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My Personal Challenge - How to quit being a fish

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  • My Personal Challenge - How to quit being a fish

    Hello everybody, Ive had a most sobering revelation today. I am really not very good at this wonderful game ours.

    Seems obvious does it not? Would I be here otherwise?

    Well it isnt. In the ethereal dreamworld of the ordinary poker player, the unbelievable level of self delusion present in the minds of so many is the one constant in the multivariate equation of supposedly "unexplainable" long term losses. One tells himself constantly that his play was +EV - "its just these friggin donk/luckbox/fish folks who keep playing bad but always beat me..."

    "Tack!" yells the metaphorical captain (why am I not in control?) of my bruised poker brain - "lets change the subject of why I suck so very badly and talk about something else."

    Gladly I will oblige my inner Walter Mitty.

    Ok heres where I am with poker so far.... It all began far away - in a land of castles and kings....

    or more literally playing a home game i was inadequately rolled for at the age of 14 at one of the top independent schools in the UK (incidently we were pretty close to Westminster Abbey and the houses of Parliament so my previous sarcasm about castles and kings now seems woefully close to the sad truth).
    Being rather arrogant about my own level of intelligence I thought that poker was a game I should crush based on my very strong mathematical ability (i'm reading a Physics degree at the moment - the mathematics involved in Quantum Mechanics, Theoretical Hamiltonian dynamics, Electromagnetic theory etc is appaullingly complicated - think partial differential equations and whatever). So I read a few books etc - my ego boosted up even more because the legendary words of the great Doyle Brunson where richocheting around my skull at an exponentially increasing pace.

    I reckon I broke even in that home game over the long run. Now however silly this sounds I think it was an achievement. Public school boys are the scum of the earth (myself most certainly included!) and all manner of cheating, stealing and unscrupulous behaviours were occuring with an alarming frequency.
    I, having read books on poker and whatever considered the ONLY valid approach to playing poker to be the book prescribed TAG style of play. To be fair - it was certainly the most profitable in that game, the variance was insane. Im talking it would be standard to see 2 people all in preflop with 99 versus TT. And this was a cash game. There were players who lost ALOT of money. For playing £20 cash-games at school with your buddies, with money you didnt have (playing on credit), it could be rather scary to play 2 hour long sessions in your lunchbreak and see £80 - £100 swings!! In particular there was one guy, very rich Indian guy with the ego of a prize rhinocerous with a horn the size of Lex Steel's who was counted in after 2 years as being over £2000 in the red. Since we all watched HSP, WSOP, WPT etc and saw some of the crazy stuff going on there we assumed that was the normal way poker should be played. The failure to take into account the situational nature of tournament play and the dynamic effect of stack sizes resulted in a home game that should have been the ultimate cash cow. But somehow I was only breaking even despite my "correct" plays...

    At this game there were two boys who always seemed to be in the black at the end of the week no matter what kind of hurricane of variance had swept through us. By the way we played 6-7 handed NLH mostly with a bit of PLO (when I could convince them) and one or two times we played HORSE after the Scotty Nuygen thing (the whole abuse thing appealled to one of the less scrupulous characters I think...). These two who kept winning played two different styles. Both were phenomenally intelligent guys - Alex is currently reading a Joint Honours degree in Russian language and History at Oxford and Jonny is on a scholarship to Harvard for economics. Alex had read books and was generally speaking a tightish-aggressive player but with a good hand reading ability and the propensity to make some staggering bluffs in good spots, Jonny was a total lunatic preflop, raising and 3betting alot of pots and calling others with the most random cards imaginable. The thing was though - post flop - he was a genius. He ran effective and subtle bluffs (but never it seemed for all his chips....) and when he showed hands down he always seemed to be stronger then you'd put him on for his percieved 'range.

    Of course - having said all this, we were still schoolkids albeit bright ones, and the level of sophistication of that game was not high (positional understanding was somewhat intuitive rather than calculated).
    I broke even because I tried to play for showdown value against the *****rs and loons that generally consitituted about 1/2 to 2/3 of people involved. I was outplayed by the 2 superior players repeatedly and hence consider myself lucky to have broken even in that game in the long run.

    So then things like A-levels and University applications took over and our degenerate underage poker circle reduced to only playing on the occaisional weekend and when I got to Uni - I obtained the ultimate anti-poker repellent and doused myself thoroughly in it - a girlfriend. A year of my life passed in which I'd make only the most sporadic appearances at the University Poker Society's weekly tournaments (although I did manage to cash one once.)

    And then Pokerstars....
    Within days I was a degen, multitabling cash games - playing super lag poker just for kicks (albeit positionally driven madness), playing MTTs i wasnt rolled for. Went broke for my first $50. Bought in again against my better judgement.

    So im here now after maybe 2 months of online poker. My Sharkscope is pretty damn good - check me out! (ROI 386%, profit ~ $1000).
    however the truth is that almost all of that was due to one turbo donkament luckbox rather than a prolonged period of good play.
    after playing a lot of MTTs and actually having min-cashed a fair few (todays wonderous 5 hour occupation.) I have isolated the main leak in my play tournament play and cash game play:
    Blowups. Crazy all in, unneccessary, random madman bluffs. Consider my bust hands in the last two tournaments I ran deep in.

