Learning From Our Mistakes

This week was pretty slow for me poker wise, mostly due to me coming down with a nasty cold that kept me out of commission for three or four days. Unfortunately, this resulted in me whiffing all four of my goals. I only played 20 hours, studied for 4-5, and didn’t run or meditate at all. The running and volume can kind of be written off since I was sick, but I’m bummed about the lack of studying and meditation. I’ve been reading some of the Poker Goals and Challenges threads on Two Plus Two which have helped pump up my motivation, so I’m going to be pushing myself hard to go four for four this week.

As far as results go, I’m happy to say that I was able to book another winning week, which I think makes a streak of 3 a row. I’ve also been lucky enough to have booked wins in 14 of my last 16 sessions, which has been nice. My confidence is soaring and I feel my game has reached a new peak. The upcoming weeks should be a real test for me, though. Jack and I are planning to head over to the brand-new MGM Casino that just opened in Washington, D.C. According to Bravo, as I write this (on a Sunday night), they currently have 39 games running, 8 of which are 2/5 NL games. I’m anticipating these games to be quite juicy and hopefully will be able to pad my bankroll a bit in my time there, and at the very least get some real 2/5 experience under my belt.  

I’m happy to say I made an improvement in a spot that was kind of similar to the hand I discussed last week, which you can read about here.

Game: 2/5 NL, 8 handed

Hero: (600) in HJ with AsJh. Doesn’t have a ton of history with villain. Likely viewed as somewhat aggressive “internet kid.”

Villain: (1000) Button. 30ish year old Russian who is a PLO reg and plays 2/5 semi-regularly when it runs. He’s certainly an experienced poker player and is friendly with most of the better regs. In our short history (maybe 20-30 hands) he seems to have played somewhat TAGish ABC, but this is not really how hero perceives him to play given villain’s experience and comfort at the table. Hero believes he may be unbalanced when he’s betting/raising towards value hands but still is capable of bluffing.

Preflop (7) Folds to hero who opens to 20, folds to villain who 3bets to 65, folds back to hero who calls.

I think folding here would be ok too. AJo is right on the border of folding/calling in this spot IMO. In game, I felt this was too strong of a hand to be folding to a 3bet vs. this villain for such a good price, so I elected to call. I think his 3betting range looks something like AQo+, JJ+, possibly some suited broadways, some middling suited connectors, and maybe some Axs type hands.

Flop (120) JcTc6s. Hero checks, villain bets 85, hero calls.

Pretty standard stuff. Not too much to talk about here. I think villain is cbetting near 100% after 3betting PF on this type of board texture, so his range hasn’t changed very much.

Turn (290) 4d. Hero checks, villain thinks for 30ish seconds and shoves for 450. Hero calls.

Kind of a gross spot. I definitely think the over bet shove weights his range more towards QQ+, but in game I also thought he was capable of taking a line like this with some of his flush and straight draws, and possibly even with AQ or AK. Given that AJ is near the top of my range (I can have QQ that I choose not to 4bet sometimes as well as some sets, although some percentage of the time I would be raising them on the flop) and may in fact be the top of my perceived range, I think we have no choice but to call it off here. If we fold, villain will be able to exploit us relentlessly by over bluffing, which is something we want to avoid.

As it turned out, the villain had it this time and scooped a nice pot with KK. NH, sir. Although my decision was wrong in this particular instance, I was happy with myself for not playing scared poker like I did when I was in a similar position last week. Overall, I’m fairly confident that making this call will yield tons of EV in the long run and I don’t plan on letting the results of it affect my decision making in the future. That’s all for now. Hopefully next week I’ll have a nice trip report and some interesting hands to talk about from some better 2/5 games. Until then, happy grinding JustHands Nation.