Archive for the ‘online poker’ Category

The first clue was that he was Supernova VIP on Pokerstars. I think it must be impossible to be a Supernova VIP and play no higher than 25NL. With the new labelling system on Pokerstars you can configure the client to show  your VIP status. You occasionally see a Platinum Star player, but until now I had not seen a Supernova.

The second clue were his stats: VPIP 28, PFR 27, 3BetPreflop 18%!, Attempt to Steal 38%.

He was sitting two to my right..not ideal, but I noticed how he was playing. Despite usually trying to avoid good players, I stayed at the table and hoped to hit a good hand to trap him. His post-flop play is what I aspire to….Over 59 hands he was up 3/4 of a buyin and only had one showdown where he lost a small pot. That means his winnings were all from aggressive pre and post flop play resulting in his opponents folding.

This is my tangle with him when I finally picked up a hand. He is Villain 2 and he plays by the name B Buddy.

Seat 1: Villain 1 ($18.05 in chips)
Seat 2: Villain 2 ($33.70 in chips)
Seat 3: Villain 3 ($16.30 in chips) –
Seat 4: Villain 4 ($22.35 in chips) –
Seat 6: Hero ($25 in chips) –
Villain 4 posts small blind $0.10
Hero posts BIG blind $0.25
Dealt To: Hero
FOLD Villain 1
RAISE Villain 2 ($0.75)
CALL Villain 3 ($0.75)
FOLD Villain 4
RAISE Hero ($2.25)
CALL Villain 2 ($1.50)
FOLD Villain 3
Pot: $5.6
BET Hero ($3.50)
CALL Villain 2 ($3.50)
Pot: $12.6
CHECK Villain 2
Pot: $12.6
BET Villain 2 ($11)
Villain 2 collected $11.75 from main pot

So he floated me on the flop, then when I timidly checked on the river, he bet pot. I was so tempted to call here. The river is a great scare card. His style of play has me ahead many times here imho, but I elected to fold with two overcards and a flush on the board. Any comments? This is all about playing the player. Of course against a tight nitty player this is an easy fold.

Here is a hand I found on 2+2 where B Buddy is playing slightly higher stakes!!!!

Seat 1: B Buddy ($4162.40 in chips)
Seat 2: mMagic_cards ($4372 in chips)
Seat 3: Telefonkiosk ($6238 in chips) –
Seat 4: J-FRANK ($5547 in chips) –
Seat 7: bet2win ($8432 in chips) –
Seat 8: strassa2 ($8672 in chips)
Seat 9: thebruiser ($4925 in chips)
J-FRANK posts small blind $25
bet2win posts big blind $50
CALL strassa2 ($50)
FOLD thebruiser
RAISE B Buddy ($4162.40) – All in
FOLD mMagic_cards
FOLD Telefonkiosk
FOLD bet2win
CALL strassa2 ($4112.40)
Pot: $8399.8
Pot: $8399.8
Pot: $8399.8
B Buddy:
B Buddy collected $8396.8 from main pot


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Warning: double bad beat story. But I need some sympathy!!

Lost 8 buyins in 3 days.

Lost 5 buyins on Saturday…combination of coolers and tilt. Broke my rules…very undisciplined. Was in a bad mood, tired and should not have even played. Went passed my 2 buyin stop loss (which I established for this reason)…very bad.

Session yesterday unbelievable.

Was having bad session with a bunch of what I call mini-coolers (mainly under pocket pairs) as well as big draws which kept missing and getting called down light. Was down 2 buyins and was going to leave this time but won one buyin back with AA v KK (at last!). Stayed a bit longer but getting tired so was winding down. I was  about to leave the last 2 tables.  I usually played extremely tight in this situation only playing premium hands, when I got dealt KK and AA in consecutive hands (one on each table)! Look what happened:

Hand 1

Quick summary: Dealt KK, I decided to call a reraise rather than reraise (mainly to hide my hand). On a harmless looking low card (but flushy) flop we end up all-in. Opponent had JJ…turn J! Lost 1 buy-in.

