Dreaming of the top whilst playing at the bottom...

Month: August 2016 Page 1 of 2

Rule 14 – When you bust a big event don’t play a small one have a steak and go to bed

Woke 6.20 am jumped a shower and an Uber taxi to North Greenwich and from there by tube to Victoria coach station. A £5 Subway deal for the journey and a 3 hr National Express coach to Nottingham to play the £500 + £50 £250,000 guaranteed deep stack at Dusk Till Dawn first place £45 K + $8,000 PCA package.

Started well and hit some hands, called some limps with Aces and ended up 7 way but hit top set, led out for 1,500 and got two callers one who had initially checked on an A J 7 rainbow flop. Turn was a 9 putting some draws out and I bet 5,000 hoping someone had a set only to get two folds. I could have bet smaller but I was hoping to be able to build a pot for a river shove.

UTG + 2 raise to 400 SB calls and I complete with a pair of nines. Flop comes 974 two diamonds, SB checks and I donk lead out representing a draw for 1,000 initial raiser calls as does the small blind. Turn is a 3 putting some wheel draws out SB checks and I bet 3,000 initial raiser bets 12,000 SB folds and I set him in for about 25,000 which he calls off with a set of sevens, board runs out for a nearly full double up.

I have an under the gun raise to 4 x to 2,000 I re-raise with AA to 6,000 and initial raiser calls and shoves all in for 11,000 on a Q 8 4 flop I call and he shows J9 for a gut shot. Easy money.

Up to double chip average when I raise 3 x to 2,400 with KK on the button. BB re-raises to 5,200 I make it 12,000 and he ships for 21,000 total showing A o and spikes and aces on the flop for a full double up, that was when lady luck moved on…

I went card dead but kept patient, with 10 BB I shoved over a button min raise with A3 called by KJ after much thought and held for a double up. I then shoved over a mid-position raise of 7,000 with AJ for 35,000 10 BB from the hijack and got an all in from the button, the initial raiser folded and all in turned over QQ. I spiked an ace in the door and then runner runner spades gave him a queen high flush and sent me to the rail.

Bought into the £55 tournament and dusted half my stack off in the first hand with some dreadful play and was out an hour later. Booked a hotel at the Ramada for £59 and took a £27 bus back first thing in the morning.

Main lesson don’t get involved in fancy play, start with playing your hands correctly, extracting the maximum value from them and being aware of the GAP concept. Don’t call early raises with suited connectors unless you have 30 x the initial raise and even then there  are better situations.

I did discuss one hand with a guy who’d just busted. He min raised J 10 from the button into Martyn Frey’s BB who has a decent stack and likes to defend. Flop in J 10 7 two diamonds BB checks and he continues for 3/4 pot to get a call. Turn is a 7 and BB checks and then shoves over the raise. The guy called it off and did his 30 BB stack on the last level.


Rule 13 – Play small ball when you have an edge – A bad day at the office

Last night played one $22 tournament playing well min raised from button with AK and SB shoved a decent stack, I called and his AQ hit a Queen on the flop. I was 70% good but play small ball when you have a skill edge remove the variance by avoiding these large decisions. I could have folded and lost 320 instead of getting 17,000 in good and busting. It should have been a simple task to win a $109 ticket with the stack I had.

Went to Aspers Casino and played a £20 tournament for 4 x  £220 888 tickets, I did £80 in re-buys and add-ons and went home after a losing a 10BB flip from the Small Blind with KQ v 99. I should have done a stop and go it was a good spot for it, but I hate shoving having missed to get called by someone who has spiked an ace. This was a clear spot for a stop and go and I should have taken that option as it had some additional fold equity which I left on the table.

I then did 3 x$22 playing for $109 ticket tournaments, in one I blew a top 5 stack on one hand with AQ with 9 players left , I should have folded the turn and thought of ICM implications. River was a an Ace, I checked and the villain shoved with a Full house Aces over Jacks exactly the hand I put him on when he bet the run. My trip Aces with Queen kicker were only a bluff catcher and should have gone in the muck.

