1. Thanx 4 the info LHX, wasn't aware....

Chasing the flush draw....
The amateur's wet dream.

The answer to this question becomes skewed depending on what kind of game you are playing, and your willingness to gamble. The easiest and most straightforward answer is... When it's worth it. I'll explain.

The first thing you should do when deciding whether to gamble or not is ask yourself, "Is this a good gamble?" Are you willing to risk your entire bankroll on a tournament or cash game knowing that you have a 60% chance of failure? Essentially on the flop, those are your odds of hitting a flush before the river.(40%)
Also you should look at the board. Is there a pair on the board? If there is, you risk gambling on a situation in which you are already drawing dead, as a full house is a possibility. Also your percentage goes down in this situation as re-draw outs to better hands are possible. Another thing you should look at is your cards. Is the flush I'm drawing to too low? REMEMBER: just because you are drawing to a flush doesn't mean someone else isn't. You can draw to a 5 high flush only to find out someone was drawing higher. So if you are gonna draw to a flush, first try and pick high cards to do so.

So what is a good gamble? If we go by pot odds, then a good gamble is calling a bet a little less than half of the size of the pot. A bet 1/3 the size of the pot gives the exact correct odds to make a smart mathematical call. This goes for both the turn and river, since the odds of hitting a flush (about 20%) are almost the same. REMEMBER: If you call a bet on the flop and don't hit, you also will probably have to make another call on the turn to try and catch.

Implied Odds chasing.

This is what I like to call evil odds. There are barely any bets you cannot call to make this play justifiable. As long as your opponent bets less than %40 of his overall stack, you can call or come over the top all-in and the play is a good one. With implied odds you play on the amount you can win possibly if your card falls. With a bigstack, your goal is to take your opponents entire stack so you want to concentrate more on implied odds or big moves that take the entire stack in one instant.

example of implied odds

you have over 300,000 in an online tournament easily the overwhelming chip leader at the table and in the tourny.

You are dealt king jack of clubs.
blinds are at 300-600
you are in the big blind faced with a raise of 1200 more.
You call
Your opponent has just over 31k
flop comes
AC TC 4D
you flopped a gut-shot straight draw and a flush draw
you know any queen and any club other than the 4 of clubs makes you the nuts. this= 11 outs to the nuts and 1 more out to the flush
we'll calculate nut odds only. 11 x (2.25)<--(% of each out) = approx 25% x 2 streets = approximately 50% to hit the nuts.

with a pot of 3900, your opponent overbets the pot, a huge \$10000 bet. Using pot odds, there is no way you can call that bet to try and catch your flush. However, with implied odds, you are calling 10000 to try and win 21000 more, not just what is in the pot. Calling here however is a mistake. With 2 cards to come, if a blank falls on the turn you may be forced to make a huge decision on the turn. Instead re-raise his 10000 all in and take your chances. Three things can happen.
1. he calls and you lose
2. he calls and you win
3. he folds and you take the pot right there

In 2 of these scenarios you win, and do so without significant risk to your stack. This is another reason why pushing is always better than calling.

Forgetting all about the odds for a second I can sum it up like this....
To chase a flush, call bets that are 1/3 the size of the pot or less.... this will give you the correct odds, and give you a positive mathematical expectation.

Conversely, in order to chase flush draws out or make them draw for the incorrect price, bet between 1/2 to 2 times the size of the pot on the turn and river.

coming tomorrow- thoughts on pot odds

2. I cashed out all the money in my paradisepoker account a while ago since I dont bother too much with internet poker, but since I don't have money I enter their "beginners freeroll" free tournament sometimes which has a \$100 purse and usually gets around 1000 entries. The thing that I like about it is it starts at 11pm est, its free, and if Im out of the tourney early I just go to bed and lose no sleep over it so its a win-win situation.

Everyone starts at 1500 chips and the blinds start at 20/10 and increases every 10 minutes. Always 10 people at a table.

So of course there are all types of players....when there is around 150 people left the players are at least decent.

Sometimes because of the circumstances I want to attack the loose players early and play more hands than usual just to have a bit more fun, but I can never catch any cards within the first hour so I don't bother.

Sometimes I don't know how to face these types of tables where there is such a wide range of skill...not used to it I guess. Perhaps I should be paying more attention of what players are what skill level relative to my own table position.

