Saturday, September 29, 2007

Preflop Raises

Let me start by saying this. I hate Phil Gordon. That doesn't mean I don't read his strategy posts like this one. But again, I don't like him, I don't respect him, and basically, I just think he's an idiot. Does that mean I think I'm a better poker player than he is? Well, obviously not. That doesn't mean I have to like the fool.

Anyways... on to the main purpose of this post. I was reading his strategy post and I thought this was interesting. The following is from Phil Gordon's post:

I like to size my pre-flop raises based on my position. A lot of inexperienced players raise based on the strength of their hands, but good players will pick up on this play before too long. If you always raise four times the big blind with pocket Aces, Kings, and Queens, but only three times with everything else, skilled opponents will notice these patterns and exploit them later on.

If, on the other hand, you always raise a predetermined amount based on your position, your holdings will be much better disguised. By adopting this strategy, it doesn't matter if you're holding pocket Aces or 7-8 off-suit (which is the kind of junk I highly recommend you don't play), your opponents will have a much harder time putting you on a hand after the flop. Cards aside, here's how I like to play before the flop:

From early position − including the blinds − raise two-and-a-half times the big blind. You are more susceptible to a re-raise from this position, so it's best not to risk too many chips. Still, this raise lets everyone know that you mean business.

From middle position, raise three times the big blind. Hopefully a couple of people will already have folded to you, so there's less chance of being re-raised. Hence, you can afford to make a stronger push and possibly steal the blinds.

From middle/late position, raise three-and-a-half times the big blind. You really want to encourage those last couple of players to fold so you can go heads up with the blinds or just steal them outright.

From the button, raise four times the big blind. You either want to steal the blinds or make it really expensive for them to re-raise you.

- END -

So, here's what I thought was interesting. I basically raise the exact same amount no matter what my holdings and what my position is because that's how I try to minimize my tell. So, if I have AA and I raise UTG, I basically click on bet pot in a cash game or I raise 3x the blinds in a tournament. If I'm on the button, in a cash game, I once again, click on bet pot and in a tournament I raise 3x the blinds + the BB per limpers.

But, I'm not arguing that the bet sizing is bad. Rather, I just found it interesting for him to advocate to raise less from EP and raise more in LP. Why? Well, in my thought, I'd rather do the opposite if I were to size my bets based on position. In other words, from UTG or UTG + 1, I want to raise 4x the BB. Why? Because I don't want too many callers. When you're raising from UTG, you don't want too many callers because more often than not, those who call your raises are going to have position on you. So, you want to discourage other callers. If you only raise it to 2.5x the BB, it's very likely that someone with an inferior hand calls... which could entice other players with far inferior hands (in terms of starting hand rank) to join. That might sound good on surface. You think, well, if they are inferior hands, I want them in there. Yeah... if you have AK, you don't mind someone calling your raise with KQ... but what if a KQ's call entices a guy with T9s limp and 68o... etc. In other words, next thing you know, you could end up with 4 or 5 players seeing the flop and you're either 1st or 2nd to act. Not an ideal situation to be in, even if you had AA.

Now, let's say you do the opposite of what the jerk off advocates. You raise more from UTG. And less from the button. Well, on the button, unless you're on a pure steal you don't mind a few callers because in the end, you are last to act. So, you can react based on other players' actions instead of acting first and facing a tough decision on every street. And for those that call your 4x BB from UTG, it's more likely they have some sort of a hand. As opposed to if it's 2.5x the BB, a player can easily call with inferior hands but with position and if you don't hit your hand, you have to act before anyone else. Again, not an ideal situation. If you just raise a little from the button, you're enticing one of the blinds to call AND you have position on everyone on every street.

Am I typing all this to say that Phil is wrong? No. I don't think there's a right answer on how to size your bets. All I'm saying is that it was interesting to note that that was Phil's take. You ask another pro and they will tell you something completely different. What about you? Do you size your bets based on position, based on your holdings, or are they all the same? I hope you are all having a great profitable weekend.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm a dork

EDIT: As soon as I wrote this, I decided to catch up on my blogroll and noticed that Mike, Sean, Astin, Waffles, etc are few of many, many that have taken this test already... apparently, not only am I a dork, I'm a little late to the party too. And btw, you guys are all geeks... super nerds.

I love it when I can just rip other people's ideas when I'm not in the mood to write anything. Thanks to Fuel and LJ (so far those are the only two that I've seen post their non-nerdiness). says I'm a Slightly Dorky Non-Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

So I'm a slightly dorky non-nerd. Good times.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Sometimes, I just have nothing to write about. There are couple of posts brewing in my head but I'm just not in the mood to talk poker right now... most likely because I've had a few emails/chats, etc discussing so many hands that I'm actually kinda discussioned out... yes, I realize that's not a real term but you get the idea. So then you think I could talk about fantasy football but I think I'm still bitter about the whole loss caused by Marc Bulger...

I could always talk about what I did last night but aside from trying to build the new legend on Pokerstars (which didn't go so well... minor setback) and donking away at the Mookie in an attempt to get a free banner, nothing special happened. I did give IT the idea of the shortstack Spooky so that should be fun. Halloween night, starting at midnight eastern, starting stack of 750, NL hold'em turbo 6 max. Yeah, that tournament should end in like 30 minutes. Perfect. Should be a fun time. Damn... I'm such a loser. The only plan I'm making as of right now on Halloween night (which is my favorite night) is to get online and play poker... with a bunch of other degenerates. Good stuff.

So Halloween... let me warn you... this post is going to be all over the place... possibly making it interesting for the nonpoker players who read this blog but could be extremely boring for the other degenerates looking for a hand history or something. So anyways... why is it my favorite? Well, isn't it everyone's. This is the night when all the girls dress up in attire that you generally fantasize in. Hot nurses, cheerleader outfits, etc... I mean good stuff. I remember seeing one girl dressed as a pirate... that was hot. In my younger, single days, I remember getting obliterated every Halloween... and loving every minute of it... or the brief memories that I was able to hang on to... Now I'm reduced to handing out candies to the kids in the neighborhood and firing up my computer after Mrs Recess goes to bed... For those of you planning on playing the Mookie, Dookie, and the Spooky (should I spell it with ie?), I think I'm just gonna play hammered... How else are you gonna play a shortstack turbo tournament????

I also heard Buddy talking about how he's actually gonna have a social life or some garbage. Come on dude... without the radio, how the hell are we supposed to entertain ourselves????

Damn... this post is starting to flame out... it's kind of a pity that I don't have much to write about when I'm not discussing hands from poker. So... I'm off to lunch. I'll do better tomorrow...

Monday, September 24, 2007

When it's not going your way, it doesn't matter what you do

Nothing like having a bad beat by Marc Bulger (I will take some blame in the fact that I benched Boldin and Bush). I shoulda benched Larry Johnson. But hindsight is 20/20. Oh, and remember how I wished Bulger gets injured? Well here's some good news.

From Fanball's newsbreakers:

"The news just keeps getting worse for the Rams. Head coach Scott Linehan told the media during his Monday press conference that Marc Bulger is playing through two broken ribs. He is not expected to miss any time, though."

And then there's this. You know, I flop a set, as usual. I play it right. I bet out. We get all our money in as a 90% favorite. But I had a bad feeling...

Full Tilt Poker Game #3663931846: Table Padre Field - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:38:15 ET - 2007/09/24

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Th Tc]
ArtieRufio31 folds
RecessRampage raises to $14
liveatbikebart folds
PoorNapoleon folds
RikaKazak folds
skaterboy1986 raises to $42 <--- from SB
yoyomama588 folds
RecessRampage calls $28

*** FLOP *** [Kh 9s Td] <--- trips! par for the course
skaterboy1986 checks
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act <--- only concern was KK
RecessRampage bets $65 <--- I bet flopped sets cuz I'm a man
skaterboy1986 raises to $130
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act <--- if he has KK, so be it
RecessRampage raises to $306.50, and is all in
skaterboy1986 calls $176.50
RecessRampage shows [Th Tc]
skaterboy1986 shows [Ad As] <--- HA!

*** TURN *** [Kh 9s Td] [Kc]
*** RIVER *** [Kh 9s Td Kc] [Ac] <--- FUCK!

RecessRampage shows a full house, Tens full of Kings
skaterboy1986 shows a full house, Aces full of Kings
skaterboy1986 wins the pot ($698) with a full house, Aces full of Kings
RecessRampage is sitting out

Hey Marc Bulger, you owe me $2k (FF rant)

I generally don't like to wish injury to other people. Having been an athlete myself and going through a torn ACL/MCL/meniscus, I know how devastating it is to get injured and everything you've built up to that point physically is almost reset and you have to work even harder to get back to where you were before the injury.

