Wednesday, 30 December 2009

December - End of Month Summary

This month was a roller coaster, I think looking back that I was running really really hot but that streak fizzled out in the last four sessions where I made a lost. Somehow, due to some mis calculation i did not complete the 500 games as I intended and a little gutted. Please see results below:

Games Played: 498
ROI: 26.42% (not including bounties)

With all the bounties and clearing 70% of my FTP bonus; I managed to double my initial bankroll within 6 weeks which I am very proud of. I have played double the amount of games I have done in any previous month and hope to build on that. One aim is to be able to comfortably 16 table games and still make the correct poker decisions.

I intend on playing a lot more and remain focused throughout 2010 and hope to have the best poker year in my life (although that is not so hard). For those in poker at my stakes... please stay out my way otherwise you may get crushed!! I was told by my ex coach he had high hopes for me and I do not want to let him down!

Watch this space!!!

Happy New Year All!!!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas Result

As per tradition, the family always plays poker on Christmas and Boxing Day (day after Christmas). We recently changed from a variation of 7 Card Stud to NLH with a restriction on maximum bet size. Everyone starts with £10 in chips with the blinds at 10/20 making it a 50BB game. Due to it being a "family" game we restrict the max bet/raise to £1 this ensures the games last for a lot of hours and no one actually loses too much money in the 4-6 hours we play each day.

In this game, I now have a massive edge, even bigger than last year as I have learnt more about poker this year. Not one person in the game has any real fundamentals so if they hold 2 cards that are suited they will open limp with that, if they have an Ace they never fold preflop, there is rarely ever a situation where someone has limped and then re-raised! Also, when the obviously flush or straight hits you can safely throw away a set or two pair without a second thought!

After the two days of play, I was £20 up basically winning £10 each night. Its small compared to the online winnings but it helps me to understand live tells in a relaxed environment. It is funny how you can pick up things that I never really paid attention to. One clear example was my brother, when he thought he had the nuts he would stack his chips and place them neatly and hard onto the table! Soon as he does that bail out unless you can draw to a hand that can beat him like me flopping a set against his AA, sorry little bro try again next time!!!

With this experience I am contemplating playing in my local game which is a tournament format with approximately 20 people each week. But since the winnings are relatively low for the hours played compared to online, I do not really see the benefits except for a change from sitting staring at the screen for hours.

I wanted to set some goals for next year as with most poker players (boring I know). I set goals as i am a goal driven person, I see what I want and bust a gut to get there, if I fail and tried my best then oh well but it feels good to achieve it all!

So goals are:

1) Achieve Iron Man status and maintain for 10 out of 12 months in a year
2) Move from the $3 KO tourneys to the $12 (a must) and possibly $24 (stretch target)
3) Feature at least once in the FTP leader board top 200
4) Play 500+ games a month for 11 months of the year
5) Make $1k in 5 out of 12 months

I will probably discuss these with my coach and a few other poker friends to see if they are realistic but that is what I want to achieve.

Good luck at the tables!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Brutal 2 Days

When I started this blog I decided that it would contain all the ups and downs that I faced along my poker journey. As I settle into this new world of blogging, I hope this gets more interesting with time like a good bottle of wine (not that I drink the stuff but you know what I mean).

So the last days have been brutal in terms of variance. It reared its ugly head for the first time this month where I have only cashed 3 times in 55 games. I had a 37 game streak of no cashes which to me seems brutal but I have definitely seen worse.

When I have a downswing, I am more analytical then when the going is good. Did I make a correct shove, did I make a bad fold, should I call an All in, are there spots I can steal being missed and so on. In terms of the 30 games played the night before this session, I made 6 really fishy decisions of which 4 cost my tourney life. After the review it was clear that I could not with an All In situation if my life depended on it.

Today's, games were just as brutal if not worse, made at least 8 deep runs (finishing between 10-16) and final tabling one. I felt I played well and deserved a little bit more luck. There are a couple of spots that I am unsure whether it was right or not but will post in some forum and see what the people think.

Regarding posting on forums, I tend to post hands I win or lose as I do not care about the outcome. In most situations I want to know whether my play was good or bad, am thinking like a good player, are there things I missed in my thinking and is my thought process about the hand good, are there spots where I can improve and so on. What I really hate is when people reply with "yeah it was good" or "you idiot" without explaining why or what they are thinking. Why bother posting if you are not going to be more detailed. My footprint on forums is very small, I tend to read more and post very little. However, since playing a lot more I intend to post a bit more but still not answer posts.

Enough of the biatching, to get over variance is to play more games so that’s what I intend on doing. Keep calm and focused at all times!!!

