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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 03-11-2018, 03:20 PM   #1
Thejuclaw
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Los Angeles Poker Journey

My name is Jack, I'm 30 years old and I've been playing poker for about 12 years. I play live poker in Los Angeles mostly at Hollywood Park and home games. I usually play 5-10 NLHE but will obviously jump around depending on games, how I've been doing recently and generally how I'm feeling.

I recently quit my sales job and want to try to do this full time. These factors depend on: my overall happiness level and if I can be profitable/make my bankroll last. I've always enjoyed playing and have done it part time for so long that I figure I want to truly take the leap. I like like the idea that, "I can fail at something I can hate so why not at least try at something I love."

I want to start this blog/thread because I feel that my general poker theory is strong, understanding people and their intentions at the table is good, I'm constantly learning the math/GTO that creates the theory but I've always had trouble with the emotional swings. When I lose, I can sometimes tend to lose big. This can then create a long term tilt - continuing sessions in a row. I've always been into yoga, meditation, exercise, and reviewing hands but I want to try to implement this thread as another source of decompression.

I can't guarantee the structure of this thread but will try to include: different sessions, wins/losses, hands that I felt were interesting, questions I have, my overall mood, and any suggestions from those that decide to read this.

As of now, my real goal is accountability for this thread. I want an outlet to be honest with myself and anyone else that decides to follow. I may include other goals along the way whether that's: how many hours I play per session/week, how much I want to win, or tournaments I want to try out.

As a note, I don't have any backers - this is all my own money and will be transparent with any and all questions along the way.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:27 PM   #2
Garick
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Re: Los Angeles Poker Journey

Welcome Jack, and GL. Please feel free to post strategy questions or hands for review in LLSNL, but poker blog threads go in Poker Goals and Challenges, so i've moved this there.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:56 PM   #3
Thejuclaw
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Re: Los Angeles Poker Journey

A little review of yesterday's session:

I played 5-5 nlhe for about 3 hours before the 5-10 started at Hollywood Park. I was about even entering into the 5-10 game but I was feeling that I was playing too many hands overall. It's easy to this when the stakes feel a little bit smaller than usual so I try to be more activate to rid the boredom. This is definitely a leak I want to work on as it's not profitable and I should try to play my best poker no matter what stakes. There are spots that I can try to vary or play differently than usual to learn but I know I was mostly playing too loose.

A note about the 5-5 game that I thought about while there is how a handful of the individuals think about the game. An older gentleman told me a story of how he was playing a session about a week ago and some player he didn't know was 3 betting most hands preflop. This older gentleman told me that "no matter what, I'm going to call and go all in on the flop when he does it next." Now, the rest of the story doesn't matter too much rather this is obviously a losing/high variance kind of thinking. The older man knew the other player was playing too lose/too wide of hands but the counter strategy isn't the best. And I think it's important to realize these things and just how important knowing your image is.

Now, as for my 5-10 session. I bought it for $1300 and quickly got down to $800 off of a couple of hands. I added on to $2500.

First big hand: I had QQ preflop, 3 bet to $125, fish calls, and so does one other player. Flop: 884 two hearts. I continue for $150, fish calls and the other player folds. Turn: 3 non heart, I check, fish bets $500 with about $150 left, and I jam and he reluctantly calls.

Next big hand: I have AA preflop and 3 bet to $130 from the cutoff, button calls, BB calls. Flop 2 4 K rainbow. BB checks, I Bet $155, button calls, BB raises to $400. BB is a solid older gentleman and gives me a lot of respect - he's made big lay downs to me but definitely knows I'm capable of making moves. I think he has a value hand here as he's not someone to raise into 2 other players without a value hand. I think he has: 22, 44, KQ, Ak. So, I call. Turn: Q diamonds bringing 2 diamonds. BB bets $600 with about $2000 behind. I call. River: J clubs. BB bets $700. He laid me such a good price and I reluctantly call and he shows KQ. I think it can be a fold on the river as this player type is definitely betting that size for value at a very high frequency plus I block a lot of AK combos as that's the best value hand that I beat. Let me know if anyone has any ideas/questions/ thoughts about this hand

I eventually work my stack back to about $2800. I was feeling very tired and have wanted to play shorter sessions overall but I did think I was at a good table and had a good image. Typically at Hollywood park the table can be 25-35 year olds that player more 3 bet & 4 bet pots. Or older gentleman that do a lot limping or single bet pots. This game was the latter so I decided to stay.

