Friday, September 14, 2012, 11:50 AM
A powerful weapon to have in your armoury if used right! A costly exercise when you get it wrong!
There has been some hand history discussion on the forum pages where the check raise has been suggested, I’m going to concentrate on two in particular and give my opinion on what has been suggested and why I think it’s a good/bad move
Hand 1 (5 handed), we are on the SB (75-150) we have Ah Qc the player utg+1 has min raised to 300 and it has been folded to us, we raise to 806, the BB folds and utg+1 calls the re raise, the flop comes 2s 3h 4h, the hand now pauses for discussion and a post is made saying “this is where I get into trouble with these hands check raise”
Hand 2 (6 handed), we are in the BB (100-200) with Kh th, the table folds to the cut-off who raises to 525, it then folds to us and we make the call, the flop comes Ah 7h Tc, what happens next isn’t really relevant to this, what is relevant is a comment in the discussion saying check raise
So 2 hands both from the blinds, 2 very different flops, out of position in both and first to act and 2 suggestions to check raise, so let’s look at hand 1! AQ off suit on a 5 handed table from the sb is playable, but in my opinion you need to isolate the original raiser, this is what we attempt and it works, but the flop is horrible for us all low cards with the possibility of a 5 giving us a str8, our opponents pre-flop raising range is likely to contain some big aces and most pocket pairs down to 88-77 and he was strong enough to raise and then still want to see a flop when re raised! He must have something! Potentially we are drawing to 6 outs here 3xQ and 3xA if he has a middle pocket pair, if he has Ax we are drawing to 3 outs as a 5 will split the pot, so if we check raise here and he re shoves we have to fold as we won’t have enough outs to make the call
Hand 2 is a much better opportunity; calling 325 into a 825 pot to try and protect your blind isn’t a bad play as you are capping the action, the flop is good for us even if the A is worrying, assuming his pre-flop range includes the same hands as hand 1 we could potentially be in front with our TT and behind to any A, AA-JJ, if we check raise here and are re shoved we have enough potential outs to make the call
It doesn’t matter if you sometimes get it wrong or sometimes miss your outs revealing you were drawing to the str8/flush, this can be used to your advantage later when you check raise with top 2 pair, people will look you up expecting you to be drawing to the str8/flush
The check raise is a good move to have but don’t over use it or people will never believe you, and if you miss a couple of draws and people start looking you up more regularly just swap to check raising big made hands, people will still look you up as they will put you on a draw
As always take care all, and win or lose enjoy your poker it’s still only a game
Monday, September 10, 2012, 10:06 PM
Yep I’m back and I didn’t expect it either tbh, but now I’m here I might as well say something so here goes.
Using your range finder! What does that mean? Well if you’re reading this then I’m hoping you play at 888poker, and if you play at 888poker then you have a very handy tool available to you! It’s in the lobby under my profile and named “game history” this fantastic little free tool gives you the opportunity to go back over every hand of a tournament you play in video playback whether you played them or folded, you can replay any hand step by step, you can also right click and add notes to players while in there as well, “but what has that got to do with range finding”? I hear you ask.
We’ve all see the replies to hand discussions asking “what range did you put them on” we all know how important trying to put players on ranges of hands is when we play them, and right here for free is the opportunity to do just that, so grab a coffee/tea/beer or whatever floats your boat and open your game history because that’s what we are going to do.
Open any game history cash/sng/mtt it really doesn’t matter! What we are looking for is hands with the river dealt because these hands have the potential for a showdown, and wherever there’s a showdown you are going to see the winning hand, this means you know exactly what the winner played and you can now play the hand through taking notes on what he had and how he played it, you are going to see showdowns from the same players occasionally and this is where their range comes into play, you will see what type of hand they open with (opening range) and how they bet with them going forward (narrowing the range) all of this can be put in your notes and when you play them again you will have an idea of their range.
You will find that you will meet a lot of the same players in your games, especially at cash tables and sng’s if you mostly play the same levels, and the same is true if you usually play a set selection of mtt’s on a regular basis, or restricted games, so over a period of time you are going to find a lot of information on what they open with and how they play those hands in different situations.