Good luck at the tables!

PS: Should never have said I wanted to reach $1k in profits - is this variance a sign of karma???

Monday, 21 December 2009

Shooting for $1k

In addition to my goal of playing at least 500 games this month, I have decided to try and make a profit of $1k. This will be uncharted territory and will be over the moon if I can achieve it!

This sounds results orientated but I do not give a flying f**k what people think. A bankroll increase of $1k in a single month is a huge achievement for a part time player like me. I will post a graph at the end of the month.

Games Played: 408
ROI: 45.44 (not including bounties)

This month has been the most enjoyable and with a little bit more luck with the All In situations I could be crushing the games even more.

I heard a good statement earlier this week and fully appreciate the sentiments it is trying to teach: "If you are always getting it in good, then you are not getting it in enough". To win any tourney you need to win your fair share of all ins. Whether you get it in bad or not you need to win those coin flips, it can be the difference of having a chance to win or falling short by bubbling or mini cashing. Every time I play, I play to win, there is no chop there is no surviving to make the money, I want to enter the FT with the chip lead so I have the best chance of winning. If that means I shove every hand on the bubble then that is what I am going to do. You can call with your AA or KK but trust me I have a habit of sucking out and you will cry when you missed the money by a fish (yes I call myself a fish) who decided to shove with 7h6h from UTG!

I tried to qualify for the Iron man this month but due to the holidays there is little or no chance of achieving that feat this month anymore. The first 5-6 sessions hurt me where I just missed out by a few points really hurt my chances, if only I played another 3-4 games each day I could have made it. The aim will be to qualify for at least Bronze level EVERY month (or maybe 10 from 12 are more realistic).

My next post will probably the end of the year unless I have something interesting to say.

Good luck at the tables!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Thinking about Poker

I am really enjoying my poker at the moment. My "real" job has me working ridiculous hours but it does not bother me in the slightest because I can come home and play poker. I may even be considered a weirdo because...

1) When I wake up I start thinking about poker
2) On the way to work I think about poker
3) When I am at work I am thinking about poker
4) On the way home I am thinking about poker
5) Finally getting home, eating dinner I actually get to play poker!!!

It could be because I am doing well in the games that i am playing but today was one of those days where no matter what you did the rub of the felt was not with you. Having grinded 40 games in a session and losing 2 buying is not a bad result. Especially when that was covered and then some by the knockout bounties!!

It's all good in the poker world. There are more and more situations that I am seeing from playing a lot more then I used to. So the results so far this month are:

Games Played: 239
ROI: 51.44 (not including bounties)

As i stated earlier, I would like to play 500 hundred and I seem to be on track but with Xmas coming and the parties with work getting in the way I could struggle. Also, I have made a grave mistake in that all the days i have played, I could have achieved an Iron Man award for the month of December shipping me an extra $25 dollars. If only I played about 3-4 games more on about 5 days I would be closer (somewhat annoyed with myself) but this will be a goal to obtain next year.

Good luck at the tables!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Who moved my cheese?

I just completed reading a very short book called "Who moved my cheese?". This is a simple yet very insightful piece of reading and anyone who reads this book should consider reading it. The basic concept is that things change and you must find a way to deal with them and move on but I do not want to spoil it further for anyone.

One extract from the book to help you with tilt or bad beats:
The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese

If you are a person that gets tilted by bad beats or bad players making stupid plays as I once did then you have to read "Fooled by Randomness". I can assure you that even after reading this book I still tend to get a little frustrated and annoyed but the days of me swearing at the computer screen at some idiot is long gone. This book is a must read/have for any poker or aspiring poker.

In terms of poker we are on 6 days into the month and I feel that I am playing well and making good poker decisions irrespective of the final outcome. Do not think that I am bigging myself up in any way as I know that there is still a lot to be learnt and that a downswing can happen at an point in time. My aim is to enjoy the rush of winning while it lasts.

In terms of results for the month so far:
Games Played: 101
ROI: 54.93 (not including bounties)

As I mentioned earlier, I am enjoying the good form and look forward to playing even more in the coming days. If my hands held up as often as the percentages dictate then i will be even higher but 54% ROI cannot be laughed at but for all those purist it is a small sample size and it will be less as I finish up the 600.

Another extract to describe my current run:
Savour the adventure and enjoy the new cheese!

Good luck at the tables!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

December and feeling ready to roll!

December has arrived and what a journey I have had to date within Poker. Only a year back was when I decided that losing was not an option anymore. I joined a great site in Poker VT and have watched nearly every video published and a lot of them twice. My understanding of the game has grown immensely (but looking back I did not know anything). I managed to turn my Full Tilt account into a profitable state recovering all the many deposits I made being a “recreational” player.

