I Dun Goofed

Posted by Expired Potato On June 22, 2017 0 comments

The Price Of Stupidity

 

Have you ever done something completely retarded? So horribly retarded that once the dust settled, you're thinking was I seriously fucking retarded enough to have done that for the next half hour? I've done more than my fair share of retarded things in the past. But this one is definitely a contender for the top spot. 

It's 3:30 am Sunday morning. I'm at the Wynn playing 1/3 with direct position on a loud and obnoxious loose aggressive fish. In a straddled pot he limps in and I raise $26 AK. He calls. Flop is J42. He bets $20 into me. I call. Turn is a K. He bets $50. I call. River is a 5. He bets $150. I call. He flips over A4. Somehow I think he has 44 and muck my AK. By the time I realize my mistake, it's too late. My hand is dead. I LOSE A $500 POT THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MINE HAD I FLIPPED MY HAND OVER!!! And to make it worse, I lose it to the obnoxious loudmouth at the table I'm targeting. Overwhelmed by tilt and unable to continue playing, I instantly rack up and leave.

I have no idea how I could have made that mistake. It wasn't a vision issue. He was on my direct right and his cards were two feet from my face. Maybe it was exhaustion. Maybe it was cause I was hungry. Maybe it was both. Whatever it was, I am DEVASTATED that someone like myself with almost a thousand hours of live poker experience could make such a silly mistake like this. I've very proud of how much I've developed as a poker player during my time here in Vegas and something like this happens. It's soul crushing. Despite still being up $900 for the night I feel like total shit right now. Total shit. I don't remember the last time I felt like total shit. It was probably a year ago. I feel some fucked up combination of disbelief, anger and shame.

One of my personal flaws is having trouble forgiving myself after making big mistakes. I learned that about myself at work. I would fuck something up in a stupid way, get yelled at by my manager and feel like shit. But then he would tell me to hit the reset button and get back out there. It doesn't matter how frustrated or pissed at myself I feel. As a server my job back home is to be charming and entertaining. If that involves slapping on a poker face and smiling when I want to smash a window it's part of the job.

This situation reminds me of that except ten times worse. I need to hit the reset button and move forward. This isn't work. Well it kind of is. But unlike real work, I decide my schedule. If I still wake up feeling like shit, I have the luxury of being able to take the day off. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to work on that personal flaw. And I definitely do need to work on it. When I get back to the real world, I'll be in situations where I can't just pause the clock cause I'm feeling a certain way. I'm looking for a crumb of positivity while I'm in a dark hole of negativity and I think I found it. Already feel a little better. Writing this up helps vent the anger too.

I guess everything's got a silver lining if you look hard enough. 




Boxing And Tae Kwon Do

 



Lifting doesn't make you fit. It doesn't make you tough. It makes you look better than you looked before you started lifting, helps you carry groceries and move furniture. That's about it. I went to one boxing class and all I was thinking was man lifting is some choirboy pussy shit compared to this. That shit was crazy! Shadow boxing with some mixed in drills. Was the coach a drill instructor in the Marines?!

Drop! Jump! Mountain climbers! Shadow box! Drop! Sit ups! I didn't say stop! Get up! Drop! Get up! Drop! Get up! Get up faster!

Daaaaaayum chill bro. My arms are still sore even now four hours after. Got ridiculously hungry from that. But still stayed for the Tae Kwon Do class right after. Thankfully it wasn't as intense. Way more relaxed. We just practiced different kicks and stretched. I've been eating pretty clean, other than this.



I felt like I've burned a million calories tonight. Couldn't decide between a sushi burrito or a chimichanga. Why not go above and beyond and get both? I earned it. Their machine broke and they can't make me a sushi burrito? :O Poke bowl and chimichanga plate it is. Ate it all.





Biggest Pot Of My Life



The mistakes live players make are just ridiculous sometimes. There was a weirdo at the Wynn humming at the table nonstop. I knew he was gonna be a donk before I saw him raise almost every pot preflop. Got a seat change on his direct left. While I was winning small to medium pots and slowly building my $500 buy in to over $900, the donk got lucky three times and stacked the guy on his right for $500 each time. He tried to hide his tilt but to anyone observing him carefully it was obvious. What happens in this hand is a prime example of why you should always go for a walk or call it a night if you're tilting.





The Rio



How have I been in Vegas over six weeks without having been to The Rio? I still end up going to the wrong spot! I'll be sure to go to the actual convention center next time and rail some of the WSOP action as well as play in the cash games. Regardless, it was still a fun session though it was brief. I get into a verbal confrontation with a douchebag. Then I get into a couple poker confrontations with him. The table is on my side both hands. I have two opportunities to take all his money. Everyone wants me to do that so that he hopefully leaves the table.






Downtown



Meeting some people for dinner on Freemont. Perfect opportunity to play at the Golden Nugget again! It's a 1/2 game so it's smaller than the 1/3 I've been used to for nearly a month. But here's the fun part - the max buy in is uncapped. You can bring $50k to the table if you want, not that there's much point to bringing that much. People generally buy in for $200 - $500 which means it plays much deeper and with larger average pots for a 1/2 game.



