MTT Poker Player

I am a Professional Poker Player and Coach from England.

Friday, 4 November 2016

WSOP Final Table, Is Ruzicka Supposed To Go Out Bluffing?!

So firstly i realise it has been ages since i updated my blog, but hey i have been working hard and have a beautiful girlfriend taking up the rest of my time. Hope you enjoy this entry.

Firstly i wanted to talk about the Main Event WSOP final table. For me one of the best in the current era and overall just very entertaining. Congratulations to Qui Nguyen for taking it down!

So lets get into it. Lots of good players in the final 9, i was looking at Josephy,Vayo, Ruzicka, Ruane, Benger and Wong. Very strong 2/3 were players of a high caliber. Josephy with chip lead was of course justified favorite.

I wanted to pick out a talking point that i have seen floating about. The talking point was how people perceived Ruzicka's treble bluff a spewy blow up! Was it? Vayo(who was his opponent in this hand) was playing so snug and tight passive that in a 3 bet pot on Q84 he knew even if he had a Q here he would lay down a big % by the river. Lets imagine Vayo has 88/44/AQ/KQ/QJs/QTs/TT/99 by the river(which seems about right especially against Ruzicka who loves to blast off more than most, very capable) he can call the river with 88/44/AQ but prob folds the rest the way he was playing(KQ is close based upon his mindset.)

So lets count up those combos:

Calling = 88-3 combos, 44-3 combos, AQ-9 combos(Ruzicka had AK here which also plays a part here as it blocks AQ and KQ), lets give half of KQ as im not sure what he does so-4.5 combos. So that is 3+3+9+4.5=19.5 combos.

Folding = KQ-4.5 combos, QJs-3 combos,QTs-3 combos, TT-6 combos and 99-6 combos. So thats 4.5+3+3+6+6= 22.5 combos.

He bets around 70% pot as a bluff on river. 70/170= 41.18% fold is break even. Does he fold more than this? Of course, in fact he folds more than 50% by our math above. Of course in practice Ruane was very short at this point so definitely ICM is in play here. But it still isn't bigger than 25% based upon payouts.

So actually ladies and gents not betting here is a massive mistake.

I will in the coming weeks take a look at the big Q9 hand that everyone wants to look at heads up and give my opinion on it.

Thanks for reading and ill try and update more often :D

Run good to you all!!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Changes Galore!

For those of you that have had a chance to read my "About Me" within the last day or so will have noticed that I have now left my staking agreement and moved on to playing on my own bankroll.

If that wasn't a big enough change I have also changed the games I play from SNGs to MTTs. I feel that the fish to reg ratio at SNGs at the $15 and up mark is prob 60-70% regs(albeit 75% bad regs), whereas the same ratio in MTTs is prob only 35% regs(still 75% bad regs). So after a discussion with some good poker friends of mine I made the decision to change game and go alone.

I managed to get a very good deal where for the next year I will be getting 57% rakeback. This is on a sports betting site so you get a lot of sports betters and random recreational players in my games which obviously adds to my winrate.

I am playing professionally now full time so you can see me at all times of the day grinding away. I am also looking into starting my own private coaching at this moment in time on a no win no fee basis. So I will coach you and you don't pay me until you are in profit.

Here are some graphs:                                   Last 2500 SNGs

I am $5000 in profit over the last 500 MTTs but I have stopped people searching me online and this is a small sample. But if anyone really wants to see this ill show them. I have been staked twice, coached twice and also have over $3500 in profit from 6 max/FR Cash games.

I am offering coaching on NLHE MTTs/SNGs. Contact @TheMachine1984 on twitter for more information.

Anyways back to the grind...

Thanks for reading

Monday, 18 February 2013

It Is All Coming Together!

It has been a while since i have written a blog entry but i have a few things to talk about.

Since my last blog entry in November i feel like a lot has changed for me mentally. Now don't get me wrong i felt like i was playing well before this, but it feels like in the last 2-3 months my game has started to really come together and i feel like big things are only around the corner for me.

