Rush Poker to CardRunners: End of project

by PokerAnon ~ February 18th, 2011

Completed 25% of the FTP requirements via TFPT, qualifying for one week of CardRunners, beginning next month, I think. I played only $10nl fr Rush Poker, mostly 4 instances at a time but maybe 1/3 of the time playing only two instances while watching old episodes of “Criminal Minds.”

Some stats:

  • 14,770 hands, though TFPT didn’t count some of the first couple of sessions, so I probably needed a thousand or two less hands to do it.
  • $ EV: $59.23. Last session opened with a fun hand. I raise QQ, get 3 bet from the blinds by what looks to be a decent player, I opt to flat. Flop is all low, he c-bets $2.00 into a $2.85 pot. Because he seems to be decent (for $10nl) I put him on AA/KK/AK/QQ, maybe JJ or TT but those two are less likely. I shove. He tanks but calls, his AK, and he spikes an A on the river.
  • 7.59 bb/100
  • VPIP: 20.8, PFR 15.6. The reason for the gap between these two is the play. Even though it’s Rush Poker so there are a lot of nits, it’s $10nl so some players still tend to be loose/passive. Plus I get lots of opportunities to set mine or consider future float plays since most players have a very flat opening range distribution, meaning they open raise the same hands from almost all positions.
  • 3 bet: 3.7. I need to do more 3 betting IP rather than calling, even at this level. Floating only works against players who can fold. I think slightly more 3 betting IP preflop and c-betting will be more +EV.
  • W$SD: 48.6 Slightly low; I target the low 50’s normally.
  • Agg: 2.16, Agg %: 38.2
  • C-bet: 92.7, success rate 46.9. This is the thing of players calling too much and playing fit-or-fold on the flop, though fit or fold isn’t awful at this level. Players aren’t intelligent enough to fold underpairs or weak draws so you need to have something to work with against most players ’cause they’ll call you. I’d like to review the number of times that I fired a second barrel. I suspect that half the time they still call, which is great if you have at least top pair.
  • Steal: 52.4 overall, CO UO PFR: 40.8, Button UO PFR: 68.2, SB UO PFR: 50.3. What’s a 41 or 68 or 50% range? That’s a lot of hands, but largely it’s 1) good cards for 3-4 handed IP, or 2) nits in the blinds/button with any two cards.

And, a graph.

Rush to CardRunners graph

Interesting how everything runs parallel? I ran above EV, I think partly because my non-showdown winnings ran well above zero, which is what I would hope for given the combination of my steal and c-bet success rates.

I was going to post a couple of hands but the replayer site doesn’t seem to be loading the uploading function, so maybe later.

~ ~ ~

Overall I should be happy. I made it, I maintained my sanity, I ended up plus $112 or something. I didn’t do it in less than half the month as I thought might happen so I’m not tempted to go for a second week as I thought I might. The slowdown is due to less time available to play and getting hooked on “Criminal Minds”, plus the downswing occurred just about the time that I might have considered switching to $25nl. That downswing kept me from increasing my FTP rate which would have lead to finishing faster which might have tempted me to go for a second week.

The sad part is that I needed this artificial project in order to 1) get me to play poker, and 2) keep me from spewing at Rush Poker.

Mid month “Rush to CardRunners”

by PokerAnon ~ February 16th, 2011

Just to update, 1,285 FTP points or something like that, so only a couple of sessions away from finishing the target of a week of CardRunners. This last week I haven’t played a lot of focused sessions. I’ve recently become interested in “Criminal Minds” and I’ve been watching old episodes while playing just two instances of Rush Poker $10nl FR so the points are coming slower.

When I’m done I’ll post my graph, maybe some stats, and maybe a few hands. The first half I was on a nice upswing but as soon as I hit that magical $400 in my FT bankroll I crashed back down again. For a long time I couldn’t get above $200, then I did, but when it got up around $300 it would come back down to $200 again. Now $400 seems to be the ceiling and I swing between just over $400 and down as low as $200 without being able to keep it above $400.

My Stars roll has never been this swingy. I go through phases of flat or upswing or flat with blips but I don’t think I’ve gone through periods of swinging $100-200 back and forth and then more back and forth like I do on FT.

Two recent adjustments to my $10 Rush game;

  1. I’m trying to keep in mind the mantra; “at these levels the players call too much“. This means raise, c-bet flops but give up without a hand. But with a hand, even a marginal hand (TP or better), keep value betting. Against some of the more aggressive players, check to induce bluffs (some aggressive players at these levels always interpret checks or calls as weakness), but get max value from the passives. I’ve got some hands where players call three streets with underpairs or low pair on the flop. These loose passives do not have the same hand range as a TAG or a nit.
  2. Slow down. Take more time to consider most hands except crap in crappy position. Sit out on other (Rush) tables when I have a potentially big hand. I have a habit of making snap decisions for every hand no matter whether it’s a autofold, autosteal, or big hand. I know that these are bad/beginner players, but they aren’t all the same. They don’t have the same hand range, they don’t have the same postflop strategy, and the best play (other than autoraising certain hands in position and c-betting almost all flops) is probably not going to be the snap decision.

I’ve really been remiss in doing hand review since I started this project, but I guess that quality play is not the key objective in this project. Apparently that gives me the option of being lazy. I should also look for some hands of hilarity to post. I’m sure that there are a lot of amusing hands that I wasn’t involved in that are waiting in my HEM database.

Correcting week one

by PokerAnon ~ February 9th, 2011

Apparently I wasn’t that close to 1,000.

