Sunday, 30 October 2011

MTT Sunday

Played a bunch of small MTTs this Sunday, around 10 or so. Even though I did not get the results I wanted, it was definitely enjoyable if not frustrating at times. Managed to build a number of large stacks in various tourneys but then ran into a brick wall by not getting cards or running into hands. That was the only disappointment I had but I know that is just tourney poker.

Overall I am happy with how I played but there were a few heart in mouth moments. One such occasion was betting something like 6245 into a pot of 1345 with my stack at just over 9k. This happened to me twice and it does make you panic a little. Thankfully on both occasions the villains folded. My intention is to play the same schedule of tourneys on Sundays from now on if I have the time otherwise I will stick with the 45 mans.

In the month of November, I am aiming for 1000 $7 45 mans but should I exceed 750 games, it will make me just as happy. Also, I am hoping to continue reviewiung as many HHs as I can to improve further.

Until next time, happy fishing!!!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Poker Study/Review

For a few months now and prior to Black Friday, I somehow got away from reviewing HHs on a regular basis. My play was not bad and i was making money so why bother? This is probably common for all players and all have gone through this phase. I looked at the Sharkscope stats for the "regs" in my games and over a larger sample they had ROIs between 10-14% in 45 mans. Most people would be happy with this and so would I... until I realised that because i cannot put in as much volume, I want to play better than them.

Over the last few sessions, I have reviewed 75% of the games I played. This takes a few hours but I tend to do it before I play (after getting back from work and before dinner) or lunch times at work. It seems over the top as I play around 50 games a session. However, I am finding some spots where I am missing shoves, realising mistakes, also defining the regs and Joe Bloggs ranges much better. This has allowed me to collate a bunch of notes on regs and randoms.

I have also gone over a lesson from a year ago that taught me a few things but over time have forgotten or too lazy to implement. Going over the video also showed me how far I have progressed but there were a few take aways from the video I was not using and that is a big mistake on my part.

Also, I want to start playing a bunch of tourneys, so taken to watching a few MTT videos on PokerVT. I especially like those by JCarver and Devo. I get a lot out of them and even if I have viewed them before, with the increase in my knowledge over the past year or so, the videos are now easier to understand and make a lot more sense then they used. Before it was all overwhelming with stack sizes for 3betting, 4betting, shove spots with ATC, placing people on hand ranges and so on. Tons of information for a novice but as you improve you can work out the best plays before the video even says it.

Anyway got to run in the middle of wstching Devo crush the member of PokerVt in the weekly bounty tourney.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Long Blog Hiatus

This is the first blog post in over 5 months and a lot has happened since then. Everyone is aware of the Black Friday situation but being European I had the freedom to play on Stars and Full Tilt for an extra 2 months before FTP closed down. The only regret I have is that the day before the FTP shutdown, I had decided to withdraw most of my funds but unfortunately the closure occurred the very next day.

The money owed to me may seem small in comparison to what is owed to the high stake grinders but the money I had could have helped fund a few luxury items. I am not bitter in the slightest; I never see my bankroll as real money since I have withdrawn more than I ever put in and I see it as a point score. Every session is about putting more points on the board.

In terms of poker, the closure of FTP gave me an excuse to have a break from MTT SnGs and played decided on playing around 60k hands of 10NL. I could have played higher but making sure my fundamentals were correct seemed more important. The experiments is on-going but have recently moved back in the MTT SnG realm by playing the 45 man turbos. I found that the cash game experience has helped me to read hands better.

There has been a “poker league” set up at work. I may have mentioned it before but there are around 6-8 of use every two weeks putting in £10 each. We play a SnG format which is lucky for me since I have more experience of them then the other 7 players put together. I have won 3 out of 10 and another guy has 4 wins. Apart from the other winning guy who also makes a ton of mistakes but runs better then Jason Mercier the other players are not great. I get to see them make a ton of mistakes and for the first time can say, I am exploiting their weak tendencies which I never really understood about how to exploit someone before then. Have another one this week and going to take it down. Will try to post some intersting hands if I remember the details correctly.

I am intending on blogging more frequently but who knows, many have said the same and many have failed so will have to wait and see.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

No Longer a Live Poker Virgin

I embarked on a trip into central London today with the sole goal of playing live poker. This is all very new to me and even went into a "poker club". I have talked about going to a few people so many times and failed miserably. My live experience before this was a few home family games and a few games with friends but drinking beer and been sociable was the primary objective.

What I didn't know when I turned up that there are some terrible players, even the online fish seem to know more than the bunch of fools I was playing with today. They guy to my right, young guy who plays regularly, said it was the weirdest table he has ever witnessed (thank god he wasn't talking about me).

