Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reviewing Hand Histories as Part of Your Strategy

In this post, we will discuss the value of analyzing your own hand Histories, for good play as it pertains to our Turbo Tournament Strategy, and whether you/I made the right call for our Race Rules. I will only be using HHs (that's Hand Histories for those yet learning the lingo), from Tournaments Post my Initial Strategy Development.

In my previous posts, I have introduced several concepts that help with the format of Low Buy In Turbos. After creating the initial strategy, I came close to the money twice, played an all in on the first hand, and made the final table. Part of learning to improve your game, is going over the aspects of your prior games. Tools like Sharkscope Graphs, Holdem Manager Tourney Results, the Odds Calculator, and review of your own play, will prove invaluable in game improvement, and increasing profits. As you advance, you'll learn more about the right plays at the right time.

As mentioned in the Initial Article, you must not be afraid to lose. That is part of making the plays that get you to the final, and eventually more wins. Proper Bankroll Management is key, since there are adjustments you need to make for your game along the way. If you have 50 buy ins, and you are losing, AND - you keep making the same plays over and over expecting different results (relying more on the LUCK FACTOR), then your 50 buy ins won't last long. The key here is NOT to multi-table, or race with 20 games one right after another. Take the time to analyze after your Good Results and Bad Results. Then, whether you won or lost, you go to the next game with a fresh brain and outlook.

First, we'll look at Tournament #20 (finished 54th). You can review your own hand histories via an analysis program, or - since I've already done that, just go over the HHs in your folder saved from PokerStars or Full Tilt.

Reviewing the First Hand Played - I was dealt QQ. So, what was different about this tourney than the next one that I lost on the First Hand?

Poker Stars $0.10+$0.00 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t10/t20 Blinds - 9 players
BTN: t1500 M = 50
SB: t1500 M = 50
BB: t1500 M = 50
UTG: t1500 M = 50
UTG+1: t1500 M = 50
UTG+2: t1500 M = 50
Hero (MP1): t1500 M = 50
MP2: t1500 M = 50
CO: t1500 M = 50

Pre Flop: (t30) Hero is MP1 with Q of clubs Q of hearts
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to t1500 all in, 1 fold, Hero calls t1500 all in, 1 fold, CO calls t1500 all in, 3 folds

Flop: (t4530) 6 of clubs K of clubs 2 of diamonds (3 players - 3 are all in)
Turn: (t4530) 5 of hearts (3 players - 3 are all in)
River: (t4530) 4 of hearts (3 players - 3 are all in)
Final Pot: t4530
UTG+1 shows A of spades Q of diamonds (high card Ace)
Hero shows Q of clubs Q of hearts (a pair of Queens)
CO shows 8 of clubs J of spades (high card King)
Hero wins t4530

UTG+1 is Shoving first hand with AQo, as per our previous post, THIS IS NOT A GOOD shove. QQ was played from Middle Position. Middle to Late is a good Position for QQ (though, not necessarily for all your chips the first hand).

Now, lets look at the next tourney, where AQo on the first hand lost (my One Hand Blunder Game). As we are learning throughout this study, AQo in early stages, and in early position, can be a REAL BIG CHIP LEAK.

Poker Stars $0.10+$0.00 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t10/t20 Blinds - 9 players

BTN: t1500 M = 50
SB: t1500 M = 50
BB: t1500 M = 50
UTG: t1500 M = 50
UTG+1: t1500 M = 50
UTG+2: t1500 M = 50
MP1: t1500 M = 50
Hero (MP2): t1500 M = 50
CO: t1500 M = 50

Pre Flop: (t30) Hero is MP2 with Q of diamonds A of clubs
3 folds, MP1 calls t20, Hero raises to t60, 2 folds, SB calls t50, BB raises to t1500 all in, 1 fold, Hero calls t1440 all in, 1 fold

Flop: (t3080) 9 of hearts 5 of clubs 7 of hearts (2 players - 2 are all in)
Turn: (t3080) T of spades (2 players - 2 are all in)
River: (t3080) 3 of spades (2 players - 2 are all in)
Final Pot: t3080
BB shows A of spades 7 of spades (a pair of Sevens)
Hero shows Q of diamonds A of clubs (high card Ace)
BB wins t3080

