April showers (long post) bring May flowers?

AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
April showers bring May flowers...

I am hoping this saying holds true as recent variance has not put me in a good mood. I recently started tracking my data and have won 5 out of 7 short sessions 2-4hrs each session, but 2 of the wins were tiny. The two losing sessions was about 2 buyin's each.

However, even though I am winning 71% of my sessions over a small sample I am still down 1.5 buyin's which most would not consider large variance. I try and use my image and range advantage as my main strategy and definitely adjust to table dynamics. Before I started tracking recently I had a decent sample size of around 600-700 hrs in the past with a mixture of 4hrs - 17 hr sessions, but a win rate between 80-85%.

I am hoping the recent variance I encountered will bring May flowers (good fortune). Here are a couple hands from my recent sessions (mostly coinflips).

Hand #1
Fish (loose / aggressive) here on business splashing around before he is goes to work playing nearly ever hand with a mixture of limp / raises. As his stack got bigger he started raising more liberally.

Fish raises to $15
2nd fish calls $15
Hero: AKo raises to $65
Fish #1 calls other players fold

Flop ($150) :Qh :6c :5c
Fish check
Hero :Ac :Ks bets $100
Fish all in $125
Hero calls extra $25
Turn and river brick out.
Fish shows 77 and takes the pot.
Fish doesn't understand my range of TT+ AK here and states only hand he loses to is AQ (he was dead serious).

Hand #2
another loose fish opens $15 in MP
decently tight / passive player older white guy calls $15 MP
Hero CO :Qh :Qs raises to $65
Fish says "you got QQ again?" I stay quite and he calls extra $50
Tight / passive goes all in $101 after saying I hope you both have the same hand so I put him on 77-JJ here.
Hero calls (cant raise as its under minimum)
Fish calls

3 way to the flop ($300 roughly)
Flop ($300) :Kh :Kd :3s
Fish goes all in has hero covered
Hero ($210 remaining) folds
Fish shows AK and takes the pot against tight passive TT.

Hand #3
($1/$2/$2 with open of $5)
2 fish limp
tight passive ($60) min raises to $10
Hero TT raises to $45
fish fold
Tight passive thinks for way too long and puts in the $60 with QQ.

*for what its worth I think his range here is 88+ AJ+ KQ+ when he min raises this, but I expected on this dyanamic for QQ+ for him to make it $20 like he has done in the past sessions

Hand #4
QQ utg open $15
fish calls in SB
BB tight passive calls

Flop ($46) J 6 8 rainbow
SB; check
BB: check
hero bets $35
sb: fold
BB calls $35

Turn ($116) J 6 8 7 rainbow
On the flop looked like tight passive guy wanted to fold even picked up his cards like he was going to muck. I figured he could have some J9, 89, 87, type hands that picked up a lot of equity on the turn, but also could have me crushed with T9s here. J7 and J8 are not really in his range.

River ($116) J 6 8 7 2 rainbow
BB: check
Hero bets $50
BB calls AJ.
One of the few hands I actually won.

Hand #5
Utg calls $5
Hero AA calls $5
*table was starting to get aggressive at this point of my session
MP calls $5
BU ($60) raises to $25
folds to hero who makes it $75
BU calls $35 98o
Long story short board run out J8296
Lost to 2 pair

Hand #6
Hero KdKh utg: raise to $15
CO fish: calls $15
BB crazy asian man raises to $57 leaving $19 behind
Hero: calls $42 more trying to keep fish in
Fish fold
Flop Ad3d4c
BB: all in $19
seems happy like he has the ace, but I am not really folding KK here for $19 more
BB had AA

Positive note is most of my losses the players were short stack, so it didn't cost me a whole lot and could of been way worse! Sticking to a 4 hr time frame recently has helped me stay focused and avoid any type of tilt (thanks Splitsuit).

Losing 1.5 buyin over 24 hr sample size literally means nothing as another player quoted "life is one long session." This past 1.5 weeks only put a small dent in the bankroll, but wanted to post just to get it off my chest and think out loud about some of these hands. Some times writing them down helps me see any mistakes I may have made.

Also what type of music are you all listening to? I tend to keep one ear piece in and listen to music while trying to talk to the table so I dont seem like a total nit and keeping the players engaged and having fun rather than looking a quite nitty table.


