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Does this sound familiar?

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  • Does this sound familiar?

    Hi there,
    after more then 1 year, I started playing online poker again.
    I'm not doing too bad at the moment, finishing 4 times out of 5 in the prize money on the 100K freerolls, but here's what bothers me:
    Every time I'm approaching the "real" money (not only in the freerolls!), I get kicked out with a hand I should normally win in +70% of the cases (sometimes even +90%, according to the odds calculater).
    I can understand it happens sometimes, that's poker, but every single time???
    Does this sound familiar to you guys?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    a few examples to clarify:
    in the prize-money already ($0.75!) I have +5 BB left (11.000$) and get dealt JJ
    I'm one of the smallest on table, so all in pre flop. Get called by 2 players
    on my right, who both have a pair of eights.
    91+% I should win this, but both players get a straight, and I'm out.

    in the money, I have 11BB left, and get dealt KK.
    Player on my right goes all in, I call, he has A7 off suit and gets A on the river.

    Several times I go all in pre flop with a pair (usually TT+), and get called by a player with a
    lower pair who gets a set. (lately this seems to happen to me +60% of the time).

    In itself, these things happen off course, it's poker!
    But whenever I get near the "real money", I always get kicked out with hands that,
    statistically, should win in +70% (but I loose 100%).
    I had the same problem over 1 year ago (6 months in a row), which is why I took a sabbat year.

    Any ideas?


    • #3
      One thing that you need to look at, is that you don't want to look at the odds on the opp's exact two cards. You need to be looking at their entire range of cards that they can be playing.

      ex: in the JJ hand, since you only have 5BB and get 2 callers, the first caller's range should be wide, but the second should be tighter. If I use say, a 30% range and a 10% range, JJ is actually an underdog here, as it will win only 43.9% of the time.

      In the other examples, stack sizes, opp types, etc need to be known to calculate the exact odds... without this information, you may be ahead more than you thing... you could be behind too.

      John (JWK24)

      6 Time Bracelet Winner


      • #4
        thx for the reaction.
        I understand one should look at the range the opponents could be playing before acting, but since they were the ones who called my all in, there wasn't much to look at!
        Once the "all in" has been made (and with my stack and hand, I hardly had any other choice but to go all in), all you can look at is what comes onto the table, and at that point, the odds calculator gives me 91% to win.
        In most other cases, it's +70%.
        It almost seems as if my good luck/bad luck is mostly divided in 2 parts of the tournaments: the good luck (hands I should statistically loose in +50%, but get to win), as far as I have it, tends to happen in the first half or 70% of the tournament. Whenever I manage to get close to the (real) prize money, it seems as if only the bad luck is left (loosing hands to which the odds calculator gives +70% of winning, seen pre-flop and in relation to my opponents hands)

        Maybe it's just a "bad streak" and it will change sooner or later? A year and a half ago, I did manage to finish top 10 (and even win) in a few larger tournaments, but that was just 4 or 5 tournaments, compared to the many dozens I have played after that (S&G's not included).
        Or maybe I have a wrong idea about how many % of successful tournaments is to be considered normal?
        Could you give me an idea about that?

        Thanks for any reaction and advise!


        • #5
          Normally when I'm looking at groups of tourneys, it takes hundreds, if not thousands of them.

          I play the 45-mans's in blocks of 100 and while I'm profitable in them, I have seen multiple streaks of 25-30+ losses in a row... it's normal.

          Now, I'm actually playing a block of 1k games for double/nothings (another site's answer to 50-50's, since I'm in the US and can't play for cash on PS currently). The same thing in these, as I'll get streaks of 10+ wins and 10+ losses in a row. The goal is to be + in the long run.

          Another thing to consider too, is that within a tourney, I'm continually going to be making plays where I'm a 50-80% favorite (what most hands are preflop). That means that over time, I'm going to lose 20-50% of them. If I win a number of them in a row... then the law of averages is going to catch up with me sooner or later and the more of them that you see in a tourney, the more likely these will go to the long-term average (means that I'm due to lose one).

          John (JWK24)

          6 Time Bracelet Winner


          • #6
            Thanks for this explanation!

            You're right off course, and this explains a lot of my "unfortunate kick-outs"

            Also, at the moment I force myself to only play the freerolls or micro S&G's and
            very cheap tournaments (catching up with practice and not spending too much!).
            In those, you get players calling all-ins pre-flop with ridiculous cards and getting lucky,
            which also accounts for a certain number of my kick-outs.

            thanks again!


            • #7
              Another analysis is that if you find yourself close to the money everytime and just cant make it, you are shortstacked right at/near the bubble, your problem is less likely about how you play short-stacked and more likely how you play early on.