There's a pretty decent music culture downtown. There was a guy eating his bass like Jimi Hendrix did to his guitar during a Hey Joe solo. It was dope. There was a really cool band that did a cover of Iron Man and Rebel Yell. Wish I could've stayed longer and listened to them some more. There was also a guy I just had to high five cause of a sign he was holding. :)





Weekly Hand Analysis



Another stupid AK hand. I hate AK! Playing uncapped 1/2 at the Golden Nugget. Folded to me on the button and I make it $8 with AKo. The small blind is short stacked (has $185) and decides to 3 bet to $36. The sizing is very big given my the size of my raise. Makes me think he's less likely to have KK+. Since I block those hands anyways I'll give him two combos each of KK and AA instead of three (as in he's only 2/3 as likely to have those hands). Of course he can certainly have QQ or AK. He can also have JJ or even TT. TT is less likely. I'll give him half the combos of TT (so three). I'll also give him 87s since he can also be 3 betting as a bluff even though it's unlikely.

So I can either call and take a flop in position or shove. If I call though I'll only flop a pair a third of the time and even if I do I might not stack him and occasionally I'll even end up doubling him up when say he has AA and the flop is king high or he has QQ and it's a KQx flop. I think shoving is a better option because I do have fold equity. He's obviously folding 87s if he's 3 betting that. He's also not calling TT and he could fold JJ some % of the time. Here's his overall 3 betting range given my assumptions.



Here's his calling range vs a shove given my assumption that he folds 87s and TT and that he folds JJ half the time.




So he's only folding 10/30 = 33% of the time which is not super often. But it's OK. I'm not expecting him to fold often. I just need him to fold sometimes for this move to be +EV. Like before, I'm gonna consider folding 0 EV.

1/3 of the time when I shove, he will just fold and I'll win the $46 pot uncontested. The other 2/3 of the time, he will call. This is how much equity I have against his range when that happens. About 40%.




With the $5 rake, I pay $177 to win $367 40% of the time and $0 60% of the time. If he calls my EV is 0.4 * $367 - $177 = -$30.2

My overall EV is (1/3) * $46 + (2/3) * -$30.2 = -$4.80

Holy shit! I wasn't expecting that! Even if he folds 1/3 of the time my EV is still negative and folding is better than shoving. Again AKo does not do well against a strong range. What seemed like a trivial shove for less than 100 big blinds actually turned out to be a mistake!

Against the small blind's big sizing, if his range is strong which is it, nothing wrong with folding if calling is also not a good option. Against a smaller 3 bet like $26 instead of $36, flatting and playing a pot in position would've been fine. Shoving as a bluff requires better fold equity in addition to equity when called to work effectively. Although in this case my equity when called is great, the fold equity is just not good enough.


Chip Porn



Been a while since I posted chip porn or curry. One more of these type of nights and I'll shot taking 2/5 no problem.



Categories:

One More Baby Step

Posted by Expired Potato On June 15, 2017 0 comments

The Wynn/Encore



The last baby step before 2/5 is 1/3 with a $500 max. Gotta head to the Wynn/Encore at the north part of The Strip for that. The poker room used to be at the Wynn, but it's now in the twin casino called Encore which is right beside it. I expected poker there to be tougher because of the higher max buy in. But it was even softer. At least on Friday and Saturday. The short session I played Monday night didn't have much good action. I need more exercise cause of the not so healthy food I've been eating. The high on Saturday was actually not triple digits so I decided to walk all the way up The Strip. It was very nostalgic passing by the casinos I used to play in. It was also humbling reflecting on my initial struggles here. Saturday night was a fun session. A lot of 3 betting from me cause I smelled weakness. The AQ hand was questionable though.







Nothing too exciting happened there Sunday and Monday. Tuesday the table was initially amazing. Had a drunk on my direct right but she lost all her money before I could take any. Twice. Then she got up and said "I'm going to 5/10". I hope for her sake she was kidding but she looked dead serious. Not sure how many thousands she lost that night but she probably woke up the next day with a lot of regrets.



Another fish who limp called a ton filled her seat. Unfortunately I went card dead and on a downward spiral. Took a walk to mentally reset and got back in the action. Not a lot happened. Except for the guy on the left spilling his coffee on my left leg and then somehow managing to spill his beer on my left leg again, which I forgot to mention in the video. You clumsy motherfucker! Good thing none of that splashed on my vest or hat. I would not have been happy.



It was 1 am and there were not many fish at my new table. When you're a poker player, sometimes you just gotta take the L and call it a night. I know I can win. I don't need to be leave up every night to prove that to myself.




Weekly Hand Analysis

 

 

If I'm doing something questionable at the tables, I should question it. Did I make a bad play with AQo by 3 betting it instead of calling or folding? And yes folding AQo to an under the gun 5x raise from a tight player is perfectly reasonable especially when out of position multiway.

Let's look at calling first. The pot is $64. It's $12 to call so I need at least 12 / (12 + 64) = 16% equity for a call to be +EV. If I give the under the gun raiser a strong range, the first caller a somewhat strong range and the last two callers a loose range, I barely meet that requirement.



