Thursday, January 25, 2007

Paranoia

There are quite a few things in poker that I am quite paranoid of. First and foremost, someone flopping a set when I have a pocket pair. 2nd, that my play is too predictable. Which leads to my 3rd... that I'm a weak tight player instead of a tight aggressive player. So what does this all mean? Well, I guess this post will be about me confronting my weaknesses. But before that, let me explain how the above paranoia could affect my play.

My first paranoia... starts when I'm dealt QQ or KK where I feel like I cannot lay these down. In reality, I can, and I have but I think any player knows the general feeling. You've been playing tight, solid poker, occasionally stealing blinds but not getting out of line and you're finally rewarded with pocket kings. It's been an active table and even though you have the bankroll for it, when the pot becomes big, it's enough to make you nervous. And finally, you're rewarded with KK. Except you're under the gun. And there are some tricky players behind you. But you want to protect your hand and not let these players limp in so you raise it to 3.5x the blinds. You get one caller who's a typical player at these stakes. Relatively tight preflop (so he won't call your raise with like 7-3 suited) but fairly aggressive after the flop and showing down relatively decent hands on occasions he had to show. Flop comes 7-5-2. You bet 3/4 of the pot because that's what you always do. He pops you back the minimum. What do you think? Well, this is what I think. Sh*t! Did he flop a set? Is he now doing the minimum raise to sucker me in? I've been playing fairly well, I'm up about a $100 and I really don't need to lose my entire stack on this hand if he has a set. Honestly, that's how I think. What are the chances that someone with a pocket pair flops a set? 1/8. When I have a large pocket pair, I feel like it's more like 5/8. Paranoid? Very. And sometimes, I do wonder if I fold a little too often.

2nd paranoia. That I am too predictable. I feel like I'm almost like a robot. I raise with good hands, I raise from late position with more hands than I do in early position and I check if I completely miss and I'm in early position, bet if it's checked to me. Poker is a game of reading people? Hell, sometimes I feel like I'm in autopilot. How does that affect me? Well, it has the adverse effect when I start trying to make up for it. This is how my thought process goes. "Hmmm, I've been playing tight, solid ABC poker for a while. I'm starting to get too predictable because people are folding preflop whenever I raise so I get no action with my good hands. I need to start opening things up." Next thing I know, I'm involved in big pots where I have like 8-9 of clubs, but the board is like A-9-4 with no clubs. I push too hard and somehow I find myself donking away a significant amount of money in a pot that I had no business being in to begin with.

3rd. That I am a weak tight player and not a tight aggressive player. The above two paranoia starts playing into my mind and so I might be more prone to check calling with big pairs, letting someone catch up to me or I'm folding too many hands on the flop. So, what do I do? Well, how else to make up for it but by turning up the aggression. But sometimes, I just forget that poker is a game where you have to let the game come to you and not the other way around. At least not for me. I'm not an aggressive player by nature. I think everyone has a different comfort level of aggression and you just have to find your own and go from there. Well, I turn it up to the point where I'm totally uncomfortable with my aggression. And when I look back, I'm probably uncomfortable with it because it's an idiot aggression. It's one thing if it's under control and you're sensing weakness. It's another thing to push on a draw into a guy who has pocket aces. In other words, semibluffs are good if there's a chance (and you KNOW that there's a chance) that the guy will fold. If you know he will call you every time, a semibluff is what it is. A bluff. You're the underdog so more often than not, you will lose. During my phase of idiot aggression, I forget that and I push too hard.

The end result of all that above is that I look like a total donkey, I lose in one day, what I've built up over a week or two and have to go back at it again. Is paranoia normal? What are you most paranoid of at the poker table? And below, I put down two YMTC's for fun since it's been a while since I last posted. The results for both are at the very bottom of the page. They are both from $2/$4 NL, I started with $400 at the table.

YMTC #1

Full Tilt Poker Game #1671588767: Table Brooks - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 2007/01/25 (partial)
Seat 1: mektin ($426.40)
Seat 2: markh59 ($400), is sitting out
Seat 3: ducks247 ($327.40)
Seat 4: RecessRampage ($300.80)
Seat 5: loloPOZZEDu ($558.20)
Seat 6: dglebo ($1,069.40)
Seat 7: JoeyWorld ($282)
Seat 8: LittleStumpy ($75)
Seat 9: Oreily ($492.50)
Oreily posts the small blind of $2
mektin posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qc Qh]
ducks247 raises to $8
RecessRampage raises to $16
loloPOZZEDu calls $16
dglebo raises to $100
JoeyWorld folds
LittleStumpy folds
Oreily folds
mektin folds
ducks247 calls $92

What would you do? One thing to add here though is that dglebo is very aggressive both pre and post flop. But, whenever he had to showdown hands, he's always had a very good hand (ie, AA, KK, QQ, AK, etc). So again, what would you do?

