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Another Leak

True to my word, I put in a session at PokerStars last night. I finished up on the night after putting in close to 400 hands. It wasn't my smoothest sessions. Over the past few days, I've noticed a disturbing trend in my game that's costing me money. It's not quite fancy play syndrome but it's definitely in the same ballpark.

After I've scouted out the tables a bit, I'll generally put myself on the waiting lists for the tables that I feel will give me the best chance of padding my bankroll. Typically I look for loose-aggressive players (LAGs are generally weak at the $0.50/$1 games) or fish.

Once I take my seat at a table, my plan is to sit tight for five or six orbits. I want to play ABC poker and help build my tight table image. Playing this way allows me to get a read on the table without taking silly risks. Once I've got a read on everyone, I start to change my game to better match up against my oppponents. The tight table image helps me steal pots from the tight players. And the LAGs still give me action because they want to prove to the table that they're not afraid of anyone.

Sounds like a workable strategy, right? In each session that I've played this week, I've failed to stick with my game plan. I sit down and play tight for a couple orbits. And then I start firing off bluffs all over the place. Raise weak, c-bet the flop, and fold to check-raises. Two-barreling and three-barreling against opponents who would never fold to obvious aggression and tend to react by ramping up their own aggression in turn. Making plays such as these against the wrong opponents or with the wrong cards is costly. And there's no worse feeling than finding yourself stuck a buy-in or two within 15 minutes of starting your session.

I'll give a couple examples of some hands where I tried to loosen up way too early into my session. Trying to make moves on unknown opponents is a sure way to lose money. This is a lesson that I'm learning on a nightly basis. But I'm hoping that I'll wise up soon and increase my hourly win rate.

No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
5 players

Stack sizes:
Villain (UTG): $101.50
Hero (CO): $115.15
Button: $133.40
SB: $125.55
BB: $100.40

Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is CO with Q♥ A♠
Villain raises to $4, Hero raises to $10, 3 folds, Villain calls.

(I had no read on the Villain but AQ is a good hand if I can isolate...I guess.)

Flop: 4♠ 2♥ J♠ ($21.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $14, Villain calls.

(Seemed like a good flop for a c-bet. Villain called so I quickly put him on a draw.)

Turn: J♥ ($49.5, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $25, Villain raises to $53, Hero folds.

(Villain checked after the top card paired - time to fire a second bullet. Check-raise caught me off-guard, probably because I had no read on the Villain. I had to fold.)

No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players

Stack sizes:
UTG: $86.35
UTG+1: $12.10
Villain (CO): $129
Button: $112.30
SB: $151.50
Hero (BB): $100

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with J♣ A♣
2 folds, Villain calls, 2 folds, 2 folds, Hero raises to $4, Villain calls.

(I had no real read on the Villain so I have no idea what sort of hands he'd limp with.)

Flop: 9♥ T♣ K♠ ($8.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $5, Villain calls.

(The flop's ugly but I figured I'd take a stab at the pot. Villain's call should have slowed me down...)

Turn: 5♦ ($18.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $12, Villain calls.

(...but I had 2 outs to the nuts. I had to see the river!)

River: 4♠ ($18.5, 2 players)
Hero checks, Villain bets $22, Hero folds.

(I missed my draw and I was on the river out of position against an unknown player. When he overbet the pot, I wasn't too keen on keeping him honest. I could have saved myself some money by checking the flop and betting the turn. As played, I hate my turn bet.)

My plans for the weekend are the same as always. Watch a movie or two with my wife, play with the kids, get a little more sleep, and play some poker. I'd like to get a thousand hands in over the weekend. I'm still 4300 VPPs (1 VPP = 1 base FPP) away from clearing my bonus which translates to about 13K hands of poker based on my last four sessions. There's a whole lot of poker left to play!

Have a great weekend everyone!


steeser said...

There isn't a big problem with either of those hands. Sometimes it just so happens that you miss the flop and a continuation bet fails. Take your medicine and fold and move on to the next hand.

But...I would probably check and give up on the turn in hand 2.

Klopzi said...

steeser -

That happens to be one of the big problems with my game. I hate taking my medicine. I guess that's what happens when you look at everything under a microscope. I should take a step back from time to time and look at the whole picture.

Giving up on 12 BB in one pot is much better than overplaying a hand and losing 100 BB. And for every pot that I lose 12 BB, I should hope to pick up a Villain's 4-5 BBs much more often.

Thanks for the comment.