  • FilthyCasualFilthyCasual Red Chipper Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    Sometimes venting and getting it out there is beneficial. Glad your not worried too much about 1.5 buying downswing, that can easily be a session. Some thing I always tell myself during downswing is that without variance, there'd be no fish. It's what keeps the game alive and breathing. No variance, fish wouldn't play. Remove the fish, and eventually the poker would completely dry up until the players are all playing nash equilibrium and the casinos are the only ones making money.
    Austin wrote: »
    Also what type of music are you all listening to? I tend to keep one ear piece in and listen to music while trying to talk to the table so I dont seem like a total nit and keeping the players engaged and having fun rather than looking a quite nitty table.
    I generally try to avoid it, but if I do have one ear listening, it's generally something like Miles Davis, Blackmill or Morcheeba. Chill music. Maybe some parov stellar, caravan palace, or infected mushroom if I need a non-caffeinated pick me up. Last time I was playing and listening to heavy metal and punk mix, my range got wide and I wanted to bluff all the time. I listen to all sort of music, but usually if I have to be focused on an involved task, I find lyrics distracting, and go for something a little more instrumental or techno-ie.
  • BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
    edited April 2016
    Hand 1. The first rule of playing fish is to not get sophisticated. If the player was truly a fish, he doesn't even know what a range is. Let's alone what you were representing. If you had AQ, he'd have paid you, hence him being a fish. This is how good players take advantage of fish. Not by bluffing.

    Hand 2. This is the classic coin flip. Pretty standard. Overall, you should be excited about not getting felted here. That $65 dollar bet was genius if you made it so he couldn't shove before the flop. Probably just lucky but hey, worked out for you.

    Hand 3. Just a cooler situation. Would have hurt much more if he had stacks. But we got lucky to play a very promising hand for only $60. In most cases this is going to be a coin flip situation where you are slightly ahead.

    Hand 4. This was played pretty passively. Which is not an ideal way to play QQ. I think your bad luck with QQ's earlier made you a bit gun shy. You missed value on the turn, thinking he may have outdrawn you. You need to get max value to offset hand 2. QQ will show a profit in the long run because it's a premium hand. But if played passively, you will either win a small pot....or lose a big one.

    Hand 5. Ouch. But it happens. 89 did have some equity before the flop. Although it was a low percentage, there was a percentage. This was a product of playing at a low stakes table. You'll get the fish that gets it in really bad because it doesn't cost them that much. These are the kind of players you want to play with at low stakes. You just got unlucky and drew the short straw. You will beat this player over time so just keep playing your game. I hate to say it but you probably could have taken a very small pot with a standard 3 bet. By playing it tricky, you opened up the door for a button move to over commit. He was forced to call because of his stack size....and the rest is history.

    Hand 6. Nothing but a cold deck here. It was always getting in. The only way it wasn't getting in was if he played it tricky like your 5th hand and just calls the $15. Then you could check fold to a bet and only lose the minimum. But if you look at it more carefully, he would have likely checked behind with top set, making you feel like you were good by the turn and river. When AA and KK are dealt, carnage will ensue 9 out of 10 times. Don't fear monsters under the bed. Just know that sometimes they are there. And if they show up, you just need to shrug it off and move on.

    After hand 6, I'm racking up and leaving for the day. This session has gone pretty poorly. so I would consider taking a couple days off from poker. Then it's back to the grind.

    I don't mean to be critical about your play. For the most part, you've played your monster hands pretty well. Just fell on the wrong side of the percentages. As long as you play these hands/situations consistently, you'll come ahead in the end. The percentages demand it.

    One last thing....keep in mind that these low stakes games are hard to consistently "beat". These players have money to burn and most are there to gamble. It doesn't matter if they are getting 1-1 pot odds for a flush draw. They didn't come to fold!!! They came to be entertained. So when you are 60-70% to win after the flop, there is usually at least one player in the pot with 10-25% equity. If there is multiple players with 25% equity (which isn't uncommon in low stakes games) you're not much of a favorite.

    For example, you have :As :Ac . You open for $15.
    Button calls with :5d :6d
    BB calls with :8h :9h

    Not much you could have done differently. Maybe you're even a little excited to have some action.

    But then the flop comes :Td :7d :2c

    You will most likely be called by both players no matter how much you bet. Because the stacks are small and the stakes are low.

    Now you have to dodge 16 cards! TWICE!!!

    When one of those cards come, you may think, "oh my GOD". How unlucky can I be. But the truth of the matter is, it's not that unlucky that you lost a big pot. To win big pots in low stake games, you have to fade cards. Usually you have to fade 8-13 cards.

    The other way to win big pots is to get it all in pre-flop with AA when opponent has KK. Or have a higher straight/flush. It's the nature of the beast at the $1--$2 levels.

