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Challenge Completed: $25 High-Stakes Challenge

Done! This challenge is the scariest I've done to date. $1/$2 has always kicked my ass, but I had to prove to myself that I could do it. Well, as of 7:40 PM last night, I've officially cleared my $25 bonus at Interpoker and am looking forward to more $1/$2 play.

I've collected a number of statistics outlining my play at Interpoker for this challenge. Let me know if any of you see anything fascinating, strange, or flat out stupid.

  • $$ Won: -$37.50

  • Adjusted Winnings (bonus,rakeback): -$8.20

  • Time to Complete: 8h 19m

  • Number of Sessions: 11

  • Number of Hands: 598

  • Best Session: $31

  • Worst Session: -44.75

  • Biggest Win: $29.25 (JJ)

  • Biggest Loss: -13.00 (AKo)

  • Best Hand: JJ (16.75 BB/hand)

  • Worst Hand: 88 (-2.75 BB/hand)

  • Most Common Hands: 93o (x12), T3o (x11), T4o (x10)

PokerTracker Stats

  • VP$IP: 12.04%

  • PF Raise: 9.20%

  • Aggression Factor (AF): 2.85

  • Won $ When Seeing Flop (W$WSF): 30.68%

  • Went to Showdown (WtS): 23.86%

  • Won $ At Showdown (W$SD): 47.62%

One thing you'll notice about my game at the $1/$2 level is that I play pretty tight. Actually, squeaky tight.

I overplayed a few hands, I'm very careful about releasing hands that I don't think can win. Although I folded the best hand twice on the turn, the betting by the other players really left me no options. Sometimes you have to play it safe when you've only got one pair and it's a few bets back to you.

However, of the 70 or so hands that I voluntarily played, you'll notice that I came in with a raise on about 55 of those hands.

The lesson: play tight but play hard. If your hand's good enough to play, it's good enough for a raise. If you're not comfortable raising with your hand, chances are pretty good that you should be folding it.

Although I find myself down 19 BB, I hope to erase the deficit as I get more comfortable at the levels I'm currently playing. The 1/2 tables are a little scarier than what I'm used to, but I am enjoying the extra challenge.

Sure, the bad beats hurt but they are a part of the game. But the pots won can start to make up for the tough losses. And if I keep playing my game, I'm sure that I'll start logging some better numbers in the long run.


Quick apologies: I may not have time to recap all of last night's festivities. I'm getting my ass kicked at work again.

Suffice it to say that I was up $31 at Interpoker's 1/2 tables, up $15 at Eurobet's $25 NL tables, and down $11 after two PokerStars $5 SNGs.

Hope everyone's having a more peaceful day than I am...


huma said...

PF Raise: 9.20%

You didn't mention your sawflop% but I'm guessing it's a tight 20-30%.

In pokeroffice, you get rated as a Wizard if your sawflop% is around 25% and your PF Raise% is around 15%. Perhaps you should be raising or reraising a little more often preflop to isolate?

I find it hard to bring myself to reraise with anything but aces, but from everything I've read it's the correct play, as most TAG players will raise with a playable hand if they are first in the pot. Maybe a reraise will make some players lay down things like 77-99 and AJ/AQ preflop? I know it would definitely make me re-assess the strength of my hand.

huma said...

actually, disregard. I looked it up and it's aggression factor which is a combination of pre/post flop aggression. 9% preflop raise% is perfect :)

doubleuwhy said...

seeing how your biggest lost was AKo and worst hand was 88 I'm just wondering what was the post flop play for those hands?

My #1 BIG leak I've gotten better at is to fold my monster drawing hands and pairs when the flop misses them.

Also from your VPIP, you're playing just beyond the top 4 groups (top24 hands!) On examining just these hands, can you see any leaks?

You inspired me to take a look at my own stats and I found out MOST of my losses were due to just 5 hands! (TT, JTs, QT, JT, A4s)

Klopzi said...


I'm playing a strategy that would put me at about 25% VP$IP assuming that the pots are not raised and re-raised in front of me.

When I'm first into a pot, I play raise or fold poker. I don't limp - period. If someone raises in front of me, I'll raise or fold depending on what type of player they are. If I can buy position on that player, I'll do it.

And my saw flop % is somewhere in the 15% to 25% range. I keep those stats on my laptop but that's at home right now.

As I mentioned, there are a number of pots where someone tries to isolate a raiser. This action on the part of my opponents pushes me out of a lot of pots.

Still, time is on my side and I'll keep plugging away.

Klopzi said...


I agree that AK can be a big leak. In my recent play, AK was my biggest losing hand because of one pot. I flopped the nut straight and my opponent hit an unlikely full house after he'd slowplayed his pocket queens pre-flop.

As for my VP$IP, take a look at what I wrote to huma in the comment above. A large number of pots are raised pre-flop which limits some of the suited connectors and other weaker hands which I can play. So it's true that I'll end up playing Group 4 or better hands.

At 0.50/1, I'd say 2 out of 10 pots were raised pre-flop. At 1/2, I'd say 5 or 6 pots are raised pre-flop. If I have a read on someone, I can try making some plays.

However, the level of play at 1/2 is still not great and there is very little cause for trying to make moves and bluff. I find the optimal strategy at low stakes poker is to wait for a hand and punish someone when they think you're bluffing.