3. heh heh.
You have just described the nightmare scenario for the skilled player.

Freerolls are a crapshoot. Undoubtedly there are very many bad players in freerolls. There is also no doubt that a spattering of good-very good players is in the tourny as well. So how do you approach this? Well you could try to pinpoint your opponents play, and figure out what type of player each one is, but that approach is futile early in a big tournament as so many players are dropping and moving tables. The likelihood that you stay with the same table with the same players for very long is slim. So instead of trying to concentrate on the types of player each individual player is, lump them all into one catagory. Bad. Then, as the tourny goes on, you can label those that can actually play by using your notes feature. (in freerolls bad players outnumber good players by at least 3-1) Then, if you or they are moved, you can see the label later if you are once again returned to the same table. Good players are pretty easy to spot. They are the ones not over or under betting. they use moves like the checkraise and smooth call to trap. REMEMBER: anyone who uses a minimum raise preflop is a bad player. anyone who way overbets the pot is also bad player in most cases. In the first case the raiser is trying to raise the amount in the pot without getting any information. This does not increase the chances of winning the hand. It only makes the pot juicier for your opponents to suck out on you. In case 2, the player has no interest in what you have at all. All he cares about is blowing you off the hand or gambling for all his money. He'll let the cards beat you because he can't outplay you. Case 2 is the most frequent occurrence. They see the game as a complete gamble and are willing to roll the dice constantly. You can choose to avoid these players and sit on your stack, but you will find that in short order you are sitting at a table full of monster stacks. You have to gamble, and they want you to. That being said, you are never a bigger favorite to win than preflop. Chances are the hands they will be pushing with aren't that great anyway so feel free to come over the top all-in with hands like AK AQ AA KK QQ JJ TT and 99. But don't fall into the trap of seeing too many flops. The more you play, the greater the chances of being busted, and these guys like to bust you with any kind of draw, even backdoor. Don't look for logic when playing bad players and don't expect remorse for absolutely abysmal plays that bust you. In order to survive a freeroll you must dodge every trap, play and cooler that comes your way, even the ones you don't see coming. because most of the players in the tourny have the same mindset, try this approach.... Gamble more early, especially with good-great hands preflop. When nearing the money change up your game to super-tight especially when you have a chip total which is at risk of going broke. This period usually weeds out the badder players who risk at the wrong time and go broke.

This approach for freeroll tournaments is almost exactly the opposite tactic as a rebuy tournament. A small change in the type of tournament can be enough to change your approach completely.

4. Ah I forgot about that note feature online. Usually I knew the regulars at the tables I went to during regular games....never really played the tourneys. Whats the best way to write notes? Just a brief description of how someone plays?

question:

what tactics would you suggest at a table with several very aggressive/loose (they think that this is good) and several players who check or call constantly.

it always seems in these games, although ive won a decent amount, that i lose hands in situations when i should have seen it coming, ie. the guy who calls constantlly raising a decent amount.

i try to play tight/aggressie but i generally rationalise and end up playing hands such as A10 off suit, J10 off suit etc.

6. Originally Posted by Prolifical ENG
Ah I forgot about that note feature online. Usually I knew the regulars at the tables I went to during regular games....never really played the tourneys. Whats the best way to write notes? Just a brief description of how someone plays?
keep it simple as possible. you want something you can come back to months later that won't be confusing. also I find it helps to put a date next to a note. After all a player can be new to the game the first time and when you play them again months later, their whole style has changed. I have a number system i use (see previous post) and I specify what type of game I played against them.

example

NOTES

2/22/07
player type "1"
tournament

continuation bets very often
uses the checkraise to bluff

If I pick out different tendencies on a player I will list those as well at the bottom.

Keep it simple. You don't need to write a biography on your opponent.

7. Originally Posted by Palehorse
lets have a wu-tang corp poker tourney
most on-line poker sites will set up private tournaments for a specific group. I will e-mail absolute, fulltilt, and ultimatebet, and get more information.