Best decision I made was quitting for the night, I nearly used my £550 ticket to play the deep stack online day one rather than head to Nottingham this weekend, feeling low playing badly and hitting no cards. When you play badly there is no hope in poker and when you lose flips one after the other it’s demoralizing. That’s poker folks.


Rule 12 – When you are not in a good mood poker will not be you’re friend….beware of residual tilt

Bank roll £1,075 = £1,192 -$66 (3 x$22) yesterday and -$88 (4 x$22) and -$109 plus won 1 x $109 ticket

Played one $22 badly and then another when I hit top two on turn when the flush got there too, and after a check from villain I raised and was called. Then villain led the river for full pot and I called, just horrible! Check back the turn and bluff catch the river is the correct play or bet the turn and fold to the shove.

Played a $109 ticket for Caribbean blinds 400/800 raise RP to 2,000 and 4 callers I re-raise to 8,000 with AQs from the big blind and get folds but small blind calls flop comes 7 8 10 all diamonds. Check and I check back as I have no diamonds turn is a Queen, villain checks and I bet 8,000 and get a call. River is a blank villain checks and I ship in my remaining 9,500 Villain calls with the flopped straight made with 69o. Completely on tilt though my river bet would look like a busted flush draw bluff!!!

Rule 11 – Don’t call big all ins with KQ as you will often be dominated

Played a $22 no mistakes but just lost a flip and then used a $109 tournament ticket where I shoved 15BB with 99 from mid position only to be called by JJ on the button.

I did call an all in shove with KQo for half my stack and surprise surprise found myself dominated. It’s either a flip of domination nation so not +EV.


I would suggest open shoving with any pair at any position, strong aces in early position, weak aces in late position.

Also if everyone folds around to you on the button or small blind then shove any two cards. If you get your stack above 20 bb then start playing how you would normally

Rule 10 – If you bust 3 times call it a day no matter how Zen you are Tilt will own you

I’ve busted 3 times and not played a hand badly, let it go for tonight. There is tilt and residual tilt to deal with and no mater how Zen you are Tilt will get you and take your money. Have a cup of tea and go to bed there is more to life than poker and the game will be there tomorrow.

Don’t ride a motorbike angry or play poker on tilt.

Rule 9 – Biggest crime in poker confusing bad play with bad luck – know the difference

Variance will kill you, the biggest crime in poker is confusing bad play with bad luck

Played 3 x $22 tournament

  1. Hit a set of jacks checked the flop shove followed by call and then I shove and get called. Initial raiser has Ace high caller has a pair and a flush draw and hits his flush on the river. Should have been chip lead but busted instead.
  2. Shove QQ under the gun with 10 BB called by AKs in the button and he hits his ace on the flop
  3. Early position raise I shove 10BB from cutoff, button shoves with AQ and initial raiser folds. Ace on flop sends me to the rail.

3 tournaments no errors $66 down that is poker


Rule 8 – Before you shove evaluate your fold equity and know your Villain

Played the £60 tournament at Apsers and played badly.

Mistake 1 – I limped Aces from small blind when I have 3 limpers in front of me of course the big blind checked too…awful play just awful. Never slow play big hands and if you do make sure there is a good reason such as an over aggressive Villain waiting to fall into  your trap.

Mistake 2 – Flatted a raise with AKs in position instead of raising, too passive, the value of AK is in its fold equity 2 out of 3 times you’ll miss the flop and be stuck with Ace high. This of course is what happened and then I decided to float a raise in position only for the small blind to make it 3 way before I folded to a bet on the turn.

Mistake 4 – Two mid position limpers blinds at 1500/3000 400 ante small blind completes and in the big blind I check with K80 with a stack of 80K giving a pot of 15,200.  Flop comes 8 4 5 rainbow and the small blind a good player bets 10,000 so what does he have? Donk bets are normally 2 pair or a pair plus draw, he  could have flopped the nuts  with 6 7 but a good player would check that. I should call and re-evaluate on the turn as I don’t know where I am in the hand, I’m either well ahead or way behind the worst spot in poker. Remember Rule 1 – If you don’t know where you are in the hand don’t bet. I raise to 20K  two folds and villain ships, I fold and he shows me his two pair. The days of betting for information are over this is just bad play, it allows me to find out I’m beat but I’d have been better investing 10K and perhaps outdrawing his hand and re-evaluating on the turn.

