Saturday, June 11, 2005

Training Montage

YTD: +$23206.65

Unlike most Rocky adventures, the Hero hasn't comeback to win; he's come back to lose.

I decided to take a shot at the 10-20 PLO game on Party simply because the 5-10, where I had been slowly building a recovery, had pinged out of existance. BTW this is a very bad move by Party. The 5-10 was vibrant and sustainable. The 10-20 will destroy a lot of players as they simply will not have the $100-200k required to play it properly. But when have Party ever understood Poker?

So have much shot-taking money do you put at risk? $4k? $6k? Try $14k :( The play was loose and poor and so was I. Whereas the 5-10 downward spiral was probably 5% bad play, this debacle was more like 70%.

Since then my judgement has been poor. Having ground out and played around a little, I then took a shot at my absolutely worse game of limit hilo and promptly went on tilt for another $2.5k I could little afford.

So in my reduced circumstances I need to have a set of reduced goals. I'm going to go back to the basics of the start of the year, and play a lot of 2-4 , 3-6 PLO8b and see if I can retrench and rebuild. Stick along for the ride.

Here's a reaaaally bad hand:

Might as well reveal that I was Sc1mitar, as if you didn't already know, as that Party account is no more.

Of course the real bad play on the hand is the river. What could he be playing for? I might as well have got $1400 and thrown it on the fire.

***** Hand History for Game 2164902552 *****
$2000 PL Omaha Hi - Monday, June 06, 15:27:03 EDT 2005
Table Table 52014 (Real Money)
Seat 4 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 2: Kivelaki ( $6857 )
Seat 3: yumyum777 ( $3362 )
Seat 4: PokerSvend ( $1815 )
Seat 5: neZhdan ( $7157.5 )
Seat 7: Byrrr ( $2000 )
Seat 8: mahmouda ( $2097 )
Seat 10: flyingfux11 ( $3269.12 )
Seat 9: flash237 ( $440 )
Seat 6: Sc1mitar ( $2983 )
Seat 1: feerless ( $1880 )
neZhdan posts small blind [$10].
Sc1mitar posts big blind [$20].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Sc1mitar [ Qs 5s Jh Ts ]
Byrrr folds.
mahmouda folds.
flash237 calls [$20].
flyingfux11 calls [$20].
mahmouda: anybody6
feerless calls [$20].
Kivelaki folds.
yumyum777 folds.
PokerSvend folds.
>You have options at Table 52103 Table!.
neZhdan calls [$10].
Sc1mitar checks.
** Dealing Flop ** [ 8s, Ad, Td ]
neZhdan checks.
Sc1mitar checks.
flash237 bets [$97].
flyingfux11 calls [$97].
feerless folds.
lidam: what
neZhdan calls [$97].
Sc1mitar calls [$97].
** Dealing Turn ** [ Kh ]
neZhdan checks.
Sc1mitar checks.
flash237 checks.
flyingfux11 bets [$325].
neZhdan folds
Sc1mitar raises [$1460].
flash237 folds.
flyingfux11 calls [$1135].
** Dealing River ** [ 5d ]
Sc1mitar is all-In.
flyingfux11 calls [$1406].
Sc1mitar shows [ Qs, 5s, Jh, Ts ] a straight, ten to ace.
flyingfux11 shows [ 9c, 3d, Ks, Kd ] a flush, ace high.
flyingfux11 wins $6217 from the main pot with a flush, ace high.

On a more cheerful note, this clip really amused me:


Patri Friedman said...

These 10-20 games on party are awesome...way better than on Stars. Dunno if its sustainable, but I'm loving it. The omaha high play is really bad. ie flop a35, I have 24, bet, get raised, *re-raise* (we had ~$1500 each) and get called by a5!

Bummer about your can go quick in that game. I won $30K on stars in the 10-20, lost $15K from bad luck, and tilted off $10K...cashed out the rest and went back to my mainstay of NLH SNG's for awhile.

