Monday, 4 April 2011

2 Year Update

Well, it's been a while since my last post, but since then I've played almost exclusively No-Limit Heads Up. I love this game -- and hate is sometimes too!. I haven't played very much live poker at all, and online probably only averaged 10 hours a week for the last two years. Still, I've had many months playing 30k+ hands -- which is a very decent amount for heads up. Other months I've taken breaks and hardly played at all.

Anyway, here is a my graph for the last two years:

It's okay I guess but never reached the goals I set, especially for last year. I've had very mixed results at 200-1000NL which area about one third of the hands.

Here is the graph filtered for 50 & 100NL:

Even at those stakes I have lost a TON of free money through monkey tilt! I've lost count the number of guys I've lost 10+ buy-ins too in one session, which could easily have been avoided with a bit more discipline!

More recently I've been playing very well and hopefully will double my long term win-rate at these stakes. I've recently enlisted the help of coach and hopefully this will help me start doing as well at 200-1000NL. I must say after dabbling with coaches before how important it is to find a GOOD COACH, and not just anyone. It must be someone who compliments your game, and in my opinion someone having a different approach/mentality is very useful. My new coach has a VERY different approach to the game than me (I was very conventional), although I doubt I will ever play exactly like him, adding these elements to my game is proving to be exceptionally helpful.

This year has started well. And who knows... maybe this will be by 100k year! I hope so.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

December Results

Since I’ve started playing some £ games it’s now a right pain the arse to make any decent graphs! You can enter exchange rates in poker tracker to change everything to dollars, but once you want to make graphs, etc, it all goes skew!

In any case, I didn’t play all that much online in December. Here is my poker tracker snapshot:

I played about 8K hands 6-max on Crypto and then the rest was $100 NL HU on Stars. All together about 17K hands but I lost a chunk of the crypto hands during some problems I had about a week ago. This missing hands included one big pot at £200 6-max, which I won!

I’ve really enjoyed playing heads-up cash. I’ve played thousands of HU SNG’s, but never really HU cash. As you can so far I’ve run pretty well. Here is a poker EV graph for the heads up play (includes a few days from January however):

At the start of the month I played a lot of live cash and was going really well. Towards the end however, I lost a huge pot – set over set – at 5-5PL!

I qualified for the fist leg of the GUKPT in Brighton too. That package is worth $2,750.

In a hurry so have to go.


Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Tilt King

Psychologically I’ve improved leaps and bounds. A good example of this is the heads up match I played today: 100NL on Stars.

I haven’t played heads up for sometime, but after watching some recent Cardrunners videos, it got me motivated again. Anyway, less than 30 minutes in and I’m down 4-buy-ins. Nevertheless, I felt I was playing great poker and had lots of reads on my opponent.

He was quite bad and one of his biggest leaks was that he’d over bet the pot on the turn – by 2 or 3 times – with top pair and a weak kicker! I lost one buy-in with 4-6 on a 2-4-6 board to his 77 – he rivered a set. Then I lost another with AQ on an ace-rag-rag board; only this time he hit the rag on the turn. Anyway, you get the idea: Bad player, high variance. On top of all this, he’s talking trash saying how bad my calls are to his massive over bets, to which I politely reply, “yeah, keep playing like that and you’ll win lots more money.” He replied: “Well I got all night if you have the bankroll before I bust you.”

I know it’s not a bad idea to quit a game like this – especially when your opponent has the momentum – but this player was just too bad and psychologically I was in complete control…not an ounce of tilt.

Anyway, 1 hour later and I’m sitting with $600 and him with $15. No reload this time and he quits. I was only up $100, but it was incredibly satisfying.

Add that to the fact I made $1,700 at 1-2 and 2-4 and it was a pretty good day!

I haven’t really played much this last week actually. I’ve just been really busy with other things outside of poker… oh and playing A LOT of live poker at the weekends.

4-betting essay coming soon…


Tuesday, 4 December 2007

A look back at November

I was meant to post this Friday… better late than never though!

My basic goal was to play 80 hours online and 40 hours live; I managed 69 hours online and about 45 hours live.

My online play took a bit of a kicking 10 days into the month, causing me to take a very long weekend. Also since changing to crypto I can only average ~350 hands/hr compared to ~500/hr on Stars.

