Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Las Vegas: Day 3

I promised myself that I'd play a long session yesterday, and while I reached that goal, unfortunately it was with the caveat of losing like 3-4 buyins.

I can sum up the answer to my problems with one sentence: stop bluffing and start value betting thinner. I made what I think would be very effective bluffs in a typical 1/2 online game where people can hand read and potentially fold marginal and weak hands, but live is a different story.

Zach, Sean and I started the day by heading over to caesar's for breakfast again, and decided to meet Jason at Binion's. The card room turned out to be pretty dead. We checked out the Golden Nugget across the street, but it was just as bad. So Zach and I headed back to the strip to hit up the Venetian while Sean and Jason went to Treasure Island I think?

Zach and I went to our separate tables and managed not to find each other by the end of the day. I sat down at a table with like 5 hilarious danish guys who seemed to have pretty good knowledge of the game but were just there for fun; straddling and chasing and goofing around. Unfortunately I ended up OOP against the loosest of the bunch who was also sitting with the shortest stack at like $100. He foiled several hands of mine where he donked into me, leaving half his stack left and stuff like that. I thought about leaving for another table, but the rest of the players were bad enough that I thought it was a pretty +EV table.

Yesterday saw me lose quite a bit, and while I'll review some hands here, the solution was simply to play tighter and value bet the hell out of these guys.

I opened J2s (mistake one) in MP and got a call from one of the Danes who had position on me. Flop came QQ5ss, no flush draw for me, and he flatted my cbet. Could be Qx, a flush draw, but more likely I thought 22-44 and 66-99. Really hate my turn/river play here, but I double barreled a offsuit 6 turn, he called, then I check-folded a 5 river. What I really like in spots like those is betting really small, especially if you weight his range more heavily towards draws. We get an insane price on our bluff and these guys think well enough to realize it looks like I'm going for thin value. Anyways I really hated my play because he's rarely slowplaying a Q there unless he's boated up (live players are terrified of FDs because most other live players love to play suited cards), so he's more likely to be on a draw, and since the only real draws he can call with are Axss and 6xss, I feel like I get tons of folds with even like a 1/4 pot or 1/3 pot bet.

A short-ish player sat down behind me and there were a couple hands I played against him. He seemed tight but ended up being really weak.

One hand I opened 77, he flatted. Flop is 874 and I bet big, he flats. Turn is a Q and I bet huge, trying to rep a double barrel, he thinks and calls. River is a T and I stick him in for less than pot, he folds. I ask if he had 9s, he doesn't answer but asks if I had AQ (so he must have had 8x/99/9T/some other crappy pair).

Another hand I open 97 in LP, he flats from the blinds, and we end up stacking his ~$60 stack on a T97 board. I improve to a FH, he says I sucked out. Yay!

Only goes downhill from there though.

Another one of the Danes opens in EP, gets two loose callers, and it's on me in the BB with JJ. EP Dane at first seemed like a nit, but opened up like crazy later on and at this point I thought he would call any pocket pair to a squeeze, and tons of big card hands like KQ/AJ/other random shit, and obviously jam some better hands. I squeeze his $10 open to $37, he gives the stare and asks how much I have, and shoves. He either outleveled me or is one level below what I expected him to be (just showing strength when he's strong), but he did win the pot with QQ. Thought my read was right, didn't mind the stack, but it was disappointing.

Few hands later, a bunch of limpers in EP, LP tag bumps it up to like $14, I call with 33 from the blinds to get calls behind, everyone calls. Flop comes A35 with a flush draw, I end up check-raising the preflop raiser who folded. HATED my check-raise. It was pretty much a textbook spot for a lead to trap all the weak limper's calls in between, hope the tag raises AJ+, then get in a big reraise. Hate hate hate my c/r there. Lesson on that hand is to slow down with your decisions. As soon as I checked I regretted it.

A couple more hands here, both of which I played horribly, and both of which I got punished for.

Old fart sits down across the table from me and has been doing weird shit like baluga'ing Q9 on T965 and rivering trips (not against me). He limps utg, I iso J6s, everyone else folds. Flop comes 854ss, no FD for me, I cbet, he c/c. I raised enough pf and on the flop that the pot was pretty big on the turn. K drops on the turn, perfect barrel card even though he's still chasing some draws, and I double barrel fairly big. He thinks a bit and calls. River comes a 6, and I end up checking back. I reeeally thought about betting river, but I thought "I'm actually beating most busted FDs (except Kxss/bigger 6xss), he's never folding two pairs (56/86/K6/etc), and a 7 is a pretty big part of his range as well". He flips over A8o and takes it down. Getting frustrated at this point and decide to leave fairly soon.

A few hands later I get my cue. New guy to my left who I remember flatting QJ pf, calling a cbet on AK2, and checking it down calls my LP raise with A7o (which I hated too btw; tilt showing). I cbet T85, he calls after some thought. I put him on any pair, some random overs, most straight draws, and the rare monster. Turn comes a J putting a flush draw on board. I double barrel big, he thinks long then calls again. River comes a Q and I decide to jam for nearly pot. He thinks forever and ends up calling with AQ. "Good luck guys", and I stand up and leave.

So like I said, in summary: value bet more thinly, and stop bluffing with air.

I grab my beer and head out to the strip (oh yeah, drink anywhere outside in Vegas btw :). I take a nice walk, cool off and decide to head back to my hotel after getting disconnected from Zach and not knowing where everyone is. I end up getting a couple messages that everyone's at the MGM having drinks and that they're about to play poker on Joe's last night in town, so I head on over there. I can't find them or get a hold of Debi (she never picks up her phone :p), and start to head over to the food court area to grab some eats, but bump right into her and Joe. Looks like everyone headed over to the Sahara to play some tourney at 11pm, but it's already started and I'm pooped, so I say goodbye to Joe (very nice, classy guy and it was a pleasure meeting you Joe :), grab some food, some more cash for the next few days and head back to my hotel to pass out.

I feel pretty rested today and ready for more poker, but dammit yesterday was dissapointing. I think my goals for the next while will be to make sure I've got good position at the table and to quit or find a new table if I don't like it. There was definitely an element of chasing losses yesterday and I'm really not happy with myself. I think the thing with live poker is that you're usually at some really loose table, and considering it's full, 10-handed, ring, you simply have to play super tight and get it in good. I mean isolating a single limper with any broadway is fine, but usually there are like 3-4 limpers, or a raise and a couple callers, and you just can't get carried away with trying to push them off a flopped top pair or something.

I'll be back at it today. Took out some more cash last night and will be hitting up the tables once more. Maybe back to the MGM, but the Venetian was pretty juicy. Just have to play more sensibly.


Anonymous said...

Keep thinking, "I'm playing $10nl FR"


ChuckTs said...

hahah, yeah that could work.

lightning36 said...

Was this $1/2 NL? No one ever folds in Las Vegas. lol

Jurn8 said...

Sounds like your having an awesome time dude! Hope the poker goes well and you adapt to the poor standard of play which I am sure you will. I'll keep reading.