I'm definitely gonna hit these games while they're juicy, though. btw I'm deucesfull on party and patrissimo on stars.

Big Dave D said...

Hey Patri,

Welcome to the blog! Nice to see another old timer from the day on rgp.

For those not in the know, Patri was prolly one of the first "bright, young things" in the Poker scene, waaay back when they were not so nausiatingly common and winning $1m every week.

The games are good. But so were the 5-10 on Stars (mostly) until the 10-20 killed it dead. The same will happen, unfortunately, on Party too.



Nebraska Rat said...

Hi Big Dave,
Looking forward to following your progress at PL Omaha 8/b. I usually play stud 8/b but I want to start playing PL and NL games as well. I have been playing NL hold'em of late and getting the worst of it.
The hand you showed in this installment is an example of the confounding aspects of PL or NL poker. What can you do in this case?, if you lay down your hand everytime the board turns scary I can't see how you can be successful at big bet poker. I don't fault your play on this hand.
When you make a choice to bet/check/or fold a hand like this do you ever use a random number generator,such as a coin or watch to make your decision?
Best Wishes

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I will tell you so I am not too anonymous that I am BluffTHIS! on 2+2. We usually don't agree on much other than bankroll considerations regarding plo and we won't here either. Even so I do read your blog and it is always interesting. Before I comment on the hand in question, I fully agree with your comments re the new 2K games. Not only have they killed the 1K but everything underneath down to the 200. Even though I play the 2K, I believe the best levels if they would go and be sustainable would be the 400/600. Although I have the roll to play the new levels and do, as well as the 1K & 2K nl games, I am at a total loss to understand party's reasoning. As I said in a recent 2+2 post, by killing off all the intermediate plo levels, they are effectively making it impossible for players who don't already have a roll to move up or rebuild.

You might not want advice from me, but I am sincere in giving it and I do respect you for your ability to understand bankroll is paramount and your move down to rebuild rather than risk blowing more in an attempt to recover losses. I also respect your ability to be aggressive with draws to try to move out other players with marginal hands, and believe it is far better to raise with such hands rather than calling your stack off with weak draws that most likely won't get paid if they hit, which is what I am always criticizing aces for on 2+2.

This is a good time to review your basic strategy for plo, particularly hand selection for various positions and in various situations. Sure in the hand in question you were in an unraised blind, and sure the other guy was a lucky mofo to win when you had the nuts. But your flop call was the error that caused all that. You had a weak draw that often would result in a split, and if it did not come on the turn with a spade, did not offer you any freerolls on another player. I have multiple accounts on party, and you and I have played hundreds of hours of plo together on party and stars, and maybe UB as well, and I know that these types of hands are typical of how you play (and I know your other screen name on party too besides the one you let be seen in this hh). Preflop errors in hand selection both by position, number of players in (not getting enough odds to play something like 8765ds in early position), result in situations where you have to play draws out of position with aggressive players behind you who will run you off the nuts when a scare card hits on the river.

Reread R&C's books, and don't be worried about what others will think if you stay in plo but drop down to the $25 or $100 tables. Retool your game. Part of the problem you are having is that in the good 'ol 100 days on party, the games were so good with so many bad players and maniacs, you could make a lot of errors and still be ahead because you got paid off by so many other worse players. You just don't see players on the new tables playing any pair and paying off top set with a bottom set of 4s there like the old 100 tables, because even the bad big limit players just aren't playing them. On the new big tables, there are bad players aplenty, but they don't make the same mistakes and are very good about using their position to bluff effectively. There are a couple players there who are devastating if they have position on you by calling behind with bad draws, but being aggressive in bluffing if another draw they don't have hits. I just refuse to build big pots out of position with these fkrs so they can steal from me or force me to cal the rest of my stack because I have so much in already just to be shown a 7hi flush that better players would just check.