At first glance, that doesn't look like a bad call. AQ has +EV from mid to late position according to Holdem Manager (which is why I included that hand as playing part of regular poker in the Early Stages). And, our odds calculation shows AQo at that position 66.05% vs. 28.36% for A7s. However, folding would have been more optimal, because AQ for a shove plays well when the other stack is WAY shorter. And, folding would have left me still in the game. Remember, early stages are not about risking 1500 chips to win 140 chips. Knowing when to dump a hand is equally important as knowing when to shove.

Let's look at the hand that knocked me out in position 54:

Poker Stars $0.10+$0.00 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - 300/600 Blinds + 50 antes - 8 players

UTG+1: t25355 M = 19.50
MP1: t17215 M = 13.24
MP2: t5068 M = 3.90
CO: t6505 M = 5.00
BTN: t5400 M = 4.15
Hero (SB): t6425 M = 4.94
BB: t16040 M = 12.34
UTG: t10135 M = 7.80

Pre Flop: (t1300) Hero is SB with 9 of clubs 9 of diamonds
UTG calls t600, UTG+1 calls t600, 4 folds, Hero raises to t6375 all in, 1 fold, UTG calls t5775, UTG+1 calls t5775

Flop: (t20125) 7 of clubs 4 of clubs 2 of clubs (3 players - 1 is all in)
UTG bets t3710 all in, UTG+1 calls t3710
Turn: (t27545) A of diamonds (3 players - 2 are all in)
River: (t27545) 5 of diamonds (3 players - 2 are all in)
Final Pot: t27545
UTG+1 shows K of diamonds K of clubs (a pair of Kings)
Hero shows 9 of clubs 9 of diamonds (a pair of Nines)
UTG shows A of clubs J of clubs (a flush, Ace high)
UTG wins t7420
UTG wins t20125

The limp from UTG+1 with KK fooled me, however, when I shoved, he should have re shoved. But generally, With UTGs chip stack size (slightly more than mine), UTG was pretty much pot committed. I had enough orbits left, but shoving with 99 at under 10+BB is the play to make (however, might have been better in CO or BU, but KK would most definitely call). After the cards flipped over, it was definite I was the underdog. This race was mine to lose. Might it have been better to simply call the SB? To win these Turbos, you mustn't be afraid to lose. However, I don't win very many races with 99 (while others tend to be more lucky). I may make this play as a raise or shove. Did UTG make the right call? UTG should probably have shoved, but wanted a multi way pot. Maybe they didn't realize the few chips they had left would be minus EV.

Per the Odds, in this mult-way pot, AJs stood at 27%, KK at 55%, and my 99 at a measly 18%. First lesson learned, when Nearing the Bubble, probably fold/limp 99, or raise to 3XBB (1800), when 2 or more in pot. Then, could see flop. If KK had played appropriate, they should have shoved all in. Its better to win a few chips, then lose a lot (having your AA and KK cracked). I ALWAYS shove AA, and call VERY LARGE RAISES (If I don't make it myself), with KK. UTG wasn't pot committed at the time, and I MIGHT have called. I was hoping to take down the pot, but have learned that maybe a limp is more suitable for 2 or more players in the pot (when nearing the bubble). If the KK were removed, then my race would have been more appropriate, with 53% vs AJs at 47%.

The Donk play that knocked me out in 41st place:

Poker Stars $0.10+$0.00 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - 400/800 Blinds + 75 antes - 7 players

CO: t6315 M = 3.66
Hero (BTN): t18370 M = 10.65
SB: t12463 M = 7.22
BB: t74697 M = 43.30
UTG: t5752 M = 3.33
UTG+1: t15838 M = 9.18
MP: t12137 M = 7.04

Pre Flop: (t1725) Hero is BTN with A of clubs 8 of diamonds
UTG calls t800, 3 folds, Hero raises to t2400, 1 fold, BB calls t1600, UTG calls t1600