But this is ignoring the $5 rake. It's also ignoring the fact that I will be out of position against four opponents. This makes it harder for me to realize all my equity because I will be forced to fold the best hand a lot. For example the preflop raiser will often continuation bet. Or the last player in position will take a stab at the pot. Let's say the flop is T64. AQ could be the best hand but out of position multiway I cannot continue versus a bet and sometimes a hand like QJ can bet me off it. There's also reverse implied odds. If the flop comes say QT8, how much am I liking my hand when one or two people start putting a lot of money into the pot? This is in contrast to a hand like JTs or 66 which have good implied odds since those hands can make strong hands like flushes, straights and sets which completely destroy hands like my top pair.

So clearly calling is not a great option and folding is better. But what about 3 betting? If a hand like AQo is played mostly for it's top pair value, it's better to 3 bet it to try to get heads up right? Against a loose range where they will 4 bet QQ+, AK and call a wide range facing the 3 bet absolutely. AQo has a big advantage.



Against a tight range where the calling range will be even tighter, I'm really hoping they fold. I'm basically turning AQo into a bluff because the range that calls has me beat.



In this spot, I'm turning AQo into a bluff versus these guys. The range pictured above is the range I expect them to call. By 3 betting to $95, I'm risking $92 to win a pot of $64. To be immediately +EV preflop, this needs to force a fold from all four of them 92 / (92 + 64) = 59% of the time. Is this reasonable? Let's find out.

If I give under the gun his raising range of 66+, ATs+, KQs, AQo+ that's 78 combos taking into account my A and Q blockers. So he's gonna fold 99-66, ATs and KQs. That's only 24 + 3 + 3 = 30 combos. He's not even folding half the time. Obviously the other three will fold at a higher frequency because their ranges are wider but I need ALL FOUR OF THEM to fold 59% of the time. I already fucked up. :D

The original raiser folded, the first caller called and the last two folded as well. Heads up to a flop of 874 with the pot being $231 after rake. To win I probably have to bluff. I bet $95. Versus a weak opponent, a small bet in a big pot works just as fine as a standard sized bet. I'm risking $95 to win $231 so if he folds 95 / (95 + 231) = 29% of the time it's +EV. And realistically it needs to work even less often than that cause I can hit a Q or A on the turn and potentially get paid. Can he fold enough?

The flop doesn't hit QQ-TT, AJs+, AQo so he still has 39 combos. He needs to fold 29% of them which is 11 combos. Here it's a very +EV bluff since he can basically only continue with QQ-TT which means he folds 24 combos. And even with a hand like TT he's gonna be shitting himself cause I'm repping a bigger pair.

In conclusion, preflop I should've just folded. But as played, the flop bluff was a good move. He ended up tanking. I pretty much put him on TT and start talking to him to try to look strong. Does it work? If you haven't watched the Saturday video, it's the second last hand.




Back To The Kitchen

 

 

There's so much cheap food here. It's easy to let loose and say "fuck it I'm bulking". But this isn't really a vacation. This is my summer "internship". And unlike my actual summer internship back in 2013, I actually care about this one. In order to perform well I need to not only keep my technical skills sharp, I also maximize my edge in other ways.

The simplest way is to live healthy. Have I done a good job of that recently? Probably not. Barely cook and last week I was saying silly things like "fuck the gym". That's not the right attitude to have. Whether I hit the gym or said "fuck it I'll go tomorrow" will make a difference. Whether I had chicken, beans and broccoli or a chimichanga for lunch will make a difference at the tables. Whether I went to bed at 4 am or 2 am the night before will make a difference. If I'm out doing something worthwhile that's one thing. But if I'm still playing poker at 3 am on a Monday, unless I have a good reason to do so such as position on a big fish, it's better to just rack up earlier and call it a night.


Why am I even talking about this? In the last few days I've noticed some consequences. I've been waking up groggy and snoozing! Even though it's noon! Reminded me of 2015 when I didn't take care of my body whatsoever. Everyday in 2015 I woke up feeling like that. It's time to make a few adjustments. Starting with this.


And then this. Time to start cooking again. Legit food this time. Actual chicken like the extra spicy chicken in that pan. Not chicken strips at 4 am.


 



And also...maybe the gym more than two or three times a week. When I was doing Stronglifts it was three times a week with at least one rest day in between workouts. Now that I'm doing a more flexible workout plan, I can do high intensity interval training, take a class or even attempt swimming in between workouts and have ONE rest day a week. That's basically what I did in early 2013 when I cut 35 pounds in six months. 2013 was probably the healthiest I've ever felt. It's time to start living like that again.








Categories:

When It Rains It Floods

Posted by Expired Potato On June 08, 2017 0 comments

Coming Home To Something Unexpected


Life is unpredictable. When I came home tonight, something was off. The air felt strangely humid. And there was this weird noise coming from the back of the apartment. I turned on a light and investigated. What I found out caused disbelief which quickly turned into anger.