After contacting TFPT they fixed the problem where my account on CR was not linked to my Stox account so my monthly points never showed up when I logged into CR the way it used to on Stox. Their total was 842 or something.

I don’t think that the difference was all Happy Hour bonus points. It’s possible that the first day of FTP points was not included ’cause I started minutes after the Full Tilt clock changed to February, and TFPT might not have included that first session.

So, adding in last night, I’m at 889 over 9,500 hands or so. Still should be no problem finishing 1,350. It will be interesting to see if I can stop myself when I get there, or will I let myself run on to two weeks?

Unfortunately I’ve run flat the last few sessions; down, then recovery, then not much, ending with being down 0.58 last session. It’s that $400 ceiling on my Tilt account; I just can’t keep above that level.

And one day I have to get back on Stars. After a $700 cashout in December and sending off $100 to get in on a staking plan I’m well under $1,000 there now.

Week one of “Rush to CardRunners”

by PokerAnon ~ February 8th, 2011

After one week of February I’m no longer certain where I am in my Rush to CardRunners project but I’m getting close. I have just under 1,000 FTP points but I’m not sure of the exact amount because at some point I realized that I was including Happy Hour bonus points which don’t count toward CR time. That explains some of the high points earning points.

Had I planned in more detail I would have set the FTP widget and tracked from there, which is what I’m doing now, but I don’t know how much I’ve overstated my earnings so far. I don’t think that I’m overstating by a huge amount though.

Total of around 8,500 hands, fortunately up around $100 at this point. $10nl FR Rush is a strange collection of players though. Things like:

  • I c-bet, and the player check-raises by shoving the rest of his 100+bb stack
  • A more common version comes from 30-50 bb stacks that check-shove their small-medium pocket pairs on any flop. I don’t know how many of these I’ve collected with overpairs or top pair
  • I raise A7o from the cutoff, flop is Ace high and the blind donk-pots each street, essentially paying me to call his J5 that missed the entire board
  • Some unbelievable folds from 40-50 bb stacks that bluff the river then fold when I shove over top. Pot is say $3.50, they bet $2.00 on the river and then fold their last $1.00 or 0.50 when I shove. What?
  • A player who flats AA when I raise from the CO, flops a set, check/calls the flop, then donks 0.10 on the turn and river. And other poor value plays.
  • These are offset by players who flop hands, make huge bets and are successful in making me think that they’re obviously trying to scare me off.
  • Which are sometimes offset by players who bet the river when it makes no sense

One of the big things at mini-micros is shows of strength. With marginal hands I sometimes play for pot control with marginal hands like top pair/weak kicker.  Players at this level have never heard of pot control so it’s interpreted as weakness and I end up having to do bluff catching when this happens.

Still, some general rules:

  • Loose/passives call too much: always bet when ahead, don’t bluff when you’re not
  • Looser players are more likely to have the flush
  • Aggressive players who are just calling have something
  • Passive players who are betting have something
  • Min-raises post-flop seem evenly divided between “I have nothing but I want to see if you will fold” versus “I have something and I want to build the pot”

Day 3 of grinding toward CardRunners

by PokerAnon ~ February 3rd, 2011

Three days into my project of getting 1,350 FTP points in the month of February and I’ve collected 463 so far, so I’m one third of the way there. I’m still earning at about a rate of two points for every minute.

One oddity: I played one session of only two instances of Rush poker instead of the standard four because I was watching a movie at the same time. In my spreadsheet for tracking I halved the time since I was only on two instances but for some odd reason this was the first one that had slightly more than 2 FTPs per minute. The sample is small, but maybe because I can preflop fold faster with only two instances rather than four I get more hands per equivalent hour, in spite of the movie.

I do need to temper down my aggression. It’s painful when I build too big of a pot by betting two streets thinking that he’ll fold and then the donk shoves the river and I only have Ace high or worse. Yesterday I raised A7o or something from the button and the big blind called and donked all three streets after an Ace high flop. Because I had a bluff catcher I just called down and he had J5 and no hand. Or another hand that I don’t remember the details for but I had AQ and the board had three of a kind. The short stack shoved the river with his Ace high but I had a better kicker. I don’t mind making these kinds of hero calls at this level but I don’t want to do it with no pair very often.

KQ was good to me. Once I flopped QQK and stacked QJ and another time flopped QQx and stacked another QJ.

February goal

by PokerAnon ~ February 1st, 2011

My biggest issue over the past year or so is no interest in projects or having targets. I’ll get started on something, then lose interest. Moving up in stakes clearly has little interest for me. I have the bankroll to sit at $50 or $100 tables whenever I feel like it, but not the interest to play enough sessions to get comfortable. But playing lower stakes gets frustrating/annoying and can seem like a waste of time because the small winnings don’t outweigh the frustration from the suckouts.

So for something different I’m targeting 1,350 FTPs for the (short) month of February, playing 4 instances of $10 FR Rush Poker. The prize; a week of CardRunners. CR will give a free month for 5,500 FTPs in a month but I don’t have the bankroll there to be able to earn that. But they also give a week for 25% earned and that’s my target.

My reason? To get more videos from Rick Mask. Sometime last year I got a free period at StoxPoker before it amalgamated into CardRunners and I picked up some of Rick Mask’s videos. I’m still rewatching them on occasion. His thinking and his explanations are great and for some time I’ve been trying to figure out a way for me to get some time at CR to pick up more of his videos.

February is obviously a bad month to try to do this since it’s the shortest month of the year, but I should be able to make it easily. First session, 70 minutes, 1,000 hands, 145 FTPs. Averaging about 2 FTPs per minute, so around 12 hours of playing required, with one down already. 11 more hours, over 27 days remaining in the month should be doable since my sessions are normally between 30 – 90 minutes.