I firmly believe, as I know you do, that you have to be a strong player in big bet games, and be willing to gamble in appropriate spots and with appropriate players to win big pots, and use position effectively to buy pots. But the foundation for doing so is excellent starting hands played in good position, and an ability to play the flop extremely well and release hands that go sour or offer only weak draws that won't get paid even if they do hit.

My last piece of advice, even though I haven't played limit poker in any form for a few years, is that if you are going to play low limit O8 games, be a total rock and be willing to fold the turn a lot if it looks you are going to get quartered in a 3 way pot when you have no chances of a scoop or making the nut low when someone else can get counterfeited.

I am not going to wish you luck, but the best in skill and improving same. And I will continue to read with interest your ongoing saga.

Big Dave D said...


The reason why this play was bad was the guy I was playing was a good player. In fact, i suspect it was Marcel Luske, who like most of the Dutch is a fine PLO player, unless he goes on tilt.

The problem is he has played the hand exactly as if he has the flush draw and some other outs. This was a classic "bet of death". And of course, as Bluff This says, the flop call was moderately poor also.

Look forward to seeing you in the future!

Dave D

Big Dave D said...


Tx for the well thought out comments. Surprisingly, I again agree with you.

I have known for a while that my style is a little too loose, especially upfront. However I have "mostly" compensated for this by making good decisions on the flop and check raising a hell of a lot. As I am sure you are aware,quite a few of the more aggressive players stopped continuation betting me on the flop, as I was liable to check raise them on a wide range of hands.

However, and this is a big however, such a style requires your judgement to be spot on. You have to be able to pass seemingly good hands preflop and pick accurate spots to check raise, if necessary, on the flop. And as I have said before, during my 5-10 bad run it was probably just a few % points off. And in my shot at the 10-20 I was simply terrible.

No further comment required on the hand in question...100% agreement.

Anyway, welcome aboard, keep posting and enjoy the rest of the ride!



Anonymous said...

No doubt there is a camp that that look to the earliest mistake and determine that all subsequent mistakes would have been made redundant.

I've flitted in and out of this way of thinking. For my money it encourages you to manage poker rather than excel at it.

In this situation I would think that it's only a mistake to call the flop if there's a sufficient chance I will play badly (or be outplayed) on the later streets.

Even then this doesn't determine the right choice. If you hide from difficult decisions you won't get good at them.

That said it's all too easy to chase the dream and discretion is often the better part of valour.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I don't know if that player was Marcel or not, but it is clear we are both playing with some top players as well as much worse ones in the big levels now. My most important point probably in my post was that when the games are really good with a lot of terrible players, you can make up a lot for playing badly with better players. As I said though, even the worst players at the new levels are good about using their position on you and just passively calling along with crap and then trying to bluff you off on the turn or river.

You make a very good judgement on yourself about up front play, and being in early position with either drawing hands out of position or even top set with a big drawing board are often must money losers compared to when you have the same identical hand and opponents but have position. Also regarding checkraising, I find that it works best in multiway pots, as even bad players pick up on your proclivity to do so and just take free cards to bust you cheap or bluff and represent a drawing hand that got there. The main point of all this is that no matter how good a hand you flop, you should always prefer to play big pots only in position.

Anyway, keep plugging on.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave

Just wanted to say an excellent blog, I very much enjoy reading it.

The comments are great too. Nice reading a discussion that is unpolluted by the kind of arrogant and ill-informed posts that mess up 2+2.

I hope you'll start a forum on this blog one day, but why not keep the posters limited to people who know what they are talking about. Admittedly that would exclude me, but I'd take the trade.

Anyway keep up the good work.

John L

Gergery said...

Hey Dave,

I've read your blog intermittently for awhile.

sorry about your bankroll problems. I also went on a run of bad play and tilt to lose 4.5 buyins in the Party games.

