Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Second biggest cowboy laydown

The most memorable hand I played last night was not a hand I won. Nor was it a hand I lost. Rather, it was a hand I laid down, after spending a considerable amount of money on it. I'd been dealt pocket kings, also known as cowboys, and I spent $18,892 on them before letting them hit the trail. That made it the second biggest cowboy laydown of my career; the only bigger one occurred on June 11, 2013, when I spent $27,000 on cowboys before laying them down.

Since two players went to showdown on last night's hand, I was able to find out if I would have won the pot. As it turns out, I would have; the winner tabled a pair of queens. However, his betting pattern made folding the wise choice, and I don't regret it.

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 73 hands and saw flop:
 - 8 out of 9 times while in big blind (88%)
 - 5 out of 10 times while in small blind (50%)
 - 26 out of 54 times in other positions (48%)
 - a total of 39 out of 73 (53%)
 Pots won at showdown - 4 of 9 (44%)
 Pots won without showdown - 10

delta: $1,908
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $5,844,502
balance: $8,902,205

Monday, April 21, 2014

Best cash game rebound ever

Over time, I've changed my mind several times about what constitutes a true poker rebound. I think I've now settled on a definition. A true poker rebound occurs at the session level, not at the individual hand level; there's too much variance at the individual hand level. A true poker rebound only considers two numbers, which are consecutive session deltas. The first one must be negative, and the second one must be positive. Finally, the amount of the rebound is the lesser of the absolute values of the two deltas.

Using this definition, I had my best cash game rebound ever on Friday night. Here are my top ten:

2014-04-18     100363
2012-12-22      79880
2012-02-15      75100
2011-11-24      70500
2011-04-22      66980
2012-06-23      58644
2013-11-15      57050
2013-05-21      52776
2011-06-22      50600
2013-12-04      50000


During current Hold'em session you were dealt 33 hands and saw flop:
 - 2 out of 3 times while in big blind (66%)
 - 3 out of 5 times while in small blind (60%)
 - 14 out of 25 times in other positions (56%)
 - a total of 19 out of 33 (57%)
 Pots won at showdown - 4 of 6 (66%)
 Pots won without showdown - 1

delta: $100,363
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $5,842,594
balance: $8,900,297

Friday, April 18, 2014

Paper lion

Tonight's blog post title is appropriated from the excellent book by George Plimpton, made into an excellent movie starring Alan Alda. Last night, I was a lion on paper, but a lamb in reality. I didn't win a single pot. Here are the lowlights of my woeful session:

- on hand 19, I lost $39,363 to hit the felt for the first time when my pair of kings with a ten kicker got beaten by a pair of kings with an ace kicker

- on hand 22, I lost $17,500 when my three of a kind, fives lost to a nine high straight

- on hand 30, I lost $22,527 to hit the felt for the second time when my jack high straight lost to a queen high straight

-on hand 32, I lost $49,750 to hit the felt for the third and final time when my ace high straight lost to an ace high flush

Why do I claim I was a lion on paper? For the simple reason that I was a heavy favorite in my "percent at river" statistic; that's the percentage of the time I should win with my hand in combination with the board. Here are the "percent at river" numbers:

- hand 19: 83.94%
- hand 22: 95.86%
- hand 30: 71.01%
- hand 32: 83.33%

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 32 hands and saw flop:
 - 3 out of 5 times while in big blind (60%)
 - 1 out of 3 times while in small blind (33%)
 - 10 out of 24 times in other positions (41%)
 - a total of 14 out of 32 (43%)
 Pots won at showdown - 0 of 6 (0%)
 Pots won without showdown - 0

delta: $-150,000
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $5,742,231
balance: $8,799,934

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Going out on top

In the cash game, it's important to know when to leave the table. You have the option to do so at any time, but the trick is in picking the right time. It's always nice to go out on top, but you don't want to leave too early if there's more money to be made. Also, no matter how much you may have won, it's dissatisfying to leave when you feel like you've just begun. A big part of the reason to play is for the sheer enjoyment of it, and it's hard to enjoy something if you don't allow yourself enough time to enjoy it properly.

