Sunday, 3 February 2013

January Review - Feb Goals

Hey homies,

Time for the January review!

Last month went pretty well for me and I got 2013 off to a flying start, I even cashed in a tournament, which is awesome because:

a) I never play tournaments
b) In a tournament with 760 entries, due to good ol' variance, its going to be relatively difficult to even cash, let alone get to the final table........ with 3 big blinds....... and then somehow come 3rd! lol

So yeah, bit of good variance for me last month where tournaments are concerned, next one I play will probably be 2014 because I've clearly used up my donkament rungood for this year. I did feel quite disappointed though to finish 3rd, as I felt that I had a decent edge on the other 2 guys but went really card dead and couldn't really do much, I think I even got it in as a fav and went out so was unfortunate and I really had my eye on 1st place for $650~, but like I said, I really did use all my rungood that night so 3rd was far above expectations for me when going into the final table lol

On the cash tables things didnt start all that well, I started playing only zoom in January, trying to increase my volume in the small amount of time I have per month to play poker (35hrs at the tables last month, so maybe not all that small!), starting off with FR where I quickly got bored of being shown the nuts, and moving to 6m, where I got bored of spewing and concentrating mainly on volume and vpps (always a stupid thing to do at the micros btw!).

So, in a moment akin to Bilbo finding the ring, I moved to 888 poker and starting grinding the regular 6nl 6max tables there, I have no idea why, maybe I heard it was fishy as most smaller sites are, but this move started a sequence of events that got my year off to a flier, culminating in cashing that donkament with a free $7 ticket I got for signing up.

I moved $200 to 888, and about 2 weeks later moved $480 back off it and onto stars, after a shocking exchange rate scam that they're running, and withdrawing $50 of my tourney winnings to treat me and the missus to dinner. I had done well at the 6nl games there and probably would have stayed, if it wasnt for the absurd rake, rubbish rewards system, and looking up the lobby less games running above 10nl. I moved back to stars and started grinding the 10nl 6max games there, with decent results, and then went on to start adding in 16nl tables at the end of the month! :)

Around the 9k hand mark is where I dropped the rush games and moved sites, theres a downswing coming for sure, but hopefully it's short!

I feel like my game has came on leaps and bounds in January, and its mostly down to getting settled at 6max, playing less tables and concentrating more on playing the player, as well as playing my cards. The hand below that I played last night kinda shows this in my opinion, the 3bettor was a reggy type player, hadnt got auto top up on, but he was def positionally aware, and had 3bet a few times from the blinds and when IP. 48s is obv not the greatest hand to make a stand with, and I should have folded pre, but on the flop I felt that the board was unconnected enough for me to make a raise and expect folds from a lot of his rubbish, I figured that all he can really call here with is QQ+ AQdd+ 66 & 22, while there was tons of rubbish that he 3bets and then bet folds figuring me for a Qx which I rep good enough, or even 66 or 22, like putting myself in his shoes I 3bet Axs, PP's and SC's from there and then cbet half pot with my whole range, which I'm b/f'ing for sure. Maybe I murdered this and got lucky, but this to me shows an improvement in my game, as playing 16 tables of FR I'd have never took the time to think the hand through like that, so let us know your opinions on it.

Poker Stars $0.08/$0.16 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 2088100
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

BB: $13.39
UTG: $3.46
MP: $9.41
CO: $16.10
Hero (BTN): $16.84
SB: $16.00

Pre Flop: ($0.24) Hero is BTN with 4 of hearts 8 of hearts
3 folds, Hero raises to $0.48, 1 fold, BB raises to $1.60, Hero calls $1.12

Flop: ($3.28) Q of diamonds 6 of diamonds 2 of spades (2 players)
BB bets $1.76, Hero raises to $4, BB folds

Final Pot: $6.80
Hero mucks 4 of hearts 8 of hearts
Hero wins $6.49
(Rake: $0.31)

If anything this shows a bit more confidence in my game, and having the balls to go with my gut feel and reads.

Hopefully my good run continues through this month and I can start looking at 25nl shots at the beginning of March!