While it may not make you feel much better, it helps me quite a lot to see someone much better than i go thru the same things i am.

btw, i notice in your hand you're playing against feerless. I've played some against him recently in the Party $200 buyin, and he was doing very well $$ wise, but is very loose/aggressive. (In fact, he was SB in the post titled "wrap hand" i wrote at 2+2.

What do you think of his play? (i'm planning on reviewing some of his hands and watching him further, as he typifies the VeryLooseAggro seemlying very lucky player that I just can't seem to beat in PLO).

-Greg ("gergery" at 2+2)

Big Dave D said...

John L,

Tx for the kind words...actually im toying with turning this blog into a forum, but it will probably be a while away yet...what do u all think?



Big Dave D said...


From the 100 hands i have of him, feerless is insane. He was one of the reasons i stayed in the game.



Big Dave D said...


There a few problems about the way i played the hand. Firstly, the flop call is marginal bad. I am getting the right price, but I will have to play well through all the streets and being OOP is a big disadvantage too. Including meta game factors, this is a pass.

The check raise on the turn is especially poor. One of the reasons to use this, successfully, is in raised pots where u can get yourself basically allin on the turn and not have to outhink yourself on the river. I am achieveing quite the opposite in this case. THe river bet is also poor, as he doesnt look like he has the str8, and if he hasnt, he can only have a flush draw in his hand, although his reluctance to bet the flop seems strange in that case.



Anonymous said...

ok, well I'll give deference to superior knowledge - it certainly isn't a game I play. Though I still don't like small flop calls with perhaps small -EV getting too much energy.

As for my views on the forum, we've discussed that off-line.

Membership may not be bad idea - for a number of reasons:)


Patri Friedman said...

Howdy Dave!

One of the reasons to use this, successfully, is in raised pots where u can get yourself basically allin on the turn and not have to outhink yourself on the river

I really like the strategy, and have been buying in short ($500 in 10-20), and raising a lot preflop when I have a decent stack to make it happen. It helps prevent the aggressive players from bluffing/outplaying me on the river. Instead I just get it all in when I'm a favorite against their hand distribution, again and again, and the edges add up.

It takes some of the skill out of the game - but that makes it easier to multitable, easier to avoid tilt, and lets you really exploit the hell out of aggressive big stacks. When you get in an action game w/ the chips flying, its sooo easy to get in your little bitty stack as a solid favorite.

I wonder whether these games are also juicy now b/c of the WSOP taking good players offline? Whatever the reason, I'll happily pound them now but won't be surprised if they die. The Stars game didn't stay good for that long.

Peter B said...

Would this short-stack strategy change starting hand requirements vis-a-vis position? I would have thought so, with being OOP less of a disadvantage (because you plan to get the money all-in) and being on the button less of an advantage.

Since there are obvious plusses from this short-stack line, what are the minuses?

And how does it impact on volatility?

Definitely curious about this, since I've been playing the exact opposite in the small-stakes games. A big stack trying to bash down the smaller stacks!


Anonymous said...

' One of the reasons to use this, successfully, is in raised pots where u can get yourself basically allin on the turn and not have to outhink yourself on the river '

I can see the sense & the benefit of this, but I'm not sure I'm too comfortable with it. It feels like one of those anti-scarring strategies I've seen myself adopt.

In the example you cited by reraising the pot you gave your opponent a play on the river - which he had regardless of how you play the turn, but of course with differing risk/reward in each case. But it is a trade-off: you get him to put in money @ 1-1 for a 2-1 shot, but give him some back on the river by allowing him to bluff or you to make a bad call on the river.

I suppose it comes down to how well you and your opponent get the mix of strategies right/wrong on the river in both scenarios - if by flat calling the turn there is a good chance your opponent will make a big bet on the river with you holding the nuts then that strategy is promoted.

Going all 'zero-sum' on you, I can't help but feel your opponent would prefer you to flat call the turn & allow him the easy pickup with a danger card, or a misplaced bluff on the river than the high-volume strategy that you employed.

