The Miscellaneous Rantings of Marie-Lizette
As you may or may not already know, I played on Live at the Bike last month.
When I first reviewed the video, I was upset by some of the comments that Bart and Dave made about my play, thinking that they just didn't understand my awesome game. I edited the show down to just my hands with every intent to explain my thinking and justify my plays. Then, I got busy with work and didn't have the time to dedicated to writing a long detailed blog about what a great player I am.
Now, I've finally had a little time to write my blog and I know I've always had a pretty laggy style, but I'll tell you what, watching this video a few more times, with an open mind, really showed me that I have a ton of leaks in my game.
I justified many of the plays I did based on the reads I had at the table, but I've reviewed some of the hands with a few friends of mine who have pretty good reputations as good poker players, and there is a general consensus is that I could have played some spots more aggressively and perhaps not been involved in certain pots based on my EV percentages and opponents range...even though I won them. Needless to say, when I explained my thought processes during a couple of hands the term, "retarded" was used to describe their interpretation of what I was thinking on more than one occasion. Basically, if I try to do this crap at a bigger game with better players, I'm going to be totally soul owned.
In addition to specific corrections and fundamental game theory, I'd have to say that the best advice I received was that just winning big pots here and there is not good enough when your game has leaks that can subject you to wide swings. The idea of winning big here at there is simply too results oriented. The goal is to win consistently over time and choosing those winning spots effectively.
I'm doing what I can to bring my game to the next level by engaging in thoughtful conversations with talented and successful poker plays and keeping an open mind to their criticisms and recommendations. I'm hoping that the next time I post a Live at the Bike session, I will be able to do so proudly. The next time I play on the show, I will use what I'm learning to make more intelligent plays in +EV spots rather than a mishmash of a handful of half-hearted moves mixed in with luckbox wins.
Good luck out there, and see ya at the Rio this summer.
Last Friday (April 20th) I made another appearance on Live at the Bike. I've always admitted to my LAGish style and this was evident during the show (VPIP 41%/PFR 25%). What wasn't obvious was that I had a plan every time I played a hand. Sadly, I didn't get any credit for my plays or thought processes - Dave Tuckman didn't expect me to last an hour...I guess he doesn't remember that I've now played on the show five times, and have only been stuck once when he just so happen to flop perfect against me (see my PokerProWannabe.com blog posts dated Sept. 16, 2011; Sept 27, 2011; Dec. 3, 2011; and, Feb. 27, 2012). I will be posting video clips and address some of the comments on the show later in the week.
Anywho... my kids went with my Aunt to U.C. Davis to visit my cousin for the weekend, leaving me with plenty of free time. While a could have done some work, I thought, "Nahhhhh...I'll go play a tournament." I'm actually not supposed to be playing any tourneys right now, I'm supposed to be grinding up cash and rebuilding my bankroll but, while trolling the local casinos' websites, I stumbled upon Hollywood Park's $400K event structure. I can't say that I thought it was a great structure...but it seemed to me that with well timed aggression and a whole lot of luck, it might be worth the $220 investment for a shot at $100K for first place. I know I still have leaks in my game, but I feel as though I played fairly well on Friday, with 80% of my plays working out the way I wanted them to. So, I thought that I could afford to reward myself with a small buy-in tourney...just because it's so much fun to imagine what I would do with $100K.
I doubled up early in the event, had a few big hands hold up, and took a couple of pretty sick bad beats. I managed to keep an even temper (for once in my life) and just stayed the course. I was actually the tournament chip leader during Level 16 (1.5K/3K+500 ante). I didn't want tell anyone (text, twitter or facebook) that I was playing because I wanted to focus on my game. It wasn't until I had already made it into the money that I posted my first tweet.