A subset of this goal is to not spew off my entire Tilt bankroll. If I make money it’ll be a bonus, but I’m trying not to lose too much. Playing $10nl and playing Rush pushes me pretty close to the emotional edge these days so just maintaining some balance is a challenge.

Things of note

by PokerAnon ~ January 18th, 2011

I’m at the point again where I’m playing more, which generates more poker thoughts, which generates more blog posts, which backlogs entries in the main blog so that the events mentioned in the main blog are behind what I write about here.


One of the things that I’m noticing is that I seem to be comfortable playing $50nl in a way that I can’t recall from previous moves to this level. I’ve made multiple moves over the years but they always get derailed when I run out of steam and enthusiasm for grinding. I’ve been rolled for it for years and last spring took stabs at $100nl since I was minimally rolled for that as well. This time I only played two or three sessions of $25nl before moving to $50nl so the grind momentum hasn’t dissipated yet.

On top of that I like my attitude this time toward playing at $50nl. The list of likely sources for this improved attitide include:

  • my stab at $100nl last year, which confirmed to me that I’m not overmatched at that level
  • total accumulated experiences with $50nl
  • even larger overall bankroll, even though I have only $1,000 in my PokerStars account right now after another $700 withdrawal in December
  • experiences playing $10nl Rush Poker

The last one is interesting. It has little to do with the playing abilities of my respective opponents since comparing $10nl Rush Poker players to $50nl FR at Stars is not a great comparison (other than in terms of nittiness of some players). It has more to do with the detachment that playing Rush Poker, given its roulette seating, is helping me to develop.

I’m finding improved emotional removal in my play. This includes feeling freer and having fuller access to the range of plays that I am familiar with, including repeated and shameless blind stealing, opening and c-betting middle suited and one gapped connectors from all positions when the table is tight, floating when I have position, and three betting a wider range. It also includes being able to bet/raise postflop without compunction, and being able to give up, again without too much compunction. Those recently improved “shamelessness” and “without compunction” freedoms I credit to my time playing Rush Poker.

Another part of my detachment and overall better attitude has to come from repeated remembering that $50 is a tiny portion of my bankroll and so yes, getting it in preflop with KK even though there’s a good chance he has AA is fine, and yes, coming over the top when I think that I have fold equity as well as some draw equity is fine. If I lose or I have to fold later, that’s fine too. I’m “okay-er” with these things that I used to be. $50 is no longer outside of my emotional bankroll table limit.

$50nl FR tables often seem to be the nittiest level. $25nl and lower are progressively looser and even $100nl FR often seems less tight. $200nl FR and up seem looser yet (presumably LAG-gier rather that the loose-passive of $10nl and down), at least judging by the stats in the lobby. It can be pretty boring and frustrating trying to play TAG at $50nl FR when the rest of the table is doing the same thing and everyone is waiting for big hands or a fish to sit in. I think the fish are more inclined to sit at $100 tables than $50 tables because it’s a nice round number and closer to the denominations they’re familiar with from live casinos.

The point being that it’s nice to gain the emotional freedom to open up my game to counter the tightness of the tables in spite of the past difficulty that I’ve had trying to get comfortable at this level.

Review time

by PokerAnon ~ January 14th, 2011

Okay, fourth session in four days, up 0.97 for the session. But it’s time to review some hands. I’ve opted to pull the biggest losing hands over the last 2,400 hands or so.

Opponent is 35/27 but only over two orbits or so.

This came from a session where I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by seven tables running and I wasn’t paying close attention. I don’t recall checking his stats during the hand and I think I was involved in another big hand on another table so this one only got peripheral attention because the flop and turn seem standard. Even the river call I remember not paying too much attention, and then didn’t even watch to see if I won or lost because some other table and situation had my attention again.

But two things that I could have kept in mind. One, when a loose player is involved with a hand that has a three flush, they’re much more likely to have the flush than a tight player. And two, when an aggressive player plays passively, they probably have a big hand. In this situation I have a big hand with a draw as well, so my play is not awful. Maybe check behind on the turn since he might have AK?

Next, a player who is 100/20 over 6 hands or so. Not much of a sampling, but even now we know that he’s a “play everything” kind of preflop player.

This is one of those situations where I’m trying to play looser and am open raising all suited connectors higher than 54. From early position I bet three way because the blind has checked and I can represent an Ace, though essentially I’ve turned my hand into a bluff.

When the blind min-check-raises me I snap call. I hate min-raises. Some portion of the time they’re a test/bluff and some portion they mean a big hand trying to get money in. I use them against good players to confuse them or against short stacks to get them pot committed, but I don’t use them nearly as often as bad players use them.

The turn gives  me flush outs, and still being annoyed by the min-raise on the flop I decide to bluff a hand by betting the turn.

Again, not many hands; this guy I have as 80/20 but only over a few hands.

I don’t know about the original raiser. It’s possible that I have him as a nit which might be why I didn’t chose to 3-bet preflop. The other reason for not 3-betting is that I’m trying to temper my 3-betting/squeezing because I feel that I’m putting non-LAG and non-blind stealing full ring players on too wide of a range because I get 4-bet or all in behind too often.

And there’s potential value flatting JJ/TT/99 in position. If the board comes with one over or maybe a second over but only on the river you can call a couple streets with these hands against players who double barrel or who read you as a calling station or as a gambler. But this flop is not nice and it’s not the original raiser who wants to play. But as a 80/20 he could have anything on this flop. I raise to charge him if he’s drawing on this flop, but calling is an option. It keeps the pot smaller and I might have to fold later anyway.