There's a fucking flood. How? Rewind nine hours. I was trying to brush my teeth but when I turned the tap on the water was only trickling out. Confused, I tried turning this knob to fix it. Nothing happened. I was going out anyways but I dropped by the management office on the way out. Apparently there was a leak somewhere and they had to shut the water off. No big deal I thought. Couldn't be more wrong.

Turns out the knob I turned wasn't a master knob that controlled the water flow like one of the knobs back home. It was an actual faucet. The water comes out like a sprinkler. Apparently there used to be a water heater or something there but the faucet didn't get removed with the heater. So while I was playing poker at Aria, that faucet became active when they turned on the water and was flooding my apartment.

Luckily the water came out slowly and the flooding was localized to a small area next to my bed. But a lot of my clothes got soaked and a corner of my bed got hit. My comforter, blanket and bed sheet all were partially soaked. Hung the blanket on the bathroom door, the sheet by the shower curtain and just laid out the comforter over the coffee table in the living room. The carpet by my bed was also completely flooded. I'll have to talk to management when I wake up and have them call someone in to extract the water.

If I'm unlucky and the carpet needs to be replaced I'll get charged for it. But whatever. A good night playing poker I win way more than it probably costs and a bad night playing poker I lose more than it probably costs. The variance of this situation is actually less than the variance of a night at Aria. It just SEEMS like a bigger deal than it actually is.

Fuck paying $40 + $10 Uber for a motel when they make you check out at 11 am and don't even have courtesy check out. This is Vegas what kind of non-local wakes up that early? Pillow was on the dry side of the bed and the apartment came with a couch. I'll be using an extra bed sheet as a blanket. Turned the AC off so I won't be cold. It won't be good quality sleep but tomorrow is my rest day from poker so being groggy won't affect my EV. It'll just affect the gym and the gym is not nearly as important as poker. :)

Can't complain too much. It's not even that big of an L. Tonight I was up $150. Breaking even instead would've been a bigger L. Breaking even this month so far instead of being up would've been a MUCH bigger L. Besides, it was a life experience and anger management level up. :) Hopefully within 24 hours everything will be back to normal. 


The Next Day

 

 

Fuck the gym today. Might even skip Judo. Cleaning lady came in with a huge vacuum and got most of the water out. But there was still some water left and the carpet was somewhat wet still. I wish she took her time to get 99% of the water out instead of 90%. I suggested letting the vacuum sit on each spot for 15 to 30 seconds instead of vacuuming it like you would a regular dirty carpet. It worked. Not perfect but much drier. I knew she was busy and it was my mess anyways so I told her to leave the vacuum and I did a more thorough job myself. If there's enough water left it will grow mold. Fuck getting lung cancer. Borrowed two big fans to air it out. Should be good now.


Colossus Weekend Grind

 

 

224 hours in. Haven't gotten sick of it. Still love sitting down at the tables and getting in spots. Still love the thrill of a huge pot. Still love fucking with my opponents' heads with my mouth. I'm really curious what goes on in their heads when I raise preflop then bet bet bet. OMG this stupid aggro mid 20s Asian just doesn't stop betting and raising. He's talking and laughing to make himself look calm. He doesn't have shit. I'm not folding top pair. Wtf how does he have a flush?! :)

  
My videos are now being done with PowerDirector. I'm on their 30 day trial. There's a clear difference between number of features on that and Windows Movie Maker. I can actually overlay images with PowerDirector, which allows me to visually display hands now instead of just talking about them.



This weekend the Colossus was running at the Rio. It's the lowest buy in bracelet event ($565) which attracts a TON of low stakes players to Vegas. Perfect time to play some cash. Of course playing the Colossus itself was an option. But the structure is so quick it's there's way too much luck involved. I still need to win at least another $3000 to be "allowed" to move up so I need to protect my bankroll. And that's if I have an aggressive bankroll strategy.



 

Weekly Hand Analysis

 


This week's hand analysis once again involves AK, which is starting to become my least favourite hand.  I'm playing 1/3 again at Aria. A fish makes it $15 in early position. My nails are not as pretty, but I look down at this.

Very nice hand to isolate the fish in position. I 3 bet it to $50. A somewhat tight passive player two seats to my left 4 bet shoves. Looks like she has about $200 total. The original raiser folds. I ask the dealer for an exact count. It's $207. That number rings a bell. Remember last week's hand analysis? That was a mess!

So I'm risking $157 more to win a pot of $1 + $3 + $15 + $50 + $207 = $276. I need 157 / (157 + 276) = 36% equity for a call to be +EV. Against an optimistic range, (QQ+, AK) I have it.



Against a tighter range, (KK+) I'm fucked.



4 betting ranges at 1/2 and 1/3 are heavily weighted towards KK+. This was a cold 4 bet (she 4 bet having not been involved in the hand prior to my 3 bet) which makes her range even more heavily weighted to KK+. There are few players at 1/2 and 1/3 that 4 bet QQ and AK unless very short stacked (< 50 big blinds). They are usually afraid of running into KK+ when they have those hands. There are even fewer players that 4 bet bluff with a hand like A5s (except for that 84 year old last month who cold 4 bet 77 and made me lay down TT. :O Either a maniac who's overplaying the shit out of 77 or a very smart 84 year old who knows how to take advantage of his age group's stereotype). If she was an aggressive player, she could easily have QQ, AK and sometimes even JJ or TT, which means I can confidently call. But she was somewhat passive which is the opposite of aggressive.

