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Author Topic: There and Back Again: A Punter's Tale by Matthew Harris  (Read 96213 times)
jgcblack
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« Reply #60 on: April 22, 2013, 07:10:14 PM »

John Black, the king of table manners.

really? I said I know I'm not perfect - but I'm the only one who witnessed it.

I might not be out of the forest, but at least I'm on the path and walking in the right direction.
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Rexas
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« Reply #61 on: April 26, 2013, 04:22:13 PM »

First, to John -
I've had temperament issues for some time in every aspect of my life, and it is something I'm trying to address. On the whole, I feel like I'm much better now than I was, but I do find it pretty damn hard not to react in some way. I didn't realize how much I wanted to win a seat to the monte until that hand, when the shot was basically gone. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be a slow process getting myself to a point where I'm calmer in those situations. Hopefully I won't do too much damage in the meantime.

Second, little catch up -
April is still a bit of a disaster poker wise, but as always is the case for me in these downswings that last more than a week or so, I felt the need to evaluate the reasons behind the losses. I'm not a big fan of putting everything down to "it's just a downswing", when I go for a few weeks without a winning session. So, what have we learnt? So far, my ego seems to have returned with a vengeance, although in a different way to expected. My game has changed to try and mimic some of the better players that I have been sat with on a regular basis. This "big bet poker" rubbish has never really been a style I'm comfortable with playing, and getting involved in these cock fights preflop will only lead to me losing money in the long run, because I can't compete with the experience or the bankroll of that styles biggest proponents. I've started levelling myself into making bad decisions, basically. Hopefully, after realizing this, I'll be able to make the mental changes necessary to get back to competing on my own terms.
Yesterday was a whirlwind of swings. Lost a lot in the space of one round, and probably about 5 hands. Did the sensible thing and got up, took some time, went at sat back down in a better mood, then lost what i had left in omaha. Took even more time, and then went and sat on a hold em table, and within an hour was back to even and some. Crazy game, huh? Whoever thought it up really must have been a dick.

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« Reply #62 on: April 27, 2013, 04:30:36 PM »

Why don't you tell us all what a disaster last night was.
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Rexas
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« Reply #63 on: April 27, 2013, 04:53:49 PM »

Why don't you tell us all what a disaster last night was.

It would be my pleasure, sir.
(prepare for some HH)

#1, I have    in the cut off, raise to 7 over one limper, BB flats, limper folds. Flop comes  two hearts . BB checks, I c bet to 11, he calls. Turn is  or something like that. He checks, i bet 22, he calls. I plan on totally shutting down, until the miracle  hits the river. He checks, and I'm pretty confident the guy has a decent K. Was toying with making it 50, but decided to go for the overbet instead, so made it 120. He calls, gives me a pretty pissy look, and mucks.

I then pick up AA utg, make it 4, I get three bet from middle position to 18(?), then btn makes it 55. I make it 150, MP folds, btn shoves, I call and hold for a 900 pot.

Last one is an interesting one, and requires some history. This guy had been sitting for a while and been quite active. He was well up for the game, sat on about 700, but had shown down some big bluffs and seemed to have a bit of an ego. From the hands he had tabled, whether through showdown or just showing, I thought I had picked up a few bet sizing/timing/amount of chips used to bet tells. The hand before this one he'd put in a big reraise on the turn with bottom pair vs me, and made me lay down a big hand, but importantly had shown the bluff. As always with the laggy guys, I had to adjust my calling range. So, I pick up  in the BB. There is a MP raise, this laggy guy three bets the button to like 9, SB calls, I make it 32. Btn calls, everyone else folds. Flop comes  three clubs . I check, he bets 45, I call. Turn is  . I check, he makes it 88, I make it 200. He tank shoves for 700 or so. I call. He tables  , I hold for the biggest pot of the year, probably second biggest of my life. EZ game sometimes, huh?