Flop: (t8125) 9 of clubs 6 of spades 6 of clubs (3 players)
BB bets t49600, UTG folds, Hero calls t15895 all in
Turn: (t39915) 3 of diamonds (2 players - 1 is all in)
River: (t39915) Q of clubs (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: t39915
Hero shows A of clubs 8 of diamonds (a pair of Sixes)
BB shows T of spades 9 of diamonds (two pair, Nines and Sixes)
BB wins t39915

While I have made this play successfully before, here - I made many mistakes. First off, very near the Bubble (cash). Second, steals are best profitable when have 30+BB vs. shorter stacks. The BB was in the mood to call with any 2 cards. Third, I'm at the phase of either shove or fold, and A8o is NOT my most favorite shoving hand, so folding would have been more appropriate. Fourth, and most importantly, BB called, and then proceeded with a REALLY BIG SHOVE on the flop. I had plenty of chips left (though would have been more if I 3 bet instead of 4 bet) if I would have folded on the flop.

This was a VERY BAD CALL on the flop. We covered the odds for this hand in an earlier post, pre flop I was 56% vs. 44%. BUT, to race, needed a pre-flop shove. The shove would have been more appropriate against shorter stacks. Lesson learned? Pay attention to stack size before even putting in a raise. Nearing the Bubble, DON'T try that aggressive play when you still have close to 30+BB left.

One final hand, one that plays excellent with the stack advantage, and can be used as a race raise, or limp in multi-way pot.

Poker Stars $0.10+$0.00 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - 150/300 Blinds + t5 antes - 9 players

SB: t9610 M = 14.24
BB: t7760 M = 11.50
UTG: t3180 M = 4.71
UTG+1: t5695 M = 8.44
UTG+2: t5535 M = 8.20
Hero (MP1): t14655 M = 21.71
MP2: t3085 M = 4.57
CO: t1090 M = 1.61
BTN: t3605 M = 5.34

Note my large stack size, over 12,000, which is 40+BB. Here is where I can make some plays to increase stack size, or force races with shorter stacks using the 40 to 60 rule.

Pre Flop: (t675) Hero is MP1 with 8 of hearts K of hearts
3 folds, Hero calls t300, 3 folds, SB calls t150, BB checks

Now, SB did make a mistake in NOT raising his hand, because I probably would have folded. However, from mid position, I have K8 suited. The smaller stacks behind me are probably going to fold (and yes, the did). Since this was mid position, I decided to limp (CO and BU call for a raise). Also, if anyone in the blinds is holding AK, I am not a 40% underdog, but for AJ I am.

Flop: (t1125) T of hearts 5 of hearts 3 of hearts (3 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets t900, SB calls t900, BB folds

So I flop the Second Nut Flush, SWEET. However, one of them yahoo blinders JUST MIGHT be carrying the Ah, or worse, Axh. So, I make a 3 bet, around pot size, to see if I get callers, chasers. BB bowed out, SB came along.

Turn: (t2925) Q of spades (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets t3600, SB calls t3600

Now, not really putting him on a large pair, I decide to bet about half his remaining chip stack. Of course, he could have the nuts, but I am beginning to think not.

River: (t10125) 7 of clubs (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets t2700, SB calls t2700

So, the move (here, he made mistake by calling, should have either shoved or folded). I'm pretty sure he doesn't have the nuts, so I calculate my bet to leave him with about 2k in chips. He smooth calls again (no raise, no fold). So showdown proved rather profitable.

Final Pot: t15525
SB mucks J of diamonds J of clubs
Hero shows 8 of hearts K of hearts (a flush, King high)
Hero wins 15525

This is where you want the race cards (suggestions out when publication out). This is regarded as a race-able situation, considering the range of hands. If opponent had raised all in, I probably would have folded for 9k chips, but if the small stack opponents following me had raised all in, probably would have called. Once again, since he was a 69% favorite before the flop, a BIG RAISE, or shove with that amount of chips, would be warranted (especially with JJ and above in the BB).

Tis better to win a small pot with antes, then to lose a big pot with your big pairs.


Post a Comment