Ok maybe I'm showing my BB naivety here, I'm sure you weren't suggesting the chk-call as the alternative - but to bet out with the added hope of a raise from your opponent thus increasing the chance of getting into the desired state of all-in with the nuts. Even so, how likely is it that your opponent will make this move with two draws, let alone one? (though I suppose the 3rd player adds options).

I dunno, I feel that your opponent would least prefer you to play the strategy you adopted, unless he was a sicko non-nuts-turn-raiser or river-bluffer.


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time. I was wondering if it is correct to infere from your post that if the proper bankroll for 10-20 is 100k-200k, does that mean that for .25/.5 is 500-1k? Which is greater than a NLHU at the same level. Looking forward to your next post.


Beset7 said...

Hey Dave,

I just wanted to thank you for your honesty concerning your recent downswing. A lot of poker folks online over up there downswings and think it's great for your game and for those who read your blog to have such an honest account of a downswing like this one.

Also, thanks to Bluffthis! For his nice post. I had to back of PLO because of similar problems playing up front as I moved up to playing in some 1/2 and 2/4 games. Still on sabbatical playing limit hold em and stud (hi, hi/lo and razz). I'll return soon. I had to get back to basics (which as an American bred on b&m poker is limit games) and I've been running really well.

Good luck,


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, I was wondering if I could gets your thoughts on a hand I played today. The advice I got from "4" was that I should play weak/tight and fold preflop.

$50 PL Omaha Hi

Seat 1: PhatimooseJr ( $28.35 )
Seat 5: F___ingCrazy ( $54.95 )
Seat 6: mreger ( $73.78 )
Seat 7: sangrefrio ( $201.8 )
Seat 10: linux_pro ( $114.75 )
Seat 4: Hero ( $41.5 )
Seat 2: johnnymac198 ( $38 )
Seat 8: BIGEASY2005 ( $38.1 )
Seat 3: gs888 ( $47.35 )
Seat 9: cthec ( $47.15 )
sangrefrio posts small blind [$0.25].
BIGEASY2005 posts big blind [$0.5].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Hero [ Qc Th 4s Jd ]
cthec calls [$0.5].
linux_pro folds.
PhatimooseJr folds.
johnnymac198 folds.
gs888 calls [$0.5].
Hero calls [$0.5].
F___ingCrazy raises [$3.25].
sangrefrio folds.
BIGEASY2005 folds.
cthec calls [$2.75].
gs888 calls [$2.75].
Hero calls [$2.75].
** Dealing Flop ** [ Js, 2h, Qh ]
cthec bets [$13.1].
gs888 folds.
Hero calls [$13.1].
F___ingCrazy folds.
** Dealing Turn ** [ Td ]
cthec is all-In [$30.8]

PeterB said...

On this hand I would probably fold to the raise pre-flop. You have no flush opportunity. Perhaps if your fourth card were an eight (or 9 or K or A) I would be in.

On the flop, I can't see what you are doing calling a $13 bet. You have top two-pair and no backdoor opportunities (apart from AK, K9, 89, which give you a straight). There is no law against the other two jacks or other two queens being in another hand. There is certainly no law against someone having a set of twos. You are also probably facing some kind of wrap like AKQT.

I don't have my pokercalc to hand, but I would guess that your equity is less than 33% to call and definitely less than 25% if someone else calls. And that's assuming there is no bet on the turn if you fail to hit.

Basically you need to hit a Q or a J, or four outs, to win this hand, unless your opponents are clinically insane. And if they ARE clinically insane, then your best play is to reraise all-in. At least that way you get two see two cards (= 8 outs if your cards are live). If you are behind to a set of twos, this is your best hope. If you are ahead of a massive drawing hand, it's also your best hope. If you are facing both of these, it's definitely your best hope. But it isn't much of a hope. Fold is best, raise is second-worst. Call is worst.