    Tournament 1: $1.10 freezout, something like 2000 entrants - 1st prize ~ $650

    Hero has J9o in SB, folded round, raises to 2.5x
    Villain (BB) calls

    (bear in mind that Hero is coming about 5th out of 17 with a reasonable stack of 60BB villian is 1st in chips with a whopping 150BB + stack, why did i even bother to tangle with him anyway?)

    flop K T 5

    Hero bets, Villain calls

    turn is nothing card

    Hero bets, Villain calls

    river is a 9 -
    i having played for 5 hours at this point went in my head " ive represented QJ here - what a good spot to all in bluff the river!!"

    Hero shoves. Villain instacalls - flips K10

    I smoke 3 cigarettes on the trot and get drunk and go shag some ugly girl.

    The thing is that i had played solid tourney poker for so long and just gotten brainfreeze at the crucial moments for no reason.

    Even worse is todays example - I all in overbet shoved on an AJ3 board with 44 faced with 1 checks and a player behind. Again i had a reasonable stack - the overbet was almost double the pot - my reasoning was that the BB had just come along for kicks and even if he had an A he'd probably lay it down since i was a mid positon preflop raiser and there was no way he had a kicker better than a 10 or he would have 3 - bet. BB outstacked me slightly and the button caller was huge-stacked. anyway i thought the button caller could have anything and had probably called with suited connectors or something to try and bust me or to use a positional advantage to push me around after the flop (he was fond of that), so i didnt think he was much of a danger.

    button folds. BB instacalls
    shows AQ.

    i feel rather deflated and eat comfort food.

    both busts involved similar aggro-mad play a long way into mtts.
    this has got to stop.


    I have satellited into the Sunday Million tomorrow and am sacrificing monday's 2 lectures on Maths and Astronomy in the hope of a deep run. Wish me luck boys and I'll keep you posted if you would kindly drop in on my blog.

    I will start posting hand histories on my blog for interesting hands if anyone would care to participate in some group analysis

  • #2
    GL in the million and welcome to PSO.

    If you want to have any of your hands analyzed, please post them in the HA forum and we'll gladly give you our opinions on them!
    Super-Moderator



    6 Time Bracelet Winner


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    • #3
      wow quite the intro, welcome to the forum

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      • #4
        why thanks chaps - best of luck to all of you too x

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KitGstring View Post

          I smoke 3 cigarettes on the trot and get drunk and go shag some ugly girl.
          Absolute best line ever

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          • #6
            First post Wow - if thats a thread post I can't wait for the blog! Good luck in the Sunday M. IF you win it don't leave us. You're a good read. And that is meant in the literal sense rather than the poker one! umbup: nv

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            • #7
              Welcome aboard Kit. Great first post. umbup: My only fear is that you and JDean begin a correspondence with each other. That would surely cripple the PM feature again.

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              • #8
                MOXY ALWAYS THE LIFE OF THE PARTY lol Great first post ,I'd say we played the same group but all my cohorts are pushing 55+ now lol...quantum was ....well wasn't lol look forward to the next install cheers and welcome to pso...... umbup: ps cantor rules....ferme is soso and the best is yet to come if CERN proves ftl is posible cheers rock

                Comment


                • #9
                  Haha Physics chat - only on a poker forum...
                  skeptical about faster than light neutrinos.

                  cashed $50 dollars this morning in a turbo rebuy at 41st place. kind of pissed off - was 9th or 10th in chips, not really a blow up though - made some legitimate steal attempts against shorties and somehow ran into QQ with only BB behind me. meh - stuff happens x - considering it an exorcism of bad luck for the mil

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KitGstring View Post
                    Haha Physics chat - only on a poker forum...
                    skeptical about faster than light neutrinos.

                    cashed $50 dollars this morning in a turbo rebuy at 41st place. kind of pissed off - was 9th or 10th in chips, not really a blow up though - made some legitimate steal attempts against shorties and somehow ran into QQ with only BB behind me. meh - stuff happens x - considering it an exorcism of bad luck for the mil

                    ya but wouldn't it be great to go back and 3x rather than all in lol

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well folks - made 590 somethingth place with a $400 cash. bit of a disappointment considering I was sat in 9th place for a while. Just a cooler, a shove and that was it...