7/0 with a 17% aggression over 28 hands. I should have checked the stats on the other player as well here.

Middle pairs on a low flop multiway is kinda yucky. I may not have the biggest overpair, I may be outdrawn by overcards, I may already be behind a set or straight.

One theme that repeats itself here is the lack of stats. I haven’t been grinding this level and my sessions are always only an hour long so I often don’t have a lot of information to go on. On the other hand you want to get chips from the worst players quickly before they lose their stack and leave the table.

And this is all at $25nl FR. I’ve looked at sitting at some $50 or $100nl tables but they always seem nit-infested, with table VPIPs of 25 and lower. That’s another reason that I’m looking to LAG my game more so as to be comfortable playing these nit-fests.

Folding KK

by PokerAnon ~ January 14th, 2011

Okay, congratulating myself for having played 3 days in a row.

Not a lot of memorable hands, save one, but I did finish up $18, which offsets the $17 loss in the previous session. This is the first session in some time where it ended because we lost internet connection. I signed out, then tried to use the browser but couldn’t get anywhere either so I went to the modem and router and reset them. I restarted the PokerStars client and found I was still sitting at all six tables so I closed them and shut the client down. Missed playing one AK that I had seen sitting there, but, oh well.

There was one very memorable hand though. I’m in my twelveth hand at this table and I get KK in late position (I have no idea how I got to $40 in twelve hands, though this may be the table where I flatted 98 in the blinds 4-way, flopped A98 and check-raised all in on the bad player who has since rebought). Early position raise from a seemingly bad player that let his stack run out and then reloaded. 3 bet from mid position. Then, a 4 bet from a 8/7 that I have 113 hands of history on.

I don’t have really good reads or stats on the first two players, but I do know that the third one is a nit. A cold 4-bet, albeit in position and facing one player who I don’t think is good, but this makes me pretty darn certain that I’m up against AA from the nit, and if not, then possibly from one of the others. I fold my KK.

The the other two proceed to get it all in, so now I’m sure I’m facing at least one instance of AA, maybe even the other KK, or one AA and one AK, or maybe one AA and one QQ.

As it turns out, I would have been a 40% fav preflop, though I would have lost to the set of Queens. But a nit, 4-betting from middle position in full ring? When I have KK which makes KK and even AK less likely? It just feels like I’m dominated.

The only reasoning that I can think of is that he had more hands at the table than I did and knew that the first raise came from a bad player. Maybe he even thinks that the player in front of him is also bad, or that he is trying to isolate the bad player that raised first, so by 4-betting he can re-isolate.

Anyway, this is the only time that I can recall folding KK preflop. One other time I put a half stack on AA but got my KK in anyway because he was short and because there were other bad players involved whose money I could win. I ended up sucking out on that one and taking the whole pot with a set or something.

So, is this a bad fold? If I have AA I’m shoving every time, but given that mostly I only had information on the 4 bettor, I don’t know.

Not more of the same

by PokerAnon ~ January 12th, 2011

Next session was a lot different. Lots of aggressive players and not as good cards or situations.

  • Was 3 bet from the blinds first time on the button on one table. He 3 bet me again the next time so I flatted. Q high flop, c-bet, I call. He checks the turn, I bet, he essentially times out and folds, then leaves the table. I guess he didn’t like me much.
  • Lost a stack when a laggy half stack limped and I raise with AQ. Full stack TAG in the blind calls and the half stack calls. Flop comes A95 and the blind donks almost pot and the half stack calls. I don’t know what to do. Most times it’s heads up and I just call flop and maybe turn, folding river, but the half stack is swelling the pot. I call. Q comes on the turn. Blind bets, half stack calls, so I shove and lose to a flopped set of 9s. Weird way to play a set OOP but the presence of the half stack made it awkward for me to play.
  • I get the remainder of the laggy half stack’s chips next hand when he raises, I 3 bet JJ, he shoves, I call, and hold over his TT. He leaves the table.
  • I get AA and a loose casual player calls to my left. Flop is awful; QJ9 two tone. If I bet I get value if he has one pair with no draw (not likely; 98 has a draw, only 97 doesn’t have a good draw and any Q or J he holds probably has either two pair or a draw), and he might fold underpairs, but I’m behind all kinds of two pair and pairs with draws. I bet smallish hoping he has an underpair, he shoves his remaining $14 and I fold. He tells me he had KK. I said I had AA and he can’t believe that I folded. In retrospect he’s folding such a small part of his probably wide range that I should check/call the flop (unless he still shoves) and proceed with caution on the turn and river. I might still fold later.

So ultimately a down session though I don’t know how much. Combination of seat and cards made things difficult. Took a couple small pots by flatting IP and betting the flop or floating, and I need to try to do this slightly more often.

And, I should pat myself on the back for having played two sessions in two days. I need to encourage myself to grind.

Recent stats

by PokerAnon ~ January 11th, 2011

This is more to note some stats more than anything.

Including December and one session just now, 5 sessions of $25nl FR, 1,362 hands.

  • 53.50 bb/100
  • 17.2/12.0
  • CO UO PFR: 35.2
  • But OU PFR: 61.0
  • SB OU PFR: 42.9
  • Steal %: 45.1
  • c-bet %: 83.3
  • c-bet success: 60.0

After a while it gets embarrassing. I raise, they fold. Or I c-bet, they fold. Or I call in position, dry flop, they c-bet, I float and bet the turn, they fold. In spite of my aggression and all their folding, my W$SD is 60.5.