What would you do different if you knew the flop was gonna be lower than your Q? Would you do anything different? Also keep in mind that if you check, dglebo will bet the pot amount. In other words, he will put you to the test. What would you do?


YMTC #2

FullTiltPoker Game #1680528600: Table Wetlands Park - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 11:50:22 ET - 2007/01/27
Seat 1: ZidorSkaya ($673.60)
Seat 2: Jockeyslut ($394.70)
Seat 3: souperman3211 ($499)
Seat 4: Acudad ($350)
Seat 5: trojjan99 ($384)
Seat 6: VegasDan21 ($446.20)
Seat 7: hayewe ($149.90)
Seat 8: RecessRampage ($500)
Seat 9: Joe Beevers ($400), is sitting out (btw, apparently, he's a professional - never heard of him but his name is in red to indicate he's a poker pro with some big tourney win)

hayewe posts the small blind of $2
RecessRampage posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Kd Ks]
ZidorSkaya folds
Jockeyslut folds
souperman3211 folds
Acudad calls $4
trojjan99 folds
VegasDan21 calls $4
hayewe folds
RecessRampage raises to $18
Acudad calls $14
VegasDan21 folds
*** FLOP *** [7d 5d 2h]
RecessRampage bets $30
Acudad raises to $60
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage calls $30
*** TURN *** [7d 5d 2h] [4d]
RecessRampage checks
Acudad bets $162

The $162 bet is a pot sized bet. What would you do? What would you have done differently leading up to this point, if anything? (Playing at lower stakes doesn't count as an answer though that might be a very legit response). Trust me, if you think I make enough to not care about a $160 bet, you're wrong. This amount makes me ridiculously nervous.



YMTC #1 - here's what I did. (this was the QQ hand)

RecessRampage raises to $300.80, and is all in
loloPOZZEDu folds
dglebo calls $200.80
ducks247 calls $200.80
*** FLOP *** [Th Ts 3h]
ducks247 checks
dglebo checks
*** TURN *** [Th Ts 3h] [6c]
ducks247 checks
dglebo checks
*** RIVER *** [Th Ts 3h 6c] [8d]
ducks247 checks
dglebo checks
*** SHOW DOWN ***
RecessRampage shows [Qc Qh] (two pair, Queens and Tens)
dglebo shows [As Kd] (a pair of Tens)
ducks247 mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($921.40) with two pair, Queens and Tens
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $924.40 Rake $3
Board: [Th Ts 3h 6c 8d]
Seat 1: mektin (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 2: markh59 is sitting out
Seat 3: ducks247 mucked [Ac Js] - a pair of Tens
Seat 4: RecessRampage showed [Qc Qh] and won ($921.40) with two pair, Queens and Tens
Seat 5: loloPOZZEDu folded before the Flop
Seat 6: dglebo showed [As Kd] and lost with a pair of Tens
Seat 7: JoeyWorld didn't bet (folded)
Seat 8: LittleStumpy (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: Oreily (small blind) folded before the Flop

Why did I do it? Because I wasn't sure that I could outplay dglebo on the flop if a card higher than a Q came. My read was that ducks probably had a lower pocket pair so at the very least, I just wanted to get dglebo off the hand in case he was playing like AK aggressively. At this point, I felt that if he had AA or KK, then I guess I'm screwed. But I knew he was a better player and I didn't want to give him the opportunity to outplay me on the flop.


YMTC #2 - Here's what I did.

I said, my paranoia is weak and I'm gonna fight this one. If he has a set, good for him. At least my K is a diamond so I have outs...

RecessRampage raises to $324
Acudad calls $110, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Kd Ks]
Acudad shows [6h 6d]
Uncalled bet of $52 returned to RecessRampage
*** RIVER *** [7d 5d 2h 4d] [Tc]
RecessRampage shows a pair of Kings
Acudad shows a pair of Sixes
RecessRampage wins the pot ($703) with a pair of Kings
Acudad is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***Total pot $706 Rake $3
Board: [7d 5d 2h 4d Tc]
Seat 1: ZidorSkaya didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: Jockeyslut didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: souperman3211 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: Acudad showed [6h 6d] and lost with a pair of Sixes
Seat 5: trojjan99 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: VegasDan21 (button) folded before the Flop
Seat 7: hayewe (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 8: RecessRampage (big blind) showed [Kd Ks] and won ($703) with a pair of Kings
Seat 9: Joe Beevers is sitting out


One last thought... what did you think of the play by Acudad? Was it a bad play or a good play? I mean forget the results for a second but if he put me on overcards, he knows that flop didn't help me. Should he have bet more on the flop? Or did he read my weakness correctly? Only misread being that my weakness generally comes from my paranoia and not necessarily my cards...

1 comment:

Sia said...

I don't think Acudad played the hand poorly but I do think that his post flop raise wasn't high enough. I think he could have received more information if, instead of doubling your 30 dollar bet....he bumped it up to 75 or so. That would have given him a better indication of how strong you were. Nice take downs.