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...


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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