Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Following on from my post on committing pre-flop (or not) with KK in deep-stacked ring games, here's a similar situation regarding AK. I thought I'd reproduce it here as I believe taking this approach will help optimise returns from full-handed $1/$2 NL tables.

This is a recent post from Keith A on the Betfair forum:

Is this incredibly wimpy?

Game #4419792843: Hold'em NL ($1/$2) - 2007/08/27 - 21:29:29 (UK)
Table "TampTamp" Seat 5 is the button.
Seat 1: bennekom ($208.35 in chips)
Seat 2: sayenda ($213.05 in chips)
Seat 3: reptek ($197 in chips)
Seat 4: Strudel ($205.05 in chips)
Seat 5: Arnoldio ($178 in chips)
Seat 6: VANPOISON ($330.35 in chips)
Seat 7: threturns ($193.35 in chips)
Seat 8: PhatPhuk ($85.55 in chips)
Seat 9: Pokekunu ($139.05 in chips)
Seat 10: Kaiser004 sits out
VANPOISON: posts small blind $1
threturns: posts big blind $2
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to Arnoldio [As Ks]
PhatPhuk: folds
Pokekunu: raises to $6
bennekom: folds
sayenda: folds
reptek: calls $6
Strudel: raises to $24
Arnoldio: folds
threturns: folds
Pokekunu: calls $18
reptek: calls $18
----- FLOP ----- [Th Jh 4c]
Pokekunu: bets $115.05 and is all-in
reptek: folds
Strudel: folds
Returned uncalled bets $115.05 to Pokekunu
Pokekunu: doesn't show hand
Pokekunu collected $72 from Main pot

My original response:

I would fold here pre-flop 100% of the time.

There are different styles of play that can all be successful to some extent or another at these tables. I tend to play fairly passively without monsters- although I am aggressive when leading out with strong draws.

However, no matter what your style, you should rarely be calling here. Full-ring cash is so different from tournament play. You can afford to be patient, and raises (and especially re-raises) in FR cash should be respected so much more than in tournaments.

You are most likely up against AA/KK, and at best you're against QQ/AK. (Even against another AK, you're a dog. You're splitting at best, and most likely you'll be forced to fold to a continuation bet on a non-A/K flop.)

The blinds aren't going up anytime soon, and I've yet to see anyone blinded out at the cash table. Wait, and find a better spot.

Understandably perhaps, not everyone agreed. Here's my second post:

Just to clarify- just because I multi-table, my play isn't simply a robotic ABC "only play good hands" type of game. I am aware of what goes on on every table, and I wouldn't play much differently if I only had one table open. I have also played around 1,500,000 hands at these tables.

Obviously the more information you have, the better choice you can make. However, with limited information you have to make the best decision you can based on experience.

The depth of your (and opponents') stacks have a massive impact on your decisions. The shorter the stacks, the easier it is to play.

All half-decent starting hands are shoving hands when your (or opponent's) stacks are short enough. However there is an upper limit for shoving with all hands except AA.

Most players are happy to get it all in with KK pre-flop. "I'm only behind to one hand." What if you both had 1,000BB would you call an all-in then? What about 10,000BB? A ridiculous example of course, but it's used to illustrate a point- that there is an upper limit.

AK (and all hands) play better in tournaments for shoving/calling an all-in because the nature of play is very different. The idea is to accumalte chips, so people play looser and are prepared to gamble a little more. Even at the first level of an MTT players routinely shove/call with all types of hands AJ+, KQ, any pair (obviously the lower the buy-in, the greater the range.) So AK is in pretty good shape in most cases- at least, it's rarely a big dog.

However cash is not about being the chip leader. You can't "bully" at the cash table because you have a big stack. The is no advantage to having more or less chips than someone else, so there is no urgency to gamble in order to build a stack- so players are typically more selective with hands that they are prepared to get it all in with pre-flop.

Now, there will also be maniacs and other players who are just clueless. Many cash players are poor because they play 100BB full-ring cash the same way as they see players on the TV playing short-handed Final Table shallow stack poker. If you have this information on a player then you have to factor it in to your decision of course.

On most occassions though, faced with the situation that we have here, you won't be up against a complete maniac or muppet- so you base your decision on your experiences of having been in this situation before and your experiences of witnessing others in this situation.

General I wouldn't want to commit myself to more than 50BB pre-flop with KK. With AK, it's probably around 25-30BB however it's also situation dependent. E.g. If I'm in the BB with AK and facing a 3.5BB raise from a player with 25BB then I'll raise him to, say, 15BB (and get the rest in on the flop if not raised again pre.) However if there's a 4BB raise from the UTG deep-stack and then a raise to 9BB from a 30BB mid-position stack then your decision is much harder. His re-raise here looks strong and also you don't know if the UTG will raise again.

