Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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It is OK to fold AA

Friday, May 29, 2009

I was reading some of the coverage of the 1st level of the $40k NLHE WSOP event yesterday. The starting chip count was T120,000 and the blinds were 200/400/w 50 ante. There were several players that got all-in with AA in the 1st level. I will put in the caveat that I wasn't there so I may not know all the cirucmstances surrounding the hands/player's histories with each other, etc, etc, but on the surface and from the pokernews descriptions it just seems like horrible play.

First Example:

Jim Bechtel Eliminated by David Chiu

We already have a man down only thirty minutes into this event and unfortunately, it was 1993 Main Event Champion Jim Bechtel.

Bechtel, David Chiu, and Per Ummer saw a flop of {9-Diamonds} {2-Spades} {2-Hearts}. Bechtel checked, Chiu bet 6,000, Ummer folded and Bechtel called. The {6-Diamonds} cameon the turn and Bechtel checked again. Chiu fired out 9,200 only to be met with a shove from Bechtel for his entire 119,000 stack.

Chiu made the call and flipped over {9-Hearts} {9-Clubs} for a flopped full house, cracking Bechtel's {A-Clubs} {A-Spades} . The river was the {3-Spades} and Bechtel's tournament was over while Chiu doubled up to 245,000.

No real explanation needed on why this was horrible. What was he thinking? Is worse hand ever calling?

Phil Laak (mr uber-tight on High Stakes Poker) was involved in the 2nd one:

After a flop of {J-Clubs} {8-Diamonds} {2-Clubs} Phil Laak announces to the entire tournament floor that he is all in. Camera crews rush over to see Laak turn over {8-Clubs} {8-Hearts} for middle set against the pocket aces of his James Calderaro. The turn and river are blanks and Laak doubles up to 245,000. Calderaro drops all the way down to 7,900.

The Laak showmanship plus his ultra-tight early tourney play makes this seem very bad by his opponent. Maybe there was more to the hand since the description doesn't have how the action went down, but it just seems bad, bad, bad.

Not too sure about Tony G's getting all in with Aces either - even though we won:

With the board showing {5-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}, Tony G just got it all in with {A-Clubs}{A-Spades} versus Erik Cajelais' {8-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. The turn was the {A-Hearts}, further improving Tony G's hand. And the river was the {8-Hearts}, giving Tony G the large pot.

Tony G is quickly up to 248,000, while Cajelais falls to 3,800.
I think we need to know more information on how this hand went down.

As LJ pointed out to me - Brian Townsend also posted on his blog that he couldn't believe how horrid the play was, especially considering players had to shell out $40,000 to play the event.


Short Stack Shamus at Hard Boiled Poker (which happens to be one of the many places I am following the WSOP) pointed out Tony G's interview about the hand. It makes it seem a little more reasonable. The other two still seem horrible, especially the first one.

PokerNews Video

Both are on Sunday. I can't play the Brit Blogger Game because I will be watching the kids, but I'm definitely in for my last shot at a BBT4 TOC seat on Sunday in MiamiDon's Blogger Big game.

Tournament: Brit Blogger Game
When: Sunday's at 16:00ET
Game: NLHE
Buyin: $5+.50
Password: donkament

Tournament: Blogger Big Game
When: Sunday, May 31st at 21:30ET
Game: Superstack NLHE
Buyin: $69+6 (or token)
Password: donkey

Go Magic!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Orlando is now up 3-1 despite the refs trying to give the game to Lebron...err Cleveland. (Just ask Charles Barkley) The town is going nuts!!!

BTW, Charles Barkley is a genius. He predicted that Orlando would beat Cleveland. Hopefully, the Magic will make him look like Kreskin.

ESPN article on the game
- breaking down the fouls/controversial travel call.

My question is why wouldn't this be a foul on Lebron instead of a good "no-call" for not calling a foul on Dwight Howard.

"n the closing seconds of overtime, I think everyone was sure Dwight Howard would be called after he bit on a LeBron James fake, and made contact while James released the shot. It looked like a play we have all seen called a foul a zillion times. But replays revealed that at the time of contact, Howard was upright on the ground, and James jumped into him."

WSOP will be streaming FTs

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It looks like they will be streaming 24 WSOP Final Tables on ESPN360 and Bluff. Hopefully, ESPN will allow access to people that subscribe to ISPs other than those they are affiliated with. I remember it being a huge clusterf%ck last year.

This may effect my decision on which event(s) to play - not because I think I am going to be at a TV table, but because the field sizes may be slightly bigger for the events that are going to be streamed.

