2012. május 31., csütörtök

What is the past tense of dream

 I originally wanted to title this post "A dream come true", but after the spell checker said dreamt is not an actual word (lol? native English speakers please confirm), I googled "what is the past tense of dream" - and it sounds way cooler. So here we go...:)

Now that after the hottest month of my poker playing life ever I can hesitantly say that I probably am settled at 5/T (mixed with 3/6, occasionally 2/4), that was one of my dream for a long time. I definitely think that was the dream that took the most time to achieve, and (once again, probably) here I am, at the edge of being a full-time 5/T player (even though I hate it when people say I'm a X/Y player - I just mean the highest stakes I'm willing to play regularly).

You know, everybody has to have dreams in poker I think. Without these goals, that you don't even know if you'll achieve or not, you just play without purpose and motivation. Of course it's not necessarily a higher limit, or something, but still something you can measure yourself to. I remember back when I was grinding .02/.04 and .05/.1 I was thinking how cool it would be to play on .25/.5 - and when I got there, it felt like I was a really good player to achieve that. And, to be honest, I was given the circumstances and what 'good player' means at those stakes. Then the next dream-step for me was playing 1/2, the gate of small stakes games, playing for dollars instead of cents. My first shots to 1/2 took place around early 2011 (I started playing LHE in February 2010 with $14 as my total bankroll, deciding I'll never ever deposit if I go bust). From there my only goal was to move up to 5/T. 1.5 years later here I am, playing the stakes I dreamt of for so long.

But the way to get here was not even close to clear. At February 2012 I went to Gibraltar to have my first ever job at PokerStrategy as Hungarian Community Manager. It was a really big setback for my game, I could hardly play after work, since I was tired and exhausted, and there were better things to do at the time. However in ~5 months time after being close to scoop the SCOOP FL event, and final tabling on some MSOP events, I was ready to leave work, come home and be a full time pro on 3/6, and maybe even higher until...

I was awfully tired in the morning going to work, as I was playing until 4AM in the morning getting 3rd place in the MSOP Triple Draw event. But however tired I was, I was happy - and not just because of my 3rd place finish, and the chance to move up to 5/T, but because I gave my boss the resignation letter the day before, I would see my girlfriend first time in 3 months and going home with her to leave the whole shit behind and start a poker carrier. I was walking into our office with a smile and the idea of telling my colleagues my 3rd place finish, but instead of it I heard the news. Full Tilt Poker shut down. The place where more than half of my bankroll was, and some of my stakers' money too, shut down.

I came home in August 2011 still being shocked by the news and by losing... khmm... half of my bankroll being frozen. I think I had a borderline bankroll for 2/4, but decided to start from 1/2, so that I could rebuild my game after the long break, and to get my confidence back. Honestly I ran pretty good for a while, being able to play (or at least take shots at) 3/6 again. If someone would've told me what was coming, I'd just straight up laugh at his face and ask him for a good HU battle.

But it came. Exactly at the time when it hurt the most - when I got my confidence back and felt I was playing well. Not to cry over it that much: I lost around 1100BB in the next 5 months. Although that might sound like a lot, part of it was because I moved to high rake networks with rakeback, so after rakeback it's 'just' around 450-500BB, but still. I was playing 1/2 at the end, and basically wrecked by that downswing. At some point, I was like if I have to step back another limit I just quit poker or something. The only thing that kept the hope living is that neither me nor fat better players than me couldn't find any huge leaks in my game, but after ~800BBs it's pretty hard to accept that there's nothing wrong, "it's just variance". Still, kept on playing, because somewhere deep I must have known that I'm better than most, and - at least in theory - I can beat the games.

If someone would've told me what was coming, I'd just straight up laugh at his face and tell him/her to fuck off. And now, just 3 months after the deepest point, I'm here. Living the dream. Playing the stakes I thought I may never play. And slowly realizing it is a great feeling - I fear I still can't believe it, but I made sure that this wouldn't effect my game. (It's funny, during today's session playing 3 tables I asked myself what stakes I'm playing at that moment, and I couldn't answer without looking at the tables.:) - They were all 5/T tables.)

