Saturday, July 2, 2011

Couple More Hands + Some General Thoughts

I haven't really posted much regular content on this blog in quite some time. Somehow I still get around 30 unique visitors a day. I was getting 5 times that amount of traffic last summer by comparison when I posted a lot more and plugged the blog on PTR from time to time.

I do appreciate the loyal readership though. And I am going to start posting more regular content of a mostly educational value, 100% for free of course. I still don't see a whole lot of poker playing in my future, at higher limits anyways. I have a lot of other interests in web entrepreneurship, as well as my coaching and video making, that I am actively pursuing on the side.

But I believe that I still have a lot to offer in helping people, especially those just starting out, or anyone having difficulties in general, at the lowest limits. And most importantly, I enjoy doing so.

I have a long term goal of perhaps putting out an e-book as a definitive guide to crushing the penny stakes. It would be pretty low priced and probably fairly short (100 pages or so tops). I don't think there is anything comparable on the market out there right now. I would be interested in your guys thoughts on that.

Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 7 Players

CO: $1.25
BTN: $3.75
SB: $5
Hero (BB): $5
UTG: $2.65
UTG+1: $3.83
MP: $2.34

Pre-Flop: 5 Q dealt to Hero (BB)

4 folds, BTN calls $0.02, SB folds, Hero checks

Flop: ($0.05) 9 K J (2 Players)

Hero checks, BTN checks

Turn: ($0.05) T (2 Players)

Hero bets $0.04, BTN calls $0.04

River: ($0.13) K (2 Players)

Hero bets $0.10, BTN raises to $0.20, Hero raises to $4.94 and is All-In, BTN calls $3.49 and is All-In

Results: $7.51 Pot ($0.37 Rake)

BTN mucked A 4 and LOST (-$3.75 NET)

Hero showed 5 Q and WON $7.14 (+$3.41 NET)

Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 7 Players

BB: $2
UTG: $4.63
UTG+1: $2
MP: $1.90
CO: $5.03
Hero (BTN): $5.24
SB: $8.51

Pre-Flop: 3 3 dealt to Hero (BTN)

UTG raises to $0.07, 2 folds, CO calls $0.07, Hero calls $0.07, 2 folds

Flop: ($0.24) 3 J 9 (3 Players)

UTG checks, CO bets $0.13, Hero raises to $0.80, UTG folds, CO raises to $2.63, Hero raises to $5.17 and is All-In, CO calls $2.33 and is All-In

Turn: ($10.16) 2 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

River: ($10.16) 7 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $10.16 Pot ($0.50 Rake)

CO showed Q Q and LOST (-$5.03 NET)

Hero showed 3 3 and WON $9.66 (+$4.63 NET)

Hand #1

Villain is very nitty. I actually like to raise preflop here most of the time against a single limper, but I was auto piloting on a lot of tables and missed it. Again, I could have led the flop but its ok to check as well. Turn, bet, standard obviously. On the river, I think it is important to always mass overbet shove in spots like this. They are that stupid, as you can see, especially at NL2.

Hand #2

Villain is semi loose and passive. I think this hand illustrates why we should never be folding sets almost ever for any reason necessary. And that we should be fast playing the living hell out of them at the penny stakes. I should mention that my massive reraise on the flop is standard for me at NL2 in spots like this. This is because they often interpret massive overbets as bluffs. So the easiest way to counteract that is to do them for value.


Just to be clear. The thoughts above are relevant to NL2 and NL5 (somewhat) only. You can't get away with stuff this ridiculous very often at NL10+

Nathan Williams aka "BlackRain79" is a microstakes grinder, poker coachDragTheBar instructor and the author of Crushing the Microstakes. Now available in Spanish and Russian as well.


  1. Thanks for going over some of your hands with us . It always amazes me how much worse they will call us down with LOL. glad to see you posting a little more on here also because i enjoy reading your Blog . I just wish i could grind as many hands a day as you and still profit.I can grind 1,000 hands no problem, but seems like when i gring 2,000-3,000 hands i always lose for some reason?? Can't seem to adjust to the longer sessions that's a leak in my game UGHH..

  2. Ya no prob. I hope to post maybe a couple times a week for now which is more than the twice a month I've been doing lately. I will probably just post hands and such for now but let me know if you want me to talk about something specific.

    As far as playing longer sessions. I usually 18 table these days for 2-3 hours. I don't like to play much longer than that. And I take a fairly lengthy break (at least 1 hour) if I plan to play more that day.

    I also normally play my hands near the beginning of my day when I have more energy and mental clarity. I know it can be a little harder if you have a full time job and play at night. I used to do that. I'd probably focus on playing more on the weekends. The games are much better then anyways.

  3. Yo blackrain79, I see you at the 2nl tables often. I've been playing poker for 3 months and I think I am finally starting to patch alot of my leaks up.

    I have a question, I play with 100bb stacks. Would you say it is far more profitable to play 250bb stacked at 2nl tables since they are weak. I looked at your last sessions on the PTR and your win rate is insane considering the stake, is this due to your stack size ? Do you table select people with similar sized stacks and/or high average pot size. What type of hands are you willing to put 5 dollars in with ?

    Hope you don't mind answering my questions, respect.

  4. Hey TechReid,

    I think you should always want to have the most money you can on the table if your think you are one of the best players at the table. But 200bb+ stacks does create some more complex spots so I think beginners should just stick with 100bb.

    Is it more profitable? Yes. But by how much I am not sure. Not too many people buyin deep so its not even an issue most of the time. I table select by highest vpip or players to the flop. Fish bring in the money. If they buyin deep thats just a bonus. Hope this helps, gl.