Here are a list of calamitous things that I saw today in order of the funniest/stupidest:

1) We have just had a break and the clock ticked down for the cards to be dealt, it was 9 handed, I fold from UTG and everyone folds to the button that turns over his cards and folds face up. Now this is not funny in itself, except the SB and BB were not even sat down at the table so their hands would have been auto mucked if he even min-raised! Label OLD FISH!!!

This caused a bunch of debate as the other guys on the table said the SB and BB should chop, I pointed out that the BB would win and so the floor man was called over and ruled in favour of the BB who had not won a pot all day and had only 5BB left. Live Virgin is 1 up on the table! You kid opposite, you say you played online... where did you play fish cake... UB? Don't know how he though that it was going to be a chop! Label Oriental Fish Cake

2) The UTG+1 (Oriental Fish Cake) limps UTG+1 9 handed, everyone folds to the BB who instant mucks! Sorry dude, you can check, now that you have folded, you cannot have your cards back! WTF is going on, I thought I was the live virgin!

3) Another situation involving Oriental Fish Cake who was in the SB, Old Fish decided to limp UTG+2 and its folded to the SB who completes and the BB checks, the flop comes down and it checks to Old Fish who bets 50% of the pot and the SB tanks. Oh.. I think he is tanking, he is staring at the flop for about 2-3 minutes, shuffling his chips, looks like he is going to call stacking chips then asks the dealer... Is it on me?! CLOCK PLEASE! UNBELIEVABLE!

4) The guy to my right, NEVER raised once the entire time he was there. Every bet he vocalised, call, bet x, fold, it was getting annoying so the guy to my left started vocalising his actions to mock him but he was clueless to what was happening.

I am sure there was a string raise at one point that I pointed out to the dealer, the guy was lucky as the guy next INSTANT shoved and showed KK, you my friend can buy me a drink later!

Can someone who reads this is this the state of Live play???

It was pretty eventful in terms of watching the randoms playing. I am fairly sure that I was at least the 3rd or 4th best player sice there were 2 very good regs, guy to my left and the guy 2 to my right. The rest... OMG.

Here are a few note worth hands:

1) The 2nd good reg raised from the CO and I was in the SB, he raised 2.75x and I had 15BB behind and shoved my A7s. He was raising a bunch and I had not played many hands due to being between the only 2 good players. What was a little odd, that I was nervous as hell. I had a plan that if I was all in I would stare at the chips in the middle if I was all in to try and avoid giving off tells. I could see him counting down his stack and he had me covered by 3BB. My heart was racing and my palms were sweating (yes live virgin), not sure why I was so nervous as I shove hands online all the time without the slightest bit of nerves. Hopefully that will be eliminated the more experience I get. Eventually he folds and I am relieved but pretty sure I was behind.

2) I am in the SB with 9BB and its folded to me so I decided to shove. The good player in the BB tanked and started talking. When the guy folds, he explains he he folded ATo and wanted to know my hand. What do you tell a guy when he asks what you hand is, the only problem I had was I didn't look at my hand but just pretended by flicking them up in my usual manner. I thought it was a little funny. Sorry dude!!

3) The best hand I played all day was whilst on the button. Blinds are 300-600 and I have 8k in chips, Old fish limps in MP, the guy who limped every hand called in the CO, me on the button with JTss... hmm fold or call... decisions decisions, ALL IN!!! SB and BB insta folds, Old guy grumbles then folds, habitual limper gives a speech along the lines of, all in with 8k preflop, this is not poker and folds! Guy to my left looks at me and I think he knew what I did, it was pretty good feeling, even better than when I have done it online, only difference is now I can see the disgust on their faces!

Anyway I busted in standard fashion, 6 handed the CO shoves for 12BB, I call off my 8BB with KsQs and then insta knew I was in trouble when the the SB said ALL IN! CO had QJo so my read was right, the SB woke up with AK and I was drawing pretty slim on a AKx flop. The board ran out giving the CO a straight on the river!

I really enjoyed it and might try to get there on a regular basis since games online load even slower on a Saturday than they did before Black Friday!

Happy Live Grinding!!!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

First MTT Win

And biggest online score to date!

Yes the title of this blog is correct; I won the $3 Turbo Multi-Entry $4k GTD tournament on Full Tilt Poker. The winner would take home $1.3k; however, I took a chop with a slight chip lead for $1.1k negotiating a $100 more than ICM dictated.

It was insane; I have played many final tables of 90 mans without so much as breaking a bead of sweat and had nerves of steel! This time was very different, I was feeling extremely nervous, not wanting to make a mistake and all at the same time super focused. I had a similar feeling when I came 5th in a $3 1R1A during my time at Vegas, but this was a lot worse as I had built up a massive lead and did not wanted to throw it away.