Hand 2

Seat 1: Hero ($29.75 in chips) –
Seat 2: Villain 1 ($52.15 in chips) –
Seat 3: Villain 2 ($14 in chips) –
Seat 4: Villain 3 ($38 in chips)
Seat 5: Villain 4 ($22.25 in chips)
Seat 6: Villain 5 ($67.55 in chips)
Villain 1 posts small blind $0.10
Villain 2 posts big blind $0.25
Dealt To: Hero
RAISE Villain 3 ($0.75)
FOLD Villain 4
RAISE Villain 5 ($1.50)
RAISE Hero ($4.50)
CALL Villain 1 ($4.40)
FOLD Villain 2
RAISE Villain 3 ($38) – All in
FOLD Villain 5
CALL Hero ($25.25) – All in (Pot Odds: 1.96:1)
CALL Villain 1 ($33.50)
Pot: $108.25
Pot: $108.25
Pot: $108.25
Villain 1:
MUCK Villain 3
Villain 1 collected $16.5 from side pot 1
Villain 1 collected $88 from main pot


AA (me) v KK v  45s(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) allin preflop. The 45s guy was hyperaggressive and he was last in the pot (ie not a semibluff-type allin)! Runner runner flush on river.

These 2 hands had total pots of $159..

If I won these 2 hands I am down 2 buyins over 3 days rather than 8.

I feel that this crap has been happening all year. Sometimes I hate this game and am sure that I could not do it as a career. If you include the hand in this post ( ), that is a swing of $241 in just 3 hands this month where I was favourite.

To me these 2 hands are analagous to Obama going into the election with an 8 point lead, the Republicans just winning, McCain having a heart attack on the day and whammo…Sarah Palin is President.

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One of the amazing things about online poker is that you can watch the best in the world go at it for huge sums of money. Occasionally I check out the high stakes cash games on Fulltilt and just watch these guys play (and dream!). I just had a look tonight, and sure enough, none other than Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and David Benyamine were playing 3 handed on the $500/$1000 NL table. PA was sitting with over $600,000, DA $200,000 and PI $150,000. So whilst I struggle with knowing what to do with my draw hands, here is how to do it at high stakes:

Full Tilt – No Limit Holdem – CASH ($500/$1000)

Table: ‘RailHeaven’

Seat 3: Patrik Antonius ($608,466.50 in chips) –
Seat 4: David Benyamine ($217,982.50 in chips) –
Seat 5: Phil Ivey ($175,454 in chips) –
Patrik Antonius posts small blind $500
David Benyamine posts big blind $1000
RAISE Phil Ivey ($3000)
RAISE Patrik Antonius ($10000)
CALL David Benyamine ($9000)
FOLD Phil Ivey
Pot: $23000
BET Patrik Antonius ($16000)
RAISE David Benyamine ($49000)
RAISE Patrik Antonius ($170000)
RAISE David Benyamine ($207982.50) – All in
CALL Patrik Antonius ($37982.50)
Pot: $438965
Pot: $438965
David Benyamine:
Patrik Antonius:
Patrik Antonius collected $438964 from main pot with a straight, Ace high
Total pot: $438965
Rake: $1
Final Board:
Seat 3: Patrik Antonius small blind showed [Qc Kc] and won 438,964 with a straight, Ace high – Net Gain/Loss: ($220982.00)
Seat 4: David Benyamine big blind showed [9c Tc] and lost with a pair of Tens – Net Gain/Loss: ($-217982.00)
Seat 5: Phil Ivey button folded before the Flop – Net Gain/Loss: ($ -3000.00)

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And I failed miserably!!!!!

I believe that my game has gone to a new level this month….it is just that I am not seeing the results yet. More on this in another post.

I had worked my way up to a 4 buyin profit this month after a lot of ups and downs. However I just got hammered in the last two sessions so now I am down 2 buyins.

In the last sessions every bad luck situation that could come up happened. I lost set under set, flush under flush, straight under straight, AQ v AK, JJ v QQ. It wasn’t that I was monstered in each hand, my opponents always had the slightly better hand. Grrrr.