Even with over 175K, I grew concerned that I had gone card dead just as the blinds were going into the nose bleed structure. I had been whittled down to just over 15 BBs by Level 21 (5K/10K+1K) and the shortstacks were pretty much open shoving with any ace or pair, so I had to really pick my spots carefully because every chip matters at that stage of the game. I quite literally only played 3 hands in the last 4 levels of play.
Feeling a bit desperate, I open raised under-the-gun +1 with because the Big Blind was playing super tight and 3 of the 4 players in between were fairly soft. The Big Blind had been at a prior table with me and he knew I picked on him quite a bit so he gave me some action. The flop was , and my opponent had checked in the dark. His range was no where near that flop so I bet and he folded, increasing my stack back up to 140K but leaving me at just under 10 BBs just as the blinds went up to 10K/20K+3K ante (Level 24).
The button moved a couple of times and I found myself on the Big Blind with . The only aggressive player was in the cut-off and picked that time to raise to 45K. The table was 6-handed and the Small Blind had folded, so I was heads-up with the pre-flop raiser. I weighed my options and since it was only costing me 15K more to see the flop and potentially win 90K+, I made the call. I know that based on my effective chip stack I'm supposed to shove or fold there, but I didn't want to just surrender my chips without a fight and I thought I could out play him on the flop, and oh what a flop it was! ..GIN! I had about 94K in front of me, exactly a pot-sized bet so I checked, knowing my opponent was going to c-bet. He only bet 50K but I didn't think he had any fold equity so I shoved. Unfortunately, he had air and folded...but I was happy for the win. I elected to show my hand, knowing that the next play I was going to make would have to be a shove situation and I wanted to be sure that I got action because only 10 people advanced to Day 2 in that flight and we were down to 11. I was not willing to make the 44 mile drive (88 round trip) just to come back without chips...I wanted to double up or go home.
A few minutes later I had the button and American Airlines baby! That's right, . Of course, just my luck, it folds around to me. Well, I certainly wasn't going to limp and given my hand history, I figured I'd get looked up if I raised on the button, so I made it 45K to go. The small blind, who had been with me at at least two other tables, counted and re-stacked his chips (about 120K give or take) and then pushed them forward, announcing, "All-In." (Yay me! ) The Big Blind folded and I made the call. He turned over . (Yay me! ) The flop was all paint and he was drawing dead on the turn.
With that knockout, the flight was down to 10 qualifiers and we bagged and tagged for Day 2. I found myself with 375K which, given that my flight was the largest field of the 18 flight event, is one of the larger stacks in play. I'll be starting Day 2 with just under 40 big blinds since the levels roll back to Level 21 (5K/10K+1K).
I'm going to do my best to stay focused and play my best game. I'll try not to be overly aggressive and pick my spots well. Wish me luck!
I played the Nooner Daily Tournament at The Bicycle Casino last Tuesday. I bubbled. It was pretty unreal. I was double average at the first break, but then went totally card dead for four levels after. Then it became obvious I was destined for failure. I came in second best with fairly big hands every single time I was in a pot. A friend of mine, Mike Jones, who was seated at my tables agreed that the Poker Gods were out to get me. What was worse is after I busted out in 15th place, the remaining 14 players agreed to take $140 off of first place and pay two additional players $70. Yeah, insult to injury. But I had collected three $10 bounties and played a little bit of cash before the tourney started, so was up $75 when I registered and I was basically freerolling the $50 buy-in.
I was able to redeem myself at the cash tables later that afternoon. I played The Bike's $2-3 NLH ring game. I was actually stuck about $300 when my fortunes changed. Happily, I managed to turn a $700 profit for the day. Oh... and guess who was at my table? The gentlemen who had berated me a week earlier.
He didn't recognize me because I was casually dressed without any make up. He was actually doing well and had several hundred dollars in front of him. He played a wide variety of hands and cracked some big hands with cards like . But he lost often enough because he really had a hard time laying down a hand once he connected with the board. He made several crying calls on the river against me and others. My observation was that he didn't really put people on hands. He pretty much played his hole cards and if he hit big - he won big and if he had a mediocre hand - he would pay off a better hand. However, I found that it was difficult for me to get a good read on him because it's hard to put a player on a hand when he, himself, doesn't really know where he's at. There were a couple of times I probably could have won big pots against him, but choose to play small ball.
