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this months poker and success

Posted by mpokerdonk

hi everyone or anyone who will read this blog. I had a pretty rough month as far as i have been running quite bad but over all im still up. I guess it could be worse but i am getting close to being in 50NL as my BR is approaching a lil more than 900 now. I take a some what aggressive BR approach using only 20 buy in rule so i can move up a lil faster. i been still playing a lil bit of 10NL although i dont need to but on the days the 25NL games are reg infested i drop to 10NL and osme times on the days where i feel my head is not in the game i will also drop lower to minimize how expensive mistakes are plus the added value of the players playing even worse. Making me able to beat the games on my c game. I usually will not play poker on my c game but i do make exceptions mainly cuz im trying to move up as fast as possible. here is what my graph looks like for the month.

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2nd session of the night a rae 2nd blog in 1 day

Posted by mpokerdonk

i just got done with my 2nd session of the day and i was actually playing nitty to my normal standards i didnt 3 bet much because my opponents were being quite spewy. they were spewy PF and post flop making me actually playing pretty tight i didn't mind it was the feel that i had tonight kinda crazy but there was a 13 tabler who kept trying to make moves on me with air post flop so i didn't make any plays vs him but i would make small raises with hands and let him spew. but over all the games were very good it was unfortune the regs were playing like this because i prolly could have made more money playing vs the mega fishes that were at the table. although winning 2 buy ins isnt bad for a 2 hour session. just thought i would talk about how the flow of the games changed the way i usually approach the games if i were to be laggy like i usually am the regs that i have history with would have prolly got the better of me as they were acting like they had a set on a lot of hands. well Gl at the tables everyone im gonna prolly play one more session for the night after this break...

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game flow and other things i have improved on

Posted by mpokerdonk

so i been playing the micros for quite some time got bored and decided to play 9 tables a couple of times and when i did i ran extremely bad. i decided taht i wanted to not have to almost nearly auto pilot and be able to make reads as i find that part of poker more full filling to me since i pride my self on my reads. and i became quite good at certain aspects that maybe i was auto piloting or thinking this is a standard spot and so on. there is quite a bit of 3 betting going on at the micros now and they have no idea why they are doing it. I thought to my self there has got to be a way to go under the radar and play laggy with out dealing with getting 3 bet so much. I did my home work and realized i can play tighter in certain spots and looser in certain spots get 3 bet less but there 3 bet frequencies will not change because they wont adjust good enough. so when they 3 bet me all a sudden i will be there with a stronger range and be able to take more advantage of the fact there ranges are not changing. on top of that i had made some crazy 3 bettors back off me and not want to mess with me so much if almost at all any more as they must have realized im doing some thing deifferent that is hurting the way they are playing vs me. and it made some guys go quite tilty and tilt off a massive amounts of buy ins lol sucks for them. i also started to 3 bet a lil more from spots i usually wasn't 3 betting from. for instance i was usually flatting AK and QQ vs an utg open in the blinds. i was still flatting those hands but i started to 3 bet more suited hands from blinds like 97s etc. i noticed they started to get erritated about that and started to play back so than i jumped my AK and QQ in to my 3 betting range again and dropped suited connectors these guys went quite crazy and im sure they were wondering why is this guy jamming all the time. when i did this to a few guys i played tighter from my steal positions as i felt they would be dying to 3 bet me for once and would spew so i widen my 4 bet get it in range and i was amazed at what hands was 5 bet shoved on me. i saw K5o,78s and other BS. in other words i am having quite a bit of success in learning about why and when to either tighten up or loosen up and its getting kinda fun because they don't know the big WHY.. thanx to anyone who reads this and i will be interested to hear comments.

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How to Approach Donk Bets

Posted by BlackRain79

how to approach donk bets

Hey guys, sorry I haven't been posting much of late. I have had a lot of other things going on. I am going to be doing some traveling soon so I have been really busy setting that up. My coaching requests have continued to be very high since the book release. And with the book itself, I am still doing interviews and such and answering emails has become a job in itself haha. And trying to play some actual poker from time to time as well!

So a lot going on but I wanted to try and post some more strategy related stuff on here from time to time as well as make it more interactive. More on that in a bit. I have a big list of topics that I would like to get to and several of them were user requested. I actually have a whole section in my forum dedicated to stuff that you want to see me blogging about. So head on over there if you have any suggestions.

Oh by the way, like a complete donkey I managed to totally miss the WBCOOP entry on Stars. It's been on my to do list for a week. I just found out that there is a $5k prize for being voted the best blogger or something as well! When I finally got to it today it said that the final date to enter was yesterday. Sick beat.