Hard Boiled Poker has a pretty good post about it

Link to Pokernews story with streamed event list

Plugging Leaks

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I am going to work hard this weekend plugging leaks. It seems that I have a major one. I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do to plug the leak, but I'm sure I'll find other leaks while I'm trying to correct the major one.

The first step in plugging leaks is discovering them. This one wasn't hard to discover thanks to five straight days of rain, water dripping through the window, pelting the back of my recliner and creating an extremely large puddle on our (luckily) brick floor.

Oh yeah, I guess I should have said "non-poker related post" in the title.

Florida Poker Uncapped NLHE

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Unfortunately, the government moves slow so it is still 6+ months before uncapped NLHE games start getting spread in FL. I can't wait.

Ante Up (as always) summed it up best on their blog (see quote below).


1. Gov. Charlie Crist signs SB 788.

2. Gov. Crist and the Seminole Tribe draft a new compact

3. Florida Legislature and Seminole Tribe Council approve the new compact

4. Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs approves the new compact, and it’s printed in the Federal Register.

(Complete timeline) - Best guess: Dec. 1, assuming the Legislature approves the compact

They also have a pretty good Florida poker magazine that they started a few months ago. If you are interested in FL poker/FL poker players or are a fan of their podcast then go support their startup and buy the magazine. Sure you can read it for free online, but what would you read in the bathroom.

I'm still not sure which event(s) I will play while in LV, but at least my plans are finalized. I fly out Sunday, June 14th (which isn't Father's Day) and fly back Saturday, June 20th (the day before Father's Day). My current plan is to play one WSOP tourney from the following:

Monday June 15th - 2k NLHE
Tuesday June 16th - 1.5K NLHE
Thursday June 18th - 2k NLHE (leaning towards this one)

I will probably also play a one or two Venetian Deep Stack tourneys. The rest of my time in LV will be spent at the cash games and unfortunately keeping up on work in my hotel room (or maybe by the pool.)

I can't wait. Only 25 more days until I'm in LV eating Beef Jerky and drinking Milwaukee's Best Light

CK has started to compile a list of the bloggers that are heading out to the WSOP this year.

BBT4 - Only 6 more shots for me

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

EDIT: Al updated his blog it ends May 31st instead of May 24th. (I actually have 6 more shots.) The ones listed below plus another Riverchasers, Skillz, Mookie and the Blogger Big Game if it gets moved to May 31st.

To say that I am disappointed in my BBT4 performance would be an understatement. I think I had one 2nd, two 3rds, one or two more final tables, and two-three final table bubbles. These things are all about winning entry into the TOC for a shot at 2 WSOPME packages and 2 WSOP $2k packages. 2nd place might as well be last place, but it still stings to get close and come up short.

There are four events left, but I will only be able to play two. I don't play during the day on Sundays and Sunday night I will be at Game 3 of the Orlando/Lebron Series. So the LHE skillz game tonight and the Mookie tomorrow night are my last two shots.

I'm going to go into both tourneys like I have gone into every BBT4 event - play for first because the other spots are meaningless. Maybe I will at least get to have some fun abusing the guys that are in the running for the overall points crown. Good Luck to the rest of you that haven't won seats yet!!!!

Tilting Less

Monday, May 18, 2009

"I don't tilt."

"I never tilt."

It has been a long time, but I remember saying the above quotes. There are varying degrees of tilt, some more extreme than others but everyone tilts. Tommy Angelo's book, podcast interviews and new video series on Deuces Cracked have helped me realize a big leak and begin to plug the dam. You can have many goals in poker, but one of your main goals should be to "tilt less" than your opponents. If you deal with the bad beats, coolers, running bad over a session, etc, etc better than other regulars in the game do then you will profit in the long run.

I tilt a lot less than I used to. I now find myself taking a little more time to make decisions right after a bad beat, cooler, or bad call/play. For the next orbit or two, I am consciously asking myself, "Would I normally make this bet/raise/call/double barrel/triple barrel/etc if xyz hadn't just happened a few hands ago?" The 2 additional seconds that this usually takes has probably meant more to my game lately than anything else. I occasionally find myself folding instead of calling/raising or raising instead of calling/folding thanks to taking that extra 2 seconds.

If you think you don't tilt or never tilt, make sure you aren't kidding yourself. Review your sessions. Don't just review the big losses and wins, but also review the next 50 or so hands after a big loss or win. Did you do something differently than you normally would during that stretch that you would consider spewing, playing too nitty, or just a plain bad that caused you to lose more or win less than normal?

