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How not to be a NIT

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  • How not to be a NIT

    This seems to happen to me a lot. So I am at WSOP and the last two tourneys I played I made notes of my hands on my phone. (Which was a pain to do for every hand a lot harder to do than it sounds).

    The last two tourneys I lasted a total of 5 hours. Over a period of five hours I was dealt:

    The bottom 40% of hands 80% of the time

    The top 41% - 80% of hands 20% of the time

    Top 20% never

    The above numbers are rounded off for simplicity.

    Now I assume this happens all the time. I adjusted by saying screw it and raising for three betting ATC. That did not go well. And frankly I have no fucking idea how to play garbage hands.

    In short I am beyond tilted. I feel like a complete loser.

  • #2
    1) feelings are not reality => read it, learn it, live it
    2) you run like I do. Welcome to Team Never Lucky (you can buy the hat at Tonkaaa's site)
    3) running deep is like getting laid, A) You can't force it. Keep playing well and keep learning. You will have your share of victories, just not as many as Fedor Holz or Kevin Martin. B) you're going to strike out more times than you get there. It will happen soon enough.

    Last edited by XBobLove; 06-14-2017, 09:11 PM.


    • #3
      i feel 'ya.

      if you are card dead, you are folding a bunch and will have a right image. So, you gotta pick your spots to apply aggression with playable (but not great) hands. Open raise when folded to you in late position; 3Bet on button; etcetera and try to win some small pots to tread water or even float up a bit. You will hopefully get some credit for being tight and therefore "you must be strong."

      Part of it it also depends on what tourneys you are playing and what the blind structure is. The $1500 NL games are 60 minute blinds and starting stack of 7,500. Seniors $1,000 is only 5,000. Crazy Eights coming up is 8,000 starting chips but only 30 minute blind. Three very different levels of urgency. That will help guide if and when you need to take the bigger gamble bluffs that will chip you up or put you in the real danger zone.

      one thing that is certain -- the structure doesn't let you wait for the perfect moment. You have to seize the moments as you find them. Carpe deal'em.
      Last edited by OPK; 06-14-2017, 10:15 PM.


      • #4
        Thanks. To OPK. Been trying that. Sadly i am in lower buy in tourneys like the daily deepstcks. I am not good enough to play for more than that.

        So they are super fast. Just busted the GN $150. Folded for hours. 3 limpers. I jam 12 bb with A7 off on button. Best hand all day. Got 5 callers. 2 of which only had 15 bb and they just called. The best of them had AJs and GG me.

        The problem is not the "bad" hands or the run bad. The problem is a better player can build a stack with these hands and i cannot.
        Last edited by JinnRex; 06-14-2017, 11:02 PM.


        • #5
          Jim, I've played a few WSOP satellite events and CPPT events, but my first full WSOP in Vegas is coming up in a few weeks. So I would love to hear your views and insights into the dailies, especially the $235. And whether the Rio is now safe from Legionaries.

          As for playing card dead, let me first say that I am not a good player. Trying to improve, which is why I appreciate the discussions on this site. And I struggle with the same problem, so I offer these thoughts with the hope of affirming and dissenting views. In fact, opposing views for discussion are especially welcome.

          First, it seems to me that a passive approach (limp/fold, etc.) just bleeds you out once antes kick in. Not a real consistent strategy, and at best maybe gets some min-cashes. So, we need to mix an approach of tight aggressive and loose aggressive to stay ahead of the increasing blinds/antes.

          Second, this means that we are forced to make moves. Folding and blinding out until we get to shove mode is tough, because by that time there will be stacks either deep enough or shallow enough that multiple calls are not unexpected.

          Third, given the above, that means that we need to make moves (switching from TAG to LAG) well before we get that low. We know that this adds variance, and we might go out. But we also know that our snug image due to the prior sustained folds, plus a stack that may ward off opponents and creates fold equity, should let us steal some pots we do not deserve. So we re in s good. Shoe to make some moves as we will ever be.

          How do do we do that? There are a few options: widen our starting range when the action is folded to us; widen our three-bet range where are on or near the button and the initial raiser is very loose; check-raising when out of position against a continuation bet that does not seem strong; finding tight players or observant players who will respect our "uncharactaristic" aggression; etcetera. We just have to get active somehow, because we get slowly bled when we do not.

          My natural approach is risk-adverse, which is passive. I have to affirmatively work on being aggressive. But it seems to me that in tournaments, you have to gamble and push your limits or your results are capped. If I am going out, I would rather go out betting a smart bluff than calling off my stack because I am pot committed. And the wort is just getting so low that I have multiple vultures just checking over my pre-flop all-in to knock me out.

          My $.02, FWIW.
          Last edited by OPK; 06-14-2017, 11:22 PM.


          • #6
            Wsop thoughts.

            1. The 2:00 daily deep stack. The term deep is a joke. It feels like a turbo. However there will be well over 1000 entries with over $20000+ to first place. Its basically a lottery but it is fun. I suggest playing it once for the fun.

            2. Bring a very warm jacket or hoodie. It is freezing at wsop. Do not even consider shorts.

            3. Buy into the deep stack at least 1.5 hours before start. The line can get insane.

            4. It is like a county fair here. Vendors etc. make sure to walk around and look at stuff. Some of the vendors are very obnoxious however.

            5. Huge variety of cash games.

            6. Then leave Rio. The tourneys at planet hollywood are better for the buy in range. Far better. Orleans, Nugget and Aria deserve a look also.

