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My New Book, Pro Poker Strategy: The Top Skills

Posted by hotjenny314

I'm very excited to announce that my first poker strategy book, co-written with my husband Collin Moshman is now out on Amazon! The price? 'Bout Tree Fiddy (That's $3.50 for those not as well-versed in 2+2 jargon ;) ).

Here's the description:

What skills do all top professional players have? In this concise text, edited to give you the most improvement in the quickest amount of time, best-selling poker author Collin Moshman and pro poker player Katie “hotjenny314” Dozier identify and explain each of these crucial skills held by the top pros.

For late beginner and intermediate players, learning and practicing these vital skills will prove instrumental to increasing your winnings. For experienced players, further mastery of the more advanced concepts will be key to maintaining your edge in today’s quickly-evolving games.

For the limited-time price of $3.50, this text will have you immediately improve in these essential areas:

Pot Odds and Winning Percentages for Optimal Decision-Making
The Key Concept: Expected Value
Mastering Equity
Playing Optimally against Ranges
Tracking Software
Targeting the Donators
The Miracle of Table Selection
Counting Hand Combos
Aggressive Semi-Bluffing
Value Betting
The Fundamental Betting Rule
Optimal Short-Stacked Strategy
Manipulating the Pot Size
Exploitive Play
Avoiding Tilt

Hope you all have a chance to check it out, and please let me know if you have any questions. Check out the Facebook wall for more info! :)

Do You Judge a Book by its Cover?

Posted by hotjenny314

When I was little, there was one thing I would get in trouble for over and over.  No, it wasn’t boys, forgetting to do my homework, or refusing to clean my room. It was staying up all night reading old books by candlelight in my walk-in closet.

Every night the books eyed me from their shelves in the hallway, beckoning me with their gilded titles and musty aroma.  Inside my closet with candles lit around me, I would run my fingers along the raised type as I read and inhale sharply as I lifted an airy sheet of tissue paper to take in an etching from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Clearly, my first love affair was with Mark Twain.

Fast forward 15 years and I long to crack the spine of that book all over again.  In lieu of spending my life savings on commissioning a private jet to fly me to my Dad’s house this very instant, I take out my iPad. In a few seconds, and for free, I have re-kindled my romance with Twain.

Without the holy beauty of an antique book to wrap me in musk or sprinkle me with fairy dust, I realized that the words alone are what really made me fall in love. Furthermore, without the glamour of the sexy thick paper to distract me, the words have more weight, for they alone cast the spell.

While I will always love antique books, I find the anti-EReader arguments for physical book nostalgia (of which I was once guilty of), such as “I love to feel the spine in my hands,” or “I want to lick my finger to turn the pages,” actually to be an insult to the manuscripts themselves.  To use tactile arguments to avoid EReaders forever is to be guilty of the biggest cliché in existence: To judge a book by its cover.

Recently, I completed my first novel, co-written with my husband, called The Superuser.  The reality of EPublishing is that I will never hold a hard copy of the book in my hands. But it is likely that more people end up reading the book than if it had been traditionally published, for the simple fact that we are able to price our book at $2.99.

Sometimes I wonder what Twain would think about this new era of EPublishing, and I am reminded of this quote:

“Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.”

Wild WSOP Satty

Posted by hotjenny314

I played a fun $275 WSOP satellite yesterday. I almost didn’t register when I noticed that the average age was looking a bit younger than ideal; and call me an age-ist but I refused the last longer bet because the players opting for it all looked like internet kids (takes one to know one obv ;) ).

But I decided to play it, and due to an unsold seat, someone on the Rio staff brought over Jerry Buss (frequent player on high stakes poker TV shows and owner of the LA Lakers). I was shocked that Jerry would play as low as a $275, and surprised that he opted out of the $100 last longer bet.

Early in, I won a handful of small pots. Then at 50/100 Jerry raised to 300, leaving himself about 400 behind in the lojack. I looked down at QQ in the CO and shoved 2300. Folded back to him, and he calls with AT, and I hit totally unnecessary quads much to his annoyance. So much for chopping heads-up for court side seats!

One hand actually caused a few of the players laugh at me, which I thought was quite funny. The Cutoff went all in at 50/100 for 300. The small blind called, leaving himself about 1100 behind. I was in the big blind with 22 (about 2800 in chips) and snap-shoved. Obviously, I would have called the CO shove, and I have a lot of fold equity against the small blind.