Why Full Ring vs. 6 Max?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I have been playing exclusively full ring cash games for a couple of months now instead of 6 max for numerous reasons. I'll probably go into some of the secondary reasons in future posts, but I can sum up one of the main reasons in one question:

Why would you play 6 max NLHE online when almost every online training site focuses predominately on 6 max NLHE? They are training hoards and hoards or people how to play and how to play against the ideas/concepts/etc that they are teaching. I know that there are still fish to be found in 6 max NLHE, but it seems like more casual players or players that predominately play tourneys would sit down at the full ring tables because that is what they are used to playing (whether in live games, tourneys, or sngs).

Just something to think about......oh yeah, and if you are a good 6 max player, please stay at the 6 max tables.

Finished the 15K experiment

Friday, May 08, 2009

I finally finished the 15k hand experiment (5k hands of 2 tables, 5k hands of 3 tables, and 5k hands of 4 tables - all 200 nl full ring).

As a few people pointed out, 15k hands isn't really going to tell me anything. The main reason for the experiment was to work on staying disciplined and focused and work on my game. I spent more time than every taking notes, really thinking out hands both during and after sessions, focusing my energy on trying to always play my "A" game, and deciding not to play when I shouldn't. I still have a little trouble playing when I shouldn't (I think most people do)

It took longer than I thought mainly due to a very busy April (work, sister's wedding, family stuff, etc, etc)

I'll post a follow up with more in depth thoughts on the things I worked on next week, but here are the results.

1st 5k hands 200 nl fr - 2 tables only
Hands - 5,001
Amount Won - $47.15
ptbb/100 - 0.24

2nd 5k hands 200 nl fr - 3 tables only
Hands - 5,001
Amount Won - $1,413.35
ptbb/100 - 7.07

3rd 5k hands 200 nl fr - 4 tables only
Hands - 4,976
Amount Won - $812.15
ptbb/100 - 4.08

Overall result of all 15k hands 200 nl fr
Hands - 14,978
Amount Won - $2,272.25
ptbb/100 - 3.79

And the Graphs:

1st 5k hands 200 nl fr - 2 tables only

2nd 5k hands 200 nl fr - 3 tables only

3rd 5k hands 200 nl fr - 4 tables only

Overall result of all 15k hands 200 nl fr

AQs follow up

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wow!! Thanks for all the great comments on the "How would you play it? AQs" post.

I posted the hand because I felt like I really butchered it. I let some outside factors influence my play. I had been disconnecting a lot while still connecting to other sites with no problem. I actually disconnected pf after he 3b and before I had a chance to decide on my pf action. When I reconnected I didn't have much time to decide what to do, so I called. I was also about to quit for the night, had already unchecked the post blinds button, and had already closed a few of the other tables I was playing. I was up two buy-ins on the session. In the back of my mind I was thinking if I got stacked here I would be at even for the night after being up 2 buy-ins and that was probably a factor in my horrible play of the hand. I know that this shouldn't be a factor and is definitely a leak that I am working on.

Now, that I tried to justify :) why I played that hand so poorly, here is what I actually did.

Full Tilt Poker $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+1: $100.00
Hero (UTG+2): $455.10
MP1: $308.35
MP2: $196.00
CO: $203.00
BTN: $365.00
SB: $96.00
BB: $608.60
UTG: $366.65

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is UTG+2 with QQ of hearts AA of hearts

2 folds
Hero raises to $7
5 foldsBB raises to $24
Hero calls $17

Flop: ($49.00) 44 of hearts 88 of hearts 99 of diamonds (2 players)

BB bets $30
Hero calls $30

Turn: ($109.00) JJ of spades (2 players)

BB bets $106
Hero calls $106

River: ($321.00) KK of diamonds (2 players)

BB checks
Hero checks

Final Pot: $321.00
Hero mucks QQ of hearts AA of hearts
BB shows TT of clubs TT of hearts (a pair of Tens)
BB wins $318.00
(Rake: $3.00)

Thoughts on what I should have done.

When I first posted this I felt like flat calling the 3 bet preflop with AQs might have been a little spewey. After a couple of days and as a few peopel pointed out, flat calling the 3b in position this deep is OK. I actually this it is probably the best option between calling, folding, and 4 betting.

This is where I totally butchered the hand. I could have raised the flop to around $90 and he probably would have folded. Even if he just called, I might have been able to get him to fold the turn.

