Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Actual HHs from 6 max

In following up from yesterday's post about my thoughts on 6 max, one thing I also noticed was that if you play aggressive poker to counter the aggression of others, it really lends itself to some huge variances. In other words, so far, one thing I've done is heavily commit myself on draws. I'm raising and reraising solid drawing hands (like two over cards and a flush draw or something). So, when I actually have a hand, I get paid off but I also noticed a few players are now starting to play back at me. But if you have the roll and the mental toughness to fight through these variances, I still think 6 max can be a very profitable place to be.

I think the following hands might best illustrate the points I made about being aggressive.

1. Defending your blinds

Full Tilt Poker Game #4776726713: Table Poppy (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:45:19 ET - 2008/01/07
Seat 1: mrhenriksen ($175.70)
Seat 2: UMD Tennis ($425)
Seat 3: alwaysfulltilt ($694) <--- button
Seat 4: graz77 ($593.30) <--- SB
Seat 5: RecessRampage ($304.60) <--- BB
Seat 6: AttackYouStack ($458.90)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [5s 4s]
AttackYouStack folds
mrhenriksen folds
UMD Tennis folds
alwaysfulltilt raises to $14
graz77 calls $12
RecessRampage raises to $56
alwaysfulltilt has 15 seconds left to act
alwaysfulltilt folds
graz77 folds
Uncalled bet of $42 returned to RecessRampage
RecessRampage mucks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($42)

Fairly standard squeeze play. The player was fairly active from the button so that was probably why the SB called. That gave me the opportunity to pull a squeeze play. If the button is very active, you're just gonna have to make a stand with or without cards at some point, even if it's just to send the message that they can't steal your blinds all night.

However, this leads to the next hand where what if YOU were the button that's been raising fairly actively?

2. Responding to a resteal raise

Before the HH, I want to point out that the opponent involved in this pot was also a very active player. I don't use any software so I don't have numbers to illustrate but I could tell that he's been very active... as have I. I have folded to some of his reraises before when this hand came up...

Full Tilt Poker Game #4778747822: Table Vintners (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:36:45 ET - 2008/01/07
Seat 1: RecessRampage ($317.60) <--- button
Seat 2: SakiSaki ($471.60) <--- SB
Seat 3: tonrouj ($367) <--- BB
Seat 4: imawhale26 ($1,132.80)
Seat 5: Peter Pantz ($381)
Seat 6: Lvl18Wizard ($656.50)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Jd Qd]
imawhale26 folds
Peter Pantz folds
Lvl18Wizard folds
RecessRampage raises to $14
SakiSaki raises to $50
tonrouj folds
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage calls $36

Before you start making judgments about whether calling with QJ is a good idea here or not, again, keep in mind that the player has been fairly active. Also, in this instance, I'm not really looking to hit a pair even though if I did, that's ok too. In actuality, I'm looking for an ace to hit. Why? Here's my thought process (no matter how flawed it may be). I don't raise from the button every time but more often than not, I do. Which means he knows that my range is wide but probably not ridiculously so. So, my raising requirements would be any PP, A-x, and maybe a few face cards. The fact that he reraised me and that I called generally should mean that I have a high pocket pair or A-x (can't be low to mid pp since I lose my set mining odds after the reraise). So, if an A hits, it makes my decision making easy.

Let me digress on this thought a little more. If he's reraising me with Ax, it can't be a bad x because that's actually a very dangerous spot to be in. Even if you hit, you won't know where you are. So, you either have a decent A, you have two face cards, a pocket pair, or air. If an ace comes on the flop, since I have position, I have a lot more options on what to do as opposed to him. If he bets out on the flop with an ace, I can float him to see what he does on the turn. If he is tough enough to throw out another bullet on the turn, I'd have to let it go but it would be very tough to do so (fire out a second bullet) without an ace. Floating the flop I think is a very common tool used in 6 max. Anyways, let me get back to the hand... So, we were looking for that ace... except this happens...

*** FLOP *** [2h 3d 9d] <--- Q high diamond draw
SakiSaki checks
RecessRampage bets $65
SakiSaki raises to $299
RecessRampage calls $202.60, and is all in
SakiSaki shows [7d 6d]
RecessRampage shows [Jd Qd]
Uncalled bet of $31.40 returned to SakiSaki
*** TURN *** [2h 3d 9d] [Jh]
*** RIVER *** [2h 3d 9d Jh] [Th]
SakiSaki shows Jack Ten high
RecessRampage shows a pair of Jacks
RecessRampage wins the pot ($636.20) with a pair of Jacks

Funny thing is, I actually read his checkraise to be that of weakness. Now the way the flop came out, I was committed to this hand. If he had bet out, I woulda shoved. Instead, he checked to me so I bet out, maybe trying to convince him that I had a pocket pair and with all low cards, I was trying to take the pot away. When he came over the top, I thought like he was looking for me to fold because he didn't have anything. Of course, he could be ahead here with any ace but at this point, I had too many outs to fold. I mean if I fold on this type of board with this action, I should be folding preflop.