Furthermore, the Rio Sattys are winner take-all (though they very often chop heads-up), which should make me much more inclined to shove here. The SB tank called with JT, and the initial shover had 85o. I hit a boat while my two opponents both missed.

By the time it was 3 handed, I was the chip leader. I felt that one of my opponents was pretty weak, and one was clearly very good. At 150/300, the good player (and 2nd chip leader) raised to 800 in the small blind. I looked down at KK, pretended to ask him for a count while I decided between 3-betting smaller and shoving. I opted just to shove, and he called with AQ, and hit a brutal A on the flop for the 10k pot, leaving me about 2800 behind.

Given the massive chip lead I would have had going into heads-up with the weak opponent, I estimate that I lost at least $1500 in equity there.

The next hand, the solid player offered me and the other guy a $500 lammer, which, looking back on it would have been a slightly advantageous chop for me. But in the moment, I chose to decline, and instead busted a couple hands later when the good player raised on the button and I shoved 10 BBs in the SB with 22, the BB folded, and the BTn called with JJ and held.

Leaving the restroom later, I ran into the very nice and good player, who it turned out was DarinVG, a former Supernova Elite, who used to grind the high stakes SNGs on PokerStars. Darn internet kids! ;)


WSOP Schedule

Posted by hotjenny314

One of the best parts of living in Vegas is being in town for the whole WSOP. While I will miss the first week because of fun family events in Florida, I can't wait to return and start the grind. I will for sure be playing the following events:

  • Event Number 13.
    • June 8
    • No Limit Hold ‘em  Shootout
    • $1500
  • Event Number 18.
    • June 11
    • No Limit Hold ‘em
    • $1500
  • Event Number 28.
    • June 16
    • No Limit Hold ‘em
    • $1500
  • Event Number 38.
    • June 22
    • No Limit Hold ‘em
    • $1500
  • Event Number 43.
    • June 25
    • No Limit Hold ‘em
    • $1500
  • Event Number 48.
    • June 28
    • No Limit Hold ‘em NL
    • $1500
  • Event Number 53.
    • July 1
    • No Limit Hold ‘em Ladies' Championship
    • $1k

In addition to these events, if I cash for enough profit to play the Main, then I will do that for sure. Otherwise I will likely sell some of my action last minute after the ladies' event and play it anyway. :) I'll be tweeting updates @hotjenny314 .

I'l also be playing the SNG satellites, how soft they are will be a big determinant as to how many I play, and at what stakes. Last year they were soft, but there has been a lot of speculation as to what they will be like this year. Of course I will be playing some of the Venetian Deepstacks too.

See you at the final table!

The Superuser Cover

Posted by hotjenny314

Editing The Superuser continues to go well. The thriller/mystery novel that Collin and I wrote is based on the potripper scandal. We wrote it a couple years ago and had already edited it a bunch, but before Black Friday we were too busy to take the project off the back burner. We expect to have the novel out on Amazon as an eBook by the beginning of June.

Which leads me to the fun part: creating the cover. We thought about paying someone else to do it, but scanning the indie best-seller’s covers on Amazon made me think that I could do better than something that cost a few hundred.

So using my Canon rebel (the only purchase I ever made from the Full Tilt Poker points store btw) I decided to take a stab at shooting the cover, since I already had an idea for how I wanted it to look. I harkened back to my theater roots and mixed up a batch of fake blood with Karo syrup and red food dye. I got out an old deck of Bee cards, and the fun began.

I took a couple hundred shots, experimenting with different flashes and angles. I didn’t account for the fact that my cat, Mr. Ed would enjoy the taste of the fake blood, then step in it and make the kitchen really look like a crime scene! (Sequel = The SUPERKITTY)

The shot I chose was the only one that had movement in it, but I thought that it best conveyed what I wanted it to about the book: that it is fast-paced. I think the cover also makes it pretty clear that the book is a thriller, that people will die, and for that it is going to involve poker/seeing everyone’s cards (for those who don’t know what a superuser is).

However, if anyone has other ideas about the cover I would love to know what you think!

Finding Hope After Black Friday

Posted by hotjenny314

One of the most unsettling things after a devastating event is how the world keeps going, largely obvious to your grief. You still need to walk the dog, to get groceries, to take out the trash. I think I am not along in saying that Black Friday felt like a soccer ball kicked directly at my stomach for the last two weeks. Dates became a blur, I got the flu, and the story that was huge in my life was hardly worth noting for the major media.

