What are you working on in your game?

I'm always working on improving my reads.

The latest work Ive been doing, aside from that, is keeping control of the pot size. This was a major development in my game because I've learned to keep my investment in the hand in line with the hand I'm holding versus my opponents' hand ranges. This eliminated a lot of bad beats for me.

The other thing I'm working on is extracting the most out of the other players when I'm sure I've got the winning hand. I'm often too eager to takedown the pot when Ive flopped a monster because I dont want a bad beat. For example, I was holding 99 in middle position. I called a raise of $35 by a loose player under the gun, there was one other caller in late position. The pot was holding about $120 when the flop came A-9-4 rainbow. UTG bets $100, and I am almost certain he's either swinging wildly with a miss (he's that type of player) or he's got A-K. I have no idea what the button is holding, but I know it isnt pocket aces because he would have been smart enough to reraise preflop. If he has aces and Im toast, that's fine too, but I was 99% sure I had the best hand and that it was unlikely to change.

Instead of simply calling, I shoved ($400 total). The button folded and here is where I made a bad mistake even worse: UTG considered calling, yet I signalled to him that he shouldnt. He still wanted to call, saying he had a big hand, and I talked him out of it. This wasnt kindness on my part, but stupidity because I felt the pot was big enough and didnt have the guts to risk an almost impossible bad beat.

He folded and showed AK.

So, that's one of the things Im working on. That was amateur hour on my part at its finest, imo.

thats funny. i fight the urge also when i have a big hand. if he is the kind of player to go broke w TPTK you NEED to let him. when i sit at a cash game one of the first things i try to figure out is who is willing to go broke w only one pair.

ive been working on my full ring game, i was playin 50 nl full ring and was a break even/losing player and had a bad run so i went slummin back down to 25. started losing there also. so i took a break. came back and im on an 8 buyin up swing. gonna build back up, get better and go for 50 again. i have 42 buyins for 25 nl so maybe i should move up to 50, but my confidence is a little low right now.


I am playing holdem tournies again and switching to holdem manager finally to work on my game.

I am also reading new books on all types of poker.

I am working 6 days a week instead of my old part time 4-5.

I have alot of goals in poker to work on this year

Funny, I took some time off poker and now that I'm back, I realize (or rather, have come to appreciate) that I have a major flaw with my game:

The tougher the game, the better I play. The stupider the game, the stupider I play.

The live game around here is full of idiots. There's one guy who plays well, and is generally up or at least up until he gets it in good and gets sucked out on. He does well at the game long-term. There's another guy who waits and waits for a good hand, and then can;t understand how he keeps losing.

The rest are varying shades of idiot. You name the type of idiot, I play with them. Loose passive, loose aggressive, any two suited, slow-play monsters, smooth call KK all the way down, you name it.

It actually makes the game hard for outsiders to come play, because there are so many different flavours of idiots at the game that it's hard to know where you are in a hand until you get to know the players. By the time you've figured out who's who, you're deep into the game and likely into a few rebuys. People tend to leave the table shaking their heads with less money than when they walked in.

But I find myself playing WAY too many hands, and playing too fancy and committing all sorts of poker crimes when I play with them. I justify a lot of crap preflop hands with "well, if I hit it, I'm FER SHURE getting paid" and some of the moves I make with "well, he check called the flop, no way he can call THIS". Pure, unadulterated idiocy, and it's becoming habitual. Why? Because I have no respect for the poker being played at this table and figure I am better than the table.

Thing is, it's not good enough to be better if you're not PLAYING better.

But when I play back in Canada at the 5/10 and 10/25 games, I play a tight but aggressive style. My bets gain me information. I play position, I don't chase nonsense. I get a read and I make a move. I try to control pot sizes. I play my best poker.

I am SURE that if I had played my A game at the local game, I would have banked a lot more than I did. But my idiocy and arrogance cost me money and will keep costing me money until I pull my head out of my arse.

I will try to work on that this year.

  • putting good winning opponents to tough decisions on the river.

    - using combination theory to 4-bet/5-bet shove preflop more effectively.

    - when playing, focusing on the game and not surfing the net/chatting.

    - avoid playing more aggressively and paying off bets I should fold to when I am tilted/angry.

