Looking for feedback on my PLO play over the past few months (1 Viewer)

Anthony Martino

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I "feel" like I'm playing well and getting unlucky in big pots against droolers in the majority of the spots where I've been losing lately, but after two and a half months of getting my teeth kicked in I wanted to reach out to the community who follows my posts and see if there's any feedback.

I can be stubborn and I know I've turned off some followers with my responses in the past, so I'm going to do my best to be accepting of criticisms, as ones perception can be skewed and I want to get the monkey off my back and return to winning.

I had my best month in August, where everything just seemed to go my way in the coin-flip or better spots, and won somewhere around 14K-15K. Then I posted my worst month ever in September and unfortunately the bleeding hasn't stopped. I still have winning sessions, but the losing sessions are far more frequent and/or larger than my wins overall. So right now after 2 and a half months I've gone on a roughly 20K downswing.

It's obviously extremely frustrating, and I stopped playing in the games where guys are trying to play bingo preflop and just put stacks in, because they're not making the larger equity mistakes they will if we're getting stacks in postflop.

But even with that switch, I'm finding what I feel are great spots against bad players who are stacking off, but wiggling out when I've got the equity edge. I had two days in a row where guys put it in with shitty Kings in PLO against my limp-repot with Aces and found their Kings straight away on the flop.

I had a guy yesterday call his stack off on a 23J flop with two hearts when he had something like A256 with just the naked Ace of hearts. He wasn't trying to push people out with the naked ace bluff, he was calling off his stack with bottom pair and a gutshot on a flush draw flop. We went twice (I had the same gutshot plus a flush draw) and I made my flush on both boards but on the first runout he caught the case 6 on the river to boat up with 6's full of 2's when I had a 6 in my hand as well and he was starting with just bottom pair post flop.

Yesterday I had a different guy on a K53 rainbow flop facing my pot sized bet from the blinds and another players call inbetween, call holding JJ75 when I flopped top two pair, no fucking clue why he is making that call, but a Jack just rolls off on the turn.

I did have some spots I felt were coolers against a stronger player recently, specifically:

He straddles preflop, a few callers, he's on the button and raises to 125, one calling station comes along, I call with AT98 double suited. The flop is 249 with two of my suit, the station leads out, I pot because the guy who raised generally has a range of broadway or AAxx or KKxx holdings when he raises, but he winds up repotting. I'm already stack committed and get it in, he goes once. Turn is a 10 which I figure is good, river and offsuit 5. He announces he has a set and turns over QJ99. Just no way in a million years (in my opinion) I can ever put him on the case two 9's there having raised preflop, the 249 board with two of my nutted suit should be a ridiculously favorable flop, at worst I'd expect to have him stack off with AAKQ with the KQ of diamonds there.

Then against the same player I'm in the blinds with KT9x and the flop is KT5 with two spades (I don't have them or block them). I lead out, he calls, one other player calls. I'm obviously ready to give up if a spade or a straight card hits, but instead an offsuit 5 hits the turn, which "should" be favorable and not hit my opponents, so I pot again to protect against the draws and/or get value from them if they want to continue, which essentially commits my stack to the hand at that point. Sure enough he did have AQ9 with the Q9 of spades, but his fucking dangler is a 5, and I don't really feel like I can possibly view the 5 as helping his range on the turn.

Anyway, those are just some recent examples, but I've been posting regularly over the past few months, so if there are hands or anything really that you feel I'm fucking up on, please chime in. I need to plug whatever leaks I may be missing, or at least get some responses that let me know I'm not crazy and I am indeed running like absolute dogshit.
 
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You’ve been running bad a little lately. But just from my casual observation it appears your range has opened up considerably the last couple months. Playing more pots with marginal hands than you were before. I know part of that is playing the other players but stills seems a little to much VPIP at times.
 

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2 things @Anthony Martino:

You're obviously questioning your results right now. That is a strong indicator that you need a break.

You KNOW you're a good player. You feed your family by playing this game. But when you start questioning the validity of past results you are too lost in your head.

I think if there were flaws in your game the people who follow your epic thread would have chimed in by now.

Poker is a mindfuck if you play often. There are times where you can do no wrong and you feel invincible. Other times you run like shit for extended periods of time and begin to wonder if you're even actually good or if you were just getting lucky all this time.

A break is mandatory at this point. I think a long one would do you some good... and in my experience your slide will continue if your head isn't right. And if you want to go to an extreme, take a break until after the first of the year and get a part time seasonal job to keep you occupied. Millions of companies are hiring and when the gig is over, you'll be itching to get back to the tables.
 

mipevi

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Downswings in PLO can be devastating. I haven’t been following your hands in the other thread too closely and obviously have not been at these tables myself yet (hope dies last! :LOL: :laugh:), so grain of salt. But I think you could tighten your range from the blinds, or even OOP in general.

On the KT9x hand, top2 without redraws is a tough spot to play well OOP. I would use a smaller sizing on the flop, but especially so on the turn. My goal would not necessarily be to force anyone with equity out, but rather try to realize hero’s equity. The situation is suited to usually win or lose a small pot IMO, and losing a large pot is probably a mistake (plan according to SPR).

I hope you hit the better part of variance soon! :tup:
 

Anthony Martino

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You’ve been running bad a little lately. But just from my casual observation it appears your range has opened up considerably the last couple months. Playing more pots with marginal hands than you were before. I know part of that is playing the other players but stills seems a little to much VPIP at times.