                      PokerStars Game #71250147486: Tournament #548020010, $200+$15 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level XIX (2000/4000) - 2011/11/28 0:53:17 WET [2011/11/27 19:53:17 ET]
                      Table '548020010 97' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
                      Seat 1: ZARPAS96 (99377 in chips)
                      Seat 2: nuizizi (84709 in chips)
                      Seat 3: KitGstring (94352 in chips)
                      Seat 4: Kraevsky (9288 in chips)
                      Seat 5: bartekowa (41556 in chips)
                      Seat 6: KingKaizers (139744 in chips)
                      Seat 7: seymouraces (68189 in chips)
                      Seat 8: Mc-arnold (67144 in chips)
                      Seat 9: maelik12 (61806 in chips)
                      ZARPAS96: posts the ante 400
                      nuizizi: posts the ante 400
                      KitGstring: posts the ante 400
                      Kraevsky: posts the ante 400
                      bartekowa: posts the ante 400
                      KingKaizers: posts the ante 400
                      seymouraces: posts the ante 400
                      Mc-arnold: posts the ante 400
                      maelik12: posts the ante 400
                      KitGstring: posts small blind 2000
                      Kraevsky: posts big blind 4000
                      *** HOLE CARDS ***
                      Dealt to KitGstring [Ac Ts]
                      bartekowa: folds
                      KingKaizers: folds
                      seymouraces: folds
                      Mc-arnold: folds
                      maelik12: folds
                      ZARPAS96: folds
                      nuizizi: raises 6000 to 10000
                      KitGstring: raises 83952 to 93952 and is all-in
                      Kraevsky: folds
                      nuizizi: calls 74309 and is all-in
                      Uncalled bet (9643) returned to KitGstring
                      *** FLOP *** [2c Kh Kd]
                      *** TURN *** [2c Kh Kd] [Js]
                      *** RIVER *** [2c Kh Kd Js] [5s]
                      *** SHOW DOWN ***
                      KitGstring: shows [Ac Ts] (a pair of Kings)
                      nuizizi: shows [Qh Qd] (two pair, Kings and Queens)
                      nuizizi collected 176218 from pot


                      *********** # 29 **************
                      PokerStars Game #71249451411: Tournament #548020010, $200+$15 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level XVIII (1500/3000) - 2011/11/28 0:34:48 WET [2011/11/27 19:34:48 ET]
                      Table '548020010 97' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
                      Seat 1: ZARPAS96 (87370 in chips)
                      Seat 2: nuizizi (61321 in chips)
                      Seat 3: KitGstring (133855 in chips)
                      Seat 4: K2AA72 (35776 in chips)
                      Seat 5: bartekowa (33476 in chips)
                      Seat 6: KingKaizers (173872 in chips)
                      Seat 7: seymouraces (35196 in chips)
                      Seat 8: Mc-arnold (22336 in chips)
                      Seat 9: maelik12 (38303 in chips)
                      ZARPAS96: posts the ante 300
                      nuizizi: posts the ante 300
                      KitGstring: posts the ante 300
                      K2AA72: posts the ante 300
                      bartekowa: posts the ante 300
                      KingKaizers: posts the ante 300
                      seymouraces: posts the ante 300
                      Mc-arnold: posts the ante 300
                      maelik12: posts the ante 300
                      KitGstring: posts small blind 1500
                      K2AA72: posts big blind 3000
                      *** HOLE CARDS ***
                      Dealt to KitGstring [Qc Qh]
                      bartekowa: folds
                      KingKaizers: folds
                      seymouraces: raises 3100 to 6100
                      Mc-arnold: folds
                      maelik12: raises 31903 to 38003 and is all-in
                      ZARPAS96: folds
                      nuizizi: folds
                      KitGstring: raises 31903 to 69906
                      K2AA72: folds
                      seymouraces: folds
                      Uncalled bet (31903) returned to KitGstring
                      *** FLOP *** [5d Js 4h]
                      *** TURN *** [5d Js 4h] [2h]
                      *** RIVER *** [5d Js 4h 2h] [9d]
                      *** SHOW DOWN ***
                      KitGstring: shows [Qc Qh] (a pair of Queens)
                      maelik12: shows [Kd Kc] (a pair of Kings)
                      maelik12 collected 87806 from pot
                      *** SUMMARY ***
                      Total pot 87806 | Rake 0
                      Board [5d Js 4h 2h 9d]
                      Seat 1: ZARPAS96 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
                      Seat 2: nuizizi (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
                      Seat 3: KitGstring (small blind) showed [Qc Qh] and lost with a pair of Queens
                      Seat 4: K2AA72 (big blind) folded before Flop
                      Seat 5: bartekowa folded before Flop (didn't bet)
                      Seat 6: KingKaizers folded before Flop (didn't bet)
                      Seat 7: seymouraces folded before Flop
                      Seat 8: Mc-arnold folded before Flop (didn't bet)
                      Seat 9: maelik12 showed [Kd Kc] and won (87806) with a pair of Kings


                      absolutely nailed the deepstack stuff.
                      apparently no one has any idea how to play post flop....

                      cheers guys

                      more to come

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        nice start!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Great run and good cash umbup: nothing you could do with the QQ hand. If it were me, I'd have raised to 2.5BB instead of pushing it preflop. That way, you could get off the hand if you miss or if the opp shoves on you. You'd still be left with 15BB. Although, if you're going to call a shove back from them.. it's better to shove first. Keep up with the cashes
                          Super-Moderator



                          6 Time Bracelet Winner


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                          • #14
                            Can you teach me too ??

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                            • #15
                              with the A10 it was a 3bet shove - QQ raised on the BTN, i figured his range was pretty wide...

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