WCOOP Main Event

After a great series, the Main Event was a real disappointment. I cashed in 14 of the 40 preliminary WCOOP events that I played, and although I didn’t have any especially deep runs, I felt good about putting myself in position to go deep so many times.

The Main got off to a good start. I felt much more confident playing with the 300 – 400BB stacks than most of my opponents, and I was really leaning on my position to take down pots. That set me up for this spot:

PokerStars – $5000+$200|30/60 NL – Holdem – 9 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com

UTG+1: 404.28 BB (VPIP: 13.33, PFR: 8.89, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 45)
MP: 321.18 BB (VPIP: 12.00, PFR: 6.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 50)
MP+1: 336.22 BB (VPIP: 38.00, PFR: 20.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 50)
Hero (MP+2): 329 BB
CO: 292.92 BB (VPIP: 22.45, PFR: 20.41, 3Bet Preflop: 4.35, Hands: 50)
BTN: 333.02 BB (VPIP: 17.65, PFR: 3.92, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 51)
SB: 300.98 BB (VPIP: 18.37, PFR: 12.24, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 49)
BB: 456.18 BB (VPIP: 18.37, PFR: 12.24, 3Bet Preflop: 12.00, Hands: 49)
UTG: 240.8 BB (VPIP: 20.14, PFR: 17.96, 3Bet Preflop: 10.00, Hands: 292)

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Stealing Dynamics in Razz

Disclaimer: Just a reminder that I am a decidedly non-expert Razz player, so take this post as my attempting to muddle through a somewhat unfamiliar game with my general poker knowledge rather than a confident statement of sound Razz strategy.

Villain is a well-known Australian pro, a very successful tournament player whose specialty is NLHE but whom I’ve often encountered in non-hold ‘em games and surely has a better idea of what he’s doing than I do.

PokerStars Hand #121971038991: Tournament #948919234, $500+$30 USD Razz Limit – Level IX (300/600) – 2014/09/23 17:04:54 ET
Table ’948919234 12′ 8-max
Seat 1: AceSpades11 (6520 in chips)
Seat 2: V-MAX261 (14197 in chips)
Seat 3: thegosu2 (4974 in chips)
Seat 4: kalthor (6978 in chips)
Seat 5: Koziammo (13562 in chips)
Seat 6: dimmmmi1 (7353 in chips)
Seat 7: Andy McLEOD (13680 in chips)
Seat 8: foucault82 (8505 in chips)

Episode 96: Triple Draw, PLO8, and the WCOOP

Andrew is still grinding the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker in Montreal, so he and Nate break down a few hands he played in a PLO eight-or-better event and a 2-7 triple draw event.


I made Day 2 of the $200 Sunday Warm-Up WCOOP, which, with only 109 of 8000+ entrants making it even that far, was an achievement in its own right. My hopes weren’t especially up, as I was one of the shorter stacks with about 16 big blinds to start the day, barely half the average. I had some ups and downs in the first half hour, doubling up with Aces, losing a flip with AK to QQ, then doubling up again with Aces. Then there was this hand, which seemed like a straight-forward shove at the time but, after crunching the numbers, looks like it was a mistake:

PokerStars – $200+$15|15000/30000 Ante 3750 NL – Holdem – 8 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com

MP: 32.33 BB (VPIP: 35.14, PFR: 27.78, 3Bet Preflop: 5.88, Hands: 37)
MP+1: 10.99 BB (VPIP: 13.33, PFR: 13.33, 3Bet Preflop: 10.53, Hands: 30)
CO: 7.48 BB (VPIP: 8.11, PFR: 5.71, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 37)
BTN: 63.88 BB (VPIP: 40.00, PFR: 20.00, 3Bet Preflop: 16.67, Hands: 10)
SB: 62.6 BB (VPIP: 19.48, PFR: 14.29, 3Bet Preflop: 11.11, Hands: 77)
Hero (BB): 42.1 BB
UTG: 19.66 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 1)
UTG+1: 8.58 BB (VPIP: 21.62, PFR: 10.81, 3Bet Preflop: 6.25, Hands: 37)

Taking the Initiative

I’m often asked about donk betting or when to take the initiative away from an opponent who’s been betting or raising. My usual answer is that you should bet when you have reason to think your opponent is unlikely to bet the next street and you don’t want to give him the opportunity to pot control or take a free card. It’s common to check to the aggressor because that player is at least representing a stronger hand than yours. So when the flop, turn, or river changes the board texture in a way that you think is unfavorable for his range, and you wish either to bet your own hand for value/protection or to represent something, that’s when you want to donk.