If there are specific hands that stand out would love to know.

2 things @Anthony Martino:

You're obviously questioning your results right now. That is a strong indicator that you need a break.

You KNOW you're a good player. You feed your family by playing this game. But when you start questioning the validity of past results you are too lost in your head.

I think if there were flaws in your game the people who follow your epic thread would have chimed in by now.

Poker is a mindfuck if you play often. There are times where you can do no wrong and you feel invincible. Other times you run like shit for extended periods of time and begin to wonder if you're even actually good or if you were just getting lucky all this time.

A break is mandatory at this point. I think a long one would do you some good... and in my experience your slide will continue if your head isn't right. And if you want to go to an extreme, take a break until after the first of the year and get a part time seasonal job to keep you occupied. Millions of companies are hiring and when the gig is over, you'll be itching to get back to the tables.

I actually took the first week of October off completely right after September kicked my ass harder than it's ever been kicked before. My losses fortunately haven't been as gruesome in October or November as they were in September, but unfortunately they have continued to add to the overall losses.

I do have free time outside of my time on the tables and actually took a seasonal position with UPS. Their facility is 1.5 miles up the street from me, and I figured it's a pretty physical job so it will help me lose weight while also keeping income coming in.

I am partially staked now to play bigger games and buyins, so I am in makeup, which means as I continue to post losses I don't have any profit of my own being made. I'm not in any danger financially because of it, but I figured just the stability of partial income outside of poker coming in, plus hours that don't conflict with poker and some physical activity would do me really good.

Downswings in PLO can be devastating. I haven’t been following your hands in the other thread too closely and obviously have not been at these tables myself yet (hope dies last! :LOL: :laugh:), so grain of salt. But I think you could tighten your range from the blinds, or even OOP in general.

On the KT9x hand, top2 without redraws is a tough spot to play well OOP. I would use a smaller sizing on the flop, but especially so on the turn. My goal would not necessarily be to force anyone with equity out, but rather try to realize hero’s equity. The situation is suited to usually win or lose a small pot IMO, and losing a large pot is probably a mistake (plan according to SPR).

I hope you hit the better part of variance soon! :tup:

I agree, I don't like playing OOP or hands like top two with no redraws all that much. However I felt I would bet the flop and see what resistance I received. If there was significant action I would release it, because a strong combo draw is going to have me in rough shape.

I was also fully ready to stop betting if the turn card was a bad one for likely draws that would continue on that flop, but the 5 hitting looked relatively safe, as I couldn't put my opponent on the 5 dangler in that spot.

But you are correct that tight is right overall.
 

DZPoker

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I am partially staked now to play bigger games and buyins,
This is something that stood out to me. If you look at your entire career doing this, how many of the good vs bad months were not-staked vs staked for these bigger games and buyins? I could be wrong, but I remember the staking being fairly new, isn’t it? So fairly aligned to these bad months vs your long streak of good?

If I’m wrong, my feedback is pointless.

But if I’m right, maybe stepping back and seeing if it’s influencing you in any way. The games play different, sure. It could be that. But I’m actually wondering more about the feeling that you’re ‘working for a boss other than you’. Trying to make things work that you may not have otherwise to get them a return on their investment in you. Etc.??
 

FordPickup92

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I agree with the above mentioned skimming some of your recent posts compared to past posts it seems your range has broadened a bit. I get that you can get away with that from time to time with certain players, but it sounds as it's not been overall effective for you.
From my personal experience, there is absolutely nothing you can do about shitty cards, shitty flops, and shitty luck sacks. We all have to run up against them some times. It sucks having to be so tight you literally play 1 to 2 hands per hour, it makes poker less fun. Sometimes it is the way unfortunately.
I also feel a part of it is you are second guessing your reads, therefore (not intentionally) showing some weakness and it's subconsciously affecting your balance during play (if that makes sense)
It happens to me alot, I have some serious swings in a single night, not neccesarily over a course of a month or so (but I'm still "green" so to speak)
I also think that when I try too hard to "know what everyone else playing" I forget to just play my own game
 
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the variance (stdv more specifically) of plo is about 2x what it would be in hold em (150 vs 75) and probably higher in loose games like this - and in 6 months youve Likely played not much more than 10k hands.

If so your actual result when plugging into a confidence interval for a stdv of 250 your results will look something like this with a break even baseline (not saying you’re break even just using to illustrate the variability of outcomes).

1636932798594.png


put in other terms, a 10bb/100 winner is going to show a loss roughly 1 in 3 times over 10k hands. For smaller winners it’s a wild rollarcoaster of anxiety.

Are you even a 10bb/100 winner in a heavily raked game? No idea. It’s not possible to judge your play from hands you posted beyond figuring out if you’re a rank amateur and more importantly not possible to how bad the other players are because you seem very eager to post hands where they play badly but we have no idea how many hands go by without someone punting.

One thing that doesn’t look encouraging is how sloppy you seem to be with money when it comes to tipping, spending and your general respect for the money. People punt hard sometimes sure but they have to to overcome rake and produce a meaningful win rate, and so you can’t be sloppy in the times while you’re waiting for those epic punts.
 