And yet, having said that, I seem to have anger management issues. And when someone causes something I don't like, I generally wish injury on them. The most vividly recalled memory would be that of Joe Nedney. Who, you might ask, is this Joe Nedney character? He is a kicker in the NFL... but more importantly, he was the kicker for the Tennessee Titans when he made the last second FG against my beloved Steelers to send us packing from the playoffs. It was such an emotional roller coaster because at first the Steelers blocked the kick... only to give them another chance because of a penalty... at which point Nedney converted his second chance... I remember wishing out loud that he breaks his leg... I believe the following year, he was out because of a knee injury... to tell you the truth, I kinda felt bad... Kinda...

Well, now, Mr Bulger, it's your turn. I hope you break your arm and you retire for good. Why am I so angry you might ask. Well, let's go back to the beginning of the season. Marc Bulger, heralded as a top 5 QB when healthy was... healthy. And then when the guy asks you why you wouldn't draft him like he does in the video below, how can you not???

Ok sir, I'm convinced. You are a good QB with a stud RB and old but good WRs. Maybe THIS is the year...

Well, in case you missed it, he had an amazing game last night. I believe this picture says it all.

Yep... I got -2 points... out of my QB. And lost... by 2... Now as of last night, I didn't know I was gonna lose but this shit put me on tilt. I mean the last time I saw negative points out of my starting QB was... oh yeah, last year when I put Wrecks Grossman in the starting line up and he single handedly cost me and the Bears the game. To top off my amazing evening, I managed to get stacked twice at a 5-10NL table. Nothing like taking a shot at a higher level and then tilting off your chips... I want to throw something right now... Now in my defense, the first stacking happened with AA against TT when he turned a set. The second stacking came when I was down to like $600 and and I jammed the remaining $350 or so of my stack on a A-A-x-x board. Only to be called by the AK... Amazing how shit like that could affect your confidence so quickly. At least I was able to do some damage control by being up two buy-ins at 2-4NL... but the difference between 2-4NL and 5-10NL is so big in terms of the swing...

So yeah, Marc, feel free to send the $2k my way. You suck. Your team sucks. Oh and just wait till week 16, Marc. I hope the Steelers pummel you to the ground so many times in that game that you would want to quit... just like David Carr who went to a team so that he could be a back up instead of a starter. I hope they beat you senseless.

On a positive note, my PS acct is now up to $400 and I cleared the bonus. I should play enough to at least also make it to the silver level (those of you with PS acct knows). Not bad considering I just opened my acct a week ago with $95. Admittedly, I was actually excited when I let myself move up to the $.50/1 NL level. Good times.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Another situation with AA

In my previous post, I asked the question about what you would do when you are faced with a raise on the flop while holding AA and you bet out on a Q high flop. One comment that was made was that I should fold because the opponent is tight. Now, for the purpose of this exercise, I really wanted to know what you would do if you didn't know anything about the opponent. And this is really a tough situation. But folding to a raise on the flop I think is too weak. I mean if you fold your AA on a Q high flop when there's a raiser, you're just gonna get run over. Now let's look at the other option. Calling. Calling is fine but what do you do in the following streets? This is one of my leaks but calling without a plan I think is disastrous. I mean are you now hoping for a scare card so that the pot size could be kept minimal? You are out of position and by calling, you remain out of position AND you give up control of the betting to the opponent. Now, if a blank hits and he bets the turn, what do you do? Call again? Let's say the river is a blank and he shoves, what do you do? Call? If you say fold, then I think that's even worse because a) you already failed in keeping the pot small, b) you never found out how strong your opponent might be (until you flip the cards of course), and c) you could easily be folding to a worse hand. And because you were calling, you never know where you stood and yet you still managed to lose your stack, if he has a better hand.

So, in general, I like the idea of reraising. However, that was the next tough dilemma. I wasn't sure how much to reraise. Why? Because once I reraise, I think I'm pot committed. Let's say I bump it up to $200 (the opponent's raise was up to $70). He smooth calls. Again, you don't have position and if you check and he shoves, would you fold? That seems tough to me. So, with those thoughts in mind, I donkishly shoved, hoping for a KK or KJs (OESD w flush draw) or something... instead, he had pocket tens, hit set on the flop and I got stacked.

Here's another example.

I'm at a 3-6NL full ring table, I have close to my full buy-in of $600 and those involved here have me covered.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [As Ad]
Krakerjacks folds
RazzleDaPhazzle raises to $21
CaHottie calls $21
jpaznstyle folds
mick47 stands up
Warrior Braids folds
mick47 folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $90
piacentini0351 folds
RazzleDaPhazzle calls $69
CaHottie folds

With AA OOP, I wanted to narrow the field and possibly take down the pot right there. At least now we are heads up so at least one of the goals were accomplished.

*** FLOP *** [2d Qh 4c]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $150
RazzleDaPhazzle has 15 seconds left to act
RazzleDaPhazzle raises to $300

Ok, so what now. I reraised preflop, again, we were both deep. I bet out with my AA and now I get minraised. Does typically minraise indicate a monster hand? Did he hit his QQ, 44, or 22? What other hands would he do this with? AA, KK or AQ? Again, another tough spot. And another one of those situations where I didn't want to call because it's almost like damned if I do and damned if I don't. Did my bet seem weak? Is he making a play because he thinks I have AK and trying to represent a big pocket pair? Very similar to the earlier situation... fortunately, with different results.

RecessRampage raises to $498, and is all in
RazzleDaPhazzle calls $198
RecessRampage shows [As Ad]
RazzleDaPhazzle shows [Kd Ks]
*** TURN *** [2d Qh 4c] [6d]
*** RIVER *** [2d Qh 4c 6d] [7d]
RecessRampage shows a pair of Aces
RazzleDaPhazzle shows a pair of Kings
RecessRampage wins the pot ($1,200) with a pair of Aces

These are the two hands that played out very similarly and yet I get paid off in one and pay off in another. Which is obviously what makes it so hard. But did I misplay both hands and get lucky in this one? That's possible too. Maybe this was an instance where I should have folded since the only hand I can realistically beat was KK or AQ. Same as the other example where the only hands I can beat were KK or KJ of clubs or AQ. Again, results really mean nothing in terms of whether I played the hand right or not.

The only other thing to consider is that as a general rule, I'd rather be thought of as a guy who tends to push/call marginal situations than a guy who always folds monster hands. Regardless of what you actually do, you want the image to be that of a guy who errs on the side of calling vs folding so that it's less likely that someone will try to bluff you off a hand.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reply to all

***Contrary to what it may seem, this is a poker related post, I swear***

Personally, I'm a "reply to all" monkey. I guess I just tend to enjoy discussions and I want everyone to be included. Now I also know that there are people out there who hate it. You know, some people don't like getting their emails clogged up with bunch of responses from other people. But I'm a reply to all donkey. I mean, give me one sign that it's cool to "reply to all" and I'm in. Fantasy football threads? Reply to all. Poker hand discussion? Reply to all. Random note to everyone saying they're quitting their job so they are switching to a new email acct? Reply to all... unless they specifically say not to (which my friends have now learned to put as a disclaimer since they know that without that disclaimer, guys like me will throw our 2 cents to EVERYONE).

So where am I going with this and how is this tying into a poker post? Well, I guess this is how... so, as poker degenerates go, I end up having these discussions where occasionally, bunch of people start "replying to all" and throwing their 2 cents in. And I love it. I really do. It's like having your own 2+2 forums in your inbox without the stupid comments from some people who responds without thoughts.

But anyways... so, during one of these discussions, our favorite ATC player from Canada ("ATC" = any two cards for some of our new readers) once again cracked some poor soul's aces, breaking the poor guy's bank and his heart along the way. And that pushed me over the edge... no, not because he cracked some guy's AA with K6. But because it reminded me of this post from Anguila (and go visit his blog!!! I want some answers on his tournament questions that he's throwing out there too!).

Basically, this is where the question stems from. So, us cash game donks, like to post the hands where we play against a guy where we KNOW that he's got AA and we stack him. It's easy to play hands like connectors, one-gappers, maybe even two-gappers... or 5 gappers if you're Fuel or Lucko. Basically, if you know what the guy has, it's so easy to get all his money in. But let's say you're the one with AA. Now, how much of a donkey are you?

Now, I'm not gonna present retarded situations where the flop comes KQJ, all hearts, when you have two black aces and there's a bet and a raise in front of you. But I will present a few hands and I would love to know how to maximize your winnings/minimize your losses. And Anguila aka my fantasy football victim this coming weekend posted the question in regards to how to play AA early in a tournament when the stacks are deep. This is basically very similar to a cash game situation and so I thought this would be an interesting exercise.

In the following example, assume that the stacks are deep enough, ie full buy-in. And also, assume that you don't know anything about the player.

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ah Ac]
izzymond folds
RecessRampage raises to $14
aslobo calls $14
gtewks folds
ElbaRooni folds
JPhil007 folds
*** FLOP *** [Qc Tc 2s]
RecessRampage bets $24
aslobo raises to $70

What do you do here? Call, raise or fold? I'm guessing there's no way you're folding. That's too weak. What if you called and a blank hits the turn? Let's say you check and the opponent shoves. Then what? Or do you reraise here? If so how much? If you reraise and the guy comes over the top, what do you do? The reason I ask is if you raise here and he comes over the top, are you pot committed?

