Micro Goals  


Active Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 8
August 1, 2016 4:15 pm  

Hello All,

I'm a microstakes cash player at Bovada and am starting this blog to keep me focused on achieving my longer term poker goals and to withstand the short term variance filled nature of the game. I started with a $100 roll at 5NL and built to $200 withdrew half and started grinding again last month. I hit $200 again and took a shot at 10NL which has been a roller coaster, going up 10+BI first weekend and losing 9BI the next. I still have a roll for shot taking 10NL but I can tell I'm mentally taxed and am rebuilding my confidence by playing a mix of 5NL and 10NL until I'm out of my downswing.

My monthly poker goals are enumerated below:

  • Volume: Play 20K hands by end of August
  • Mental: Plan sessions to have a stake, # of tables, and time to avoid tilt
  • Study: Continue note-taking on Grinder's Manual (Great Book!), and study hands from database at least 5 hours per week

Going to be a busy month life wise but I feel confident I can grind my volume and study if I remain focused. I'm not setting a bankroll goal because I do not have time to grind enough hands for that to be a reasonably variance free option. I will post updates within the month ~!

if any are interested in hand review/sweat sessions and play similar stakes seriously, reply I have some study groups on discord but am looking for a committed serious partner in cash.

Eminent Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 43
August 1, 2016 9:17 pm  

 I am also looking for someone to study and playing micros on Bovada. Add me on Skype (ryanwalker1_) and we can see how our schedules line up.

Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Member Admin
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 331
August 2, 2016 3:46 am  

Hello Joelm, glad to see your blog here and excited to keep up-to-date on it.

Definitely post and analyze the hands that caused your downswing on the forum so we can help you to determine if you played them well or there might be some leaks we can help you fix. I also recommend setting a downswing stop gap for each session. For example, "I will quit playing if I lose 2 buy-ins in a single session.

Hope you bust out of your downswing soon!

Active Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 8
August 2, 2016 3:22 pm  

Here's some more info for all interested.

Graph of hands since I started tracking. Before I ran up $100 from deposit bonus and then withdrew it. Started again from $100 and here are results:  http://imgur.com/LcItKXp

A lot of the hands from the downswing are just boring bad beats, I will look through them to find some actual decision spots on the weekend. Here's one that is misplayed definitely too thin to triple barrel vs a standard 3 bet defend range. Probably should check turn for pot control and either bet/fold or check/call rivers depending on check behind on turn or not. Was going ham with triple barrels because there are a lot of fish who will call three streets with any Ace/2nd pair but didn't have a note or read in this hand (also don't have a hud while playing).

Added you on skype ryanwalker.

PokerStars - $0.05 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

BB: 84 BB (VPIP: 32.00, PFR: 6.82, 3Bet Preflop: 6.23, Hands: 1,541)
UTG: 105.6 BB (VPIP: 22.50, PFR: 15.99, 3Bet Preflop: 10.64, Hands: 1,538)
MP: 299.4 BB (VPIP: 23.60, PFR: 15.49, 3Bet Preflop: 4.38, Hands: 1,500)
CO: 110.6 BB (VPIP: 25.06, PFR: 15.97, 3Bet Preflop: 3.30, Hands: 1,540)
BTN: 271 BB (VPIP: 29.28, PFR: 17.11, 3Bet Preflop: 5.64, Hands: 1,520)
Hero (SB): 110.4 BB

Hero posts SB 0.4 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.4 BB) Hero has J:diamond: A:diamond:

fold, fold, CO raises to 3.4 BB, fold, Hero raises to 10.8 BB, fold, CO calls 7.4 BB

Flop: (22.6 BB, 2 players) 4:spade: T:spade: A:heart:
Hero bets 11.2 BB, CO calls 11.2 BB

Turn: (45 BB, 2 players) K:heart:
Hero bets 24.4 BB, CO calls 24.4 BB

River: (93.8 BB, 2 players) 9:club:
Hero bets 64 BB and is all-in, CO calls 64 BB

[spoil]Hero shows J:diamond: A:diamond: (One Pair, Aces)
(Pre 35%, Flop 84%, Turn 11%)
CO shows K:diamond: K:spade: (Three of a Kind, Kings)
(Pre 65%, Flop 16%, Turn 89%)
BB mucks 6:heart: 7:club: (High Card, Ace)

UTG mucks 7:spade: T:heart: (One Pair, Tens)

MP mucks 8:diamond: 4:diamond: (One Pair, Fours)

BTN mucks 5:heart: 9:heart: (One Pair, Nines)

CO wins 210.8 BB

Eminent Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 43
August 2, 2016 11:42 pm  

I did a pretty detailed analysis of this hand and your instinct to check the turn is correct. With the ranges that I used you were only about 42% vs the continuing range of villain. So if he bets with that same range or probably wider you have plenty of equity to call. If he bets again on the river its a pretty easy fold. I came up with about 19% equity you would have on the river and that is including bluffs with all of the draws that missed. If he checks back on the turn I'd make about a 1/2 pot bet on the river to get value from hands like QQ,JJ,KQs,KJs but fold to a raise.