Anthony Martino

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This is something that stood out to me. If you look at your entire career doing this, how many of the good vs bad months were not-staked vs staked for these bigger games and buyins? I could be wrong, but I remember the staking being fairly new, isn’t it? So fairly aligned to these bad months vs your long streak of good?

If I’m wrong, my feedback is pointless.

But if I’m right, maybe stepping back and seeing if it’s influencing you in any way. The games play different, sure. It could be that. But I’m actually wondering more about the feeling that you’re ‘working for a boss other than you’. Trying to make things work that you may not have otherwise to get them a return on their investment in you. Etc.??

I started this in Sep 2019 as my sole source of income. The partial staking arrangement started this past August (which was my best month ever, I think my biggest losing session was around $400, and I mostly won most sessions, just had an absolute killer month). But then in September I had my biggest loss overall, roughly half of the monthly loss being attributed to one specific day where I played the 10/10/25 game and lost an $8500 pot (half the pot being my money) when I got it all-in on the turn as a 78% favorite and the guy decided to gamble and only ran once and got there on me.

Then immediately the next hand I buyin for 1K and get it in against the same maniac where I hold AAT9 suited and he decides to go ham with J875 I think one suit as well? And he wins that one also.

I buyin for 1K again and the maniac has left, I've built to around 1400-1500 and limp-repot AAJ5 suited in diamonds after a known super nit had raised preflop, he and another player decide to call anyway, so there's roughly 1600 in the pot if I recall correctly and I had 850 behind. The flop is 986 with two of my suit, I rip it, both other players get it in and we go twice.

The super nit has KQT9 with KQ of diamonds, so that draw is no good, leaving him with a double gutter and bottom pair.

First board: K9 (the 9 giving me the nut flush, but filling him up)
Second board: KK

Yes, he finds every king and 9 in the deck to runner-runner full houses on both boards against me there.

My general stats are winning 60-65% of my sessions overall. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I ran well above expectation in August, but now I feel I've run well below expectation for 2.5 times that period of time, and sometimes it feels like there's no end in sight, what else do I need to do to pull out a really nice win. I feel like I can't remember the last time I had a great session where I had a bunch of chips in front of me and the stars had aligned.

As far as the partial staking and working for a boss other than myself, I don't look at it like that. I'm ridiculously happy that the guys who decided to help me play higher stakes and larger buyins believe in me enough to back me. I actually felt great that first month where I knocked it out of the park, because even after the equity share I was VERY pleased with my take for the month.

I actually feel bad that I'm stuck in makeup and I do feel like I need to continue fighting and get back out of it and into the realm of profit, for my sake and theirs. I feel frustrated this has gone on as long as it has, but I don't feel like I've taken to playing crazy hours/sessions to make that happen (i.e. chasing the losses)

I agree with the above mentioned skimming some of your recent posts compared to past posts it seems your range has broadened a bit. I get that you can get away with that from time to time with certain players, but it sounds as it's not been overall effective for you.
From my personal experience, there is absolutely nothing you can do about shitty cards, shitty flops, and shitty luck sacks. We all have to run up against them some times. It sucks having to be so tight you literally play 1 to 2 hands per hour, it makes poker less fun. Sometimes it is the way unfortunately.
I also feel a part of it is you are second guessing your reads, therefore (not intentionally) showing some weakness and it's subconsciously affecting your balance during play (if that makes sense)
It happens to me alot, I have some serious swings in a single night, not neccesarily over a course of a month or so (but I'm still "green" so to speak)
I also think that when I try too hard to "know what everyone else playing" I forget to just play my own game

I agree when I was playing the games where restraddles were prevalent and players were just trying to get stacks in preflop I had definitely widened my range, but have moved away from playing those more variance-heavy games in favor of ones that allow me to usually play more post-flop poker.

I feel frustrated I guess when I look at hands that I feel were the correct folds but then I see that I would've won a massive fucking pot, busting two guys who went ham. I think there was one recently where the pot was straddled and the guy who was straddling was likely to reraise with so many people calling, and I was going to be OOP with shitty Kings, so laid them down. He indeed reraised to something like 240 preflop and there were a few callers, and the flop was Kxx and I would've had Kings full by the river and gotten paid by nitwits overplaying QQxx and I can't even remember the other hand.

So I feel like when I'm making what I believe to be correct folds given position, stack sizes and the situation, I then see massive pots that I would've really liked to win going somewhere else. And when I make correct decisions and get it in great, my opponents are rewarded because someone only runs it once and gets there on me or if we go twice they escape with half the pot and I can't seem to pull off too many scoops of the larger pots.

the variance (stdv more specifically) of plo is about 2x what it would be in hold em (150 vs 75) and probably higher in loose games like this - and in 6 months youve Likely played not much more than 10k hands.

If so your actual result when plugging into a confidence interval for a stdv of 250 your results will look something like this with a break even baseline (not saying you’re break even just using to illustrate the variability of outcomes).

View attachment 810725

put in other terms, a 10bb/100 winner is going to show a loss roughly 1 in 3 times over 10k hands. For smaller winners it’s a wild rollarcoaster of anxiety.

Are you even a 10bb/100 winner in a heavily raked game? No idea. It’s not possible to judge your play from hands you posted beyond figuring out if you’re a rank amateur and more importantly not possible to how bad the other players are because you seem very eager to post hands where they play badly but we have no idea how many hands go by without someone punting.