I would love to know what you all think.

To bet or not bet flopped sets (Part 2)

Since my FTP login problem continues and my bankroll challenge in PS (started with $95 on Monday, up to $300 as of today!!! woot!) is really not worth discussing strategies and such, I figured I'd continue with some more examples of what to do with flopped sets. Again, generally, I'm a big fan of not slowplaying sets because it appears more counterintuitive. Even the small probe bet these days seem like something that's starting to catch on. What do I mean? Someone flops a set, they have finally come around to learning that check raise isn't the ONLY way to play sets and so they bet a small amount. Like $10 into a $40 pot so that they could get raised, at which point, they come over the top and go crazy and again, advertise that they have a monster bet. Rather, I advocate that if you're a fairly frequent c-bettor, just bet out like you're c-betting with two overcards. In other words, let's say you have AJ from the CO. With two limpers ahead of you, you raise. The two limpers call. Flop comes 2-5-8. Check, check. What do you do? Do you c-bet? More often than not, I assume you will, as you should at this point. Well, if you have 88 in this situation, why do anything different? Again, this is key that you're a frequent c-bettor. If not and you're one of those guys that wait to see another face card, then do that. In other words, when you flop a set, don't do anything different. You might miss out on little extra bets here and there but you're also bound to hit big pots this way as well. You want examples? Fine, see below.

FullTiltPoker Game #2669388382: Table Mountain Home - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:16:04 ET - 2007/06/14
Seat 1: Ethan Hawke ($155.30)
Seat 2: DOpeyMAN ($109.55)
Seat 3: RecessRampage ($546.85)
Seat 4: czarcaesarxx ($574.40)
Seat 5: pokerRN72 ($398)
Seat 6: vpkozel ($396.20)
Seat 7: pochacco ($160)
Seat 8: Donkey_Punch_9 ($966.25)
Seat 9: 731731 ($171.95)
Donkey_Punch_9 posts the small blind of $2
731731 posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #6

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [8s 8d]
Ethan Hawke calls $4
DOpeyMAN folds
RecessRampage raises to $18
czarcaesarxx calls $18
pokerRN72 folds
vpkozel folds
Donkey_Punch_9 folds
731731 calls $14
Ethan Hawke calls $14

LOL - No respect for my raise with MP. But then again, with a hand like 88, I'm still wanting to hit a set with so many callers so not necessarily a bad thing.

*** FLOP *** [3c 8h 5s]
731731 checks
Ethan Hawke checks
RecessRampage bets $40 <--- cuz I'm a man
czarcaesarxx has 15 seconds left to act
czarcaesarxx raises to $110 <--- thank you!!!
731731 raises to $153.95, and is all in
Ethan Hawke folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $528.85, and is all in
czarcaesarxx folds
RecessRampage shows [8s 8d]
731731 shows [Qh Qc]
Uncalled bet of $374.90 returned to RecessRampage

Ok... as you can see, I made a BIIIIIIIIIIG mistake here. I started off good. I bet out this flop with what appears to be a normal c-bet on a board that was likely that it didn't help anyone. I have top set so I have the nuts at this point. And yet I bet out $40 which isn't huge but certainly over half the pot. Fairly typical for a c-bet "to find out where I'm at." As if on cue, I get raised. Even better when there's a reraise. Except then I got excited and I made a donkey move. I should have just smooth called as opposed to shoving and indicating I have a monster. I mean even if the other guy didn't put me on top set, he had to put me on AA or KK at that point so he probably mucks his TT or whatever it is he had. If I just smooth call, he would have had to call based on pot odds and I woulda made more money out of the deal. VERY BAD MISTAKE!

*** TURN *** [3c 8h 5s] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [3c 8h 5s 6h] [2s]
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Eights
731731 shows a pair of Queens
RecessRampage wins the pot ($488.90) with three of a kind, Eights

I remember being pissed off at myself for making such a donkey mistake. Yeah, I can tell you I was trying to overbet for value but at that point, with the raise and a reraise, that ain't overbetting for value. That's just a donkey getting excited. Going through this hand history is starting to piss me off again. That's at least another hundred or two that I could've won. DAMMIT!!!!

Ok, moving on...

FullTiltPoker Game #2390209391: Table Canyon Magic - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:35:17 ET - 2007/05/09
Seat 1: jbezell ($164.40)
Seat 2: nelsonsheu ($527.80)
Seat 3: Hollywoodndn ($425.60)
Seat 4: ur_an_ASSet ($559.90)
Seat 5: Krantzy85 ($157.80)
Seat 6: RecessRampage ($431)
Seat 7: mgertz ($95.60)
Seat 8: nsewell4 ($405.60)
Seat 9: TAR109 ($398)
mgertz posts the small blind of $2
nsewell4 posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [2d 2s]
TAR109 folds
jbezell folds
nelsonsheu folds
Hollywoodndn raises to $18
ur_an_ASSet folds
Krantzy85 folds
RecessRampage calls $18 <--- from the button against a similar size stack
mgertz folds
nsewell4 folds

*** FLOP *** [6h 3h 2h] <--- do I flop a set every time????
Hollywoodndn checks
RecessRampage bets $30
Hollywoodndn calls $30

Again, I bet out to make it seem like I'm just trying to steal when the initial raiser checks to me. Plus on a board like this, if the guy already has a flush, I could be screwed. But, he'll also call with a hand like AK with one heart or A-any face with a heart I guess. So, I gotta bet to protect my hand too.

*** TURN *** [6h 3h 2h] [7s]
Hollywoodndn checks
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act <--- for dramatic effect a la Fuel55
RecessRampage bets $50
Hollywoodndn raises to $100
RecessRampage calls $50

So now that I got raised, I decided to slow down. Even though it may seem unlikely that he has a flush, I'm not liking the way the hand is developing... He check calls the all flush board on the flop and checkraises me the minimum amount on the turn when a blank hits. Now, I'm thinking he could actually have a flush or he might have a set. Paranoid? Maybe. But I think it's important to be aware that flopped sets aren't always gold.

*** RIVER *** [6h 3h 2h 7s] [4c]
Hollywoodndn bets $125
RecessRampage calls $125

Again, I wasn't gonna fold here. Board is sufficiently dangerous but based on his previous play, unless he had 55 with a 5 of hearts, this play doessn't make sense. So, I could be beat with a better set or a flush. But I also felt that his $125 bet was a little high for someone wanting a call. Granted, maybe considering the pot size, it wasn't. But I'm getting at least 3:1 pot odds so I have to call with a set here. But obviously, no point in raising here.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Hollywoodndn shows [Qc 6c] (a pair of Sixes)
RecessRampage shows [2d 2s] (three of a kind, Twos)
RecessRampage wins the pot ($549) with three of a kind, Twos

It also helps when you flop a set with one high card that is likely to have helped someone... like below:

FullTiltPoker Game #3047478420: Table Double Arrow - $3/$6 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:24:44 ET - 2007/07/24
Seat 1: RecessRampage ($1,304.70)
Seat 2: kingpin100 ($304.80)
Seat 3: bigbuck79 ($208)
Seat 4: szim3 ($534)
Seat 5: playme4blood ($856.30)
Seat 6: lfcuffari ($314.70)
Seat 7: ODB235 ($114)
Seat 8: benzodiazepine ($618.75)
Seat 9: 2BOO2BOO ($600)
ODB235 posts the small blind of $3
benzodiazepine posts the big blind of $6
The button is in seat #6

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Js Jd]
2BOO2BOO folds
RecessRampage raises to $21
kingpin100 folds
bigbuck79 folds
szim3 folds
playme4blood folds
lfcuffari calls $21
ODB235 folds
benzodiazepine calls $15

*** FLOP *** [Jh Kh 3d] <--- EVERY TIME!!!
benzodiazepine checks
RecessRampage bets $40
lfcuffari calls $40
benzodiazepine folds

I obviously bet this sufficient scary, draw heavy board. Plus, it's likely that someone has a K out there with two callers, right?

*** TURN *** [Jh Kh 3d] [Ac]
RecessRampage bets $70
lfcuffari calls $70

I had mixed feelings about this A. If the dude has Q-10, he just caught me. If he has a hand like AK, I'm getting his entire stack. But if he has a hand like KQ, he might slow down. So I just fire out a half pot bet to see what ensues. He just calls which means he's trapping me with a monster or his hand is mediocre.

*** RIVER *** [Jh Kh 3d Ac] [9c]
RecessRampage bets $100
lfcuffari calls $100

The 9 is obviously a blank so now, I'm just trying to figure out how much I can get out of this guy. Since he didn't have too much behind him, I was worried that if I put him all in, he wouldn't call me.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
RecessRampage shows [Js Jd] three of a kind, Jacks
lfcuffari mucks [Qh Ks] - a pair of Kings
RecessRampage wins the pot ($483) with three of a kind, Jacks

Another example of betting out is key when there is an A or a K on the board because if you raised preflop and you flop a set, it's almost a guarantee that you will get a decent chunk out of your opponent.