              If you are playing too tight right until that point, you aren't making enough plays early on.
              Perhaps start being more adventurous before it gets to that point. Start making more plays from the button perhaps or when you have position, try a c-bet bluff once in awhile if you are the preflop raiser.

              I used to have a very passive game awhile back, i would find myself ALWAYS having to shove my small stack at a certain point in the game, every game. I realized that this pattern proved that I was doing some things wrong early such as, small bet sizing, slowplaying too much and basically when I had a decent hand, not getting the value from it that i should. Tight but passive, so when I had AA, i would just bet enough to keep my opponent in the hand and pay me off on the river, most of the time when i looked at how much I won in such hands it was very very small. Sometimes i got outdrawn on as well and I just blamed bad luck... when it was my fault really.

              So in conclusion, when you have a big hand early on, bet it strong (1/2 pot vs 1 opp, 2/3 vs 2 opp, 3/4 vs 3 opp and full pot vs 4+ opp) and hope your opponents are fish enough to call you with less.

              Also, play with broadway hands, Ax and small pairs from the button. If you raise from the button and hit, you can be sure of a nice pot as well as seeing just how strong your opponents are before you even need to put another chip in. If you don't hit, and its folded to you, you can act much stronger and bluff at it.

              A good indication of how passive you are being is to note how often you enter a pot (any time other than when its free from the BB) and how many of those times you were the preflop raiser.

              The higher ratio your PRF stats are, the more likely you are playing a strong aggresive position and as long as you aren't spewing chips in the process, you are more likely to catch a big pot when you have a dominating hand.

              So as well, lastly, the goal shouldnt be to reach the money and then be so short you can't get further, the goal should be to reach the money with a strong stack and be picking off the shorties when you can.


              • #8
                Bang on Baud. umbup:


                • #9
                  To have a non exploitable shove/fold range is also good with your pot odds equity chart. Are you doing the correct things 18bb-21bb with your observations at the current table?

                  I can't remember numbers and ranges when I get short stacked but > shove/fold < helps.


                  • #10
                    Some fantastic answers here. I'd like to add my own.

                    I had the same kind of problem in cash games. I would pick up blinds with AA's and KK's and get no action but whenever i got action i was always defeated. It got ingrained in my head that the site was rigged and all the other nonsense associated with losing all the time.

                    Cut a long story short i ended up thinking every time i lost a big pot that i was being set up.

                    I tried a software tool called Poker Tracker and used the free 30 day trial. Using the tool i was able to review my hands after the initial "this is xxxxxxx rigged" thoughts settled down and what i found to my bafflement, and i have to say amusement was that all those hands i thought i was being set up on, after review it turns out i was making mistakes.

                    Now AA and KK play themselves but other situations, such as AT's and AQ's and seeing ur 88's tripped over by 33's are where the review's came in useful. after looking at all of the hands i lost the most money in it turns out that only 10% were "bad beats". The rest of the hands we're mistakes. either i shouldn't have been in the hand to start with given the play, or i should have folded on the flop or turn.

                    Now i'm not saying that you're making mistakes or anything but i do suggest you give either pokertracker or holdem manager a try. (both have a 30 day trial so it's free) and review all of these situations.

                    Who knows. maybe you're making small mistakes you don't see in the heat of things but can't review later so are left with mistaken gut feelings.

                    I must admit that after reviewing my own play i have learned quite a bit, improved a little and am now thinking of purchasing the software to use it full time.

                    Either way i've learned not to look at when a situation happens but to look at every hand as if they have the same value involved. After all if you remove the money then all hands are the same it's the situations that are different.


                    • #11
                      To win a turney you need lots of luck. Let say you are the greatest player in the planet and you manage go all in 10 times pre against equal stack, you having AA and the opponent small pair (33,44,55). What is the probability you survive all 10 hands? Answer:

                      12.6% [/spoiler] You are the second best player in the world and manage to go AI pre against equal stack with 70% equity 5 times during a tournament. What is the probability you survive all 5 hands? Answer:

                      16.8% [/spoiler]


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by baud2death View Post
                        So in conclusion, when you have a big hand early on, bet it strong (1/2 pot vs 1 opp, 2/3 vs 2 opp, 3/4 vs 3 opp and full pot vs 4+ opp) and hope your opponents are fish enough to call you with less.

                        I assume you mean post flop with this. Do you mean all 3 streets with this type of % of pot bet?? Good info in your post. Thanks very much


                        • #13
                          Hi Pep68!

                          HERE is a link to a blog that I wrote on the subject. Hope it helps.

                          John (JWK24)

                          6 Time Bracelet Winner


                          • #14
                            Thank you very much John


                            • #15
                              Hello Pep68

                              Welcome to PokerSchoolOnline!

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                              Last edited by wiltshireman; Sun Apr 27, 2014, 09:16 PM. Reason: typo



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