One thing that doesn’t look encouraging is how sloppy you seem to be with money when it comes to tipping, spending and your general respect for the money. People punt hard sometimes sure but they have to to overcome rake and produce a meaningful win rate, and so you can’t be sloppy in the times while you’re waiting for those epic punts.

I've been playing for over 2 years now and had a solid winrate and my results were winning 60-65% of sessions. I have posted some hands where I fucked up or got it in bad as well, although I've likely shared more hands that were beats as those were the ones costing me stacks.

Could you elaborate on the comment about my being sloppy with tipping, spending and general respect for money so I can understand better what I've done that you're seeing is a leak?
 
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Just to put that into perspective in a 5/10plo game it is very common over 10k hands to be running $25,000 under or over expectation. Nearly half the time. That’s 4-6 months of play for someone whose playing full time.

It’s always possible to dream up 20 or 30bb/100 win rates but ime nobody whose played professionally for several years plus sees that as remotely realistic.
 

Anthony Martino

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Just to put that into perspective in a 5/10plo game it is very common over 10k hands to be running $25,000 under or over expectation. Nearly half the time. That’s 4-6 months of play for someone whose playing full time.

It’s always possible to dream up 20 or 30bb/100 win rates but ime nobody whose played professionally for several years plus sees that as remotely realistic.

Could you elaborate on the comment about my being sloppy with tipping, spending and general respect for money
 
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Players looking to get stacks in pre should not make you play looser. Borderline hands even when they have equity edges are very small and depending on the rake cap can definitely make them big losers.

Run sims against 2 other hands with very loose ranges. Then apply a 10% cap 15 to it and see how that impacts the ev. Obviously sometimes you’ll have 45% equity 3 ways but with a hand that isn’t super premium your average equity even against loose ranges is like 35-37% tops. Preflop is not where you want to be getting ‘value’.

One instance of being a bit too free with money was a situation where you tipped an absurdly large amount, and I don’t remember exact details, but I remember I commmwnted about how at least you were being honest with your backers. Maybe they don’t care but there’s no way that attitude won’t carry over into playing especially since it’s a lot less clear when you’re “giving” money away.
 

DZPoker

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I've been playing for over 2 years now and had a solid winrate and my results were winning 60-65% of sessions
I’ll give my point a second try and if it’s not worth pursuing that’s entirely your call!

It sounds like your sessions since August fall below this average that you held for two years. You don’t feel like you’re playing any differently because of the staking, but if you knew you were doing so you would already have stopped doing so, wouldn’t you? The reality is it’s the one thing that’s definitely changed though. I’m just saying it may be something you feel isn’t influencing things that really is. That’s all.

Consider what you paid me for my advise before evaluating the merits of said advise though!!
 

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Play less hands. Play the hands you do play aggressively. Hopefully less multi-way action and more heads up.

You keep posting hands where you are getting okay pot odds but aren’t a favorite to win the hand. It doesn’t take long before losing $1k after $1k when you have 30-40% but have to beat 3 other players and you are down a lot of money.

Just because Kings may be the best hand preflop, doesn’t mean you have to put your stack in with them. If most of these guys want to play for stack preflop in the big pots then I’d look for a different game altogether. Move down in stakes and play the true $1/2 game where the stacks go in post flop and your skills will earn you more money and you will have much bigger equity edges when the money does go in.
 
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even if you consistently had 60-65% of sessions as winners it doesn't really mean a whole lot. a lot of people fall into the trap of booking wins and chasing losses which is going to artificially make winning sessions more numerous than they otherwise would be. not saying you're a particularly egregious offender but i think almost all people do this to some extent - the psychological pull of being "up" on a session has value to anyone who isn't a completely stoic robot.

i'm also not sure how much play you could've realistically gotten over the past 2 years. weren't casinos closed for a significant chunk of that? i'm not sure if that was true in all states but it would for sure have impacted the player pool, and i'm guessing games didn't last as long as they otherwise would. getting 40 hours a week in is not always easy without playing in bad games that are barely worth playing in, and during a pandemic probably a lot more difficult.
 

Anthony Martino

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Players looking to get stacks in pre should not make you play looser. Borderline hands even when they have equity edges are very small and depending on the rake cap can definitely make them big losers.

Run sims against 2 other hands with very loose ranges. Then apply a 10% cap 15 to it and see how that impacts the ev. Obviously sometimes you’ll have 45% equity 3 ways but with a hand that isn’t super premium your average equity even against loose ranges is like 35-37% tops. Preflop is not where you want to be getting ‘value’.

One instance of being a bit too free with money was a situation where you tipped an absurdly large amount, and I don’t remember exact details, but I remember I commmwnted about how at least you were being honest with your backers. Maybe they don’t care but there’s no way that attitude won’t carry over into playing especially since it’s a lot less clear when you’re “giving” money away.

I understand that equities run very close preflop, and generally prefer to play post-flop poker where my opponents are getting it in against me when I'm a 70% or greater favorite, which is why I am giving the crazier bingo games a break.

The biggest tip I can recall was when I tipped a dealer $100 after he dealt me a $1,000 high hand that held up. Normally I would tip in the $25-50 range for a high hand of that size, but I'm good friends with this particular dealer and I contacted the backers to let them know about it in case they wanted me to cover that larger than normal tip. My agreement with them does include high hands, so they share in any high hand profits I make, and I've also agreed not to purchase any massages with our combined bankroll, although I rarely get massages anyway since they're $2/minute.