FullTiltPoker Game #2357118793: Table Pagentry (6 max) - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 12:04:57 ET - 2007/05/05
Seat 1: Pay My Bills B ($186.50)
Seat 2: becca18 ($68.45)
Seat 3: pa1414 ($270.80)
Seat 4: Gambler_1972 ($213.40)
Seat 5: RecessRampage ($319.15)
Seat 6: YourDimePal ($200)
RecessRampage posts the small blind of $1
YourDimePal posts the big blind of $2
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qd Qs]
Pay My Bills B folds
becca18 folds
pa1414 folds
Gambler_1972 raises to $4
RecessRampage raises to $14 <--- I always reraise ghey minraisers
YourDimePal folds
Gambler_1972 calls $10

*** FLOP *** [As 9c Qh]
RecessRampage bets $20
Gambler_1972 calls $20

Because he minraised, I wasn't sure if he had an A or not. But I had to bet out to find out. If he folds, I wasn't gonna make much more money regardless of what I did so for the bigger picture approach, it's still key to bet out. And his call was great. Now, that made me think he has an A. He has to right? Either that or a hand like J-10. Either way, this flop helped him so I'm gonna try to get more money out of this clown.

*** TURN *** [As 9c Qh] [4s]
RecessRampage bets $50
Gambler_1972 calls $50

A blank falls so it's a no brainer bet.

*** RIVER *** [As 9c Qh 4s] [Jd]
RecessRampage bets $60
Gambler_1972 raises to $129.40, and is all in
RecessRampage calls $69.40

A harmless jack falls. I was just trying to squeeze a little bit more out of this guy when to my delight, he just shoves the rest of his chips in.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
Gambler_1972 shows [Js Ac] (two pair, Aces and Jacks)
RecessRampage shows [Qd Qs] (three of a kind, Queens)
RecessRampage wins the pot ($425.80) with three of a kind, Queens
Gambler_1972 is sitting out

Jackace, no good!!!

And that my friends, conclude this flopped set series. I think between Part 1 and Part 2, you guys get the message in terms of why betting out flopped sets are good. Don't let one or two instances where everyone folds when you flop your elusive set deter you. In the long run, it is a much better approach to a) build the pot and b) disguise the fact that you just hit a monster.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Building a new legend at PokerStars!

So the past couple of nights, I've been having issues with my FullTilt login. I can login sometimes but not other times and so while I wait for my response from their support team, I decided to go ahead and open a PokerStars account... this is when I discovered how much PS sucks when it comes to deposit options. I mean right now, FullTilt has it so that you can basically deposit money with your check card and since they use some type of a 3rd party processor of their own, your purchase I think shows up like a video game company or something... in other words, it's not on the blocked list and so you can deposit and play easily. As for PS, that's not the case. So, thanks to the stupid UIGEA, we can't use our bankcard. Apparently, Wells Fargo card still works but being that I'm not a Wells Fargo customer, that is neither here nor there. Anyways, to make a long story short, I deposited $100... well, $95 to be exact after the $5 fee that Epassporte charges. What a f*ckin ripoff. 5% rake right there. If I wanted to deposit more, it was $10 fee. So I said f*ck that. Especially since PS only gives you a 100% bonus up to $50. Man, so as I was opening this account, I thought Chad better be right about his post regarding PS and FTP and how PS was so much better in terms of comps, etc. (Chad aka cracknaces)

So, with $100, I decided to buy in to a $.25/.50 NL table. Since I only have $95, I didn't want to multitable either since I'm not that deep, I can't withstand too many bad beats. I also thought this could be an interesting experience since I've been preaching to others about how if you can't crush low level hold'em, you can't beat higher levels either. So, let's see if I can practice what I preach. I decided to take on 6 max at this time also, only because I thought my aggression would be better served at a shorthanded table at the lower levels. First thing I noticed is how weak tight everyone is. Another thing was that it took me a few orbits to adjust my game... how? Well, I was used to seeing reraises in 2-4NL 6 max at FTP and even some 1-2NL 6 max so I thought the same for $.25/.50... but at this level, if there's a reraise, it's JJ+ for sure. At least in my limited hands, that's what I've noticed. What does that mean? I loosened up even more. I wanted to induce action and I wanted to make sure that I set a loose image so that I could get paid when I get a big hand...

First big hand I got was KK. I've been raising and reraising quite a bit preflop so when a player in front of me raised, I reraised. To my delight, the initial raiser reraised me so I shoved. He thought about it and then called... again, to my delight with AQ. Until the A hits the flop... I got stacked and I was down to like $60... I can't lose all my money before I even clear the bonus!!! Well, I've seen beats like that numerous times and honestly, these tables are soft... so, I just shrugged it off, unfortunate that I couldn't give myself more of a cushion but moved on. Eventually, I was able to recoup my losses. At the end of Monday night which is when I opened the acct and played, I was up $40. My bankroll was a whoppin $135.

Naturally, with that much, I decided that I can two table these soft 6 max games. If I get stacked at both tables, I'll still have $35... :) So last night, I did exactly that. One thing that sucks is that even when you are two tabling, the earning power at these low stakes are sooooo low. I mean if I raise preflop and I get no callers (which happens A LOT), I win $.75... can't even buy one of those plastic bottles of coke for that much... Nonetheless, I'm bringing this type of hands to the table, naturally creating confusion and hatred from other players. Aaaaah, it's nice to be loved!!!

PokerStars Game #12139681654: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2007/09/18 - 23:15:25 (ET)
Table 'Periphas III' 6-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: oneguy44 ($42.25 in chips)
Seat 2: Dirty Vizzer ($55.65 in chips)
Seat 3: th1234 ($75.25 in chips)
Seat 4: PointGuard_8 ($35.65 in chips)
Seat 5: RoyalFresh ($110.35 in chips)
Seat 6: KCnAtl ($51.20 in chips)
KCnAtl: posts small blind $0.25
oneguy44: posts big blind $0.50

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Dirty Vizzer [8d 6h]
Dirty Vizzer: raises $1.50 to $2 <--- I know... UTG... so I'm an aggro donk, leave me a lone...
th1234: raises $1.50 to $3.50 <--- uh oh... must be a real hand
PointGuard_8: folds
RoyalFresh: folds
KCnAtl: folds
oneguy44: folds
Dirty Vizzer: calls $1.50

This is exactly the type of set up I would love. I've been fairly loose from late position but fairly tight from EP. At least tight per my standards (I believe my VP$IP at these 6 max table has been like 31%... so maybe tight is not even a word I should be allowed to use). Anyways, a guy who has me covered reraises very little. This would not work if the guy was a short stack but because he is deep, it's almost like set mining at this point. The minireraise is a tell. For those of you who do this, I have an advice. STOP DOING IT. We know what you have now. Expose your cards at that point. You're no longer playing poker. You're playing your cards. If you're gonna bump it up, bump it up the same amount you would with AK, KK, AA, QQ, JJ, 89s or whatever else is in your reraising range. So, anyways, I obviously call, knowing that if I hit my hand, I double up.

*** FLOP *** [6c 7d 8c] <--- BOOM!
Dirty Vizzer: bets $5 <--- I bet my flopped two pair cuz I'm a man
th1234: calls $5

So now that I KNOW the villain has aces, I bet out on this flop, pretending I have a hand like TT and wanting to protect. So, imagine my surprise when he just smooth calls. All of a sudden, I have doubts about the strength of his hand. If he has AA, he has to raise here. With so many draws out there (clubs, straight), how can you not??? If he's worried about a set, shouldn't he raise to figure that out too? Plus, if I hit it hard, why would I bet out??? (which is obviously why I did bet out to conceal my strength). So, I was starting to worry that he only had AK instead of the AA or KK that I was hoping for... But, then again, I've seen other donkeys call down with AA or KK cuz they're weak tight so I figured I'm gonna stick with my read at this point.

*** TURN *** [6c 7d 8c] [Qh]
Dirty Vizzer: bets $47.15 and is all-in
th1234: calls $47.15

When the Q comes, I decided to go with my typical overbet for value move. I mean donkeys at these levels fall for this crap all the time right??? Keep in mind, this guy INSTAcalled my gross overbet of $47 into a $16 pot. So, I thought, oh, I must be right. He has AA or KK... maybe QQ!? And PS cash games don't flip the cards over until the end so I didn't know until I the end what he had...

*** RIVER *** [6c 7d 8c Qh] [4c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Dirty Vizzer: shows [8d 6h] (two pair, Eights and Sixes)
th1234: mucks hand
Dirty Vizzer collected $109.05 from pot
Dirty Vizzer said, "AA right?"
th1234 leaves the table

Nice double up!!! And to add insult to injury, I decided to call out his hand, with no doubt in my mind that he must have AA to call my gross overbet (if he had QQ, he woulda won so by me winning, I knew it had to be AA). Again, PS doesn't show what the opponent has unless you go check out the hand history. And when I did, I realized how I'm STILL giving these donkeys waaaaay too much credit. I was actually SHOCKED to find out what he had...