Final interesting hand and my demise. I 3 bet to $125 in the cutoff with 3d 4d and get UTG Button calls, low jack calls, hi jack calls. Flop: As Kd 5d. Checks to me, I check and the button bets $300. The button is a very loose player. He's up abut $500 on the session. He tries to act as the bully in a lot of situations and I had recently bluffed him. That being said, I've only showed up with value hands when I've 3 bet thus far. The other two players call and I decide to make it $1000. I'd obviously want to take down the pot right now - targeting any bad Aces or Kings but will jam most turns. The button thinks for about 20 seconds and jams for the rest of my stack ($1700). I decide to call with the thought of running twice as most players have thus far. He shows 55 and wants to go one time. I lose. Again, any thoughts on this play would be appreciated.

I was definitely feeling bad after this loss mostly because I think I should have left earlier. I felt fatigued in this session and don't want to play when I'm feeling that way. It's tough when I think the game is good, I've already made the drive and the convenience. Knowing that there's always another day is a good motto I try to remember. Regarding that last hand, I know 3 betting preflop is not the most optimal but tried balancing my 3 bet ranges. I'm not sure if I take that out of my arsenal altogether (as 3 4 suited can be too wide) because other than that, I'm not sure if I played the hand that bad but would like to hear any input.

Time for some yoga today but appreciate anyone that does decide to follow.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:45 PM   #4
Thejuclaw
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Location: Los Angeles
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Re: Los Angeles Poker Journey

My last two sessions

Unfortunately, I wrote a post that did not go through detailing my session on 3/12/2018. I'll give a brief rundown and some take aways from that session.

I played $5/$/5 nlhe while I was waiting for a seat in the $5/$10 game. I told myself prior to sitting down to stay patient and not try to be the table captain. I basically ran amazing and won $1200 in about 45 minutes. I only left the game because they moved me to the main game so I decided to go the $5/$10 instead.

At the $5/$10 game, I started at the must move short handed and played mostly hands in position and won about $700 heading into the main game. At the main game, a player that has tilt control bluffed off about 1/3 of his stack right when I sat down. Then, I played 2 different pots with him, one in which I think I played wrong protecting top pair top kicker and not letting him continue bluffing. And the second, I stacked with flopping trips and check raising the flop. I do think that playing the first hand with him could have induced him to stack off in the second hand though. It's dynamics like those that are important to think about during a session, people are not robots and as much as people want to leave out their ego - they don't. Certain people will not stay patient, they want to get back to their original profit/buy in quickly, they don't want to get bullied, and they want to have a different perception at the table. This takes people away from playing optimally and it's our duty to realize and capitalize these situations. I ended up winning $5600 on the day.

My second session - Home game 3/13/2018

I've been losing at this home game the last couple of sessions but lost very big the last session. I like playing here because there aren't any pros but that doesn't mean it's not easy. It just means, people are paying attention to every nuance or they don't know all the math. Also, there are A LOT of egos so people do not like to be bullied or bet out of pots especially early in hands.

As soon as the game started I didn't feel comfortable. I felt rushed and impatient that definitely played into my session. I played a 8 8 hand very weird against the most solid player at the table out of position and instantly went down $400. Next, I had A J on an A Q 3 board and the preflop raiser checked to me. I checked and the last player checked. Then a K came, preflop raiser checked, I bet, 3rd player folds and preflop raiser called. River blank, check, and I bet, and get check raised. So gross, and I think it's definitely a fold there ONLY because I don't think this player has ever bluffed this spot. He had A Q and I made a very thin, poor call. Next, I had A J and flop a J high board against the loosest player at the table. He flops a 4 with K 4 and ends up hitting trips against me and gets max value. I was not folding well this session at all. Last, I ran KK into AA preflop and that was my night. I lost $2500 pretty fast and left.

I'm not happy with how I played last night because I didn't stay patient which has been my message through this whole post. I tried to call off pots where I was clearly beat. I felt like this was a test for me, where I know I'm ahead at some point but KNOW I need to fold later. The hands happened repeatedly and got the better of me. It's good that I left instead of tried to win it back while being in a disturbed mindset but still sucks to lose. I have been winning more than losing per session as of late but would hope to get on a nice winning streak.

I leave this weekend for San Francisco and then Mendocino for a wedding. I want to cleanse my head of all poker (though I know I'll mention it to my girlfriend still) and enjoy the weekend. Good beer, fun places, nature, friends, dinners, roadtrip, and knowing that I can play this game to enjoy my life.

