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!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Reflection on MTTs and MiniFTOPs

Every poker player has dreamt about winning a large field tournament with big bucks at the end. Some are lucky and good enough to have done so. Also there are those that are not one hit wonders and repeat the feat a number of times over their career and even multiple times within a single year.

When I started playing poker I never understood how someone could win a 45 or 90 man let alone a field of 10,000. I was always in awe of someone who won and wondered whether I could posses such skill to accomplish the feat. Playing 90 mans has taught me how to win that form of poker and in some ways has given me some insight into approaching MTTs. Also, I have started to really focus on the MTT videos that are produced at PokerVT, especially the content from Jason “JCarver” Sommerville, Jon “Pearljammer” Turner and Bryan “Devo” Devonshire. I have even resorted to reading “Poker One Hand at a Time” during lunch breaks at work – just so I can try to improve my game. Unfortunately for me, I do not put in enough volume of MTTs to realise that dream anytime soon. What people don’t realise when starting out in this game is that those that win have probably been playing for a while, refining there skills and studying to improve.

My bankroll does not allow me to play large buy in tournaments such as the Sunday Million or the large FTOPs events. Plus I am honest enough to say that I would be burning money like so many donkeys that think that poker is easy. Thank god FTP introduced the MiniFTOP series which I have a sufficient bankroll to play in. I see this as an opportunity to get lucky and run like god one time... I am still waiting having played a few events in the current series and past.

This Sunday I entered Event #22 which was a $12 multi-entry Super Stack Knockout Bounty tournament. This is right in my wheel house as so many people over value the bounties. If definitely opens up opportunities that you may not otherwise get such as more loose calls by larger stacks “bounty hunting”. Having played solidly for a number of hours I did bust out to mainly standard hands in standard spots. However, every time I built a stack I ran into some bad luck and lose a bunch of chips. Still working on how to play these events consistently well and not make mistakes that damage my stack. I obv have a ton of work to improve but it’s a work in progress. With over 50,000 people entered it was fun while it lasted.

I will be entering a few more this week so look out for another post when I ship a big score! ;-)

Good luck y’all!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Lost without Poker

There is something that has been missing recently and looking at the blog title you can tell that it's poker. I have not been able to play due to my Dell pc having a fault. The hard drive has blown and waiting from an engineer to come to replace it. This put me on inst fire tilt as its only a month old!

It's funny because I thought that I could get by without playing for a few days. However, that has not been the case, I am just itching to grind those 90 mans. It's probably the fact that I can't that makes me want to play more. I think that if you are told you can't do something then you instictively want to do it more. So what have I done to fill the void of not playing... well... I have been watching the PAD Cash Game and Poker VT videos. There is a PearlJammer series where he takes down the 500 on Stars. It's ridiculously long so has definately kept me occupied but it's never the same as playing.

I am now facing up to the fact that I have to go through the pains of re-installing the likes of HEM, FT Ninja, poker clients and so on. Also the added pain of importing my 90 man HH since Nov 2009 because I did not get round to backing up the database before the crash! To those that are reading this... I suggest you back up that database right now.

The engineer is due in today so hopefully I can muster a few games. If you are wondering how on earth I am typing a blog without a pc... I am using my work laptop which I refuse to install poker clients since I may get fired but even worse I may actually be tempted to play during office hours!!!

Good luck at the tables!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Jan 2011 Recap

Wow, this month has gone faster then I had expected. There were a couple of nice things that happened this month in relation to poker which I will detail.

The first is that I managed to win my little prop bet. It was not all plain sailing as I went on a small downswing and my closest rival went on a small heater. This all made it too close for comfort with around 50 games to go. It looked like I needed to 2-3 wins for me to get a head. Somehow, I pulled it out of the bag; winning the bet with a win in the final 3 games. I am not a type of person to gloat and make fun when I win bets so I will not further mention it. Also, 500 games is a small sample and therefore who ever runs hot over that period will win in general.

Buy InPldProfitROI

What started to bug me a little was getting crushed in the $6 games which I always excel in generally. It was only a little annoying since I was crushing the $12.. thank god!

Secondly, having played enough to qualify for Iron man status (generally Bronze or Silver)for the last 6 months I had a small bonus to clear which is a nice addition to the bankroll. I am all in favour of getting free money! Something that JRB needs at the moment!!!

Only played a round 16 mtts which was covered by the Ironman bonus so overall a good month for a part timer like myself. Still disappointed I did not make 600+ games and it will be even tougher in the month of Feb so 500+ is the aim.

Thats all for now!

Good luck at the tables!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Small January Prop

I have somehow got myself in a prop bet against two very good SnG grinders, Fried Liver a 180 man expert and Chip210 a former 180 man grinder but has switched to FTP 90 man KOs. The only explanation of accepting this was that I must have been drunk or having an egotistical moment where I felt I was a clear favourite with my new found confidence/success

The prop:
Most profits from the first 500 SnGs in January
Games to be Stars $7/$12 180 man or FTP $6/$12 90 mans

The Wager (small stakes only):
The two losers pay the winner $50 each

The only way I could compete with these high volume grinders was to set a first 500 game cap.