However I am officially backing EVhero. I just met this fellow Canadian blogger and poker player recently. He is funny as hell and I love his videos on Youtube (even though he recently misclick deleted them all! haha). So go vote for him.

Back to this blog entry. In this post I wanted to talk about what to do when you get donked into. This is something that happens a lot at the micros. It is a play that is really popular with bad players and of course the micros is full of them!

What is a donk bet?

A donk bet is a bet (often small, half pot or less) that goes against the flow of the action. Usually when somebody raises preflop it is assumed that they have a strong hand. And it is further assumed that they will follow up on that with a continuation bet. So when somebody bets into them it kind of throws a wrench into things.

What do donk bets mean?

This depends on the player type. As I said before, donk bets are usually made by bad players. With bad players (high VPIP and big separation between VPIP and PFR) donk bets can mean a lot of different things. They can be anything from a draw, an overpair, middle pair, the nuts or complete air. With tighter players or regulars (low VPIP and not much separation between VPIP and PFR) a donk bet will often mean one of two things: a weak overpair/top pair type hand or the nuts.

So it is important to have a look at the player type before you make your decision on how to react versus these types of bets. While it is a good idea to look at the donk bet stat on your HUD I am just going to work off the previous assumptions here in the following examples. I am going to list a bunch of common spots and ask you guys what you would do. I will give my answers later.

They really are just completely random. I made them up and have no clue what I would do yet. I don't think the stakes really matter. Just assume microstakes (NL50 or less) and little or no history between hero and villain.


Hero is dealt A♥K♦ in MP, raises 3x, and gets called by a nit in the SB.

The flop comes,


The nit donks for 1/2 pot.

What should hero do?


Hero is dealt 8♣9♣ in LP, raises 3x, and gets called by a fish in the BB.

The flop comes,


The fish donk bets 1/3 pot.

What should hero do?


Hero is dealt J♦T♦ in LP and 3bets an MP TAG opener.

The flop comes,


The TAG donks 3/4 pot.

What should hero do?


Hero is dealt A♠Q♦ in the BB. An SLP (semi-loose passive) limps the SB. Hero raises 4x.

The flop comes,


The SLP donks 1/3 pot.

What should hero do?


Hero is dealt A♠2♠ in LP, raises 3x, and gets called by a nit in the SB.

The flop comes,


The nit donks 1/2 pot.

What should hero do?

Please leave your comments below.

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

cultivating a image today

Posted by mpokerdonk

today i cultivated the craziest image and it was very fun. I havn't done anything like this in a long time for almost a year since i was in 200NL on FTP.I decided i would play more of a 3 bet or fold game from the blinds today and i was even running kinda nitty  compared to my usual stats. I dunno if it has to do with i didnt deffend my blinds as much. But i do know it was because i had quite a bit of fish that would end up getting short stacked. it started when i 3 bet a few times and got cought double barreling in a 3 bet pot and was playing with a few players on a few of my tables. than i 3 bet bluff utg open with 67s he folded but was suspicious and been 3 betting me. usually he folds far to often to 3 bets but i knew he was getting sick of my table captain strat. usualy vs a guy like him i flat AK and QQ in blinds unless i have reason to believe he will stack off lighter or bluff so i 3 bet and he bluffs. than a few hands later this guy 3 bet from SB w/K3o i 4 bet QQ when i was on btn again usually with no history i will flat there also but i felt he would 5 bet shove almost anything there and so i 4 bet and he jammed. He went on tilt after i told him hey do you hate me or something. it was very funny than he started bluff raising and doing anything to win a pot but i rarly let him win one. well just thought i would talk about how poker went today.

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changed some ways about how i play poker and im happy about it

Posted by mpokerdonk

so i been playing latly fixed a couple problems i have had playing poker and my results are ehh. But over all im happy with my play here are some of my graphs i played day by day graphs.

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Poker Math: Pot Odds, Hand Odds and Implied Odds

Posted by BlackRain79

Poker Math Pot Odds Hand Odds and Implied Odds

Let me first start off by admitting that math is not my specialty. In fact I think I only took it to the grade 11 level. It isn't that I am terrible at it, I just am not that well versed in it. I just know the basics like most people. And as it relates to poker I do use some math but I guess I would classify myself more as the "feel" or "intuitive" type of player.