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kinboshi
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« Reply #64 on: April 27, 2013, 05:00:00 PM »

Moaning it in Wink
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'The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.'
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« Reply #65 on: April 27, 2013, 08:17:49 PM »

but as always is the case for me in these downswings that last more than a week or so

sorry to tell you buddy but a week-long downswing is not a downswing, it's just a bad week.
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Honeybadger
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« Reply #66 on: April 27, 2013, 08:40:23 PM »

but as always is the case for me in these downswings that last more than a week or so

sorry to tell you buddy but a week-long downswing is not a downswing, it's just a bad week.

+10000
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Rexas
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« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2013, 04:40:41 AM »

but as always is the case for me in these downswings that last more than a week or so

sorry to tell you buddy but a week-long downswing is not a downswing, it's just a bad week.

+10000

I know, slightly sarcastic comment on my part, but if i fail to win for a session for a few weeks after playing every day, I tend to take time to look at potential reasons why, and try to change them. In all they tend to bring positive changes to my game
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flushthemout
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« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2013, 09:30:11 AM »

Felt for you last night Mate
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Your only on this Planet once.......... so enjoy
Rexas
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« Reply #69 on: April 29, 2013, 03:31:47 PM »

What a week... Monster session on friday, almost entirely gone by now. Played about 20 hours of perfect poker until sunday evening, when my frustrations got the better of me. On Saturday, I ran a set into a flush draw and then ran 88 into A2 on A28. Yeah, don't ask :p

Followed that up with a session on Sunday that actually didn't start terribly, but very quickly degenerated and was the complete disaster package really, full of slowrolls and hero calls and people that you really don't want to fold, but you really don't want to hit either. Massive swing. Still actually feel reasonably good about my game, and am in profit for the week, albeit only a small one. Back into the negative for the month too. Baaaaad times.
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« Reply #70 on: April 30, 2013, 11:38:21 PM »

Had some very interesting discussions with a few people recently, it constantly amazes me how little I actually know about the game. Today, really, I just wanted to throw out a little something which came up today in a conversation about levelling. There is always a whole lot of bollocks about levelling wars, and I can very confidently say that almost every time I've got myself into a "levelling war" the other guy has been sitting there thinking "I have a good hand, I call" rather than all this stuff about he knows that I know that he knows that I never bluff here etc. It's normally when I try and stoop into these little things that I have big losing sessions, because really the only guy I'm levelling with is myself, and badly at that. It's those moments that frustrate me the most, when I needlessly spew off money and turn a break even session into a train wreck. It's having that ability to remain disciplined and focused regardless of how long I've been playing, how long it is since I've won a hand etc that I really need to develop. Often I can even see it happening, and for some reason seem to lose control of my actions and am reduced to a spectator in my own mind, throwing away money that will take hours, even days to get back. What's worse is that I can have hours, or days, where I feel like every decision is good, I make the necessary laydowns and calls with confidence and am unfazed by the results. And then, for reasons I have yet to figure out, I will play one hand disgustingly badly, spew off a bundle, then either go back to playing well again or literally throw chips at everyone for half hour or so.
This has actually been a very positive week for me. After I monster session on Friday, I find myself break even, but I really felt for a few days like I was the player that I eventually want to become. I dealt with some very tough losses, overall made good decisions, and my general demeanour at the table was, in a positive way, completely out of character. Saturday was particularly appalling, and I ended up having a pretty monstrous losing session, but I was able to take confidence from the fact that I didn't feel like a made a significant mistake for the better part of 20 hours of poker.  So, despite some rubbish hands etc, I come into May with a renewed belief that maybe I can make something of myself in this game.
My personal goal for the coming months is to win enough money to make a suit out of more money than the head of my course makes in a year, and walk into my last lecture wearing it. Glgl everybody!
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Honeybadger
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« Reply #71 on: May 01, 2013, 02:56:10 AM »

I just wanted to throw out a little something which came up today in a conversation about levelling. There is always a whole lot of bollocks about levelling wars, and I can very confidently say that almost every time I've got myself into a "levelling war" the other guy has been sitting there thinking "I have a good hand, I call" rather than all this stuff about he knows that I know that he knows that I never bluff here etc. It's normally when I try and stoop into these little things that I have big losing sessions, because really the only guy I'm levelling with is myself, and badly at that.