This hand would have cost me 50 cents. Even if you end up the winner on this particular hand, pumping in $3 on QJTx rainbow, followed by $13 on top two pair, is a short route to three or four rebuys a night.

But, you've called on the flop. Now you have top three pair. Wow. It's still garbage. You have six outs rather than four, or about half-way between a gutshot and an open-ender. You are losing to any hand holding a pair of deuces, an AK, a K9, an 89, sets where you have the two-pair.

And if by some miracle you are winning, you are even more likely to be losing when the river comes if you fail to improve.

I'd put your equity on the turn at about 20% absolute max. You need 33% equity to call. It's a fold.

But I hope that you called and won... because it wasn't against me. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Peter. All advice I've read has said to fold. But of course that isn't what I did. Playing with this guy for a while led me to believe he only had Ahxh, which he did. Only one reply has asked for more information on the better!

I had him dead to a heart, but to make matters worse, I hit a Q for the nuts on the river. Proving Party/Empire rewards donkeys.


Big Dave D said...


Sorry Ive been away. Clearly its a fold b4 the flop in a very big way. Passing 3 pair on the flop is a player dependent decision and could really vary. But preflop was v v bad.



Big Dave D said...

Anon AL,

The reason the requirements are so much bigger is that variance is so much bigger. It's that simple.



Big Dave D said...

Hi Beset....spread the word! And good to see u around :)



Big Dave D said...

Various folks on my turn play,

I dont think you read my comment clearly. I said a check raise on the turn IN A RAISED POT. Normally, this will set up allin, or the nearest thing. This is why my play on the hand in question is so poor...I have made the river harder, not easier.

Also I am not advocating a short stack policy, quite the opposite. Its just that the turn ploy I mentioned can be a useful variation against LAGs.

In general a short stack approach is quite hard to make succesful long term, creates bad habits, and creates a whole heap of other challenges which you need to adapt, like not having a turn!

Of the top of my head, i cant think of any short stack specialists I have played with on either site.



Anonymous said...


I may have misread your post, but surely maaking the river harder (which your play clearly did) is a tradeoff against getting your oppo to put in more plenty of cash on the turn @ evens.

Do you feel the reasons I put forward are flawed?


Big Dave D said...


Back in blighty!

It probably is easier if I say when I think the check raise turn is most powerful.

1. Its been raised preflop
2. You have aggressive opponents
3. Its been checked to the raiser on the flop and he has checked
4. You have the nuts
5. Because of 1, the cr will put you allin, or near enough...and the size of the CR will be the pot or near enough.

Surprisingly, this criteria is met quite often. But clearly not in the case here.

Although I get to put more money in the pot in a good spot, in the hand in question I am still giving him him some chunky implied odds, with my hand turned up, and a lot of potential suck outs to come.

You are right of course, that my implied alternative was to bet out. If he raises, then obviously I get my allin coup. If he just calls, then I can pass a bad river for a much smaller price.



chaos said...

That all makes sense Dave and they look like good criteria.

Re the implied odds: Clearly you did, but do you feel you would have, generally?

That's a key point I guess. On the one hand you've given him the worst pot odds he could get (saving high confidence in a re-raise to your bet) on the turn, but in so doing you are generating him some implied odds for the river. EV surplus or deficit?


Anonymous said...

Hi Big Dave!
I was wondering if you ever played in the big Omaha game at 15/25 Euro, mondays and tuesdays. It seems quite loose-agressive.

Big Dave D said...


I never really felt comfortable playing on 24h, mostly because nearly everyone else was from the same town. I'm not suggesting anything, its just it made me twitchy so I left it well alone.



Flyingfux11 said...

Hi Dave,

Nice to be involved in one of our posts.



P.S. I dont think you did much wrong in this particular hand. I would have played the nut str8 the axact same way and would have had to make a crying call at the river.

Big Dave D said...

Eddy, Eddy, Eddy

Fancy meeting you down here!

If i knew it was was even more of a bad play :(