And it all wouldn't have been possible without... but really, no kidding, it literally wouldn't have been possible! Without 3 people in my life, who are one by one made miracles in my poker game and in my life as well: Toma, who has been there for me when I was at the real bottom, and still being patient, help me to get through it, analyzing my play, and... just being there. Hood, my coach, who built my confidence from the absolute bottom to the healthy level (or maybe even a bit over healthy:P), and fixed ALL the leaks in my game, and showed me his approach to poker: keeping a balance between grinding and being a solid player. And last, but for sure not even close to the fucking least my girlfriend, who has always been there for me when I was down, and who gave me as much love as I could never imagine I could get from someone, and just accepting me for who I am, and... and for existing really.:) Thank you all!!!

Ok, so that's it, I'm not gonna be this emotional for a very long time now, so don't worry. Will go back to math and analysis instead of emotions and whining.:)

2012. május 30., szerda

Long time no see...

Since it's exam season I had a little blank time in my blog, but it's gonna be updated more frequently from now on I hope.

I thought about starting a new "hand(s) of the day/week" type of section, where I'd go through some actual hands more in-depth, but we'll see.

Until then, let's listen to one of my newly discovered old favourites, the Diablo Swing Orchestra!

2012. május 17., csütörtök

I'm evil too...

Sophie (aka girlfriend aka Woman with a capital W) sent me a link to this picture:
Me: Honey, you know why Good Guy Greg is a fictional character, right?

The real evil...

When someone sets the deadline of a compulsory homework in uni just to 3 days after Diablo III has been released... you get to know what evil really means.

2012. május 12., szombat

5/T here I come... yes

Ok, I wrote yesterday's post, then had a session, and found a benevolenter playing 80/60 with an empty left-hand seat, so I had to give him company. It led to a session where I was actively looking for 5/T tables too, and honestly I don't mind that, I played well, and found good tables. Also I played with Bryce!

2012. május 11., péntek

5/T here I come... not

Good news: I gathered the bankroll that I set to the absolute minimum to play 5/T - it means if good luck comes my way I may be able to forget 2/4 and introduce myself to the 5/T players in the very close future.

Bad news: With the volume I played in the last 1.5 months I can't comfortably move up any limits. I played a session today (first in 4 days), and felt I didn't even know the rules of the game. I was rusty and had to play ~100 hands to get back to the grinding mode. That's awfully frightening for me, I have to play more in the future, and not just more, but frequent too. After the fucking exams and end-of-the-semester shit go down I'll focus on this aspect of my game. I have to, sadly.

2012. május 7., hétfő

Vasorrú Rózsa

//English version

This woman right there is the Minister (Ministress? stress for sure...) of Education in Hungary, who is doing a pretty good job massively fucking up everything she can in education. (E.g. if you attend a university financed by the government you have to stay in the country to "work it back", or you have to pay it back, etc.)

Caption says: "I guess I believe in the witches again... they mostly hurt the kids."

(Why) Do I 3bet A2o SB vs BU?

While you're listening to the awesome music in the previous post, I'd like to address this question just a little bit. I think it's one of the most common preflop leaks in SH LHE players from low to highstakes. At least I think now, but I haven't done any calculations whatsoever, so maybe it's one of my biggest leaks, we'll see.

So do you 3bet A2o vs a regular BU opener? I sure do. I've heard a lot of arguments against it, and very few for it. Let's see those arguments, so that we could tear them apart and see if they're wrong or right.
A few of those arguments (if you have any further, let me know, so that we can elaborate on them too):
  • A2o is a dominated hand
  • if we 3bet with A2o, we either win a small pot, or lose a big one with it (I think Deathdonkey said that for raggy aces)
  • A2o will be in the no men's land on the turn unimproved, we usually have to check/fold or check/crying calldown with it, which sucks
  • (our range won't be balanced, it will be too A-high heavy - that one I made up, but for me it's the only reasonable argument against it)

These are all that I could think of, but if you have any, let me know. So let's get into it:

Against my own BU range:

ProPokerTools Odds Oracle Results (2.05 Professional)
Holdem, Generic syntax
13068304128 trials (exhaustive)
All-in Equity
Equity %51,2244%48,7756%
Wins Hi %47,7664%45,3177%
Ties Hi %6,9159%6,9159%
Wins Hi Count62422618955922256311
Ties Hi Count9037859229037859
Ok, so first off it seems pretty weird that I don't want to 3bet a hand with 49% equity, but I want to 3bet a hand like T9s that has 46%. (Of course HCEQ is not everything, it's more close to nothing than everything.)