            7. Eat at locals places off strip and save a fortune.

            8. Legionaries. I think that may be just a concern if you have a room at Rio.

            Also avoid what i did. I got angry. Keep playing tourneys. Kept rebuying and now i am litterally bust as far as my poker bankroll. Failed to cash 30 tourneys in a row. Cane out here excited to have fun. Was hoping to break even or lose a little. Trying to find an early ticket home. Prices are insane. Sadly i think i am done. I can't beat the game. Just not that smart. Obviously


            • OPK
              OPK commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the insight! I hope the fun of the game comes back to you, it's hard when the results are discouraging for a run.

          • #7
            Originally posted by JinnRex View Post
            Thanks. To OPK. Been trying that. Sadly i am in lower buy in tourneys like the daily deepstcks. I am not good enough to play for more than that.

            So they are super fast. Just busted the GN $150. Folded for hours. 3 limpers. I jam 12 bb with A7 off on button. Best hand all day. Got 5 callers. 2 of which only had 15 bb and they just called. The best of them had AJs and GG me.

            The problem is not the "bad" hands or the run bad. The problem is a better player can build a stack with these hands and i cannot.
            I think part of the problem is that perception is not always reality.

            I would argue that better players have the ability to sustain a stack while card dead opposed to building a stack. Our perception of pro's due to TV, internet forums and media is that they are these magical players who have the ability to play any hand at any time and print money. They make wild bluffs with 72o at key moments etc.

            I would argue that what makes pro's so good, is not their ability to play when card dead, but it is their ability to be patient and notice those opportunities to steal a pot or two that the average player does not see. These small steals help them maintain their stack and hang around longer for that rush of cards or few good hands/spots that they have the ability to max their return (they get paid more on their premium hands than average players).

            They use position, isolating weak opponents and the initiative as ways to compensate for being card dead. They pick their spots very precisely and carefully. They use these small wins to keep afloat and to wait around for the opportunity that someone will pay them off.

            I don't think beginner's see this. We only see their results. The rings, the bracelets and the top 5 finishes. We only hear of the stories where someone talks about a pro at their table deep in a tournament with a deep stack and they were opening every hand. We don't see the 20 tournaments where they busted in the first few levels. Or their card dead runs where they folded 20 hands in a row. The times where they are short stacked and fold 95% of the time. Therefore we press and press when we play aspiring to be more like them ignoring all of these details. Our game takes a turn for the worse because of this instead of the better.

            It's not talked about a lot because it is not sexy, but I think there are a few things that really makes pro's so good at dealing with being card dead:

            1. Patience
            2. Discipline
            3. The ability to recognize good spots or situations that they know how to exploit. Not necessarily to chip up, but to maintain a stack with their head just above the water.

            Once we start to realize this not only does the game become more fun, it helps to control our expectations of each tournament.


            • HUK
              HUK commented
              Editing a comment
              Good post. In a JL webinar he was asked, "what do you do when you're card dead for hours?"
              He laughed and said, "You're probably going to go broke."
              In an article talked about a tournament where only went past the flop 3 times in 4 hours, never winning a hand.
              then he limped in with TJo, flopped the nut straight, and doubled up. (Bet every street, which was a lesson in itself.)
              Sure he got lucky, but he was patient and disciplined enough to conserve his stack until he make it pay.
              In a fast time structure, though, sometimes there's just nothing you can do... Been there lots of times. It sucks.

          • #8
            ^^ excellent analysis IMO


            • #9
              An example of how trying to play aggro always blows up in my face. Bust out hand from tourney a couple days ago. $500 tourney.

              Blinds 600/300/75

              My stack = 35 bb

              Villain's stack 30 bb

              I am UTG+2 with KK.

              I make it 1500

              button and BB call

              Flop J105 rainbow

              BB checks. I bet 2500

              button makes it 6000

              BB folds

              Villain is an Asian male about 50 years old and LAG.

              Range: JJ, 10 10 55 I don't see why these would not flat. It is possible but I doubt it.
              AJ Possible but I think it would flat
              A10 A little crazy but maybe
              J10 Very possible
              89 or KQ Very possible

              I figure I am ahead of a lot of his range but he likely has a strong draw.

              My choice . . . fold and be weak and end up short stacked as usual or call and double up.

              I call. He had KQ. Spikes an A.


              • XBobLove
                XBobLove commented
                Editing a comment
                That's poker. Hell, if you can't be happy getting a dominated player drawing to 17%, find a new hobby. You played the hand fine, great even. You're never folding here. It just isn't your day.

              • OPK
                OPK commented
                Editing a comment
                Agree with Bob. V flopped an open ended straight, has about 33% or so to hit the straight. You are the favorite 2 of 3 times, but 1 out of 3 is not a bad beat. You played it well, and should recognize that a JT on the flop hits a lot of your opponent's ranges.

                Put another way -- if the odds had held and you won the pot, would you be happy with the way you played the hand? I would. Which means you played the hand fine, but variance caught you this time. That's poker.

            • #10
              A few things.

              1. I don't think by any means this is an example of "aggro" poker. This seems to be solid poker. Don't confuse solid aggressive poker with playing aggro.

              2. Did you just call the 6k raise? If so did you ch/call the turn or did the turn go ch/ch? Did the A hit the turn or river?

              Did you jam over his raise? How exactly did the hand play out?

              I think there is still some relevant information left that could be analyzed if you only called the 6k raise on the flop.

              If you call the 6k raise. The effective 30bb stack has roughly 10.5k behind with 17.5k in the pot.
              Last edited by JredA; 06-15-2017, 09:36 PM.


              • OPK
                OPK commented
                Editing a comment
                Good point. Given stacks, it would be optimal to jam and add some fold equity?

            • #11
              Oppps. Left that out. And there is a typo above where i said call. jammed over his raise and he tank called. Calling his $6k rAise seemed weak to me. I never considered it.
              Last edited by JinnRex; 06-15-2017, 10:17 PM.