I have never thought that success in no limit hold'em cash games truly requires that much in depth knowledge of the math though. I think that as long as you understand a few of the basics such as pot odds, implied odds and hand odds, you will be fine. And the easiest player for me to point to to prove my case is Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt. He has famously made millions grinding online mid and high stakes cash games. He has said on numerous occasions that he doesn't really approach the game from a mathematical perspective either. He made these comments for instance a little over a year ago on his Cardplayer blog,

"I am a very intuitive player. I have only on and off used a HUD when playing and make a lot more plays by feel more so than by numbers."

Now I wouldn't go that far. I use my HUD all the time. Keep in mind though that he plays high stakes cash games where the player pool is much smaller than in the microstakes games that I play in. Therefore it is much easier to just go off memory. I don't really use my HUD with the regulars that I have plenty of history with at the micros either. So I can understand where he is coming from.

Basically what I am trying to say here though is that you don't need to get bogged down with stats and odds and percentages to be successful at this game. It works for some people and that is fine. Some people love to Pokerstove huge ranges and use all sorts of equity analysis tools. There is nothing wrong with that. But in my opinion you will be fine if you just stick to the basics as well.

I don't want to talk about HUD setup in this blog entry. Yes I am a minimalist but I absolutely think that you should use one and make frequent reference to it at the micros. For more information on the stats that I use and how to set up your HUD please refer to a pair of articles that I wrote on this subject last year (Part 1 and Part 2).

So I already mentioned above that I think that you should know some basics about pot odds, implied odds and hand odds. Where did I learn about this stuff? I ordered The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky from the Pokerstars FPP Store when I was first starting out. It was so long ago that I read this book that I hardly even remember much of it but from what I hear it is actually mostly about limit hold'em! As if I knew any difference back then. I think I might have actually been playing limit hold'em at the time though (yes I had a brief career in it lol). But also I have heard that it is actually a very difficult book for beginners.

So I am not specifically recommending that everyone goes out and buys it. I do think it is a legendary book in the poker world, and that is why it is one of the few that I recommend. However a lot of the information might be dated now and frankly a lot of the math in that book you could learn from a simple google search and a couple hours of reading. But it covers the basics well and organizes it nicely. So let's talk about some of the ideas that it covers.

Pot Odds

What are they? Pot odds are basically the price that you are getting on the pot. Poker is often referred to as gambling of course and that is because there is both risk and reward in almost every action that you take. When the pot has a certain amount of money in it and you are calling a bet often it is with an inferior hand which you hope will be a superior hand should the right cards come your way on future streets. So you look at the current size of the pot plus the bet in front of you (always remember that once somebody makes a bet in poker it is part of the pot) and determine if it is worth your while to call. That is, do you have the correct mathematical odds to call.

Example #1:

There is $1 in the middle and your opponent has bet $1. You have to call $1 in order to win a $2 pot ($1 in the middle plus his $1 bet). In order to get your pot odds you simply take the size of the pot and divide it by what you have to call. In this case 2 to 1.

Example #2:

There is $3 in the middle and your opponent bets $1.50.

$3 + $1.50 = $4.50,

$4.50/ $1.50 = 3 to 1 pot odds.

Hand Odds

So how do these pot odds relate to our decisions at the poker table? Well you take those pot odds (2 to 1, 3 to 1 etc) and compare them to your odds to make your hand. Now there is an important point to be aware of here. Should you make you hand you need to be highly certain that it will be the best hand. This is why for instance you should always try and make sure that your draw is to the nuts or near it.

There is a whole other type of odds in poker referred to as reverse implied odds which while outside the scope of this article basically refers to getting yourself into a situation where should you make your hand, it will be second best. Therefore your "prize" for making your hand is to lose a big pot. Fish are experts at this.

Back to hand odds however. So the easiest way to find out what your hand odds are is to find a chart on the internet. I just did a simple google search for "poker outs" and found this one,

What this chart will tell you is what your odds against hitting your hand are on the flop and turn depending on the number of outs that you have. Now an in depth discussion of counting outs will also be outside the scope of this article but it basically just refers to finding the number of cards remaining in the deck that will improve your hand to the best one.

You should spend some time and commit all of the outs and percentages with various draws to memory. So for instance a gutshot always has 4 outs, an open ended straight draw has 8 etc. And then make sure you roughly memorize the percentages to hit. Make sure that you remember that there is a big difference between 2 cards to come (the flop) and 1 card to come (the turn). Many people make the mistake of forgetting just how much their equity decreases on the turn as compared to the flop. This is why it is often much better to play your draw in an aggressive manner on the flop than on the turn.