The next stage of my development is to ensure I become a “winning” player. It is my intention to advance my skills and knowledge in the game to a stage whereby I can reduce the hours of my daily job and focus entirely on poker. Having the backing of my girlfriend is of great help since without her support this adventure would be impossible for me. I do not see turning “professional” for a few more months but I can assure anyone who reads this that IT WILL happen.

My goal for December:
Play 500 $3 90 man KO tourneys

With this amount of volume in a month, I hope to see a profit and then from there grow it to a stage where I can mix in the $6 ones. Whether that will be this month I am not sure but will keep this blog updated more for me to remind me what I was thinking/feeling at the time on my poker journey.

Good luck at the tables!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

It Started so well...

In my mind I wanted to get lessons and training to improve my poker skills. It is my intention to become a full time poker player in the future so to do that whilst working a full time job is to get coaching. I am currently not sure whether I am allowed to say who I get training from but it has been decided that i will only play the 90 KO Tourney's on Full Tilt.

My aim is to crush and destroy the $3 ones primarily with a few $6 ones mixed in. During the week, after work I intend to play 9 tables a day and then play until I am dead on the weekends. Having the backing from the girlfriend is a bonus and so with that in mind I can focus on the task at hand.

Yesterday started off well where I managed to final table 4 at the same time again. Unfortunately, I entered 2 tables as chip leader but after a few all ins I was down and out finishing 4th, 6th and then on the other tables finishing 6th and 9th.

Whilst I had the four FT open, I let the thought that crushing these was going to be easy. I can say without a doubt that I was WRONG. A combination of being unlucky (running bad) and a few mis-reads has destroyed the confidence a little losing 25 back to back games. I am not used these type of swings and feel somewhat deflated. Having reviewed all the HH so far, I can say that the fishes had their day today and caught everything and I am sure that my day will come.

Once i speak to my coach again later on in the week, he can hopefully rectify a few leaks and boost my confidence in that I am executing his instructions. Knowing him, if i were in the same room then I might have got the hairdryer treatment for some of the STUPID stunts I pulled but then also congratulated for some high level moves I make (once in a blue moon). Anyway, I have leave and crush some more so until next time.

Good luck at the tables!

Friday, 20 November 2009

A New Dawn!!

I have unfortunately got to stop my monthly goal. It is not because I was losing or felt that I could not complete the task. The reason was that I have had a better offer to do something more lucrative. It is still poker related but not sure how much I am allowed to say at this point but once I found out then it may be revealed.

I will summarize where I am before quitting (something I really hate doing):

Goal: 400 $3.40 SnG on Pokerstars
Played: 256 with a 0.05% ROI

Goal: 50 £3.30 KO on FullTilt
Played: 36 with a 86.55 ROI - netting $102

In summary, did well in KO tourneys and worked hard to recover from a $100 downswing to get back to break even. Not sure what my goal will be for the future but if anyone reads this then I will hopefully have some interesting stories to tell in the near future.

Good luck at the tables.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Feeling Frustrated

Played a total of 27 SnGs today, which is more than I play on most week days. I could have played more but the frustration was building and I did not want to start playing bad and tilted so I quit. The variance in poker is something everyone must deal with but having been beating these SnGs for a little while now the downswings hurt just a little. It seems that when I feel comfortable and looking to move up I get a sudden downswing the stops that plan in it's track.

Summary of the month so far:

1) 400 $3.40 SnG on Pokerstars
Played: 174 with a -6.69% ROI (approximately 12 buy-ins)

2) 50 £3.30 KO on FullTilt
Played: 28 with a 119.16 ROI

So as you can see not doing so well in the Pokerstars and that is where most of the frustration is coming from. I cannot seem to win an all in at the moment where I am a 4:1 favorite or a coin flip, I cannot even suck out just one time. Oh well, I am going to do a review session and then get back to it and pretty sure that i can break this downswing.

Good luck at the tables.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

A Small Blip

Well i played 24 games today and won... none making one 2nd and two 3rd place finishes. understanding variance in Poker is a key lesson everyone should learn and as i play so few games I feel the shifts a lot more. It is my aim to play the best SnG strategy but at the level i play there are serious amount of donkey's but having said that I hope they return when I am on a heater.

I have decided to cascade my tables, this way I do not see what stupid hands people are calling shoves with. The time i see this when i review my HH's which seem to suggest that I played well but just ran into bad luck.