Seriously... any guess? Reraise preflop. Then CALLS a $5 bet into a $7 pot on the flop and then CALLS a $47 bet into a $17 pot on the turn...

AA??? KK???? JJ???? 22??? AK???? maybe even AQ?????


*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $112.05 | Rake $3
Board [6c 7d 8c Qh 4c]
Seat 1: oneguy44 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 2: Dirty Vizzer showed [8d 6h] and won ($109.05) with two pair, Eights and Sixes
Seat 3: th1234 mucked [Qd Jc]
Seat 4: PointGuard_8 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: RoyalFresh (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: KCnAtl (small blind) folded before Flop


That's sooooo bad. My roll is now up to $175ish As soon as I get to $400, I'll be moving up to $.50/1NL. I can't wait. This challenge is actually kinda fun.

Oh, and for my screenname... I wanted to keep RecessRampage (since that's the title of my blog) but unfortunately, PS has a limit as to how long your screenname can be and so I would only be able to squeeze in RecessRampag... just not the same without that last E. So, I decided to go with Dirty Vizzer... which is what we call one of my cats... His name isn't actually Vizzer but for some reason, I started calling him Vizzer and that kinda stuck with Mrs Recess. And since he's kinda dirty (he's from the streets so he's all nicked up and stuff too - he's an indoor cat now but used to be a stray after his former owners just left him... I hope those owners are miserable right now... but then again, thanks), I sometimes jokingly call him "Dirty" for short. So, Dirty Vizzer just sounded good enough. Yeah, again, creativity with names is NOT one of my forte. So leave me alone. It is what it is.

Oh, and public service announcement. Sorta. I'm adding the following to my blogroll. I know I am waaaay late to the party but better late than never.

Raising Cayne's Random Ramblings

Jordan's High on Poker

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sometimes, you just don't even ask why...

I believe the HH says it all.

Full Tilt Poker Game #3585304468: Table Hollow Pine - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:37:13 ET - 2007/09/16
Seat 1: BabySmurf82 ($427.60)
Seat 2: JPhil007 ($779)
Seat 3: chislodc ($539.30)
Seat 4: novel20 ($400)
Seat 5: RecessRampage ($619.60)
Seat 6: Kyner ($400)
Seat 7: diver329 ($278)
Seat 8: Boylee600 ($239.40)
Seat 9: Chandragupta ($378)
Boylee600 posts the small blind of $2
Chandragupta posts the big blind of $4
5 seconds left to act
Kyner posts $4
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qd As]
BabySmurf82 raises to $21
JPhil007 folds
chislodc folds
RecessRampage calls $21
Kyner folds
diver329 folds
Boylee600 folds
Chandragupta calls $17
*** FLOP *** [4d Ah Qs]
Chandragupta checks
BabySmurf82 checks
RecessRampage bets $52 <--- I bet my two pair cuz I'm a man
Chandragupta has 15 seconds left to act
Chandragupta raises to $154
BabySmurf82 folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME

This is where I was telling my friend Sia (Pouringreign) that the dude probably has 44 for a set but that I can't fold.

RecessRampage raises to $598.60, and is all in
Chandragupta INSTAcalls $203, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Qd As]
Chandragupta shows [3h 2d]
Uncalled bet of $241.60 returned to RecessRampage
*** TURN *** [4d Ah Qs] [Th]
*** RIVER *** [4d Ah Qs Th] [8c]
RecessRampage shows two pair, Aces and Queens
Chandragupta shows Ace Queen high
RecessRampage wins the pot ($780) with two pair, Aces and Queens
Chandragupta is sitting out

I mean it's one thing to be the one to make a move... how do you call $200 more for a 4 outer??? Oh yeah... no point in asking why...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Overbet for value with a set

Full Tilt Poker Game #3555263610: Table Hedge Top - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:46:02 ET - 2007/09/13
Seat 1: TOAFK ($475.70)
Seat 2: jcaleb24 ($400)
Seat 3: BoomerangPoker ($319.20)
Seat 4: bluffandwin ($234)
Seat 5: montymole ($402)
Seat 6: djeepy ($466.80), is sitting out
Seat 7: RecessRampage ($386.90)
Seat 8: heyfreddy ($430.60)
Seat 9: novel20 ($406)
heyfreddy posts the small blind of $2
novel20 posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [5h 5d]
TOAFK folds
jcaleb24 calls $4
BoomerangPoker raises to $8
bluffandwin folds
montymole folds
RecessRampage calls $8
heyfreddy folds
novel20 calls $4
jcaleb24 raises to $40
BoomerangPoker has 15 seconds left to act
BoomerangPoker folds
RecessRampage calls $32
novel20 folds

So here's the set up. UTG limps and MP min raises. I obviously call, BB calls, and the initial limper then pops it up. UTG limp, then reraise is your classic tell for a monster holding. AA or KK right? So, now that I know what he has, and there's clearly set mining value, it's an easy call for me.

*** FLOP *** [2d 5s 4s]<---gin!
jcaleb24 bets $68
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $346.90, and is all in

At this point, no point in trying to get fancy. We know what he has so let's just shove like we also have an overpair.

jcaleb24 calls $278.90
RecessRampage shows [5h 5d]
jcaleb24 shows [Qd Qc]
*** TURN *** [2d 5s 4s] [Td]
*** RIVER *** [2d 5s 4s Td] [8c]
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Fives
jcaleb24: u lucky mf er
jcaleb24 shows a pair of Queens
RecessRampage wins the pot ($788.80) with three of a kind, Fives

I was surprised he showed QQ (I was convinced it was either AA or KK) but it didn't matter here on this flop. Not only did he call me a "mf er" but also later commented about how stupid I was for calling $32 more preflop. I love how some of these donkeys don't see the bigger picture. The MOST he could get out of me in this hand is the $40 that went into pot preflop. That for a chance to win close to $400? I'll take it.

Physical tells

One thing we, as online poker players, don't rely on when we play poker on the virtual felt is physical tells. Sure, when we switch to live poker, we try and may occasionally pick off certain things... but it's certainly one area where we lack "practice." I think a lot of the way we deduce someone's holdings are based more on betting patterns and sequence rather than physical tells because obviously, online, that's pretty much all we can go by.

Well, having said that, when I was watching High Stakes Poker Season 4, this hand came up between Mike Matusow and Voulgaris.

7 minute mark of this video Voulgaris open raises to $2,300 with Q8 and with two callers, it comes back to Matusow who reraises to 12,300 with AK. Then Voulgaris reraises to 32,300, representing a big hand. Online, this is a move that should work more often than not. But this is where Mike Matusow, despite his reputation, is a hell of a player. He must see something cuz he immediately says "I raise" (even though it's somewhat masked by others talking) and pops it up to 62,300. Obviously, at this point, Voulgaris folds and indicates he had QQ. Matusow calls him out and even goes as far to say "who knows maybe you had 7-2 but I know you were making a move on me."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

To bet or not to bet flopped sets...

That is the question. I read LJ's post about the flopped boat and so I thought maybe I'll throw my 2 cents in since I think most of my HH that I post here when I flop a set shows that I bet. But, like any other situation in poker, it always depends on when to bet and when not to bet. What does it depend on?

1) Position - are you first to act or last to act?
2) Texture of the flop - Are there any draws? Is it likely that it helped someone else?
3) Players - What type of players are in the hand with you? Are they players who would play their cards? Or are these players who would play based on their reads?
4) Preflop action - This is obvious right? Who raised preflop? Who called the raises?

So in other words, betting a flopped set isn't automatic. Admittedly, I probably bet out a flopped set about 60-70% of the time. And there are times where I make close to nothing. But, that is made up by the times that I disguise my sets well and stack another player.

So, what's the benefit to betting out a set vs slowplaying them? Well, against a savvy opponent, you risk not making any money or letting them catch up to a better hand. For example, let's say you have 66 in the BB. An MP player makes a standard pot sized raise and a player in the CO calls. Of course, you call to and to your delight, flop comes A-J-6. Now let's say here that you check. The initial raiser from MP bets 80% of the pot which is a standard bet that he puts out. Let's also say that you don't have much info about these players and you haven't seen them go out of line much. CO folds and it's now back to you. If you raise here (ie check raise), unless the MP is a total donkey, you're gonna slow down the action considerably. Even if the opponent has AK, it is likely that he'll go into a call down mode as opposed to going to war with you because at this point, based on the sequence, it's very likely that you made two pair, flopped a set, etc. So, on a board like this where there are two cards higher than my set, I like to bet out. Because if the MP has an ace with a face card, he would expect you to slow play a big hand. So, in other words, if you bet out from the BB with a flopped ace, it's very likely that he will put you on a weaker ace and quite frankly could play back at you. If he raises here, you can smooth call. That should sell the fact that you have a weaker ace and should be able to get a lot (if not all) of your opponent's chips.

