Concentration and Motivation Challenge

Based on a suggestion from @theanalyst01 I am going to do a “challenge” to stay focused and motivated. My goal was to drop down to 20k/40k until I am up 40m, but unfortunately there was only one table with a free seat, so I also sat at a 50k/100k table. So, that “challenge” went out the window quickly, but posting anyway provides a chance to track results, analyze my play, get feedback, and gain motivation to accomplish goals (e.g., not making cry calls or foolish bluffs).

Session 1:
6-max 20k/40k, 56 hands over 29 minutes, up 1,848,854 (82.5bbs/100 hands)
Full ring 50k/100k, 31 hands over 32 minutes, up 8,980,000 (289.7bbs/100 hands)

Over this extremely short session, it did seem like planning to post my results helped to stay focused and remember how to win while avoiding the leaks that can kill my win-rate. And this session included almost no premium hands (AKs once and highest pair was 99). For the most part it was uneventful, but here are a few hands that stood out. In the future, my “challenge” is to play 50k/100k or lower until I am up another 75m and post results. And then move up to include 100k/200k until I am up another 200m before trying any higher stakes.

These two were very similar, I played flush draws conservatively. I had previously been trying to build big pots with draws, but it just didn’t seem like there was much fold equity and I didn’t want to get blown off my hand.

Then there was this one where I turned 76 of hearts into a bluff. I don’t usually try to get people to fold when it looks like they have top pair or better, but this player also bluffs sometimes, so she could have a diamond draw. My hand blocks straights and I felt like I could rep the backdoor flush. The sizing of the river bet makes me realize it might be smart to balance that by sizing up my value bets somewhat or decreasing my bluff sizing (or based on the better players here increasing my turn and river sizings in general).


Nice results Joe!!!

I like the way you played that first hand. I agree that you had very close to zero fold equity against that villain but, with a draw to the nuts flush, I think 1/2 pot on the turn would have been a decent risk to take.

I can see villain having T8s, some number of club flush draws and middle pairs (99 - 66) on the flop. Because he called your bet on the flop, I’d be tempted to eliminate pretty much everything except the straight and flush draws and, maybe, he would slow play a set here. The turn didn’t improve any of his draws so I would definitely want to build the pot hoping to hit top pair/top kicker or nuts flush on the river.

Using equilab and putting the villain on a preflop calling range of 99-66, A8s+, K9s+, Q9s+ ,J9s+, T8s+, 98s, ATo+, KQo gives you 60% equity preflop. The flop increases your equity to 73%.

I assume the villains calling range on the flop will be clubs, straight draws, pairs and overcards which gives you 63% equity after the turn card comes. I think that 1/2 pot on the turn is a clear value bet with an outside chance of the villain folding here.

Any 6, 7, 8, 9 clubs on the river is fantastic for us but we’re going to hate any other suit! So, with that in mind, I think we’re in a great position to value bet the river if we hit and turn our missed draw into a bluff if we don’t.

This is low stakes thinking so please don’t think that I’m telling you how to play! If I am missing some subtlety here, please let me know.

My workplace is calling so I have to go now, I’ll have a look at the other hands later.

In closing, you’d certainly be hard to please if you aren’t happy even with 82bb/100! Keep up the good work!



Thanks for the analysis. I agree with your analysis, although my opponent actually had QQ (it shows me in the replayer because it went to showdown). They should definitely be 3-betting that preflop, but having such a strong range does reduce my equity (I think) and increases the chance of a check-raise on the turn. Usually if someone flats preflop and then calls flop they are pretty pocket pair or top pair heavy, but they definitely can have a very wide range. Betting the turn is certainly a viable idea.

On the third hand, I don’t think I like the bluff too much, because most people on Replay who call pre, call flop, and bet turn are going to be in love with their hand, and I don’t think the bluff is going to work the nearly 50% of the time that it needs to work. That could be where I am setting my chips on fire. Why do I even need to bluff? If it gets called, my winnings for the session evaporate, and if I check-fold the flop I would still end up ahead by ~5m for the session.

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Really nice win rate on both tables. We’ll likely bump heads here soon, as I play a lot on both levels, especially 50k/100k. I find the latter the most profitable on the site. There are quite a few solid players, but still a fair number of players with very exploitable play. 100k/200k still seems pretty good, but the ratio of solid players goes up a lot.

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Hope to see you at the table (though not from a winrate standpoint). I think part of the block I’m trying to overcome is that when you have 400m chips 20m seems like a worthwhile amount to play for, but when you get closer to 1b it gets harder to be patient to win or hold on to a few million at a time. But playing for 100m is too much for my bankroll. 100k/200k is the right level for the roll, but it’s definitely a step up as 50k/100k weeds out a lot of players.

Why bluff? My answer, for why I would think about bluffing the turn in this hand, is because the villain called the raise on the flop rather than 3-betting. Betting on the flop could be because you have a draw that you like, the amount you raised supports that thought, or because you hit a set and you’re trying to extract value. When the villain calls the bet, I would be immediately thinking that he’s playing a pocket pair, and missed the set, or he’s chasing a draw.

