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Hello Cardplayer

by Matt Affleck |  Published: Jan 31, '12

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Hello Cardplayer

Hello everyone! Just want to start by saying how happy and honored I am to be a featured blogger for Cardplayer.com. I hope to give you guys a glimpse into my life, which for now hovers greatly around poker, fitness, and getting hustled by Matt Savage on the golf course. Hopefully, through reading this blog, you can see my motivation and dedication I have towards this great game of poker and how much I want to be successful with all my goals. I also tend to have some fun with this blog, posting random pictures I have taken throughout the weeks, favorite youtube videos, and random sports discussions. I invite you to go back and read the two previous blog posts from this year to see some of my goals of the year, and to give you an idea of what to expect from me this year.

There has been some great poker action in Seattle the past couple of weeks. Last week, I played the $460 re-entry event at the Clearwater casino on Bainbridge Island. The event attracted 95 runners, while small, is about what I expected. I made it through Day 1a, but was quickly ousted from Day 2 within the first orbit of play when my AQ could not outrace 66 to get some decent chips.

All was not lost though, as the cash game action has been excellent here. While I have not been playing the game, they have been running a 5/10/25 PLO game at Tulalip 1 to 2 nights a week. For those that do not know, Washington State has a $500 max bet rule. If I bet $300 on the flop the maximum raise is to $800. You could then chose to raise to $1300. So yes, this 5/10/25 game might be the stupidest game ever.. The game, however, is very good, high variance, but very good. The max buy in for the game is $2000. Last weekend, one of the regulars in the game had close to $50,000 on the table at one point, the most by far ever in the casino on a poker table. I want to play this game, but with the limit poker nuances and my lack of work ethic lately on my PLO game (been refocusing on tournaments and NLH cash) I just don’t feel comfortable playing the game. The 5/10 nl action though was very good this past week here. I believe we had 3-4 nights of 5/10 going at Tulalip and the games were all very good in my opinion.

Stats from last week

Hours played – 39 ( (19) 3/5nl, (13) 5/10nl , (6) 5/5nl, (2) 5/10 PLO)
Profit - $1,818
hourly rate - $46.62

I again crushed the 3/5nl game this week making just over $2,000 in 19 hours of play. I just feel so confident in this game now. I play a very high variance style in the game, pushing every edge, YET the game is still very low variance due to the player styles you run into. I am the one always putting everyone to the test and rarely have difficult decisions calling off my chips. Some ask why I am “Slumming” it playing 3/5, that I should be playing bigger etc. This all has to do with ego, or lack there of. I am trying to remove all ego from my poker game as it had been the demise of so many in our game. Why shouldn't I continue to play in the 3/5 game when I am beating it for a very good rate with little to no variance.

Hand of the Week- Hand reading, bluff catching, putting you opponent to the test.

This hand comes from the new 5/5nl game I have been trying to spread at Tulalip. Same game as the 3/5, but with a Max buy in of $1000 instead of $500.

My image- I have my standard Hyper Lag image at the table and have been playing the most pots out of everyone.

Villains image – Standard 3/5 player. Will play fairly ABC post flop, doesn't get out of line to much, might be playing bigger than normal since this is a $1000 buy in game and he does split time between 1/3 and 3/5.

History – I have 3 bet him once already and showed a “4” after he folded pre flop.

My hand – Jc6c

Weak Hi jack player open limps
Villain Iso raises cutoff to $20.
      • I immediately pickup on his raise size here. Most players in this game like to protect their hand and would raise bigger with their stronger hands to get value. My initial reads puts him on a marginal hand.
I 3bet the button to $75.
      • A little bigger than I normally 3bet, but we are sort of deep (Villain had 6-700 maybe?)
Villain calls quickly heads up.
    • He didn’t even consider 4 betting. To be honest I didn’t expect him to fold pre flop much.

