Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cake Challenge October - Austin

Austin's Spreadsheet

10/15/2007 - Cash play and one tournament

After reading Ryan's newest update on how he was playing, I decided to tone back how I was playing to super tight and only bet on flops I hit. I managed to accomplish exactly this except for one hand (which cost me not very much). I was able to actually double up on my first hand sitting down at the .02/.04 tables and immediately left for another table. I got up around $2 at that table and then played at a $1 30 person sit and go and managed to place 3rd. All in all a fairly good day. I really need to work on end-game tournaments as I'm not quite sure what to do when cards don't come. I know I have to ship eventually, but it's difficult choosing positions.

Cash play hands:
J8o (not true SpainR)

Tourney hands:
98o - I stuck around after the flop, but when the betting on the turn happened, I knew I was beat and layed down my boat.
KK (one spade)
AJo - Something felt wrong on this hand and made me not call.
AKo - As bad as this guy's play was, he ended up knocking me out later because he got some amazing hands.
AKo - Ugh. I probably should have gotten away earlier, but Jesus.
3Ts - Well, that's it folks. Can't believe he flopped a straight.

10/14/2007 - Cash play

I'm tired of hands like this. They seem to happen quite a bit and it really sucks. 10% to be favorite, and he spikes one of the four cards he needs in order to win. Bleh.

10/11/2007 - 2 Tournaments, some cash play
In the good tournament today, I placed 5th out of 41 in a $3 buy in for a total of $8.61 won. I had a hugely frustrating second to last hand ( JK of diamonds. I'm not sure if I played the hand wrong by calling on the turn, but I figured I was getting 2/1 and so I had to call. After that, I went all in with my remainder and got sucked out on by the big blind. My play, again, was fairly good up until that point. I really like the tournament format since it seems to be much easier to gauge how people are doing relative to me. I'm excited to try it out this Friday in person.

Today was actually a fairly bad day for me as it was the first time I went on tilt during this competition and lost a fair portion of my stack. I'm now down to around the original $50 and none too happy about it. I decided to step up to a .05/.10 table and ran into one of the luckiest people I've ever seen. He played damn near every hand and won damn near every hand pulling out half of his wins on a miracle river card. This hand was no exception. So brutal.

I'm thinking what I want to try to do is stick with the tournaments and try to win a couple of the larger ones. I seem to be doing fairly well in them, so I might as well stick with it. Cash games just frustrate the hell out of me for some reason because I can never seem to get enough action when I have good cards, and then when I don't, I seem to get a ton of action. No idea.

Original Post:

My main mission with trying to do this challenge was to bring my play up to the point where I could regularly increase my bankroll without constantly suffering from the ups and downs that I had previously experienced. I had bought into cake poker with $200 originally (before the challenge started) and had got it up to $350 or so and then tumbled a mighty tumble all the way down to $45 or so. I was doing classically bad bankroll management in which I played games too high for what I should have been trying to do in order to get rich quick. I was also learning my game again after having taken a hiatus from poker for several years due to getting burned out, so there were certainly times in which I was tilting bad or playing poorly in general.

Anyway, I took my $45 and treated it as my $50 buy in for this challenge. I'm now up to $77.13. What I started doing initially was sitting in the 6 player live cash games and then trying to double up and leave. It worked for a bit, but I was also swingy and depending on how much time I had, my play seemed variable. When I learned Marsh was doing the sit and go tables, I decided to give it a try since I had completely missed it (not knowing it was there). In the first four 10 person $1 buy in tournaments I played in, I didn't place in two of them, but I also won two of them. I tried my hand at a couple of 30 person $1 tournaments and didn't manage to place but once (fifth I think).

I played a decent tournament a couple of nights ago, but didn't manage to place higher than 10th after this hand. I'm not upset with my play, but I certainly think I wouldn't have called were I him. I'm Sarcum in all of these links.