Then the following happened. The villain was on my right and was playing as a bully (stats: VPIP 41; PFR 30   ). Playing very aggressive and getting very lucky such that he had a huge stack. I was waiting for the right spot to get him. Then the right spot  happened…..

Poker Stars – No Limit Holdem – CASH ($0.1/$0.25)

Table: ‘Terpsichore IV’

Seat 1: Villain 1 ($31.10 in chips) –
Seat 2: Villain 2 ($28.05 in chips)
Seat 3: Villain 3 ($12.70 in chips)
Seat 4: Villain 4 ($134.30 in chips)
Seat 5: Hero ($42.20 in chips)
Seat 6: Villain 5 ($28.05 in chips) –
Villain 5 posts small blind $0.10
Villain 1 posts big blind $0.25
Dealt To: Hero
FOLD Villain 2
FOLD Villain 3
RAISE Villain 4 ($1)
RAISE Hero ($3)
FOLD Villain 5
FOLD Villain 1
CALL Villain 4 ($2)
Pot: $6.35
CHECK Villain 4
BET Hero ($3.50)
RAISE Villain 4 ($7)
RAISE Hero ($39.20) – All in
CALL Villain 4 ($32.20)
Pot: $88.25
Pot: $88.25
Villain 4:
Villain 4 collected $81.75 from main pot

So i had KK, he called my 3bet with 35 suited, then he called my almost 2 buyin all-in with middle pair and no draw except for a backdoor str8 draw!!!!

I was so upset by this (ie on tilt) hand that I stopped immediately and didn’t play at all on saturday.

TIme to regroup. As I mentioned, my game has gone to a new level after a lot of reading, viewing videos and experimenting. I have made a big adjustment to my postflop game…more on this soon. The result is a big improvement in my Won without showdown stat. Now if only the odds would hold up for me in Won at showdown pots!!

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It would be an exaggeration to say that the ups and downs of the world of online poker mirror that of the current stock market. However, it is clear that after an initial meteoric rise a few years ago, the phenomena of online poker has had a difficult couple of years and an uncertain future. This difficulty has arisen because of the passing of an anti-online wagering bill on July 12, 2006 in the House of Representatives in the USA. Whilst this Bill was not a direct anti-online poker law, its greatest target was the community of online poker players by virtue of the fact that it made it illegal to use electronic transfers to online poker sites in  the USA. Several online poker sites were affected significantly, especially Party Poker. The drop in prize money in the WSOP Main Event from $12 million in 2006 to $8 million in 2007 was mostly due to this Bill. in summary, the poker boom was dealt a huge blow, and this combined with several cheating scandals, resulted in many people thinking that online poker had a short lifespan.

This doubt has continued over the last 2 years, however in September 2008 (last month) something seems to have happened. I am not sure whether this is a sudden change, or whether it has happened gradually in the background, but there seem to be several good signs:

1. The action in the high stakes online games, especially on Fulltilt Poker, was crazy in September. This is a screen grab from the website High Stakes DB, that summarises the biggest pots ever as recorded by that site. As you see, 9 of the 10 biggest pots occurred in September with the biggest ever pot being $609, 730.

2. Both Fulltilt and Pokerstars have been holding online poker tournaments for a few years now. However, recently they have been getting bigger and bigger. The recent World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) on Pokerstars takes the cake. There were 33 Events including a $25,500 Heads Up tournament, a $10,300 HORSE event and the Main Event in which there were 2185 players and a prize pool of $10,925,000.00. The first place prize of over $1.7 million is bigger than most WPT events (although due to dealmaking, the eventual winner, ckingusc, took away $1,265,432.23. The thought that you can sit at home, clicking away for hours on end, and winning well over a million dollars is mind-boggling to me. Sixteen players won more than half a million dollars over the series. There are interesting stats about the series here.

3. This is more subjective, but on the site that I play (Pokerstars) there appears to be significantly larger number of players, even compared to a few months ago. I remember at the end of last year, the most I saw at the times I play were about 110,000 (which is still a lot!). However now, it can get up to 150,000 on weekends.

So, I think Online Poker is here to stay.

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September was a struggle!

