Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bayne Cashes Big, and Playing Cash Against Aggro Raisers

First off, some big time blogger ups to dish out today. Due to my vacation this past weekend, I am remiss to have only seen yesterday that Maigrey cashed in 28th place in FTOPS Event #2 in HORSE. I left for the beach on Thursday night while FTOPS was just starting, and I didn't read a blog the whole time I was gone. In fact, I've been so busy working since I got back from vacay that I still have only gotten about 1/4 of the way down my normal daily list. So all you big time blog readers out there, check out how jealous you are of me today -- my schedule at work is a bit slower on Wednesday, meaning I should have time to catch up on 4 or 5 days of reading most of my favorite blogs out there. I can't wait for that.

Anyways, so congrats out to Heather for a huge finish in FTOPS #2. What else can you say, Heather really excels at all forms of limit poker. I've seen her win stud events and omaha events, and place big in multiple occasions in all kinds of HORSE tournaments, and I'm sure much more. But 28th place out of over 1000 entrants in a game as frustrating as I know limit HORSE can be is no fluke in this case for sure.

But the big news of the day has got to be Bayne, making I believe his first ever big time poker tournament score with a 9th place finish in Tuesday night's FTOPS Event #8 in O8. There I was, forced to eat my words after telling another blogger in the girly chat just two days ago that I did not think Bayne was that great of an O8 player. I was sure to IM back near the beginning of Bayne's tremendous late-night run on Tuesday evening to officially eat my words and admit that Bayne really knows his shit in this game. I mean, I watched the man play for maybe a total of around two hours out of his first four hours in the tournament, and he made a lot of good plays. Most of all, Bayne mixed up his play -- sometimes checkraising with good hands, sometimes betting out, making it nearly impossible to get a solid read on his holdings until at least the turn in most cases. In short, Bayne was awesome. And he is now rewarded with what I believe might be his biggest ever cash payout (not counting satellite wins where I believe Bayne won his way into the Aussie Millions a year or two ago), which I believe was something like $3400 and change. That my friend is a domination, and I was more than impressed with your play. Congratulations to you.

I, like the smart bankrolly guy I have been lately, opted not to buy in direct to FTOPS #8. Despite knowing that I am good at the game and having final tabled several satellites to this event, I also don't feel particularly like I could really win the thing. And let me tell you, that is not a common occurrence or an enjoyable feeling for me. In the end I'm thinking now why the F would I drop $216 to play a game that I don't realistically think I can win? I mean believe me -- it is really hard for a pompous ass like me to accept that I am not the best player at any brand of poker. I have had success in all the games and I have read and played a ton at each of them, and that in addition to my generally pompass nature, it is a rare and uncomfortable thing for me to face the fact that I'm not the best out there at any kind of poker. But it's true. Just like I am not KOD in large-field nlh tournaments, I am not the equal of some of the really good O8 players out there. It's just true. So, no $200 buyin for me, no $216 loss to my bankroll, and I am a happier man for it I guarantee you that.

So what did I do last night while I wasn't in FTOPS #8 and Bayne was going on his sickass run?

Cash games. My old new friend. After a huge run at 2-4 6max nl, I went on a month-long cooler that basically saw me lose much of my profit from my first 7000 hands or so at this limit. Then about a month ago, all that changed, I stopped getting drawn out on in 85% of my races and 65% of my 2-to-1 favorites. I started hitting some effing draws again, at least once in a while. Call it, with a full half the regularity that the odds would otherwise suggest, which for me is as good as it gets. And of course I've been playing better with a little confidence and a little luck coming my way.

I thought I would show you a few hands I did play on Tuesday night that I think illustrate some fun or interesting strategies for no limit cash play. Plus, I have to admit I effing love putting myself out there with what are usually very correct cash game strategies and then watching the loserdonks post negative things about the way I play these hands. Don't ever stop with that, guys, please.

So anyways, the first thing I have started focusing on more of late is adapting my nl cash game play to the huge aggrodonks who inevitably show up at your table at some point, raising before the flop basically every single time the action folds around to them unopened in any position. Sure they'll win a few hands before anyone realizes what is happening, but much sooner than later people catch on that this guy is just playing aggromonkey poker. So what do you do about this kind of a guy sitting at your table? Well, let's turn to the literature shall we? In Sklansky's great no-limit holdem book, he advocates loosening your reraising standards against these raise-with-anything types as the best way to counteract the advantages that such aggropoker may provide. A similar strategy has been suggested by Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth (reraising megalomaniacs) as well as some other poker authors who are evading my mind right now. But the point is, when someone is raising with anything, reraising him not only sends the message that you cannot be raised indiscriminately out of pots, but you actually get yourself an edge in a larger pot when you push back with some of the better non-raising hands against a normal opponent.

Now, to be sure this is a hard thing to do, as it involves you reraising, thereby putting at risk a bunch of chips, with a hand that you might otherwise fold for fear of being behind (if not dominated). But, the bottom line is, against this kind of an aggromonkey, those very same hands that I readily fold against raises for fear of being dominated (hands like AT, KQ, QJ etc.) can become very strong because they can at least represent overcards if not be the dominators instead of the dominatees against a guy who is raising with basically any two not-horrible cards. So, for example, after identifying this guy across the table from me as an aggromonkey, when he open-raised from the button, I pot-reraised him with A3o and he thought for a while before folding. Rounds 1 and 2 to him when I folded to his relentless steal attempts, but here, Round 3 goes to me. And as I pointed out in my recent posts on stealing and restealing, a resteal is worth a lot more than a regular steal. Assuming all raises are the size of the pot, at 2-4 in most instances a steal-raise from outside the blinds is to $14, winning the stealer $6 in blinds for every successful steal pulled off. But, once the stealer raises the two blinds to $14, reraising the pot from a blind is roughly to $44 or so, so when that resteal works at the cash table, you win $20 in blinds and in the stealer's raise, rather than the $6 won from just a regular steal attempt. So, you will note that one successful resteal at 2-4 nlh 6-max is worth more dollars than three successful blind steals. So this resteal here got me back above where I was before this reckless monkeyraiser ever sat down at my table to begin with.