Results for Jan:

Cash Games - +$86.78
MTT - +$263.90
SNG's - +$14.03
235fpp Sat's - Cashed 0 / 1 :(

So goals for Febuary then:

[ ] Keep mixing 10nl and 16nl 6m tables
[ ] Get bankroll to 25nl shot taking level ($875)
[ ] Check results once per week max
[ ] Watch 2 videos per week
[ ] Run 3 times per week
[ ] 1 takeaway per week max

Sunday, 20 January 2013

January update - 888, donkaments and zero focus

Hey dudes,

So my new year resolution about updating this blog didnt last all that long! 20 days in and this is my first update :)

Anyways, things have been pretty much all over the place so far this year and I cant remember where I came off the tracks, or when, but I have unfortunately lost focus again. I think I need to set a timetable or something to play/study poker every month, make it a bit more routine and just get on with it, I think I need clear goals to motivate me, and a timetable will make things a bit more structured.

My play has been all over the place this month so far, with both games played and choice of site, I've played 6max Zoom on stars (-$29.39 over 7k hands), 9man Turbo SNG's on stars (35 played - +$14.03), 6max Rush on FTP (-$13 over 2.5k hands) and 6max 6nl cash games on 888 where ive actually rescued my month (+$43 over 2.8k hands), I also came 3rd for $266 in a tournament that I played on 888 with some free tickets that I got for signing up :) So $$ wise my first month of 2013 has been a good one, I even withdrew $50 from my tourny winnings to go towards treating myself and the wife to some dinner out (which turned into a shitload of junkfood from Asda but whatever lol), but still, despite more than doubling my bankroll it leaves me in a bit of a quandary about where to play, I cant carry on fluttering about all over the place, so I need to make a choice, with the 3 main options being:

  • 888 Poker  
    • Pros : Only one really, but its a BIG one, player pool is unbelievably soft, I don't have a huge hand sample but its just unreal how bad the average player there is, this means that big winrates are definitely possible
    • Cons : High rake (Paid $15, or 9bb/100 over 2.5k hands!) combined with a rubbish rewards system means that I will not be getting much back for playing there. The software is also fairly annoying, still playable but theres a few things to improve on. Traffic above 20nl will probably be smaller and better skilled, meaning that the rake will be hammering my potential winrate.

  • Pokerstars
    • Pros : There are many! Number 1 poker site in the world at the minute, best software in the business, best customer services, instant Moneybookers withdrawals, huge player numbers meaning that there are always plenty of tables going at any time, decent enough rewards scheme (not amazing for microstakes receationals like myself though) and (i think) the lowest rake too.
    • Cons : Player pool is generally of a higher skill level, the reward system rewards volume, so there are usually quite a lot of regulars, playing anywhere up to 24 tables at a time, there's also billions of russians playing a shortstack style, i'm not the typical shortie hater, they can buy in for whatever they want, but it effects my game playing a 100bb stack and they are generally a pain in the ass for a lot of reasons.

  • Full Tilt Poker
    • Pros : The edge scheme offers more back than the 888 one, decent sized player pool being the 2nd best poker site, and they are owned by pokerstars, so all funds are safe as houses. Software is great too, I wouldn't say its as good as stars, but the general cartoon feel of it sways me, opinions vary though and some would definitely say its better than poker stars. The rake is also lower than 888, but higher than stars.
    • Cons : Smaller player pool than stars, and another site where people are going to be grinding the rewards system so the pool will probably be of a higher skill level too. Not the greatest rewards scheme for my volume either, but not many these days will be! 

I think i've found my feet with 6max cash games now, and this is what I will be going forward playing, at 888 until I've cleared the last points towards making the whole of my roll withdrawable, which wont take much as I only need to rake about another $3 or something. I'll be playing 5 tables of 10nl 6max at a time, around 2 hrs per day - 5 days per week. So i'll open it up to my readers, who will hopefully be made up of different players at different sites, where do you think I should go?

Thursday, 13 December 2012

December update, some ideas and goals for next year


Sorry about the lack of updates, kinda lost focus a bit when Full Tilt came back, moved over to there to clear some of my Deal Me In bonus, decided to play some 6m, failed epically....obv given my history of 6m retardedness, and then went back to grinding FR before getting out of there and back to my spiritual home of Pokerstars.

I think the games were OK at FT but given my volume and limits the reward system didnt feel like it would give me much back, at the minute anyways, in the future this may change, but with the higher rake charges and less rewards from the edge system, I think right now its best for me to grind pokerstars, and commit to this into next year.