Villain checking the turn certainly supports a hypothesis that he’s got a single pair or a draw. Betting on the turn supports your representation of having a set. With nearly 1/4 of the deck as outs to the nuts flush plus outs to top pair/top kicker, I would say that betting the turn here is protecting your equity more than any sort of outright bluff though. I would also be thinking that I am increasing the pot in case of hitting the flush and setting up for a 3rd barrel as a bluff with the missed draw. I don’t think that firing on the river after checking the turn is believable … therefore, you can only bet on the river if you hit and probably have to fold if the villain bets.

I certainly can see your line of thinking though and you have made it obvious that I really need to bet less frequently on the turn.

Anyway, onwards and forwards Joe! I have learned from this little discussion and the exercise for my “poker brain” can only improve my game. Many thanks!

I’m looking forward to the next update :slight_smile:


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I played another session, my first session on mobile, which meant no chat, no typing in bet values, so it was a different but streamlined experience. Unfortunately it also meant no multi tabling, which means even more patience was required.

50k/100k full ring, down 1,930,000 in 34 hands over 28 minutes (-56.8bb/100 hands). The winrates/lossrates are going to be bigger than we’re used to seeing because the sample sizes are tiny.

It was a pretty uneventful session, pretty card dead (AQo once, 22 once, no other decent aces, or pocket pairs). I opened two hands, one picked up the blinds and the other faced a 3! from @Yorunoame and I folded… wasn’t a great hand versus a 3!.

The only interesting hand was the first hand. I had K2o in the CO (I automatically put in the blind after sitting down) and flopped top pair of Ks. A couple of limpers min-bet and called flop, so I raised to 6bb (in a pot of ~9bb) because I should be ahead of some hands that do that (never min-bet), but the BB raised over me, so it was an easy fold. Turned out they had AKs (which they checked behind preflop…). No reason for me to continue with a weak top pair. Otherwise the session was completely uneventful.

LOL… I’ve never played on an anything mobile… I often use the 1/2 pot or pot buttons when multi-tabling, but think I would find it too painful to never be able to choose another bet size.

It goes without saying that I will 3 bet you wider than most of the players on this site will. I remember the 3 bet, but don’t honestly remember what I had. I do recall that it was a bit marginal, though on the value side still, rather than anything bluffy. Maybe AJ off, or something like that? Lost forever, I suppose, LOL.

It was nice seeing you on the table. I’ve seen your posts for a long time, but don’t think we’d been on the same table many times before (I think a short session once before, quite a while back???).

Anyway, continued luck. I’m sure you’ll have a few 3 bets over my raises coming that will knock me off some silly hand that I quite possibly shouldn’t have been raising with in the first place (KT off from CO or even HJ sounds like something I might do from time to time).

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Good to see you out there too. At this point my goal to move up the stakes is just to get 3-bet light, lol so it’s good to know you didn’t have exactly AA. My hand was KTs which was marginal to raise over 3 limpers in the first place.

New session 50k/100k 6-max, up 6.9m in 53 hands over 32 minutes (with a 30 minute break in the middle) (132bb/100 hands). Didn’t have much, and won a few pots with c-bets. Maybe this is an uninteresting thread but it is helping to stay focused. Going to see if there were any interesting hands.
I had J8s, decided to see another card with a plan to check raise turn if I picked up equity. On the river I figured you didn’t have an ace so I tried to bet like I might try to make up some value with an ace or better.

Another “session” of 18 hands in 9 minutes at 100k/200k 6-max, up 28.7m (winrate of 797bb/100 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

This one was a bit of an ‘oops’

Some feedback for Replay’s mobile developers. There are tick boxes before the action gets to you for ‘fold’ ‘call’ ‘raise’ but when it’s your turn they become buttons and shift over to the left, so trying to click the fold box becomes clicking the raise button. Hence this hand. Instead of folding I min 3-bet with T6o. I flopped top pair and faced a pot sized bet. I probably should have folded but I’m not inclined to fold top pair to one bet even in this weird situation. My opponent is repping QQ+ but shouldn’t they 4bet those? So I call, turn 2 pair, check shove and get called by middle pair. Easy game lol.

A7o isn’t a great hand to call even a weird min 3! IP, and no idea why they tried to turn middle pair into a bluff by betting pot on the flop. They definitely should check back the turn and pray to get to showdown. Facing the shove they are getting good pot odds to call but am I ever bluffing? This was best case scenario for them and they had 5 whole outs, so they should have folded, but checking back would have prevented this situation.

Anyway, it goes to show how silly it is to report win rate of an individual session. I guess I’m going to end the “challenge” as I moved up stakes prematurely and it’s almost entirely meaningless, but it has helped me refocus.

Nice. Was fun to look at that hand again. I was assuming I called the river and won (98 suited), and was surprised to see I folded at the end, lol. I’m pretty sure I was close to going either way. A bit smaller bet and I imagine it would have been a snap call, as the line taken forces me to defend a little wider on the river, I think.

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