There were a few key moments during the tourney, one hand just before the bubble burst, I got it all in against two very large stacks with AK vs their 55 and JJ to triple up. From there my stack only grew with a few minor blips. I was small balling it up and the fish were just donating the chips.

The most telling hand came on the final table, I was on the button. The SB just lost a huge pot, then sucked out and was on super tilt which was key in the hand I will describe. At BB 20k, I just over min raised the BUT with 98o and got called by the SB, BB folded. The flop was 567 two diamonds, the SB ships in 720k into a pot of about 100k, well... I have the nuts after double checking and called, he had 43dd and I faded the flush draw for a massive chip stack, nearly three times that of 2nd place.

Thanks everyone who wished me good luck. A big thanks to Bodeye and Nestarasta who encouraged and kept me focused throughout! Also they both helped in the negotiating the chop, but as I am Indian, I was destined to get the best deal possible!

Since one of my goals was to win a large field mtt (2235 fish), I am considering quitting poker for the rest of the year! Not!!! I want to play more but I am stuck in the office writing this blog!

Untill next time... Good luck y'all!

Monday, 4 April 2011

March Recap 2011

The simple fact for this moth is the same as the past few months; that is that I am just not playing as much as I should be or wanted to. This will change this April where I aim to hit at least 750+ 90 mans or be sick trying!

So a quick summary of my 90 man efforts, not much to really say other than to show you a breakdown.


Buy InPldProfitROI

Unfortunately, I lost a 1/3 of my 90 man profits to playing in MTTs. There were a few miniFTOP events that I entered and got burnt pretty badly. I felt I ran a little bad but then there were definitely a few spots where I needlessly donked of my chips. My game has come a long way but there is a ton more to learn and a ton to improve upon.

My main focus this month is 90 mans, 90 mans and some more 90 mans. Sprinkle in some $10 deep/superstack tourneys that fit into my schedule of play. Like I previously mentioned, I am aiming for 750+ games and if I do that then I will be purchasing an iPad 2! Incentive!!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Live Poker is RIGGED

I have read a few funny and interesting articles on people’s discussions of online poker being rigged. After a little research there is “software” tools that can help you avoid being exploited by online sites rigging games... only suckers would pay for such tools. Having been in software development myself, it is definitely possible to have code that can rig games. Do I think that the main sites employ such code... 100% not. They would not risk coding such capabilities just in case it got into the main software.

Live games are a totally different kettle of fish, these can be rigged pretty damn easily. Just look at the latest Sorel Mizzi John Racener saga with Sorel dealing the joker off the bottom. A decent card magician can set a deck exactly the way they want with you sitting in front of them without you knowing. I recently saw an episode of “The Real Hustlers” where the hustlers took on 3 members of the Hendon mob and cleared them out dealing from stacked decks.

Now my experience of live poker is limited to the few family games and one or two with a group of friends who do not know how to play. I recently started playing in a monthly game with work colleagues, all who claim to play regularly either online or in a few casinos round London. I saw this as a good way to start my live poker career (lol). The games are a sit and go with 2000 starting stacks and 5-7 players playing.

In my first game, rather than stick to a tight SnG approach I was trying to steal post and out play my opponents after the flop. What I realised only a little too late that these guys were not folding ever pre and I would get into tricky spot. So one hand came up 4 handed, blinds at 50/100, I started the hand with about 16BB and decided to 2.5x UTG, I got 3bet to 800 total by the BB and I shoved over getting snapped called. I had KK vs AA – what can I say RIGGED!!!

Second time round I was playing tighter than the previous game so I tightened up my range to play only monsters and then employ a push fold strategy late on when the blinds were high. Unfortunately, I did not get to the high or even medium blind stages. I was dealt AA on the button 5 handed with blinds at 25/50. Utg limped, CO limped, and I decided to raise 300 from a stack of 1600, getting called by the BB and UTG. The flop came down perfect based on the hands that I saw these two player playing, 245r, the BB checked and the UTG player (someone I have given advice to before) donk bet 500 in the pot of 1k, so I shoved the rest of my stack, the BB said good bet and reluctantly folded. I got called by the UTG play and he showed JJ to my surprise since I was expecting 66-99 or even Ax. The turn was a J and I was out – RIGGED AGAIN.

The funny thing about the second time round was a novice player asked why I shoved for all my chips on the flop. Then the others were giving him a hard time while I sat there thinking, I could have made more money online. The others did try needling me but I wasn’t bothered, I just referred them to a little book called “Fooled by Randomness”. I did remain till the end and think I picked up a few tells which might come in handy although you can never be too sure.

Hope this little tale was enjoyable, if not, unlucky, you got to the end and didn’t find the punch line!

Good luck y’all.

Ps: I don’t actually believe live poker is rigged but always watch out in those self dealt games!