8. Originally Posted by sean michael

question:

what tactics would you suggest at a table with several very aggressive/loose (they think that this is good) and several players who check or call constantly.

it always seems in these games, although ive won a decent amount, that i lose hands in situations when i should have seen it coming, ie. the guy who calls constantlly raising a decent amount.

i try to play tight/aggressie but i generally rationalise and end up playing hands such as A10 off suit, J10 off suit etc.
I'm assuming you are talking cash game, correct?
The one fear of an aggressive/loose player is ultra-aggression. Other than that kamikaze style the only way to play against players like this is to check-call and trap them. The problem with this is that the really good players will see the first call you make as a sign of strength and back off, meaning you won't make any more money. Some won't care at all. Those are the ones you want to trap in this manner, the ones that fire three consecutive bullets with nothing, and not give a second thought.

The second player you have described is the "sticky" player. Also known as the "ATM", the calling station, or the cashbox, these are the toughest players to get off a hand. They want to see all 5 cards and don't care what it costs.
The best way to play against these players is to play honest. Don't semi-bluff, because if you don't hit the chances of a successful bluff on the river is somewhat minimalized. When you do have a great hand, bet strong. Make them pay a lot for their draws. Don't lose what you don't have to, and win as much as you can. This is one of the essential rules of poker.
REMEMBER: Maximize wins Minimize losses.

Here is why each one of these schools of poker wins, and it has a lot to do with what you said about "not seeing it coming". When the aggressive player raises he doesn't adjust the raise just because he has a better hand. He bets uniformly so as to disguise the strength of his hand. consequently, you have too much invested in a hand before you realize you are beat. Instead of getting away from the hand you should, you rationalize the amount of money spent in the pot as an excuse to call off more. Than he has you.
The calling station makes his money by having a constant "slow play". Since the play is always a constant check/call, you never have any idea where you are in the hand. This will make it nearly impossible to get away from a very good hand on the river when he finally goes all in because what do you know? Not much at all.
These two styles of poker clash perfectly like the shaolin and Wu Tang schools do. The aggressive players work well against the calling stations and vice versa. However if calling stations clash against each other, the pots will be small. If aggressive players clash the pots will be huge. By having both styles at the table the game becomes more harmonized, more beautiful. By having only one style at the table the game either becomes a giant mess or a drag.

9. In addition to trying to get the corp its own multipoker tourny, I myself am soon obtaining my very own 9 handed sit n go tournament table on absolute as I am very close to VIP status. If you are interested in joining the list of players eligible please PM me with your poker nickname on absolute and the amount of money you would like to play for. (1+.10),(5+.50),(10+1),(18+1.80),or (25+2.50)

10. Originally Posted by beautifulrock
I'm assuming you are talking cash game, correct?
The one fear of an aggressive/loose player is ultra-aggression. Other than that kamikaze style the only way to play against players like this is to check-call and trap them. The problem with this is that the really good players will see the first call you make as a sign of strength and back off, meaning you won't make any more money. Some won't care at all. Those are the ones you want to trap in this manner, the ones that fire three consecutive bullets with nothing, and not give a second thought.

The second player you have described is the "sticky" player. Also known as the "ATM", the calling station, or the cashbox, these are the toughest players to get off a hand. They want to see all 5 cards and don't care what it costs.
The best way to play against these players is to play honest. Don't semi-bluff, because if you don't hit the chances of a successful bluff on the river is somewhat minimalized. When you do have a great hand, bet strong. Make them pay a lot for their draws. Don't lose what you don't have to, and win as much as you can. This is one of the essential rules of poker.
REMEMBER: Maximize wins Minimize losses.

Here is why each one of these schools of poker wins, and it has a lot to do with what you said about "not seeing it coming". When the aggressive player raises he doesn't adjust the raise just because he has a better hand. He bets uniformly so as to disguise the strength of his hand. consequently, you have too much invested in a hand before you realize you are beat. Instead of getting away from the hand you should, you rationalize the amount of money spent in the pot as an excuse to call off more. Than he has you.
The calling station makes his money by having a constant "slow play". Since the play is always a constant check/call, you never have any idea where you are in the hand. This will make it nearly impossible to get away from a very good hand on the river when he finally goes all in because what do you know? Not much at all.
These two styles of poker clash perfectly like the shaolin and Wu Tang schools do. The aggressive players work well against the calling stations and vice versa. However if calling stations clash against each other, the pots will be small. If aggressive players clash the pots will be huge. By having both styles at the table the game becomes more harmonized, more beautiful. By having only one style at the table the game either becomes a giant mess or a drag.
cheers for this, im playing a 7 person game on wednesday with some mates of mine. will report back after that.

thing is, in some other games ive played, everyone just plays tight agressive and you never end up seeing the river, or you only get 2 players at most seeing cards past the flop.

the games with my mates are much more enjoyable/interesting because almost every hand ends with someone winning a decent pot, unless there are mass fold pre flop/

anyway, i'll see what i can do on wednesday night, and try and use some of the info you shared.