I was sick for all of the jobs lost, and all of dreams crushed. I was sick from my inability to understand how we could live with so corrupt a government (and such easily convinced citizens) that a game could be outlawed.

But now that it is May, I am beginning to feel like myself again. I read somewhere that people can’t be happy unless there is a sense of growth in their lives, and for two weeks I let Black Friday take that away from me. But not anymore, and I am finding things to be happy about.

The biggest thing that is allowing me a ‘sense of growth’ is working on the novel I wrote with Collin a couple years ago called The Superuser. We put it on the back burner after a lot of close rejection letters from agents, and now I finally have the time to work on it again. It is a gripping story made even more relevant in light of recent events, and I have high hopes for its success.

After another round of editing, we are going to publish it as a Kindle eBook. We will get 70% of sales which is a huge incentive to publish this way. I am happy to have this newfound time to perfect the manuscript, and the dream of its success is helping fuel my happiness.

I strongly believe that major online poker in the US will be back, since there is so much money in it for the government, and they are hardly an entity that shies away from funding. But the point is that we have to find something to help us on the road to happiness in the meantime. :)

How to Level the Gender Divide in Poker

Posted by hotjenny314

Recently a heated debate in 2+2's That's What She Said forum (in which I recently became a mod :) ) sparked me to write an article for Woman Poker Player Magazine.  Hope you Enjoy!

“Of Course I Never Bluff”

Posted by hotjenny314

On Friday I went to play the Venetian Deepstack MTT with Collin and some Team Moshmaners that were in town: Debi O’Neill, Jonny Cimone, and John Davis. I went into the tournament as a practice for the WSOP, and with my recent revelation that I was playing live tournaments to similarly to how I play them online.

In live poker, people play a lot differently against me than they do online, so it makes sense that I too should adjust my play accordingly.  For example, with blinds I believe of 200/400 with an ante I raised to 1100 UTG +1 with pocket tens.  An Asian man in MP1, who had called every single raise by me, and limped/raised every one of my big blinds, flatted.  Everyone else folds.

Flop: AAJ

This man bet every single flop regardless of who raised pre. I had known this for a long time and already taken advantage of it by bluff check-raising (with success) twice.  A few hands ago I check-raised a ten high board with queens, and showed since I planned on bluff-check raising him more in the future and wanted to get credit when I did so.

Obviously this is not a great flop for me.  It is hard to give him credit for an Ace since two are out there and he has shown me that he calls with a large range.  I know that he will bet if I check to him, and if I had never check-raise bluffed him before I certainly would have this hand.  But, from his perspective, I think the scariest looking line is check/call. I don’t like folding because I likely had the best hand pre, and therefore likely still do since he is betting 100% of flops when checked to him. So I check, he bets about half pot (the pot is ~3k) and I call.  (The effective stack is about 12k).


He has fired the extreme majority of turn cards, and I think that check/calling against this hyper-aggro opponent makes since.  If I bet out I do not think I get a better hand to fold or a worse hand to call, and he could shove on me and force me to fold the best hand. So I check, and he surprises me by checking behind.

River: J

Final Board: AAJ8J

At this point, I have no show down value. If I check he will bet and force me out, even if Ten high had any chance at winning with check/check. At this point the pot is ~6k. My opponent does not strike me as one to miss value—he has shown down many hands and has bet large with top pair on every street. Therefore I think it is very unlikely that he has an Ace.  A jack, however is certainly in his range, and I think I have a good shot at getting him to fold.  He didn’t strike me as one who was super-aware of bet sizing, so I thought I could get away with slightly sub-half pot bet. He is very likely to fold KK, KQ,KJ, suited K-x hands that he likely would have called with Pre, QQ, QJ, suited Q-x hands that he likely would have called with pre.

To show an immediate profit he has to fold:

2.8k/(2.8k+6k)= 32%

32% of the time, which I certainly think is the case. Later the guy saw me on a break and claimed he folded a Jack-- because he said he knew I was not the type to bluff.  My response?  "Of course I never bluff."

For the whole tourney I really felt like I was doing a great job playing the situation more than my cards, so to speak. The last hand before a break, a LAG raised in MP on my big blind. I was new to the table and hadn’t played a hand that orbit. I re-raised 2.2x with 5-2 offsuit and took it down.