Ok, so that's kind of a theory type talk so here are some hand histories.

Warning - this could get long...

1) Here's a situation where I flop a set but I have position

FullTiltPoker Game #3481974334: Table Bunch Grass - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:54:57 ET - 2007/09/06
Seat 1: NxtWrldChamp ($447)
Seat 2: cashsimmons ($427)
Seat 3: ImNotAngry ($210.55)
Seat 4: Stylistic ($400)
Seat 5: RecessRampage ($521)
Seat 6: TOAFK ($445.10)
Seat 7: sk1952 ($102.70)
Seat 8: Angela7 ($184.60)
Seat 9: s0othsayer1 ($160)
TOAFK posts the small blind of $2
sk1952 has 5 seconds left to act
sk1952 is sitting out
Angela7 posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [4s 4h]
s0othsayer1 folds
NxtWrldChamp folds
cashsimmons raises to $12
ImNotAngry folds
Stylistic folds
RecessRampage calls $12
TOAFK folds
Angela7 folds
*** FLOP *** [5h 4c 9c]
cashsimmons checks
RecessRampage checks

Heads up going into the flop, and I flop a set. Now, on this board, based on the preflop sequence, it seems too unlikely that the initial raiser has a hand. So, I want to see if maybe a face card will come up on the turn.

*** TURN *** [5h 4c 9c] [8h]
cashsimmons checks
RecessRampage bets $24 (into a $30 pot)

Well, unfortunately, no face card but at this point, I have to bet out because of the draws as well as building the pot. And notice that my bet here is the same amount I would bet if I had ace high and trying to steal the pot based strictly on position.

cashsimmons raises to $76
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage calls $52

His raise was a surprise and actually, it made me a little wary. I wondered if I was up against another set. But, since the chance of that is so small, I wanted to make sure that he thinks my hand is weak. So, I call, just to make it seem like I was the one who caught a flush draw on the turn and maybe bluffing with it. If a nonflush card comes, by me just calling here instead of going to war, it could induce a bluff.

*** RIVER *** [5h 4c 9c 8h] [Qd]
cashsimmons bets $120 <--- on cue
RecessRampage calls $120
*** SHOW DOWN ***
cashsimmons shows [As Js] Ace Queen high
RecessRampage shows [4s 4h] three of a kind, Fours
RecessRampage wins the pot ($419) with three of a kind, Fours

The only reason I called on the river is because there's not too many hands where I would get more money by raising that river. More often than not, I would only get called by a hand that beats me so I decided that it wasn't worth the raise. Again, this is an instance where I had position so I could play based on my opponent's action.

2) Here's a situation where I act first but the flop looks like it's helped my opponent.

FullTiltPoker Game #2410266705: Table Calico Pines - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:04:42 ET - 2007/05/12
Seat 1: TheNogre ($394)
Seat 2: Stylistic ($571)
Seat 3: Edge21 ($146)
Seat 4: guichdog ($480.20)
Seat 5: RecessRampage ($1,319.90)
Seat 6: JohnnyDeuces ($472)
Seat 7: Mister_Tea ($556.50)
Seat 8: Power Corp ($1,191.15)
Seat 9: tj2006 ($404.30)
Mister_Tea posts the small blind of $2
Power Corp posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jd Jh]
tj2006 folds
TheNogre folds
Stylistic folds
Edge21 calls $4
guichdog folds
RecessRampage raises to $18 <--- from the CO
JohnnyDeuces calls $18
Mister_Tea folds
Power Corp folds
Edge21 folds

*** FLOP *** [Ad Jc 9h]
RecessRampage bets $35 (into a $46 pot)
JohnnyDeuces calls $35

This is a great flop. Generally, when I flop a set, I love to see an ace on the board because if there was a preflop raise, it's very likely that the ace hit someone. So, just like that, I bet out, just like I would as a normal c-bet.

*** TURN *** [Ad Jc 9h] [4d]
RecessRampage bets $85 <--- now, I bet a little smaller in relation to the pot size to show that maybe I'm trying to fire another bullet but I'm not sure about where I stand

JohnnyDeuces raises to $200
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $716 <--- he clearly has the ace based on his raise and maybe even AJ. Nonetheless, I think my bet on the turn seemed weak to him and that's why he decided to raise with his ace. Now if I "overbet", it might seem more like I caught a diamond draw with a hand like KJ or something. Plus, why wait till the river to get all the money in???

JohnnyDeuces has 15 seconds left to act
JohnnyDeuces calls $219, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Jd Jh]
JohnnyDeuces shows [Ac Td]
Uncalled bet of $297 returned to RecessRampage
*** RIVER *** [Ad Jc 9h 4d] [Tc]
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Jacks
JohnnyDeuces shows two pair, Aces and Tens
RecessRampage wins the pot ($951) with three of a kind, Jacks
JohnnyDeuces is sitting out

Again, this was an instance where I flopped middle set and with the ace on the board, it seemed likely that it helped my opponent. If I had slowplayed or checkraised, there's a good chance that he folds his ace with a weak kicker. Instead, by betting out my monster, I conceal the set fairly well because his thought process should be that if I had AJ or JJ, why would I bet out instead of slowplaying? Again, understanding the players you are up against is very important here too.

3) If the table is shorthanded and is a very aggressive table, then your traditional "slow play" will work just fine.

FullTiltPoker Game #2804929646: Table Tarraso (6 max) - $3/$6 - No Limit Hold'em - 17:22:14 ET - 2007/06/29
Seat 1: cmglive ($616.50)
Seat 2: jp696 ($745.65)
Seat 3: Chuck Campbell ($114.10)
Seat 4: spitfire 2211 ($336)
Seat 5: stephenNUTS ($592.80), is sitting out
Seat 6: RecessRampage ($599)
spitfire 2211 posts the small blind of $3
RecessRampage posts the big blind of $6
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [5d 5c]
cmglive folds
jp696 raises to $18
Chuck Campbell calls $18
spitfire 2211 folds
RecessRampage calls $12
*** FLOP *** [Jc 7d 5s]
RecessRampage checks
jp696 bets $42
Chuck Campbell calls $42
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage raises to $150
jp696 raises to $727.65, and is all in
Chuck Campbell folds
RecessRampage calls $431, and is all in
jp696 shows [Kc Kh]
RecessRampage shows [5d 5c]
Uncalled bet of $146.65 returned to jp696
*** TURN *** [Jc 7d 5s] [8d]
*** RIVER *** [Jc 7d 5s 8d] [4d]
jp696 shows a pair of Kings
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Fives
RecessRampage wins the pot ($1,258) with three of a kind, Fives

4) Now if your opponent is an aggro donkey, I guess it doesn't matter.

FullTiltPoker Game #2712383915: Table Cranwood (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:21:41 ET - 2007/06/19
Seat 1: sont ($182), is sitting out
Seat 2: Vanessa23 ($418.40)
Seat 3: easternlight ($367.80)
Seat 4: RecessRampage ($566.70)
Seat 5: ImAbOt ($398)
Seat 6: JugadorJR ($396)
JugadorJR posts the small blind of $2
Vanessa23 posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [6s 6d]
easternlight folds
RecessRampage calls $4
ImAbOt folds
JugadorJR calls $2
Vanessa23 checks.

FYI - this is a variation play. 80-90% of the time, I raise here.

*** FLOP *** [Qh 5s 6h]
JugadorJR checks
Vanessa23 checks
RecessRampage bets $12
JugadorJR folds
Vanessa23 calls $12

Not c-betting here is extremely fishy. I limp, two checks, I have to bet. When you think about slowplaying, always ask yourself what you would do if you completely miss? Then generally, go with what you would do had you missed the pot. That's my one general rule of thumb.

*** TURN *** [Qh 5s 6h] [2d]
Vanessa23 checks
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $20 <--- I'm trying to act weak
Vanessa23 raises to $96
ImAbOt adds $2
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage calls $76
*** RIVER *** [Qh 5s 6h 2d] [7c]
Vanessa23 bets $306.40, and is all in
RecessRampage calls $306.40
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Vanessa23 shows [9h 3h] Queen Nine high
RecessRampage shows [6s 6d] three of a kind, Sixes
RecessRampage wins the pot ($837.80) with three of a kind, Sixes
Vanessa23 is sitting out

5) If you know what your opponent have, just get it all in when you have the best of it.

FullTiltPoker Game #2503014312: Table Chaparral Summit - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:16:27 ET - 2007/05/24
Seat 1: WildDuces234 ($458.60)
Seat 2: PurnPup ($218)
Seat 3: iamdaisy ($374)
Seat 4: El Jaffe ($382.50)
Seat 5: dontfwita ($377.80)
Seat 6: pokerRN72 ($451.40)
Seat 7: klfjg ($208.30)
Seat 8: RecessRampage ($425.10)
Seat 9: Steve51137 ($268.40)
El Jaffe posts the small blind of $2
dontfwita posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jh Js]
pokerRN72 folds
klfjg folds
RecessRampage raises to $14
Steve51137 calls $14
WildDuces234 calls $14
PurnPup folds
iamdaisy folds
El Jaffe raises to $52 <--- obviously a monster right? Maybe a squeeze but most likely a monster.
dontfwita folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage calls $38 <--- I already know what he has so he might as well have it flipped over. Easy call. Either I hit or I stack him.
Steve51137 folds
WildDuces234 folds

The two that folded are retarded. What cards can you call a preflop raise with that you now have to fold? The pot odds are there so these guys shoulda called too unless they have a hand like AQ or AJ.