Doing a quick HCEV calculation (assuming Villain doesn't cap anything and BB always folds): 0.49*4.5 - 0.51*2.5 = 0.93 SB

So that ~1 SB has to be lost either by not realizing our equity or by RIO and other factors, like BB being involved in the hand.

True Equity calculation:

Let's take an easy example: we bet the flop, Villain calls, we check the turn planning to check/fold if we don't have the appropriate equity to continue. The pot odds would be 5.5:1, so we have to have 15.38 equity to continue. Since we usually have to call down here, and can't continue drawing, we should use more like 5.5:2 = 26,67%. Since we can call/fold sometimes, let's say 25%. What will our average equity be, when we have either more than 25% equity on the turn, or 0. I made a quick PQL script for it, I'll write about that in a later post. Now just accept, that our preflop equity if we always check/fold the turn below 25% equity is around 46.3%. That still doesn't sounds bad, considering we should have around 43-44% equity to 3bet from the SB. Also this script doesn't take into account, that most of the time we're also gonna make him fold equity (or even a better hand), therefore I believe our actual True Equity should be higher, or at least even to our HCEQ. That didn't change anything, let's see the RIO stuff.

Reversed Implied Odds:

That's a yucky one. I'm not certainly sure how to calculate that exactly, but I'd say against a weak range that contains a lot of rubbish hands that won't make that much valueraising hands, I don't think there is a RIO of 1 small bet. In my mind that would basically mean that the opponent plays incorrectly (by not bluffing or vraising thin enough), which we can exploit in theory, so a RIO of 1 SB seems extremely high to me. When I did some RIO calculations in the past, I got around .2-.25 BB maximum to RIO, I'm not sure if it was exhaustive enough, but I got the feel that it won't ever be that high.

About the domination

The hands this hand is dominated by but A6o is not, are hands that most usually split with our hand (or we make them fold by the river):

ProPokerTools Odds Oracle Results (2.05 Professional)
Holdem, Generic syntax
184928832 trials (exhaustive)
All-in Equity
Equity %53,3909%46,6091%
Wins Hi %28,4576%21,6758%
Ties Hi %49,8667%49,8667%
Wins Hi Count5262627640084728
Ties Hi Count9221782892217828

As you can see these hands will split the pot almost 50% of the time. Also in these situations we will have the advantage of initiative and we can barrel them off of these hands quite easily, so I find that argument very invalid. (Also the chance of him having the A and the board to have an A on it is pretty low.)

About balance

Now here comes the tricky part... I think I convinced myself well enough, so that I could say fuck balance in this spot, but let's still take a look at it. Let's assume two different 3betting ranges: one we put together with a friend of mine for these spots, and the other one with all the aces included in it:

Range 1: 22+,A2s+,K7s+,Q8s+,J8s+,T8s+,97s+,87s,76s,A6o+,K9o+,QTo+,JTo,T9o
Range 2: 22+,A2s+,K7s+,Q8s+,J8s+,T8s+,97s+,87s,76s,A2o+,K9o+,QTo+,JTo,T9o

So if we take a look at how the BU openrange shares against these 2 ranges on an A hi dry board (let's say A83r for the extreme).

ORBU vs Range 1: range asymmetry is on our side with 56.6%
ORBU vs Range 2: range asymmetry is on our side (LDO) with 59% equity.

Now range on range it's quite a lot of difference that 2.4%, however I believe that our initial range is maybe a bit tight, and with the offsuit aces included, we maybe can include some more suited/connected stuff in there (Q7s, 98o maybe, Q9o, J9o, something like that), and make peace once again. Also I still don't hate that 59% percent in itself, although seems a bit highish.

So that would conclude why I 3bet A2o BU vs SB, hope I could convince you to do so (although I'm fine if you don't :P), and I hope you liked the analysis.

Any feedback or comment is appreciated. Cheers.

One more drink, Lacikám?

Now that the blog is in English, I'm more than happy to share with you one of my favourite song from the Hungarian Kerekes band, that is a folk-based electro acoustic something. The point is that it's good. So enjoy Mr Hungary. (I'd be curious how it sounds to someone who doesn't understand the Hungarian parts in it... well, since probably those are the funny parts, maybe not as good as it's for me, but we'll see.)