And then there’s the guys who don’t fold.

Check out this drooler. One of the first hands against him.

I made a note, then watched his stats. Eventually over 35 hands he was 91/9, with a fold to c-bet of 22%. I did see him win one hand, where he open limp/called from early with KK, then an Ace came on the flop and he won a $3 pot or something.

Later, I have this hand, blind on blind against him. I flat his oversized flop bet because he’ll pay me off if I hit. In fact, he paid me off when I hit what I didn’t expect. I probably should have raised the turn to build the pot.

Check out what he was betting with and what he called my river raise with. Not even top pair on the flop.

What to play?

by PokerAnon ~ January 10th, 2011

My poker life is in an awkward spot right now.

I’ve played very little serious poker since maybe October. November was largely taken up with NaNoWriMo, December distracted with the usual December activities, and then we went away from Christmas until after New Years. During that time I don’t think I played any $100nl or $50nl, and maybe three sessions of $25nl.

Because of the time restrictions and focus limits I played Rush Poker at $10nl and a bunch of $2 180 turbo tournaments. I also played freerolls for another project that I was working on.

Now my poker game feels strained.

I know that playing at low levels requires extra patience. I’ve been there, worked my way around, but it looks like it’s asking too much for me to maintain that patience for as long a period as I’ve put myself through lately.

The problem is that I’ve not been running particularly good, and I’ve been un-patientingly tilting off some as well. The net of this is that I’m pretty uncertain where my game is at right now, plus, I’m not certain that I have sufficient desire to grind myself back into shape at $25 or $50.

But staying where I am is not helping, so I guess I have to give it a shot.


by PokerAnon ~ December 11th, 2010

Trying to play a bit again after a break. 6 tabling $25nl FR. Started off rough, down $11, but next session I was up $54, then $23, then $68 in this last session, with only 200 – 300 hands in each session. Winning at 44 bb/100.

First hand at this table. I call because the whole world has called.

Not quite what I had in mind.

Next hand this maniac is like 70/50 and has reloaded once already. I figure I don’t have much fold equity, and I don’t. But he’s ahead of the range that I put him on.

And here, I don’t know what this guy flats my 4 bet with, but we’re deep.

I probably could have made it a bit bigger preflop. This is the same table as above so the guy probably stacked up against the maniac to get 400 bbs deep.

Here I wanted to check-raise. Then the turn is bad. Then the river is worse.

Interesting; the flash player looks like it credits only the AJ with the win whereas it’s a split pot. Some glitch in the replayer.

And last interesting hand from this session. Opponent is a decent player but I’ve got way too many outs on the turn to fold even with only one card to come. I probably should have raised the turn, but when he checks the river I think that it’s possible he has a similar hand to me so I bet the river.

Don’t do this against non-thinking players though.


by PokerAnon ~ November 21st, 2010

Another $2.20 180 man turbo win.

HEM says 30 tries so far, two wins, two seconds, and a few ITMs which essentially cover the cost of two entries. Overall plus $ 298, ROI of 452.

🙂 I only play these well on Sundays while watching football games. I don’t know if it’s the type of players during this time or me not paying much attention to the game because I’m mostly watching football, but it’s nice to have something that I can cash without much effort.

I was almost out of this one a number of times. I find that I can wait until I get really low in these because it is definitely possible to work your way back in. At one point I was 22 of 22 with 3 big blinds or so but still managed to survive.

The final table the chip stacks began pretty even. A little later on I get on a rush.

This put me dominating the remaining four. I raised every other hand and eventually doubled one player up, then another player took out another, and then he took out the third player, leaving us quickly with two and almost even stacked.

But he seemed to have no experience playing heads-up. He never raised his small blind, always folded to my small blind raises (which was every third time or so), and played strangely, at least for heads-up. One time he called his small blind and I had T3o. Flop gets checked, I pair a 3 on the turn and bet, he calls. We check the river, and he had AJ. Limped the small blind and called a turn bet with overcards.

When the blinds rose he open shoved twice, his first raises. Then I raised 66, he calls for the first time. Flop is 67T and I check because he’s done odd things post flop, he checks. 3 comes on the turn, I bet, he shoves, I call, his K9? I river a fourth 6 to end it.


by PokerAnon ~ November 6th, 2010

Haven’t played much; not enough time. And that usually means just sitting in for some Rush Poker and maybe cheap tournaments while watching football on Sundays. Came second in another $2 – 180 seat turbo for $70, bringing the total to one first for $100 and two seconds for another $140 = $240, over 21 buyins, according to HEM. Also played some 4 tables of $50nl but I’m sitting about even there. Can’t play that much though because it requires a minimum of one hour free time in one chunk and I’m just not finding that kind of time free.

So, instead, Rush Poker.

One of the nice things about playing deep is that so many players don’t know how to play deep. Here it’s looking to be a limpy pot so I just complete. And flop gin. Against someone who is 200 BBs deep.

Then later, an awful 3 bet from mid position so I have to call with AJ. In this hand he actually flashed his cards at the end, to show me what a strong hand he had, I guess.

Don’t minimum 3 bet, unless you want people to call, and unless you can fold, or you’re willing to stack off regardless of the board.


by PokerAnon ~ October 24th, 2010

So I’m trying to focus on $50nl FR. Just 4 tabling.

First hand, opponent is 32/16 with a postflop aggression frequency of 38, but only over 25 hands yet.