On Friday I had an interview with a Fortune 500 law firm, a lunch date with good friend and mentor Jennifer Newell, and a meeting with the Poker Director at The Bicycle Casino. My interview went well and I'm scheduled to return on Monday for a follow-up. Lunch with Jen was absolutely marvelous, I only wish our schedules allowed us to hang out more often. After my meeting at The Bike, I had 3 hours to kill before I had to cover the Live at the Bike table so I played more $2-3 NLH. Again I started off bad, stuck $300 within the first 30 minutes. But I kept a cool head and picked-up with a $200 profit.
In addition to my role as photographer and hostess, I actually played on Live at the Bike last night. I got caught in a couple of bluffs and was felted early in the game, then I was stalked by Deuces for at least an hour and a half. Not pocket Deuces, just a Deuce kicker in what seemed like every other hand. But as usual, I picked up hands towards the end of the night and won HUGE pot after I flopped the nuts with . For those of you who watched the hand, please don't think that I regularly marry myself to such a weak Ace, and you may remember that I folded it to a re-raise, pre-flop, later in the game. The only reason why I called the re-raise was because I had raised from the Button and put Robocop on a Big Blind defensive re-raise with a mid-sized pair. Robocop and I have a pretty good relationship but had never played together. As I said, I had been caught with my hand in the cookie jar a couple of times prior, so it seemed perfectly reasonable that he would want to play back at me with a pair of 9s or Ts, especially with Seat 9 (the KLAC Loose Canon) in the hand. Had Todd not hit a 2-outer on the river, Robocop would have won just as big as I did.
Long story short, although I had a pretty yo-yo stack day, I ended up with a $400 profit for the evening. The game got really juicy after the cameras shut down, but I had been up since 6:00 am (I had baked gingerbread cupcakes for my Poker Netcast co-workers) so I was completely fried. I headed home at 11:00 pm and I think I was out by the time my head hit the pillow.
In addition to the poker grind, the past few days have been filled with surprises and opportunities that have kept me very busy. Hopefully all the running around will mean that I have good news to report in the near future and that 2012 will be a turnaround year for me.
Source: ConfessionsOfAPokerProWannabe. com
You may, or may not, have seen yesterday's post: "Down Swings, Run Good and... Tebow?," but I posted a sample hand in that blog entry that exemplified how many times (and believe me - there were lots of them) that I pretty much flopped perfect then lost to runner-runner. I'm not really one to blog about game theory or go on, and on, and on about hands that I've played because as both a poker player and as poker media - I see a lot of hands and the last thing I want to do is revisit them.
Every now and then I do include the details of a hand that I've played because this is a type of poker blog and I suspect that those of you who don't eat, sleep and breath poker enjoy hearing about the way pivotal hands play out. Well... a hand that I left out of yesterday's post, but was actually the most pivotal hand of a profitable night, turned out to be a topic of conversation with a friend of mine last night so I decided to post the hand for feedback.
First, let me lay a quick foundation of how the night began. I started with $300 at The Bicycle Casino's $100-300 NLH game (2-3 blinds). It was a new game and the majority the players at table had just busted out of a tournament and bought in for a minimum $100, with just 3 players in for $200. I sat down at 7:30 p.m. and, in the beginning, had a bit of a yo-yo stack. I picked up Aces once but didn't get much action and picked up Queens three times and lost all of them... damn Ace magnets. The one hand I seemed to get over and over again was Ace-King and it was good about 50% of the time.