Since, I butchered the flop I'm not sure how believable a shove is going to be here. It would look like a set or a draw. I felt like this player is folding such a small portion of his range here that calling was the best option. My plan for the river was to try to get all the money in on a T or heart and decide what to do if an Ace hit based on his action. This may seem a little weak, but I think that I reduced my options after my weak flop call.

I could have bluffed at the river K, and maybe represnted something like AhKh but hindishgt is 20/20. I gave up. Anyone make a big river bet or just wave the white flag?

I am going to keep trying to make a more concerted effort of not letting the outside factors (disconnections, end of an up session, etc) effect my play. This is definitely an example of me playing a hand differently than I normally would/should.

Thanks again for all the comments.

How would you play it? AQs

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I think I butchered how I played this hand the other night. How would you play it?

Button had a 3 bet % of 6.1% and a c-bet of 89% over 2,700 hands
Villain Stats - 19/13/3.6 (winning player)

Several questions.

1. Is flat calling the 3b here a huge leak this deep giving the 3b% of 6.1%?
2. Thoughts on flop flat call?
3. What would you do on the turn?
4. What is your plan for the river if you wiff?
5. What is your plan for the river if you just hit an ace?
6. What is your plan for the river if you make nut flush or the straight?

Full Tilt Poker $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+1: $100.00
Hero (UTG+2): $455.10
MP1: $308.35
MP2: $196.00
CO: $203.00
BTN: $365.00
SB: $96.00
BB: $608.60
UTG: $366.65

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is UTG+2 with QQ of hearts AA of hearts - AhQh

2 folds
Hero raises to $7
5 folds
BB raises to $24
Hero calls $17

Flop: ($49.00) 44 of hearts 88 of hearts 99 of diamonds (2 players) - 4h8h9d

BB bets $30
Hero calls $30

Turn: ($109.00) JJ of spades (2 players) - Js

BB bets $106
Hero ?????

Looking forward to how others would have played this

FTP/WSOP/Free Training

Monday, May 04, 2009

FTP Update/Fixes to Cash Games

I guess when you make changes, some things get messed up. When you fix the problems sometimes it creates additional different problems. It looks like this is the case with the FTP update and fix. There was a big outcry from the cash game players after the initial update last week when the deep stack tables were moved away from the 100BB tables. I was among them. The main reason is that the min buy-in for the DS tables is 50BB vs. 20BB for the 100BB tables. There are times when almost every 100BB table has at least 2-4 short stackers which makes the game completely different.

FTP came out with a fix late last week that moved the DS tables back with the regular tables. The fix also mixed the PL and Capped NL games in with the the DS and regular tables. Oooops. My guess is that they are working on a fix for this. I played 13 PL hands this weekend when I thought I was playing NL. It wasn't a big deal, but the thing that bothered me was that you have to pay very close attention when getting on wait lists and when you take your seat because it isn't obvious when you are sitting at NL table vs. PL table. The much bigger issue (not so much at full ring) is that they mixed the capped games in with the other tables. Capped games are completely different and require very different strategy - they are basically tables where everyone is a short stack.

Hopefully, this all gets fixed quickly.

WSOP Plans

I still haven't booked my flight yet, but I'm guessing I'll get in sometime around 2-3PM on Monday June 15th and leave the morning of Sunday, June 21st. I am probably going to play at least one WSOP tourney and 1-2 Venetian or Caesar's tourneys. I'll figure out which ones as a it get closer.

I ran across a schedule of all summer LV tourneys that someone put together. I'm not sure if there are errors, but it doesn't look like it

Google Calendar Summer Tourney Schedule

Cardrunners/Stoxpoker for Free

I continue to receive CRs and Stoxpoker for free thanks to their new (4-6 month old) program of free membership just for playing on FTP.

The link:

The details:
Earn 5.5k FTP points in a month and get 1 month of CRs free
Earn 3k FTP points in a month and get 1 month of StoxPoker free
No hit to rakeback
You keep your points
Pretty simple (I guess it is FTP paying ppl additional RB to play)
Go sign up

FTP responds quickly!!

Friday, May 01, 2009

It looks like FTP listened to all the cash game players that were unhappy about the deep stack tables being moved below and away from the 100BB tables. There was an update today and the deep tables are now mixed back in with the 100BB tables. They are still sortable, so if you don't like the deep tables or like only the deep tables you can sort by your preference. FTP gets a lot of flack for slow responses, but this one was pretty quick considering it took a software update. Kudos to FTP!!


I changed my dates slightly. I forgot that June 14th is Father's Day, so I won't being leaving until the next day - Monday, June 15th.