After a good August, I came back down to earth during September. Nevertheless, I feel good about my progress and am looking to pushing forward for the rest of the year.

Here are my results summarised:

September 2008

September 2008

Here are some comments in point form:

1. Played 20,260 hands. After being down 7 buyins at one stage, I ended up being down slightly under one buyin: -$22.35.

2. I played at VP$IP 14.7 and PFR 10. I am such a nit; more on this later!

3. My high pairs had a bad September at least partly accounting for my bad month. My win rate with AA was 383 BB/100 hands (overall it is 500BB/100 hands) and KK 226 BB/100 hannds (usually 350). I was all in preflop with KK 3 times running into AA, and not once had the reverse situation.

4. My flopped set rate was only slightly under average; with my 819 pocket pairs I flopped 93 sets compared to the predicted 99.

5. After going up 2 buyins early, I had a prolonged bad run that lasted 10,000 hands. I had a lot of coolers (e.g KK v AA x 3) and bad beats during this period that tested my tilt tendencies, and I didn’t always cope well! 3 buyins are accounted for by one hand where I was rivered by a one outer.

6. However, despite these results I am feeling good. I have done a lot of reading, and I have joined a tuition site (Cardrunners) which I am finding very helpful. I clearly have many leaks but my 3 major ones are: a. I play too tight for a 6Max game;  b. I struggle completely with the concept of 3 betting and c. my postflop play needs a lot of improvement.  I am working on these and hope to take my game to the next level from here.

7. My bankroll is still healthy and I am within 19 buyins from moving up. When my bankroll hits $1500 I am playing 25c/50c. Only a few months ago i was struggling with $208 playing 5c/10c so I am feeling confident. I am thinking 2 levels per year, which means that by the end of next year I will have a bankroll of $6000 and will be ready to move up to $1/$2 NL.

Good luck in October all!

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I have now been playing poker online for 2 years. I bought in for $50 vowing to never put any more money in. Well I did break this, not because I went broke, but because I thought I would take advantage of the Pokerstars offer in July where you get a 40% bonus up to $600 for further deposits. I put in $250 to get a $100 bonus which I have now qualified for. Additionally, I have now qualified to become a Silver VIP allowing me to cash in FPPs for another $100.

I started the month with just over $500 coming off a bad end to July. With a $300.45 win plus the $200 bonus my bankroll is now over $1000 for the first time! August  2008 has clearly been my most lucrative month so far. And my bankroll is $700 above what I have put in.

Some of my stats and comments are as follows:

1. 15, 194 hand. Won $300.45 (just over 12 buyins) at 3.95 BB/100 hands.

2. The month was clearly split into 2: after the first ~ 9,000 hands I was even; however I went on the hot run I have been waiting for with a 12 buyin streak over the last 6,000 hands (~10 BB/100 hands). Here is the graph from Pokertracker:

Results for August 2008

Results for August 2008

I am thinking more that your results with pocket AA’s and how many times you flop sets plays a large part in swings either way. Therefore:

3.  I won $318 (ie more than my monthly win!) with AA. The W$SD with AA was 80.95% (compared to ~70% over 80,000 + hands since April) at a win-rate of 883 BB/100 hands (compared to 500BB/100 hands since April).

4. For the first month this year (ie since using Pokertracker in April) I flopped more sets than predicted. I flopped 84 sets with my 674 pocket pairs which is 1 in 8.0 (compared to predicted 1 in 8.3). My win rate with flopped sets in August was 914.76 BB/100 hands which is very similar to my average since April (1002 BB/100 hands). Despite the good ‘flopped sets’ month, I still have a lot of catching up to do! Since using pokertracker in April, I have flopped 389 sets with my 3641 pocket pairs at 1 in 9.4. If I had flopped the predicted 1 in 8.3 I would have flopped 439 sets …… I am 50 sets behind still!!!!

5. Despite my feeling that I have not had a good year (even with my August result), the reality is that I have won 4 out of 5 months. July was the only losing month.

6. Last point is a comment rather than a stat. Using a 2 buyin stop loss has definitely been a useful introduction… it is a great tilt-buster.

Good luck in September all!

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