Monday, 26 February 2007

First Live Game

Hey I played live for the first time.

I had heard there was a sunday game at 3 o clock in Glasgow Merchant city with a £22 buyin so I went along to give it a go.

well I came 5th out of 22 not brilliant but respectable for a first live game. winning £25 for £3 profit.

I then went onto the blackjack and won £40 so a profitable day out and great live experience.

I will hopefully try again in a couple of weeks and let you know how it goes.


Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Poker Tracker and PA HUD (what does it all mean)

Using Poker Tracker and PA HUD
It occurred to me recently that everyone advices you to use Poker tracker and PAHUD but no one tells you how.

I remember when I first started using them all these pretty numbers appeared on the screen telling me god knows what about the opposition.

Well I will go through a few of the main statistics and how I use them and would be really grateful if any other experienced users would share there thoughts and how they use to statistics to help them win.

PAHUD allows you to define exactly which numbers you see on screen through the layout manager but I will just cover the default numbers and how I use them.

Firstly the most important number you will see is VP$IP this is short for Voluntarily placed money in pot and gives an indication of how loose (or tight the player is.This will let you know whether you can even attempt to place this player on a hand, if the number is below 25 then the opponent has some idea of hand value preflop and if below 15 then they are very tight, you should be looking for players with VPIP of 40 or more if you really want to swim with the fish.
Be aware though that if a player has a high VPIP then they are very difficult to put on a hand and you will only make money of these players by consistently starting with good cards and showing down.

Next the PFR stands for Pre flop raise and is very useful when deciding whether to limp with speculative hands, that is if the players still to act behind you have a low number here then you can regard them as passive preflop and a limp has a high chance of not being raised.If someone has a high stat for PFR and for VPIP then you can consider them a LAG ( Loose aggressive ) and you should tighten up and showdown with premium hands.

Next we have The overall aggression figure. This is very useful as it lets you know how likely a player is to continue raising postflop, low figures here indicate weak tights and loose passives which are your prey at the tables.

Next we have how many hands played and this should not be taken lightly, if this figure too low then you cannot really rely on the other stats as you haven't seen enough hands to really rate them.

On top of that I also like to add the won at showdown figure to the screen, and I look for people with stats of 80+ as these people tend to be weak at the river, that is you can float them and bluff them at the river.

When looking at all these these figures we should perform a sort of somatyping and decide what mistakes this player is likely to make and then we would look to take advantage of that.For example someone with low vpip, low PFR, low total aggression and high win at showdown can be seen as a weak tight and we beat these people by simply betting into them post flop.

People with High VPIP , High PFR and High total aggression are maniacs and we should tighten up and play back at them when we have a premium hand.

People with high VPIP , Low PFR and low total aggression are loose passives and we should see more flops against these people and use position as a hammer to punish there weak play.

There are as many player types as there are people though so prepare to be surprised and always learn.

One other thing I do is set PAHUD to only look at the latest 2000 hands as we may run into the mistake of underestimating an improved player, remember people do learn.

Hope this helps and I look forward to any insights any of you have on this. I am after all just learning myself.


Monday, 19 February 2007

Sit n Go's My Take on them

Just thought I would write a quick article on sit n go's and how I believe they are best played.

Please do not employ these methods if you are at my table.

Basically when you play at $11 and above the players are moderate players, they are not your micro limit Riff Raff but have some idea of hand value and playing tight so you can employ some tactics that would be considered OPS (Over play syndrome) in a micro limit game.

What do I mean by this?

well you can mess with there heads, they are paying attention they do get reads on you and they know to play tight early and then to loosen up.
They have all read the same books and articles as you and me and they know how to play tight early on, so you shouldn't. I am not talking about bluffing every hand but simply use your position. Position early on in a sit n go can be wielded like a hammer.

Basically I have been employing the following strategy

On the button

call any raise up to 4 times the blind with any 2 cards.
watch for weakness after the flop (i.e a small follow up bet (1/3 to 2/3 the pot) and reraise with a pot size bet, after that use your judgement if called.

on the cut off - raise 2-3 times blind with any 2 cards on any unraised pots. and then bet 2/3 to pot size after flop.

1 off the cut off - same as cut off (this is an even better seat than the cut off because knowledgeable players see the cut off as a steal.

All other positions play tight.

What this gives you is a very early lead and you get paid on all your premium holdings because about 4 blind increases in people start playing back at you. This is when you shut down. Everyone else is opening up but you have a large chip lead already so there is no need to risk it. Then when you get a premium hold they play back at you because they have taken a note saying you are a lag and are looking for any cards to play back with.

All my advise here goes against everything you have been taught but I find it works at 11 22 and 33 dollar games and I am often in the last 4 players with 1/2 the tables chips which means I coast into the final 3.

Try it and if it works for you let me know, if it doesn't don't blame me I am just a micro limit player.

Just remember the following Poker is like the stock market always do the opposite to everybody else and you will make money and since established wisdom is play tight early on and loosen up later on I advocate the opposite, play the player, play poker- don't play cards.

I will add the following warning to this as whilst working on this method I fell foul to the major premium hands calling rather than reraising- be aware that a really good player will spot what you are doing and let you bluff your stack to them - so do not pot commit and watch out for really tight players calling to the river.

Have fun


Sit n Go's

Have spent the last week playing Sit and go's at Party Poker.

Have done these before and never done better than come of even in the long run so I gave them up a long time ago.

But party emailed me saying they were Giving me $15 so I couldn't resist it.

I played an $11 sit and go and won and have been going from there, I am currently at about $180 and hooked.

Really stupid I know as I was making more at the micro limits, however there is something about competition in this form that gives more of an adrelinin boost and is more satisfying.

I can't decide what to play mainly these days though sit'n gos limit cash or tourneys what do you guys prefer and why?