Have been reading about Tom 'durrrr" Dwan and how he has become a Team Full Tilt member which is interesting reading but what is more interesting is that he is getting owned by a Swedish player going by the name of Isildur1. Another not of interest is the Pokerstars tournament Leaderboard race between MI_Turtle and EeeTee2008 who have a huge prop bet together.

On a final note I will play a lot more KO tourneys and so hopefully the bad run stops in the 9 mans.

Good luck at the tables.


I have just learnt that $3 KO tourneys on FTP are a gold mine. I have been told this in the past but never really understood how to best play them. Started out playing 6 tourneys, getting knowcked out early in one where my KK could not hold against A6o. Thinking this was going to be similar to my efforts on Pokerstars earlier, I was little anxious at shoving from the SB onto the larger stack, but guess what 84o can beat JJ - haha lets roll. I managed to FT 4 tables and it was an awesome sight for me and gutted I did not take a screenshot.

One FT, down to 3 handed and I was 2nd in chips and BB has ben shoving mad. I am in SB, the btn who is short stacked raises, 3x (leaving 6BB behind), I call with AA, BB as normal shoves all in, short stack calls, I call - happy days when they flip over their cards, Btn has ATo, BB, has KQo... HOLD ONE TIME!!! Ship it to the new chipleader and two hands later I get KQh all in against 77, Q on the flop seals the first victory!!

From there I managed to win another, finish 3rd having been sucked out on and a 5 place finish. Not wanting to be results orientated but ship me the dollars. Need to count the bounties as well cause there were a few.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

10 Days In

I am now 10 days into the challenge and I am already feeling that i have bitten off more than I can chew. It seems that when i set the challenge people were determined to make me tilt. Calling AIPF with 84o and 92o out of the BB when I am shoving ATC on the SB... gg losers hope I see you again. You also know when things are bad when you shove with AA or KK then a miracle flush or straight gets there or the dreaded 2 outer on the turn or rive. For once please let them hit on the flop so I can SUCK OUT on them.

Anyway enough of the whinging, these things happena dn we must continue to do the best we can. So the summary as it stands:

1) 400 $3.40 SnG on Pokerstars
Played: 115 with an 9.75% ROI

2) 50 £3.30 KO on FullTilt
Played: 7

My aim was to get ahead in the SnGs before Friday so to concentrate on the KO tourneys on Friday's where the fill up very quickly. I am going to struggle to complete both tasks but I definitely want to complete the first as it seems to be easier for me to rake in the money.

I am considering coaching in the SnG department as I have the bankroll to move up but as I only have an ROI of 9% (small sample) I am not sure whether moving up is the best idea. Just think that a coach can improve the weaker areas of my game in particular when to push if you have 4-5BBs left. Is shoving 98s UTG+1 when there are 6 players left with 4BB and so forth.

Good luck at the tables!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

November Goals

Since October was a successful month, I have decided to push myself a little further this month. Please see goals below:

1) 400 $3.40 SnG on Pokerstars
2) 50 £3.30 KO on FullTilt

I have had a little success with the KO tourneys and wanted to see what I can achieve playing a very very very small sample in a month. So there are the goals and I have already wasted most of the day doing other stuff. Considering that I play around 250 SnGs a month 400 seems to me impossible but will keep you posted throughout the month.

I am also following Nick Rainey who has a prop bet to finish above another player in the TLB on Pokerstarts (see for details). He is streaming the action live using Stickam so will be interesting viewing... perhaps.

Good luck at the tables!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

October Goal in the Bag

Well, I set out to complete 300 SnGs this month and I can tell you that it was hard work for me. Never ever have I played so much and was very worried half way through the month that I would not meet the target. However, with Wednesday off this week, I managed to complete the task on schedule. See graph below.

Now the profit was a little less then expected but a win is a win and I am no professional. With $81 profit for the month at an ROI of 7.94 is OK but my life time in these are 12% over a small sample size. Hopefully, I can improve in the month of November where I will be pushing more volume maybe 400???

Good luck at the tables!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

First Poker Blog

Hi All

I decided that it was in my interest to set goals within Poker like I have at the gym. It will keep me focused on the task in hand. Since I have decided that the goal would be realistic since I have a "normal" day job which keeps me busy. So details of the goal are below:

Goal: Complete 300 SnG at $3.40 level
Start Date: 1 Oct 09
End Date: 31 Oct 09

Now this may not seem like much to you grinders and hardcore poker players but I have never managed to play more than 200 month. Also, I have 24" monitor that allows me to play 6 decent sized tables in tiled mode (preferred mode of mulit-tabling) or 9 really small ones (which may have to be done if i fall behind).

Good luck at the tables!