I changed over the database on poker tracker to PostgreSQL so I can no longer make those nice pokergrpaher graphs. Instead, here’s the one from PokerEV:

Yeah, the first 9K hands were sweet, and then it just went to shit for the rest of the month! Most of it is bad ‘all-in’ luck…down about 10 buy-ins from that! Then maybe a little bit of tilt and playing at bad times (tired, not focused, etc). Also I lost about 2,000 hands so the graph is not a true representation really – add another $500 spike during that break even stretch.

I did get some bonuses too, and I’m using some my Stars points to buy all my Christmas presents from Amazon!

Live was pretty much ‘meh’ too. I think I’ve ran pretty bad in the tournaments lately…keep getting deep or making the final table and then missing out on the good money! It’s been a while since I’ve had a good live tournament result, but then again I’ve only played about twenty these last four months.

I’ve been reviewing my game and working hard to plug leaks. Sometimes when you don’t run that well, one of the hardest things is to stay positive and patient. Personally what works well for me a simple little reminder: “Keep making the correct decisions and you bankroll will take care of itself.”

I’ve already played over 1,000 hands today so I might go play the £50 rebuy tonight. I don’t normally play live on Tuesdays, but I really feel like I’m playing well in live tournaments lately (despite the results). After all, I know the results are coming sooner or later!

Friday, 30 November 2007

I did it!

The last few days have been a right pain in the ass…

I started playing on a crypto skin a few weeks ago mostly because of another project I have going on, but also so that I could see what the standard of play is like. Anyway, the deal is that you have to amass 1000 player points in a month to earn 30% rakeback –normally not a problem, but I’ve been playing Stars too and didn’t really keep an eye on it. This all meant that two days ago I still had to get 350 points to get the rakeback!

I must admit, I almost give up yesterday after 3 hours. But I did hang in there and got 6 hours in (almost impossible for me in cash games). I was actually surprised how quickly I got the rest of the way there today. But it’s done now – I did it! Phew.

I’ve been writing a piece on 4-betting this week. It’s almost done so will post it up soon.

Right, I’m taking the weekend off now…except the tournament on Sunday of course.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

A quick update…

As you can see from my previous post I ran quite badly the week before last. This prompted a break last weekend, which was good but kind of slowed me down. Other than one live tournament last Sunday I didn’t play at all from Saturday through Monday. I did play the rest of the week – running quite good again – but probably only half as many hands as usual.

I’ve been playing on a few different sites too. The change is really good again but I do miss 100+ hands per table/hr. This week I’ve only averaged 80 hands per table/hr and on that particular site (crypto skin) I can only 4-table. I don’t really mind 4-tabling as oppose 6 or so on Stars; the good thing is that at those hand rates – and only 4-tabling – I feel like I have all the time in the world to think about my decisions! Overall that will make me a much better player.

Today was pretty much a relaxation too; I’ve been to the gym and then spent all afternoon watching the darts on TV. I have a few things to do now, and then I think it’s the local for a few drinks with a bud.

Sundays are fun…I see some of the family for Sunday lunch and then it’s off to the Casino for the tournament. It’s the only live tournament I play these days, but the structure is great. Typically there’s around 8K in the pot and about £2,500 for first.

Wish me luck!

Friday, 16 November 2007

I want to be lucky!

So far November is going well, but the last few days have been a little swingy. I haven’t been feeling so good either whenever I get my money in. I have to change that feeling though – I want to expect to WIN my all-ins and no expect to LOSE them. I guess that just happens when you feel that you’re running bad.

Anyway, just to confirm my instinct I had to run my hands this month through Poker EV to see how well I’ve run in these all-in situations.

So yeah, my all-in luck sucks so far this month!

A lot can still happen yet, so I’m just riding it out.

Later, TB

Monday, 12 November 2007

Got Unstuck

So I’ve not played much online this weekend. That was the plan anyway – grind, grind, grind Monday to Friday and relax some at the weekend.

So what did I do to relax? Well, I played some live poker of course!

Saturday night started out well – up a few buy-ins in the first half hour! Then the following hand came up (1-2PL):

I have AQ of clubs in middle position and raise the pot to £13 (three limpers in front of me). Drunken guy on my left re-raises to £26 – he has about £250 behind and I have him covered. Now there’s no reason to put this guy on a really big hand since he’s been talking some trash and I know he’s coming after me. So I just call and see the flop:

Q – 5 – 2 two diamonds.