Last night, I left at the perfect time. I'd had a reasonably long session, and had just brought my stack back up to the high water mark I'd set about a dozen hands before. I didn't have a perfect "quit signal" hand, which for me is any hand with a deuce or a three in it, but it was close enough for government work :-)

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 64 hands and saw flop:
 - 7 out of 9 times while in big blind (77%)
 - 4 out of 8 times while in small blind (50%)
 - 23 out of 47 times in other positions (48%)
 - a total of 34 out of 64 (53%)
 Pots won at showdown - 2 of 6 (33%)
 Pots won without showdown - 5

delta: $25,589
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $5,892,231
balance: $8,949,934

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nearing my first AKo play million

When I first started playing online poker, my goal of winning a million play dollars seemed quite audacious. I had no guarantee that I'd be able to do it, just a gut feeling. Five and a half years later, I've achieved goals I never thought to set, and am very close to achieving others. For example, I've now won 1,742,909 play dollars with a single hand type. Granted, that hand type is pocket aces, but still :-)

Last night, on hand 38, I won a pot worth $101,307 with AKo, also known as ace king offsuit. $58,115 of that was o.p.m. (other people's money). That brought my career AKo winnings up to $946,941. Given that AKo is just one of 169 possible starting hold'em hands, that's not too shabby!

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 47 hands and saw flop:
 - 7 out of 7 times while in big blind (100%)
 - 3 out of 6 times while in small blind (50%)
 - 13 out of 34 times in other positions (38%)
 - a total of 23 out of 47 (48%)
 Pots won at showdown - 4 of 9 (44%)
 Pots won without showdown - 3

delta: $77,438
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $5,866,642
balance: $8,924,345

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Getting it in bad but not awful

Poker players always like to get it in good. However, that's not always possible. The next best thing is to get it in bad but not awful :-) That's what I did last night on hand 43. I was dealt 9d 9c, and the flop came 2c 6d 7h. I got into a raising war with an opponent, and ended up going all in. My opponent, who'd been dealt 6h 2d, called. I was a 28.69% dog, and hit the felt. I didn't feel bad about it, though; I'd made the right play. I reupped for the max, and finally got back into the black on hand 105.

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 106 hands and saw flop:
 - 12 out of 15 times while in big blind (80%)
 - 10 out of 16 times while in small blind (62%)
 - 38 out of 75 times in other positions (50%)
 - a total of 60 out of 106 (56%)
 Pots won at showdown - 5 of 15 (33%)
 Pots won without showdown - 11

delta: $21,282
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $5,789,204
balance: $8,846,907

Monday, April 14, 2014

All in radar

On Saturday night, on the final hand of the session, I got it in good but came up short. I was dealt Ac Qd, and the flop came Qc 3h 2s. An opponent went all in, I called, and another opponent called behind me. I was a 75.30% favorite to win, but the opponent who'd called behind me, who'd been dealt Tc Qs, spiked a ten on the river. He raked in a huge pot worth $206,541.

Since I had two sessions in a row where I'd gone all in at the end, I decided to do some research related to my all ins. The results were both surprising and illuminating. Although I don't have the full hand histories for my no limit hold'em career, since I didn't turn on the feature which auto saves the hand histories until after I'd been playing no limit hold'em for some months, I do have a large percentage of them. The really interesting fact which emerged is that in no limit hold'em, I've only made a profit on the hands where I went all in. On the hands where I didn't go all in, I'm operating at a deficit. Here are the numbers:

$29,839,753  gross amount won on hands where I didn't go all in
$30,616,197  gross amount lost on hands where I didn't go all in
$  -776,444  net amount lost on hands where I didn't all in

$10,922,997  gross amount won on hands where I went all in
$ 5,184,969  gross amount lost on hands where I went all in
$ 5,738,028  net amount won on hands where I went all in

At first blush, one might think the answer is to spend less money on hands I'm not willing to go all in on, and/or go all in more often. Of course, there are at least two things glaringly wrong with that idea:

1. it confuses correlation and causation
2. poker doesn't work that way

What can be deduced from these numbers is that I have good all in radar; when I decide to go all in, I'm right significantly more often than not.

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 59 hands and saw flop:
 - 5 out of 6 times while in big blind (83%)
 - 7 out of 8 times while in small blind (87%)
 - 27 out of 45 times in other positions (60%)
 - a total of 39 out of 59 (66%)
 Pots won at showdown - 4 of 9 (44%)
 Pots won without showdown - 6

delta: $-50,000
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $5,767,922
balance: $8,825,625