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Reads and Stats

I got Poker Tracker 3 all set up last night. Although I was fairly happy with the PT3 as my one-stop session tracking tool, there were a few minor annoyances.

First off, there is a bug in the current PT3 version (Beta v15) that prevents the HUD from hiding the Hero's stats. It's very distracting (and useless) to have my lifetime stats show up in the HUD.

A second problem had to do with the inclusion of certain useless stats in my HUD and the exclusion of some fairly useful stats. The blame for this annoyance lies squarely on my shoulders since I set up the HUD's stats myself. I guess it's just a matter of tweaking and re-tweaking until I find the setup that best fits my playing style.

And finally, I was a little disappointed to see that both PokerEV and my Poker Lucko-Meter software fail to work with the PT3 Postgres database. I'll have to examine this problem a little further to see if I can come up with a solution. I've really come to rely on this software to help me unwind after my losing sessions.

All that aside, I think Poker Tracker 3 is pretty slick. It's going to take me a while to learn the ins and outs of the application before I can take full advantage of the software. And I'm pretty sure there's a way to replicate many of the PokerEV features using PT3's powerful report building functionality.

Even though I spent a bit of time pissing around with PT3 while playing poker, I still managed to come out on the winning end of things. I was a little unhappy to donk off a full buy-in in the first couple minutes of my session (good old Big Slick) but I turned things around soon thereafter.

I was pretty happy with my play against certain tight players at my tables. I had some good reads and I was getting a good feel for my opponents' games. Here's a hand that I played against one of the more solid players at one of my tables. I'd developed a good feel against this guy and was able to steal quite a few pots.

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

Stack sizes:
Hero (UTG): $115.25
CO: $114.50
Villain (Button): $178.45
SB: $103.15
BB: $112.30

Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is UTG with 6♥ 6♣
Hero raises to $4, CO folds, Button calls, 2 folds.

(Villain was pretty solid. Not too tight, not too loose, aggressive at the right times, and definitely thinking past level 1. I'd been raising quite a bit at this table but I didn't think Villain's range was that wide: pocket pairs, suited connectors, some suited aces, and suited broadway cards were most likely given his call in position.)

Flop: 5♣ 9♠ J♥ ($9.5, 2 players)
Hero checks, Button checks.

(Gross flop for a c-bet OOP. I was deciding whether to check-raise or check-call and lead on the turn if the Villain bet.)

Turn: 4♣ ($9.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $7, Button calls.

(My pair could be good so I pulled the trigger on my delayed c-bet. When Villain called, I put him on a pocket pair or a hand like A9s, T9s, or 98s. Naked draws were pretty unlikely given the size of my bet and Villain's style of play. I had no doubt that I was behind in the hand. I was pretty well done with the hand at this point unless...)

River: K♦ ($23.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $15, Button folds.
Uncalled bets: $15 returned to Hero.

(The King on the river was a great card for me. I'd played the hand like a missed AK-type hand. My turn bet could have meant any number of things. But I felt that the Villain could have easily put me on AK or KQ and seen the river as giving me the best hand. I fired out a good-sized river bet: big enough to be taken seriously without making it look like an obvious bluff. The Villain insta-folded.

Some people could say that I turned my hand into a bluff on the river; however, I honestly believe that I was behind. If I'd checked, I'm sure that the Villain would have checked behind and taken down the pot.)

Final pot: $23.5

Looking at my stats for $100 NLHE, I've really taken notice that my Won W/O Showdown stats are pretty pathetic. It's the price of playing a weak-tight style, I guess. I'm going to work hard on winning more hands post-flop. I'm sure my win rate will be affected for a little while as I try to find the right amount of aggression and steadfastedness required to persevere in a game of imperfect information.

A hit to my short-term win rate is a small price to pay for improving my poker game.


Sean Swift said...

First off, thank you for reading my blog, and for the advice. I've bookmarked yours and I'll throw a link up. I've been playing for three years, but only recently decided to get serious. I've read the basics - Super System, Harrington, Tao of Poker...and Hansen's Every Hand Revealed was enlightening for a horrendous tournament player such as myself.

Anyway, if you don't mind, I have a question or two about this particular hand. First off, why is that such a gross flop for a continuation bet? Do people really call 4X BB raises at that level with 10-9, A-9o, etc? I could see being more worried about high-card holdings that hit the Jack - the flop check may have been a trapping attempt since there wouldn't be much on the board to scare A-J or K-J. He also probably felt like your turn bet was a semi-bluff...since the second club fell, if you were semi-bluffing with the draw you'd still at least have the 4:1 to catch it on the river.

Either way, that was a fantastic river bet...I don't do that nearly enough, so I think I'll try adding that to my game.

Anyway, thanks again for reading.

Klopzi said...

Sean -

Although a c-bet's success is pretty Villain dependent, there are some flops that are more conducive to successful c-bets than others.

Typically, flops that contain a lot of middle-rank cards (8 - J) are more likely to hit pre-flop callers than pre-flop raisers. Once again, this depends on your opponents but it becomes more true as your opponents get better. Calling a raise with pocket pairs and suited connectors is a good way to stack someone unable to lay down a quality raising hand. Of course, I'm oversimplifying for the sake of brevity.

Will people call 4x BB raises with T9, A9o, etc.? Sure they will. In fact, some players call big raises with any two cards. But we call them fish and they're the players you wan't to be playing against.

As for my river bet, I'm not sure if turning my hand into a bluff was the right move but it paid off this time.

And if you're looking to incorporate moves like this into your game, make sure that you have a good read on your opponent. Micro and small stakes players don't always fold when you think they should.

For example, a $20 NLHE player might make this call on the river with any pair or ace high. Against this type of player, it's best to stick with value betting good hands.

FWIW, I'd recommend reading Phil Gordon's Little Green Book, Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book, and Professional No-Limit Hold'em (in that order) to ramp up your game quickly. The Phil Gordon books are great and PNLH will really improve your game if you study it well.

Thanks for stopping by Sean.