*** FLOP *** [9s Jc Th]
El Jaffe has 15 seconds left to act
El Jaffe bets $156 <--- Aces right?
RecessRampage raises to $373.10, and is all in <--- I know what you have. Let's get all the money in the pot.
El Jaffe calls $174.50, and is all in
RecessRampage shows [Jh Js]
El Jaffe shows [Ac Ah] <--- obviously
Uncalled bet of $42.60 returned to RecessRampage
*** TURN *** [9s Jc Th] [4h]
*** RIVER *** [9s Jc Th 4h] [6d]
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Jacks
El Jaffe shows a pair of Aces
RecessRampage wins the pot ($794) with three of a kind, Jacks
El Jaffe is sitting out

I have a lot more hand histories to illustrate the point but this is becoming uber long so I'll stop here. Maybe I'll post the other hands tomorrow. I hope some of this illustration helps those of you who are looking to maximize your winnings with sets.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Sadly, I didn't notice what day it was until I saw Bayne's post. What a day this is... I'm sure everyone remembers exactly what they were doing when this happened.

As most of you know, I grew up in Japan. My family still lives there. And growing up, I went to an international school so I grew up with English and Japanese at the same time. Why did my parents choose to put me in an expensive private school? It's not because they are filthy rich or because they like to toss money around. It's because they knew that English was the language of the future. That if you wanted to be successful in business, learning English was paramount. And actually, in Japan, you see that... not back then, but today. Tons of kids and adults, taking night classes to learn English. So, my parents were ahead of their times.

Actually, my mom was very much ahead in that sense. When she was growing up, Japan was a very old school culture where women were expected to marry someone and be your typical housewife. Well, my mom wanted no part of that. She was ambitious and very diligent. After she graduated high school, she pretty much ran away from home, worked in a factory at night so she can put herself through college. One of the most prestigious women's college in Japan. She also taught herself English because she knew that as a woman, she was already at a disadvantage so she knew that she had to equip herself with more skill in order to even be in the same league as a man. She's been successful because of her drive but this story isn't exactly about her. I remember when I was growing up, one thing she told me was that the way she taught herself English was listening to JFK. Now, no matter what you think of him, she really liked him as President. And so she would listen to his speeches, translate them, and practice herself. And because she used him to learn the language, she also remembered exactly where she was and what she was doing and the emotions that hit her when J.F.K. was shot. Why? Because that was the first time that there was an international live broadcast on TV. In other words, this man that she's listened to on the radio over and over was now on live TV... and of course, that fateful day, he was shot. And so she remembers everything about it.

Well, I think 9/11 is that for the younger generation who wasn't around when JFK was shot. It was a very sad day and in a sense, I think the terrorists were successful in doing what they did. This country has been split a lot more since that happened. I mean everyone talks about being united but in reality, I feel that it's been a lot more split than it's been before.

Few years after 9/11/01, I was up in NYC for work and I visited ground zero. I almost cried. It was amazing to see the site. It was more powerful than words can describe. There was a wall with tons of cards, well wishes, etc from people all over the world. Again, I really can't describe it. Thinking about that wall still makes me emotional. I wasn't personally affected by 9/11 in that I didn't know anyone who was on the plane or in the building. I have friends in NYC but they were all ok. There were two girls on one of the flights that I knew from back home but again, they were nothing more than acquaintances so as much as I feel bad for them and their family, it was not something that directly affected me. And yet, I'm standing by this piece of plywood wall with tons of well wishes from everyone and I am doing everything I can to hold back tears. It was just an amazing experience.

If anyone ever thinks that people can't be united because of all the differences and that people don't understand, they just need to take a look at that wall. People from all over the world were doing what they can to help. Would any of these well wishes bring back the lives that were lost that day? No. Would it make it any easier on the families and the survivors? Probably not. But still people do it. Why? Because we care. Because no matter how much you disagree with the person next to you, we all care about each other. Freedom is one thing we should all treasure. And the fact that we can take freedom for granted makes us very lucky. And I guess that's one good thing that came out of 9/11 for me. At least it's given me one day where I can sit and remember that no matter how good or bad things are going for me, I am a very lucky man.

Quick FF note

Since this is primarily a poker blog, I don't want to get too side tracked with other stuff. Like fantasy football... But then again, it's my blog so I guess I'll write what I want to. This was a weird weekend in the fantasy football world. But then again, it was just the opening week so not that you can gauge much at this point. My teams won in two of the three leagues that I'm in (along with the blogger league!) and already, I hear people talking about who was a bust and who will be awesome, etc... Again, it's week 1. Is Ben Roethlisberger going to have a 60 TD season? Romo? Yeah, doubtful. And by doubtful, I mean impossible. Would Rudi Johnson end up having a 800 yd season? I think not. So I again, week 1 stats is just that... week 1 stats. No need to panic, no need to go crazy. One thing I learned over the course of the years in fantasy football is that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Injuries will happen, savvy waiver wire pick ups are key, and like poker, you gotta get lucky sometimes, even if you have a good starting hand (ie good draft). Speaking of injuries, my thoughts go out to Kevin Everett (reserve TE for Buffalo Bills) for his catastrophic injury. While we love seeing big hits, a life threatening injury is not something we wish for (unless you're an Eagles fan). For those of you not understanding the Eagles fan reference, read this.

Alright, that's enough NFL talk. Again, this is a poker blog. Not a football blog. I can keep talking football all day but... speaking of which, did anyone catch the USF vs Auburn game on Saturday??? Masked by the LSU thrashing VA Tech, it was a fantastic game that I was fortunate to catch. And by the way, is there any way that Michigan and Notre Dame could both lose this weekend??? I wish there was a way.

Last night, I played in the MATH and bubbled in 4th place when my 99 couldn't hold up against LJ's AK. Busted out of the 50/50 when I couldn't let go of top pair in a blind vs blind battle. Made up for the tournament losses and then some at the cash tables. Declined Fuel's "invitation" to play at his 2-4NL 6max table. Pretty uneventful night basically at the poker tables. I got my home game tonight so I doubt that I'll be playing online unless of course, I bust out early. So good luck at the tables everyone.

Monday, September 10, 2007

And here I thought I was 12...

So based on what I saw on Al's site and Fuel's site, I decided to take this test as well.

Despite my recent bad beats on health, apparently, I'm healthy overall (just like they were telling me at the hospital - "if it weren't for the pain you're indicating, we wouldn't admit you because your numbers indicate that you are a very healthy person.").

Friday, September 7, 2007

Fantasy Football

I am in 3 different leagues this year. 2 of the leagues I'm in is a keeper league where we get to choose one player to keep based on where he was drafted before. In other words, 2 yrs ago, I drafted Larry Johnson in Rd 6 for one of my leagues. As such, that's my keeper. And so I have Larry Johnson penciled in at Rd 6. Since it's only one keeper, it's not like you can maintain a dynasty but obviously, there are advantages in being able to lock up a top tier running back in later rounds. In another league where I am currently the defending champion, I drafted Willie Parker in Rd 22 (the draft got cut down to 18 rds now so I have Parker in Rd 18) so that helps... especially because this is a 12 person league starting 2RB/2WR/1 Flex (RB or WR). The third league is the bloggers league.

Well, I had one thing in mind going into this year's draft. Depth. It's always hard to stay focused on depth when it comes back around and there's a top tier receiver staring back at you. But I kept telling myself the difference between a top tier receiver and a 2nd tier receiver is minimal. And running back depth is always key in these leagues. Because inevitably, someone will get hurt... So, having said that, these are the teams that I ended up with.

Team 1 - Marc Bulger, JP Losman, Ronnie Brown, Larry Johnson, Reggie Bush, Fred Taylor, Michael Turner, Brandon Jackson, Anquan Boldin, Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, Jacoby Jones, Todd Heap, Jason Witten, Jason Elam, Miami D

This is the league that I won 2 years ago. Clearly, I went with depth at RB at the expense of WRs. However, I am fairly happy with my personnel. I'm counting on Holmes having a pretty good year and actually for my receivers, 900yd, 8 TD campaign should be good enough to keep me in most games considering I'll be starting 3 RBs. And when another team needs a RB, I definitely have some good trade bait.