Until next time!
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:29 PM   #5
Thejuclaw
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 14
Re: Los Angeles Poker Journey

Latest Session - 3/19/2018

I just got back from San Francisco/Mendocino for a wedding that I went to over the weekend. I kept it mellow and even came up with a few more game plans that I want to implement to keep my life organized. Including a reflection on my workouts and poker every Sunday. It's important to not only track things but to also look back and assess the tracking; something that I have trouble doing.

Anyways, I played $5/$10 nlhe yesterday at Hollywood Park for 7 hours. I was up quickly (about $400) and then ran my AKcc into AA; all in preflop when the guy with AA squeezed. We ran the $3600 pot twice in which I lost both. I was now down $1400 and rebought for $2200.

I had one big hand in which I had Ad Ks and I 3 bet with two callers. 7d 8d 9d Flop, someone donk bet $300, and I raised to $1200 (essentially putting the better all in). He called with 10 J no diamond and we ran it twice and I won both. Other than that, I essentially grinded small pots and stayed patient.

One hand that was interesting was I had K10o and called a raise preflop in position 3 ways. Flop: 7 7 5 two hearts and PFR bet 2/3 pot and I don't think he's a balance player. I decided to float. Turn A spades, putting two spades out there. He checks and I bet 1/3 pot and he raised me. I decided to fold and he showed a bluff. When I folded, I really thought he was bluffing because his line made no sense. I didn't want to just call and have him bluff again on the river so I really felt I needed to rebluff the turn. I just thought doing so would have looked very weird as well. I do think it was the right play and one of those plays that is just going with your gut.

As a result, I profited $900 and I felt good about my play overall. I felt in control at the table and stayed patient. This will be the key for me and I'm sure if anyone reads this will notice the trend.

I'm off to yoga and then another session today.

Until next time!
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:48 PM   #6
YGOchamp
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Re: Los Angeles Poker Journey

cant imagine your making $ 3betting 43dd, but once you do and flop gin seems fine to me. No idea why you checked flop tho.

"i called because i thought hed run it twice" is super fishy. So if you knew he only ran it once youd fold? lmao equity doesnt change. Why are you taking these lines if you cant deal with the variance. The price youre getting is completely fine, that should be enough reason to call.
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:23 AM   #7
Thejuclaw
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Location: Los Angeles
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Re: Los Angeles Poker Journey

I looked through some of your previous comments on other posts and it looks like you mostly give smart ass remarks.

I think checking has a lot of merit and I can explain but rather I'd like to hear why I shouldn't.

As for running it twice, of course it doesn't change the equity but it does REDUCE the variance allowing for a 6k pot to be split into 2 3k pots. Flipping a quarter for a 6k pot even in $5/$10 is not great if you in that situation "x" amount of times.

If you aren't too shy, I'd enjoy to hear some commentary on my responses.
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Old 03-21-2018, 02:42 PM   #8
Thejuclaw
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Los Angeles
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Re: Los Angeles Poker Journey

Last Session - 3/20/2918

I came late to the $5/$10 game and it went from having a 5 name board to short handed in about half hour of me getting there. I was getting hands early and playing active. And then made a fundamental error, barreling two streets with a combo draw and checking the river when I missed because I put the station-y player on top pair that wouldn't fold where he really had mid pair.

Another interesting hand, I got a pair and flush draw on an unraised pot on the turn, called a bet along with 2 other players and rivered the flush. A guy bets, I raise and he 3 bet me inflating the pot to $2700. I had the second nuts but just never thought he would do this without the nuts but I still called. And he showed a straight as he mentioned he misread the board. This is a point of why staying fresh and not playing too long of sessions is important for errors like this in which it was one of the bigger pots of the night.

I did think my table was weak overall (relative speaking) but I started becoming annoyed. I was annoyed that I didn't get fold equity on a certain hand when I think I really played a tight image. Obviously, it's my responsibility to recognize that and play accordingly but it did bug me and made me want to play looser overall. I controlled it pretty well but understood that I was becoming emotionally unsettled. I also think I gave off a live tell to a player who sat down late in the session and he bluffed at me. Instead of having an ego (or thinking it may be the right play to play back) I decided to play passive and fold. And at this point, I felt I needed to leave.

I still booked a win but I felt rattled in my game toward the end. It was a 5 hour session but did start late in the night. I'm a lot more comfortable in the middle of the day and also keeping the sessions short. I've always thought it was important to be able to play long hours, when the game is going, if it's a "good game", etc. But for now, I want to stick to playing when I'm most comfortable. There's no rush and controlling my own state of mind/emotions is the most important overall.

I'm taking the day off today and maybe a home game tomorrow. Time to have some fun and relax!
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:46 AM   #9
gus1112
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Re: Los Angeles Poker Journey

Update?
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