In the original question, I would possibly even be folding KK here. However when holding AK, I assure you that shoving is a massive, massive losing play.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Like Driving in my Car. Beep Beep.

I took this 2006 Porsche Cayman S for a test drive this afternoon. It's a great car.

Performance: maximum speed (mph): 171 and acceleration 0-60 mph (secs): 5.1

Power: 220 kW, 295 HP SAE @ 6,250 rpm; 251 ft lb, 340 Nm @ 4,400 rpm

I'm hoping to buy it shortly after I return from my 2-week trip to England.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


OK, only 5 of the 12 pairs were real.

Real: 1, 5, 6, 8, 11

Fake: 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 12

(5 are my favourites, with 1 coming a close second.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Picture #12: Real or Fake?

All answers tomorrow...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Picture #11: Real or Fake?

Last picture tomorrow. Remember, the person who gets the most correct answers wins an orgy with all 12 girls. Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Je Suis un Poisson?

A topic that has been discussed several times on forums is that of committing all your chips pre-flop with KK.

In cash, the shorter the table and/or the shorter the stacks, the more acceptable it becomes.

However, despite what most people appear to think, pushing/calling all-in pre-flop in full-ring games with deep stacks is a massive, massive mistake. What the fuck are you beating? Only an even bigger muppet.

Here's a hand from last night, where I choose to slow play my AA against the UTG's raise, and then stall/push against the SB's large re-raise. (It's amazing how many poor players always fall for the long dwell/"reluctant" call or long dwell/raise routine.)

It had the desired affect- he called. He also sucked out for a 300BB pot.


So, when is it correct to call a deep-stacked all-in pre-flop with KK at a full-handed table?

Not very often at all: Against very few opponents (who you know are just as likely to push with AK/KK/QQ/JJ and worse,) and also in rare situations such as the hand that follows.

I'm pretty sure I'm ahead of the short-stacked button who jams, but what about the SB who pushes behind him? This player is a bit tricky and pretty loose, and one of the only times I can remember calling a deep-stacked all-in with KK before was in a very similar situation to this against the same player when he held QQ.

In this particular hand, he pushed instantly. There was no "stall/push" routine, and no flat-call- which often indicates strength. So I figured he was just trying to get the pot Heads Up against the short-stack, and decided I was good.

I was wrong! He had AA. I also sucked out for a near 300BB pot. :)


So, I completely fucked that hand up- so much for my deduction! Anyway that river was a life-saver! I would have been around $900 down for the night. In the end I managed to turn the night around for a $814 profit.

August Update

August got off to a poor start, but I've started to recover ($3,200+ in the last 3 nights) and am now at +$9,234 after 120 hours ($77/hr.)

Picture #10: Real or Fake?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Picture #9: Real or Fake?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Four Card Flush Beats Full House. Shock. Horror.

At least this donkey must have thought so....

Donkey Kong Hand

I couldn't figure out what he was 4-betting the river with. I figured it had to be Jd8d or 55 or maybe JJ (although you'd expect a raise pre-flop with that hand.)
2007 WSOP Main Event TV Coverage

Coverage of this year's main event starts tomorrow (Tue) on ESPN (US) at 8pm and 9pm EST. (Wed 1am and 2am UK time.)

You can view it online via one of the free global live TV services such as TVU Player.
Picture #8: Real or Fake?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Picture #7: Real or Fake?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Picture #6: Real or Fake?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Picture #5: Real or Fake?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Picture #4: Real or Fake?

Bonus Picture: Real or Fake?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Picture #3: Real or Fake?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Someone Please Call 911..."

As least Mary J Blige wasn't singing about being gang-raped at the poker table like I was tonight. I feel so dirty. I'm going to take a shower with my clothes on.

Now, I'm not one to moan about bad beats. It's not rigged. They happen. I'm not any luckier or unluckier than anyone else.

I post this small sample of hands from last night just to show how variance can be a bitch at times.

This play by my opponent is terrible- getting it all in pre-flop with AKo when deep-stacked. He was less than a 6% dog to win:

AA v AKo

This is just a cooler. I knew I was ahead of the short-stacked maniac so made the correct flop call. I wasn't too happy when the other player called...

FH v Quads

In this hand the guys river his Quads as a 4.5% dog when the money goes in. (My flop all-in may look strange but my cable had just started playing up and kept disconnecting me in the middle of pots.)

Another FH v Quads

This is my "favourite" hand of the night, and just demonstrates how fucking useless so many of the players are. I mean- what the fuck does he think he's beating? He is a 0.66% dog to win the hand when the money goes in!!

Runner/Runner FH

Obviously you want fucking idiots playing like this but sometimes it's not always easy to laugh it off. I lost $300 in total. On another night, playing every hand exactly the same way, it could easily be a $1,000+ night.