One other thing this hand did for me was the mental aspect of the other players. After this hand, I got reraised A LOT less when I raised from the button. Why? Because now, the whole table saw me as this maniac that will call with a WIDE range of hands so now, if they're gonna reraise, they wanted to make sure they had a hand. And this was probably the bigger gain than the actual money won. However, also keep in mind that if this player was not an active player, I probably woulda folded QJ to his reraise. The only reason this hand went down the way it did was because I knew I was active (I was playing close to 30% of my hands) and I knew he was very active (again, no idea on his numbers but he was in a lot of hands).

3. Flop bets mean nothing...

Now, in the above example, I also mentioned how depending on the flop and if you have position, floating the flop bet becomes a very common tool. I probably use that a little too much so far and so in most instances, that's probably one area where I need to plug my leak. However, to an extent, I think I'm making up for it by taking the pots away on the turn. But sometimes, it helps to get lucky...

Full Tilt Poker Game #4778912112: Table Cranwood (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:50:07 ET - 2008/01/07
Seat 1: philuva ($394)
Seat 2: sexycas ($120) <--- button
Seat 3: RecessRampage ($384.20) <--- SB
Seat 4: Slappz ($441) <--- BB
Seat 5: babayaro ($819.20)
Seat 6: Trugambla55 ($151.80)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [6d 6h]
babayaro has 15 seconds left to act
babayaro calls $4
Trugambla55 folds
philuva raises to $18
sexycas folds
RecessRampage calls $16
Slappz folds
babayaro folds

*** FLOP *** [2d Ks 5c]
RecessRampage checks
philuva bets $32
RecessRampage calls $32

I called here because I didn't believe that he had a K. If he did, I need him to prove it to me by firing out another bullet on the turn...

*** TURN *** [2d Ks 5c] [6c] <--- gin!
RecessRampage checks
philuva has 15 seconds left to act
philuva bets $75
RecessRampage raises to $150
philuva has 15 seconds left to act
philuva raises to $344, and is all in
RecessRampage calls $184.20, and is all in
philuva shows [5d 5s]
RecessRampage shows [6d 6h]
Uncalled bet of $9.80 returned to philuva
*** RIVER *** [2d Ks 5c 6c] [Th]
philuva shows three of a kind, Fives
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Sixes
RecessRampage wins the pot ($773.40) with three of a kind, Sixes

In reviewing this hand now, I actually hate how I played this hand. I called with a low pocket pair out of position. Even though I was pretty much floating the flop bet, I need to bet out the turn if I'm representing that I have the king. Now, admittedly, I may have done that if I didn't flop a set (since I didn't think he had a king, I now wanted him to fire out another bullet so I can checkraise him). I obviously got extremely lucky in this hand...

But don't worry, FullTilt has a way of reminding me that karma is a bitch.

4. 5th pair is gold...

Full Tilt Poker Game #4778987841: Table Harris (6 max) - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:56:13 ET - 2008/01/07
Seat 1: Sakid23 ($154.50)
Seat 2: melonator_81 ($94)
Seat 3: RakebackSTAT ($545)
Seat 4: RecessRampage ($429) <--- button
Seat 5: Th3120ck ($402) <--- SB
Seat 6: imawhale26 ($1,016) <--- BB

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Qd Qc] <--- getting good hand in button is very key!!!!
Sakid23 folds
melonator_81 folds
RakebackSTAT folds
RecessRampage raises to $14
Th3120ck raises to $51
imawhale26 folds
RecessRampage calls $37

Standard here. Button raise, blind reraises, I call. I can of course, put in another raise but I have a monster here so I just chose to call. I will sometimes repop it here but more often than not, I will just smooth call as long as it's heads up and I have position.

*** FLOP *** [Qs 7h 9c] <--- gin!
Th3120ck bets $72
RecessRampage calls $72

The SB follows through with his preflop reraise, trying to indicate he's got aces. Since reraises from the blinds against a button raise doesn't mean anything, I am not convinced that he has anything at this point. Being that I have top set, I am not eager to get him to lay his hand down so I just continue to let him get aggressive.