11. oh yeah, and what you said about having too much investing in a hand by the time the turn or river comes out, happens to me at least a couple of times a game.

sign of a amatuer i guess, lol.

i always get to the turn with nothing but a long shot at a straight or flush, but convince myself that i have nothing to lose, and end up chucking in half my stack.

12. Originally Posted by sean michael
cheers for this, im playing a 7 person game on wednesday with some mates of mine. will report back after that.

thing is, in some other games ive played, everyone just plays tight agressive and you never end up seeing the river, or you only get 2 players at most seeing cards past the flop.

the games with my mates are much more enjoyable/interesting because almost every hand ends with someone winning a decent pot, unless there are mass fold pre flop/

anyway, i'll see what i can do on wednesday night, and try and use some of the info you shared.
sean, while I agree with you that while having more players in a pot CAN be enjoyable, there is extreme risk and playing that style. It's hard enough just trying to read one hand, but when multiple hands come into the equation you are looking through a blizzard with sunglasses on. The chances of busting, being trapped or just plain losing increase with each player in the pot. The goal of every great player is to isolate a hand with one player and attack. The easiest way to achieve this is to raise preflop, the reason why ALL pros suggest this line of attack. That being said, I can't get anyone out of a pot preflop in my home game either. I play a .25/.50 cash game and regularly have pots with five players calling a three dollar raise. This is because we KNOW each other too well. It's times like this that reading ability can be the difference between walking home busted and walking home rich.

Some added advice I have for you is this. If you find yourself playing every hand or too many hands, you should walk away from the table for a second. Get a nice drink (not too stiff) and take the time to enjoy it. Think about your approach and how you can change it to work for you. Slowly make your way back to the table and calm down. Slowplay the next three or so hands you get and when you finally win a big pot, change up your style to aggressive.
After the next big pot you win, change it up again and keep changing, throwing your opponents off balance. When I am down in a rut at the table, this simple strategy has worked wonders for me over the years.

"Poker is hours of boredom and moments of sheer terror"
- the professor Howard Lederer

oh yea ps GOOD LUCK!

13. Originally Posted by sean michael
oh yeah, and what you said about having too much investing in a hand by the time the turn or river comes out, happens to me at least a couple of times a game.

sign of a amatuer i guess, lol.

i always get to the turn with nothing but a long shot at a straight or flush, but convince myself that i have nothing to lose, and end up chucking in half my stack.
wanting to gamble isn't a sign of an amateur, its the sign of the gambler, and some of the biggest pros out there are huge gamblers.

Tune in Monday when I go over pot odds and what makes for a good and bad gamble.

14. yeah i feel what your saying,

but that said, i dont really play to win, i mean i always try as hard as i can, and im really competetive, but when i lose a can still enjoy the night etc.

to me that more important, all our games have some really close high stakes hand, which makes it interesting.

also, as you said when you play with the same group of people all the time, you get to know their tactics/tells/betting trends etc. its always interesting when you think you have someone figured out and they come out with somethink totally unexpected, such as a huge bluff.

another point/question. when i play my main tactic when i have a strong hand is to slow play initially, wait for someone else to move, and then follow there bets. or if this doesnt happen, to then make my own moves.

i do this because i assume its a safer tactic then bluffing etc, the problem is i seem to be more predictable now that people have picked out my betting trends.

anyway, question is, what tactics would you employ when bluffing, eg. cards down, amount in the pot etc.

because usually when i do bluff, i seem to under bet to late and end up getting tangled up in an unwanted show down, or betting to much, too early and picking up a relatively small pot.