I’ll give my point a second try and if it’s not worth pursuing that’s entirely your call!

It sounds like your sessions since August fall below this average that you held for two years. You don’t feel like you’re playing any differently because of the staking, but if you knew you were doing so you would already have stopped doing so, wouldn’t you? The reality is it’s the one thing that’s definitely changed though. I’m just saying it may be something you feel isn’t influencing things that really is. That’s all.

Consider what you paid me for my advise before evaluating the merits of said advise though!!

August was above the average, and yes, Sep/Oct/Nov have all been below the average. I don't feel like I'm playing too differently because of the staking. The only thing that really stands out is that one big hand in the 10/10/25 game where I check-raised all-in when I turned a set of Queens on a board that had two flush draws (that hadn't come in yet) and a possible broadway straight available. I felt my opponent didn't have the hand he was trying to rep and stuck with my read.

That was the biggest pot I've played in my life, and my biggest initial buyin to a PLO game as well (4K) and I knew if I was going to hang in those bigger stake games where players are more aggressive, I was going to have to be willing to trust my reads and go with hands when I wasn't nutted.

But I get what you're saying and appreciate you saying it :)

Play less hands. Play the hands you do play aggressively. Hopefully less multi-way action and more heads up.

You keep posting hands where you are getting okay pot odds but aren’t a favorite to win the hand. It doesn’t take long before losing $1k after $1k when you have 30-40% but have to beat 3 other players and you are down a lot of money.

Just because Kings may be the best hand preflop, doesn’t mean you have to put your stack in with them. If most of these guys want to play for stack preflop in the big pots then I’d look for a different game altogether. Move down in stakes and play the true $1/2 game where the stacks go in post flop and your skills will earn you more money and you will have much bigger equity edges when the money does go in.

My approach generally has been to keep pots small and manageable preflop if possible, rather than trying to narrow the field and play with a positional advantage against one or two opponents. My reason being that I want to pull as many people into the pot as possible because it makes it extremely difficult for the aggressive or highly skilled players to run bluffs when facing 6 opponents in PLO, they're just going to run into the nuts far too often. So it takes one of their strengths or tool in the box and cripples it.

It also means that the weaker players are going to be in the pots, so when I do make my hands (or flop strong enough draws that my equity is really good) they're likely to put their money in bad, as I'm not going to be making my long-term profits off the better players.

Yes, it does mean that I'm going to miss out on some pots that maybe I would've or could've won with aggression if the fields were narrowed, but it's just the approach I've found is most profitable for me.

I generally am not looking to get my stack in preflop unless I have a premium holding or I feel that there is enough money involved and my equity is strong enough that it's long-term profitable to do so. I have almost zero raising range preflop the vast majority of the time, unless I can get stacks in pre or create such a low SPR that my post-flop decision is automatic with specific hands.

even if you consistently had 60-65% of sessions as winners it doesn't really mean a whole lot. a lot of people fall into the trap of booking wins and chasing losses which is going to artificially make winning sessions more numerous than they otherwise would be. not saying you're a particularly egregious offender but i think almost all people do this to some extent - the psychological pull of being "up" on a session has value to anyone who isn't a completely stoic robot.

i'm also not sure how much play you could've realistically gotten over the past 2 years. weren't casinos closed for a significant chunk of that? i'm not sure if that was true in all states but it would for sure have impacted the player pool, and i'm guessing games didn't last as long as they otherwise would. getting 40 hours a week in is not always easy without playing in bad games that are barely worth playing in, and during a pandemic probably a lot more difficult.


I track all of my results via an app on my phone so I can be realistic with myself. I agree that it doesn't matter if I win 99% of sessions if the 1% of losing sessions represent a larger loss overall. My focus has always been on my hourly rate as my most important stat, I just mentioned the session percentage as a point of reference.

As far as shutdowns due to Covid, the casino closed in mid March of 2020 and reopened in mid-May of 2020, so there was some downtime, but nothing ridiculous like 6 months lost. The games were actually phenomenal right after the room reopened because all the degenerates were hankering to play.
 

FordPickup92

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I feel frustrated I guess when I look at hands that I feel were the correct folds but then I see that I would've won a massive fucking pot, busting two guys who went ham. I think there was one recently where the pot was straddled and the guy who was straddling was likely to reraise with so many people calling, and I was going to be OOP with shitty Kings, so laid them down. He indeed reraised to something like 240 preflop and there were a few callers, and the flop was Kxx and I would've had Kings full by the river and gotten paid by nitwits overplaying QQxx and I can't even remember the other hand.
I think it's normal to be frustrated with that. I have had to drive it into my brain not to get hung up on my folds, it affects my thought processes on future hands and play. It definitely sucks, for example first hand from last nights NLHE tournament: I was BB with K10 of diamonds, a few calls around maybe one or 2 folds most everyone in the pot, last to act behind the button goes all on first hand. Is well known for being a bully and playing a range from absolute dog shit to solid pocket pairs and large suited connectors. I call and he has aces, I flop a king and 2 diamonds. Turn and river are no help. Rebuy. I was so annoyed at first but really what can you do? I'm calling there either way, so I forget about it an move on. I hate having to adjust my play to people like that, you never know what they have and now that player has the chips to be aggressive. I folded a ton of good playable hands, almost always in my BB too as he intentionally does that. Would've won with about 50% of them too. I didn't cash last night. It sucks but I have to analyze at that point, was my play choices after that hand really that bad, or did things just not go my way? I think I changed my play a bit as I got incredibly tight after that, and folded a ton of draws on the flop that I normally would've stayed in for at least to see a turn.
So, you made the right play/fold there. Before you fold if you know you have 2 shitty kings, are you willing to go all in with em? If you know that answer is no then you made the correct choice. So what if the flop was in your favour? That's out of your control. It SUCKS knowing you would've raked a massive pot, but are you willing to reduce your quality of play for more chances at massive pots? For me in PLO, I'm probably coming along with 2 kings. That many people in the pot, you're probably looking at a suited ace or 2, the queens and suited connectors. It's worth seeing a flop at least, you can always bail on it post flop if you miss. But I don't play PLO that much, or at the stakes you play at.