Unfortunately I ran AK into AA on an Ace high board for 20 big blinds later in the tournament and was out before the dinner break, but the point is that I played my A-game and am excited about all the adjustments I make for playing live versus online.  The WSOP can’t get here fast enough! :)

Adjusting to Playing Live

Posted by hotjenny314

Last Friday, I went to play the $120 Venetian Donkament with some friends (congrats to Tony Guerrera for the final table, and Nick Bravo for taking it down). Now that I live in Vegas, I am playing live at least once a week to gear up to the WSOP and continue to learn how to most profitably gain from being a woman at the tables.  Obviously I have played a ton more hands online than live, and as I mentioned in a recent blog entry, it is my goal to play LAGier to profit from player’s misconception of me.

I have realized that I can profit on my image by getting away with attacking my opponent’s limps more successfully than my male counterparts. Like-wise I have noticed for a long time that I seem to have more fold equity in general when shoving (of course this is lessened somewhat when I have shoved a zillion times). In order to reinforce this image, I tend to show if I shove a hand on the top of my range, or show a single Ace without the kicker when I anticipate shoving much worse hands in the near future.

For example, at the Venetian Donkament with an effective stack of 12 BBs, the small blind, a nice dusty middle-aged guy in town for the concrete convention that had warmly been chatting to me about the rules of pinochle, limped into my big blind. I shoved Jack-Nine offsuit and he folded king-queen face up. I think I would very rarely get that fold online, especially considering the concrete guy was loose-passive. He even said “I have a hand, but I wanted to play nice with you.” Which I think happens quite a bit to me in live poker.

Last year at the Borgata I had been joking around with a slicked-back dark-haired guy a la Don Jr Trump to my right. It was folded to his small blind early in the tournament and he made an unprecedented and sloppy raise where he threw in a bunch of chips that amounted to about a 12x raise. I folded, and he showed aces and said “I don’t want to stack you-- you’re helping keep me awake at this table!”

So I really think there is something to getting your table to like you, whether you are a guy or girl (though I think that women have an advantage here). As a young woman at the tables, I am a minority among the players and I think men generally like talking to me (obviously not all good since there are a lot of creepy dudes out there), which I bet is true for a lot of the bubbly female players out there.

At every live poker table, I think it is natural to develop favorites and realize who the people are that we don’t really care for. Regardless of your gender, the lesson here is to never let how you feel about other players at the table influence how you play.  Furthermore, you should play with the knowledge that many recreational players will let how they feel about their opponents effect how they play, and you need to adjust accordingly.

One of the most important skills in poker is being able to make your opponents think what you want them to—usually this applies to making them believe what you want them to in terms of the cards you hold, but I think it also translates to live assumptions. If being a friendly woman at the poker table makes my opponents more likely to want to keep me at the table, then that is an advantage I feel very justified in profiting from, and my failure to take that edge would justifiably warrant me less respect as a player—male or female.

Efficient Multi-tabling FTW

Posted by hotjenny314

One of the most valuable things I learned in culinary school (other than how to cook lol) was that being efficient is one of the most important skills in life.  In order to cook for hundreds of people you have to be efficient; likewise the amount that you accomplish in a day away from the kitchen ultimately comes down to how efficient you are. I would wager that there is a direct connection between how efficient people are and how successful they are in life.

Of course, efficiency is also relevant when it comes to poker. I was recently given some very enlightening multi-tabling advice that made me realize how much more efficient I could be when I grind online. A few things immediate came to mind:  I don’t play with MODs, hotkeys or tableninja. Every time a table pops up my computer freezes for a second because it can’t deal with me playing on 3 sites and having itunes and HEM running. I have to resize every table, and close the lobbies. I don’t play with mods, so that makes my eye movement from side to side for 12+ hours with really bright colors horribly inefficient for my eyes (and likely a large part of why I have recently had to get glasses). I have to scan every table to see how many players there are instead of that info being immediately obvious.

Honestly, once I realized all the inefficient habits I had multi-tabling, it tilted the heck out of me. I knew I should be playing on a 30” monitor, and that my beloved computer was spent from millions of hand histories and poker programs.