Mr Liver was off to a flyer playing on Stars after about 20 games being up over $1k but fortunately for me went on a sick down swing and is in the minus after his 500. Being a high volume grinder he finished his 500 games a little while ago.

Chip210 on the other hand is only 170 games from completing his 500 and is in the profit. He was clearly crushing the games before he hit a rough patch and another bit of fortune came my way. He looks to be getting back on track.

Me, well I am pretty useless having only played 180 games or so and with half the month gone somewhat behind pace on the volume. My profits are steady but nothing that will set the world alight. I think some long sessions will be due in the next few days.

Better be off, writing this whilst at work is not such a great idea after all!

Good luck y'all!!!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Reflection on 2010 Goals

In the previous post I literally pasted my results without really talking about them against my goals. So here are the goals I set for 2010:

1) Achieve Iron Man status and maintain for 10 out of 12 months in a year
I actually thought that this would be hard as I felt that at some point I may actually be force into not playing because of family or work. However, I grinded every month this year so gained Iron man status for every month of the year. Let's hope I can maintain this as there is a nice bonus at the half year mark as well as an end of year. With my "medals" I did purchase the 3 in 1 Jacket they have on offer, my once that was similar was old so it was nice to get a new one! Next Iron man purchase will be the Binoculars that can take pictures as well.

2) Move from the $3 KO tourneys to the $12 (a must) and possibly $24 (stretch target)
I moved up in stakes pretty quickly and was playing the $24's in no time. Nick was pushing/encouraging me all the way and Bodeye even asked Nick to easy up on me and not to give me a heart attack at one stage but it was all good. Although, currently not playing many $24's as it is now only for extra income so did not want to handle the swings that come with the $24's. Nick will call me a P***y but he is write, the day job is stressful enough without the thought of losing thousands of dollars. I will go back once I grow a pair... I promise!

3) Feature at least once in the FTP leader board top 200
I actually featured a few times which was a surprise. At the time, I did not know that I would be on my way to Vegas and play 1000 games in 2 weeks! What I also did not realise that unlike Stars, FTP leader board rewards high volume high stakes grinders. So even if you played 2000 $3 90 mans you may not break into the top 100 if the other guys are playing less but at higher limits. Only featured 4 times in the top 100 so nothing to write home about.

4) Play 500+ games a month for 11 months of the year
Utter fail here, only managed this for 8 months. To make consistent money I need to be grinding regularly. Maybe initiating a prop bet with someone will encourage me to keep going every month. I did however, average 500+ for 12 months but that was largely due to the fact that I went to Vegas and put in 2 months worth of games in 2 weeks.

5) Make $1k in 5 out of 12 months
Now here is where being not specific will catch me out. In terms of 90 mans I did make $1k 5 months of the year but I suspect that this was not the case if I included all the MTTs, 45 and and other games (satellites mainly).

Overall it was a good year in poker for me as I mentioned in my previous post. I will look to set some specific ones for the coming year in a few days. May speak to a few people and see what they think I should be trying to achieve with my game. Guess there will be a volume related one along the lines of number 4, may be continue the Iron man run, try and aim for a total profit figure broken down into 90 mans only and overall target (cos I is going to ship at least 1 mtt - lol).

until next time.. good luck at the tables!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

End of 2010 Analysis

I was going to write an in depth and detailed analysis of the year but rather then using words, I have found the pictures to help.

So this first one is all the games on Full Tilt that I played. It includes all the 90 mans, MTTs, 45 mans and some other minor satellites. Overall happy to make a profit on the year.

My 90 man performance for the year at all buy ins:

Summary of all 90 mans if you are to lazy to count it all up:

The graph to back it up:

A little fun statistics about how my performance was like for each day of the week and a monthly breakdown of profit ville!

From the top graph, can you guess which month I was in Vegas for?? Can you seen the stretch where I was struggling/breaking even? All I can say is that at least I had a real job otherwise I may have been struggling!

What was always funny during the course of the year, was the fact that I struggled to have a good performance on a Sunday. I am not sure what was the cause but at one stage I was down a great deal of money on Sundays but a few good Sundays righted that ship. Obviously, love playing Tuesdays and Wednesdays!

The final graph/picture is my results in MTTs, I could not let you all think that I was simply having a great year:

It's a small sample but the last few months my MTT play has improved and understanding a bit more on the ways to approach them. My play in the 90 mans have helped with the learning but I rarely get a chance to play with more then 20BB unless its the early stages. Hopefully this year will be a good year for MTTs.

I left out the graph for my 45 man play, lets just say, I will not be playing them anytime soon! I was crushed in them however, it was during the breakeven/bad patch of the year so who knows what the future lies. With my new found patience maybe I will tackle the $10 level games and see how I fair over a thousand or so games.

Overall I am happy that my poker has improved dramatically over the course of the year. My game has completely changed from this time last year to now. I am a totally different player and it's all thanks mainly to Nick "Mi_turtle" Rainey, Bodeye2 and Aaron "Johnny_Hilldo" Hill. I also need to thank some of the poker players I have spoken to over the past year and you know who you are.

Here is looking to a better 2011!!!