So I feel like when I'm making what I believe to be correct folds given position, stack sizes and the situation, I then see massive pots that I would've really liked to win going somewhere else. And when I make correct decisions and get it in great, my opponents are rewarded because someone only runs it once and gets there on me or if we go twice they escape with half the pot and I can't seem to pull off too many scoops of the larger pots.
I think during your sessions try to make a mental note or evaluation of your emotions/reflections on big folds or calls, and see if it has any correlation to your following folds and calls throughout the session. Sometimes you just have to rejuvenate your mood, tell yourself I folded lost a chance at a huge pot I would've won, I made the right move for my play and forget it happened. There is absolutely nothing you can do to control the cards. Sometimes if I'm not sure whether to call, raise or fold a hand, I stop and evaluate a second time who's in the hand and often eliminate the call part. I tell myself either jam with this hand and be prepared to lose with it, or fold it. Other times I will check the BB without even looking at my cards until after the flop. There's been SEVERAL times I've looked down to KQs or a massive pocket pair and it goes 2 ways. I smashed the shit out the flop and have now set a trap or I totally missed and didn't push out weaker hands by opting not to raise. But, my blind was in the pot either way. I guess my point is sometimes changing up little things like that changes your emotiona during the game, and changes other players views of what hands you have or don't have. I know you know all of this. Just offering remindful advice not to beat yourself up over a play when you know you made the correct move. Losing sucks for all of us, but you have to keep your mindset in the positive no matter what. @Lil Tuna and Ben have given me tons and tons of advice, the key things that have always stuck are not second guessing your play when you know it was the right move, staying positive even if you're losing, and always play your game, don't let bad outcomes or other people's bad play change it.

While I was typing this I remembered another hand from a few months ago -
Final table at a 3 table NLHE tournament, I had pocket 9s in the BB and was short stacked, 4 folds around, all in from a very tight player, call from the loosest most aggressive player at the table, fold to me. I sit and think for probably a solid 5 minutes it's terrible, I know the tight player has Aces, I don't even have to think about it, I know the loose player has a stupid range and is pretty much irrelevant to my decision. I want to call because I'm short stacked and have a great feeling about the outcome for my 9s but I know I'm behind preflop. Ultimately I fold, cards flip up tight player has AA, loose player has Kx and the cards come out J9xxJ. Aces held, I would've boated. I was pissed, but I had to tell myself I knew I was behind preflop. I'm sure there's people who call with pocket 9s there and people who wouldn't. I wasn't ready to lose my stack yet.

Maybe my ramblings contribute something, maybe not lol
 
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Anthony Martino

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For me in PLO, I'm probably coming along with 2 kings. That many people in the pot, you're probably looking at a suited ace or 2, the queens and suited connectors. It's worth seeing a flop at least, you can always bail on it post flop if you miss. But I don't play PLO that much, or at the stakes you play at.


Sometimes you just have to rejuvenate your mood, tell yourself I folded lost a chance at a huge pot I would've won, I made the right move for my play and forget it happened. There is absolutely nothing you can do to control the cards.

Maybe my ramblings contribute something, maybe not lol

I was ok calling the straddle itself with the shitty kings, but it was my belief that the straddler was going to see all of the people who called and pot it huge (which he did, he's a straight degenerate gambler, he deals at Luckys/TGT so no surprise there). And I didn't want to call a big raise OOP with shitty Kings. If I had stronger Kings with suits and connectedness, I would've been fine going for the limp repot for stacks, but didn't feel it was strong enough to do that move so decided a fold was correct.

You are right, I just have to realize I made the correct decision, regardless of the outcome, and let it go, rather than allow it to fester in my mind. All I can control is correct decisions, I can't control that "what could have beens" if I had made a bad call and smashed the flop, or the coolers or suckouts that occur. I appreciate you taking the time to write up so much!
 
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not related to your live results, but just general commentary...

if you're serious about poker for a living and haven't already made it big you really should be playing online. yes the games are a lot tougher, but the US servers are not nearly as tough as the international ones and the hourly ceiling for small stakes (ie: .50/1 and 1/2 nl) is at least comparable and probably higher than these 5/5 and 5/10plo games live - while providing a lot more stability. You could easily be cranking out 50k hands a month at small stakes almost guaranteeing that every month is in the black.

live play is like a luxury for people who have the money to not care about long losing stretches. if a 6 month losing stretch would crush you psychologically you shouldn't be doing it.
 