Mistake 3 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 500 ante pot of 10,500  before button raises to 11,000 and I ship 61,000 with J6s. So the pot is 82,500 and villain has to put in 50,000 to call  to win 82,500 giving  him odds of 1.65 : 1 (37%)on his call needing . He calls with A3o , I hit a Jack on the flop and he spikes an Ace on the turn to send me to the rail. Correct play fold and attack the blinds in the next few hands or wait for a better hand, I don’t like the idea of playing fit or fold out of position.

What do I know of the villain?

1. Not scared of big all in confrontations he shoved a nut flush draw over a raise for the majority of his stack earlier in the tournament. Enjoys the gamble of the situation something he shared with me after that hand.

2. Has a large enough stack to make the call

3. Knows how to play

When I look at this profile, although I assume he is raising almost any two into my stack size from the button I can find a fold and find a better spot to shove my 15BB especially as I have minimal fold equity.

£1,292 – £100 = £1,192

Rule 7 – How to play Jacks – Treat them as nines

No one knows how to play Jacks not even Phil Ivey or maybe he does.


People play Jacks too aggressively or too passively getting the balance right is an art. Jacks is a hand to go all-in pre-flop with when you are less than 10BB  and up to 15BB in tourneys, stacking off with more than 30BB is a mistake unless you have a good read!

I advise playing Jacks in early levels as a set mining hand as you will generally win a small pot or lose a big one, when the antes kick in start 3 betting them.

This video tells you all you need to know

Rule 6 – Most people’s bets mean what they say

Super 60 at Aspers for £60 blinds are 400/800 with 100 ante raise UTG +2 to 2,000 with 3 callers and I wake up with JJ in the big blind with a stack of 40K and bump it to 12,500. Initial raiser tanks than goes all in and he is the big stack, previously he had called a 25BB shove from an under the gun raiser with a pair of eights. Two folds and I have  a decision 30K behind a playable stack and I try to get him to talk he remains silent but is his chest is breathing hard. My move looks like a squeeze play and I try to put him on a range and decide it is 88+ AQ+ and after much thought I call to get the bad news he has Kings. The board runs out and I’m out and heading for the door. Poker is a game of situations and in this situation may Jacks may be good, I want to fold but can’t, I level myself believing that he may be putting me on a squeeze, that combined with having been card dead led to the call.

When you make a bet know how you will respond and have a plan for the hand ask yourself “Am I prepared to play for my whole stack with this hand?” with Jacks this should be 10-15BB pre-flop for an all in, I managed to get 50BB and that is a major mistake.

People earn the right to bluff you by making bets, I should have let the hand go and found a better spot for my remaining 30 BB.

There is a story of two poker players who meetup in Las Vegas one asks the other how he’s doing and he replies “I’ve gone completely broke playing poker but the good news is no one bluffed me”.

Learn to let yourself be bluffed you’ll be richer for it.

£1,352 – £60 = £1,292

Rule 2 Again – Poker and alcohol don’t mix

I came home worse for wear after a night in Borough Market,  watched an episode of First Dates and fired up a $22 game on PartyPoker Middleweight $1,000 6 Max Gtd. I came 30th out of  74, the tournament finished at 03:30 am and I fell asleep somewhere before the end during one of the breaks when I was playing well…$22 wasted, I woke up on the sofa with my laptop on my chest and the game over. I’m playing Aspers £55 tonight and my task for the day is to finish Oliver IMPROVA Marx’s A PIECE by PIECE approach to SOLVING THE POKER PUZZLE I need to up my game before the WPT Ireland my last £1,000.

£1,369 – £17 = £1,352

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