Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The ignorant straight

In hold'em, you have to be wary of backing the ignorant end of a straight. That is, you shouldn't bet too heavily when you've made the low end, since an opponent might well have made the high end. In stud, there's no such thing as a low end or a high end to straights, since there are no community cards. If you've made a straight, what you have to be wary of is an opponent having made a completely separate, better straight. In such a case, your whole straight is ignorant; just call it the ignorant straight :-) Last night, when I had made it almost all the way back into the black, I made an ignorant straight on seventh street. Blinded by my zeal to return to profitability, I confess I didn't even check to see what my opponent's up cards were; I simply "knew" my hand would win. Sheer folly! My opponent had made a better straight on sixth street. I had no business raising on seventh, but did anyway. I've now fallen from the lapis ratio in stud to the platinum ratio. I have a strong hunch I won't be able to get back to lapis, so I'll aim for maintaining platinum.

During current Stud session you were dealt 104 hands and:
- saw fourth street 84 times (80%)
- saw fifth street 73 times (70%)
- saw sixth street 63 times (60%)
- reached showdown 32 times (30%)
 Pots won at showdown - 9 of 32 (28%)
 Pots won without showdown - 5

delta: $-16,691
cash game 7 card stud balance: $80,216
balance: $10,165,950

Monday, July 28, 2014

Twelved

On Saturday night, I got twelved. That is, on the final hand of the session, my hand was beaten on seventh street by a 12 percent underdog. To be precise, it was an 11.92 percent underdog. I wasn't all in, but didn't realize that I wasn't, and quit since I didn't feel like reupping. It's very possible I set a personal best for the largest percentage of starting stack lost without hitting the felt; I'll check this out sometime.

During current Stud session you were dealt 87 hands and:
- saw fourth street 75 times (86%)
- saw fifth street 65 times (74%)
- saw sixth street 50 times (57%)
- reached showdown 19 times (21%)
 Pots won at showdown - 6 of 19 (31%)
 Pots won without showdown - 12

delta: $-39,780
cash game 7 card stud balance: $96,907
balance: $10,182,641

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The 39 steps

Last night, my session lasted 39 hands. If you think of each hand as a partial conclusion, you could say that my session consisted of 39 steps. Of course, "The 39 Steps" is the name of a classic Hitchcock movie. I got curious to see how well I've done in my career in 39 hand sessions. Here are the results:

+-------+--------------------+
| delta | poker_session_date |
+-------+--------------------+
|  2000 | 2010-10-21         |
| -6000 | 2011-02-23         |
| 19926 | 2013-01-17         |
|  8452 | 2013-02-19         |
| 15555 | 2013-03-31         |
| 40115 | 2013-08-09         |
|  7403 | 2013-08-28         |
| 21160 | 2014-07-25         |
+-------+--------------------+


Of course, these results can't be repeated simply by playing 39 hands and then quitting; they can only be repeated by playing the right 39 hands and then quitting :-) When you play the wrong 39 hands, there's no sense in quitting at that moment.

During current Stud session you were dealt 39 hands and:
- saw fourth street 30 times (76%)
- saw fifth street 23 times (58%)
- saw sixth street 18 times (46%)
- reached showdown 7 times (17%)
 Pots won at showdown - 5 of 7 (71%)
 Pots won without showdown - 2

delta: $21,160
cash game 7 card stud balance: $136,687
balance: $10,222,421

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lucky 13

Imagine my surprise when I discovered this is actually the fourth time I've used this blog post title. I knew I'd used it before, but three times? Get outa here! Here's the skinny on my 13 hand cash game sessions:

+--------+--------------------+
| delta  | poker_session_date |
+--------+--------------------+
|  11500 | 2010-10-05         |
|   1140 | 2011-03-03         |
| -40000 | 2012-11-26         |
|  53999 | 2013-04-19         |
|  47456 | 2014-01-02         |
|  11313 | 2014-07-24         |
+--------+--------------------+


I've come to the conclusion that 7 card stud has a different, and lower, profit sweet spot from that of no limit hold'em. The profit sweet spot of no limit hold'em, in my opinion, is half your starting stack. My experience so far in stud is telling me that the profit sweet spot of stud is one quarter of your starting stack. That's what I achieved last night.

During current Stud session you were dealt 13 hands and:
- saw fourth street 8 times (61%)
- saw fifth street 8 times (61%)
- saw sixth street 7 times (53%)
- reached showdown 5 times (38%)
 Pots won at showdown - 2 of 5 (40%)
 Pots won without showdown - 3

delta: $11,313
cash game 7 card stud balance: $115,527
balance: $10,201,261

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blue percentage

In poker, I like all things blue. The gold standard of blueness is blue percentage. That's the percentage of your sessions where you ended up in the blue (i.e. when your balance hit a new all-time high). My blue percentage in cash game sessions is 23.33 (283 of 1213). My blue percentage in cash game no limit holdem sessions is 28.94 (211 of 729). My blue percentage in cash game 7 card stud sessions is a whopping 55.17 (16 of 29). Is it any wonder I'm loving stud?

During current Stud session you were dealt 16 hands and:
- saw fourth street 12 times (75%)
- saw fifth street 9 times (56%)
- saw sixth street 7 times (43%)
- reached showdown 3 times (18%)
 Pots won at showdown - 2 of 3 (66%)
 Pots won without showdown - 0

delta: $12,400
cash game 7 card stud balance: $104,214
balance: $10,189,948

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The high chaparral

This is the second time I've used this blog post title. The first time, the context was sit and gos. What I mean by the high chaparral in a cash game context is the number of positive deltas at the top of the list of a session's hand deltas, when this list has been sorted in descending order by absolute value. In general, the higher this number is, the better. In 662 sessions of cash game no limit hold'em for which I have the hand histories, the highest high chaparral number I ever achieved was 11. In 14 sessions of limit 7 card stud for which I have the hand histories, the highest high chaparral number I've achieved so far is 9, which I did last night. I haven't had a high chaparral number of 0 yet in 7 card stud; in hold'em, I had a monstrous 176 sessions with a high chaparral number of 0. If you want to make slow steady money, stud is definitely the right game to play :-)

During current Stud session you were dealt 89 hands and:
- saw fourth street 60 times (67%)
- saw fifth street 51 times (57%)
- saw sixth street 36 times (40%)
- reached showdown 19 times (21%)
 Pots won at showdown - 9 of 19 (47%)
 Pots won without showdown - 1

delta: $9,400
cash game 7 card stud balance: $91,814
balance: $10,177,548

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First miniature in 6 months

In chess, a miniature is a short game which demonstrates the brilliance of one of the players. In poker, a miniature is a short session which demonstrates both the skill and the luck of one of the players. For the purposes of this discussion, I'll define a poker miniature as a session of 10 hands or less. Last night, I had my first miniature in 6 months. For the record, I've now earned a cool $1,531,408 in 46 poker miniatures.

During current Stud session you were dealt 10 hands and:
- saw fourth street 9 times (90%)
- saw fifth street 7 times (70%)
- saw sixth street 5 times (50%)
- reached showdown 2 times (20%)
 Pots won at showdown - 2 of 2 (100%)
 Pots won without showdown - 2

delta: $20,864
cash game 7 card stud balance: $82,414
balance: $10,168,148