15. Originally Posted by sean michael
s

another point/question. when i play my main tactic when i have a strong hand is to slow play initially, wait for someone else to move, and then follow there bets. or if this doesnt happen, to then make my own moves.

i do this because i assume its a safer tactic then bluffing etc, the problem is i seem to be more predictable now that people have picked out my betting trends.

anyway, question is, what tactics would you employ when bluffing, eg. cards down, amount in the pot etc.

because usually when i do bluff, i seem to under bet to late and end up getting tangled up in an unwanted show down, or betting to much, too early and picking up a relatively small pot.
Ok, you aren't that big of an amateur. Your 1st question shows that you have graduated past rank amateur and have reached the second stage. I was on that stage for a while myself, thinking I could slowplay all my big hands successfully and waiting to spring that giant trap. The problem is these occurrences are extremely rare, and when they do happen, chances are fastplaying would have produced the same results, maybe even better. I'll get to the bluffing in a second, but lets tackle that question first.

The KGB slowplay is a great move. I don't want to down the play totally, but that play has a time and situation to be used, but it is unfortunately overused. I, myself, don't recommend slowplaying that often. There are two major reasons why.
1. You risk letting a weaker hand or a draw hand catch you. There is nothing worse than flopping the nut straight, checking it down and have a back door flush take all your money on the end. Listen, its like this. By slowplaying, you gain no information on a hand, you also give no indications of strength. I can't tell you how many times I've slowplayed a hand, then had to lay it down because of a play made later on in the hand, only to find out I had the winning hand. Why did I lay it down? Because earlier in the hand I picked up no information, made it appear to my opponent that I was weak, and when I finally bet on the river, the bet made no sense. He sees this as a bluff (like he should) and comes over the top all in. Now i'm lost in the forrest. I can't risk my entire stack, knowing he could have caught up to me on the river.
2. You don't make as much money. You can check and check and check and not make a dime. Used to slowplay a set on the flop all the time. Now I barely do. And ya know what? I make tons more money and get sucked out less. Also the first bet people put into a pot many times is construed as a bluff and is subject to reraises. This is exactly what you want correct? REMEMBER :maximize wins.

The bluff is a beautiful thing when employed properly. Too bad most people use it up like a cheap whore. When I play a cash game I employ a bluff at most maybe once an hour. At times I have gone entire nights without bluffing and was the massive chip leader at the table. You want to pull off the bluff right? Well make the play make sense. (see example below) As far as the correct amount to bet? Ask yourself, What would I bet if I had the flush right now? A bluff bet should be a happy medium between betting too strongly and betting too little. (I prefer like half the pot) You essentially want to place a bet that looks like a value bet. A value bet is a bet that looks like it is crying for a call. The only problem is a bad player will do just that, not caring what you have.
I'm not saying 100% of the time you should employ this type of bluff but it works wonders especially against great players. Other types of bluffs to try are the blow off, a huge immediate all-in raise usually done preflop or on the flop against an aggressive player who likes to continuation bet on the flop.
The other type of bluff is what Doyle Brunsen calls the post oak bluff(don't know how he got the name) This is a very small bet into a huge pot designed to look like you are trying to make a little more money on a made hand. This is very very hard to use and almost never works, but when it does, it more than makes up for all your failures.

I don't like to give up ALL my secrets but this is a bluff play I use occasionally that works well. For this play to work, the flop must contain a pair, preferably low. (aces on board is a bad time to try this)

Lets say after a small raise prefop you call with ace jack off.

Flop (9H 9S KC)

Your opponent bets the pot representing a king.

You ponder the move and smooth call.

Turn 4H

Your smooth call slows down your opponent and he bets the same as previous showing a little weakness.

You have two choices now the 2nd being more risky. You can raise now about the size of the pot and hope to take it down now or risk another card coming off and try the move on the river.

You smooth call again.

River 3H

now your in business. A card that could a backdoor flush has fallen on the river. You have planted the seed in your opponent that you either have a 9 or a king. He sees this and checks. You bet big on the river (a little more than the pot) He contemplates and folds his king suspecting you had slowplayed the 9. You turn over your ace jack and he throws up. You have just pulled off a successful bluff because the play made sense.

As far as picking up a small pot early because you bet too much, don't sweat it! part of hold 'em is those monotonous seemingly meaningless little hands with small pots. Phil Ivey is considered the greatest player on earth because he is constantly going after those little unwanted pots. Would you rather win several small pots taking the blinds with aces, or lose a monster pot because you slowplayed those aces and got cracked?

"Aces either win you several small pots or lose you monster ones."
-Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson

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