Standard c-bet on a mono flop, but I think I should bet the turn as well? Because it’s mono and because it’s otherwise dry and I have the 4 flush nut draw and because if I don’t bet the turn, betting the river doesn’t make much sense. If I’m going to check the flop, I probably have to plan on calling most river bets?

Against a stealer over 56 hands, 17/15 but steal of 55%; what’s he flatting my 3 bet with? Flop is sooo dry, do I have to c-bet? What other options do I have?

I was really tempted to shove, but in this case I don’t have much other hand fold equity.

Here over only 26 hands he’s 20/12, with a 50 aggression frequency. Being relatively tight, I don’t think that he’s opening with small pairs?

So far in these most recent looks at $50nl FR I’m finding the tables really really tight. There are a fair number of positional players; stats like 15/11 with a steal percentage of 30%+ (kinda like me).


A couple of hands I was happy with.

Here I just assume from the beginning that he has nothing much. I probably should 3 bet as my hand has value, but it only has value against a big pair kind of hand, which is really not a likely holding for him.

But I’ll have position. On the flop I still don’t think he has anything, and eventually I just bet.

And here, I think he’s a decent player, decent enough to check raise what is obviously a very dry flop. I think he has maybe an underpair, or less here and I call based on my guess and position. Then again I bet because I think he folds everything that I think that he might have on the flop. He’s not going to fold a Q or Ace, but I don’t think he has a Q because he’s tight and this is not $10nl, and I don’t even expect him to hold an Ace for the same reasons. I expect most of his range to be underpairs or air, but that’s definitely one of the expected differences between $50nl versus some lower levels.

(Later edit: Looking at this KTo is a bit wide for me to be opening 4th from the button but that may well be that I’d already decided to open up my range by this point. That being the case, unless I had already shown myself as wide then a c-bet on this dry of a flop should be taken somewhat seriously.

The other consideration is my tendency to bet small still, almost tournament sizing, and maybe he took that as a sign of weakness. Plus betting small leaves more opportunity from his standpoint to checkraise because it doesn’t commit as much.)

(More later edit: This is a good example for ranges a various levels. At $50nl and when I think that he’s a decent player that 1) defines his hand range in a certain way, and 2) defines his flop action in a certain way. I don’t put many Qs in his range on the flop, and I don’t put many Aces in either his range or my range on the turn except AQ, with slim possibilities for A7s/A2s. There are not a lot of hands that work with this board that he calls with from the blind, and there also aren’t a lot of hands that I raise with from mid that connect with this board either, but I have position.

Compare this with one standard deviation of $10nl players and the range that he calls with is anywhere from 5%-35% of his hands, his range for making a check-raise on the flop is skewered heavily toward either some kind of Q or better, of which he has many more than a decent $50nl player will have, or total air because he’s seen pros do this on television, his ability to see how dry the board is is minimal, and the likelihood that he has an underpair that he will fold to a turn or river bet is slimmer plus he has a lot more Qs in his flop range as well as Aces in his turn range that he couldn’t fold. On the other hand he might fold with 89/T9/T8 that missed the gutshot straight that he check-raised the flop with. Or maybe not.)

In both cases I could have bet the turn but in the first I was looking for a good card to bet and the Ace just seemed a little too unlikely. In the second there is a slight chance that he holds an Ace but not overly likely as he’s tight so I don’t put him on calling from the SB with an Ace. In the first I bet tiny looking like a monster looking for a curiosity call and the second I bet 1/2 pot looking for a value call, and there’s a better chance in the second one that he has a bluff catcher like an underpair.

Plus, I think players are more likely to fold the river than to fold the turn. It’s easier to fold the river; you know all the cards that are going to come so you have no outs, plus it’s later; it’s hard to bet or check/raise the flop and then fold the very next street, but on the river psychologically I think it’s easier to fold, as if you’ve had time to think better of it or pretend that you’ve been outdrawn.


by PokerAnon ~ October 23rd, 2010

This is pretty telling.

This graph is me playing Rush Poker since late May, when I started to try to grind up $10nl FR to make $100, so that I could play $25nl FR.

Pretty obvious; some 9880 hands ago is when I moved from $10nl to $25nl, playing the same style that had been easy money at $10nl. Playing 18.5/13.5, c-betting 84% and winning at 6.47 bb/100 or 3.23 BB/100. Using that same style I lost, tightened up, won some back, then lost again until my Full Tilt bankroll was getting too small and I realized I need to step back and rebuild. Since then I’ve stuck to $10nl and now I’m back to even over 35,511 hands.

I’m finding the same problem on Stars as I’m pulling up 2 $50 tables with 7 $25 tables, and not making that small adjustment that I need to do between stakes. There I’m winning at the $25 tables and losing at the $50. So, there I’ve got to stop with the $25 tables until I can get my $50 game settled. I think that for me, playing mixed tables is a problem as I don’t adjust.

Anyway, now I have to rebuild the cushion again to take another stab at $25 Rush.


by PokerAnon ~ October 5th, 2010

Updating to update. Haven’t been playing much.

Had been playing some $25nl Rush and got to a few thousand hands and down a buy-in or two. I suspect this is due to not adjusting my game from $10nl; surprise! there is a difference! I’ve given up a couple stacks to players who did have the goods postflop. Some open/limp calls with small pocket pairs flopping sets, a call from the blind/check flop/check-raise when I have AQ and he has top two on a AJx board. Not necessarily the way or hands that I would play preflop (again, that issue of not seeing hands because that’s not the way I would play) but stacking me postflop because I’m seeing $10nl players, I’m predicting that they are overvaluing a second best hand, and I stack off with top pair hands. Sometimes $10nl players will have the goods too, but the frequency is less often there than it seems to be at $25nl, which would only make sense.