There is FAR, FAR, FAR less levelling going on between good players than most people realise.

Most of the levelling is between mediocre players who are trying to become good players.

Some of the levelling is done by the truly great players who really are out-thinking and out-foxing each other. This occurs much less than you'd think though.

The majority of (merely) good players do not bother with such nonsense. They play good, solid poker and let their opponents level themselves.

Good, solid poker (and by solid poker I do NOT mean tight, nitty poker... although as most people know I can nit it up with the best of them when the situation demands it) is surprisingly hard to play. And the vast majority of players who are getting caught up in 'levelling wars' are a long, long way from mastering it - they often do not even fully understand the basic fundamentals of solid poker.

Most poker players would be far better served concentrating on playing their ranges well vs their opponents' ranges rather than bothering themselves with any of this levelling nonsense.

Although far from a great player, I play poker quite well and have won nicely at it for many years. I rarely concern myself with levelling, and it has not had any detrimental effect on my ability to win (in fact quite the opposite IMO). The times when I do get involved in the levelling war are when it comes organically and forms part of the natural play/thought process of the hand. I don't force it at all. And tbh it does not even feel like levelling, even though I suppose it is. Really though, it is just an added variable that I include in my thought processes, often intuitively as much as anything.

Next time you find yourself going down the "He knows that I know that..." train of thought... just STOP. And instead start to think about what your range is in this particular spot, and what your opponent's range is. And then think about how these ranges interact with the flop/turn/river, and consider how strong your overall range is vs your opponent's range. And then look at the actual hand you have and work out exactly where it fits into your own overall range, and how it fares equity-wise vs your opponent's overall range.
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« Reply #72 on: May 01, 2013, 03:00:56 AM »

Or just lift up your cowboy hat, stare your opponent dead in the eye, and ask yourself, "Does he got it, or ain't he?" Wink
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« Reply #73 on: May 01, 2013, 05:55:42 AM »

Or just lift up your cowboy hat, stare your opponent dead in the eye, and ask yourself, "Does he got it, or ain't he?" Wink

There is some validity to this, and it shouldn't be underestimated in the right hands. I've transitioned from the most level heavy player around going ballistic all over the shop to mostly nitty with the occasional bit of craziness on the side, and I'm definitely downswinging through my transition, which never helps. Obviously I'm not going to give the bad beats etc but tonight is somewhere in my top 5 losing nights, but I'm at least marginally happy with all but 10% of the losses. 10% is inexcusable, twice i called on the river knowing I was probably beat, the first I couldn't work out how but obviously was, and the other I told the guy he had a backdoor flush, called and got shown a backdoor flush. Ultimately Sir Stu is right, but at the same time looking at your opponent and deciding he looks/feels/knows/wants you to do something, and this is an invaluable skill to have, but for the most part, play dem ranges.

As an aside I went into the DTD 1/1 game before MC deliberately deciding to play the vast majority of cards in front of me, and not to do any stupid shit. This was partly because Alex/Andy and others may know I am capable of such, but partly because whats the point. At some point playing the cards you are dealt is important, no matter what the tv tells you. However, in your overbet from the hand before (45 one) you know the guy has a king. I couldn't tell you why, and neither could you I presume, but your subconscious is a strong force, and I'd bet that if I followed my initial instinct rather than my thought process, at least in a good amount of spots, then I would have more money. My call when the backdoor flush got there tonight is inexcusable, and I really mean that. Don't be that guy, play the ranges, but find the balance between it too.

Easy game eh? Smiley Not trying to be preachy here either, Stu has 5x the experience I do, and I don't exactly have the credentials to match my post, but you know what I mean.
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« Reply #74 on: May 01, 2013, 08:58:57 AM »

Or just lift up your cowboy hat, stare your opponent dead in the eye, and ask yourself, "Does he got it, or ain't he?" Wink

Beautifully put Stewart, if you don't mind me saying so.

Sometimes all the PHA in the world won't help you.

Soul reads ftw.
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