread with strat talk, just saying I agree with you about the skill aspect. The deeper we get into a hand, the more complex the hand, the greater the chip stacks at play, the more the situation favors the more skilled player. Absolutely.

So, I'm subbed, can't wait to follow your adventures.

Spoiler:
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:54 PM   #12
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

If dgiharris sub's that's good enough reason for me to sub as well.

All the best to you OP!
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:24 AM   #13
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

I agree with absolutely everything dgi says above (including the title change.) The deeper the stacks (at this level at least) the bigger my edge.

I'm really looking for favorable situations more than anything else.

I'll address more when I can, but encourage you to post any strat/advice/musings you want. Love how your mind works and respect you as a player and poster here.

That pretty much goes for anyone. Even if we disagree it's always good to see differing viewpoints.

Right now tho am exhausted and need to be up in a few hours, plus tourney restart at noon tomorrow.

I'll give a real quick rundown next but will go more in depth Friday or Saturday.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:43 AM   #14
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Quick hits from the tournament:

First I am a bit proud of myself for not "eff it shoving" in a scenario where in past I likely go bust. 400/800/100 antes I have 26k to start, about average. Blinds about to rise to 500/1000/200.

I raise 1800 in the hijack. Both blinds call, including station in the SB, who has about 55k. 778cc board. SB donks 4.5k.

I Spazz call. (Hate my play here) turn is a 4s, putting 2 spades and 2 clubs out there. SB has me covered bets 12000 committing me. I tank fold. (He has some bad sizing tells, for sure had a 7 or better.)

In past I look at my stack and say eff it I prob have 25% equity and shove with no FE let's double up or play cash. I hate being shortstacked at this point in a tourney, but his time I laid it down. Left with 16 bigs. Double up next hand as I pick up QQ and get it in against JJ.

Then chip up a bit and had an above average stack most of day 1.

---

Last hand of the day was annoying. 5 handed and blinds at 1500/3000/500, I have just under 70k (average stack). I get ATcc UTG. I make it 7k to go. All fold to same SB as earlier, except now he is a monster chip leader (thanks to an all in call with KQ of against huge stack shove over a short stack all in, where he tripled up against AQ and AA.

Flop is J7Qr. And a player who folded pre starts going ballistic. SB Made the expert check blind play, and with mr "I get it you folded QJ" going nuts i check behind. (I ask player to please respect others in game and tone it down). Turn is another queen and guy not in the hand basically creams his pants. Check to me I bet 8k. SB calls.

River is a 4. SB donk bets 8k. I call he has 78 to take it. Then asks to see my hand. Growl.

I feel I win that hand or at least lose less if QJ STFU, but I also probably butchered on every street. It was late, I was tired and Mr. QJ threw me off a bit. So I lost about 1/3rd my stack last hand if the night. Swell.

Not in love with how I've been playing or running today, but made it thru, survived and still have a somewhat workable stack. I made a lot of mistakes, and thankfully got away with some. Did lose 2 SS all ins as a 4:1 favorite, but not much I can do about that.

26 players remain, 15 get paid.

Fired 3 bullets, so break even for me is 12th place or better.

I'll try to go more in depth tomorrow. As always, sorry for typos or if I made some sort of strange error recalling the hand.

There were a few more interesting spots, but I need to get some rest.

I rate my overall play today around a C-.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:40 AM   #15
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

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so you play PLO?
do*
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:32 PM   #16
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Busted on bubble. Got punished for making a horribad fold the hand earlier.

I'll post about it later.

Now playing a cash game with Chris Moneymaker.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:33 PM   #17
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

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do*
Yes, poorly. Have an ok shorthanded and HU game. Still learning full ring.

I play 2/2 sometimes when 2/5 is dead or waiting for a seat. I am at best average at this point, and this is a very week field. I'd get killed at 5/5 I am sure.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:04 PM   #18
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

I just lost a $2500 pot KK vs TJ all in K92 board.

Moneymaker never showed.

I am tilted like a mother ****er. This guy who has called all ins with t3 k4 and Q6 all ins is sitting on well over 6k at 2/5.

I don't think he even knows how to spell his own ****ing name.

This is the 3rd time I've been tilted playing 2/5 in past 5 years.

Insult to injury if I would have made a bad call earlier I stack him with a good river.

There is no strat in this post only massive monkey ass tilt.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:07 PM   #19
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

He just stacked KK with QQ. all in turn if unders. Q river.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:29 PM   #20
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

A75 straddled pot I have a7.

4 bet arrrrrrrin. Lose to 34. $1.7 k pot.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:32 PM   #21
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

I should get up to go but I'm actually playing and reading very well.

Only down 1k technically but my god it feels like 20k.

I r entitlement.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:43 PM   #22
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Sorry this was never meant to be a ***** thread but today I am finding it very cathartic.

Took 25 minutes off to have 4 drinks at bar and detilt. Still think I have a significant skill edge. Down $700.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:38 PM   #23
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Just lost to QQ with Ak on KK9 board. $2.3k. That kind of day.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:27 PM   #24
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

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Took 25 minutes off to have 4 drinks at bar and detilt.
Nice of you to use Craggoo's standard ABC strategy.

You must have won some nice pots to only be down $700, with those losses though.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:07 PM   #25
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Re: Swimming Upstream: One Fish's Desire to Dine with the Sharks

Down 2.5k. I lost 95% of my big-pot hands to the same seat. (Two different players).

If this was online I would be a rigtard right now. The math of this evening, on it's own, is beyond my comprehension. However given the laws of variance I suppose a day like this is bound to happen. By no means is it the most I have lost in a day but it is by far the largest number of hands I have lost with >80% equity in a single live session (online due to volume this would also be fairly "standard.")

If it was a home game, I would 100% feel I was cheated. But it wasn't. It was a wild, crazy table (as you can tell by pot sizes described) and what I went thru I suppose is part of the nature of the beast. This was not a "normal" 2/5 game. There was at least $20-25k on the table at one point. (500 max BI)

One example I wasn't involved was a 6 way to flop with $180 in pot. Flop comes 456r Player A open shoves for $320. Player b reshoved for $700. Player C (last to act) calls.

The board runs K9. Player c flips over A7 to scoop.

About $700 of my losses were due to entitlement tilt and questionable/bad play. The rest I "feel good" about.

Don't think it'll make me a better player to ***** about it, and no one wants to hear bad beat stories (sorry for above, I regret posting them now that I have been away from game to cool off), so I will just stfu about it forget it and move on.

I'll post more about the end of the tournament tomorrow. My bustout there is 100% self inflicted (I believe).

Anyway I'm going to maybe see if I can get a mod to delete the last few posts of mine, unless maybe seeing it and remembering the raw emotion down the road will help me to better re-evaluate my play.

Right now though I'm in no state to make that call. But I do feel a little embarrassed by what/how I posted ITT.
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