*** TURN *** [Qs 7h 9c] [Ts]
Th3120ck has 15 seconds left to act
Th3120ck has requested TIME
Th3120ck bets $279, and is all in
RecessRampage calls $279
Th3120ck shows [6h 6d]
RecessRampage shows [Qd Qc]

I obviously call here. If he has KJ for a straight, I would consider this a set up hand. In 6 max, on that board, with the action given, there's no way you lay down this hand here. When the cards were flipped over, I actually did a fist pump in the air... and that's probably why this happened...

*** RIVER *** [Qs 7h 9c Ts] [8d]
Th3120ck shows a straight, Ten high
RecessRampage shows three of a kind, Queens
Th3120ck wins the pot ($805) with a straight, Ten high

Gross river... I actually couldn't even tell for a second why he had won... I thought he was drawing dead. But there are tons of players like this that pushes with mediocre to shit holdings. So, the inevitable variance aside, there are tons of profitable situations that can be generated. Sorry this became an uber post but I hope this illustrates some of the play.

For the experience 6 max gamers, I'd love to get some pointers on my play or my thought process. These hands are just used to describe my thoughts but I'm in now way trying to preach to anybody about how to play 6 max. I mean remember, I am a 6 max newbie. So any thoughts, criticisms, encouragements, whatever are all welcome.


Mike Maloney said...

Awesome post. Pretty much exactly what I was looking for from you.

WillWonka said...

Yep... Ditto.. love these posts.

You know, poker posts.. from a poker blog..

RaisingCayne said...

Hey there points whore...
Enjoyed the post about your thought processes on these hands. I've had some poor results over my ventures into the online cash arena, so I really enjoy witnessing a winning player's rationale. (Please warn me if I should not have assumed you were a winner!)

Good luck beating Bayne on your endeavor of accumulationg more FT points!

Gnome said...

Looks pretty good to me! I think the squeeze in Hand 1 is the right move if you're going to play the hand at all. I guess you could argue for calling with OK odds, but you'd have to hit pretty hard.
The 66 hand is OK preflop because you have to think the utg player should call, giving you decent odds. I don't really like out of position floating though ... unless of course you're planning to hit the set on the turn. That usually works.

jamyhawk said...

"unless of course you're planning to hit the set on the turn. That usually works."
LMAO at the gnome...

Glad to see you are keeping up your pointsslurping you pointswhore you. Oh and it takes one to know one.

GL beating Bayne...

cmitch said...

Looks pretty good to me.

Last hand is pretty gross.

Hand #3 (may be a little scewed b/c of history with the player - He is very loose on the button, so I would play it differently against tighter players)

Preflop: I'm 3 betting about 1/3rd of the time and calling about 2/3rds of the time depending on how tight I have been playing at the table.

On the flop: I think I am either check raising the flop 60-70% of the time against this particular player, folding maybe 15-20% of the time, and calling/donk betting any turn 10-15% of the time.

He has to fold a lot of hands (some of which are beating you) to a flop c/r, especially if you haven't been doing it a lot or have been showing down some big hands.

You said, "I called here because I didn't believe that he had a K. If he did, I need him to prove it to me by firing out another bullet on the turn..." If you really didn't think that he had a King then c/r the flop is most +EV play and will help you tighten up his hand range. If he reraises it is an easy fold.

BTW - I think that he is capable of firing another barrel on the turn if a scare card comes or the turn gives him any sort of draw.

Keep tearing up the cash games!!!

lucko said...

Hand 1: NH.

Hand 2: Standard, NH again.

Hand 3: I don't like much of this hand at all.

Pre: I am not a big fan of calling out of position behind an UTG limper and a raise. I think this spot is at best marginally +EV and I am not even sure of that. I think you are better off folding here.

Flop: Again, you are out of position with no clue what your opp has and very little chance to improve. If its a float, I don't like it. Floating out of position just seems really spewy to me and something I almost never do. If you think you have the best hand, raise (which i don't like either). Calling just seems like blind passive poker: "call and pray".

Turn: Well, its easy to play now.

Hand 4: I 4-bet pre more than I don't here, but calling is obv fine too. Its probably more important to do what fits your overall game more in these spots. I am raising a lot in position so I have to defend my raises more often than you probably do. You play a tighter game, so calling more often is probably right in your game while raising more is probably right in mine. Fun game.

Interesting post.

lucko said...

Oh yea, and top off in all hands. If you think you are +EV in these games, you should be maximizing it with a full stack IMO. There are AHK's you can download to make it easier when multitabling.

SubZero said...

Lucko just beat me to it, always run with a full stack (if you are a winning player of course!).

Good post, agree with you about playing strong draws aggressively. I often forget that overcards alone can be enough to win if you hit, so coupled with a strong draw I agree with your recommendation of playing them fast unless you're against a total nit.

Hope the 6max is working out nicely overall...