To me this seems to be a tournament approach; open limping small/medium pairs and calling raises, or calling with big Ace hands from the blinds or even calling behind with hands like AK. A weak-passive approach preflop that’s not awful, especially with the shorter stacks in tournies, but is not generally my cup of tea in full stack ring games. But I do need to be able to see the possibility that it’s there and has hit a hand.

So there is a difference, and I could be reviewing my play and adjusting my game, but instead I’ve tried to push myself back to multitabling Stars. But again I haven’t adjusted and I’m playing the $10nl Rush style at 9-11 tables of $25nl rather than the nittier style that I already have shown wins for me at $25nl. At FR I’m running like 20/15 with some of the gap coming from calling behind bad players with a wide range, and opening AQo/AJs/ATs and all suited connectors 67 and up from all positions which is not my most profitable style for $25nl. This works at $10nl Rush because I’m confident of my ability to play OOP postflop with these hands but having been out of the grind for so long and having not played these players for a while I’m not playing well enough or adjusting the players well enough to be that active.

My biggest single bankroll boost was winning a $2-180 turbo MTT. After about 15 of these I’ve got one second and one first so $180 winnings plus a couple $4 returns or something. They seem awfully soft but like my old theory about freerolls I can only do well when I don’t pay very much attention, and, at the same time, take it seriously, being willing to give up rather than take chances early on. For me this means, of course, playing while watching NFL on Sunday afternoons.



by PokerAnon ~ September 24th, 2010

Some more Rush Poker.

First hand I’m showing his cards at the beginning because I don’t like the flat preflop, though I’m raising from early position. But the worst part is, why call the flop bet with overcards? Is he, a non-full stack player at $25nl Rush Poker, sharp enough to realize that the flop is pretty dry other than the flush draw? If so, he should be ready to bluff the flush it if fills or bet the turn if I check as a float. Or is he just someone that can’t fold overcards, especially AK?

On the turn I can see the check behind; he now has a bluff catcher and may be ahead but the flush just filled, though it’s more likely that he should have the flush draw than me since he called which is why I checked the turn and why I bet the river smallish. I really didn’t expect AK.

Next hand against an aggressive player from the blinds, 3 bets 100% and steals 100% though only over 14 hands. Raise from me is fine, I 4 bet because of his stats but am surprised that he flats.

Because he flats OOP I suspect he doesn’t know what to do when 4 bet, so when he donks, I’m really inclined to shove. I mean, what am I 4 betting that is afraid of a King on the flop? QQ/JJ, but AA/KK are very happy to get it in and so is AK, the most likely holding after AA/KK when I 4 bet. Unless he has stats on me, and I only have 14 hands on him and I’m certainly not 3bet from the blinds of %100, let alone steal of %100, there’s very little he can fold out.

So I read his donk as a bluff attempt, sometimes a K or AA, but mostly a desperation play from someone that doesn’t know how to react to my 4 bet. At a higher level I think a shove over his donk bet is a better option than at this level because I don’t think my opponent’s hand reading ability is good enough, so my shove on the flop is probably spew. But when I do shove the flop, what does he think I’ve 4 bet preflop and shove that he beats with his actual cards? Maybe he donks to pot-commit himself? If he openshoves the flop I’m more likely to fold but by donking he makes a pretty good play, assuming that he wants to entice me to shove overtop.

Oh well, I suck out majorly.

One of the issues that I face because I don’t grind is that I make extrapolations with limited information. At ring games I’ll use just 50 hands to make guesses as to a player’s range and style and at Rush I’ll go ahead with even less.


by PokerAnon ~ September 19th, 2010

This was funny.

I open-raise all pairs from all positions and here I get two callers behind me.

On the flop if I c-bet I’m only folding underpairs and lower suited connectors that don’t reach this board and don’t have two spades, so I’m ready to check/fold OOP.

When the turn comes it gets worse, and then on the river there’s no point betting except to feed the rake.

Then it turns out that I did have the best hand on the flop.


by PokerAnon ~ September 16th, 2010

I dunno what to do to get people to fold or re-raise so we can get it in while I’m ahead ….


by PokerAnon ~ September 6th, 2010

This almost made me cry.

Two limpers, including one from early. I’m hesitant to raise early position raisers sometimes at micro levels ’cause too many of them always open limp their big hands, and TT flops a lot of overcards, so I just play.

When I flop top set I bet out because of the flush draw. When called I bet the turn bigger because he’s shown interest and because the flush draw is one of the the most likely type of hand he has, but when I turn a boat when the flush fills, I bet smaller hoping that he’ll raise his flush.

Just an awful waste of a hand.

This next one is a little earlier from the other instance of Rush that I was playing.

Blind versus blind is a little weird at Rush ’cause so many people don’t know how to play those situations. Well, actually there are a lot of situations they don’t know how to play but blind on blind is one of them.

When I open raise and he calls the possible range is still pretty wide for him, including AA/KK/QQ down to Ax unsuited. His min-raise doesn’t make a lot of sense on a mono flop; if he has the flush just call unless it’s a weak flush which might be vulnerable. If so, then raise bigger.

I could flat the raise, but I want to maintain the lead ’cause I think a made flush is not the most likely hand here so I 3 bet, and he flats. On the turn I’m just trying to get money into the pot and he flats again.

When the river fills a 4 flush I check, willing to give a weak flush a cheap showdown. But the advantage of having 3 bet the flop and bet the turn is that we’re now both committed so when he shoves the river I call.