I would like to have posted all of the ranges that I used but that's a lot of screen shots! Maybe next time I do an analysis like this I'll make a video of it, that seems easier than posting a bunch of screen shots.

Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Member Admin
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 331
August 3, 2016 3:52 am  

You're graph looks really solid for 5nl Zone; I've had some insane variance on Zone so nice to see a graph with not as much variance. smile

Regarding your hand, I'd be weary of 3betting AJ suited here versus a CO 3.5bb open. My reasoning is that AJ suited doesn't do too well against a 3bet flatting range and must for to a 4bet jam at 110BB effective stacks. So by 3betting you are turning it into a bluff where people play fairly nitty against 3bets in Zone. I would prefer you 3betting hands like weak suited aces instead of strong aces such as AJ suited that you should prefer to have as a flatting range against a wider CO opening range that will have weaker aces in it that you get tons of value from post-flop. I am VERY surprised to see that villain flats your 3bet with KK in this spot. 90%+ of the population will be 4betting you here...which will put you in a tough spot.

As played, going to the flop we can assume villain will have a range of all pocket pairs, AJ, AQ, and AK...and maybe some suited connectors (and I guess we should include AA & KK since villain actually somehow had KK nitting it up). I would prefer checking the flop to get value from QQ & JJ and also checking back for pot control against AQ and AK in this spot simply because we don't beat too much of villain's 3bet flatting range. When we bet we get called by a lot of better hands such as AK, AQ and TT and maybe QQ/JJ one street. We also get folds from all pocket pairs that missed and nits that will fold 22-QQ here.

The turn gets even worse for us since AK turns top two pair and we don't even beat AT if that is in villain's range. So the turn is definitely a check / fold to decent bets from villain.

As played when you get to the river, I'm really not sure what worse hands get here that you beat after calling the pre-flop 3bet, the flop and turn cbets. I honestly think this is a check/fold (see attached image).


Active Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 8
August 6, 2016 3:43 pm  

Yeah, bunch of mistakes in that hand do not think I had a read there that the CO was opening too wide and flatting 3 bets too wide so it's a weird hand to 3 bet rather than just call IP.

I played a couple more small sessions this week still in the downswing but regaining confidence playing a mix of 5NL and 10NL, game selecting 10NL more carefully and playing only 2 tables instead of 4. My graph is mainly 5NL non-zoom, I play like 75% hands non-zoom and 25% zoom because I learned how big the game selection aspect is to reducing variance and having an easier time at the micros.

Here are some more hands as promised:

PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 4 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

SB: 32.7 BB (VPIP: 75.00, PFR: 25.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 6)
BB: 100 BB
Hero (CO): 115.4 BB
BTN: 184.8 BB (VPIP: 16.67, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 6)

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J:heart: A:spade:

Hero raises to 3 BB, BTN calls 3 BB, fold, fold

Flop: (7.5 BB, 2 players) J:club: T:club: 4:heart:
Hero bets 3.7 BB, BTN raises to 12.4 BB, Hero calls 8.7 BB

Turn: (32.3 BB, 2 players) 6:heart:
Hero checks, BTN bets 25.3 BB, Hero calls 25.3 BB

River: (82.9 BB, 2 players) 8:diamond:
Hero checks, BTN bets 144.1 BB and is all-in, Hero calls 74.7 BB and is all-in

[spoil]BTN shows Q:heart: 9:club: (Straight, Queen High)
(Pre 39%, Flop 46%, Turn 28%)
SB mucks 7:heart: 4:diamond: (One Pair, Fours)

BB mucks 3:spade: 6:club: (One Pair, Sixes)

Hero mucks J:heart: A:spade: (One Pair, Jacks)
(Pre 61%, Flop 54%, Turn 73%)
BTN wins 222.3 BB

I think I should definitely size up flop bet because of wet texture (more hands in our opponents range connect). Turn sizing I think is ok, and then river should I be bet folding this, check/calling or check folding vs his range? Should I be betting large flop and checking turn for pot control, (I didn't think this was great because I'm giving a free card to so many draws). I'm thinking check/calling river is preferable to bet/folding as his betting range should be wider than his calling range on the river, but what % equity is my hand against his range?

PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 5 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

UTG: 125.4 BB (VPIP: 45.83, PFR: 12.50, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 24)
Hero (CO): 95.8 BB
BTN: 169.2 BB (VPIP: 23.53, PFR: 14.71, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 34)
SB: 293.6 BB (VPIP: 54.84, PFR: 12.90, 3Bet Preflop: 7.69, Hands: 32)
BB: 46.6 BB (VPIP: 31.82, PFR: 13.64, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 22)

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has T:spade: K:club:

fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, fold, SB calls 2.5 BB, fold

Flop: (7 BB, 2 players) 8:diamond: K:heart: 3:spade:
SB bets 8 BB, Hero calls 8 BB

Turn: (23 BB, 2 players) 2:spade:
SB bets 23 BB, Hero calls 23 BB

River: (69 BB, 2 players) Q:spade:
SB bets 1 BB, Hero calls 1 BB

[spoil]SB shows J:diamond: K:diamond: (One Pair, Kings)
(Pre 72%, Flop 85%, Turn 92%)
UTG mucks 4:spade: 7:diamond: (High Card, King)

Hero mucks T:spade: K:club: (One Pair, Kings)
(Pre 28%, Flop 15%, Turn 8%)
BTN mucks 7:spade: K:spade: (Flush, King High)

BB mucks 3:diamond: A:heart: (One Pair, Threes)

SB wins 67.5 BB

What do you think our range should be vs a pot sized donk on flop and turn, should we just be folding on flop without any reads or is that too exploitable?