Not at my machine right now but this year I've made around 20%~ rakeback from the stars rewards system, including a reload bonus, stellar rewards, and effectively using my FPP's by playing hyper sattelites and unregistering from the target torunament, rather than spending them on bonuses. I'm currently around 1.5k vpp's away from clearing my 2nd $50 reward bonus, which is a bit gutting as there's no way I'll clear that at 10nl, but its motivated me to get there next year and I have started my own little challenge thread at cardschat to chart my progress and get me towards another couple of goals. Peels FR Grind

One of my goals for next year is to update this blog more, I originally started it when the pokerstars bloggers tournaments started this year, it seemed like a really cool promo that I couldnt take part in at the time, so hopefully the next time this comes around (if it does!) I will qualify. I've kinda been updating monthly at best the last few months, which isn't good enough, at the start of the blog I was trying to include some strategy pieces with the playing updates and that just hasn't carried on, need to get that going again.

I'm also going to be trying to mentor a micros player from Cardschat, this will help me keep my mind sharp, keep the fundamentals fresh in my mind, and also help someone else who's just starting out. I think i've got an idea of who it might be and will be sending a PM soon, was going to try and start this month, but with xmas and stuff i'm a bit strapped for time, I know i'm only playing micros myself, but I've had decent results up to 16nl and have had to withdraw for various things a lot, and I think I definetly have the knowledge to help out someone playing stakes below me.

Good luck at the tables, and happy xmas!

Monday, 1 October 2012

September Review, plus Pokerstars VIP Party and sleeping on trains

Hey dudes,

So last month was my worst month in poker for a long time, everything just fell apart for me, not sure why but I just wasn't feeling it at all, ended up playing 10k hands over a pitiful 15hrs, jumping from game to game and posting a minor loss cash wise. I lost my focus and I'm a bit disappointed  but it wasn't for the usual reasons (run bad lol) I just plain old couldn't be arsed! Which is pretty worrying as I normally love my poker time outside of work but I have a feeling that something else might have taken a bit of a precedent last month.

Anyways, whilst my time at the tables was shit, I did go to the Pokerstars VIP party live down in London just last weekend! My last post explained about the grind I had getting a ticket and it was more than worth it.

It was held at the London Film Museum, which was a great venue, uf a bit hard to find, situated in the very tourist heavy south bank area of London, right next to the Millennium Eye and across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

On arrival at around 10:30am I was greeted by a lobby full of Pokerstars staff, some of whom had travelled major distances to be a part of things, and players, most meeting up with online mates of theirs from various forums online. There were also catering staff walking around with trays of champagne glasses for a liquid breakfast which I got stuck into like any good Corby boy/ex-squaddie would (bad combination right there!) this copious drinking of free alcohol continued until I left the fox poker club later at around 8pm (I think) and would play a big part in my night post London!

So I had a little walk around the museum talking in the exhibits, including the actual superman and batman begins costumes, which were pretty cool, before I vaguely recognised a face from and one of the people I had arranged to meet up with, John Jacobs, who later luckboxed a UKIPT seat for correctly guessing a lot of stats from the Arsenal vs Chelsea game! We then hung around a bit chatting whilst waiting on Jake and Pasc to get there for our group to be complete.

Jake, Pasc, Johnny and Me (Left to right)
Pokerstars' Lee Jones then did us a welcome speech and showed us all a sneak preview of what's to come on stars, including the brand new client, which looks awesome and really shows me that stars care about the future of the online game, they want to keep new signups coming and keep the player pool healthy, everything is insanely easy to understand, and there's a new system of registering a new account to ensure as many people as possible go through the process, and not drop out halfway through because they're maybe confused and don't know what they're doing. Configuring the client has been made much easier and for new people, taking a seat will never be as easy. Its a much needed improvement and I think that a lot of players will be very happy with it.

We then all had some free brunch and a LOT of free peroni's, whilst watching the football and having a shot on a few things in the games rooms, all in it was a great event, hosted by some great people, the stars staff were all on the top of their games and made everyone feel very welcome and our opinions valued as they asked our thoughts on stars. I'm already looking forward to next year lol

After we left there we went on to the fox poker club, which had waived the new member fee for people with a pokerstars t-shirt, which was nice of them. I didnt play any poker though as by that time I was fairly inebriated, which had disastrous consequences for me as I said my goodbyes, went to take the train home.........and fell asleep pissed, waking up in midnight.....with no more trains running! Rut-oh!!

So waking up to "Welcome to derby", approx 70 miles away from my intended destination, was not the ideal end to my night, I had set an alarm on my phone when I got on the train as I had a strong feeling that I wouldn't stay awake for the next hour, which then decided to be a right jack twat and die on me mid sleep, cunting thing! 

