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!