If folding is 0 EV, calling is probably gonna be -EV. We can figure out how -EV it is by calculating a weighted average. First we calculate the EV of a call for each range she can have. Then we assign a probability she has that range and do a weighted average. Let's assume that 1/4 of the time she has QQ+, AK and 3/4 of the time she has KK+.

EV (she has QQ+, AK) = (0.42) * ($276) + (0.58) * (-$157) = $24.86

EV (she has KK+) = (0.23) * ($276) + (0.77) * (-$157) = -$57.41

EV (overall given assumptions) = (0.25) * ($24.86) + (0.75) * (-$57.41) = -$36.84

In order words, calling is almost a $40 mistake compared to folding based on my assumptions. It's not a disaster, but it's a significant mistake. Often times in poker the spot will be overall -EV regardless of what action you take. For example folding would have an overall EV of -$50. Calling has an overall EV of worse than -$50. A solid poker player knows how to minimize the loss in these spots. I unfortunately did not minimize my loss in this spot. It's easy to say "lol AKs vs someone who doesn't even have 100 big blinds? Folding is just silly". That's probably the advice I'd get on twoplustwo if I posted this hand. But when you break it down there's no shame in folding AKs or even KK preflop if the math says fold. No one at 1/2 or 1/3 is gonna be exploiting me by starting to 4 bet A5s if I make these folds. In fact I'd be exploiting them by making these folds and refusing to pay them off.

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention what happened. The stupid thought above goes through my head. LOLOL ace king suited she's got 70 big blinds you gonna fold bro? I look at her, shrug and say "I call". Usually people keep their hands face down until the river is dealt unless they flop or turn something super strong like a set. She lifts her cards off the felt right away, eager to show me. To quote Matt Damon, "I know before the cards are even turned over".



By the way, I was curious whether it would be correct to call KK, the second strongest starting hand in this game, based on these assumptions. The results were fucking shocking!

Versus QQ+, AK we good. Not surprising.




Versus KK+, KK doesn't have 35% equity, it has 23%! This is because if you have KK, there's only two kings left in the deck and therefore only one combo of KK. But there's four aces left in the deck and therefore all six combos of AA. So 1/7 of the time you're chopping with KK and 6/7 of the time, you're gonna have to get real lucky.



EV (she has QQ+, AK) = (0.57) * ($276) + (0.43) * (-$157) = $91.38

EV (she has KK+) = (0.23) * ($276) + (0.77) * (-$157) = -$57.41

EV (overall given assumptions) = (0.25) * ($91.38) + (0.75) * (-$57.41) = -$20.21

It's still -EV to call. Which means folding even the mighty KK, the second strongest starting hand in this game, in this scenario vs her would have been correct. Holy shit! Of course, versus someone who isn't passive, KK and AKs, AKo and QQ can be a snap call. It all depends on the player.

 

La Comida

 

 

I don't think I'm gonna be cutting anymore. Cooked one legit meal in the new apartment and it didn't even have vegetables. I'll try to be calorie aware but I'm here to enjoy myself not to worry. There's just way too much good food, cheap food and free food here. Like this sushi burrito. That's right. A sushi burrito. Somehow they managed to fuse two foods I love. If there's a curry version of that I'm never eating anything else again.

Ocean One is a great place to eat before playing poker. Their $3 beers tempt me every time I'm there. Unfortunately I can't drink and play poker. It's just a game but it's still business for me. Look at this $5 salmon salad. It's almost theft. If I'm really hungry, two entrees are $10. Like these wings and the southwest chicken salad.


This was probably one of the healthiest meals I ate in the last week.



Would you ever eat raw lamb? I hesitated at first. But fuck it it's Vegas. The quality was amazing, the portioning not so much. Even after getting some dope dessert, had to make myself a burrito that night.

And by make myself a burrito I meant pan fry it cause I don't have a microwave. It was so annoying and it took a full CSGO match to finish, turning it in between rounds. No idea why I didn't just bake it. I miss having a microwave. By the way, I'm no longer Silver Elite Master. Just a lowly Silver Elite now. Silver for life. :(




Fuck this apartment. I'm gonna find a better place to live. :)

Categories:

Taking A Shot At 1/3!

Posted by Expired Potato On June 01, 2017 0 comments

Taking A Shot At 1/3 For Memorial Day Weekend Grind

 

With increased confidence in my skill as a poker player and favourable results, I've decided to take a shot at 1/3. Long story short, it's going well so far. I thought Venetian had a nice room. Aria and Bellagio are where it's at. They have the biggest games in town (pretty sure they have 5/10 running 24/7). The big names you see on Youtube play there. Johnny Chan, Phil Ivey, Ike Haxton to name a few. Walking around the rooms when I go for a stretch, watching the 5/10 games is nuts. These guys have stacks and stacks of orange ($10) and black ($100) chips. It's beautiful. ONE DAY!