It’s called game history, but it’s the perfect range finder
Until next time enjoy your poker and may all you losses be miniscule, and all your winning pots floweth over
Monday, January 2, 2012, 12:17 AM
For the 4th year running the team I represent was invited to the end of year charity event on the 30th of December, this is an invitation only event which sees 9 teams of 6 play 6 tables with points awarded for finishing positions on each table
The format is quite simple, you play a 1 table sng between the players of each team, and points are awarded for the top 5 on each table as 10pts, 7pts, 5pts, 3pts, and 2pts, the prizes are provided by local companies with the view of local charities benefiting (it’s why it’s invitation only) this event gives £2,000 to charities of the winning teams choice, the winners get 1st £1000, 2nd £600 and 3rd £400
In the previous 3 years we have won the event once and come 3rd twice so we sat down in high spirits, 2 of our players were eliminated before the points, one was unlucky and the other ****ed his stack because he thought he had a read, he did! he put him on Ax and played his AQ as if it were the nuts, Ax proved to be better (but we’re not doing bad beats) the unlucky one had JJ on a J67 board and got called for a 3/4 pot bet on the flop he shoved the 6 turn to get called by 66 and go out in 8th to quads
That left 4 of us one managed 3rd place on a table he described as ridiculous, and lasted the shortest time, we got another 3rd place when another called an all in against a short stack with AQ and the short stacks A9 paired, he shoved 2 hands later with 77 and lost to a turned straight, looking at the standings we needed two 2nds at least to get 3rd place and a pay out, one was in first with a massive lead and I was 4th and short, our massive leader won his game and it was down to the tightest table of the night, 3rd place would probably give us a pay out and I was now 2nd
And from then it was downhill all the way, I was dealt AQ and raised I got called by the guy in the BB who hadn’t played many hands at all during the game, the flop came KK8 and he checked to me, I put in a bet of just over half the pot and he snap re raised, I had to fold and he mucked KQ face up, 2 hands later I lost a pot to the short stack when I put him all in after a pre flop raise with my TT, he called with KJ and river was the J, I was now the short stack and looking for paint or an ace to shove with, I got it all in with AT and the chippo called with T 4 suited and he hit the flush on the turn, we finished 4th overall
But it was an enjoyable night and 3 charities win £2000 between them
Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 10:57 AM
I noticed earlier that the term community is thought to be over used, maybe its right? Some people use it all of the time others won’t use it at all, but it’s really about how you view the place you post your thoughts and the people who visit that site
A lot of our members have been here for years; I’ve been here 4 and a half years myself and can name others who have been here from the start when we were the 888fourms, and that brings me on to my first point
When we were just a forum everybody was part of a community, people posted about how the community spirit was and how we were an extended family, people wanted to feel a part of something bigger and the result was we called our forum a community, when we moved to this new home we were given a community platform with forums, blog sections and groups, and now some of those same people refer to themselves as forum members, strange really isn’t it? Maybe it’s a way of saying we feel at home in certain sections? I really don’t know and to be honest it really doesn’t matter
So let’s have a lighthearted look at some descriptions of community and see what we get
The people living in one locality
Do I live here? Well sometimes it feels like it, and to be honest my.888poker is usually the first site I load when I turn on the pc, so yes maybe I do
A group of people having cultural, religious, ethnic, or other characteristics in common
This is a bit more difficult to define, all cultures are welcomed, all ethicalities and all religious beliefs, but it’s not something that’s going to be a massive discussion point on a poker/social site, other characteristics in common? Well we’re all nuts does that count?
The public in general; society
I am general public just ask anybody! They don’t come more general, but don’t ask them about me and society I couldn’t bear the shame
Similarity or agreement
We all agree that we love what can at times be the most frustrating game on earth, so we have that in common
But to me the most important part of a community is the support given to each other, and we have that in abundance here, when people are suffering hard times we offer support and condolences where needed, we are happy to see any member making cashes and improving their game no matter how small a step it may be, people are encouraged to look at themselves first before deciding others are playing badly, that’s how we learn this ridiculous game, and people are encouraged to post hands and be prepared to have their plays ripped to shreds, because it’s what helps us to improve, and all of this is given at any time free of charge, all you have to do is ask
Our members also meet up at various live events through the year, the most popular being the superstack events in London and Birmingham, and at those events we try to encourage people to join, and we take the time to get to know them and try to answer questions, in fact most members will actively encourage people at the tables to join us here
And then there is the annual live event, this is an event set up by the community for the community, it’s organized by members according to what members want to happen, 888 have been fantastic in their support of this event in the 2 years we have run it and have done us proud, but this event would happen anyway whatever happened, it’s not about what we can get from 888! It’s about a group of friends getting together and having a great time over 3 days, all of the bonuses 888 throw in are fantastic and much appreciated but I would go even if 888 offered nothing, to me it’s not about games or the prizes it’s about meeting old friends and making new ones, I can worry about the games and prizes 362 other days of the year
I have met a lot of people through this site and consider them to be friends, I’m a community member and happy to be
Friday, December 9, 2011, 10:30 PM
Yes I know what you’re thinking! The guy writes nothing for months and now you can’t shut him up, well I promise to keep this one short
I have moaned in previous blogs about running badly online and it’s true, this has been a very poor year but after going through my hand histories and tracking data I have the reason, I was caught up in the game
But what does that mean?
Well in a nutshell I have been playing the table instead of playing poker, I convinced myself I hadn’t changed my game I was just suffering badly due to the nature of the game, how wrong could I be, I have been reacting to plays at the table and loosening my range because others are winning with KT so I should be able to, that’s not how it works! You can adjust your range on a loose table but it has to be position related, this is where I have been going wrong!
I was so caught up in the game that I was reacting to bad plays with equally bad plays because I wanted to be in pots with weak players, but that just leads to a world of trouble when your calling loose with lots of players still to act behind you, the winning hands then seem to validate your new style and you can convince yourself you got unlucky when it all goes wrong , by the same measure I was tightening up on tight tables when I should be acting not reacting, convincing myself I was playing well while truly just caught up in what was going on, what a mess; and what an unwillingness to actually use the tools at my disposal to identify the problem instead of just telling myself I could turn it around
So now it’s time to re start, and it’s time to play a game that will teach me to actually concentrate, that game is limit poker! If I get caught up in the game instead of playing my best game it’s going to be expensive, but hopefully it will get me back on track and I will have some good news to blog about for a change
If your struggling with your game use your time to evaluate your play, but do it honestly and really look for the problems, you wont see them if you don’t want to see them
Happy pokering all, may you gain the success you crave