PokerStars - $0.10 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

UTG: 62.3 BB (VPIP: 17.86, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 28)
MP: 253.3 BB (VPIP: 18.18, PFR: 18.18, 3Bet Preflop: 5.56, Hands: 56)
CO: 170.6 BB (VPIP: 15.09, PFR: 11.32, 3Bet Preflop: 14.29, Hands: 56)
Hero (BTN): 83.1 BB
SB: 66 BB (VPIP: 39.13, PFR: 15.22, 3Bet Preflop: 5.26, Hands: 49)
BB: 109.8 BB (VPIP: 33.33, PFR: 19.05, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 43)

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has A:heart: K:heart:

UTG calls 1 BB, MP raises to 4.5 BB, fold, Hero calls 4.5 BB, fold, fold, fold

Flop: (11.5 BB, 2 players) 8:heart: 3:heart: Q:spade:
MP bets 5.7 BB, Hero raises to 14.4 BB, MP calls 8.7 BB

Turn: (40.3 BB, 2 players) 3:diamond:
MP checks, Hero bets 64.2 BB and is all-in, MP calls 64.2 BB

River: (168.7 BB, 2 players) 8:club:

[spoil]MP shows K:diamond: Q:club: (Two Pair, Queens and Eights)
(Pre 28%, Flop 53%, Turn 75%)
Hero shows A:heart: K:heart: (Two Pair, Eights and Threes)
(Pre 73%, Flop 47%, Turn 25%)
UTG mucks 4:diamond: A:diamond: (Two Pair, Eights and Threes)

CO mucks 2:club: 6:diamond: (Two Pair, Eights and Threes)

SB mucks 6:club: J:heart: (Two Pair, Eights and Threes)

BB mucks T:spade: 4:spade: (Two Pair, Eights and Threes)

MP wins 160.3 BB

What do you think about this bluff, I thought my blockers + draw made this a really good spot I block his overpairs plus TPTK hands so he is folding a huge portion of his range excluding sets, obviously we ran into it here but in a range sense does this make sense?

Eminent Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 43
August 7, 2016 2:16 am  
Hand 2

I'm calling 1 street for sure but when he bombs it again on the turn I'm letting it go.

Hand 3

First I would 3 bet this iso. Your going to pick up the 7bb's uncontested a lot of the time and have villain's flatting range dominated when he calls with AQ,AJ,KQ type of hands.

As played when he calls the flop raise I don't think you have very much fold equity on the turn so I don't like the bluff. I would rather check behind and take the free card to try to make my hand. You also still have some SDV vs weaker flush draws and it would be nice if you let him get there with the under flush.

Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Member Admin
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 331
August 12, 2016 11:57 am  

Here's my analysis on the hands:

Hand 1:

Calling the flop raise with TPTK on a wet board texture (flush & straight draws) is perfectly fine. Check/calling the turn is fine as well because the since villain looks to be aggressive and can be bluffing a second barrel with his missed draws trying to get you to fold top pair. But I do think the river is a clear fold. I don't expect villain to triple barrel air here that often and you really just have a bluff catcher risking 75bb's here getting 2.1:1, so you have to win more than 1/3 of the time with rake to be breakeven. You lose to two pairs, sets and made straights here and win against busted flushes. I think there are more combos of made hands versus 3 streets of bluffs so I'd fold here on the river.

Hand 2:

This is an interesting spot. When you get donked into on the flop for over a pot-sized bet on such a dry board texture, villain is rarely bluffing and is a value-betting fish. Based upon his HUD stats, he is stereotypical loose-passive fish (which never bluff). So I'd be weary of even calling the flop. The only thing he might bet here that you beat is K9. So calling the flop is fine, but when he bombs the turn it is a clear fold. As played, the river is a clear blocker bet...and I would be tempted to just jam all-in to make villain fold better top pair combos here.

Hand 3:

We should be 3betting AK suited here versus an MP most of the time. Against a TAG-ish Reg, I think flatting is a bit too weak. As played, the flop raise is good and a standard play you should be making with possibly 15 outs in this spot looking to get the money in against hands such as AQ.

I'm not a fan of the turn over-bet jam because villain has shown strength calling your flop raise and the 3 strengthens his range and weakens yours. He now has two pair made hands in a majority of his range. I would just check behind and take the free card to the river because we must have decent fold equity when we're semi-bluffing on the turn since we only get to see one more card (so you have approx 32% equity on the turn versus greater than 50% if you were able to get all-in OTF).