I was able to set a good table image within the first 2 orbits when I laid down after I re-raised the 4x raise under-the-gun and he went all-in for just $65 more. Since he was immediately to my right, I tapped the felt, showed him my and mucked...he tapped back and showed me pocket Kings. I must have been pegged as super-nit right there and then. A few hands later I called a 3x raise on my Big Blind and checked dark to the flop. I had and the Flop was . The raiser checked back to me and we both checked the second on the Turn. A hit the River and again I checked but the raiser went all-in for $50 (total pot was about $20). I called and sure enough, my 4 was good. That hand became the joke at the table..."Remember the four? Pro-fes-sion-al."
With the exception of , I pretty much stuck to playing big hands that night. I usually mix-up my game with all types of drawing hands and as most will confirm, I play relatively loose-aggressive most of the time. But after six weeks of running bad I felt that adjusting my game to stay within the ABC poker parameters of pairs and big Aces, raising in position and stay out of pots when off position would be the right move so that I could cash-in a positive session. By 10:30 p.m I had turned my $200 investment into $600. That's when the big hand happened.
After about 3-hours of pretty solid play, showing big hands at showdown, mucking all three of my pocket Queens face up on the Flop, and just the mere fact that I'm a girl that hadn't played a hand for about 2 orbits, I figured I could make a play with in hijack position to steal the dead money in the pot (there were 4 limpers plus the blinds and a straddle).
It almost worked. All but two players folded to my 5x raise (a total of $30). Now, for those of you don't know me...I hate raising big!!! I prefer small raises, between 2.5x and 3x max, but at the $2-3 NLH game at The Bike, a 4x to 5x raise is a pretty standard raise...and is often called by the less savvy players at the table holding inferior hands hoping to get lucky under the guise of "pot odds." I literally only raised 5x two times prior and both of those times I showed pocket Queens (after losing the first time, I played those evil little witches aggressively, pre-flop.)
The Flop was Jack-high with a Nine on board, giving me a gut-shot straight draw. One player checked and the second player bet $40. I considered re-raising to further convince him that a Jack was no good and pulled out a $100 stack. I counted it out while I pondered my options...then quietly announced, "call..." gazing at the person who had checked the Flop, represent that I wanted him to, "come on in, the waters fine." However, he chose to fold and the remaining player and I went to the Turn, heads-up. My goal was to simply call the flop and then aggressively bet the Turn.
The Turn was so insignificant, I don't remember what it was. My opponent checked to me and I began counting out chips to bet. While I was counting out my bet, I reconsidered my plan an thought of checking for a free card to keep the pot small, but my original game plan going into the hand was to represent that I had a big pair. It simply would not have made any sense to check the Turn there and I believed I could end the hand with the right sized bet. I thought about the range of hands he would have called my pre-flop raise with and, although I had put him on when he lead out on the flop, maybe my opponent had been set-mining with an underpair and checked to me after realizing his feeler bet on the flop didn't win him the pot or, even better, he believed my story and decided that his Jack was no good and gave up after not turning two pair. I knew that if I checked the turn and failed to connect my Queen, King or catch a Ten on the River, that I was not going to win. The pot was about $140 so I bet out $80. I figured he'd see a half-pot sized bet as a value bet, which it kinda was.
I arrived at the number $80 based on my desire to either 1) get great value should he want to continue fishing for a set with an underpair when he's already made the decision to fold if he misses, 2) control the pot size should he in fact have and is too stubborn to fold - believing that I still had outs to the 10 and two overs to the Jack, or 3) value to fold should my opponent ship-it all in over the top of my bet. He had started the hand with about $500 and while I was willing to invest $80 to try to win the $140 in the middle, I certainly was in no mood to play for stacks with a gut-shot. He hardly gave it any thought and flat called the $80 bet.