    Maybe you should be thinking about adjusting they way you play premium hands. Raise BIG and win a small pot. And for gods sake, thin the field with hearty 3 bets. Get heads up and reassess.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Appreciate all the good feed back and your right about missing value with qq on the j87 board. With him wanting to fold flop i guess i could only get two streets but should of been flop and turn and value bet while im ahead.

    Today's session started out well up 2 buyins then a lag sat down. I wouldn't say he's a good lag as he called AQ on 9s8s5c board putting guy on flush draw in a 3 bet pot. He called 2x pot size bet and lost to Asks. Few hands before got all in after betting $15 pre with AT and sb shoved with AQ for $150. Seen him get all in multiple times now.

    I started trapping and over limped kk and he raised his bb to $25 and i shoved kk and he snapped it off with QJs. Board ran out a 2 3 4 5 for a chop.

    Few hands later ...
    Hero raised 88 utg $15
    He made it $45
    I decided to jam 200 as his usual 3 bet is $60ish so i put him on weaker range.
    Lost a race 88 vs aq.

    Just being patient as i seen him get all in again where he 5 betting AQ and got all in against kk. Kk held up but guy is running crazy hot against some players.

    Might be one of those days where win big or lose big if he stays at the table. Still practically even on the day so hoping for the best.

    What do you think about getting all in 88 vs AQ pre vs his wide range? Too many bad flops to play post so all in or fold after i get 3 bet. I figure since i showed kk previously i have extra fold equity but he is kind of a maniac.
  • BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
    I would have snap called and went to the flop to set mine. Maniacs will call with ANY two Broadway cards. So a shove is going to get called a lot by over cards. I hate to race for stacks in a cash game. Unless I'm heavily invested.

    I this case you could have gotten away for only $45.

    What was the flop?
  • BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
    Tough luck with those Kings. Straight on the board? Ugh
  • GabeyJGabeyJ Red Chipper Posts: 436 ✭✭✭
    You didn't lose value with your QQ. 1.5 buyins can't hurt that's almost job well done.(note I'm a high varrince player)
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    GabeyJ wrote: »
    You didn't lose value with your QQ. 1.5 buyins can't hurt that's almost job well done.(note I'm a high varrince player)

    Ended up doing a 15 hr session yesterday and table was very profitable but lost half a buyin.

    got all in 88 vs A6
    all in 88 vs A7
    JJ vs A9
    lost all 3. All in preflop $80-$150 effective.

    Some hands held up at the end of the session which is why I only lost half a buyin instead of more.
    Won jj vs AKs
    Won QQ vs xx got some action when i flopped top set
    Won AK 4 way all in pre vs 3 short stacks ($56 biggest stack) AK vs AQ vs 42s vs xx
    BenLeewood wrote: »
    I would have snap called and went to the flop to set mine. Maniacs will call with ANY two Broadway cards. So a shove is going to get called a lot by over cards. I hate to race for stacks in a cash game. Unless I'm heavily invested.

    I this case you could have gotten away for only $45.

    What was the flop?

    Flop came out QJ9 so definitely would of got away from it for just $45 on this flop, but I was trying not to be gun shy and push my edges. If the flop is Jxx, Qxx, Kxx I do not know what flop I am suppose to fold on, so I took the easy route and just shoved. Of course any low flop I am just putting it in. He could have AK on QJ9 and get me to fold best hand as well.

    overall it has been a journey since I started tracking my results:

    42 hrs played
    9 sessions (6 winning 3 losing)
    Profit -$330

    I would say I could of left yesterday after being up 2 buyin in the first two hours of play and left with a positive week, but I am more focused on long run hourly then anything else. If I know I will make $15-$20 an hour if I leave after 2 hrs it feels like I only made $40 and not $400. Same could be said for my 15 hr session. Long run that is going to be $300 profit instead of $100 loss if I think about it in time.

    Very happy with my progress as a player despite the some what poor results thus far. Take 1 or 2 bad beats away and I am in the positive again. Looking to play about 1,000 hours at $1/2 and depending on my results I will consider taking some shots at $2/$3/$5 especially at my casino a lot of the players are the same.

    Going on vacation tomorrow night so wont be able to play for 4-5 days. Going to try and squeeze in maybe 2 more small sessions 1 tonight and 1 tomorrow morning if possible.
  • BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
    Maybe you're playing too long. 15 hours is a bit crazy. Especially at $1/$2. I play 3-6 hour sessions. I like to leave before I realize I'm not sharp anymore. Remember, the game is always going to be there. It never ends.

    Putting in marathon sessions can wear you down after a while. It may effect you the next session. Instead of a 15 hour session, why not 3 five hour sessions over the coarse of 3 days? You may find that you make just as much or more in the 15 hours of play.

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