Anyway, more importantly....

Picture #2: Real or Fake?

Monday, August 13, 2007

12 Days of Titmas

For each of the next 12 days, I shall be posting a pair of breasts with the usual question: "Real or Fake?" All answers will be given once all twelve pairs have been shown.

(All of the breast competitions up until now have been of girls that I know but I have to admit that this isn't the case with these 24 tits! Thanks to Highstack for the pictures.)

Picture #1: Real or Fake?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pot Odds (Cash Vs Tournaments)

There have been a couple of threads recently on the Betfair Poker forum regarding pot odd calls at the cash table.

I thought I'd reproduce this post I made a while ago on the Blonde Poker forum to highlight the difference between making what are +EV calls in terms of pot odds at the cash table (where it should always be a call) and at tournament tables (where the decision is often far more complex.)

Original (Edited) Post:

We are down to the last 3 in a small MTT. I have about 120k of the 300k chips in play, with blinds at 5k/10k. I limp in with 9s 8s. The SB (50k) completes and the BB (130k) checks. The flop is Ts 7c 4h. The SB checks and the BB goes all-in.

Do you call or fold?

My Response:

The decision is not about pot odds.

That would apply in a cash game of course but, at this stage of the MTT, your decision is more complex. Pot odds are part of the equation of course, but you should really be considering your tournament equity- especially as the all-in is coming from the player who has you covered. Therefore the payout structure is important too.

If the top 3 places paid, say, $1000, $600, and $400.

Then if you folded, the chip count and tournment equity (calculated from this website) would be as follows:

CL: 150k ($778)
Hero: 110k ($729)
Other: 40k ($493)

If you called and lost, your equity (3rd place prize) is $400

If you called and won, the chip count/equity would be:

Hero: 250k ($931)
Other: 40k ($614)
Ex-CL: 10k ($454)

So, calling and losing costs you $329, whilst calling and hitting wins you $202, so you would need to be a 62% favourite to make calling the correct decision.

Technically, it's a little more complex than this. You would really need to take into account the ability of each player, the action of the short stack to act after you (we are presuming that he will fold here), size of blinds, even button position (if blinds were significantly large.) E.g. If you considered yourself a far better players than the other two, then you would have to increase the "favourite percentage" from 62% by some subjective amount (and decrease it if you felt the other players were better than you.)

Of course, you wouldn't have time to make as precise a calculation as above within your time period, but I'm sure it becomes a pretty instinctive decision to experienced tournament players.

Contrast this with the identical position in a cash game: You have to put in $110k to win $150k, so you only need a 44% chance of winning the pot. It's easy to see from this significant difference in percentages just how different (and how much easier) a decision you have at the cash table.

Friday, August 10, 2007

12 + 4 = 16

I decided to try increasing the number of tables that I play tonight. Full Tilt has a limit of 12 cash tables, so I opened up 4 tables on Poker Stars too.

It took about an hour to get into the flow. After that it wasn't really too much trouble. I made a little over $700 in 4.5 hours, so not a bad return for the first effort.

For now, I plan to continue trying 16 tables for the next few days and see what happens. If it goes well then I'm going to add 2 more Poker Stars tables and try playing 18.

Even with two 30" monitors (see initial post on blog for pictures) there is still a little overlap of tables. Here are screen shots from both monitors taken just after I'd finished playing:

Left Monitor Screen Shot

Right Monitor Screen Shot

August Update 1

August has gone OK, but not great, so far. Total after 9 days is $3,170 from 44 hours. ($72/hr.)

Poker Chairs

My poker chairs finally arrived this week, and they look pretty good. Hopefully I'll get some mates over next week and start taking their money.... I mean, start teaching them how to play!

Breast Competition #5

This lovely picture is of a Jamaican friend of mine who I met when a group of us went to Montego Bay for a lads' holiday. She was the trainee-manageress of the hotel. She was very helpful and most accommodating.

So, real or fake?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

July Report

July ended well, with five consecutive $1,000+ days.

Total: $18,725

Hours: 154

Average Rate1: $121/hr

Average Rate2: $604/day

Rake Earned: $2,893 (included in above total)

Losing Days: 4

$1k+ Days: 12

Best Day: $1,916

Worst Day: -$763

P&L Charts

The following P&L charts/graphs are a selection of some that I have written for my Excel spreadsheet (see earlier post for link.)

They are pretty self-explanatory, except perhaps the 12-Month Projection graph. This takes the profit for the fiscal year (since going full-time, March 07) to date, and projects the remainder of the year based on recent form. Two separate recent form values are calculated; average for past 30 days and average for past 90 days. Finally the average of these averages(!) is used for the final projection.