Well, clearly he did not believe that I had him beat. In fact, when he smooth called my Turn bet I had to give him credit for a big hand, and it seemed plausible that he could have had a set of Jacks or set of Nines and was just slow playing me. After all, I had seen him crack Queens an hour earlier with pocket Jacks when he flopped a boat and he played that hand exactly how he was playing this hand. As the dealer reached for the deck to deal the River card, I had pretty much convinced myself that unless a 10 came, I was done with the hand because there was no way I was going to succeed in bluffing the River.
Well guess what? I binked the on the River! I know, I know...lucky donk. Not only did I hit my straight, it was a total rainbow-unpaired board. I had the stone cold nuts right there. I knew I wanted maximum value for my hand but I was afraid that, unless he had a set, he would fold to a big River bet if he put me on Queens or better. I decided that $120 was a bet he could not fold to if he had a pair of Jacks and would at least min-raise back at me if he had a set. After pushing my bet forward, he leaned back in his chair and hung one arm over the backrest. "Dammit," I thought, "He's going to fold." But, how wrong was I?!?!? He looked me dead in the eyes and said, "Well, guess I'm all in then." I looked to the dealer to see if it was binding and when he tossed the all-chip in front of my opponent I assertively said, "I call."
I totally expected him to turn over a set of Jacks...or at least . Again, how wrong was I?!?!? He proudly turned over and I showed him my . My neighbor to my right, tapped the felt and said, "Well played, I thought for sure you had Aces there." The third person in the hand nodded and said he folded on the flop believing I had Queens. I have to be honest, I was in a state of shock and utterly flabbergasted that my opponent invested over $500 on a naked Jack. What was even more incredulous was the fact that, after overcoming his initial shock of not having the best hand, he went ballistic and began berating me as the dealer pushed all of his chips my way.
He asked me if I knew what my odds where to hit the gut-shot and told me I was a donkey for calling him down with such a shitty hand. I admit that I got defensive and tried to educate him about the theory behind my play. I explained that, as the initial pre-flop raiser, I had intended to represent a big pair from the very outset of the hand and smooth called his $40 bet on the flop with every intention of making an aggressive play on the Turn. He told me that I'm an absolute horrible player - the worst he's ever seen - and that he hoped I frequent The Bike often because the next time he sees me, he's going to school me. Calmly, I tried to clarify that I raised with the best hand pre-flop and simply attempted to continued to represent a better hand in my bid to win the pot... the straight draw was inconsequential until he called my bet on the turn. I even let him know that had he shoved over the top of me on the Turn, he would have absolutely won the pot right there and then.
The dealer asked if he wanted more chips and he declined in a very rude manner. He stood up and the dealer called out, "Seat open." But I my opponent was not quite finished giving me a piece of his mind. He stood behind the dealer and proceeded to tell me that he deserved all my chips and that if I hadn't been such a lucky donkey he would have my entire stack sitting in front of him. I agreed that I had gotten lucky on the River, but disagreed that I would have shipped my entire stack to him - even if I had paired my King or Queen because I had given him credit for a set of Jacks when he smoothed called on the Turn. But, he didn't hear a word I said. Instead he continued to go on and on and on about what a donkey I was to chase a gut-shot and that I'm too stupid to know what my odds to win the pot were with just three outs. He then informed me he has plans to get his money back and more, the next time he sees me. Not knowing what else to say, I told him that I'm at The Bike every Friday, pointed to the Live at the Bike set, and said, "I'll be right over there."
He continued yelling obscenities at me and I was just about to call a Floorman when the gentleman to my right, clasped my hand. He looked at me and said that I had played the entire night exceptionally well; I did not need to explain myself to that angry man. He said that from the outset of the hand, I made all the right moves to win it. I played it well and got the result I wanted and I should be proud of my game regardless of what anybody says. I took a deep breath, looked around at the faces at the table, they all had gentle expressions for me and a regular player who was seated to my left nodded in agreement. I motioned to the dealer to start dealing again, not saying another word about he incident. He walked away and I played for another hour, made another $200, then called it quits.
So, what do you think?
Source: ConfessionsofaPokerProWannabe. com