shipitfish: (Default)

Below is my exchange with Bob Ciaffone about the Ad Qd monster draw hand from a few weeks back. Most of the commentors suggested I should have played differently. Bob's first comment was:

I often fold A-Q offsuit to a single raise, but seldom fold A-Q suited, especially having position. I call if I do not know the player, or if he is not a rock.

On the flop, when he bets, I like your raise. He could have zero (but the best hand with AK). I do not let an opponent with such a hand charge me to draw when I have a hand that I am willing to back with all my money. Plus I do not know what an overcard will do for me, or which one to hit.

You ran into a good hand, yet were still about even money to win. Just have a little more karma next time...

I replied:

As for folding preflop, you mention you would fold AQs if he was a rock. His starting hand selections may have been close to “rockish” (he would have only AJ-AK or a middle pair or better), but he would make some big mistakes on the flop with one pair. Does that justify?

I think you are saying you approve backing the hand with my whole stack, but even if I am pretty sure I have no fold equity against an overpair (as I was in this case)?

I am confused by your distinction between someone “charging to draw”, and “backing the hand with all the money”. Would this summarize your position: “His hand might just be a little better or worse than mine given my monster draw, and I don't want to see a turn with money left.”?

Some of my friends who are pretty good players argued that I should take a turn cheaply and see if I hit. I disagreed, because I think I'm a favorite enough of a time that I want to get it all in, since I know he'll put it in with any overpair.

Are there times when I want to play that hand a little bit more conservatively? I didn't think there were, but some argued I should so I wanted to ask you — would you ever play more conservatively there given the situation and my read that he'd overplay any overpair?

Bob responded to that with:

A-J is not “rockish” so you can call with A-Q suited. I do approve of your backing your hand with your whole stack. The problem with calling is you may have to face a big bet with only one card to come, where you are not so eager to play. Plus he will pull up if the flush comes. Plus you do not know if an ace wins or if a queen wins (you know one of them is a winner, if not against aces, but which one?).

The clearest way to state my position is he may make money off me on a hand that cannot call a raise if I do not put down some heat.

I do not play this type of hand conservatively when heads-up against a preflop raiser.

So, I appreciate all of your opinions and thoughts. I've decided to declare that I played this hand correctly. I don't think that I love this situation anymore — I know that I love this situation.

shipitfish: (clueless-donkey by phantompanther)

I lost about $1,000 this weekend. It's happened before; I've had other weekends like this. Just two months ago, I lost $2,500 in one weekend, actually. I lost $990 once in a single night at the old O Club. But, this recent loss has killed my desire momentarily to make my normal Sunday newbie post. :)

But, this can serve the preamble to one of the newbie posts: make sure you have adequate bankroll for the games you are playing. If I didn't have such, a $1,000 loss would be devastating. As it stands, it's a big annoyance requiring me to move money around in accounts that will take a day or two, but it's not the end of poker for me, or even a reason to drop down in stakes. I'll just take a break and push in again later this week.

I got in some bad situations (contrary to the ranty guy who beat me then berated my bad play on Full Tilt, Ad Qd on the flop of 2d 3d 5s is still a favorite, even against Ks Kd). But, I also played badly for at least $500 of the losses. I made some major mistakes I'll have to post about later, if I'm not too embarrassed by my abysmal play. (I'm not sure what to ask my coach about what to do when I look back even minutes later and see that I've done the wrong thing and what the right thing would have been. I guess I need to work on my “in the moment” reasoning.)

shipitfish: (foxwoods-stack-2006-01)

After a year of deliberation about doing it, I've decided to hire Bob Ciaffone as my poker coach. I'll be paying him early next week for the first two hours. The rates are extremely reasonable; I'm amazed that more players don't hire him.

I chose Ciaffone over other possible coaches and tutors because I think he's the best and clearest poker writer out there on NL and PL games. He's not incredibly famous, but it's important to remember that the best teachers aren't always the "naturals" — the folks who seem to have an uncanny, innate and unexplainable ability to play well. Such people have trouble logically explaining why what they do works. It's the people who have worked hard and carefully at their games over years to improve them.

Bob has spent a lifetime playing and teaching games for a living. He has the experience that I think will take my game to the next level. He's agreed to post his interactions with me here in the blog, although I may instead just ask him to read specific entries and comment to me privately. I'm still thinking on that one.

Anyway, I can't wait to start working with him.

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shipitfish

November 2016

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