    - Balance my bluffs and value bets/raises better playing HU.

    - Do more homework/analysis on my game off the tables.

 taking down the orphans

I really need to learn my EV and odds with out taking forever to figure it out. I know that comes with time. I have only been playing a month maybe 2, so there is tons i need to work on.

I also realize I am a fish. And I am much better in tourney's and sng than cash games.

I started with a 50 dollar bank roll on line, and I am just stuck there, losing what ever I make in a sng or tourney to a a cash game.

I also need to work on not betting when I really have no play, hence EV, implied odds etc.

PR - -
- using combination theory to 4-bet/5-bet shove preflop more effectively.

can you explain this a bit more please, thanks

Spuds Buckley  - 
PR - -
- using combination theory to 4-bet/5-bet shove preflop more effectively.

can you explain this a bit more please, thanks

Sorry Spuds I just remembered this post right now. ttt for myself to answer it - its kind of a complex answer so I'll need time to write shit out.

thanks, looking forward to it


Building a roll....that is my goal. I've played in San Diego (Oceans 11), AC, Charlestown, WV and here in Portsmouth VA. After 60 hours of live poker I'm up over 1200. Online micro stakes, I'm a winning NL player over 200k hands (Omaha is my leak). Id like to have a full time roll. I'd like at least 3k so I can play 1/2 NL regularly. I'm sitting at 830 right now. Wish me luck!

:( still dont have time heh.

Okay, so combination theory is just Bayes Theorem stuff.


I wrote an article on this stuff on my website:


At the stakes I play the edges pre-flop are small against other good pros. And there's lots of preflop raising and reraising. Because we are constantly battling with each other pre-flop... it kind of becomes a game of chicken.

Like you raise preflop on the button, Im in the BB. Now I know from just watching you, or from my stat program, that you are raising on the button a big percentage of the time... big enough that I know you are raising speculative or garbage hands like, 87s, or J9o.

So I re-raise you.

But YOU know I KNOW you will be raising garbage some percentage of the time, and you know that I will be defending against that by reraising you with garbage some of the time.

So now, sometimes you reraise (a 4 bet here) MY reraise. Much of the time you 4 bet, you will have a legit 4 betting hand, like AA-JJ or AK, but sometimes you will also 4 bet with garbage.

Now the big question is: what is the game theory optimal percentage of the time to 4 bet with garbage? Do you 4 bet 80% with a premium hand and 20% with trash? What is the correct ratio?

Now, what hand you get dealt affects my hand. For example, if you got dealt the ace of spades and the ace of hearts - obviously I can not have been dealt those cards as well.

What two cards you have in your hand affect my RANGE of hands.

thanks PR, but that depth of thinking goes way beyond the stakes I play!

heh, you asked, and I said I would reply. :)

And I do appreciate it. I hope to soon move up in levels enough where that comes into play, but at 100 and 200NL FR if I start thinking that deep I will run into AA very time!!

I tightened up one leak I had...

No more casual booze while playing.

I find after a few beers I forget to pay attention during the hand and more importantly during the hands I'm not involved in.

Those little bits of info I'm missing while tipping back the bottle have caused me to have a losing month in September.

October is back on track.

JHR, I'm surprised you drink at all when playing (not criticizing you, though). To me, poker is like work...I take the game very seriously when Im at the table and I try not to do anything that will distract me from it. I may have a small meal, but even then I usually pull away from the table and sit out until Im done.

Andre, I should have mentioned, the drinking I'm talking about is at the weekly cash game (NOT casino play).

Even though the game is mostly friends and the play is more casual, it's still decent money and it's a chance for me to work on my game.

I realized that by drinking, I'm throwing away plenty of opportunities to improve.(We play twice a week).

I found when I drink I was playing ABC poker, playing tight positional and only betting when I had a hand while rarely trying to bluff or even attack blinds for that matter.
I was oblivious to the little things going on at the table and just playing my cards. I would either break even or lose a few bucks every game. Not good.

Now, I'm not doing Rocket science here by any means... me not drinking means I'm just focusing on the guys I'm playing with, acting accordingly. I've been very successful stealing blinds and pushing guys off better hands while never putting myself in any serious risk. October has been a MUCH better month compared to September.