The crowning achievement of my play so far has been my entry into a normal $3 buy in tournament that started with 107 people. I played it extremely conservative early on and managed to grab a couple of pots to net myself a comfortable lead on most of the players. I then sat back for the most part stabbing at a pot here and there (and once losing a fairly big portion of my stack), but almost always retaining a position within the top 15 or so people in the tournament. As the tournament went on and we got closer to the bubble (15 spots), I had some luck go my way and was able to start severely pushing people around because they were so frightened by placing. I ended up being first or second until the final table in which I had a couple of really hard hands to play. The first started out being JKo. I really wanted to play that hand, but it confused me because he only called instead of trying to single out the short stack. I thought about raising him pre-flop or at least calling since it would have only been 4 times the big blind, but then again, that is also about 1/5 of my current stack. Next is JQo with the J being a spade. I certainly feel that was a good laydown, but my god that would have been good to win. After that hand, I had AQo and was unfortunate enough to run into a TT and have a flop be 965 all spade (he had a ten of spades and I had no spade). I was able to get away from the hand, but it put me down to a meager 11,000 chips and left me in position to get sucked out on this hand. All in all, a very good tournament netting me $27.93 for fourth place.

I think I like the tournaments a bit better since I get to play more and don't have to worry about constantly being down since the money is already all in and I can't lose anymore, but I'm not sure it's such a good investment unless I can continually return on it. We shall see.


Ryan said...

I think calling with KJ in that tournament would have been correct. You were in the SB, already had $1K in, UTG was clearly in ATC territory, and you were capping the action. For the most part, when eliminations mean $$ for the rest of the table, you can count on opponents to check it down unless they hit at least two pair.

$7K is juuust enough of your stack that I don't blame you for the fold, but let’s look at the ranges. UTG is on ATC. He was probably trying to catch something to go with before he was UTG, didn’t find it, and is now going to be the BB next hand. It's better to shove UTG with ATC than to call all in from the BB that will also be ATC. Big Stack, knowing that UTG is likely on ATC, has a pretty wide range. I'm going to say any pair, any ace, any king for the sake of the calculation, but you could make arguments that his range would be looser or tighter than that.**&h2=KJo&h3=A*%2C+K*%2C+AA-22&h4=&h5=

If those range estimates are correct, you have the most equity, and the betting is likely finished for the hand. If either range is too loose, you are still getting the right odds in the right situation even if you tighten either opponent up a bit.

"I really wanted to play that hand, but it confused me because he only called instead of trying to single out the short stack."

If the goal is to eliminate the player pushing with ATC, he doesn't want to isolate, per se, he wants multple hands in there to help bust him.

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

Does this work?

Ryan said...

The tricky part of your KdJd hand on the turn is trying to figure out whether or not a K or J is an out for you.

A preflop raise UTG followed by a check on that flop is suggestive of something like AK, which would make a J and out but not a K, but the QQ he had meant the K was an out but not the J.

By my count you had about 3.3:1, so you need to be 23% or better for a call to be correct. It's hard to put either opponent on a solid range given the action, but if you think you have more outs than just a diamond, it's a good call.

Keep in mind there's another player to act, which further muddles things. If he just calls, it helps your pot odds, but also has to leave you wondering if you are good if another diamond comes, or if he's taking two of your diamond outs even if your flush draw is good.

I mean, we can try to work out realistic ranges for each player, decide what % of the time the third player will call based on his ranges, and come up with some sort of ideal EV calculation, but it's not really a helpful exercise since there's no way you could do that in a real situation.

The most useful thing to understand is that you don't have the pot odds with a flush draw alone and the player behind you folding. Some combination of other outs being good, the chance that the third player calls as well, and the implied odds of getting paid some amount if your flush hits are what make it callable.

Since it comes down to these kinds of factors, I don't think there is some clear-cut correct answer, it's not an obvious fold or an obvious call.

I think you have to make these decisions after considering how much you would have left if you call and miss, what the other stacks are like, the whole fabric of the tournament at that point.

Austin said...

Ya, in looking back on it now, I think I should have folded. I would have had 9000 chips left, which wouldn't have been bad at all considering the way I was playing. I would have been second short stack, but not by much. One of my huge problems that I have with hands is giving up near nut drawing hands (if they hit). Seeing that flush and feeling that if it hit I was good makes it incredibly hard for me to lay down and that is probably one of the weakest parts of my game, hands down.

On the other hand, like I mentioned to you; I felt that if I won this hand then the tournament was pretty much mine. I had played extremely solidly and felt (at the time) it was worth a bit of the risk. What got in my head after was why he only bet $400 on the river. I think he knew I was drawing and he was really hoping that it wasn't to the straight, which would have killed his queens. I wondered if I had gone all in if he would have called on the river. Who knows.