Me and Viktor(my sng coach) have studied and gone through a few different things including; Bubble play, playing against good and bad regulars, getting thin value and taking unorthodox lines and i also did some research of my own into HU play and studied some raising, 3 betting and calling 3bet ranges. All of these things combined have sent my confidence to an all time high and although January was a bad month for me variance wise my results are starting to come good at the $15's and the $10's on FT.

I would argue with anybody that does not think confidence has a major part to play in a poker players base rate. When you are confident you give yourself a chance to get into that very allusive often talked about magic mental state called the zone, the more often you are there put quite simply the more money you will make. Next time you are running bad or simply feel that your moral is low just go back to basics, think through lines, how you appear to other plays and how any meta game effects a particular decision and do your best to make the highest EV+ decision. One thing i cant stress enough is you are never gonna play perfect, you cant, i cant, Phil Ivey cant, you are trying to make fewer mistakes than your opponents and that will make you money.

I have been moved up to solely playing $15 SNGs on Pokerstars now by Team Moshman which has not coincidentally coincided with my above statements.

Away from actually playing poker in the last few months i stumbled across a small poker community. Mainly through boredom one day i searched paid to post poker entries into Google and stumbled across It is a small bunch of poker players(it used to be a large community but obviously after Black Friday only a small amount of members remained) that are very close knit and have welcomed me as one of there own. There are some decent players within this community and in my opinion its the best on the web.

Lastly i would like to give a shout out to a mate of mine, Daniel beraducci who is a mental health counselor who specialises in sport performance improvement. If you find you tilt easily or need any help with the mental side of the game he can help you with this and bring your game forward. His skype username is personholisticinnovations. Just tell him machine1984 sent you.

Anyone interested in the poker community i was talking about, you can find it here- my username there is machine1984.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

It has been a while since i have written a blog entry and i will try to update more often in future(although it seems you will have take this with a pinch of salt lol).

Anyhow to what has been happening. Here are my results since 27th Aug 2012.

As you can see i am winning over the 543 tourneys i have played. My winrate is 5.7% ROI with an ITM of 39%. I have definitely ran bad over this time even though it looks as if i have ran good, i expect my ITM to be 40%+.

Since my last blog entry i have continued to improve my game and i feel as i write this that i am playing the best poker of my life. I feel more in touch with game flow to the extent that my ROI in my mind has improved by at least 2% this year.

I have not stopped my improvement as a player and decided to download a HU Ebook as i felt and do still feel this is by far the weakest part of my overall game and this is a leak i am determine to fix so as to improve my winrate by even more.

Lastly I just want to mention the pub league in which i play in. Essentially there are 17 players in the pub i play, the top 2 qualify for a regional final and then there is a 8 man play-off for the final place. I won my league by a long way last season and as such i have received a glass trophy and a place in the regional final on the 4th of December. The regional final will be free for me to enter with a top prize of £500 and a place in a national final with more cash and also Las Vegas holidays. 

Anyone who wants to follow my progress in the current season you can do so here- my name is Ben Smith.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 27 August 2012

Been a while!

It has been a while since i have written a blog entry and i will try to update more often in future.

Anyhow to what has been happening. Here are my results since Jan 2012.

As you can see i am winning over the 2401 tourneys i have played this year. My winrate is 7.0% ROI with an ITM of 40.7%. I also think these results are probably a bit skewed as i feel that my game since April has improved dramatically.

As far as why has my game improved so dramatically, i have to put that down to my coach who is a high limit SNG pro and has managed to fix a few leaks that i didn't even realise i had which has in turned improved my confidence. I am now a more aggressive player capable of different lines and a balanced range vs regs at my limit. I have also taken time to improve my HU game. The best bit of advice you will hear in the poker community is don't stand still, if you improve even slightly in comparison to the better players at your limit then your edge will become bigger and your ROI will increase.

Work hard and results will come!