Anthony Martino

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not related to your live results, but just general commentary...

if you're serious about poker for a living and haven't already made it big you really should be playing online. yes the games are a lot tougher, but the US servers are not nearly as tough as the international ones and the hourly ceiling for small stakes (ie: .50/1 and 1/2 nl) is at least comparable and probably higher than these 5/5 and 5/10plo games live - while providing a lot more stability. You could easily be cranking out 50k hands a month at small stakes almost guaranteeing that every month is in the black.

live play is like a luxury for people who have the money to not care about long losing stretches. if a 6 month losing stretch would crush you psychologically you shouldn't be doing it.

The problem is access to games I feel I can trust. I've already encountered cheating in live games, it's likely easier and more magnified in online settings.

Here in Florida we don't have access to regulated online poker, so my options would be less reputable sites that may run off with my money like people running Poker Bros clubs, etc.
 
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I understand that equities run very close preflop, and generally prefer to play post-flop poker where my opponents are getting it in against me when I'm a 70% or greater favorite, which is why I am giving the crazier bingo games a break.

The biggest tip I can recall was when I tipped a dealer $100 after he dealt me a $1,000 high hand that held up. Normally I would tip in the $25-50 range for a high hand of that size, but I'm good friends with this particular dealer and I contacted the backers to let them know about it in case they wanted me to cover that larger than normal tip. My agreement with them does include high hands, so they share in any high hand profits I make, and I've also agreed not to purchase any massages with our combined bankroll, although I rarely get massages anyway since they're $2/minute.

Tipping 100$ on a hand is absolutely fucking insane if you're a professional player at this level. Even tipping 10 on one hand is insane. If your tips in other hands are congruent with these based on size of the pot, you're likely tipping away half your hourly or more.

Also insane? $2/minute massages, for any amount of time. This is likely more than 4x the rate that a licensed massage therapist would charge outside a casino. Why not just wait until you're done work and go get one if you really want it? Buying food and drinks at the table? i have no idea what prices are like there, but if it's anything like the casinos where i live it's jacked to all shit. if you're eating at the casino restaurants or food service every day, you're likely blowing an extra $100-200 a week. these things add up.

You might realistically be making less than some of the dealers who you're tipping, and you want to give them more? do you hate yourself? if you want to give to charity, give to a real charity for people who're actually in bad spots. tipping at poker isn't about being a good or generous person - it's about impressing people. how badly do you want to impress people? are you willing to make yourself poor in order to look rich?
 
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The problem is access to games I feel I can trust. I've already encountered cheating in live games, it's likely easier and more magnified in online settings.

Here in Florida we don't have access to regulated online poker, so my options would be less reputable sites that may run off with my money like people running Poker Bros clubs, etc.

fair enough. i have similar problems in canada, except the problem here is that international servers are a real bitch. if i was in the US though i would gladly move between states to grind online. not sure how much of a hassle that would be for you given your life situation. what is the nearest state that does have legal online poker?
 

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I follow your thread off and on and I'm confident you are a better PLO player than me, and I don't think my (and likely most who have posted in this thread before me) advice regarding hand analysis is relevant. If you want that, hire a well respected coach.

Clearly though the downswing is getting to you mentally. Consider taking a break, but don't necessarily study hands and do research on that break. Take an actual break...focus on your CoD, YouTube channel, computers, whatever else interests you. Spend time with your family and enjoy. Don't set a return to poker date, wait until you feel your ready.

And then play the same way you've been making a living from for two years.
 

FordPickup92

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I was ok calling the straddle itself with the shitty kings, but it was my belief that the straddler was going to see all of the people who called and pot it huge (which he did, he's a straight degenerate gambler, he deals at Luckys/TGT so no surprise there). And I didn't want to call a big raise OOP with shitty Kings. If I had stronger Kings with suits and connectedness, I would've been fine going for the limp repot for stacks, but didn't feel it was strong enough to do that move so decided a fold was correct.

You are right, I just have to realize I made the correct decision, regardless of the outcome, and let it go, rather than allow it to fester in my mind. All I can control is correct decisions, I can't control that "what could have beens" if I had made a bad call and smashed the flop, or the coolers or suckouts that occur. I appreciate you taking the time to write up so much!
Happy to take the time to do so! Sometimes sharing reflections with others allows you to see things in a different perspective.
We've only sat at a table together once, but I know you're not a bad player. Bad runs just happen sometimes, you can only change so much of your play. The rest of it is just sticking it out and fine tuning what you know/what works best for you
 

Anthony Martino

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Tipping 100$ on a hand is absolutely fucking insane if you're a professional player at this level. Even tipping 10 on one hand is insane. If your tips in other hands are congruent with these based on size of the pot, you're likely tipping away half your hourly or more.

Also insane? $2/minute massages, for any amount of time. This is likely more than 4x the rate that a licensed massage therapist would charge outside a casino. Why not just wait until you're done work and go get one if you really want it? Buying food and drinks at the table? i have no idea what prices are like there, but if it's anything like the casinos where i live it's jacked to all shit. if you're eating at the casino restaurants or food service every day, you're likely blowing an extra $100-200 a week. these things add up.

You might realistically be making less than some of the dealers who you're tipping, and you want to give them more? do you hate yourself? if you want to give to charity, give to a real charity for people who're actually in bad spots. tipping at poker isn't about being a good or generous person - it's about impressing people. how badly do you want to impress people? are you willing to make yourself poor in order to look rich?