On Friday I got my first taste of 1/3 at Aria. Asides from preflop raises being slightly smaller relative to the blinds and people being a little tighter than at 1/2 (could just be placebo), there were no huge differences. It still played very passive with many limp callers and I didn't notice much of a jump in difficulty.


Saturday I moved into my new apartment. It's a studio which is meh but doesn't matter. Just a place to eat, sleep and use my laptop. It came with a bed, dresser, desk, chair fridge, oven, couch and TV. Good quality sleep is very important. Spent a decent amount of money on a good comforter, sheets, a pillow and the most comfortable blanket I've ever had. I'm probably gonna have to mail some of that along with the kitchenware I bought to Canada when I leave Vegas to go traveling, as long as it doesn't cost as much as it's worth.



I tried to chase a promo at Luxor. Ended up not going so well. Hopped over to Bellagio for some 1/3 action. For a Saturday night, my tables were very bland and did not have enough crazy drunk people. Probably just got unlucky with tables. Shoulda just kept table changing until I got a good one, as annoying as that is.


Sunday morning my sleep got interrupted by something crazy and a little scary. The action at Bellagio that night was crazy too! Ever play poker with drunks at the table? Fun! I don't know how it started, but when I finished getting up for a stretch and looked back at the table, an $1100 something pot was brewing between the two of them!


Went back to Aria Monday. Stacked a glass tapping loudmouth twice. Was super happy about that. By glass tapping I mean someone who alerts fish to why they are playing bad. Basically an idiot saying "hey I don't like money. Stop giving me your money". Ironic thing was she was a fish too. It's amazing how delusional people are about their own competence in poker. This delusion is the reason why so many losing poker players are regulars and there's so much money to be made in poker rooms. And I found it absolutely hilarious how she repeatedly said "I'm not on tilt". People who actually aren't on tilt don't say things like that. The reason why I stacked her a second time was cause she made a silly call preflop probably due to being on tilt. Within an hour of sitting down I ran my $300 stack up to this.



I wish I could say it kept growing but...I misplayed a hand and doubled someone up for $300. Lost more small to medium pots and soon I went from up $800 to only up $300. I kept thinking about how stupidly I played that one hand and decided to go for a walk to clear my head. It worked out well. Came back, ordered a coffee and kept on fighting the good fight.



Staying Healthy in the Land of the Unhealthy

 

During school I generally ate healthy. I cooked most of my meals and ate vegetables, baked potatoes and some kind of meat usually. Here I've cooked maybe two dinners this month and I've eaten out for lunch half the time. I don't know how but I've actually moved from the fourth hole in my belt to the fifth. Doesn't make any sense. There's no way the food I'm eating is good for you or low enough in calories. Look at this shit. Probably 1500 calories in those Tex Mex nachoes. This burger with the loaded kettle chips? AT LEAST 2000.

These tacos with the carne fries? Muy me gusta but...1500 easily.



How I seemed to have lost weight instead of gaining weight? Either my cooked lunches are healthier than I thought, the green tea/spice I have with my food is speeding up my metabolism, my metabolism somehow went UP at the age of 26, or I'm just burning a LOT of calories walking in the desert heat. By the way found a bunch of foodies on meetup. We went to Firefly (of all places lol) and had tapas. Always wondered what the hell a tapa was since I've been there so many times but not for their food. Now I know. It's just a small sharable dish. That's it. Thought it was some kind of taco.

Asides from the gym, dancing and walking, here's some things I've been doing to try to stay healthy. Constantly ordering water and green tea with the occasional coffee has gotten boring. I've started drinking tonic water and Perrier. Tonic water has quinine or whatever it's called in it which after a quick google search seems like a healthy option in moderate amounts. Isn't calorie free but fuck it I'll burn it off. Perrier is probably one of the worse mineral waters but it's calorie free and a quick google search to check for negative effects came up empty.

Off topic, here's a mandatory curry pic. It's absolutely unacceptable how it's been this long since I posted a curry pic. Was a huge mistake finishing all of that though. It was delicious of course, but there's so much food packed in that box at some point it just becomes gluttony and I'm falling asleep in between hands.



Red wine! On nights I'm not drinking, I try to drink a glass after playing poker. Actually learned how to uncork a bottle instead of just buying the cap ones. It's really not as scary as How I Met Your Mother makes it look. I even ordered red wine once at Caesar's near the end of my session (by ordered I mean I tipped the cocktail waitress $1 cause all drinks are free when you're playing poker). Turned out to be way too big of a glass and I got a strong buzz at the table which was not good. Maybe next time I'll order it and down it quickly during the last fifteen minutes I play. Also...