FLOP Ts 9s 5h
Villain checks
I Bet $80
      • Bet sizing is key here, I don’t believe I need to bet much here to see how strong the villain is. This gives me the cheapest price to bluff at the pot. It also allows me room to barrel turn and river if need be. Bet sizing is one of the biggest leaks of 3/5 players I see. I would guess the average cbet here would be in the range of 125-130, $80 accomplishes the exact same thing imo.
Villain snap calls
      • His quick calls indicates a very weak holding to me. If he had an overpair, he would of at least taken a second to consider raising the flop here. Also many 3/5 players are going to raise this flop with any strong hand to protect against the flush and straight draws. You very rarely see people slow play here.
Turn 9c
Villain checks
I bet $130
      • again bet sizing here. The players at 3/5 do not really consider pot odds, rather this just look how much it is to call. $130 Is a lot of $$, again I don’t believe I need to bet much more than this. Also with this sizing it gives me the opportunity to make a cheap triple barrel bluff. I can bet 175-200 on the river here giving my self a good price to bluff. They don’t see what odds they are getting to call, rather they see that I re raised pre flop, bet flop bet turn and bet river.
Villain Snap calls
Again I still feel that he is weak. He again didn’t even consider raising. At this point I am planning on barreling 175-200 on most rivers. I am putting his range on 77-88, AT, KT, JT,QT, QJ, KJ, 78 and Flush draws and the best hands he could have at JJ, QQ, KK, AA with AA and KK less likely cause he would of 4bet pre flop. I don’t expect him to fold QQ on blank rivers.Most of these hands will have a hard time to call a third river bet.
River 6d ( I am now qualified :D)
Villain Shoves $315 (he took about 5 seconds)
Hero calls

So I did not expect him to ever lead non-club rivers. He shoved the river so quickly like there was very little thought process into my hand range. I begin to analyze his range now, which has greatly changed. I feel the only VALUE hands in his range are TT, AA, 66. I discount 66 due to combinations since I have a 6 in my hand. AA I discount since if he was going to take the line of check/call, check/call to let me keep bluffing (which is a great line IMO) he would almost for sure check the river to let me bluff missed clubs and straights and he would not be folding. TT is probably the most likely value hand, but there are so few combinations. There are way more combinations of missed flush and straight draws here. KJ,QJ, J8s all have either gutters, open enders and over cards. All his nut flush draws or overs and flush draws missed. There are just so few hands he is repping / plays this way for value

I call after about 30 seconds.
Villain - “Shit” and flips AhKh (no fd)
I flip Jc6c
Villain - “What the hell, J6”
I smile and rake the pot :D
While this was one of my favorite and cool hand histories in a long time, there is a lot to learn from this hand. Live tells, timing tells, assessing players ranges and how that range changes throughout the hand. Trusting your range. Realizing when a player does something that makes zero sense.

Changing the subject to fitness, while not a bad week, I certainly did not have my best week in terms of working out and dieting. I broke my diet for the first time last weekend. Went out with some friends and had 3 beers, the first alcohol I have had in 3 weeks since starting the diet. Somehow after the bars we ended up at this taco truck and I couldn’t help my self. I had a carne asada burrito. Soooo worth it. I think this might have been for the best though. It remotivated myself and I come into this week looking forward to having a perfect week in order to make up for last. At last weigh in (now just over a week ago) I weighed in at 207.75. 4 and ¾ pounds from my goal of 203. I now have 13 more days (Feb 13 when I leave for LA) to accomplish my goal and I still 100% am focused on reaching it. I am going to skip my weigh in this week and push my self to the best of my abilities this week. I have 6 workouts scheduled in the gym + snowboarding on my day off from the gym. This plus a perfect diet should allow me to shed a lot of weight this week before I weigh in Sunday before the Super Bowl (my one scheduled “cheat day” of this challenge). I had a great chest, back and shoulders workout yesterday on my own. I got in 27 sets in just over an hour and felt great afterwards. I have 3 workouts planed with Bobby this week (My personal trainer). Lately these workouts have been beyond challenging. We have been working out with Battle ropes and TRX bands a lot lately. While not quite at this intensity a lot of the exercises are similar to these.