Thanks for reading

Friday, 30 December 2011

Making Tough Laydowns

In SNGs preserving a buy in by making a tough decision at the right time can make a big difference to your long term ROI. Here is an example of a tough decision during the early stages of a SNG.

***** Hand History for Game 72971169538 ***** (Poker Stars)
Tourney Hand NL Texas Hold'em - Thursday, December 29, 03:17:16 ET 2011
Table 491643733 1 (Real Money)
Seat 5 is the button
Seat 1: kermit64 ( $2292.00 USD )
Seat 2: pasteurisi ( $1415.00 USD )
Seat 4: HERO ( $1500.00 USD )
Seat 5: yukon200 ( $2010.00 USD )
Seat 6: Nils>Schrank ( $1248.00 USD )
Seat 7: Stevedr ( $1425.00 USD )
Seat 8: Robit1981 ( $2040.00 USD )
Seat 9: nickriz ( $1570.00 USD )
Nils>Schrank posts small blind [$15.00 USD].
Stevedr posts big blind [$30.00 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to HERO [ Qd Qh ]
Robit1981 raises [$90.00 USD]
nickriz folds
kermit64 folds
pasteurisi folds
HERO raises [$300.00 USD]
yukon200 folds
Nils>Schrank folds
Stevedr folds
Robit1981 raises [$690.00 USD]
HERO folds
Robit1981 wins $480.00 USD
Robit1981 wins $645.00 USD from main pot

The villain in this hand is a tight reg playing 6/4 over a large sample 7-9 handed. Right lets break the hand down. Villains UTG range here is most probably TT+, AQs+ and i am pretty sure he knows im not 3betting light here and probably puts me on AK/QQ+ yet he 4 bets and on the small side to. His range for this 4bet is very tight and prob looks like AK/QQ+ which means i have 40% equity vs his range. Since he covers me the effective stacks are 1500 and his raise commits me and as such may as well be a shove as i cant call here ever. I would be investing 1200 to win 90+300+45+1200 or 1635, which works out as 1635/1200= 1.3625/1 or 42.33% equity needed to call. As you can see this is a fold even in a cash game, once you add in the factor the you need 60+% equity to go bust early in SNGs this comes out as a clear fold, so next time you think well i have a big hand its just a cooler if he has a bigger hand, think through his range and try to make the most profitable decision.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 5 December 2011

A Week In The Life Of A Poker Player

Its been an interesting week for me. I have worked really hard on improving my Sit and Go game using the outlets available to me.

I have been pounding my brain with ICM calculations which are very brain numbing but i know as well as anyone who plays SNGs does that end game is so important and as such i usually spend 30 Min's everyday studying ICM, although this week was probably nearer to an hour a day.

I have also been having some in depth hand analysis conversations with my coach about different preflop ranges. This week i focused mostly on what ranges to call off a 3bet with once i had opened raised when my stack was around the 11-15bb range.

Lastly this week i have been reading the book i got for my birthday, Collin Moshman's Sit And Go Advanced Strategy, its a very good book and i think it is a very good basis to be profitable at the low blind stages of any SNG $30 and below.

The games have actually been pretty good this week and over 139 SNGs i am running at 14.9% ROI. I would like to think now that my game has come on that i am probably beating the $7 SNGs at 10% ROI. The thing that i have noticed after playing a lot of games at this limit is that it is filled with quite a few tight or semi regular type players and although some of these players are no doubt beating the game i am very confident i am exploiting them more than they are exploiting me.

Lastly i feel my heads up game has come on leaps and bounds over the last 1000 SNGs and is something i would recommend working on to any SNG player. The difference between 1st and 2nd has a large impact on your winrate. If i was to give advice to anyone when they get to the heads up stage its to break down every decision and deduce the optimal play. Remember not every player you play heads up will be the same, which means you should adapt your game accordingly.

If you take anything from reading this it should be that if you work hard results will come. Remember lady luck hangs out with those who practice hardest.

Thanks for reading.