Judo


I checked out this Judo class after lifting. I'm way less fit than I thought. Just lifting, occasional sprints and walking doesn't make you fit. I was tired after the warm up! It was a lot of fun and I'm definitely gonna be doing more of this. Haven't had any formal training on how to fight in a while. The discipline from such an activity can benefit just about every other aspect of my life. The best part was the end of the class, where the black belts called out everyone and made them fight each other. I thought I would be spared cause I'm new but I was asked to fight the other white belt and one of the black belts as well. Definitely was outside my comfort zone initially, but once I started fighting I really got into it and channeled any anger inside me from missing too many flush draws into trying to throw the other guy. Couldn't get any pics or videos, but it's probably a good thing cause I was on the ground for a lot of it. ;) Went back for a second session. This time we took turns fighting one of the black belts. He obviously held back but it was still a good time.

Hahaha Fucking Americans...

 

One of the foodies I met at Firefly was really really passionate about guns. He was so into guns I couldn't help but smile thinking "hahaha fucking Americans" while talking to him. Told me about the shotty he keeps right by his bed and showed me pictures of his various handguns and a scoped AR. His face lit up as he talked about how he would take that AR to an outdoor range and snipe targets from far away. Sounds like fun! Also told me about this gun range near The Strip called 702. Sounded expensive. Just shooting handguns is close to $100 and if you want to shoot bigger guns it's hundreds. Maybe I'll find a cheaper place further away. Like many Canadians, I've never fired or even touched a gun in my life. Before I leave this country, I'm gonna pretend I'm FPSRussia.

Weekly Hand Analysis


For this week's hand analysis, inspired by my personal fuck up, I'll talk about a pretty common spot that's easily misplayed - raising with AK and then facing a 3 bet (a reraise). Of course this depends on a lot of factors such as your image, your opponent and from which position you raised. Facing a 3 bet when you raised AK under the gun versus facing a 3 bet when you raised AK on the button is entirely different if the 3 bettor is positionally aware.

AK is a nice looking hand. It's the best unpaired hand. It dominates AQ, AJ and AT which is a big portion of people's calling ranges at 1/2 and 1/3. Even against a hand as strong as QQ, it's just a slight underdog. But how strong is AK really? Versus a range of QQ+, AK which is what most players at 1/2 and 1/3 have when they 3 bet, it's not doing too well.



Even if these guys are internet kids 3 bet bluffing occasionally with say A5-A4s and 87s, we're still behind. By internet kid I mean someone who's grinded on Pokerstars or Full Tilt for quite some time and has played several hundred thousand or millions of hands. These guys have played in games where you need to balance your value 3 bets with bluff 3 bets otherwise you'll get exploited.



Versus a tighter range of KK+, our AK is toast. This is the range those 70 year old coffee drinkers are typically 3 betting. It's generally incorrect to fold AK to a reasonably sized 3 bet but versus these guys it's a snap fold.


We're only ahead when we face a wide value range of TT+, AQ+ and a variety of bluffs. This is a good approximation of the range a lot of the internet kids are 3 betting facing a late position raise.



Enough about that. How do we proceed? When folding is not an option, our options are to either call or to 4 bet. Calling keeps their range as wide as possible and the pot medium sized. 4 betting bloats the pot, but also narrows the range that continues versus our 4 bet. When we 4 bet we are either doing it as a bluff, as in we plan to fold to a 5 bet, or we are doing it for value, as in we can continue versus a 5 bet. In aggressive online 6 max games, AK can be 4 bet for value since a 5 bet is not necessarily a super strong range like KK+. In a live 1/2 or 1/3 game, 4 betting AK for value is usually lighting money on fire. The range that 5 bets is much much stronger than the range that 3 bets and is usually KK+. On to my fuck up.



It's a 1/3 game at Aria. I look down at AKo under the gun and raise to $12. Player on my immediate left calls, and a 30 ish looking dude 3 bets to $40. He's playing tight aggressive, is clearly a seasoned player just from the way he talks and worked for Pokerstars for years. Those are signs of a potential internet kid. Sizing is on the small size which is the first alarm bell. I would personally make it $50 (just over 4x the original raise because of the caller).


Folding vs a potential internet kid is not an option. Even though my raise looks strong coming from under the gun, it still has way too much equity against his 3 betting range to just give up. I can call, price in the other guy and see a 3 way flop out of position with AK where I'll be forced to fold almost all flops with no king or ace. Or I can 4 bet bluff. The pot is $3 + $1 + $12 + $12 + $40 = $68. I think about it and put out a 4 bet of $105. Sizing was a little too big looking back. I think $95 or $100 would have had the same effect.

So I'm risking $93 (the $12 is already in) to win $68. Needs to work 93/(93 + 68) = 58% of the time for it to be +EV. To keep it simple (won't affect the EV too much) let's assume he either folds to the 4 bet or 5 bet shoves. Let's also assume he 3 bets QQ+, AK and does not 3 bet bluff since I opened under the gun. That's normally 34 combos, but there are only 9 combos of AK and 3 combos each of AA and KK since I have blockers. Add that to the 6 QQ combos and his range has 21 combos. That means he has to only continue with 9 combos for my bluff to be profitable. Obviously the 6 KK+ combos aren't folding. So out of the 15 combos of AK and QQ, he has to fold 80% of them. Is he really folding 80% of the time when he has AK or QQ? I don't think so. So against this range, 4 betting AK as a bluff is a mistake.