Just a very few hands later, I was faced with this situation, where the dude at the bottom is the aggromonkey raise-with-anything guy I am writing about above:

KTo. Normally an easy fold even at 6max, on the thinking that this guy probably has an Ace or a pair, or could easily have two paint cards in which case I am in bad shape with that Ten in my hand. But in this case, I am loosening up my reraising standards against this raiseclown, and KT is just the kind of hand that is likely ahead of his nearly ATC range:

That's right you monkey -- $52, more that the size of the pot.

Within 5 minutes, this player had up and left the table, leaving us back to play some actual poker instead of dealing with an aggromonkey raising it up from any position every single time the action was unopened when it got to him preflop. All this is to say that so far, reraising the hyperaggroclowns with strong but not the strongest hands has in fact proven to be a winning strategy so far for me. Is this guy maybe wrong that restealing is -EV in cash games? I will have to keep thinking about that as I continue to refine my game and play based on my reads of other players at the nlh cash tables on full tilt.

Tonight is FTOPS Event #9, which is a $300 rebuy 6-max nlh tournament. Of course I love 6-max play, but how the hike am I going to play in a $300 rebuy event? This was probably the dumbest FTOPS event on the entire slate; I have to give full tilt the definite thumbs down on this one. The attendance will have to be low in this event, and the number of rebuys and addons will be far below what is normal for a rebuy tournament due to the large number of satellites present into this event. It's one thing to run satellites into a $20 or even a $50 rebuy tournament, because people may want to play the events and be willing to rebuy a few times if needed, as is basically always the case in large rebuy mtts. But you award a satellite buyin into a $300 FTOPS rebuy tournament, and who do we know who is going to be willing to rebuy in this thing? Sure you can find some of the richer players among the full tilt client base, but in general as far as an FTOPS event, Wednesday night is a dumb idea and I can only assume this will be the least-attended of all the nlh events in the series. I personally refused to play any of the very winnable satellites into Event #9 for this very reason, and I never even considered playing in this event this evening. And you know if I of all people am refusing to play in a solid buyin 6-max rebuy mtt as part of the FTOPS, then full tilt has really screwed up somewhere. So kudos to full tilt on the FTOPS in general, but a bad job with Wednesday night's tournament.

So tonight instead, definitely come play in the Mookie at 10pm ET on full tilt (password as always is "vegas1"). I will be there and most of your blogger and non-blogger friends will be as well, with Miami Don the defending champ after Don won his third Mookie title of the year last week with a dominating performance replete with the necessary trash talk that only a tilty Don can produce. With no reasonable FTOPS alternative, I sincerely hope all of you donkeys out there will find your way into the Mookie for the most fun time with a large group of bloggers every week. Hopefully Buddy will be back on the radio for the tournament as well, where you will get to listen live to my domination on my way to my first Mookie title ever. Ha ha yeah right. Never happen. Ever.

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Blogger Chad C said...

You talked about Blinders "-EV" comments on cash games. I think you should put that -EV tag to bloggaments and save your monitor space so you can win real money in real tournaments :)

12:04 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Thanks for props!

Had 2 pair get rivered twice last night after we were down to 3 tables when I was defending my BB and lost a few bets I didn't need to when beat but was happy with my play.

It's been 18 months since I had a cash score in this ball park.

Aussie Millions was worth a bit more :)

12:22 AM  
Blogger mookie99 said...

Thanks for the pimp, good luck tonight. We should have a prop bet on who wins a Mookie title first. Of course I'd be a huge dog so the odds would need to be adjusted accordingly. :)

2:08 AM  
Blogger cmitch said...

You absolutely have to 3 bet (re-steal) in 6 max nl cash games. It may be -EV in a full ring, but imo it is -Ev not to do it (with position) in 6 max cash games, especially as you move up to higher limits.

I think I may put up a post in the next day or two with the positives and negatives of 3 betting preflop in cash games.

2:16 AM  
Blogger lj said...

cmitch - if you check back here, can you include specifically what you do w/ AK in that situation? i am never sure how to play pf in cash. thanks!

2:35 AM  
Blogger Instant Tragedy: Just Add Sean said...

Worst. Suckout. Ever.

It'll come Hoy.



Sean aka IT

2:12 PM  
Blogger cmitch said...


I put up a post about 3 betting and tried to answer your AK question.

Basically, I am doing everything I can to get all the money in preflop with AK against a hyper aggro when I am out of position against him. I may play it a little slower with position. Against most other player, the way I play AK is extremely player dependent.

10:45 PM  
Blogger jbeach711 said...

was the prize pool of $1,006,200 for ftops 9 less than you expected?

12:52 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

FTOPS #9 ended up being a little bigger than I expected, though I will stick with my point that full tilt effed up on this one. Make that even a $200 rebuy instead of a $300 rebuy and the prize pool would have increased by 50% I bet.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

LOL. When you're sucking out, we're all monkeys for suggesting your play sucked and you got lucky, but when you don't get lucky, it's a terrible cooler ;-)

I like your play against the raisetard, but I don't think it speaks against blinders, because he's saying generally restealing doesn't pay in cash, not that you never can resteal. You had a specific read and went with it. Make a habit of this without the read though, and I think you'd get burned.

12:59 PM  

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