So, imagine my happiness when I woke up to a new computer with a fast i7 processor, a 30” monitor (along with one of my 24” ones), a gaming pad, special glasses to reduce eyestrain, and a pink Disney princess card all from my husband! It was the most thoughtful, sweetest surprise I think I have ever had. :)

Now I am working on finding the perfect table mods, and employing hotkeys (getting over my misclicking fear) and tableninja. There will be a bit of learning time getting used to it all, where I might not be able to play as many tables for a day or so. But the end result should be that I am able to play more than 24 tables without decreasing my ROI (and therefore increasing my hourly), and with much more time for difficult decisions.

The Journey from TAG to LAG

Posted by hotjenny314

When I first started out in poker, I was generally too tight. Fortunately though, I was also aggressive (TAG) which proved to be a winning style for me from the get-go.  However, lately I have been widening my opening and 3-betting ranges and been playing pretty LAG (loose-aggressive).

Playing LAG forces me to never play on auto-pilot, examine the other player’s ranges more closely, and think about the profitability of multi-street bluffs.

An example from yesterday's miniFTops Main Event, somewhat deep in the money:

Full Tilt Poker, $1500/3000 No Limit Hold'em Tournament, 9 Players

Hand Converter by the community
jeeper66 (UTG): $72,614
autumn1975 (UTG+1): $75,417
matiacio (MP1): $65,509
BigB39 (MP2): $97,465
ztar (MP4): $96,890
Emersom Biggins (CO): $94,052
hotjenny314 (Button): $104,937
GarlaEdu (SB): $114,322
oskaaar (BB): $79,749
Dealt to: hotjenny314
(1 folds), autumn1975 calls $3,000, (4 folds), hotjenny314 raises to $10,999, GarlaEdu calls $9,499, (2 folds),

Flop:($27,998) (2 Players)

GarlaEdu bets $12,500, hotjenny314 raises to $28,999, GarlaEdu calls $16,499,

Turn: ($85,996) (2 Players)

GarlaEdu checks, hotjenny314 bets $64,539 and is all-in, (1 folds), hotjenny314 returns $64,539,

hotjenny314 wins $89,596

So in this hand, I attach a limper on the button, and the SB calls.  SB was 16/16 (VPIP/PFR) on a pretty limited sample size. When Villian donks, to me it looks most like he holds 77s, 88s, or 99s (although it is possible that he has hit it really hard and is donking to look weak, as well as oddly-played draws.) That being said, we look deep enough to make a little over a min bluff-raise with the hope of taking it down right away, or at least gaining info to help us win the pot on a future street.

Timing tells also affected me in this hand.  He waited a long time to bet, which also made it less likely that he had a monster, as I bet he would have known that time-banking would look very odd. Also, if he has a strong hand it is very likely he would wait for my c-bet and check-raise instead of donking.  If he happened to have JJ, he would have most likely shoved on my check-raise. At least 9 times out of 10 donkbets indicate a weak made hand in my experience.

It also presents a hand that someone can likely be taken off of.  So, I raise, and unfortunately he calls.  However, the turn gives me an open-ended straight draw and he checks to me. At this point the pot is 85k and my stack is 65k.

Immediate Profit = 65k/(85k+65k)= 43%

This means that my opponent has to fold 43% of the time for me to immediately show a profit, which, given the range discussion above, I think he does.  It also doesn’t take into account that when he calls, I likely win about ~ 18% of the time (8 cards for straight draws are not full outs, since he could hit a higher straight or a flush, but the three aces are likely outs so I will call it about 9 outs.)

Looking back, I realize that I have been growing LAGgier for a while now.  This is partially a function of playing large field MTTs (whereas I started out in SNGs), but also because I have improved a lot in terms of post flop play, and putting my opponents on ranges.

Recently, playing LAGier has been a conscious choice as I look forward to the WSOP this year. Live, the common expectation of me is that I am perceived as a tight player.  I think it was in one of the Harrington books that mentions that you make the most money when you are playing the style that you don’t look like you are playing.

Therefore, I want to take max advantage of my tight image and exploit it at the WSOP this year. See you guys at the tables (where I will probably 3-bet you)!

Maven Award Winners

Posted by hotjenny314

I'm happy to announce that I won the Blogger  category for Woman Poker Player Magazine's Maven Awards! Thanks to every person that voted for me. Congrats to all the winners and nominees!

The Woman Poker Player Magazine Maven Award winners from