I wont lie, I was flapping quite a bit when I got off that train lol, thoughts of being raped by tramps and fighting pigeons for some thrown up chips for breakfast raced through my mind, that didnt change with Derby cabbies quoting me £130+ to get home, which in turn changed to huge relief when some random fellow drunk overheard my dilemma and told me that, v.luckily for me, there was a bus leaving to Leicester from just down the road. Now being stuck in Leicester still wasn't amazing, but it was a shitload better than being stuck in Derby, being only 20-30 miles from home, and I crossed my fingers hoping that a taxi from there would be a bit more reasonably priced! Which it was, and 1.5hrs later after the longest bus journey I've voluntarily made in about 10 years, I arrived in Leicester at kicking out time and found myself a private cabbie that got me home for £50.

So after getting on a 9pm train back to Corby from London, and due to meet up with my mates at around 10pm, I arrived home at 3.30am to a very relieved wife, had luckily managed to get a quick text off to her with my predicament when my phone gave me about 1min of life before giving up the ghost, the other text going to my mate telling him I wouldn't make the cardigan after all as I was in Derby, his reply just as my phone died again....... "LMAO, brilliant", a good mate might have jumped in his car and drove to get me  to save me from horny tramps and hungry pigeons, I would have............... no chance lol, got to love your mates in times of crisis! : ) 

Goals for September 

- Play some f'ing poker and enjoy it again.

- Increase bankroll after withdrawing money to cover a v.costly nap on a train. 

N.B. Actually the second withdrawal of the month after taking some out to cover winter coats for the kids, cant have them freezing on the way to school when daddy's got a poker account in the middle of being frittered away as he loses motivation to grind lol, I kinda liked buying them something with poker money anyways and I'm gonna take a much more relaxed approach to grinding up a roll in the future, not so bothered about treating myself and the family when I can, still trying to build it though, just not bothered about it being slow and steady anymore.

Hope you all have a good October, see you on the other side!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

August Review

Hey dudes,

Thought I'd keep you all updated on my progress, last month was a bit different for me because there was something I reeeeeaaaaallllllly wanted to get to...........

That's right, pokerstars, the site I play on, are holding a party down in London town, and all that I had to do as a Silverstar was to earn 1500fpps and buy myself a ticket (works out at about $25), it's being held at the London Film Museum on the 29th Sept and includes a free tour of the museum, some brunch (day kicks off at 10am), a sneak peak of whats coming soon on stars, and probably the reason I was so keen for a ticket, the Arsenal vs Chelsea game on a big screen with a fuckin free bar for the afternoon!

So thinking that this would sell out soon, there was only 350 tickets I heard, I decided to grind like a mo'fo' so I could get myself there. I had about 850 fpps to earn, now the VIP system on pokerstars isn't a simple thing to explain so I'm not going to try! I just knew from my past play that I had to play a fair bit more than I normally do, and play that amount quicker than I normally do, in order to get a ticket as fast as I could and make sure I didn't miss out. Luckily for me my plan for the month was to play 20 tables anyways, so this coincided nicely!

So I ended up getting myself a ticket, but my play whilst 20 tabling wasn't spectacular, despite a huge upswing to start, around the 19k hand mark I had earned enough fpps for a ticket so decided to drop my tables down, first to 18 and finally to 16, i think now that this is my sweet spot for grinding 10 and 16nl, somewhere between 14 and 16 tables.

So that was my august graph, not a bad month really, not a spectacular one either but making some steady progress towards shot taking 25nl again, I'm currently sat at $445, after a nice win last night, so fingers crossed I'll be ready for taking a shot at 25nl some time this month. My plan is to grind up to $500 and then take a 5 buyin 'shot', usually people move solely up to the limit above and completely drop their lower tables, I've decided that instead of doing that I'll just start adding in 25nl tables, so playing a mix of 16nl and 25nl, at $500, moving to all 25nl tables at about $750. Hopefully this will give me a nice easy transition into playing 25nl as I will get some hands on a few regs there and just find my feet with the bigger bet sizes.

My last run at 25nl ended badly, starting with a huge upswing and finishing being about 10bi's below EV before tilting off a load of my roll and then even withdrawing some and going on a stake lol not good mental game for sure! The next time will be different as I'm a lot calmer these days when hands go wrong.

So thats all folks, hopefully will update this again at some point this month to let you all know that I'm ready for some shooting!