What if he has JJ? Then he has 27 combos (6 KK+, 9 AK, 12 QQ-JJ). He still needs to only continue with 11 combos for it to be profitable. That means 5 out of the 21 combos of QQ-JJ, AK. Let's say he always folds JJ which is reasonable. Now he has to fold 5 out of 15 combos of QQ, AK which is 2/3 of them. It's closer now, but I still think it's 50-50 whether he folds them.

It's only profitable if he is 3 betting enough as a bluff, and also if he 3 bets JJ to try to get it heads up. If we give him a range of JJ+, AK, A5-A4s, 87s, that's 27 combos of JJ+, AK plus 6 combos of A5-A4s and 4 combos of 87s for a total of 37 combos. He can still only continue with 16 combos which means out of the 31 combos of QQ, AK and his bluffs he can only continue with 10 of them. If he gives up all his bluffs and JJ, he's got 15 combos of QQ, AK remaining. If he folds QQ, AK half the time, now it's +EV but not even by much, requires a LOT of ifs and there's one more if - he needs to not 5 bet shove A5s like some internet kids do.

The moral of the story is that versus a tight 3 betting range, having blockers to KK and AA doesn't justify a 4 bet bluff with AK. It's a very slightly +EV play at best. Calling the 3 bet is a better option even though we'll be out of position, without the betting lead and with a range disadvantage. Either option sucks, but facing a strong 3 betting range with AK is a -EV situation itself and it's not about picking the most +EV option, it's about picking the least -EV option.

Unfortunately for me the poor decisions continue. I manage to turn a slightly -EV bluff into a very -EV disaster. After I 4 bet, the caller folds immediately and the 3 bettor shoves immediately. It's 2 to 1 on a call. But I do not have the required 33% equity against his range to call unless all combos of QQ and AK are in there. They are not. In the heat of the moment, I neglected the second alarm bell. I have been playing pretty tight up until that point (or at least I appeared to be since I hadn't been getting cards). He 3 bet my under the gun raise having observed that and then came over the top of my 4 bet. This guy is not doing that with anything worse than KK. It's an easy fold. A 4 bet bluff is a 4 bet with the intention to fold to a 5 bet anyways. But somehow I don't fold. I tank and level myself by thinking hey what if he does it with QQ/AK? He doesn't. I call and he proudly says "I got two black aces".

Fuck. T55 flop. Drawing dead on the turn.

"Nice hand man".

An expensive lesson but a lesson learned. Stick with the plan, don't second-guess and don't do stupid shit like 4 bet bluffing at 1/3. At these stakes there are so many ways to avoid getting stacked because they aren't bluffing enough. Even just folding to the 3 bet would've been better than 4 bet/calling with AK.

Downtown And The Golden Nugget

 

Never bothered exploring downtown since I've been so busy with The Strip. I'm honestly not in any hurry to do all the stuff you're "supposed to do" here like hiking, pool parties and rooftop parties in expensive clubs. Don't even like clubbing anyways. I'm here to play poker and do whatever else I feel like doing on the side. Got two more months here at least. No rush. Downtown seemed nice. More artsy than The Strip. The Strip is more my territory than downtown but really depends on my mood. The poker action was very nice at the Golden Nugget, even though it's 1/2. Way looser than Aria or Bellagio. If I continue doing well at 1/3, I do want to phase out 1/2 eventually and play exclusively 1/3 and higher but I'll definitely be back there every Monday for now.




And by the way, wtf is up with this place? That sign is just morally questionable. I feel a little bad for laughing when I saw it.


 

What's Next?

 

 

It's getting hot. I actually want to go hiking before it the highs consistently hit 110. Didn't get the hat just to look like a crazy gambler who's a perpetual bluffer. ;) There's actually a ton of stuff to do around here on meetup. Asides from dancing and hiking, there's food outings, board game/video game nights, random exploring and a bunch of other stuff. I just need to fit those into my poker, gym, Judo and Latin dance schedule somehow.


Unfortunately, like I said before, a lot of stuff happens on the weekend and I can't really spare Friday nights and weekends for too much non-poker. Asides from the variance, that's one of the things I hate the most about being a grinder. Your most expendable days are days where least amount of stuff is happening. Oh well. I'll find a way to fit stuff in.

These pictures were taken on my way to Luxor. The castle is Excalibur, the buildings is New York New York and the sphinx is Luxor. Probably never going to those places again cause in terms of poker, no one cares about those places even though they look cool.

In terms of poker, the end goal before I'm outta here is 2/5. I want a taste of that 2/5 action. Already craving it even though it's still off in the distance. I think winning $5000 at 1/3 before sitting in a bigger game is a reasonable requirement. Maybe my win rate will be higher than 10 bb/hr during the WSOP. People keep saying it's gonna at least double. If that's the case then with average or better luck I should be at 2/5 before the end of June. Can't just hope to get lucky and ride a $5000 heater there. I need to study and review constantly to improve my game so I can actually have a good win rate there. 2/5 here is no joke from what I hear. There's tons of grinders and a lot of talented loose aggressive players there who will be more than happy to make my time at the tables a nightmare if I'm not prepared.


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