I’m not exactly winning every hand that I play.

Here I’m torn, but in early position I opt to flat JJ behind the raise. When the short stack shoves I think the preflop raiser is in an awkward situation, not knowing what I might do.

When he chooses just to flat I think that he’s got AK or a medium high pair so I raise ….


It must be that time of year or something. All three sites that I’m on have promotions going; Party has given me a $20 promotion that I probably won’t do much with, Tilt has given me a $50 promotion of which I’ve claimed $5 in two sessions, and Stars had a redeposit bonus so I deposited $500 to make the maximum $100 bonus available. Unlike the redeposit bonuses they used to do this one only has 21 days to claim instead of 6 months, so I don’t know how much I’ll be able to get. I can get 50 VPPs per session but I need 200 to release $10 so I only see myself getting $20 or so. Ah well, I’ll just cash the $500 back out after it’s done anyway.


by PokerAnon ~ September 2nd, 2010

9 tables of $25nl FR. Still trying to convince myself to grind cash tables instead of playing Rush poker.

This isn’t the best situation; 88, J62 two tone flop, called by two players behind and one in the blind.

But I opt to c-bet. Blind has checked, I don’t have many hands on any players because I haven’t played $25nl FR for a while but they’re 12/4/0.8 and 12/3/3.0 so it’s more likely that they have small pairs or possibly big overcards than anything so I c-bet and get everyone to fold except the 12/3/3.0 with a postflop bet frequency of 43 who flats.

The turn brings another draw but also makes it more unlikely that he has a Jack so I think firing another bullet and folding to a raise or folding the river if called is the best play against a diamond flush draw in the hands of a tight player or more likely an underpair.

The other option is to check/call the turn but if a A/K/Q diamond/heart comes on the river I think I have to fold to a river bet, being OOP and having not bet out on the turn. I think betting out on the turn to get small pairs that can pressure me since they have position and some flush draws and overcards to fold puts me in an easier situation.

Here I don’t get this guy. He’s 19/14 but a steal percentage of 50 so I opt to 3 bet. With someone with a steal percentage like that, he should know how to fold to 3 bets, but he flats. I bet to continue to represent my Ace and he flats again.

When the 3 flush on the turn comes it’s a good chance to slow down and not make the pot too big if he’s not folding. But when he checks the river I don’t think he has either an Ace or the flush so I bet, somewhat on the smallish side, trying to rep a bet for value with AK. He tanked for a long time and typed some stuff in the chat box which I ignored (which is easy to do when you have 9 tables on one monitor).

In hindsight maybe he has a medium pair that he thinks setmining preflop is a good idea, and then always calls any flop bet, or, maybe KQ or something, both of which are generally bad hands to flat a 3 bet OOP. AQ/AT are also bad hands to flat a 3 bet, but I think they probably call my river bet.


by PokerAnon ~ August 23rd, 2010

So for the first time since early June I played more than 200 hands on Stars. This is after a massive spew session playing Rush yesterday. I accumulated some frustrations playing too much at this always frustrating level and gave up about 3 buyins after being up early on. I can blame some spew on HEM; sometimes I don’t notice but the stats are in the wrong position at the table. I have to close the table and reopen the instance, sometimes more than once in order to get them in the right place.

Today I decided I wanted to donk around so I started a 2.20 180 seat turbo, but then I got bored and started loading up $25nl tables until the screens were about full. 8 cash tables in all, plus the tournament. Was doing okay without paying much attention until JJ lost to K4s and then 77 lost to 66 that flopped quads. Still ITM for 11th place or something.

But at the cash tables I was up $58 in 580 hands, still 14/11 rather than the 19/14 at Rush which seems odd. Nice thing was that the speed didn’t seem to be an issue for me even after two months away.

Biggest hands were where I was stealing with Ah4s and called by Qh9h in the blinds. I flopped a pair with the 4 and a backdoor nut flush draw, bet, he calls, turn fills the 3 flush so I bet again and he min-raises. I call, river fills the 4 flush, he checks, I bet, he minraises again. I should have shoved as I missed a couple of dollars by just calling.

The other hand I raise TT from the big blind after two limpers who both call. Flop comes 88T so I bet small hoping that with two callers and it being $25nl instead of $10 Rush that they might see that it’s unlikely that I have anything unless I have an overpair. One caller, I think I check the turn and he bets, I raise, he shoves his QJ.


It’s interesting that when I play $10 Rush or $25nl most of the hands that I post are ones that I think that I played fine and the opponent’s play ranges from awful to decent, but when I play $100nl I’m rarely quite so sure that I played optimally.


by PokerAnon ~ August 19th, 2010

I have to look at this one ’cause I don’t know why he doesn’t call this.

Flop pot is 0.75, he bets .50, I call.

On the turn the pot is 1.75, he bets .95, I raise to 1.90, he raises to 5.00.

Pot is now 8.65, to call I have to put in 2.20 which would make the pot 10.85 leaving me with 12.52, meaning that my shove at this point (out of fear of a diamond coming on the river and then he won’t pay) is a slight overbet.

But he’s 3 bet the turn big; how can he fold to my shove?

Does he intentionally 3 bet large to fold my bluffs with the plan of folding to a shove? That allows him to be bluffed by a shove with anything.

My minraise worked perfectly; maybe I should min 4bet?

At the time I wasn’t paying attention to the chat but when I collected the hand history I realized that he asked if I had A6, meaning that he recognized that he might be beat, but misread the timing as an indication that I had a 6 of some kind rather than fear on my part that a bad card would shut him down on the river, or and Ace will likely give him a better boat.