I check to let him bet. Sure enough he ‘pots’ it - £61. Now I’m pretty comfortable with my hand in this spot against such an opponent, but just be sure I tank it up for a minute to see if I can get a read. The guy is staring me down so badly! I mean I look at him and he looks back even harder. Under the table his legs are shaking. The guy is drunk too, so all of this could mean nothing. I think about just calling for a second and checking the turn, but my call will look strong and I hate giving free cards. Then again, if he has any sort of hand at all, he’s not laying it down. The SPR (stack-to-pot ratio) is just over 3 – plenty enough for top pair/top kicker against this opponent. So I raise all-in for his other 190 pounds and he snap calls! I turn over AQ and he turns over JJ. Wow! Early Christmas! Well it was until the dealer flipped the turn card…another jack and he takes down the £560 pot!

That was just the start. A few coolers later and I’m down a few buy-ins or so. Normally I wouldn’t mind so much, but the game was REALLY good and I was desperate to take advantage of that; especially since I was down from my last live session too. I even changed seat to have position on the drunken fish that two-outed me. And remember: he’s sitting with almost £600 now! He wasn’t the only one either; there were a whole group of them and they’d each turned their initial £50 buy-in into a few hundred!

After one of them cracked my pocket kings with 67 off-suit he actually got up and left! Good for him really – it was his first time in a casino and probably his first time playing poker. The knock on effect, however, was all the ‘hit and run’ banter. This caused Mr. Jack-Jack to start playing scared money – he really didn’t want to lose his winnings, and especially not to me as now I was back to about £500 pounds again and sitting directly to his left. I was in almost all of his pots and stole about £200 back from him due to his new weak-tight nature.

Finally they all left; most of them still up a few quid. I was about to go home too – about 100 pounds down – until I noticed the 5-5 game was only 4-handed. As an added bonus there were two live ones, one weak-tight regular, and only one decent player. Needless to say – I was in.

We only got to play for about 45 minutes until the game broke, but I did manage to run them over for a few hundred quid. I ended up finishing +£115 for the night. Phew.

After that, I’ll not even bother explaining what happened today. But I did play the tournament. And I did bust out to runner-runner flush…again.

It’s Monday tomorrow – back to the grind.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Finding leaks and changing style

So after moving to Stars last month I really started looking at certain aspects of my game.

Gradually, throughout October, I realised that certain things had to change – finding leaks in your own game can be a very difficult task indeed. I enlisted the help of a coach too; although so far I’ve only taken one lesson.

See Poker Stars has quite a different style of player compared to the Ongame network. Generally, I’ve found the typical Poker Stars player a lot more tight-aggressive then the looser/ laggier players at Ongame. Of course, Ongame is only 5-max…compared to 6-max at Stars. I think the other factor, however, is that a lot more players multi-table at Stars, and at a lot more tables too.

So I guess that’s why Ongame is generally viewed as having some the softest games available, whereas Poker Stars have some of the toughest – I don’t think so.

The games are very different. Yes. But it’s how you approach the games and plan to beat them that make the difference: At Ongame I became tighter and tighter – going from a 26/22 player to 19/16 or so. At Stars exactly the opposite is happening!

I think that’s why I enjoy Stars a lot more: I much prefer a LAG style to a TAG.

Anyway, since making various changes to my game and identifying some leaks, I’ve so far dramatically improved my win rate. It could just be a heater, but I know how hard I’ve worked and how much I’ve changed!

Let’s just wait until the end of the month…

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Let’s get blogging!

I haven’t blogged for November yet, so here we go…

So far though, poker is going well.

I couldn’t tell you if I’m up or down for the month yet because I’m trying not to be too results orientated. Short term results mean nothing anyway - if anything paying too much attention to them can only hurt your confidence…If you’re running bad that is.

I’ve played over 5K hands this month and still plan on getting another 500 to 1000 more in today. I really need to work hard on these Mondays to Fridays so that I can relax a bit on the weekends. I prefer to grind 4 hours a day, 5 times a week; than 3 hours a day, 7 times a week. It’s still my goal to get around 40K hands this month.

So I played live last night too. Sure enough it was my turn for the ass whipping! That’s okay…it’s about time anyway. I try my best to keep the fish happy too. After all, it’s what keeps them coming back!

I’ll be posting some more shortly I hope. I plan on writing a few essays this month too. I mean it’s about time I completed part 3 of the SPR stuff! Now’s a good time though. I’m looking forward to going over it again and putting all my thoughts together in writing.