More music from Kerekes Band:

And one more with the famous electronic bagpipe:

2012. május 4., péntek

Chavviness of suits

I've just spent more than half an hour discussing with Toma (a fellow poker player friend of mine whom I speak daily) what is the chavviest suit in poker. We couldn't agree on it at all, so I'd like you to post your order of suits from the pimpest to the chavviest. Also, if you have time, please let me know why you think the way you do. (And everybody who says hearts is the pimpest please also send me your nicknames so that I could instantly mark you as fish.)

My list (from the pimpest to the chavviest): diamonds/blue (not a question), spades(if black), hearts/red, clubs/green, spades(if yellow)

PS: only upside of this half an hour was that I learnt a new word (chavvy)
PS2: BTW the reason for discussing was that he had the second chavviest Royal Flush yesterday. (The one where he flops the draw, and the river completes it.)

//Hungarian version

Tomával ma vagy fél órán keresztül azon vitatkoztunk, hogy mi a legputtóbb szín, de nem sikerült megegyezésre jutnunk. Ha van időtök, írjátok le, hogy nálatok mi a sorrend.

Nálam: ld. az angol posztot.

2012. május 3., csütörtök

The lifetilt of a regular

Dear xxx regular,

This happens when, while being a small stakes HUSnG grinder (and honestly not a good one), you think it's a good idea to sit on medium/high stakes HUSnG regulars. Thank you for letting me be a part of this. ;)

#whynotbeingstupidisevenmoreimportant (well maybe not)

Update: after a friend's comment I realised it's not clear from the text, but it's not me. I'm some part of his 'downswing' tho...

2012. május 2., szerda

Lingo: Protection

This is going to be a repost of my rambling on lingo and protection: here it is in Hungarian.

I've been thinking for a long time, if the first of the Lingo series should be about protection or "raising" (in Hungarian lingo betting is called raising by a lot, also raising called 3betting, etc. #NLFTW), honestly both of them are driving me mad, but the fate has decided for me, so let's talk about protection.

People, please understand FFS, what protection is. Not because I ask you nicely, or because I'm posh in poker or anything like that, but because by using the expression wrong, you just show that you don't have a fucking clue about what you're talking about. So once and for all, let's make it clear for you.

There are two, and only two basic reasons for being agressive: getting better hands to fold (bluff) or getting worse hands to call (value). In specific cases, however, an agressive action can have side-effects (rarely good reasons) for it, which will add a little to our expected value. One of these is protection.

Protection means that you can make your opponent fold a certain amount of equity.. Make someone fold, get it? That's why I get frustrated all the time when I see or hear something like "I raise here for protection against his flush draws". Do you really think he would fold a flushdraw for a-million-to-one? Oh, no? So we raise because we have equity edge over those hands? So we are valueraising, right? Then why the hell you call it protection?

For example, you can bet a smaller pair or A hi for protection in a huge pot to make Villain fold 6 outs against you (they won't ever fold more, so...), and it's probably better than any other option. But these kind of situations are pretty rare, betting for pure protection is close to a non-existing thing in my mind (of course talking about FLHE, not NLHE or PLO), therefore we usually use it as a combination with a bluff or valuebet.

I hope I could make things more clear, and I'll see less "raise for protection against a small pocketpair" type of bullshit on the forums... (I think it's maybe less of an issue in native English forums BTW, still I can hear these stuffs here and there, but in Hungarian it's just amazingly often misused.)

2012. május 1., kedd

Rollin' in Simple English now...

Úgy döntöttem, hogy mostantól a kisebb (mindennapi) dolgokat simán angolul, a nagyobb cikkszerűségeket magyarul és angolul fogom közzétenni a blogban, tekintve, hogy a jelenlegi olvasóim nagy része beszél angolul legalább egy bizonyos szinten, viszont szeretném szélesíteni az olvasói körömet + kevésbé hagyni elveszni az egyébként elképzelhetően érdekes tartalmakat.

// English version

I decided that from now on I'm gonna post the everyday stuff in English, and the bigger article-type stuff in English and Hungarian. My goal is to get you English-speaking guys envolved, so that my rambling about some more or less interesting stuff would get to a bigger circle of people. Hope you'll find it useful, or at least entertaining to read.