So how do we tie all of this together? Well we can make a simple comparison of our pot odds as compared to our hand odds and make some easy decisions.

Example #1:

You have a flush draw on the flop and your pot odds are 4 to 1. Since we know that a flush draw on the flop is roughly only a 3 to 1 dog to get there by the river we can profitably call in this spot because we are getting better than those odds on the pot.

Example #2:

You have bottom pair and a flush draw on the turn and your pot odds are 2 to 1. Since we know that our hand has roughly 30% equity or is a nearly 3 to 1 dog versus a top pair type hand we know that we cannot profitably continue in this spot. The price that we are getting on the pot just isn't good enough when compared to the odds of making our hand.

Implied Odds

Now if we were playing limit hold'em this article would basically be over at this point. But the great thing about no limit hold'em is that the stacks are often really deep and of course you can bet as much as you have in front of you at any given time. So while it is not an exact science we need to roughly ask ourselves how much we think we can get out of our opponent should we hit our hand. Is this the type of opponent that is a strong player who is capable of making the tough fold when the obvious draw comes in? Or is it a recreational player who will perhaps moan and complain but pay you off in the end?

If it is the latter we can probably depend on getting a big bet out of him on the river which might change our decision in example #2 above from a fold to a call. However versus the disciplined regular who will not pay us off, we should still fold.

Implied odds are a difficult thing to quantify like pot odds and hand odds because there are so many different factors involved. For instance a big consideration is the likely strength of your opponent's hand. If you are up against the type of opponent that only bets when they have an extremely strong hand, then maybe you can make a fairly loose call with a longshot draw because you know that they will be in a very difficult situation (and likely to make the crying call) should you hit.

On the flip side, a big mistake that I see a lot of players at the micros making is misjudging their implied odds against aggressive opponents. For instance I am a big advocate of raising a ton of hands from late position. I just made two videos for my blog about it in fact (Part 1 and Part 2). I am raising upwards of 50% of my hands in some cases from the cutoff and button positions. Set-mining me out of the blinds would not make much sense because the vast majority of the time I will have absolutely nothing to pay you off with when you finally hit.

Lastly, there are considerations with implied odds to be made concerning the deceptiveness and strength of your draw.

If you have,


for instance on a board like,


probably even the greenest of villains isn't likely to pay you off much because the draw is so obvious when it comes in. Also your draw is not to the nuts. Somebody could have 58 and you will lose a big pot should you hit.

However if you have a hand like,


on a board like,


your draw is much stronger because it is far better hidden when it comes in. You always want to  consider what your opponent can have as well. In this case there are many more likely two pair hands that he could have or will make should the 9 or A come (people just play big cards more often than small cards).

Finally, our draw is to the nuts both ways. And we have a chance to cooler somebody that has a jack by making a higher straight should the 9 come.

I hope this discussion has been helpful for you all. As you can see I am no math expert. I consider myself around average in my knowledge of it. And at the poker table I use it sparingly. However it is important to know a few of the fundamental principles. And you should try your best to know them by memory. If you are off by a little bit don't worry about it though. A flush draw will roughly hit 1 in 3 times from the flop and 1 in 5 times from the turn. See that chart that I linked above if you are a true nerd and want to know the exact values!

Please leave your questions or comments below.

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

my new goals and the progression

Posted by mpokerdonk

I don't know how to start this blog out. This is my first one, and im gonna do my best please no one correct my punctuations as i suck and did not graduate school.
So i been playing for man years and after black friday got fucked from FTP for a good amount of money. Now i tried live for a little bit and nearly went busto not because i played bad. But my BR was short and i ran bad bought christmas presents and payed bills. I had $65 online on aced poker and decided i wouldn't put any more money online and would build it up after reading a article on chris ferguson on how he turn 0 in to 1000 or something in 6 months playing tournies. Than i read another one about daniel negranue how he turned 100 in to 100k in 1 year and decided i can do it also. 4 weeks ago i started with $65 in 2c/4c and now i have about a $650 BR. I am currently in 25NL and realized how to beat the short stack regs who i struggled with for many years. i have been improving my game a lot every day i work hard on my game. finding new ways to exploit my opponents. I noticed on aced poker the games are all reg infested you have to table select very well. 90% of players 3 bet/4 bet with out knowing why and they are very play happy causing them to be losers or break even. there is maybe a couple winners at that stakes. well im trying to turn my $65 in to gold i will keep people updated at least weekly and if anyone is interested i will start posting my graph as well.

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