This was from the $215 10-minute levels NLHE 6-max WCOOP event. Villain is Philipp “philbort” Gruissem. As many of you know I’m pretty stubborn about folding my BB to small pre-flop raises and also folding to smallish barrels once I get any piece of the board. When I see the flop with such a wide range, even a gutshot is in the top 2/3 of range, and then I turn a pair…. I still think it’s possible Villain has air, but I don’t know how likely it is that he’ll fire the river with that, so I chose instead to make what I’m sure was a very confusing shove for him. He tanked all the way down literally to the last second before calling with a hand that I doubt he was going to bet on the river. Although maybe he was, to be honest it is still very likely to be good, and a player as good as Philbort should be able to recognize and act on that.

Bottom of My Range + Blockers = Bomb It

This was from the $215 rebuy WCOOP. Villain is a Zoom regular, we’ve played a few hundred hands together there and I think he’s pretty good. I imagine he has some respect for me as well.

PokerStars – $200+$15|60/120 Ante 15 NL – Holdem – 9 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com

BTN: 17.19 BB
SB: 25.44 BB
BB: 69.54 BB
UTG: 143.37 BB
UTG+1: 68.83 BB
Hero (MP): 170.98 BB
MP+1: 67.21 BB
MP+2: 81.08 BB
CO: 120.99 BB

9 players post ante of 0.13 BB, SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 2.63 BB) Hero has Kh Ac
fold, fold, Hero raises to 2 BB, fold, MP+2 calls 2 BB, fold, fold, fold, BB calls 1 BB

Flop : (7.63 BB, 3 players) Kc 7h 7c
BB checks, Hero bets 3.81 BB, fold, BB raises to 9.58 BB, Hero calls 5.78 BB

Turn : (26.79 BB, 2 players) 6c
BB bets 12 BB, Hero calls 12 BB

River : (50.79 BB, 2 players) Qs
BB bets 15.63 BB, Hero raises to 147.27 BB and is all-in, fold

Hero wins 82.04 BB

I had Villain covered by a lot, so my shove was actually for about 55 BB total, or 40 BB more to him.

Finding New Ways to Run Bad

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve called with a bluff-catcher and lost to a hand my opponent thought he was bluffing with. I’ve been on the good end of such situations a bit more often, including at the final table of the FTOPS that I won, so I can’t really complain about running bad in them per se. Still, this was pretty annoying, in the money with about $100 players remaining in the $320 re-entry WCOOP:

PokerStars – $300+$20|600/1200 Ante 150 NL (6 max) – Holdem – 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com

BTN: 127.59 BB (VPIP: 26.58, PFR: 20.09, 3Bet Preflop: 10.00, Hands: 228)
SB: 66.01 BB (VPIP: 23.23, PFR: 18.37, 3Bet Preflop: 8.51, Hands: 100)
BB: 107.86 BB (VPIP: 36.81, PFR: 26.38, 3Bet Preflop: 27.40, Hands: 166)
UTG: 58.67 BB (VPIP: 20.00, PFR: 14.62, 3Bet Preflop: 11.54, Hands: 133)
Hero (MP): 105.67 BB
CO: 28.34 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 6)

6 players post ante of 0.13 BB, SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 2.25 BB) Hero has Ts As
fold, Hero raises to 2 BB, fold, fold, fold, BB calls 1 BB

Flop : (5.25 BB, 2 players) Jc 8h 5d
BB checks, Hero checks

Poking the Bear

This is from the $215 4-max WCOOP event. Villain is Chris Moorman. In my experience, this sort of “blatant” continuation betting tends to provoke LAGs, because they want to be the ones picking up all of the pots where no one has anything, and of course that’s going to happen alot on a 552 flop. I’m OK with that because I have position and my range is on-balance stronger than his.

PokerStars – $200+$15|50/100 Ante 10 NL (4 max) – Holdem – 4 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4: http://www.pokertracker.com

BB: 121.31 BB (VPIP: 44.32, PFR: 25.00, 3Bet Preflop: 14.29, Hands: 88)
Hero (CO): 78.18 BB
BTN: 146.22 BB (VPIP: 41.33, PFR: 28.19, 3Bet Preflop: 17.86, Hands: 156)
SB: 22.06 BB (VPIP: 46.36, PFR: 29.80, 3Bet Preflop: 1.75, Hands: 156)

4 players post ante of 0.1 BB, SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.9 BB) Hero has Qc Jd
Hero raises to 2 BB, fold, fold, BB calls 1 BB

Flop : (4.9 BB, 2 players) 5s 5h 2s
BB checks, Hero bets 2.45 BB, BB calls 2.45 BB

Turn : (9.8 BB, 2 players) 8d
BB checks, Hero checks

River : (9.8 BB, 2 players) Qs
BB checks, Hero bets 5.88 BB, BB raises to 19.88 BB, Hero calls 14 BB

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