I'm nowhere near tipping half my hourly away. The $100 tip on the 1K high hand is not representative of my regular tipping, which is typically $1 per pot one, although it can scale up to $5 depending on the overall size of the pot won.

We can't eat at the tables, and water or sodas are free. I generally only drink room temperature water (supposed to be better for digestion?) and when the waitress comes around I get a couple of bottles so I only have to tip her once.

Likewise I also hold onto chips I have rather than buying them or cashing them at the cage each day, to reduce the tipping frequency to staff there as well.

As far as the massages go, it's extremely rare I ever partake, but when I do I limit myself to 20 minutes. I went through a period where I was dealing with intense sciatic pain that could make standing or sitting (usually one or the other, not both) virtually unbearable. I try to get in exercise, stretching, taking breaks to walk around, etc. But occasionally a flare-up occurs and I need relief. Some of the massage therapists are terrible and just phone it in, but there are a few who really care about making sure they address any pain or problem areas and put forth an effort that makes it worth it when I really need it.

Also, I don't spend anything on food or drinks, except for a tip to the staff. I earn $2/hr in comps while playing, and use that to pay for any meals I have while I'm playing.


fair enough. i have similar problems in canada, except the problem here is that international servers are a real bitch. if i was in the US though i would gladly move between states to grind online. not sure how much of a hassle that would be for you given your life situation. what is the nearest state that does have legal online poker?

We just bought our home about 3-4 years ago and have no desire to move out of state to play in online games I have no knowledge or experience with as far as the sites go. I believe that only five US states have regulated legal online poker sites:

New Jersey
Nevada
Pennsylvania
Michigan
Delaware

And I'm not sure about their agreements between the states, but player pools are nothing like the golden age of online poker when Party, etc. were in their heyday and you had access to a worldwide player pool. Sometimes only people who reside in that particular state make up the player pool.
 

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I hope this bad run turns around Anthony. I enjoy your posts and root for you to win. One thing I’d wonder is if your raising hands are getting predictable and thus easier for your opponents to play against. I get wanting to keep pots small pre, but you might want to mix in some preflop raises with lower suited wraps. That might protect your raising range a bit and give you more board coverage. I am not a licensed coach and have no idea if that is worth following. However, I get the sense you play against a lot of the same players a lot and if your strong ranges are too predictable it might get exploited. Are you working in floats at all? If not might be worth doing that a bit. Just mixing it up.
 

Anthony Martino

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I follow your thread off and on and I'm confident you are a better PLO player than me, and I don't think my (and likely most who have posted in this thread before me) advice regarding hand analysis is relevant. If you want that, hire a well respected coach.

Clearly though the downswing is getting to you mentally. Consider taking a break, but don't necessarily study hands and do research on that break. Take an actual break...focus on your CoD, YouTube channel, computers, whatever else interests you. Spend time with your family and enjoy. Don't set a return to poker date, wait until you feel your ready.

And then play the same way you've been making a living from for two years.

It is hard not to be discouraged going through this lengthy of a downswing, I can't deny it's impact on me emotionally as I am frustrated. But I also feel obligated to my backers who have put their belief in me to continue the grind. I haven't gone crazy and added a bunch of extra hours or sessions trying to get out of makeup. I've kept with my regular schedule mostly and I do have my fair share of downtime off the felt.

And I did take an entire week off in October just to get my head straight after the brutality of September.

I can take some small comfort that I'm not the only one dealing with some of this craziness. Negranues recent VLOG showed him expressing a lot of the frustration I feel when he busted from a Stud 8 tournament.

And last night there was a guy who had KKxx on a QQx flop and he was up against an opponent who had KQQx. The case fucking King hit the turn (because why not?) and he got stacked. And it was right after he had his quad Aces on the high hand board for $1,000 beat by a royal flush, so two pretty rough beats in a row for that poor guy.
 

Anthony Martino

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I hope this bad run turns around Anthony. I enjoy your posts and root for you to win. One thing I’d wonder is if your raising hands are getting predictable and thus easier for your opponents to play against. I get wanting to keep pots small pre, but you might want to mix in some preflop raises with lower suited wraps. That might protect your raising range a bit and give you more board coverage. I am not a licensed coach and have no idea if that is worth following. However, I get the sense you play against a lot of the same players a lot and if your strong ranges are too predictable it might get exploited. Are you working in floats at all? If not might be worth doing that a bit. Just mixing it up.

As far as preflop goes my raising range is virtually non-existent. Typically only with strong premium holdings IF and ONLY if I can get my entire stack in preflop or create a low enough SPR that I'm never folding on the flop.

I do float some flops when I have backdoor outs that could produce the nuts, although generally only when I'm at a positional advantage against my opponent.

I do see a lot of the same players over and over, yet the two nitwits who put it in with KK43 with the 43 the only suited cards and KKQ5 with three spades in his hand should know from our history that when I limp repotted them I'm showing up with AAxx and have them in a world of hurt, but they still stacked off for I think $700-850 on back to back days (when one had committed $140 of his stack and the other $75) and both days they came out smelling like roses lol.

Some people can't help themselves but play bad, I guess I'm just worn out from seeing them rewarded for it. I get the fish need to be fed sometimes too, but geesh, let someone else feed them please! :p
 

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