Team 2 - Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Delhomme, Alex Smith, Rudi Johnson, Willie Parker, Fred Taylor, Michael Turner, T.O., Roy Williams, Braylen Edwards, Vincent Jackson, Brandon Jones, Jacoby Jones, Vernon Davis, Matt Stover, Alex Brown, Donnie Edwards, Walt Harris

This is an IDP league which is why you see the last three names. The rules changed so the defensive players shouldn't make too much of an impact. Willie Parker was my keeper in rd 18 so that definitely helps (which is why I have Rudi). This is a 12 team league with keepers so Rudi Johnson was scored by me with #2 pick overall. Needless to say, guys like Addai, LT, Gore, Maroney, Bush, etc were all gone.

Team 3 (Bloggers league) - Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger, Frank Gore, Travis Henry, Cedric Benson, Adrian Peterson (rookie, not the one in Chicago), Javon Walker, Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Jacoby Jones, Todd Heap, Matt Stover, Miami D

I fucked up in this league in quite a few ways... first of all, there were only 13 rds. AND, we only start 2 RBs and 2WRs. No flex. So, you don't have to be as deep. One player doesn't sound so different? It actually makes a huge difference in terms of the depth you would need. Another mistake? Frank Gore and Travis Henry (my rds 1 and 2 picks) both have the same bye week... so I had to get 2 more decent RBs... so I ended up drafting 4 RBs in the first 5 rounds. Oh well. Not a bad team all around but I felt like it could've been better.

Can you tell I like Jacoby Jones? I don't know why. It's not that I'm high on him. He just seemed to be available when I needed a serviceable backup WR.

We'll see how it all falls out. Have a nice weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Are you ready for some football!!!!!!

February is always a depressing month. Not that I should complain about how cold it is in Virginia but it's cold. And for those of us that work the typical office hours, it's dark when you head to work and it's dark when you leave work. It's very depressing. Worst of all, football is over. No more arguments about BCS and who should've been in what Bowl Games. No more one-and-done excitement of the NFL playoffs. No more feel good stories about the road to Superbowl. Sure, you can catch some weird football games like the Pro Bowl but really, does anyone actually watch those? It feels strangely depressing. I wake up on Sundays and I'm confused. Lost. Unsure of myself. What am I going to do for the next 8 hours!? Panic sets in. Maybe I cry a little. Tune into NFL network for the recap of the season... god, just thinking about it makes me depressed.

But like they say, what goes down, must come up. Sun will shine. Ladies and gentlemen, football season is back. IT'S BAAAAAAAACK!!!!!! I can't tell you how excited I am. Even preseason NFL is great. Once again, football dominates the sports radio talk show. You can't go 5 minutes without some football highlights on ESPN. The magazine stands are filled with fantasy football research material. It's like once again, all is right in this world.

And then it starts. All the trash talk about who's gonna win this year. Preseason football is great for all football fans because at that point, everyone still has hopes. I mean, hell, even the Oakland Raiders can talk about "goals" and stuff. Crazy, I know. Fans who have been silent since last November start coming out and talking about how "this is our year". Cardinals fan, anywhere? Deadskins? Aaaah, it's great.

Well, college football started with a bang and it was awesome sitting around on Saturday, watching games. Now, I went to U of Richmond which is a I-AA school. So, I really don't have any college team that I cheer for. If I had to pick, it would be a Pac 10 school because I generally like Pac 10 basketball programs. However, there is one school that I do like a lot. ECU Pirates baby! Why you ask? Aside from the fact that Greenville, NC is the home to the hottest girls in this country? (Honestly, it's the best kept secret in this country but the girls are F*CKIN HOT!). Well, I used to work for an accounting firm and Greenville, NC was actually our client. So I went down there in the late 90s and early 2000s every summer/fall. We would go out to the bars where we would try to hit on college girls. Aaaah, good ol times. I remember going to the apartment of these two girls.... ooops, memory lane.

Well, Greenville, NC is a college town. Not quite like Penn State or anything but everything down there is purple and gold. And I think it was 1999... it was the fateful year in which Hurrican Floyd hits the city of Greenville. It was a devastating hurricane that flooded the whole city. Pretty much the entire city was 6 feet under water. Everything there was destroyed. I believe it was over fall break and so the students weren't on campus but those who had rooms on the 1st floor of the dorms lost all their belongings. Pictures, letters, memorabilia... all destroyed. ECU had a game scheduled against the heavily favored Miami Hurricanes. How fitting huh? They had to move the game to NC State. My buddy and I went to that game. At the end of the first half, ECU was hanging tough but of course... it's Miami. We were just hoping to keep the score respectable... but David Garrard and company had other ideas. They came back in the 2nd half, beat Miami for a BIG BIG upset. I mean this is Miami. Top 10 team in the country back then. Few notable names like Reggie Wayne (heard of him?), Clinton Portis... Maybe not App St beats Michigan type of upset but just as sweet. Not New Orleans makes it to NFC Championship sweet but definitely up there. Everyone stormed the field, tore down the goal posts (of course, ECU had to later pay NC St) and was just an incredible atmosphere. I fell in love. Sorry Don. :) Reading this article brings back memories... and tears...

I went to A LOT of games during David Garrard's stay at ECU. 3 hour drive down to Greenville was nothing. Sitting in the pouring rain against Syracuse after a 3 hr drive, just to drive back for another 3 hrs, soaking wet was nothing. Love makes you do crazy things. After he graduated, the program went downhill but it appears they are back on track. They gave VA Tech all they can handle on Saturday and believe me, ECU upsetting VA Tech would have been SWEEEEEEET.

Anyways, I digress. As I usually do when I get emotional. The NFL kicks off the season tonight between the New Orleans Saints and the defending Superbowl champion, Indianapolis colts (can I get a 30 ft catfish poboy please?). And as such, our fantasy football teams will kick off. I was gonna discuss my fantasy football teams but I got too busy talking about football in general. So maybe tomorrow. Aaaaah... it's so good to be back.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Good fold? Weak tight? Same difference?

I think this was a good fold by me on the river, being that there weren't too many hands that I could beat. If it were a bluff by the villain, I think that's just a great read and play. But it still sucks to have to fold a flopped straight. Did I play too weak on the other streets?

Table Rose Canyon - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:40:53 ET - 2007/09/04

9 handed table. Villain and I both have about the same stack around the original buy-in.

I'm UTG, villain is on the button.

Dealt to RecessRampage [Ad Qc]
RecessRampage raises to $14
Everyone else folds
Villain calls $14
SB folds
BB folds

*** FLOP *** [Tc Kd Jc]
RecessRampage checks
Villain bets $22
RecessRampage raises to $66
Villain calls $44

The pot has about $34, I checkraise. You could make the argument for betting out here and sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. So, I'm not that interested in the "you shoulda bet out here" argument because this is just a variation. It's very rare that I check raise so I like to incorporate checkraises once in a while, both with a made hand or a draw. Here, I have the nuts and probably 7 out of 10 times, I bet out. So, why am I posting this hand if I'm not interested in comments? I am. Was the checkraise amount not enough? Should I have checkraised more? In reviewing this hand, I don't mind the checkraise here. Granted, he only has to call $44 more to see another card when the pot already has $120. But if he's drawing to the flush, he's still not getting a good price since if the next card is a blank, I'm gonna price him out.

*** TURN *** [Tc Kd Jc] [6c]
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage bets $80
Villain calls $80

Well, this is where it gets interesting. The third club comes. However, I am not giving him credit for a flush just yet. He could have a flush but what would he have that he calls a preflop raise on this board that would have a flush? Ax of clubs? Can't be AQ of clubs since I have the Qc. AK of clubs? I guess at this point, I'm thinking it's more likely for him to have two pair? I don't know. This is where I start getting a little confused and I'm not sure how I feel about this call. Did I bet too little? Should I have checked? I'm interested in your thoughts on my turn play.

*** RIVER *** [Tc Kd Jc 6c] [Js]
RecessRampage checks
Villain bets $264.40, and is all in
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
RecessRampage folds
Uncalled bet of $264.40 returned to Villain
Villain mucks
Villain wins the pot ($323)

At this point, I'm not sure what I could beat. Since there were too many hands that I thought could beat me, I decided to let it go and wait for a better spot. Was that too weak? Or was that a good fold. I think it's a good fold but it always sucks to throw away hands like this...

On a totally different note, yesterday was our home game, the PAPT. There were only 7 runners and I really couldn't get anything going and in the end, I donked off my chips with A-10 sooooooooted when it was down to 5 handed play against Tyke's AA. I'm sorry. I meant Tyke's second AA of the night. Along with the KK that he had earlier. Can't beat a luckbox! :) In the end, Tyke took second place to inch closer to Ramel in the PAPT leaderboard.

Monday, September 3, 2007


In a span of 4 hands... see the top right hand corner.

I had two fantasy football drafts this weekend but I'm not posting my rosters and analysis/thoughts about them until I'm done with my last FF draft on Wed. I don't want to give out my thoughts and strategies since some of the guys in the bloggers league do read my posts. But I will say this. I was pretty happy with both of my drafts. They were both keeper leagues (only one player though) so the make up of the draft changes a little but not too much. I hope everyone had a nice weekend... now it's back to the grind.